Disclaimer- Gravitation belongs to everyone I listed already. "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" was written by Jim Steinman (who is a song-writing GOD and I use about 4 songs written by him in the course of this fic) and sung by Meat Loaf (who is a singing GOD. I am trying to score tickets to his concert in Augusta next month). "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)" was written by Tommy Shaw and performed by Styx.
The Life of Shindou Shuichi: A Retrospective in Song
Written by A Guy Named Goo
Act 2: Everything Louder Than Everything Else/Fooling Yourself
It had been exactly seven days since Shuichi had entered his coma.
All that week people had been coming in and out. It was impossible for them to stay all the time, though everyone who left was obviously quite torn: if they left, they stood a chance of not being there when Shuichi finally woke up, but if they stayed, then they would have to put their lives on hold, and since they had no way of knowing when or if Shuichi would wake up they had no way of knowing when they could resume their lives. Though everyone left at night (except for Ryuuichi, who slept in a chair, and Yuki, who worked most of the night and slept in the extra bed, mostly because of the overwhelming feeling of guilt he had and not wanting Shuichi to wake up thinking he didn't care) they obviously felt guilty about it.
Touma had been the first to leave for an extended period of time. His cell-phone had finally died, and because he would have had to drive home to recharge it, anyway, he figured it would be easier to attend the meeting in person. Mika had left with him, though she'd come back on her own a little while later, much to Yuki's surprise.
K was the next to leave. He'd tried to convince Ryuuichi to come with him, since sleeping in a chair had caused him to have a stiff neck and a backache and he needed to lay down somewhere, but Ryuuichi refused, holding Kumagorou against his chest, his chin resting between the toy rabbit's ears, staring at Shuichi and looking for the slightest bit of movement.
Sakano was the next one to leave, having been paged by Touma. It seemed that he was needed at a meeting to discuss how Shuichi's accident would impact Bad Luck and it's future concert ticket and record sales, being their producer and all. Suguru had left with him as a representative from the band itself, knowing that Hiro probably didn't want to leave his best friend.
Finally, four days after returning, Mika left again, saying that she had some things she needed to discuss with Touma alone. Only Hiro spent all day in hospital room with Yuki and Ryuuichi, Ryuuichi just staring quietly and Yuki typing away and occasionally leaving the room. His rage hadn't subsided any, since he was sure that somehow Yuki had caused the accident and the fact that he still refused to show any emotion.
"It's time for the second act," Touma announced. As if on cue, the stage morphed into three seperate sections: one was the recording studio of NG Records, one was Touma's office, and one was the park where Shuichi had first met Hiro.
Touma walked over to the set of his office and sat down at the desk, Sakano and Hiro standing in the recording studio, and Yuki sitting on a bench in the park set. Shuichi instinctively stood in front of all three sets, near the end of the stage.
Just as Shuichi took his place, the curtain flew up. Once again, the audience was shadowed so that Shuichi wasn't even sure there was an audience, but the theatre filled with applause. Words began to fill his mind, and he turned and walked over to the recording studio set.
"NG Records was the first record company that ever signed me," Shuichi explained, as if to the audience. "Right after the concert where we were discovered. Unfortunately, we had some trouble with deadlines and material in those early days, and as a result we didn't actually cut a record at first..."
Letting his monologue trail off, he turned to face the actors that were portraying Hiro and Sakano.
"I don't have the song done," he announced, surprised at how fake the line sounded. If he had to portray himself in a play about his life, then the higher powers could have at least made him a decent actor.
Unfortunately, the higher powers didn't find it neccessary to give the other actors any talent, either....
"What do you mean, you don't have it done?!" the Sakano actor cried, though not with nearly the emotion that the real Sakano had displayed. "How are you supposed to get famous if you can't even finish one song?!"
"But it isn't about fame," the Hiro actor told him, his tone just as static as the Sakano actor's. "We aren't doing this for money, fame, or power."
Suddenly, the actors moved into the set of Touma's office, standing in front of the desk where Touma was sitting.
"I heard you haven't finished your song," the Touma actor said. He was a bit better than the other actors, but not much. "I can't sign you unless you can show me a finished product. You have to maintain deadlines if you want to keep your fans happy and your record sales up."
"But we aren't in it for the power, or the wealth, or the glory!" Shuichi cried, surprised when a guitar started to play. Suddenly, the rest of the band joined in, along with back-up singers.
"I know that I will never be politically correct," Shuichi found himself singing. "And I dont give a damn about my lack of etiquette!" he sang out, pounding on the desk. He suddenly jumped up onto it. "As far as I'm concerned the world could still be flat/And if the thrill is gone, then it's time to take it back/If the thrill is gone, then it's time to take it back!"
Hiro stepped forward next. "Who am I and why am I here?" he sang, the background singers joining him. "Forget the questions, someone get me another beer!/What's the meaning of life, what's the meaning of it all?/You've got to learn to dance before you learn to crawl/You've got to learn to dance before you learn to crawl!"
Suddenly, Touma stood up and stepped forward, holding out a clipboard. "So sign up all, you're all recruits," he sang. He threw the clipboard and suddenly yanked off his tie and threw it. "Throw away those designer suits/You've got your weapons cocked, your targets in your sights."
Shuichi jumped off the desk and into the desk chair. "There's a party raging somewhere in the world," he sang. He pushed himself off with his desk and rolled across the stage toward the door of the set of the recording studio, grabbing someone's hand. He pulled, and suddenly a girl came tumbling onto the stage. "You've go serve your country, gotta service your girl." He then pushed the girl back through the door and stood up. "You're all enlisted in the armies of the night!"
He then walked over to Touma, singing the entire time. "And I ain't in it for the power/And I ain't in it for my health." He got right in Touma's face (something he'd never actually do in real life) and continued the verse. "I ain't in it for the glort of anything at all, and I sure ain't in it for the wealth!"
Suddenly, Hiro grabbed Touma, spun him around, and started singing in his face, causing him to take a step back in perfect sync with Hiro's steps forward. "But I'm in it till it's over, and I just can't stop/If you wanna get it done, you gotta do it yourself!"
"And I like my music like I like my life!" Shuichi added.
Suddenly, grabbing Touma and Hiro grabbing Sakano, all four began to sing loudly in each other's faces.
"Everything louder than everything else!/Everything louder than everything else!/Everything louder than...everything else!" They turned their faces on each other, Shuichi heading toward Hiro and Touma and Sakano heading off stage. "Everything louder than everything else!/Everything louder than everything else!/Everything louder than-"
Shuichi suddenly lept forward and skidded on his knees to the front of the stage and sang alone. "Everything else!"
Suddenly, the music slowed slightly, and the lights on the stage shut off, leaving a single spotlight on Shuichi, who was still on his knees. He suddenly produced a microphone from no where as he continued to sing.
"They've got a file on me, and it's a mile long/And they say that they've got all of the proof/That I'm just another case of arrested development/And I'm just another wasted youth..."
He got to his face, and Hiro began to sing with him, coming out of nowhere and singing into the same microphone. "They say that I'm in need of some radical discipline/They say I've got to face the truth/That I'm just another case of arrested development/And I'm just another wasted youth..."
Suddenly the lights came on, and the microphones were gone.
Touma was sitting in the chair, and with a kick against the wall he went flying back to his desk, singing. "They say I'm wild and I'm reckless/I should be acting my age..."
Shuichi walked over to the desk and sat on top of it, continuing the verse. "I'm an impressionable child in a tumultuous world/And they say I'm at a difficult stage..."
Sakano walked over to the desk and leaned against the side. "But it seems to me to contrary..."
Hiro jumped on top of the desk and stood up behind Shuichi. "Of all the crap they're gonna put on the page...."
All four, in their places, began to chant the next part together. "That a wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age!/A wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age/A wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age!/A wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age/A wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age!/A wasted youth is better by far/Then a wise and productive old age..."
As the music began to rise, Touma stood from his chair and push it across the set, Shuichi slid off of the desk, Hiro jump from it, and Sakano stood up straight, all four standing in a line.
Sakano sang first. "If you want my views of history, then there's something you should know-"
Then Shuichi. "The three men I admire most are Curly, Larry, Moe-"
Then Touma. "Don't worry about the future, soon or later it's the past-"
Then Hiro. "If the thrill is gone, then it's time to take it back-"
Then finally all four. "If the thrill is gone, then it's time to take it back!"
Touma walked back over to the chair and sat back down in it, pushing himself almost to the end of the stage. "So sign up all your raw recruits!" He took off his jacket and threw it into the audience. "Throw away all your stupid suits/You've got your weapons cocked, your targets in your sights!" He threw his chair off the stage.
"There's a party raging somewhere in the world." Hiro reached over to the recording studio set and pulled Ayaka from no where. "Gotta serve your country, gotta service your girl!" With a spin, she disappeared from the set. "You're all inducted in the armies of the night..."
Shuichi picked pulled out the drawer of the desk and began to pull items out as he sang. "And I ain't in it for the power-" he took out a stress ball that looked like the Earth, squeezed it, and then threw it off stage. "And I ain't in it for my health-" He took out a stethoscope, put it on, pretended to listen to his heart, then took it off and threw that, too. "I ain't in it for the glory of anything at all-" He took out a stack of glamour shots of himself and then threw those. "And I sure ain't in it for the wealth." He took out too large handfuls of money and threw those, too. "But I'm in it till it's over and I just can't stop/If you wanna get done, you gotta fight for yourself!" He took out a pair of boxing gloves and threw those. "And I like my music like I like my life!" He took out a CD and a picture of himself in a frame, then threw both and stood up on the desk, kicking the drawer off, and started singing. "Everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else..."
Hiro walked up and sat on the front edge of the desk, joining him. "Everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else..."
Touma and Sakano each sat on the other two sides of the desk and joined in. "Everything louder than everything else, everything louder than-"
Shuichi jumped off the desk and stood in front of it, finishing the line alone. "Everything else!"
Touma, Hiro, and Sakano came up behind Shuichi, then stood to either side of him in singing. "Everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else, everything louder than-"
Shuichi skidded on his knees to the front of the stage. "Everything else!"
Still singing, the others walked up and helped him to his feet. "Everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else, everything louder than everything else, everything louder than anything else..."
The music faded, and the actors' voices did accordingly. The theatre filled with applause again. Before Shuichi could get his bearings straight from that outburst, the set began to spin, and Touma, Hiro, and Sakano were gone. Now the park scene was in the center, and Yuki was the only other person on stage with him...
It was the middle of the night. Yuki had started to doze off when he heard it. The usually familiar beeping of the heart monitor became a dull tone, causing him to open his eyes wide. He looked at the monitor, which was flatlining, and fumbled for the call button. Ryuuichi had also woke up, and was sitting stock still, eyes wide as Yuki frantically pushed the button. Giving up, he dropped it and stuck his head out the door.
"We need a doctor!" he shouted. "His heart stopped beating!"
Though it only took a few seconds for the doctors to rush in and shuffle Yuki and Ryuuichi out of the room, it had seemed like forever. As soon as the door slammed, Ryuuichi collapsed into tears, leaning against Yuki, the only person convenient. Ordinarilly Yuki would have just pushed him off, but he was too stunned to.
This was it. Shuichi was going to die.
Shuichi walked up to the actor of Yuki, who was smoking a cigarette. He held up a familiar piece of paper.
"Zero talent," he said in a flat tone that, even with the bad acting, sounded like Yuki's tone.
Angry and hurt, Shuichi turned his back on the Yuki actor and faced the audience. "That's when I first met Yuki Eiri. I felt so angry at hearing him say that, but I couldn't say anything. He was just so damn cool looking and sounded so damn confident I just couldn't. That's when I became obsessed with him."
He turned and looked at the Yuki actor. "Plus I knew there had to be something else there. You weren't just critisizing my sucky lyrics. No, you had some personal issues. You were just an angry young man."
On cue, synthesized music began, and Shuichi found himself pushing the actor Yuki back onto the bench.
As the rest of the band began to play, Shuichi found himself compelled to sing once again.
"You see the world through your cynical eyes/You're a troubled young man, I can tell/You've got it all in the palm of your hand-" He grabbed Yuki's hand. "But your hand's wet with sweat/And your head needs a rest." He dropped Yuki's hand.
He grabbed onto the street light and swung around it. "And you're fooling yourself/If you don't believe it-" He let go of the telephone pole and pushed over the trashcan. "You're kidding yourself/If you don't believe it!"
He jumped up onto the back of the bench as the Yuki actor spun around to look at him and his balancing act. "Why must you be such an angry young man/When you're future looks quite bright to me-" He found himself holding a flashlight, which he flashed in the gold eyes of the actor, then he threw it and landed so that he was standing next to where Yuki was sittng. "And how can there be such a sinister plan/That can hide such a lamb/Such a caring young man."
He dropped down onto the ground again and walked over to the tipped-over trash can. "And you're fooling yourself/If you don't believe it-" He suddenly pushed the trashcan off stage. "You're killing yourself if you don't believe it."
He walked over to Yuki and grabbed his hand. "Get up, get up, get back on your feet!" he sang, pulling him up. "You're the one they can't beat/And you know it." Taking back the paper with his lyrics, he waved them tauntingly in front of Yuki's face. "Come on, come on, let's see what you got/Just take your best shot and don't blow it, oh!"
He threw the paper over his shoulder. "And you're fooling yourself/If you don't believe it/You're killing yourself/If you don't believe it!"
Shuichi jumped up onto the bench behind Yuki and put his hands on his shoulders. "Get up, get up, get back on your feet/You're the one they can't beat/And you know it!" He let go and jumped over the back of the bench, walking back over to Yuki and pushing him slightly. "Come on, come on, let's see what you go/Just take your best shot and don't blow it, oh!"
The music began to fade, as did the lights. As soon as the music stopped, the Yuki actor dropped his cigarette and stepped on it. "Baka..." he whispered.
And with that, the audience began their applause again as the curtain dropped with a thud and the sets all disappeared.
The Yuki actor looked Shuichi in the face. "Are you ready for the third act?"
~End of Act 2~