***hikaru no ashita***  


The Rise and Downfall of

Hikaru no Ashita

(By "No more 'Behind da Music' documentaries fer ME." Zarla)


"This is a great idea! Think of the possibilities!"

"I don't think this is going to work...it's a strange idea."

"You CAN'T just ignore this! This is a potential goldmine!" Mr. Kantoku placed the thin file of papers on the Boss' desk. He placed one of his hands on it, trying to prove his point. The Boss stared at him blankly. "Think of what we could do if this worked! This could launch our company into stardom!"

"Kantoku, music isn't that interesting nowadays. No one is that interested in the radio and no one tunes into the TV for music videos. And the idea that anyone would like a band simply based on their appearance is ludicrous. People are smarter then that."

"I'm not SAYING they wouldn't play their own instruments or anything." Mr. Kantoku rolled his eyes. "Of course they would have to be able to play music. But the emphasis should be on appearance. It would give them an edge, an advantage. If we play this right, it could catapult a band into worldwide fame."

"Not unless their music was good."

"Yes, there's that as well, but I know some good writers...they could help out with the process. At any rate, this band could be a ticket to get this company off the ground."

"Well...we do need something to help get this company some publicity..."

"We just need to play the market." Mr. Kantoku smiled confidentally. "If you let me do this, you won't ever hear about it again until the band is rocketing off the charts!"

"I don't think this is one of your brightest ideas, Kantoku, but I'm willing to give it a try. Anything to help boost our sales."

"You won't regret this, sir."

"I hope not. How long will it take you to start the auditions?"

"I'll start tomorrow if you want." Mr. Kantoku was inwardly cheering, but managed to keep a straight face. The Boss pushed the file towards him.

"Go ahead then."


~~~

Mr. Kantoku leaned back in his directors chair, watching the latest person to try out. He had so far only auditioned boys, although he knew that girls were also a possibility. He personally felt that his plan would work best with boys, although he didn't know why he thought this way.

So far, he had found no one that fit what he needed exactly. He was not going to settle for less. He needed someone who fit his needs perfectly...preferably three to four of them. He knew this was a long shot, but he was willing to try as hard as it took.

The latest applicant looked incredibly nervous. He had large glasses and wore an extremely large sweater along with some loose jeans. He had a long black ponytail that he was constantly twisting around his fingers.

The thing was the incredible innocence about the guy. Although he must have been over 18, he acted and gave off the feeling of being much younger. Someone to be protected. Mr. Kantoku smiled. That was certainly a desirable quality he had been looking for. And also he wasn't that bad looking and only moderatly tall, which was also a plus.

"What's your name?"

The guy paused momentarily, as if trying to remember. He smiled brightly when he finally seemed to remember, another good quality. "Dowasure."

Noticing the person's problem with words, he decided to leave the first name until later. "So, what are your qualifications?"

"Qualifications?"

"What can you do?"

"Well...I do have a Ph.D in science, but that probably doesn't help...um...I can sing."

"A singer, hmm? Can you sing a few bars for me?"

Dowasure cleared his throat nervously and began singing. He didn't have a low voice, nor a high one. It was somewhere in-between and had some kind of youthful energy that made it incredibly pleasant to listen to.

"Great, great. Can you play any instruments?"

Dowasure looked awkward. "No...I can't really. I never learned any..."

Mr. Kantoku sighed. He needed people who could play their own instruments, but this guy seemed to be perfect. He knew what crowd he would appeal too...but...

If he had others to cover the background, then maybe the fact he couldn't play would be overlooked....Mr. Kantoku smiled.

"You did good, Dowasure. Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you what I've got."

The guy fairly lit up with happiness. "Thank you so much! I was really worried..."

"Next!"

Dowasure almost skipped off, humming to himself. Mr. Kantoku waved in the next applicant.

This guy seemed a lot different then everyone else. He had some kind of dangerous air about him...a self-confidence that no one else seemed to have. The guy also looked very strange. He was wearing a dark trenchcoat over some ripped jeans and a black shirt, and his hair was a strange white color with hints of purple in a very strange style. The most strange feature about him were his eyes. They almost seemed to be pupilless, although Mr. Kantoku knew this had to be impossible, and they were a strange blend of purple and blue. He sat down and propped his feet on the table.

"What's your name?"

"Cyrus." He had a slight accent, causing some of his letters to slur together. Mr. Kantoku noted this critically. He also noted how the answer was quick and fearless.

"What are your qualifications?"

"I can play electric. Guitar, I mean."

"Really? How long have you been playing?"

This question seemed to make Cyrus hesitate. "As long as I can remember."

"Did you bring yours with you?"

"Sure. Got it right here."

He pulled the bag he was carrying on his back off and placed it on the table, unzipping it and carefully pulling out a battered white marble electric guitar. Taking a pick from a pouch on the bag, he tuned for only a few seconds, then began to play.

He was GOOD. All his chords were fast and furious, yet blended together perfectly. At the end of his performance, Mr. Kantoku was stunned. Cyrus apparently noticed this and lounged back, keeping his guitar on his lap.

"Can you sing?"

Cyrus laughed for a moment. "#&#% no."

Mr. Kantoku winced at the obscenity. There was something that wasn't good. He hoped there weren't any other undesirable qualities about him...he seemed to be perfect for the other crowd he had in mind, although his eyes were kind of creeping him out.

"Well, anyway, thank you Cyrus. We'll tell you what we have tomorrow, okay?"

"Sure. Bye." Cyrus placed his guitar back into the bag and smoothly slung it on his back. He walked out without another word. Mr. Kantoku admired his courage for a moment.

A few more applicants went by, but none of them left as strong an impression as Dowasure and Cyrus. Finally, a small boy came in. He looked to be only around 13, although he seemed thin and frail.

"I'm here for the audition,sir?"

"Yes yes, come sit here."

The boy did not hesitate and sat down quietly. He had a kind of clinging sadness to him...it made the boy incredibly interesting.

"What's your name?"

"Teishi, sir."

"What are your qualifications?"

"I can play drums, sir."

He noted the boy's respect carefully. "For how long?"

"A few years, sir."

"Good good...there's a drum set over there...can you use that?"

"Yes, sir."

Teishi sat up and sat down at the drum-set, picking up the two drumsticks carefully. Although Teishi seemed submissive enough while he was speaking, once he was playing he seemed to change. He played a compelling rhythm, which near the end he himself was getting into. He was bobbing his head and playing furiously, smiling while he was doing so.

"Thank you, that's enough." Mr. Kantoku broke the spell and Teishi instantly sombered.

"Did I do okay? I need to do okay, sir."

"Really? Why is that?" Mr. Kantoku stared at the boy's large green eyes. Teishi blinked.

"I...I really need money, sir. I have no job, no nothing...please, can't I?"

So there was another reason for Teishi's audition. Now Mr. Kantoku was weighed down with guilt. If he turned Teishi away, where would he go? He seemed so vulnerable.

Another good quality. He smiled.

"Don't worry, you did great. No one else can play the drums as well as you."

"Really? Thank you, sir!"

"I'll tell you what I have tomorrow. See you then!"

Teishi dashed out the door, seeming relieved.

Mr. Kantoku leaned back in his chair, thinking about the only three that had stuck out in his mind during the whole day. Dowasure, Cyrus, Teishi...those three, if combined, could be the perfect group for his plan.

Ah yes, he was lucky.


~~~

"Excuse me..."

The receptionist, a rather anti-social man by the name of Mr. Johnston, glared at the man perched on the counter. He instantly disliked him. There was something about him that bothered him that he couldn't place. Maybe it was the long hair or the strange kind of innocence around him. He just seemed to hate him instantly.

Then again, this was common for Mr. Johnston, who hated almost everyone.

"What do YOU want?"

The other man backed away, as if surprised at the anger in Mr. Johnston's voice. He paused before speaking.

"Um...I'm supposed to...um..." He twirled his ponytail around his fingers. "Ooh...I knew I'd forget...hold on..."

Mr. Johnston stared critically as the man searched within his pockets and finally pulled out a small, worn out notepad. He scanned over it quickly.

"Ah! I'm supposed to be here for the band..."

"Band?"

"Yes, I think it's run by..." he ran a finger down the paper. "Mr. Kantoku. He said he wanted to meet me."

"Oh, him. Take the first-" Before Mr. Johnston could finish his statement, another man came up to the desk, leaning on it casually. He had the most disturbing eyes Mr. Johnston had ever seen.

"Where's th' recordin' studio?" The new man spoke. The shorter one with the glasses stared at him almost in fear.

"I was just about to tell this man here." Mr. Johnston was annoyed by the sheer audacity and confidence in the strange man's voice. "There's a thing called a line, and it starts behind him."

The man paused for a second, then stood straight. Mr. Johnston marveled at his height. He must have been at least 6'4. "Fine."

He pushed the shorter man roughly to the ground and then walked back to the counter. Mr. Johnston stood to see if the other one had been injured while the strange man leaned on the counter again.

"There, now 'm first. Where's th' @#$%in' recordin' studio?"

"You just knocked that man down!" Mr. Jonhston exclaimed angrily. The man in question was standing up shakily.

"An' 'm goin' to do th' same to you unless you @#$%in' tell me where th' @#$%in' recordin' studio is!" The man shouted back at Mr. Johnston, who was beginning to get frightened of him. He was serious.

"Look, it's the first staircase to the left. Go down the hall then turn right. Third door down."

"Took @#$%in' long enough..." The strange man instantly walked away as fast as possible, cursing under his breath the whole time. The first man straightened his glasses, pushing the small pad of paper towards Mr. Johnston.

"Could you write it down for me, please? I'll forget unless you do."

Mr. Johnston was glad to have the angry, irritable one gone, so he did write down the directions. Before the man could leave, he spoke.

"Listen, if you're going to the same place as that guy, I'm sorry for you. Try and avoid him, okay? He's bad news." Mr. Johnston didn't understand why he felt like explaining this as he did, and finally credited it to the incredible innocence around the guy. The man smiled brightly.

"Okay!"

He walked off, his ponytail waving back and forth. Mr. Johnston leaned back in his chair, holding his head.

"I hate this job."

"Excuse me, sir." A small voice came from the counter. He looked up irritably to find what seemed like a little kid there. He stared at him silently. "I need to know where the recording studio is. Could you please tell me, sir?"

Mr. Johnston was surprised at the kid's politeness. "Sure. Follow the guy with the ponytail."

"Thank you, sir."

The kid walked off silently. Mr. Johnston thought to himself.

"That freak Kantoku has got some weird ideas..." he mumbled to himself.


~~~

The freak in question was sitting at a table, set in the middle of the recording studio. He knew that these three, when put together, would be irresistable to his target crowd. However, the problem was whether or not they would react well to eachother. He had a feeling that Cyrus would, no doubt, not like the other two members. He was here to make sure that they at least didn't hate eachother. Hopefully they could build friendships, but the most he could hope for at the moment was that Cyrus didn't try to beat them down with his guitar.

Or worse yet, leave.

As it was, the first to enter was Cyrus, who sat irritably down at the table, not noticing the other two chairs.

"Hello, Cyrus." Mr. Kantoku said brightly. "Did you find this place easily enough?"

"#&#% no!" Cyrus said irritably. "Th' @#$%in' security guard was a @#$%in' @#$^@!"

"Woah, Cyrus, can you try to keep the swearing down?" Mr. Kantoku raised his hands gently. "I'm sorry about that, but Mr. Johnston is known for hating people right off. It's probably nothing personal."

"Hmmph." Cyrus crossed his arms angrily. Mr. Kantoku tried to lighten the mood.

"So, listen, you're in the band."

"Really?" Cyrus didn't sound very amazed.

"Sure. You're going to play the electric, just like you said."

"No singing, right?"

"No singing."

"Great! I can't sing worth a #@$#." Cyrus laughed to himself. "What's this band called, anyway?"

"I haven't really thought of a name, yet..." Mr. Kantoku was struck by this. He hadn't considered the name yet. He needed one that would be easy to say, mean something interesting, something that could target the group he wanted...

"Hmm...so how many people are goin' to be in this band, anyway?"

"Three, including you."

"Three? That's not much."

"It's enough." Mr. Kantoku smiled. "The other two are kind of late, though..."

The door to the room cracked open slightly. There was a flash of glasses as the man poked his head through the door.

"Ah, Dowasure, come on in."

He carefully edged his way into the room, seeming to be incredibly nervous. He walked to the table, sat down, and then noticed Cyrus.

"You!" they said at the exact same time.

"You've met?" Mr. Kantoku hoped they weren't old enemies.

"Yer that guy I pushed down at th' counter!" Cyrus stared at the other man in disbelief.

"You did what?!" Mr. Kantoku put a hand to his head. Dowasure cringed away from Cyrus, placing his hands near his head.

"Don't hit me! I swear, If I knew you wanted to be first I would have let you! Please don't hurt me!"

These words seemed to strike something in Cyrus and he backed off. He stared at Dowasure, shaking his head, then turned to Mr. Kantoku.

"Wait, you tellin' me that this guy's in this band of yers?"

Mr. Kantoku nodded. "Main singer."

"#*&%..." Cyrus mumbled to himself. "@#$%in' luck..."

Dowasure turned towards Mr. Kantoku with wide eyes. "He's in the band too?"

"Guitarist."

"Hello, sir?" Teishi had walked in silently and had stood near the doorway. He made his way to the table as well, while Cyrus gestured to himself.

"This's @#$%in' great, now we got a @#$%in' kid in this too!"

"Does this mean I'm in, sir?" Teishi smiled brightly, something incredibly rare for him. "Thank you so much, sir!"

"Drummer." Mr. Kantoku said before the others could ask. "Look, the way I see it, if we can get you three to work together, we could have something great. Just try and get along, okay?"

"This's just..." Cyrus seemed to be thinking of some way to express his feelings and in the end said nothing. Dowasure fixed his glasses nervously, looking at the other two members.

"Okay...um..." He smiled brightly. "We might as well introduce ourselves, as we'll be working together. My name is..." Again the pause before his name. "Dowasure."

Cyrus twitched momentarily, but there was no way to tell whether or not that was related to Dowasure at all. He sighed deeply. "Name's Cyrus."

"I'm Teishi." The smaller boy spoke quietly.

There was an awkward silence. Mr. Kantoku watched them silently as they sat uncomfortably. So far, they hadn't truly hated eachother...well, Cyrus seemed to hate Dowasure, but this was not returned. And it didn't seem like real hate yet. So far this was going fairly well.

"Okay, let's get you three playing together and see what happens." He finally spoke. The others seemed glad that the silence had been broken. Cyrus, who had been carrying his guitar on his back, as usual, quickly put it on and began strumming randomely with no apparent rhythm. The others, not having any instruments, simply stared at him curiously.

Mr. Kantoku ruffled through the papers he was holding. "We have a song here that you could play together." He emphasized his last word, but Cyrus ignored him. "This is just a chance for everyone to get a feel for how the others play their music." He handed out the sheets of paper to each of the three. Cyrus looked through his slowly.

"I think I can do this."

"Good. Come on, everything's in the next room."


~~~

Cyrus kept the sheet-music in front of him as he played, enjoying the distortion that made his guitar so distinct. The chords changed fast and suddenly and had to blend together well. He enjoyed the challenge and rose to meet it easily. He seemed to be very into what he was doing, although he did keep his eyes on the music.

Teishi had gotten the rhythm quickly and rarely looked at the sheet-music unless he had to. He had a feeling for when the rhythm would change, and then he would look up and glance at the music, get an idea for how it would change, and then continue playing. Although sometimes his playing did not go along with that on the sheet-music, his version seemed to almost be better. He was getting very much into his playing, becoming almost oblivious to everything else.

Equipped with headphones and his usual smile, Dowasure sang into the microphone in front of him, reading from the lines in front of him constantly, even for the chorus. He could not remember the words after he sang them, but was able to sound as if he did. He smiled through out the whole song, obviously enjoying the whole thing.


The light...the light of tomorrow!



The light of tomorrow shines into today
You seek for answers, we're seeking too
The light of tomorrow shines into today
But the light of tomorrow is already with you

The wounds of those we never hurt
The tears of those who never knew
Wept into another's shirt
The sadness which forever grew

Cast it all away! Don't let it tear you apart!
Throw it all away! Don't let it destroy your heart!
There's a place we know of, where we all can go
Come with us, take our hands, we'll teach you everything we know

Remember when you looked up at the night
Without any remembrance of happiness in your life?
Throw it all away, come with us, embrace our light
Come to a place without the pain and the lies

We're here for you, we're here with you
Wherever you may go
You carry us inside your heart
Everything you want to know

You know us well, we know you too
Wherever you may be
We come with you through pain and grief
We'll always let you lead

Cast it all away! Don't let it tear you apart!
Throw it all away! Don't let it destroy your heart!
There's a place we know of, where we all can go
Come with us, take our hands, we'll teach you everything we know

The light of tomorrow shines so bright
There is nothing that can subdue
The light of tomorrow is here tonight
For we are already here with you!

I know a place where we can go
Where there is never sadness
Never highs or lows
This place is within us
This place is within you
In the light of tomorrow!

Cast it all away! Don't let it tear you apart!
Throw it all away! Don't let it destroy your heart!
There's a place we know of, where we all can go
Come with us, take our hands, we'll teach you everything we know

Cyrus finished the song by performing a completly unscripted guitar solo, while Teishi continued to go along with the rhythm. Still within the song, Dowasure simply hummed along, closing his eyes.

Mr. Kantoku smiled from behind the glass where he watched the three. Although they may have had their differences outside, within this room they all worked together.

"This is going to work." He smiled to himself.

Cyrus hit one last chord, Teishi performed one slight drum solo by himself, and then they finally finished the song completly. They stared at the glass, gratified by the pleased expression on Mr. Kantoku's face.

"How was it? Did we do okay?" Dowasure coughed, he was almost singing his words. He controlled his voice.

"That was better then okay, guys, that was perfect!"

"Thank you, sir!" Teishi smiled happily. Mr. Kantoku was beginning to realize how rare it was to make that happen.

"Thanks. That was fun." Cyrus remarked off-hand, flipping through the song again. Mr. Kantoku knew this was the best that he could get out of the man and turned to Dowasure.

He was smiling as he read through the lyrics again.

"This is great! That was lots of fun. I can't wait to do more!"

"Don't worry, you guys are going to do a lot more." Mr. Kantoku smiled. "You're going to be a hit!"


~~~

The three band members were sitting in the lounge area of the large studio which they had recently found did not only contain recording equipment. It seemed to almost be a complete set within itself, with lounges and seperate rooms for the stars and the like. It was quite overwhelming at first to the three and they chose to remain in the lounge, which was small but comfortable. Cyrus had taken an entire couch for himself, but neither Dowasure or Teishi complained, only taking half each of the remaining couch. They sat quietly.

"I think this's goin' to work." Cyrus looked around. "I mean, he said we sound good together. An' that song wasn't bad at all."

"I liked it." Dowasure smiled to himself. "I think it was very meaningful."

"The light of tomorrow...they say that a lot in that song." Teishi spoke almost to himself. "I wonder what that means."

Mr. Kantoku walked in, his face wreathed in smiles. "How are you three doing? Decided on a name yet?"

"A name?" The three blinked and looked at him. Mr. Kantoku looked at the three in an almost confused way.

"You know, the name of the band. I thought you three were getting together to discuss it. Aren't you?"

"No, we weren't." Dowasure shrugged apolegetically. "But we'll start now, if you want."

"Hmm..." Teishi was quietly thinking to himself. "How about the Light of Tomorrow, sir? That was what it said in the song, and I think that's a rather interesting name."

"A little too dull..." Mr. Kantoku whipped a red and white book out of the bag he carried on his back. He flipped through it for a while. "Let's translate it into another language. That always makes things more interesting...hmm...according to this...I think it would be Ashita no hikaru."

"Ashita no hikaru? Japanese, right?" Cyrus waved a hand. Mr. Kantoku smiled.

"Yeah."

"Would Hikaru no Ashita work as well, sir?" Teishi asked quietly. Mr. Kantoku thought for a moment.

"I think it would."

"I like Hikaru no Ashita better." Dowasure smiled, although it seemed as if he didn't understand the whole of what was going on. "Let's keep that."

Mr. Kantoku looked at Teishi.

"I don't mind, sir."

He turned to Cyrus, who waved his hand again.

"I don't care. Sounds fine to me."

"Okay then! As of now, you're officially Hikaru no Ashita, the light of tomorrow!" Mr. Kantoku smiled brightly. The three, unsure of what else to do, clapped lightly.

"I've got some other songs we can do, so don't worry about it. We'll be way on our way to fame in seconds!"

"Th' songs are already written?" Cyrus asked quietly.

"By professionals, of course, but we have made some exceptions. There is a space in the song for both you, Cyrus, and you, Teishi, to contribute your own ideas. A solo, or a change in rhythm. They're all very flexible."

Cyrus nodded, satisfied. Teishi leaned back. Mr Kantoku looked around for a seat and, not finding one, decided to continue speaking standing.

"Anyway, I just have some minor questions. Any of you got any family?"

Teishi was the first to reply. "No."

The others looked at him.

"Really? A li'l kid like you doesn't have anyone?" Cyrus seemed unbelieving. Teishi looked off to one side, which was odd considering the usual eye-contact he made while speaking.

"I didn't say I didn't have anyone, I just don't have any family."

"Well, I don't either." Dowasure smiled brightly. "So don't worry about it."

"Neither do I." Cyrus said simply. Mr. Kantoku looked at them all curiously.

"Okay...um, any of you have any girlfriends or whatever?"

Cyrus and Dowasure looked at eachother, as if waiting to see which would speak first. Then they both spoke at the same time. "No." Then they looked at eachother again. The expression on Cyrus' face seemed to say "Loser". Dr. Dowasure was already distracted by something else to notice this.

Teishi giggled to himself for a few moments, something incredibly rare for him, and then smiled. "No, No I don't have one, sir."

"Good, good..." Mr. Kantoku scribbled something on the pad of paper he was carrying. "I suggest you three get some rest, tomorrow is going to be a very busy day." He walked off, gloating inwardly. This whole thing was turning out perfectly! This was turning out better then he had ever hoped.


~~~

"Do I HAVE to wear this?" Cyrus blanched in disgust at the article of clothing he held in his hands. The designer snatched it away from him angrily.

"Of course you do! You just don't understand the beauty of it's design!"

Cyrus completly ignored her and turned to Mr. Kantoku, who was speaking with the photographer.

"Mr. Kantoku, do I have to wear this piece of #*&%?"

The designer was fuming with indignation as Mr. Kantoku turned distractedly to him.

"Yes, you have to. It will only be for a little while, don't worry. And the others have to wear it too."

"Can't we go back to music now?"

"You already finished all the tracks!" Mr. Kantoku laughed. "All that's left is the CD design itself. So yes, you HAVE to wear it."

Cyrus cursed angrily to himself as he went back into the dressing room.

Dowasure was enjoying himself. He had always liked to get dressed up and this suited him perfectly. He played with the cuffs of the light billowy shirt he wore.

"This is great! It feels nice too."

"Hmm..." Teishi kept his hands near his chest at all times, as if he was hiding something. No one asked anything about it, however, sensing that he might be sensitive about it. "This just seems kind of strange, sir...at least, I think so..."

"I like it! I always liked light, billowy things!" Dowasure sat down, smiling brightly.

Cyrus emerged, wearing the same kind of shirt he was. The expression on his face was enough to make those around him try and stifle their laughter.

"This is SO not @#$%in' funny." He stalked over to Dowasure, shoved him off where he was sitting, and sulked. Dowasure, who normally would have reacted with some kind of cry of pain, simply giggled to himself.

"Don't worry, it won't last long." Mr. Kantoku called from the other side of the stage. "I think you'll like the next costumes better, anyway."

"Anythin's better then this." Cyrus grumbled to himself. The photographer pushed them all onto the stage, then began giving them the customary directions they had gotten used to.

"Keep that chin up...no, not that far up, little lower, perfect! Perfect, perfect, keep it right there. You, put your hand over your lap like this, no, too far, more so your wrist is showing...ah! There we go! Great, keep it just like that. I want you to be looking off to one side, but have your eyes focused on the camera. Little more, tilt your chin up, there we go! Stay just like that. Nice straight back! Sit up straight! There, that's great! You, move your ponytail in front so it hangs in front of your shoulder. Has it been brushed? Really? You sure? Okay...good...there! That's good!" The photographer finally lowered his eyes to the camera while the three struggled to hold their poses. He then looked up. "Could somebody please get him some stage glasses? The glare from those is ruining this entire scene."

There was some scurrying along the sidelines and a stage hand rushed forward, pulling Dowasure's glasses away quickly.

"Hey! I need those!"

"Don't worry, it's only temporary." The photographer wasn't looking at them, but rather at the stage-hands running about, trying to do everything at once. "Just don't squint or anything. That's it, keep those eyes open. Right right, there you go! Okay, everyone stay still...stay still..."

There was a flash of light. "There!"

"Can we go now?"

Before the photographer could respond there were several more flashes. "There! That should be enough shots. Yes, you can move. Wardrobe, get them set for the next scene!"

The three found themselves ushered quickly off stage. Dowasure held his hands out feebly in front of him.

"I can't see, can someone give me back my glasses? I can't see anything."

"Don't worry, you'll get them back when we're done. Just stay close to the stage-hand, they'll make sure you don't run into anything."

The stage-hands nodded silently, leading Dowasure off to the dressing room.

Cyrus smiled at his next costume. "Ah yeah, now this's cool."

He changed into the costume, which consisted of a black leather vest with bat like wings coming from the back, black jeans with a long pointed tail coming from them, and a small crown with two horns on it. The wings were attached in such a way that the seemed to fold almost around him, givig him a sinister feel. He adjusted the horns so that they were slightly askew, smiling at his reflection in the mirror. "I get to be a demon. This's just too cool."

He felt something nudging his ribs and looked down to see a small switch on the inside of the vest. Curious, he touched it and found the wings behind him flared outwards. He smiled to himself. Mr. Kantoku was right. He DID like this costume.

He walked forward, marveling at how the tail reacted just as if it really belonged to him. He walked to the others, wondering how they would look as demons.

Although when he saw them, he couldn't say he was surprised.

Teishi was fiddling with the white wings on his back, which were attached to what seemed to be a white sleeveless shirt. He was wearing loose white jeans, which contrasted sharply with Cyrus'. The white feathered wings looked very real, but they seemed to be causing Teishi some trouble.

"This seems very awkward..." he said softly to himself. Cyrus noticed the halo that hung over his head. He passed a hand under it and found no resistance.

"That's pretty @#$%in' cool. How's that work?"

"I don't know, really." Teishi fiddled with the halo nervously. "I think they said something about magnets, but I didn't really understand."

"Hee hee, this costume's fun!" Dowasure dashed up to the two, smiling brightly. He did a double take when he saw Cyrus though, but it didn't damper his demeanor. "These wings are really nice!"

"I thought you couldn't see." Cyrus was not surprised to find that Dowasure was also an angel. He was also not surprised to find himself as the demon. Actually, it kind of pleased him.

"Well, not far away, but I can see close up pretty good."

"Can you see me?"

"You're close enough, but everything else is all fuzzy."

Cyrus put his hands behind his back, gently touching the switch. The bat wings flared out brilliantly. Dowasure gave a short gasp of shock, then looked at him angrily.

"That wasn't funny!"

"Angels shouldn't get angry." Cyrus laughed.

"Places, places! Is everyone in costume?" The photographer was dashing about.


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