Dowasure put his fingers on the keys of the electric keyboard he was sitting at. It had been years upon years since he had last attempted to play the piano and he wasn't sure if he still could. He hoped he could remember what he had to play and how to play it. Cyrus had been painfully specific on it, although he had never actually played the song out loud as of yet. Dowasure studied the notes in front of him and breathed deeply. He had to relax while he was doing this.

"Soshi, are you going to stay in there?" Mr. Kantoku asked over the intercom. She looked back and forth between the two, Cyrus and his manager, then sighed. She touched Cyrus' shoulder.

"Don't worry, it's only a song, okay? Try and remember that."

Cyrus nodded as she left.

"Okay, we're all ready here. Ready when you are." Mr. Kantoku said as soon as the door shut behind the girl. Cyrus nodded.

Unlike most of his usual playing, the notes he struck were soft and subdued, quiet but with a tinge of horror to them. The slow way they were played made tingles go down everyone's spine.

Dowasure slowly began to press the keys, hoping that he was doing this correctly. He had the feeling that this was his only chance.

Teishi waited until the right moment, then tapped the cymbals gently along with critical notes. This time his drumming seemed to match his personality. Quiet, sad, respectful.

Cyrus closed his eyes for a few moments, then opened them, hatred shining within them. His voice lost the harsh tone it usually had, but his accent still marred his words.


Helpless, alone where I am...
'S quiet, no one else 's around...
I didn't hear nothin', didn't give a #%@%...
Didn't hear that quiet, soft sound...

Despite his best efforts, his voice was beginning to show emotion. It was fear.


Didn't see until it was too late
Couldn't move, couldn't do anythin'
In seconds, m'hand's were tied t' th' grate

Cyrus paused, the next words apparently a great effort to say.


Y'didn't...know...what y'were...#$%@in'...

He closed his eyes, breathing deeply, apparently deeply in pain. His compatriots looked at him in concern, but he refused to stop playing. His voice tried to become angry, but the pain and fear in his voice strangled it, his voice taking on such a disturbing edge that for those listening it was all they could do not to cry.


God$#^$ it, #^#^in' lady, what th' ^$#^ did I ever do?
I hated you, hated you, an' you hated me
But y'snuck up on me an' trapped me an' you...you...
You...you #^#%in'....you #^#%in' raped me!

There was a momentary silence from those around him. Dowasure and Teishi stopped playing, staring at Cyrus in surprise. He didn't look at him, his eyes shut tightly now. He coughed and continued onwards, apparently oblivious to the fact no one else was with him.


Y'didn't care, y'^#%$in' #^#^%, don't you ever think
What y'do can hurt others too, god#%#% you, lady...
Into th' darkness deeper an' deeper an' deeper I sink
An' all thanks t'you, lady, god$&$^in' #^#^ it I hate you...

"Cyrus-" Dowasure tried to speak, but Cyrus cut him off by suddenly shouting with intense pain and force.


I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! God#%#$ I hate you...
Y'#^#^in' #^#^%, y'tore me up inside...
God, I hate you! I HATE YOU! Y'took me apart...you...

Cyrus made a strangled noise that almost sounded like a sob.


I scream...no one hears me...I...someone help me...

Something small glittered from his eyes, falling and shattering on the floor. Cyrus screamed with frustration and anguish, venting feelings that had remained pent up within him for who knows how long.

"Y'#^#^in' #^#^#, y'ruined everythin' for me, y'ruined m'#^#%in' life! God, I hate you so much...#^#^ you, lady...I hope you die an' go t'#^#^in' #^#^! I hope t'#^#^in' GOD y'hear this! I know y'couldn't've forgotten! I know you didn't, y'#^%#in' @%#^#! I #^#$^IN' HAVEN'T! God, how could you DO this t'me!? HOW COULD YOU DO SOMETHIN' LIKE THAT T'ME!?!"

"Cyrus!"

Cyrus couldn't hear anything now. He was curled into a tight ball in the corner of the studio, tears falling constantly, still shouting at the microphone even though the music had stopped. Apparently he had been locked back into his memories. "God#^#^ you...god#^#^ YOU! Lady...god, it hurts...someone make it stop...someone, anyone....please...stop her...god..."

"Cyrus!" His remaining bandmembers ran towards him, trying to snap him out of it. "Cyrus!"

"CYRUS!" Soshi ran into the room, pushing away the microphone and the guitar he still had slung around his neck. She shook him frantically. "Cyrus, wake up! C'mon, wake up! It's just a song! It's not really happening!"

"God...#%#%...why won't someone stop her..."

Soshi and the others tried desperatly to drag Cyrus out from the corner, but he was too deeply ingrained in where he was and what he was feeling to move.


~~~

The shock of the song, which was titled "Violation", was amazing. It sent shockwaves around the globe. There were those who were surprised about what happened to Cyrus. There were others who were surprised that he would incriminate a member of the opposing band. The others were surprised that Cyrus sang at all and actually wasn't all that bad.

The sheer emotional pain within the song was astounding. His last frantic screams of hatred, coupled with his small cries for help, brought everyone who read it to either tears or righteous indignation. It was hailed as landmark for it's emotion and power and it's frank subject matter. Even those who were technically too young for the words that Cyrus used knew the song. It became number one, although it was rarely if ever played on the radio, nor was it sang out loud. No one could imitate Cyrus' pain, and no one dared to try. The knowledge of the song was silent, reverent, in respect for what happened.

Needless to say, the number of Cyrus fan-sites fairly doubled in the period, and almost each one had a mp3 of the song. This was a blow to the popularity of Crystal Poison. Although most did not know who exactly Lady was, they could guess by the bad reactions between the two when they had first met. Cyrus and Kagakusha. Add the fact that Cyrus only called her "Lady" and it was almost obvious...

"What is your opinion on the song 'Violation'?" The reporter pointed the microphone at Kagakusha, who was getting increasingly short-tempered.

"I've already told you." Her voice was harsh. "Rumors of me having any relationship with C...Cyrus," She paused as if reprimanding herself. "Are untrue and unfounded."

"Do you think this will hurt your popularity?"

"If it's not true, then it won't." She narrowed her eyes. "Besides, our true fans know what is real and what isn't and they'll stay with us."

A glass shattered against the TV screen. Those watching turned towards Cyrus, who was staring at the screen with intense hatred on his face.

"I knew it, I knew she'd deny it. I knew she would." Cyrus turned and ran out the door.

"Wait! Cyrus, wait! Where are you going?"

"T'fix somethin'!"


~~~

As Kagakusha was leaving, still being followed by reporters, she noticed a familiar figure with white and purple hair approaching her. She stopped, turning and crossing her arms.

"Lady!"

"Don't call me that." She spat at him. Cyrus stopped a few feet away from her, apparently unwilling to get any closer. He glared at her as well as he could.

"All you reporters, get around here an' listen t'this." Cyrus' voice was low. Kagakusha stared back at him with equal hate.

"There is no proof."

"This lady here..." Cyrus pointed at Kagakusha. "She's th' lady of th' #^#^in' song, an' she #^#^in..." He paused, it still being an effort for him to speak. "She #^#^in' RAPED me. That's th' #$^#in' truth."

"You have no proof, C." Kagakusha kept her eyes narrowed, then she corrected herself. "Cyrus. I didn't do anything."

"GOD#^#^ YOU!" Cyrus shouted angrily. "Y'can't hide it for #$^$in' ever! 'S goin' t'come out someday an' then they'll know not only did y'#^#^in'...#%#@in' rape me, but y'#^#^in' lied about it! @%#% you, lady..."

"I didn't do anything and stop calling me Lady!" She moved towards him. This instantly caused Cyrus to scramble away from her, shivering violently.

"Don't #^#%in' get near me! Don't y'#%#%in' touch me!"

"God." Kagakusha shook her head and moved away. "You're still a fool and you will always be one."

Cyrus and Kagakusha remained for a few moments, staring at each other with intense hatred. The number of camera flashes that went off at this moment was almost blinding. Finally, the two turned away at the same time and stalked off, seething.


~~~

The two bands were the main interest of the media, the main interest of almost everyone. If it wasn't for their music, it was for the interactions between the two. Of patricular interest was the relationship between Cyrus and Kagakusha, which worsened every day. If either of the two saw eachother, they shouted either obscenities or angry words until one of their other band members, or if they were unavailable, their managers dragged them away.

Not to mention that Ms. Toriatsukai and Mr. Kantoku also weren't on good terms and this showed when the two were invited to a debate about the band members and their various personalities.

While Ms. Toriatsukai looked fairly calm, Mr. Kantoku seemed to barely keep his temper. Both of them were tense and frustrated.

"Mr. Kantoku!" This debate was slightly more organized, so there wasn't the multitude of shouts that usually were present in such a media affair. The designated speaker read off one of the many cards she had received from the audience of reporters and newscasters. In order to cut down on the noise, they would write their questions on cards and pass them forward, thus letting the designated speaker ask them. This also cut down on the number of repeated questions. "Mr. Kantoku, what are the backgrounds of your respective bandmembers?"

Mr. Kantoku was irritated by the question, but didn't show it. He was good at keeping an appearance while out in public. "Which member in particular?"

"All of them."

Mr. Kantoku paused, as if thinking, then began speaking, his voice controlled and level. "Teishi has no family and is an orphan. Cyrus also has no family, but he supports himself. Dowasure hasn't told anyone whether or not he has family, but he also supports himself."

The speaker turned to Ms. Toriatsukai. "Ms. Tori-"

She cut him off, apparently trying to make a point about her preference for her shortened version of her name. "Atelli lives with her sister, Ella E. Indigo also lives with her sister, but that's all she has told anyone. Kagakusha supports herself and so does Ashstar. Michelle and Gabriella..."

There was almost a collective leaning forward in the crowd for information on the two monsters. "They live by themselves. We don't know where."

The speaker took another card from the crowd. "Have they ever had any traumas or personal problems?"

Both the managers twitched, but otherwise showed no emotion. Mr. Kantoku spoke first. "Cyrus-"

Ms. Tori cut him off. "There is no proof of that claim."

Mr. Kantoku glared at her. "How can you claim there is no proof? Isn't his pain enough for you?"

She sniffed frostily. "Pain can easily be faked."

Mr. Kantoku barely containued his temper. "Faked? Have you seen how Cyrus acts normally? He's the most emotionally repressed person I have ever met and you're claiming that he claimed that one of your band members RAPED him just for the #$^$ of it?" He turned to the startled reporters. "Pardon my language."

She replied just as angrily. "How do we know how repressed he is? You don't release any information on him. Why hasn't he mentioned this before now? Why did he wait until my band became a threat to his to reveal this important information?"

He continued to glare at her. "A lot of times people want to forget painful things that have happened to them! And Cyrus always gives off this atmosphere of being strong, how do you think admitting he was raped would have helped him?" He turned to the crowd of reporters, writing everything down as fast as possible. "Listen, he only revealed that part of his past because he believes that Kagakusha's fame is undeserved and that she, as a person, doesn't belong in this genre."

"He's jealous!" She managed to control her voice. "Cyrus is jealous of her success! He felt threatened by her, so he made up something to help bring her down-"

"Why would he feel threatened by her?" Mr. Kantoku turned back to her. "Why would he feel threatened by someone like her? The threat of another band overcoming there's wasn't even on his mind! He's scared of her! He hates to admit it, but he is! Didn't you see how he reacted when she walked towards him?"

"All of this could have been faked! There's no true proof that she ever did anything to him!"

"What will it take!?" Mr. Kantoku shouted. "Do you want a DNA test? Do you want videos, recordings? The fact is this was an affair that both of them no doubt wanted to forget, but now that it's been brought up, she's pretending it didn't happen!"

"In the end, it's her word against his." She glared angrily at him. "That's all it is, and-"

"Excuse me." The speaker gingerly interrupted them. "I'm sorry, but there ARE other questions..."

The two turned back to the audience silently. The speaker picked up another card.

"Do either of you have a incriminating background?"

Before Ms. Tori could speak, Mr. Kantoku cut her off. "She's my ex-wife, for one."

She crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. "That's totally unrelated to this entire affair."

"You're just bitter because I divorced YOU because you couldn't keep up with me!"

"You divorced ME!?" Her voice screeched for a moment, then was under control. "I divorced YOU, because you didn't have any consideration for my ideas! You never supported anything I said in any way!"

"Because everything you said was foolish and would never work!"

"Then why am I now the manager of an number one band and you're only second-rate?"

"Since when are YOU the top band manager? Last time I checked, Hikaru no Ashita was the number one band!"

"Excuse me? Have you looked at the trends? That won't continue for much longer, especially after I tell them some interesting information!"

Instantly there was a buzz through the entire auditorium. Mr. Kantoku stared at her for a few moments.

"Blackmail? That's low, Ami, even for you!"

"Not as low as you yourself are sinking, Tadashi! Imagine, claiming one of my bandmembers raped yours! That's low, and stupid to boot!"

The speaker could barely contain their excitement as they interrupted the arguing pair. "What information? What information and how did you get it?"

Ms. Tori turned to the mic, ignoring Mr. Kantoku's angry cries of indignance near her. "I have conclusive proof that not only is Cyrus is alcoholic..."

There were some gasps from the crowd.

"But he is also a long-term smoker. Not to mention-"

"Where's your proof?" Mr. Kantoku knew better then to claim that such a statement was untrue. Because sadly, it wasn't. But he wasn't about to let her do this to him. She smiled thinly at him and reached inside one of her coat pockets. She pulled out three photos.

"I'm sad to say that these photos are a little small to be seen clearly, but they will be available on the official Crystal Poison homepage, if you want extreme closeups." She showed the pictures to the crowd. It was true, they were too small to be seen adequately by everyone, but those in the front could see them clearly enough, and they gasped again. "This is my proof."

Mr. Kantoku snatched the photos from her angrily and flipped through them. He turned to her, hating her sickening smile. She knew she had won. "Where did you get these?"

"I have my ways." She took them back from him.

Mr. Kantoku turned back to his own microphone, not sure of how to defuse this possible bomb upon his band. "How do you know these photos haven't been doctored by her? They could be fakes."

"And they couldn't." She knew she had won, as her voice didn't even show any worry. She carefully adjusted the pictures then walked off stage. "I leave it to you. They'll be up by tomorrow."

"Chah!" Mr. Kantoku angrily walked off the opposite stage, angry at himself and angry at her.

The speaker and the other reporters rushed away, eager to reveal the news that had just been revealed to them.


~~~

"Aw #$^$..." Cyrus stared at the three pictures of him on the site. He looked at Mr. Kantoku, who seemed exhausted and rather dejected since his debate on television. Teishi and Dowasure had tried to comfort him, but he felt as if he had doomed his own band, even though it wasn't his own fault. "Yeah, I think this's real...#^$$..."

The first picture showed Cyrus drinking directly from a bottle which, although the brand name wasn't exactly legible, was clearly alcoholic. There was a girl with red hair drinking alongside him. The next was him staggering around drunkenly with his arm around Dowasure's shoulders, looking undeniably drunk. He was also holding a cigarette in his hand. The last picture was of him sprawled across a couch, without his shirt on, an empty bottle on the floor, a smoldering cigarette in the ashtray, looking extremely hungover. "#$^$, how'd she get these? #$^$in' unbelievable..."

Dowasure was staring at the pictures intently. "I...I think I remember this happening...but I'm not exactly sure...I think I remember..."

"I remember." Teishi sighed sadly. "Do you think this will really hurt us, sir?"

"I don't know..." Mr. Kantoku stood and walked out of the room. "I need a nap...hold down the fort until I come back..."

As he left, Zarla and Soshi walked in.

"Wow, you guys!" Zarla sounded overjoyed. "This is great!"

"What's #$^$in' great?" Cyrus growled angrily, throwing the mouse half-heartedly away from himself. "We're #$^$ed..."

"Not quite, Cyrus-chan." Soshi smiled at him and pointed to the counter on the page. The numbers were climbing steadily higher every moment. "Look. Do you know what this means?"

"No." Cyrus replied angrily.

"It means that this whole thing has become a boost for you! People like it even more!" Zarla looked at Dowasure, who seemed confused. "Cyrus, with the fact you drink and smoke out, those who also do that are identifying with you even more! They think you're even more real! Not to mention all the shounen-ai fans out there have just been DYING for a picture like this!" She pointed to the picture of Cyrus leaning drunkenly on Dowasure's shoulders. "They LOVE this! Each of those groups, the addicts and the shounen-ai fans, are collecting more fans by the moment because of this! This is a big help!"

"Really?" Dowasure blinked.

"Yeah! You should be happy!"

Teishi stared where Mr. Kantoku had left the room. "Maybe we should tell him first, though...I think he would love to hear about this, miss."


~~~

It was true.

Despite what Ms. Tori had anticipated, the pictures had actually helped the rival band, not hindered them. Their popularity simply increased even more. Of course, Cyrus did come forth and advised others not to take on the habits that he already had, since he had a special medical condition that he didn't elaborate on, and that the smoking and drinking should be left to him. Coming from someone who was the idol of so many, many young children who had been thinking of starting did not, and some who already had stopped. Cyrus had more power then he himself thought or knew, but he wasn't particularly concerned about that anyway. He was still brooding over the entire affair with Kagakusha, but had finally decided that there was most likely nothing that he truly could do, not until he got some proof.

Mr. Kantoku was overjoyed at the news and took all of them out for a treat and a party, during which Cyrus got overwhelmingly drunk and demanded that people take pictures of him. He also gave Dowasure a hug, laughing to himself while telling reporters in very slurred speech to "take a pic', it'd las' long'r!" while Dowasure blushed to himself. That generated quite a few pictures, all of which helped to increase their popularity. The number of shounen-ai/yaoi fics about the two increased astronomically, although Zarla and Soshi wisely decided not to tell him about it.

Cyrus regretted and denied everything he had done the next morning, but that was expected.

Although the whole affair had been a boon to the band, the feeling that they had almost been undermined still remained with them. The more active, violent, and vengeful members of the group, mainly Soshi and Cyrus, demanded recompense.

"Sure, they helped us out accidentally, but they were STILL trying to drag us down!" Soshi tried to get her point across. "They were trying to sabotage us! We can't let them just walk away from it!"

"Well, I don't see a problem." Dowasure seemed to have relaxed over the few days, almost seeming quite content. No one really knew why. "I mean, it helped, right? Why should we be mad at them?"

"'Cause that's not what they were tryin' t'do!" Cyrus kept his arms crossed, exhaling a small cloud of smoke occasionally. He avoided blowing it in other's faces', but that didn't stop him from smoking indoors and whenever he could. "They were tryin' t'#$^$ us, but it didn't work."

"Exactly. What's wrong with that?"

Soshi sighed, looking at Zarla for support. "The basic point of this entire discussion is that we need to launch an attack of our own. We can't just let them get away with this! We should hurt them for how they tried to hurt us."

Zarla couldn't resist her friend, and she finally nodded. "It's true, it was a low thing for her to do. Also...Kagakusha still hasn't admitted what she's done to Cyrus."

Cyrus made an angry noise and blew some smoke towards the window.

"They're getting all the breaks and although we keep benefiting, they're going to keep trying until they bring us down." Zarla looked at Mr. Kantoku. "I think we need to launch a counter-offensive."

"But how?" Mr. Kantoku shrugged helplessly. "We don't know anything about them."

"I do, sir." Teishi's voice was small.

Everyone stared at him.

"You do? How?"

Teishi almost seemed to blush awkwardly as he rubbed his arms. "Well, sir, I...I know some of them from before...I know some things...but nothing truly major..."

Everyone leaned forward, staring at Teishi intensely. "Tell us."


~~~

Atelli stormed into the room, throwing the paper onto the black onyx table that served as the center piece for the rival bands gathering.

"Look at this! Just look at it!" Atelli was close to shouting, but not quite. "Can you believe it?"

Before Kagakusha could reach the paper, Ashstar snatched it away. Kagakusha made an angry noise, but didn't retaliate.

Ashstar's violet eyes flicked over the words for a few moments, then she looked up. "What is this?"

"I don't know." Atelli shrugged helplessly. "They must be launching a counter-strike against us. I don't know HOW they know that though..."

"Know what?" Kagakusha snatched the paper away before Ashstar could react. Ashstar tried futilely to seize the paper again, but was rebuffed as Kagakusha began to pace the room, reading aloud the words. With each new sentence, she sounded more and more furious. "Kagakusha, lead guitarist for the successful band Crystal Poison, has been proven to have multiple personalities!?" She was close to tearing the paper apart. "According to close sources, after her lesbian lover left her, she fractured into three people, thus going completely in...sa...ne...!"

Anyone who was looking at the woman at that moment could have hardly doubted the last part of the report.

"I'm NOT INSANE!" She shrieked and threw the paper at Ashstar, who caught it neatly. "And I'm not a lesbian either! Kax was a close friend of mine! And she...HOW DARE THEY LIE ABOUT ME!"

At the moment, she rushed towards the silver-haired girl and was quite close to grabbing the paper from Ashstar again and ripping it to shreds, but Ashstar apparently anticipated this, moving out of the way. Kagakusha tripped over the couch, stunned for a few moments. Michelle and Gabriella took this moment to pin her to the ground while she angrily raged to herself.

Ashstar continued reading, her voice dangerous. "The three are known as Namida, Hana, and Nokori, each of them psychotic and dangerous. Oftimes Kagakusha is not even in her right mind and has massive mood swings. It is said that Kax died in a tragic accident."

"THAT'S NOT TRUE!" Kagakusha's voice took on a new pitch of indignation. "She's NOT DEAD! I KNOW she isn't! She would have told me! Gah, get off me!" She tried to pull her arms loose, but the two creatures knew better then to let her go.

Indigo had wandered into the room and taken what was happening in a heatbeat. "Uh oh...what did they say about her now?"

"She's crazy and she's gay." Ashstar handed the newspaper to Indigo, who began reading it herself. "Pretty bad stuff."

"I'M NOT EITHER OF THOSE THINGS!" Kagakusha shouted angrily, trying as hard as she could to break free. If she had, she wasn't sure what she would have done. She probably would have gone on a destructive rampage and destroyed the entire area. Apparently Michelle and Gabriella knew this. "LIARS!"

Indigo sat on the couch with Atelli. "Hmm...this is bad..."

"Especially since..." Atelli lowered her voice to Kagakusha could not hear. "It's not exactly untrue, you know? She DOES have three personalities, but she's not insane...at least, Hana and Nokori aren't..." Indigo nodded solemnly, brushing back one of her white streaks of hair. "Does Ms. Tori know about this?

Ashstar sighed and sat down with her two band-mates, watching Kagakusha kick and scream herself into a fit. "Well, if she didn't before, she does now."

"I AM NOT INSANE! ARGH! LET ME GO!"

Indigo stared at the paper. "My question is how they GOT that information...who could have known that about her?"

Ashstar glared at the incriminating words. "No doubt they have their spies. They're sinking really low, that band..." She clenched a fist. "We're going to have to strike back at them!"

Ms. Tori ran into the room, her face gleaming with uncharecteristic excitement. "Girls, I have some great news!"

She watched Kagakusha kick over a table, still screaming angrily. She barely blinked. "Our popularity is soaring!"

Everyone stopped moving, even Kagakusha.

"What?!" Everyone said at the same time.

"It's all because of this news report!" She held up another copy of the newspaper. "You wouldn't believe the support we're getting from the lesbian community! Not to mention those who have Multiple-personality or related disorders! Everyone loves us!"

Kagakusha blinked. Ms. Tori continued.

"This is one of the best things to happen to us! We're on par with Hikaru no Ashita now, we're tied in the polls! Tadashi, I would kiss you if it wouldn't consume me with hatred! You just gave us the boost we needed!"

The other band members were still in shock, particularly Kagakusha, and simply stared. Ms. Tori smiled happily. "How about we go celebrate?"


~~~

It was also true.

The revelation of Kagakusha's mental disorder generated a great deal of sympathy for her and a new understanding of her personality. Those that claimed that Crystal Poison was deeper then the other band used this as their excuse. What other band had a member that was willing to battle a crippling mental disorder to play music?

Not to mention that Hikaru no Ashita was seen in a bad light due to their insensitivity to her condition, which lowered their popularity until it was on par with theirs.

Also, the shoujo-ai fans amassed in huge numbers everywhere, especially on-line, where fics sprouted from thin air, pairing Kagakusha with everyone in the group, particularly Ashstar for some reason that neither of them could understand. Most of them focused on the mysterious Kax, of which no information was known. Kagakusha spent a lot of time reading these fics, and at any which ventured to mention Kax, she either got extremely angry at their representation or was saddened by her own memories. Yes, it was true. She was in love with her. But...that was a long time ago...and she wasn't about to admit it now.

The shoujo-ai fans and shounen-ai fans had become a force among themselves, warring and fighting in mass numbers online. Flame wars abounded everywhere, even amongst themselves, over who made the best couple and which genre was the best. It was shocking, especially to the main stream. But they would just have to learn to accept it. Neither of the bands was going away, and their popularity just continued to increase, along with their power and influence. There wasn't a person that didn't know who they were or who their managers name was.

Then, both managers were met with a proposal.

Having arranged that the two meet without knowing ahead of time, the head of almost all concert arrangements, Mr. Ensokai, hoped that his plan would succeed.

The moment the two saw each other, they turned to leave. Fortunately for Mr. Ensokai, the doors were locked. Eventually seeing no alternative, they were forced to sit. They stared at him in frosty silence.

Mr. Ensokai coughed awkwardly. "I have a proposal."

"Any proposal with him I refuse!"

"I'm not working with her!"

The two spoke at the same time.

"Listen, listen." He held up his hands. "I just need you to listen, okay? Here's the idea. I want a dual concert, with both Crystal Poison and Hikaru no Ashita."

The two blinked rapidly, then both shouted at the same time. "ARE YOU CRAZY?"

"Woah." Mr. Ensokai rarely got upset. He waved them back down into their seats. "Don't bite my head off. Think of it. Who are the two most popular bands today?"

"Mine!"

"Mine!"

Mr. Ensokai rolled his eyes at their childish behavior. "Right. And who's bands concerts generate the most money?"

"MINE!"

"LIAR! MINE!"

"MINE, YOU IDIOT!"

The two were about to continue their shouting match, but Mr. Ensokai intervened. "Now think of this. If we were to combine the two bands together into one show, could you imagine how much money that would make?"

The two managers were silent.

"I knew you'd understand." Mr. Ensokai smiled. "It would be a concert unprecendented in history. Everyone would want to be there. Everyone who wasn't would miss the chance of a lifetime. Do you see the possibilities here?"

"There's no WAY my band members are going to share stage space with hers!" Mr. Kantoku made a point of not looking at his former wife. She did likewise.

"Crystal Poison prides itself on not going on-stage with poseurs!"

"You're calling US poseurs? YOU copied US!"

"I copied YOU? You stole my idea in the first place!"

"I did not! It was my OWN idea! You just want credit for everything!"

"Ahem..." Mr. Ensokai broke up the bickering again. "I know that there is some tension between the bands..."

He watched Mr. Kantoku and Ms. Toriatsukai glare at each other.

"And their managers...but that's what would make it special." He tried to appeal to them. "Without that kind of tension, this show would lose it's edge. You could even have a song where the two bands played at once, each taking a turn to make fun of the other. All in fun, of course. You don't have to play nice."

The two stared at him. He smirked. "After all, playing nice would ruin the whole thing."

"There's no way I'm agreeing to this." The two managers said at the same time. Mr. Ensokai folded his hands in front of him.

"I think you'll see it my way. There isn't any other."


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