Chapter 27:

Year 3-5: The karaoke outing

Is it ok?

Yuri was nervously pacing up and down the entrance of the karaoke club. She had invited Aiko.
“I´m sure she´ll be here soon.” Riku pat her on the back. “She´s too kind to just not show up.”
Yuri turned around. “I know. I´m still nervous. Please don´t mess this up for me.”
“Me messing something up? You should tell that to your brother.” Riku was surprised Yuri was taking this so seriously. She had had some crushes here and there but never to the extent of a) introducing her to her friends and b) to be so nervous she could barely talk. Riku hoped that Yuri was having good chances with Aiko.
“I´m sorry I´m so late. I had to help my sister with something.” Aiko came running.
Yuri blushed at her sight. Aiko was dressed in a short pink skirt with white t-shirt, her hair was in a loose braid and she wore light make up. Aiko looked like she was going on a date; Yuri seemed to think so too.
Yuri was so stunned by Aikos sudden appearance she wasn´t able to say more than some stuttering. So Riku took over for her. “Don´t worry, we haven´t even started yet anyway.”
Aiko looked relieved. “Oh good. I was worried I was much too late.”

Riku was sitting next to Aiko. The booth was a bit crammed with everyone. Yuri and Yuki were singing some song Riku didn´t know. “They´re good.” Aiko said.
“Yeah. I´m surprised it doesn´t sound horrible.”
“Now I´m getting scared. It´s going to sound so horrible when I get to sing.” She was laughing.
“You can´t sing?” Riku asked.
Aiko shook her head. “I don´t have any sense for rhythm either. So I´m not just a bad singer but I´m always off beat.”
“Same. Hey let´s just sing together, so it´s a bit less embarrassing for us.” Riku suggested.
“No fair! I wanted to sing with her fist!” Yuri yelled.
“Not now Yuri, we´re still singing!” Her brother complained.
Aiko let out an audible laugh. “Seems like I´ll have to sing with her first.”
“I don´t mind.” Riku turned to Aiko. “I hope you don´t mind me asking, but you know that Yuri likes you in a romantic way, right?” Riku wasn´t sure Yuri had made that clear.
Aiko nodded, lightly blushing. “I do. She´s very cute.”
“So you like girls?” Riku asked carefully.
“I like both.” She answered.
“Like Yuusuke-kun?”
“What´s with me?” Yuusuke had overheard them, he came closer.
“You´re also Bisexual?” She asked. Riku was surprised at her honesty, maybe because his best friend sitting close by didn´t have that confidence.
Yuusuke nodded happily. “I never met a bi girl before.”
“Then let´s be friends.” Aiko offered. Riku was quite amazed by Aikos openness; it almost felt like she wanted to get close to Yuris friends, Something Riku could get behind.

Yuri and Yuki finished their song, striking poses while waiting for the standing ovation.
Yuri came running and squeezed in between Aiko and Riku. “How was I?” She asked excitedly.
“Awesome. You looked so cool.” Aiko sounded genuinely honest.
Yuri blushed. “Should we choose a song for the two of us?”
Riku turned to Yuusuke, he was cuddling with Shintaro. Riku felt a bit left out, he made his way to the others. Yuki, Takumi and Kiyoko were talking about some model kits. Yuki had tried to get Takumi into gunpla, which from what Riku could gather only half worked. Takumi instead got into standard model kits, together with Kiyoko. Riku had heard some mention of Kiyoko and Takumi hanging out a lot together to build these kits. Takumi put them together, Kiyoko painted them.
Riku continued to look around. Mei was preparing to sing next. Keith was nowhere to be seen. Riku looked outside, the first year startled. “I was just using the bathroom.” He said.
“Oh, ok. Hey Keith-kun wanna sing with me later?” Riku asked.
Keith stared him in the face. “Sure, but don´t you want to sing alone?”
They sat down together. Riku shook his head furiously. “Absolutely not! I sound like I swallowed a frog when I sing.”
Keith laughed. “That´s quite the image.”
Riku showed Keith the song book. “So anything you like?”
Keith pointed at a song: Long live the queen by Heavenly Fires.
“I don´t know that band.” Riku mumbled.
“They´re a new Idol group.” Keith said.
Riku turned to the first year. “You´re into Idol groups?”
Keith nodded. “Is that a bad thing?”
Riku shook his head. “No, why would it be? If you want to you can recommend me some groups or songs later. I promise I´ll listen to them.”
Keith smiled. “Will do.”

Riku was glad he got to sing with Keith. Not only did the first year have such a good voice that Rikus squealing was almost inaudible but Riku also got to spend some time talking to Keith. He was a bit more on the quiet side but Riku quickly discovered Keith’s love for Idol groups. He talked like a waterfall after their song, recommending so many songs that Riku had to write them down to remember them all.
“I´m sorry am I talking too much?” Keith said after a while. He seemed genuinely embarrassed.
“No, I like listening to you. You know a lot about music.”
“I would like to work with music someday.” Keith sounded surprisingly sad.
“That´s nice.” Riku said. “Is there a but to that whish?”
Keith looked down at his feet. “My parents want me to go into modeling.”
“I mean you are very good looking. But you should do what you like.”
Keith smiled very faintly. “My mom is really set on it though. I´ve been doing modeling for so long it feels weird to want to stop now.”
Riku could hear the sadness in Keith’s voice. He pulled the first year up by the hand. “Let´s sing another song together. Maybe of Heavenly Fires again. But we need five more to complete the band.” Riku looked around. He ended up singing with Keith, Yuri, Aiko, Mei, Yuki and Yuusuke. Keith ended up smiling at the absurdity, at least this smile seemed very real. Riku was happy he could have fun with everyone, even if the song sounded not so good.