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Roller Skates Are the Devil

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It's common knowledge that roller skates are usually the most evil thing in the room, with slim exception made for Aoki-senpai's games, Christmas specials, and glitter.

After all these years, this one constant remains true, and that would be a comfort to Kouji if there weren't any roller skates to speak of. Sadly, there are-- sets and set of them.

So, of course, tragedy strikes in the way only putting growing teenagers on wheels can, and Rin is barking orders and panicked marshmallow threats, and Goto is stripping off his kouhai's shoes and socks with a deftness that only confirms every rumor Kouji has ever heard about him, and wrapping an ace bandage around his ankle, and Kouji tries to curl himself as close to the wall as possible, trying to stay out of the way of the people who are keeping things flowing because he remembers always hating when the tourists got in the way.

Aoki appears out of nowhere, toting a shockingly fuchsia boa and the news that the camera didn't pick up a thing and the audience noticed nothing except the low cut of Adachi's sequin shirt.

It's conciliation, but not enough when the downed skater, whose so junior that Kouji doesn't even have a guess at his name, is supposed to be doing some tap number on his skates during the next medley. It's a short minute transition, but not enough time to do new choreographing, and while Aoki and Kuro are still bickering about who is even free during that minute, Tsuki grabs Kouji's hand, wearing a face of pure glee.

And suddenly Kouji's wearing a feathered hat and singing, “U Ultimate! L Live! T Tension!” with Tsuki on one side and Sakurai on the other, and the steps he's done, literally, thousands of times next to them come back like Music Station was last night and tomorrow will be more of the same. The fans seem to have the usual medley bounce by the time they run out, Tsuki's hand squeezing his and Sakurai's thumb rubbing lightly against Kouji's wrist, until they seem to recognize him, actually recognize him, and they go completely, entirely crazy. Kouji almost winces because somehow he's forgotten the decibel an audience can reach, but they finish the minute sans tapping roller skates and Kouji feels the world is better for it.

When they run off stage, back into the prep area, Kouji is laughing and laughing, and Sakurai is wearing a big, dopey grin that he's managed to keep out of the magazines and just for Kouji, and Kouji, for a second of pure adrenaline can't remember why he quit.

“Takayama,” Kuro calls out, over the heads of about a million juniors, half of whom Kouji is vaguely sure he's referred to as Yamashita-kun today. He wades through the mob by more or less looking at each of them in the eye until they scatter and Kuro snaps him cell shut with a snap that has more ominous finality than should be legal. “Ko-chan wants you in his office tomorrow morning. Without your boyfriend.”

Kouji has one despairing moment to contemplate the number of times he'll have to wash his hair to get all the glitter out, before the whole of Ichi Band descends on him in speculation.