It was just a bad rehearsal.  Just a bad, lousy rehearsal. Taka had them sometimes, days when he couldn't pitch notes for shit.  The band was pretty much used to it.  It was no problem because it happened once in a blue moon and it never happened on stage. 

It got obvious what was going on halfway through With You, Taka's voice was just nowhere near where it should be.  Koji bailed first, his sigh barely audible over the music but the change noticeable as the bass line suddenly switched from on to goofing off.   Drums dropped out a second later.  Hiro swept his long hair back, the ends swooshing prettily near his ass.  Taka got halfway through a, "Sor--" before Levin's drumstick plinged off his head.  "Ow," he complained, rubbing it.

"Ow," said Shuse, banging his ear like Taka's voice had ruptured it. 

Taka flipped him the finger good naturedly.  "Get a real job."

"You're even singing like Gackt now," said Hiro, and everyone went weirdly quiet and the jokes ended, and Taka's knuckles were white around the microphone.  "Let's go again," said Hiro.

"If you've got a problem--"  Taka cornering him later, having stewed all day.

"But I don't have a problem," said Hiro, all elegant arching brows and silky, exotic hair.  "Except that you're in my way."

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