It was so damn annoying when he was right. That smug satisfaction which settled on his lips and stayed there for hours afterwards, mocking him like he was an idiot. There were no words to taunt him—just the silence, echoing loudly enough to show that he’d won the argument.
Takaki hated it. Everything was a competition with Hikaru. Dancing, eating, talking. It didn’t matter. Hikaru was always there with that smug look on his face. And the worst part was that Hikaru was always right each time.
So Takaki knew it was a horrible idea to ask Hikaru to teach him how to play piano, but yet here he was sitting beside him on a piano bench in one of the company’s practice rooms. They had an hour until dance practice began, so no one would bother them for a while. Takaki could have asked anyone else—he thought Chinen or Daiki knew how to play piano too—but he picked Hikaru because he knew how to keep a secret. No matter how infuriating it might be to have Hikaru as a teacher, at least he wouldn’t go telling the rest of the group why Takaki wanted to learn anyway.
“I told you, you’re rushing it,” Hikaru said, pointing to the tempo speed written on the sheet music. “Play it again.”
Takaki thought he’d rather pull out all the hair on his head than play the song again and listen to Hikaru’s critiques. And see that look on his face.
“This is dumb,” Takaki muttered. He struggled to figure out where to position his fingers on the keys.
“You were the one who wanted to impress Inoo,” Hikaru answered. And then smirked.
Takaki wanted to shove him right off the bench, but he knew their manager would yell at him for possibly leaving bruises when they had a concert coming up soon. “No, I just wanted something to talk about with Inoo. Like a hobby we could have in common.” Actually Hikaru was right about him wanting to impress Inoo, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to admit that to his face.
“Play it again,” Hikaru repeated. “It’s simple.”
He wanted to argue back, tell Hikaru that not everyone could be a musical genius like him, but what would be the point? He was already in a bad mood before dance practice and he didn’t feel like his usual cheerful self.
The notes rang out clearly through the room as he began playing more hesitantly than before, trying to pick out which key to hit without making a mistake. Hikaru listened and tapped his hand on the wooden top of the piano to keep time. Takaki winced at every wrong note but he kept going until the end.
He sighed as soon as he lifted his hands off the keys after the last note died away. “I know, I know,” he said, “I suck and this is dumb and I should just give up.” He glanced to Hikaru, but was surprised to see a different look on his face. Hikaru just looked confused by Takaki’s words.
“But that was an improvement,” Hikaru responded. “You’re not hopeless after all.”
Takaki scoffed at the backhanded compliment and gathered up the sheet music. He should go stretch before practice.
“What’s dumb is you just giving up after one lesson,” Hikaru added. And there it was again—that look where he knew he was right. Takaki just couldn’t escape from it.
It was so damn annoying when he was right.
Takaki crossed the room to leave without looking back at Hikaru. But he paused as his hand settled on the door handle. “Maybe we can try again tomorrow,” he said, voice soft but not too quiet for Hikaru to hear. And then, before Hikaru had a chance to react, Takaki wrenched the door open and slammed it behind him just for good measure. He kept up a brisk pace down the hallway.
Now he was determined to win next time so he wouldn't have to see that frustrating smirk.
You're up kira_shadow!