He's watched graduations before, and he always thought they were a bit staged. After all, it's not like the cast is never going to see one another again; the theatre world isn't that big.
Now that he's the one onstage, he thinks he understands. There's a difference between this and whatever comes next. They've spent the past year (or more than a year in Seigaku's case) doing nothing but shows together. When you spend that long that close, things change.
He looks up to Shou running toward him in the wings.
"Takkuma! Let's make tonight the best show ever!"
Takuma nods and matches Shou's high touch. He can't help but smile, and that's another thing that's changed. He remembers when the casting for Rikkai first went public. He'd been stalking Shou's twitter for awhile before then with growing concern. Who wouldn't have been concerned, seeing the ridiculous state of him and Seigaku's captain. This was supposed to be his own musical theatre debut. He had a solid character, and a solid match. Or at least, it should have been a solid match, but one person could only do so much to carry a weak link, and Katou Shou definitely felt like the weak link. Sure, he had a decent voice, and he could look the part for a photoshoot, but that only went so far, and judging from twitter, it was everything else that left a lot to be desired.
Shou grabs his wrist and pulls him along. He wants to complain; he knows what he's doing, he's not going to miss his mark. It Shou though, and Shou just has this quality about him that makes any complaint die on his lips.
Shou drags him across the entire backstage area—the opposite direction from where they need to he notes. Then, Shou stops and turns to him.
"Do you remember what happened here?" He grins, and Isawa can't help but smile back. Shou's personality has always been infectious, ever since the very first time they met face to face.
It was almost exactly a year ago, in the exact same place they're standing right now. Isawa will never forget that day. He was there with the rest of Rikkai; they'd met before, but they hadn't met their rivals. Everyone was nervous, after all, they'd be spending the next year spending more time together than not, and at least on the Rikkai side, Dai had scared them all with stories of teams gone wrong.
Everyone was nervous, and then there was Shou, who apparently had missed that memo and could barely contain his excitement. Isawa thinks he managed to suppress a shudder as Shou threw himself across the space to greet him, but the thought was strong. What had he done to warrant this?
It's amazing how much has changed in a year. They have three full runs together under their belts—more than a hundred performances and easily ten times that many hours of rehearsals. They've all grown, personally and professionally, and as much as he was skeptical at first, he's going to miss Shou and all of his weird, enthusiastic tendencies.
The buzzer rings to signal ten minutes until curtain, and they both look at each other.
Isawa nods. They don't need any more words than that anymore.
"Let's go, Hakase."
"One more game, Kyouju."
Shou laughs, slapping Isawa on the back as they rejoin the chaos of the dressing area. "We've got this, partner."
You're up prillalar