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Fic: Destiny, Schmestiny [Nao X Saga, PG]

Title: Destiny, Schmestiny
Chapter: Standalone
Author: Boots
Rating: PG
Genre: Romance, slice-of-life, drama
Warnings: None, really
Pairing: Nao X Saga
Disclaimer: Boys belong to PS Company, I own the story only.
Summary: Saga didn’t believe the guy he met backstage at a livehouse who told him they were destined to form a band together. But then, why does he keep popping up in his life?
Comments: Written for the jrockyaoi Summer Fic Exchange for nihongochick2. Inspired by the story Saga told about his first meeting with Nao, though it does play a little fast and loose with Alice Nine prehistory.

The first time that they met, it was backstage in one of those tiny, dingy livehouses that are usually frequented by bands on the way up or on the way down.

Saga had been in plenty of those so far. He’d also been in plenty of bands. It was always the same – they started out with high hopes, and then there was a night when the music wasn’t quite happening, or they had a disagreement over a minor thing, or the audience just stood there stone-faced while they were playing . . .

And that’s when he realized he was with the wrong mix of guys. Again. The chemistry just wasn’t there. This wasn’t the band he was going to make it with.

He was with another such band right now. It was called Delta Ark, and he was the drummer. He’d prefer one of the stringed instruments that were his specialty, but for the right band? He’d play anything.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the right band. And he was beginning to wonder if he’d ever find it.

He was currently crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the mirror with about six other guys, all scrambling to find just enough room to put on the all-important makeup. He’d gotten used to this, too. He could put on his makeup with minimal hand motions by now.

And then, an exceedingly cheerful voice behind him said, “Anyone else here a drummer?”

He turned around to see a guy who was already fully dressed and made up already – not in a small way, either. Oh, no, he had gone for the full glamor look, with long, blond hair and a makeup job worthy of a magazine cover girl. Quite a contrast to Saga’s own Typical VK Goth, Heavy On The Eyeliner.

“I am at the moment,” he said. “Why?”

“Got an extra pair of sticks I can use? I forgot my bag and . . .” He held up a broken drumstick. “My practicing had a bad result.”

“Here.” Saga managed to find his stick bag amongst the piles and piles of gear bags lying around (a bit like a needle in a haystack), found one of his two extra pairs and handed it to the newcomer.

“Thanks!” said the other guy. “I’m Nao, by the way. I’m with Fatima. At least for now.”

“What do you mean, for now?”

“I’m just thinking of new possibilities, that’s all,” Nao said. “Aren’t we all?”

For a guy whose band was falling apart, this guy really seemed too cheerful for his own good. He was bouncing around like a kid on a trampoline. “I feel like I always am,” Saga said.

“You’ve been the drummer for a lot of bands, then?”

Saga shook his head. “First time I’ve been a drummer. Mainly I play guitar or bass.”

“Really? You’re a bassist?” Nao lit up even more – if that was possible. Pretty soon, people would need sunglasses to be within a 20-mile radius of him. “But that’s terrific! Do you know what that means?”

Saga shook his head, looking perplexed. “That we’re both in a rhythm section?”

“That we’re destined to form a band together,” said Nao. “I can just feel it!”

“Nao!” called a voice from behind him. “Hey, Nao, are you in the bathroom again? It’s our turn to go onstage!”

“I’m right here,” Nao said. “Be right out.” He turned to Saga with a smile. “I guess I’ll be seeing you, huh?”

“Maybe,” Saga said. “If we run into each other again.”

“We will!” Nao said. “I’m telling you, it’s destiny!” He gave Saga a wave and headed toward the stage area.

Saga shook his head. What was that all about? He’d met some odd people in music so far, true, but this guy . . .

And yet, weird as he was, he found he couldn’t get that too-sunny smile out of his head.

* * *

The second time they met was at a conbini. Saga was picking up a bottle of green tea on his way to the pet shop to get Chiko’s food, the 2000-yen bill his mother had given him folded and stuffed in his pocket.

He couldn’t wait for the day when he’d be making enough money to buy his dog’s food himself.

As he was studying the racks of bottles, trying to pick out the right one, a voice behind him said, “Hey, there! It’s you again!”

There was something familiar about it, but he couldn’t place it. Someone he had met briefly, maybe a week or so before . . .

He turned, and there was a blinding bright smile, belonging to someone who was holding a bottle of Coke in one hand and a package of Yan Yan in the other. He had considerably less makeup than the last time he saw him – but still, there was no mistaking who it was.

“You’re that guy from . . .”

“Yes, it’s me, Nao from Fatima! And you’re the guy who plays a lot of instruments!”

“Saga,” he said. “I’m called Saga.” He wondered if Nao intended to consume all that sugar at once. If he did, the authorities would have to be notified – “Beware of man bouncing like a Superball all over Shibuya.”

“See, I knew I was going to run into you again, Saga,” Nao said. “How’s the band going?”

Saga shook his head. “It’s not,” he said. “The bookings have dried up.”

“Same thing here,” Nao said. “Maybe it’s just a bad season for all bands right now, huh?”

“It had better be,” Saga said. “I don’t want to get another part-time job.”

“You could always form another band, you know,” Nao said.

“And I guess you’re thinking of doing that, too?” Saga headed for the cash register, Nao following.

“Of course,” he said. “I told you that I’m thinking of possibilities. Besides – it’s destiny that you and I are going to form a band together. The fact that we were both in this store today proves it!”

“How does us both buying stuff amount to destiny?” Saga put his bottle on the counter.

“I didn’t get your name the last time,” Nao said. “I learned it today. See, one step closer to destiny. We have to know each other’s names if we’re going to work together, don’t we?”

“You’ve had to have learned other musicians’ names. Does that mean you’re destined to form a band with them?” Saga finished paying the cashier, bowed, took his bottle and stepped aside.

“Not any that give off the same vibes as you,” Nao said, putting his own items on the counter.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re the kind of musician a guy could have a good partnership with,” Nao said, bowing to the cashier as Saga had done. “You play a lot of instruments, write songs. You’re serious about what you do.”

“You know all that just from meeting me a couple of times?” Saga said.

“Well, am I right about the writing songs part?”

Saga drew a deep breath. He’d guessed correctly, of course. It was one of the things Saga was most proud of. “Yes,” he said.

“See, I knew it!” Nao said. “We’re on the same wavelength. A band is going to result from this!” He saluted him with his Coke bottle. “Well, have to go – I’ll see you around!”

“How can you be so sure you’ll see me around?” Saga said.

“Destiny, you know!” said Nao. He waved, and walked out the door and back out into the teeming crowds.

Saga shook his head. This guy was one strange person, all right. Destiny? More like coincidence. In this business, you made your own luck – you didn’t wait for it to get dumped on your doorstep.

So why did he find his enthusiasm and optimism so damn contagious? Why did he suddenly feel hope for the future – band or no band?

* * *

The third time they met was in Yoyogi Park. Saga was sitting there, looking and feeling completely down in the dumps.

It was official. His old band was history. They’d announced their disbanding today – not that a hell of a lot of people would take notice.

Another chance gone. Another promising start squandered. He was no closer to making a living from his music than he’d been the day the group was formed.

He looked at the parade of colorful lolis passing by him, seeing the basic forms of their frilly getups but not comprehending their beauty. That’s because right now, he felt empty inside, hollow.

The end of a band was like the death of a person, and nobody in the world would understand that but another musician.

He saw a figure approach him that was definitely not a loli. In fact, it was definitely not female. It did, however, wear a wide, beaming smile that seemed to illuminate every corner of the park.

“Oh, hi!” he said. “It’s you again!”

Saga heaved a deep sigh. “Yes,” he said. “Me again.”

“Why do you look so down?” Nao plunked down on the bench next to him as if he belonged there. “Something happen?”

“Other than my band being history? Everything’s great.”

“You, too?”

“What do you mean, me, too?” Saga turned his head toward the other man.

“My band’s history, too,” Nao said. “It became official last week.”

Saga frowned. For someone who had just lost his band, Nao seemed rather . . . happy. His usual bouncy self, in fact. “So did you get into another group right away?”

“Oh, no,” Nao said. “Nothing like that.”

“Then why do you look like that?”

“Tell you what,” said Nao. “We’re going to go out in the street and I’m going to buy you a Harajuku crepe.”

“I don’t have the money for one,” said Saga, sinking further down on the bench. Pretty soon he’d just slither all the way down and fall. If he was lucky, he’d get swallowed up by a gopher hole.

“My treat,” said Nao. “Come on – chocolate makes everything a little better!”

Saga got off the bench, slowly. Why was he going with this guy? Someone who could still smile when his band was in ruins was the last thing in the world he needed right now.

Even though a very small voice in the back of his head kept saying it was the first thing he needed.

* * *

Fifteen minutes later, they were back on this bench, holding thin pancakes wrapped around clusters of ice cream, syrup and fruit. Saga had to reluctantly admit it was extremely delicious – he hadn’t had one of these in eons.

So far, Nao hadn’t said anything relevant. He’d talked about his part-time job, and his time in college (he was the only musician Saga knew who actually had a degree), and his desire to have an apartment right in Akihabara someday, since it was his favorite place on earth. Not a mention of his old band, or plans for a new one.

Finally, Saga said, “Why were you in the park today?”

“Destiny. Like I said – we were meant to form a band together.”

“No, why were you REALLY in the park?”

“Just cutting through getting from place to place. It felt like the right thing to do. It turns out I was right.”

“And where were you going that makes you so happy?”

Nao shrugged. “Nowhere in particular. Just running errands. But as for being happy? I believe in turning a negative into a positive.”

“There isn’t much positive in this,” Saga said, taking another bite of the sweet concoction. Okay, so it did lift his mood whenever he tasted it. A little. Just a little.

“In what?” said Nao. “In losing your band?”

“I always thought until the very end that we’d work it out,” said Saga. “That they’d listen to my ideas . . .”

“What kind of ideas?” said Nao.

“Just the direction I wanted the band do go in,” said Saga. “I wanted us to drop the goth thing and go for a glamor look. I’d designed butterfly makeup for myself – you know, a big butterfly on one eye. And I was writing new songs – not like the metal stuff we were doing. These were, well, artier. Kind of Smashing Pumpkins meets Guns and Roses with a hint of U2.”

“Nice,” Nao said. “I like the sound of it.”

“And maybe incorporate some more audience involvement into our shows. More movement, furi, that sort of thing. Something to make the audience think they’re the sixth member of the band.”

“Yes! Number Six!” Nao suddenly jumped to his feet. “The audience is a member of the band! The sixth member!” He pointed his crepe at Saga. “This is the band we’re going to form!”

“I never said anything about . . .”

“You just laid out a perfect vision for a band,” Nao said. “See, this is the group you’ve had inside you all along. That’s why none of your other bands worked out – because you knew in your heart they weren’t THAT band. They didn’t fit YOUR vision.”

“Yes, but . . .”

“No buts!” Nao said. He was practically hopping up and down with enthusiasm. “You know it’s true! You want to be a part of YOUR band, not just a sideman in someone else’s!”

“How do you know it’s true?” Saga took another big bite of his rapidly diminishing crepe. He was beginning to wish it were soaked in some sort of alcohol.

“Because when you were describing the band, just now? It was the first time since I met you that you looked truly ALIVE. Like your soul was trying to burst out of you.”

Saga looked down. He wanted to say something – but he couldn’t. Because this guy was right. What he was describing . . . was just how Saga felt.

“So what are we going to do about it?” he said. “You said it’s my vision of the band . . .”

“And it is,” said Nao.

“And you said we’re destined to form it together. Where do you come in, then?”

“I’m the person who’s going to find the people who match your vision,” said Nao. “In fact, I think I’ve got a couple of candidates. Ever hear of Givuss?”

Saga frowned. “Didn’t they break up?”

“Exactly!” said Nao. “I heard the guitarist and vocalist are looking to get into a new band. And I know a guy who knows them. We could bring them around, talk to them, get a feel for if they share your vision, and if they do . . .” He spread his arms wide. “We’re on our way.”

Saga just sat there, stunned. For the first time, he was believing this guy’s crazy statements about them being destined to form a band together. For the first time it seemed not just plausible, but almost . . . logical.

It was . . . kind of scary. But also exciting.

“How did you know?” he said.

“Know what?” Nao said down beside Saga again.

“That we were destined to form a band together.”

“Ah, you admit it now?” Nao finished off his crepe.

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?”

“I could tell we were the same,” Nao said. “I knew it the moment I looked at you. It was, well . . . I saw the same things in your eyes that were in my own heart.”

“Cholesterol?” said Saga.

“No,” Nao said. “Need. Need to do your own thing. To be what you were meant to be. And restlessness. The kind of thing that sends you wandering around to parks and convenience stores, because you hope you might magically run into what you’re looking for. That’s how I knew we were going to meet again. Because we’re the same – we were looking for something. And what we were looking for was each other.”

There was a definite wisdom about this strange guy. And suddenly, he seemed . . well, not so strange. More like intriguing. Like a baffling enigma asking to be unraveled. Saga was finding himself . . . intrigued.

It suddenly occurred to him that this relationship might be about more than work. It was a blooming friendship. Hell, it might even eventually lead to more. And he was most definitely okay with that – in a way that almost startled him.

“Your friend can definitely deliver those two Givuss guys?” Saga said.

“I can guarantee it,” said Nao. “Just say the where and when.”

“All right,” said Saga. “Let’s go for it.” He fished around in his coat pocket. He knew he had a stub of a pencil in there, and a few scraps of paper. He pulled one out and started to write.

“What’s that?” said Nao.

“My number,” Saga said. “No more chance meetings. We’re going to plan to meet from now on.”

Oh, yes, he could see where this was going. They’d be meeting a lot. Long conversations in bars, about everything from music to pets. Long hours in rehearsal halls, hammering out his vision, making it THEIR vision, something equally shared by the whole band. The whole process of strangers becoming comrades, collaborators, maybe even a family.

Bring it on. Bring it all on, he was ready for it. He suddenly felt galvanized, rejuvenated, ready to take on the whole industry at once.

And it was all because he’d loaned this guy a pair of drumsticks. Well, the sticks were Nao’s permanently now. Saga was going to be the bassist – he was going to play the instrument he should have played all along.

“You’ve got it,” Nao said. He grabbed another of Saga’s pieces of paper and scribbled his own number on it, pushing it over to him. “I can’t wait to see what we come up with.”

“I can’t wait, either,” Saga said.

“I’ll talk to you later, then!” Nao waved the piece of paper. “I’ll call you as soon as I know about those other guys.” On impulse, he leaned over and kissed Saga’s forehead, lightly.

Saga was seized by a sudden urge to grab the other man by the wrist, pull him closer and kiss him on the lips. Because, dammit, he wanted to. He pushed the urge away, because the last thing he wanted to do was ruin a good thin in the making.

Besides – he knew he was going to get another chance.

Nao gave a small wave and rushed off. Saga clutched the paper with the phone number tightly, as if it were an ofuda, a piece of paper with great power. The power to shape his future.

Turning a negative into a positive, indeed.

* * *

One doesn’t count the number of meetings over the years – especially when those years are about to become a decade.

One especially doesn’t count the number of meetings when you live with someone, when that person is your soul mate, as much a part of you as you are of them.

When Nao walked into their apartment that day, the one after they came back from the Asia tour, it might have been their nine millionth meeting, or their tenth million. It didn’t matter anymore.

Saga looked up from his computer when he saw his lover, bandmate and best friend enter. “So what’s going on?” he said.

“Oh, everything’s okay,” Nao said, heading for the kitchen and opening the fridge. “The plans are all in place for the 10th anniversary show. The DVD crew knows what they’ll be doing, and the press coverage has been arranged.”

“You don’t have to do that Leader-san stuff anymore, you know,” Saga said. “You stepped down from it, remember?”

“Yes, but Shou needs my help, especially for something as big as this.” Nao emerged with a bottle of a lemony drink. “And what have you been doing while I’ve been gone?”

“More songwriting,” Saga said. “I think I’ve got two-thirds of a single here.”

“You don’t stop, do you?” Nao sat down opposite him.

“I never have,” said Saga. “Not since the day we formed this band.”

“It seems like forever, doesn’t it?” Nao took a big sip of his drink. “Know what I saw today? That old livehouse where we first met. It’s on the verge of falling down, but it’s still there.”

“I’d almost forgotten about that place,” Saga said.

“I haven’t,” said Nao. “That’s where I told you we were destined to form a band together, remember?”

“And I didn’t believe you.” Saga went back to his computer.

“You came around,” Nao reminded him. “And aren’t you glad you did?”

Glad? Hell, yes, he was glad. Standing-on-the-stage-of-Bukokan glad. Worldwide-following-of-screaming-fans glad. But moreso than that . . . years of companionship and love.

“Maybe I am,” he said in a mock-cool voice.

“Maybe?”

Saga leaned across the table and kissed him. “And maybe I feel like going out to Harajuku for a crepe.”

“I’m coming with you!” Nao called, springing to his feet.

They headed out the door, back toward the place where it all began – on the day Saga finally learned to believe in destiny.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
puss_nd_boots
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
You're welcome - I'm so glad that you enjoyed the fic! It was actually a lot of fun for me to write, because it was something out of the ordinary for me ("cute" as opposed to "hot"). Thanks for providing such a great jumping-off point for the challenge!
kdelioncourt
Aug. 13th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
Aww, cute fic! (And yaaay Nao x Saga fic!)
puss_nd_boots
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was a fun pairing to write - one I had never tackled before this challenge! (You'd think there would be more about them as a couple, given that they co-founded the band . . .)
kdelioncourt
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah I never understood why there are so few fics of that pairing! Considering band history, interviews, comments made, etc, it practically writes itself! So it's awesome to see a NaoxSaga fic pop up ^_^ Will you write any more?
riyu_sama
Apr. 7th, 2016 08:23 am (UTC)
This was soooooo adorable! Although I had a little of a hard time imagining Nao being all social and stuff,, but his hyper personality and just downright, being kinda weird to Saga is soooo cute and I just *sighs dreamily*

This makes me wanna believe in destiny now too lol, Nao is such a cutie and I seriously kinda wished you wrote how they got together but anyways, I still LOVED it to bits and pieces!! Thank you so much for writing and sharing this author! It was awesome! Truly cute and adorkable <3
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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