Misora placed her hands on her hips. “A play, Hikaru. You know, where people act out characters to tell a story.”
The boy folded his arms. “I know what a play is.”
“Then you shouldn’t ask stupid questions.”
Noting Hikaru’s clenched fist, the teacher quickly interjected, “Will you please explain for the class, Luna, what will be happening?”
She beamed. “Of course!” Luna rose and held up a poster. “ ‘Ar school is 'avin’ a talent show, so ‘ar class is gonna do a play.”
Tsukasa raised his hand, timidly eyeing his brother. “What play, Inchou?”
“Well, I thought we should do a classic, like Shakeper’. So, I deci’ed on a romance!”
Tsukasa and Subaru looked at each other, then Subaru turned back. “What play?”
“Romeo and Ju’iet.”
A murmur rippled across the room.
“I want to be Ju’iet!!” Misora bounced on her toes.
Luna frowned. “We’ll have audisons.”
The teacher continued. “There will be another young lady coming in on the day of the auditions, because I will be gone. We will hand out portions of each part to you and you will have three days to look over them. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents for help.”
Kizamaro pushed up the rim of his glasses. “This sounds like a’ enjoy’ble exp’r’ence.”
“Um…” Tsukasa inched his hand up.
“Well… isn’t Romeo and Ju’iet a sad play?”
Misora embraced herself. “But it’s so roman’ical!”
Tsukasa’s brow dipped. “But don’t lots o’ people die?”
Luna smiled. “Don’t worry. My dad gave me the chibi-version. So it’s not as vi’lent.”
“Then it’s not as fun.”
Ignoring Hikaru’s complaint, the teacher grabbed a stack of papers from her desk, and began distributing them.
“Please take a chance to look over each part you like.”
As she returned to her desk, the bell rang, and the chibis stuffed the papers into their packs.
“Have a nice day!” The teacher called of her young charges. “See you tomorrow.”
Subaru walked forward. “Ju’iet, Ju’iet, let down your hair.”
“No!” Misora frowned. “That’s Rapunzel!”
“Just start, again.” a blonde-haired young woman called from the audience of the small theatre room.
Subaru shuffled off the stage as Misora resumed. “Romeo, Romeo, where for art dou, Romeo?”
“O, Ju’iet is the East, and the sun burns her…” Subaru cringed. “No…”
Misora set her hands on her hips. “Did ya even look at de script?”
“Yes!” Subaru exclaimed. “I jus’ got conf’sed.”
“Well, I like that vers’on better.”
Misora spun around. “No one asked you, Hikaru!”
The boy shrugged.
Running her hand through her hair, the substitute called from the audience, “Okay, let’s move on.” She looked at her clipboard. “Next Luna and Tsukasa, please run the same scene.”
Subaru and Misora hurried off the stage, Misora quietly reprimanding him for not understanding the importance of the scene.
“It was my bedtime story.” Subaru defended. “I got conf’sed.”
“You weren’t even sayin’ de lines in de right order!”
Luna situated herself on the far side of the little stage. Tsukasa peeked around the curtain.
“Romeo, Romeo, where ford art dou, Romeo? Deny dye name, and swear you luv me.”
Tsukasa cleared his throat, then shuffled on stage. “Shall I hear more, or should I speak to dis?”
Luna smiled. “Oh, what is a name? It is not a hand or a foot or a… a…”
“Flower.” Tsukasa whispered.
“Yes, a flower. You ar’ but my Romeo.”
Subaru folded his arms and smiled wryly. Tsukasa was doing a much better job than he had.
“The runt’s not haf bad.”
Subaru turned to see Hikaru standing beside him, watching the auditions from the wings.
“What do ya mean ‘haf-bad’? He’s doin’ loads bedder than I’m sure ya cud do!”
Tsukasa hurried toward them, beaming.
Tsukasa looked at Hikaru. It seemed to Subaru that Tsukasa was searching for something in his brother.
Hikaru shrugged. “That wasn’t too bad.”
Tsukasa looked down, smiling sadly. “Hai, Nii-san…”
“Yo, Hikaru! Ya cud compl’ment him. He did a great job.”
Tsukasa looked up wide-eyed. Hikaru corked an eyebrow.
“The only reason ya think he did such a good job is ‘cause you did such a lousy one.”
Hikaru walked away. Subaru glowered, then turned to his sullen friend.
“You did great, Tsukasa-kun.”
Tsukasa smiled weakly. “It’s okay, Subaru-kun.”
“Well, if ya hate it dat much, then don’ be in it!”
Subaru and Tsukasa turned toward Misora’s voice.
Hikaru folded his arms. “I don’ ‘av a choice.”
“Then, stop complainin’!” Misora stuck her face into Hikaru’s, then spun away.
Subaru pouted. “Hikaru’s so annoyin’.”
Tsukasa giggled. “Misora-chan has an i'terestin’ effect on Nii-san.”
“What was that?”
Tsukasa jumped then spun around. Hikaru corked an eyebrow, giving Tsukasa The Look.
“Nothin’, nothin’, Nii-san.”
Hikaru locked his arms behind his head and moaned. “This is so stupid.”
“Okay, kids,” the young lady called. “Please come back on stage.”
They shuffled out from the wings and stood in a staggered line.
“Okay, in the play, there is a swordfight between Romeo and Paris at the end. If one of you boys that hasn’t tried out would like to play the role of Paris, please step forward.”
Luna squirmed both as she waited for the teacher to come. She wanted the part of Juliet, but she knew Misora had also tried hard. Glancing shyly at the brown-haired boy sitting behind her, the main reason for their aspirations of the role, Luna blushed. Of course Subaru would be Romeo!
Misora leaned over. “You know I’m gonna play Ju’iet, don’tcha?”
Luna frowned as she turned to the purple-haired girl. “Teacher hasn’t said anythin', yet.”
Misora smirked. “But you know I’m gonna get the part.” Misora leaned back to her normal position. “Why d’ya want it so bad, anyway?” She giggled. “Oh, yeah. You have a crush on Sub’ru, right?”
“I… quiet, Misora!”
Misora stuck her nose in the air. “Well, I like him, too, and I bet he likes me more.”
“He does not!” Luna exclaimed.
The teacher entered and smiled. “Hello, children!” She said brightly. “We are going to give the roles for the play today! First is Juliet…”
Luna and Misora shifted on their mats.
“…Who will be played by Hibiki Misora.”
Luna’s shoulders slumped, and Misora smirked victoriously. She turned around to talk to Subaru, but then the teacher’s next words caught her ear.
“Next, the part of Romeo will be played by Futaba Tsukasa.”
Misora’s mouth dropped open, and Luna looked up.
“Great job, Tsukasa-kun!” Subaru congratulated his friend sitting to his left. Tsukasa smiled brightly.
Tsukasa turned around slowly to see his brother glaring darkly at him.
“That’s the stupud’st role.” Hikaru scoffed. “I’m not going to do this dumb play.”
“The part of Paris will be played by Futaba Hikaru.” The teacher continued, ignoring Hikaru’s comments.
Hikaru’s eyebrows shot up, and a smirk spread across his face. Tsukasa cringed.
“I changed my mind. This might be pretty fun, after all.”
(enter Chibis Tsuaksa and Hikaru)
Chibi Tsukasa: chibi smile Happy Birthday, Light-chan!
Chibi Hikaru: Why are you doing that? You look like an idiot.
Chibi Tsukasa: worried Nii-san! Don't say that! You'll ruin it.
Chibi Hikaru: corks an eyebrow Your point?
(enter Chibi Subaru)
Chibi Subaru: Yo, Kisama! Be nice, it's her brithday!
Chibi Tsukasa: Sweet 16!
Chibi Hikaru: Why should I care if it's her brithday?
(Chibis Tsukasa and Subaru think)
Chibi Subaru: She had an avatar of you for a while.
Chibi Hikaru: grins I saw it. And it is fun being evil.
Chibi Tsukasa: sweatdrop So, we should be nice to her.
Chibi Hikaru: glares But she took it off, and replaced it with you of all people!
Chibi Tsukasa: Nii-san...
Chibi Subaru: Come on, we need to finish up. Come on, you guys!
(enter Luna and Misora. All Chibis (except Hikaru, of course) sing "Happy Birthday" in a very high-pitched, somewhat off-key chibi fashion. All begin to leave.)
Chibi Hikaru: I still don't understand why we need to be nice.
Chibi Tsukasa: Nii-san...