The Play Act Three

It had been a month since Eien and Setsuna had moved into Iiyaku's house, and they weren't even close to being ready to leave. Iiyaku's parents had decided that they would stay there until Setsuna graduated. And even after that, if Setsuna wanted to go to college, Eien was welcome to stay until she graduated herself and went to college. But, the truth was, both Maiko and Tatsuya had grown. well, for lack of a better term, fond of the two of them. Really, what they meant when they had said that was, 'Welcome to the family'. Setsuna, Eien, Iiyaku, and Maika all knew that they weren't going to be leaving. The two newcomers were a permanent addition to the family.

Second trimester was about to hit mid-term, thus, they were all taking rather large exams.

"Ugh! I don't get this shit!" Iiyaku slammed his chemistry book shut. "Tsu-kun! HELP ME!" He looked pleadingly at Setsuna, who laughed and got up to show him how to do whatever he needed help with. for the fourth time that night.

"Here." And he explained it, making Iiyaku feel very idiotic.

"Oi. I feel really dumb."

"No, don't feel that way." Setsuna smiled at him kindly. "You're in the advanced class. I'm sure everyone is having problems, just like you are."

"You're not having problems." He glared at him.

"Yes, but I'm perfect." He grinned at Iiyaku and they both laughed. Iiyaku had noticed a change in Setsuna about a week and a half after his arrival at the Matsumo residence. He had opened up more, and was friendlier. He was also an even better actor, if that was possible. He had gotten six calls in the last week for different plays. He had accepted the first one, so he had to turn down the rest. With the school play and homework, and the professional play starting that weekend, Setsuna was pretty busy.

"Yeah, I know." Iiyaku rolled his eyes.

"Oh, you know you love me anyway." He batted his over-feminine eyelashes. Iiyaku raised an eyebrow and then laughed.

"Save it for the stage, buddy-boy." Suddenly, Maika stampeded into the room.

"Tsu-kuuuuuun! HELP ME!" She held open her chemistry text book.

"You and your brother are exactly alike, I do say."

"Why?" They asked in unison, not noticing they had done so.

"You just asked me the same question he did. And you talk in unison."

"We do?" They asked again in perfect unison and looked at each other. "My! I guess we do, don't we?"

Setsuna looked from one to the other, then laughed harder than was probably healthy, and Eien walked in with a raised eyebrow.

She did the same thing as Setsuna, looking around oddly and slowly. "You guys seriously need a life." She rolled her eyes and walked back out.

"I suppose we do, don't we?" All three mused in unison, looked at each other, then laughed again.

The next day, there was play practice. Sherry grabbed Setsuna and Iiyaku and dragged them off the moment she saw them, causing the other main cast to raise eyebrows in the direction in which the hostages had been drug.

"Have you two got it down yet?" She looked them both in the eye, one at a time.

"Uhh.."

"Well."

"BOYS!" She screamed in English. "You need to get this right! It's a MAJOR part of the plot!"

"We know." They groaned.

"OK, all of this week, you're working on it." They blinked at each other.

"What about group work?!"

"Tough. You've got that down pretty well already, anyway."

"." They both just stared at each other after she left the room, then sighed in unison.

At the end of the trimester, they still didn't have it right. Better, but not perfect yet."

"We will get this right!" Iiyaku was pumping his muscles importantly. "Right, uke?"

"Don't. You. Dare." Setsuna glared at him. "I am not uke!"

"Well, your character is! Plus, since you're not gay, you couldn't be uke!"

"True." He looked thoughtful, then turned back to Iiyaku. "But don't call me uke!"

"Fine, fine." He put his hands up in defeat. "We should get to work."

"Yeah." They both sighed.

At the end of break before final trimester, it was done. Time for final touch-ups, and full-cast practices.

Sherry got all the groups together in the main auditorium

"Attention! We will now be running through the whole play! One Act a day! This means that everyone will stay for it! For those in the lower levels, that means more time! For those in the higher ones, it means less, most likely." She shrugged. "If I notice something wrong, all five of you stick around after everyone else leaves." She looked around. "That goes for all play members! Now, we begin with Act One!" She jumped down off the stage, and all the characters got set.

The play moved smoothly throughout the first half of Act One. Then came Kyoko and Kyushi's duet scenes. They were. vivid, for lack of a better word. The two were lovers. That was obvious. Iiyaku and Setsuna portrayed their groups roles wonderfully, and they were good boyfriends to their girlfriends. Then the moment came. Everyone had wondered about the Kyoko and Kyushi scenes, not they got to find out about the Iiyaku and Setsuna scenes. It was interesting.

Setting: Andrew's flat.

"Andy! There you are! Where the hell'd you disappear to? Keila's been both pissed and worried! You missed clean-up!"

"Yeah. sorry." Andrew just stayed where he was, sitting on the couch looking at the floor.

"Yo, what's up?"

"Nothing." His voice cracked.

"Something's wrong, Andy. I can read you like a book." Michael walked over and sat down next to the boy.

"Nothing." Was the repeated reply

"Andrew!" He grabbed his shoulders and spun him around, revealing the boy to be sobbing.

"Stop it! Leave me alone!" He shoved Michael backwards and onto the ground, then stood up and headed for the door.

"Don't you dare walk out on me." Michael's voice was low and icy cold. Andrew froze.

"I'm not walking out on you. I'm going out for a walk."

"No, you're not." Michael stood up slowly, never taking his eyes off Andrew.

"Yes, I am." Their eyes met.

"No, I don't think you are." Michael grabbed Andrew and threw him over to the couch. "Tell me what the fuck is wrong, Andy! You're never like this!" There were tears in his eyes, and Andrew looked away.

"Well, maybe I'm like this a lot more than you know." His voice was low and quiet.

"Andrew. Please, tell me what's wrong!" His voice sounded desperate, but not as desperate as he really was.

"No. I can't do that."

"Andrew." There were tears on his cheeks, and he collapsed next to the other boy on the couch.

"Hush. don't cry, Mick. It's fine. It'll all be fine." He pulled his head against his chest, and let the boy cry. "I hope to God it'll be all right."

The other members were shell-shocked. The play, for the most part, was light and humorous. They all knew the ending, it was in the script, but they didn't know about the dark parts in the middle. They wondered if all of Iiyaku and Setsuna's scenes were like that.

Nevertheless, the play continued on. Kyushi and Kyoko revealed more. they were more than just intimately involved on rare occasions.

The play started as five teenagers living out their lives. They all lived in flats in Tokyo (it was originally Los Angeles, but they couldn't use that setting), and had many problems. Hioto's character was a little 'rough around the edges', and Kyoko's was a little bit of a spark when she got mad. Kyushi's character was always calm and reserved, Mr. Mystery Man, while Iiyaku's was a punk with his emotions on his sleeves for the world to see. Setsuna's character was the quiet genius. All of the members of the play had to notice how similar their play characters were to their real- life ones.

They plot of the story was developing, it turned out that Hioto's character, Aaron Miller, had killed a man. The others were then slightly afraid of him, but remained by his side. Further on, they found out that Kyoko's character, Keila Orca, had been adopted, and her real parents were still alive, just in prison, for multiple reasons. These perfect teen's lives were becoming a little more dramatic, but not unrealistic. Setsuna's character, Andrew Williams, kept disappearing in the middle of a scene, only to come back again at a later time. Many times, Iiyaku's character, Michael Sanders, would disappear at the same time. Kyushi's character, Joshua Larson, seemed to be the only one noticing this. Then, the group had a serious problem approach them. One of their other friends, a Level Four actor, had been killed. They all wanted to know who did it, and the whole play became a mystery, and slightly a horror production.

Then came another of Iiyaku and Setsuna's scenes. Kyoko and Kyushi had had plenty of scenes with just the two of them, so no one was curious as to what was going on there anymore, but no one yet knew, save three people who wouldn't tell, what was happening between Andrew and Michael. No one knew what Andrew knew, or why he would disappear, and it was bugging a few people. They wanted to know!

Setting: Andrew's Flat

Michael opened the door to his friend's flat, only to see shreds of linen strewn everywhere. Panic came to his face, and he hurriedly searched the apartment. Andrew was found sitting at the foot of his bed, staring out the large window.

"Andrew! What happened?" There was a 'no, not this' looked on Michael's face.

"Nothing, I got pissed and ripped up a few sheets." His face was indifferent to the other's horror.

"You didn't-"

"No."

"Good." He sighed in relief.

"Why would I?"

"I don't know. It's just-"

"I've done it before?"

"Yeah."

"Sorry."

"Andrew." His eyes watered, and the indifference left the smaller boy's face.

"Mick. don't cry, please don't!" Andrew looked horrified.

"I just. can't help it!" He was trying very hard to stop his chest from throbbing, but to no avail.

"Don't cry, Mick, don't do it!" Andrew wrapped his arms around him and held his face into his chest. "Shush. don't. Please, it hurts me to see you this way." His eyes looked pained, and beaten. Too old for his age. "It'll all be all right. You'll see. Everything will be fine."

"But how do you know?!" Michael suddenly pushed away and his tear- streaked face now looked angry as well. "How do you know it won't happen again! One was-" He was silenced by Andrew placing his mouth over Michael's softly.

Andrew drew back and held the other's shoulders, while looking him in the eye. "Just trust me. Can you trust me?"

"Of course." Tears were back into his eyes. "I just. never want anything like that to happen, ever again!" He flung his arms around Andrew's neck and buried his face in the side of his neck, sobbing. Andrew gently placed his arms around him.

"It will be fine, Mick. It will always be fine. No matter what." His last statement had stopped the other's tears.

"Andy. what do you mean?" He looked terrified. Scared out of his mind.

"No matter what happens, it'll be fine. You'll be fine. I'll be fine." He kissed him lightly once more. "We'll be together." His smile was adorable. Like that of a little child. "Always."

"Always." This time Michael took the initiative. He put his mouth over the other's and slowly deepened his kiss. The stage went black as he pushed him over onto his back.

The end of Act One.

The other play members were awed. Kyoko and Kyushi just stared. They had been kidding when they wondered whether or not Iiyaku and Setsuna's scenes were the same as their own. They hadn't really thought it accurate.

"Wow." Kyoko looked at Iiyaku and Setsuna as they exited the stage, laughing about something.

"Yeah." Kyushi stood next to her.

"Hey!" Iiyaku waved at the three other Level Five members.

"Wow." Kyoko said to his face. "I didn't think." She blinked. "You are a great actor." She just stared at him.

"Thanks." He raised an eyebrow. "For your information, we're not really gay, thanks." Both Iiyaku and Setsuna laughed, the reason for their earlier laughter now revealed.

"Yeah, we know. That was just, very suggestive of the fact. You did well." Kyushi just said his piece in awe and a strangely out of breath voice.

"Thanks." Setsuna smiled at him. "I guess you'll find out more tomorrow then, we have a Chem. test to study for." He grabbed Iiyaku, spotted Maika, grabbed her, and pulled all three of them out the door.

End Of Act Three.