jaiset productions presents


( s)

-thirtieth recording-


original work, inspiratorie.

armed with an artistic right.

besides, this doesn't make money.

(c) 2007 jaiset productions.

tous droits réservés.

homophobes, heterophobes, blah blah blah... you know the drill.

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 10:24 P.M.


"Japan Airlines Flight 1640 to Tokyo is now boarding," a voice announced throughout the terminal. "All passengers, please report to the gate immediately."

Shuu removed his backpack and put down his hard-top Epiphone case to give Lucien one last hug. He still had to get through security, but he was determined to stay with Lucien for as long as possible, even if it meant running to catch his flight.

The brown-haired girl was currently staring up at him with tear-filled eyes. She'd been trying her best not to cry on the train ride to the airport, but she couldn't help it now.

"When will I see you again?" Lucien asked through a couple of sniffles.

Shuu gave her another squeeze and thought about it. "When Altair and Vega meet in the Milky Way," he finally assured her.


"Yup! Since Andromeda's got a contract now, I think I'll definitely have enough money for a round-trip ticket by early July. That's not too bad, is it?"

Lucien smiled through her tears while Shuu rummaged around in his backpack and produced a stuffed black Badtz Maru, with a cross-looking face and a Bart Simpson-like spiky head.

"To hug while I'm gone," he said, holding it out with a wink. When Lucien took it, Shuu gave her a quick last kiss, then proceeded to speed past security and dash to his gate, guitar case in one hand, backpack slung over the opposite shoulder.

"HEY!" Lucien called after him crossly, tears nearly forgotten. "What the hell kind of a goodbye was that?"

Shuu turned around while running and gave her a cheeky grin.

"That -wasn't- a goodbye!" he yelled down the long carpeted hallway as he was getting further and further away. "That was more like a 'See you later'!"

"YOU'RE LAME!" shouted his girlfriend, arms crossed.

"I LOVE YOU!" he hollered in reply, making heads turn in his direction, before turning tail and going into a full sprint away from a completely flustered Lucien.

The incident leading to Marise's hospitalization never got out to the press, but his parents decided to move back to Tokyo anyway, since it had been obvious that Mr. Hoshikawa was not happy with his son's bohemian lifestyle. Dusty Kay was appointed as his guardian, in accordance with Mrs. Hoshikawa's wishes; Mr. Kay had always acted as a surrogate parent to the boy, anyway.

Their decision to move had also been affected by Marise's incensed former tutor showing up at their door right after visiting the boy at Mount Sinai. Marise's father had yelled at Shuu for being 'a disgusting influence', but Shuu countered that remark by threatening to call the cops to get Mr. Hoshikawa arrested for child abuse.

It took another ten days for Marise to recover from the pneumonia he'd come down with after his father had beaten him. When he was finally discharged from the hospital, Marise refused to press charges, but he retreated into the now-empty Hoshikawa residence in New York City for one week. He communicated with Lucien through e-mail multiple times a day during that time, but refused to accept any guests in person besides Dusty Kay, who came in every morning with food and left with a rough recording of another song to begin working on in the studio.

Marise also spent that week catching up on a month of missed schoolwork, after which he continued to attend Stuyvesant. He and Lucien spent most of their after-school hours during May and June in Shuu's old apartment, turning it into a veritable song-writing workshop. Thanks to their round-the-clock efforts, Marise's first completely English-language album, 'Endless', was ready by the second week of June (just before their final exams).

After speaking with Mr. Hoshikawa, Shuu faced his own parents in a very heated phone call, the last of which he would ever make to his family in Hong Kong. His older sisters were sympathetic with his decision to become a full-time musician, and offered to lend him money after his parents had cut him off from the family inheritance. Shuu, of course, declined.


The door to the small tattoo parlor opened to the sound of a jingling bell hanging off the handle. The owner, a fortysomething covered in ink and adorned with every type of piercing possible, grinned when he spotted the purple-haired but clean-faced young man in his doorway.

"Hey, what can I do for you?" he said through a mouthful of metal studs, leaning on a counter full of tattoo designs taped to the glass.

"I'd like to get some piercings," replied the boy, slowly walking up to the counter. "Both ears."

"You're gonna have to be more specific than that," laughed the owner. "Do you have any idea where you want 'em to be?"

Marise touched an ear with his fingertips, then brought his fingertips to his lips and smiled.

"I want as many of the most painful piercings as I can stand," he said. "Then I want to come back tomorrow for more."




"(All right, everyone, you all know our first guest tonight. Back home after his first year of high school in New York City, it's Hoshikawa Marise-kun!)"

There was an audible gasp when Marise stepped onstage. His dark violet hair now fanned out like a lion's mane, exposing the dark blue layers underneath and bringing his metal-studded ears into the center of attention.

His ears were adorned with multiple piercings, including two crossing titanium bars at the top half of his right ear (like Lucien's industrial, but in double) and a bar going straight down the conch in his left. His face was miraculously metal-free and its usual porcelain shade, making the black eyeliner he normally used that much more pronounced.

The star took his place next to the surprised talk show host, who adjusted his multicolored tie nervously before beginning the interview.

"(So 'Endless' just went platinum in the United States,)" said the host, to wild applause. "(How do you feel about that?)"

"(I think it was a fluke,)" said the J-pop star, more relaxed than his normal shy self. "(After all the publicity dies down, I hope to release my second album to see what they -really- think of me.)"

"(Anything to say on what the second album might contain?)"

"(It's just in the early stages right now,)" Marise said, "(But it'll definitely have much more of a rock influence, thanks to all the collaborations I've been doing with Milky Way.)"

"(And your American lyricist? Will she stay in New York for the summer?)"

"(Yes, she decided to stay in New York to help with Milky Way's debut over the summer, but I'll still be using e-mail to work with her during my tour,)" said Marise. "(I'm looking forward to my second summer in the States.)"

He didn't show it at all, but the singer was mildly surprised that he still hadn't been asked about the recent events that had been exposed in the Japanese tabloids (and, to some extent, the American ones as well).

However, after the commercial break, Marise was in for a huge surprise.

"(Let me present our secret guest, the lead singer for an up-and-coming Tokyo punk band that just signed on with Victor Records. Please give a warm welcome to Andromeda's Xu Li!)"

A million viewers saw Marise's eyes widen when the lead singer of Andromeda entered from stage right. His messy hair was back to its rusty shade of red, complementing the bright red color of the lefty Epiphone Casino he was carrying by the neck. He was wearing a half-unbuttoned black shirt and a photogenic smirk; the girls in the audience shrieked their approval.

The camera zoomed in on Shuu's bare chest to reveal that tattooed in small black print right above his heart was the Chinese word for "starlight", which was composed of two characters: the character for "star" and the character for "light"- in Japanese, "hoshi" and "hikari". A ball-chain necklace of dog tags dangled in front of it.

"(Can you introduce yourself?)"

"(I'm Shuu,)" said Shuu, though the audience already knew who he was. "(I apologize on behalf of the members of Andromeda who couldn't make it today. We've been really busy preparing for our first tour, so we actually had to do a four-way rock-paper-scissors to decide which one of us would go to this interview.)"

After waiting for the audience's giggles to subside, the host smiled in disbelief at Shuu's bluntness and moved on to his next question.

"(Shuu, are you the only foreigner in the band?)"

"(That's right,)" said Shuu. "(They wanted someone fluent in English to be their singer, 'coz Sae was the original singer for the band, but his English totally sucks, and on top of that he's tone deaf!)"

The audience laughed even harder. Even Marise had to cover his grin with one hand. While everyone was distracted, Shuu looked into the camera sheepishly and mouthed, "(Sorry, Sae!)"

"(Where are you from?)"

"(I'm from Hong Kong, London, and New York City. And now Tokyo, I guess.)"

"(Wow, that's impressive,)" said the host to a chorus of "EHHH?!"s.

"(It's really not,)" Shuu said. "(I'm like a wandering samurai looking for a home, always moving around.)"

"(Where do you feel the most 'at home', though?)"

"(New York.)" he smiled. "(Sorry if that offends you Tokyoites. But there's an expression in English that goes, 'Home is where the heart is'. And New York is where my heart is.)"

He glanced at Marise, who could only smile back a little ruefully.

"(Your Japanese is really good,)" said the host, with loud applause in agreement. "(How did you get so fluent?)"

Shuu looked over at the J-pop star sitting next to him.

"(I studied it in London,)" he said, "(But the first time I actually got the chance to speak it regularly was with Marise-kun, when I was still in New York. I helped him with his English, and he helped me with my Japanese.)"

"(Oh, so you met each other in New York?)" asked the host, to the delight of the fangirls in the audience.

"(Yeah. All thanks to Lucien.)" On television, a caption popped up underneath him that read: '(Lucien Gines is Marise-kun's lyricist- and Shuu-kun's girlfriend!)'. "(Because she was a huge fan of Marise-kun's, I recognized him on the street and ran him down to get his autograph. That's how we met for the first time.)"

Thanks to all the tabloids in the past few months, the audience knew what had happened after that.

"(So, what's this song you've got for us?)"

"(It's a song about not being able to return someone's love, no matter how hard you try, because you're already in love with someone else,)" Shuu said slowly, taking up his hollow-bodied Epiphone, strumming a few chords, and looking to Marise for a thumbs-up to make sure it was in tune. "(I wrote the music a while back, but I had a lot of help with the lyrics to the final version.

"(Actually, you might have heard some of it already. But anyway, please go easy on it!)"

Shuu turned back to Marise, making the boy- and every female member of the audience- nearly pass out.

"Hey, Marise- I'm gonna need your help again," he said in English, in complete disregard to the Japanese-speaking audience. "Do you remember those lyrics?"

With Marise frozen to his spot, Shuu removed a white guitar pick from his shirt pocket and struck the chords to the song they'd first sung together at a shrine on Mount Haruna.

Marise's love would soon become the most famous unrequited love in Japan.

After the show, Shuu caught Marise in his dressing room as the boy was preparing to leave with his entourage.

"Hey, could I have a minute?" said the rust-haired rocker, peeking his head into the small room and immediately becoming the focus of seven sets of eyes. Marise froze in the middle of wiping his eyeliner off. He glanced at Dusty Kay, who was on the couch and in the process of putting his Palm Pilot away; a look of understanding passed between them.

"(We're leaving in fifteen minutes,)" Mr. Kay said curtly. Shuu nodded; Marise took his outstretched hand and left the room. The two hurried down the narrow backstage hallways to avoid gaping passersby, and finally ducked into the now-deserted Green Room.

"I'm sorry I didn't warn you about showing up," said Shuu once they finally plopped into a black leather couch in a secluded corner of the room. "We only got the call this morning. I didn't know you'd be here."

He still had Marise's hand in his. Marise pulled it away and adjusted the watch on his right wrist to avoid Shuu's gaze.

"Lucien says hi," Marise said pointedly, forcing himself to steal a glance at Shuu. His former mentor, former lover, looked away, a little hurt.

"(You know, I told her everything,)" Shuu said, leaning back on the couch and staring at the ceiling, playing with the white guitar pick that he'd put back into his necklace of dog tags, which still hung cold against the tattoo on his bare chest.

"(I know,)" replied the violet-haired boy, touching his own tags. "(She's been trying to get me back together with you so she can enjoy the fanservice.)"

Shuu burst out laughing.

"Sasuga kanojo da na (That's so like her,)" he said with a smile as he pulled his cell phone out and activated its camera. "(Well, we can't disappoint her, can we?)"

Before Marise had time to react, Shuu had turned the phone's camera on the two of them and snapped a picture of himself dutifully licking the star's exposed neck. He was already reviewing the picture while Marise was still recovering from the full-body blush that had resulted from it.

"(Wow, that came out just the way I wanted it to,)" Shuu commented, his right arm around the boy's shoulders as he e-mailed the picture to Lucien. "(The look on your face is priceless! Your piercings are amazing, by the way. This-)"

He stopped mid-sentence when he noticed that Marise's eyes were moist. The boy looked away, throat tightening.

"(You know, if you keep doing things like that, it'll be a lot harder for me to get over you,)" said Marise in a quiet but quavering voice. "(So stop seeking me out like this.)"

He was staring down at Shuu's chest now, at the spot where the white guitar pick rested against his tattoo. Shuu sighed, then leaned in and put his lips to the conch industrial in the boy's left ear, caressing the metal bar where it was ball-fastened in the back.

"(Does it still hurt that much?)" he asked softly as he reached around with his other hand to stroke the crossing bars in the opposite ear. Marise knew what he meant.

"(I think it'll hurt for a long time,)" the boy slowly replied, using a fingertip to trace the tattooed character for "light" on Shuu's chest.

"(Good,)" said Shuu with a grin, to Marise's surprise. That grin, however, couldn't hide the pain lurking in his dark grey eyes.

"(Well, we couldn't stay together as lovers,)" Shuu explained brightly as he readied his camera phone again and yanked Marise closer by his dog tags, "(so at least we'll always be suffering together!)"

He snapped another picture, this time of him kissing the boy full on the mouth. He sent that picture to Lucien, too.



Ten's eyebrows shot up when Marise entered the mixing room. His hair had grown long enough to be ponytailed, and his ears...

"Jesus, Mikey, what the hell 'dja do to your ears?"

Marise smiled at the band manager's complete lack of manners.

"Did them on a whim last month," he said, sitting down in an empty swivel chair. Ten wasn't convinced, but he didn't comment any further.

"Does Luce already know about 'em?"

The J-pop star nodded.

"She was the first person I showed them to."

Ten ran a hand through his shocking-white hair.

"Well, as long as you can put your headphones on..."

"I won't need headphones," Marise said lightly as he spun around a few times in the swivel chair. "We'll all be in the same room, right? I can just listen to everyone else."

At that moment, a heavy Australian accent echoed from the hall.

"Hey mate, 's Lucy around?"

Ten and Marise looked to the door to see Eli's brown-haired head peeking in.

"She's helping set up the recording booth," replied Ten with his slightly British inflection, resting a hand on Marise's shoulder. "Hey, have you two met?"

"No, but we might as will 'ev," said Eli, striding across the mixing room to diplomatically shake Marise's hand. "Eli. Marise, right? Or should I call you Mike? Michael? Michel?"

"Um... Sorry?" The J-pop star took the hand Eli offered, but it took Ten and Eli a second to realize that the boy couldn't understand Eli's accent, after which they started laughing.

/What I was saying was, I'm Eli,/ Eli told the boy in fluent French, grinning at the completely bowled-over look on Ten's face. /Sorry if you can't understand my English!/

/Oh, right, you speak French,/ said Marise happily in his Quebecois twang, noting with a slight blush that Lucien had been right- Eli was like a younger, white version of Shuu. /How'd you know I... oh, Lucien told you?/

/Yup- hey, don't 'vous' me!/ replied the Monegasque, wrinkling his nose in jest while he took a seat next to the purple-haired boy. (In addressing the prince as "you", Marise had used the more polite 'vous' instead of the more familiar 'tu' normally used amongst people under the age of 25 or so.) /Anyway, thanks to her, I'm sure we know tons about each other already./

/Yeah, she's told me a lot about... you... too,/ Marise said, relaxing a bit and using a friendlier 'toi' after Eli shot him a fake-angry Look. /Kinda weird when I think about it. Hope she didn't tell you anything too personal! That'd be awkward.../

/I mean, she didn't really have to,/ Eli said with a sigh. /Both of our personal lives are plastered across the tabloids half the time!/

/Hmm, you've got a point./

Ten rolled his eyes and blew a strand of white hair from his face as the two continued chatting in a language he could not understand to save his life.

"Waahhh, -I- wanna talk to you guys toooooo," he finally whined, stamping his foot and putting on his best imitation of a spoiled girl. The francophones chuckled.

"Deh-zo-lay," said Eli in mock Australian-accented French, turning back to the expatriated Londoner. "All right, back to English 'en, Tenor boy, but then poor Marise won't be able to understand me. Well, I guess I could translate or something. Dunno if I could pull off a Pommie or Yankee accent..."

"Wait, Mike, how can you understand MY accent and not Eli's?" demanded Ten. Marise shrugged.

"I've never been to Australia?"

Half an hour later, Lucien and Marise were standing in front of two hanging microphones in the roomy studio, rented out by Dusty Kay for Marise's collaborations with Milky Way and friends. Milky Way preferred to record their songs live instead of recording one instrument at a time and mixing them all together at the end. This preserved their imperfect indie-underground sound- and the chemistry they had when they performed together.

So a few feet away from the pair was Erica, seated at the drums, Rain, who was positioned at the two tiers of keyboards, Eli with his violin, and Vicky as usual with Ten's Hofner bass.

They had just been joined by a newcomer: a very exhausted Shuu, who'd touched down in JFK that morning after a ridiculously long flight. He was still leaning against the mirrored glass finishing his third mug of coffee, but he had his Epiphone at the ready.

Behind the partly mirrored glass wall were Ten, Mr. Kay in aviator shades, and the two-person mixing crew.

"Here we go," Ten said to them over the speakers in the roomy recording booth. "Recording in 3, 2, 1..."

"July 7, XXXX, 12:38 p.m.," said Lucien into the hanging microphone, one hand on the neck of her new baby-blue Hurricane. "This song is called 'Next Chapter'."

She looked to Rain, who was poised at the keyboards.

"Ready?" she mouthed to him.

Rain shot her a thumbs-up and began with a slow piano riff. After one bar, Eli raised his violin and bowed out the countermelody. Erica followed by tapping out a soft beat, then Vicky strummed a faint echo of the chorus, note by note.

Shuu glanced at Marise before putting his coffee mug down, taking his white guitar pick and beginning the rapid background melody to the melancholy rock song that Marise had composed entirely in English for the band. The studio was getting fairly warm in the summer heat, so Shuu's black shirt was unbuttoned; his necklace of dog tags swung to and fro across the tattoo on his chest as he put all of his body into the rhythm.

Before Lucien plucked the chords to the first verse, she put an arm around Marise's shoulders and gave the singer a quick kiss on the cheek as they stood side-by-side in front of their respective microphones. Shuu shot them a small grin while he continued playing.

Marise blinked furiously to keep tears from falling, then sang the first words loud and clear. A verse later Lucien complemented him with the harmony, and the rest of the band soon joined in for the haunting refrain.

( A chapter of my life just wrapped up today

and already I'm writing a new one;

Even though the pain is far from gone

I'm moving on...

"Don't sing to run"

they said, but I have no choice

I sing to forget;

But even my voice reminds me-

Even my voice knows my heart is breaking

"Just keep writing"

"Just keep moving on"

"And maybe then"

Maybe then I'll meet you again

in another song

and it won't be as painful.

So let's keep writing

Let's keep moving on...

Finish this chapter

and move on to the next,

and on to the next;

Time won't go any faster, but I

can't dwell on this any longer...

-So if you came up to me and said,

"Is this the end?"

I'd say

No- just the beginning)

END of Garasu (Glass), -thirtieth recording-