Title: Charades and Masquerades [One-Shot]
Pairing: Kaoru x Aoi
Disclaimer: I intend to make no money with this. I do not own Aoi or Kaoru unfortunately and I have absolutely no affiliation to any of their companies. I only own the plot that's it. Please don't sue me!! Dx
Comments: I know it's officially not October any more. . . but please give me a chance Dx I worked hard on this but I was so busy during the month I couldn't revise it in time.
Synopsis: In a sea of hidden identities one may find the will to uncover their true selves.
“Halloween… again… just perfect… I hate this holiday so much.” Kaoru was very much not in the mood to deal with any of his band mates’ silly antics. Toshiya was wearing a set of cat ears and making hissing sounds at him while his fellow guitarist wore a big white blanket over his head making ‘scary’ sounds. Kyo as always was in his dark little corner, texting his boyfriend probably, and Shinya was nowhere to be seen. Band practice was always this hectic during Halloween. Not to mention that it was the time of the year when the two clowns of the band decided to get hyper-annoying.
Just when he thought he would punch Die in the face for making ‘boo’ sounds to his face Shinya walked through the front door. “Hey guys! Check this ou- Dude not again. Toshiya, Die, don’t be ridiculous and stop bothering Kaoru. Sheesh…” The two afore mentioned stopped oscillating around their leader and ran over to Shinya, jumping on him. From the mass of people on the floor Toshiya emanated with a small, white, envelope in his hands. “I got it! . . . . . What is it?” Shinya stood up with a death glare painted in his features. “It’s an invitation you dumbass pussy!!” He yelled at the bassist while yanking away both the envelope and the cat ears on his head.
Kaoru walked up to his drummer, curious. “An invitation? To what?” Shinya smiled to him and handed the invitation over. “To a masquerade.” The guitarist’s face fell and he looked at the little white envelope with distaste. “Aoi-san sent it. You know from the GazettE. It’s going to be at his house.” He provided the information with a side smile on his face. He knew Kaoru would re-consider if he got that tiny piece of information. He was sure right. Kaoru’s face lit up and he was now looking at the invitation with contemplation. “Besides” Shinya continued “masquerades are elegant and mysterious. Unlike costumes parties they’re of a high class standard.”
He needed no more persuasion; Kaoru was attending that party. “Guys, let’s go pick out our outfits!” Kaoru was eager now and left the room with a wide smile and a light step. Shinya was simply smiling and he elbowed a ghostly Die on the stomach before leaving the room right after Kaoru. “Grow up Daisuke!!”
In another place, not too far away from our original setting, was PS Company. Ruki sat on the floor leaning against a sofa deeply interested in whatever was displayed on the tiny screen of his cellphone. “He he he he… Everything’s going as planned.”
“What are you mumbling to yourself about Ruki? Did you finally lose it?” Reita was sitting next to him on the sofa tuning his bass guitar. “No my dear Reita. I’m actually winning it. Muahaha!” Reita raised an eyebrow and shook his head. “You really are out of your mind…” At that moment Aoi, Kai and Uruha walked in carrying with them the conversation they had apparently been having in the hallway. “That would be awesome Kai. There’s no such thing as too much partying or too much drinking.” Uruha was saying with a wide smile while Aoi and Kai laughed. Ruki immediately stood up and clapped to get everyone’s attention. “I’m glad you mention that Uruha. Because we’re about to have the best party of the year!” Everyone, including Reita looked at him with both confused and excited glances. “How come? Where? When? Or… Why?!”
“Duh! Reita… It’s Halloween! It’s that wonderful, special time of the year when you can dress and act like a slut without anyone questioning your integrity!” No real need to mention that the whole band crooked their eyebrows at the same time at Ruki. “Oh please. Like you don’t think about it… ANYWAY! We are having a Halloween Masquerade.”
Aoi looked up visibly excited. For the rhythm guitarist, if there was one holiday actually worth bothering to celebrate, it was Halloween. “A masquerade!! I love masquerades!! When is it going to be and where?” Ruki then gave him a devious smile. “Glad you ask my dear guitarist. It’s going to be exactly October the 31st at your place.” The brunette was about to celebrate when he realized the last part. “Ooh! Way coo--- Wait a minute!! What do you mean at my place?! You haven’t even asked me for permission!”
“Oh Aoi shut up. We all know you love Halloween so you won’t mind having a nice party at your house to celebrate it. Plus you’re the only one with an actual house here. Either way you can’t refuse now. I already sent the invites.”
“Why… I oughta….” He raised his fist to strike Ruki but the other one simply grinned. “What would Kaoru-san think if the party was suddenly cancelled when he’s getting all excited about it?” Low blow. “K- kaoru-san?” Aoi lowered his fist and looked at the smaller man with shock written all over his face.
Kai came up behind Aoi and patted him on the back. “Don’t worry so much Yuu. Sounds like it would be fun ne? You do love Halloween. And masquerades just give you that tingly feeling because they’re so mysterious and all. Oooh I’m excited!” He smiled wide, that smile that could move mountains, and Aoi surrendered. “Alright… I accept…”
“YAY!!” Everyone exclaimed in collective.
“Muahahahaha!! It’s coming along nicely Kyo-kun!!” Ruki was rubbing his hands together looking like quite the cartoon villain while Kyo was going through a set of masks at some Italian furniture store. “Are you listening Kyo?” The one in question didn’t even look up “Yes. Would green look better on me? Or should I just go with the black?” Ruki pouted and pointed to the forest green mask. “Thanks baby.” He kissed the young one’s lips and smiled to him. “I’m sure the plan will work flawlessly. You’re a brilliant Celestina.” **
“A brilliant what?!” Ruki was very much confused so Kyo elaborated. “You need to read more classics Ruki. I meant to say you’re a great match maker.” He smiled and petted Ruki’s hair. “Now come on chibi-chan we need to get you your mask.” Ruki frowned and playfully slapped Kyo’s butt. “Need I remind you I’m an inch taller than you? So you are the chibi-chan. Hmp!” He strode off to a set of very elaborate, very exaggerate bundle of masks as Kyo followed with a grin and a shake of his head.
Aoi was going through the list of guests. “HOLY SHIT!! What the fuck?! There’s no way all this people will fit into my house!! What the hell was Ruki thinking?!” It sure was quite the looong list. Around 70 people were invited this included all the bands from PS Company even Screw and SuG plus a few others like SID, MUCC, Girugamesh, D’espairsRay, Nightmare and of course Dir en grey. The very talented men from S.K.I.N. were invited as well something for which Aoi felt both excited and nervous at the same time. Aside from all the jrockers some random people from here and there were also invited.
“When I get my hands on that little man I’m going to strangle him!!”
“Aoi! I’m here host-san! I brought all the decorations we’ll need.”
Kai had to take a hold of Aoi before he went to pounce on the unsuspecting vocalist. Ruki opened his eyes wide and took four steps back. By doing so he bumped into Reita who, helped by Uruha, was carrying a big load of boxes. Everything would’ve been fine if it hadn’t been that Uruha bumped into Reita from behind making all the boxes he was carrying crash to the floor which in turn made Reita trip, his boxes shooting in the general direction of Ruki who got hit in the face by various party items and ultimately fell on his ass.
“RUKI!! What the hell?!” Reita was furious and threw a plastic flower vase at the tiny vocalist.
“ITTE!! BAKA!! What is this?! Yell at your vocalist day?! Goddamnit!!!”
“Seventy people Ruki!! SEVENTY! How did you expect they would all fit in here!?!” Aoi was fuming.
“Gggrr!! You have no sense of space you idiot! You open the big double door that goes into the backyard and voila! Problem solved!! Party goes outside and inside. Sheesh!!” While Ruki gave his plan of action Reita and Uruha picked everything up again with annoyed faces. “Where do we take these Chibi-chan?” Uruha asked. “NOT A CHIBI!! And take them to the living room please.” Kai and Aoi could only shake their heads and help their band mates decorate along with the guidance of their own Interior Designer Extraordinaire.
In another part of Tokyo, a pair of guitarists was trying to find the perfect outfit for the big party. “I don’t know Die. It’s way too casual. I want something dazzling, masculine, Venetian-” He stopped suddenly realizing something. “You ok Kaoru?” The lead guitarist turned to his friend with a wide smile. “I just remembered I actually have a Venetian mask at home. It’s the Casanova mask that Himeko brought back for me from her trip to Italy.”
“Oh right!! The one with the funny hat!!” Die laughed at the memory of when Himeko had presented the mask to the leader of the band. At first she had simply thought it would be a nice memento from the days of carnivale in the city of Venice. She knew Kaoru would appreciate something like that. When she saw the Casanova mask though, everything changed. She had always teased him for being a heart throb and a heart breaker so a mask that symbolized precisely that would make the perfect souvenir for her brother. “I got it Die!!”
Kaoru only took a much elaborated cape from the store, as for the rest he already knew what he had and what he would need. Die settled for a simple, pre-made jester costume and bought one of the masks that would go with the character. “So Kaoru… care to tell me why you’re so interested in this Aoi guy?”
Leader-san turned with a smirk. “Who ever said I was interested in him?” The red head rolled his eyes. “Oh please, like we haven’t noticed Kaoru. Do you really think we’re that stupid?— Don’t answer that question!” Kaoru laughed out loud and patted his friend’s back. “He’s just… beautiful and talented and… I like him period.”
“Oh come on! That’s all? Hhmm you’re just an old pervert seeking younger pray.”
“Ah shit! You caught me! Can’t deny it now.” Of course he was only kidding; he really had a genuine interest in the guitarist of the gazettE, or at least he wanted to get to know the man better. “I really hope we get to chat a little in the party if he’s not all busy with all the guests he must have.”
“It’s a house party. I doubt they invited too much people.”
“You see Aoi? Everything looks great! Don’t’ sweat it man. I’m the best party coordinator ever!!” Ruki stood in the middle of Aoi’s now Hunted Music Studio themed backyard terrace, making a pose and looking proud of his accomplishment. “Well I have to hand it to you Chibi-chan, it actually looks quite kick ass.”
“NOT A CHIBI!! And thank you.”
“Oi Chibi-chan!!” Ruki’s eye twitched. “Where do you want this table?” Reita and Kai were carrying a very long table meant for all the food; another one waited in the van for all the drinks. “Ggrr… put it over there… next to the hunted DJ booth…”
Everything was set for the celebration. They were waiting for the catering services and the DJ to arrive. Ruki had brought everything he needed to get ready in Aoi’s house and help him out when the first few guests would start to arrive. You see, he wasn’t such a bad friend.
“Ruki are you done yet?” Aoi was getting edgy as the time of the party was coming closer with every minute. “I believe I told you I’m not ready yet thirty seconds ago!!” Ruki was getting exasperated. He opened the door to the guest bedroom and glared at his friend. The small man was still half dressed and all. “Look! People never arrive at the time you set for a party; everyone wants to be ‘fashionably’ late or whatever. So relax already!! Now here help me with this shirt-thing. I can’t reach that far back.”
Ruki walked downstairs into the living room. His attire was complete with a wonderful regal looking gentleman’s outfit very dignified and proper for the luxurious days of renaissance Venice. The mask he wore was as beautiful as it was intricate. It’s shaped seemed to be imitating the celestial stars, so were the colors. It had a combination of silver and gold. Around the eyes was a diamond pattern in a delicate, black, silk material with silver embroidery. Adorning the top were a set of triangle shaped spikes with a musical notes pattern also bordered by the silky material.
Right on queue the door bell rang. He ran over there and opened. “Hi!!—woah…” What greeted him at the door was a huge red mask, exaggerate to say the least. It was glittery, womanly, and extravagant. The mask itself was staked onto a very luxurious looking handle in white and gold. From the handle a cloth like material swirled stiff all the way to the base of the mask. Over the mask’s head a big red fan in the same fabric opened to make the thing look much bigger than it could’ve been. Ruki retrieved his mask and stared.
“Let me guess. . . Miyavi-san?” Ruki asked with an amused look on his face.
“Ugh! Am I too obvious or what?!” The newly arrived guest moved the mask away from his face with a mock annoyed look.
“That’s a mask only you would wear plus your height and fancy… uhh… drappy… outfit gave you away instantly.”
“I thought so.” Miyavi was laughing and gave Ruki a pet and a kiss before he walked to the backyard to greet Aoi. “Let’s get this party started Aoishi!!” Definitely Miyavi was the best person to help break the ice once everyone started arriving, with the aid of alcohol of course
It had been over an hour and a half and almost everyone had arrived by then. Everyone except for one very important guest and the only reason Aoi had completely agreed to the whole charade in the first place. Kaoru was still missing along with, well, the rest of Dir en grey. Ruki was calm even though Kyo hadn’t arrived. This alone made Aoi a little suspicious since in any other situation he would’ve been texting and calling and probably yelling into the phone asking Kyo what was taking him so long.
Aoi tried his best to be occupied and it wasn’t so hard seeing as everyone in the party was literally his guest. Everyone came up to the brunette guitarist of the Gazette to congratulate him on the fine party he had organized and the fine outfit he was wearing. There was no way he could take the credit for all that. It had been Ruki’s plan and Ruki’s organizing even his costume was Ruki’s idea. Ruki had planned it perfectly. Of course he didn’t want to dress Aoi in feminine outfit. They were all men after all, even if they liked other men.
His attire was a Venetian renaissance noble man in a deep navy blue. It had intricate golden sewing and design on every hem including the borders of the tricorne hat he wore. Under the uniform was the traditional noble ren shirt. Bountiful ruffles hung from the collar of the shirt, a golden pendant holding it in its place right at the center of the neck. The same kind of ruffle spilled from underneath the sleeves. He looked just like Venetian royalty in his beautiful attire and his hair tied back in a ponytail. The mask over his face added to that air of magnificence. It had to elements. It was as if he was wearing a face that was wearing a mask. In two tones, golden and white, it stood out for being elegant.
An hour and a half had come and gone of the party and still no sign of any of the guys of Dir en grey. Aoi was starting to lose hope that they would ever come. He had been walking all over the place to find Ruki but he was nowhere to be seen and no one apparently had seen him either. Then again… it would be very hard to find anyone in the sea of masks and hidden identities.
“Ruki? Is that you?” Aoi had asked to a random person. “I already told you I’m Keiyuu!! Sheesh Aoi! Are you getting too old for this kind of thing?” Aoi shot him a death glare through the slits of eyes on the mask which even being half hidden Keiyuu perceived it and he immediately bowed in apology and fled the scene. If only Aoi had paid more attention to what Ruki was wearing!
“Hey hottie!!” Aoi turned around only to be smacked in the face with what had to be the most ridiculous mask he had seen so far. It was completely white except for the circumference of the eyes which were outline with thick black lines, as if it were wearing glasses of some sort. It’s most prominent feature though was the exaggeratedly long nose it had. It went all the way down to the person’s chest, arching towards it. “SORRY!!!”
“What the hell is that?!”
“Aoi-san?” The person behind the mask cocked his head to one side then proceeded to pull his mask up. “Hey! Sorry about that. I guess there’s too much people in here.”
“Nao-san? What the fuck are you wearing?”
“Why does everyone keep asking me that?! Sheesh, is it that bad?”
“Well you’re hitting people in the face with it then yes it is that bad.”
“It’s a traditional venetian mask… Like the ones they use in the carnivals.” Nao, drummer of alice nine., just so we’re clear, was pouting and nudged Aoi on the shoulder. “Don’t be so mean to me… I’ll be moving on now.” He replaced his mask and stalked off trying not to hit people with his ‘nose’. Meanwhile Aoi turned to head outside and have a breath of fresh air and he bumped square into another person. “Oh gosh! Sorry!” The other person shook his head and bowed giving Aoi the free space he needed to walk by him.
The guitarist was very flattered and he bowed to the other man in appreciation. The other’s outfit looked almost exactly as his with the exception that it was black, the details were in silver and he wore a long black cape otherwise it was an exact replica. Covering his face was a Casanova mask. The cloaked man wasn’t saying anything. Everything he meant to say he expressed it through his gestures; the way he bowed his head to Aoi, the way he moved his hands and cloak as if he were the most knightly of gentlemen. With his gestures he asked if Aoi would like to accompany him for a drink. Aoi of course bowed his head and smiled as a yes. Not that the other could see it.
He strode off with the mysterious stranger to the backyard where all the drinks were on the long table. Behind it was a tall lean figure Aoi knew was Uruha. “What would you gentlemen want to drink?” The mysterious man pointed towards the wine and held two fingers in front of him. Two cups of wine please. Uruha arched an eyebrow at the man; it was clearly visible since half of his face was out in the open with his half moon mask. Even in his confusion over the weird guy he served the two cups and handed them out to his friend and the Casanova.
Once they made their way outside and sat in a bench on the balcony Aoi turned to his companion. “You haven’t told me your name noble man.” The man raised his cup wordlessly and they toasted to whatever it was that crossed their minds at that moment. Even though there was little to none verbal communication between them Aoi was enjoying himself in the company of the Casanova. There was something strangely alluring about the mysterious man behind the mask.
After they had finished their drinks the Casanova stood and bowed to Aoi with his hand held in front of him inviting the other to take it. Care to share a dance with me? Aoi instantly took it and they walked inside once more. There was loud techno music playing, which didn’t fit at all but nevertheless the two men began dancing.
A lot of people had taken off their masks by then especially Nao who had accidentally poked Yoshiki’s eye and his shame was such that he threw the mask away no matter how many times the older man told him it was fine and he shouldn’t discard it. Among the few that still wore them were those who had only half masks and of course Aoi and his companion. At that moment the brunette had almost completely forgotten about Kaoru but it still nudged him in the back of his mind the little disappointed at the man’s absence.
A whole hour they shared the dance floor until breathing was becoming increasingly hard with the masks. Right when he thought he would suffocate the Casanova took his hand and lead him outside once again. Few people were hanging about the front lawn but the man guided Aoi towards a tall tree that was almost at the neighbor’s house. It provided them a little privacy from prying eyes. Aoi was fanning himself and finally took off the mask, taking in big gulps of much needed fresh, oxygen. The other man though, was still wearing his.
“How can you stand it in there?” The Casanova shook his head and fanned himself. It’s way hot in here. Aoi leaned back on the tree, now taking soft breaths, calming down. The other man then took three steps and was right in front of him. With his body he pinned the brunette against it, trapping him. “Hey what are you doing?” His first instinct was to push the other man away but when he tried the other pressed harder against him, holdings his arms to each side of his body.
One hand released him and the other quickly brought an index finger to his mouth, Keep quiet, and then made a motion for him to stay calm. With his free hand he reached inside his cloak to materialize a silk handkerchief. He used it to cover Aoi’s eyes. The other refused at first but the Casanova pushed him harder against the tree and made Aoi wear it. The stranger then took one of Aoi’s hands and moved it to the edge of his mask. It seemed he would finally reveal his identity but what he did was totally unexpected for Aoi. The Casanova only uncovered his mouth then planted a soft kiss on his lips. It was calm and lovable.
He had no idea why but Aoi gave in to the kiss and relaxed. As soon as the brunette stopped resisting the other took off the rest of his mask and parted from his lips. “Aoi-san, you look stunning tonight.” With having said that he gently slid the silk cloth from Aoi’s eyes. The young man shot his eyes open, recognizing that voice immediately. “Kaoru-san?!” The other guitarist was grinning at him. “Yes Aoi-san that would be me.” Stunned wasn’t a good enough word to describe his state. Shocked? Bewildered? Confused? Em
Kaoru smirked and brushed a few lose strands from Aoi’s hair away from his face. “Because I like you. Because you’re beautiful. Because I’m romantic like that?” Both of them started chuckling and Aoi couldn’t help the huge blush that crept up to his face making him feel hotter than he already did. “Yes you are quite the romantic man.” The smile didn’t want to leave his face, he was excited, blushed and giddy, like a pre-teen with a crush on some pop idol.
“Please just Aoi…”
“Aoi” Kaoru corrected with a huge smile. “I hope this isn’t an odd moment to ask you out for lunch. Is it?” Aoi blushed again “No it isn’t. In fact it’s the perfect moment.” The leader of Dir en grey felt like a weight had been lifted from his chest. He could breathe again; his heart though was racing at top speed giving his skin a healthy glow. “By the way… nice party.”
“Thank you. It wasn’t easy to get it all together.”
Talk about not wanting to take the credit for all Ruki’s work.
On the second floor of the house both Ruki and Kyo looked through the window at the lovebirds bellow. “Aaaawww look at them Kyoshi. They make such a sexy couple.” Kyo smiled and pecked Ruki, a sweet kiss on the lips. “Yes they do. And it’s all thanks to you.”
“Damn straight!! They owe me big time!” The brunette vocalist was making a triumphant face and a hero pose right on the window sill. Some people down below who so happened to have been looking up at that moment stared, a quizzical look on their faces. “Kyo and Ruki have the weirdest way to do their stuff.” Takeru, whom was standing outside with Yomi, commented on the odd appearance and Yomi had to look up. “Oooohh!!! Exhibitionist huh Ruki-san?!”
Of course Ruki couldn’t hear a thing and the only thing he was doing was bouncing around in front of the window celebrating his grand victory while Kyo tried to get a hold of him and actually try out what the others were suggesting without him knowing.
The next day at PS Company Studios every single person seemed to be late, even Kai. Yes Mr. Everything Right was suffering just as much from the hangover as the other guys. They all arrived sometime, let’s say, one hour after their scheduled practices and recordings. This included ALL of the PS bands, since they were all at the party until late, or early. . .?
In the end it had been the police who had finally put an end to the party bringing complaints from the neighbors and everyone decided that they had wreaked enough havoc in and around Aoi’s home. The destruction was noticeable a mile away. It would probably take Aoi a whole week to get the place back in proper shape and to hell he was going to do it alone.
Hence right after practice Aoi took all of the GazettE to his house to make amendments starting with all the junk in the front lawn. Beer bottles, plastic cups, nachos, and even condoms were the main items that littered the yard. “Remind me not to invite so much people the next time…” Ruki said with an annoyed face.
Three hours and five trash bags later they were done so Aoi sent them home, he could live with the mess inside for another day. Besides, he had a date with Kaoru that evening.
“Sooooo Aoi….” Ruki stayed behind to interrogate the other. “What happened . . . umm when you and Kaoru-san. . . disappeared last night? Where’d you two go?” Aoi smirked at him and ruffled his hair. “Wouldn’t you want to know you perv.” The vocalist slapped his hands away and frowned at him. “I’m serious!! You two totally hit it off!! I just know it!! And you know why? Who was the ‘cause of it all? Who do you owe lunch to?”
Aoi sighed in defeat. “You Chibi-chan…” Ruki smiled wide. “That’s right- HEY! Stop calling me a Chibi. . . sheesh . . . Anyway, yes. Totally all my plan. Glad it worked.” Aoi smiled at his friend then hugged him. “Thank you Takanori.” They stayed put there for a while transmitting each other all their sincere feelings. “I hope it all goes well with you and Kaoru-san. I really do. It was about time someone slapped you both in the face to get together already!!” They laughed together and Ruki left to meet with his own boyfriend while Aoi went to get ready for his date with Kaoru which hopefully would end well and would only be the first of many more to come.
On his way to pick Aoi up at his house Kaoru was in deep thought. A few things had changed in his mind. He now couldn’t stop thinking about the party and the many things he shared with the young guitarist in that night alone. It seemed now that this devious holiday wasn’t so bad after all.
“Aah… Fuck Christmas! It should be Halloween everyday…”**La Celestina is a Classic Spanish Tragi-comedy based on the work of Celestina, a devious match maker.