Hyde grumbles as someone knocks on his door loudly. “Coming!” He mutters a few choice curses under his breath. It’s an ungodly hour of the morning after everything that happened last night. The band didn’t even have to be up for another two hours to leave. He yanks the door open with a growl, rubbing at his face. “You have any idea what time it is?”
“Yes, I do.” Ava’s voice is sharp and Hyde squints through the bright hallway lights at her. “I have to start driving back.”
“At this damn hour?” Hyde mutters.
“I couldn’t face the look on his face if I tried to leave while he’s awake. At least he looks happy when he’s sleeping.” She pauses a while. “I left him a note with my information on it. Make sure he doesn’t toss it.” She shifts back and forth for a second, eyeing the still half-asleep singer.
“What?” The question is more of an annoyed growl, punctuated with a yawn.
“How honest is he about this?” There’s a short silence as Hyde rubs at his face again.
“It’s too damn early for this.”
“Exactly why I’m asking you now.” Hyde grumbles more at the statement, leaning against the door tiredly.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen how he’s acting before. He’s head over heels and he’s almost got me believing in his little notion thing.” Hyde shuts his eyes, head bumping against the door. “I thought he was going to jump off a bridge when you ran off. Then seeing you two? You’d make lollipops sick. Or at least he would with how he keeps trying to dote and it’s weird seeing him doting. Though I’m glad for him being happy.” There’s a short silence.
“Thank you,” Ava responds quietly.
“Can I sleep now?”
“Yeah, just watch him for me? I’ll figure out something. I’ll be keeping in contact with Kyoko.”
“You realize you’ve broken her dreams if you told her everything, right?” Hyde mutters and there’s a short pause.
“No, she already knew.” Ava turns away, starting down the hallway. Hyde pauses, attempting to think out the line of thought before growling and shutting the door, heading back to sleep.
Kaz stares at the sheet of paper, holding the small notepad close. All the information he could possibly need is at his fingertips. The words ‘call me’ are even underlined three times, written out in both English and Japanese. However, his brain isn’t processing much further than the fact that she had taken off without even waking him. Hyde stumbles into the room, looking both alarmed and exhausted, before he takes a seat beside his guitarist.
“That’s good, wasn’t a dream,” the singer murmurs and Kaz looks at him.
“She showed up, said she had to go. Something about you looking happy asleep and not wanting to wake you, something blah blah.” Hyde rubs at his face with a low groan. “Said about figuring something out and keeping in contact. You think she’d at least wait a while longer, I was barely awake for that conversation.” Kaz returns his gaze to the paper.
“So this is serious?”
“As far as I can tell, yes. Your cuddling did well.” Hyde pats Kaz’s head with an exhausted giggle before frowning again, rubbing at his face as he yawns. “Took me forever to fall back asleep. I don’t know how she took off like that.”
“We talked most of the night.”
“Then good talking. Keep the paper and get ready to head out. We’re on the bus the next few days.” Hyde snorts in laughter and gets back to his feet. Kaz looks after him before looking back down at the paper again. He stays quiet as he carefully removes it from the notepad and sets it on the table, getting ready to head out quickly, throwing things in bags and packing as fast as possible.
Hyde grabs the paper for him when he forgets it, berating him for trying to forget something so important. Arimatsu looks quite amused at the whole thing as Kaz holds the piece of paper to his chest, Hyde’s finger in the middle of the paper and poking him.
It takes Kaz three days to actually make the phone call. It goes straight to voicemail. He balls up the sheet of paper afterwards and sends it flying down the aisle of the tour bus, hearing it bounce off more than one thing. He swallows a noise that would’ve awoken the bus as it rumbles along the highway and leans heavily against the counter in the kitchenette. He drifts off to sleep eventually, curled up with his back to the cabinet, the countryside passing by in darkness.
“Kaz?” Hyde shakes him awake and the guitarist looks up in exhaustion. “Why aren’t you in bed?” The singer’s voice is quiet and from how dark it still is outside, he can’t have been sleeping that long. Kaz stays silent for a while before turning his gaze away from Hyde.
“My call was ignored,” he finally states when Hyde joins him on the floor, their backs jammed against the cabinets.
“Is that why this was in my bunk?” The singer holds the balled-up sheet of paper out and Kaz resists the urge to smack it away. “Ever think that maybe after three days, she’s not expecting you to call at… whatever fucking time is it?” There’s another long silence, Kaz glaring at the piece of paper. “Did you at least leave a message? Because it’s an unknown number for her and I’ll be honest, if I don’t answer unknown numbers, she probably wouldn’t.” A surprised look comes onto Kaz’s face before he digs his phone out and runs into the call history. “You’re an idiot.” Hyde chuckles and rubs Kaz’s head as the phone announces that he’s reached Ava’s voicemail. Kaz grumbles at the touch before starting to leave a message.
He gets a text back sometime early that morning, far too early for him to actually receive it when it comes in. Ava apologizes for missing the call and is glad for him leaving a message since she wasn’t sure whose number it could have been.
“Told you.” Hyde leans back from reading over Kaz’s shoulder from the upper bunk. Why he slept up there when he’s so short is beyond Kaz’s understanding. “Now reply and go the hell back to sleep. That light’s interrupting my beauty rest.” Kaz shakes his head, adjusting himself in his bunk with the phone tight in one hand.
The messages are sporadic, one missing the other all throughout the day.
“Kaz! I swear I’m going to take your damn phone away! We’re rehearsing!” Hyde’s amusement towards the messages had run out over an hour ago however. The singer snatches the phone the next time Kaz takes it out to answer a message and dodges Kaz grabbing at it until he’s sent his message. “Now focus!” The short message that he sees for a second from her includes an apology and a request for contact later in the day.
“You sound very tired.” Ava’s concern leaks through the phone and Kaz hums in response to hearing her voice. The actual words sink in a second later.
“Ah, I’m fine.” He plugs his free ear with a finger against the racket Hyde’s making, the singer hanging half off the couch in the room with his guitar across his lap.
“That took you a while to reply. Maybe you should go take a nap if you can considering whoever’s playing in the background.”
“I’d rather talk to you.” Kaz attempts to stay firm but yawns, happy that she can’t see him. There’s a very long silence. “Ava?”
“I’m still here, sorry, I just…” She pauses. “Never mind.” Kaz blinks at the retraction, attempting to focus around his tiredness.
“You just what?” There’s a curious tone to his voice and there’s another lengthy silence.
“I—I just want you to rest.” Kaz raises an eyebrow.
“And I want to talk to you.” The guitar playing gets louder and Kaz scowls over at Hyde. The singer sticks his tongue out at him in response with a grin. It looks very awkward with his head upside-down as he hangs off the couch. Kaz takes a while to puzzle out the oddness of how it looks before blinking. “Sorry, I missed that, what?” There’s a pause as he strains to listen to her.
“I—I um…” Another pause. “I think that’s sweet but you need your rest. You seem to be spacing out. You’ve missed quite a few things during this conversation.” Kaz’s face turns a bright red.
“Yes.” Ava murmurs something outside of his hearing at the blunt answer before speaking up again. “I mean, it’s nothing important, just something I noticed. So I think you should rest.” They fall quiet for a little while as Kaz bites on his lip.
“I suppose I should. I’ll text before I call again.”
“All right. Please get some rest.”
“Thank you, I will. Have a good morning.”
“I will.” There’s an awkward pause. “Talk to you later.”
“Later.” Kaz confirms and there’s another pause before he hears Ava hang up and follows suit. Hyde is still playing the guitar nice and loud, giggling now.
“I think that was the most awkward phone conversation I’ve ever heard half of!” he shouts at Kaz over the sound of the guitar and the guitarist glares at him.
“Half thanks to you!” Kaz shouts back. Hyde ceases the playing just to grin at him, the smile looking disturbing while he’s hanging upside-down.
“Hey, I kept you awake, you were dozing off standing up.” The vocalist looks quite proud of himself and Kaz turns a brighter shade of red. “And don’t try to deny it. I watched you sway back and forth until you started leaning against the wall. Go get some rest!” Kaz nods, looking sheepish as he starts away.
Kaz looks at his cell phone, the buzz having woken him up. It’s late, dark outside but not quite midnight yet. Hyde grumbles from above him, unhappy even in his sleep at the added light coming up from Kaz’s bunk. ‘You must’ve fallen asleep again. Get some rest.’
‘I’m fine. It’s just late. I was going to ask you about how you are doing.’ Kaz slips up from the bunk, rubbing his face. Ju-ken’s snores are extremely loud, echoing around the bunk area and Kaz gets to his feet and slips into his shoes, stepping out to the sitting area, carrying his phone with him. The vehicle rumbles along the road as Kaz relaxes back, getting a glass of water and sipping at it. His phone buzzes in his pocket.
‘I’m all right, been busy with work. They kept me late. Are you sure you’re all right?’ Kaz smiles softly at the reply.
‘I’m sure I am. Busy is good though, right?’
‘I suppose it is. I don’t get paid for some of what I do though.’
‘How’s that work?’ Kaz raises an eyebrow, continuing to sip on his glass of water. He had never heard of someone doing work that they aren’t paid for doing.
‘It’s complicated and boring.’
‘Well, I don’t know what you do, so I don’t know if it is or not.’ The length to the next message stretches terribly long, even allowing Kaz to finish his glass of water. He’s in the middle of washing it out when her reply finally arrives. He dries his hands off, retrieving the phone and looking at it.
‘I’m technically doing half computer work and half OL work. My job description is computer work only though.’ Kaz tilts his head a bit, wondering about what ‘computer work’ entails.
‘Ah, so I know who to ask when the studio computer isn’t working then.’ He puts a smiling emoji after it, trying to show a little teasing. There’s a long pause before she replies again.
‘You can try, I can’t promise anything.’ There’s a trailing emoji with a smile and a grin appears on Kaz’s face, sinking down into a chair again.
‘How’d you get the OL portion?’
‘I helped someone with some calls and paperwork as a favor. Biggest mistake I made.’ Kaz gives a snort of laughter and shakes his head, relaxing out on the couch as he replies.
‘I can see why if you’re not getting paid for it. Ever complain about it?’
‘Once I did. Got me in a lot of trouble and I almost lost my job.’ Kaz raises an eyebrow, feeling more curious.
‘They claimed I had enough free time to help if I was doing it. And if I had all that free time, I probably wasn’t doing my job properly. It was pretty terrible.’ Kaz takes a while to think about the reply before shaking his head.
‘I’m sorry. Sounds terrible.’
‘It’s fine. It’s something I have to deal with until I get a different job.’
‘I know a couple jobs you could pick up easily.’ He puts a smile after it, smiling himself. She could be a fantastic translator anywhere in Japan. He rests his head back on the edge of the sofa, the phone resting on his chest.
“Wake up!” Kaz blinks his eyes open, squinting at the bright sunlight coming through the window. Hyde stands above him, looking well-rested and having shaken him awake. “Did you seriously sleep out here after you got that message?” Kaz feels his face starting to flush.
“Ahm.” Kaz looks at the phone on his chest.
“I can’t believe you did.” Hyde looks at the phone, seeming extremely amused. “At least you didn’t keep me up with your texting.” Kaz grumbles in response and checks his phone.
‘I don’t know if I’m interested in lyrics translation.’ And a second one about twenty minutes later. ‘You fell asleep again. Please stop wearing yourself out just to talk with me. I’m going to sleep, good night.’ Kaz lets a sigh out, letting his head bounce back against the couch arm.
Kaz is quickly drinking down a water bottle between sets, listening to the crowd cheer as he slips his phone from his pocket. A smile appears on his face at seeing a message, opening it up to read it.
“Oi! What are you doing?” Hyde is notably less amused. “Encore, remember?” As he says the words, the cheering seems to form itself into calls for a first encore. Kaz blinks at Hyde around the water bottle.
“I’ve got time if I’m not arguing with you.” Ju-ken starts laughing at Kaz’s response and coughing water, beating on his chest to try and get it up and not dump any more on the floor. Kaz turns his attention to the phone, sipping more at the water and reading the message. His face immediately burns a bright red.
‘STOP TEXTING ME IN THE MIDDLE OF A PERFORMANCE. Kyoko told me what you’re doing.’
“Ahm.” Hyde blinks at Kaz before leaning around to get a look at the text message written half in English and half in Japanese. The singer begins laughing hard, starting away.
“Oh good! She’s scolding you. Maybe I don’t have to so much anymore.”
“Seriously?” Ju-ken’s caught his breath and looks from Hyde to Kaz.
“Seriously. She wrote it in all capitals in English for him to not text her during a performance. I guess Arly told Kyoko and Kyoko told her.” Hyde giggles as he speaks and Ju-ken breaks anew into laughter. Kaz blushes more, focusing on responding to Ava.
‘I’ll stop. Talk to you later.’ Kaz is still embarrassed by the time they retake the stage for the encore.
“You created a monster,” Ju-ken states, leaning back in his chair and playing through rhythms as he watches Kaz.
“Shut up. Better than him moping about,” Hyde grumbles in response. “Though, I’m going to chuck his phone out the window if it wakes me up again.” Arimatsu sits down beside them, relaxing back in the chair.
“I wouldn’t. He may throw himself off the tour bus to get it.”
“Oh fuck, you’re right.” Hyde sighs, leaning back in his chair and shutting his eyes. He’s exhausted between attempting to keep Kaz on track and the late nights spent with the light from the guitarist’s cell phone crawling into the upper bunk. He’s still trying to get Ju-ken to switch bunks with him.
“Kyoko let me know that Ava got a week off but that it’s after the tour’s over.” Hyde’s eyes reopen and focus on Arimatsu. Kaz’s phone jingles happily, announcing another text.
“After? Well, looks like the rest of this time is going be cell phones and yelling.” Hyde pauses before the statement really clicks. “Wait after?”
“Yeah, Kyoko says that Ava has no idea what to do with the time. It’s why she hasn’t mentioned it to Kaz.” Arimatsu nods, playing with his phone.
“Good thing. He’d be planning for us to take off to wherever she is immediately after,” Ju-ken states as he continues practicing. Hyde shuts his eyes, staying quiet as he turns thoughts and ideas over mentally. Kaz’s phone interrupts his thoughts again, ringing out loudly.
“We’re headed back to Japan directly after. There’s a concert in Japan shortly after, so he’d be a kicked puppy if it came out that he’d miss her due to schedule.” There’s another long silence. “A week huh?”
“A whole week.” There’s a short pause.
“What if she received a plane flight?” Hyde ventures and is answered by silence. “Well?”
“You’re talking to Japan?” Hyde frowns at hearing Kaz’s phone go off yet again after Ju-ken’s question.
“Possibly. Maybe I’ll drop Kaz off somewhere and drop her on top of him. Just so I don’t have to hear that damn phone at four in the morning.” Ju-ken starts laughing hard, making Kaz look up from where he’s sitting with his guitar on his lap. His phone buzzes and sings its way across one leg, causing him to grab it before it can fall off.