(Side Story Short) Just Another Show
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Shinichi got his expression back under control after a minute, and turned to face the crowd as he sang the next line. Only years of practice let him control the nervous grin that wanted to escape and mar the words that shaped the sound of his voice. 

When he'd been younger, he'd never imagined how much pressure there could be on a performer to do it "right" every time. It wasn't the long days that were the hardest either, it was the emotional ones. Laughter, tears, anger or fear could all silence a song. A tight throat, a stuffy nose, anything that altered the sound of your voice could be construed as doing it "wrong".

Sometimes he felt like they were a team of acrobats, rather than a band. Constantly fighting to keep their bodies in top condition, constantly in danger of falling off the narrow line that they must balance on. That they'd set the line themselves when they created their album recordings only made the constraint more frustrating sometimes. 

Right now, he wanted to laugh, he wanted to sing. He wanted to grin at Naoki and Toshi. He wanted to call out to her, to the girl he'd just claimed was his to the entire world, even if they didn't understand it. But he had to control his impulses, he had to sing within the line they'd laid for themselves. 

Naoki shaped an OK with his hand as he turned away from the camera with a smile that he'd practiced a thousand times. Akito winked at him. Shinichi gave a tiny nod. Underneath was a group effort, and his bandmates knew him well enough to understand his feeling, and maybe even well enough to hear the silent song that ran beneath the same songs they sang at every stop along the way.

An unwritten verse unrolled itself across the back of his mind, leaving an imprint for him to chase in his dreams on restless nights in the future.

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