Chapter 4: Wild Yet Wonderful

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Their second rehearsal went smoothly. The Five Guys had decided to use songs they'd written in the past, using their music studies to their advantage. The songs they wrote did well in Music class- getting them As and Bs for that semester- therefore they came to the conclusion that using these in the show would do just as well. As they showed up on time for their daily practice, Kostya and Niki's after school arrangements where stuck in their minds, smiling upon accidentally making eye contact. As they entered the drama studio, a familiar acquaintance seemed to waiting for them.

"Hey guys!" Duncan smiled, almost taking them aback with his energy.
"Hey Duncan! How's it going, man?" Ari responded, keeping his friendly, approachable nature alive.
"Really good actually. I was wondering if I could ask you guys for a favour, if it isn't too much to ask."
"Yeah, yeah, anything." Miki smiled, putting his arm around Ari casually.
"Could you guys... listen to my song real quick? I just need some criticism and advice from other people before I pick it for the show." They all agreed to, following him through the doorway backstage to a large room; the place performers waited for their cues in the several plays the school had held.

He turned on a wireless microphone, placing it on its stand. The boys listening sat down on some nearby pop-up chairs and waited, expecting a quiet, soft song from the shy, humble guy. Duncan took a deep breath, tapping the microphone. He smiled at the boys before beginning to project his voice into the mic. It started off serene and peaceful before emerging into a powerful, breath-taking chorus. His voice was angelic and emotional, mentally moving the guys entranced by his every word. The song serenaded for around three minutes before Duncan stepped away from the mix, curious for feedback. The guys on the other hand were in complete and utter awe, their mouths hanging open almost comically.

"You don't have to pretend to like it. I do still have to record the backing track and if it doesn't work out I could go some kind of cover to another song, you know what I mean?"
"Please don't change that song!" Nikita  said, jumping at the chance to encourage him on keeping his mesmerising melody.
"That...that was amazing!" Kostya added. Duncan giggled modestly, fixing the collar of his denim jacket while he adorably smirked in appreciation of their honest admiration.
"Gee thanks!" He smiled. "It really means a whole lot, I never knew you'd like it so much."
"No problem. Hey and good luck with the backing track!" Ari called as they all walked back to the main room.

"Aww he's gonna win!" Niki cried as soon as Duncan was out of sight.
"C'mon Niki, you can't think like that." Miki said, "I mean he is really good but...but..."
"You got nothing against him huh?" Benji muttered in between.
"Yep. He's gonna win."
They all laughed at Mikolas' lost attempt at debating against Nikita's point. With that, they began to rehearse their written songs- all so unique and different from the next. They all had their ideas- lights, dance routines, instruments, fire, stunts; their imaginations ran wild beyond the school's safety regulations -and sometimes their budget- but they felt as if because it was being organised by fellow students they were already close to, they could get away with much, much more.

"So what'r you guys up to?" Tom asked, checking in on their plans. He was shocked to see the kinds of things they'd written down. "Kostya, you want to-"
"Set a piano on fire? Don't worry I got this in the bag. We'll replace the top with something a bit more cheap and flammable while keeping the rest of it totally fireproof."
"That's still kinda dangerous."
"I don't believe in dangerous."
"Okay! Moving on. What's everyone else got in mind?"
"I'm gonna hire the entire dance team for an epic routine and then I'll do a somersault!"
"I wanna show off some killer dance moves under the disco lights in my leather jacket while I stare sexily into the audience."
"I'm going to get Kostya to help me with this super gory, bloody, rose back piece. Just to step out of my comfort zone" Tom stood there, astounded by their wild yet wonderful ideas.
"And you, Ari?" He bit at his nails.
"I uh... haven't really decided yet." He looked at Ari for a few seconds, thinking to himself before a smile spread across his face.
"How would you feel about teaming up with a band?" Ari waited in confusion before the words came from Tom's mouth. "Matthias, Klemens, Einar! I've got an idea!"

"Bye guys!" Nikita called after turning the corner with Kostya. This was secretly the moment he'd waited for all day; hanging out with Kostya. They walked for a few more minutes down a rocky path before coming face to face with the familiar brickhouse.
"Come on in," he said, unlocking the door, " My parents are at work at the moment so it's just you and me." They climbed up the  black, carpeted stairs and up into his bedroom. They sat on his bed together, chatting nonchalantly before they both decided to get on to the reason they'd to come over in the first place. Kostya sat at his piano- sitting in the corner of the room. Niki walked over, watching him as he cleared his throat, cracked his knuckles and began to play.

As his dainty fingers glided along the piano keys, he began to sing- his voice like silk as it caressed Niki's senses. He felt as if he was being pulled into a trance in his voice as he poured out the beautiful lyrics while his hands danced elegantly along the keys. As he finished, Nikita clapped enthusiastically as Kostya smiled at him.
"You want a try?" He asked, getting up from his stool.
"Really? I'm not really that good though." He stared down on the floor, knowing he really would like to try but embarrassed of being compared to Kostya's skills.
"C'mon! Just go for it." He grinned at him so assuringly that he started to feel more confident. He sat down and stared at the keys longingly, willing himself to do the greatest he's ever done to impress his friend.

As he pressed the keys, he began to feel anxious about performing to someone else. He was slow and shaky- the tune becoming more and more unintelligible. He sighed as he backed away from the piano, giving up.
"I told you I'm bad at this." He muttered nervously, trying his best to put on a smile but failing never the less.
"Give it another go. Look, I'll help you." Kostya abruptly took hold of Niki's hands, almost scaring him at first but making him feel strangely secure in his grasp. He knelt down behind him as he guided his hands across the piano keys, playing a beautiful tune as he guided Niki's fingers to the rhythm of the sweet melody. It felt strange for him, but Kostya seemed oddly comfortable with holding his hands, even if it was justified by his curiosity to help Nikita. As the song ended, Nikita turned around, his face flushed rosy pink.
"Th-thanks." He uttered, his hands no longer shaking. He looked into his sky blue eyes while his mind raced uncontrollably. Their were butterflies fluttering in him stomach like no tomorrow while Kostya giggled quietly.
"You okay, man?" He smiled casually.
"Y-yeah... couldn't be better."



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