Touma, a seven year old boy, lost his mother three years ago. It was only him and his father now in the apartment. Today was his mother’s birthday, which is why he went to the graveyard with his dad. His dad politely asked Touma to give him some time alone with his mom and to go to the playground to wait for him.
With his hands in his jacket pockets, Touma walked. Inside those pockets were some fairly useless things.
His dad has been with his mom for a long time, so he couldn’t even imagine how much pain his dad was in. Of course, Touma missed her, too, and he cried along with his dad many times before. However, he needed to be strong. Surely, his mom wouldn’t want him crying too much.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a child’s wailing (what were the odds?). In the playground to his left was a little girl with two red ribbons in her hair on the ground, crying her eyes out. Touma found himself approaching her with his hands still in his pockets. Upon closer look, he saw a scrape on her knee.
“What’s wrong?” he asked when he was in front of her.
The little brunette sniffled. “I-I… I fell… a-and now my knee hurts… a-and I can’t find my mommy…”
The girl was too sweet to ignore. He kneeled down in front of her and pulled out a band-aid from his pocket. His dad had him carry them with him in case he hurt himself. Touma never thought he’d actually use them.
He peeled the wrapping off the band-aid and carefully put it over the scrape. “There. That’ll stop the bleeding, alright?”
The girl still cried, sniffling occasionally and rubbing her eyes to get rid of the tears. Touma didn’t like seeing her cry for some reason. Was there a way to cheer her up, even just a little? He looked up from her and looked around for something. He didn’t have enough money for the ice cream stand, so that was out of the question.
He sighed, realizing it was his last resort that he had to use, and looked down at the younger girl again. Softly, he sang a melody to her. He heard it many times before on TV, and he happened to like the song. It was able to distract the girl from the pain in her knee, being how there was a sparkle in her green eyes.
Seeing that sparkle, he blushed with a flustered look. “W-what?”
“O-onii-chan, do you wanna be an idol, too?!”
“W-wha—?! An idol?! I’m not a girl you know!”
“There are boy idols, too! You should be one, Onii-chan.” She was obviously delighted after hearing Touma’s voice.
“W-why would I?” It felt like a compliment, which only flustered him more.
“You sing super well! Lots of people would love to hear you sing!” She grinned happily. “You know what? I wanna be an idol one day.”
“Really now?” He was pretty interested in the conversation. He had an idea to cheer her up a little more. “What’s your favorite song?”
“It’s this really pretty song I heard on TV! This really pretty idol sang it and my daddy promised to take me to one of her concerts!”
“What does the song sound like?”
Excited, the little girl opened her mouth and sang the sweet, little tune to the best of her ability. Touma wouldn’t admit it, but it was nice to just listen to someone singing from the bottom of their heart.
When she finished the tune, she looked at Touma expectantly.
“N-not bad,” he muttered, not looking at the girl directly. “You’re pretty good.”
“So are you, Onii-chan! Hey, you wanna sing together?”
Even though he forgot his goal of cheering her up, he nodded with a small smile. The two settled with the melody he sang first, finding them repeating it countless times.
“Hey, it’s Mommy!” she cried all of a sudden. The girl pointed to a woman waving to her. She got up from the ground, dusting herself off.
Touma got up as well, watching her run to her mother. She waved at him with a huge grin, and he returned the gesture a bit more shyly.
“Bye, Onii-chan! Can’t wait to see you on stage!” she called to him before leaving.
He smiled. He had a great time with the girl, no doubt. Her smile made him forget the sadness from earlier. Touma let out a small sigh.
“An idol, huh…?”
“Alright, Haruka,” the producer said. “Everything’s good, right? Hair, make-up, clothes…?”
The seventeen year old idol checked. Her two ribbons were on, the make-up was properly on, and her clothes fitted nicely. “Yep! All good!”
Haruka was invited to have an interview on a news program along with another idol, who was slowly rising to the top.
Someone knocked on the door to the dressing room. “Amami-san, filming will start in twenty minutes. Please come to the set.”
“Okay!” she replied cheerfully.
“You ready?” The producer saw an eager nod. “Then, let’s go!”
The two headed to the filming set with the halls bustling with people.
“To think that we would land an interview alongside Touma… Jupiter’s climbing up pretty fast.”
“Isn’t that great? Touma-kun and the others are working hard as freelance idols. Even if they do catch up, we’ll just pull ahead even more!”
“Aren’t you being cheerful about your rivals,” he said with a chuckle.
“We’re fighting fair now! No tricks, no jokes, so we’re good. He even acknowledged my actual name!” she said proudly. “He doesn’t call me ‘someone from 765 Pro’ anymore.”
“Just you, Haruka?” The producer’s eyes widened. He remembered being at an event with Ami and Mami which happened to have Jupiter there as well. There he called the two “765 Pro twins”.
“Now that you mention it, I’ve never heard him say anyone else’s name…” Haruka’s brows furrowed in thought.
The two made it to the set, where the hosts and Touma were waiting behind the cameras. Like what her producer told her to do, Haruka made her greetings with a smile.
“I’m going to go and say hello to some other staff members. Just wait with Touma and the hosts.”
Haruka nodded and headed towards the group. Touma was the first to notice her. Before she could get a hand up to wave, she tripped and fell. A few staff members let out a light laugh with her, finding the accident cute. Haruka could only blush in embarrassment.
“You alright, Amami?” Coolly, Touma approached her, looking down at the girl on the ground.
“Y-yeah, all good,” she laughed with a sheepish grin, getting up without a problem.
He looked at her for a second or two and then dug into his pocket for his wallet. From that wallet, he pulled out two band-aids for Haruka. “Here.”
She looked at the band-aids in confusion.
“You’re knee’s bleeding, Amami.”
Haruka looked down at her knees as her eyes widened. “W-whoa, you’re right! T-thanks, Touma-kun!” She took the band-aids gratefully and applied them to her left knee.
“Geez, wait until after the filming to hurt yourself,” he sighed.
“That’s true, but I’m still a klutz, no matter what,” she giggled.
Touma crossed his arms with a small blush, not looking directly at her. “No argument with that.”
“Do you always carry band-aids with you?” she asked curiously, as she threw away the wrapper.
“I-It’s a bit of a habit of mine. That’s all.”
Haruka smiled. “Well, you never know when you’ll hurt yourself. Maybe I should do that too!”
“Amagase-san, Amami-san, we’re going to start filming, so please take your seats.”
“Alright!” they replied in a call.
As they headed to their seats, Haruka was brimming with excitement, which showed on her face as her signature grin.
On the other hand, Touma’s expression lightened up when he took a glance at the idol beside him. That smile has always given him any cheering up he needed for himself ever since 765 Productions started getting the popularity that they well deserved. If he ever thought of her smile when he was alone, for some reason, he would smile himself just with the thought alone.
Not that he would ever say so. That would be too embarrassing.