a ‘Unsteady’ bonus story happening between chapter 20 and 21 (can probably be read independently).
Inspired by a conversation I had with the very lovely @eclair a while back. :)
Walking through the backstage area toward the
stage entrance a couple of minutes before Otabek’s gig, he couldn’t help but
notice the lack of nerves and stress he felt. Sure it wasn’t completely gone,
not even close to it, but it was far less severe than before Ultra last month.
Maybe it was because he knew what was in front of him, knew how it felt to play
a festival stage, even if this was only the second time, or maybe it was
because Yuri’s words had finally truly registered, Otabek wasn’t sure.
Whichever it was, he was thankful for it, happy and relieved.
Instead of driving himself insane one thought at
a time, he felt excited, almost looked forward to stepping onto that stage and
seeing how different the crowd would be here than the crowd in Miami.
The Sahara tent at Coachella looked a lot like
the stage Otabek played at Ultra, though it was far bigger, like twice or three
times its size, and the main trusses didn’t build any shapes across the ceiling
but, unlike at Ultra, additional trusses hung from the ceiling forming metal
cubes, the stage itself sitting much higher with far more lighting and visual
effects across a bunch of LED screens, like Ultra’s main stage but packed away
inside a tent. It was Coachella after all, a festival that was definitely
bigger than Ultra, and quite different too, though not specifically geared to
The crowd welcomed him with loud cheering and
screams, a reaction Otabek was pretty sure he would never get quite used to,
excited energy immediately tainting the air and coaxing a small smile onto his
face. From the intro Otabek easily transitioned into his first song, one he’d
played a couple of times already, something like a crowd favorite, the fact
evident by the way the crowd started to jump and dance, their bodies colored in
shades of green and blue from the stage lighting and the lasers.
As the first drop came around the lighting
switched to lighter shades infused with lots of white, they lit up the entire
tent and the crowd so Otabek could see them more properly. Surprised, and equal
parts confused, he took in the sight of the sheer amount of Bambi themed
apparel and accessories the crowd was wearing. This wasn’t normal, was it?
Coachella had nothing to do with Disney, or Bambi, so what was up with all of
it? Otabek had no idea and quickly tried his best to push his thoughts aside to
instead focus on the set, on speeding up the beat just that little bit to coax
more movement out of the crowd.
Curiously Otabek watched the people, the shirts
and crop tops in whites and grays with different Bambi related motifs on them,
the entire character or just its head, some girls even wore deer antlers and
ears as headbands. It was simultaneously hilarious and truly confusing. Otabek
had nothing to do with Bambi so how exactly did this happen and why?
Nonetheless the crowd went wild during his set,
more and more of them getting into his tracks, many of them singing along with
some of the lyrics, the volume almost deafening along with the actual music and
the bass going hard. Otabek cold practically feel his entire body vibrating.
About halfway through his set Yuri showed up
next to him, Yuri’s eyes looking out onto the crowd, a small laugh escaping him
as he noticed all the Bambi stuff. After transitioning into the next track
Otabek watched as Yuri pulled out his phone from his pocket, typed around on it
and then held it out toward him so Otabek could look at the screen, his eyes
widening at least two sizes as he read the tweet displayed on it.
Mila Babicheva @mila-babicheva
Otababes–Join me on my quest to prank (& show support 4) our boy by wearing
Bambi themed clothes at his gig @ Coachella. Don’t worry, he’ll understand
Of course, Bambi,
as in the nickname Mila had given him. He wanted to say that he should’ve
figured it out sooner, even without reading the tweet, but honestly on his own
he never would’ve made that connection, never would’ve thought Mila would come
up with an idea like this. The fact that his fans actually rolled with it was
even more shocking and crazy though at the same time kind of endearing.
With a smile Yuri slipped his phone back into
his pocket and then disappeared off of the stage. Shaking his head Otabek
returned his attention to the audience and his track bumping up the beat and
bass just a little, building toward the next drop with a smile. Just as the bass
dropped and the track turned even harder, almost a little frantic, the crowd
going completely wild, Yuri appeared back next to him.
A small yet somehow mischievous smile sat on
Yuri’ lips and in his eyes, his hair open, one side falling across his face and
the other pushed hind his ear, a pair of deer antlers with light turquoise and
white flowers around them sitting on his head where before the gig he wore a golden
rose crown with spikes. Even his clothes changed from shades of black and red
to brown and cream.
Just like the audience Yuri had dressed up like
a deer, a blond and definitely way too hot version of that innocent Disney