You can read the whole summary of the Back Stage Novel chapters here.
His mother died in an accident only a few days prior Christmas. They hadn’t exactly been close, but she’d been the only family he had, since his father wasn’t in the picture. Apparently she’d been someone’s mistress, but they’d been cut off from contact with the man around when Rei had been born, so he’d grown up not knowing his father’s face or even his name. <3
But even his mother had been someone far removed from Rei’s consciousness. She’d raised Rei using money she made as a prostitute, and given the nature of her business, she’d never been around much when Rei was at home. He’d spent many long hours alone from a young age.
He’d stopped really caring for her sometime in elementary school, and when he’d entered middle school, he’d started picking fights with anyone who crossed his path. While he’d managed to make it to high school, his behavior had only worsened, and he got involved in a fair number of dirty dealings.
But despite his lack of studying, he’d still managed to make decent grades, and his teachers had even recommended that he take exams to get into a university, but he’d had to give up that dream due to a lack of funds. Feeling like his future had been snatched away by his family situation, he’d grown even more violent.
Afterwards when his mother died, he had nothing and didn't care about anything. When Seiya came and was worried about him. Seiya wanted to bring him to a hospital, but Rei was stubborn and refused, so Seiya left some money, his coat and a ticket for a show for Rei and then walked away.
Rei went to the show, which completely changed him. After the show he went to Seiya and returned the money and the coat to him. Seiya said he didn't wanted it back, because Rei needed to go to the hospital, but after Rei refused he suggested that Instead of accepting the cash Rei could become his assistant and that is how Rei became Seiya's personal assistant and Rei started to fall in love with him.
A couple years later when the Sena household was gone on a vacation, he went to Seiya's room and started masturbating when Shougo came in and they slept together.
Rei panicked because he slept with the son of Seiya. So Shougo suggested to just keep this a secret. So they both do a pinky promise to keep it a secret. After they made the promise, Shougo suggested to do it again saying that they already done it once, so what does it matter if they do it two or thee times more. In order to ensure that Shougo kept his mouth shut…it looked like he was going to have to go along with his whims. Afterwards Shougo kept coming every vacation he had and everytime he came they slept together. Rei didn't wanted this relationship to continue and talked with Shougo ending their sexual relationship. But ending his relationship with Shougo was not the only thing Rei had decided upon. He also got himself his own house.
A couple months later when Rei started living on his own his the intercom buzzed and the one standing in front of the door was Shougo. He told Rei he couldn't forget about Rei no matter what and confessed his love for him.
Rei tells him that he can't return his feelings, because he still loves Seiya. Then Shougo suggest if he surpasses his father would Rei then only think about him and not his father.
Then Rei remembers that Seiya really wanted that Shougo entered the entertainment industry, so Rei tells Shougo that if he can manage that, he would think about it. Rei ignored the twinge of guilt blossoming in his chest at using Shougo’s feelings for him for the good of SenaPro and Seiya, nodding.
It was three years after Shougo disappeared, then, that Rei began to hear rumors about a legendary indie band called the CRUSHERZ that had filled the Budoukan Hall to capacity.
Rei went to one of his concerts and saw the vocalist was Shougo. He recognized him immediately, despite the sunglasses he wore to cover his features. A song had started up without Rei realizing it, and after the intro, as soon as Shougo opened his mouth and started to sing—sound returned to Rei’s world. He was utterly blown away.
The three hours of the concert seem to pass in an instant. Afterwards Rei keeps saying he has to go backstage. Kiuchi laughs that’s impossible. He won’t be able to get past security.
When he steps into the hall, he sees a large crowd, but just as Kiuchi had said, none of them are being granted access. However, Rei has no intention of giving up. Then he finds a gap in their security and rushes past. That’s when he finally sees Shougo–and calls out to him, not once but twice, thinking he wasn’t heard. But Shougo had indeed heard, and when he turns around to acknowledge Rei, the expression on his face seems to say that he doesn’t want to see Rei at all, his face reflecting his shock and panic the minute he catches sight of Rei, and without a word, he darts off in the other direction, leaving Rei utterly flabbergasted at the reaction.
At home that evening, Rei’s going over the day’s events in his head, still trying to wrap his mind around it. What could have made Shougo run off like that just from seeing Rei? Still, he has to get them to sign with SenaPro–and that means somehow getting in touch with Shougo. And that’s when he realizes…he doesn’t know how to get in touch with Shougo. But–Seiya should know and the next morning he gets Shougo’s contact information from him.
After finishing his work for the day. Rei Decides that, he sends an e-mail. And only moments later, his phone buzzes with a response–from Shougo: Sorry about yesterday. I’m stuck in an all-day rehearsal at Studio NEO. And so Rei heads over to Shougo’s studio.
He arrives at the studio and hesitantly asks where Shougo is, introducing himself and then two young men immediately jump to attention. They are the two guitarist from the concert. They both start telling how Shougo keeps talking about Rei. Things like: ‘I’m gonna sell a million albums for Rei!’ and ‘I’m gonna make it big, just for him!' Then they start talking about yesterday how Shougo bolted when he saw Rei and how worried he was. And that’s when Shougo arrives–and the moment he sees Rei, his face lights up with joy.
They retire to a cafe near the studio. Rei reflects on the conversation with Haru and Rinpei–and realizes that Shougo still seems to be head over heels for him. He presses Shougo for information on where they’re planning to sign. Shougo admits they’ve got quite a few offers from major labels–and Rei cuts in here to tell him he has to sign with SenaPro.
But Shougo, conversely, is adamant that he won’t sign there–why on earth would he sign under the label run by his father–his rival? He’s completely serious when he makes this point. Then Shougo stands up and says: “The next time we meet–will be when I’ve become a million-album artist.”
Even if Shougo becomes a million-album artist, so long as he’s signed with another agency, it does nothing to help Rei. Far from it, when he thinks about how his own words have driven Shougo away from SenaPro to another label, it only serves to torment him with regret even further. And of course, even if that should happen, he’d likely never fall for Shougo anyways. At this rate, nobody’s desire won’t be granted. He stands up and mails Shougo and asks if he can come tonight and that he has something important to tell.
Shougo shows up around 1 AM that evening. Then Rei confesses he lied. He tells Shougo that he still loves Seiya and even if he becomes a million-album artist his feelings won't change and even told him about the plan to let Shougo enter the entertainment world. After having a talk why Rei is telling him this, Shougo accepts to join SenaPro saying the can't call himself a man if he can't grant the wish of the person he loves. And afterwards they sleep together. The sensation was really amazing, but that made him wish, just a little, that he were in love with Shougo. If he loved Shougo, then he never would have had to hurt him—these were the thoughts that flitted through his head. Several days later, it’s formally announced that the Crusherz will sign with SenaPro.
Everything is going great with the Crusherz. All their songs hit number 1 one in the rankings and their first album just got released. But Rei didn’t have the stamina to remain the Sena family’s sole manager now. He has to find a manager for the CRUZHERZ, but he just couldn't find the right person.
And that’s when it comes: “Let’s record our next single overseas!” After some discussing with Shougo, Rei finnaly agrees and after getting the approvel of Seiya they leave the next morning to New York.
~At New York~ Given that they’re there to work, they find themselves mostly stuck in the studio recording all day. They’re sharing a room on this trip, but while Rei had at first been on his guard, in reality Shougo’s been in the studio til late at night every day and collapses into bed as soon as he gets in. Shougo continues to give great work for the rest of their time there, though, and they wind up wrapping up the recording a full day early–meaning there’s still time for some sight-seeing! Rei decides to leave the Crusherz trio to their sight-seeing and wrap up his own work at his leisure.
But then, the next morning comes and Shougo drags Rei with him to a desert island. ~At the Island~ After swimming and playing in the water and exploring the island a bit, he realizes he’s practically reverted to a child-like state of having fun. Just as the sun starts to move on towards the horizon, they collapse onto a beach mat on the sand to catch their breath, exhausted from the day. Shougo tells him he intended to bring Rei here all along, because he really looked tired the past few months and it seemed like he could shake off that fatigue in a place like this. Rei knows that his feelings still lean towards Seiya, but he really is truly grateful to Shougo for this. Despite being busy himself and burdened with an artist’s career, he’s still made time to worry about Rei and taken him to this beautiful place.
The next day, the group return to John F. Kennedy airport to return to Japan. Shougo realizes after they’ve already passed through security and immigration, though, that he completely forgot to buy Izumi a souvenir.
Haru reflects as he watches Shougo rush off that he’s gotten some life back into him. He also tells how Shougo was always whining about how Rei and Shougo Can’t be lovey-dovey. And because of that he wasn’t able to write any songs.
So this whole escapade was for Shougo’s own sake, huh…? Rei can feel the irritation building up within him–and realizes he’s let his guard down thinking for a moment that Shougo deserved anything. All that gratitude and thinking that Shougo was cool even…he’s definitely finding the Crusherz their own manager as soon as they get back. Though, admittedly, it’s not as if he had a horrible time himself… He knows that if he let Shougo know this, though, the guy would get carried away–kind of like he’s doing right now, pestering Rei wondering what he’s done to deserve this cold treatment. Rei reminds himself to be careful when spoiling the guy in the future, and they board the plane to head home.
Rei and Shougo's relation first starts off kind of weird. Shougo confessed to him that all those love songs that tens of thousands of fans had heard and been moved to tears were meant for him. No matter how much Shougo professes his love for Rei, he just can’t return the feelings. Because the one he loves is Seiya. But Rei agreed to sleep with Shougo. Rei is mostly only doing it out of a sense of guilt (read history if you want to know why he feels guilty) for all that Shougo’s done and feeling that it’s part of his duty as a manager.
It all starts when one day, Rei finds a strange letter stuffed in with the rest of the mail in the SenaPro official mailbox.
It’s been a few years now since the Crusherz made their debut, and they’ve got their own personal manager now in Sotomura, with Rei handling the affairs of SenaPro in general. But only just recently, it was decided that the last non-showbiz member of the Sena family, Sena Izumi, would make his debut into the entertainment world.
He stares at the letter–it’s addressed to him with no return address.
Getting a bad feeling about the whole thing, he opens the envelope and pulls out the paper inside, opening it to reveal a single line of text: “I know about your past.”
All Rei can say is, “…I knew it.” He’s tried to be careful all these years, doing his best not to have his face in the mass media and turning down all offers for himself to debut–all because of his shady past. But there’s absolutely no way to tell who’s sent this letter from one line of text alone, so he decides to just see how things pan out. He doesn’t want to inconvenience the Sena family in any way, so he’ll solve this on his own.
It’s a few days after Rei received the letter, and Shougo’s bothering him at the office. There they decide to meet up again after work at Rei's place. Rei takes his leave, and heads home–where he finds in his mailbox…another letter addressed to him, still with no return sender. It’s not strange for the previous letter to have been sent to his workplace where he spends most of his time and the address of which is publicly available…but this one came to his house. And more so–it has no stamp. Which means the sender put it in his mailbox themselves. He quickly opens the letter and reads its contents: “I’m always watching you.” i love you
A chill runs down his spine–and then he takes in the veiled threat in the words that he hadn’t considered before: Shougo. If this person really is watching him all the time, and knows his checkered past where he’d involve himself with anyone, man or woman–and then sees a huge star like Shougo coming into his apartment alone at night… It could be a huge scandal for Shougo. He quickly palms his cellphone and texts Shougo, making apologies for backing out but fibbing that he got saddled with work he just can’t get out of–and if Shougo agrees to put off his ‘reward’, Rei will do whatever he asks.
The next day, Rei’s trying to go about business as usual. Then he gets a call from Mitsudzuka Toshihiko. Back in high school, he’d often left his house for the evening and spent the nights with friends or acquaintances, and Mitsudzuka’s house was one of these sleepover places. He expresses a desire to get caught up and asks if perhaps Rei has some time for a meal, and Rei readily agrees, suggesting they have dinner that evening. They then exchange cellphone information and agree to meet up later.
A few moments later, the phone rings again–and Rei answers…but there’s no response. He questions who’s calling, but all he receives is a soft snicker and the click of the line disconnecting…Could it have been the person who sent the letters?
That evening, due to work, Rei arrives 5 minutes late to the shop where he’d agreed to meet Mitsudzuka. It’s a dimly lit, chic little place, and Mitsudzuka is already waiting. They’re having a nice time reminiscing about old times and old acquaintances–but two hours into their chat, Rei’s cellphone rings. He assumes at first it’s from Shougo–but the caller ID is blank, and his stomach turns.
He excuses himself and answers, and just as earlier that afternoon, all he hears is a man’s soft laughter. He cuts the phone off quickly and feels sick–he can sense them getting closer now that they’ve even called his personal phone. Returning to the table, Mitsudzuka asks what’s wrong, as Rei’s expression is dark. After a moment’s consideration, Rei decides to tell Mitsudzuka everything about his stalker, hoping that this person who’s known him at the darkest period of his life might be able to offer some guidance.
Mitsudzuka listens carefully before telling Rei what he already knows: that it’s not safe for him to go back to his apartment, and that he should stay with Mitsuduzka the evening, as the rest of his family are home visiting his wife’s parents and it’s an empty house. Rei stalls–he doesn’t want to inconvenience Mitsudzuka–and eventually Mitsudzuka agrees, so long as Rei allows him to escort him home.
When they reach Rei’s door, though, the mail box is open again, just slightly, and when they draw closer, they can see that someone has left a cup of coffee inside–and it’s still hot, which means it was left here only recently. A cold chill runs down Rei’s spine–the letters and phone calls are bad enough, but to have such clear evidence that the culprit is nearby is just… Mitsudzuka once again offers to stay: Rei can but nod and accept, in light of his current situation.
At Rei's place Mitsudzuka tries to kiss him and Rei pushes him away. Mitsudzuka thinks he might be feeling unwell and decides ot bring Rei some water. He drinks it in one gulp. But that’s when his vision starts to blur, and he can feel his body sway in place, unable to stop himself from slumping over onto the floor. Mitsudzuka tells him he always loved Rei and when Rei left he got depressed and would do anything to see Rei again and make him fall in love with him. Mitsudzuka threatens Rei saying he would leak diry pictures of Rei if he didn't do what he said. But he’s not worried so much about himself as the way this will reflect on SenaPro. Even if he were to quit right now, there’d still be a scandal involving him as the former manager of the agency. Understanding that he’ll have to bear the guy doing what he wants with Rei’s body.
But he doesn't want this... and without knowing he says “…Shougo…!”
The moment the name leaves his lips, his front door is slammed open with a loud BANG, and when Rei turns his gaze that way, a man he doesn’t recognize rolls inside to the ground–with Shougo standing behind him.
At hearing his name called, Shougo flashes Rei a quick smile to put him at ease, then glares at Mitsudzuka. “I’ve got everything on video–if you lay another finger on my Rei, you won’t get off easy. I’ll use all the power at my disposal to end you.” Tossing back a final few choice words, Mitsudzuka scrambles from the room, fleeing the scene along with the stalker Shougo had caught. Shougo makes sure to lock the door tight after they leave before rushing to Rei’s side.
There Rei asks Shougo to kiss him. As much as he’d hated and been sickened by Mitsudzuka’s kiss, he feels absolutely none of that now. In fact, far from it, he feels… Amazing and he wants more.
Still… he’s more than a little pissed at himself for needing something like this to make him see what’s been in front of him all this time. How could he have survived all these years so blind to his own feelings?
And before he passed out he softly said: “…Seems I apparently actually love you quite a bit, Shougo.” And with Shougo’s voice ringing in his ears, Rei slips into a deep, comfortable slumber.
-Some Months Later-
It’s been 6 months now since that moment that he realized that he has genuine feelings of love for Shougo–but he still hasn’t confessed them to Shougo himself. The way Shougo pours all his love into Rei and works so hard just for him, it makes Rei want to repay him somehow. And he’ll have just the opportunity to do so in another month and a half: April 8th, Shougo’s birthday. He’s in the middle of considering just what to do, though, when The CRUSHERZ manager Sotomura drops in and catches sight of Rei’s research efforts, immediately twigging to the fact that he’s looking up ways to throw a surprise birthday party for Shougo. Rei tries to brush it off as a mere consideration, but Sotomura thinks this is a great idea and suggests they all throw Shougo a party together!
They’ve decided to get Shougo to his birthday venue: by convincing him that he’s giving a birthday concert in Osaka. Rei had initially been disappointed, but now he’s realized that he wouldn’t have been able to pull off a surprise like this without everyone’s help, and he’s even gotten a little excited with the anticipation.
It’s finally the day before Shougo’s birthday, and everyone’s boarding a charter bus–Seiya, Nagisa, Izumi…and for some reason Ichijou Ryouma is tagging along. Shougo and his gang are set to arrive on the next-to-last bullet train, so they head to the inn first, where they’ve reserved rooms at an onsen.
A short while later, Shougo and the others arrive safely in Osaka and make their way to the inn–where the surprise goes off without a hitch. Shougo is thrilled, and a cake is quickly wheeled in and the lights doused as everyone sings Happy Birthday. Rei watches, catching Shougo’s eye as he takes in everything–it’s the first time he’s seen Shougo like this, actually almost calm because he’s so happy and overwhelmed, surprised but thrilled at the same time.
Shougo blows out his candles and receives congratulations from all around (and is really confused as to why on earth Ryouma is there too), and the party gets going–there’s karaoke and chatting and, of course, booze.
Rei takes a moment for a toilet break, and as he’s heading back to the main room, he finds Shougo standing in the hall, waiting for him. Shougo suggests they go for a walk in the garden for a few minutes. Just then, though, Haru and Linpei show up, waving a card key for their hotel room–they CRUSHERZ were supposed to room together, but the pair let Shougo and Rei know that they’re going to just bunk with Sotomura-san…so Shougo can have the room all to himself. Shougo drops his voice and suggests they meet up in his room later, and Rei agrees after a moment’s silence.There they 'celebrate' Shougo's birthday together~