This is inspired by the aforementioned trip to see the first show of NEWS’s Neverland tour. XD; I hope this is what was going on behind the scenes. Also... the title has no relation to the Dostoyevsky book by the same name. |D;
Warning for a brief and non-explicit description of sex in a comical way; it's not porn but I'm tagging it just to be safe. XD;
“You idiot!” Shige bursts, whipping around to glare at Kusano with ire so intense that he feels it could only possibly be inspired by the compounding of various imposing deadlines, upcoming concert tour travel stress, and a boyfriend with the brain capacity of a sea slug. During periods of high pressure and low amounts of time for resting, Shige has often melodramatically bemoaned his lot in life, but right now, it feels as if everything has escalated to a whole new level, and while he’s tried to grit his teeth and bear it, today, the day before he’s to fly out to Sapporo for the first location of NEWS’s tour, he just can’t take it anymore. It had been one thing when Kusano had told Shige that he wouldn’t be able to come along on the trip to Sapporo— it was understandable, since of course, he had his own life and his own responsibilities and his own rehearsals and shows to manage, and while Shige had been mildly disappointed, he’d suggested that maybe Kusano could plan to come along for the Fukuoka or Osaka shows instead and figured that would be the end of it. Only it hadn’t been the end of it, because for god only knew what reason, Kusano had felt the need to mention at every passing opportunity that he wasn’t coming along. Whether Shige was mentioning tour rehearsals when Kusano asked about his day after work or taking a little time away from his writing in order to pack his bags, any time the word “Sapporo,” came out of Shige’s mouth, Kusano’s immediate response for the past three weeks at least had been, “Yeah… I can’t go,” and while he had to imagine that Kusano was simply too stupid to realize how the repeated reminder that he couldn’t spend time with Shige was coming across, by the time he was actually getting ready to leave for Hokkaido, his patience was worn thin.
And so, when he had remarked to himself in a harried fashion that he had less than 24 hours left (and a Bibitto broadcast in the mix) before heading to the airport and Kusano had responded with the now-expected remark that he wouldn’t be able to join, Shige had finally lost his shit. He’d intended only to explain to Kusano why the repeated announcement that he wouldn’t be joining Shige was annoying at best and offensive at worst, but after weeks on two hours of sleep a night and way too many responsibilities resting on his shoulders for him to gracefully deal with any of it, he can’t seem to stop himself. He knows he needs to reign in his emotions, but yet somehow, ten minutes later, he finds himself still ranting about his schedule is insane and everything is out of his control and Kusano isn’t being supportive in the slightest.
“…and I’ve got three deadlines in the next two weeks, and I haven’t even had time to start on the next segment of the story because I’ve had concert rehearsals and costume fittings every single day for the past week, and I had to film live tonight and I have to again tomorrow morning, and then I have to go straight from the airport to the concert venue, and it’s going to be freezing in Sapporo, and on top of it all, you feel the need to rub in that you don’t want to come with me every freaking second of the day, and I can’t deal with this shit anymore!” he explodes, gesticulating wildly despite the fact that somewhere, in his heart of hearts, he knows he must look ridiculous. But he can’t help it, not in the heat of the moment, and rambles on and on until finally, he runs out of things to rant about and draws to a shaky close, drawing a deep breath and asking, “After all that… do you have anything to say for yourself?!”
Kusano, for his part, has fallen totally silent, his eyes as wide as saucers and his mouth hanging open in shock, but when Shige addresses him, his look of panic only increases, and after a moment of silence, he shakes his head, his expression glazed over after Shige’s tirade. Shige feels a little bit bad, but right now, he just can’t deal and so, frustrated, he throws his hands up in the air before snapping, “Then get out of here!” and ushering Kusano to the genkan, shoving him out the front door and slamming it in his face. He knows that he’s being immature, but he also knows that he has a limited amount of time to prepare for the flight and sleep before heading to the TBS studio for Bibitto in the morning and then shipping out to the airport, and so he sighs, runs his hands through his hair, and turns back into his apartment to finish preparing. He’ll fix things with Kusano eventually, but right now, he just can’t deal with the added stress that comes along with having an idiot for a boyfriend.
On the plane from Haneda to Shin Chitose, Shige’s assigned seat is next to Koyama, a fact that makes him wish the staff hadn’t started intentionally started seating Koyama and Tegoshi apart from one another after they’d gotten a little too handsy on the way to Fukuoka during the Quartetto tour. Koyama is one of his closest friends and someone who Shige feels unbelievably lucky to have in his life, but when it comes to Shige’s relationship, he’d rather not have Koyama prying at times like these. Of course, Shige isn’t really in a place to talk about annoying behaviors when he knows he’s been acting like a grump ever since he’d been picked up to be driven to the airport, but he can’t help it. And normally, he’d absolutely handle any sort of issue by being an adult and using his words, but right now, he feels like all the skills he’s developed over the course of his life to cope with the world have magically vanished, and so he spends the entire car ride slouched in the corner with his hat pulled over his eyes avoiding all human contact, and plans to do the same once he’s gotten to his seat on the plane.
Unfortunately for Shige, Koyama has never been that good at picking up on social cues when Shige wants to be left alone, and so between the time it takes Shige to sit in his seat and buckle his seatbelt, his little bubble of moody isolation is burst by Koyama’s well-meaning but at times annoyingly timid “Um… Shige?” Shige frowns at him before leaning down to take off his shoes; he’s found that the easiest way to deal with Koyama is not by simply ignoring him, but right now, he doesn’t have the energy for anything else. Koyama looks at him hesitantly, seeming to gauge Shige’s lack of response, before adding, “Um, are you okay…?”
“I’m fine,” Shige snaps, but when he sits back up, he can see Koyama physically recoiling from his tone of voice, eyes already swimming, and Shige can’t help but soften slightly— what else is he supposed to do when Koyama gives him that kicked puppy look?!— and shrugs. “I had a fight with that idiot Hiro yesterday. It’s not a big deal. I’ll call him when we get there and straighten things out,” he explains, hoping that making the whole issue seem succinct and mostly resolved will keep Koyama from having a fit.
For his part, Koyama seems weirdly agitated by the revelation; while usually, he’d probably word-vomit emotional and generally unsound relationship advice on Shige, or else empathetically cry about Shige’s relationship woes, for now, he only bites his lip and says, “Well… if you say so…”
But Shige doesn’t have the patience to deal with it now, and so he sighs again and, looking for something to distract himself from Koyama, takes off his socks as well before leaning back in his seat and closing his eyes. One thing he knows Koyama won’t interrupt is the rare chance for Shige to catch up on sleep, and right now, it’s hardly a hardship. Besides, spelling it out calmly for Koyama has somehow effectively made Shige feel calmer about the whole situation himself, and his last thought before he drifts off is that he should probably text Kusano first thing when they land…
They arrive at the venue around three pm on Friday afternoon, and Shige heads straight for the dressing room. He’s annoyed to find that their areas have already been labeled; for some reason, the staff always put him right by the door where there’s approximately zero privacy, considering all the people who walk by. In his aggravation, he hastily switches his own and Koyama’s place labels before dumping his stuff on the couch that was previously Koyama’s and then dropping down onto cushions himself. He figures he has a few moments to himself before the other three appear, and so he pulls his phone out of his pocket, opening LINE and shooting off a quick message to Kusano: Hey. Sorry about last night. Let’s meet up after I get back before your show on Tuesday?
It takes long enough for Kusano to get back to him that Shige is beginning to worry that in the less than 24 hours since they last saw one another, Kusano has managed to break or lose his phone, but just as the others are beginning to trickle in and settle into their spaces, his phone buzzes to inform him of a text, the screen lighting up to display Kusano’s response. Yeah! Let’s! Kusano has sent simply, and despite the fact that it’s not exactly an offensive answer, Shige can feel his blood pressure rising.
“YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO APOLOGIZE NOW TOO, IDIOT!” Shige screams at his phone as he sends off a message to that effect before he can stop himself, causing Koyama to jump three feet in the air and Tegoshi to collapse to the floor laughing.
As always, the first rehearsals in the theatre are time consuming, and after three hours of walking through their formations and waiting for the lighting and sound system to be set up and the correct cues to be annotated by the staff, they get a short break before the run-through in the evening. There’s catering, but while the others flock to the food, Shige seeks solitude in the dressing room. To brainstorm ideas for his story, he tells himself, but the next thing he knows, he’s nodding off on the couch, his bag dumped haphazardly on the floor in an attempt to get comfortable and maybe catch up a little on the sleep he’s been so desperately needing for the past few weeks.
He’s not sure how long he’s out for, but sooner than he’d like, he’s awoken by the sound of groaning and heavy breathing. Before he even opens his eyes, he knows what’s going on, especially when, a second later, a high-pitched primeval scream alerts him to the fact that Tegoshi is giving a live performance of the subject matter of his solo song for Koyama’s and, unfortunately, Shige’s benefit.
He supposes he should probably get up and leave the room, as Massu has advised him to many times, but somehow, it seems easier to lay there and wait for them to finish. He’s overheard this kind of thing enough times that he knows it won’t be long, anyway, and sure enough, it’s a matter of seconds before Koyama’s nasal whimpering grows into yelps and then full-out wailing, and then finally, blissfully, silence.
Shige gives them about five seconds to catch their breaths before asking, without sitting up or even opening his eyes, “Are you fucking done now??”
“Uwaaaa Shige-chan!!” comes Koyama’s startled response, and Shige can hear the creaking of the couch and the rustling of tissues and fabric as Koyama almost certainly fumbles to clean up and pull on a pair of pants. With a long-suffering sigh, Shige finally sits up and looks at them in annoyance as, sure enough, Koyama tugs a pair of sweatpants over his hips and Tegoshi lays splayed and stark naked across the couch looking anything but apologetic. “We’re done fucking now, if that’s what you mean,” he chirps, but at this point in his life, even in his aggravated state, Shige knows better than to take the bait. Instead, he gives Tegoshi a passing glare before turning back to Koyama and practically shouting, “Why can’t you two get a room that I’m not already in?!”
Koyama bites his lip, but instead of backing down, he takes on the air of a defensive child being scolded, and replies whinily, “W-well… this is just making up for that one time when we were in a hotel for Ya-ya-yah filming when you and Kusano did it while I was in the room with you trying to sleep…”
“THAT WAS ALMOST FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!” Shige bursts, yelling so loud that he’s sure every single staff member in the whole arena can hear but unable to bring himself to care. “I was a teenager! NEWS didn’t even exist yet!!! Why are you still hung up over it?!” It’s a valid question, and while Shige knows that his temper tantrum really isn’t making him seem a whole lot mature than he was at the time (when admittedly, he and Kusano had been rather inconsiderate hotel roommates), he can’t find it in himself to calm down on as little sleep as he’s been getting.
“But I was single and it was sad…!” Koyama insists as Tegoshi gets up and wanders towards the showers still naked, and Shige lets out something that’s halfway between a growl and a groan of frustration. “Well, who do you think is sad now?!” he shouts in response, gesturing at nothing, really. “You have Tegoshi here all the time! My boyfriend got kicked out of the group ten years ago! Who’s lonely now?! And I know it was his own fault, but it’s not my fault!! I’ve had to suffer a lot longer than you did when we were juniors!! And—” And he knows he should stop, but somehow, he can’t stop himself once he gets ranting, snowballing in his own frustration and sleep deprivation and stress.
He rambles on for a good ten minutes before suddenly, he’s cut off when Koyama throws his arms around him and pulls him into a hug. Considering what Koyama has just been doing and the fact that he still smells strongly like sex mixed with Tegoshi’s perfume, Shige isn’t thrilled with this situation, but before he can squirm free, Koyama is launching into his own tearful tirade about how Shige shouldn’t be sad or lonely.
“—and everyone is here for you, no matter what!” he’s crying somewhat shrilly when Shige gives up on escaping and tunes in to his words, wincing a little at Koyama’s volume so near to his ears. “Massu is here for you, and Yuya is here for you, and I’m here for you!” he continues, as if it was unclear to whom he was referring, “And Kusano!! He’s here for you too!”
“No he’s not, he’s back in Tokyo, that’s the point!” Shige shoots back annoyedly, redoubling his efforts to escape and perhaps pointedly ignoring the point Koyama was trying to make. “There’s no way that Kusano is here!!”
At that very moment, a timid announcement of “I’m here!” comes from the doorway in a voice Shige knows only too well, and a glance in that direction confirms it. It takes a moment to sink in, but then Shige is letting out the most ear-destroying scream he’s ever heard from anyone as Kusano waves sheepishly from the doorway.
Time seems to slow down for a second, but once Shige comes back to himself, he takes advantage of Koyama’s moment of shocked-induced weakness from Shige’s scream to shove him off before marching straight to the door, grabbing Kusano by the shoulders, shoving him out, and slamming the door in his face.
He’s still trying to wrap his mind around what’s going on, but whatever it is, he knows he can’t deal with it in his current condition. But then, after a moment of silence in which Shige’s brain is still trying to parse the situation, there’s a knock at the door, and then a second later, Kusano’s timid voice asking, “Um… I’m supposed to apologize now, aren’t I?”
“Idiot,” Shige mutters to himself, already reaching for the door.
“Kato-san, we’re ready to pick up from the next song,” comes the voice of the rehearsal director from sound system, echoing around the arena, empty besides a handful of staff, the four members, one significant other, and Shige’s very angry manager. Koyama, Tegoshi, and Massu stand in full costume, mics in hand, waiting beneath the bright stage lights— which is a fact of which Shige is unaware, because currently, he’s standing in the dark house among the arena seats, both hands intertwined with Kusano’s, his face lit up in the most genuine smile he’s had since coming to Hokkaido as Kusano presses kisses along the side of his face and neck.
“Kato-san, if you please,” comes over the sound system again, this time with a note of irritation, and Shige knows that he’s going to piss everyone off if he doesn’t get on the stage stat… but there’s something about the warmth of Kusano’s hands, the pleasant feeling of his lips that keeps Shige glued to the spot.
“Kato-san, we’re already running late,” the rehearsal director adds after another moment, and “I should go,” Shige murmurs against Kusano’s lips as Kusano’s kisses draw closer to Shige’s mouth. Still, he doesn’t pull away, and so Kusano doesn’t either— if there’s one thing everyone in the room knows about Kusano, it’s that willpower isn’t exactly his strongest suit, but Shige can’t bring himself to care at the moment.
“Just one more?” Kusano asks softly, and Shige nods, kissing him back even as he registers the sound of high heels moving along the floor in the back of his brain.
But then suddenly, there’s a bit of muffled white noise as the mic changes hands, and “Kato-san, if you are not on this stage in ten seconds, I will personally send your boyfriend back to Tokyo by airmail!” comes the voice of Shige’s manager over the sound system, sounding much more like she’s scolding a small child than her almost-30-year-old client, followed by Tegoshi’s distinctive laughter from the stage. Shige sighs and pulls away; the fact that Koyama had arranged for Kusano to come to Hokkaido as a surprise for Shige (and thus Kusano’s subsequent daily insistence that he couldn’t come was his own stupid attempt to not seem suspicious or ruin the surprise) had not assuaged Shige’s manager, whose dislike for Kusano is almost legendary around the agency, in the slightest, despite the fact that Shige had had nothing to do with the planning. Still, despite the fact that he’s in trouble with his manager and Kusano’s presence has added a whole separate level of complication to this weekend, Shige can’t help but feel like his stress has melted away.
“Kato-san, I’m not kidding,” comes Shige’s manager’s warning voice again, but Shige can’t stop himself from leaning in for one last kiss before he draws away from Kusano, a smile lingering on his features despite his manager’s threats. Maybe being around Kusano makes him an idiot, but even as his manager starts counting down into the mic as if she were Shige’s mother, Shige can’t bring himself to care.
You're up, aleena_mokoia!