There's like a tiny bit of Jinguji/Reia in here, and I guess what you would have to call Shintarou/Juri. PG-13 because of every time I mention Yasui.
It must have been magic, Shintarou figures, and you'd think at sixteen he wouldn't believe in that shit anymore, but then again he is staring at his own face, at his own body wearing the costume that he was wearing two seconds ago, and he wouldn't be caught dead in the leo-print practice sweats that his current body is strolling around in.
"Holy shit," Jinguji breathes in Shintarou's voice, and Shintarou frowns. Does his voice really sound like that?
"Ugh, of course this happens right before practice," Shintarou groans, looking around to see if anybody else has noticed that the phrase 'working the magic' seems to have taken an ugly turn today. "It must have been when Hasshi-kun sneezed on us."
Hashimoto's magic does tend to run out of control when he's sick, and he's been looking particularly fever-glazed all morning. Usually Hashimoto's unit has the sense to keep him as drugged up as possible, ever since that week of hay fever that resulted in Sexy Zone's debut, but it looks like they hadn't been fast enough today.
"I'm sure he can fix it," Shintarou bluffs, sure of no such thing. "We'll just go back and he'll—"
"What? No way!" Jinguji interrupts, making Shintarou blink. "This is awesome."
"Are you kidding me?" Shintarou demands, because these pants he's wearing are the exact opposite of awesome.
"Everybody treats me like a little kid!" Jinguji exclaims, eyes lit up maniacally. "But now they'll treat me like you! I can do hiprolls and sing in the front and hang out with senpai. Just for a little while, okay? We'll trade back later!"
Jinguji is already turning away and all but running down the hall before Shintarou can say more than, "Whoa!" His retreating ass should not be going anywhere near senpai without him! "Hey! Get back here right now!!"
Jinguji is already gone, and Shintarou groans, worried about what that brat is going to do in his body for even five minutes. Seeing no choice, he turns around and trudges back to A.B.C-Z's dressing room to find Hashimoto on his own.
Hashimoto is on the couch, curled up in an impossibly small ball with his head in Totsuka's lap and what looks like every sweatshirt his whole unit owns piled on top of him. He looks so miserable Shintarou feels bad about bothering him, but it is Hashimoto's fault after.
"He's really not in any condition to play, Jinguji-kun," Totsuka says apologetically, but Shintarou shakes his head.
"Shit," Hashimoto says, voice congested. "Hi, Shin-chan." Totsuka raises an eyebrow, but he doesn't look that shocked really.
"Change me back," Shintarou begs. "Please? You can, right? Jinguji is running around in my body and he said some stuff about senpai…" Shintarou trails off with a face.
"Wow, that's totally Shintarou-kun in there, huh?" Totsuka whistles. Hashimoto and Shintarou both give him a look, and Totsuka holds up hands in surrender.
"Sorry," Hashimoto apologizes, looking even more unhappy than just from his cold. "Jinguji-kun has to be with you. And," he adds quickly when Shintarou opens his mouth, "he has to want to change back. So you might be stuck like that a bit. But it should wear off on its own…eventually."
Shintarou groans. "Seriously?"
There's nothing Hashimoto can do, and Shintarou is forced to go to practice in his current state. Preoccupied, he joins his usual practice group, only to be shooed off by the choreographer. Fortunately Jinguji tries to join his unit about ten times a week so nobody thinks there's anything strange about that.
"It's not your solo this week either, Jinguji-kun," the choreographer says, pointing to the area where Genki and Reia are.
"Just leave it to me!" Jinguji calls after him, making Shintarou toss a dirty look over his shoulder. Only Juri gives him a second glance as he turns around.
It's kind of nice, Shintarou has to admit for all his crankiness about the situation, not to have any huge demands on him for the moment. The younger backers' dances are simpler and they aren't on stage as much, which means they have more downtime to hang around and joke with each other. After a little bit, Shintarou relaxes into it. He knows these guys well enough, so it isn't hard to pretend he fits in.
Reia sidles up in the middle of the afternoon, pinning Shintarou down with an unusually serious expression. "You aren't Jinguji." When Shintarou scoffs, Reia frowns harder. "Don't lie. I know Jinguji and you aren't him. You haven't tried to smell me even once today."
Shintarou wrinkles his nose, reminded that Jinguji has probably tried any number of questionable things with his body so far. "Okay, fine, but shhh. I'm Shintarou and Hashimoto-kun sneezed on us and he said it has to wear off on its own, so don't make a big deal about it."
"You will switch back soon, right?" Reia asks fretfully. "We've got an arcade date tomorrow!"
"He has to want to switch back, apparently, and he said some creepy shit about the senpai, so…" Shintarou trails off as Reia's expression turns hurt, and his comment about a date sinks in. "Ah, I mean, yeah, Hashimoto-kun said it definitely will, never mind what I said."
There's an awkward silence, during which both of them look over to find Jinguji snuggled between Hokuto and Jesse on a pile of dance mats, looking pleased as punch with himself as they laugh about something.
"I guess it's not cheating if it's with your body," Reia sighs, resigned, and Shintarou snaps a "Hey!"
The younger kids have photoshoots that afternoon, and Shintarou does not at all want to let his body out of his sight, but he doesn't have any choice about it. Once they get to costuming, though, Shintarou realizes that all of the stuff that annoys him about photoshoots lately won't apply to him today. He won't have to take his shirt off weirdly, won't have to keep making faces at the camera until they decide one is sexy enough, won't even have to stand there by himself getting spritzed with water while that one photographer smiles at him creepily. They stick him in jeans and a T-shirt that says something about chocolate bars, and all he has to do pretend to lose at checkers to Genki and then pout about it.
"This is great!" he blurts, making Genki side-eye him. Shintarou quickly corrects, "I mean, I like photoshoots and stuff."
"Are you feeling okay?" Genki asks, kinging one of his own pieces in the middle of the board because neither one of them really knows the rules. "You haven't complained about not having a solo page even once."
Shintarou shrugs. "It'll happen eventually. Right now it's fun just to hang out like this, isn't it?"
Genki's answer is interrupted by the Snowmen showing up for their shoot, and to Shintarou's surprise, Watanabe wanders over, blundering right into their shot to ruffle Shintarou's hair, asking if he's feeling okay.
"Jinguji-kun didn't come into our dressing room even once this morning, unusual," he explains. Shintarou tries to imitate the love-struck expression he's seen Jinguji giving Watanabe and says he was busy practicing for his solo, which both of them buy without question.
Across the room, Reia and Miyadate exchange a look of perfect, unimpressed understanding, and Shintarou stares at his sneakers sheepishly. He's a little worried that he's going to get beaten to death by Reia's skateboard before this is all over.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, Shintarou's group shows up for their shoots just as Jinjugi's group is dismissed, making it possible for Shintarou to drag Jinguji aside to talk.
"Enough's enough, right?" Shintarou hisses. Jinguji just tilts his head, hair in his brown, brown eyes, and suddenly looking into his own face as a third party observer, Shintarou understands why everybody likes it so much when he's confused. "Hashimoto-kun said we have to both want to switch back."
"Aw, come on, just a little longer," Jinguji pleads, pouting with Shintarou's face and it is so not okay that Shintarou wants to punch himself right in the face. "Being Shin-chan is so much fun! Nobody yells at me when I'm in front and when I hiproll and when I sing too loud…it's so easy for you to sing." Jinguji sighs wistfully. "You just open your mouth and it happens. I bet you hardly do any vocal lessons at all."
"I do…sometimes…" Shintarou feels a little embarrassed for the backhanded compliment. Nobody has asked him to sing today, he realizes, and he feels sad about that, because it's not like Jinguji is terrible or anything. "It'll be better eventually, really."
"It's better right now!" Jinguji protests, loud enough that Juri and Taiga look over at them. Shintarou cringes a little because it probably looks ridiculous for Jinguji to be crossing his arms sternly at Shintarou while Shintarou whines back like a grade-schooler. "It's not like I want to steal your whole life, just…a little while longer, please? Until tomorrow."
Shintarou just can't tell him no. It's that fucking pout, he grumbles to himself as he shuffles back to his own age group. He's really got to be more careful about how he uses that thing when he gets his own face back.
"So about this arcade date," he says in an undertone to Reia, and Reia sighs.
"Look, you'd better sleep over with me tonight," Reia suggests. "Jinguji's mom is never going to believe that you're him. Even Fuu-chan thinks something is up, and it took him three days to realize that we'd switched all the mail addresses in his phone. He still thinks Iwamoto-kun is suuuuuper into anime."
To Shintarou's surprise, when he's looking through Jinguji's bag for something to wear outside that isn't actually humiliating, Juri sidles up. He grabs Shintarou's chin without warning and tilts his face up, looking closely at him.
"It's you in there, isn't it?" he asks, and Shintarou nods, pulling out of Juri's grip.
"Did Reia tell you?" he asks. "Or Hashimoto?"
Juri shakes his head, eyebrow raised. "Shin, how long have we been together? I knew right away that wasn't you. Even before you spent all afternoon encouraging Yasui-kun."
"Oh nooooo," Shintarou whines, burying his face in his hands. Juri pats his shoulder. "Fucking Jinguji-kun."
"I'm sure he can't blow all your firsts in a single day," Juri soothes, which only makes Shintarou wail harder. "You are gonna change back soon, right?"
"Hashimoto-kun said we have to both want to, and Jinguji is probably never going to want to!" Shintarou says. He looks at his feet. "I'm not even sure I want to. Today was fun, you know? Nobody cared what I did or dressed me up like a weirdo or said I wasn't fan-servicing right. Even the creepy photographer left me alone."
"I care what you do," Juri says, making Shintarou look up in surprise. "If you're having fun for a day or two, I guess that's fine. But I don't want to dance beside that weirdo, I want my best friend back. And anyway, there's a reason we make you do all those things. It's because you belong in the front."
"I…" Shintarou doesn't know what to say to any of those things. It's not like the two of them to talk about something seriously that isn't ramen or Shounen Jump. When he doesn't say anything else, Juri hugs him, free with his physical affection like always. Sometimes that makes Shintarou uncomfortable, but right now it's comforting.
"Just hurry up and fix it," Juri says, giving Shintarou a last squeeze and letting him go. "If you wait too long and I end up debuting with Jinguji fucking Yuta, I won't forgive you."
Shintarou has a hard time falling asleep that night. He could blame it on the fact that he's sharing Reia's bed, which Reia apologized for but his mom will totally know something's up if they bother with a futon. The truth is that he's still thinking through what Juri said to him, about belonging in the front. He wonders if he really does, lately, or if it's just that he's been there so long that it's expected of him. Today, for the first time in a while, he had fun at work all day.
It's not like Shintarou to fret over things, but he can't help but wonder if this awkwardness really is a stage like everybody says. Jinguji seems to be having fun doing all the stuff that Shintarou finds annoying, so isn't it better if they stay like this? But then he thinks about Juri saying he misses his best friend even after one day, and Shintarou's stomach twists unpleasantly. In the end, he rolls over on his side and counts beats steadily, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight,
In the morning, Reia is curled up close against Shintarou's side, or Jinguji's side more accurately. Shintarou can't blame him given the circumstances, but as he shifts away, Reia stirs.
"Sorry," Shintarou apologizes. Still mostly asleep, Reia whines and holds on tighter, and Shintarou gives in with a sigh. Jinguji's body likes it an awful lot, and even though it's weird to admit it, Reia's hair against his cheek does smell pretty good. It'd be totally easy to roll more towards Reia and do…whatever it is those two do together. Must be muscle memory, Shintarou tells himself.
Reia stirs again, waking up more, and then gives a soft "Oh!" He rolls away, cheeks pink with embarrassment. "Sorry, Morimoto-kun. I guess my body doesn't care who's inside, if it's Yuta on the outside."
"It's okay," Shintarou says, glad there's enough blankets to hide Reia's effect on him. "Of course you'd want to do it, like usual."
"We haven't…" Reia pauses, looking even more embarrassed. "Not yet. We're not ready yet, I guess."
"Yeah?" Shintarou is surprised, because Jinguji's body feels definitely ready, and he wonders how long Jinguji's been keeping that to himself. It's weird, to be the guy who wants to go faster and have to hold back, and Shintarou doesn't find it entirely pleasant. Still, it's not his place to mess with Jinguji's relationship. "It's okay to wait, too."
Reia smiles at him, grateful, and Shintarou feels like a pretty good senpai at that moment.
At work, things are somehow less fun today than they were yesterday. Yesterday, Shintarou had been focused on pretending to be Jinguji, but today it seems harder to remember. Today he forgets and dances like himself, and he doesn't even realize he's singing out loud until he gets told off.
"Back to normal, I see," the choreographer says, arms folded. "Jinguji-kun, can't you think of the others even a little? The harder you try to stand out, the worse you make the person in front of you and the people beside you look."
"Sorry," Shintarou apologizes. He wasn't even trying to stand out, really, he just likes dancing, can feel how much Jinguji's body loves it too. How does Jinguji keep all of this inside him all the time? He tries to keep it more subdued and then gets yelled at for that too.
Reia pats him on the shoulder during break. "Don't worry, it happens to him like four times a week. You're doing a really good impression of him, actually."
"He always seems so happy." Shintarou shakes his head. He'd get sick of all of this so fast, of holding back in every damn thing, just like Juri said. "I didn't think it was like this, so much."
"He is happy," Reia assures. "He gets frustrated sometimes, with this, with…me." Reia's cheeks turn pink again. "But he can be patient too. Sometimes he can be surprisingly like an adult. Morimoto-kun never has to wait for hardly anything, huh?"
Shintarou shakes his head, a little abashed. He's not good at waiting either, he knows, even for his own feelings to catch up with the stuff they've been asking him to do for work, the stuff the other guys are into doing. Maybe being a little more like an adult wouldn't kill him either.
To Shintarou's surprise, Jinguji comes to find him during a break in the afternoon, and his expression says that maybe he's not having the best time anymore either.
"People keep touching me," he whines, eyes darting side to side like he's expecting someone to jump out at him at any moment. "And Yasui-kun—"
"Don't even tell me about it!" Shintarou interrupts, looking his body over for marks. There aren't any…that he can see. "I don't even want to know what you've been doing with my body!"
Jinguji shuffles, looking guilty. "So maybe…maybe I'm a little ready to switch back now. It was fun getting to be in the front and stuff, but I don't think I'm ready for…you know, the rest of it."
"I don't think I am either," Shintarou mutters. Jinguji looks at him, but Shintarou swallows his complaints. "Let's just go find Hashimoto-kun."
Hashimoto still looks pretty drugged up when they find him, doggedly working on choreography with Goseki despite the cold sweat sticking his hair to his forehead. He must feel awful, since he looks up in relief when Shintarou and Jinguji interrupt their work.
"Ready to switch back after all?" he asks, and both of them nod ruefully. "Good. But you know, this sort of stuff happens for a reason, after all. So don't forget it, even afterwards."
"Sure, Hashimoto-kun." Shintarou looks from him to Jinguji. "What should we do?"
"Hug," Hashimoto says. Shintarou and Jinguji both peer at him suspiciously, Shintarou wondering if this is more senpai having fun with them. "What? Hugging and saying sorry fixes everything."
"But—" Jinguji starts.
"Shut up and do it," Goseki advises, voice a bored drawl. "Be glad it isn't love's first kiss or something, with this guy." He jerks a thumb towards Hashimoto, who only grins at him.
"Come on." Shintarou tugs at Jinguji's sleeve. "Can't hurt to try. I don't want him to sneeze on me again, anyway, I definitely don't want what he has."
"You really don't," Hashimoto says miserably, sniffling.
Shintarou holds out his arms, and Jinguji gives him a last frown before stepping into the hug, wrapping arms around Shintarou's shoulders since he's the taller one. Shintarou closes his eyes and tries to concentrate on it, but he doesn't feel anything happening.
"Say sorry," Hashimoto reminds.
"Sorry I stole your body and wouldn't give it back," Jinguji says into Shintarou's hair.
"I'm sorry waiting is so hard," Shintarou replies. It's more that he's sorry for both of them than an apology to Jinguji specifically, but it must be the right thing to say because when he pulls back, he's tall again, Jinguji blinking up at him in confusion with his own eyes.
"See?" Hashimoto asks, entirely too pleased with himself. "Nobody hugs enough."
"You're adorable," Goseki says, voice saying adorable is the last thing he thinks this interruption is. "Break over, idiots."
Shintarou and Jinguji stumble out into the hall, both of them unsteady for a minute as they rebalance in their own bodies. They stand there awkwardly for a few moments, neither one sure what to say.
"I'm also sorry I fooled around with senpai in your body," Jinguji says belatedly.
"I knew it!" Shintarou groans. "Do you know how long it'll take to get them to back off now that you've been encouraging them?! I should have totally done what I wanted with Reia-kun this morning!"
Jinguji's scowls fiercely, but Shintarou stomps off before he can say anything else about it. Serves that twerp right for cheating on his boyfriend in somebody else's body, he thinks, let him chew on that a while.
Shintarou's temper eases when he stomps into the dressing room and Juri's face breaks into a grin right away at the sight of him. He abandons his snack and comes over to touch Shintarou's shoulders, like he's checking him over to make sure all the pieces are in the right place.
"You're back!" he exclaims. Shintarou can't help but smile back, nodding.
"Goddamn, he was gone like twenty minutes," Jesse hoots at them. "Just kiss already! OW!" he adds when Kouchi cuffs him over the back of the head.
"All fixed," Shintarou confirms, ignoring everybody else. "Jinguji-kun said he did stuff with my body, though. You know, stuff." He narrows his eyes when Juri's eyes drop. "Juri?"
Juri doesn't answer. Instead he drops a hand and pokes a spot just above Shintarou's pelvis, which clearly must be a bruise since it hurts dully.
"Seriously?" he whines, but it's resigned. Of all the people he'll be fending off, Juri's not so bad. He wouldn't do anything to Shintarou's body that bad without Shintarou there; he can trust Juri that much easily.
"You never want to play," Juri says, defending himself. He pokes the spot again, but it's more gently, almost wistfully. Shintarou wouldn't even mind if he did that again, which is weird. "But it's you, so that's okay. Unlike you, I know how to wait for things."
Like Hashimoto said, Shintarou tries not to forget about what happened even a few days later, after things go back to normal. He closes his mouth instead of arguing when they hand him a feathered jacket with no shirt, because at least they let him sing as loud as he wants. He doesn't shove Jesse away when Jesse presses against his side and noses at Shintarou's neck, because Jesse is a flirt but just wants attention and can't get it from everybody he wants for months yet, so Shintarou pets his hair a little. Jesse's grateful eyes are cute anyway.
He doesn't have any idea what to do about the thing with Juri, but they spend enough time together and Juri's claim that he's happy with that for now seems genuine. Next time he sleeps over, he tells Juri not to bother with the futon, because after whatever they did that left tiny marks scattered across Shintarou's stomach, it seems a dumb thing to worry about. Besides, it's kind of nice to see Juri's grin right next to him before he closes his eyes, and when he breathes slowly enough that Juri thinks he's asleep, Juri's fingers touching his hair lightly feels really nice. No wonder Jesse likes that so much.
There's one other thing that strikes Shintarou suddenly when they're tossing around assignments for the next round of Shounen Club.
"Can I do a duet?" Shintarou asks suddenly. He hasn't asked to do something in particular in a while, so the staff blinks at him a little. "It's okay if you're already settled on everything, but I'd really like to."
"Oh, sure," the staff member with the master says, scribbling something on his clipboard. "Hokuto-kun is busy with filming so we haven't filled in all the spots yet…with Tanaka-kun, right? Kyomoto-kun's doing a thing already with—"
"Actually," Shintarou interrupts, "I'd like to sing with Jinguji-kun. I think it'd be fun to sing with someone new. If that's okay with him?" Shintarou glances over his shoulder at where Jinguji's jaw is hanging open, eyes bright with excitement.
It's only a chunk of a medley, like a minute and a half at most, but Jinguji doesn't seem to care at all, especially not when Shintarou tells him to sing as loud as he wants.
"Thanks," Jinguji says, more shyly after the initial excitement wears off. "I know you're only doing this to humor me, but…well, I'll make you look good, I promise."
"Make yourself look good," Shintarou says, giving Jinguji a good-natured shove and thinking about the choreographer scolding him to think about everybody else first. "I can worry about myself, so you just do whatever over there. And don't hug me," Shintarou warns when Jinguji looks like that's exactly what he's going to do. "If you switch us back, I'll kill you."
Jinguji chuckles ruefully and lets his arms drop. "Reia'll probably bring me back to life to kill me again."
Shintarou laughs along with him, except not ruefully at all. It doesn't matter to him, since this time it won't involve his body.