I don't know why I keep writing this pairing OTL. Warnings as usual for not the most positive portrayal of Yamapi and Nishikido, so please read with discretion if that is offensive to you.
"You'll be fine," Kusano says again, brushing the tears from Shige's eyes with his thumbs as Shige shudders into him, his strength finally giving out after everything that has happened that day. He'd told himself a thousand and a half times that he'd be strong, that he'd hold himself together, that he'd do as the management said and not disclose the contents of the meeting that they'd just had, the meeting where Yamashita-kun and Nishikido-kun had turned their backs on NEWS forever, but as always, in the end, he's failing. Because once they were done and standing in the hallway, awash in a sea of uncertainties as they awaited being told they were free to leave, Koyama had put an arm around Shige's shoulder and held him steady for a moment and told him it was going to be okay before leaning a little closer and mumbling just low enough that the management wouldn't be able to hear what was certainly frowned-upon advice, I think Kusano would want to be with you right now.
And so despite his best attempts to be strong and stand on his own, Shige had given in and texted Kusano something's happened… can you come?, and Kusano had met Shige at his apartment faster than Shige thought should really have been feasible for someone who lived across town, and now here they were in Shige's bedroom, and despite the fact that Shige had meant to tell Kusano very seriously what had happened, and remind him that it was a secret within the agency and Shige could lose his job if Kusano let it get out, and assure him that things would be fine and NEWS would be fine and Shige would be fine, he'd opened his mouth and what had come out instead was, They've abandoned us. And then the tears had come, too, and then Shige could feel himself crumbling in yet another embarrassing display of how weak and useless he was, and he really is a mess, he thinks, just like Nishikido-kun was always telling him, just like Yamashita-kun and Nishikido-kun had said near the end…
But, "You'll be fine," Kusano says as he wipes away the tears spilling over Shige's cheeks, and, "You'll be fine," Kusano says as he wraps his arms and Shige and pulls him close, cradling Shige's head against his shoulder and stroking his hair, and, "You'll be fine," Kusano says as he lets Shige cry into his shirt as if it's totally normal and not weak and humiliating. And even once Shige's tears slow, he rubs Shige's back, and then tucks him into bed as if he's sick and not just an emotional wreck, and makes him instant ramen and microwave gyoza which he insists on feeding to him even though, in the long run, that probably makes more of a mess than if Shige had just tried to eat it himself. But on the bright side, it makes Shige laugh, which quells the remaining tears, and allows him to calm down enough that he can finish his dinner without making himself sick to his stomach, and he can't help but think that, despite the fact that Kusano may not be the brightest bulb in the box and he certainly isn't a master of making good life decisions, but somehow, it's almost as if he has a magical power to pull Shige up again even when he's at his lowest.
Still, after another hour, once Kusano has cleaned up the mess from the food and crawled into Shige's bed alongside him, pressing up against him, as if he can soothe out all of Shige's worries through sheer closeness alone, the fears and the anxiety begin to creep back, clutching at his heart and ringing in his ears, You're not good enough, you're the reason they left, you're holding the group back, and before he can stop himself, "What if it's not fine…?" is slipping out of his lips, quietly and muffled into Kusano's shoulder, but there in the open all the same.
Kusano pulls back just enough to make eye contact, and for a moment, the unusual solemness of his gaze makes Shige worry that he's said something wrong and now Kusano will be angry with him. But instead, all of a sudden, Kusano is kissing him, not particularly gracefully despite how long they've been together, but insistently and firmly, and somehow, it's more reassuring than Shige can even explain. And when he pulls away, he he runs a hand through Shige's hair and then gently across his cheek in that way that always makes Shige go weak in the knees and says, "You'll definitely be fine, because no matter what anyone else says, you're the hardest working and most enduring person that I know."
Shige doesn't know how to respond, and so he nods a little before resting his head against Kusano's shoulder again, but even though he can't really see any truth in Kusano's words, he thinks, if Kusano believes them, then maybe, for now, that's enough.
Passing the baton to damagea!