“Go amaze the fans with your sexiness~” a smooth voice whispers in Hikaru’s ear, sending a tingling feeling running down his spine and all the way out into his fingertips, his toes. He takes a deep breath in attempt to slow the rapid beating of his heart; he’s standing beside Inoo beneath the stage in the quiet of the last few moments before the show begins. The members are spread out in their various starting positions, the staff rushing around doing last minute checks of the lights and microphones and costumes, and while Hikaru has been here, done this a thousand times before, there’s always something about this atmosphere that makes him anxious. It’s not stage fright— he’s a seasoned pro now, after all; he’s been doing this since he was in elementary school, but as much as he tries not to show it, it makes him a bit antsy to see everyone in various states of concentration and anticipation for the performance. Maybe it’s lack of control over everyone that makes him anxious, the inability to control all the other members and calm them and make sure they’re able to perform their best, or perhaps it’s the lack of control over himself, the way that even breathing exercises and meditation seem useless in the face of the pre-performance anxiety, but whatever the reason, the countdown to the start of the show always makes him crazy with pre-show jitters.
But despite his own lack of control over anything, there’s one person who, for some reason, seems to have complete control over both himself and Hikaru, as well, something that would piss Hikaru off if he didn’t ultimately benefit from it in the long run. As the others wait in their places, doing last minute warm ups or quietly focusing on the performance that’s to come or nervously making conversation with the staff around them, Inoo saunters around as if he’s never felt pre-show anxiety before in his life, eyes droopy and half-lidded as ever, flashing that same beautiful smile as always to staff or other members every once in a while as he drifts over to Hikaru’s side as if he’s not moving on his own at all, but rather floating down from above like the gin-tape at the end of the show. He’s equally as difficult to catch, as well; sometimes it feels to Hikaru as if Inoo might slip through his fingers if he isn’t careful enough, but right now, he comes to rest against Hikaru, their shoulders touching lightly, just enough that Hikaru can tell it’s intentional. He can’t help but smile a little to himself even through the loud pounding of his heart in his ears; he’s been socially awkward all his life and has never been very good at expressing what he needs, which makes him feel all the luckier that over the years, Inoo has simply learned what to do without even asking. Considering that, when they were kids, Inoo was more often than not the victim of Hikaru’s unintentional attacks of social ineptitude, it makes him feel even more stupidly warm and fuzzy to know that Inoo is still here, by his side… both figuratively and literally right now.
He wants to say something, but “thank you” is too simple and “I love you” is too embarrassing and “take off your clothes so that I can show you just how much I appreciate you” isn’t exactly going to fly with less than two minutes to go before the show starts, and so Hikaru is caught in a quiet quandary. He likes to think that he makes up for having been shit at communication his whole life with things like writing songs and drawing pictures for Inoo, but he grudgingly admits that words are, unfortunately, necessary sometimes, and so he tries to find the right ones now. But before he can come up with something, Inoo leans a little closer, so that their cheeks are almost touching, and murmurs something so ridiculous that, in any other occasion, Hikaru would probably laugh. But right now, somehow, it’s exactly what he needs— Inoo is saying “don’t be nervous” without actually acknowledging that Hikaru is nervous, and even Hikaru, who’s pretty much a failure at the (overrated, in his opinion) art of tact, is moved.
Again, he wants to say something, but this time, his throat feels tight and his heart feels like it’s swelling in his chest, and all he can manage to do is turn to look at Inoo, so close that Hikaru can feel Inoo’s breath against his face. Normally, he’d groan teasingly, though he can hardly pretend like he’s not used to it considering that they sleep in the same bed more often than not, but right now, somehow, it feels comforting, just like every other aspect of Inoo’s presence. Inoo is smiling at him, that easy, sleepy-eyed smile that makes Hikaru feel like he’s falling in love all over again, but while at times, that makes his stomach lurch and his heart leap in its own way, right now, somehow, it’s even and secure and it makes him feel just a little bit invincible. He smiles back, his best lop-sided toothy grin, and when Inoo kisses him just as the staff are starting the countdown to the show starting, Hikaru thinks, even if he’s planning on teasing Inoo about “amazing him with his sexiness” when they’re alone together in one of their hotel rooms tonight, that perhaps for right now, words are unnecessary, anyway.
Your turn, dusk037!