At any rate, I feel like I'm actually getting comfortable with these guys. Even though get-togethers really aren't my favourite thing to write, I think I've kind of gotten a grasp on how they work together, which is a good feeling. I'd like to write established-relationship fic of them in the future... haha, since I'm sure I'm the only one who's ever going to. :D Sorry for the cliche, meme-like title, though. The format worked nicely for the fic, and I couldn't think of a better one. XD;
Title: Three Kisses That Don't Really Count, and One That Does
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone.
Pairing: Washio Noboru/Sano Mizuki. Yes, I'm at it again.
Warnings: BL! Boys kissing and all that. Probably some language?
Author's Note: A wild get-together fic appears! I think I might be getting comfortable with these guys, actually. :3 Companion to Not Much of Anything.
The first time Wasshi goes out with Mizuki, just the two of them, is a few weeks after Wonder Box. Despite the fact that Mizuki's given him his number, Wasshi was never able to rack up the nerve to call-- he'd entered the number into his contacts, started drafting three separate emails, and mentally tried to prepare himself for five calls before giving up completely, unable to find the confidence to take a chance or else the stability to take a rejection. Mizuki had, after all, given Wasshi his number while drunk and completely on a whim, and it would be rude, Wasshi told himself, to take advantage of that. And so, eventually, he gave up, hoping that, with time and distance, the butterflies he felt in his stomach and the slight blush that heated his face when he thought about being in the presence of the other man would fade away.
But then, completely to Wasshi's shock and awe, Mizuki called him instead. He didn't know how Mizuki got his number, or what had brought this on when he was sure Mizuki had tons of other friends (he was in Johnny's, after all, he had to be popular!), but for whatever the reason, he asked Wasshi out drinking, and Wasshi would have been stupid to refuse.
They meet at the bar-- a small, nondescript place in Shibuya. Wasshi arrives ten minutes early, just in case. Mizuki arrives five minutes late and then pretends not to recognize Wasshi upon his arrival.
They sit side-by-side at the bar, Mizuki sitting comfortably into one hip at the barstool, and though his feet don't even reach the ground, he looks entirely at ease. Wasshi, on the other hand, perches at the edge of his stool feeling nervous and incredibly awkward, glancing at Mizuki hesitantly out of the corner of his eye every so often. Once, Mizuki catches him and their eyes meet, and Wasshi's almost afraid that Mizuki will call him on his nervousness or ask him what's wrong, but he only laughs, slapping Wasshi congenially on the shoulder and telling him not to stress so much. "Now, if there were some hot chicks," Mizuki advises, "It would be different," to which Wasshi only blushes and nods and stares at his lap.
When the bartender comes their way, Wasshi orders a beer, and Mizuki orders something much fancier and expensive. Boring, he accuses Wasshi of being, and Wasshi can only laugh good-naturedly and agree that yes, that's true. This earns him another pat on the shoulder before Mizuki launches into a long-winded story about something that happened to him the other day, followed by an even longer story about his early days as a Johnny's Jr that lasts up until their drinks come.
Honestly, Wasshi doesn't mind listening-- Mizuki certainly likes to talk about himself, but then, Wasshi doesn't really, and so it's perfectly fine with him to listen. Mizuki's life is interesting, too, and though he understands why Daiki always groans and calls Mizuki names, since it's just the two of them, Wasshi lets him talk. He's interrupted by the arrival of his drink, though, and as Wasshi sips his beer, Mizuki takes a much less delicate gulp of the thing before announcing how tasty it is just a little too loudly and extending the class to Wasshi with the command, "Try some!"
Politely, Wasshi only takes a sip-- it wouldn't do to drink someone else's drink, after all, and he's not very appreciative every time Tsuchiya does it to him. It's only as he's handing the glass back to Mizuki, however, that he realizes that his lips have just touched the same surface as Mizuki's, and he wishes, just a little, that maybe he could have held onto the glass for a moment longer.
He's not quite sure what Mizuki sees in him, but the drinking meetings continue with more frequency than Wasshi would have imagined. He was certain it would be an infrequent thing, or else Mizuki would get bored and lose interest after a few occasions, but, it seems, that's not the case, and so almost once a week, he meets Mizuki at various bars across Tokyo to keep him company and listen to him go on and on about his life. "How do you put up with it?" Daiki asks him one day, and Wasshi doesn't know how to explain that it's not really "putting up" at all.
He can understand, though, why Mizuki must grate on the other's nerves. He doesn't need to be drunk ramble like one, and he seems to take for granted that his audience cares about the rather average stories of his day to day life. Wasshi doesn't mind, of course-- even if some of his stories aren't particularly interesting, Mizuki himself is, and Wasshi's never really been much of a talker. Perhaps it's because Wasshi is willing to be his captive audience that Mizuki likes having him around so much, but whatever the reason, in truth, they fit well together, and if Wasshi can actually serve some purpose in Mizuki's life... well, even if it's just something as simple as liking the sound of Mizuki's voice almost as much as Mizuki does himself, it's nice, to know that it means something to him, even if he's unsure Mizuki realizes that himself.
Of course, it's not that Mizuki never gets out of hand. He's usually good enough to stop before he's completely inebriated, but the are occasions when he starts behaving even more out of line than usual, and that's when Wasshi knows that it's time to go. Getting Mizuki to do anything that he doesn't want to do, Wasshi discovers, is incredibly difficult, and when he's drunk, Mizuki rarely wants to go home. It's another problem that Wasshi doesn't know where "home" is for Mizuki; Mizuki isn't allowed, of course, to give his address out to anyone, and even when Wasshi asks in a desperate attempt to get Mizuki onto the right train when he's barely sober enough to stand up straight, Mizuki staunchly refuses, with all of his brother's stubbornness, all of his own self-importance, and the added irrationality of the fact that he's completely smashed. There have been a few times when, despite how much he hates it, Wasshi had been forced to simply release Mizuki into the massive depths of Shinjuku station and hope that he finds his way, but Mizuki always responds to Wasshi's worried emails in the morning that of course he made it home by himself and he's completely fine and Wasshi is such a worrywart.
And so they go on in this manner until, one day, Mizuki emails him out of the blue and says he'll meet him in Roppongi in half an hour, and though it seems rather abrupt, Wasshi doesn't question. When he arrives, Mizuki's waiting for him (which almost never happens; whether Mizuki likes being fashionably late or just takes him time and doesn't care about holding up others, Wasshi doesn't know), and when he sees Wasshi, he grins, taking him by the wrist and dragging him into the bar with barely a hello.
There's clearly something off, but Wasshi doesn't want to ask what's wrong when Mizuki is going so far out of his way to cover up for it or else forget it; he's more boisterous than usual tonight, laughing loudly at his own stories and slapping Wasshi on the back and downing drink after drink after drink until Wasshi is forced to drag him out with an arm slung around his shoulders. He's a mess, rambling on slurredly about something or other as he lets Wasshi drag him to the train station, but once they get there, he remains the same as ever and refuses to give Wasshi his address. This time, though, there's no question-- as a responsible human being, Wasshi cannot leave him in the station by himself like this, and so, with a sigh, he drags him through three different train lines and all the way back to his apartment in Kanagawa.
Luckily, by the time they finally make it there, Mizuki has all but passed out on him, and, after he's gotten Mizuki out of his shoes and his coat and spread out on Wasshi's own bed, he's stopped talking back. He tells Mizuki to come get him if he needs anything, though he's fairly certain that Mizuki's too far gone to even understand him at this point, and is turning to go when suddenly, Mizuki sits up slightly catches his wrist, tugging it to him, his lips brushing against the back of Wasshi’s hand.
"Thanks," Mizuki mumbles, looking up at him from beneath his lashes, and Wasshi's heart catches in his throat for a moment before Mizuki drops back onto the bed and his eyes fall closed. Unsure of what to make of that but unable to quite forget it, Wasshi spends the night on the sofa and wakes up to Mizuki loudly complaining of his headache and asking for breakfast in the morning.
By the third month, Wasshi is really beginning to feel comfortable around Mizuki. He's incredibly talented but, Wasshi's realized, personality wise, he's not all that different from any given member of *pnish*, and so, while he still looks up to him, Wasshi has learned to smile, to laugh, to be at ease around the other man. Friends, Wasshi wants to be able to call them, but he doesn’t ever dare, because even if he feels that way, he doesn’t think he can take it if he gets shot down. Of course, he doesn’t know exactly what he should call them, and so doesn’t call it anything, only tells the others, when they ask if he has plans, that he’s “going for drinks with Mizuki-san,” and they all seem to understand well enough.
By the end of the third month, too, Mizuki, having either realized that their conversations were entirely one-sided or else come into some curiosity over his now-long-term drinking partner, has started asking about Wasshi’s life, and though he didn’t mind listening, it feels a little more natural when they have real conversations. Time goes by fast, too, and soon, Wasshi is staying out much later than he really ought to with Mizuki, finding himself hurrying to catch the last train Yokohama when, before, the time had never dragged, but they’d usually easily wrapped up before midnight. It’s nice, really, a comfortable place to be, and though sometimes things Mizuki says or does still make Wasshi get a little flustered, make him flush a little and laugh embarrassedly to cover for it, he likes this new state of things, and hopes, despite the fact that he’s always bracing himself for otherwise, that maybe they can stay this way, maybe they really can be friends.
But then, late one evening, as they’re making their way towards Shibuya station, Mizuki tripping over his feet and Wasshi trying to keep him from hurting himself or anyone else, Mizuki pulls Wasshi off to the side, out of the masses of people trying to catch their last trains, grinning at him. Wasshi flushes; Mizuki had been catching him off guard all evening, and though he doesn’t know what he’s thinking now, in his alcohol-induced giddiness, the glint in his eyes doesn’t lead him to believe it’s anything good. He’s about to ask when, all of a sudden, Mizuki is lurching forward at him, his lips pressing firmly against Wasshi’s.
Wasshi’s mind goes blank for an instant, but then he’s stumbling backwards a few steps, staring at Mizuki disbelievingly. He doesn’t know what’s going on, he doesn’t understand what just happened, but Mizuki’s still there grinning at him, and all of a sudden, Wasshi is terrified that this is all some sort of joke, Mizuki’s drunken idea of funny.
When Wasshi doesn’t speak for a moment, Mizuki takes a step towards him, looking at him expectantly. “That’s what you wanted, isn’t it?” he asks quietly, seeming in awful lot more sober than he did a moment ago, and Wasshi doesn’t know what to say. His mind is overwhelmed with thoughts and yet, none of them are becoming words, and when he opens his mouth to respond, he doesn’t get farther than “I--” before his voice goes missing again. His face is hot and his mouth is dry, and more than anything, he’s afraid, because if Mizuki’s figured him out and is making fun of him, he doesn’t think he can take it.
They stare back at one another for a moment more before, in one swift movement, Mizuki turns on his heel and ducks into the station, disappearing into the crowd, leaving Wasshi to find his way home alone, feeling completely adrift for the first time since the beginning of... whatever this is.
It’s the alcohol that allows Wasshi to sleep that night, and in the morning, knot of worry in the pit of his stomach, he calls Mizuki. “Last night--” he starts after a brief greeting, but Mizuki cuts him off.
“I was so smashed, I really don’t remember anything,” he replies with a congenial laugh, “Why, did I do something crazy?”
Wasshi laughs too, less amused and more relieved, and believes it because it’s the easiest way out.
Wasshi gets another abrupt call from Mizuki in the middle of January. After the event mid-December, nothing has changed, really-- they still go out fairly regularly, they still talk. Wasshi had done his best to push the kiss out of his mind, because Mizuki doesn't remember it at all, and it's for the better. Maybe they're friends, maybe not, but Wasshi wants to hold onto whatever it is that they have, and anything else is far too much of a risk.
But then, halfway through January, Mizuki calls Wasshi, informs him that he's in Minato, and tells (not asks) him to come meet him in an hour. Wasshi can't get any other information out of him than that, but, luckily, the only rehearsal he has for the day is for his and Eiji's upcoming event together, and since he's already ahead of Eiji on the choreography, he can slip out half an hour early without too much trouble. Eiji doesn't ask him where he has to go, something that is, perhaps, more embarrassing than if he did. That it's entirely expected for him to drop everything for Mizuki isn't something he really wants to contemplate, but luckily, right now, he has better things to be worrying about, and the whole train ride, he can't sit still, shifting back and forth and wondering what's on Mizuki's mind.
To his surprise, though, he's interrupted from his thoughts when Mizuki meets him at the train station, inside the turnstiles. Without a word, he takes Wasshi's hand and leads him to another train bound for Shinagawa, and only once they're inside does he explain: "We're going to my place."
Unexpectedly, Wasshi's hit by a wave of an emotion that he doesn't quite understand; after months of being continually teased and told that it wasn't allowed, all of a sudden, Mizuki is taking him to his apartment without so much as being asked. Wasshi isn't sure what it means, but Mizuki's certainly not behaving normally, and so he doesn't pry, and the ride and subsequent walk pass in relative and completely abnormal silence. When he's not looking, Wasshi inspects Mizuki, but nothing about him seems physically out of place; there appear to be no injuries, and he doesn't seem sick. But any silence can't possibly be a good sign from Mizuki, and so Wasshi bites his lip and wonders what to do, what he can say without accidentally making things worse.
They arrive at the apartment before he can come up with anything though, and Mizuki unlocks the door, walking inside and kicking off his shoes without much fanfare. Wasshi hesitantly follows suit, accepting the beer Mizuki hands him and perching beside him on the sofa when Mizuki slouches into the cushions, still in complete silence. Wasshi is more than a little worried by this point; he's never heard Mizuki be silent for this long ever; even in rehearsals, when he wasn't in the scene, he'd be making snide commentary to someone in whispers or joking to his brother off to the side, and Wasshi has no delusions about how much Mizuki likes the sound of his own voice. But still, if Mizuki doesn't want to talk, he doesn't want to pry, and so he simply sits, sipping his drink and glancing to Mizuki from time to time in hopes that he'll explain and that, hopefully, Wasshi can do something to make it better.
Though, realistically, Wasshi has no idea how long it's been, it feels like hours before Mizuki finally does speak, and even then, Wasshi has difficulty making sense of the situation. Slouching further still into the couch he stares at his lap in a way that is entirely un-Mizuki and mumbles, "V6 is releasing another single at the end of the month."
The relevance of this to Mizuki's life whatsoever completely escapes Wasshi as he tries to decipher any significance from the statement. He doesn't live under a rock; he knows that V6 is a Johnny's band, but beyond that, it doesn't seems as if their releases should have much of anything to do with Mizuki. No matter how he mentally scrambles, he apparently remains silent for too long, because Mizuki looks up at him with a bit of a pout. "That was almost me, you know."
And then it all comes together, because, naturally Mizuki would be jealous when others who had been just the same as he was years ago were succeeding and he was left in the dust. Wasshi doesn't understand how Johnny's Entertainment works in the slightest, nor does can he see why Mizuki was not chosen, talented as he is, but honestly, the first thing that comes out of his mouth is the truth: "...but then we wouldn't have been able to work together."
Mizuki lets out a sharp laugh and looks up at Wasshi again, a look of bemusement playing across his face. "I really don't get you, Wasshi."
Wasshi furrows his brow, thrown back into confusion. "I'm... sorry...?"
Shaking his head slowly, Mizuki laughs again, a softer, wry laugh. "You always say stuff like that... but then, the other night--" But he seems to think better of this, and, sighs. "No, never mind."
But somehow, Wasshi knows exactly what he's referencing when he says "the other night," and his heart skips a beat. But if Mizuki did remember, if he actually wasn't as drunk has he said he was... if he actually did what he had done on purpose... it's almost too much for Wasshi to handle. But Mizuki is looking up at him forlornly, a sullen pout on his lips, and even before Wasshi is entirely sure of what he's doing, one of his hands is running along Mizuki's cheek gently, barely touching, really, coaxing his chin up, and he just catches a glimpse of Mizuki's eyes widening in realization before he kisses him.
The kiss, itself, isn't anything special; Wasshi is hesitant and relenting, but Mizuki doesn't back away, and they remain a moment before Wasshi comes back to himself and pulls back, his face flushed, not completely able to comprehend what he's just done. But Mizuki is grinning back at him, a laugh playing across his lips. "I don't get you, Wasshi, but you do know how to cheer me up."
"I--" Wasshi stutters stupidly, not quite sure what's happening. Had he just kissed Sano Mizuki, and was Mizuki acting like this sort of thing happened every day? "I really do think you're talented, though," he manages to finish, connecting to his earlier train of thought, which had been interrupted by the kiss. It sounds stupid now, but Wasshi simply doesn't know how to respond to the situation, and Mizuki had seemed so down before...
But then Mizuki laughs, leaning over on the couch to rest his head on Wasshi's shoulder, and god, Wasshi thinks, this really is happening. He can't fight back the stupid smile that's worming his way onto his face, but luckily, Mizuki doesn't seem to notice, nor does he flinch away when, hesitantly, Wasshi slides an arm around him. "I know you do," Mizuki replies after a moment, a smile firmly spread on his lips, "And I guess, for now, you'll have to do."
It's so, so Mizuki, and yet at the same time, his tone is so not Mizuki-- there's something about it that makes Wasshi feel warmer inside, and for the first time, there really isn't a question in his mind as to where they stand.