Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to anything.
Word Count: 1,889
Author's Note: I like Jun's moles and Aiba's birthmark. Written for rainbowfilling; the theme was unseen.
Summary: It bothers Aiba when Jun's moles get photoshopped out of magazine photos; likewise, it bothers Jun when Aiba's birthmark gets photoshopped out of magazine photos.
It bothers Aiba when Jun's moles get photoshopped out of magazine photos.
It's not really that big of a deal, honestly, and at the end of the day, it's been happening for a long time and it's not going to stop happening. They have to airbrush Jun's skin, after all, and it's easy to take out the little brown spots along with any uneven texture. Honestly, in his childish heart of hearts, Aiba thinks that it's all stupid, and if the fans can't appreciate Jun for what he is, then they're not really fans, anyway. But he doesn't think Jun would really appreciate that sentiment, picky as he is about his appearance, and so he keeps his mouth shut about it.
And really, the skin is one thing, but the moles are another. It's not as if they're scars or weird discolourations, they're just moles, plain and simple. Aiba's sure some people find them attractive and some don't, but the fact of the matter is that Jun has them, and why should he hide it? Physical features, Aiba thinks, aren't things that ought to he hidden away like some illness or condition, and what does that say about Jun, anyway? That he's imperfect, that he's marred in some way? He knows that most people probably don't think about it that way, but once the thought is in Aiba's mind, he can't erase it, and stews on it every once in a while, while they're in hair and makeup for a photoshoot, when they're handed a copy of a magazine in which they've been featured. It's silly of him, honestly, when it probably doesn't bother Jun at all, to get so torn up and self-righteous, but how can't he, when he loves Jun, every part of Jun, from the tips of his toes to the dots on his face?
And so, as soon as he gets a new magazine that features Jun, he can't help but flip open to check, to see how many of the moles have gone missing, and which. He probably shouldn't, but if he goes through the rest of the article first, he finds, he's distracted, he can't think about what he's reading for fixating on the question of Jun's facial features. And so he skips ahead to Jun's face, perfectly smooth and even, and he counts.
Most of the time, they leave two by his mouth; the one beneath is sometimes hidden by the fullness of his bottom lip, anyway. Sometimes, though, even those are gone, and it's those pictures that Aiba can barely stand, childlike indignance flaring up inside of him for such a clear injustice. The one on his temple often blends into his eyebrow, depending on how they've been plucked, and honestly, if there's more eyebrow and less mole, Aiba really can't complain. And then the one of the side of his nose is the one that goes the most often; it's out there, plain as day, and it seems the touchup artists can't help but take it away, making Jun's skin look just a little bit more like plastic. It makes Aiba frown to see it gone, but there's not much to be done about it. But at any rate, only once he's done an inventory of Jun's moles can he go on to the rest of the magazine, no doubt to have any righteous anger washed away by fond memories of an interview, or nice pictures of his friends, or giggles at things the others have said.
And that's just how it is. It's neither here nor there, not the end of the world in any matter of means. Aiba doesn't really think about the habit much anymore, outside of photoshoots and the times he reads magazines, because it's not a big deal. It's just a thing, a small snag in his day every once in a while, a nagging worry that's hung in the back of his mind at certain times for a while now, and probably will for as long as Jun's face is getting photoshopped for the covers of magazines.
It bothers Jun when Masaki's birthmark gets photoshopped out of magazine photos.
It's not really that big of a deal, honestly, and at the end of the day, it's been happening for a long time and it's not going to stop happening. It's not all that often that they take photos shirtless anyway, or without sleeves, and a lot of the time, it seems to be deemed not worth the effort to remove the darker splotches on Aiba's right shoulder and arm. Jun, in his poutiest states, thinks it ought to be deemed unnecessary, rather than not worth the time, and that if fans are turned off by it, they don't deserve the pleasure of seeing Masaki shirtless in the first place. But he has a feeling he'll get eyes rolled at him and most likely ignored if he voices this opinion to the staff, and so he bites his tongue.
But honestly, Jun thinks, it's just a birthmark. It's one thing to airbrush out his scar, or what little there is left of it these days, because it's only a scar, after all, a painful reminder of a painful time. Jun knows Masaki is strong and remembers crying on 24-Hour Television, but he doesn't see it as the removal of something that makes Masaki Masaki when they photoshop away the remainder of his pneumothorax surgery. But a birthmark is a birthmark, and everyone has those Jun thinks, big or small. And just because Masaki's is big, does that make it bad in some way? Is being born with a mark something of which he should be embarrassed? Even the very insinuation is enough to make Jun tense with misplaced anger, but how can he help himself? To him, Masaki is perfect in every way, birthmark and all.
And so, when he chances to remember that Masaki's been featured shirtless in a new magazine, Jun can't help but check to see what's become of his birthmark. It's sort of an awkward compulsion, really, and even if he's been in the magazine too, before he can scrutinize his own face and body, he's flipping through to find Masaki, determined to find his birthmark.
A lot of the time, they leave the birthmark in, much to Jun's relief, because all of their fans know about its existence by now, anyway. He breathes a sigh of relief when he sees it there, plain as day on Masaki's arm, because he somehow feels vindicated, like he's won, despite the fact that the choice to leave it in had nothing to do with him at all. But then sometimes they lighten it, so that only someone looking for it would see it, which makes Jun frown more than anything, frown and stare at the glossy magazine page for a long while, tracing the scar with his eyes as if to make sure it's all there. It usually is; he assumes lightening it must be easier than getting rid of it altogether, which goes back to the fact that whether or not it stays has more to do with effort and budget and time than it does with appreciation of Masaki for what he is, but Jun tries not to think too hard about it. But when they take it away completely, that's when Jun is really annoyed, and if anyone happens to catch him before he's had a chance to lighten up, he's inexplicably snappish and bitchy despite that he knows he's being immature. When the birthmark is gone altogether, Jun barely spares the photos a second glance. It's an awful shame if they're good shots of Masaki besides, but really, Masaki is beautiful no matter what, and it aggravates Jun to see him photoshopped that way, like an itch that he can't scratch. Instead, he flips to other pages of the magazine that will distract him and almost invariably make him feel better, especially if Arashi has done a shoot together.
And that's just how it is. It's neither here nor there, not the end of the world in any matter of means. Jun doesn't really think about the habit much anymore, outside of photoshoots and the times he reads magazines, because it's not a big deal. He knows that it's selfish of him to think that people who are making magazines should care what his opinion of their work is, and it's not like it really matters. It's just one of Jun's many peculiarities, one of the things that bother him, like mess or disorganization. But just like he can't help being obsessive over details, he can't really help this, and he probably won't be able to for as long as Masaki's body is getting photoshopped for shoots in magazines.
After a photoshoot, it takes them a long while to get completely packed up, for them to wipe off the excess makeup and get out of the costumes, to slip back into jackets and hats and head home for the day. Aiba and Jun often come and go in the same car these days, calling in orders for delivery on the way, and while curry and beer for dinner isn't particularly glamourous, after a long day, neither one of them cares. They sit at Jun's table for their meal conversing in the most average fashion about this upcoming drama or that recording last week before collapsing on Jun's couch in a tangle of intertwined limbs for a few hours of mindless TV to unwind. Then it's back up again and to Jun's spacious master bath to wash up and brush their teeth-- they both stand before the large, spotless mirror, but despite that fact, they can't keep their eyes off of one another in the glass. They see their faces everywhere-- on TV, on the internet, on billboards, at work every day, and yet here, unceremoniously getting ready for bed, they gaze at one another, unabashed, unrelentingly. You're beautiful sits on their tongues, hangs on their lips, but they've said it so many times before, it's not really necessary anymore.
When they wake up in the morning, light streams through the one roman curtain that Jun forgot to close the night prior, casting long, distorted shadows about the room. Sitting up in bed, they look ridiculous; the hairspray from yesterday has left Jun's bedhead matted on one side and completely ridiculous looking, the tail end of his perm visible in stray curls that stick out at odd ends. Aiba has the impression of a fold in the fabric of his pillowcase along the side of his face, pink and lumpy and misshapen, and when he runs a hand through his hair, it sticks out strangely, away from his head. In the bright morning light, Jun's skin is blotchy and uneven, his moles a stark brown against the paleness of his skin, and Aiba's birthmark shines a deep wine-red against his shoulder, just above the faded scar on the left side of his chest. But despite it all, staring at one another in the early morning semisomnia, neither can do anything but smile, can think anything but you're perfect, this is perfect--
And more than what is seen or unseen by fans in photos in magazines, that is what matters.