pairing: Jesse Lewis/Kouchi Yugo
word count: 1,300
author's note: Jesse and Yugo's relationship is one of the few good things that has come of B.I.Shadow's breakup, in my opinion.
summary: Whether or not there's a tomorrow for the six of them, they both know that they have each other, and sometimes, that's more than enough.
Sometimes the Bakaleya guys go out together after filmings. They're only teenagers, after all, all of them, and the opportunity to relax after a long day of work, even at the expense of homework or sleep, is just too enticing. Especially against the drudgery of early mornings and school and exams, especially against the endless retakes and cuts and lighting rehearsals, they take the few hours with friends when they can, take each other's company as a distraction from the constant uncertainty that comes along with being a Johnny's junior. Stress is a part of life, they know, all of them, the ones who, over the years, have been passed by, but somehow, it's a lot easier together, the six of them, hand in hand against the odds.
Sometimes they go out to fast food restaurants, descend upon the place like locusts, really, six hungry and tired teenaged boys. They order three and four burgers each, stuffing their faces with abandon out of the eye of their managers, laughing around their food as Juri and Shintaro get into an eating contest, or as Hokuto tries to instruct Jesse on the correct etiquette of hamburger-eating. Sometimes, they all order fries, ten or twelve cartons between them, and spread them out on trays as Taiga instructs, starting out chatting and eating but usually ending up pelting fries at one another or giving in to the temptation of red meat by the end. Sometimes, they're not all that hungry after being fed dinner on set, but they want an excuse to go out anyway, and so they eat smaller portions at a snail's pace, each of them wanting to hold out just a little longer from returning home to schoolwork and responsibilities and reality.
And then sometimes, they go to coffee shops instead, like the ones frequented by their senpai, sometimes they order coffees and cakes like sophisticated adults (and not like girls, Taiga informs them, every time). They sip their hot drinks with wrinkled noses at the bitterness of the coffee and try not to raise their voices so as not to incur the wrath of the businessmen with computers and high school students with notebooks and highlighters around them, but eventually, Yugo will say something that's just too funny, or else Juri will get too excited about something, or else Shintaro, the youngest and least cultured of them all in the ways of coffee, will burn his tongue and yell shit!! at the top of his lungs, earning looks of disdain from the people around them and from Hokuto, who has always fancied himself a little bit more sophisticated than his friends. But the glares always pass, the annoyance in Hokuto's tone fades away, and they go back to laughing together just a little bit more quietly, just a little bit more like adults and less like a ragtag group of boys brought together at the random hands of some corporate god.
And then sometimes, when they've been in the confines of rehearsal and filming for a bit too long, when their eyes burn with the negative images of the filming lights and their lungs ache from the dusty air of the school and the cigarettes of the director, the hair and makeup artists, sometimes, when they really and truly need to be alone, they all follow silently along the side of the road to a small park just a few blocks away from the school that serves as the main set of the show. The playground is rusting and the bushes are a bit overgrown, and so usually, they find themselves alone, but that's what they're looking for, that's what they need at times likes these, and so they spread out across the small space, sprawl across the slides and rock idly back and forth on the swings and lean against the ladders, not face to face but somehow more together for it. Sometimes, they talk about nothing, stupid things that have happened on set or at the agency or in their lives, sometimes, they fall silent, but it's not an uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes, while no one is looking, fingers become entwined, heads rest gently on shoulders, lips meet. It's not so much a secret as an unspoken status quo, a love that's too intangible to admit between each of them, between all of them.
But then other times, at the end of filmings, they scatter, they're scattered by obligation or prior engagements or feelings unsuited to a group setting. They're only teenagers, all of them, and they don't know how to handle the emotions that come along with interpersonal relationships and full-time jobs, the uncertainty and anxiety that come along with transition. There are days when they say brief goodbyes and dart towards their trains, their parents' cars before anyone can suggest anything, before any emotions too frightening can be brought into the open, because, they tell themselves, there will always be tomorrow, there will always be the next day, in an staunch effort to ignore the fact that some day, there might not be.
But whether there's a tomorrow, or a next day, or a day after that, once everyone has left, gone home to the distractions of homework and family and studying for exams (they're only juniors, after all, they have to buffer their futures, they don't have the luxury of skipping out on college like debuted boys their age), once the set has been all but deserted, two forms remain. They hover around the school building, sometimes, having been shooed from the dressing rooms, circling the set and pausing every once in a while to point at this or that, hands clasped together tightly between them, or else they head out together, walking slowly, shoulders bumping together until they reach their destination. Sometimes it's the same places as they go with the group, McDonald's or Denny's or Dotour, sometimes it's the arcade or bookstore, sometimes it's nowhere at all, it's wandering the streets aimlessly, just the two of them. They've been thrown together by chance in some sort of strange arranged marriage, they have little in common when it comes to age or background or outlook on life, but somehow, in some way, they fit together like this, the two of them, Jesse and Yugo. "Good casting," Hokuto has said from time to time with a knowing nod; "Lucky~" Juri has been known to chime as the pair lean on one another waiting for filmings to begin, and maybe it is good casting, or maybe it's luck, but whatever the case, it's of enough substance to withstand the obligations and the emotions and the distractions.
And so, "I hear that new action movie from America was kind of cool," Jesse will say on any given day, nodding across the street towards a complex of buildings, one of which must be a movie theatre, "If you want to see it."
"Sounds good," Yugo will reply with an amicable smile and a nod, by which he means, anything with you sounds good, anything with you and I'll be happy.
And, "Great," Jesse will say back, his cheeks pink and a stupidly wide smile on his face as he takes Yugo's hand in his own and they take off across the street to the chirping of the traffic light. They're small amidst the crowd heading towards evening shopping or dinner dates or perhaps the same movie, they're small amongst all the other boys in Johnny's Juniors, they're small beside the frontmen of their little cluster of six, their not-group, but whether or not there's a tomorrow for the six of them, whether they make it or they succumb to the uncertainty, at the very least, they both know that they have each other, and sometimes, that's more than enough.