ミランダ (大丈夫) (faded_lace) wrote,
ミランダ (大丈夫)

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jentfic_remix fic!

jentfic_remix reveals were today! So, now I'm free to post this on my own journal, hurrah. I guess this turned out to be one of my regular "Jun and feels" type fics |D But hopefully it's still enjoyable regardless!

title: serenity {the like an onion remix}
rating: pg-13
pairing: Jun/Aiba
word count: 3,592
beta: yomimashou
author's note: The history of Jun is one of my favourite subjects. A remix of Serenity by beltenebra @ alifequixotic~
summary: "Idols are like onions!" Aiba replies excitedly, nodding so intently that his hair get mussed, his bangs catching in his eyelashes, and Jun doesn't understand, but it seems deep and meaningful, and so he smiles and nods along.

As he sits by the set of 8ji da J!, looking on in awe of all the lights and colours (he can't help himself, really, even after all his experiences in Johnny's, showbiz is still amazing, still wonderful in every way), Jun thinks, the future will be great. He has big dreams and high ambitions, and sure they might be far away, but he knows he has the enthusiasm and tenacity to achieve them, and he's already on his way. Johnny's is everything he wants in life and more, and he's willing to give it all for the fame and fortune and the chance to shine onstage doing what he loves, the chance to be like Hikaru Genji or the Kinki Kids or SMAP. Looking at his senpai, he has such great expectations of what it will be like to be famous, with shiny cars and large penthouse apartments and parties and equally famous and glamourous friends. When he's famous, he thinks, (though he tries not to get ahead of himself) he'll have a brand new sports car that he'll drive to fancy restaurants and lavish parties thrown by other idols. He'll spend his free time with his future bandmates, whoever they might be, partying and dancing and doing things that famous people do, and on the weekends, he'll stay at home in his professionally-decorated apartment where things will be well-organized and serene and quiet, and he'll cook for himself and sometimes for one or two friends, and life will be perfect.

And sometimes, he thinks, though he's sure things will change, he'd like those friends to be his friends now. Johnny's is full of bright and talented boys all around him, and Jun is in awe of them all, but there's something about Ninomiya-kun and Ikuta-kun and Aiba-kun that's just right, to Jun, at least. Perhaps the four of them, he likes to dream, will go on together to become a famous unit, their faces plastered all over Japan, their voices constantly on the radio. But for now, they're just a junior unit, just four good friends with the same dream striving to go in the same direction, and Jun is okay with that, too.

Still, sometimes he likes to talk to the others about big things like dreams and aspirations, sometimes he likes to pretend that he's an adult and can predict the ways of the industry, the ways of the world. Looking over magazines with Aiba-kun sometimes, they try to think of their own answers to particularly interesting interview questions, things like "what does happiness mean to you?" or "describe your one rule to live by." Jun always thinks and thinks and thinks to try to come up with something eloquent and mature, but Aiba-kun, it seems, just rattles off whatever comes to mind, and most of the time, Jun thinks, it sounds even better than Jun's well-thought-out answer.

"Question thirty-four: Please fill in the blank. 'Idols are like _____," Jun reads, SMAP members' faces smiling at him from this month's issue of Potato. Their expressions, their clothes, their words are all so glamourous, he thinks, and if he wants that to be him one day, he needs to study up, right?

Aiba-kun seems to think a moment, slouching against the wall as they sit side-by-side on Jun's bed in his currently highly unglamourous bedroom. Jun wonders if he's stumped; Aiba-kun usually answers right off the bat, and any time spent thinking as Jun blinks on expectantly is unusual. But he only hesitates for a moment, and after a beat, he claps his hands together, grinning. "Idols are like onions!" he replies excitedly, nodding so intently that his hair get mussed, his bangs catching in his eyelashes.

Jun doesn't understand, but it seems deep and meaningful, and so he smiles and nods along, and even more than the quiet fun of hanging out with Aiba-kun like this, he looks forward to the glamourous life of being an idol, when he too will be able to come up with interesting answers to magazine interviews.


Glaring disinterestedly and for no reason at all at the table in the center of the set of D no Arashi, Jun doesn't know if being an idol is worth the struggle anymore. He knows Johnny's are supposed to be pretty and gracious and talented, are supposed to sparkle in the spotlight should the management be kind enough to cast it upon them, but despite the lights shining on him sure enough, white and harsh and blinding (the camera eats light, the staff has explained apologetically when Jun has complained) Jun can't fill any of these requirements. After all, at twenty years old, his face is still ravaged by acne with no sign of relief in the near future, and his hair is a frizzy mess, never staying the way Jun styles it. It shouldn't be a big deal, really-- Jun has never minded hair products, never minded taking all the steps necessary to ensure that everything is perfect, and he likes dramatic hair, long and permed and styled, but that style is going out, and he really can't stand the thought of cutting it all off like Ohno and Nino have. Jun has never seen any need to not be himself before, but now he's in a quandary, and without knowing which option to choose, he instead hangs in the middle feeling frustrated and snapping at the people around him for lack of another outlet.

And skin and hair aside, Jun is tall and gangly and unfortunate-looking from the bushy eyebrows at the top of his face to the limpness inherent in his wrists when he raises his arms to his legs, aching every night and seeming longer and skinnier every morning. "Tall guys are handsome!" others tell him, and Jun wants to believe, tries so hard to believe that there's nothing wrong with him just the way he is. He goes home and fills his hair with products to elongate the life of his perm and paints his fingernails black and purple and buys mascara and eyeliner and concealer at the drugstore, but confidence is all fine and well at home with his family. In the morning when he gets to work, in the face of dazzling senpai and much more handsome companions, it all falls away again, day after day after day.

But Jun doesn't know what to do, can't stomach the idea of becoming someone else for the sake of some hazy goal. His dreams, he thinks, have become blurred over the years, not nearly so clear as his image of stardom had been to him at sixteen. This isn't the way it's supposed to be, being an idol is supposed to be fabulous and wonderful, he's supposed to have lots of friends and lots of fans, he's supposed to have all the nice things he's grown up to want, an expensive car, good food, designer clothing. Or at the very least, he thinks now, worn out by days of hard work and stress and emotional hurt, he should have an apartment of his own with a door to close to the rest of the world, a spacious bathtub and a window with a view of Tokyo. Someplace for him to unwind from the tightly-bound coil of stress and anger he becomes during the day, someplace serene, someplace just for him. And yet all of that seems like nothing more than a childish dream now; he's become an idol, he's become famous, and yet it's not what he imagined. And he doesn't know how to fix and it frustrates him, it practically physically hurts him, twisting his insides and prickling across his skin.

And so to hide his frustration and vulnerability, he throws up a protective layer around him and lashes out whenever someone comes too close. He overemphasizes everything about himself, everything about which he wants to be proud but that somehow can never stand up to the natural good looks and trendy awareness of other around him. It's a faulty method; the others poke holes in him constantly, making fun of his flamboyant mannerisms and obsessive self-care, and Jun can't help but snap back, real and intentional poison in his voice, acerbity in his words, because he doesn't know how else to keep from breaking down and crying in front of them all.

"It's okay," Aiba tries to convince him in the dressing room, just the two of them while Ohno and Nino and Sho are off filming a VTR segment, "You know they don't mean it, Matsujun, they're just playing, it's just an outside layer, underneath they love you, idols are like onions--"

"Shut up, moron," Jun snaps back harshly, and is immediately choked with the fear that this is what being an idol is truly like and he'll spend the rest of his life sinking further and further into this miserable existence until he's enveloped completely.

Staring out into the endless desert of Nevada, the red sand and the blue sky as far as the eye can see, Jun thinks, this is one of the major perks of being an idol. Sure, the schedule is intense and the endless work is tiring, but really, Jun would rather be performing, would rather be singing and dancing and posing for photos and appearing in movies than clocking out at 5 pm at an office, anyway. People always say that idols aren't a productive part of society or whatever such nonsense, but in Jun's mind, what's unproductive about watching fans' faces visibly brighten when Jun waves to them in concert, what's unproductive about seeing girls happily chat on the street about how excited they are for a new CD, DVD, movie release? If making people happy is unproductive, Jun doesn't want to be a productive member of society at all, just as he could care less what people say about his hair, his face, his clothes. Living is about making mistakes and learning, Jun thinks as he gazes out into endless purple-blue of the evening sky, but sometime along the line, he's learned to differentiate between lessons and meaningless criticism. It's not that he's perfect; it still hurts, sometimes, seeing the stories in the tabloids or hearing harsh words of staff members who think he's out of earshot. But it's not like he can do anything about it but move forward.

And besides, every negative word he hears, every demeaning article he reads only pushes him forward and makes him want to work harder, want to give more. Partially to prove that he's above what's said about him, but partially simply because that's who Jun is, someone who works towards his goals. The goal isn't nearly as concrete as it was in childhood, not the dream of fabulous fame and fortune that he had seen in youth, but every time he sees the smiling faces of fans, every time he hears a good word from other entertainers, from employers, from staff, he knows that he's doing something right. And so he strives to be the best he can be, both in singing, dancing, acting, performing and in punctuality, in politeness, in helpfulness. Because that's what being an idol means, giving one's all and giving back to the community that allows him to do what he loves for a living.

It seems grand and romantic, but Jun doesn't really think of it that way as he sits off to the side, a pack of cigarettes in his lap as he waits for the hairdresser to be finished with the signature (and time consuming) Doumyouji curls. This particular staff member, Jun knows, hates the smell of cigarette smoke, and so he waits despite how long it takes to cover his head in tiny corkscrews, he waits and thinks. This is another perk of being an idol, he thinks, getting a chance to travel for work, to sit here and enjoy the view of the mountains and the desert in a way that would never come along with an office job. While the lights and cameras and staff and actors that go along with a filming are busy and overwhelming, in the middle of this huge, vast, open space, Jun can't help but thing that there's something quiet and serene about it, all the same.

Despite how much he tries not to let his emotions get the best of him, Jun has always been a sap, and so, after a moment of contemplation, he takes a photo of the sunset on his phone and mails it to Masaki, roaming charges be damned. Kazu would make fun of him, he knows, and Satoshi would probably never remember to check his messages while Sho would be too busy to respond, but Masaki who treats every message from a friend as a treasure, Masaki who cries over blurry cell phone photos, he knows, will appreciate it. If there's anyone who's sappier than Jun, it's Masaki, though, Jun thinks, it's a close call. "Makes sure you get lots of rest and don't get sick," he types into the message spot for lack of something better to say short of an incredibly mushy message, and besides, Masaki always needs reminding.

Jun honestly has no idea what time of day it is in Tokyo, but soon, he's whisked away for makeup and then filming, and he doesn't think of the message again for some time. But as he's packing up to head back to the hotel hours later, he notices the light on his phone, and despite the fact that he's exhausted, he flips it open to see a new message from Masaki. "So pretty!" reads the top line, a smiling emoticon bouncing next to the words, and then beneath, "So tsundere, Matsujun, acting all strict first but then sending pretty pictures! Just like an onion~"

And Jun doesn't quite understand how that has anything to do with onions, but he can't help but smile to himself all the same. It's nice and serene out here in the middle of nowhere, but something is missing, something that Jun is beginning to understand as his eyes tear up just a little at the thought of his plane next weekend that will take him back to Japan, back to his group, back home.

As he watches the staff hurry to set up the next game on VS Arashi, movings the sets and arranging the props, Jun plays with the ends of his hair mindlessly, thinking, waiting. The studio around them is chaotic, filled with staff members trying to balance a large pile of rubber balls for long enough to prepare the set and hair and makeup people fussing with Kazu's hairstyle and the dark circles under Sho's eyes and the guests and the fans and the other members of Arashi chattering, their voices echoing in the high ceiling of the gigantic room. The atmosphere is overstimulating; faced with the blindingly brilliant lights and colours of the set of their game show, Jun still often feels a little of the thrill of his childhood, and at particularly careless actions or words by his groupmates, Jun knows sometimes his frustration gets the best of him. It should have been enough to drive Jun crazy, but over the years, somehow, he's learned how to find peace in these moments, surrounded by his band, by the people he loves.

Because as much as being an idol is about making the fans smile, Jun knows, it's also about facets. Giving the fans everything one can within reason, showing them the best face possible, he thinks, is only manageable when there's a flipside, an "off" switch. In the past, he's associated that sense of being "off" with being alone, away from the chaos of friends and coworkers and family. Times for serenity and relaxation, however, are few and far between in the entertainment industry, and slowly but surely, Jun has learned to let his guard down elsewhere, around other people.

Because after the filming is done, Jun knows, Masaki will drag him out to dinner, to some hole in the wall little izakaya where Jun will gripe about being spotted and Masaki will tell him it's nonsense and they should enjoy themselves, and then Jun will pretend to sigh heavily as he asks Masaki back to his apartment for desert that will become drinks that will become more. Masaki always lets himself go so far, drops all of the exterior layers as he strips off his clothing and climbs into bed with Jun, and where in the past Jun has been intimidated, he's learning to relax, learning to ease into Masaki's presence, pure and honest and overwhelming, like a hot bath, slowly but surely. At the beginning, Jun grumbles and scolds, "you better not make a mess of my sheets," but by the end, he pulls Masaki close, as if somehow, he might get lost, and presses kisses along his cheekbone, his temples, and murmurs words that sound an awful lot like, "I love you, I love you…"

"Matsujun is like an onion," Masaki giggles tiredly, eyes shut, on the verge of sleep, and drowsily, slowly, in some back part of his mind, Jun thinks he might be right.

Gazing out the window of the dressing room at the scenery below, silent and pretty and serene, Jun is tired. Work has been relentless recently, drama filmings and television shows and magazine interviews. They're all tired, Jun knows, but sometimes, Jun wonders if somehow he isn't the most stressed of them all, not because he works harder but because he simply can't find an explanation for times like now, when the other members are chatting and joking around while Jun feels as if he pass out. Frowning, he wishes they'd be a little more considerate; being an idol, after all, being a member of a group is all about supporting one another, being aware, being compassionate…

But Jun can't even follow his own train of thought, because after a long anecdote about his pet axolotl and how he was fairly certain it had learned how to read katakana, Masaki has moved on to explaining loudly to Sho about how idols are like onions. He's been saying that stupid line for so long now that Jun is used to it, but he's still not sure what led Masaki to come up with such a ridiculous comparison, and so even now, even when he's too tired to follow his own trains of thought, he can't help but listen as Masaki and Sho, and then Kazu and Satoshi as well discuss the features of onions and senpai and Kazu's various less than appealing qualities. Jun is beginning to think that he's never going to learn the answer and that the conversation has permanently diverged from onions and to Kazu's body odor when Masaki cuts back in an unexpected non-sequitur to admit that perhaps onions were not the best choice of metaphor, but that idols have layers.

Okay, Jun thinks, that makes sense, and he wants to leave it at that, to go back to his few moments of relaxation, of enjoying the scenery, because being an idol means taking whatever downtime one can amidst an impossibly busy schedule, but Masaki, as Masaki is want to do, diverges again to parfaits and flavors and flavors of idols, and as much as Jun has always tried to be cool, he can never quite close out his friends, can't completely stop being aware of the people about whom Jun cares more than anything else in the world. And so, when he finally lets out a groan of frustration at the lack of peace and quiet, everyone knows it's halfhearted, because being an idol is about being aware of your groupmates, about understanding.

And Masaki, Jun knows, understands more than anyone, because rather than quieting down, rather than leaving Jun alone, he sidles up close and wraps an arm around Jun so that their bodies are pressed together just right, not sexual, not invasive, just there, just I'm here for you, and though Jun wishes Masaki wouldn't touch his hair the way Masaki is want to do recently, ever since Jun had it permed a few weeks back, he can't help but relax into the embrace.

"Do you want a coffee, Matsujun~?" Aiba practically purrs, a warm smile on his lips as his hand slows in Jun's hair, instead trailing down the side of his face, lingering for a moment before he turns to beckon Sho to bring the drink. Naturally, Nino snickers at them, mumbling something about how he thought it was against the rules in Johnny's to get married, and as Sho spills the coffee on himself and yelps in pain in his attempts to bring a cup to Jun, Satoshi postulates thoughtfully on whether a parfait with mayonnaise in it would taste good or not. But eventually, Jun gets his coffee, and as he takes a sip of the steaming liquid, warm and comforting like Masaki's embrace, and with Sho and Nino and Satoshi bickering about something trivial and possibly parfait-related in the background and Masaki chattering into his ear about how Jun was definitely a parfait and not an onion, because he was too pretty and too sweet and definitely not smelly, Jun thinks, no matter what sort of layer he shows the outside world, no matter what being an idol is supposed to be like, he doesn't need serenity-- he wouldn't trade this boisterous, loud, chaotic sort of love for the world.
Tags: arashi, bl, one-shot

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