title: Morning Becomes Electra
warnings: descriptions of abusive parenting, vague mentions of a minor in sexual situations
pairings: various JE talents/Chinen
word count: 3,955
author's note: This doesn't fit with my personal headcanon, but I thought it might make an interesting concept.
summary:Chinen has always hated the morning.
Chinen has always hated the morning, has always hated waking up. From his earliest days of childhood, all through his formal schooling, and still, now, as a functioning member of society, an adult, practically, the worst moment of the day is when he's shocked from sleep by the screech of his alarm clock or worse, shaken awake by some well-meaning friend or family member. After all, Chinen has always liked sleeping-- he says so time and time again in magazines, and while Kota always feels the need to remark with a loud guffaw that gives away just how funny he thinks he is that Chinen sure likes one kind of sleeping, it's really not just a euphemism. Yes, Chinen likes boys, likes bringing them to bed (or his dressing room, or the bathroom, or that one coveted closet at NHK hall that everyone fights over during Shounen Club filmings), but he likes going to bed alone just as well, because how can he expected to fulfill all of his obligations as a full-time idol without a full night of sleep?
His bandmates understand tiredness; they're all idols, too, and some of them crazies who decided to do college on top of work, for whatever reason, but Chinen knows that his love affair with sleep is more than that, is more than just filling a basic need. After all, what could possibly be more beautiful, more fabulous than curling up someplace isolated and comfortable and drifting off into sweet dreams? Not that Chinen needs dreams as an escape from reality, his life is practically a dream, really, but sleep is simply one of those little pleasures in life that he can't imagine doing without. Life is short, he knows, so why compromise? He likes to enjoy the little things, like good food and attractive young men and nice, long afternoon naps.
His mother understands, better than his bandmates, maybe. She likes he finer things in life, as well, likes nice food and nice clothes and nice men, and has always been lenient with Chinen, ever since his childhood, let him sleep a little longer, even in the morning, when he ought to have been getting up for school, and then later in life, let him bring home whatever boys he wanted, cute kids from school first and then well-groomed boys from Johnny's, without batting an eyelash. Indulge while you're young, she tells him with a wink, and Chinen doesn't need to be told twice. Indulge he does, and, he thinks, it's good for both of them, because Chinen's mother has always been a climber, and he has the feeling that when it turned out Chinen would never be a gymnast like his father, she sent him off to Johnny's for the sole purpose of being able to say that she had had every member of Hey! Say! JUMP in her household at least once.
But perhaps it's for the better that Chinen never became a gymnast; while his mother is understanding and goes out of her way to make Chinen's life a little easier, even if she does have her own ulterior motives, Chinen's father is anything but. He supposes it would be rough to be an athlete past-prime; these days, Chinen's father makes most of his money doing grunt work for a sports television network and occasionally commentating on an event or two. It seems dull and absolutely frustrating, but Chinen isn't sure that that absolves him from all the alcohol he drinks every night when he gets home from work, from the way he barks orders at Chinen's mother like she's his personal maid, the way he's hit Chinen-- only once or twice, but hard enough that Chinen isn't going to forget it any time soon.
And maybe it's the fact that Chinen is successful when he isn't, or maybe it's the fact that Chinen's clear acceptance of everything that he is, slight and boyish and more than a little into men, that makes him uncomfortable in his own masculinity, but whatever it is, Chinen's father has never been anything but critical of the way he lives his life. The way he spends money on clothes is frivolous but when he chooses not to dress up he looks like a slob, when he stays out late he's irresponsible but when he comes home early he's lazy. The way he brings home boys makes him a fag, but spending time with female friends isn't any better, and while Chinen has learned to roll his eyes and let the words roll off his shoulders, it's still a little annoying, at the very least. But that's life, he supposes, and he certainly isn't going to change his just because his father never got to enjoy it the way Chinen is.
But worst of all, Chinen's father has always taken some sort of personal offense to Chinen's desire to sleep in, has always feel the need to mercilessly shake Chinen into wakefulness when Chinen wants nothing more than to cling to the last few minutes of peace he can get in the mornings. It's not the biggest of deals, really, when it's not like Chinen is really sleep deprived, but there's something really awful about being shoved into the darkness of the early morning amongst hard words and painful insults. "Get your lazy ass out of bed," he father barks as Chinen finally sits up before storming out of Chinen's bedroom and slamming the door behind him, and despite the fact that Chinen undoubtedly has a pleasant day ahead of him, filled with costumes and makeup, dancing, his bandmates, he can't help but feel as if somehow, it's been a little soured.
Luckily, despite his appearances in Chinen's life here or there, Chinen's idol schedule starting at a young age distances him from his father, and so it's easy to forget about him. Out of sight, out of mind, after all, and Chinen has better things to be thinking about. Things like his attractive bandmates, because while he's good friends with all of them, likes them in their own right for their own strengths and shortcomings, Chinen has never been one to separate friends from fuckbuddies, and in Johnny's, no one seems to blame him. Or rather, Keito blushes when he mentions it and Ryosuke gets on his case, like what Chinen's doing is somehow wrong in Ryosuke's own little universe, but Chinen has never paid them much mind. Haters gonna hate, he's chimed more than once, and while he means the tongue-ing-cheek phrase with all facetiousness, in some way, he thinks, they are words to live by.
And Kota seems to agree, or perhaps Kota just thinks anything Chinen says is funny, because Chinen is cute and witty and Kota is awkward and stupid. Not as stupid as Yuya, maybe, but Chinen has never been one to dance around the truth, and, he's told a scandalized Ryosuke more than once at the insistence that he shouldn't insult his bandmates, he calls 'em like he seems 'em. And it's not really an insult, anyway, it's just the truth, and Chinen doesn't like Kota any less for the fact that he's awkward and stuff when Kota has plenty of more endearing traits, anyway. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were jealous, Yama-chan," he teases, and Ryosuke pouts at him in tight-lipped annoyance. Chinen pays him no mind; he has better things (people) to be doing.
Because, after all, Kota might be awkward and stupid, but he's never made his attraction to Chinen a secret, and Chinen is more than okay with that. Kota's a teenager just like Chinen, clumsy and driven by lust, but Chinen is okay with a little fumbling when clearly the cause is just how desirable, just how cute, just how talented Chinen is. It's flattering, really, to see Kota's face turn red as he peels away each layer of Chinen's clothing, and even if, once he gets worked up enough, he tends to forget about Chinen's needs in favor of his own mindless desire, Chinen doesn't mind. After all, knowing that with just a few rocks of his hips, he can drive a boy out of his mind with lust is pretty flattering, and Kota always gets Chinen off in the end. Besides, they're friends, and sex is fun, and that's what matters, Chinen thinks as he drifts off to sleep next to Kota's slender, sprawling body.
Still, it would make the experience just a little better if Kota didn't have a habit of waking him up to ask about breakfast just a little too early for Chinen's tastes. But nobody's perfect, he reminds himself, and at least Kota never complains so long as Chinen, half asleep and practically tripping over his own feet, finds something vaguely edible to feed him.
Every so often, perhaps an event at work or else something he sees on TV sparks Chinen's father into deciding that he's going to become the ideal parent. For a week or maybe two, he does everything he can to quell his temper, apparently turns down drinking invitations from his coworkers to come home sober and offer his family all the smiles and sweetness he has. It's unsettling to Chinen because even if it is nicer than threats and insults, it just feels wrong, feels fake, and he does everything he can to avoid his father just as he would any other time. After all, no matter how hard he tries, no matter how serious the trigger that caused each strange onslaught of kindness and consideration, it's only so long before the act disintegrates and it's back to the same nasty routine, and Chinen would just as soon steer clear of the whole thing.
Besides, if he wants sweet words and loving touches, he has other, much more reliable sources. Ever since Hey! Say! JUMP's debut concert, when Chinen had been smaller and more adorable even than now, he knows Sakurai Sho has had some sort of fascination with him, and while maybe it's a little weird, Chinen certainly isn't going to say no to being the apple of an Arashi's member's eye. Perhaps his childlike nature had filled some hole in Sho's heart left by poor treatment from his own parents (because really, practically everyone in Johnny's knows just how shitty he's had it from his minister of something-or-other father, right?) or perhaps Chinen's tiny, prepubescent body had unleashed an unfortunate subconscious desire in Sho that could only have remained hidden for so long in a company like Johnny's, but whatever the reason, Sho has never been anything but eager to take Chinen to bed with him.
But it's more than just to bed, really, it's the whole nine yards. Chinen likes sex for sex, but he's certainly not complaining about being treated to a nice dinner and a fancy desert by a dashing member of Chinen's favourite senpai group. Sho is cultured and well bred, he talks to Chinen about Johnny's, about movies and music and television, and listens to Chinen's opinions like he actually really cares-- and Chinen has a sneaking suspicion that he really does, because Sho is nothing if he isn't straightforward and earnest. It's endearing, really, it's sweet, to see Sho hang on his every word with an adoring smile on his face as if he's never been quite so captivated with anything as he has with Chinen.
And once they get back to Sho's apartment, it's just as nice; Sho is gentle and kind and considerate as he kisses Chinen's forehead, his cheeks, his lips, fingers running reverently over Chinen's body and "so cute, so sweet, so small," so breathes against Chinen's skin as he nudges inside Chinen's body in a way that seems somehow more like a caress than actual sex. Sho takes good care of Chinen afterwards, too, gently wipes away the mess with a warm, damp cloth before tucking Chinen in and holding him close all night long, and Chinen likes it, likes being pampered and loved and treated as if he's a princess, because hey, he is pretty great.
But still, there's something a little off-putting about the way that Sho wakes him in the morning, petting his hair and kissing him on the forehead and gently reminding him, "It's time to get up, honey," something that seems wrong about the whole situation, though Chinen can't put his finger on it, exactly. And so, despite how nicely Sho treats him, more often than not, he finds himself seeking out other sources of comfort.
To balance out his good weeks, Chinen's father's mood seems to imitate a sine wave in pattern, and the highs are usually followed by record lows. His father seems to have no qualms with coming home completely trashed, bitching about a long day at work and how his family doesn't do anything to help him, and while sometimes this is a good thing in that it means he'll fall asleep soon enough, other days, it means that Chinen needs to try even harder than usual to steer clear of his temper. But it's hard in a small apartment, and on days when he need a target for his anger, Chinen is always his father's punching bag of choice. Chinen can endure the foul names and the foul words and the foul temper, but every once in a while, he's just a little too irreverent, a little too quick to shrug and turn his back, and thing things turn particularly ugly, and Chinen has to apologize profusely to the makeup artists the next day as they struggle to cover the large purple bruise blooming on his cheek.
Most of the others have the tact not to mention it, but of course, Ryosuke always has to be that guy, the one who makes a big deal out of nothing. "Where did you get that?" he always asks stiffly, and it's not because you're worried about me, Chinen can't help but think, it's because you want to prove you're right. "You should be more careful," he continues when Chinen is reluctant to give details surrounding the minor injury, "and you should get that checked out, you should go to the hospital." You should this, you should that, it gets old quickly, but Chinen is easygoing and doesn't want to pick a fight with his best friend, too, and besides, he likes to give Ryosuke's intentions the benefit of the doubt, so he rolls his eyes and does his best to let the subject drop.
After all, he certainly doesn't need to go to the hospital for a bruise, and he's lived with his father long enough to know how to take care of himself in times like these. And so instead of seeking medical attention, he seeks out Yuya, perching himself in Yuya's lap despite the fact that really, he's gotten too big, and letting Yuya pet his hair and coo over him for the rest of the day and into the evening. Yuya is soft in all the right ways, soft where his father is hard, and when Chinen says he's hungry, Yuya lets Chinen pick the restaurant and pays for him after, and when Chinen says he wants to play, Yuya follows him to the game center and cheers him on in whatever game he chooses, and when Chinen says he's tired, Yuya brings Chinen home with him and lets Chinen climb into his bed and curl up there, like he's at home. "Do you want more covers?" Yuya asks once he's settled beside Chinen, and "I want you," Chinen responds, and of course, Yuya gives, anything Chinen wants, Yuya gives.
It's sweet and comforting and pleasant, and Chinen falls asleep warm in Yuya's arms, but somehow, when he wakes up late into the next afternoon, he feels more tired than ever. "You didn't have to let me sleep," he comments sheepishly, and while Yuya insists that he didn't want to wake him, Chinen's cheek aches seemingly even more than yesterday.
It's one thing when his father is a flat-out asshole, Chinen thinks, because really, that's all he is, an asshole with an unhappy life who begrudges Chinen for being happy and comfortable with himself. But it's another thing when, perhaps in some attempt to lend any validity whatsoever to his criticisms or perhaps because some part of him feels guilty or unfatherly, he decides to frame his insults in responsible-seeming words and pass them off as advice. "Sleeping in isn't good for you," he'll say, "Why do you think you stayed so short," as if there's something wrong with being short, honestly, or "Why are you eating so much, idols are supposed to be skinny, aren't they?" as if Chinen isn't healthy, doesn't take care of himself. And of course, it's always, "Aren't those pants too tight? You're such a tramp," or "Why do you stay out so late? One of these days some boy is going to force you into some corner, and then you're going to regret being so slutty…"
And Chinen can roll his eyes as much as he wants, but it gets old quickly, and immature as it is, it makes him want to sleep more, to eat more, to go out and party more. But luckily for him, being cute and sweet and funny and basically perfect in every way pays off in a lot of invitations, and so party he does. Being in a group with a wide age spread is nice, since it makes him connections in a lot of different social groups in Johnny's, and additionally, with his recent dramas, he's been blazing his own trail into the hearts of senpai, senpai like Yamashita Tomohisa. And so, it's with great pride and glee that he flaunts invitations to the parties of the great YamaPi, because if there's somewhere to go for a good time, basically, all of Johnny's accepts that it's probably YamaPi's place.
But it's not just parties; Chinen gets private invitations too, and that tickles him the most of all. After all, Yamapi might be sort of stuck on himself and inconsiderate at times, but he's also very attractive and very good in bed, and so Chinen isn't complaining about having to listen to him talk about himself for the whole car ride to his place when he knows he's in for a treat once he gets there. He can put up with the grating sound of YamaPi's voice, after all, in exchange for his great abs and broad shoulders and years of experience seducing everything in sight. There's something thrilling about the way he pushes Chinen back into his bed and ravages him without holding back, something exhilarating about how rough and demanding and undeniably manly he is in bed, and even if he has a limp for the rest of the week, Chinen thinks, this is the sort of fun he needs to let off some steam after putting up with his father's shit for too long.
…but then afterwards, as Chinen is only just beginning to become aware of how many bruises and bite marks are littering his body, how sore his muscles and his ass are after having YamaPi pound into him from three or four different angles over the course of the evening, he becomes aware of YamaPi sighing beside him and pushing himself up from the bed, turning to survey Chinen's sprawled and debauched form. "I've got an early rehearsal tomorrow and can't drive you home," he explains with a shrug. "If you hurry you can catch the last train."
And while it's not like Chinen exactly regrets it, he gets the feeling as he prepares himself for his train ride of shame that it's going to be a long night before he gets any sleep.
Ryosuke has known Chinen for a very long time now; ever since their junior days, they've been friends, they've gone to coffee in their breaks and grabbed dinner after late rehearsals together, and Chinen feels like he can safely call Ryosuke his best friend. Ryosuke knows him better than anyone, really, and really cares for him, he can tell. Maybe it's because he cares for Chinen, or maybe it's because he's uncomfortable with the way Chinen chooses to conduct himself around senpai, kouhai, their groupmates, but whatever the reason, Ryosuke has never been anything but critical of the way Chinen lives his life. When he cuts his hair too short, he's overdoing it, but when he lets it grow too long, he's let himself go. When he eats too much, he's careless, but when he doesn't eat enough, he's starving himself. And of course, Ryosuke has always had a problem with Chinen's boys, with the fact that Chinen enjoys boys quite as much as he does. But they're best friends, and so Chinen does his best to let it go, to ignore Ryosuke when he gets too annoying and focus on the good points.
And of course, there are many, many good points on which to focus; Ryosuke is talented and responsible and always well-meaning, and even if sometimes he's practically suffocating in the attention he gives Chinen, it's sweet that he cares. In fact, as time goes on, it's clear that he cares more than Chinen had originally realized, and it's not long before Chinen finds himself in bed with his best friend.
Ryosuke is fumbling and inexperienced at first, but Chinen doesn't mind; they're friends, and the fact that Ryosuke is clearly trying very hard to make it good for Chinen more than evens things out. Afterwards, Chinen thanks Ryosuke for a good time and plans to leave it at that, because they're best friends, but Chinen isn't exactly planning on giving up his lifestyle to sleep with Ryosuke every night, or something.
But soon it becomes clear that Ryosuke had other plans in mind, and Chinen is alarmed when he becomes first disgruntled and then abrasive when Chinen continues to sleep with other men. At first, Chinen isn't sure what to do; he ignores Ryosuke as much as he can for the time being, but he can only push away his best friend so long, and when that fails, he simply tries to avoid the topic of sex as much as possible. It works for the most part, but still, occasionally, Ryosuke's temper will flare up, and when he discovers Chinen's plans to go home with someone else, he becomes intolerably critical, this boy is too irresponsible, that boy is certainly going to hurt Chinen, that other boy is far too old…
And Chinen does everything he can to brush it aside, but after some time, it begins to seem like Ryosuke's criticisms are actually true. At first, Chinen tells himself he's being silly, but one after another, Chinen's usual bedmates leave him feeling odd and lonely at the end of their nights together, more and more until eventually, Chinen finds himself breaking down in the face of Ryosuke's harsh words, finds himself admitting defeat and returning to Ryosuke's bed for lack of others to fill the void in Chinen's nights. But it's not so bad, he tells himself, because Ryosuke is his best friend, and even if he isn't the kindest or the most considerate or the best in bed, at least he's something…
And, "When are you going to get your lazy ass out of bed?" Ryosuke will whine at six or seven am when they have to get up before rehearsals, and Chinen will swallow back the sour aftertaste and say nothing, because he's always hated mornings, and, he supposes, he always will.