pairing: Matsumura Hokuto/Kikuchi Fuma
word count: 1,701
author's note: I have watched the part of Countdown where Kento runs over to the kankeisha an embarrassing number of times now, so this was bound to happen at some point.
summary: 2012 may have been the best year of his life so far, but with this one simple resolution, he thinks, and with Fuma by his side, 2013 will certainly be even better.
The lights on the stage for Countdown are dazzling, even from the odd angle of the kankeisha seating, Hokuto thinks to himself as he gazes out into the glittering scene before him. There's a dull roar of individual chatter and excitement building in the crowd, and he's sure his friends, Nakajima and Kouchi and Kyomocchan and the others, must be busy backstage, jittery with the excitement of going onstage soon and hurrying with last minute costume pieces and makeup, but here in the guest seating, tucked away from the view of the crowd, there's no such sense of urgency, no need for nerves or stage fright. While he'd like to be performing, it's Hokuto's last year of being underage, last year to enjoy watching his friends and admired senpai and all the rest from the audience, and he doesn't want miss a minute of it.
Besides, he thinks, despite how much he loves to be up on the stage, it's a bit of a blessing in disguise to be able to be here, like this. After all, it's New Year's Eve, and Fuma is underage too, and so they've practically been ordered by the management to be here, sitting beside one another amongst the other juniors and underaged talents who matter enough to be asked to be in the kankeisha for Countdown. Sure, it's a little bit chilly, and the atmosphere isn't necessarily romantic, and Jesse has spent the last twenty minutes talking Hokuto's ear off about some fishing trip or another he went on with his father, but Hokuto isn't in the mood to let any of it get him down. It's New Year's Eve and he's together with the boy he loves, pressed up close against one another on the arena bench because they can blame it on how crowded the kankeisha section is, and Fuma's grinning ear to ear, the most beautiful grin Hokuto has ever seen in his life. Of course, everything Fuma does is beautiful, just like having Fuma by his side makes the lights of the set seem like Christmas illuminations, makes the roar of the crowd and the chatter of their friends fade in the background, because Fuma makes everything in Hokuto's world rose-tinted, Fuma is all Hokuto needs to be happy.
But still, now isn't the time to wax eloquent on Fuma's beauty, Hokuto knows, it may be New Year's Eve, but this is Countdown, this is a time for friends and bandmates and coworkers, a time for everyone to put their best feet forward together, and as much as he wants to, he knows better than to make it about him, about only them. They've had Christmas, after all, they've had their big romantic event already, and while Hokuto is the sort of person who would be okay with tuning out the outside world and making more time for just the two of them, he knows Fuma is a social butterfly, Fuma loves people, loves crowds, loves his bandmates and his senpai and all of his Junior friends, and so more than for himself, he wants to make this the best night possible, for Fuma. And so, thus resolved, while they wait for the show to start, he sits and listens to Fuma chat with Shori-kun, Jesse, the kansai juniors a few seats away, watches Fuma's smile grow and grow to seemingly an impossible extent, and even tries to add to the conversation every once in a while, and when Fuma puts an arm around Hokuto's waist a few minutes before the show begins, Hokuto thinks, it's a bit of an added bonus.
But then the lights go down and the stage is suddenly full of life, senpai young and old taking their places all decked out in sequins and bright colours, and Hokuto thinks, everything else aside, he's so amazingly lucky to be able to be here, to see this with Fuma one last time. The resolution on the large screens off to the sides is poor and it's hard to see everything, but Hokuto doesn't care; there's too much to see, anyway, already too many places to look at once, even at their poor angle. Fuma's arm tightens around Hokuto's waist in excitement and Hokuto can practically feel him breathe, they're so close together, and even without their usual romance, without the sweet words and the hand-holding and the gifts, Hokuto thinks to be together this way is amazing. He's so lucky to be here with Fuma and the people who make Fuma happy and the people who make him happy, the friends who have occasionally, under the stress of work and other relationships, slipped his mind. But this is a new year and a time for things to be right again, and so when he sees Nakajima come running towards them, decked out in his tacky Christmas costume and clearly lip-syncing with his signature smug grin on his face, Hokuto doesn't think twice before reaching out to him, drawing him close, because maybe Nakajima is debuted and Hokuto isn't, and maybe they've had some bumps in the road over the course of the year, but Nakajima is one of Hokuto's oldest and closest friends, and if there was ever a time to remember that, it's now.
The cameras are on them and the music is loud and Hokuto is suddenly overwhelmed, because the people around them are all energy and laughter, and Nakajima is grinning at him, and Fuma's smile has practically taken up his entire face, and all Hokuto can think is that if this is a sign for the coming year, he's going to be the happiest person alive. It only lasts a moment before the next song starts and the lights and cameras move away, but Hokuto's mind is abuzz with optimism and love, and it's all he can do to concentrate on the singing and dancing onstage, leaning into Fuma's side for support-- not because it's what he thinks Fuma will like, not because it's romantic, but because Fuma's arm is tight around his waist and Fuma's shoulders are sturdy against his and it's just right, to be this way, together. It's hard to process everything that's happening around him, but then suddenly, the timer appears, and the countdown itself begins, and Hokuto spends his last moments in 2012 thinking that somehow, despite the poor beginning, despite losing everything in the first few months of the year, now, suddenly, 2012 seems as if it's been the best year of his life.
The countdown reaches the seconds, ten, nine, eight, and Hokuto can barely think, is overwhelmed by everything around him, but just as four, three, two, echo around him, he suddenly feels Fuma's fingers against his cheek, gently angling Hokuto's head towards him, and then Fuma's lips are against his, just for a second, barely a kiss, really, before he's pulling back again, eyes and mouth and everything about him smiling. "Happy new year," he says, and, "If I have you, I know I'll have a great new year," and it's all Hokuto can do to smile back, because his voice is suddenly missing. He's usually an expert at saying the right thing, at coming up with romantic words to suit any situation, but this is different, somehow, this is altogether something new.
But Fuma turns back to the show, and so Hokuto does as well, still leaning into Fuma just as Fuma is leaning into him, and they stay that way, even after the lights finally go down and the roar of the crowd once more becomes the dull additive noise of thousands of conversations at once as the audience files out of the arena. Later, once the fans are gone, he and Fuma and Shori-kun and Nakajima are supposed to meet up, to grab drinks from the vending machine and chat for a few minutes before they return home to their families, but for now, they sit and wait, the two of them, and while Hokuto isn't sure what, exactly, they're waiting for, he doesn't want to move. Out of the corner of his eye, he notices Shori-kun drift away, along with some of the other Juniors around them, but they linger, just the two of them, gazing into the now-dull set and sharing the same breath.
He's not sure how much time goes by, but the other kankeisha trickle out around them, leaving them be, knowing better than to disturb the happy couple. Belatedly, Hokuto realizes that he never responded to Fuma earlier, and so, lifting his head from where it rests against Fuma's, he smiles at him warmly, finding Fuma's free hand and taking it in his own. "I love you," he says, and maybe it's a bit abrupt, a bit out of place, but it's true, and if the way Fuma's smile softens at the words means anything, he understands. "And… if I can make you smile this way in 2013, then I'll be happy."
And Fuma smiles back at him in a way that makes it impossible for Hokuto not to smile too, his fingers entangled with Hokuto's and his arm still wrapped around Hokuto's back, and, "Happy new year, Hokuto," he says simply before letting his head fall to rest on Hokuto's shoulder once again, his eyes falling shut. Hokuto can't really see him from this angle, but he's warm against Hokuto's side, his breaths coming slow and even, and Hokuto can't help but think back to this time last year, all the resolutions he had made, work harder, be better, do more… Thinking about it now, maybe they've helped him and maybe they haven't, but it doesn't really matter. 2012 may have been the best year of his life so far, but with this one simple resolution, he thinks, and with Fuma by his side, 2013 will certainly be even better.
And when, fifteen minutes later, lingering off to the side of one of the vending machines backstage with Fuma and his bandmates, Hokuto makes easy conversation with Nakajima and Shori-kun, like they're the closest of friends, like they've never had a problem in the world, Fuma hangs off of him and beams, simply beams, and Hokuto doesn't just think it, he knows.