title: Let it Go
word count: 1,484
author's note: This is seriously 0% inspired by the song, even if maybe Yamada really ought to learn to love himself ari no mama de XD;; Written for shiritori @ writetomyheart
summary: He's been trying to do better these days about jumping to angry words before thinking, and while it feels like he's going to burst sometimes, the sensation of Chinen's hand lightly on his thigh under the table, letting him know that he's made the right choice, calms him down at least a little.
"He couldn't be a bunny," says Keito, glancing back and forth between Chinen and Yuto and Yamada at the table in the small meeting room where they're discussing plans for the 7 corner in their upcoming concert, "Yuto's already going to be a bunny for Ganbaretsugo… right? So it can't be Chinen."
Yuto nods before Yamada can get a word in edgewise, picking up from where Keito left off as Keito looks down at his notes. Sometimes, Yamada thinks those two have telepathy or something, because they're always finishing one another's sentences, even more and more recently. It's annoying, when he can't get a word in edgewise because of it, but there isn't much he can do right now besides pout as Yuto continues, "I'm going to wear the bunny onesie from 2012, remember? And we decided on having four different animals this time."
Chinen would look cuter than you as a bunny, Yamada wants to say, but instead, he bites his tongue-- he's been trying to do better these days about jumping to angry words before thinking, and while it feels like he's going to burst sometimes, the sensation of Chinen's hand lightly on his thigh under the table, letting him know that he's made the right choice, calms him down at least a little. And so, he grits his jaw and says nothing when Keito adds, "Chinen would make a good bird, don't you think?"
"He could probably wear an old feathered Arashi costume," Yuto agrees enthusiastically with a grin towards Chinen, scribbling in his notebook before moving on to the topic of animals for Keito's costume and effectively ending the discussion.
Yamada knows it's not really a big deal, because Yuto certainly has plenty of fans who will love seeing him in the bunny suit and Chinen will obviously make the most adorable bird possible, but he can't help but feel that even if it's mostly a matter of opinion, he was right, more right than Yuto and Keito, and if they'd only let him talk, then he'd have been able to show them. He tries more and more these days to let it go at times like these, because it really doesn't matter, and it really isn't a big deal, but especially when it comes to Chinen (because it's always been that way, always been all about Chinen), he practically feels like he's going to explode with all the right-ness building up inside of him. He knows that leaving things the way they are and letting the small things slip by is the best choice, knows that he was more unhappy than he is now when he used to let his opinions get the best of him, right as they might have been, when he had to assert his superiority of intelligence and understanding at every single opportunity, but it's still hard to recognize in the heat of the moment that he's doing the right thing… especially when it means he's not going to get to see Chinen in a bunny suit any time in the near future.
But he doesn't have much time to mope and fret about it, because straight after the meeting, they're bussed across town to the rehearsal hall for rehearsals for an upcoming TV appearance, and once they're in the same room as BEST, all hell breaks loose (as it's want to do in a nine-member group of twenty-something boys) until rehearsal is starting, and as much as he loves to be miserable, Yamada is forcibly dragged from his thoughts by Hikaru and Yabu stealing his water bottle and running halfway across the building with it before Hikaru's slow running is his downfall even to Yamada's stubby legs, and then a moment later returns to the dressing room to find his phone taped to the counter, causing alarm and distress when he first tries to pick it up followed by no confessions but a suspicious amount of giggling from Inoo and Daiki, and before he knows it, rehearsal is already over and he hasn't spent more than a few moments sulking internally about the loss of the bunny costume for Chinen.
It's nice to be distracted, but once rehearsal is done and the others begin to go their separate ways, Yamada's mind, as it always does, drifts back to his problems, and as the dressing room empties of everyone except Chinen, he drops down onto the sofa, sighing heavily and running his hands through his hair. He lets his eyes fall closed as he leans into the foamy cushions, trying not to let himself get worked up and failing, as always. He can't ever seem to let go, to stop the constant replay of the situation in his brain, the constant insistence beneath everything that he was right and that they should have listened to him, that he should have forced them to listen and not just laid back and let himself be walked over, because sure, maybe they're all better idols and singers and dancers and planners than he is, but he's right about some things, goddammit, he's right--
Yamada opens his eyes at Chinen's voice, and is surprised to see his groupmate (his best friend, his boyfriend… his everything, really) blinking down at him from directly in front of him. "Mm…?" is all he can manage, squinting at the light and trying to fight down the frantic beating of his heart, revved up with anxiety he hadn't even realized he was creating in himself.
Chinen smiles at him for a moment before moving forward to straddle Yamada's lap, leaning in and placing a kiss on his lips before drawing back only far enough to meet Yamada's eyes. "I was proud of you today, you know," he remarks quietly, lips curling up into that irresistible childlike grin. Yamada knows that Chinen is far more mature than him, far smarter and more worldly, but something about that face always reminds him of the first time they'd met, so many years ago, when Yamada had first fallen head over heels. They've been through a lot since then, ups and downs and in-betweens, but Yamada is still every bit as smitten as he was that day. Obsessing over Chinen might bring out the worst in him, but loving Chinen always brings out the best, always breaks the bad habits from him and builds up the good, and even if it's a stupid way to say it, when he watches Chinen sing, dance, laugh, bring joy to everyone around him, Yamada knows that Chinen really is his better half.
But still, he's puzzled now by Chinen's words, and frowns, cocking his head to one side. Chinen laughs and ruffles his hair, which makes Yamada frown more, before adding, "I'm proud of you for just letting it drop. With Yuto."
Yamada isn't sure why it's anything to be proud of, but he shrugs. "It isn't a big deal," he replies as nonchalantly as he can, because even if Chinen is somehow weirdly praising him for it, he still doesn't feel that great about the exchange.
But, "It's not," Chinen agrees with a nod, slipping his arms around Yamada's shoulders and linking his fingers at the nape of Yamada's neck. "Even if you were totally right in my opinion… it's really not."
Yamada can't help but laugh at that-- Chinen may have teased him in the past about his love of looking at his boyfriend in animal costumes, but in the end, he knows it only means Chinen loves and accepts him for who he is, and all of it combined feels as if all of the stress and anxiety somehow melt away. It's amazing, what Chinen can do to him, the way Chinen has cleared away all the bad and only made room for the good in his life, and he reaches out to brush his fingers along Chinen's cheek gently, idly. "Well if you agree with me, then that's all I care about," he replies with his own grin, which only grows wider as he sees the way Chinen's face lights up in response.
It feels right, to just be this way, sitting together, chest to chest, smile to smile, but after a few moments, Yamada is beginning to consider either kissing Chinen or asking him if he wants to go out together for dinner when suddenly, Chinen's smile curls up in that way that Yamada knows means he's up to something. "What?" he asks, but Chinen just shrugs. "You've been being such a good boy lately…" and Yamada scrunches his nose at the wording; he knows what Chinen means, but still, he doesn't have to say it like Yamada's a kid, and he's considering protesting when Chinen finishes his sentence and Yamada's mind goes completely blank:
"So I was thinking, there might just be me in a bunny costume in your future, after all."