title: pocketful of starlight
pairing: Jinguji Yuta/Nakamura Reia
warnings: This fic does not show Hirano Sho or Nagase Ren in the most positive light. If that would be offensive to you, please read with caution.
word count: 1,711
author's note: This is based on my experience at Theatre Crea last weekend. I will eventually write a report, but for now you can read a little about it here. Title is from "Catch a Falling Star" by Perry Como.
summary: Reia isn't sure what to make of this whole Crea experience.
Reia isn't sure what to make of this whole Crea experience. It's been utterly bizarre from day one, and, as always, there's no explanation for anything from the staff, from the groupings to the songs assigned to the way, as time and rehearsals go on, Reia is more and more clearly getting pushed to the back. That hurts a little bit-- he's not one to be heartbroken if he's not in the spotlight, but he has worked awfully hard up until this point, and the amount of time he's to spend offstage entirely is pretty disheartening-- but what feels worse is that it feels like with every number he's not in, the gap between he and the other three, Kaito and the two Kansai boys, gets bigger and bigger. And more than the flat out loneliness, which is there too, every time he's excluded from a conversation, every time the other three go off together without so much as a word in his direction, every time Jinguji or Genki or Kishi texts him about some fun adventure they're off on together, is the sinking feeling that he's done something wrong, that he's doing something wrong. Because Reia has always been friendly and easy to get along with, Reia has always been courteous and one to pay attention to the other person, to ask them about themselves and their lives. It's what had always allowed him to get on with everyone; Kishi, who doesn't have enough brainpower for social graces, and Genki, who needs someone to hold him up sometimes, and Jinguji, who thrives best when he has someone in front of whom he can feel comfortable and assured and safe from embarrassment, and so he doesn't know what's wrong here, why he can't seem to find some common ground, some way to connect with his costars. Kaito is shy and quiet, he knows, which is another worry altogether, because he and Kaito are supposed to be a group now, and yet off Kaito goes every single day with the Kansai boys here or there, leaving Reia wondering if they'll ever be any sort of group at all. But he supposes that right now, in this show, his failure to capture the attention of the Kansai boys is by far his biggest failing, because it's been made clear that they're the stars of the show, and they're the ones who matter.
And so he goes through the rehearsals in a constant state of loneliness and confusion. When Fu and Matsuku and Genta are there, it's a little easier, because they're really Reia's friends, the ones who are there for him to fall back on when he needs someone to land on. He knows he can always open up to them, but right now, Reia doesn't even know what there is to open up about. It's Kaito's prerogative to spend time with whoever he wants, and it's the Kansai boys' prerogative to spend time with whoever they want. No one has really done Reia any wrong (except maybe the management, but there's really no use in holding onto any anger there), but yet here he is feeling quietly miserable, and it's so stupid that he can't bring himself to say anything about it to his friends. They're clearly worried about him, but Reia doesn't know what else to do besides put on a happy face and assure them that he's fine-- what else can he do? It's not like they can change anything, not like they can make up for Reia's failure as a person or a costar or a friend, and so he tries to let it all pass, tries not to worry the only people he hasn't pushed away yet with his silly problems.
And so rehearsals drag on, day after day, week after week. He knows it sounds stuck up and stupid when he's headlining a Crea show, but it's hard to feel enthusiastic when he's offstage for half the show and unwanted by the three other frontliners. It feels like the months leading up to the show stretch into years, and as time goes on, it's hard to drum up the energy for rehearsals. It's as if the show is sapping his strength, but it's not something he would ever dream of complaining about, and so he grits his teeth and endures until finally, it's time for opening weekend.
The first show goes predictably-- it's hard to be able to smile, to put his usual energy into his performance when he feels so lost and alone, but as always, there are a few fans in the front row for him and a couple dozen more more scattered throughout the audience of six-hundred, and just seeing them, meeting eyes with them, connecting with them through a touch or a peace sign or a wave give him little bursts of energy and confidence throughout the show. Still, though, it's hard to stay peppy when he spends most of the show in the wings, and after two more shows of the same, by the evening on the 25th, he feels as if he just doesn't have the energy to go on.
But then, an hour before the show, he gets a text from Jinguji: Look for me in the audience. He's surprised-- Jinguji had never set any plans with him to come see the show, and he isn't always the best when it comes to supporting Reia, no matter how much, underneath his spoiled nature and his brattiness, Reia knows Jinguji loves him. Still, Jinguji had been above Reia's expectations when he'd found out about Reia's part in the show from Fu and Matsuku and Genta, he'd blown up at everyone in sight, shouting about how unfair it was to anyone who would listen, and despite his doubt and sadness, knowing Jinguji cared enough about him to get that upset for his sake still made his heart squeeze inside his chest with love. Still, he hadn't known Jinguji was planning on coming to see the show at all, and so he stares at his phone for a whole five minutes before finding the presence of mind to text back.
It's a silly little thing, but somehow, knowing Jinguji is watching is enough to get Reia through the show. It makes him notice the little things, like the way the fans' eyes light up when he waves in their direction, as well as find the strength to try to break into the MC conversation once or twice even when it seems impossible, and where, for the past three days, it's dragged on, the evening passes quickly, and soon enough, he's face to face with Jinguji backstage.
He isn't sure what to expect when Jinguji had been so worked up about the whole thing earlier but so nonchalant about coming, and he isn't sure how to read Jinguji's pout, either, as he looks at Reia somehow sheepishly out of the corner of his eye. His hands are shoved in his pockets and he's slouching, and Reia doesn't really know what to do besides smile and say, "Thanks for coming."
Jinguji shrugs, pursing his lips for a moment, and usually, Jinguji is an open book to Reia, but, he supposes, when it comes to their relationship, when it comes to his feelings about Reia himself, maybe because he's all tangled up in the situation or maybe because he's blinded by what he's hoping Jinguji is thinking and feeling, it's much harder. But Jinguji only keeps him guessing for a moment longer before mumbling, "I still say it was totally fucked up and you're the best one in the show. But I'm still glad I got to see you perform."
Later in the evening, things will seem a little more normal, like when Jinguji tags on "Especially since you looked totally hot in those tight gold pants," and when he stands in the doorway of the dressing room watching Reia change into his street clothes, and when he whispers all the dirty thoughts he was having about Reia's dancing during the show while they're on the train back to Chiba together. But for right now, somehow, those two silly sentences seem like the most romantic thing Reia's ever heard in his entire life, and before he knows what he's doing, he's throwing his arms around Jinguji and holding him as tightly as he can. He doesn't know what's happening, but suddenly, all the weakness that he's kept inside this whole time feels like it's rushing out, and his knees go weak as he feels Jinguji hesitate a moment and then throw his arms around Reia's body as well, holding him tight to his chest.
"Sorry I'm sweaty and gross," Reia murmurs with a bit of a laugh into Jinguji's chest, trying to inject a little humour into a situation so emotional in a way that he can't understand. It's true-- he's still in his costume, but he doesn't want to let go so that he can get changed and clean up.
"Shut up," Jinguji replies, squeezing Reia so tight for a second that Reia can't breathe, and after going for months feeling like no one has wanted him at all, it makes Reia feels as if he could cry. Jinguji might be stupid and self-centered and immature, but even if he can't say it, feeling physically through his actions how much he loves Reia is enough, more than enough to make Reia feel as if he has the strength to face next weekend's shows, after all.
They stay that way in silence for a little while, Jinguji holding Reia up and Reia clinging to his support, but it doesn't feel awkward or off. In fact, Reia is beginning to think that maybe they can just stay like this forever when suddenly, Jinguji drops his face into Reia's hair and takes a deep breath before mumbling, "You smell like a star."
And maybe that's weird, maybe it's not romantic, maybe it's silly and laughable, but Reia's heart seems as if it's threatening to burst out of his chest. He hasn't felt like a star since this whole ordeal started, but, well, if Jinguji feels that way, then maybe, at the end of the day, that's what matters.