pairings: The focus is Kento and Yugo friendship, but it includes background Hokuto/Fuma, Jesse/Yugo, and Kento/Shori
word count: 1,684
author's note: This is set last month, after Kento wrote Yugo back in Dengonban for the first time. Those two have been seeming really close recently. ;___; Written for shiritori @ writetomyheart
summary: While that should have been easy enough to ignore in the periphery of Kento's consciousness, something about Kouchi keeps hovering within his line of vision.
"The world is full of surprises, Nakajima," Fuma says snidely from surprisingly close, making Kento jump from where he's been staring into space for the last few moments, "And also full of people who aren't you. You learn something new every day."
"Shut up," Kento replies, waving at Fuma dismissively in an attempt to get Fuma's smirk out of his face, but when it doesn't work, he stands with a huff, flouncing over to the door to the hall and pausing a moment. His source of entertainment gone, Fuma is now glued to his phone, no doubt texting Hokuto or Yasui or one of them and making plans for the weekend, and Marius and Sou have already been sent home, now that it's late. Shori is glued to his diary, as he always is after Shounen Club filmings, scribbling furiously with a look of utter concentration on his face, and it's adorable, but Kento knows better than to disturb him at times like these, when he's so focused on feelings. Besides, in a strange and unfathomable turn of events, somehow, Kento has complicated feelings of his own to deal with, and so, lingering only a moment, he lets himself out and into the hall.
He doesn't really know where he's going, but somehow, it feels like he needs to be away from his group, away from the raucous laughter of juniors messing around with their friends, of ABC-Z and Johnny's West in the hallways, and so he walks on forward. It's baffling to feel this way, uncertain and unsure of himself, because that's not how he is, that's not how he lives his life-- he's Nakajima Kento, for heaven's sake, the sexiest and oldest member of Sexy Zone, heart-throb to thousands of teen girls in Japan and abroad, the resident loveholic of Johnny's… so why is he so mentally caught up in some drama (or whatever it was) that happened years ago.
Or, really, it's not really the drama that's keeping his mind turning over and over inside his head and occasionally flipping his stomach, too; Kento had never really thought of it as drama, really, when it had come to him and Kouchi. Sure, they'd been close in B.I.Shadow but then Kento had gotten busy with Sexy Zone, and yeah, maybe after that he felt awkward about the whole thing to some extent and avoided his former friends once things had cooled down, but… who could blame him, really? What with the way that Fuma and Hokuto had drowned themselves in depression at the breakup, the way that every other Junior their age had been talking behind their backs about how it ought to have been this or that or some other thing, Kento didn't really feel like he was even welcome amongst Kouchi's group of friends now that he was a member of Sexy Zone. But none of it had really been that dramatic; they'd been jealous, Kento had thought, sure, that Kento was more talented and more popular than them, and maybe Kouchi had been a bit put off by the way Kento had reacted to it all when clearly, the other three of them had been more broken up about their group being pulled apart, but the past was in the past, and Kento had put that whole chapter of his life behind him.
At least, that's what he'd thought, only where he'd thought that Fuma and Hokuto and everyone else involved had settled into a new normal, something wasn't quite the same with Kouchi. Sure, he fit in with his new group, found a boyfriend in Jesse (who somehow got totally hot in the interim, Kento had to admit), and kept chugging along the way he always had, in that unobtrusive, surprisingly regular way that he had, but while that should have been easy enough to ignore in the periphery of Kento's consciousness, something about Kouchi kept hovering within his line of vision. Perhaps it was the way he went out of his way to make friends with the younger ones, Marius and Sou and Shori, or perhaps it was the way he often wrote to Sexy Zone (not just to Fuma, but to all of them) in Winkup dengonban, or perhaps it was the way he always made sure to come to every Sexy Zone concert that he could, but whatever it was, Kento couldn't quite ignore it, couldn't quite brush him off as "bitter" or "jealous" the way he had with Hokuto, the way he had with everyone else.
But he didn't really know what to think of it as, and frankly, worrying about things like this wasn't something Kento liked to spend his limited hours of the day on, and so he did his best to push it out of his mind, but as these things were want to, it kept creeping back up in the corners of his mind until he found himself staring at Kouchi every once in a while, at rehearsal or during filmings, enough, eventually, that Fuma pulled him aside and told him that he'd better not even be thinking of cheating on Shori. Kento had gotten offended and brushed Fuma off (because of course he wasn't going to cheat on Shori!) but he deep down, he knew that that meant something was up, and while maybe it wasn't a big deal and he definitely wasn't going to think that much about it or get hung up on it, eventually, he found himself writing to Kouchi in dengonban, finally responding for the first time ever to Kouchi's messages to all of Sexy Zone.
That had been almost a month ago, now, the magazine published and no real noticeable change so far, but somehow, where Kento thought maybe the magazine thing would make him be able to forget about it all, instead, it made him watch Kouchi even more, to see if there was any sign that he'd read the magazine, that he had some sort of response. At first, it felt incredibly stupid, because what was Kento doing here worrying so much about the feelings of one random person (with whom he may or may not have had a thing when they were younger, but who was counting?), but soon enough, against Kento's expectations, he found that occasionally, Kouchi would look back at him, grinning and sending Kento scurrying to pretend he hadn't looked in the first place.
But then finally, in the wings at Shounen Club, Kouchi had caught him looking and looked him right back in the eye, and Kento hadn't been able to look away. He'd hoped, afterwards, that no one had seen, and that maybe he could pretend that it'd never happened, and everything was normal, only even if Fuma hadn't caught it and teased him about it afterwards, Kento couldn't shake it from his mind, the memory of Kouchi's face lighting up in a smile just for Kento, the way it had when they were only kids. It made something inside Kento's chest feel tight and strange, and so, after the recording was done, he found himself pacing the hallways of NHK Hall, unsure of what to think, how to get it off his mind. It was stupid, he kept telling himself, to get hung up on this, because he had plenty of friends and plenty of people who liked him, and it didn't matter if things had gotten weird with former groupmates, because it was their loss if they didn't want to be friends with him… only, no matter how many times he's told himself, here he is, moping around over it all the same.
In fact, he's so lost in his thoughts that he nearly runs head first into someone who's walked into his way, and only after he stopped abruptly, stumbling back a few paces with an apology on his lips did he notice that it was Kouchi, a smile on his lips, that damn unreadable playful look in his eye that Kento had always loved when they were kids, that he had somehow forgotten about until now. The apology falls away and Kento is mute; his brain seems to have frozen and need a reboot in the face of the person he's been so worked up about, and so all that he manages is "…Kouchi?" as if the fact that the person standing right in front of him is Kouchi is really in question at all.
But Kouchi only smiles at him for another moment with that bafflingly friendly, unassuming smile, and it's only then that Kento realizes belatedly that Kouchi has this month's Winkup tucked under one arm. Kento opens his mouth to say something, but before he can, Kouchi asks, "So, did you want to get food sometime with your group?" and as simple as that question is, Kento feels as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders as he blinks at Kouchi for a moment before nodding.
"Great," Kouchi responds easily before turning to go, "I'll text you then!" and with that, he's gone, just as quickly as he'd come. Kento stands there for a moment wondering what had just happened, because somehow, while everything had seemed so easy and everyday to Kouchi, it had felt as if the world had stopped altogether for Kento. Which is stupid-- Kento is the important one out of the two of them, of course, but yet… maybe, somehow, Kento admitted to himself as his feet figured out how to move and he began to walk back towards the dressing room again, Kouchi might be a little important to him, to his life, too.
It's sort of a scary thought, but then again, when has Kento ever been a coward? In fact, he's feeling pretty good about himself for the first time in a while as his pace slows into something a bit more like his regular saunter, a bit of a smile finding its way onto his face. Things will sort themselves out, surely, but for right now… well… he's definitely looking forward to making dinner plans.