pairing: Miyachika Kaito/Iwahashi Genki
warnings: passing mentions of questionable parenting
word count: 3,064
author's note: At the Sexy Boyz Johnny's Livehouse Ginza shows in Theatre Crea, it came up that Genki had a fever and had to be taken to the hospital and given an IV during the Sexy Zone Osaka shows, and ended up performing anyway, so this fic is based on that story. Written for luna_truths for the je_wakamono exchange!
summary:"Really, I'm fine," Genki insists, but when he looks back up to meet Miyachika's eyes again, somehow, he feels as if maybe, it might be okay to be weak this one time.
Genki wakes up on the morning of March 28th feeling like crap. It's not all that surprising, really, he tells himself as he forces himself upright and stumbles into the bathroom, after spending the night crammed into a tiny hotel double with Abe Aran, and he'll undoubtedly feel more human after he's brushed his teeth and washed his face. Tours are always hard, because it's so easy to get swept up in the fun things, to play games and gossip and fool around until the early hours of the morning with the others despite the fact that tours are probably the most draining aspect of being in Johnny's and really, he ought to be resting up, or at least studying. But outside the sphere of his parents' control, it's hard to find the willpower, hard to say no to the others' insistence (Come on, just for a while? It won't be the same without you!) when he can still so clearly remember being more unwelcome than the plague to his classmates in junior high school. Having real friends, people who want him, who care about his presence, is still a little bit awe-inspiring to Genki, and so, when Reia gives him that pleading expression and Jinguji slings an arm around him and Miyachika smiles at him in just that way that makes Genki's heart practically leap out of his chest, he can never say no, doesn't even want to, really.
But now, after a night of partying with his friends until two in the morning regardless of their 7 am breakfast deadline, he feels like he's been run over by a truck, or possibly a horde of fangirls, and with each step in his morning routine, unlike usual, he only feels worse. Normally, he's fussy about his hair and his face; after years of bullying, he can't not care about he looks, even though he always feels like he doesn't know what he's doing, but today, he barely has the energy to run his hands though his hair a few times and smooth down the spots that are lumpy from sleep, and putting concealer on his embarrassing acne spots feels like a chore. He's half tempted not to exchange the sweats he's slept in for fresh ones for rehearsal because the thought of exerting enough energy to change clothes is daunting, but the humiliation it would cause if someone called him out on it, teasing or not, is enough to scare him into mustering the strength.
By the time he makes it to breakfast, set up in a private room away from the rest of the hotel patrons, he feels like it's an accomplishment just to have not dropped dead in the elevator. Food doesn't sound appealing in the slightest, but he still nods appreciatively when Reia slides a bowl of miso soup and a pair of chopsticks in front of him with a smile and does his best to drum up the energy to at least nibble at the pieces of wakame and tofu despite the fact that he feels anything but hungry. Besides him, Reia, Matsukura, and Fu are engaged in some argument about whether Nino from Arashi or Nakai from SMAP is worse at dancing and across from him, Jinguji is lauding his own singing ability to anyone who will listen, but somehow, it all seems as if it's happening on the opposite side of a wall, or perhaps underwater. Genki's mind can't seem to focus on anything, the room around him tilting nauseatingly in a way that can't possibly be normal. He's probably just hungry, Genki tries to tell himself, attempting to blink away the fogginess in his eyes as he manages a sip of his soup, but even lifting the bowl to his lips feels like it takes too much energy, and he barely manages to keep from spilling as he struggles not to just drop the bowl onto the table.
In the haze of his mind, the sound of the bowl hitting the table isn't that loud, at least not in comparison to the ringing in his ears, but belatedly, he realizes that everyone is looking at him. Most of them look as if they're not sure what to say, and Genki feels embarrassment sting sharply in his chest, only realizing then that his face must already be too hot for it to get much redder with humiliation. He struggles to find words, but before he can speak, he feels a hand on his shoulder and starts, turning to see Miyachika standing behind him, having apparently come over without Genki's knowledge from where he'd been sitting across the room with Morita-kun and Hanzawa-kun.
"I'm worried about you," Miyachika says straightforwardly, his eyes on Genki and no one else, "Are you okay?"
And somehow, it's at hearing those words that no one else had bothered to say, that Genki hadn't even allowed himself to consider, that finally, Genki can't hold on any longer. "I'm fine--" he tries to say, but it comes out as a mumble as the world goes black around the edges and he collapses forward into Miyachika's arms.
Genki is only halfway coherent for the car ride to the hospital. The world is still swimming, and he doesn't really know what's going on, but "I'm fine--" he keeps insisting anyway, because he hates that people are going out of their way for him, hates that people are being inconvenienced by him, hates that he's messing everything up. He keeps thinking that maybe if he can sit up, they'll believe him, or if he can manage to get out a full sentence, but even that's hard, and every time he tries to talk or sit up, Reia and Miyachika, who sit on either side of him in the back seat, urge him to lay down, to relax. Reia keeps trying to push a water bottle up to his lips, telling him he'll feel better if he drinks, and so he does, but he doesn't know why or what's going on. All he knows is that he's the center of attention for something he messed up, and he hates it, hates the feeling of knowing all eyes are on him, all minds are on him and his weakness and his failure. Still, it's a little hard, even in his current state, to feel too bad about the way Miyachika's holding tight onto his hand, squeezing like he never wants to let go.
It's hard to say whether it's years or mere seconds before they arrive at the hospital and Genki is being pulled to his feet and ushered inside, arms around Miyachika and Reia's shoulders as one of the management hurries ahead, talking to the receptionist in hushed tones as Genki is eased into a chair. He feels as if all eyes are on him, everyone behind the receptionist desk and in the waiting room watching him, no doubt thinking what a failure, what an irresponsible kid, and it makes his head spin even more to know that he's making such a mess of this. If only he'd been good and studied and gone to bed… if only he hadn't stayed up so late… but it's too late to undo now, and so he tries to sink into the floor, or at least as far into the blanket Reia and Miyachika have wrapped around him to quell his shivering as he possibly can.
A nurse calls his name and brings him back into the examination room much faster than expected, and Genki feels miserable as Miyachika and Reia help him back to his feet while people who have been waiting much longer glare on; it isn't fair that Genki gets to supersede their place in line and Genki knows it, and he can't help but hang his head in shame as he sits in the examination chair and lets the nurse slide a thermometer until his arm. Still, despite the fact that he knows he should be reflecting on his actions, it's hard to focus on anything, and before he knows what's happening, the nurse is taking the thermometer back and studying it intently. Genki wants to ask what the temperature is, because surely he's fine, surely, he doesn't need all this special attention, but he can't find the words, and the nurse is talking in a hushed, hurried voice to the staff member there with Genki before rushing out of the room.
Everything feels surreal for the next few minutes as Genki is moved into another room and laid out on a table and told not to move or panic. It's hard not to panic, though, when he has no idea what's going on, especially when suddenly there are nurses preparing an IV that becomes more and more apparently for him. Genki isn't really afraid of needles, but he's overwhelmed, and even though it doesn't hurt, he cries as the nurses leave him all alone and tell him to relax, as if he can knowing that he's a failure, and knowing that he's all alone in the world here, being pumped with some medicine he's never heard of for some illness he doesn't understand.
He feels dazed and unaware of his surroundings, staring at the ceiling intently in an effort not to focus on all the bad and scary and unsure things when suddenly, someone moves into his line of sight: Miyachika. Genki feels his heart leap in his chest (even more than it's already racing with fear and anxiety), and he can't help but squeeze back when Miyachika squeezes his hand. It's taken a long time for Genki to get used to having a boyfriend-- he wouldn't even say that he's used to it now, really-- but now that he's had Miyachika there to be on his side, to hold him up and support him for half a year, he at least is able to find comfort and assurance in his presence, if nothing else. And so now, the sight of Miyachika, the feel of his broad, warm palm against Genki's is enough to slow the thrum of his pulse and allow him to take a slow, shaky breath after what's felt like hours of frantic gasping.
"How are you feeling?" Miyachika says at length, looking down into Genki's eyes with an expression Genki can't quite read, something deep and cloudy in the black depths of his eyes where usually there's only light and laughter.
"Fine," Genki rasps hurriedly, his throat dry and his voice wavering in his attempt to not be a burden.
"Don't lie, stupid," Miyachika replies, his voice sounding similar to his usual joking tone but not quite right, not quite the same. He squeezes Genki's hand a little tighter, and Genki feels something fluttering in his chest that's different from anxiety.
"Really, I'm fine," Genki insists, blinking and swallowing and trying to figure out what's going on inside of his head, his heart, but when he looks back up to meet Miyachika's eyes again, somehow, he feels as if maybe, it might be okay to be weak this one time.
Despite the fact that he still has a fever and feels as if staying upright is a chore, five hours later, Genki performs in the concert. After an hour or so with the medication, a few staff members return, first talking in hushed voices right outside the room, then coming in and asking Genki how he's doing. Fine, he tells them, just like he'd told Miyachika, but he can't bring himself to meet Miyachika's eyes when he says it. Can you perform? they ask him, voices tight and heavy, and it scares Genki to think of what might happen, what consequences might come of his failure if he says no, and so yes, he responds simply, I'm fine, and that is that.
The show goes by in sort of a blur of struggling to remember choreography and labored breathing, but luckily, the fans don't seem to realize anything is wrong, and the ones who do probably write it off as Genki's signature stage fright. He briefly wonders what it means that being unwell is so common an occurrence for him that his fans don't even notice when he's struggling to perform with a high fever, but he can barely keep a thought in his head for more than a few seconds, and so he doesn't stew on it. He was able to do his job, he was able to not let down the fans or the group or the other juniors or the management, and that, he tells himself, even as his vision starts to go blurry again, even as he feels his knees giving out from under him in the doorway of the dressing room, is what matters.
He wakes up again somewhere that is definitely not the dressing room, and for a moment, he panics, before his surroundings register to him as his hotel room, and then the tiny sense of warmth somewhere in the extremities of his awareness registers as a hand holding his own. He turns instinctively and winces when it makes the room spin, but sure enough, there, by his side, is Miyachika, looking at him with that same expression that Genki can't read. It's unusual to see him look so serious, and for a moment, Genki conflates it in his mind with his parents' look of disapproval and panic begins to rise in his chest as he struggles to find words, to understand what's going on in his hazy state of dawning consciousness.
But then before Genki can say anything, suddenly, Miyachika moves closer, closer, and it feels like slow motion to Genki as Miyachika wraps his arms around Genki's body in a hug. Genki is so shocked that he doesn't move for a long moment, and then, the first thing he does is begin to cry.
"God, I was so fucking scared," Miyachika breathes, his lips up against the side of Genki's face. "When you passed out after the show… Fuck…"
And suddenly, Genki realizes, the expression that he couldn't read so long, that he'd been fretting about all day was exactly what Miyachika had said it was that morning: worry. He was worried about Genki. Not upset with him, or angry at him, or judging of him, simply worried about him, about his health, about his wellbeing, and that makes the tears come harder than any pain or fear that Genki has experienced yet.
"Come on… don't cry…" Miyachika says, pulling back slightly to look Genki in the eye, a bit of the lightness coming back into his voice, though the worry doesn't leave his eyes. He wipes at Genki's tears futilely with his thumb and frowns. "You're burning up… where did you put the medicine from the doctor?"
"In my suitcase," Genki whimpers, sniffing and trying to swallow back his embarrassing lack of control. He shivers a little when Miyachika moves away, his entire body feeling suddenly devoid of warmth despite the fact that it's late March and he's covered with blankets. Miyachika rummages around Genki's suitcase for a moment before returning with the five little envelopes from the hospital and taking a pill from each one, handing them one by one to Genki along with a glass of water. It feels strange to be taken care of when all his life, Genki has felt like a failure if he couldn't take care of himself, but somehow, it doesn't feel wrong… in fact, if he's honest with himself, it feels more right than anything else that's happened today.
"Thanks," he says after he's taken the last pill, but his voice wavers a little with the tremors of chilliness that are still shaking his body, and he gives Miyachika a self-deprecating smile of embarrassment as he tries to pull the blankets up closer to his face. Miyachika frowns at him in response for a moment before flashing Genki a grin that somehow comforts Genki in its normalcy and climbing into bed with him.
"Wh-what are you doing?" Genki asks, trying to scoot away from Miyachika even as his body aches for the warmth, the embrace. "What if someone comes… and I'm going to make you sick…!"
But Miyachika only shrugs, sliding an arm around Genki and pulling him closer, and it feels so good after being scared and cold and alone for so long that Genki can't really resist. "They moved Aran into another room… and idiots like me can't catch colds," he explains with a half-laugh, allowing Genki to curl into his side and running a hand through his hair comfortingly.
"What?" Genki half-laughs as well, his voice muffled into Miyachika's chest. "You're not an idiot…"
But before he can continue, Miyachika shakes his head. "I'm an idiot," he reiterates, "for not seeing that you were sick this morning, and for not being there for you while you were scared at the hospital, and for letting them talk you into performing when you clearly were too sick."
He's still smiling a little, a wry, humorless smile, but slowly, Genki realizes that this is what Miyachika's self-deprecation looks like. It's odd and surreal to see someone else doing what he does so often, and more than that, it hurts, and before Genki can really think about it , he's wrapping his arms tightly around Miyachika's body and pressing his face into Miyachika's chest.
"You're perfect," he replies quietly after a moment, unsure what to say in this unexpected role reversal but knowing he has to say something, "If it hadn't been for you…." But he doesn't know how to express everything that Miyachika has done for him that day, and so he buries his face further in Miyachika's chest and adds quietly, "…I love you."
There's silence for a beat, and Genki's just beginning to panic that he's said the wrong thing when suddenly, he feels Miyachika's hand on his cheek, tilting his head up to meet his eyes. "I guess that's enough for me," Miyachika says, his signature grin back on his features, and at that, Genki can't help but smile. He still feels a little like a failure for getting sick at a time like this, but, well, if it means that he has Miyachika holding his hand and taking care of him the whole time… well, maybe that's good enough for him, too.