pairings: gen; Fuma + all of Sexy Zone friendship
word count: 1,657
author's note: I wanted to write something in reaction to the recent alarming Sexy Zone news, but I didn't want to write something about it. This is pretty cliched, but it's what made me feel better right now. Written for Arashi's designated Friendship Day, July 20th.
summary: Fuma knows more and more with each passing day that, in all their faults as well as their strengths, Sexy Zone is his family.
There have always been times, for sure, that Fuma wants to punch Nakajima in the face, even when they were in B.I.Shadow together and Fuma was 14 and much less of a "badass" than he is (or at least, is advertised to be) now, and even when Nakajima was 15 and much less of a pain in the ass. Their personalities have never really been the sort that mesh naturally, not when Nakajima's always been about getting to the top while Fuma cares more about being true to himself, but while he might not always agree with Nakajima, while he might be aggravated by Nakajima at times, Fuma can't help but respect him and how hard he works at what they both love. Nakajima is sort of like his brother, really, the older brother he never had-- sometimes he drives Fuma up a wall, sometimes Fuma wants to heckle or tease him, but at the same time, Nakajima is someone he knows in and out, someone he can see realistically and trust when he's really in a pinch.
After all, maybe Nakajima was annoying as fuck when Sexy Zone first debuted, maybe he still struts a bit too much for Fuma's taste, and maybe sometimes, when he performs songs like Candy or does TV appearances like his Loveholic-Prince-whatever show, he's embarrassing as hell, but when Nakajima catches his eye in rehearsal, or bumps against his shoulder right before he goes onstage, or thumps him on the back when Fuma's having a hard time, or calls Fuma's name when one of the younger ones is struggling and he knows Fuma can help, Fuma knows that Sexy Zone wouldn't be home without Nakajima.
There are times, for sure, that Fuma doesn't really know what to do with Shori, their quiet, pensive, sometimes-lost middle child, and, for better or for worse, their designated leader. He's never really been able to understand Shori the way he has with Nakajima and Sou and Marius; Shori, who spends more time thinking than acting, whose emotions play out in different ways than Fuma sometimes expects, who seems to prefer to withdraw than act out when he's scared or worried or hurting. It makes Fuma nervous, itchy, almost, because Shori is a younger brother to him, almost the same as the one he has at home, Shori is someone Fuma wants to support and protect, but he can't do that, can't do anything but watch from afar if Shori doesn't let him in. He doesn't know how to read Shori, and it frustrates him; he knows Shori has deep feelings, ones that he writes about in his diary, but Fuma can't quite see them the way they glisten beneath his eyes but don't ever fully surface. All he wants at times like those is to hug Shori, to pull him close and never let him go, but he has to learn how to stand back, how to take a deep breath, how to nod and walk away when Shori responds to his offers of help or support that no, it's okay, he's fine.
But at the end of the day, Fuma thinks, it's a good thing that Shori is different that way, it's good that he's independent and introverted. Sure, it's hard for Fuma to understand, but Shori is his own person and getting older and more confident with each day, and it fills Fuma's heart with pride to see him up in the front, standing more and more with his own presence, in his own aura. Maybe Fuma will never fully understand Shori, maybe Fuma will never fully appreciate Shori's poetry and song lyrics, maybe Fuma will never fully be able to be Shori's big brother the way that he wants to be, but despite that, Fuma knows that if it weren't for Shori, the other four of them wouldn't ever be able to bloom.
There are always times when Fuma feels sorry for Sou, the butt of everyone's jokes and the victim of practically every circumstance. Not only does Sou constantly get the short end of the management's stick, but he had to commute for so long from Shizuoka, forced to miss out on group outings and events, and then move to Tokyo in the midst of his first year of high school, a time that Fuma knows from experience is stressful enough without apartment hunting and packing and traveling. And it doesn't help that he knows that Sou pushes himself the hardest of them all, Sou is constantly beating himself up over his changing voice, or his small stature, or his clumsiness in the height of puberty. It makes Fuma want to tell him it's okay, you're okay, but he knows Sou won't take it to heart, and so instead, he teases him, you're such a workaholic and don't be so serious, because he knows Sou takes it in stride and he doesn't know what else to do for his groupmate, his kouhai, practically his little brother.
Still, it makes Sou smile, and if he can't do anything else, Fuma thinks, it's enough. After all, whether he knows it or not, Sou is growing every day, both his body as he works so hard to be healthy and improve his dancing every single day, and his heart. With every day he doesn't let the pressure crush him, with every day he gets up and brushes himself off and tries again, with every day he swallows back his own fears and hurts and pushes himself a little harder, he looks a little bit more like a grown-up to Fuma. It brings tears to his eyes to think about, but he swallows them back and laughs instead, because that's what Sou would want, and because Fuma knows that without Sou, Sexy Zone would be without warmth, too.
There have been times, over the past three years, that Fuma has wanted to push Marius into a closet and shut the door, or else, at the very least, get him a muzzle, when he's whiny and pushy and generally behaving like a spoiled child. He knows Marius is a sweet kid at heart, he knows that it must be hard to be so young and so famous in a foreign country where he barely speaks the language, he knows that Germany must be completely different from Japan, but still, when Marius won't shut up about this or that in his life, when he nags and carries on and calls them all names when they won't give in, he feels like the most annoying younger brother in the world, and it makes Fuma want to tease him for lack of ability to really convey just how annoying it is in any other way. He knows it's not exactly the mature thing to do, but Marius isn't exactly mature, either, so they're sort of at a standoff.
But then, there are also times when Marius lets Fuma see him for the scared little boy he really is, times when Marius opens up to Fuma, needs him the way Fuma wants to be needed, and it's in times like those that Fuma knows that really, he does love Marius, just as much as (if not more than, or at least stronger, in some ways) the others. When Marius leans his head on Fuma's shoulder, it makes Fuma's heart lurch, and when Marius curls up in his lap during long rehearsals or falls asleep against his side during late-night travel, Fuma feels as if finally, in some way, he can take care of one of the many people he holds dear. Marius may be annoying as heck sometimes, but Fuma knows that Sexy Zone wouldn't have its cutest, most lovable, littlest brother, in the bad times as well as the good, if it weren't for Marius.
The days leading up to a concert are always bursting at the seams with bustling activities, final costume fittings and tech rehearsal and lighting and sound checks; full and busy enough to stress out even adults, not to mention teenagers, children. All five members of Sexy Zone are on edge during these times, burdened with their own problems as well as the stress of work, school and home life and friends. They snap at one another when they push too much, have petty fights and cry over petty things, and at times, the dressing room is cold and silent despite the choking heat of the makeup lights. It's the nature of being an idol, but it's hard, sometimes, to remember that, to understand that everyone else's problems are just as legitimate as one's own.
But as hard as it is leading up to the show, pushing through the nerves and the anxieties and the fatigue, there's nothing more amazing than the feeling of overcoming an issue, a problem together, and there are times, as well, when, after they finally fix some logistical or choreographic issue, they all can't help but throw their arms around one another in a celebratory hug, tears in their eyes and huge grins on their faces, because finally, they've overcome yet another hurdle, together.
They fight, they have fits, they get annoyed at one another, yes, but, Fuma thinks, as he wipes the sweat from his forehead with the hem of his T-shirt and looks around the arena at the other four, smiles still lingering on all of their faces from their most recent success, that's just the nature of life. They've been through a lot, through false starts and hurts and failures both as performers and as people, but they love each other too, more than words can express, and when they push through, they all push through together. It's an unmistakeable feeling of support and warmth and belonging, and Fuma knows more and more with each passing day that, in all their faults as well as their strengths, Sexy Zone is his family.