pairings: Yaotome Hikaru x Inoo Kei (mention of MiyaTama in passing)
warnings: mentions of smoking
author's note: This is set in "Americaverse," where JUMP are all young adults living and/or going to school in New York City. It's the same universe as yomimashou's The Start of Something New and Engaged. Yes, Hikaru is from Delaware. It's a highly underrated place, okay. XD;; Written for shiritori @ writetomyheart
summary: Somehow, in that inexplicable way Hikaru has, he'd won first Inoo's heart and then gradually his approval, and now, somehow, it's come to the point that Inoo is going home with Hikaru for spring break to meet his parents.
"I have a feeling like you'll make the most of it," Daiki replies with a roll of his eyes when Inoo whines for about the hundredth time that he's probably going to die in the wilds of Delaware, "Haven't you been wanting to go home with him for a while, anyway?" Inoo knows he's being annoying, because going home with his boyfriend for Spring Break is not exactly something that really deserves whining about in the first place, and Delaware is hardly the Alaskan tundra, or something (though, admittedly, Inoo had had to google it to remember exactly where it was when he first found out that it was Hikaru's home state), but Inoo loves whining, and he knows that deep down, Daiki loves comforting him, too.
And so, "Yeah, but… what if they hate me?? What if they only speak Japanese??" he shoots back, and while the latter, at the very least, seems highly unlikely, since Hikaru's parents have lived in the United States at least since Hikaru was born, Inoo thinks his anxiety about the fact that while he's full-blood Japanese, he's never left the US (except that one high school French trip to Canada, but that doesn't really count) and grew up speaking not a word of Japanese is legitimate, especially considering the number of odd and racist remarks he's gotten over the course of the years.
"Then you'll get to try out what we've been studying?" Daiki offers, holding up Inoo's Japanese 102 textbook, as if to reassure him, but also simultaneously remind him that he needs to write a Japanese composition over break. Inoo frowns, taking the textbook from him and flipping through a few pages before setting it aside. He and Daiki had signed up for the course together, since neither of them had learned Japanese from their parents in childhood, but Japanese was distinctly harder than Inoo remembers French being in high school, and he's not very confident in his conversational skills.
"Somehow, I don't think 'hello, my name is Kei Inoo, I'm from New York, I have one sister, and I like dogs' is really going to cut it for one whole week," he replies skeptically, to which Daiki shrugs.
"Somehow, I don't think people who have lived in the US for 21 years aren't going to be able to communicate with you in English," he replies, and Inoo pouts but he knows Daiki is right, and doesn't have a good response to that.
And so, "Yeah, but… I'm gonna die!" he moans in response, flopping back onto his bed beside his halfway-packed suitcase, staring up at the peeling ceiling of his little bedroom in their little three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. When they'd first moved in more than a year ago, he'd hated the old, decrepit look of the place, the flaking paint on the walls and the yellowing linoleum in the kitchen, but the fact that now, it feels distinctly like home is the least of all that's changed since that time, when he and Daiki and their third roommate at the time, Inoo's freshman roommate Yuta, had first dumped all their things in the living room and eaten takeout Chinese in the sea of bags and boxes. It's weird to think how many things are different now; after Yuta had moved out to marry his weird scrunchy-eyed boyfriend a year ago (leaving a huge mess in his wake which Inoo had not-really-helped Daiki clean up and photo document on Facebook) they'd found Hikaru on Craigslist, and within a week, Inoo remembers fondly, he wanted nothing more than to push Hikaru off the fire escape, where he'd constantly hung out smoking and playing the ukelele, much to the dismay of their next-door neighbors. But somehow, in that inexplicable way Hikaru has, he'd won first Inoo's heart and then gradually his approval, and now, somehow, it's come to the point that Inoo is going home with Hikaru for spring break to meet his parents. It's crazy to think about, but at the same time, despite the anxiety over going to a new place for the first time and the stress of the prospect of finally meeting his boyfriend's parents on the horizon, it's reassuring, somehow, to know that without really even thinking about it, he's handled so many changes and challenges to make it to this point.
"…Hello, Earth to Kei?" he's suddenly aware of Daiki saying, and he blinks, almost bumping into the hand Daiki is waving in front of his face as he sits up again. "Anyone home?" Daiki asks, raising an eyebrow, and Inoo laughs sheepishly. "Sorry, I was spacing out."
Daiki sighs, looking at Inoo for a moment before reaching out to punch Inoo affectionately on the shoulder. "Come on," he encourages gently, offering Inoo a smile, soft in comparison to his earlier faux annoyance. "You guys have made it through all sorts of stuff together. Even if his parents do only speak Japanese, it'll be totally fine."
And somehow, as much as Inoo wants to argue, as much as he wants to whine, as much as he wants to insist that he's doomed, in the end, he knows that Daiki's right. But he's not ready to admit that (at least not yet), and so he sighs heavily, shrugging. "Well I'm not going to be totally fine if I don't finish packing before Hikaru gets home," he replies with a pout, and then it's Daiki's turn to sigh before obligingly doing the majority of the work while Inoo takes photos and posts them to Facebook, because that's what friends do.
Two hours later, Hikaru arrives home after his last class of the day with ten minutes to spare until they need to head out to catch their train. He finds Inoo in his bedroom with Daiki, bags packed, watching cat videos on Youtube.
"Ready to go?" asks Hikaru, his own duffle bag, haphazardly packed the night before, slung over his shoulder. When Inoo looks at him, his smile is just as enigmatic as usual, but something about it seems softer somehow.
He thinks about all the times he's seen that smile, when they're playing music together in their little piano-ukelele duet, when they're stealing Daiki's leftovers out of the fridge at one in the morning, when they're sitting on the fire escape sharing cigarettes, when they've just made up after a fight, when they're laying together in bed drifting off to sleep just before dawn, and about how perhaps he'd get a lot more peace and quiet, but he'd never have gotten to see any of those smiles if he'd pushed Hikaru off the fire escape in the first place. And so, despite some remaining nerves and anxiety, he can't help but smile and reply, "I'm ready."