pairings: gen; Daiki-centric
word count: 1,322
author's note: This is another installment of idolverse, set sometime ambiguous in the timeline of もっとみてよ、みつめてよ and Common Sense. Written for Shiritori @ writetomyheart!
summary: Daiki can't help but think that maybe, despite the fact that he ended up in this whole career by accident, being an idol is all he really wants, after all.
Clear weather doesn't make up for the frigid temperature and strong winds blowing in off the ocean, not by a long shot, Daiki thinks as he huddles together with Inoo and Keito by the van, the one flimsy blanket the staff had let them bring along wrapped around their shoulders. The view from the side of the road looking out onto the sand and the sea is beautiful, the blue sky filled with white fluffy clouds above the picturesque waves lapping peacefully at the shore, but it's a little hard to appreciate it while wearing only shorts and a t-shirt as the manager and the cameraman congratulate themselves over picking such a great day with no regard to the the group's comfort. Then again, he thinks, they've had to do worse things than suffer the cold to make fanclub videos for summer when it's only March currently, and so he does his best to suck it up as Inoo is called up first to film his video, leaving a lack of body heat and a void of cold air as he follows their manager out into the sand.
Being an Akihabara-style idol was never exactly Daiki's dream-- ever since he was a kid, he'd wanted to be a TV actor, like the cool guys on sentai shows and Kamen Rider who sometimes later appeared in commercials for movies that his mother was interested in, but several years, a high school graduation, and what felt like hundreds of failed auditions and unbilled bit-parts later, somehow, he found himself answering a newspaper advertisement calling for 16 to 22 year old boys to audition for some sort of boy Akihabara idol unit. The sound of it made Daiki cringe, but it was either try or have the electricity turned off at the end of the month, and in the Daiki decided he preferred embarrassment to starvation and freezing his butt off in his tiny apartment with no heat, and so he found himself in with a handful of other guys in a tiny theatre in Akihabara the following Friday singing along to Heavy Rotation and feeling like a total idiot.
Somehow, he had passed the audition, but the celebration at the knowledge that he would be able to pay his bills for the month, at least, was short-lived. Along with his new 'group,' Keito, who'd seemed so shy when Daiki first met him that Daiki wasn't even sure why he was there, and Inoo, the only one out of the three of them who'd wanted to become an idol, they were subjected to long hours, strange, pandering choreography, frankly humiliating costumes, and odd marketing schemes in an effort to make them known among the otaku public. It was one thing to have to make a fool of himself singing and dancing when he knew he was completely tone deaf and had never taken a dancing lesson in his life, but doing it all wearing ruffly shorts while blowing kisses to the small audience of gamers and anime nerds who looked like they only ventured out of their bedroom once a week was too much, and after a few months, money or no, Daiki had had enough.
But when he'd tried to tell Inoo and Keito that he was going to quit, to his surprise, they didn't just beg him to stay, but instead Inoo had marched straight to the staff with a list of complaints, returning a few minutes later looking triumphant and asking Daiki if he'd stay so long as there were no more creepy fanclub events requiring them to hug fans. Perhaps because, really, that had been the worst thing, or perhaps because he was touched by just how far the other two were willing to go for him, he had stayed… and now here he was, waiting to be filmed pretending to go on a date with the camera on a frigid beach.
Things have gotten better, he reminds himself; as their fanbase grew, the amount of pandering they had to do and the length of unpaid overtime they spent handing out fliers at the train station decreased, and now, really, they're as respectable as Akihabara idol groups can really get. Their fanclub has regular events that involve talking and eating but not hugging, and their handshake events don't allow for extraneous touching (even if they do receive some odd gifts from time to time). Their shows are, well… idol shows, but their lyrics have gotten less sketchy with time, and all in all, as much as he's sometimes loathe to admit it, Daiki has come to love not just his groupmates, but also their work, has come to love Aioi-tai for what it is.
But it's a little hard to think warm and positive thoughts when, after Keito, he gets called up to film and is forced to run around barefoot in the freezing ocean, eat an ungodly amount of ice cream, and squint into the wind and say fanservice lines because he "looks cute when he's struggling and windblown," according to their manager. By the end of the filming, he's freezing, choking on the aftertaste of cheap ice cream, and generally miserable, and even if he's off the hook for the next few months, who even knows what he's going to have to do for the next fanclub video, for the next fanclub event, for the next run of shows…
But as he hikes back up the sand dunes towards the side of the road, he's dragged out of his thoughts by a call of, "Oi~ Dai-chan~" and looks up in surprise. And sure enough, just seeing Inoo and Keito there waiting for him is enough to make him smile a little, but then he notices what they're holding out to him-- a large Starbucks mug of warm coffee and a souvenir towel that they most certainly hadn't come with, and Daiki can't help the grin he feels growing on his face. "Guys… you didn't have to," he point out, trying not to sound like an emotional idiot as he accepts the coffee from Inoo and lets Keito wrap the towel around his shoulders, but Inoo only shakes his head. "We wanted to!" he insists, "And besides, look."
Daiki isn't sure what he's talking about at first, his attention focused on the coffee and on Keito asking him if the towel is helping with the chill at all (it is), but when he glances up, he sees Inoo's phone in front of his nose, opened to the comments section of Daiki's most recent official blog post. He looks up at Inoo in confusion, to which Inoo grins and adds, "The new round of stage photos went up for download on the fanclub cell phone page," and Daiki is about to ask what that has to do with anything when he glances at the comments, expecting the same comments that he'd gotten within 24 hours of posting the blog entry a few days back, but instead, he's surprised to notice that the date on every comment on the page is today's. It seems that eager fans hadn't waited for a new blog post to comment on the new photos, and scrolling through, despite the odd and creepy responses here or there, he can't fight back the warm smile that tugs up at the corners of his lips. Overwhelmingly, the majority of comments are undeniably positive, I love stage photos because we can see how hard you guys work to put on a good show, and You look so cute in all these photos even though you didn't know your photo was being taken, and even as Inoo elbows him and teases him about how much his fans loooove him, Daiki can't help but think that maybe, despite the fact that he ended up in this whole career by accident, being an idol is all he really wants, after all.