pairing: Yaotome Hikaru/Inoo Kei
warnings: Spoilers for the Doctor X Special in summer? Maybe?
word count: 1,740
author's note: This is based on my experience at the Doctor X filming last Friday! I participated in the filming as an extra, and it gave me a lot of feelings about Inochan, so I wanted to get some of them out here~
summary: It's been a long thirteen hours since Inoo had woken up at four am to be picked up by his manager at five-thirty and driven all the way to the middle of nowhere.
"Hey," Inoo says into his phone as he huddles in the corner of the corridor of the ice arena, watching as his manager packs up his things and prepares to head back to Tokyo. He'd offered to help, but his manager, fatherly and concerned as always, had insisted that after a long day of filming, Inoo should rest, and so, after he'd gotten out of his flimsy skating costume and back into his much warmer sweater, jeans, and jacket, he'd nestled into the corner for lack of any other way to keep marginally from freezing. He was exhausted, but at the same time, his mind was still buzzing from the endorphins and adrenaline of acting in front of the camera, his hands itching to be doing something other than remaining idle, and while he knew, once they were on their way on the long car ride home, he'd probably pass out, for now, he knows there's one sure way to occupy his mind and empty his heart of all the emotions and feelings built up over the course of the filming.
And so he scrolls through his LINE contacts before he finds the one he's looking for, knowing that his call will be anticipated, and sure enough, after a few rings, Inoo is met with the comforting sound of Hikaru's voice asking, "Hey, what's up? Are you done?"
Inoo nods to himself as he greets Hikaru even though he knows Hikaru can't see him, a warm smile tugging at the corners of his lips even in the chill of the ice arena. "Yup. Waiting for everything to be packed up, then we're heading to the car."
"Glad you ended pretty much on time," Hikaru replies, the relief in his voice almost as clear as the relief Inoo felt himself when the director had declared the filming to be officially done. "How did it go?"
"Good," Inoo replies automatically, but his mind is elsewhere as he reflects on the day. It's been a long thirteen hours since he'd woken up at four am to be picked up by his manager at five-thirty and driven all the way to the middle of nowhere, Gunma, for hair and makeup before the extras arrived. The majority of the staff had already been there when Inoo had arrived, building the green screen and setting up the ice arena in the frigid air, and Inoo had felt a little guilty for spending the last two hours comfortably curled up and asleep in the back of the management's van. It wasn't long before he started to feel more sorry for himself than the people around him, though; while they moved about, keeping their heart rates and therefore body temperatures at least reasonably up, Inoo was forced to sit still for his hair to be styled and his makeup to be applied, and while the staff all wore thick sweaters and heavy jackets and gloves and hats, once his hair and makeup was done, Inoo was dressed in a thin polyester tunic and velveteen stretch pants. His costume did include gloves, albeit thin ones, on the bright side, and his manager quickly draped him in a jacket and handed him a paper cup of hot tea, but after half an hour, when he was told about half the extras had arrived and they'd be ready to start by nine, he was already beginning to lose feeling in his fingers. .
The day had dragged on in a similar fashion; considering that he could barely stay upright on the ice, he wasn't capable of doing any of the skating shots, and while the cuts of his skating body double, a cute teenager who had, surprisingly, turned out to be a Johnny's fan, were being taken, he'd been left to freeze in the little back hallway the staff had turned into a makeshift dressing room for him and the few other cast members there for the filming. He was used to long days of filming-- in a group with nine members, it was impossible to be active all the time that filming was happening for PVs, not to mention the time spent waiting while the staff changed the set and set up the equipment and everything else, but he did have to admit that he'd never been quite this cold before while waiting. His poor manager had seemed determined to quell his shivering through whatever means possible short of doing something highly inappropriate for their work relationship and kept bringing him tea and blankets, but as much as Inoo appreciated it, he had felt bad for causing such a fuss. Still, he couldn't help but look on with envy as his body double, who must have been used to these kinds of conditions, glided around the ice looking as if he'd never been more comfortable while Inoo's lips had been turning blue.
He'd tried, whenever possible, to busy himself by practicing for his close shots; he'd known that no matter how much he practiced, he'd never look like a real skater, but he'd been told just to do his best and for the close shots, no one would know the difference, anyway. It had been hard not to laugh while tip-toeing around flapping his arms in what, especially to the actual skaters he was working with, must have been a totally ridiculous fashion, but work was work, and at the very least, doing the same movements over and over trying to get the positions right kept him slightly warmer than just sitting around.
Doing the actual close shots, however, was a different story-- he'd done all of them in front of a green screen while an AD held a fan to blow wind on him to make it look as if he was moving at a high speed, which only made him feel colder and all the more ridiculous. It had been difficult to stay focused on his character in front of hundreds of fans, as well-- every time he so much as moved, it seemed to set off a ripple effect of tittering and giggling, and his mistakes launched a full-on wave of squeals and cries of so cuuuuuute!!!, and while he hadn't been bothered, and in fact, a had been little tickled by the fact that his errors elicit such a response, it made it near impossible to bite back the urge to turn around and wave, or blow kisses, or do all the things he was programmed to do during concerts and events where so many fans would usually be present. But this wasn't a concert, it was a drama filming, and so he'd had to work twice as hard to maintain his focus amidst the intoxicating energy fans inevitably brought to him.
And then, after lunch (which he'd eaten huddled up in the van with the heat on high in an attempt to thaw out his fingers enough to use chopsticks effectively), when it was finally time to shoot the one non-skating scene, they'd had to retake it four times due to a baby in the extras screaming and prop malfunctions and both he and his costar messing up their cues, not to mention a twenty-minute pause in the middle while the staff and director moved extras around the audience and tried to decide whether a green screen was necessary for various parts, and by the time, during the last run through, a flower popped out of his victory bouquet when he raised it up and bopped him on the head, it was hard not to laugh, whether from exhaustion or the humor of the situation.
But then finally, he'd changed into his other costume for the last requirement of the day, a couple still shots that would be used in the drama, and was able to be photographed without much issue, and then he was done for the day. The staff had helped him change out of his costume and taken it back while he dressed back up in his regular clothes, and then his manager had told him to wait and relax while they packed everything else up, and now here he is, his heart still pumping in his chest amongst the bustle of the staff and the dull murmur of the family club extras being held until after he's left the building, but despite it all, he can't find the right words to describe exactly how he's feeling. He's exhausted, yes, and freezing, and a little overwhelmed, but he's also warmed somewhere deep inside his chest with the knowledge that he was picked, they wanted him for this drama, out of all the other senpai and kouhai in the agency. All around him, there were cooler guys, sexier guys, guys more experienced at acting, and yet, someone somewhere had chosen him for this role, above them all.
And so, after a long pause, he nods to himself again before repeating, "Yeah… it was really good," into the phone, and it feels almost like he can hear Hikaru's smile on the other end.
"Can you have your manager drop you at my place?" he asks, and Inoo can tell that despite the fact that he's trying to sound casual, there's a warmth beneath his words.
"He's gonna give me shit about it, but yeah," he replies with a laugh, glancing over at his manager, where he's currently discussing something with the director. "You know he always says you're going to take advantage of me~"
"For his information, I was planning to run you a hot bath and make you cocoa and then wrap you up in blankets and go out and get you whatever takeout you wanted for dinner, but if he wants to protect you from me, you can fend for yourself!" Hikaru huffs in response, and Inoo's laughter only grows stronger at Hikaru's characteristic immature huffing.
"Shush," he chuckles, shaking his head and feeling slightly warmer already at just the thought of being together with Hikaru soon, "I'll see you in two hours okay?"
And when he steps out into the chill of the evening with his manager a few minutes later, the frigid Gunma wind blasting harsh against his face and the sky threatening rain, he knows that Hikaru understands him, that Hikaru will give him everything he wants right now and the time and space to decompress and organize his thoughts on top of it all, and he feels thawed already.