pairing: Yaotome Hikaru x Inoo Kei
word count: 900
author’s note: Set after the 2016.12.3 episode of Radirer, where Inoo did a corner where he read messages that fans wanted him to say to Hikaru for his birthday. Written for Shiritori @ writetomyheart!
summary: For Inoo, the idea of making a show of his relationship with Hikaru onstage is too embarrassing and wrong to bear, and so he tries to keep his private life private.
Inoo laughs embarrassedly to himself as he and Hikaru make their way to Hikaru’s manager’s car after their broadcast of Radirer is finally over. Since Yasui-kun and Takahashi-kun had been late getting to the studio from their stage play, he and Hikaru had stayed on the air for an extra hour, which had been fun but exhausting. Still, it had been a nice distraction from the wholly embarrassing corner that had been planned for their regular broadcast, and only now, as it resurfaced in the forefront of his mind, was he reminded of how red his face had been as he read mails that fans wanted him to send to Hikaru for his birthday.
It wasn’t that he was embarrassed of his feelings for Hikaru—or maybe that it was, in some sense, because the thought of fans knowing how much of his heart was filled with love and admiration for his partner in crime, whether in pranking Daiki or having jam sessions on the bass and piano or making jokes on Radirer, made him feel a little bit like he never wanted to show his face in public again. Inoo loves being an idol, loves performing and being on TV and saying ridiculous things that make people joke about what an idiot he is, but there’s something about the line between his real personal life and his idol life that makes him edgy. He knows there are different types among Johnny’s and his own group; Yuto and Keito have no problem playing up their relationship for the fans despite the fact that it’s not hugely different from what they do together not in front of the fans, and Yamada opens up on TV and in magazines regularly about how he pays for Chinen’s meals and showers him with presents regularly, or how he and Keito track one another on GPS. But for Inoo, the idea of making a show of his relationship with Hikaru onstage is too embarrassing and wrong to bear, and so he tries to keep his private life private and instead does fanservice with just about every other member as much as possible.
But on Radirer, when it’s just the two of them, he can’t avoid it, especially when the staff sets him up for it with corners like Hikaru’s birthday corner, and after at least fifteen minutes of reading letters professing his deep affection for Hikaru on live radio, he feels like he could die of embarrassment. Still, it’s been a while and Hikaru has probably forgotten, and so, as he climbs into the back seat with Hikaru, he tries to forget about it, instead focusing on the fact that now they can go home. Since they’d moved in together a while back, Inoo always looks forward to coming home, looks forward to eating dinner together and taking a bath together and going to bed together, because simple as it is, their private life together is enough to recharge him and keep him going.
Hikaru’s manager is still inside talking to some of the NHK radio staff about scheduling or something, so the two of them are alone in the car for a bit; Hikaru’s manager had given Hikaru the keys so that the two of them could let themselves in and turn on the heat, and so now here they are. Hikaru is looking at something or other on his phone, and so Inoo checks his messages as well, and then take the chance to catch up on the news while he’s on his phone. He’s in the middle of flicking through yet another article on the current Korean political upheaval when suddenly, he feels a warm weight against his shoulder, and when he glances to the side, sure enough, Hikaru is leaning against him, his eyes still focused on his own phone screen.
“What’s up?” Inoo asks, looking at Hikaru for a moment. It’s not totally uncharacteristic for Hikaru to show affection in little ways like this in the relative privacy being behind the scenes affords them, during car trips and in rehearsal and behind the closed doors of dressing rooms, but from someone whose usual modus operandi is to touch Inoo someplace wholly inappropriate and watch him squirm, this gentle sign of intimacy is a bit of an outlier.
“Thanks for saying those things about me on the radio,” Hikaru replies, though it’s not really an answer, and if anything, it only makes Inoo feel embarrassed on top of confused.
“I mean… fans wrote them in and I had to read them…” he clarifies, which he knows is sort of on a Hikaru-from-2007 level of social awkwardness, especially when Hikaru had been thanking him, but there’s just something about the idea of making the private aspects of their relationship public that makes his brain shut down a little.
But Hikaru doesn’t seem offended, nor does he move from where he’s cuddled up against Inoo; instead, he shrugs and replies, “But I know you meant them. And I know you hate saying that stuff on the radio or on TV or whatever. So… thanks.”
And while Inoo can feel his ears and cheeks flushing red and hot all over again, the warmth of Hikaru’s body against his side somehow overpowers the sensation, and he can’t help but think that maybe little private moments like this make up for public embarrassments every once in a while.