Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for premeditated bandmate violence.
Summary: Keita and Ryohei battle for the leadership of the band; Ryuichi breaks for cover.
AN: Mousapelli's Birthday Theme 5: Rivals getting hot and bothered (mismatched socks and a kiwifruit)
5. Rivals getting hot and bothered (mismatched socks and a kiwifruit)
(w-inds.) Keita and Ryohei battle for the leadership of the band.
"I'm older," Ryohei says, crossing his arms. On the other end of the couch, Keita snorts; in between them, Ryuichi takes another bite of kiwi and glances back and forth between the other two.
"Being older has nothing to do with it," Keita answers, crossing his own arms. "We're a boyband."
"I think being older actually subtracts points from your total," Ryuichi reflects.
"Besides, I'm stronger!" Keita protests, making a fist and showing off his bicep. The other two peer at it, leaning in closer to see. "Well…okay, I'm cuter."
Ryuichi's jaw drops, exposing half-chewed fruit. Ryohei's eyes narrow.
"You take it back," he growls. Ryuichi sinks back against the couch cushions and clutches the kiwi closer to his chest to protect it from the imminent violence. "Take it back right now, Tachibana!"
"I won't! I'm totally cuter than you!" Keita sticks out his tongue, and Ryohei's gasp makes Ryuichi twitch and curl up even tighter. His eyes flicker towards the doorway; no good, he'd never make it. "I'm taller, and I have a trendier haircut, and my fingers are tapering and delicate."
"My fingers are totally tapering and delicate!" Ryohei says, eyes wide and hurt. He holds out both hands and waves his fingers in demonstration. "Look how delicate they are! It's like they're rippling in an ocean tide, isn't it, Ryuichi?"
"Uhn," Ryuichi mumbles.
"Your fingers, Chiba," Keita replies smugly, "are square."
Ryohei lunges for Keita, and Ryuichi throws himself over the back of the couch and curls up in a fetal position on the floor until the screaming stops. When everything is quiet, he peers cautiously over the back of the couch.
Keita and Ryohei are sprawled on the floor, the coffee table shoved aside, cushions scattered. Their clothes are wrinkled and askew, and Keita is going to have a glorious bruise across his left cheekbone.
"NOW I'm cuter," Ryohei pants triumphantly.
"Pah!" Keita shoves him a little with his heel and Ryuichi clutches the couch tighter. "Battle wounds only increase my appeal! I've gone from cute to rugged!"
Ryohei reaches over and fists his hand in Keita's collar, and Ryuichi grabs the nearest pillow to cover his head.
"You know what we should do?" Keita chirps cheerfully the next morning as the makeup girl struggles to cover his rugged battle wound. "We should have a contest!"
Ryohei eyes him like he just said "thank you sir, may I have another?" and the answer is "Yes."
"We have that magazine shoot tomorrow, right?" Keita continues, and Ryuichi sneaks a look at Ryohei's face before nodding. "So, let's just ask our fans!"
"They're fangirls, Keita." Ryohei makes a 'tcht' noise and reaches over to straighten Ryuichi's collar. "We shouldn't give them power."
"Fangirls know cute!" Keita insists, batting Ryohei's hand away and tugging Ryuichi's collar askew again. "When they do the interview, we'll just ask them to vote."
"Whoever gets the most fanmail wins, okay?" Ryuichi pipes up finally, dodging out of range of both of them and all but hiding behind the flustered makeup girl, who is clutching her brush with both hands and looks near tears. "Will that satisfy both of you?"
"Of course!" they answer simultaneously, Keita making the big puppy eyes and Ryohei pouting like Ryuichi is the one who has apparently been hitting the shounen anime just a little too hard lately.
Usually Ryuichi knows right away when he's suggested the worst idea ever, but the magnitude of this one catches even him by surprise.
"Ryuichi," Keita is standing in front of him, waving one pink and one green sock pleadingly, "why do I only have one of each pair of socks?"
"What?" he asks, even though he is pretty sure he knows exactly why.
"You did the laundry last, right?" Keita prompts, then flails harder with the socks. "I opened my drawer this morning, and I don't have any pairs of socks! What am I going to do?"
"Wear sandals?" Ryuichi suggests, edging along the wall and wondering if he can make it to the door and down the stairs and hide in the trunk of the car before either bandmate catches him.
"It's February!" Keita shrieks. "I can't go to the shoot like this!"
"Ah, too bad," Ryohei says from the doorway, smirking and obviously completely unaware that Keita has drawn a markered goatee on him while he was napping, and Ryuichi decides this is a really good time for him to go get his shower, preferably with the door locked and barred.
Twenty-three minutes later, an ear-splitting shriek rings out through the house from the bathroom.
"What's wrong?!" Keita demands as they rush in through the bathroom door, which Ryohei can unlock in 6 seconds with a hairpin and Keita's laminated Mr. Children Fanclub Official Membership.
"Whoever I get my hands on first," Ryuichi growls, dripping wet and hair streaked patchily and violently blond, "is going to DIE."
Keita and Ryohei spend the car trip to the shoot hiding in the trunk.
"I'm sooooo sorry," Keita says for the seven hundred and tenth time, pressing a can of Ryuichi's favorite energy drink into his hands and bowing several times. "I didn't know you'd run out of conditioner and have to use Ryohei's!"
"You are so lucky everyone just thinks this is my new style," Ryuichi hisses, not entirely placated, but he definitely needs the caffeine right now, and Keita pouting is really too pathetic for words. "You owe me big."
"Yes!" Keita grins gratefully as Ryuichi lifts a hand to tug on his own, unadulterated hair to show that he's forgiven. "Ah, Ryohei, I'm sorry as well! I brought you something too! Bandmates shouldn't fight."
"Hmm," Ryohei says, but takes the bottle of kiwi juice from Keita's hand, which is nearly as bright green as one of Keita's socks. "I suppose this is a bit childish…"
His indignant squawk a moment later is muffled by the fact that he can't un-purse his lips. Ryuichi groans and glares at Keita as he snatches the bottle out of Ryohei's hand and flips it over to read "SUPER DELUXE LUCKY SOUR APPLE" in sparkly letters.
"I had to do something!" Keita protests, failing utterly to hide his grin. "The marker washed off."
"MMMMM," Ryohei replies, demonstrating with his hand and a hand hairbrush exactly what he's going to do to Keita for this.
"Here is your fanmail," their manger says, giving them all a severe look as he drops the bag on the table. "Now this had better put an end to this nonsense, and no more shounen anime."
"Yes yes," Keita agrees, pointedly not looking at Ryohei across the conference table, who is pointedly not looking back. Ryuichi has a gigantic cup of coffee and is not speaking to either of them.
They pour the envelopes out onto the table, rubbing their eyes against the glare of pink and purple, and Ryohei gets up to open the window until the cloud of perfume abates. Then Ryohei and Keita tear into the pile with abandon, making great noises of disgust when they happen upon an envelope not addressed to them.
"Keita-kun!" Keita reads, straightening the letter with a flourish and ignoring the swarm of glitter that descends upon him. "Your sock style is number one! My friends and I have ceremonially burned one sock of each pair we own in your honor!"
"Ryo-chan!" Ryohei retorts, shading his eyes against the blinding metallic gel pen. "Your pout is so sexy! I practice mine in the mirror every day to look like yours! I am working hard!"
It takes them an hour and a half to go through all the letters since, even when they get tired of reading the gushing praise out loud at each other, they have to take breaks every twenty minutes or so to lean out the window and breath air untainted by fangirl.
"Four hundred seventy-two," is Keita's final count, and he thinks about sucking on a papercut, but feels it is unwise until he washes his hands several times in stringent.
"Four hundred seventy-eight," Ryohei says triumphantly, and he would stand up victoriously, but is too dizzy from the fumes.
"Eight hundred thirty-one."
Both of them swing their heads to see Ryuichi sitting smugly behind a pile of mail that makes them feel queasy. Ryohei tilts his head back to see the top of the stack and his chair tumbles backwards. Neither of the others move to help him, even when he lies on the floor and moans for a few minutes afterwards.
"Ogata-sama," Ryuichi reads with relish, "your new hairstyle has touched my heart and sent my soul to heaven. Please don't change it so that I can see it in person during your tour and will die happy. I will repay you with my virginity."
"Tch," Keita says, "I already did that, and it didn't help."
"Oh, when were you a virgin?" Ryohei snarks from the floor.