Rating/Warnings: PG because apparently i made Yabu kind of an asshole.
Summary: That is the damned longest title in the universe. work it out.
AN: I'm a tiiiiiny bit drunk, but this is for JEMZ. because she got me durnk and MADE ME. She only loves me for my self-inking monster peen...Also, who the hell needs spellcheck! Fuck the spellcheck, it only tells me things i already know...
Five Times Shoon Hates Being Called Pretty (And Once He Doesn't Mind So Much)
"Isn't he?" Shoon's mother gushes, and Shoon pouts all the harder. He's supposed to be happy, since this is his birthday party and all, and there is even cake, chocolate, his very favorite, the one time of year his grandmother doesn't complain about his mother feeding them too much sugar.
But he doesn't particularly enjoy being called pretty while his mother strokes his bangs out of his face. Even he can see that Reon, at five years old, is going to patently be prettier than him. His eyes are too big and his cheekbones are weird, and anyway he's a boy, which he feels is largely the point that his mother seems to be missing.
"You should have him try out for modeling," one of his mother's friends says. "Or, there's this entertainment agency, I think I have a card somewhere…"
Shoon slips off while his mother and her friend are rifling through her purse and goes to have a second piece of cake.
"He's pretty enough, though," the man at the Johnnys' tryout says, and Shoon is suddenly filled with righteous indignation on behalf of his minimal dancing skill. If he sucks, they shouldn't accept him! It's an entertainment group, isn't it?
Shoon does not, in the least, feel entertaining on the ride home, where his mother gushes nonstop about his future and his brother stares at him from the backseat with confused but adoring little brother eyes.
He stews about it for the two days they wait for the call, sulking in his room and only coming down for meals. He spends the time when he's not staring at his ceiling peering at himself in the mirror, trying to figure out what's so special about his big weird face that it's okay if he can barely clap in rhythm and hold a tune in a bento box.
On the third day, the phone rings, and Shoon somehow knows it is the call when he comes downstairs and sits on the bottom step, listening to his mother being unusually polite on the phone. Reon comes to sit beside him, offering him half a soggy oatmeal carrot cookie, which Shoon takes, wrapping an arm around Reon's shoulders.
They're still like that when his mother comes around the corner with a smile on her face the size of the Sea of Japan, and Shoon squeezes Reon tighter and wishes things wouldn't change so much.
"Well, I guess he's the pretty one," the kid with the bowlcut says, and Shoon takes an immediate disliking to him.
The others who are roughly Shoon's age ignore the kid's bullying, or maybe are used to it. One of the other younger members, looks from Yabu to Shoon several times, worrying the cuff of his long-sleeved T-shirt but not saying anything.
Shoon wants to demand what that's supposed to mean, but he doesn't want to start a fight, and before he can anyhow, a manager arrives to explain that the seven of them have been chosen to become a juniors' group because of superior dancing work in the past year.
It's a far step up from "I suppose he's pretty enough," and Shoon forgets all about the bowlcut kid's words as he lets a sense of accomplishment puff up his chest a little. All those extra hours of practice were worth it after all!
He deflates a little when the bowlcut kid is named as one of the lead singers of the group, and thinks that maybe he should have worked on his vocal skills as well. His thoughts are interrupted by the nervous member tugging on his sleeve.
His fingers look surreally long, and Shoon wonders if he will have a growth spurt soon.
"I'm Ayukawa Taiyo," he says, "and I think you're the pretty one too."
Shoon scowls and makes up his mind to hate everybody in this stupid group.
"Again?" Yabu asks wearily, even though it's not a particular shock when the announcement is made that Hoshino is out and Hikaru is in.
"Please take care of me," Hikaru says, staring at his sneakers. Taiyo rubs his shoulders; Hikaru has been performing with them for months now and fits in well, but it's still awkward losing people they're suppose to have all this member-ai for and squeezing the new person in.
"But it doesn't make sense," Taiyo protests later when they are eating their lunches during a break. Yabu, who usually exchanges his rice ball for Hoshino's octopus weiner, pokes at his food until Hikaru offers him a cupcake with a hopeful look.
"Of course it does," Yabu says savagely, ignoring Hikaru entirely. "Taiyo, you're kind of simple sometimes. Hoshino was older, just like Akama. They're keeping Ya-Ya-Yah's younger image by shucking out the ones who grow up and cycling in younger ones. You're next, Yamashita-senpai."
"Stop it," Shoon admonishes, taking Hikaru's cupcake and handing him one of his mother's cookies instead. "We should be congratulating Hikaru-kun. He's a member of Ya-Ya-Yah now."
Shoon meets Yabu's eyes coldly until he drops them and mutters a half-hearted "Congratulations."
"Besides," Taiyo says, and Shoon notices his chopsticks are a little frayed at the end from Taiyo chewing on them, "they can't get rid of Shoon, he's the pretty one."
"Stop that too," Shoon orders, daring Yabu to make another comment with a glance, but Yabu merely shoves his whole rice ball in his mouth at once and makes a disgusted noise around it.
"But…" Taiyo starts, before Hikaru earns himself some member-ai by shoving a piece of Shoon's cookie in his mouth to shut him up.
"Isn't it interesting how siblings have different talents?" Kame drawls, sneaking up behind Ya-Ya-Yah, and when Shoon turns away from Reon's first Shounen Club practice to glare, Kame is casually drinking water as though he hadn't just called Shoon a talentless pretty boy.
"That's not what he meant, I'm sure," Taiyo tries to soothe when Shoon kicks at the makeup chair later.
"It's exactly what he meant, I'm sure," Yabu says, ever helpful. Hikaru gives him a baleful look.
"Well, what else could he mean?" Shoon demands, giving the chair a last kick and slumping down in it. "Because if he says that Reon's dancing and singing is really impressive ne~~~ and then says that siblings have different talents, what else is there?"
"Um," says Taiyo, just as Hikaru suggests, "Super fashion sense?"
Shoon looks down at his costume, which has fake and electric green leaves sewn to it, then glares at both of them.
"What does Kame know anyway? He's a moron," Yabu pronounces, and Shoon would feel much more pacified if he hadn't learned three years ago that statements like that were how Yabu professed his undying love.
"Well, Kamenashi-senpai isn't in Ya-Ya-Yah!" Taiyo says hotly, and the others turned to blink at him because it was the first time he'd shouted practically ever, if you didn't count the time Nakmaru-senpai accidentally dropped a samurai sword on his foot. "So who cares what he thinks!"
Hikaru pats Taiyo cautiously on the shoulder and Yabu calls him simple again, but Taiyo just goes on meeting Shoon's eyes with a fierce look until Shoon shoves his hands in his pockets and looks away with a grunt.
"Of course you are, moron," Yabu says, but it's affectionate, and maybe he's just a tiny bit drunker than Shoon thought that he was.
"Why do you think they haven't kicked you out," Hikaru adds, his own induction long enough ago that they can joke about it now, sometimes.
Taiyo doesn't say anything, just snuggles up closer against Shoon's back on the hotel bed they are all sharing. It's not huge, but they're Ya-Ya-Yah, and none of them are that big, except for Taiyo and he's mostly long anyway.
Shoon giggles and hopes there aren't any reporters around, because he's the only one even close to legal, and they will totally get sent on hiatus.
Maybe they will get to go abroad, like Jin-senpai, though, except all together, and they can film a PV there, except they will be on hiatus and thus filming nothing.
"Stop thinking," Yabu orders, his chin pointy against Shoon's collarbone, and he's snuggled up almost as close as Taiyo, in between Shoon and Hikaru, which means he really must be drunk. "You're supposed to be the pretty one, you know."
"I always said that," Taiyo puts in, voice sleepy and pouty and stirring the hair on the back of Shoon's neck.
And it's just then that Shoon realizes that he doesn't mind at all.