Rating/Warnings: PG for Tackey's baseless threats of quitting.
Summary: No on ever said you had to get it on the first try.
AN: For 26 Birthday Kisses, Kiss Seven: True Love's Kiss.
First Kiss | Good Luck Kiss | Drunk Kiss | Kiss and Make It Better | On-Screen Kiss | Morning After Kiss | True Love's Kiss | Goodbye Kiss | Good Morning Kiss | Surprise Kiss | Meltykiss | Goodnight Kiss | French Kiss | Congratulations Kiss | Sealed With a Kiss | Hello Kiss | Kiss Under the Mistletoe | I Forgive You Kiss | Birthday Kiss | Blown Kiss | Kiss on the Forehead | Kiss on the Hand | Kiss on the Cheek | I'm Sorry Kiss | New Year's Kiss | Welcome Home Kiss
Kiss Seven: These Are My Favorite Chords
Tsubasa-kun is always polite and obedient, which is one of the things that Tackey finds most intriguing about him. At first he doesn't understand how someone so mild could possibly last in the industry, when Tackey himself feels like most of the time he has to push and fight to get attention.
The first time he hears Tsubasa-kun sing, though, sweet and mellow but so strong, he thinks maybe he gets it.
Initially he thinks Tsubasa-kun doesn't like him much, since his usual advances don't earn him much other than vague smiles, but then he realizes, that's just Tsubasa's way. Tsubasa's been making overtures of friendship too, sitting near Tackey during lunch and offering him water bottles during breaks, but they were just too subtle for Tackey, who is all about the grand gestures, to see.
When Tackey looks closer, he realizes that Tsubasa's smile isn't vague at all, at least not the one that's only for him.
Somehow they get to be best friends, Tsubasa forcing Tackey to drill his choreography until it's flawless, and Tackey coaxing Tsubasa into admitting that maybe improvisation isn't so bad sometimes. Soon the senpai, and even the occasional insolent kouhai, are teasing them about how close they are, and the truly daring want to know whether Tsubasa's pathological need for extra practice has further implications behind closed doors.
Whenever the topic comes up, Tackey slings a comfortable arm around Tsubasa's shoulders and plants a noisy kiss on his cheek. After this happens half a dozen times, Tsubasa finally formulates a response in the form of a ringing slap to Tackey's ass, and Tackey stares at him with wide eyes and a dangling jaw for a long second. By the time he gathers himself, Tsubasa is already halfway across the stage at a dead run, and Tackey takes off after him with an indignant howl, Tsubasa's laughter echoing off the lighting rig.
"Well," Yamapi says, scratching his head, "I guess that answers that question. And don't you even think about it," he interrupts himself, and Jin lets his hand fall back to his side with a huff of irritation.
In the middle of singing their first duet—the first one that counts anyhow, where Tsubasa does the writing and Tackey choreographs instead of them being forced to do yet another cover of "Garasu no Shounen"—Tackey realizes suddenly that sweat trickling down his neck has less to do with his own impossible steps and more to do with the way Tsubasa's shirt is slicked to his back in a silky curve.
Tsubasa catches Tackey's eye just as he gives a hiproll that Tackey had thought was a brilliant idea when he added it yesterday afternoon, and Tackey's voice rolls along with it in a way that has nothing at all to do with the vibrato that Tsubasa's been trying to teach him.
But he doesn't realize how hard he's fallen until word comes down that they're going to debut as solo artists and the bottom drops out his stomach.
Tsubasa, predictably, takes the news better. Which is one of the things that Tackey finds most infuriating over the next few weeks of uncertainty, and instead of his previous fantasies of confessing, daydreams about strangling Tsubasa start creeping in.
"How can you just sit there?!" Tackey demands after a long meeting with a potential manager about potential solo plans, after he's long since passed the breaking point. "We have to do something!"
Tsubasa, sitting on the practice room couch and watching Tackey pace, tilts his head. "Like what?"
"Like something!" Tackey throws his hands in the air and hopes the rise of his fashionable T-shirt starts Tsubasa thinking about what he'll be missing when they really do get separated. "We'll tell Johnny we won't do it!"
"We will?" Tsubasa asks, and the calmer he seems, the louder Tackey wants to shout. "You aren't going to tell Johnny that."
"I will!" Tackey insists, stopping his pacing right in front of Tsubasa and crossing his arms to glare, daring Tsubasa to contradict him. "I'll quit!"
"Don't," Tsubasa reaches up to put his hands on Tackey's hips, holding him still. "You don't want to quit, do you? You want to give up the whole industry, the stage, the music, all of it?"
"I would," Tackey insists, but it's hard to keep his anger going when Tsubasa's hands are warm on him through his jeans.
But then Tsubasa blinks at him slowly with his dark, peaceful eyes and asks, "Do you want me to quit?"
That's not it, Tackey thinks helplessly, that's not it at all. He doesn't want Tsubasa to quit, not when the thought of Tsubasa not singing makes his chest close up in panic, but he wants Tsubasa to want to quit, wants to know that Tsubasa is just as desperate as he is. He wants to know that he's not the only one who feels like he's going crazy half the time, wants to know if there any chance at all that it isn't just his voice that Tsubasa loves.
So he braces his hands on the back of the couch and leans in to kiss Tsubasa. It's fierce and rough and desperate, everything that Tackey feels and can't say, all the answers he can't see in Tsubasa's calm face and dark eyes.
Tsubasa doesn't move, doesn't respond either to pull Tackey closer or push him away, and doesn't kiss back. Tackey pulls away and takes a last look at Tsubasa's serene expression before storming out of the dressing room, figuring that he's got his answer.
The next day is torture, and Tackey spends all of his breaks sulking alone, sending anybody stupid enough to approach him such scathing looks that they go scurrying in the other direction. His timing is off, his voice is gruff, and when the choreographer snaps that Tackey might not be debuting at all at this rate, Tackey feels such a wave of fury roll through him that before he even opens his mouth, the choreographer sends him to lunch forty-five minutes early.
He spends the extra time sitting alone in the same practice room he'd stormed out of the day before, spinning ever more wild fantasies of his dramatic departure from the cruel and relentless corporate talent machine.
The door opens and Tsubasa comes in. Tackey gives him his meanest, best kouhai-scattering glare, but Tsubasa is unfazed and approaches regardless. He's standing right in front of Tackey before Tackey notices through the haze of his anger that Tsubasa is holding something rolled up in his hands.
Tsubasa waits, patient as ever, until Tackey grunts a grudging, "What is it?"
When Tsubasa unrolls the glossy sheet to reveal a mockup of their debut single's cover, their joint debut single, all the anger goes rushing out of Tackey in a whoosh, leaving him limp and wrung out and confused. Even more so when Tsubasa leans down to brush his lips over Tackey's, warm and steady and right.
"You never wait for an answer," Tsubasa chides gently when he pulls just far enough away to do so. Tackey is too shaken up to do anything but nod, and Tsubasa smiles. "Don't worry. I'll teach you patience yet."
"Got a whole career to try," Tackey says, grin breaking across his face as it all finally sinks in, and then he reaches up to tug Tsubasa into his lap so they can explore their new debut possibilities together.