Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for intra-cast bonding.
Summary: Shoon and Machida exchange some lines.
AN: After the stage report about Machida hugging Shoon from behind during the bows, it was really only a matter of time before I wrote this. For Irea, who has been giving us the Full House update consistently.
Don't Know My Lines Yet
"Yo," Machida said when he sauntered into the dressing room. "What are you smiling at?"
Shoon looked up from his phone, startled, then laughed and handed it over, Yabu's JUMPaper still on the screen. "Just checking up on them."
"Hikaru produced this time's concert?" Machida read out loud, blinking. "I didn't know that!"
"Hikaru's heart is so artistic," Shoon replied from memory, having read the post several times over before Machida came into the dressing room. "It's true. He used to write his own solos, did you know?"
"Mmm," Machida said noncommittally, still reading. "Hikaru, you are my partner forever so please take care of me…" Machida shook his head. "These are some adorable kouhai, yo. You must miss them."
"No, I…" Shoon started to protest, to say that he was happy and so were they, that it all turned out for the best if Hikaru was producing concerts and Yabu's voice wasn't shaking anymore, but Machida raised an eyebrow as he handed back Shoon's phone. "…yeah." Shoon glanced down at Yabu's words, my partner forever, and felt his chest squeeze. "I do miss them."
"Ah, sorry!" Machida apologized at once. "I didn't mean to make you sad, Shoon-san."
"You didn't…" Shoon looked up, surprised at Machida's serious tone, and felt something tickle his cheek. When he brushed his fingertips over the spot, they came away wet. He laughed sheepishly. "I'm not sad, exactly, it's just…I'm proud of them, but it makes my heart hurt sometimes…maa, that doesn't make any sense."
"Of course it does!" Machida closed Shoon's phone and held it out. "You worked hard together, didn't you? So of course you still have strong feelings about them."
"Un," Shoon agreed after a moment, then reached out to take his phone. His fingers happened to brush Machida's, and Shoon busied himself tucking his phone away in his pocket, hoping that Machida hadn't noticed the way his cheeks heated.
Shoon didn't want it to be awkward between them, but today he was having trouble concentrating when all he could think about was the end of yesterday's show, Machida's arms warm around his chest and the weight of his chin digging into Shoon's shoulder. Machida had felt strong, had felt really good holding Shoon, and…
…and Shoon really had to stop thinking about it.
"So what shall we do at the end of tonight's show?" Machida asked, making Shoon fumble the phone and wince as it dropped to the floor with a clatter.
As he bent to scoop it up, Shoon snuck a glance at Machida through his bangs, trying to figure out whether Machida's question was innocent, or Shoon had given himself away somehow, but Machida didn't look any different than normal, waiting for Shoon's answer.
"Well…" Shoon bought himself a few moments by pretending to scrutinize the case of his phone for damage. He tucked it into the pocket of his jacket, then turned to meet Machida's gaze.
Maybe it was because news of Hikaru's success was still ringing in his ears, but Shoon felt suddenly daring, like maybe he could grow out of his shy image too if he tried.
"About last night…"
"Ah," Machida interrupted, looking sheepish. "I got kind of carried away, didn't I?" Shoon opened his mouth, but Machida went on, not giving him a chance to speak. "Shoon doesn't play that way with people very often, I've noticed. Sorry for offending you, don't think anything about, ne?"
"What if," Shoon tried to swallow his heart out of his throat but failed, "I don't mind playing that way with you, Machida-kun?"
Machida blinked, eyes comically wide. "What?"
"I don't mind playing that way," Shoon repeated, shyness rushing back, and he just barely kept from reaching up to tug his forelock. "If it's Machida-kun."
Machida glanced behind him, nudging the dressing room's door the last centimeter shut with his foot, then turned back to Shoon, face serious. "Do you know what you're saying?"
Shoon rolled his eyes. "I'm nineteen, Machida-kun, not some doe-eyed junior you've trapped behind the costume rack."
"No, you're a much more dangerous kind of junior," Machida replied humorlessly. "And I think you'd better drop the 'kun.'" Machida paused for a moment, giving Shoon a looking over. "Do you know how much older than you I am?"
"Do you know how long I've been in the Jimusho?" Shoon shot back, shrugging. "We work well together, don't we? And after being the big brother so long, it's nice to be the cute kouhai for once. You think I'm cute," Shoon tilted his head so that some of his hair fell across his eyes, "right, Machida-senpai?"
"Stop stealing tricks from Akanishi, it doesn't suit you," Machida growled, but the hitch of his chest said that it apparently suited Shoon more than well enough. "And what did I just say about the honorific?"
"I said cute kouhai, not obedient," Shoon teased, then let the act slip off his features. "But, is it okay? I really…" Shoon stumbled over the words, then swallowed and reminded himself that he wasn't some doe-eyed junior behind the costume rack. "I like you."
"A confession, is it?" Machida chuckled, and Shoon opened his mouth to snap something indignant about being patronized, but Machida held up a hand to stop him. "I think I read somewhere that Shoon would confess even in front of the bathroom if he felt like it was that moment."
Confused and embarrassed, Shoon scowled harder. "You've been reading my articles."
"I like to keep up with my cute kouhai," Machida shrugged, a smirk still lurking on his lips. "A girl would be disappointed, didn't you say?"
"Look, I…" Shoon started, but Machida cut him off by stepping close enough that Shoon could feel the line of Machida's body heating along his own. Machida lifted a hand to palm Shoon's cheeks, sliding it back until his fingers were threaded through Shoon's hair.
"Good thing I'm not a girl, hm?" he asked, and just about then Shoon's patience snapped and he leaned in the last inch to press their lips together.
Machida made a surprised noise when Shoon pressed close, deepening the kiss, twisting his hands in Machida's T-shirt. He started walking them backwards, until he bumped into the makeup counter and let go of Machida's shirt to hitch himself up onto it.
"Definitely too much time with Akanishi," Machida said, but that was all he managed before Shoon tugged him close again for another kiss, wrapping his legs around the backs of Machida's thighs and his arms around Machida's neck.
It was a few long minutes before they broke for air, both of them panting. Shoon leaned his forehead against the curve of Machida's neck, willing his heart rate to slow and breathing in the scent of Machida's laundry detergent.
"You know," Machida said after a second, "I always thought you and that Yabu kid…"
"It wasn't like that," Shoon answered. Machida cleared his throat, and Shoon amended, "Okay, it was like that sometimes. But we always knew…" Shoon tightened his grip around Machida's neck. "It was always going to turn out like this. And anyway," Shoon straightened and looked Machida in the eye, jaw set as if he expected Machida to argue, "I'm happy here."
"With me?" Machida asked, clearly meaning to tease, but it fell flat in between them.
"Yeah," Shoon answered. "With Machida-kun, it's fine."
"Maybe you should try 'Shingo' instead," Machida suggested, nosing the underside of Shoon's jaw until Shoon tilted his head back and he could taste the rumble of Shoon's insolent kouhai grumble.