Summary: Ten years of moments, from when Fujigaya and Tsukada entered the Jimusho, until this one.
AN: from shatteredtenshi: "10 years ago today, November 8th, at the age of 11, Taisuke joined Johnny's Jimusho along with Jin, Kame, Maru, Massu and Tsuka. 10 years today, Taisuke and Tsuka together with EbiKisu will be starting their Yoyogi concerts, which are encore concerts thanks to fans support."
Ebikisu are close to my heart these days, as the cons go on and we've gone past HSJ's anniversary, jr groups that I learned at the same time as Ya-Ya-yah, and i can't imagine what Taipi and Tsuka are feeling today. I'm desperately hoping that Taipi cries like a total girl, and that there's cameras there so it'll be on a DVD. But either way, 記念日にオメデトウ！ It's so fitting that a member from each group celebrates such an amazing anniversary today, and I wish both of them, and all of Ebikisu, ten more years of love from fans and from each other.
But on the other hand, I really wish this 3k were on my NaNo. Sigh.
あそこからここまで (From There Until Here)
Fujigaya Taisuke has to struggle not to bounce on his toes as he, along with a group of others, are introduced to Johnny’s Juniors. Most of the other boys joining at the same time as him are older, and Fujigaya doesn’t want to give a first impression of being just another little eleven-year-old, just some baby.
A senpai is explaining things to the boys, things about schedules and costumes and practices which are probably important, but Fujigaya can’t concentrate. Instead, he glances around at the other boys standing with him, some of them looking serious, and others fidgeting nervously. They were all introduced, although Fujigaya certainly didn’t learn all their names that quickly. He thinks there might have been a Masuda, and a Naka-something, and boy to his right is named Kamenashi he knows, because he looks shy and scared, like a little turtle.
Fujigaya wonders if he’ll go to junior high with any of these boys, if they’ll become friends, if they’ll have sleepovers and meals and maybe one day concerts together. It’s hard to imagine any of them looking anything like the idols his mother watches on television, like V6 or those new guys she likes from Kinki. Right now, none of them look anything like that. Right now they all look the same.
“Hey,” Fujigaya turns to whisper to the boy beside him (to the left, not the right because Turtle-kun looks like he’s about to throw up on the shaggy-haired, wide-eyed boy on his other side), “be friends with me, okay? I’ll let you in my concerts, someday.”
“All right,” answers the boy shyly, but his smile is friendly, and Fujigaya has a good feeling about him because his name starts with Ryo, like his brother. Fujigaya nods briskly, ready to win over as many others as he can, starting from right then.
Fujigaya doesn’t want to look the same. Fujigaya wants to stand out.
Tsukada is easy-going and friendly, and likes the bustle of the Jimusho. He likes the practices with lots of other boys, likes the songs and the dances, and most of all he likes it when some of the other boys start calling him “Tsuka,” because it means they like him enough to come up with a nickname for him.
He doesn’t mind that he doesn’t really garner any personal attention, Tsuka isn’t like that. Some of the other boys struggle always to be noticed, to be in front or to be loudest, to hold the microphone or catch a second of the camera’s attention.
Instead of worrying about it, Tsuka just does his best and learns what he can by watching and listening to the older boys. And he smiles, whether someone is watching or not, because it’s fun, and he’s happy to be there.
But when Takizawa-senpai approaches him out of the blue during a practice and praises his efforts, ruffles his hair and tells him, “Good work today, Tsuka-chan,” suddenly Tsuka does understand.
After that, Tsuka works harder and makes sure he’s smiling when he thinks someone else or the camera might be looking, striving for that same spark of warmth that Takizawa’s words kindled in his chest.
Sometimes Fujigaya gets frustrated with how he works and works, but nothing much seems to change. He’s a junior high student now, and he knows he’s cute, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to why some older boys get noticed but then other times brand new trainees get attention right away.
The formula of it remains just out of Fujigaya’s reach, and it drives him crazy that he carries on day after day, unnoticed, while younger and newer boys outstrip him.
“Who the hell is Ohno-kun anyway,” Fujigaya grumbles as his family watches clips of Arashi’s first concert on the news, pouting.
“I think they look cool,” Ryosuke retorts, just to be difficult, and Fujigaya pouts harder when his mother agrees with his brother.
The hell of it is, Fujigaya thinks as he watches and enjoys JE’s newest debuted unit in spite of himself, is that he actually agrees.
“Please take care of me,” Tsuka says to his new unitmates, and knows he is grinning like a complete moron, but it’s hard to care since they’re all doing it too.
He’s got a unit, he thinks to himself. Their name is Acrobatic Boys Club, and they were all specially picked, and they’re his unit, and Tsuka doesn’t know whether the pride is for himself or for all of them, but his heart feels like it might split from it.
“Nice to meet you!” Kawai-kun chirps, which makes them all laugh because it isn’t like they didn’t know each other before. Totsuka and Koshioka hi-five, and Yudai lo-fives Totsuka in turn, and then Kawai barrels into it too, shamelessly demanding attention from the older boys, and drags Tsuka along with him.
Tsuka knows it’s silly to get your hopes up about things like this, not when they’re so young and units come and go all the time, but it feels like this is something special to him, feels like it’s something that could last.
Tsuka squeezes Yudai around the waist and gets shoved by Totsuka from behind, and he really hopes that this will last.
“Taipi shouldn’t pout,” Tackey sing-songs, grabbing Fujigaya in a headlock and mussing up his carefully styled hair until Fujigaya is whining in protest and squirming against his hold. “It doesn’t suit you, little brother.”
But even attention from a favorite senpai doesn’t cheer up Fujigaya for long, and for Fujigaya that’s really saying something. Besides, it’s easy for Tackey to say that when he gets to debut, when he gets to keep his unit after all. Fujigaya is happy for him, really he is. He’s been hoping for Tackey and Tsubasa to stay together harder than anybody, except maybe the duo themselves.
But the happiness seems like a dim warmth when Fujigaya has to come to Shokura practice alone, again, his last short-lived unit dissolved again. It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t seem like everybody else was in a unit except him as he glances across the practice room. Lately he’s begun to worry that maybe Johnny’s isn’t where he belongs after all, if it’s going to turn out that he keeps ending up alone.
Still though, as he spots Tsuka dashing across the room towards him, Fujigaya forces himself to smile, knowing that being grumpy to others will just worsen his mood and make practice seem endless. Tsuka is dragging another junior along with him, and Fujigaya tilts his head curiously as Tsuka skids to a stop in front of him, breathless with excitement.
“Ne, Taipi!” Tsuka exclaims, tugging the other junior forward by the wrist. He looks small and shy, but Fujigaya can’t guess whether he’s older or younger. “This is Goseki-kun! He’s in A.B.C. now!”
“Nice to meet you,” Fujigaya greets, getting a shy smile from the other boy in return, and Fujigaya reminds himself that Tackey-senpai always says that if he thinks good things will happen hard enough, they usually do.
When the announcements are made, Tsuka is terrified. He closes his eyes tightly and thinks please not Tottsu, please not Tottsu, even as he feels guilty for not wishing for Tottsu’s debut, or for not thinking the others would be chosen to debut.
When Shige-kun’s name is the last called, Tsuka hears Kawai give a soft sob of relief beside him and opens his eyes. He feels a pang of sympathy for Yokoo and Iida, who are blinking at each other in shock, but he has to look away from the expression on Toma’s face. He turns instead to pat Kawai’s back, who is trying to hide his tears of relief against Tottsu’s shoulder. Fumi-kun really is the baby, sometimes.
Practices are strained at first afterwards, groups of friends having obvious holes and ex-units lingering in awkward half-formations. A current of whispers runs under every conversation, some supportive (“He deserves it, ne, he’s worked hard,”) and some cruel (“Who the fuck is Tegoshi?”). KAT-TUN is dangerous to go get too close to, and Ya-Ya-yah is keeping mostly to themselves, clinging to each other tightly even as they try to deal with the loss of such popular regulars from their show, and Tsuka knows how they feel. He stays close to the members of his own unit, likes to keep them within touching distance, as if none of them can be sure the danger’s really past.
Things are changing in Johnny’s, quick and hard, and Tsuka knows it has to happen that way sometimes, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less when he comes around a corner and stumbles over Inoo-chan with his arms tight around Koyama-kun’s waist, sniffling into his shirt. Koyama pats Inoo’s back awkwardly and meets Tsuka’s gaze with eyes that are sad and scared and excited all at once. Tsuka goes back the way he came quietly, as if nothing happened.
“Where were you?” Goseki asks when he gets back.
“Nowhere,” Tsuka shakes his head. Talking about it won’t do any good. “Ne, let’s work hard today, okay?”
“Un,” Tottsu agrees, arm tight around Kawai’s shoulders, and Kawai looks between them before firming up his own expression of uncertainty into one of determination.
They’re still together, after all. They can still go on.
Here we go again, Fujigaya thinks to himself when he’s told he’ll be in Kis-My-Ft, but at least he’s been chosen, he’s been noticed and picked out. He softens quickly, though; he likes Yokoo-kun and Iida-kun, and Kitayama-kun seems nice enough, even if his short haircut looks awkward growing out and he doesn’t really know how anything works since he joined the Jimusho so late.
He likes them, he finds himself thinking during the Arashi cons, he’s happy. Ohno-senpai says Fujigaya looks energetic these days, and Sho-senpai comments on how much Fujigaya has grown up, and by the end of the tour, it’s Fujigaya who cries the hardest, as though it’s his unit finishing their last concert instead of Arashi.
They’re his unit, he realizes all at once, winded by the sudden shock of it, a heat in his chest, and he wants to keep them.
“To Fujigaya Taisuke,” Kitayama starts his letter, muffling the ‘ta’ into a ‘da’ just so Fujigaya will yell at him, even while on the inside Fujigaya agrees more with the alternate reading.
He belongs somewhere, finally, belongs here, and Fujigaya beams brighter than the stage lights when it’s his turn to tell Kitayama that too.
It’s really a miracle, Tsuka can’t help but laugh to himself, that KAT-TUN has made it after all this time. He’s happy for Kamenashi-kun and Akanishi-kun, and Nakamaru-kun, who entered the Jimusho along with him and now are finally getting what they wanted.
He guesses the senpai must know what they’re doing, sometimes.
“Tsuka-chan seems energetic today,” Tottsu comments during practice, and Tsuka blushes. Maybe bullying Kawai into the handspring contest hadn’t been particularly subtle.
“I’m happy!” he says anyway. “Hey, now that there’s a new unit, do you think we’ll get to backdance for them at concerts? I really want to backdance for Nakamaru-kun!”
“You idiot,” Goseki laughs from where he’s seated on a still-out-of-breath Kawai’s chest. “We already backdance for too many things! We’ll be too exhausted to do anything else if you keep adding concerts!”
“Let’s level up, then,” Tsuka says, and he meant it as a joke, but it comes out an invitation instead, and he doesn’t take it back. Today he feels like they can do anything, if they reach for it.
“Let’s do it,” Goseki agrees immediately, scrambling to his feet and tugging Kawai up with him. “What’s that new thing called again?”
“Crazy Accel,” Tsuka answers, then trips Tottsu for making fun of his accent.
Kitayama sulks for a while after Iida leaves, and Fujigaya empathizes with him. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that Kitayama hasn’t been a jyannis for near as long as most of them have.
Then again, maybe that’s why he and Senga-chan get along so well.
“But it’s not the same without Iida-kun!” Senga protests, eyes wide and sad, and beside him Nikaido makes a derisive noise but is staring at the floor. “Who’ll be the I!”
“Ne, Senga-chan, you can’t get all upset like that,” Fujigaya counsels, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. He holds out the other arm to Nikaido, but Nikaido turns away after a second, and trots over to the corner where Yokoo has been tying and untying his skate for the last five minutes.
Behind him, he hears Kitayama snort, no doubt amused that Fujigaya is for once the voice of reason.
“I don’t like it when things change,” cute, soft-hearted Senga says, rubbing his cheek against Fujigaya’s jacket, and Fujigaya hopes he doesn’t get fur in his eye. “I don’t like it when people leave.”
“They do it anyway, though,” Fujigaya says, letting Senga cling as tightly as he likes. Nearby, Miyata and Tamamori have quieted, and Fujigaya knows they are listening in. “But, you know, if Koyama, Shige, and Kusano hadn’t left K.K.Kity, we wouldn’t have Wataru, and you like Wataru too, right?” Senga nods, giving a little sniff. “Units change, Ken-chan. They’re not forever. So whoever’s here right now, we have to do our best with them, okay? We have to go forward.”
“Go forward until what?” Senga wants to know, but he seems calmer, just a weird question like Senga asks at random now and then.
“Until whenever,” Fujigaya declares, as if that settles everything. “Maa, let’s go practice already! It’s cause you’re all lazy that you four kouhai nearly skate off the stage every filming!”
Butoukan is exhilarating, and Tsuka thrives from the high tension and the intense dance practices. He’s not used to be picked out, being encouraged to work his talents to stand out rather than to fit in a group. It’s hard work, with the double practices, and Tsuka’s so busy that eventually he realizes that he’s barely been missing Kawai, Goseki, and Tottsu at all.
“Don’t feel guilty!” Yara laughs when Tsuka admits what he’s been thinking. “Being in special projects is exciting. Tsuka-chan’s lucky, to have never switched units before.”
“Mm,” Tsuka agrees, and he feels quietly pleased thinking about it, feels like he doesn’t have to worry about whether A.B.C. will be there for him to come back to.
They will, he knows. Tsuka’s free to explore on his own a little, for once, to grow. And when he does come back, they’ll want to see everything he’s learned.
“Oi!” Nikaido yells, sticking his head in the practice room. “Aren’t you done yet?”
“Give us back our kouhai!” Kitayama shouts from behind him.
Tsuka and Yara exchange grins as Senga yells back for them to go away, he’s still busy! Seems like Kisumai is maybe a little different.
It seems like the sea of people stretches on forever, an ocean of softly waving light sticks, the roar of the crowd filling their ears like water.
It’s beautiful, and it’s moving, and all at once Fujigaya is overcome by what a long, winding trip it’s been from there to here, to Yoyogi, by the fact that it’s his concert he’s crying at for once instead of somebody else’s.
He tries to shove it back, to concentrate on singing and dancing, on doing all the things they've been practicing for so hard for so long, but it crashes over him in odd moments. Senga’s solo and Nikaido’s rap, seeing what strong and handsome men they’re becoming; his own dance with Goseki, how they never bump into each other on-stage because they’re so familiar with each other’s timing; Tottsu’s announcing and Miyata’s MC, and the way Tamamori can make a swirl of screams ripple through a section with just a look these days; Yokoo’s guitar during “Smile,” warm and familiar; even Hasshi makes Fujigaya choke up at one point, Hasshi who started out so embarrassed by his own presence that he could barely practice, and now laughs the hardest out of all of them when Kawai tsukkomis him for being taller than his senpai.
Hasshi comes right back with the fact that Kawai is more childish mentally than even him, and Fujigaya has to turn away for a second to get himself together.
He finds Tsuka standing beside him, and they both give a watery laugh at the sight of each other’s faces, Fujigaya betting that his looks just as emotional as Tsuka’s. He grabs Tsuka in a hug on impulse, and even though they haven’t talked about their anniversary being today, he knows it’s in Tsuka’s heart too by the way it’s pounding as fiercely as his own.
“Ne, Tsuka-chan,” Fujigaya tries to choke out around the lump in his throat, “Congratu--”
“Thank you,” Tsuka interrupts, whispering against Fujigaya’s ear so that his voice doesn’t crack, but it does anyway, “for letting me in your concert.”
Fujigaya lets out a little sob and holds onto Tsuka tighter, until the others notice and accuse them of doing weird things during MCs, and pull them apart so that they can pick on them in front of thousands of fangirls for being crybabies. Fujigaya pulls himself together enough to say that they are all just jealous of his ero ero dance, the lump in his throat dissolving into laughter when Kawai and Hasshi immediately begin to do impressions of Fujigaya, and Fujigaya is glad for the distraction, for his friends and for Ebikisu, or whatever the hell their unit is now.
He just starts right up again anyway, when Tottsu uses his own mic to remind the crowd about Tsuka and Fujigaya’s anniversaries.