Rating/Warnings: PG for unrequited love
Summary: Miyata's plan is only this: if he likes Tamamori hard and long enough, Tamamori will like him back. Eventually.
AN: I just felt like writing something sweet, and then this turned out nearly 5k, lol. I was thinking about that interview where Miyata said that when he was taking a nap, Tamamori came in and just naturally laid down next to him ♥ I've always hoped that in real life, this really was Miyata's plan, and hope that he won Tama over by sheer perseverance.
At First Sight
On a random summer afternoon in 2004, 15-year-old Miyata Toshiya is just coming into a random mirrored practice room for a random dance lesson, when another junior is trying to exit without really looking.
A minor collision occurs, knocking Miyata's water bottle and the other kid's bag out of their hands, and then they bang heads when they both drop to grab their things.
"You're Miyata-kun, right?" the other boy asks after they've both apologized and rubbed their heads and Miyata is helping him toss his things back in his bag. "You backed for Arashi-senpai. I'm Tamamori."
"Uh-huh," Miyata answers, both agreeing with Tamamori's knowledge of him and because he's seen Tamamori around some too. "You're mint's T." What he doesn't add is that Tamamori's brown eyes and shy smile are both really cute close-up. "Ne, your sneaker's untied," he says instead, just to make conversation.
"Geez, shoelace-san," Tamamori says, making Miyata blink, "you're always causing trouble."
Tamamori reties his laces and zips his bag. They both stand up, and Tamamori gives Miyata a last little smile as he goes out the door finally, and Miyata realizes that his hand is in the air in a wave goodbye.
"Shoelace-san," he repeats belatedly to himself.
On a random summer afternoon in 2004, 15-year-old Miyata Toshiya falls in love.
It takes a lot longer for him to figure out what to do about it, though.
Even as a 15-year-old, Miyata is something of a hopeless romantic, but having been raised on a steady diet of his mother's romantic television dramas, at least he comes by it honestly.
"Does that really happen?" Miyata had asked her once while they were watching the final episode about a high school student who could see everybody's red string but his own. At least until the new transfer student had shown up, and suddenly string was trailing along the classroom floor after all.
"Love at first sight?" his mother had asked, pausing in her knitting to keep Miyata's fidgeting from tangling her yarn. "Of course it does."
"Hm." Miyata had tested out his new derisive noise, because he would be going to junior high soon, and cool grown-up guys probably didn't believe in stuff like that. "But how can you know, just like that?"
"Well," his mother had chuckled. "Your father figured it out, at least, and if he can do it…"
You'll feel it, she had said, you'll know, and Miyata had just absorbed that as silly grown-up junk then and forgotten all about it. But it comes back to him as he's watching Tamamori Yuuta disappear through a doorway, warmth spreading from his chest the whole way out to his fingers and toes.
He rubs at the lump on his head with a wince, and realizes his mother had been right after all, because he'd sure felt that.
Miyata isn't sure about the whole thing until the moment, months later, that Tamamori is standing in front of him, Nikaido-kun and Senga-kun tagging along, telling him that they're going to be in the same unit. And then, Tamamori's brown eyes and shy smile focused directly upon him, Miyata takes stock of the situation, as taught to him by a wealth of anime, manga, and daytime television.
Sweaty palms? Check.
Pounding heart? Check.
The gods of fate throwing them together into a situation where they'll have to undress together often? Check and check.
Must be love, he thinks to himself. "Please take care of me," he says out loud, giving Tamamori his biggest smile and hoping that Tamamori thinks it's even a fraction as cute as he thinks the smile Tamamori is giving him is.
"Where'd your eyes go?" Tamamori asks.
Miyata is a reasonably self-aware teenage boy, and so instead of having the internal identity crisis that most teenage boys in his situation would undoubtedly have, Miyata simply accepts it and is actually sort of relieved he won't have to figure out girls after all.
Girls seem complicated. Tamamori, who gets distracted by his own reflection in the practice rooms, is not.
And anyway, jyannis are too busy and exhausted to have identity crises anyhow, so Miyata doesn't bother. He expends his mental energy on making a plan instead, and after a couple weeks of close proximity to Tamamori, this is what he comes up with:
He's just going to like Tamamori as much as possible, as hard as possible, and eventually, Tamamori will have to like him back.
It's slow going at first, since Miyata and Tamamori only know each other casually, but Miyata is determined and thus omnipresent. He sits his bag down next to Tamamori's in the dressing rooms, saves a seat for Tamamori at lunch, always gets two drinks out of the vending machine, and grabs Tamamori's hand faster than Arashi-senpai during a smoking break anytime they have to pair off for anything.
Senga and Nikaido, already best friends, don't care or even notice since they're equally wrapped up in each other, and if Tamamori has an objection, he's too much of a pushover to voice it.
And when, eventually, they get merged into Kis-My-Ft ("OI," Nikaido demands, affronted, "What do you mean I'm the DOT?!"), Miyata's campaign of proximity starts to pay off. The first morning they share a dressing room with the older four, Tamamori sticks his head in the room nervously, takes one look at Fujigaya bickering with Iida while Yokoo tries to clean up around a snoring Kitayama, and scuttles over to drop his bag and himself as close to Miyata as he can, as fast as he can.
"Morning," Miyata beams at Tamamori, knowing Tamamori is just seeking familiarity out of nerves, but pleased as punch anyway.
"Uh-huh," Tamamori says. He eyes the senpai, who aren't supposed to exactly be senpai anymore, and then turns plaintive eyes to Miyata. "What if they don't like us?"
"You're cute," Miyata assures, "so they'll definitely like you," and then has to swallow a chuckle when Tamamori's cheeks turn pink. Tamamori mumbles something embarrassed and busies himself with his bag. Miyata grins at nothing, only doing it harder when Nikaido demands to know what the hell is problem is.
He's not laughing so much when Fujigaya snaps at Tamamori until he cries during a practice. Not that Tamamori doesn't deserve it, kind of, since he hasn't been practicing on his own and spaces out all the time during actual practice and consequently can barely even skate backwards yet. But still, Miyata feels wretched and embarrassed on Tamamori's behalf when Tamamori can't get any more words out and just nods instead, eyes shiny.
"Okay, Taipi." Yokoo puts a hand on Fujigaya's arm, which Fujigaya immediately shakes off, but at least he stops scolding Tamamori. "I think you made your point."
The choreographer sighs. "Let's take a break. Fifteen minutes, so don't go far."
Tamamori bolts from the room practically before Yokoo's done speaking, desperation to escape making him more efficient on the skates than anything else has. Miyata hesitates a few moments before slipping out himself to follow. He isn't sure Tamamori will want him, or anybody, to follow, but on the other hand, he's hoping maybe by now he can be the person who at least cheers Tamamori up a little.
He finds Tamamori just around the corner, arms wrapped tight around his knees and shoulders shaking, and Miyata clatters to a seat beside him, not so great with the skates himself to be honest. Tamamori wails something muffled that might be "Go away" or really anything else, for all Miyata can make out.
Miyata doesn't go away. He rubs Tamamori's back, hand sliding in slow circles over the sweat-damp cotton, until Tamamori's shoulders are still.
"Better?" Miyata asks.
"No." Tamamori's eyes appears above the curve of his arm, bloodshot and watery. "I told you to go away."
"Well," Miyata swallowed the sting of it, his smile unwavering, "what kind of best friend would that make me?"
Tamamori picks his head up a little more, so that he can squint at Miyata. "Who's best friend even are you?"
"Yours," Miyata bluffs bravely. "Got somebody else you like more?" Miyata looks left and right as Tamamori splutters. "Because nobody else sure followed you out here, right?"
Tamamori shuts his mouth with a snap and swipes at his eyes with sleeve of his shirt.
"Well," he says eventually, "I guess that's okay."
Struggling to his feet despite the skates, Miyata grabs Tamamori's hand and drags him up as well, off to the vending machine with their hands still swinging between them until a scatter of smaller juniors comes around the corner. Tamamori pulls his hand away and wipes his palm on his sweats. Miyata doesn't mind; he has to start digging in his pockets for change anyway.
Luckily he turns up a 500 yen coin just at they get to the machine, and he drops it in and picks a drink, then bends to dig the change out of the return to start over.
"Could I have a—" Tamamori starts, but Miyata is already dropping coins in and pushing buttons, and Tamamori blinks when Miyata drops a grape Fanta in his hands. "—Fanta." He looks up at Miyata, eyes narrow. "How'd you…"
"Your favorite." Miyata shrugs, smiling his no-eyes smile. "It's the sort of thing a best friend ought to know, right?"
"…Right," Tamamori says. He uncaps his soda and takes a long pull, eyes darting to the can in Miyata's hand, less than subtle but all the more adorable.
Miyata holds the can up so that Tamamori can see the label, so that Tamamori can be his best friend too.
Progress is progress, after all.
The first confession slips out without Miyata's consent, but that doesn't make it any less true.
"You," Miyata says, looking from the VHS tape in his hands up into Tamamori's brown, brown eyes, "are my favorite person in the entire world."
"It's just a couple anime episodes," Tamamori insists. "My brother was watching it anyway, and you said you were sorry you kept missing it, so…" Tamamori trails off, examining Miyata's face. "Ne, really?"
"Uh-huh," Miyata says, feeling shy and exposed, but the delicate pink Tamamori is turning makes Miyata decide that it's definitely worth it. Go for the gold, he decides. "Totally my favorite. In the whole world, I like Tama-chan best~."
"Okay, quit it," Tamamori cuts him off, making Miyata laugh, adding, "Gross!" for good measure. He's totally red now, glancing around Miyata at the other members of the unit as they get themselves in order for the concert, but nobody's paying them any mind.
At least not until Miyata announces loudly that he definitely likes Tamamori best and nobody else could like him more, so hands off please~, which provokes Tamamori into slapping at him in utter mortification while the older three just shake their heads at the poor state of today's youth.
"That's so gross," Nikaido announces, hands firm on Senga as he tugs him away from Tamamori and Miyata's cooties. "Kenpi, just sit here right next to me."
Hours and hours later on their way home from the venue, the bus is chilly and dark, and it doesn't escape Miyata's notice that Tamamori is shivering next to him as he tries to hunker down deeper into his coat.
"Lean forward," Miyata says. Tamamori gives him a suspicious look, but does what he asks after a second. Miyata wraps an arm tight around Tamamori's shoulders and pulls him closer. Tamamori opens his mouth, but Miyata interrupts. "I'm always warm, right?"
Tamamori closes his mouth, but doesn't move away. After sitting stiffly for a handful of minutes, Tamamori scrunches down a little in the bus seat, so that his head rests more naturally against Miyata's shoulder. He relaxes by degrees, and stops shivering under Miyata's hand.
"Nika's right," Tamamori says, voice a bit muffled by Miyata's coat and the rumble of the bus. "You are kinda gross."
"Yup," Miyata agrees. He doesn't care much about the name-calling when Tamamori is soft and warm against him, and he doesn't even try to wipe the stupid smile off his face. "You can sleep if you want."
"Hmph." Tamamori's voice is already sleepy, though, and after a full day of practice and concert adrenaline, Miyata would be surprised if Tamamori weren't unconscious in the next five minutes. "Don't try anything weird."
"Sure," Miyata agrees easily.
Because really, there's no way for Tamamori to know that Miyata spends most of the ride with his nose pressed against Tamamori's hair.
Miyata is just tugging on the T-shirt he's going to sleep in when there's a knock at the hotel room door. He glances at Tamamori, who is sprawled across his bed and snoring without even making it under the blankets, then goes to see who it is.
"I dunno where Senga is," Nikaido informs Miyata, his scowl saying plainly what he thinks about that. "The other three are out still."
Knowing Nikaido's hatred for being alone as well as Senga's penchant for invading others' hotel rooms, Miyata steps aside and lets Nikaido in. Nikaido takes a look at Tamamori's sprawl, and then takes over Miyata's bed without a shred of obvious remorse.
Not that Miyata minds so much. It just gives him a good excuse to nudge Tamamori's sprawl over a bit and climb into bed with him. The bed's small, but they don't eat much, and Miyata could name worse things than having a half-asleep Tamamori roll his eyes at him before letting them slip shut again.
Miyata and Nikaido bicker over the channel on the television, Miyata insisting that the Gundam rerun is definitely best, while Nikaido calls him a moron and refuses to switch away from the billiards tournament on the sports channel.
"It's boring!" Miyata insists, even though in reality he's paying much less attention to the television than to the little twitches Tamamori is giving in his sleep.
"You're boring," Nikaido retorts on autopilot, and then eventually adds, "Are you gonna tell him you like him or what?"
"Hm?" Miyata tears his gaze from Tamamori to blink at Nikaido. He's honestly kind of impressed that for all of Nikaido's bratty self-absorption, he's managed to see through Miyata's ploy with Tamamori with surprising clarity. "I do? I tell him all the time."
"No, you haven't," Nikaido waves a hand dismissively, "not so that he really gets it, right? So when are you gonna?"
"Mm," Miyata says, noncommittal. The thing is that he's been wondering that himself, lately. He watches Tamamori, slack and warm with sleep, and wonders how else you can tell somebody you like them besides just telling them that you like them.
"Coward," Nikaido pronounces, and then the guy he's rooting for fumbles a shot and Nikaido hisses his displeasure, focus back on the television.
There's another knock on the door, which turns out to be Senga, and after some token abuse of his best friend, Nikaido leaves Miyata to the television and Tamamori, remote helpfully dropped on Miyata's bed where he can't possibly reach it.
Nikaido's right, Miyata knows; he is a coward really, and he thinks about that as he climbs out of Tamamori's bed carefully enough not to wake him up. For a few moments he stands beside the bed, watching Tamamori, who rolls onto his back into Miyata's warm spot, before reaching down to brush Tamamori's hair back from his face.
"I really do like you, you know," he says quietly, more to himself than anybody, and he freezes when Tamamori's eyes open just enough to look back at him.
"I know," Tamamori says, voice slurred with sleep. "Y'keep saying."
Then his eyes fall shut again and he shifts onto his side, apparently dead to the world, leaving Miyata still frozen with his hand in the air.
"Idiot," he murmurs at last as he lets his hand drop, but he isn't sure which of them he's talking to.
If even Tamamori himself knows, Miyata figures during the sleepless night that follows, then there isn't much point in holding back, and anyway, dignity isn't something a jyannis has any use for anyway.
If he tells Tamamori he loves him often enough, he'll have to believe it, right? Besides, the look on Tamamori's face, so adorably scandalized, during Miyata's public confessions would almost make it worth it even if he didn't really mean them.
Nor does it help that Tamamori routinely does such strange things so naturally, as if he doesn't even realize he's doing them. All of Ebikisu is used to it, after spending years together, and mostly they ignore it when Tamamori berates his skate wheels for being round or addresses his lunch with formal honorifics. Miyata, on the other hand, finds Tamamori's small oddities to be endearing, definitely worth noticing when they make their fleeting, if plenteous, appearances.
"Onpu," Tamamori is murmuring to himself as he adds music note emoji to a mail, thumbs busy on his phone and tongue stuck out in concentration, "onPU, onPU, on…" He trails off when he notices Miyata is watching him openly. "…What?"
"I like you more than anybody," Miyata breathes, chest tight with the truth of it and not even bothering to try and hide his adoring expression, "in the entire world."
Tamamori's cheeks go scarlet immediately. "You're SO WEIRD," he hisses, clutching his phone tighter, then squeaking in frustration when he realizes he just accidentally sent his half-finished mail.
It makes Miyata's heart squeeze even tighter and undoubtedly shows on his face, which in turn makes Tamamori even more embarrassed and frustrated, and inevitably it leads to violence, Miyata shaking with helpless laughter as Tamamori slaps at him with the hand that isn't still clutching his phone.
"I'm mad at you!" Tamamori finally snaps, except he's almost laughing himself. "Stop enjoying it!"
Miyata catches Tamamori's wrist suddenly, wrapping his fingers tightly around it. "I don't mind when you're tsundere, Tama-chan~."
It's not the first time Miyata has said something half so ridiculous, especially lately, but this time there's a half-second of hesitation where their eyes meet and Miyata can feel the rush of Tamamori's pulse under his fingers. Then Tamamori yanks his hand away like usual and gives Miyata a last rough shove before stomping off, and Miyata watches him go while wondering why his heart is suddenly in his throat.
"Don't be all tsun, though!" Miyata calls after him, just to be a dick and make everything feel normal again.
"GROSS!" Tamamori bellows, pausing just long enough to shoot a fierce glare over his shoulder.
The glitter of his eyes makes Miyata's breath catch, and, not for the first time, Miyata wonders if he'll survive it if they ever get to that second part.
Summary is a test of strength and endurance, and as much as Miyata has come to love it over the years, that doesn't stop him from trying to catch five minutes to himself in a corner, just to catch his breath and to ice his shoulder.
Although when Tamamori shows up in the same corner, Miyata doesn't really have any objections.
"If Kawai tells you he's got a surprise, don't listen," Tamamori cautions as he sits. Miyata notices the way Tamamori's hand strays to his ankle as soon as he's sitting, rubbing at it. Tamamori nods at Miyata's ice pack. "Shoulder again?"
"Here," Miyata picks up the ice pack from his shoulder and puts it on Tamamori's ankle. He shrugs off Tamamori's protests. "Ten on, ten off, right? We can switch."
Tamamori's face says he knows exactly how long Miyata's been sitting here and it hasn't been ten minutes, but then the corners of his mouth curl a little, just a little, into an expression that isn't exasperation. It's happened a few times, has been happening more and more lately, and Miyata's been keeping an eye out for it, trying to figure out what it is.
If Miyata didn't know better, he'd say it looks almost like affection. But he's trying not to get his hopes up too much while he gathers more conclusive evidence.
He realizes that he's still staring at Tamamori, and Tamamori is staring back. "Hm?" he asks.
"Turn around," Tamamori says, then twirls his fingers in demonstration when Miyata doesn't move immediately.
"Okay?" Miyata agrees, bemused, and shifts around so that his back is to Tamamori. He starts a little when Tamamori's palms land on his T-shirt and start smoothing down over his muscles, the heat of Tamamori's hands sinking into his skin. Miyata has no idea what's going on, but it feels good, and he lets his eyes flutter shut.
They pop back open when Tamamori suddenly digs his thumbs into Miyata's back, just below his sore shoulder, and Miyata gives a yelp of pain.
"Found it~," Tamamori says, voice smug. "Muscle knot. Hold still."
"OW," Miyata retorts as Tamamori doesn't let up with the pressure, but then suddenly Tamamori pulls his hands away, and Miyata's shoulder feels better than it has in days. Blinking back pain tears, Miyata turns his head to find Tamamori grinning in self-satisfaction, and that other thing. "Who taught you that?"
"Senga." Tamamori puts his hand back over Miyata's shoulder blade, making Miyata tense, but he relaxes when Tamamori just rubs at the sore spot in gentle circles. "Tsuka-chan taught him. Maybe you should try heat instead of ice?"
"Mm. Keep doing that?" Miyata asks, a little drunk on the feel of Tamamori's hands on him, and the fact that Tamamori does what he asks. "I totally love you, Tama-chan."
"I know," Tamamori answers, familiar and unconcerned, and that's the moment when Miyata decides that maybe it's not such a bad thing to hope.
"Ne, Tama-chan," Miyata turns around so that Tamamori's hands slip off him and they're face to face, "I mean it."
Tamamori lets his hands fall back into his lap and watches Miyata silently.
"I…" Miyata draws a deep breath and hopes for luck. "I really do like you. A lot. That way. I've been hoping, you know, that if I liked you enough, you'd like me back, and I don't know if it's working or it'll ever work, but, we could try, right? If you didn't mind?"
"Try?" Tamamori echoes faintly.
"Try being together," Miyata blunders on, wondering why he can't shut the hell up. "With you. I really want to try being together with you," Miyata finishes in a rush, then bites his lip to try and stop babbling.
Tamamori blinks slowly, cheeks aflame. "Is this a joke? Is Goseki going to pop out with the Polaroid again?"
"No," Miyata says. "And I hope not."
"Oh." Tamamori doesn't say anything else for a long while, long enough that Miyata can hardly stand it, but there doesn't seem to be anything else to say that won't be even more humiliating.
"Your ankle," Miyata says when he can't bear the silence for a second longer. "It's been more than ten minutes."
"Can I think about it?" Tamamori says, not making any move to pull the ice off his ankle.
"Think about…oh!" Miyata blushes a little himself as he realizes what Tamamori's asking. It's not the ringing endorsement he might have wished for, but it's better than what he feared. "Yeah, of course." He offers Tamamori a smile, trying to make it as normal as possible. "You can have all the time you want."
"It's really not a joke?" Tamamori asks again, thoughtful.
"Really really." Miyata reaches over and plucks the ice pack off of Tamamori's ankle, but then just holds it. "Tsuka-chan taught Senga that? They've been hanging out recently, haven't they? I bet Nika-chan has something to say about…"
"Okay," Tamamori interrupts.
"Okay?" Miyata blinks.
"I thought about it." Tamamori shrugs. "Okay."
The ice pack slips out of Miyata's numb fingers, and the idiot smile spread over his face is interrupted by his hiss of pain as feeling trickles back into his hands in pins and needles.
But he barely even feels it when Tamamori gives him a shy smile and presses Miyata's freezing hands in between his own to warm them back up.
Quite a while later…
PLAYZONE rehearsals start early and go late, and even though Miyata knows it'll pay off in the end, for now all he wants is just to take a nap. During lunch, he limps back to their dressing room and curls up in the corner with somebody's sweatshirt as a pillow. He's unconscious as soon as he gets his eyes closed.
Some amount of time later, Miyata drifts close to consciousness when somebody lies down next to him, close enough for him to feel their body heat warming up his own limbs, chilled from the floor. He clings to sleep a while longer, knowing being awake means stiff limbs and more practice, but eventually his eyes flutter open just enough to see who's warming up his knees.
He's not surprised to find Tamamori curled up next to him, watching him. There's the murmur of voices in the room, Fujigaya's constant chatter and Nikaido's derisive laugh, but Miyata only has eyes for Tamamori's small smile and sleepy eyes.
"Looks like someone kept you up late," Miyata says, clearing the sleep from his throat. "Some idiot. You should have told him you have practice all day."
"Hm, he's not such a bad moron. Seems a shame to trade him in now that I've got him trained properly. Think I'll keep him." Tamamori shares Miyata's silly grin. "Tell me something?"
"Sure," Miyata agrees, letting his eyes fall shut again and stifling a yawn. He feels Tamamori's fingers brush his cheek, touch his hair.
"How long was it?" Tamamori asks, getting a soft "Hm?" from Miyata. "Before you asked me to like you. How long did you want me?"
Thinking about brown eyes and a shy smile underneath a half-grown-out bowlcut, Miyata opens his eyes and smiles because it doesn't feel like so much has changed. Tamamori even still talks to his shoelaces and skate wheels and lunches, sometimes, and Miyata likes it just as much now as then. Maybe more.
"Love at first sight," Miyata confesses. Tamamori rolls his eyes at first, but when Miyata's grin doesn't dim, peers at him more closely.
"First sight?" he repeats, voice still skeptical, but not so much. "But that would have been…" Miyata just keeps staring evenly at Tamamori until Tamamori gives a wry chuckle. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. You don't do things by halves, do you?"
"Not with you," Miyata says. Tamamori blushes and gives Miyata a dark look, but his fingers are still in Miyata's hair, so Miyata hardly feels threatened.
"Sorry I took so long," Tamamori offers, sounding genuinely sad, and even though Miyata loves what a soft touch Tamamori can be, he still reaches up to cover Tamamori's hand with his own and squeeze. "Must have sucked to wait all that time."
"It…really didn't," Miyata chuckles. Thinking about it now, it makes a good story, with a happy ending and everything. The steadfast peasant finally winning over the sexy if occasionally weird princess. "Hey, c'mere."
Tamamori lets Miyata put hands on his waist and roll him over, until Miyata is spooned warm and comfortable against Tamamori's back, face tucked against Tamamori's hair.
"It was worth it," Miyata assures, sore and exhausted, but happy too, content exactly where he is. "I'd have waited a lot longer. Especially since you turned out so cute."
"Idiot," Tamamori says, but he sounds more than a little content himself. "Ne, Miyacchi…I really like you."
Miyata grins against Tamamori's hair, arm tightening around Tamamori's waist. "I know."