Rating/Warnings: PG for breaking in the new apartment.
Summary: Akira's job is to make Shuuji pay attention to what's important
AN: Written for Jain for 2011 Remix Madness during Remix Redux 9, a remix of her fic Attention. We always used to get each other during these things, so I thought it'd be funny to remix her yet again.
Also, we just finished watching Nobuta during drama night, and I hadn't seen it before and had no idea Yuto was in it to play the cutest little brother ever in the universe. Yuto ♥
Attention (The National Deficit Remix)
It's like Shuuji always has to be occupied with something intensely, like he doesn't know how to just be. It was the people at school when they first met, then it was Nobuta, at home it's his little brother or cleaning the house or the move. Akira thought it was just sort of cute at first, in a manic way, but now he realizes that Shuuji doesn't at all realize that he can be any other way.
That's when Akira realizes: it's his job to make Shuuji pay attention.
"It's from my mother, I guess?" Shuuji says when Akira brings it up, never much for subtlety. "Ah, she's like that."
"Yeah she is," Koji comments with feeling from the other side of their shared room. They're rebuilding their bedroom 'wall' in the new apartment, but as Koji hangs up items at random on the wire squares, Shuuji seems deadbent on getting things back exactly the way they were the last time.
"Your poster should be over more squares," Shuuji points out. "Like three squares left."
"I think I might get a new one anyway," Koji lets it flutter to the floor with a shrug. Akira can't help but laugh at how Shuuji's mouth scrunches up with the effort of not arguing about it.
"You're a good big brother," Akira tells him as they walk to the combini for ice cream, Koji running ahead to get into the aircon faster, the two of them dawdling behind. He thinks Koji probably tells Shuuji, he seems like that kind of kid, but Akira wants to make sure.
"Eh? Just the regular sort," Shuuji answers, giving Akira a look to say he's being weird. Akira doesn't mind.
Inside Koji spots some kids from his new school and ends up going to play soccer with them. Shuuji calls after him not to get lost and to be home for dinner, distracted enough that he almost forgets what they're even at the conbini for until Akira steers him gently back to the freezer.
They get a multi-pack of mini Haagen-Daaz containers in weird summer flavors and get through about half of them back in Shuuji's bedroom before they realize there isn't anyone to interrupt them. After that, they put their cold mouths and sticky fingers to much better uses.
Good thing he was here to figure it out, Akira thinks to himself as he throws back one of the remaining, mostly-melted ice creams like a shot. He looks down fondly at where Shuuji is dozing on his back in a sprawl, chest bare and boxers askew. Shuuji doesn't pay much attention to things like that.
Sometimes he thinks that Shuuji will never get it, that maybe it's not that he doesn't know how to focus on just what's in front of him, that maybe he actually can't. When exams draw near, Shuuji gets frantic and snappish, and everything Akira tries to calm him down just seems to make him more irritated.
"Can't you take things more seriously?!" Shuuji demands, but the way his eyes flash and his cheeks flush don't make Trigonometry the thing that Akira wants to take seriously.
They end up having a fight that makes Shuuji storm out of Akira's apartment in a huff, and even though Akira knows it's not exactly him that Shuuji is mad at, he still feels restless and unsettled. After a while, he tugs on his coat and goes outside for a walk.
It's different here than it was in Tokyo; he doesn't have to walk far before the stars are big and bright, so much darker than it is in the city. They reflect in the ocean, the water as dark as the sky, and it seems like Akira is in outer space, stars stretching out over and under him, in every direction.
Reaching into his pocket, Akira thumbs a number by touch and puts his phone to his ear. Shuuji answers by the third ring with a sulky "Hello" even though they're in a fight.
"The stars are really pretty, Shuuji-kun~," Akira tells him. "You should come out and see."
"No thanks. I'm going to bed soon."
"Then I'll take a picture," Akira announces. He holds the phone up to snap a shot, Shuuji's voice still drifting out of the phone's tiny speaker, then sends it to Shuuji in a mail before putting the phone back to his ear. "There, sent! I sent outer space just to you, Shuuji-kun~."
"Idiot," Shuuji says. "Go home and sleep so you aren't late to homeroom again."
"Roger that." Akira salutes as if Shuuji can see, then pulls the phone away from his ear so that his fingers can "Kon!" into it.
The next day Akira drapes himself over Shuuji's shoulders and steals his phone when he's spluttering about it; his picture of the stars is Shuuji's wallpaper. Akira snaps the phone shut and drops it back into Shuuji's hand, satisfied as he saunters off.
Maybe it's okay if Shuuji gets it even a little.
Of course when all else fails, there's one surefire way to get Shuuji to relax.
"Akira," Shuuji tries to protest, but it's muffled by Akira's mouth, and after a second he gives in and goes pliant under Akira's hands.
Akira gathers him close and takes his time, kisses Shuuji until his shoulders are relaxed and his breathing is slow, in time with Akira's. Eventually Akira pulls back and Shuuji's eyes flutter open. They look at each other for a long moment, not saying anything, Akira quietly proud he's managed to get Shuuji this far after all.
Shuuji's just opening his mouth to say something when the front door opens suddenly and catches him in the back, knocking him against Akira's chest and both of them to the floor of the genkan.
"Oops!" Shuuji's father says, and then "Oh!" when he sees them on the ground in a tangle.
"Fuck, what did I tell you?!" Shuuji hisses at Akira, and certainly he's focused on the present right now, unfortunately for Akira. "Why can't you pay attention to important things?!"