Rating/Warnings: PG for Hashimoto's anxieties
Summary: Hashimoto has been tracking Kawai down for practice lately, but not the kind like usual.
AN: 30 Kisses, day 6. Just thought I'd go for one of the ABC-Z pairings today.
The Bridge That Reaches to the Future
"Practice with me," Hashimoto demands.
Kawai blinks. "Practice what?" He looks down when Hashimoto shoves pages of sheet music into his hands. "Vocals? Why? We don't have anything coming up that soon."
"We should practice," Hashimoto insists, simple but firm, and Kawai gives in after not that much more pressure. He likes to sing well enough, sure, and if makes Hashimoto happy, where's the harm in that.
They run through things that are familiar and things that aren't, "Vanilla" and "InaZuma Venus," and that new thing for Tackey-senpai that doesn't have a name yet. At first Kawai thinks that Hashimoto just wants entertained, but he's unexpectedly serious about it. He corrects Kawai when he misses a note, makes him redo lines where he's flat, over and over, until he's satisfied.
A couple days later, it happens again, and then the next week when they have downtime during Shounen Club practice.
"I don't get it," Kawai says to Goseki as they're packing up. He shrugs a shoulder to where Hashimoto is pestering Totsuka cutely to take him out for food. "If he wants voice practice, why doesn't he just sign up for a couple more lessons? Why doesn't he bug Tottsu about it? Why ask me for vocals?"
"You'd have to ask him," Goseki shrugs, scratching at his bare stomach and in no hurry to put clothes back on, apparently. He leers, looking Kawai over casually. "But I will say it's making your voice a whole lot prettier in a few other venues I could name, Fumi-chan."
Kawai tells him to shut it, but he knows Goseki has a point. Who knows why Hashimoto does anything? There's no way to know except for to ask him, and even then the answer only makes sense about half the time.
"Why do you keep asking me?" Kawai finally asks the next time he gets cornered. "Shouldn't you be asking Tottsu to sing with you, if you want so much practice? He'd be better than me, you know."
Hashimoto just stares at him, evenly, like he's so slow it's cute, like the way they stare at him not infrequently.
"Why are you practicing so much?" Kawai tries again. "I like helping you practice, but--"
"You're practicing," Hashimoto interrupts, finally explaining. "I'm helping you."
"Oh." Kawai sees the light, finally. It makes him feel squirmy, their cute pet having taken control of him like this, the way Hashimoto is eyeing him with this clear, honest purpose. He kind of wishes, just a little, that they could get shy, guileless Hashimoto back, the Hashimoto that would follow them anywhere and stare up at them with unquestioning trust. "But…why? It's…you don't think I'm that bad, do you?"
"You're okay," Hashimoto shrugs. "You're pretty decent, better than most. But you aren't as good as me. Tottsu is, but he won't always be, maybe even soon."
"Yeah?" Kawai feels lost in this conversation, and not in the cute, good way. The things Hashimoto says aren't to hurt, they're just true. But they sting a little anyway. "So that's why the practice? Or what? Why?"
"Because what'll they do with me when you aren't? When Tottsu isn't?" Hashimoto demands, and Kawai suddenly sees the anxiety in Hashimoto's eyes that he's been covering up surprisingly well, for Hashimoto. "But you could be, you could! They wouldn't take me away if you were, right?"
Kawai looks into Hashimoto's eyes without answering for a long moment, until he sees that unquestioning trust is still there, a little more deeply buried, but still there.
"Right?" Hashimoto whispers.
Kawai smiles, warm and confident and reassuring. "Definitely.
Hashimoto swoops in and kisses him full on the mouth, pressing his palms to Kawai's cheeks and sending the pages of music fluttering to the floor around them. It's sweet and full of relief, and Kawai promises silently that he'll fight as hard as he can to keep their Z for as long as they can.
He's made that promise before, out loud even, but he thinks maybe Hashimoto has just given him a weapon that they can win with.
"You really think you can?" Hashimoto asks when the kiss breaks.
"Have a little faith in your senpai, can't you?" Kawai teases, glad to see the anxiety is nearly gone from Hashimoto's gaze. "Come on, let's practice. And then maybe we can track down Tottsu and make sure he's up to snuff as well, yeah?"
Hashimoto squeezes Kawai as tightly as he can, which is pretty freaking tight, but Kawai doesn't protest. Instead he returns Hashimoto's wild grin full force, knowing that it's crazy to hope, to make promises, but things always end up that way when Hashimoto is involved.
"Yeah," Hashimoto agrees. "Let's practice."