Summary: They don't talk about it, but sometimes Totsuka worries about Tsukada.
AN: 30 Kisses, day 11. Sorry about this one D:
The Thing More Important Than Words
They aren't the kind of unit that talks deeply about things, about themselves or each other or anything really. It isn't that their relationship is shallow, but it's deep with time and shared experience rather than with personal revelation.
Sometimes Totsuka worries about Tsukada.
Not the weirdness, certainly they're all weird enough in their own ways, or not just that. But the times when younger juniors push him back into their dressing room and Tsukada genuinely doesn't seem to know why he was there, or where he was at all, Totsuka worries about those.
Or the times when Tsukada comes in with dark rings under his eyes, looking like complete shit for days at a stretch, cheekbones too sharp and wrists too thin. Still they don't talk about it, other than Kawai reminding him that as a resident of planet Earth he ought to eat and sleep sometimes. Totsuka and Goseki catch eyes and acknowledge each other's concern without words; occasionally there are others as well, like Koichi or Tackey or Yara, but they all seem to assume that after all this time, A.B.C. has learned to take care of their own.
None of them have died yet, Totsuka supposes, although Kawai seems determined to try some days. Over time he comes to think, maybe it's enough that he worries, proof that he cares, and that's what's important between friends, right?
And then real crazy comes to town; Hashimoto is like a hurricane, throwing everything into confusion, all the layers and layers they've been building up together all this time. He asks how they do things that none of them have had to think about doing for ten years, asks why, pokes at things he doesn't know are closed-up wounds and thinks that hugging and saying he's sorry fixes everything. Most of all, he never, ever shuts up.
Other people keep saying that maybe A.B.C. has finally found their voice after all; Totsuka thinks that they don't know the half of it.
"What's wrong with Tsuka-chan?" Hashimoto hisses to Totsuka, startling him into breaking eye contact with Goseki. Across the room, Tsukada is chattering a solid stream of incomprehensible nonsense at Kawai that has Kawai struggling to maintain his usual cheerful expression as he pretends to keep up with the conversation.
"He's…" Totsuka flounders for a second, completely unwilling to say out loud any of his personal theories, especially to their extremely underage mascot. "He's just like that sometimes."
"He used to do that in our dressing room sometimes," Hashimoto says, weirdly serious. "It's a little scary."
"It is," Totsuka agrees, extraordinarily uncomfortable talking about this. Kawai's smile is getting faker by the second, eyes starting to look a touch panicked.
"So I mean, what's wrong?" Hashimoto presses. He looks right at Totsuka, not accusing but very direct, waiting for the answer.
"I don't know," Totsuka answers, unwilling to lie.
"Haven't you ever asked him?" Hashimoto is starting to look a little panicked himself, like if his senpai don't know everything and can't fix it, then the world could explode any second. Totsuka is tempted to agree. "That isn't okay! How can you help fix it if you don't even know what's wrong?"
"You can't fix everything," Totsuka murmurs, but he's finding it harder and harder to look Hashimoto in the face.
"How do you know when you haven't even tried?!"
It's not like a dam breaking or anything melodramatic like that, it's far more subtle, more like a windshield crack, small but spreading, irreparable. Hashimoto has been putting tiny cracks in their communal, agreed-upon silence for weeks, and now he's standing in front of Totsuka, pink-cheeked and all but stomping his foot, and talking more sense than anybody else in their whole unit.
Sometimes Totsuka doesn't understand how Hashimoto even exists.
After practice, Totsuka comes over to kneel beside Tsukada, who is staring rather blankly into his bag as if he's forgotten what he's looking into it for.
"Hi, Tottsu," Tsukada greets when he notices Totsuka's presence, smile easy, eyes dark-ringed and cheekbones so sharp.
"I worry about you sometimes, Tsuka-chan," Totsuka says earnestly. "I'm kind of worried about you right now."
He does not expect Tsukada to lean across the few inches separating them and hug him tightly. Tsukada is shaking a little, whether from practice adrenaline or whatever else, Totsuka can't tell.
"I'm sorry to worry you," Tsukada says, letting Totsuka support most of his slight weight. "But I'm glad that I'm important enough for you to worry about me."
"I'm sorry, too," Totsuka presses lips against Tsukada's temple, "that it took me so long to say." He hugs Tsukada back every bit as tightly, and thinks, Dammit, now I'll have to admit that Hashimoto is right about the hugging and apologizing.