Rating/Warnings: PG-13 (Juri's fault)
Summary: Hokuto likes this part so much, he doesn't see what the rush is all about.
AN: some Hokuto/Taiga for no reason, other than they're so cute together on the Bakaleya backstage stuff. Well, maybe some other reasons.
Slow and Steady
This stage is so awkward, so full of uncertainty. You’d think confessing their feelings things would make everything more straightforward, but in reality it’s the opposite. Neither one of them has any idea what to do now when their eyes meet, when their hands brush, when they catch glimpses of each other half-changed or still damp from the shower.
Hokuto is loving every second of it.
“You’re so cute when you do that,” he murmurs just low enough for only Taiga to hear. He wants to reach up and brush fingers over the blush staining Taiga’s pink cheeks, but he doesn’t quite dare do it, doesn’t know if that’s okay yet.
“It’s not,” Taiga protests, reaching up to rub at his cheeks, pursing his lips when that only makes it worse and Hokuto won’t stop looking. “Ugh, why don’t you blush too?”
“I don’t know,” Hokuto shrugs with a smile. He almost suggests that Taiga try and make him blush, he has the words right on the tip of his tongue, but then he swallows them. It’s too soon for him to say stuff like that, right?
It’s only been a few days, after all. They haven’t even kissed yet.
“Why not?” Juri wants to know when he asks how it’s going with a dirty leer that is all from his older brother. “Hurry up already, you only see each other like twenty-two hours a day, what’s the hold up?”
“What’s the rush?” Hokuto wants to know, fussing with the drape of his uniform and watching over his mirror reflection to make sure Jesse and Kouchi are too far away to overhear as they shove at each other. He doesn’t think they’re keeping it a particular secret? But he hasn’t asked Taiga about that yet, asked who it’s okay to tell for now, or if it’s even a thing worth telling people about yet.
“The whole point of all the dumb talking and feelings at the beginning is so that you get to the good stuff!” Juri protests. “The making out and touching and sneaking into each other’s showers!”
“You’ve never done any of those things with anybody,” Hokuto scoffs, making Juri scowl. “Talk a little more out your ass, why don’t you. Besides, I like this part, I want to enjoy it a little. There’s all this anticipation, you know? I can make him blush just by looking at him, and when he just touches my arm, goosebumps run all up it. It won’t stay like that forever.”
“You are a complete girl,” Juri announces. “You’ll be sorry if you don’t take advantage of all this filming time, and then you barely see each other when you’re doing different shit next season.”
Juri does have a point there, Hokuto is forced to admit. Not like they don’t see each other often enough for work, but filming a drama together is a little different, a little more charged with pressure and nearness. He likes the way his heart pounds when Taiga marches up to him with purpose and drags him off to a corner, a little way away from the others.
“Hey,” Taiga says, eyes glued to Hokuto’s shoulder. “You like me, right?”
“Yeah,” Hokuto answers, grin spreading across his face. It’s every bit as stupid as the grin he’d been wearing when Taiga had confessed in the first place. It might even be stupider because he likes talking about how they like each other; the excitement of that hasn’t worn off much yet, any reminder enough to send his heart skipping again. “Yeah, I really do.”
“Then why haven’t you tried to kiss me yet?” Taiga wants to know. He manages to lift his eyes to meet Hokuto’s for about two seconds, then they drop again. “Don’t you want to?”
“What? Of course I do,” Hokuto rushes to assure. He’s been thinking about it a lot, all the places on set they could sneak an opportunity, or at the train station on the way home, or a bunch of other places. It makes something squirm in his chest when he thinks about it for more than a second or two, something warm and good.
“Then why...” Taiga trails off.
“Sorry.” Hokuto slips his hand into Taiga’s, squeezing it. “I didn’t mean to make you worry. I just wanted to enjoy it a little bit.”
Taiga frowns. “Enjoy what?”
“This.” Hokuto reaches up with his other hand to brush knuckles over Taiga’s cheek, heart speeding when Taiga blushes as if on command. “Right now, everything just feels so...damn, that’s so cute I can’t even think straight.”
“Stop that,” Taiga says, some whine in his voice, but he’s smiling a little too. “But the next part will be even better, don’t you think?”
“I could kiss you in front of all these people if you wanted,” Hokuto offers, and Taiga startles like he had totally forgotten they were on set where anybody could see if they glanced over. He gives Hokuto a narrow-eyed look and steps back far enough that his hand pulls free. Hokuto just chuckles. “I didn’t think so.”
“Sorry,” Taiga says quickly, looking flustered at how quickly he pulled away. “I didn’t mean--”
“Relax, it’s fine,” Hokuto says, easy-going as ever. Maybe the fact that he can read all of Taiga’s thoughts so easily from his face is what makes it so easy for him to enjoy the waiting, to not be so anxious to rush through it. “I won’t make you wait forever. Trust me?”
“Okay,” Taiga says softly. He gives Hokuto a small smile, hopeful and sweet, and Hokuto’s whole heart about flips over. “But hurry up, okay?” Quick as a wink, Taiga steps forward to brush a kiss over Hokuto’s cheek, and then he’s gone, strolling back over to tease Shintarou along with Juri and Jesse like nothing happened.
Hokuto watches his retreating back with the stupidest grin of all spreading over his face, cheek burning right where Taiga’s lips touched. He can’t keep from imagining what those lips will feel like pressed against his own, maybe eventually pressed against other places...
Well, Hokuto thinks to himself as he puts his hands in his pockets and heads over to join the others, maybe speeding things up a little wouldn’t hurt.
“Your face is really red, man,” Shintarou comments, looking Hokuto over dubiously. “You aren’t coming down with something, are you?”
“More like going down on something,” Juri snickers under his breath, then gives an “Eep!” when Hokuto grabs him in a headlock and roughs up his hair.
“Must be something going around,” Hokuto says, catching Taiga’s eye. Taiga glances right and left to make sure nobody is paying attention, and then gives Hokuto a little wink, just for him. Hokuto grins back, wondering if Juri can hear how loud his heart is pounding over his whining and struggling.
Maybe this stage won’t last forever, or even past this afternoon, but Hokuto plans to enjoy it while he can. And he has it on good authority that the next thing after that might be even better.
Especially if it involves scandalizing the other members of their little unit in the adjacent shower stalls.