Yamada Ryosuke & Chinen Yuri
Yamada x Chinen
Features Inoo-chan, Yama-chan and Inoo-chan chatting, Yuri has been in an accident on set, Yama-chan is losing it, angsty, distraught Yama-chan, marriage
Music Inspiration: Let Me Love You by ATC, Alex Goot, & KHS
Ryosuke was slumped down on the sofa in the dressing room, his back curved into the bottom of the seat, phone resting on his chest, eyes closed trying to block out all of the chaos around him.
Most of the other members were busy with hair and makeup or being harassed by the stylists who were picking over the fact they couldn’t get Yuto to stand still. However, Kei was centrally focused on Ryosuke, his eyes apprising the younger boy’s form, wondering what exactly he was going through–how it might feel…
He could’t help disturbing him, though he was mostly loath to do so, his voice soft, “Have you heard anything yet?”
“No,” Ryosuke sighed, his eyes opening, the worry and concern clear in them as he looked at Kei, fingers clenching his phone tightly as if it were his lifeline.
“He’s going to be okay,” Kei wanted to be supportive, but he couldn’t lie and say he wasn’t concerned.
A boat accident while on set.
Yuri had been taken to the hospital.
He was supposed to be here hours ago for dress rehearsals.
Management had determined they would go ahead with their schedule without him since they had no details on his current status.
Ryosuke had lost his mind when he’d gotten the phone call from his manager, rushing like a man on fire to leave, but the others had stopped him, told him he couldn’t leave, they had responsibilities–he had to be there.
Sure, it wasn’t that they didn’t understand, because they did…but…as ever, they were called to be perfected professionals and despite Ryosuke wanting to do nothing more than rush to the hospital he knew he couldn’t do that.
At least he eventually came around to admitting it.
That was after he’d pitched a holy fit, storming around the room like a hurricane as he swore against all the forces in the universe that would dare to harm Yuri, that would ever deem it remotely wise to bring pain to him in any form, in any way, and then railing against management when they’d arrived.
“That’s my husband!” he said in low, measured words which was in most ways far more terrifying to everyone in the room than if he’d been screaming at them, “You would never let your wife sit in the hospital and not go to her.”
“We don’t know the extent of his injuries or even if he is, in fact, injured,” they’d responded, “We can’t reschedule this–it’ll set us back and cost us a fortune.”
“Fine,” he’d stepped forward, leveling his eyes with the manager, “…but if I find out he’s injured, even a fraction of harm–I’m leaving and there’s no force in heaven or on earth that will stop me–do you understand?”
The manager had agreed, reluctantly, and then rushed off to try to get more information.
The other members had given Ryosuke a wide berth to calm down, meanwhile, he had contacted Yuri’s mother who had finally arrived at the hospital, communicating with him as best she could but it had been quiet for too long, at least an hour, and Ryosuke was losing his patience with waiting as every moment ticked by.
Ryosuke blinked when Kei shifted forward in his chair, moving closer to him, watching him intently, his expression uncharacteristically pensive, his mouth opening and closing a few times before Ryosuke could no longer stand it, “What are you on about?”
Kei laughed softly, realizing that out of all of them, it could not be challenged that Ryosuke most certainly knew all of the members better than anyone and it was very rare that they could get anything past him whether good or bad.
Kei shook his head, taking a deep breath, glancing nervously around the room to ensure the other members were engaged and not listening, turning back to Ryosuke, eyes wide, voice low and soft, “What’s that like?”
Ryosuke tilted his head, “What’s what like?”
Kei fidgeted nervously, eyes sweeping the room again before responding, “Being in love…” he took a shuddering breath, “Being loved?”
Ryosuke froze, his eyes narrowing before he could school them, his thoughts running wildly as he tried to piece together this question and then his eyes widened, shifting across the room to where Yuya was currently having his hair done before he looked back at Kei. Shifting to sit up, he looked back at Kei who had fully understood the implications of what Ryosuke had just realized, nodding his head subtly in agreement that he was correct.
“It’s perfect,” Ryosuke spoke the words with such conviction, with such absolution that Kei felt his chest tighten with emotion.
What would I do if I got a call that Yuya was in an accident?
“It’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Ryosuke admitted, his voice soft as his fingers traced the edge of his phone, eyes fixated on the picture of him and Yuri on the display.
“Hmm?” Kei didn’t want to pry, didn’t want to force him, but he was confused by that idea–they always seemed happy, content.
“It’s one thing to take care of yourself, to be involved in yourself, you know?” Ryosuke looked up at him, shrugging, “When I only had me to take care of–things were simple–but with Yuri, now, there’s so much to think about…” his voice trailed off softly, “…to be afraid of.”
He sighed, rubbing the heel of his hands into his eyes, “You can’t lose something you don’t have…you know?”
He jerked forward, agitated, putting his elbows on his knees as he turned to look at Kei, “You have an entirely new set of concerns, of fears, of worries…”
Kei nodded slowly, his eyes moving against his will to Yuya and then back to Ryosuke who inhaled deeply, “But even so, the feeling of truly being loved, and of being able to love the person you care more about than yourself is…it’s just…”
He tried to figure out how to articulate it, how to explain it, “Just…it’s worth any amount of struggles…worth anything in the world…to have that kind of love–that kind of freedom to love.”
Kei studied him for a moment, realizing that there was surely a love so deeply rooted in him for Yuri such that he felt like his breath was being stolen from him, because it felt like a very real reflection of his own feelings for Yuya.
But Yuya would never…he’d…he’d never…I mean…we mess around but I know he’s just kidding–just doing the fanservice…just being him…
“What are you waiting for?” Ryosuke broke through his thoughts.
Kei’s eyes blinked rapidly at the question before he laughed nervously, shaking his head, “I can’t…I couldn’t ever…it’s no like that I ju–”
“Don’t be an idiot,” Ryosuke rolled his eyes, waving his hand between them as if to shut him up, “What in the world are you worried about?”
“What am I worried about,” Kei repeated the words, shaking his head as he leveled his gaze on Yuya across the room, his voice a whisper, “Everything.”
“He loves you,” Ryosuke said the statement in a way that challenged Kei to argue with him, causing Kei to jerk his head to the side to stare at him.
Not to be pushed back by the look on Kei’s face, Ryosuke leveled his eyes with his own, speaking the words slowly, “He loves you.”
“He will never let me love him,” Kei responded in a rush, “That’s not…who we are.”
Ryosuke tilted his head, wondering where this lack of confidence was coming from, because honestly, out of all the members he would never have imagined that Kei would be the kind to be insecure–discovering this information made him fascinated as he lived to understand his members, filing the information away for future reference.
“Who do you think you are then?”
Kei didn’t know how to answer that, struggling for words, “Just…we’re…we’re not…like you and Yuri…we’re…it’s…complicated.”
Ryosuke laughed so loudly everyone in the room turned to stare at him, he just laughed harder, waving them off, “It was a good joke, go back to your business!”
Concerned glances were shared between the others, curious about Kei telling a joke that would make Ryosuke laugh so much when he was despondent and beyond concerned over Yuri but they did as he asked, the noise picking back up immediately as the resumed their activities.
Ryosuke shook his head, “Of course it’s complicated! That’s exactly what relationships are! I mean, even relationships that aren’t romantic are complicated aren’t they?”
“Eh?” Kei thought most of his life was fairly simple and didn’t think that relationships were especially complicated, shrugging.
“How about Yuto and I?”
“Oh…well…yeah,” Kei agreed, that had certainly been complicated in the past, and even now sometimes Ryosuke had a hard time taking him seriously.
“Even you and I?”
Kei laughed softly, his mind flooding with the long line of awkward conversations, cold distances, and silence that had spanned the time between the two until the time he’d admitted he was hurt by not having a relationship with Ryosuke.
It probably would have been wiser to not do it on television, but the fact remained, the words had flown out of his mouth without his permission, and he couldn’t possibly regret them as it was because of that moment that he could sit here and have this kind of conversation with Ryosuke now.
That he could consider him one of his closest allies and friends.
“You’re right,” Kei admitted, “But it’s differe–”
“It’s not,” Ryosuke interrupted him before he could get too far with that thought, “It’s absolutely not–being in love is nothing more than simply loving your best friend. Friendships are complicated, the only difference is that loving the person who is your best friend opens up an entirely new level of connection between you–there is no flaw in that, not even the things one might say are negative like the worries and fears–rather, those things are worth it because of the absolution of love between you.”
“Kei,” Ryosuke shifted closer still, being sure he couldn’t look away from him, “It’s a risk, of course it is, but everything you’ve done in your life, every single accomplishment you have achieved all began with taking a risk. If you don’t try you’ll live your whole life regretting it.”
“But you had a happy ending…what if I don’t?”
“I was prepared to be rejected, in fact, I was thoroughly convinced I would be,” Ryosuke admitted, the flare of pain in his chest at the memory causing him to frown, “I really didn’t think he could ever think of me that way, ever see me that way…”
“Really?” Kei asked, shock clear on his face, “I seriously thought the two of you knew it was a sure thing…”
“No,” Ryosuke laughed, shaking his head, “Neither of us thought that way–not at all…but…Yuto told me something the day I confronted him and confessed and it made all the difference to me.”
“Wh–what was it?” Kei held still, his entire being focused on whatever words Yuto had told him that led him to having the beautiful relationship he had with Yuri now.
“He loves you.”
Kei tilted his head, laughing at the fact that Ryosuke had just used those same exact words with him, smiling when Ryosuke spoke quickly, “That was after he called me a myriad of names belittling my lack of courage, explained how dumb we both were, and then…he showed me a text that Yuri had sent him, and when I read the text, I was sure I had to at least try.”
“What did it say?”
“It said that I was his best friend,” Ryosuke smiled at the thought, “It was all I could think of, all I could see in my mind is that he was also my best friend–something I really hadn’t had other than him in my life, and why couldn’t we love each other? Why couldn’t we have love together?”
“I realized in that moment that even if I confessed and Yuri didn’t feel the same way–he’d still be my best friend. Nothing would change that–but the face of our friendship would most definitely change if I didn’t confess–eventually, it would be too hard to be around him, hurt too much, and I never wanted to lose him, never wanted to take a chance on that.”
Kei hummed softly, these words, these truths resonating inside his heart, “That makes sense…”
When Ryosuke drew his phone up, turning the screen toward Kei so he could read the message he’d pulled up on the screen, he felt his heart race, butterflies erupting wildly in his tummy.
It was a message from Yuya–a message that was suddenly burned into his eyes.
You’re right, Kei is my best friend.
“So…” Ryosuke gestured toward Yuya across the room who was now involved in some animated conversation with the other members who were gathered around a single cellphone having finished all of their preparations for the rehearsal, discovering the room empty apart from the members.
“I should be brave too,” Kei nodded, convinced.
“Yep,” Ryosuke reached over, putting his hand on Kei’s shoulder, “Even if he didn’t feel the same way, nothing bad ever comes from telling the truth.”
Kei’s hand drew up, clasping Ryosuke’s wrist, his eyes soft, “Thanks Yama-chan, seriously I don’t kno–”
“Shut up,” Ryosuke laughed, shaking his shoulder violently before shoving him away, “Don’t tell people I’m soft, I have to maintain my reputation.”
Kei laughed at that, shaking his head, “Everyone already knows but whatever makes you feel bett–”
The words were lost to the explosion of action in the room when the door opened and Yuri walked into the room.
Ryosuke had flown upward, his phone falling onto the floor, forgotten, his eyes instantly filled with tears as he moved like a flash across the room, shoving the members out of the way as he grabbed Yuri’s face in his hands, his voice full of panic, “Are you okay?”
He frantically twisted Yuri’s head, looking for injuries, his hands moving to draw his arms out, testing for any pain, his eyes moving across him looking for casts or bandages, twisting him around so he could see him from the back.
Yuri smirked, letting Ryosuke do whatever he needed to do, as this response was not remotely surprising to him.
As Ryosuke pulled him back around to face him, his words were rough in his throat, the tears spilling over, “Please, Ree, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, well, hungry, practically starving because I missed lunch in all the action,” Yuri’s hand lifted to brush a tear off his cheek, eyes shifting to the other members, trying to reassure them, to erase the concern from their faces, “I’m just fine! I promise, the trip to the hospital was a precaution–everyone is fine, no one was hurt.”
“Oh, thank God,” Ryosuke grabbed him into a hug, smothering him in his arms as he squeezed him.
“Can’t…can’t breathe,” Yuri tried to speak through the thick sweater his face was currently being crushed into.
“Yama-chan,” Yuto tapped his shoulder, but he didn’t respond, “Yama-chan, you’re sort of suffocating him.”
Ryosuke growled, pulling back, waiting for Yuri to turn his head sideways, not missing the mischievous smile on his face, and then jerked him back into his embrace, rolling his eyes at Yuto who drifted off with the others after they’d patted Yuri on the head and back, whispering words of thanks for his well being.
Yuri wasn’t surprised Ryosuke didn’t release him while the members spoke to him, and in fact, he was more than happy to be there in his arms, so he was shocked when Ryosuke’s arm shot out, grabbing onto Kei’s shirt as he began to walk away, pulling him over.
Kei squealed, falling into Yuri and Ryosuke as he was drawn into their hug, Ryosuke’s voice soft as he spoke to him, “There is no time to wait, anything can happen,” his voice choked on emotion, his breath heavy as he struggled to calm down, “Kei, you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t take the chance.”
Yuri knew immediately what was happening, reaching over to shove Kei’s belly as he smiled, “He’s right, go be a man.”
Kei’s arms lifted, squeezing the two boys tightly before he nodded, “Okay.”
“Let’s go guys,” Ryosuke spoke loudly, shoving Kei back out of the hug, turning to look at the other members, “We’re going to the kitchen to feed the boy.”
He leveled his eyes on Kota who nodded, grabbing Hikaru as he drug him across the room, his protest comical, “Hey!”
“Let’s go,” Kota laughed, gesturing to the others to follow.
Ryosuke smiled as the others filed out of the room, his hand snapping out to land in the middle of Yuya’s chest, stopping him in his tracks, his eyes looking down at Ryosuke’s hands curiously.
“Not you,” Ryosuke announced firmly.
Yuya’s brows drew down in confusion, but then his eyes snapped to Ryosuke’s when Kei spoke from behind him, “I wanted to talk to you.”
Ryosuke watched the play of emotions across Yuya’s face, and then smiled when he saw the truth so plain and apparent written there. He nodded slowly in encouragement and then grabbed Yuri around the waist and shuffled him toward the door.
As he drew the door closed, Ryosuke’s eyes connected with Kei’s nervous ones, lifting his hand in a gesture of solidarity, then patted his chest as he mouthed the only words he could think of to encourage him to be brave enough to get through this, “Best friend.”