Theme/Topic: Inspired by this from the NewS 2008-2009 Calendar.
Word Count: 1,313
Summary: Koyama always says that member-ai is kindness in the smallest actions.
Dedication: Ann- I feel like I will be apologizing for the bad remix for THE REST OF MY LIFE.
A/N: Done for pearljemz's One hour fic challenge. One hour to write means I crap out more than usual; sorry if this is all over the place.
Disclaimer: No harm is meant by this!
alissa | elyndys | iverin | jackoweskla | jadedfrenzy | ky_rin | mousapelli | pearljemz | thawrecka | tinyangl | tokyostory
“Just because the two of you are in NewS now,” Yamapi begins carefully, while looking at a worried and frustrated Uchi and Ryo, “it doesn’t mean that you won’t get to be in Eito too.”
“You think so?” Uchi asks, sounding skeptical as he holds the newspaper that says Kibou Yell hit number one on the charts its debut week.
Yamapi’s face says he isn’t sure about it all himself either, but that he’s hoping for the best any way.
“We’ll support you both,” he manages after a moment, and that’s all he can do for either of them right now.
Ryo sighs while Uchi nods.
For now, it will have to be enough.
Uchi’s gone now and Koyama can see Ryo sitting alone in the dressing room through the crack in the open door; Ryo’s eyes are closed and he’s breathing slowly, head bent down towards his lap like he’d curl in on himself and disappear from the world if he could. In and out, in and out— he takes several deep, shaky breaths.
Koyama stands peering into the crack in the open door and isn’t sure if he should go in or not; he watches Ryo pick up his phone, dial, and then hang up almost instantly.
On stage Ryo is the same as always—he hits Kusano, smiles at the camera, and knows exactly how to sing and dance so that it looks like nothing is wrong, that everything is perfect in their bright song and dance world.
He saves it up for the times when he’s alone in the dressing room like this, staring at the LCD on his phone and trying to figure out what to say, deciding, second guessing himself, hanging up, cursing under his breath and hating everything about this.
Koyama sees it, has seen more and more of it lately, wants to help but knows that Ryo doesn’t want it, not when it means admitting that he needs it first.
Koyama silently pulls the door closed and goes downstairs.
When he comes back a few minutes later Ryo’s breathing is even again, his cell phone is gone and it looks like everything is fine even if it isn’t.
Koyama has a bottle of tea that he’d bought in the cafeteria just now, has two flimsy paper cups from the water cooler down the hall and a nervous smile on his face.
“Ryo-chan, here,” he says, and pours Ryo tea.
Ryo eyes him but accepts the cup without a word, sips at it looking thoughtful while Koyama hovers nearby with the bottle.
It’s all Koyama can think of to do.
Later, after the bottle is empty and the lines around Ryo’s eyes aren’t quite as tight anymore, Ryo looks up, takes another deep breath. “Thanks,” he says, and that’s it.
December 2006/January 2007
When Ryo is the one who ends up being the most choked up on camera during their segment about NewS’s official comeback towards the end of this year’s Countdown, Shige almost wants to call him on it.
He almost does too, except that part of him also knows that he’ll be the same (or worse) in a few hours once this all sinks in, after the adrenaline from being on stage wears off and the reality of everything that is happening to them hits him full force.
Once the cameras aren’t there anymore.
So Shige sighs and doesn’t say anything; in the dressing room, he silently hands a sobbing Koyama the last package of tissues in his bag and knows that the older boy will happily share if any of the other members might suddenly need them too.
“Hello!!” Ryo chirps into his cell phone one morning, sounding obscenely bright and cheerful as they ride the bus. In the process he earns a couple of surly groans from Yamapi and Shige, who are both tired from studying and generally grumpy after their second hour straight of driving to their next shooting location. He snickers to himself. “Ah, hello! It’s me, it’s me. Tegoshi, what are you doing right now?”
The voice that answers is just as bright and cheerful as Ryo's despite its owner being equally as tired from work and school as Yamapi and Shige, “Ah, hello Nishikido-kun! I’m not doing anything right now, ne. What are you doing?” Tegoshi burbles back happily. “Are you busy?”
“No, not busy right now. What are you up to lately?”
“Eh? Me? Promotional stuff, ne. Hoshi wo Mezashite stuff!”
Ryo laughs. “Ah, really? Me too, me too.”
“It’s fun right? I’m having lots of fun with everyone, ne!”
“Un. Though Shige and Yamapi are grumpy and boring today.”
“Haha, Shige is always grumpy! But I think it’s part of his cute side, don’t you?”
“Oh my god would you two shut up already?!” Shige shrieks after the fifth or sixth straight minute of this, sitting up in his seat and throwing a balled up sweater at Tegoshi, who is smiling and innocent on the other side of the aisle.
Ryo and Tegoshi laugh at each other from opposite ends of the bus and flip their cell phones closed.
Massu frowns when he sees Ryo blinking and drooping against the wall in-between photos, muffling yawns into Yamapi’s shoulder and generally trying to stay awake even though the day is just beginning for them. They still have several appearances to make for their Pacific promotion today and there’s still a long way until lunch— three whole hours. Yamapi is tired too, from all his own activities, and Massu only has one extra drink in his bag today. It's a peach flavored Calpis bottle that he’d grabbed from the fridge this morning on his way out, in case Yamapi needed the extra boost.
He looks troubled just as the photographer finishes another roll of film. “Masuda-kun,” he says, as his assistant hands him a freshly loaded camera, “Please smile more widely for the next roll.”
“Sorry!” he says, and everyone gives him odd looks at having to be told.
After the group shots are done it’s time for the individual shots, and Massu takes the opportunity to excuse himself while it’s Tegoshi’s turn to photograph; he runs off the lot and around the corner as fast as he can without telling anyone.
Ten minutes later it’s his turn and he’s nowhere to be found.
“Maybe he’s just in the toilet,” Shige sighs, long-suffering.
“He’s going to make us late,” their manager frets, looking at his watch and trying Massu’s cell.
Massu jogs back into the studio just as his cell phone goes off, he picks it up, sees the ID, and looks at their manager sheepishly. He’s a little sweaty and his makeup needs to be touched up.
“Did you go jogging?” Koyama asks, looking disbelieving.
Massu smiles, nods. “Un, just a little bit.”
No one knows how to respond.
Which is fine, because he goes digging around in his bag before anyone can anyway; he pulls out two bottles of peach Calpis.
Ryo, overworked and stressed and fresh off the shinkansen at six am this morning, is on the verge of being irritated with him. “Great, so you have two…”
Massu doesn’t wait for his groupmate to finish before he shoves one of the bottles at Ryo and the other at Yamapi. “For power!” he says brightly, and then toddles off to get his makeup retouched at the photographer’s request.
Then, when Ryo buries his head in his hands and starts laughing to himself incredulously, everyone can’t help but join in too.
Ryo finishes the personal photo choices for his section of the 2008 NewS calendar and sets them aside with the appropriate labels and notes.
On one of them, there is a heart and a message that reads: “Thank you for everything.”