Nakamaru is scared of his school girl crush on Kame.
Nakamaru had thought he'd left the awkwardness and anxiety that came with Valentine's Day back in his high school locker. He was a grown man. A university student slash idol who wore his argyle with pride.
Yet here he was with a bag full of Valentine chocolates digging in his side as he walked towards KAT-TUN's dressing room. He stared at the dressing room door for a moment, the sound of Koki yelling at Taguchi soothing him for just a second.
Nothing to do about it. Nakamaru was accustomed to living a hard life anyway. And with that thought, he swung open the door and entered.
"I...didn't know you felt this way. I know we're TaNaka and all, but I don't think I'm into you like that."
"Just take it," Maru sighed a long sufferring sigh that would make their manager proud. He tossed the lurid pink chocolate box in Koki's lap. "It's from my sister. I'm just the messenger."
"Well that changes everything. Your sister's a cutie," Koki grinned, ripping open the box in one tug. "How old is she again?"
"You're not hitting on my sister!"
"What? It's not like she has your nose."
"Hey, don't I get one?" Taguchi called from across the room. "I bet I'm your sister's favourite."
Koki snorted. "He's insulting your sister's taste, Maru. Aren't you going to defend her honour?"
The chocolate Koki aimed at Taguchi managed to hit Nakamaru on the head and Nakamaru sighed again as the two fell into snickers. Karma was going to make him a millionaire one day.
He shuffled through his bag of chocolates, shunting aside a small golden box and pulled out red box so decked up in ribbons and hearts that it looked as if cupid had thrown up all over it. Apparently girls like his sister liked this sort of stuff. And thought guys would like it. It was really kind of embarassing and Nakamaru had made the mistake of telling his sister so which had led to the complete and utter debasing of his entire wardrobe. Argyle was a fine pattern, simple and classy; obviously his sister had not seen the light. The neon pinks had probably blinded her.
"Here," Nakamaru said as he handed Junno the box. He felt a surge of satisfaction at Taguchi's hesitation to grab it. But grab it he did and then there was silence. Koki had even put his chocolates down.
The air crackled with anticipation.
"Thank you berry much, Maru. But I don't think we're mint to be," Junno beamed up at him.
The ensuing minutes were filled with groans.
When Ueda fianlly walked in, Nakamaru didn't bother with pleasantries and tossed another revolting box of chocolates at him from his spot on the sofa. When Ueda failed to catch the box and it smacked him in the face, Nakamaru began to fear for his life.
"Why didn't you catch it?!" he asked. "You're a boxer! Don't you have like...reflexes?"
Ueda shot him a glare and Nakamaru obediently sank back into the couch cushions.
"You threw a box
at my face
"Er...my sister says happy Valentine's Day?" Nakamaru tried and apparently that did the trick. Ueda took a closer look at the box and his face split into a wide grin. Something about it was suspiciously wrong, though.
"You're not, like...interested
in my sister, are you?" Nakamaru squinted at Ueda and took a breath of relief when Ueda gave him a look.
"But wait- is she cute?" Ueda reconsidered.
"No!" Nakamaru snapped. "She has my nose!"
"No, she doesn't." Nakamaru whipped his head up as Kame entered. "It's a shame, though. I like Maru's big nose," Kame grinned as he set his travel bag down. He was wearing aviator sunglasses that took up half his face but Nakamaru suspected Kame had just winked at him.
He was totally used it, though. Kame was playful like that. There was no reason for Nakamaru to get awkward about it. He was not a girl swooning at the sight of Kamenashi Kazuya. Just your average guy handing out Valentine chocolates to his bandmates. On behalf of his sister, of course. The corner of the last remaining box in his bag poked his thigh and Nakamaru hid the bag with a cushion.
"Oi, Nakamaru," Koki called from the table, enjoying the last of his chocolate. "Don't you have something for Kame-chan?"
Kame looked over at him questioningly with a sweet "Nakamaru~" and Nakamaru silently asked the lords why all the gooey caramel hadn't sealed Koki's mouth shut. Kame got up from his chair and Nakamaru sprang up from his couch before he could approach. He wasn't scared
of Kame or anything. He just...needed his space.
"They're f-finished," he stumbled. "My sister gave me chocolates to give you all. But they're finished."
"Didn't you give a bunch to the staff?"
Maru was never beatboxing for Koki ever again.
"Nakamaru?" Kame looked at him curiously, eyes round and waiting and doing stupid things to Nakamaru like making his palms sweat and giving him a strong urge to run away. It wasn't out of fear, though, and that scared him more than anything else.
"But you don't eat sweets anyways, right? Having to maintain your body and all."
Kame shook his head and smiled as if relieved. "So that's it!" he laughed and the sound made Nakamaru's urge to run stronger. "I can handle a little extra weight now. I'd appreciate it, actually. It would help with my Going project."
Nakamaru hated lying but this was the only way out. "They're finished," he repeated. "I'm sorry."
He watched Kame's smile falter for a second before it lifted once more. "Well, the staff need some love, too, I guess."
"Yeah," Maru laughed awkwardly and when Kame had seated himself back in front of the mirror, began his escape to the door. He was only a few feet away when Taguchi released a loud squawk.
"Nakamaru, don't leave your things lying around on the couch," Taguchi groaned, rubbing his back. Nakamaru turned around just in time to see his bag fall to the floor and a heart-shaped golden chocolate box, more reserved and refine looking compared to the others, skitter out across the floor and skid to a halt near Kame's seat. Nakamaru's stomach turned over as Kame went to pick it up.
There would have been an immensely awkward silence if it were not for Koki. "There's your chocolate, Kame-chan! But why is it prettier than ours? No fair."
Okay, so maybe Nakamaru would be beatboxing for Koki after all.
"Ah, I must have forgotten about that one...," Nakamaru joked and forced out a laugh that died on the first breath. Kame was looking straight at him and it was clear that he was not buying his lie, as feeble as it was.
"Here," Kame said as he lifted the box towards him to take.
Nakamaru shook his head. "No, it's yours. You have it."
Kame shoved the box at him anyway and with a quiet, "no thanks," left the room.
Nakamaru has known Kame for years
now, from the day they had both sprinted together with his mom to get to the auditions on time. Nakamaru has known Kame long enough to be able to tell when he's genuinely hurt, when his wall crumbles and he's the little squeaky-voiced kid again, the one who used to freeze up and hide back in his turtle shell when teased and outcasted by the other juniors. There was a time when Nakamaru used to be among those other juniors.
Over by the couch, Koki was manhandling chocolates from Taguchi and Ueda was cheering them on but Nakamaru could only stand in the middle of the dressing room, clutching the golden foiled box in his long fingers and thinking of Kame saying, I like Maru's big nose
Nakamaru took a deep breath before taking a step forward. And then two steps back.
The golden box was dented slightly on one end where Taguchi had almost sat on it and now Nakamaru's tight clutch was beginning to crumple the cardboard. But it wasn't as if the chocolate was expensive; his sister had bought it at a conbini, saying that it suited Kamenashi-kun. All Nakamaru had to do now was deliver it. Like he had to Taguchi, Ueda and Koki. Three down and one to go, no sweat. Except Nakamaru's hands were getting slippery again.
Nakamaru had no idea why he was making things so weird with Kame - only that was a lie and he totally did. Kame hung over Koki all the time but Nakamaru would bet all his savings that Koki never obsessed over the lingering touches like a school girl. Or maybe he did. Nakamaru did not want to know. The discovery that he was, in actuality, a thirteen year old girl was enough for now. Maybe he'd start fawning over pink hearts and ribbons soon, too. Maybe that'd be the next image his stylist would choose for him once she realised he wasn't man enough for argyle.
Maru clutched at his sweater vest in horror and forced himself to take deep breaths.
He'd just dump the chocolates on Kame and run. That was a good, sound plan.
"What are you doing?" Kame asked from behind and Nakamaru shrieked and dropped the box. Great, so now he sounded like a pre-teen girl, too. "You've been walking along this hallway for fifteen minutes now."
"I thought you were in the dressing room!" he squawked and scrambled to pick up the chocolates. Thankfully they had skidded a bit further down the hallway which gave him some Kame-free space. More room to think clearly and act like the grown man he believed himself to be.
"I'm going there now. Had a meeting."
Nakamaru watched Kame's eyes land on the box in his hands and the resulting frown that followed.
"So who are those really for?" Kame asked and Nakamaru hadn't seen that pout for a while. "It's not like I care or anything, but you didn't have to lie about it. I thought we were fr--"
"They're for you," Nakamaru blurted because he was
Kame's friends and would always be and it wasn't Kame's fault that Nakamaru was going all girly on him and making things weird. Those were his issues and he'd deal with them. From a distance.
"No, they're not. You don't have to lie to me. I don't even mind, really," Kame shrugged and Nakamaru almost snorted at the hypocrisy. He had known Kame long enough to also know when the other was lying. Stupid things like not getting cheap conbini chocolate meant a lot to Kame. He was a baby like that. And with years spent indulging him, Nakamaru still couldn't bring himself to be annoyed.
"No, they're really yours. My sister bought them for you," when Kame kept his disbelieving look, Maru sighed and forced himself to reveal it all for the sake of friendship, "she said you...shined...like the golden foil."
His sister was an embarrassment to the family, really. But luckily she had a different nose and most people wouldn't pinpoint them as siblings.
"Really?" Kame asked and his lips were already twitching into that gloating smile he wore everytime anyone praised him. He was a greedy little guy but that's probably why he smiled so much. But then his expression turnd stony once more and Nakamaru groaned inwardly knowing where things were headed. "But then why did you lie back then? Why are you giving them to me now and not before?"
Kame's eyes were sharp and perceptive and Nakamaru couldn't bring himself to lie under that gaze even if he tried. He was cornered but he figured saying it now in an empty corridor with no witnesses was the best chance he was going to get. Plus, there was a clear, wide escape route right behind him.
"I was looking for the right time. To give you the chocolate." He didn't stumble over his words once and he thought he spoke at a fairly normal pace so he gave himself a mental pat on the back.
Kame quirked his brow and eyed him slowly. "You couldn't just give them to me back in the dressing room like you gave everyone else?"
"You're not everyone else."
The moment Nakamaru spoke the words he felt a surge of relief - relief that disappeared the second a slow, knowing smile stretched Kame's lips and he began to stalk forward. Nakamaru hastily backed away, shielding himself with the heart-shaped box now completely disfigured by his nervous hands.
"W-what are you doing? Why are you coming close?" Nakamaru stuttered and Kame laughed all throaty and pleased.
"Don't I get my chocolate~"
Nakamaru realised there was logic in Kame's movements and not just an urge to embarrass him (though he was pretty sure that was there as well).
"Here, then. Take it!" he said and tossed the box at him, still maintaining his one meter distance of separation. After being groped, glomped and tackled by Kame in front of thousands of rabid fangirls, he'd learned that being cautious with him was necessary for survival. Give the man an inch and he'd take a mile.
And strangely enough, Nakamaru didn't mind giving Kame that extra mile, only now would not be a good time to do so lest his alternate, school girl ego took over. (But maybe she could be friends with Kazuko.)
Kame, unlike Ueda, managed to catch the box easily enough and flung his head back with another full-blown laugh. And that was totally his inner school girl who was eyeing Kame's neck.
"You are such a scaredy cat," Kame laughed again, now calmer but still pushing against Nakamaru's carefully constructed boundary. He took a step forward, Nakamaru took a step back.
"Shut up. What are you planning to do?"
Kame tilted his head and flashed a grin. "Why don't you stand still and find out?"
"Why don't you
stand still and I head home?"
Apparently Nakamaru hadn't mastered the art of walking and talking at the same time yet and his split-second stumble was all that was needed for Kame to cross the space between them and engulf Nakamaru in his bulky arms. Nakamaru remembered a time when they were scarily skinny -but still strong; Kame has always been strong- a time where Kame's hugs were bony and uncomfortable and made him worry. Now though, all Nakamaru wanted was to soak it all in, soak in all the warm, comfy Kame that had suddenly invaded his Kame-free space.
"I'll be you Valentine," Kame sang in his ear and Nakamaru smiled.
"Shut up," he answered and returned the hug as best as he possibly could, the pre-teen girl inside him coming in handy.
-End-Happy Valentine's Day! ♥