Ya-Ya-yah, Making the Band

Title: Making the Band [Shoon/Ya-Ya-yah]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for what Yamashita and Yabu are both trying to explain to Shoon.
Summary: Shoon wants to know how Ya-Ya-yah can become a real band, which clearly involves SHOON THE SUPER SPY.
AN: For Jemz and Iso, who are always up for plenty of Shoon flail with me. I started this fic during the plane ride home for Japan, and I’m so relieved to finally have it finished!

Making the Band

Shoon was sitting on a couch in the lobby of the Jimusho building, peacefully paging through next week’s Shounen Club script, when suddenly the couch dipped under some additional weight, and someone yelled “Shoon-kun!” in his ear, making Shoon jump six inches and crumple the pages in his hands.

He turned his head to find a huge grin and a explosion of bleached hair resting on his shoulder like some terrifying tropical bird.

“Good morning, Yamashita-senpai,” Shoon answered, proud that his voice did not reflect his heart palpitations.

“Maa, so polite!” Yamashita Tomohisa reached up to poke Shoon’s cheek. “I wonder where you learned that?” Shoon, recognizing a question to which there was no good answer, kept quiet for the half-second it took Yamashita to continue. “Say, Shoon-kun, didn’t you just graduate?”

“Yes,” Shoon nodded, making Yamashita’s hair wave a little. “On Valentine’s Day.”

“Cute!” Yamashita laughed, and Shoon would have blushed if he hadn’t heard this from roughly every single Johnny’s member in the last two weeks, and a few of Avex’s as well. “Did you cry?”

“A little, I suppose.” Shoon looked away, grumpy because everybody seemed to know about this as well, and it had definitely been more than a little.

“Good!” Yamashita said, making Shoon turn back to blink at him. “You should cry at important events like that! Besides, it shows that Shoon is gentle, ne? Like Koyama, Shoon should show that side of him as often as possible.”

“Y-yes,” Shoon agreed, wondering why his encounters with Yamashita-senpai always made him feel like his head was screwed on the wrong way. “I’ll work hard.”

For some reason, this made Yamashita laugh again, hard enough that his cheek slipped off Shoon’s shoulder, leaving him slumped companionably next to Shoon on the couch. Shoon waited patiently for Yamashita to calm himself and for it to be safe for him to go back to reading his script.

“Time goes by quickly when we’re busy, right?” Yamashita’s voice was a bit dreamy, and when Shoon looked back over, he was gazing vaguely at the ceiling with his hands folded over his stomach, and his shiny ankle boots up on the coffee table in front of him. “Soon Shoon-kun will be an adult.”

Something about Yamashita’s voice made Shoon want to edge away, and when Yamashita turned suddenly sharp eyes on Shoon, Shoon froze as if caught. Unexpectedly, Yamashita’s grin turned conspiratorial.

“Ah, but that means that Ya-Ya-yah will become like a real band soon, right?”

“What do you mean?” Shoon asked, frowning. Weren’t they a band already? They practiced and performed together. Maybe Yamashita meant that they weren’t very good yet? But Yabu and Hikaru had solos all the time, and he and Taiyo had been working hard as well, and their dancing was much better these days, Tegoshi-senpai even said so, and…

Shoon frowned harder when Yamashita nudged him with an elbow.

“You know,” he said, “a real band, all the members being all together. Like NewS or Arashi or KAT-TUN…well, hopefully not so much like KAT-TUN…unless Shoon-kun is into that sort of thing…I mean, it’s fun once in a while but…”

Shoon was just opening his mouth to ask what the hell Yamashita was talking about, when a voice like a gunshot bellowed “YAMASHITA TOMOHISA PINK!” across the lobby, making Shoon give a little scream and throw the script in the air.

“Uh-oh, full name.” Yamashita gave Shoon a last grin and didn’t so much climb to his feet as ripple. “Gotta go, Ryo-chan must’ve found the present I left in his locker. See ya, Shoon-kun. Coming~!”

“See ya,” Shoon repeated weakly, giving a little wave as Yamashita bounded off. Then he looked around at the scatter of papers that used to be his script and sighed.

Shoon thought about what Yamashita-senpai had said about Ya-Ya-yah becoming a real band while he gathered up the pages of his script. He thought about it some more while he tried to put the pages back in order, and some more while he tried to smooth the pages back into a flat pile. He even thought about it while he gave up and tossed the ruined pages into the ‘combustible’ trash bin and went upstairs to ask for a new one.

“Yamashita-senpai,” he explained when the office manager asked what happened to his first script, and the manager gave him a sympathetic look and a new script off a large pile which, Shoon was pretty sure, existed for exactly that purpose.

By the time the other members of Ya-Ya-yah arrived for practice after school, Shoon had done essentially nothing but think about what Yamashita had said and read the same page of script one hundred and forty-seven times.

His head still felt all turned around, like Yamashita-senpai was contagious, and Shoon gave the others a rather distracted greeting.

“Something wrong?” Hikaru asked, setting down his bag and peering at Shoon.

“I was talking with Yamashita-senpai and…” Hikaru cocked his head at the sound of Yamashita’s name and Shoon sighed. “No, nothing.”

Yabu and Taiyo came in just then, waving their scripts around and shouting about it, cutting off further conversation. Hikaru shrugged, then dug a package of slightly crushed melon Kit-Kats out of his pocket and offered Shoon one.

Well, Shoon thought as he munched, a person should work things out on his own sometimes. If Ya-Ya-yah was missing something they needed in order to become a ‘real’ band, then as Ya-Ya-yah’s older brother, he would definitely find out what it was.

Shoon caught Yabu watching him as he sucked melted chocolate off his thumb and gave him a bright smile. For Ya-Ya-yah, he’d do it for sure!

******

Since Yamashita had been the one to bring it up in the first place, Shoon figured that the best place to start looking for the mysterious missing component would be with NewS themselves. Fortunately, NewS was the special guest on Shounen Club this week, which meant that Shoon would have plenty of time to observe them during filming.

“Did you get any sleep at all?” Yabu asked when Shoon showed up at the set, examining the dark rings under Shoon’s eyes with a critical thumb.

Shoon shrugged, offering a sheepish smile. He’d spent all night watching spy movies for tips on investigating, falling asleep just before dawn, only to wake up barely an hour later with Reon bouncing on him and asking if they didn’t have to be at work in like twenty minutes.

“That look only works for Taiyo,” Yabu informed him flatly, flicking Shoon’s forehead and strolling off to costuming to see what horrors lay in wait for them today.

Shoon had to spend an extra twenty minutes in makeup because of his eyes, but he didn’t mind, because after Hikaru and Yabu had left, Tegoshi and Masuda took their places, giving Shoon a nod of greeting before seeming to forget that he was even there and returning to their conversation.

That suited Yamashita Shoon, superspy, just fine.

“…so then he says that I should call Pi and just ask him,” Tegoshi was saying, “but every time I call Pi he just wants to go out to eat!”

“What’s wrong with that?” Masuda asked. He was slouched in his chair, making his makeup girl frown at him, but didn’t seem to care so long as she didn’t turn his face away from being able to watch Tegoshi as they talked.

“Nothing,” Tegoshi snorted, looking down at the energy bar in Masuda’s hand, “if I have the metabolism of a particle accelerator, like you. So I called Ryo, but I ended up talking to him for a half hour about why Pi always wants to take people out to eat. And then I called Kato-chan, but I ended up talking to him for forty-five minutes about one of his classes.”

“I see, I see.” Masuda nodded sagely and took a large bite of his energy bar, chewing as he thought. “You know, since we’re a band and all, I think it’s most important that…”

Shoon, who by this point was practically leaning towards the NewS members to catch the rest, jumped when his own makeup girl cleared her throat and told him he was finished.

“But, don’t you think I still look a bit…” Shoon scrambled to think of something unflattering he’d been called lately. “Peaky?”

“Sorry, sweetheart,” the girl said, pushing him out of the chair. “That’s just what your head looks like.”

Shoon shot a last look at Tegoshi and Masuda over his shoulder as he left, Masuda reaching over to drop the last bite of his snack in Tegoshi’s mouth, both of them laughing when Tegoshi pretended to bite his finger instead.

It hadn’t been a total loss though, Shoon thought to himself. He’d learned that band members call each other a lot. He and Hikaru talked on the phone sometimes, so that was at least a start. Taiyo called him once in a while, but he usually just needed the practice times again or something, and then there was a lot of awkward silence. Shoon wasn’t even sure if he had Yabu’s number in his phone.

Okay, so they needed some work. But they could work harder at calling each other like a real band!

He was still thinking about this as he wandered over to the costume racks to find out what he’d been assigned, and didn’t notice Koyama-kun until he bumped right into him.

“Oh! Sorry!” Shoon apologized, cheeks turning pink and giving a shallow bow. “I took too long in makeup.”

“I can see that,” Koyama-kun nodded, making Shoon frown. “But I think I’d wait a second before going behind that costume rack.”

“Why?” Shoon asked, wondering if maybe Koyama-kun would just tell him what Ya-Ya-yah needed to be a real band if he asked. Koyama was always really nice to the juniors, and Taiyo said he’d been helpful when Taiyo had asked him questions about MCing.

Just then there was a sharp cry from the other side of the costumes, and then two other voices laughing.

“Never mind.” Koyama-kun smiled at Shoon and turned to go. “See you on the stage, Shoon-kun!”

NewS was kind of odd, Shoon thought to himself, turning the corner around the rack.

On the other side he found a rather dazed Shigeaki struggling with his ridiculously shiny pants, and a smirking Yamashita-senpai and Nishikido-senpai watching him, Yamashita’s arm draped lazily over Ryo-senpai’s shoulders.

“Hi there, Shoon-kun!” Yamashita-senpai greeted Shoon, grin getting bigger. Shoon bobbed his head and gave a greeting in return, glancing between Yamashita, Nishikido, and Shigeaki. Yamashita turned back to Nishikido. “Maa, I’m starving! Want to grab a snack before recording starts?”

“No thanks, I already ate.” Nishikido brought a thumb up to rub at the corner of his mouth idly. “Need some help there, Shige?”

“You’ve helped enough, thanks,” Shigeaki grumbled, finally yanking the zipper on his pants up. “Finally! Hey, where’d Koyama go?”

Shoon was rifling through the costume rack, barely seeing what his hands were touching as he tried to listen in on the conversation.

“Doesn’t anybody want to come find food with me?” Yamashita pouted. “Some band you guys are!”

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, we’ll come,” Ryo cut him off, rolling his eyes and ducking out from under Yamashita’s arm. “We should go find Tego and Massu too, before they get themselves in too much trouble on their own.”

“I’ll call them!” Yamashita chirped, digging his phone out of a pocket that Shoon wouldn’t have guessed was even physically possible given the state of Yamashita’s pants. “They’ll get food with us! See you on set, Shoon-kun!”

Shoon watched the three of them depart, costume all but forgotten. That was another conversation about calling each other, and about eating together. Shoon grinned, pleased to have figured out the mystery so fast. Ya-Ya-yah would be a real band in no time!

He dug his cell phone out of his own pocket and began scrolling down through the names, tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth in concentration. He barely even noticed when Yabu leaned around the corner of the costume rack.

“There you are!” Yabu snapped. “You aren’t even changed! Hurry up, we’re late for—”

“AHA!” Shoon crowed, making Yabu jump. “You are in my phone!”

Shoon thumbed a button, and pressed the phone to his ear. A second later, Yabu’s phone began to chirp “Kizuna” in his pocket. Yabu stared at Shoon, then sighed when Shoon made a “go on” motion with his hand.

“You’re an idiot,” Yabu grumbled as he fished out his phone and put it to his ear.

“Hi, Yabu-kun!” Shoon exclaimed into the phone with a huge grin. “It’s Shoon!”

“You’re an idiot,” Yabu said into the phone.

“Ne, Yabu-kun,” Shoon continued, “do you want to go out for dinner after the recording tonight?”

Before Yabu could answer, Yamashita was back, sticking his head around the corner. “See, Ryo-chan! Ya-Ya-yah uses their phones to call each other on set too! It’s totally normal!”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Yabu said, thumbing off his phone and jamming it back in his pocket. “Just get naked already, Shoon, we’re in a hurry!”

“Aw, cute!” Yamashita reached around Yabu to grab a costume off the rack, and bumped shoulders with him on the way by. “See, Shoon-kun? You’ll be a real band before you know it! In the meantime, going out to eat together is lots of fun, isn’t it?”

Yamashita flashed them a last grin, then disappeared in a swish of sparkly purple fabric. Deflated, Shoon stowed away his phone, while Yabu scowled at Yamashita’s back.

“A real band,” he scoffed. He turned to find Shoon looking rather downcast. “What’s up with you?” Yabu shook his head just as Shoon was opening his mouth. “Never mind, just change, can’t you?”

******

“What did you want to talk about?” Hikaru asked, then yelped when Shoon grabbed him by the wrist and yanked him around a corner of the recording studio. Shoon put a finger to his lips when Hikaru tried to speak again, and then tilted his head, listening. “And why did I have to borrow Taiyo’s black shirt?”

“I think the coast is clear,” Shoon whispered, leaning over to peer around the corner. “No one saw you, right?”

“I don’t think so,” Hikaru answered. “Why are we whispering?”

“Because we’re on a spy mission,” Shoon said, then shushed Hikaru again when Hikaru exclaimed “Cool!” Shoon reached into his pocket and pulled out two pairs of huge sunglasses. “Put these on.”

“Um, Shoon,” Hikaru said, putting the glasses over his nose and glancing around dubiously. “I’m pretty sure people are going to recognize us regardless. Also, it’s kind of dark? And who are we spying on?”

“We’re spying on the senpai.” Shoon glanced around the corner again, then nodded. “Okay, let’s go. Just act natural!”

Hikaru gamely strolled out around the corner after Shoon, and immediately banged into a huge potted plant, barking his shin on the pot and showering them both with leaves.

“3-F,” Shoon mumbled as they passed doors. “We’re looking for 3-B. Or was that 3-C? Or 5-G? I always mess these all up…”

“Which senpai are we spying on?” Hikaru wanted to know, sticking close to Shoon’s back by holding onto the tail of his shirt. The sleeves of Taiyo’s shirt kept slipping over his hands, and Hikaru kept pushing them back distractedly. “And why?”

Shoon stopped to look at Hikaru, and Hikaru bumped into him with an “Oof!” and nearly sent both of them crashing to the ground. When they were both straightened out, Shoon asked, “Can you keep a secret?”

“Not really,” Hikaru answered, pushing the sunglasses up onto his head so that he could actually see, but Shoon started explaining regardless, about Yamashita-senpai’s visit and then the failed spying on NewS mission.

“So I thought we could spy on KAT-TUN,” he finished. “Since they’re our big brother band and all. But people keep saying we shouldn’t be like them, so whatever they’re doing all together, we should probably do the opposite.”

Hikaru took a second to digest all this. “But aren’t we a band already?”

“Not according to the senpai,” Shoon shrugged. “At least, that’s what Yamashita…” Shoon trailed off, tilting his head as if listening to something. Then Hikaru heard it too, the jingle of someone’s wallet chain. “Quick, hide!” Shoon exclaimed.

“Huh?” Hikaru asked, but Shoon was already shoving Hikaru into the nearest recording room and pulling the door shut behind them.

Hikaru and Shoon blinked at each other, hearts skipping from adrenaline, the only light the soft glow from the sound equipment that lined the wall of the booth. Shoon had only pushed Hikaru far enough inside the room to get the door shut, and now, as they both strained to hear, they were facing each other, so close that their chests brushed when either one of them took a breath.

“Shoon?” Hikaru whispered, voice sounding uncertain, and Shoon found that he was leaning closer to Hikaru, his eyes glued to Hikaru’s lips.

Right before their lips touched, the door was shoved open, making both of them shriek as they tripped over each other, crashing to the carpet of the booth in a tangle.

“Finally!” a voice rang out from the doorway. “Pi, you always end up in some stupid…oh, wrong Yamashita.”

“Jin-senpai?” Shoon asked, craning his neck to peer over his shoulder. Jin reached in to flip on the lights, momentarily blinding both Shoon and Hikaru.

“Ah, I’ve interrupted!” Jin exclaimed, and Shoon and Hikaru exchanged a glance before scrambling apart and sitting up as fast as they could.

“No, no!” Hikaru protested, just as Shoon said, “It’s not like that!”

“Mmhmm.” Jin winked, and Shoon felt his face flush scarlet. “Pi said Ya-Ya-yah would be a real band soon, but I didn’t think he meant this Thursday! Well, I’ll leave you to it! Ne, Shoon-kun, don’t forget everything your senpai taught you~!”

Without thinking, Shoon lifted his fingers to return Jin’s wave goodbye, then Jin flipped off the light and shut the door, leaving them in the mostly-dark.

“Shoon,” Hikaru asked while their eyes were re-adjusting. “What did he mean, what your senpai taught you?”

Shoon turned his head to find Hikaru’s face closer than he expected, and then, rather than answering questions like that, leaned in and pressed his lips against Hikaru’s.

*****

The next day, Shoon was still rather discombobulated as he sat in the Jimusho lobby, again failing utterly to read a Shounen Club script. This time it was Hikaru who was distracting him, the scene from yesterday replaying in Shoon’s mind over and over. He could see Hikaru’s wide eyes, hear the surprised hitch in Hikaru’s breathing, and even feel the dry catch of Hikaru’s chapped lips against his own.

A hand closed on Shoon’s shoulder, making him jump six inches, and he put a hand to his mouth as he whirled around as if wipe the feel of Hikaru off them.

Taiyo was staring down at him, a puzzled expression on his face. “Are you okay, Shoon?”

“Sorry!” Shoon apologized, feeling his cheeks heat yet again and wondering if he should just stop hanging around in the lobby. He took a deep breath. “I’m okay.”

“Okay.” Taiyo smiled and let his hand drop from Shoon’s shoulder. He held up a brown paper bag. “I brought street clothes like you said, but I didn’t have time to change out of my uniform yet, so I’ll be right back, okay?”

Even though Shoon must have seen Taiyo in his school uniform hundreds of times, the sudden reminder made Shoon take a second look. Somehow it seemed like he’d never before seen the way the black material hugged Taiyo’s long legs, the way Taiyo had his collar undone, or the way the jacket didn’t quite cover Taiyo’s delicate wrist bones.

Taiyo seemed to be waiting for an answer, so Shoon finally managed to squeak, “Okay.” Shoon turned around quickly and swallowed hard, trying to cool the blush on his cheeks, because he had definitely never noticed before how good Taiyo’s ass looked in a gakuran.

“What’s wrong with me?” Shoon groaned quietly to himself, slouching down against the back of the couch and staring up at the ceiling. First Hikaru, now Taiyo? They were his bandmates, he saw them all the time! There was no reason to get all worked up over…

…Shoon wasn’t even sure what he was getting all worked up over, exactly. The only thing he knew for sure was that this was all Yamashita-senpai’s fault.

“What is?” Taiyo asked, having come back while Shoon had his eyes closed, and sitting down next to Shoon on the lobby couch. Shoon realized he must have spoken out loud and shook his head. “Hikaru said that we were spying on the senpai?”

“He really can’t keep a secret,” Shoon scowled, and Taiyo laughed. Shoon tried hard not to notice the bob of Taiyo’s Adam’s apple.

Taiyo listened attentively while Shoon related the Yamashita-senpai story yet again, plus the spying on NewS and the aborted attempt to spy on KAT-TUN. He nodded as he listened, looking progressively more serious every time Shoon repeated the bit about being a real band.

“I want Ya-Ya-yah to be a real band too!” he exclaimed when Shoon was through, fingers twisted in the material of his jeans over his knees. “So what should we do?”

“The only other band Yamashita-senpai mentioned was Arashi,” Shoon explained. “And they’re the senpai’s senpai, so if anybody ought to know, it’s them!”

“That’s true!” Taiyo brightened, then looked down at himself. “Ne, but, Shoon, I don’t think I’ll be very good at spying. I kind of stick out, you know?”

“You’ll be just fine,” Shoon assured, skirting the issue so he wouldn’t have to admit that his real plan was to use Taiyo as adorable bait if Jun-senpai caught them.

Shoon was sort of terrified of Jun-senpai. If Nishikido-senpai was scared of someone, there must be a really good reason, right?

“They’re practicing upstairs,” Shoon explained as they got in the elevator. “So I thought we’d just go in, and if they ask say that we need to practice as well.”

“They won’t have any trouble believing that,” Taiyo sighed, shaking his head sadly as the doors closed. “Last time we back-danced for Ohno-senpai, I tripped and took half of Hey!Say! down with me.”

“That could have happened to anybody,” Shoon assured, letting his hand brush Taiyo’s in reassurance. “They’re small.”

Taiyo looked up to raise a skeptical eyebrow at Shoon, and Shoon suddenly noticed the rich dark brown of Taiyo’s eyes, the way they were a little hopeful and a little sad at the same time.

“Shoon?” Taiyo said after a moment. He was staring back at Shoon, looking slightly puzzled. Shoon, unable to pull his eyes away, thought of Hikaru’s surprised expression in the sound booth.

“Yeah?” Shoon answered.

“Aren’t you going to push the button?”

“Oh!” Shoon jumped, then slapped the button for the tenth floor with a shaking hand. He spent the rest of the trip in the elevator staring at his shoes, cheeks burning.

As they’d hoped, Arashi was in the practice room when Shoon and Taiyo entered, in the midst of a heated discussion about whether they should change their choreography to match whatever thing Ohno-senpai couldn’t stop doing this time. They looked up when the door opened, but accepted Shoon’s explanation as readily as he’d hoped.

“Thank goodness,” Jun-senpai said, eyeing them both, and Shoon tensed, ready to throw Taiyo out in front at a moment’s notice. “Although I might ask you to backdance in my latest solo. It’s called ‘Trainwreck.'”

“Jun-chan!” Aiba-senpai scolded, and Jun looked away with a soft “Tcht!” and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“We’ll just be over there, then,” Shoon said, dragging Taiyo over to a corner where they could be as far away from Jun-senpai as possible and still listen in on the conversation.

They worked on a routine they needed to practice anyhow, something they were supposed to backdance for Tegomassu during the next Shounen Club, but it wasn’t working well since Shoon was only putting half of his attention into it, and Taiyo hadn’t exaggerated his propensity for high-speed crashes.

“Ow,” Shoon groaned after a particularly violent misstep sent them both crashing to the floor in a heap. Shoon took the brunt of the fall, ending up on the bottom and having the wind knocked out of him for a moment.

“Sorry!” Taiyo exclaimed, trying to untangle his limbs from Shoon’s and check him for injuries at the same time. “Are you hurt anywhere?”

“It’s fine,” Shoon grabbed Taiyo’s forearms to make him hold still, his frantic motion making Shoon’s head spin. Taiyo froze at the touch, and their eyes met. Shoon swallowed, wondering if the halo of light that seemed to be hovering around Taiyo’s head was a sign of permanent brain injury. “I’m okay.”

And then Shoon realized that they weren’t alone.

He turned his head gingerly to the side to find Ohno-senpai squatting down next to them, grinning.

“Want some help?” Ohno-senpai asked. “You don’t look very focused. You have to concentrate when you dance!”

“Did he just say…” Sakurai-senpai’s voice came from across the room, and then Ninomiya-senpai told him to shut up.

Ohno-senpai helped Taiyo and then Shoon to their feet. Shoon was dusting himself off when Taiyo blurted out, “Ohno-senpai, can you tell us how to be a real band?”

Shoon froze, eyes darting from Taiyo to Ohno and back again, cheeks turning pink, but Ohno-senpai’s grin just got bigger.

“I thought so!” he exclaimed, making Shoon flush even harder. “Shoon-kun’s almost an adult, right?”

Pursing his lips, Shoon put aside his grumpiness for the moment and said, “Yamashita-senpai said that being a real band is all the members being all together, like NewS or KAT-TUN or Arashi. So you must know, don’t you, Ohno-senpai?”

“Yamashita-kun,” Ohno-senpai shook his head ruefully. “He’s an impatient sort of guy, you know? Ne, Shoon-kun, don’t worry about him. Ya-Ya-Yah has to grow in its own time. You can’t rush it, just like you can’t help it when you have a growth spurt or your voice changes. So long as all of you are working hard together, it’s fine. When Ya-Ya-Yah is a real band, you’ll just know. Understand?”

“No,” Shoon said, and Taiyo shook his head as well. Ohno-senpai’s smile made the corners of his eyes crinkle, and he put a hand on both of their shoulders.

“You will,” he promised. “Now, about that dancing…”

******

Shoon was sitting in a chair in the practice room much later, having decided that the lobby was too dangerous a place to hang out in. Arashi and even Taiyo were long gone, but Shoon was feeling rather down about his lack of spying success and just wanted a few moments to himself.

“There you are,” Yabu said, coming in the door and shutting it behind him. “Taiyo said you were up here still. What are you doing?”

“I don’t understand,” Shoon looked up as Yabu came over to stand in front of him, eyes wide and plaintive. “Yamashita-senpai said that we weren’t a real band yet, but Ohno-senpai said not to worry about it. But of course I’m worried about it! I want Ya-Ya-yah to be a real band, and I want all of us to be all together, you and me and Hikaru and Taiyo! But, we’re all together now, aren’t we? We call each other and eat together and work hard together every day!”

Shoon scrutinized Yabu’s face, searching for answers.

“So…” Shoon sighed, shoulders slumping. “I don’t understand.”

“You really are a moron,” Yabu said, but a smile was lurking around the corners of his mouth, and his voice wasn’t harsh. Shoon furrowed his brow, and he was opening his mouth when Yabu sat down on Shoon’s lap, sliding in close, and pressed his mouth against Shoon’s.

For a heartbeat, Shoon was too surprised to do anything, but then his eyes fluttered shut and his hands came up to clutch at the back of Yabu’s sweater, bunching up the soft fabric, warm from Yabu’s skin. Yabu murmured something low and approving against Shoon’s mouth, putting a hand on either side of Shoon’s face to tilt his head back for a better angle so their mouths could slant more comfortably together.

When Yabu pulled away, Shoon stared at him hazily, feeling like he couldn’t quite catch his breath. Yabu smoothed thumbs along Shoon’s cheekbones, brushing Shoon’s hair out of his face, grinning at Shoon’s dazed expression.

“That’s what Yamashita-senpai is talking about,” Yabu said, and when Shoon’s face remained uncomprehending, Yabu gave a slow roll of his hips, making his own interest obvious where it brushed against Shoon’s. Shoon’s cheeks bloomed warmth underneath Yabu’s palms. “Get it?”

Shoon nodded, eyes dropping away from Yabu’s shyly. “But…all of us? All together?”

“Maybe not quite yet,” Yabu shrugged. “You might be almost an adult, but Hikaru and Taiyo…”

“Hey, you aren’t an adult yet either!” Shoon laughed, digging tickling fingers into Yabu’s sides and making him yelp. Yabu got his fingers into Shoon’s hair and yanked until Shoon quit and went back to just resting his hands on Yabu’s back.

“We’ve got plenty of time,” Yabu assured, fingertips turning gentle against Shoon’s scalp, making Shoon’s eyes slit in pleasure. “Ohno-senpai said when Ya-Ya-yah’s ready to be a real band, we’ll know.”

“Hmm,” Shoon agreed, tilting his head back for another kiss and wriggling in pleasure when Yabu gave it to him. Yabu rolled his hips again, making Shoon gasp and dig his fingers into Yabu’s back. “Oy, didn’t you just say we had plenty of time?”

“I’ve always been precocious,” Yabu answered, the sharp edges of his grin making Shoon’s breath catch, and the possessive clutch of his fingers against Shoon’s neck making him grin back.

*****

Yabu and Hikaru were having a girly slap fight, Shoon and Taiyo the amused spectators, when the elevator doors opened and Shoon found Yamashita-senpai and Jin-senpai waiting for it in the hallway.

“Shoon-kun!” Jin-senpai chirped, letting his hand drop from his half of the secret handshake, but Yamapi nudged him with an elbow.

“Ya-Ya-yah,” he corrected, making Jin laugh.

“Yup!” Shoon caught Yamashita-senpai’s eyes and grinned. “All of us, all together!”

Yamashita startled a little at that, and Jin laughed as Shoon brushed by them, leading the others along with him. Someone caught at his hand, and Yamashita turned his head to find Yabu at his side, chin held high. Yabu gave Shoon’s fingers a last brush with his own before pulling his away.

“What was that about?” Taiyo wanted to know, looking over his shoulder, then down at Hikaru who shrugged and punched him companionably in the shoulder. Taiyo scowled at him, then looked up at Shoon, eyes a little sad and a little hopeful.

Shoon gave him a bright grin until Taiyo smiled back, puzzled but just as bright.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said, “so long as we’re Ya-Ya-yah, and we’re all working hard together.”

“Sap,” Yabu snorted, just as Hikaru shouted “YA-YA-YAH!” and grabbed Taiyo’s hand, yanking him over to do the usual dorky circle dance, ringing Yabu and Shoon and hollering at the top of their lungs. “See? This is going to take forever.”

“I don’t think so.” Shoon slung an arm around Yabu’s shoulders and ruffled Hikaru’s hair as he skipped past. “Maybe there’s more than one way to be a real band, is all.”

“I think I like Yamashita’s explanation better,” Yabu scowled as Shoon dragged him along with him into the circle, but a grin was lurking in his eyes, and when Shoon yelled “YA-YA-YAH!” louder than Taiyo and Hikaru combined, Yabu’s fingers laced through his own and squeezed tight.

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