Baka6, Waiting Game

Title: Waiting Game
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: Waiting is the worst.
AN: Written for Shiritori.

Waiting Game

Waiting is the worst.

Juri’s so sick of waiting he could just scream from it. He goes to work and loves it, hangs out with friends, stays out too late with guys sometimes at karaoke or at a family restaurant being idiots until they laugh themselves sick, or with his brothers being even bigger idiots. Juri’s days are busy, full, and he’s happy. But underneath all of that he’s still waiting, probably for something that will never come, probably forever.

“What are you making that face for?” Shintarou asks through a full mouth. Juri shrugs and goes back to picking at his lunch, trying to remember that he was starving ten minutes ago, before he let himself get distracted by his thoughts like an idiot, again.

A fingertip pokes him right between the eyebrows, and Juri looks up to see Shintarou staring right at him. His eyes are dark, dark brown and focused squarely on Juri, making Juri’s heart skip half a dozen beats at least.

“Stop wrinkling that,” Shintarou orders before dropping his hand. “They won’t put you in my unit if you’re all wrinkled, old man.”

“Who’d want to debut with you anyway?” Juri retorts, forcing his face back into its usual expression of good cheer. It’s easy, because he makes that face all the time, and it fools just about everybody.

But not Shintarou. When they stand up from lunch, Shintarou grabs Juri suddenly, his stupid arms ridiculously strong as they hug Juri tightly. Juri closes his eyes and stands very still and for just a few amazing seconds he pretends that he doesn’t have to wait anymore.

“I’m sorry,” Shintarou says quietly, into Juri’s hair, because he isn’t an idiot and he knows what Juri’s feelings are and he can tell the difference between Juri having a good time and Juri making a good time face.

“Shut up,” Juri says, because he wants to pretend for a few more seconds. “It’s fine,” he adds, because it isn’t Shintarou’s fault that Juri decided to wait like an idiot, and then, “Shut up,” again just because.

He pushes Shintarou back after a few more seconds, and they go back to work like nothing happened. Nothing did happen, or at least nothing new, and Juri knows from the usual ebb and flow of it that it’s okay if he feels down about it today, because tomorrow things will seem better even though they’re exactly the same.

That afternoon he even manages to laugh along with the others when Hokuto and Fuma have one of their loud biweekly breakups in the Shounen Club dressing room next door to theirs.

“You shouldn’t laugh!” Marius pouts at them, looking anxiously at the wall that all the shouting is coming through. He, Sou, and Kento all came over just before the shouting started, more than practiced by now to tell when an argument is due to start.

“Shh, you know they’ll have made up by the time we go home,” Kento soothes, patting Marius’s shoulder. The rest of them are so used to the melodramatic fighting that Shori keeps threatening to start filming it as a segment. Just then, someone calls for Kento, and he pushes Marius against Juri’s shoulder with a final pat as he goes out to work.

“There there,” Juri says on autopilot, attention focused on a mail on his phone.

“They shouldn’t say such mean stuff if they like each other!” Marius insists, so seriously that Juri pauses what he’s doing to look down at him. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how young he is, but with his cheek pressed against Juri’s shoulder, expression sad, he looks almost his real age. “If they like each other, they shouldn’t fight.”

“It’s not always so easy, kiddo,” Juri soothes, thinking if only. Shintarou is still laughing across the room when he catches Juri’s eye by accident. “Feelings aren’t enough, sometimes.”

“Well, they should be,” Marius insists. Juri wraps an arm around his shoulder and gives him a squeeze.

It’s Tanaka Bro night over at Koki’s apartment, by coincidence, and Juri’s looking forward to it despite his mood that day. He loves his brothers, and they’re a good distraction. Juri even extends enough good will to sweet-talk his mother into letting Subaru come along, despite the fact that Subaru’s been grounded for a week for mouthing off to his homeroom teacher. They’re the last two to arrive, since Juri had work, and they others are already halfway through a pile of takeout and an action movie by the time Juri and Subaru stumble through the door, shivering from cold.

After an hour of shoving and name-calling, Juri feels more like himself than he has all day. So he’s a little surprised when Koki corners him in the kitchen and wraps an arm around his shoulder. Juri was washing off his hands and pauses awkwardly with his wet hands still dangling in the sink.

“Something up?” Koki asks. “And don’t bother lying to your big brother.”

Juri thinks about lying anyway, because it seems easier, but then leans into the solid warmth Koki is offering him. “I’m in love with my best friend.”

Koki turns Juri to hug him properly, wet hands and all. “Ah. That’s the worst.” The way he says it, like he understands those exact feelings from experience, makes Juri glad he doesn’t have to explain any further.

“Yeah,” is all he says. Neither of them say anything else until Koki thumps Juri solidly between the shoulder blades, and they go back out to the living room. Subaru is hollering loudly that his porn is better than anything anybody else brought definitely, so clearly nobody noticed they were gone.

The next day, Juri is just coming in the door, earbuds still in, not paying attention, and ends up bumping right into Shintarou so that they are squeezed awkwardly in the same compartment of the revolving door. Shintarou flails, too surprised to untangle himself quickly enough to get out when the opening appears, so they end up going around twice while Jesse, Kouchi, and Hagiya point and laugh so hard that Jesse is almost on the floor.

“Fuck you guys!” Shintarou hollers when they finally untangle themselves. Juri is snickering himself because really, only Shintarou. Shintarou huffs a few more words under his breath before nudging Juri’s shoulder. “Hey. Feeling better?”

“Yeah,” Juri says, which is true. “I was out with my brothers last night. They always make me feel better.”

“Good.” There’s an awkward pause, and Juri realizes that Shintarou is going to try and have a talk about things again. “You know—”

“It’s okay,” Juri interrupts, because he doesn’t want to talk about it just now. Maybe ever. Until he thinks Shintarou might tell him something new, he doesn’t understand what the point is. So he meets Shintarou’s eyes directly. “Things are just like this and it’s not going to change any time soon, right?” He pauses, and Shintarou says nothing. “So that’s it.”

Shintarou drops his eyes first, like Juri knew that he would. “Okay.” He lets it drop, which Juri is glad for, and the two of them go in to change for practice just like yesterday and just like tomorrow. At least Shintarou is by his side, Juri thinks. At least they don’t shout at each other like Hokuto and Fuma. He has a best friend and a job he loves and brothers that love him, and Juri is grateful for all those things.

Shintarou yanks his shirt off in a quick, rough pull, baring ten miles of smooth and tanned skin, and Juri turns to pointedly stare at the wall while he strips off his own streetclothes. Even without looking, his mind calls up the feel of those strong arms squeezing him tightly yesterday. Juri draws in a long breath through his nose and holds it for a few seconds, until the feeling passes.

Waiting is the worst. Except for how much worse doing anything else would be.

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