SixTONES, All Puff and Fluff

Title: All Puff and Fluff
Rating/Warnings:
Summary:
AN: Written for Shiritori. Rory made me write about Shinchiila, so here you go. I’m reasonably certain they don’t have Cheerios in Japan, but if so then I have no idea what you’d feed your chinchilla. Either way I’m exhausted so this is what you’re getting. Based more or less on exactly what owning my chinchilla is like. Here is the exciting conclusion! Now with twice the judgey face. In case you didn’t know this, Tanuki use a leaf on their head when they want to transform into different shapes.

All Puff and Fluff

Nothing can hurt him so long as he has his groupmates there to protect him, Shintarou keeps repeating to himself the entire way through the haunted house. He isn’t even sure how they ended up planning this little group date; one minute they were bullshitting about their magazine shoot Halloween costumes, the next minute somebody said Taiga should be a princess, accusations about chickens were made, and then Jesse was googling the scariest haunted house attraction in Tokyo on his phone.

He’d done a good fucking job, too, since this place made Shintarou’s high school festival haunted house look like a ball pit full of clowns.

“Fuck, I hope there aren’t actually clowns,” Shintarou muttered, making Juri eye him beadily. Juri rolled his eyes when Shintarou went back to repeating his mantra.

“Would you shut the fuck up with that?” Juri demanded, voice still shaky from the adrenaline of being chased down the last hallway. “You’re the strongest one out of all of us, you should be protecting us! And quit trying to hide behind me!”

Up ahead, Jesse yelled something in English at a high enough pitch that Shintarou’s arm hairs all stood up.

Somehow or other they made it out to the other side, all of them standing in a panicky knot while they tried to catch their breath, Taiga muttering a string of continuous obscenities under his breath and Hokuto insisting that he was definitely not crying. Someone bumped into Shintarou’s back suddenly, and Shintarou, already thoroughly over-adrenalized, whirled and threw a punch before he knew what he was doing.

“Oh my god,” he said when he realized he had in fact just knocked down the Fortune-Teller from the next attraction over. “I am so sorry…”

She wasn’t listening to his apologies, pointing at Shintarou with a hand covered in gold rings and snapping something at him in a foreign language that did not sound complimentary. The next thing Shintarou knew, he was a lot closer to the ground, everything seemed very loud, and for some reason the chill night air wasn’t bothering him at all anymore.

*****

“I don’t know what’s not to get,” Juri said evenly. “Shintarou got cursed by a gypsy at the amusement park and turned into a chinchilla.”

Yasui eyed Juri, then the bushy gray tail sticking out from under the couch. “Tanaka, I swear to god if you are fucking with me…” Yasui interrupted himself with a sneeze. “Seriously, that fucker is just late to practice and you’re covering for him, right? Tell Yasui-kun the truth.”

“Hey, man, if you want a Morimoto in this week’s episode of Gamushara, I think you might be out of luck,” Juri told him with a shrug. Yasui rolled his eyes and told him to go fuck himself, in between sneezes, before escaping from the room.

Once Yasui and his sneezing fit were gone, Shinchilla puttered out from under the couch just far enough to eye the others suspiciously.

“Is he really not going to change back?” Jesse fretted. “What are we going to do if he’s stuck like that?”

“Have a pet segment?” Juri suggested. “Put him in a box and make Iwamoto touch him?” Shinchilla paused in his gnawing of the foot of the couch to give a whuff of disdain for that idea. “You have a big dust ball stuck to your whiskers, idiot.”

Shinchilla stood up on his hind legs and began grooming his long whiskers immediately, until he was satisfied there was no dust anywhere stuck to him.

“If only he cared that much about hygiene as a person,” Jesse said. “And why aren’t you freaking out? Your best friend is a rodent! If Junta gets ahold of him, he’ll make him into a hat!” Jesse reached down to pet Shinchilla, and he darted back under the couch. “We can’t even pick him up! He’s scared of everything!”

“Maybe he’s scared because you won’t stop yelling, idiot,” Juri pointed out. Just then, the door opened and Reia stuck his head into the room.

“I hear you guys have a chinchilla in here?” he asked.

“It’s Shintarou,” Juri said, making Reia tilt his head. “He won’t let you pet him or anything, he’s hiding under the couch.”

“Who cares? Yasui-kun’s allergic so he can’t get us if we’re in here.” Reia turned to talk over his shoulder. “It’s true! Hurry up and get in here.”

Reia, Takahashi Kaito, Inoue, and Tajima all shuffled into the room and shut the door, making Jesse pause in his poking his foot under the couch at Shinchilla.

“What’s wrong with Yasui-kun?” he asked. The other juniors all just gave him pointed looks.

Nobody had any luck getting Shinchilla out from under the couch until Hokuto came in. When he sat on the floor next to the low table, Shinchilla stuck his head out from couch at the sound of Hokuto’s voice. When nobody made a grab for him, the others having given up some time ago, Shinchilla darted out and over to Hokuto, hopping up onto his thigh, and then up onto his shoulder.

“What the hell?” Jesse demanded. “Why’s he like you so much?”

“Maybe he took one look at Hokuto’s hair and decided he was a chinchilla too,” Juri commented.

“It’s because of these,” Hokuto spoke up, reaching into his pocket and pulling a baggie of Cheerios. “I looked up what chinchillas like to eat on the internet.” He held the baggie up to his shoulder, and Shinchilla wasted no time grabbing one O in his mouth while reaching in to grab another with his paw.

“I guess that’s pretty much the same as regular Shintarou with donuts,” Jesse commented. He reached over to pat Shinchilla, but Shinchilla made a loud, irritated noise. “Hey! Did you just quack at me, you jerk?”

“Shhh, don’t yell at him,” Hokuto scolded. He reached up to rub his finger along the edge of Shinchilla’s jaw. Shinchilla tolerated the petting without comment, busy shoving another Cheerio in his mouth.

“Quit letting him double-fist those, he’ll weigh like 200kg when he finally turns back,” Juri scolded.

“He already looks like he’s wearing a pair of poofy pants,” Jesse said, and this time nobody blamed Shinchilla for quacking at him.

*****

“If you do that, you’re so totally getting killed.”

“You shut the fuck up,” Hokuto says snappishly to Jesse. He’s got no patience for Jesse’s backseat complaining, busy trying to saunter down the hallway casually without everybody realizing he’s got a squirming chinchilla under his zipped hoodie. “This is all your fault to start with, even before you had the bright idea to tell Gamushara staff that Shintarou was just filming on location but tell Shounen Club staff he was in a stageplay, and then you made him furslip a huge patch so even if we do get him back to normal he’ll probably have a bald patch right in the middle of his head! So I don’t want to hear another word out of you unless you know how to abracadabra him back to normal, Mr. Magician!”

“Hey man, we tried all my suggestions already,” Jesse points out, ignoring the glare Hokuto tosses over his shoulder. “Hasshi-kun sneezed on him twice and all he did was quack, and even a kiss from Tegoshi didn’t do it. I thought the princess kiss thing would totally work.”

“He’s a chinchilla, not a frog!” Hokuto comes to a stop in front of Kis-My-Ft2’s dressing room and takes a deep breath before knocking.

“When you die, can I have your phone?” Jesse wants to know. “I cracked my screen again.”

“I’m about to crack your—” Hokuto cuts off when the door opens and Yokoo is looking at them with one eyebrow quirked. “Um, hi, senpai.”

“Can I help you?” Yokoo asks. Just then, Shinchilla figures out where the top of Hokuto’s hoodie is, face popping out above the zipper and looking rather rumpled and cranky from the trip. “Is that a—”

“Shh!!” Hokuto hisses, before remembering who he’s talking to. “It’s, um, a secret. Please let us in a minute?”

Yokoo eyes them narrowly, as if x-raying them for contraband, but then steps aside to let them into the room. He’s the only member of Kisumai present and conscious; everyone else is gone except for Kitayama napping on the couch.

“Look, I’m really sorry,” Hokuto barrels on ahead before he totally loses his nerve. “But we need someone to baby-sit Shintarou while we have our photoshoot, and there’s no way we can trust anybody else.”

“Baby-sit Shintarou?” Yokoo repeats, puzzled. “I thought he was on location for a butai?”

Hokuto shoots another dirty look at Jesse, but Jesse doesn’t even have the decency to look sheepish. “It’s actually…this is Shintarou. I’m sure this sounds unbelievable, but we took him to an amusement park and he punched a gypsy and she cursed him and now he’s a chinchilla and we can’t change him back.”

“Hasshi-kun sneezed on him twice!” Jesse puts in helpfully.

Yokoo squints down at Shinchilla, who looks back at him skeptically with twitching whiskers. Finally Yokoo sighs. “I wish that were the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard this week.”

“Your shots are done, right?” Hokuto asks. He reaches into his hoodie to scoop up Shinchilla and holds him up hopefully. “Can you please watch him for just an hour? Half the juniors are allergic to him and the other half will mistake him for a costume piece. Jinguji wanted to wear him as a wallet chain accessory! Plus he kind of hates everybody.”

Shinchilla whuffs in irritation and kicks at the air, trying to get free.

“Shut up, you do.” Hokuto gave Yokoo a pleading expression. “Please? You have pets and stuff, so you’ll be careful with him. I know he’s a moron but we kind of need him.”

“Fine, okay, ugh,” Yokoo gives in, reaching to take Shinchilla from Hokuto’s outstretched hands. Shinchilla renews his struggle, sensing the opportunity for freedom, but Yokoo’s long fingers are already securely around his middle, tucking him into the crook of Yokoo’s elbow. “Stop that, you,” he tells Shinchilla sternly, and Shinchilla does, digging his little nails into Yokoo’s sweater sleeve for a better grip.

They are wearing exactly the same judgmental facial expression as they stare at Hokuto, but wisely neither Hokuto nor Jesse comments on that.

Sighing with relief, Hokuto thanks Yokoo about seven times, and then hands him the baggie of Cheerios from his pocket in case Shinchilla gets particularly feisty. Before Yokoo can change his mind, Hokuto hustles Jesse out and off to their photoshoot. Juri looks up hopefully when they arrive out of breath at the dressing area, but his shoulders slump when he realizes that Shintarou isn’t with them.

“No luck yet?” he asks. Hokuto can only shake his head. Juri whines, leaning in against Hokuto’s side until Hokuto hugs him; Kouchi rubs his back in encouragement. It’s not the same without Shintarou horsing around with them, and even Taiga seems subdued, grumbling that it’s just like that idiot to get turned into a rodent while the rest of them still have to work.

Fortunately it’s sexy-tortured-artist-type photoshoot day, so they actually get praised for being so serious about their work today. Hokuto tries not to listen when various staff or costuming girls ask where Shintarou is and the story Jesse tells gets weirder and weirder each time.

“Would you knock it off!” Hokuto hisses. “Nobody is going to believe he got sent to Guam to be the Ueno Zoo’s banana ambassador!”

“Hm,” Jesse says thoughtfully. “Maybe that’s a bit much. Gone to visit his brother and came down with pineapple poisoning?”

“Oh, the poor dear!” a passing make-up girl coos, and Hokuto slaps a hand to his forehead.

An hour later, they’re all done and changed. Hokuto goes to pick up their furry little problem, as Taiga has taken to calling him, Juri and Jesse tagging along just to make his life hard. He braces himself for insanity and apologies, but when he pushes open Kis-My-Ft2’s dressing room door, Yokoo is sitting on the couch reading a magazine peacefully. Beside him, Kitayama has been exchanged for an improbably quiet Nikaido napping, and Tamamori is standing in front of one of the makeup mirrors, fixing his bangs. For a terrible second, Hokuto thinks they’ve just freed Shinchilla to spread his reign of terror and small poos all over the building, but then Hokuto catches sight of the gray ball sitting on the makeup counter, resting on a little nest made out of a scarf Hokuto’s pretty sure he saw Miyata wearing that morning.

“There you are,” Hokuto says in relief. Shinchilla blinks up at him, half-asleep, one ear crushed cutely against his head, and tolerates Hokuto patting his head with lazy magnanimity. He looks rather better-styled than the last time Hokuto saw him. “Did you…flatiron the chinchilla?”

“He had a big bald patch,” Tamamori says primly, as if that explains everything. “Also, aren’t you guys going to change him back? Don’t you need him for dancing and opening your jars and stuff?”

“Gosh, why didn’t we think of just changing him back?” Hokuto answers, voice sarcastic. Tamamori narrows his eyes at Hokuto. “Don’t you think we’ve tried? Hasshi-kun and Tegoshi-kun couldn’t fix him, and I’m not going the whole way to Kansai and facing Subaru in his underwear just to find out that won’t work either.”

“Seriously?” Tamamori asks him, clicking his tongue. “Don’t you guys know anything?” When Juri, Hokuto, and Jesse all just stare at him, Tamamori rolls his eyes. He reaches over to the potted plant sitting in the corner of the room and snaps off a leaf, then sits the leaf on top of Shinchilla’s head.

For a second, nothing happens, aside from Shinchilla being unimpressed, then there’s the whoosh of space being filled quickly, and suddenly it’s Shintarou sitting on the makeup counter, feet dangling off the edge. He blinks at everyone sleepily, then reaches up to rub at the ear that was folded oddly, then scowls when he feels the bald patch of hair just behind that.

“You’re back!” Juri hollers in relief, shouldering past Hokuto and Jesse and all but throwing himself at Shintarou for a hug. The make-up counter creaks dangerously as Shintarou slides off it, wobbling a little on his feet.

“I’m back,” Shintarou agrees. He yawns hugely. “What’d I miss?”

A few days later everything is more or less back to normal, although Shintarou is grounded for a month for worrying his mother half to death and also pooping in her shoe. Kouchi puts a lifetime ban on haunted houses for all of their sakes, and even Shintarou’s Cheerio addiction starts to wane. The others maybe hug Shintarou a little more than usual, but Shintarou doesn’t mind that.

“The only thing I don’t get,” Shintarou says to Hokuto, looking over his shoulder at the staff member who just welcomed him back cheerfully, “is why do people keep asking me about pineapples?”

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