JE, Traditional Concept

Title: Traditional Concept
Rating/Warnings: PG for traditional underwear?
Summary: It’s anybody’s guess what the concept of this group is.
AN: WADANZOKU LIVES! I’ve been bsing on twitter with various people about having a JE group debut whose concept is that they’re all traditional dress, like magazines and PV and promo appearances and everything. Kira came up with the name 和男族 (Wadanzoku) with the characters for Japanese/male/group, on the grounds that 3-character names are trendy and the middle part sounds like of like dance. So here is the first part of that!

Traditional Concept

“Chinese New Year shoot?” Hokuto guessed, holding out his arm so that his kimono fluttered, a spill of red and gold. “Colors seem right.”

“Would have had to shoot it a month ago,” Taiga pointed out, not even looking up from where he was tying up his hair in a ponytail. It was getting long again, but not quite long enough; strands were already falling out around his face, dark hair and dark blue fabric emphasizing the pale curve of his neck.

“True,” Shintarou agreed, wrinkling his brow. “Even though it won’t happen for another month yet. Any other ideas?”

It had started out as a normal afternoon of photoshoots, but before things had wrapped up, several staff members had shown up and asked a small group of them to stay behind and change again. At first they had all assumed it was another photoshoot, but no one had asked them to pose yet. It had started out with twelve or so juniors, but after looking the group over and talking among themselves, the staff had sent some people back to change and go home. Now the seven people left were Shintarou, Hokuto, Yasui, Jesse, Hagiya, Taiga, and Juri, and they’d been milling about and chatting for at least fifteen minutes while the staff members held some sort of whispered argument off to the side.

“Hey,” Juri spoke up, interrupting Hagiya’s theory that it was Edo era breakdance tryouts for next Kabuki. “The camera dude is packing up.”

Six heads turned to look in the same direction as Juri, and sure enough, the last photographer had finished stowing his equipment and for all intents and purposes seemed to be heading home.

“Then…” Shintarou looked at Juri, then Hokuto, both of whom shrugged. Shintarou gestured down at his own purple kimono, hanging from only one shoulder because he’d been arm-wrestling with Juri a minute ago. “Then what is this?”

“Do you think…” Jesse asked, but then stopped, like he didn’t dare say the words. All of them were looking at each other, trying to figure out what the common denominator was between the seven of them and the traditional dress. “It’s gotta be something, right?

An awkward silence settled over them.

“Hi, excuse me!” Yasui leaned around Jesse to call loudly, making all of them jump. “Can you tell us what’s going on, please?”

“Ah,” one staff member looked over at them, looking sheepish. “Sorry for the wait, but could you be patient just a bit—”

“We need him for vocals!” another staff member snapped, interrupting. “I don’t care if he does stick out like a sore thumb, what are we supposed to—”

The staff member cut off suddenly as he realized the others were glaring at him, and then the whole group went back to arguing in lower voices, so that none of the junior group could make out what they were saying.

“It’s Japanese, right?” Hagiya asked, making the other six stare at him. Hagiya waved his arms a little, like Hokuto had been doing earlier, making his moss green kimono ripple. “The concept. Like traditional. We’re all in kimono.”

“They sent Nozawa home,” Yasui spoke up, tapping his chin thoughtfully. “We were saying how wearing these suited some of us so well and…”

“And I said Nozawa looked like he was in a school play,” Taiga remembered, wincing a little. “That’s when they sent him out. Casey too.”

“It was true.” Yasui shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”

“They’re staring at me,” Jesse hissed, trying to look casual and failing utterly. “What should I do?”

“Look more Japanese?” Shintarou suggested. Juri and Taiga both smacked him.

“Damn my mother’s stupid foreigner fetish,” Jesse grumbled.

All of them were practically vibrating with nerves by the time the staff members broke up the huddle and approached. It seemed clear by that point that the seven of them were going to be tried out as some sort of group; whether permanent or temporary none of them had the nerve to guess out loud. One staff member opened his mouth to speak, only to be immediately interrupted by the louder staff member from before.

“Seven’s much easier to position!” he said, then cleared his throat when the first staff member glared at him.

“As you may have guessed…” he began.

“New group,” Taiga said.

“Japanese style,” Hagiya added.

“I’m not traditional enough,” Jesse said glumly.

“Would you all like to carry on without me?!” the staff member demanded, clearly out of patience. “I can just go home, you know!”

“Jesse looks just as good as us, though!” Shintarou protested, not quite managing to keep all the panic off of his face.

“Honestly, you guys are looking at it all wrong,” Yasui informed them, stepping forward and grabbing Jesse by the wrist. “C’mere.”

Everyone watched as Yasui tugged Jesse over to the mostly packed-up photoshoot area, which still had a backdrop cloth up and a couple floor cushions scattered about. Yasui dropped gracefully onto one of them, legs tucked under him to one side. When Jesse followed, Yasui pulled him over so that he was lying half in Yasui’s lap, the current light brown of his hair ruffled out over the gold fabric a little. Yasui reached down to push Jesse’s kimono almost, but not quite off of his shoulder, then left his hand there, fingers curled against Jesse’s collarbone.

When they both tilted their heads back to look at the staff members, eyes widened just a little so they looked innocent in all the wrong ways, you could have heard a pin drop.

“Sold,” the holdout staff member gave in, sighing. Shintarou whooped so loudly that Hokuto and Hagiya jumped, and Taiga punched him in the arm.

“Don’t be so mean to your group members, you haven’t even had them five minutes yet,” Juri told him. He looked at the staff members. “It is a group, right?”

“Yes,” the first staff member confirmed. “The details aren’t firm yet, but as you figured out, the general concept is traditional, Japanese-style. No western clothing at all for the first release, including promotions and magazines.”

“No w…really?” Juri asked, tilting his head. He looked down at what he was wearing, thinking about that, and the others did the same, including Jesse and Yasui on the floor. “Huh.”

“Cool,” Shintarou spoke up, apparently embracing the idea of that quicker than everyone else. “Like when we did shamisen, or when you do Kabuki.” Shintarou nudged Taiga, who was touching his hair thoughtfully. “Oh! Hey, can we do taiko? That would be awesome.”

“Hey, whoa, back up,” Jesse said, finally struggling up from the floor and pulling Yasui up along with him, impatiently yanking the shoulder of his kimono back into place. “Is this for real? Is it…debut?”

“Do we have a name?” Shintarou wanted to know.

“Wadanzoku, is the idea we’re running with for now,” the staff member answered. “Characters are Japanese, male, and group.”

“…we sound like a girly biker gang,” was Taiga’s pronouncement, Yasui wrinkling his nose.

“That’s about right for Johnny’s,” Hokuto had to admit.

“SHUT UP IT’S AWESOME!” Shintarou bellowed, double hi-fiving Juri. He turned to hi-touch Taiga as well, and when Taiga didn’t move, he grabbed Taiga’s wrist and yanked it up to slap hands with him. “We’ve got a group name!”

“Wait, I have a question,” Hagiya said, raising his hand like he was in middle school. “Is the underwear going to be traditional too?”

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