Title: From Sunday to Sunday
Pairings/Groups: KAT-TUN, Kanjani8 (gen)
Warnings: Ariehen Sekai is filmed on Fridays, or so says my googling, but I couldn't find info about Kanjani8 Map or Janiben.
Summary: Nakamaru’s car breaks down, Yoko and Maru offer to molest people, Taguchi is evil incarnate, and Akanishi invades Recomen (or: Nakamaru carpools, and everything snowballs)
Notes: '4649' is slang for 'yo-ro-shi-ku', and Nakamaru mentions his 'personal' and 'work' cell phones a couple of times. Due to the fact that SMS is super-cheap everything else is really expensive (or so says my ~research~), it makes total sense to have phones on various providers. Nakamaru is technically a kouhai to Yoko by two years and Yasu/Maru/Ohkura by one. Timewise this fic is set in the early part of 2010.
Nakamaru glanced down once more at his watch, ignoring the curious schoolgirls trying to catch a glimpse of him between the heads of harried-looking salarymen. A turn made the whole train lurch to the left—-Nakamaru’s grip on the handle above him tightened nervously, and with his other hand he adjusted the dig of his overstuffed bag into his shoulder.
He hated trains.
That wasn’t new, though; he’d hated them even before their debut. They made him nervous, and after years of taking the first leg of his trip home with Akanishi (who’d always, always, even as a kid, had to ride on the figurative brink of his life, playing chicken with warning signs and grinning through automated chastisement while Nakamaru wrung his hands and tried not to think about headlines reading ’Johnny’s Junior splat on the rails’ or something else horrifying) it had only gotten worse. With debut, with success had come other things: a new apartment, nice dinners and restaurants he’d always daydreamed about, but with his own unremarkable car to glory in being alone, he hated them even more. He cursed his car—well, all right, not really, he loved his car. But yeah. Trains sucked.
Dimly, he heard the loudest of the schoolgirls declare ‘that’s like totally not Nakamaru, Nakamaru is way hotter than that guy’.
Oh, come on.
“Hey,” he said to Koki and Ueda as he trudged into work. Ueda looked up momentarily from his guitar catalog to nod in greeting, and then his eyes flicked back down to the glossy pages.
Koki grinned at Nakamaru from one end of the couch, sketching messily at a paper on his knees. Nakamaru settled gingerly, putting his bag full of clothes and water and textbooks between his leg and Koki’s bright as hell new Jordans. “Where’re your keys?” asked Koki, nodding his chin at where Nakamaru’s little Cartoon KAT-TUN mascot keychain was usually spilling out of the side pocket.
Nakamaru blinked—“oh, I had to take it into the shop yesterday—Koki, what?”
“How’d you get here?” Koki seemed flabbergasted.
“I… took the train? Like we did for years?”
“I… but you hated that.”
“I still do.”
“Yeah, yeah. At least R-One is done for the week.”
“Did they recognize you?” asked Ueda curiously.
“Not exactly,” hedged Nakamaru uneasily, and obviously the two of them managed to bully it out him (Junno, who arrived in the midst of the wheedling, added in with worse and worse puns until Nakamaru relented, groaning).
“’My Nakamaru-kun is totally way hotter than that looooser,” teased Koki, when Nakamaru had finished. Nakamaru shoved at him uselessly.
“I haven’t taken a train in years,” mused Junno, plopping at the table and stretching out his legs with a yawn.
Ah, yes. Junno’s black, loud sportscar. His first big purchase (after a new TV for gaming, anyway) had been that monster. Junno had been a bit of a monster at the time, too, high-energy on variety shows for their debut and all his time in the dressing room relentlessly cheerful or relentlessly focusing on every car ad in the paper. He’d been a ruthless negotiator over the phone, too, needling young salesmen down for their lowest prices. It had all been for good, too: he’d paid maybe 3000 yen more than he’d planned to walking in. Naturally, everyone else had put those skills to good use (better than having him practice timing for ‘Iriguchi deguchi Taguchi de~su’ on them all the damn time) in the next few years.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” said Nakamaru, as Koki and Junno (and even Ueda, to great and hilarious effect) continued doing impersonations of the unimpressed schoolgirls.
Akanishi and Kamenashi trailed in one after another right before 9AM, Jin looking tired but greeting everyone pleasantly enough, and Kame looking (as usual) like he needed roughly a month’s vacation and caffeine rehab. He cloistered himself in the corner, sipping his latte and hiding out behind the sports pages in the papers in prep for filming that afternoon. Nakamaru cracked open a textbook as they all settled in to wait for the manager.
Manager-san came by with final schedules at 9:30, then sent them all off to various ends of the office for one of the monthly magazine features (Nakamaru wasn’t even sure which one any more). He was stuck in makeup with Junno when his personal phone went off, and he waved the lip-gloss-wand-waving makeup assistant away for a minute with an apology before, “hello, this is Nakamaru—"
“Wait, how long? Exactly how bad are we talking here? Is it going to be okay to… yeah, okay, all right. No, it’s not really your fault. It’s fine, thanks. I’ll call in a few days to check on things. Goodbye.”
His irritation must have shown on his face, he thought, as the makeup assistant returned to finish his face.
“Something wrong?” asked Junno, as someone messed with his hair.
“Mechanic says ‘at least 7 days’ before I can get my car back,” said Nakamaru morosely, “the brakes are worse than they thought. Guess I’d better buy a new pass for the trains…”
“You live near Yasuda-kun,” mused Junno, voice muffled by the girl touching up his lips, “I’m sure he’d pick you up.”
Nakamaru made a noise of acknowledgement. He could deal with a week or two on the trains.
In his second pair of clothes for the day (a woman had dropped her tea all over his sweater when she’d realized who he was), Nakamaru ate lunch with Massu.
“I don’t want him to feel like he has to say yes just because I asked, we’re not that close.”
Massu chewed his rice thoughtfully, swallowed, and between bites said, “it’s a ten minute drive toward work from his complex to yours. Half of them carpool these days anyway, they’ll love to have a KAT-TUN member to talk about on TV! It can’t hurt to ask—and you won’t have to bring a change of clothes every day.”
“I guess,” said Nakamaru, getting to work composing what he would later call a pretty damn good email from his work phone.
My car is currently in the shop! Taguchi and Massu said you live nearby.
I hate to ask, but--do you think you can take me to work in the mornings?
Sure We’ll start tomorrow!
I just need you to send me your address
(Nakamaru stared at the snake like it was hiding come kind of secret message for him--or worse, that is was something phallic, and it was only after Massu finished his lunch and told him to stop being so paranoid that he shut his phone.)
Yasuda was supposed to pick him up at his apartment complex at 7:45; naturally Nakamaru was ready by 7:15, waving goodbye to Mister and Choco and hoping he wasn’t going to miss his ride. He shifted and leaned against the window to peer outside, eyeing his watch (which read 7:42 in defiance of the wall clock spouting lies about it being 7:47 above him) nervously. Finally he sagged with relief when a shiny gold sedan pulled up and Yasuda leaned out of the car to wave merrily.
Nakamaru slipped into the passenger seat, and jerked when he realized Yokoyama and Maruyama were staring at him from the back seat with matching faces of focused attention.
“Good morning?” he offered uneasily, which was apparently enough to appease them (for now).
Soon enough, Yoko drifted back to his PSP, Maru picked up his book, and Ohkura continued to lightly snore.
Unnerved by silence from Yoko and Maru, Nakamaru looked at Yasu.
“Why are they so quiet?” he asked suspiciously. Yasu laughed, sunnily.
“They’ll wake up soon enough,” he assured him, “well, besides Tacchon.”
“Whatever you say,” said Nakamaru, pointing at the radio console when they stopped in traffic.
“Go ahead,” said Yasu distractedly, before a gap opened and he had to pull suddenly to the next lane. He cursed loudly when they were honked, and Nakamaru was reminded quite suddenly of Ueda driving in Osaka (or Junno on the local highways).
It was Ohkura’s day to drive; when Nakamaru had mentioned it off-handedly at work before meeting up with Yasu, Junno had laughed, which was never a good sign. Then he’d refused to explain, the ass. Roughly five minutes into the trip Nakamaru knew exactly what Junno had thought was so funny. Ohkura drove much like he did everything in his life: with food in one hand.
To his credit, Ohkura was a better driver than NEWS (and Arashi) in that he only gave Nakamaru a near heart attack twice. Even though he did almost spill his cappuccino all over Nakamaru’s sweater when he had to lurch to a stop in the parking garage to avoid crashing into Koichi-kun’s slick red Maserati. (Nakamaru was very sure his sweater was worth less than Koichi-kun, but any week where he didn’t have to change his clothes at work twice in one week was a victory in Nakamaru-land.)
“I can’t believe you didn’t warn me,” Nakamaru seethed bitterly.
“Did he drive with his knee so he could get another donut?” wheezed Junno between giggle fits.
“Yes,” said Nakamaru.
“Oi, leave him alone,” groused Koki, “what if he crashed and he had to retire, we'd have to use a backing track for the beatboxing!" (Nakamaru was not impressed by this show of concern on Koki's part.)
Junno attempted to regain enough composure to stop giggling at Nakamaru whenever he saw his face. He failed.
“Shut up, Taguchi,” Nakamaru grumbled.
He then spent all of lunch avoiding Ohkura’s well-meaning invitations to sit with them in the ‘strictly adults only: that means no Hey!Say!7 in here, you guys can’t even see over the counter!’ cafeteria (sign courtesy Nino and Ryo; most of them ignored the irony of short jokes coming from Nino and Ryo for the sake of peace, except for maybe Matsujun on a stressed day or Jin on a particularly dumb one). It was probably a good idea, too, given that Junno had that smile on his face that always came before a series of well-planned jokes meant to make Nakamaru whimper. Nakamaru made a face at Koki.
“Why didn’t I just suck it up and take the train?” he asked piteously.
“’cause Kame told that story about getting felt up by drunk salarymen and you got scared?” offered Koki.
“Ugh, don’t remind me,” said Kame suddenly, looking pained.
“I don’t look like a girl,” pointed out Nakamaru (Kame called 'hey!'), “with my luck I’d just be molested by an okama. Maybe a drunk OL if I'm lucky."
“In your dreams, maybe,” Jin declared reflexively from the next table over.
“Oiiiii,” complained Nakamaru, bad-naturedly.
Jin turned around to grin at him; Nakamaru wearily went back to his curry.
Then his phone buzzed.
If we were drunk OLs we’d molest you
Nakamaru tilted his head, brow burrowed, and decided to take that as a good thing. He turned around and caught the pair of them waving; he bowed his head in acknowledgement and turned around with a bit of a smile.
“Ya-ho, Nakamaru-chan~!” called Maru cheerily.
“Morning,” said Nakamaru, “why are you driving Yassan’s car?” (When had he started using Yassan?)
“I don’t have a car,” explained Maru airily, “I share an apartment with Yasu during the week.”
“You go back to Kyoto every Friday?” asked Nakamaru blankly.
“Unless we’re on tour,” agreed Maru, “Yasu and I go straight back after Ariehen Sekai.” He turned up the music (Shokotan) and stepped on the gas a little too slowly for Nakamaru’s tastes.
“Is this gonna be okay?” he asked the back seat nervously.
Yasu, with Ohkura asleep on the top of his head, grinned. “He hasn’t killed anybody yet!” he said, as if that were reassuring.
Nakamaru buried his head in his hands (but hummed the Shokotan song).
At work, Yoko teased him about looking a little pale.
“You’re the one who escaped in your own car,” Nakamaru accused.
“I have drama filming!” said Yoko, looking superior.
“And there’s no other reason?” pressed Nakamaru.
“Absolutely none! I’m insulted, Nakamaru-kun,” said Yoko, smugly.
“Oi, Yokocho, they’re letting Maru-chan drive the van for a segment today,” called Ryo from down the hall.
“Oh god,” said Yoko quietly.
Ryo shared a smirk with Nakamaru, who eyed Yoko with momentary triumph.
Yoko groaned. “Dokkun,” he said, patting his shoulder, “don’t you have any bandmate pride?”
“…nope,” said Ryo cheerily.
“So I heard you were beatboxing to Shokotan with Maru and Yasu in the parking lot,” said Jin when he got back to the KAT-TUN dressing room.
“Nakamaru,” said Ueda over a notebook, “I’ll drive you home after R-One.”
“Ah-thanks,” said Nakamaru.
Subject: Re:Go home!
What happened to W-Maru Forever
No one else likes Shokotan with me
Subject: Re:Go home!
We'll miss you!
Ganbare at R-One
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Re:Re:Go home!
We'll go out next week.
He hit send before he could think twice.
“Gooooood morning~” said Yoko, and Nakamaru blinked as he took in Yoko’s shiny black SUV (which was, for the record, ten minutes late).
“Hi,” he said.
“Hurry up and get in!” said Yoko, and Nakamaru nodded hurriedly.
Yoko talked the entire ride to the office; Maru was bouncing in the back seat, and Yasu was loudly warbling ‘alternate’ (read: wrong) lyrics to the Utada Hikaru CD Yoko was playing.
All in all, it sounded like a Shounen Club filming, only there were three grown men, not a hundred pre-teen boys.
“Ughhhhh,” Nakamaru complained, flopping on the couch.
“Yoko?” asked Jin and Junno in unison.
“Yes,” said Nakamaru, voice muffled by the couch cushion.
“Is he taking you home?”
“Yeah,” answered Nakamaru, “why?”
“I haven’t been out with Yokocho in ages,” said Jin, smile wide.
“Oh god,” whimpered Nakamaru.
Subject: YO DUDE
Hope you're ready to have fun Jin-style~
Subject: Sorry about him
He's not going to stop until you say we can come.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: You're idiots!
You're helping with gas!
“Let's go!” declared Jin as he dragged them outside, in the middle of insisting they take his tiny American coupe.
“But… Jin, it’s a Wednesday,” attempted Nakamaru uselessly.
“So? You have something special planned with those drunk OLs?”
“Well then, move it!”
Nakamaru was very, very glad they’d convinced Jin to leave the coupe in the garage and take Yoko’s car. It made their incessant yammering a little less headache-inducing.
“I’ve got a great idea,” said Yoko, turning and smiling (evilly) at the pair of them.
“As long as there’s food,” warned Jin, in the middle of tossing back an energy drink, sprawled across the back seat lazily.
“We’re going to McDonald’s~” Yoko declared.
“Dude, McDonald’s?” asked Nakamaru, “why?”
“I have a plan!” said Yoko.
The McDonald’s near Yoko’s apartment was ~international~ (which basically meant that they had more weird stuff on the menu, they were open 24-7, and most importantly: they had a drivethrough.)
Yoko parked at the window and motioned Nakamaru close.
“Hello, may I take your order?”
“Nakamaru, take it away!” Yoko hissed. Nakamaru blinked. "Beatbox it!"
Jin and Yoko burst into laughter. Nakamaru whimpered, and then Jin poked him viciously in the side.
"I'm not drunk enough for this," Nakamaru informed them, before Yoko joined Jin in the poking.
“All right!” he squawked, batting their hands away and taking a deep breath.
“Man, that was fun,” said Jin breathlessly, leaning on the console in front of him to share knowing looks with Yoko.
“Oi, Akanishi, your phone,” said Nakamaru, when the loud lyrics of Enimem filled the back seat and Jin was still too busy laughing to answer it.
“Pi~~~” called Jin when he had the phone cradled up to his cheek.
“Yoko, do you have beer?” he asked after a moment of listening to Yamapi.
“I’m in Kanjani.”
“Right! No can do, Pi, me and Nakasomething are going to Yoko’s and getting drunk off our asses~”
Nakamaru took stock: all of his clothes were on, his throat was dry, his eyes were glued shut, and his head was pounding. He turned over and almost fell off the couch; he yelped and managed to screw his eyes open to stare at Jin, who was spread-eagled on the floor with only his sweatshirt as a pillow.
He did a recount of what he could remember from the night before: conbini bentos, beer, cup ramen later on, more beer, Halo and Halo and more Halo (he’d been booted early on under complaints of sucking more than anyone had ever sucked before ever), and team Jin+Yoko complaining about Nino and Junno teaming up to killstreak everyone else (and leaving Ryo to snipe the hell out of them while they were arguing about the tank). So all in all a pretty tame night.
Nakamaru rubbed at his temples, trying to make his headache retreat a little, and squinted at the clock.
“Oi,” he said, loudly, “wake up, Akanishi, we’re late.”
Jin made a noise of irritation and shifted over, ignoring him.
Giving up on Jin as a lost cause for the moment, Nakamaru climbed off of the couch with grace and subtlety (read: he didn’t trip on Jin and fall on his ass).
“Yoko!” he called, knocking on the door to the bedroom.
“Nnnngh,” managed Yoko.
Nakamaru forced himself to think; it felt like his brain had been replaced with cotton balls or soap foam. “C’mon,” he wheedled, “it’s almost 7:30.”
Yoko sprang into action on the other side of the door.
“Shit shit shit shit shit!” Nakamaru heard, followed by the sound of Yoko crashing over something.
“You okay in there?”
“Yeah, fell into the closet,” said Yoko, voice muffled (presumably by laundry).
Nakamaru turned to go wake up Jin. Would sitting on him work?
“Are you still drunk?” Yamapi asked Jin, lips quirked.
“Maybe,” said Jin, screwing up his face, “ask the other two.”
“Sadly sober,” grumbled Nakamaru, “if it’d make this headache go away I’d be drunk all the time.”
“You might actually be funny on TV!”
“Shut up, Yoko.”
“Oi, what’re you doing tonight?” asked Jin.
“Recomen with Hina,” answered Yoko.
Jin grinned. “You guys like guests on Recomen, right?”
“Hell yes we do.”
Jin grinned at Yoko.
Yoko blinked, and then laughed. Hard. “All right,” he said, “I’ll call ahead.”
Nakamaru made sure to turn on the radio that night; Jin and Hina were swapping (heavily censored) stories about taking the train at night.
And then of course Nakamaru’s phone rang.
He leaned over to turn down the radio.
“Hello?” he said.
“Hiiiii~” sang Yoko, “oi, shut up you two Nakamaru’s on the line.”
“Nakasomething!” called Jin.
“I’m hanging up now.”
“No no no don’t do that,” said Yoko hurriedly.
Nakamaru sighed. But he stayed on the line.
“Wait, it’s… seriously?” Nakamaru grinned.
“You look happy,” said Koki, eyeing him.
“My car’ll be ready tomorrow~” sang Nakamaru.
“What, you’re happy you’re not going to be cheating on us with Kanjani any more?” teased Koki.
“We can always meet up outside of work,” said Nakamaru easily, “I’m good at meeting with my friends. Unlike some people.”
“Sorry some of us have busier social circles,” answered Jin snootily.
Nakamaru threw a pencil at him.
“Nakamaru-chaaaaaan,” whined Maru, leaning on Nakamaru and blowing his cheeks out.
“If we dress up like OLs will you join our carpool?” asked Yoko ruthlessly.
Nakamaru laughed nervously. Mostly because he was sure the two of them were serious. He looked at Yasu for help.
Which was a mistake, Yasu was making the puppy-dog eyes.
“Stop it,” Nakamaru complained weakly.
“Join the carpool?” whined Yasu.
Nakamaru reached out and smacked him on the head.
“Now you’re getting it~” said Maru cheerily, “Nakamaru-chan would be a good tsukkomi!”
“I’ll join your stupid carpool,” Nakamaru snapped, finally.
He winced at the chorus of cheers.
“Shut up all of you I’m trying to listen to the news,” Nakamaru said, “you were all quiet last week, why are you so noisy today?!”
“They were on good behavior,” Yasu reported from the passenger side.
Nakamaru resisted the urge to smash his face into the dashboard.
At least he could make Yoko pay for dinner as a sempai, right?
That would be great
Except Yoko doesn't pay for anything
That's too bad, Yasuda-sempai.