Summary: This is what they had hoped for, he thinks, more than 7 years back.
Author’s Note: 1428 words, song fic. Written for shepherd_blaine shortly after Toma's appearance at Yamapi's SBS solo con. The song used is Tokyo Jihen's 'Put your camera down'.
He hears his name being announced over the loudspeaker systems, booming in the hall, and hurries to make his way onto the stage. Sees Yamapi smiling at him - open and wide and honest - like he used to when they were younger. Toma remembers when they were only standing at the beginning of their careers, full of hope and dreams and naivety. But he is brought back into the present as soon as he steps out into the light. Taking hold of the hand that is offered to him - strong and familiar and warm - and the fans go wild. And he finds he is momentarily startled when he realises that he missed this. The fans, the cheering and screaming of the masses...and Yamapi by his side.
And for a moment, he allows himself to get lost in the rush that he feels - of adrenaline and joy and happiness. Floating above the crowd of people, frozen in this moment of bliss that for the barest of seconds doesn't seem to ever end.
...I am content with taking in this moment caught in time...
Until the music beginns to play and Toma himself and the man next to him are already a blur of motion. Moving from one step to the next smoothly, in unison, as both of them concentrate on doing their best. And just like that, they're dancing. Euphoric and bright and brilliant. Only this time it's just the two of them, instead of four, and all eyes are on them. The constellation might be different, but the spark that had connected them is still there.
This is what they had hoped for, Toma thinks, more than seven years back.
To be able to stand on the same stage, singing, dancing, performing together. And back then, they hadn't believed for even one second that they wouldn't be able to do it together. Wouldn't have believed that fate could be so cruel, that gaining fame entailed sacrificing so much. That a friendship that had lasted so long a time and had overcome so much could be driven to the breaking point and beyond by something as trivial as volleyball. Only to realize that dreams don't simply come true because you want them to. And in the end he had watched Yamashita Tomohisa's back as the younger man stepped out into the light, leaving behind what remained of 4Tops.
Back then Toma had been hurt, felt betrayed by the person he had thought of as his closest friend and soul-mate. Had been shouting accusations and screaming in anger, blindly lashing out in his desperation. At anything he could still reach. Not realizing that despite the physical distance and sudden difference in status, Yamapi's heart had still been with the three of them. That the younger man himself had been lost.
But that happened long ago, and although they hadn't debuted together, they still have now, this very moment.
Because that was all they were given, one short moment in time, three minutes of a two hour concert, a song sung together. Great while it lasted, it would soon fade to the back of people's minds when work and a busy schedule demanded their full attention and devotion and everyday life caught up on them.
...I'll forget about it soon enough but I don't mind
When thoughts belong to yesterday, the saturation fades...
But he can leave these thoughts for later, when the show is over and the hyper-awareness is slowly fading, leaving him tired and empty, and he feels like he could sleep for days. Now, there are other things to focus on, more important things. The building tension in his stomach, the beat and rhythm of the music, his own heartbeat against his ribcage, the sight he has of Pi out of the corner of his eyes. Catching himself as his gaze lingers and for a moment their eyes meet. Before the rhythm speeds up and they spin. Once, twice and they are facing the crowd again.
Bringing the microphone to his lips, Toma sings.
...I always am where I'm found...
'Yokubou no rain' had originally been by KinKi Kids, but the two of them had sung it togther so often already, it might as well have been their own. A simple song and yet so much more - Toma has long since come to understand that as he belts out the first verse. And for a moment he sees his younger self before his mind's eye, standing in front of the same faceless crowd, singing the same song, with the same friend by his side. Looking part thrilled and part anxious, looking at Toma to take the lead, and he almost smiles ruefully at how things changed.
Now he is the one being invited by Yamashita, being dragged along and encouraged. Or so he feels sometimes. But with this song, he resumes the position he had held back when they were young. Is the one opening with the lyrics.
And then, Pi joins him, voice steady and comforting and familiar as they repeat the chorus together.
...Let me sparkle in this moment here with you
The only moment that we know is ever true....
And Toma knows that this is real.
All of it, from the cheering fans over the music reverberating in his body to the voice beside him that is so uniquely Pi. And it still hurts to think about what could have been, if they had debuted together, but he knows now that there wasn't anything he could have done about it. Nor was there anything Tomohisa could have done about it ... and he thinks that maybe it was the other who has suffered the most because of it. But he can't really be sure about that. The other had always been quiet when it came to what troubled him and Toma didn't have the heart to ask, not in this matter. Too deep are the scars on both sides, and the topic too heavy to even think about.
It's in the past, all of it. And their friendship made it through intact, somehow, because otherwise ... they wouldn't be here. On this stage. Once again singing together. And that is more than Toma has ever hoped for.
...This very time outshines the bygone moments of my life...
Tomorrow they might have to walk their seperate paths again, or they might find some free time in their busy scedules and meet for dinner or a movie. Maybe they will coincidentally bump into each other the day after that while stopping by the jimusho. Or maybe they won't see each other for months at all. That's the price they pay, for being worshipped by thousands, for appearing on magazine covers or in television dramas. It's the prize they pay for being famous.
It'll hurt - again - for the first few days, raw and open, like a bleeding wound pulsing with infection, but eventually time will do the trick. And work will once again numb their pain. And sometimes Toma wonders if it is worth it, the loneliness and the regret. But then, rare and fragile, like a flower in early spring, there will be moments like this. And he knows that this is what they worked for all this time. And if there will be another chance at this, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or maybe in five years from now, he wants to be there. Wants to walk out into the light and sing Yokubou no Rain. And watch Pi out of the corner of his eyes while they are dancing in sync.
...I don't care if when tomorrow comes I change my mind...
They will be happy and smiling and laughing again. Lost in the moment, just the two of them. And then, as sudden as it started, the song will end and they'll grin at each other, hyped and giddy and proud, and Toma will leave and they are on their own again. And even though Toma knows that they will probably never be able to debut together, never be able to be in the same group and go on the same tour and write their own songs together, it doesn't mean the end for them. Their friendship has managed to overcome so much already, and Toma is sure that it will continue to do so in the years to come.
Even if he doesn't want it to end just yet, it is the knowledge that it might happen again that enables him to enjoy the moment now and smile a true smile.
And to see his own expression reflected in another's eyes.
...Even if we've met the end I'm shinning with you...