It’s too early in the morning to function - the sun just barely breaking the horizon - so when Chinen greets with him with a cheerful, “I’m sorry for your loss,” instead of his normal, “Good Morning,” Yamada replies with an automatic, much less enthusiastic, “Good morning."
It takes a minute for the words to process, but when it hits him he turns narrowed eyes towards Chinen, who is currently trying to hide his snickering in a magazine, and asks, “What the hell?”
“You haven’t heard?”
Chinen is playing coy and already he’s reaching the end of his patience so Yamada aims a glare at him, arms crossed over his chest, and waits for his friend to continue, who exaggerates a long, heavy sigh before he does.
“I thought for sure Yuto was going to wait forever for you because childhood friends who did everything together but fell apart due to the entertainment industry only to find their way back to each other is a love story of epic proportions - really, who can compete with that? - but I guess I was wrong.”
“Where are you going with this?”
Chinen shrugs and nonchalantly says, “Guess this Suda Masaki guy is laying claim on Yuto. Can’t blame him for not wanting to wait too long though. Yuto is attractive and someone was going to snatch him up sooner or later. It’s perfect timing really, being in a foreign country and all does bring a kind of romance to it.”
“Lies.” The word - a bit too harsh - slips out before he can stop it but Chinen’s words can’t be anything else but lies. There’s no other explanation because he knows Yuto would never-
“-troduced him to Mamiya Shotaro, whom we all know Yuto is close with, so maybe it’s serious already.”
Yamada shakes his head, clearing his thoughts, and forces out an easy going laugh because even as dense as Yuto was about the two of them before surely he must know how Yamada feels now and that what they have is the closest thing to soulmates it’s going to get.
Chinen lets out another nonchalant sigh before returning back to his magazine and saying, “Your loss. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
He doesn’t think about it until much, much later in the day when he’s not busy and there is too much time to think. The doubt starts creeping in because Chinen is right - Yuto is attractive but anyone who spends more than an hour with him will realize he’s so much more than that. He’s kind and caring and he has a way of making anyone’s life shine much, much brighter, and that’s when the worry settles in, nestling in the pit of his stomach.
He shoots off a quick text, asking, “Hey, how was the premier?” and waits and waits and waits for a reply while staring intently at his phone willing it to vibrate with a message except it doesn’t. Yuto is always so quick to reply - he hates leaving things hanging - so for him to not reply right away means he’s distracted.
Yuto is probably busy doing Q&A’s and promoting the film. He is making a name for himself now, separate and yet still so part of JUMP, so it’s expected that he won’t be at Yamada’s beck and call anymore, won’t have the time to be.
It makes sense, he rationalizes, but that doesn’t stop him from hopping onto his computer not even ten minutes later and searching the words, “Nakajima Yuto Suda Masaki Busan” on the internet. The first few things that pop up are adorable - typical Yuto speaking in Korean and forgetting half way through, blowing kisses at fans - and then it devolves into him seeing green because they’re flirting. Yuto and this Suda guy are flirting with each other in front of hundreds of people. A photo-book of pictures taken only by Yuto his ass.
He whips out his phone again and sends a cryptic, “Suda Masaki.”
He receives, “??”
Staring at his phone, at Yuto not even deigning him with words in his quick message, the anger and jealousy melts away into a dull ache, a sense of sadness and utter loss burrowing into his chest. They’re not together, not exactly so he doesn’t have any right to be jealous or angry.
Yuto could do whatever the hell he pleases with whoever the hell he wants because this thing between the two of them - this thing they’ve never talked about - is just there and unacknowledged even if everyone (and he means everyone) knows they belong together, knows just how stupid the two of them are over each other. But it doesn’t mean anything if they’re not actually together.
His phone starts vibrating in his hand before Yuto’s name pops up on the screen. He hesitates but ultimately decides to pick it up.
“Hey,” he says hesitantly when the lines connect.
“What’s up?” Yuto asks, his bright and cheerful personality shining through even over hundreds of miles.
“Congrats,” he says, after a pause too long.
Yuto laughs, the sound surprisingly crisp and clear.
“So, you and Suda…” he lets the sentence hang in the air, unsure of where he wants it to go, but feeling like it needs to be asked either way.
Somehow Yuto gets it the way he always does when it comes to Yamada’s fears and insecurities, so he says into the phone, voice low, “Just friends.”
Hearing those words send a rush of relief through his body as it sags in his chair, tension in his muscles gone, head tilted down as he tries to hide his smile. Yuto knows him too well, he thinks, as Yuto chuckles on his end.
“I did a sex scene for the movie but,” Yuto’s voice gets a notch louder, emphasizing the word so that Yamada would understand the importance of what followed, “completely professional. Now that the world knows just thought I’d tell you before Chinen uses it to try and trick you.”
The way Yuto thinks about him, the way he worries and cares and always tries to reassure him at every corner even when he isn’t obligated to has him feeling like he could float forever. He’s just so terrible with words though, and never quite knows how to express his thoughts or emotions, so the only thing he says is, “Okay.”
“Ryosuke.” Yuto’s voice dips low again like he’s sharing a secret meant only for the two of them. “I'll be here when you’re ready.”
Yamada feels embarrassed, his face warming up and he knows he’s blushing.
“Idiot,” he spits out but it lacks heat.
Bright and happy - no care in the world - Yuto just laughs it off.
“Okay!” Yuto says. “I gotta go. I only had a few minutes but I should be heading back soon. Pick me up? My flight lands at midnight.”
“I’ll be there,” he says before they exchange goodbyes and hang up.
Sure enough, an hour later Chinen settles next to him and says, “So, Yuto-”
“Filmed a sex scene?” he asks cheerfully, cutting Chinen off and he can’t help his smugness at beating his friend at his own game (thank you, Yuto) and laughs when Chinen stomps away, muttering something along the lines of “freaking no good idiots who just won’t get together,” under his breath.
Yuto emerges from the gate a little after midnight, duffle bag slung over his shoulder, eyes rimmed red, hair and clothes frumpled but easily still so devastatingly gorgeous and it hits him that of course Chinen is right, he’s always right. They’re idiots because even though they both know how the other feel they’re still not to doing anything about it. Well, actually, that’s not true. Yuto has been waiting for him, has made that clear just earlier so he’s the idiot for hesitating and waiting and he doesn’t even remember why. Sooner or later someone is going to try claiming Yuto for real and it’s just… No.
Yuto sees him, breaks out a grin that lights up his face, and when he reaches Yamada, Yamada snags him by the collar of his shirt, pulls him down, and plants a kiss right on his mouth. When he breaks the kiss and looks up at Yuto’s wide eyes and shocked expression, he proclaims, “You’re mine.”
That manages to break Yuto out of his reverie, a huge smile splitting his mouth as he slings an arm around Yamada’s shoulder, saying, “Whatever you say, Ryosuke,” as he directs them out of the airport.