Nishijima is a mess after concerts, his exhausted body and the soreness of his throat from the singing and yelling combining with emotion to wring it all out of him, everything he has. Hidaka figured it out a while ago: that's why he cries, because he's gotten so full before he goes out there, and afterwards he's got nothing left for himself.
Fresh from the shower and in that state approaching sleep when all of your movements start winding down like a clock, he stands beside the window, towelling his hair in slow circles as he stares down into the darkness. Below the hotel, Yokohama is still going about its business, the roads not nose-to-tail any longer, but still moving, streaks of light beneath the buildings. There's the feel of being part of a vast ocean of existence. Hidaka's a city bird, through and through.
"D'you ever think about them?" Nishijima asks, out of nowhere.
Hidaka's beat, but he still needs to zone out for a while before he can sleep. His brain's too buzzed after a live; the words won't stop coming even though he's stopped needing them to. He likes listening to Nishijima, who talks and doesn't really expect you to answer, only to be there. "Who?" he says.
"The fans. All of them - going home and getting on with their lives. Do they really think about us, afterwards? I mean -" He stops, tries again. "I wonder if we were people to them, y'know? Or were we still just pictures?"
Hidaka scuffs Nishijima's hair, then slows his hand, letting it linger briefly to run over the nape of his neck. "You're so tired you're talking crap. Go to bed. It'll all be good in the morning."
Nishijima turns to him, the towel still draped over his head, blinking from beneath it, contactless. He takes hold of Hidaka's hand, and brings it to his chest, holding it there, over his breastbone. His heart throbs under the thin towelling of the robe, and suddenly, in the quiet of the room, Hidaka's so physically aware of Nishijima that it's like it's the first time he's ever touched him.
"Am I real?" Nishijima asks.
Hidaka finds his throat rough when he speaks. "Real enough, right now."
Nishijima wraps his arms around Hidaka's neck. For a long time, they just stand, feeling each other breathe, in and out, in and out, while the traffic flows steadily on outside and the hotel settles into night.