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Three Times the Dragons Winked (and One Time the Buddha Laughed)

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Kana had been quite happily asleep, thank you, when something heavy and loud started bouncing all over him. He needed entirely too much time to make his sleepy brain make sense of what was going on around him, only to roll over and groan into his pillow when he did. Of course, not even that was enough to make it stop and he rolled back over onto his back.

“Dammit, meN, I was still sleeping, you jackhole,” Kana muttered, shoving the still-bouncing bassist away from him.

“This is no time for sleeping!” meN-meN insisted, shaking his shoulder with far too much enthusiasm. “We did it! We did it!”

“Did what? Seriously what part of 'I was just asleep' is so hard for you?” he grumbled, trying to remember why he had ever thought giving the bassist a key to his apartment would be a good idea.

“Aww, Kacchan, don't be like that,” meN pouted. “I'll get you coffee in a bit, but we did it! We got it!”

“Coffee, then explain,” Kana mumbled, pulling his blankets around himself as he sat up. Understanding meN could be hard enough when he was ready for him. Pre-coffee and under slept? Forget it.

“All right, all right,” meN huffed, getting up. “Got eggs?”

“... don't put eggs in my coffee, meN.”

“What? No, what? Geeze, Kacchan, you're so weird. Who puts eggs in coffee??”

Kana didn't bother responding, especially since the bassist was already poking through what passed for Kana's kitchen. Taking advantage of the other man's distraction, he grabbed a fresh outfit and shuffled into his bathroom, hoping to be allowed at least a morning shower and to get dressed in peace.

So of course when he stepped out of the shower area, there was meN, waiting for him. His shriek wasn't exactly dignified, but at the moment, he really didn't care. He had absolutely not been prepared for meN to be seeing him naked!

“MEN-MEN!”

“Bacon and pancakes or fish and rice?” meN asked, completely unruffled, as if seeing Kana naked was a normal, everyday event. It didn't help his nerves in the least.

“I ... what? I ... I don't think I have any of that? Well, the rice,” he mumbled, clutching his towel close and trying to calm his breathing.

“Yeah, no, your pantry's pretty bare, but since we have to go out anyway....”

“Well, I mean, I ... usually just grab something from the combini next to the studio,” he said, fidgeting and wishing meN could have waited for him to get dressed before having this conversation.

“If we do that, we might as well just celebrate with everyone. Actually....”

Kana worried that thoughtful look meant trouble, but since meN was already bouncing out of the room again, he let it go. Though he did wish he knew what meN meant about celebrating. Well, he would find out soon enough, he supposed. At least the jeans and baggy hoodie made him feel better, more secure. Today was going to be a long day, he could feel it.

~*~*~

“So, meN told you, right?”

“Told me what?” Kana asked, grateful to be able to finally sit down and actually drink his coffee. Chamu rolled his eyes, then turned on meN. Oh. Crap. He hated getting meN in trouble.

“Really, meN?”

“What? Oh come on, it's not my fault! He refused to even listen until he'd had coffee! Have you seen what he calls a kitchen?!”

“You told me not to bother him, that you'd tell him yourself!”

“He's still having his coffee!”

“He's also sitting right here,” Kana grumbled, scowling at both his bandmates. Chamu opened his mouth to say something when Hayato burst into the room in his usual flurry of energy and apologies.

“Sorry, sorry, almost missed my train, but I made it! Do we have enough boxes? I don't mind going out to grab more, I know just the place!”

“We haven't actually started yet, but I think it'll be okay? Just waiting on Yume-kun so I can go get the keys,” Chamu said.

“Keys?” Kana repeated. Why did this sound like he was the last person to be told something important? Again. He clutched his coffee and tried not to give in to middle school flashbacks.

“Yup! Moving day!”

That ... so their contract with Speed Disk hadn't been renewed? But that didn't make sense. If they were being dropped, his bandmates wouldn't be this happy. But if they were still with Speed Disk, why the sudden move?

“Hey, 'morning guys! Chamu-san, I believe these are yours.”

For a long moment, Kana just sat there, blinking, as a certain green-haired senpai handed Chamu a set of keys with a distinctive fob on the chain. No. Way. Even Chamu was frowning as he fingered the fob.

“Um....”

“It's not final or anything, but if things go well this summer, yeah? Anyway, I borrowed a van, so if you guys are ready?”

“This summer?” Kana mumbled, feeling like an idiot for the surprised look on Takemasa's face. Yeah, he was definitely the last to know. Again. This feeling really sucked. And he had been so sure he was past that point in his life, too.

“Oh, did I spoil a surprise?” his senpai asked with a worried frown.

“No, meN's just a derp,” Chamu said with a chuckle.

“Still drinking his coffee!” meN shouted from behind a stack of equipment, as if that was some sort of defense.

“Kiryu asked for Codomo Dragon to be our opening act for our summer tour of the forty-seven prefectures,” Takemasa said, grinning broadly. “I know your contract with Speed Disk is up soon, I talked the label into publishing a single for you right before the tour, kind of as a way of hyping things up, yeah? Then, if everything goes well, we can see about signing you to a proper contract, okay?”

“R-really? But we don't ... I mean ... really?” Kana sputtered, coffee forgotten.

“Really,” Takemasa said, nodding. “I think you guys will fit in and complement us really well. And I know all of us, Kiryu and Royz both, will be happy to help you get settled in any way we can.”

Kana ... didn't know what to say. Kiryu had asked for them? And a tour of all forty-seven prefectures ... this wasn't just big, this was huge. Too huge. Maybe this was all a dream? That had to be it. Any moment now he was going to wake up at home and find out all of this had just been his imagination, it was the only explanation that made any sense.

“Hey, whoa whoa whoa, Kacchan....”

Hayato's arms felt warm and real around him, but then of course they would. The fleeting kisses to damp cheeks were unexpected and he wasn't sure what had happened to his coffee, but he also wasn't sure he cared. Hayato was kissing his face and practically crushing him close. This had to be a dream.

“It's not a dream, Kacchan, it's really happening. Four months. This is our shot. It's gonna be amazing, you're gonna be amazing. We're gonna write something epic, you and me, and blow the socks off all those Shiryu.”

“Dragons stick together, yeah?” Takemasa added. “I'm sure you guys will be amazing. And like I said, if there's anything any of us can do to help, you just have to ask, okay?”

If this was just a dream.... Kana fisted his hands in Hayato's shirt and demanded a real kiss. As readily as Hayato gave it to him, as easily as those fingers sank into his hair, he felt even more certain that this was all just in his head. Hayato had never even looked at him like that, this was all his imagination. It had to be.

“O-oi! Dammit, Haya-chan, we had an agreement!!”

... wait, what?

He kissed me!” Hayato shouted back before smiling and hugging Kana close again. “Thank you for that, by the way, Kacchan.”

“Kaaaaaaanaaaaaaa!”

Why was meN whining now? For that matter, why were Chamu and Yume laughing? Kana really hated being the last one in on a joke.

“Better give him one, too, or he'll be useless all day,” Hayato suggested with a parting squeeze. Kana frowned at all his bandmates. This was....

“You ... you don't have to or anything,” meN mumbled, toying with Kana's dropped coffee cup. “I mean, it's fine if you like Haya-chan better or whatever. No big deal.”

Kana still wasn't sure he wasn't just dreaming all of this, but....

“... meN, you really are an idiot every day of the week,” he mumbled before leaning in to plant a kiss on meN's lips. Definitely different from Hayato, with the fewer piercings, the different placement, but he could get used to this, to the feeling of being wanted like this.

“Okay, but my one rule is no shenanigans on band time or in band spaces, okay? Kissing is fine, but anything else you do on your own time, in your own places, yeah?”

“Ch-chamu,” Kana stammered. Oh he was definitely still asleep, to be getting that sort of unquestioning support for ... what was he even hoping this was, anyway? Well, more kisses from Hayato and/or meN-meN, definitely, but....

“Yeah, BPR studios are a hanky-panky-free zone, okay? No one minds what you do in your private time, but definitely no sex games of any sort on label or affiliated properties. I'll, uh, get ya'll a copy of the detailed instructions list later.”

“... there's instructions more detailed than that?” Yume asked, lips twitching. Takemasa turned an interesting shade of red about the cheeks and for the first time Kana considered that maybe this wasn't all a dream.

“Um ... yes. We can, um, talk about it later? You guys are supposed to be packing and moving, right? Gotta get you into your new space so you can develop that new single for us at light speed!”

“Yeah ... yeah, if we're going to have something ready for a May release,” Chamu agreed, nodding.

“May?!?” Kana squeaked. Oh there was no way.... Maybe this was a nightmare?

“There's a recording slot open for the second week in April and I'll be happy to help you guys with mastering after that, since I'll be working on ours by then, too,” Takemasa said with another nod and what felt to Kana like a manic grin. “And keep writing, cuz if this works, you're gonna need to put out another single before the end of the year!”

“Pinch me,” Kana mumbled. “Pinch me so I know this isn't a dream.”

“Only the best dream come true ever,” meN replied, hugging him tight and pressing a kiss to Kana's cheek. “Now come on, we still gotta pack up all our stuff. And someone has more pedals than clothes.”

“Shut up and pack yourself, meN,” Yume mock grumbled. “Maybe some of us want more than the same four effects all the time.”

“Maybe someone needs to stop buying new equipment all the time so he doesn't have to steal all my clothes and eat all my food.”

“Excuse you, I only steal the good stuff,” Yume countered. Yeah, okay, maybe this really was happening. The sudden peck to his cheek was unexpected, but Yume just smiled, as if it was completely normal. Maybe it was. Maybe ... maybe everything really would get better from here.