The air conditioning for the stage area was set to counteract the heat of the lights and exertion of performing, and Imai felt a bit of a chill. His sleeveless top was on the sheer side, and didn’t provide much insulation from the drafty mark they’d set up for him as his “home base”. A stage hand had just passed him the guitar he was going to play for “Hamushi no You ni”, and he was settling the strap over his shoulder when he looked back at Sakurai to see if he was ready.
Sakurai was spraying a mouthful of spring water dramatically overhead and the crowd cheered; it still amazed him how fans hated seeing them spit, but as soon as it’s done with a little flair, they’re cheering over something that was nothing more than his swishing out the dried saliva from his mouth. Fuck it, whatever works. A glass with a hefty double of amber colored shouchu was hastily knocked back next in two gulps with his back turned, then he adjusted the brim of his hat. Imai took that as his cue, knowing that it was force of habit for Sakurai whenever he had that thing on, steeling himself to go back to the mike.
The documentary crew was thankfully not there tonight. They’d been following them around for several months now, and it was wearing thin. Resurrecting that hat had been a good idea- it gave him somewhere to hide, and if it became difficult to deal with some of the lyrics, he could break eye contact. The fans were often his undoing, and he didn’t want too much of that documented on film for posterity. Unfortunately, seeing Sakurai in that hat did odd things to him that he didn’t want to admit to anyone. He’d been lucky so far, able to conceal the things that Sakurai did to his pulse, at least to Sakurai- he seemed oblivious… which was a good thing. Imai knew that he blushed like mad when they did their “...In Heaven...” routine years ago, and had pushed Sakurai away, cutting back on their physical contact as much as possible. He didn’t want anything to come between their ability to work together professionally.
Toll set the beat, and the song began. Sakurai closed in on the mike and started to sing the lyrics Imai himself had written a few years ago. His mouth dried out, and he immediately turned and walked, putting some distance, and his back, between them. Hearing his own torrid words coming out of Sakurai’s mouth was just too intense to watch. He’d gotten a secret thrill from writing for him over the years, making him speak his own lewd desires back at him in front of thousands- it was hot as hell… and then, those panting, shrieking cries would begin. Imai shivered, this time not from the cool air. Stoic face. Gotta play it aloof, or he’d be facing more fan gossip bullshit online again by morning.
Imai wasn’t in love with him or anything like that; he didn’t get jealous when Sakurai got laid on tour, and wasn’t looking to get any from him either. He’d come to terms with the strange situations their career put them in long ago, realizing that it wasn’t “gay” to instinctively react to their overt sexuality- he never sought it out on his own, but oh god, being out there and hearing him, watching him pour every ounce of his core self into what they were creating, hearing it resonate in his voice. His posture telegraphing the desire he felt, standing there baring the side of himself that the average man would never expose in public… his expression radiating what you normally wouldn’t see of another man.
Watching him was worse than watching porn, because porn leaves you decidedly on the outside looking in, but how it was with Sakurai performing… there was no one on the receiving side for all that fire. It made it personal in a way he didn’t want to think about too closely. It was all just part of the job… and getting sucked into it by accident by eye contact or watching too much, too long, was not what he wanted… nor to be caught at it by fans or- he’d be damned if he’d let himself get caught by Sakurai.
The song was one of their previous albums, and as he went through the motions of his chords and Sakurai gyrated, grabbing his crotch then fluttering his fingers to illustrate the lyrics. Imai zoned out, recalling that one night long ago, during the filming of their “Sabbat” concert. They had walked through their choreography, had planned it more than they usually had- it was their first full concert to be sold on video, and they wanted it to look good. It was, up to the point that Sakurai broke choreography blocking on him during their “...In Heaven...” interlude, standing up and moving behind him when he shouldn’t have, leaving him in a panic sitting on the floor with his guitar and blind to what was going on behind his back. The pressure of being on camera for such an important occasion, of all those fans watching their every move, screaming, thrilled with what they were seeing… his hackles were raised, the sensation of Sakurai standing behind him…
Sakurai’s hand swept under his jaw, softly holding his face, and his blonde hair came into view, hanging over his head- Sakurai had decided it would be great to hang over him while he was singing, and all he could do was swoon as the tension raised to levels he couldn’t handle anymore. Though he convinced himself that his professionalism was what kept him from smacking him away, he blushed fiercely. Sakurai must have thought it was all part of the act, oblivious to the situation, because the next moment he’d stuffed his middle finger into his mouth in a prank, finding Imai gaping in what he thought was a feigned swoon.
The shock of that grubby, stage dust flavored finger in his mouth stunned him out of his submissive haze and he woke out of it, horrified at how far he’d lost himself. He was lucky he was even able to complete the song, feeling almost a bit violated by the simple “dude” clowning around that anyone would have taken advantage of, given the situation. It was then that he realized he had to put some self-protective barriers in place. Sakurai hadn’t responded well to being pushed away in forthcoming concerts though, looking like a rejected, wounded puppy, but tough shit- he had no idea how scary it was getting, the emotional roller coaster he’d begun to trigger. He felt at the mercy of it, and didn’t want to feel that way. He’s a co-worker, and a dude, for fuck’s sake. Not cool.
Rather than keeping that energy on the stage and in their interactions, the more he was pushed away, the more Sakurai directed it outward to the audience, and heated things up significantly. He was a shitty actor in the beginning, but as their lyrics became more gut honest, it became more authentic. That was rather effective at boosting their popularity, but they were all aware of the effect it had on Sakurai: as he became more overt, the fans ate it up, and as the crowds got revved up, Sakurai got more and more turned on. Imai watched as it became an outright fetish and eventual obsession for the man, and he was back to square one, trying to extricate himself from the grip of being enthralled, but this way felt more dangerous- it wasn’t from anything Sakurai was doing directly to him now. This time, it rested solely on his shoulders.
He strolled out onto the narrow Olio Right that stretched nearly all the way to the edge of the concert hall, and put on his “tough assed punk with a guitar” attitude when the spotlight directed itself onto him, then flicked his pick like he didn’t give a shit and stomped back to his mark on stage. He’d cooled down a little bit, but the nerves were still there. His solo during the bridge was coming up, which meant Sakrai would be away from his mike stand and up to something entertaining himself- at times he’d improvise, breaking their blocking to “have a little fun” like he called it. Imai sighed and paced back and forth a bit, resigned to whatever would happen. He knew the more he balked about it, the more Sakurai would end up rebelling and find something choice to embarrass him with… not much that he could do about it.
Sakurai vanished out of sight, and he thought that he’d be spared the weird shit this time, with him choosing to go hang out and joke with Toll, but he was wrong. A flash of light upstage in his peripheral vision caught a few of his shirt sequins and made them sparkle. Within a few seconds it grew brighter, and he looked to see where it was coming from, and was blinded by the huge portable spotlight beam pointed at him. Sakurai was gaining ground too, not sweeping the light around- he was clearly the destination.
Imai’s eyes flew wide and he looked the other way, clenching his teeth. Calm down, just calm down…
The light became a hot physical force pressing into him as Sakurai neared him, and he looked over his left shoulder to see him barely 5 meters away, the dark brim of his hat glinting sinisterly. Sakurai's jaw was set and his eyes were concealed between that hat brim and the increasing burnout his eyes were experiencing from looking directly at the spotlight too closely. Imai panicked and his jaw dropped as his heart stung in his chest. A thrill of excitement flared in him- oh shit, not that light. Not again. Anything but that light.
They were young, at the peak of their popularity, and thought they could do no wrong… and wanted to dabble a little bit with pushing their boundaries. Live TV coverage of the multi-band concert fest they were participating in upped the stakes, and it’d be great for a thrill and a laugh later on. Imai both feared being watched and loved the rush of being in the center of attention, so he chose to do a little fanservice with his guitar on the floor. Sakurai decided to help, and amped it up with one of those portable spotlights that he loved toting around. He felt like he was being interrogated… and didn’t expect how sexual that felt. He got into it bigtime, and Sakurai fed off of it and ended up saying “what the fuck, they always scream when I grab myself and fake it- fuck it, this time I really will jerk off!” They dealt with flack from the television station for two weeks afterwords. He never did tell Sakurai all that had gone on… wasn’t even sure if that would scare him off, or make him want to tease the crap out of him with it. He kept his own counsel and kept his mouth shut. Sakurai was too busy dealing with his own aftermath from that night to remember it that clearly anyway.
But here he was, practically reliving that moment again… and he had on that fucking hat. Oh god, that hat. Something snapped within him, and he was floating. Imai closed his eyes, giddy, and leaned into the light, wanting more. His eyes shot open and he looked over at Sakurai, whom he could clearly see since the light was sweeping down his body and pointed at his knees at the moment, and what he saw stole his breath away. Sakurai, his chest out and head slightly tilted, was loosened up with a buzz from the shouchu he downed before the song began, and was very open. His eyes had a dominant sheen and his lips curled just a bit. He was turned on, and the look of recognition and intent were plain to see: he knew exactly what he was doing. He remembered everything. Fuck! He remembered!
Imai shivered and moaned quietly, terrified as humiliated sexual arousal shot through him like wildfire. His eyes rolled back, and he closed them. He was flying. The fans roared with approval, not realizing that Imai wasn’t trying to look cool doing his solo a la Hendrix, but was actually swooning and getting a hard-on behind his guitar from his own bandmate. Imai didn’t know that though, and blanched, then started to blush just like he used to. Oh fuck, no… not now!
He could feel Sakurai’s presence next to him, crackling with sexuality, and that light… oh, oh that light. It was so damned close he’d started to sweat, and the heavy feel of the beam felt like it was caressing him better than anyone’s hands could ever do, pressing into everything it came in contact with. Oh god, he was so humiliated, literally under a spotlight for everyone to see, but oh, oh, oh, it felt so good! He leaned back, pushing his hips forward into his guitar, and his cock, now fully erect, ground into the back of it. The light passed upward again slowly, and stayed on his guitar. Sakurai knew he was hard, and had the spotlight on it, knowing that the fans would just perceive it as showing off his finger work. It still didn’t make it feel any less like he was on stage naked with an erection. Imai started to tremble, and rocked back again, once, twice… and in horror he realized he was fucking his guitar. He couldn’t stop, either. Tears gathered in his eyes and threatened to embarrass him further.
The light rose, passing over his chest, shoulders, and moved to his face. Imai willed the tears back, and fought to keep his face from showing the turmoil he felt, but his need had him humping his guitar’s back like an un-neutered dog, and all of his restraint was gone. All of a sudden, darkness descended and the air cooled instantly, the house air conditioning rushing in to fill in the void where the beam’s heat had left. He peeked through the rim of his tears, and was just able to see that Sakurai had turned off the light and was bent down, putting it on the floor next to him. He sensed more than saw Sakurai walk slowly behind him, and felt the brush of the hat brim on his temple, then Sakurai’s hands slipping sensually around his ribcage from behind.
Imai trembled like a leaf, and he felt Sakurai’s breath on his jaw as he laughed. He barely heard the deep rumble of it, but he did. Of its own accord, he tilted his head, offering his neck. The fans went wild again, thinking they were getting the fanservice of a lifetime, but Imai was out of control and on the verge of orgasm, fucking his guitar and swooning in Sakurai’s arms. The lighting crew must have had an inkling of what might be happening, because the lights swirled and flashed geometric shapes onto the back of the stage and the flying front curtain to lift attention up and away from activity on the stage. Damned if he cared now, though.
That voice of his spoke near his ear, sending electric currents of lust burning through his chest down to his hips. He was so lost, he couldn’t make sense of it at first, but the taunt finally registered: “I know how close you are to coming right now. I know what it feels like to be in front of a few thousand people playing the shit that we do, with your cock calling the shots and no way of telling it no.” Imai moaned, and his head sagged forward to his right shoulder submissively. Shivers wracked him, and his hips kept on thrusting towards their goal. Oh god, he was so turned on.
The pressure of Sakurai’s hands on his ribs increased, and he started to rub the tips in minute, maddening circles that no one else could see, but kept with the rhythm of his hips, which were thrusting faster, crushing his cock almost painfully into his guitar now. A sadistic laugh floated down from behind him, and the brim of Sakurai’s hat bumped into the side of his head uncomfortably. His breathing was so labored, someone had to have noticed by now…
“It’s hell, isn’t it? Wanting to fuck, needing to fuck, and the only choices you’ve got are to act like it’s all a part of the show, or drop all pretenses and get yourself off as quick as you can, before the crowd has a chance to turn on you… but either way, there’s no stopping it- you’ve got to come...” Sakurai gasped and rolled off one of his signature groans next to his ear. Every hair on Imai’s body stood on end from it, and that sadistic whispering voice continued. “Ohhh, ohhh yes… fuck yes, you’ve got to come…”
A white-hot wave of passion flashed through him, shooting through his chest to his hips as they thrust forward harshly for the last time. The force felt like it was pouring through his cock in bursts, and his eyes opened and rolled back, his whole body rocking with his orgasm. Sakurai’s hands fell from his ribcage and dropped, but his right hand slipped over his ass intimately, as if by accident, but he knew better. He shivered from his powerful release, and Sakurai walked away, back to his own mark at the microphone as the dampness spread across the front of Imai’s pants. His guitar rubbed painfully on his post-orgasm sensitive cock, but he was grateful that he had it in front of him, blocking visibility of the aftermath of his lust. Those stupid-assed boas Sakurai liked to drag around became more appreciated by the moment, as his pants stained with his own orgasm soaking into the textile, still straining against his erection that hadn’t gone down yet.
He was dazed and time felt like it had stopped, but as Sakurai picked up his microphone, he came out of it a bit. The bridge had just ended! He couldn’t have been standing behind him longer than 30 seconds.
The lights never focused on him after that for the remainder of the song- their last for their second encore, and no one looked at him as they left the stage without the usual guitar effect fanfare and showboating Imai would normally do… but when he finally got back to his empty dressing room, Sakurai’s hat… that hellish hat… was waiting for him on his makeup table.