Summary: It was a rather typical morning. Until Ichinose Tokiya entered the room. It was Ren who spoke first. "Icchi, are you serious?" Tokiya's reply was a glare that seemed to say 'does it look like I'm kidding?'
Pairing: Ichinose Tokiya X Ittoki Otoya; other pairs are implied or hinted
Based on a prompt in imagineyourotp: Imagine Person A of your OTP losing their voice for a few days yet Person B still understands everything that they're trying to say.
It wasn't funny. Really, it wasn't.
It was absolutely hilarious!
It all started early that morning. Most of them were already gathered in the lounge. Hijirikawa Masato and Camus were calmly drinking their tea. Kotobuki Reiji was flipping through a magazine while humming 'Dekiaki Temptation' under his breath. Shinomiya Natsuki was – to the silent horror of everyone in the room – reading a cook book whilst jotting down notes. Jinguji Ren – who had joined them only minutes before – slid beside Masato, casually plucked the cup from his grasp, took a sip, and made a face at it. Masato sent him an irritated glance as he took back his cup and promptly shoved a mug of coffee into Ren's hand. He proceeded to ignore the smirk Ren sent at his direction. Aside from Reiji's humming, the only other sound breaking the silence was the tapping of keys from Mikaze Ai's laptop.
Over all, it was a rather typical morning.
Until Ichinose Tokiya entered the room.
Now, everyone was aware that the dark-haired man wasn't all that talkative. He was the kind of person who preferred to watch the proceedings from the sidelines, only offering commentary when needed or if addressed directly. It made him appear quite aloof to everyone else, but to those who were present in the room, it was just him being himself. However, despite his seemingly standoffish character, he was, by no means, discourteous (except, perhaps, during those days when they barely knew each other; and his unfriendliness to people outside their group of friends is forgivable). So, it was very strange for him to just silently sit on the couch and make a cup of coffee without uttering a word or, at least, without his usual nod of acknowledgement.
Everyone, especially Reiji (who had become close to him due to sharing a room) and Ai (who was well-versed in everyone's behavioral patterns), instantly noticed this. They all paused from whatever they were doing and glanced at the silent teen, who either didn't notice the attention he was getting or was just ignoring it in favor of browsing the script for his currently ongoing project. Most likely, it was the latter.
"Toki…" Reiji finally started, breaking the stillness that enveloped the hall. "… Are you okay?" As far as he knew, there shouldn't be anything wrong since Tokiya's behavior was still the same when he came home late last night. Though, he had to admit, Tokiya had been looking exhausted for the past few days, which also prompted Otoya and Reiji to stay up late so that, the moment the teen got home, they could immediately assist him in getting to bed. Everyone knew that, because of how big and expensive the project was, it had been taking its toll on Tokiya. But only Reiji and Otoya were aware of its extent. Reiji had to hand it to Tokiya though; he was very skilled in masking his fatigue.
Tokiya spared them a glance and shook his head.
But Reiji wasn't having any of that. "You're so silent, Toki! Come on, lighten up! Tell us how your shoot's been going!"
Natsuki's eyes brightened, also interested in their friend's project. "Yes, Tokiya-kun. How's your project?"
Both watched him with eager anticipation whilst the others waited for his answer calmly.
There was only silence.
Now that was really strange. Tokiya never failed to answer questions that were directly asked. This definitely made everyone stare at him. That's when they noticed the things that they didn't perceive earlier – such as Tokiya's furrowed brow, his tightened jaw, as well as the unnecessarily tense grip he had on his script. Though, he didn't look angry at them. His expression seemed to be more of an indication that he was having an inner conflict of some sort.
"Oi, Icchi, you're acting really weird." Ren pointed out.
"What Jinguji is trying to ask is: are you feeling alright, Ichinose?" Masato inquired, not receiving an answer as well.
Ai was calculatingly observing the teen, mentally trying to determine what could've caused the strange behavior while Camus continued to sip his tea, but he was also watching them from his peripheral vision.
They all waited for him to speak, but to no avail.
"Toki…" Reiji tried again but instantly stopped when Tokiya let out a sigh of frustration. He rested his script on the table then, finally, glanced up to meet their inquiring – and, from some, worried – gazes. After a few moments, he sighed, this time in what appeared to be resignation, before reaching into his pocket for his phone. With the speed of someone accustomed to sending numerous texts in a short amount of time, he typed something on his mobile then placed the device next to his script.
Before anyone could ask about his actions, their phones went off within seconds from each other. They perplexedly glanced at one another then proceeded to check their respective handsets.
A long stretch of silence followed as each of them registered the words on their screens.
It was Ren who spoke first. "Icchi, are you serious?" Tokiya's reply was a glare that seemed to say 'does it look like I'm kidding?'
Another stretch of silence.
Then there was a 'pfft' that came from Reiji's general direction. And that was all it took for Ren and Reiji to burst out in laughter while Natsuki instantly rushed to his side, worriedly asking about his health while offering to cook something for him (which made Tokiya's eyes subtly widen in horror). Ai's expression was unreadable and Camus' mouth appeared to twitch slightly upwards. Masato was the only one who was in any way helpful as he refilled Tokiya's cup of coffee.
There was no describing the immense displeasure that graced Tokiya's features.
"Wait, so let me get this straight." Kurusu Syo started as a grin slowly made its way onto his face. "You've been pushing yourself to your limits recently that it finally had an effect on you."
Despite the dark glare on the dark-haired teen's face, he still nodded in response.
"So, basically, you're not allowed to tire yourself out for the next few days so that you can still go to your shoot on Saturday."
"So you're not allowed to strain your vocal chords."
A sharper nod.
"So you can't talk for the next few days."
Tokiya's eyes, if possible, narrowed even more when Syo guffawed after he nodded in response.
By now, almost everyone was awake, gathered at the lounge, and already informed about Tokiya's problem – to the teen's utter annoyance. Haruka and Tomochika have dropped by earlier to greet them 'good morning' before promptly leaving because the latter insisted that she needed 'more girl bonding time with my cute roommate without any of you boys around' before practically hauling her stunned companion out of the room. The only people who have yet to wake up – despite the fact that it was already almost noon – were Otoya and Cecil.
"Technically, Ichinose can still speak, though his voice would sound hoarse." Ai stated.
Ranmaru snorted. "This situation is unprofessional for an idol." This caused Tokiya's expression to waver into something akin to shame, though he instantly covered it up with his usual stoicism.
Reiji suddenly appeared from behind the silver-haired man and slapped him on the back good-naturedly. Although, Ranmaru would never admit it, the hit was a bit harder than usual. "Now now, Ran-ran, stop being mean to Toki! Everyone experiences it at one point in their lives! Remember that one time you-"
Reiji's expression was positively sly. "Aww~ But you sounded so adorable when you-"
"I said shut up!" Ranmaru exclaimed as he slapped his hand on the brunette's mouth. He glared at the still cheerful man as a faint blush appeared on his cheeks (it only lasted for a split-second though so no one, except Reiji, really noticed it).
"As I was saying…" Ai started to speak again, diverting the attention away from his immature collegues. "… It would be better if he spoke as little as possible."
Tokiya nodded to indicate that he understood the instruction.
"But, don't you think it's a bit inconvenient for you to reply through texts?" Natsuki asked. "Maybe you could act out your replies instead! You do have good acting skills!"
Tokiya's response was to shake his head and send a message which said: 'There are some words or statements that I wouldn't be able properly articulate with only actions.'
"Well, you're going to have to find a way to communicate with us aside from texting." Ren voiced out. "It takes time to type and receive a message and not everyone here has their phones constantly attached to their hand."
"How ironic that you should be the one saying that." Masato deadpanned.
"Oh, is that jealousy I hear?" Ren teased as he placed his arm around Masato's shoulders whilst the latter tried to push him off. "Don't worry, Masa, even though I text a lot of people, you're the only one for me."
"Let go of me!"
Tokiya groaned at the sheer unhelpfulness of his friends and decided to slip out of the room as the others became preoccupied by the one-sided argument of two of the upperclassmen and the not-so-subtle flirting of two of STARISH's members.
Tokiya couldn't have been gladder to be able to leave the chaos that was STARISH and Quartet Night combined. He was grateful for their inputs, really he was. They were good friends, albeit crazy at times, but still friends. However, he really didn't appreciate them blowing his little predicament out of proportion. He already had trouble coping with this setback; he didn't need a migraine to top it off.
He entered the room he shared with Otoya and Reiji with a sigh of relief. As he neared the bunk bed he shared with his fellow STARISH member, he couldn't prevent the rush of fondness from descending upon his features.
There, on the bottom bunk (which was in fact his bed) was a certain redhead, curled into a cocoon of blankets, with only tufts of his hair sticking out from within the covers. Tokiya's lips twitched into a small smile as he sat down on the bed. This slight movement, however, caused the believed-to-be-sleeping boy to stir and turn around.
Drowsy crimson eyes brightened the moment it caught sight of the older teen. Otoya slowly untangled himself from his blanket-nest and grinned. "Mornin' Tokiya." He greeted as he languidly stretched his body. There was still sleep lingering in his actions, but, for someone who just woke up, he was admirably cheerful.
Tokiya nodded in response, seeing as he couldn't exactly speak at the moment.
Otoya's brows furrowed. "Is something wrong, Tokiya?" He asked, instantly picking up on his partner's unusual silence.
Tokiya sighed while simply pointing to his throat.
The redhead's eyes immediately widened at that and he shot up into a sitting position. "Eh? You can't use your voice?! Why?!" With a tap on the script beside him, understanding seemed to dawn on Otoya. "You mean you over-worked yourself again. Mou, Tokiya!"
Tokiya's eyes narrowed into a glare, though the expression was ruined by a miniscule pout that only Otoya, and, on occasion, Reiji, would be able to notice.
"Don't look at me like that. We did tell you, you know!" Otoya tried to say in a scolding tone, but the combination of worry and fond amusement ruined his attempt.
Tokiya sighed again, making Otoya chuckle. "I know, I know, you love your work! But you should really take care of yourself more, Tokiya. You can't work if you're sick!" He stated before proceeding to flop back down on the bed but, this time, using Tokiya's lap as his pillow. He looked up at the other boy, only to be met by an accusing look.
Otoya pouted, clearly understanding what the other was silently telling him. "So mean, Tokiya! Yeah, I get sick too…" then he grinned widely. "… But I have you to take care of me!"
This elicited a small smile from the older male who, by now, was playing with the other's disheveled hair. Otoya then wrapped his arm around his partner's waist and stated. "And Tokiya has me to take care of him."
Tokiya couldn't help his smile from growing more prominent at the redhead's words.
"Ah, is that a smile? Tokiya's smiling!" Otoya teased, earning himself a light flick on the forehead, which only made his grin widen even more.
It was lunch time when everyone gathered together again, now with the addition of a cheerful Otoya and an exhausted-looking Cecil, who was muttering 'demon', 'evil', and the likes of it under his breath (apparently, Camus had deemed his over-sleeping a behavior not fit for an idol and decided to punish him by waking him up and making him do numerous, back-breaking exercises of which no one wanted to know the nature of).
They spent lunch like they always did since winning the UtaPri Award. It was a subtle change but their upperclassmen have started to spend more time with them compared to when they just met. No one bothered to point this out but, nowadays, it was difficult to imagine how it was before – when it was only STARISH in the large dining hall.
So, because they were such a large group composed of varying personalities – some of which clash oftentimes than not – their lunch time was usually filled with playful (or serious, depending on who're involved) arguments, lots of shouting, and generally rowdy behavior.
None of them seemed to recall Tokiya's predicament – to the said boy's great relief. Like Ai, Camus, and Masato, Tokiya didn't really participate in such chaos, unless prompted to do so (which would take a special kind of skill that only certain people possessed). So, even if he remained silent, it wouldn't really be out of character.
Lunch has just about ended and Tokiya was starting to relax at the knowledge that none of them remembered his dilemma.
"So, Icchi, how has your day been?" Ren asked with a smirk. Tokiya held back a groan because, clearly, the topic hadn't been as forgotten as he thought. He opted to ignore him in favor of drinking his glass of water.
"Come on, no need to be so quiet." Syo teasingly added. Tokiya still refused to pay them any attention, though his brows visibly furrowed in response.
"All you have to do is reply." Ren spoke.
Annoyed at the constant pursuance of the subject he really did not want to speak of, Tokiya grudgingly took out his phone and texted. However, he nearly gave into the urge to throw his handheld at Ren's head when he made a show of looking through his pockets and, with great exaggeration, let out a sigh of regret. "Oh, damn, I forgot to bring my phone! I must've forgotten it in our room."
Masato, who was massaging the bridge of his nose, shook his head at his partner's antics.
"Lighten up, Toki." Reiji laughed. "They're only teasing."
Tokiya sent him a look that clearly showed how much he did not appreciate the teasing.
"Eh? So Tokiya really can't talk?" Cecil asked in wonder.
"He still can, Cecil-kun." Natsuki replied. "But we think it's best if he doesn't speak that much to speed up the recovery."
"This is really unprofessional."
"So, Icchi, are you going to answer the question?"
"Stop taunting him, Jinguji."
Conversations overlapped; all revolving around Tokiya's inability to speak at the moment and, really, this was getting very irritating.
Ren was in the midst of saying another provoking comment, Reiji was in the process of scolding Ranmaru for his rudeness, and Syo was just about to open his mouth when, all of a sudden, a bark of laughter rang above all the noise, stopping all other conversations.
They all directed their attention to the source to find Otoya laughing. And it wasn't just any laugh – it was the belly-aching kind of laugh that had the teen clutching his stomach. Tokiya had this pained look, slightly tinged with what seemed to be a pleading air, combined with frustration as he stared at the redhead beside him.
"No, Tokiya!" Otoya managed between laughs. "Even though you really want to, you can't!"
Nothing changed in Tokiya's expression when he aggressively flicked his wrist in their general direction. This made Otoya chuckle again. "Well, I know you can but I don't want you to!"
Tokiya proceeded to cross his arms in front of him and raised a brow at the other male. In response, the redhead sat up properly and lifted one finger as he started to speak. "One, you can't do that to our friends because that's really mean!" Tokiya rolled his eyes but Otoya raised a second digit and continued with an unwavering grin of amusement. "Two, there would be no STARISH anymore if you did that because, three, you can't do the stuff you want to do when you're in jail!"
"What's happening?" Cecil asked out loud.
Without sparing them a glance because he was too busy concentrating on his partner, Otoya answered. "Tokiya says that if everyone doesn't shut up about his voice, he's going to – e-eh?! You're too violent, Tokiya!"
"Wait, what?!" Reiji exclaimed with eyes as wide as his other companions. This sudden exclamation finally caught both teens' attentions enough to make them turn around. Based on the slight surprise on their faces, they hadn't noticed the silence, nor had they been aware that the attention had already been directed at them and at what seemed to be a one-sided conversation that did not make any sense at all.
"Ah…" Otoya started to speak as he sheepishly scratched the side of his face. "… Is there something wrong?"
"Ikki, if you haven't noticed, Icchi can't speak right now."
Otoya tilted his head, not quite understanding what the big deal was. "Yeah, I know. Tokiya told me this morning."
Cecil's brows furrowed in confusion. "So Tokiya can talk? But everyone said he can't."
"He didn't exactly tell me tell me. I kind of just understood."
This response rendered the whole room silent.
"So, you're telling us that you can understand what Tokiya's saying even when he doesn't say it?" Syo asked in disbelief.
Otoya smiled, though it was still evident on his face that he really had no clue as to why they're friends were reacting like this. "Um, yes…?"
He then diverted his attention back to Tokiya when he felt the latter's hand on his arm. Otoya's brow furrowed as the other made a vague gesture that no one else understood.
But, clearly, Otoya easily discerned the meaning. "Eh?! Really?" Tokiya nodded. "But I don't think it's weird!" Another vague gesture. "You mean it doesn't happen to other people?" A shake of the head and another flick of the wrist. "Some people?" A nod combined with a different vague gesture which, for some reason, elicited a blush from the redhead. "O-oh!"
Natsuki and Cecil stared at them in absolute awe, Camus was indifferent to what was happening, and one of Ren's brows was raised as a suggestive smirk rested on his lips.
"What… the… heck…" Syo mumbled.
"Is this even possible?" Masato spoke in utter incredulity.
"Interesting." Ai muttered, watching the exchanged with calculating eyes.
Ranmaru snorted. "You guys are wei- shit!" He cursed when he felt an elbow hit the side of his head as Reiji jumped up with a manly-squeal and practically threw himself at his roommates.
"MY KOUHAIS ARE SO ADORABLE! COME HERE AND LET SEMPAI LOVE YOU!"
Tokiya sighed in relief as he settled down on the small couch in their room. It had been a long day with Ren and Syo constantly taunting him, and Natsuki and Cecil unnecessarily paying rapt attention to his and Otoya's conversations, never failing to look amazed by it. It also didn't help that Reiji was often commenting on how he found them so adorable and, often than not, accompanied said comments with very forceful hugs that left him and Otoya with lack of air and sore ribs. Tokiya unconsciously rubbed his side at the memory.
Tokiya glanced at the clock before proceeding to reach for his script. He still had a few minutes before any of his roommates decided to join him so he might as well utilize the time wisely. They were still probably in the midst of a rowdy dinner, which he had opted to leave early to avoid any more provocations from two of his so-called friends.
He was in the middle of memorizing an extremely long line when, all of a sudden, the door slammed open and was closed just as fast, making Tokiya jump slightly in surprise. Before he could even comprehend what was happening, he found himself with a lapful of cheerful guitarist – his legs draped over the older male's thighs, pinning his forearms in the process, whilst he wrapped his arm around Tokiya and proceeded to nuzzle his neck after a loud exclamation of "Tokiya~!"
Tokiya grunted at the sudden weight but, other than a long-suffering sigh, he didn't do anything to move his companion.
"You're so mean for leaving without me!" Otoya whined. "It's lonely walking back here without Tokiya!"
The corner of Tokiya's lips twitched at that. He wriggled his arm out from underneath Otoya's weight then brought it up to pat the other male on the head. There was a noise of contentment that rumbled in Otoya's throat as he snuggled against Tokiya's taller frame.
Seeing the satisfied look on his partner's features, Tokiya continued to stroke Otoya's hair as he freed his other arm and tried to reach for the script he was holding earlier… only to find that it was now on the floor. A frown graced his features before he poked the redhead on the arm then proceeded to point at the fallen booklet once he succeeded in getting Otoya's attention.
Several seconds passed with Otoya only switching from staring at the script, then at Tokiya, then back at the script again before a wide smile lighted his face. The smile seemed innocent enough but Tokiya, who was well-versed in the different types of smile Otoya possessed, instantly recognized the mischief behind it. His eyes narrowed at this.
"Nope! This is comfortable so I'm not moving." Otoya declared. If possible, Tokiya's stare turned sharper than before though it still had no effect on Otoya. "Still no! I'm comfy and you're not tiring yourself with work, so it's a win-win situation… don't look at me like that, Tokiya! I'm taking care of you!" Otoya pouted at him.
After a staring contest of not-so-epic proportions (since Tokiya's glare was gradually wavering as Otoya's pout got more endearing), Tokiya exhaled resignedly and massaged the bridge of his nose with the hand not occupied with caressing his companion's hair.
Tokiya then shot Otoya a look that anyone who knew him well could easily decipher. He wore it often enough around STARISH and Quartet Night that they were now intimately familiar with it. In fact, if they had been there, they would've been able to recognize that particular expression even without Otoya's translation or Tokiya's texting.
It was an expression of furrowed brows and downturned lips that simply questioned why on earth he put up with these people – or, in this case – Otoya.
However, instead of looking at all offended by said look, Otoya tightened his hold on Tokiya and grinned. "Because you love me!"
Tokiya rolled his eyes and flicked the other on the forehead. Otoya chuckled in response before proceeding to bury his face into the junction of Tokiya's neck.
Tokiya didn't bother stopping the smile that crawled onto his lips as he felt Otoya slowly succumb to slumber. He then eyed the fallen script, contemplating if he should move his companion so he could continue to work. However, when he felt the sleeping male unconsciously nestle into him, he shook the thought out of his mind.
With that soft smile still intact, Tokiya took another glance of his partner, running his hand through red strands once more, before leaning back and slowly closing his eyes.
Reiji was just about to announce his presence to the room when he instantly caught sight of his two underclassmen snuggling on the couch. Reiji immediately covered his mouth to prevent any kind of noise from escaping. With as much stealth as he could muster, he slowly approached the two, took out his phone, snapped a picture of them, and then proceeded to dash out of the room.
The moment he was outside, he let out a gurgle-like noise from his throat as he looked at the adorable picture on his mobile. With eyes shining with pride and excitement, Reiji bolted down the hallway.
"RAN-RAN! AI-AI! MYU-CHAN! LOOK AT MY CUTE, ADORABLE BABIES!"