Repeat After Me
There was another half an hour to go before they had to take their places onstage, everyone was dressed and made up and coiffed, and Jin was bored. First he bunny-hopped up and down the corridor. Then he practiced his solos, but only sang every other word. Then, when Koki threatened to tie him in knots if he didn't sit still and shut up, he sat down beside Ueda and started playing with the flyaway bits of his hair.
Ueda slapped his hand away. "Don't do that."
"Okay," Jin said, and started playing with Ueda's hand instead.
Ueda pulled his notebook closer with his free hand so that he could brace the page with his forearm and crossed out the line he'd just written.
"Pretty hands," Jin said in English, and Ueda blushed in spite of himself.
Kame looked up from his cellphone. "Pretty what?" he asked. His English was even worse than Jin's, but his vocabulary included some surprises due to his ability to flirt badly in half a dozen languages.
"Ueda has pretty hands," Jin translated.
"Oh." Kame glanced at their entwined fingers, shrugged, and went back to his text message.
"Pretty!" Jin said again, and pressed a kiss into the center of Ueda's palm. Ueda blushed some more.
"Pretty voice," Jin said after they'd taken their bows and were returning, sweaty and exhausted and satisfied, to their dressing room.
Ueda thought that there were better ways for Jin to practice his English than to toss random compliments at him, but he also wasn't about to turn that particular one down.
"Thank you," he replied in English, and Jin grinned widely at him.
"Pretty mouth," Jin said backstage the next day.
"What's pretty this time?" Kame asked, sounding amused.
"My mouth," Ueda said. "Only it's not."
He squirmed a little under Jin's gaze, which had been fixed upon his lips for the past several minutes. He brought a hand up to cover the lower half of his face, but Jin tugged it down gently so that it was cupping Ueda's chin rather than hiding his mouth.
"Sure it is," Koki said.
Ueda shook his head minutely. His mouth was too large, and it brought too much attention to the long lines of his jaw.
"Repeat after me: Ueda has pretty mouth," Jin said.
"No," Ueda said, but he was drowned out by the rest of KAT-TUN parroting Jin's words back to him.
"Bakanishi," he grumbled and punched Jin in the shoulder, though he didn't use his full strength.
Jin rubbed his shoulder and grinned at him.
The Cartoon KAT-TUN dressing room was an explosion of games and make-up and hair products, but the lack of costumes made it feel relatively roomy. Ueda had just lost his third game in a row of gin and had given up his place to Maru. After a minute of observing the new game, Jin wandered over to Ueda's corner and sat next to him.
"Pretty Ueda," he said softly and touched Ueda's cheek with a gentle hand.
Ueda flinched away.
"No?" Jin asked. Tiny frown lines formed at the bridge of his nose, but at least he didn't reach for Ueda again.
"No. You're taking the joke too far. Just stop it."
"It's not a joke," Jin protested.
"What is it, then?" The quiet click of the door closing made Ueda turn his head sharply, at which point he realized that the room was empty but for the two of them.
A soft touch brushed against his cheek, drawing his attention back to Jin. "Ueda," Jin whispered, just before he kissed him.
There was a long, shocked moment in which Ueda forgot to breathe, and then Jin flicked his tongue lightly against his lips and Ueda gasped. Jin took immediate advantage of the situation. One warm, soft hand clasped the nape of Ueda's neck, while the other thumb stroked carefully along the line of his jaw as Jin deepened their kiss.
Ueda let the kiss go for far too long before he finally managed to pull away. He stared into Jin's eyes, and Jin smiled at him and tucked a bit of hair behind Ueda's ear. "You swear this isn't a joke?" he demanded.
"How could it be a joke? It's not funny," Jin said.
"Your jokes never are," Ueda said, his mouth turning up at the corners in spite of his best intentions.
"Oi!" Jin shouted and smacked his shoulder. He kissed him again immediately afterwards in apology, though, so Ueda didn't really mind.