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Smile for the Camera (Smile for Me)

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Oh no, Saihara thinks as he stares straight ahead at Momota Kaito, who's gently fanning himself with a script, he's hot.

 

Strands of purple hair fly into his face and plaster themselves against his forehead. Behind him, the hairstylist sighs and calls for more gel to be retrieved from the break room, holding a bottle of hairspray as the makeup artist takes off the shine of his face with blotting papers.

 

His smile is still bright despite his exertion, and his pearly white smile dazzles Saihara's vision to the point where he can't help but just look until Amami lays a hand on his shoulder and says, gently shaking it, "back to work, Saihara-kun."

 

Ouma grins with their pointer finger under their chin and says in a lilting voice, "Saihara-chan, I know I'm dazzling, but there are other people who deserve your attention, you know? You don't want to be unfair," they say, with a push to his back. Saihara stumbles. "Do you?"

 

Angie waves a makeup brush in a vaguely threatening motion with a serene smile on her face, and Ouma backs off without saying anything more. Saihara gratefully nods to Angie, and she waves dismissively and points to Momota instead.

 

So he wasn't going to get off that easily, huh. 

 

He reaches out and stops himself, crushed by the weight of indecision. What would it mean, to talk to him for just a minute? Would he rebuke him? Look him in the eye and say, "oh, you're just another creep who likes to stare at me, aren't you?" File a restraining order on him? He—

 

—more than anything else, he just wants him to be happy. 

 

Saihara retreats back behind the greenscreen and gets a water bottle from his locker. His throat feels too pulsing and tight in his throat, and he knows he needs to calm down before—

 

"Wow, I'm disappointed in you, Saihara-chan!"

 

—Ouma came to bother him again.

 

He bites back a retort that might be considered rude. There were times he could deal with Ouma meddling in his affairs, and this was not one of them. They were intelligent and their willingness to go outside the box gave them a well-needed edge in the advertisement department, but as a consequence, they had no regard for personal space.

 

"What is it, Ouma-kun?" he says, just wanting to get this over with.

 

They laugh a horse's laugh. "I thought you would have at least asked him out for a drink? You know, start him off easy, make him feel comfortable enough with you after a few shots, and then have some hot, sloppy makeouts when everyone's left—"

 

"O-Ouma-kun!"

 

"Just kidding! Wow, you really are hot and bothered, Saihara-chan! That's no good! Wimpy boys like you need to fulfill your needs, or else you'll grow up to be one of those cucks!"

 

He sputters, putting down the water bottle lest he drinks it and becomes even more of a mess than he is already. "Ouma-kun," he tries to say gently, "it is no business of yours who I choose to ask out or not ask out, so could you please—"

 

"Ehh, what was that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of you making excuses!"

 

"God damn it," he mumbles, and he thinks Ouma catches on, because they smile even wider and dash outside.

 

Oh no, he thinks, realizing with dread that they're going to try something. Making sure he doesn't knock anything over, he runs out and tugs at the curtains behind the greenscreen.

 

Ouma has already come uncomfortably close to Momota's personal space by the way the latter tries to back away from them. Momota coughs into his palm gentlemanly and asks, "Can I help you?"

 

All at once, Ouma begins to wail. "That's unfair, Momota-chan! I thought I was the love of your life, my dashing Coca-Cola prince! Could it be that everything you said was a lie?! You traitor! I hate you!"

 

Momota is taken aback for a second before he retorts with, "I didn't promise you anything, man. I don't know what I did to you, but could you please knock it off?"

 

Ouma's fake sobbing is objectively very good, Saihara admits to himself with a grimace. They look into his eyes and stutter at all the right parts. "H-how h-horrible," they whine, "that means you're the one who stole the secrets of the hit series 'I'll Trade Your Life For Mine' from my bedroom, too! You didn't just steal my heart, you stole my ideas, too! Traitor to our nation! Fake! No Punchline! Cuckhard!"

 

Before he even knows what he's doing, Saihara steps in, hands raised in a placating manner. "Now, now, there's no way he's done that. You must be imagining things."

 

"Oh! If it isn't my rival in love, Renee-kun! If you're saying that," their tone becomes more accusatory, "then it means that you must have been the one to take the script, am I right? Right?"

 

Saihara clears his throat. "That's right," he declares. "What are you going to do about it? I've stolen your secrets and I've stolen your man. Now the world will learn the secrets of this story, and everything will come to an end."

 

Ouma's eyes sparkle childishly as they get more and more into it. "Then, I have no choice but to stop you and make you both mine, mark my words! You can't spread secrets if you're beholden by promises, aren't you?"

 

Saihara grasps Momota's hand with surprising boldness; after a while, he feels Momota's warm hand squeeze back. With his other hand, he grabs the Coca-Cola bottle and winks at everyone, saying, "I guess that means we should leave on our honeymoon first then, huh?" before pulling Momota with him off the stage.

 

The crowd roars with thundering applause, and Saihara immediately drops into the nearest chair, clutching at his face with his hands. "I'm so sorry, Momota-kun," he says with intense regret, "that must have been so embarassing for you..."

 

Momota instead chuckles before he giggles and eventually full out laughs. Saihara looks up at his face with wonder the entire time, never blinking once.

 

"Don't worry about it! That was really funny, actually." Momota grins. "You're a hella good actor, actually. Ever thought about sharing the spotlight instead of filming those in it?"

 

"Wh-so you were watching me? I'm really sorry—"

 

"Quit apologizin'. I just happened to see you, that's all. You've got all my best angles so far, which is really hard when you're not used to working with me. People tell me I move too fast, but that's just their fault for not pickin' up the speed in return! Still makes it a bit difficult, though. I hate doing retakes, so you're a real help."

 

Saihara stands up and twiddles his fingers. "Thank you... that means a lot. But there's one angle I haven't managed to get just right..."

 

Momota tilts his head. "Oh?" he says, grin growing even more roguish. "What's that?"

 

This is it. He can't back down now. Saihara blurts out, "your smile," and falls silent.

 

That sends Momota teetering off the edge with laughter once again, clutching his stomach so hard he begins to wheeze. Saihara laughs in infectious tandem until they both catch their breath, and even after they think they've calmed down all it takes is for them to look at one another again for them to renew their giggling.

 

"Oh god," Momota says, wiping a tear from his eye, "I haven't had a laugh like that in a while. Who taught you to be so smooth, you little devil?"

 

"I don't know," Saihara says honestly. "It just sort of... came out."

 

"God, you really are meant to be an actor, aren't you?" Momota looks at the ground, somewhat bashful. "You just came out like that and walked out with me and won my heart like that... it's not fair, you know?"

 

Saihara turns completely red and sputters again before he sees the smile Momota is trying (and failing) to hold back. "God, Momota-kun, saying things like that isn't good for my heart... people might take you seriously, at this rate."

 

"Who says I wasn't serious?"

 

"Wh-what?"

 

Momota steps closer to Saihara and pulls him so close their foreheads touch. "As far as first impressions go, that was one hell of an impression. And... I'm sure you were serious when you said you wanted to see my smile. So it's mutual, and I'm asking you out on a date. You can deny it if you want to... but it would really mean somethin' if you accepted my offer."

 

"I... want to. It would mean a lot if you would have me, Momota-kun."

 

"Of course I do, I'm the one who asked you out! Anyway, since I offered, I'm paying for it, no questions asked."

 

"I'd personally rather split the bill, I don't want to be a bother..."

 

"Nah, you're not at all. It's a man's honor to uphold their word and pay for their dates. Meet me after six?"

 

Saihara nods. "Sure... but can we stay like this for a while?"

 

"I'm staying with you now, aren't I?"

 

They don't let go of each other's hands until Ouma finds them dozing off on the bench.