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Within the Locker

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It was only days before the Christmas Concert, so Daichi and his work crew were fixing up the stage. Because of that, the boys couldn't practice. They had to wait until the men were done installing this and that first. So, in the mean time, Makki and Kakeru were chatting in the dressing room.

"Kira is a mystery, y'know?" Makki said to Kakeru.

Kakeru was eating one of Ran's cheesecakes. After swallowing, he asked, "Why would you think that?"

"Well," Makki began, lying back against his chair with his eyes shut and arms folded in a contemplative way, "he's always nice to the girls but acts like a brat to us."

As usual, Kakeru doesn't show any reaction. There wasn't even the slightest spark of curiosity or surprise in his eyes. He answered Makki, "Well, he can't be rude to the girls, can he? Kira's got an image to keep up, right?"

"Yeah," Makki said, nodding, "but he's nice to his parents too!"

Kakeru raised an eyebrow. "I'm nice to my parents too."

"But he's super polite!" Makki insisted. "I mean, you act a little... 'out' to you parents sometimes, don't you?"

"Define 'out'," Kakeru requested as he put the last bit of cake in his mouth.

"Like, y'know," Makki tried to explain, "I'm sure you've snapped at them before, haven't you?"

Kakeru looked up, thinking. "I wouldn't say that I've snapped at them before, but...there was a time I pushed my mom out of my bedroom."

"You told her to get lost?" Makki concluded.

"Nothing like that," Kakeru protested. "I just told her not to do what she intended to do and pushed her out of my room. I don't have a dysfunctional family like you, Makki. And I'm sure Kira doesn't either."

Makki was hurt by his statement. "That's so mean, Kakeru!"

"Besides," Kakeru continued, "isn't the fact that Kira would behave like so only in front of us because he trusts us with his feelings?"

"But I hear he acts like a brat to our predecessors as well," Makki said. "Daichi-san told me!"

"They're our predecessors," Kakeru said dismissively. "Why wouldn't he trust them? Not to mention, he's quite friendly with Tommy. They like being childish together."

Makki pouted. "They always seem to be having fun! I wish they'd let me join too!"

"Three's a crowd, I suppose," Kakeru said, shrugging.

Then, Makki said, "I've always wondered if Kira was gay."

Kakeru sighed. "And why would you think so?"

"He's just too cute to be straight," Makki answered while making hugging motions.

Kakaeru couldn't help smirking in response. "Are you coming out, too?"

"What? No!" Makki objected, blushing slightly. "How could you say that? Kira's my son, remember? I can't fall in love with my son!"

"Mm-hmm," Kakeru hummed, and said sarcastically, "Of course. Kira is obviously gay despite the fact he has not shown any interest in guys and only ever in girls."

"He's shown interest in Tommy," Makki pointed out.

"Who shows interest in me?" Tommy asked as he entered the room.

Shun, following behind Tommy, said, "Someone's gay for Tommy?"

Kakeru explained everything, "Makki believes that Kira is gay and likes Tommy."

"Eh? Really?" Tommy said. He didn't seem the least bit disturbed by the idea.

"Why do you seem so unconcerned?" Shun asked him.

"Well, I think having Kira as a boyfriend wouldn't be so terrible," Tommy replied happily. "He's so cute and fun to be with, after all!"

Shun's eyebrow twitched. "I am so leaving this conversation." He turned to leave but was stopped by Tommy.

"Shun, are you homophobic?" he asked innocently, although the death grip on Shun's shoulder was anything but.

"It's not that," Shun said, sighing. "I just have a feeling that this conversation has the potential to become weird. I bet Makki started it, didn't he?" he asked Kakeru.

Kakeru nodded. "Yeah, he did."

"And so I shall leave before my IQ drops," Shun declared, turning around.

"Your IQ is already low!" Makki retorted. "It shows on your face!"

A vein popped up on Shun's red head. He turned back, pointed at Makki, and responded, "He who could not finish high school has no right to speak!"

Makki threw his hands up in the air, showing exasperation. "You always bring that up!"

Shun was about to leave when Tesshi appeared at the door.

"Excuse me," the manager said, "but has anyone seen Kira? He dropped his phone near the office."

"Nope," Makki replied.

Kakeru shook his head silently.

"Haven't seen him," Shun answered.

"Neither had I," Tommy said.

But then-

"I'm over here," replied Kira's muffled voice from within the room.

The boys flinched and looked around.

"Kira?" Tesshi called out in a louder voice. "Where are you?"

"Here," Kira repeated. "I'm in my locker."

The boys turned to the row of lockers in the room, and looked at Kira's.

"How long have you been in there?" Makki asked with a tone filled with dread.

"Since before you and Kakeru entered," Kira answered.

"Oh" was Makki's only reply.

There was a moment of silence before Tommy asked the youngest member, "Kira, did you lock yourself in?"

There was another moment of silence. Finally, Kira replied softly, "Yes." His reply was immediately followed by the boys and Tesshi OTL-ing.

Tommy went over to Kira's locker, and knelt down in front of it. "What's your pass code?"

"Zero-seven-two-two," Kira replied reluctantly.

Tommy twisted the lock and opened the door. Kira was sitting curled up at the bottom, and promptly stretched out of the cramped space. His joints cracked like bubble wrap after being confined in his locker for such a long time.

"Why did you even lock yourself in your locker?" Shun inquired.

As Kira received his phone, he told Shun, "I simply wanted to know what it feels like to be in a locker."

"Why would you want to know that?" Shun inquired again, but received no reply.

"You heard everything, didn't you?" Kakeru asked, despite knowing the answer.

"Even Tommy's confession?" Makki asked too.

"I'd told you I've been here since before the both of you entered, hadn't I?" Kira replied. "Are these the types of conversations you guys have about me?"

Kakeru scratched his cheek awkwardly. "Well... Not usually... This is the first time this was brought up," he answered.

Kira turned to the group's leader, and told him, "Makki, you really do start weird conversations, don't you?" That was more of a question that statement though.

"Like I said," Shun muttered.

"Ah, shaddup, Shun!" Makki said. Then, he asked Kira, "So... Are you gay?"

The ex-child actor looked away. "Not answering that. It's a secret!"

"Definitely gay," Shun concluded.

Kira glared at Shun. "If you want gay, then go to Kakeru."

"Eh?" Kakeru said, confused, before telling Kira, "Please don't drag me into this."

"Does this mean..." Makki said, "...you would date Tommy?"

Surprisingly, Kira answered without any hesitation, "Well, I wouldn't really mind that. It beats dating the rest of you!"

"Doesn't your heart belong to Miss Black Coffee?" Shun asked, smirking.

"Button it, pinky," Kira snapped. "I'm over her already."

"Of course, you are," Kakeru muttered under his breath.

"I heard that!" Kira said. "And I really am over her!"

"So..." Makki said, "you're actually okay with the idea of dating Tommy?"

"No one's allowed to date anybody yet!" Tesshi said loudly. The boys had forgotten their manager was in the room with them. "Love is forbidden between idols! And who is this Miss Black Coffee?"

"Kira's old crush," Makki answered.

"Who I've already given up on," Kira added.

"Oh, I see," Tesshi said. "But still, no dating!"

"Okay, Tesshi," Shun said, "we get it."

Satisfied, Tesshi left the room. So, the conversation continued.

"Back to the topic," Makki said. "Would you really date Tommy as you would with Miss Black Coffee?"

"You sound like a rabbi," Shun commented.

"The image of Kira in a wedding dress appeared in my mind," Kakeru piped up monotonously.

Meanwhile, Kira seemed to be seriously contemplating his answer and Tommy was watching him patiently.

"Well," Kira said hesitantly, "if he doesn't mind breaking the 'love-is-forbidden' rule..."

Tommy's eyes were sparkling with delight. "You would?"

Kira nodded, and Tommy hugged him. Thus, the odd conversation started by Makki ended with Tommy and Kira's forbidden love within the group.