Prompt: 039 ~ Trust June 2011©
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Tora x Namie
Word Count: 1,145
Fandom: Alice Nine
Focus: Tora x Namie
Word Count: 1,145
Tora, by all appearances, was a guy accurately described as laid back. By nature, however, he could only be chill and mellow when he was in complete control of a given situation. MC-ing for example, was one of his best skills. He could roll with the punches pretty easily when he had the high ground to fight back from. Otherwise, meaning if he was bothered by something and it was out of his hands, he was impossibly uptight and stubborn.
And unfortunately for Alice Nine, almost everything about the pop princess lifestyle of Tora’s girlfriend bothered him and he had exactly zero control over any of it. As impeding as it was to Alice Nine’s practice sessions to have the guitarist sulking in the corner, Tora’s silent tantrums were actually the preferred option when it came down to it. Typically, when it came to Namie, he was the raging tiger his stage name spoke of. Otherwise he was he was bitchy like a PMS-ing caffeine junkie who’d been denied their morning espresso. This was at least quiet, and entertaining.
Presently, Tora was in the middle of grumbling as he used his phone to watch a practice video of his pop princess rehearsing the choreography to the duet track she was about to release with the prince of the pop scene, Yamashita Tomohisa. The black cloud hanging over his head was practically a tangible object of doom.
As Tora was sulking, the rest of Alice Nine was looking on in amusement.
While Namie was working with anyone but Alice Nine, she was entirely unreachable to Alice Nine’s members, even Tora, and it was something the others found perfectly normal and Tora found entirely unreasonable. Namie was just as serious about her work with other bands, and of course, her own independent career as a popstar, as she was with Alice Nine. It was something that Tora half admired about her. Of course, half of him also found unendingly frustrating. Tora could see plainly that her careerism was an admirable thing, but it often found her within the arms of men that were distinctly NOT Tora for hours and hours on end, and then the steamy results of her time with these other men were broadcast for the entire world to see and lust over. It would have been ridiculous to just accept that.
Shou was particularly amused today, having decided to try his hand at catching the tiger by his tail. He was provoking Tora in subtle little gibes, had been all day. Actually it was his comment that Tomohisa’s entertainment company had uploaded a practice video that had prompted Tora’s current bout of sulking.
“He looks like a dog,” Tora was grumbling. “I mean look that those eyes.”
“Oh yes,” Shou said with a smile that Tora would have registered even if he’d been looking in Shou’s direction. “I’m sure Namie-chan’s fawning all over him.”
Tora didn’t seem to hear. He had a tendency to ignore everything aside from whatever was bothering him at a particular moment. “And he looks just like that one Korean guy Pon’s friend is friends with, so plain and boring.”
“So plain,” Shou agreed solemnly. Then he added, “Sweet though, Namie was telling me about how he carried her home the other day after filming.”
“But I’d have thought you’d give him a bit of credit, seeing how her ankle was hurting and all,” Shou slid in smoothly. He waited a moment, knowing that even though it might be belated a bit, a reaction was definitely coming.
“He’s such a- Namie’s hurt?”
The shift in Tora’s attention was dramatic a fluid, and Shou wished he’d filmed it.
“Yeah, she twisted her ankle in filming the other day, tripped over a wire or something,” Shou explained.
Tora glowered at the screen in his hand, looking for the places in the choreography that were especially dangerous for a girl in high heels to be involved with. There were plenty of instances in the pattern of dance moves that had potential for Namie to get tripped up and hurt herself, and the floor on set for the MV was dramatically staged with wires and vines and all manner of other obstacles.
It was a death trap.
Namie wasn’t entirely undefended though. As she moved through each step of the choreography, the safety net of Yamapi’s arms waiting to catch her never moved further than a breath away. Even if she twisted her ankle again in the midst of a performance, she wouldn’t fall. Yamapi wouldn’t let her fall, Tora could count on that much. He wouldn’t let her get hurt.
“Tora? Shou?” Nao’s not-quite-timid intrusion was colored with just enough leaderly command. “We really have to get started.”
With a heavy sigh, Tora hauled himself up and pocketed his phone. “He still looks like a fucking fairy, prancing around in all that glitter.”
Shou was shocked. “What? No huffing or puffing? No hissy fit? No frantic phone calls for her to ignore?” He couldn’t believe that Tora would just accept it like this. “You’re not even going to angrily text Yamapi?”
“Nope,” Tora responded, draining the enthusiasm from Shou in a single word.
His expression folding into disappointment most akin to a pout, Shou asked, “Why not?”
“I trust her,” Tora explained, a sigh dogging at his words without running free through the world.
“You . . . trust her?” Shou repeated flatly, his voice skeptical. “You trust that she’s going to fling herself into the arms of another man if she gets hurt?”
“I trust that she’ll make Yamapi catch her so that she doesn’t get hurt,” Tora corrected. “I trust that she won’t make it into anything else, no matter what the MV’s storyline makes it look like.”
Shou was still skeptical. As he watched Tora adjust the tunings of his guitar, he asked, “And you trust Yamapi to do the same?”
“Then why no threatening messages? Aren’t you supposed to be Namie’s grand protector?”
Tora shrugged. “Sometimes, I just have to trust her. There’s nothing I can say that will threaten Yamapi even half as much as if he makes a move and pisses Namie off,” Tora explained.
“And you trust her to be pissed off if the pretty boy popstar does make a move?” Shou questioned, resignation dripping into his voice.
Without Namie directly in front of him, looking small and defenseless and hurt to make her Tiger rage and roar, Tora was able to remember that Namie was anything but a vulnerable damsel who needed a man beside her to make her way in the world. The princess on top of the male-dominated music world was every bit as vicious as her Tiger. Tora knew that as well as anyone.
And nothing on earth could ever make him question her loyalty.
“Yeah, I trust her.”