- August 9th, 2014
This time, I will not fail, Genki tells himself again and again, whenever he walks into rehearsal for Gamushara Sexy Natsu Matsuri. He's the captain for Team Mu, after all, the oldest and supposedly the most responsible, but more than a compliment, it feels like a crushing weight to know that he's been chosen for this position. After all, it's just because he's popular (somehow, he doesn't really know why, even now) that they've put him in the most important role; Fu has breakdancing experience, and Genta has been taking dancing lessons for years, and heck, even Kaito and little Hayashi Ren can do a backflip, but Genki has nothing to give, no skills or talents that he can use to support the team, no way to contribute to their goal, no anything. Besides his name and his fans who will buy tickets, of course, and so, it's in that abysmal knowledge that he tells himself, at the very least, he can't fail, not this time, not again.
But of course, if only it were that easy, Genki wouldn't be the failure that he is, and of course, he does fail, again and again. He's already bad at dancing to begin with, and he's approximately the least "cool," the least "badass," the least breakdance-appropriate person in the whole world, and especially in comparison to his teammates, he's nothing but a burden. No matter how hard he tries, he'll never be able to keep up with the rest of them, and it doesn't help that every single failure is poked and prodded and blown up larger than life for the sake of enjoyable reality TV. Genki knows that this is what it takes to be an idol, knows that all he really has to offer is his suffering and shortcomings to please the fans, but still, it hurts to watch the rest of them succeed when he fails, it hurts to know that he's holding the whole team back, it hurts to know that he'll never, ever be able to help the team that he's supposed to be leading.
But what else is there to do but push on? After all, for better or for worse, the Matsuri is going to happen, and Genki is going to perform, so even if he can't really succeed, can't get good enough to be at the same level as the others, he just has to keep going as best he can. If there's anything he's learned in his years in Johnny's, it's that no matter how much of a failure he is, there's nothing else he can do besides keep trying, and maybe not always, but most of the time, somehow, things will work out. It doesn't feel very good, to know that he's just scraping by, but it's better than dragging everyone down by having a total breakdown, and besides, maybe, slowly by surely, the persistence pays off. Not so much as the efforts of his friends who are much more talented than he is, of course, but since good things seem to happen to Genki for seemingly no reason, he assumes that his hard work must make at least a small difference, as bland and talentless as he is.
And so he pushes forward, rehearsal after rehearsal, unable to do the choreography, unable to build any muscles, unable to do a back flip, unable to do anything but keep trying. It's disheartening and depressing, but it's what Genki does best, and so he tries to be responsible where he can, planning practice schedules and motivating the others as much as possible and struggling along at his own slow rate the rest of the time. He isn't much of a leader, but at least he's not too much of a burden, either, and that's what counts, right?
That's what he tells himself, anyway, but still, it's easy to feel disheartened at the end of the day, leaving the rehearsal hall alone. After all, little Ren gets picked up by his mother more often than not, and Fu is in a hurry to meet Kishi a seemingly impossible amount of the time. Kaito is so shy and quiet, Genki isn't sure what to make of the way he scurries out at the end of the day, and Genta usually slips off to the Funcussion studio to find Matsuku. It's not that they don't like him, Genki knows, not that they're trying to snub him, but he's just not a very good leader, not good at drawing everyone together, especially not when they're all leaps and bounds ahead of him, not when they've been moving further and further while Genki struggles to figure out a simple back flip…
But then suddenly, "…Iwahashi-kun?" he hears, and it startles him out of his thoughts. The voice is quiet and unassuming, but Genki would recognize Genta's signature lisp anywhere, and he smiles, the tension easing out of his shoulders as he turns to face Genta with a smile.
"It's Genki, remember?" he says, ruffling Genta's hair and giving Genta a friendly wink. One thing that he has gotten better at, he thinks, is being something of a senpai, a friend, he supposes, really, more than anything. Knowing people actually like him, might actually look up to him is something he doesn't understand, but it feels good all the same, and so he can't help but grin when Genta smiles back at him with a nod. "What's up?"
"Um," Genta says, shyly, looking down at his feet for a moment before continuing, "I just wanted to say that I think it's amazing that you can keep going even when the teachers are mean to you and staff are mean to you and you're trying hard but no one cares." He looks up at Genki again hesitantly through his lashes, shrugging. "I-- I mean, don't tell the staff I said that! But… I just… thank you're a really awesome leader," he finishes, giggling a little nervously.
There are a lot of thoughts going through Genki's head at the moment-- like the fact that Genta really is amazingly cute, and it's no wonder all the boys are always after him, or the fact that it's unfathomable that Genta would think that he's amazing when Genta's the one with actual dancing skills-- but somehow, what comes out of his mouth is, "I promise I won't tell~" And somehow, that sounds so cool, so collected, that it gives him a boost of confidence, enough to sling an arm around Genta's shoulders as they walk towards the elevator together. "But I'm not awesome. I just want to help everyone do their best."
It's the undeniable truth, but somehow, Genki had never thought of it in those terms until it was coming out of his mouth, and it feels good, just like Genta's wide grin in response feels good, too. It makes Genki think that maybe, he's improving a little less slowly and a little more steadily than he thought, that maybe, somehow, yet again, he's managed to succeed, just a little.
But right now, he thinks, it isn't the time to be thinking about his own problems, and so, bumping shoulders affectionately with Genta, he asks, "What do you say to ice cream? Senpai's treat." And he can't be entirely sure, but somehow, the smile that blossoms on Genta's lips makes Genki feel like maybe, just maybe, this time, he didn't fail, after all.