A Series of Attempts by Matsumoto Jun to Paint His Fingernails
by cimorene

1. By Himself


  • Nail polish (Black, Orange, Silver Glitter)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Coffee mug (full - light roast coffee, cream, no sugar)
  • Small band-aid (1)


Failure. Nail polish on cuticles and coffee table; coffee mug knocked over and broken, coffee spilled; hand cut on shards of coffee mug.

Notes for further study:

  • Steady hands prerequisite for painting nails?
  • Don't paint nails in proximity to coffee mugs/ other breakables/ food and beverages?

Jun had been painting his nails by himself since he was five or six.

That was why it was strange for him to have so much trouble with it. Sometimes it was just impossible to hold a tiny little brush and paint a straight line with it, though, and Jun was having one of those rare unfortunate days when he couldn't do anything right. He stubbed his toe getting out of the bath, dropped his shirt and put it on inside out, spilled coffee in the sink and had to refill his cup, and then hit his head on the cabinet door. He finally settled onto the couch with his coffee, feeling shaken, and reached for a bottle of nail polish.

It would have been better to not even have tried. First he painted too thin and painted over it too fast; then he painted over the end of the nail on his ring finger and got a line of glitter on his fingertip.

"Shit," Jun muttered, and put down the brush upside-down, or tried to. When he reached for his coffee he knocked over the brush, and when he jumped and grabbed for it he knocked over the coffee, and when he tried frantically to shove away a stack of magazines before coffee got on them he almost knocked over the whole bottle of polish.

At that point he realised that painting his nails hadn't been such a great idea, and paused to stare for a moment at the puddle of steaming coffee dripping onto the floor and the glimmering daub of silver glitter and the brush in the middle of it. Then he dragged himself into the kitchen for some paper towels and back and cut himself picking up a piece of broken coffee mug.

"This sucks," Jun said.

2. With Sakurai Sho


  • Nailfile
  • Nailpolish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Nail polish (Black, Orange, Silver Glitter, Pearl White)


Failure. Nail polish on cuticles and bandaid.

Notes for further study:

  • Complete lack of girliness adversely affects nail-painting ability?
  • Why is Sho slightly clumsy in preparing food, perfectly fine at preparing tea, excellent at preparing coffee? Merely practise?
  • Does coffee taste better when person drinking is stressed? ("How are you going to test that?" said Jun. "Oh," said Aiba, "right.") Does coffee seem to taste better when person drinking is stressed? Does this depend whether person drinking likes or dislikes coffee?

Jun thought first about calling Ohno, actually, because he already knew for a fact that Ohno was good at painting. He wouldn't have any trouble making a straight line with a tiny little brush.

Then Jun remembered the way they'd all seen Nino bundle Ohno away in a taxi last night after dinner, with one hand in Ohno's back pocket and the other hand inside the waist of his pants, and Ohno telling Aiba about a crippled trumpet player near the subway and stroking Nino's back like nothing was going on (as usual), even when his belt came unfastened with a decidedly audible clink. Ohno had been in Osaka the whole past week; seeing them both at the studio on time today was probably the most that could be expected. Knowing Nino, they wouldn't even be out of bed yet.

"Hey, are you busy?" Jun asked when Sho answered his phone.

"Busy? Huh? Well, only since we're recording this afternoon," said Sho.

"Yeah, yeah. But now? Can you come over?"

When Sho saw Jun disconsolately picking up the broken pieces of coffee mug - holding them with a towel, this time, he didn't want to get cut again - he blinked and said, "Matsujun, what is that?"

"Nothing," Jun sighed, "just the pitiful remains of my breakfast."

"It doesn't look very tasty. You should try something more chewable."

"I hadn't got around to it when the cup broke," said Jun; "I didn't even get to drink my coffee." Sho did a poor job of pretending not to roll his eyes and went in Jun's kitchen to make a second pot of coffee.

"Have you ever painted fingernails before?" Jun said in between bites of sushi rice from a tupperware his mom had given him.

Sho looked doubtful. "I don't know, exactly. Kind of. Not really."

"It doesn't count if you were drunk or someone else did it for you."

"Or Aiba was holding Leader down and made me help him give Leader a French manicure, but it didn't come out very well?"

Jun snorted. "No, that doesn't count either. This coffee's great," he added.

"Really? Thanks," said Sho. "And in that case, no."

"That's okay," Jun grinned. "We can go slow, you'll take your time, I'll be gentle, it's not very hard - "

Sho rolled his eyes some more. Then he said "Wait, you want me to?"

"Considering how my day is going so far, I'd better not try it again myself," Jun said, handed him the orange bottle, and quirked an eyebrow. "Whenever you're ready. Don't be nervous, now."

Sho was careful, but his edges were still sloppy and he got nail polish all over the bandaid on Jun's index finger. Jun left the bandaid on, because the stripe of silver glitter on it looked kind of cool, but he took all the rest off. "Don't worry about it," he smirked at Sho over the bottle of remover. "Everyone's first time is a little awkward. You'll get better."

"Does that mean you want me to do it again?" said Sho.

"No," said Jun.

3. With Ohno Satoshi


  • Nail polish (Pearl White, Orange, Silver Glitter, Black)


Partial failure; incomplete. Six out of ten nails painted.

Notes for further study:


Contrary to popular expectation, Ohno was at the studio already when Jun made an unusually quiet entrance, jiggling the bottles of nail polish in his pants pocket so they clicked together. The empty fluorescent-lit banality of the hallway opened up to one of those dreary pocket-sized places with short under-stuffed couches a little ways away from the studio they were booked in, and Ohno was sitting on one of the couches with his elbows on his knees, staring into space.

"Ahh, Leader, hi!" said Jun, and dropped down next to Ohno on the stiff too-low couch. He put his arm around Ohno's shoulders and leaned against him. Ohno was good for leaning on. He was small, but steady, and strong. He wouldn't turn on you and twist around until he was leaning on you instead like Nino, and he wouldn't get distracted and bounce away or start vibrating with nervous energy like Aiba. He barely seemed to notice sometimes; he just took being leaned on as a matter of course (probably the result of all Nino's training over the years).

"Hi, Jun," said Ohno.

This was his chance! "Quick, look, here," Jun exclaimed, fumbling in his pocket for the nail polish. He got the white bottle out first and pressed it into Ohno's hands, then the orange. "Paint my nails for me."

"Nails?" Ohno said, calmly. "Paint your fingernails?"

"Yep." Jun slid to the floor in front of Ohno and presented his right hand, fingers spread.

Ohno shrugged and opened the white polish. "Okay."

Ohno bent over his work, squinted at what he was doing and wrinkled his nose in concentration, and generally gave the impression that whatever he was concentrating on was the hardest thing he'd had to do all day. In spite of that, his hands were steady and he was fast, too. He painted Jun's thumbnail half white and half orange just how Jun liked it with a few neat, perfect strokes. The forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky went as smoothly. Leader did something Jun had never seen before and painted French tips in two pieces, instead of with a second layer, but he didn't even make a mistake with that.

Unfortunately, just after Ohno painted Jun's left pinky nail solid glittery silver, the door at the end of the hall opened and Aiba's voice called, "Oh, you guys are there already! Here they are!" Sho followed him through the door, Leader looked up and put the brush down to say hello to them, Sho asked Jun if he'd ever eaten anything after that sushi rice for breakfast, and by the time Jun turned around again Leader was completely gone.

Jun put the lid back on the silver nail polish. He knew who to blame.

4. With Ninomiya Kazunari


  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Nail polish (Orange, Silver Glitter, Pearl White, Black)
  • Paper towels (stack about 2 cm in height)
  • Pocket tissues (2)


Failure. Nail polish on cuticles, on Nino's shoe, and on carpet; nail polish remover spilled on carpet and hands, ruining 6 nails previously painted by Ohno Satoshi.

Notes for further study:

  • Nino is rarely clumsy; why spectacularly so whenever he is?
  • How long will the nail polish on Nino's shoe last? Will he leave it as claimed or get tired of it? If the former, will it wear off by itself? (Include frequency/time worn in calculations.)
  • Nail polish remover smell really cause of headache? ("You're not going to test that," Jun snorted, "don't be stupid." Telling Aiba not to be stupid was a waste of breath, but in this case it made Jun feel better to say it anyway. "Don't worry, not on you!" said Aiba. "You're not supposed to breathe it," said Jun. "You don't have to test that. They already know.")

"Hey," said Jun, collaring Nino quite firmly (and literally, with an elbow around his neck) on the way out of the recording studio, "you're coming to fix my fingernails for me, since you messed them up before."

"I did?" said Nino, sounding unconcerned and not particularly curious, but he reached up and tangled his fingers with Jun's and followed him obediently enough back to the too-short couch down the hall.

"Leader was painting them for me when you took him away before - for God's sake, ew," Jun added, when Nino smirked and licked his lips.

Nino blinked innocently at him, but the smirk didn't go away. It was something about the shape of Nino's eyes, Jun thought - they were adult eyes, calm and knowing, and things like smugness and regret and pity lingered in them past when every trace of expression should have been gone from his face.

"If we hurry we'll still have time to eat something before the end of the break," said Nino, lining up Jun's bottles of nail polish on the couch cushion between them. "Are you hungry?" He appeared to consider his choice for a second or two before opening the orange bottle and reaching for Jun's hand.

"A little," said Jun, "but it's only four; it's not like you really need to hurry."

But then, after he painted Jun's thumbnail, Nino paused and looked at his own hands. He wiggled his fingers thoughtfully as if testing for pins and needles, then deliberately painted an orange horizontal stripe on three of them. "Let's use another colour," Nino mused, and glanced up at Jun with that infectious little Nino-smile that made you want to either hug him till he smothered or really hug him till he smothered, and possibly finish the job off with a pillow.

Nino switched to black and painted his thumbnail and half his pinky nail, then added some small, apparently random daubs of colour to the other fingernails - with a sort of distant, vague air, but not slowly, thankfully, because he put the lid back on without painting any of Jun's nails at all.

It was with the silver glitter that the problems began to arise. First, Nino put far too much polish on the brush for one nail, and it got all over Jun's cuticles. Then he examined his own fingers for long enough that Jun burst out, "Want me to do it?"

Nino suddenly pulled both his feet up onto the couch, which put his knees practically around his ears. He was perched on the edge like a frog, all jutting knees and elbows and messy hair. Jun rescued the capless bottle of silver nail polish before he could kick it over. "We can do my toes," said Nino.

Jun laughed. The fact that Nino was serious - well, not actually serious, since he was grinning from ear to ear, but in earnest at least - made it even funnier. "There's no time," he said. "Hurry and do my other two fingers. I want some food." He reached for the brush in Nino's hand, and in the ensuing altercation, Nino painted a long stripe of silver glitter over the toe of his own sneaker.

"Oops," said Jun, and reached down into the shoulder bag he'd been carrying, "here's the remover."

"That's okay, it's kind of cool," said Nino, but he took the bottle out of Jun's hand anyway and took off its cap. Then he tried to set it down, and the rest was history. By the time they'd finished wiping the polish remover up with the pocket tissues in Nino's pocket and all the paper towels in the nearest bathroom, it had turned all the polish on Jun's finished nails, the Ohno ones and the Nino ones, into a gooey mess. The dark spot on the carpet wasn't too visible, but you could smell it a mile away, and Jun already had a headache.

"I'd better find a window to open," said Nino.

"I'll come with you," said Jun. "I'm going to stick my head out of it."

Sadly, Nino missed the note of censure in Jun's voice. "Okay," he said. "I'll make sure you don't fall out."

5. With Aiba Masaki


  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Nail polish (Orange, Silver Glitter, Pearl White, Black)


Failure. Surface of nail polish wrinkly ("Failure?" Jun said incredulously, taking the pen out of Aiba's hand.) SUCCESS! Debatable. Nails mostly coloured, but will have to be redone due to strange texture. However, subject is pleased.

Notes for further study:

  • Application of second coat of nail polish acts as solvent, partially but not wholly softening previous coat, resulting in strange texture, but only during certain partially-dried state; how long? Does applying second coat thicker make first coat less likely to wrinkle? Is it possible to wrinkle polish at all once completely dried?

The day was over, and looking back on it with hindsight, it did not look good. Jun had eaten nothing but sushi rice, Sho's excellent coffee, and vending machine tea. He'd cut himself, his nail polish had been ruined three times and Nino's shoes once, he still had a headache, and they had another studio session tomorrow morning. Also, he was almost out of people to paint his nails. The only one left he hadn't tried was -

"Matsujun," said Aiba, very close to his ear, and touched his shoulder. "Are you all right?"

"A little headache," Jun lied (it was a big headache), tilting his head towards the sound of Aiba's voice and stretching his neck.

"Hmm," Aiba murmured thoughtfully. The hand on his shoulder moved to the side of his neck and pressed for a moment alongside his spine, at the nape of his neck and above his collarbone.

It was an absent-minded comforting gesture for Aiba, but it felt so good that Jun groaned. "Do that again."

He closed his eyes and let Aiba pull him to the side a few steps, probably so they weren't completely blocking the doorway any longer. Aiba cupped the back of Jun's neck and squeezed gently, testing the tendons with his fingertips. The next thing Jun felt was a gentle tickling touch at the side of his face and his eyes flew open, but Aiba was still behind him, fingertips on his temples.

"Mmm," he said, momentarily wordless.

"You'd better let me give you a massage," said Aiba, with the air of a doctor pronouncing a diagnosis.

Jun raised an eyebrow at him, but shrugged. "It's your turn to paint my fingernails anyway," he said.

Aiba looked puzzled at first: "Hmm?" Then he appeared to get a little excited: "Oh! Is that what you and Ninomiya were doing in the break? You didn't eat lunch either, did you? I'm taking you to dinner," he finished, in a decided tone that meant he was absolutely not going to be budged, and took Jun's arm and practically dragged him out of the building.

But my massage, Jun thought. He knew being in a restaurant would never stop Aiba from giving a massage. "But my nails," he protested.

Aiba took his hand and patted it gently. "Takeout," he said. "It'll be faster if I don't have to cook."

That was true. It wasn't that Aiba was a bad cook; he was a good cook, it was just that things sometimes tended to go wrong when he was cooking. Even cooking something as simple as fried rice could have him in a stuttering, nervous flutter for half an hour or more. Watching Aiba cook was fun every now and then, because Aiba distracted and fluttering around busy and excited was Aiba at his cutest (and that was saying something, for Aiba) - but it didn't sound very appealing to Jun with his head slowly throbbing.

"Okay," Jun said.

They walked two and a half blocks to the tiny Thai place with the giant Buddha made of holographic stickers in the window, and Jun stared at a plastic lemon tree and tried to remember if there had been a fake bird in it the last time he was there while Aiba ordered what was probably way too much food. Then Aiba put his arm around Jun's waist and steered him into a taxi.

"Headache, huh?" he said brightly in the taxi. "Do you have a headache because you're grumpy, or are you grumpy because you have a headache, I wonder?"

This seemed unfair to Jun, because sure, the headache had upset him a little and he'd had a bad day, and he'd probably been quiet and frowning, but he hadn't grumped at Aiba at all. "I'm not grumpy," he replied with a hint of ice, "and I have the headache because I inhaled a bunch of nail polish remover when Nino spilled it at the lunch break."

"Ahhh! You've had it all afternoon already," said Aiba, who could be quite impervious, not least to hints of ice. "No wonder you look like that."

Jun was still trying to decide whether to be offended when Aiba carefully gathered his face in both hands - cool, long smooth fingers, faintly clammy from the plastic takeout bag - and pressed against his temples. Jun's eyes had already closed involuntarily when Aiba reached to smooth them shut with his thumbs, murmuring Relax the eyelids too, Matsujun. (His voice had gone soft the way it did sometimes, Aiba-soft, and - breathy, almost dreamy? Or was that Jun's imagination?)

Aiba was really good at massages, a fact which was no less significant because Jun had known it already. Jun had to bite his lip to keep from making a sound; he didn't even notice when the taxi stopped.

He did his best to flatten himself face-first into Aiba's couch as soon as possible, even though his feet stuck up in the air over the other arm and there was a pink cardigan lying wrinkled over the cushion he was pressing his face into, with a crease under his cheek and one of the sleeves trailing down to the floor like a hand dipping in the water over the side of a boat. The cardigan was a few shades browner than one of Jun's favourite colours, and it smelled slightly like Aiba.

A cereal bowl appeared in Jun's considerably narrowed field of vision (his face was mostly hidden in the couch cushion), and he watched Aiba's hands upend the takeout box over it and scrape out the contents with a pair of clear blue plastic chopsticks. "It's the spicy bamboo coconut milk stuff," said Aiba, "you liked that, right?"

Jun flopped over on his back and propped his head up on the arm of the couch, and ate the bowlful without sitting up completely. "Is really spicy food bad for a headache?" he asked halfway through the bowl, about the time his eyes and nose started running.

"Mmm, I don't know," said Aiba around a mouthful of shrimp. "What do you think - do you feel anything?"

"I feel my eyes watering," Jun said dryly, and reached for a tissue.

"But that might be good for it," Aiba returned. "Or it might be bad. They used hot peppers as an experimental cure for migraines, you know."

When Jun had finished eating, Aiba knelt beside the couch and put his fingertips at Jun's temples again. "Is this okay?" he kept saying. "Do you feel better? How about that?"

"Fine," Jun said, and then "Un" and finally just "Mm" - it was hard to talk while Aiba massaged his face, and more importantly, he didn't really want to - Aiba's fingers had crept along his cheekbones almost to the bridge of his nose and trailed down under the line of his jaw onto his neck and chin, and he felt like his face was melted, or maybe even vaporised, like it might just float away from his body.

"I don't do faces very often," Aiba mumbled, after Jun's only response to his last question was a shamefully inarticulate purring hum.

Reassurance seemed called for. "You should," Jun said dreamily.

"Ah - " Aiba's face bent over his, upside-down, serious and smooth, eyes shrouded in shadow, and for an instant Jun was absolutely positive that he was going to smile. He waited for the smile; he could almost hear it coming; but Aiba only said simply, "I can't. It's a little too intimate for a granny or someone - " and dug his thumbs slowly into the hinge of Jun's jaw.

"You have a point," Jun said a minute later, when it seemed that Aiba's hands were gone from his face for good.

"How's the head?" Aiba asked.

Jun was surprised to realise the headache was completely gone, although he did feel a little odd with every muscle in his face and neck syrupy and buzzing with pleasure. "Perfect," he replied. aiba's plan by elfiepike

Aiba planned the nail painting in advance: he wanted to know that he and Jun were in agreement about what went where. "This one half orange and half white, this one black, and these three white and silver?" he said, and "Orange on the bottom and white on the top - that's like a French manicure, isn't it?" He lined the bottles up in easy reach and started with Jun's left pinky nail and painted nail-by-nail, instead of one colour at a time.

"It's not like you've never painted nails before," said Jun.

Aiba smiled without lifting his head. "But Jun's are so much more complicated than anybody else's I know, and besides, my last attempt at a French manicure didn't turn out so well." He lifted Jun's fingertip off the coffee table and held it in two fingers, firm and gentle, while he painted the nail.

"Mm," said Jun, smiling a little too.

When all ten nails were painted - except for the French tips - Aiba didn't put Jun's hand back on the table, but screwed the cap back on the last bottle of polish one-handed. Jun felt fingertips inching up the undersides of his fingers until his hand wasn't touching the table at all.

"How about a hand massage?" Aiba asked him, absently stroking the back of Jun's hand with just the tips of his fingers. He wasn't looking at Jun but down at their hands - the firm contact of palm to palm and the more tentative contact of his fingertips on the back, so light it almost tickled.

"Uh - " Jun swallowed. "Yeah." He wasn't crazy enough to turn down any massage from Aiba, but he was starting to wonder if he was crazy, anyway. Aiba had Jun's pinky between his thumb and forefinger and his other hand curled around Jun's wrist, his mouth parted, face blank with concentration; Jun leaned forward to look at him better, and he didn't ask if Aiba gave hand massages often because he knew Aiba did. Suddenly it seemed intimate too - as intimate as the face massage, even though Aiba had massaged his hands before so many times, and if he was lingering this time, still...

Aiba looked up at him and grinned, dispelling the illusion of solemnity the same way his exuberance always transformed his unearthly beauty to disarmingly goofy cuteness. "I've never given a hand massage while completely avoiding the fingernails before," he confided. "How am I doing?"

Jun forced himself not to swallow again then, as Aiba closed his hand firmly around Jun's wrist and leaned closer. The illusion of solemnity might have gone, but the tension was still very much in the air. And even grinning, Aiba was kind of beautiful.

"Uh. I've had worse," Jun told him.

Aiba sounded pleased. "Really? Ah, let's do the French tips before I forget."

So it was really due to the hand massage that Jun's nails were messed up that time. If not for the hand massage, or rather the way Aiba sneakily started making Jun's mouth go dry during it, Jun would have known it was too early to add another layer of polish. As it was, he had lost all sense of the passage of time (except in that he'd felt transported back to age eighteen and that brief, awkward crush when Aiba had suddenly grown into his looks and gone from graceful-but-strange to mysteriously, breathtakingly pretty).

He wasn't at all prepared for those second-coat wrinkles in the polish. Aiba clearly wasn't either. It didn't happen on the thumbnail or forefinger, and it wasn't until the pinky that they noticed it. Aiba tried to paint a broader stripe and the brush stuck and, sure enough, the half-dried black polish underneath crinkled up like a sheet of plastic.

"Oh - " Jun said, too late; Aiba moved the brush back to try to fix it, which only made it worse, and when the brush came free there were pronounced ripples in the surface of the polish.

"What - why did it do that?" Aiba exclaimed, leaning down as if he'd be able to tell if his face were closer.

"The first coat wasn't dry yet," said Jun.

"You mean it's done it before? Hey, look - it's like that on your middle finger too, but we didn't notice." He looked up at Jun wide-eyed. "Let me try it on the other hand." It wasn't really a question, though, because he was already picking up the brush again. Jun sighed and let him.

Aiba's experimentation with Jun's right hand proved that he could tear the original coat and pull it aside, revealing fingernail underneath; that he could control the wrinkles slightly but not very much; and that, with some effort, he could get the whole first layer of polish stuck to the brush and pick it up, leaving the nail underneath almost clean. "Wow, incredible," Aiba breathed.

"Wow," Jun echoed a little sardonically. It was kind of cool, but, well - Aiba was just so Aiba. Nobody in the world made Jun roll his eyes more (or enjoy himself more doing it).

Then Aiba looked up and met his eyes and said, "Hey, thanks. I'll fix them for you later," his gaze unexpectedly unsmiling and unnervingly steady.

"It's okay," Jun replied automatically. "It's - okay."

"Really," Aiba smiled, rising gracefully to his feet and coming around the coffee table. "But now my curiosity is satisfied, I promise I'll do it right next time." He folded himself onto the couch next to Jun as he spoke, one long leg after the other, his bare toes tickling Jun's knee.

"Uh-huh," said Jun, wondering why Aiba was pushing him back into the couch cushions and nudging him sideways.

"Turn over so I can reach your shoulders, okay?" said Aiba. "It's not all that complicated, right? I'm sure it will come out fine this time." Ah - another massage. Aiba was leaning over him, close and warm, and Jun had to squash a little tendril of disappointment. Massages were good. "I know what you're thinking," Aiba continued -

"I doubt it," Jun muttered -

- "But you know I'm a fast learner - what?"

"I really don't think you know what I'm thinking," said Jun, whose brain was slightly preoccupied with the knowledge that he should stop staring and turn over like Aiba had told him to, but mainly with the realisation that even if he had stopped having that nerve-wracking little crush five years ago Aiba had never actually stopped being hot.

"Ah," said Aiba, blankly, staring at him.

"Yeah," said Jun.

"Is that so," said Aiba.

"Yes," said Jun.

"What, then?" Aiba finally asked.

Jun surprised even himself then, because although he didn't often go around thinking about how Aiba was hot, it wasn't in itself particularly unlikely; but Jun actually kissing Aiba certainly was - and that was what he did. Aiba was right there, hovering, off-balance; Jun put a hand to the back of his neck and pulled, and he tipped forward, his knee landing in Jun's lap and his mouth on Jun's mouth.

Aiba stiffened slightly in surprise, but he went with the kiss, of course, without question or hesitation. Hmmm, it seemed to be saying, a frankly curious easy exploratory kiss - what's this about? What did Jun taste like? Did Jun's mouth feel like it looked? How did he kiss? How did he move his tongue?

Then it passed the stage that could be called exploratory when Jun took a breath, and instead of pulling back, Aiba settled into his lap and pushed his fingers into Jun's hair and started kissing him again. Apparently he had made up his mind that this was a good idea. It was seeming like a better and better idea to Jun, too. He liked the way Aiba kissed enthusiastically and awkwardly, and the way he moved his tongue deliberately; he liked the way he tasted and the softness of his full lips and the feeling of Aiba gasping, the little puffs of breath against Jun's mouth.

"Do you want to...," said Aiba, trailing his fingers down Jun's chest.

"Yes," said Jun, and jerked open the button of Aiba's pants.

"Okay," said Aiba breathily, touching Jun's neck and his hair again, "okay," brushing his mouth behind Jun's ear and stopping to kiss the edge of his jaw, "good," and slid his hands under Jun's shirt onto his stomach.

Jun would have shut him up by kissing him again, but Aiba's native enthusiasm took care of that for him - he applied himself to the kiss as soon as he'd got Jun's fly undone. Honestly, it was hardly necessary for Aiba to do anything special. Considering how many thousands of times over the years Jun had had a lapful of Aiba, or vice-versa, it was surprising how much he was getting off all of a sudden just from Aiba sprawling on top of him, Aiba fumbling blindly with his underwear, Aiba's heavy breathing up close on his face.

Aiba really concentrating on that kiss, really trying, was accordingly disastrous to Jun's control. "Like this?" he murmured, and licked, and smirked: "oh, like this" when Jun clutched at him desperately and pulled his head down, forgetting that he'd been in the process of getting Aiba's pants out of the way. He forgot everything except more kissing: more of Aiba's slow teasing tongue, his short flirty butterfly kisses, his expressive exquisite mouth.

Jun could admit that he'd always kind of gotten off on Aiba's mouth, but he didn't think that was really saying anything special, considering Aiba's mouth; everyone probably got off on it, straight guys probably did, Sho probably got off on it. Now Aiba was using it against him, which wasn't fair as he had no chance against it, but Jun had no desire to complain.

He let himself sink back further into the couch until he was stretched out on his back and Aiba's hands, braced on the cushion to either side of Jun's head, fisted in the forgotten pink cardigan when Jun got past his underwear and touched his cock.

"Oh, good, Matsujun," Aiba purred in between sucking on Jun's lower lip and kissing under his ear, and except for being a little strained he sounded the same as he always did getting excited about a good idea - "That's great, you - ah," and Jun found another way to shut him up.

Though he could never be rendered speechless for long, Aiba could get much quieter when his attention was fully absorbed, and it seemed making out was no different from cooking or building houses of cards or playing darts underwater with him. Though he didn't speak, Jun knew Aiba well enough that he could almost see him thinking those scientific-investigation thoughts, like touch the hips lightly, not firmly and nipples: tongue, not hands and scratching Matsujun's back: try again later?. And later he could sense when Aiba stopped thinking that kind of thing entirely: when he buried his face against Jun's hip and shuddered when he let out his breath, when Jun tried to ask him something and realised he didn't know what he wanted to say, when Aiba panted his name and forgot to say Matsujun and called him "Jun - Jun" instead.

For a minute Jun thought he understood how Aiba felt all the time, because he was consumed with curiosity, he had to know what Aiba looked like when he came; and then Aiba stiffened and curled his hips into Jun and Jun could feel his toes curling too, against Jun's leg, and he stared at the ceiling, because Aiba's face was hidden in his shoulder and he couldn't see it.

"Your toes curled," Jun started to say, absurdly pleased by that fact, but then Aiba made a thoughtful noise and shifted so he could get a firmer grip on Jun's cock and did his best to make Jun's toes curl, too. Jun was too turned on for that - it only took a minute of Aiba's patient confident strokes, Aiba watching Jun's face intently for reactions and smiling when he got them. There was hardly time for his toes to curl before he was coming too, and even though he'd meant to just clench his fists somehow he found himself hugging Aiba instead. Aiba didn't mind. He barely seemed to notice, just rolled to the side so he wasn't completely on top of Jun and went limp.

"Mmmm," sighed Jun. "Masaki?"

"What?" Aiba murmured thickly. "Don't tell me you still need a massage after that."

This was so unexpected that Jun burst out laughing. "No," he said. "Thank you. I feel pretty relaxed."

"You can still have one," Aiba said, shifting onto his side and somehow wriggling into the space between Jun and the back of the couch. "After I've recovered a little. Jun-chan, making out is kind of exhausting, don't you think?"

Aiba was taking up the space formerly occupied by Jun's arm. For lack of any place better, Jun finally settled it around Aiba's shoulders. "Yeah."

"That's right! Your nails," Aiba exclaimed. "I'll help you with those too."

Jun shook his head. "Nah. I don't think today is a good day for painting nails. I'll do it tomorrow."

"Oh, good," said Aiba. "I'll help you then. You can sleep here tonight, okay?" Aiba's hand wandered from Jun's hip along the line of his groin muscle, his touch light and lazily exploratory.

"Sleep, hmmm," Jun drawled. He had his doubts about the purity of Aiba's intentions.

"Well," said Aiba, "first we can write up what went wrong with your fingernail-painting. Now that I'm planning to investigate it further, it would be good to document."

Jun wondered if it was especially bad manners to roll your eyes at someone when they actually had their hand in your pants, but then he decided it didn't matter if you were giving them what they wanted anyway. "Sure," he said.

"And of course," Aiba added, "we can make out some more, too."

6. With Aiba Masaki


  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Nail polish (Orange, Silver Glitter, Pearl White, Black)



Notes for further study:

  • Sexual activity was shown by certain scientific studies to improve performance of college students on exams; could same apply to nail polish application? Motor skills in general?
  • #6 section heading says "With Aiba Masaki", but can painting be said to have occurred "with" Aiba when Aiba's sole contribution was the orgasm preceding it? and the breakfast pre ("What does breakfast have to do with my fingernails?" said Jun. "What does the orgasm?" said Aiba. Jun raised his eyebrows, which didn't have any more effect on Aiba than telling him not to be stupid did, but Jun enjoyed it, at least. "I don't know," he said. "But I guess I could help you investigate.")

birthday ficlet for aeslis, aug-sep 2006; beta by elfie. and that completely fabulous, wonderful and adorable illustration is by elfie, too.