by cimorene

The first time Nino crawled into Ohno's lap, Ohno really was surprised. That's a significant fact because in all the time since then, Nino's touch has never surprised Ohno again: not Nino's chin on his shoulder, not Nino's toes on his leg, not Nino's hand on his hip, not Nino's legs around his waist. Sometimes he probably should be surprised - he knows this from things Sho and Jun say to him. But Ohno can't train himself to surprise, because after that first eye-opening shock when all the long gangly bits of Nino had tumbled over the back of a couch and into his lap, nothing has ever felt so natural and right to him as touching Nino, or Nino touching him.

Ohno had gathered Nino closer because he wanted to, and in the absence of knowing what he should do had thought he would just do that, and Nino had relaxed boneless against him with his elbow digging into Ohno's ribs and his face tucked into Ohno's neck. He'd laughed softly, "Ohchan was in the way," but after he'd disentangled himself from Ohno and turned around to face the rest of the room he still hadn't moved away, just nudged Ohno's knee aside to make more room for his legs and leaned back against the arm of the couch and the curve of Ohno's body. By the end of the game of cards Ohno had been used to the feeling, a little drunk on it. He'd petted Nino's hair partly because it was there, and it was so soft, tickling his cheek, and he wondered what it would be like between his fingers; but also because he'd thought, if he likes it, if he likes sitting on me, leaning on me, maybe he'll do it again.

Nino has long since moved beyond merely touching Ohno, now, and Ohno has moved past accepting touches and touching Nino back; now he knows Nino's language, Nino's skin, Nino's fingers, Nino's mouth, the musky undertone to Nino's smell in the hollows of his hips. Now he understands each touch and responds to it, and uses his body to speak to Nino, to calm him with a light touch on the small of his back, to ask a question with his hand on Nino's wrist, to lean on him to say I'm here; we're together; I choose you. Nino used to sometimes twine around him defiantly, as if daring Ohno or anyone to say anything about it, as if reassuring himself that he could; Ohno never answered that because he never knew how to, and he wonders now at his helplessness.

Today Nino has been touching Ohno all day with increasing urgency - his shoulder, his side, his arm and hand, his knee. He's been watching Ohno with serious eyes; and when Ohno was sketching the t-shirt picture backstage Nino was stretched out next to him, and twice when Ohno caught his eye he licked his lips so slowly that Ohno had to blink and force his attention back to his work. He's a little worried about standing so near Nino now, with the energy he can feel from Nino, the weight of Nino's hand on his shoulder, the way he starts to reach for Ohno's hand as they're leaving before they are even out of the gym.

When the cameras are off Ohno thinks, we should get home, but there is only so much of Nino looking at him like that that he can take in one day, so he says instead, "Oh, I think we'd better change out of these first - don't you?", turning to Nino, and "Where are our clothes?", to the closest member of their crew. Nino's eyes spark, and Ohno almost forgets to wait for the clothes to be brought before they're walking into the locker room with what is probably unseemly haste.

The room is clearly empty, but they're cautious anyway all the way down the row of lockers, into the first empty shower stall and the curtain closed behind them, and Nino whispering "Kinky, Ohchan," against his ear, crowding him up against the wall.

Ohno wraps his arms around Nino's shoulders and puts his hands in Nino's hair and tilts Nino's head down, just the way he likes it, and kisses Nino hard. He worries only about Nino's mouth for the moment, and lets Nino worry about his shirt - he can feel him working at it, sliding his hands up under it and smoothing along the sides of Ohno's spine, bunching it up under Ohno's arms.

Ohno eases back from him, breathing hard, and stands wordless while Nino pulls the shirt off over his head. Nino is grinning at him, crooked and mischievous so his eyes crinkle at the corners. His mouth is damp. "Here," he says, and picks up Ohno's grey striped shirt, "you put it on while I take mine off, we'll have more time."

"I don't really think here... " Ohno says, but years of quick costume-change have him in the shirt and buttoning it before his sentence has finished trailing off, and once Nino is shirtless he puts both his hands back on Nino's waist to feel his naked skin.

"Mm, no," says Nino, covering Ohno's hands with his own, and they slide the white shorts off his hips together. "But hurry up and we'll get home sooner -" he says to hurry up but he's toying with the waistband of Ohno's boxers, teasing under the edge of it with his thumbs, "- and then we'll have more time at home."

"Oh," says Ohno vaguely, "right," but it's just - Nino's skin, he's standing in the yellowish glare of a fluorescent light from above catching in all the little hairs on his arms, limning him in a haze of silver light, and his shoulder blades jut out in Ohno's hands, and he whines faintly when Ohno kisses his collarbone and arches into Ohno's hands and he's only in his boxers. Ohno thinks, right here, right now - I could drop to my knees, we could still be home in time to make dinner, I can feel him in my hand, probably no one would come in. Probably. He can taste Nino so nearly that his tongue is tingling.

Nino makes fists in the fabric of Ohno's shirt at his shoulders, pushing Ohno back, but he's still standing a foot away, his hips filling Ohno's hands. "Ohchan," he murmurs, "Ohchan," something he's called Ohno for years, since before the first time they kissed or held hands, since almost the first day they met.

"Nino," Ohno answers, kissing his shoulder, reluctantly taking his hands away from Nino and reaching out for Nino's t-shirt.

"Ahh," Nino says, sounding disappointed, but he takes the shirt and he's completely dressed by the time Ohno manages to change his pants, and in the end they make it out of the locker room in under five minutes.

Nino's laughing casually, "You learned the dance after all!" when they emerge from the locker room with their white cheerleading costumes draped over their arms.

"Yeah, somehow I managed," Ohno replies. "Thanks for worrying."

Nino turns his head to catch Ohno's eye and bends close: "I was a little worried, but I knew you would in the end. Sometimes Ohchan needs a little time, but he always catches on eventually." His attitude is warm and intimate, and Ohno just smiles back at him. Nino has never understood, and Ohno has never been able to tell him, that Ohno has always known about them; that all that time when he didn't know what he should do he still knew perfectly well what he wanted.

Like Ohno is an artist, like he just knows this, like he already knew it even when he didn't understand how lines fit together and was drawing anyway - Nino was like that for him, inescapable and self-evident, fascinating.

"You think so?" says Ohno, and stuffs his hands in his pockets, walks a little closer.

The night closes around them, moist but crisply cool, and Nino falls into step beside him, shoulder-to-shoulder. When Ohno glances at him, Nino beams and puts his arm around Ohno. "Let's hurry, Leader," he says.

"Your place?" Ohno murmurs, and wraps his arm tightly around Nino's waist, hand moulding to the sharp point of Nino's hipbone: yes, let's hurry, I want to -

"Yes," says Nino.

"Yes," says Ohno. "Let's hurry."


episode tag for the 2005.09.10 cheerleading grannies episode of mago mago arashi, sep 2006; beta by elfie.