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[personal profile] te_chan01
Title: Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
Pairing:Ohno/Nino
Rating:PG
Warnings: None
Summary: Ohno receives a call that Nino was back in town after being away for years. The two haven’t changed at all, but their relationship is not the same as it was before.
Notes: I’ve written Arashi/Ohmiya only a couple times before, so I hope it’s alright~. Because of that it was a bit of a challenge to write, but it was fun.

It was six in the morning when Ohno’s phone vibrated near his ear. He let it go, too tired to wake up so early in the morning on a weekend. If it were important, his house phone would be called. He fell back to sleep before the vibrating even stopped, only to be woken up again a second time. He grabbed his phone and, rubbing his eyes, looked at the caller ID. Instantly Ohno woke up.

“Nino?” he answered, his heart pounding a bit quicker.

“I’m at the train station,” Nino said, “Come pick me up.” The phone was hung up then, no other greeting or explanation. Ohno jumped out of bed, throwing on whatever clothes his hands first landed on and hoped it matched. He was so excited to see his friend after so long that he didn’t care that he should have been able to sleep four more hours. Being able to hang out with a friend again made Ohno so happy he was shaking. He’d spent most of his time on his own for years, just going back and forth from home to work. Having Nino back would be like being in high school all over again.

Though it was winter, Ohno didn’t feel the cold at all while walking toward the station. The anticipation was enough to keep him warm. Hardly any people were out on the streets so early, as there were very few shops open at that time. The station was a short walk from his home, so in no time he was standing inside, looking around for a familiar face. Ten minutes passed and Nino was nowhere in sight. Ohno frowned again, wondering if it had been a trick. If Nino really wasn’t there yet. It wouldn’t be strange for Nino to do. Tricking others had been one of his favorite past times. It wouldn’t be odd if Nino wanted to start out his visit in the same way.

His vision was cut as a pair of hands covered his eyes. A short laugh from behind gave away who it was immediately, not like Ohno had to guess all that hard.

“Guess who?” Nino asked.

“I wonder.” Ohno pulled Nino’s hands off his eyes and turned around to face his friend. The man standing in front of him looked the exact same as he had when he’d left the town. He still had the same bright, mischievous eyes that were always looking for trouble. “You haven’t changed at all.”

“Neither have you.” Nino mussed with Ohno’s short hair. “You’ve had the same haircut forever.”

“Why change what looks good? And it’s easy so…”

Nino was standing there, across from Ohno, staring at him. “I, uh,” Nino started, but closed his mouth and rubbed the back of his neck. “I really missed it here.”

“I missed you too.” Ohno said, knowing well that it was what Nino really meant. It was amazing how little Nino had changed since they last saw each other years ago. He looked a bit older, but still extremely childish. “Do you have somewhere to stay?”

“Yeah,” Nino adjusted the bags on his shoulders. “I’m booked at a hotel until I can find a place of my own.”

“A place of your own?” Ohno repeated. “I figured you were just visiting.”

“Y’know, I learned that moving away was not such a great idea. The grass wasn’t greener on the other side.” Nino’s eyes narrowed to a glare. “What, you don’t want me to move back here?”

“No!” Ohno shouted, a bit too eager. His face heated in embarrassment. “It’d be great if you stay. It’ll be like the old times.”

Nino smiled broadly. “I hope so.”

~*~
Ohno followed me to the hotel and helped carry some of the bags. I didn’t have much money on me, so I didn’t want to take a taxi. The help was very much appreciated.

I learned Ohno hadn’t done anything extraordinary with his life. He worked in a small office handling paper work. A very quiet, normal life. Neither of us were doing anything exciting. I was mostly job hopping between stores or restaurants, extremely restless and not belonging anywhere. I quit school when I realized all the studying wasn’t for me and considered going into music instead, but everything I looked into was such a hassle, or they wanted people younger than me or someone that had experience. It was useless, and my days dragged and dragged. The new city I came to, one that seemed so bright and promising, turned grey in a blink of an eye.

Throughout the years, I would become homesick on and off. The last few months there I couldn’t stand waking up, much less being a productive member of society. I missed the familiarity of my old city. The people, the places, and the jobs I knew I could get. But mostly, I missed Ohno. Even over my family, I missed him the most. We were best friends all throughout school, and it was hard leaving him behind and knowing we’d hardly get to see each other. I’d had other friends at home, but they meant a lot less to me. I never had any relationships with anyone when I moved, so it was very lonely there. When I made the decision to finally move back home, I felt giddy every day. Just for the anticipation of seeing Ohno again. We’d always been close, maybe too close for some people, but it was all innocent, even if sometimes I wished it wasn’t.

For a few hours, Ohno helped me get settled in the hotel room. I didn’t know how long I’d be staying there for, it depended on how much time it took to find a new place to call home.

“I’d offer to let you stay at my place,” Ohno said. “But my apartment only has one room, so there’d only be the couch to sleep on.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I reassured him. “I have a ton of stuff to do, so it might be better if we don’t live together.”

Ohno tilted his head to the side. “What?”

“I mean, all I want to do is hang out with you, but I’ve got buildings to hunt out and job applications to fill out, so I think it would be distracting to be with you all the time.”

“Huh, I didn’t know I was so distracting.”

He didn’t know half of it. The last few weeks at work, he was all I could think about. As embarrassing as it was, I would start to daydream about the different things I could do when I got back, especially since we were adults now. There was nothing we couldn’t do. I got in trouble quite a lot, to the point the manager just told me to get out of there. I was thankful to be out of the hell hole of a konbini, but my pocket hurt because of it.

“So what’s been going on with you?” I asked, dumping the contents of a box onto the floor. “Got someone special?”



Ohno was quiet for a minute. He pulled clothing out of one of the bags, folding them one by one and setting them on the table. “Socially I don’t do much. May as well be a shut-in. I only go see my parents. So no, I’m single.”

“That’s incredibly depressing.” I said, for lack of better things to say.

“Yeah,” he said, putting down the shirt he’d been folding. He leaned against the table, his hands gripping the edge. I went back to my dumping of bags to find which one I put my DS in. Glancing back every few minutes, Ohno kept that pose, his shoulders sagged and his head down.

“Hey, you alright?”

“Fine.” His voice was flat. My stomach dropped, scared I’d hit some nerve with my questions. They were innocent enough, I thought. When he said he didn’t go out much, it didn’t occur to me that he was so lonely.

I walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder before turning him around. Even with his head down I could see how depressed he was. “You’re not fine! What’s going on?”

“It’s nothing.” He shook his head, wiping his eye with the palm of his hand. “I’ve just felt lonely here. Anyone we were friends with left for different cities, or even different countries. And then you left… I’m not lonely by choice, but because everyone else left and never kept contact. So when you said you’d be staying, I was incredibly thankful to hear it. Because now, I’ll finally have someone to be with again.”

Ohno was being emotional, overcome with something that hit him. He was trying hard to hold back tears, something I hadn’t seen him do since elementary school. He’d always been relatively happy, even though he wasn’t the most popular in school, and he didn’t have many friends other than me. But being here on his own took its toll. I reminded him of all that, but I couldn’t tell if he was happy I was back, or sad that there were still people not talking to him anymore. I put a hand on his back and pulled him in.

I held him, my hands resting around his shoulders. It wasn’t the first time I’d hugged Ohno. We’d done it plenty of times before. But this felt different. This was warm. This was comforting. We were much closer than we’d ever been before, the contact lasting much longer than normal. I didn’t want to let go. He didn’t move either, his arms tightening around my waist. I leaned my head against his, enjoying the embrace. It didn’t feel like we’d been apart at all.

I pulled back first. No matter how comfortable it was, after a few minutes it started to become awkward. Ohno took a few steps back, his lips pursing, nodding slightly. “Thanks.” He said, turning and leaning against the couch. “I feel better. Didn’t mean to unload all that on you your first day back. It should be happy.”

I scratched the back of my neck, not sure what to make of his reaction. “Hey, it’s what friends are for, right? It’s no problem.”

Ohno nodded again and headed for the genkan. “I, uh, better get out of here. It’s getting late. I’ve got things to do at home.”

“Oh. Yeah, I’ve got stuff I’ve gotta do too. Y’know, settle in, start searching for places.”

“Good luck.” He said after he’d pulled on his shoes. He waved slightly before leaving through the front door.

~*~

Ohno often thought about the hug, weeks after it first happened. How long it was. How quickly it made him forget about being lonely. His heart would start beating fast and his palms would get sweaty. His stomach would drop. It meant nothing, Ohno insisted to himself. Nino was right. He was simply being a friend, trying to make him feel better. They hugged all the time when they were younger. Sure, it was usually just one of those one armed side hugs, but still. Nino had never leaned on him before. Ohno couldn’t help but turn red whenever Nino touched him now.

Ohno shook his head vehemently. He’d been lonely lately. Any sort of touch felt great and special at this point. Nino just happened to be the person to do it first in a very long time. He couldn’t think too hard on it, or else it would be weird between them, and that was the last thing Ohno wanted. With Nino finally back, long term, the last thing he wanted was to scare him away.

Nino wasn’t usually one to spill about his feelings so easily. If he did, it was usually in the form of anger after he let it build up too much. Ohno wasn’t much different. When Nino caught on that something was off, all the worries just tumbled out of Ohno’s mouth without him thinking about it. Nino always listened and was always there. What Nino did this time was no different than any of the other hundred times he’d done it.
One night, the memory was especially persistent. He could hardly concentrate on the show he was watching. He wanted to be with Nino. He wanted to feel Nino’s hands on him again. They were so warm, so soft on him. The hug would play back again and again, without fail. He had no idea what the show was about.
The rest of the night, he fought picking up his phone to text Nino. They’d been with each other all day, walking around town, taking in the sights of a small festival that was being held. Ohno didn’t want to push it by talking to him much after. But he couldn’t concentrate on anything else. He tried relaxing and watching TV, but every other person he saw reminded him of Nino, no matter how different the characters were from him. He gave up and tried to draw something, but as he sketched, it would always turn into a human who resembled Nino. No matter what he tried to do, he couldn’t get the man out of his head.

He relented and picked his phone up. He sent a quick ‘Hey’ and dropped the phone to his side, covering it with the small pillow kept on the couch. He turned back to the TV to distract himself, hoping if he got absorbed enough into the show that he wouldn’t hear the phone if it went off. To his surprise he was able to concentrate better on the program, but it didn’t keep him from feeling the phone vibrate through the thick stuffing.

He frowned, hesitating. He was nervous, too nervous to reach under the cushion.

Why’re you still up? The message read, and Ohno worried that he’d accidentally woken Nino up. In his hand, the phone vibrated again and the message popped up on screen. Everything ok?

Crap, Ohno thought. He’d made him worry now. No I’m fine. Just wanted to talk.

Ohno grimaced at how awkward that sounded. How desperate. But it wasn’t a lie. He’d been dying to talk to him all night.

What, you miss me already?

Yeah right. I was just bored. Thought you’d still be awake.

There was a pause then. Ohno couldn’t help but think he’d offended him somehow, or made him mad that he’d texted him so late with absolutely nothing important to say. If he’d only done it earlier he wouldn’t feel so guilty about being a bother.

If that’s all, you could’ve come over. It’s kinda lonely over here all by myself.

Just the thought of being alone with Nino so late at night made Ohno’s hands shake. Again, it wasn’t something new. When they were young they had sleepovers all the time. But as adults it meant something totally different. When one thinks of an ‘adult sleepover’, it usually involves two people getting intimate. It wasn’t what Nino wanted from him, Ohno was sure of that. But the thought stuck to Ohno’s mind as he slipped his shoes back on and left his home.

Nino left his door unlocked. Even so, Ohno knocked before entering. His friend was stretched out on his couch, game controller in hand, looking half dead with his eyes glued to the screen.

“I’m here.” Ohno announced.

After a second, the game paused and Nino’s head popped up over the couch. “Did you really think I’d be sleeping so early?”

“It’s after midnight.” Ohno made his way to the couch and sat opposite Nino.

“Yeah, but I actually did some work and found a store that was hiring. I think I’ll check them out tomorrow. But there was this level I had to beat before I went to bed and, well, I’ve beaten another ten since then.”

“You’re addicted. You need to go to Gamers Anonymous.”

Nino shrugged, handing Ohno a bottle of cool bear he’d put on the side table. “Hey, it was a good thing, wasn’t it? Or else you’d still be at your house, fretting and thinking about me all night long.”

Ohno almost spat out his drink. “Why would I be thinking about you?!”

Nino just shook his head and laughed, putting his focus back on his game.

There was a small distance between them. Ohno couldn’t tell if it was a bigger gap than normal or not. It felt wider. Did Nino feel awkward around him after the awkwardly long hug they had? Was he worried that, now that Ohno was here and something had seemed wrong when he got the message that Ohno was about to unload another sob story and he’d have to ‘cheer him up’ yet again? Did Nino only invite him over because he felt sorry for him?

He didn’t like pity. There had been enough of that to last his life time. Too many of his relationships were started because someone felt bad for him. They’d all ended quickly and abruptly as they got tired of him quickly and their pity for him ran out. He never lived a sad life, he wasn’t a sad person either. But something about him made others feel like they had to be there and do something for him, when in reality, all it did was mess with his emotions and make him wonder if anyone out there really actually cared.

“Oh-chan, you’re looking down again.” Nino’s voice pulled him out of his thoughts, and he tried to put on a smile, the best one he could muster.

“Sorry, I’m not. It’s just late so I’m a bit tired.”

“Uh-huh.” Nino said, eyes still focused on the television. “Sure.”

“It’s true.” All night, he’d really wanted to see Nino. He didn’t want to ruin the night again. “I think I hit my limit coming over.”

Nino concentrated on his game, ignoring Ohno. He wondered if Nino even heard him. The character stood on a shining yellow circle on the screen and Nino took a hand off the controller and pulled Ohno’s head onto his shoulder. “Sleep then, if you’re so tired. But if you made the effort to come all the way over here, I’d rather spend some time with you, at least.”

Ohno’s face burned, but he didn’t move. Before Nino had even finished talking he started his game up again, staring intently at the screen. Ohno couldn’t close his eyes anymore. They were stuck open wide at how forward and forceful Nino had been. But he wasn’t going to complain. He was comfortable against Nino, and though he thought he had lied about being tired, it was hard to keep his eyes open.

~*~
Ohno had always been someone special to me. I'd had several other friends throughout my life, but they came and went, none of them sticking around for more than a few years. Ohno had always been constant. He was never one to hang out with a lot of people, and he never showed any special interest in anyone. Sure he was friends with others, but they always seemed just that, friends.

The one time Ohno got paired with a girl during a class project, I felt uncomfortable. We had always worked on projects together when we could. The teacher had assigned the partners, so it wasn't like Ohno chose to be with her. But the girl was obviously happy with the pairing. When working, she would always sit right next to him, inching closer with each minute. Ohno had always been oblivious to gestures of affection and never thought anything of it. But my mood always soured when they were together. I started hating her.

It was never clear why I hated her so much. She never talked to me or even looked my way. I wasn’t sure she even knew I existed. But nonetheless I wanted her out of the classroom. Whenever project time was assigned, I glared at her until she noticed and became uncomfortable too. I kept so much of an eye on her that my own partner was annoyed that I wasn't paying any attention to our project.

I despised her even more when they had to work on the project at home, when I couldn't be there to watch them. I'd become obsessed with them and it lead everyone to believe I had a crush on that girl.

I slugged the first guy who suggested it.

I'd gone out with plenty of girls in my time. Ohno never said a word about it and was always happy for me. I never caught him looking at us or being angry at the girl for being with me. And I never felt uncomfortable being with a girl. Only when Ohno was. I didn’t like him being close with others.

It hadn't occurred to me for years that it may have meant something. I didn’t really like sharing Ohno, since I’d always had him to myself. Being Ohno’s only real friend felt nice, so the possibility of him gaining more sat wrong with me. It wasn't until I moved out of the city and far away that I missed him so terribly it hurt that I realized these weren’t normal feelings for friends. Even then, it was just seen as homesickness. Moving to a new place where no one knew you and you'd be alone was terrifying enough. But the feeling never centered around family members, or other friends, or my old home. It was always Ohno, and only Ohno, that I missed.

But Ohno hadn’t changed. He still hasn’t realize the difference between being friendly or flirty. I don't know any other way to get him to come to the fact that there is more than just friendship between us. He can sense it, I know it just from how he reacts. But he doesn't see it. It won’t click.

And it's frustrating.

But I also worried. Maybe Ohno wasn’t as oblivious as I thought. Maybe it was because he couldn’t ever see us as anything other than friends. Especially with the girlfriends I had. I couldn’t even be one hundred percent sure he was even into guys in the first place. He’d never shown much attraction to anyone. If I just asked him straight out, and I was wrong, it would just offend him. If I just came out and told him I actually liked him and he doesn’t feel the same way, it could be the end of everything we had. I wanted to get a feeling for how he would react to being close, to a little bit of flirting. But the damn guy doesn’t react at all.

~•~
Though Ohno still lived alone he saw Nino almost every day since he came back to town. It was always after work, so most of the time was spent visiting each other’s houses, going out only once in a while. Usually Nino would come to Ohno's apartment with his DS and occupy his couch. Sometimes Ohno would watch, other times he took the opportunity to work on some art. Once in a while they'd yell something across the room to each other, but it was usually quiet, save for Nino swearing every time he messed up. It was comfortable, just knowing that they were near each other, in the same space.

Ohno usually finished before Nino would give up on his game. He washed the brushes, put the paper away, and joined him on the couch. When Nino played his DS he held the device close to his face, so Ohno had to lean in to see what was going on. He would end up leaning on Nino's shoulder, a spot he’d come to love. Gradually Nino would turn the game toward Ohno so he could see better but never made him sit up. Often, Ohno ended up falling asleep there, in that position. When he would finally wake up, Nino would be asleep as well, his DS closed in his hands. Ohno always felt a bit guilty falling asleep, wasting Nino’s time when they could have been doing something. Sleeping made the time go by so much faster.

"Nino," he would say, shaking his shoulder. "Wake up."

Nino moaned, whiny, and shook his head. He was like a small child not wanting to get up for school. Ohno shook him again to more refusal.

"Come on, it's late, you should be going home."

With another groan, Nino shoved Ohno back, annoyed. Instead of getting up like Ohno thought he would, he stretched out on the couch, plopping down on Ohno's waist.

Ohno froze stiff. Nino was out cold, sleeping with an angry face. Ohno's arms were up by his head, not sure where to rest them. Even if he put them at his sides, he'd be touching Nino. Keeping them up was uncomfortable.

But Nino was dead asleep. Ohno tried to shift to find a more comfortable position, and Nino didn't even stir. Slowly, Ohno lowered his hands to rest on Nino's back.

He was warm. Having Nino's arms around him made Ohno feel unexpectedly comfortable. Usually having someone lay on top of him like this was almost irritating because moving was impossible and a big pain if he had to get up. With Nino, none of that crossed his mind. When Nino shifted the tiniest bit and left a previously covered area open, it was like having a cold draft. And it wasn't so bad being held by someone Ohno cared so much for. Slowly he himself drifted off to sleep in the comfort of his friends arms.

When day came and they both woke up, they stretched and yawned, but no one said a word about their position. Somehow Nino had slid behind Ohno, his back against the couch, his face pressed against Ohno's back, arms wrapped loosely across his waist. Nothing at all was said. They simply got up and did their morning routines.

Ohno wished something had been said. Anything to make it clear what was going on between them. Until that night, he had assumed nothing had changed between them. It did feel like they were getting closer, but Ohno summed it up to the fact it had been years since they saw each other. If anything, last night was just a fluke and Nino was embarrassed about it but his pride kept him from saying anything.

Ohno thought about asking. Every few minutes he would muster up the courage to ask, but Nino would always leave the room for a hair brush, or to grab pants he had in the laundry, or to get something from his room. Ohno gave up. It wasn’t something worth worrying about. He tried convincing himself of that, but it kept nagging at him, even after he got back to his own apartment.

~*~
After weeks of searching, I finally found a place I could afford in the city. It was close to Ohno’s apartment. There were cheaper ones out there, but I would have to take the train to get back and forth between our homes, and besides, it was close to work too. The two of us went out on the town to look for things to put in my new apartment. Paying to stay at the hotel was getting too expensive, even though I’d found a job. I was paying for all sorts of things I didn’t need to use, since I was only there to sleep. So I bought a cheap studio apartment not too far away, but it was completely empty save for my luggage and a futon I borrowed from my parents.

“This looks nice.” Ohno said, running his hand along the wood of a dresser.

“I don’t need something like that.” It was tall and had five deep drawers. It had gaudy, swirly wood accents sprouting out from the corners. I didn’t own that many clothes and it looked like something my grandmother would have owned. “It’s not my style, anyways.”

“Oh,” Ohno said. “Nah, it’s really not. The wood’s real nice though.” It was damn expensive and ugly, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. He saw a little potential in it, even if it looked ancient.

“Let’s go look somewhere else.” I took Ohno’s hand that was still touching the dresser. “Maybe they’ll have something plainer.” I didn’t let go of his hand as we made our way to a different section of the furniture store. He didn’t resist it either. I felt his hand grip mine lightly, holding on. It made my heart beat a little too fast and I worried he could feel my pulse in my wrist.

We didn’t find any furniture that day, but we never let go of each other either. Not even when people gave us strange looks on the streets or in the stores. They could look as much as they wanted, I wouldn’t care as long as it didn’t bother Ohno either. When we got back to his house at the end of the night we let go of each other smoothly, just dropping our hands.

“Thanks for coming along.” I said, scratching the back of my head, feeling weird with nothing to do with it. “Even though it was a waste of time and we didn’t get anything.”

“No problem. It was a good time anyway.”

We say good bye and he closed his door. I couldn’t tell if he enjoyed holding hands, or if he just did it because I wouldn’t let go. I saw it as a success. Ohno didn’t pull away the entire time. It had to mean something.

~*~
Nino had been touchier than normal. He would drape his arm over Ohno’s shoulder, lean on him, hold his hand whenever he got the chance. The first time he did it, it unnerved Ohno a little. It was sudden and he wasn’t about to let go either. Ohno didn’t mind. The weather was chilly and his hand was warm.

The air had been charged around Nino lately. Every time they met he seemed to become more and more eager, for what Ohno had no clue. He was just excited. It was nice to see Nino so happy, and Ohno brought it down to finally being able to settle down in this city again. To finally have his own home and a steady income. Ohno had it easy, his parents found his apartment for him and paid the rent until he could get on his feet. Nino did it all on his own, so of course he’d be proud. Ohno was proud for him.

Nino smiled more often. He always had a tendency to be moody and bratty and Ohno often saw him scowling at one thing or another, making faces as he became more frustrated with whatever situation. He was so attractive when he smiled. Ohno would catch himself staring at his lips, thinking about how nice that smile would taste. The thoughts were never acted on. Ohno was too worried that if he let it happen, everything they had built up until then would shatter. Nino may have been acting overly friendly, but there were always lines that didn’t need to be crossed. No matter how much Nino would cling to him, Ohno would hold back. It sucked. And it was extremely difficult.

Ohno had just gotten home after a double shift. He climbed the stairs to his apartment, feet dragging against the carpet. Even while walking it was difficult to keep his eyes open. It was hard enough staring at a computer screen for his regular hours, let alone a double. He pulled his keys out of his pocket to be ready when he reached his door, but he didn’t have the chance to unlock it.

Nino stood at his door, shifting his weight back and forth between legs.

“What’re you waiting out here for?”

Nino looked over and paused a moment before running over, enveloping Ohno is his arms, almost knocking him over. After a moment he pulled back and held Ohno by the shoulders. “I got promoted today!”

“Really?” Ohno asked, shocked. “You’ve hardly been working there a month!”

“Hey, I’m a damn good worker. They just know talent when they see it!” Nino smirked, laughing to himself. “But I’ll be making more money, so maybe, just maybe I could move into a real apartment soon! Not this rinky-dink box of a place.” It was the most excited Ohno had ever seen Nino since they graduated high school. He was so happy for Nino. Happy that Nino was happy, proud, excited, smiling.

Without so much as a thought, Ohno gripped Nino’s shirt and pulled him in, pressing their lips together. The second their lips made contact a spark went down Ohno’s back and his legs went numb. He couldn’t pull away from Nino. He was frozen in pure embarrassment. He could feel how red his face was and his hands shook in Nino’s shirt.

When the kiss ended, Ohno wanted to run. But he was too mortified. His legs wouldn’t move, and if he tried they would wobble like jelly. So far, with any romantic type gesture, they avoided talking about it. The difference was, those were small. They could be looked over. But a kiss? There was no way.

Without hesitation, Nino pulled him back in, holding the back of Ohno’s head to keep him there. Ohno didn’t know what to do. His arms were in the air near his shoulders as though he was ready to push Nino away. Nino’s other hand rested on his waist, his hand hot to the touch. Nino deepened the kiss, just slightly, gliding his tongue across Ohno’s lips. But that was all. He ended it as abruptly as he started it.

“Thanks for your support.” Nino said, walking passed Ohno with a straight face. “I’ll let you know when I make it home.”
~*~

I couldn’t sit still once I reached home. I was the one who always initiated any contact, so for Ohno to do something so bold, so suddenly, it caught me completely off guard. I reacted before I could think about it. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it could have been a mistake. That maybe I shouldn’t have kissed him back. But at the same time I was glad I did. If there was any doubt about how I felt (which there shouldn’t have been by now), it would have been whipped away. There was no guessing anymore.

But still, I was shaking.

What would happen tomorrow when saw each other? If we saw each other? Would Ohno also see the kiss as a mistake and want to take it back? While there was no doubt, there was still uncertainty. I could handle it before when Ohno still seemed oblivious. But now there were questions that needed answering and I didn’t know if I wanted to know them.

When we were able to see each other again, it was like nothing happened. Ohno came to hang out at my place and we were able to talk as we always did. But something was different. Ohno sat a bit closer than usual, and I didn’t even have to ask him to. I found his hand in mine on more than one occasion. Even when I decided to play a game, some part of his body was touching me. I couldn’t concentrate.

We were watching a movie one night. A mindless comedy I wasn’t paying attention to. I could feel Ohno’s arm against mine, his head on my shoulder like it always was. I wasn’t sure if he was awake or not. I couldn’t move to look, afraid that if I did, he’d move away. I was too comfortable like this.

On the screen, the main characters shared a kiss. A cliché, accidental, ‘Oops I fell over and our lips suddenly connected!’ kind of kiss. I licked my own, remembering the one Ohno and I had shared so many nights ago.

“You know,” I said, pausing. Ohno answered with a quiet ‘yeah’, confirming he was awake. My heart rate kicked up, wishing he had been asleep. “Why did you kiss me that night?”

I felt Ohno become tense before he sat up. He scratched the back of his head, facing away from me. “I was happy for you. I didn’t know what to do with myself. So it just happened.”

Ah. I see. “Well that’s one way to show it.”

“Why’d you kiss me back?” he was glancing at me from the corner of his eyes, not fully committed to looking at me. His face was red, I could tell even in the dim light. I could pass it off as an impulse. As being too excited myself. I could say I had some alcohol to celebrate beforehand and got carried away. But saying any of that wouldn’t make me feel any better.

“Because I like you. Why else do people kiss each other?” I tsked at him. “I mean, except for you.”

Ohno’s eyes were wide, and he finally turned toward me. His mouth hung open slightly in surprise.

“I’m about to go get your fishing rod. You look like a damn fish like that. What, you’ve never heard anyone say they like you before?”

“You like me?” he asked, pointing at me then himself.

“That’s what I said. I like you. That’s why I kissed you back.” I said each word carefully, exaggerated, just to make sure the point got across. Ohno fell back against the couch, looking up at the ceiling.

“Hey, what’s with that reaction?”

“I thought there was something,” Ohno said, pressing his hands against his eyes. “I thought there was, but I was never sure. I thought it was a mistake kissing you, but when you did it back, I couldn’t tell anymore.”

“Well, I was shocked too when you did it. I thought it was obvious I liked you, but you never reacted to anything.” I grabbed his arm and pulled him closer to face me, to make sure he was hearing everything I was saying. “You’re why I came back, okay? Because it was really depressing not being around you. Because I realized after it was too late that I…” I couldn’t finish. Spewing all of this was too embarrassing. If he’d just realized it when he should have, I wouldn’t have to explain it all.

Ohno leaned forward, our foreheads connecting. “Sorry.”

“Tsk. You’re going to be the reason I go grey early.”

“I’m happy, though.” He laughed quietly. “To hear that.”

“I’m glad you’re happy at my expense.”

“No. That you came back for me.”

My whole face was heating up. “When you put it that way it sounds so lame.”

He laughed again before leaning closer for a kiss. For the first time, it was something that was certain. There was no question about it, no worries, no guessing. I let my hands rest on his waist, pulling him closer until he was sitting on my lap.

“I guess we’ve got to go apartment hunting again.” I said, breaking the kiss, enjoying just being able to hold him.

“Already?”

“Not like we spend much time at our own places anyway.”

“We’ll do that tomorrow.” He said, continuing the kiss before finishing his words.

Even being here, where we were now, I couldn’t help but wonder if we’d be where we were if I never moved away. If I never felt that separation or the longing to be back with Ohno. I always thought moving away was the biggest mistake I ever made. I don’t know what would have happened if I’d stayed here, but right now, I wouldn’t have things any other way.


A/N: The rare Ohmiya fic from me~. This was for the [livejournal.com profile] je_united fic exchange. It was kind of difficult to write, and I had a few very different ideas for it, but this is what succeeded for me. I hope everyone enjoyed it! Comments = <3 ~!

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