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seventh month

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“They sent you here,” Ohno says, knowing it is true.

Sho looks a bit embarrassed, but he offers a weak smile and shows what the clear pastry bag in his hand. “Well yes. But I also brought some limited version spring sweets specials. People lined up for a full hour for these.

“Fine, you can stay.” Ohno scoots a bit and returns to his phone.

“Thank you, Satoshi-kun.”

*

there’s empty chairs around yeah
here’s fine I’m busy—tablet
over newspapers stacks and
planner on his lap—yeah I
know I’ve no time for snacks yeah
that’s why I bring them here which one
lime eclairs or your cheesecake
mine? yeah there’s only a slice
of course I saved it for you

*

Ohno lets Sho set things up, still curled up, eyes closed. He hears clinks of plates lined up on the table, smells the heavenly new brewed coffee now in front of him; all while Sho’s making cute little noises as he walks back and forth to the kitchen, missing the spoon, coming back and realizing he forgot the syrup.

Ohno lets him be.

Until the noises stop. Until everything falls still around him. Until warmth and kindness is finally seated next to him.

*

It’s okay
A gentle tap on a shoulder
But what if—

A step closer, warm
But it would’ve been—
A firm arm around a nervous form, it’s okay

An arm, in return, clinging back, shyly, desperately
But it could—
It’ll be okay, Satoshi-kun

*

balmy night surrounds
them crowd all around them bright
lights in everything

stay close hold my hand
look up isn’t it dazzling
a colorful sky

stay with me until
this festive summer ends till
we meet again love

*

“I found you.”

Sho disagrees as he tries to pull his hand away from Ohno’s hold. “No, I found you.”

“Fine. You found me,” Ohno says, not letting go Sho’s hand.

Happy that he at least won this silly battle, Sho grins. “Yeah, and you found me, too.”

*

It’s been a busy month for them with endless projects, always more preparation work to be done, always with adjustments to make, always with more things to be done.

It started as a tease—when are you going to invite me, you said you will that last year. It started as a challenge—do you think you’ll have time when I ask you out, let’s go tomorrow then, do you think you can shift work?

And all stars line up and here they are.

*

it’s getting dark soon
so what should I do is this
okay tell me what to do
now we wait focus

screech of gulls afar
lulling waves swaying the boat
your impatience warring calm
now they wait for catch

stolen admiring glances
for the handsome man of sea

*

forecast didn’t say sleet
I know watch your step these stairs
are slippery here

hold my hand you forgot
your gloves again didn’t you
yeah but the forecast—

joined hands shoved into
his jacket pocket and then
warm silence there there

*

Ohno helps Sho take off his coat before dealing with his. The familiar warmth of home welcomes them as he shuffles inside the entryway, rubbing his hands together. “Finally.”

“I’ll never trust that channel forecast ever again,” Sho mumbles as he struggle to unlace his boots. “I’ll have spare gloves in my bag. I’ll even bring umbrella all the time starting tomorrow. I’ll—“

“You’ll do nothing but going in for hot shower right now.”

Sho finally looks up, and Ohno can see—finally—a small smile on his cold flushed face. “I will?”

“You will.” Ohno reaches out to brush off a snowflake from Sho’s hair, and corrects himself. “We will.”

*