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Nino's never stolen any of Ohno's clothing before, but he's almost sure its safe. He can write it off as a prank. If he never manages to sneak it back, then he can say it's a prank he forgot about.

Touching Ohno pretty much anywhere is safe, as long as they're both dressed. Shirtless hugs in the dressing room are awkward when they shouldn't be. If they share a shower, they stay on opposite sides while they yell obscene things at Sho in the next stall. If Ohno notices that Nino is fighting a semi the whole time, he doesn't show it.

Kissing Ohno onstage is mostly safe. The only time he did this, Nino made sure Ohno knew it was coming, so that he could overreact. He didn't overreact as much as Nino had thought he would, and Nino's still not sure whether that's a good thing.

Cute nicknames and innuendo are safe, even on television.

Sharing a bed with Ohno is safe. Nino can whine about how he doesn't feel like pulling out the guest futon and Ohno will never argue. He can even pretend to cuddle with Ohno for a few minutes, but after a few minutes it's not pretend anymore and he has to break away.


Ohno coming to Nino's apartment in the middle of the night slightly buzzed and very confused is decidedly unsafe.

Nino forgets that he's wearing Ohno's shirt until he answers the door. Ohno stares at it and a huge black silence grows between them. Without words, Ohno walks inside and kicks off his shoes. Nino looks out into the hallway, hesitating before he closes himself in.

"I'm tired," Ohno says, and his voice sounds hoarse.

"Do you want some coffee?" Nino asks Ohno's back.

"I want to sleep."


"Let's go to sleep, then," Ohno says, walking to Nino's bedroom without looking back.

Nino follows to the doorway of his bedroom, wondering when his apartment got so huge. Ohno folds his jacket in the corner. Nino looks at his bed, the covers in disarray as always. He's surprised when he realizes Ohno's watching him.

"What's wrong?" Ohno asks.

"Nothing," Nino answers. "I love it when my drunk friends crash at my place."

"I'm not drunk."

"Okay, then."

"I'm not," Ohno repeats, firm, and it's this side of him that Nino never knows how to deal with. "I was drinking. I was planning on getting drunk, but I decided not to."

"It's not like you to give up."

"I'm not giving up. I'm stopping."

Nino crosses to the bed, still cautious, still hugging his elbows.

"I have to stop giving myself excuses," Ohno continues, sitting next to Nino at the foot of the bed. "I'm giving both of us excuses all the time, but there is no excuse."

"Right," Nino sighs, feeling more comfortable now that it seems Ohno's drifting into one of his incoherent speeches.

"I don't have one of your shirts to wear to sleep," Ohno mumbles, ignoring the way Nino digs his fingers into his own arms. "It's not fair, you know. You can touch me all the time but when I do it, it's different."

"You can touch me whenever you want," Nino says quickly. "You can have one of my shirts, too."

Ohno seems to study Nino's face for a solid minute before giving him the tiniest of smiles. Nino scoots back in the bed and pulls up a handful of the covers.

"I thought you were tired!" he accuses.

Ohno hops up and unbuttons his jeans. Nino pulls the covers over his head and grunts like he's impatient. Ohno sometimes sleeps in just boxers, but Nino's never felt comfortable watching him strip before bed. He feels more than sees the light go out, and then the rustle of Ohno wiggling under the covers mixes with the blood pounding in his head, so he's almost unsure whether he hears what Ohno whispers next.

"Tell me something."

Nino winces in the dark. He always dreads Ohno asking him questions, because he always answers them, even when he doesn't want to.

"Have I kissed you?"

"Recently?" Nino laughs.

"No. Really kissed you."

Nino rolls to face the wall.

"Last month? After Kyoko's party?"

"You remember?" Nino asks, feeling a little bit like he's swallowed a rock.

"I thought I did, but you never said anything about it."

Nino doesn't say anything now, either.

"I'm sorry. Let me take it back," Ohno says.

Nino starts to say ten different things, but all that comes out is "Don't."

He feels Ohno move, and, for a moment, he thinks Ohno's going to leave. Instead, Ohno leans over Nino and kisses his forehead. He tugs at Nino's shoulder until Nino rolls over again, and then his hands are in Nino's hair and Nino's hands grab onto Ohno's waist without thinking. They're kissing. Nino's mind races everywhere. He doesn't know what he should be thinking right now. Ohno moves to Nino's neck and Nino almost forgets that this is his chance to breathe.

"You can take it back," he hears himself say.

Ohno chuckles and it vibrates against Nino's skin. Nino pulls Ohno to him. He wraps his arms around Ohno's shoulders and buries his face in Ohno's neck.

"Okay?" Ohno asks.

"Kind of," Nino answers, voice muffled.

"Too much?"

Nino relaxes his hold a little and shakes his head, frustrated. Ohno combs his hands through Nino's hair again. Nino wishes he could see his alarm clock from here.

"Last month I thought - it's okay if it happened, because I was drunk," Ohno says, one hand running up Nino's back. "But being drunk doesn't put thoughts in your head, it just makes all your ideas seem like good ideas. And then, I thought - what if I'd done more than kiss you? What if you had let me? I could never forgive myself for that."

Nino disentangles himself from Ohno's arms, sitting up on one elbow.

"Then what the hell was that just now?" he asks, a sick feeling rising up his throat.

"If I'm going to sleep with you, I should do it sober," Ohno answers plainly.


"But it's your decision."

"What the hell?" Nino stammers, taking this in. "Why is it my decision?"

"Because," Ohno says, shifting in the dark. "I don't know how you feel."

"Bullshit!" Nino snaps.

For a few minutes, it's so quiet that Nino thinks he can hear the street ten stories below them. Ohno gets out of bed and it's almost a relief. Then, he turns on the lamp. Nino grimaces at the light.

"I'm sorry," Ohno says.

The apology only makes Nino more angry.

"When you were drunk," he starts, mouth moving too fast for his mind. "You kept saying: 'I know this is what you want. I know this is what you want.' I mean, what the hell is that? That's fucked up!" Nino yells, mostly to himself.

Ohno looks about as sad as Nino can ever remember, but he doesn't care anymore.

"You can't come here and demand a confession. I don't have to give you one. You know I want you. It's driving me fucking crazy. You know that."

It's a different kind of silence, now. Nino's tucked up in the corner of the bed, glaring at his sheets, while Ohno sits on the edge. Ohno waits and watches while Nino's breathing slows down, while Nino runs his hands through his hair and fidgets, face burning red.

"Do you want me to leave?" Ohno asks.

"What kind of a person do you think I am?" Nino wonders, looking down at his hands. "Do you think I would have slept with you then?"

"Nino," Ohno sighs.

"I probably would have," Nino continues, raising his eyebrows. "I'm disgusting like that. Desperate."

"I want to be with you," Ohno says, interrupting him. "Do you understand?"

Nino shakes his head. He feels Ohno move closer on the bed.

"You're not gay," Nino mumbles. "I'm not gay."

Ohno takes Nino's face in his hands and kisses him, fingers trailing along Nino's jaw. Nino opens his mouth, lets Ohno in, grips Ohno's shoulder with one hand. He watches when Ohno pulls away. In the light he can really see him; messy hair, tired eyes. Nino relaxes back onto the bed and Ohno climbs over him.

"It's okay," Ohno says against Nino's lips.

"Really?" Nino asks between kisses.

Ohno's hands move up under Nino's shirt - Ohno's shirt, Nino thinks.

"Can I have this back?" Ohno asks.

Nino manages a smile as he shimmies out of the shirt. Ohno outright grins as he tosses it off the bed. He comes back to bite the tip of Nino's nose, and Nino's almost stopped shaking. Ohno’s lips trail along Nino's collarbone. Nino lets his head fall back, tangles his fingers in Ohno's hair. He can feel Ohno smiling against his skin as he lays kisses down his chest and stomach. He tugs down Nino's sweats just enough to give his hipbone a gentle bite. Nino shudders, and Ohno uses more pressure in response. Nino sits up and pulls Ohno with him. They kiss again, sweeter and slower. Ohno shifts a little in his lap and Nino can feel that he's hard. He pulls away from the kiss and studies Ohno's face again. He still looks sleepy, but he's patient, hands warm on Nino's waist. Nino rolls his hips up against Ohno's and watches his eyes flutter shut. Ohno pushes Nino back down on the bed and hooks his fingers in the waistband of Nino's sweats.

"Okay?" he asks against Nino's ear.

Nino thinks it's an unfair way to ask, but he lifts his hips and lets Ohno take off his last bit of clothing, turning his eyes up in embarrassment.

"Can we turn the lights out again?" Nino asks the ceiling.

Ohno doesn't answer, but his teeth graze Nino's neck as he starts to stroke him. Nino's breathing goes ragged. He digs his fingers in Ohno's shoulder, pushing up against his hand. It shouldn't feel so good just to have someone touch him like this. Nino reaches between them, clumsily rubbing Ohno through his boxers.

"What do you want to do?" Ohno asks, sounding a little lost.

Nino doesn't think, he just moves, tugging Ohno's boxers to his knees and pulling Ohno's body flush against his. They rock against each other, Ohno gasping and Nino making a noise that could only be called a whimper. Ohno's back is damp under Nino's hands and Nino's hair sticks to his forehead. They both come like that. It seems way too quick, but it doesn't matter. None of it matters.

Ohno collapses on Nino with a groan and Nino pushes back.

"Can't breathe," he warns.

Ohno rolls over, pulling the covers up as he goes. Nino kicks them away, bracing himself on the edge of the bed before getting up.

"What's wrong?"

"Sticky," Nino says, waving a hand dismissively and stumbling to the bathroom.

He avoids looking in the mirror as he holds a washcloth under the faucet. He cleans up quickly, then somehow finds himself back in bed cleaning Ohno's stomach in small circles. Ohno turns and buries his face in Nino's pillow, smiling. Nino shakes his head as he turns out the lamp. Ohno pulls him into a hug.

"Now you want to cuddle," Nino sighs.

"Do you fall asleep right after?"

"Usually. Girls don't really like that, though."

Ohno hums noncommittally, kicking his boxers off his right leg. Nino yanks Ohno's arm around his waist and Ohno laughs.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Ohno asks.

"You sound like my doctor. Stop it."

Ohno shrugs.

"You don't even care right now, do you?" Nino says, trying to keep some humor in his voice.

"I'm really happy," Ohno answers.

"Orgasms will do that."

"Are you not happy?"

Nino breaks. He lets go of Ohno's hand to cover his face. Ohno only holds him tighter, kissing the back of his neck as he shudders.

"It's me, okay?" Ohno whispers. "It's just me. There's no one else here. They don't care. They're all sleeping or out drinking. They don't care about what we're doing."

"I'm sorry," Nino coughs.

"Don't be sorry. I cheated. I cried before I came here."

Nino turns in Ohno's arms to see the outline of his face in the dark.

"You did?"





"I know," Ohno sighs, smoothing Nino's hair back from his face.

"Why do I have to cry about this?"

"I don't know."

"I fucking hate crying."

"You're a man."

"I am a man, dammit," Nino agrees, hiccupping through a laugh.

“We’ll go eat steaks in the morning,” Ohno suggests.

“We should.”

“And watch porn.”

“Really?” Nino asks, skeptical.

“It sounded manly,” Ohno apologizes.

“We’ve never watched porn together.”

“This is probably why.”


They’re quiet for a while after that. Nino yawns and stretches a little, pushing Ohno further towards the edge of the bed. Ohno shoves back and Nino grumbles.

“Instead of steaks,” Nino says, teetering on sleep. “Can we have pancakes?”


“But if anyone asks..."

“We ate huge steaks with our bare hands,” Ohno promises.