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Magic Trick

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“Wanna see a magic trick?” says Nino.

He’s getting a little bored, sitting at the large center table in Enomoto’s basement security office while Enomoto works on whatever it is that he is working on today. Building miniature models of unsolvable crime scenes, cracking open impressive ancient locks, fielding phone calls from his ragtag group of amateur detectives – or ordering more tiny sweaters online. Nino can’t really be blamed for hoping it's the latter. But even if it is, he still can only be expected to entertain himself for so long.

Luckily, only a handful of minutes later (a record reaction time, Nino notes triumphantly, for Enomoto to take notice of Nino when he’s been so absorbed in something else) Enomoto looks up at him with a blank expression that Nino is happy to interpret as interest.

“Yes,” Enomoto says and Nino grins from ear to ear.

Nino scoots closer across the bench until they bump shoulders, before turning to face Enomoto fully. He shuffles his deck of trump cards with a practiced flourish, watching the way Enomoto’s eyes snap into focus as the cards skate through his fingers. He spreads them out in his hands.

“Pick a card,” he says, invitingly.

Now it’s Nino’s attention that is pulled toward Enomoto’s long, elegant fingers as, without hesitation, he pulls a card from the deck.

“Now please look at the card and don't forget it. Then place it back into the deck wherever you want.”

Enomoto studies his card with a serious expression, glancing back and forth between it and the the deck still spread out in Nino’s hand while Nino hides his laughter in the crook of his elbow. Finally, carefully, Enomoto places the card back in the deck. Nino smiles graciously as he recollects the deck into one hand and shuffles it again.

“Now I’m going to have my Jacks find your card,” explains Nino. “Turns out they’re pretty good at detective work – maybe almost as good as you.”

While he talks, he throws the deck from one hand to the other. Left in his right hand are the two Jacks, and in between them, the 2 of Hearts.

Nino holds up the 2. “Is this your card, sir?” he asks dramatically, already knowing the answer.

“It is,” says Enomoto, with a small nod.

“Magic~!” Nino sing-songs, twirling the card between his fingers and seemingly making it disappear into thin air as he gives Enomoto a theatrical wink.

“Interesting,” says Enomoto, hand coming up near the side of his face as he gently rubs his fingers together, thinking.

“Interesting?” Nino asks, with a laugh. He sets down the cards, then leans his elbows on the workbench between them with chin in hands, preparing himself to be amazed by what Enomoto is sure to say next.

Enomoto starts to speak, a rapid stream of words that leave his mouth without pause. “You asked me to pick a card and then place it back into the deck wherever I wanted. You appeared to shuffle it into the deck, but really you broke the deck so that the card I placed was on the bottom. You shuffled while keeping that card on the bottom. You separated out the Jacks and placed them on either end of the deck. One was placed right beneath my card. When you threw the deck you held on to the Jacks on either end, as well as my card. Therefore, it appeared that my card had magically appeared from somewhere in the deck, when really it was right there the whole time. “

Nino blinks. Enomoto blinks back.

“Is it weird that you knowing that turns me on?” Nino says, when he finally finds his voice.

Enomoto shows only the tiniest flash of surprise at that statement. He blinks again, looking down and away as he adjusts his glasses.

“Will you show it to me again?” he asks Nino, and when he looks up again his lips have pulled upwards into a smirk that makes Nino feel hot all the way down to his toes.

Nino grins, reaching out to recollect his cards. “Sure.”