neko_kirin3104: (mame_sho)
[personal profile] neko_kirin3104
Title: between 10th and 11th
Group/Pairing: Arashi –Nino/Sho
Prompt: 07 Stairs
Word Count: 1807
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Fluff
Summary: Just another elevator story.
Notes: Inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] je_prompts.


“Do I even need to ask?”

Nino scowled at the guy in the elevator; his cold demeanor belying the tears still burning thick and fat at the back of his eyes. “This is not your floor.”

“This is not your building,” Sho quipped, balancing his grocery bags in one arm and reaching out for the control panel with the other. The elevator doors rumbled to a halt midway to closing before rolling back open on its rusty hinges with a rebellious whine. “I’ve got beer and frozen pizzas.”

Nino’s scowl eased up for a moment, then sighed back into a deeper, colder frown as he stepped right in, loath and grumbling, “I’m going down.”

“Sure you are.”

Nino fixed his eyes on the keypad-style control panel, studying each button like he’s seeing it for the first time. A small secret smile brushed past his lips as the elevator doors dinged close and the car began chugging up to the eleventh floor.

“I’m so sick of frozen pizzas,” he grumbled.

“If it makes any difference,” Sho sighed, “so am I.”

***

Sho met Nino six months ago in quite the same manner as he did today.

He just moved in then and was panicking all on his own in the elevator, while precariously balancing a couple layers of moving boxes in his arms and triple-double-clicking the 10th floor button he had mistakenly pressed.

It was, unfortunately, a mistake he could no longer undo.  And when the doors slid open at 10th, Nino was there to greet him with a sneer. “This, the best hellhole you can find?”

It was the warmest welcome he would ever hope to get from anyone in this place.

And Nino didn’t even live here.

***

The elevator lurched to a grinding stop between 10th and 11th, and none of them moved or said a peep like they knew this was going to happen.

“You pissed the doorman again, huh.” It was more a statement of truth than a question, and Nino could almost smile.

“Why is it that you always think the worst of me, Neen?” Sho quipped before sighing, his grocery bags rustling as he slowly slid down the wall in defeat. “I may have said a nasty word or two in a moment of anger.”

“How long?”

“Half an hour. One, tops.”

Nino sighed and wilted into a comfortable slump on the floor. They didn’t even bother pulling their phones out to compensate for the dimness of the emergency light. No use pressing the Help button either, if the man assigned to help them out was the one who locked them in here in the first place.

Ohno-san was such a vindictive creature. Who knew?

“Sho?” Nino said after a while, surprising himself with the calmness in his voice. On any other day, with any other person, this would’ve been enough to make him scream just for the heck of it. “Do me a favor, all right?”

“Yeah?” Sho mumbled, sounding completely resigned to his fate.

“Don’t ever invite me to your place again.”

***

The second time Sho met Nino, he was on his way out to meet some friends and Nino was in the elevator.

“This is not your floor,” he said, his almost sneer halting midway when he saw the guy’s tear-streaked face. “God, are you okay?”

“You’re going out?”

In the short time that he had known Nino, Sho had learned enough not to expect the guy to straightforwardly ask for help. This did not stop him from offering it anyway. “No?” His lie passed his lips before he could stop himself. “No, not really.”

“Perfect.” Nino walked past him straight to his door. “Well, do you have the key or should I just kick this thing down?”

Sho didn’t even notice until then that the guy had brought beer and food fit for ten.

***

“This is the last time.” Nino announced with as much conviction as he did so many times before. “I’ve broken up with him and I’m not going back. This time, I’m serious.”

“It’s dark.” Sho shifted beside him, an antsy presence with warm breath fanning the side of his face. “I can’t really tell the difference, Nino.”

Nino felt strangely comforted by the skepticism. His intended huff turned into a soft chuckle, an amused snort. “You’re the last person I imagined getting stuck with in an elevator.”

“So you say,” Sho shifted again and their shoulders were suddenly touching. “I also know you can be such a liar when you need to be.”

Nino thought he heard a hint of melancholy there. He couldn’t even raise an eyebrow at the irony of it as he whispered, “Touché.

***

“I wanted to be an astronaut.” Sho was almost certain they had already past the twenty-first question. He didn’t care. They were having fun knowing each other this way.

“Every kid wants to be an astronaut, Sho.” Nino popped a beer can open. It was one of those days when they met by the elevator after Nino had just been crying in his car and they ended up drinking all night in Sho’s apartment. “What did you really want to be?”

Sho had never really had reasons to think about what could’ve been. Neither was he a boy who put much stock on what could possibly be. But Nino had been stirring up previously dormant parts of him that had been shifting his perspectives significantly. And he’s only known the guy all of two weeks!

He ended up surprising himself the most when he opened his third beer and finally said. “When I was five, I wanted to be Change Pegasus and protect justice and peace on Earth while striking those super cool hero poses—”

“You wanted to be a superhero?” Nino gawked, overdone and teasing.

“Shut up, Nino.” Sho scoffed, his face flushing up like it’s just been set on fire. “Every boy secretly dreams of becoming a superhero—”

“Not this boy.”

“Oh, yeah?” Sho snatched Nino’s beer on his way to the couch. “So what did you want to be when you grew up, Kazunari Ninomiya?”

“An astronaut.” Nino sat beside Sho, grabbed his drink back, and tilted it to his lips; his eyes daring Sho to dispute him over the beer can.

They found out on that same night that they were both scared stiff of heights.

***

Nino’s senses were filled with Sho. The darkness just wasn’t enough to dull out a guy who had been his beacon of hope in the darkest moments of his life.

Moreover, the flowery scent of the guy’s fabric conditioner gave the stuffy elevator car a rather homey feel and the way their elbows kept bumping with the slightest movements were constant reminders of just how much of his personal space Sho Sakurai had already invaded.

Nino decided he liked it, along with Sho’s familiar citrusy smell and the guy’s warm, minty breath caressing his face whenever Sho turned to him to say something, or just to attentively listen to what he had to say.

Like it mattered still that they conversed properly even in the darkness.

“Is it really over?” Sho asked quietly; solemnly, like they were talking about a dead man.

“Yeah.”

“For real?”

“Not all fixations last forever, Sho.” Nino smiled to himself, remembering the name the guy had given to his sick tendencies.

“So, what changed?”

Nino sighed and in the dimness tried to look Sho in the eye. Because it really did matter that they talked about this properly—

“I found another douchebag one floor up.”

***

“I don’t get it! I just don’t get this unhealthy fixation you have for that guy!” Sho sputtered on one of their unplanned buddy date nights, when Nino’s tear-streaked face broke his heart more than it did the last couple of times. “Why do you keep coming back to that douchebag, huh?! Please, help me understand!”

“I have nothing to explain to you.”

“So you expect me to just let you come here whenever things don’t work out between the two of you?! What am I, your mother?!”

Nino calmly placed his beer on the counter and grabbed his coat. “I’m sorry for bothering you, Sho,” he said without glancing back.

It was the night Sho realized that Nino had become more than just a drinking buddy.

The next day was the day his heart bled for the first time at the sight of Nino hanging onto his boyfriend’s arm like they hadn’t just been fighting the previous night.

And the next time the elevator doors slid open to the sight of a teary-eyed Nino, Sho didn’t even have to say the words. He simply reached out to the control panel and held the doors open.

It was the day he realized he had finally become his own special kind of superhero, except that all he wanted to protect was the one guy he knew who didn’t want to be protected.

Still, stopping at tenth had become an inevitable habit since then.

***

Nino was afraid of flying. But he was more afraid of being alone.

So for a long time, he held on to the one thing he thought he had, no matter how wrong it felt at most times. He was happy sometimes anyway. It used to be enough.

But this guy just had to move in and ruin a long-established on-and-off routine.

Suddenly, ‘sometimes’ was no longer enough to contain the happiness Nino longed to feel.

“W- What are you doing?” Sho breathed out. Nino felt the guy’s jaw tighten against the palm of his hand, then relax again when he reached his other hand up to cup the guy’s face. “Nino…”

Nino’s senses thrilled at the minty breath brushing across his face. His nose twitched pleasantly at the flowery scent of the plain white shirt, then the citrusy smell of raw skin, as Sho himself inched closer, leaned forward, and brought his lips to the complete mercy of Nino’s mouth.

The kiss made them both dizzy, though it barely lasted long enough to be considered a proper kiss. Sho’s soft lips felt fuller up close, and tasted much sweeter than all of Nino’s secret imaginings. 

The kiss didn’t make him feel like he could fly, like most people think it would, like he used to think it would.

But its gentle warmth and comforting reality brought him crashing back to where he needed to be the most.

Nino had been floating in a void for a very long time.

It felt nice to finally be back on solid ground.

“I thought you didn’t wanna be invited to my place anymore?” Sho whispered against his lips.

Nino grinned and tugged the guy’s nape for another fleeting kiss. “I thought you said I was a liar.”

***

The elevator doors slid open exactly an hour later.

Nino would conveniently miss the winks Sho and the doorman Ohno would exchange the following day.

--end--

***Initially written as a sample original story drawing inspirations from Sho and Nino for the characters. It didn’t work out so well with the original characters, though. Not sure if it did so well like this, either. xD***

Happy 2017~! =^-^=

Date: 2017-02-01 04:36 am (UTC)
octavialao: (Default)
From: [personal profile] octavialao

Riiiinnnnn!!!!!! I missed you soooo much!!! And Sakumiya is just 😍😍😍😍😍

Date: 2017-02-01 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radhaj.livejournal.com
This was cute and lovely :D I always loved a good stuck-in-an-elevator story. And that last line just made it perfect <3 Thanks for sharing

Date: 2017-02-01 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flitterfly5.livejournal.com
Rin! You're back. I've missed you and your writing :)
Loved Nino's trolling throughout. "An astronaut" hahaha and "I thought you said I was a liar" :))) I love how Sho is so willing to be the chump for Nino.
So you've been working on original fiction during your absence? I applaud that and wish you luck!
Hope to see you around more ! <3

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