Aiba Masaki will never be good enough for Sakurai Sho.
At least, that's what he keeps telling himself, and today is no different. They've been working hard all afternoon on the choreography for their new video, and he still hasn't got the hang of it yet – although neither has Sho, by the looks of things. Even as Ohno Satoshi, Ninomiya Kazunari and Matsumoto Jun start winding down, Sho is running through the dance by himself while Masaki watches from his seat at the side of the room, taking a breather and a long, thirsty swig from his bottle of water.
“You're still not done yet?” Matsumoto Jun gently chides Sho as he sits down near Masaki and changes his shoes, preparing to leave with Satoshi and Kazunari. “But I thought...”
“I'm fine.” Sho cuts Jun off mid-sentence, halfway through completing a step, his expression frustrated yet determined. “I just want to run through it a few more times to make sure I've got it right. You guys should just head on without me.”
“Masaki?” Jun turns then to man sitting beside him, asking whether he will be leaving with them for their post-rehearsal dinner and some well-earned drinks.
“No, it's okay.” Masaki smiles and holds up a hand in negation, tired yet not about to admit defeat. If Sho is staying behind to make sure he gets this dance right, then he can, too. “I could do with a little more practice myself as well. We'll meet you later. Right, Sho?”
“Right.” Sho nods and goes back to stepping through the moves one by one, not even paying attention when Jun, Satoshi and Kazunari leave the building. Which just leaves Masaki watching him from his chair, apparently studying his moves with serious intensity. He stops and smirks, approaching the chair where Masaki is sitting with a mischievous grin on his face. “You're not going to join me?”
“It's alright. I'll wait until you're done, then I'll have a go myself at---”
“Shut up and dance with me, Masaki-kun.”
And before Masaki knows what's happening Sho is taking him by the arm and has him on his feet, leading him through the first few steps of the dance, doing his best to keep the beat even as he openly laughs at the other man's surprised expression. But it's not a cruel laugh, although Masaki knows Sho can have his sadistic moments; no, this is a laugh of joy and amusement, and he's clearly delighted to see Masaki dancing by his side.
Because that's what's happening now, isn't it? We're dancing together, side by side, just the two of us. I mean, we've rehearsed together before, but not like this...
There does indeed seem to be something different about their interaction today. Maybe it's the way Sho keeps glancing over at him, as if appraising his moves; maybe it's the way his band-mate offers words of encouragement, keeps stepping closer to place his hands on his shoulders, making small corrections to his movements and his posture – and with each and every touch, it feels as though there's some kind of spark which threatens to set his whole body alight. Perhaps he's just imagining it, though. Surely there's no way in hell Sho would start noticing him now, not when he's panting and breathless and tripping over his own two left feet. There's no way Sho is walking towards him and looking at him like that because he likes him. No way Sho is suddenly placing a hand on his shoulder and leaning in close to---
The kiss is passionate and unexpected, Sho's mouth easily finding Masaki's own, his lips soft and welcome; before he even knows what's happening he's sliding an arm around Masaki and drawing him closer, neither of them caring about the heat or the sweat of their bodies. From the way his heart is pounding, Masaki is sure that Sho will be able to feel it through the material of their shirts as their chests press together, his shallow breathing nothing to do now with the dance session they've just been through. Just as Masaki is starting to believe that what is happening is actually real, Sho pulls away with a hungry moan, breaking the contact, already making Masaki feel the loss of their physical connection.
“I reckon you've got the hang of it.” Sho's words are accompanied by a wicked grin; it's not clear whether he means the dance or the kiss, and Masaki doesn't feel like asking. “Come on, Masaki-kun. Let's get showered off so we can go and get some food.”
“A shower...?” Masaki is still reeling. This is like something from a jdrama, or a yaoi manga. This kind of thing doesn't happen to real people.
“Yeah? You know, one of those things where you stand there and get wet?" Sho moves to grab a towel and wipes his brow with it. "I don't want to sit in a restaurant in a sweaty t-shirt. Hey, even I wouldn't want to sit next to me right now.”
“But you mean... a shower together?”
“Well, you can wait out here if you want.” Sho laughs, and throws the towel at Masaki's face. “But I'm hungry.”
And with that, he strolls nonchalantly towards the changing rooms as if something life-changing hasn't just happened between them. As though he hasn't just given Masaki the one thing he's wanted for so long.
“Sho-kun – wait---”
They walk into the restaurant together some time later, showered and refreshed and most definitely... exercised.
“Oh, you finally got it, huh?” Jun raises a glass in their direction, chopsticks in his hand. He's already eating his food, as are Satoshi and Kazunari. “You can thank Leader for that one.”
Ohno just shrugs in response, his mouth already full. Hey, it's not his fault that he seems to have a natural talent for choreography.
“You go get a seat, Sho-kun.” Masaki pats Sho on the shoulder, notably hanging back and blushing. “I'll go get us some drinks.”
“Are you sure?” Already, Sho is being protective. It's a quality which Masaki has never really noticed in him before, but then again, this is the first time Masaki has been his.
“I'm sure.” Masaki smiles, and mutters, his cheeks flushing an even deeper shade of red, already knowing that he won't be able to keep what has just happened between them a secret. He always was terrible at lying. This way, he'll at least give Sho a chance to sit down and start eating some food before the truth comes out. “You go grab a bite to eat. I'll be with you in a minute.”
Sho returns a grin of his own, genuinely appreciative of Masaki's offer, and although he now knows the pleasure of having the man by his side it's his stomach which needs attention right now. He wastes no time in finding a place to sit beside Jun, and he's picking up a pair of chopsticks and digging into one of the dishes on the table before his now-partner has even reached the bar.
“Sho-kun...” Kazunari turns to his band-mate, a slightly concerned yet amused expression on his face. “I'm surprised it took you so long to get the hang of that dance. Didn't you help Satoshi come up with the choreography for that song in the first place?”
“Yeah, I did.” Sho gives one of his customary smirks, casting a quick glance in the direction which Masaki has headed. “But he doesn't ever have to know that. Right?”