It was a cold Winter day in 2005 when Koyama called Shige out for dinner. He had just landed a role in the drama “Ns’ Aoi,” and wanted to celebrate. He had a little too much to drink and started rambling, as he usually did. But being a good friend, Shige went along with the conversation.
“Ya know, it’s going to be aweesomme to see Satomi-chan in a nurse outfit,” Koyama said.
Shige sighed. What was it about nurses that was so irresistible? Sure, guys dreamed to have a hot woman at their beck and whim, but people have played up that fantasy. Nurses didn’t dress in revealing blouses or short skirts; they wore sneakers and ran around trying to help save lives. Then again, Shige was never the type of guy to indulge in fantasy. He stayed in the realm of reality, with tangible things he could learn and explain, which was why he was confounded by this mystical power nurses had over men. Not that Shige wasn’t a man himself; he would most certainly qualify that statement.
In the end, Shige responded with a half-hearted laugh and a mumbled “Yeah.” It wasn’t like Koyama was going to remember the long spiel he was preparing in his mind the next morning, so he saved his breath.
It was about a month later when Koyama came into the dressing room in a nurse’s outfit. Not in scrubs, but in the girl’s attire. The white blouse was a little big on him and the skirt was a little high, revealing his long legs. He had on the hat and to top it off, his hair was tied into pigtails with pink ribbons.
Everyone stared. Ryo was the first to break the silence with a snort. “Tell me you walked into the building like this.”
“Yea, I just got done with filming,” he answered if as he had no shame.
Shige didn’t hide his snort. “You don’t play a girl, Kei, unless you’re not telling us something.”
Koyama laughed. “It was a joke on set; we got carried away. I humored them since I’m the resident idol there.”
“Did anyone laugh on your way in here?” Ryo asked.
“Surprisingly, no. They asked if Johnny put me up to it,” Koyama grinned.
Everyone laughed, and then Yamapi announced, “All right, meeting’s going to start then. Koyama, go change.”
“Will do,” Koyama replied enthusiastically. He grabbed his bag, rummaging for his clothes, on his way out to the bathroom.
“Shige,” Koyama whispered across the room, gesturing for him to come over. “I forgot my clothes on-set, do you have anything extra?”
“Uh…no. Why don’t you ask the others? I’m—”
“No! I don’t want to bother them…”
Shige rolled his eyes. Right, yet you don’t care about bothering me, he thought.
“You could try checking the other dressing room. Sometimes Juniors leave things there.”
Koyama grabbed Shige’s arm. “Come with me, please. If we’re both gone, they’ll postpone the meeting a little bit so we won’t miss anything.” Koyama knew the only way to reason with Shige was with logic. Or at least, attempts at it.
Shige made a weird face, half wincing, half groaning, and followed his older friend out the door. As he walked behind Koyama, he noticed something different about his friend. He had a confident stride, working those long lean legs despite the constricting skirt. Koyama’s head turned around, catching Shige off guard and causing him to blush.
“Come on, Shige,” he urged.
Shige quickened his pace, but the more he watched his best friend in that outfit, the more conscious he was of the way his heart was pounding, his face reddening every time his eyes wandered to that spot where Koyama’s legs met the fabric.
“Ah, found it!” Koyama yelled, a few feet ahead. Shige followed, locking the door behind him. As he turned around to survey the room, his eyes met the sight of Koyama’s half-naked body and he was taken aback. It wasn’t like he had never seen guys changing, but just seeing Koyama lower that skirt to the ground and stepping out of it, was hot. Shige stood dumbfounded at his own reaction and couldn’t stop watching until his friend was fully clothed again.
“Shige, let’s go.” Koyama grabbed his arm again and dragged him along. His hands were warm against Shige’s chilling skin. He wondered what was going on inside him.
Later that night, Shige watched an “Ns’ Aoi” episode; he wanted to make sure he wasn’t going insane. He had no idea what the plot was, just hoping Aoi would show up in uniform already. And then there she was, cute as could be, with the one-piece white uniform, smiling nicely at her patients as she checked up on them. The moment passed and the scene switched to other nurses, running around during an emergency.
Nothing. He felt nothing now. Had what he felt earlier been a fluke?
He continued watching, perhaps a little relieved to think that it was just a one-time thing. Koyama showed up on the screen just then and Shige smiled fondly at the character who was helping a drunken Aoi into bed. As Koyama tucked her in, taking care that the blanket covered her well, Shige couldn’t help to think that being a nurse would fit Koyama’s personality. He was always so kind and caring to others, he knew how to talk with people, could ease their worries, and he knew how to laugh…he would be the perfect nurse.
Shige shut the TV off and sank into his seat. What he had felt earlier in the day was not something he could explain away, and it wasn’t something he was going to explore. He left it as it was, hoping he wouldn’t have to deal with it. The drama would be over and he would probably never see Koyama dressed like that again. That was that.
Years later, Shige let slip the fact that he liked the nurse cosplay during a concert MC. It was something to say, something to bring the topic back to Tegoshi’s recent obsession. It sort of just came out, lying just under his subconscious. He had been trying to bury those memories, but he couldn’t erase those feelings even if he tried.
“Eehheh,” Massu responded. “Since when?”
He remembered feeling shocked, panicky, yet still hiding behind his brilliant smile. He said the first thing that came to mind.
”Probably after Ns’ Aoi.” He regretted that answer, involuntarily looking over at Koyama. Of course, it worked out perfectly, because the camera’s zoomed in on the two best friends, and the crowd went wild over the almost imperceptible glance. Koyama ran with it, whether he knew what it meant or not, and jokingly chided Shige about not watching it just for his episodes.
Tegoshi continued to dress up for various things; it would no longer be a surprise to see him trying on different costumes each night. One night in particular, Shige walked in to find Tegoshi sitting next to Koyama, wiggling in his seat in a nurse outfit. Shige stopped in his tracks.
Koyama noticed his best friend had walked in and ushered him over. “Look who came today, Nurse Yuko!”
Shige walked over, horrified on the inside, and outwardly gawking at Tegoshi. He had the whole stereotyped costume, from the long curly blond wig to the short, short skirt. Tegoshi took note of Shige’s reaction and smirked.
“I have nothing to say to this,” Shige responded, shaking his head and walking away. He appeared like he was about to burst out laughing, but he was trying really hard to keep how he felt from spewing out. He was shocked, confused, yearning, frustrated –why did these things have to resurface?
That night, he found himself cornered in the dressing room by Tegoshi, when everyone else had gone home. He simply gave in; he wasn’t about to explain to Tegoshi that it wasn’t him who he wanted. And it became Tegoshi’s new obsession, to revel in pushing his buttons, watching him deny himself the pleasure yet asking for more. Each week, Tegoshi would try on a new costume, to see which one would elicit the most discomfort from Shige, parade in front of him as the others watched and smirked. Tegoshi was done with the normal costumes; he went with exotic Amazon warriors with long brown wigs, Greek goddess with white flowing dresses, even with some anime characters once.
Tegoshi was insatiable, Shige was beginning to realize. They would sneak away during photoshoots to a secluded alley between buildings, in closets, dark hallways, anywhere just to capture the thrill of clashing lips in forbidden settings. It wasn’t about what Tegoshi wore anymore, but the feel of soft skin beneath cotton, goose bumps on trembling arms, fast breathing in tight spaces. Shige wanted to believe this was the only explanation to his uncontrollable emotions; he needed to touch, to feel the tangible, sweet, little body beneath his, to forget everything in that moment of bliss.
Tegoshi had texted Shige to meet him in the dressing room early. The message read: We should talk. At first, Shige thought it was some ploy to draw him out again, but as he sat waiting in the empty room, he found himself hoping to end it. He thought there was some unspoken agreement that their relationship was not a ‘relationship,’ that it had everything to do with the fantasy and the rush of it all. He realized that this was neither something to be explained, nor an experience full of pure excitement, but rather an illogical feeling he had, something beyond his control.
Everything started to blur together, the walls of the room spinning as he tried to come up with a hundred reasons how he could be feeling this way. In the depth of his heart, somewhere he didn’t want to admit existed, he knew the answer. If he looked back further enough, he knew everything began with Koyama.