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Tangled Up

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The sun is just dipping below the horizon when Aiba pours the first drink. Nino tracks the movement with his eyes from where he’s lounging on Aiba’s plush leather couch. It’s been a long time since they last got together like this, the two of them just hanging out in their free time. It makes Nino’s heart ache a little when he thinks of exactly how long it’s been. Years, easily.

Aiba’s latest girlfriend, some European hooker disguised as a model, had been caught publicly cheating on him with what one could only assume was a male model of similar heritage (Nino wondered, really, about gender lines and sexual ambiguity for about 30 seconds when he was a pre-teen before he decided he just didn’t care). All in all, Aiba had taken it remarkably well. Nino knew better, though. You don’t know someone for 15 years and not see through their fake smiles.

That’s why he’d shown up earlier with a bottle of 20 year old scotch, his Wii, and enough porn to last them until sun-up. Nino considers himself a pretty decent friend.

It’s the third round of Mario Kart before Nino realizes how fast the scotch is working its magic as two Aibas bounce around in front of him, limbs flailing wildly. Nino thinks vaguely that that silly Masaki with his silly hair and his stupid beautiful face was going to hurt someone one of these days.

It surprises no one (well, no one being Nino) when Aiba trips over his own feet and lands flat on his back on the floor. Crawling over to him, Nino straddles Aiba’s prostrate form and pushes the fluffy, stupid hair out of his face.

"Are you okay?" he asks incredulously, still combing his small fingers through Aiba’s hair. It’s softer than it looks, and that’s saying something.

"I just bumped my head," Aiba whispers, his eyes suddenly wide. Nino tries not to giggle and fails, his head falling forward to rest on Aiba’s collarbone.

Aiba smells of whisky and tobacco and something else, something musky and sweet at the same time. Nino lifts his head and meets Aiba’s eyes for half a second, his heart pitter-pattering wildly in his own chest.

"Aiba-chan-" he starts.

"You talk too much," Aiba says, curling his hand around the back of Nino’s head and tugging him down , their lips meeting for the first time in almost 10 years.

---

"Oh my god, please shut up about Yoko," Aiba pleaded, clapping his hands over his ears.

"I just can’t believe he finally got kissed! And by that girl who lives down the street from him…what’s her name." Nino scowled and hiked his bag up his thin shoulder. "She’s not even that cute," he grumbled.

Pushing the door to the arcade open, Aiba breathed in the cool air of the arcade for a moment before hurrying to one of the machines and hastily pumping quarters in. Aiba felt, at times, as if his limbs were too long for his 14 year old body. His mom had called him "all arms and legs" and he was starting to believe it. He wondered f he’d ever stop being awkward and start being cool and suave like Nagase or Higashiyama-sempai.

"Seriously, he’s my best friend, I don’t want to hear about it," he said, mashing buttons wildly.

"I thought I was your best friend," Nino pouted.

"You’re a different kind of best friend," Aiba replied, intent on watching the little yellow pie-man eat pebbles and ghosts.

"And yet you won’t listen to me complain." Nino’s bottom lip pushed out even further. "Some best friend you are."

Aiba rolled his eyes. "You’re just bitter no one wants to kiss you."

"Dick," Nino muttered, looking at the floor.

Aiba turned away from the game to look at Nino, his reddened cheeks, hair falling in his face. Had he hit a nerve? Aiba wondered. Game-ending music erupted from the machine as Aiba continued to stare at his friend. He hadn’t had his first kiss yet, either, he pondered. Aiba had kind of been saving it for that cute girl at the combini, but he supposed he could give it up in the name of friendship. That was it. Friendship.

Grabbing Nino’s wrist, Aiba tugged him toward the purikura booth, ignoring his protests, and shoved Nino in, snapping the curtain closed behind them.

"What the hell is wro-"

It was too late for Nino’s protests. Aiba shut his eyes and leaned in, smashing his lips rather inexpertly against Nino’s. Feeling Nino’s hesitation, Aiba paused before tentatively touching his tongue to Nino’s bottom lip. Nino sighed a little, relaxed into it and Aiba took a chance. It was wet and a little sloppy, but Aiba was pretty sure it was the most perfect kiss in the history of kisses. Pulling back, Aiba looked in Nino’s eyes, searching for any sign he really shouldn’t have done that. All his fears were washed away as Nino twined his fingers in Aiba’s hair and yanked him forward, mashing their mouths together in another hungry kiss.

The train ride home was quieter than usual as they stood side by side, swaying with the movement. Nino had grumbled all the way to the station about the big dork stealing his first kiss, but he couldn’t blame the movement of the train for the brush of their fingers again and again.

They never spoke of the time in the photo booth. But Aiba would remember it for the rest of his life.

---

Aiba’s breath is hot against Nino’s collarbones as they touch each other all over. Nino’s not entirely sure how they ended up in Aiba’s giant bed with its black silk sheets, their cocks rubbing against each other furiously, but he certainly isn’t going to argue the point. It surprises him how much he wants this, how much he wants Aiba of all people.

He stops and thinks for a moment – why is it "of all people?"

Aiba moans, deep and breathy, and Nino snaps back to the moment, the task at hand. Nino opens his eyes and all he can see is Aiba. All he ever wanted to see was Aiba.

Nino is endlessly grateful Aiba never really grew out of the long limbs phase of adolescence as he wraps his legs around Nino’s waist, drawing him closer. Their mouths meet again and again as the heat between them grows. Leaning away from Aiba’s hungry mouth, Nino grabs a condom and slips it on.

Preparation is quick and perfunctory, both of them too close to the finish line to linger. Nino vaguely thinks that next time he’ll do it right – slow and sweet, the way Aiba deserves. And then there’s a whine of impatience and Nino thinks that time will just have to wait.

Aiba is hot and tight, belying the rumors that he’s slept with everyone under the sun. Nino knows when Aiba is devoted to someone, they become his sun. He’s not one to ever cheat. The thought wouldn’t even cross his mind. Nino loves him a little for that.

They’re still touching each other everywhere they can; fingers trailing over hot skin, soft kisses on everything they can reach. Nino just gets his hand around Aiba’s cock when he comes all over their stomachs, throwing his head back and moaning. Pushing through Aiba’s orgasm, Nino only makes it a few more thrusts before he’s shuddering hard against Aiba’s sticky skin.

Aiba is still shivering in his post-orgasm haze when Nino returns from the bathroom with a damp washcloth for them both. He’s still shivering when Nino crawls back into bed next to him. He finally stops when Nino wraps his arms around him and tugs him close.

"I was waiting for you," Aiba whispers into the dark.

"You don’t have to wait any more," Nino replies.

---

Nino couldn’t wait until they were finally big enough to afford their own rooms. Sho ground his teeth, Ohno was a compulsive nighttime snuggler and Aiba was a complete slob. Nino normally wouldn’t mind the snuggling and slobbiness, but on tour, when they were leaving for a new city every day, he just wanted a good night’s rest. He got lucky, though, sharing only with Ohno for the tour. Nino figured he could handle a few nights of snuggles in exchange for relative privacy. Plus, Ohno never complained when he was up late playing video games.

Nino tried not to let his feelings toward Aiba sway his feelings for his room assignment. Since that day at the arcade, both lifetimes and seconds ago, Nino and Aiba had nothing more than stolen moments. A kiss here or there, a lingering glance. But with their busy new schedule, finding time to make out was becoming increasingly harder. Nino wondered if he should maybe just give up. They were young and on their way to being famous. Relationships could wait, right?

Trudging back up to their shared common room, Nino wondered vaguely if he would be able to steal a few minutes for himself. Aiba and Ohno had wandered off to go shopping and find the best local ramen. Last he had checked, Sho and Jun were tirelessly going over set lists and designs over and over and over again, ignoring the fact that they were already on tour and not much was likely to change. Nino just chalked it up to Jun’s emerging bitchiness. He could tell the next few years were going to be rough.

The hotel room was locked, not an uncommon thing for them as they rose in popularity, but inconvenient nonetheless. Nino fished the room key from somewhere in the abyss that was his pocket, pushed the door open with one hand, and stopped in his tracks.

He saw before he heard what was happening – Sho’s muscular form pounding Jun’s small, lithe body against the common room table. It took a moment for the grunts and groans to catch up to Nino’s ears, but by the time they did, he’d already locked eyes with each of them in turn.

Blushing furiously, Nino turned away and scurried out the door and down the hall, grabbing a returning Ohno and Aiba on his way. He could have sworn he heard Jun’s orgasmic cry as the doors to the elevator slid shut.

Days later, Nino is sure the incident has been forgotten, or at the very least, brushed under the rug, never to be discussed. He’d been surprised when the room assignments for the next leg of the tour came and he found himself paired with Sho for the next few days, but Nino wasn’t one to make anything of it. Sho was still one of his best friends, sexual tastes aside.

The clock blinked almost 3 a.m. when the edge of his bed dipped, Sho’s form appearing over him. Nino opened his mouth to say something sarcastic, maybe a little rude, but Sho’s soft lips on his collarbones quieted him instantly.

It was no secret the members of Arashi had kissed each other by the end of their first year. Ohno liked to call it a "bonding exercise." Nino just called it "everyone is horny, let’s make out." There was something about Sho, though. Nino liked the way Sho kissed – hard and demanding, as if he were taking something, while giving pleasure (and you’d damn well better like it). Aiba’s kisses were soft and sweet and always tasted like butterscotch, no matter what he’d just eaten.

As Sho licked his way into Nino’s mouth, Nino felt a sting of regret in the pit of his stomach. He couldn’t be thinking about Aiba as he was kissing someone else. It wasn’t fair to anyone and would accomplish effectively nothing. Pushing the guilt from his mind, Nino gave in to the feeling of Sho’s weight, warm and steady above him. Sho’s lips moved down Nino’s neck, eliciting tiny moans Nino wasn’t even sure he was making.

"If you wanted," Sho murmured, his lips but a feather on Nino’s over-sensitive skin. "You could take Jun’s place tonight."

Nino froze. He’d been very carefully avoiding the subject for a while, but here it was, hovering above him, full of lust and opportunity. Sho lifted his head and their eyes met for a moment. Nino suddenly realized exactly what he wanted – Sho, all of him. All that he could offer. Lust overtook Nino’s common sense as he tugged Sho down to him, their bodies lining up, pajama-covered cocks rubbing lightly against each other.

When it was all said and done, Nino had to admit he liked sex. His body ached in places he wasn’t sure it could ache, and he felt a bit dirty, but as Sho held him close in the dark hours of the night, Nino couldn’t keep himself from smiling. Sho had been so gentle and caring with him; not at all like he’d been with Jun – rough and demanding, pumping his hips into Jun’s with abandon.

The next morning, Nino realized he did regret one thing as he slid into the breakfast booth across from Aiba, wincing slightly as he sat down. Sho slid in next to him and brushed his fingers across Nino’s thigh, winking at him before turning to talk to Ohno about their next stop. Nino smiled back before catching Aiba’s face, his normally cheery smile gone.

Aiba stopped looking for him during free time after that.

---

It’s not exactly a relationship, Nino supposes, but he likes spending time with Aiba. They’re caught in that awkward stage between sex and relationship, but Nino’s not complaining. Holding his hand under the covers and watching old movies and the sex is great. Aiba makes him laugh; despite what is aired on national television, Nino has a serious soft spot for the dork.

They’re making out in the dark one Thursday evening when there’s a knock at the door.

"Leave it," Aiba whines, wrapping his arms tighter around Nino’s middle and nipping at Nino’s sensitive skin.

Nino shivers and curls into Aiba, trying to ignore the ever-insistent knocking.

"Oh my god, this had better be important," he grumbles, pushing Aiba away and stomping to the door.

"Sho," Nino gasps. It wasn’t unusual for members to visit each other in their free time, but Sho had become recalcitrant in recent days, choosing to spend more time with Fukayon than anyone. Nino was starting to have pre-graduation flashbacks. Jun had started planning an intervention.

"I brought tequila," Sho says, smiling. "And cigarettes because you have shitty taste."

Aiba stumbles out of the bedroom, his face breaking into a grin when he sees Sho.

"Sho-chan!" he squeals, tackling Sho to the couch. "I didn’t know you were coming over tonight!"

"Neither did I," Sho replies. He pushes Aiba off of him and settles in. "I figured we could reminisce and get totally drunk," he continues, looking up at Nino expectantly.
Nino sighs and tosses him the remote. "I’ll grab the limes."

They’re already drunk when the body shots start. Nino tries to ignore the hot spike of jealousy in his stomach as Sho’s tongue gathers the salt sprinkled across Aiba’s stomach. He turns away when Sho claims his lime – and his kiss.

"I want one, too," he whines, grabbing a lime slice and pushing Sho onto his back.

Aiba prepares the shot quickly, his glazed eyes watching Nino and Sho lustfully. Leaning down slowly, Nino laves his tongue across Sho’s stomach, back and forth, carefully catching every grain of salt. He slams the shot back quickly, then crawls up Sho’s body to nuzzle at his neck and jaw before slowly sucking the lime wedge from between Sho’s lips.

Leaning back with a satisfied smile, Nino exposed his abdomen and looked expectantly at Sho, his lips still kiss-swollen and shiny.

"I think Aiba wants a turn, Sho," he says, glancing at his stomach and back up again. Sho growls low in the back of his throat, but complies, sitting back on his heels to watch the show.

Aiba’s still grimacing from the taste of tequila when he leans in to take the lime from Nino, but Nino’s too fast, spitting out the lime and pulling Aiba down into a wet, sloppy kiss. The front of Nino’s pants are uncomfortably tight when Aiba pulls away to pull Sho down into a kiss, his hand sliding across Sho’s thigh to his belt buckle.

Clothing starts falling off one by one as they share kisses, exchanging partners back and forth. Sho’s teasing Aiba’s nipple with his tongue when Nino decides it’s time. Standing, he pulls off his shirt and unbuckles his belt.

"Bed, anyone?"

Sho is anything but gentle this time, roughly preparing Nino before taking him on all fours, pounding hard and fast. Nino flashes back to that time in the common room, watching as Jun cried out his pleasure and finally understands. Sho’s amazing when he’s not fucking like an animal, but it takes everything Nino has not to come when Sho’s long fingers pull fast and rough on his dick.

He completely loses it, though, when he raises his head to make eye contact with Aiba, sitting at the other end of the bed, pulling his own cock to the time of Sho’s thrusts. Sho comes a beat behind Nino, his whole body shuddering violently. Nino can’t breathe from the intensity of it all, from the regret of having Aiba watch him get fucked by their bandmate. Sho kisses him deeply and Nino forgets to regret for a moment. They’re still kissing lazily when Aiba coughs, gesturing down to his own neglected cock.

The twinkle in Aiba’s eyes brings Nino back to consciousness as he crawls across the bed, sticky and sweaty and altogether kind of gross.

"Blow me," Aiba says, looking away from Nino to meet Sho’s eyes. Nino fights the scowl as Aiba pleads, "please?" Nino could never resist Aiba’s pout and from the way Sho moves to comply, he wonders if maybe Aiba has some kind of magical power over them all.

Nino has long thought Sho has the prettiest lips in all of Arashi. Jun’s are a contender, to be sure, and Aiba’s the most attractive overall in his opinion, but there’s something about the fullness, the softness of Sho’s lips as they slide over Aiba’s dick. There’s a kind of magic in them as the pulls back and licks them, spreading Aiba’s come across his lips.

Nino feels his own cock twitch as if trying to reawaken and turns away to take Aiba’s lips for his own. Sho could have his ass and Aiba’s cock, but Aiba’s soul, his heart, his mouth, his eyes – they would always be Nino’s. It doesn’t take long for Aiba to tense and spill down Sho’s throat, moaning softly into Nino’s mouth. Tugging Sho up, they snuggle for a few minutes, basking in the post-coital glow.

"Who’s ready for round two?" Aiba asks. Sho groans and Nino just smiles. That’s his Aiba.

---

They never talk about that, either.