“Osomatsu, are you listening to me?”
Osomatsu doesn’t respond right away, taking his sweet time to gulp down another shot of vodka. “Sure,” he says at long last, and wearily glances at Choromatsu as he resumes his lecture once more after that. Typical. In such a noisy place like this club, Choromatsu wasn’t deterred from simply raising his voice above the din to continue his report.
Osomatsu sighs. He thought it was strange that Choromatsu didn’t put up a fight when he suggested that they all came here to unwind, only to realize that Choromatsu wouldn’t care what venue it was as long as there was a table to set his cranberry juice and thick stack of graphs and spreadsheets on. He looks enviously on the dancefloor, where Jyushimatsu and Karamatsu were dancing together, grinning a bit as Jyushimatsu picks Karamatsu up off the ground and throws him the air repeatedly, and Osomatsu doesn’t know whether Karamatsu is yelling out of fear or fun, maybe even a bit of both. All he knew was it looked fun as hell. Over in corner Todomatsu once again has the attention of almost a dozen girls by the bar, who all laugh and cheer as he continually buys their drinks for them. Even Ichimatsu is probably having more fun than him, even though he’s most likely skulked into the back alley for a smoke, much preferring to keeping a few stray cats company than being inside. And with all honesty, Ichimatsu had the right idea.
Osomatsu gets it. Dad’s drilled it in his head all his life that taking over the mantle is no easy task, wasn’t something he was going to get out of, and he’d have to work harder than the other five combined if he even wanted to keep their family afloat, but at the same time, shit—why did it have to be him? He looks back over at Choromatsu who doesn’t seem to have noticed that Osomatsu hasn’t registered a single word he’s said, the blaring music effectively muting him. Sure, Choromatsu’s great at organizing, has a way better work ethic than he’ll ever have, but he’d probably crumble under the pressure of being at the helm. Even taking the role of the accountant hasn’t been very kind to him—Osomatsu frowns, noticing a few strands of grey near Choromatsu’s ear. Taking care of the books seemed safe enough, but even that was worrisome enough, apparently.
“That’s it,” Osomatsu says finally, getting up and tugging up Choromatsu by the arm, who squawks, crinkling some of the documents in hand, “put those down, we’re dancing.”
“We are not!” Choromatsu snaps, trying to pull his arm out of Osomatsu’s grip and sit back down, “we haven’t even gone over—“
“Tomorrow! We can go over them tomorrow!” Osomatsu whines, “who in their right mind would bring paperwork here? Do me a favor: a dance, a drink that’s not godforsaken juice, and no more pie charts for tonight.”
Choromatsu looks at his glass of cranberry juice, frowning. “Maybe something a bit stronger would be nice...but I’m not dancing!” He quickly says, noticing Osomatsu’s widening grin.
“You know I can’t dance.”
“Sure, but that doesn't mean you can’t learn now—“
“I’m not going out there to make a fool of myself.”
Osomatsu shrugs, “Fine, I guess you’re going to make a fool of yourself in here then.”
“What—“ Choromatsu splutters out before Osomatsu pushes him out of the booth and in front of the table. It’s not a big space to dance, but enough for the two of them. Osomatsu wastes no time snapping his hips side to side, his shoulders gyrating. Choromatsu furrows his eyebrows in concentration, as he watches Osomatsu’s feet, and clumsily tries to ape him, stilted and out of rhythm. Osomatsu laughs, before taking Choromatsu’s hands into his. “Feel, don’t think about it.”
“Feel what?” Choromatsu tiredly says, yelping as Osomatsu spins them both around, before dipping him low, a steady hand supporting Choromatsu’s back all the while. He pushes him upright once more, and tugs him forwards and back.
“The beat, the music, whatever!”
“I…ah, just lead me, I don’t care.”
Osomatsu smiles, “Don’t I always?”
“Against everyone’s better judgement,” Choromatsu huffs.
Osomatsu rolls his head, pursing his lips in a mock pout, “You wound me, you really, really do.”
Choromatsu tries to hide it, but Osomatsu knows well enough the sign of a barely-there wry grin on his brother’s face. “I’m sure you’ll recover sooner or later.”
It takes awhile, but leading Choromatsu doesn’t feel like dancing with a mannequin anymore, as Choromatsu finally gets a hang of the rhythm and can keep up with Osomatsu. Satsified, Osomatsu lets go of Choromatsu’s hands, only for his younger brother to surge forward and lock their hands together, glowering at him all the while. Osomatsu didn’t think he’d ever see Choromatsu look so meancing while a cheery disco house track blares around them, but he shrugs, accepting the lead role once more and Choromatsu visibly relaxes, following his movements again. His expression is neutral, but at least it isn’t creased with worry lines, not having to think about his next step, letting go of the reins for once.
Osomatsu curls a hand just the slightest bit tighter around Choromatsu’s. He’s floundering, despite a lifetime of being groomed for the position he’s never really wanted. He has no idea what the hell he’s doing.
But he can do this. He can be there for his brothers. He can be there for Choromatsu.
It’s the very least he could do.
With that in mind, he spins both of them around, laughing as Choromatsu yelps in surprise, wobbling as his feet try to keep up, and Osomatsu tugs him so they’re chest to chest in an attempt to steady the both of them. Choromatsu lets out a laugh of his own, the rush of exhilaration coursing through him as he pulls back, just far enough. Osomatsu surges forward in tandem, and they enjoy a brief moment of being in sync before it all falls apart and Choromatsu nearly trips over his own feet. But Osomatsu has a firm grip on both of his forearms, and waits until Choromatsu can stand on his own before slinging an arm around Choromatsu’s neck.
“Alright, enough of that, before you break something,” Osomatsu teases, steering Choromatsu back towards the couch again before making his way out, “I’m going to get us some drinks—see if Totty is up for treating us to a round.” He goes, unknowingly missing the fond look Choromatsu gives him as he walks away.