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Game On

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Playing console games isn't Sakurai Sho's first choice when it comes to spending time with his partner, but then again he should have known what to expect when he'd started dating Ninomiya Kazunari. By this point it doesn't even seem too strange to find the two of them sitting side by side in front of Kazunari's sizeable television, Sho sitting comfortably next to his partner as the man shows him the controls for the game they'll be playing. It's something to do with cartoon characters racing around in brightly-coloured cars and throwing banana skins at each other, apparently – it's one they've played before, anyway. At least Kazunari has let him choose the food for tonight, and Sho is getting more and more impatient while he waits for the home delivery of his much-loved pizza.

“So when you want to use a speed burst, you have to press this button.” Kazunari points at the controller in Sho's hand, indicating one of the round buttons with an 'X' on it. “And to brake, it's this one.”

“I know, I know.” Sho huffs and rolls his eyes. If they are going to play a game together he wants to actually get on with playing the game, not sit through a lecture. “I have played this game with you before, remember?”

“Yeah, and you lost horribly then, too.”

“Hey, I've been practising since then!”

“When?” Kazunari raises a cynical eyebrow. “You're hardly ever even here in my house, let alone having time to play games when you are.”

“I play it when you go out and do filming.”

“Don't you do a lot of filming too?”

“Well, yes, but---”

“And you leave the house before I do.”

“I've been practising, okay?” Sho's cheeks flush a little, indicating either that he's annoyed, or that he's been caught in a lie – or perhaps both. “I'm not going to lose to you again!”

“Knowing you, Sho-kun, you've probably bought your own console just so you can play this in secret,” Kazunari comments drily, switching to the screen where they'll choose their characters. Sho doesn't answer. “Sho-kun?”

“As if I'd do something as stupid as that!”

“ have, haven't you?”

“And so what if I have?” Sho's cheeks to continue to burn a very pleasant shade of crimson. “What's wrong with a grown man wanting to play a few games every now and then?”

“Quite a lot, from what you've told me in the past. Oh, but I suppose it depends on whether he's buying it for his own enjoyment, or whether he's only buying it to be spiteful and beat his partner because he just cannot stand to lose...”

Not that he'd admit it, but Kazunari finds Sho's semi-confession absolutely endearing. To think that this man would buy something just to be able to compete against me like this, he thinks. He may not always be the best at showing his affection, but this act alone is as much of an 'I love you' as anything else.

“Are we playing this game or not?” Irritated at having been caught out, Sho selects his character and presses the button which shows he is ready to start the race; Kazunari picks a character of his own and the screen changes to show the racers on the starting line, two human players alongside six computer-controlled ones, the black-and-white chequered flag about to---

At that moment the doorbell rings, indicating that their food has arrived. Sho doesn't waste a single second, pausing the game as fast as he can – because damn it, he is hungry – and gets to his feet to head towards the door, not even bothering waiting for Kazunari to offer, although it's his house. He opens it with a grin, smiling at the staff member standing on the other side and thanking the man for his trouble; the band members never order food directly to the house, because that could cause far too many problems. With a final bow he closes the door behind him, stopping briefly in the kitchen to pick up a couple of plates before returning to where his partner is still sitting on the floor in front of the television.

“That was fast.” Kazunari is idly toying with the left and right sticks of his controller. “So do you want to eat first, or...?”

“Or thrash you at this game?” Sho smirks, cocky as ever. “What do you think, Kazu-chan?”

“I think you're an arrogant ass.”

“And you love me for it.” Grinning, Sho reaches over to ruffle the smaller man's hair; the arrival of the food and the promise of dinner certainly seems to have perked him up a bit. “Hey, how about we make this game a little more interesting?”

“Huh? What do you mean by that?”

“Well, let's say whoever does the best out of the two of us gets to decide what we do in bed tonight.” Sho laughs. “Because we are doing things together in bed tonight, right?”

“Sho-kun!” Kazunari smiles in return, but rolls his eyes. “We're really going to do that?”

“Don't act so shocked with me, Kazu-chan. We both know what you're capable of between the sheets.”

“I'm not saying that because I'm shocked.” Kazunari smiles his wicked little smile, mischief dancing in his eyes. “I'm saying that because you actually think you have a chance of beating me.”

“Who's being the arrogant ass now, hmm?” But Sho is smiling too, secretly loving the competitive streak which his partner is also capable of showing sometimes. “So, are we on?”

“We're on.” Kazunari doesn't even bother to turn and look at Sho as they settle in front of the screen, the controllers in their hands. “Let's go.”

Unfortunately for Sho, things begin to go downhill incredibly quickly. He zooms away from the starting line and he gives a cry of delight, only for his lead to instantly vanish as he suddenly plunges off a nearby cliff; and by the time his car reappears on the track he has completely lost his lead, struggling to catch up with the rest of the racers. It only gets worse from here, Sho cursing when he repeatedly crashes into the side of the track, muttering to himself when he smashes into obstacles left by the other characters, until he is so far behind he is getting lapped by most of the other cars repeatedly.

Perhaps surprisingly, Kazunari doesn't seem to be faring much better, either. He is also missing every single bridge and falling down all of the gaps, crashing into explosive traps and failing to turn a single corner without getting stuck against the barriers, but at least he isn't doing as badly as Sho. The race ends with Kazunari limping across the finishing like in 7th place, Sho lagging far, far behind in 8th – and finishing last.

“I don't understand it!” Sho pouts and slams his controller down onto the floor, clearly very annoyed. “I know I've done this track before! I spent my own free time getting better at this damn game! I'm telling you, Kazu, this controller must be broken---”

“Well, I guess that's just too bad.” Kazunari shrugs and fixes his partner with a look of mock pity, his voice positively dripping with sarcasm. “I really hope you weren't planning on doing much walking tomorrow, Sho-kun.”

Maybe Kazunari should have told Sho that he'd secretly swapped the controllers around when he'd gone to get the pizza, so Sho had been looking at the wrong screen the whole time.