Galo slides down squad 3's station pole in a different way every time.
It's not that going down the normal way is bad, really. But Galo's learned how to do that as a kid, long before he joined Burning Rescue, because it was his dream (and also because it was super cool, okay, can you really blame him?), and by the time he's done it on the actual, real, in the flesh—well, metal—pole in the real fire station about ten times, the worship and novelty have worn off, and just going down it without thinking and letting it become something he does out of habit is sad.
So he starts trying out different way. First it's just sliding with only one hand and one foot. Then without the hands, just to see if he can do it. One time, he tries going down head first. Getting on the pole is the hardest part of that one.
Captain Ignis tells him he'll have to wear a helmet if he tries that one again, afterwards, but hey, it's fun, and it seems to liven up the mood every time he does, so worth it, right?
So on days when nothing happens and he's stuck in the station with nothing much to do and everyone else is busy, he practices. This stuff doesn't come easy, after all, even to someone with his level of strength and agility. You have to figure out how to balance your weight, how to use it to make the pole carry you. It takes a surprising amount of thinking.
No one comments on it. Galo's glad because it means no one is telling him off for it, but on the other hand it'd be nice to have his efforts be recognised a bit.
Until one night when he's alone on standby with Lucia, the rest of the team sleeping just above, ready to get out of bed at the first hint of a siren.
“Hey, Galo!” she calls, waving him over to her computer. “You should try this one.”
He hops down from his pole and to Lucia's computer, bending to rest his elbows on her shoulders and his chin on her head. Lucia, humming, hits the giant click button of her custom mouse.
On the screen, a woman is twirling on a pole of her own.
And then she moves, switching positions, and the pole is at her back now, held just in the crook of one of her legs as she arches forward, still slowly rotating.
And then she bends forward and grabs the pole and releases her legs, and swings her body around and down, grabbing the pole between her thighs again.
“Woah woah woah hang on Lucia.”
“What—what's all this?”
“… people do that?”
“You're not alone, wonderboy. People even find it sexy,” she adds with a wink.
Galo doesn't really get how it's supposed to be sexy. But what he does know is that his life has just gotten a lot less boring.
His time has come.
Two days later, the team comes in from a sandwich break just as Galo's practicing a spin, and stop in their tracks.
“All right,” Ignis says, “who broke the pact. Fess up now.”
“Lucia, it's you, isn't it?” Remi sighs.
“Hu huu~ The poor boy was basically doing it already. I just gave him a few tips. So he doesn't injure himself, you know, we'd be in trouble if we were down one firefighter.”
“I'll pay you back for this,” Ignis mutters at her, before walking up to Galo. “Galo.”
“I see you've taken up pole dancing.”
“Yeah, it's really cool! Did you know it's great for your core muscles? There's even specific workouts with it, I'm adding it to my daily regimen.”
“You're allowed to practice here on three conditions.”
“First: if the siren rings, I want you off it in half a second so anyone above can get down on time.”
“Well yeah, of course. Been practicing that, actually.”
“Second: you do not, under any circumstances, subject me to your taste in music.”
“Can we subject you to mine?” Lucia calls from her computer that she's already gone back to, like a dedicated lover to their sweetheart's bed.
“No. Keep your headphones on or you'll hear about it.”
“You're no fun,” Lucia sighs.
“Third,” Ignis says, “no part timing at any strip clubs while you're working with us. Am I clear?”
“Huh? Why would I do that? If I take a part time job, I'll have less time for firefighting.”
“Told you,” Lucia calls from her desk again.
Ignis looks at Galo.
Galo looks at Ignis.
After a full minute of it, Ignis readjusts his glasses and turns away, presumably to relax in his own seat. Galo changes position on the pole. Not moving was starting to pull on the skin of his hand.
Aina and Varys's eyes follow him as he does. They still haven't moved. Or fully closed their mouths.
Somehow they get used to it. Having a super built yet super slim-waisted guy spin and bend on a pole for like an hour every day does a lot to one's self-control and ability to compartmentalise, it turns out. And Galo, thankfully, prefers playing up and down the pole to shaking his ass on the floor while holding it. Small blessings.
A few months later, the world almost ends.
A few months after that, Lio walks into the newly fully restored fire station to spend his lunch break with the rescue squad, only to find Galo twirling on their new pole, his back arched, the metal somehow hooked between the hollow of his waist and his knee and ankle underneath.
He almost drops his lunch and coffee.
“Welcome to Squad Three,” Aina tells him with a wink and a smirk, grabbing his paper cup before he can waste some perfectly good coffee. “So, having second thoughts about not joining us for good?”
“You know I have other responsibilities—Aina what's going on?”
“Galo's hobby is what's going on. Don't worry, we've all been there.”
Galo, on the pole, suddenly moves at the sound of his voice, and flips himself upside down to look and wave at him.
“Oh! Lio! You made it!”
“You taught him this?” Lio asks under his breath.
“He's self-taught and proud of it. So, are you just gonna stand there?”
Drawing in a hissing breath, Lio walks forward. Galo, damn him, just slides down the pole, still upside down.
“Lio~” he hums, “good morning~” and Lio's heart just melts on the spot. Who needs flames when your boyfriend's sunny disposition thaws even the coldest of moods.
“I'm here as promised,” he says, sighing a little but smiling. “Although I didn't expect to find you doing… this.”
“Oh, yeah, they finally fixed the pole last month. You'd think it would be a priority but apparently not.”
“I… I see.”
“So, don't I get a kiss?”
“What, like this?”
“Why not? You want me to come down?”
Lio thinks about it for a second. They are about to eat, he'll have to get off the damn thing soon anyway. But Galo looks so happy and excited, and when has he ever been able to resist that?
He slips a hand into Galo's temporarily gravity-abiding hair, tilts his head, and kisses him.
It's strange. But if he's completely honest, holding his head like that while he's suspended sends a spike of excitement through his chest and down.
When he breaks away, Galo is panting a little. Okay, he definitely likes this.
“So, are you having lunch with us, or are you going to stay up there?”
“Oh! Lunch! Right!” He spins himself to the other side and jumps off, landing perfectly on his feet. “Varys! Did you order us pizza?”
On that day, Lio Fotia takes a very important decision for his future.
When he and Galo get an actual house, he's installing a pole.