Rating/Warnings: PG for Arashi loving Arashi.
Summary: Even Ohno isn't sure what made him start paying attention at exactly the wrong moment.
AN: For 26 birthday Kisses, Kiss Five: On-Screen Kiss. Posted quickly, so tell me about any typos and i'll fix when i'm back.
First Kiss | Good Luck Kiss | Drunk Kiss | Kiss and Make It Better | On-Screen Kiss | Morning After Kiss | True Love's Kiss | Goodbye Kiss | Good Morning Kiss | Surprise Kiss | Meltykiss | Goodnight Kiss | French Kiss | Congratulations Kiss | Sealed With a Kiss | Hello Kiss | Kiss Under the Mistletoe | I Forgive You Kiss | Birthday Kiss | Blown Kiss | Kiss on the Forehead | Kiss on the Hand | Kiss on the Cheek | I'm Sorry Kiss | New Year's Kiss | Welcome Home Kiss
Kiss Five: Beautiful Like a Rainbow
In the firestorm of meetings, blame, and threatened consequences that follow the incident, there is serious talk about Arashi being sent on hiatus. At first the rumor is that it will be all of them, then word leaks out that it might only be the two of them directly responsible.
The meeting with Johnny himself is particularly unpleasant, despite its brevity. Johnny only says that he's going to give them twenty-four hours to think on their situation before dismissing them, but everybody in the room knows, everybody in the entire Jimusho knows, that the worst part of all is the waiting and the uncertainty.
They kept Akanishi hanging on for six months, didn't they?
Ohno never wavers. Whenever he is asked about it, his response is always, "Arashi is five people." No matter how pushy the journalists and the paparazzi get, Ohno stays calm, and the other four apologetically say that Leader is the one to talk to about these sorts of things.
In private, things are less serene.
"WHAT were you THINKING?!" Jun demands the first moment they have alone. He seems to go through all the stages of grief all at once, anger, acceptance, and denial all rearing their heads in turn. "I always knew it would end like this…maybe nobody watched and everything will be fine…"
Aiba hugs Jun tight, pushing Jun's head down so that his words are all muffled against his shoulder, and pats his head soothingly. But when he looks up at Ohno, his eyes are dark with concern as well. "Ne, captain, what were you thinking?"
When even Aiba questions your sanity, Ohno thinks as he fidgets with the hem of his shirt, maybe you've gone a bit far. He doesn't have any words for Aiba, though, so he shrugs, helpless, and Aiba's eyes soften with worry and affection as he tugs Ohno in to squeeze him tight as well. It takes a moment, but Jun's arm creeps around Ohno's waist, and his fingers sink just as tightly as Aiba's into Ohno's skin.
Off to the side, Nino and Sho are having a hushed, but just as serious conversation. Ohno can't hear Sho's words, but knows what he is saying: Sho always lobbies for the cautious path, the one that will keep them all safe. He advises apologies and retraction, even lying if that's what it takes to protect them. Ohno feels a pang in his heart, because Sho's quiet, cautious, backstage love for Arashi is so fierce that it makes his breath catch sometimes, like now, and Ohno vows that next time he will try to be Leader first and Oh-chan second.
"I won't," Nino says, gently but firmly cutting Sho off, "I won't take it back," and Ohno's chest squeezes tight and he has to hide his relieved grin against Aiba's collarbone.
Because as much as he wants to stop Jun's panic and Sho's caution and Aiba's worry, he hopes that Nino never, ever, ever takes it back.
It's late when they finally go home, everyone's stomach unsettled from the ramen that none of them had the appetite for much of. Jun's stop is first on the subway, and he looks so small and alone on the platform by himself that Aiba dashes through the doors just as they are closing to press against Jun's side, and he turns to give the other's a sheepish wave as the train pulls away.
Sho turns to give Nino and Ohno an exasperated look when Nino makes no move to follow him off the train at their shared stop, but the exasperation is half-melted before he ever gets started.
"Get home safely," is all he says in the end, and Ohno punches him in the shoulder with a smile because hugging Sho like he wants to would make him miss his stop.
"I'm home!" Ohno's voice echoes through the apartment when they get in the door, even though there's nobody there to answer him, but Nino tries out the words himself, more quietly, as he kicks off his shoes, and Ohno shoots Nino a smile over his shoulder.
Nino makes tea, because both of them are too jangled to sleep yet, and they settle on the couch as Ohno flips on the television. The late-night entertainment news is on, and Ohno goes to change it quickly, but Nino puts a hand over his wrist.
"We should probably see it," he says, and Ohno puts down the remote.
And just then the segment changes, and there they are, the live footage from that afternoon apparently being replayed on the hour.
Watching it from the outside is strange, Ohno thinks, looking at the way his arm is casually around Nino's shoulders and the slant of their bodies towards each other, and wonders how, really, there can be anybody who looks at them and doesn't know.
The hostess asks the question just then, "What kind of person is Ninomiya-kun's ideal person?" which all of them have answered roughly thirty-seven thousand times during their career, and he really has no idea what made him look up just then, having decided to pay attention at the worst moment possible.
"I like Oh-chan the best," TV-Nino declares, voice pitched so that the audience will laugh along with the joke.
Ohno couldn't explain it, what had made this time different, what made him turn his head and capture Nino's mouth, in front of a studio audience, on live national television, with the hostess making a terrified squawking noise behind them. Ohno hadn't been thinking about all that though, he had only been thinking that Kazu-chan was his favorite kind of person too.
"It goes on awhile, huh?" Ohno giggles nervously as he watches Nino bring a hand up to bury in Ohno's hair, and the way they grin at each other, stupid and happy, when they finally pull back.
Nino slips a hand into Ohno's and squeezes his fingers tight. "Oh-chan is my favorite kind of person."
They both turn their heads at the same time to grin at each other, happy and stupid and maybe about to get fired, but Ohno has never been more sure that Nino is his favorite kind of person too, and neither one of them will take it back.