Summary: Nikaido wonders why getting past the hard part is so damned hard.
AN: the_kouhai wanted the sequel to what happens in Jumping to My Dream. So you can also blame her for the title being from a HSJ song. If she really loved me, she'd find me a better senga/nika picture for me to make a decent icon out of.
Chance to Change
Nikaido doesn't consider himself an expert on relationships or anything, not that he'd ever say anything like that out loud in front of Kitayama or, god forbid, Fujigaya. It's not that he's terribly inexperienced or anything, he's had a couple go-rounds with girls from school, back when he went to school, or gone out on dates with friends of friends, that sort of thing. Although, on the other hand, he can't even remember the name of the last girl he got to C with.
So, okay, he isn't an expert, but Nikaido still thinks he knows enough to think that it's weird that confessing to Senga had been the easy part. Not that it was easy, because it wasn't, which really just proves his point, so far as Nikaido is concerned.
But it's been three days and five shows since he and Senga admitted that maybe they both liked each other a little more, a little different than best friends are supposed to like each other, and since then, they've made exactly zero progress. They've actually made negative progress, since on that first day Senga had grabbed Nikaido's hand to hold during the bus ride, and since then he hasn't even done that a second time.
They're just so fucking busy, Nikaido grumbles to himself, running from the station to the bus to the dressing room to the stage, and then doing it all over again before taking the bus back to the station to go collapse for a few hours' sleep before doing it all over again. They can't sleep over because Senga still has school, not like either of them has the energy for it anyway. It's all Nikaido can do to catch Senga's eye and maybe to fool around with him on stage a little, never mind actually get five minutes alone together.
"Geez, will you stop sulking?" Kitayama drawls when Nikaido is lurking around the dressing room. Senga's out horsing around with Fujigaya or Tsukada or Akanishi or who knows who. "You're such a fucking girl, Nika-chan. There's a hundred places you could find in a place like this. Try the bathroom, or kick some chibiko out of a dressing room, whatever."
Nikaido tells Kitayama to shut his mouth because he's the idiot that started all this in the first place.
The truth is that Nikaido doesn't want to drag Senga into the bathroom or behind a vending machine or into a second-hand dressing room. He doesn't want their first kiss to be like that, rushed and sordid. He wants to have some time, wants to show Senga that he's special.
On the other hand, if he did drag Senga into any of those places for a crap first kiss, at least they'd have had one already. He settles for punching Senga in the arm when Senga comes back into the dressing room, just shy of their ten-minute warning call.
"Nikaaa," Senga pouts, and Nikaido has to look away with a grunt when he feels his face start to warm. Senga shakes it off quick enough, though, as he tugs back on his costume, making a face at how the shirt's still damp from the early show. "Ne, Nika, come over after."
"What?" Nikaido turns to look at Senga, finds him half-dressed and has to turn away again, pretending to fuss with his own costume. "You have school, idiot."
"Tomorrow's Sunday," Senga imitates Nikaido's tone, "idiot."
"Fuck you," Nikaido grumbles without any heat. His face heats even more when Senga snickers and Nikaido realizes what he's just said.
Dammit, he thinks, glaring at his shoelaces, why does this have to be so complicated?
He just shoves the whole thing out of his mind as best he can for the duration of the show. That part's easy, to lose himself in the rush of the lights and the music and the crowd screaming, easy to lose himself in doing what he loves, and before Nikaido knows it, they're at the end again. He takes his bow in turn, the thousands of faces in front of him an indistinguishable blur, before he looks up to find Senga grinning at him, stage-high, happy.
Later, Nikaido will realize that the only face he remembers clearly is Senga's.
They chat in bursts on the bus and then the train, inconsequential conversations about different parts of the show and who had the most uchiwa and who did what to whose bag, spaced by comfortable silences. Nikaido's almost nodding off by the time Senga shakes his shoulder at their stop, but he's wide awake after that, still feeling the heat of Senga's touch long after Senga has pulled his hand away.
Once they get inside Senga's house, Nikaido exchanges the usual amount of pleasantries with Senga's mother ("It's hot, ne") before they escape to Senga's room, laden with a tray of snacks and drinks. They settle on the floor, in front of Senga's television.
"She's trying to make us fat!" Senga moans, then shoves three rice crackers in his mouth at once.
"Good luck with that." Nikaido lifts a hand to poke Senga in the side, then remembers the heat of Senga's hand on his shoulder and lets it drop. Dammit, why is this so hard, he thinks to himself.
Senga sucks the salt off his thumb, and Nikaido wants to kiss him more than anything, but has absolutely no idea how to go about it without making things ever weirder. Senga doesn't seem to notice him staring.
Nikaido blinks when Senga reaches over to drop a Playstation controller into his hands.
"Play me," Senga says, eyes already glued to the screen. "Winner kisses the loser."
"Wha-what?!" Nikaido demands, staring at Senga. The game starts without him, and Nikaido curses and turns to the TV instead, scrambling to catch up.
It takes him most of the first round to figure out what the hell they're even playing, and Senga cackles at what seems like an easy win. Unfortunately for him, it's the same game that Miyata and Nikaido have been pounding the crap out of each other with for weeks, and once Nikaido's brain catches on and coughs up the secret combos, Nikaido's character wipes the floor with Senga's.
Literally. It's quite the finishing move.
"Maa," Senga tosses his controller to the side with exaggerated temper. He turns more towards Nikaido and rearranges his limbs a little into a position he apparently thinks is alluring. "All right, you win."
"Why are you getting the prize if I won?" Nikaido asks, stalling out of panic. It's too sudden and it's sort of stupid and Senga's mother might come in here any second…
"Don't you want to kiss me, Nika?" Senga says it to tease, but there's enough uncertainty in Senga's eyes to stop Nikaido's panic in its tracks.
"Yeah," Nikaido breathes, leaning in closer. "Yeah, I really do."
It seems like it takes him ages to cross the space between them, but then his mouth brushes Senga's. It's a bit awkward, and Senga isn't really responding, but it still makes Nikaido light-headed, because this is Senga, he's kissing Senga, and then Senga sighs and parts his lips a little, and Nikaido scrambles onto his knees to get closer, to get more.
"Nika, wait," Senga murmurs, and Nikaido comes back to himself and realizes that he's got Senga pressed awkwardly up against the side of his bed. Nikaido jerks back, onto his butt, cheeks hot and eyes on the carpet.
"Sorry," he says, wondering why his voice sounds so hoarse. "I guess I got carried away. I didn't mean to…"
"Hm?" Senga interrupts, and when Nikaido looks up, Senga is sitting up on his knees and holding up his controller. "I was just sitting on my controller. It hurt." Senga tosses the controller further out of the way this time. He settles back down on the floor and grins at Nikaido. "The kissing was okay."
"Okay?" Nikaido demands, already crawling forward again, even before Senga crooks a finger to beckon him. "What do you mean, 'it was okay'?"
"Not like you're the expert or anything." Senga shakes his head sadly as Nikaido gets close enough for Senga to wrap arms around his neck. He ignores Nikaido's affronted noise. "But don't worry, I can get you trained up in no time."
"Brat," Nikaido scowls, brushing his cheek against Senga's and feeling him shiver. "I should have shoved you into the bathroom after all."
"Don't worry, Nika," Senga murmurs back, turning his face so that their mouths press together again, light and sweet and perfect. "The hard part's already over."