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[personal profile] songbirdspeaks
Title: On how not to set up your coworkers
Fandom: Johnny's & Associates (Kanjani8 Arashi)
Characters: Ninomiya Kazunari, Yokoyama You, Maruyama Ryuhei, Ohno Satoshi, Aiba Masaki and Murakami Shingo; cameo from Nishikido Ryo and mentions of Takizawa Hideaki, Matsumoto Jun, Kamenashi Kazuya, Taguchi Junnosuke
Pairings: Maruyama Ryuhei/Ohno Satoshi
Word count: 5300
Rating: R for entirely inappropriate language, implied sexual content
Warnings: Dumbassery, far too many mentions of the word 'dick', possibly confusing video game references
Summary: A bunch of idiots (or more specifically, a pair of idiots) get up to idiotic things, like, for example, matchmaking.
Notes: Thank you to my beta, [livejournal.com profile] rinhriveiel, for her constant and lightning-fast help, to [livejournal.com profile] clipsie, for being an unwitting cheerleader, and to the mods, for being so patient with me. Written for [livejournal.com profile] airairo for [livejournal.com profile] jerainbowbridge 2011.


Ninomiya Kazunari didn't, as a rule, leave his house much. It was just kind of one of those things that he had a hang-up about--other people disliked broccoli, he hated the air outside his apartment. Not a character flaw, just a preference. Which meant that his mood as he loitered outside Yokoyama's apartment with a sleeping bag under one arm and a pair of pillows under the other was rapidly deteriorating. (At least Yoko had declared that his pick for their weekly group gathering was his place. If Nino had to spend one more weekend out and about, he was going to start calling Hina 'Pi'.)

"Yoko," he called, loud enough that Yoko could hear him through the door, "hurry up, I'm not standing here for my health."

There was the sound of thumping and a remarkably Aiba-like squawking, and then the door opened. Yoko was red-faced and sweaty, his hair stuck to his forehead and cheeks, and he huffed twice before he smiled broadly at Nino. "Hi," he said, and opened the door.

"...was Hina-chan making you do Wii fit again?" Nino asked, suspicious, "he promised he'd wait for me to be around when he did that next."

"No," Yoko said, "Aiba-chan and I were playing Wii Tennis. And then we ended up having a pillow fight."

"Are you two five?" Nino asked as he walked into Yoko's living room. He dropped his sleeping bag and pillows on the floor next to Aiba's pile of comforters and puts his foot on Yoko's couch-side table to crawl behind the pile of Aiba thrown half across the couch cushions. Aiba lifted his head from the pillow of his arm, and grinned.

"Nino-chaaaaan," he called, and reached out to pat Nino's calf in what was probably meant companionably.

"Are you already tipsy," Nino complained, "Yoko gimme a beer. Where's Hina-chan?"

Yoko leaned his head out of the bathroom where the running faucet implied he was washing his hands (hopefully, anyway) and rolled his eyes. "Man-date with Tackey," he said.

"That asshole," Nino complained.

"Like you didn't skip out on us to hang out with Kamenashi-kun and Matsujun during all of baseball season?" Yoko asked as he passed through the living room to his kitchen nestled in the corner.

"I like them better," Nino admitted, and wiggled his foot against Aiba's cheek to get his attention. "Oi, Mario Party time. Get to it."

"Ew," Aiba whimpered, though Nino couldn't decide whether that was in response to Nino's game choice or the toes still twitching over his cheekbone, and began to crawl across the floor to get to the Wii. As he was changing discs, Yoko finally came back into the living room, offering Nino a beer and setting a second down on the coffee table for Aiba.

"I want Bowser this time," Yoko declared, after a gulp of his can.

"Oh, are we going by 'who resembles us' this time? Maybe I'll go with Luigi then..."

"Okay, Toad."

"I will have you know that the Toads run the bank, and that alone makes them awesome," Nino answered, giving Yoko the stink-eye, and nodded thank you when Aiba passed him a Wiimote, "besides, end of the day, I'm still awesome and you're still a kappa."

"King of the kappas," Yoko corrected.

"King of the kappas still means you suck."

"Guys," Aiba squawked, "don't hit each other with the Wiimotes!"


"So then I told him, 'no, dude, his dick is this big, I've seen it'," Yoko managed, before they all collapsed into a fit of giggles, "I don't think I've ever seen anybody run for it that fast!"

"Sometimes I think we should be worried about your 'see every dick in Johnny's' obsession," Nino informed him levelly, "but then I remember that whatever jail time you get by pissing off Kimura-senpai will be totally worth it in the meantime." He leaned his head on Yoko's shoulder, and poked pointedly at Aiba's nose.

Yoko scowled at him, but then added into the poking. "Aiba," he said, "Nino's knee isn't a pillow, dude."

"HUH?" Aiba sat up, blinking his eyes wide open and looking up at them both from the floor, "I'm not asleep, shut up. What are we talking about?"

"We were talking about dicks," Yoko said.

"We always talk about dicks," Aiba complained, "Nino-chan, how's your filming for the special?" He leaned sideways until he fell over next to Yoko's dog and stared at Nino from the rug.

"Ah, yeah, have you killed Maru yet?" Yoko added in, wiggling away and turning toward Nino. He pulled his left leg up on the couch, bending it toward Nino.

Nino poked at Yoko's foot, chewing on his lip in thought. "No, he's fine. We worked together last year, you know! Still talks a lot about Oh-chan, though."

"Yeah, he did that during Room Zero. ...so did Ohno, come to think of it," Yoko answered, thinking on it, "they talk about each other a lot, don't they."

"I guess their crushes must be mutual, then," Nino observed, aloud.

"Crushes?! What, no, there's no way. Ohno-kun? On Maru?"

"He totally does. Right, Aiba? Aiba? ...are you asleep?!"

"Don't cuddle my dog in your sleep this time," Yoko grumbled, and Nino was so amused by the mental image of poor Luck trapped under Aiba's arm in the middle of the night that he burst into laughter again.

Maybe he was more tired than he'd thought?

"Anyway," Nino said, getting back on track, "I'm telling you. Crushes."

Yoko shifted around, thinking. "I mean, it's possible," he admitted, "...okay, no, Maru definitely yes. Are you... I mean, are you sure about Ohno-kun?"

"Absolutely. One hundred percent," Nino answered, nodding to himself, "so you know what this means."

Yoko grinned. If Hina had bothered to come, this would have been about the time he put a kibosh on any of their plans. "Of course I know what it means. Time to hook them up."

"They'll thank us eventually," Nino said, "now, we have to think of how we're going to do this."

---

"Oh-chan," Maru chirped, "you're here too?"

"Yokoyama-kun called me out," Ohno answered, "why're you here?"

Maru shrugged. "Nino-chan wanted to go see the dinosaur exhibit," he explained, off-hand.

Ohno nodded, companionably, and blinked down the block. "I wonder where they are," he said, reaching into the front pocket of his jacket to look for his cell phone.

"Nino-chan said to meet up out here ten minutes ago," Maru mused aloud, and they each spent a moment in silence checking their messages.

"Oh," said Maru, making a face, "Nagase-senpai kidnapped him." He sounded remarkably unconcerned about it, but then Ohno was pretty sure Nagase kidnapped Nino monthly so he wasn't concerned, either. "What about Yuu-chin?" Maru asked, scooting around Ohno to look over his shoulder. His hand moved over Ohno's to tilt the phone up, and he clicked his tongue.

"'Aiba-chan is in my apartment throwing up. Have to cancel, mopping. Sorry! Don't catch whatever bug this is, I think he got it from Sho-kun!' Yuu-chin, that's gross," Maru said, and felt Ohno's shoulders shake with laughter.

"I guess it's you and me, then," Maru said, already thinking of all the time he could spend in the nature exhibit since he was with Oh-chan, not Nino. (Even simulated nature tended to make Nino's lips curl up in true hikkikomori fashion.)

"I bought the tickets already, might as well use them," Ohno reasoned, and began rifling through his pockets for the printed-off tickets his mom had helpfully left out for him on the counter that morning. "Come on, it's a date."

Maru laughed, and winked obnoxiously. Silently, he reached out and brushed his fingers up against the inside of Ohno's elbow, and curled his fingers there, following Ohno through the white doors of the big brick building. When they entered the lobby and handed in Ohno's half-wrinkled tickets, they made a beeline for the dinosaur exhibit on the second floor. Ohno grinned at the tyrannosaurus replica, reaching out to snag Maru by the sleeve.

Yoko ducked further down behind the decorative plant where he'd hidden himself, and pulled out his cellphone to message Nino.

'They're at the dinosaur exhibit. Looks pretty date-y to me, what do you think?'
'I mean. I guess. You might want to squat some more, your stupid head is showing over the flowers.'

Yoko squawked, diving, and when he peeked his head out from behind the plant again Maru was looking in his direction. Yoko bit his lower lip, terrified they were going to catch him, and took off running for the bathroom. He could hide in a stall there!

He nearly stumbled sliding into the bathroom, and took a deep breath at the paper towel dispenser before moving to find a stall.

"...oh, hi," Nino said, from where he was leaning against a sink. Yoko blinked, confused, and then sighed.

"How long have you been in here?" he asked.

Nino took a moment to visibly calculate in the air, then--"half an hour, maybe?"

"Then you didn't even look at them?! And what the hell was 'your head was showing'?!"

"Relax, dude I don't need to see you to know you're sucking it up."

The sound of Maru loudly saying 'I'll be right back' shocked them both out of their staring match, and Nino grabbed Yoko by the wrist to haul him into the nearest stall. He locked the door, then waved his hands at Yoko. "Get up on the toilet," Nino hissed.

"What?!"

"He's going to see all the legs otherwise! Go!"

Yoko opened his mouth to protest two times, three times, and finally gave up, climbing on the toilet seat and bending over to lean on Nino's shoulders so his head didn't show over the top of the stall. He could hear Maru whistling and talking to himself half-under his breath, and glanced down to see Nino playing Snake on his cell phone. He leaned closer, Nino's hair against his cheek, and had to bite down on his advice. Then Nino shifted forward the tiniest bit, slouching to get a closer look at the screen, and Yoko nearly went flying, feet sliding inward and oh god ew no must stay upright--he realized his hands were white-knuckled in Nino's shirt, and backed off a little, locking his knees so he wasn't falling into the toilet bowl, and took a deep breath. Maru's whistling had stopped, replaced by humming, and Yoko recognized 'Hatenai Sora' because Maru had been singing it for weeks.

Yoko could make out the sound of the door swinging open again. "Maru-chan, hurry up, the tour for the nature exhibit is starting!"

"Ah, Oh-chan, right! One second--okay, coming~"

The door swung open and closed one more time, taking Ohno and Maru's voices with them, and Nino unlocked the stall door, pushing it open and stepping forward so fast Yoko nearly toppled to the ground. Yoko mumbled a few unpleasant things about Nino's sexual proclivities as he hopped off the toilet and caught his balance.

A man walked into the bathroom at the same time they turned the corner to leave, and all three of them froze, awkwardly. "Um," Nino said, and offered the man the shortest of smiles, "let's go." He grabbed Yoko by the wrist and hauled him along out into the museum's floor, past the dinosaur exhibit and down the back stairs to the samurai stuff.

"The nature tour is like forty-five minutes," Nino said over his shoulder as he led Yoko along, "plenty of time for us to get set up in the gift shop and wait for them, right?"

"Right," Yoko said, thinking of the sunglasses and hat in his bag he'd already prepared as a disguise, "let's do it."

Nino was the first to enter the gift shop, and they spent a happy moment together looking at puzzles and nerdy science-games before the first teenage girl noticed them.

"You're Ninomiya-san," the girl breathed, "and Yokoyama-san!"

Yoko brightened--she'd remembered his name!--and then winced. "Um. Can you. Uh. Do you have to shriek so loud?"

"We have to go," Nino said, "come on, there's gonna be a---a fangirl avalanche." He took off running, and after a moment of flabbergasted flailing, Yoko was off too.

It was only when they had made it into the relative sanctity of the first train to pull up, pushed together in a corner behind some salaryman types, that they were able to breathe easy. Nino scratched his head, considering, and then pulled out his cell phone to go back to Snake.

"Tell me when we get somewhere you recognize," he said, keeping his head close to Yoko's shoulder so the schoolgirls at the other end of the car wouldn't see him.

"I know where we are," Yoko said, scowling, "but we can't get off at this stop, there's a giant picture of your stupid face, they'll see us for sure."

Nino didn't dignify that with a response beyond a hum of agreement and a panicked tilt of his phone to keep his snake from crashing into a wall.

"We're going back to my place," he ordered, three stops later, "I need someone to help me with the Co-op achievements in Portal 2."

"I don't want to play Portal 2, I suck at it," Yoko attempted to complain, and sighed through Nino's combined raised eyebrow/glare combo. "Never mind," he grumbled, sullen.

(Later, after ten attempts to teach Yoko the ever-important Portal 2 concept that 'fast thing goes in fast thing comes out' ended in failure, Nino admitted he'd have to find someone else to fill his achievements page. At least Yoko was good at Super Mario Galaxy Legends.)

---

It was Aiba's weekend to pick their destination, and Nino would have complained about Aiba's choice of destination (a family restaurant in his neighborhood) if he weren't stuck in the back corner of the table, stuffed next to Hina, who had a free hand for smacking.

"You said Yoko wasn't coming," Nino asked Aiba, who glanced over from making an enthusiastic attempt at ordering everything on the menu at once.

"World of Warcraft party with Taguchi," Aiba acknowledged, "they had to reschedule this week's raid because Nishiki-senpai arranged some kind of tournament..."

"Loser," Nino said, pushing his tongue out of the corner of his mouth and simultaneously tilting his DS in a vain attempt to make Vaan do more damage.

Hina's hand snapped down first on Nino's head, then on the cover of his DS, closing it with a snap (Nino had to hop barely got his fingers out of the way in time). "People playing Dragon Quest at the dinner table shouldn't really be talking," he pointed out, "oi, Aiba, make sure you order more beer."

"It's Revenant Wings, not Dragon Quest," Nino said, giving Hina the stink-eye when Hina pointed out that made him more of a nerd, not less, and then went digging through his pocket for his phone. When he unlocked the screen, he had three messages. One from Yoko in hiragana because he forgot how to spell even more than usual when he was drunk, saying 'HORDE FOREVER!!!'. One from Jun telling him that practice for the (generally informal) company baseball team had been moved to Monday, if he could manage it, and one from Ohno, which was simply a picture of the night sky over water and 'the weather's so nice here~'.

At first glance, anyway. Nino peered at the photo for a moment more, and nodded to himself. That was definitely Maru's hair barely reflected in the water. He tapped Hina's forearm, distracted. "Do you have a picture message from Maru-chan?"

Hina looked up from his very serious conversation with Aiba on the subject of the order in which one prepared okonomiyaki, and looked down at the iPhone still loosely held in his hand. He picked it up, examining his alerts, and then peered at Nino in surprise. "Yeah," he said, and tilted his phone toward Nino when he leaned over to peek.

"These are in the same place, right?" Nino demanded, putting his phone up against the edge of Hina's with a tap.

"...yeah, looks like it," Hina admitted, and Nino nodded. As he'd thought.

"Those bastards are cheating and going on man-dates without telling anyone," he said, "I'll have to bother Maru-chan about it at filming."

"What, so you can stalk them?" Hina asked. (He hadn't been impressed by the museum date story in the least.)

"It's not stalking! It's ensuring payoff of an investment!"

"Maru and Ohno-kun aren't investments," Hina snapped, and his hand came down on Nino's head again. Aiba squawked, shoving beers into their hands.

"Don't fight in the restaurant," he chided, offering them a wide grin.

"Think of it this way," he continued, "at least they're on a date! Though does this really count as a date? Captain said it was a fishing trip. Not a date."

"You knew and didn't mention this to me?!" Nino demanded, at the same time Hina bellowed, "they're not dating they're just friends you are delusional."

"I'm not delusional," Nino answered, with a smug smile, "I know my Leader. I've known him a very long time. And you know Maru-chan. You know they have crushes on each other, Murakami-kun, they're obvious."

Hina sighed, looking away, but after a moment of staring into his beer he fixed Nino with a look. "Okay, fine," he admitted, "you have a point. I still say your plan to stick them together at the museum was stupid."

Nino considered that. "You're right," he said, "we probably have to be there to... direct the conversation."

"You're missing the point," Hina said. It looked for a moment like a smack was incoming, but Nino's head was saved by the arrival of the food and more beer, and Aiba managed to celebrate so enthusiastically Hina got a lap full of curry, and earned Hina's ire for the rest of the night (or as long as his grudge lasted, so fifteen minutes).

Before he got too drunk to remember, Nino opened a message to Yoko.

'New idea. Be my boyfriend this weekend?'

---

"All right, what the hell is this text message supposed to mean?" Yoko basically screamed when Nino bothered to pick up his phone the next morning.

Nino pulled the phone away from his ear, making a face. "Exactly what it says! We're coming out to Oh-chan and Maru-chan tonight," he said, nesting the phone under his chin and rolling out of bed to change his pants.

"But we're not even together."

"Not the point," Nino said, "the point is to put the idea of dating people into their heads and get them thinking about it. Hopefully then their fishing trips will end with them rocking the boat some other way, if you know what I mean."

"...tonight?" Yoko sounded resigned.

"Already called 'em for you."

"I hate you."

"Dress nice~"

---

Maru glanced at Ohno, then Nino, then Yoko. They were all pressed in a VIP booth together in the back of a club in Shibuya, tucked away from paparazzi and nosy patrons alike and enjoying some 'two for one' drink special. Nino had plastered himself to a nervous-looking Yoko's side early on, but he kept buying shots and telling Maru it was celebration for Wild 7's shooting ending without a hitch (Maru kept wanting to point out that there had been a couple of hitches along the way, but every time he opened his mouth someone shoved another shot glass into his hands).

"Anyway," Yoko said, after an hour or two, and leaned against Maru's shoulder, "isn't Ohno-kun hot?"

Maru blinked. There was no way he was hearing that right. "Yuu-chan, did you just ask if Oh-chan is hot?"

"...yeah? 's there a problem with that?" Yoko always got shameless when the alcohol had gotten to him, and while he was red-faced as he pointed at where Nino was very determinedly doing a magic trick for Ohno, Maru was pretty sure it was because he'd downed five glasses of beer in quick succession and not because he was embarrassed to admit Ohno was attractive. (Probably, anyway.) "Look at him!"

"Mmm, yes, I guess," Maru agreed, and put wet dreams out of his head, "you should tell him!"

"Wha--me? You think I'm interested in Ohno-kun? Absolutely not," Yoko snapped, screwing his lower lip up in protest.

"Yuu-chin, when you say that with that face I think you're lying," Maru chirped, and poked at Yoko's face until he pulled his lip back in.

"Well I'm--I'm not. I'm not here for Ohno-kun!"

"Yoko, your hand," Maru said, looking down, "Yoko!"

Nino looked up from attempting to shuffle his cards again in time to see Yoko's hand slipping kind of pointedly up Maru's thigh, and reached out to smack him. "Hey," he snapped, and Yoko blinked at him.

"You are wasted," Nino realized, "what the hell."

"Nino-chan," Yoko managed, "I think you might be right." He promptly collapsed forward onto the table, snoring, and Ohno finally looked up from his glass of... whatever he was drinking to look at Nino and then Maru.

"Maru-chan," he said, looking determined, "I love you."

Nino blinked. It wasn't so much the love confession as it was the fact that the confession was in Kansai-ben. Maru, however, seemed unsurprised by either the dialect or the content of the confession, and grinned back at Ohno. Then he pulled his face into a semblance of wide-eyed seriousness (that looked more like he was constipated). "I love you, too, Oh-chan."

The sobbing and generally incomprehensible blathering on about the incomparable beauty of Kyoto started ten minutes later. Nino congratulated himself on not immediately attempting to drink himself into unconsciousness (he saved that for when the enka warbling started).

---

When Yoko groaned awake the next morning, he was curled up on his own floor in the clothes from the night before. His head was pounding and his mouth was dry, and he cursed first the sun slanting through his window, then Nino, and finally Hina. (He tended to blame Hina for everything, much like other people blamed God. Which probably said something about the reality of Yoko's life, but at the moment he didn't particularly care.)

Yoko dragged himself to a sitting position, blinking at the room at large. He needed water, and painkillers, and then his bed for the rest of the day. Luckily for him, whoever had brought him home had a heart. They'd left a full glass of water and bottle of Advil on the coffee table, and he popped three before turning his attention to the post-it note next to them.

He knew the handwriting--Ryo.

'Next time you and Nino decide to pass out in a VIP booth, try to do at a club where I'm not. They made me take you home, and that shit is annoying. Also, I put Nino in your bed because he didn't almost throw up on me, and because I'm sure this is somehow your fault.'

Yoko crumpled the note and threw it vaguely in the direction of the trash can next to his computer table. "Curse you, Dokkun," he grumbled, "stupid Nino--NINO WAKE THE HELL UP!"

He groaned. Shouting had made his own ears ring; he held his temples and took deep breaths until it stopped. After a moment of considering the pros and cons of sleeping on the floor, Yoko stumbled to his feet and barreled down the hallway to his bedroom. Sure enough, Nino was curled up in his sheets, sleeping away. Thankfully, Luck was still asleep at the foot of Yoko's bed, and Yoko was once again glad his dog slept like the dead.

Yoko fought down the very strong urge to rip off the covers and make Nino as miserable as he was, but they both had empty schedules for once and Yoko just wanted to sleep this damn hangover off, so he poked Nino over and crawled in next to him. Now he saw why Nino had pushed for going drinking on Saturday night, instead of Friday like Maru had suggested. Whatever business their companions had gotten up to the night before, whatever Sunday work they had was probably punishment enough for them.

Nino didn't stir until nearly one in the afternoon, when Yoko's arm around his neck went from merely tight to actually suffocating. Nino jerked out of a ridiculously awesome dream about becoming king of the world, and shoved at Yoko's elbow uselessly as he came out of the fog of sleep.

"Yokoyama-kun," he said, loudly, "Yokoyama-kun!"

"Huh--wha--huh?" Yoko made a snorting noise Nino filed away to poke fun of later, before abruptly realizing that he was snuggling Nino so tightly he might as well have been on top of him, and he rolled away, coloring. "Sorry," he said, "I didn't mean to."

"I'm sure," Nino said, falsely pleasant, and replanted his cheek on his pillow, looking for a cool spot. "How did we get here? All I remember is telling Maru-chan to make out with Oh-chan, not me, everything after that is black."

"Dokkun brought us home, apparently," Yoko answered, his voice muffled because he'd shoved his face directly into his pillow, "he was in another booth and Maru and Ohno-kun left us so I guess he helped us."

"...it's too much to hope they went back to Maru's place and went at it, right?" Nino asked, and Yoko shrugged. After a moment of thought, Yoko lifted his head long enough to offer a remarkably optimistic 'anything's possible, Ninomiya-kun', and then returned to attempting to smother the last of his hangover in his pillow.

"I think I'll text Maru-chan," Nino decided, "just to see if he got home okay."

Yoko made a groaning noise Nino decided was his blessing, and reached across Yoko's shoulders to the bedside table, where his keys, wallet, and cell phone were piled next to Yoko's Doraemon alarm clock. He flicked his phone open to find four messages in his inbox. Two from Ryo, one from 8AM reading 'don't let Yoko kill you' and one three hours later, reading 'and don't kill him either we have Janiben filming tomorrow'. One from Hina, telling him to 'tell Yoko we're meeting at the sports bar tomorrow night' (and, really, did they think he was Yoko's messenger boy, or something?), and one from Maru, saying he and Ohno had gotten home okay and they were really sorry about leaving them behind.

"Oi," Nino said, "does this message sound suspicious to you?" He shoved his phone against Yoko's exposed ear until Yoko turned his head and looked at the screen.

"...how did he know Ohno got home okay?" Yoko asked, yawning, "timestamp says this was at like 7. Even if he's up, Ohno-kun wouldn't be."

Nino nodded, considering. "...maybe they went home together," he offered, casually. The option seemed more and more likely the longer Nino considered it, though possibly that was the last of the alcohol running through his system. Perhaps they'd scored an unexpected victory after all, though.

They shared matching triumphant grins. "As a preliminary celebration, let's play Brawl."

Yoko made a noise that wasn't a word, but was definitely negative, and turned his face back into his pillow.

"Or you can make me a World of Warcraft character," Nino offered, to see Yoko light up.

(They didn't get terribly far into the character creation process after Nino noted that not only had Yoko named his main character 'Jack Bauer', he'd also misspelled Bauer's last name, and giggled at Yoko until Yoko turned the game off in disgust and challenged him to Final Fantasy Dissidia.)

---

All four of them were finally gathered at one of their weekly meetings for the first time that month, Nino belatedly noticed in surprise. They were in a sports bar where everyone knew Hina and Yoko as 'those assholes from the radio', and no one cared that they were idols.

"Good job getting here after your vacation from Okinawa," Nino congratulated Aiba after they toasted.

"I was in Hokkaido," Aiba corrected automatically. Nino shrugged. "Anyway, why? You never think it's good when I come!"

"That’s not true," Nino said, hurt, "I love when you come! No one else is as easy to stick with the bill as you."

Aiba's eyes promised revenge, but what he didn't know was Nino had paid beforehand, so he'd stop being mad soon enough.

"You know, I asked Oh-chan about Maru-chan's message," Nino said, turning on his stool toward Yoko, "apparently we got our hopes up for nothing, his mom texted Maru-chan for him."

Hina looked between them with impatience written on every line of his face. "Are you two still on about this?" he asked, "I'm telling you. People can be friends without wanting to bang each other. I mean, look at you two!"

"Ew," they both objected in unison, shivering in disgust.

Aiba tilted his head, the hamster wheel in his head clearly turning. "Have you... asked them about this?" he asked.

"And how, Aiba, do you suggest we bring that one up?" Yoko asked, flushing.

Hina and Aiba shared a long look, and grabbed their phones in eerie synchronicity.

"Captain," Aiba began, "do you have feelings for Maru-chan? Romantic ones, not squishy best friend ones."

"Maru," Hina continued, "do you want to marry, fuck and or date Ohno?"

Nino poked at Yoko. "They really have no imagination," he said, conversationally.

"They really do take the fun out of everything," Yoko answered, "where's the fun in frankness and honesty?"

"I'll give you frankness and honesty," Hina said, darkly.

---

Maru looked at his beeping phone, and flicked it open. He and Ohno had met up for ramen after he got out of a meeting for Strawberry Night, and they were still together at the ramen stand, knees brushing and Ohno's hand on Maru's forearm as he spoke.

"Do I want to... date Ohno-kun," Maru read, brow furrowed in confusion, and glanced up at Ohno once, twice.

"...do I have feelings for Maru-chan," Ohno read off from his own cell phone.

Maru shifted in his chair, and when he did his knee slid against Ohno's again. They both sat up, away from the contact, and Ohno pulled away from Maru, fingers twitching nervously around the body of his aging, Sharpie-doodle covered phone.

"I might like that," Maru admitted into the surface of his ramen. He took a deep breath and waited for Ohno to pull away.

"I mean, if someone's asking," Ohno admitted, and he looked shy when Maru looked up at him in surprise. He stilled when Maru's hands found his and curled around them, and let his phone clatter onto the tabletop when Maru squeezed his fingers tight.

"I like you, too, Ohno-kun," Maru said, "but let's not tell them we woke up together in my bed last night? Yuu-chin will probably be heartbroken, I think he might be in love with me."

Maru looked supremely satisfied with that knowledge, despite the fact that as far as Ohno could gather Yoko had had crushes on half of the entire jimusho (Hina and Aiba aside), and Ohno couldn't bring himself to point that out. "Well, it's not like I can't see the appeal," Ohno admitted, eyes stealing pointedly over Maru's well-cut button-down shirt and back to his face.

Maru thought Ohno's smile was somewhere between lazy fondness and smugness, and wasn't sure which made him feel warmer inside.

---

"Yes, heart mark," Hina and Aiba read off, when their phones went off.

Then, another buzz of Hina's phone. "...don't tell Yoko, he's in love with me and it might kill him," Hina added, already laughing, and Yoko's irritated temple-rubbing turned to full on face-to-palm action fairly abruptly.

Nino rolled his eyes. "Tell them to date, or I'll be stuck helping this idiot try to get them together for the rest of our lives, and I don't want to waste my time on that," he ordered, patting Yoko on the back.

A victory was a victory. Probably.

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