[identity profile] stormymood.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] arashi_exchange
A piece of rainbow for [livejournal.com profile] jade_lil Part 3

"Huh... I certainly did not expect this," Nino said as Ohno welcomed him into his workshop, which was littered with piles of paper, blocks of wood and small pots of coloured ink.

"Sometimes fighting those ronin gets tiring," Ohno said as he laid his sword to rest in a corner of his room and walked to his wooden blocks, "working like an old man on these quiets my spirits considerably."

Nino looked around at the artistic masterpieces that were strung around the room.

A painting of the streets just outside Ohno's home.

The silhouette of majestic mountains against a melancholic sunset.

A portrait of a well-dressed woman looking coyly over at him.

Every painting he laid his eyes on felt as if they were drawing him in.

"They are beautiful," Nino said admiringly as he looked over at Ohno, who only rubbed the back of his neck in a mix of slight embarrassment and pride.

And then an idea hit Nino.

"Ohno-san," Nino said, "you are good with wood-working, aren't you?"

Ohno nodded."Aside from ukiyo-e, I do make some wooden furni-"

"Please, would you help my friend and I with something?"

*a while later*

"So.. to help you and Ninomiya-san go back to your hometown, I just have to make wooden beds like these with a lid over it like in this drawing?" Ohno asked as he studied Aiba's plans,"huh... I have never seen these kinds of beds before..."

"Aiba-san is a genius," Sho said, "all these designs seem so foreign and .. well..New. It just feels that way!"

Nino gave a quiet laugh to himself.

"Technically these are from the future but you guys probably won't believe us," Nino thought as he watched Aiba talk to their new comrade about their plans.

Days passed slowly as Nino, Sho and Aiba worked on the time machine together-with Sho making the tools, Nino arranging the parts neatly as depicted in the blueprints and Aiba putting them together little by little with whatever he had brought with him.

Every now and then, Nino would drop by Ohno's ukiyo-e workshop to see him working on their wooden pods with his same old scraggly beard on. He would then sit in a quiet corner and watch him work until he reached a good stopping point. They would then have freshly brewed tea in Ohno's veranda while staring up at the late afternoon sky.


"How is it like back in your hometown?" Ohno asked curiously one day as he sketched away on his papers.

Nino shook his head with a grin as he sipped on his tea.

"Really fast-paced. Really stressful. I kind of like the peaceful life here."

"It isn't all that peaceful, really," Ohno said,"remember when those ronin attacked you and Aiba-san?"

"There are bad guys like that too where I'm from," Nino said,"though of course, they aren't that dangerous."

"I guess you do want to go back," Ohno said, "life there must be quite different from the way things are here."

Nino nodded but said nothing. It was true that he knew more about the life they lived way into the future. And yet...

He felt comfortable.
Yes, his phone and his 3DS were all flat out of battery right now.
Yes, the closest he could get to sending a text in this time period was sending a handwritten message.

And yet, sitting down right where he was on the veranda while staring up at the sky, he knew that he did feel at ease.

He looked over at Ohno, who rested while moving his charcoal pencil across the paper in swift, skilled strokes just like the way he handled his sword. Something about that man places him at ease in a relatively unfamiliar time and place.

"Do you mind if I sleep a little here?" Nino asked tiredly, and Ohno nodded. Nino then laid himself down on the veranda, his eyes now looking up at the blue sky above. His eyes wandered over to Ohno's hands.

"Your hands.." Nino murmured, "they are.. well... pretty."

Ohno paused in surprise and looked down at his hands that were marred with charcoal and some coloured inks.

"You think so?"

"Yeah," Nino said simply as his eyes fell shut,"mine are like mochi compared to yours. Or dango."

He heard Ohno's amused chuckle and felt him poke lightly at his own hand over his stomach.

"You are right, it is exactly like mochi," came his gentle reply, "soft, round and yet smooth. I like it."

"Wh..what are you talking about..." Nino said gruffly in what sounded like a retort and looked away. Ohno looked over at Nino's slightly pinkish cheeks and smiled quietly, moving his tanned hands to clasp Nino's gently.

"I will wake you up in the evening. Sleep."

"..G-Goodnight.."

"Goodnight."
###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*

A whole month had now passed since the day they first appeared out of nowhere in the Edo time period.

However, Nino could feel that something about the town they were living in had grown more tense, like a spring winding up in its coil. The streets are quieter, with more Shinsengumi soldiers out and about. Nino looked around as he recalled studying the fall of the Edo time period, concluding from his observations that they must be near the end of it.

Presently he strolled to the blacksmith's shop as large shadows of the evening were cast over the city. The soldiers patrolled the streets as it dimmed, and-

"Why do you not understand?!" came Sho's voice,"I cannot just abandon everything here!"

"But things are getting unsafe here!" Matsumoto's voice was now familiar to his ears,"do you have any idea how much I would regret if anything-ANYTHING were to happen to you?!"

"I'm not unaware of the dangers here, Matsumoto-san," Sho said, "but I-"

"Well fine!" Matsumoto yelled, "if that is how you feel on the subject, so be it!"

Matsumoto then stomped hard out of the workshop and hopped on his horse before riding away into the streets.

"Sakurai-san?" Nino called cautiously as he entered the workshop, "is everything okay?"

Sho looked up at Nino, visibly frustrated from the exchange earlier. Sho only sighed as he poked at the fires in the nearby stove.

"What happened with Matsumoto-san?" Nino asked. Sho looked over at him quietly and gestured to the table where a small bottle of sake was.

"You do realise that times are getting uncertain now, right?" Sho said, "fires are starting here and there, with rumours of the Shinsengumi behind them.."

"Yeah I heard of what happened yesterday," Nino said.

"Matsumoto-san, he..." Sho said, "he wanted to help me move to a safer town with him away from here."

"Oh? That is good, isn't it?" Nino quipped.

"Yes, but..." Sho's voice trailed off into silence, "it's just complicated."

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that what is more uncertain than the dangerous circumstances we are in is really your own feelings for him...right?"

Sho looked up at Nino in surprise before nodding slowly and staring into his cup of sake.

"I...really, really care about Matsumoto-san," Sho said honestly, "and that is why I cannot let him go out of his way for someone like me. He should not have to. And yet...at the same time I do want to leave with him, even if I'm supposed to be unworthy of that."

Nino only smiled as he downed his cup of sake. "If my hunch about Matsumoto-san's feelings are right, it will definitely explain why he got so mad and left."

Sho blinked. "What do you mean?"

"I would say something but.. I'll leave it to the man himself." Nino said as he got up, "you won't believe me, but I'm sure you would believe him."

"You think so?"

"Yeah. I think-"

"Ninooooooo~" Aiba sang as he hurried out from a work room and gave Nino a fierce hug, "I'm nearly done with the machine! I just need to find a place to set everything up!"

"Good job, Aiba-cchi!" Nino praised while giving Aiba a good pat on the back.

"Now go find an empty spot so that we can set all this up and return to our own time!"

Nino felt his heart stop for a second.

Return to their own time.

A whole month had passed but it felt like he had lived in that time period a lot longer.
And then there was Ohno Satoshi.
Going to visit his workshop in the middle of the day for some drinks and mochi had been an everyday routine to him.
The thought that all that would come to an end the moment he slept in those pods made his heart feel heavier.

"Nino-kun? Nino-kun?"

"Huh?" Nino was shaken out of his thoughts.

"Go and find Ohno-san and ask him for a good open spot where lightning can touch a lightning rod!"

"Oh.. okay." Nino said quietly as he shuffled slowly out of the blacksmithing shop, his feet feeling like lead.

He reached the ukiyo-e workshop just in time to see a bearded Ohno finish printing something on a piece of paper. He then secured the paper in its place and stood back, admiring his work.

"Ohno-san?"

Ohno looked up at him and smiled. "You came in just in time for an art piece to be unveiled."

Nino beamed as he stepped in and surveyed Ohno's work. He had created a painting of two human-like figures on a bridge- one dressed in blue and another dressed in yellow. The two of them appear to be looking down at a reflection in the river below. What was strange to Nino was that their reflection was painted green. Apart from that, almost everything from the trees around them to the orange skies above were so perfectly depicted.

"Do you like it?" a gentle voice spoke from behind his right ear.

"It's beautiful," Nino said, "but why is the reflection green?"

Ohno only grinned as he moved towards another painting.

"This one is long overdue," Ohno said as he took down a painting from another room, "but I think I can give it to you now."

Nino looked at him curiously before taking the picture into his hands.

His jaws dropped as he stared at an amazing likeness of himself captured in light tones of colour. Everything from his jet black hair to his yellow t-shirt looked exactly lik-
Wait.

He looked down at his yellow T-shirt in the picture.
He vaguely remembered that the first time he saw Ohno (sans his fake beard), he was dressed in blue.

He paused.
...
And shook his head.

"Definitely a coincidence." Nino murmured as he handed over the painting to Ohno.

"By the way, Aiba-kun asked if you know a place with an open spot where lightning can strike."

Ohno rolled up the painting in hand in deep thought as he pondered.

"Yeah there is such a place," he said, "I'll take you there."

The trees shrouded Ohno and Nino in shadows as they walked through a forest. Nino looked around at the comfortable darkness, awed once again at the serene atmosphere.

He felt a hand grip him firmly by the wrist. He squinted ahead to see Ohno leading him by his hand, and he was glad that the dark shadows around them covered his blushing face.

Finally, Ohno parted some bushes and helped Nino through. And there, above them in a field of dandelions, was an open sky where a full moon was in view.

"Wow..." Nino exclaimed, "the moon is so beautiful." He looked at Ohno, who stood just a small distance away from him.
He watched how the moonbeams made his face glow brighter than the dandelions around them and how they made his eyes sparkle even more as they found his own.

When their eyes met, Nino blinked and looked away shyly as he cleared his throat.

"Erm. Aiba-san said that he is nearly done with his machine. We can go back home soon."

"Ah.." Nino could hear the fall in Ohno's tone,"that is good."

"Indeed," Nino said as he looked up at the moon,"so in a matter of days, I won't be able to see your ukiyo paintings or have drinks with you in your veranda again."

"I suppose."

"I would be back in that stressful place, studying."

"Mm."

Nino smiled sadly to himself.

"I guess that is all you can say right now, huh..." he said before looking up at the moon.

What troubled him was not just the fact that he would be travelling back to another dimension and era that is thousands of years ahead of Ohno.

It was the fact that he knew history.

He knew what exactly awaits Ohno when the country moves fast into the Meiji era. Much as he wanted to stay, he had little to no confidence that he was able to survive in the fierce battles against the rebelling Choshu warriors.

He was unable to stay..and yet unwilling to leave.

"The wooden pods.. they are done, right?" Nino asked to break the silence that hung between them.

"Nearly," Ohno said.

"You sure move fast,"Nino said, "I guess I will be going back home faster than I thought I would."

"That is a good thing....right?"

Nino blinked in surprise at the question. Before he could respond, a pair of strong arms embraced him tightly from behind.

"What if..what if I don't want you to go back home?"

Nino felt his heart thud hard against his chest as he felt himself drawn closer against Ohno's body.

"I...I didn't want to tell you something as selfish as that," Ohno said further,"you have a home to return to. A place that you actually belong in. You should return. I know all that, and yet.."

Nino was slowly turned around, and for the first time, he saw a small drop of moonlight fall out from the corner of Ohno's right eye.

"And yet..the idea of you going away, leaving this town to go faraway to where I cannot see you..it hurts," Ohno confessed,"it hurts so much that it burns, Ninomiya-san.."

Nino felt his own eyes welling up as he found the courage to wrap his arms around Ohno's neck and bring their foreheads together to touch.

He said nothing and closed his eyes as he let the reality of his confession sink in deep in his heart. He then looked up into Ohno's brown eyes.

"For now," Nino said at last,"before I make any decisions that I might regret, I am just going to tell you one thing, and I'm only telling it to you once."

Nino breathed deeply as the three words that sat on the tip of his tongue finally took flight from his lips into the cool air around them.

"I love you."

That was all it took for Ohno to bring their lips together in a passionate kiss. Nino relaxed as he relished the warmth that was spreading on his lips like wildfire, and Ohno held him up firmly in his arms as he felt the night wind brush against hair.

"Ninom-"

"Kazu." Nino said firmly between kisses,"call me by my name. Please."

"...Kazu.." Ohno said, and Nino smiled and pecked him lightly on the lips under the moonlight.

###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*###*

Nino gave a pleasured sigh as he felt Ohno trailing his lips along the curve of his neck. The wooden bed creaked softly under their weight as Ohno leaned them backwards to pin him down gently on it. Nino instinctively wrapped his legs around Ohno's, drawing them closer as he felt his desire for his warmth grow stronger in every passing second.

"You really want to be mine?" Ohno asked as he gazed down deep into Nino's eyes.

Nino nodded.

"Even if you are going far, far away?" Ohno whispered as he nuzzled his nose into his hair, ".. how far are you going anyway? Where do you live?"

Nino gave a chuckle as he caressed Ohno's hair, "I don't think you will believe me even if I told you. In this day and age, you will think I am spouting nonsense."

"So you really won't tell me?" Ohno asked with a pout.

"...No, but believe me when I say that no matter how many letters you write or how long you will take to travel from one end of this world to the other...you will never find me-it is impossible to locate me."

"...It doesn't matter to me," Ohno answered, kissing every word on the Nino's forehead as he clasped Nino's right hand to rest on the left side of his chest, "no matter how far you are from me, this heart burns only for you."

Nino felt those words seize his own heart as he crashed Ohno's lips together with his own in a feverish liplock. He could feel layers of his clothes falling off his shoulders as Ohno's deft hands explored more of his bare skin. Finally, they were lying in bed completely engulfed in the blissful warmth of their bare skin touching each other, the pulsing of their hearts getting even stronger in sync.

"You know, I'm already satisfied just having you in my arms like this," Ohno said, "and yet.. I want more of you."

Nino's cheeks flushed crimson as he buried his face in the crook of Ohno's neck.

"I'm yours, Oh-"

"Satoshi." Ohno said, copying Nino's firm voice that ordered him to call him by name.

"..I'm yours, Satoshi."

"Kazu..." Ohno murmured under his breath as he felt around for a small bottle of rapeseed oil, letting the lukewarm liquid slide out of the bottle onto his fingers.

"...This might hurt a bit," Ohno said apologetically, but Nino shook his head and guided Ohno's lubricated fingers down behind him. With slow, patient strokes, Nino finally felt himself open up under Ohno's insistent fingers.

The moment when they melted together as one was beyond anything Nino had ever experienced. The brief pain he felt when Ohno entered quickly faded as wave after wave of pleasure rocked them hard by the dim light of a glowing candle.

"Kazu.." Ohno breathed his name on his skin as his movements grew more powerful and urgent. Nino felt blinding pleasure curl up inside him faster and faster as his fingers dug hard into Ohno's back, the heat of their lovemaking warming them up in the middle of the chilly night. They finally climaxed together, seeing stars in the back of their minds as they felt the orgasm burn deep in the memories of their hearts and their bodies.



Follow the link for part 4

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