ArashiForYou (arashiforyou) wrote,
ArashiForYou
arashiforyou

Hard Shoes

Title: Hard Shoes
By: arashiforyou
Genre: AU/ Dancing/ Drama/ Romance
Rating: PG13
Pairing: Ohmiya/ some Sakumiya
Summary: Ohno is a professional ballroom dancer. He teaches at his own dance studio, but it's in danger of going out of business. The only way he can restore it is by winning at a dance competition, but his long-time partner bailed out on him. One day, Ohno comes across Nino, a street performer who has the making of becoming a great dancer. The only problem is that Ohno has to teach Nino how to do ballroom dance. It's a story about trust, equality, and learning to walk in another person's hard shoes.

Author Notes: Well, look at that! A new pairing added (kinda). I should have updated this chapter sooner, so sorry it took a while (but it was still within the week as I promised!), Nino's character traits seem to be increasing by the chapter XD Lots of drama are about to be unfold. Enjoy!


Chapter 6 - Contra Dance

"O-oh really?" Ohno nodded, glancing back and forth between Nino and Sho. "I...I never knew."

Sho continued to smile charmingly. "We used to do street performing together. It's been so long, I thought I'd get back into dancing."

"Ah, well, good to see you want to take your dancing a step further," Ohno grinned back before he turned to Nino. "I'm going to show him the sign-up papers. Just wait for a minute and I'll be back, okay?"

"Uh...y-yeah sure," Nino answered.

Sho followed Ohno towards his office, and they left the door slightly open. Nino tried to distract himself with more stretching, but then he heard laughter coming from the office. He saw Ohno's smile growing wider and wrinkles forming at the corners of his eyes. While Ohno sat on his chair, Sho smiled from behind with his hand on Ohno's shoulder. Nino felt a slight tinge of annoyance swirling in his stomach. He couldn't take his eyes off of them. Even though they just met, Sho was being extremely friendly and touchy; it only made Nino even more angry.

"Why is he here?" Nino thought as he sat up from stretching. "After all these years..."

"So, I'll see you tomorrow then," Sho said as they left the office.

Ohno nodded. "Yes, we'll start practicing soon as you requested."

Sho reached out and took Ohno's hand. "Thank you, Ohno! I can't wait!"

Ohno clasped his other hand over Sho's and shook. "Neither can I. See you then."

Nino watched Sho leave the studio. The moment before Sho closed the door, their eyes met. It was only for a few seconds, but Nino saw that look in Sho's eyes. It was soft, yearning, and worst of all, apologetic. Nino's earlier jealousy seemed to evaporate, and his heart started throbbing again. Memories came flashing back, and Nino couldn't stop thinking of the good times he spent with Sho.

But why now? Why did he had to return right when Nino started feeling conscious around Ohno?

"He seems like a nice guy," Ohno said after Sho left. "You don't keep in contact with him?"

Then, the bad memories came crashing back to remind Nino why he left Sho...

"No. I...uh, it's complicated," Nino muttered. He spotted the concern look in Ohno's eyes, and Nino immediately put on forced smile. "But I'm glad you're getting more students."

Ohno crossed his arms. For a second, Nino thought Ohno would poke and bother him with questions about his past relationships, but the dance instructor never asked. Ohno nodded. "It's been awhile, yeah."

"Thank you, Ohno...for not prying..."

Nino stood up and dusted his hands. He wanted to appear normal, but his heart throbbed with feelings of appreciation. It took all his willpower not to hug Ohno. "You're going to tutor him tomorrow?"

"Yes."

"But we have practice tomorrow."

"In the morning," Ohno pointed out. "We usually end after lunch, right? Sho will be coming in the evening."

The jealousy spark came back. "You'll be alone with Sho in the evening?"

Ohno frowned slightly. "Is there a problem?"

Nino veered his gaze away. "N-no, of course not. I was just...worried if we have enough time to catch up for the competition."

"Don't worry about it," Ohno chuckled, clapping his hands down on Nino's shoulder. "I'll make sure we're ready. You can rely on me."

His touch was so warm. His calming words were so soothing. His confidence and reliability put Nino at ease so quickly.

These feelings settled in too fast for Nino, and his stomach was a garden-full of fluttering butterflies. Throughout the remainder of practice, Nino noticed every detail of Ohno. Now that they're dancing near the same eye level, as well as wearing in the same type of shoes, Nino realized Ohno's striking gaze. The tango was a type of dance that involved lots of eye contact. Because they're not suppose to look anywhere else but at each other, they must completely trust in each other's instinct. Nino depended on Ohno's lead just as much as Ohno depended on Nino's timing.

Since their dance was on an intimate level, it also required lots of hand-to-body touch. Originally, Nino didn't take much notice to Ohno's hands. But now every damn gentle stroke, rub, and sweet caress lit Nino on fire. As the music beat escalated, they re-positioned themselves with Ohno behind Nino and their arms wrapped around Nino's waist. Ohno's breath was at Nino's ear, and the young street performer tried with all his might not to moan out. They twirled back and faced each other in a tight closed position.

Their legs crisscrossed and hooked each other in a complex pattern, and yet they never tripped. Nino had practiced endlessly to get it right since his part was the most difficult. Their heads were slightly bowed with their eyes partially opened until they pushed away from each other. The sudden coldness and open space made Nino yearn for Ohno's body heat, but they did their solo bits until their hands clasped together again almost desperately. Ohno always took the lead, and their legs explored across the studio in long strides.

They paused. Their breaths were heavy and puffing at each other's faces. Sweat glistened down their brows, but the music kept going.

"Good," Ohno nodded, taking a step back. "Just remember to keep in mind where you place your foot. That last leg hook carried on for too long, and I almost fell."

Nino only nodded and feeling a little disappointed. It was as if the magic sudden vanished.

"Also," Ohno continued as he turned off the stereo, "remember to check where your hand is positioned. Keep reminding yourself, and we should be good for the first half. Tomorrow, I hoped for us to finish the second half. I know you can pull it off."

"Okay, thanks," Nino grinned.

Ohno made his approval face. "Great. I'll see you tomorrow."

"But I wanted more," Nino thought.

*****

After Nino took a shower, he left his apartment and sat at a nearby park. He liked to watch other street performers and critique their work from afar. Ever since Ohno started teaching him, Nino realized how clumsy some of the hip hop performers were in their footwork. He couldn't believe that even he once made those ungainly mistakes. Nino still loves pop dancing, and he would occasionally perform on the streets during his free time, but he started to feel like a perfectionist.

Whenever he performed a short skit on the park, he drew in more crowds than before. The extra money helped him buy food, but the sound of the people cheering for him was even more satisfying. Nino noticed. He had gotten better at dancing. He had Ohno to thank for that.

"It must be fate," he heard a familiar voice. "We always do meet up at parks."

Nino glanced over his shoulder. For a minute, Nino didn't recognize him until Nino's heart started pounding again. Sho wore a thick blue duffle coat and slacks. His hair was neatly combed like a proper adult. Nino's lips parted. "Sho..."

"May I sit here?" Sho gestured at the bench.

"Uh...yeah sure."

He sat down, and they remained silent for what seemed like decades. Nino felt more and more uncomfortable by the minute. How long has it been since they were close together like this? And alone? His heart and mind was in a struggling battle. At one time, Nino loved Sho, but it got ugly near the end of their relationship. Nino side glanced at Sho who watched the children play with the gymnastic bars on the playground. Sho looked poised and relaxed. Despite their rotten ending, Nino couldn't bring himself to act bitter and resentful.

"You look...different," Nino brought up.

Sho made a small smile and glanced down at his hands. "I do? Well, a lot has changed since that time."

"What are you doing now?"

"I'm a school teacher," Sho grinned even wider as Nino's eyebrows shot up. "I know, right! Me? A teacher? And to middle school students nonetheless."

Nino felt a smile play on his lips as well. "That's...that's great, Sho! I'm glad things are turning around for you."

"The first year was difficult though. I won't lie," Sho said. "I kept losing my cool and yelling at my students. I remember the time I made a girl cry. She reminded me of you."

Nino sat in silence.

"I don't know how many times I apologized to her mother," Sho sucked in his bottom lip. His face scrunched at the memory. "I even went so far as going to their house and bowing at their doorstep into the night."

"Sho..."

"I didn't want to give up," Sho nodded. "When we broke up, I knew I had to turn over a new leaf. The old me had to go for good. It took me some time, and many tears were shed, but I think I've finally come around. A student of mine performed a dance recital during the school festival, and it reminded me of the time you and I danced in street corners. So I wanted to get back into dancing as well. I thought ball dancing would be a nice change. And...that's how I met you again."

Sho turned to face Nino and gently touched his hand. Sho's eyes were full of regret, and Nino felt a short stab of guilt in his heart. He has never seen Sho look so sad and yet so loving. Nino was scared what he'll say next.

"Nino...let's start over," Sho grieved.

"...Sho, I...I don't think-"

"I haven't forgotten our dance," Sho persisted. "Do you remember the first time we met? We had a dance-off in front of a busy crossing."

Nino nodded, feeling Sho's grip squeezing his hand tenderly. "I remember..."

"After that, we really hit it off. We even formed a team as well," Sho grinned at the memory. "Our group was just a bunch of ragtag street performers. But you and I were in our own world, and no one could stop us!"

Old amorous feelings started rising back, but at the same time Nino felt confused. Sho had indeed changed over the past years, and deep down, Nino still felt remnants of their love. At the time, Nino truly felt only Sho understood him and accepted him. But Nino couldn't shake off the feeling it wasn't meant to be. He was completely torn.

"I don't know, Sho," Nino answered. "This is all so sudden. And after all these years too, I'm not sure..."

"Is it Ohno?" Sho asked, almost darkly. "You like him now, don't you?"

"W-what?!" Nino gawked. "No! I...why would you think I fall for my instructor?"

Sho released his hand from Nino's. "I saw the way you looked at us. You were jealous, weren't you?"

Nino's voice was stuck in his throat. He couldn't find the words to defend himself. Nino wanted to say Sho was wrong, but how else would Nino describe his reaction back at the studio? Sho glanced away and rested his elbows on his knees looking defeated.

"I thought so," Sho muttered. "I mean, why shouldn't you fall for Ohno? He's the exact opposite of what I am. Kind, gentle, understanding-"

"I can see you are kind now, Sho," Nino complimented. "You smile more, I've noticed. And you're a school teacher now. I bet your students love you."

Sho bowed his head low and rubbed the back of his neck. His voice was barely a whisper. "It's not your love though..."

Another stab to Nino's heart.

"I'm sorry," Sho abruptly stood up. His face veered away from Nino. "I shouldn't have said anything. You're free of me, and it should stay that way."

This was hurting Nino. Sho was being too gentle now. Nino wished he could reach for Sho's hand and pull him into a tight embrace, and yet he couldn't. Sho was right, Nino does have feelings for Ohno. Nino was already jealous when someone got close to his dance instructor. He wanted Ohno for himself. Even still, Nino had always wanted to see the day when Sho becomes a different man. Only, it happened when Nino's heart leaned towards someone else.

"I wonder though," Sho spoke, "does Ohno feel the same way about you?"

Nino flinched slightly. A new fear sank into his mind. It was something he had hoped to avoid, but Sho had already planted the seeds of doubt and they were sprouting fast.

"Ah, I shouldn't have said that," Sho uttered. "I'm sorry...but I will say this," he turned around looking more determined, "I'm not going to give up on you!"

Nino's eyes widen, and he gripped onto the edge of the bench seat to stop his hands from shaking. For a second, he saw a flash of his old Sho again. The fire was still there in his eyes.

"I'll show you," Sho nodded. "I am a better man now. And this time, I'll make sure I won't make you cry."

*****

That night, Nino had a dream. He danced across a stage with the spotlight on him. He couldn't see the audience before him; they were just fuzzy black shadows. His leg muscles burned and his arms ached. He spun around and linked arms with his dance partner waiting for him. Nino could tell it was Sho even if he wore a masquerade eye mask. Sho wore a red waistcoat over a white shirt and black pants. His hair gelled up in the fashionable style that Nino remembered when they used to be together. Wild, fierce, and deadly. And yet Sho smiled kindly.

Nino broke apart from Sho in a slow circle and found himself facing a new dance partner. His back faced towards Nino, but Ohno glanced over his shoulder. Ohno also wore a masquerade eye mask. He wore a slim black suit jacket with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his shirt underneath was blue. As they joined hands, Ohno's face was stern and almost expressionless. Nino couldn't tell what Ohno was thinking, but his mysterious atmosphere pulled Nino in. They danced only for a few fleeting seconds before their hands drifted apart.

The distance between him and his dance partners grew farther and farther away. Nino started walking towards Ohno, but then he spotted Sho crumbling away. Nino quickly changed course, but then Ohno began fading away. Nino kept going back and forth, hoping to sustain both within his view. But eventually, Ohno and Sho vanished completely. The audience behind him started laughing at him, and Nino wished he could hide.

He woke up early that morning; his eyes felt sore and still sleepy. He made up his mind. Nino had to know what Ohno thought of him. Although Nino had a pretty good idea what the result might be, he still hoped. Ohno valued him as his student and partner for the dance competition. What more could he ask for?

Nino lightly traced his fingers down his arm where Ohno's hands would touch during their routine.

"This is just dancing," Nino mumbled, his hands covering his face. "It's just a dance."

"But I wanted more..."

Practice was about to start. Nino got ready and headed for Ohno's studio. Along the way, Nino's mind juggled with possible scenarios and situations to bring up the topic. But they all seem futile. Maybe he shouldn't ask about Ohno's feelings. He should try to act as normal as possible. Their main focus should only be winning the competition. It will be like any other day. Focus on the dance. Act normal.

"Good morning, Nino," Ohno greeted.

"'Morning!" Nino spoke too loudly.

But Ohno chuckled at him. "Eager, are we?"

"You have no idea."

It turned out not to be any other normal day. Nino's constant awareness of Ohno's presence had increase ten-fold. And Sho's words from yesterday repeated in Nino's mind. During stretches, Nino wasn't bending all the way forward to reach his foot. Wordlessly, Ohno pressed his hands against Nino's back to help him reach even further. For a few fleeting moments, Nino could feel Ohno's chest grinding against his back. Nino felt his face growing hot.

Finally, rehearsal began. They sat on the wooden floor for a few minutes observing Ohno's sketches for their next part. Nino tried to pay attention as Ohno explained their dance steps, but all Nino could focus on was how close Ohno sat next to him. They stood back up and resumed to their original position where they left off. Without the music, they took it slow to help memorize the steps. As Ohno counted aloud, Nino could smell a faint scent of coffee and laundry sheets from Ohno.

The more they danced, the more Nino was able to concentrate. The second half had more solo dancing which helped Nino calmed down for the most part. But he also resented it for he couldn't be close to Ohno. Then, they grabbed each other's hand. Ohno spun him twice and tipped him low.

"Don't make a face," Ohno said.

Ohno's left hand supported the small of Nino's back, and his right hand still held Nino's hand. Nino had his arm draped over Ohno's shoulder for support. But the sudden drop made him nervous, and Nino kept his chin tucked in out of instinct.

"Tilt your head back more."

Nino did as Ohno instructed, feeling his neck being more exposed.

"I'll come a bit closer," Ohno said. "Let's try that again."

They broke apart and returned back to their earlier positions. Nino took a breath and reached for Ohno's hand. It happened a lot faster. Ohno spun him so fast, Nino thought he would actually fall until Ohno caught him. Nino closed his eyes and leaned his head back as far as he could. He could feel warm air breathing on his neck. The sensation suddenly shot blood towards his groin, and Nino gulped.

Ohno pulled him back up, and they returned to their first closed position.

"Very good!" Ohno grinned like it was nothing.

"I don't think I can take much more of this!" Nino panicked in his head.

Somehow or another, they managed to get through their second half. All that was left was to practice their finale ending, but Ohno said they wouldn't be working on that until they got the first and second parts down. He turned on the music, and they started at the top.

The tango proved Nino to be the most difficult dance yet, but with Ohno's help, he started to get the hang of it. Because of the dance constant close embraces, Nino yearned more for it every time they pulled apart. Ohno's grip and support was strong, and Nino gave in to trust him completely every time they did another lifting trick.

As they reached the second half, their broke apart for solo dancing. They matched together still in near perfect synchronized steps. Nino watched the mirror and counted in his head along with Ohno. He couldn't help but noticed Ohno's swayed his hips more fluidly and effortlessly. For a heartbeat, Nino's mind went wild with imagination just by watching Ohno.

Then, their ending second half brought them back together. The music started slowing down a bit, and their legs intertwined each other like a couple under blankets.

"Urgh focus!" Nino mentally kicked himself.

But how could he? Even as their feet stepped everywhere from left to right, Ohno's hands held Nino's body close to his chest. Their breaths mingled together, and their forehead barely touched. Their eyes gazing deeply at each other, but suddenly Nino stole a glance at Ohno's plump slightly-parted lips before him. They danced in slow circles, and Nino started feeling courageous.

He held onto Ohno's shoulder while his other hand slid up into Ohno's hair. Ohno didn't seem to mind since the dance revolved around being intimate and close. Yet, Ohno kept his hand in place at Nino's hip and his other hand fanned outward for showmanship. Nino took it a step further and lightly bumped his nose against his instructor. He saw Ohno blink.

Nino took Ohno's lips with his own.

His eardrums boomed with his heart, and his stomach felt like tight knots. Nino started gently. He pressed and then started sucking down on Ohno's lip. Ohno wasn't pulling away. Rather, the man stopped moving and became stiff. Nino kept his eyes shut and furrowed his brow slightly as he held onto Ohno's face. He felt Ohno's hand lift away from his hip. This scared Nino, and he tried pressing his tongue inside.

Finally, Ohno pushed him off.

They were both breathless. Not just from the rehearsal but from the kiss. Ohno's eyes were wide, and he stood there completely speechless. His mouth was slightly pink where Nino marked him. Nino couldn't utter a word either, and he stood there waiting for a sound.

He glanced up and saw Ohno looked away. And then Nino saw it—that look of disgust. His heart sank like a cold stone as Ohno slowly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

Nino bolted out the door.

-----------------------------

end of chapter 6
To Chapter 7 >> http://arashiforyou.livejournal.com/56517.html

gosh, i'm always making nino run away
i gotta stop doing that
even though there was a tango practice dance scene, i won't show you the video i used as a reference just yet. but i thought i'd turn your attention to the title of the chapter "Contra Dance" which is a type of folk dance where people dance in rounds and change partners. Get it! Change. Partners! XDD

OTL

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