Sano couldn't give it words if he tried. High jumping had been ingrained into him since he was a child, he couldn't remember life before it. Every significant moment he'd had growing up was accompanied by the awkwardness of spectators watching him prepare, of knowing each step was calculated to propel him into the air, and the exhilarating moment of thrusting himself up and accomplishing a certain height. The feeling of high jumping was wordless, unless the word was Sano. He couldn't be himself without it.
Jogging laps however, he had a word for. Anticipating. To him, anticipating meant the monotony of steps jolting through his legs, his nerves alive to the sensation of beads of sweat swelling from his pores and sliding down his skin. It meant feeling each breath harshly through his lungs, it meant his iPod turned up to the point where the sound began to hurt his eardrums, making the music a physical sensation too. Anticipating was until 11:30PM, which meant Nakatsu would be there soon.
It had been a warm, calm night much like this one. He had been jogging laps alone, like tonight, when Nakatsu had first laughed and joined him.
"High jumping, I can't do with you. Training, I'll keep you company during!" He had proclaimed with a grin and a thumbs-up.
Even though that night Sano had assured Nakatsu of his indifference to his companionship while he trained, he had come to keep track of the time while he jogged. Nakatsu was never there before 11:30, and never much after. Sano started his slow jog at 11:15. At that time of night, all other athletic students had gone indoors to hang out, shower, or do homework. He didn't like when he was forced to interact with other students. Technically, Nakatsu was forcing himself on Sano, but he viewed that as with silently understood permission. He forced himself not to check his watch until he had done at least two laps. Then, he didn't even try to restrain himself. He blushed when he checked his watch three times and read 11:24PM each of them, despite knowing that nobody was there to witness how pathetic he was. Time always crawled as he waited for Nakatsu to show up.
He raised his hand to wipe face face clear of sweat, then halted the motion as he recalled glancing surreptitiously at Nakatsu as they kept pace with each other, and seeing his look of intense concentration. It had surprised Sano, because even when he was lost in thought, Nakatsu showed his feelings. Sano had stared, and seen Nakatsu's gaze lowering slowly. He then realized that Nakatsu was watching the beads of sweat slide over his skin from his forehead to underneath his shirt. Ever since then, each bead of sweat that appeared when he was with Nakatsu felt heavy, like it contained the weight of his gaze. And if it make Nakatsu look, he wasn't moving it.
A silent moment between songs allowed him to hear Nakatsu's friendly shout as he ran to Sano's side. He tore his headphones out of his ears and stuffed them into the pocket of his jacket. He nodded back, not trusting his voice.
Nakatsu was oddly silent as they ran that night, his gestures the only clues to his thoughts. Sano was edgy, nervous that he had done something wrong or not done enough, somehow making this nightly time alone with his friend end.
As they sat together on the field stretching, Sano scowled. The dew on the grass felt like cold slime on his lower legs, left exposed by his shorts.
"Eh, what's with the expression? The track and field team insult you again?" Nakatsu demanded, his first words in almost 20 minutes.
"Nothing." Sano muttered. Gathering up his courage, he asked his own question with a hidden sense of urgency. "Why are you so quiet?"
"Ah, I'm thinking about Mizuki. He's been wondering where you and I go each night."
Sano's first reaction was delight at hearing that he had not been alone in keeping from Ashiya what he did each night. Knowing Ashiya, the girl would soon simply follow him one night. Overshadowing the joy he felt from the knowledge that Nakatsu didn't want Askiya to know where they were either, was the irritation that Nakatsu had been thinking about her at all. He knew what a good guy Nakatsu was. If he decided that he truly loved Askiya, he wouldn't let not knowing that she was truly a girl get in the way. Sano couldn't handle that. His emotions flared within him, overpowering his uncertainty and restraint. He crawled the few feet that separated him from Nakatsu, and fisted his hand in the hair that he admired so much.
"Eh! What do you think you're doing?" Nakatsu demanded, obviously unsettled.
Sano dragged Nakatsu's head up to his, brushing their lips across each others once softly, then kissed him furiously. He would MAKE him think of somebody other than Ashiya.
As their lips parted, Nakatsu quickly licked a drop of sweat from Sano's cheek, then crabwalked back to a respectable distance.
"Are you drunk?" He demanded.
Sano couldn't stop his lips from quirking up into a small smile. He had finally done it.
"If I were, I would have done that at 11:32, when you first got here."