Oishi looked over his shoulder, then ducked into the Body Shop. It wasn't that he really cared if anyone saw him going in there. It was just that it wasn't anyone's business. Personal hygiene was, well, personal.
He looked around. They had changed the displays again and so he was going to have to hunt through the shelves. Or he could ask someone. After all, he could just say it was a gift for his mother.
But when a perky salesgirl descended on him, Oishi blushed and stuttered that he was just browsing, thank you, and backed into a display of Peppermint Salt Scrub. She left him alone after that.
Down the third aisle, Oishi finally found what he was looking for. As he took the bottle off the shelf, he bumped into someone behind him.
"Pardon me," Oishi said and turned around to see someone he recognized. "Shishido from Hyotei."
Shishido blinked. "Seigaku's Oishi. I wouldn't have expected to run into you here." He glanced at the bottle in Oishi's hand. "Satsuma moisturizing lotion?"
"Sometimes my skin gets dry," Oishi said. Damn, he had forgotten the "gift for his mother" story.
Shishido took the bottle from Oishi and opened it. "Smells nice," he said and grinned.
"I guess it's kind of girly." Oishi could feel himself starting to flush. He pulled the bottle back. "What do you have?"
"Olive soap," Shishido said. He held the dark green bar up to Oishi's face. "What do you think?"
Oishi sniffed. It was a dark, smooth scent. "I like it," he said.
"You should try it some time," Shishido said. "Well, see you."
"Bye," Oishi said and went to pay for his lotion.
A few weeks later, Oishi went to the bookstore after school, looking for a novel to read over summer vacation. He turned a corner and ran smack into another boy. Oishi lost his balance and clutched at the boy's arms before he could think. The boy grabbed Oishi too and they staggered and fell together against a shelf, Oishi half pinned under the boy.
"Oishi," the boy said and pulled him upright.
"Shishido." Oishi stared for a moment. "I'm so sorry."
"It's fine," Shishido said. A strange look crossed his face and he leaned in close to Oishi's cheek. "You smell nice."
He smelled nice? Oishi sniffed, but he could only smell Shishido. Shishido smelled like something cool and dark and not quite spicy. "Um, you smell nice too."
It really was quite nice. Oishi took a deep breath in, letting the scent fill his head. It made him feel calm and relaxed, somehow, but also like there was something else not so calm and relaxed just beneath the surface, something he couldn't quite identify. "Is it the olive soap?"
"No," Shishido said and stepped back. "I didn't use it today. Did you use the satsuma lotion?"
"No," Oishi said. "I don't need it every day." He realized he was still holding on to Shishido's arm. He let go. "Um, well..."
"So..." Shishido glanced away, then back at Oishi. "Did you want to maybe go get something to eat?"
And Oishi found that he did. "Yes, thank you," he said and they walked out of the shop together. Oishi found himself wondering if Shishido tasted as good as he smelled. And when Shishido put his hand on Oishi's shoulder, Oishi thought that he might just get to find out.
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