Pairing: Sakumoto, Aimiya, (hints of past(?)Ohmiya and Matsumiya and Juntoshi? (but... well... you'll get it, when you read it. It's not a love triangle (promise!!) or anything, it's rather plot-relevant)
Rating: up to R
Genre: AU, romance, fantasy (There are no vampires or alike. It's more like a fairytale meets our world meets romance meets Nino in a tight gothic-like outfit)
Plot: When you have no other place to visit and lost all your hope, you'll go to a mysterious, little shop. Dealing with hopes and dreams and with his protector Ninomiya at his side, Jun keeps his real identity a secret, constantly on the run. No one knows who he is, what he runs from and where he comes from. One unfortunate day though a young doctor demands his services, asking for a piece of sunshine. It's the beginning of something... like the ticking sound of a clock you can't turn back...
Note: I don't know if it makes sense, but every now and then a story kind of happens to you, you know? I wrote this around July in some sort of writing-haze, when I was free for a week. It really just came to me, and I'm so... anxious about this, because I love how it happened, and I hope you will love it too <3 (This whole story was inspired by yukitsubute writing me a message: *grumble* it's raining. - with my answer: Buy us some sunshine then :D)
“He won’t come, I know he won’t. Man, we should have re-scheduled that party and made it indoor.” Sho looks up at the sky above him. It’s raining like crazy. “Like someone can actually change the weather.”
Aiba helps him place a few huge umbrellas outside. “Sho-chan, it was worth a try, and we can always go back into the hospital’s gym and have our party there. I’ve prepared an alternative program.”
Aiba chuckles. “Yes.”
“Bless you,” Sho sighs out in relief. “So, let’s move our stuff inside and-“
“Don’t you want to wait a little longer?” Aiba asks in surprise. You said the owner of this shop will come at 1:30. It’s only a few minutes late. Who is that guy anyway?”
“Can’t tell you anything, I’m sorry.” Sho mumbles. In case that jerk of an owner won’t come, he will definitely expose him though and tell all the things he wants to hide. “Let’s just forget it,” he huffs impatiently when the sky gets lit up by a blizzard. “It’s really not worth the work to prepare everything in the rain and-“
“Just a moment please,” a voice interrupts him. Sho blinks in surprise, looking up. It’s the owner of that ominous shop, dressed in Capri pants and a beach-tank top. He is wearing sun glasses. Does this idiot believe by dressing like that the sun will appear?
The guy grins though. “Your resent is too obvious in your face, Sakurai-sensei.” He chuckles. “I’m dressing like this because it will be hot soon.”
To Sho’s surprise Matsumoto seems to be like a different man from the day he went to his shop last week. He was irritated, annoyed and impatient back then, now however he seems almost relaxed. Also there is some colour in his face, not like last week. It’s only now that Sho realizes how pale he actually was.
“Are you ready?” Jun asks, and smiles softly. His smile makes his face glow in a fascinating, beautiful way, and something inside Sho’s stomach jumps a little. What is with this guy?
“Ready, steady go,” Aiba beams, eyes gleaming in interest. “I don’t believe it at all that someone can make the sun shine, but I’m still curious.”
“Everyone says that the first time,” Matsumoto chuckles. “Listen, Sakurai-sensei, I’ll need to stay here for a while. Don’t worry, I won’t disturb anyone, I’ll be waiting at a far-away corner so that you can celebrate peacefully. But I need to regulate the sunshine for a while so that I’m sure everything goes according to the plan.”
“Of course,” Sho stutters, taken aback by Matsumoto’s friendly approach. “You don’t need to hide though. You can just join us, Matsumoto-san.”
“Ah.” Matsumoto makes a dismissive gesture with his hands. “Call me Jun. I’m used to being called by my first name anyways. In my world it’s usual not to be called by your surnames.” In his world? Sho is about to ask what he means, but Jun just chuckles. “I need to ask you to show me the money beforehand though, so that I’m sure you fulfilled your side of the deal.” Sho nods, and opens the envelope for the other to see what’s inside. Jun nods. “Alright. Can we start now?”
“Please.” Sho mumbles, exchanging an awkward glance with Aiba. Matsumoto, or rather Jun, is obviously confident, but still… how will he make the sun shine, and…
Sho isn’t sure what the items in Jun’s hands are, it seems like a bottle, with beautiful ornaments, glittering slightly, and inside there is a small ball that’s radiating in a dazzling yellow. Jun opens it, and for a moment nothing happens. Sho is almost inclined to laugh and make a teasing comment, and demand his money back, when the thunderstorm subsides all of a sudden. Sho frowns deeply. Is it just a coincidence or…
“It’s going to need a few minutes,” Jun explains quietly. “Otherwise it would be too suspicious. It looks more natural like this. First the thunderstorm will pass, the rain will stop and then the clouds will disappear.”
Aiba is sitting at one of the wet benches, obviously not caring that his clothes are getting wet like this and that it’s too cold to run around all wet on such a cold day. He just stares up at the sky, a look of amazement and horror in his eyes. Soon Sho joins him, because that damn Matsumoto Jun was right. The thunderstorm stops, the rain subsides, and with every passing minute the clouds disappear more and more, until the first ray of sun sparkles down on them. Sho throws a glance of shock at Jun who just chuckles. “It’s going to be hot,” he grins. “I’ve checked on the bottle yesterday after I obtained it, and there is some Sahara air in it. You might want to change your clothes.”
Sho is about to say something when one of the children suddenly runs outside, she pushes a wheelchair with another girl along.
“Is that her?” Jun wants to know. He looks stressed all of a sudden.
“Yes, that’s little Miki-chan in the wheelchair and her friend Mayu. Mayu is recovering well, gladly. But Miki…” Sho pauses, feeling how his heart clenches. “I know it shouldn’t affect me that much, I’m sorry. I’m her doctor, I should be used to cases like this, but…”
“You are human,” Jun says softly. “Be glad that you have a heart that beats and conscience that makes you sleep… or keeps you awake. It’s a wonderful thing.”
“Do you want to talk to her?” Sho asks mainly to hide his surprise by Jun’s kind words.
“No,” Jun says, sounding appalled all of a sudden. “By no means introduce me!”
“Why not?” Aiba asks in surprise. “She is a nice little girl, you don’t need to be afraid that she will be cheeky or annoying or-“
“That’s not it,” Jun huffs. “But… Sakurai-sensei, you remember the contract, don’t you?” When Sho nods, he continues. “The part about changing fates with someone else? And how it’s forbidden to wish to cure sickness?” Again Sho nods, now frowning slightly though. “If I meet such a sweet and pitiful girl, I might be seduced into doing something stupid,” Jun whispers in a low voice. “I would want to help of course, no ill intentions behind it. I might want to heal her, but by healing her, I would need to put her fate on someone else. And I can’t decide on whom. That’s the price of it. Another innocent person might die then, maybe another child, a baby, or a young adult who has his life before him just like little Miki. Or a grandmother. Do you understand? Who decides about life and death? I don’t want to do that. Would you? Play god and kill someone for the sake of saving someone? Is this person less worth just because you don’t know her or him?”
Sho’s mouth is opened in shock. “Jun-san,” he mumbles, not sure what he should say now. It’s a lot of information to take, and part of him wonders if it was actually the right decision to visit this shop and to run a deal with its mysterious owner. A person talking about fate, and says words like his world. He doesn’t have the time to continue his sentence though because Miki and Mayu reach them. “Sensei, a miracle,” Miki says in her quiet voice. “The sun!”
“Particularly for you, Miki-chan.” Sho twinkles. “I bet the sun wanted to see you as much as you wanted to see her.”
Miki smiles brightly before her gaze falls on Jun. She coughs. “Who is that?” she asks curiously.
“Ah, just a friend from my family,” Sho hears himself lie. Jun’s words are still ringing in his ears. He can’t. He doesn’t know what Jun is talking about, he knows there is more to this world than meets the eye, there is magic and stuff like that, but a different world? Still… no matter if he understands what Jun is talking about or not, Jun is right, he can’t kill someone off to help someone else. He just can’t. He is not a god. “Why don’t you girls help, Masaki-chan a little?” he offers. “He is still preparing the balloons.”
“Yes!” Mayu exclaims. “Let’s help!”
Sho watches the girls attending to Aiba and giggling around him. Something in his chest hurts so badly right now that he feels like fainting. Jun touches his shoulder affectionately. “You would have felt worse if you killed someone else,” he tells him softly. “Believe me. I’ve almost gone a similar way once. Just like most of us who have my ability did. You will never be able to live without guilt. It would haunt you every day, and ruin you and the relationships you have. You wouldn’t even be able to look at Miki-chan properly because of the knowledge that you did something so horrible.”
The party is a huge success. Jun was right, the weather is so warm that they are all running around in shorts and dresses, and Aiba can even prepare his barbecue and cook meat and all kind of fancy stuff for the little ones. On top of that the sea is warm enough now for some of the bolder and healthier kids to take a bath. Even Miki holds her feet into the water.
Jun has been here, but not here at the same time. Sometimes Sho sees him out of the corner of his eyes, but apparently he found his perfect strategy over the time to remain invisible to whoever doesn’t pay too much attention. To Sho’s surprise though Jun seems to look more and more tired the longer the afternoon goes.
He takes a plate and puts some teriyaki on it and some vegetables before he walks towards Jun. “Here,” he says and hands him the plate. “You look pale all of a sudden. I assume you haven’t eaten anything today?”
Jun smiles carefully. “Thank you. That’s nice of you. But my tiredness won’t go away from food, Sakurai-sensei.”
“Just call me Sho, please. After all you want me to call you Jun-san too.” Sho intervenes, and looks at Jun intensely. To his surprise although he has distinctive and strong features, he has soft eyes and a warm smile. Something inside Sho’s stomach jumps slightly. Again. Fucking hormones. “So, where does your tiredness come from? Iron deficiency? Low on blood pressure? I could make a check-up on you, if you want me to. I’m a children’s doctor, but it doesn’t mean I can’t work with grown-ups.”
Jun chuckles. “Thank you, but it’s nothing alike the things you mentioned,” he says. “I haven’t been sleeping well recently.”
Sho is working with kids, he knows when someone tells him a lie, especially when it’s about health issues. He frowns slightly now, checking Jun from head to toe. “Then how do your issues go away?”
“Not with medicine,” Jun admits, and to Sho’s surprise he blushes slightly. “But you don’t need to worry about it, Sho-san. I have some suppliers to heal me.”
Sho frowns deeply immediately. “You don’t do drugs, aren’t you? Because if you are, I-“
“Stop it,” Jun laughs. “Before you embarrass yourself. No, I don’t do drugs. But don’t you think that a person retrieving sunshine for you, might also be in need of specific treatments?”
Sho lets out a sigh. “Yes,” he says. “Though as a doctor I would really like to know what kind of weird treatment it is.”
“You don’t,” Jun smiles in an almost pained way. “Believe me there are lots of things connected to my work and to who I am you don’t want to know. You don’t want to know how I fulfil these orders, or what it does to me, or the consequences I face. You don’t want to know what it might do to others that miss your sunshine now. And you don’t want to know what cheap things I have to do to get back my life energy. And you know what?” His gaze softens. “It’s okay. Ignorance is the one of the biggest advantages a Human has, and it’s alright. Seeing the children smile is worth every discomfort I might have gone through. Besides-“ he twinkles. “We had a deal. You paid, you are following the contract. So do I.”
Around 4PM Jun decides that the weather is remaining steady. He tells Sho to immediately call him in case something unfortunate happens. Then he leaves, looking more tired than before. Sho watches how his figure becomes smaller and smaller the further he walks away. He didn’t come by car or by bike, it seems, but by foot, and to his surprise Sho feels a little worried about Jun, and his tired face, and the bags beneath his eyes.
“You have been there the whole afternoon, haven’t you?” Nino sits behind Jun, clasping his shoulders. Jun has just dropped by at his place, and Nino knew immediately that he has overstrained his energy again. “You should have left earlier, J,” he continues his scolding.
“I’m alright,” Jun mumbles tiredly. “I just needed a place to safely rest.”
“Well,” Nino kisses the top of his head, as always feeling responsible for Jun’s health. He is like a little brother to him, he needs to watch out for him properly. Not because he is useful, but because Nino deeply cares for him. And in their world he is the only one not treating Jun like a possession. “You are always welcome here.” He checks on Jun’s face carefully. “You are easily getting pale recently, J. Faster than usual. You are low on energy in general, aren’t you?”
Jun shrugs. “Seems like it.”
“Since the last time you went to the palace, right? For your annual duty-visit?” Nino continues, trying to fit the puzzle pieces together. “They are responsible for it, aren’t they?” he suddenly huffs. “Oh my god, Jun, why didn’t you tell me? What did the High Castle punish you for?”
“Nothing,” Jun says tiredly.
“Nothing? And why did they limit your life energy further?” Nino huffs.
For a while Jun stays quiet, until Nino shakes his shoulders. He is tired, which is probably why he gives in faster than usual. “They want me to come home. And to quit my shop here, leave this world.”
Nino sighs. The same old story, he should have known it. “Jun,” he says softly. “Why don’t you ask Ohno-san to provide you with more energy?” he asks carefully. “He might do it, if you ask him directly and if you visit him and ask for it. You-“
“No,” Jun shouts out. He is up his feet immediately, shaking off Nino’s hands. “I’ll never ask him. Not even when I’m at the blink of dying I will ask him.” With that he stomps off into Nino’s living room. To Nino’s relief he is too weak to run away for real. The last time he brought up Ohno’s name, he actually did run, and Nino wasn’t able to find or contact him for a freaking week.
“Don’t be mad at me, J,” he begs as he follows him. “I’m just worried. Really. I want you to finally have peace with Ohno-san. I don’t mean to push you or anything. You know, I hate them just as much as you do.”
Jun shakes his head, lips pressed against each other tightly. “Fine, but don’t bring up his name ever again. Ever.”
“I’m not sure if I can promise you something like that,” Nino admits honestly. “But I can try.” He shows Jun a soothing smile, when Jun glares at him. “Always so stubborn,” he smirks. “Well, if they are using sly and pathetic tricks to stop you from living your own life, we can do the same, right?”
“What do you mean?” Jun wants to know in surprise.
“I mean that they won’t ever go so far to kill me and make me stop helping you.” Nino slips closer, smirking teasingly. His fingers slip underneath Jun’s shirt. “It’s a pleasure for me to serve my personal proud princess,” he jokes, grinning when Jun blushes slightly at his teasing.
“Do you have to call me like that!?”
“What?” Nino grins. “You are stubborn and proud like a princess after all. And so high maintenance. It’s a good nickname.” Before Jun can complain, he hugs him tightly, his lips roaming over his neck. “Let me give you back as much energy as I can give you.”
A/N: Aiba made his first appearance! And I promise he will be a cool character. Nino's character will come more forward with next chapter ;-) Oh, and we had a mention of Ohno, though that didn't go too well did it? (he will also have a proper appearance soon!)
Sorry for the random name-dropping, like High Castle for example. But it will be explained later on. For now we know that Jun is... getting punished (?) for something (?). And that he doesn't want to go home or can't? (It's probably too early to ask you what you think)
I hope you'll like the suspense side of this story <3