Pairing: Junba, Sakumiya, Ohno/?, others possible
Rating: up to R
Genre: AU, romance
Plot: Although they are both young students at college, both the youngest brothers within three, and both part of high society, there are worlds between Jun and Masaki. Jun comes from a rich, traditional and conservative family, while Masaki's family gained wealth and fame by luck. Masaki is cheerful and enjoys life to the fullest. Jun is unusually earnest and distanced. Although part of the same glamorous world, their paths would have never crossed, they would have never even talked, but then Masaki's brothers decide he needs to catch up with his studies, and hire Jun as his tutor. With being so different it seems they will never get closer, until they realize that they both hold a sad secret.
Note: This is dedicated to yukitsubute. I had (and still have) a lot of fun writing this, and I wonder where it takes me to. I can promise you some fluff, some fun and some drama (the usual ^^) There might even be some hurt & comfort.
It’s so heavy, his eyelids are so freaking heavy, like there is weight attached to them and pulls them down. He still feels sick and the sight in front of him so dark. He tries to open his eyes, but they hurt. Everything hurts. He can feel someone touching his hand sometimes, and he hears voices. People calling his name.
Annoying. It’s so loud.
He can hear a chuckle. “Seems like he is awake. Come on, Kazu.” A squeeze to his hand.
“Masaki?” he mumbles. Did he say his previous complaint out loud? He forces his eyes to open only to close them again. The light is so freaking intense.
He squeezes his eyes a bit, until he adapts to the light and his surroundings. He sees Masaki, an expression of relief on his face, and Sho, looking equally relieved.
“Thank god,” Sho mumbles.
Nino feels like his whole body is bruised, it probably is. “I don’t even know what happened.”
“You ran away, and when I found you, you were surrounded by a bunch of hooligans. I called the police.” He pauses. “I found out that they already harassed you before. You should have told me. I've put their friend into jail for being abusive towards his wife, I guess they wanted to get back to me for it.”
“You are awake,” Satoshi intervenes when he comes into the room, looking relieved… and worried.
Nino frowns. “Where is Ryo-kun?” he suddenly asks. Satoshi and Sho exchange a glance. “No seriously, tell me. He is just in this because of me.”
“This is not your fault,” Satoshi says, like he knows he will blame himself.
“Someone please fill me in,” Nino sits up, his heart racing in panic. The others seem to immediately catch his discomfort because Sho is at his side immediately, forcing him to lie back down.
“He is still in intensive care,” he explains hastily, biting down on his lips.
“They got him so bad?” Nino asks in horror. “But he is the better fighter, and…” his voice trails off when he realizes that Satoshi and Sho exchange a glance, AGAIN!
It’s Masaki this time that finally shows some common sense and fills him in. “That was bad too, but what made him break down are his lungs. Apparently he was sick as a child once.”
“What?” Nino blinks.
“We didn’t know either,” Sho explains. “Seems like he and his family come from a very poor background. He is an orphan, and as a kid he needed a kidney transplant. On top of that it seems like he had a tuberculosis as a child. It got treated, but he was diagnosed pretty late, which is why his lungs remained weak.”
“He didn’t tell anyone though,” Satoshi explains. “His sister told us. She is here too. They have all the same chronical kidney-disease. Hers didn’t break out. Ryo got a surgery. But their little brother didn’t make it.”
YOLO. Nino thinks. You only live once. It’s what Ryo tells them all the time with this dorky smile of his. He is right.
“She also said that Ryo told her these guys already harassed you once because they saw the both of you with Sho.”
“I’m sorry,” Nino says quietly. “I wished I had known.”
“It’s not your fault,” Sho says with emphasis. “You couldn’t have known. I’m just glad you made it out alive and with all your limbs attached to your body.” He turns around. “Could you leave us alone for a moment?”
Satoshi blinks but nods. “Sure, come Masaki. Let’s go to Shingo and Jun and tell them that Nino is awake. And then let’s see if we get some news from Yui-chan. She is still talking to the doctors about her brother.”
“I hope Ryo will be alright,” Masaki says quietly.
“I’m sure he will,” Satoshi says with a firm nod. “He has a strong mind.”
When the door closes behind them Sho turns back to look at Nino, pulling a chair to his bed so that he could sit down there. He takes Nino’s hand into his and it feels weirdly comfortable to feel his warm fingers around his hand. “I wish you would have let me finish my sentence back then,” he says.
Nino sighs slightly. “I guess I wasn’t ready to face the truth,” he says. “I know in your eyes I’m a little kid, probably looking like a 14-year old.”
Sho chuckles. “At first you did. Now I don’t even know why I thought that way. You have a youthful look, but you definitely don’t look like a child anymore. The way you talk, dress and behave is not childlike.”
“But?” Nino asks carefully, hope swelling in his chest. He shouldn’t feel that way though. Just because Sho eyes him as an adult it doesn’t need to mean anything.
“But we drank too much yesterday night and I didn’t want you to regret anything,” Sho points out. “You are young and I am not, and you have many options in terms of a partner. I wanted you to be sure of what you want. I’m hell of a difficult person, you know that already. I have to work on my relationship with my family and with the people around me. I have problems voicing my feelings. I cannot promise you much at the moment because I am who I am.”
“Wait a moment,” Nino sits up a bit, wincing at the pain. Does that mean Sho does want to start something, albeit wanting to take it slow and let it progress step by step?
“I also don’t like drama much,” Sho points out. “So, if there is a problem, you are better off telling me directly and not throwing a tantrum.”
Nino laughs. “You are the middle-brother of Jun-kun and Takuya-san,” he says. “And they are predestined for drama!”
“Exactly why I don’t need it in the other part of my private life,” Sho points out. “Listen, you are young and it might happen that you change your mind about your choices, about me. And I don’t want that to happen. I want you to focus on your life and study, and once you have settled in your life and know exactly what you want, then…” His voice trails off but Nino understands him anyway.
Nino lies back in his bed, eyeing the ceiling. What now? Sho told him in his own way that he would like to give them a chance but not immediately and not forced. He can live with that. Of course he is impatient and just wants to lie in Sho’s arm and be mushy and cuddly like Masaki and Jun, but on the other side, he isn’t quite that kind of person. Whenever he sees Jun and Masaki holding hands and pine for each other, he isn’t sure if he should find it cute or throw up. He hates mushy. He likes to have his privacy, play his games, have his alone time too. In a way he probably will fit Sho pretty well. “Are we going for lunch next week?”
Sho blinks, looking dumbfounded for a moment. “Sorry?”
“You have been getting on my nerves about this steak restaurant,” Nino says dryly. “Just so you know by the way. There is a catch to me too. I’m easily getting irritated when someone is too clingy and I’m straight-forward. I hate mushy stuff, so if you ever invite me to a romantic dinner, at least use Mario-candles.”
“Who is Mario?” Sho asks.
Nino smirks. “See, you need to catch up with my hobbies,” he points out mercilessly. “While I figure out my life as you said, you better figure it out too. I mean my life, not yours. I’ll give you a list of things I like.”
Sho still looks confused, then however he chuckles. “I’ll message you the restaurant,” he says casually. “I’ve gotten so used to you giving me advice. Probably can’t do without.”
Nino’s heart makes a tentative happy jump. That’s a good sign. Sho eyeing him as someone he can take serious, someone whom he takes advice from is probably the hugest step forward he can take.
Jun already waves at them before they reach the waiting room. By his cheerful expression Satoshi’s feels a stone drop from his shoulders. “He is alright?”
“Alright enough,” Jun says with a smile. “They apparently pumped the blood out of his lungs and he is steady again. Supposed to take it slow though.”
His sister Yui appears right behind him, bowing slightly towards Satoshi. “Thank you for everything. If it wasn’t for your friend Sho-san and the first aid you did, he wouldn’t have made it.”
Shingo has remained silent, then however he looks at Satoshi directly. “Why don’t you go and talk to him?” he says. “If he is in the right state of mind and health of course.”
“It’s Ryo we are talking about,” Yui says with a sigh. “He is probably about to jump up and do some music. He has never been someone who would rest properly.”
“See, this is a good moment” Shingo urges, but keeps it a secret what he thinks is a good moment. Satoshi knows the glance he is showing him though and what it means - Shingo has probably understood a lot more than he said before. Go and see him, is what his glance tells him, and whatever it is, get it off your chest.
“If it’s okay for you,” Satoshi asks Yui.
She just smiles brightly. The sunshine smile. All of them have it. Ryo has it. Yui has it. And… Satoshi sighs, Shingo is right, he should finally face the truth and the past.
When he enters Ryo’s room, said young man is sitting in his bed, arguing with one of the nurses about how he really feels well enough to walk around although there are little tubes attached to him. Satoshi chuckles. “I’ll take over,” he tells the visibly relieved nurse. Poor woman. Has to face this brat and Nino at the same day.
Ryo smiles brightly at him. If it wasn’t for their surroundings and the machines he is attached to, it would seem like nothing is off. Satoshi isn’t quite sure what to say, but Ryo beats him to it. He points at the bag, leaning against the wall. “I asked Yui-chan to bring this along,” he says. “Give it to me please.”
Satoshi nods, taking the bag to hand it to Ryo, and a chair to sit down on. He should probably ask how Ryo feels, but he takes a wild guess that questions like these aren’t important for Ryo right now. Ryo opens the bag, revealing a box. “Satoshi-san,” he starts. “There is no need for you to feel guilty for what happened. You aren’t responsible for my little brother’s death. No one is. He was sick, more so than myself. I know you think you are responsible for it, but you aren’t.”
Satoshi takes the box Ryo hands him. “I left him alone,” he says with tears in his eyes. “I knew he would die. I knew there was no chance for him. He needed a friend, and I was his friend, still I was too weak to be there when his life was over. I couldn’t even go to the funeral.”
“He never held a grudge against you,” Ryo tells him. “Never. In fact he felt really thankful that you were at his side for this short amount of time. You were a kid yourself, and to be honest, even most adults ran from the truth back then. He didn’t see it like you betrayed him or left him alone. He never thought that way.”
“But I do,” Satoshi says quietly. “Up to now, I feel so guilty.”
“You know from the kids that joined this school projects back then,” Ryo says all of a sudden. “You were the only one holding up to its end.”
Satoshi looks up in surprise. “What?”
Ryo chuckles. “No one managed to stand so long. You however remained at Shin-chan’s side almost to the end.”
“Shin-chan? So that’s his name?”
“Yes, Shinichi.” Ryo smiles. “Take the box with you. It is yours. I promised him that when I meet you again, I would give it to you.”
Satoshi looks up in surprise. “You promised…” he pauses. “Is it really a coincidence that we met?”
Ryo looks away for a moment, letting out a sigh. “You donate each year.”
“You told me yourself, but I knew it beforehand. Someone donated a huge sum to the hospital we stayed at each year.” He pauses. “We have no supporters, so I had a feeling it was Shin-chan’s lost friend. Then I kind of flirted with some nurses, got your name and the rest is history…”
“You applied for the job because you knew Sho and I are friends?” Satoshi asks in surprise. “You could have just come out and talked to me!”
“Could I?” Ryo frowns. “I wasn’t sure if you really remembered or if you wanted to remember. I didn’t know anything about the young teenager that helped my brother through his darkest times.”
Makes sense. Ryo probably wanted to check him out first. “And Masaki? You befriended him.”
“That was a coincidence,” Ryo’s smile falters slightly. “I didn’t know he was your brother until I saw you two together. Fate’s funny sometimes. I hope he won’t be mad and think that I took advantage of him.”
Satoshi chuckles. “I highly doubt he would think that way.”
“He really likes stray cats,” Ryo says quietly. “In the end I’m also just one of the stray cats.”
Satoshi stays quiet for a while, his gaze shifting down to the box. He opens it carefully, wondering if he should do it when he is alone, but he figures he can do it with little-Shin’s brother around. There are pictures in there, photographs, crafts, a letter. All dedicated to him. He tears up the instant he sees it. “I want to help you,” he says.
“Wow, where did that come from now?” Ryo laughs. “Yui and I don’t need help. The apartment was help enough. I didn’t give you this box so that you would feel guilty.”
“I still want to help you,” Satoshi urges, realizing himself that this is truly what he wants. He couldn’t be there for Shin when he died, but he can be there for his family.
“Satoshi-san,” Ryo says earnestly now. “You are exasperating me. I told you, you don’t need to feel guilty. When you didn’t visit Shin anymore, I reassured him that you still care for him and that he shouldn’t worry. You can also keep a good friend in your heart, that’s why he made all this stuff in the box for you.”
“I know, and I understand,” Satoshi says. “Still, I want to do something. Shin was really important for me and for many of my decisions. I didn’t know he had family. Had I known, I would have looked for you and watched over you years ago. I want to do it now. Your physical condition isn’t the strongest, you should cut your hours at Sho’s work place and concentrate on your music.”
“I’m not good enough to live off my music,” Ryo argues.
“Masaki thinks you are.”
“Masaki thinks everyone is great!” Ryo intervenes.
“Yes, maybe. Still all of his friends are great. It’s true that he is looking for stray cats, but all of his cats are unique if you want to say it like that. Listen…” Satoshi takes a deep breath. “I don’t want you or Yui-san to lose your independence or anything. Working for Sho is good for you future, because let’s face it, it’s a stable job, but let me help you to focus on your music. I know an artist when I see one, so believe me. What kind of music do you like?”
“Rock,” Ryo says quietly. “But not the loud one. The more silent, deep rock. I like to write my own lyrics and compose my own songs. I don’t like those pointless happy songs. And I like focusing on the guitar as my sole instrument.”
“Fine, then do it like that. I’ll talk to Sho.”
Ryo lets out a sigh. “You are really persistent, aren’t you?”
Satoshi smirks. “My whole family is. You have no idea how persistent we are.”
He can’t explain though how persistent they are because the doctor comes in and shoos him out of the room. Ryo needs rest. Once outside he sees Sho and Jun. Much to his surprise he sees Takuya too all of a sudden. He hasn’t expected him here because he is supposed to work. Satoshi halts in his movements, not sure what to do. It seems like a private moment between the brothers, and he feels like he shouldn’t disturb it. He feels bad for hiding and listening, though it’s just an accident and he didn’t mean to. Takuya and Sho exchange a glance then Takuya hands Jun an envelope. “This is for you,” he says quietly. “Sho and I found it last week, and there is no time for us to wait any longer. We don’t want to hide it from you. We wanted to give it to you when you are at home, but there seems to be no right moment. There is always someone interrupting us.”
Sho licks his lips nervously. “It’s from our father.”
“And addressed to me?” Jun asks in surprise.
“Seems like he hid things from you,” Sho mumbles. “Possessions of your mother”
Jun looks appalled first but somehow he doesn’t really look surprised. It’s like he expected his father to have done shady things. He just throws a glance into the envelop, growing pale but not looking all that surprised. “Thank you,” he mumbles. “For giving it to me.”
Satoshi can’t help but wonder what happened that suddenly so many old wounds were opened. Whatever these threes' old wounds were, he is sure they encountered something that makes them remember. Just like it happened with himself through his meetings with Yui and Ryo.
Jun looks so good. So freaking good. It’s hanami festival, and of course Masaki set a date to go out with Jun. They wanted to be polite first and invite the others too but all their friends politely declined. Nino says he is going out with a friend, whoever that friend is. Ryo, Kame and Kazama said they wanted a no-couple-invited evening. No lovebirds allowed. And Shun and Kiko were both on a date, not with each other of course.
Leaves him with Jun alone, which to be honest is perfect. They meet often but they don’t have that many official dates. And today is one of these official dates. They are both dressed in a kimono, because tradition, and Masaki wonders if Jun has ever looked hotter. Damn, he looks so hot, he wants to push him against the tree they are having their picnic at and take him. Or have Jun take him. Or…whatever, just someone do something!
“Should we try one of these?” Jun asks all of a sudden and points at some of the attractions. There is a swing carousel, and stands where one could win something, stands with food and…
“I’d love to,” Masaki says immediately, deciding he should stop daydreaming and enjoy every moment he has with Jun. This is their first real date after all. “No one’s watching by the way,” he says carefully. “Before we go, can I have a kiss?”
Jun chuckles and instead of answering bends forward to kiss him softly.
The rest of the evening they spend with doing all kinds of couple things. First Jun tries to catch a fish and looks so cool while doing it. He gives it Masaki afterwards. Then Masaki tries to shoot one of the fluffy bears for Jun. He needs twenty tries, and only wins one of the plush doggies, but Jun looks so happy about it. Then they eat tons of food from the stands, including apples in sugar gloss and cotton candy. And of course they drive with one of the boats over the lake, run through the horror house – both of them scared to death – and then take a ride with the swing carousel. They even sing karaoke.
It’s a ten out of ten dating wise. Not that Masaki has any comparison because all he had up to now was random sex without any dates, but he is sure he and Jun would hit a full score anyways.
Jun looks up at the sky now and he looks so out of this world that Masaki’s heart clenches for a moment, like he will disappear all of a sudden and never come back. For a moment he remembers the envelope Takuya gave Jun in the hospital. He saw it coincidentally when he wanted to look for Satoshi, but he hasn’t dared to ask Jun about it, fearing he would go too much into his privacy if he did so. “It’s going to rain,” Jun says all of a sudden.
Masaki wants to laugh at that because it’s been a warm and starry night, when a sudden thunder can be heard. He looks up at the sky too, seeing how it’s covered with dark clouds. He grabs Jun’s hand. “Come,” he calls out. “Let’s go to your place.”
Jun chuckles, and they both start running, not minding when the first teardrops come down on them. They keep running all the way, laughing like idiots when the rain gets more and basically washes down on them. Sometimes they stop and kiss because in this weather no one could make them out anyways, and Masaki feels happy he can hold Jun’s hand all the way.
They are panting and giggling when they reach Jun’s house. Sho opens the door for them. He has been out too, something about a musical, and apparently came home an hour ago. He wears a ridiculous yellow apron now. “Are you trying to find your inner housewife,” Jun teases. “You are not going to set the kitchen on fire, are you?”
Sho smacks him playfully and pretends to threaten them with the spoon in his hand. “You,” he scolds. “I’m just nice enough to make you some hot soup. Talking about,” he looks all strict all of a sudden. “If you two aren’t in the bath to warm up within the next hour, I’ll get really uncomfortable! Have you been in the rain all the time?”
Apparently Jun decides it’s better not to answer too specifically to the last question. Sho would probably scold them more if they told him they actually walked and run the whole way back through the rain. “We’ll go and take a bath immediately,” Jun says, and apparently Sho is pretty pleased with his nice behaviour.
“I’ll put dry clothes out for you,” he says.
Much to Masaki’s surprise Jun leads him to the bathroom in the fourth floor. “I didn’t know you have that many,” Masaki says.
Jun chuckles. “There is one in each floor and two in the second and third, so that we all have our own. But this one is special.”
Masaki understands the moment Jun opens the door to it and lets him inside first. First of all, it’s not part of the fourth floor anymore but rather leads to a separated area that’s built right into the hill behind their house, and only connects to the fourth floor. Second, it’s not a bathroom, it’s a bath. Traditional, like he would expect it in an onsen. The ceiling is out of glass so that they can see the night sky, and the water is damping hot. It even leads outside. “This is a swimming pool,” Masaki breaths out.
“It’s not,” Jun chuckles. “It’s a traditional bath. My family has one since years.”
“I can’t believe you are only showing me this now,” Masaki exclaims and gets rid of his clothes immediately. Jun blushes slightly. Oops, he forgot. Jun told him once he has never kissed someone before, and…well… he assumes he has never seen someone naked too. Masaki decides not to make a huge thing out of it so that they won’t get more embarrassed. It seems to help because when he gets into the water, Jun seems to be relaxed all of a sudden and follows him swiftly. Masaki tries not to stare, but damn, Jun has a nice body. He is pretty toned, probably because he goes jogging regularly, he has a rather small waist and long pretty legs. Masaki is sure he hasn’t seen anyone that beautiful before, and he has had quite a share of hot guys in his bed, but Jun is different.
“You are staring,” Jun points out teasingly.
Masaki laughs. “Obviously. Because you are freaking hot.”
“You are just blinded,” Jun says, but comes closer. The water swaps around them when Jun wraps his arms around Masaki’s neck. Masaki answers immediately, wrapping his own arms around Jun’s waist and pulling him closer against his body. Feeling his warm, wet body against his feels so fulfilling. He has never thought that this evening would lead him to holding Jun in his arms, naked and pretty willing to make out with him.
“Jun,” he mumbles softly, kissing Jun’s neck. “I’m not blinded. You are wonderful.”
“You are wonderful,” Jun returns and kisses his shoulder.
Masaki lets his hands slide down Jun’s back, tentatively feeling the soft skin beneath his fingers, wanting to cherish it all. He strokes Jun’s hips and chest before surging forward to kiss him heatedly. It’s not like the soft kisses they shared many times before. It’s like he breaks a spell because their kiss gets suddenly more demanding and heated, and his own movements get bolder. He presses Jun against the edge of the bath, his hand moving between his legs, when he suddenly feels it underneath his hand on Jun’s chest. Jun’s heart is beating like crazy, his fingers around Masaki’s neck basically digging into the flesh.
Masaki’s senses are back immediately, he moves away from Jun, noting the terrified expression in Jun’s eyes. “Jun, I’m sorry, I-“
“I’m so sorry,” Jun blurts out all of a sudden, his voice vibrating in embarrassment and fear. He looks so broken all of a sudden that Masaki just wants to hug him. “I don’t… I mean, it’s so long ago. It doesn’t matter anymore. I love you, and… Why does it still matter?”
It suddenly dawns on Masaki. It finally makes sense. “Jun,” he says softly. So that’s why, he thinks, this whole detached attitude. The whole serious mask was probably just to protect himself. “It’s not your fault. I went too fast. We don’t need to do anything. Don’t apologize.”
“But I want you,” Jun says quietly. “It shouldn’t matter anymore.”
Masaki takes his hand. “It always matters,” he says earnestly. “Who did it to you?”
A/N: So, some answers, right? And at least we have tiny solution for Nino and Sho. And we know Satoshi's background now and what happened when he was a teenager.
Now it will be Jun's and Masaki's turns...