zeon_avalanthe: (hidarime)
[personal profile] zeon_avalanthe
Title : Refrain ~Bokutachi No Monogatari~
Author : [info]zeon_avalanthe
Rating : PG
Genre : AU ; Angst ; Friendship
Fandom : Arashi
Pairing : Sakuraiba (Friendship)
Disclaimer : Everyone knows that I don't own any of those boys, sadly.. The title, is again, shamelessly taken from one of my favorite Arashi's song, Refrain..
Summary : Sho had been living a normal college life with his roommate slash bestfriend, Masaki.. Until he found out the dark secret lies behind those smiles..

Chapter 5

“I will leave this house, but why ?” Shin asked in bewilderement.

“Don’t make such a face, Shin.” Ninomiya said with a small chuckle. “I will just be sending you to learn more about the outside world. You will live in this place I had prepared for you, and I will enroll you to a school. You are still free to return here whenever you want to, but I still want you to see how dark this world really are by seeing it with your own eyes.”

“I see.” Shin said weakly, face downcast.

“Don’t look so sad. You’re still my boy no matter where you are.” Ninomiya told him as he reached out a hand to ruffle his hair. “You’ve grown a lot, Shin. Your height almost surpass me now. And to think that only yesterday I cradle you in my arms and read you some night-time tales.”

“I won’t stay a kid forever, Ninomiya-sama.” Shin responded with a smile, before he sighed deeply. “Very well, Sir. I will do as you said. I promise I will make you proud.”

“You already did.” Ninomiya gave Shin one last pat before retreating his hand. “But I’m sure you will make me more proud in the future.”

---

Shin looked out from his apartment window and sighed. It’d been two years since he last left Ninomiya’s mansion. But instead of seeing the darkness of this world like Ninomiya told him, he found rainbow and white fluffy clouds instead. Especially after meeting him and those other people around him, he felt like the world he envisioned from Ninomiya’s words was nothing but a delusion. Out here, he felt like he was stripped from the Shin persona he had built in order to please Ninomiya and he found himself laughing and smiling from the bottom of his heart as somebody else. It felt like he was betraying Ninomiya by forgetting his identity, who he really is, but it happened so naturally that Shin found himself being drowned inside it.

“I just don’t know what’s right anymore...” He whispered to himself, knowing that no one will have the answer to it.

A sound of the all too familiar ringtone brought him back from his reverie as Shin quickly answer the call without even have to look at the caller ID.

“Hello ? Yeah, I’m good now.” Shin waited for the caller to speak before replying, “Sounds great ! I’ll be there soon ! Wait for me, ‘kay ?”

Shin hang up, a wide smile replacing his troubled look a moment ago. He had decided, that he will take care of things when he has to. For now, he simply want to enjoy life as much as he could.

***

“Sho-chan ? Are you free this Thursday ?” Masaki poked his head into Sho’s room in which the occupant is currently putting off the scarf around his neck.

“I’m sorry, Masaki. The manager told me I have to come for work this Thursday. He said he needed all the help he need especially on Christmas Eve. After that, my parents told me to have dinner with them at home. Why ? Do you want to go somewhere ?” Sho asked, a frown on his face.

“I see.” Masaki said, clearly showing his disappointment, but quickly cover it with a smile. “It’s nothing. Good luck on your part-time then !”

Masaki then fled the room and enter his own, a pout slowly forming as he lied on his bed.

“Stupid, Sho-chan ! Thursday is my birthday, he should keep that day open at least !” Masaki mumbled in annoyance as he rolled to the side. “Why did he took that part-time again ? It’s not like Sho-chan is having difficulty with money or something.”

Masaki pulled his plushie and spoke to it as if it could listen to him.

“But it’s not like I can force him to spend his Christmas Eve with me, right ? And he also said he need to go to his parents’ house after his job, too. He doesn’t seem to remember that it’s my birthday anyway.” Masaki rambled more. “I guess this year I could only spend my birthday with Kazama-pon, eh ? I will sooo make him pay for me !”

Masaki grinned mischiviously but the grin faltered as soon as it came.

“But it would be different without Sho-chan...” He sighed as he hug the dog plushie tight and close his eyes. “Oyasuminasai.”

***

“Master, could you please reconsider ?”

Ninomiya snapped his head almost immediately.

“What do you mean by ‘reconsider’, Shin ?” His eyes glinted dangerously, but his voice still strangely calm.

Shin gulped down his saliva nervously.

“The police has sniffed on us lately. Don’t you think we should take more careful steps now ?” Shin tried.

“And whose fault do you think it was ?” Ninomiya shot back as he walked closer to where Shin is. “Remember, Shin, who saved you when the world turned their eyes from you ? Who saved you from that hell and raised you as if you're my own ? Are you saying that you disagree with me now ? Your saviour ? The one and only righteous being you should listen to ?”

Shin flinched at the tone the man is using.

“No, Ninomiya-sama. Of course not. If that was what you wish for, this loyal servant of yours will do whatever it takes to make it true.” Shin placed a hand on his chest and gave the man a deep bow.

“Good.” Ninomiya said after a while. “That’s my boy. Now leave, before I change my mind.”

Shin bowed one last time before taking his leave. Once he’s far, he let out a long sigh.

“You saved me from that hell indeed, Ninomiya-sama.” He spoke to himself. “Only to shove me into another hell.”

***

“Kazama-pon ! Let’s go to one last bar !” Masaki exclaimed drunkenly as he dragged Kazama away.

“Aiba-chan ! It’s enough already !” Kazama tried to pulled the taller guy back. “It’s late already and I think you’ve drunk enough. Let’s just go home now, okay ?”

“But there will be no one even if I go home now.” Masaki mumbled sadly as his whole figure suddenly slumped down. “There is no meaning of going home if no one waits for you.”

“Aiba-chan.” Kazama sigh deeply as Masaki suddenly dragged him again.

“That’s why ! Let’s go partying until morning !”

But Masaki failed to bring Kazama further when his body constricted and he suddenly jumped to the side and throw his stomach’s contents up.

“Oh, Aiba-chan.” Kazama sighed again as he helped Masaki up. “Let’s just go home for now, okay ? You’re a mess.”

“But- but-“

“Look, let’s make it up tomorrow, okay ? You need to go home now.” Kazama said in s final tone and Masaki could only let the younger man to lead him inside a taxi which drive them to Masaki’s apartment.

Kazama slowly helped Masaki back to his apartment, fishing the key from his pants’ pocket and lock the door back once they’re inside. He ushered Masaki to go inside first while he fussed over their shoes. Masaki simply shrugged as he walked to the livingroom.

To his surprise, as soon as he stepped inside and turned on the lamp, a loud sound of party crackers are echoed in his ears.

“Happy birthday, Masaki !”

Masaki widened his eyes in surprise and look around to see Sho, along with some of their friends from University welcoming him with huge smiles. A big banner of ‘Happy birthday, Masaki’ hanged on the wall behind them, and Masaki noticed how they have decorated the whole livingroom with balloons and coloured papers.

“You guys ! Did you prepare these all for me ?!” He asked in awe.

“Of course ! We asked Kazama to keep you away for a while as we did the decorations. You took longer than we thought, though.” YokoYu said excitedly as he lead Masaki to sit on the couch.

“He insisted to ‘go to one last shop’ every single time. He was so depressed that no one but me wished him a happy birthday, you see.” Kazama came from the front door and quickly took the beer can from the table. “It was such a trouble to persuade him to hurry and go home.”

“Phew ! Must have been a nuisance.” Hina commented while wiping the imaginary sweat from his head. “Anyway, hurry and blow the candles, Aiba-chan ! I’m so eager to eat Sho-kun’s self-baked chocolate cake. Worry not ! I’ve prepared some medicine just in case we got some food poisoning after eating his cake !”

“Hey !” Sho nudged Hina on the ribs, clearly offended by the comment.

“It’s okay, Sho-chan. I’m sure it will be okay !” Masaki said encouragingly before blowing the candles YokoYu just lit which resulted with another cheers of ‘Happy birthday !’ from the guys.

“Let’s dig in !” Hina said enthusiastically as he swiftly cut the cakes into several pieces, taking his own portion and taste the cake. “Sho-kun ! It’s too sweet !” He complained as soon as the fork entered his mouth.

“Eh ? Really ? I practice hard for this and I made sure I didn’t mess up.” Sho said nervously as he tried on his own portion of cake. “Eek ! You’re right ! I guess I put too many sugar.”

“Don’t mind, Sho-chan~ I think it’s delicious !” Masaki said happily as he chewed on his cake.

“Yikes ! Aiba-chan ! How could you eat it so normally ?” YokoYu said as he scrunched his face at Masaki who took another cut of the cake to his mouth.

“It’s delicious.” Masaki shrugged. “And I always love sweets anyway.”

***

“So you lied to me about those part-time job stuffs and actually went for a baking class instead ?” Masaki asked as he and Sho tidying up the messy living room the next morning. The other three immediately fled as soon as they woke up, clearly running away from the cleaning up duty.

“Yeah. Something like that.” Sho said with a shrug. “I remembered you telling me last year that you wished I could at least bake so I could make your birthday cake.”

“I did ?” Masaki asked again, face contorted in confusion. “I don’t remember.”

“You were half-sleeping, and drunk too. Of course you won’t remember.” Sho snorted at the memory. “But because you’re drunk and half-asleep, I believe that was your real feeling. That’s why I worked my ass off in that baking class, you know !”

“Sho-chan...”

Sho turned around to find Masaki looking at him tearfully.

“You’re the best !” Masaki yelled excitedly before plunging onto Sho and latched his body tight. “And I thought you don’t remember about my birthday.”

“If I said I remember, that would ruin the surprise, won’t it ?” Sho said softly as he caress Masaki’s hair gently. “Now get off, will you ? We still have so many cleaning to do.”

Masaki pulled back from his death hug on Sho and wiped his face on the his sleeve.

“Don’t cry, Masaki.” Sho said with an amused look. “It’s Christmas ! We should be happy !”

“I am happy.” Masaki pouted as he wiped his face one last time before turning his back on Sho. “I am too happy that the tears came out.”

Sho smiled at the soft remark Masaki made. Sometimes, Masaki is just too cute to resist. Actually, there was another reason as to why Sho tried so hard in his baking class. Ever since Matsuoka-senpai’s death, Masaki is less hyper than he used to. Sho often caught him staring blankly at nothing, and he can’t help but notice the ugly circles around Masaki’s eyes. Masaki must have find it hard to sleep lately, and it worried Sho. That’s why, at least for a short while, Sho wanted to bring the smile back to Masaki’s face, and he wanted Masaki to forget everything at least for a short while. And he was glad his plan worked.

“The cake failed, though.” Sho whispered to himself at remembering how Masaki happily munched on his cake despite the overly-sweet taste. While it was true that Masaki has a sweet tooth, even Sho knows that the sweetness of his cake was simply making it distasteful. Masaki surely only ate it to respect Sho’s effort.

“It was really delicious, you know.” Masaki’s voice is suddenly heard and Sho turned back to make sure he wasn’t imagining thing.

“I didn’t eat it just because I pity Sho-chan, but because it was truly delicious.” Masaki said again, a huge smile on his face. “Because to me, the sweetness tasted like Sho-chan’s love !”

And Sho could only hide his face in embarassment, knowing how red his cheeks are now.

“And I love Sho-chan too !”

~~~tbc
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