[identity profile] stormymood.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] arashi_exchange
A piece of rainbow for [livejournal.com profile] sky_fish7



Title: Love is not scripted
Pairing: Sakumiya
Rating/Warnings: PG
Summary: Sho was a writer who had a revenge. He didn’t want to miss the chance to lose what's ‘going to be a source of happiness’ by his revenge.
Notes: Thank you so much to my senpai, also to my other awesome senpai who came at last but helping me SO MUCH, and to the dearest mod-san.
Dear Sky, I hope you enjoy this one.



~I
The air was crisp as he stepped out from the mansion. Summer was near, soon the heat would expand, no longer giving him warmth but most probably drops of sweat from the humidity soon to hang in the air. This year was going to be different for Sho. He wasn't about to let what happened last year repeat itself with all the work piling up due to him passing out from heat exhaustion. Yes, work was important, his health was too. He remembered the speech he received from his editor, he shouldn’t get carried away with perfection. He could just do it right.

This morning, he struggled writing and compiling his materials. He should have had more energy at the start of the day. Yet he walked sluggishly from one lamppost to another. His heavy body seemed to fail the further he walked. He regretted his decision for agreeing with Kazama’s whining about how cute his baby was. At first, he thought joining him might give him the feeling of what being a father was like. He supposed he could grasp some inspiration, but drinking all night, not remembering it was a work day the day after was horrible.

He needed to realize that he had that kind of thing called tolerance. He got exhausted as his knees gave up on him, making him stand carelessly in the middle of the street. A gust of wind caressed him amidst his stagnation as he looked up at an old cherry blossom tree lingering above him. He fluttered his eyes as if the soft caress of the intangible wind could hurt his sight. It was amazing to see a tree in full bloom around this month. He stared in awe, hopelessly carried away with thought. Without even noticing it, tears had strolled down his cheeks. A smile crept on his face despite his ugly look. The scenery before him made him realize that life was worth fighting for. He snorted as he stopped himself from thinking further. He didn’t want this little fascinating feeling to saddened him, so he brought up his sleeve to his cheeks, erasing the trail of his fat tears.

“What a nice way to enjoy the last hanami of the year.”

Surprised, he turned his body around to meet the source of the voice. He’s sure he was the only person on the sidewalk. He had dried off his tears yet the foreign man before him smiled suspiciously. He clenched his hand into a fist, ready to beat the shit out of this man if he dared to try anything funny.

“Whoops! No offense. I’m only a passerby who happens to be a little less than sober. Your yukata looks nice. But I think people would prefer to interact with a clear-headed man.”

“None of your business.” Ignoring him, Sho walked further, trying to reach the subway. Nonetheless, this passerby seemed to follow him. He slowed down his pace only to make sure of his suspicion. And yes, that stranger did follow him.

“Can I help you?” His tone didn’t seem friendly at all. His pounding head longing for his bed.

“I guess I’m lost.”

Huh?

“If you help me find my address, I’ll lend you my shirt.”

He kept on walking. This passerby was obviously suspicious. But as he picked up his pace, the man’s hand grasped his arm. The look this man gave was pleading and he disliked that. As he thought it over, this man was too talkative, too insistent. Even so, he couldn’t see any malice in his words. This man might be right. He might be truly lost. He pondered for a while as he gazed back at himself looking at his portrait through a window from one of the closed shops. There was a stain on the front of his shirt. He remembered it as a free fall gyudon Ayano poured for him unintentionally. Helping a strange man and borrowing a strange man’s shirt probably weren’t a bad idea at all. His alcohol was pretty much affected him.

“Tell me your address.”

***

Present day I
“This is your chance!” Jun shoved the paper at him again. It was already the seventh time this day. The sun was set now. He had missed his chance to meet his favorite person, another appointment he canceled today. Thanks to his editor who kept barging in on him, offering him something he didn’t really pay attention to. Still ignoring his editor, he walked to his refrigerator.

“By participating in this, you’re going to make your dream come true. Come on, Sho-kun.”

He halted after taking a carton of milk, “You know you have ruined my plans, yes?”

“The deadline is still next week, Mr. Perfect. I didn’t come for that chapter. I’m offering you your dream.” Jun insisted. He didn’t seem to stop unless Sho turned to him and looked at the paper thoroughly.

Sho made a detour, passing his persistent editor to take a glass from the cabinet of the office kitchen. After pouring the milk into the glass, he took a drink. The milk glided down his throat, freeing him from exhaustion. “Ah delicious”.

“Sho-kun-“

He held up his hand, signing Jun to hear him out. “Can’t you see that Rookie award? I’ve had enough. I think you understand that I dislike being in the spotlight.” He bitterly reminded Jun, intentionally not looking his direction to see a pinched look on his face. He only carefully tried to avoid a particular topic he didn’t want to bring up.

“Murasaki-san will be one of the critics.”

Good thing he was no longer holding anything, because if he did, he would surely drop it, staining his floor with milk. His hand shook automatically as his body stiffened. He barely felt Jun’s heat emitted through his hand on his shoulder. “He’s back in Japan. Keiko-chan told me last night. They said he’s been here for almost three months now.”

“When is it due?” Although he didn’t look at his editor, he could see the smile bloom on Jun’s handsome face.

“Less than three months. I’ll send you details later. I’m sure you’re going to make it.”

He thought he would like to give Jun his uptight smile, but he supposed it’s too early to thank him. “I’m going to give you my draft and you can be off very soon, Jun-kun.”

“I would love to.”

“You owe me grilled meat. In a big portion. I'm hungry.”

“With pleasure.”

Jun patted his back then walked to his desk to take the finished chapter.

Sho went back to his room to change. A notification light from his phone reminded him that he should apologize to Nino. He hurriedly opened his messages and found 11 unread mails and 2 missed calls. Jun really had to pay off. As happy as he was now, he didn’t want to miss the chance to lose what's ‘going to be a source of happiness’ too.

“My friend ruined my schedule again, I guess I’m going to be drunk and crash at your place again.”
He read his message twice and thought over.

“I’m going to crash at your place.”
Simple is best as they said. Feeling satisfied, he placed his phone back in his pocket, which buzzed just a minute after he locked his apartment door.

“Good thing I stacked more beer for a liar.

***

~II
There was a downpour before he arrived. More to his upturned luck, the train he took was delayed as well. The sun was almost set. If he didn’t hurry, he would lose his chance again. After that ‘hanami’ encounter, he never met that man again.

Sho blamed the alcohol. He didn’t even ask the man’s name or his phone number. He still has that mustard-stained shirt that man lent him at that time. Good thing the shirt was loose so that it would fit his broad figure. The man was thin if not skinny. He barely had muscle but his buttocks was noticeably plump. When he reminisced like this, he could consider himself a pervert. But that was really the only thing carved in his mind. Also oh, that man had a cute little mole on his chin. And he was a good looking, too. That’s why Sho was sure he could recognize him if he ever met him again.

A week after his first encounter, he seemed to see a man who looked like the owner of that mustard shirt. He was about to chase him but the crowd covered his sight in a flash. He missed his chance.

However, the next week after a blazing summer day, one evening, as he sipped his coffee, there was a man who abruptly ‘nudged’ him on his back. The man lost his balance and almost toppled over his table. He profusely apologized to Sho, bent at the waist, continuously uttering ‘sorry’. Sho was just glad that his shirt was only tainted a little from his coffee, not that he was enjoying it to begin with; it had also gone cold. He just smiled, forgiving the careless man.

“What are you doing, Aibaka? Our taxi’s waiting!”

“I’m sorry. As what that man said, I’m in a hurry. Please give me your number. I usually come here on Thursday. I will apologize properly next time. Please write down here.”

He creased his brows, obviously confused by what this tall man meant.

“Aibaka.” The other man’s voice from the entrance sounded familiar, yet he couldn’t recall a thing as the tall man urged him with a bizarre request.

“Your number, please.” He didn’t want to make this man wait (or to be honest, he wanted this to end soon), therefore he did as he had been requested, writing down his number on the tissue he was offered.

“Here.”

“I’ll call you later, ne?” The tall man bent down, apologizing once again, ready to take his leave as he yelled to his friend by the entrance. “Right away, Nino!”

At the call of the name, his brain suddenly worked. ‘Nino.’ There was something about this name. He had this surge of familiarity. He couldn’t remember ever having had a friend or any relative named Nino. But he surely saw the name somewhere. He tried hard to think it over while gulping the remaining coffee in his cup.

“Ah, Nino!” then a cough.

“Are you okay, customer-san?” He was choking on the decaf as he desperately asked the waiter to give him water. He remembered it now. The letters on the name placard in that apartment was read as Nino, or Ninomiya to be exact. He was about to chase the man as he realized that his effort would be wasted since the guy had already left.

He also missed his second chance that day.

That was why today, as Aiba-san (the tall man who pushed him in that coffee shop) mailed him this morning, he didn’t want to miss his third chance. He was going to meet this Nino and gave that mustard shirt back.

***

Present day II
“What are you doing?” Jun shrieked as he made Sho's hand slip and pour soy sauce onto his shirt. It was one of the finer shirts he got from Jun. Instead of apologizing, he smirked at Jun as he permitted himself to leave first.

He quite loved this shirt. That was why it could be used as one of his sacrifices at this moment. After his third chance to give back that mustard shirt, he finally got to know the original wearer. That Aiba-san tagged Nino along as he explained his first meeting with Nino. He held back his embarrassment only to wrap this mustard shirt up.

As he met Nino the second time (in a proper and sober way), he found out that Nino was a unique man you would rarely encounter. He was a tease yet he could change to seriousness in a blink of an eye. Then he could change himself again to be childish right in a seconds time. Nino’s witty self was also some kind of surprise to Sho. From afar he would look fragile but if you had a chance to share a word with him, you would know how amazing his brain worked. The words he uttered were as if they had been chosen wisely. He delivered every syllable in a smart phrase and sentence.

Sho cherished Nino’s personality. In his second encounter, he supposed Nino was attracted to him.

That night, he didn’t forget to ask for Nino’s number. It was actually Aiba, who offered it, as he said they should have another drinking party or so. He gladly accepted the offer because he couldn’t deny himself that there was something addicting about this Nino. Though he wasn’t sure what it was about him. He might think of another series for his book or even adding a character close to Nino’s personality to his current work. All he knew was Nino had a thing he needed even though he was still unsure about it.

He and Nino had been meeting for some countless nights and even days. They usually met in Miracle, one of their favorite coffee shops while he wrote down his ideas or just simply had nice chats together. He also had been reminded of the path to Nino’s apartment. This time, he remembered it clearly.

They had shared some dinners together, too. Sometimes, it was just the two of them and sometimes it was with Aiba. He was pleased to crash at Nino’s place. He actually hoped that Nino wouldn’t mind him spending a lot of time in Nino's apartment. He told Nino who he was, his daily life and what he yearned for in life.

There were devices in Nino’s room. They usually spent the time quietly while he poured his words into his laptop, while Nino beat monsters or dragons on his screen. The noises from Nino’s game didn’t seem to bother him.

Tonight as it has become some time since they first met, he thought to tell Nino what had just happened today. Of what Jun had brought to him to do.

“Hey.” He greeted Nino once the man opened his front door for him. Nino looked down to his shirt where he had stained it before.

“That seems difficult to remove.”

“Sorry. I guess I need to borrow your shirt again.” In which he didn’t look sorry at all. He smiled sheepishly at Nino and welcomed himself into Nino’s apartment.

“You owe me a dozen of t-shirts. You do realize your size never fits me.”

“No worries. I’m going to buy you as much as you want, probably so much your closet will bust at the seams with how many you'll have.”

Jun never told him that he was the worst at coming up with jokes but Nino always laughed no matter how boring it was. One more point he could list about why he liked being around this man. Just like this time, Nino’s laughter somehow lifted his prior tension before rushing to this place. Nino was enchanting like that, he should have been more careful not to fall deeper. Previously, he didn’t notice every spark he felt whenever Nino was around. Throughout time, he was aware that this was not something like adoration or just simple amazement. He could put it more than that. Yet, he was not sure. At this time, he preferred to keep it to himself. He didn’t want to make Nino freak out if he knew that he had a big affection for him.

“So what makes you a liar?”

Nino sat by his side, toes touching and shoulders bumping. He muttered a low ‘thanks’ as Nino handed him the beer. Those little moments of interaction Nino did could make his heart burst. However, he kept it low, trying hard to resist himself and behave properly. The heat in his body seemed to raise but he didn’t want to make any more distance. This was already the most preferable space for him. It was comfortable.

“Look at me, Sho-chan.” He gulped down his beer in one go before putting it back on the low table after him.

“I didn’t lie.”

Nino looked through his eyes, trying to find whether he could waver. The stare was quite dangerous if he might say, because Nino was the kind of person who liked to strip you naked by only his stare. You would feel intimidated if not lulled. He knew his heart was hardly able to handle this. His body shuddered all of a sudden. Nino’s look changed from interrogating to worrying. Until he burst out of laugh. He hardly hid his embarrassment. He didn’t want Nino to know that he was nervous being around him. He faked his nervousness with a laugh, because he indeed wanted to laugh at his silly self, his weak heart. “I’m telling the truth. Jun surrounded me all day. I had nothing to do but give him the draft for the chapter.“

“Did he even want your chapter?” He sometimes forgot that Nino was sharp too. “As I could remember last week you said the due date is still next week so you agreed to go with me to the arcade today.”

“I’ve been ignoring him all day. You’re right. It’s not my draft he wants. He wants me to participate in a competition. It’s Akutagawa.” He felt transparent. He’s really nothing when he was in front of Nino. This guy could make him spill out every corner of his self. There was a surge feeling that he could be safe with Nino. All of his secrets would remain secure. He really didn’t understand what’s gotten into him to trust that man this much.

“That’s great, Sho-chan! You should participate. Akutagawa is one of the famed awards.”

Sho didn’t feel taken back. He knew Nino was well-acknowledged. It’s just kind of surprising him a bit about the knowledge Nino had. In his mind, Nino knew everything. “I thought you only know about beating monsters and how to make your fingers move fast. I never expected you know literature.”

Nino sipped his beer before replying to him, “You never asked.”

Nino looked like he was attempting something. He didn’t want to miss his chance to get to know this man. “So, how do you know about literature? Come to think of it, I guess I don’t even know about your occupation either.”

There was a sound from the back of Nino’s throat, which sounded melodic to his ear. He would like to bottle it up and keep it for himself as his treasure. The laughter sounded so nice to him, he could record it and play it time and time again only to create a colorful mood.

“I’m actually just the same as you.”

“Huh?”

“I’m a writer, too. And also a critic.”

Throughout his career, for these past ten years being an author, he never heard the name ‘Ninomiya’. Nino’s information tickled him to dig more. The blood in his veins rushed out all of a sudden.

“That should be impossible. I know almost every writer’s names in Japan. What do you usually write? Game instructions?”

Another melodic sound surrounded him. “Have we changed tonight’s topic to ‘what does Nino do, what does he earn for a living’ thing? I thought we would just drink until you hardly feel the surface beneath your heels.”

Nino straightened his back, so that he was facing him directly. The lose heat from his shoulder somewhat made him regret that he had asked. Nevertheless, it was too late, his curiosity had piqued. He wanted, he needed to know who Nino was. Nino might be one of his favorite writers.

“Well, I’ve been writing since I was a kid. My grandpa influenced me a lot. You might have read one of my books. They said they sell it in Japan.”

“Aren’t you living in Japan?”

“Well, I just came back around three months ago. I’ve been living in UK with my parents. They’re pure Japanese but my Dad runs his business there. He thought that living near his business place would be the best option of all. So, we moved. But we used to spend our Christmas in Tokyo. I made a great friend with Aiba too since he’s the only one who had no shame offering his icy hand to me the first time I arrived in my grandfather’s house. My grandfather was a writer too. I think he’s quite popular or so I thought as he got some awards in his room and two or even three certificate awards hanged on his wall. He taught me the beauty of words and how it could affect people. I remembered one time he locked me in his library for one whole day because I whined about a Gameboy I wanted so much. I cried for the first two hours. But there was a book. The cover was pretty and attractive. Somehow, I started reading and indulged myself in it. Before that I never thought reading was fun. At night when my grandfather opened the door for me, I smiled ear to ear, eager to retell him what I’d been reading all day. At that time, my sadness and anger faded. I guess that’s the time where I started to love books.”

He listened to Nino’s tale obediently. He never knew he would have this kind of similarity to Nino. No wonder this man had wonderful knowledge. Even though he loved to travel a lot and read a bunch of newspaper everyday, Nino seemed equal to him. Nino could be more awesome without even trying much. He couldn’t think he’d be able to hold back his feelings for any longer.

“So what do you usually write?”

“Fiction.”

“Fantasy?”

“Science-fiction.”

“Monsters?”

“Stop teasing me, Sho-chan.” Nino hid his blush with another laugh and a hand on his face, a habit he had when he showed his gums grinning or laughing.

“I think I cannot hold back any longer, Nino.” The laughter, which previously rang around them, slowly ceased. He held Nino’s hand and stared at him right into his eyes. A staring contest happened for about 2 seconds until he said, “I like you.”

With his eyes locked on Nino, he closed their gap. He wasn’t sure whether he should do this instantly. His heart had raced so fast, he assumed Nino could hear how hard it pounded by now. The thickness in his glasses made Nino’s face clearer and, at some point, even blur. Nino’s smooth face was so close. For a fleeting moment, he wondered whether Nino was a real man or a lady disguised in man’s figure. More than any of his curiosity, he wanted to discover how Nino’s lips tasted. So there he was, meeting his lips with Nino’s. Oddly, Nino didn’t do anything but let him. The warmth of Nino’s mouth sent amazing electricity running through his body. They kissed and Nino didn’t even push him. He fluttered open his eyes slowly to see how flushed Nino was before him. Instead of rejecting him or even getting mad at him, which he had expected from Nino, he heard this instead, “You should take off your glasses next time. It hit my nose.”

It’s him who was taken aback now. Did that mean, Nino accepted him? Did Nino like him back? “I’m sorry about the glasses but, what do you mean?”

“I thought you would never do that. After your cancelation this morning, I supposed my wish had all but vanished. Sho-kun barely has free time. Your love for writing seems to beat anything, even anyone who wants to be closer to you.”

“Wait,” Sho breathed, “Do you mean you like me too?”

“I thought it was clea- hmph”

He didn’t waste any more time as he crushed his body over Nino’s smaller one. He never thought it would be this easy. Nino was giggling as he hugged Sho back. They savored their time by joining their hands together throughout the night without doing anything until Sho called a day off.

“Why don’t you just stay?” Nino begged him as he finished tying the laces on his shoes.

“I’ve had an idea of what I should submit for that competition. We can meet tomorrow at that usual coffee shop? I’ll wait for you.”

“I’ll text you in the morning.”

“I’ll call you tonight.”

Nino giggled again at this. He might be too corny for Nino but he really couldn’t help. His feeling was reciprocated after all.

Then, he looked at a pondering Nino. “Oh, I guess it’s kind of unfair if I haven’t told you my pen name.”

At the mention of his previous query, out of the blue, his blood rushed one more time. There was something tight in his throat.

“I’m Murasaki Kinjiro.” Reality crashed into him again that night. It could have been anyone, why was it Nino.

“You shouldn’t text me in the morning. I won’t call you tonight. I’m sorry I guess we cannot meet for some time.”

“Sho,” Nino hesitated, “Why? We can’t meet anymore? Sho please, I’m sorry, I..”

“Good night.”

***

~IV
Sakurai Sho was 18 when he received his first prize. He started writing when he was 12 and had been fond of writing since he was 7. The very first acknowledgement he got was one of the rookie awards he’d been looking forward to. He didn’t after the fame. He only wanted to look for some recognition. He wanted to show the world his talent. He would like to share his words which he was sure could move people. By writing, he was sure he could pass his messages well. By writing, he could let out his wild imagination. No one would bother him through his words.

That was why he was thrilled to find that his work was nominated. He’s even more excited when being announced as a winner. When he first received his award, in front of the people he barely knew, there was a shrill of excitement and so many people were proud of him. However, he didn’t know what kind of hurdle would come after him.

A week after he basked in his glory, Jun, his best friend appeared in his living room, panting. Jun showed him an article that his victory was made up. It, of course, shocked him. He harshly pulled the newspaper from Jun’s hand and got his knees weakened. Jun was there to catch him. But his disappointment had overwhelmed his mind. He barely heard what Jun was saying and he felt even colder from the warm hands Jun sprayed over his back.

Another worse thing came the day after. The media chased him, asking him and his family on how he could win. They started to look over his writing. They even doubted him whether he could actually write. No one would want to hear him out, to hear the truth that it was his true writing and no one had ever written for him. Yet, as what they said, bad things usually spread faster than the truth itself.

Sho’s grandmother was a friend of a famous writer. The name of his grandmother’s friend was well known in the literary world. The writer was admired by so many people, however, one thing they didn’t know was this writer had a crush on her.

This famous writer noticed Sho’s potential talent. He was glad that Sho joined the competition. Yet, he was blinded by the request of his childhood love. He didn’t check other contestants but Sho. Subjectively choosing Sho as the winner, giving Sho the best score.

Sho was shocked and chose to stop writing for about a year. Thinking that he fit to work in this field. It was hard to accept since he loved writing more than anything or anyone. He suppressed his anger by digging information about his grandmother’s friend, which later he knew as Murasaki Kinjiro.

This Murasaki Kinjiro was a pen name. No one ever shared any information of who he truly was. Sho was then feeling another loss. He would like to get revenge but he wasn’t sure how to. That was why he tried to write again. To be recognized again and to show the world that he, indeed has talent. He didn’t succeed by invisible hands but by his own hard work. His family and his friend, Jun, supported him through the years. His draft was rejected countless times but he didn’t give up. He was sure someone would be moved reading his writing. This was happening for about two years.

When he was about to just call it off and stop, a publisher put an eye on him. He was contracted to write a novel. One novel at first, and series of novels, and books later. He slowly climbed back, finding his courage once again. He started to join some competition again and succeeded to gain some victories.

He enjoyed his life. Nevertheless, the feeling of revenge toward Murasaki Kinjiro kept remained.

***


~III
“What are you doing, Aibaka? Our taxi’s waiting!” Nino impatiently stomped his feet by the door entrance. He needed to attend an important appointment. He just arrived in Japan less than a month but Ohno Satoshi was already calling him as if he had an unfinished obligation. He disliked dealing with that man, mostly because the man always looked gloomy and never once showed any expression on his face. Ohno Satoshi had been entrusted by his grandfather to be his personal lawyer. Even after his grandfather’s death, Ohno still worked as Ninomiya’s family private lawyer.

Nino had predicted that this meeting was due to the letter his grandfather left him. He had understood his grandfather’s last wish for him to be his grandfather’s successor. He doubted it at first, worrying that he would be incapable of completing the job his grandfather left for him. However, the letter said that his grandfather had a faith that he could bear the title. He obviously wanted to object and question his grandfather of why he chose him to fill this position. He wasn’t sure whether he could truly do that until one day his mother said that his grandfather had seen his capability since he was a kid. Moreover, it was his grandfather’s mission to make him his successor. Nino himself noticed that he could create a masterpiece. He was sharp and critical with his judgment. Even so, he still didn’t have any idea of what he should do of being his grandfather’s successor. That was why today, he was going to meet Ohno. The letter mentioned that once he was back in Japan, Ohno would explain what he should do.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Yet, now he was still stuck with his only friend who kept apologizing to a stranger he didn’t care about. He only needed Aiba to accompany him to meet Ohno because somehow that man’s aura made Nino uncomfortable. He wasn’t sure what was it, but it just felt uneasy when he was around Ohno.

Not wanting to waste more time, Nino called out his friend once again, “Aibaka!”

“Right away, Nino.”

Once his friend rushed over him, they headed to Ohno’s place immediately.

The meeting he had with Ohno left him speechless. He never expected his grandfather to make that careless decision. At a moment, his grandfather’s image broke. Although Nino still had great respect for him, he never predicted that love could blind a man until losing their sanity. He actually wanted to be mad. It was odd, reading the last wish of his grandfather. Now that he knew the truth, he felt like punching the intangible pain he had in his heart. It wasn’t him who made this ruckus, but as a successor who’d bear the name, it was only him who could unleash this matter.

His grandfather often told him about a boy named Sho. He even showed Nino one of Sho’s writing. That one was rough and a bit rushly written, nevertheless the message in it was delivered prettily. His words didn’t jumble, yet they were connected to each other as if being knitted by unseen string. The words that Sho used were diplomatic yet wonderful and easy to read.

He didn’t know that this boy had a big part in his grandfather’s life. Sho was a dear boy to his grandfather because he reminded him of Sho’s grandmother, who was once Nino's grandfather’s lover. His grandfather thought if he made Sho win the competition, he could make him his pupil and be even closer with his late lover. Nonetheless, that was only wishful thinking. Sho’s name was underestimated, the public intimidated him for being a winner of a subjective decision. Thanks to his grandfather, Nino sarcastically hated the figure he once adored so much.

Even before Nino acknowledged this story, he had already been interested in Sho. He was curious of the boy who could write brilliantly like that. Silently, Nino adored Sho. That was why when he firstly (accidentally) encountered Sho under that cherry tree, he kind of wanted to spend more time with him. Faking an excuse of being lost wasn't that big a deal, was it? And now, after hearing the story Nino decided he wanted to make Sho’s name clear. He would like to show people that Sho was a great writer.

“Nino nino nino~,” Aiba chirped right into his ear. This best friend of his sometimes forgot his manner. Aiba stood over him, doing a good job by covering the light from his neon lamp. He massaged the ridge of his nose, while taking off his glasses. He was thankful to Aiba to be honest. His friend knew that he needed to rest as he’d been reading for a whole day without even stopping.

“Silence, Masaki. My head is dizzy.”

“Oh? Are you sick?”

“No, but the dragon in my stomach somehow needs to be fed.”

Aiba grinned, pulling him up from his seat. “Great! Now get up and follow me. Don’t need to thank me later.”

Nino obliged as he was hungry and Aiba’s treat would always be the best after all. Free food was everything.

When they reached a café, he looked at those familiar sloppy shoulders. Aiba marched toward Sho and he never expected that fate had led him this way. He looked at Aiba who beamed and nodded at the man. He would never be more thankful to Aiba. He didn’t waste time, greeting the man after him.

“Hey there, Mr. Drunk Head.”

There was something in Sho’s eyes that attracted him. He promised himself: He wouldn’t make Sho disappointed again.

***

Present Day III
Sho ran into the building. People who knew him looked at him confusedly. One of the women who usually greeted him, stepped back clearing the way for Sho to enter the Head Editor’s room.

“Explain to me about Murasaki Kinjiro.”

Takenaka-san seemed to predict the time would come sooner or later. He motioned Sho to sit on one of the couches. “I thought Keiko-chan told you.”

“You know it’s not about Akutagawa.” There was certainty in Sho’s eyes which made Takenaka smile at him. He didn’t mean to offend Sho. He was somewhat gratified. The fire in his eyes showed him that this man could handle his so-called-revenge well.

“The one you were after passed away last winter. I’m not sure who is in his position now. It isn’t an easy task to be the next Murasaki. His successor should be more excellent or at least equal to Ninomiya-san himself.”

At the mention of Ninomiya, Sho shot him a glare. “You never told me his real name.”

“Have you ever asked?”

Sho didn’t glance down. Instead, he looked at Takenaka-san without blinking. He was indulged in getting even, he even missed the simplest yet the most essential hint.

“Don’t move back. You have agreed to do this. I’ve got your draft. Jun emailed me this morning. You can make it with that.”

Another thing Sho didn’t know about what Jun has done to him. His anger somehow boiled, yet he couldn’t blame his friend. Jun only wanted to help him. Jun understood him too well, he was sometimes scared that Jun could read his mind that well.

“Forget the draft. I’m going to use another one which I’m sure he or even other juries know that I, Sakurai Sho, shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Takenaka-san patted his back while squeezing it softly, giving him courage. “One thing, Sho-kun. Don’t let your ambition affect your writing.”

He didn’t reply, only glared at Takenaka-san. He bid his leave to the head editor, knowing he still had unfinished business. His pride was hurt, he wasn’t sure whether it had ever been healed.

“Meet me at Miracle at 8 pm.”

He locked his phone then let out a heavy breath. No matter what, he needed to warn Nino not to make a stupid move just like his grandfather’s did. His life was once in a jumble because of a Ninomiya. He didn’t want himself to fall into the same hole twice.

Nonetheless, it was himself who knew better than anyone that this time, this Ninomiya had had his heart. He also had announced that this Ninomiya would be one of his sources of happiness. He should be able to handle this. He needed to see Nino to move on.

When he arrived, Nino was sitting in the smoking room. His cigarette almost burned his finger if he didn’t notice Sho reaching for him. Nino looked apologetic. He didn’t even lift his head to meet Sho’s eyes.

“I’ll still be joining the competition,” Sho exclaimed his determination.

“I’m sorry.” Nino cut him off. The expression Nino gave him was contrite. Sho wasn’t a man with no heart, he let Nino continue his defenses. “My grandfather had told me about you. In his last wish, he mentioned me to be one of the jury for the competition. He made me his successor.” Nino took a deep breath. “My grandfather loved telling me about you, of about how splendid your writing was. He actually wanted to make you his pupil but he had made an unwise decision. I’m sorry on behalf of my grandfather.”

There was a deafening silence between them for some time. Each of them had a clash within their thoughts. The silence would get heavier unless one of them initiated to talk. Here, Nino opted to carry on, “Look Sho, I didn’t know you were going to join that competition. I haven’t checked the contestants. I was hoping that you would participate. I promise you I won’t do the same thing my grandfather did. I do love you but I’ll be objective. I shouldn’t mix my personal feeling with my work. It’s a basic thing. Although at the same time, I want you to win, but I shouldn’t be self-centered. There are other potential contestants, too. I should be fair.”

If Sho was too immersed with his thought, then he shall be the unluckiest person that ever existed. Aside from any issues they were having, Nino had confessed to him genuinely. He must be deaf if he didn’t hear Nino saying those magical words. He was still angry at him. Being betrayed twice was never a good experience at all. It wasn’t easy to accept. No one would want to be in a trouble. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to find any sanity in his head.

“Make sure you read my work well. I should give us a chance.”

Nino didn’t expect Sho’s answer to be this tolerable. He was ready to be hated and had his heart broken. However, Sho, with his big heart, did give him a chance. Nino made a promise to himself that this would be the last thing Sho’d get deceived at.

***

Present Day IV
Red, orange and yellow, in various different shades, floated gracefully on the soft breeze. Whispers between thor leaves filled the air, muttering a brand new season gently at him. The fluttering breeze, gently caressing everything it touched making Sho shiver helplessly. He had been walking for 30 minutes, if not because of this magnificent scenery he wasn’t sure he would like to problem himself climbing this area. Jun, sometimes, was too brilliant. He chose a place, which made his writer as if doing a training camp.

Sho had objected the idea at first, telling Jun that a celebration wasn’t necessary. He didn’t bring back a trophy or even a medal. Jun, nonetheless, didn’t even want to hear his complaints. His editor insisted that it was held not because he was winning nor losing. Jun said it was to celebrate the brand new him.

He admitted that he had moved on. He was more positive in pouring out an idea and even gentler in his writing. The public had put their faith back to him. The accusation about his writing ten years ago also had been cleared. After being judged one more time by some critic, it was proved that his was pretty much qualified to own the problematic Rookie award.

Now that the competition was over and everything was settled, Sho had his life back. Even though he didn’t win, the writing he submitted for the competition was being favorite by many readers and acclaimed by some critics that had an appreciation for it. At first, he was furious hearing that he didn’t nail it, worried that this time he would receive another bad response from the public. He waited for the feedback he received to come, but none of it was negative. Instead, Jun came to him one evening and hugged him while this dearest friend had tears in his eyes. In Jun’s embrace, he peeked from Jun’s shoulder and saw a certificate telling him that he received at least one award.

He read the entry from the winning writer who was a newcomer in the literary world. That newcomer somehow made no major failure and even had his pinched words hit every corner of his writing gracefully. He met with this newcomer once, he was a humble man who was sincere and honest. Sho welcomed this newcomer gladly. He didn’t feel he was losing, he took it as giving him a chance. He could still try next year. Moreover, he won as the most favorite writer, he couldn’t complain.

If he came to think of it, Jun was probably right. It was perhaps necessary to hold a celebration. However, he didn’t think he was accomplished. It was not only because of his hard work and his splendid job that he got this success. There was someone else, who had worked hard assuring the other critics to look back at his past work and make them redo the judgment. Unfortunately, after the judgment was over, he couldn’t find that particular person. Takenaka-san didn’t give him any clue either as the older man said that he had no idea about this time.

Sho almost lost his hope. He did say that he would give them a chance the last time they met. Sho wanted this particular man to remember his promise. Things probably took time. It was just 6 months ago he last met the man. Sho’s name was cleared after a decade, then, he would probably have his love back in the years later. In all honesty, he disliked to wait. Nino should just show up and congratulate him even though he wasn’t winning. If he thought over, he might be too harsh to Nino. That man only bore the name, he didn’t create any ruthless act to him. As he reminisced, he greatly missed Nino.

He continued walking yet still not finding the place Jun had mentioned to him. His GPS couldn’t be used since the weather wasn’t as nice. The cloud were thick as he looked up, sooner or later he would be soaked by the sudden downpour. He disliked the idea of getting wet, moreover the surface he stepped on wasn’t paved or blocked. The land could muddy his shoes.

As he jogged for some meters, he saw a familiar figure in one shelter besides the sidewalk. That figure seemed like the one he longed for. Sho didn’t want to make himself excited because of that familiar figure. He might be wrong, or worse, he might be hallucinating. Nevertheless, he strut closer to that figure to satisfy his curiosity.

There was a red leave on top of that man’s head. Once Sho was a hand apart from that man, he was sure, he wasn’t hallucinating. He reached out for the red leave which made the man turned around and met his eyes. He held his breath before finally smiling earnestly at the man before him, “Jun should have let me know that there is a fairy around this mountain.” Sho maintained his beating heart before continued, “How are you, Nino?”

“Accomplished.” Nino grinned back at him. Determination showed in Nino’s eyes. There were a lot of questions he would like to utter to Nino. But that could wait. Right now he would like to tell Nino how much he had missed this critic.

They just stared at each other for some minutes without even doing anything. Sho felt his time was frozen. Nino wasn’t so much different than the last time they met. Even though there were black circles around Nino’s eyes, he still looked adorable to Sho. Sho wasn’t sure whether he was truly sober when he gently placed one of his cold palms to Nino’s cheek. Nino jolted a bit at the sudden coolness through Sho’s hand, yet he leaned fondly to that cold hand.

“May I?” Sho asked Nino as he gently released Nino’s glasses to keep it in one of his coat pouches. As if on cue, Sho leaned forward, ready to plant a kiss on Nino’s red lips. Unlike him, Nino’s lips were warm. It was the same softness as he felt from months ago. Nino didn’t change a bit. He tried to deepen the kiss by angling his head and pressed Nino’s lips further. But Nino yelped. He broke the kiss and looked at Nino worriedly, “You okay?”

“How many times should I tell you to take your glasses off?” Sho creased his brow before they finally laughed in unison.

It was Nino, who then held him tight as he felt the soft caressed of Nino’s hair to his cheek. “I’ve missed you, Sho.”

They walked side by side barely giving space as Nino put his hand inside Sho’s coat pocket. Nino apparently had waited for Sho to come up as Jun said that Sho would probably be late and needed direction. It was another thing Sho didn’t know what Jun had done to him. His editor never said a word about Nino. He assumed that Jun respect him so he never asked. It was also because Jun had no idea where Nino was until one day Nino called Jun. The celebration was actually Nino’s idea. This man really had a big part in his life. He wasn’t sure he could let this man go ever again.

“We’re here.” Nino announced as they climbed the last stair. The place really made him exhausted. He breathed out hard as he glanced over at Nino.

“It’s... exhausting.”

Nino only chuckled to his complaint before pleading him to come in while patting his back. “Come in, sensei.”

As the door was opened for him, he was welcomed with glitter and triumph. Some people from the publishing company were there, also his close friends like Kazama and Go were there too. In one corner of the room, he spotted Shigeaki Kato, the winning writer, with his editor, Koyama Kei.

They spent the evening by congratulating him. He just knew that his writing would be adopted to a movie. He was surprised and gleeful at the same time. His hard work really made him proud.

When the night grew late, Nino took him to the veranda. Nino presented him a wine which he accepted happily, “Cheers.”

He smiled fondly at Nino, wondering how could he ever repay this man, “Cheers.”

Getting lulled by the circumstance, Nino kissed him gently just lips meeting lips, but that felt like everything. He didn’t want this night to end, afraid that when he opened his eyes in the morning, everything would be gone.

“Thank you Nino.”

Nino knew it wasn’t about tonight’s celebration or him waiting for Sho in that shelter. Nino shook his head, he circled his hands around Sho’s waist looking straight into his eyes. “It’s what I should have done since the very beginning. You deserve this, Sho. You’ve been through a lot. I apologize for what had happened to you-“

“Ssshh.. Never say that again. You never did anything.” Sho bit his lips, pondering whether he took it too fast or rushed. It was all or nothing. He didn’t want to wait any longer. He was a bit hesitant but he continued anyway, “Stay with me? Move to my place and be by my side, will you?”

Hearing Sho’s confession, Nino couldn’t help but giggle at him. Sho was just thankful that the light was dimmed so it could cover his reddened face. “I’m not a girl, Sho.”

“It’s embarrassing for me to say it, don’t make me repea-,” before Sho could continue his wail, Nino quieted him with kisses. This time it was more demanding than the previous ones. Sho was glad they both had kept their glasses in each other’s pocket.

“I do, Sho.”

A revenge was never be this sweet. At least, Sho was sure their love wasn’t scripted.

Date: 2016-09-04 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sky-fish7.livejournal.com
Oh my gosh, my dear author, what are you doing to me, this is so gorgeous, I love it and I love you for writing this! <3

My beloved Sakumiya with both of them captured so well, workaholic and passionate Sho and Nino oh Nino, so smart and witty but kind-hearted, just like I love him the most and then you made them both writers, that's so amazing, really! I LOVE it!!! Such a brilliant idea! *.*

Writing is my passiony it's my love and it's my life and I love the "writing world" you created around my OTP so much! I could feel Sho's ambition and the need to clear his name and I felt so sorry for him about what happened in the past... It mus have been so hard T^T But he didn't give up and that is so amazing! I could feel the betrayal he mist have felt when he found out about Nino's identity but I also felt so sorry for Nino when Sho just after confessing leaves him due to the betrayal he felt... After all it's like he said, Nino wasn't the one doing something wrong, right? I'm so happy that there was a happy ending though! Thank you so much for this!

I love Sho and Nino's first encounter so much, it's painted in such a nice and dreamy way and I love hiw they meet again and again and get closer until FINALLY! Their kisses are so sweet and cute, I can't get enough of them! <3 Also the ending scene was so great, I love the scenery you painted and their kiss when they met again was si adorable! I love that thing with the glasses haha xD

Also, all the other characters, I love them! You even put Shige in there as a writer too, and Koyama as his editor (my News-OTP ^.^) that's so cool!! And Aiba as Nino's friend and Jun as Sho's friend and Ohno the strange lawyer Nino feels uncomfortable with lol xD so gorgeous! Even Kazama and Ayano Go are there!

Thank you so much for writing this for me, dear author, this is really perfect for me! THANK YOU! <3

Date: 2016-09-04 10:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astrangerenters.livejournal.com
I'm glad they were able to be together in the end despite the conflict between them. I love the idea of Serious Writer Sho!

Date: 2016-09-05 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indigo-lover.livejournal.com
Thank you for writing this!! Its such a sweet story! I love it that Nino admired Sho just by reading his work and is determined to correct his grandfather's mistake.

Date: 2016-09-05 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] piggywhale.livejournal.com
My best friend is a writer and I still remember very vividly all the agony, the drama and the stuggle he had to go through with this one writing award he had his heart set on. It has been an on-going theme in his life and our repeated struggles and nightmares for many years. This story really hit a lot closer to home than I could have imagined.

Thank you so much dear writer for creating something special here. It's refreshing and surprising to see Nino and Sho in this setting yet they fit perfectly. The details you have put into the story conveying their (particularly) Sho's feeling and experience are truly amazing and beautiful. I also really love Nino in this. Thank you ☺️

Date: 2016-09-07 07:10 pm (UTC)
reveetoile: (Omiya kuscheln)
From: [personal profile] reveetoile
I really liked this AU
It was so nicely written and you really can feel Sho's despair and I like Nino's characterization he is so supportive and calm.
Really loved reading it

Date: 2016-09-07 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helenmaldon.livejournal.com
I really like how you portray Sho as a writer! I can totally imagine it! And yay for a lovely Sakumiya pairing!
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