[identity profile] stormymood.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] arashi_exchange
A piece of rainbow for [livejournal.com profile] kirasebi Part 2

>>Eighteen isn't easy without you<<

As it happens so often between friends who have fallen out with each other and haven’t seen each other in a while - both hurt in their own ways - and unable to reach out a helping hand to the other; they stopped seeing each other all together and talked less and less. Though Nino knew he was mostly to blame for it. Aiba called, even went to his house almost every day. But after a while he just received one phone call. Unlike the previous calls this one did not result in a voicemail - and that was the end of it.

Aiba took up his apprenticeship at the local zoo and continued his zoo-ology studies, while Nino did what he knew how to do best - pour his heart out in his music. He entered the Conservatorium to learn as much as he could about piano and guitars. He made and composed musical pieces before devoting himself to songwriting and creating a name for himself.

He didn’t go out much, despite his rising fame. And it wasn’t for the lack of people trying to get him to go out. He’d rather stay home, play his instruments, write the lyrics and words he held so close to his heart. Because it all triggered memories of his days with Aiba. Days he couldn’t forget, days he longed for to have again. But as time ticked by it became impossible to apologize for any of it. As time ticked by the distance became bigger and the hurdle too much to bear. So he tried to forget. Buried himself in the music, his gaming and only came out for food or classes.

But much as he tried he couldn’t forget his past, he couldn’t forget his best friend; Nino still believed Aiba was, even if he had been a dick to him. He was after all the only one in the world who had accepted Nino for who he was. During his time at the Conservatorium he met a girl named Shae, who was so unlike anyone he had ever met he couldn’t help but feel intrigued by her. She called herself a goth slash Wiccan; some kind of nature witch. Her black clothes, dark but colourful make-up, her long black hair she’d do in a ‘weird hairstyle of the day’ - it drove people away. She was tall and wore combat boots, making her tower above most of their peers. But she had a friendly smile which reminded him of Aiba’s. He took that as the reason why he felt he could be friends with her.

She questioned his motives at first, but soon warmed up to him and his weird gaming habits, because he was as weird as she was, though also complete opposites. But they had lots of same interests, music being a true love to both of them.
Where Nino brought forth heart breaking songs about true love that wasn’t meant to be, Shae brought forth music that was dark and deep, with lyrics that dealt with losing people you love in the most permanent way; death.

Nino brought Shae home a couple of times much to the delight of his mom who praised him on finding a girl - finally. She didn’t let show she was concerned about the influence this weird girl could have on him. Nino brought her for the sheer joy of seeing the hidden glances his mom threw them, the clear doubt in his choice of women. Shae introduced him to her family as her as her fellow student and nothing more. Shae’s family seemed way normal in comparison to how she was; there was no gothiness inside any where.

As it turned out when they got to know eachother better and better, Shae had two more friends she hardly spoke about, just as much as Nino hardly mentioned Aiba Masaki to her. They were the huge driving influences in their lives, their motivation for creating their music. But whereas Nino kept pining for the one he couldn’t have, Shae was so deeply invested in her friends she couldn’t get rid of them.

One of the reasons was that one of them was Sakurai Sho who was their senior and also dorm leader, though he called himself ‘manager’. Sho was someone who seemed to take on everything he wanted and excel in it - as long as it required study. He wasn’t much of a creationist, but just drew for the fun of it to make his friends laugh - and friends he had. He was popular, had a degree in Economics and minored in Journalism before coming here and excelling playing the piano forte.

Other than his accomplishments Nino couldn’t really see why Shae was so hung up about with this guy. Sure he could play, and talk like he was so much better than them. But it took him a great deal to figure out that even with Sakurai Sho things weren’t all that it seemed to be. Sho came from a rich family, but that didn’t mean he got things for free. He had expectations to fulfill. He carried out those expectations in public for sure, but once on his own, he was nerdy and laughed at nearly everything he found funny. He acted the fool and caused weird little situation to amuse himself. His reputation was already set, his future most probably locked - that’s why he was here at their school and campus; to get as much freedom as he possibly could get away with for the time being.

He also was in this open relationship that reminded him of the one he had shared with Aiba. But whereas Nino and Aiba had done things very much in private, Sho took his boyfriend and practically dry humped him very much so in public, and it was even worse at his dorm room. They weren’t quiet. They didn’t care who heard it. And they weren’t all that exclusive either - and this was where Shae came in. The boyfriend was none other than aspiring Model Matsumoto Jun who was really making a fast name for himself into fashion industry.

She had gotten her self mixed up with the two of them, and fell for Sho quite hard, who in return let her know there was no real chance of them ever - seeing as her upbringing didn’t go with his parents plan. And even though he had been brutally honest with her, she didn’t back off and thus came it to the point they were using each other for some weird reason. Though Shae’s reasons were clear, he couldn’t figure out why Sho let her in so easily only to end up hurting her all over again by turning her down.

But he could see the addiction to the whole situation in Shae’s eyes. And every time it happened, she’d turn in one master piece of music after the next. Nino didn’t know if he should be concerned or jealous - it didn’t seem healthy. But so was his way of not going out and stay home as much as humanly possible.

The day came to pass that Shae had had a particularly rough fight with Sho and she ended up making dinner for Nino at her room. She was beyond crying at that point and beyond speaking. He kept watching her, determined to give Sho a piece of his mind (again) as Shae prepped the meal. She looked feverish with deep blushes on his cheeks, she didn’t wear her make-up today, her long hair was dragged into a ponytail which had lopsided.

She had served the dish and sat down opposite nino at the table, took her chopsticks and asked bluntly without watching him: “Are you gay?” Nino blinked at the sudden question, totally blindsided.
“What? No! Why do you ask?” Shae watched him now as she chewed.
“You haven’t made a single pass at me. I was wondering. Sho said…” she paused at that, “Sho said that I turned guys off and that no one will ever love me as I am now.”

“How does that relate to me being gay?” shae blinked at his tone of voice which was strained.
“Because you haven’t once touched me inappropriately, ever. And if I really turn you off you wouldn’t have stuck around as long as you have been.”
“Sho is an idiot, you know that? You are one for believing him. You always go through this, and come three weeks later you are all over him again, not to mention sharing him with his boyfriend. Are you so high on him that you can’t see this self destructive path you are on?”
“This isn’t the same, Nino. He made a lot of sense.”
“You say that every time! How is this any different?”

“Is this what happened between you and Aiba? Did you get upset for him calling you gay? Is that what you are afraid of? Of being called gay? Or are you afraid of being gay?” Nino stood up from the table anger written all over his face.
“Why are you doing this? Are you so hellbend on your fixation on Sho that you need to drag everyone down into this hellhole you have created for yourself? What does it matter if I’m not touching you? There is still some thing like respect for your friends, but maybe that’s wasted on you. I don’t need to be gay to respect certain rules! If you rather believe Sho over me than go ahead! Nice friend you turned out to be.”

Nino left. Painfully aware that this happened once before. He felt tears burn, tears he hadn’t shed then, but over the years he had cried a great deal over his mistake. And now he was doing it all over again.
“Nino!” It was as if history repeated itself, it was as if he saw for just a flash of a second Aiba, grabbing a hold of him. But it wasn’t Aiba, it was Shae getting him to stand still. And he wished he was back in that spot. He wasn’t gay! But he’d be a damn fool if he let Aiba get away from him again. He would prove he wasn’t gay!

He grabbed Shae and pulled her towards him. He would kiss her and she’d know he wasn’t gay - they both would know.
“Nino, no…!”
He crushed their mouths together, forced her to open up by grabbing her jaw and kissed her like she ought to be kissed. Shae struggled in his hold, broke free and slapped him hard in his face before deciding punching him against his nose was a better punishment.

“You asshole!” was the only she called out to him before making a run for it. And that was the second time Nino felt he was sure he didn’t deserve friends - one way or the other he kept screwing them up.

The following morning he sat in the Auditorium enjoying what was left of his breakfast, listening to the demo he had put together last night, when out of nowhere a tray fell on to his table and Shae sat down. He stared at her, pulling the headset off. Before he could say anything she held up her hand to stop him, demanding his attention in one go.
“You look like hell, this morning. Rough night?” Her voice sounded teasing before she got to business, “I’ve got three rules in order for us to remain friends.” She let it sink in, watching the slight bruise her fist had made on the bridge of his nose. Even his cheek seemed a little reddish after her slap. Nino didn’t respond other than a nod and waited for her to continue while munching on a leftover crust of his bread.

“One; we will never speak of what happened last night. You kissed me, I hit you - we’re square there. I just need you to tell me one thing and than we just pretend that it never happened.”
“Okay,” Nino agreed, cautiously to what she wanted to know.
“Did you feel anything when you kissed me? Anything at all?” Nino smiled at her inquiry and shook his head. He had wondered about that too last night.
“No, nothing. Sorry.”

Shae shrugged continuing, “Two; we need to be honest with each other and accept that honesty for what it is - to keep us out of trouble. So, from now on I’ve decided that you might be looking out more for me than the others. So, I’ve decided to tell you why I am so hung up on Sho that I can’t break free. Mind you, if you ever breath anything of this to anyone I will hunt you down to the end of the world and push you over the edge into the abyss of space. And I won’t lose any sleep over your demise. Got it?”

Nino grinned and nodded. “Agreed.”
“Fine. Last rule. You’ve got to tell me the honest truth about you and the whole gay thing. I know you’ve never really talked about this Aiba Masaki friend of yours. But as I am going to tell you my story - can you tell me yours? I really want to help you out. After all, friends are supportive of each other, right?”
Now the smile faltered and Nino lost interest in the bits he was eating. He had never told a living soul what kept him up at night, what kept him writing his heart breaking songs. Not his mom, not his sister - he had kept it all to himself; to now tell anyone about it was a scary prospect, but to lose Shae might be scarier still if he didn’t agree. He felt the loss of Aiba on a daily basis; he wondered what Aiba was up to, if the animals in the zoo would behave or just took advantage of the kindhearted guy. He often dreamed of his friend covered and surrounded by furry baby animals.

“I … Okay then,” Nino agreed to the last rule. Shae smiled.
“Rest at ease, we are not going to talk about it here and now. I wouldn’t do that to anyone. The wall have ears you know.” Nino smiled, still feeling on edge.
“So we’re friends again?” he questioned just to make sure.
“Were we ever anything else?” she smiled. The sunshine broke through in her eyes, the shyish smile as she sipped her coffee looking back at him across the brim of her cup.
So much like Aiba, it hurt.

>>All the wrong choices at twenty; why am I even here?<<

Of all the places one could end up at Nino ended up with Shae living in Sho’s apartment; it had all the appearance of a penthouse, though he swore Sho swore up and down that it was just a regular apartment. He wasn’t kidding anyone - seeing their upbringing both Nino and Shae knew what a regular apartment looked like.

Together with the four of them they could easily afford the rent. Sho’s boyfriend Jun, who was sometimes more away than actually at home, had risen to stardom, not only doing the runways, but starring in dramas as well. Sho excelled at playing piano and sometimes was just book for the sheer joy of hearing the well known newscaster play. Sho grew in his role quite fast. Shae and Nino often collaborated on the songwriting front and had done pretty well too, both as a duo as apart. It was easy to get into eachother’s flow knowing each other so intimately.

There talk so many years ago had set them both a little free. Often they sought comfort near each other. To hang out in relative quietness, knowing the other understood without using words. Nino had opened up, even if it had been difficult, about his relationship with Aiba and used the word love for the first time in his life. He struggled to get through the part of explaining why he didn’t see himself as gay or Bisexual or anything. He didn’t feel those needs with anyone as he had felt them Aiba. He told her about the determination to get him off his mind, but also told her about the dreams, the nightmares, the lack of sleep, and how he used that as his inspiration to write.
And as Shae had listened, he had fallen into tears against her, crying about the mistake he had made by running away, and how he had been terrified he had lost her too.

In return Shae had told him about how she was pressuring herself to be the best in everything, how she became obsessed with beating Sho who seemed to excel so easily - how she was tricked into taking drugs to cope with the stress and the addiction to drugs it had let to. Her fixation with Sho running into constant fights - even physical ones, and how Sho had been there to help her get clean once he had learned what was going on.
He was her lifeline, one she couldn’t live without; her replacement addiction.

Sho kept her close because he cared, but needed to break free ever so often - because it was freedom he craved in this world more than anything else.

Nino became apart of their weird little world of openness too easily. He couldn’t remember quite how he had rolled into it, but he couldn’t figure out how he could leave it behind. He felt accepted for who he was.

His mother didn’t speak to him anymore after he had gone off to live with them. She had read in the papers who Sho was, and who he was all associated with. Shae was a bad influence for the get go, she had told him. And in the he had chosen his friends over his family.

He let himself be dragged to parties, drunk too much, sometimes even did drugs. Because he could, there were no rules, this was the freedom he enjoyed. Shae was usually the one watching over him. In the beginning he had lost all control as it often went in the entertainment industry. It was easy to get your hands on anything you wanted. And Jun took them anywhere they wanted to go as he went to parties all over the globe.

It had been those nights where things and rules established between them went out the window. There was hand holding, kissing, groping between all four of them. They would wake up in some random hotel bed far away from home. Shae would always lie against him when he woke up, clinging to his body, both protective and possessive. But they never spoke of those nights. They didn’t exist in the normal everyday world.

In honesty Nino began wavering about his sexuality, even if Shae told him it was drugs doing it to him, since he couldn’t ‘get it up’ normal wise. But sometimes there were kisses. Slow kisses, he enjoyed, whether it was with Sho, Jun or Shae after a drink or two. He was never drunk then, but he could enjoy it, still nothing ever happened physically. It was confusing. To say the least.

The years flew by and one night he found Shae asleep on the couch, tucked in with a blanket, dark blushes on her cheeks, sweat on her forehead. Sho or Jun, if he was home, had left a glass with medicines on the coffee table. She had been coming down with something, so whatever was bugging her was now in full effect running rampage through her body. The laptop was left open, there were music scores and crossed out lyrics all over the floor; she probably had been working until she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
The laptop was opened on the renewal of a coffee shop two years ago. The story read that the owner had passed away shortly after a fire had broken out and that it had taken quite some time to get the shop restored. If it was any old news Nino would have closed the lid, but it wasn’t. How Shae had come across it he didn’t know. Was she checking up on Aiba? She promised she wouldn’t. But … There had been a fire? Aiba’s gran had died? Was he okay?

His heart pounded as he went through the article, sought on Shae’s laptop more information about Aiba’s grandmother, the fire. He’d better be alright! He better not have died in that fire. The sadness of missing out on that part of trouble in Aiba’s life turned into the guilt he had buried many years ago. And it hurt how strong it still was, maybe even stronger now.

“You should go, you know,” Jun’s voice sounded coming into the living room with some food, “Shae came across it when we were looking for a place to have dinner next week. To celebrate your tenth collaboration.” Nino just stared in dumbfounded confusion. Jun smiled apologetic. “Shae freaked out when she saw the link. But we were curious.”

Nino stared back to the screen, not sure how much he should believe about the story, but unable to process it because he mind was racing through all the possibilities that could have happened to his Aiba Masaki.

>>Twentythree and you’re still the same<<

The coffee shop looked the same, really. But inside it was completely new. More space to be seated, the kitchen in the back was new. The scent of both coffee and bread hung in the air. He was greeted by a busy guy behind the counter with a friendly smile asking for his order. For a moment Nino was floored as he gazed upon the guy for a moment before ordering a hot chocolate.

Nino recognised the guy. The eyes. Ohno Satoshi. It as surprisingly shocking to find him here, where he had first met the guy with his mum. But he didn’t want to come across as weird or eage to know as he sat down at a table almost hidden away in the corner just to oversee the whole shop and it’s owner.

He wondered if Aiba was still working here After all the article had been a few years old. He felt Ohno’s eyes on him and he pointedly ignored it, like he didn’t want to be recognised. He was pouting a little without wanting too. He sighed inwardly as Ohno served him his drink at the table, but more than a little ‘here you go’ Nino didn’t receive.

And if Ohno had recognised him, or know about him and Aiba, Nino knew he must be equally curious as to why he was here. If things were reversed, he’d be all over Ohno to find out why he had treated Aiba the way he had.

The chocolate didn’t taste quite like he remembered. It wasn’t the same as years ago when Aiba’s mom had served it. It felt like he was kind of disappointed in it, like he was disappointed of finding Ohno here and hugely disappointed Aiba wasn’t here. Was he supposed to ask?

His resolve faltered little by little as he watched Ohno work and serve bread with the coffee; a treat Nino had declined. Hesaw Ohno sneak little bites of a treat behind the counter. It was cute to see a grown man do such a thing.

The door opened with a loud slam and a bundle of energy stormed in, sailing around the seated customers and hugging a startled Ohno in all happiness. Ohno seemed to allow it, good natured with a smile when he realised it was Aiba who had surprised him. He put an hand on the arm Aiba had wrapped around him as he visibly leaned into him.

Looking at them prove to be too much. Because it made him feel worse. Who was he to come in here anyway to disturb Aiba in his happiness? He felt a sour taste mix in his mouth with the hot chocolate.

He downed what was left in one go and put the cash for the chocolate on the table. He left without a word or second glance. On his way to the station his mind started spinning, it was attacking whatever resolve was left and smashed it to bits. What had he expected anyway? That Aiba would be lonely? That he would be waiting for him? (Like he had waited for him?) After what he had done, wasn’t it within Aiba’s rights to find himself happiness?

His mind wouldn’t leave him alone even if he ran - that was pointless. There is no way you can outrun your own mind or the horrors it would tell you. By the time Nino reach the station he had himself convinced that this was probably the worst thing he had ever done - except when he had ran out on Aiba and his grandmother. That stood still strong on the first place of the list of terrible things.

Just as he reached the top of the stair with one step to go he heard his name. His full name, at that, yelled in over some distance in a strained and exhausted tone. Looking over his shoulder thinking he had imagined it he saw Aiba coming to halt. He grabbed the railing to the stairs with both hand and tried to catch his breath.

He wore his coffee shop apron and probably had just begun his shift when Ohno had probably told him about him. Nino had known there was no way the guy hadn’t recognised him. Aiba looked good, all flushed from the exercise and sweating breaking out. He fixed Nino with a glance that wasn’t as foreboding as Nino had expected.

“You’re just leaving like that?” spat Aiba, still panting, sounding disbelieving as he looked up at him. Nino nodded at that, a bit confused as to why Aiba was here.
“You’re an asshole, you know that?” He smiled a bit as he said it to which Nino ventured a little one of his own.
“Yeah, I’ve been told repeatedly lately.”

Aiba came up as Nino turned away to see his train rolling in at the little platform which functioned as a station.
“My train-” Nino started to see Aiba coming up.
“You’re actually going again? Even when I came all the here to see you? When you came all this way to see me?” Nino looked away missing the pain in Aiba’s eyes on purpose.
“It was a mistake coming here, I realise that now.”
“Why? We are friends, are we not?” The question was surprising Nino to such a degree he was silenced for a minute. “Friends fall in and out of contact all the time,” Aiba continued, “A lot happened in the maintime. I’m glad you came back.”

“Are we still friends, Aiba-san?”
“Well, not if you don’t drop the prefix behind my name. Come on, let’s sit down for a minute. I haven’t see you in forever.” Aiba grabbed him by the wrist as he had always done in the past and dragged him to an uncomfortable looking iron bench on the platform. His train would leave in about twenty minutes. Nino wondered if he could convey anything in that time he wanted to say before coming here. Would he really be able to pour his heart out and truly tell Aiba he was sorry for something that had happened so long ago? Did Aiba even remember that? Did he even know how much it still plagued Nino?

“I’ve always considered you a friend, Nino. You’ve never been anything less than my best friend.” Nino couldn’t look at Aiba after that. He had tried to completely erase Aiba from his mind, and he had failed trying to do so. It was cruel of Aiba to tell he still considered them best friends.
“So why did you come back here? Checking up on your old friend, huh?” At this Nino should have just nodded, but he couldn’t even do that.

“Aiba-chan,” his voice sounded strangely soft unlike it used to be. He didn’t know how to finish his sentence and he was suddenly pulled into a tight hug. Aiba’s arms wrapped around him and Nino was pressed close to his body. His face landed in the crook of his neck, the skin still a bit sticky from aiba’s run to catch up to him.

“Did something happen Nino? Is that why you are here?” The concern almost brought Nino to the brink of apologizing - almost making him teary eyed.
“I read about the fire at the shop only yesterday evening.” It revealed so many things, that one sentence. It said that nino hadn’t checked up on him for ages, it said Nino wasn’t considering him a friend. It said Aiba hadn’t mattered to him for the longest of times.

“Only yesterday,” Aiba murmured and hugged Nino impossibly tighter, “And now you are here to see me.” The thing that drove Nino to hug back were these words and how Aiba seemed to pull the positive out of every negative he had ever thrown at the guy. He had missed it more than he had let on.

“Please say you’ll stay a while, Kazu-chan,” Aiba said softly, “I’ve missed you and I want to know what you’ve been up to all this time. I’ll drive you home if you miss your train. I’ll drive you home, period. Please stay.” How could he refuse? It’s better to refuse. Just apologise and get on the train.
“I’ll stay.” Because I’ve missed you too. But he doesn’t say it out loud, too afraid how true these words were. Nino knew he wouldn’t get rid of the nagging voices anytime soon either as they were telling him this was such a bad idea to begin with.

The way to Aiba’s shop was awkward, for lack of a better word. Nino didn’t say much on the account of battling the inner turmoil, Aiba seemed cheery enough for the both of them, but apart from pointing out new buildings and differences between the past and now, he kept quiet as well.

And if Nino thought they were heading for drink at the shop he had another thing coming when Aiba skipped up the stairs to the above situated apartment. He hadn’t been there in forever yet Aiba expected him to follow like he really was welcome there. Aiba turned around seeing Nino linger mid stairs.
“Come on up. I’ll treat you to some real hot chocolate. Unless you found the one at the shop to your liking?”
“It was different than what we used to drink, isn’t it.” Aiba smiled radiantly that he remembered. He showed Nino in. The whole layout of the house was changed. No more crowded genkan, there was a lot of open space with tatami mats, a sliding wall closing off the kitchen area, which was huge by all definitions.

“We’ve remodeled as you can see. The living room is now upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a hobby area. Downstairs is all just for dining and cooking. We’ve installed the last part of the kitchen just a little over four months ago.” Nino nodded, the only thing hanging on to his brain was the word “We?”
“Satoshi and I. We’re living here together.”

That hurt. A lot. But what was he expecting? Really? That Aiba would have waited for him? Aiba’s smile was still the same sunny kind as he pointed to the dining table for him to sit down at. “The company who made the chocolate ran out of business a long time ago. I’ve made them sell me everything they had left,” Aiba laughed, “And I won’t serve it to anyone, except to people I love.”

There was futile hope flaring up. A hope he shouldn’t have. If Aiba was happy with his life right now, who was he to destroy it. He would do himself a great honor and Shae as well for not giving into desperation and begging Aiba to … To what? To leave all that he had going and come back to him? Really? Was he that petty? He should be grateful Aiba had a good support in Ohno Satoshi.

“What ever happened to your zoo-ology studies? Did you go?”
“Of course.” Aiba’s answer came, though it sounded not as cheery as his usual conversational tone, “But gran fell ill, during my third year. By then my granddad had already passed away. So I left school and took up the work here.”

Aiba had stilled his chocolate making activities as he remembered that time. Nino knew he shouldn’t, but he was unable to stop himself. He went and hugged Aiba from behind, his arms around aiba’s torso, his face against his back.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”
He felt Aiba suppress a sob and halfhearted laugh. ‘I survived just fine.”
Nino knew he should let go, but he didn’t afraid Aiba would see the tears that threatened to spill. “I’m sorry I …” Nino didn’t know what to say to convey the turmoil inside his mind, “I’m just sorry - for everything.”

Aiba closed his arms around Nino’s and held on for a moment before breaking their hold. He. sniffled a bit softly. “Idiot,” was all he said before continuing.
“How did you do? Conservatorium, right? I read about you in the paper once or twice. Big shot music producer, right?”
“Hardly,” Nino joked, “Just some lowlife songwriter. I’m doing okay.” Aiba laughed looking at him as he sat back down again. “That’s not what the paper had to say about you.”
“I’m afraid to ask what your impression is of me after reading that. Hope you don’t believe what you read.”

Aiba shrugged. “Just that you’re more than a lowlife. And even if you were one, you’ll never be one in my eyes.” He returned to the table with the chocolate. There was a moment there when their eyes locked just for a second, before Nino looked away.
“How can you even say that with a straight face? After what I did?” There was another shrug.
“You were … having trouble with … what you were. We were young. Because I knew what I knew at that point in time about myself, didn’t mean you needed to have it figured out as well.” Aiba smiled reminiscently into his cup. “My grandma was sure you’d return. Even when she died, she told me how sorry she was for ruining what we had. She had faith you’d return.” The sad eyes with the half smile turned to Nino.

“And here you are.”

>>Here you are, because you are you<<

The news about his grandmother and what Aiba had told him hit hard. And he couldn’t even apologise for it. He expressed again how sorry he was for it, but Aiba swiped it of the table as it didn’t matter - it happened, it was the past and he was grateful Nino was here.
“I can show you the rest of the house if you want. The Chocolate needs to cool of a bit anyway. We’ve made lots of changes. Come on.”

Aiba let the way to the renovated staircase, now facing the other direction and thus creating the space in the genkan. Upstairs seemed to be just as different to him as downstairs had been.
“We’ve created two bedrooms, one master bathroom and a hobby room. I’m sleeping in my grandparents old bedroom.” He remembered Aiba’s room as messy with lingering clothes, just like his own. But it was neat, a basket of folded laundry sitting on the bed waiting to be put away. It looked way normal and homey. Aiba smiled as he took the basket and put it near the huge closet. He was wondering if Aiba was going to put it away while he watched.
“Come on,” Aiba said walking out, grabbing Nino’s wrist as if he would run off somewhere else. He pulled him to where the old bedroom used to be.

It now was a hobby chamber, with painting and drawing lying around. Not to mention the amount of fishing gear stalled in the back. There were drawings how ever that made him pause as he stared that them.
“Is that … Is that Matsumoto Jun? The Model?” Aiba stared at a painting Nino was looking at.
“Yeah. Satoshi is smitten with him at the moment. Says his features are beautiful, that the guy is beautiful inside and out.” Aiba rolled his eyes but smiled infatuated, “But that’s not what I wanted to show you.”

He walked to a closet and paused a moment before opening the doors and taking a step back so Nino could look at the amount of cds hiding there. There were a lot and Nino looked kind of confused. That was until he saw the titles.
“It’s every song you wrote,” Aiba said clarifying, in a quiet tone like he was ashamed, “I even got a hold of the musicals you did at school.

“Are you kidding? Why?”
“Because it’s you. It’s always been you.”
Nino looked at the painting of Jun. “What your Ohno-san? Aren’t you guys together now?” Aiba’s embarrassment broke into a smile.
“We’re roommates. We’re not together together. He helped me get back on track, so I gave him a place to stay. You thought we were together?

Nino stared and then smiled. “Are you together together with any one, then?”
“Only one.” Nino’s smile faltered, but Aiba stepped closer. “We never really broke up in the first place. I’ve been waiting for him to find his way back to me.”
Nino sighed.
“What if I still don’t know which way I swing?”
“Like that ever mattered to me in the first place,” Aiba said looking down on him and lowering his head to Nino’s, “All that matters is you being you,” sealing his words with a lingering kiss.

Date: 2016-09-10 04:26 pm (UTC)
reveetoile: (Omiya kuscheln)
From: [personal profile] reveetoile
Did I mention that I love the headers of the different parts? They are great.

I admire your descriptions of Nino’s feeling and everything around him. I really love reading those parts as I can really see and feel what Nino is feeling and that makes this story only more brilliant to read. I am happy he found a new friend. And I can understand his feelings towards Sho somehow even if I want to punch him too for his words to Shae and then kissing her just because he is mad at her >< Really not good, Nino
But it’s nice that she wants to continue to be friends and I love how forward she is. Just the thing Nino needs to be honest to himself and her

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Did I mention that I love the headers of the different parts? They are great.

I admire your descriptions of Nino’s feeling and everything around him. I really love reading those parts as I can really see and feel what Nino is feeling and that makes this story only more brilliant to read. I am happy he found a new friend. And I can understand his feelings towards Sho somehow even if I want to punch him too for his words to Shae and then kissing her just because he is mad at her >< Really not good, Nino
But it’s nice that she wants to continue to be friends and I love how forward she is. Just the thing Nino needs to be honest to himself and her

<<He often dreamed of his friend covered and surrounded by furry baby animals.>>
Such a cute picture. I wish I would dream such things too

Both of their lives and stories are so sad >< I’m happy they have friends to help them and they are able to continue living. But I would really love to read a little extra about how Nino had gotten known Sho and Jun privately in the end.
The turn this story took is scary. I really hope that Aiba is alright and I’m sad that Aiba’s grandmother died. She seemed to be such a lovely woman.

I’m too happy that Ohno is a baker. XD But I love stories where Ohno bakes bread… Probably because I love being in bakeries. The smell and everything (I should concentrate on reading and not reminiscence about bakeries…)
I’m glad that Aiba is alright and want to shake Nino so that he can’t run and would already talk to Aiba. He is so stubborn.
But I love Aiba for his straight forwardness >< and for his easy acceptance. He is still such a great friend for Nino and I am so happy he didn’t let him go. And you make me so curious about his relationship to Satoshi. How did they become so close that they even share an apartment now?

The ending is so sweet. Aiba waited for Nino and even collected all of his songs. Thank you dear anon. I really enjoyed this story sooo much. I couldn’t wait to read it till the end

Date: 2016-09-20 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avadiablo.livejournal.com
Thank you sooo much for this epic reply. This (and the first part comment) is the reason why people love to write. Your comment made me glow with so much happiness! So glad I can respond to it now.

I also learned a thing or two from your feedback to put into my own feedbacks. So thank you for that too. :D

I am truly greatful you like it. And thoses questions you pose - I might have an answer for them if I work them out. They didn't make the 2nd draft as I was short on time.


Date: 2016-09-10 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helenmaldon.livejournal.com
Eeeeeeeee my favorite kind of Aimiya is when their love develops from their friendship over time!! I love the headers and the way you chronicled their relationship, there were such sweet moments in this fic that truly made my heart go *kyun* ^^

Date: 2016-09-20 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avadiablo.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :D
I love Aimiya's friendship turned relationship too :) They are so cute together!

Date: 2016-09-11 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] koi-choshi.livejournal.com
Wow. Just wow.

What makes this more endearing is that it's not just about aimiya. It's an exploration of Nino's identity and sexuality. I really like that part where Nino first realized it. It's great reading his continuous denial of being gay and all the negative thoughts and decisions that followed because of his denial.

But then, it's not even about being into men! It's about Nino being into Aiba. And it's only Aiba in his heart and mind and sexuality doesn't even matter.

Thanks for this! I simply love it (and the technique too).

Date: 2016-09-20 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avadiablo.livejournal.com
Thank you!!!
I'm so glad you got it. That it was indeed not about being a certain way - but being into someone and being accepted.

Thank you so much for your feedback :)

Date: 2016-09-11 06:50 pm (UTC)
lilly0: (Aimiya cool)
From: [personal profile] lilly0
I love this fic. There is so much depth to this, and so much depth to Nino's character. The good and the bad sites, the whole turmoil of his feelings and his weird friendships - all of it was written in such a great way! I also liked the side-characters! (and the tiny glimpse of Juntoshi. Yes, I'm hopeless *lol*) I'm glad that in the end Aiba ran after Nino again, and didn't give up on him.

Date: 2016-09-20 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avadiablo.livejournal.com
I love writing drama. And I love Juntoshi too. There was no way I'd leave an opening like that go to waste, haha.

Thank you for your kind words.

Date: 2016-09-12 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zeon-avalanthe.livejournal.com
Aah. This was beautiful.

Nino was struggling with his own demons, too afraid to admit from the many betrayals he had from those around him.
And Aiba being all patient and understanding and just awesome. He's the best Nino could have, thank God Nino realized it not too late.

I somehow love Ohno's character here. He had watched Aimiya since they were kids, and helped Aiba back to his feet when he crumbled down. He was being protective of Aiba, maybe that was why he said nothing when he first saw Nino agaib. But at the same time, he knew that Nino is Aiba's happiness, so he decided to give the man a chance. All ready to catch Aiba if he were to fall again. Him being silently supportive is just amazing.

Thank you for this!

Date: 2016-09-20 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] avadiablo.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. Ohno just is that guy who supports from afar. He just gives of this whole vibe as a silent force. I love writing him like that.

Thanks for your kindness and feedback.
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