Pairing: Sakurai Sho/Ohno Satoshi (main), Matsumoto Jun/Ninomiya Kazunari (side), Sakurai Sho/Okada Junichi (past)
Summary: ‘Go away’ is just a lonely person’s way of saying, ‘show me that you care enough to stay’.
Notes: Written for [Unknown LJ tag] in Sho Exchange 2019
“Please go out with me.”
Sho blinked a few times as Ohno Satoshi said those words with his melodic voice. “To where?” He honestly had no idea what Ohno was talking about. It has only been a month since they met each other, at the housewarming party of Sho's friend Nino and his boyfriend Jun. On the party, Nino had introduced Ohno, who had to move to Tokyo recently, to Sho saying that Sho knew almost everywhere in Tokyo and would be the best help for Ohno instead of Nino himself. Sho had to agree with Nino's decision; he was definitely a better choice than Nino who never got out of his house, and also he was better than Jun, who worked out of the country for the moment. It was still a mystery to Sho that how Nino managed to meet Jun and how they became partners, but that didn't matter as they were pretty much established at that moment.
And with that, Sho had been helping Ohno to find an apartment in Tokyo. It wasn't an easy thing to do but Sho did his best anyway.
Ohno blinked in confusion. “Nowhere,” he answered. “I meant it like, dating?” he added, unsure of his own words.
Sho blinked once again, leaving the glass of coffee he was holding onto the table carefully. “Eh?” he mumbled. Did he hear him right? But it didn’t make sense at all. “Are you serious or are you just mocking me?” he asked wondering what kind of joke was this.
“I am,” Ohno answered seriously, to Sho’s surprise. “I like you, Sho-kun.”
Sho felt his brain going blank. This must be a joke, he told himself. “But we met only a month ago or so?” he found himself saying dumbly. The beating of his heart has increased as his hands went ice cold.
“Yes,” Ohno answered calmly. “I know.”
“Shouldn’t we… I don’t know, get to know each other first or something?” Sho replied, his hands were moving nervously, gesturing between Ohno and himself.
Ohno hummed and Sho stayed silent, waiting for him to say something, anything. “It’s okay,” Ohno said after a few moments of silence. “I’ll wait for you.”
“Eh?” Sho blinked. Seriously, where were the cameras?!
However, Ohno, pretty much unaffected looked at his wristwatch and the awkward atmosphere disappeared with that. “Oh, we should go, right?”
Sho who’s still pretty much shaken by the sudden confession that he got from Ohno could only nod. He hid his slightly shaking hands into the pockets of his jackets as they went out of the small café.
It had been a long time since Sho felt this lost. He sighed for the nth time on that night as Nino poured another glass of beer.
“I seriously can’t see the problem, Sho-chan,” Nino said once again. “Oh-chan is a nice person, and I knew he liked you for a while already.”
Sho groaned. “That’s not helping at all, Nino!” He looked up to meet Nino’s sparkling eyes. “I mean, this doesn’t make sense at all!” he said, trying his best to explain what’s going on in his mind to his lifelong best friend. His hands went back and forth as it seemed impossible to convey what he wanted to tell.
Nino sighed. “You see, it makes sense for Oh-chan.”
“But we only met like… a month ago or so?!” Sho insisted.
“You think, he’s just messing with you?” Nino arched an eyebrow. “Oh-chan is an old friend of Jun, and I can assure you that he doesn’t go for the things on a whim.”
“This is not about Ohno-san!” Sho said miserably. “He doesn’t know me, that’s the problem!”
“So you’re just saying that he doesn’t know you enough to put up with you?” Nino asked. Sho averted his gaze while biting his lower lip. “Hey, answer me,” Nino prodded gently.
“Exactly my point,” Sho mumbled since it was obvious that he was not someone whom people can put up with. Sho knew that Ohno would get bored of him soon, so was there a reason for him to try it? Sho wasn't up for any drama.
Nino heaved a sigh. “Sho-chan…” he wanted to say something without knowing what it was. He knew what Sho was talking about. Nino had been there when Sho went through a serious heartbreak seven years ago, and knowing the reason why he closed his heart didn't help at all.
“I know what you think, but I swear it's not about that,” Sho said, as he knew what Nino wanted to say. “I'm over Okada.”
Nino wasn't convinced at all and the look he gave to Sho was screaming that, but he chose to not to say anything.
And Sho was more than glad to not to talk about that.
It was already past midnight when Sho finally closed the doors of his house, feeling exhausted. Work had been hell and this problem with Ohno was constantly on his mind, making him more exhausted than normal. The night out with Nino didn't ease his mind, even causing him more to think.
He had been successfully avoiding thinking about Okada for a long time but Sho brought his name up that night (stupid, stupid Sho!), it only made him think about how he messed up their relationship again.
He slumped on his door, sliding until he was sitting on the hard, cold and most probably dirty floor of the entrance. He closed his eyes, letting his head hit the hard and cold surface of the door.
It was Ohno's fault. He tried to blame Ohno for confessing him and bringing these memories back to the surface. But then again, he was perfectly aware that Ohno had done nothing wrong. It was all Sho's fault. He was the one who had failed to keep his relationship alive, and he was the one who still couldn't get over the shock. It had been seven years since he and Okada broke up but, somehow, everything still reminded Sho of him.
Sho wouldn’t deny that he had loved Okada a lot when they were together. And maybe a part of Sho still loved him and hoped that everything would be fixed between them miraculously.
They had met at Niigata, where Sho had lived for three years. They were working in the same company and Sho had been sent to Niigata branch by the HR to improve their work there. Okada had been assigned to assist Sho, and it didn’t take them too long to fall in love. They were together for three years when HR called Sho back to Tokyo and they decided to keep a long distance relationship. However, the distance between Niigata and Tokyo was a lot more than they had expected, and keeping this relationship together was getting harder day by day.
Sho was a workaholic, who hadn’t acknowledged it yet back then, and given to that fact, the time he could create for Okada was getting shorter and shorter without even realizing it. They had been together for five years when they broke up. The reason was simple. Sho still remembered Okada’s words painfully.
“I can’t go on like this anymore,” he had said on the phone. His voice was colder than any other times Sho had remembered. Certainly, they had their own ups and, but Sho felt a shiver run down from his spine when he heard Okada saying those words. He was serious, and Sho was so scared about anything and everything that might happen after that. When Sho managed to utter a shaky why on the phone, Okada continued: “I loved you once, but it’s not working anymore.”
Sho still remembered how he cried himself to the sleep that day. And he remembered how broken he actually was, yet at the same time how scared he was to show that to the people around him. He did his best not to let it out for a long while, going to work and doing what he did since forever. Only that he shut himself out for relationships.
The latter wasn’t actually on purpose. It wasn’t like he decided to shut himself but more likely that there wasn’t anyone who would want him anyway. In most aspects, Sho was a fairly normal person, despite the amount of work he usually did in one day. There was nothing special about him. He had sloping shoulders, his daily hobby was eating, the juniors in the station never laughed at his lame jokes, he had a schedule even for how long he would be in the toilet (which usually bore everyone), and he was terrible at drawing or anything artistic. And given all these, no one around him had considered him as a suitable date.
But there Ohno was, confessing his love (or just a simple interest?) towards Sho, and Sho was confused by it. Sho rubbed his eyes, frustrated, before getting up from the cold floor and heading towards his bedroom, walking through the messy living room.
He plopped down on his bed after changing into his nightwear and fell into a restless sleep.
Luckily, he was busy for the whole week after that confession and the talk with Nino, so he was able to avoid all the interactions with Ohno and incoming calls from Nino.
Things were getting hectic and Sho was definitely working himself to his bones, but he would never ever admit it to anyone even when his very nice colleague, Aiba Masaki, another project director from their department, sent him home for some rest.
Well, he could still work from home, he thought when he closed the door of his house, feeling extremely tired yet hating to leave a job half-finished.
He didn’t even bother himself with changing, only taking his necktie off as he placed his computer on the dining table, which was bigger than the desk in his study, and opened all the documents in front of him before going back to the kitchen to make a coffee to keep himself awake for a couple of hours. His thoughts strayed to his family for a moment as he waited for his coffee.
“You’re working too much, Sho-chan,” his mother would usually complain whenever he denied her call multiple times because he was busy.
“You should get some rest!” his sister, who was happily married, would tell him whenever she got the chance to talk to him.
“You are almost married to your schedule, brother,” his little brother, who was attending university, would say amused, yet the tint of worry could be heard if you had listened well.
“Being a hard worker is a good thing son, but at this rate, you will ruin your body,” even his father, who was known to be the most strict person in the whole Sakurai family, told him in their last family dinner. Yet Sho ignored every single warning. Because, honestly, he loved working. He hated to disappoint others, so he took as much as work he could manage. And work provided him to think about something else, which is not about Ohno.
All those warnings were meaningless, Sho thought. He was tougher than everyone thought. For what he had known, he had always managed to perform every freaking duty of his (and most of the time including the duties that didn't belong to him at all too) without a single failure.
However, apparently that day was an exception. He was starting to doubt he could manage as the day continued and he had prossed to take his uptenth coffee from kitchen. He blamed sitting too long for his wobbly legs but he was being uncharacteristically clumsy, his hands trembling as they clutched the coffee mug in order not to drop it. He felt tired, not that he would ever acknowledge it. He just thought that the lack of sleep was finally getting him. He could always sleep later. After he had finished his work and when no one was expecting anything from him.
He sighed as he set the mug to a small space that was saved from the mountains of paper works and he rubbed his eyes frustratedly. He felt a shiver running down from his spine as he coughed a bit. However, before he could elaborate what was happening, the doorbell disturbed him.
He groaned, feeling like the door was too far away, unable to think who might be ringing his door this late at night. He did his best to get up, shuffle his way towards the door and open it without expecting anything.
He blinked a few times, in an almost futile attempt to make his eyes focus on one point, which happened to be his guest. He leaned on the frame of the door, squinting his eyes, “Ohno-kun?” he mumbled, confused to see him. Maybe he was dreaming… Yes, he was definitely dreaming.
Sho vaguely saw Ohno's frown and before he could even say anything, he felt Ohno's hands on his forehead. His hand felt nice and cool against his skin, almost like a healing effect, and without thinking, he leaned into his touch.
“What have you been doing to yourself, Sho-kun…” Ohno mumbled, somehow sounding angry. Sho was amazed by how real his dream felt when Ohno pushed him inside gently.
“Ohno-kun?” Sho repeated.
Ohno, or his imagination, didn't answer this time, just continued to drag him towards his bedroom. Then imaginary-Ohno made him sit down on the bed, slowly taking off his work shirt and making him wear a t-shirt. He did the same to Sho's trousers too, and if this was real Ohno, Sho would be beyond embarrassed but since it was his imagination, he just let it happen.
He even let imaginary-Ohno tug him into his bed, wrapping him up into the unexpectedly fluffy and definitely expensive covers that he got as a present from Nino (probably Jun was the one who chose it anyways).
“Sleep for now, Sho-kun,” he heard imaginary-Ohno speaking softly as he caressed his hair and tugged it out of his face.
Before he could even think further, Sho found himself obeying Ohno as his eyes closed and he let Ohno's gentle touch lull him into a peaceful sleep.
The next time he woke up, imaginary-Ohno was still there. This time, he was holding a cup of water and some pills for him to drink. This was wrong, Sho thought as he felt Ohno’s movements too real for being imaginary. He tried to blink the tiredness away and focus on the gentle face. Nope, that was really Ohno. Wait, did that mean…?
“Ohno-kun? Why are you here?” Sho finally asked, his voice croaky.
Ohno shrugged. “I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” he said with his gentle voice. When Sho blinked in confusion, Ohno explained. “Jun-kun came back to surprise Nino,” he said.
Sho frowned. “And how does that relate to you being here?”
Ohno gave him a look, almost asking him ‘are you kidding me?’ “Have you never thought what they do when they are together?” Ohno asked.
“Well…” Sho blushed deeply, praying for his fever to mask his embarrassment. The last thing he wanted was to imagine his two friends fucking each other. Oh God. Sho shook his head.
“Exactly,” Ohno murmured. “I definitely don’t want to witness a live porn starring my two best friends,” he said closing his eyes as if to dismiss the thought just like Sho had done. “I have nothing against porn,” he said suddenly. “But I prefer if I don’t personally know the people in it. That way it’s more exciting to watch,” he continued casually.
Sho chuckled. This was stupid. Sho had a fever and he was talking about porn with Ohno in his own bed.
“What kind of porn do you like, Sho-chan?” Ohno asked suddenly.
“Are we seriously having this conversation?” Sho asked incredulously.
“Why not? I would like to know what you like,” Ohno shrugged as if he was always talking about porn to everyone.
“Any kinks?” Ohno prodded further. “You don’t have to worry, I’m open-minded, so we can try out pretty much anything.”
Sho once again groaned, burying his face into his pillow to hide his embarrassment. Then he heard Ohno’s chuckle.
“You’re cute when you’re embarrassed,” he told Sho softly.
“You don’t know anything about me,” Sho grumbled through the pillow.
Ohno poked at his side. “I think I know some,” he hummed thoughtfully. “You have sloping shoulders,” he said, earning a glare from Sho. He giggled, then continued. “You love eating, and clams are your favorite. You always make this super happy face whenever you eat clams.”
“Discovering my favorite food shouldn’t be that hard,” Sho reasoned. He knew he was sounding harsh towards Ohno but he couldn’t let his walls down.
However, Ohno didn’t budge. “And you’re a workaholic. You have a schedule for everything, it’s a bit overwhelming.”
“I’m sorry,” Sho said with an offended tone.
Ohno arched an eyebrow to his bitter tone, “I didn’t say it as a bad thing.”
Sho turned his back to Ohno. “Yeah, I’m sure of it,” he said, trying to sound neutral. This is where he sucked. Okada probably thought the same thing. Overwhelming, he thought. Sho must be overwhelming everyone.
After a few beats of silence, Ohno suddenly announced. “Okay, I’ve decided.”
Surprised, Sho turned to look at Ohno. “What?”
“I’ll stay,” Ohno simply said.
“Eh?” Sho blinked, confused. “Why?”
“I care about you,” Ohno said calmly. “So I’ll stay with you to make sure you don’t wear yourself away.”
“Wait, wait, wait!” Sho exclaimed when Ohno stood up beside his bed to go to the kitchen. “Your reasoning doesn’t make sense at all!”
Ohno shrugged as he left Sho’s room quickly. Sho was left alone and dumbfounded but he could hear Ohno’s movements from his kitchen. He let out a sigh while letting his back hit the mattress again. Sho was sure that Ohno would leave. Yet, Ohno didn’t. An unconscious smile adored Sho's lips as he looked at his ceiling. He tried to ignore the relief he was feeling when Ohno said he wasn’t leaving.
Ohno was strange, but not unpleasant.
-Four years later-
After four years since that night, Sho still couldn’t believe Ohno really didn’t leave. Well, it was a pleasant surprise, there was no way Sho would deny it at that point. Uh, no, not at all. Not when he’s sleeping with his arms wrapped around Ohno’s slim and unexpectedly muscular middle.
Leave the surprises to Satoshi, Sho mused as he nuzzled towards Satoshi’s neck. His sweet, almost baby-like scent was filling Sho’s senses and he smiled. He was so insecure and so scared about being together with Ohno when he first declared that he loved Sho. It was almost overwhelming, too surrealistic. But here was Ohno, still declaring how much he loved Sho almost everyday. It made him smile, Satoshi made him smile everyday. Unlike his relationship with Okada, this was filled with softness and Sho liked it very much.
He was happy, and surprised. He didn’t think he could ever love anyone other than Okada, but his heart was so filled up with Ohno at the moment. They had their own ups and downs, yes. Ohno would still go to fishing and Sho would still feel frustrated about not being able to contact him for at least 12 hours. Sho was still a workaholic, who often tire himself to the point of collapsing and Ohno still got angry with him for being reckless. But even after everything, Ohno still haven’t left. Even after he got to know about how bothersome Sho actually was, he hadn’t left. Sho never needed to ask why he didn’t leave, he would only get an answer like “it’s because I love you.” It was okay though, Sho was more than happy with Ohno.
It would probably sound too cheesy if he declared this out loud, but it felt like it had been raining until he met Satoshi. It was like those cold rains that made people shiver, and Sho had been standing all alone under that rain, trembling and feeling cold all over. Satoshi came with an umbrella, held his hand out for Sho and when Sho refused to take that hand, he simply reached out and took it himself.
There were still times that it had rained. However, this time, he had Satoshi there to guard them with an umbrella whenever he needed.
“You’re staring,” Satoshi mumbled drowsily, a sleepy smile adorning his face.
“Mmmm…” Satoshi stretched out his limbs like a lazy cat before burying himself under the fluffy blanket again. “You can…” he simply gave his contentment.
Sho didn’t say anything as he just placed a sloppy kiss to Ohno’s face. “I love you,” he said as he tightly wrapped his arms around Satoshi.
“Mmmm… I love you too,” Satoshi answered with a satisfied smile on his face.