Title: Their relationship
Characters and Pairings: Sakurai Sho, Aiba Masaki, Ohno Satoshi, Ninomiya Kazunari, Matsumoto Jun, Sakuraiba (Sho/Aiba)
Genre: Angst, Romance, Friendship.
Summary: [...] But what made him the happiest, after all, was that during filming he could be Aiba’s friend. He could tap him on his shoulder, smile at him, stand beside him, grab his hips to make him move, slap him jokingly, talk to him, laugh at his every oddity. And no one, not even the man himself, would find that strange.
Disclaimer: Sho said he's not gay (?) so this definitely didn't happen. I don't own Arashi, unfortunately.
A/N: It took me a while to finish this story because I kept on deleting it to rewrite it. I'm still not completely satisfied with it, but I felt like I should let go of it and make it see the light of day, so to speak.
In his dream, that guy was smiling. That’s how he knew it was a dream.
“Sakurai-san, good morning,” someone yelled in his direction.
“Ah, good morning, Nakayama-san,” he answered back.
Sho walked along the dimly lit corridor to reach the greenroom. Inside, three of his bandmates were already there.
“Morning.” He looked around. “Where’s Nino?”
“Good morning.” It was Jun. He was sitting on the couch, with his laptop on his knees, busy with something. “He’s running a bit late. Said there’s traffic, but we all know he was up all night playing and woke up late.”
“I see.” Sho sat on the couch opposite Jun. Aiba and Ohno, on the couch adjacent to his own, hadn’t spoken yet, but that was hardly news. They usually sat in silence, sleeping, listening to music or warming up when they were about to perform in a concert or show.
Not that Jun and Nino were usually very loquacious. Jun, much like himself, was always working. Even when he wasn’t watching videos of their performances, or deciding the set-list for their next concert, or reading his scripts, he was unable to sit still if he had nothing to do. So he would read a book, or practice his dance steps even if he knew them perfectly already.
Nino, on the other hand, liked to play videogames anywhere, anytime. Whenever he wasn’t furiously clicking away at his Nintendo, he would bother Ohno any which way. Sho never knew how the oldest could just sit idly and let Nino just do whatever he wanted to him without complaining even once, only letting out a small laugh every once in a while, or maybe flailing his arms around unconvincingly, like one would to send away a particularly noisy fly.
Sho picked up a newspaper from the coffee table. As per his request, the staff would get two or three different Japanese newspapers and a couple of international ones for him to read in the greenroom during breaks. That was his usual routine. He would sit on the couch, always on the same spot, cross his left leg on top of his right, and flick through the pages until it was go time. Crossing his legs as usual, he lifted his newspaper, wondering whether to start with politics or economics this time. But just as soon as he had decided to settle for sports, he couldn’t even make it through the first article before noticing that his attention was slowly drifting from the written words in front of him to the figure on his left.
He was slouching on the couch, his knees touching the coffee table in front of him slightly. He had his eyes closed, but he wasn’t sleeping. There were earbuds in his ears, the white wire gently running on his rising and falling chest, down to his left hip to end up in his hand, where it was connected to his phone. His lips were slightly parted, but he wasn’t smiling.
‘But then again,’ Sho thought, ‘he’s never smiling.’
In his dream, the sky is very blue. No cloud on sight, only blue. Sho looks up and painfully closes his eyes when the sun hits them.
He feels someone hugging him from behind. A giggle in his right ear. Then the sound hits his left ear as well. The hands are still holding him in a tight embrace. That giggle is like music all around him.
He’s flying. He’s afraid of heights, but somehow he’s not scared. He’s not even flying, it’s just that the sky is so blue, and he’s standing on top of a hill, and so he feels like flying. But the hands around his waist are keeping him on the ground, the giggle is telling him to stay.
He doesn’t have to turn around to know who it is. His eyes are still closed when he whispers his name.
The recordings for Arashi ni Shiyagare had started right on time, with a panting Nino coming in the greenroom ten minutes later than he should have. He didn’t apologise until he saw Jun and Sho’s stern looks, to which he replied with a gesture that was meant to express his apology. They all knew that it would happen again, but as long as everything run smoothly, nobody would get into a fight about it.
The filming went on for about a hour and a half, with Arashi being in their high spirits as usual. To anyone watching, those five men would look like they would be having genuine fun. And, yes, Sho thought they were having a bit more fun now than they did a few years ago, certainly. Jun seemed more at ease, Ohno was more talkative, Aiba was more relaxed, and Nino was being his usual snarky self. As for himself, he was very happy when they brought out the food, and he had his chubby cheeks to vouch for that.
But what made him the happiest, after all, was that during filming he could be Aiba’s friend. He could tap him on his shoulder, smile at him, stand beside him, grab his hips to make him move, slap him jokingly, talk to him, laugh at his every oddity. And no one, not even the man himself, would find that strange.
Because when the director would yell “cut!” and the cameras would stop rolling and they would head back to their greenroom, away from the fans’ eyes, Sho would go back to being ignored by Aiba, and Aiba would go back to being his normal self. Not the bubbly, cheerful, idiot character who groped his butt and playfully called him “Sho-chan” on TV. No, the real Aiba was silent, didn’t laugh very much, wasn’t stupid, minded his personal space, and called him “Sho-kun,” if he even called him at all.
“Are you busy tonight?” It was Jun who spoke. They were back in the greenroom, getting ready to go back home.
Sho shook his head. “I have a day off tomorrow.”
“We were thinking of going out to drink. Are you coming?”
“Is everyone going? Even Nino?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and looking at Nino, who was shoving things in his bag absent-mindedly with one hand, while he had his phone on the other. He stopped to raise his middle finger at Sho, who laughed.
“Let’s go, Sho-kun,” said Ohno patting him friendly.
“Yeah, let’s go, Sho-kun,” mocked Nino, repeating the same gesture as Ohno, but pretending to make his hand slip from his shoulder because it was too sloped.
The five of them headed out as Ohno laughed at Sho trying to chase Nino to punch him.
Masaki never calls him without honorifics off-camera, but this time he distinctly hears him say “Sho,” his smiling lips on his neck, tickling him with his breath. He doesn’t find it weird, he’s flying away after all, and Masaki’s voice is the only thing keeping him on the ground.
The younger man is letting go of him, Sho can feel his heat disappear. He turns around and finally remembers to open his eyes to look at him. He’s dressed in black cargo shorts and a white shirt. He’s always feeling so hot, that guy, so he has his sleeves rolled up, and now he’s standing there, arms open wide, smiling at him.
The way Masaki looks right now, waiting and looking at him like that, tells Sho that he should be finding this amusing, that he should be laughing like he always does when the man does something out of the ordinary. He always laughs, so he can hide behind the noise. But this time he feels it’s okay to stay silent, to let his gaze linger on the taller man in front of him, and find him cute instead of funny.
He finds himself drawn to him, and it scares him. His brain tries to stop him, but his limbs don’t seem to obey. Slowly, but firmly, he steps closer and closer. He doesn’t know what to do when he’s just inches apart from Masaki’s face, his lips just a breath away from stopping the music coming from the man’s mouth.
Still smiling and laughing, Masaki takes his hands and pulls him so hard into his embrace that they both end up falling on the grass on the hill in the sky. The lawn is so green, and Masaki is so warm, and the melody is telling him to kiss him, and so Sho does it.
The music stops immediately, only to play again inside his mouth. His tongue battles his way through lips and teeth to taste the sweet symphony. He feels dizzy. The blades of grass under his hands tickle his skin, and that’s the only reason why he’s sure that he’s not flying. But the feeling in the pit of his stomach feels like falling, and he knows that he’s falling in love.
Masaki shifts under him, and he feels the younger man’s hands on his back, pulling him closer before reaching for the hem of his shirt so they can slide under it. They feel so hot on his skin, leaving an invisible burning mark everywhere they touch.
The alarm inside Sho’s brain rings again. He breaks the kiss and looks down at the man under him. Masaki looks up at him innocently, with just a hint of playfulness in his gaze.
“Why did you stop, Sho?”
You never want to meet Arashi when they’re drunk, Sho thought while putting his phone in his pocket. They were the lousiest drunks ever, starting from Ohno. He’d start out being super hyped, laughing at everything for any reason. Then when he’d get to his third drink, his mood would gradually sink the drunker he’d get, until he’d end up a whimpering mess in the corner of his seat, eventually weeping himself to sleep.
Jun was different. He had the lowest alcohol tolerance among the five of them, so he got drunk as soon as he emptied half a drink, and that’s when it got weird. He would stare into space, silently thinking about only god knows what, and would come out of his trance every once in a while to ask pointless questions. The drunker he got, the heavier the questions became. He often ended up talking about work, and whenever someone would get up to go to the bathroom, or go home, he’d panic and beg them to stay longer. It was kind of a pain in the ass, but it amused Sho to no end to see the Matsumoto Jun so needy, so he didn’t protest that much and complied.
Nino definitely had the highest tolerance among them, which was rather surprising to Sho, seeing how he was so short and skinny. He would gobble down drink after drink with a pleased expression on his face, and you would only notice he’d got drunk when he started telling dirty jokes and lewd stories non-stop. It was actually somewhat funny, until he started taking about his own sex life and started teasing everyone else about theirs, and things got annoying.
And then there was Aiba. Well, Aiba had this habit to drunkenly take off his clothes when he was younger, but that phase had passed. He would now alternate stages of deep silence to outbursts of laughter and random declarations of gratitude to Arashi in between tears. He would also touch everyone a lot, embracing them or pushing them. Sho hated that he liked this Aiba so much because he knew that sitting beside him would grant him a hug sooner or later.
As for Sho himself, he was probably the worst drunk ever. His inhibitions would lower considerably when he drank, so he kept the alcohol at a minimum. He dreaded to think what would have happened if he and Junior-days Aiba had ever been left alone in a room while super drunk. He wasn’t sure the same thing wouldn’t happen now, anyway. And, again, Sho hated himself for even thinking to take Aiba out to drink just the two of them so he could see if he'd be right.
He stepped back into the bar where the other members were still drinking. He had gone outside to call a taxi for everyone, like he usually did at the end of their nights out. Getting up had been quite a hassle, as Jun wouldn’t let him go. He finally managed to escape when Nino distracted him with a particularly vulgar joke that he had just made up.
“J, ne?” he heard Nino speaking as he entered the private room. “If he dumped his girlfriend he could probably have anyone he liked. Women or men,” he added pointing a finger at Jun knowingly.
Sho cleared his voice. “I think the only thing we’ll all be having right now is a good night sleep,” he said, while Aiba was singing Love so sweetin the background.
Jun stirred in his seat, but didn’t say anything. He was probably past the point of no return, when he would get so drunk that he would basically be sober. Jun was weird like that.
Nino shook Ohno, who was sleeping on the seat on his right, yelling in his ear. “Oh-chaaan, Oh-chaaaaan.” Ohno lifted his head and Sho could see his puffy eyes open up, not quite waking up. It took a good half hour to get everyone on their feet and to the taxis.
After leaving his friends to their cabs, Sho decided to walk home. He put his hands in his pockets and lifted his head to look at the sky. The lights of the city were too bright, and he couldn’t see any stars. His mind wandered back to a memory of a starry night in Italy, and he felt nostalgic. Aiba slept through the whole night, while Sho stayed on the veranda, half looking at the sky over the Coliseum, half looking back at his sleeping friend’s face back in the room. He smiled at the thought.
“Shooo-kun,” he heard a voice yell. He turned around to see none other than Aiba Masaki running towards him. Tripping in mid-air, he crashed into his chest, making him fall on the ground, with Aiba on top of him. The man laughed while apologising, a fit of hiccups shaking his body.
“Oouf, Aiba-kun, what are you doing? Where’s your taxi?” Sho struggled to get the man off of him, but with no success.
“Sorry, sorry,” he said, getting up. “Let’s walk - hic - home together?”
“Aiba-kun,” Sho said impatiently, “your house is in the opposite direction.”
The man slapped Sho’s head teasingly. “I know - hic - I want to sleep at your - hic - place.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I’m going to call another taxi for you, okay?” He sighed as he took his phone from his pocket.
He managed to get as far as dialling the number of the cab company before he felt one of Aiba’s hands grab his neck. Next thing he knew, Aiba Masaki was kissing him in the middle of the street, at night, under a pitch-black sky with no stars. He considered closing his eyes for a second, to give in to the man’s tongue trying to force its way into his mouth, to tilt his head up to give him better access, to grab him by the waist and make him feel how much his body wanted this…
“Hello? Hello? Who’s there?”
Sho snapped from his fantasy and forcefully pushed Aiba away. Still panting, he brought the phone to his ear and answered. “Yes, sorry. I need a cab.” He glanced sideways at the other man, now sitting on the ground and staring at some pebbles, unfazed. After giving the guy on the phone all the info he needed, he and Aiba waited for the cab in silence.
“Why did you stop, Sho?” Masaki repeats.
He loves hearing his name on his lips, so he claims them again with his own, and starts kissing him more deeply, more passionately. He unbuttons the man’s shirt with fumbling hands while the younger man’s fingers are yanking off his.
Sho breaks them apart again, but this time he doesn’t waver. He starts kissing Masaki’s neck. Slowly, he savours every kiss, every lick, every bite. He feels the man’s fingers rushing up and down his back, and every time they slide down, they pinch his butt on top of his jeans. He shivers, as his hunger growls inside of him.
With a sense of urgency, he plants a kiss on Masaki’s mouth, nibbling on his lower lip. One hand starts tracing the curve of his neck, while the other is roaming on his chest to get a sense of his perfectly sculpted body. His mouth leaves his lips and heads for his nipples, taking one in, making the man whimper. Sho feels a rush of blood flow to his lower abdomen with every moan Masaki makes, and he feels like going crazy.
Like in a trance, he starts kissing his chest, trailing down with his lips and his tongue. He feels the younger man’s breathing stop when he reaches his hips and starts pulling his jeans down.
Masaki’s hardness can be seen under his boxers, and the sight makes him even more painfully aware of his own arousal too. He carefully pulls at the elastic band until the man is completely naked, and Sho can start caressing his thighs very slowly. His skin is soft like a cloud, and Sho is wondering if he’s not flying again, because clouds only exist in the sky and he’s touching one.
He realises then that the young man has almost stopped breathing in anticipation, so he gently kisses him on his leg to remind him to breathe. Masaki sighs again, and Sho feels his hands on his shoulders, pulling him up again.
“Sho,” he moans in between kisses before pushing him aside and getting on top of him. Masaki scratches at his jeans, sending a dull vibration to his constrained erection. Without any notice, the younger man pulls down his jeans and his boxers in one go. Sho gasps as he feels Masaki touch his member suddenly. He shuts his eyes tightly as he feels a hand on his chest, while the other is moving up and down his length at a good pace.
“Look at me,” Masaki whispers, and Sho can’t help but obey. Masaki is sitting on his legs, his erection dangerously close to his own, but without touching it, as the hand on his member is still working him steadily.
The sight before him is too erotic, and Sho feels like he’s being pushed over the edge. He sits up and stares into the man’s eyes. His pupils are completely dilated, and for some reason that makes his heart skip a beat. He reaches for his erection and starts pumping him at the same rhythm as he’s being stroked by him. The younger man sighs and starts rocking his hips into his palm, throwing his head back and leaving his neck exposed. His perfect skin is glistening with sweat under the sun. Sho attacks his collarbone with a bite and that earns him another moan, a different, somehow lower and more urgent moan. Masaki pushes away Sho’s hand from his member and wraps both their erections together between his hands. His strokes become more desperate, and Sho knows that they’re both close to pure bliss. He kisses every inch of the man’s skin that he can, while grabbing his butt with his hands, separating the cheeks and pushing him forward.
They both come yelling each other’s name. Fingers intertwining, lips locking, they fall back onto the grass. Masaki rolls over still holding one of his hands, and starts laughing. Sho joins in, thinking that this is the happiest he’s ever been. The sky is clear, the grass is soft, he’s flying with Masaki by his side and everything is perfect. His heart is beating fast and he feels lightheaded. And he really, really means it when he says “I love you.”
He woke up from the dream panting. He acknowledged with a groan that his pants were wet, so he stood up and went to the bathroom to change. When he got back, he looked at the digital clock on his nightstand and saw that it was 4:20 in the morning. He had a day off, but he still planned to wake up at 6 that day, so he crawled up inside his bed again and tried to sleep, hoping that Aiba wouldn’t visit his dreams again. But that was a useless wish, since he couldn’t manage to sleep anyway.
Tossing and turning, he couldn’t help but thinking about last night. He liked to tell himself that he couldn’t have prevented the kiss, but he knew it wasn’t true. He had realised what Aiba was going to do and yet he didn’t stop it. Instead, he welcomed it. He wished he could use alcohol as an excuse for his behaviour, but he knew that he wasn’t drunk enough. He knew that he would avoid getting drunk exactly because he knew something like this could happen.
He took his phone and looked at the screen. He opened up a new message. ‘I’m sorry,’ he started typing. ‘I should have stopped you. I know you didn’t mean to do that, but I should have known better.’ He clenched his fingers on the device. ‘But I wanted that, Aiba. I’ve always wanted that. I know it wasn’t right and I regret ever letting it happen. I hope you can forgive me. I won’t ever let that happen again, you can rest assured.’ He blinked back the tears forming in his eyes as he read his text over and over again. He even considered sending it, and get this over with. He was tired of pretending.
He sighed, and deleted the text. He would ask Aiba what he remembered about last night as soon as he saw him. He was pretty wasted, so he had high hopes that he wouldn’t remember a thing, and everything would be back to normal just like that. If he remembered… well, he would have to pretend to be mad or something. He knew Aiba would be apologising, and he would forgive him after a day or so. It was the only way. The only way.
The clock blinked. 5:00 a.m. With just an hour left before he had to wake up, Sho drifted back to sleep, dreaming of soft clouds, a hill in the sky, and kisses under the sun.
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