primroseshows: made by me (ohmiya: we tilt in the same direction)
[personal profile] primroseshows
This was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Just an exercise to see if I can actually write "short" fic. Conclusion: not really.

(PS. this is not even read over by me. I basically wrote it and then directly copy+pasted it here. THUMBS UP FOR QUALITY CONTROL!)

Fandom: Arashi
Word count: 1,223
Notes: Warnings for character death. Also warnings for using Western wedding traditions because I'm not really sure how weddings in Japan work and I didn't want to look it up because if given the chance to double-guess myself, I'd end up not posting anything.

It's Jun who breaks their promise first. The girl is the daughter of a foreign expat; half Spanish. He meets her on the set of his new movie and she doesn't know a thing about Arashi, doesn't know how famous he is; all she's told is that Matsumoto Jun-san is asking for coffee, can she please go fetch it?

She fetches the wrong brand, hands him sugar packets when he likes it black, and tells him he has very pretty eyes in thickly accented Japanese.

Seven months later there's a wedding and the bride is resplendent as she walks through the sand, the orange blossoms in her hair swaying gently in the soft breeze of the shore.

By the time Jun's first child is born, Aiba has been together with Becky for over two years. They think their relationship is a secret, and it is, but secrets aren't kept within Arashi and Arashi loves who Aiba loves, so when Aiba announces one night that Becky finally said the words back, his words slurred with drink and happiness, Arashi cheers and ruffles his hair and slaps him on the back in congratulations. Aiba hiccups and wipes his cheeks, laughing wetly.

Sho takes a while. It's not that he has really high standards, though he does, and it's not that he's too conservative to throw himself into hasty relationships, though he is. It's that he's too dedicated to his job and his usual choice of evening company are his laptop, a stack of newspapers, and on holidays, his family. But. While filming a segment about the importance of clean water in rural communities, Sho is shipped to Vietnam and finds himself wading hip-deep through a jungle river, keeping company with lazy alligators and fishes with fangs, the war anthem of a thousand million bugs buzzing in his ears. His translator is four years older than he is, can grab a carp out of the water with her bare hands, and has dimples, made deeper by the shadows on her sun-tanned face. Sho learns that her hobbies are cooking and weaving baskets, and her greatest wish is to one day go back home to Japan and start a family, when she's done with her field research project. By the end of the week, he finds himself wanting to be part of that wish too.

They don't meet again for nearly eight months, and by then, Ohno has been married off to a nice girl of his mother's suggestion and who is, unsurprisingly, perfect for him. She's got round hips and a gentle smile and loves the smell of the sea he drags home with him every day. At their wedding reception, she introduces her old childhood friend to Arashi, and Sho practically jumps out of his chair when he recognizes her. Her skin is much lighter, her hair is cut, styled neatly, but her dimples are the same. She laughs when Aiba talks about miracles and Jun corrects it as fate, but is smart enough to understand a blessing when she hears one.

Standing by the bar, alone, waiting for his drink to be refilled and subtly checking out his hair in his empty glass, Nino turns to watch Ohno float across the floor with his new wife in his arms. It's fluid, but it's not the type of fluidity that usually marks Ohno's intensely choreographed dance routines. When the dance is over and Ohno walks towards him, Nino congratulates himself on getting it right: contentment. It's splashed all over Ohno's face too: both corners of his lips are twitched upwards as if Ohno's forgotten they can actually lower back down and doesn't care to try.

They talk for a few minutes about how Sho's crush is too good for him and when Jun's next baby is due and if Aiba and Becky will finally adopt that pig they've been talking about for ages, but Nino can sense the inevitable question coming like an approaching tide.

"So," Ohno starts, shoulder sliding beside Nino's.

"So," Nino echoes.

The answer to the question is yes.

Yes, Nino remembers the promise the five of them had made together, back in that dim, damp-smelling hotel room, back when they were too young and everything they did felt like they were clawing their way out of a deep pit, back when the only thing they were sure of was that Arashi was the five of them, was what the five of them would make of it.

Yes, Nino remembers the feel of Aiba's hand underneath his palm, of Ohno's hand on top, of seeing the solemn set in Sho's jaw as he stared at the centre of their circle, the four of them listening to the raw whisper of Jun's voice as he said that they would make Arashi succeed, they would. They would stand on top of the world, the five of them there, and they would stay together, they would always stay together, until the very end.

Yes, Nino remembers that promise. Every word.

Yes, Nino was stupid enough to believe in it. In every damn word.

"So I wanted to thank you for being my best man," is what Ohno says instead, and when they hug, it doesn't hurt as much as Nino expects.

"I'd rather die than miss this," Nino chirps, hiding his smirk in Ohno's shoulder.

"That's not funny," Ohno says, but he's giggling anyway.

When they pull away, Ohno's eyes are red-rimmed and he is blinking. "It's not fair that it's like this," he says. "If Nino-chan can't--" he stops, chewing his lip.

"Hey, it's not my fault," Nino protests. "You guys are the ones who left me first."

Ohno reaches over to pet Nino's wig. "It still looks nice on you," he says. "I can't believe you kept it since your Iwo Jima filming."

"I clearly wasn't growing anymore. Why not save on a couple thousand yen? Not that I saw me needing it in the future, of course, but you've got to admit it worked out well."

Ohno laughs, and hugs him again. If he's becoming more touchy as of late, Nino doesn't mention it, just as Ohno doesn't mention how skinny Nino probably feels underneath his suit.

"Sometimes I wish I could go back in time," Ohno sighs softly. "Make things last longer."

"Don't get sappy on me; you're not suited," Nino says. "Just do me a favour and name your kid after me."

It's only fair that Ohno give him that, Nino thinks. Nino kept up his end of the promise until the very end.

Ten months pass; Ohno Kazunari is born as a healthy baby boy with sleepy eyes and a pointy nose and a curling grin. On his first birthday, Ohno takes the day off work; they go to the local electronics shop where he purchases the new Dragon Quest game, then take the train out to the graveyard close to Nino's grandfather's old factory. There, he follows the well-worn grassy path down to a simple, off-white stone in the ground, and gently lays the game cartridge on it. Ohno kneels down and puts his son on his lap.

"Kazu," Ohno says, "This is Nino-chan. Nino, this is my son, Kazu. See. I kept my promise."

There is no response, of course, but Ohno does his best to smile.
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