primroseshows: made by me (nino: this is my sexy face)
[personal profile] primroseshows
omfg so frustrated with a lot of school stuff right now so i decided to push all that away for a while and write stuff, WHY NOT, I'M ALREADY SCREWED

Remember this ficlet I wrote randomly where Nino and Aiba are gods and Sho's a desperate farmer in way over his head? No? That's okay, because I don't think anyone read it haha. Regardless, I personally thought the idea was very clever, so I randomly wrote another ficlet for it. Like the last one, I made it up as I went along, so it's not as if I have a plot or anything in mind. But omg guys this universe is fun; I might keep on going with it, maybe maybe.

ps if you're gonna read this one, you should read that first link too to know the situation, because it's kind of a continuation

"So can you help me?" Sho asked, hands on his knees, fisted with tension. His head was bowed low, spine bent in deference, so he couldn't see Nino's expression bearing down on him from his full height, which was -- well, not that high up, since Nino wasn't very tall.

The seconds stretched. Sho felt a bead of sweat make an agonizingly itchy trial down the back of his neck and it took every ounce of willpower he had not to wipe it away. Sho kept his focus on the pair of small feet standing in front of him. The feet, adorned in a pair of leather flip-flops in a design that Sho had never seen before and wasn't particularly practical, didn't move.

"Geez Nino," Aiba burst out, from somewhere on Sho's left. "Stop staring at Sho-chan like you're going to eat him! Are you going to help him or not!"

Sho's head whipped up just in time to see Nino's gaze dart away, eyes narrowing at Aiba.

"You be quiet!" Nino snapped, folding his arms. "I'm making a very hard decision here, which requires thinking. Thinking is something regular people do to solve problems."

"I know what thinking is!" Aiba said.

Nino ignored him. His glittering dark eyes shifted back to Sho, assessing, considering. "And this just happens to be one of the most interesting problem I've had in a while."

"Here, here, see," Aiba put a finger to each of his temples. "I'm thinking that you're an ass."

"And I'm thinking that you better shut up if you want me to seriously help your deadbeat friend here," Nino shot back, although his attention didn't waver from Sho.

Sho, still sitting on his knees, swallowed as he looked up at the trickster god.

"Sho-chan's not a deadbeat," Aiba said. "It just seems like it because his farm is drier than a fossilized raisin."

"Oi," Sho muttered half-heartedly, although he couldn't argue against the statement. It was true, after all. Sho's farm was practically done for, ravaged mercilessly by the country-wide drought. The only reason he'd survived as long as he had was because he'd been working his arms to the bone hauling up buckets of water from his wells every hour, every day. But now, even those had been sucked empty by the terrible weather. The land was dying, and if Sho couldn't find a solution, he was fast going to end up with the same fate.

"Tell me something," Nino said, jolting Sho out of his morbid thoughts. "Why don't you pack up and leave, like all the other farmers have? There's still lots of water in the south. You could start again -- even if the farm wouldn't be as large as what you've got here, it'd at least be a farm. All you have now is however many kilometres of dirt-coloured rock. Just looking at it, you can see how much of a lost cause this place is. Why do you even think it can be saved?"

"I don't," Sho said slowly, staring at his fists. They were tanned -- dark from the sun and raw from the endless days of work. Bruises, faded and new, adorned his fingers. Calloused, blistered, soil permanently marking his nails, they were proof that Sho lived off this land. Sho's entire life stemmed from the efforts he'd put into it.

"It's not that I think that this place can be saved," he explained. "You're right, it's a very bad situation right now, and it's extremely unlikely it could recover; even if it started raining tomorrow, it might take years for the land to fully return to the way it was before. But -- this is my land, and my father's land, and my grandfather's land. My ancestors planted the trees that grew the wood for my house. They carved our family name on the old boulders that edge the mountains. I wanted to raise my children here. Because this is Sakurai land, so I can't abandon it. Leaving won't change anything. If it dies, then it's as good as me dying too. I can't give up until I've tried every possible thing I can to save this place. It's the only honourable thing to do."

He took a breath.

Aiba sniffed quietly.

"Hm," Nino said. "Good answer."

For the second time, Sho's head whipped up. Hope burst in his chest -- a feeling that was so long forgotten that it felt foreign, unreal. "So you'll help me?"

Nino didn't nod, but he didn't shake his head either. "You're smart, farmer, I can tell," he murmured instead, almost as if talking to himself. He squatted down abruptly, balancing on the tips of his feet, and looked Sho dead in the eye. "Humans have so many flaws, you know?" At Sho's frown, he hastily added, "Not saying that gods are little miss perfects either -- I mean, look at Aiba over there--"

"Me!" Aiba squawked. "Look at you!"

"--but humans are flawed in stupid ways," Nino finished, overriding him. "You're weak, the vast lot of you. I know. I might look like this, but I'm older than the dirt your house is built on. I'm older than the trees your ancestors planted. I'm older than your precious boulder monuments. I've seen hundreds of thousands of humans be born, grow, and die, so easily. Most of you are no better than the shit that Aiba's birds poop out."

Sho was about to protest, but Nino suddenly leaned in, so quickly that Sho barely had time to dart back a few inches, nearly tipping onto his butt. Nino's face was solemn as he continued to speak; and his eyes seemed to glow as he stared at Sho, pulsing with an energy that was nearly tangible. "But you're a little different, aren't you, farmer?" he said, voice soft. "I can see it, as plain as the nose on your face. You've got a strong character. That means a lot, to both man and god. It means you're interesting."

Sho flushed. "Um, well. Thank you. So -- but -- what are you saying, exactly?"

"I'm saying I've been bored for a long time, human," Nino said, standing back up. "I'm saying that I know how desperate you are to save this land, and I'm telling you that I might be able to grant your wish."

The corner of Nino's mouth curled into a smirk. Sho felt his heart skip a beat as he looked up at him.

"So, Sakurai Sho," Nino said, a feeling both heavy and teasing lacing his every word, "you're a smart one. Think carefully: do you want to make a deal with the trickster god?"

And he offered his hand to Sho.
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