Author : Jade
Disclaimer : entirely a work of fiction yo!
Word count : 3,479 words
Summary: "But Sho-chan would not hold my hand when I'm nervous like you do!"
Note: for Katii~ Happy Birthday dear :D
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“Go now, Riida. Manager-san is waiting for you”, he said softly.
Ohno smiled and started walking, wondering what he had done that might earn him the yelling this time.. he grinned, feeling nervous.
“Will you show me your art creations, Ohno-san?”.
Ohno immediately looked up, quite surprised. “My art creations?”, he said repeating the manager’s words.
When he saw him nod his head, confusion took over instantly. But, how did he know that I’m doing those stuffs?, he asked himself. Is he gonna yell at me because of my hobby?
“I’m sorry..but~”, Ohno started, but suddenly interrupted.
“Ninomiya told me you had tons of artworks. Paintings, clays, drawings.. I want to see them. We’re thinking of putting them up for exhibit. I think it’ll be great. But first, I need to see them.”, the manager said without pausing.
He stared dumbfounded to their manager. Exhibit? Am I hearing it correctly?, he asked himself.
“Exhibit?”, he finally said, unable to control the trembling of his voice.
“Yes. Exhibit. Art exhibit. Nino said your works were awesome. He showed me a picture of the clay heads. I think it’s wonderful. But I need to see the rest.”, he said smiling this time.
“Okay.”, Ohno answered. Still very much surprised.
“Can you believe that Nino? We’re going to put the clay heads up for exhibit!”, Ohno said gently tugging on Nino’s arms, obviously excited.
Nino paused his game and tap his lap motioning Ohno to lay his head. Ohno quickly obeyed, big smile still plastered on his face. Nino sighed and caress Ohno’s spiky hair. He could still feel him giggle while lying there. A soft smile escaped his lips.
“Of course I believe that, baka!”, he said smiling.. “everyone will love it… I’m sure of it”, he added.
Nine years had passed but Nino realized that Ohno was still the same old Satoshi.. funny, carefree, kind, gentle, supportive. The first time Ohno showed him those OhMiya SK clay heads, he couldn’t help but smile and cry at the same time. He told him then that Nino was his inspiration while doing the clay heads. It was wonderful. He cried. Satoshi cried with him, to his great amusement. When he asked him why he’s crying, he just answered, “because you’re crying Nino.. I don’t know why you’re crying and I know you wouldn’t answer even if I ask, so I’ll just cry with you.”, simple answer.. but straight.
“Manager-san said you were the one who showed him the picture of the clay heads”, Ohno said, capturing one of his hand and then gently put the hand in his left cheek. Nino nearly shivered at the gesture.
“Because I know you will not even waste a breath about that. So I made my move. You have a lot of them already, it’s high time the world see it.”, Nino answered smiling.
“Promise you’ll be there, ne?”, Ohno answered, sleepy.
Nino chuckle but preferred not to answer. A few seconds later, Nino kissed Ohno’s forehead, as the older man drifted to sleep. Baka.
“Well, the schedule of the exhibit had been decided. Have you thought of a name already, Ohno-kun?”, said the manager.
Ohno smiled. “Hai. Freestyle.”, he answered.
The older man agreed. And then after a few minutes he said..
“Sho-kun will assist you on the opening day. The next following days, you’d have to do it alone. Reporters will surely be there so brace yourself.”, he said.
“Alone?”, Ohno asked.
“Yes. As I said, the first day Sho will go with you to assist you. And then you’ll be by yourself.”, the older man repeated.
“But.. is it okay if Nino~”
“We’ve chosen Sho, Ohno-kun. End of discussion. Now prepare yourself, you only have four days maximum to prepare. I don’t want anything to go wrong. We’re doing this for you. Keep that in mind.”, the manager said ending that conversation.
“I’m not going to push through with this if they will not allow you to be there!”, Ohno grunted.
Nino shook his head and sighed. Ohno was obviously upset after his conversation with the manager. He even tried talking to him the second time but he fiercely refused to negotiate. They will do the exhibit.. only Sho will appear on the first day, as Arashi’s representative and to assist Ohno. No Nino. No Aiba. No Jun. and then he’ll be alone afterwards.. he’s scared, obviously. And Nino knows that.
“Ohchan..”, Nino whispered.
“I don’t know why they won’t let me choose which one of you guys I want to appear there. It’s my exhibit, right?”, Ohno said snorting.
“What’s wrong if they chose Sho?”, Nino asked smiling.. “You two are close.. and he’s more confident on this kind of things. Surely a lot of reporters will be there, and I bet you’ll be tongue-tied again. So it’s much better if he’s the one assisting you. At least, he knows how to answer the questions when you decide to space out in the middle of an interview.”, he said jokingly.
Ohno grunted again and Nino couldn’t help himself. He reached out his hand and pinch his cheeks. Ohno’s lips perked up and grab the hand, worried smile spreading his beautiful face.
“You’re cute when you’re worried like that, Ohchan. Which is not a good thing, considering that in a few days time, the world will finally recognize your hidden talent”, Nino said trying to hide his amusement.
“I..I’m just scared.”, Ohno whispered.
Nino shook his head and took Ohno’s hands, enveloping them with his own.. his hands were cold against Ohno’s warm hands. He stared at it for a while and then he rest his gaze on Ohno’s worried face.
“What is there to be scared of, Ohchan?”, he asked softly.. “Sho will be there for you. Just be yourself..ahh, no! if you do that it’ll be disaster haha”, he laughed.. “the people there will probably be surprised if the artist suddenly stop talking, so no, don’t be your usual self.. turn on your active switch and you’ll be fine”, he said re-assuring him.
“I’ll get nervous for sure”, Ohno answered still very much worried.
Nino didn’t answer. They have to figure out something to calm Ohno eventually.
“Talk to Ohno-san, Sho or else I will stop this exhibit!”, Sho gulped. Their manager was furiously yelling at him when Ohno stubbornly refuse to agree with them. He wants Nino to assist him, or no one at all. Well, at least he didn’t told them to stop the exhibit, like what the older man said just now. Tsk.. I wonder what’s wrong..he thought.
He went back to the green room, finding the nearly beaten-up Ohno slouched down on one of the chairs. Sho walked in slowly, took one chair and sat next to Ohno. He put his hand on the older man’s shoulder and when he finally looked up at him, Sho smiled.
Sho knew that Ohno is not a man of many words. He preferred to be alone by himself, drowning himself on things that only him could understand. Being in Arashi is quite a hard thing for Ohno.. there are times when he doesn’t want to talk to anybody but will be forced to because that’s part of the job. And only one guy in Arashi has the power to make their silent leader talk endlessly if required.. Nino.
He feels a little jealous about it. Not because of anything but because Nino knew the ways on how to make Ohno talk.. it’s amazing how Ohno’s eyes lit up whenever those moments happen. And Sho couldn’t help but wonder how Nino manage to do that.
“Satoshi-kun..”, Sho started.. “your exhibit will start in about three hours.. and yet you’re here sulking.. aren’t this suppose to make you happy?..”, he asked softly.
Ohno gazed up at him and smiled worriedly. He shook his head and turned, looking away. He always do that when he wants to end a conversation, even if he hadn’t utter anything in the first place.
“Don’t you want me here?”, Sho asked bravely. Ohno immediately snapped his head and stared back at him.
“I-It’s not that, Sho-kun..”, he answered.
“What then? I know I’m not Nino, but we’re friends aren’t we?”, Sho said smiling.. “just tell me if you don’t want me here and I will leave.”
Sho can tell by the way Ohno’s lips tremble that there’s a lot of things he wanted to say.. things he wanted to clear up, but because he’s not the type of person who speaks freely of what’s on his mind, it’s a lot harder for him to open up.
“I just want him here”, Ohno answered honestly.. “It doesn’t mean that I don’t want you here, but, I just want Nino to be here also.. I don’t know why it’s so hard to understand. And why they won’t allow it. I mean, the fans will like it if you guys will be here as well”, he said without pausing.
Sho sighed. He remembered clearly the last time Satoshi was this upset.. it was the time when Nino had to go to America for the filming of Letters from Iwo Jima.. it was the first time that the two was separated from each other for quite a long time.
Nobody was able to break that invisible barrier Ohno built around himself during Nino’s absence. Not him, not Aiba and definitely not Jun. The only time Ohno would speak to them was when they would secretly called up Nino telling him to call Ohno up because they need him to talk. That went on for almost three months.. Good thing Nino came back, much to their delight, seeing Ohno beamed when he saw Nino coming out from the airport.
But the upper management decided that this time, they want the spotlight only for Ohno. Rumours are already circulating about the two Arashi members but there’s no way in hell Sho’s letting it slip under the table. They have been together longer than anybody ever expected, and this is the first time in a long time that Ohno can finally establish himself as an artist.. away from the shadows of Arashi.
“You remember when Nino left for America?”, he asked softly. It’s better if he would open up to him so he’ll know what to do. Not just giving him answer using broken words he couldn’t understand.
Ohno looked up at him and nod. “We knew you were so upset then. Of course, all of us was upset because it was the first time that he’ll be apart from us for such long period of time. It was harder on your part, I know that, because you two understand each other in ways that’s so hard to describe.”
“But even though its hard, you let him go, right? Because you knew, even without saying it out loud that it’s a once in a lifetime chance. We can’t go with him there to support him, to cheer him up even though that’s what we wanted to do because we don’t want to crowd him. We want him to be his own person.. away from our shadow, away from Arashi’s shadow.”
“And that’s what the upper management wanted you to realize. This exhibit, this is totally a different path for you.. so they want the fans see the other side of Ohno, without Nino or Jun or Aiba or Sho at his side.. they want the fans to look at you differently, as what we did when we let Nino left without us.. because that’s the right thing do.. and I bet Nino knows that too.”, Sho said continuously.
Sho stared at Ohno after that. He knows that Ohno needs Nino to calm him down.. he’s obviously scared and the thought that, that someone wasn’t there to back him up scares the hell out of him. And to Sho’s surprise and for the first time that day, Ohno actually smiled.
“We still have a few hours left before your exhibit starts. Do you want me to drive you somewhere?”, Sho asked smiling, surprised when Ohno suddenly jumped from his seat and hugged him.
“Thank you, Sho-chan!”, he said, surprisingly happy.
Nino nearly dropped the glass of water he’s drinking when he turn around and finds Ohno standing in front of his apartment, smiling sheepishly at him.
“What the hell are you doing here, Ohchan? Your exhibit starts in less than two hours, for goodness sake!”, Nino said frowning, with voice higher than usual.
Ohno went straight to him, placed his hand around his waist and pull him for a tight embrace. Nino nearly choked because of the sudden rush of emotion it brought him. Nino gripped the older man’s shoulder and tightened the embrace. Later, he told himself.. I’m gonna ask him later.
“They w-won’t let me take you there, but I think Sho-chan knew that I can’t do it without seeing you first”, Ohno murmured, still hugging Nino close to him.. “he drove me here.. he said he’ll come back after one hour. He told me to come here.. I don’t know why but when you’re near me, I wasn’t afraid..”, Ohno said gently caressing Nino’s back.
Nino bit his lower lip, trying to swallow that lump in his throat. But Ohno’s words pierced him.. making it hard for him to blink back the tears that already flowed freely from his eyes.
“Don’t let go”, Nino said sniffing, “let me hold you a little longer. Just a little bit longer.”, he said.
Nino felt rather than heard that Ohno started to cry at that instant. Just like the last time, Ohno cried with him. They cried while holding each other.. comforting each other with soothing words only their hearts can hear.
After a while, Nino let go of Ohno and stared at the older man’s eyes. They smiled at each other warmly and then Nino took Ohno’s hand and guide him to the couch. He sat down first and again, tapped his lap motioning Ohno to lie down. The older man gladly obliged.
“So, how do you feel now?”, Nino started.
Ohno lifted his eyes and smiled. He loved it when Nino caress his hair, it’s like every little thing that worries him are being soothed by Nino’s little hands. It calms his senses, knowing that Nino understands him the way no one ever does.
“Still nervous?”, Nino added… “I’m sure Sho will take good care of you there, Ohchan. So you don’t have to worry and that’s why I’m not worried myself.”, he said smiling this time.
“I’m not worried Nino. I know Sho-chan will do what he is told. But it’s different.. I know it, he knows it and you know it. I still prefer if Nino’s there, but that’s not the reason I came here, so it’s out of the question now.”, Ohno said without pausing.
“You know sometimes I really wonder why when you’re with me, you can talk endlessly even if I interrupt sometimes. But when you’re with other people, or we are with the guys, you preferred spacing out. You’re funny.”, Nino answered.
“Because you’re different.”, Ohno simply answered.
“Whatever. So why did you come here then? To make me cry?”, Nino asked jokingly.
“No. I don’t like seeing you cry. Because I can’t help it, and it hurts me knowing that I’m the reason you are crying, that’s why I want to cry with you too, at least, you’ll know that never once I thought of leaving you alone.”, Ohno said with that undoubtedly serious tone.
With those words, Nino wanted to burst out crying again. Good thing he’s got a good grip on his emotion this time around.
“Okay then. Tell me, why are you here. You only have thirty minutes left, Ohchan”, Nino said glancing at the clock.
“I want to borrow your DS”, Ohno answered.
“You’re kidding, right?”, Nino said, carefully eyeing Ohno. Shock was understatement. He came here just to borrow my DS?..
“No I’m not.”, Ohno answered cheerfully. “Since I can’t take you and you won’t even agree if I drag you, I’ll borrow your DS so I won’t feel nervous. I just need something that I know belongs to you and I know I’ll get by.”, he said.
Nino was stunned. He cannot find any words appropriate to say at the moment. All he could do was simply look at the older man and chuckle.
“You’re unbelievable. And very stubborn. You are years older than me but you’re acting like a 16 year old kid. Besides, we talked about this over and over again. You don’t need to be nervous.. Sho’s there to back you up. If there’s any problem, you can call me right? I told you that spacing out will be a bad thing if you do that while someone’s interviewing you, but to play a game in the middle of your exhibition is worst than that!”, Nino said smiling.
“But Sho-chan would not hold my hand when I’m nervous like you do!”, Ohno grunted.
“Ohchan..”, Nino called out softly. Shocked with the words that the older man just said.
“Sho-chan told me a lot of things before I came here. He said you wanted me to be my own person, the same way we did when you decided to go to America. He said that’s what the upper management is planning. Okay, I can totally understand that! But can you blame me if I still want you there? I just want to share this moments with the person I love.. is that too hard to understand? I don’t care about those things.. the drawings, the arts, the clay heads.. I made them because it made me happy, because when I showed them to you, you smiled.. I didn’t want anyone liking it if you don’t. I made them for you! I made them so I could make you smile! Now tell me if its wrong, Nino.. tell me”, Ohno said tears streaking down his lovely face now.
Ohno got up and pulled Nino closer. He wiped those tears with his hand and he gently kissed Nino’s eyes and then planted a kiss on his forehead. He took Nino’s DS that was resting at the side table, pull Nino into another soft embrace and whispered..
“I’ll finish this exhibit without any hassle.. I will not space out, I’ll try to pay attention. I know it’ll make you happy. Watch me ne?”, he said softly into Nino’s ears causing the younger man shiver.
And then unexpectedly, Ohno grabbed Nino’s nape and kissed him softly.
“I love you Nino. I’ll bring back the SK clay heads for you. Wait for me ne?”, Ohno smiled and then turned to leave.
“I love you too, baka.”, Nino whispered back… allowing himself to cry once again, knowing that this time, it was because of happiness.
A/N: comments are love.. as always =)