Pairing: Ohba, AibaxOC, mentioned Matsumiya
Genre: Angst, drama, AU, romance
Disclaimer: I own only the plot. I make no money of this writing and I only do this for fun. Tatah~~
Summary: Ohno has heard all of his friends’ dreams, yet he has absolutely no clue what to do with his own life. Time goes by, and Ohno understands he’s being left behind. Then he meets Aiba Masaki.
Ohno listens as Sakurai excitingly speaks about all the universities he has applied for. Sakurai speaks so enthusiastically that Ohno can’t even keep up with what’s being said. He hears Sakurai explaining whatever each class is about or something, but Ohno really can’t catch the details. Sakurai is using words that are not in Ohno’s daily language. At least it feels like that, but once Ohno thinks about it, the words aren’t really complicated. He’s just not really interested.
Still, he doesn’t say anything. Sakurai is happy. Sure, he would be, finally getting to do whatever he wants to do since he started high school. He’s taking a step closer to achieving his dream. Good for him, Ohno thinks, tries to be happy for his friend. Yet, he can’t help but feel this bitterness deep within himself. Sakurai has a dream. Sakurai has a fucking dream, and he’s getting closer to reach that dream every single day. Sakurai has a plan he will follow for the rest of his life. And Ohno? He doesn’t even know what he will be doing tomorrow, much less what he will be doing after graduation.
Time is ticking by, and Sakurai goes home in the end. He still has to study to pass the entrance exams, and Ohno knows he should have been doing the same, if only had any entrance exams to study for. Ohno, unlike Sakurai, didn’t have a dream. He hadn’t applied for any universities. The closest he had come to a dream was his dancing, but in the end he hadn’t gotten accepted at the dance academy he had applied for. He doesn’t know why he was declined, but he guesses it’s because he’s not good enough. What else could it be?
Nothing matters, Ohno figures. He can work at a bread shop for the rest of his life. Doesn’t matter. At least it will be enough to pay the rent whenever he decides to move out from his childhood home. His mother doesn’t say anything, but he knows she worries, and he hates that. But at the same time he is wishing someone else would actually think about his situation. But it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what Ohno feels whenever the other guys get excited while talking about dreams and plans they have. Ohno will just slip into the background. It doesn’t matter. As long as they’re happy.
Ohno thinks he really can’t dislike the others for having a dream. His friends were great, and he loved them very much. Therefore he was so happy for them, yet bitter since he had still nothing he wanted to achieve anymore. Sometimes he thought his life was such a waste. Those thoughts hurt the most, because they usually came when he was alone in the middle of the night, and most likely crying because of loneliness.
But it settles down, and now it’s like any other day at the bread shop. Ohno is putting the new divine-tasting creations at display, tempting whatever potential customers there are to pass by the shop window. It’s like any other day in Ohno’s life, the skies grey and ready to release some rain. Nothing ever seemed to change in Ohno’s life. Not even when his friends finally left him behind for their studies, or when he had finally graduated from high school. He still lives in his childhood home, and he still has his job at the bread shop. The only difference is that he is no more at school and therefore has more time for work, which pleases his boss, who Ohno secretly thinks is actually becoming too old for this work.
Once Ohno has finished his early morning routine at the bread shop, he stands at the cash register, ready to handle the customers for the day. The early hours are always the busiest since the regular customers want to get the bread as fresh as possible. This day, though, seems to be a bit calmer than other mornings. There are still some customers who come in and get their daily bread, but in the end Ohno has some time to himself. He ends up doodling small drawings on his small sized sketchpad he always keeps in his pocket.
Suddenly he hears someone’s voice: “Wow, you’re good at drawing!”
Ohno looks up, and he sees a tall, lanky boy who has been slightly tanned in the sun. He didn’t seem much younger than Ohno. He has a mop of sandy brown hair on top his head and his eyes are small, but his smile is large and contagious. Ohno smiles and nods his head shyly while mumbling something along the lines “it’s not really anything…”
The tall boy looks around for a bit, as if he’s looking for something specific. “Ah, can I help you?” Ohno asks after he remembers how to actually treat his customers. The tall boy smiles: “Ah, yes! Do you have any melon-pan? My friend really wants some, but he’s sick and can’t come on his own, so I volunteered to buy it for him!” Ohno smiles as well before answering: “Just a moment.”
He asks how much the customer wants, and the boy replies three: one for him and two for his friend. Ohno places the bread in a paper bag before he charges the boy for them. The boy pays him with a smile and some cash before he thanks Ohno. Then he heads out, and Ohno is left behind the cash register, alone once again.
Though, the boy returns once again the next weekend, but this time he only asks for two melon-pan and then he shares the other one with Ohno. “But you don’t have to do that,” Ohno insists, trying to refuse the gift of the other boy. “But I want to give it to you! You look like you could need one. Unless you are sick of them already. Ah, I didn’t think about that you work here and have to make these everyday!” the boy says, his whole face screaming ‘oh-no’. In the end Ohno does accept the gift and eats his melon pan along with this boy he doesn’t know the name of.
After that the boy returns about once or twice a week, and he always asks for the same melon pan he always eats. Sometimes he buys some melon pan for his friend he has mentioned before, but after a while he simply stays with Ohno the whole morning and converses with the bread shop-worker.
It takes six weeks before Ohno learns the boy’s name. He’s Aiba Masaki, a high school senior. He’s in the baseball-club at school, but his friend Nino (who likes melon pan) is better at the game than Aiba. Aiba is a bit too clumsy, but he insists that he’s really good at throwing the ball, and it was probably because his father had taught him well, or so Aiba thinks.
Aiba asks a lot about Ohno, but mostly about his drawings since he had seen Ohno doodle some the first day he came to the bread shop. He asks about when he started drawing, what does he usually draw and where he gets the inspiration. Ohno answers all the questions Aiba throws at him, but he rarely asks anything about Aiba. He doesn’t need to usually, yet sometimes he does want to ask some questions himself, but he never does. He wants to know what Aiba wants to do after graduation; will he study at some university and leave Ohno behind like all of his other friends?
But Ohno doesn’t ask, and Aiba doesn’t tell.
And suddenly Aiba has already graduated.
Aiba comes to the bread shop a week after he has graduated, but he comes in later than usual. Usually Aiba comes in morning during the weekend, but this time Aiba arrives at Thursday late in the afternoon, and Ohno is honestly preparing to close the shop. He is a little surprised seeing Aiba that late, but it is a pleasant surprise. Ohno smiles as Aiba enters the shop and greets him heartily.
“Yo, Oh-chan!” Aiba called Ohno by his nickname. “Hey,” Ohno smiles at the other man as he cleans the counter. “Oh, you’re closing now? Want some help?” Aiba offers, but Ohno knows Aiba will help whether he says ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Aiba grabs a mop and starts cleaning the floors and Ohno lets him and for a while there are no sounds between them besides the radio with a tune from some idol group none of them really cared about. Ohno is calm, but there’s still this icky feeling of being left behind. Surely Aiba is going to leave him behind as well.
In the end Ohno does ask.
Aiba has finished cleaning the floors. “Hmm?” he says. “I don’t know. Maybe I can start working here with you?”
“Eh?” Ohno expresses. He is surprised. He thought Aiba was sure to leave for further studies. Aiba always talked about the great things he wanted to achieve, like becoming a scientist or a veterinarian. Yet, here he still is, telling Ohno that he was staying for no one knows how long, just like Ohno.
“I didn’t apply for a university. I was thinking about maybe working for a year or two. Taking a break from studies, you know,” Aiba explains when he sees Ohno’s confused expression. “Aaah,” Ohno says as it was the only thing he could say. “I actually already applied for work here, and I’ve got the job! So I’ll be under your care from next week on,” Aiba continues with a smile and a peace sign. Ohno replies with a nod and a happy smile as well.
And then it turns out they continue working together for the next five years. After a while Aiba moves out from his childhood home. Soon, though, when it turns out that Ohno spends way more time at Aiba’s apartment than at his home, he simply moves in with Aiba. There they live for a couple of years together with some parties here and there and some game nights with Nino (who Ohno gets along with very well). Sakurai got his degree and came closer to where they lived, so Ohno started seeing more of him as well.
Things flow naturally between them. Aiba and Ohno are both content with their lives. Sure, they don’t have the most high-paid jobs, and when in times of need they both sometimes have to get another temporary job (well, that happened only once when their apartment had a small flood), but they wouldn’t ever really considering leaving the bread shop. They are both so content with where they are now; they can’t imagine the life without it.
Ohno is 25 years old, and he has never had a steady girlfriend. Sure, he has dated, but nothing has come out of it. He just couldn’t see himself being in a serious relationship with any of the girls. Masaki, on the other hand, is definitely a ladies’ man. He has girlfriend after girlfriend, some relationships more serious than others. Everytime Masaki gets dumped or breaks up with a girl, he and Ohno, Sho, Nino and Jun (Nino’s boyfriend, who Nino had only introduced a couple of weeks ago) go out and either celebrate the new single life or go out and drink Masaki’s heart empty of sorrows. Then Masaki finds another girl and then it’s on again.
Ohno is also 25 years old when he realizes he wants Masaki to stay by his side. There is something comforting with sharing the road to work every day and then going back home with the same man, preparing dinner with him and just have fun with your companion. There is never a day that is boring with someone like Masaki by your side, but like all things their companionship has to come to an end.
“Oh-chan! Oh-chan!” Masaki shouts as he enters their apartment. He has been out on a date with his girlfriend. Ohno doesn’t remember her name sadly, but it seems like it’s going to be a long relationship since they were already four months in it.
“Masaki? Did you have fun?” Ohno replies to Masaki’s ecstatic shouts. “Yes! And I have some big news for you!” Masaki says even more excited as he enters the living room, also entering Ohno’s field of vision. Masaki looks stunning his checked shirt, white t-shirt and cargo shorts, obviously a bit dressed up for his date, but still casual. Usually he doesn’t really care too much if it looks good together, but this time he had even went out shopping with Jun, the fashionista, for proper clothes (in the end he hadn’t really needed Jun’s help at all).
“What news do you bring?” Ohno asks, curious about whatever Masaki was excited about. Masaki takes a deep breath and says;
“I’m moving in with Haruko-chan!”
And suddenly Ohno feels his happy reality falling apart. It’s almost like he feels a rock drop in his stomach, taking out his breath all at once. His mind shatters into an emptiness lacking any words to respond Masaki with. Masaki interpreters his silence as happiness, and hugs him tightly and says something among the lines of “I know, right?” and “I knew you’d be happy for me,” completely misunderstanding Ohno’s misery.
In the end Ohno simply breaks off of Masaki’s hug and gives him a smile. Of course Ohno is going to be happy for him. Ohno is always happy for his friends’ fortunes, even if their fortune just happens to hurt him more than he would like to admit. But when Masaki’s explaining and telling him about Haruko and their apartment and their happy future Ohno tries his hardest not to grimace. His heart feels heavy and he is biting very hard. Still, that small smile is plastered on his face so Masaki won’t suspect a thing. As long as Masaki, his friend, is happy then everything is just fine.
Only it feels like everything is falling apart for Ohno, and he doesn’t know why.
The days go by quickly and suddenly Masaki is already packing all of his stuff in boxes and keeps asking Ohno if this is his or if that is Masaki’s. Slowly, Ohno watches the apartment fading away, things disappearing from their usual spots and air filling the empty spaces. Their shared closet is suddenly too way too large, too spacious and the bathroom doesn’t need an additional shelf above the toilet. Not to mention how empty the kitchen suddenly is without all the useless kitchen tools Masaki has brought throughout the years. When Masaki finally is gone it is like half of Ohno’s home is missing, and he doesn’t like it.
Of course, he still sees Masaki basically every day at the bread shop. If anything work has become more fun than staying at home. Whenever he is at home he feels empty, and the only thing he does is just lie down in his bed and stare at the ceiling. Sometimes he watches TV for hours without seeing anything. Sometimes he eats, maybe.
Everything is a bit more lifeless without Masaki.
Ohno can’t really hold a grudge against Haruko either. Haruko is the nicest and funniest girl he has ever met. Whenever she and Masaki invite him over for dinner along with the others, Ohno can really see just how well Masaki and Haruko fit together. The others love her as well. And Masaki is so, so, so happy. Ohno has probably never seen him so alive and smiling and laughing. And the way that he looks at her makes something inside of Ohno slightly irritated since it’s such a sincere gaze of love.
And Ohno returns home to half a home, more tired than he has felt in years.
Ohno calls in sick one day. He just feels too tired to work, to tired to get up from bed. Instead he just sleeps away the whole day. It isn’t until he hears the intercom system calling him, telling him there’s someone outside. He doesn’t get up, though. Instead he stares at the ceiling, hoping that they will go away. But when the intercom finally stops calling, his phone suddenly rings. Ohno groans, but now he knows it’s not someone he can just ignore.
He picks up his phone and sees the screen lighting up Masaki’s name. Of course, Masaki must be worried about Ohno since he’s “sick”. For a moment, Ohno wonders if he should pick up the phone at all. On one hand, he is still exhausted. He doesn’t want to put on a mask of fake happiness. He is so done with that. On the other hand, he knows Masaki won’t give up until he lets him know he is ok, even if he is supposedly sick.
In the end he picks up the phone.
“Hello,” he says as weakly as he can.
“Open up! I brought you some melon pan!” Masaki says, and Ohno knows he can’t refuse. So, he gets up from his bed. His stomach warns him of hunger and he realizes just how weakened his body is from lack of daily needs. At this rate he won’t have to pretend his supposedly sickness.
Ohno opens the front door and Masaki immediately pushes the on-button for his mother hen-side of his personality. He lets himself in and goes straight to the kitchen, all the while Ohno says he doesn’t have to do anything for Ohno. He can manage himself. But Masaki won’t listen, and starts cooking some miso soup and tells Ohno to eat the melon pan while he waits. Ohno doesn’t listen and says something like they can eat the melon pan together for dessert.
And soon enough they are both eating melon pan. Masaki brought way too many with him, but if he didn’t they would probably have to throw away the rest of the melon pan the next morning as they were by then considered spoiled. Masaki is not saying anything now, and Ohno feels the atmosphere fall flat. He doesn’t say anything, though. Instead he tries to calm down his heart and his thoughts that were playing possible scenarios to happen next.
By now, though, Masaki has understood that there is nothing physically wrong with Ohno. At least nothing he had to drop work for. So he asks him what’s really bothering him, making Ohno pause his eating and think up an answer.
“Nothing,” he answers in the end, but Masaki doesn’t buy it.
“If it was nothing, then you would come to work today. Is everything all right with your parents?” Masaki asks.
“Everything is fine,” Ohno says. “I’ll be back at work tomorrow. I guess I made a poor judgement this morning when I called in sick.”
Ohno feels his heart clench at the name. Masaki is worried about him and Ohno is lying to him, to his best friend who deserves nothing but the best of him. Masaki reaches for his hand, but Ohno quickly pulls it away, too quickly. Masaki looks at him even more confused.
“Did I do something wrong?” he asks, and Ohno tries to swallow the lump forming in his throat.
“No..,” he tries to say, but his voice comes out only hoarse and he has to repeat himself.
“Then what is it?” Masaki asks, sadness and confusion painting his words grey.
Ohno doesn’t reply. He fears the tears pressing behind his eyelids and his voice prevented from being used normally by the hard lump that won’t go away no matter how much he tries to swallow it down. He doesn’t know what to say, what to lie. He couldn’t come up with any convincing lie anymore, Masaki saw through it all. Masaki was the only person in the world who really knew how to read Ohno. Masaki was the one who had been by his side all these years. Masaki was the one who knew more about Ohno than what Ohno knew about himself.
Masaki deserved better from him, so he gathers up his voice as best as he can.
“I don’t want you living with Haruko,” he says, nearly letting the tears spill over.
“Wh-what?” Masaki says. His voice coloured with shock and even more confusion. Ohno struggles with repeating himself, but when he does he feels Masaki’s confusion deep in his bones. He can’t understand why Ohno would be so sad with Masaki living with his girlfriend, and honestly, Ohno doesn’t quite get it himself. He just wants Masaki back into his apartment.
“But… Why?” Masaki asks, this time with pure misery.
“It… It gets lonely here,” Ohno answers, feeling lame as fuck for ruining his friend’s happiness. Masaki deserved so much better than that.
His answer seems to have brought a misunderstanding, though. Masaki tries to bring up suggestions as finding Ohno a nice girl to date, or even invite Ikuta Toma, a friend of Jun’s, to come and share the apartment, but Ohno wants to just fucking cry there on the spot. Masaki is so fucking dumb he had to spell it out to him.
“I don’t want Ikuta fucking Toma here or some random girlfriend who’ll leave me again,” Ohno nearly shouts out as anger brings the edge to his voice.
“Then who..,” Masaki starts, but Ohno doesn’t let him finish.
“I want you back!” Ohno cries.
It takes a moment for Ohno to realize exactly what he has done, but he can’t take it back anymore. The tears have made their tracks on Ohno’s face long ago, and as he finally realizes this, he dries his eyes with the back of his sleeve. Masaki doesn’t say anything, sitting there in shock of what just happened. What Ohno just said.
Then he leaves, leaving Ohno behind. And for a moment Ohno swears he hears his heart breaking into pieces.
Ohno lies down in his bed, and he stays there for the next day and the day after, calling in sick again. He doesn’t hear anything from Masaki, and he thinks he has ruined their friendship altogether. If Ohno had only been able to shut up and be happy for his friend like he always was. His friends were all so lucky; it wasn’t fair to them for Ohno to poison their happiness with his despair. And yet he had done exactly that to the most important person in the world. Ohno is such an ass.
It takes three whole days before his doorbell rings again. Ohno does not move from his bed, no matter how much it rings. Then his phone rings and Ohno looks at the name on the screen. His heart skips a beat before he answers.
“Satoshi… Please open the door,” Masaki says over the line.
Ohno crawls out of his bed and misery before he goes to the front door. There, Masaki stands with a few grocery bags and a backpack on his back. He lets himself in again, dropping his backback in the hallway and taking the groceries to the kitchen. Ohno follows in silence. Masaki places the groceries on the counter before he turns to Ohno. He hugs him.
“I’m sorry,” Masaki says in Ohno’s ear. Goosebumps crawl all over Ohno’s body. Masaki continues.
“I really like you, Satoshi.”
Ohno forgets how to breathe and only closes his eyes when Masaki pulls him in for a kiss. Ohno feels his heart pumping so hard against his chest, bringing blood up to the tips of his ears. Masaki is leaning down and Ohno stands on his tiptoes to make it easier to kiss Masaki. He’s still not quite sure how to breathe, and he can hear his ragged breathing through his nose. When Masaki pulls away and smiles at Ohno it feels like everything is falling chaotically in place.
“I’m back,” Masaki says.
“Welcome back,” Ohno manages to say. He has so many questions, but he decides to wait with them, instead letting the feelings of euphoria fill him completely.
“Will you come with me to work tomorrow?” Masaki asks.
“Yes,” Ohno smiles for the first time in ages.
Idk... I feel like this one was just a copy of another oneshot of mine, but meh. When I started writing on this one ages ago, I just wanted to write down what I was feeling back then; left behind. Last year in High School and I had no fucking plans for my future whatsoever and everyone's lives seemed to just fall perfectly into pieces whereas I was completely lost. And then I let this fic die in my folders for a long time and now I've finished it, feeling a bit meh about the whole thing.
I sure do seem to enjoy making Ohno suffer. Fun fun fun!
Anyway! My life is quite good now. So, I wanted Ohno's life to be good as well. Therefore a happy ending. I wouldn't have been able to write a happy ending for this fic if I'd finished it some years ago.
Hope you enjoyed it, though! Cheers!