[One-shot] 1000 paper cranes 2/3

Title: 1000 paper cranes 2/3
Author: satsumatsu 
Beta: irawrrx33 
Words: 7328
Pairing: Matsumoto Jun / Ninomiya Kazunari
A/N: This is for the arashi_on fundraiser, requested by r_1_ss_a . I do hope you will like it although I did not use the three words I actually requested from you as a prompt. Thank you very much for your donation. (Also, I used lyrics and lines of Niji, One Love and Honey and Clover.)
LJ does not allow me to post it in one go, so sorry!

302 Cranes

There is something about art and decorative shops Jun likes. He favours the old ones, where a guy would sit behind the counter with huge thick glasses and paint stains on his chemise. It’s just that Jun doesn’t really have any reason to visit one if Aiba does not drag him along to accompany him. The first time he went with Aiba, he immediately fell in love with the atmosphere. He can remember how he watched Aiba browsing through water colors and paper. His whole body vibrating with ideas the moment he saw the wide range material. Ever since then Jun visited those shops more often, skipping through paints and brushes without really buying something. The past month he finally was able to buy something: Origami paper.

The floor creaks under his steps as he takes in the typical sweet scent of dust, tinged with turpentine. In the back he sees the shelves with paper in different sizes, colors and thickness. Jun bends down to search for the origami paper, rifling through the different patterns and colors--though in the end he always chooses the mixed package anyway. But it allows him to stay a little longer in this atmosphere.

The bell rings near the entrance, announcing a new customer and Jun can make out some hushed voices, maybe at the cashier. Shortly he imagines the discussion between the artist and the clerk, talking about quality and techniques and stuff, like Aiba always does.

The floor creaks, indicating movement somewhere nearby. Then suddenly someone squats down beside him, reaching out for a similar pack. Jun recognizes the hand within an instant.

“I would like the cherry blossoms more,” Nino muses, his right arm brushing Jun’s left. Accidentally or not, Jun doesn’t know but he moves out of the way after seconds, suddenly antsy at the contact. He reaches out for the red paper with cherry twigs all over. He holds it close, inspecting the tiny painted petals.

“What are you doing here?”

“Getting art supplies for Oh-chan,” Nino shrugs.

Oh-chan must be the owner of Sakana.

Jun hums in acknowledgement, turning the mixed package around, scanning through the patterns. “Maybe it’s in the mixed package as well.” He wonders.

Nino grabs the packages out of his hands. “Sometimes you have to decide on one thing, Jun-kun.”

Jun looks at him, Nino returns the look effortlessly, he’s looking serious and Jun doesn’t know what for. Then he smiles abruptly, handing the packs back and stands up. “What are you folding all those cranes for, anyway?”

“Decoration.”

“Really?” Nino doesn’t buy it, of course not. “So no thousand paper cranes, no one wish?”

Jun makes an uncommitting sound, adding, “That’s just a tale, right?”  

“I always wonder if there is anything I have to wish for...” Nino continues, ignoring Jun’s statement. “I never thought about folding them, actually. What would you wish for?”

“I don’t know, there are lots of things to wish for, right?” Jun responds evasively, standing up as well. He has one wish, though, but right now it seems too complex to even phrase it. He can’t grasp Nino yet to actually know what he himself wants from him. But the want is certainly there.

He holds the cherry twigs and the mixed pack to pay. Nino’s eyes flicker towards both of the packs, an attempt of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth again.

“You have to decide on one thing, Jun-kun.” He says sternly, repeating himself as Jun aims for the cashier. Jun doesn’t know whether he means the origami paper or the wish but at any rate, he knows that very well.


496 Cranes

Jun likes to think that Nino’s his friend by now. They see each other regularly, more like daily. The day Nino is not visiting him, he visits Sakana and can be sure to catch a glimpse of him. He’s either performing or chatting with Oh-chan--Ohno Satoshi as he has been introduced--when Jun joins.

He wonders for some time now what kind of relationship they have, not without jealousy. He has seen gropes on Nino’s side here and there, mostly Ohno’s butt. Ohno does not seem to mind or care. Jun has also not seen that he would return it. Only once, Ohno was writhing under Nino’s tickling touches, did he re-grope Nino’s butt and the other swatted his hand away, kind of offended which Jun thought was ridiculous considering the amount of groping on his side. But Nino seems conscious of touches when it comes to him.

Jun has also no idea what they talk about the moment he steps into the café but it always looks like fun, like they understand each other perfectly, their eyes almost telling more than their mouths. Jun is, frankly spoken, envious of that kind of relationship. It’s not like he wants the constant groping so much but he wants the initiative.

Up so far it’s been always him asking Nino when he would perform next or if they want to watch a movie, Sho and Aiba are going too. Or if he wants to visit the coffee house in Akihabara with him. Jun’s always asking, by now fearing he gets on the other’s nerves with it, but Nino always says yes, sure, yes.

Never once had he asked Jun. A fact Jun doesn’t understand because they have fun! For instance on their spy mission--as Aiba calls it--they would bitch about watery coffees and dry cakes of the enemy. Nino would present him his newest lyrics, reciting them and Jun would listen, sitting in the sun in front of a random café, playing with the porcelain cup, watching the people passing by and concentrating on Nino’s voice.

In those moments Jun asks himself what he truly wants. He asks himself if it’s not enough already like this because it is overflowing, overstraining him. But then at one point there is always the sudden urge to reach out for Nino’s hand which lays still, the other playing with the pencil to scratch or add words in process of reading. And Jun realizes that it’s not enough, it will never be. And he thinks about his paper cranes, piling up in a tall glass cane in his café, 496 to date.

“Each forms of happiness we painted will overlap someday.”

Nino throws the line out, looking at Jun expectantly.

Jun smiles, loving it within an instant but all he says is, “It’s nice.”

“You always say that, it’s not very constructive, you know.”

Jun pauses.

“Well,” he says after a minute or two. “I like the image of overlapping forms of happiness. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? I think it’s the utmost luck when something you yourself consider as happiness--as a very shapeless matter--that someone else is thinking the same way or has the same ideas of happiness. That’s the fundamental understanding most relationships lack of.”

Nino looks at him, baffled for a moment. “See, that’s a comment.”

Jun hides his satisfied smile behind his cup, taking a sip. He makes a face, he has completely forgotten that this coffee is truly disgusting. Nino laughs wholeheartedly at him and Jun thinks for that laugh, he could drink the whole cup.


613 cranes

“You don’t have a home, do you?” Jun asks as Aiba whirls into his shop, shortly before closing time on a Friday evening.

“Jun-chan!” Aiba retorts with mocked outrage. “It’s tea time!”

He hops on his stool, the one with the uneven red loops, letting everything fall down from him, literally. The bag lands somewhere beneath his stool, something clatters, his jacket is thrown over the next stool. Jun frowns.

“Sho-chan and Nino-chan are coming too.”

“Great,” Jun answers without much enthusiasm, even a little irritated that his closing time is prolonged.

“Riiiiiight~” Aiba props his elbows in the counter. “A Chai latte, please~”

“Make two,” Sho adds from the door. “Yo~.”

“Welcome,” Jun says dutifully, already preparing the milk.

“Can you actually recommend the Chai here? I heard you can’t trust coffee shops which also serve tea.” A third voice. Nino.

“You should try the Espresso version,” Aiba says eagerly, waving Nino to sit next to him.

“It will give you a heart attack,” Sho adds.

“Hey, that was only during the experimental phase!” Jun and Aiba defend in unison.

Sho laughs and Nino grins.

Jun prepares the teas, listening to the others chatting, a smile glued on his face despite the fact that he’s standing for hours now behind his counter and is tired endlessly. He moves slower than he usually would, there is no haste in his movements he could do in his sleep. If it wasn’t for Aiba’s cheerful voice, Jun is sure he would be able to fall asleep just hearing Nino and Sho discussing about the influence of the English language and how it affects the Japanese society.

It is no wonder that he misses that his door opens yet again but the surprised outburst of “Oh-chan!” makes Jun turn around.

The owner of Sakana stands in his door with his usual rubber boots, what looks like water resistant pants and a case in his hand where a lure hangs out of it. Nino is already dragging him towards the counter.

Jun bows slightly. “What would you like?”

“He could use one of those Italian coffees from what it looks like,” Aiba throws in, surly meaning the sleepy face of Ohno as he watched the intruder curiously, leaning over Sho’s shoulder who has trouble keeping his posture.

“Oh no, Captain always looks like that.” Nino explains.

“Captain?”

“He owns a ship.”

Just then Ohno looks proud for a moment, settling on the stool, saying, “No, no, no~”

“Wow!” Aiba’s eyes light up, already thinking about the possibilities, Jun is sure.

“How about an espresso lungo then, Captain?” Jun asks, distributing the three teas on the counter. He watches how Nino lays his fingers around the glass, as if to warm them--but it’s more of a reflex, he knows after three months.

“Just a coffee would be fine, thank you,” Ohno answers, stealing a mouthful from Nino’s straw. “It’s good,” he says, sounding surprised at the same time Aiba  shouts “HOT!!” and Sho whacks him.

Jun stands behind the counter, washing the dishes he actually planed to do in the morning and just listens, marveling at the fact that this, within this group of five very different people Jun feels closeness he can’t place nor explain. It feels like they’ve know each other for a very long time, a decade even though Nino and Ohno are certainly new regulars. It’s like a resolution to something Jun never asked for.

The sun is about to set, the white changes slowly into a soft orange and Jun is about to place the last dishes on the shelves when Ohno leaves first, excusing himself for fishing.
Sho soon follows, mumbling something about a presentation, thanking Jun for the tea and offering Aiba a ride. He accepts and leaves with Sho but not before hugging Nino and Jun goodbye.

Jun leaves his shop at sunset; red, warm light sprawling over the facade. He closes the shop, makes sure that he turns the key twice with Nino behind him who is stretching like a languid cat, letting out a huge yawn.

“Which direction?” Jun asks.

“Oh, I’ll just walk with you to the station.”

So they did, in silence at first, Jun too tired to start a conversation and Nino seems satisfied just like that. They walk along the pavement, right towards where the sun sets down behind the department buildings. In moments like this Jun thinks that Tokyo is truly beautiful, immersed in warm light, glowing.

“Jun-kun,” Nino starts and Jun startles. “What do you think is the most tricky thing about love?”

Jun looks at Nino, surprised by the sudden question, but the other just continues walking, head lifted a little to follow the orange tinged leaves of the trees bordering the street.

“I think it’s the fact that love is facile and complicated at the same time.” Jun finally states after considering the question carefully. Nino wouldn’t ask such a question for fun.

Nino hums low in his throat. “Why is that?”

Jun is silent for a moment, trying to get the right words; he isn’t as talented as Nino to find the right, artistic expressions. The pavement glimmers at the heat, sharp edges swimming in it.

“The person you love chooses to love you above all others. That's all it takes, but at the same time it seems unlikely to happen, doesn’t it?” Jun asks. He’s letting slip more than he intends to and is sure Nino knows what he’s implying by the flash of surprise crossing over his features, quickly concealed by a soft smile.

In that particular moment, Jun wants to reach out. Maybe to convey something, to convey more, to get a connection what kind so ever. But it’s unlikely to happen, to have a connection to Nino at all. He seems far above Jun’s imagination, nothing Jun can seize from his smile or his words. He seems out of his reach no matter from which side Jun’s looking at.

He looks at the concrete they’re walking on in wonderment, their shadows stretching out behind them. Suddenly, an idea crosses his mind; a certain image comes back. He throws a look behind him and his eyes widen at the scenery that he turns around, walking backwards for a moment in astonishment. A smile appears on his lips, wide and winning.

“What’s wrong?” Nino asks, looking behind as well, squinting down the road.

But Jun just turns around again, feeling a step ahead for the first time, seeing something Nino doesn’t, humming under his breath, "Hey, look, look, our shadows have overlapped..."

“Hmm?” Nino asks, peering at Jun again.

“Nothing...”

He can’t explain. Sometimes, the small things, the tiny signs are enough as well. He wonders how long he will and can be satisfied with that. He glances over his shoulder again, their shadows still overlapping. For today, however, it’s definitely enough.



>> to the next paper cranes