Title: Painful Days and Stormy Nights Chapter 9: Pride and prejudice
Pairing: Ohno/Aiba, KimuShingo, RyoJin, Takki/Sakamoto, Sakumiya, Nagase/Koichi and one-sided Miyake/Sakamoto (As for the others I don't know yet... (PiKame or TegoPi? KameUchi? What's with Jun?)
Genre: AU, family, friendship, romance, angst, drama
Disclaimer: I don't own them or anything else JE-related. But the story is mine of course^^
Summary: Slowly Nino and Sho are getting closer... but why is Sho so closed? Again Jin tries to help his Ryo out of a difficult situation, while Jin himself gets chased by dreams of his past.
Meanwhile Takuya looses his temper... with an interesting outcome. And when he finally gets home from his study trip, how will Ryo react?
“Could you make me one of your gorgeous drinks, please?” Nino smiled at Aiba and pointed at his glass. It was early afternoon and he had met with Sho for some lunch.
Sho smiled at that, sipping at his water. He had to work tonight and rather preferred it to stay sober. Then he shifted his attention towards Nino again. “Your novel sounds pretty good Nino-kun. When will it be finished?”
Nino chuckled at that. “I’m not sure… I’m a rather slow writer. I guess I need some success to be really motivated.”
“Hm…” Sho mused. “If you are not motivated maybe it’s because you are not into the story?”
Nino sighed a bit. “You mean the usual dilemma? I should write about something I’m really interested in?”
Sho shrugged a bit helplessly. “Yes, I guess that’s what I meant.”
Nino shook his head, smiling. “I don’t think that’s how it works. Maybe if I write something important first, then I’ll be able to write something that’s really moving me.”
Sho sighed a bit, looking at the other warmly. “Sounds really complicated…”
There was a short pause, before Nino coughed to chase away his embarrassment by the other’s low voice and his pretty face. “So…will Sho-kun tell me why he became a host?”
Sho’s smile grew more wary, his eyes getting an inscrutable expression. “There is nothing spectacular about it. I just needed the money… and well… working here is actually quite good… It’s like working in a noble restaurant.” He showed Nino his perfect smile, making the other feel immediately suspicious. Interesting, Nino thought, feeling determined to find out more about this pretty Host and his stoic expression.
But before he could ask anything else, the door flew open and a small figure rushed through the room. Sho needed just a minute to react, then he was up his feet, watching how the boy ran upstairs. “Hey…you, minors are not allowed here.” He blinked when Nino pulled at his sleeve, laughing heartedly at him. “What?” Sho asked surprised.
“That’s not a minor… that’s THE minor.” Nino grinned a bit, then he looked up, eyeing the corridor of the second floor. “Hey, Ryo-chan, be careful here. Takki doesn’t like it if you are running through the corridors.”
“Don’t worry about that, Ryo” Aiba interrupted Nino, earning him an annoyed glance by the latter. “I’ll prepare you my newest non-alcoholic cocktail for later.”
Ryo’s head popped up, he was leaning over the balustrade of the first floor now, smiling thankfully at Aiba. “Thanks Aiba-kun.”
“Hey Ryo-chan?” Nino started as Ryo’s head disappeared again. “Don’t you want to say hello to Sho-kun first?”
Ryo’s head appeared again, eyeing Nino in annoyance. “Hello, Sho-kun.” he mumbled before disappearing again.
Nino looked at the balustrade grumpily. “Kids.” he grumbled.
“JIN!” the door to Jin’s room flew open and Ryo rushed into the room, looking around impatiently. When he saw Jin he blushed a bit. “Sorry…” he mumbled.
“No problem at all.” Jin grinned at the other’s flushed cheeks, angling for a shirt and putting it on. “I was just changing.” Jin's smile grew as Ryo blushed deeper. He poked into the other's red cheeks softly.
Ryo glared at him, but as Jin tousled his hair he had to grin himself, sitting down on Jin’s bed.
The older one smiled a bit, sitting down on the other side, realising how Ryo’s expression grew more earnest and bothered again. “Did something happen?” Jin wanted to know. “You look so worried…”
“It’s…” Ryo pause, wondering how he should start.
Jin poked his hips a bit. “Don’t tell me it’s Takki-kun… again.”
Ryo rolled his eyes at that. “It’s not about him.” He reassured Jin. “It’s about Yamapi.”
Five minutes later Jin was lying on his floor's carpet, looking up at the ceiling, while Ryo was still lying on Jin’s bed, stretching there and looking down at Jin.
“Hm…” Jin made.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ryo wanted to know.
Jin shrugged helplessly. “I’m not sure. It sounds so difficult.”
“Jin!” Ryo begged.
“Alright.” Jin sat up, looking at Ryo thoroughly. “Let’s think this through. His cousin has a Host Club, right?”
Ryo nodded his head.
“And he lied to you guys because his cousin is in some sort of fight with Takki-kun?” Jin mused.
“I don’t know anything about it… It seems like it’s already been some years ago…” Ryo mused. “But Yamapi totally overreacted. I would have never avoided him because of that! I’m not that easily influenced by what Takki says…”
“Ah…” Jin grinned at that. “You aren’t?” When he caught Ryo’s grumpy glance, he smiled softly. “Alright, alright, I get what you mean.”
“And Takki would have never told me not to meet Yamapi because of a fight he has with his cousin.” Ryo grumbled. “I was actually surprised that Takki believed in my words that I didn’t know anything about it.”
Jin pushed at Ryo’s shoulder playfully. “Takki always believes in your words…” He paused a moment, thinking about recent incidents. “Well…nearly always.” He sighed a bit. “Okay, listen…”
“Yes?” Ryo looked at him expectantly.
“You are…” Jin paused for a moment, wondering how to voice what he actually wanted to say. “Okay, it was stupid. But I guess this Yamapi-guy just overreacted. It can happen… I’m sure he didn’t mean anything bad… Besides…”
“Besides?” Ryo wanted to know.
“You have not much faith into people.” Jin tried to sound fond here to not hurt the other. “You are not the easily forgiving type. And it's difficult for people to know how you will react...”
Ryo looked at him, grumpily first, but then he sighed, knowing that this was one of his bigger flaws. “I know…” he mumbled. “I’m quite complicated.”
Jin shook his head, pinching Ryo’s cheek softly. “That’s not what I said. I think you are great. You just need really long to open up to people. I guess Yamapi just wasn’t sure how you would react… You should have more trust in those around you.”
“What do you mean with: You need to keep our bus over night? Check on it now!” Takuya blurt out, glaring at the mechanic in front of him.
The man shrugged. “It’s evening… our working shifts are normally during day. Better search for a hotel.”
“Eh?” Nakamura, the female professor standing next to Takuya at the moment, blinked. “But we are 30 people here.” She pointed at the students behind them. “We can’t find a hotel that easy!”
The man shrugged, shoving her aside. “Listen, woman, I can’t do anything about that. Search for a hotel or sleep on the street, I don’t care.” The next moment he felt two fists grabbing him by his shirt and pulling at him. An angry face in front of him. Takuya’s piercing eyes were now directly looking into his. “LISTEN!” Takuya blurt out. “You’ll get this bus going within the next two hours! We didn’t pay such a huge amount of protection fees for this bus just to have it down so easily. Move your ass towards it and work!! Here are 30 people waiting in the cold and they want to be home at night, damn. Not to forget the promise towards my little brother that I can’t fulfil now and who is waiting for me to return home since hours! And by the way…” he pointed at the female teacher next to him. “I don’t know where you got raised, but my father told me to treat women with respect! So get going and work or I’LL MAKE YOU WORK!”
Miyake stared at Takuya in utter surprise. “Wow…” he breathed out, sounding totally impressed. “He’s so cool!”
“Hey.” Shingo mumbled, sounding annoyed. “Forget that! I saw him first!”
“Wow…” Subaru looked at his watch. “You are late. It’s nearly midnight.”
Takuya sighed a bit. “Sorry… You already know what happened.”
Takki smiled a bit. “We are glad you are okay.”
“Yeah…” Nino agreed. “We were kinda worried…”
“Sorry guys.” Takuya smiled tiredly. “But I already told you… We got stuck in the middle of nowhere, no mobile phone worked… I walked 20 km to get help.”
“Sounds like a nightmare.” Subaru mumbled, then he smiled a bit. “Thanks for calling us when you were on your way.”
Takuya dropped down on his chair, stretching a bit and rubbing over his neck to relax. “So…what did I miss?” He blinked as no one really answered. Subaru was sticking his nose into a book, while Takki simply looked into another direction.
“Oh…” Nino said pointedly. “I’m not sure if one hour is enough for telling you all the anecdotes”
Takuya blinked. “What...”
“Well…” Nino mock-mused. “Most of the time Ryo-chan wasn’t talking to Subaru and Takki while Subaru and Takki weren’t talking to each other.”
Takuya stared at him in surprise. “Why?”
“It’s a longer story.” Nino grinned. “Basically it has something to do with one forgetting something important and the other yelling too much.”
“Who did forget something?” Takuya wanted to know.
Takuya sighed, but joined Nino’s teasing guessing-game out of curiosity. “And who yelled?”
“Ah.” Takuya finally smiled a bit as he grasped the meaning of the whole story.
“But they kinda made up again.” Nino explained. “Right?”
“Yeah…” Subaru mumbled, looking at Takki carefully.
“Sure.” Takki tried to sound convincing.
“And then a mysterious person named Koichi appeared in Takki's life again…” Subaru went on.
“Who?” Takuya blinked in surprise, wondering if he knew a person with this name.
“Exactly.” Nino grinned. “We don’t know him. He owns another Host Club and had a fight with Takki years ago. But Takki doesn’t tell us anything about it…” Nino made a dramatic pause. “He is Yamapi’s… you know, Ryo-chan’s buddy?... cousin. But Yamapi didn’t tell it Ryo, because…well… you can guess the reason. Now they are fighting.”
Takuya blinked at the others. “I was just away for three days! How could so much happen while I wasn’t here?” he blurt out, then he dropped his head to the side. “And I don’t even want to think about Ryo-chan’s anger that I missed our appointment today.”
“Yeah.” Nino nodded his head, smirking a bit. “I’m glad it’s not my problem…”
Subaru rolled his eyes. “Really Nino... You are so unbelievable sensitive.”
“Just forget it guys.” Takuya interrupted them. “Let’s go to bed.”
As the other had left the room, he grabbed Takki’s arm. “Is really everything okay?”
“What exactly do you mean?” Takki asked, not sure which problem Takuya was talking about.
Takuya shrugged. “Between you and Ryo?”
“Well... it's okay. No huge improvements but not worse than before.” Takki smiled.
“And this Koichi guy?”
“Well…that’s another problem…” Takki admitted, his eyes looking at Takuya piercingly, making it clear that he didn’t want to talk about it now.
Takuya sighed a bit. “Alright… let’s keep this for later. I’ll just take a look at Ryo and see if he is already asleep.”
Takuya opened the door to Ryo’s room carefully. It was already dark here, apparently Ryo was asleep. But before he could close the door again, the figure underneath the blanket moved, sitting up a bit. “Why don’t you come in?” Ryo yawned heartedly, rolling around a bit, so that Takuya could sit down next to him.
“Sorry.” Takuya smiled a bit. “We had an accident with the bus.”
“I know.” Ryo mumbled sleepily. “Takki told me about it when you called. I’m glad nothing bad happened.”
Takuya blinked at him in surprise. “You are not upset with me?”
Ryo looked at him piercingly. “Of course not! It wasn't your fault... What do you think of me?” he grumled.
“Sorry.” Kimura grinned, pinching the other's cheek lightly. “And the problem you have with your friend?
“Well...” Ryo mused warily. “I decided to try to be more forgiving and have more trust in the people around me.”
Takuya grinned at that. “Wow! Is this really my stubborn little brother?” He smiled teasingly. “So I don’t have to pick you up on my day off next Monday to invite you out for some lunch to make up to you?”
“Of course you have to!” Ryo blurt out.
Takuya grinned brightly. “I thought you want to be more forgiving.” he teased.
Ryo smiled weakly, not sure himself how to deal the Yamapi-situation now. “I said I’m learning to be more forgiving…”
“Well…” Takuya mused, stroking through Ryo’s hair. “That’s always a good step into the right direction.”
“The boy is worth nothing...” the voice of a woman said coldly. “We don't need him.”
“What to do with him then?” a man asked.
“How should I know. Give him away. I never wanted to have children in the first place.” the woman sounded annoyed.
“Well...he is pretty.” he man mused. “A lot of people would pay lots of money for such a beautiful boy.”
“Whatever you want.” the woman hissed. “Just get him away.”
Jin opened his eyes, not saying anything, not crying or yelling... but his eyes were unusually wide-opened, his breath going faster, his hands trembling slightly.