Title: Arashi and the Magic Lantern: Chapter 12 (of 12): I wish for it to never end?
Pairing: Ohmiya and Sakumoto (they are both main-pairings^^), Aiba
Genre: romance, bit angst, friendship, AU-ish (it's a magic lantern after all)
Disclaimer: I don't own them or anything else JE-related, but the story is mine of course^^
Summary: Due to unknown circumstances Aiba suddenly finds a magic lantern. What will be revealed when he opens it? A mysterious creature tells them that it will stay with them...until they won't need it anymore. Where does this ghost come from? What's its meaning and its purpose?
Suddenly the boys find themselves in the middle of unbelievable occurrences... What will happen when they have to face, not only their biggest desires, but also their deepest problems, the personal ones but also those they have with each other...?
“Where is Jun?” Nino blinked when he met his friends again. “He didn’t come back?” He looked around a bit. He was the last who returned, searching through the agency had taken more time than he thought it would.
“No.” Ohno looked at the other’s confused frame, shrugging helplessly.
Out of a sudden impulse Nino grabbed the photo album, sighing in relief as he saw that they didn’t loose another member. The beeping of Sho’s mobile pulled them out of their thoughts.
Sho blinked a bit. “That’s Jun.”
“And what’s he saying?” Ohno wanted to know.
“That he has an idea… but he doesn’t want to raise our hopes too high. So he wants us to stay where we are or do something else, except searching for Aiba.”
“Ask him why we can’t drop by.” Nino told Sho.
Sho nodded his head, already typing the answer into his phone. A few seconds later there was Jun’s reply.
“And?” Ohno looked at his friend curiously.
“He says it’s impossible. It was already quite difficult for him alone, another 3 guys are impossible.” Sho shook his head a bit, wondering what Jun was up to. He didn’t even understand a bit of the other’s message. “He asked me to believe in his word now that it’s really impossible and that it might ruin everything.”
Nino sighed a bit. “I hate it that we can’t do anything…”
“I know.” Ohno smiled softly. “But let’s Jun do what he thinks is the best. I’m sure he has his reasons for wanting to be alone now. We don’t know the situation he is in… What if it would ruin every chance we have just because we bump into the scene?”
“You are right.” Nino admitted reluctantly, smiling warmly at his lovers. It was always good to be around Ohno, but at times like this it was particularly relieving to have the other’s calm attitude engulfing him. Then he sighed. “And what to do now?”
“I could cook something.” Ohno suggested.
Sho smiled. “Good idea.” His hopes were already rising again, Jun had always his reasons… He would know what to do… “How about we play cards?” he asked Nino.
Nino smiled a bit. “Alright. Let’s distract our minds a bit…”
Aiba sighed a bit when he walked through the corridor, his thoughts far away. Ghost smiled sympathetically at him. “You are not happy, right?” he asked.
“No…how could I?” Aiba asked sadly.
Ghost smiled. “Maybe things aren’t as bad as you think they are.”
“I don’t know.” Aiba sighed. “Tell me what to do.”
“I can’t” Ghost smiled.
“How about a suggestion as a friend?” Aiba asked. “Not as a wish, just because we are buddies.” He paused a bit. “I’ll also give you something as a friend then.”
Ghost blinked. “We are buddies?”
“I guess we are.” Aiba smiled friendly.
Ghost almost blushed at that, thinking that this Aiba-guy was one of the nicest guys he had ever met. “Alright” he smiled, then he got curious. “What will you give me?”
Aiba chuckled lightly. “A name!”
Ghost stared at the other in disbelief, shaking his head in surprise. “I’m on this earth since 10000s of years, always being together with humans and you are the first one to come up with such a suggestion.” He smiled at Aiba. “Thank you!” then he took a deep breath. “Okay, here an advice… as a friend.”
“Okay?” Aiba looked at the other in expectance.
“Talk.” The ghost told him simply. “Talk about your problems. You can’t expect others to foresee what’s wrong with you… or to recognize it… Sometimes you have to give others a chance to solve everything by telling them.”
Aiba looked down at the ground for a moment, sighing a bit. Of course his ghost was right… He had known the solution himself, all the time. It was just difficult to accept that. Then he smiled at the other, nodding his head. From now on everything would become better! He looked at Ghost in determination. “Alright!” With that he opened the door, stepping into a well-known room. He sighed almost contently… then he gasped, trembling a bit as a fist hit him right into his face. He looked around in utter confusion, even too surprised to feel the pain. Then suddenly he felt two arms being wrapped around him, almost suffocating him. “Hey…” Aiba breathed out, slowly realising what was going on. He took a closer look at the chest in front of his eyes. “Jun?” he asked carefully.
10 minutes later Aiba brought some tea to the balcony where Jun was sitting and waiting for him.
“How?” Aiba finally dared to ask. “How did you know I would be back now?”
Jun smiled a bit. “Wishes that can’t be fulfilled right?”
Aiba blinked a bit. “What do you mean?”
“Wishes that can’t be fulfilled. We just get the chance to experience what we want so badly for a short time. Exactly for two days, right?”
Aiba nodded his head, finally starting to understand what Jun was saying here.
“We searched for you everywhere until we realised that your photos were gone, everything. You were erased. Then we thought we should search for the lantern to see if Ghost is still somewhere outside, which would have meant that he…”
“…would be together with me.” Aiba mumbled.
“Yes. Otherwise we thought we might have the chance to wake him up again and wish you back. When I went to your apartment someone else was living here, a young woman.”
“Really?” Aiba blinked in surprise.
“Of course.” Jun grinned. “Your existence was wiped away. So someone else had to take your place. I found the lantern in some garbage then…”
“Great…” Ghost mumbled grumpily. “Garbage…”
“…and Ghost was not in it of course.” Jun concluded and shrugged. “And when I sat there on the park bench I remembered my own wish and how Ghost told me that there are wishes that can’t be fulfilled. Like saving someone’s life. Or waking someone up from death. Or wishing for a baby or another person to be there suddenly. Or killing someone…. Which would also mean no killing yourself. So…” Jun smiled a bit. “It had to be similar to the wish I had. We could just test it, but not have it.”
Aiba sighed, feeling slightly impressed. “You are really something, Jun. When did you become that smart?”
Jun chuckled, smacking Aiba playfully. “What do you mean with ‘become’? I was always smart”
Aiba grinned at that, enjoying Jun’s self-confidence, mainly because he hadn’t any himself. He smiled weakly. “Sorry.” He looked at the other insistently. “You have to believe me. I didn’t think you would realise that I’m gone. A world without me… I thought also you guys wouldn’t remember!”
“Don’t you understand it?” Jun smiled sympathetically. “There is no world without Aiba! It can’t be” he paused a bit, looking at the other nervously. “Why?” he asked. “Why did you wish for something like that? Was it because we didn’t have time for you recently? I’m so sorry for that. We realized it too late…”
Aiba shook his head a bit. “I know…you were struggling a lot with your own problems. It wasn’t because of you.” He paused, smiling warily. “Well, of course I was feeling sad” he admitted. “But you were not the reason.”
“Really? We weren’t the reason?” Jun wanted to make sure. “Promise?”
“Pinky promise.” Aiba joked weakly, remembering Jun at their Junior days.
The latter smiled a bit. “So why?” he finally asked.
“Do I fit into Arashi?” Aiba suddenly asked out of the blue, making Jun blink in surprise. “Am I a meaningful part of this group?”
“What do you mean?” the younger one looked at his friend in utter surprise.
“It feels like I’m nothing.” Aiba explained sadly. “All of you can do something better. No matter how much I try, I won’t be the best singer. I won’t be the best dancer. I won’t be the hottest guy or even the most handsome guy. I won’t be the best actor. I won’t be cool. I’m just nothing… I’m so unimportant that I wonder how you can bear with me.”
“Are you stupid!” Jun hissed almost angrily. “What’s with that? As if that’s true! All of us have their weak points and their strong points.”
“But I can’t see anything strong in me…” Aiba admitted sadly.
“Then tell me…” Jun started. “Why is it that when you appear somewhere everyone smiles? Why does everyone want to become your friend? Everyone likes to hang out with you! A lot of our fans think that you are the cutest boy… sparkling like a little miracle. And for some girls you are the coolest…or the best looking… or the best actor… or the best dancer, because they love you so much! Why does Nino always call you when he has a fight with Riida? Why does everyone feel like protecting you? I think that you are the friendliest and the most good-hearted person on earth. Would you ever send someone away who has a problem? Would you ever be grumpy when I call you in the middle of the night when I have a problem? Would you travel to the end of the world to help a friend?”
Aiba blinked at that, scanning Jun thoroughly to see if the other just wanted to be nice to comfort him. But then… it was not in Jun’s nature to comfort someone by telling him lies. His cheeks flushed lightly at Jun’s words, hoping that also others would see him like that. “Are you sure you aren’t the only one thinking that?” he tried to make sure.
“Totally sure.” Jun smiled, patting Aiba’s head. “Everyone loves you.”
Aiba sighed contently. “You are a good guy Jun.” He smiled warmly at the other. “I’m glad you are happy with Sho…” he paused. “You are happy, aren’t you?”
“Yes.” Jun smiled. “I’m happy. Really happy. Not always and every day, of course, but most of the time I’m happy. See?” he shrugged. “It’s okay to be down sometimes. We’ll learn to live with such feelings…”
“We can help each other.” Aiba suggested. “But you are also keeping your problems for you sometimes.”
“That’s just part of the truth.” Jun argued. “But there are problems I can just solve together with Sho. Or problems Nino can just solve together with Riida. Or sometimes we have to solve problems on our own. We can’t talk about everything, but about the important things in our lives we should talk.”
“True.” Aiba mused, considering Jun’s words. Then he looked at Jun through begging eyes. “Talking about problems that should only be solved alone or with one person… Could you keep it a secret what happened?”
Jun blinked. “Why?”
“Because Nino-chan would go crazy.” Aiba sighed. “He would think he is at fault and would get on my nerves like crazy.”
Jun grinned at that. “Most likely.”
“And then Riida would be grumpy at one point because Nino would just care for me…” Aiba went on.
“Also true.” Jun smiled.
“And Sho…” Aiba paused here and looked at Jun through questioning eyes.
“I don’t think I can hide it from Sho…” Jun sighed, then he smiled sheepishly. “Or rather…I don’t want to keep it a secret in front of him. Pretty pathetic, right? But I can tell him to keep it a secret…”
Aiba grinned a bit. “You are just so much in love.” He looked at the other curiously. “What was it you wished for? The wish that couldn’t be granted?”
Jun sighed a bit, fighting with his pride a bit, then he shrugged helplessly. “A baby. I wanted to be a father.”
“Oh my god…” Aiba stared at Jun in disbelief. “That was your wish? How beautiful…and sad.” He looked at him carefully. “And now? You can’t have it, right? Is that really okay?”
Jun shrugged. “It will always be a sore point for me, but I’m not feeling reluctant. I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing something. It’s more important for me to be with Sho…”
Aiba laughed. “Now you finally admitted it…”
The other smacked him playfully. “So what?”
“So…nothing.” Aiba smiled. “So you will totally let go of the baby-wish now? Forever? Somehow that’s sad…” He looked at the other through his big, warm eyes, feeling really sad for his friend.
Jun sighed. “Talking about keeping something a secret…” he looked at Aiba. “Promise me you won’t tell someone…”
“I promise.” Aiba looked at the other expectantly.
Jun grinned. “Well…Sho and I talked about adopting a baby of course, but not now. It’s still impossible for us. But my sister found a good job and has to work abroad for some time. She is not getting along too well with my mother, so she asked me if I could look after her two kids.” Jun stretched a bit. “First I wasn’t really sure. But after I gave it a second thought… I don’t know…” he smiled. “Somehow it’s a great option. I love my niece and my nephew. I’m really looking forward to giving them a proper home while their mother is away. It’s not the first option for me, not the most wanted, but since I can’t have kids on my own, I think it’s actually a gorgeous 2nd option.”
Aiba’s eyes grew wide at that. “It is!” he agreed. “That’s great! You already have such a strong bond to your sister and her kids… and now looking after them… I bet your sister is so happy that you agreed! But why do I have to keep it a secret? It’s really great! You should tell it everyone!”
Jun grinned a bit. “I still have to tell Sho that my sister’s 13-years old teenage daughter and her 5-years old brother will be living with us.”
Aiba almost dropped to the floor laughing. “Could you please tell me his reaction afterwards!? I bet it’s hilarious…”
Jun smiled. “I will. Though I know he will agree to it… Truth his I just hadn’t any time to tell him, because you were missing.” He poked the other’s hips a bit. “I never knew he had this caring and sweet side, you know. It’s like I learned something new from him, a new feature. And I really love that. I think at one point during our weekend he suddenly wanted kids himself…”
“So you won’t tell my secret to anyone?” Aiba tried to make sure again.
“I won’t.” Jun reassured him. “How do you want to manage it that the others won’t feel suspicious?”
“I could tell them that I just wanted some calm days on my own…but I totally messed up my wish, that’s why my pictures were erased.”
“The others would totally believe that.” Jun joked a bit.
Aiba giggled slightly. “See? And you can simply say the truth about your own story… how you found out about how and when I would return.” He looked at the other through begging eyes. “Please say yes!”
“Sounds okay for me.” Jun sighed, smiling cheekily. “But you totally ruined Nino’s party.” He chuckled. “He wanted to throw a party for us because all relationship problems were solved.”
“Oh…” Aiba blinked, then he smiled shyly. “But we could still celebrate.”
Jun smiled back. “I guess we can.” Then a sudden thought hit him. “So Ghost will disappear completely?” he was surprised himself how sad he sounded when he asked this question. He didn’t even realize that their ghost grew so much to them. “Because we don’t need him anymore…”
Aiba looked down sadly. “He was such a good friend…” he turned around to smile at the creature behind him. “I didn’t forget my promise!”
“What promise?” Jun asked curiously.
“Because Ghost became my friend I want to give him a name.” Aiba explained.
Jun blinked for a moment, before a warm smile appeared on his face. “See? That’s why you are special!”
Aiba blushed a bit, before he looked at Ghost thoroughly, remembering what he did and the time they spent together. “How about Tomo?” he finally asked.
“Tomo?” Jun blinked. “It’s cute…” he agreed.
“Not only cute.” Aiba smiled cheerfully. “It also means ‘friend’. It has a meaning!!”
Ghost blinked in surprise, before he smiled happily, hugging Aiba out of the blue. “Thanks. You are the loveliest guy I ever met… Such a pity I can’t stay with you…”
“I can’t wish for that, right?” Aiba asked.
“No.” Tomo smiled. “I have my work to do. But if there are some more guys on earth like you and your friends I’m okay with it… Humans never fail to surprise me.”
Aiba nodded his head. “I understand.” He smiled sadly when he saw how Tomo slowly disappeared. “Good luck!”
Jun sighed, looking down at the lantern in his hand, realising that Tomo was back in here. “I never thought I would miss him…” He put an arm around Aiba’s shoulder, smiling warmly. “It’s okay, you don’t have to cry. You did something wonderful for him in the end.” He grinned a bit, trying to cheer the other up. “I guess we should go to our friends.” He smiled. “I’m sure they already realised that your pictures are back…”
“I’m so happy you are back!” Nino hugged Aiba again, the tenth time this evening, while Ohno stood next to his two friends, smiling contently.
Nino smirked a bit. “But I can’t believe you did mess up your wish like that…” he sighed. “We have to watch out better for you.”
Aiba smiled apologetically. “Sorry!”
“Forget about that.” Ohno smiled warmly. “It’s just good to have you back. My heart almost stopped beating when I saw your pictures missing on all Arashi posters and fangoods in town…”
Jun smiled knowingly at that, twinkling towards Aiba, showing him a See-I-told-you! expression.
Sho laughed a bit, hugging Jun out of the blue. “And who realised immediately when and how Aiba would return!?” he asked proudly.
“My, my…” Nino teased. “I thought you guys aren’t together?”
Jun pulled an eyebrow up. “You really believed us?”
Nino smiled. “Of course not. You were way too obvious… but then you weren’t obvious enough.” He sighed. “It was impossible to get a proof that you two have something going…” Then his expression got earnest again. “But why couldn’t we join you while you were waiting for Aiba-chan? And why didn’t you tell us?”
Jun smiled. “Because I wasn’t completely sure… I didn’t want to crush your hopes then. And… well… I already had a hard time to convince this woman who was living in Aiba’s apartment to let me stay there over night. Just imagine what would have happened if you others had dropped by…”
“Agree.” Ohno grinned, then he looked down at the lantern. “Just a pity that Tomo can’t celebrate with us.”
“Yes.” Nino looked sadly, remembering how much their ghost had helped them. “What to do now?” he asked. “We can’t call him a second time right?”
“No.” Aiba shook his head. “He just visits people once.” He looked around a bit. “What shall we do with Tomo?”
“OH!” Jun smirked. “I have a good idea…” He smiled at Aiba. “An idea that makes it possible to visit Tomo… maybe.”
Jun paused for a moment when he reached a specific apartment, he pressed his ear against it, trying to hear something. And really… there was some fighting… or something similar. What were those two doing again? Jun shook his head. Not talking about their problems – again! He sighed, wondering why it was that people always tent to hurt the ones they loved.
Then he grinned, putting the package down on the ground and pressing the bell. With that he rushed down the staircase as fast as he could. He could just hear how the door opened a bit and a surprised voice wondered about the package.
“What’s that?” Ryo blinked when Jin brought the package into the living room.
Jin sighed, rubbing over his head. “I’m not sure. It was just standing in front of the door. Maybe from one of the idiots who’s always after you?”
“I told you…” Ryo sighed in frustration. “I’m not interesting in anyone else than you.” he looked down at his hands grumpily, wondering why it was so difficult to be together with Jin though they always had so much fun before. As if they were drifting apart more and more.
Jin bit his lips nervously, wondering how if he had pushed the other too far. He so didn’t want to loose him… but how should he manage to keep him? What if their relationship wouldn’t bear the future?
Ryo inspected the package closer. “Here.” He grumbled. “From Jun. Get a grip and solve your problems.”
Jin blinked at that, opening the package. “It’s an ugly… vase?”
“Lamp?” Ryo wondered.
“Lantern?” Jin took a closer look. “There is written something on it.” He rubbed over the lamp with his sleeve, blinking in shock when there was smoke around them suddenly.
Ryo jumped up in surprise. “What…” he looked at the smoke, feeling almost scared.
Jin let the lamp drop on the floor and rushed towards his friends, wanting to protect him. “Stay behind me.” he told him, grabbing his hand.
Ryo sighed a bit, as angry as he had been earlier, Jin’s spontaneous caring gestures were just always making him feel protected. “What’s that?” he whispered.
“Hello!” a voice suddenly blurt out. “Nice to meet you.”
“I swear.” Ryo grumbled. “If that’s a dokkiri I’m going to…to…”
“…to kill Jun.” Jin finished.
“What’s a dokkiri?” the voice sounded surprised. “The others also said that when I met them for the first time…”
“Where are you?” Ryo wanted to know.
“I’m a ghost that fulfils wishes. You have to wish for me to become visible.”
“If that’s a joke…” Jin grumbled, but decided to give it a try. “Alright. I wish for you to become visible.”
Ryo blinked as the smoke disappeared and a figure was standing in front of him now. He shook his head in disbelief, slowly realising that even Yoko couldn’t do such a Dokkiri. But he was still feeling suspicious, so why not give it a try. “Wishes?”
“Yes.” The voice reassured him. “Just try it out.”
“Okay.” Ryo rolled his eyes. “I wish for a piece of strawberry cake.” He gasped in shock when a plate with a huge piece of cake was in his hands now. “Can’t be…” he mumbled.
“Why do you guys always want cake?” the ghost wondered a bit, feeling seriously surprised remembering Ohno’s first wish..
Jin stared at the scene in front of him in utter surprise. “Who are you?” Jin asked carefully, putting an arm around Ryo’s shoulder protectively.
Ghost’s voice sounded really proud and confident. “My name is Tomo.”
Note: Hey dear friends and readers! Thanks so much for all your support!! So, I wanted to tell you that my Request Post is open. If you feel like requesting a specific pairing or situation you can do so HERE