Title: Me without you 20/20
Pairing: Junba, Sakumiya, Ohno/?, others possible
Rating: up to R
Genre: AU, romance
Plot: Although they are both young students at college, both the youngest brothers within three, and both part of high society, there are worlds between Jun and Masaki. Jun comes from a rich, traditional and conservative family, while Masaki's family gained wealth and fame by luck. Masaki is cheerful and enjoys life to the fullest. Jun is unusually earnest and distanced. Although part of the same glamorous world, their paths would have never crossed, they would have never even talked, but then Masaki's brothers decide he needs to catch up with his studies, and hire Jun as his tutor. With being so different it seems they will never get closer, until they realize that they both hold a sad secret.
Note: This is dedicated to yukitsubute. I had (and still have) a lot of fun writing this, and I wonder where it takes me to. I can promise you some fluff, some fun and some drama (the usual ^^) There might even be some hurt & comfort.
Jun waves while he approaches the convent. He feels messy and dirty from the long walk, but also surprisingly light-hearted. He already sees Takuya’s tall figure way before they even reach the huge building. He is only remotely surprised that they found them that fast. Of course they did.
Once they get closer he can see Sho waving at him like madly.
“They don’t really look like they are angry,” Masaki muses. “Interesting.”
“It’s because they understand,” Jun says. “I’m pretty sure some of them would have liked to climb a mountain themselves. Maybe they will too one day, climb their own mountain of fears and hidden secrets.”
“I have a smart boyfriend,” Masaki teases. “He is turning into a philosopher.”
“Very funny,” Jun grumbles, pretending to be annoyed. When he feels Masaki grabbing his hand and looking at him through those huge fearful eyes, he chuckles. “Just teasing you.”
Masaki raises his eyebrows. “I kind of want to make you pay for all your teasing.”
“Oh please do so,” Jun retorts with a smirk, his heart making a few careful anticipating jumps. “But later when we are alone.”
“I wonder if they’ll ever leave us alone again,” Masaki muses.
“Definitely not today,” Jun grins. Next to Takuya he can see a broad figure with blonde hair waving too.
“I’m a bit scared,” Masaki admits.
“From Shingo-san and Satoshi-kun?” Jun asks in surprise.
“No, not at all. I mean…” Masaki pauses for a moment, looking at Jun through nervous eyes. “When we are back and we’ll have our daily routine again, worrying about stuff like exams and classes, and… I don’t know, I’m scared that once we are away from here it will feel like we have a hangover, like it’s going to crush us again.”
Jun lets Masaki’s words sink in for a while, then he shakes his head. He is tired of constantly being scared and running away. “We won’t let it happen. We have each other, and these idiots down there. Let’s at least try to become happy, although we might face some setbacks. We’ll help each other out. Let’s not be scared of going back home.”
Masaki smiles brightly. “Yes,” he agrees. “This sounds like a great plan. Hey Jun,” he looks at him shyly. “I love you, you know that, right?”
Jun returns his smile, blushing a bit. “I love you too.”
“Let’s go on a date next week,” Masaki says. “Ryo’s band is performing again. We can’t miss it.”
“Yes, let’s do that!” Jun agrees.
“I’m so sorry for worrying you,” Jun breathes out while Sho almost suffocates him with his hug.
“Let him breathe, Sho,” Takuya says dryly just to throw his arms around them and to squeeze them even tighter.
They mess around for a while before Sho finally lets go. “You did worry us,” Sho says reproachfully. “Like really. Never do that again!”
“Yes, someone here thought you would leave the country on a boat,” Takuya says with a secret wink towards Jun. “He is right though, we were really worried. We didn’t even know what happened to you until we realized that you went to this place.”
Jun nods. “I’m really sorry,” he apologizes and sincerely means it. He hasn’t expected Takuya and Sho to be so understanding, though somehow he hoped they would. “I didn’t mean to put you through anything bad, really. I just, I don’t know, it felt like I didn’t have any other option. I swear I’m not going to leave like this again!”
Sho and Takuya exchange a glance before Takuya sighs. “You did it because you had to do it, right?” he asks, his brown eyes piercing Jun’s like he is searching for something. He seems to be content with what he finds because he smiles warmly.
“Yes, I think you can say it like that,” Jun says. “I didn’t mean to worry you though.”
“You didn’t think we would try to stop you, did you?” Sho asks in sudden worry.
“No, but I just knew if I told someone I would never do it. I would never come here. I needed to do it by myself and alone,” Jun admits.
“And did you find what you were looking for?” Takuya asks softly.
“I’m not sure,” Jun admits. “I got rid of a few things though. I think I can finally face everyone, including myself, better. You know, someone told me I should learn to accept the person looking back at me in the mirror. I think I might be able to achieve that now.”
“Well, then,” Takuya smiles and wraps an arm around Jun’s shoulder and pulls him towards the staircase that leads them downstairs to the dining hall of the convent. “It was right and good what you did.”
“To be honest,” Sho says when they arrive downstairs at the dining hall. “I’m looking forward to going home.”
“Me too,” Jun admits and means it, much to his own surprise. “I’ll cook us something when we are back,” he promises.
“Yes!” Sho exclaims happily. Apparently it’s easy to make him forgive something once there is food involved.
“You two are going on a vacation?” Sho asks in surprise when Takuya tells him he and Shingo plan to take a few days off.
“Just for four days,” Takuya says calmly. “I trust you to keep everything together while I’m away and have an eye on Jun. Sometimes we still need to remind him not to get too engulfed in his studies. Be careful that he doesn’t overwork himself. He is such a perfectionist, wonder where he got that from.”
“Yeah,” Sho snorts and throws him a teasing glance. “I wonder too.”
Takuya rolls his eyes. “Very funny.”
“Where are you going to?” Sho asks all of a sudden.
“Well, we are going to…” Takuya pauses, cursing himself for not finding an excuse earlier. “…To an onsen, you know. Seems like Shingo knows someone who he can rent a small cottage from. We want to relax a bit. My mobile reception might be bad though, so if I won’t answer my phone, please don’t worry.”
“Of course, take a few days off from this loud mess here,” Sho nods understandingly. “Don’t think about work or anything alike. If you are not around Masaki will for sure drop by and stay for four days straight. They apparently think that when I’m having the supervision I won’t notice anything.”
Takuya chuckles. He doesn’t say that the young guys are probably right. Sho is not the best when it’s about reading other people’s – or rather his family’s – intentions and realizing that they trick him. He doesn’t say anything though. It’s okay, even when they will mess around while he is not home. So be it.
He and Shingo take Shingo’s car. He borrowed Satoshi’s navigation system from Jun, who swore to him to not tell anyone what he is planning. Once at their destination the sweet old nun is greeting them and handing them the keys to their room. They will spend one night here and then climb the mountain Masaki and Jun climbed, and then proceed and take the circular hiking route to the other mountain as they are staying a bit longer.
“You know,” Shingo says when they lie down to get some rest before they will start walking tomorrow. “Next time let’s grab Satoshi’s boat and try to find ourselves on the ocean. I feel I should have worked out before doing this here.”
Takuya laughs heartedly. “I told you, you don’t need to come.”
“Are you kidding!?” Shingo grumbles. “Like I’m going to let you do something like this alone!”
“I wouldn’t have minded,” Takuya says, before rephrasing his words as he feels it might sound heartless, and it’s not what he intended. “I mean, of course I like it when you come along, but I would never expect from you to follow me on this little journey, you know?”
Shingo stays quiet, then he looks at Takuya through unusual sad eyes. “Masaki told me that he knows he is just our half-brother.”
“Really?” Takuya blinks and turns to the side to look at Shingo as well. “I didn’t know you were half-brothers.”
“We thought Masaki didn’t know, so we never told him. To be honest it never mattered to us,” Shingo admits. “Now I realized he did know. He also said that our mother wasn’t very nice to him. Didn’t go into detail though. I wish he would tell me the entire truth.”
“It’s probably all he could say,” Takuya tells him softly.
“Did Jun tell you something?”
“Yes, a bit,” Takuya says.
“And what did he say?”
Takuya shakes his head, there is no way he feels even remotely ready to tell the glimpses Jun shared with him. He didn’t even tell Sho yet, because Sho as the middle brother was kind of lucky sometimes to be forgotten by their father. He knows they can’t hide it from him forever, but it’s Jun’s story and Jun’s right to tell whoever he wants to whenever he feels it’s right.
“It’s okay,” Shingo smiles. “Since I’m not going anywhere, you don’t need to tell me everything at once.”
“Say…” Takuya says after a while. “Why is your other brother, Satoshi, so obsessed with the Nishikido family?”
Shingo lets out a sound that is something between a huff, a sigh and a chuckle. “Don’t ask me. I’m still trying to understand. The kids now want to set him up with Ryo-chan. It’s going to be such a mess.”
Takuya chuckles. “To be honest, after the recent events I would prefer this kind of a mess over any other.”
Shingo smiles. “Can’t say anything against that,” he agrees.
Nino helps cutting vegetables. About an hour ago Jun wrote him a message to ask if he wants to drop by and hang out with him and Masaki. Once Nino was there, Jun used a cheap excuse to leave him alone with Sho.
Not that he minds though. Awesome friends are awesome.
“You really don’t mind?” Sho asks in worry. “I’m sorry Jun and Masaki have a sudden class and can’t join us.”
Jeez, Jun and Masaki aren’t even in one class together. “You really are easy in believing.”
“What?” Sho asks in surprise.
“Nothing,” Nino smiles. “It’s okay.”
Sho nods and wraps an arm around Nino’s waist, while angling for something in the cupboard. “Watch your head,” he says with a worried expression when he opens the doors.
“Yes, mummy,” Nino chuckles slightly. So cute, Sho can be so cute when he is acting like a worried mom.
“Don’t make fun of me,” Sho complains, but obviously can’t help the grin spreading on his lips. “You truly have me in your palm.”
“Really?” Nino says and turns around to lean against the sink. Sho closes the door – safety comes first it seems – then he puts his hands on Nino’s hips, pulling him closer. Nino knows it’s cliché and all, but he likes that Sho has broad shoulders and strong arms and the smells of aftershave. He just loves it. What he loves more though is when Sho bends forward, almost looking nervous. Hell, he is so cute, it’s unbelievable. Nino smiles brightly and wraps his arms around Sho’s neck to pull him down.
“You are my little brother’s friend,” Sho states.
“I hope this isn’t the only reason you have,” Nino comments dryly.
“I’m older than you are,” Sho says carefully.
“I’m in a different position in my life,” Sho continues carefully.
Nino nods. “I know there is a huge gap between us, but still, I think it’s something we can pass by.”
Sho smiles. “You are such a witty young guy. You are probably way ahead of me anyways.”
Nino chuckles. “What are our plans for later?” he asks innocently.
Sho smiles, his lips brushing over Nino’s neck. “I thought about having a romantic dinner and then go to the movies.”
“We could also stay here,” Nino offers. “And watch movies here.”
Sho pulls his eyebrows up. “What if Jun and Masaki come home?”
Nino smiles brightly, pulling Sho close enough so that their lips almost touch. “They won’t,” he says with emphasis. “They definitely won’t.” He grins happily while Sho pulls him even closer to his body, bending downwards to kiss him. He has waited for it for so long that his heart feels like it will jump out of his chest in happiness.
Jun has picked Masaki up earlier that day, wearing his glasses to not attract too much attention, unfortunately it backfired. “You are too obviously still you,” Masaki points out when he comes out from his class. “The instant the girls started to giggle about the hot teacher out there with glasses, I knew they meant you.”
Jun blushes. “I don’t look like a teacher! I’m even younger than you.”
“A hot teacher,” Masaki emphasises. Jun still feels like pouting. He doesn’t want to come off as so serious that people take him for a senpai at college or a tutor. Masaki tugs at his sleeve. “You do know they mean it as a compliment? Fancy Jun-sama walks through the corridor, kyaaaaaaa~”
“But… I don’t want to appeal to anyone,” Jun argues in annoyance. “Just to you.”
“Well, I personally find you very hot in your glasses,” Masaki admits. “But I find you hot in anything you wear, so I’m not sure if I’m a good judge.”
“I’m just…” Jun pauses, not sure why he is getting so worked up.
Masaki smiles warmly at him. “It won’t put a distance between us just because they fancy you, I promise,” he says, and Jun is surprised by how well Masaki already knows his fears. “And no one is dissing me for hanging out with you.”
“They find you approachable and cool,” Jun points out immediately. “Everyone wants to hang out with you!”
“Look who is suddenly all charming,” Masaki says, winking slightly.
“Where are we going to?” Masaki wants to know.
“Not home,” Jun explains. “I wrote Nino he should meet with us there.”
Masaki looks at him in confusion. “And why aren’t we? Isn’t he coming?”
“Oh yes, he is,” Jun grins. “When he dropped by I told him I have a class with you.”
“And he didn’t mind?”
“Not at all,” Jun winks. “Sho.”
“Ah,” Masaki grins brightly. “AH! He is probably going to send you a gift parcel afterwards. But what about the both of us? I want to have some private time with you too?”
“Let’s go to Takuya’s place,” Jun offers. “He handed me the key to his apartment in town and asked me to water the flowers there.”
“Great!” Masaki exclaims happily. “Let’s go.”
On their way they buy some takeaway food from their favourite pizzeria and some snacks for later, then they head to Takuya’s fancy and beautiful apartment. He is hardly using it, but sometimes Jun assumes he meets Shingo there. Takuya is very private about this part of his life, and weirdly enough Shingo is too.
They settle down on the soft carpet in front of the TV, choosing one movie out of Takuya’s huge movie collection.
“Nino wrote me, we should definitely not come home tonight,” Masaki says all of a sudden when he checks his phone.
Jun chuckles. “Good for us,” he smirks, slipping closer and wrapping his arms around Masaki’s waist. “We should take good use of this apartment,” he says earnestly.
“Of course,” Masaki says with mock-seriousness. “Takuya-san asked you to water his plants, right? I think the plants need some watching over for the whole night.”
“Do we have our whereabouts covered?” Jun asks innocently, propping himself up on his elbow, his eyebrows raised teasingly when Masaki straddles his hips and brushes his shirt over his head, revealing his smooth skin and his beautifully broad shoulders. Jun reaches out his hands to touch his chest and the birthmark covering parts of his upper body.
“Hm,” Masaki hums. “I told Satoshi I’m staying at your place. Besides he is busy with Ryo-kun anyways. What about Sho?”
“Nino,” Jun points out and they both burst into a giggle fit.
“Well then,” Masaki bends down, his fingers touching Jun’s face to hold him in place when he kisses him. He is really hot when he gets down to business like that.
“You are so beautiful,” Jun says earnestly.
Masaki squeals. “You are so cute, and pretty, and oh my god, don’t say stuff like that when I’m on top of you. Makes me want to do all kinds of dirty things to you!”
“Please,” Jun teases innocently. “What are you waiting for?”
Jun passed all his exams, as always doing extraordinarily well. But he doesn’t freak out anymore when he doesn’t hit a full score. For Masaki it’s different though. He is not thinking about his score yet, first he needs to pass his end-year exams in general.
He doesn’t want to embarrass his family by failing, although he knows he is stupid for thinking like that, and they are proud of him for being able to catch up with everything over the last months. But still he wants to prove his worth to them. Sometimes it’s still there unfortunately, this urge inside him to show everyone that he is worth existing, that it wasn’t a mistake that his father talked his real mother out of an abortion.
He needs to succeed sometimes, to have the feeling he accomplished something, to be able to fight this feeling. He tells these thoughts Jun sometimes, and Jun listens, but also tells him that he won’t conquer anything by this approach. Of course he is right, and Masaki tries wholeheartedly to change his way of thinking. Just like Jun does it too. Sometimes Jun will crawl back into his shell and look at his mother’s inheritance – rings, photographs, memories – think of her and the other awful stuff that happened, and be sad. But they know how to drag each other out of their miseries.
Masaki tries to concentrate as well as he can. It’s an oral exam, covering the whole year, and a presentation. He knows he studied a lot and he knows he can do it. For Jun and his brothers, he thinks. Then he shakes his head, smiling slightly. And for himself. Mostly for himself.
When he comes out of the classroom where he had his exam, Jun is waiting for him impatiently. He is carrying two cups with mochaccino from Masaki’s favourite coffee shop, the one he still works at once a week. “How did it go?” he asks. “I was thinking of you all the time. Oh god, I was so nervous.”
Masaki smiles a tired smile and wipes the sweat from his forehead. “I passed. Not with the best grades, but I passed.”
“I KNEW IT!” Jun exclaims happily and almost spills the coffee when he hugs Masaki. He is so happy and so honestly cheerful that Masaki feels tears prickling in his eyes. He is so lucky to have someone at his side who has faith in him, who is there at his side, allows him to fail sometimes and is happy for him when he wins.
When they reach a private corner of the park, Masaki takes Jun’s hand. “I still don’t understand how you can put up with me,” Masaki muses. “I’m nothing special. And I’m not super-smart, not even super-good-looking. Unlike you. I’m just Masaki.”
Jun stays quiet for a long while, then he entwines his fingers with Masaki’s. “You taught me a lot,” he finally says quietly. “I’ve always walked on the path that was made for me, lived in my own little dark world and every day was worse than the one before. You showed me it’s okay to stray from my path. To question present decisions. To argue and speak my mind, and to not be afraid to voice my opinion. You taught me that self-worth and acceptance comes from myself first. Thanks to you I have learned that sometimes it’s also okay to cross the street when the light is red.”
Masaki feels his heart swell at these words. To imagine he was able to help someone he loved change that way, and change himself on the way too, is just too much to even believe it. He feels like tearing up again, then Jun however reaches out his hand and touches his cheek softly. “Don’t cry now or you are going to look awful on the group photo.”
“What kind of group photo?” Masaki asks in surprise. They were supposed to go on a short weekend trip to the sea with their friends. It took forever to find a date where everyone had time, including Kiko and Shun, and Ryo, who seems the busiest recently.
“They are throwing a surprise party for you,” Jun says casually. “Shingo-kun’s and Sho’s idea by the way. They invited everyone you know. I’m not supposed to tell you, so please act surprised. I just am afraid that once we reach Shingo’s apartment you will act on something dirty on your mind… before they jump out from their hidden spots.”
Masaki smiles brightly. “Busybodies,” he says, but can’t help but sound fond.
Jun smiles brightly. “Indeed.”
A/N: It's finished, finally! I might write a little epilogue later, but the main story is definitely finished. <3
It was a lot of fun to go on this ride tbh and to write this story. I hope you enjoyed this too! Please tell me what you think <3 As always comments are appreciated and loved <3