wendyjoly: (sakumiya)
[personal profile] wendyjoly
Title: Habit of you
Pairing/Characters: Sakurai Sho/ Ninomiya Kazunari
Rating/Warnings: PG13
Summary: When a teacher offers to Ninomiya Kazunari a full scholarship for a prestigious public university he refuses right on the bat because something holds him back
beta: My precious [livejournal.com profile] sky_fish7 thanks for always copping with my strange rotten twisted brain
Author's Note : For my lovely beta [livejournal.com profile] jtaytt Happy NinoDay \O/ . It's been a while guys, and I can't wait to come back on track for good! Very soon I promise!
The title of this OS comes from a song of Keith Urban here I highly recommend it!





Let’s make things clear.

I didn’t ask for it, someone did it on my behalf and I think I know who the guilty one is.

He is right in front of me, behind his big wooden desk, giving his class a literature lesson as if this book no one ever opened was as interesting as an action movie. This man, Nagase, was the head professor of my class and one thing was for sure, he was so pushy that he didn’t even take the pain to ask for my agreement before sending my school record to a famous public university. My mother called me to announce the “good news” to me one hour ago and I’m still furious at the guy. He’s not my dad or anyone of my non-existent acquaintances for taking this kind of unexpected –and unwanted- initiative.

I take a look at my neighbor and best friend, Sakurai Sho, who’s eyeing me since the beginning of the lesson as if a third eye has suddenly bloomed in the middle of my forehead. He knows me better than I know myself, of course, and I’m too fuming to hide my feelings. He will be surprised too since it’s the university of his choice too. Maybe did his father received the admission letter this morning too… no wonder he’s admitted since he’s the major of the class and the best student this school had ever seen.

One would say I’m crazy to even consider the idea to refuse such a once in a -lifetime opportunity but the very thought to leave my home town and my mother terrorizes me.

I wait for the end of the course and go to Nagase after the last student left the classroom.

“Nagase-sensei?” I ask him and at least he doesn’t pretend he didn’t hear me.

“Ninomiya-kun?”

“I’ve been admitted to Tokyo Metropolitan University of Health Sciences is it your deed? Because I can’t remember sending them anything…”

“You’ve been admitted?! Congratulations! I wasn’t sure but I’m happy for you!” He passes by the desk and sits on the edge just before me, crossing his arms on his broad chest. His bed hair falls partly on his forehead wrinkled by an auto-satisfaction he can barely contain.

“The thing is, I didn’t send my records there because I don’t want to go. I applied to Okinawa.”

“But Tokyo offers you a full scholarship and their academic program is excellent, you’ll do marvels there. If it’s because of this,” he points the wheeling chair I’m sat on since I’m 10. “That’s the reason of their acceptation, you’re a great athlete!”

A handisport athlete, true. I’d be what people would call a jock if they’d dare making one of this tasty not politically correct jokes I used to serve to myself. I wasn't the sporty type before the accident but I had to become one if I wanted to erase those compassioned looks from the faces of the people around me. To make a strength of my weakness.

I wanted to be a basketball player but the thing is, when living in Okinawa the possibilities to find enough wheel chairs to build a team is boarding the absolute zero. But in the water we’re all the same and I can –almost-forget that my legs aren’t working the way they do for everybody else. If I’m totally honest with myself I have to admit that if the circumstances were different that university would have been my first choice.

“But Sakurai is going there!” Nagase says enthusiastically as if it was the ultimate weighty argument.

“And I don’t want to be ungrateful or rude but I’m not going.”

Nagase goes back to the other side of his desk and opens several drawers before fetching what he’s looking for., He hands me a big colorful file, eventually putting it on my legs.

“Just read it, okay? And talk to your mother, please. You still have time until the end of the month to accept the scholarship. Look, it would be a big mistake to refuse such a chance.”

I can tell he’s pissed and somehow I perfectly get why. He probably worked his ass off to get me into their handisport athlete’s team and I just pissed on what he thought would be a Christmas gift for 99.9 % of the kids living here. I roll out of the class, opening and closing the sliding door as silently as possible.

Sho is leaned against the wall outside, waiting for me as always. He won’t leave me alone, I know him. Persistent. If I didn’t know the meaning of the word I learned it to his contact. Nagase was the easy part, now I have to explain to Sho that I refuse to follow him to Tokyo when our teacher offered me a place there on a plate. He will understand. Eventually. But for the time being he will probably turn my life into a living hell.

“What did he want?”

“Nothing.”

“Nino come on, you make this face, as if someone just punctured the tires of your wheeling chair.”

“God, Sakurai Sho did you just joke about my handicap?!” I send him one of those glares I have the secret but he knows me too well, he tilts his head and make this funny pout like a so-so-probably that makes me laugh despite myself.

“Do tell me.”

“Let’s grab lunch first I’m starving.”

We’re going to the bleaches boarding the sport field, he climbs on the first step while I park before him. I fetch the backpack hanging at the back of the wheel chair and take out the delicious bento my mother cooked. I’m kidding, my mother sucks with cooking, baking or everything that has to do with a kitchen. But she’s good with buying ready-made food. Sho’s father to the contrary is a cordon-bleu chef, that’s why we’re always exchanging our bento. The good home-made meal for me and the plastic like stuff for him. Hey, don’t blame me, the guy adores it!

“Do tell me now.” Persistent, right? Told you.

“He wants me to go at TMUSH. They offered me a full scholarship if I integrate into the swimming team.”

A piece of the plastic sandwich hanged comically at the middle of Sho's pulpous – yeah I totally assume the adjective, he has indeed ridiculously pulpous lips for a guy - mouth in awe. It’s not a common thing for him to be speechless so I enjoy the quietness for half a second before he stutters a “No shit?!”

“No shit. Mum had the results and she sent me a message calling me a sly little fox because I didn’t tell her I wanted to go there. No wonder she’s ecstatic.”

He’s red out of excitement as if I told him he had won one of those awful plush stuff he always try to catch at the funfair with a plastic gun.

“We’ll be together!”

I knew he would do that, like Nagase tried to do. Playing the best friend card to push me where I don’t want to go, maybe did our professor even choose this university on purpose? Sho is a kind of nerd, a book worm aiming for nothing but perfect grades since kindergarten. He wants to be an architect just like my mother when his father, who is a doctor, hoped – not so secretly – to see his son taking over the family business.

I tsk. “Not happening. I'll stay here in Okinawa.”

“Stop fucking kidding me! You’ll come with me and you’ll be the best swimmer of the university. Period.”

I sigh loudly but don’t talk before grabbing a fucklicious onigiri. “I’m not saying I don’t want to but I won’t leave my mother.” Now the truth is told and I guess everything is said. Sho knows how I feel about her and despite all our silly plans for the future there’s nothing we can do.

The day I lost my legs, my mother lost her husband and since then it’s just the two of us (plus persistent Sho who takes residence at my house more than I can tell). My father was behind the steering wheel when a truck crushed our car and the day she buried him, she buried her heart of a woman too.
She’s a strong woman, working hard for her career, for taking care of the house and handling my various and repetitive appointments with doctors of all sorts for me but when the night falls, when she thinks I’m sleeping safe and sound, I can hear her talking to my dead father and sometimes, sometimes crying on his invisible shoulder. I know I can’t live with her until the end of our days but leaving her when I’m barely 18, running – rolling - to the other side of the country is beyond me.

“Nino you can’t spend the rest of your life here in Okinawa.”

“I can and I will. I’ll be a student of our university and honestly what’s wrong with it?”

“You’re wasting your talent here, you could be at the next Olympics! What’s wrong with that?!”

“She has no one but me, Sho.” I don’t want to sound pathetic but he knows it isn’t my intention.

“She doesn’t even want you here!” He shouts and I know my eyes are as wide as saucers before this unusual burst from the quiet Sakurai Sho. “That’s not what I mean, of course she wants you here but not to the detriment of your future.”

“It’s not that easy. If she had someone it would be different but…” Suddenly an idea pops in my mind. Nothing new but I didn’t think about it since years. I send a knowing glance at Sho and he blushes notably. Nothing weird, it’s just his way to show his embarrassment.

“We’re.Not.Doing.This.Again.Nino,” Sho says with this low, sexy voice of him that he imagines – God knows why - to be threatening.

“Come on Sho, they would be fucking perfect together!!” I try to make the puppy eyes he can’t resist, firmly grabbing the wheels of my chair for good measure.

“Our parents are good friends, nothing more and we already tried. Very hard. They forgave us because we were kids but it won’t work today and my father would cut my balls. Believe it or not, they are kind of valuable for me.”

If my own personal tragedy hit the headlines ages ago, Sho’s life was very different. His mother left his father when he was a kid and he spent half of his holidays with her in Tokyo but the rest of his time he lived with his father. We are neighbor ever since and since his father is our doctor he ended up becoming part of our family after the accident. Single dad and single mum, two best friends, I’m pretty sure you know where it leads, right? We – okay, I - had the brilliant idea to make a couple out of them and the result was pitiful at the best.

But Sho is right about one thing. At that time we were kids and we didn’t know shit about couples' stuff. We still don’t but at least we’re older, I guess we can get their feelings better in order to… well manipulate would be a strong word for such a well-intentioned deed.

“Don’t you think it is worth a try?”

Sho bites the inside of his cheek, his eyes sending flashes of thunder but at least he doesn’t refuse right on the bat. I’d dream to see my mother happy and with a man like Sho’s dad it’s totally doable. He’s gentle, honest, has a good job, he knows me and I can tell he doesn’t dislike me, he cooks and he’s maybe cute. In a father’s way of being cute.

“Will you go to Tokyo with me if we try?”

“No, but if it’s a success, I will.”

He reaches out and I shake his hand. “Deal,” he says firmly.

“Okay, thanks for the meal and find something to get them stuck together,” I shout above my shoulder as I’m leaving the place to go to my daily training.

“Why me?!”

“Because you’re the brain and I’m the jock, remember?”

=+=

Okay, it’s not brilliant. According to Sho’s plans we could pull them into an elevator and fuck the stuff for them to get stuck in it until the miraculous moment his father would reanimate my mother with a mouth-to-mouth subtle move. Or pretend that my mother is ill and god only knows how they would confess their eternal love to each other after that…

Seemes, I have to take care of the brain part too. I crush at Sho’s place after my training and I fumble behind their gaze stove under Sho’s skeptical gaze until I manage to take off what looked like a fuse wire. I try to make it work in vain and smile like the sneaky boy I know I am.

“Now he can’t cook and you will suggest him to knock at our door.”

Sho shrugs, refusing to admit my blatant superiority in the matter. “And if he proposes to order pizza?”

“Do your best, my friend!”

=+=

My mother isn’t at home when I get back and I take my sweet time to take a bath while skimming the file Nagase gave me. Until now I refused to give too much importance to the project but we have our chance, maybe it is the incentive we needed to risk another move for our parents. She returns home late, exhausted from a meeting and she has barely passed the threshold when she fumbles in the kitchen to fetch the file containing all the flyers of the home food services of the town.

“What do you want to eat, darling?” she asks, whirling around, a big smile on her face.

She’s a beautiful woman, always has been, but she is more than that now. She’s luminous and if Sho’s father can’t see it, it’s his loss. We would do our best for him to notice anyway. I take a glance at the watch, it’s the appointed time and someone knocks at the door.

“Are you awaiting someone?” Mum asks me unhappily. She cherishes her quiet home but Sho’s father too, that’s why they would get along so well. She opens the door ajar before smiling and making a step beside to let our neighbors enter.

“Sakurai-san, Sho, what a nice surprise! Come on in. Can I do something for you?”

Sho’s father looks so embarrassed that my heart cringes, I don’t dare watching at my friend.

“I don’t know what happened but my gaze stove seems to be broken, would you mind if I borrow yours? Sho suggested you would. Of course, I’d cook for you too.”

This man is precious. My mother’s gaze goes from me to him, then to Sho, then me again and I smile my approbation.

“Sure! But if you promise to dinner with us.”

“It will be our pleasure. Sho can you bring the ingredients for the dinner, please?”

I send a discreet thumbs up to Sho who smirks awkwardly. He’s uncomfortable with the idea, I know it, but the end justifies the means after all. Sho comes back after a few minutes with a full basket of vegetables and paper packages probably protecting pieces of meat. I already drool over it.

“We’re going in my room, Mom.” I roll around and Sho follows me while our parents are rummaging in the kitchen for saucepans and such that my mother never uses.

Sho closes the door behind him and I raise my hands for a high-five… that doesn’t come.

“What?” I deadpan, showered by his cold attitude.

“My father was on his phone when I came back home!”

“And?”

“On his phone with a woman!” he paces in my bedroom and I slid on my bed, watching him coming and going nervously. “He hid it when I entered the living room but I heard him setting a rendezvous.”

“And so? They know each other since years, they will inevitably notice they belong together. We’re working on it. And the other woman will find someone else.”

“I don’t know. As long as he was celibate it was fine but making him break with his girlfriend is wrong.”

“Did you even meet her?! What happens with you? We agreed yesterday to give it a shot, why do you have cold feet suddenly?”

He nibbles his thumb like he always does when he’s unhinged and slouches on the bed by my side. He remains silent but looks at me straightforwardly as if I had the capacity to read his mind. I clench my jaw, passably irate by his sudden change of mood. He has something to tell me but he’s still looking for the accurate words. Such a control freak…

“I don’t know!” he answers to the question I didn’t ask. “Maybe we’re wrong, maybe we should find someone else for her.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?! I have to give an answer by the end of the month, in two weeks, how I am supposed to find her a good man by then?!”

“A lonely heart club on the internet maybe?”

What a fucker… as if I could trust one of those men starving for easy sex! He sees my infuriate eyes because he recoils, taking his head in his hands, scratching his hair.

“Get out of my fucking room,” I say coldly. “If I could use my feet I’d kick your ass.”

“Nino, don’t be like that,” he tries to plead his cause but he knows better. I need time to chill.
“Did you ever realize we’d be brothers if they were together?” Sho asks through his clenched teeth and I figure that’s where he wanted to go since the beginning.

“And I’m not good enough to be your brother?” I ask back with a glare.

I see him clenching his fists and for the split of a second I really think he’s ready to jump me.

“Now I’m the one who’d kick your smart ass if you weren’t so skinny.”

“Get out.”

No need to say the dinner is catastrophic. Our parents are worried over a fight we aren’t able to hide properly and we end up talking about university as a matter of fact. "Did you know Kazunari is admitted to this famous public university?" "I didn’t but isn't it the one chosen by Sho?" blahblahblah and not once the slightest sweet gaze or the promise of a romantic rendezvous.

They are as friendly as much as a man and a woman can be but the dinner is a disaster. They are so made for each other but there are no sparkles in her eyes when she looks at him, not the little smile she always had when she was talking to my father.

It’s a hard blow. Well, considering Sho’s stupidity perhaps it is for the best.

=+=

The following days are hard. Sho isn’t my only friend so I’m not alone but his unsubtle way to avoid me hurts anyway. He’s a part of my daily life, a part of myself and seeing him from afar wandering in the corridors of school alone or taking the stairs to not meet me in the elevator is hard to swallow. I can tell I never suffer from the look of the people around because I’ve never been ashamed of who I was but Sho… he never served me one of those pitiful gazes I saw blooming on people faces more than once. He knew me before the accident and he visited me each and every day during the time I spent at the hospital even when the nurses tried to kick him out. Persistent Sho.

We fought but it’s not the first time and usually I shout, he slams the door and the next day we’re moving on as if nothing happened. We find a consensus and the world goes round again. But this time it’s different, he’s stubbornly holding a grudge against me and to be honest I can’t even pinpoint why. His father has someone and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his love life even for my mother. Okay, I got his point. But usually he would have helped me to find a solution or would have wallowed with me because I had to draw a line on Tokyo, he won’t have run away. What if he keeps on sulking until the end of the year and disappears for good?

I can’t even bear the idea. I could even follow him to Tokyo to make peace with him. Until now I didn’t dare hoping it was possible but now that we brushed the idea for a few days, I finally realized what it will be to live here without Sho. I’ll find new friends, meet new people but it won’t be the same.

“Something happened with Sho?” my mother asks as I stir my miso soup again and again unenthusiastically.

“We had a fight and he avoids me since then.” No need to lie, I never lied to her, I guess it’s a matter of respect.

“About university?”

“Yeah. He wants me to accept the scholarship and I don’t want to go.”

She sighs and pushes away her bowl of rice and I notice how tired she is. “He’s right. It’s a wonderful opportunity, this is my Alma mater and I’d be proud if you could walk in my path.”

“I’m a jock mum, and for the records, I don’t walk,” I smile jokingly and she caresses my cheek tenderly.
“You’re such a wonderful person, Kazunari, no wonder Sho doesn’t want to let you go.”

I blush under the innuendo because that’s what is written all over her face, as if Sho had some ulterior motive. It’s not like that, we’re not like that. He always has a flock of girls behind him and I don’t really care about love anyway. I have the team and Sho, it’s more than enough.

“I don’t want to leave you alone.” Now things are said, no need to walk around the bush anymore. “I know you’re sad since dad’s death and that you can’t imagine you can find someone else but… Sho’s dad is a great man!”

She opens her eyes wide like saucers, blushes then laugh out loud. It makes me smile wider but I don’t know why. “He’s a great man, you’re right but he’s not my type at all! I like men more…,” she makes big gestures and I don’t even want to know what party of a man’s anatomy she’s describing. I wave at her to make her stop.

“Wouldn't you consider the idea?” I ask hopefully and she shakes her head in response, her face taking a brand new shade of red.

“I'm seeing someone.”

Now I am speechless. “Since when?” Not so speechless… right.

“Six months…,” she murmurs embarrassed like a teenager in love. How did I not notice that look on her face, this new light in her eyes? I feel very egotist suddenly.

“Who?” I know him, obviously. Maybe one of Sho's father's colleagues, so I review quickly the men I met… no one who caught my eyes. “I know him?”

“You do.” She takes a deep breath and hides her mouth behind the heel of her hand. I don’t love this charade.

“I’m not grandpa you can tell me, I won’t judge you.”

“Okay. It’s Nagase Tomoya.”

And the world stops turning. That Nagase Tomoya? My professor who’s trying to send me to the other side of the country?!

“That’s why he wants to send me away?!”

“No! No!” She crouches at my feet, taking my hands in hers, and I can tell she’s freaking out badly. “I asked him to send your school record because I believe in you and he believes in you too. I love you darling, you know that.”

“Yeah I know.” Above all I know her heart will be broken if we’re separated but she thinks it’s the best for me. I know that she’s right too.

“If I could I’d keep you with me, here in the shelter of our house but you have to build your own life. I’ll be fine and Tomoya has nothing to do with it. I’m a tough girl,” she winks at me playfully and I blink several time to not shed the tears blurring my eyes. “Your chances to go to the Olympics are more than good, your father would be so proud of you.”

She doesn’t cry, maybe because she already cried the entire stock of tears she had for an entire life but I cry for two. It’s our first goodbye and it tears me apart, although we still have a few months to spend together.

I go to bed in a far better mood than I had been those last days. I’m sad but excited, nostalgic of the life I’m leading with my mother. Already once our life changed drastically and we rebuilt ourselves but I’m ready for our next adventure. I toss and turn, unable to find a restful sleep.

“Are you sleeping?”

Honestly, for a second I consider not answering and pretend sleeping but I miss him too much.

“My mother called you?”

Sho sits on the edge of my bed and he nods in silence. I lay on my side, admiring his beautiful profile, my heart warm again by his closeness. Not so long ago we spent nights and nights in this bed, side by side to recreate the world, our little world. I don’t know why it stopped suddenly, why our bodies distanced themselves from each other. Touching felt natural before, he used to massage my legs but one day he stopped and I didn’t dare asking for it or telling him how much I missed our moments. He’s so close to me but his body is stiff, his jaws clenched, his hands coming and going on his thighs nervously.

“Hey.” I reach out and grab his elbow. “I missed you, stubborn mule.”

He chuckles and unexpectedly lays down by my side. I see him biting his lip, the words he died to say on the tip of his tongue. I would give everything to know what Sho had on his mind those past days but now I’m not sure if I want to hear it. I’m about to make a pitiful joke but he puts his hand on mine, lightly, like a feather, then runs all along my arm until the edge of my T-shirt. I stopped breathing the moment he touched me. My lungs ceased functioning and I can’t speak a word for the life of me.


“I don’t want to be your brother Nino. I have everything but brotherly feelings toward you. Why can’t you see it?”

“You can’t… everything will change. You’re changing everything.”

“I can’t play the game any longer. You keep pretending you don’t know how I feel and I keep pretending you didn’t notice but we both lose eventually. I love you, I always did.”

“Sho…”

“I love you,” he repeats calmly, his hand still stroking my arm, harder now to make his point.

I’d lie if I say this disclosure comes from nowhere but truth to be told, I never allowed myself to think about him this way. Because he’s my best friend, my shelter and deep inside I refused to take the risk to jeopardize our precious relationship. Seems that Sho is bolder than me. But are we ready to be boyfriends?

I know he never cared about my handicap, he never treated me differently but I'm not dumb, it's a hurdle, a complication I'd wish to no one. And if I do this, I condemn him to definitely live with my handicap because if I do it, if we kiss, if I accept his loves of word, I won't let him go. Never.
I guess the choice is his' now.
But he leans on me and kisses my lips and I can swear I feel it until the tip of my toes. I never kissed anyone before but his lips on mine are just the way I dreamed it when my tired brain allowed me to. Soft, sweet, warm, wet when he parts his mouth to lick my lips, coercing me to take an active part in our kiss. I prop up on my elbow when he recoils and lays on his back, his gaze all on me. I take my sweet time to detail his beautiful face, tracing its contours with the tip of my finger, pushing aside a brown bang from his forehead. He waited for me since ages but as he’s lying here in my small bed I ignore if I’m able to give him what he wants from me.

“Just do it,” he tells me softly as if reading my mind. He kissed me first and I have to do my part to set our seal. I lean on him slowly, so slowly, watching his face approaching in slow motion, his impassive and so familiar face.

“Won’t you close your eyes, it’s kinda perturbing.”

“Nope. I want to look at your kissing face to all my heart's content, it’s our first I don’t want to forget.”

“As if you could forget…” I take a deep breath and peck his mouth. I thought it would be a quick kiss, just our two mouths touching for the split of a second but I figured immediately my mistake. He’s addictive and I’m unable to keep a moan for myself before going back to him, kissing him a bit better, a bit deeper when he opens up for me. “I love you too,” I whisper at his ear between two kisses, while sliding my hand under his top tank, touching the soft skin of his hard stomach, my hand resting there, unmoving.

“Will you go to Tokyo with me?”

I chuckle. “Persistent Sho. Yes I’ll go with you.”

“You succumbed to my kisses?”

I lay down, fixating the ceiling. “She's dating Nagase.”

“No way! Our Nagase? Will you call him Papa?!”

“Shut up!”

“Make me shut up., he murmurs against my neck, spreading small but exciting kisses before hovering over me.

“Again?”

“It’s just a beginning,” Sho says, focusing all his attention and his ministrations on my lips.


The End


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