Pairing: Aiba, Jun, Sho, Nino, Ohno, Kame. (Sakumiya and probably: OhBa and MatsuKame)
Beta: Thanks to lover_youshould - you are great <3
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Warning: Arashi as hosts; in later chapters: smut
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, but the story is mine.
Summary: To start a new life is everything Aiba wants. And his new work place in a different host club brings him a bunch of new friends.
Aiba felt like throwing up when he left his friend’s place. He stood outside the club for almost an hour till he found the courage to walk inside. It was a friendly atmosphere, even though it was a host club.
“I am sorry, I need to talk to the owner,” Aiba said, his voice husky. He didn’t sleep much last night. The nervousness almost killed him.
“Ah, Aiba-san. Follow me, I am going to introduce you to the others.” The owner walked up to him. She smiled at him in a friendly way. Aiba liked her from the very beginning. He couldn’t say why, because in the end he didn’t know her, but she had something mother-like in her attitude.
“Yes, ma’am,” he answered.
“Oh please, call me Nana, no one says ma’am here. I feel old when you call me this,” she laughed.
Aiba smiled at her. “Yes, Nana.”
He walked behind her into a small room.
“And why did he come here?“ Jun whispered at the other one. Jun didn’t want the newbie to hear him speaking.
Nino shrugged his shoulders. “I have no idea. I just heard that he came here because of internal problems in another club.”
“This is Aiba-kun, he transferred from The Melon Club to us.” The owner came up to Nino and Jun and introduced the stranger they were talking about.
“The Melon Club?” Jun knitted his eyebrows. He and Nino exchanged a sight. They all knew about that club, and no one spoke about it. It wasn’t bad there, it was the worst.
Jun scanned Aiba. The man was tall, but also quite thin. Jun was sure that Aiba wasn’t naturally thin. He probably didn’t eat much during the last months. Aiba’s eyes were lifeless, but there was a small sparkle in them, telling Jun that Aiba was broken, but still alive. Aiba rubbed over his wrists, and Jun could see the small scars spreading there. When he saw Jun looking at him, he pulled his sleeve over his wrists, like he felt caught.
“I moved to the north of Tokyo, that’s why I am here now.” Aiba bowed. It was a lie, Jun could immediately see that, and he was sure that Nino also recognized that it wasn’t the truth he was telling here. No one moved after working in the Melon Club. Jun could feel some goose bumps on his skin. He clenched his hands into fists. The anger in him rose. He breathed in deeply and tried hiding his feelings behind a big smile.
“Welcome here,” Nino said after that short silence.
“Please take care of him. I think no one else from you can explain the rules and the way this club works better than you.” The owner smiled at them. “Jun and Nino are the best ones here, so go to them if you need anything or if there is any problem.”
“Yes, okay,” Aiba answered. His voice was husky, but also thin, too thin in Jun’s opinion. He had a sense for someone in trouble. This special ability brought him into the position of the mommy in the club. He immediately found out when one of the guys was in trouble, and he was always immediately there.
“I am Jun, and this is Nino. Just tell us if you need something.” Jun smiled at him.
Nino nodded at that. “Any time, okay?”
Aiba smiled at them. “Thanks a lot.” He put his bag on the floor and stepped closer to the other ones.
“Do I have my own room, and where do we work?”
Jun and Nino exchanged a sigh. “Straight to the point,” Nino laughed. “Come on, we’ll take a drink, talking about everything properly.”
They walked into a rather small room where some tables and chairs were placed in a particular order. There was a vending machine on the right side and a coffee maker on the other side. On a cupboard was a microwave and some bottles of alcohol were placed next to it. Next to the cupboard were an oven and a fridge.
“We don’t have much space, but this is the host room. There is no one allowed to enter except us. It’s to get a break from work when it gets too stressful,” Nino said while he offered Aiba a seat.
“You can always come here without asking for permission. You can use the oven or microwave, and also the fridge. But I suggest writing your name on your stuff. Things disappear in this fridge.” Jun smiled.
“Hey, why are you looking at me? I don’t have anything to do with it,” Nino said.
“Yeah, I believe in your words, but you know, with your stinginess you become a great suspect,” Jun laughed. He looked at Aiba, who returned the smile. He seemed absent minded, and even though his lips turned into a smile, it wasn’t a happy one.
“You are mean,” Nino pouted, but in the end he smiled too.
“We have our private rooms on the second floor. No one is allowed to go there either, except the hosts. You have a shower and toilet on the corridor. The rooms are nice, you have not much space, but it’s okay. You have a bed and a table to write, and there is a nice view to the woods right behind the house. And you have big windows, so it’s almost like you are sitting on a balcony.” Nino changed the topic.
Aiba looked at Nino. “We have our own room?” He seemed stunned.
Jun stood up to take three glasses from the cupboard. “Yes, are you used to something else?”
“We shared three, four and five bed rooms in The Melon Club,” Aiba answered.
“That’s not that good.” Jun shook his head. He turned to face Aiba with the bottle in his hands.
“Whiskey?” Jun asked.
“Yes, please,” Aiba replied. Jun could see something in Aiba relaxed a bit. His eyes and his lips relaxed. He was nervous because of getting here, but maybe he was also afraid to come here? At least the tension of his body calmed down a bit. He got calmer, Jun could see that.
Jun brought the three whiskeys to the table and placed it in front of the others. “You had no space for yourself?”
Aiba shook his head. “We were too many hosts to have our own room.”
Jun and Nino looked at each other. Jun knew what the other thought, but no one of them wanted to say it out loud. They of course heard the stories about the boys working there in this Melon Club, but they didn’t dare to ask directly.
“You don’t have to worry here, if there isn’t Nino disturbing you because he feels bored, you have your private sphere.” Jun grinned at Nino.
Nino had his arms crossed in front of his body, glancing at Jun. “Hey, you also feel bored sometimes, and I don’t want to talk about the movie nights you always want to make, because you want to enjoy your free evenings not alone.”
Both laughed and Jun could see that the smile around Aiba’s lips got warmer and friendlier. He seemed to find a little trust in the both of them.
“How was it there? Did you do things outside work together with the others?” Nino wanted to know.
Aiba tilted his head a bit like he was thinking about what to answer. “No, actually not. We had almost no free time and when there was a day off, I was mostly outside, strolling around to get to other places than only the club.”
Jun stared at him. “No free time?”
“Yeah, we had only one day every second week off. Is it different here?” Aiba looked at them.
“Since we have a rather exhausting job, yes, it’s different here. We have two days a week off. But it’s not always the same day each week.” Jun answered. He was shocked, that the other had hardly any time off.
“Yeah, we have a lot of body work,” Nino grinned evilly.
Jun could see Aiba’s face froze. “Do you like the job you do?”
Aiba blinked at him. Jun knew the question was maybe a bit too early and out of place, but he didn’t care much about timing when he wanted to know something.
“Yeah, of course,” Aiba answered. Liar, something in Jun screamed. Maybe Aiba once liked it, but there was something totally off with him. Jun knew he would have an eye on this guy. His modus changed from Jun to mommy-Jun and he wouldn’t give in till he broke the shell which surrounded Aiba tightly. He didn’t know why, but he liked Aiba. There was something vulnerable in him, but also something strong. But that was buried under depression and something that happened to him back in that club.
Aiba walked up to the second floor. He followed the two guys, who were talking with each other, or maybe also with him. He had already stopped listening. He was just glad that he felt good during the first hour in his new home.
Something warm in him spread. Maybe it was the whiskey he drank right before, but there was something else. These guys were totally different from all the other hosts he knew.
When he entered the entrance room from this club, there was already something familiar. It was totally different from his old club. And when he saw Nino and Jun, something in him unclenched. He was afraid of the guys here, because his old colleagues hated him, and he hated them.
The bad feeling he had was gone with the first sip on the whiskey Jun offered him.
“And that’s your room.” Jun smiled at him when he opened the door to a small room. It really was only a bed and a table, but Aiba didn’t care. In the end this was his room, and he didn’t need to share anything anymore.
“You can lock it, but we hang out this here if we want to stay alone.” Nino showed him a small paper where “leave me alone” was written on.
“You don’t lock it?” Aiba sounded irritated.
“No,” Jun started. His eyes were gentle, and Aiba could already guess why they didn’t lock the room. It was just not necessary, because no one would step into his private room without permission.
“We respect each other, and we would never go in your room on our own.” Jun finished his sentence.
Aiba sighed in relief. He really was used to something different. And it happened not only because he shared a room with someone else, but also because other hosts took what they wanted to have.
Aiba placed his bag on the floor and hung up the suit he had in an extra bag. “Is this everything you possess?” Jun’s voice sounded surprised.
Aiba looked at him. He nodded. He had a few more things, but he left them in the other club, because he didn’t want to remember those times there. He took just the suit, a few clothes and some private belongings with him. “I don’t need more,” Aiba said.
“But what do you wear when you go out? Not work, but private?” Nino asked.
Aiba shrugged his shoulders. He never thought about going out. And when he strolled around, he did this with his jogging suits. “I take this here.” He showed them his tracksuit.
Jun looked at him like he had told him something totally shocking. “No,” Jun just said. “I will organize you jeans and some t-shirts. I can’t look at this.”
Nino laughed at that. “He is a styling whore. We all went through this. He will bring you some clothes after his free day, but believe me, you’ll look perfect afterwards.” Jun glanced at Nino, who just shrugged his shoulders at Jun.
“Just because of me you all look good now,” Jun grumbled, but he already had a smile curling around his lips.
Aiba looked at them. A small jump in his belly let the big knot in there melt just a tiny bit. He’d need much more time to recover at least a bit, but for now it was already a hundred times better than before.
“We’ll leave you alone now.” Jun said and pulled Nino along to the door. “Take your time to rest. We meet around 6pm. You start your shift with us today. We will guide you, and we’ll show you how we handle guests and what is allowed and what is not.”
Aiba nodded at him. “Thanks,” he said and bowed. He had three hours left. He placed the picture he had in his bag on the table when the others were already gone. “I am in good hands now, mom,” Aiba whispered, stroking over the picture softly.
He lied down on the bed, stretching his almost numb limbs. He stroked over the small scars on his wrists, and closed his eyes. He wanted to forget, he wanted to cut out this time of his life, but he knew he’d never forget about it.
“What do you think about him?” Nino wanted to know when they reached Jun’s room.
Jun sat down next to his table and put his head on his hand. “I have no idea, but he seems broken, don’t you think?”
Nino nodded at him. He let himself fall down on Jun’s bed before he answered. “Yes, you are right. But it’s not a surprise, right?” Nino looked up at Jun. “That club is the worst in whole Japan I think. I heard the police is already a regular guest there, but they can’t do anything against the club, because the owner is connected to some real high politicians.”
“Yes, I heard about that. And I am really curious about it, but we can’t ask Aiba directly. I don’t think he’d tell us about his time there.” Jun rubbed over his skin. “And I think he needs a calmer time for the next weeks.”
“What are you thinking about?” Nino wanted to know.
Jun turned to Nino to look at him directly. “I thought of giving him a trustful guest for his beginning here.”
“But you know that we can’t choose our guests.”
Jun tilted his head and smiled at Nino. “No. But I have my regular guest, who’s already something like a friend of mine. I’m thinking of asking him to go to Aiba for some nights.”
Nino returned the smile to Jun. “You’re talking about Ohno, right?”
Jun nodded. “Yes. He is real nice and he isn’t here just for sex. Maybe he is the best one for Aiba to begin with.”
“We don’t have real disgusting men here, but you are right. Someone slow and nice would be the best for Aiba.” Nino agreed to Jun.
Jun didn’t know why he had the feeling to help Aiba, but maybe it was because he could see the scars on the other’s hands and the almost dead sparkle in Aiba’s eyes. He knew that their business was harsh and something bad could always happen to them, but Jun only once experienced someone being broken like Aiba seemed to be. And he shivered when he thought about how it ended.
“I will talk with Ohno-kun when he comes. I don’t think he has a problem with changing partner for one evening.” Jun played with the pencil on his table absent-minded.
“You really are too nice sometimes, Jun,” Nino said to him.
Jun just smiled at him. He knew what it meant to be treated bad in this business, even though he never experienced it on his own. He shivered when he thought about the friend he once knew. Jun never saw what really happened and when it was already too late, Jun started blaming himself for not recognizing earlier that something was off. Jun shook his head when the phone call from 10 years ago resounded in his mind. He was just 21 years old, and he just started in this business. He was probably blind at that time. He didn’t see his friend suffering. His mood got calmer and darker, but Jun ignored that. Maybe he didn’t want to see that something was off with him.
“We are sorry, he is dead,” it was resounding in Jun’s mind. From that moment on Jun swore to take care of the others, no matter if they wanted the help or not.
“I just care about you,” Jun answered Nino. “And now get up, we need to get ready.” Jun grinned.