Pairing: Aiba, Jun, Sho, Nino, Ohno, Kame. (Sakumiya and probably: OhBa and MatsuKame)
Guest appearance in this chapter: Ikuta Toma
Rating: general: PG-13; this chapter: R
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.
It was already early in the morning when Aiba returned to his room. Ohno’s words were still spinning in his mind. Am I unattractive? was the first question plopping up in Aiba’s mind. Is he in love with Jun? was the second thought he had.
Aiba cursed. That was the reason why he tried not to fall for someone. And till now it had never been a problem. But this time the feelings just hit him. He couldn’t stop his heart beating faster when he thought about Ohno. “Damn love,” Aiba murmured.
“What happened?” It was Jun appearing next to Aiba, who almost jumped because of the sudden noise.
“Gosh, do you want to kill me?” Aiba said.
Jun laughed. “I am sorry. I came out of the bathroom and saw you walking up. You had a long night.”
Aiba nodded. He opened the door to his room and offered Jun to enter. “I will just take a short shower, I will be back in one minute, okay?” Aiba asked. Jun nodded at him.
Aiba walked down the corridor with his towel and fresh clothes. His thoughts were still spinning. He didn’t know what he should tell Jun when he’d go back. He thought of telling Jun about his teenager-like feelings for Ohno, but somehow he was embarrassed because of that. Love at first sight was nothing that could happen to an adult.
Aiba stepped into the shower and let the water run down his back. Now he felt how tired he was. His body was tensed during the whole time of work, and just now he was able to relax.
He slipped into his pyjamas and walked back to his room. Jun was lying on his bed, his eyes already closed.
“How was your shift?” Jun asked without opening his eyes.
Aiba smiled a little bit. “It was okay.”
“Ohno visited you again?”
Aiba nodded. He thought of telling Jun about Ohno’s words, but in the end he didn’t. “You had a customer.”
“Yes, true.” Jun nodded.
“Is it okay for you, or do you want me to tell him that he is your customer?” Aiba wanted to know.
“Nah, don’t be stupid. When I am busy you can take every one of my customers. That’s totally okay.” Jun stood up and walked up to the door.
“Sleep well and enjoy your day off tomorrow.” Jun smiled at him.
“Are you at home tomorrow? It’s also your day off right?” Aiba asked.
“No, I am out tomorrow. I need to organize some things.” Jun said and closed the door to Aiba’s room.
Aiba fell asleep almost immediately - this bubbly feeling was still in his belly.
It was already half past 9am when Aiba woke up. He turned to take a look out of the window. It was sunny, but not too warm anymore. Aiba opened the window to get some fresh air. He breathed in deeply. Outside he could see the trees waving with the wind.
Aiba leaned on his hands and just looked outside. He looked left to the street and saw Jun already leaving the house. “Have a nice day!” Aiba said out a little louder.
Jun turned and looked up at him. “You too.” He smiled and waved at Aiba.
Aiba was in a good mood when he left the club. He put his hands in his pockets and walked down the street till he reached a small flower shop.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hello, what do you want?” the seller asked. She smiled at Aiba, who returned it.
“I want 10 lilies, please.” They were his mother’s favourite flowers. Every time he visited his parents grave he left these flowers there. Sometimes Aiba forgot that it was also his father’s grave, but he never had any relationship with him. His father hated him for doing such a shameful job. In his opinion Aiba destroyed the family’s reputation with that.
His mother couldn’t say something against her husband, but when he was at work she often visited Aiba to spend time with him. She never blamed him for what he did.
Aiba thanked the seller and left the shop to get to the cemetery.
Jun stood there in front of the grave. He placed the roses on the backside and stepped back to pray. Kame next to him did the same. For some moments they just kept quiet.
“I can’t imagine that it’s already 10 years,” Kame finally said.
Jun shook his head. “No, it feels like it was yesterday.”
Jun took Kame’s hand. He still felt aggravated when he thought about the past. But Kame always made him feel calmer. Jun didn’t know how he was able to do so, but in the end Jun felt a warm feeling in him, and the anger was gone.
“Jun? Kame?” he turned round to look at Aiba staring at him.
Jun sighed. He didn’t want anyone to see him here. “What are you doing here, Aiba-chan?”
“I visit my mother’s grave,” Aiba answered.
Jun could see that Aiba was staring at the name on the grave. “Do you want to go for a coffee in half an hour?”
“Sure,” Aiba replied. “Let’s meet outside?”
Jun nodded at him and watched Aiba walking till the end of the row where he finally placed the flowers on a grave and knelt down.
“Do you really want to talk with him?” Kame asked.
“You have known him pretty long, right?” Jun asked.
Kame nodded at him. “Almost 10 years now. He came after…” Kame stopped.
“You saved him.” Jun smiled at Kame.
Aiba waited at the entrance for Jun and Kame. He still thought about the name on the grave. Aiba knew that he already heard the name before, but he couldn’t tell where.
He felt a little bad because of interrupting Jun and Kame at their praying. When he walked into the row where his parents’ grave was he didn’t see them there. Not till he was almost running into them.
“Aiba-chan.” Jun came up to him, pulling Aiba out of his thoughts.
“I am so sorry that I disturbed you, Jun. I really didn’t want to,” Aiba immediately excused.
“Don’t be stupid.” Jun smiled but Aiba could see that it was a sad smile. Something was bothering Jun.
“Down there is a coffee shop, they have delicious muffins as well,” Kame suggested.
“Sounds good,” Aiba answered and started walking next to them.
“Wow, that menu is amazing,” Aiba exclaimed in delight.
Jun and Kame smiled at him. “They have more than 40 sorts of cupcakes and muffin,” Jun said.
“Wow, but I can’t each that much, not without getting fat,” Aiba whined.
“See, that’s Aiba’s weak point. If you want to tease him, or if you want him to do something for you, give him some sweets and he does everything,” Kame laughed.
“Not fair,” Aiba grumbled.
“Have you chosen?” The waiter asked.
“I will take one strawberry cupcake, one peach muffin and a big maccha latte,” Aiba chirped.
“One caramel latte and a double caramel muffin,” Jun said.
“Just a green tea.” Kame smiled.
“Hey, you need to eat something, otherwise that’s not fair.” Aiba pointed at Kame.
Kame looked from Aiba to Jun, who shrugged his shoulders at that. “He is right.” Jun grinned.
“Okay,” Kame sighed. “One blueberry muffin.”
Aiba clapped. “Perfect.”
“It’s really a nice place here,” Kame said. “We came here more often in the past, but now it’s just one time a year.”
Aiba nodded at him. “I think I definitely need to come back here, because…I mean….do I need to name the reason? So many cupcakes and muffins.”
“Yeah, that’s a great reason.” Kame nodded.
“You visited your mother’s grave today?” Jun changed the topic.
Aiba nodded at him, and then he shook his head. When the others looked at him uncomprehendingly he laughed. “Sorry,” he started. “Yes, I visited my mother’s grave, but it’s actually my parents’ grave. My father is buried there too.”
“But you don’t mention him?” Jun asked.
Aiba stirred in the coffee the waiter had placed in front of him one moment ago. “It’s difficult,” Aiba started. “Let’s say he didn’t consent with my job decision, and so he disowned me from the family.”
The two looked at him and made him shift on his seat. He felt uncomfortable when he was watched like this. “But it’s okay,” he added. “It was long ago.”
“Do you know the name Kawa Yuri?” Jun asked.
Aiba looked at him. He knew that he already heard about that name, but he couldn’t assign it, so Aiba just shook his head.
“He worked in the Melon Club 10 years ago,” Kame explained.
Aiba stared at them. “Now I know,” he whispered.
Jun tilted his head to the right. “You know?”
“When I came to the Melon Club there was this rumour. Someone told me that the guy who slept in the bed before I came, died in this bed.” Aiba looked from Kame to Jun. “First I believed it, but when Kame started caring about me, he told me that it’s not true.” Aiba stared at Kame.
Jun sighed. He wanted to say something, but Aiba could see that he wasn’t able to do so.
“It’s partly true,” Kame said instead of Jun. “The guy who worked there before you joined died. He jumped from the roof.”
Aiba could see Jun’s face clenching. Even after years it hurt him, and Aiba knew immediately that this man was important to Jun. “I am really sorry,” Aiba said.
“How could you stay there for almost eight years?” Jun looked up at Aiba. His eyes were sparkling with sadness, the wrinkles around his usually smiling lips were gone.
Aiba stared at his cup of coffee. “When I got there I signed a contract. I had no chance to go away.”
“But Kame, you were also able to leave without any further problems.” Jun turned to face Kame.
“It was something different,” Aiba sighed. “I sold myself.”
“What do you mean?” Jun wanted to know.
Aiba rubbed over his forehead. Thinking about old times made him feel sick. “I worked in a small club here in Tokyo. As I said, my father abandoned me for doing this. He died two years after I started with this job. My mother was alone, but she had enough money to enjoy her life. Until the day she got sick.” Aiba looked up. “Her medical treatment was too expensive for the both of us.”
“And the Melon Club lent you the money, but they forced you to sign a contract to pay back the money?” Jun reasoned.
Aiba nodded at him. “That’s why I couldn’t leave earlier.” Aiba could see Jun looking at him intensely, but it didn’t make Aiba nervous. He had the feeling that Jun looked through him and not at him. Jun was absent-minded and probably far away with his thoughts. “You were a friend of the guy who died?” Aiba asked Jun.
Jun nodded slightly. “We were together back then.”
Aiba could hear the sad and also aggravated undertone in Jun’s voice and didn’t ask further. “That’s why I told Kame-chan to bring you out there, even though I didn’t even know you. But he told me that you were his friend, and I immediately knew that you couldn’t be a bad person.”
“You can’t imagine what this means to me,” Aiba answered.
“We’ll see each other later,” Jun said when they left the bakery.
Jun looked at Aiba, who just nodded at him. There was still a sad sparkle in his eyes, but the immense sadness, frustration and tiredness was gone.
“Can you imagine being sold like this?” Jun asked when he and Kame walked through the park. The wind was blowing through the trees and some fresh air crossed Jun’s face.
“I don’t want to,” Kame answered. Jun could feel Kame’s hand searching for his. “But I don’t even want to imagine being back in this business.”
Jun turned to his friend. “I know you never liked it.”
Kame smiled at him. “But I know you do.”
They walked next to each other without saying anything. Jun knew how lucky he was with Kame. He never scolded Jun for staying in this job and he never tried convincing him to leave. Jun remembered the day he met Kame for the first time. It was the day after his friend’s death. It was the first and only time he entered the Melon Club. He just wanted to take some of his friend’s stuff and got out of there as soon as possible.
On the corridor he met Kame, the only one who smiled at him and greeted him. “I’ll take you there,” Kame said to him. They walked to the room five other people sat in. “This was his space.” Kame pointed at a bed and a small cupboard next to it.
Later on, when Jun wanted to tell Kame that he’d leave, they ended up talking for almost the whole day. They sat in a bakery near the club. Kame looked outside the window and sighed. “I am going to leave this club and change my life completely,” Kame admitted.
“Don’t you think it’s going to be okay if you just leave the club?” Jun asked him.
Kame smiled at him. “No.” He rubbed over his face. “I hate it. I really do. I just need some more money to open my own shop.”
Jun nodded at him. He tried to understand Kame, but in the end he couldn’t because he loved what he was doing. They looked outside when a car arrived and a young boy stepped out of it.
“That must be the replacement for Yuri,” Kame whispered.
Jun winced when he heard the name of his dead friend. Something in him started twitching painfully. “Can you do me a favour?”
Kame looked at him. “What favour?”
Jun sighed. He had a sad smile curling around his lips. “If this guy is a good one, help him out there.”
Kame looked at the tall guy next to the car. He smiled at the owner of the club, who now guided him to the inside. “I’ll take care of him.”
A/N: I know it's Jun Aiba centric in this chapter, but I promise Nino and Sho will appear in the next chapters again :D