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marineko's fanfiction
Arashi: Line No.66 
7th-Jan-2011 09:27 pm
AUTHOR: Marineko/mylittlecthulhu
FANDOM: Arashi
PAIRING: Sakumoto
RATING: G
DATE: January 7th, 2011
WORD COUNT: 3,317
NOTES/DISCLAIMERS: I do not own Arashi. This is a birthday fic for salwaphoenix - happy belated birthday, Salwa! ^_^



Line No.66

僕の知らない記憶に襲われて 泣いちゃった大切な人
近くにいられて 嬉しかった
- "66号線" by BUMP OF CHICKEN


Across the road opposite the antiquarian bookstore (perhaps the village is an odd place for a such a store to be, but it is his family’s pride and joy - collectors from all over the country travel to visit it) is a train station - or perhaps the train station, since there is only the one. It is a small line, barely noticeable even in the most comprehensive of maps, but it leads to the nearest larger town, a mere thirty-five minute ride away. From the town there is a larger station - perhaps more than one - with lines that goes further, lines that overlaps with their various starts and ends and connections. One of these lines take forty more minutes, and it would get him there - a place he doubted he would ever understand, or be comfortable in.

Jun never takes the train. Everything he needs is right there in town. And if there is anything else, he refuses to think of it. He could be stubborn, too, if he puts his mind to it.

Nino reminds him every day.

“Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” Jun asks his friend irritably, his eyes following as Nino circles around the new pile of books Jun’s father brought in the previous day. Like a vulture, Jun thinks, but he knows that Nino never purchases any of the books. He likes to read them, but he doesn’t see a need to own them.

Nino goes to college in the town that lies thirty-five minutes away. Even though his family could afford for him to stay there, he prefers to commute. “Cheaper,” he would say, “and I’m getting out of this town soon enough anyway.”

Everyone wants to leave, or is leaving, or have left (not that Jun allows himself to think of that last part).

“Why don’t you come with me, one of these days?” Nino asks. “I’ll show you around my school. You’ll love the library.”

Jun doesn’t really understand why he never takes Nino up on the offer. There is a funny feeling at the pit of his stomach when he thinks of the train, queasy and heavy and sharp with hints of feelings he doesn’t like to examine, because there is no need to feel betrayed or abandoned. There is no need at all, just because there was a time once when he had waved goodbye with a smile so wide it hurt. It still hurts.

So he tells Nino that he is fine, that he has all the books he needs there in the store anyway, and (maybe in a tone too sharp) he isn’t like some people who can’t be satisfied with what they have.

Nino just gives him a look, one he hates, that is a mixture of “god you’re so stupid” and “I feel so sorry for you”, before providing Jun with one of his standard glib answers, and leaving.

})i({


He doesn’t tell anyone this, but every evening, he would read by his bedroom window. This isn’t too strange - he reads all the time, after all, and the lighting is best by the window. What is strange is that most of the time he doesn’t really read at all. His bedroom, above his family’s bookstore, faces the station, too.

In the mornings, and evenings, Jun watches the station from his room.

Sometimes there would be a figure that looks familiar, a certain slope of a person’s shoulders, or briskness of their walk, and Jun would feel his heart stumble and stutter, but then it is always someone else and he would take a deep breath and tell himself to stop looking.

Not that he is looking for anyone.

He has everything he needs, right where he lives.

})i({


Four years and five months ago-

Jun,

It’s been two months and I miss you so much. I can’t go home this summer, though - it’s only the end of my first semester here, but already I’m starting to feel lost. The students here seem to know everything, and I don’t. There’s a lot to catch up on.

If you can get time off from the bookstore, though, I really hope you’d come for a visit. There is so much here that I want to show you, so much of my new life that I want to share. Please come. I miss you.

Sho


})i({


Despite his misgivings, Jun had tried to be happy about Sho’s placement. They never said a word about breaking up, about how hard the distance is going to be. It’s not that far, he had thought then. Now, the place where Sho is could have been at the end of the world for all he knew. Sho promised to come back during his holidays, and Jun promised to visit when he had more than a few days off. But life happened.

Sho’s letters were always so full of stories of people and places Jun would never know, and while it was exciting at first, it began to wear at him. Sho isn’t coming back, he would think. He’s loving it too much where he is. Soon the longing and love would turn to resentment and bitterness, and his own replies would become more stilted and less telling.

})i({


Three years ago-

It’s already February, but it’s still so cold here. But then again, it’s always warmer back home anyway. I wonder why is that? We’ll have a short break in two weeks; it’s only for four days. I’ll try to make it back if I can, but if I can’t finish my papers in time I guess I’ll have to spend my break doing so.

There’s this guy in my new class, I think he’s a repeat student - at least that’s what I’m told. He’s always asleep in class but he treated me to dinner after I lent him my notes, and it turns out that he’s pretty interesting. I think you’d like him - he’s kind of quiet and peaceful, the way I think of you. Nino’d probably torture the hell out of him, I think. I’m not sure what Aiba would think. How’s Aiba, anyway? I haven’t heard from him since he visited a few months ago.

You’ve been writing less, yourself. Are you mad because I didn’t go back during my winter break?

Sho


})i({


When Jun writes to Sho, he’s always cheerful and encouraging, even when he doesn’t feel like it at all. After all, any problem that he has is his own. He doesn’t want Sho to think that he can’t move on, that he still spends his days feeling like there is a giant hole in his life. Not when Sho is having a good time.

He doesn’t know why he doesn’t visit. Perhaps it’s because Sho keeps insisting that he’d love it there, and he doesn’t want to love it. He doesn’t want to like anything about the place that took Sho away from him.

})i({


Two years and eight months ago-

Are you sure you can’t get any time off from the store? Even if your dad’s traveling, your sister should be able to handle things, shouldn’t she? I really hope you’d change your mind.

I just got off the phone with Aiba. He sounds so excited about the trip - I guess he really enjoyed his last stay here. It’d be really great to see him, and Nino, again.

Please at least think about coming with them.

Sho


})i({


Nino’s planning to move, too. He’d always wanted to get out of the place they grew up in, but that first time he went to visit Sho, his resolve had become even stronger. He only started on his graduate programme, but after that Jun knows that Nino plans to find work in Sho’s city. And of course, where Nino goes, Aiba would follow.

})i({


One year ago-

Jun,

I haven’t received anything from you in months. And Nino says you still haven’t replaced the phone you lost last month.

...are we still okay?

Sho


})i({


It doesn’t happen all at once, even though it might feel like it. Jun’s letters become shorter over time, more abrupt. There isn’t much to say when every day is the same. There are stories he wanted to tell, but every time he puts pen to paper he starts thinking that they are stories best told in person, and he gets stuck. Sho has enough stories for the both of them, anyway. Sho is practically brimming with stories.

The first year, they would write every week. As things get busier for Sho, it becomes once a month, then once every two months. By the time the letter came, the one that explains why Sho had decided to stay and work where he was, they had been writing only three, or four times a year. After that letter, Jun stops replying. Jun stops waiting. As if his life had been kept on pause throughout the years, Jun starts living.

Perhaps romances born from high school - although Jun believes that they go further back than that - aren’t meant to last. Perhaps they should have broken up the moment Sho had decided to leave. Perhaps the love or affection that they share is too imperfect, too weak when he holds it against pride, or ambition, or “plain pig-headedness” (as Aiba likes puts it). It doesn’t matter, because Jun is doing just fine.

As he closes his book and sighs a little at the thought of going down to work on a nice, rainy morning, his breath catches. He places the book at the windowsill and presses closer to take a better look, but then the person turns around and of course it’s not Sho and he doubts that Sho even has the same hairstyle now so it’s stupid to think it’s him. Jun swallows bitter disappointment that he refuses to acknowledge is even there, and is about to pick his book back up when he sees Nino stepping out from the station entrance, and glancing up at his window with a knowing look.

})i({


“Jun, what are you doing?” Aiba asks as he comes through the door. No morning greetings from this one, Jun thinks, as he motions for Aiba to shut the door. As if January mornings aren’t bad enough, it’s a rainy January morning. He wishes that he could hole up in his room and read.

Jun arches an eyebrow - he knows Aiba hates it when he does that - and shrugs; he doesn’t know what Aiba is talking about. “Going through a customer’s order list.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“You asked me what I was doing,” Jun reminds Aiba, calmly. “And what I’m doing is going through my customer’s orders.”

“It’s January.”

“Yes.” Jun wonders if Aiba had hit himself in the head on the way there. “I’m aware of that.”

“Sho-chan’s birthday is this month.”

Jun’s fingers still over the keyboard, and he looks over the monitor at Aiba. “I’m aware of that, too,” he says, keeping his voice as neutral as possible.

Tilting his head to one side, eyebrows furrowed in confusion, Aiba asks, “don’t you think it’s been too long?”

“We’re not together anymore, Aiba,” Jun explains, as if to a child. “We haven’t been together in a long time.”

“Yeah, but...” Aiba trails off, and bends to rest his elbows on the counter. “It’s just wrong, somehow.”

He sounds so forlorn that Jun feels like comforting him, before he remembers the reason Aiba needs comforting. “I know,” he tells Aiba gently. “But life goes on, right?”

Narrowing his eyes all of a sudden, Aiba says, “you’re still watching the station every day.” He looks stern; not a trace of his earlier despair remains.

“I’m going to kill that Nino the next time I see him.” Jun avoids Aiba’s eyes, and goes back to his work. “And besides, just because I happen to be looking at the station the one time, doesn’t mean that I look every day. And even if I was, it’s only because it’s right there across the street.”

“Don’t worry,” Aiba says sweetly. “I believe you.” He doesn’t sound at all sincere. Jun wants to snap at him, but is startled into silence when Aiba gives him a light pat, says goodbye, and leaves.

Trying to put the conversation out of his mind, Jun wonders if Aiba had come all the way to his store the first thing in the morning just to remind him of Sho.

})i({


Two days before Sho’s birthday, Jun is restless. Maybe it’s Aiba’s words and knowing glances, maybe it’s the way Nino tells him that he’s being stupid without even opening his mouth, maybe it’s because he knows that they’re right and it’s about time, but however he thinks of it too much time has passed and he doesn’t know what he should do. Perhaps it’s too late. Perhaps he had already thrown out too many chances, given up too many times.

Twice he almost walks up to the station. Twice he asks himself what he’s doing, and unable to answer, he turns back.

})i({


Two days later, he doesn’t stop himself.

When he is in the train and the doors close on him he panics. What is he doing? He doesn’t even know Sho’s new address. He doesn’t even know if Sho wants to see him.

It must be because he’s working too much, he thinks. Once a year, his father would travel to book fairs and close the shop for a week during that time. The last few years he had followed his father, but this time his sister had wanted to go. He isn’t used to having so much time - that’s why he is so restless. The only reason he thinks it’s because of Sho is the fact that Aiba and Nino keep insisting.

Jun starts to feel stupid, but he’s already in the train. He finds a seat, and tells himself that it’s fine. He could visit the library Nino says is so wonderful. He could just enjoy his day off.

})i({


Sho likes his new job. He likes his friends, and he loved his school when he was attending it. He knows this, and he knows that he doesn’t want to leave this place that he has worked so hard to get to. He also knows that there is something missing in his new life, something he missed a little more than he probably should. He makes a choice to ignore it, because he’s afraid if he goes back he’ll never be able to leave again.

He wonders if Jun knows that. He wonders if Jun would ever forgive him for leaving. He wonders if Jun knows that every day, in every train he takes, there is a part of him that hopes to see Jun. It isn’t likely to happen. But he still looks. And he still hopes.

It’s his birthday, but he is only just going home, after doing overtime at work and falling asleep in the office. He doesn’t know what’s more pathetic - being at the office when the clock struck midnight and lighting a small cake for himself, or going home the next morning (having taken the day off) but having no one to go home to.

He calls Ohno.

“Happy birthday.” Ohno’s sleepy mumble makes him smile.

“Thanks. Um, are you free later today?”

“No. Working.” Ohno doesn’t sound particularly apologetic, but that’s just the way he is. Sho’s used to it; they have been friends for quite a few years now. Even though they both graduated with the same degree, Sho had chosen to work at a big company while Ohno became a full-timer at the bakery he where he worked part time.

Both of them are happy with their choices, so he supposes it doesn’t matter.

“I see,” he says. “Well, it’s okay then. It’s just that I haven’t made plans for today and I’m wondering what to do.”

“Why don’t you go back, visit your friends back home?”

Sho pauses. “Why do you say that?”

“It’s been years since you’ve been home, right?”

“Yes, but -” Nino visited the month before, and Aiba’s coming next week. Ohno knows that.

“When you reach home, check your mailbox. I left your birthday present in there.” Ohno hangs up on him, and he doesn’t call back.

He checks his mail as soon as he reaches home, and finds the plain white envelope with just his name on it, scrawled hastily in Ohno’s handwriting. Inside, a note.

I asked your friends what you needed the most, and Nino says to buy you this. Hope he’s right! - Satoshi

A single ticket to take him home.

Home, he thinks. He ponders on the concept. If he is thinking of “home” in the sense of his place of residence, then isn’t he already home? Or is it the place he grew up in? If it’s his hometown, then why doesn’t he feel the urge to stay?

Maybe it’s not the place that makes a home, a part of him says. Maybe it’s the people, or a person.

Jun. When he thinks of Jun he feels flooded with warmth, like being out on a perfect, sunny day. (It is a strange sensation, since it’s still very much like winter where he is) Jun, to him, is reassurance, balance, steadiness... comfort. Love.

Home.

He doesn’t bother going up to his apartment, running back out of the lobby to catch his train.

})i({


When they meet, it isn’t really a coincidence. Jun is at the platform of the station where Nino’s school is, and he calls Nino to check if his friend is around. Nino sounds annoyed that he’s there, to his surprise. Wasn’t it Nino who always asked him to come?

“Sho’s probably on his way home to see you,” Nino finally tells him, grumbling about Jun spoiling his surprises and hanging up.

Jun doesn’t quite know what happens next, because everything starts to get too loud and too bright and he can’t catch up enough to process anything. All he knows is that he starts to get frantic, looking for the next transfer back. He reaches the right platform just when the train leaves, so he has to wait thirty minutes for the next train to arrive.

That’s when he sees Sho, or the brief outline of Sho, walking down the steps to the platform. He thinks that it’s someone else at first - he’s so used to thinking he saw Sho only for it to be someone else. But then Sho looks up at him with a face that mirrors his own surprise and he knows.

There is no one else there other than an elderly couple at the far end of the plat form - it’s too late for there to be commuters going to work and too early for everyone else. They walk up to each other, feeling like it isn’t real at all, at the same time wondering what they’re supposed to do or say since they have both decided not to see each other anymore. But Sho’s hand immediately took his and it feels like no time has passed at all, because it still feels just right and how things are supposed to be.

They sit at the waiting area, side by side, not speaking. Sho’s hands has yet to let go of his, and he doesn’t mind.

Then, “I miss you,” Sho says. Three words. Simple, and easy to say, but within those words Jun hears so much more. He hears regret and apologies and longing and hope and most of all, he hears love.

He laughs. It is a small laugh at first, but he can’t stop and soon his shoulders are shaking and he’s laughing so hard he starts to tear up, and then he doesn’t know if he’s laughing or crying anymore. He cries.

Nino’s right. He’d been so stupid to hold on to his resentment towards Sho for leaving, when it was never him that Sho wanted to leave.

Sho starts apologising over and over and he’s shaking his head and saying no, it’s my fault, and then he stops and they look at each other and Sho laughs too and he smiles as he looks down at their still entwined hands.

He isn’t going to let go this time.


~ the end ~


Marineko's Notes:
Another Sakumoto; this one's kind of rushed because I wanted to start on the next chapter of A Golden Moon. This one is for Salwa - happy belated birthday! ^_^
Comments 
7th-Jan-2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
you wrote sakumoto!
*reads*
7th-Jan-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
i love the ending! kyaaaaaaa~
thanks for writing sakumoto ^^
8th-Jan-2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
I do write Sakumoto every now and then XD
Thank you for reading! ^^
7th-Jan-2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww


LOVE IT TO DEATH AND WRITE MORE PLEASE :DDDDDDDD
7th-Jan-2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
oh you commented right after me!
8th-Jan-2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! :D
7th-Jan-2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
this is so sweet...I'm crying...
8th-Jan-2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading <3
7th-Jan-2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
You write sakumoto! Yay~ it's so sweet, and I'm really glad that it is happy end&hearts And I don't know but it feel's beautiful^^ Thank you.
8th-Jan-2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading :D
I like my Sakumoto happy... most of the time XD
7th-Jan-2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
sweet..love it..thanx <3
8th-Jan-2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading! ^^
7th-Jan-2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
*giggling mode on*
i really love this fic..
i think i'm becoming your fan XDD
8th-Jan-2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading <333
7th-Jan-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Wonderfully written <33 and my OTP :D I simply love it.
Thanks for writing <3
8th-Jan-2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! ^_^
I really love this pairing too XD
7th-Jan-2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
ok, so embarassing because i'm reading this at work (it's ok, it's a little slow here in the mornings, lol) and i am tearing up. gaaaahhh, SAKUMOTO!!! how i love them so much.

i adore your sakumoto fics. everytime i see one from you, i get so giddy! :)

and it may be a coincidence but i love the pattern of the letters in your sakumoto fics. this was lovely and made my morning!

thanks for writing and sharing! <3
8th-Jan-2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
Letters and trains and Sakumoto, I don't know why but it ends up that way with my fics XD
I'm glad you enjoyed this, thank you so much for reading! ♥
7th-Jan-2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
this is so sweet and I cried when Jun did. XD
I can really feel the love.
thanks!♥♥♥
8th-Jan-2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! ♥!!
7th-Jan-2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
ehh you wrote Sakumoto again ? Love you ><
you know I crying when I read your 'This year's Sakura' but now you make me smile x)
thank you very much xDD
8th-Jan-2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Well, they are my (not so) closet OTP XD
Thank you for reading <33
7th-Jan-2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
This is super cute. It seemed so realistic, and I like how you portrayed Jun's feelings. I really loved this. heart1
8th-Jan-2011 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading; I'm glad you liked it! ^_^
7th-Jan-2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
That was so sad and adorable that I cried T^T

Thanks for writing and sharing!! *sniffs*
8th-Jan-2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! :D
8th-Jan-2011 03:21 am (UTC)
beautiful sakumoto~
glad they're together at the end...
thanks for this wonderful fic!
8th-Jan-2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
Glad you enjoyed it ^^
8th-Jan-2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Aaaah this is soooo sweet...
I like this...
Thank God they finally realize and be together again...

Thank you for sharing it...
8th-Jan-2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading <3
8th-Jan-2011 07:03 am (UTC)
just beautiful! I was getting a bittersweet tone from the writing, so the sweet ending came as a very pleasant surprise :D

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this!!!
8th-Jan-2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! I'm glad you liked it ^^
8th-Jan-2011 09:06 am (UTC)
the reunion was so touching! great work, I wish it wasn't 'the end.'
8th-Jan-2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading! <33
8th-Jan-2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
TAT Lovely~ The buildup to this was just fantastic and the ending was of course, so sweet! The two of them coming together on the train platform at the end was a great illustration of their...compromise? :)

Anyway, very nice.
9th-Jan-2011 11:25 am (UTC)
When I started writing this, "Compromise" was the working title XD. Then I thought it was too prosaic but ended up with the title of the song I was listening to on repeat when writing it, which wasn't much better. :p
So glad you liked it, thank you for reading! ♥
8th-Jan-2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
I love the thought of Jun working in a dusty bookstore and the image of him reading by the window, waiting to see if Sho will come home. I love Ohno buying Sho the train ticket and the not-so-subtle matchmaking from Nino and Aiba. This was super sweet :)
9th-Jan-2011 11:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading :D :D
Somehow, Jun + books = ♥ to me ^^
9th-Jan-2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
You make me cry!!

This is really heart moving~~

"Jun, to him, is reassurance, balance, steadiness... comfort. Love.
Home."

The best description!!
10th-Jan-2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm glad you enjoyed it :D
Thank you for reading ♥♥
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jan-2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Maybe I ought to watch Hanamizuki ^^
Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed the fic :)
11th-Jan-2011 11:15 am (UTC)
i like it.
i really do.
it shows how people can suffer because of stubborness.
but at the end it is a happy end!
*smile*

the right amount of angst and a happy end.
all i need. ^^

thank you for sharing!!!
22nd-Jan-2011 01:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading!! ^_^
16th-Jan-2011 01:55 am (UTC)
aaaahhh so sweet
glad they found each other again
thank you so much for sharing
22nd-Jan-2011 01:32 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you so much for reading! :D
8th-Mar-2011 08:24 am (UTC)
Hi!
*hides*

Yeah, I read this too, twice!! another amazing piece, I'm speechless so, you can choose your own words to describe how good you are XD

Thank you soooo much for writing beautiful (sakumoto) stories.

By the way, are you a professional writer? if you're not, you should publish!
I mean, many of your works are much better than published novels, really :)
And don't forget to tell me if you published :)

Thanks again for sharing :)
22nd-May-2011 03:14 am (UTC)
Hi, sorry for the super late reply. I'm really behind on replying these days :p
Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed this <33
I'm not a professional writer, but I've had a short story published before, and some poems - I'm not aiming to be a writer or anything, though. I prefer fanfiction! XD
2nd-Apr-2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
so sweet!!! a long awaited love!!!
one of the very best ending indeed!

Thank you for sharing!
22nd-May-2011 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading :D
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