Title: Very, Very Danger: Sho-phobiaAuthors: arashic0804 (shida) & mylittlecthulhu (marineko)Genre: Humor, Plain Weirdness?Rating: PGPairing: SakuraibaWord Count: 1,711Disclaimer: They belong to themselves.Summary: Hmm... is Sho-phobia a disease?Chapter OneSho spent most of the drive in silence. He was all too aware of Aiba on the other side of the van, even though Nino was wedged in between them, DS temporarily forgotten as he and Jun (who was sitting behind them, with Ohno) hurled insults towards each other. Just another day in paradise. At least, it would be just another day, except for the fact that Aiba was kind of cold to him that day. He tried everything he could think of, from making sure that Aiba had a proper helping of the noodles they were eating on the show, to making sure that Aiba got up the small flight of stairs allright before they performed. He even sat next to Aiba during the talk part of the show, and touched Aiba’s arm lightly to show his support when Aiba was being particularly funny, but Aiba just went stiff, or pulled away each time. He didn’t know what was wrong; he had been brought up to treasure the people he cared about, and he cared about his band members. A lot. So what was so wrong about showing that he cared? “It’s totally and completely unnecessary,” Nino’s voice said loudly, jerking Sho away from his thoughts. “What?” he asked. “I wasn’t talking to you,” Nino replied blandly, although Sho could have sworn that Nino was looking at him as he spoke. He shrugged it off and turned towards the window, intent on continuing his train of thought, but saw that they were already parking. -- “Sho-kun, you’re okay?” He shot Ohno a grateful smile even as he said that he was fine. His gaze flickered towards Aiba again, who seemed to have put himself in between Nino and Jun as soon as they were in the dressing room. Ohno’s eyes followed his. “Here, I’m giving you something special,” Ohno said. “Hmm?” Distracted, Sho didn’t pay attention until he felt the small plastic package in his hands. He looked down. “What is it?” It looked like prescribed pills, the kind he could get at the doctor’s. “You’re not supposed to give your medication to other people, Satoshi.” “This is okay,” Ohno said reassuringly. “This is, er... the doctor said it’s called Placebo or something.” Sho frowned. Placebos were harmless, so he supposed that it was okay for Ohno to pass them around all he wanted. He wondered if Ohno knew what placebos were, though, and he wondered why Ohno thought he needed them. “I don’t think they work if you know -” “They’re perfectly fine,” Ohno said. “But you must use them with care, okay?” Deciding that it was probably best to just humour him, Sho thanked the older man and pocketed the pills, after popping one into his mouth and washing it down with water. Ohno said that he needed to take a nap for it to really take effect, so he leaned back against the cushioned chair, figuring what the heck, it wasn’t the weirdest thing he had done to placate his band members, anyway. His mind was starting to go off-tangent, thinking of how the words ‘placate’ and ‘placebo’ both meant to please or appease, when everything went dark. -- When he woke, Sho wondered what he did in the past for him to deserve to be there, in a place he could not place anywhere in his geographic memory. It was dark and he could see shadows around him, like the soft swaying of branches, so he supposed that he must be in a forest of some sort. Perhaps they had went shooting on location and he had been forgotten or abandoned? He huffed in indignation at the thought, as he strained his eyes, willing himself to see more clearly. He sniffed the air, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the air smelled very green, and even somewhat minty. At least it was a nice forest, he thought. He looked up, and very, very far away in the horizon was an Emergency Exit sign flashing in neon - large and green and white and... yellow? Sho blinked at it in confusion for a moment, but let the sight of the yellow Emergency Exit man pass as relief took over. “Oh, thank God! There is an exit over there!” He must’ve been in a studio after all. Of course - he berated himself as he realised that there was no way anyone would leave him unattended in the middle of an actual forest. Probably. He started to walk towards the sign, but he only managed to take a few steps before he felt himself stepping into water, and immediately stepped back. “What the fuck?” He cursed. Looking down, he noticed that he was actually at a beach - but wasn’t he at a forest!? - and the tide was rising. Before long the water would be up to his ankles. “I’m so not in the mood to hang out at the beach!” he yelled, ruffling his own head in frustration. Who the hell designed the props for this studio? It didn’t make any sense at all, and the budget must be enormous to do something like this. He looked before him, trying to gage how far the water went. The vast amount of water seemed to go on endlessly, covering the entire don’t-know-where-I-am-land he was in. The waves dashed against the nearby rocks gently, and for a moment, Sho thought that he could smell the salt around him only to realise that there was none. “That’s strange, I don’t smell the saltiness of the sea?” he mumbled. He bent down and took a deep breath, only to smell nothing. He stood up again, making sure that the exit sign was still in his line of sight before his gaze wandered once more. He started to walk along the shore, ignoring the little squeaks of his sneakers, even as he wondered why the edges felt a little brittle, and why a whitish fog was coming up from the waters. After a few minutes, he finally came across another huge glittery green greeting board. It said, “Welcome to AiLand Liquid Nitrogen Sea.” Unconsciously the words danger came to Sho’s mind as he continued reading the small paragraph underneath the greeting. “One way to cross this sea alive is to use the Lego boat anchored on your right, at the very very far end of this shore. For further inquiries, kindly send an e-mail to email@example.com." He was starting to suspect that he wasn’t in a studio after all. “Please, God, don’t confirm my suspicions of this place,” he silently prayed as he made his way to the right, finding the infamous Lego boat. Or rather, stumbling into the boat, as the pier had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He let out a small cry of surprise, thinking, I’m going to kill the person who made this place if I ever saw him! Sho gawked in surprise as he realised that the boat was exactly the same as the one he used to build during a segment of that Jikken no Shukudai-kun episode. That boat had turned out to be a total mess once they were on water, which made him pessimistic about his chances of reaching the exit sign. He searched around the pier for someone or something else, anything but the Lego boat, but there was nothing. Sighing heavily, he carefully got on the Lego boat, cut the ropes that were tied around the pier, and let the sail loose. Just then he noticed that the wind was blowing; at least it still smelled fresh and minty. He grabbed the pedal and started rowing towards the exit, surprised that the boat was actually resilient. After half-an-hour of pedaling and sweating more than he never did before, he came across yet another big, shiny board. This time, written in dangerously bright red colour fonts with capital letters, it said, “VERY VERY DANGER!” He pedaled faster, propelling the boat forwards, navigating through the mess of trees amidst the liquid nitrogen-filled “ocean” and the white fog that made it hard to see ahead of him, passing by more and more sign boards as he went. Each of them proclaimed a message of doom, warning him against something that was obviously ‘very danger’, but what was it? The answer seemed to lie with the last board, which was larger than all the rest and the words “danger” was flashing on and off warningly. Beneath it was a life-sized poster of him with the words “SAKURAI SHO” on it. That instant, Sho knew for sure where he was and who owned the place. Every single hint so far linked to the very same person. But before he could react, the world around him suddenly shook and started to collapse. From afar, Sho heard a distant, familiar voice calling out to him. He tried to call back. He stood up, thinking of getting off the boat and running, when pain abruptly shot up his leg and made him stumble on the ground. While he drifted into unconsciousness - or was that consciousness, he wondered vaguely - he heard the very familiar, and very, very loud voice ringing in his ears again. “WAKE UP, SAKURAI! IT’S TIME FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT!” He shot up straight, realising that he had fallen asleep in the dressing room, and that Nino had kicked him in the shin, again. “OWW! What the fuck, Nino? Can’t you wake me up like a normal person?” “Well, I would like to do that but you were mumbling Aiba’s name and his favourite things countlessly in your sleep that it creeped me out. Were you having a dirty dream?” Sho was saved from having to reply when Aiba bounded into the room, calling out to both of them to get moving already. He watched Aiba leaving with Nino, and a thought suddenly crossed his mind as he struggled to his feet, a new feeling of horror setting in. Did I just come out from Aiba’s head? Why does Aiba think I’m dangerous? Putting a hand in his pocket to make sure that the weird pills Ohno had given him were still there, Sho thought that there was only one way to find out. Shida’s Notes:.... Marineko’s Notes:This is a new kind of collab between me and Shi-chan; instead of each of us writing separate chapters, we’re writing over each other’s words and doing all the chapters together. Who knows how it will turn out? Haha. Anyway, this was born from a totally crack conversation we had recently.
edit 2014/08/03: This chapter was originally posted on Shi-chan's community, but since she has already deleted her comm, I'm re-posting it here.