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08 November 2015 @ 09:38 pm
In Colors  
Incolorsfinished.png
Title: In Colors
Author: sanjaiman
Genre: Family/Friendship/Slice-of-life
Rating: PG
Summary: Five friends re-encounter after 10 years and notice their lives have taken opposite courses to what they always dreamed of. Upon the struggles of their lives, they decide to buy a house together, in hopes to rebuild their broken promise and support each other until the very end.

A/N: I don't own them, sadly.


There had been hesitation, but never doubt. It was an idea as insane as the rest, yet this one was so different from the others. There were so many things in the way and there were other things floating in the air, unspoken, in fear of the others not being the same since they last met, so, of course, this will lead to such awkwardness and uncertainty. Yet, why would they fear it? If they had truly known each other for so long, they would known there was nothing more to be said.

It started that day, as Aiba had narrated it, when he had suddenly bumped into Sho in the streets. He had dropped his phone in the impact, and as the stranger in front of him nervously apologized as he leaned in to pick it up, he recognized that unmistakable voice as his long time best friend's, Sakurai Sho. It had been so unexpected, he couldn't contain his excitement to a point were he may even have overdone it as he threw his arms around him in a suffocating hug. Sakurai had brushed him off after such embarrassing scene, moreover in the middle of the street, and Aiba had to subtly apologize before his eyes stated to water.

Sho scolded him after for being a cry baby, but at the same time, he understood his friend's feelings and his relieve to see he had not changed from their young days.

After taking their time to get coffee and sit in a corner of the shop, their talking began. There was so much they needed to catch up to and so much they wanted to say, there wasn't enough time in their schedules to fit their conversation, yet still, in the words and the time they could spare, they ask about the only things that mattered the most.

When it came to ask about their other friends, they affirmed each other they still have some of their contacts, but they knew little of their happenings. They was something they didn't wanted to lose and that was the essence of this coincident encounter, and sharing it on their own didn't feel right as fair as it should. So they settled; That night they had planned to call the rest of their old friends and meet at a familiar Ramen shop in Shibuya that same weekend.

True, their calls were very sudden for the rest and even sort of unbelievable, and in this throwback and scent of nostalgia, they made this meeting their reunion.

It was amazing just to look how much the others had changed over those past 10 years, as they calculated it had been. They were no longer teenage boys who were so distant and strange from the world, they were men, workers, independent, some even professionals. To see how time had molded them took them aback, but in their words, in their voice, it their gestures and action, they knew they were still the same.

That night at the Ramen shop was relevant. Other than their shared memories and past anecdotes, trying to bring back their old days together to their table, things were shared about their new lives that would leave a sudden impression on the others. But as the hours and words drew in and their beers were emptied only to be substitute by another, their honest word and honest feelings started to emerge with the late night air. Now their pretending would ease as their backs would hunch upon the table, shielding them in a much more familiar circle.

The theme had suddenly been brought by Nino. In the middle of their meal, he mentioned how he was having a hard time paying his expensive rent month after month and discussing with his landlord each time he came in for inspection. It was driving him insane, or so he said, how much his landlord had been pushing him around all this time never giving him a break to pay him at the time his paychecks came in or not letting him play his guitar at times because it 'disturbed the neighbors'. Nino had resolved his landlord had gotten to the age of his elderly tantrums, and gradually he realized they were never going to stop.

Aiba had quickly backed him up saying he was having a hard time living with his roommate who never cooperated with him whenever his apartment needed some maintenance and he always had to get home late at night time from his parent's restaurant to clean the apartment. Or even of how sick the smell of his cigarettes had made him over the years, at some occasions even deteriorating his health to a point where he even had to spend days in the hospital. It was a nightmare, he explained, how occasionally he had been draw close to a fight with his roommate, and explanation that took them all aback, since they knew the ever so brightly Aiba Masaki they knew had never gotten into a fight in his life nor was he known for having a short temper.

The next one to speak up was Jun, who had confessed he was still living at his sister's place ever since he started college 10 summers ago and now his sister was already planning to move in with her fiancée there and he definitely had to go, but his job income was not as proper for him to afford a new apartment, much worst in the Shibuya district, that is if he was planing to save on train expenses.

This also made Sho comment how he was feeling a bit sick of his own home, overall lonely yet surrounded by people he didn't want their attention from because of his job at Nippon Terebi. It's true, he had obtained the job he had always worked for at News ZERO as a news caster. The others had admitted they would occasionally watch him whenever they found the time and they would react of how impossible it sometimes seemed for them to tell that was the same Sakurai Sho they had spent their school life with. The same Sho with his schedule issues, the same Sho, son of an important embassador of cultural affairs, the same Sho with the 'nadegata' problems.

When it came to Ohno Satoshi's turn -who they suddenly remembered they always use to call 'Riida' or 'Oh-chan' for being their sempai- to say what he had to and mention he was still living with his parents, they burst out in laughs. Of course they proceeded to make several jokes about his mother still buying his clothes for him and my father waiting to kick him out to the street. Half of their jokes weren't so apart from the truth so slowly and gradually, that comical atmosphere that had built up came down by the realization of something; they haven't changed... at all.

Unlike Sho who now had a proper status in his family for obtaining such prestigious job, they rest of them had done nothing in comparison. Somehow, watching him how he had achieved his goal was a reminder of their long lost promise all those years ago, the one they were bond to fulfill before they met again.

It was but a mere task to achieve after they took their own way 10 years ago in the hopes that, in their reunion, they could show off all they have done with their lives, with their dreams achieved, their goals made and everything they had ever promise to do, done. But here they were, sitting in the middle of the Ramen shop, a chatter of business men had rose upon their silence, they're sights fixed elsewhere but at themselves, in hopes to avoid reviewing all those things they had swear to do and they were nowhere near done and which, at the same time, was so distant from their reality.

Whether it was an achievement in their personal life or finally getting the job they always wanted, whatever it was, on that one so promised night, it was resumed to nothing. There was no mentioning of the presence of a girl in their lives. Not even Jun, the most handsome of them, had a girl to go out with each night. As for the rest, they still hadn't gotten the jobs they had studied so hard for -with the exception of Ohno who had simply dropped out in the end of his second year-, all but Sakurai, to whom opportunities in life had been giving to him because of the reputation of his well known father. Yet again, even they knew the unspoken truth of his true aspirations in life.

Aiba had been looking for a job and going to interviews every so often while working in his parent's restaurant and Nino still dreamed of making himself famous while he still worked on that coffee shop since 3 years ago. As for Ohno, as always, he said he was just the same. After dropping out of college he started working in several part times to pay for his loans and his rent at his parent's house. Several years later, he had finally found work down at the fish market, carrying out tons of fish in the early dawn that were sold to restaurants chains and other home town shops. Knowing about this, they all agreed Ohno had probably been the one who had fulfilled his dream, and once he thought strongly about it, he started to believe so himself.

Jun was working there in Shibuya, in the middle of the fashion district as the manager of a famous clothing store. He had worked there for two years until he was promoted manager. Costumers had said his good looks would make them keep coming and so his attention drawing in more costumers gave him his full time job promotion. He liked his job, he couldn't argue about it, and he would keep working there until he found a job that would pay him more than 3,000 yen the hour.

On top of their now down cast looks, their table had turned to silence, expecting each other to come up with another theme of conversation. This tension between them was unfamiliar. Not even when they were young they would keep such silence amongst themselves with so many thoughts floating in their heads unsaid. It was so unnatural, it was as if, in the realization of seeing things had not changed ever since, they didn't knew each other anymore. That is how, in the middle of this silence, between this strangers, Aiba came forward.

"Ne, wouldn't it be weird if we moved in together?" he said.

There were chuckles amongst them to the sound of his words, but others, or more specifically Jun, were actually listening to this idea in silence. After a while of looking blankly at his drink his response came.

"My uncle has an empty house in the suburbs. It's his property, but no one really uses it other than for storage. It's too big for my uncle's family and he recently moved to Saitama. It's practically abandoned. He told me he was thinking of selling it soon. He had actually offered it to me but I hadn't really consider it."

No one had really thought of thinking about this seriously, that is why Jun's response came in almost too abruptly. They all looked at each other, not really saying what they were thinking yet still knowing what ran in the other's thoughts. They didn't wanted to admit it, but the silence said it all.

"How many rooms?" It was Sho's turn to ask.

Jun couldn't say exactly, but he took out his phone and searched for his recent conversations with his uncle. The rest of them sipped on their beers, slyly paying all their attention to what he would say.

"It's... a two story building with five rooms and a single bathroom."

Perhaps it was the idea of things sounding too perfect what left them doubtful but there was no other way things could be. Moving in with each other was not exactly what they were looking for and the sound of this made them feel a bit too skeptical, but there was no doubt that, for a second, this idea sounded thrilling and even more than whatever they had done in their lives, probably reminding them of the feeling of mischief that would run through their veins as foolish school kids.

"I'm in." Nino was the first to say. Beside the idea of a place bigger than his own, if it would get him away from his landlord, he had no doubts about it. No one spoke up after him, so he gave Ohno a shove with his elbow.

"I think... I wouldn't mind." Ohno admitted.

"I'll do it." says Aiba, perhaps thinking of the relief of finally getting away from his roommate.

"What the heck..." Sho says in a sigh, apparently having doubts within himself but quickly getting over them. "Sure, why not?"

They all looked back at Jun who still held his phone in his hand. They waited for something they weren't sure themselves of, but he didn't wasted another second thinking about it.

He dialed a number in his phone and putting it to his ear, he walked outside the Ramen shop. They all watched him silently from inside. His feet paced from one side to another as he talked with his uncle. As they waited, their beers emptied and Sho ordered another round for himself. The rest were starting to wondered if he was already regretting saying anything.

Jun came back but he did not speak up until he properly sat down on the table. The rest did nothing more than stare at him, growing a little impatient to hear his response, but he only took his sweet time to drink from his beer again and clear his throat before he spoke up.

"You want to go see the house?"

...

Even now, they were a little uncertain of how things managed to take the course they were in now. After several months of arrangements and calls, the five of them reunited in the suburbs to meet in the so mentioned house on their day off, in order to start a throughout clean up. They probably had spent several weeks at it, considering how they all, right after leaving their work, would go straight to the house and clean their part. Eventually, their hard work paid off, and, with some additional help from Jun's uncle, the house was almost remodeled for their use.

The next month, they would spend it moving in their stuff and belongings into the house. From the mostly empty space they have adopted, it started to take form as the furniture molded it into a proper house. Most of the sofas and chairs along with some of the living room pieces were all Sho's, in account that the rest didn't really own any sort of special house furniture to occupy such space, but the rest of the house furniture, they had gotten it from Jun's uncle, who had gladly made them several gifts such as the washing and drying machine, stove and refrigeator in thanks for taking the house off his hands.

It was certainly a big house, even bigger than Ohno's family house, Satoshi admitted. From the front entrance, there were small build-in pots to the side of the entrance in order to make use as a small garden. From the entrance inward, past the genkan, a corridor lead to the spacious center of the house of high ceiling as the wooden floor spread through the house. The living room was right in the middle while the kitchen stood in the back on a level over the living room perimeter; a kitchen island surrounded it. To the west of the house the laundry room was hidden behind a door along with the large bathroom and shower. To the east of the house stood the unused garage. None of them could actually afford a car of their own so for the time being, it had resolved to be some sort of storage for their boxed..

The stair case rail ran all the way up the second floor, styling it as some sort of veranda looking down to the first floor. Each and every room had relatively the same space, enough to fit a bed, wardrobe and some other personal stuff like Nino's guitars, keyboard, games and manga, Aiba's collection of movies, his surfing board, his old saxophone and his pile of stuffed animals, Jun's over ran bookcase fulled with some of his favorite novels and desk with cabinets fulled of the magazines he always bought every so often, Sho's desktop, his pile of encyclopedias and collection of CDs, and, lastly, Ohno's drawing desk and canvases with his endless collection of drawings and paintings he never did much about.

By the end of the week, the house had taken form, becoming a whole new space they could call their own, their haven, where they didn't need to worry over annoying landlords, smoking roommates, fiancées, old ladies who always recognized them from TV, nor parents. This was their home and they were their new family.

...

Glasses were gathered in the center of the chabudai in front of the TV while Sho looked for their beers in the refrigerator. Aiba placed his home made snack on the center of the table, their smell was slowly calling the rest to gather around. After all their hard work those past weeks, in their first Saturday night in their new house they didn't feel like going out and celebrating. Instead, Ohno and Jun had gone into Aiba's room to look for a DVD they could watch that night as they had they first drink together as new roommates.

Nino came out of the bathroom last for losing in janken, and as he dried his hair with a small towel around his neck, his nose made him look over what Aiba had cooked for them. It was one of his favorite noodle sauce fried potatoes slices with seaweed. Nino's had tried reaching for a taste before Aiba shooed his hand away.

"You have to wait for everyone." said Aiba as Nino clicked his tongue.

"Oi! Come down already, I'm getting hungry." Nino called up to the second floor, where Jun was coming down Aiba's room with their film for the night as Ohno followed from behind with something else in hand.

"How about this one?" Jun showed the DVD box for Skyfall to the rest of them.

"Ii yo! That'll be fine." said Sho form the kitchen.

Finally with their chosen film, Jun descended with Ohno still close behind, but his attention was dragged else were to the paper he held in his hands.

As Jun inserted the DVD in, Sho had brought the Kiirin beer cans for them which he distribute to each.

"Ja, should we make a toast?" suggested Sho.

Each one agreed, pouring their beers in their glasses and cheering for the finishing of their settlement.

"Kanpai! " They all cheered in unisom.

Nino's eyes were dragged to what Ohno still held in his hand, a particular and far too familiar image.

"Are? What do you have there?" Nino pointed it out, inviting Ohno to show it to the rest.

The picture was very old yet it had been so well preserved the image was still clearly visible, enough for them to recognized it immediately. The figure of five young boys with bright smile, holding each other with great affection and with familiarity, almost as if it were natural. The foreign sea at their background remembered them of such memory and how they wore those matching shirts they had found at the airport on their arrival there. It was such a distant memory yet unforgettable.

"Eh? Is that... from our trip to Hawaii?" asked Sho taking the picture from his hands to look at it more closely.

"Where did you get that?" asked Jun, also taking a glimpse at the picture in Sho's hands.

"It was in Aiba's room." confessed Ohno.

"Oi, I told you not to go sneaking around his stuff." said Jun almost in a scolding.

"Oh, that's alright. I was meaning to show it to you earlier anyway." Aiba eased him. "I'd found it in one of my boxed. My mother must have slip it in."

"Oh that's right, she was the one who took it." remembered Ohno.

"Natsukashi na~" exclaimed Nino, recalling the occasion. It was almost embarrassing to admit it was them in that picture.

"Are... now that I remember..." said Sho, talking to himself. He handed the photo back to Ohno, before excusing himself and going up the stairs.

Ohno and Nino had returned to look at their young selves as Nino wouldn't stop mocking and pointing out how long and lame Ohno's hair was back in the day. Ohno tried to shut him up, but the rest proceeded to laugh about it as well. Sho returned quickly down, with a new item in his hands.

"Will this work?" a picture frame was show to them in order to compare it with the picture's measures. Indeed it fitted perfectly.

There was an empty wall right before the stair case where they hanged it, solitary in the center.

"Great, now it really looks sad." joked Nino, making Sho roar in laughter.

"It looks just fine." said Jun, defensively.

"We can put up some more things later, ne?" suggested Aiba.

They turned away to finally take a sit in the chabudai and start the film before they noticed Ohno was still missing from their side. Jun was the first to notice his abscence and looks back to where they stood just a moment ago to find him, still staring at their portrait as if drifted in thought without a sense of notion.

"Are you coming, Riida?" called to him Jun. Ohno was quick to snap out of his thoughts and gather with them in front of the TV, but not before giving a last look back at their picture together and the memories of their last summer as the five of them.





A/N: Thank you so much for reading♥! This is suppose to be the start of a very long fic so I hope you enojyed. Might take me a while to get another chapter one but this works as a cute pilot. As always, let me know what you think about it!! Your comments are much appreciated!!

 
 
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