Title: Arrhythmia (You make my heart flutter) (Part 10)
Pairing: Sakumoto(main), Ohmiya(side)
Rating: R (This chapter, PG13)
Summary: It never occurred to Jun that he might have been pushing himself too hard, but when it came down to it... who was he doing it for? The story of an over-achiever who thought he could, a meddlesome doctor, and their odd gang of friends.
Notes: This chapter is in Sho's POV, and Nino at the end. No one kill me. :) Sakumoto cookies for she-who-betaed-this <3
“Sho-chan….. You’re not even going to eat the cheesecake I brought you?” Aiba’s voice was small as he pushed the slice of cake closer to the downtrodden looking doctor. “It’s from that place you really like, near the rescue shelter.”
Sho could only force a smile as he took the offered plastic fork, taking a small slice. For once, his favourite dessert tasted like cardboard, and it was no surprise why.
“It’s good, thank you, Aiba-chan.”
Even his own voice sounded strained to his ears. Someone like Aiba would have zero problems picking out the lie in his words.
“Don’t lie to me, Sho-chan.”
Sho ducked his head in slight apology, then sighed. “I’m sorry, Aiba-chan. Just…”
Nothing felt right. No matter how hard he tried to smile, or be positive, nothing felt right. Not when…
“Have you spoken to him yet?” Aiba asked gently, concerned eyes flickering to Ohno, also slouched over and slowly playing with his food.
Sho couldn’t help but feel concerned for Ohno as well - it seemed like the two of them were having love-related problems, and poor Aiba was trying to deal with the aftermath.
Sho was trying, he really was, but he hadn’t expected everything to go wrong.
Less than two months ago, he was so happy and so in love - he was still in love - finally able to be with Jun, to hold him, to kiss him, to share all those little moments with him… Yet now, he had barely spoken to Jun for the past half a month.
It was difficult, remembering how to smile.
The hospital had a small event for the paediatric ward where the younger doctors - like Sho, would be sent to distribute candy to the children for Halloween. However, his House Officer, Okada-sensei had decided against Sho doing so this year, stating that his mood would only scare the children instead. Sho had apologized, but his supervisor merely patted his shoulder and told him that: “The path of true love never did run smooth.”
True love. Had it really been true love? Sho had wondered that every waking minute since Jun walked away from him, the two of them having likely felt equally betrayed, equally hurt, equally misunderstood.
Just several weeks prior - not even a month, Sho had enough. He had a lot of doubt when Jun called him that night, voice excited and happiness practically leaking through the phone, yet Sho had pushed away his concern to congratulate Jun for securing the ‘extended internship’, as put out by Jun. It denoted that Jun would continue to work under the agency past the summer vacation, paid, but once he graduated from Keio, they would review it to allow Jun to work there as an official employee.
It was Jun’s dream, and Sho knew that. That was why Sho tried to convince himself that nothing would go wrong, that all that mattered was that Jun was happy, but as the semester started and classes began, it was obvious that, no, it wasn’t alright. Not at all.
It was one thing, Jun being pulled to concert sites for rehearsals,light checks and sound checks during the summer vacation. Sho remembered those days very well, as a Johnny’s Jr that nearly debuted - they had dance practice, actual rehearsals that stretched for days on end before the actual concert itself, but all Sho had to do then was dance.
Rehearsals would begin at 10 in the morning, end at 8 in the evening, with plenty of breaks in between while the staff ran around making sure things went smoothly. They adjusted the settings, then stayeduntil even later at night to make adjustments to everything. Capable, enthusiastic interns like Jun…
Sho didn’t have to be dating Jun to even see it: they were exploiting Jun, his skills, his passion, and Jun was letting them.
Sho was certain it wasn’t an ‘intentional’ exploitation, per se. For one, every department head adored him, if it wasn’t obvious when Sho visited Jun at his workplace again, and so did Gackt, if Jun’s wide-eyed reactions as he relayed how Gackt was giving him life advice (rarely helpful) weren’t an obvious indication. Of course, Sho was certain if Jun wanted to skip a day or an afternoon, or say no when a department asked him for help, they would not hold it against him.
But Jun was not saying ‘no’. He was taking on everything people asked him to, and Sho could see how it was pulling him down, especially as he had to run from classes to work to finishing his final year portfolio. Not to add, he was being pulled to attend the concerts in Tokyo, and the one in Osaka.
Sho didn’t have to be a doctor to make the observation that Jun was losing so much sleep, even as Jun went from jubilantly relaying to Sho all the interesting things he had done at work the entire week, to simply curling up next to Sho and dozing on Sho’s couch whenever they met, because he was too tired to do anything else.
And it hurt Sho, seeing Jun like that.
It all cumulated to one evening in mid-October when Sho asked the half-asleep Jun, “Would consider… quitting? For the semester?”
Jun had frozen mid-nuzzle, eyes suddenly bright and alert despite the dark circles under them as he looked up at Sho in shock. Sho couldn’t help but feel guilty at the confusion plastered on Jun’s face, for Sho knew how much working at Johnny’s meant to Jun.
“You’re burning out. You went from having so much energy to having none at all, and I can’t stand seeing you like this.”
Jun sat up, grabbing his glasses from the side table and moving away from Sho’s hug. “I’m fine, Sho-san. I’m not going to quit, you know this.”
“I know you won’t, which is why I’m asking you, begging you even, to consider taking a break.” Sho reached forward to cup Jun’s face between his hands, and brushed the dark circle. “I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
Sho somehow knew it wasn’t going to end well when Jun drew away from him instantly, almost flinching away from his contact. When he spoke, his tone was brittle as he answered, “Nothing’s going to happen to me. You know how important this is to me. It’s what I’ve been working towards for the past two years. I’m not going to stop just because you don’t trust that I’ll be okay.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just can’t see you like this. It’s not going to get any better, is it? You’re like a bullet train racing towards your dream but you aren’t even stopping to rest!” Sho was well aware that he sounded desperate by now, but that was exactly what he was - desperate - especially when it came to Jun’s welfare. “What’s going to happen when you graduate? Are you going to slow down at all? You aren’t, are you? What are you trying to prove?”
The words flew out of his chest, but there was no stopping him. He had watched this go on for long enough to see how quickly things went from okay to not okay, and Sho couldn’t bear to see it. Even as Sho saw how taken aback Jun was with the sharpness of Sho’s tone, he would not stop until he was done.
“You say you’ve been working on this for years, that it’s your dream, but what’s the point in having a dream if you don’t have the energy, the health for it? Do you want to end up being a victim of karoshi*? Working yourself to death? I’ve studied those cases in med school, and I don’t want that to ever happen to you.”
Jun exhaled noisily as Sho ended his mini-rant, pushing up his glasses and crossing his arms in what Sho just knew to be a sign of displeasure.
“Look, Sho-san. I can take care of myse--”
“No, I don’t think you can.” Sho interrupted. “Not when you haven’t even learnt how to say no. You’re practically split between all the departments! Stop trying to please everybody. It hurts me seeing you ruin yourself like this--”
“Well, it hurts me to hear you say that!”
The words died in Sho’s throat, as Jun pointedly looked away from him and began to put his phone into his bag. “I thought you understood me.”
Coldness began to trickle down Sho’s back, voice high as he reached out to touch Jun, only for his hand to be swiftly evaded. “Jun--”
“I thought you knew why I was doing this. I’m not doing this for anyone but myself - I’m not trying to prove anything! I’m not a child that can’t take care of himself. I’m doing this. For. My. Self.”
The last six words was familiar to Sho. Too familiar and a bitter memory that only served to heighten Sho’s desperation. “I’m not saying you are trying to prove anything, but--”
“But then again,” Jun’s look of hurt, together with his tiredness, made Sho feel like an idiot for bringing the topic up so suddenly because now Jun had to deal with both work and Sho, and Sho had no idea how to make things better for Jun.
“I shouldn’t ever have expected you to understand. What was I thinking?” Jun let out a hollow laugh, body half turned towards the door. Despite their distance, Sho could see Jun’s eyes sparkling, as though he was holding back his tears. “You’re perfect, after all. Smart, and successful - you’d have no troubles achieving what you want.”
The words felt like a punch in the stomach.
No trouble achieving what he wants?
In those few seconds, Sho went from desperate and concerned to feeling cheated. He did understand.
Even though Sho never mentioned it to Jun - for he was ashamed - when he himself during his studies struggled to stay afloat, but was also trying desperately to prove his parents wrong in their beliefs. And Sho wasn’t perfect. He hated that word with great vengeance, as much as he hated the idea of someone thinking he had zero problems achieving what he wanted…
Because unlike Jun, Sho never knew from the beginning what he wanted. He was thrust into the path of being a doctor the moment he was born, and his only form of defiance was choosing to study in emergency medicine, instead of settling down in some ‘tamer’ practice.
Jun might not have known the former part of Sho’s past, but the latter, Jun knew. Sho had shared that much with him; opened up just as much as Jun had opened up to Sho.
And that was an equal betrayal, if one could even consider Sho’s concern for Jun a betrayal at all. Perhaps it was to Jun, who had perceived Sho as the boyfriend who supported him in everything Jun wanted to do, someone who stood at the stands and cheered for him. But that was not what Sho wanted to be. He wanted to mean more than that.
His voice sounded cold even to himself when Sho looked away from Jun, and told him, “Then go. I can’t stand seeing you kill yourself.”
“... Then you don’t have to.”
The door had yet to swing shut when Sho felt the first tear - was it of heartbreak? Or of hurt? - fall from his chin down to his lap.
“No, I haven’t.” Sho shrugged, trying to push the hurt away from his mind. It would not do, of course, to dwell on such emotions when he had a shift right after their dinner.
Sho shrugged again. Why not? Perhaps because he felt cheated by Jun, although deep inside he knew Jun said all those things out of stress and hurt, not with the intention to attack Sho. Or perhaps it was because Sho knew it would hurt his heart if he saw Jun again, overworked yet still so stubborn, so keen to hurt himself.
His thoughts were interrupted by a painful hit of Aiba’s hand on the top of his head.
“Ow!” Sho looked accusingly at his close friend, eyes slightly watering from the hit. “What was that for?”
“You’re being stupidly stubborn.” Aiba wore a serious frown, a rare look for him.
Sho merely rubbed his head and pouted, looking away from Aiba’s concerned expression. “Aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”
“I’m on both of your sides. And I can tell you that the two of you were happier when you were together. Now you’re just… sad. Cold, at times.”
Of course Sho was sad and cold. He missed Jun. He was hurt by Jun. Sho didn’t know what to do, but he had to get over it, at least for the benefit of work and life in general, until he was back in his apartment - alone - again with no one to message, to call, or to hold close.
God, he was pathetic.
Hoping to take the attention away from him, and also equally worried about how quiet the third member of their trio was, Sho lightly pushed Ohno’s plate closer to the subdued artist. “You should be eating your cake, Ohno-san, not playing with it.”
Ohno jerked slightly, as though just pulled out of his thoughts. Under the watchful eye of Aiba and Sho, he took a small nibble of the strawberry shortcake slice in front of him. However, instead of his usual exclamations of how delicious the cake was, Ohno merely blinked slowly, and frowned, putting the fork down.
“I miss Kazu.”
Sho sighed, reaching over to lightly pat Ohno’s hand. “What happened between the two of you?”
“...I don’t know. I think we had a fight?”
“You think?” Aiba traded a look of confusion with Sho. “Haven’t you had fights with him before?”
Ohno shook his head. “Never….but he sounded really angry, because I didn’t tell him about the exhibition tour I have in Taiwan next March.”
Sho widened his eyes. No wonder Nino was angry with Ohno. “Hasn’t that been planned since June? It’s been what, four, nearly five months? You didn’t tell him at all?”
“I didn’t think it was important.” Ohno’s eyes were wide-eyed and sad when he looked up at Sho. “He wanted me around for his graduation, but thought I would tell him at least. And now he is ignoring me. He won’t even respond to my texts… Kazu has never ignored me before.”
Sho couldn’t help but mirror Aiba’s grimace. It was indeed a difficult situation, one which the two could not really help with. Ohno pursed his lips, and lowered his head to the table. “I...I can’t draw without Kazu, I need him as my muse.”
Aiba reached over to pat Ohno’s hair, as Sho offered him his cake - the only thing the two of them could do, really.
“We’re both fucked without them, basically.” Sho sighed, leaning back and looking up at the ceiling tiredly. So, utterly, fucked.
Ohno obediently took a small bite of the cheesecake, then tilted his head in sudden recall, “Do you think I might be able to catch him at work today? It’s Monday, isn’t it?”
Ohno’s face brightened up instantly, and for a moment, Sho felt jealous.
“He works the late shift today! I’m going to go back to my studio and finish what I was doing last night then.” He hurriedly inhaled the remaining of the shortcake, groaning at the taste this time. “This is delicious, Aiba-chan. Thank you!”
He reached over to hug Sho, then Aiba, before practically flying off, spring in his step restored.
Yes, Sho was definitely jealous. He sighed again, once Ohno disappeared from view, pushing the cheesecake to Aiba as a gesture for him to finish the cake for Sho instead. Oh how he wished he could simply mend his and Jun’s relationship like that.
Sho hummed distractedly, looking at his watch. He had to leave for his shift in a few minutes as well.
“Have you considered...maybe telling Jun? About what happened?” Aiba hesitantly asked, clearly gauging Sho’s response. Sho tried to hide how he faltered at the question, brushing at his dress shirt and unrolling his sleeves.
That might fix things… or it might not. At this juncture, Sho wasn’t sure what could mend their relationship anymore.
“I have to go now, Aiba-chan.” As he passed Aiba, Sho reached out to squeeze his shoulder. “Thank you.”
But nothing was going to change.
It was barely half past 10 when Sho received the page - along with the rest of the emergency doctors on shift that evening - of the accident that happened at the edge of campus: A side collision between a bus full of commuters and a car due to faulty traffic lights, but no critical injuries were being diverted their way, as the casualties were being distributed to two hospitals. Nevertheless, all hands were on deck that evening, as they received information from the incoming ambulances.
Sho was mildly grateful for the commotion, for it served as a far more effective distraction than the calmer routine of rounds. It was so effective that Sho nearly jumped a foot up in the air when he turned the corner to evaluate the next patient of the ‘delayed’ triage group, and was met with the sight of Nino.
The man looked dishevelled with multiple cuts and scratches on his left arm, a large forming bruise on his forehead, accompanied by a long cut that extended from his left cheekbone to his jaw. Thankfully, Nino was alert and sitting up when he greeted Sho with a stiff wave.
Sho blinked, then internally cursed as he grabbed the clipboard from the end of the hospital bed, flicking through the initial triage evaluation.
“I don’t know why they labelled me as ‘delayed’, because I’m pretty sure there were kids in the bus and they should really be treated first.” Nino sounded as though he was complaining, but Sho was surprised by Nino’s lack of concern for himself.
Like his roommate.
“No, really, Sho-chan, I’m fine, and I can wait for another hour or five.”
“The children have been or are in the process of being treated right now, so you don’t have to worry about that.” Sho explained as he firmly pushed Nino to lie back against the elevated head of the hospital cot, reaching for his penlight and checking Nino’s pupils for any unevenness.
“You, on the other hand, have a bruise the size of Honshu island on your face, indication of blunt head trauma, and threw up at the accident site. The only reason why you were not marked for immediate treatment was because you showed no signs of concussion by the triage nurse, and you convinced her that you retained all mental capabilities with your snark.”
“There is no way you could know that.” Nino complained, but was silenced by the serious look Sho shot him.
“She wrote it on the side in pencil.” Before Nino could interrupt, Sho reached over to gently prod at his head. “How bad does your head hurt on a scale of 1 to 10?”
“4? My hand hurts more.”
“No sign of concussions or brain injury, so at least I know that you share the same hard head as your roommate.” Sho replied stiffly, making a note on patient clipboard.
“I resent that.”
Sho rolled his eyes, and tried to keep his tone friendly as he responded, “You don’t have the right to say that, since I treated the both of you.”
Shifting his attention away from the most pressing medical issue, Sho brought his attention to Nino’s left arm, stretching it out before checking, “You said your hand hurts more? From the cuts or somewhere else?”
“Not the cuts.” Sho watched Nino’s face as he gently prodded along Nino’s palm and wrist, stopping when Nino hissed.
“Looks like either a sprain or fracture. There isn’t a lot of swelling, but sometimes that takes a while to form.” Sho apologetically patted Nino’s thigh, taking note of the remaining visible injuries. “Could you tell me what happened to you when the car hit the bus? As manydetails as possible, please.”
From Sho’s examination, he concluded that most of Nino’s injuries were superficial besides his wrist, but he couldn’t help but feel paranoid, wanting to triple, quadruple check that he wasn’t missing anything. It was not because it was his job, nor because he knew Nino personally - rather, Sho knew how much Nino meant to Jun, and by extension, Sho would never let anything happen to Nino.
To be frank, he wouldn’t let anything happen to the four of them - Ohno, Aiba, Nino and Jun, although thinking about Jun made his heart hurt again. He did not want anything happen to him, but he couldn’t do anything to prevent it either.
“I was catching a bit of sleep before my shift, so all I remember is the bus jerking sharply, and then the impact. My head hit the window really hard, and the bus tipped on its side so I stuck out my hand to catch myself. The window shattered when it hit the ground.” Nino shivered at the memory, and Sho frowned as he reached over to grab Nino’s cold, uninjured hand, feeling the mild tremble as Nino’s body slowly got over the shock of the accident. “I’m going to swear off buses forever. Or vehicles in general.”
“I highly doubt that,” Sho squeezed his hand lightly. “You’re safe now. I’m going to dress your cuts before I send you up to X-ray, but is there anyone you would like me to call? Family?”
Nino shook his head hurriedly. “My mother would worry, and it’s too late. I’ll be fine.”
“Then I’ll call Ohno-san.”
“Don’t!” Nino hurriedly held tight to Sho, voice small, “I don’t want him to know where I am. He probably won’t care anyway.”
Sho carefully pried Nino’s fingers open to free himself. “Look, I know you are in the middle of a fight and all, but Leader cares a great deal about you. He was going to see you at the music cafe today, to talk to you, and given that you have yet to show up, and the accident is all over the news, he is going to piece things together. Don’t underestimate him, Nino. If anything, he should be on his way already.”
Nino looked sullen as he picked at the sheets. “...I don’t know why he didn’t tell me he was going to leave in March. We had plans.”
“I don’t know why either, but this is Leader who we’re talking about. Cut him some slack and talk to him. You know how he is.” Sho impatiently tapped at the hospital rails. He should probably get a nurse to replace the almost empty saline bag. “I’m going to call him, alright? You need someone with you.”
The nod he received was barely perceptible.
Sho had just requested for the change in saline, and was about to call Ohno when his phone vibrated, the caller ID being the man himself.
“Sho-kun,” Ohno sounded out of breath and panicked, the first time Sho had ever heard him like this. “Tell me he is there. And that he is okay.”
“He’s here, he’s fine. I was just about to call you. He’s a bit bruised, scratched, likely with a broken wrist and pretty shaken up, but I’m seeing to him right now.”
“Thank god.” The artist’s relief was palpable through the phone. “I’m nearly there. I heard about the accident and I was making my way over, and then I heard that they brought the casualties to two hospitals so--”
Sho quickly interrupted him before Ohno could start rambling on the phone, “Calm down. Get a nurse to bring you to Triage room 17 when you arrive, alright? I’m going to go back to dress his cuts.”
“Y-yes, of course. Sho-chan?”
“Take care of him, please.”
“He’ll be here soon.”
Despite Nino’s former brave exterior, Sho had returned to a small curled up form, one he had to convince to unball himself to prevent further injury and to allow Sho to dress the cuts.
“He was already on his way when he called me, so really, I think maybe five, ten more minutes?” Sho murmured distractedly as he waited for the local numbing agent to work on Nino’s cheek, cleaning the scratches on Nino’s palm and arm in the meantime with anti-sceptic. Nino kept fairly quiet as he did so, but Sho could tell that he was forcing himself to not flinch at the pain.
Brave, but also incredibly stupid, for Sho wouldn’t judge, really.
“Jun is hurting.”
Nino’s soft words cut into Sho’s concentration and he nearly dropped the butterfly stitches, just catching himself at the last moment. Sho’s eyes burned for a moment, but he remained silently as he taped the bigger cuts on Nino’s arm.
“I know you’re hurting too, because Matsujun can be incredibly dense, prickly and harsh when he’s stressed out and tired, so he probably said plenty of stupid things too. But he’s hurting as much as you are, I think.”
“Did he tell you what happened?” Sho asked, as he opened the packet of clean sutures and tilted Nino’s head sideways, cot lowered to have Nino lie flat, while the overhead lamp was turned on to illuminate the cut better.
“No. But he’s been throwing himself to more work. I rarely see him at home. Sometimes I hear the front door opening at odd hours of the morning, either him returning home or leaving. His juniors have come up to me on campus and asked me to do something about it, but I can’t.” Nino’s voice was a mumble, trying not to interfere as Sho stitched the cut shut. “I wish he would stop, because he’s going to crash. Even a blind man can see it.”
Nino’s laugh was hollow when Sho wiped the cut with iodine and dressed it with multiple butterfly stitches. “I’d give him a week, Sho-chan.”
Sho’s hand froze above the switch of the overhead lamp.
Nino had turned to meet his almost horrified expression with a blank one, although his irises held a concern that only elevated the fear Sho felt for Jun.
But Sho could do nothing, if his fight with Jun was any indication, and was there any point of being in a relationship where your partner would not allow you to help him? A partner who hurt him as well, despite Sho knowing deep down that Jun could not have meant it.
He swallowed the bitterness in his mouth and looked away from Nino as he paged for X-ray.
“Kazu!” Ohno suddenly came barrelling into the tiny area, an expression on his face that Sho had never seen before, despite having known the man for over a decade.
Panic. Desperation. Gratitude. Relief. Love.
Ohno seemed hesitant to touch Nino, fingers trembling as his hand fluttered in the air before Nino, as though afraid that the injured man would break at any contact. However, when Nino looked at Ohno with his wide eyes, face bruised and black stitches on his cheek, and sniffed, Ohno instantly reached out to hug Nino gently, mindful of his hand and the cut on his face, letting Nino hide his face in Ohno’s neck and whispering, “It’s okay. You’re okay. You’re fine. Thank god you’re fine.”
Sho could not bear to look for more than the few seconds needed to ensure that Ohno wasn’t doing anything to jar Nino’s injuries (not that the man could in the first place). The moment was too intimate, and Sho itched to leave to give the couple some personal space, if not for the fact that it was his professional duty to remain there until radiology came down to collect Nino.
Nevertheless, he would not deny how much his chest hurt, just hearing the soft soothing croons of Ohno and Nino’s muffled sniffles, and then hearing the soft apologies of Ohno to Nino, “I’m sorry for not telling you.”
Oh how he yearned to be able to hold Jun like that, to soothe his fears and insecurities, to melt away his stress. Yet here Nino had estimated a week, and how close was Sho to Jun?
So much further away than he wished he could be.
“I want to go home.” Nino softly whined to Ohno for the nth time in the last hour. His left wrist had already been set in a cast, but his cuts itched and the hospital bed was uncomfortable. The only reason why Nino had been semi-quiet about it was because Ohno was next to him and drawing comforting circles into his palm.
“Not until Sho-kun says you can.”
“But I want to go home.”
Ohno silenced Nino’s whine with a short kiss, then rested his head next to Nino’s pillow when they parted. His eyes were soft, but deeply concerned as his fingers hovered over the stitched cut. Nino fidgeted at the motion, and turned his head away from Ohno.
“Stop staring at it. The stitches are black and ugly, and my face is probably swollen and bl-”
NIno was interrupted when he felt callused hands grabbing his jaw and turning it back to face the solemn-looking man.
“I don’t care about that. As long as you’re alright. You scared me. I thought I lost you.”
“Don’t be melodramatic, Ojisan. I was far from dying.”
“Don’t take this lightly, Kazu.” Ohno clutched onto Nino’s uninjured hand, eyes bright with moisture and lip trembling when he continued, “I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you… Especially when the last time we met we fought. I couldn’t...”
Nino’s expression softened when he saw how close Ohno was to crying, and sighed as he wiped the tears away, previous thoughts of wanting to leave the bloody hospital forgotten when he had a crying Ohno to comfort.
It might have Nino over-reacting too, hurt by the fact that Ohno had kept the exhibition from Nino for months. Despite Nino’s complaints of Ohno holding out on him, Nino didn’t really care about the sex (okay, he did, slightly), he wanted to know if Ohno sincerely cared about him given his usually aloof exterior. The fact that Ohno had failed to share with him the details of the exhibition had hurt Nino a lot, leaving a lot of doubt in his mind of why Ohno hadn’t told Nino from the start.
However, deep down, Nino knew that Ohno had no real negative intentions; the man was always like that, lost in his own world but always with so much love to give to Nino and the people around him… When he was not focused on his art.
“Don’t cry. It’s a bad look on you.” Nino awkwardly pulled Ohno closer, forcing him onto the bed with him and allowing Ohno to squeeze Nino (albeit, gently) like Nino was his personal teddy bear.
...Who was Nino kidding, he was Ohno’s personal teddy bear; And he greatly missed his boyfriend’s hug.
“C-can we,” Ohno buried his nose into Nino’s hair, and Nino hoped Sho wouldn’t suddenly walk in. That would be awkward. Nino didn’t care if Sho or Aiba or Jun walked into them making out, but emotional intimacy: that felt wrong to air to outsiders. “Can we never leave a fight to stew for more than a day?”
Nino wrapped his uninjured hand around Ohno’s waist and winced at the mild ache the action brought. “Okay. But you still owe me for not telling me about March. Also, does this mean that we can finally fuck before I graduate, since you won’t be around during graduation?”
At the inquiry, Ohno shifted to press his lips against the side of Nino’s neck, as though in apology, before lightly nibbling the skin under Nino’s ear. Nino shivered at the sensation. That meant yes, Nino guessed.
“Oh for the love of… I left the two of you to rest and make up, not for Leader to jump the patient.” Sho’s disgruntled voice interrupted the pair. Ohno sprung away from Nino instantly, much to Nino’s displeasure. Sho grimaced to himself before looking sternly at the pair, “This is painfully awkward for me to say, but… Strenuous activities until those stitches come off and the bruises go away… Please.”
He looked pointedly at Nino, who had the audacity to respond with a hurt expression, as though asking, ‘What are you looking at me for?’.
Sho cleared his throat. “So…”
“I can go home?”
“What?” Nino whined, pouting at Sho and preening when Ohno reached out to rub his back in consolation. “Why not?”
“Because you’re a walking bruise, and you had your face slammed against the window.”
“J hit his head on the corner of his desk and you discharged him after 4 hours!”
Sho visibly tensed at the mention of Jun’s name, forehead pinching for only a moment before being smoothed; nonetheless, the reaction made Nino feel bad.
“Jun-san wasn’t in a two-car collision, and you need someone with you in the next 24 hours. Last I recall, you informed me that Jun-san wasn’t home most of the time.”
Nino blinked, then looked at Ohno expectantly. “Can I stay over at your place for the next few days? I’ll need someone to feed me.”
He didn’t need to hear an answer to know that the man would agree, especially when Ohno was still clutching onto his hand like a lifeline, as though fearful that Nino would disappear if he let go. Nino was going to be so pampered in the next few days.
Sho looked at the pair, and sighed. “Fine. I’ll go get the discharge papers ready.”
*Karoshi refers to ‘death by overwork’, a common phenomenon in Japan, unfortunately.