Title: Arrhythmia (You make my heart flutter) (Part 4)
Pairing: Sakumoto(main), Ohmiya(side)
Rating: PG-13 (up to NC17, eventually.)
Summary:Sho (29) is a doctor clearing his postgrad training in a university hospital and doing his A&E term; Jun (23) is a final year design major. After a forced visit to the hospital, things happen. (Also, I suck at summaries. Go figure. LOL)
Notes:This chapter is in Sho's POV. The chapter is longer, because *someone* said they needed, and I quote, 'moooooore'.
“Welcome to Freestyl… Oh.”
“I’m looking for Ohno Sens-,” Sho looked up from putting on his watch, and nearly dropped the letter invitation for the reunion in his hand when he realized who he was addressing, and what said who looked like. Sho’s brain froze a little as he took in the sight of Matsumoto Jun, aka stubborn-patient-who-was-also-very-
Sho wants. Oh he definitely, thoroughly, wants. Those glasses Jun was wearing – they only accentuated Jun’s eyes, which were already so large and framed them perfectly…
Sho jerked from his thoughts, realizing he had had been staring blanking at Jun for too long without saying anything. “Uh… pardon? Sorry, Jun-san, I didn’t catch that.”
Jun looked distinctively abashed about something, shaking his head rapidly at the question. “Nothing, just a slip of the tongue. If you’re looking for Ohno-sensei, he’s in the backroom changing. I could check on him and tell him you’re here, if you like.”
Sho hurriedly shook his hand – he rather took the opportunity to talk to Jun. “It’s alright. I don’t mind waiting. How are you? You look a bit better from when I saw you… what, five days ago? I met your roommate, Nino-san at night, he said you were out like a light.” His eyes naturally flickered up to Jun’s forehead, where the butterfly bandages had been replaced with a smaller bandage.
“I’m feeling much better, Sakurai-sensei. Thank you for your help. Nino mentioned that he met you, yes.” Jun was a light pink, and Sho couldn’t help but smile at the sight.
“Please call me Sho. You’re not my patient anymore, Jun-san, and I rather you don’t have to be one ever again.” Sho looked around the art gallery, before looking back at Jun with a curious look, “I’ve never actually been in Leader’s gallery before…”
“Leader?” Jun’s voice was tinged amusement, and Sho couldn’t help but grin at the disbelief colouring Jun’s tone.
“We – me and Aiba-kun, used to call him Leader when we were in high school. It was just a gag, because we were put together for a group project and he lost to a game of janken to become leader.”
Jun snorted at that, before walking further into the gallery, where there was a bench. “Ohno-sensei will probably take a while – he was painting just now, so he’s probably trying to get the paint off his face and hands.” Jun gestured to the seat, “won’t you take a seat?”
Accepting the proffered seat, Sho patted the space next to him in invitation for Jun to join him. At the sight of Jun’s hesitation, Sho added, “I promise I’ll defend you if Leader thinks you’re slacking on the job. Scout’s honour.”
“You were never a scout.” Jun guessed with narrowed eyes, but took a seat anyway – Ohno was the last person to ever accuse a student of slacking off, moreover Jun, a workaholic if Sho had ever seen one (although it be fairly hypocritical if Sho said he wasn’t as bad).
“Guilty. But I would.”
Jun rolled his eyes at the response; sighing, Jun gestured at the displays around them. “You’ve never been in here, you said? Any of the pieces here interest you? I might as well do my job properly if you’re here waiting…”
Sho looked around, recognizing some of the pieces from long time ago, from years back when Ohno was still working in a studio most of the time and had yet to open his own gallery. “I recognize some of them, actually, but what I’d be interested in…I suppose, are any of the pieces here yours, Jun-san?”
Jun blinked at the question, seemingly taken aback at the request. “Well… no, I’m not as good as Ohno-sensei, Sho-san, so naturally, they wouldn’t be put up here.”
“I want to see them.” Sho pressed, but then faltered when he realized that it might be a rude request. “I mean, well, if you don’t mind. I’ve seen Leader’s works often enough, but I’ve only ever seen that sketch you made in the A&E, and I want to see more of what you do, actually.”
“Oh… well, none of them are really that good,” Jun looked up at the rainbow clock on the wall, hand-painted by the Ohno himself, and frowned. “I have them here with me in my laptop, but I think there isn’t any time for that.” Jun shot Sho a small smile, pushing his glasses up with a light blush colouring his face. “It’s really not that good, so you aren’t missing anything.”
“What’s not that good?” A third voice interrupted them, as Ohno joined in the conversation, having changed into a long-sleeved light blue collared shirt and vest. Jun made a satisfied hum as he gave his academic advisor a cursory glance, and Sho felt something in his chest shrivel – Jun hadn’t given him that response. Sho mentally reminded himself to not pout, attributing it to their still new acquaintance, but… “Oh, Sho-kun. You look good – doesn’t he, Jun-kun?”
“He does. Far better than you, Ohno-sensei.” Jun crossed his arms and tsked.
Sho hoped that he wasn’t visibly preening at the compliment.
“But it’s a large improvement from your Pikachu T-shirt, so I’ll give you a B.” Jun placated. The pout deepened.
“I’m your sensei – why do I get a B? What does Sho-kun get?”
Sho chuckled at their exchange, but froze at the question. “Yes, what do I get?”
Jun bit his lip to repress a secretive smile, before promptly giving a clipped “A-.” as an answer. Ohno groaned as Sho cheered at the higher grade.
“Don’t do this, Jun-kun. Sho-kun’s never gotten anything beneath an A- during high school. You’re just feeding his ego.”
“My ego can be fed occasionally, thank you very much.” Sho defended, smiling at the grin their banter earns from Jun. “We’re also going to be late, Leader, if we don’t go in… five minutes.” Turning to Jun, Sho briskly took out his business card and pen, scribbling quickly on the back of it before handing it over to Jun. “I gave Nino-san my personal number when I met him, but here. We didn’t have any time today, but I’d really like to see your works, Jun-san, if you’d let me.”
Jun accepted the card with both hands. “It’s really not that good, Sho-san…”
“That’s a good idea, Jun. You should let him see it.” Ohno interjected. “You always ask me for feedback, but sometimes a fresh pair of eyes are a lot better than mine. And don’t put yourself down, your designs are excellent.”
Jun ducked his head at the words. Sho cleared his throat to earn Jun’s attention, and smiled gently. “Since Leader says so… why not, you text me, and maybe one day we’ll meet and you can show me your works. I really want to see it. I promise to give honest feedback. Scout’s honour.”
Thinking about it, the small smile the joke earned very much made Sho’s evening. Especially when Ohno and he were walking back to Sho’s car, and the art professor shot Sho a confused look. “You were never a scout, Sho-kun, weren’t you?”
Sho didn’t receive the text, to his unfortunate sorrow, in the next week. Instead, Sho found himself moping to Aiba during their Tuesday lunches together in the hospital cafeteria, Sho nursing a cup of coffee in his hand while Aiba is busy slurping through his home-made mapo-tofu ramen.
“He hasn't texted me yet.” Sho’s eyes were glued to the darkened screen of his phone. While he admits that there was no real reason or incentive for Jun to message him, or continue their acquaintance, Sho wanted to know more about him. Forget the man’s worrying workaholic tendencies (which Sho was still concerned with but simply watching - Ohno knows the signs as well as he does), Jun was an enigma to Sho, and Sho wanted to know more.
For one, for someone who appeared very confident and self-assured - for good reason, clearly, he was gorgeous, and don't get Sho started on the glasses - Sho noticed Jun seemed to have very little confidence in his own work. Even when Sho was in university, he had some confidence in his work, just that he didn't know how to stop. Not until Aiba and Ohno intervened, of course.
“Sho-chan. Hey, Shooooooo-chan. Sakurai. Sakurai sens- whoops.”
Sho jerked. Aiba had begun waving his used chopsticks in front of Sho's face to get his attention, but the chopsticks had slipped slightly to tap between Sho’s eyes.
“Aiba-chan!” Sho complained as he wiped the remnants of ramen soup from his forehead with a handkerchief. “That's unsanitary. What were you trying to do?”
Aiba shot him an apologetic grin, “Sorry, Sho-chan. You were pretty distracted. Very out of character.” He leaned in forward and gestured Sho closer, eyes twinkling with an expression Sho is very familiar with, as well as is afraid of. Sho let out a resigned sigh, braced himself something very Aiba to say, and leaned forward. Aiba cupped a hand over the side of his mouth and whispered, “is it guy trouble?”
Sho couldn't help but roll his eyes - honestly, he didn't make it a big deal to hide his sexuality from the rest of the department or staff, but he didn't announce it either, so really, only Aiba and a select group of his colleagues - the ones he was close with since medical school - knew he was gay. Aiba, however, found it extremely funny to see female nurses try to flirt with him, so he wanted as little people to know that Sho’s into men.
“Is it?” Aiba grinned. “You've been staring at your phone blankly and sighing and saying that 'he’ didn't text so…” he ticked off his fingers as he listed out Sho's actions. “Who is this mystery guy and is he hot?”
“Aiba-chan! Don't analyze me.”
Aiba raised his hands in a sign of sheepish surrender. “It's not an analysis if you're making it too obvious, Sho-chan. I think this half of the cafeteria are already aware that you're love sick, judging by all the disappointed looks of the female staff.”
Sho nearly spit out the coffee in his mouth at that statement, barely resisting the urge to look around to verify if what Aiba said was the truth. He felt his ears burn with slight embarrassment, to which Aiba caught instantly, of course.
Joys of being friends with a shrink. Oh what love.
“You're turning red! So, who is it? Is he hot? Do you have a picture? Can I see? Is he good in bed? Does he know you're awful in the kitchen?”
“Shhhhh.” Sho hissed furiously; his cheeks were definitely feeling very warm by now. “Someone, yes, no, therefore no, I wouldn't know and I wouldn't tell!”
“Is the ‘I wouldn't know and I wouldn't tell’ directed to 'Is he good in bed’ only or 'Is he good in bed’ and 'Does he know you're awful in kitchen’?”
Sho glared, and Aiba laughed. “I’m kidding, Sho-chan. At least tell me his name. You know his name right? This isn't you being a secret admirer and stalking him while he doesn't know your existence, which is why he isn't texting yo-”
“Of course not!”
“Then nameeeeee.” Aiba rested his head in his hands and widened his eyes. Sho faltered. He could never deny Aiba anything once he used those puppy eyes. He can't - he learnt it within the first year of them being friends in school, and then, Ohno learnt it, and Sho was fucked from then on. Sort of like now. Inhaling noisily in resign, Sho took a swig of his coffee, swallowed, then mumbled “Matsumoto Jun.”
“Atsumoto Un? That's a strange name, Sho-chan.”
“Matsumoto Jun.” Sho repeated.
“Eh? Matsumoto Jun like Matsumoto Jun, my three’o’clock appointment on next monday, Matsumoto Jun?”
Sho blinked, and had to fight the sudden influx of jealousy and sadness that his friends were seeing Jun more often than he was. Granted, he was the one who suggested to Ohno to direct Jun to Aiba, but still… “So basically he's meeting you and Leader always sees him, but he's not texting me.” Sho hoped that he wasn't pouting.
Aiba patted his shoulder in a consolatory gesture. “If it's any consolation, he was forced to do it. Apparently, his schedule was packed. So Leader just told him to take the slot where MatsuJun’s supposed to meet with him and meet with me instead. He sounds so busy.” His expression turned serious. “So, what am I looking for? You were the one to unofficially refer him to me, and you wouldn't do that unless you're very concerned so, what's happening?”
Sho always found this side of Aiba slightly terrifying: when his happy go lucky demeanor melts into serious Aiba, one that reminds Sho that there was a reason why Aiba graduated as one of the top students in his year, under his specialization of youth and adolescence clinical psychology. Strangely enough, he chose to stay and clear his clinical training at Keio, as well as volunteer with the Student Commons as a counselor, although Sho suspected he had something to do with it. He doesn't remember it as well as Aiba probably does, given that Aiba was his roommate throughout their university years, but Sho always felt guilty that he scared Aiba that year. Even when Aiba denies it, Sho knows.
He sighed. “I met him in the A&E. He had a head injury - just a large cut, but you know how tricky they are - from passing out in his room. Roommate had to drag him here, he tried to storm out, promptly passes out, apparently hadn't eaten all day because he was very busy. To sum it up…”
“He’s like you. Or what you were.” Aiba completed his sentence.
“Might be even more stubborn, I'm afraid.” Sho ran his palm down his face in frustration. “I've seen a sketch he produced in the three hours I had him at triage, it's amazing, and he just crumples it up and says it's not good enough. He has so much potential and drive, but I'm just concerned that if he pushes himself too much and no one intervenes, he's going to break.” sho shuddered at the thought of someone as bright as Jun shrinking from pressure. It's not that he had no faith in Jun, whatsoever, but Sho knew how easily one could get swept away in dreams and aspirations and then end up breaking from the pressure.
Aiba remained silent for a moment, eyes almost piercing into Sho… and then he relaxed. “Okay. I'll do my best. Sounds stubborn. Is he close to his roommate?”
Sho shrugged. “Seemed like it. Hey, did you know that Leader calls his roommate by his first name?” He grinned. “Seems like he's been keeping secrets from us.”
“What? Leader? How coincidental then, you can use that to your advantage to get closer to that dear patient of yours.” Aiba commented a little too loudly, and Sho found himself hurriedly shushing the giggling psychologist.
“Shhhhhhh. He's not my patient anymore! Shut up!” Sho wondered if telling Aiba was the best idea - now he'd never stop teasing Sho.
Sho had no idea why he was here - standing in front of Ohno’s art gallery, again, for the second Saturday in a row. Although this time, he had nothing scheduled afterwards. He should have waited for a text from Jun, something to give him the green light that Jun was okay with them meeting again, that he didn’t mind them being friends, but instead, no, here Sho was, armed with nothing but the excuse of wanting to see Jun again.
Aiba was going to tease him mercilessly, again, when he found out. Especially with Sho acting like a thirteen year old, impatient to see his crush again. But Sho wanted to know more about Jun, and waiting like a helpless puppy for his owner to call or text him was not going to make that happen. No.
Steeling his nerves, Sho pushed the door open to Freestyle and stepped in, wincing at the chiming bells signalling his entrance. To his surprise, he was not greeted upon his entry, the door closing behind him into what it appeared to be an empty gallery.
“Hello?” Sho spoke out into the quiet room. Upon receiving no response, he turned back to check the sign by the door - it did say the gallery was open…
Suddenly overcome with worry that something had happened to Jun or Ohno, Sho briskly walked around the gallery. Upon finding no one, Sho frowned and headed over to the backroom, where he had seen Jun point to. The door was closed, but was unlocked when Sho twisted the knob. “Hello? Is everything ok…..ay?”
He stopped in his tracks, blushing instantly at the sight of Nino, straddling Ohno on a chair and very much wrecking - pleasurable, Sho was going to guess - havoc on Ohno’s neck. Sho blushed.
It certainly explained why there was no response whatsoever. They were both clearly very occupied. Sho considered backing out slowly and pretending he wasn’t even by.
“Sensei! Nino! What do you think you’re doing?” Jun’s voice came from behind Sho, causing the doctor to nearly jump from shock. The two lovebirds seemed fairly unsurprised by the commotion, Ohno only looking just slightly embarrassed from being caught, while Nino held the face of a cat who had gotten the cream.
Cream. Perhaps it would have been better if Sho hadn't used that metaphor. Not when he was talking about his old friend.
Sho shifted slightly to look wide-eyed between Jun, cradling a box in his arms, and the pair, catching the apologetic glance Jun threw at him. “I'm sorry you had to see that, Sho-san. I have no idea what these two were thinking,” he glared at the pair, “when they decided to leave the gallery unattended.”
“It's, um, okay. I'm sorry to disturb…?” Sho hoped his face wasn't as red as it felt.
Jun harrumphed and looked flatly at the pair. “You weren't disturbing. These two simply can't keep their hands off of each other, apparently. I thought I could rely on Ohno-Sensei to man his own gallery,” Ohno shrank just a bit, hiding his face behind Nino, “while I went out to get his boyfriend his birthday cake, but clearly, I couldn't.”
“Aw now, Jun-pon, no need to get so tetchy because I'm getting some-” Nino teased, standing up and pulling Ohno up with him.
“According to your whining, you aren't getting any until graduation, so don't call me tetchy.”
“Shhhhh!” Nino pouted. Sho couldn't help but laugh at what was unfolding in front of him. Well, at least Ohno wasn't violating any student-professor rules...Sho hoped. “It's my birthday, don't be mean.”
“Your birthday was last week. We're only celebrating it now because you've finally decided that you wanted cake.” Jun replied flatly, putting down a medium sized cake box on the only clean desk available in the room; the rest either held paintings, uncompleted sculptures, paints or art tools. Jun shot Sho a small smile at the end. “I'm sorry for the mess, Sho-san. But you know, backroom of an art gallery…”
“I understand. I visited Leader's apartment frequently enough during University.” Sho could easily see why Jun and Nino could leave together, especially with Jun taking no shit whatsoever from his roommate, and vice versa. “I assumed it’s in the nature of artists.”
This time it was Nino who interrupted. “You’d think so until you’ve seen Jun-pon’s work area. He doesn’t even let me enter within five feet of the area before threatening to stake me with a pencil.” Nino smirked, ignoring Jun’s slapping hands to swipe some icing off the small cake onto his finger. With an almost predatorial look in his eyes, Nino turned to face Ohno and sucked his finger hard, and being gay himself, Sho knew what was the intention of that action.
Ohno’s face remained its blank sleepy state, and Nino pouted, whilst Jun chuckled at his disappointment, slicing the cake into quarters with near-accurate precision. “Stop pouting and eat your cake.” Jun had placed the cake slices onto separate tissues and handing one slice to Sho, surprising the doctor. “Cake?”
Sho would never say no to cake. His face lighted up instantly as he accepted the cake with thanks to Jun (“Why is he thanking you for cake when it’s my birthday cake?” “I bought it, therefore, I get to decide to gets it. You both probably traumatized him enough with the lip-locking.”) His excitement increased when he realized it's not just any cake, but a strawberry shortcake with cheesecake at the base.
Before Sho could take a bite of his slice, Jun firmly guided him out of the room with a hand on his elbow. “You do not want to be there when they start. Ohno-sensei had been away for the past three days to guest lecture in Kyoto, and Nino has been antsy all week.” Sho simply nodded, reclaiming the seat on the same bench with Jun, and eyeing the cake slice with barely concealed glee.
Sho hadn’t had dessert in a while - he had no idea why, to be honest, but cake…
Sho took a small bite - he was going to savour this slice, and then he was going to buy himself another slice for dessert - and moaned at the taste. The strawberry and the cream… the sponge and then the melt-in-his-mouth-cheesecake; Sho is in heaven.
A snort and laugh from next to him reminded Sho that he had company. Sho felt the tips of his ears warm as he gave the amused Jun a sheepish look, his own slice untouched and still held in his hand, although Jun himself had a soft blush to his cheeks, one that made Sho tempted to touch.
No, bad Sho.
“Sorry.” Sho cleared his throat, “It’s good, and I really like cake. And cheesecake.” He tried to maintain some decorum as Jun watched him take a bigger bite of the cake, but was unable to help himself as the flavour exploded in his mouth and he let out a pleased sigh.
“You must really like your cake.” Jun commented, finally taking a bite out of his own slice. “You’re right, it is good.”
“Isn’t it?” Sho finished the last third of the cake by shoving it straight into his mouth - rather unflatteringly, in retrospect, but Jun seemed only amused when Sho turned to face him with his cheeks still full of cake, Jun’s bottom lip worried between his teeth in what seemed to be him trying to repress his laughter. Sho’s eyes were immediately glued to the beauty mark that was revealed by the action, and it took a lot of will power for him to drag his eyes back up to Jun’s eyes...
...Which were equally gorgeous and framed by those glasses.
Sho hoped that he wasn’t visibly drooling. That would be extremely unflattering, even if he could attribute it to the cake.
“You have some cream on your face.” Jun chuckled. “On your left.”
Sho automatically reached out with his tongue on the left to find said stray cream, but found nothing. Then he reached for the right.
“Stop, here.” Jun grabbed the dirtied tissue and folded it to find a clean corner with a hand, reaching forward to wipe at the said spot, which was fairly high on Sho’s left cheek. The doctor blushed at the contact, ducking his head slightly in thanks. “You really liked the cake, didn’t you? Wanted to save just a bit of cream left for afterwards?” Jun teased.
“I would have, perhaps, if you hadn’t wipe it off.” He fake-pouted, and watched as Jun’s grin broadened, taking a deliberate big bite of his own cake.
“Such a shame then. I’m not sorry.” The two shared a smile and sat in comfortable silence while Jun finished off his slice. “Well, actually, I’m sorry about not texting you, as promised. I have been busy with my last fashion design module, settling the design and getting supplies and my model just came down with pneumonia, so I’ve had to find someone as a replacement model and redo the design.”
Sho frowned, no wonder Jun looked so tired. “Can’t you just adjust the sizing of the current design for whoever your replacement model is?”
Jun shook his head. “I can’t do that. A great deal of the assessment grade is based on concept, and I don’t believe in force-fitting a concept image onto someone. It won’t take too long but only if I can find a model soon.”
“Nino-san?” Sho suggested. Jun raised his eyebrows at the suggestion.
“Nino’s about the biggest social recluse (hikikomori) you’ll ever meet. I’ll have to bribe him if I even want him to put down his Nintendo 3DS for five minutes to take body measurements, moreover hours for him to wear the design for me to tailor it, not to mention...he is my photographer.”
“Well, that is certainly a predicament.”
Jun sighed, tiredly rubbing his eyes. “And to think I had gotten all the red fabric as well. It’s a really hard colour to pair with any random person.”
“How about me?”