Warnings: Sex, swearing, angst. Oh god, is there ever.
Notes: For goldengutgirl. Emo!Aiba, Slutty!Jun and a bit of het. I tried. 4,374 words. Thanks to all my little helpers! Remixed by littlealex beautifully into you're the catalyst (that makes things faster). ♥
Summary: He’s lost count of the number of girls who have crossed the threshold of the apartment he shares with Jun, lost count of the times he’s lain awake listening to the creak of the bed frame, sighs and moans, muffled by walls.
Aiba wonders how he ended up like this. He lies under the covers of his bed, an eye on the fading glow-in-the-dark numbers of his alarm clock, ears straining to pick up the fall of the tumbler as Jun’s key turns in the lock. He listens for the shuffle of feet shedding shoes and the muffled giggles of someone else with him. He’s lost count of the number of girls who have crossed the threshold of the apartment he shares with Jun, lost count of the times he’s lain awake listening to the creak of the bed frame, sighs and moans, muffled by walls. He’s forgotten the time before this became a habit.
The decision to live together had been a mutual one: Jun wanted to justify paying rent when he was hardly ever home and Aiba was quickly growing tired of the hour-long commute from his parent’s house in Chiba. Moving brought him closer to the city, to work and to Jun.
He would be lying to himself if he said he really only started being aware of Jun’s sexual habits after he moved in. He was aware for a long time before then, listening with a well-trained ear to locker room conversations after dance practice or rehearsal. Good natured inquiries from the other members about that cute girl from wardrobe and what ever happened to that one from that photo shoot, she was totally hot for you. Being aware of Jun was like a sixth sense. But it was only after he moved into Jun’s comfortably stylish urban apartment and knowing him for over a decade that he became aware of the details: just how much sex Jun had, when he had it and with whom.
The occasional date, which was normal for all of them, turned into a new face every week and then two and then consistently three girls on a weekly basis. Aiba would never see them for more than ten minutes—usually on their way out of the apartment the next morning. He would know them by their shoes in the genkan—never the same pair twice—and from the muted cries through the wall. They were dull, empty shells of people, like dolls; once they were used, easily tossed into the trash, a new model bought to take her place. It was sickening.
But the sickest part of it all wasn’t the girls. It wasn’t even Jun. Aiba would lie awake in wait for their stealthy movements through the living room and he would listen. He would already be half hard in anticipation of what was to come as the key turned the deadbolt. He knew Jun’s body as intimately as one can without being intimate, so there was little effort put into imagining the ripple and flex of muscle as he thrust into the soft, pliant body beneath him or the look of pure ecstasy on his face as he came, stifling his groans into her shoulder. It was wrong but the release felt so good.
The first time had been accidental. Jun didn’t know Aiba was sleeping at the apartment that night rather than his parent’s shortly after moving in and he did nothing to censor their activities. Aiba woke to a rhythmic, hollow knocking and the murmur of voices. Adrenaline threaded through his veins thinking the worst; his mother had fed him stories about the dangers of living in the centre of Tokyo before he’d left: murderers, thieves, rapists. He clutched the sheets, pulling them up to his chin and listened. The sounds weren’t traveling; they were close. The voices came again, closer, through the wall. He hadn’t heard Jun come home.
He tossed the sheets aside and walked to the kitchen on the pretence of getting water, checking the shadows of the living room for signs of intrusion. The clock said it was early, or late—a matter of perspective. As he crossed the living room, the primal, organic moans permeated the thin wood of Jun's door. She was louder than he was but all Aiba could hear was Jun’s humming, long and deep—the exact same sound as when he ate rich dark chocolate made with seventy-percent cocoa—and his hiss, like he was lowering himself into the scalding water of an onsen.
Aiba fled to his bedroom and that was the very first night he laid awake, leaning against the wall he shared with Jun, listening to every rock of wooden frame, groan of mattress spring, every sigh of sheet. He dug his nails into his thighs, hard as diamonds, fighting the desire to jerk off to the sounds his friend having sex in the next room. He tried to tell himself it was the audible imagery ravaging his senses that was making every spare drop of blood pool in his lap; anyone would be turned on by such a feast for the ears. The gravelly groan from Jun’s throat, so close to Aiba’s ears he must have been leaning against the wall between them, proved to be his Achilles’ heel: he barely had to wrap his fingers around his dick and came hard in his hand and on the sheets, imagining that the hand was Jun’s.
Aiba thinks he is weak and pathetic for pining after his roommate and fantasizing about him while listening through the wall. It’s the stuff straight-to-DVD B-list teen romantic comedies are made of. And yet, he can’t make himself stop. He knows it's passive and childish—it borders on fucking creepy—waiting and wishing that one day, Jun will come home without a girl and knock on his door and confess Masaki, I was thinking of you the whole time.
Aiba is so wrapped up in his own fantasies; he is wondering if Jun has ever experimented with boys because of the ambiguous pair of Converse sneakers that weren’t his by the front door this morning. He doesn’t recognize the bigger problem staring him right in the face. Jun has a lot of sex, with a lot of different people: each one is a new risk.
“You’re his fucking roommate, Masaki. Can’t you say something?”
“What do you want me to say, Sho?”
“How about, ‘what the hell are you doing, Jun?’ for one.”
“I’m not his mother.”
“But don’t you think… Masaki, come on," Sho sighs heavily and looks at him with a resigned look laced with desperation. This is something that has been eating away at him for a while. "Three a week? Every week? It’s not healthy. I know he’s picky but this is getting out of hand, don't you think? What is he looking for anyway?”
“I can’t tell him who to have sex with. He’s an adult; he can make his own decisions.”
“I know. I’m just… what if he isn’t careful?” Sho finishes in a small voice, worry etched into his words and the lines of his face.
What if: two words inert and stable separately, but dangerous when put together and left alone. Every night in his room, cock weeping at the thought of Jun and his imagination, Aiba is constantly plagued by What Ifs. What if Jun knew? What if he found out? What if I told him? What if I showed him? But this What If hits Aiba like a brick, the rough, sharp corner catching him in the sternum over his heart.
For three months, Aiba's What Ifs were concerned with himself, with his actions, reactions and their consequences. Somehow the risks of Jun’s actions had gotten left behind. Sho’s concerns were valid and very real. At best, what if Jun brought home a crazy stalker? At worst, what if he got someone pregnant? What if he caught something? One stupid, drunken, forgetful time is all it takes.
“It hurts to watch him like this. Doesn't it?”
It always had. Aiba would be a liar and a fool to say that it hadn’t. It hurts and he says so, and it also makes him angry. Maybe it’s irrational but Aiba would be the first to admit that he hasn’t been rational for a very long time. Doesn’t Jun see the danger? Doesn’t he see what he’s doing to those who care about him? Doesn’t he see what’s right in front of him?
Jun continues to meet girl after girl, even sees one twice which gives the rest of Arashi – Sho is not the only one concerned – hope that he has found whatever it is he’s searching for, but that hope is soon squashed. After his conversation with Sho, Aiba stews. He longs to see Jun and just being in the other’s presence is enough to face the stress of the day. But at the same time, each moment he gazes upon Jun’s face or hears his voice, he is reminded of Jun’s last encounter, the sounds coming from the bedroom next door, the pain in his chest and the ache in his dick for something he can’t have. With each woman that Jun beds, each frivolous rendezvous, Aiba festers more.
Aiba watches and listens in silence, suffering in his personal prison and doing nothing to free himself of it. He pays closer attention to the girls in the morning, analyzing their backs and their shoes, trying to find a pattern but there doesn’t seem to be one. Aiba sits at the kitchen table cradling a cup of coffee in his hands and watches Jun’s guests leave, and he is reminded of Sho’s words. One time is all it takes. He thinks maybe he should enquire into Jun’s sexual health—when was the last time he got tested?—and play the “concerned sempai” card. Each morning he sits at the table and waits for her to leave so he can question Jun and make sure he is playing safe but the words die on his tongue watching Jun fix his own coffee. He is afraid that Jun will see straight through his ruse and then where will he be?
Aiba always forgets how observant Jun is.
“Masaki, what’s wrong with you?”
Aiba feels a black whole open where his stomach used to be, a vacuum inhaling him from the inside, turning his mouth into the Gobi.
“You’re such a liar. Don’t think I haven’t noticed how you sit at the table like you’re waiting for something and watch me putter around the kitchen every day. We do live together. What is the problem?”
Say it. Ask him. You’re just a concerned friend, that’s all. “Nothing!”
He knows he should ask, for everyone’s sake, to get the concerns out on the table but he doesn’t think he really wants to know. It would be empirical proof as to just how much Jun doesn’t sleep with him.
Jun stares at Aiba with a Look and sighs heavily. “Fine. Whatever. I don’t have time for this; I have to go to work.” He grabs his mug and retreats to his room leaving Aiba sitting at the table, staring at the crack in the rim of his cup.
Aiba perches on the window seat, watching the dark, urban wasteland outside, his back to the party. The weather is fine but bitingly cold, even for December. The windows of the ballroom have frost collecting on the sills, fine patterns crackling on the frozen glass. The streets are empty, the sun long since set; it is too harsh for anyone to be out on a night like this. This kind of atmosphere suits his mood better than the happy intoxicated swing of things behind him. He tries to lose himself in the flicker and blink of the storefronts on the ground below, showcasing Christmas wares with a kind of tasteful gaudiness. He feels just a little better about himself when he sees a woman cross the street at the light, alone, with her hand clutching the collar of her auburn pea coat closed as her skirt whips around her legs.
As cold and desolate as it looks outside, the rented ballroom is bright and jovial, with plenty of alcohol to warm the body from the inside. The round room is decorated with light touches of silver tinsel and glittering baubles hang from the ceiling. It’s filled with people from his agency and other related avenues: editors, publishers, photographers, directors, producers. The sprung dance floor in the centre is crowded with people moving to the remixed holiday R&B music.
Listening to Jun moan and grunt as his lady of the night sucks him off, imagining him gripping slim hips and stroking soft skin, hearing her cry out as he thrusts into her and gets the angle perfect is one thing; seeing Jun move on the dance floor in a way that is much more like fucking than anything else is quite another.
It is painfully obscene but no one else seems to be paying attention because they are all well on their way to thoroughly drunk, or already there. Aiba watches Jun hold her firmly by the waist, his palm skating over her satin-covered ass, fingers brushing the skin just beyond her too-short skirt. She has her hands on his shoulders and her shiny lips are by his ear but it’s too loud to tell if she’s whispering or panting. Her silver-sandaled feet straddle one of his and he leans into her, raising his knee and bending her backwards; Aiba can’t see from this angle but from the way she clutches the fabric of his shirt he’s grinding her hard onto his thigh and couldn’t give a flying fuck if anyone was around to witness it.
It’s like watching a train wreck or a beached whale. It’s intriguing in its melancholy, disturbing and yet fascinating. He’s turned away from the activity of the party so he can watch Jun’s reflection in the glass of the window and give himself time to tame the hard-on he’s starting to sport should anyone want to talk to him. It’s more than he thought he’d ever get to see. But he doesn’t even know her and, probably, neither does Jun. It doesn’t look like they have any intention of stopping. Aiba turns and sees Sho across the room, watching the spectacle on the dance floor. He looks ashamed.
Shame. Apparently Jun has none because he’s this close to losing his hand up her dress and tugging down her thong. On the middle of the dance floor. To Christmas music. In a room full of friends, coworkers, bosses, family. That alone should be enough to make Aiba’s blood simmer and want to give Jun a swift punch in the head because when it comes to scandals and Johnny’s and sex, the populace doesn’t see the individual. If one person slips up, they all take the fall. But that isn’t what is making him angry right now: what makes him turn away from the window and cross the room towards Jun is the fact that he knows it will all be for nothing because she will be gone in the morning.
“Jun, stop this.” Aiba’s voice is quiet, low, sharp.
“What? What’s your problem?”
“Her! Them! All of them!” He gestures wide, ignoring the disgusted look on her face as he talks about her like she didn’t exist.
“What? You don’t even know her.” Jun let’s her go and turns to face Aiba, talking like they were the only two in the room.
“Neither do you! That’s the problem!”
“Why? What’s wrong with me getting with a girl?” Aiba grabs Jun’s wrist and drags him into the hall, leaving the indignant girl and the party behind.
“But it’s not just a girl. It’s not even a few girls. It’s three a week.”
“So? You’re counting?”
“Why!?” Aiba’s voice cracks, his cheeks flush.
“Why?” Jun repeats angrily. “What does it matter to you how many women I fuck every week?”
“Because! Because I’m the idiot who’s in love with you and has to fucking watch.”
Jun does nothing but stand and blink.
Oh shit. He wasn’t supposed to say that. Love? Did he just say love? Shit, shit, shit.
“…You’re in love with me?”
“Yes! No! I don’t know. I just… I care about you. We all do.”
“No. Don’t. Don’t make this about Arashi.”
Aiba stands in the hall, wishing like he’s never wished for anything before that he could take it all back. Or for a natural disaster to rock the country instantaneously—typhoons could hit in December, couldn’t they?—so he could be not having this conversation. But Jun just stands there, with his arms folded across his black button-down shirt, waiting for an answer and Aiba knows that he won’t be able to escape this hell until he’s given one. He takes a deep breath and plunges on. It really can’t get any worse.
“It should be me.”
Aiba locks the door behind them and tosses his keys into the bowl on top of the shoe cabinet. He leans against the door and watches Jun’s silhouette turn on a lamp and flop onto the couch in the living room, covering his face with his hands.
“I feel dizzy,” he says, voice muffled by his palms.
“I’ll get you some water.”
“It’s not from the alcohol.” He uncovers his face and traces his lips with the tips of his fingers where Aiba had kissed him, pushed against the wall outside the ballroom.
It was small on the scale of kissing – full contact and just the hint of the plush inside of Jun’s bottom lip, but chaste and short. Jun was caught off guard, falling into the wall as Aiba kissed him. The collision knocked him into his senses enough to gently push Aiba back with both hands spread against his chest. They stood in the hallway for a long time like that, each drowning in their own internal monologues until Jun broke the silence and said, “Let’s go home.”
The platform at Meiji-jingu-mae station was a warm respite from the cold and the Fukutoshin line was relatively empty, considering it was the last train into the suburbs on a weekend night. They sat next to each other in the last car, sharing nothing but awkward silence. Aiba kept glancing at Jun sidelong for most of the ride, replaying the confrontation and his slip-up in his mind, trying to think of a way to fix the situation that was clearly beyond repair. Jun didn’t say anything or give any indication of what was going through his mind for the entire trip, leaving Aiba to conjure wild scenarios involving therapy, drinking and lots of valium though he wasn’t exactly sure who for.
“How long, Masaki?” Aiba toes off his shoes and shuffles into the living room. Now that they are home, there is no where to hide. He stalls—the fact that this is the first time they are both home at the same time—alone—is not lost on him.
“How long have you been in love with me?”
Aiba sits on the opposite end of the couch and pulls his knees to his chin. “I can’t remember. It’s been so long… It’s almost like I’ve always had this feeling.”
“Long before you moved in.”
It isn’t really a question but Aiba answers anyway, “Yes.”
Silence joins them again, like a third person that’s followed them home from the party. Jun massages his temples.
“I didn’t mean to tell you. I know that it’s never going to happen—but I just—watching you with her and all the rest of them—I just don’t understand. I don’t see what they have that I don’t, aside from anatomy.”
Jun takes a deep breath and holds it before scrubbing his face with his hands. He pauses to lick his lips and says, “They don’t have anything on you. If any of them were half the person you are, I would have kept them around. None of them were good enough.”
“You were looking to replace me?” He means it half-jokingly but it comes out serious, making Jun turn to face him.
“Not replace; I would probably work myself to an early grave if you weren’t around to keep me balanced. Just… substitute. Only I didn’t realize it until tonight. I didn’t know what I was looking for but I knew that none of them had it. None of those girls entertained me, or comforted me, or made me feel the way you do. Realizing that scares me.”
Aiba lifts his chin off his knees and bites his lip. “Then why substitute when you can have the real thing?”
“I don’t think I can—and no, it’s not about being gay. I’ve probably been with more guys than you have; in fact, I think I’m ready for a little change of pace after all the girls I’ve been with. That isn’t what bothers me.”
“Then what is it?” Aiba’s voice quivers without meaning to. He wonders why Jun couldn’t have shot him down outside the party instead of drawing it out until they got home. At least that way, Aiba could have drunk himself into oblivion in an effort to forget that this entire fiasco ever happened, crying on Sho’s shoulder.
Jun slides across the couch until he can see where the brown in Aiba’s hair has started to grow out. “You feel like home to me. And you probably did before you moved in but I didn’t know it. If we started something, what is that going to do to us? Is it enough that you would risk everything for more? I’m afraid to imagine what my life would be like without you in it. What if it doesn’t work out?”
Jun is close, too close, looking at him with concern and worry plain in his eyes. This isn’t a rejection. Aiba tells himself he needs to remember to breathe. He reaches out a hand and brushes his fingertips across Jun’s cheek and down his jaw. His skin feels warm and his hair soft where it tickles his knuckles.
“But what if it does?”
Aiba unfolds his legs, one foot rests on the floor while the other leg leans across Jun’s lap. His fingers learn the strong lines of Jun’s face slowly, cautiously, afraid that if he goes too fast, Jun will change his mind and stop letting Aiba touch him so. He traces the outline of Jun’s lips before he kisses Jun for the second time that night. This time, it’s gentle and delicate rather than forced upon and a little desperate. This time, Jun responds.
There’s that plush inside again, sweet and inviting; Aiba slides both hands into Jun’s hair and keeps him still while he explores the pockets of his mouth. There’s a leftover tang on Jun’s tongue left over from his chardonnay and the inside point of his right bicuspid is sharper than the other. His lips are as soft as they look, pulling and playing with a hint of a smile.
Jun places one hand on Aiba’s knee and the other on his waist, but they neither pull nor push. Aiba halts his exploration and takes Jun’s face in both hands.
“Do you trust me?”
Jun doesn’t hesitate to answer, “Yes.”
Aiba pulls Jun off the couch, walking backwards towards his bedroom, leading Jun by the hand and the hem of his shirt. In the darkness of his room, they learn each other anew, their sighs and moans mingling in the same room for the first time. Aiba presses Jun onto the mattress of his bed, taking his time to chart each freckle and mole, mapping the constellations dotted on his pale skin. And then he reaches the light smattering of hair that leads to Jun’s cock, erect and waiting. He halts, rests his forehead against Jun’s stomach and takes a deep breath.
“What is it?” Jun asks in a gentle whisper.
“Can I trust you?”
Jun cups the back of Aiba’s head lightly, “You know you can.”
Aiba looks up and finds Jun’s gaze in the dark, anxiety clear in his voice, “Were you always careful?”
Jun pulls him up, taking the lead away from Aiba momentarily to kiss him with calm fierceness. “Yes. Always. I’m sorry I ever made you worry,” and that’s all Aiba needs to hear.
He’s imagined what it would be like to have Jun in his mouth, hard and heavy against his tongue, hands clutching at the sheets and his hair. But he never imagined it would be like this: it’s a religious experience. Aiba is reverent in the way he wraps his lips around Jun and takes long, languid licks from root to tip. Jun is worshipful in the way he threads his fingers through Aiba’s hair and sweeps his fringe off his forehead. When Jun cries out and tells him to stop—wait, don’t let me—not yet—panting hard, Aiba feels humbled so he kisses the inside of Jun’s thigh.
When Aiba thrusts forward, slipping into Jun slicked with sweat and silicone, he has a revelation: coming into his own fist, hearing Jun moan through the wall between them is nothing compared to being buried deep, having Jun all around him, hugging him tightly with his knees, urging Aiba to go faster; the gravelly groaning directly in his ears throws him over the edge just like every single time before. But this time Jun is coming with him, not just at the same time.
Aiba’s orgasm hits like a tidal wave, slowly encroaching with gathering speed, all efforts to stop it futile. He comes so hard it almost hurts, sensations magnified by the emotional rollercoaster of the last twelve hours, groaning into Jun’s chest. He’s more sensitive than he’s ever been; he stays wrapped in Jun for much longer than he has with anyone, unable to move or let go, shuddering each time Jun’s soft caresses travel up his spine. He stays there even after he’s regained the feeling in his dick because Jun doesn’t seem to mind, taking all he can get just in case it was all some kind of cruel joke. Except that when he finally raises his face from Jun’s neck and sees the indescribably sated look there on his face, he knows it isn’t.