[Arashi] J

Mar. 12th, 2016 05:17 pm
neko_kirin3104: (mame_chuu)
[personal profile] neko_kirin3104
Title: J
Pairs: Nino/Sho (main) + Nino/Jun + Ohno/Jun
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Their love story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. When fledgling screenwriter, Kazunari Ninomiya, tries holding on to a man he’s already lost, he ends up losing his heart to the one he can never bear losing.
Word count: 5865 (+1464)
A/N: written for [livejournal.com profile] radhaj for [livejournal.com profile] su_i_ka's Sakumiya Valentine Exchange. Inspired by these | songs.















Love—

One simple word. Four strong letters.

A hundred and one stupid ways to screw it up.

So why do we even bother?







junkie, noun
a person with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on something.






Junkie by Kazunari Ninomiya












“Hey, are you okay?”

Kazunari Ninomiya blinks as fragmented pieces of the desolate earth he has just been building inside his head falls away from his mind’s eye, revealing in its wake the hustling and bustling reality of his own life. He steals a glance at the rearview mirror, inwardly cursing the half a dozen cars honking their horns at him, and already detesting their very existence. He rubs his palms to his face and grunts, vowing yet again to strangle his friend J when all of this is over.

“Would you like some recommendations?” the voice on the drive-through machine says, as bright and chirpy as its automated counterpart in Nino’s speculative screenplay.

The third one following two harsh rejections from the fussiest movie producer in the entire known universe.

He sticks his hand out through the window and waves to let the potential road rage delinquents behind him know that he won’t be long.

“As you can see from our menu board, we have a variety of burger meal combinations you can try. We have cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, um, tofu burgers for the health conscious—”

“Uh, actually...” Nino pulls his glove compartment open and digs into the clutter of papers, pens and what-nots inside. If it were up to him, he could stay here all day and just listen to that voice rumble on and on about tofu burgers and wasabi fries, and life, the universe, and everything. “I have a coupon.”

“Oh! As expected from Coupon Guy!”

Nino’s heart misses a beat as he snaps his attention back to the machine. “Excuse me?”

“Oh, god!” the voice sputters. “That did just slip out, didn’t it? I swear I didn’t mean anything bad by it—”

“You gave me a nickname?”

“I’m sorry—”

“You should be,” Nino says, fiddling with the coupon in his hand. The one he’s almost had to break his roommate’s neck for and for what? A 50% discount on tofu burger and that lousy nickname? A small smile starts playing on Nino’s lips as he teases back, “Drive-Through Guy.”

Not even the impatient honking behind him could’ve drowned out the pleasant fluttering in his chest when he hears Drive-Through Guy’s snorty snickers for the first time.







J, noun
evil incarnate; also, former best friend.







Nino gets the call as soon as he enters his apartment.

“A drive-through machine, huh?” J says on the other line.

“Yeah.” Nino kicks the front door close and unceremoniously tosses the Super Soul Burgers bag at his sleeping roommate’s face.

Tohma Ikuta bolts up in surprise and slips off the couch with a sharp curse just as Nino scuttles off into his room and quickly locks the door close.

“In the middle of a desert?”

“Yeah?” Nino can almost imagine the temperamental movie producer breathing fire through his nose.

“How did it get there?”

“That’s hardly even the point, J—”

“Humor me.”

Nino sighs. “It’s just a hallucination, okay? It’s not really there. If you could just read the script through to the end—”

“Have you been checking up on Ohno again?”

“Wait, WHAT?! NO!” Nino trips on a pile of laundry on the floor and tumbles face first into his bed with a loud and guilty groan. “Why would I do that?”

“I don’t know. Why would you do that, Nino?”

“I hardly even noticed him today.” He mumbles into the mattress, not even bothering to right himself up. He never denies (at least, not successfully) that he did come to the newly opened Super Soul Burgers for the first few times to check out the guy at the pick-up window, size up the enemy so to speak, without even considering that the one manning the drive-through machine would prove to be an even more interesting excuse to keep coming back. “I thought we were talking about my script?”

“I don’t like it.”

“Why am I not surprised?”

“I’ll give you two more days to come up with something else.”

“Sure.”

“No drive-through machines this time.”

“Whatever you say, J.”

“And lay off my boyfriend, Kazunari Ninomiya!”

“Fine!” Nino ends the call with a huff just as his roommate starts banging on his door.

“You forgot the barbecue sauce, you jerk!”













Love—

One lousy word. Four lousier letters.

And yet with all the power in the world to turn the most skeptical hearts into a puddle of goo.

With the slightest touch, the simplest smile.

The tackiest little nicknames carelessly blurted out in a moment of familiarity…







jail, noun
a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody.






Jail by Kazunari Ninomiya












“He dies? The Earthman dies?!” Tohma chokes out after reading the end of Nino’s shiny new screenplay the next day, all resentment about his stolen coupon and the barbecue sauce now forgotten.

“What? Where does it say he did?” Nino grabs the loose sheets of paper and flips through it like he’s seeing them for the first time.

“I’m not stupid, Nino,” Tohma scoffs, grabbing the script back. “He went to stop the solar storm and the solar storm gets stopped, but he never comes back.”

Nino shrugs and sinks lazily into his favorite armchair, the one he bought with his very first paycheck. “He could’ve gone back home, who knows?”

“Without saying goodbye to the Ham Radio kid?” Tohma stares at Nino as though Nino is the devil himself. “They never even got to see each other!”

“Tough luck, huh?”

“I thought Jun-chan’s project is supposed to be about love. “ABCs of Love” he calls it, right?”

“Well, didn’t the Earthman go above and beyond for this kid? Think about it.” Nino tries to explain his side without having to pull himself up from his comfortable slump. “He only went there to warn them, right? This bunch of space outlaws and their offspring imprisoned in a frozen asteroid that wouldn’t have otherwise been missed. But then he meets this kid through radio communications. They develop deep affections for each other without even knowing how the other person looks like. And in the end, the Earthman decides to do all he can to ensure that the Ham Radio Kid lives on long enough to fulfill his dream of coming back home to Earth.” Nino sighs and waves his hand importantly. “If that’s not love, I don’t know what else is.”

“But it’s tragic love!” Tohma quips.

“Well, we can’t all be so lucky, can we?”

The silence that follows is both eerie and full of meaning. It doesn’t help at all that Tohma spends all of it staring at Nino as though deciphering the deepest, darkest secrets of his entire bloodline.

“What?” Nino snaps.

“Let him go,” Tohma says. Calm. Undaunted.

“What? Who?”

“Jun-chan. Let him go, Nino—”

“What are you even saying—?”

“I’m saying you gotta let Jun-chan go!” Tohma takes a deep breath and adds in an overly dramatic manner, as though auditioning for a part in Nino’s screenplay. “Because unless you do, the Ham Radio Kid is never going to meet the Earthman in person!”

“What does that have to do with me?” Nino smirks, pretending not to be so affected. “Oh, and lousy acting by the way.”

“Worth a shot.” Tohma grunts and pulls out a Super Soul Burgers coupon from his pocket. “I’m not really in the mood to wrestle over this today, so here just take it and go.”

Nino huffs at it, then bolts out without taking it.

But before he can even close the door he changes his mind, calmly walks back in, and snatches the coupon from Tohma’s hand (who hasn’t moved an inch from how he left him the first time), his car key from the key holder beside the door, and the tiny bits and pieces of his shattered pride all the way down the hall.

“Don’t forget the barbecue sauce this time!”







J, noun
human icicle; also, the one that got away.







Love.

Love.

Fucking love.

Why do we only ever know it’s real worth when it’s no longer ours to claim?







joggle, noun
a bobbing or jerking movement.






Joggle by Kazunari Ninomiya












Nino is lost in his own little headspace again. Only this time, he’s canoodling with a couch. The L-shaped one he’s just spotted in the furniture shop they passed by coming to this café.

“So if I get cast as the Faceless Guy, I don’t even get to be on screen?” Aiba, an actor who’s played in just about everything that Nino’s ever written, says.

Nino regards his friend with a bored look, his mind still pretty much lost in the variety of ways he can get rid of Tohma’s ugly gray couch to replace with his newfound love. Once he saves up enough to buy her, of course. “You’ll be there. They just won’t be showing your face.”

“And why is that?”

“Because you’re not real.” Nino shovels a piece of carrot cake into his mouth to celebrate the look of utter confusion slowly building up on Aiba’s face. He’s also just devised a devious plan to get this very guy to pay half the price of his dream couch.

“Oh.” The befuddled actor eventually gushes after reading through the final page of the script. “I’m just an app, huh? A “Moving On” app? And I did WHAT?!”

YOU did nothing,” Nino frowns, teasing. “What makes you think you’re even gonna get that part?”

“What makes you think J will approve this in the first place?” Aiba shoots back. “A faceless guy that’s not even really there, but is instead just a mental projection of a computer app that some heartbroken guy installed in his home. App goes cuckoo and falls obsessively in love with heartbroken guy.” Aiba slaps the pages face down on the table with a slight shudder. “I don’t even wanna think about what happens next. Are you trying to give J a heart attack?”

“Yes,” Nino mumbles around the dessert spoon in his mouth, his eyes randomly fixing on the back of a guy who just walked out of the café. Camouflage cap. Camouflage jacket. Faded camouflage shorts. Nino’s willing to bet the guy’s wearing camouflage underwear, too. The thought makes him smile. God, what an utterly boring day!

“Hey, listen.” Kazama’s voice cuts through Aiba’s drivel about Nino’s worryingly murderous mindset. He retakes his seat beside Aiba and nips a piece from Nino’s cake before adding, “I’ve just been talking to the owner of that new burger place down the street, Super Soul Burgers?”

“What? Sho-chan’s here?” Aiba looks around excitedly. “Where? Where?”

“He just left.”

“Oh.” Aiba deflates back into his seat like he’s just missed out on meeting the Emperor himself.

This intrigues Nino. “Sho-chan?”

“Yeah.” Kazama nips another piece of cake before Nino finally pulls the plate as far away from him as possible. “He owns that new burger place down the –”

“Yeah, yeah. So you told us.” It takes everything Nino has not to roll his eyes at his friend. “What’s he got to do with Aiba-shi?”

“Well, Aiba-kun’s got a huge crush on him—”

“No I don’t!”

“He was wearing that camouflage jacket you gave him last week.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, he’s gone all out commando.”

Nino chokes on his latte.

Aiba snorts.

The girls in the next table toss a dirty look their way.

Kazama finally figures out what he’s just said and starts fumbling to correct himself. “No, I meant… He was wearing camouflage stuffs all over. Not commando like, you know—because he was definitely wearing stylish underwear, I saw it when we were in the bathroom—I mean—”

“Aiba-shi, will you please shut your dumb friend up?”

Aiba obligingly slaps Kazama’s head to shut him up. Kazama shrinks into his seat, looking so forlorn and broken that Nino finally sighs and wordlessly pushes his carrot cake towards him.

“Sho-chan’s a cool guy.” Aiba says just as Kazama shoves a spoonful of cake into his mouth. “I like him. But I don’t like him like him.”

“Sure,” Nino dutifully says, nipping a piece from the cake he’s just given away.

“He seems to really like those camouflage stuffs and I was hardly wearing that jacket anyway.”

“Uhm-huh,” Nino mumbles, his dessert spoon still hanging lazily from his lips. So the Camouflage Guy he’s just been staring at a while ago turns out to be the owner of the place he’s been feverishly frequenting of late. Big deal? Not really.

Aiba turns to Kazama. “What was he doing here anyway?”

“Checking out the market,” Kazama says. “You know how he’s always looking for new stuffs to add to their menu?”

Aiba nods. “Sho-chan’s a smart guy.”

Nino mumbles in half-hearted agreement, his mind already creeping right back into his fantasies about rescuing that beautiful L-shaped couch from the furniture shop next door.

“The thing is,” Kazama keeps talking, having consumed every bit of his hand-me-down cake, “when I told him that I’m here with my friends to talk about a movie project, he tells me that his friend, who co-owns the place with him, is an actor, too.”

Aiba’s breath hitches like he knows something. He guiltily turns away when Nino catches his eyes.

“And get this, he’s also gonna be part of Jun-kun’s ABCs of Love anthology film!”

Nino’s entire world freezes over as his beloved L-shaped couch plummets off into the void.

Kazama just keeps rumbling on. “I think his name’s Ohno.”







J, noun
heartless jerk, extraordinaire.







The only real truth about love is that we can never really get it right.

So why do we even keep trying?







jujuism, noun
an object used as a fetish, a charm, or an amulet.






Jujuism by Kazunari Ninomiya












There are 27 people in the conference room today.

27.

And every single one of them has something useless to say.

Except for Nino.

Because Nino has nothing at all to say.

The first time they were all gathered here, J passed along a box with 26 cardboard cut-outs in it each with a letter of the alphabet written on one side and the proud logo of Jun Matsumoto’s production company on the other.

And out of the 26 letters of the English alphabet, Nino just had to pull out the letter “J”. Fate must’ve thought it was being funny.

Then J started talking about “The ABCs of Love” anthology film that he’s hoping to put together for Valentine’s day next year.

No, hoping is such a weak word when it comes to his ambitious best friend.

Jun Matsumoto never hopes. He takes action.

And takes it so well, too, that he’s actually managed to convince 26 different screenwriters to contribute a short film to his little project: some of the more established ones, and most of the ones who are just getting started. An odd mix aiming to help each other out to expand their audience, get exposure for their work, and just basically come together and stretch a supposedly one-hour meeting all the way into infinity with the silliest, most random conversations.

At the moment, Junichi Okada, who has just been telling them about his short screenplay, “Everest”, has meandered on to talk about carpentry, because Taichi Kokubun asked one question, and one question is often all a man needs to shoot off on a tangent.

Then, there’s Ken Watabe who talks more about his food blog than his food-related romantic short, “Ten”. Hardly anybody remembers what it’s supposed to be about now.

Shion Sono’s “Out!” is partly inspired by his own experience with an ex-girlfriend who unblinkingly just left him after he cried, “Out!” in a moment of rage. They spend a quarter of an hour trying to cheer him back up.

Masayasu Wakabayashi’s “Senpai” is the unexpectedly touching story of a newbie’s dream to someday hand his football senpai a bottle of water. They spend another quarter of an hour praising the fidgeting guy. Then the next quarter of that same hour alternately laughing and cringing at Mitsuyoshi Uchimura’s short, “Graduate”, about an idol who’s decided to quit and become a fisherman instead.

And then it’s Nino’s turn to share. And since J has just rejected his script yet again earlier this day, he’s left with nothing but an embarrassed smile, which is really more a grimace, and a mumbled, “I’ve got nothing,” which gave everybody else an excuse to pitch some of their stock ideas his way.

He nods. He laughs. He agrees and mumbles at all the appropriate places. Respectfully turns down the oddest ones, and says, “Thanks, I’ll consider it,” to all the rest.

And then he just has to catch J smiling at him from across the conference table, one elegant brow arching in amusement, and his heart starts to break anew. He bites his lip and glares back, willing his tears not to betray him now.

If he didn’t know any better, he’d think J has called this meeting for his sake. Hearing all the great ideas that these people have come up with has given him fresh impetus to try harder. Stay motivated despite the tiny little cries of protest at the back of his head and the whispered ones of pain and lost at the corner of his heart.

He mouths the word, “Asshole” and smiles back.

J quips with a soundless “Jerk” and a small reassuring nod.

Hell, since when did Nino know any better anyway?







J, noun
sometimes a blessing; all other times a curse.







Love—

Such a simple word.

Love—

Such a lousy word.

Love.

Love.

Fucking love.

Just.

Fuck.







jump, noun
a sudden involuntary movement caused by shock or surprise.






Jump by Kazunari Ninomiya












Nino only has vague memories of tearing his unfinished script apart and tossing it into the trash.

He doesn’t even remember getting into his car and driving up to what has now become his favorite place. His safe place.

“I don’t have a coupon today,” he says into the drive-through machine even before Drive-Through guy can blurt out his usual spiel.

“Oh, hi! That’s okay,” the now all-too familiar voice answers back, bright and cheery even at half-past midnight. “You don’t actually need coupons to purchase stuffs here, just so you know.”

Nino snorts out a little laugh despite himself. It still boggles him how this guy, this voice, can just so easily make everything in his world seem and feel okay again, give him a sense of clarity along with a dozen reasons to smile.

“Of course, we won’t be putting roach poop in your burger now that you’re paying in full.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah.” Drive-Through guy chuckles.

“Wait till the health department hears about that.”

“You won’t tell.”

“Oh, I will.”

“You won’t.”

“I might.”

“You won’t let them take this drive-through machine away, now, will you?” the voice takes on a teasingly flirtatious tone.

“I’ll drive away with it tonight and call the health department in the morning,” Nino says with an equally mischievous flare. “How’s that, huh?”

“You do realize I’m not actually inside the machine, right?”

They laugh over this like old friends sharing stories over a late night drink.

“Would you like to come in?” Drive-Through Guy asks, like he always does.

And tonight it takes Nino a beat longer to say his usual, “No. Here is fine.”

Here is comfortable. Here is safe.

Here is really all he can ever allow himself to have.

They never even agreed on this being a regular thing, didn’t even feel it was necessary to exchange names. He just came here one random night to talk, and Drive-Through Guy had been surprisingly accommodating.

Nino has also just found out that they’re never gonna get in trouble with the boss, because Drive-Through Guy happens to be The Boss, co-owning the place with the guy at the pick-up window, who also happens to be J’s new squeeze.

“What are you doing messing up with the drive-through machine then?” he had asked.

“Taking care of business,” the voice says, sounding business-like all of a sudden. “Satoshi-kun and I, we like to get a feel for it. Understand every aspect of our business so we can better deal with whatever problem that might arise, come up with ways to improve our services. Besides the fact that it’s fun being here at the frontlines, especially with weird customers driving by late at night for a little therapy of sorts.”

Nino laughed because it’s stupid. His heart broke a little because it’s true.

Tonight’s session kicks off with a conversation about what they want to do, if they weren’t doing this.

“I think I’ll be a newscaster,” Drive-Through Guy says. “Or maybe an idol. An idol newscaster! Now, there’s a challenge! Can you imagine a newscaster dancing and singing to the news on late-night TV?”

Nino says he wants to try and perform on the streets, and actually has to sing a few lines to convince a drive-through machine of his skills. “I’ve always loved watching those street performers. They’ve got guts. And people actually stop to listen to them, right? I’d like to know how that feels. To just perform out there with all you’ve got. Stop people dead in their tracks with my perfect singing—”

“Yeah, whatever—”

“Shut up or you won’t get tickets to my first major concert!”

“So why did you become a screenwriter, then?” Drive-Through Guy asks, an amused smile evident in his voice.

“Well… that’s because my best friend thought he’d go and try being a movie producer,” Nino says without pause. He had never told anybody this. “I guess, I just wanted to have an excuse to stay close to him.”

“You’re really in love with him, huh?”

Nino sighs. “I don’t know. Maybe? How do you even know when you’re in love with someone? Maybe I’m just being selfish and don’t ever want to share him with anyone else. I mean, he’s always been my J. And now he’s someone else’s J, too.”

“I haven’t really felt like that with Satoshi-kun,” Drive-Through Guy muses. “I love him, of course. But to have to spend the rest of my life with him in the same house, on the same bed? I haven’t really thought of it that way… Besides, he won’t ever sing me that Minions song that I really like.” And Sho starts singing the most ridiculous song made up of gibberish and underwear.

“Wow, now there’s something I can never un-hear!”

Drive-Through Guy bursts out laughing. “Fine. Shut up. It’s stupid.” He clears his throat. “So, what have you been writing about tonight, huh?”

And so Nino tells him about a love story between two people separated by time and whose only means of communication is through a vintage phone that they each have on their timelines. One day, they figure out a way to send each other physical things by burying them in a wooden box in the roots of a sakura tree. But when the guy in the present asks the guy from the past for a photograph, the wooden box turns up empty.

“Why?” Drive-Through Guy asks. “He didn’t die, did he? The guy from the past?”

“Well, I don’t really know.” Nino shrugs into his seat, his palms rubbing up and down the steering wheel.

“Why is it that everything you write turns out to be so tragic?” Drive-Through Guy voices out the question Nino has been refusing to answer.

But another car rolls in just then, signaling the end of Nino’s session for the night.

Up ahead, he sees Ohno waving for him to stop at the pick-up window. He fights off the urge to drive right by.

“I didn’t order anything,” he scoffs, then immediately regrets his tone when Ohno calmly hands him a bag anyway.

“It’s from Sho-kun.”

Nino will spend the rest of the following day watching the entire Despicable Me franchise, over and over until he’s seeing yellow, and his roommate Tohma is sleep-mumbling his stage play monologues in Minionese.







J, noun
not Sho-kun.







Love is never selfish.

If it’s selfish, then it might not be love.

Right…?

Right.

Probably.







jitterbug, noun
a nervous person.






Jitterbug by Kazunari Ninomiya












Nino bolts out of an unplanned afternoon nap on his writing desk and grabs the phone that’s been vibrating beside his face. He’s still half asleep when he answers the call.

“This is Ohno. Can we talk?”

Half an hour later, they’ll be at Tokio Café sitting on either side of a corner table. They do not bother to order coffee. Not one of them expects to stay here that long. Kokubun, who owns the place and who also happens to be a mutual friend to the both of them, doesn’t really mind.

“I know you don’t like me,” Ohno says bluntly. “But I hope we can at least try to get along for Jun-kun’s sake.”

Nino bites back the saucy quip at the tip of his tongue. This surprises him more than it does Ohno. “I don’t… dislike you. I’m sorry if I made you feel that way.” And he means it. If they had met earlier, he would’ve had his doubts. But now it’s different. He starts fiddling with the bottom of his shirt under the table. He’s not really used to having feelings about anything at all.

“Maaa! I’m really glad to hear that!” Ohno gushes, looking genuinely relieved. He sits back more comfortably and manages a small smile.

Nino decides to smile back and in that moment a huge chunk of the burden he’s been carrying around in his heart begins to fall away. He relaxes into his seat, too.

“Jun-kun talks a lot about you,” Ohno says. “I felt like I knew you long before you came by Super Soul that first time.”

Nino winces and scratches his head. It sounds so dumb to him now that he’s hearing it from the person himself. “I’m sorry about that, too.”

“I meant to talk to you then and ask you to stop whatever it was you thought you were doing. But it didn’t take long for you to find a new reason to keep coming by, huh?”

It’s been a while since the last time Nino’s face has warmed up in embarrassment. He has almost forgotten how this feels like. He’s grateful for every second of it.

“I used to think I was in love with Sho-kun, too,” Ohno says, a lot more open and comfortable now. “So I totally get where you’re coming from. I really do.”

“How did you get over it?” At this point, Nino is willing to take whatever advice he can get, even if it comes from the devil himself.

“Jun-kun came along.” Ohno looks wiser now than any of Nino’s first impressions of him. And for some reason, this does not surprise him at all. “I realized that there really is a difference between falling for a person and merely loving the circumstances that’s keeping him close to you. Being with Sho-kun is easy. It’s effortless and comfortable. And I like it. Being with Jun-kun is… something else entirely. It’s intense. It’s challenging. It… It just feels right. And I like that, too. I like them both differently.”

Nino crosses his arms over his chest and mulls this over for a while.

“Think about it,” Ohno says. “Then if in the end you decide that it’s really Jun-kun that you love, and not just because he’s the more familiar choice, I promise I won’t stand in your way.”

Nino barely hears what his companion is saying, his mind already lost in thoughts about the love he has for his best friend and the slowly growing affection he has for the one that came along—

“Also, I feel like I oughta tell you.” Ohno leans forward and stares Nino straight in the eye. “Sho-kun’s leaving.”







J, noun
I love him; I love him not







Why do we even bother, seriously?

Because…

Because…

Somewhere along the way, someone that’s worth all the trouble is gonna come along.

And that is really all the reason we would ever need to keep trying.







J-what?, adjective
all out of J’s.



















Every artist’s worst enemy is himself.

And the best way to defeat an enemy is to drag him out into the open and let the truths he’s been trying to run away from beat him up and make him bleed.

Nino’s head is just about ready to explode from all the crying he’s just been doing on his best friend’s’ fancy leather couch while sputtering out all the stupidest things he wouldn’t have otherwise said.

He has since calmed down and has regained most of his senses.

He takes a sip of beer and sighs for the nth time.

“Feeling better now?” J, who has also since forgiven him, asks.

“Yeah,” he breathes out, still too drained to string together a longer reply.

“Do you think you can write me that screenplay now?”

“Yeah.” He takes another sip from his can.

“You won’t be stalking my boyfriend from now on, too, right?”

“I was not stalking him!” he protests half-heartedly.

“I guess I’ve got Sho-kun to thank for that, huh?”

“Shut up.” Nino narrows his eyes at his smirking best friend. “Asshole.”

“Jerk.”

They click their beer cans together and drink the rest of the night away.

Just like old times.







J, noun
I love him, but…







Love comes in all shapes and sizes.

Love comes when you least expect it.

Love comes at the right time, for the right reasons.

Love comes.

It always does.







juxtapose, verb
to place close together or side by side.






Juxtapose by Kazunari Ninomiya












Sho-kun’s leaving.

The full brunt of it hits Nino only after he’s patched things up with J.

Sho Sakurai is leaving the city to be with his grandparents in the countryside.

Nino remembers this the next morning, thanks to Ohno’s voice bouncing around in his head like a never-ending mantra mocking him to his dreams—

“Sho-kun’s leaving. He’s leaving. He might be gone a long time.”

Nino decides right then and there, and perhaps for the very first time in his life, to abandon all his fears, his worries, his inhibitions about love and chase after what he really wants for himself

For a change.

“Unless you give him a reason to stay, you may never see him again.”







J, noun
J, who?







It’s the simplest rule of the universe that if you want something, really want something, all you need to do is ask.

Just ask.

If you settle for the next best thing, the comfortable choice, the easiest option, you will never know just how great the best thing can actually be.

So ask for it.

Just ask.

Because the best kind of love is always worth all the risk you can take.













Sho’s gone.

Or at least, with the amount of people milling about the subway station that particular weekday afternoon, he might as well be.

Nino feels like drowning in a sea of different faces, none of which fits right in with the voice he has unexpectedly come to love.

How can you possibly look for someone, when you don’t even know how that someone looks like in the first place?

The thought of giving it all up briefly crosses his mind.

But Nino has already made it all the way here to just turn back and go home empty handed.

He needs to do something to try and call Sho’s attention. He needs to do it now and fast.

And then it hits him. That one thing that nobody in his right mind would ever do for Sho Sakurai.

He trips on his own foot twice, almost goes sprawling on his face the third time, as he rushes to the corner of the station where he spots a street performer safely tucked away from the policemen’s sight.

It doesn’t take him much to plead his case. He swears he’s even brought tears to Maruyama’s eyes when the guy himself props up the microphone stand for him.

And not even the entire city police force could’ve stopped Nino from strapping the guitar on, taking a huge gulp of breath like his entire existence depended on it, and finally singing his piece at the top of his lungs.

“Underweearr!! Lacareli lei uí, guinei miá, lacolé!!

Stopping people and time itself with everything he’s got—

“Underweeaaarr!! La papré leigua lu, dela té, lape lé!!”

He no longer cares that he looks or sounds stupid in all the photos and videos everybody is suddenly taking of him—

“Leijori leitu!!”

He’s a man with a mission. An artist with guts. A fool in love—

“ Naquê leh leidu!!”

—and a threat to public peace and order.

“Leiá bordi du, leipa tori, rai ráá!! Underwear!!”

The policeman who came to drag him out found him utterly fascinating as did everyone else, so he just gets thrown out into the sidewalk with a warning.

And while his heart is still beating fast, and his entire body still shaking from the adrenaline of having finally done something he has only ever thought of doing, for the sake of fighting for something he has never even dreamed of having, he hears that voice again.

“Nice diction,” Sho says from behind him. “Will I be needing coupons for your first major concert?”

“If it’s for you, I’ll do it for free,” Nino says, suddenly feeling nervous and reluctant to face the guy he has come all the way here to chase.

Drive-Through Guy used to be just a voice Nino came to for a sense of clarity.

He was just a voice in a drive-through machine who laughed and teased with him in the most ungodly hours of the night.

He was just a voice.

Just a voice.

And now he’s Sho Sakurai.

“Turn around,” the voice behind him says. A quiet plea, a pleading challenge. “Turn around, Ninomiya-san.”

And so Nino does.

And with every slight turn he finds himself in a different place—

In the middle of an empty desert in post-apocalyptic earth, looking into the misplaced drive-through machine’s screen and finally seeing the blurry image of a man.

On an icy prison asteroid squinting his eyes into the horizon and seeing the form of a man standing beside the remains of a ship that’s seen better days.

On the couch, in a house rigged with advanced technology, looking on in fascination as the newly upgraded, bug-free “Moving On” app takes on a holographic form.

And as he finally lets his eyes focus on the man before him, the faceless mannequin in his head takes on the very same appearance.

The empty box finally reveals the old, faded photograph of the very same man.

And the army green helmet’s dark visor finally slips up to reveal the man behind his masked hero.

“Hi,” Sho Sakurai says, with the shyest smile and the faintest blush on his face.

“Hi,” Nino says back, with pleasant tremors in his heart and happily-ever-afters in his mind.







Sho-kun, noun
camouflage. underwear.
mine.







Love at first sight?

Yeah, it can definitely happen.












Just (Love) by Kazunari Ninomiya
Just (Love) by Kazunari Ninomiya













*Scene for "Jump" spec script inspired by Filipino movie, "Moments of Love".

* “Underwear” lyrics based on transliteration by Joao Gabriel Tomasi. This is the Minion’s version of the song, “I Swear” that was sung in the movie, Despicable Me 2.

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