Pairing: Juntoshi, Junba [friendship]
Summary: "How can the happiest person here, the most helpful, the one who would bend backwards for someone…how can it be that he just broke like that?"
Disclaimer: I am not nor do I know any of the mentioned characters. This never happened; it is only a work of fiction.
A/N: Inspired by the song “Simon” by Lifehouse.
A/N 2: This is a darkfic, it deals with abuse but doesn't describe it much. If you're uncomfortable with that then don't read.
The whole place was quiet for the rest of the day. Everyone was thinking about what happened this morning. How can the happiest person here, the most helpful, the one who would bend backwards for someone…how can it be that he just broke like that?
After they had dragged Aiba out the room, I went inside and saw the whole place was a mess. Should I have caught this sooner? Would I have caught this sooner had I not been so preoccupied with Ohno? I turned around to the small man behind me; he was nervously biting his fingernails. It must’ve been a reality check for him as well, especially since this was how he used to act. After the incident, we were all called into group therapy where they told us what happened.
“For a while now we’ve been trying to get into contact with his family, to let them know he was checked in here, but no one was ever able to come,” our counselor said. “Last week he found out that they didn’t want to come because they weren’t sure what they’d find here.”
“They were embarrassed?” I asked.
“No not embarrassed. They were concerned,” she tried to correct.
“They were ashamed. Admit it. If he came from this loving family that he spoke so happily about they would’ve come by. They were embarrassed and ashamed,” I said angrily.
“Aside from your accusations,” she said pointedly at me. “He most likely had the same thought pattern and stopped taking his pills.”
I covered my face wanting nothing more than to scream. I was so frustrated with the situation that I could feel my nerves winding. It was then did I feel Ohno's hand rub my back gently, soon enough the soothing circles he was making were calming me down.
We had another group therapy session after we talked about Aiba before we were let out. I got ready to go to Ohno’s room, but he pulled me back and took me to my own. “Let’s clean up,” he murmured.
Everything was seriously haphazard in there. Our beds were shoved aside, the covers and pillows on the floor. The plant that had been on the windowsill was ruined on the floor, lying in a pile of water. The lamp that was in the middle of our bed was smashed by the door; he must’ve thrown it. Then finally I saw his journal. I knew I shouldn’t read it, but of course curiosity killed the cat.
Ohno and I sat on the floor, picked up the book, and flipped to a random page. It was three days after he came here.
"It’s not so bad in here, but I’m scared I’ll go mad. I don’t want to be like those people I see in movies, but if I try hard I know I’ll get better. I wonder if I’ll get a roommate soon. This room is way too big for me and plus there’s another bed. If I do get one I hope he isn’t a prick.
This morning I slapped myself five times."
I flipped to another page; it was dated five days after I arrived here.
"My roommate is very handsome, both physically and characteristically. He’s very nice even though he sometimes has a mean aura. I love when he would actually listen to me and talk to me about adult things. No not perverted topics, but things like life and jobs. Doesn’t this make me sound like a kid?
This morning I scratched my chest pretty badly"
"He got Ohno to smile. I don’t know how he did it, but the little recluse can smile. I wonder if that means he’ll be moved to a new room. Will he have a nice roommate? Will he go back to the way he was when I first saw him? All these questions run through my mind constantly. Let’s hope Jun-tan can make it all better.
This morning I cried into my pillow, I can’t let them see any more scars."
"They haven’t been able to come. It’s for a reason and I know that. They run a restaurant, and it’s popular so it’s hard to just close shop. Plus it takes a while to get here, it’ll be an inconvenience. I don’t want to be an inconvenience. I hope they come by soon. I want them to see me. I want to see them.
This morning I had to bite myself to keep from crying out loud."
I slowly flipped to the entries of last week, it was then did I see how he broke and my guilt had set in.
"He’s gotten close to Ohno, real close. He goes into his room and they stay there for hours. I hardly see much of him aside when we have to do group things. I wonder if they’ve slept together, not that it’s any of my business. I just wonder what it’s like to have someone there for you.
I’ve been thinking about these kinds of things because my family won’t come. They don’t want to come. How can I get better if I don’t have a goal anymore? I want to see then, why don’t they want to see me?
This morning I gave myself a new mark. "
The more I flipped through the week, the less he wrote and the more he described what he did to himself. I finally reached yesterday, nothing flowed together, and nothing made sense.
"I don’t want attention, but if I die wouldn’t that give me lots of it? I haven’t taken my pills since last week. I can’t resist my urges anymore. Matsumoto is with Ohno again, he always is. They’re always alone in his room. I don’t care but then I do. Who will I talk to about this? I can’t tell anyone else cause then I’ll be taken away.
I fucking hate it here. I wish I didn’t check in. I wish I stayed home and died. I don’t want to be here anymore.
This morning I wanted to die"
I exhaled and closed the book, wiping the tears that had been falling as I read; Ohno was crying as well. We didn’t say a word to each other as we were too consumed in our thoughts. Eventually we finished cleaning the room and sat side by side on my bed.
“Do you blame me?” Ohno asked.
“No, why would you think that?”
“Cause you’ve been with me a lot to even notice him. You were all he had,” Ohno teared up.
“Shut up, please,” I whispered. We sat in silence again, though this time we were trying to come up with a way to help Aiba. Minutes later Ohno grabbed my hand and dragged me out the room. He then started knocking on all the doors asking each patient to cooperate with his plan. I had no idea what it was, but it was rounding up everyone.
Ohno then led everyone into the lounge where he got on the table and told everyone what was on his mind. I smiled like a proud parent as he spoke, no longer showing signs of being that timid man I had seen half a year ago. When he was done, and got everyone fired up with his plan, he turned to me and smiled. I helped him down the table, by picking him up before setting him on his feet. We then went to our counselor, hoping she would be the last person to help us out.
“Akiyama-san,” Ohno said as he knocked on the door before peeking in.
“Ohno-kun, Matsumoto-kun…what’s wrong?”
“Um, about Aiba, will he get his own room?”
“Yes, seeming how he’s now unstable.”
“Can you give him my room?” Ohno asked.
“Well where will you stay?”
She looked back and forth at us before she squint her eyes. “Sexual relationships between patients are prohibited.”
“We know,” we both said at the same time. She stared at us a little while longer before going back to her papers.
“He’s still in the hospital being treated for his wounds. When he’s let out, we will transfer the rooms,” she said without looking at us. A bright smile spread on both our faces before we bowed at her and ran out her office.
When we got back to the lounge, everyone was at work already; writing and drawing to their hearts content. We told them that we got the okay which caused everyone to work harder and faster. Ohno had gone back to his room to clean everything out, while I stayed behind to work on my own piece.
Three hours had passed since we started and we were finally done. Ohno had switched his and Aiba’s belongings and we put up our work on the walls. Mine and Ohno’s were in the center of it all and Ohno even made a small paper figurine for him and placed it by the windowsill.
“Do you think he’ll like it?” Ohno asked me.
“Mm, he will.” I wrapped my arm around his waist for a brief hug before leading him out and into his new room.
Aiba was released the next morning, but none of us knew until we were in the lounge waiting for our group therapy two days later. We were all chatting amongst ourselves until one patient froze in mid-conversation. We all stopped and turned to where he was looking and there we saw Aiba standing by the door.
His eyes were red from crying and he was holding the small figurine Ohno had made. He slowly walked towards us, sniffling, and bowed down. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. Had the room not been dead silent, we wouldn’t have heard him. “I lied to you all and I’m sorry.”
We were all looking at him, unable to get over the initial shock of seeing him. After a brief moment of silence, one person finally spoke up.
“No you didn’t,” the patient said. “You were only trying to cheer us up and forgot about yourself,” he continued. Aiba remained in his humble position until everyone got up to hug him one by one. He even received a few kisses on the cheek from our female and gay patients. He turned to me and Ohno, slowly making his way towards us.
“I don’t blame you,” Aiba said to the both of us. “And I’m sorry if that’s what you thought.”
“It’s okay,” Ohno smiled.
“Thank you,” Aiba whimpered, holding up the figurine. “And thanks for the messages,” he said out loud to everyone in the room. “Though, who drew that one drawing by my window? The one where it looks like right angle faces,” Aiba laughed tearfully. That was when the stiff patient, Sakurai, waved with an embarrassed smile.
“I thought it was very accurate,” he pouted to which Aiba smiled and hugged him. Blush spread on his cheeks causing Ohno and I to smirk.
From that day on, Aiba was heavily monitored to prevent him from doing harm to himself anymore. He was scheduled for more one on one therapy as well as given different medication. He still stayed in Ohno’s old room; our pictures still on the wall, some new ones were placed as well. Everyday Ohno and I made sure to visit him in his room and not just when we had exercises or group activities. He wasn’t back to his old self, but somehow I feel he was his real self right now.
Not every day was he smiling happily like he used to, maybe because he was covering it up, forcing it for all of our sakes. Now if he was in a bad mood, he chooses to write or talk it out.
Ohno was standing in the corner of the room, drawing on a blank piece of paper on the wall while Aiba and I were sitting on the bed playing a card game.
“You don’t want to go out today?” I asked him.
“No, I feel kind of sick actually,” he murmured. “If you want to you can. You two don’t have to stay here for my sake.”
“Don’t think we are doing this for pity cause we’re not,” Ohno said while still drawing. “We’re guiding you. We want to leave here together.”
“What?” Aiba said looking up at Ohno.
“Jun’s gonna be released soon. I heard Akiyama-san say so over the phone.”
Aiba looked at me and I nodded slowly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Cause I was hoping you’d be fine by the time I had to go.”
“Do you know when?”
“In two months,” Ohno murmured. Ever since he found out, he’s been mopping about it. I kept telling him that he was improving so much he might get let out soon as well. But he won’t believe me.
“Congratulations,” Aiba said softly, looking at me with wide eyes. He pulled me in for a hug, holding me tightly until I had to beg him to let go. “I’ll work hard to be like Jun-tan,” he smiled. “You too right?” he said looking at Ohno. The other man gave him a short nod and a small smile back.
I looked at the both of them wondering how they’d fair when I was gone.
I had two weeks left. Two weeks and I would be a free man, two weeks and I’ll get to go home. I was lying on my bed when Ohno decided to sit on top of my shins. He may have been thin and small, but he really was about to break them.
“When you leave will you remember me?”
“Of course I will,” I said stroking his cheek.
“Will you wait for me?”
“Even if I relapse and have to stay here for another year?”
“Will you be here when I get released?”
“I’ll travel miles to get to you,” I smiled and pulled him up so he was sitting in my lap instead.
“I want to go with you,” he whispered in my ear when I sat up. “I want to go home with you.”
“I know you do and you will. When you get released you can be with me.”
I laughed and nodded. “We can never forget Aiba.”
Ohno smiled and kissed me. It was a lot different from our previous ones. Usually we just pressed our lips together repeatedly, but this time we were going all out. I sucked on his lower lip before letting our tongues roll around each other. I didn’t know how far we were going until I slipped my hand underneath his shirt. Quickly he pulled away from me and got up. He was holding himself which made me realize he was ashamed of his body.
“It’s okay, we don’t have to. In fact we can’t, but we don’t have to.” I said to him. He simply nodded and walked out the room, leaving me alone to my thoughts.
I was scared to leave, to tell you the truth. I may have been complaining that I wanted to leave, that I wanted to get better, but deep down inside I was scared. A few people knew that I got sent here after my accident and I don’t know if they decided to tell the whole world about it. I was scared to go back home cause I don’t want to be seen as the guy who got out of the loony bin. But above all, I was scared to leave Ohno and Aiba.
Much like they had suspected, I was going to be released on my own, but they were told that if they continue with the way they are improving, in no more than a month will they also be released. It was a good confidence booster, but I was still scared as hell.
What if we were only sane in here? What if it was what’s outside those doors that made us crazy?
Aiba and Ohno were helping me pack my bags so that tomorrow I wouldn’t have to do anything except shower up and go. It was weird knowing this was my last day here. It wasn’t quite the same feeling as graduating; it felt more like moving to a new home. No, in fact it was a lot different from that, I just couldn’t place my finger on it.
When we were done, we just sat on the beds and talked amongst ourselves. The topics ranged from what I was going to do when I go back, what they were going to do until they get out, and unexpectedly my relationship with Ohno.
“You two are dating, right?” Aiba asked. He knew the answer, but we never said anything because we knew it was prohibited.
“Yes,” I nodded and glanced over at Ohno who was playing with the hem of his sleeve.
“What exactly is your relationship with him?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well is it that you two do?”
“It’s on an emotional level.” I looked over at Ohno who nodded at me. “We don’t do anything too physical beside hugs.”
“And kisses. I’ve seen you two,” Aiba smirked. We both blushed and laughed nervously. “Don’t worry I won’t say a word. I’m happy for you guys though.”
“You say this like we’re getting married,” Ohno laughed.
“But it’s kind of like you are. I mean, when we leave you’ll be moving in together and starting a new life that way,” Aiba smiled, but it soon turned sad. “I’m really happy for you two,” he repeated on the verge of tears.
Quickly I got up and hugged him. I kissed his cheek and forehead, whispering how he’ll be out soon and that all of us would see each other again. This only made him cling onto me some more. Ohno watched with his knees drawn up to his chest, holding back his own tears.
The next morning we had an early group therapy. It was basically their excuse to make me talk about everything, which I did. I stood up and sighed, this was where I can show them how much I’ve improved.
“My name is Matsumoto Jun; 27 years old. I come from a family of lawyers, but I decided I did not want to become one. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I wanted to be the opposite of whatever they planned for me. Lucky for me I was gay so I already had a leg up. I eventually started going with the wrong crowd which was where I met the person who basically put me in here,” I paused on my words so I could collect my thoughts. This wasn’t as easy as Aiba made it seem.
I saw Aiba mouth ‘you can do it’ at me, which caused me to smile in return.
“We dated for five years. The first year was great, the second year had a few ups and downs, the third year more downs and the last two years were torture. I became nothing but a toy to him. He wouldn’t allow me certain rights and privileges. I don’t know why, but he was sure I was cheating on him. Because of that sometimes he’d lock me out without my keys, money, or phone. He’d always say “Just run to the man you’re fucking behind my back for comfort.” This happened more and more during our last year together.”
Again I stopped and let out a heavy and shaky sigh. I tried to calm down to finish the rest, but it was way too hard. No one rushed me or told me to stop, nor did I want them to. I needed to say my story.
“One day I got home later than he did and of course he was furious. Throughout the years he’s been abusing me, not once has he laid a finger on me. I guess you can say he had morals, but he never hit me. But something must’ve happened that day cause he did hit me a few times before I defended myself with the kitchen knife. I didn’t kill him, but I did give him a small gash on his arm. In return he forced me to swallow down thirty pills.”
I let out a sigh of relief and wiped my eyes. I finally said it and now I could relax.
“I don’t remember much except waking up in the hospital and them asking me questions. Then I ended up here for attempted suicide.” I ended looking at everyone. “Like I said, not as dramatic as everyone’s but the same end result.”
“Thank you for finally sharing your story with us,” Akiyama said softly from behind me after a long silence. I nodded and sat down in between Ohno and Aiba, whom comforted me while I cried. We continued to talk and for the first time I felt lighter.
It was around 12pm when they got a taxi for me. Everyone told me all their best wishes, saying I should visit when I get the chance. Of course I said I would and meant it. When the taxi arrived, Aiba hugged me tightly.
“I’ll miss you so much Jun-tan,” he cried. “But you’ll come see us soon though right?”
“Of course,” I said tearfully.
“Promise,” I said pulling back and holding his pinky with mine. We made our pinky swear before I looked over at Ohno. He walked up to me and handed me a makeshift portfolio made out of cardboard. On the front the word muse was elegantly written on it. When I peeked in it, I saw the new drawings he had done for me.
“There’s a letter I want you to read when you get home,” he said softly. I nodded, staring into his watery eyes. I heard my name being called by Akiyama, clearly it was time for me to leave.
“I’ll see you soon, okay?”
“Mm,” Ohno nodded with a sad smile. I leaned in and kissed him, not caring if it was in front of everyone. Our tongues danced for a bit before we ended it with a few small pecks. I turned around and went to the taxi, putting my bags in the trunk.
“That was prohibited you know,” Akiyama smiled.
“I’m no longer a patient,” I smirked. She gave me a soft clap on the back before sending me off. When I looked out the window I saw them all waving. “Fuck them for getting sappy on me,” I laughed tearfully to myself.
3rd part is an Epilogue