Title: Well Enough
Disclaimer: Not mine
Pairings: Ohmiya, Jun/Aiba
Word Count: 2,521
Author's Note: I wrote this approximately 8,905,741 years ago, and I don't think it's really all that good, but I figured I ought to post it anyway.
Summary: When Sho is sick, just as when Sho is anything, really, he tries to be an adult about it.
When Ohno is sick, pretty much everything comes to a screeching halt.
At least, that's the way it seems, and though with their individual projects, their dramas and movies and commercials, it clearly doesn't hold, when it comes to group projects, as far as Sho can tell, it's pretty much true. It's immediately apparent upon arriving in the dressing room before a photoshoot when Ohno is sick, because Nino is giving instructions like this is his own personal show, like he's the director of the drama that is their lives. Sho has learned from experience that it's easiest just to go along with Nino's demands, because it's really not that big of a deal, and because Nino will go out of his way to make any offenders' lives difficult for weeks afterwards. If Sho has gleaned anything about Nino over their more-than-a-decade of working together, it's that he can hold a grudge like nothing else, and that, if you're on the wrong side of those grudges, it can get awfully nasty.
And besides, it's not as if Sho doesn't want Ohno to feel better as well, and Nino's demands can be annoying but are usually fairly understandable. When they get two dressing rooms between the five of them, Nino insists that one of them be Ohno's personal room and keeps the lights dimmed and the door shut to everyone but Nino (who will kindly take a message for when Ohno is well enough to listen) and runs in and out with bottles of water and coats to be used as blankets and a thermometer with watchfulness that would put even the most doting of mothers to shame. And when there's not space to spare and they're all in one room together, Nino demarcates the parts of the room that are for Ohno and Ohno alone (the couch, the most convenient mirror, the largest stretch of counter space) and sends the rest of the group on errands as if they're indebted to him in some way with irritable snappishness that's clearly the product of lack of sleep and stress and worry. Sho thinks it's a bit much, really, but it's better that they're here at all; Nino has been known to call Ohno in sick with a cold and then refuse to show up himself because what if Leader dies while I'm not here to take care of him, what then, huh?
And it's sort of sweet, really, when one sees past the absurdity of it; it's sort of weirdly voyeuristic, but Sho can't help but watch as Ohno will open his eyes from a nap and reach out into the air and croak "Kazu...?" far too quietly for anyone to hear. But Sho has long come to believe that Nino has psychic powers when it comes to Ohno, and in an instant, he's by their Leader's side, asking, "How are you feeling, how are you feeling?" Ohno stares at him with glassy eyes for a long moment as if this question requires deep concentration before replying, "Thirsty..."
And then, because Sho's been stupid enough to stick around, Nino will turn to him and snap, "Sho-chan, Leader needs water!" and no matter what Sho should be doing, he's off to the vending machine to fetch. But as he goes, he can't help but smile just a little, anyway.
When Jun is sick, Sho is constantly aware, no matter where he is.
It's not that bad, really, when they're all together; Jun does tend to whine about it, does tend to put on a good show of being pathetic as he sniffs and coughs his way around the set of whatever show they're filming, but Jun's a professional in the end, and he doesn't put the staff out of their way, even if he does have a tendency to complain to his friends. And sure, he's unearthly picky about the brand of tissues he can use that won't chafe his delicate skin or the type of cold medicine that won't ruin his concentration, but he brings everything he needs himself, so while Sho thinks he's a little ridiculous, it also isn't his problem at the end of the day.
It's when they're not together that Sho's faced with constant reminders. Sho himself doesn't worry; Jun is an adult who can take care of himself and Sho hardly thinks he's going to die of the common cold. But Sho is the person whose judgement Aiba seems to trust the most out of his group of friends, and so Sho receives texts practically hourly about Jun's condition. He tries not to pry into his bandmates' relationship situations, but he wonders how Aiba gets any work done when he seems to spend every second of his time by Jun's bedside when Jun is sick. And Sho does his best to be supportive, but it's a little hard to take it seriously when Aiba sends him messages like "His temperature's gone up .2 degrees, should I take him back to the hospital?"
On the bright side, though, Sho never has to wonder as to how Jun is doing, and while Aiba's constant worrying is sort of annoying, it's also sort of endearing, and it's easier to get an accurate understanding of the situation than if he communicates with Jun himself who tends to think that the world is coming to an end if his appearance is anything other than spotless but will just as easily snap that everything is fine if his thinks his bandmates are worrying too much. And Sho does like his downtime as much as anyone else in the entertainment industry, but it's also a nice boost for his confidence when Aiba turns to him for advice despite the fact that Sho knows as little about medicine as Aiba does.
And then when Jun gets better, Aiba always bounds to Sho first with a hug and words of praise and thanks for his help, and it's sort of rewarding, in the end.
When Nino is sick, everyone is miserable.
It seems like a bit of an exaggeration to put it that way, but honestly, that seems to be one of Nino's primary goals in even the slightest illness. If he's miserable, everyone else should be, too, and he feels absolutely no shame in leveling the playing field by complaining at every moment possible. Sho sometimes feels like there's no point in him even coming into work when he's sick, because none of them can possibly do their best when Nino is announcing every five minutes that he's dying and the world is ending and he can't possibly go on, but somehow, they do always manage to film, and it's infuriating to hear all the staff fawn over him, thanking him for his hard work when he's sick, when Sho is sure that he's really not all that sick at all.
Because when Nino is really, seriously sick, everyone can tell. When Nino is really, seriously sick, he's collapsed in some corner of the room at every break, eyes closed, face paler than usual, purple circles beneath his eyes. When Nino is really, seriously sick, Sho actually tries to insist that he takes the day off because he just looks so god-awful, but Nino is stubborn and always refuses despite the fact that he looks like he'll fall over at any moment. When Nino is really, seriously sick, rather than fawning over him, most everyone on set doesn't notice him at all-- most everyone, that is, besides Ohno.
But when Nino is really and truly seriously sick, Ohno is practically glued to his side, sitting in whatever corner in which Nino has sequestered himself with Nino's head pillowed in his lap, stroking Nino's hair as if by pure will and love alone, he can cure Nino's illness. He doesn't talk much, he hums and nods in response to any half-delirious comment or request that Nino has and pats his shoulder assuringly, and while Nino isn't the sort that Sho thinks would be much satisfied with that, somehow, with Ohno, he's comforted, and is able to relax again.
Eventually, at times like these, Nino will fall asleep and Ohno will send someone to ask the staff if Nino can't go last in the photoshoot. If it were him, Sho thinks, he'd try to sneak away after Nino was really settled, because Ohno's legs must be cramping from being stuck like that, his feet losing circulation from being folded under him. But Ohno doesn't move from that position, doesn't give up in the least, just keeps stroking Nino's hair until Nino wakes again.
It's sort of a strange ritual, Sho thinks, but when Nino appears to work the next day irritable and bemoaning his lot in life and clearly on the mend, he figures it's pretty effective, and sort of cute, anyway.
When Aiba is sick, the world loses some of its shine.
Sho doesn't honestly think of it that way when Aiba's healthy, but somehow it seems like they're more lethargic, more inefficient, less pleasant without Aiba's constant positivity around them. Ohno hardly interacts with the rest of them, lost entirely in his own world, and Nino rarely has anything positive to say. Sho feels exponentially more stressed when he has to be the sole peacemaker of the group, and it doesn't help when Jun's the way he gets when Aiba is sick.
Because Jun has a tendency to be moody as it is, but when Aiba is sick, he's the image of a black cloud, sulking and dragging his feet and pouting when things don't go his way. When Aiba is healthy, he and Jun have the tendency to get too mushy and romantic for Sho's comfort in front of the rest of Arashi, but when Aiba is sick, it's the other end of the spectrum, and there's nothing to be done about Jun's mood.
"He gets so stupid," Nino comments to Sho with a roll of is eyes, and Sho would be inclined to agree if he didn't, every so often, catch a glimpse of the other side. But when Jun ducks out of rehearsal to go check up on Aiba, Sho has occasionally followed him to go get something from the dressing room, and when he gets back into Aiba's proximity, it's a whole different story altogether.
"How are you feeling," he asks gently, putting a hand on Aiba's head where Aiba is curled up on the couch. "You still feel warm."
"I'm okay," Aiba always responds, or something to that effect, but Jun shakes his head, getting down to his knees to look eye to eye with Aiba.
"You just focus on getting better," he says, "And I'll come get you when they absolutely need you, okay?"
At that, Aiba will smile despite that he'll insist, "I'm really fine, you know," coughing and sneezing all the while.
And, "Shush," Jun says in response, quieting Aiba with a kiss.
"I'm going to get you sick, you know," Aiba points out when Jun draws back, and Jun will laugh and reply, "Who cares?"
I do thinks Sho, because he knows what Jun is like when he's sick, but when he sees the way Aiba smiles in response, he thinks, maybe it's really okay, after all.
When Sho is sick, just as when Sho is anything, really, he tries to be an adult about it.
He's never really liked making people worry or wait on him, though, of course, sometimes, in his line of work, it's inevitable, and when he's sick is no different. When he's well enough to really think properly and not too contagious such that he worries about infecting the rest of Arashi, he takes cough medicine and heads to work, sneezing into his mask and looking absolutely disgusting but dragging himself along all the same. Unlike the others, he doesn't have someone there to look out for him, doesn't have someone to fetch him more tissues or rub his back or tell him that it will be okay, which is fine, and Sho has never been bitter, but when he's sick, he thinks, just a little moral support or something would be nice.
But at any rate, when he's well enough, Sho drags himself to work and does what he has to to pull through, because he's responsible like that and the last thing he wants to be is a prissy idol who calls in sick every time he has a little cough. But when he's really not feeling well, when he's running a fever and honestly can't drag himself out of bed... on those rare occasions, he's forced to call in sick, and instead lays in bed staring at the ceiling and feeling guilty for not going in.
Because somehow, sometimes, it's worse to be at home that at work. At work, the others are there to ask how he's doing even if not much else, at work, he has responsibilities to distract him. But at home, there's nothing, at home all he can do is lie around feeling lonely and sorry for himself. It's not that he needs someone to look after him, really, but he can't help but imagine what it's like at home for the others when they're sick. To have Nino's obsessive doting, Aiba's constant worrying, Ohno's physical comfort, Jun's kind words... to have anything like that would be more than Sho could ever want, really.
But that's simply the way the cookie crumbles, and Sho isn't usually one to mope. It's just hard, when he's sick, to look on the bright side of things, and his apartment feels expansive and dark and cold and empty with only him in it, eating instant ramen and slouching on the sofa, watching Nino woo some young woman on TV. It's easy to pity himself when he already feels crappy, but after a while, it begins to seem like too much self-indulgence, and he thinks that he should have gone to bed hours ago, anyway.
But just as he's heading to bed, the doorbell rings four of five times in an incessant string before the door opens and Sho is shocked to see Ohno, Jun, Nino, Aiba all pour into his apartment. "You look like crap," Nino announces before anyone can say anything, but a disapproving Aiba cuts off anything else with, "We brought you dinner!" And sure enough, Ohno holds up a bag of takeout curry, and despite the fact that it's nearly midnight and he's already eaten and he should be getting to bed, Sho can't help but grin.
They stay far later than they should, eating curry and drinking beer and rehashing the day for Sho's amusement, and Sho eats and drinks and laughs and coughs and laughs some more. He's getting tired and his throat is sore and he knows he must look absolutely atrocious, but with everyone here with him, he somehow doesn't care.
"But how are you feeling, Sho-chan?" Aiba asks earnestly, eyes wide.
And despite the fact that he's fairly sure he's still running a fever, Sho isn't lying when he replies, "Great."