Pairing: eventual ohmiya, sakuraiba, matsuba .. in a way
Summary: The coming school year is going to bring changes to every aspect of their lives: family, school, social. But if there's one thing you can always rely on, it's the walking club.
Notes: You can find previous chapters here.
The door slid shut with a bang as Nino jumped into 212, lunch in hand.
"I swear," Nino sighed, "if I have to tell that kid one more time..."
Sho looked up from his lunch with a questioning glance. "Hmm? What's up?"
"That stupid first year," Nino sunk into a chair, pushing hair out of his eyes. "You know, the one that wants to join Walking Club? He keeps tormenting me. It's like I see him everywhere I go. Thank goodness he joined choir his first week. The one club per student rule is the only thing keeping him out of here right now, snot-nosed brat."
"We don't need another club member, anyway," Jun agreed.
"Aw, Chinen's not that bad," Ohno said over his onigiri. "He's kind of cute, in a puppy dog that follows you home kind of way."
"No, he's not," Nino's eyes were venomous. "He's annoying and ridiculous and not cute in the slightest."
"Agree to disagree?" Sho tried to settle Nino, slightly frightened by the look in his eyes. Nino nodded and turned his attention to his lunch but Sho wasn't quite sure the boy had gotten the point.
"What do you think about another member, Aiba? You were the one that started this club, after all," Jun turned his attention to the silent boy. Aiba looked up, bits of rice sticking out of his mouth as he had just shoveled a heaping in.
"Hmm? I wasn't paying attention."
"Honestly, Aiba," Sho sighed good-naturedly, "are you even on the same planet as us? I worry about you sometimes."
"No need to worry," Aiba assured. "I just didn't get much sleep last night so I'm kind of tired. What were we talking about?"
Nino was sure to fill Aiba in on the home-wrecking first year, loathing gleaming in his eyes while Ohno tried to temper the discourse with comments about how he was kind of cute and a good singer and various other facts that may have been true but were nothing Nino wanted to hear. Ultimately, Aiba agreed that he might not be the king of all the evil in the world but they really didn't need another person in their club. Nino flashed the victory symbol in Ohno's face and Ohno just shrugged.
"I'm going to cut lunch short," Sho announced. "I want to finish some homework from last night real quick. See you guys after school?"
"We had homework?" Ohno blinked up at him.
".....you better come, too," Sho sighed. He grabbed the other boy's shirt and dragged him out of the classroom towards the third floor and their own homeroom.
"Speaking of class," Nino drawled, "I think some kid in mine was going to loan me Dragon Quest Nine today."
"He already got a copy of it?" Aiba asked, intrigued.
"His dad works for Enix," Nino explained offhandedly, packing his lunch into his bag.
"And he's just going to lend it to you? How did you swing that?" Jun questioned. Nino looked up with a gleam in his eye.
"Oh, he doesn't know he's giving it to me yet. But he will. See you guys after school." Nino practically skipped out of the classroom, a look Jun wasn't quite comfortable with on his face.
"I guess we should get back to class too, hmm?" Aiba said, his tone almost listless. Jun had had enough.
"What's with you today?"
"With me?" Aiba looked confused. "Nothing. I'm just tired."
"When you're tired, you sleep, not walk around half-dead. There's something else. What's bothering you?"
"Nothing's bothering me." Aiba wouldn't meet his eyes.
"Liar. Come on, you can tell me."
"Let's go back to class, Jun." Aiba pushed past him to the door.
"You like Sho, don't you?"
Aiba stopped in his tracks but didn't turn around.
"That would explain everything. Why you made this club, why you went to this high school, why you purposely pretend to not understand half your homework..."
"I don't understand it!" Aiba whipped around, his tone almost pleading.
"Maybe," Jun agreed, "but there's more going on. How long have you liked him for, anyway?" Aiba looked down, staring at the floor, but he didn't leave.
"And you weren't planning on telling him or anything?" Jun's tone was slightly sarcastic but worry seeped in, making his intentions clear.
"You heard him yesterday after school," Aiba whined. "He doesn't see me like that. He never will. He's going to confess to Emi at graduation and they'll date and get married and have kids and I'll just have to live with it. I've accepted that."
"No, you haven't. If you had, you wouldn't be this miserable."
"Well, there's nothing I can do, anyway. Just leave it alone, Jun." When he got no response, he looked up nervously. "Jun?"
"I have an idea."
"I don't want to."
"It's not one of your ideas, it's mine. So obviously it has a better chance of working."
"My ideas work!"
"Sure they do. Anyways, my plan is going to work. The problem is, you see, that Sho's never seen you as anything other than just Aiba before."
"....what else would he see me as?" Aiba blinked, not following at all. Jun just grinned.
"I'll tell you later. We have class."
For reasons Sho couldn't fathom, it seemed like everyone was antsy after school. Truth be told, as much as he loved the other four, he really wished he were at home, studying. He had a test tomorrow and was worried about it.
"Oh-chan and I are going to see a movie," Nino announced. "Who wants to go?"
"Can't," Jun replied, taking Aiba's arm. "Aiba and I have a project to work on." Both Aiba and Nino gave Jun a questioning glance.
"What project?" Nino asked. "We're not doing any project."
"You're not in our class," Jun replied. "Anyways, we have a lot of work for it so we better be going. Come on, Aiba."
Aiba said a quick goodbye and followed Jun like a puppy.
"Sho?" Nino turned his questioning eyes towards his other friend.
"I have too much homework," he sighed. "Plus," he added, a mischievous gleam in his eye, "I wouldn't want to intrude on your date."
"It's not a date!" Nino whined but Sho just grinned and informed them he'd see them tomorrow.
"I guess it's just us," Nino turned around to find Ohno watching him. "What?"
"Nothing," Ohno replied quickly. "So what movie do we want to see?"
"How about that new one with Abe Hiroshi? It looks kind of good."
"Sounds good to me," Ohno smiled and turned in the direction of the station. When he didn't hear footsteps behind him, he turned around. "Aren't you coming?"
"I promised my mom I'd pick up groceries on the way home. I'll just get those real quick and meet you at Sunshine City. Promise~!"
Ohno nodded and headed towards the station. It was going to be a good night.
After the last showing of the movie had started four hours later, Ohno finally admitted to himself that Nino wasn't coming.
Haha, I wrote Chapter Two today instead of doing homework~. A bit of a cliffhanger to end on, I suppose. I don't know when the next chapter will be up but I've kind of been writing these quickly so it shouldn't be too terribly long. I hope you enjoy~