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09 July 2010 @ 03:03 am
024. (fic) a dream is a wish your heart makes & once upon a summer  
title: a dream is a wish your heart makes & once upon a summer
rating/genre: pg-13; romance, light angst?
pairing(s): sakuraiba
words: 3,491
summary: some people say sho has no imagination. sho begs to differ.
disclaimer: FICTION.
notes: sakuraiba ate my brain again :| this whole, ridiculous sappy thing was spawned by that one engrish line from "firefly". it has nothing else to do with the song in any way, but that's how this all started. i divided it into two parts, because originally they were stand-alone ficlets, but they sort of...mated and became one fic in two parts ;p so, here it is! and yes, the title for part two is stolen from aiba's song.

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

“You know what your problem is?” Nino says disparagingly to Sho on multiple occasions. “You have no imagination.”

Sho admits, it’s a hard point to argue. It does not, for example, take a great deal of imagination to get an economics major. Brains, yes. Willingness to study until your eyes bleed, yes. But not a whole lot of imagination.

The same can be said of news casting. To be a news caster, you need facts, figures numbers, and a healthy interest in global affairs. Imagination doesn’t figure into it too heavily.

He thinks he might be able to argue that writing rap lyrics takes imagination, although a lot of it is just patience and possession of a large vocabulary.

“And who in their right mind,” Nino will argue back, “what sane person who is already wearing a boring gray sweatshirt will then put another identical boring gray sweatshirt over top of it and call it fashion??”

Very little imagination used there. Admittedly, Sho had known he was doomed from the second he walked into the dressing room that day, but it’s not a moment of his life he likes to relive very often. He tries to just not think about it.

But what Nino doesn’t know is that there is one particular subject on which Sho has exhausted hours of imagining. Maybe that’s where all his imaginative power goes to, and why it doesn’t manifest itself anywhere else. He wonders if maybe he should try and redirect all that imagination, but finds that he just can’t be bothered.

When it comes to Aiba, Sho can imagine almost anything.


It started out innocently enough. They were both young when they met, and Aiba was—and has remained—very cute, and Sho found himself imagining fairly tame, sappy things like what it would be like to hold Aiba’s hand, or slide an arm around his waist, or to rest his head on Aiba’s shoulder.

Happily, most of these things came about naturally in the course of recordings and photoshoots. But this also meant that Sho had to stretch his imagination a little farther.

He knew he was in deep when just the thought of kissing Aiba gave him something akin to an electric jolt. It was highly unfortunate that the first time this happened, he was standing right next to Aiba, shoulder to shoulder, where the younger man could feel the tremble that shivered through Sho’s body.

“Sho-chan? You okay? Hey, you look really flushed, do you have a cold or something?”

Sho doesn’t really remember what he said—something in the affirmative, anything to keep Aiba from possibly guessing the real source of his sudden bout of shakes. Aiba nodded sympathetically and went back to work. Sho found he had to keep tearing his eyes away from Aiba’s mouth for the rest of the day.

That night, he went home and gave himself a firm talking to. Okay, so you’ve got a crush on your bandmate. It’ll pass, it’s just because you see him all the time, you’re close to him all the time. But this was true of the rest of the members of Arashi as well, and while Sho certainly liked and felt comfortable with the others, he didn’t find himself imagining highly detailed and passionate make-out sessions with them.

It got worse before it got better. His daydreams—and sometimes his nighttime dreams—became more specific, involved fewer items of clothing. For a while, he found himself avoiding Aiba for fear that something highly embarrassing would happen to reveal his preoccupation. He ended up spending a lot of time with Nino, who seemed to be struggling with a similar problem, and while they sometimes helped each other out, they never really talked about what the issue actually was. It was just easier that way.

The most frustrating part, though, was that Aiba seemed totally oblivious. He carried on the same as he always had, didn’t even take Sho’s avoidance personally or really seem to notice it at all. How, Sho thought miserably, could someone be so cute and innocent and so sexy at the same time?

Eventually, though, Sho’s overactive imagination calmed down. It must have just been a weird, hormonal burst or something, he told himself. And while he still had decidedly warm and fuzzy feelings towards Aiba, at least he could function like a normal human being around him now.

Still, pink-tinted fantasies still wandered through his head now and again. He got so used to them that sometimes he almost forgot what was real and what he had just imagined. This almost got him into real trouble on several occasions.


When Aiba gets dumped, he gets morose. His dark mood will usually clear up in only a few hours, but perhaps it is because he is always so positive and forward-looking that in those first hours immediately after the fact he allows himself to wallow in a little bit of self hatred.

“I didn’t deserve her!” Aiba wails, although he is fairly intoxicated, so it comes out closer to “I’d nn d’re!” He also likes to get very drunk after a breakup, and it is often Sho who gets to walk him home.

“She didn’t deserve you,” Sho reassures him, his words only mildly slurred. He does have to get them home, after all.

“She was so nice ‘n pretty ‘n good at…stuff,” Aiba snuffles into the tabletop. “I should’ve…been, like…better!”

“You’re great,” Sho says, rubbing Aiba’s back soothingly. “She just wasn’t the one, right?”

“She was perfect,” Aiba replies, and then he really does start crying.

If she was perfect, she’d’ve known better than to dump you, Sho thinks, but the words that come out of his mouth are: “If I were your girlfriend, I wouldn’t make you this sad.”

Because of course he’s imagined dating Aiba. He’s imagined romantic dinners and quiet walks through crowded streets, hand in hand. He’s imagined waking up next to Aiba, making him breakfast, kisses on the way out the door. He’d be a great girlfriend—boyfriend, says a distant voice in his head—and he definitely would not dump Aiba.

He only realizes what he’s done when Aiba giggles and asks, “Sho-chan, you wanna be my girlfriend?”

“I—it’s just…an example,” he invents quickly. “Just for example.”

Despite that this is hardly an answer to his question, Aiba just sighs an “okay”, and promptly falls asleep at the table.

Sho takes him home in a cab, and fervently hopes the younger man doesn’t remember the last part of their conversation in the morning.


Sho loves kids. He’s always happy to work with them, is always excited when he gets to shoot an episode of Kodomo no Bangohan or Childminder, no matter how fussy or badly behaved the kids are. He especially loves it when he gets paired with Aiba for these adventures.

Because of course, somewhat embarrassingly, he’s imagined having kids with Aiba. It’s extremely wishful thinking, but with how often they end up working with children, it’s not a hard fantasy to construct. He imagines Aiba holding one little hand, and himself holding the other while they all walk down the street on their way home. He imagines them tucking in their little daughter—or son, though for some reason his daydreams usually feature a little girl—pulling the blankets up under her chin, and sharing a soft glance as they shut out the light and close the door.

So it’s not so surprising that, during a brief off camera moment during one of these episodes, when Aiba looks up from his wrestling match with their two-year-old charge and asks “What’re you smiling about?”, Sho almost says “I was just thinking that this is what it’ll be like when we have kids.”

He manages to stop himself after “I was just thinking”, but it’s a near thing. Aiba continues staring at him curiously—ignoring several vicious kicks to the head—and Sho has to come up with something to replace his aborted sentence.

“I was just thinking…that you’ll make a great dad,” he says, and smiles because it’s true, and not so far off from what he had wanted to say anyway.

Aiba grins in return, looking both embarrassed and pleased, and says, “You, too. You’ll be a really good dad, Sho-chan.”

Any further discussion is postponed when the little boy delivers a punishing blow to Aiba’s groin.


So nothing really happens. They are friends. Good friends, true, but just friends after all, and Sho convinces himself that he’s okay with this. He still dates, still has relationships, so it’s not like he’s been pining after Aiba or anything. Sure, none of these relationships last very long, but he tells himself it’s because he’s busy, he just hasn’t met the right person, he just doesn’t have time to date.

He tells himself this, and when he goes to sleep at night he imagines Aiba letting himself in with a spare key in the wee hours of the night. He imagines the sound of Aiba’s careful footsteps as he walks down the hall, trying not to wake Sho. He imagines a rustle of sheets and the feel of a warm body pressed up against his back.

He tells himself he’s not disappointed when he wakes up alone.

Once Upon A Summer

“I’m kidnapping you!” Aiba says triumphantly.

It is six o’clock in the morning, and Aiba is in Sho’s bed, straddling the older man’s hips.

I’m dreaming, Sho thinks. He blinks stupidly up at Aiba. “Kidnapping…?”

“Yes!” Aiba clambers off the bed, and starts dragging Sho upright by the wrist. “But we’ve only got one day, so hurry up!”

Sho is still not quite awake yet, and still not quite convinced he isn’t dreaming all of this. “Why are you kidnapping me?” he groans. “I’m supposed to have a day off today.”

“That’s why I’m kidnapping you,” Aiba says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Sho hasn’t moved from his sitting position, so Aiba gives up on him and turns instead to Sho’s dresser, where he begins rooting around in the drawers.

“What?” Sho manages, swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

“Don’t you know what day it is?” Aiba asks. When Sho makes a negative kind of croaking sound, Aiba sighs heavily. “It’s July 7th! It’s Tanabata! We’re going to a festival!”

Despite how groggy he still is, some ever-hopeful part of Sho’s brain squeals "It’s a date!!", but Sho quashes it immediately.

“Okay. Why…?”

Aiba turns around and throws a pair of jeans at Sho’s head. “Because it’s a holiday! Because I want to, and when was the last time we had a day off at the same time? If you don’t want to come, just say so.”

And then Aiba turns away and crosses his arms with a pout.

“No, no, I’ll come, I’ll come,” Sho says immediately. He still doesn’t fully understand Aiba’s reasoning, and is fairly confused by his odd behavior, but if he’s honest with himself he knows he can’t refuse Aiba anything.

Aiba spins around again with a megawatt smile. “Hooray! Hurry up and get dressed, I’ll make you some coffee.” And then he’s dashed out the door towards the kitchen.

A short time later, they are on a train headed for Aiba’s hometown. It’s not all that far from Tokyo, but it’s far enough and small enough that they won’t have to worry too much about being recognized. To be safe, they’re still decked out in hats and sunglasses, but the trip is relaxed and comfortable. Though he had seemed wide awake when he barged into Sho’s apartment, Aiba’s early morning energy eventually wears off, and Sho allows himself the luxury of letting Aiba nap against his shoulder.

The buildings and highways outside the train windows slowly give way to fields and trees and houses that got lost in time. There are low mountains in the distance instead of skyscrapers, and Sho gets the strange feeling he’s leaving behind more than the city. He wakes Aiba up only when they are a few stops away from their destination.

They make their way from the station to Aiba’s house, a handful of comfortable rooms above a small Chinese restaurant. Aiba’s mother greets them at the door—and Sho is reminded of just how much she looks like her son when she smiles—and immediately insists on feeding them, though it’s barely what one might call “late morning”. Sho doesn’t refuse, though, not when he knows how good the food is. Aiba’s younger brother is already cooking when they arrive, and carries on a shouted conversation through the kitchen door with Aiba while he prepares their meal.

Most of the day goes by in a blur. Sho helps Aiba set up some Tanabata decorations in the restaurant—some shoots of bamboo and strips of colorful paper near the door for customers to write wishes on—and accompanies him when Aiba’s mother sends them out to run some errands for her. Sho gets to ride on the back of Aiba’s bicycle when they go out, and while he feels kind of like a girl, he enjoys any excuse to wrap his arms tight around Aiba’s waist. In the afternoon they completely destroy Aiba’s room in search of appropriate festival wear. Aiba’s one yukata is too long in the arms for Sho, so he settles for a happi coat over his t-shirt and jeans. Aiba wears the yukata instead, and somehow looks completely natural and comfortable in it. Sho admires the way the blue and brown pattern of birds and leaves compliments Aiba’s current brunette hairstyle.

Sho is surprised when it is only him and Aiba who head out to the festival in town that evening. But the rest of Aiba’s family just shoo them out—we’re too busy here, you boys go enjoy yourselves—and Sho just shrugs and goes along with it, much like he has all day.

The sun is just beginning to set, and the streets are alive with food vendors, game stalls, booths selling everything from toys to charms to handmade crafts. Aiba buys them both cheap plastic masks—a Power Ranger for himself and Doraemon for Sho—for a disguise, he says, though they wear them on their heads instead of their faces half the time. They buy takoyaki that’s so hot it fuses to the roofs of their mouths when they try to eat it. They try the goldfish catch, and though Aiba manages to capture a few little fish, he gives them away to a five-year-old who’s luck wasn’t as good. They stop and write wishes at every bamboo sprig they come to, and most of them are silly things like “Peace and love for all mankind”, but once when Aiba’s not looking, Sho writes one that says “If this is a dream, I hope I don’t wake up”.

Because hours after his rude awakening, Sho still feels like he’s caught up in one of his better daydreams. It’s unreal, it’s almost too perfect—it’s just the two of them, side by side, and Aiba keeps shooting him shy little grins like they’re sharing some wonderful secret. Sho smiles back because he can’t help himself. He lets himself imagine for a moment that they are not famous, they are not idols who have appearances to keep up, lets himself imagine that Aiba feels all the same warm and fuzzy feelings that Sho does. He lets himself imagine that his is just another day in a life where they are together in the ways Sho is always dreaming about, and that soon Aiba will reach out and take his hand, bold and shy all at once.

Then Sho realizes that Aiba is reaching out for his hand, and sliding their fingers together like it’s completely natural, like he does it everyday.

“Come on,” Aiba says close to Sho’s ear, “it’s almost dark. I wanna show you something.”

And Sho follows him. He can’t help himself.

Aiba leads him away from the red paper-lanterns that line the roads and stalls, down a grassy slope that backs the main festival thoroughfare, but before they’ve left the glare of the lights Aiba commands Sho to close his eyes.

“Don’t worry,” Aiba says, squeezing Sho’s hand, “I’ve got you.”

Sho just smiles.

Deprived of sight, Sho tries to listen to where they are going. The bustle of the crowd, the shrieking children, the sizzling grills, fade behind them to be replaced by rustling grass and humming cicadas. Before long, Sho hears the slow bubbling sound of water and realizes they’ve come to a river. He can feel the grass brushing almost up to his knees before it gives way to a pebbly shore, and Aiba motions for him to stop.

“Okay,” Aiba says after a moment, hushed and breathless. “You can look now.”

Sho opens his eyes slowly. He feels the smile that has never really left his face growing wider as he takes in the scenery.

They are at the edge of a wide, shallow river. Smooth stones break the surface of the water occasionally, making little white-edged waves and eddies. In the dim light, Sho can make out the same tall grass they just came through waving on the opposite shore. The sky is a deep indigo, stained red and orange on the western horizon, and stars are already scattered across it. There are stars reflected in the water. Above the water, flitting through the grass. They are surrounded by fireflies.

A flash of light appears just inches from Sho’s nose, and he gasps. Aiba laughs, and reaches out to catch the firefly in his hand. He holds it where Sho can see it. The little insect crawls around on Aiba’s palm for a moment, blinking fitfully, before flying away again. Sho looks up in time to catch another one of Aiba’s shy smiles.

And for the first time all day, Sho doesn’t look away. He studies Aiba’s face slowly, carefully, something he rarely allows himself to indulge in. Aiba is still smiling, and his lips are parted just a little. His eyes have caught a golden chip of light from somewhere, and as they flick back and forth over Sho’s face, they seem like another pair of fireflies, glittering in tantalizing unison.

Maybe it’s because this is all so unreal. Because it’s so much like Sho’s imaginings. Without thinking, he raises his free hand to Aiba’s face, to trace those glittering eyes, thinking maybe he can catch them like Aiba caught the firefly.

The tip of his index finger comes to rest against Aiba’s temple, his middle finger on a high cheekbone, and his thumb on the soft skin under Aiba’s eye. He feels, he hears, he sees, the little hitch in Aiba’s breathing. Maybe it makes him bold. Maybe it makes him, suddenly, very sure.

He kisses Aiba like holding a firefly in his hand—lightly at first, carefully, giving him the chance to fly away if he wants to. After a moment, he pulls away and feels a little thrill at the way their lips stick together a bit when he does. They are still only inches apart when Aiba’s hand slides over Sho’s chest, fingers fisting lightly in the older man’s shirt as he pulls Sho back in.

Sho can’t help a muffled sound of surprise, that turns into a sigh, that turns into a low groan, because Aiba’s mouth is open against his, and Aiba’s arms are around his neck, and there is not a single molecule of air left separating them. They’re breathing the same air, breathing each other in, devouring each other with a ferocity that Sho hasn’t felt in years. Their tongues tangle, and Sho’s fingers clench in the fabric of Aiba’s yukata, pulling him closer, tighter, wanting more and never having enough. Part of him is still afraid this could end at any moment, he could wake up, so he savors everything—Aiba’s taste, the feel of him, his desperate gasps and sighs.

Finally, they pull apart, shuddering and gulping for air. Sho rests his forehead against Aiba’s, searching his face, but the other man keeps his eyes closed.

“Aiba-chan, I—”

But Aiba shakes his head, makes a small negating sound. “Later,” he murmurs. “Later, we can…let’s just…be here, right now.”

Sho’s brows furrow, because underneath Aiba’s words he hears his own fears and hesitation—Can we do this after today? Can we keep this, when we go back to real life?—and wonders how long Aiba has been daydreaming like him.

But he doesn’t ask. They sit down at the edge of the dark river, watching the fireflies, and kissing away any questions about tomorrow. For now, this is real, and it is enough.

For now, Sho can’t imagine anything better.

Author's Notes:
+ Tanabata.
+ i have never been to chiba. i have no idea exactly how far it is from tokyo or what it really looks like. so...artistic license? :D;;;
+ dear sho: i am sorry you are so ridiculous and sappy when i write you. (;_;)

okay, i should have been asleep about 3 hours ago. BYE.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
masakichimasakichi on July 9th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
This fic's really warm my heart...I feel like crying right now T^T
I don't know what to say, it's just...beautiful >.<

thank you for sharing this lovely fic :)

ps: is it ok if I add you?
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Don't cry! XD; But I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for reading!

And yeah, you can add me (^^) All I post here is fic, anyway ;p
Nijiitsumo_niji on July 9th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
oh god i cant imagine how beautiful this is *____*
thank you,it was so dreamy...
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
Thanks! And thanks for reading!
nloversnlovers on July 9th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
those whimsical feelings are really bittersweet...and i do think that sho is quite sappy in real life...
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
He just seems like the sappy type, doesn't he? I'm really not sure where I got that idea, but... ;p

thanks for reading!
iedahmoin: sakuraiba bowtieiedahmoin on July 9th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)
this is beautiful..
nice story of sakuraiba dating during tanabata
slow yet sweet..
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it :)

Thanks for reading!
betzi_chan: Sakuraibabetzi_chan on July 9th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC)
this story warms my heart!
it is really touching and sweet. *smile*
i love it!
i can imagine the scene at the river soo very well!
thank you very much for sharing!
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this comment! :)

And thanks for reading!
Fara Aibafaradakiut on July 9th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
i feel like smiling~ ;)
wait, i am smiling~;P
thank u for sharing~ ^_^
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Glad I could bring a smile to your face :)

Thanks for reading!
saku-chan: Yummysaku062 on July 9th, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC)

The first part made me sad, because....those two should be together!! >_<
But the second part!! ♥ ♥ PERFECT!! Really PERFECT!!!

I really like your writing! Easy to read, a bit poetic (the things with the fireflies...wONDERFUL!!), a really, really great story!

Thanks you very much for writing this! ^^
boohaysagingboohaysaging on July 9th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
i love it!! and the second story reminded me the sakuraiba photoshoot where that picture came from *points at saku062's icon
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, like I said, I was originally writing these as two separate fics, but I just can't stand a sad ending, so... ;p

Thanks for reading, and for this lovely comment!
(Deleted comment)
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks :)

And thanks for reading!
DJ Shiny Bubbles: A.RA.SHI - Sho Smiles and all is well.opaquebubble on July 9th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)

This is wonderful, and I love it. *______________* There is a lot of happy in these two fics!
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 10th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
:D Glad you liked it!

Thanks for reading!
fancyann1974fancyann1974 on July 10th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
so very sweet and cute
thank you for sharing
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 13th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
thanks for reading! :)
so_gracefull: sakuraibaso_gracefull on July 10th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
okay, I'm a bit late in commenting but it doesn't matter as long as my Sakuraiba is happy together. Hihi Seriously though, this is a beautiful and heart-warming story. It leaves room for imagination on what happens after, and I say that Sakuraiba confronts and acknowledges their feeling for each other and live happily ever after ♥ ♥ ♥
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 13th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
i'm a bit late in replying to this comment, so no harm done (^^;;)

glad you liked this, and i fully approve of your imagined happy ending ♥

thanks for reading!
bob lemon: sakuraibaboblemon on July 11th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you did a continuation of the first one--I think they fit together really well! And of course it was nice to see Sho's wishes come true. :)

By the way, I totally fell in love with this line: ...and as they flick back and forth over Sho’s face, they seem like another pair of fireflies, glittering in tantalizing unison.
harinezumi_kunharinezumi_kun on July 13th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
you picked a really good line to fall in love with, 'cause really - literally - that was the first sentence i wrote for this fic XD; everything else just kind of grew around it.

thanks for this lovely comment, and thanks for reading m(_)m
londynalondyna on July 28th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
OMG I didn't see this! *smack myself in the head*
this was beautiful and sad at the same time.
you described perfectly every fear, every insecurity, every desire he was feeling. at one point I didn't see words but I saw them, standing there at the edge of the river with fireflies flying around them... it was like being catapulted in the world that you created... maybe you'll think that I'm crazy but that's what I felt reading this wonderful fic.
thanks for sharing ♥

and sorry for the long and lame comment xD
aidillaidill on September 3rd, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
The story is cute. I like the way you describe the scenery near the river.
akakori-chanakakori_chan on June 19th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
its kinda touching, somehow sad... really... ah~ I can't find he right words...
totally like it! can't seem to go to bed, even thought I should...
thank you so much for writing this lovely fics ^^