little miss prim and proper (primroseshows) wrote in primrosegallery,
little miss prim and proper
primroseshows
primrosegallery

Arashi (Japan fundraiser fic #1): Threat Level Orange, 1/2

FIC! For ventriloquy , thank you for your contribution to arashi_on 's Japan Fundraiser! You requested something with "all / more members rather than a single pairing" or "something incorporating bits of messages to one another" or "Arashi + the internet" or "something from the Death Ray universe" or "even Arashi crackfic." I, being a moderate and not at all insane person, have done all of these things.

Title: This Would Have Been Easier to Clean Up with the Death Ray
Rating: PG
Words: ~14,000
Summary: What bombs? Oh, those bombs.
Lots of notes: I have come to the (not) startling revelation that the sole theme of my entire Arashi fic repertoire is this: Sho's life is hard.

Oh, and let's please pretend that smartphones are "new" and "exciting" things, okay. Or, barring that, just humour me, because I don't own a smartphone and probably will not in the near future, so they are in fact still very new and very exciting for me. Question of the day: How old do you think prim is? Answer: I don't think I'm that old, actually. But I am poor. So there's your explanation.

Uh, just to be safe though, I made the setting 2010. Ha ha ha. OH ARTISTIC LICENCE, YOU BAIL ME OUT ONCE AGAIN.

Quick primer for Death Ray: AU. Jun is the Chancellor's son, is rich, and is trying to make his city a better place for all its residents, is mildly succeeding. Nino and Aiba are orphans who moonlight as petty anarchists slash mad geniuses; they're still in university but Nino works part-time for Jun as a "plainfolk consultant." Sho just graduated and he's got a job at some lame newspaper but he's really proud of it. Ohno's still in school for his art. His mom is doing much better, and he and Nino finally got together, it's just as gay as you want it to be. This fic takes place about a year after the events of the main arc. I wouldn't call this a sequel, though; it's more of a side story.

ps. sorry for the weird spacing in the chats -- it doesn't show up like that when I try to edit the post, for some reason. ~__~


This Would Have Been Easier to Clean Up with the Death Ray, or, That Time Nino Accidentally Put the City Under Threat Level Orange, OR, Sadly Just Another Ordinary Week in the Life of Sakurai Sho


"I'm sorry, Sakurai-san," the female officer said apologetically. "Until we get an official statement, protocol dictates that the suspect has to remain in police custody. And even though your story checks out, there would be a lot of paperwork involved on both our sides if we just let you walk out of here. I hope you understand."

"I do," Sho sighed, and tiredly made his way back to the stiff-backed chair that had been offered to him when he'd first entered this interrogation room, five hours ago. "I apologize too, for the inconvenience. Thank you for believing me, though."

The officer smiled reassuringly as she turned to leave. "Oh, well. You really didn't seem the type, you know? You're barely out of university! How would such a young man get his hands on such classified material in the first place? Or make artillery? It's kind of silly to even think about, honestly."

You'd be surprised, Sho thought, and for the umpeenth time that day, cursed ever becoming friends with Ninomiya Kazunari. The door locked shut quietly, and Sho found himself alone, sitting at a metal table with the sunshine yellow cell phone dull and dead beside him.

Sho sighed again, and, just because he really was that disappointed in his own life, did it a third time.

~

Nino and Aiba had this bad habit of attracting trouble, Nino especially. Well. Maybe attracting wasn't the correct word. More like... instigating. Nino and Aiba had a bad habit of instigating trouble (Nino especially), and Sho, being their best friend, had developed a bad habit of bailing them out of it. Usually, the trouble was on a minor scale, like Nino needing an excuse to avoid Jun for an afternoon because he'd vandalised something in Jun's new City Hall office, or Aiba had found a stray dog with a limp and it bit him and now Aiba was afraid that he'd gotten rabies so he needed someone to check if his pupils were dilated, or was that just him seeing things? Sho was good at handling minor issues. He didn’t always enjoy them, but he was confident in his own ability to diffuse the situation, when there was nothing more at risk than some wounded pride and perhaps a quick trip to a nearby walk-in clinic.

The so-called "big jobs," as Nino casually named them, usually did not involve Sho at all. Probably because Nino knew that if Sho knew that they were about to pull some kind of heist, Sho would do his utmost to talk them out of it, and Nino never really took well to Sho's lectures. Another possible solution to stop their madness would be for Sho to tag along (the first time it happened, they'd all gotten nicknames: "Sho, you're totally Sailor Mercury, and Nino -- hey, stop laughing -- you're Mars, okay?") to try to keep an eye on things. "Things," referring to Nino's tendency to escalate whatever mayhem he'd started based on Aiba's adrenaline-fuelled dares (the universe really screwed itself over, introducing those two to each other). Sho tagging along often led to atypical results, according to Nino, who always made it sound as if Sho’s contributions were equivalent to lighting a truckload of puppies on fire, when all Sho really had done was ask a question right when Nino was aiming his projectile-of-the-week, which made him miss his target, which was of course Sho's original intention in the first place. Anyway, Nino claimed not to be able to work as well with Sho there to distract him, so whenever Aiba and Nino were off on a "big job," they tried to limit Sho's participation. Now that Sho had a better idea just how many "big jobs" the two of them were carrying out on a monthly basis, he thought he would feel a little left out, being excluded from so many of their plans, but after getting wind of a toxic incident that'd ruined a local five-star hotel's spa service, Sho realized that he should really count himself lucky that he wasn't considered a formal member of the "Manly Soldier Male-r Scouts." He liked to think that he had morals, after all.

Ignorance was bliss, as Sho often reminded himself these days. Admittedly, he felt more at ease letting Nino and Aiba run amuck in the city now that Jun was also there to keep a suspicious eye on them. The man may not have a university degree like Sho did, but he had power, and he knew how to keep Nino and Aiba out of trouble with a few well-placed threats and the raising of a well-groomed eyebrow. Sho trusted Jun, who had both the wealth and influence, not to mention the know-how, to keep Nino and Aiba out of trouble where Sho himself couldn't.

Then Jun made the brilliant move of getting them all matching smartphones.

~

New message:
[caller unknown]
where r u right now, come to the cafe!!!!!!
2010/05/24 10:34am

Sho stared at the unfamiliar number flashing on his phone before typing back slowly, Excuse me, I think you've got the wrong number. This is Sakurai Sho.

A few second later, his phone buzzed again, but there was a different number on the display.

New message:
[caller unknown]
SHOCHAN OmH com e 2 thecafff ee rite now therse aa sruprse11!!!! MATUSJUN GOT US NW
2010/05/24 10:37am

Ah, Sho thought. That had for sure been Aiba. He picked up his pace a bit, jogging the rest of the way to the café where the five of them often spent one afternoon a week, catching up with each other. They still met up with each other regularly, of course, but usually in pairs or threes, not all five of them together. The weekly café gatherings were Aiba's idea of group bonding time. With Ohno stuck in his art studio for most of the week, Aiba and Nino busy with upper-level courses, Jun now pioneering a new effort to make city resources more accessible to all citizens, and Sho’s own job at the newspaper, it was hard to find time for them to meet as five. The café dates, though, kept them all on the same page; Sho appreciated them. Seconds later, the rest of Aiba's message arrived in his inbox.

New message:
[caller unknown]
PHONSSSSSSSSSSSSS
2010/05/24 10:38am

~

There were five of them, each a different colour. Sho picked up his red one with eager hands, touching the screen gently and feeling himself grin as it flared with light. Across the table, Nino and Aiba were already engrossed in fiddling with theirs, yellow and green, their fingers tip-tapping with mind-numbing speed; for all Sho knew, they were writing a vigilante manifesto in Braille. Beside Nino sat Ohno and Jun, Jun carefully taking Ohno through the different functions that were already programmed into the technology, including how to use call-waiting, and how to put Nino on hold when he was being too annoying. Jun caught Sho's gaze and smiled, looking pleased with himself but slightly embarrassed all the same.

"They're a new model. I was given a set of them for investing in their parent company," he explained. "I thought it would help us stay in contact better." He shrugged one shoulder elegantly, as if it was a normal occurrence for him, to be handing out smartphones worth more than Sho's entire biweekly salary.

"It's very generous of you, Jun-kun, thank you," Sho replied sincerely, and had the rare opportunity of seeing Matsumoto's Jun's cheeks flush, only just noticeably.

"It's nothing," Jun said, turning back to Ohno. Sho grinned. It'd been over a year since that first day in the university cafeteria where Jun had sat with them for lunch, but old habits die hard, and sometimes Jun unconsciously slipped back to the mindset of that lonely young man who more than anything wanted a group of real, true friends, and was amazed that he'd finally gotten his wish.

When Sho scrolled through his address list, he saw that his phone already had four listed contacts:
Matsumoto Jun
Nino
AIBA!!!
ohno


Aiba poked his shoulder. "You got here a little late, Sho-chan," he said, "so we got it all set up for you. I told Nino not to jailbreak it though, because I knew you wouldn't like that."

"You'll regret it later," Nino said, not taking his eyes off his phone. "You want to pay for every single app you download?"

"It's the honest way to go about it," Sho said, adding his mother and father's cell phone numbers to his address list.

"More like the sucker's way to go about it."

"They barely cost anything."

"The keyword there is 'barely'," said Nino haughtily.

"Yes I want this as my ring tone!" Aiba shouted, and a Lady Gaga song started blaring from his phone, causing other guests in the coffee shop to glare at them. Aiba quickly muted the sound. "Ah, ah, sorrrry."

"I like that song," Ohno said, holding out his phone to Aiba. "Can you add it for me too?"

Aiba's mouth opened slightly in shock. "No, Oh-chan! We can't have the same ring tone! We all need different ones, so we know exactly who it is when we're calling each other! It'll be like a secret club signal."

"Let Oh-chan have the Gaga song, then," Nino quipped, taking Ohno's phone and tapping his thumb around the screen. "Your personality is more suited to something simpler. Hm, how about the alphabet song? Here, I'll add it to your name."

Aiba made a mad grab for Ohno's blue cell. "Nino, don't you da--"

"Whoops, too late, done," Nino said, tossing the phone back to Ohno, who caught it reflexively.

"I'm going to make the Mister Grinch song your ring tone," Aiba muttered, furiously turning back to his own cell. Nino looked oddly pleased.

"You know, the point of the phones would be to bolster communication between us, since two of you insisted on keeping ancient pieces of crap and one of you never bothered replacing one dropped in the ocean," Jun said wryly, taking a sip of his coffee. "I didn't get them just so you guys could steal apps and play ridiculous music at all hours of the day."

"I thought you liked Lady Gaga," Nino mentioned. Jun ignored him.

"Our old phones still worked okay though," Aiba added, taking his out of his pocket. It was in pretty bad shape: the gloss had long since worn off, replaced by scratches and scuffs and one worryingly large crack across the glass screen; Aiba rubbed it slowly. "I like them."

"They're past their prime, I think," Sho said. "I could barely hear you when you called me yesterday, remember? You always sound a million miles away. I think new phones would do you guys good. Now at least Nino can stop whining about lugging his laptop around everywhere if he wants internet access."

"I don't whine," Nino whined, curling his lip disdainfully. Before he could react, Ohno snapped a picture of his expression.

"Cute," Ohno said, looking at the resulting photo, and Nino scowled, but leant a bit closer to Ohno anyway. Ohno continued, as if he'd just recalled it, "Oh, you should thank Jun-kun for the phone, Nino. Sho-kun did it right away."

"It's fine, I said," Jun repeated, waving off whatever Nino was about to say. "Just don't make me regret giving it to you."

"What kind of person do you take me for?" Nino asked, and turned to Aiba, the two of them sharing an identical shit-eating grin. Sho felt a tendril of nervousness slip down his spine and forced himself to suppress a shiver. For the safety of all involved, he decided to change the subject.

It wasn't until he got home that Sho found Nino had bookmarked a string of Wikipedia articles in his phone's web browser: Arachnophobia, Herpetophobia, Acrophobia, Atychiphobia, Disposophobia, Erotophobia, Nomophobia, Nosophobia, and Cooking.

~

New message from AIBA!!!
guyss ther e is this site ogm funniesttt thing evrrrrrrr failblog.org
Sent to: matsujn, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 9:12am

New message from Nino
failblog isn't new; you're the failure
Sent to: aiba, jun-pon, Oh-chan, sho
2010/05/25 9:15am

New message from AIBA!!!
nion duhh i kno its not new but maybe teh others didnt know about it??
Sent to: matsujn, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 9:17am

New message from AIBA!!!
newayz now u can bkmark it on ur phone! nice one aibachan
Sent to: matsujn, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 9:18am

New message from Matsumoto Jun
Aiba, I see that you've misspelt my name in your contact list. Are you planning to fix it? MJ
Sent to: Sakurai S, Aiba M, Ohno S, Ninomiya K
2010/05/25 9:35am

New message from AIBA!!!
o yah sry junkun its fixed now
Sent to: matsujUN, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 9:37am

New message from Matsumoto Jun
If it were anyone else, I would probably accuse them of patronizing me.
Anyway, thanks, Aiba. MJ
Sent to: Aiba M, Ohno S, Ninomiya K, Sakurai S
2010/05/25 9:39am

New message from AIBA!!!
nppp!
Sent to: matsujUN, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 9:40am

New message from Nino
what, you're not going to try to correct the nickname i gave u?
Sent to: aiba, jun-pon, Oh-chan, sho
2010/05/25 9:56am

New message from Matsumoto Jun
I figure it's fair trade for the picture I have as your caller ID. MJ
Sent to: Aiba M, Ohno S, Ninomiya K, Sakurai S
2010/05/25 10:01am

New message from Nino
YOU DIDNT!!!!!!!! ...........did u????
Sent to: aiba, jun-pon, Oh-chan, sho
2010/05/25 10:04am

New message from Matsumoto Jun
.... :)
Sent to: Aiba M, Ohno S, Ninomiya K, Sakurai S
2010/05/25 10:05am

New message from Nino
im coming over there rn
Sent to: aiba, jun-pon, Oh-chan, sho
2010/05/25 10:07am

New message from AIBA!!!
I WANT 2 SEEE
Sent to: matsujUN, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 10:09am

New message from AIBA!!!
MATSUJUN SEN D IT 2 ME PLZ
Sent to: matsujUN, nino, ohchan, shochan
2010/05/25 10:10am

New message from ohno
haha aiba-chan failbolg is rly funny
Sent to: aiba-chan, jun-kun, nino-chan, sho-kun
2010/05/25 10:15am

New message from Sakurai
Jun-kun, for the past hour and a half I have been trying to put my phone on silent mode
because I was in a meeting and you guys kept on texting me (please stop doing this,
btw), but the function says it's been "manually frozen."
What does this mean?? Help!!
Sent to: AIBA!!!, Matsumoto Jun, Nino, ohno
2010/05/25 10:20am

New message from Matsumoto Jun
it means that i've rigged your phone not to be able to silence any texts from the four
of us. ps aiba the picture is now gone, so too bad for you. also im a big poopy head. MJ
Sent to: Aiba M, Ohno S, Ninomiya K, Sakurai S
2010/05/25 10:23am

New message from Sakurai
NINO! YOU ACTUALLY DID RIG IT!!
Sent to: AIBA!!!, Matsumoto Jun, Nino, ohno
2010/05/25 10:26am

New message from Sakurai
AND GIVE JUN HIS PHONE BACK.
Sent to: AIBA!!!, Matsumoto Jun, Nino, ohno
2010/05/25 10:27am

~

This was the problem with Nino working with Jun: he was constantly underfoot. Given that his position as Jun’s white-collar advisor/consultant/no-man was only part-time (he did have a degree to finish, after all, and Jun also had sanity he wanted preserved), he really managed to stir up a lot of exasperation. It was the first office job Nino ever had; though sitting motionless for long hours of time was one of the activities Nino was best at, Sho supposed that sitting for long hours in an institution that he deplored took some of the fun out of it. But the fact was that he was needed -- Jun trusted few people (not that he trusted Nino 100% either, you'd have to an idiot -- or Aiba -- to do that), but he trusted Nino's input in issues regarding the city, and the sad truth was that he did do better with Nino’s advice, since Jun’s knowledge of the activities and interests of the working class remained pitifully low. (That day Jun first stepped foot in a grocery store was eye-opening for more than just him. Sho remembered thinking, just how was it possible for one person to hold himself with such confidence, but at the same time have no idea what to do with a carton of milk?) And Nino was an asshole, but he was an asshole who cared about the city, even if he showed his feelings very strangely and illegally. So with Jun's resources and Nino's knowledge, the two of them really made quite an effective team. New jobs, a higher minimum wage, better social programs, these were all things that Nino helped Jun promote.

But unfortunately, having a real, professional job didn’t make Nino stopped pulling heists. He pulled fewer small ones now, though, seeming to prefer to reserve his time to work on big ones. There was also the fact that being an employee of the Council, he now had access to a variety of classified information on a daily basis, but all things considered, Nino didn’t make as much use of that as Sho expected.

Apparently, Jun and Nino had worked out some kind of deal the day that Jun had procured an employee card for Nino. The discussion had been so intense that Aiba had locked them in the house and spent the entire afternoon at Ohno’s, only to return after dinner to find Nino and Jun having coffee and pizza on the living room couch. They were being completely civil towards each other, only Nino had a small bandaid on one cheek and some of Jun’s nail polish had chipped on his right hand. Evidently this had been their way of sealing the contract; neither of them ever mentioned that day again.

Problematically, it was clear from the start that Nino hated working in City Hall. Aside from forced closeness to Matsumoto Senior, Nino had to wear suits, be respectful, and, hardest of all, not talk back to Jun. It was a lot for him to adjust to, seeing as how his last part-time job involved near-constant explosions. It just meant that, during work hours, Nino had to get his kicks another way, usually in the form of spamming Jun’s inbox. Actually, it was really Jun who Sho felt the most sorry for, having to deal with bored-at-work-Nino at least three times a week. For a task of that magnitude, backup was often needed.

New email from Matsumoto Jun [matsumotojun@hcc.org]
To: "Sakurai Sho" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Highway plans
Date: May 29, 2010, 3:23 pm

Hi Sho-kun,

You're probably busy right now, but I would really appreciate it if you took a few minutes to read the forwarded email conversation (below). The situation is basically this: the city is planning to build a new highway route to connect the downtown district with the farthest residential district (Leilan and anything past it), so people who live far away from the main city core can have an easier time commuting. I asked for Nino's opinion about this and it turns out he travels out to the residentials quite often, and brought up a lot of good points about the construction. However, when I asked him to attend one of the planning committee meetings, he flat out refused, for reasons I think are mostly petty and childish. I realize this is pretty much Nino's entire emotional spectrum, but I think there should be a limit to how much I'm willing to put up with, seeing as I'm not being unreasonable, I'm just asking him to do his job.

Anyway, it would be great if you could help me convince him to come to the next meeting on June 3. Barring that, I would be obliged if you could take him out for lunch on the same day so I know he won't try to prank the meeting somehow to get back at me for all nagging I've been doing as of late.

Thank you for your time.

Matsumoto Jun
Chair of City Affairs: New Development Management
Higurashi Cheng Council


-----------forwarded message below------------
Ninomiya K wrote:

i'll think about it. don't you worry your pretty little head about it though, i will endeavour to make my presence known somehow. ;))))))))

-----Matsumoto J wrote:-----
>Nino. Just be there to answer a few questions. That's it. I'll take care of my father, if he bothers to attend.
>MJ
>
>-----Ninomiya K wrote:
>>then i might as well confess now that it was me who started those rumours about your dad. sorry.
>>o yeah but he prolly should retire, even you can see that.
>>
>>-----Matsumoto J wrote:-----
>>> I am two seconds away from firing you.
>>>
>>>MJ
>>>
>>>-----Ninomiya K wrote:-----
>>>>you said please!!!!!!!!!! when can i expect the apocalypse?
>>>>
>>>>-----Matsumoto J wrote:------
>>>>>This is stupid. I am honestly working very hard here and you're being completely useless. Can you get over your paranoia already? He's not going to remember you. I've told you this on numerous occasions. He can't even remember the name of Hitsubashi-san, the Parks and Greenery chair, and they have business dinners together once a month. I know you've heard the talk around the office about how my father ought to be retired by now.
>>>>>Never mind, that's not the issue here. Come to the next meeting, please. I've talked you up, if that helps any.
>>>>>
>>>>>MJ
>>>>>
>>>>>-----Ninomiya K wrote:------
>>>>>>not like it's in me to explain to you how politics works, but i somehow had the impression that elected officials are, in fact, representatives of the people of the city. oh wait, i keep on forgetting how none of the current cabinet was legitimately elected by the people. how silly of me.
>>>>>>anyway you know that i am not going anywhere near your dad so if he's at these meetings, count me out automatically thanks
>>>>>>
>>>>>>ps. not my fault you got bored when i was explaining everything to you
>>>>>>pps. obvs i was right about the sewer thing; doesn't the waste management director know his shit? hah
>>>>>>
>>>>>>-----Matsumoto J wrote:------
>>>>>>>Nino,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>You didn't come to the meeting and I couldn't support any of the points that you'd written for me when people started asking me questions. You said they wouldn't ask me anything too detailed! I looked like a total ass. You'll attend next time, or I'll drag you there myself. The board really wants to listen to you this time, after you turned to be right about the sewer pipes. Come to the meeting and give your opinion there. Do I need to remind you that I am not *your* representative, it is the other way around.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>June 3 at 10:30. Chancellor's Ballroom 2. Don't "forget".
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>MJ

Ah. Concerning. Sho sent Nino a short IM: So I've been reliably informed that you have been missing many appointments lately. I'm disappointed in you, Nino. Do you need a babysitter? Because I can procure one, quite easily. I've done it before for my brother. He hasn't disobeyed me since.

A few minutes later, he received a reply back (and even the Grinch song trilling from his phone sounded despondent): you are a horrible, conspiring person and i hate you

Sho smiled and counted that as a win.

~

New email from ohno [s.ohno@hcu.edu]
To: "aiba-chan" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-kun" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "nino-chan" [ninomino@cmail.com], "sho-kun" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: fundraiser
Date: May 30, 2010, 10:08 am

hi everyone~

the art department at school is having an art fundraiser for homeless kids. I’m gonna have some paintings and sculptures! You can see them at Rotsu Dei Hall, on the second floor. It’s going for the whole month of june. Please help support!!!~

Thank u,
oh-chan

~

Wed June 2 2010
You're talking to: AIBA!!!


AIBA!!! says: shochann guess what me n ohchan did last nite
Sho says:      Does it involve rotten food or feathers? Or possibly both?
AIBA!!! says: LOLLL NOOO but good guesses mayb next time
                        geuss again
Sho says:      It wasn't some kind of experiment? Did it involve Nino?
AIBA!!! says: noppppppppe
                        to both i mean
                        lololo
Sho says:      then I give up, I have no idea
AIBA!!! says: CHATROULETTE
Sho says:      omg haha you guys
                        Oh, wait. You're serious?
AIBA!!! says: yyyyyyy shochan
                        u would not BELIEVEEE
                        the amount of dix we saw LMFAOO
                        it was supposed to be an exercise rly
                        like
                        ohchan wanted ot draw each person he met
                        exercise for SPEED DRAWINGG
                        but he couldnt do it b/c theyre were 2 many dicks lol
Sho says:      I see.
AIBA!!! says: also he's a bit slow ~__~
                        hed statr to draw the eyes an the other person woulkd move on
                        to anothea chat >.>
Sho says:      He didn't finish a single drawing?
AIBA!!! says: well there ar alot of HALF and 3/4 and 1?5 finished ones!!!!!!
                        1/5 sry
                        check his twitter
Sho says:     Ohno has a twitter?
                        I didn't know that.
AIBA!!! says: i made him one a few days ago so he could post his drawings hehe
                        since he nevr updates his deviantart nemore
                        ^___^v
                        username is TOSHISA
                        fufu~
Sho says:     Okay, thanks, I'll check it out!
                        Does this mean you and Nino have twitters too?
AIBA!!! says: noo i hav a tumblr tho
                        nino has a locked lj an he has no friends LOL loser
                        i think he just uses it ot post inprogress plans
                        idk tho
                        he wont let me see it.... T___T & >:O
Sho says:     That might be for the best, in all honesty.
AIBA!!! says: yeh well
                        yesterday he didnt want to play chattroulette bc he said he had "BUSNESS"
                        business
                        then he got home at like 2 am !!!!!!
                        i was like NINO whtere were u!!!!!!!??
                        he sais he went to clean up after an old project. he didnt say which 1.
                        how am i suuposed to kno then?
                        then he ignores my ques! for the rest of th e night
                        so weird that guy
Sho says:     Tell him to hurry up and make a Facebook account. It makes it so easy to
                        keep track of what friends are up to.
AIBA!!! says: i think thats why he doesnt want one lmfao
Sho says:      I think sometimes, that it would be really useful to have some sort of
                        tracking system on Nino's phone. So we could know where he is at
                        all times. Perhaps reverse-GPS or something.
                        I guess that's a little too 1984 though?
                        Well, I suppose technically not, since there weren't trackers in 1984.
                        You understand me what I mean though, right?
                        In 1984, a person had to be careful where he travelled because going to
                        any place that wasn't part of the person's daily work regime was deemed
                        suspect. In Nino's case, he's got access to the whole city and can really
                        do whatever he wants within it, which is worrying on a number of levels. I'm
                        not saying that the government control in 1984 was moral, far from it, but you
                        have to admit there's a certain security that may be gained by trusting that a
                        person will have the sense to stick to "normal activities".
                        Maybe I'm overthinking it, however. Haha.
                        What do you think Aiba?
AIBA!!! says: shochan nino is not a dog and plus it is 2010?
Sho says:      ಠ_ಠ

Later, out of curiousity, Sho checked Aiba's tumblr (username: aiyayababa). The front page was largely filled with lolcats (popular tags: #lols #cats #animalz #lmfao #meow) and gifs of people tripping over things and hurting their crotch (#lols #lmfao #whoopsies #poorguy #ididthisonce). Occasionally there was a recipe for mabo tofu (#recipes #food #tomake #tostuffdownninosthroat). There were also a few videos of chimpanzees (#sosmart!!!!!).

Surprisingly, Ohno's twitter was not as empty as Sho thought it would be, except written tweets were few and far between. There were, however, lots of twitpic links, which, true to Aiba's words, were often snapshots of unfinished sketches, paintings, or small clay sculptures (no private parts of strangers, thankfully). Ohno labeled some of his art with one word titles: person and girl and other girl and dog. One of the newest pictures was a messy pencil outline of a person stretched facedown on a couch, one hand hanging off the side of the cushions, fingertips barely reaching the handle of a large, dirty shovel lying on the floor beside him. From the mop of hair and dimunitive set of shoulders, Sho had a very good feeling that this was a sketch of Nino. Underneath, the caption read long day. Sho though it was cute.

He knew that there was really no point to look at Nino's Livejournal account (username: ninotendo83), but Sho couldn't really stop himself from trying. No luck: although the userinfo page listed over 250 posts in the journal, Nino's front page was blank save for one message written over a year ago.

This journal is LOCKED. If you're here and you're not me, go away and don't waste your time.

This was probably the best advice Nino ever gave anybody in his entire life. Sho, always a fan of good advice, decided to heed it.

~

New email from AIBA!!! [birdobrain@cmail.com]
To: "matsujUN" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "nino" [ninomino@cmail.com], "ohchan" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "shochan" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: LOL GUIZ get this
Date: Apr 2, 2010, 1:30 am

COOL DOOD OHNO: ANSWERS NORMAL QUESTIONS LIKE A NORMAL PRSON
SCUMBAG NINO: PRETENDS HE DOESNT SPEAK THE LANGUAGE



~

On June 3rd, Sho got a short email from Jun, thanking him for his "participation in a minor miracle," which Sho took to mean that Nino indeed showed up for the highway planning meeting that morning. He supposed that it was a good sign, that slowly but surely, Nino was toning down his hostility towards the city council and actively trying to work with them, instead of against them in mean and subversive ways

On the official website of their municipal government, the page detailing the highway construction project had been updated. Seemed like that the blueprint has been finalized and the next step was to start clearing the space needed for the new road, due to start next week at the abandoned junkyard edging the far borders of Kitaken neighbourhood. The post ended with a quote from Jun: "This new road is about more than just increasing downtown access. By joining together our most populated parts of town with our most productive, we are building a path to a better future for each individual citizen as well as our city, our home, as a whole." Sho sighed, impressed at Jun's eloquence but imagining what Nino's face would have looked like it.

Later on that day, Sho hosted a long but interesting interview with the police inspector of the city's underground crime department. "There seems to be a lot of commotion going on, lately," Tsubasa-san told him, stroking his beard. "We're keeping an active eye on things, however, so no need to worry." Sho diligently wrote that down.

The conversation was long but worth it; Sho wanted to gather as much information as possible for his article, and by the time they finished, it was nearing five o'clock. Back at the office, Sho checked his inbox and saw a list of new messages.

New email from AIBA!!! [birdobrain@cmail.com]
To: "matsujUN" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "nino" [ninomino@cmail.com], "ohchan" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "shochan" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:11 pm

got final marks back!!
A average yayyyyY!!!!!!!!!



TMR NITE LETS CELEBR8 GOOD TIMES COME ON
ie come to our place and we'll get crunkedd ;))
(u too matsujun!! no excuse on a friiiiday~~~)

Aiba


New email from Nino [ninomino@cmail.com]
To: "aiba" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-pon" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "Oh-chan" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "sho" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:24 pm

can't make it tonight, busy w stuff. have fun w/out me, keep out of my room for your own safety
thanks


New email from ohno [s.ohno@hcu.edu]
To: "aiba-chan" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-kun" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "nino-chan" [ninomino@cmail.com], "sho-kun" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:31 pm

Nino, you should come though. its a special day for aiba-chan!!! what were ur grades?


New email from Nino [ninomino@cmail.com]
To: "aiba" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-pon" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "Oh-chan" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "sho" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: Re: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:35 pm

that's no one's business but mine.


New email from Matsumoto Jun [matsumotojun@hcc.org]
To: "Aiba M" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "Ninomiya K" [ninomino@cmail.com], "Ohno S" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "Sakurai S" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:39 pm

Ah, so you got less than an A-average, then, I see.

Aiba, thanks, I'll drop by around 7:30, hope that's okay. I'll bring wine and a cheesecake. You like banana strawberry, right?

Nino, I agree with Ohno; you should take the night off. Kind of painful for me to admit this, but you've been really working hard the past few days. And I know for a fact that Kobayashi-san doesn't check his emails on the weekend, so you'll have to wait to speak to him until Monday.

See you all later, then! :)

MJ


New email from ohno [s.ohno@hcu.edu]
To: "aiba-chan" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-kun" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "nino-chan" [ninomino@cmail.com], "sho-kun" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:42 pm

So you got less than aiba-chan? its ok!!! i did too. b+!!! ^^

just stay tonight, nino!! we'll have fun~


New email from Nino [ninomino@cmail.com]
To: "aiba" [birdobrain@cmail.com], "jun-pon" [matsumotojun@hcc.org], "Oh-chan" [s.ohno@hcu.edu], "sho" [sakurai.sho@hcmetnews.com]
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fufufufufu
Date: Apr 3, 2010, 2:35 pm

okay fine!!! i'll stay >.<
and it was A- (mcgregor is still actively holding onto his stupid grudge; gave me a B ugh :'((( When is his teaching contract going to expire already?!?!)

ps i changed my mind due to ohchan's email, not jun's.


Which is how Sho found himself at Nino and Aiba's house on Friday night, a drink in his hand and a smile on his face, watching his two best friends argue about the extension length versus stickiness factor of chameleon tongues. Ohno sat beside him, doodling on his computer tablet (a lavish birthday gift from Nino; and tactfully, no one asked him how he'd managed to acquire it) and nodding absently to Jun, who was talking animatedly about public opinion for him was steadily on the rise and that he might actually have a notable foothold in the next election, even if he wouldn't win against his father. All in all, it was a very comforting scene, if one ignored the various bottles of chemicals strewn all over the place, some of them hissing smoke. (Sho kept his own glass very closer to his person at all times.)

"No, you can," Aiba said, jumping up from his chair. "I swear I've seen a YouTube video about it, I know I did."

"Are you crazy?" Nino was saying back, staring up at him with a slight frown. "Hummingbirds aren't nearly as smart as parrots, they can't be trained."

"But they can fly in all directions."

"So by your logic, a helicopter must belong in MENSA."

Aiba patted Nino on the head. "Nino-chan, I know you like technology better than people, but helicopters can't operate without a pilot inside. Helicopters can't pass IQ tests by themselves."

"Thank God," Nino stated flatly. "If they could the school never would have given you that physics scholarship; you can bet the helicopter would never need to make a stupid project about how to fly."

"That's not the same and you know it!"

Sho took a long drink to keep from laughing. Likely that would just give Nino a chance to deflect Aiba's outrage to him. Instead, he turned to Ohno, who was nearly finished with his picture: it was a obscenely detailed digital painting of a blue fin tuna. Sho stamped down his sudden craving for sushi.

"How's the fundraiser going, Ohno-kun?" Sho asked, as Jun stepped in to stop Nino and Aiba's bickering (clearly, he wasn't hanging around them long enough if he still thought mediation techniques would work on those two).

"Good, thanks," Ohno answered, smiling. "We're almost halfway to our donation goal. My sculptures are being bought pretty quickly."

"That's great to hear. I want to buy a few of those myself, actually. Do you think you could make me a set of five?"

Ohno saw through him right away. He turned to Sho fully, grinning. "Sho-chan is really sentimental sometimes."

Sho laughed, a bit embarrassed. "Well, it's to support the cause, after all."

"I'll make them as realistic as I can for you, then. I think I still have some coloured feathers lying around..."

"If you can still do this magic trick then you're not drunk enough!" Aiba's voice rang out. He had one of Nino's playing cards in his hand. "Matsujun, get me that beaker on that table!"

Nino hurriedly grabbed his card back, but only managed to get his wrist caught in Aiba's grip. "Get away from me, you psychos."

"This one?" Jun asked, picking up a jar of suspiciously blood-red liquid. "What is it suppo--"

"Just toss it on Nino!"

"NO DON'T!"

Sho fumbled hastily for his phone, getting it out just in time to snap the perfect picture. He leant over to give Ohno a look, and they toasted over it. He waited until Nino stormed out of the room before triumphantly setting the photo as his new wallpaper.

~

The next morning, at the obscene hour of 9:30 am, Sho got an urgent text from his coworker, telling him to get his ass into the office now, no objections, no excuses. So Sho hauled himself out of bed and trudged into the building for Metro Higurashi Cheng News, cradling a thermos of coffee in one hand and fiddling with a bottle of aspirin in another. He had to stop at the entrance to his department, City Affairs, staring at the mad flurry of activity whirling all around him, half-wondering if he was still a bit under the influence. What else could explain all this hustle and bustle on an otherwise perfectly normal, eventless Saturday?

Oh, right: news.

"Sho-san!" Nayoga shouted at him from their shared cubicle area. "You're here, finally!"

"Yes, I came as soon as I could," Sho agreed. "What's the big news you said you had?"

"You won't believe it," Nayoga said, waving him towards his desk and indicating to the array of photos spread out on it. "At first even I thought it was some kind of prank, but apparently a squad checked it out last night and it seems like a real case."

Sho frowned at the pictures. Black, round objects, cylindrical, large, metallic, bearing stiff, stenciled numbers -- "Are these what I think they are?" Sho asked, dumbfounded.

Nayoga paused to bite his lip. "We think we've found weapons of mass destruction. Here. In our city."

~

Suspected bombs found in Kitaken junkyard, Chancellor: "a graceless and unforgivable crime."
by Sue Hanshin (s.hanshin@hcactionnews.org)

Sunday, June 5 --- A number of highly suspicious mechanical objects were found in a crate buried in the west quadrant of popular scrap dumping ground, Kitaken's junkyard, police chief Dai Yamato stated in an emergency press conference last night.

According to police reports, construction of the city's new highway, as of yet nameless, which was to connect the residentials with the inner downtown core, began at Kitaken Junkyard West early Saturday morning. During preliminary soil removal, construction crews found a large wooden crate was found buried approximately three metres underground, twenty metres east from the team’s starting point. Upon opening the box, workers were shocked to find a collection of large, missile-shaped objects, each bearing a small digital screen displaying the date and time. A total of 4 objects were counted.

Worker Gil Hyesung immediately dialed 911 on his cell phone, exclaiming that they had found "a set of functioning exposive weapons" and "was sure that the whole thing was going to blow." Firefighters and police made it onto the scene within minutes, with the bomb squad arriving soon after. Construction employees were all evacuated immediately.

Currently, the entire two kilometres-square area of the junkyard has been roped off from public entrance as teams work to investigate the function of the bomb-like objects. Residents of nearby neighbourhoods are advised to stay in their households and await further news bulletins.

Chancellor Matsumoto, in an emergency press meeting, has denounced the perpetrators involved in planting the objects, calling them a “graceless and unforgiveable crime,” and thanking those who helped unearth them. In an impassioned speech, he lauded the expertise of his bomb squad and assured the city that the issue would soon be resolved with no loss of life. All members of the city council have denied previous knowledge of the so-called bombs.

The area is historically notable for being a rendevous point for various factions of Higurashi's underground crime syndicate during the civil unrest of the 1920's, however in recent years it has served only as a dumping ground for appliances, obsolete technology, tires, and the like. It is currently under investigation whether these bomb-like objects signal a resurgence of mafia influence in the city.

A threat level colour for the city is expected to be announced by 9 pm tonight, and information flyers will be delivered door-to-door tomorrow. Check your local news at 10 for coverage of the press conference, or follow us on twitter (@higurashiactionnews) for up-to-the-second updates.

Let us know in the comment section below what YOU think of this harrowing situation!

~

"Calm down, Sho-san," was the first thing Jun said when the call picked up.

"I haven't even said anything yet," Sho replied, strained. He'd been trying to get through to Jun for the past two hours, one ear kept tuned to the newspaper's police radio, and he was a complete mess of nerves.

"It was a preemptive comment," Jun explained, although he sounded more than a little stressed himself, his voice toneless and sharp. "You're panicking now, aren't you? Calm down."

This wasn't helping; Sho needed answers. "Jun, the bombs. Are they really bombs? WMDs?!"

"They're not WMDs. They're small-scale, except we don't know much more than that. The bomb squad is trying to figure it out, but they've never seen this make of artillery before. The only thing we know for sure is that they don't seem to be active -- although they seem to be all fully functional. The main worry right now is that they can be detonated remotely, which is why we're focusing disarming them at the spot and not transporting them elsewhere to do so. I have to say we lucked out that they were buried in the junkyard -- no one lives in that immediate vicinity. Although, a set of five bombs is likely to make a pretty large explosion..." Jun trailed off wryly.

"You guys seriously had no knowledge of this? Or was that just what the press release said?"

"We honestly didn't. It came as a surprise to me too, that the construction crew was even starting on Saturday -- I hadn't thought Kobayashi-san worked on weekends. I guess he kind of decided to give orders to go on ahead with things; I remember Nino said something about Saturday mornings being the most dead, traffic-wise, so I wouldn't blame him if he wanted to take advantage of that. He just wanted to complete the highway faster."

"And now," Sho said.

"And now we're apparently on the brink of a terrorist disaster," Jun finished for him.

Sho let out a long breath, very slowly. "Are you going to evacuate the people living in Kitaken?"

"Tomorrow morning, first thing. The notices are being printed out now -- most of the people in the residentials don't own televisions."

"Good," Sho said, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"Is that enough information?" Jun asked bluntly. "I'm sorry, Sho-kun, but there are some really pressing matters that I need to de--"

"No, no, oh no," Sho hurried to say. "You go. Thanks for the talk."

What was strange was Jun's pause, at the other end of the line. "It's kind of exciting, isn't it?" he said, voice nonchalant.

Sho had no idea what to say to that. "Um."

"I want to do well handling this," Jun clarified, now sounding embarrassed at his own admission. "If I do a good job, then I might be able to pull ahead in the polls. But I really shouldn't be thinking about this right now. It was just... anyway, never mind. See you, Sho-kun. Keep an eye on the news reports for me, will you?"

"Will do," Sho said tiredly, and resigned himself to a night of no sleep.

~

New message from ohno
Sho-chan do u know where nino is?
Sent to: sho-kun
2010/06/05 1:10pm

New message from Sakurai
No I haven't, sorry. Ask Aiba?
Sent to: ohno
2010/06/05 1:11pm

New message from ohno
he doesnt know either :(
Sent to: sho-kun
2010/06/05 1:14pm

New message from Sakurai
When/where did you last see him?
Sent to: ohno
2010/06/05 1:15pm

New message from ohno
fri night same as u. can't seem to reach him at all today for som reason?? confused
Sent to: sho-kun
2010/06/05 1:17pm

New message from Sakurai
That seems odd. Is he working, maybe? (UNLIKELY.) What did Aiba say?
Sent to: ohno
2010/06/05 1:16pm

New message from ohno
said that nion was rly mad saturd. & stayed out super late. gone this morn/
Sent to: sho-kun
2010/06/05 1:18pm

New message from Sakurai
Hm. Suspicious, even for Nino. Should I be worried? It's Nino.
Sent to: ohno
2010/06/05 1:19pm

New message from Sakurai
Nino, where are you? You can't go traipsing around when the city is under threat level orange.
Sent to: Nino
2010/06/05 1:20pm

New message from ohno
idk
Sent to: sho-kun
2010/06/05 1:22pm

New message from Sakurai
Aiba, has Nino come home yet? Contacted you at all?
Sent to: AIBA!!!
2010/06/05 1:24pm

New message from AIBA!!!
nopeeeeeeeeeee so weird wat is goin on wit the city shocan!!!!! do u think we'll be on wikileaks??
Sent to: shochan
2010/06/05 1:26pm

New message from Sakurai
Let's hope not... international coverage would only exacerbate things at this point. Jun
hopes the situation might be contained yet.
Sent to: AIBA!!!
2010/06/05 1:27pm

New message from AIBA!!!
o yeah nino 2. stole his laptop this morn an saw dat he'd spammed that online news artciel with
these fakee comments arguing aganst eachother. thinkg he wus tryin to spread som doubt??
Sent to: shochan
2010/06/05 1:29pm

New message from AIBA!!!
to lower panic???? mebbe &___&
Sent to: shochan
2010/06/05 1:30pm

New message from AIBA!!!
he's super obsessd w that project u know shochan. saw him memorixing da blueplrints last wk
Sent to: shochan
2010/06/05 1:31pm

Memorizing the blueprints? Sure, Nino could be invested in the highway project, but he wasn't anywhere close to being part of the construction team. And Sho had been under the impression that any blueprints from City Council were kept fully classified at all times, just in case of possible sabota--- oh. Suddenly, Sho thought: Nino. Of course.

He should have known.

He should have known.

And, as if Nino had been watching the whole mess unfold, behind the scenes all along, Sho's phone rang with a new alert.

New message from Nino
AUTOREPLY FOR STATUS [busy right now!! ttyl!!]: http://bit.ly/4kb77v
Sent to: sho
2010/06/05 1:35pm

Sho clicked on the link, regretted it, regretted again not figuring this out before, regretted ever knowing Nino at all. He needed to call Jun this second, but not before sending a message to Aiba and Ohno.

New message from Sakurai
THAT BASTARD IS TROLLING ALL OF US. Need all details of his movements in past two
weeks, please!! URGENT.
Sent to: AIBA!!!, ohno
2010/06/05 1:37pm


PART 2
Tags: arashi, au, fundraiser fic, no pairing, one-shot, pg
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