Ohno thinks Sho looks ready to tear his hair out.
He thinks Aiba might be thinking the same too because Aiba is suddenly apologizing profusely and promising many dinners and saying I’m sorry for telling Toma-kun that you like to cosplay, I promise I won’t tell everyone where you keep your porn, Sho-chan, I promise!
Then, Sho is drained of all colour.
Ohno thinks Sho looks more stressed planning Aiba and his (SUPERMEGAAWESOME) itinerary than when he has four different articles due the next morning.
They are supposed to meet at 4am in the morning and drive down all the way to Sapporo.
Aiba doesn’t turn up even after 5am, and that’s when Ohno starts to wonder if Aiba isn’t just taking his time with breakfast after all.
Ohno takes a cab to Aiba’s apartment and finds Aiba fast asleep on the couch with all their travel documents spread across the table.
Ohno only single-handedly heaves their luggage into Aiba’s car, and proceeds to wait for Aiba to wake up.
(Ohno would have driven if he could.)
They reach Sapporo in the evening.
Sapporo is thick with the summer’s heat and its never-ending days.
“Here we are!” Aiba singsongs as he shakes Ohno from his slumber carefully. They have stopped in front of a shack by the sea. It is small and hunched into itself.
“We’re staying here!” Aiba almost tumbles out of the car in excitement, his long legs tangling up in each other.
“What the hell!” Ohno exclaims in Kansai-ben. Aiba laughs and Ohno hears it with all the sand in between them.
He thinks this is perfect.
Sho’s itinerary is picture-perfect and is filled with tips and advice of what to do, what to visit, what to eat in Osaka.
Both of them quickly learn that neither one of them wants to read through Sho’s forty-paged notes out.
“Let’s go into town! Let’s go exploring!” Aiba exclaims just when they’ve settled into their shack and the sun is almost, almost just setting.
“Let’s sleep till tomorrow morning, then go exploring.” Ohno yawns.
“You slept the whole way here, Leader!” Aiba laughs, but - “Okay!”
Both of them fall asleep on top of covers.
Ohno and Aiba eat more than they’ve ever eaten in their whole life.
There are okonomiyaki, takoyai, udon, oshizushi, and cityscape spreading out before them like rolling fields.
“This is the best!” Aiba declares between mouthfuls of takoyaki. Ohno huffs (around his steaming mouthful of okonomiyaki) his agreement.
They hike up to the roof of the Umeda Sky Building.
“Let’s take a picture for Sho-chan!” Aiba suggests with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
Ohno leans over the railing and when Aiba calls “SMILE!”, he makes a face that looks far too much like Sho on a rollercoaster.
They visit the aquarium and Universal Studios. (Ohno has very serious discussions with Aiba at the former about keeping marine animals as pets.)
They visit the National Buraku Theatre where both of them watch in fascination (Ohno at the intricate quality of the puppets and Aiba, caught up with the storyline). Ohno makes a mental note to bring more tissue paper when they watch any sort of play in the future.
They visit the tenjin-matsuri where a teenage girl recognizes them. Ohno juts his chin out immediately upon being found out. Aiba laughs and shakes her hand, tells her shhhh, don’t tell anyone, we’re just here for the boats and the shouting. Ohno gives her his extra bottle of water to seal the deal. They find themselves watching the boats from the steps behind the shrine, shouting along with the trees, stamping feet and laughing with the rhythm reverberating through their bodies.
Every night, they fall asleep to the calls of crickets and the sea. Every morning, they wake up to the sun in their eyes and another day of adventure.
An entire day is devoted to a visit to the zoo.
One of the staff recognizes Aiba from a previous location shoot on Tensai Shimura Doubutsuen.
“Want to join us for our elephant show?” He asks.
“Only if Leader can come along too,” Aiba replies, slinging his arm around Ohno’s shoulders.
The show quickly spirals out of its usual routine. Yuya-kun, the elephant baby follows Ohno everywhere he goes; into the water and out of the water, ignores the bananas Aiba holds out for tickling Ohno in his side.
Aiba crowns Ohno Elephant Leader and on the way out, they buy three tiger t-shirts in yellow, purple and red respectively.
“I’ll miss the sea,” Aiba sighs.
“I’ll miss spending all my time with you.”
“We forgot our own souvenirs,” Ohno says and bottles seawater to take home.
“Remember to bring some sand too!”
On the way back, Ohno sleeps the entire time too.
“Leader is tired?” Aiba asks when they reach Ohno’s apartment blocks. Ohno smiles sleepily.
“Holidaying is tiring.”
Aiba laughs and after he helps to bring Ohno’s luggage upstairs, falls asleep curled up in Ohno’s bed.
“Masaki is tired from driving, huh?” Ohno asks, tangling his fingers in the baby hairs on the nape of Aiba’s neck.
Tiger t-shirts are always relevant.