Word count: 1,800 (for this chapter)
Rating: PG 13 for now. It definitely will get much higher later ;)
Warning: Is it a warning to say that this is a collab fic?
Summary: Once again, Aiba got cursed and was able to use magic. For some reasons, his magic worked on everyone excpet Jun. And although the unexpected power seemed nice, Aiba wanted to get rid of it.
Note: This is a collaboration between me (piggywhale) and yukitsubute. We alternate the writing of this story, and neither of us knows what is going to happen next (we keep it a secret from each other - for the fun of it :D ) New chapters will be posted every Friday, and this week is my turn.
This special collaboration is 20 chapters in total. We hope you will enjoy it <3
Previous: Chapter 1/ Chapter 2/ Chapter 3/ Chapter 4/ Chapter 5
When Aiba and Nino reappeared outside of the cabin, it’s already late afternoon. Sho, who was pacing up and down the balcony, saw them first and yelled out in relief. He ran down the stairs and jumped at Aiba and Nino.
“Oh God, we were so worried. I thought you would disappear forever.” Sho’s voice was muffled because his face was buried in Aiba’s shoulder. Yet, Aiba could hear genuine concern and honest relief in Sho’s voice.
“What happened?” asked Jun, who stood away from the group hug. He was giving Aiba a serious look. Many emotions brewed inside the youngest and they shone through his fiery eyes.
“Aiba brought me on a quick tour around the world.” Nino beat Aiba to the answer. “I thought I would hate being frozen to death in the North Pole, but I found out I preferred that to getting mauled by lions in African savanna or falling into a volcano.” Nino’s voice was full of annoyance instead of a real fear. Aiba thought it was an improvement from girlish screams Nino constantly produced in the past hours.
Jun’s jaw clenched tight and his hands clumped into fists.
“Jun…” Aiba felt the need to reach out. This was all his fault. “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to do any of this.” Aiba mumbled, feeling guilty and helpless. A strong surge of emotions rose from the depth of his stomach and Aiba suspected he’s about to sneeze again. Who knew what harms his magic could bring to the rest of them now.
Panicking, Aiba immediately jumped away and turned to run. He only thought of being as far away from his friends as possible before he sneezed again.
He didn’t get to go far. A hand snatched his elbow and gripped it firmly. Aiba’s urge to sneeze was instantly gone. Aiba turned to Jun. Their eyes met. Aiba suddenly realized what were in Jun’s eyes. Sadness, worry, and despair. Anger in Jun’s eyes wasn’t for Aiba but possibly for himself.
“Don’t go away. Not again.” Jun said in almost a whisper. He averted Aiba’s gaze and relaxed his grip, but he continued to hold on to Aiba’s elbow. “Please,” added Jun a moment later. He sounded tired and frustrated.
“Stupid Aibaka! Did you try to run away from us?” Nino slapped Aiba in the head. It didn’t hurt but Aiba felt he’s on the verge of tear.
“You guys may get hurt if I am around.” Aiba mumbled.
“How would we feel if you run away?” Sho asked seriously. Aiba looked at Sho and realized the answer. He felt like crying and more emotions surging again. But Jun squeezed his elbow and the urge to hiccup receded.
“We sort this out now.” Ohno stepped in. He gave Aiba a strong, determined look before shifting his gaze to other members. “It’s time we go meet this fortune teller.” Everyone nodded in agreement. Jun reached inside his pocket for the car key and handed it at Sho.
“Would you drive?” Jun requested. Sho took the key immediately.
“Great idea, Jun. And you keep holding Aiba’s hand in the car, in case this guy wants to jump off or something,” Nino commented jokingly.
Jun didn’t respond, instead he held Aiba’s hand tight and led him toward the car.
It was a long drive from their cabin to the fortune teller shop. Despite not being able to find the shop with Google Map, Aiba vaguely remembered the direction to the place from his earlier visits. He gave Sho the direction as best as he could. They spent almost three hours finding their way to the shop. It was already late into the evening when they arrived.
“How did you find this shop in the first place?” Nino questioned.
“There was a flyer laying around in our green room.” Aiba recalled picking the flyer from a stack of magazines. “I followed the driving direction on the flyer.”
“A flyer with driving direction? No one would be able to get here without a proper map.” Sho commented as he parked the car in front of a mysterious looking shop. From the exterior, the place looked old, creepy, and uninviting. No OPEN sign and no lights on the outside.
“Is it still open?” Ohno asked to no one in specific. He would hate to know that they lost the precious time finding this place and had to wait for another day to get this thing sorted out.
“Believe me, it’s open.” Jun replied. Aiba wasn’t sure why Jun would sound so certain. He followed Jun out of the car and the rest joined them in standing in front of the shop. Jun’s look turned serious and sobered.
“Maybe you guys should wait outside. I will go in with Aiba.” Jun suggested. Aiba stole a glance at Jun, wondering why he would make such a strange suggestion.
“No way. I am not going to sit this one out.” Nino protested and started walking toward the poorly lit entrance to prove his point. Everyone hurried after him. The interior of the shop looked just like a replica from a magic shop in a movie, plus an eerie, unnatural atmosphere. Aiba didn’t remember it being this intimidating when he visited the previous times.
“This place gives me creeps.” Sho said nervously. There was no one in the reception area and he wasn’t sure what to do next.
“There is someone in the next room.” Jun told them and led the group straight through a small aisle hidden behind a thick curtain. Aiba remembered it being the reading room he met with the fortune teller last time. But why would Jun know about this?
Aiba had no time to wonder because as soon as they entered the next room, they found the fortune teller in her strange gypsy dress sitting at the reading table. She seemed to be expecting the company because she was smiling directly to them.
“Hello, my dear” the fortune teller greeted. Aiba smiled awkwardly back to her. Then, he realized that the fortune teller’s greeting was meant for someone in specific. It was meant for Jun.
“Aunt Kiko,” Jun muttered. He looked like he just saw a ghost.
“This fortune teller is your aunt?!” Nino was baffled. “She’s younger than us.”
“Look isn’t everything, Nino, you of all people should know it.” Jun replied to Nino. The fortune teller laughed, clearly amused by their reaction, yet Aiba felt the laugh sounded rather mischievous.
“Come on, dear, aren’t you going to introduce me?” The fortune teller tiled her head slightly. Her beautiful, long, curvy hair cascaded down her sides. She looked dashingly beautiful in a mystical way. Her eyes were piercing but Jun met her stare with the same intensity. “I guess my nephew forgot his manner. My name is Kiko. I am Jun’s aunt, his mother’s older sister.”
Jun stayed silence. But Aiba stood close enough to see Jun’s jaw line shown. He was clenching his jaw tightly.
“Jun, is everything OK?” Aiba asked in an uncertain voice. Of course, he knew everything was not OK, the young lady who had put a curse on him was claiming to be Jun’s aunt. Yet, he reached for Jun’s hand and squeezed it a little. Given the look on Jun’s face, Aiba was more worried about Jun than about himself.
“Your boyfriend is so adorable, my dear.” Kiko commented. Her eyes now shifted to Aiba.
“He’s not my boyfriend. Leave him alone.” Jun grunted. Despite what he said, Jun pulled Aiba in a little closer.
“Oh my, isn’t this cute?” The fortune teller was visibly amused. Aiba had to turn away to avoid her piercing glare.
“We would like to ask you to lift the curse off Aiba, please.” Sho stepped in and asked politely. He felt slightly frightened but still didn’t forget their objective.
“A curse? What curse?” The surprised look on the fortune teller was genuine. It caught them by surprise.
“Sho meant the magical power that I have. The weird stuffs that happened after I came to visit you every time.” Aiba helped clarify. “Please get rid of this curse. Please get rid of my magical power.”
“Oh, you mean THAT.” Kiko nodded a few times, realizing what they referred to. “But I didn’t put a curse on you. I didn’t give you magical power.” Then, she added, “He did.”
She pointed a finger at Jun.
Aiba turned swiftly. His mouth opened wide. Jun had put a curse on him??
“I never do such thing. I would never drag Aiba into this retched world.” Jun protested in a strong and bitter voice. It should comfort Aiba, but it confused him even more.
“I didn’t put a curse on him. However, I might have tried connecting him to you.” Kiko tilted her head teasingly before she continued, “If it were other people, it wouldn’t lead to anything. But the strength of his feeling toward you make the magical connection possible.” She looked at them in amusement. “And, my dear nephew, your feelings toward him allow him to channel your magical power. From what I sense, the connection has become very strong, hasn’t it?”
Aiba gasped at what the fortune teller was saying, what it meant… Aiba was confused and couldn’t believe what he heard. He turned swiftly toward Jun but saw no reactions.
“What are you saying? Aiba can use magic because Jun can?!? And Aiba and Jun are…” Nino burst out, visibly too shocked to complete the sentence.
“I can neither conjure food nor turn human into animal. And I certainly cannot teleport myself to the North Pole.” Jun stated quite blankly. He looked annoyed and irritated. Jun didn’t deny “the connection” between him and Aiba that the fortune teller mentioned though, and Aiba couldn’t help feeling happy despite everything.
“Of course, you can do all those, my dear. You just won’t do it. You and my dear sister has sealed your power to make you a normal human when you have so much potential.” Shaking her head, Kiko stood up and started walking toward them, “All those power. Gone to waste, caged, because you and my sister didn’t have the guts to use them.”
Aiba felt the need to retreat and run away but Jun wouldn’t move. He stood in place holding Aiba’s hand firmly until the fortune teller was right in front of them. Smiling dangerously, Kiko slowly raised her hand and placed it on Jun’s chest.
“Thanks to your boyfriend, your power can be released now.” Her scary glance shifted from Jun to Aiba when she added, “I am so sorry, dear, but they are coming for him.”