Title: he Other Arashi
Inspired by: hese photoshoots of Jun
and the movie/book Coraline
Summary The agency decided to make Arashi's next PV at a secluded mansion in the mountains that has the perfect setting. Arashi has to stay for three days at the mansion, but Jun discovers horrifying secrets about the place.
Author Notes This is an AU setting in the world of Coraline, but slightly different. Also, the reason why there are no pairings is because the story is not romance based. Arashi is all friends, so that's why it's general. Enjoy!
The Other Arashi - Part 2
Jun was sitting in the library, watching the painting burn in the fireplace. Night descended upon the mansion, and Jun tried calling the staff and his manager many times. No one picked up their phone. He even went so far as to calling the police, but for some reason, he was disconnected. There were no cars for him to drive, all the staff took them. The nearest train station was miles down the bottom of the mountain.
Jun was completely and utterly alone.
He rest his elbows on his knees, bowing his head low and trying his hardest to suppress his tears. He wished he could take it all back. Everything he said while they were here at this cursed mansion. He wished he wasn't so harsh on everyone and he wanted to apologize for not trusting his members. Where did he go wrong? He had always trusted them, but why was it that this day he was being grumpy?
Was it because the Other Ohno was watching him? Was there some magic that stressed Jun out even more? The painting was his spy. It must have been the Other Ohno's plan the entire time. To consume Jun and pull him away from the real world for his use. It sickened Jun, but it also terrified him.
He has to go back.
He stood up and went upstairs to his room. He changed his clothes to a pair of work jeans, a white T-shirt, and his best sneakers. He grabbed his shoulder bag and emptied it. He found a working flashlight in one of the abandoned closets, and he took his camera as well. The only weapon he had was a Swiss Army Knife. He only used it because of the wine opener attached to it, but he figured the small blade might come in handy.
He went back down and searched through the library for clues. Last time, the journal told him a secret. The books in the other world are alive, so surely they'll also tell him even more. He scanned through every bookshelf, standing on his tiptoes to see any books on the top shelf, and crouching low.
They all seemed useless, until he found on book that was hollow. Inside was a small parchment paper rolled up in the middle. He unrolled the parchment and read the hasty scribble.
"The pictures reveal the truth."
Did it meant the books again? Sure, they come to life when he opens them, but what difference does it make if the pictures show the truth? Did it meant the painting? But he burnt it. Jun couldn't solve the riddle.
Finally, having no other choice, he headed back to the fireplace. He stared down at the small door. He had a feeling it was staring right back him, and somewhere in the back of his mind, it must be true.
He turned the key and opened the door. The tunnel was dark, a deep groan echoed down the tunnel as if something big and grotesque was sleeping inside. Jun took in a deep breath and ventured inside, leaving the key in the lock. He knew he was walking into a trap, but he has to find the rest of Arashi...they are his precious friends.
"How will I get them back?" Jun mumbled to himself.
He noticed along the way, the tunnel was littered with broken toys. Little robots and games left abandoned, possibly from previous victims. A challenge, maybe. If Jun can challenge the monster, he might have a chance to find them. It was his only shot.
The light was almost blinding to Jun inside the tunnel, but he recognize that voice anywhere. His heart was throbbing against his ribs.
"Jun! You came back for us!" Ohno cried.
"Riida!" Jun raced towards him.
He blindly jumped into Ohno's arms, wanting to breathe in the familiar scent, but the moment he smelt iron, he knew it wasn't him.
"Jun, why did you run away from us?"
Long, spider-like hands clawed at Jun's shoulder, and he pushed him away. The Other Ohno fooled him again with his soft body, but his flesh melted away again, revealing the bony figure with cold clay-like skin. The button eyes glaring down at him with no expression, but the smirk was there on its clammy fake Ohno face.
"Where are my friends?" Jun demanded.
"I don't know where they are," Other Ohno titled its head. "Perhaps they got tired of you and left you behind."
"They would never do that, you stole them!"
"Don't be difficult, Jun," Other Ohno grinned, his finger lightly grazed across Jun's chin, "I made you some onigiri."
Jun glanced down at the tray of food nearby the fireplace. The onigiri looked delicious; Jun could see the fillings peaking out. A pot of hot tea was sitting next to the tray, but the ominous box with the button eyes was there as well. The sewing needle's point shined dangerously against the fire light, mocking him.
Other Sho was there too, hiding behind a bookshelf, but he looked awful. His legs looked longer and jelly like. His head leaned on his drooped shoulders, and his body was extremely bloated. He was talking, but Jun could barely make out what he was saying, as if his functions were squashed together. Jun felt sorry for him.
Other Ohno approached the small door and clapped his hands, and a small metal mouse appeared with the key in its mouth. Jun watched in horror as the Other Ohno swallowed the entire key. He could practically see the shape of the key slide down the super thin throat. Panic struck Jun when he realized he might not escape.
"Why don't you have your own key?" Jun asked.
"Only...one...key," Other Sho mumbled, but Other Ohno's sharp fingers punctured right into his skull.
"You need to get back to your dancing practice, Sho," Other Ohno said, snapping his fingers.
Hundreds of tiny hideous metal robots crawled over Other Sho and dragged him out of the library. Jun could hear his muffled voice fading away, as if he was about to receive his death.
Jun tried to calm himself by rubbing his sweaty palms on his jeans.
"Why don't we play...a game?" Jun said. He saw light reflecting in the Other Ohno's button eyes.
"What kind of game?"
"An exploring game. A finding things game."
Other Ohno smirked wickedly, and leaned down to stare closer at Jun.
"And what will you be finding?"
"My real group. My real friends," Jun glared back. "If I lose, you can keep me here forever...and I'll let you sew buttons in my eyes."
"And if you win?"
"Then you let me go. You let everyone go. My real leader, Sho, Aiba, Nino, everyone."
Other Ohno made a cruel laugh and held out his bony hands.
"Not until you give me a clue," Jun said.
"Alright," Other Ohno walked behind him, but Jun didn't turn around. "The friends you've lost are now mine. But if you look into my world, you will see they are fine."
"What?" Jun looked over his shoulder, "What kind of clue is that?"
Other Ohno didn't say anything, but instead, he cracked his finger knuckles one by one. Jun sighed heavily and looked away. Jun didn't want to believe what Other Ohno said, that he already lost his friends. It must be one of his tricks. If they're somewhere in the mansion, Jun will find them. He could still hear the monster cracking its fingers behind him.
"It's a deal," Jun turned around for a handshake, but the Other Ohno was gone.
The fire was the only one making the cracking and popping sounds.
"Ohno, Sho, Aiba, Nino...just hang out. I'll find you."
Jun began to think hard on the Other Ohno's clue. If he looks into his world, he'll find them. Maybe he means all the places he last saw them as Others. He left the library and headed for the center hallway towards the ballroom. He opened the door and stared down at the dark theater.
He could barely see what was in front of him, and he reached for his flashlight. It was such an old flashlight, it only shined a few feet ahead. The silence was deafening. The audience seats were empty, and he tried shining at the ceiling, but the light didn't reach it. He kept his breathing quiet, and he heard a faint sound of ticking.
He approached the stage and climbed up. Before he was here, the background was scenic night with a balcony, but now it was pulled down to reveal a over-sized clock. It took up the entire back wall, and there were numerous gears and switches making the clock move. He stared closely at the large clock, and he saw two bodies entangled together.
Their eyes were closed as if they were sleeping, but he knew it was them. They were trapped inside the glass of the clock. Their bodies were scarred with gears and wires as if they were surgically attached. Jun pressed his palm against the glass, wondering how he can get them out. He traced along the edges, hoping to find a loose gap.
He reached into his bag to get the knife, but his hand touched his camera. He suddenly remembered the clue he found back in the real world.
"The pictures reveal the truth," Jun recalled.
He took a few steps back and took a picture of Aiba and Nino inside the clock. He forgot he had the flash on, which was ten times brighter than his flashlight, and that's when he heard the noise.
It was coming from the ceiling, and the robots crash down on him as if the light disturbed their sleep. They were like tiny bugs, but there were millions of them crawling all over Jun, and he dropped his camera. His felt their painful scratches clawing at his face and shirt. Their greasy bodies smearing against his hair and clothes. He tried swinging his arms and pulling them off his body.
Then, the large clock shattered. The tiny robots crawled away from him and gathered around the clock. He watched as Aiba and Nino emerged out of the clock, walking like broken mannequins. The robots covered their bodies, and he spotted their button eyes glaring at him. It limped towards the camera on the floor.
But Jun was quicker and he snatched the camera away. He ran down the alley, but he could hear the creature chasing behind him at an alarming rate. The sound of metal chugging and scraping was earsplitting and making Jun's heartbeat race in his ears. He lunged out the door and slammed it shut. He used the old flashlight to pin it through the door handle and against the wall, trapping the monster inside.
The camera was in his hands.
He quickly looked into the camera and checked the pictures. He thought he took a picture of Aiba and Nino inside a clock, but it was a picture of them smiling in the real world, with their PV setting behind them. Their eyes were normal. Everything was normal.
"Does this mean their back at home?" Jun wondered.
With every picture he takes, do they get sent back to the real world?
It was the only clue he could go on, and he pocketed the camera away.
He was finished with the bottom floor, and he climbed up the stairs. He checked every room, but they were all empty except one. The ballet room. He opened the door and saw the deformed Other Sho sitting alone in the center. The mirrors were boarded up, making the room extra dark. Jun entered the room and heard the door closed behind him. Probably the mechanical mice locked him in.
Jun pulled out his camera, ready to take a picture.
"Why...do you fight...against Riida?" Other Sho mumbled. "You can stay here...with us...and be happy."
The Other Sho stood up sluggishly. His back was still facing Jun, his shoulders hunched over and his hair shrinking into his skull. Jun could see the clothes moving, as if there was something crawling inside the Other Sho. Jun wished the mirrors weren't covered so he could take a picture sooner.
"Do you think saving your friends will help you?" Other Sho continued, "You'll just be frustrated while they slack off."
It was like watching a blob of water trying its attempted to keep standing.
"Stay here with us," it gurgled. "We will work hard for you...and love you...we'll give you whatever you want."
"You don't understand, do you?" Jun spoke. "I can't just have everything I want. Mistakes happens, and it's what makes us human. No one is perfect. To have a perfect life is a boring life. If I was given everything so easily, it loses its meaning of true hard work."
"I don't understand."
"I know you don't," Jun sighed, feeling pity on the creature. "You're just a copy of the real Sho."
"Not even that...anymore..."
The Other Sho quickly turned around, and bared its metal sharp teeth. Gooey slim from inside spilled out his large gaping mouth, and Jun quickly raised his camera, the light flashed in the room. The Other Sho growled, temporary blinded by the light as Jun hurried to the door, but it was indeed locked.
He whirled around and saw Other Sho leaping towards him, but Jun dodged rolled away. Other Sho slammed his blob like body hard against the door, and Jun got back onto his feet. He quickly pulled out his army knife and flicked the blade out. The monster suddenly crouched onto all fours as if it was some giant frog. His back was so swollen, he could swallow an entire man.
The Other Sho's mouth dropped open, and Jun saw the tiny machines inside its belly. There was a shiny red bulb burning brightly inside. Jun had one idea, and it was a crazy one.
The giant blobbish monster leaped for Jun again, but he stood his ground with his weapon posed up. The Other Sho's mouth enclosed around him, but Jun's knife struck through the red bulb. He heard the sound of a computer shutting off, and the tiny gears inside stopped turning. Jun was still trapped inside, but Other Sho had stopped moving. Slim, grease, and oil was leaking out of the gears and covering Jun's face.
With the knife, he cut through Other Sho's belly and stepped out. The smell of iron and oil was strong in the air, along with a rotting stench of the Other Sho's plastic skin melting away. Jun was completely covered in oil, and he couldn't stop his shaky breathe. It must have been the most terrifying moment he did, but there was still one more picture he had to take.
He checked the picture and saw Sho staring back at him. He was back in the real world in his workout clothes, sweating, and his mouth comically wide open. It was as if the picture was taken during their rehearsal practices. How fitting given the dead monster before him. He heard the door clicked open, and he left the ballet room.
He entered the library, and quietly walked through the maze. Everything looked distorted and disgusting. The books were soiled and covered in webs. The bookshelves that were once made of polished wood were now rusted metal. He felt tingles crawling up his arms and back, but there was nothing on him. It was just fear.
He arrived at the fireplace, the winged chair was suddenly taller, hiding the creature sitting in it. Jun held his camera tightly behind his back.
The Other Ohno stood up from his chair, and Jun felt his skin turn cold. The flesh was completely gone. He was a giant spider-like machine. His face was hollow and pointy. His limbs were abnormally long and off proportionate. Every time he moved, a gear turned in its place, and yet he still had buttons for eyes.
"So? Where are they? You're friends?"
"I know they're safe," Jun said, keeping his voice strong and steady. "But I'm not finished yet."
"Yes. You still have to find your old leader," the Other Ohno grinned, "So? Where is he?"
Jun had to be clever. He had to fine a way to escape and distract the Other Ohno just long enough.
"He's behind that door," Jun pointed at the small door.
The Other Ohno's grin stretched even further.
The Other Ohno slowly approached the small door and started coughing. Then, Jun heard the faintest, most tiniest sound of glass tapping. He glanced up and saw the snow globe on the fire mantle, the fog inside was being wiped away.
"Ohno!" Jun whispered.
He's alive! He's inside the snow globe! He's okay!
Jun double checked the Other Ohno still hacking away, and he quickly changed the settings on his camera to non-flash. Jun waited until the Other Ohno made the last cough and Jun took a picture of the snow globe. Jun noticed on the chair was a book about cats.
The Other Ohno coughed up the key.
"Go ahead," Jun mocked. "He's there, alright."
"You're wrong, Jun. He's not there." He opened the door, and pulled out a sewing needle and thread. "Now, you'll have to stay here...forever!"
"No. I'm," Jun grabbed the book, "NOT!"
A black cat leaped out of the pages and attacked the Other Ohno. The cat clawed at the creature's button eyes until they snapped off completely. Oil oozed out of the eye sockets like blood. Jun quickly grabbed the snow globed just for good measure. The Other Ohno flung the cat away, its metal teeth baring at Jun.
"How dare you!"
Jun leaped off over the table and crashed his knee into the Other Ohno's face. Those training days for boxing had paid off. It was just enough to send him off as Jun quickly grabbed the key and lunged inside the dark tunnel, but the Other Ohno grabbed his ankle.
"You dare disobey your leader?!"
Jun smashed his foot to the monster's face again, and pulled the door closed. He quickly noticed there was a key hole and he locked it, wondering if that will stop him. It was quiet for a good ten seconds, and Jun was sure it was over.
The door pounded hard, practically pushing closer to Jun. Startled, he quickly raced down the small tunnel, his head bowed low, but he kept tripping over the junk and the strong vibration of the door pounding. He looked over his shoulder and saw the door slamming closer to him as if chasing him.
"Don't leave me!" He heard the Other Ohno's cry, "I'll die without you!"
Jun could see the entrance up ahead and gave his final sprint. He could see the door behind him was only a few feet away. He quickly shut the door closed and locked it, pressing his back against it and waited for the impact.
It pushed Jun to his knees, but silence followed. His heavy breathing was the only audible thing in the room, but he was so grateful to be back in the light. He stared down at his dirty hands and greasy clothes, still trying to catch his breath. He reached for the snow globe and noticed it broke inside. The water was soaking into his bag, but thankfully his camera was okay.
He glanced up and saw Ohno. The real Ohno with real eyes and with a real body. His familiar round face, soft and tanned. His hair full and real, and not wires.
"What the hell? What happened to you?! You look like a mess!" Ohno smirked, his eyebrow cocked up.
Jun felt an overwhelming surge of happiness and leaped towards him. Ohno easily caught him, but Jun was holding onto him tightly, tears streaming down his face.
"You're alright!" Jun sobbed. "I'm so relieved you're alright!"
"Why shouldn't I be alright?" Ohno asked. "We only had a two hour break."
Jun slowly pulled away, confused.
"We were looking for you," Ohno explained. "Gin got a call from Johnny saying they've decided to change the concept for the PV. We're heading back to the studio."
"You...you don't remember anything?" Jun asked.
"Remember what?" Ohno looked over his shoulder. "Did you break that snow globe? Don't tell me you went exploring in that door? The landlord said it's dirty."
"Well, everyone is waiting for you," Ohno patted his shoulder. "Go wash up and change. We'll be outside."
He doesn't remember anything. They must have had their memories erased when they returned back home. Ohno must have forgotten when he escape out the snow globe and that's why it's broken. Still, Jun was utterly relieved everything was back to normal. He threw away the snow globe and pocket the camera away in his bag. The key, however, was still heavy in his hands.
He wasn't sure when the next person will wonder into this mansion, but he sure doesn't want the same fate to happen to them. He went back to the hollow book where he found the picture clue, and placed the key inside. He shelved the book as high and as secluded as he could, hoping no one will ever pull it down.
He left the library and noticed the staff had returned to take down the props from the ballroom. He went to his room and quickly washed himself of the grease and oil. He packed away his things and headed out the door. The smell of crisp fresh air was wonderful and he breathed in deeply. He never wants smell oil or metal every again.
There they were. His band members, his friends, waving at him at the gate entrance. They were normal. Their eyes shining brightly in the sunlight and their smiles even brighter. He jogged towards them.
"Where the heck were you?" Sho asked. "Were you lost reading in the library again?"
"Never mind where Jun was, we have a tight schedule. Let's go!" Gin called from inside the van.
"Wait, let's take a picture," Aiba suggested. "I don't want to forget this place even if it was a short time."
"We can take a picture with the angel statue again," Ohno added, "Just like before."
"I have my camera," Jun said, pulling it out.
"Hurry it up, you guys." Gin called.
Jun set the camera on a stone pedestal and set the timer. He went to join his friends under the angel statue, this time they didn't cover their eyes like the statue, and smiled. The flash went off, and they hurried inside the van. Ohno and Nino took the back seat, Sho and Aiba in the middle, and Jun sat up front in the third row by himself.
Gin began to drive down the winding road as the mansion disappeared from their view. Jun sank into his seat, feeling extremely tired from all that has happened. He pulled out his camera and began looking through the pictures.
A shiver ran up his spine as he stared down at the picture.
Jun was smiling at the camera, and so was his friends, but they were different. Their eyes were hollow and blackened as if they were missing. Only Jun was normal. Panicking, Jun clicked the next button and saw a picture of Ohno standing by the fireplace next to the snow globe. His eyes were ghastly hollow, dark, and soulless despite him smiling.
He clicked next and saw Sho in the ballet room. His smile was there, but his eyes were gone too. The next photo. Nino's and Aiba's eyes were missing. Finally, he reached the last photo, or the first one they took since they arrived at the mansion.
All five of them comically had their eyes covered mimicking the angel statue, but the statue itself wasn't the same as before. It had its arms up, its fingers clawed, and revealing its face. Its teeth was sharp and jagged like broken metal pieces. Its face was sunken in like a skeleton.
With stone buttons for eyes.
"Hey, Jun," Ohno spoke behind him. "Can we see the pictures?"
Jun was too scared to even turn around as he recalled the clue he read back at the library, and the clue the Other Ohno gave him. The friends he lost are still gone, but when he looks into the camera in the other world, they were fine. It was a reverse effect, and here in the real world, they're not fine.
The pictures reveal the truth.