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The noise of some random TV show barely reaches the kitchen to penetrate the spattering sounds coming from the pan, which contains a giant piece of beef that is slowly starting to become edible. Maru doesn't try to follow the show anymore, just enjoys the loud voice of the host as he adds pepper and salt to the meat, and a special spice to the noodles. He smiles occasionally at the words that come out of the host's mouth, the comments he keeps giving becoming more ridiculous by the minute.

It's only seven o'clock and Maru can nearly have dinner. He's glad today wasn't a busy day, or at least not one that required him to stay until ten. He likes to eat at regular times, and he prefers some decent food as well instead of the prepared meals that only require a few minutes in the microwave. And, this he's discovered recently, he prefers said decent food to be made by himself. He's learning how to cook more complicated meals now and he enjoys it, very much even. If he keeps going like this he even sees himself becoming one of Johnny's best cooks.

Maru leaves his imagination as it is (way out of control) and turns around in confusion. He has his eyes on the door that leads to the genkan, which he can easily see through the kitchen's doorway, and frowns. He turns to his cooking-pot and pan and removes them both from the stove, hastily carrying them to the dining room where he puts them on two table-mats. He winces at the sound of the TV, the audience's laughter suddenly very audible for him, and turns it off to stop the stinging in his ears.

Then, the bell rings. He knew he heard it right.

Before storming off to the front door – he doesn't like to keep his guests waiting, even unexpected ones – he makes a run for the kitchen to turn off the stove. He's seen a documentary about a house that burned down because someone let the stove on for hours after using it, and Maru doesn't really want to become a more recent version of that story.

The bell rings for a third time when he's at the door, and he cringes at the sound before taking a breath as to not look too exhausted (really, with all the rehearsals he's been to in his life he should be fitter) before opening the door.

He can't really hide his surprise when he sees Kame in front of him. It only takes him a bat of the eye to notice something's off, if the way Kame's standing is any indication. Kame's head is lowered and his face is hidden behind his bangs, and unlike usual his shoulders seem to have slumped as well. Since it's well-known Kame likes to keep a good posture no matter when, Maru immediately knows something is wrong.

“I didn't hit a home run,” is what Kame greets him with.

Maru is quick to remember the 'quest' Kame's been on the past months in Going!, which the younger one told him about excitedly, claiming he was definitely going to be able to reach his goal. He's been telling him about his trainings when they had the time, and Maru has always appreciated it, and genuinely found it interesting. He guesses that's why Kame's at his place now, not anyone else's; because he knows Maru cares.

The first thing the beat boxer does is pull Kame inside. He takes a hold of his hand and pulls softly, gently, first of all because they're not in a drama and secondly, no matter how much Kame likes drama, that's not what he needs now. Maru's arms have enveloped him in a warm embrace by the time the door shuts closed.

A silence falls upon them, but it's not an awkward one. It's not that Maru doesn't know what to say – he could say a thousand things, really, but he feels that a hug, a real one, kind of speaks for itself. He lets his head rest against Kame's, holding him a little tighter to show it's okay, it's alright to let go and do what he wants to do.

Kame's arms carefully encircle Maru's waist at last and, when he's properly hugging him back, he lets his head rest against his friend's shoulder, burying his face in it. Soft sniffling follows soon after, as well as warm droplets of tears that fall on Maru's sweater. Maru places a gentle hand on the back of Kame's head and, once the sniffling turns into actual sobbing, strokes his hair soothingly.

It's while he's comforting Kame that he remembers the message the younger one sent him a few days ago. The many kaomojis that followed his, Soon I'll accept the last challenge and hit a home run!!, indicated how excited and confident he was. It's sad that after months of practice, trying his hardest didn't prove to be enough.

In one way, it's almost unbelievable. Maru doesn't think he can recall Kame ever failing at something he really wanted to succeed at, and that fact only saddens him even more. Besides, baseball is, aside from performing, Kame's favorite thing to do; it's been his passion since he was a kid.

For some reason, Maru feels like crying, too.

He doesn't, though, as considerate as he is, and continues to focus on the friend in his arms. The friend who needs his support, who's asked for it before, way back when they were Juniors, and while it's not a good thought, Maru is glad he is once again the one Kame goes to in times of distress. It makes him feel valuable. As if he's not just the ordinary guy from KAT-TUN, but actually someone worthy of being alive. Which is kind of extreme, but Maru's always thought like that.

Ten minutes pass. Kame is clinging to Maru by now, holding him so tightly it almost hurts. Maru has started whispering nonsense into his ear, things he'd never say to anyone else but him, because he needs it, loves the sappiness that spills out of his mouth. Maru himself is red up to his ears because it makes him kind of uncomfortable to say sappy things, yet he can't and won't stop for Kame's sake.

The sounds are slowly dying out. It doesn't mean Kame's over it by now, not at all, but it does mean he won't break down like this anymore. Maru bites his lip to stop embarrassing words from coming out, figuring it's enough now, and patiently waits for Kame to come to his senses. It takes him five whole minutes, and by the time he's entirely calm all of his muscles are relaxed. But the heat he radiates stays, and Maru doesn't find a reasonable explanation for the tightness in his chest upon feeling it.

So he stops searching for it.

Instead, he does the only thing he can. Talk. They can't stay in the genkan forever, and it's not like Maru can send Kame home after this. He doesn't want to, either.

“I made dinner,” Maru eventually says, softly as to not break the fragile atmosphere. “Do you want to eat something?”

He feels Kame nod faintly against his shoulder ten seconds later, and he smiles. He knows Kame doesn't like to impose, doesn't want to feel like an inconvenience, but he doesn't know with how much delight Maru – and the rest of KAT-TUN, he's sure – would always take him in. He doesn't tell him these thoughts, though, knowing how silly they sound. (Plus, Maru's not ready to sound all sappy again after a ten minute session of sappiness.)

It's quite embarrassing that he has to warm up his self-made food (how ironic, he keeps thinking), but once he's back in the dining room and he's met with the sight of Kame turning around and smiling at him, he kind of feels better.

“It smells delicious,” Kame says, and his voice is soft, softer than usual so Maru knows he's still thinking of his failure, and feels quite badly about it.

Maru can only nod in thanks, feeling the tip of his ears turn red again, and quickly puts down the pan and cooking-pot on the table once more. When he sits down, across from Kame, he realizes that just having him at his table makes having dinner a lot more pleasant. And he doesn't only think that because Kame keeps complimenting him.

Maru makes sure Kame has plenty of noodles and cuts the beef in half to give him the slightly larger piece. Kame watches it all happen with a smile, for once not protesting and insisting Maru takes the bigger half. Once Maru has taken another trip back to the kitchen to get his guest some water and getting some food on his own plate, he waits.

Waiting doesn't include not eating. It includes being silent until Kame starts talking, because that's what will and should happen, and so Maru patiently waits until it does.

The strange thing about Kame – or maybe it's a great thing, Maru doesn't know – is that he doesn't want to be distracted. He doesn't want to be told many different stories that have nothing to do with the reason why he's sad; he wants to face the cause of his depression head-on, get it over with. It's pretty admirable.

But why isn't it happening?

They've been eating in silence for at least two minutes now, and Kame hasn't mentioned a thing yet. He just chews on the noodles and the beef and keeps his eyes on the food, never moving them to Maru or anything else in the room to see if Maru's cleaning on a regular basis. Maru is a bit unsettled by this, but he can't bring himself to start instead of Kame. That's just not the way things go.

“This is good.”

Maru looks up from his plate in surprise, eyebrows raised. Kame isn't looking at him.

“Yummy,” the latter adds before eating some beef.

“Thanks,” is all Maru can answer. He's a bit confused. Very, actually. By this time Kame would be talking about everything he did wrong and could have done correctly, scolding himself until it was just painful to hear, but nothing like that ever comes.

What's going on?

They eat the rest of their meal in silence. Maru isn't sure whether Kame really thinks his food his yummy; he himself certainly doesn't. He thinks it tastes just as awful as those microwave meals. But since it's actually Kame's fault that his meal tastes like this, Maru doesn't have the heart to be too angry about this failure. But still, he bets if Kame made dinner, let it get cold and reheated it again, it would still taste better than this.

Kame's perfect after all.

Though Maru knows he isn't. When he occasionally dares to look up from his plate to sneak a glance at the man sitting across from him, it's crystal clear that Kame is in no way perfect. Of course he doesn't need to see the broken version of the man to know that, now is just one of those rare moments when Maru can see his imperfectness without having to look for it.

He can say many things that make Kame not perfect. He can sum them all up, can't count them on two hands, but he's not going to busy himself with that. He knows Kame's not flawless, just as well as everyone else from KAT-TUN does, and he doesn't care that the fans don't, are ignorant to his mistakes. As long as he knows, as long as anyone who needs to work with him knows, it's fine.

Maru's not hungry anymore. Aside from the fact that he disapproves of his own self-made meal, Kame's eternal silence puts him off as well. He can't help but freak out over it; it's like the calm before the storm, and if the storm wasn't in the genkan, then he doesn't want to know what the storm will be like.

Kame finishes.

“Thank you for the meal,” he says, bowing slightly even though he's still sitting at the table.

Maru feels a shiver run down his spine. Kame is acting creepy.

“No problem at all,” is the reply, accompanied with a bow as well.

Kame looks at him for the first time since they started eating; his eyes don't reflect gratitude, but some kind of sadness that makes Maru feel pity. It's like looking at a lost puppy, so small and fragile and simply heart-breaking. Koki would've started the comforting already, Maru's sure. But he's not Koki. And Kame doesn't need Koki now.

“Do you want to watch some television?”

Kame is quicker to respond this time. He nods and tries a smile, but the look in his eyes stays the same. Maru pretends not to notice it and returns the smile, getting up from his seat to lead his guest to the couch so he can try to focus on silly TV shows instead of his failure. It probably won't work, but Kame will try anyway – at least until Maru's done cleaning the table.

Both of them jump at the noise coming from the device; Maru forgot how loud he turned it and nearly drops a plate, at which he quickly checks if Kame's seen his clumsiness and lets out a soft sigh of relief when that's not the case. Once the volume is turned down and the channel's been changed, Maru feels more comfortable. He discovers that the kind of show depends on Kame's mood – now he's watching some kind of music show which features jazz. The sad kind.

It makes Maru feel a little less nervous, though. He slowly stops freaking out, glad to notice that Kame's telling how he feels in some way at least, and it's better than nothing – way better than utter silence.

The table has never been cleaned faster. Maru thinks he's set a new record or something, and when he checks his watch he sees that he has – and, as silly as he is, he's quite proud of himself for achieving that. Then he scolds himself for getting off-track and almost forgetting about his guest, the guy in his couch that needs comfort.

He looks over at the couch with a concerned look on his face, but all he can see is Kame's back and that doesn't really help him analyze the situation. So he walks over to him and, trying to be as invisible as possible (which shouldn't be a problem in his case), he takes a seat. He allows himself to breathe when he gets no reaction.

Neither of them move for a short while. Maru tries to enjoy the music; it's different from what he usually listens to, so he needs some time to get used to it. He wonders if Kame always listens to this stuff when he's really down, but he doesn't get much time to think about it when Kame suddenly turns the TV off. Maru stiffens a little and cautiously looks beside him.

Kame doesn't look at him, instead he slowly puts his head on his shoulder and it makes Maru a little nervous. He expects Kame to start talking soon, maybe in five seconds, maybe in two, but no matter how long he waits the man won't say a thing.

“You're not a failure.”

Maru swallows nervously. It's the first time he brought up the subject before Kame. He's not sure how the latter will take it, whether it'll insult or annoy him, and as long as he keeps quiet Maru's never going to find out. Which only makes him want to talk even more, push Kame's boundaries until he does start speaking so Maru knows whether or not he's allowed to talk about it.

“You'll manage to hit a home run one day. You just have to try harder.”

Just?” Maru cringes. He might have sounded a little insensitive. “I just have to try harder?”

It's a surprise when Kame chuckles. He wants to sound amused but he doesn't; he's more leaning towards sounding tired and sick of everything.

“I think I tried hard enough. It's over.” Maru is quick to come to the conclusion that it's not over, that it shouldn't be until Kame has reached his goal. While he tries to figure out how to share his thoughts without sounding angry or disappointed or anything else that is bad, Maru's hand doubtfully reaches out to one of Kame's, which is lying on the latter's thigh. The beat boxer swallows down the fear he's feeling when he can feel the heat of the hand he wants to grab, and lowers his own to hold it.

He might have surprised Kame by doing that.

“It's not over,” he says softly. “Not until you've done it. And I know you'll keep trying. Even if it's behind my back, you'll keep attempting to hit a home run until you do.” He squeezes Kame's hand. “Unless you're no longer the Kamenashi Kazuya I know.”

Now it's up to Kame. He decides where this conversation will go. Maru sees two options. One, they'll end up fighting. Two, Kame will tell him he's right, to which Maru will say he'd rather help him practice than have him try it by himself. What will happen afterwards is unclear, but Maru knows it'll be better than whatever would happen after they fight. He doesn't want to fight.

Not with anyone, really, but certainly not with Kame. He's never fought with him before, but from what he's seen and heard from Jin and Koki, fighting with the man is everything but a pleasant experience.

So no fighting. Please.

“Why do you think I'm invincible?”

Maru blinks in surprise, both at the answer and the fact that he feels Kame's thumb stroking his hand.

“Why do you think I can do anything? Why do you keep believing in me?”

Maru nearly smiles at the questions thrown at him. “You can't do anything, Kame,” he says, and his chest goes a little tight upon saying his name. “But you can do anything you want.”

Kame stops stroking him. He turns his hand around, slowly, as if he's afraid to be stopped, and he's even slower to entwine his fingers with Maru's. Though Maru knows this isn't something you do with friends, he can't bring himself to pull away. If anything, all he can do is hold the hand that is holding his in a childishly tight way, and make sure to never let go.

“I want to hit a home run,” Kame whispers, and Maru feels relieved to hear the sadness in his voice.

“I know,” Maru whispers back, and lets his head rest against Kame's.

This time the silence doesn't make Maru uncomfortable. While he notices his heartbeat speeding up, it's a nice, warm feeling that makes him happy, so he does nothing to get rid of it. He knows why it's happening, though, and that's what starts worrying him. But he can't bring the will to move away from Kame, to let that warmth disappear.

He sighs softly at the smell of Kame's hair.

Then stiffens when Kame starts to move. He carefully pulls his head away from Maru's shoulder to face him from up close, almost close enough so Maru can feel his breath on his cheek. Maru stares into Kame's eyes as he waits for the man to speak, not sure whether he'll catch what he'll say because he's getting lost in those brown orbs very quickly. There's an emotion written in them, one Maru has never seen before but somehow finds it looking familiar. As if... as if he's looking at him the same way.

And maybe he is.

But Maru, as unsure as he is, doesn't give himself a chance to decipher the look. If he does, he might get the wrong idea and if that happens and he responds to it the wrong way, everything is lost.

He stops breathing the moment Kame starts leaning closer. Kame seems to notice when his lips are only a few inches away from Maru's, and he stills his actions, looks at him in that way again, and then Maru knows.

He closes his eyes as Kame's lips touch his, softly and a little shy, a little unsure, but that's okay, Maru's all about unsure so he can handle it. He kisses back, also tentatively, and Kame seems to take it as a good sign (which he should) which ends up in him cupping Maru's cheek to deepen the kiss. Maru parts his lips more than willingly to let Kame's tongue slide between them.

He doesn't know how long it lasts. Not long, he thinks, since he's definitely not out of breath when Kame pulls back, but long enough to leave a strong impression on him. Kame tastes like beef and noodles, maybe cigarettes as well. Maru doesn't like the latter, not really, but Kame's tongue is so warm and inviting that he doesn't pay much attention to it.

He wants it back in his mouth as soon as possible.

“Nakamaru.”

Maru looks up into Kame's eyes, blushing when he realizes he's been staring at his mouth for the past few moments, and is met with that look once more. A look he seems to understand better now that they kissed, yet there are still some blanks left to fill out. In time, he's sure, everything will start to make sense.

Kame's thumb is stroking his cheek, much like it stroked his hand not even a minute ago. Maru swallows and licks his lips, awaiting Kame's next line so he knows how to continue. But Kame doesn't say anything, seems to be at a loss of words, and just leans over again to repeat the action. Maru's heart races as their lips connect again, feels like there's no better place to be than in his own tiny apartment with Kame kissing him like that, so softly, so lovingly and so slowly that Maru sinks into the kiss bit by bit.

Kame is a good kisser. Maru's never known it, always wondered when he saw his band mate kissing a girl on screen, and he's glad to be able to find out. Glad that they're not drunk, that the chance of calling this a mistake later on is incredibly small, and he's so relieved to know that, so damn happy, that he feels like crying.

Instead, however, he puts his arms around Kame's waist to pull him closer, and Kame's hand slides into his hair while the other makes its way to his neck and holds it dearly. Maru now knows what happiness is. He never thought he'd find it on his own couch.

Much like in everything he does, Kame is very precise when it comes to kissing. He manages to make it seem like it's his second nature, though, caressing Maru's tongue with his own, the grip on his hair tightening. Maru's glad he let his hair grow out.

He lets his hands wander off to Kame's behind and, as mischievous as he dares to be, slips them in his back pockets. He tries a gentle, subtle squeeze and much to his surprise Kame gasps into his mouth. The latter pulls away, just enough so he can look at Maru with slightly widened eyes. While at first he seems to be in shock, Maru quickly notices he's pleasantly surprised. He can't suppress a small grin.

Kame smiles at that and pecks him on the lips. It's so sweet that Maru wants to purr, but luckily he can contain himself. All these years of building self-constraint when it came to handling KAT-TUN kindly instead of beating them to a pulp is finally paying off.

Maru lets his thoughts as they are when he notices the look on Kame's face. He tries to put on a friendly, encouraging look the moment he realizes Kame wants to ask him something, but seems to be afraid to do so. Which is silly, because Maru will probably agree to pretty much everything he has to ask. Even if it's killing Ueda, he'd do it. (He better doesn't tell Ueda that.)

“What is it?” the beat boxer asks eventually when it seems Kame will back out and leave his question unspoken.

Kame bites his lip, breaking eye-contact for a moment, and after swallowing he forces himself to look at Maru again. Honestly speaking, Maru is getting curious to find out what he wants.

“Do you...” Kame clears his throat softly at the hoarse sound of his voice. “Can we... move to the bedroom?”

Now it's Maru's turn to look surprised. He opens his mouth to answer only to close it soon after as doubt and fear make its way into his chest, paired with images of a very bad ending of this night. Kame seems to take this as a negative response, and releases his hair as he pulls away a little further, once more looking away from him.

“Never mind,” he says, “Forget I said that. I'll just-”

Maru refrains him from getting away from him. He pulls his hands out of the man's back pockets to lock them securely behind his back, forcing Kame to look him in the eyes again so he can see how certain he looks when he speaks.

“Don't. Don't go. Let's go to bed.”

Maru's heart is racing as he waits for Kame's response, but is put to the test as the younger one seems baffled at the sudden certainty in his voice, the look in his eyes. He searches for doubt or even pity, Maru can feel it, and Kame takes his time to make sure Maru isn't doing this just to please him. Maru plants a kiss on his jaw as an attempt to ease him up again, convince him it's really okay, because it is.

If it's Kame, how can it not be?

It takes Kame a few more seconds to realize it, but once he does he smiles like he just found out his drama has high viewer ratings, and he once more puts his arms around Maru's neck to kiss him. Maru makes sure it doesn't last too long, not wanting to waste too much time here when there's much, much time to waste in the bedroom. He almost has to pull Kame's face away from his, except that Kame seems to feel like moving onwards as well.

They share a small, happy yet anxious smile which indicates how excited and afraid they are, and Maru gets up from his seat, holding out his hand to Kame. The latter doesn't doubt to give him his hand, and as he gets up he entwines their fingers easily.

It's only when they've reached the bedroom door that Maru begins to realize what might happen tonight. No matter what they'll do, they'll be much closer than they've ever been. Maru's heart starts pounding in his chest; while he isn't as inexperienced as his band mates make him out to be, when it comes to men, he definitely has no idea what to do.

He locks his eyes with Kame's as his hand wraps itself around the door's clinch, and upon seeing Kame's just as new to what's about to happen as he is, he relaxes instantly. The door opens with a soft creaking sound to reveal Maru's neat bedroom – aside from the few shirts thrown on the bed itself. Maru unlocks his hand with Kame's to throw said shirts into his closet and turns to him with a silly smile on his face. Kame smiles back.

The door shuts closed behind the younger one, softly, and the atmosphere is tense for the few seconds they just look at each other. Then Maru takes the three steps needed to make his way over to Kame, cups his cheek ever so slowly, so carefully as to not startle the other, and when Kame's smile only widens he brings him closer.

Kame is nervous. It surprises Maru more than it should, but it's not every day he can literally feel the turtle trembling, even if only a little, as their tongues mingle with each other in the sweetest way. Maru's hand slides into his hair as he puts his free arm around his neck, holding him as close as possible without suffocating him. He tries to be gentle, tries to be slow so he doesn't rush anything while at the same time, he attempts to convert the passion that's taking over his body.

It's strange, Maru thinks, that he can feel a need this strong to devour Kame while before this he's never even thought of the man in that way. Or maybe he has, just unconsciously. While watching him practice, or work, or just watching him be. Such thing is quite possible, because as far as Maru can remember, all he's ever really looked at is Kame.

His thoughts vanish when Kame puts his arms around his chest and lets his hands wander over his back, caressing him ever so lightly. Maru shivers a little and breaks the kiss, panting softly as he looks into Kame's eyes. He still looks nervous, but happy as well.

Maru holds back a sigh when Kame starts kissing his neck. He's taking his time, covering each patch of skin he sees with soft pecks, working his way down to his shoulder. Maru tightens his hold on him, embracing him and hiding his face in his neck as he's being given the best treatment of his life. A treatment for what, he isn't sure. He doesn't care, either.

He realizes that he's still fully clothed when Kame's lips reach his shirt. Kame tries to be subtly, his hands now at his hips and playing with the edges of his shirt, and Maru can't suppress a smile. He takes a step back, letting go of Kame with a pang of regret in his chest, and only needs to look at him for a second to know Kame wants it too.

When Maru reaches down to undress himself, however, he's stopped.

He quickly realizes that Kame wants to do it. He lets him.

While Kame too wants to take it slow, this is too slow for Maru's liking. Every time Kame's fingers brush with his skin, Maru wants to be touched more, longer. He swallows down the urge to voice his thoughts, his needs, and lets Kame be, lets him work at a pace he's comfortable with. Once the shirt is gone and they exchange a grin at Maru's slightly messed up hair, Kame glances down at his own shirt and Maru knows what to do.

His pace is a little faster. Whether it's because he's getting more excited and less afraid he doesn't know, all he knows is that he wants to feel Kame, really feel him, and he wants it to happen soon.

He bites his lip as he pulls the shirt over Kame's head, eyes drawn to Kame's chest as the latter shakes his head to make sure his hair still looks okay. Maru would laugh if he wasn't already taking in the sight before him. He drops the shirt to the floor, unconsciously licking his lips and taking a step closer again to press himself against Kame.

Kame's eyebrows shoot up in surprise, then a smile forms on his face again once he seems to realize how much Maru's attracted to him. He places a hand on the elder one's cheek, making him look at him, and Maru doesn't even try to hold in the happy sigh upon feeling Kame's other hand on his naked back.

He doesn't flinch when, in less than a second, Kame's hands have found their way to start unbuttoning his pants. It surprises him, really, being the coward as he is, but he figures it's because it's Kame touching him, someone he trusts completely. If it were anyone else, like Taguchi or Koki, he'd be terrified. (He quickly forces out any thoughts that include other men out of his mind – he needs to focus on Kame, and no one else.)

“Do mine too,” Kame then whispers as he unzips Maru's pants.

Maru brings his hands down to Kame's awaiting jeans, only now noticing he's trembling a little. He carefully looks up at Kame, who smiles and pecks him on the nose, and that simple action seems to be enough for him to continue.

It's like Kame's pants are on fire; Maru pulls his fingers away like he's burned them when he's managed to unbutton them, then does it again with each inch he manages to slide down the zipper. It's childish and stupid, he knows that, but he can't stop himself from doing it. Kame doesn't seem to notice, though, too focused on watching Maru's chest as his hands find their way to his hips, waiting. By the time Maru's managed to pull Kame's zipper down completely, Kame's fingers have slipped into his jeans and settled on his behind.

Maru looks up at him again, eyes asking for permission to go on, and when Kame nods firmly they softly pull each other's pants over their hips, letting them fall on the floor. It happens quickly, the rustle of their jeans the only sound in the room, and Maru looks away with a blush on his cheeks after his eyes have caught the small tent in Kame's boxers.

Then suddenly a pair of hands on his lower back push him against Kame, against the tent and every other part of the man's body. Maru feels his face growing hotter, and shyly he tries to decipher the look in Kame's eyes. While at first he's confused to recognize smugness in them, he quickly discovers – thanks to Kame pushing him even closer – that he himself has hints of a tent as well. It makes him even more embarrassed, but that soon disappears when Kame steps out of his pants, gently ushering Maru to do the same, and leads them to the bed.

Embarrassment is replaced with that familiar fear, but one swipe over Kame's nearly naked body is enough to let excitement take over. They take a seat beside each other on the bed, thighs touching, and Maru has to take a breath so he won't jump on Kame. He wouldn't even know what to do after the jumping, and quite honestly he doesn't understand this jumping need either, just that he actively has to refrain himself from doing it.

“I've never done this before,” Kame confesses quietly. “I mean, not with-”

“I know,” Maru cuts in, taking his hand to hold it tightly. “Me neither.”

The unspoken question hangs in the air for a while, neither of them daring to voice it. It's good to know that Kame isn't as confident as he appears to be most of the time, Maru thinks. It makes him feel a little better, a little less like a coward.

It's his time to be courageous.

Maru squeezes Kame's hand lightly to draw his attention, at which he succeeds when Kame looks at him. Maru manages a nervous smile before he slowly slides further onto the bed, moving to occupy the left side to leave the right to his companion, who only follows him after another gentle squeeze.

They lie on their sides, facing each other, and just look at one another for a while. Maru can see Kame's excited as well, nervous as well and just as scared as him to make the first move. Maru swallows down the lump in his throat and decides to voice his thoughts.

“Do... Do you want to lie underneath the- the sheets?”

It's not particularly warm in his room, which is mostly due to the fact he left his window open and every now and then a breeze comes in. Maru would close it if he wasn't occupied with something far more important – Kame.

Kame nods, and Maru immediately reaches for the sheets to softly pull them over the both of them. He welcomes their warmth with pleasure, the goosebumps that were starting to form disappearing immediately, and makes sure he doesn't suffocate both him and Kame. They're covered up to their chins, everything beneath hidden for each other, which may be a good thing. Maru's shy enough as it is already, and he's quite sure that if he could see everything, he'd probably freeze up.

“You okay?” he asks with a strange, squeaky voice. Kame nods again, smiling at how silly he suddenly sounds.

Maru smiles back before he carefully searches for Kame's hand beneath the sheets. He finds it rather quickly, lying halfway between their bodies, and holds it dearly. He doesn't want to mess this up, and by the looks of it, neither does Kame.

“What do you want to do?”

Maru wishes he could stick his head underneath the covers so he wouldn't have to look straight at Kame after asking such an embarrassing question. He's really not used to situations like these, and when he was in such situations there were never really any questions to be asked. But this is different. This is Kame, so he can't screw up. They can't screw up.

Maru takes in a sharp breath when all of a sudden he feels Kame's hand on his hip. Kame scoots a little closer, carefully, until their knees touch and Maru yelps a little as their cold toes touch. Kame smiles and bites his lip, then starts stroking him with his thumb. Maru faintly thinks he has a thing for using that finger, though the thought is quickly forgotten when the movement makes him even more excited than he already is.

Kame's intentions are clear, and his eyes are asking for permission, much like Maru's were not too long ago. Maru answers by moving his hand to Kame's hip as well, holding it as firmly as he can manage without hurting him, feeling the heat of Kame's body transfer to him through the simple touch. Maru nods then, signaling for both of them to get each other out of their last remaining garment, and they simultaneously slide off the other's boxers.

They giggle like children when they can only get one side down, and even then it doesn't even get halfway the thigh. They raise their hips from the mattress to make the task a little easier, which is already the case because their giggling made the tension drop, much like when Taguchi makes a really lame pun.

(Maru once again forces another band member of his out of his mind.)

Kame's legs are hairy, Maru notices as his hand brushes past them while he slides the boxers further down, having to lean forward a little to succeed at doing so. In order to do the same, Kame leans forward as well, forcing their faces to be really close all of a sudden – so sudden it startles them a little, and freezes their actions.

Kame's smile is gone, but the lip biting stays. Maru unconsciously copies him.

They turn serious when they manage to pull the other's boxers over their feet, slipping their hands holding said boxers from beneath the sheets to drop them to the floor, where they belong.

Maru attempts to move even closer so they have to tangle their legs to make it possible, the warmth that comes from it welcoming even though the sheets pretty much have them covered. Kame's hand is back to its original place, and Maru quickly makes sure his own hand is, too, and now... Now he needs Kame to take the lead. There is only that much courage he can have, and he's sure he's done for today.

Except that Kame's looking at him with those uncertain eyes again, blinking every so often and simply begging him to take the first step. Maru inhales, lets his hand wander towards Kame's private parts, slowly just in case this isn't what Kame wants after all and he wants to put a stop to this.

Kame lets him, though, and Maru can't say whether he's relieved or not. While his heart is pounding in his throat by now and he can feel other parts of him throbbing, he doesn't know if he has what it takes to continue. Aside from himself, he's never touched a man before. He has no clue what to do, only knows what to do to himself to make it feel good, and so he's afraid to do anything wrong.

What if he hurts Kame?

Kame breathes in sharply when, at last, Maru's hand is on him. Maru tries a few tentative strokes, not quite having a grasp on Kame's penis yet because he's still unsure, yet confident enough to attempt something at least, even if it's because he's nearly bursting himself.

He only lets out the breath he was holding when he feels Kame's hand moving to his own member. Kame seems to understand that he's afraid of doing anything wrong, and luckily takes it on him to wrap his fingers around Maru, hold him in a firm grasp that has him choking a little. Maru follows his lead, allowing his own so-called delicate, long fingers to wrap around Kame, letting the surprise of what he's feeling take him over a few moments.

Why he's surprised, he has no idea. He doesn't know what he was expecting, it's not like Kame's so different down there from him, so really, what was he thinking?

Kame's hand starts moving.

Maru chokes softly again, already shuddering lightly at what the simple movement does to him. It's embarrassing to think someone he knows so well is actually touching him like this, trying to bring him pleasure in the most delicate, intimate way. Maru swallows, closes his eyes a second to man up and do something as well; he can't leave Kame hanging.

Kame seems to undergo the same effects as Maru when the latter tries moving his hand as well. He doesn't know what Kame likes, hard or soft, fast or slow, but as far as he's concerned any action seems to do the trick. Maru watches Kame close his eyes as he tightens his grip on him a little, his hand going down to the base again to restart. He ignores the way Kame's own grip on him tightens as well, ignores how much he likes it, and moves his hand back up.

Either Kame is really sensitive, or he really likes it a little rough. Though Maru has no intention to hurt him, his second stroke is already twice as rough as the previous. Kame doesn't complain, though, lets out a shuddering breath, and when he opens his eyes Maru seriously thinks they've grown impossibly darker.

Then Kame starts moving his hand. Maru lets out a moan in surprise, a short yet very informative one, and he almost stills his actions as Kame mimics his movements. Maru makes no secret of the fact that he definitely is into a little rougher treatment, or rather, he can't make a secret of it. His silent sounds that he desperately tries to keep in the back of his throat betray him, his likings, and it's so embarrassing but how can it actually be embarrassing when it's good and Kame's giving him that look?

A look that says he never wants to leave this bed, never wants Maru to leave his side, and most importantly: he never wants Maru to stop giving him this handjob.

Maru flushes upon realizing that this is what's going on, they're giving each other a handjob, and while they don't actually see each other naked, they feel every inch of each other and that's quite embarrassing as it is. But if it comes with the feeling of utter perfection, even though this isn't the best handjob in the world, then Maru's willing to take the embarrassment with it.

“Ah...”

It's only at that sound Maru realizes he sped up, never losing his grip and never removing his eyes from Kame's face no matter how much he wants to close them and simply enjoy everything. He wants to make sure he doesn't cause him any harm, because that would be-

Maru's thoughts are cut off when Kame once more follows suit, grasping him a little tighter than before and leaving him breathless for a moment. A shiver comes down his spine and spreads through his entire body, the first signs that he's getting really close. He deliberately speeds up even more to make sure Kame's at the same place he is, and Kame's eyes fall closed again as he lets out a low moan he fails to keep in. Maru is glad he's not the only one who finds it embarrassing to make noises.

More shivers follow the first one as Kame keeps up his pace, bringing Maru to the edge fast, and all Maru can think of is how bad it would be if he finishes before Kame, so he lets his movements get a little rougher, also a little sloppier the closer he comes, and that seems to work for Kame, really well even if the sounds slipping past his lips are any indication.

It takes Kame two more strokes to come, his entire body tensing up as he climaxes and unconsciously tightens his grip on Maru. The latter finally allows himself to close his eyes as Kame, being the multi-tasker he is, manages three more strokes with that tight grip and brings Maru over the edge as well. Maru furrows his eyebrows together, mouth open in a mute moan and curls his legs tightly around Kame's as he lets his orgasm take control.

By the time he comes down from his high Kame is looking at him through half-lidded eyes, panting slightly just like him. They stare at each other for a while, and while they do Maru thinks he should get some tissues or something to clean them up. The view in front of him, however, is too good to make him get out of bed. Kame's always been a handsome man, but seeing him with his messed up hair and a sheen of sweat on his face, breathing a little heavier than normal, Maru knows for sure this one of the man's most handsome sides.

One he hopefully can keep to himself from now on.

He hasn't forgotten what caused this entire situation, though. Aside from the fact that Maru's always been attracted to Kame (in more ways than one) and this feeling has eventually led to this, Kame never would've been here if it hadn't been for his failed home run project.

Maru moves his arms around Kame's waist and pulls him against him, as close as he can no matter how uncomfortable or hot it might be. Kame lets him, staring into his eyes even when they're so close their noses touch. Maru kisses him with all the love he can manage to pour into the simple action.

“I'll definitely hit a home run now,” Kame says hoarsely when they separate.

Maru kisses him again, and continues doing so until they fall asleep in each other's arms.

--

Kame wakes up to the sound of KAT-TUN's Rescue. He instantly remembers the previous night as he cracks an eye open, closing it immediately when encountering the too bright sunlight. He attempts to hide from the sunbeam in Maru's neck but finds that his shelter has moved away to snooze the alarm.

Once the song stops playing and Maru turns back to him, Kame knows what's going to happen. Maru is more serious than him (or 'more rational' as he likes to call himself) and will definitely start thinking too much, while Kame himself is more relaxed about things like these – or, as he likes to call it, more confident.

He puts his arms around Maru's chest and pulls him close, yawning as he does. He feels delighted when Maru tenses up for only a second to relax in his grip afterwards.

“You're not a mistake,” Kame says anyway, just to make sure Maru doesn't start thinking otherwise.

Kame keeps to himself that he's always known that Maru would never be a mistake, that he's never once thought such thing ever since he fell for him. And when, after a few short moments of doubt, Maru seems to believe him and puts his arms around him, Kame happily notes that he was right.