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Latrophobia

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There was something about seeing Kakyoin laid up in a hospital bed, bandaged, sitting up, that stirred something visceral inside of Jotaro. Something about seeing someone who could nearly knock his footing out and match him blow for blow, vulnerable, pale- he almost had to leave the room the first time they visited. He remembered tugging his hat down just so that he wouldn’t have to look, as silly as that felt in the moment.

It had only been a few minutes in the lobby of the old man arguing about the hospital bill for Jotaro to head up into Kakyoin’s room again, paused at the door. He didn’t want to go in, didn’t want to see his friend like that again. His hand rested on the door’s handle, the metal was cold against his palm and the sterile air stung at his throat. He could turn around, leave, see Kakyoin in a few days when he joined them again- but he didn’t want to. He wanted to go in. So why couldn’t he turn the fucking handle?

He leaned his weight into the door, shoulder first, and turned the handle. The door gave, of course it did, and when he looked up from under his hat brim, he was face to face with the swirling green and bright white of Hierophant Green.

“Oh, Jotaro. I wasn’t sure who would be coming through the door.” Hierophant moved back, swirling towards the bed. Jotaro chanced a little smile- this was more like Kakyoin, on the defense, alert even in the hospital bed. Star Platinum manifested just a few inches in front of him and, like a child, headed towards Hierophant Green to- do whatever it was stands did when they weren’t fighting and wanted to interact. He wasn’t sure.

“I should have knocked, but I didn’t want you to get up.” Star’s legs faded, and he phased right through the foot of the bed on his way to sit on the windowsill with Hierophant.

“I couldn’t if I wanted to. I’ve got an IV in.” He held his hand up, thin tube taped neatly in place. “Did you forget something?”

You, he wanted to say, I forgot to talk to you and make sure you really were alright- but even just seeing the IV chilled him. The weirdest things set him off... Star gave a sympathetic little “Ora” from where he was sitting. He didn’t say anything for a few moments.

“Is it alright if I sit on the bed?” He was already heading for it anyways, perching on the corner near the bottom. “I’m sorry that this happened.”

“It isn’t like you to apologize like that.” Kakyoin wasted absolutely no time in calling Jotaro out on his uncharacteristic concern, “Not that I’m upset by it. You have nothing to apologize for. I wasn’t paying attention, but it won’t happen again.”

“You really do plan on joining us again.” He frowns- he knew Kakyoin had said it, but there was a part of him that had wished his friend would have just gone back to Japan to heal up and recover. He was almost lost in that concern, when he felt pressure circle across his wrist. He looked down, sleeve hiking up as he lifted his arm. Nothing. His mind kicked into overdrive, immediately concerned about an enemy stand, or even just some sort of issue with his arm- was Star Platinum-

“That’s not something you think you’d see every day- if I could really see it right now.” Jotaro looked up, first at Kakyoin, and then towards his stand.

Star Platinum’s wrist was snared in the long, snaking tail of Hierophant Green. It wasn’t an unpleasant pressure, almost reassuring, and Jotaro was sure his initial panic could be chalked up to being in a hospital, not because he was constantly on edge these days. Not that at all. Star was smiling, glancing between Jotaro and Kakyoin, and then back at Hierophant Green, only to lean in and press his cheek against Hierophant Green’s shoulder. Jotaro could feel the gentle pressure against his cheek, and he knew that sitting in the bed, Kakyoin could feel the weight on his shoulder. It was something he might never get used to, the sense of phantom touches, muffled but present. If he focused enough, he could make out the texture pressing against his skin, but it was almost more exciting to just feel the pressure.

Exciting.

Kakyoin cleared his throat, and the pressure began to snake up his- and Star Platinum’s- arm. In any other instance, he would have been worried. Star reached out with his other hand, wrapping those thick fingers around Hierophant Green’s thigh. Kakyoin raised an eyebrow, the movement barely noticeable under the bandage. Jotaro could tell, by the way his shoulders tensed and the pressure on his arm grew for a moment, that it had bothered the healing wounds underneath.

“Are we on the same page here, Jotaro?” Kakyoin spoke up, and the tip of his stand’s tail coiled up around Star Platinum’s neck, resting on his chin, just below his lip. “If we aren’t, tell me. I don’t want to push any boundaries.”

“You’re the one laying in a hotel bed. I should be asking you that.” He shifts, settling his hands on his knees, and then moving them to the scratchy hospital blanket, and then back to his knees. “Are we on the same page?”

“I hope we are.” There was a moment where Jotaro was transfixed, watching the gentle quirk of Kakyoin’s lips into a smile. And then, pressure against his lips. He turned, glancing behind him at their stands.

Star Platinum was pinned neatly against the wall, a green hand in his hair- Jotaro could feel the pressure against his scalp, under his hat- and a long snaking tail wrapped around his waist. The two stands were face to face, Star’s lips against Hierophant’s metal mouth plate. Jotaro stood, intent on crossing the distance between himself and Kakyoin to mirror the predicament their stands were in, but stopped as the door handle shook.

A nurse knocked once, a sharp rap, and opened the door. In one of her hands was a clipboard and in the other was a bottle of something Jotaro couldn’t figure out, so he tugged his hat down further over his head to attempt to hide any hint of a flush that might have settled over his cheeks. At least he could be sure that she wasn’t some enemy stand user, because their stands were still tangled together on the other side of the room, Star’s lips working against the metal plate.

“Good Morning, Mr. Noriaki. Excuse me, sir, but I just have to check on-” The nurse began, and Jotaro was already standing to leave.

“It’s alright, he can stay.” Kakyoin interrupted, and gestured towards the chair on the opposite side of the window, near the bed and out of the way. What was he playing at? He sighed, ignoring how shaky it felt coming out of his throat, and sat himself in the chair. He could see, and feel, very clearly, the way one of Hierophant Green’s shimmering hands settled against Star Platinum’s ribcage. Kakyoin was smiling. Was he-?