Jotaro awoke feeling surprisingly rested for once, stretching lazily and taking a moment to wake up fully. He didn't remember the beds in this hotel being so nice but he wasn't complaining. Part of him kinda wished he could sleep in for once, but he knew that DIO wouldn't wait for them.
Wait a minute.
This wasn't his hotel room. He shot out of bed, instinctively calling his Stand. He turned to look at Star Platinum and was shocked to see an altogether different Stand behind him. This Stand was large, muscular, and...pink? He'd never seen a pink Stand before. Was this an enemy? What had this Stand done with Star?
A loud knocking at the door distracted him.
"Josuke! Get up, you're gonna be late! Okuyasu is already downstairs!"
Josuke? Who the hell is Josuke? He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror then. A young, soft faced teen with long black hair stared back at him. Jotaro slowly raised a hand to his face in disbelief. No, not his face. This had to be the work of an enemy Stand. Jotaro's mind was trapped in the body of some kid he'd never seen before.
A young Japanese woman opened the door, looking annoyed. "Josuke come on, it's time for school."
School? Like hell was he going to school. He had to get to the bottom of this. "I'm not going."
The woman looked at him like he'd spoken a different language. "Oh yes you are, mister. Come on, stop being stupid before Okuyasu leaves without you."
Jotaro was starting to get pissed off. This Josuke kid must be a real fucking loser if he let people order him around like this. "Are you deaf, bitch? I said I'm not going to school. I've got more important things to do," and he shut the door in her face.
The woman pounded on the door again. "Josuke Higashikata you unlock this door right this instant or I swear to God I'll make you wish you'd never been born!"
Jotaro looked around in the bedroom. Shit, this kid really was a loser. All of his clothes were so bright and revealing and attention grabbing. Just looking at the wardrobe made Jotaro want to kick Josuke's ass. Why did this shirt have zippers over the nipples? What was the point? He managed to find a single dark blue tank top that actually covered both his chest and stomach, and grabbed Josuke's long black jacket. At least they were both into gold embellishments, although he could've done without the hearts. He left it unbuttoned, sighing at the somewhat underwhelming silhouette. He tore apart the boy's room, but the guy didn't seem to own a single hat.
The bitch had eventually gotten tired of screaming at him, saying something about not wanting to be late for work before promising to ground him indefinitely. He went downstairs and was met with a buff, cool looking guy with scars across his face. He called Star- or whatever Josuke's Stand was, praying that this pink thing had a cool ability.
"Hey, bro! What happened with your mom? When she was leaving, she looked like she could've ripped a car in half."
So not an enemy, then. Weird, what was a tough dude like this doing with a pussy like Josuke? Jotaro shrugged. "That bitch tried to make me go to school when I told her I wasn't."
The boy's face seemed to go through the five stages of grief as he processed the information. When he understood, his face broke into a huge grin. "You mean we're skippin' class?"
"Hmph. I'm skipping. You do whatever you want. What kind of pushover only does shit when someone else is doing it?"
He faltered a bit, but recovered quickly. "Well I'm skippin' too! You wanna go to the arcade or somethimg?"
"Go by yourself, I've got something important I have to deal with."
The guy's face went serious. "What is it, bro? Is it an enemy Stand user?"
Huh. So this kid had a Stand, too. Jotaro didn't want to tell him too much, he still wasn't sure if the Crusaders and this Josuke kid were on the same side.
"Uh, yeah. It's a Stand."
The other boy nodded solemnly. He was a pretty good looking guy, if Jotaro was being honest. Very cool.
"Should we go to Jotaro about it, do you think?"
Jotaro's brain short circuited for a second. Josuke and his friend knew him? He was certain he'd never seen either of these kids or the woman in his entire life.
Josuke's friend laughed. "Uh, yeah dude. You know any others?"
"I just....don't feel like myself today, I'm having trouble remembering things about myself." It was true, more or less.
The boy looked immediately concerned as they left for the other Jotaro's place. "You mean like, amnesia? Is the Stand makin' you forget shit?"
Sure. That'll work. "Yeah, I remember Stands, of course. That they exist, and that I have one-"
"Yeah, the best one! Your Stand is sooooo cool, bro! It's like, the coolest Stand ever. 'Cept for Star Platinum, maybe."
He smiled a bit. It made him feel good to hear this obviously badass guy call his Stand 'the coolest'. "Yeah, Star Platinum is really cool."
"Hell yeah!" Josuke's friend started to punch the air in front of himself, making impressions of Star's signature 'ora's. Okay, maybe this kid wasn't so cool after all. "And when he does 'The World'? Like, are you kidding me?"
Jotaro froze. The World? What was that? "What do you mean, 'The World'?"
"Ya know, when Jotaro like, stops time for a couple seconds! God that's so rad. I wish I could stop time."
When Jotaro fucking what?! He'd done a lot of things with Star, but he was sure as shit that Star couldn't stop time. At least, not yet.....
He hadn't even considered that possibility. "Hey uh," Shit what was his name? Eh, whatever, he'd just fake it. "Hey bro? What year is it?"
Josuke's friend looked shocked for a moment, then laughed a little. "Damn dude, that Stand's makin' you almost as dumb as I am! It's 1999, remember?"
Jotaro took a moment to process that information. 1999. So he was in the future? Then this other Jotaro was about.....twenty eight. And he could stop time now, apparently.
A sudden wave of relief washed over him. "Jotaro defeated DIO." He'd always put on a brave face for the others, but this confirmation that he would indeed face DIO and live to tell the tale made him feel like he was releasing a breath he hadn't realized he was holding.
Josuke's friend got excited again. He was more enthusiastic than Polnareff, which Jotaro hadn't thought was possible. "Fuck yeah he did! That story rules, has Mr. Joestar told it to you all the way through? It's way better when he tells it, Jotaro leaves out all the best stuff! Like Jotaro always skips the part with the baby, and the magnets, and-"
"Mr. Joestar? Mr. Joseph Joestar?" That old bastard is still alive?
"Oh good, so you remember your dad, then."
Josuke's what. That couldn't be right, that woman definitely wasn't Grandma Suzie and-
That slippery bastard. So this dumb kid was Jotaro's uncle? He sighed. "Good grief."
"Haha! Bro, you sounded just like Jotaro when you said that just now."
Jotaro wasn't a very emotional guy. It just wasn't his style. But that didn't mean he couldn't recognize other people's emotions, especially when they were this stupidly obvious. Every two seconds Jotaro could see the other boy staring at him out of the corner of his eye. They walked through the town together, hands stuffed into their pockets. Josuke's friend seemed to know how to reach the older Jotaro, and right now that seemed like the best course of action, so he'd decided to stick with him for a while.
The guy wasn't as tall as Jotaro, or as strong, but he definitely had an edgy vibe to him. Like he'd been through some shit in the past. Jotaro instantly felt drawn to him. He liked feeling like the toughest dude in the room and all, but he often wished he had someone to join him in not giving a shit and having bad posture. With his badass scars and his rough sounding voice, Jotaro found himself wishing that he could stay in 1999 for a while and spend some time with Josuke's friend.
All that kind of lost its edge when he opened his mouth, though. It couldn't be more obvious when he spoke that he had all the cool guy vibes of a butterfly stuck to a marshmallow. It was annoying, and disappointing, and sort of...cute.
It was also cute that he wouldn't stop looking over at him and blushing.
"What's wrong?" Jotaro finally asked, a small smirk on his face.
"W-well, it's just weird seein' your hair like that, I guess," the other boy stammered out, gesturing to the dark locks falling in Jotaro's face and obstructing his vision.
"My hair? Who gives a shit about my hair?"
Josuke's friend looked like he was about to have a heart attack. "Shit Josuke, that Stand's really fuckin' with your head, huh?"
Jotaro wasn't sure what he'd meant by that. Judging by the stupid clothes and everything, Josuke clearly didn't care much about his appearance.
A minute later Jotaro caught the other guy looking at him while absentmindedly biting his lip. Wow, Josuke was either dense as fuck, too chicken shit to do anything, or had terrible taste in men, because it was painfully obvious that this hot young punk had a thing for his 'bro'.
Jotaro took a hand out of his pocket and shoved it into the back pocket of the cool guy's pants. He didn't see any reason not to. It was Josuke's life, not his. Fuck consequences.
The Bro yelped in surprise. "J-Josuke! The fuck's gotten into you, dude?"
Jotaro scoffed. "Come on, you've got a hard on for this Josuke guy, right?"
The other boy went red and stammered nervously. "Wh-what? Come on, we're best friends, I-"
Jotaro rolled his eyes. "Look, I'm pretty sure Josuke's not gonna remember any of this shit after we undo this Stand anyway, so what's the big deal?"
The bro looked concerned. "Why are you talking like that? You....you're not Josuke, are you?"
Oh shit, he had been talking about Josuke in the third person. Eh, easy fix. "I mean, in a lot of ways, I'm not Josuke. I mean, I don't really remember anything about him. I dont remember my Stand's abilities, or how I dress, or you, really." Jotaro bit back a smile. He'd always been a smooth liar.
"Well I...." He was blushing and looking at the ground nervously. "I do like you, Josuke. Like that."
Jotaro felt his ego inflate for a moment before confusion hit him. "Why though? I mean, you seem like a total catch, and Josuke seems like a huge fuckin' pussy. You could do better."
The bro immediately burst out laughing. His laugh was loud and deep, and it made Jotaro's face get a little bit hot. He wiped a joyful tear from his eye, still wheezing.
"Holy shit, I cannot wait for you to get your memories back so I can tell you that you said that. That's fuckin' amazing. But you're not a pussy, bro. You're a total babe magnet, and your Stand rules, and I'm pretty sure you could beat the shit outta just about anybody."
"Except Jotaro." Jotaro interjected a bit too quickly.
"Y-yeah, 'cept Jotaro. But like, I dont like you cuz you're tough, bro. I like you cuz you're sweet, and you make me laugh, and we always have so much fun together!"
Jotaro took a minute to think that through. When was the last time he'd made a guy laugh? When was the last time he'd done something sweet? Had he ever been sweet?
"Hey," The Bro was looking at him a little sheepishly, "You said that you- that Josuke ain't gonna remember any of this once we fix his memories, right?"
He wasn't actually completely sure of that, but he'd seen that Jodie Foster movie at least a dozen times, and they didn't switch memories when they switched bodies in that. Eh, if he does remember, that's Josuke's problem.
"So....c-can I kiss you? I've just always wanted to kiss Josuke...."
Jotaro pulled him close by the front of his jacket, their lips almost touching.
"What was your name again?" he whispered.
"O-okuyasu. My name is Okuyasu."
Jotaro closed the space between them, kissing Okuyasu roughly. Part of him felt sort of guilty for stealing what was probably Josuke's first kiss, but you snooze you lose, right?
After a moment, Jotaro pulled away, letting go of Okuyasu's jacket. He started up the street, looking down to hide how red his cheeks were.
"Come on, Okuyasu. The sooner we get to Jotaro, the sooner you can have the real Josuke back."
Jotaro is a hot headed teen full of teen boy hormones. He is a simple man. he see the boy, he like the boy, he kiss the boy
Jotaro is such a little shit i love him. Rude rowdy boy
"Okuyasu? What's wrong, is there an enemy Stand?"
Looking up at his older self gave Jotaro a very confusing mixture of emotions. On one hand, he was still just as handsome and as strong as he'd been in the 80's, albeit a few shades less tan. That was a relief. Judging by the way Okuyasu talked about him, the older Jotaro was sort of the boys' mentor figure, someone who always had the answers. Also a good thing. But on the other hand, the fuck was this Jotaro wearing? Was that a dolphin broach? Why did he have a dolphin broach? There was something else unsettling Jotaro, though: This version of him was alone.
He'd sort of hoped that he and the other crusaders would stay close as the years dragged by. Maybe that was a bit unrealistic, considering that the six of them had been scattered across the globe before their expedition, but he'd hoped that Kakyoin at least would stay in touch after they both graduated. Maybe they'd had a falling out at some point? It hurt him to think about.
Okuyasu spoke up. "S-something's wrong with Josuke!"
The older Jotaro smirked. "What, did someone steal his hair gel?"
Jotaro felt anger rise in his chest. "Oh, so we think we're fucking funny now, eh?" He clenched his fist, ready to throw a punch.
Oldtaro put his hands up defensively. "Hey, easy now. Simmer down."
Ugh, he sounded like his Gramps. "Good grief, what the hell happened to you, Jotaro? I bet you don't even smoke anymore."
Oldtaro stared at him in confusion for a moment, analyzing his clothes, his posture, his hair.
He sighed, looking irritated. He adjusted his hat and stared at the floor.
"......You on your way to Egypt yet, kid?"
Huh. This older Jotaro was pretty smart, he'd admit that. He'd recognized his younger self, even in a different body, after only a couple minutes. "I was, until some enemy Stand put me in my pathetic uncle's body."
Okuyasu's jaw dropped. His face was going red very quickly as he realized he'd just kissed his bro's nephew. "Y-you're Jotaro?!"
Older Jotaro stared at him with a stony gaze. "Okuyasu, meet Jotaro Kujo, circa 1987. He's preparing for a fight with DIO. I'm sorry if he lied to you, I was pretty insufferable in my youth."
Jotaro was folding under his older self's gaze. He didn't want to admit it, but 90's Jotaro was actually really intimidating. "Okuyasu tells me you can stop time now. I'm glad that Star is improving."
Oldtaro said nothing. Jotaro groaned. "Look, I just want to get back to my team, alright? Did you forget that your mom's life is on the line right now? I don't have time to stand around and play patty cake with Okuyasu."
Oldtaro crossed his arms, his eyes not leaving Jotaro's for an instant. "Okuyasu, has he done anything stupid yet?"
"W-well, he was kind of a dick to Josuke's mom, but-"
Oldtaro pinched his nose, closing his eyes in frustration and finally allowing Jotaro to fucking breathe for a second.
"You're lucky Josuke is so particular about his looks, kid, or I'd be breaking your nose right now."
Jotaro was beyond pissed at this point. This whole situation was so frustrating and his older self was treating him like an unruly child. "Since when do you care if some loser kid gets in trouble with his fucking mommy?"
That seemed to strike a chord with future Jotaro. "Since I grew up and realized that being an asshole isn't always the answer, you spoiled brat!" Before Jotaro could react, Star Platinum had appeared and slapped him hard across the face.
Oldtaro turned to Okuyasu then. "I'm gonna call a friend with the Speedwagon Foundation and see if they know anything about a Stand that can swap bodies, okay? Don't worry, we're gonna get Josuke back."
When the older Jotaro left the room, Jotaro could feel a pit forming in his stomach. His older self was disappointed by him, ashamed of him even. He didn't want to care what anyone thought about him, even his future self, but it didn't sit right with him nonetheless. He sat on the hotel couch, thinking about what Oldtaro had said.
Okuyasu settled into the seat beside him, anxiously bouncing his leg. It was strange, on the way to the hotel, Okuyasu had barely stopped talking and laughing. But now, he was completely silent. A few awkward minutes passed before Jotaro heard a small sob.
Jotaro saw that tears were streaming down Okuyasu's scarred cheeks. How could a boy look this tough and act so soft?
"C-come on, Okuyasu, quit crying," Jotaro said roughly, but Okuyasu just buried his face in his hands, like he was embarrassed by his own tears.
Jotaro felt like he had a pretty good guess as to the cause of Okuyasu's mood shift. His words from earlier echoed in his head.
'We always have such a great time together'
Even when he'd thought Josuke had lost his memory, he seemed perfectly happy just to be walking through town with his best friend.
'You make me laugh'
Sure, Josuke didn't remember anything, but he was safe, and he was with Okuyasu, and that alone gave him the confidence to work toward fixing his friend's memory.
Jotaro placed a hand on Okuyasu's shoulder without thinking. Okuyasu looked up at him, his stiff muscles relaxing slightly at the touch. Jotaro lifted a hand and brushed the tears away, as gently as he could manage. Even crying, this guy really was pretty cute. Okuyasu seemed to be reading his mind, as his eyes drifted down to Jotaro's lips. Well, Josuke's lips, but he'd take it.
Jotaro wasn't sure how long they'd been kissing for when he heard Oldtaro heading back down the hall. He broke away with some reluctance, and placed a hand on Okuyasu's cheek.
"What's wrong?" He was trying hard to make his voice sound soft, but it still sounded harsh in his ears.
Tears were filling Okuyasu's eyes again. "W-well, it's just.....If you're here, then.....Well then, where's Josuke?"
Josuke's back was killing him. He groaned into his mattress, wondering why his bed had suddenly betrayed him. There was a soft knock on his door.
"Ugh....five more minutes, Mom." His voice sounded strange in his own ears. Familiar, but definitely not his own.
"Um, Jojo?" An odd accented voice called through the door. What stranger would be at his house at this hour, and on a school day? He groaned into his pillows again.
"I'm sorry for bothering you, Jojo. I just wanted to see if you maybe wanted to get some breakfast with the others before we head out today? Mr. Joestar found a really nice café nearby."
Mr. Joestar went outside? And did a thing? By himself? He stood to open the door now and, uh, this wasn't Josuke's bedroom. He was in a shitty hotel room. No wonder his back hurt. How had he ended up here? He looked around the room, suddenly panicked. He jumped when he saw himself in the mirror.
Jotaro had aged well, of course, but it still took Josuke a second to recognize the face in the mirror. He was....young Jotaro? Why was Josuke young Jotaro? Well, usually when something weird happened to Josuke, the answer was 'Stands', so it was probably Stands.
He opened the hotel room door, and was met by a smiling man with an impressively managed hair style.
Let's see, Josuke tried to recall the old story. Not Jotaro's lame boring version, the cool one that Mr. Joestar told. There was Jotaro, Mr. Joestar, the badass, the pretty boy, the dog, and....
"Polnareff!" Josuke said with a smile.
Polnareff looked confused to see Jotaro smiling. That tracked honestly. "Uh, yeah, morning. So uh-"
"I'd love some breakfast, dude. Come in, I'll only take a minute. We can meet up with them together."
The look of confusion on Polnareff's face kept intensifying. Josuke laughed, he looked like Okuyasu trying to do math. Josuke casually started removing his pajamas. Polnareff's cheeks went pink almost immediately.
"J-jojo! You're just like, changing in front of me?"
Josuke shrugged. "What's the big deal, we're friends, right? Who cares."
Polnareff still averted his eyes. Fragile masculinity among the Crusaders, then? Whatever, Josuke was just excited to get some food. He wondered what exotic country they were in. He couldn't wait to tell Oku how everything tasted. He'd have to make sure to try everything for his best bro.
Josuke frowned at the hideous black hat. Wait, did Jotaro rip the hat he has in 1999 just so it would look like this one? What a fuckin' dweeb. He added that to the list of things to tell Okuyasu about when everything went back to normal.
"Uh, hey Polnareff? Can I borrow some of your hair gel?"
"My what? Jojo, my hair is just naturally like this."
Josuke could hardly contain his excitement as the approached the cafe. In the back of his mind, he knew that he should be concerned about all this. A Stand had put him into the body of his nephew from the past, and that was admittedly pretty fuckin' weird. He wondered if Jotaro's mind had gone into little four year old Josuke, back in Japan. The idea made him snicker. He knew this was serious, he knew that he needed to get back to 1999. But....
Okay, so obviously it's not cool to listen to your dad tell old stories. He'd only started letting the old man tell them because Okuyasu liked them so much. He'd beg Mr. Joestar to tell them more about Egypt and Italy every time their paths crossed. But well, after he'd actually sat through a couple of them, he had to admit that they were kind of amazing. Okuyasu was partial to Vanilla Ice, because 'he has The Hand but better', and of course Hol Horse and the Oingo Boingo Brothers were always entertaining, but Josuke had always thought the Crusaders themselves were the best part. Any time the team worked together to fight a Stand user, Josuke found himself completely enthralled. He smiled, remembering one of his favorite anecdotes where Kakyoin and Polnareff had worked together to defeat Centerfold.
He knew that he needed to get back into his body. But as embarrassing as it was, the Stardust Crusaders were like rock stars to Josuke. And today, he was one of them.
He saw Iggy first, napping in the sun outside. Holy shit, this was exciting. Maybe Mr. Joestar would let him feed Iggy his favorite gum!
Ugh. Mr. Joestar. This was gonna be weird. It was at around this time that he'd seduced Josuke's mother. If he'd actually been decent enough to help raise Josuke, he would've looked like this in his earliest memories.
Mr. Joestar waved to him and Polnareff, smiling and holding a cup of coffee.
Oh shit it's Advol. Josuke wished he could get his autograph for Okuyasu. Out of the Crusaders, Iggy was Okuyasu's favorite- though he loved the Vanilla Ice story, he still cried every single time- but Avdol was a close second. Kakyoin was looking at them a bit suspiciously. Josuke screamed internally, Kakyoin was so cool! But as far as Josuke was concerned, none of them came anywhere close to being as cool as Polnareff. His Stand had a sword, what's more bitchin' than a sword? Not to mention his strong sense of honor and moral compass. He was way more handsome than Jotaro made it sound in his stories, too. And funnier, he had Josuke in stitches the whole walk over. Polnareff seemed pleasantly surprised that Josuke was enjoying his company so much. It made Josuke a little sad to think that his nephew usually didn't give the Frenchman much attention. He wondered why the hell Jotaro talked about Kakyoin so much, Polnareff was clearly the superior guy.
Josuke enjoyed the exotic breakfast quite a bit, but he enjoyed the conversation much more. Jotaro always referred to the Crusaders as a team, nothing more, but Josuke could see that they were really close friends. At a certain point, Josuke started to feel guilty. He bit back the impulse to say 'DIOs Stand stops time! Kakyoin, don't go near him!'. Part of him felt like it was his duty to say something, but he'd seen Back to the Future enough times to know that it might not be a good idea.
"I'll be right back, I've got to hit the restroom," Josuke said, standing. As he walked through the cafe, he could sense a strange presence behind him. As he was about to enter the bathroom, a strong tentacle suddenly wrapped around his neck. He pulled at it, spluttering in confusion and panic. A cold voice whispered in his ear from behind.
"You have sixty seconds to tell me who you are and what you've done with the real Jotaro before I rat you out to the others."
jotaro: humm this is very serious no time for goofing off gotta undo this stand
josuke: Itll probably be fine if I just hang out with my new buddy pol right
Jotaro was really starting to like this Okuyasu guy. He was a little bit too goofy and emotional for his taste, but he was genuinely a really nice guy. He always tried to make the best of the situations he was in, and judging by how he and Oldtaro interacted, he was fiercely loyal to his friends and their efforts to fight evil. He reminded Jotaro of Polnareff, a little bit. Like a less cool Polnareff.
Wait a minute. Jotaro might have some things to unpack later.
For now, he silently observed the boy beside him, careful to keep a blank expression. Okuyasu's brows were furrowed, deep in thought. The Speedwagon Foundation hadn't been able to give them any helpful information, so Oldtaro had asked the two boys to think long and hard about whether they'd seen anything strange recently. He was still obviously concerned about Josuke, but he was trying to put those feelings aside so that he could be more proactive.
Jotaro looked across the room to his older self. Oldtaro hadn't stopped staring daggers at him for what felt like hours. "Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer."
"It's 1999, kid. That joke isn't funny anymore," Oldtaro deadpanned.
"Hey, Jotaro?" Both of them turned to Okuyasu. He chuckled warmly. "No, uh, m-my Jotaro. Sorry. Um, why is Crazy D still here? I mean, shouldn't he be with Josuke?"
Oldtaro's eyes went wide. He turned his attention back to Jotaro. "Crazy Diamond is with you?"
"What, Josuke's Stand? Yeah." Jotaro manifested the pink figure. "That's actually a pretty good question, Okuyasu. I mean, the Stand and the user's mind are so deeply linked. I wonder why Star didn't stick with me- hey, that gives me an idea."
Jotaro stood. "Okuyasu, hit me."
Oldtaro caught on pretty quick. "It's worth a shot," he said, manifesting Star Platinum.
Jotaro couldn't bite back the smile when he saw his Stand, even in an older form. He stretched out his arms eagerly. "Hey, buddy! Do you recognize me?" Star Platinum answered his question with a very strong armed hug. Oldtaro looked embarrassed, probably because he was feeling the hug as well, but Jotaro didn't care. Oldtaro was still him, he knew how much Jotaro cared about his Stand. All Stands, really. They were like animals that only certain people got to see, like a cryptid. He felt privileged to interact with them.
Jotaro suddenly remembered that Okuyasu was watching this unfold, and untangled himself from his Stand's embrace. He coughed awkwardly. "Uh, anyway. Just go ahead and hit me, Okuyasu. Don't hold back."
Okuyasu braced himself and punched Jotaro in the shoulder. He was obviously holding back, but it was good enough. Jotaro looked to Star Platinum. "Did you feel that, bud?" Star Platinum shook his head, a bit confused.
He turned to Crazy Diamond. "What about you, could you feel that?" Crazy Diamond shook his head as well.
"Okay, so. Crazy Diamond isn't linked to me, but neither is Star Platinum?"
Oldtaro stroked his chin in thought. "So Josuke probably isn't linked to Crazy Diamond, wherever he is."
"Well, we don't really know that, 'cuz it's not the same Star Platinum." Both Jotaro's turned to look at Okuyasu again. He blushed a bit, scratching the back of his neck. "W-well. uh, Nuevermind. That was dumb."
Jotaro moved closer to Okuyasu. "No, no go on. What do you mean, not the same Star Platinum?"
Okuyasu smiled awkwardly. "Well, if Crazy D is here, then your Star Platinum is probably still with your 80's body, right? This Star Platinum is already linked to this version of you, so, uh..." He tailed off, seeming to realize how strange he sounded.
Jotaro sighed. He'd been hoping it wouldn't come to this. He hated using his special talent in front of people, but he hated not having answers way more.
He turned to face Crazy Diamond and stroked his cheek gently. For some reason, Jotaro had found that he was much better with Stands than he was with people. Stands put him at ease, when their user's weren't trying to kill him.
"Hey there, your name is Crazy Diamond, right?" He spoke in a soothing voice, like one might use when first meeting a horse. Crazy Diamond made a small noise that reminded him of Star and he smiled softly.
"You miss Josuke, don't you, big guy? I miss my Stand, too." He could feel Okuyasu and Oldtaro's eyes on him, but he tried to ignore it. "Can you....can you tell if you and Josuke are still linked? Can you feel that he's still with you?"
Crazy Diamond nodded and let out another small sound.
"So, is Josuke okay then? Wherever he is, he hasn't been in any pain, has he?" When the Stand shook his head, Jotaro heard Okuyasu let out a sob of relief. What a softie.
Jotaro was getting excited now. "Can you tell where he is, big guy? Do you know where Josuke is?"
At that moment, Crazy Diamond went rigid. The three of them watched in horror as the Stand clutched at its neck.
"Crazy D? C-Crazy D!" Okuyasu was at the Stand's side in an instant, panicking as he tried to protect his best friend from an unseen evil.
"Shit," Jotaro mumbled under his breath. How were they supposed to fight something that wasn't even here? Surely there was something they could do beyond just watching Josuke get choked. Okuyasu was hysterical, and Jotaro was struggling to mask his frustration. Feeling helpless like this really pissed him off.
He forced himself to swallow his pride and turned to face the tallest man in the room.
"Alright Jotaro, what do you think we should do?"
I have this headcanon that I call "jotaro the stand whisperer" and I couldn't resist
Josuke considered fighting back, but he couldn't see a scenario where that ended well for anyone. The tentacle loosened enough for him to breathe, still threatening to choke him again if he stepped out of line.
"You think I'm fucking stupid? You're not the first Stand user to impersonate one of us, but you're definitely the most piss poor attempt I've seen. Tell me who you really are before I lose my patience."
Josuke gasped for air, his heart pounding in fear. Kakyoin was an incredibly valuable ally by Joseph's account, but he was also a deadly enemy. "You...you wouldn't believe me if I told you, alright?"
The tentacle tightened a fraction. "Try me."
He closed his eyes, trying to keep from crying. This was the end. Kakyoin would kill him before noon in the back of this dingy cafe and he'd never see Okuyasu again. "My name is Josuke Higashikata. I'm Joseph Joestar's son from the future. I'm from the year 1999. I'm seventeen years old and I have a Stand called Crazy Diamond and all my friends are Stand Users who are probably worried sick about me by now and don't know how I got put in Jotaro's body but I just wanna go home and-"
Hierophant Green cut off his airway again, stopping him from spilling more of his guts. Tears were flowing down his cheeks and he wanted nothing more than to wake up and realize this was some crazy nightmare. He wanted Okuyasu to barge into his kitchen and ask him why he looked so pale. He wanted Okuyasu to laugh while he described this dream and tell him to stop eating pizza right before bed.
And just like that, he could breathe again. He was tossed against the wall carelessly. Kakyoin crossed his arms, still looking suspicious. "Well then Josuke, if that's true, why didn't you tell one of us? We might be able to help you, you know."
"I was really hoping that I could get out of here without having to tell you guys anything. I don't wanna like, um. Back the Future is out already, yeah?"
Kakyoin didn't respond. "Back at the table, you acted like you knew us. If you really have no affiliation with DIO, then why would you know all of us by name?"
Josuke blushed. "C-come on, Kakyoin, my nephew and my dad went on a cross continental journey to like, fulfill the Joestar destiny. You really think that shit never comes up at dinner?" He half laughed, looking at the floor. "Truth is, my best friend and I k-kinda think the Stardust Crusaders are like, the kewlest Stand Users like, ever," He admitted, an awkward silence forming.
Kakyoin suddenly wheezed with laughter.
"The WHAT?!" He lapsed into a laughing fit, trying and failing to regain some composure. "Y-you're telling me that Jotaro and Joseph kept using that stupid fucking nickname Polnareff came up with?! And you said it so SERIOUSLY, like it's not the dumbest thing ever! 'Stardust Crusaders', what the fuck does that even mean?! Stardust Crusaders...." He shook his head in disbelief. "That's..... wait, we win?! We- we actually beat DIO, then?! How the hell-"
"Kakyoin, we both know you're smart enough to know that I can't talk to you about this. I've said way too much already. I just wanna figure out what's going on, and get out of here without hurting anybody. So if you wanna help me, that's great, but let's keep this between us, yeah?"
Kakyoin nodded. "So is Jotaro in 1999 then, do you think?"
Josuke hadn't really given it much though, but it made as much sense as anything else. He cringed at the idea of Jotaro shoving his beloved hair under an ugly hat.
He shrugged. "Maybe. All I know is we both need to get back to where we're supposed to be."
Kakyoin smirked. "Hmmm, what a shame. I'm actually beginning to like you, Josuke Higashikata. You're more....grown up than Jotaro, at any rate."
Josuke's eyes went wide in Jotaro's skull. "W-what? Okay, you're fuckin' with me. Jotaro is so cool, and like, tough, nobody can fuck with him. The dude is literally unfuckable."
"That doesn't make him mature, Josuke. It makes him a dumbass who's trying way too hard. He might be good in a fight, but I'm starting to think you're smarter than him when it comes to things that actually matter," He said, winking at Josuke.
Josuke's cheeks went red. "The hell do you mean by that?!"
Kakyoin leaned close, speaking quietly. "I knew you weren't Jotaro when I saw you flirting with Polnareff, casanova. You made more progress in a couple hours than Captain Stardust Crusader has made in weeks. Just saying, Jotaro totally owes you." And with that, Kakyoin gave him a mischievous smile and turned to join the others.
"Good luck, Jotaroooo," He called teasingly over his shoulder.
Okay first of all, Josuke and Polnareff were not flirting. He was treating Pol the same way he'd treat Okuyasu, wasn't he?
Of course Josuke was head over heels in love with Oku, so maybe that didn't count for much. But they weren't really like, flirting.
More importantly, was Kakyoin implying that Jotaro had a crush on Polnareff? It was troubling enough imagining Jotaro having a crush on anyone, but Polnareff? Not that there was anything wrong with Polnareff, he was one of the kewlest dudes Josuke had ever met. He completely lived up to the expectations set by those stories. But he definitely wasn't Jotaro's type, if he even had a type. He was big and strong and manly, sure, but he was also sweet and funny and just overwhelmingly good hearted down to his core. He was, well....
He was a lot like Okuyasu.
Suddenly a lot of things snapped into place and Josuke felt like he was gonna be sick.
Polnareff was a lot like Okuyasu.
Jotaro had mentioned before that he was a hot headed, impulsive teen, especially in a stressful situation.
Jotaro might be in Josuke's body back home.
Jotaro had a crush on Polnareff.
Polnareff was a lot like Okuyasu.
Teen Jotaro, lost and stressed and with nothin' to lose, was alone with Okuyasu and Okuyasu was a LOT like Polnareff and they were alone together. Maybe.
He HAD to get back to 1999. Fast.
kakyoin is a chaotic gay dont @ me
I'm pretty fond of this chapter :)
EDIT: I tweaked a line because I didn't realize that it would be misleading lol
Jotaro looked around the dark, somewhat spooky room. He couldn't let himself relax. He'd been on edge for weeks back in his own life, with the threat of DIO creeping down his neck, he should be enjoying every second of this slow, small town existence. This should be like a vacation, but he'd never been very good at unwinding.
Oldtaro had essentially told them that there was nothing they could do for now. The enemy Stand user was likely with Josuke, judging by the brief danger Crazy Diamond had been in, but Crazy D was fine now, so Josuke was probably handling the situation. All Jotaro could do was lay low and keep his head on a swivel.
After the disastrous conversation he'd had with Josuke's mom, Okuyasu had decided that Jotaro should come to his super creepy mansion. He said it was for the sake of Josuke's reputation, but Jotaro was pretty sure there were selfish motives at work as well.
Okuyasu's father was napping in a patch of sunlight without care. It made him furious just looking at the twisted thing. Even now, over a decade after his death, the grotesque wounds left on the world by DIO's legacy were still festering.
Crazy Diamond had curled up beside Okuyasu. Jotaro decided to keep him out, partly so that he and Okuyasu could monitor Josuke's saftey and partly because he knew it had to be tough for a Stand to be separated from its user. The Stand's arm was wrapped protectively around Okuyasu's waist, as reassuring and affectionate as the boy he was holding.
"Hey, Okuyasu. You still awake?"
Okuyasu mumbled a response into Jotaro's chest. He wasn't entirely sure when or how the two boys had ended up in bed, especially so close together, but he'd be lying if he said it wasn't kind of nice. He'd shared a bed with the other Crusaders a few times before, desperate times and all, but this was different. Kakyoin usually wasn't too shy, the two of them were good enough friends to comfortably sleep side by side and not worry if they ended up brushing shoulders. Polnareff usually made a big fuss about keeping his distance but as the night dragged on, he would always end up drifting closer to Jotaro. It was odd, and a little funny, but he never asked why.
Having another person like this though, head on his chest, hand resting on his stomach, it was an unfamiliar experience. It made him realize how much he wished things were different. Jotaro had always been so good at putting up walls. He'd started doing it when he was young and scared of bullies, and he'd only gotten better at it over the years. Now he'd put up so many, he wasn't sure if there was a way to let anyone in. From what he'd learned, Josuke had never built a wall in his life, at least not one without a gate.
"Okuyasu, what's Josuke like?"
Okuyasu looked up at him with a sleepy grin. He stretched and started to trace lazy circles into Jotaro's chest. "Oh, Josuke's the best! He's so cool, he knows everything about fashion and he dresses like a model, and girls love him of course. And he's really good with his Stand, too, like, I bet he could probably beat DIO if he had a couple other people on his side," He laughed. "Damn, I just realized that Josuke is gonna be soooo jealous about this. He'd never admit it to Oldtaro or his old man, but he thinks the Stardust Crusaders are like, the definition of badaas. Cuz you guys like, basically invented using your Stand for the good of humanity. You're like his hero, Jotaro."
Jotaro smiled. "His hero, huh?"
"Well, 'cept for Polnareff. He loooooves Polnareff."
Polnareff, a young boy's hero. He smiled a bit wider. He couldn't wait to get back to Polnareff and tell him that. He could imagine the huge grin now. 'Vraiment? Your uncle's hero? But of course, I am pretty heroic, aren't I Jotaro?' He'd never hear the end of it, but it'd make Pol so happy.
"But he's like, real good inside too, you know? That was the first thing that stuck out to me when we met. He coulda killed me, just like that. But he saved my life. I was a stranger at best, an enemy at worst, didn't do a thing to deserve it, but he saved me anyway. And I just remember thinkin' like, 'that's the kinda guy who's gonna change the world one day, and I wanna be there when it happens'."
Okuyasu shifted, looking into Jotaro's eyes now. "Lot of people think that caring about people like that, bein' so good inside, that it makes you soft. My big bro thought that, that being good to people for no real reason meant you were weak, or just dumb. But then I look at Josuke, and.....lovin' other people makes him so strong. So....." He trailed off, blushing deeply at how much he'd just said. "So that's what kinda guy he is, I reckon."
Jotaro looked at Okuyasu, deep in thought. He'd always believed that strength came from within, but letting himself rely on others to make him strong like that, it sounded really great. Sounded less lonely. He'd been quick to write Josuke off as a loser, but he was starting to think he had a lot to learn from his uncle.
Okuyasu perked up, grinning at him. "Hey, I know Oldtaro told us to lay low, but do you like Italian food? Cuz there's this place in town that'll knock your socks off, and I bet you ain't getting too many fancy meals out in the desert."
Jotaro smiled. Maybe he should try to live like Josuke for the day. "Sure thing, sounds like fun."
"You okay there, Jojo?"
Josuke's stomach was in knots over this Okuyasu situation. He'd been putting off telling him about his little crush, partially because he'd been praying it would go away. Now he was really regretting that decision. There was a not insignificant chance that Jotaro could ruin everything for him in easily a hundred ways. Jotaro was cool and all, but he was so...rough. And Okuyasu was so fragile. There were so many ways that Jotaro might hurt Oku. He could yell at him, tell him to fuck off, and Oku wouldn't know any better. He'd think it was Josuke because, why wouldn't he? It could be worse, he might actually try to beat Okuyasu up. Every Stand User the Stardust Crusaders had met was an enemy, why wouldn't he assume that Oku was a foe as well? Would Crazy Diamond be willing to hit Okuyasu if his User told him to? He shuddered. And there were worse things Jotaro might do to him, too. Josuke's cheeks went red. He was really so rough.....
Well, he didn't even want to think about that.
".....Polnareff? Do you ever think about what's going on back home?"
Polnareff looked off into the distance. "Sometimes. But honestly, I try not to think about home much, if I can help it. I've gotta focus on DIO, you know? Keep my eyes forward." He looked over to Josuke for a moment, a small smile forming.
"I feel like I owe that much to you guys, don't you?"
Josuke met his gaze. "You're a really good guy, Pol. I don't give you enough credit for that." It was true, whether Jotaro felt that way or not.
Polnareff just shrugged. "I'm just doing what my heart tells me is right, Jojo. I'm no hero."
Josuke smiled warmly. He'd heard that before. "Don't sell yourself so short, dude. You're so brave, and like, noble and shit. I really admire you, honestly. You're the kinda guy I wish I could be." Again, they weren't Jotaro's words, but they were genuine.
Polnareff blushed noticeably. What a handsome guy, he and Jotaro would've made quite the striking couple.
The walked in silence for a little while, their knuckles brushing occasionally.
"You can call me Jean if you want, you know."
Polnareff was still looking ahead, his cheeks tinted pink.
"Jojo! Polnareff! Over here!"
Kakyoin and Mr. Joestar were running to meet them, looking sort of excited.
Polnareff rushed to meet them. "Kak! Where have you guys been?!"
"We got caught up with a Stand User, come on!" Mr. Joestar called.
Josuke felt his anxiety spike. An enemy Stand? Right now? "Wh-what's it do? are you guys okay?"
Kakyoin smirked. "It like, controls worms? I think? Like, he can make the worms do stuff? I think that's all he does, really. Avdol and I have mostly just been grilling him for information."
"He just....controls worms? You're fuckin' with me, right?"
Kakyoin glared at him. "Well we can't all have the amazing ability of punching really good, now can we, Jojo?"
It became clear pretty quickly that the worm guy didn't actually have much information, but he made up for his shitty Stand by being fiercely loyal to DIO.
He spat in Avdol's face, blood trickling from his nose. "I'd sooner die than let you lay a finger on Lord DIO!"
Avdol sighed, and a look came over his face that Josuke really didn't like. It was the face he'd seen on Kakyoin back in the cafe, when Heirophant Green's tentacles cut off his airway."Fine, have it your way. I'm bored of this. Jojo, finish him off."
Josuke went pale almost immediately. "What?"
"I said, finish him off, Jotaro. If he wants to die for DIO, then so be it."
"W-well, uh, he doesnt really pose much of a threat though, right? I mean, his Stand is total garbage."
Mr. Joestar looked at him with extreme confusion. "He's an enemy Stand User, boy. He's actively in the way of the mission. We gave him a choice to step aside, if he doesn't want to, that's his decision. Now hurry up and get it over with, we're burning daylight."
Josuke's face went stoic. He made his voice sound dark. "Good Grief. Fine, Gramps. I just didn't want to waste any effort on this pathetic guy," He cracked his knuckles menacingly. "You guys go on ahead, this won't take any time at all."
The other Crusaders nodded and headed off, leaving Josuke and the enemy Stand User alone. Josuke let out a long sigh and turned to the bleeding man. He lifted the man's shaggy bangs and breathed out a sigh of relief.
"Cool, no flesh bud. So you'll be okay when all this is over. Listen, punk. I want you to get your ass up, pick a direction, and run as fast as you can. Don't stop until nobody around you has a fucking clue who you are. And then I want you to tell your family you're alright, change your name, and lay low for the next month. After that, DIO will be dead, and you can just forget this ever happened."
The enemy Stand User stared at Josuke for moment, then barked out a loud laugh. "Yer not gonna kill me? I'd heard you were the hardass to end all hardasses, Jotaro. Don't tell me you're going soft on me!"
Josuke crouched beside him. "Bro, I know you think that DIO is gonna make your life better. That he, I don't know, that he cares about you or something, but I can promise you there's nothing in his heart. There's no hope for him. My ancestors tried to offer him help, and he didn't take it, and now he's gonna die alone on a bridge," He stood, offering a hand to the man below him. "And right now, I'm offering to help you, too. And you can have all sorts of things that DIO never got to have. Like, a happy family, true love, a tan, and internet access. So what do you say, are ya gonna let me help you?"
The man stared at his hand for a moment, weighing his options. When he finally took it, Josuke smiled. "Good choice," he said as he helped him to his feet. "Now I never want any of my teammates to see your face again, we clear?" The man nodded before turning on his heel and running away.
Josuke let out a long sigh. That guy was lucky he'd met the Crusaders today, Jotaro would've Ora'd him into fucking oblivion.
"You keep surprising me today, Jojo."
Josuke froze. Polnareff took his time approaching, letting out an amused chuckle. "That speech was pretty good, did you come up with that on the spot? Seriously though, that was more words than you usually say in a whole day, is your throat sore?"
Josuke turned to face him. He was grinning ear to ear, it was sort of dazzling. "You....you're not gonna tell the others, are you?"
"Nah, as long as that guy is smart enough to listen to you, they don't really need to know. I mean, they don't really need to know either way. What's he gonna do, worm them to death?" Josuke let out a nervous laugh.
Polnareff put a hand on his shoulder and Josuke felt himself blush a little. "That was really great, what you did, Jojo. I would've done the same thing. It was, what's the word you used.....ah, noble."
"Heh, th-thanks, Jean."
They stood there smiling at one another for a while, Jean's hand lingering on his shoulder.
"Well, we should probably join up with the others, eh killer?" Polnareff said, turning the way they'd gone.