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18 Years and 23 Birthdays Later

Chapter Text

“Last stop! Everybody off!”

The train screeched to a halt startling a young (and quite literal) redhead from his thoughts. Kakyoin Noriaki shifted in his seat and observed the train. No one was seated on the cabin except for him, and the only other person seemed to be a man near the exit.

“I said last stop Mr Kakyoin. That means you must get off.”

“I’m sorry, I’m afraid there has been some mistake, I don’t even remember getting on this train.” Kakyoin stood and began to approach the exit where the man in uniform was shouting from. He didn’t look like a stand user, however, looks could be deceiving. “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you know my name?”

The man looked to him, unemotive, unmoving “Your train ticket. Your name was on it.”

“Yes but, I don’t even recall getting on a train, and I’m sure I didn’t come alone. Were there any men on the train earlier? Tall, silver pillar-like hair maybe? Delinquent looking, or perhaps an older gentleman?”

The neatly dressed man looked away from Kakyoin “None of those descriptions ring a bell. Though, an Egyptian man and his dog who were dropped off earlier this evening if that means anything to you”

“Oh yes that sounds like it may have been Mr Avdol and Iggy.” he paused and his brows etched into an expression of confusion “But that can’t be, they-” Kakyoin stiffened and grabbed at his stomach “I....”

The man opened the cabin door: A calm, nearly empty train station coming into view “As I said, this is the last stop”

The redhead stared absently at the station. Was he really dead? This had to be a stand! But what if it wasn’t? What if this was real. Panic struck him.

“Two young men, their names are Polnareff and Jotaro! If they try to get on the train, turn them away! Make them go back! They have to finish Dio!”

“I don’t choose who comes aboard, I only announce the stops, and this is yours.” the man pointed coolly.

Kakyoin looked again to the station just outside, the lighting made it look so cold, so empty.

“You’re lucky to have been put out here. You’ll be with the good ones.”

Kakyoin didn’t turn to ask what that meant. He could feel a tension, something pulling him to step out into the station, so he did. When he turned to thank the man and watch the train depart, it was already gone.

“Excuse me! Young man!”

A chill ran down his spine.

Kakyoin let out a saddened sigh and turned, immediately unable to hide the shock when seeing the man who had called to him.

Blue-black hair, and blue eyes full of the same resolve he’s seen every day for the last two months in someone else’s eyes “I’m Jonathan Joestar, who might you be?”

“K-Kakyoin. Kakyoin Noriaki”

Chapter Text

“Kakyoin huh? Well nice to meet you Kakyoin.”

Kakyoin swallowed hard.

“How old are you?”

 

“I’m seventeen,” what should he call him? He already called Joseph Mr Joestar, but this was Joseph’s grandfather “Mr Joestar”

“That’s a shame” Jonathan sighed “Almost everyone here seems to be plagued with an early death”

There was a beat of quiet.

“Well, Kakyoin, I think you should come with me. My wife and I have a place you can stay while you get everything sorted.

“Oh, that’s alright you don’t have to Mr Joestar” Kakyoin bowed insistently.

“The train dropped you off here for a reason. I really don’t mind. Erina loves guests and I’m sure the others will take a liking to you” Jonathan began to walk, and Kakyoin followed.

“What do you mean others?”

“My family. They stay with me in my mansion.”

“Mansion?”

Jonathan laughed “It seems you don’t know as much about me as I thought. Most people dropped off at this station have a connection to me”

“You’re grandson and great-grandson, I know them” Kakyoin added rather resolutely. His expression faltered “knew them”

Jonathan smiled weakly “You’ll have to tell us about my great-grandson, Elizabeth only knew him when he was a baby so I’d love to hear about the kind of man he’s becoming.”

Noriaki couldn’t help but let out an amused hum. Jonathan seemed like an upstanding gentleman, nothing like the person Jotaro showed the world: jaded and jagged, radiating energy that said he didn’t give a fuck what people thought.

It was a nice change from his own rather anti-social personality.

“Kakyoin,” he was snapped away from his thoughts, Jonathan gesturing to the massive building now before them.

It was an ornate Victorian mansion that looked fit for the royal family itself. It appeared to have 3 floors and what had to be hundreds of windows.

“It’s a lovely home”

“Thank you, Erina should be waiting for us” Jonathan excitedly stated opening the door. Despite the size from the outside, the inside somehow managed to be even bigger “Erina! I’m home!”

A beautiful young woman in Victorian dress emerged from the second staircase to the right side of the room: Her face was painted with a concern that she attempted to conceal with her carefully placed smile “Welcome home!” she began down the staircase more quickly “Who was at the train station darling?”

Jonathan stepped aside to reveal Kakyoin, and Erina’s tenseness dissipated.

“My name is Kakyoin Noriaki” he bowed “Thank you for excepting me into your household.”

“A pleasure to meet you” she observed the red-haired boy in front of her “So you have some relation to our family”

“Yes Mrs Joestar, I knew Joseph and Jotaro.”

Erina smiled “That’s lovely. If you follow me I can lead you to your room.”

Kakyoin looked to Jonathan for a moment then nodded.

Erina guided him up the left-most staircase and down a long hallway. The decor of the house was absolutely intriguing to Kakyoin, it looked as if the world had frozen in the time of Queen Victoria; beautifully and authentically English.

“I know you just got here so you don’t have to speak of anything right away but, we would like to know about you Kakyoin, and of your journey with our family” Erina had stopped and placed her hand on a handle.

“Yes of course” he nodded “Thank you again, for letting me stay here”

“It's our pleasure, you were dropped off here for a reason. As far as I’m concerned, you’re family” Erina looked at Kakyoin sincerely, her tone motherly.

Kakyoin took a moment to process it all: family? They hardly even know me. I’m not even certain they have stands. How could they possibly understand?

Erina opened the bedroom door “I may not know you but I trust Joseph and Jotaro’s judgement, if they cared for you then we will do the same until they return.”

He nodded, was it just a Joestar thing to know what people were thinking? Maybe he was just easy to read, either way, he decided to enter the room.

“I’ll come to get you in an hour for dinner. Until then try to get yourself situated.”

Despite not really having any items to “situate” Kakyoin nodded again at the finality of Erina’s statement: She smiled and closed the door.

And then Kakyoin Noriaki was alone.

Chapter Text

Most of Kakyoin’s hour in his new room was spent exploring it. The room was large and emerald curtains surrounded the neatly made bed. Despite what the decoration would suggest, there were electrical outlets and a lamp on a desk near the window. The desk at first glance was absent of anything personal, a blank journal and pencil laying out on top of it.

But then he opened the drawer.

The desk drawer when barely opened looked to have nothing in it. This assumption would be wrong as Kakyoin soon realised after pulling it out all the way.

A polaroid laid face down in the far corner.

Something shifted uncomfortably within Noriaki, possibilities eating away at him. He picked up the polaroid slowly careful not to flip it over. It couldn’t be, it shouldn’t be possible.

He flipped the picture over as gently as he could. Gentle, as if the image itself was a thousand-year-old relic.

His eyes were instantly drawn to turquoise-blue irises.

There it was, the image from Cairo. His eyes shifted from Jotaro to Polnareff, to Joseph, to Avdol and Iggy. Where were they all? Wherever they were is where he wanted to be, with his friends, his beautiful makeshift family. Why couldn’t they have all met through different circumstances, void of life-threatening escapades. Maybe then he’d be sitting down with them all for another dinner around a fire, laughing at one of Polnareff’s stories from the day.

Knock
Knock

“Kakyoin?” Jonathan’s voice, albeit muffled by the door was immediately recognisable.

“Yes, come in.”

The door opened but Jonathan did not enter “Erina was talking to Elizabeth so she sent me to get you. Dinner’s ready and you have a few people to meet.” he smiled.

Kakyoin looked down at the image in his hands and back to Jonathan’s. No matter where he looked, blue-tinted eyes looked at him expectantly.

“Yes, Mr Joestar. We should get going then.” he walked to the door pocketing the polaroid.

The dining hall was large and had way more chairs then there were people to occupy them. Before even sitting down Kakyoin found himself newly knowing two Georges, Robert Speedwagon, and Elizabeth, Joseph’s rather intimidating mother.

“How is my son doing?”

“Well, he’s a very energetic old man to say the least. In all the time I spent with him he was very kind.”

Elizabeth stared stoically “That sounds like my son.” she stared at Kakyoin a little longer and he realised that while Jotaro looked more like the men of his family, he radiated the same stoicism as Ms “Lisa Lisa”.

A pounding, resonating knock came from the main hall.

Erina’s face contorted and she looked to Jonathan. Before Anyone one else could make a move, the couple rushed to the door, throwing it open.

“Caesar! Oh my, what has you so worked up?”

“The train” the blonde outside the door panted heavily, “I think I saw Joseph on the train. He’s coming”

Lisa Lisa all but sprinted to the door “How far from the station is he?!”

Caesar let out a hearty cough “Can’t be more than a mile”

There was a silent exchange between Elizabeth and Caesar and within the following seconds, they were out the door running.

Erina’s voice was panicked “Elizabeth, wait it’s cold out!” she looked to Jonathan “If she catches a cold she’s taking care of herself!” and then was out the door following.

Kakyoin felt his body freeze in shock. Joseph can’t be here yet. Joseph’s arrival could mean nothing but trouble. It would mean the pincer attack failed.

“Mr Joestar, I’m going with them!” he walked toward Jonathan who was still standing at the door.

“Alright. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see the faces he cared about in life” Jonathan looked back to his father and own son who stood in the dining room “We’ll wait here”

A red bang fell in Noriaki’s face as he quickly nodded and ran to catch the already running trio.

________________________

By the time Noriaki had reached the station, the group was waiting expectantly as the train drew nearer.

A screeching halt. Erina grasped Elizabeth’s hand tightly.

The cabin door opened and the man in uniform smiled.

The air seemed to get thick in Kakyoin’s throat. Maybe it wasn’t Joseph, maybe he wouldn’t be the only 17-year-old here for much longer, the thought scared him.

The man looked at everyone in the group and sighed a laugh “The cheeky old man disappeared. I guess fate said he got another chance.”

Audible sighs came from everyone on the platform.

Lisa Lisa quickly recomposed herself “Do you think there will be any serious stops to this station soon?”

The man’s smile darkened “Not to this station. I do expect to be taking someone far down to the dark tonight”

“You don’t mean…” Erina jumped forward.

“I do.”

Erina laughed and let out a cry “Thank you. Jonathan will be happy to hear it.”

The man shut the doors and in the blink of an eye, disappeared with the train.

Silence.

Caesar spoke first “Erina, what does he mean?”

Erina wiped the tears gathering in her eyes “Dio is dead. They did it! He’s gone” she started to laugh full of relief.

While it started more slowly, Caesar’s laugh slowly built up, him wrapping his arms around Erina and spinning her.

Lisa Lisa hummed in approval “We should go share the good news” She turned to look at the red-head a few feet behind her “Shouldn’t we Kakyoin?”

It was then that Kakyoin noticed his own body shaking, eyes stinging: relief “Yes. That sounds like a good idea”

Chapter Text

It was a bittersweet moment in every sense of the word when the quartet returned to the Joestar mansion. The news about Dio was celebrated enthusiastically as everyone laughed and let out the breaths they’d been holding because of the matter. Jonathan seemed to be the least excited about the news, only commenting that he wished there was something he could have done sooner. His sentiment was immediately stomped out by a bombardment of assurance that there was nothing more he could have done.

The second and rather large elephant in the room adding to the bittersweet taste of the air was Joseph Joestar. Everyone verbally agreed they were very happy that Joseph would live to see another day, however, there was still some sadness the hung in the room with it. They’d all have to wait a little bit longer to see Joseph again.

“We should settle down for some dinner now” Erina smiled, eye slightly pink from her sobs of relief.

Everyone agreed and sat down t the long wooden dining table.

The events of the train station that night were thrown to the wayside, the family mainly focusing on what they had spent their week doing. Erina had been attending to what sounded like a rather large and extravagant garden while the rest of the family seemed to have spent most of their time with each other or reading.

And then there were two.

Caesar, who was sitting directly across from Kakyoin, swirled his wine glass absently as the laughs began to die out.

“Caesar, how has your week been?” Lisas Lisa’s voice broke through the coming silence sternly.

“I’ve just been with my mother and father, one of my sisters showed up recently so we’ve been getting her settled in” he twirled his glass some more, watching as the wine swayed with the motion.

“How about Will? How has he been lately” Jonathan’s blue eyes smiled and Caesar and for some reason, caused the latter to shift in his seat.

“He’s doing well. He’ll probably be over to see you and Zio Speedwagon soon” he took his gaze away from Jonathan and whether it was due to the seating arrangements, or an underlying intent, his gaze fell on Kakyoin.

“What did you say your name was?”

“Kakyoin, sir-”

“Caesar. Call me Caesar.”

Kakyoin gave a look of understanding and continued “I arrived today.”

Caesar stared longer, patiently as if waiting for Noriaki to continue.

“I, I died. In Cairo, I used the last of my energy to use my stand and warn the others of Dio’s ability.”

“A stand?” Erina looked perplexed.

As Noriaki had expected, none of the people in the house knew what a stand was. He spent a solid twenty minutes explaining them before starting to list examples.

“My stand, Hierophant Green, is a long-range stand that prefers closed spaces so is better for fighting at a distance” he went gesture over his shoulder to the stand in question, but it wasn’t there, and he sighed “It seems that stands may not work in the afterlife as they normally do. I’m not sure you would see him anyway.”

“It’s still interesting to hear about! What other kinds of stands are there?” Speedwagon, who was now leaning over the table to listen, was the one driving the conversation along. No one tried to stop his line of questioning which Kakyoin deduced, meant they were also interested.

“Well, there’s Star Platinum. That’s Jotaro’s stand. He um,” how to put this, “It can punch things really hard and fast.”

“Is that all it can do?” Speedwagon inquired.

“As far as I’m aware, but he just got is stand so I’m sure there’s more to it than meets the eye. As he grows, so will his stand.”

And then the inevitable happened.

“So, Jotaro Kujo, what’s he like” Jonathan’s eyes met amethyst.

Honestly, it was kind of overwhelming. Here Kakyoin Noriaki was, dead, and looking into the eyes of a total stranger and feeling a sort of comfort in their strange familiarity.

“He looks a lot like you, Mr Joestar” he stared a little longer “though his eyes a more turquoise than yours.” he pulled his amethyst eyes away and down to the table “He’s kind of a delinquent, but I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing. He’s quiet and kind, but also really loud and short-tempered unless you know him. He’s…” what exactly Jotaro was Kakyoin couldn’t put a finger on it, so he circled back to what he knew was for certain “He’s a very skilled stand user.”

“He gets that from his grandfather. Joseph was always naturally gifted in Hamon. He just had a natural talent” Caesar crossed his arms and let a small smirk appear on his face.

“Already singing Joseph’s praises tonight. Joseph wouldn’t believe it” Elizabeth didn’t even look over Caesar and Kakyoin, sipping her wine “If Joseph heard what you said about him half the time your over he would think you were some sort of alien.”

Caesar’s smirk turned into a pout as he watched Lisa Lisa from the corner of his eye “It’s much easier to compliment him when he’s not around to do something stupid to make me take it back.”

No response to that.

“I’m sure Jotaro was the same way.”

Kakyoin met Caesar’s gaze again “No, he was very, humble. Jotaro may make some temperamental decisions but when he did, I was usually there to make sure he didn’t get someone killed.”

The Italian smirk returned “So I wasn’t the only Joestar babysitter.”

The rest of the dinner finished quickly: Less than 15 minutes later everyone was up and returning to their rooms. Night one of being dead was absolutely chaotic and falling onto a soft bed was nice.

“Hey Jojo-” he stopped himself. The room was empty, void of any other person’s presence, a stark contrast to the last 50 or so days he’d spent sharing hotel rooms. Now he sat in silence. No crusader. No Hierophant. No one to turn to. Kakyoin shifted to lay on his back. He can’t even count the stars here. He just had to lay there in the dark, waiting for the dawn of a new and dead day.

Chapter Text

Morning came faster than anticipated. If Kakyoin had slept at all, his dreams were simply of staring at the ceiling. Despite this, exhaustion wasn’t something to be added to Kakyoin’s growing list of issues. The most pressing matter on this list was loneliness. Noriaki was used to being alone most of his time, but he was always alone with himself, with Hierophant. Now, he was just a 17-year-old in the land of the dead being blindly trusted by his friends’ deceased relatives.

But he had never really been ‘just a 17-year-old’ before, it was bizarre.

Knock
Knock

Kakyoin sat up “Who is it?”

“It’s Erina”

He opened the door to see Erina smiling up at him “ Good morning, Jonathan is going into town today and was wondering if you would like to accompany him.”

“Oh, yes I’ll be down in a moment” finally, that should give him some time to ask the questions gnawing away at him.

-------------------------------

“So do we need to eat or sleep?”

“Not really, it’s more a formality than anything.” Jonathan picked an apple up off a market vendors booth “No currency either” he shined the apple on his shirt and sat it back down “This district is relatively carefree.”

“District?”

“From what we know this place is separated into regions, where the train drops you off is where you’re meant to be. Dio was probably dropped in the dark district last night, people there aren’t allowed to leave their district, but we can travel all we want.”

Kakyoin bit his lip, now seems like the best time to ask about the polaroid “The desk, in my room, it had a photo that couldn’t have been there before. It’s of my friends and me, but the only person who has a copy of that image is Jotaro”

Jonathan walked toward another vendor “Then it must be a keepsake. When people come here they always have something with them connected to their life”

Fair enough but, “Why?” is all Kakyoin could muster.

Jonathan shrugged and smiled at one of the vendors “Guess the universe thought that’s what you needed.”

Kakyoin pulled the image out of his pocket and looked at it again. Together, the Egypt group looked so happy and content, a perfect moment. The moment itself while pure put a sour taste in his mouth; never again could they all be full of life and travelling together. Nonetheless, Noriaki let himself smile.

“Maybe the universe is right”

Chapter Text

January finished and with it came the assurances of a beautiful spring and Jotaro’s birthday. It made Kakyoin think. During the crusade to defeat Dio, the group had all promised that once everything was over, they’d surprise Jotaro with a party.

But dead men can’t keep promises.

---------------------------
The party had been planned for February 12th. Kakyoin’s job was to convince him that they should go out rather than back to the Kujo residents after school.

“But where could Kakyoin convince him to go other than his house?” Polnareff questioned his comrades.

“I’ll take him to the aquarium.”

“An aquarium?! Why would Jotaro want to go there?!”

“Oh my god!” Joseph cackled “So he told you then.”

“Wait!? What is Jotaro into fish!?” Polnareff giggled “A big guy like that, likes fish!?”

“Tsk tsk” Avdol shook his finger “We need to get back on track.”

“Once Kakyoin takes him to the aquarium, I’ll pick you two up from the airport” Iggy growled and Joseph smiled “Sorry, I’ll pick up all three of you”

Iggy laid back down.

Joseph let out a discontented grumble “Since it’s Jotaro’s birthday Holly will probably make Japanese food” he stroked his beard “But it'll be the kids birthday so I won't complain”

“Alright! So we have a plan! I can’t wait to see the look on Jojo’s face!” Polnareff leaned back onto the bed behind him.

The door clicked open.

“Ah Jotaro! What are you doing here?” Polnareff sat up straight and turned to the door.

“I’m looking for Kakyoin”

Kakyoin stood up and dusted off his pants and looked to his temporary roommate “I’m right here. Are you turning in for the night Jojo?”

Jotaro nodded and silently observed the group for a moment “Why were you all sitting in a circle on the floor?”

“Just talking” “Truth or Dare” “Tarot reading”

The group all looked at each other and Kakyoin didn’t know which was a worse excuse, the fact the Polnareff had said “truth or dare” like they were all some elementary-age children, or that Joseph had said nothing at all.

“Give me a break”

Chapter Text

The spirit world’s concept of time seemed a little off. Kakyoin couldn’t tell if it was faster or slower but he knew for certain it wasn’t waiting for him to figure it out. February 12th had come, and he sat in his room unable to keep his promise.

Or maybe he would.

An odd warmth was in his chest the room was going black in flickers and flashes of consciousness, the sound of a train passing by, the Kujo household coming into focus. Kakyoin tried to stand but immediately collapsed to the ground with a thunk.

“Polnareff be quiet!”

“O-Oi that wasn’t me!”

“Sh!” a feminine voice “He’ll be here any minute.”

Those voices were familiar, he lifted his head just in time to see a door open.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY”

Jotaro’s grip on the door handle tightened and Star Platinum immerged behind him.

“Oh! Jotaro I’m sorry we didn’t mean to scare you!” The lady jumped forward and wrapped her arms around him.

Then Kakyoin started to process it all, the people around him, his transparency, the fact no one even seemed to acknowledge him.

“I’m going to my room” Star Platinum had finally faded and heavy footfalls made their way toward a hallway.

“Hey, Jojo wait!”

Joseph grabbed Polnareff by the shoulder “Give him a minute”

A door in the hall slammed.

“I guess we should save the cake for tomorrow then.” Holly sighed “I’m sure he’ll be up to celebrating soon”

Polnareff let out a dry laugh “Yeah I’m sure he will, not like we’ve been saying that for the past two weeks.”

Kakyoin was still stunned and sitting on the ground, they really couldn’t see him. A thud came from down the hall. None of the living seemed to hear it while conversing so Kakyoin took the initiative. Walking through the Kujo home felt strange as if he was walking on air. The closer he got to the room, the more noise he could hear coming from it.

He reached out to touch the door but went right through it and into the room.

Kakyoin had never been into Jotaro’s room in the time he knew him but had an idea of what it may look like from sharing rooms with him. His idea couldn’t have been more wrong. During travel, Jotaro didn’t have many items but made sure what little he had was organised. Jotaro’s room now was chaos. A desk sat at one end of the room. It at one point looked to have a cup of pens and biology books atop it, however, all of it was swipe aside and to the floor save a singular journal which sat alone in the empty tablespace. The chair for the desk was on the opposite side of the room with thick stacks of Speedwagon documents stacked. Jotaro himself sat next to the chair, reading intensely a slip of paper in his hands with the aid of Star Platinum’s supervision.

Kakyoin swallowed hard “Jojo?”

No response.

Slowly, Noriaki approached Jotaro, observing the paper in the raven-haired boy’s hands.

“Dio Brando
Status: Deceased
Body destroyed”

Jotaro clenched the paper tightly, crushing it in his palm. It obviously wasn’t the first time he had done this due to the pre-existing wrinkles in the document. Regardless, he tossed it aside and picked up another paper: Star Platinum thoroughly scanned.

“Jojo...can you hear me?”

Jotaro continued and hesitantly, Kakyoin read along.

“Kakyoin Noriaki
Status: Deceased
Cause of death: Puncture wound through abdomen and destruction of vital organs and bones”

The page turned to showcase a visual autopsy report labelling all of Kkyoin’s damaged organs. It made Noriaki kind of uncomfortable. He had never known the exact details of his death until now, he didn’t enjoy seeing how intensely Jotaro observed the document.

“Ora” Star Platinum pointed at the ribcage and Jotaro nodded.

“Jojo?”

Jotaro stood up shakily, taking Kakyoin’s document and another labelled Avdol toward the desk. Kakyoin and Star followed close behind.

It was safe to say Kakyoin went unheard, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to speak “Jojo what are you doing?”

The notebook on the desk was opened a quarter of the way through to a half-full page.

“5 shattered ribs, 6 fractured. Fragments found in lungs and water tower”

Kakyoin felt nauseous “Jojo?”

Jotaro let out an exhausted sigh and flipped a few pages back, a picture of Kakyoin taped in. H turned further into the book to a page labelled “Stands”.

“Stand that replaces or repairs bones/organs
Paranormal stands?” that was crossed out “stands that communicate with the dead”

“Jotaro…”

Blue eyes focused on the papers again and turned to a new page with Avdol’s photo, read through it and flipped back.

“Stands that can enter the void.”

Jotaro’s hands began to shake and he flipped to another page, “The Void”. He inhaled sharply.

“Jotaro!”

Jotaro’s hands shook to the point where the kanji he wrote was almost indecipherable.

Since when was Jotaro like this? Kakyoin didn’t remember seeing this side of Jotaro ever. It was scaring him.

“Jotaro it’s your birthday goddammit! Stop!”

Just as it did all this time, Kakyoin’s voice went unheard. He was helpless, they both were.

Jotaro stomped back over to the chair to grab more papers, he must have gotten dizzy from the quick movement because rather than grabbing more documents, he tried to stabilise himself on the top of his chair. His weight was too much.

Jotaro and the chair collapsed to the ground.

“Jotaro!”

Quick steps came from the hallway and Joseph swung the door open “Jotaro what happened!? Are you alright?”

The Speedwagon Foundation papers were now scattered across the floor and Jotaro looked absently at all of them “Good grief Gramps nothing happened”

Kakyoin turned his head to see Holly enter the room. The woman came to Jotaro’s side, she held his shoulder with one hand and papers with the other.

“Why don’t we clean this up and have dinner?”

“I’m not hungry mom.”
“You didn’t take your lunch with you today Jotaro I’m sure you’re starving!” her voice was gentle, understanding.

Jotaro scoffed in response but said nothing more.

Polnareff, now next to Joseph in the hall, opened his mouth to say something before hesitantly beginning “After dinner, we can go visit Kakyoin”

Holly finished picking up the chair and papers setting them down “That sounds like a wonderful idea!” she leaned down again and rubbed Jotaro’s back “I think Kakyoin would love that. You have to eat before we go though!”

Noriaki shuddered. He shouldn’t be here, it was just painful. Jotaro was killing himself like this.

Jotaro pushed himself up “What’s for dinner?”

“Whatever you want sweetie”

“I don’t care”

“Alright” Holly smiled and the group began to make their way out into the hallway. The sound of a train approaching rang in Kakyoin’s ears and a bitter taste impossibly overtook all of his senses “ Happy Birthday Jojo…”

Jotaro stiffened causing Kakyoin to go wide-eyed.

“You alright Jojo?” Polnareff looked at the stilled Jotaro quizzically.

Jotaro huffed “I’m fine” and continued with the group into the hall.

The train overtook Noriaki and the next time he opened his eyes he was in his room in the Joestar mansion. He fell back to sit on his bed, letting out a strange sob.

He had promised to be there for Jojo's birthday, but now he wished he hadn't.

Chapter Text

Kakyoin stared at the food on his plate without much thought its contents. It was another Joestar family dinner and less than15 minutes before coming down he had been in his room crying. While he sniffled occasionally no one seemed to pay it any mind and continued conversing. That is until...

“Kakyoin, are you okay?”

Kakyoin looked to Jonathan and attempted to steady the obvious shaking of his eyes as he prevented them from pooling “Yes I’m fine Mr Joestar, just trying to think.” which was true, he was thinking about what he had just experienced. Jotaro, a shaking, starved mess of a young man laying on his on floor desperately rereading the undeniable cold facts that all pointed to death. He was the definition of an absolute trainwreck, and it was all because of Egypt. Because of Kakyoin.

But Jotaro would be okay, he’s a tough guy. He always was okay in the end, he just needed some space. Kakyoin had reasoned that Jotaro deserved to be happy and therefore would be, it would just take time, and Kakyoin couldn't help but feel that all that time would be his fault.

“Oh,” Jonathan moved the food on his plate with his fork “Alright. If you insist I guess there’s nothing to be worried about.”

Noriaki nodded.

After dinner, most of the Joestar clan sat in the lounge enjoying each others company and entertaining themselves with records and drinks. It had been a while since Kakyoin arrived so they allowed him to have autonomy which at the moment he was taking advantage of. About 3 days ago, Kakyoin was shown the family library, which was about as extravagant as the rest of the Joestar residence. The library was well-loved and clean, Jonathan frequenting it during most hours of the day and other members of the family occasionally coming in to look at the wide selection of reading material. As nearly every member of the family sat in the lounge, it seemed like a good place to go for some alone time. Kakyoin had hardly looked at any of the books until now. Most of the nonfiction books were on archaeology and ancient masks which didn’t peak the young cherry-haired man’s interest. Currently, Kakyoin found himself gravitating to the hand-written books that sat on the non-fiction shelves. Written records of the Joestar family which were updated upon a new Joestar’s arrival. Jonathan and Erina never said Kakyoin couldn’t read them but something about them made him feel like he shouldn’t even look at them. Despite himself, he traced his fingers across their covers. One book was full, the spine was broken and upon closer inspection seemed to be about Jonathan. The second and incomplete book when opened accounted for most of Joseph’s young life and was written in several people’s handwriting. Kakyoin wasn’t really reading as much as he was studying the handwriting. The most elegant handwriting likely belonged to Erina while the writing style of two other excerpts lead Kakyoin to believe they were written by Mr Speedwagon and Ms Lisa Lisa. A fourth person’s handwriting and tone of voice seemed unfamiliar, poetically torn between being borderline hateful, and so encouraging Kakyoin blushed from second-hand embarrassment. Sure Kakyoin wasn’t paying much attention to the words before but, whoever was writing this was comparing Joseph to sunflowers, sunny days, and an angel which were all hard for Kakyoin to imagine only knowing him as some wacky old man.

“Reading up on the Joestars… You confused yet?”

Kakyoin jumped and turned to the new presence in the library, the blond from a few weeks ago, he had been at dinner earlier but hadn’t spared a glance to the teen, Caesar Zeppeli.

“No.” Kakyoin slammed the book shut louder than intended, he’d mentally beat himself up about that later but as of now, he was trying to wipe the grin put on by embarrassment and cringe off his face.

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing. I just, never knew how much Mr Joseph went through. It’s kind of bizarre...” it was weird calling Joseph by his first name, but it was either that or trying to find a way to differentiate the way he said Mr Joestar for every male in the family so he let it be.

Caesar crossed his arms and sighed “He’s had to deal with a lot. He has Suzi Q to help him through it though. Not much has changed I’m sure.”

Oh, that would explain the lovey-dovey entries in the book, why Suzi would alternate between being so annoyed and loving in her entries, Kakyoin had no idea, but it would explain a lot “So did Ms Suzi write in this book?”

Caesar raised a brow “No, that’s impossible. All the records here are written by us. Living people can’t get a ticket to the land of the dead to update our records and then go home.”

Oh…

OH

WAIT A MINUTE

“Caesar, did you write in Joseph’s record?”

Caesar’s body language became more defensive “Yes”

Kakyoin looked at Caesar for a moment and then back at the book, I mean based on what he knew, Caesar was the last person to frequent the Joestar residence who would have known and written about Joseph’s life. A smirk.

“Wipe that shit-eating grin off your face” Caesar’s left eye twitched.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“What happened to the Mr Honour Student who was at dinner? I don’t like Mr Asshole”

“I’m afraid ‘honour student’ and ‘asshole’ are the two sides of the Kakyoin coin. Just as ‘Mr Full of Hatred’ and ‘Mr Madly in Love’ are the sides to Caesar Zeppeli”

Caesar looked near exploding “And what does that matter to you, ‘Asshole’?”

“Nothing at all. I’m just surprised if anything. Not to say you don’t have feelings but, I didn’t think you were the type to write such loving things.”

“You hardly know me.”

“Fair enough.” Kakyoin put the book back onto the shelf “If it’s alright with everyone, I’ll try to add what I learned about him later.”

Caesar shrugged, still obviously annoyed, “I’m sure they’d appreciate it”

Kakyoin looked at Caesar, smug grin returning.

“We would all appreciate it”

The redhead nodded accordingly and began looking at other sections of the library.

“Jotaro’s book needs to be updated if you’re interested. Erina likes to read through Joseph and Jotaro’s books often so she would love it if you put something in there.” the blond picked an open book up off the study table and placed it in Noriaki’s hands “You can write whatever you want as long as it’s about him”

“Okay.”

With that, Caesar turned to look at another shelf on the opposite side of the room, Leaving Kakyoin with a nearly empty book heavy in his hands.

Noriaki swallowed hard “Caesar…”

The blonde didn't look back to him “Yes?”

Kakyoin would add this to the things to beat himself up about at a later date because he honestly had no idea what compelled him to ask “Do you think he returned your feelings?... Joseph I mean.”

The book in Caesar's hand dropped to the floor and he leaned down to grab it with the same composure he had before the question was asked “It doesn't matter what he felt now does it… He's moved on. I'm not going to make him feel like he can't live his life because I'm dead.”

Noriaki looked at Jotaro's book “I guess you're right.”

Chapter Text

August 1989

I had been over a year of the same. Draw something, read a book, eating dinner with the Joestars, and the occasional trip into town with Jonathan or Caesar. If Kakyoin were alive he would be turning 19 within the week. Kakyoin however, was still, in fact, dead, and he had never celebrated his birthday with any sort of family or friends before so didn’t feel like he was missing out on much.

Kakyoin was sitting in the library reading, a now normal occurrence while Jonathan sat in one of the other 4 chairs accompanying the library table.

“What do you think Jotaro is doing right about now?”

Kakyoin hummed thoughtfully “I don’t know.”

“When I was here without Erina, I spent a lot of my time thinking about what she was doing in life” Jonathan’s eyes drifted from his book to a distant land invisible to Kakyoin’s logical vision.

Cherry bangs shuddered and Noriaki scoffed “ Are you comparing the relationship I had with your great-grandson to the one you share with” he paused for emphasis “your wife?!”

Jonathan emerged from his daydreaming with a jolt “Oh no I didn’t mean for it to sound like that! I just know you two were friends so I assumed you and I might have had something in common.”

Kakyoin relaxed and went back to reading, he would trip over the words in his head as he tried to push back the unintentional comparison. Erina and Jonathan were all lovey-dovey, sharing affectionate glances and giggles over the nonverbal conversations they shared: a never-ending honeymoon phase. To those into romance, they were probably the ideal couple and have himself and Jotaro -accidentally or not- admittedly made Kakyoin’s stomach flip. Which it should definitely NOT be doing. Of course, Noriaki wasn’t disgusted by the comparison but, that shouldn’t translate to butterflies gathering and breeding in his gut.

“Hello, Caesar! Did you stop by to read?” Jonathan smiled childishly at the new presence.

“No” Caesar held a book up to his shoulder and then relaxed his arm again “I came to put this book back”

Kakyoin observed the cover held between the Italian’s finger and smiled is the same smug smile.

“Taming of the Shrew huh?”

Caesar placed the book on a shelf and approached Kakyoin “Fuck off”

“Jojo!” a voice echoed from outside of the room. Jonathan stood and fixed his jacket.

“Speedwagon’s calling, I guess that means you men will be left alone. Don’t kill each other! Or cry, no one likes it when you two do that.”

Caesar rolled his eyes and Noriaki shook his head “Okay”

Once Jonathan’s footsteps disappeared Caesar closed Kakyoin’s book and dragged it toward himself “You mock me reading The Taming of the Shrew but you’re sitting here reading Julius Caesar”

“But that’s not as ironic as you, of all people, reading The Taming of the Shrew…”

The bond’s eye twitched ever-so-slightly “You calling me a shrew or something?”

 

Kakyoin just huffed a little laugh.

“You little shit.”

“Takes one to know one”

Caesar dramatically took the seat diagonal from Kakyoin.

“Clearly you’re not that mad, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.”

Caesar sighed “This is true...”

Kakyoin pushed the book away “What’s going on then?”

“I was bored, and judging by the fact this is probably the fourth time I’ve seen you pick up a Shakespeare book this week I thought you might be bored too.” he took out a lighter and played with the ignition.

“What do you want to do then?”

Caesar clicked the lighter closed “Train station.”

Noriaki’s throat went dry “Okay.”

-------------------

The train station was not a good place. It was clean and by no means ugly, however, a train coming into the station was never something to be excited about. Caesar sometimes liked to just sit there, only occasionally with Kakyoin. Neither of them were ever expecting or even hoping for a train to stop. They just sat in silence, sometimes chatting or occupying themselves with a smoke or drawing (not both at the same time, Kakyoin didn’t smoke, even if it couldn’t kill him anymore). It was just a time for newfound friends to pass the time in an ever ticking eternity together. At least that’s what Kakyoin thought was happening, whether or not Caesar expected anything to happen was beyond his knowledge.

“Caesar?”

“Yeah?”

“Why do you do-no-Why are you doing this?”

Caesar’s gaze was cast downward “What do you mean?”

Kakyoin gestured to the area around them “Why do you sit here?”

“I could ask you the same question. No one ever said you have to come with me.” green eyes landed on the rails.

Kakyoin stopped staring at the other man and joined him staring at the rails.

“Joseph and I used to play this little game.” Kakyoin looked at Caesar again.

“I wasn’t one for games, especially when we were training, but I thought I’d amuse him a little. We thought he was going to die after all. We would hit each other with hamon when no one was looking and try not to react to it.”

“.....”

“It was really stupid. Only an idiot like Joseph could have come up with the concept, to begin with.” Caesar crossed his arms.

A comfortable silence settled for a moment, then faded “Jotaro and I didn’t play any games.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

“You’re just kids, younger than Joseph was!”

“That’s true, we were both teenagers, in the physical sense, but what we went through made our minds a little older.”

The two occupants of the bench stared off in different directions.

“I wish I did more with Jojo-Joseph, he may have been denser than brick but he was a good friend to the end.”

Noriaki felt vibrations under his feet and his stomach tied into knots trying to ignore them “I guess I feel the same way…”

Caesar smirked “What? You think Jotaro was dense or that he was a good friend?”

Kakyoin looked to the other with annoyance “The friend part.”

The blond’s smirk turned into a full-on smile “People can say whatever they want about Joestars but loyalty is something they don’t lack.

The vibrations got stronger.

The sound of a train transitioned into their ears and their hearts -if they still had them- were beating out of their chests.

“Fuck”

The train slowed down as if to watch and mock their tense expressions before chugging on and past the station.

A loud, heavy, and angry sigh released from Caesar’s lungs “Did they have to slow down like that?! If I wasn’t already fucking dead that would have killed me!”

“I think the conductor just likes messing with you.”

“You think!?”

Kakyoin smiled weakly and looked to the rails again, while it may have been a false alarm then, one day (hopefully in the far future) Jotaro would be dropped off here, and if he wasn’t lucky enough to arrive when Jonathan took his weekly stroll to the station or when Caesar was lounging, he’d be alone. No idea where or why he was. He looked at Caesar who was now standing with a cigarette, then it clicked.

“I think I’ll start coming with you more often, Jotaro would probably like seeing a familiar face.”

Kakyoin joined his elder in standing. Caesar stomped out his cigarette “Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Kakyoin didn’t sleep, none of the spirits did. Their fictitious night was usually a time to relax alone and meditate, Kakyoin was currently attempting the latter while laying in his bed like he always did. Laying there gave a whole new meaning to the term “restless spirit”. How the hell had Jonathan done this for a hundred years?! The lack of sleep lead his mind to wander off the more peaceful topics he had been pushing to the front of his mind to memories.

----------------------------------

“Kakyoin.”

Noriaki heard shifting, Jotaro who was facing away from him on the bed across the room was now turned and staring holes into his back. Despite the awkwardness of it, he preferred the feeling of Jotaro’s gaze to the crippling silence they had been pretending to sleep in for the past 3 hours.

“Yes, Jojo?”

“What were you saying earlier, about that one book?”

Despite the vagueness, the redhead didn’t need elaboration “The Outsiders…”

“Yeah”

“Well it was based on the author’s experiences growing up, she wrote it when she was in high school. At least that’s what I heard.”

Jotaro hummed an acknowledgement. Silence.

“Do you want to know more about it?”

“If you want to keep talking about it, sure.”

Kakyoin turned toward Jotaro, meeting his gaze across the room “I guess you can’t sleep either.”

Jotaro didn’t respond and they continued staring at each other.

“Do you know any random facts?”

“Not really.”

Kakyoin smirked, “Come on Jojo, you have to have hobbies other than brooding in a dark corner with a cigarette.”

Jotaro scoffed and waited for a beat “I guess I like Marine Biology.”

“Oh! I don’t know much about that if I’m being honest. What do you know?”

Jotaro looked away from Kakyoin and toward the edge of his bed “I know a little bit…”

“Well, come on, share with the class Dr Kujo!”

A small smirk appeared on Jotaro’s face before fading back to stoicism “The composition of coral is similar to human bones…”

“Wow. That’s crazy to think about.”

A noise of agreement “They’re not 100% certain though.”

“Well, then I guess Dr Kujo will have to figure that out for them.”

“What?”

“I’m just saying if you like Marine Biology so much you should study it. It sounds interesting.”

“Yeah.”

“Plus I need more facts to regurgitate so hearing all the wild things you discover should give me plenty.”

“I probably wouldn’t discover anything new.”

“Of course you would. You’re THE Jotaro Kujo. If you can beat a group of stand users then you can definitely find out why coral is like bones or discover a new species of starfish.”

Jotaro and Kakyoin’s gazes met once again “You think pretty highly of me don’t you?”

“To be fair you are the young man who saved my life.”

Quiet.

“Is that the only reason?”

Kakyoin stared at the startlingly bright blue-green eyes a little longer before turning onto his back to stare at the ceiling “My my, you’re pretty talkative when you’re tired, aren't you?”

“Answer the question.”

“Why are you so curious?”

“Why are you avoiding the question?”

Kakyoin laughed “I guess it’s because I don’t fully know.” violet eyes shifted to everywhere but the other teen. To be honest, he really didn’t know. It wasn’t any like he had any negative or embarrassing reasons, he just didn’t know what made Jotaro such a pillar of good, he just radiated strong heroic energy either because of or despite his intimidating appearance “I just think you’re a good person.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jotaro shift “Most people say ‘thank you’ when they’re praised, Jojo.”

“Yeah.”

Jotaro’s gaze was beginning to burn a hole in his temple “Suddenly at a loss for words?” he let out an amused sigh “and here I was thinking that you were starting to warm up to me.”

Jotaro made a grunt, whether or not it was in agreement or not was hard to say “You’re not a bad person.”

“Pardon?” lavender irises again returned a glance to the raven-locked boy.

“I mean exactly what I said.”

Despite the bluntness of the statement, Noriaki saw it for what it was coming from the very blunt teenager: a compliment “Thank you, Jojo, it’s good to know the person I almost killed doesn’t hate me.”

Usually bringing up that topic lead to an angry glare and elicit a ‘that wasn’t you’, not-

“You’re my friend Kakyoin, I don’t care.”

“Wow, you’re just full of surprises tonight! First I found out you like the ocean and now you call me your friend.” Kakyoin laughed again, mainly to hide the tightness developing in his throat “I guess that makes you my first friend.”

“Okay.”

Neither of them looked any more tired than they did before. They continued looking at each other.

Why couldn’t that lump in Noriaki’s throat go away? He didn’t want to cry in front of Jotaro again, especially after hearing him say something as simple as the ‘you’re my friend’. He swallowed hard “What time is it?”

Jotaro looked away temporarily to check the clock “4 AM. We have to head out at 9.”

Kakyoin sighed “Then we should probably sleep.”

Jotaro nodded hesitantly “Yeah.”

“Goodnight Jojo.”
“Night.”

They turned away from each other, returning to their positions of feigned rest.

In the morning Polnareff asked them if they got any sleep, both of them lied through their teeth.

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

1990-1992

Years passed as if they were months and the inability to sleep or feel any temperature made death exhausting in its own way. The library, now Kakyoin’s haven, was slightly louder than usual, Speedwagon and Jonathan conversing. Then rather suddenly, Jonathan shuddered.

“Oh!!”

“Oh!?” Speedwagon looked wild with concern.

Jonathan looked between Kakyoin and Speedwagon “Something wonderful has happened!”

 

“Wonderful!? But you just shivered like you were frozen!” Speedwagon gestured chaotically.

“A Joestar! I sense a new Joestar! There’s a new Joestar!”

Speedwagon’s crazy concern turned into crazy excitement “This is great! We should invite everyone to dinner to share the news! I’ll go tell Erina now!”

“Actually I was going to-” before Speedwagon could be stopped he was running out to the garden to tell Erina. Jonathan smiled and looked to Kakyoin “You know, this is the 3rd time I’ve felt a new Joestar enter the world within the decade.”

“That’s nice” Kakyoin wasn’t lying, the Joestars were a proudly family-oriented tribe of people, he’d witnessed it first hand.

Jonathan leaned over the table slightly, lowering his voice “I think they’re Jotaro’s child”

Kakyoin set down his book and looked to Jonathan sceptically “How can you be so sure?”

“It’s just a gut feeling. I can’t differentiate between Joestars, just know when they exist. Though these days I’m not so sure about my gut feeling, because I also thought I sensed a child of mine recently...”

Noriaki thought back Egypt, Dio using Jonathan’s body. Maybe he should tell Jonathan about that...it seems kind of awkward explaining that yes, there is a possibility of Jonathan having living children, he decided to stay on topic “So you’re like a GPS…”

“Why ye- wait a what?”

“It’s like a tracking device.”

“Then yes I am a GPS.”

Jotaro having a child, that was surprising. That meant Jotaro had found someone. Good. He won’t be so alone, at least Noriak hoped that was the case “So...can you locate where they are?”

“I don’t think so, we’re not on the same plane of existence.”

“I see…”

“What do you think Jotaro named them?” Jonathan retired his book to the far edges of the table and excitedly anticipated Kakyoin’s response.

Part of Kakyoin thought that Jotaro would pick a more traditional Japanese name, he loved his home country a lot after all. On the other hand, there was the subconscious need for Joestars to maintain the family naming scheme and have “Jo” somewhere in their name; well except maybe Joseph, his daughter was named Holly...but maybe her middle name had a ‘Jo’ in it. At that moment he had remembered a conversation he had with Jotaro.

“Jolene”

Jonathan perked up “Oh I like that name! What do you think he named them if they were a boy?”

Kakyoin shook his head “Jolene. It’s a girl I know it.” that was always the irony with big scary guys like Jotaro. They looked intimidating and tough but were always followed by a small little girl who managed to make him act less menacingly.

Jonathan let out a small laugh “Well I hope your right, Jolene is a pretty name and I’m sure she’ll grow up to be like her father.”

Kakyoin held in a laugh. Yes, Jolene, the troubled child with daddy-issues who deep down was a big softy. If that happened, which he hoped it didn’t, it would be the universe getting payback for Jotaro’s rather bratty adolescence.

“Why do you think he would pick Jolene?” Jonathan was pleasantly curious.

Noriaki smiled at his elder “It’s just an educated guess.” an educated guess based on a conversation. A conversation that to anyone else, would have been left and lost in the hot sands of Egypt.

**********

Polnareff had been off to find a clean restroom while Joseph and Avdol picked up for and supplies for the rest of their trip, this left the two teenagers of the group alone in the car. They sat in the back, Kakyoin had been squished between Polnareff and Jotaro for the past 2 hours and would soon be squished by Avdol and Jotaro when the drive continued. Despite the impending discomfort, Kakyoin made no move to scoot away from Jotaro, and the other didn’t seem to mind.

‘Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I’m begging you please…’

Kakyoin smiled “Mr Joestar put on Dolly Parton...”

Jotaro shrugged and pulled his hat down “It’s not the worst song.”

“I suppose so.”

‘With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green…’

Jotaro squirmed a bit in his seat “I like the name Jolene anyway.”

“You do?” Kakyoin was genuinely surprised “Do you think you’ll name one of your kids Jolene then? If you have any of course.”

“I don’t think I want kids…”

‘But you don’t know what he means to me…’

Kakyoin nodded “Jolene is a nice name though, regardless if you ever use it for anything.”

The other nodded in reply.

With that, a silence rested, and the tension of the oncoming battle with Dio began to fester like the heat engulfing the duo. Again, Noriaki caught Jotaro looking at him absently, concern barely noticeable on his features.

‘Please don’t take him just because you can…’

Kakyoin thought about how the battle with Dio would happen, with all the trials the group had gone through, he was confident they would succeed. Dio would be gone and they’d all- eventually- be okay. The driver's seat door opened, snapping him from his thoughts, Jotaro was still glancing at him, hiding his eyes under his hat.

 

 

 

‘You could…’

Chapter Text

1999

“So stands have to do with the personality and such?”

“Yes.”

“Fascinating…” Jonathan smiled gently at one of the vendors and plucked some fruits into the basket sitting on his forearm “You said your stand likes distance and closed quarters, do you like the same then?”

Noriaki, who was following closely behind the patriarch nodded.

Jonathan picked up an onion and examined it “I wonder what my family’s stands are like...Perhaps I should just be patient, one day they can tell me themselves!” he laughed sadly and placed the vegetable back down in favour of another.

Kakyoin nodded.

And then there was a crash, followed by a loud sob.

“Where am I!?”

Jonathan and Kakkyoin turned quickly, just in time to see a small child running in their direction. Before Kakyoin could even take another breath, Jonathan was knelt, bracing the youth’s shoulders.

“What seems to be the problem?”

The kid let out another loud sob “Mama and Papa! They’re in trouble! I don’t know where I am! I need to warn them! To tell Josuke what happened!”

Jonathan rubbed the child’s shoulders “I’m sorry, but you’re not in a place where you can contact them at the moment."

The small boy rubbed his eyes and sniffled “Am I dreaming?”

Jonathan’s brows furrowed with pity, lips pursing as he thought “In a way yes. You just...can't wake up...but that’s okay! Because now no one can hurt you.”

The boy started crying again “But Mama and Papa can still get hurt!”

Kakyoin’s only experiences with children were Anne and Death 13’s user, neither of them he particularly liked, however, this child was in need and despite having already limited socialising skills, he needed to do something. He knelt next to the boy “What’s your name?”

A sniffle “I go by Shigechi.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Shigechi, I’m Jonathan Joestar, and this young man is Kakyoin Noriaki”

Shigechi rubbed his eyes again.

“Why don’t you come with us, we can help you understand everything. Is that okay.”

Shigechi sniffled a final time “Okay.”

Jonathan stood and Kakyoin followed suit as they made their way back to the Joestar home.

Chapter Text

Shigechi was a very talkative child, or maybe it was Kakyoin was just very silent in comparison: probably both. During dinner, the small kid talked in length about himself, his stand, family, and hometown. Morioh sounded like such a nice place, it was such a shame to hear a disgusting man such as Kira could make the place his home. After explaining nearly everything that ever happened to him, Shigechi had relaxed and Erina took him to his temporary room (through conversing it was found the boy had family in the district who he’d be joining the next morning). Kakyoin was still surprised the kid could talk so much without his throat getting sore.

-------------------

Jotaro was what could be considered a man of few words and to most, so was Noriaki, but things were different when they were alone. At the given moment they were walking around town waiting for the others to get done with their shopping and eating.

“So that’s why in France, formal language is so important.”

Jotaro scoffed “Good thing I’m never going to France.”

“You never want to visit Polnareff after all of this?” Noriaki tilted his head.

“....I’m not going to learn French when I go.”

Kakyoin smirked.

“Don’t do that.”

Kakyoin displayed his empty hands “I’m not doing anything!”

Jotaro let out a slightly more amused scoff “Yes you are. You’re doing the thing.” he pointed to the redheads smiling lips.

“Am I not allowed to smile around my friend?”

“Not like that. You’re mocking me.”

The smirk got wider “Whatever do you mean Jojo?”

“How can you even smile any wider?”

The Redhead laughed “What’s wrong? Are you, Jotaro Kujo, intimidated by your peers’ smile?”

Jotaro looked away for a moment and looked Kakyoin right in the eyes “No.”

“Uh oh, a one-word answer, what did I say this time?”

A black hat fell over blue eyes “Just go back to saying something random.”

“Hmmm….” Noriaki held a hand to his face and thought “In Canada, they have their milk in bags.”

“What the fuck Kakyoin?”

“You said to say something random!”
They both smiled. Kakyoin always carried the conversation like this, Jotaro’s input becoming a little more frequent as time would pass. Kakyoin loved carrying the conversations, but it caught up to him at one point.

“So they think Shakespeare actually wrote it about” a cough “about-”

“Stop talking.”

Kakyoin looked up, Jotaro sat on the other bed watching him.

“Okay” was all he could muster through a raspy and quiet voice.

“You lost your voice.”

“Oh thank you, I hadn’t noticed…” another cough, a sharp whistling tone following it.

“Shut up. This time I mean it.”

Kakyoin Never considered himself the argumentative type, but he crossed his arms “I’ll shut up when I wa-” his voice caught in his throat and burned.

Jotaro sighed “I guess you’re not used to talking a lot. Or maybe your sick, I swear, Kakyoin if you got me sick-”

Kakyoin looked at the other and pointed to his own throat.

“Yeah my throat’s sore too, but I’m not stupid enough to monologue through it.” Oh, now that Jotaro’s was constructing normal people sentences, the rasp was noticeable.

“If I stop talking” Noriaki cleared his throat “then you stop smoking.”

“Fine” was the immediate response: a surprising response and Noriaki nodded.

“Night” Jotaro turned on his side to lay down.

Kakyoin opened his mouth to say goodni-

“Don’t respond to that.”

Kakyoin reluctantly went to bed, and that was the end of the conversation. After about 10 hours Kakyoin felt fine and Jotaro, unless Kakyoin had missed something, didn’t smoke for at least 24 hours.

--------------------------------

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*

*

*

*

Kakyoin opened his eyes to his darkened and empty room, an unsettled and sad feeling fell in his chest, his eyes stung.... his throat felt sore.

Chapter Text

2001

There was a bus stop.

Usually, spirits arrived on the train as Kakyoin Noriaki and many others before and after him had, however, the train station was being shut down. No one knew exactly why the change had happened.

Bus stops were placed throughout every district and despite being a logical way for the dead to travel, was exclusively for incoming spirits. Kakyoin thought it was interesting to see how newcomers would react to being in a strange place after dying with this new bus system. A lot of them seemed to act the same way he did, blissfully ignorant until the memories flooded back and swallowed them up all at once...

It was calm April day when Kakyoin had visited the area Caesar and his family lived in. A beautiful little town modelled after Italy. It was quiet, save for a couple who walked down the sidewalk together, the vanilla haired man haired whispered something and the ginger man holding his hand let out a laugh. It was nice to see people could be happy like that, even in death they still looked at each other with eyes full of life. Kakyoin felt a little embarrassed and rude for watching the exchange but despite himself, he couldn't help but feel comforted.

That’s when he saw the first man from Giorno Giovanna’s group.

“I have to go!” The man started walking towards the bus “I need to get back to my allies!”

Kakyoin felt pain rise in his chest as he watched the man, full of worry walk toward the bus. Unfortunately, Kakyoin had the same thoughts go through his mind upon arrival in the afterlife.

“This is the last stop.” A young officer said to him “You can never return.”

“You’re” there was a sudden recognition in the white-haired man’s voice.

“Abbacchio, you did a great job...”

Kakyoin saw visible shudders go through ‘Abbacchio’ as he and the officer stood in the street, his pain radiating off and around the area.

“So well I can say I’m proud of you.”

Before Kakyoin could watch any longer he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned.

“Kakyoin”

“Oh, uh, hi Caesar.”

Caesar looked from Kakyoin to Abbacchio in the distance who was now quietly conversing with the officer “They really shouldn’t just stand in the street like that.”

Kakyoin nodded.

Violet-yellow eyes met amethyst and stayed there for only a moment before the respective parties departed in opposite directions.

Kakyoin Noriaki and Leone Abbacchio, Kakyoin had a feeling they had more in common than they may ever know.

Chapter Text

2001

Kakyoin still wasn’t a big fan of leaving the Joestar residence without some sort of guide. The time he walked alone were few and far between mainly being done to meet up with Caesar or send correspondence to the recently rediscovered Avdol. Today, just as he had done a few days ago, he was walking through an Italian square, watching as groups and couples laughed and chatted amongst themselves on what looked like a “lively” spring day.

“Do you think they have a school here?”

“You want to go to school…? Even now?” a deep voice questioned.

“Yeah!”

Kakyoin turned, the man, Abbacchio he thinks was his name, from a few days earlier was now accompanied by a teenager with messy black hair and purple eyes.

“I think Fugo would be proud to hear it!” The teen swung his legs back and forth on the bench and the man hummed approval.

Three pairs of violet eyes met each other.

“What are you looking at?” Abbacchio’s eyes were cold.

“I’m sorry, I just,” thought I knew you? No that wasn’t right, Kakyoin knew he didn’t know him. He felt as though they were connected somehow “I’m sorry”

The black-haired teen looked bored by the explanation and Abbacchio turned back to look at the street.

The bus was dropping someone off on the other side of the street. The sheer speed of Abbacchio standing from the bench was enough to make Kakyoin and the orange-donning teenager to jump.

“Narancia, when you left, everyone was fine?”

“Yeah!” Narancia got up from the bench and stood next to Abbacchio. The train moved and before the person in white who stepped off was in full view the duo sprinted to the other side of the street.

“Narancia, Leone!”

Abbacchio picked up the newly arrived man and spun him around, Narancia catching up and squeezing both of them.

“Bruno oh my god you bastard!” Abbacchio cried into the other’s shoulder.

“Bucciarati! What happened to you!? Did Giorno win!? He won didn’t he?! Mista and Trish are okay!?” the youngest of the hugging three was practically screaming.

The man in white rubbed both of their heads “Everything’s going to be okay… It’s a long story but, Giorno is going to win, I know he will, his resolve is strong…”

Well, this was awkward… Kakyoin was kind of just standing on the opposite side of the street observing. It was nice seeing such a loving exchange though, he’d never seen that happen in his time here. Maybe he should move on though, he’s overstayed his welcome in this situation.

“Excuse me! Young man!”

Oh great. Kakyoin looked back to the trio on the other side of the street, the man in white was beckoning him over and reluctantly, he crossed the street.

Abbacchio and Narancia seemed slightly less tense than before, but still clung to the newly deceased who had a look of ‘yes, this is fine and normal’ “Where are we if you don’t mind me asking?”
Kakyoin looked at his surroundings “Well, we’re dead so technically, nowhere. This is one of the sections of the afterlife, it’s based on Italy.”

The man in white thought for a minute, blue eyes full of contemplation “Do you,” he paused “do you know where the docks are?”

“I’m not completely certain but I think they’re just north of here.”

“Lead the way, mister…”

“Kakyoin Noriaki”

The man smiled “Bruno Bucciaratti.”

-------------

Noriaki knew nearly nothing about the layout of the Italian-centric district and was meant to meet Caesar and Will Zeppeli with a running-late Jonathan and Speedwagon about 20 minutes ago. Instead, he was mindlessly wandering in some desperate attempt to get to the docks with 3 men slightly older than him (well, he was 17 in 1987 so technically he was older but it didn’t feel like it) who had revealed themselves to be a part of some crime organisation that they somehow had no Idea was in charge of the drug trade and also gave them stands. Okay. Sure. He fought a vampire with a teen whose hat was only half there yet somehow stayed glued to his head. Oh yeah and literally fought a highly intelligent BABY. Surely he shouldn’t think they’re the crazy ones.

“That man that had alerted us to come to the colosseum all that time ago, he was very helpful. Well, when his stand wasn’t swapping bodies.”

Narancia threw his arms behind his back and continued walking “Yeah Mr Polnareff was pretty cool Abbacchio! You should have seen when WOAH-”

Kakyoin had stopped in his tracks and Narancia bounced off his back.

“Kakyoin?”

Noriaki turned to Bruno “I’m sorry I thought I heard one of you say Polnareff?”

“Yes, Polnareff, he was helping us in our efforts to defeat the boss.”

So Polnareff was still the heroic type. Maybe he a Jotaro were out there being heroes together. Maybe Polnareff still had his pillar hair. Kakyoin can’t even imagine the Frenchman without that hair “How is he?”
“A turtle! Ow!”

Bruno had gently flicked Narancia in the back of the head “Narancia that’s not polite, he lives in the turtle, he’s not actually a turtle”

Abbacchio looked between everyone “Are you telling me you all know a goddamn turtle man?”

“He wasn’t a turtle when I knew him!?” Kakyoin couldn’t help but let a little panic slip out in the form of his facial expression.

“He’s alright Kakyoin. He was a very intelligent man and the rest of Giorno’s gang will take care of him.”

Abbacchio scoffed “ ‘Giorno’s’ gang?”

“I can’t run it if I’m dead Abbacchio.”

Kakyoin felt like today was giving him whiplash. First, he finds out that this seemingly innocent trio were mobsters, then that they were helping a 15-year-old take over the mob, and THEN Polnareff knew them and also just lives in a turtle now. OKAY. SURE. What’s next? Dinosaur Dio!? Okay, that’s just a random and stupid overreaction. Completely out of the left field. Kakyoin pushes it into the back of his mind with bagged milk and Polnareff without pillar hair.

“Ahem” Kakyoin steadies his mind “ We’re almost to the docks”

“Right.” Bruno smiled warmly.

The docks in the Italian-esque district were nothing overly special. There were a few fishermen, so leisure boats, nothing that the men who Noriaki brought here wouldn’t have seen regularly in the real world.

Blue eyes searched the pier and boats “He has to be here…”

Abbacchio rested a hand and Bruno’s shoulder and began looking at the boats “Bucciaratti…”

Bruno followed Abbacchio’s gaze to a nearby boat, a single man stood pulling up a net gently.

“Padre!”

The man in the boat looked up and froze and, in a painfully sad tone, responded near breathlessly “Bruno”

Nearly tripping over his feet, Bruno ran towards the boat and squeezed his father tightly. Kakyoin, Abbacchio, and Narancia stood together at a distance happily observing the sweet reunion. Bruno gestured now and again about something and pointed at one of the many zippers adorning his outfit. After about 20 minutes of this Bruno looked at his feet and began explaining something new. He looked up and to Abbacchio.

Abbacchio’s eyes went wide and he looked genuinely horrified in a way that was almost comical to Kakyoin. He put a hand to his chest ‘me?’

Bruno nodded ‘yes you’

Abbacchio stiffly approached the boat and took a stand next to Bruno who now gestured at him and talked for a few minutes.

“What are they doing?” Kakyoin didn’t look away from the scene but directed his question to Narancia who watched just as dumbly beside him.

“I dunno…”

Abbacchio said something and the boat when completely silent. Bruno’s father squeezed Bruno and Abbacchio tightly, the latter uncomfortably squirming at the affection.

Narancia laughed “HA! HA! Abbacchio looks like a worm!”

Kakyoin smiled at Narancia and the back at the boat where all parties standing on the deck were now laughing over something “It must be nice to have family that understands you like that.” he concluded.

“Huh?”

“Kakyoin!”

Why was everyone startling Kakyoin today? His spiritual non-physical heart can only take so much more surprises!

“Hello Caesar”

Caesar came to face Kakyoin after a few more seconds of speed walking “Where have you been? Jonathan and Speedwagon thought you got lost.”

Noriaki looked at the atmosphere around him, Bruno was now rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly as his father made large illustrative movements to Abbacchio who looked on interestingly and, despite not fully comprehending what had just happened, Narancia looked on and laughed.

“No. I wasn’t lost.” the redhead smirked fondly.

“Really? Because you weren’t at the cafe 45 minutes ago when you were supposed to be.” Caesar crossed his arms.

Noriaki gestured to Narancia and then the boat “They were lost, and they know Polnareff.”

Caesar raised a brow and looked at everyone and observed the boat for a few minutes “Do you think they know Jotaro or any other Joestars?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well let’s not stay and find out. When Jonathan gets here he’s going to-”

“I’ll do what Caesar?”

Everyone on the dock- even Narancia- turned to the new presence.

“Nothing Mr Joestar”

Jonathan smirked in a way that was somehow charming and menacing all at the same time and the three in front of him straightened up “Oh no Caesar, finish what you were saying…”

“You’re going to invite them to dinner aren't you?” Caesar sighed.

“Oh yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking of!” Jonathan’s smile became more genuine, menacing aura being shrugged off like dust.

Kakyoin and Caesar stood in silence.

“Well, I like food! I’ll take that invite!” Narancia giggled with a smile “I’m sure Abbacchio and Bucciaratti will want to come too!”

Kakyoin looked to the boat one more time, despite what Bruno had told Kakyoin about his gang all being about the same age and unrelated, he couldn’t help but feel like the new trio were a part of some sort of family, and he was just fortunate enough to join them in that family, even if only for the time it took for him to get them to the docks. A family of stand users, travelling together to beat the odds. Modern crusaders.

Modern crusaders had a nice ring to it.

Chapter Text

2002

Kakyoin caught him staring.

Abbacchio stared a lot.

Not at Kakyoin of course, Kakyoin knew full well that Abbacchio saw him as nothing more than an acquaintance and always treated him as such: short and fragmented conversations and nothing more.

Abbacchio was staring at Bruno.

It wasn’t uncommon for this specific event to happen, Bruno would begin talking with Lisa Lisa or Jonathan and Abbacchio’s eyes would suddenly drift open to observe the other. The stare wasn’t creepy or spiteful, it was of interest: every word or gesture Bruno made, Abbacchio want to catch it. He didn’t want to miss a thing.

---------------------------

“What?”

Jotaro turned his head to stare out the cafe window “Nothing”

“Clearly it’s not ‘nothing’, you've been staring at me for 5 minutes.”

Jotaro looked down at his watch “No I haven’t.”

Kakyoin smirked “Really?”

“Really.”

Kakyoin leaned back into his chair “The barista over there” he gestured to the counter “She just got back from her break. Earlier when she left… correct me if I’m wrong, she put up a sign that said she’d be back in five. After I saw her put that up I noticed you staring.” he stroked his chin jokingly “Matter of fact, that would mean you’ve been staring even longer than I thought.”

Jotaro scoffed.

“What do need to say?”

“Nothing, I just got distracted. I spaced out.”
“Alright.”

And that was the end of that. If that was the only incident, Kakyoin would have believed Jotaro.

“Jojo?”

A grunt of acknowledgement, followed by a hat lifting.

“How much control do you have over your stand?”

“Enough to kill Dio if that’s what your asking.”

“Not quite...Just, come with me.”

Polnareff snickered as Jotaro slide out of his place in the booth next to him “Somebody’s in trouble!”

Joseph raised a brow “Oi Kakyoin, is everything alright?”

Noriaki jumped with a squeak “Yes! Perfectly. Fine.” he dusts off nonexistent dirt “Come on Jojo.”

Kakyoin leads Jotaro behind the diner where the car had been parked.

“What’s going on Kakyoin?”

The redhead’s face contorted and he gestured to behind the car “Please, take him.”

Jotaro looked mildly confused “What?”

Kakyoin gestured again behind the car and Jotaro made his way over.

And there he was.

Star Platinum sat watching Hierophant Green intensely.

Jotaro, rather than making some sort of vague microexpression seemed to display actual surprise.

Kakyoin sighed sadly “Stands are embodiments of our souls and fighting spirit Jotaro…”

“....”

“Jotaro I can feel him staring daggers” red hair bounced slightly with a chill “I don’t know what I did but I’m sorry, please, get rid of him.”

Jotaro stood there for a moment and then glared at Star who faded into nothing.

“.....”

“....”

Kakyoin coughed dryly “Do you, do you not trust me?”

Jotaro finally looked him the eyes “No.”

“No you do trust me, or do you mean you actually don’t trust me?”

“What makes you think that?”

“Because you keep doing this!” the exclamation came out weakly “ I know we met less than a month ago, and I know I tried to hurt you but…” he moved to take a step forward and Jotaro flinched, he stopped in his tracks “what am I doing? What am I doing? Tell me so I can sto-”

“Good grief I don’t know Kakyoin!”

“....”

Jotaro looked at his shoes.

Noriaki took a deep breath “Okay. Well, I’m sorry.” he began walking toward the diner.

“Tell Gramps I’ll be back in a minute.” he lit a cigarette.

“Okay.”

Life went on. Jotaro would stare but only for a minute max and when Kakyoin was preoccupied with something.

“Kakyoin”

“Yes?”

“...What,” the silence was thick “What did Dio do to you?”

“I don’t remember much after the whole flesh bud thing happened…” more silence “Probably trained me to kill you.”

It was deathly quiet.

“He must be a shitty teacher then.”

Kakyoin couldn’t help but laugh “I guess so… yeah, he is a shitty teacher.” he was having a full-on laughing fit now.

Jotaro laughed along quietly.

Wait

‘No Noriaki don’t do it’ an inner monologue panicked.

Shit

He did it anyway.

Jotaro stopped laughing “Hey, what are you looking at?”

Kakyoin was brought back to his senses “I was just thinking.” he wiped the tires of laughter from his face “This is the first time I’ve seen you express something other than stoicism or smugness. I was just trying to understand...”

A black hat was adjusted “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Exactly what it sounds like Jojo.”

------

“Abbacchio”

“Huh?”

Bruno looked to the other with slight concern “Are you alright?”

“Yeah”

Bruno smiled and continued talking with Jonathan.

Abbacchio’s eyes drifted away for a moment and Caesar gestured for his attention.

“Abbacchio!” Caesar whisper yelled and violet-yellow eyes looked over.

“Don’t stare so hard you’ll give the man stab wounds.”
Abbacchio’s calm expression shifted to annoyance and he flipped off the other Italian under the library table.

Kakyoin watched the exchange quietly, the cogs in his mind clicking.

“Mr Abbachio, why do you watch Bucciarati like that?”

Abbacchio looked at Kakyoin, brows furrowed “Why is it your business?”

Noriaki tried as hard as he could to express some sort of genuine curiosity in his eyes “I was just curious…”

Abbacchio’s mouth opened slightly and his brows unfurrowed for a moment before he defensively responded “I just care about him...I just want to make sure he’s happy…”

Caesar cleared his throat.

“Oh fuck off you heartless bastard.” Abbacchio hissed and kicked Caesar’s foot.

The two Italians began exchanging to some choice words as Kakyoin thought. He thought a lot about those incidents, those days among the 50 he spent travelling. About every time he caught blues eyes checking up on him, and every time he caught himself returning the gesture.

“Now now gentlemen! There’s no need to argue, your both equally ‘heartless’ as shown by your daily discussions about Joseph and Bucciarati.”

Everyone at the table went wide-eyed.

“Jonathan did you just use sarcasm!?” Caesar’s voice cracked.

“I guess so. I’ve been learning.” Jonathan smiled.

“You need to stop hanging out with Kakyoin.”

 

The passive bickering faded into the background and Kakyoin continued to think.
-

 

-

 

-

 

-

If he thought hard enough maybe Jotaro would think too.

Chapter Text

2003

A thud came from the room next door and it was swiftly followed by muffled cries. Until very recently, both the rooms that shared walls with Noriaki were empty.

Kakyoin made his way into the hallway, despite sleep being impossible for the inhabitants, the estate was silent, the muffled sobs barely audible from within the hallway. That’s when he realised what room the noises were coming from. He made his way toward the door.

Knock

Knock

“Narancia?”

The door shifted slightly and sound of something sliding down it on the other side gave the indication it would remain unopened.

“I’m sad.”

Kakyoin frowned “Do you, do you want to talk about it?”

A frustrated sob escaped Narancia “I can’t even dream of them anymore! I can’t even sleep! My brain just won't turn off!”

Kakyoin took a seat in front of the door “Yeah…I know what you mean.”

“I can’t even remember what his face looks like!”

“Who’s face?”

Narancia’s voice broke “Fugo! My best friend, I can barely remember his face!”

“....”

“I want to seem him again! I want to see Mista, Trish, and Giorno, I miss them!”

“I’m sure they miss you too Narancia. You’ll see them again, it will just be a while.”

“How long has Caesar been waiting?!”

Kakyoin didn’t know what to say other than the truth “64 years”

“It’s only been 2 for me and I can’t live like this anymore!”

“Narancia, that’s the point...None of us are alive anymore.”

Narancia got quiet “...Kakyoin,”

“Yes?”

“Can I tell you a story?”

The two sat on either side of the door for hours, Narancia telling stories of all the crazy antics he, Mista, and Fugo would get into together. They were uncomplicated and happy memories, void of any of the complexities being part of a crime organisation implied. Eventually, Kakyoin let himself lean against the door rather than staring blankly at it as Narancia laughed.

“I bet they're messing with each other right now! Just like they used to!” Narancia giggled “Yo Kakyoin, do you have any friends you’re waiting for?”

Narancia must have felt Kakyoin stiffen through the door because tacked on a “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to!” at the end.

“I’m waiting for a few people actually...but I want them to take their time in getting here.”

The door sharing the other wall with Kakyoin’s opened and Bruno emerged, completely composed “Hello Kakyoin, what are you doing out here so early?”

Kakyoin looked from the new figure in the hallway to the windows parallel to the hall doors, the sun was beginning to rise “Just talking.”

Bruno hummed an acknowledgement and Abbachio emerged from behind him, tense and somehow looking exhausted.

“Are you used to this place yet?” Kakyoin asked already knowing the answer.

Abbacchio let out a sardonic laugh which Bruno translated “No, but I’m sure we will be soon.”

Narancia scoffed “No we won’t”
Bruno and Abbacchio didn’t seem to hear the teen and went down the hall conversing about something.

Kakyoin stood and faced Narancia’s door for a moment before speaking “I’m still not used to this place either but, with time, you’ll learn to accept it.” he walked away. The estate was now completely silent, no cries, no laughs, just the quick click of Kakyoin’s door opening and shutting.

Talking with Narancia reminded him how much he missed dreaming.

Chapter Text

2004

Kakyoin was doing well for himself now. He would spend days with Jonathan at the market, with Erina in the Garden, and would sit with Caesar at the abandoned train station to play cards when he could. Narancia was also nice company when he controlled his temper.

But then it happened.

Kakyoin laid in his bed as he usually did when there wasn't much else to do in the night. He had to go with Jonathan to pick up a new sketchbook in the morning and didn’t feel like quietly sneaking into the library to read again.

Unfortunately, this left him alone with his thoughts.

-------
Kakyoin sat next to Jotaro on a hotel balcony, he wasn’t a fan of all the smoke, but standing next to the other was better than rereading the book he found a town over.

“Avdol did a tarot reading for me.”

A puff of smoke “What did it say?”

“For the past, believe it or not, I got the Tower, he said it meant something happened that changed my path. For the present” he laughed and his stand presented itself “The Hierophant reversed, freedom, challenging beliefs…”

Jotaro let out another bellow of smoke “and the future?”

“The Star.”

Their eyes met.

“A symbol of hope, of purpose.”

Jotaro stared off into the distance “Avdol got it all wrong when he named my stand then.”

“I don’t think so, I think he got it right.”

Jotaro didn’t respond and snuffed out his cigarette “I’m going to bed.”

“Alright. Goodnight Jojo.”

“Night.”

The next day Avdol did readings for Polnareff and Jotaro. Kakyoin stood in the doorway observing.

“The past” Avdol turned over Jotaro’s first card “The Sun. You had a very positive childhood.”

Jotaro didn’t answer and Avdol looked back down to the cards “the present, The Moon reversed...You’re not being honest with yourself or your emotions.”

Jotaro grunted disapprovingly and Avdol ignored him.

“Future...The Star...reversed…”

“What does that mean?”

“Either you’ll learn to trust yourself or...despair. It depends on what path you take from here.”

“....”

Avdol collected the cards “We’ll do another reading at the end of the trip.”

Jotaro nodded and stood up, making his way to Kakyoin’s side.

“So, we both got the Star for the future.”

“...” Jotaro was either pretending not to hear the Noriaki or was lost in thought, both seemed plausible.

The two walked in silence until Avdol caught up with them, shuffling the cards in his hands “Perhaps we should see if Mr Joestar would like a reading.”

“That would be interesting” Kakyoin mused “oh!”

Kakyoin tripped in the sand, just barely caught by Jotaro.

“You okay Kakyoin?”

 

Kakyoin observed Jotaro for a moment, he looked a little upset, blue eyes tinged with some sort of conflict.

“Yeah I just tripped over,” a tarot card laid at his feet and he picked it up “The Lovers”

Avdol took the card from the two teenagers who were now snapped back to reality “I must have dropped a card, my apologies.” he looked at it for a moment and then back to the two in front of him before slipping it back into the deck “Remind me to have you both take a fourth card next time we do this.”

Kakyoin nodded and dusted himself off beginning to walk with Avdol, Jotaro followed suit.

------

“You’re a liar”

Kakyoin forced out a breath “Takes one to know one.”

Jotaro sneered decisively “What am I lying about?”

Kakyoin stopped packing his things and threw his pyjama shirt onto the stiff hotel mattress “Being afraid!”

“I’m not afraid.”

Kakyoin turned to the other completely “Yes you are! Do you think I haven’t noticed you don’t sleep at night!? That the only time you seem able to sleep is when we’re sitting in the car!”

Jotaro tugged his hat over his face “Hotel beds are uncomfortable.”

“Jotaro it’s okay to be afraid! I don’t know why you’re lying, I understand how you fee-”

“No, you don’t. And none of this answers my question.”

Kakyoin thought back to the start of this whole conversation, Jotaro had asked him a mundane question really, nothing to get worked up about.

The redhead picked up his pyjamas and went back to packing “As I said, I’m fine.”

Jotaro sighed heavily and grabbed his things making his way towards the door walking past Kakyoin in the process.

“Takes one to know one” Jotaro huffed under his breath passing the other teen.

-----

Kakyoin sat staring at the moon the rest of that night.

Chapter Text

2005

The train station hadn’t been used for about 14 years thanks to the integration of buses. It was still hauntingly polished, the only visible sign of decay was the new and sudden growth of plants in a few cracks in the foundation. Noriaki took a seat next to Caesar.

The elder huffed.

“What has you so bothered today?”

Caesar's eyes stayed on the tracks and he pulled a book from his jacket: Jotaro’s “eulogy”.

“Caesar I don’t think those are supposed to leave the library…”

“Describe Jotaro for me.”

Kakyoin sighed and leaned back onto the bench “What about him do you want me to describe.”

“Whatever comes to mind.”

“Well, he’s a Joestar, my friend, and was a kind person when you got to know him.”

“Keep going.”

“He was my first friend. He was nice to spend time with and fun to talk to.”

The blond silently thumbed through the book he had in hand and stopped on a page, he took in a sharp breath “ ‘Jotaro Kujo’…” he looked to Kakyoin then back at the book “is the single most exceptional and amazing person I’ve ever met and I have no doubt he will positively touch many lives.”

“I respect him, he’s a good man...What’s your point?”

Caesar held a finger up then looked back at the book and began flipping through the pages,he stopped and read a line following it with his finger “ ‘Jotaro is without a doubt a gifted person in every sense of the word,’ ” he paused to flip to the next page “ Oh this one’s a good one- ‘His cerulean eyes were cold to all that he wished them to be; to me, they were deep ocean trenches of mystery, of a heart buried deep within the confines of black wool and thick cigarette smoke’...” Caesar shut the book with a thud “Kakyoin this is getting painful to watch.”

Kakyoin raised a brow “I like writing with figurative language, I didn’t think I was that bad of a writer...”

“Kakyoin, that’s not what I’m saying... No one writes like this to describe a friend they knew for 2 months. No one just off-handedly brags about another person's appearance and personality non-stop without cause...” there was a sudden tone of pity in the blond’s voice and Kakyoin did NOT like that.

“Well I do and there’s nothing wrong with it!” Kakyoin snatched the book from the other man “what are you trying to convince me of?” he paused, his grip on the book softened and his heart fell “You think I was in love with him.”

Caesar crossed his arms “I did nothing but read your own words to you.”

“You're twisting them.” Kakyoin sneered.

“I’m not.”

Without taking his eyes away from Caesar, Noriaki flipped to a random page in an attempt to prove a point, instead, a doodle he had done of a somewhat bitter looking Jotaro and his brilliant blue eyes stared up at him: he hesitated.

Quiet.

Caesar placed a hand on the shorter man’s shoulder “It’s hard to think about the happy memories.” he stared off past the tracks, into another world: just as Jonathan did all those years ago thinking of Erina as he talked to Noriaki in the library.

Did Noriaki do that too?

“The happy memories make you miss them more...so the bad ones remain,” Caesar observed the open book.

“......”

“And you keep thinking, ‘what could I have done to make that different?’ and you keep thinking that. You keep thinking about every time you fucked up, every time you should have said something, every time you thought he didn’t trust you...every time you didn’t trust yourself. Every regret. That’s how you know you love someone: you want to do better for them, and you regret every chance you didn’t take to do it.” he pressed a finger on the fold-worn edge of the last page Noriaki had written in the book, the last time he saw Jotaro.

“No.”

Caesar looked at Kakyoin who stood from the bench, knuckles white from gripping the book.

“I died with no regrets! I did what I thought was right and would help my friends! I helped stop” the name caught in his throat “a monster. I helped them get home safe, it doesn’t matter what happened to me. I don’t regret anything! If I had a chance I would go back and do everything the same!”

“I thought that too…”

“Stop. We’re not the same.” he turned the book to fully face Caesar and pointed to the page “and he’s not Joseph! He’s not Jonathan! Not Erina! He’s Jotaro Kujo, and I’m Noriaki Kakyoin!”

Caesar flinched slightly, agitation seizing his feature “Really? Do you think I don’t realise that? Kakyoin I’m trying to help you!”

“....”

“Maybe I was wrong. Maybe you weren’t ready.”

“Weren’t ready?... How long have you thought this?!”

Caesar stayed silent.

“Have you thought I loved Jotao this whole time?”

“Honestly I thought I KNEW you loved Jotaro but, you’re either so genuinely in denial you can’t even fathom it or I’m a fucking cowboy.” Caesar hissed

Kakyoin didn’t know what to say, where to even begin. In all the 17 years Caesar and Kakyoin had known each other, Caesar had said nothing about the way Kakyoin had talked about Jotaro, and he wished that would have continued “I need to go.”

Caesar got out his lighter and played with the flame “You can’t run from yourself Kakyoin trust me, I’ve tried.”

Caesar was left at the station and Kakyoin marched away somehow feeling heavier than before. Why was everything crashing down on him? Why after all of this time did the memories come back to crawl and eat at his brain matter? Why did Caesar have to say, say anything honestly? Why couldn’t everything be as simple as they were in the beginning; sadness and panic numbed by shock and the loving environment of the Joestar home? Him and Caesar playing cards and recalling the good times. Uncomplicated walks with Jonathan or Erina. Ambiguous memories. None of this. No more memories of anything. Not even those useless tarot ca-

Tarot cards.

Noriaki switched directions, sprinting toward the market and the shoppes behind them, bursting through one of the doors.

“Avdol!”

The man looked up from his card deck, the dog in his lap sighing “Kakyoin, it’s been a while, what has you so worked up?”

Kakyoin Noriaki, dead since seventeen felt for the first time in a long time that he couldn’t breathe.

“Cards.”

Chapter Text

Avdol poured tea as Iggy lay idly at Kakyoin’s side “Last time I saw you in person was at-”

“When Jolene was born, Joestar dinner.”

Avdol nodded “Did you get my letter? I sent it yesterday.”

Kakyoin shook his head “No but I think there’s something important we need to discuss.”

They sat across from each other and Avdol gave a content sigh “I assume it relates to tarot cards.”

 

“Uh yes, how did you know?”

“...”

Kakyoin rubbed his face “Oh right I said...I’m sorry Avdol I haven’t been able to think recently.”

“Memories,” Avdol stated observing the overwhelmed man in front of him.

A nod “For the past year, this memory, of the tarot card reading you did just before we got to Egypt.”

The other nodded “Yes I remember.”

“Well, can we do another one? A reading I mean?”

“If you’d like to.”

 

Kakyoin felt his throat go dry and he recalled Jotaro’s book which sat tightly in his grip even as he sat “I would like it very much.”

“What are we reading for?” Avdol pulled a box from under the table without a second thought.

“The normal three?”

A hum of acknowledgement.

The cards whispered and ruffled as the were shuffled and stretched across the table face down. Kakyoin felt himself get nervous. What was the point? Why was he doing this? He was dead, his past was life, his present death, and his future to no one’s surprise would also be death, the cards couldn’t tell him anything more obvious than that. The most pressing question of it all was, why was he so scared if he already knew nothing would happen?

“Past”

The card flipped over and there was a suffocatingly thick silence.

“The chariot…”

Noriaki felt his skin crawl.

“In your case, I assume it is talking of your immense willpower and control of your stand.” Avdol flipped over the next card, a now anxious silence overtook the room “The Hermit. You’re currently are or need to look within yourself.”

Kakyoin tried his best to pull in a solid breath “...Maybe we should stop.”

Avdol shook his head “We’re almost done, no point in stopping now.”

Kakyoin laid his hand on the last card and he felt Iggy come to sit on his lap watching the card attentively.

It was quiet again as anxiety singed the tone of the room, fraying away any perceptions of the possible outcomes...save for one.

“Is it bad I think I know what the last one is?”

It was apparent that Avdol heard Kakyoin, giving a firm nod, voice tense “...future…”

All of Kakyoin’s energy was zapped out of him at once when he flipped over the card.

It sat upright just like it had for him that evening back in ‘88: how it should have been sitting for Jotaro during his reading.

“The Star.”

Chapter Text

During the trip, Kakyoin found Polnareff to be a very nice person to spend time with. While the Frenchman and Japanese teenager didn’t have any hobbies in common, they always found ways to hang out with one another. Whether they were doing their hair, chatting when one of them was driving, or during the occasional battles they found themselves in together. Throughout this time, they wouldn’t talk too personally, however, Kakyoin learned one thing about his new friend fairly quickly: he was perceptive.

“Kakyoin you alright?”

Noriaki looked to Polnareff as he buckled himself into the driver’s seat “Of course. What makes you think I’m not?”

Polnareff gestured out the front windshield to Joseph and Avdol who were observing a map as Jotaro smoked “ For starters, you haven’t told us any random facts in a while…”

“I ran out.”

 

“That’s hard to believe! Second, you and Jotaro are acting weird…”

“Weird?”

 

“Well yeah, weird. You and Jotaro usually talk about random stuff together and now you guys both just sleep or read.”

“Polnareff, time is running out, how are we supposed to be friends right now when his mom is about to die?!”

Polnareff put his hands in front of himself “Alright alright I get it. It’s just weird seeing you guys not doing normal teenager things.”

Normal teenager things. What about either teen radiated ‘normal teenager’ energy? His grip on the steering wheel tightened. They would never get to be normal teenagers, not during this, not after, and they sure as hell weren’t normal teenagers to begin with.

“Hey” a hand touched his shoulder “Kakyoin, it’s going to be fine, we’re going to make it out of here. Then we can all have one of those cheesy group hugs and go home.”

At that moment Polnareff could only be described as being so optimistically confident that Kakyoin could feel it radiating into his bones, so even if the voice muttering in the back of his mind told him Polnareff was wrong...he couldn’t hear it.

Kakyoin nodded “Yeah that sounds good.”

At least now he had something to look forward to when this was all over.

--------

“Where are Avdol and Iggy?”

Polnareff collapsed in on himself and Kakyoin could do nothing but watch.

“They’re gone. They saved me.”

Any ounce of optimism that Polnareff had left in him was likely going into keeping him from falling into a million tiny pieces on the floor of the mansion. It was probably one of the most difficult things Kakyoin had ever seen.

Polnareff let out a small choked sob.

Noriaki felt his heart sink, the feeling the scratched and screamed at the back of his mind at every reassurance these past 50 days were true…

They weren’t going to make it home altogether. They never were going to. There was no way they could have. It was 6 against an estimated 24, one of which was a 100-year-old vampire. The only thing possible now was for the remainder of the group to make it out alive.

And Kakyoin had his doubts about that happening.

Just like the doubts before they were right, painfully so.

Chapter Text

“Did I ever tell you the story of how I got this metal arm Kakyoin?”

Jotaro lit a cigarette and let out an annoyed scoff “How many times are you going to tell this story, old man?”

“I don’t think I have Mr Joestar” Noriaki turned to Jotaro “and I would love to hear it. Please, do not spare any of the details.”

 

“Well then! I better start a few months before it happened then! I was in New York with-”

Throughout the story, Kakyoin smirked at Jotaro, listening to Mr Joestar, but also observing the amusing micro shifts in Jotaro’s expression as unnecessary details were dragged out.

The car stopped.

“Mr Joestar why did we stop?” Polnareff apparently wasn’t as asleep as he pretended to be shifting in the passenger seat.

“Nothing nothing I was just thinking.”

The cicadas chirped and a puff of smoke escaped Jotaro’s mouth “If you didn’t want to talk about him you should have just skipped to the part where you lost your arm.”

Polnareff and Kakyoin looked between Jotaro and Joseph.

A laugh “I guess you’re right,” Mr Joestar began to drive again “anyway I ended up beating those pillar men. The last fight is where I lost my arm, I sent the bastard into space.”

“No way! Space?! How did you do that!?” Polnareff was practically out of his seat at this point, the belt being the only thing securing him into the vehicle.

“Well Polnareff, I was on this plane…”

Kakyoin’s attention was drawn away from the story to Jotaro who pointed across his forehead.

“What?” Noriaki whispered.

Jotaro pointed to his grandfather and Kakyoin recalled a man mentioned earlier in Joseph’s story who he nostalgically described as ‘some casanova with a triangle headband’.

“Oh...What happened?”

Jotaro took a finger and gestured to his throat sharply. Noriaki flinched.

 

After arriving at the hotel, rooms were arranged as they usually were and for Kakyoin, that meant he would share a room with Jotaro.

“Oi Kakyoin!”

Kakyoin’s grip on the door handle loosened and he looked toward Joseph a door to his left “Yes Mr Joestar?”

“About the story earlier. There’s something I didn’t talk about.”

“That’s alright, you were upset. You don’t have to talk about it.”

“No. No, I do. There’s an important message to it.”

“...”

“I lost someone important to me and, I never told them how important they were to me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

The senior nodded solemnly “So that’s why I just wanted to say...Kakyoin you're important to me. You’re important to all of us and I’m glad we can say your on our side.”

“O-oh well,” Noriaki couldn’t help but let a small smirk spread across his face “thank you Mr Joestar, I’m glad you all trusted me enough to let me accompany you.”

Joseph smiled “ Don’t leave anything unsaid alright?”

“Alright.” and with that, Noriaki entered his shared room and went to bed; without another word.

--------

Blood. So much blood. It was thick and metallic in his throat but Kakyoin had so much left to say. There was so much to be said, to be known.
The water was deafening.

The air was piercing.

The pain was barely drowned out by nature’s greatest painkiller: adrenaline.

Regardless of whether Kakyoin could even control his breathing, he had to say what he discovered of Dio.

With the last of his energy, the clocktower glass came crashing down. If he had the energy, he would have savoured in the Dio’s confusion, glared daggers at him with a smug smirk that said ‘you don’t control me anymore’.

Instead, he choked on his own thickening and drying blood unceremoniously.

Kakyoin Noriaki didn’t leave anything he had learned in life unsaid, at least when he thought it was important. The rest of the crusaders would get the message, they’d know what Dio’s stand could do, they would finish the journey with or without him.

He was getting tired.

The moon was beautiful that night.

It was blue.

Before Kakyoin dozed off completely he imagined himself in an ocean, the water rushing around him waves, the bitter taste in his mouth saltwater, the blue moon a pair of cerulean eyes.

Kakyoin had left nothing he knew unsaid.

He thought that in his dying moments.

Chapter Text

“Jojo…”

Jotaro’s gaze stayed downcast and he made a noise of acknowledgement.

“When this is all over, are we,” Kakyoin hated that he was even asking this, he felt embarrassed “are we still going to be friends?”

“If you want.”

“I do.” the response was quick and sharp “...But if I don’t make out can you promise to do me a favour?”

Jotaro’s lighter clicked off without touching his cigarette “You’re going to make it out.” the lighter clicked again and smoke filled the hotel room.

“But if I don’t I want you to-” Noriaki choked on smoke and his train of thought swerved “Do you really have to smoke in here?”

Jotaro looked up and blew smoke at Kakyoin who coughed in response.

What was Kakyoin talking about again? He waved the smoke from his face unsuccessfully and started the conversation anew “What do you think you’re going to do when we go home?”

Jotaro removed the cigarette from his lips “School.”

“What about after that?”

“More school.”

Kakyoin smiled “The delinquent is going to college then?”

“University.”

“What for?”

“Marine biology.”

Kakyoin thought back fondly to their past conversation on the topic “I’m glad you’ll be pursuing your dream then.”

“What about you?”

“Hm?”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.” amethyst eyes stared out to the world around them just outside the hotel window “I’ve never really felt there’s a place for me out there.”

“There will be.”

Noriaki glanced over to Jotaro at his side and smirked sardonically “How can you be so sure?”

“You’ll make your own place.”

“And if I fail?”

Jotaro sighed and looked at Kakyoin with an expression torn between fondness or exhaustion and placed his cigarette back in his mouth “Then you can be a marine biologist.”

“Alright” Noriaki giggled “If I can’t find my place I’ll go to school with you. Then maybe I’ll get an opportunity to see you look at something you actually like without grimacing.”

Jotaro choked on smoke and coughed violently.

“Jeez, Jojo! I hit a nerve or something?”

“No…” Jotaro responded awkwardly, Kakyoin wasn’t expecting that.

“I did!” Kakyoin was overwhelmed with curiosity but tried his best to maintain his cool tone “Are you scared I’ll let everyone know the big scary Jojo loves something?”

“I love a lot of things.”

“You don’t tend to act like it. Other than fish, and the ocean and your mother what exactly do you love?”

Jotaro stared for a moment as if his brain had been some electrical instrument doused in water.

“Jojo?”

“I like cigarettes.”

“Wow. So your mom, the ocean, fish, and cigarettes… Though I’m sure the cigarettes are more an addiction than a love.”

There was silence for a moment and Jotaro cleared his throat “What exactly do you think love is then?”

“I don’t know however it's definitely not cigarettes" he sighed "I love my parents, and art but, I don’t think I’ve ever been IN love.”

There was a shift in Jotaro’s expression, eyes drifting and arms crossing, Kakyoin was struggling to register it “Same.”

“When this is all over we can go to school and find people.”

Jotaro nodded and put out his cigarette “Yeah...”

Noriaki noticed how heavy his eyes were and looked toward the clock “3 AM…We should sleep.”

Jotaro shrugged “I’ll sleep in the car.”

“Because that’s comfortable” he rolled his eyes and laid in his bed “Goodnight”

He heard Jotaro shift and the light click off “Night.”

Kakyoin’s train of thought returned to him as the room engulfed itself in darkness “But really Jojo… if I don’t make it home, could you promise to,” he felt the embarrassment rise in him again “visit me?”

The sounds of the night we quiet, but Kakyoin could feel every sound like a throbbing wave of energy in the silence.

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

“Kakyoin you there?”

Kakyoin was snapped from his thoughts: that’s right, he was in Avdol’s shoppe, he looked down to the table and the tarot cards splayed in front of him.

“Can you hear me Kakyoin?”

Iggy was pushing against Noriaki’s stomach with a low growl.

“Yes!” the redhead responded full of urgency “I’m sorry I was just thinking.” he ran a hand through his hair.

Avdol leaned over the table slightly “How are you feeling?”

“Upset? Guilty? Confused?... Mainly confused as to why I’m answering you so honestly?”

“Never leave anything left unsaid right?” Avdol smiled down at the hermit as he began to clean up the cards.

“Yes of course.” it came out as a painful laugh and the dam behind his eyes broke “Avdol I think I messed up.”

“How so?”

“I think I…” he looked down to his lap, Iggy sat on one leg looking up at him, and Jotaro’s book sat tightly in his hand on his other leg, “I think I made some decisions...that I regret making.”

Avdol sat the cards back under the table, his voice gentle “Would you like to talk about that?”

There was a lump in his throat “I don’t know.”

Avdol stood and helped Noriaki to stand “How about we go back to the Joestar’s then? I’m sure Erina and Jonathan will have food prepared soon and if you feel like talking about it after we can.”

A reluctant nod.

-----------

The front yard of the Joestar residence was usually vacant, however, Erina paced it until she recognised the two approaching men and dog.

“Kakyoin!” Erina ran towards them “Caesar told us you weren’t feeling well!” she placed gentle hands on both of his shoulders “What happened?”

At that point Kakyoin was still crying, he felt like a child again. Alone, small, overwhelmed “I’ve just been thinking too much.”

Erina’s eyes drifted to the book he held and her eyes widened, a pained expression painting her gentle features “Oh!”

“Is he back?” Jonathan peaked from behind the entryway door and slowly made his way out to the entryway a frown growing on his face “Kakyoin how are you f-oof!”

Kakyoin hugged Jonathan tightly.

“Hey Kakyoin what’s wrong?” Jonathan tried his best to return the hug but Kakyoin pushed himself further into the jacket in a futile attempt to hide.

“I’m dead.”

“Yes, so am I. We all are...And that’s okay.”

He shook his head “I didn’t tell him Jonathan” formalities at the given moment escaped Noriaki “Jonathan...I didn’t tell him! I didn't know!”

“Tell who what?”

Another voice entered the conversation “Kakyoin.”

Kakyoin let go of Jonathan somewhat reluctantly. Caesar stood in the doorway of the home looking as if he was going to cry too. Why did it end this way? Why only now was Kakyoin registering his emotions? After 17 years of death, he was just now comprehending what it meant to care about another person as deeply as he did for Jotaro. All his memories portrayed from his once objective point of view slipping, conversations he’d forgotten riding to the surface and digging the knife deeper into his chest, telling him nothing can be done now.

Caesar wasn’t alone in the doorway anymore.

Lisa Lisa, Abbacchio, and Buccellati stood onlooking, confused, but expressing some sort of worry. It was overwhelming, all these people Kakyoin knew. That knew him. Watching him crumble under the weight of his own grief. And they could do nothing but watch.

Talk about deja vu.

“I’m sorry. I think I need to be alone.”

Before anything more could be said Kakyoin rushed passed the group and up the stairs, ignoring the calls of Avdol and Caesar as he rushed past his room and to the roof.

He needed to be alone.

Chapter Text

Kakyoin had been sitting alone on the roof for hours, he assumed that the group either knew where he was and had given up or didn’t know and we're waiting for him. The latter seemed most plausible.

A window clicked open and footsteps emerged and the roof and stopped “How did you get up here?”

Kakyoin turned, Abbacchio stood behind him, wine glass and bottle in hand.

Kakyoin took a deep collecting breath and feigned calm “Good question, how did YOU get up here?”

Abbacchio looked behind him and bit his lip trying to hold in his obviously shortened temper “Window.”

Kakyoin turned to look back at the ink-blue sky.

Abbacchio huffed and took a seat a few feet away and next to Noriaki.

“You going to interrogate me?”

Abbacchio forced a laugh “If they wanted someone to interrogate you they would have sent Bruno. They don’t even know where you are.”

“Do they know you're up here?”

“Bruno might, but he won’t come up here. I used to come up here to be alone.” the ‘used to’ in the statement while obviously pointed at Kakyoin, was dull compared to how Kakyoin heard Abbacchio speak when truly agitated. He must be holding back. How ‘nice’ of him. Kakyoin rolled his eyes.

“I’m trying you brat!”

Kakyoin smirked weakly “Sorry...Thanks, I guess.”

Abbacchio observed the redhead for a second “What the hell did Caesar say to you?”

“...” Noriaki stiffened “Nothing...I just realised something about myself.”

Abbacchio looked down for a few moments as if thinking. Whatever he was thinking of must have clicked a few moments later, surprise overtaking his expression as if he had solved some newfound equation. He scoffed and poured some wine in his glass “This might help.”

“...Are you trying to turn me into an alcoholic?”

“Shut the fuck up take it or leave it.”

Kakyoin to a sip and nearly choked trying to swallow it “Ugh how do people drink that stuff?”

Abbacchio raised a brow and quickly finished the glass.

“Holy shit Abbacchio.”

They sat there for what had to have been at least half an hour before Jotaro snuck into Kakyoin’s thoughts and he felt himself shiver. He had to think of something else, just for a little bit.

“Are you and Buccellati going to get married?”

Abbacchio set his glass down with a clink and covered his mouth, swallowing hard “I don’t think so.” he composed himself “there isn’t a point.”

Kakyoin nodded “True” he stared up at the sky, the inky blue reminding him of raven locks, his breath buckled “I don’t think I’d want to get married either.”

Abbacchio looked confused, then stared off again before reconvening “I’m not really good at talking to people-”

“I had no idea.”

“Shut up-but, even if Bruno didn’t...feel the same way I did, I would still stand by him to the end of eternity and I know he’d do the same.”

Kakyoin looked down to the grass: green. He wondered if Jotaro felt the same way about the emerald green grass as he felt about the inky blue sky. He replied to Abbacchio distantly “Uh-huh.”

Abbacchio frowned and stood “You and Caesar are fucking hopeless.”

“Bold statement from a man like you.” a long mouth smirked.

“You know if you weren’t a goddamn mess right now I wouldn’t be holding back!” Abbacchio growled.

Kakyoin waved a hand “I know, and I already said thank you.”

Abbacchio lingered a little longer but Noriaki didn’t look back to him, eyes fixed on the blue moon the night had offered.

The footsteps fell gently on the roof and a window shut. He was alone again.

The moon stared down at him and bathed him in its light.

It was hard to think about anything but Jotaro, especially after realising everything he hadn’t done, hadn’t said.

Kakyoin Noriaki had loved and lost without even realising.

Chapter Text

Jotaro had bruises all over his shoulders and hands.

“Wow, it looks like Steely Dan walked all over you.”

Jotaro fell face first onto his hotel bed “He did.”

The Redhead winced “Ow.”

“Uh-huh”

“Alright then, you get some rest and I’ll” Kakyoin looked around the hotel room for a moment, sure they defeated Dan, but stand users were tricky, and this is the first time he’d seen Jotaro let his guard down. And of all the people Jotaro chose to let his guard down with it was him… Kakyoin honestly didn’t know how to feel about that, “unpack.”

Not much time passed before the silence was momentarily broken.

“You did a good job today.”

“Huh?”

“Helping me and gramps… You did good.”

“Thank you…” he set his things on his temporary bed “I’m proud of you for not beating Steely Dan to a pulp until after we sorted everything.”

There was a small and low rumble which Kakyoin assumed was a laugh.

After Kakyoin had finished unpacking he made his way over to check on Jotaro, they only had about 45 minutes until the group was set to go have dinner “Jojo”

“....”

“Jojo?”

He was asleep.

He must have been pretty exhausted because Kakyoin was able to remove his dusty hat without a trace of Star Platinum emerging. Jotaro’s hair was plastered to the top of his head due to the frequency he wore his hat. Kakyoin couldn’t help but snicker at the obvious difference between the normal and hat hair. It honestly looked uncomfortable. Despite himself, Kakyoin found himself reaching to loosen the locks. He must have lost track of time because the next time he came back to the present he was sitting on the bed still playing with Jotaro’s hair.

A peaceful contented sigh escaped Jotaro.

“Jojo… Wake up.”

Jotaro grumbled and turned away.

Noriaki laughed “How old are you? 12???” he brushed his hand through the other's hair again.

Jotaro stirred and looked up at Noriaki, he looked pretty awake. In fact, in all the time Kakyoin had shared a room with Jotaro, he was usually groggy for at least 10 minutes after he woke up.

wait…

‘HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN AWAKE?????’

“How long was I asleep?”

Noriaki jumped out of his thoughts and pulled back his hand “A few hours-I think...”

Jotaro sat up on his bed and ran a hand through his hair watching Kakyoin carefully “What time is it?”

He looked at the clock “6 in the afternoon. Dinner is in half an hour.”

“Shit.” Jotaro placed his hat atop his head and reached over his bed for his jacket.

“Jotaro”

“Huh?”

“......Nevermind” he brushed himself off “I...forgot.”

‘If he’s not going to bring it up…”

Jotaro raised a brow, obviously sceptical as he put his jacket on “How did you forget something?"

‘Neither will I…’

“I don’t know, it happens.”

Initially, Kakyoin looked back on the memory as an oddity, whatever compelled him to touch Jotaro in the first place made no logical sense to him, and if Jotaro was awake, it would make sense for him to pull away or tell him to stop but, he didn’t. He didn’t even want to get up when Kakyoin asked him to.

---------------
2008

“Hey, you there Kakyoin!?”

“What?”

Narancia finished the flower crown he made in Kakyoin’s mental absence from conversation “ I said something about lavender and you started playing with your hair! Have you not been listening to me?!”

“I’m sorry Narancia I was just thinking.”

Narancia huffed and placed the crown on Kakyoin’s head, it was already falling apart “You do that too much!”

Noriaki laughed “I do don’t I?”

Narancia nodded and picked at the grass “Don’t tell anyone but, I think you all think a little too much.”

“We do.”

“You wanna go help me mess with Abbacchio? That always makes me feel better!”

Kakyoin put on a soft smile and rose from his place in the garden grass “I think it would.”

“Sweet!” Narancia stood and wiped the grass from his blue-black uniform, the grass rather unfortunately stained some of the white accents “Let’s go then!”

Noriaki nodded and the two were off. He fidgeted with his hair again, if the roles had been switched that day 20 years ago… he probably would have down the same thing Jotaro did.