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Murasaki [English version]

Chapter Text

As soon as he accepted Shizu's offer, Jin felt his nervousness start to take over. A few moments later, he wasn't even sure why he'd accepted in the first place anymore. True, she was beautiful and going out with her would make him even more popular. But Jin didn't need that for lots of fellow juniors to admire him.

 

The real reason was more that Pi always having girlfriends when he never did bothered him.

 

Kame mocked him, of course, when Jin took him aside between two classes to explain what was going on :

 

"What the hell?! Are you really gonna go out with her just for... your image or something?" He snorted.

 

"Look," Jin blushed. "I can't stay single all my life!"

 

Kame just snorted some more.

 

"Don't you think you're a bit young to be asking yourself this kind of question?"

 

"But... I'm sixteen. And..." he checked that no one was eavesdropping and lowered his voice. "I still haven't had a girlfriend. I can't have that. Pi, he... he keeps showing off with all those conquests. I can't let that baka move so far ahead from me!"

 

Kame tsk-ed.

 

"You're the bakanishi. I thought Pi was your friend!"

 

"He is !! But..."

 

Of course, Jin loved Yamapi. He just wished he could stop feeling inferior - girlfriend wise. He knew it was dumb, but it bothered him more and more. He just couldn't help it.

 

Kame on the other hand couldn't help smirking. Seeing Jin all anxious, sweating and blushing was kind of amusing. Jin had it coming... choosing to date a beautiful girl like Shizu, what's more, choosing a girl related to Johnny-san himself. Kame would've avoided her for that reason alone.

 

"Let's hope Shizu never realises the real reason you accepted to date her."

 

"Stop making fun of me Kazu," Jin grumbled. "I need your support here."

 

Despite the older one's complaints, Kame's teasing helped him relax a little.

 

"Come on, don't worry. She'll be so glad to be with you she probably won't notice anything is off."

 

Since his dance class was coming up, Kame pulled his bag over his skinny shoulder.

"I gotta go. See you at dinner!"

 

With a friendly tap on the back and a reassuring smile, Kame was about to leave but Jin caught his sleeve.

"Wait!"

 

"What?"

 

The older one's eyes met Kame's. Then embarrassedly moved to the floor.

 

"Thanks..." he mumbled.

 

Kame sighed. There was nothing to be thanked for.

 

"Hey. We're not best friends for nothing," he replied with a grin. "You can count on my help anytime."

 

"You too..." Jin's eyes lit up and he started giggling. "Actually, once everything is sorted, I'll get you a girlfriend too! Should be fun~"

 

Kame groaned.

 

"I'm doing perfectly well without your help, thanks. Unlike a certain someone, I don't need a girlfriend to feel validated."

 

Jin snorted.

 

"Wait 'til you get older. You'll see."

 

Kame just rolled his eyes.

"I really gotta go now. See ya!"

 

Kazuya didn't really care about girlfriends or who was dating who. But while walking to class, he couldn't help  wondering if Jin spending lots of time with Shizu would put a strain on their friendship. Ever since they'd joined Johnny's, they'd both spent so much time together. Having fun, practising... It had almost grown into a ritual, especially after their agency started offering sleeping facilities for juniors a few nights per week.  Every evening after class, they would meet up and spend hours working on their dance moves. Or setting traps for other dorm mates, provoking mahem in the corridors... 

Those habits would probably change now, Kame thought morosely.

 

He sighed and moved on to his classroom.

 

***

 

Dancing class went as well as usual, despite his lack of  concentration. He practised so much during his free time that he made almost no mistake and no one noticed anything was wrong. The teacher was once again very satisfied and beckoned him towards him at the end of the lesson to have a word.

 

"You know, Kame..." he said, "I think you could train with the level of Juniors above you. How would you feel about that?"

Kame was surprised and touched. Today definitely hadn't been his best performance, but the teacher seemed to have a lot of faith in him.

 

"If you really think I can handle it... ? I don't know - I wouldn't want to slow you down."

The older man smiled. 

 

"I'll talk about it to Johnny-san." He said brightly. "It would be a pity not to let you improve faster, you've got lots of potential."

 

Kame had heard that before. Far from the idol world, back when he still played baseball. That hadn't worked out for him... so he felt like he absolutely had to do his best now and make the most out of the new opportunities that were given to him.

 

"Thank you, sir."

 

The teacher's eyes suddenly shifted up, somewhere above his shoulders.

 

"I see someone's waiting for you. See you later, Kamenashi-kun!"

 

Kame turned around.

"Jin??"

 

The latter looked totally panicked and wouldn't stay still. As soon as the teacher left, Jin grabbed Kame's arm and pulled him through the corridor.

 

"Are you in such a hurry to eat?! Calm down, what's the rush?"

 

But to Kame's surprise, they hurried past the dining hall and towards the stairs.

 

"Jin, are you gonna tell me what the hell is going on?!"

 

After looking left and right to make sure they were alone, Jin finally spilled the beans.

 

"It's Shizu," he panted, "She's here!!"

 

"...What?"

 

"She's having dinner with Johnny-san!" Jin wailed, looking horrified.

At that, Kame burst out laughing.

 

"Care to tell me why that's bad news?? Are you scared of her or what?"

 

"No!!" He protested, but his face said it all. "I just... come on."

 

"But I'm hungry!!" Kame protested in turn.

 

"Don't worry, I've got all we need in my room."

 

***

 

Indeed, a few sets of stairs and corridors later, they arrived to a room with cakes and sweets strewn all over the floor. Pride had replaced fear in Jin's eyes.

 

"Look what I got from the kitchens while you were busy shaking your ass in class. Awesome, huh?"

 

"...truly a healthy dinner." Kame said sarcastically.

 

But that didn't stop him from snatching his favorite chocolate straight away.

 

"You don't seem to mind that much, pig." Jin chuckled.

 

"I'm not the one passing a dance test tomorrow. I can eat all I want~"

 

Once they'd managed to fill in their stomachs, Kame remembered Jin owed him an explanation.

 

"So. Why are you avoiding Shiz..."

 

Jin cut him off by turning his music player on.

"Come on, let's dance first. I really need to train for tomorrow's exam... please?"

 

Kame knew Jin was just avoiding the girl-topic a bit longer. But the older's anxiousness seemed to be seriously bothering him, so Kame let it slide. Besides, Jin really did have a dance exam coming up. And who could refuse a pleading Jin anyway.

 

"It's a synchronisation test - the choreo I showed you last week. Do you remember it?"

 

Kame nodded. Just like every other time, he helped him train.

 

Somehow, it was always easier together. More comfortable. Something just clicked between them and made their synchronisation almost seem natural. They could spend hours together like this, no matter the exhaustion that followed. Because while they trained, all their worries disappeared and there was nothing left but them, and their moves.

 

This time however, Jin wasn't as calm. His face was evidently flushed due to other reasons than tiredness and his moves weren't as smooth. Kame didn't comment on it, because silence seemed to be what Jin needed right then.

 

An hour later, the youngest collapsed on Jin's bed.

 

"Enough!" he moaned. His muscles were on fire, since he'd already had a full afternoon of training beforehand. 

 

Jin joined him moments later, looking as preoccupied as he'd been all evening. He pressed his hands on his forehead and heaved a sigh, then eyed Kame before promptly looking away.

 

Kazuya was intrigued. It wasn't like Jin to act like this, not like him at all.

 

"Is there something you need to talk about?"

 

Jin sighed again and sat up, obviously frustrated. His mouth opened and shut several times as he tried to speak, but each time he seemed unable to find the right words.

 

"Kazu, I... I'm scared." He finally admitted, his voice barely above a whisper.

 

Kame turned a surprised face towards him. Jin was one of the more popular juniors and always seemed so confident. Or maybe reckless was a better choice of word. One thing was certain, he seldom showed such a vulnerable side.

 

"Look. I already told you." He replied. "She likes you so much she won't notice your lack of... genuine lust? Don't worry about it."

 

"That's definitely not it. She's really hot."

 

If possible, his blush grew even deeper. It took a few additional moments of silence for him to finally find the courage to go on.

 

"Kazuya... it's because I'd trust you with anything that I'm going to ask you something."

 

That definitely sounded serious.

 

"Last time you asked me to do something for you, I almost got expelled," Kame joked, remembering when Jin had made him hide beer in his dorm. He'd hoped to diffuse the tension by bringing back that memory, but Jin didn't seem to feel any better.

 

"Kazu, it's serious this time."

The look on his face made Kame stop with the teasing face.

 

"Hey..." the youngest sat up to face him and lay a hand on his. Jin usually found it annoying when he did that, but not this time. "Whatever is wrong... you know I'm with you. OK? I'll do anything to help."

 

Jin stared at him thoughtfully. He finally breathed out and purposefully stared down at his hands.

 

"Okay, um... the reason I'm avoiding her is... I've never kissed anyone."

The last few words had been spoken so quickly Kame barely heard them.

 

"Oh." Kame bit his lip and pulled his hand back. Part of him wanted to laugh because he'd never expected that. Part of him felt sorry for Jin's misery though, so he held back and waited.

 

Since Kame hadn't reacted too badly, Jin gathered his courage to continue.

 

"See, with my reputation among juniors and... the image she has of me, I can't afford to disappoint her. And at my age, she'll think it's ridiculous"

 

Kame shook his head in disagreement.

 

"You know, Jin, I'm pretty sure she's got about just as much experience as you."

 

But Jin wouldn't listen.

"I don't care, I want to be better than anything she expects."

 

Kame started to grow uncomfortable.

 

"Um, and... ?" 

Jin wasn't going to take this where Kame thought he was, was he?

His cheeks burning, Kazuya waited.

 

His doubts were confirmed.

 

"Kazu... please, please don't hate me. But I really need you to help me. To help me practise. ...please?"

 

"..............................................."

 

Kame's heart stopped. His mind was as blank as his shocked silence. Who wouldn't be surprised at such a request?

 

Since Kame said nothing, Jin started to panic again.

 

"Look, I understand if you don't want to. I.... I'd thought that if there was one person I could ask this from, it would be you. Anyone else would've just laughed in my face... and would've probably run away, saying I'm disgusting."

 

Jin babbled on, because Kame's silence was freaking him out. "Well maybe you also think I'm disgusting for asking. But since we're best friends... I thought that if it came to the worst, at least you'd forgive me and we'd end up getting over this humiliating request. I'm sorry."

 

"You're not disgusting," Kame said firmly, belatedly realising his answer maybe sounded too enthusiastic. "I mean, er... I understand."

 

It was finally Kame's turn to blush. He absent-mindedly rearranged a strand of hair, for the sake of doing something with his hands.

 

"But, er... I'm not the best teacher here... I'm pretty much just as new to this as you are."

 

"I doesn't matter!" Jin hastily replied. "You're not the one who's gonna be labelled as a bad kisser by the whole agency if Shizu says so. You don't have to be perfect right away... while I do!"

 

Jin seemed to be in panic mode again, but at least his fear didn't seem to be directed at Kame anymore.

 

"I see you're really determined to catch up on Yamapi..." Kame teased. "Okay, well... um. Okay."

 

Although he tried to keep a calm appearance, Kame was feeling more and more uncomfortable. What was he getting himself into.

But Jin needed his help and Kame had just promised he'd do anything.

 

The eldest got up to lock the door.

He almost tripped on his way back, obviously still nervous.

 

"Would you like me to get into a particular role to make things easier, Akanishi-kun?" Kame asked, batting his eyelashes at him.

 

Jin barely had the time to raise an eyebrow before Kame threw his arms around his neck, wailing in a girly voice.

 

"I've been waiting for you for so long, Jin-kun~"

 

Jin saw himself blush in the mirror opposite them both, and it freaked him out a bit more.

 

"Quit making fun of me Kame!" He protested, and firmly pushed the younger off him, making him fall back on the floor. "Plus, you're all sweaty and disgusting." he grumbled.

 

"Jin-kun is mean, you shouldn't push a delicate girl like me so brutally!" Kame wailed on.

 

Talking in a joke-female voice took some of the awkwardness out of the situation. Maybe if it all sounded like a joke it would be less weird for them to kiss.

 

"Shut up! Your roleplay is distracting me." Jin said with a wobbly voice.

 

And then suddenly he was straddling Kame's waist and Kame instantly lost his voice. He'd never seen Jin like this, his hair floating about his face at every sudden move, a new kind of sparkle in his eyes. Jin leaned over him, his arms supporting him, and they stood like that, as the eldest hesitated one last moment. Kame started to lose patience.

 

"Jin are we doing this or not.." Kazuya snapped, only to be immediately interrupted by Jin's lips.

 

It was... strange. Not at all like what either of them had expected. In movies, kisses always looked gentle, passionate. This... was just weird and uncomfortable.

 

Jin didn't last long without letting out his frustration.

He pulled away.

 

"This sucks. I suck! Have all the people and movies who say it's great been lying?! Ugh..."

 

Kame blinked.

 

"Try again..." he offered. His voice was neutral, but deep down, he felt a bit guilty regarding Jin's disappointment. He had a feeling that both of them being anxious and freaked out hadn't helped.

 

But Jin was too angry with himself, and had already stood up and turned around. He didn't want Kazuya to see how humiliated he felt.

 

"Jin... you're making a fuss for nothing. It's gonna be alr..."

 

"Stop trying to reassure me, okay?!" He shouted.

 

Kame felt his blood run cold.

 

"No need to get so aggressive. i was only trying to help." he  replied icily.

 

Since Jin wouldn't talk, he started putting the room in order, picking up all the empty sweets packages they'd left on the floor.

 

"Leave it... you don't have to do this..." Jin said, his voice less tense.

 

But Kame ignored him and continued tidying up, so Jin started helping. Moments later, he spoke up again, regret written all over his face.

 

"Kazu, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have got angry with you."

 

Kame simply shrugged, biting his lip. He was still too pissed at Jin for now, so he took the trash bag and walked away with a "good night", avoiding his eyes the whole time.

 

Jin's reaction had made him uncomfortable. But above all, he was scared. Scared because it wasn't just to help Jin that he'd offered a second kiss.

 

***

 

Jin was pacing in his room, his head in his hands. Not only he hadn't solved his problem, he'd also potentially damaged his friendship with Kazuya.

 

Meanwhile, Kame was taking a shower and trying to pull himself together. His thoughts strayed back to Jin's words.

 

"you're all sweaty and disgusting."

 

As hot water poured over him, he couldn't help remembering the way he'd felt when Jin had settled over him, his muscles enveloping him... even without Jin's arms touching him. Just them being on each side of his body, contracted as they held Jin above him. Kame had suddenly felt a warm rush envelop him, his heart beating like crazy, losing all sense of where he was.

 No, it couldn't be. It had to be his tired body making his heart beat that way. After all he'd spent all afternoon dancing and was exhausted. 

 

Deny it all he could, deep down Kame knew something in him had changed.

 

***

 

That evening, sleep just wouldn't come. Kazuya decided to ignore certain newborn thoughts he wasn't ready to accept. He'd known Jin for a few years already, it made no sense for him to suddenly see him differently. No, it was probably due to his exhaustion and to the unusual situation they'd put themselves into.

It probably would've been the same with anyone else... wouldn't it?

 

All these questions made his head ache so he turned over to press his face into his pillow.

 He was just about to fall asleep when he heard the door open and close slowly. Kame groaned and turned his lamp on - unexpected nocturnal visits from other juniors were usually bad.

 

"Jin ??"

 

Jin stood there in his pyjamas, at the edge of his bed.

 

" ...Did you really cross the corridor in Snoopy pj's? Aren't you scared someone will see you?" Kame snorted.

 

"Shut up, baka" said Jin, a small smile on his lips. But his smile disappeared almost immediately, leaving a worried frown in its place.

 

"Kazu... I... I'm freaking out. i can't sleep. I was really dumb earlier, I'm sorry..."

 

Kame interrupted him with a sigh and lifted the duvet to invite Jin in. 

 

"You can stay here if you think it'll make you feel better."

 

Jin certainly looked like he needed company. Feeling depressed and staying alone never worked out well for him.

 

He slid under the covers and felt Kame's scent come over him as the latter leaned towards his lamp to turn it off.

 

They lay in silence for a while, but Jin soon couldn't hold it in anymore.

 

"What am I gonna do, Kame, when she tells everyone how terrible I..."

 

"Jin. She will like you no matter what." Kame said for the nth time that day, a little exasperated.

 

"But what if..."

 

Jin's words died in his throat as he felt Kame slide towards him again. Over him.

 

"Kazu what are you..."

 

"You've got until tomorrow to train."

 

Jin stared at him in the dark and bit his lip. He was apprehensive, given the disaster that had happened earlier.

 

"Just... leave it to me." Kame said softly, trying to calm him down. "Don't move." 

 

He was however far from calm himself, internally panicking as he realised just how much he craved to get even closer to Jin. But he somehow managed to not let it show.

 

Jin obeyed and tried to relax, waiting to see what his friend would do. 

 

Kame lowered his face towards him until he felt Jin's breath against his skin, and started softly pressing his lips to Jin's barely parted ones.

 

The latter let a surprised noise escape him but kept still. Kame went on, enjoying the feeling of Jin's lips between his, allowing himself to slip his tongue tentatively over that sensitive skin. 

 

Another surprised hum. 

But it definetely wasn't a sound of rejection.

 

Feeling bolder, Kame slowly deepened his kisses and dared go one step further, his tongue slipping past Jin's lips... finally, he let go of his last restraints, giving in to an urge he'd never expected to have. 

 

So this was what real kissing was, he thought, his skin tingling as his tongue met Jin's.

 

"...hmm."

 

His heart stopped when he heard Jin's satisfied sigh. And then immediately started beating like crazy.

 

When Kame raised his head back up, his eyes met Jin's - full of excitement.

 

"My turn! My turn!"

 

Trust Jin to respond to such a sensual moment with a childish voice, as if this was just a game. But after all, that was all it was.

Kame told himself such a thought shouldn't make him sad and pushed away all musing, for now. Now was a time to simply enjoy the moment.

 

Jin's enthusiasm made him smile.

 

The older boy rolled them both over so that he was now on top, but he got carried away in his move and ended up straddling Kame once more, pinning his arms above his head. 

 

Kazuya rolled his eyes.

"I should've known it wasn't your type to let yourself be dominated."

 

It's with a big winner smile that Jin imitated Kame's earlier words.

 

"Leave it to me~ Don't move!"

 

As Jin lowered his happy grin towards Kazuya, the younger tried to not let the butterflies in his stomach show.

 

Jin started off by barely brushing his lips against Kame's without doing anything else.

Kame held his breath, letting the sensations sink in.

 

Jin then copied what had been done to him earlier, trapping Kame's thin lips between his own, slowly, sensually. His tongue briefly swept accross Kazuya's expectant mouth he was slowly discovering. His caresses became more daring as his teeth grazed against Kame's lower lip.

 

When their tongues finally met, Kame couldn't hold back and responded.

 

"Cheater!" Jin protested.

 

"...Do you really think Shizu is gonna stay motionless when you kiss her like that?"

 

Kame dismissed images of his friend kissing his girlfriend to the back of his mind. He really didn't want to let such thoughts ruin the moment.

 

Jin just chuckled and re-captured Kame lips between his, this time immediately deepening their now shared kiss.

He let go of Kazuya's arms, his hands finding his and pressing them into the mattress, on either side of their bodies. Their fingers entertwined, Kame felt like he'd felt back in Jin's room, only better : envelopped in Jin's embrace, a hot feeling rushing through him. His heart was beating faster than ever and his lips left Jin's only for air. If only this could go on forever.

 

Jin on the other hand was relieved. Relieved that kissing was more than that awkward experience they'd shared in his room. He enjoyed teasing Kame with his tongue, hearing him gasp, kissing him slowly, then suddenly more aggressively, until they were both out of breath. All this was new and fun... and very enjoyable.

 

Suddenly Kame felt Jin's warmth leave him : the older one had rolled to the side, a very satisfied grin on his face, his eyes still just as happy and excited.

 

"Man... Kazu, I really think Shizu won't understand what hits her tomorrow." He said, with a snigger.

 

Kame had to take a breath to gather his spirits. How could Jin talk so... normally. As if nothing unusual had happened. But is wasn't for nothing Kame was one of the best in acting class. He smirked and replied in a teasing voice :

 

"And all that thanks to who?"

 

For a second, Kame thought he almost saw a flicker of something in Jin's gaze. Was it shyness? But Jin immediately went back to his usual carefree self.

 

"Thanks to Kazu-chaan~" he said, giving Kame a bright smile. The room was dark but Kame could've sworn he'd spotted a blush there.

 

Jin stretched and yawned, his eyes blinking from tiredness. Kame felt anything but sleepy, but he still let himself sink into the mattress, trying to relax. Images of what had just happened kept replaying in his mind.

 

"Good night, Kazu..." , came a whisper, a few moments later.

 

The mattress dipped, as Jin crawled back to his side.

Lips brushed lips once more, and Kame felt the butterflies in his stomach return. 

 

The feeling was however short-lived, as Jin moved promptly back to his side of the bed.

 

"Good night, Jin." Kame answered, lost in thought.

Chapter Text

Kame woke up alone. Jin had left early enough so that no one would see him cross the corridors. He was probably ashamed of being seen in his Snoopy nightclothes.

 

Kame smiled and slowly stretched his arms, rather reluctant to leave the warmth of his bed. Memories of the previous evening came back to his mind. He rolled over to bury his face in his pillow once again, as he remembered Jin gently nipping at his lips, grinning as if this were just another childish game.

 

He realised he'd probably been spending way too much time with his face buried in his pillow since yesterday afternoon, so he suddenly threw the duvet off the bed and jumped up.

 

"It's enough. I need to pull myself together," he told himself, "I probably just feel this way because that was my first experience with someone else... There's nothing more to it." 

 

He quickly got dressed and left to have some breakfast.

When he arrived in the hall, an announcement was being made. Yamapi waved at him and showed him an empty spot beside him.

 

"What's going on?" He asked, as he slid onto the bench next to his friend.

 

"We've been selected with a bunch of other juniors for some filmed stuff in town this afternoon." Yamapi answered, "... you've also got a TV show tomorrow by the way."

 

"...did they really have to put all this stuff in a row... when will I get to do my school homework."

Kame muttered.

 

"I sure don't envy you for tomorrow's filming. You and Jin are gonna be dead after Shizu's party."

 

Kame blinked.

 

"What are you talking about?"

 

Yamapi shook his head.

 

"Don't tell me you forgot about tonight. There will be lots of pretty girls~" He said with a meaningful grin.

 

"Ha... I see why you're in such a good mood then." Kame replied with a grin. "It's not every day we see you so full of energy so early in the morning! However... I'm not sure I'm coming tonight."

 

That's when Jin sprung out of nowhere and messed his hair up.

Kame squeaked.

 

Jin knew perfectly well with how much care he arranged his hair in the morning - especially if it was a gel day.

But the more Kame spent time on his hairdo, the more Jin seemed to enjoy destroying it.

 

"Jin stop it!!" Even without turning around, Kame knew it was him. His bubbly laughter gave him away anyway.

 

Jin couldn't help laughing some more as Kazuya helplessy tried to save what was left of his hairstyle.

He then collapsed next to them onto the bench, clearly wishing he was still in bed.

 

"Kazu you're no fun. If you don't come... I'm not talking to you anymore."

 

Kame finally faced him. Jin was doing his sulky pouting face, like almost every morning. He really hated waking up early and was easily irritated at that time of the day.

 

"In case you missed it, we've got a TV show to film tomorrow. At least one of us ought to not be dead tired."

 

"You're too serious Kazu."

 

"And you're too naughty," Yamapi interrupted. "But I can see why you don't want to miss your first evening with Shizu. We'll all be watching you..." he added ominously.

 

"Baka." Jin replied and hit him.

He then turned to Kame who was already getting up.

 

"Where are you going?!"

 

"I've got class. See you later!" he replied and walked away.

 

But Jin followed him out and caught his arm. His sulky face abandonned, a worried one in its place.

 

"Please come to the party tonight... what will I do if I make a fool of myself in front of everyone. I need your support!"

 

"You won't make a fool of yourself. Actually..." Kame smirked. "I'm in a good position to know you'll do more than fine."

At that Jin smiled and looked a bit embarrassed. Finally a sign that Jin remembered.

 

"Yeah, well... it won't be the same. Please come. If you don't -" he hummed, trying to think of a worthy menace. His eyes lit up as he stepped closer to murmur "If you don't, you won't benefit from any teasing from me anymore."

 

Benefit from teasing? What the hell was that supposed to mean.

But then Jin stepped even closer and sensually bit his lower lip, thus making sure his friend had no doubt what he was talking about.

 

Kame suddenly felt very warm and immediately hated himself for reacting that way. But he quickly regained his senses.

 

"Don't try to switch roles, Jin. If there had to be some taunting... I'm the one who helped you out, not the other way round."

 

Jin's smile fell as he realised his menace had failed. 

 

"Ok well... then I'll never ask you for help again." he mumbled moodily.

 

Kame couldn't help rolling his eyes at such silly logic.

 

"Jin. You'll have to work on your means of pressurizing people, 'cause you're clearly..."

 

"I get it, ok?" Jin interrupted irritably. "I'll go alone."

 

He was about to leave, but this time it was Kame who held him back.

 

"I'll come," he sighed as he gave in. "Can't leave a bakanishi like you all alone, with no one watching over you."

 

Jin couldn't stay angry. He hated losing arguments, but he knew Kame just liked to tease him and would never willingly ridicule him.

 

He let out a cry of victory, excitement back in his voice.

"I knew you'd come! Let's meet after your class, I heard the staff is taking us shopping - you can help me choose my clothes for my date."

 

"Silly..." he muttered. "See you later!"

 

Kame watched Jin walk away, his heartbeat slowly going back to its normal rythm. He hadn't dreamt it all, Jin had insinuated that last night's kisses wouldn't be the last...

He brushed his hand through his hair, deep in thought. He was starting to lose hope that his thoughts would ever go back to normal. How long would he be able too keep the reactions Jin got out of him hidden?

 

Singing class went by quickly, all the more so since Kame dreaded its end, for he'd then have to confront Jin again.

Since when did he dread seeing his best friend? It was a strange mixture of looking forward to further encounters and dreading them. All these contradicting thoughts were frustrating, and Kame hoped that seeing Jin with Shizu would end this. He just wanted his carefree frienship back instead of  whatever this inner turmoil was.

 

***

 

He met Jin, Yamapi and Ryo near the entrance to the headquarters, along with a few other juniors he wasn't familiar with and a camera crew. One of the staff members explained what was expected from them. 

 

"Just act as if we weren't there, we'll select the best parts later. A bit of extra teasing wouldn't hurt - the fans always love that." He added with a smile, eyeing Jin and Yamapi in particular. He knew those two loved teasing everyone.

 

And so, the team left to go shopping.

Jin took advantage of what had been requested of him to mess Kame's hair up further, and Kazuya tried once again to get his hair back in style by checking his reflection in the metro's windows. Ryo cackled and imitated him by checking himself out too. Jin's smile fell when he realised Kame was gradually really getting pissed. Maybe it was time to stop with the teasing... he knew Kame's limits better than anyone.

 

When they finally arrived at the mall, the staff asked them not to scatter too much, but Jin had already run down one of the store sections.

 

While the oldest filled his arms with clothes, Kame spent more time chosing his. He wasn't one to spend hours in fitting cabins, although he had a feeling he'd be spending a lot of time there today because of his best friend. He chose some slim torn jeans and a black tank top, along with a leather jacket. Being the youngest didn't mean he couldn't try on cool clothes too. He also snatched up a few shirts before heading to the cabins. Yamapi and Ryo were already there, all serious and concentrated for once : Pi was carefully listening to Ryo's clothing advice. Kame snorted at the sight and walked into a free cabin. 

 

As he started going through the clothes he'd picked, he realised the shirts were too large... he quickly took them back off and tried on the child-size tank top. And it was just right, the material hugging his slim body nicely. 

 

Kame almost jumped in surprise when he heard Jin's voice on the other side of the curtain. 

 

"You look much better in this. The shirts were way too big and loose."

 

Kame turned around and realised that Jin had been lounging on the sofa in the fitting area all that time, watching him through the space between the curtain and the wall.

 

"Baka, you could've told me you were watching," he muttered.

 

Kame thanked the gods he hadn't taken dumb poses in front of the mirror, like he sometimes did when alone.

 

"Come on, we all know you're no prude. There's nothing to be shy about, we're all guys here."

 

"...remind me, who's too shy to go to a party alone tonight?" 

 

Jin rushed up from his seat to silence Kazuya before anyone would hear him.

 

Once in the fitting cabin he whispered through gritted teeth, "please, don't say stuff like that in front of everyone." 

 

Kame frowned.

"You don't seem to mind humiliating me sometimes..."

 

What had happened on the train was still on his mind. Ruining his hair once may be okay, but today... it had been too much and he was still irritated.

 

"But... it was just for fun..." Jin answered. Regret was starting to show.

 

Kame shrugged and tugged the leather jacket on his shoulders.

He checked his reflection while adjusting the collar.

 

Meanwhile Jin felt his heart sink. He really hadn't intended to seriously piss his friend off and felt the urge to somehow make up for it.

 

Kame was taken by surprise when he felt arms circle his back as Jin pulled him into a hug.

 

The oldest was seldom that affectionnate, but that seemed to be changing lately.

He generally saved such demonstrations for moments when Kame seemed to question their friendship. Because Jin really didn't want to lose that.

 

"I'm sorry" he mumbled, with a sad pout. As he rested his chin on Kame's shoulder, he gazed at the younger's reflection.

 

Kame closed his eyes and took a breath. Of course Jin would resort to the kind of pleading face no one could resist. An angelic face that barely hid the bakanishi demons within. He couldn't deny Jin's arms felt nice and comforting too...

 

"Ok." he sighed. "Now go try your date outfits." He said and turned around to face him.

 

Jin was relieved to see a smile slowly creep back on Kame's face and hurried out to fetch the clothes he'd picked... and  came straight back.

 

"Jin... you can have your own cabin, you know."

 

"I know. But I need your advice to choose the best outfit to make Shizu like me."

 

Kame rolled his eyes. How many times would they have to go through this. He sat down on a stool in the cabin's corner and waited.

 

He didn't want to watch his friend change but due to all the mirrors, no matter where he looked he saw Jin.

The latter tried a dozen horrible outfits on... that he swiftly dismissed after seeing Kame's perplexed look.

 

Kazuya finally got tired of it and walked out to find something better suited for the occasion.

 

Maybe Jin hadn't been entirely wrong to ask him for help.

 

He snatched a white tshirt with a v-neckline and some grey jeans. They weren't anything fancy, but they were better fitted than Jin's usual baggier style - he could make an exception for one evening.

 

When he brought the clothes to his friend, the latter seemed to doubt.

But he still pulled them on.

 

Kame's eyes got stuck on Jin's arms. It was hard not to let his appreciation show, what with those sleeves snugly surrounding nice muscles. Jin may not have muscles as big as older Johnny's but... he still filled that tshirt out very nicely.

The jeans also looked great.

 

Kame turned around to face the wall, once he'd found the excuse of putting the leather jacket back on the hanger.

He took advantage of the moment to try to pull himself together.

Maybe it was a good thing Jin didn't always wear fitting clothes.

 

"Well?" Jin asked expectantly. "Am I to die for?" he joked.

 

"Baka..." Kame said as he turned back to him, trying to look neutral. "I think it'll do."

 

"I don't want an outfit that simply 'will do'. I need to be perfect enough for her eyes to see only me!"

 

"...don't worry." Kame answered, torn between exasperation and the urge to laugh. "If you dance and shake your ass dressed like that, I'm pretty sure she won't be able to resist."

 

Jin laughed and couldn't refrain from shaking his hips in front of the mirror and jokingly winking at himself.

 

He knew he didn't have to worry about acting silly with Kame. They did it all the time. (Okay, maybe he did a bit more than Kame).

That didn't stop Kame from snorting at the sight.

 

"Jin are you so desperate to seduce someone that you have to wink at yourself?!"

 

"...can't help it. I'm just too irresistable in this outfit - you said so yourself~"

He smirked.

 

Kame raised his eyebrows. "If you say so."

 

A few moments later, Jin tried to undress but was confronted to some complications.

 

"Ugh. Fucking shirt. I've never worn anything so tight." He muttered.

 

He somehow managed to get his arms stuck in the air.

"Um..."

 

He looked like he was going to resort to some embarrassing tugging and pulling.

 

"Kame, don't look," he muttered as he bent over, trying to use gravity to help him out.

 

Kame chuckled.

 

"Don't be silly. I'm here, I might as well make myself useful"

 

Jin stopped moving.

"...thanks."

 

"...such a bakanishi..." Kame mumbled to himself as he stepped towards him.

 

"I heard that." came a muffled reply, followed up by Jin struggling once more to free himself on his own.

 

But his head and arms were still stuck and he almost lost balance, barely missing the wall.

 

Kame couldn't help laughing.

 

"Jin... just stay still and let me take care of it." he said as he tugged at the clothing to finish freeing Jin's head.

 

 "Better." Jin admitted, once he could finally properly breathe.

 

Kame felt his heart clench at the sight of a blushing and messy-haired Jin. All the more with the warm grateful look he was getting.

 

Kame's eyes stayed stuck on him for a few moments, Jin's arms still stuck in the tshirt behind him. Seeing Jin up close like that unsettled him because his heartrate seemed to have decided to react against his will again. Kame blinked and pulled his eyes away, deciding that he'd spent enough time gazing at his friend and that it was time to free him. However, once the tshirt pulled away, Jin stayed in the small space between the wall and Kame and let his own gaze wander back on Kazuya's face.  The latter suddenly feared that he'd openly stared at his older friend for too long and was now being scrutinized for an explanation. He stepped back.

 

But to his surprise Jin followed and snaked his arms around his neck. The eldest drew closer, his eyes checking Kame's for any sign of rejection. But Kame did nothing so Jin stopped hesitating and let his instincts guide his lips to Kazuya's.

 

Too surprised to react, Kame didn't move at first. To tell the truth, despite Jin's earlier insinuations, he hadn't expected them to kiss again so soon. Even less so in a mall.

 

Jin drew him out of his thoughts with a small bite.

"Hey. We're not at the 'don't move' stage anymore"

 

 Kame felt Jin's smile against his lips and felt so much affection towards him that he was unable to hold back anymore. The youngest pushed him flush against the wall, smiling in turn before kissing him slowly.

 

...This time he was no longer lost in his thoughts, everything was clear. He needed Jin. Needed to feel him against him, in his arms. To feel his lips, his tongue. There was no point denying it anymore. Jin laughed and happily responded, yesterday's awkwardness long forgotten. Now they knew why people said kisses were great.

 

Jin needed to have at least some illusion of control over the situation so he pushed Kame backwards and down onto the stool. He then lowered himself in his lap - his mouth never leaving the youngest's.

 

Kame held back a gasp of surprise... what was Jin doing?! He retaliated by sensually biting him and slightly dug his nails into Jin's back. The latter arched in surprise, inching closer to Kazuya.

 

 "...Kazu-chan... you surprise me sometimes" he breathed before kissing him again.

 

"Stop smiling all the time, I can't kiss you properly" Kame protested.

 

"Sorry" Jin answered but then both couldn't help laughing stupidly.

 

Soon, Kame was kissing him with such enthusiasm that Jin was too busy to smile. 

 

When they finally parted for air, Jin sighed happily.

 

"I've got a feeling Shizu is just gonna die from all the perfect kissing I'll give her."

 

Kame felt his lungs instantly empty but hid it well. That's when they heard Pi & Ryo call for them in the store. The staff was visibly looking for them.

 

"Oops..." Jin said with a guilty smile. They hurried out with the clothes they'd chosen and joined the others to check out.

 

Kame wasn't listening to anything that was going on around them anymore. All he heard was his heart beating.

 

No no no. It just couldn't be. He tried to reason himself, tried to make his thoughts stray away from Jin, but in vain. No matter where he looked, all he could see and think was Jin.

 

Every detail about his friend made his heart squeeze and immediately made him feel warm. As soon as his eyes met his gentle gaze, his smile, Kame felt weak.

 

Once they were back in the metro, Kazuya stood slightly apart from them, his forehead resting against the cold window. He thought that he'd finally find peace behind closed eyelids, but Jin's face still kept invading his thoughts. There was nothing he could do about it.... he was completely obsessed with him. How could he ever go back to a simple and carefree frienship now. He seriously needed to be jolted back to reality.

 

He froze when he felt a hand lay on his shoulder and was relieved when he saw it was just Ryo.

 

"Kame... are you OK?" he looked worried.

 

"Sure," Kame lied. "I'm just... a bit anxious about tomorrow's TV show."

 

Ryo smiled reassuringly.

"Don't worry, tonight we'll have lots of girls and lots of alcohol to make you forget all about what bothers you." He didn't say anything about it, but he had a feeling Kame wasn't telling him everything.

 

Tonight's party... that was the last thing in the world Kame wanted to think about. It was anything but a calming thought.

 

He nonetheless went back to sit with the others, and answered Jin's worried look with a smile.  Hopefully he wouldn't have to play a role for much longer. He would have liked to make these new feelings disappear because all they did was mess him up. But the more he watched Jin, the more he realised how quickly his feelings were growing. It was like a vital urge he constantly had to fight.

 

Kame closed his eyes for the rest of the trip, his thoughts dwelling on the long night ahead.

Chapter Text

Alone in his room, Jin was arranging the last details for the evening. He was rather satisfied with the outfit Kame had picked for him after all, and hoped Shizu would like it too. His thoughts strayed back to the fun afternoon he'd had, to those few minutes in the fitting cabins...

He'd always loved teasing Kame - his embarrassed faces amused him to no end. But he'd never imagined that he'd one day end up sharing those kind of moments with his best friend.

It was entertaining; acting silly in secret was one of his specialties. But he also couldn't deny it was a particularly enjoyable way of teasing Kame... and not just for the fun part. 

 

He was arranging his hair when Yamapi came in.

 

"Ready for a crazy night out?" the newcomer said, "I'm counting on you to get everyone in party mode!"

 

Since Jin didn't answer, he went on.

 

"Don't tell me your hair obsession rivals with Kame's. Or I'll just have to start messing yours up too."

 

At those words, Jin immediately dropped his hands. He knew Pi was joking, with no bad intention. But... deep down he wished Pi would chose someone else than Kame to be the butt of his joke.

 

As soon as his eyes fell on Yamapi, his frustration was forgotten. 

 

"The fuck, Pi, what happened to your hair?! Is that... orange?!"

 

"Shut up, it's blonde."

 

Jin burst out laughing. Yamapi could talk, he was worse than them all.

Pi ignored him and joined him in front of the mirror to check his hair. It was serious business.

 

"Girls love muscular blondes. You should dye your hair too." he murmured, his cheek pressed against Jin's. Jin made a noncommital sound, unconvinced.

 

Yamashita then noisily flopped onto the bed to wait. "Hurry up, we're supposed to leave soon."

 

Akanishi continued to get ready while Yamapi flipped through the pages of a pervy magazine Jin had sneaked in the dorm.

 

Tonight was the night, and despite all the help Kame had given him, Jin was still terribly nervous. What if Shizu ended up changing her mind? What if... he found himself unable to kiss her? The same thoughts that had been troubling him from the start were driving him mad.

 

Yamapi realised something was wrong when his friend hadn't moved an inch for several minutes. He guessed what was bothing him when he saw his nervous look in the mirror.

Pi also realised this wasn't a good moment to make fun of him, so he decided it was time for some support.

 

Jin was torn from his thoughts when he felt cold glass against his arm : Pi was offering him a bottle he'd just opened (and tasted, according to his wet lips).

 Jin raised an eyebrow in question. 

 

"Come on, we all need some liquid courage when we start off," Pi said.

 

"Baka..." Jin muttered, but he took the bottle nonetheless.

 

With a bit of luck, it would make it easier for him to have as good a time with his girlfriend as what he'd had with Kame.

 

A few gulps later, he felt his body warm up.

 

"Hey Jin," Pi suddenly asked. "Have you ever kissed a girl?"

 

It was a genuine question, he wasn't even teasing. But Jin was startled and started blushing.

 

"Of course. Who do you take me for," he lied. He usually never lied to Yamapi, but this time... he couldn't really tell the truth. 

He tried to convince himself  there was nothing wrong with a small distortion of what had really happened. Kissing Kame and kissing a girl couldn't be that different, could it?

He was having trouble thinking straight on the topic, especially since he took another swig to hide his embarrassment.

 

"No reason to get all defensive." Pi replied as he snatched the bottle back.

 

"I'm not!" Jin muttered and he snatched it back.

 

"Well you're bothered enough to drink most of my bottle... you're buying the next one."

 

Jin's eyes sent him daggers.

 

"Anyway. Come on, let's go get Kame."

 

***

 

Even though the time to go was drawing near, Kame still hadn't put his outfit on. He really didn't want to go watch Jin make a spectacle of himself. Part of him hoped that if he stayed in his room, the others would leave without him. But his hopes evaporated when a knock came at his door.

 

Before he had time to even get up, Jin and Pi broke into the room, the first looking furious, the second amused.

 

"What are you waiting for?! Do you want us to arrive late or what?!" Jin exclaimed.

 

"I think he's afraid he'll be bored... he's too young to party. Aren't you, Kamenashi-kun?" Yamapi teased.

 

"Sure. Because you're so much older than me." Kame replied with an eyeroll.

 

"Kame!" Jin interrupted. "If you don't get dressed up right now, we... we'll make you."

 

Since Pi was drawing near with a suspicious smirk on his lips, Kame jumped straight out of bed.

 

"Baka. You'll see who the kid is and who's not tonight." Kame said defiantly.

 

He however almost immediately regretted his words. It would totally be like Yamapi to keep an eye on him all night to check if he'd be true to his word.

 

Pi laughed and pulled Jin towards the door.

"Ok well... We'll be waiting for you by the exit."

 

Jin reluctantly followed, but not without sending dark glances at Kame. The latter understood that if he didn't come, Jin would personally make sure he regretted it.

 

***

 

One hour later, they arrived in front of a great and beautiful villa. The Kitagawas were definitely very rich to own such a big house in the middle of town.

 

Their bags were taken to the first floor where they were expected to spend the night.

They were then guided to a huge garden, lit up by just a few torches. It all gave out a mysterious  aura, what with the sparse lighting,  sinewy paths and dark corners. Music resonated through the whole house and on the terrace where many people had already arrived. Kame had no idea who most of them were. He'd actually never been to a big house party and suspected that he wouldn't have been invited if it hadn't been for Jin. He quickly realised he was one of the youngest guests.

 That's when Shizu finally appeared.

 

"Here you are! Finally!"

She was radiating.

 

She wore a cream bustier dress, its silk layers arranged in elegant folds. Her long wavy hair fell down to the small of her back and was decorated with an ivory flower. Her matching pearl earrings complimented her outfit, as well as her luminous makeup and warm smile. She was beautiful, Kame couldn't deny it. But he also couldn't help feeling his guts twist when he saw Jin get all starry eyed.

 

"Don't just stand there, come get something at our buffet~" she said as she took Jin's hand to guide him. Jin almost tripped in surprise but he followed her with a smile.

Yamapi followed their tracks and didn't even bother hiding his admiration towards Shizu, which made Kame and Ryo exchange looks and snort.

 

***

 

Kame and Ryo were enjoying their evening at a strategic spot -the buffet- when they heard people start clapping and shouting. After sharing a curious glance, they decided to investigate.

 

When they finally found where the noise came from... they also found their fellow junior friends.

Pi and Jin were emptying one glass after another, giggling and keeping a challenging eye on each other.

They got all the encouragement they needed with all the girls around them cheering them on. Kame knew that despite the cool airs Jin gave himself, the latter was easily influenced in situations like these and would end up accepting any challenge the group would give him.

Yamapi knew he was like that too... so why didn't he get them both out of there? 

« JIN ! JIN ! JIN ! JIN ! » they all chanted at every gulp, and Jin kept drinking, glad of the attention he was getting. Reason told Kame to go stop him, but he didn't want to be a killjoy - he wasn't responsible for Jin's actions anyway. Part of him almost envied his ability to let go and act without thinking sometimes. He was drawn away from his thoughts when Ryo handed him a drink. They clinked glasses and turned away from the baka pair to watch the rest of the party.

 

"Pfft look at that," Ryo drawled, moments later. "they can't dance. Look at the lame moves."

 

A few girls were moving their shoulders to the music, but they seemed so preoccupied about their hair and outfits that they looked ridiculous. They obviously had a high opinion of themselves and seemed to think  smiling was below them.

If this was what parties were like, then Kame hadn't missed much.

Also... the thought that he and Jin were probably better at hiprolls than them was amusing.

These girls were boring. Maybe it was because Kame was still young, but he saw nothing sensual about them.

The truth was... he'd never found a girl all that hot.

Pretty, yes. But none had made him feel any physical attraction towards her. Ryo shared his criticism and barely bothered to keep his voice down.

 

After a second glass, Kame thought it was time for him to let go and have some fun too.

 

"Let's show them what real dancing is," he told Ryo with a smirk. The latter was surprised but he was glad to have an excuse to get away from the spectacle Jin and Pi were making of themselves.

 

They went deeper into the crowd where more people were dancing and let the music and antmosphere take them over. Their moves soon made it obvious that they knew what they were doing. Kame closed his eyes and felt the hot night air on his skin, all thoughts leaving him. At least the music was good, and dancing was what he loved. Johnny's may not have the best reputation for dancing skills, but Kame and Ryo made the party attendees reconsider. Smooth moves, gracious gestures. They didn't even need to be beautiful - the dancing did it all. Soon the music changed and more people joined the dancing area. Kame and Ryo decided a duet would be more small-space friendly. They both simply let the music guide them and had no second thoughts when they started dancing together, close up. It's not like Juniors never did that - even though those moves rarely left the practise room. 

 

"You should give those girls dancing lessons," Ryo said. Kame smiled at the compliment - that is, until he heard the rest. "You've got the moves... but they've got the hot ass. Your bony little..."

 

Kazuya elbowed Ryo in the ribs.

"Ow! What was that for?!"

 

"Shut up, and just dance."

 

Ryo obeyed. Nishikido may be an asshole. But he was a good dancer, and right now Kame just wanted to enjoy the night with a friend.

 

He closed his eyes and didn't even realise some people where eyeing them suspiciously. One pair of eyes in particular.

  

***

 

Shizu had pulled Jin away from his drinking game to the dance floor. He was smiling at her sweetly, and sometimes mumbled a joke in her ear. She laughed at looked back at him with obvious admiration. Jin couldn't help smiling a bit smugly. She liked him, she really did. And judging by her blush, she seemed to like his smug face very much.

 

However Jin's smile disappeared when he spotted Kame over his girlfriend's shoulder. He gently tugged her closer in his arms so that she wouldn't see his change of mood.

 

He just... couldn't take his eyes off Kame. How could he... how did Kame dare dance up close to Ryo like that. He'd never done that with Jin. And they were best friends. They'd promised that they'd always teach each other new moves first... try them together first. Jin felt betrayed and told himself he'd remind Kame of his promise.

 

Out of nowhere, he suddenly needed to feel Shizu closer. Her arms were around his neck and her body fit nicely against him. She really was beautiful. He brushed her hair out of her face, and as his breath tickled her cheek she looked a bit nervous. But also expectant.

 

The moment he'd been fearing had finally come. But he wasn't nervous anymore. She smiled at him shyly - he smiled back. Then captured her lips in an innocent kiss. 

 

It wasn't innocent for long, since as soon as her lips parted Jin slipped his tongue inside... Shizu held him tighter and felt her knees weaken. She'd waited for this moment for so long... 

 

***

 

When Kame opened his eyes, the peace he'd felt at dancing with his friend immediately left him : Jin was dancing behind Shizu, up close. His arms were around her waist, hands sliding  to her hips to sensually follow her moves.

 

Kame felt that same unusual sensation he'd felt when Jin had first leant down over him back at their dorm. That warm rush, his heart beating faster. His head was spinning. He'd never realised just how beautiful Jin could be when he danced. Of course, he'd already thought that Jin looked good before. But this was a whole new level of good. A whole new level of sensual. Fuck, Jin was so sensual. His hips moving suggestively in time with his partner's. His lips he now knew so well... Kame drank it all in. He didn't want to miss a second of these moments that just kept getting him more and more worked up. The one thing he'd been both looking forward to and fearing finally happened - he didn't even realise his own lips had parted in desire when Jin kissed her. A breath left him when he saw their kiss deepen. When he saw Jin's fingers caress her face, her neck.

 

He was so obsessed with the sight before him and how hot it looked that he didn't realise Ryo was watching him. 

 

"Kame. You'd better avoid looking at your best friend's girlfriend like she's candy. She's gorgeous but... keep your thoughts to yourself."

 

It was like a cold shower. Horribly ashamed, Kame mumbled something about getting a drink and promptly walked away.

 

But Ryo wouldn't let go and followed him to the buffet.

Kame leant on the table and tried to pull himself together. Then he took a glass and emptied it in one go so that he wouldn't have to meet Ryo's inquisitive gaze.

 

"So." Ryo said. "You like Shizu too..." he shook his head. "You realise this can't end well - you're lucky Jin didn't see your face earlier."

 

"Shut up Ryo." Kame cut him off icily, "you've got it all wrong."

And he stormed away into the garden.

 

Now that Kame's excitement was gone, pleasure didn't blind him anymore and only frustration remained.

He walked into the darkness, without paying much attention to where he was going.

The beat of the music resonated out there too, but the sounds were muffled by the wind and the trees. The torches in the garden crackled. Kame breathed deeply and tried to calm down.

He lied down in the cold grass, which cooled his hot skin a little. His eyes fixed on the night sky, he thought back to what he'd just witnessed. The mere memory was enough to bring back that rush. And it was even worse when he thought back to the feeling of Jin's lips against his own. Jin making him roll over in bed so that he could explore his mouth. Jin just freed from his tshirt in the fitting room, his hair all messy.... Kame saw only him. His head was spinning and it felt like an invisible weight was pressing him into the ground. He closed his eyes to reminisce... and quickly became breathless. Oh how he wanted Jin... he wanted him so much.

 

"Jin..." he murmured, somewhere between a gasp and a whisper.

 

His body gradually grew colder and brought him back to reason. Or as reasonable as he could be with his now clear understanding of his desires.

 

But Jin was his best friend. He had to learn to be happy for him, for his current relationship. Because Kame knew he could never give Jin what Jin was looking for. His best friend never stopped talking about girls, and given how good he looked... it was to be expected that he wouldn't stay single forever.

Kame didn't wish him to stay single anyway.

 

After long moments in thought in the grass, he finally got up to walk back to the house.

 

When he arrived back to the terrace, he found Yamapi dancing between a girl and Ryo, a bottle in his hand. Shizu was at the buffet with friends, but Jin was nowhere to be seen. 

 

After looking for him for a few minutes, Kame started to worry. He went up to Yamapi and shouted in his ear to be heard above the music :

 

"Where's Jin??"

 

Pi looked lost in thought and almost lost balance. He ended up pointing towards the corner of the house. "He went that way~" he slurred before giving all his attention back to the girl in front of him.

 

Kame left him to his dancing and followed his directions without waiting.

Once he got to the angle, he found a narrow and cold space between the house's wall and the neighbour's one. The lighting from the terrace barely penetrated in that area, so he didn't distinguish the shape on the ground straight away. He was horrified when he realised what it was.

 

"Jin!!"

 

He hurried to his friend's side, but as soon as he lay a hand on his shoulder, Jin pushed him away.

 

"Leave me alone ! Please... go away..." he pleaded. Just saying the words seemed to cost him a big effort, because he sank back to the ground and took his face in his hands.

 

Kame felt helpless... Jin suddenly heaved a short breath and turned against the wall, as if he wanted to hide.

 

With Jin's short breath and groans, Kame realised what was about to happen and leant at his side to hold his hair back. 

The older boy wouldn't look at him but Kame didn't let him go. Jin started over several times but Kame stayed put in spite of the unpleasantness of it. He held Jin through it all, keeping his hair out of the way, trying to help him relax with small strokes. When it was over, Jin tried to turn away from Kame to hide his teary face. But Kame didn't let him.

 

Jin wasn't usually a sad drunk but today seemed to be an exception. Maybe his evening hadn't been as great as Kame had thought?

 

Seeing him so vulnerable and anguished broke his heart, so the youngest pulled him into an embrace.

 

Holding on to Kazuya's clothes, Jin was unable to hold back tears of shame.

 

"I... I didn't want you to see me like this." he mumbled. "I'm so... fucking lame like this."

 

"Shh... don't say that," Kame said. He tightened his grip and carressed Jin's hair. "It's okay. I... I should've stopped you. I should've told you you didn't need that for Shizu to like you..."

 

"Don't talk to me about her!" Jin whined. "If she saw me now... how can I ever face her now ..."

 

 "Jin, don't worry about it. She hasn't seen anything. You should rest." Kame said softly to calm him.

 

A few minutes later he finally felt Jin's breath get steady and calm again. But he feared they'd catch a cold if they stayed there.

 

"Come on, we'll slip in the house to clean your face up." he murmured with an encouraging smile.

Jin inaudibly muttered something, but Kame suspected he was just too lazy to move. Being lazy was better than being sick so Kame guessed Jin certainly felt better.

 

They finally managed to both get up, Jin leaning on Kame, the latter holding him up as steadily as he could, with some difficulty - Jin was taller and heavier than him.

 

They entered the house discretely through the glass doors and into the living room.

 A few moments later, Kame helped Jin into one of the beds that had been made for them upstairs. He then left his side to get a wet towel and a glass of water. 

 

When he returned, Jin's eyes were closed. Kame sat down on the side of the bed and started gently wiping his face with the warm cloth. His relaxed face seemed so delicate, he looked so fragile.

 

When Jin opened his eyes, his gaze fell on Kame's. Embarrassed, the oldest promptly looked away.

 

"I'm never drinking again." He muttered.

 

"I somehow can't imagine you keeping such a promise."

 

Jin gave him an angry look, but he was more angry at himself than at Kame.

 

"You should rest, tomorrow you'll feel better. No one saw you, don't worry." Kame said soothingly.

 

"...someone did. You saw me."

Jin mumbled. He was still very pale.

 

"Hey, best friends are supposed to support each other," Kame replied, "I'm not here to judge you, we all make mistakes. And even if I wanted to give you a sermon, now wouldn't be a good time. Come on, go to sleep." He rearranged the duvet to tuck him in.

 

He was about to leave when he heard a barely audible : "Kazu..."

 

When he looked back he found a supplicating gaze. Jin's face was torn between his shame and his queasiness.

 

"I'm still not feeling great. I... I'd feel more reassured if you stayed. With me."

 

Despite his recent supplications, Jin was not a person who made a habit of begging. Seeing him like this worried Kame more than he showed it, so he turned off the light, undressed and slid between the covers beside his friend.

The latter immediately curled up against him to get some of his warmth. His face once again snuck against Kame's chest and his arms around him. 

 

Kazuya panicked at first, scared that Jin would feel how quickly his heart was beating, since his face was directly against his skin. But if Jin felt something, he did nothing about it. His eyes remained closed and he sighed while tucking himself more comfortably against him. His breath finally grew more regular and a few minutes later his firm grip became looser. 

 

Kame however didn't fall asleep straight away, too preoccupied by Jin's presence.  His slightly tickling breath, his arms nonchalantly thrown around him...  Kame knew these tender moments were rare and wanted to engrave them in his memory forever.

Chapter Text

Jin woke up first but kept his eyes closed for a few moments. The comfort and warmth of his bed was too good to be abandoned just yet. A few rays of sunlight crept through the curtains, slowly filling the room with a soft orange glow.

 

It took him a while to realise his comfort was partly due to another's presence near him: Kame moved in his sleep and made Jin's head shift. That's when he realised what he'd taken for a pillow was in fact Kame's tummy. Soft and warm skin... it was just perfect. As Jin rubbed his cheek on it to get more comfortable, he heard a muffled grunt and felt Kame start to stretch.

 

"Please don't move. Your tummy feels great." Jin mumbled, eyes closed.

 

Kame didn't answer immediately: it was too early for his brain to function properly. He finally opened his eyes to look at his friend. A treacherous angelic face. Treacherous, because Kame remembered the previous night's events and knew that Jin was no angel. So he decided not to push him away, as he would have in other circumstances - Akanishi probably needed a slow and gentle morning. Kazuya had to admit he rather enjoyed it too.

 

His musings were interrupted when Jin put his arms back around him to tuck his face more comfortably against his stomach.

 

This simple contact was so nice and gentle. Warm skin. Warm morning sunshine. Wrapped in the duvet, they were in their own little world.

 

"You know... you should get fatter. You'd make a better pillow then." Jin said, a smile on his lips.

 

Kame frowned.

"No one's keeping you here, look for someone else to snuggle up against. And I thought you said I felt great!"

 

At that, Jin just giggled.

"I can't... if I ask Yamapi he'll think I'm crazy. And Shizu, well... just this wouldn't be enough. It's only with Kazu that I can do this without getting any weird questions."

 

Jin finally opened his eyes to look back at Kame. Even though no 'Thank you' left his lips, his gratitude for the previous night was obvious. He probably wasn't ready to talk about it yet so Kazuya decided not to mention it. Too lazy to move his arms, Jin tried in vain to blow away some hair that had somehow gotten in his face. Kame snorted at his disgruntled face, took pity over him and moved it out of the way for him. However, when he removed his hand, Jin looked disgruntled once more.

 

"Don't stop! I love it when people play with my hair."

 

Kame raised an eyebrow.

"People? Who, your mom?"

 

"Shut up... please, my head aches."

 

Since they were getting near dangerous territory - a conversation about last night - Kame complied and started playing with his hair. Jin relaxed one more on his tummy and smiled again.

 

Sometimes Kame wondered how he could be so different when they were alone and when everyone was around. What would the others say if they saw them like this now? but he was also glad that Jin allowed himself to be vulnerable with him. Glad he felt no need to act cool in his company.

 

Minutes passed by in silence, as Jin either sleepily closed his eyes or started into empty space. He was completely relaxed under Kame's slow caresses in his hair. They could've stayed like that for a long time, but they soon started to hear noise from the rest of the house as people were getting ready to leave.

They thus ended up parting to get ready too.

 

Jin sat up and although he tried not to let it show, Kame saw him grimace before he could act as if everything were fine.

 

When the older boy got to his feet his body swayed. Kazuya hurried up to help him but Jin pushed him away.

Akanishi closed his eyes and breathed slowly, trying to calm down.

 

"Sorry, I... I can manage on my own."

 

Kame bit the insides of his cheeks and said nothing. He should've remembered it always made Jin uncomfortable when he took his hand.

 

"I'm not a girl," the older muttered.

 

"Is that what you're gonna tell Shizu when she comes over and accidentally does... this?"

 

A touch on Jin's collarbone and he immediately shrieked.

 

"You know what?" Kame snorted, "sometimes I really wonder if you're not a girl after all."

 

Jin gave him a murderous glare and hurried out of the room.

 

***

 

Two days later, Yamapi, Jin, Ryo and Kame gathered in their common room to watch a movie. Jin had once more raided the kitchens and brought back cakes, chocolate, ice-cream… everything they loved. They started their DVD in peace, until Koki entered the room and jumped on the couch, squashing a few limbs in the process.

 

“So, Akanishi-kun,” Koki mused once the others had stopped protesting, squeezed between his friends, “Everyone is talking about the spectacle you made of yourself on the dancefloor. At that chick’s party. And not with someone random. A Kitagawa no less.”

 

Jin blushed as all gazes turned towards him.

 

“That’s not how I’d describe what happened.”

Most of the boys rolled their eyes.

 

“I’m sure you planned this all along to get into Johnny’s good favours.”

 

Jin grimaced and pushed Koki away.

“Shut up.”

 

Koki just smiled cockily. None of them were going to let Jin get away with this.

 

“Are you trying to hide something from us? You haven’t said a word since the party. Did something go wrong or what?”

 

Jin took a deep breath. Then a perverted grin slowly found its way on his face and the others cheered.

“Of course everything went fine, what do you think.”

 

And thus no one payed attention to the movie anymore: Jin spent the evening telling them how beautiful Shizu was, determined to prove that they couldn’t dream of a better girlfriend than his. Kame alone still stole a few glances at the screen, despite not being too concentrated on the plot.

He was glad for his friend’s happiness, but he also thought the latter was overdoing it. Koki and Yamapi nonetheless seemed to enjoy listening to him and his pervy details.

 

Kame was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with him: all these conversations about girls often bored him. Of course, he thought some girls were pretty, but it was a similar feeling to what he felt in front of a beautiful landscape. It was just admiration, without any desire. For a while he’d thought that was what desire was: admiration. But his senses had recently discovered that there was more to lust than that. It was obvious to him that there was a world of difference between the reactions Shizu provoked in him and the ones Jin did.

 

”Ugh and her body…” Jin’s continued with a content sigh, “she feels so good.”

 

Koki jumped off the couch in surprise while Yamapi raised his eyebrows. Kame whistled and pretended to be amused. No one had noticed his previous lack of attention.

 

“What?!” Koki exclaimed, “don’t tell me… the first night already… I’d never thought she’d be like that.”

Jin kicked him.

 

“Of course not, baka. It’s not what you think. But through a thin dress like what she was wearing… you can feel a lot of things.”

 

Ryo threw a pillow at him, tired of hearing him talk like that.

 

“OW what was that for?!” Jin cried.

 

“Don’t you hear yourself? You’re almost talking about her like she’s a thing and not a human being,” Ryo said grumpily. “I’m off to bed anyway, I’m tired. Good night.” And he got up and left.

 

“What the hell is wrong with him??” Jin asked, disbelieving.

 

“I don’t know. Probably jealous haha.” Pi answered, “he was unable to score at the party… that is, except Kame!” he said as he burst out laughing and Kazuya hit him.

 

“Ow, ow, time for me to go too before you kill me.” He said as he tried to escape Kame’s attacks. Pi left, quickly followed by Koki.

 

And so Kame and Jin ended up alone in the dark common room, the TV screen as their only light.

 

 

As soon as Pi and Koki were far enough, Jin let himself fall across the couch with a whine. 

 

“What’s wrong with you,” Kame asked. “Quit whining all the time.”

He grabbed a can of whipped cream and sprayed some in a teaspoon.

A comfy couch, a low table under his feet and yummy food: despite the earlier awkward discussions, this evening wasn’t turning out so bad, he thought as the sweet cream melted on his tongue.

 

Jin jumped back off the couch.

“Kame. Shizu needs your lessons!”

 

Kame stared at him. What the hell was wrong with him. For a second he wondered if he’d missed a bottle of vodka going around while he was zoning out.

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

Jin took his head in his hands in frustration and started pacing.

“Something must be done. Because right now… she’s nice but… bori…”

 

“Are you kidding?!” Kame interrupted, “You’ve just spent a full hour telling us all how perfect she is !!”

 

“Shhh!!!” Jin panicked. “They mustn’t know.” He then paused, as if he weren’t sure he should continue his confession. Kame’s disapproving face was not encouraging.

 

“How should I put this,” he paused thoughtfully. “You were right. She had no experience. I felt like I was kissing a hole, I swear.”

 

Kame made a face.

 

“Not… that.” Jin muttered. “You know what I mean.”

 

Kame just raised his eyebrows at him. Jin looked so distressed, it was almost amusing. The older looked at his friend expectantly, as if the latter could bring him a magical solution on a plate. But in the end the younger just giggled.

 

“It’s not funny!” Jin protested, but that only made Kame snort and almost choke on his whipped cream.

 

While he was coughing, Akanishi calmed down and conceded a smile.

 

“I chose the wrong words. But this is no laughing matter, I was serious. I felt nothing, it was boring! She was just… there and didn’t move. It was no fun,” he said as he grabbed a pillow and put it on Kame’s lap. He then proceeded to settle back on the couch and made himself at home – Kame ending up with Jin’s face looking up at him sleepily.

Those damn butterflies were immediately back at it in the younger’s stomach, but he tried to ignore them.

 

Kazuya sighed theatrically, and said: “What can I say… I’m not surprised that anyone would feel boring after me.”

 

Jin playfully punched him.

 

“Unless I’ve missed something, you have no butt and no boobs, so shut up. And give me the whipped cream.”

 

“You really think of nothing else, do you.” Kame replied.

 

“What? I always loved food, there’s nothing new there,” he said as he opened his mouth wide and waited for Kame to spray the cream straight into it.

 

Kazuya filled it up to make him stop talking.

 

“You know perfectly well what I meant.”

 

“mgph!”

 

Jin licked his lips and sighed contentedly.

He needed more sugar in his blood before getting into important conversations.

 

“When she’ll be more used to this… to kissing, to me… it’s gonna be just. perfect.” He blinked slowly, with a dreamy face and Kame rolled his eyes. “She’s just so… …I don’t know, when you see her, don’t you wish you could touch her?”

 

Kazuya eyed him wearily as Jin slid a hand on his own chest – probably daydreaming about his girlfriend’s breasts.

 

He didn’t answer. No, he didn’t particularly want to touch her. Was that not normal? Anyway, Jin didn’t seem to expect an answer, his eyes now closed while he kept touching himself. His head fell back on the other side of the pillow as his back settled over it instead.

It was so slow Kame had the time to think that no, Jin wasn’t going to… Yes, Jin was. His fingers slowly skimmed across his chest, more sensually than what he’d just done previously, thin cotton doing little to hide hardening nipples.

 

Kame took a breath, belately realising he’d stopped breathing for too long.

 

Jin slowly opened his eyes but he was obviously still in his own little world.

 

“You can’t imagine… that ass. It was so hot,” he murmured. Kame didn’t know about Shizu’s ass, but Jin’s face and voice were definitely doing things to him. “When she danced against me… she made me feel everything. E-verything.” The end of the sentence was barely more than a whisper.

 

Kame kept quiet. He didn’t know what to say. And he also didn’t trust his voice.

 

Jin sighed and arched his back a bit more. Kazuya’s eyes lingered on the the outlines of muslces, ribs. And of course… those nipples. Fuck. He squeezed his eyes shut. This couldn’t be happening.

 

“Kazu… I want her so bad.” Jin breathed. Kazuya felt his skin prickle. He definitely had it bad for his best friend, there was not point denying it.

 

When he reopened his eyes, he found Jin smiling at him.

 

“Good thing you’re a guy. If I did this in front of a girl, she’d probably take this as an invitation to fuck.”

 

Those words felt like a slap jolting Kame out of his reverie. Of course.

“You’re such an asshole.” Kame muttered, and he ate some cream straight from the can to hide his blushing face.

 

And those thoughts telling him Jin sounded hot saying ‘fuck’ needed to shut up immediately.

 

However, Jin only chuckled in response.

“No one’s an asshole if everyone is okay with what’s going on.”

 

Kame huffed and tried not to notice all the ways his friend made him feel. The way he just ached to touch his hair again. To kiss those lips. Then his thoughts trailed back to those nipples.

 

The sound of Jin’s belt brought his attention back to what was happening. Kame’s brain was screaming at him to tell Jin off. To make him stop. But he was glued to the spot, unable to do or say a thing.

 

His throat turned dry as Jin unbuttoned his jeans and lowered the zipper. At least Jin wasn’t looking at him anymore.

 

Kame’s lips silently swore as Jin’s hand sank into his underwear.

The older was quieter than Kame would have expected. But just his slight moves and the knowledge that he was touching himself… Kame was imploding.

 

A noisy breath.

A flutter of eyelids.

Hips subtly rocking.

 

Oh fuck. Kame’s breath quickened as thoughts and impulses he’d never even contemplated before came to him. He wanted to touch Jin’s chest like that… and even though the thought was a bit scary, he wanted to touch Jin elsewhere too. Scary, because he’d never thought of guys that way. And he knew that wasn’t what Jin wanted.

 

Jin’s movements were getting quicker, and his breaths grew less quiet. Kame bit his lip and it took him all his mental strength not to move, no matter how much his body wanted to. Never had he been more thankful that there was a pillow between he and Jin. Otherwise Akanishi would have noticed that Kame wasn’t insensitive to his actions.

 

If Kazuya still had control over his own actions, he had none over his eyes and desperately needed to drink it all in. Jin’s body lying across him, his sensual parted lips and needy breaths.

His subtle hip moves intensified and Kame wanted to die. He wanted those hips to move just for him. He wanted Jin just for himself, damn it.

 

Kame bit back a whimper. He’d sworn to himself he wouldn’t make a noise but his body wouldn’t obey.

 

“Fuck… Kazu, if you knew how it was when Shizu rubbed herself against me…”

 

How could Jin talk in a situation like this when Kame himself was unable to utter a single word? Jin ended up relaxing on the pillow and his breath slowly went back to normal. Still, the slight tent in his underclothes was proof that he wasn’t done yet – for some reason, he’d decided to stop there and looked up at Kame with a smirk.

 

“Kazu-chan… if you were a girl, you’d currently be pressed into the couch and we’d be… having a really good time.”

 

Kame was speechless for a moment.

“Jin. You’re fucking crazy.” He finally croaked. Had Jin stopped because coming was where he drew the line? Kazuya wanted to push him away in frustration.

 

“I know,” Jin smiled, “but that’s why you love me.”

 

“Baka.” Kame sighed, and got nothing more than more laughter in reply.

 

“At least, I know how to eat properly.” Jin finally said, and at first Kame didn’t understand what he meant. “What did you empty the whole can on yourself for?!”

 

I was fucking distracted, Kame wanted to say but he couldn’t admit that. So instead he attacked Jin and sprayed what was left of the cream in his hair.

 

Jin shrieked and grabbed other food leftovers to throw them back at him.

 

“Fuck off you’re gonna ruin the couch and Johnny-san will kill us!!!”

 

“You think I care ?!”

 

The couch was still alright but Kame’s hair and shirt were not.

When Jin emptied a bottle of juice on him, Kame looked murderous.

Another shriek, crazy laughter and chairs falling over: no wonder someone would end up noticing that something unusual was going on.

 

The sound of the door slammed open stopped them in their tracks.

 

“Are you fucking mad ?!!!” Ryo snarled, “Some of us are trying to sleep here!”

He had a look at the disaster the common room had become, and added: “If there are cleaning fees, I’m not paying a cent and I’ll personally tell Johnny-san you’re responsible.”

 

“Killjoy.” Jin muttered.

 

Ryo turned his murderous glare to him. “Sorry to disappoint, but insults from people who have food fights with their pants open don’t mean much to me.”

 

Kame looked down and breathed when he saw nothing was wrong with his own clothes. Jin on the other hand just said “oh, right” and buttoned himself up as if there was nothing unusual about that.

 

Ryo still eyed them suspiciously.

 

“If you wanna join the fun…” Kame said, as he offered him a bottle.

 

“No way.” Ryo said and he slammed the door as he left.

 

When Kame and Jin’s eyes met, they burst out laughing.

They nonetheless ended up cleaning the mess as well as they could before leaving (Kame insisted).

 

***

 

They walked together to their rooms and when they arrived to Kame’s, the youngest wished their evening together could continue. He took a last look at Jin – it was unbelievable how he could still look gorgeous when his hair and clothes were a gross mess. Or maybe Kame was just an even more lost cause than before regarding his attraction to Jin. Afraid that he might give in to his desires and do something stupid, Kame wished him a good night and promptly closed the door behind himself.

 

Jin was a little surprised but shrugged it off and walked on to his own room.

Chapter Text

The next day, Kame replayed the previous night’s events through his mind as he had breakfast. Every bite was followed by a pause when Kame forgot where he was and what he was doing, his whole mind focussed on remembering Jin’s sighs and sweet noises…

A yawning Ryo joined him.

“Someone looks like he hasn’t had enough sleep,” Kame said, trying to pull himself away from his reverie.

“Yeah well someone has been up all night making too much noise,” Ryo grumbled.

“Ah… sorry about the food fight.” Kame answered, a little ashamed.

“Oh, don’t worry that was nothing. Nothing compared to bloody Ueda.”

“Ueda ??” that wasn’t the answer Kame had expected. “What did he do ??”

Ryo grew silent, apparently not in the mood to give any details. His eyes fixed on his food-tray, he finally muttered, “I’ll just have a nap this afternoon.”

Kame shrugged and turned back to his cereal.

At that moment, Ueda walked in, drawing several looks just like every time he made an entrance. Between his messy blond hair and his metallic accessories, it was impossible to miss him. His ripped clothes drew even more attention. Although his appearance was carefully arranged, he exuded an air of nonchalance.

He obviously hadn’t slept a lot but bore a relaxed and satisfied smile. While his face still had traces of childhood, his attitude was anything but child-like.
His eyes swept through the room as if nothing there mattered and he casually walked over to the empty trays. After helping himself, he joined Juniors his own age.

Ryo kept an eye on him and looked thoughtful. Kame was visibly not the only one preoccupied by memories that morning. Ryo however put a stop to his observing as soon as Pi arrived - followed by a half-asleep Jin.

“Ohayo!!” Pi exclaimed as he noisily sat next to them. “Did you hear the news ? Dance classes have been changed.”

“Hm?” Ryo replied, only half interested.

“Yep. From now on I won’t have to rehearse with the dumbasses in my class. They decided to make us rehearse in groups now… for those who have one.”

Jin lazily tapped Kame on the shoulder. “I’m gonna get to tease you twice as much now.”

“If you make me have bad grades you’ll pay for it,” Kame snarled.

“Oh yeah?” Jin smiled. “I look forward to seeing that.”

Kame was boiling inside. Even half asleep, Jin managed to get on his nerves. What pissed him off the most was where his thoughts took him when Jin said those words. Kame prayed that those thoughts would disappear as soon as classes started or he would have trouble concentrating.

***

Once their dancing clothes were on, Jin and Kame joined the rest of KAT-TUN in their training room. Professor Itoh happily greeted them. He always tried to lift his students’ mood as well as he could, since they were often either depressed about their outfits or about the group they were stuck with.

“I talked with Johnny-san and we agreed that it’s best if your monthly group training sessions become the norm. Plus, like this, Kamenashi-kun, you get to be with more talented dancers just like I promised you.”

Talented ? Yeah, KAT-TUN were talented dancers… when they were in the mood for it. And some of them were never in the mood.

Itoh-sensei made them start with some stretching, along the horizontal bar on the wall. As usual, Kame had no problem lifting his leg. Flexibility had always been one of his strengths.
The same couldn’t be said about the others. Ueda sent Kame a murderous glare while the teacher praised the younger. However the tension broke when Junno fell down and everyone broke into laughter.

“It’s not funny… that hurt!” Junno protested, but he was smiling nonetheless.

Jin wanted to manage on his own but despite his best efforts his knee stayed slightly bent. Itoh-sensei walked up to him to help.

“You were all able to do this a few years ago… I knew you should’ve kept doing the same exercises.”

Kame felt his pulse quicken as the young teacher got near his friend and gently pushed his thigh higher. He was used to girls getting very close to Jin. But seeing Itoh-sensei like this… it bothered him. He looked away, scared that his discomfort would show.

Jin grimaced but managed to get his leg straight in the end.

“I knew you could do it!” the teacher exclaimed. “Just a bit more training and you won’t need me anymore.”

He then walked towards the others to help them in turn, except Ueda who refused to do anything.

“I can’t dance anyway, there’s no point,” he grumbled.

Kame thought that was rather a rude way to address a teacher, but to his surprise Itoh-sensei said nothing.

The group finished the warm-up and went back to rehearsing a choreography they’d already done the previous month. Ueda’s moves were more than okay, despite what he’d just said. He probably just wanted to make the least efforts possible. Kame had a feeling that behind that nonchalant and mysterious façade he was hiding something.

Ueda attentively watched Kame’s seemingly natural dancing skills. Everything seemed so easy for him – the older boy secretly envied him. He had no idea it was training and not natural skill that had got Kame where he was. Ueda wasn’t the only one looking - Jin always loved to watch the youngest dance. His precise moves, his body swaying, his concentrated face… it all made him smile. He knew how much Kame loved to dance and it made him happy to see him grow and make progress.

When Kame looked up, he met Jin’s gaze and his sincere smile. These moments always warmed his heart. That was what real friendship was all about: being able to smile at each other for no reason, just being happy for the other’s presence. At least that was what Jin felt. Because Kame also felt his heart beat faster whenever they shared such looks.

“Kame-kun, you did great,” the teacher said. “Technically speaking, it’s perfect. Now you just need to let go a little. I feel like you still have inhibitions holding you back. We can’t have that when your fans will soon expect you to be sensual… but it’s okay, you’re still young, you still have time.”

“Ha, baby Kazu-chan is too innocent,” Jin laughed and Kame looked as if he wanted to kill him.

“No one asked you for your opinion, Akanishi-kun” the teacher replied. “You may not have inhibitions, but you sure have room for improvement on the technical side.”

“Um, I really don’t think Jin is sensual. at. all.” Ueda muttered.

Itoh-sensei sighed.
“Stop bickering like kids and get back to work.”
These boys never stopped provoking each other and the teacher sometimes wondered whether they’d ever work together well as a group.

Itoh-sensei afterwards gave them a demonstration of new moves he intended to teach them. Kame was hypnotized by his talent. All his moves were so precise, muscles rippling under his skin… he looked both strong and elegant. It was a beautiful sight. Kame knew his teacher’s body type contributed to giving him such an impressive aura; the youngest also felt like all the efforts in the world would never give him the same amount of muscles. But he was determined – Kame would do everything in his power to improve and reach his teacher’s level.

***

A couple of hours later, Itoh-sensei finally let them go. After relaxing under the warm shower, Kame returned to the changing room with a towel around his waist. Most students were already gone, but running water still echoed in the area. As Kame took his clothes out of his locker, he heard footsteps. As those heavy steps drew closer Kazuya turned around and found himself face to face with his teacher.

“Kamenashi-kun, have you by any chance seen Ueda-kun?”

“No, sorry sir. He probably already left. But I can give him a message if you want.”

The professor was about to reply when he changed his mind and simply stretched his shoulders.

“Ok, no problem I’ll find him. Anyway, let me tell you I’m proud of you Kame-chan. Once more, you didn’t disappoint me today.”

Kame smiled, a little embarrassed.

“You even got some more muscles in your arms, that’s great. Keep up the good work,” the young man said, his fingers skimming across Kame’s shoulders.

“Yes, sir.” Kame replied.

This closeness was starting to make him uncomfortable. This kind of contact wasn’t new, dance teachers often stood close to them to help them get the right posture. It had never bothered Kame, he wasn’t particularly self-conscious. But he was tired and his thoughts wandered out of their usual boundaries. Instead of seeing Itoh-sensei as his teacher, he saw a handsome 28-year-old man, with yummy muscles. His kind eyes made it all the more easy to feel drawn to him.

The teacher saw Kame’s hesitant gaze.

“I think you should rest now, Kame-chan. You’ve worked out a lot today.”

He ruffled Kame’s hair with a smile.

“Sensei?”

He turned around, recognizing Ueda’s voice.

“Ueda-kun! I was looking for you! Be in my office in 5 minutes,” he frowned and left the two juniors alone.

Ueda sighed exasperatedly. After a short silence, Kame decided he had to say something.

“Why were you so rude in class today?”

But Ueda suddenly drew near and slammed him against the lockers, fury making all traces of innocence disappear from his face.

“Ueda?!”

“Listen to me,” he growled. “You better leave Itoh-sensei alone.”

“…What? What the hell are you talking about? Let me go, you’re hurting me,” Kame grumbled as he tried to free himself from Ueda’s grip, but his efforts were in vain. He’d never seen Ueda like this.

“Don’t pretend you don’t understand, I’ve seen the way you look at him…”

Kame felt like the world had stopped. What had Ueda seen? He’d been careful not to let anything show… and if Ueda really had noticed something, why did he take the matter to heart this much? Kame whined inwardly. During the past few days, during long hours of pondering over his situation, he’d told himself that liking men would only bring him problems. He should have expected this, he knew many people weren’t very accepting of homosexuality.

Kame told himself he should’ve rejected these new thoughts from the start… even though deep down he knew there wasn’t much he could do about it. It was too late now anyway, it was obvious this wasn’t even just about Jin anymore. Jin had been an eye-opener that made him realise a whole part of himself. Would his friends accept that part? He hadn’t planned to tell them anything, but if Ueda had seen something, maybe the others had noticed suspicious details too.

Ueda leaned in to murmur in his ear, his breath startling Kame and tickling his neck.

“There’s no point denying it Kame… I can sense this kind of thing.”

His voice was barely audible, now amused instead of menacing.

“Don’t you also feel it when there’s someone like you arund?” Like him? What did Ueda mean-
Then the older drew even closer, his grip on Kame turning from aggressive to suggestive. Kame was too surprised to react. Ueda wouldn’t act that way if thought gay people were disgusting.

“Ueda, I…”

But Kame was unable to finish his sentence: Ueda’s lips were on his, his body pressing him against the locker. For a second Kame didn’t understand what was going on… Ueda was visibly not homophobic after all. His lips were soft, and for a moment Kame was tempted to give in. But too many questions plagued him, so he turned his face away.

His hesitation had been enough for Ueda to draw his conclusions and the latter smiled smugly. The older boy had felt that Kame’s initial instinct had been to accept his kiss.

“I’m never wrong,” he said. His smile faded away as he spoke his next words: “but hurry up and find yourself a boyfriend. I’ll be glad to help.”

Kame stared at him, unable to understand where Ueda was going with all this.

“Ueda, I don’t-”

“Just forget about Itoh-sensei,” Ueda interrupted, “Ok? If you give me a single reason to doubt you, trust me, you’ll regret it.”

Kame had no idea where any of this came from.
“Ueda, I really don’t give a shit about our dance teacher.”

“He’s waiting for me, I gotta go,” the older replied, his eyes colder than Kame had ever seen them.

The older boy left, leaving Kame confused and shocked.
Ueda and the dance teacher? What the hell…

Kame barely dared voice the half-formed images his brain was supplying. But now he knew the reason for all the dark looks Ueda had been sending him throughout the class.

Hurry up and find yourself a boyfriend. I’ll be glad to help.

 

Ueda’s words echoed in his mind. Kame wasn’t blind, he knew Ueda wasn’t looking for his happiness and just wanted to get what he considered to be a potential rival out of the way. However, Kame wasn’t sure that he wanted to be with someone. What was the point of getting into a relationship if Jin was the one he was obsessed with?
Being with someone and spending every waking hour thinking of someone else felt wrong. Such a relationship would be bound to fail.

What’s more, Kame hated to admit it, but he couldn’t help hoping. For what exactly, he wasn’t sure. At least he hoped Jin would keep using him every time his thirst for physical contact took over. Or whatever this was.
Although Kame craved to share more of those moments with Jin, he knew that in the long term, he wouldn’t be able to find happiness and fulfilment in such a relationship, unless there was some kind of evolution.

He tried to shut those depressing thoughts up. There was no point thinking long term when it had already been a long time since they’d last kissed. No, the moments he’d been able to share with Jin until now had just been a series of strikes of luck.

The water that had been running in the last shower cabin stopped. Wet feet smacked the tile floor and Jin appeared in the changing room.

“You’re always the last one out”, Kame said, “didn’t your mom teach you to not waste water?”

“But I love long showers,” Jin replied, “all that hot water and steam… they’re perfect for wandering thoughts” he finished with a meaningful grin.
Kame groaned.

“Baka. You really don’t miss an occasion to be a pervert.”

“Shut up, I’m sure you’re just like me. At least I’m honest.”

Kame rolled his eyes and opened his locker. Jin was still in his peripheral vision, getting rid of the towel around his hips to get dressed.
Kame gulped and kept his eyes fixed on his own pile of clothes.

“Your back really looks like a girl’s one, Kazuya,” said Jin’s amused voice.

“What?! My back?”

“No, the cockroaches’. Do you see anyone else here?”

“A COCKROACH? WHERE?!” Kame shrieked as he flipped around.

Jin broke into a fit of giggles.
“I see your back isn’t your only girly side.”

If it weren’t for Jin’s warm and happy gaze, Kame would’ve been angry. As it was, it was impossible for Kame to be mad. Jin’s sweet smile tempted him like a forbidden fruit.

He barely managed to keep the spite out of his voice when he said, “If I were a girl, you wouldn’t be standing there. The perve you are wouldn’t be content with just making fun of me.”

At that, Jin looked thoughtful.
“Hmm, yeah. But you don’t meet some of my requirements, especially in the chest area…”

Kame sighed exasperatedly, which only made Jin giggle some more.

When the youngest also got rid of his towel, Jin pretend-gasped.

“Don’t tell me you also expected to see girl legs,” Kame sneered.

“Come on, it’s no fun if you don’t play along.”

Kame just shook his head dismissively and put his trousers on. He turned his back to Jin again. He usually didn’t care about nudity but now things had changed. He was almost sure he’d be unable to keep an impassive face with an unclothed Jin in front of him.

The room had grown quiet and Kame started wondering if something had happened to Jin for him to become so silent - until he felt a gentle touch on his back. He froze and waited, despite the immediate spike of longing he felt. What surprised Kame even more than this touch was Jin’s troubled voice.

“Kazu-chan… what are these red marks?”

Kame closed his eyes, feeling Jin’s gentle touch with all his being. The latter traced the red marks the locker had imprinted on his skin when Ueda had slammed him against it earlier.

Jin withdrew his hand when he heard an unsteady breath.

“Did I just hurt you?” he mumbled worriedly.

Kame looked at him over his shoulder and tried to persuade himself that what he felt was relief when he saw that Jin had finished getting dressed.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s nothing,” he replied.

“this is obviously not nothing,” Jin said more firmly, his hands back on his skin. “Stop trying to draw people’s attention away from your problems; I’m not just here to have fun and tease you. I’m your friend… I’m here to help.”

Kame admitted defeat and lowered his head. His lips parted but no word came out. He wasn’t used to Jin being this serious, and his words of support had touched him.
“I probably got hurt without noticing,” he finally said.

Jin didn’t look convinced but let it go. He squeezed Kame’s shoulder affectionately and Kame felt his heart squeeze at the same time.
Then Jin hugged him and Kame felt his heart stop.

This closeness was too much. He couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle being this close to Jin with his feelings growing more and more complicated. The more he thought about it, the more he told himself there was no future for them two as a couple, and that he shouldn’t let himself hope. Shouldn’t let himself feel. Kame bit his lip and tried to pull himself together.
A deep breath.
A few blinks to get rid of unwanted overwhelming thoughts.

His face was back in control and tears no longer threatened to escape his eyes but the sadness remained. He wasn’t ready to give up on Jin although he knew he should. If it had been just about physical desire, Kame could’ve probably let out some of his frustration by finding someone else. But as he held back his tears he realised it wasn’t just that. In Jin’s gentle embrace, all Kame could think was how much he cared for him. How much he loved him. His every thought made him more and more sure of it. His feelings were so overwhelming it felt like he was suffocating. He knew that the more he clung to his hopes, the more he’d suffer.

Despite his resolution to bury these feelings deep down, he couldn’t help internally begging Jin to give him a reason to keep hoping. His sighs were silent prayers. Kiss me… please kiss me. Kiss me, Jin…

But Jin heard none of it and behaved just like a friend. Kame started to accept that his dreams would never come true. He couldn’t bear this closeness anymore and slowly drew away. He finished getting dressed and tried to give Jin a reassuring smile. The latter didn’t look like he believed him but seemed to understand that he wouldn’t get anything out of Kame that day.

To brighten the atmosphere, the older changed the topic.

“I hope you haven’t forgotten it’s my birthday next week,” he said with a bright smile. “Shizu told me she has a special surprise for me… I expect the same from you!” he playfully winked.

“You can’t just ask for presents like that.” Kame muttered. Of course, he knew Jin was just joking, but still.

He gave him an exasperated smile but deep down, hearing Shizu’s name again felt like a stab at his heart. He knew he should just give up, but he wasn’t ready. Not yet.
Even though he knew his hopes were killing him softly, he wanted to give himself just a little more time. Maybe a miracle would happen.

Chapter Text

Ryo's forehead was covered in sweat as he went through his dance steps. Despite his calm breathing, his pink cheeks revealed the strain on his muscles. Night had fallen a long time ago, but Ryo tirelessly repeated his moves as a light breeze and faraway car-honks came in through the open window. Those noises were however covered by the music from the room's stereo. The gentle melody took over his senses, and it could have been a peaceful moment if it weren't constantly ruined by the noise of Kame falling over.

"Are you going to come over to dance, or do you intend to waste your time doing handstands all night?" Ryo huffed irritably.

Kame got back to his feet for the nth time, rubbing a sore elbow.

"I'm not wasting my time, I'm training my arm muscles and my balance. Our dance teacher was right, I do need more muscles."

"Yeah, well... train for that on your own, there's not enough space for your antics in this tiny room. Didn't you ask me to come over so that we could train together?"

Kame sighed but gave up on his handstands and got up to change the music - they needed something more fun if they were to dance together.

When the first sounds came out, Ryo looked confused.

"...the fuck is this?"

"It's from America, it's called Lady Marmelade. Come on, let's go!"

Even though this song was different from what they were used to, Kame had chosen it because it went well with the hiprolls he wanted to work on.
When the teacher had told everyone he wasn't sensual enough, Kame hadn't shown any signs of being affected by his words, but deep down he was annoyed and intended to show the others that Itoh-san was definitely wrong.

Good thing Jin was away that evening... Shizu had invited him over and he wasn't back yet.
Which is why Kame had asked Ryo to replace his best friend for tonight.
It was rather convenient, Kame prefered not to show Jin this aspect of his dancing until he got the chance to perfect it. Since Jin had made fun of him, Kame all the more wanted to impress him.

Ryo let himself go with the music's sensual flow. Despite his angelic face, his moves were nowhere near innocent, which distracted Kame. When Ryo looked up at Kame, he caught him jealously staring at him, which made him smirk.

"Kazuya, I don't get what's so hard about this. You were doing pretty well at Shizu's party if I remember correctly."

"Yeah, well. I'd had a few drinks."

Kame didn't like to admit his weaknesses, but despite Ryo's teasing ways, he trusted him.

"You need to be more confident, you're not bad at this."
which was already a nice compliment, considering who was speaking.
"You just need to make it all flow more naturally. Sometimes your dancing looks a bit too serious, maybe because you're super concentrated. Stop thinking and just let go!
That's why you did great at the party - you were too drunk to overanalyse everything."

Kame smiled weakly, not entirely sure he was happy with what he was hearing.
He bit his lips and replied.

"It's automatic for me to start counting as soon as I start dancing, considering all the choreographies we've been learning. I can't just stop like that."

"Yes, you can. Come on," Ryo replied and beckoned Kame closer.

Kame stepped towards him and was surprised when Ryo tugged him up close, to guide his hips with his own body.

"We'll start together so that you don't have to think about what you're doing. Then I'll let you try this on your own," he said calmly.

Kame relaxed against him and let himself be guided. The same easygoing feeling from the party gradually took over him, his thoughts slowly coming to a stop and his body moving on instinct alone.

Given the smile Ryo was sending his way, it looked like his method was successful.
Kame's moves gradually became more and more independant from Ryo's and the younger started guiding the older, playfully singing along to the lyrics.

"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir," which made his partner smirk... but that didn't seem to please everyone.

"Do you even know what that means?" said a new voice drily.

Jin was leaning in the doorway.

"Hey Jin," Ryo said, "weren't you supposed to spend the evening with ...whats-her-name ...Shizu?"

"I did. And now I'm back and I need to talk to Kame. Leave us."

Ryo seemed surprised by Jin's hostile tone, especially since the latter was supposed to have had a great evening with his girlfriend. Ryo nonetheless just shrugged and left - not wanting to unnecessarily add fuel to the fire.

As soon as the door shut behind him, Jin seemed to relax a little.

"Ok... what happened with Shizu to make you kick him out like that??" Kame asked.

At the mention of his girlfriend, Jin's face lit up and he jumped closer to his friend, his usual enthusiasm back.
The sudden change in mood only confused Kame further.

"This week-end, after my birthday party... she wants me to sleep at her place!!" he exclaimed excitedly, "and I don't know what she's planning, but I sure as hell know what I'm hoping for," he added with a cheeky smile.

While Jin was growing more and more excited, Kame was being drained of all his previous good mood.
If Jin took that step with Shizu, it would mean the end of a world of illusions... the end of all the hopes Kame had helplesly still kept harbouring.

"Hm. And... that's why you kicked out Ryo??"

Jin rolled his eyes.

"Come on, you could sound happier for me. You saw how he reacted last time I talked about her : he'd slammed the door as he left. Anyway... you're the only one I wanna tell about all the details."

"And who says I want to know?" Kame replied.

"Well... we're best friends! I also want to know everything about what you're up to. It's not my fault you've got nothing going on."

Kame glared at him, his blood boiling, before answering.

"Anyway, I was training until you arrived, since you were too busy to do it with me today."

"It's not like you needed any company," Jin snapped, "I thought we'd agreed to train only together."

Jin obviously resented him for pairing up with Ryo.

"What's more, it's not like you chose the best substitute. Ryo isn't gonna mesmerize anyone with his hips anytime soon."

"When will you stop dissing other people to make you look better?" Kame muttered angrily. "I need to shower, anyway. See you tomorrow," he said as he stomped towards the bathroom.

Jin followed him inside.

"What are you waiting for? I'm done with your shit for today," Kame snarled as he took his tshirt off.

Jin said nothing. He realised that once more, he'd gone too far. He wasn't exactly sure whether it was pride or shame that were stopping him from apologizing.

He always felt worse after behaving badly towards Kame than what he felt towards others. Kame's opinion on him mattered more to him than anyone else's.

Since Jin was still quiet, Kame ignored him while he finished undressing and stepped into the shower.

Once the glass door closed, Kame pulled the faucet so that the running water would cover the sound of him taking a deep breath. He saw that Jin still wasn't moving and wondered what the hell the other boy wanted.

It wasn't the first time Jin got moodswings due to how possessive he felt towards his closest friends... and Kame had always been a special person for him. It usually didn't cause Jin any problems, but Kame was less and less accepting regarding his possessive whims. And an annoyed Kame made the older more and more uncomfortable.
Having Kame mad at him was the last thing Jin wanted.
Without any additional thinking, Jin took his shoes off and joined Kame in the shower, his clothes still on.

"Are you fucking crazy?? How... how are you gonna get back to your room without dripping water everywhere ?!"

"People are used to seeing me do weird stuff. They'll just shrug and say I'm still mad," Jin replied softly.

"Baka..."

Kame felt his cheeks grow warm. Despite having already shared many showers with Jin, after practise and such, this time it was different. Jin's closeness made him more self-conscious about his nakedness than anyone else's presence.
He nonetheless quickly recovered from his surprise - it was a good thing that Jin hadn't undressed after all.

Jin's clothes were now completely drenched. It was hard for Kame to keep a serious face in front of Jin's stupidity, but the truth was he was still a bit angry. He was starting to get sick of this trick Jin used every time he got into an argument - distracting the others from the issue by acting silly.

Kame was however unable to hold back a weak smile in front of Jin's happy face, as the latter relaxed, lifting his face under the warm shower.

"Did you just come in to steal all the hot water or...?" Kame asked.

Jin finally lowered his face back down towards him.

"When you left your room, you kinda slammed the bathroom door in my face... I hated it."

Kame scoffed.
"You had it coming." He took a breath and decided that some things needed to be set straight. "You don't want me to dance with Ryo, but if you spend every evening with Shizu, what am I supposed to do? I'm not going to stay alone in my room without training just so that you don't get unreasonably jealous."

Jin's eyed flashed.

"What you were doing with Ryo, I don't call that training. You were grinding against him as if you wanted to... wanted to..."

Jin bit his lip, surprised by his own words. He left the sentence hanging, not sure that finishing it was a good idea. He wasn't even sure what Kame wanted. All he knew was that seeing them both like that had made his stomach drop.
Was it the hot water that made his cheeks grow pink?

"Jin you're dumb. We always dance like that. Don't start imagining things."

A muscle twitched along Jin's jaw.
"No. You don't dance like that with me. We'd agreed that we'd try every move together before doing them with the others. Either you forgot or you decided you don't give a shit, Kazu."

Sure, they'd agreed to try everything together first. But now, Kame's mind couldn't help going places, and the thought of Jin wanting to do everything with Kame first... it made the younger want to bang his head against the wall. He tried to calm down and stayed put.

"Jin... circumstances change. I can't just wait for you to come back from Shizu's every evening. I need to have a life of my own."

"What's the point of being your best friend if there's nothing special about our friendship after all?!"
Jin interrupted him, his voice full of spite.
Kame felt all the blood rise to his face.

"Nothing special?! Excuse me, but I don't call being there for you day and night 'nothing special'. Standing your jokes even when they're not funny, I don't call that 'nothing special'. And... well there are so many other things I could mention so stop being selfish and accept that I need to have other friends too!"

Kame wanted to believe that Jin was angry because he was possessive. But sometimes he couldn't help wondering whether he was reading too much into it and it was just selfishness.

So many people gravitated around Jin, Kame sometimes felt like he was just one person lost in an ocean of other friends, other options.
It was hard for the younger to measure just how much he mattered to his older friend. Sometimes he was confident that Jin cared about him, but his lack of confidence occasionally made him turn way too pessimistic.

To his surprise, Jin didn't answer and lowered his eyes towards his feet. Water trickled along his hairstrands and down onto his drenched clothes.

"Okay," he finally mumbled. "Dance with him as much as you like, rub up against him as much as you want - I don't care."
He was about to turn away, his eyes avoiding Kame, but the latter held him back. Seeing Jin look so uncomfortable and disappointed gave him some hope.

"Jin. Ryo is a cool guy - but he'll never replace you. "

His voice lost its serious tone when he added, "he's not pervy enough, he can't be compared to a bakanishi like you," with a small smile.

"Yep, you got it,"Jin replied, his face lighting up.

Jin suddenly felt a surge of affection towards Kame. Was it because he'd once again feared that he'd lose his friendship? The younger's smile made him feel all warm and fuzzy. All he knew was that seeing his friend like this made him happy. His gaze wandered from Kame's eyes to his lips, over this face that seemed to only be waiting to be teased - teased in Jin's own special way.

"...you forgot something on your list of stuff we do together earlier," he murmured and stepped closer.

Kame watched him apprehensively... fearing that he'd be unable to seem impassive if Jin drew even closer, so he hurriedly said:

"Don't come any nearer with your dirty clothes!"

But it was too late, Jin had already reduced the space between them to nothing, looking at him straight in the eyes. With the playful smile he always had before doing this, the older slowly raised his hand to slide his fingers through Kame's hair and settle behind his neck. He gently drew Kame's face towards his.

"You better not do this with Ryo, or with any other guy," he murmured just before capturing Kame's lips in a slow kiss. His tongue hungrily invaded Kame's mouth, as if to reaffirm that the younger belonged to him, and he pushed Kame against the cold tiles on the wall.

The difference in temperature with the ambient heat made Kame shiver. Hot water still poured over them, barely drowning the sounds of their sighs. Neither wanted to let the other one take control.
Kame's chest expanded towards Jin as he breathed heavily. He gave in and completely pressed himself against his friend. Jin's fingers abandonned his neck to slowly slide down to the small of his back.

"...Yeah, I kinda forgot a detail or two." Kame murmured against Jin's cheek. Their wet hair was stuck against their faces, red from the intensity of what had just occurred. Stuck together in this warmth, they didn't want to part.

"A detail or two that make our friendship rather special, ne?" Jin replied, threading his fingers through Kame's hair again, before pulling Kame's nape closer so that lips would meet, this time more slowly.

Jin's fingers slid from his waist to his pecs, and he was surprised to discover just how soft and warm Kame's skin felt. The latter shivered and trapped Jin's lower lip between his, one last time before slowly nudging Jin away, taking his hands in his and off his chest.

"...let me get washed now," he muttered, a smile on his lips. The truth was he needed some privacy before his body would start betraying him. Jin pouted but his good mood was obvious with the twinkling gaze he shared with his friend. Kame gently pushed him towards the door, still holding on to his hands, but Jin leaned against the door with his back instead of leaving. The older tugged Kame towards him until he was flushed against him. Despite the surprise of Jin doing this, Kame was happy to be in a position where Jin could unexpectedly touch him anywhere. Their smiles met again, as if their physical contact could never bore either of them. Kame pushed Jin's hands up against the cold glass door too, and for the first time, tried to discover other places - his mouth slowly kissed Jin's neck and slid down it.

At the same time, the younger felt Jin's fingers close around his own, tightening his grip on Kame's hands the more Kame kissed his skin. The way Jin's chest lifted up to each intense breath showed how much pleasure he was feeling, and so did his eyes that kept closing.

One of his hands slipped through Kame's fingers on purpose, and reached out to gently lay on Kame's naked hip instead. Hesitation made Jin draw his hand back off for an instant, but it didn't take him long to put it back there and slowly start to grip Kame's skin to press his body even more against his.

Kame felt tension build up within his body. A tension linked to pleasure that he wasn't used to feeling. A noisy breath escapted his lips, another and yet another breath followed up. The hand Jin kept on a part of his body no one ever touched, it made it impossible for Kame to have any reasonable thought. It was as if an invisible force pushed him against Jin, as if an unusually high heartrate was going through his whole body, muscles contracting without logic. There were so many signs Kame wasn't used to, showing how excited he was.

He did all he could to keep those signs out of sight, not wanting Jin to realise how desperately his body was craving for more, but Kame knew he couldn't hold back much longer. He thus suddenly drew himself away from his touch, and slid the shower door open.

"Ji..n," he murmured, unable to immediately say a full sentence. It was as if he could barely breathe.

Jin re-opened his eyes and stared at him for a few moments, unable to say a thing. His own breathing was irregular, he'd never lost control over his actions in such a way before. Jin still felt a memory of how Kame's skin had felt against his hand, despite Kame's hip no longer being under his fingers. Jin at first panicked when he realised what he'd just done. When he'd entered the shower, he hadn't intended to end up in such a sensual situation.

He pulled himself together, telling himself this was just a game and was nothing to worry about. He managed to reassure himself by realising that after all, they'd only been kissing, which wasn't anything new - the other details being ignored on purpose.

"Ok, ok, I get it," he said, rolling his eyes, "I'll let you take your shower."
He pulled his back away from the door in order to step out.

"See you later, Kazu darling" he ironically said with a fake sweet voice, obviously just wanting to tease his friend.
The younger only replied by pushing him out with a well placed kick.

 

For long minutes, Kame lingered with his forehead against the shower's square tiles, cold water running all over him. He himself still needed to pull himself together. He could hardly believe that what had just happened was real, given how unexpected it had been. He let his thoughts go back to those nice moments he couldn't help lengthening in his imagination.
...but the cold temperature brought him back to reality and he walked out to get dressed.

***

After going back through those pleasant memories again and again, Kame's thoughts drifted towards unsecure questions. He was lying in bed, unable to fall asleep. Of course, he didn't regret living those moments with Jin, quite the contrary. But those moments of pleasure were darkened by his doubts he was obsessed with. He couldn't understand Jin's behaviour. Did the older really want him or was he, with those actions, just trying to define Kame as part of his territory ?

"You better not do this with Ryo, or with any other guy"

Although those words marked the beginning of one of Kame's most precious memories, they were nonetheless hard to accept. It was easy for Jin to request this kind of thing ; he had Shizu after all. Kame gnashed his teeth... he didn't want a girl. The more he thought about it, the less he felt it possible for him to like one, because any thought about girls reminded him of Johnny's heiress.

He didn't know what to think anymore. Before tonight, he had almost decided to give up... but it looked like Jin wouldn't let him abandon whatever this was. If only Jin could realise that this wasn't friendship he was offering, and was closer to being a cage. What exactly did Jin want ? Kame wondered if he would one day dare to confront him on the topic. It's with these thoughts that he finally fell into a troubled sleep.

Chapter Text

The next day, Kame was surprised to discover that the atmosphere was considerably less calm than usual when he walked into the entrance hall. A group of juniors were pushing each other to get closer to an information poster, their excitement turning the hall into a noisy place. Kame subtly made his way towards it, curious despite seeing half the juniors get over-excited, the other half sighing in frustration.

"Why didn't my parents sign my fucking permission to go out on trips and expeditions this year ?!" said one of the very annoyed kids.

Kame finally arrived in front of the paper, where Yamapi joined him.

"I'll kill Akanishi," said the latter as a huge smile appeared on his lips. "I knew he hadn't randomly chosen his girlfriend."

While his eyes went through all the description to read, he added : "Don't you think it's weird the agency is organising a junior week-end away, at an onsen place, exactly on his birthday week-end ? I'm sure Shizu got the idea, not Johnny-san."

Kame tried to quickly catch up on all the reading, but of course he was very surprised.

"But... wasn't she just supposed to have another party at her place? Jin had told me he was going get to sleep at her place soon," Kame replied, still feeling confused.

But then he saw Yamapi's face brighten, both with amusement and with excitement. His grin became slightly pervert, so the younger rolled his eyes.

"She probably wanted to keep this week-end trip a surprise," Pi said, "still letting him guess he wouldn't get away with simple kisses this time" he added, laughing. "Anyway, she's not doing things halfway, the Yugawara onsen is one of the oldest in Japan. Even better, there's a beach nearby; it's gonna be so cool !"

"Yeah, well," Kame replied, "it says it's in a bay here... and that means no waves I could surf on. Too bad."

"Come on, there are other things than surf in life, Kame-chan !" Pi exclaimed teasingly.

After that, they walked into the breakfast hall where their friends were already seated. Yamapi surprised Jin by sneaking behind him to look at what he was doing and whisper "What a cute mail you're sending your Shizu..."

Jin jumped, blushed and hurried to put his phone away in his pocket.

"Well, I did have to thank her," he said defensively, "by the way, you ought to thank me, too. If I weren't her boyfriend, we would never have such an unbelievable week-end organised for us!!"

Jin's smile was mirrored on all the faces around him. All, except Kame's. With such a gift from his girlfriend, Jin would certainly grow closer to her.

 

***

Several buses left the agency's building on saturday morning, heading towards the onsens.

As usual, Jin and Yamapi didn't stick to their seats and kept going to see all their friends in the bus, no matter the teachers' protests. Ueda took advantage of Jin's attitude to slip into the seat next to Kame, who was putting colored nailpolish on his feet.

"Kame. Are you free tonight?" Ueda asked, skipping polite greetings.

Kame hadn't expected that question - he and Ueda had never been close. What's more, Ueda's smile made him wonder whether he'd missed something that he ought to worry about.

"Since tomorrow is Jin's birthday, I'm pretty sure he's going to want to party tonight," he replied.

"I'm not asking you what Jin's doing. Would't you like to go out somewhere with me? There's a bar I wanna go to."

"A bar? Listen Ueda... this isn't the right moment. I want to be there for Jin, and tonight isn't the night to abandon him."

Ueda looked annoyed.

"You're no fun," he sighed. "Anyway, let me know if you change your mind."

"Why don't you want to stay at the party with everyone here ?"

Ueda raised an eyebrow and looked rather amused.

"A party with only straight people, or people who won't admit they aren't straight ? Nope, not interested."

Kame rolled his eyes, was Ueda really always this annoying ?

"And what about spending an evening with friends? You don't give a shit about that either?" He asked, but Ueda wasn't listening, busy staring at the front of the bus. Before Kame could see what had drawn his attention, the older got up and left.

Why did Ueda suddenly want to go out, in the middle of nowhere and in his company? Couldn't he wait to be back in Tokyo? Maybe he was in a hurry to find Kame a boyfriend. That thought made the younger smile in disbelief. Ueda's fears seemed ridiculous to him: he'd never, never be interested in the dance teacher.

Kame's thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of precisely the latter.

"Sensei?!"

"Kamenashi, no need for such a surprised face. I'm one of the teachers supervising the trip, I came here to tell you your room group."

"'Room group'?"

"The ryokan isn't big enough for each of you to have your own room. You'll be with Ueda, Nakamaru and Jin," he said with a smile. However his eyebrows then lowered into a frown, as he added: "I better not catch you doing anything bad, I'll be staying in a room nextdoor."

Kame nodded, wondering whether he'd manage to close an eye in the night, in the presence of Jin and Ueda.

They arrived at an inn in Yugawara at lunch time. The place was starting to be decorated for an upcoming festival. The owner showed up to welcome his week-end client, given that the whole inn had been booked by the agency for this occasion.

"Welcome to our ryokan! I hope you'll have a lovely week-end here," he said and bowed.

The ryokan was on the side of a hill, in the middle of a traditional Japanese garden beautifully arranged. Alleys paved with rocks crossed the garden, were covered in traditional wooden rooftops, and led towards the various sections of the ryokan. The newly arrived group walked towards their accomodations, tugging their luggage behind.

"Why is my luggage so heavy?" Junno whined, which made Jin snort behind him. Kame raised a questioning face towards his friend.

"I had no more space in my backpack, so I put a thing or two in his bag," he whispered, trying to hold back laughter to avoid getting caught by Junno.

Kame shook his head in front of his foolishness and stepped forward to faster reach their room, so that they could drop their luggage more quickly.

***

The sound of waves was gently almost rocking him to sleep, while the sun comfortably warmed his skin. Kame was lying down at the dark-sand beach, letting his body dry after a swim: he'd pretended to be more in the mood for a swim alone instead of going in the onsen with everyone else. A few other Johnny's not wanting to hang out undressed with the others had followed his initiative, although shyness wasn't the reason that had made Kame run away. He simply had no interest to go see Jin and Yamapi comparing this or that part of their body, or to take part in any dumb game. Not that Kame never participated in silly games, but he was just not in the mood for it today.

He opened his eyes when he felt a shadow suddenly fall accross his skin.

"Ryo?? What are you doing here?"

An exasperated sigh escaped Ryo's lips before he let himself fall onto a towel he'd placed next to him.

"I escaped a disaster."

"Huh??"

"In the onsen... the group's lazy soaking turned into a water fight and... I got away before the owner would show up and probably be furious."

"Let me guess, Jin and Pi started it?" Kame asked, a smile tugging at his lips.

"They're still there, I'm pretty sure they won't stop until someone pulls them out of the water."

They stayed on their beach towels to enjoy the sun for a nice while. The strong heat, the noise of water and of children playing made them forget their everyday lives, as if they were resting in another world.

But this peace was lost when Ryo rolled over Kame, taking his towel with him to cover them both.

"Ehh?!" Kame winced. "What the fuck are you doing??"

"Shh! shut up!" Ryo muttered irritably through his teeth.

With Ryo's burning hot skin against his and the warm towel over them, the heat became barely bearable. Ryo's eyes were heading away, as if he was concentrated on something happening out of their furnace.

This closeness reminded Kame of Jin's crisis not so long ago, when he'd seen him in a similar situation with Ryo - except this time they weren't dancing. Why had Jin gotten so angry anyway? Kame wasn't a object belonging to him so that he could have him available whenever he wanted and for whatever he wanted. What's more, why was it always Jin taking the first steps when... something unusual happened between them? By acting like this, the older would end up dominating their relationship, being it friendship or... something else. Kame decided that he wouldn't let things go like this anymore. If Jin wanted them to play, they'd play... but Kame wouldn't let him indefinitely lead it all.

He suddenly heard a familiar voice.

"Yuki-chan, are you going out tonight?"

"Tat-chan, I never said you could call me by my first name," replied a slightly irritated voice.

Ueda and Itoh-sensei? How had they ended up so near?

"Would you like me to say Sensei, then?" Ueda sensually asked.

"Stop. It's enough. We're outside, don't talk to me like this."

Ryo and Kame couldn't believe what they were hearing.

"Hm, I thought you precisely enjoyed the risk of getting caught... and the 'forbidden' side of what's going on..."

"Baka. What are you imagining? From the start, everything was clear between us: we had a good time once, now it's time for you to look for someone your age."

Kame and Ryo's eyes widened.

"Once? I think you can't count. Surprising, coming from a dance teacher," Ueda replied and laughed.

"Ueda, we're at the beach, surrounded by families with children. You could keep this discussion for later and for a more appropriate setting instead of following me here."

"Later, do you mean while we're having dinner with everyone ? Come on, no one cares what we're talking about. If it does bother them... well look, those two gays under that towel are probably bothering them even more. What the fuck are they doing..." Ueda said, terrifying Kame and Ryo. "Wait. Nailpolish?" He added, barely above a mutter to himself.

"Leave those guys alone," the teacher said and sighed, abandonning his attempts at making Ueda shut up.

"Tonight I'll be at the Tun's. It's a club on the main square, me and close friends want to discover it. You better not stick too close to me."

Kame and Ryo held their breath when they heard their steps getting closer. They were too distracted to wonder why his teacher was confessing what he had planned.

"I won't. I have much better to do than that. I'll go there with Kame-chan."

Ueda never called him "Kame-chan"... the younger had a feeling he was doing so with bad intentions.

"...Are you together?"

Kame's heart stopped.

"Would that bother you?"

"It's just that I had no idea Kame was... like us. I mean, I can't say it's a huge surprise either. But he's too young to already go clubbing."

Ryo stared at Kame, looking extremely surprised. The younger had no idea how to react so he pretended to also be taken aback.

"Well, he's not too young to kiss well. Very well, even."

Kame felt like he was dying on the spot in shame and avoided Ryo's more and more shocked gazes. He felt his cheeks burn even more and guessed he was certainly blushing.

"Ha! He definitely hides that side of him well... have fun, then. You and him. At least, you'll stop stalking me."

"See you tonight, sensei..." Ueda said, sensually again and ignoring the teacher's last few words.

"Baka..." murmured the teacher. To Ryo and Kame's surprise, he almost sounded kindly amused.

After a long silence, Kame concluded that the teacher must have left. He hence dared take a look outside through the narrow space between the towel and the ground, but was horrified to see Ueda's feet getting closer.

It was even worse when the latter suddenly pulled the towel off them, and pretended to sigh.

"Kame-chan, can you tell me what you're doing there with... with Ryo?!" He finished with an accurate surprise, after recognizing the boy on top of Kazuya. Ryo hurried to his feet.

"Well, well... I discover unexpected things every day," Ueda said, "I never would have thought you, Ryo, would-"

"Shut up!" Ryo interrupted furiously. "Since when do I look like a fag?"

Ueda looked like he wanted to snort.

"Since when do you lie down on top of Kame like that?"

Ryo was fuming.

"You got it all wrong, dumbass. Anyway, I did have doubts about you, and it seems that they are confirmed. You're fucking crazy, you're putting in danger his career... and also you own!"

"Don't pretend you worry about our careers. You're only frustrated because you just discovered that Jin and Yamapi aren't the only ones having fun with dates... and that you're the only one having a boring, boring life."

"Ueda..." Ryo aggressively muttered through gnashing teeth, and Kame started to fear that they were about to fight. He tried to intervene but immediately regretted doing so.

"Ueda," Kame said, trying to keep his voice from showing his anxiousness. It rather worked. "Why do you have to talk about him like that? His life is his own and only he can judge it. We certainly don't know everything about it."

"Shut the fuck up, Kame," Ryo retorted, now directing his anger at him. "I thought we were friends, and you hide from me an information like this??"
Kame didn't like the frown deepening on his friend's face as he said those words. "Your dance training sessions with me... you can shove them you-know-where!"

Kame was so shocked by the way Ryo was talking to him that he couldn't speak a single word after that, and could only stare at he who he had always considered as a friend, and who now seemed to despise him.

"You guys are out of your minds..." Ryo muttered and turned his back on them to leave. Kame wanted to catch up with him, but Ueda held him back.

"Leave him alone... he's just shocked. You'll get your friend back once he gets used to the news."

"Ueda, you're unbelievable. Why did you tell the teacher all that? Do you want to make a public announcement now??"

"Hey, you've got to accept who you really are-"

"Maybe, but my friends are also part of who I am, and I have no intention to lose them. So from now on, you better not let more things about me escape your mouth."

Kame was furious, but he was even more so when he saw Ueda's smile widen.

"May I know what's amusing you that much?" He growled.

"I have a proposal for you, Kame-chan"

Kame tried to ignore the way Ueda calling him like that stung.

"I'm not sure I want to hear it, considering how fucked up your logic is."

Ueda looked at him straight in the eye, apparently excited by the idea he'd just had and full of hope.

"If you come with me to the club tonight, I'll tell Ryo everything I said about you was bullshit. I'll say I made it all up to make sensei jealous."

Kame remained unsure. His proposition sounded too easy to actually end well.

"He won't believe you."

"Look, I'll run after him to talk to him immediately, how about that? If he believes me, you have to come tonight. If he doesn't, too bad for you and me, you're free. However, you better respect your engagement... because if you don't, nothing will stop me from telling him the truth afterwards."

Kame was tired of having to deal with people talking to him inappropriately.

"Seriously, why do you have to threaten me??"

"I'm just trying to help you, Kame!! I remind you that I had no idea Ryo was here when I was talking to the teacher, so don't turn all your anger against me. It's not my fault Ryo is an asshole."

Kame sighed while staring at the ground. If he didn't make up his mind quickly, Ryo might to run to Yamapi and Jin to tell them...

"Okay. Hurry up," he muttered.

Ueda's smiled again and he immediately started running in the direction Ryo had left.

Kame let himself once more fall over the hot sand, holding his head in his hands and hoping the soft sound of the waves would help him find some peace again.

***

That evening, Kame carefully took a seat far from Ryo at dinner. As soon eyes their eyes met, Ryo however got up to come sit next to him.

"Kame... Ueda told me everything, I'm sorry for getting so angry earlier. Sincerely sorry."

"Really?" Kame said drily, "You did sound serious when you said all that shit."

"No... I made a mistake. The blazing sun we enjoyed for too long probably made my brain go mad. You know I'd never talk to you like that in a normal situation."

"..." Kame wasn't convinced and didn't know what to say.

"I've got nothing against gay people, I swear. Although I have to admit I'm relieved that you're not one of them."

"Ah." Said Kame, voice as dry as before. Ryo's words annoyed him even more. "Good thing I'm not then, huh."
Ryo didn't realise how bad he was feeling and laughed.

Kame had never been this angry with Ryo. Kame felt like he was discovering that his kindness was just a misleading appearance. How could he talk like that? It was obvious he wouldn't be sitting next to Kame if he'd known the truth. Why was this guy, one he'd already often felt rather close to in the past, be ready to despise him for so little? Where was his logic? Kame couldn't understand and was having trouble hiding his disappointment. He had hoped Ryo would be there to defend him in front of Yamapi, for example. But he realised he couldn't count on it. His only solution would therefore be to not talk about his personal realisations to anyone.

He told himself he'd probably just been worried about how Pi would react to that kind of thing because he wasn't exactly close to him. And because Pi was extremely popular and made dumb jokes about other Juniors - not mean though, unlike what Ryo had said. No matter how accepting other people might be, Kame wouldn't take the risk with anyone.
Now he was spending several moments thinking about it, he realised that maybe Ryo had reacted that way only because they'd danced so close to each other... maybe because he hated Ueda. Or maybe he was an asshole with bad principles. Maybe he'd at least get better after growing up.

Kame was pulled out of his negative thoughts when Jin sprawled onto the chair next to him, his hands helplessly trying to cover his head.

"Jin?? Your-"

"My hair, I know!!" He exclaimed, sounding desperate. "After our afternoon in the onsen, Pi and the others trapped me somewhere to do this... horrible thing," he whined, "they said it was my birthday present but... a forced hairdye is anything but a present!"

Jin's arms flopped onto the table and he buried his face in them. The sight made Kame laugh uncontrollably. How nice it was to end the day with a familliar funny sight, helping his mood go back to somethimg less dark - all the more enjoyable since it was Jin.

"It's not funny!" Jin said, looking back up and frowning.

"Come on, Jin..." Kame replied, trying to look more sober. "I think it suits you well. Blond looks good on you!"

Jin muttered an unhearable answer against the table, but his mood was obviously much better when he lifted his face to sit back normally.

"Which evening do you want to party? Tonight or tomorrow?" Kame asked.

"With me, everday life is 'Work hard... Party hard'," he said with a snort, but Yamapi gave a more detailed and amused answer as he sat down with them.

"Jin is busy with his dear Shizu tonight... I asked her," Jin looked taken aback, but Pi ignored him, "she said we'd probably all party together tomorrow. Not tonight."

"You talked to her?? You better not have told her rubbish about me!!" Jin exclaimed, obviously panicked. His blush only made Yamapi laugh harder.

"Stop worrying, I'm on your side, baka," Yamapi said, almost to reassure him. "Well... on your side if you tell me everything about it afterwards," he added, a pervert smile on his lips.

The group spent all evening teasing Jin, and it's with a stomach tightened by anxiety that Jin got up before dessert, with the excuse of needing to get ready for his night.

Jin was however not the only one feeling uneasy. The R-rated descriptions given by Yamapi and Ryo made Kame want to throw up - he didn't want to imagine Jin doing such things with her. Of course, during the first few days of Jin and Shizu's relationship, the couple-moment images that came to Kame's mind had been a source of pleasure. But now, he couldn't help feeling betrayed.

Kame hadn't expected Jin to change his mind regarding that relationship. He hadn't expected a promise regarding what he and Jin were doing either.
But he had just on purpose avoided being fully conscious of a natural development that would be likely to occur. What was going to happen tonight wasn't surprising for a couple, in particular for a couple bakanishi was in. Kame just hadn't expected to be confronted to such an event so soon.

Tonight, Jin and Shizu's bodies would get so close, so intimate with each other, that a strong emotional bond would certainly finally take shape. Kame knew that after that, whatever moment he personally enjoyed with his best friend would become insignificant to the older one. The younger was doomed to become a simple bonus one can eventually avoid. Once Jin's desires were satisfied with his girlfriend, he probably wouldn't need Kame anymore for anything. The more Kazuya thought of it, the more he realised he may be about to lose everything.

But after all, what was the point of torturing himself over that potential evolution? He'd never had a special place in Jin's life, other than being a substitute - now useless. Why couldn't Kame simply abandon his dumb hopes for good? Despite his will to get over it, no matter how much Kame tried to be reasonable, Jin kept sneaking back into his mind. His sadness made him have thoughts even more negative then they probably should have been.

His eyes met Ueda's gaze who'd just been watching from a neihbouring table. The blonde made a discrete gesture to ask him to get up, and then immediately left his seat to walk towards their room too. Kame also got to his feet, wished everyone a good night, and followed Ueda. The path's stones were still hot due to the sunny day they'd had, but a soft wind made the ambiant temperature more bearable.

"Where is our room again?" Kame asked as he caught up.

"You don't have to care about remembering that, since that's not where we'll be spending our evening anyway. You better keep your promise," Ueda added, when he heard Kame sigh. The younger didn't answer, so Ueda decided to voice his thoughts.

"Why are you so depressed anyway? You were making unusual dark faces through all dinner."
If Ueda had noticed, Kame was surprised that no one else had.

"I'm not depressed," he finally said.

"Kamenashi. I'm not blind."

"Yeah, well stick to what's your business. I think you already have enough stuff about Itoh-sensei to fill up all your thoughts."

Ueda's face darkened, so Kame tried to change his voice tone that had unexpectedly become aggressive. His words therefore became kinder.

"I'm sorry I talked about him, if that bothers you. I just... I admit I hadn't expected what I heard you say on the beach. About you two. I mean... he's like 10 years older than you."

Maybe Ueda was used to that sort of comment, because he seemed to have relaxed again.

"His age is just a number. We don't care."

Their difference did bother Kame, but he decided to drop that topic for now.

"... What happened with him exactly?" He asked instead.

But Ueda took advantage of the fact that they'd just arrived to open the room's door and avoid the question.

Jin was in the middle of the room, the clothes he'd brought had gotten thrown all over the place. He turned around and seemed relieved to see Kame walk in.

"Kazuya, help. I don't know what to wear. What are we supposed to look like on a date? I mean... on a date where you're anyway not supposed to keep your clothes on for a long time."

Kame didn't have the time to answer - someone had already snorted behind him.

"How do you know that for sure? You might have to keep your clothes on, she isn't necessarily gonna be in the mood for anything."

Jin turned towards Ueda, surprised to hear him voice his opinion on such a personal matter. Ueda usually seldom talked to him.

"Because, Ueda, no one can resist to me, baka."
He was joking, but Ueda didn't laugh.

"I certainly can."

Jin was once more taken aback, by what Ueda was saying in such a serious voice. Was he making fun of Jin as if he'd enjoyed his joke? Ueda usually looked like he didn't give a shit about his jokes. Jin had no idea what was going through Tatsuya's head.

"Yeah, well... you're a guy, so..." he replied, obviously sounding confused.

The result was even worse: as soon as Ueda heard those words he started laughing, as if Jin had said the dumbest thing. The latter gave up his attempt at understanding anything from that mysterious guy. Jin shrugged and went back to facing Kame.

"I'd like to hear your recommendations, Kazu. Are these boxers OK or should I look for others?"

Kame hadn't felt good as soon as he'd stepped in, but now it was even worse. He suddenly felt like he was suffocating. What's more, it was as if nausea took over all his senses, making him feel even more disgusted by the topic.
...No, he didn't want to think of what was going to happen tonight. He tried to look as normal as he could, but he still looked tense. He tried harder. His best friend needed him, he ought to be there for him.

"It's fine like that, Jin. Don't worry, she-"

"I don't want to simply be fine, I want to be irresistible, you know that." Jin interrupted jokingly.

Kame tried to laugh, but the sound that left his lips sounded forced.
"She won't be able to resist you, I promise."

This promise reminded the younger of the first night they'd spent together... the evening where everything had started. That time, Jin had also needed to be reassured like that... but Kame knew that this night wouldn't end the same way.
Kame's smile became tense again, his lips disobeying his will to look enthusiastic. He pretended to start making his bed so that he could hide his expression. Ueda then abandonned his silence again.

"What are you doing Kame? It's not bed-time for you. Do I have to remind you we're going out?"

Kame was tempted to let himself fall head first on the bed, to evacuate his frustration. He leant on his arms instead, while breathing out to try not to show his anger. Ueda had no idea what kind of Jin-crisis he may have accidentally started. Couldn't he shut up?! Why did everyone seem to be inclined to make the evening as uncomfortable as it could get?

"What?!" Jin retorted, "Kazuya... you can't do that to me! What am I going to do if you're not here?"

Before his reason could take control over his boiling anger, Kame felt his irritation spread to his whole body. He couldn't think, in his mind he was only swearing. Before he realised it, words had already escaped his lips. When he heard his furious icy voice, Kame barely recognized himself.

"You fuck your fucking girlfriend, OK? That's all you have to do."

Jin stared at him in a way he'd never done before, his own voice lost. Kame wasn't a vulgar person. He didn't easily get so worked up. So why had he spoken with such a scary tone? And so rudely?? After a few moments of silence when they just stared at each other, both shocked by what Kame had just said, Jin finally became able to speak again.

"Don't talk about my girlfriend like that," he said coldly and finished getting ready in silence, after muttering : "Go out then, I don't fucking care."

As usual, Jin wanted to hide the fact that he was hurt by pretenting a total disinterest

Kame stayed unmoving, still shocked. He had tried to contain all his frustration, but all his strength had abandoned him for an instant. Now that he'd shown his real face and his real feelings, it was hard to put his mask back on and smile casually, while deep inside he'd never felt this bad. He tried to discreetly take more deep breaths to calm down, but nothing helped his anger disappear and he had to bite his lips to stop them from visibly trembling. Not wanting Jin to see him like this, he walked out without a word.

Ueda was still inside, not knowing where he should stand and what he should do after everything he had witnessed... part of the tension having erupted due to things he'd said himself. As Tatsuya uncomfortably lingered near the door, wondering how he could repair his mistake, Jin was putting his stuff back in order, his gestures rushed and his voice muttering inaudible words.

"Akanishi-kun..." Ueda tried. Jin looked up, obviously still annoyed, but Ueda decided to continue what he'd intended to say anyway: "You know... don't pay too much attention to what Kame said tonight. He didn't mean it."

Jin scoffed.
"What, do you think you know him better than I do? Is that it?"

"I do know him better than you probably think I do."

"I also know him much better than anything you can imagine, so don't act like you know something I don't."

"What I know is that Ryo and I pissed him off a lot when we were at the beach. So he was already in a bad mood before talking to you. I thought taking him out would help him forgive me, but... you forbade him to come with me. So you're making his shitty day end with a shitty evening. Anyone would get mad. What's your right to decide what he can do?"

"I don't forbid him anything!"

Jin gave Ueda one of his darkest looks. Finally ready to go, he stopped in front of him before leaving.

"Stop imagining that you know everything about Kazu, you didn't get anything right, OK? Keep your mind on your own business and stay out of ours."

He immediately walked out, not waiting to see Ueda's reaction.

***

A nocturnal breeze caressed his face, its genteless contrasting with what had just happened. Jin took a deep breath and was about to go on his way when he saw Kame, leaning his back against the wall, eyes closed. His tense expression however still revealed his state of mind. Jin's thoughts went back to what Ueda had just said... his heart tightened when he imagined Kame's painful day and probably disappointed emotions. But his imagination was still far from picturing what Kame was actually feeling.

Jin's instinct was telling him to go apoligize... but what for? What had he really done wrong this time? Before he finally stepped away, Jin tried to reassure himself by putting the responsibility of Kame's bad mood all on Ueda and Ryo.

Despite these thoughts, he was unable to feel at peace with their scene, and it was with an unexplainable feeling of unease that he moved forwards on his path. While he was going towards Shizu, he didn't notice Kame's eyes on him, following him until he was out of sight.

Chapter Text

The music's beat sent vibrations through Ueda's body, awakening his senses. This was where he felt the most at home: in the darkness of this place, age or social status didn't matter. Only hot bodies and talents at dancing were important, as well as some suggestive looks. As Ueda quickly learned, some of those looks could be very useful when one needed a service. That's how he and Kame had got to enter the club despite being too young. Here, like during Johnny activities, Ueda drew lots of attention. It wasn't precisely his excentric appearance that did that; despite his real age, Ueda still looked very young and that didn't stop him from dancing very sensually.

Out the corner of his eyes, he watched Itoh-sensei standing at the bar, talking to someone while waiting for cocktails. The teacher was acting as if he hadn't noticed Ueda's presence, so the latter decided to take the next step. Tatsuya noticed a charming young man who had kept looking at him ever since they'd arrived.

***

Kame let the music encompass him too, in the hope it would silence his thoughts and numb his body. Maybe it would miraculously help him forget everything... it wasn't working yet.

Leaning against a wall in a dark corner, he was cloistered in his own bubble. It was strange to realise how easy it was to feel alone despite being surrounded by so many people. Maybe some of these dancers, looking for physical vicinity with random people, also suffered from a feeling of loneliness.

A familiar voice made him get back to his senses.

"Poor Kame-chan, I think Ueda lied to me. Are you sure you came here from your own free will?"

Kame opened his eyes to discover it was indeed the teacher talking to him. He felt a lump in his throat and decided not to speak straight away, afraid of making another stupid mistake: he already regretted the harsh words he's spoken to Jin and didn't want to let his emotions take control over him once again. After drawing a breath, he tried to relax enough to be able to speak calm words.

"I didn't really want to come here, but it's a long story."

The teacher looked a bit amused and almost tempted to ruffle his hair. He however held back, probably not wanting to make Kame feel even worse. There was a good chance the older saw him like a newbie who needed help.

"Take care, Kame. I wouldn't recommend staying alone in dark corners like this."
Kazuya didn't reply, so Itoh-sensei continued with a question he had to ask:
"Tell me, doesn't it bother you that Ueda is being unfaithful to you like this?"

Kame took a look at the dancefloor and was surprised to see Ueda kissing someone he'd never seen before, with no shame. A deep kiss. But Kame didn't really know what someone should or shouldn't be ashamed of in a situation like this - it was his first time going to a club. It was in particular the first time he saw men sensually kissing, and in other circumstances he would have found the sight very pleasing. It didn't mean he found Ueda more attractive than the others, it was just... an interesting sight.

"There's absolutely nothing between Ueda and me, and there never will be. He can do whatever he wants, I don't care."

Itoh-sensei looked a bit confused, but still kindly interested.

"What are you doing here, then?" Sensei asked, "are you... not straight?"
He kept an eye on Kame, waiting for an answer, but since there was none, he went on.
"I'm just wondering because you don't look like anyone here caught your eye, despite some of them looking very charming," he added, turning his head to look at the young man he'd earlier been talking to at the bar.
Kame didn't care about who the teacher was interested in, what a weird conversation this was...
The ending was however even worse.

"I also thought you wanted to party or do fun stuff with your friend Jin tonight, as usual."

The last sentence was like a painful wake-up call: the frustration Kame had managed to slightly ease came back to the surface. It made him suddenly feel like he was suffocating again, in the small space of this club. He was unable to see the men kissing anymore, all he could see was Jin and Shizu's bodies, sweaty skin touching, only murmurs interrupting their kisses. His stomach hurt again.

"Kame-chan... are you okay?" the teacher asked with a worried voice.

Was he okay? Kame would have liked to spend the evening lurking in the darkness, with no one approaching him or asking him questions. The more those nightmare images invaded his mind, the more sick he felt.

"I think I need to go back to the ryokan. I'm tired," Kame replied uncertainly, "Could you please tell Ueda I wasn't feeling well and had to leave?"

As soon as the teacher nodded, he hurried away, needing to feel some fresh air on his face to calm down.

***

Jin enjoyed how pleasant the scent of her soft skin was. Her long hair slightly got tangled with the fingers he'd only intended to stroke her with, but his move stayed gentle. Her anxious eyes stared at him in the semi-darkness of the room, so Jin looked at her with a smile, hoping that he could reassure her.

She was so pretty and so considerate... everything had been arranged so that their night would be perfect. When she tightened her embrace around his chest, he realised her heart was beating as fast as his. He however wasn't sure it was for the same reason. She hesitatingly approached him, so Jin invited her to come even closer, his fingers slowly moving down her cheek. Their lips met into a slow kiss.

A moment later, Jin pulled back just to take his tshirt off - not without some struggling. It was the damn Tshirt Kame had made him buy. He mentally cursed his best friend when he finally managed to get rid of it, and sneaked back against Shizu to take her in his arms. Her silky nightclothes felt nice against his bare skin, so he tried to focus on that.

Although those sensations were pleasant, something didn't feel right. He had been unable to calmly enjoy these moments from the start of the evening; it was as if something was holding Jin back, distracting him. He did think Shizu was beautiful... and her body was everything he'd ever wanted from a girl. He would have been too ashamed if he had failed to give her pleasure, so he'd thought it through in advance, picturing every gesture he ought to do. Thus, everything he did came from that reflection and not from feelings nor from instincts. His hesitant moves were not completely fluid, but the way Shizu's eyes closed and her pleased sounds echoed, it let him guess she was having a good time. Soon, it was her whole body Jin could feel against his own skin. It was nice, of course. But ...Jin had expected to feel a lot more turned on.

For some mysterious reason, the next loud sigh that escaped her lips while he kissed her neck annoyed him. How could she sound so turned on when he could barely feel a thing? Maybe he was thinking too much?

"Jin..." she sighed, again, at the feeling of his touches. While she abandonned every single thought, Jin was having a more and more intense internal debate.

His first kisses with Shizu hadn't been amazing either. Maybe it would be the same thing with these more intimate moments. Jin didn't want to believe it was his fault he wasn't more excited. After all, Shizu hadn't made a single effort from the start, simply letting him guide her through it all. Why did she not try to do anything? She never taken a single initiative... Kazu, on the other hand, he...
Jin quickly stopped that thought.

He didn't want to think about his best friend now. He told himself that was the last thing to think about if he didn't want his tiny bit of excitement to disappear.

You fuck your fucking girlfriend, OK? That's all you have to do.

No matter how hard Jin tried to concentrate on the beautiful girl in his arms, the memory of his fight started bothering him again. Damn Kame... why had he needed to get so angry, exactly at the moment when Jin needed peace of mind the most?

"Jin... I think I'm ready."

That whisper made Jin feel even more irritated. Luckily, The weak light didn't make his face visible enough for his state of mind to be obvious. He tried to return to his senses and stop being annoyed at her for no reason at all. Her inactive behaviour was probably due to her own anxiousness... and she was allowed to feel that way.

"We'll go on slowly, okay...?" He said softly.

But why couldn't he go on? His body still wasn't responding. Although in the past, just talking with Kame about doing this in the common room had got him hard.

Kazuya. Why did he have to always show up in his thoughts despite him being the last person Jin wanted to picture at that moment? He had a wonderful girl near him, a girl with a body so hot it would make anyone go crazy with lust. But it didn't change anything for Jin, he was unable to let go of his thoughts. After attempting to solve his problem one last time he failed.

Feeling extremely ashamed, Jin suddenly sighed and moved to sit on the side of the bed.

The moment's magic was lost. Shizu sat up, holding the cover over her chest, looking more and more confused. The young man had turned his back to her, shoulders low, a feeling of humiliation taking him over.

"Jin... what is it?"

When he looked back over his shoulder, he saw her look like she was about to cry. His terrible mood made him think things more cruel than he usually would, and he knew he'd later feel like an asshole for it, but he couldn't help it. His insecurities made him need to reject all the responsibility of his failure on her. These girls... not only they didn't do a thing to please guys, they also were way too sensitive. Jin still knew he'd better keep that kind of sentence to himself.

"I'm sorry," he said, looking for an explanation that wouldn't hurt her, but he didn't have many ideas. "...I had a fight with my best friend."
At least, that was true. "And, well... I'm having a hard time not getting distracted."

Maybe that had been too much of a confession. He didn't want to think about that fight. He buried his face in his hands.

Shizu on the other hand was relieved. She had been so worried that she was completely responsible for the evening ending like this.

"I see... I'm sorry" she said.

"No, don't say sorry. It's his fault," Jin muttered.

She stayed quiet for a few moments, not wanting Jin to think she was intruding. But in the end she did want to help him, so she tentatively asked: "Isn't there a way for you to reconcile?"

Jin nervously drew a hand through his hair, eyes lost, looking at nothing.

"It's... complicated."

Jin didn't even know why he was so mad at Kame, all he knew was the younger one had too strongly invaded his thoughts, at the worst moment. He needed to solve that problem as soon as possible, even if that meant already making up despite his friend's insult. For once, Jin was ready to make a sacrifice, if that would let him get his thoughts at peace again, or at least enough at peace for him to get to relax with his girlfriend. He would let Kame complain as much as he wanted, and turn the page. Because he couldn't let him ruin his sex life like this.

Shizu didn't try to hold him back when he got up to put his jeans back on.

"I think I should go back to my room... your grandfather wouldn't be happy to see me here," he said, an attempted smile on his lips. His lighter tone only partly undid Shizu's uneasiness. When Jin kissed her one last time, it was her turn to get thoughtful. Despite Jin's reassuring words, she couldn't help having thousands of questions in mind, still wondering if she'd done something Jin hadn't liked.

***

Once outside, Jin stood without moving for a few moments, enjoying the silence only broken by flying insects. He hoped that he would manage to calm down and soon feel like his body was normal again...
He still didn't really understand: when alone, he'd never had this kind of physical problem before. So why had it happened tonight? He hoped Shizu would have the decency to keep this incident to herself. Next time they would spend an evening together, Jin swore to himself that he would find a way to be faultless.
His feet finally started to guide him towards the paved path, while he was still lost in his thoughts.

 

As he walked towards his group's room, Jin suddenly heard a sublte sound of water lapping. It sounded like someone was in one of the onsens outside, even though it was forbidden at this time of the night. Jin smirked.
Conifers bordered the path he was on and blocked his view in that particular onsen's direction, so his curiosity made him make a detour to see who had disobeyed the ryokan's rules.

 

Mist was rising from the hot water's surface, getting lost into the dark sky. Very few low lights reached the onsen, from the neighbouring windows or from lanterns. The weak lighting still illuminated parts of his face in red light - the other ones staying hidden in shadow. Jin's heart beat erratically as his eyes moved from the water to the figure in the middle of the onsen. He knew that delicate silhouette very well, and his eyes lingered lower, down the wet body that caught moonlight. More mist rose from that beautiful skin.

He had already seen Kame naked before, but this enchanting garden made the younger look like he came from another world, and Jin surprised himself with how fascinated he was with this sight. All his earlier anger had evaporated, leaving an emptiness in his thoughts instead. A peaceful emptiness enabling him to feel mesmerized, without wondering too much about why he was feeling that way. Overthinking was one of the things that had ruined the beginning of his evening; he was done with that.

An unfamiliar feeling made his lower stomach feel weird, as if it was clenching in need for something. A breath he hadn't realised holding escaped his lips. He also didn't notice he was biting his lower lip when he saw more of Kame's body come out of the water, when the younger was moving to a less deep part of the onsen. Jin's breath stopped every time his eyes lingered on a detail, memorising the way Kame's skin almost shone. The way his muscles contracted. The way wet hair stuck against his forehead or moved onto his temples.

"Jin... what are you doing here?"

Kame's whisper made Jin interrupt his contemplation. His voice was neutral, not showing any remnants of bitterness after their earlier quarrel.

The calm summer night in such a peaceful garden had somehow taken all resentment away. The excrutiating heat only let them abandon all thoughts and let themselves be lulled by the tranquillity.

"I... I came here for a swim," Jin replied.

Kame went back into deeper water to swim towards the edge Jin was standing on. Once there, he leaned against the closest big rock that emerged high out of the water. He was so near... water now covered him up to his chest, and the soft red light fell accross his skin just like it did for Jin.

When their eyes met, Jin had a feeling the younger's gaze wasn't the same as usual. The strong humidity, the incense, and the almost full darkness made the atmosphere even heavier.

Jin slightly shivered when he took his clothes off, as if he knew it wasn't just a regular swim that was awaiting him. Also, seeing Kame watch his every move as he undressed made Jin feel even more light-headed. Parts of his body seemed to randomly tighten. His thoughts had lost any coherence in the midst of the mist.

Kame didn't refrain from boldy drinking in the sight of Jin stepping into the onsen. How beautiful he was... how breathtaking it was to see him undress to join him. The light danced on their skin at the same rythm as the ripples the older caused moved on the surface.

Jin slowly glided through the water until he was only inches away from Kame, and tried to smile to help his thoughts unfreeze. The piercing gaze that answered only made him feel even more vulnerable. Everything felt so unreal. Water rippled some more against their chests when Kame abandonned the rock behind him to approach him even more, taking in the pleasant scent of his skin - that gesture alone made Jin feel Kame's light breath on his skin.

Their faces roamed near each other, hesitating gazes meeting, lips parting nervously. Their actions had rarely been this slow, but they had also rarely been so mesmerizing. Kame finally raised a warm hand out of the water to lay it on Jin's face, slowly pushing a few hair strands out of the way. He was still staring at him when he slowly slid his fingers to his nape... and pulled Jin's luscious lips against his, for a sensual and slow kiss.

Jin closed his eyes, letting the sensuality of the moment take him over. Seeing that he wasn't pushed away, Kame came even closer, leaving no more space between them. Jin felt his knees weaken at this new closeness, feeling Kame's chest against his. He wasn't used to Kame guiding him this way. After Shizu's inertia, he could only appreciate that he had no need to think or even to make an effort.

He was unable to hold back a shiver when Kame's hand left his face to settle on his low back and press their bodies together even harder. He didn't even notice the low sound he made when the younger's lips abandonned his mouth to kiss his neck instead.

Jin's head tilted backwards as he complety gave in to all the pleasure Kame was giving him.

"Kazuya..." he breathed.

Kame silently made both of them glide through the water towards the other side of the rock, to avoid unwanted eyes seeing what they were up to.

Once there, he pushed Jin's back against it to kiss him harder, faster, as if he would never get enough of it, to which Jin responded with just as much eagerness. How talented and... addictive Kame's mouth was. Jin's fingers finally went through the younger's hair and his chest moved to meet Kame's again. Because he needed that closeness again.

Kazuya interruped his kiss to look at Jin's face. They stared at each other in silence, the only sounds coming from their moves in water and their deep breaths.

"Is something wrong?" Jin asked, his heart fluttering.

Kame's only answer was to smile. For some reason, that smile felt more intimate than the ones Jin was used to. He then took hold onto the onsen's edge to lift himself high enough to sit on it.

"Ka... Kazuya, wait, where are you going?" Jin asked in an unsure voice, fearing that Kame was just about to abandon him.

Kame just kept smiling, this time looking more amused, and outstretched a hand towards him.

"We're getting out."

"Huh?! I don't want to go back to our room. Come back here..." Jin said, sounding disappointed.

"Who said we're going back to the room?"

Jin was obviously having doubts, but in the end he also leaned onto the edge to push himself up, and sat next to him. Kame let his gaze stop on Jin's wet body; it was so close to him, how could he resist admiring it? Drinking in the sight of his beautiful tanned body again, he also couldn't help wondering where Shizu had touched him.

"Admit it, you're jealous of my nipples, is that it?" Jin said jokingly.

"Baka... we should have stayed in the water, at least you didn't talk there."

Jin's lips parted in a big smile full of affection.

"Kazu-chan... you're just too cute," he said, still jokingly, but his voice had slightly wobbled.

"...Shut up." Kame replied, biting his lips to stop them from also spreading into such a big smile.

Jin did laugh... but his laughter was interruped by a tender kiss. It suddenly felt so intimate. Kissing in such a romantic place, Jin not taking Kame's stares in a bad way... and of course, kissing naked. That was the thing they had expected the least to happen this week-end.

They soon found themselves lying down on the stone edge, which was still very warm because of that day's cloudless sky. Being out of water gave their closeness a whole new dimension, and their breaths suddenly grew less silent. Jin's behaviour made Kame confident enough to let his desires lead him further. He let his lips taste places he'd never approached before. Earlobe. Lower neck. Shoulder.
Their still warm bodies were melting into each other, legs intertwined. For once, Jin let Kame lead the way.

Kazuya's tongue was on his neck again. A hand gently caressed his waist. Jin ignored the sound he made as goosebumps appeared on his skin. Kame then slid his hand down to his hip. His fingers stayed there, and held on tighter... repeating what Jin had done in the shower the other day. That felt nice, Jin thought...

He shivered when he felt Kame's hand slowly go between his thighs. What?! Was Kame really going to...? Yes. Kame was touching him there. Jin felt Kame's fingers tighten around his cock and stopped breathing. The first moment got him so hard his hips twitched. Kame's hand was still there, holding him tight... sliding up. A whimper escaped Jin's lips and he freaked out. He breathed heavily, this time not from peaceful pleasure.

"Kazuya..." he breathed, "what are you doing?"

It wasn't a place to be touched by a friend. He also thought he shouldn't be reacting like this in such circumstances. Shivers because he was turned on... that should have happened with Shizu. Jin was starting to panic.

"What do you think I'm doing?" Kame replied, thinking Jin was just insecure and needed encouragement. He slowly kissed his jaw, to get him back to something he had got used to.

Jin was unable to let go of his scary thoughts, no matter how good this had initially felt. Weren't they going a step too far? After that, would they still be able to pretend there was nothing but an innocent friendship between them?

Kame realised Jin had become tense below him, and when their eyes met again, it was a worried look he saw. Kame then immediately took his hand off him and sent him an enquiring gaze.

Jin could only look back, not finding the words to explain what he was feeling. Their bodies were still intertwined, but nothing of it felt natural to him anymore - unlike just a few moments ago. It was as if dark thoughts and anxiousness had suddenly overcome him.

Kame nervously licked his lower lip, not understanding the sudden and unexpected change in Jin's mood. All through their moments together, he had felt Jin's body below him and the sound if his voice show the pleasure he was feeling. As for what Kame had just attempted to do, Jin's body had immediately responded. So... why?

When Kazuya leaned towards him to kiss him once more, in the hope of helping him relax, Jin violently pushed him away, and hurried to fold his legs to hide part of his body behind his knees.

How had the situation gone so downhill?

Jin's breath was still uneven, his heart thumping uncomfortably fast. He could still only stare at Kame, almost as if he'd never seen him before.

His voice broke on the following words :

"...How can you think I want something like that??"

Kame felt like a steel box was closing around his lungs. The way Jin's voice sounded... it showed how distraught and lost he was.

The older's confused and scared gaze quickly became empty, and a cold mask covered his face. He pursed his lips and didn't leave Kazuya the time to answer: he disappeared in the shadows, his clothes in his arms.

 

Jin started running, revolted by the shivers still going through him. Luckily, Kame didn't try to catch up. Jin wasn't ready to face him right now. If only he could wake up and realise this whole evening had just been a dream.
He tried to convince himself those shivers were only late reactions to Shizu's touch... but deep down he realised he was only trying to turn a blind eye on what had actually made him respond. The excuses he was trying to give himself failed more and more to reassure him. He didn't like all the mess there was in his head. All that had happened had been so unknown and... unexpected. He had to get over it, very quickly.

 

Kame was unable to move for a long time, paralysed by this sudden ending that filled his mind with doubts about the future. He didn't even feel the pain from the push he had got. His thoughts were way more painful.

Would Jin only feel repulsion towards him from now on? He swallowed. His throat was so dry, and his lungs moved so fast... how could he calm down? How could not break down after Jin reacting like that? He slowly let himself slide lower, until he was lying down, face to the ground. He kept his forehead against the stones, as if he wanted to be swallowed by the earth. More than despair, it was weariness that was emptying him of all strength. He couldn't let himself hope anything anymore - not to end up so disappointed and hurt every time. His feelings were starting to exhaust him to an unbearable extent. The air he made himself breathe in only went back out of his mouth noisily and irregularly, while his heart beat faster and faster... he knew where Jin had gone. The peace that had earlier invaded his mind was now so far away. His lips trembled as he tried in vain to get back to his senses. A few drops of water were still rolling down his hair strands and reached his face. Some rolled down to his lips, and among them, some had a salty taste.

***

After these long hours of anxiousness, her eyes finally started to close as she was about to let herself fall asleep. However, her slumber was suddenly prevented by a barely audible sound: the door had slowly opened, and someone had slipped inside. She blinked, trying to get away from her sleepiness.

She then saw a profile against lights from outside. Of course she recognised him.

"Jin?"

Without a word, Jin dropped the clothes he'd been carrying and slowly slid beneath the bedcovers, next to her.

This time, he was ready.

Chapter Text

Kame was spending an unusually quiet evening: the room's silence was only interrupted by the few noises his camera made. It was the birthday present he had never got the chance to give Jin... so in the end, he'd kept it for himself. He had already given him too much anyway.

This evening, like many others since that week-end, Kame was alone in his room. Several months had gone by and Jin didn't come to dance with him anymore. At the beginning, he'd mentionned excuses for his unavailability, but now he didn't bother to.

What was the point of photographing city lights Kame saw through his window? Most of his pictures were blurry, but the activity at least pulled his thoughts away from certain topics, while he was waiting for his nocturnal visitor.

As usual, Ueda entered his room around 3am, knowing that Kame probably wouldn't be asleep.

"Ueda... you stink."
He'd smoked too much that evening, and Kame wasn't used to that scent.

Ueda ignored him and jumped on top of his bedcovers. Lying down next to him, he stretched and went on with his latest habit: telling Kame about his night out. He didn't know if the younger always listened to him, but merely having someone next to him when he spoke was enough to help him feel better.

Kame was starting to know his stories by heart: every saturday night Ueda ended up either with a random person or with Itoh-sensei.

"I don't understand why you're doing this" Kame said, breaking his own silence. "Don't you think it would be healthier for you to give up on the teacher and try to have a true relationship with someone?"

When they had first started this nocturnal habit, Ueda would probably have frowned if Kame had said that. But now he trusted Kame to be talking seriously and not to be making fun of him.
Ueda didn't frown, but his face did look a bit sad.

"I don't care about having something stable, I just want Itoh-sensei."

Kame sighed.

" ... I sincerely think it's hurting you more than it's doing you any good. You'd better try to see if you can somehow part ways with him."

Ueda pressed his palms against his own eyes. It was easy for Kame to give lessons like that. He hadn't went through what Ueda had. It took him a while to answer, and his voice was barely audible.

"I can't give up. He was... my first guy. He will always be someone special for me."

Kazuya didn't really know what to say to that.

"You know, sometimes, to heal you have to completely cut ties for a while," he said after a moment of hesitation.

To Kame's suprise, Ueda snorted.

"Is that why you don't talk to Akanishi anymore?"

Those words immediately ruined his mood.

"Bullshit. I still talk to him."

"Yeah... sure." Ueda said and rolled his eyes. "Barely."

Kame closed his eyes and tried to hold back his emotions.

"Ueda, keep your thoughts on what's your business. This has nothing to do with what I told you" he lied.

Ueda contented himself to settle more comfortably on the bed, a knowing grin on his lips.

"You better not fall asleep here." Kame muttered after a few more moments. "You do stink."

There was no answer.

"Oii!!"

Kame turned his head to look at Tatsuya and realised he had indeed already fallen asleep. He groaned but didn't say anything else.

The younger often wondered how Ueda could keep hoping for more than one-night stands with his teacher after all those disappointments: all the times he'd been considered nothing more than a toy, and the times he'd been ignored.

Kame, as far as he was concerned, had put an end to all of Jin's games. He was more and more sure Jin had taken none of their moments seriously and that he had been used...
At least, that was he thought when he was in a dark mood, despite the memory of some of Jin's behaviours still confusing him. He couldn't understand what was going on in the older's mind.
Anyway, he wanted to put all that experience behind him. Since the onsen's episode, the distance he'd kept between them had stopped any of their unusual habits from going on.

At the beginning of his and Ueda's new evening habit, Kame had been a bit jealous of him. The latter seemed to be totally fine with talking about his homosexuality and seemed to do everything he could to enjoy his life. But the more he found out about his nights out, the less that kind of lifestyle tempted him. He could see that although Ueda was smiling and looked detached, he wasn't happy.

That's why Kame didn't dare wake him up. He left his room instead, unable to fall asleep anyway.

***

Without a sound, Jin stepped through their building's entrance, thinking everyone was asleep. He walked through corridors in the dark, trying to keep an eye out not to bump into something. The moments he'd just spent at his girlfriend's place still dominated his thoughts and he couldn't help having a telling smile on his lips. His Shizu-chan was much better at sharing intimate moments now, and he felt more and more comfortable with her - there hadn't been a single other incident after that onsen week-end. Every time he went to see her, he was careful to leave every thought about Kame at the door, and had managed to stop thinking about their fights or tense moments in such situations.

However, in everyday life out of Shizu's room, reality resurfaced and stayed on his mind, as well as his feeling of loss. He didn't want to show it, but the loss of his close friendship had left a feeling of emptiness in him.

But he needed that distance to one day be able to go back to a normal friendship with Kame. Or rather, to go back to the perfect friendship they'd had before all those games had started. Everything had then been so simple... he hadn't felt any confusion. It had been a carefree friendship. But they had got too close... to the point something had broken.

Jin decided go get a snack from the common room. That place was just as dark as the corridor, but he still tiptoed towards the table without turning the light on.

That's when a sigh that made him jump in surprise - he looked away from where he was stepping and tripped with a bang.

"Fuck!" Jin muttered, abandonning all hope to discreetly go to his room.

The sigh from the couch turned into an annoyed but familiar huff, the person obviously not happy to be woken up.

"Kame, is that you?" Jin whispered.

"Who else than Jin would wake me up in the middle of the night? I should have expected that."

Jin felt his cheeks grow warmer.
"I didn't know you were here..."

Their voices weren't cold, but they were far from being as enthusiastic as they would have been months earlier.

They hadn't expressly fallen out, but the distance between them was almost as tangible as the effort they were making to almost talk as if nothing was wrong.

Kame's sleepy head showed up, his hair completely messed up. He lay his chin on the back of the couch, blinking to try to get back to full consciousness and see Jin despite the darkness. The latter didn't move.

After a few silent moments, Jin mumbled an apology with a "Good night" and left.

Kazuya slumped back onto the couch and closed his eyes. Jin hadn't even asked him what he was doing there. Kame tried to avoid thinking about his friend too much, but no matter how much he pushed thoughts away, some of them kept coming back. He secretly wondered if the blonde felt his daily absence the same painful way he did. That didn't mean he wanted to get his best friend back straight away: to avoid further pointless torture, Kame hoped that keeping a distance would help his feelings slowly go away.

***

Days and weeks went by, without anything special happening. Jin and Kame's relationship was still cordial but everyone realised that something had changed. However, both of them rejected all questions, without giving precise answers.

KAT-TUN members ended up being one day brought to a gymnasium with other juniors for a sports class, and they were joined by a group of young boys they'd never seen.

"Did Johnny-san suddenly recruit a ton of new people or what?" Jin asked, puzzled.

"It's not for their looks that they were selected, that's for sure." Ueda muttered.

The referee interrupted them, requiring them to concentrate on their own game.

"Leave them alone, they're not Juniors like you, they're athletes. Their Tokyo Metropolitan is being renovated so Johnny-san allowed them to come here. Now, it's your turn to serve Kamenashi-kun."

Kame made the volley ball rebound on his hands and sent it on the other side of the net, where Ryo tried to hit it. But when the ball met the NEWS member's hands, it flew behind him instead of going back towards KAT-TUN. Ryo's whine turned into a yell of relief when Tegoshi managed to send it back.

"Akanishi, stay where you are! Don't go step on Tanaka's feet!" the teacher shouted when Jin ran backwards, but too late: the members had already run into each other.

Kame snorted before he could hold it back. The pile at his feet was just too funny. When Jin furiously looked up at him, the laughter died on his lips. But Jin's fury disappeared and he started looking sulky instead. Kame relaxed, brave enough to smile again.

Yamapi did the next service and Kame's run was interrupted when Jin shouted "I GOT IT!!" and ran in his direction. When the older hit the volleyball, it was sent way too far away.

"Um, actually I don't..." Jin confessed with a nervous laugh as he turned towards Kame. "Sorry."

"...Baka."

Two hours and bruises later, the juniors went on a break and Ryo and Uchi took advantage of the free time to go see the new-comers. Kame wondered whether the athletes would fall for his "friend"'s innocent looks; Ryo would just have to open his mouth and speak one of his mean thoughts to break the illusion. When the two NEWS members returned a few minutes later, Uchi looked confused.

"They're a bit weird.. they weren't happy to find out there are only shared showers here. I thought sportsmen were used to that kind of thing" he said.

"Don't waste your time trying to understand..." Ryo replied with a mysterious voice, "they've got their own reasons."

That's when the teacher called them back and put an end to their conversation.

 

For KAT-TUN, the second half of the lesson was just as much a disaster as the first one. This time, when Jin shouted "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!" Kame ignored him, jumped and hit the ball arriving on his side.

"Awesome spike Kame!!" Jin exclaimed with a smile. He looked proud of Kame's achievement, and for once, only Kame could see he was still a little bit nervous.

"See what happens when you let me get it?" Kame joked. He was good at acting, so maybe Jin wouldn't see he was nervous too.

"What, don't I always let you get them?"

Kame smirked and rolled his eyes.
"Jin... forget it."

After that episode, the "I GOT..." cries became more discreet and Jin tried to stay in his own spot. Kame was feeling unexpectedly good: instead of seeing their exchange like an argument, he had almost felt it like a return to their usual way of talking. Even though he could see Jin's smiles weren't entirely relaxed, their relationship had lately improved. They could now talk to each other with less discomfort and even laugh, which made Kame hope their deep personal connection wasn't completely lost.

As for what went further than friendship... Kame didn't want to think about that.

At the end of class, the juniors scattered, some of them going to the changing rooms, others collapsing on the floor again to take a breath before leaving.

"Guys, I'll go back to our building to shower. See ya," Ryo said as he got up. When he saw Pi's confused look, he leaned down to whisper to him.

"So what?" Pi replied, not bothering to keep his voice down.

Ryo arched an eyebrow as if Yamapi's question made no sense. The tallest got up with a sigh and muttered "Who says he'd be checking you out anyway-"

"What are you talking about?" Jin interruped, intrigued.

"Ryo-chan is scared one of the athletes will check him out if he showers with everyone. One of them is gay... and Ryo, well, he's a chicken," he said and laughed.

"Ee??" Jin hastily replied. "No... really??"

"Jin, stop making that face, you look like you don't even know what 'gay' means," Pi joked before lightly hitting his head.

Ryo's voice then made Kame's blood go cold.

"Come on, you know what it means. Just look at Kame."

Jin spun around to stare at Ryo. But his surprised stare quickly turned into an irritated frown.
"Ryo stop saying bullshit, fuck off!" he aggressively snarled.

"Calm down, I was just joking. If you defend him like that, I guess the rumours that say you now hate each other are false."

Jin still looked angry.
"Ryo. You're so fucking dumb."

He irritably got up, and left without looking back.

"What the fuck is wrong with him? Can't I even make a joke??"

Kame shrugged, telling himself he might raise suspicions if he reacted more violently. But it was more and more hard for him to contain his own anger. Why had Ryo become like this? Or was that just a particularly ridiculous side of his bad humour? He was relieved to see everyone already leaving, but when he started following Koki, Nakamaru and Junno towards the exit, Ueda held him back.

"What?" Kame muttered, annoyed.

"You're going to stay to use these showers with me," he said, then added "please?" when he saw his face. At least, the question was a sign Ueda considered him more as a friend now, instead of just someone to tease.

Kame groaned.
"Why the fuck should I do that?"

Ueda grinned, hoping his reason would successfully tempt Kame.
"The athlete. I want to see what he looks like."

***

That evening, Kame was grumbling while looking through his wardrobe.

"Do I really have to go?"

Ueda looked at him pointedly from the bed.

"Of course you have to. It's not everyday we have a guys-only night. For once, Ryo got a good idea."

"A good idea?" Kame shook his head. "I don't want to get to know those athletes."

Of course, Ueda didn't stop insisting.
"It's not because the one we saw in the showers was tiny that the others w-"

"He wasn't tiny" Kame interrupted. "He's just one year younger than me."

"Who cares, he looks like a baby. But maybe one of the others will be like us. Anyway, if they're boring, we can escape to a club I know nearby."

Kame gave up on arguing - after all, deep down he knew going out with new people might do him some good. In the end he chose a tanktop, jeans and put them on. He then started wondering what to do with his hair - he'd recently had it cut shorter, so he felt like doing something new.

"Do that thing you did after the shower. The thing in the middle that looked like a subtle mohawk or something. It looked cool... maybe it will turn Ryo gay" Ueda said and snorted. He hadn't got over Ryo's shitty joke.

"Don't talk about that guy." Kame said dryly, while he nonetheless followed Ueda's advice. "I don't want to be friends with him anymore. He's lucky I'm not a violent person because-" Kame pressed his lips together and tried to calm down before saying something crazy. He usually never spoke like this. No wonder people suspected something was wrong with him.

"He's dumb, ignore him" Ueda said. "Anyway, Jin defended you, so you shouldn't worry."

Kame froze when he heard Jin's name. Before he could hold it back, a question he had in mind since the beginning of the evening came out.

"Ueda... would you by any chance know if Shizu is coming?"

The other shrugged.

"I don't think so. But... Kame, you should stop thinking about this."

"About what?" Kame asked, pretending he had no idea what Ueda was thinking about.

"I'm not stupid, I can see something happened between you and Jin!"

The younger's teeth clenched. Ueda saying that again and again exasperated him.

"If you think so, then you are stupid." Kame replied and turned back towards the mirror with a frown on his face.

After a long silence, Ueda ended up leaving, muttering that he also needed to get ready. He mentally concluded that Kame definitely needed a drink or two... or ten that night.

***

Meanwhile, Jin was lurking on Yamapi's bed while the latter chose the sunglasses he'd wear.

"Pi. It's night time... why do you want to wear sunglasses?"

"Because I'm Yamapi" he answered jokingly, and Jin spotted a wink in the mirror.
While rearranging his hair, Pi saw Jin squash his face into the pillow. He knew that meant something was bothering him... which seemed to happen a lot lately.

"Ok Jin, what's wrong with you tonight? You look like you feel like shit, even if there's a party awaiting us. What is it?"

"Nothing" said Jin, his voice, almost muted by the pillow. But Yamapi obviously didn't believe him.

"Come on, I know you. Is it because of what Ryo said earlier?"

Jin didn't answer.

"You know... personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Kame really is gay."
Somehow, the tone he was using was much kinder than the way Ryo had spoken. But it still annoyed Jin to hear people say that - as if they knew Kame as well as he did!

"Don't get started on this... not you too!"
Jin had raised his face and was blushing. Or maybe he hadn't had enough air to breathe... that would be a more reassuring reason. "Believe me, it's not true, okay?"

Yamapi said nothing and went back to getting ready. The other sighed into his bedcover, at least relieved that Pi had dropped the topic. Jin had spent all these weeks that felt like eternity trying to ignore what had happened. Trying to lose his habits of wanting to take Kame in his arms to tease him. The onsen's events had made him understand such gestures weren't meant to be done between two friends. It was out of question for him to continue, he wasn't gay and Kazuya wasn't either. However, while he told himself that, his heart tightened. He always ignored that kind of sign and tried to get his mind on something else.

After these weeks of distance, he now managed to feel less confused when he saw his best friend, and almost felt ready to go back to talking to him about anything, just like before. Although Kazuya had looked angry in the beginning, he now also seemed to have turned the page. With that day's Volleyball match, Jin had a good hope they were finally ready for their friendship have a fresh new start. However, Ryo mentionning that sensitive subject had made him feel insecure again.

"Anyway," Yamapi said, his hairdo done, "I'll have a surprise for Kame tonight. We'll see how he reacts."

"What?! What kind of surprise??"

Yamapi sniggered.
"You'll see Jinjin, you'll see. Just make sure Shizu won't know about it."

Jin frowned, full of doubt.

"Come on, stop sulking, you'll see, it will be awesome."

***

When they met up in the common room, Kame was surprised to see Jin come see him.

"Hey Kame, is that a new hairdo?"

"...What do you think?" Kame asked, and Jin smirked.

"Don't worry, I won't mess it up!"

Kame hadn't expected something like that but didn't show it.

"You better not do that or... you can say goodbye to your blond hair."
At those words, Jin's face lit up with a beautiful smile. Why was Jin smiling like that??

"What's making you so happy?" Kame asked, raising a thin eyebrow.

"Kazuya, you and I will show these guys what a real party is like. They'll all regret not being Johnny's."
That was the kind of thing Jin would have told him months ago, when everything was alright. Maybe that meant their friendship could already be alright again - at that thought, Kame just had to smile back.

And so, they both left side to side, towards the place Pi and Ryo had booked. Until tonight, Kazuya had the impression he had slightly lowered his obsession with Jin, and had almost gone back to a normal life. He had thought he might be ready to go back to their close friendship without feeling the urge to hope for something more. However, despite his will, walking near his best friend again still made his heart beat faster. What he felt was a strange mix of excitement and anxiousness. He didn't want to fall for him again... he'd promised himself not to want Jin anymore. But how could he escape his feelings? He'd missed Jin as a friend... and of course, his heart had also missed that beautiful smile.

Chapter Text

It was an afternoon just like any other for Haru. Sprawled accross his couch, he lazily went from one TV channel to another. He would have gladly taken a nap, but he had no motivation to already walk back to his bed and change the sheets. Those were still warm: tonight's sleep partner had just left.

Haru was a man who was interested in nothing else than men. And rare were the ones who could resist him... except a certain Yuki who'd completely ignored him and left with a blonde weirdo - the memory of that failure still annoyed him. His adventures were usually simple one-night stands: the only thing he was looking for was moments of pleasure, without anything complicated to deal with in the long run. He wasn't against the idea of finding a long-term boyfriend, but he hadn't met the right person yet; his partners did sometimes look serious but always ended up disappointing him. Haru had therefore given up and decided to collect nice moments with random people, without needlessly overthinking.

That evening, he'd probably go to one of his usual gay bars and choose his next target. Maybe they'd stay in touch after that... after all, most of his friends had once spent a night with him. All of them, except Mika of course, since she was a girl. It was probably why they were so close, without anything ambiguous between them.

Just as he was thinking about potential clubs to go to, her name showed up on his phone.

"Haru!!" she enthusiastically said as soon as he picked up.

"Oi, don't shout so early..."

"Early? It's 5pm," she snorted. "Anyway, I need your help tonight. Please, please come help me."

He inwardly groaned.

"What for? A straight party again? Not interested."

Mika was a precious friend, but he didn't want to go to a boring party where he'd have nothing in common with anyone else. They often went out together, to have fun and to challenge each to find new conquests. They secretly hoped their new conquest would be their dream partner, which would put an end to their everyday circus.

"Do you already have someone for tonight or what?" she asked.

"Not yet. But I do intend to find one."
Of course that wasn't a good enough excuse to let him escape her plan.

"Well, come on then!"

Mika somehow had a talent to always make him end up in situations he'd never put himself into without her.

"Do you remember my friend Pi?" she said, and excitedly continued explaining what this was all about."He knows about our seduction games, I often talk to him about mine. Well, tonight, he asked me to hit on one of his friends... and apparently, he's rather charming."

Haru didn't bother to hide his groan.

"If he's straight, why should I care?"

She chuckled.

"That's the thing: Pi is wondering whether he's straight or not, that's why he called me. So I immediately thought of you... Go on, say I'm an awesome best friend."

Now that was a surprise, but still... it wasn't his idea of a perfect night out.

"Mika... you're silly."

"I'll expect you at my place soon, so that we can get ready together!"

After hanging up, he dropped down on his couch again and switched to yet another TV channel.

***

Oriental lamps glowed on the ground, giving the restaurant a soft and mysterious orange light. Kame had never seen such a place before: small mattresses covered in dark silk were on the floor, next to low tables on which there were small teacups, glasses and... something that looked like a weird instrument. Dark semi-transparent veils had been arranged like curtains between mattresses on the sides farthest from the tables, which made the atmosphere all the more hazy. The air was heavy with a heady scent.

Once his eyes got used to this setting, Kame felt under scrutiny. He wondered if he was imagining it, so he had a look around and very quickly, his eyes rested on a stranger already seated, next to a beautiful young woman. He was wearing a tight black tshirt -that nicely showed off his torso muscles- and tight jeans. His short hair looked naturally a bit spiky, but the truth was he was just good at doing fashionable hairdo's.

Kame blinked. He hadn't intended to stare, but he hadn't expected to see someone so stylish tonight either. That was... interesting. After looking at other people for a few moments, he gave up and sneaked a sidelong glance towards that guy again.

The man's lips were closed around a cigarette and the burning ashes at its end mirrored in his piercing gaze. So Kame hadn't been dreaming... he had indeed been watched. Even worse, he'd been caught looking back.

Yamapi's voice took Kame out of his observation thoughts.

"Mika you came here!!" Pi cheered.

The girl got up to meet them with a smile. There was something both elegant and sensual about her look; a simple black corset showed off her delicate and stunning silhouette. Even Kame couldn't deny she was incredibly beautiful.

"So, Pi, aren't you introducing your friends to me?" The mysterious girl asked.

Yamapi's smile grew wider.

"The blond one who hit his head when he stepped in is Jin." The girl arched an eyebrow but let him continue. "The tiny guy is Ryo... and here is Kazuya."

Kame certainly hadn't expected such an introduction.

"Pi, are you sure all your friends are ok with me already using their first names?"

"Of course they're fine with that. They won't even pay attention to that after the shisha..."

Yamapi looked at their table, nodded at the instrument Kame didn't know and snorted:

"I see you and Haru didn't wait for us to start."

Mika playfully hit his shoulder, but it didn't stop him from stepping towards their mattress and laughing some more. He beckoned Kame towards him and sat down. And so, the younger ended up between Pi and Mika, next to whoever the smoker was.

While the guys could easily sit cross-legged on the edge of the mattress, Mika slid towards the back, to let the long legs her short skirt revealed lie more comfortably.

"Haru, can you give me the shisha?"

The boy called Haru held onto the hookah tube a bit longer.

"Wait a second, I want to try something."

He stuck the tip between his lips at the same time as his cigarette, and breathed in - a sight which made Mika roll her eyes. But Haru ignored her and turned his gaze towards Kame when he slowly took his lips off the tube. For a second Kame thought he spotted a twitch at the corner of his mouth - an almost seductive one, and that was... unexpected. Kazuya set his eyes back on Mika and ignored the subtle shiver the sight had caused on him.

"How did you get to know Pi?" He asked, pushing away any mental comment on that guy's looks.

"We partied together a few times," she replied, "and... the two of us really had fun. So that's how we became friends. Haru-chan doesn't know him, though. He's just a friend of mine."

Kame kept his eyes on her and watched her breathe in that weird thing. Before he expected it, she handed him the tube with a smile.

"Here you go, Kazuya" she said, and leaned on his shoulder. Her silky hair slowly slid close to his neck and a very pleasant scent reached him.

Kame almost wondered if he'd had a drink and forgotten about it. Because seeing her lips this close... he thought they almost looked tempting.

Of course, the earlier sight of the hot guy's lips sensually abandonning the shisha had had an even stronger effect on him - No, not 'the hot guy'. Haru. Just, Haru.

Although Kame tried to go back to reasonable thoughts, his higher pulse was proof that yes, he certainly thought that guy was handsome.

Minutes went by quickly, between shisha, random discussions, and the young man making sure their eyes often met. Kazuya hated to admit it, but every time, he felt himself give in more and more and accept that yes, Haru was hot. Everything about this guy was seductive, from the way he held himself to his way to talk. But the girl kept taking his attention away on purpose, sitting unusually close to him. Kame was a little bit confused by their behaviour - he wasn't used to anything like that, but maybe that was a normal behaviour at parties? Despite his confusion, he did enjoy it.

Kazuya's consumption started to affect him: he didn't really keep track of the others' conversations anymore, and let this unusual atmosphere slowly numb him. A laugh, a whisper, her perfumed hair sliding near his face again... for some mysterious reason, Mika had awoken something in him. It wasn't a craving for something sexual but she certainly looked... nice to touch. And those lips murmuring things to him, so close to him... they looked so soft.

At some point, she got up to go get something to drink for both her and Pi. That's when Haru took advantage of Mika leaving to take her spot. Kame blinked and tried to get back to his senses.

"Pshht. She's not even sharing" Haru muttered before handing Kame the tube again.

"Huh... what are you talking about?"

Haru's only answer was to already take the shisha back, his eyes sparkling mischievously. Kame's eyes came to rest on his lips again... and in particular on the way they were surrounding that object. Another shiver went through him. The way Haru glanced at him was more than suspicious, and so was the way he was smoking.

"Hey... 'Kazuya', right? How about a smoke outside? It's way too hot in here, I can barely breathe."

Outside. Alone with Haru. Kame heard himself say yes before he even really thought about it.

***

Pi and Jin were having yet another toast when Mika joined them. Jin staggered a few steps sideways, officially to free some space for her next to him.

"Yaay Mikaaa!!" he cheered.

"Jin shut up, you're way too drunk again." Pi protested, attempting to calm down Jin's enthusiasm.

Mika just laughed and settled between them.

"Piii, your friend is really cute. You weren't lying," she confided.

Jin reacted before anyone could stop him.
"Huuh?? You told her you think I'm hot?? You can tell her I also think she's-"

Pin hurried to cut in.
"Jin. What did I just tell you?"

Jin was disappointed but he did shut up. He still carefully listened.

Mika ignored him and went on.
"As far as my diagnosis can go, he's certainly not indifferent to me. But..." she bit her lip, looking thoughtful. "I don't know, although Kazuya seems to enjoy staying close to me, he doesn't look like he actually wants to do anything with m-"

Jin interrupted again, a smirk on his lips:

"Oh don't worry, you just have to give him a little push in the beginning. And after that, you can't stop him!" he winked and laughed.

Pi's eyebrows shot up, and for once he didn't try to silence him. "Ha???" he exclaimed, "you never told me Kame had gone out with girls!!"

Jin belatedly realised his words had been slightly too revealing. He let himself fall back on the mattress and muttered "Forget what I just said."

His head was spinning and it felt like the mattress was moving beneath him, as if it was a boat. Among the images that unexpectedly took over his mind, the only one that became clearer and clearer was the image of Kame kissing Mika. He needed to see that for real, even if that made no sense... it was a vital necessity to see Kame's lips having fun. Jin blamed the thrill he felt at the mere thought of it on his beverages and on the shisha.

***

Kame's face was hit by cold air when they stepped out. He leaned his shoulders against the wall, trying to stay careful - although it was tempting not to. Meanwhile, Haru lit his long black cigarette, the flame briefly lighting up their faces with an orange glow before letting them fall back into the darkness of this empty street.

Fuck, Haru really was too hot. Kame couldn't take his eyes off his lips.

"Don't look at me like that, I'll give you some, I promise!" Haru chuckled, which made Kame's heart stop. What did he mean?! But when Haru slowly stepped into his personal space to place his cigarette between Kazuya's lips, he got it.
Nonetheless, Haru's fingers subtly brushed against his skin in the process.

They talked very little, but their mischievous smiles were enough of a hint to give them an idea of what they were each thinking about. Especially since Haru hadn't stepped back.

"It fucking annoys me when Mika makes me keep her company at a straight party." Haru muttered

Kame's doubts were confirmed, and this new piece of information made him slightly feverish. Since the young man had confided that about himself... maybe he could guess what Kame's preferences were. Was he that obvious?

"You could've just told her you're not interested" he replied and kept smoking, in the hope of hiding his discomfort.

When Kame exhaled some smoke, Haru took his cigarette back and leaned even closer to him.

When had smoking become something that sexy? Even the the cold wall against which Kame's neck was resting wasn't enough to draw him out of what felt like hypnosis. His fingers brushed against Haru's when he took the cigarette back. That guy was now so close the younger could almost feel his breath on his cheek.

Their position was clearly no longer innocent. During their cigarette sharing, the older had drawn close to the point of sneaking his knee against the wall - between Kame's own knees. The latter started to feel a bit tense and his pulse shot up. What was Haru going to do??

Kazuya felt more and more impatient, his body craving for even more closeness despite his fears.

When Haru responded, Kame had almost forgotten what he himself had just said.

"She told me there would be a cute guy I might like..." a corner of his mouth rose. "She wasn't wrong."

Instead of going back to smoking, Haru dropped his cigarette on the floor and looked straight into the other boy's eyes. The younger's neck against the wall, his eyes and lips sensually parted... yes, they had to both be thinking about the same thing.

"What are you waiting for to kiss me?" Kazuya muttered, pretending to be blasé, but the way he was fixing him made it obvious he was excited.

Haru didn't wait for another request.

Kazuya sighed in relief as soon as their lips met. It had been such a long time...

The kiss had been simple at first, but it quickly grew wilder and wilder and awoke his senses.

Before this, Kame had thought he wouldn't need a boyfriend or... some physical adventure. Until now, his loneliness had been enough for him, as well as Ueda's stories he listened to were.

But now, his body's reactions made him think he'd refrained from doing anything for way too long. What's more, there was something... exciting about the fact that only a simple wall separated them from all the others. One of their friends would just have to step out to see something.

But that was the last of their worries. Everywhere their bodies touched made them forget how cold it was - until Kazuya felt icy fingers sneak behind the button of his trousers. He had no idea how that button had gotten undone, but the icy fingers were already sliding further, further... between his legs.

He was unable to hold back a low moan that got lost in Haru's mouth, while the latter's fingers made him feel more and more turned on.

"Haru, you really can't stop taking my dates away."

The surprise took his breath away and Kame hurriedly drew away from Haru when he heard Mika's voice, panicking. But an additional surprise was that the girl just looked amused.

"Oh, you can go on, I didn't mean to interrupt," she said with a smirk, "I love the ways your eyebrows were twitching, Kazuya."

Kame's brain still hadn't caught up with the situation. Why the fuck was she talking like that?!

"Mika, shut up and leave us alone, can't you see we're busy?" Haru muttered.

Mika sighed exaggeratedly.

"Don't get so annoyed. I just wanted to warn you the others are going to step out in a minute. We're going to a club."

Haru stepped away from Kame, obviously disappointed.

Kame hadn't gotten over his emotions yet. What had just been a trivial moment for Haru had been a first time for him. The younger was however quick to find a way to look like nothing had happened before the others arrived.

***

That night, unlike his usual party habits, Jin didn't try to draw any attention to himself. His head felt way too heavy for anything like that, so as soon as they entered the club, he ordered a drink and slumped over an armchair. Pi and Ryo sat down next to him, while Kame, Haru and Mika went towards the dancefloor.

"Well, well... I have to admit, I'm impressed." Ryo said, eyes on Kame's hands that were on Mika's waist.

"See, I had told you you'd drawn your conclusions too quickly" Pi replied. "Kazuya looks like he's in his element with those two."

His friends' words barely reached Jin's ears. He was also watching the scene, his thoughts from the restaurant still obsessing him.

Without the others paying any attention to it, Haru was dancing on the other side of Mika, so close that Kame's fingers almost brushed against him. Mika knew her two dance partners were only thinking about each other without daring to get close again - not here in any case. But that just made the dance more amusing for her. How much longer would they resist?

However she also knew why Pi had invited her. Although they had already been friends for a long time, her friendship with Haru was even older... so there was no doubt who's interest would be her priority.
What's more, she'd quickly felt sensitive to Kazuya's situation. Or to be honest, she'd really enjoyed the sight of them together outside... and hoped that she would get to see that again tonight.

She therefore decided to use Pi's strategy the other way round, and drew closer to Kame so that he could hear her voice over all the noise.

"Kazuya, what I'm about to do, I'm doing it for you," she said with a serious tone. The other had to understand she wasn't kidding. "I'm doing this so that your friends won't one day bother you with dumb questions. So... don't push me away, ok?"

The younger barely had the time to give her a confused look: her soft lips were already meeting his at the same time that her perfume invaded his space. For an instant he didn't move out of surprise, but when he thought back to what she'd just said... it almost made sense. He relaxed a little bit and in the end, responded to the sensual kiss. It really wasn't unpleasant, and he didn't dislike the warmth of her body either.

"Am I here to hold a candle for you two or what?" Haru ironically protested and stepped back.

"Earlier it was me doing that, now it's your turn," she replied with a smirk.

Mika didn't wait for another complaint and went back to their kiss. Kazuya however didn't close his eyes this time, and watched Haru instead. There was something exciting about kissing this girl, simply because he knew Haru was watching and wanted him.

And Haru wasn't the only one staring.

 

"Guys!! I can't believe it!" Ryo shouted. "Look at Kame!!"

"Shut up" Jin muttered. "...I'm going to dance now, see you later."

Jin didn't want to hear Ryo's silly comments any longer. He walked away to get to enjoy the view without anything to distract him from it. Once he was on his own, he took a deep breath and stared. His skin unexpectedly prickled.

Oh what a Kazu... Jin was proud to see him like this, drawing everyone's attention. No one would say he's too shy or too innocent anymore: tonight, Kame was a hot guy who looked like he was thriving. Just like Pi and Jin usually looked in the girls' eyes... not Ryo, Jin thought with a smirk. He wasn't exactly sure why he felt like criticizing Ryo, but he didn't want to think about that right now. Something much more enjoyable was in front of him.

Of course it looked hot, he told himself with a grin, since Kame had chosen one of the hottest girls here. If Jin was appreciating this sight, the same couldn't be said about Haru.

Annoyed, he stepped away even further and gave Kame a warning:

"Kazuya. I'm going to the bathroom. You're free to follow me, or not to."

Kame stopped kissing and was immediately unsettled. He surely hadn't expected that and didn't know how he ought to react. His eyes hesitantly went from Mika to Haru...

"Go on, follow him." Mika said with a smile, although her look did seem slightly disappointed. Deep down, she was still happy for the two guys that they had got to meet... and appreciate each other. "Haru, you better take good care of him" she added seriously.

Haru scoffed.
"Of course! Don't worry about that."

Kame felt his heart thump like crazy when he saw the wink Haru had just made. While they both sneaked through the crowd, the only thing on their mind was their exciting expectations. That was enough to already make Kame feel another slight shiver go through him, which made him feel even more excited - until on the way he spotted a confused Jin still looking for them near Mika. He ignored the way his chest tightened and moved forwards.

 

The sound of his zipper getting opened echoed in the tiny cubicle they'd snuck into. Haru's wandering hands made Kame forget to breathe.

Pleasure similar to what he'd felt ourside invaded him again; one of Haru's hands wandered underneath his tank top, almost completely pulling it up to expose his torso. The sexy bites he was giving Kame's lips stopped: he went down to kiss the soft skin of his stomach instead. Kisses, licks... Kame felt like his tummy was being devoured. He watched Haru kiss his navel and not stop there. The younger heavily exhaled and shut his eyes without meaning to - all that probably due to the novelty of this moment, but he opened his eyes again, not wanting to miss a thing. Haru tugged Kame's jeans until they slid to the floor.

Kame breathed more quickly, both in excited anticipation and in slight anxiousness. But of course Haru was going to take good care of him, he'd promised to, hadn't he?

Then that was it: he was fully exposed to the other man's persisting look. Haru's smirk and glance at his face made Kame feel slightly embarrassed... but he didn't have to deal with that gaze for a long time: Haru's attention went lower and the older bit his lips.

"Fuck. Kame..." he breathed, his position making his breath go against a very sensitive spot. It did reassure Kazuya to hear the the other one sounding just as turned on as him.

And very soon, it was more than his breath Kame felt.

Kame stared.
That was it. A gay guy was on his knees for him, licking his-

He gasped.

Kazuya hadn't meant to jut his hips forwards, but he couldn't hold back. He followed Haru's rythm, having a hard time not to complety lose control. But he needed... he needed to give in to his instincts. Kame hesitantly put a hand in the other man's hair.

He'd only meant to carress it, but a wave of pleasure made him grip it. Fuck... that was so, so, hot.

A sigh left his lips.
Kame wondered why he'd missed on such experiences for so long.

Then a low whimper escaped his mouth - that hopefully no one had heard.

Only moments later, there was another noisy sigh.

How could he be quiet with all the tension that was building up? More and more pressure... the tension almost becoming unbearable. He needed more... a little bit more... and of course, Haru's mouth was providing everything he needed.

"... Sorry!!!"

The cubicle's door had just opened and closed very quickly, barely giving Kame the time to recognise the young athlete from the other day. But his brain was so overtaken by his sensations that it didn't matter.

The sounds Kame kept making were just so dirty... why would it matter if someone heard him? He just needed to fucking come already, nothing else mattered.

Yes, Kame did feel a bit ashamed that his pleasure was so obvious, probably even on the other side of the door, but he couldn't deal with everything at the same time.

Haru felt the grip on his hair tighten, while Kame tilted his own head backwards.

Then, Kame was finally free, his whole body shuddering as he came with another sigh.

While he heavily leaned onto the nearest wall, his short hair stuck to his sweaty temples while his irregular breath finally started to slow down.

***

"Kazuya, I'm sorry but I lost my mobile. So I'll give you Haru's number instead, so that we can stay in touch." Mika said with a huge smile, while everyone was getting ready to go back home or back to their room at the Junior's location.

Kame slightly blushed, knowing precisely why she was doing this.

"...thanks."

Haru caught his arm to stop him, just when Kame had been about to go.
"Beep my phone now so that I can get your number, I'm not going to let you leave like that" he said with a playful grin on his lips.
Kame didn't wait for a second request.

He sincerely regretted that this evening already had to end. For the first time in months, he had felt like he was living intense moments.

 

As soon as they were a few feet away, Yamapi, Jin and Ryo prevented Kame from staying in his own bubble to think about that night.

"Kameeee you'd hidden that side from us!!" Ryo exclaimed while messing up his hair.

The younger refrained from pushing him away, although he was tempted to do so in an unfriendly way.

"Kame is definitely an impressive seducer!" Jin joked and poked his abs.

"Oi, guys," Pi cut in, "let him enjoy the fresh memories a bit longer." But just after, he also had a smirk on his lips and in the end, he continued their conversation anyway. "We definitely ought to go out with you more often, we had no idea you were like this!"

"Hell yeah!!" Jin cheered. "I do want to see you acting like that more often!"

Kame certainly hadn't expected Jin to say something like that, but everyone was talking so quickly he couldn't think.

"...it's now that you wake up, Jin?" Ryo said with a snort."You looked like you were asleep while we were partying."

Jin ignored him and continued to look at Kame with glittering eyes. Despite the evening's events, the younger couldn't stay unsensitive to Jin when the older put an arm around his shoulders, and leaned closer to whisper more unexpected words.

"I lo..." Jin stopped mid-sentence, but immediately started again: "I adore you, Kazuya."

 

As far as Jin was concerned, seeing Kame go wild with a girl had helped him stop feeling too uncomfortable or ambiguous to show him his affection again. Maybe deep down he had shared the same doubts as Ryo?

Tonight, telling himself that Kame did for sure like girls had helped him drop his uneasiness. He now considered that their reconciliation had been 100% fulfilled, and that they could go back to the close friendship they'd had before, without having anything to worry about.

 

During the whole trip back, Jin's arms never left Kame.

Chapter Text

"You worked well today, congrats ! You can have a rest now."

Their manager bowed one last time before stepping out of the dressing room and left KAT-TUN on their own. Kame still had fake snow stuck in his hair and Ueda hadn't taken his bonnet off yet.

"I wish I could keep this..." Ueda mumbled, fumbling with the strings. "Do you think they'll notice if I steal it?"

Koki burst out laughing.

"You really think you'll go unnoticed if you step out with that on your head?? Don't you have dinner with your boyfriend tonight? I'm not sure he'll-"

"He'll adore it."

The other members tried to refrain from laughing too hard to avoid pissing off Tatsuya, but Kame sent him a warm smile. Their laughter was kind teasing and nothing else.

"Where did you meet that guy?" Maru asked.

"I have networking contacts that turn out useful."

"Please stay careful though," Kame said.

"Don't worry Kazuya, I've been doing this for years and I've never had a single issue with the press. I've got it all in control."

Kame admired Ueda for managing to talk about his personal life so openly with all band members. It didn't seem to bother anyone and hadn't changed a thing in their relationship. So why hadn't he found a way to also open up?

One of the main differences between them was that Ueda had no history with a band member.

That being said, Kazuya wasn't sure that what he'd gone through with Jin years ago was something he could consider "history" - as if it were a past relationship. It definitely hadn't been couple-history, that's for sure. But it was hard to define. Through the years, each of them had come to have their own relationship experiences and hadn't had any excuse to share additional pleasing moments together. Moments they had insisted to treat as if they were insignificant. Their games had stayed buried in their teenage years and they ended up barely thinking about it anymore.

Kame wasn't going to lie, something in his heart had given a start back when he'd heard Jin and Shizu were breaking up. That news had meant Jin would finally be free... but his illusions were blown away when it was overnight announced that Akanishi was leaving for 6 months. With no explanation, despite their friendship and closeness feeling intact merely a few days before the news.

***

The melody of MIRACLE resonated accross the TV studio, their voices accompanied by the guests' ones. Singing in front of a public gave them even more satisfaction than before, now that they had debuted. They finally felt like they had accomplished something, that they were loved for who they actually were, and that they were working to discover new adventures. After so many years of efforts, they didn't have any time to rest, but at least they felt the fans' gratefulness. For that moment, for that time, it was enough.

Kame was pulled out of his thoughts when he saw something was wrong- something was different from what they had rehearsed... that's when he realised Akanishi wasn't where he was supposed to be and called him back to order with a well-placed kick. Both Jin and the audience burst out laughing.

Even though Kame had a found a way to no longer spend too much time hoping for a return of their old days, Jin's special smile still made warmth spread all the way from his heart to the tips of his fingers. He couldn't control what his heart felt - how could he? It was impossible.

It was however still incredibly satisfying to let go and enjoy fun times together on stage, to simply be happy to be there and share his joy with his best friend. Despite the obstacles, despite the tough moments they went through to be able to debut, they were both there, main guests of Utawara, and Kame hoped that it would never stop.

***

"Jin, how can you be so bad? How can you forget you were supposed to go to the front of the stage??"

"Who cares, Kazu? They loved it!"

Jin still had a huge smile on his lips. He snatched the towel Kame had been holding to towel the younger's hair for him. Kame exhaled and let his back rest against Jin's stomach.

"You're still keeping that old navel piercing?" he asked, feeling the cold ball between his shoulders.

"Yeah well... I'm making the most of it, as long as how much I eat is still invisible. Because that won't last forever."

"Baka..."

Jin watched their reflection in the mirror and stared at Kame who had just closed his eyes to relax for a moment.

Sometimes, the older one still had urges that he couldn't explain. Urges to take his best friend in his arms, urges to kiss his cheek... and even his lips. But Jin told himself they were past the age to be that affectionate with a friend (in particular, a certain friend) so he held all those urges back. He didn't want Kame to get the wrong idea either. They weren't teenagers anymore and couldn't just do weird things together anymore. The age of experimenting was long gone - everyone probably did that when they were young but stopped once their personal experiences took over. He had his Shizu and Kame... Kame had his sories he never talked about. But Jin knew there had been something with his "Kyon Kyon". A story that had abruptly come to an end because their agency considered that such a relationship would damage the band's image. 

Shizu on the other hand was also starting to cause him problems. He had never really felt in love with her and was starting to feel stuck in this relationship he didn't want anymore. Johnny-san's potential reaction if he left her made him terribly anxious. He did like her a lot, but he also liked a lot of other girls and it was getting harder and harder to hide his side stories.

***

Jin somehow managed to keep the situation somewhat stable... until he was summoned to Kitagawa's office.

A model was threatening to file a claim against him. Jin had spent a few nights with her and she claimed to be pregnant with his child. He knew it was false since he had always been particularly careful to use protection - she probably only wanted money. It was however not a good enough explanation for a boss who had blood ties with Shizu.

Johnny-san was furious.

Jin was asked to never see Shizu again and not step into the Jimusho in the foreseeable future.

Jin thus disappeared by going to the States for six months, to give Johnny-san time to accept that his loss would represent a significant loss for the company. He did everything he could to hide the real reason for his departure from the other band members because he wasn't proud of what he'd done: cheating on his girlfriend for so long... it was all the more disappointing considering that he regurlarly mentionned how much he cared about family values in interviews.

***

"I saw the little signs you came up with on TV - you really were inspired, huh? You can even handle distance to do fanservice."

Kame snorted.

"What can I say? The fans had to see how much I suffered in the absence of your love," he replied ironically.

Despite their light tone, their easygoing friendship didn't immediately return. After all, Kame and the others weren't ready to immediately act as if he hadn't left. Jin had an idea of how tough it may have been, but he didn't know the full picture. He didn't know about painful details. But they all wanted to have a fresh start, on a strong and positive basis. They wanted to believe in it.

KAT-TUN wasn't a band without cracks, but they shared a History that made them want to step forwards, together, despite any problem that could show up.

Time ended up healing the cracks and they all ended up wholeheartedly welcoming his return.

***

"Kame? Are you gonna change or do you plan to leave with your PV outfit on?" Jin teased, tearing Kame out of his thoughts.

Kame blinked to get back to the present and was surprised to see he and Jin were the only ones left in the dressing room.

"Come on, hurry up, you'd promised that you'd come with me when I go buy my new boots," Jin grumbled as he finished buttoning up his fresh shirt.

"Jin..." Kame muttered with a smirk. "Did you gain some weight?"

Jin raised an eyebrow, slightly confused.

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

But there was a slight blush on his cheeks so Kame smirked some more.

"Oh, nothing, I just noticed you're not wearing your navel piercing anymore. What a pity. It looked so nice."

"Right..." Jin slowly replied. "I just wasn't in the mood for it. It's not like it's the manliest thing to wear anyway."

"'Right...' I forgot that now you'd rather impress the lady with hairy abs, or should I say... hairy love handles? Got to keep warm in december, ne?"

"Kame!! Shut up!" He snapped and Kame burst out laughing. He still knew what topics were sensitive and never hesitated to play with them.

"I forgive you for being mean if we get to the store on time, I really need those shoes for the party I'm attending tonight."

***

When they arrived at the store, Kame froze in front of the boots Jin was showing him.

"Is this a joke?"

"No? It's the ones I showed you last week in Vogue magazine."

"But..." Kame gulped. "I bought the same ones."

Jin groaned.

"Kazuyaa I wanted them!"

Kame shrugged.

"Nothing stops you from buying them anyway."

"No, it's just that when papa-pics come out, fans will scream that it's... akame-evidence," Jin jokingly enunciated with a serious face, which made Kame snort.

"In that case, boss will be happy, it will be useful publicity. Considering the upcoming new single... and... well these boots are really cool. I wouldn't have bought them otherwise."

"If I hadn't circled them on page 23, I'm not sure you would have noticed them."

Kame rolled his eyes.

A salesperson made them drop the topic as she approached them to offer help. Moments later Jin walked out of the store, a big smile on his lips and a big box in his arms.

On the building in front of them, a huge poster with familiar faces caught their attention: KAT-TUN New Single - White Xmas. It was the first time they saw it.

"I really don't get what Ueda loves about his bonnet," Jin joked before they walked past the building.

Kame was happy that their friendship had went back to being light and easy. It hadn't always been like this during the past few years. Just like their group had went through ups and downs.

***

Fireworks lit up the night sky as their noise echoed in the air of Tokyo. A new year was finally starting, with new projects, new obligations... but at that moment, Kazuya only thought of his wishes of happiness in 2009. Maybe this year could bring professional success and personal fulfilment together. He sure had had a few partners in the past, but it was hard to find a person who accepted his complicated timetable and someone he could trust not to divulge private information.

This year was however starting very well, he told himself as he gazed at the man seated in front of him. That man was affectionately looking at Kazuya - he knew he was lucky to be there. After all, not everyone could end up being Kamenashi Kazuya's boyfriend. The K of KAT-TUN was definitely living up to his image, his perfect hair making him look particularly charming tonight and barely leaving his earring visible.

"Thank you for making me discover this restaurant," the idol said, "you were right, the view is amazing."

"I'm glad you like it," his boyfriend said and slid his hand closer accross the table, but Kame drew his away before they touched.

"Kengo, please," he muttered. "Don't do something stupid in public."

"Of course. I'm sorry," he said and took his hand off the table.

The waiter brought their dishes and they forgot all about it.

***

Kame had met his boyfriend one month earlier, at a mutual friend's party. They had quickly got on well together: Kengo was an oenologist and Kame was thrilled as he learnt at lot of things about wine while having lengthy discussions with him. His new drama's production, Kami no Shizuku, was just about to start so the timing was perfect. What's more, if the young man did know about Johnny's, he let nothing show and behaved normally with all idols he came to meet. Celebrity didn't seem to affect him and that was something Kame particularly appreciated considering his previous mishaps: he was always worried that press would spot him doing things meant to be kept private, or that a lover would require him to buy his silence.

Ueda had always recommended that he look for a partner in their own scene so that both parties would keep things quiet for mutual interest, but all the people Kame knew in their milieu were childhood friends and... he knew rumours quickly went around JE, even though they never went out of the agency. Some people even teased Kame and Jin about "akakame" but both of them certainly hoped that no one knew anything other than what had been displayed by the media. They didn't think about their teenage days anymore and they didn't need others to unearth the topic.

As time and lovers had went by, Kame had learnt to appease the twinges he felt when he saw his best friend. Of course, he still thought he was beautiful, but he had learnt to no longer look at him with desire - at least most of the time.

It hadn't been easy in the beginning, but he now managed to be happy with what his boyfriends gave him. His job didn't let him have a public relationship and he was having a hard time to make his relationships last, but tonight he didn't want to think about his issues. Tonight, he was going to spend the night with a handsome man at home, and the thought alone was enough to push everything else out of his mind.

As soon as the door of his apartment closed behind them, Kazuya wasted no time and pushed Kengo against a wall and kissed him slowly, slowly, sensually. When he pressed his body against his, his boyfriend couldn't help laughing.

"With the looks you were giving me at the restaurant, I was pretty sure you were... hungry for something else than dinner."

"Don't tell me you weren't also waiting for this," Kame breathed before busying his lips with another use.

Kengo closed his eyes and stayed quiet, until his breath heaved.

"Fuck... Kazuya..."

The idol's careful hairdo hadn't survived Kengo's enthusiasm. A messy haired Kame glanced back at him, eyes bright with desire and parted lips waiting for only one thing: to return to his skin. All conversation forgotten, the guest gave in to the temptation and tasted those lips as he dropped his jacket. Kame smiled without interrupting the kiss and tugged Kengo towards his bedroom.

Moments later, Kame had just dropped him on the bed and climbed over him when his phone buzzed.

On the screen was the last name he wanted to see in the middle of a romantic evening: Jin.

He ignored it and went back to kissing his lover, unbuttoning his shirt and sliding his fingers over the torso he appreciated so much. That warm skin was the only thing that mattered.

"Mmmh," Kengo murmured with a pleased shiver, "as much as I love this... maybe you ought to answer. It could be urgent."

Kame stopped for a second without moving off him, absolutely not wanting to let anything interrupt this.

Bakanishi. Always there to bother him at the worst moment. He grudgingly grabbed his phone that hadn't stopped buzzing.

"Hey," he said drily.

"Kame, sorry to bother you but-"

"Ryo?? What the fuck are you doing with Jin's phone?"

There was only one thing that was worse than being bothered by Jin in the middle of a sensual moment, and that was to be interrupted by Ryo. The latter still had no idea what life Kazuya was having... Kame hadn't planned to keep his homosexuality hidden from all his childhood friends but... no occasion that felt like the right moment to come out had shown up and... he didn't feel like he had a reason to do so. Ryo was anyway the last person he'd feel like opening up to.

"We have a big problem. Jin, he's... as good as dead."

Kame's was so pissed he stayed silent and waited for an explanation.

"He lost his keys and he puk-"

"When will this fucker understand that he has to stop drinking at some point?" Kame interrupted icily.

He was tired of this, Jin was past the age of acting like that. Sure, it was new year's eve, but still...

"Well he has nowhere to go," Ryo continued and Kame's stomach sank. He had a feeling he knew where this was going. "We can't leave him alone in such a state. Can I drop him off at your place?"

"At my place?? I'm kinda... having a celebration here." Kame protested, his hand unconsciously hovering over Kengo's lower waist. "Take him at your place, Ryo, it will be simpler that way."

There was no way Kame was going to give up on the heated night he had planned.

"I can't, I'm sleeping at my girlfriend's place and she doesn't have enough space for an additional person."

He was pretty sure Ryo was lying, just because he didn't want to have to deal with a drunk Jin all night. Kengo was waiting for him to hang up, his eyes betraying all the dirty things he had in mind as he smirked. Kame bit his lower lip, torn between the temptation to be selfish and the choice to do the right thing.

Jin was an old friend. He couldn't ignore him when he needed help.

"Ok. Bring him over. Call me when you get here and I'll come downstairs to get him."

Kengo then understood their night wouldn't go as planned. Kazuya threw his phone on the bed, still pissed, and didn't leave him time to think any further or speak: he lied back down on top of him with a sigh and kissed him rather aggressively.

"Who is... that Jin guy?"

Kame drew away to mutter a quick reply.

"Someone I grew up with. I can't just abandon him in the shitty situation he got himself into."

"Oh."

Kame tried to put an end to the conversation with more kisses and caresses, but he could see Kengo was distracted.

He paused and looked at him.

"Look. I won't let him ruin this evening for us, ok? I'll put him in the guest room and he'll probably just fall asleep and leave us alone. Nothing will interrupt us after that."

Kenga nodded and seemed less preoccupied. The kisses continued in a more relaxed way.

***

Every time the car moved with a start, Jin felt he couldn't hold on much longer. Who had had the dumb idea to take them all to a cellarman's event? A refined activity, they'd said. They could have warned him he wasn't supposed to actually drink all the wine he was offered to taste... how could he know he was expected to spit it all out? He had made up his mind, he wouldn't drink wine ever again. He should have expected a "refined activity" including Pi, Ryo and himself to not end well. What's more, they kept accusing each other of making Jin end like this - an argument that made his headache even worse. He didn't even know where they were taking him.

"He didn't sound happy, but one of us has to deal with Jin after all," Ryo said.

"If I wasn't currently moving to a new place, you know I would have taken him," Pi replied, "you suck, Ryo, couldn't your girlfriend wait one day for your date?"

"Tonight was planned a month ago. I can't ruin all that just because Jin was unable to control himself."

Jin wanted to say something, but he felt his stomach twist and decided to stay quiet.

"I just hope he wasn't in the middle of a romantic dinner or something."

Ryo snorted.

"If he had a girlfriend, we'd know, he hadn't really kept it secret when he was dating that old lady-"

"Come on," Pi interrupted, "she wasn't that old. And she was rather pretty."

"Hm," Ryo said noncommittally. "To be honest... I'm sure he's closeted and is repressing gay urges."

Pi groaned.

"Shut up, Ryo. And then you act as if you're surprised that he doesn't hang out with us anymore? You're too old to still say dumb shit like that."

The mood in the car had dropped. Not another word was spoken until they arrived at Kazuya's building. Jin, who had ended up falling asleep was brought back to consciousness when fresh air hit his face: Pi and Ryo had opened the door.

"It's ok, I'll manage," said a familiar voice.

"Are you sure? We can help you get him upstairs."

"No need. I got it."

Despite the storm going on in his head, Jin cracked an eye open when he felt Pi's strong arms leave him, thinner arms taking their place and firmly holding his shoulders.

"We're going to take it slow, you'll be ok," Kame's voice said softly as they slowly walked towards the lift.

Pi and Ryo nodded as they said goodbye and the building's door slid shut.

***

When Kame helped Jin undress, the older felt even worse. Just like a few other times he'd been drunk, a blue mood replaced the earlier fun.

"Kamee... I'm so fucking sorry," he whined, the swear-word in English. Kame pulled up his shirt, messing up Jin's hair even more. An old memory he quickly pushed away showed up in his mind.

"Stop it Jin, it's ok now. You're here in a bedroom, you have pj's, just sleep and you'll feel better tomorrow," Kame said as he slid a clean pajama top over his head.

"But I'm ruining your new year's eve."

Kame thought about Kengo patiently waiting for him in his bed and smiled.

"Don't worry about me."

Jin let himself fall back on the bed with a grunt and Kame pulled the blanket to safely cover him up.

"Sleep. I'm leaving a glass of water for you on the nightstand," Kame whispered and lightly stroked his hair. "Good night Jin."

***

2am.

Jin woke up with a start, covered in sweat. Maybe he'd had a nightmare, he couldn't remember. He emptied the glass on his bedside table, but it wasn't enough to make his dry throat feel better. His still uncomfortable stomach was begging him not to get up, but his thirst beat it: he slowly pushed away his duvet and set one foot on the cold floor, then the other.

His mind hadn't settled in its normal state yet, but he made himself get up and shuffled towards the bathroom. A low light enabled Jin to see where he stepped - quietly - in the corridor: it came from a door that had been left ajar. Kame's room.

Once his thirst was quenched, his head felt clearer. He took a deep breath and had just stepped back out of the bathroom when a sound caught his attention.

A sound he'd never heard Kame make before.

"What the..."

Kame wasn't alone.

He probably had a girlfriend and was... was he??

Jin felt a subtle tingling sensation. Kame... he had definitely hidden his game well, huh? Jin wanted to laugh. Of course Kame had managed to greet him without letting him guess what he was intruding upon. That was...

His soundless urge to laugh disappeared when he heard something else.

Another voice.

A man's voice.

Jin had to have misheard that, he couldn't believe that Kame was... no, he must have hallucinated.

The door was just there. Just a foot away. Just one look would clear up any doubts but... that was not the kind of thing he ought to do. That was... impolite. But-

Jin's lips parted and his breath quickened without him even realising it. He had to know. His feet moved him forwards before his brain could hold him back.

Another erotic sound reached his ears. It was too late to go back, maybe it was the remains of all the alcohol he'd consumed that stopped him from being reasonable.

Just another step-

 

Jin couldn't breathe anymore.

 

Kazuya's damp skin shone under the subdued light, the muscles of his back shifting at the same rythm as his hips moved. And what a move-

The other man was clawing at the sheets as he stood on his knees, his arms and forehead sinking into the mattress. Kame was moving behind him, his hands sliding down the other's back as his rythm became more and more intense.

Jin on the other hand couldn't move. He knew Kame's body - at least the one from a few years ago. But... he hadn't known what his contracted glutes looked like. He hadn't known how his muscular hips looked like... not when they moved like that. Not when he was naked. Kame's back arched to bring his partner more pleasure, and that was-

Jin couldn't find the right word.

When did Kame get that strong? What he was doing was so... intense. Strong. Abrupt. It almost looked savage - Jin couldn't think, he couldn't name it but Kame was going wild, the other man was moaning and the subtle sounds Kame made...

How...

When... ?

Jin still couldn't breathe. Or maybe he needed to breathe more loudly.

Fuck. Fuck!!!

He couldn't think.

No, no thinking.

Jin wasn't going to think now.

He was busy... how could he tear his eyes away from such a sensual and ravenous sight?

Kame leaned over Kengo's back to kiss his shoulder, his neck and guided his face sideways to kiss his lips.

Jin had never thought Kame had it in him to act like this. To be so... not dominating but... definitely leading where this was going. He'd never thought...

The way Kame moved that ass...

The way his parted lips let out soft gasps and looked so... tempting. And the way his sweaty hair stuck to his neck - his moves getting even more quick...

Oh fuck.

Of course the other man was getting louder.

Of course that guy whimpered and came.

Kame groaned too and the tension left his shoulders as he slid down onto the fresh sheets against his partner's body. The latter smiled and kissed him again - this time in a slower, almost more innocent manner while Kame wrapped his arms around him.

Jin felt like his heart was thumping out of control. His breath was still uneven - probably precisely because he was trying to control it. He'd seen enough and stepped back. Back to a safer haven. Back to his room.

His uneven steps had nothing to do with his drinks. He shivered as he sank back into his mattress, his thoughts still a wild mess.

What the fuck had just happened?!

He thought the mess in his head couldn't get worse, but he was wrong. He was panicking, his heart still beating like crazy, but his body left no room for doubt: he had liked that. His body had more than liked it.

No. No way...

His fingers made their way downwards before he could even process that information. He couldn't just stay like this.

A voice inside was telling him to stop. Because if he gave in now, if he admitted that he needed this physical satisfaction, how could he ever go back to how things were before this experience?

Nothing could ever be the same after this. Kame, why did that fucker have to do this? Jin felt like he hated him for doing that tonight.

He didn't really hate him, though.

His hesitant hand continued lower without waiting for his thoughts to accept it. He needed to ease the tension, he needed to-

Jin bit his lip and closed his eyes when his fingers finally tightened around his dick and did what needed to be done.

Tighter, faster.

Just like Kame with the damp muscles on his back, his messy hair... his hips, his arched waist... the little noises he had made...

Fuck, no, Jin had to think about something else. What the fuck was he doing? A woman. There, that was a nice thought... a woman with perfect boobs. Soft and firm just like...

Just like...

Like Kame's ass.

 

Jin was so fucked.

There was no way back from this.

His lips parted, his strenuous breathing not letting him stay quiet.

 

Kame...

Kame...

A light whimper.

He was turned on because of Kame.

Kame turned him on.

That body... the more he thought about it, the more pleasure took over. He wanted to see that body moving against him. Only for him. Maybe even... inside him.

Jin gasped and kept his eyes tightly shut.

 

He had come.

 

While thinking about Kame.

 

Shit.

 

Moments later, Jin realised that he wasn't even in his own bed and that the sheets would need to get discreetly cleaned.

Fuck this. Fuck everything.

Jin took a deep breath and tried to pull himself together.

 

He failed.

Chapter Text

As the night drew closer, the sun slowly turned the sky's blue into warm colors. The soft light made Kame's soft hair look gold.

The latter was lying down in the grass, waiting for Jin to finish changing. They were supposed to work on a Shounen Club episode that night - as if a full day spent on a drama's set hadn't been enough.

Jin finally walked out of the building, his hands in his pockets, a lollipop in his mouth and his Hayato hairdo still intact.

"You took your time," Kame said, "hurry up, we'll be late."

Jin didn't immediately answer, preferring to savor the lollipop but his subtle smirk betrayed his thoughts.

"We shouldn't give a shit, they should give us better timetables if they want us to be on time."

The drama's filming had started two weeks ago and the length of their idol activities would have been a nightmare to go through if they hadn't been together. At least, together they could laugh about it, even if it was sometimes desperate and hopeless laughter. Their sleepless nights were adding up and their exhaustion was starting to show.

In the train, Jin blinked as he tried to keep his eyes open. His manga lay forgotten on the table, he had no energy to read it tonight.

The low sound of the railway was almost as good as a lullaby and the sunset didn't help.

"Go on, sleep. I'll wake you up when we get there," Kame said.

"But... it's always me who..." he protested softly, but his eyes were already closing. "Ok."

Minutes later, the sun was down and the younger's eyelids were also dropping, but he had to stay awake, he had to-

His phone buzzed on the table and woke Jin up. It was their manager.

"Hello?"

"Kamenashi. We're having major issues here on Shounen Club set. Stupid juniors... they set up firecrackers on stage. Firecrackers! The dumb little-"

"Ha???" Kame's surprised tone barely hid the smile on his lips. This incident was the last thing he expected.

"The stage is a mess. I don't know who got this idea but Kitagawa-san is furious. Filming is cancelled, there's no need for you two to come."

"I understand. Thank you for telling us. And good luck for dealing with that situation."

Their manager huffed. He was obviously furious too.

"Use tonight to rest well. Please make sure Akanishi doesn't go out to party. You're expected to be back on set early tomorrow."

Kame rolled his eyes. As if they didn't know that.

"Of course, sir."

Once Kame had hung up, Jin excitedly sat up.

"So? Did it work?"

Kame's eyes narrowed.

"What do you mean?"

"The firecracker thing. Did it work?"

"How do you even know-'

Jin's huge smile was enough for him to understand.

"Baka... what did you make our juniors do??"

He shrugged.

"Hey, it's not my fault they want to please me."

Kame raised an eyebrow in doubt.

"Ok, ok, maybe I did insist. A little bit. But I did nothing mean, they did that because they wanted to help their senpais, I swear. It's all for our health!"

Kame groaned.

"Jiiin... Johnny-san is going to kill them. You just made JE waste money tonight."

"Come on, with what we make them earn they can definitely afford this."

Kame tried to hold back a yawn and failed. Jin's idea probably hadn't been a bad one after all.

They relaxed for a few moments, no longer having to worry about the rest of the day until Jin came up with an idea.

"Kazuya, didn't you say you had a friend who's a masseur?"

Kame internally huffed, wishing Jin hadn't brought that up.

"Ueda is the one who said it. But yeah, I do. Why?"

"Because I really, really need a massage right now. That fight scene... it killed me."

Kame blinked slowly.

"You know, that guy is more an aquaintance than an actual friend. I don't really know him that well."

But Jin wouldn't let him find excuses.

"Kame. Imagine. Both of us just relaxing and having a masseur taking care of us in the middle of the night. How can that not tempt you?"

Jin closed his eyes and sank into his seat, pleased to even just imagine the scene that currently felt like paradise.

He hummed before speaking again.

"Don't tell me you don't want that. Tell your friend - sorry - your acquaintance that I'm ready to pay a lot for this."

***

They were peacefully lying down in the same massage room, a lovely fragrance making them feel even more sleepy. The masseuse who was taking care of Jin seemed very talented - his whole body was relaxed and he hadn't felt this good in a long time. He was just about to fall asleep when a masseur walked in for Kame. His face looked vaguely familiar but he couldn't put a name on it.

The mystery was soon solved.

"It's been a while, Kazuya! Good to see you!"

"I've been a bit busy with work... I'm sorry I didn't give you any news, Haru-chan."

Haru laughed it off and said it didn't matter. Jin didn't like the way his eyes lit up when he continued.

"You've rather changed a lot since last time... but you're still super thin."

When he saw Kame's slight frown he immediately added "your back is so pretty like this" and started massaging him.

Kame just smiled and closed his eyes to fully enjoy the sensation.

Jin on the other hand had lost all of his sleepiness: he kept an attentive eye on everything that guy was doing... he didn't like the way he kept pushing the towel that covered Kame's butt lower and lower. He didn't like those meaningful looks. A professional masseur wasn't supposed to do that.

When Haru walked out to go fetch something, the words left Jin's lips before he could stop them.

"Kame... be careful, that guy is fishy," he solemnly whispered. "He keeps looking at you as if he wants to... I don't know. Do something fishy."

To his surprise, Kame laughed.

"Bakanishi, shut up with your weird theories."

"I'm not joking! I swear. But don't worry, I'll keep an eye on him."

Kame snorted.

"Thanks Jin, but I don't need you to."

Jin couldn't get why Kame looked so unbothered and almost happy about the situation.

He felt an unpleasant twist inside when he saw Kame's face light up when Haru returned. Was Kame blind? Or was he too innocent to see what Haru obviously had in mind?

***

It was almost 2am when they finally arrived back at the Jimusho. Jin was still a bit irritated because of the masseur's behaviour. Did that guy think Kame was gay or what? Kame wasn't going to flirt with the first man he saw anyway. After all... Kame had promised him that he'd never do anything with another guy.

Ok, that had been centuries ago, in another life that didn't make much sense to Jin right now but still...

Kazuya was straight anyway. Jin took a deep breath to try to stop the stupid thoughts.

"Good night" Kame said softly, cutting his thoughts short. They had arrived in front of his room.

When Jin looked up, Kame was looking at him, lost in thought. It wasn't the first time he did that, Jin often felt a bit uncomfortable.

The corridor was only illuminated by far away city lights, so he couldn't see Kame's face in detail.

At that moment, maybe it was his possessive instinct that took over, or maybe it was because night-time made him lose his sense of reason, but Jin surprised himself to think Kame's copper haircolor looked fucking great on him. And that Haru was right when he said he had a beautiful silhouette. His delicate, enigmatic lips... his intense stares... everything made Jin want to do something stupid.

"Jin?"

Jin swallowed.

"Kame, would you... would you like to come to my room?"

Kame's eyes slightly widened.

"What? It's over 2am, we're supposed to head out at 6 tomorrow. Why... ?"

The dark-haired man suddenly felt nervous. He closed his hand before a visible shiver could give away his unexplainable state. He wasn't the kind of person who got easily intimidated. But... it had been such a long time since he and Kame had last got... physically close. Maybe Kame wouldn't welcome him as easily as he did back then. They had been kids after all. Maybe if Jin did that now, Kame would read too much into it.

But at this point, Jin's urge was getting overwhelming.

It was the late night. It was his tiredness. It was Kame's unreal looks. Whatever it was... it just was.

Jin stepped closer and almost shyly muttered "I don't know. We could just... talk. Or... do whatever you want".

Kame was more than surprised. He stared at him quietly, then slowly frowned, still staring. So much seemed to be going on in that head of his, but it was impossible to read its content on his face. A moment later, he finally spoke up.

"Jin, if you want to talk to me about something, just say so. Clearly."

Jin froze. What could he say to that? His urge weakened.

"Forget it. It's nothing."

Jin looked him in the eye. They were so close... they were alone in the corridor. Maybe just getting even closer would be enough to-
No, no, he couldn't do that. They were too old to bring up those old shared moments again. Maybe his brain was such a mess because he hadn't got to see Shizu since they had started filming Gokusen. Yes that was it. He was probably going through a dry spell that had reached its limit.

He looked down at the floor and stepped back.

"Ok well... goodnight and see you tomorrow."

"See you tomorrow, Jin."

Jin walked away and ignored the way his thumping heart refused to calm down. No, that didn't mean anything. Not a single thing.

***

Jin opened his eyes only to discover he was in an unfamiliar place.

An instant was enough to let everything come back to him. He groaned in frustration and buried his face in the pillow.

Too much wine, a long car ride and... a night too full of revelations. Had he dreamt it all? A small hope blossomed when he told himself he may have imagined it all. Yes, that had to be it, he must have hallucinated. Now everything would go back to normal, right?

He stretched and was about to get up when he was greeted with an unpleasant surprise: his gaze fell on the mess he'd made on the sheets last night. He had to find away to make that disappear because he couldn't deal with the humiliation of having to explain it.

Fuck.

Jin let himself drop back down on the mattress. Panic was taking him over but at the same time...

That had been a fucking hot experience.

No internal voice tried to take his thoughts away from it anymore. What would the point be to try to think about a lady now? No. The part of him who had always fought against his fantasy urges seemed to have forfeited the battle.

His pulse quickened - his thoughts weren't used to not meet any opposition.

For once, no internal debate was going on, he couldn't question a single thing about this. His desires had manifested their existence in a way that left no room for doubt.

As his breath slowed down, a weak smile lit up his face. All of a sudden, he wanted to laugh. Kame had concealed so much about himself. So much! Who would have known he could be so... so...

Fuck.

Jin wanted him.

His smile melted away as his thoughts went back to what he had seen. It was enough just to think about it to feel his whole body tingling with desire. Oh how he wanted him... he wanted him more than ever.

"What the fuck is wrong with me?"

Jin didn't think that wanting Kame was wrong per se, but he felt like he was back in middle school, giggling over his first crush. And that was... very weird. He frowned for a second, but he couldn't help it and snorted.

He probably was a weirdo but he didn't give a shit.

He stretched again and comfortably settled back under the duvet, letting himself enjoy this euphoria he couldn't quite explain yet.

***

Strands of hair fell to the ground while the hairdresser cut, cut and cut.

"Good to see you again, Kamenashi-kun!" she said. "I was told this shorter haircut and the darker color were for a new drama. What is it going to be about?"

Kame replied with his usual smile, not showing how tough it had been for him to get up that morning and get the day started. Not only had they gone to sleep very late, Kengo also hadn't been very pleased to have to leave earlier than usual because of the unexpected guest. He didn't understand why Kame didn't want to openly tell a supposedly childhood friend about their relationship.

Kazuya knew he couldn't keep his private life secret forever, but amidst all of his activities and obligations, he didn't often stop to think about it. Quite the contrary: he kept postponing the act of making a decision. The right moment never seemed to come. Was there actually ever supposed to be a right moment for that kind of thing?

That's when Ueda walked in.

"Sorry I'm late, Kame. I was with Brenda."

Kame smiled. Brenda was the name they used to refer to Tatsuya's boyfriend when they weren't alone and had to mention him. Today was one of those days, Ueda having scheduled his hairdresser appointment at the same time as Kame on purpose.

"Ueda-san, I'll check our register, but I assume you came here for your usual hairdye?"

"That's it."

Ueda seemed to be in a very good mood and his happy grin warmed Kame's heart. After everything the older had endured with his first love interests, Ueda was finally enjoying a peaceful and happy relationship.

"So, how's Brenda doing?" he asked as Ueda sat down in the closest chair.

"Oh she's fine, just a bit unreasonable sometimes."

"Unreasonable? What did she do again?"

"She wants to introduce me to her friends and family."

Kame's smile waned. He thought of Kengo's complaints

"I see... I have a kinda similar issue. Some of them really have a hard time accepting our necessary conditions."

Ueda looked a little exasperated.

"It sucks. Everyone in JE already knows about me anyway. But outside? It's not for nothing that I always say we'd be better off dating someone who's in the agency."

Kame tried to change the topic of their conversation because they were reaching dangerous grounds, considering only men were idols in JE.

"Tell me what got you in such a good mood today. Your face when you walked in, I swear-"

The exasperation disappeared, replaced by a wide smile.

"Ha. Well she told me she'll get days off at the same as me. We're going on holiday in Europe. You should tell me where you went with Kyon Ky-"

Kame threw a withered glance at him to make him shut up. Even if that person had been a woman, it wasn't a good idea to talk about it now. The hairdressers were used to working for JE and knew they were expected to keep quiet, but still.

"Anyway, we're still waiting for you to go out with us one night. Come on, Kame, it's been way too long."

"Thanks for the offer but I have already found my own... unreasonable person."

Ueda looked surprised.

"What? Wait you hadn't told me you had issues with that guy."

"She isn't exactly unreasonable, she's normal I guess. It's normal to want to get to be introduced to the ones close to your boyfriend" Kame corrected through gritted teeth.

"Well even if you're not looking for someone, you can always go out and have fun. Look at Jin... always partying, whether he has a girlfriend or not."

"Jin is not necessarily an example I intend to follow. I just- I don't trust clubs, ok? Even select ones. People will always be willing to badmouth an idol and spread rumours."

Kame's hairdresser returned with dark hairdye. Moments later, both Kame's and Ueda's hair were glistening with hair products.

***

That afternoon, the band had a meeting with their manager to discuss the upcoming year's activities. All members except two were patiently waiting in the corridor. The manager luckily hadn't arrived yet when Jin stormed in, out of breath.

"Goodmorning Jin..." Maru said, "congrats for only being ten minutes late this time."

"Irony doesn't suit your style, Maru."

Maru rolled his eyes.

"Want some coffee?"

Jin snorted and took a few steps towards the coffee machine. Then he abruptly stopped, breathless again, and walked back out under Nakamaru's confused gaze.

Once outside, he took a deep breath. He had to fucking pull himself together. He had to! What he'd seen right there... it was simply a new haircut. A hot one. Jin groaned. Kame had gone and got even hotter when things were already hard to deal with for Jin.

But that dark hair... that earring... not a single detail went unnoticed. How come such small details were enough to put him in such a chaotic state? He cursed Pi and Ryo for dropping him at Kame's place last night and wondered how he would be able to act as if nothing was wrong throughout the day.

Lost in his intenal laments, he spotted Ueda arriving with his boyfriend. They greeted each other and Jin followed them in, in the hope of making his return discreet.

Sadly, Kame immediately walked up to him and Jin was pretty sure it was obvious his face was burning. He felt like every single face he made would betray what he had witnessed. Kame however didn't seem to notice anything close to the truth.

"Are you okay Jin? I just saw you rush outside. You probably shouldn't push yourself too much after spending a night in that state."

"Oh I'm fine, don't worry."

That's it. Jin just had to keep talking normally.

He felt like he was going crazy.

"I'm sorry I left before you woke up," Kame said. "I had stuff to do. Did you see the note I left for you?"

A note?

"What note??"

Jin started to panic again but Kame laughed.

"It doesn't matter. I'll call the reception and they'll make sure the apartment is correctly locked, nothing to worry about."

Kame smiled at him reassuringly and left to go see the manager who had just arrived.

The older told himself all was good so far, and tried to breathe

***

Jin took advantage of his calmer week to spend some time on his own. He had spent the past three days trying to clear up what his thoughts meant. Since that night, a lot of things about how he perceived who he was had become blurry, their validity unclear.

Some memories came back to him and he wondered. Of course, there were the memories of this new year's eve that never left him indifferent and immediately made him want to go back to his friend's place. But older elements troubled him too. Some forgotten things that had stayed vague and blurry in his mind now made sense. A new perspective as he looked through those memories helped.

Now that he thought about it, there had been so many ambiguous moments when he had felt strange emotions. He remembered their trips to and back from the Gokusen set, Kame falling asleep over the table while Jin played with his light hair...

Now that he thought back to those moments, Jin wondered if he already unconsciously wanted his friend back then.

He also thought about the way Kame's smile had always reassured him, and had always boosted his self-confidence. That smile he had missed so much while filming Anego... and that had made his heart twist when he saw Kame next to Pi for Shuuji to Akira. He had put the blame on feelings of jealousy because Kame was debuting, but it may have been more than that.

Jin had always considered those feelings to be all about friendship. After all, his relationships with Pi and Ryo also brought him a lot of happiness and their smiles warmed his heart too. But something had always been different with Kame.

***

It was one of their usual nights at Lex: beautiful russian models, unbelievable long (and gorgeous) legs, jokes, laughs and giggles... everything Jin was usually drawn to.

There was music he'd already heard a billion times, in a location he already knew by heart. It was supposed to be his favorite club and yet tonight, Jin felt like he was suffocating. The same stares, the same seductive looks... all these elements usually made him have fun, but tonight he was bored and didn't want to be there.

***

The sun had set and all afternoon Jin hadn't moved from his couch. Ryo had called him to offer another night out at Lex, but Jin had declined.

That evening wasn't the first one he wished he could fall asleep with Kame in his arms. The only difference was that this time, he let his thoughts take him to fantasies he had never consciously considered before.

He had always appreciated his friend's warmth, his hugs, his smiles. Now it was all of his body that Jin wanted to appreciate. Even now, several days after that unexpected night, the memory of his ravenous kisses wouldn't leave his mind.

Sometimes Jin worried about his sanity - because his attraction looked like it was turning into an obsession.

The next day, he would have to change his sheets again and other memories would probably come back to haunt him.

Despite his desires, Jin didn't see himself actually do something. If he tried to take their friendship one step further, he would risk ruining everything. Whatever he did, losing Kame's friendship was out of question.

Maybe they weren't as close as they had once been, but that was probably just part of growing up. As adults, of course they couldn't share things in the same way they had as kids. Their long shared experience bonded them in a way that went beyond words. They knew that if even if they fought, even if they occasionally grew distant, they could always count on each other if they needed help.

That bond was something Jin wasn't willing to lose for anything in the world.

***

Jin had finished changing over an hour ago. His mother and brother were waiting for him for a family dinner, but for once, not being late was the last of his worries. He had promised the other KAT-TUN members that he'd make sure Kame got home safely. After the horrible experience that had been inflicted on him that day, they didn't want to leave him alone and Jin had promised that he'd take care of it.

Sitting on a bench in the changing room, he tightened his fist until it hurt, the memory of what bitches -who were supposed to be fans- had said was unbearable. He knew he'd be in trouble with Johnny-san for shouting at them to shut up, but what else could he had done? Was he expected to just stand there and say nothing? That was unthinkable.

'Shut up!'

'Just disappear.'

Yes, those people had been monsters. Kame had certainly been affected by it if he had barely been able to hide his tears on stage, he who never showed weakness in his presence... Jin hadn't missed the few times he'd sneaked backstage to get out if sight.

'Die!'

Jin grit his teeth. Next time he'd go hit them. He got up to pace, he needed to evacuate his tension one way or another.

It hurt so bad to see his best friend's dreams shattering. He had been waiting for them to debut for so long, with years of efforts to make everything perfect, to give it all he had and try to meet people's expectations. All that for things to end up like this: him getting booed, humiliated, even physically hurt.

"Fucking ASSHOLES!"

Jin kicked the table as his rage took over and ignored the pain that immediately hit him in full force.

He sat back down and hid his face in his hands. Kitagawa had to do something, the tour couldn't go on like that. Jin would give JE no choice: either this harassment stopped or he'd make serious threats... like leaving KAT-TUN.

Too bad their debut album was hitting sale records, too bad Real Face was constantly on TV. If all that work brought up suffering, it wasn't worth it.

***

Kame ought to have finished his shower ages go. Wringing his hands with concern, Jin finally decided to go check everything was in order.

When he opened the door, Kame was still standing under the water spray, motionless. If he heard Jin walk in, he didn't show it.

"Kame?" Jin softly enquired and no answer came.

Without his stage costume, Kame had no shell under which to hide his weightloss. Already thin to begin with, his current state was barely acceptable. Jin shivered as he thought that for Kame to let his body go that far, he probably felt even worse than what Jin had feared.

"Kazuya, so you think you need much more time?"

He wanted to slap himself considering how stupid he felt, simply asking about Kame's showertime... but no soothing or encouraging words came to him. He felt just as lost as the person before him.

Jin stepped closer and it's only when he put a hand on his shoulder that Kame turned his face.

Jin was shocked to discover that the running water was icy and that his friend's eyes were redder than he'd ever seen them be.

"Kame you'll get sick, stop this."

He hurried to switch to warm water, but the physical warmth couldn't reach Kame's heart. Kazuya looked at him and waited for Jin to say something. His silence was almost provocative. After all, Jin had been the one who had invaded his personal space without bothering to find out whether his presence was welcome or not. He had sneaked into a place where no masks were to be found, and Kame had no energy to make it easier for him by pretending to be ok.

Jin parted his lips to say something, but still no words came to him. When Kame turned his face towards the wall again, he looked exhausted.

It hurt so much to see him like this...
Before he knew it, Jin found himself slowly embracing Kame, his arms wrapping around his shoulders.

He held on tight, too tight, but it was the only way he had found to show him that he was there for him, that he would stay by his side and wasn't planning to ever let go.

The back underneath his fingers stayed tense at first, then finally, finally started to loosen up in his arms, the warmth of water helping the younger escape his annihilation.

"Maybe... I'd better just disappear."

Jin had barely heard him and his pulse shot up. How could Kame say-

"Your career will be smoother like that," Kame added, "after all it's true that I betrayed you. Debuting with Pi-"

"Stop it."

Jin held him tight again but let him slightly go seconds later when he spotted a sign of discomfort: a long red line marked Kame's arm, where someone crazy had clawed at him. At that sight, Jin felt his anger simmer again.

"I'll kill those bitches..." he said icily as he slowly slid Kame's marked arm out of their embrace to avoid hurting him. He closed his arms aroud his delicate torso instead. Kame ignored what he had just said.

"Jin... I..." his back and his lower lip trembled, tears on the verge of falling, but Jin could see he was holding back, because he didn't want to display such vulnerability.

"Kazuya, this will stop, I promise it will-"

"How do you know that? I don't see why they'd stop..."

Kame didn't want to let himself have too many hopes only to have them shattered again.

"Just... leave me alone and go home. I'll survive."

But Jin didn't let go.

"Kame... I'm here because I want to be here. I want to help you."

"There's nothing you can do."

Jin didn't know what to say anymore for Kame to stop pushing his support away. He had never been good with words and had never felt as bad about it as today.

"Kame, stop. Friends are also meant to be there to support you during tough moments. So even when everything is going wrong, I want to be there. Even when everything feels doomed, I want to be there. But we're not there yet, not everything is lost. It will get better, I swear."

Kame shook his head.

"No it won't. They hate me."

"Yes it will, because we love you and we won't let them get away with this."

It was Jin's turn to have a wobbly voice but it didn't matter because he had to make Kame understand that they were like a family. That his bandmates would never ever abandon him. That Jin would never leave him alone to face his problems.

"Kame, we love you, ok? We love you and I love you. I won't ever leave you like this."

His arms held Kame so close. He felt the younger's body tremble after his words. He was speechless, his throat unable to make another sound, but Jin finally felt Kame's arms hold him back, the wall he'd put between them to protect himself falling down. This affection Jin was giving him, he needed it. He accepted it, because he couldn't do this alone anymore. Something in him fell into place and he was finally able to breathe better.

"Jin... you shouldn't say that."

Tears still wet his cheeks, but his heart had found the will to go on. To not disappear.

"I say what I want, and you are one of the friends who is the most precious to me. If something happened to you... I'd never get over it."

When would Kame understand Jin was ready to do anything, to give anything for a friend as dear as him?

Anything.

Chapter Text

One week went by and the same scenario played over and over again. Jin went to the Jimusho in the hope of finding some peace of mind, at least some order, but all of his innocent aspirations were swallowed by the mess in his head every time he saw Kame. With their frequent rehearsals due to upcoming PVs, it was impossible to stay indifferent anyway: hiprolls, a click of his tongue... Jin knew all this was intended for the fangirls. He felt stupid to fall into the trap and feel hot and bothered.

With every day that went by, the truth was more and more undeniable. There was no way he could doubt this anymore: he had to find a way to satisfy his desires with Kame.

It was a vital need.

It was time for him to elaborate a concrete strategy to reach his goal. It was nice to fangirl but... he was a man of action - at least he tried to convince himself he was.

That morning, lost in thought over a cup of coffee, Jin didn't notice Ueda sitting down next to him until he was spoken to.

"Did you contribute to writing the lyrics this time?"

The next single was the last of Jin's preoccupations. Ueda continued to talk but Jin barely listened and hummed until he gave in and asked him what was on his mind:

"Say Ueda, I always wondered. Is it tougher to hit on a guy... compared to hitting on a girl?"

He felt the urge to talk and knew he couldn't ask his close friends this kind of question. That said, he had no intention to confide in Ueda, a few vague questions could go unnoticed, right?

Ueda quietly looked at him for a few moments, slightly surprised, and laughed.

"Why are you asking me this?! Since when do you care about what it's like to hit on a guy?"

A smirk replaced his casual smile.

"Tell me everything, Akanishi..."

"There's nothing to tell, I swear. I was just wondering," he said and hoped that he looked detached. "It's easy to hit on girls. A gift, a few hugs, jokes, smiles, a dance... and then it's done. But for guys... I don't know. Is it different?"

He knew his summary wasn't the most accurate description, but even a vague exageration was enough for Ueda to get what he meant.

"Of course it's not with presents and an invitation at a restaurant that you make a guy fall for you," Ueda scoffed. "A man needs practical information. Just make him understand that he'll have a really, really good time with you."

'You'?

"Wait a second," Jin rushed to say, "don't put me in this, I've got nothing to do with this!"

"I was just saying 'you' like in any kind of conversation," Ueda replied, amused by Jin's reaction. Was this a sensitive subject?

"Oh ok. I was just wondering... how do you do this when the guy doesn't know you like men?"

Ueda was starting to think that Jin's questions were rather detailed for someone who was supposedly just curious.

"Well when you look at a guy in a way that screams 'I have some hot stuff in store for you', it doesn't leave much room for doubt."

Ueda took out his mirror to check his foundation while Jin stared at his cup of coffee. He couldn't see himself suddenly acting like that with Kame. Kame would probably think he had lost his mind and take it all for a joke.

"Are you always that straightforward?"

"Depends on the environment you're in. I guess sometimes you have to be more subtle. Just go for more physical contact, hang out with that person more... but that could go on for ages without you getting anywhere. I think being straightforward is the best. When I need it, I need it now."

Jin sank in the couch and pushed away any image featuring Ueda's needs. He simply hummed non-committally.

"But I had forgotten that you're the kind of guy who waits for the 3rd date to kiss, so-"

"Come on," Jin interrupted, "don't believe what is said on TV just because of a strawberry thing."

"I was joking."

While he tried to figure out what the other questions he had to ask were, Jin started to sweat nervously. He had never thought he'd one day have this kind of conversation with Ueda.
 
"The thing is..." he said hesitantly. Was he supposed to continue? He was tired of being stuck at the same point for several days, he wanted to find a way to move forwards. "A friend of mine has a crush on his coworker and... that coworker is gay but he thinks my friend is straight."

He was about to nervously bite his lip but held back. He had to make sure he kept a poker face. Ueda on the other hand frowned as he tried to follow his unexpected story.

"Well my friend is straight, it's just for that coworker that he... I don't know... it just struck him," Jin added.

"Struck him? Come on, when you like guys you don't only like one."

Jin pursed his lips. How could he explain this?

"I swear. The others have absolutely no effect on him. It's for that coworker alone that he... well..." Jin shrugged with a pleased smile, his memories making him forget all about the poker face.

Ueda's eyes lit up with mischief.

"Oh really? Your 'friend' is done for. Do I know that guy?"

"No. He's a... childhood friend."

Ueda looked even more mischievous.

"That's weird. I know most of you friends from junior days but, if you say so..."

Jin didn't get why Ueda was smirking at him like that. As if he knew more than what he'd been told.

"Tell your friend he can contact me anytime if he needs to talk. As long as it's someone from JE because you know I can't open up to anyone outside."

"Thanks."

Jin wasn't sure Ueda was the right person for him to ask questions anymore: he didn't like how exposed he felt, as if Ueda knew everything. It's not like he'd said anything too revealing... it's true some mean people said he was a bad actor, but still...

Jin swore to himself that he wouldn't ask anyone for advice anymore.

***

Unlike what Jin had feared, Ueda hadn't drawn any rushed conclusions: his smirks had just been a friendly way to tease him. He was curious and considered all of Jin's friends. Yamapi, Ryo... it couldn't be them. Maybe the 'friend' was Kame? Could Jin possibly have finally started wondering if Kame was straight? But something about Jin's description didn't match what Ueda knew. Kame didn't have a thing for a coworker, Ueda had been the first to know about his happiness with Kengo. Happiness or... comfort at least.

He shared his thoughts with the man himself over a few drinks - after all, Jin hadn't said any of this was confidential:

"Kame, there's a gay guy in JE we don't know about."

Kame blinked, not taking him seriously.

"How is that possible?"

"A friend of Jin's."

Kame almost choked.

"What?! Since when does Jin hang out with-"

"He hangs out with you, stupid."

But Kame ignored his answer, confused. "Who is it, then?"

"That's the thing... I have no idea. Jin was really weird when he was talking about it."

Kame pondered for a moment but couldn't find a single explanation.

"Jin has only straight friends, trust me. I would've known if one of threm wasn't."

"Well not all of them tell him - you know that. And listen, to be honest I think he's using the 'I've got a friend who...' excuse to talk about himself."

Kame eyed him as if Ueda was stupid and didn't look amused.

"If he were gay I'd know it."

"Well he obviously likes ladies too but maybe he's just not strai-"

"Believe me, I'd know it."

Ueda sighed, exasperated.

"Kame... I'm not blind. Even though I don't know what happened between you two, I know that if Jin was straight, nothing would ever have been ambiguous."

"And who said there ever was any ambiguity?" he replied irritably, "I don't want to bring up the meaningless past now. It took me a while to... I don't want to think about it."

Ueda sensed that not dropping the topic would be the best way to make Kame angry, so he didn't push it any further. All through their teenage years, they had shared lots of experiences and had told each other about each of their conquests, but Kame and Jin's friendship had always been kept in the dark. Ueda suspected that something had happened but respected Kame's wish to not talk about it.

He was relieved that Kame's smile returned as soon as they talked about something else, and the evening ended in a good mood, with light gossiping and whisky.

***

During the next few days, a few signs didn't escape Tatsuya's attention: Jin bringing Kame coffee, nonchalantly laying a hand on his shoulder and staying a bit closer than usual... Considering the advice he had given him, Ueda was even more suspicious. Between two meetings, he even heard Jin complain that Kame wasn't resting enough - both hands on his shoulder this time. However when Jin spotted Ueda's eyes on him, he stepped back and acted as if nothing was going on.

Tatsuya wasn't the only one noticing that change in Jin's behaviour, but no-one else interpreted it in the same way. For them, it was simply Kame and Jin getting close again - something they'd already seen several times. They were used to the sight of varying degrees of closeness (or anger) between them through time. Kame himself thought Jin was unusually present and helpful, but he just thought that meant Jin would soon ask for a service.

***

Once more, Kame found his evening plans disrupted.

He had carefully arranged his dark hair and had put on a white tank top under a classy grey jacket. Torn faded jeans suited his silhouette pretty nicely, the whole look completed by black boots. If he was single, he could certainly make someone fall for him like this. As it was, tonight Kengo had invited him to a party at his ex's place and Kame wanted to make sure his boyfriend wouldn't be distracted by unwelcome temptations.

When Kame opened the door to step out, he almost bumpted into Jin who had been just about to knock.

"Jin!? How the fuck did you get up here?"

"Do you honestly think your gatekeeper doesn't know me? I just wanted to offer you to go out or something but... it looks like you already have something planned."

His disappointment was obvious. He'd spent the afternoon shopping to make sure he had everything necessary to make a few cocktails at home, but it seemed like his stuff wouldn't come in useful tonight.

"I'm sorry, but you know you have to warn me beforehand. Why didn't you just call?" Kame asked, bewildered.

He did look like he regretted having to decline Jin's invitation. The older shrugged and pretended to be detached.

"Where are you going like this?"

Kame was the only person who could miss how intently Jin was eyeing him tonight. But after all his disappointments, he'd learnt to become blind to Jin's appreciation.

"To a party at friends' place."

"Cool" Jin said with a nod.

He bit his lip for a second before adding, "I'm not doing anything tonight, can I join you?"

Kame raised his eyebrows. Jin didn't usually crash the parties he attended, at least not during the past few years.

"I'm not the organiser, I can't just bring someone over like that."

"Come on, Kame, please!"

Kame closed his eyes, visibly trying to stay calm.

"How old are you, Jin? No is no!"

The thing is, Jin thought an irritated Kame was bloody hot. He slightly shook his head in the hope to stay focused.

Kame didn't have the time to wonder what the look on Jin's face meant: Kengo had showed up at the other end of the corridor.

"Kame, are you ready to go? We're gonna be late-"

He stopped talking when he noticed his partner wasn't alone. He however didn't stay quiet for long.

"Oh, you're the guy from the other night, Akanishi-san, right?"

"Yep, that's me."

Kame coughed in an attempt to hide his discomfort. Had Kengo forgotten that Jin had been drunk and didn't know him? What's more, Jin hadn't been supposed to know that Kengo had been there that night.

"Let me introduce you...Kengo, Jin"

"Nice to meet you!" Jin said, holding out his hand. Kengo took it with a smile.

"Nice to meet you too. I've been told so much about you!"

Kame was even more surprised. If someone was talking to Kengo about Jin, it definitely wasn't him... and Kame didn't like that thought.

"Are you feeling better than the other day?"

Jin snorted.

"I guess Kame couldn't hold back from telling everyone he has a friend who can't deal with... a certain amount of drinks. I'm fine, thanks. Actually..." he added after a beat, "things could be better. I just... accidentally locked myself out. That's why I came here but... Kame doesn't want to help me out!"

Kame spun around when he heard this new version.

"What?!"

"You should come with us: two celebrities instead of one? Of course my friend will be happy," Kengo joked.

Kame didn't like that. Jin had already stepped into their new year's eve, he didn't want him to be present every time he had couple stuff planned.

"What's with that face Kame-chan?" Kengo asked. "At least if the three of us are going, no one will wonder about you and me."

Every word made Kame want to hit the wall. Had Kengo forgotten that Jin wasn't supposed to know?

The latter innocently smiled at him and followed them to their parking lot. Kame sighed and told himself that even if the other guests didn't suspect a thing, Jin probably would.

***

The party was in full swing, but it wasn't exactly the kind of party Jin had expected. Kame and Kengo were laughing, an overpriced wine in their glasses. The others seemed to not care about Pop and barely know who he was.

He had tried to talk to a few pretty ladies, but distractions kept showing up: Kengo's hand casually resting on Kame's knee for a second, a warm smile from Kame directed at his boyfriend, shared gazes that meant too much. Jin's stomach unpleasantly twisted. His mission wasn't going to be easy... his rival didn't look like he was easy to get rid of.

After a few cocktails, he couldn't hold all his frustration inside anymore and called Ueda.

"Hey Ueda."

"Jin. You usually never call me. What's that noise?"

Jin mumbled an inaudible reply he had to repeat after Ueda irritably sighed and complained.

"I'm at an evening hosted by Kame's friends."

Jin didn't often go to evenings with that circle, Ueda knew that. That was already one dubious element.

"Look. You remember that friend I told you about?"

"...yes?" Ueda replied, carefully listening.

"What should he do if his coworker's boyfriend is too smart and only talks about complicated oenology stuff I don't- he doesn't understand? What's more, the coworker is looking at him all... starry-eyed. As if there was nothing more interesting than him in the world. Wine is disgusting, what the fuck is he doing with that annoying show-off??"

"Jin, calm down. I think you drank a bit too much - again. WAIT."

Ueda froze. All of a sudden, it took him all his strength to not burst out laughing and reveal his realisation.

"Did you say the crush's boyfriend is an oenologist?"

"YES! What is that interesting about an oenologist? You agree with me, right?"

Ueda couldn't help it, he snorted.

"Oh Jin..."

That bakanishi was revealing everything without even knowing he was doing it. How could he be that stupid?

Ueda hung up and put the phone down for a few moments - he needed to let go and laugh. This was... unbelievable. Even if he wasn't concerned, he couldn't just ignore what he'd just discovered. He congratulated himself for guessing the truth that morning and started to compose Kame's number.

He however stopped half-way. Was he the right person to make that kind of revelation? Maybe he would do better to let things evolve naturally on their own.

Or maybe he could help nature along, to avoid it staying as slow as it had been until now. It could be funnier to give them just a subtle nudge...

Suddenly inspired, he called him back.

"Jin, sorry for hanging up - Pi was calling me. Your apartment got flooded because of the neighbours above-"

"WHAT?!!"

Ueda quickly told him not to contact anyone, reassuring him that Pi was taking care of everything.

"Just sleep at Kame's place tonight, Pi and I will take care of everything."

Jin had probably drank a lot to not realise Ueda's voice was trembling because of how badly he felt the urge to laugh. Yamapi didn't even have Ueda's number.

"A fucking flood... A FLOOD! I can't believe it... fuck!!"

"Don't worry, trust us. Go to Kame's place," he firmly insisted.

"But... how-?"

Ueda had already hung up. He hurriedly called Kame to let him know about Jin's "misfortune". He had a feeling the upcoming events would be interesting - or at least entertaining - and felt no guilt regarding what he was inflicting on Kame's life.

Once that conversation over, he quickly asked Maru for Pi's number.

Chapter Text

When Jin woke up the next day, he immediately recognized Kame's guest room. He vaguely recalled calling Ueda and the other man's instructions but nothing explained the sudden pain in his butt when he tried to get up.

Confused, his pulse went up as he considered weird possibilities. As usual, he had drank too much and Kame had brought him back to his place.

But they couldn't have...?

No.

Jin told himself he'd definitely remember it if something had happened between them.

That train of thoughts could have ended up being very enjoyable if Jin stopped to picture his hypothesis, but he didn't want to make a mess in that bed again. So he made himself get up and went to the kitchen, where he found Kame preparing some coffee.

The younger jumped when he heard Jin's sleepy "Hey".

The older didn't really know what to do with himself - he hovered in the doorway for a few moments, then walked in to sit on a stool. Kame watched the pained face he made inquiringly.

"Everything ok? Did you sleep well?"

Jin's eyes lingered on Kame's bathrobe. If only he could undo it, just a little bit... Jin pulled himself together.

"I'm fine, thanks!"

Kame smiled.

"I'm relieved you recovered well from yesterday's events."

"Of course I'm fine. Alcohol isn't enough to finish me off."

Kame burst out laughing.

"Remind me who had to pick you up several times after heavy drinking? Who is the one who swore he wouldn't ever drink again?"

It took Jin a few seconds to remember when he had made such an oath.

"No need to rub it in," Jin grumbled. "That promise was a long time ago."

He wondered if he should investigate a bit more on what had happened last night. Now seemed to be the right moment.

"Say, Kame... last night, did I do something special?"

"'Something special'? Well you did lots of things, Jin. You were flailing in an armchair on your phone for ages. You looked slightly agitated... I later understood why, when Ueda called. But then you drank a crazy number of cocktails and begged me to let you sleep here." Kame snorted. "I already knew about your appartment issue but... man... the way you begged! And then... when people started dancing you climbed on the table and fell off it."

So that was it. And of course, Kame was laughing again as he gave him a few more embarrassing details.

"Tell me, Jin, how bruised are you?"

His face softened when Jin's face fell.

"I have some medication that can relieve some of the pain, if you want."

Jin felt like shit, embarrassed to no end, but he liked the thought of Kame bringing him a first aid kit and taking care of him.

Of course, Jin knew he would have to take care of himself on his own, but he also knew he wasn't done picturing Kame making his dreams come true. Any kind gesture, any smile was enough to make Jin sink further into his obsession.

***

The only background noise came from the TV while Kame relaxed on the couch, under the soft sunset light. He exhaustedly peered at the news - his day on set had been too long for him to still have enough energy focus on what was being said.

The sound of glass tinkling reached him from the kitchen where Jin was trying to make them dinner. He had insisted to do it and Kame let him be. He wasn't sure he could trust Jin's cooking abilities, but he appreciated the gesture. Maybe the older felt guilty to be staying here without offering anything back to his host.

It had been a while since they'd last spent so much time together. Last time they had regularly seen each other for breakfast and just before going to bed had been during their junior days.

The aperitif they had started was still on the coffee table, but Jin had had to run back to the kitchen when a suspicious smell had reached them.

The one drink Kame had had was enough to make him feel comfortably sleepy and it helped him slightly let go of how anxious he was: the first Kami no Shizuku episode was about to be aired. It was a good thing that Jin was there. Jin was always good at distracting him. Good at helping when he wasn't feeling alright.

Kengo was meanwhile at a party with coworkers - he'd warned Kame that he'd be back late. Even though Kame would have liked him to be there during this kind of stressful evening, part of him was relieved. Sometimes, it felt like he and Kengo were from different planets and couldn't really understand each other. Would Kengo get why he was worried tonight? What's more, if he was at his place all the time, how could he justify that to Jin? Kame knew his boyfriend was getting tired of pretending to be there for random reasons. He also knew this masquerade wouldn't stay believable for long.

Jin interrupted his thoughts when he walked in, a light blue apron tied around his waist.

"Everything is ok, nothing is burnt," he breathed and collapsed on the couch after slightly pushing Kame's feet to have enough space. "When is it starting?" he asked, nudging at the screen.

Kame wondered if Jin realised that this was going to be about something he disliked: wine. Why did he look so excited? Kame eyed him suspiciously but was nonethelss grateful for his interest. Even if Jin was acting like that just to make him feel better, it was nice.

***

When Kame opened his eyes, the night had fallen and his head was resting on Jin's knees. Jin hadn't noticed that his host was awake because he was completely absorbed by the scene playing on screen. He had a smile on his lips when the Kame on screen started singing in French.

'Goûtons voiir oui oui oui~ Goûtons voiir non non non~ Goûtons voir si le vin est bon~'

"Cuuute~" Jin mumbled, his fingers gently threading through Kame's dark hair until his caress reached his temples. He didn't even notice the chocolate eyes that were watching his every move.

The Kame on screen was so sweet Jin couldn't help feeling drawn to him, and that meant his eyes were vivid with excitement. He slowly bit his lower lip, softly sighed and looked down.

Kame closed his eyes just in time for Jin not to realise he had been watched.

***

Days went on and were alike but weren't ever boring. Kame was constantly vigilant: a single imprudent word or move could reveal the truth. He didn't realise all his efforts were vain, considering that Jin was already aware of the nature of his relationship with Kengo.

Every time a new episode was aired, Kengo found an excuse to be away while Jin made sure he wouldn't miss a second of it. It wasn't the storyline that had got him hooked: his personal experience with wine made him dislike drinking it and Kengo being an oenologist didn't favor the emergence of a new interest. But it had been a while since he had last watched Kame's acting in so much detail and it was definitely worth his time. How could he express emotions that easily? No it probably wasn't easy, Kame was just talented. And a hardworker.

And of course, Kame looked very cute in his character's suits. An evening with real Kame dozing off in front of the episode, his head resting on Jin's knees was heaven. What else could Jin ask for?

***

Jin looked troubled as hell when he walked into the kitchen one morning, evidently having bad news. Sadly, only Kengo was there.

"Hey..."

"Hello Akanishi."

Jin looked around and hesitated to just walk back out, but decided to stay and just wait for Kame to show up. He could deal with some awkwardness. Just a few minutes was easy.

"Were you and Kame working late again yesterday? I fell asleep before you got home."

"Let's call it work. You know how thorough Kame wants to be with everything."

Jin tried to ignore Kengo's dirty grin and sticked to innocent comments.

"No wonder he had lots of questions about wine, I think he'll be on set for another episode tomorrow. Do you know if he's up yet?"

Kengo certainly knew - Jin was sure they had slept together again. That thought alone made him sick. Picturing Kame's skin getting goosebumps under his partner's lips, sighing, kissing him intensely... it didn't turn Jin on anymore, it made him want to throw up. The malicious spark in Kengo's eyes wasn't helping.

"He's in the shower."

Kengo was wearing a bathrobe, his hair still wet.

Jin clenched his fist to hold back from doing something stupid. Hitting Kengo wouldn't solve a thing, even though it was tempting. Did the other man realise what state his words put Jin in? Jin wondered if he was imagining an unhealthy glint in his eyes or not.

"I'll go ask him if it's going to take him much longer. Do you want me to ask him anything special?"

Jin tried to stay calm.

"It's ok, I'll just wait."

That's when Kame walked in.

Kengo's face lit up but Kame seemed to have mixed feelings: he didn't like stumbling over Jin and Kengo having a deep conversation. Didn't his boyfriend realise how dubious his behaviour was? Why hadn't he even bothered to dry his hair? Kame couldn't help it, he was annoyed, but he managed to act as if nothing was wrong.

"Hi Jin, how was your night? Slept well?"

"Yep, all was well."

Jin's childish grin helped him relax a bit. He remembered his best friend hadn't always been the best at detecting signs that something was going on, so maybe he'd just go on not noticing. Kame knew Jin was now older and wasn't stupid but he still felt the urge to cling to that hope.

Jin's smile however disappeared when he remembered what he had to say.

"Um... Kame?" he said nervously. "Last night I was exhausted and... I dropped on the bed a bit too enthusiastically. I... broke something in the bedframe. A slat."

Kame squinted at him, then blinked, obviously doubting he had heard him right.

"What?"

"I broke a slat. I'm sorry."

Kame didn't look any less puzzled.

"Were you jumping on the bed or-"

"I'm sorry, ok? I didn't do that on purpose. I'll pay you back.. I..."

Jin had feared that Kame would get angry, but the latter just shook his head, as if he was slightly amused.

"It's ok. Accidents happen. I have extra slats, I can show you where, follow me."

"Don't bother, just tell me where they are-"

"Yeah, let him deal with it, Kame" Kengo interrupted, "or the coffee I just made for you will grow cold."

Kame bit the insides of his cheeks. Being with the two of them at the same time made him unbelievably uncomfortable. But he couldn't kick Jin out or tell Kengo to not sleep over anymore. He was barely able relax more than a few seconds ever since Jin had arrived. The anxiousness that Jin would find out he was gay never left him.

He sighed and gave in. "It's in the cupboard at the end of the corridor. Behind the broom and the mop."

Jin rushed out of the kitchen where the air had got heavy. The more distance there was between him and Kengo, the better he felt. It was getting harder and harder to stand him. How much longer could Jin hold on without doing anything?

When he reached the cupboard, he easily found what he was looking for. Just before he closed it, a little box in the furthest corner caught his attention. It had been hidden behind the slats and looked like it had been abandonned there for a long time: the gift wrapping was covered in dust. It had a tag with familiar handwriting.

'Happy birthday Kazuya! Ueda.'

 

***

The same annoying voice just wouldn't leave Jin alone. Ryo kept making fun of him, in the hope of provoking him to finally go out with them again.

"Has Kamenashi turned you into a grandma or what? When are you moving back to your place?? I'm tired of this lazy, indoors Jin. When is the real Jin coming back??"

"Ryo, can't you simply accept that I just don't feel like going out? Drop it," Jin irritably said. This phone conversation was getting tiring.

"But it's sad to see you withdrawing like that. Even Pi, who has a girlfriend, goes out more than you. You... how long is it since the last time you slept with someone?"

"I don't need to go out to find a hot chick."

"You haven't answered my question."

Ryo really wasn't dropping it.

"Well that's none of your business."

The other didn't immediately reply, but Jin could guess the face he was making.

"That clears everything up. What the fuck is going on, Jin?"

"Someone is calling me, I have to go, sorry." Jin lied and hung up.

This situation was getting more and more difficult to handle. He had tried to go on with the same lifestyle as the one he was previously used to, but his Kame obsession made all his usual night habits feel pointless. Going to a club was a waste of time. Seeing all those people dancing around him just made him wonder what the fuck he was doing there.
So he'd gradually made his nights out more and more rare. While Ryo kept pestering him about it, Pi said nothing but Jin knew his opinion was probably similar. Jin just disappearing from the night scene was fishy.

That's how one night they decided it was time to take new measures. Time to pull Jin out of his isolation.

Kame was serving Kengo a drink when his phone rang. To his surprise, Pi's name was on the screen.

"Hey!"

"Hey Kame, how are you? It's been a while!"

***

Jin almost fell off his chair when Kame said:

"Pi invited me to go out with some friends. Since you're here, you could tag along, what do you think?"

Had he understood this correctly? It took him a few moments to gather his thoughts and he laughed.

"Since when am I only invited because keep hanging around at your place?"

Kame's face became unreadable.

"Well when we were kids it was more the other way round," he muttered.

"Rubbish. You were invited because of who you are. Ryo still talks about your Mika girl. Damn, you really had impressed us."

Was Kame blushing? Was that an embarrassed smile?

"What is it?" Jin asked.

"Well... Mika will be there tonight. That's why I said yes to the invitation, I haven't seen her in a long time, I'd be really happy to hear how she's doing."

Jin immediately smirked.

"Don't lie, Kame. If you wanna sleep with her, you don't have to hide it from me. I know you."

Kame looked at him like he was crazy.

"Are you mad? She's just a friend, I swear."

"Yeah, sure. As if you kiss friends like that," Jin scoffed without thinking and suddenly wished the earth could open and swallow him up.

Kame sent him a piercing look without showing any emotion. It was obvious he hadn't missed Jin's words and unplanned reference. All of a sudden, it was as if Kame had put up a wall between them and his face got blank.

"Well, you see what I mean. About her." Jin added weakly, but he knew it was too late, the harm was done. His heart was beating so fast he had no doubt he was redder than ever. How could he say something so stupid, considering their history?

"We're leaving at 11pm" Kame said briskly and stepped out.

***

It was pretty evident that Ryo wasn't overjoyed with the way things had ended up going, but he accepted to spend the night in Kame's company. They had started to lose hope about Jin so they were using their last option. Where had their partygoer friend disappeared? Was he just going through a hard time for a reason they didn't know?

Jin had decided to attend the party. There was no point to let his friends continue worrying when there was nothing to worry about. His love life was just... empty. Staying at Kame's place didn't change a thing about that. Sure, some closeness seemed to have been reborn from the ashes, but it was still far from what his dreams were made of.

He took advantage of the Happy Hour to have some more champagne. At least the night would feel like it was going by quickly if he was just a tiny bit tipsy. The only positive point was that Kengo wasn't here.

Jin let his eyes explore their group and paused on Kame and Mika who looked like they were having a fascinating conversation. Jin didn't like that, he felt like he didn't know enough about his best friend... or ex-best friend, should he say. Why did Kame talk so freely with a woman who was almost a stranger? Without overthinking about it, Jin let his feet take him close to them. A few of their words reached his ears.

"...and Haru, how is he doing?"

"He's still in Europe. He was very jealous when I told him I was seeing you tonight - I'm supposed to kiss you on his behalf."

Kame looked amused.

"Thanks for telling me, Mika, but you know that me and girls... we're not exactly-"

"He also said you should contact him if you go there anytime soon," she interrupted, a huge smile on her lips. "He'd be happy to see you again."

"I'd love to. But I'm not single anymore so... some things will stay out of bounds."

"Really??" Her jaw dropped. "You have to introduce him to me... don't tell me-"

Mika lifted a hand to her lips, blown away. "Akanishi?!" she said, sounding like a revelation had just hit her.

Kame didn't get where that had come from and was about to correct her when he realised she wasn't looking at him but was staring at something just above his shoulder.

Jin. behind him.

How long had he been there? How much had he heard?? Kazuya tried to reassure himself that the music had been loud enough to cover up his words. Sadly, Mika moved sideways on the couch to make enough space for Jin to join them.

"How have you been doing? Still super handsome. No wonder Kame fell for you."

"Huh??" Kame exclaimed. He had to have misheard that. What the hell? This was the worst misunderstanding ever. He was about to correct her mistake when Jin sat between them and cut in. It was probably the older's drinks that encouraged him to take advantage of the situation.

"Yeah, no wonder. Right, Kazu-chan?" he said as he slid an arm around his waist.

He bent low enough to smell the lovely perfume that Kame had put on his lower neck. Jin's heart clenched. He hadn't held his friend this close in so, so long...

He thought he saw a slight shiver on Kame's skin. Just an instant of intimacy was enough to wake up all his senses.

"Jin, stop saying bullshit," Kame protested, troubled by his friend's behaviour. What the fuck was he doing?

"Come on, Kame, you don't have to pretend to be shy. Ryo and Pi are at the bar, they won't see a thing."

Something flickered on Kame's face. He was seriously pissed off.

"This is not funny, Jin. Making Mika believe your weird bullshit is... just move away from me," he said icily. "Now."

Jin regretfully let him go. Why Kame was so angry was a mystery. Why get so mad over a little joke and a simple gesture?

"Now, if you could leave us alone," Kame added irritably, "I had some important stuff I needed to talk about."

"Important stuff..." Jin muttered and frowned. He quietly stared at Kame for a moment. "Ok."

He got up took a few steps towards the bar, until he suddenly turned back around.

Kame was surprised to see Jin furiously glaring at him.

"Actually no. Not ok."

This turn of events was so unexpected that Kazuya didn't have the time to think of a quick reply. Jin let out his frustration.

"Kame, sometimes I wonder if you still consider me as a friend or.. if I'm just a coworker. So... yeah, I heard that you're seeing someone. I don't even know who that is. Maybe you're even married and have kids, how could I know? I get it, you want share stuff with this kind friend of yours. But what about us? Why do you just... not tell us anything?"

Jin realised he was pushing this too far, but he couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't keep it all to himself anymore. His frustration. His jealousy.

"Jin, I don't keep everything from you, calm down. Don't you think you're exaggerating? You're fucking living at my place lately. You would know it if I were married and had kids. Stop acting like you know nothing about me."

"Almost nothing." He took a deep breath. "For you... I'm probably just the stupid guy who makes you laugh for silly reasons. Well you suck. Take me seriously for once."

Kame wanted to interrupt him but Jin didn't let him.

"We've known each other for over ten years, Kame. Ten years. At some point you have to open your eyes and see who and what matters to you. And act accordingly."

More angry than he himself had expected, Jin turned his back on them: he felt like he was losing control. He hurried to leave before more unwanted confessions could escape his lips. He had already said too much... but seeing him open up like that to Mika just after a few minutes had hurt. He was tired of not knowing what Kame thought of him... Jin had always been there to support him and to show him affection. But Kazuya? At first, that behaviour had been mutual, but the more years went by, the more he felt like he and Kame were living on different planets, Kame refusing to open up about anything personal.

Mika watched Jin from far away, very confused.

"I'm sorry..." she said. "The way he was standing behind you and the way he was looking at you... I had thought... especially since you two live together... it's confusing."

Kame closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. Confusing... Mika had chosen the right word. He knew he had gotten a bit too carried away and already regretted it. He had followed the instincts he'd acquired years ago to protect himself. Jin had hurt him so much when they were teenagers, with too many double meanings. He never wanted to go back to such doomed cycles again. His disappointment, his broken illusions, his tears of anger... he hadn't forgotten them. He didn't want to ever go through that again.

***

They had returned home in silence, Kame driving and Jin pretending to be asleep. How much longer could they keep this going? Kazuya didn't want to lie to him. He would have liked to open up to him and tell him about his private life from the start, but it wasn't that simple. It was such a sensitive topic... and Jin's friendship was so precious to him. That was why the best solution had seemed to be to say nothing, to avoid taking any risks.

"Jin... we arrived," he said softly when the car stopped. His voice made his passenger shiver and an indistinct muffled noise came through his scarf.

"Would you rather sleep in the car?"

Jin sleepily shook his head. After pretending to be asleep for so long, he had ended up actally falling asleep.

His unconscious parted lips made Kame smile. If only Jin knew what he looked ike when he was asleep. The younger went out to open his door and help him out. He was by now getting used to helping Jin get from the car to his apartment.

Once Jin was -still dressed- in bed, Kame stopped in the doorway to look at him. That bakanishi was probably right. Kame couldn't keep on living two separate lives forever.

He sighed and let his gaze pause on Jin's sleeping body, until he finally stepped away and went to his room.

***

What should have been a ordinary day at work for Kengo unexpectedly shifted at the end of the afternoon: the boss of the wine department walked into the open space, a usb key in his hand.

"You worked well today, it's time to have some fun."

The employees' tired faces made it clear that he was right: they needed a break.

"I got some videos from the new drama you've all heard about, Kami no Shizuku."

Kengo's blood ran cold. No one at work knew he was dating Kame; they knew he was in a relationship but that was it. It sometimes annoyed him to have to hide his private life like that, he wasn't used to it. His coworkers even teased him about it and said there was something dubious about his silence.

Kengo had avoided watching the drama on purpose. Even though he hadn't told Kame, he didn't trust the production team. He was sure it was just going to end up being a lame idol production that disregarded how complex wine actually was. Short-term idol activity, that was the only thing he saw in it. He had been uncomfortable when Kame had asked him what his opinion on the first episode was, and Kame had never asked him again after that.

The oenologist now regretted never watching a single episode... he would now have to face this discovery in the presence of his coworkers, without knowing what to expect. He wasn't sure he was ready.

The episode started and he watched it without a word while his coworkers laughed, not always favorably.

"'Goûtons voiiir oui oui oui~ Goûtons voiir non non non~', that's so ridiculous!" 

"Wait, you haven't even heard him asking Bacchus to wake up yet. This show is unbelievably... kitsch."

The people there didn't usually watch TV shows and their point of view was needlessly harsh. They probably felt superior due to their knowledge and were unable to objectively spot the episode's qualities. They didn't even see idols as human beings: to them, an idol was a prefabricated robot, nothing else.

Kengo couldn't bring himself to go against their point of view and didn't want his boss to think his opinions were worthy of a high-school student. All the people who were here didn't like what they loved to be tampered with. Wine was their specialty and TV show featuring an idol on that theme was the last thing they wanted to see.

It was with great discomfort that he went to Kame's place that night. He had known from the start that Kame would play in such a drama, after all that was even why they had got close - Kazuya wanting to learn as much as possible about wine before he played the part. Kengo did appreciate him a lot. The young man was very pleasant... even more so between the sheets.

But the abyss between their universes was growing wider and wider and made him question his decisions. Despite how much he had grown to like Kame, he was unable to hold back a feeling of shame when he heard his coworkers' comments.

The last straw that brought his discomfort to another level was Jin. This "best friend" who had showed up since several weeks ago to sleep at Kame's place, because of work that had to be done in his own apartment. Friends of Kengo's had sworn that they were certain Jin was straight, that there was nothing to worry about. Kame and Jin however obviously shared something special and watching their interaction made him uneasy.

There was no way he could compete with a friendship that was more than ten years old, even if there was nothing in their relationship that went further than friendship. Maybe that was precisely why he could never outdo Jin: Kame gave him the impression that work was more important to him than relationships. Jin's friendship on the other hand... their interactions were enough proof for Kengo to know it would never be cast away.

Chapter Text

The next episode was about to be aired and Kame hadn't stepped out of his room yet. As soon as he'd arrived home, he had collapsed on his bed and hadn't even come back to the living room for dinner. Jin had cooked his favorite noodles for him, but there was nothing he could do, Kame was exhausted.

As usual, Kengo wasn't there and thus unvoluntarily gave Jin a free hand. Kengo's behaviour was however gradually getting stranger and stranger: sometimes he stayed at the apartment several days on end, as if he wanted to monopolize all of Kame's attention; but he sometimes disappeared without giving any news, also for several days.

"Where did your oenologist friend disappear?" Jin had once asked. "Don't you need him anymore for the next episodes?"

Kame had hesitated before he gave an answer.

"I refused to have dinner with his friends. He didn't take it very well."

It was sad to witness Kame trying to call him and never getting answers; weariness and irritation started to be visible. When Kengo came back, it was always late at night when they expected Jin to be asleep, but the latter always tried to hear what they fought about. Of course he couldn't help hoping a separation was near. Sadly, those nights ended with him hearing Kengo's moans, which made Jin rush as far away as possible. What Jin didn't immediately notice was that almost no sound came from Kame.

Back to the present day, Jin finished putting away the dishes and went to knock on Kame's door. Since there was no reply he slowly pushed it open.

The younger was lying down, surprisingly not asleep but absently staring at the ceiling.

"Kame? Are you ok?"

Kazuya closed his eyes and sighed. He didn't immediately look back at him.

"More or less."

He looked so tired and blasé.

"It's Kengo, he- I think he's been acting a bit weird lately. I wonder if we're meant to be... friends."

Jin's pulse shot up. This topic was almost a taboo and Kame even vaguely mentionning it made him feverish.

"Oh?"

He could barely breathe. Was Kame finally going to...?

"He always wants to introduce me to people. Maybe I'm paranoid but..." he paused, looking for the right words. "Sometimes I think it's not me as person that he wants to show. It's more me as an idol, a celebrity he's showing around."

Kame bit his lip, as if he was hesitating some more. Jin could imagine that making such a confession wasn't easy.

"The weird thing is that... even if he likes to show me around, sometimes I'm under the impression that he's embarrassed. It's constantly an emotional rollercoaster. I'll never fit into his world. And... I'm not sure he's supposed to have a place in mine."

He sighed again.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't bother you with this."

His lips finally stretched into a smile, but it looked like it cost him quite an amount of effort.

"You wanted to watch the new Kami no Shizuku episode, is that it?" Kame asked.

Jin wouldn't have minded him opening up even more, but it was obvious he wasn't ready yet. What he had just said was already a big step, so Jin didn't press it.

"I'd love to. Would you like to have our starters in the sitting room, as usual?" he said lightly, hoping Kame didn't notice how much his words had affected him. Kame looked like he didn't have strong feelings for Kengo, it was the best news Jin had had in a long time: maybe they would actually break up! He was filled with hope and his dreams suddenly looked more achievable.

Those thoughts made him immediately want to try to attempt something, but he held back. He didn't want to ruin everything by going too quickly.

"I feel kinda lazy right now," Kame mumbled. "How about we watch it here?" He pointed at the opposite wall when Jin looked confused.

The older's jaw dropped.

"...why did you never say you have a huge screen here??!"

Kame smiled.

"I got it today, it's new."

Kame stretched and added : "I wanted to be able to watch a movie just before falling asleep."

"This is... this so cool. Kame, we're never watching a movie on the shitty TV in your sitting room again," Jin joked.

"Come on, that TV is fine."

"Yeah but this one is like... almost bigger than me!! Ok, where's the remote? The episode is about to start."

Jin's enthusiasm made Kame smile some more. The older could be so... cute sometimes. But that thought made his heart constrict. He shouldn't...

***

In the end, Jin regretted that he hadn't insisted that they watch the new episode in the sitting room: Kame had fallen asleep, again, but the size of the bed didn't justify him letting his head rest on his friend's lap. Therefore, the main reason Jin regularly wanted to watch these episodes was gone. Sure, Kanzaki Shizuku was very cute and the story was interesting but... Jin just wanted to play with Kame's hair, to feel his soft breath as he slept so close to him. That closeness was simple and innocent, but Jin nonetheless cared a lot about it.

Without a noise, Jin got up to go get the food and drinks he had put in the sitting room. He wasn't the kind of person who would just watch TV without doing anything, so the snack was welcome to keep him busy.

As he sipped some warm sake, his inhibition slowly faded away. He then dared to watch Kame instead of the screen.

His gaze paused on his parted lips, his neck, the curve of his back... his hips...

Even without doing anything, Kazuya was still desirable. It drove Jin crazy. All his energy went into holding himself back, because the temptation was like torture.

Kame sighed in his sleep and turned around to face Jin. The tshirt clung to his skin and nicely outlined his solid shoulders; Kame was still slender but his silhouette was very different from how thin it had once been. Just above his jeans, Jin spotted a little beauty spot... the skin of Kazuya's lower abdomen looked so soft...

That soft zone... Jin wanted so bad to kiss it. His own breath shortened as he was unable to think about anything other than his desires. Since Kame was still asleep, he let his hot gaze linger some more.

Unexpected instincts had appeared. It now wasn't only Kame's lips he wanted to kiss, but all of his milky chest. His pecs, his abdomen... Jin shivered and stared at the tshirt he was itching to pull up. Of course he wouldn't that - but imagining it didn't harm anyone. And that little sliver of skin he could see, just above the opening of Kazuya's jeans... for the first time, Jin wanted to savour what was lower. There was no ambiguity, no confusion. The thought of tasting unexplored territory made his heartbeat shoot even higher. He had never expected to one day want to do that, but he did...

Jin swallowed thickly. This was inconsistant with everything he'd ever considered up to then... but his lips were nonetheless only waiting for one thing... for some of his dreams to come true.

Jin slid towards Kame and lied down closer, only keeping a minimum distance between them to ensure that he wouldn't accidentally touch him. He leant on his elbow, his face now hovering over Kazuya's.

His features were so delicate, everything was a picture of perfection - from his carefully arranged eyebrows to the subtle curve of his eyelids... his pale pink lips...

Jin watched him closely, wanting to store away this precious beauty in his memory forever. Every beauty spot, every lash, even his scent... because he'd probably never get a chance to be this close to him again.

Kame's eyes slowly opened but Jin didn't move, he couldn't look away. When the other's chocolate eyes bore into his, Jin felt like he was melting inside.

"Jin?" Kame whispered.

Jin was voiceless, still unable to get back to his senses. Seeing his lips so close... how could he stay sane?

"I'm just watching you sleep," he finally said in a barely audible, gentle voice. "You're... very beautiful, Kazuya."

It was evident that this wasn't a joke. Kame was so unsettled that he didn't know what to say. They were so close he could feel the warmth of Jin's presence.

"...Jin"

It was barely more than a murmur. Their eyes wouldn't leave each other, staring searchingly. All of their senses were awake. They weren't even touching but their unusual closeness was enough for them to be aware of some kind of tension in the air.

"Kazuya, you know I adore you, right?"

The younger's lips quirked into a little smile: "More or less, you mean? Depending on the days."

Jin could see that Kame didn't get how much he had meant it.

"No, always. I always care a lot about you."

Kame bit his lower lip. He was uncomfortable: he had no personal space and he couldn't hold onto a mask anymore. How could he hide what he was thinking in such a situation, so close to the person who unsettled him the most? He felt the need to step away- he needed some space. He needed to escape. Quickly.

But Jin wasn't done yet, visibly looking for the right words to say what was on his mind.

"You're... my favorite person."

Kame suddenly had a lump in his throat.

Why was Jin saying this now?

He would have liked to be able to say he felt the same way, but it was so much more complicated. On the one hand, those words made him want to hug Jin and hold him tight. On the other, his own overflowing affection had caused Kame so much harm in the past by making him have unrealistic dreams. Sometimes he wondered if everything wouldn't have been easier if their friendship hadn't ever been that intense.

"I'm tired of you drinking, Jin... it makes you say bullshit."

Maybe that was supposed to be a joke but his lips were trembling.

"It's the truth that comes out when you drink," Jin replied. "Maybe I should make you drink more to make you open up a bit more with me... instead of showing me only the role you decided to-"

"I'm not playing any kind of role, you know it's me that you know. And I... I also care a lot about you."

It wasn't exactly a fight, their voices were still soft and tender - but they still had things that needed to be said.

The words left Jin's mouth before he could think:

"You have a weird way of showing it."

Kame's lips wouldn't obey him anymore: he unwantingly pulled a face and blinked. He wasn't supposed to give in, he had to hold on to his last barriers.

If only Jin knew how much he had loved him. How many tears had flown because of him.

"Jin please... I can't."

This conversation brought back painful memories. Feelings he had buried away. He had sworn to himself that he'd never think about it again, he had done everything he could to put it all behind.

Jin was troubled by the gaze he met. Kame's face had crumbled so quickly. He suddenly looked so fragile, almost terrified.

"What can't you do?" he asked gently, already regretting his complaint.

Kame looked away and took a deep breath... Jin was even more worried.

"Hey... Kame. I hope you know... you can talk to me if something is wrong, ok?"

He only got a quiet Kame in return, who still wouldn't look him in the eye.

It was only a few moments later that the younger finally spoke again.

"I'll go take a shower and after that I'll go to bed. Go back to yout room."

That calm voice sounded so ungenuine. Jin wished he could do something to soothe the underlying pain he was beginning to see, but he didn't know where to start. He didn't even know what the causes were.

The next day, Kame would certainly behave as if nothing had happened. Acting like nothing was wrong had become his specialty.

***

Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest, but Kengo knew rest was the last thing he'd get by going at Kame's place. That morning, he'd been woken up by voices that came from the kitchen. He stretched in Kame's empty bed and grumbled.

"iiit's a showtime, showtime, Jiyuu ni naru tame breaaak away~ tama ni usa harashite..."

Oh no... the stupid guys were at it again - singing while making breakfast. He felt slightly guilty when he realised he'd just called Kame stupid. But the truth was he lately often wondered what he was doing there.

"No matter matter matter !!"

What mad house had he gotten himself into? Kengo finally made himself get up to join them. When he opened the door, they weren't done yet.

"HEY DOMUU!"

"Jin I think that's enough," Kame said, but he was laughing.

It was a blessing that Jin was good at acting silly precisely when it was needed. It did help deal with unwanted uneasiness. He couldn't count how many times he'd used that tactic after a fight, and every time Kame fell for it.

He belately noticed that Kengo had come in, looking less happy.

"I hope we didn't wake you up," the younger said.

"You did. What could I have for breakfast?"

Kame was unsettled by how cold he was. Sure, it had been a while since their relationship had been perfect, but this behaviour was still surprising and unpleasant. That morning had been so nice until then...

"There isn't much left, this bakanishi finished our cereals while watching TV. Last night."

Kame couldn't help it, he smiled again.

"How could I know you guys wanted cereal this morning??" Jin protested. "Usually I'm the only one who eats that!"

Kengo didn't like what he was seeing... Kame's smile... had it just turned tender? He didn't know if what he was feeling was jealousy or just anger.

Sadly for him, Kame and Jin were still in the mood to sing after breakfast while they cleaned up.

They were definitely from another planet. Rehearsing lyrics for upcoming live performances didn't justify this.

"I wanna beee your..loooveeer..."

Kengo gritted his teeth. This close relationship he couldn't share... it was unbearable. He needed some air so he walked away to fetch the regular mail.

On his way out, an unpleasant sensation settled into his gut. That Akanishi brought out the worst of Kengo. His cruel thoughts made him sometimes feel like he was a monster... but his disgust for anything that reminded him of JE had gone out of control.

He didn't want to hear about interviews or photoshoots anymore. Every time KAT-TUN popped up on the radio, he turned it off. His revulsion had become part of who he was, and despite the guilt he'd felt at first, he couldn't take it anymore. It was lately with a heavy heart that he headed towards Kazuya's place: he could tell that his boyfriend was slipping through his fingers.

When he finally got to the door, he picked up the envelopes, magazines and newspapers that were there - Kame liked to stay up to date with what media said about his drama. Kengo went back to the kitchen without taking the time to read the headlines.

Kame thanked him and flipped through the pages, expressionless. Moments later, his cheeks sank in and he kept his voice casual, but people who knew him could tell anxiety was there.

Jin was however not as discreet. The few evil words he spotted when he looked over Kame's shoulder drove him mad:

"What the fuck is this?! Do the people who wrote this bullshit have a brain??"

Kami no Shizuku's ratings were staying rather weak. But what affected Kazuya the most was the papers' mud-slinging. According to them, he brought bad luck to the dramas he played in. What kind of accusation was that??

"Don't worry, Kame, this has nothing to do with you," Jin said, hoping to reassure him. "It's the storyline that isn't well received, not you. It's because it's about wine... only crazy wine fans would stick to watching every episode."

Kame doubtfully peered at him.

"Are you a crazy wine fan?" he muttered, a hopeless look on his face. "Thanks for letting me know you thing it's a shitty drama."

"I didn't say that!"

Kengo didn't let him speak any further:

"This is strange, though... the manga is supposedly very popular. So it's not the storyline that is to blame. There must be another issue."

Jin stared at him. Was Kengo serious? Why the fuck was he saying this?? Once more, Jin had to fight against his instincts to punch him.

Kame threw him a dark glance too while Jin took over his defence.

"Of course an oenologist can't objectively judge this drama," he sneered. "Someone like you doesn't know anything about how our dramas work."

"It's not that I know nothing about it. It's just that I have better stuff to do than watch silly entertainment material."

Jin's whole being wanted to roar at him, but he stuck to words. Unlike this asshole, he wasn't a monster.

"Well it also looks like you have nothing better to do than to insult Kame!"

The atmosphere had never been this tense. Kame did want to make them calm down but... he would have liked to understand where Kengo's cruelty had come from. What was wrong with him?? Was this his vengeance for Kame's refusal to do anything the past few nights? Did not getting any sex make him lose his mind?

In the end, he chose the easy way out.

"I'm going to work. See you tonight."

 

Something in his voice made Kengo realise that he'd taken things a step too far. But the beast in him that Jin's presence had awoken was pleased. He knew this satisfaction was unhealthy but he was losing control. Only his urges to cause harm made his frustration more bearable.

***

It was 2am when Jin got back to the apartment. He had once again pushed himself to go out with his usual gang, in the usual places, but he had ended up feeling out of place. So, once again, he had drunk a lot.

He staggered to his room and slumped onto his bed. A sharp corner undernearth his pillow caught his attention: it was Ueda's old present that Jin had hidden there.

He sniggered. That weird little gift... he had oppened it a few days ago; he had at first been taken aback and slightly shocked, but now that he wasn't sober... he found it funny. Deep down, he wasn't suprised that Ueda would come up with pervy stuff, but still... discovering a sex toy in that box had been a big surprise.

Tonight, the idea didn't seem that improper. After all, such an object could be useful. Kame had however probably not been delighted, since the package had stayed untouched. That is, until it ended up in Jin's hands.

And tonight, Jin was in the mood to experiment.

He was still hesitating when he opened the box, but alcohol gave him the last push he needed. Even if he didn't intend to go all the way... he could just have some fun.

He slowly slid the object against his cheek and closed his eyes, his desires from the latest episode session back. He remembered... Kame's exposed lower abdomen... his fragrance...

"Hnn... Kazuya..."

His hoarse voice betrayed how much his desires overwhelmed him. He had nothing to hide, no reason to hold back.

He wanted to taste that skin. To drive Kame crazy with pleasure. To hear him moan, hear him ask for more...

He wanted to...

Jin hesitantly wrapped his lips around the tip and gave it a lick. He knew he wasn't even using it properly, whatever he was doing... it was just an excuse to push his fantasies a step further. To make them feel more real.

It didn't matter if this made sense or didn't make any. All coherent thoughts disappeared from his mind, one hand still holding the toy and the other heading down between his legs to bring his pleasure to another level. The images in his mind made his mouth water.

He wondered for a second if he'd lost his mind because... what the fuck was he doing?! But he didn't stop. He couldn't. It felt like his whole body was contracted and he shivered when he imagined Kame's head thrown back against the sheets, his lips saying his name... that beauty spot burning his lips as he kissed it... sighs... moans, oh yes, moans. Jin needed to continue making Kame make those delicious sounds, even if it was all in his head.

His hand moved quicker and he accidentally bit the synthetic material until he managed to reposition his tongue better.

"Unn.."

Stronger moves, more sensual moves... his lips were aching for more. It felt as if the bed was swaying; Jin had lost awareness of the surrounding world and didn't hold in a single sound.

His caresses became more and more intense, his lips more and more agile, his imagination boundless... everything made his desire even more overwhelming. He soon felt that this wasn't enough, he needed more. In his imagination, Kazuya invited him to take things a step further.

Not being able to actually feel Kame's warm skin against his drove him crazy, he couldn't take it anymore... he needed to feel Kame's presence. To feel that Kame was claiming him as someone who belonged to him.

His heart thumping, he undressed.

There he was, naked on his bed, thinking about being in bed with Kame.

He closed his eyes and arched his back; his nipples were harder than ever as his chest went up. His heavy breathing wasn't quiet but he didn't care - in his mind Kame was there. He slid the wet surface down, down, down his skin, the saliva that had stayed on the toy leaving a trace on his stomach. He squeezed his eyes shut and sighed when he reached the spot between his legs.

His heart was beating faster than ever when he lifted one of his legs to open the way towards more unexplored territory. He wasn't going to- he just needed to- he wanted to feel something down there. Because maybe... maybe one day Kame would touch him there. In Jin's dreams, he would. He was so turned on, he already felt like he would come at any moment.

"Fuck..." he whimpered and hesitantly moved his hand further, just to touch that part of his body with his knuckle... just to press a little bit of skin... just to-

"And then guys like you say they are straight? Close your room's door next time you come home drunk."

Jin froze.

He felt like he was exploding. Was this even real?

The worst slap in the face ever.

He barely had the time to look up, the door has already been shut.

Had that been a nightmare or had he really just heard... Kengo's voice?? Or was it his anxiety that had made him imagine it?

Despite the breaths he took to try to calm down, nothing worked.

Eyes wide open, his state of shock paralysed him.

The image in his mind had been shattered in the worst way possible.

How could he think coherently?

Fuck.

FUCK.

Jin wanted to disappear.

And to kill a certain someone.

Chapter Text

The night was falling when Kengo put the last bottle away. Only two people were still at work at that time, to clean up after a wine-tasting session.

"So... how are things going with Kamenashi?" his coworker asked as he grabbed a dishcloth.

Kengo had ended up confessing his boyfriend's identity to someone trustworthy. It had become unbearable to almost never get to talk about it to anyone. He needed to find a way to let some of his anger out without harming anyone.

"Well... as usual lately, it's not that great. Akanishi is always there, and I'm more and more certain that he wants to sleep with Kame."

His coworker stopped moving and stared at him.

"Fuck... Kengo, do you realise how much money we could get if we sell this information to-"

"Stop right there. You swore to me you wouldn't say a word about this."

His friend deflated but nodded, visibly disappointed.

"I do have a physical, painful urge to get some kind of revenge but... I wouldn't ever do something like that."

The other looked slightly confused.

"Vengeance? Did something happen?"

Kengo shook his head and thread his fingers through his hair in frustration.

"Not exactly. But... I feel unwelcome. Unwanted. Seeing your boyfriend's face light up when someone else walks into the room is... more than unpleasant." His coworker looked sorry for him and hummed in approval. "Even when it's just the two of us... I get the feeling that he's off in his head somewhere."

"What an asshole... what exactly is he looking for? Drop it and look for someone else. He's only in this to sleep with you."

Kengo didn't say anything but what his friend had just said confirmed the conclusions he'd recently drawn. He was under the impression that all affection was long gone and that they were by now still together only out of habit.

"Break up with him," the other said. "With a bang, to teach him a lesson. Even if he's a celebrity, he can't just use people like that."

"With a bang... ?"

Kengo pursed his lips and shrugged. If they broke up, they'd probably never see each other again. He felt a twinge in his heart when he told himself Kame wasn't the kind of person who would seek revenge. He was too kind for that.

But his frustrations had piled up and had locked his heart into a cage. A cage where it could only feel hate. No matter what his reason told him to do, his urge to make Kame understand his pain by feeling it was overwhelming.

***

His lungs suddenly filled with air when he finally reached the surface: a huge wave had just swept him off his feet and he'd fallen off his surf board. Flipping his hair back, Kame pressed his eyes closed to try to get rid of all the water and regained his breath.

Once he was alright, he looked at the beach. Jin, Pi, Ryo and other juniors were still playing football; thankfully no one had noticed his fall. Kame prefered the others to only see him mastering his way through the waves.

His tired arms didn't have much energy left as he looked for another wave to ride, but he liked that kind of exhaustion. It was the end of a nice day and a calm evening near a camping fire awaited them. These occasional week-ends that JE organised for them were Kame's favorite events.

The water's surface drifted up, another wave was coming up. Kame looked around - that wave was getting bigger and bigger so Kame excitedly swam towards it.

Foam appeared and the wave started to rumble. Kame's calves faltered as he stood up on his surf board, but he did all he could to not fall. He had to make it... he had to! Even more so since Jin had just looked in his direction.

"KazuYA! KazuYA! KazuYA!" the latter started chanting.

When Kame saw that enthusiasm, his rise of adrenaline was followed by an even more intense heartbeat. And that wasn't because of what he was doing. Kame hoped that the water's temperature would prevent him from blushing.

"Go! Go! GO!"

He was almost there, the wave was already weaker. Water was less and less deep, he was getting closer and closer, still standing... and his surf board finally touched the sand

"YEEES!!" Jin cheered and walked up to him to give him a high five. "That was so cool, you rock!!"

"Thanks, I just practiced surfing all day, you know- while you were tackling Ryo. He doesn't look like he's doing great by the way," Kame replied, trying and failing to hide that he wanted to make fun of Ryo. Just a little bit.

"I didn't only tackle him, I also took a ton of pictures with your camera. I hope you don't mind?"

Kame's smile slipped off his face.

"You didn't put it in the sand, at least, right??"

"No, no, I promise! I was careful with it. I'll give it back to you, right away-"

"Did anyone look at its content, or...?" Kame asked.

Jin snorted.

"Ha, do you seriously think I want everyone to see the dumb poses I do in front of your camera? I'm not crazy."

Jin's laugh however died on his lips when he spotted Pi howling with laughter on his towel, a black object in his hands.

"...fuck."

***

Their manager's voice echoed around the meeting room as he presented a few slides about the stakes of their next single. All those graphs and numbers didn't hold a lot of meaning for them and only Maru interrupted him a few times to ask questions. Junno was peering at the older's notes, wondering why the hell Maru made such an effort.

Kame tried to stay focused too, but the sound of pencil strokes often distracted him. Instead of listening to their manager, Jin had fun annoying Kame by scribbling stuff over his notes as soon as the younger looked away - drawing little hearts, writing "JIN" inside...

"Good thing I put my script away," Kame muttered when he saw the result.

"What's wrong, don't you like my cute little hearts?"

"I love them," he replied sarcastically and rolled his eyes. "I'll just have to make a photocopy of someone else's notes. I can't take this home."

"Pfft. You're not funny."

Jin tugged his beanie over his eyes and dropped his head over his folded arms. Kame finally gave him a resigned smile. Jin was so silly sometimes...

They were called back to order by their manager.

"Akanishi? Kamenashi? Do you have something to say?"

Jin didn't like that - why did the agency treat them like they were still kids? He pulled up his beanie to make a contribution.

"We get it. We'll wear a ton of makeup again, we'll roll our hips, and it will be in the bag. The numbers come after that step. It's not us who will lose our jobs if the single doesn't sell well anyway."

The other man looked annoyed.

"Don't be fooled. Should I remind you what happened to-"

"Ok, ok, we'll do your PV, the way you want, with a ton of icky lipgloss," Jin sighed.

"You can count on us, sir," Maru hastily added with a respectful nod.

After a few long minutes, the meeting was over and they were finally free. While Koki was slipping behind Kame's chair on his way out, he abruptly stopped.

"Kazu-chan..."

Kame immediately recognized his teasing tone and guessed that he had probably noticed all the hearts. He immediately cut him off to avoid a misunderstanding:

"Jin did all that. He just... loves himself a bit too much."

Koki snorted.

"I'd be cautious if I were you," he said, not knowing that his joke wasn't as unrealistic as he thought.

***

Kame tried to make his kisses look passionate, but he felt no desire anymore. These physical moments with his partner had become nothing more than automatic gestures.

Part of Kazuya felt guilty at the thought of breaking up without an obvious reason. So he went on, day by day, continuing with this relationship as if it was a chore. No pleasant shiver, no flutter. His everyday life had turned into a game of appearances.

"Guess what I saw today?" Kengo murmured between two kisses. "A beautiful photoshoot. Of you, eating grapes."

His smirk said a lot about what he had in mind.

Kame let himself slide down to his knees. He had to make himself give Kengo a pleasant moment. He wanted to... at least that's what he told himself when he hesitantly hovered where he was, unable to make himself start.

"Is something wrong?" Kengo asked.

Kazuya didn't know what to say. This didn't feel like the right moment to open up about how uncomfortable he felt. Not just about this, about their whole relationship.

"What's with that face? Am I disgusting to you now?" Kengo's voice was now far from playful.

Kame pulled himself together. He had dropped his mask for way too long. He winked and smirked playfully - he was good at acting after all.

"You'll see, you'll see."

He mechanically undid Kengo's belt, ignoring the back of his mind that was urging him to stop. No, he didn't want to do this... but he'd do it one last time. He made up his mind: after this he'd find a way to end this cycle.

***

"Don't forget to buy some parsley, Kame will need it tomorrow," Kengo had said.

Jin grumbled and checked the shopping list Kengo had given him, to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything.

Kengo had insisted that they would need everything for 8pm sharp. That detail pissed Jin off and he grumbled some more as he walked towards the appartment, the shopping bags so heavy they were marking his fingers.

He was totally willing to do some shopping for Kame, but it irritated him to know that Kengo would benefit from it too.

7.58pm

He only had to cross a road and he'd be there, right on time.

He almost fell over in the stairs while looking for the keys, but in the end all was well, neither him nor the bags fell. He silently turned the key, hoping to discreetly go to the kitchen without having to bump into Kengo.

When he quietly crossed the corridor, a sound caught his attention. A sound that came from way too close... a sound he was used to hearing through a closed door. But that wasn't the case this time.

He didn't want to know, but going through the living room was the only way he could go to the kitchen. For one crazy second, he thought he could go unnoticed.

But his blood ran cold when he had walked far enough into the corridor to reach that room.

For a moment, his mind went blank. He was petrified.

Then, he felt sick, his blood boiling with rage... his rage just as bad as the mocking glare Kengo was sending his way.

That bastard had planned it all. 8pm sharp, he'd said.

Jin's knuckles were shaking.

Kazuya hadn't noticed him, since he was still busy and Jin was behind him.

 

When Kengo's fingers gripped his hair in a supposedly sensual way to guide him, Kame had a hard time pretending not to be annoyed. He wasn't into Kengo's dom kinks at all. In the past, he had enjoyed giving Kengo pleasure like this, but today... it felt unhealthy. Unhealthy considering his state of mind. He felt used.

Without taking an eye off Akanishi, the oenologist gripped Kame's hair tighter and purred in a sick voice:

"See? I knew you'd like this..."

Kazuya frowned. Was Kengo refering to what he'd said earlier? He didn't have much time to think about it because the other continued:

"I like it when you act like my little whore, my little bit-"

Kame pulled away.

That was too much.

"Don't talk about me like that, asshole." Kame said angrily and pulled his face even further away. Maybe his nails had accidentally dug into Kengo's hips, but he didn't care.

It was rare for Kame to insult someone, rare for him to feel this angry, but Kengo had gone too far. He couldn't accept to be treated like this. It was not ok. He tried to calm the storm of anger inside to find the right way to say this, but he was distracted by his weird behavior: to Kame's surprise, Kengo laughed evilly and zipped up his jeans.

"You shouldn't be rude, Kamenashi. Doesn't your agency teach you good manners?"

What the fuck was going on? Was Kengo making a bad joke or... why was he talking like such a bastard?! He took a deep breath.

"Kengo, what do you want? Stop this nonsense. Just tell me what you want."

Kengo stared at him, disbelievingly. His forced smirk disappeared.

"What do I want?" His rage wasn't hidden anymore either. He picked his jacket up from the floor and put it on. "Are you fucking joking? You're accomodating that friend of yours and you guys keep hitting on each other. Am I supposed to just smile and clap?"

What?!

"We're not-"

"Oh please. Don't pretend. I saw your photo albums anyway. Albums full of pictures of him."

"You... what?" That bastard had looked into his stuff?? This couldn't be real.

"I saw the way you look at him on all those pictures you're on together. You were looking at him like he's the love of your life. There's nothing else I need to know."

It was as if Kame's heart had stopped beating.

"Those albums are old. We were kids on those pictures. You can't judge me over something that old," he said calmly. But why was he even trying to justify himself? He didn't want to spend another minute with this man.

"So you're not even denying it, huh?" Kengo sneered. "What the fuck am I doing here? I'm leaving."

Kazuya said nothing. He would have preferred their separation to go differently, but now that it was done-

A sudden noise interrupted his thoughts.

The sound of shopping bags thrown on the floor.

"Get the fuck out. Get the fuck out BASTARD!! IF YOU STAY HERE I'LL HIT YOU SO BAD EVEN YOUR MOM WON'T RECOGNIZE YOU!!"

A familiar silhouette appeared out of nowhere, grabbed the collar of Kengo's shirt and slammed him against the wall.

Jin.

Jin.

Jin.

Kame couldn't breathe.

Panic.

Anxiety.

Shame.

What the fuck was Jin doing here?

No.

No.

No, no, no.

Anything but this.

 

***

Heavy rain had been falling since nightfall and was hitting the balcony's door. Kame still hadn't returned home and Jin was getting worried. Was he sheltered somewhere? Was he alone?

The younger had disappeared while Jin had confronted Kengo. He hadn't even seen his face, only the sound of the door slamming had let him know that he was gone.

It was 3am and the apartment was still empty.

For what felt like the thousandth time, Jin called Kame and only got the answering machine. Kazuya had probably turned his phone off.

Jin felt so bad... so worthless. Should he have ignored the scene and left the two of them have their fight in private? He had been unable to hold back his anger. It had been unbearable.

Jin wished Kame wouldn't run away from him. If only Kame would come back...

He continued waiting and worrying most of the night, constantly checking his phone. When Jin woke up after a short sleep, a message was waiting for him on his phone.

I'm away for 3 days.
When I come back, I would like you to be away. To be back to living at your own place.
Thanks.

Chapter Text

Jin's hesitant smiles, his occasional shy glances... during the past few weeks, Kame had found him so different from the Jin they'd picked up at Narita airport, once his 6-month hiatus had been over.

Kame felt like he was slowly getting out of his depth. He desperately wished things could go back to the way they were before this whole mess had started.

He quietly finished shaving, his dull eyes watching the picture in the mirror. When Kazuya wiped his face, he pressed the towel harder than necessary on his skin. Every time he saw his lips, he thought about what Jin had seen him do. About the rage he had spotted in his eyes. Would Jin now feel just as disgusted as he did when he saw his mouth?

He felt humiliated. Dirty.

His painful throb made him pull a face. His fever was getting bad - he'd wandered outside for way too long during that rainy night.

When the pain ebbed away, he sometimes imagined reactions Jin could have to what he'd witnessed. Sometimes his imaginary visions were nighmarish. Other times they were too good to be true.

'What happened doesn't change a thing for me. Even if you lied during all these years... I still love you.'

Eyes closed, Kame shivered. He had to get rid of all of his unrealistic dreams. He was angry at himself... because how could he stupidly imagine things like that? Those reconciliation scenes were nothing but fantasies. Fantasies that would never happen.

As if their friendship could go on like nothing had happened... as if Jin would accept that he had hidden a huge part of his life for so long without getting angry. Kame was anxious and felt sick at the thought of losing everything.

"Kazuya? Is everything ok? Do you need a towel?" said Koki from the other side of the door.

Kame quickly cleared his throat to answer that all was well.

That night, Tanaka had opened the door and let him in without asking questions.

Several times in the past, Kame had been on the verge of confessing his biggest secret to him. After all, Koki had maybe already guessed that he was gay. But Kame had in the end never felt that the perfect moment to open up about this had come.

"I bought some freshly baked muffins for breakfast," Koki added. "If you join me quickly, there will be some left for you too."

***

That day had stayed quiet.

Kame had spent several hours alone, wandering around Koki's apartment or simply staying motionless on the couch, lost in thought.

There was a good reason for him to go here instead of at Ueda's place: he was in no mood to be teased. Koki knew when to keep his distance.

Ueda certainly knew to act accordingly too, but Koki had already dealt with Kame in difficult situations: in the past, he had grown to learn what environment Kame needed. He knew how much talk was enough and how much would be too much.

However, after looking at him for long (and silent) minutes, Koki decided to try to break the ice.

"A Karaoke would be nice... don't you think? I kinda feel like doing that right now."

That unexpected sentence at least made Kame look up.

"What?"

"It's been a while. We did that so often during Tatta Hitotsu no Koi!"

Koki didn't mention that back then it had also been to help Kame feel better.

Kame stayed attentive for a few seconds but his eyes quickly became dull again. The younger tried to hold back a sigh but Tanaka saw it and was even more worried.

If Kame was unable to hide his pain, it definitely meant he wasn't ok.

"I think I just need to stay somewhere quiet. I'll just stay here, if you don't mind."

Koki didn't insist.

***

Two days had gone by with no news from Kame. Days had never felt this long and Jin felt like he was going crazy. He constantly wondered what he should do... what he should've done.

Two days. Not a word.

This stagnation, this uncertainty... it was torture.

His number of unanswered calls had reached an unreasonable amount. The same went for messages he'd started typing and ended up deleting. He did however still give in and send a lot of them.

'Kame, please come back.'

'Forgive me for punching Kengo.'

'Forget that. He deserved it. And deserves much worse.'

'And I don't mean that he deserved that because he's gay.'

'Kame, please answer my calls.'

'We must talk.'

When that didn't work, Jin tried lighter topics. Maybe Kame would answer if he made him smile.

'Answer or I'll jump on your bed and break even more slats.'

'Are you ignoring me because I didn't get a lot of cleaning done? I'm sorry.'

'That's it, I just cleaned up your whole appartment, you can come home.'

'Come back... or I'll eat all your chocolate.'

'Your neighbour has spotted me like 3 times. He's gonna end up believing akakame is actually a real thing'

'I hadn't actually intended to do this but... I did. I ate all your chocolate. I'm sorry T_T.'

'Kami no Shizuku is on but... it's too complicated when you're not here to explain stuff.'

'Kame'

'Kame'

'Kame'

 

His fingers hovered over his phone. He hesitated... but he wanted Kame to know it.

'I miss you.'

He pressed Send and didn't dare write anything else.

***

"This flat is so cool. Why hasn't he ever invited us over??"

Ryo had barely crossed the threshold and was already taking in everything he could see. An impressively huge mirror near the entrance had caught his attention.

"The lighting is nice too, we could have a cool party here. I think I'll consider becoming his friend again... despite the risk that he'll get a crush on me."

"Ryo, shut up," Pi grumbled. Ryo was the only one who found his own bad jokes funny.

The two of them had finally decided to visit Jin, after his lifeless voice on the phone had worried them to death. Now they saw him, it was obvious that Jin wasn't feeling well. He never took his eyes off his phone, constantly on the lookout for any sign Kame would be willing to give him. But no matter how long he waited and stared, nothing showed up.

He lost his breath when his phone screen suddenly lit up - sadly, it was just Ueda.

Jin nonetheless quickly closed himself into the guest room to get some privacy.

"Tatsuya... everything is such a mess right now," he confessed as he paced around the room, only half-surprised to hear his voice sound wobbly. "I'm lost. I... the coworker, my friend- he saw..."

Ueda didn't let him go on.

"Cut it out, Jin. Just say Kame and Kengo. I don't have the time to pretend I don't know."

Jin stopped moving. What?!

"Huh? What exactly do you know?"

His mouth suddenly felt dry.

"I knew Kame and Kengo were together from the start. So when you started talking about a coworker and an oenologist..."

"Fuck," Jin whispered more to himself than to Ueda. "It's not- it..."

"Don't bother," Ueda said briskly. He had no patience to wait for Jin to accept that he knew. "Who is the one who made you sleep at Kame's place anyway? Me. Now please explain why he just called me and asked me to kick you out."

***

Silence.

Jin was still attempting to get a sign from Kame, even if it had to be a rejection, and he still got nothing.

At this point he just needed to have a reason to still hope that his existence meant something to Kame...

A reason to hope that he hadn't been cut out of Kame's existence forever...

He felt like he was falling. Losing everything that had defined his life until then.

Jin was lost.

 

A full week had gone by. Jin however didn't leave the apartment, no matter how anxious he still was. Regardless of the recent evolution of his feelings, their friendship had always been very important to him. It was even harder for him to accept Kame's silence when he thought about their long history.

What was Kazuya so afraid of? If only he could just say something instead of disappearing... Jin could have reassured him, he would have done anything for Kame to believe their friendship wasn't in danger. But with this silent treatment, there was just nothing he could do.

 

Sometimes it drove him mad. Was Kame ready to push him out of his life for so little? But he afterwards tried to find a way to be push his anger away. Jin cared so much about Kame; if Kame needed space, he would respect that. Even if the distance was torture, even if he felt worthless and rejected.

If there was one person he was willing to make an effort for, it was Kazuya. Kazuya who had walked him through his own tough moments in the past. Kazuya who had always accepted everything Jin needed...

It was now Jin's turn. He wanted to give Kame warmth and kindness back.

However...

Jin knew that there were some situations where Kame would need a little push. Ueda had said the best solution would be to jump on him as soon as he walked in but Jin wasn't convinced - that would be too sudden.

With all those thoughts in mind, he looked back down at a photo album.

After Kengo's hints that had unsettled him, he had felt the urge to look for those albums to find some answers. It wasn't hard to find them, the oenologist had left them in plain sight in Kame's room.

So many memories came back to him as he flipped through the pages... so much affection was resurfacing, and it made the sensation of losing his best friend even more painful.

He couldn't lose that friendship. He couldn't let that happen.

A familiar landscape appeared on the next page.

A sunny beach in the summer, a location he remembered visiting, juniors with sparkling smiles and more importantly: pictures of him and Kame. And many pictures of Jin alone.

He had always known Kame was very passionate about photography, but he had never realized that the younger had immortalized so many moments. There were so many details, such a variety of postures and angles; some pictures with warm smiles, others with more pensive expressions.

Kame seemed to have seen him through different eyes, capturing beauty with unsuspected details. Capturing the magic of moments that could have appeared trivial. His feelings while he discovered these pictures were unusual. It was hard to him to define what exactly he was feeling, but his heart was tight.

Old memories came back; it was like revisiting an old dream.

 

The week-end away at the onsen... of course Jin remembered it. That had been the environment where he had had his first disastrous experience with a girl.

That had also been where an incident had almost cost him Kame's friendship.

That incident had been... scary and wonderful at the same time.

He remembered the way moonlight fell on Kame's delicate silhouette. He remembered his urge to join him in the water. And their feverish kisses.

How could he have been so fucking stupid?

***

It was after midnight when Kame opened his door. He breathed in relief when he saw that all the lights were off; his apartment looked empty.

He dropped his bags near the entrance, too tired to unpack now. His lack of selfcare and his exhaustion hadn't helped his health: he needed to go to bed and sleep right away.

He dragged himself to his room, briskly undressed and slumped onto his bed without further ado. The fresh sheets were soothing against his hot forehead.

The murmur of water running was like a lullaby and softened his shivers. He hated being sick like this. He absolutely had to get back in shape for work next morning.

His muscles gradually relaxed and his eyelids slowly slid shut in the dark.

 

"What are you doing here?"

 

It took Kame a while to regain consciousness and to realise he wasn't dreaming.

The only sign that he had woken up was a muffled groan.

"What. Are. You. Doing. Here." Jin repeated more insistently. At first he had been relieved to see that Kame was back and was alright, but the younger's behaviour these past few days had stayed stuck in his throat.

Kame finally turned his face towards him.

"I should be the one asking you that question, I had asked you to-"

"Fuck you, Kame!" Jin snapped. "You sent me one message to kick me out, but you were unable to answer a single message from me?! I was waiting for you here, worrying about you, imagining worst case scenarios, and you... you..." Jin clenched his fists, not knowing what to say. "Do you think I'm stupid for staying here or... do you just not give a shit about me?"

Kame frowned.

"Are you crazy? You know that's not true."

"Well seeing you wipe me out of your life in 24 hours, it makes me wonder. Yeah, I'm probably just the stupid friend you like to joke around."

It wasn't the first time Jin said such a thing and Kame was tired of hearing him say bloody stupid things like that. His gaze fell on the photo albums that had been abandonned on his bed and his anger started to simmer.

"Stupid? Yeah, you are stupid," he sneered and got up. "How can you say bullshit like that?"

Kame rarely got angry, but tonight he had snapped too.

"I welcome you here without asking questions, I let you come back here in the middle of the night after your parties. Even when I'm working the next day. I run you a fucking bath in the morning to make sure you'll quickly go in and not make us be late. And you say I don't give a shit about you??"

Kame's chest heaved. Every word felt risky. Every sentence felt like it could go too far. How could Jin be so dumb? How could he still be so blind?

"You know it. You know I..." the lump in Kame's throat cut him off. "Fuck."

His eyes were getting itchy. He wasn't going to cry. He wouldn't... he was even more furious. Kame took a deep breath to try to calm down.

Jin's expression had shifted from angry to worried.

"Kame..."

And that was it. Kame had had enough.

"Jin. You looked at those photo albums, I presume?"

"Yes."

"And do you have anything to say about them?"

Jin hesitated. There were so many things he could say.

"They are... beautiful memories."

Kazuya quietly watched him, motionless. Then he turned around to look for some specific pictures.

Seeing so many emotions on Kame's face hurt. Jin felt the urge to do something. Something to let Kame understand what he felt. He took a deep breath as his gaze lingered on Kame's bare shoulders... and stayed there. If he didn't do something now, he had a feeling he never would. He slowly took a few steps towards him to look at the pictures over his shoulder.

Kame shivered when he felt Jin's chest hover so close to his back. After so many years, how could such a small detail put him in such a state?

"Do you think that if I didn't care about you, there would be so many pictures of you...?"

Kame's voice was weaker than earlier. All his regrets, all his pain... everything was dragged back up to the surface.

Jin slowly raised his hand to put it on his waist.

Kame stopped breathing.

This contact could've been meaningless in another context, but at that moment Kame faltered. Not only his waist but his whole body was alert.

Jin decided to go for something light to help him slightly relax. "I'm not surprised, I was pretty handsome," he murmured warmly just below his ear.

Kame shivered again - a different kind of shiver. Was he dreaming again?

"...you still are, you know?" the younger finally answered.

Jin's other hand found his skin too. Kame could tell he was hesitant but his embrace was so warm, so sincere, and the heartbeat Kame felt against his back was so fast-paced... he couldn't believe this was true.

"Kazuya..." that murmur got lost into the younger's hair. With that word, that name, Jin was trying to let some of his frustration go. The frustration that there was so much contact Jin needed but he didn't dare go further

Did Kame also want this?

They stayed quiet, embracing the comfort of each other's presence.

When Kazuya turned around to face him, Jin barely had the time to see wet traces on his cheeks before the younger buried his face in his shoulder.

The sight wrung Jin's heart. He didn't want to see Kame like this

"Kazuya..." he said again, tenderly.

This time Jin didn't hesitate and wrapped his arms around him. He wished he could take Kame's pain away.

"Kazuya, we have to talk..."

"Not now, I feel like my head is about to burst."

His headache was giving Kame nausea to such an extent that even staying on his feet was an effort. His body couldn't hold on much longer.

Jin made sure to keep a firm grip on his shoulders when it looked like Kame was about to fall.

"Come on, let's lie down," he said softly.

His voice was so peaceful, it made Kame feel protected. It was the Jin he had always loved.

The older guided him into the bed and gently pulled the cover up to his chin.

"I'll take care of you," he said and went to look for medication.

***

Jin was tucked in bed behind Kazuya. The latter's sleep was light: he shivered and wouldn't stop moving, under the worried gaze of his guest. A deep sigh let Jin know that Kame wasn't asleep.

"Shh Kazuya... try to breathe."

"I'm... fucking cold..." Kame said through gritted teeth.

Jin stroked his hair and hoped it would help him find some peace

"The PV tomorrow," Kame added, "I won't be able to-"

"Shh..."

Kame heard the blanket move before he felt Jin get closer.

"Is this better?" Jin whispered, his warm arms snaking around his torso and gently holding his back against his chest.

Kame shivered again. This renewed contact reminded him of what had been close to a confession. But his headache overpowered his worries. His current state didn't let him overthink things. He just felt good in those warm arms and his body slowly relaxed into that embrace.

"Everything will be ok, Kazuya," Jin murmured into the back of his neck, his lips brushing against his skin and his nose lost in Kame's dark hair. "Everything will be ok," he said again and this time his lips softly touched Kame's skin more purposefully.

Despite his state, this time Kazuya froze. That hadn't been an accident.

Jin's warm lips slowly went up, glided on the skin behind his ears and up to his temple.

The sensation Jin's breath in his hair, the scent of Jin's skin...

"Jin..." Kame sighed.

"Shh..."

Another kiss on the back of his neck and Kame felt his senses take him over. Thoughts didn't matter anymore. He couldn't think.

Jin didn't know what exactly had made him act like that. His own conscience seemed to have decided to step out of their tender cocoon and just leave them be. Kazuya feeling good was the only thing that mattered - neither him nor Jin were preoccupied by what was or wasn't reasonable. Jin let his gentle instincts take over and Kame accepted them.

***

When Kame opened his eyes, he at first felt slightly lost.

Right, he was back home.

A familiar melody reached his ears: as usual, Jin was singing whatever was going through his mind in the kitchen. A smile on his lips, Kame shook his head and pictured Jin cooking in his sing-song mood.

But the previous day's memories soon wiped the smile off his face.

He had shown Jin such a vulnerable version of himself... he hadn't said a lot, but Jin had certainly understood. And during the night... had that been a dream? The back of his neck prickled when he thought of it...

What would their friendship be like now?

He sighed and decided to get up. His health had miraculously greatly improved - at least one good thing was certain.

After a long shower that gave him some time to pull himself together, Kazuya stepped into the kitchen.

Jin was sitting on the edge of a window, a cigarette between his lips, surprisingly only wearing boxers. The morning sun lit up his gold skin and smoke slowly drifted away from his face.

"I'm not surprised, I was pretty handsome"

"...you still are, you know?"

Kazuya knew he shouldn't let himself take in the beautiful sight like that...

"Considering that there are paparazzis out there, I'm not sure it's a good idea for you to stay in front of the window with so little clothes on."

Jin went on smoking, his only answer an enigmatic smile whose meaning only he knew.

The way his eyes were sparkling...

The way his hair was pushed backwards, putting all the pretty details of his face in plain sight...

Kame would have loved to... touch his cheek, slowly stroke his hair...

kiss him...

kiss him again... and again.

He turned away and pretended to look for cereal. It was easier to say the next words without facing him.

"Aren't you scared of hanging out with me like that? ...Now that you know. You know I like men, Jin."

Kame stopped breathing and heard Jin's bare feet hit the floor as the older got down from the window.

"Do you think I would've shared your bed if that bothered me? You worry too much sometimes. You don't have to worry about this."

Kame's lungs filled with air.

After a short moment, realisation dawned on him.

Jin wasn't going to run away.

Jin didn't hold it against him.

Jin accepted it. Accepted him, the way he was.

His relief brought a huge smile on his lips.

He had been living with a weight on his shoulders for so long... he had been so anxious about it.

It was now over. He was free. Free to be honest and free to finally be himself.

After last night's unexpected tears, he had almost expected unwanted emotions to show up again when his sexuality was brought up. But he somehow only felt immense relief.

The cosy morning atmosphere in the kitchen had certainly helped.

Jin's warm smile too.

 

When they later settled into his car to go to the Jimusho, Jin was whistling a familiar old tune and Kame couldn't help thinking that maybe, just maybe, he would be allowed to be happy.

Chapter Text

KAT-TUN were greeted by a rather cold and windy weather in Zushi that morning. The place was familiar to Kame and Koki, since both of them had been there for Tatta Hitotsu no Koi. The memory gave Kazuya some mixed feelings... on the one hand, the location reminded him of the beginning of a closer friendship with the rapper, but on the other hand it also brought back the memory a few particularly tough months. He blinked those thoughts away and walked towards the dressing room.

An ordinary PV-making day started with a makeup session; Jin and Ueda were the first being taken care of, the others still having things to discuss with their manager.

"Miss... don't you think you put a bit too much lipgloss?" Jin sighed.

"Don't complain, you're better off than me," Ueda said.

It wasn't enough to convince Jin so Ueda didn't stop there.

"Anyway, I know someone who will like your lips looking like that."

"Shut up," Jin muttered and blushed.

Ueda snickered, which made the makeup artist get slightly confused. Jin didn't say it but deep down he did wonder - would Kame actually like that? The only memories he had related to makeup were about teasing. Or, about being cool in a weird 'Kame' way.

"Stop with your bullshit," Jin said, "I'm pretty sure he's more into... natural concepts... or something. Something authentic."

"Believe me, I know you well enough to tell you that even if you'll never admit it, slutty Jin with lots of lipgloss is at least partly authentic."

Jin only replied with a middle finger, which Ueda ignored. The latter decided to investigate instead - he was curious after all.

"So, how is it going?"

"Do you need two middle fingers to shut up?" Jin growled.

That's the moment Kazuya chose to walk in. He raised his eyebrows when he saw the rude gesture.

"Jin... avoid doing that in front of a lady."

The makeup artist confusedly said there was nothing to worry about, not knowing where to put herself.

"Come on Kame, look at my makeup... it's awful! Not your fault, miss... boss' fault."

The younger looked more attentively at his face, his gaze lingering on his soft, shiny lips.

"Jin, stop it. It's fine."

Oh. So did Kame really like it?

"Really... ?" he asked doubtfully.

"Fine for a JE PV," he replied with tiny twitch of his lips and Jin immediately wanted to wipe his lips on the spot.

"Asshole."

"Jin, what did I say?" Kazuya jokingly sighed and apologetically looked back at the woman.

"You know what?" Jin interrupted. "Your hairdo is fine too. For a JE PV - obviously," he said with an evil grin. If Kame wanted to play it like this, he'd get what he deserved.

"Oi. You- we'll clear that up later."

"I can't wait," Jin playfully replied, a more pleasant smile back on his lips. Yes, their mutual teasing sometimes sucked but today it felt so freeing and comfortable. Like they were back to their comfortable friendship. Like the Kengo episode hadn't damaged any of it - quite the contrary.

Ever since that morning, there had been so much warmth in Akanishi's eyes. Was it because of the previous night? It was obvious that their bond had gradually grown stronger and deeper during the older's stay at Kame's place. Their friendship had always been special, but the last time they had exchanged such fond gazes had been a long time ago...

Gazes full of affection. Full of trust.

Kame cared so much about him... he couldn't help it, he smiled back, just as warmly.

Ueda shook his head, exasperated.

"If I'm bothering you guys..." he muttered.

***

Kazuya's curls were quickly not a problem anymore for Jin. Sleepily lying down on an offscreen couch, he watched him go back and forth while battling to keep his eyes open. Kazuya looked like he had lost some weight again - the curve of his chin and his slim waist almost reminded Jin of older days.... was that weightloss due to stress caused by his drama? Or... because of fights with Kengo?

Jin told himself Kame needed someone to take care of him... someone just like Jin himself... and fell asleep.

***

"Jin..."

The soft voice was barely loud enough to wake him up.

"Jinjin~" the sound came this time with a gentle shake on his tummy. "You have to wake up, we're waiting for you. Everyone is waiting in the rain."

The word 'rain' made Jin groan.

"It's your fault I'm tired, let me sleep just a little bit longer."

The hand disappeared.

Jin realised he should have shut up.

"If I had known you were still there," Kame said, "I wouldn't have come back last night."

Jin opened his eyes and frowned.

"Hey. Forget what I just said. I'm happy you came back."

Kame silently nodded but he was avoiding Jin's eyes.

"Hey," Jin repeated more firmly to make him look back. He spoke more softly for the next few words: "From now on, I want you to always wake me up like you just did."

His heart was thumping. He wanted them to get back to their easy conversations... and to use them to give Kame some clues.

"Huh?"

"Like this," Jin said jokingly and immitated the little shake he had done on his stomach.

Kame snorted.

"Hurry up baka, we're late."

***

"Maru, did you get the nerve to invite Sachiko-chan for dinner yet or-?"

"Did you try to solve your nose issue?"

"Maru, there's something wrong with your wig."

"Maru there's an ant in your glass- I'm joking, I'm joking!!"

The night had fallen and the band was heading outside to film more scenes. Jin's tiredness just made him want to tease Maru some more.

They were all tired, the crew had just asked them to redo the same part several times because of their lack of coordination. But the more they tried, the worse it got.

The cameraman sighed.

"Let's just keep the next attempt that is vaguely acceptable."

"We can try agai-"

Ueda irritably cut Kame off: "Speak for yourself, I have plans for tonight and you're not the last one doing solo parts, I am."

An assistant hurried to bring them some fancy cakes while another one offered glasses of champagne.

"We'll never make it," Kame muttered after a few sips.

The director took advantage of the pause to step back inside.

 

Kazuya shivered when wind blew into is jacket.

"Put this on," Jin said and put his furry accessory around the younger's neck. "They should've given you one of these too, it suits you well."

The cold temperature was instantly forgotten - more because of Jin's smile than because of anything else. Kame didn't want to give in, he didn't want to fall back into old traps... but how could he resist?

"Aren't you going to get cold like this?" Kazuya asked worriedly.

Jin shrugged.

"If it comes to the worst, I'll just jump into that hot swimming pool... yep, it's warmed up."

That baka had the weirdest ideas.

"I'm sure the crew would love to have to deal with a wet Akanishi."

"You want to bet?"

The director thankfully came back before Jin could do anything stupid.

"I rewatched your takes, we'll be using number 7. Let's move on."

***

The staff had prepared a cosy evening on location for the whole crew; the band could thus relax while individual members had solo parts to do and could hang out longer if they felt like it. Buffets with very tempting dishes had been arranged along the side of the pool.

Jin was meanwhile standing on a balcony that had a view over the sea. The sky had cleared and the moon now glowed over the dark sea. Although the rain was gone, the light wind was still cold.

Where had Kame gone? It had been several hours since Jin had last seen him. He probably had another drama scene to film.

Jin finally walked back inside to once more lie down on the couch. He wasn't in the mood to hang out with everyone tonight, he knew he wouldn't be able to just relax with them as if nothing was going on.

Kame took up all of his thoughts, and it was becoming frustrating for Jin not to do anything about it. If he waited longer, Kazuya would find someone else and the thought alone gave him unpleasant chills.

With those thoughts in mind, he finally fell asleep again, lulled by the faraway sounds of cutlery and conversations next to the pool.

 

Moments, or maybe hours later, the first thing he was aware of was the tempting smell of fried shrimps and other items that immediately made saliva invade his mouth. Was he still dreaming? There hadn't been any food up here when he had closed his eyes. Not a single noise disrupted the peaceful night.

There was a dip in the couch next to his thigh. It slightly moved and Jin became aware that someone was sitting next to him, on the edge of the couch. He slowly opened his eyes and discovered Kame's warm eyes watching him.

Kame blinked and looked away as soon as he saw that Jin was awake. He hadn't intended to get caught staring.

"I brought you some stuff to eat before the others ate it all up. There's some sauce for your ebi fry too," he said rather quickly, expecting to successfully hide how uneasy he felt about getting caught.

Jin slowly sat up, his hair a mess.

He humphed as he stretched and blinked. With Kazuya nearby, all temptation to sleep was thrown out the window.

Kame went on talking about the food, stretched a hand towards a plate - and froze.

Jin's hand had just touched his waist.

Jin's arms were sliding around his waist and he was getting closer, one of his legs still on the couch behind Kame.

"Jin?"

The latter didn't reply and just held him tighter, Kame's back getting gently tucked against his chest.

Kame tried to stay calm. Tried to act like Jin was just being friendly. What was Jin doing?

"Thank you for all this, Kazuya."

His low voice and soft breath made goosebumps appear on Kame's neck. His warm hands slowly moved, a caress from his waist to his lower stomach, both sensual and peaceful. Peaceful, if it wasn't for their pulses syrocketing. What was Jin doing?

Kame didn't know what to think. Jin's behaviour during the past few weeks had got him used to more intimate interactions. But what Jin was doing tonight was different. Kame could feel that despite the appearances, Jin was nervous. Kame couldn't... he couldn't let himself fall for it again.

"Kazuya..."

Another low murmur into his ear, a sensual murmur Kame had wanted to hear for such a long time...

Jin's hands found his skin, just like the previous night. Just like last night, the younger couldn't deny how sensitive he still was to his soft touch, even in an innocent place...

The older's pulse hammered against his back - was Kame dreaming or was he not the only one affected?

Kazuya's thoughts got drowned by nausea. His heartbeat was out of control. The older's fingers had wrapped around the edge of his black tank top, his murmurs barely distingishable.

"Please... let me..."

The older was obviously anxious and Kame felt something he couldn't define.

He was scared. Scared of hoping more than he should hope.

But he also felt a desperate need to let Jin open up. A desperate need to feel this person precious to him close.

He focused on breathing and let Jin slowly pull the tank top over his shoulders.

Kame knew he shouldn't let himself hope- shouldn't even let himself think. But this Jin felt so raw... just with this gesture, just with his insecure voice... it made Kame want to trust him this time.

His bare skin shivered at the contact of air. This gesture he was accepting... he felt like he was once again willingly offering himself to Jin. He hadn't felt this vulnerable in such a long time. A voice inside still told Kame he shouldn't let this happen, but he couldn't think anymore.

The older didn't exactly know why he was doing this. It wasn't about getting Kame naked, he didn't want to rush anything. He simply needed an intimate contact. Needed to feel closer to him. Needed to share the warmth he was feeling at the bottom of his heart with Kame's body.

Jin wrapped his arms around him again, taking in the fragrance of his skin, his lips hovering against his temple. He wanted to stay close to him like this forever.

As he gently stroked the younger's hair, Jin felt that this closeness was like warm blanket of relief, a place where he could finally breathe after a long wait.

When Kame turned his face towards him, the younger's eyes met such a tender gaze a lump formed in his throat.

Jin's lips then softly met his.

For a moment, Kazuya was too unsettled to react. So much tenderness, slow tenderness... this wasn't about Jin wanting to satisfy his own desires. His kiss said more than words could.

I missed you.

It spoke of their history, of memories... of love.

That breath, those lips...

Kazuya wanted to cry.

He opened his lips to receive all the affection Jin was offering. This contat... he had wanted it so much. For so many years.

"Kazuya..."

Another murmur, another kiss. Kame kissed him back and it felt like time had stopped. They were back to being the kids who had let go and given into the urge to share moments next to an onsen.

But Jin's warm embrace was clearly saying that he wouldn't leave this time.

Kazuya reached up to thread his fingers into Jin's hair, ending his caress at the nape of his neck to kiss him deeper. Now that the older had offered his lips, Kame didn't want to give them back. His tongue still knew Jin's mouth by heart. After all these years, he still knew what made Jin shiver.

It was both familiar and new at the same time. Jin's shoulders weren't frail anymore, there was something reassuring and protective about his adult body.

And his gentle gestures... they felt like a promise. I won't hurt you again.

When their lips moved apart, Jin didn't let him go.

Kame nervously bit his lower lip when their eyes met, worried about Jin's reaction, at which the latter replied with a huge smile.

Jin had no doubt anymore. He loved Kame so much...

I said I love you said I love you said I love you
I still can't find any other words than "I love you", let our bodies do the talking
I said I love you said I love you said I love you, love you
My body's talking to you

***

Back among the other band members and the crew, Jin was unruly. No one understood where his euphoria came from but no one complained : Jin kept serving them plates he had filled up for them.

"And some ebi fries for Kazu-chan~" he said playfully.

"Thanks~"

Kame couldn't help the slight blush. He just wanted to kiss the bakanishi.

Even if part of him still wanted to stay prudent, he also wanted to just let go and enjoy the evening. He would have all the time he would need to think later.

"Do you want my fluffy scarf again?"

"I'm fine, don't worry."

Kame couldn't stop smiling. He had no idea what he was getting himself into, but who could resist a Jin attending his every need?

Junno, Koki and Maru were busy arguing over the last slices of cake but Ueda didn't miss a word of their exchange.

He smirked and took a sip from his cocktail.

It had taken these two idiots a hell of a long time.

Chapter Text

"KAMPAIII!"

The cork flew into a frame but thankfully, nothing got broken.

Foamy champagne was served in a cheerful environment, full of funny stories and laughter.

Ryo blew out cigarette smoke, comfortably settled on the couch. Since the beginning of the evening, he couldn't take his eyes off a lovely lady he'd met a few days ago. She was talking to Pi on the balcony, but her eyes did sometimes move back towards Nishikido. Every time, she subtly smiled and despite being rather discreet, she didn't look that innocent.

Yamapi followed her gaze and spotted him, which made Ryo frown. Pi better not tell her any dumb story about him.

Sometimes Ryo wondered how his friend knew so many gorgeous ladies. At every party he showed up with new pretty friends. Japanese, American, Korean, Chinese... all the marvels of this world were friends with Yamapi.

Luckily, Yamapi was also one of Ryo's best friends, which enabled the latter to meet very pleasant aquaintances.

Rachel left to go to talk to her friends and Pi smirked at Ryo as he walked back in.

"You used to be more subtle than this," he teased.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Ryo said and blew out more smoke.

"Anyway, Rachel looked pretty interested in your agenda. She wanted to know if an idol like you had some free time. And if your free time is already busy with someone else," Pi snorted and elbowed him. "She likes you, lucky bastard."

"Shut up" Ryo muttered and tried to keep his excitement invisible.

At that moment, he told himself this had been the best idea of the century: to organise a surprise party for Jin who had been suspiciously isolated and blue lately. Socializing a bit could only help, right?

It was curious that Kame has abruptly disappeared like that for a few days... Jin hadn't told them why but he was obviously affected. Pi and Ryo were worried by Jin lately refusing to see anyone so... they had decided to bring the party to Jin.

Had Kame even returned for the PV they were supposed to work on? He probably wouldn't come home tonight either... that would certainly make things easier. Ryo wasn't sure he'd appreciate discovering a surprise party had been organised at his place.

A voice in the corridor caught his attention.

"Jin here you are!! We thought you'd never- Kame? ...weren't you supposed to be on set all night?"

Ryo froze.

***

The soap was slipping through his fingers but Jin didn't pay any attention to it. The sound of tap water had put him in some kind of transe. Lost in thought, even the party sounds on the other side of the wall couldn't distract him.

He had finally managed to take a step towards Kame.

Did that change who he was?

He felt like he was transformed. Like something in him had shifted to finally be in the right place. He felt so different and yet no one had noticed a thing... he would've sworn his appearance screamed "I KISSED KAZUYA!" but... the others had somehow missed it.

He looked up into the mirror: there was nothing. His face was exactly the same as yesterday, but under that calm expression was chaos. It was as if thousands of impulses were going through his body - he felt restless.

His desire in itself wasn't that different from what he'd felt during the previous month, but now that Kame hadn't rejected his advances, now that his body knew his fantasies could actually come true... it was becoming unbearable. Unbearable to not do something then and there.

Kazuya was probably getting changed at that precise moment... maybe he was pulling on one of his tight Tshirts.

Every time Jin saw him like that, he only wanted to...

His hands trembled on the basin's edge and he took a deep breath. He had to calm down. Especially considering all the people who were present.

When he reopened his eyes, his phone buzzed.

'Can you please tell me why Kame just asked me if he can sleep at my place? What the fuck did you do??'

Jin barely read the second sentence and had already slammed the bathroom door behind him. Slithering between the guests, he looked for Kazuya but in vain. He wasn't in the living room.

***

As soon as Jin stepped into his room, Kame's piercing gaze stopped him in his tracks.

The older however quickly pulled himself together. He had to - he couldn't take it if Kazuya disappeared for several days again.

"Don't go at Ueda's place. Don't leave."

To endure that solitude again, to endlessly wait and worry again... it was out of question.

Kame's intense gaze didn't leave him. Watching the younger look like he was on the verge of giving in to something made Jin's breath quicken. Kame was such a sight, his eyes shining, biting his lower lip....

And he was wearing a tight tshirt.

Jin repeated his request.

"Please... don't le-" but he lost track of what he was saying.

Only his pounding heart and his eyes following Kame's every step betrayed his agitated state. His whole body seemed to have forgotten that breathing was a vital need.

Kame was close, much too close.

Then Kame gave in-

A collision.

Shoulders pinned against the wall.

Jin's wrists too

What was breathing? Jin didn't know anymore. His lungs were empty - or maybe they were so full he couldn't feel them anymore. He didn't know, nothing mattered because Fucking shit...

Jin was a prisoner.

A loud breath broke the silence and Jin realised it was his own voice.

Fever spead through his whole body as he let go - he just wanted to give Kame everything. To let him do anything with his muscles, with his desire. Was this really happening... ?

His shoulders were pressed against the wall again, this time with more force, and Kame stayed pressed against him. The younger's face was looking up at him, his eyes only a few centimeters away.

His eyes were only questionning for a second.

He let go of his wrists.

As soon as their lips met, Jin's fingers tangled with his hair.

Those lips...

Muffled sounds.

Insatiable needs.

Far from their earlier tender kiss, this one was voracious, demanding, always needing more, more, more. A moan left Jin's lips before he even realised it.

Kisses had never made him lose his mind like this. Kisses had never put him on fire to this extent.

He just... wanted to be all Kame's.

 

Jin's fingers left his hair to caress his shoulders, his waist... to hold onto his back and press him closer.

Another loud breath - lips parted only long enough to breathe.

Jin wanted him so much...

Their eyes met again as they came to their senses, Jin's lips still parted, waiting, famished. His chest heaved.

"Jin..." Kame murmured, "tell me right away if you want to stop."

Jin loved how different from his public persona he sounded. A soft, sometimes cracked voice. An intimate voice only destined to be heard by him.

"Of course I don't want to stop," Jin replied and his tender voice made Kame want to forget all restraint. "Unless... you really want to go back to hang out with the others..."

"No, no," Kame said quickly and looked down - was he blushing? "I'm good with this. With staying here with you."

***

 

Jin's back was sinking into the soft bedcovers, Kazuya's thighs having a tight hold on his waist.

Jin was so irresistible like this, comfortably lying down, his hair a mess, his warm face in contrast with the white bedding.

Kame felt like he could come just by watching him like this, Jin's whole body waiting for a touch, a caress, his eyes alight with desire. Even if Jin was still dressed, he could see shivers... he could see his chest moving..

When Kame helped him take off his clothes, Jin's heartbeat spiked even higher. Kazuya's gestures were so tender, so attentive, ready to stop at any sign of hesitation.

One button undone, another one... a zip opened...

The sound of fabric being withdrawn.

It wasn't the first time Jin was naked with someone. But this time it was with Kazuya... Kazuya who knew him since... what felt like forever. Kazuya who had always been there for him.

Part of him felt modesty overcome him, as if this was his first time. But being like this with Kame also felt so natural. Like this was where their relationship had always been meant to take them. Like this was meant to be.

"Kazuya..."

Jin pulled himself up on an elbow, reached out to touch his nape and gently pull him down for another kiss.

His lips were so soft and warm, his presence alone was so enticing, Jin almost forgot what he'd wanted to say.

But some urges can't be forgotten.

"Please... take this off," he murmured and clutched Kame's tshirt. "I want to feel your skin."

Kazuya wanted to do that so bad... it was so tempting, but he hesitated. Despite all the certainty in Jin's eyes. He quietly hovered for a few moments.

"I don't know... doesn't the idea of touching a man scare you?" he finally asked.

To let oneself be touched was one thing, it was understandable. But touching a body one wasn't used to desiring was another story. Kazuya remembered the consequences of his first attempt to push their limits and he didn't want to go through that again.

"Of course it scares me."

Kame nervously pressed his lips together, but Jin stroked the back of his neck again. Because even if the older was new to this, it was the younger who needed to be reassured.

"That doesn't change how much I want this. With you and with no one else." He added.

Kame didn't want to rush things, but all these invitations were making it hard. Jin had always been the kind of person to just go do what he wanted, even if he sometimes later came to regret it.

Kazuya's doubts were probably visible because Jin spoke again.

"But... I'm not forcing you. If you don't want this..."

"You're joking, right?" At least Jin's words had amused him. "Do I look like I don't want this?"

Kame's gaze went back to being intense and he slowly, sensually slid his fingers over the older's pecs, just to show him how much he appreciated the sight. That velvet skin... who could resist that? He was drawn to it like a magnet.

Every muscle, every dip of his skin, every shadow... he wanted it all.

"I just think..." Kame murmured and bent down to let his lips glide against his chest, his ribs... Jin couldn't remember last time he'd been this sensitive. "There's a time for everything."

Kame's breath was tickling his stomach and every time his lips touched his skin, Jin needed that again. He needed more and it was more and more overwhelming.

"A time...?"

Jin couldn't wait, he needed Kame now.

"Kazuya if you leave me like this I'll-"

A hand got adventurous and Jin let out a loud breath.

He couldn't take this anymore, he needed-

Jin slightly arched his back and shifted his hips to meet Kame's touch.

More. He needed more.

Kame's weight was back over him. A sudden and feverish kiss stopped his whimper but his body didn't stop reacting.

"Tell me to stop..."

Kazuya had come up just to say those words but Jin could only think please never stop.

His only answer was to lift his hips to get more friction.

"Touch me again."

Kame didn't wait for more.

Those words... he had thought he'd never hear them.

When Kame kissed his stomach, his navel... his groin... it was with more care, more love than what he had ever displayed before. He knew how much of a big step this was for Jin. And the fact that Jin wanted to take this step with him... it was mindblowing. Of course emotions were tugging at his heart... of course he wanted to be as tender and sensual as he could be. That skin, that smell, he wanted them to be his forever.

Jin's closed his eyes and his fingers were back at stroking the younger's hair. It had never been this pleasant to feel all his strength leave him. He felt like he could give Kazuya everything with no hesitation.

An additional touch made him lose the last traces of restraint he had.

He arched his back and moved his thighs further apart. Moans didn't matter, he wasn't ashamed.

Fuck... seeing Kame down there was... unbelievably erotic.

His stomach dipped further.

"Kazuya..." he whimpered.

The moves of the head beneath his fingers were more and more intense and Jin's arousal had reached an extent he couldn't hold on much longer.

Their eyes met again.

Jin's displayed his abandon: I'm all yours.

Kame's betrayed how intense this moment was for him. How precious it was. Don't worry. There's nothing to be scared about. This isn't just about pleasure.

A last caress in his hair.

A last sigh.

And then there was no time left to think.

 

***

It was the last day of filming for Kami no Shizuku. The sky was grey but the temperature stayed rather pleasant as they got ready on a building's rooftop. The makeup artist was making a few last arrangements and the director was preparing the cameras.

"Kamenashi-san, are you ready?"

There luckily hadn't been many lines to learn, which was a relief because Jin had taken up most of his free time that week - not that Kame was going to complain.

"Yes, all is good."

The director smiled. Kamenashi had done a really good job; despite all the unfounded criticism, he had stayed focused. The man was about to walk away when a voice stopped him.

"Excuse me..."

Jin had just come out of the dressing room, a pile of paper in his hand.

Kame almost wanted to laugh when he saw the other man's surprised face. He had indeed not warned them that an unexpected visitor might show up that day. But what could he do if Jin just wouldn't let go of him that morning?

"Akanishi-san! It's a pleasure to see you here."

Kame was pretty sure any other unplanned guest wouldn't have been welcome.

"What can we do for you?"

Jin took the pencil he'd tucked between his lips and looked through the sheets of paper as he walked up to them.

"I read the script," he said, "and I think some parts might... not please the audience. And believe me, I know what this audience is like."

Kazuya frowned. What was Jin doing??

"Oh. Really?" The director's enthusiasm had been replaced by discomfort.

"For example... this bit here. It feels superficial."

What the fuck was Jin talking about?

Kame and the director looked down at the page to see what he had crossed out.

"Actually the whole scene feels pointless," he added, "but the kiss? It seriously looks like it randomly happens, like that plot point just came out of nowhere. I apologize for saying this, sir, but I swear I have carefully watched the whole drama. I honestly believe this kiss makes no sense."

Well if one thing finally made sense, it was the reason for the scene Jin was causing. Kazuya sighed and shook his head.

"Jin. We can't make last-minute changes to the script."

"But wait-"

"Don't worry. This is not as big as you make it sound."

Jin couldn't actually say everything that was on his mind, but it was obvious that he wasn't pleased.

"Kazuya. Are you really sure..." sure you want to do this in front of me and annoy me just after I decided to come here to spend more time with you?

Kame nervously licked his lower lip. He knew Jin wasn't serious about this, that it was more a joke than a serious request, but still-

The solution showed up without him having to do a thing.

"Akanishi-san," the director said thoughtfully, "you know what? I think you may be right. I thought a kiss might make everyone happy, after all that's how dramas often end. But... I didn't build up their relationship to reach that ending. You are right, it wouldn't match the previous episodes."

Kame couldn't believe it. Was it Jin's idol aura that had done that, or was it his popularity?

"It's too late to change the dialogue, however. We have to film that scene now."

"But it's not too late to just take out the kiss," Jin replied with a sunny smile.

"..."

 

A bow later, Kame and Jin were alone again. The younger dropped onto the nearest chair.

"Happy?"

"Very," Jin said, still grinning.

"You know my drama kisses are never very
...passionate, let's say. And even if they were, you know they absolutely don't mean anything to me."

"Yeah I know. But... I want to keep you all mine. When that's possible."

Kame snorted.

For the past few days, he had felt like his whole life had turned into something cosy and affectionnate - was this even real? Everything made him feel soft and happy.

Everything... especially Jin.

"I like it when you act all jealous."

Jin simply smiled back at him. One of those smiles that always made Kame immediately have an urge to kiss him on the spot.

The older leaned towards him to quietly murmur something best kept private.

"Tonight, we can redo an R-rated version of this scene at home. And please keep that outfit on... because if you knew what I had in mind, we'd already be back in the car."

Kame bit his tongue, and tried (and failed) to keep a poker face. What a baka this Akanishi was... he should've known that bringing a date like him at work was dangerous.

"If you behave, maybe..." Kame replied with a wink.

***

Months went by and the weather grew unbearably hot.

Their skin was tanned, but these weren't holiday weeks.

Music resonated through their whole body, day after day.

Because whether they wanted it or not, this music was who they were.

This music was what they had grown up with.

It was what had brought them together.

 

"NA NA NA SA-KU KA NA HARUKANA YAKU~SOKU
MA-WA-RU, NA MO NA-I YAA~KUU~SOKUUU...."

They ran on stage together, thousands of people screaming their name.

This had been their everyday life for almost a month and they were exhausted.

But they ran together, and that was all that mattered.

As long as they could share this adventure...

As long as Jin's smile could stay by his side...

Kame felt that he would always have the strength to go on.

 

"My pouring sweat flutters in the breeze
As I run to the place where you're waiting
I remember the dream we believed in that day
That distant promise

 

I believe your promise

 

But there is no promise forever, baby” 

 

If only that dream could have never stopped.