Title: Pinky Promise 7: Someday for Somebody
Rating: PG - NC-17 (this chapter is safe)
Disclaimer: In my dreams I can own anything... otherwise they belong to each other
Summary: They made a promise. But as time goes by will they be able to keep it?
A/N1: Jin is back. But nothing is the same as it used to be and the reaization of it is slowly getting on his senses.
A/N2: Now I'm officially bad with updating this multichapter ^_^;; *sighs* Seems angst is not the right genre for me but I really really want to finish it! So please if there is anyone out there who didn't give up and still reads it be patient with me. Thanks *bows*
Pinky Promise 1: Seishun Amigo
Pinky Promise 2: Real Face
Pinky Promise 3: Special Happiness
Pinky Promise 4: She Said...
Pinky Promise 5: Care
Pinky Promise 6: Precious One
7. Someday for Somebody
Right now there are things we can’t do
That are painful, that we grieve about
It would be great to get through those thoughts one day
That’s right, the same day does not go on forever
While we search for the light we keep living on
End of April 2006
Maru was frowning at the front page of the newspaper Koki had brought into the dressing room that morning. It was still hard to believe there could be even a slightest hint of truth in the main article there. He felt Junno’s curious eyes peeping over his shoulder to catch what the article was talking about and because the headline was almost over a half of the page there was no point at trying to hide it from him.
“Is it true?” Junno wondered, still in the middle of the article reading very slowly and trying to understand and apprehend each word. He looked up at Koki who was watching his two band mates waiting for their reactions. Junno pointed at the newspaper. “I mean… it can’t be!”
“But it seems like that,” Koki stated, arms crossed on his chest. “Well, the photo is not so clear and there is this dark shadow over the face… but I think it’s him. Look at the jacket!”
Maru slowly nodded. He didn’t have to lower his eyes back to the tabloid to know Koki was right. He would recognize the jacket anytime. As well as he would never mistake the youngest member of the group for anybody else. But at the same time he knew the newspaper well enough to know that the reporter probably put together a randomly taken picture with some rubbish that was way far from the reality.
“Yeah… that looks like the one he wears,” Junno humored. Then tilting his head a bit, a wrinkle formed on his forehead signaling the boy was trying to puzzle out something.
“We should wait and ask him.” Maru folded the newspaper then threw it onto the table. He didn’t believe a word of what was written there. Not that he knew much about Kame’s private life, not to mention it very often seemed the boy didn’t have any as he spent most of his time at work, and then of course there was the fact he had never dissembled he actually was interested in older women but… Maru gave a glance at the newspaper frowning. The picture was monochrome and blurred since had been obviously taken from distance with a haste. But no matter how unfocused and dark the photo was there was one thing absolutely clear about it. The two people depicted there were without any doubt the K of KAT-TUN Kamenashi Kazuya and an older woman having a great time during shopping together, sharing an intimate chat in a cafeteria.
“Or we could ask someone else who could know,” Koki suggested turning around until his eyes caught a mess of dark hair sticking out from behind a backrest of the couch. Koki took the newspaper and came closer then hit the ruffled head with the folded magazine and chuckled at his surprised band mate quickly facing round to him.
“What the hell, Tanaka?” Jin blurted out peevishly. He took the headphones out of his ears and only then realized he no longer was in the dressing alone. Listening to loud music he didn’t notice his band mates coming in.
Koki unfolded the newspaper showing Jin the article. “Does or does not have Kamenashi a girlfriend and is it this old lady or not?”
Jin blinked at the photo. He needed a moment to realize what exactly was captured there and to recognize the familiar features of the one who was supposed to be there. But no matter how bad the photo was Jin would have distinguished Kame from anyone even on a way worse picture. His eyes flicked to the name of the magazine on the top of the page then back to Kame’s lowered head. And though he couldn’t see it clearly there was something about the way the boy was looking at his company. With respect. With care. She no doubt was someone important to him.
And Jin felt a painful twinge in his chest.
He didn’t know what to answer because he knew nothing about that woman. He knew nothing about what was her relationship to Kame like. Or what was Kame’s to her. Because Kame didn’t tell him.
Because Kame hadn’t been talking to him since… Jin bit his lip and narrowed his eyes at the picture. What if the photo was exactly what it seemed to be? Kame and a woman on a date…? When… Jin’s heartbeat was quickening. What if Kame really had a girlfriend? What if he found one just to show Jin that what had happened between them didn’t mean anything to him?
“I…I don’t know,” Jin mumbled trying to keep his eyes from the newspaper Koki was still holding right in front of his face.
“Don’t believe you.” Koki threw the magazine at Jin’s lap and folded hands in front of his chest pouting. “You two are like…like…well, I have no idea what you two are like but he tells you everything.”
Jin felt like the magazine was weighing more than a ton but at the same time couldn’t make himself to sweep it off. He didn’t want to touch the picture afraid he could get burnt or something.
“Akanishi,” Koki insisted impatiently.
“I’m telling you I don’t know,” Jin blurted out standing up with an intention to leave the room and wait for the others in the gym but was stopped by an opening door.
Kame and Ueda came in chatting about something and Kame even chuckled but his good temper was cut the moment he saw Jin.
They both were equally surprised by the closeness they happened to be in and a sudden uneasiness descended upon them as their eyes met. A shiver ran down Kame’s spine and he even shuddered then briskly passed through Jin heading to his locker. Meanwhile Ueda took up a seemingly funny story about how they had met a group of Juniors on their way to the dressing room but the only thing Koki was interested in at the moment was the magazine lying on the floor next to the couch, or more precisely the woman on the picture with Kamenashi. The rapper picked it up and went to Kame, gently patted his shoulder and showed him the front page.
Jin froze waiting for the younger one’s reaction, his fists clenched on their own and Jin just hid them behind his back for no one to see his suspense.
He knew well he should be actually happy for Kame if he really found himself a girlfriend. After all it had been always Jin who had been encouraging the other to have one. Who else than Jin should have known how great could be the feeling of being in love? Who else than Jin who had experienced three beautiful and unforgettable years with the best girl in the world?
But strangely, Jin was nothing near to a feeling of happiness. If he had found courage to face the obvious facts he would have probably had to admit himself that what he felt could have been considered as jealousy.
He didn’t know what he wanted out of the situation they had happened to be in but one thing was clear. He didn’t like the idea of Kame being with someone else. With anyone. With that woman.
“Who’s that?” Koki asked pointing at the photo.
Kame turned to him, and Jin could see even from the point he was standing at Kame’s brown eyes went wide flicking nervously and with a startle as his mind quickly proceeded the whole situation. The boy gulped and instead of looking up at Koki his eyes instinctively found Jin’s look.
As always, as always since the very first moment they had met, Jin’s eyes, the way Jin had been looking at him, were Kame’s life net when the younger one was scared or unsure. And being caught off guard Kame forgot no more was he allowed to look for rescue at Jin…
It was only a moment, not longer than an eyewink, then Kame’s eyes darkened and the look turned to be cold and impersonal as Kame finally managed to gather his self-control. He took a deep breath.
“She is a friend.”
“She seems to be more,” Koki remarked suspiciously.
“Maybe?” Kame shrugged his shoulders and started changing his clothes. He felt like burying himself under the ground. It was hard to believe he was in the tabloids, and not only he was there but he was at the front page. This was stupid and more than anything he wasn’t ready for this. For Koki’s questions, Maru’s inquiring look and Jin… The breathing was suddenly a difficult task and Kame had to concentrate on every breath.
He had never, never in his whole life, seen Jin like this. His face distorted with anticipation, fear, pain, regret. And an instinct was telling Kame to go and hug the other, to forget about everything what had happened between them, but then there was another part of him, the part that was scared and unsure, the part that needed to keep a distance from Jin. Because no matter how much Kame wanted to he couldn’t forget.
“You didn’t tell us,” Koki was frowning at the magazine not sure how to put the next question and not to sound rude.
But as always, a thing like that wasn’t bothering Junno at all. “Have you kept it in silence because she could be your mom?”
“Kyon-kyon is not –”
“Wait, wait, wait, Kame-chan,” Koki butted in gasping a bit and gazing again at the picture as if he saw it in the whole new light. “Are you saying the woman with you is that Kyon-kyon?”
“She is…” Koki tilted his head as if a different angle could help him focus on the picture. “She was…”
“You don’t understand it,” Kame snapped whipping the magazine away from Koki’s hands and throwing it away. “She is…” he didn’t dare to look at Jin though he felt his glare, “the best woman I have ever met, Koki. She is beautiful and smart and she knows a lot of things and she is…helping me. I feel good with her.”
Why should he explain anything?
His relationship with Koizumi, or even the merits of it actually, was no one’s damn business and he didn’t have to defend himself for spending time with her. Of course now with the front page photo and everything there was a big possibility he would have to explain it to Johnny… but Johnny was his boss and this could have easily turned into a scandal so it was natural he would want to hear an explanation…
And Kame was ready to give him one.
But only to Johnny-san, not to his band mates.
“Let him be, Koki,” Nakamaru came to help the youngest boy, “everyone has a right for some privacy. And the fact the newspapers don’t respect it doesn’t mean we should be the same.”
Kame sent a thankful glance to the beat boxer. Besides Jin Maru had always been the one giving Kame a feeling of security. Maru was like an older brother who, unlike the real ones, cared about Kame without teasing him to the point when all Kame wanted was to run away and hide himself. It was that just until now Kame had never appreciated the friendship of the older boy because until now he had always had Jin. Jin had been his whole world.
But things had changed.
The kiss had changed them.
And Kame had no idea how to make everything go back to where it had been. He missed Jin so much and seeing him at work was making things only worse.
Now he felt Jin’s look and bit his lip swallowing the urgent need to go to Jin and tell him that what he had said had been a mistake. Maybe, just maybe… they could have everything. They could have KAT-TUN and each other.
But before Kame could have come to this conclusion back then Jin chopped back leaving the room and Kame let out a sigh. It was late. He had missed his chance hurting Jin with his words.
They might have had everything but instead ended up having nothing.
Kame was thinking about what had happened the whole day. The current situation was bothering him and he had no one to talk about it to.
And what more, he really didn’t want Jin to make up a wrong picture of what was his relationship with Koizumi about. What if Jin… what if he really believed all the crap in the magazine article? What if he thought now Kame was seeing Kyon-kyon just to show him he didn’t care anymore? That what had happened between them meant nothing to him.
Kame rubbed his face with both his hands. He was walking down the hallway heading to the dressing room.
The whole afternoon rehearsal was tiresome. All his body was craving for now was a shower and going home where he would flop onto a bed and fall asleep in no time.
He turned round the corner. And the previous thought about shower, home and sleep was immediately forgotten as he spotted Jin and Maru only a few steps before him.
Thinking of calling at them first Kame bit his lip though then shook head and silently followed them to the dressing room.
“Good work today, Kame,” Maru commended standing by his locker and slowly putting out his casual clothes to change into it.
Kame knew Jin was at his own locker on the other side of the room yet still could hear every word spoken. A shiver ran down his spine as the younger boy made a final decision. “Thank you,” he answered to Maru’s polite praise and repaid him in the same way even slightly bowing his head.
With a side glance he caught Jin was watching them and Kame clenched his fists in resolve.
They might have not been talking to each other at the moment, and he would have taken the full responsibility for that if it had been needed, but no way had it to mean Kame didn’t care about what Jin was thinking of him.
He cared. A lot. Any maybe even more than any time before.
“You know,” Kame mumbled to catch Maru’s attention and at the same time not to look too obviously that he wanted to get Jin’s as well, “the article…from the morning…”
Maru stopped what he was doing and turned to Kame. “As I said it’s none of my business, you don’t have to explain anything.” For a moment he wondered why actually Kame felt a need to talk to him about it. Well, they were friends, but still it wasn’t the kind of friendship to share such a personal thing. “You are old enough to date anyone you want. If it’s not on the front pages of all the Japanese newspapers the next day, of course.”
“It’s not…” Kame heaved. He wanted to look at Jin and see his face. He wanted to see the relief, if there would be any. But instead of that he kept his eyes at the beat boxer. “Koizumi is not my girlfriend. The article is everything but true. She is…” Kame scratched his head, “she helps me with my wardrobe.”
“She helps you with what?”
Kame leaned against the locker. “She is really good with following the fashion trends and we enjoy shopping together. She taught me what suits me and such. That’s all.”
“No dating,” Maru made sure.
“No dating,” Kame confirmed nodding. Suddenly he felt like the weight he had been carrying the whole day fell off of him and he could finally breathe again. “I mean, she is pretty and I really like her. She is a good friend, like an older sister,” he frowned at that statement having no idea whether an older sister would have really acted like that.
Maru patted Kame’s shoulder giving him an approving and understanding smile. A smile Kame knew he could get from no one but Nakamaru.
Kame knew the older one wouldn’t have judged him even if he actually had dated a woman of a double age from him but somehow he felt really relieved once Maru had heard the truth.
Or maybe the feeling was caused by the fact Jin had heard it, too.
“That’s good, Kame,” Maru smiled again.
And this time Kame smiled back.
The next moment both of them turned to the sound of Jin’s voice. Jin, already wearing his street clothes and a dark hat pulled deep down into his face, closed the locker door. “Ja, I’m going now.” Though he was talking to Maru his eyes kept flickering to the boy standing next him, even the thick strands of his hair couldn’t hide it. “See ya tomorrow then.”
“Enjoy the evening,” Maru waved at him.
Kame just mumbled a more than silent bye.
But even that was enough for a serene smile to plaster at Jin’s face once he left the room. They might have not talked to each other but no way did it mean Kame didn’t care.
He did, in his secret and discreet way but did, as well as Jin did.
All what they needed now was an opportunity to admit it.
Late April 2007, the day of Akanishi Jin’s Return Press Conference
This was not going to end up well and Ueda knew it.
But no way was he the one to say it aloud.
Everybody somehow felt an anxiety about Jin’s return. Everybody was giving him secret inquiring glances as if it was possible to read from his tired face what was on his mind.
But only Ueda, of all the people who had come here today, knew what was hidden behind Jin’s shy smile and flickering eyes. Not that he was all excited about having this knowledge or that he had actually asked to have it. Of course he hadn’t. And he was regretting every single day that he had picked up the damn phone that had woken him up in the middle of a night three months ago.
If he had outslept it he could have lived in a blissful ignorance as everybody else. He could have thought of Akanishi Jin as about the ungrateful traitor who let himself be blinded by great America and forgot about the band he had been an important part of. Who forgot about his friends and selfishly didn’t give a shit about what would have happened to them if he had decided never to come back. And a part of him thought so nonetheless. But then there was the part that had gradually come to the conclusion that not every time the things are what they seem to be.
Because the phone woke Ueda up and he took it.
“Moshi mo–” Still half-sleeping Ueda found a phone on his bedside table and picked it up. He tried to focus on the display of the digital clock but the red numbers were a bit fuzzy. He blinked and then his eyes went wide at both the realization of what time it was and who was calling him in this damn hour.
“It’s Jin. Ueda, listen to me, you have to stop it,” Jin’s voice blurted out almost tearing Tatsuya’s eardrum.
Ueda rubbed his forehead lying back onto a pillow with the phone at his ear. This was, as the boy later realized, the moment he should have hung up. Instead he held the call, a part of him surprisingly happy hearing Akanishi’s voice, a bit raspier and deeper than he remembered it but still Akanishi’s.
“It’s three in the morning here, Akanishi. All I should stop now is you disturbing my sleep,” Ueda grumbled. If Jin’s friend Yamashita or the jerk Nishikido were used to those midnight calls then good for them but he wasn’t. And didn’t want to be.
“No, no, listen, please,” Jin insisted, “my lecture starts in any minute and I really need you to do something for me.”
The voice calmed down as Jin knew more than well he had no right to want anything.
“What, Jin…” Ueda gave up. If he finished the phone call as soon as possible he still could have more than three more hours of a peaceful sleep. And after yesterday’s rehearsal he needed every damn minute of a sound slumber.
“Help him, Ueda. He can’t go on like this.”
A frown formed on Tatsuya’s forehead as he wrinkled the eyebrows, at first not getting the point of Jin’s words.
“He has to stop drowning himself into the past because like this he could sooner or later drag down the whole group along. And you have to believe me it’s something I’ve never wanted and never will. Help him to get a grip, Ueda.”
There was a bitter laughter on the other side of the line before Ueda responded. “What if you just came back and cleaned your own mess, Akanishi? Correct me if I’m wrong but you practically swooped down on him in a fucking dark alley and a few days later announced your oh-so-great news. And believe me,” he imitated the tone of Jin’s previous pleading obviously mocking at him, “I even don’t have to be a fan of two-guys-together sort of things to come to the conclusion why is Kame acting the way he does.”
A silence sprawled between them.
Then Jin sighed. He should have known this could happen.
But no matter how much he had mentally prepared himself for the role of the bad guy in this, the reality always hit him with the same rate.
“You won’t help me…”
“No,” Ueda replied sharply. “But I’ll do my best to help Kazuya.”
“That’s all I ask for,” Jin breathed out in relief but his words got lost in the dead tone as Ueda had already hung up.
If someone had asked him about it Jin would have always answered it had been Nakamaru from the very beginning. The one who held the group together. The one who cared about KAT-TUN the most. Reliable and faithful Nakamaru Yuichi.
The others had always been too selfish, thinking of themselves as of individuals in the first place and only then as of the parts of something bigger.
Akanishi Jin and Kamenashi Kazuya might have been the faces of KAT-TUN, the so-called leaders, during interviews always sitting in the first row or right next to the moderator, talking most of the time as if their voices were speaking for the whole group, as if the other four guys were mute.
But if Akanishi and Kamenashi were the face and the voice then Maru was the heart. Without him and his calm and good-tempered nature, his ability to accommodate all the arguments and quarrels between the others the group would have probably never got the chance to debut.
Maru was the one always willing to help.
Nevertheless, when Jin needed someone to help Kame to get over his no more bearable obvious grieving he knew from the start Maru wouldn’t be the best choice.
Kame didn’t need to be comforted.
He needed to hear how unreasonable and foolish he was acting.
In that case Ueda Tatsuya seemed to be the right person. And when Jin called the older one and woke him up in the middle of the night, he had no idea how perfectly his plan would turn out.
Maybe even too much perfectly regarding the cold attitude Kame showed towards Jin in New York.
“I’m sorry,” Ueda shrugged his shoulders giving Jin an apologetic look. “But as I said, I did it for him not for you.”
Jin just nodded.
They were staying in a hallway waiting for the press conference that should welcome Akanishi Jin back home.
Kame and Koki were talking to the director. As always, everything was prearranged, the questions, the responses, and if it had been possible Jimusho would have taken care even of their expressions.
Jin knew how things worked here since it was something he could have never forgotten. He was just a little taken aback. Only two days ago he was in the whole different world living a simple life of an American student and now the never forgotten world of hypocrisy, false smiles and pretending was closing around him once again.
And the only one who had always been like a ray of purity and the only real friend at the place where purity and friendship were usually nothing more than publicity gimmick, didn’t even great him when they arrived to the studio today.
“You did what was needed,” Jin said in a calm voice.
Ueda leaned against the wall pursing his lips as he was thinking about something. “You know, sometimes I think there had to a better way, more gentle, maybe.” He shook his head. “But it’s something we will never know now, right?”
“True.” Jin pressed the base of his nose with a thumb and an index finger slightly rubbing it and closing his eyes. The time difference was gradually showing its impact on him and he felt a bit jaded, not sure how exactly should he be able to face the cameras and press.
Jin buried his hands into the pockets of his dark grey jacket and without noticing it a little smile crept into his face as his fingers found a small plushy talisman he had hid there before.
“Ne, Jin,” Tatsuya’s words were reaching Jin’s ears but not too much his senses as all he was concentrated on was how soothing was the feeling of his thumb brushing over the plush. “There will be probably like dozens of opportunities to do so, all with cameras on and a lot of people around, but anyway…” Ueda cleared his throat, “welcome back.”
Jin looked up, surprised.
He didn’t have a chance to say something because at the moment they were called to the studio. The press conference was about to start.
Kame was already standing there, the red jacket he was wearing was almost screaming at Jin that leaving the group six months ago he lost his position and no longer was at the same level with Kame. Or maybe it was just Jin’s tired mind and wild imagination telling him so because Kame surely wasn’t the one choosing the clothes, so different from the black, white and grey combination of the others.
They finally took their seats and from that point everything became mazy and foggy. The reporters kept asking questions Jin had known they would ask but confused by all the people around and unremitting snapping of the cameras he forgot the answers completely. A voice of Johnny Kitagawa in his head was threatening him he couldn’t afford making another mistake and Jin gulped considering every word of his hesitating answers.
His eyes were flicking to his right side searching for Kame.
Nothing was more important for him at the moment. Nothing.
And then Jin from the corner of his eye caught a look and a short encouraging smile Kazuya sent to him. He took a deep breath and thought he was finally home.
Late April 2007, Sendai Concert, the night of Jin’s return
Kame was the first to enter the dressing room when the concert finally ended. He was tired and all he wanted at the moment was to change his clothes as quickly as possible and go home where Ran was surely waiting for him. He pulled the black and white t-shirt he was wearing over his head and not thinking about it too much threw it onto the couch then proceeded to his locker.
And he was about to go into the attached bathroom when the door of the dressing room opened and his band mates came in.
All his band mates.
Akanishi Jin chatting with Nakamaru included.
Kame didn’t wait for anything and disappeared into the next-door room hoping for at least a little privacy. As soon as the door closed behind him the boy leaned his back against it, heaving.
Suddenly, when the adrenaline and the fog of the concert slowly faded away all the events of tonight fell down on him.
And his heart started bouncing.
Jin was back.
Only now Kame allowed himself to believe it. Of course, Jin had promised to come back to them when they had met in New York. And then he had arrived and even if it still hadn’t been a proof enough there was the yesterday’s press conference officially welcoming Akanishi Jin back to KAT-TUN.
But the whole time Kame had been waiting for a snag, for someone to say everything was nothing but a sick joke and that the group would continue as a five member unit. And then Jin came up on the stage and fans started screaming his name and the name of the group and only then Kame believed the nightmare was over.
And another one had just started.
Because having Jin back wasn’t only about the group, about the music or about how happy the others seemed to be.
Having Jin back was about memories.
Kame went to the sink and washed his face splashing the water on it and rubbing his closed eyes. There was a lump slowly forming in his throat and he realized he wanted to stay there, exactly there in that small bathroom, until Jin would leave the dressing room.
Standing by his side on the stage in front of thousands of excited fans was way different from facing him out of the glare of the headlights. On the stage they were what fans wanted to see, they were what fans had been waiting for to see but here…when fans where not around to watch their every move… what they were? Kame was wondering about that question not quite sure how to answer it.
They were nothing.
They had to be nothing.
No one can turn back the hands of time, the less the two of them. Not now when Kame had been doing his best to move on during the last months.
Well, he might have not been able to forget completely but he had learnt how to not think about it…
Hearing the well-known deep and a bit raspy voice that used to comfort him so many times in the past, the same voice that had almost broken his heart six months ago, Kame froze, his hands clenching the edge of the sink as it was the only way how to stop them from shaking. And he didn’t need to turn around to look at Jin’s face because he could see the older one’s reflection in the mirror. His half smile, the puzzled expression in his tired face, the mass of dark wavy hair framing his face and falling down his forehead.
“Jin,” Kame gulped, the lump in his throat suddenly too big so he was afraid no words would be able to go through.
“I…thank you. For helping me there,” Jin said biting his lip nervously. It was strange for him to be alone with Kame again, no matter the others were on the other side of the door, right here and now it was only him and Kame. Or better him and the man who looked like Kame but was giving him a cold, impersonal look staring at him in the mirror. “I…I think I need to get used to it again. The fans were like crazy tonight, weren’t they?” Jin let out a chuckle that sounded everything but believably and convincingly. He could feel the tense between them, the barrier Kame had been purposely building up.
Then Jin could see Kame’s shoulders raised and fell as the boy took a deep breath before finally turned around and looked straight at him.
“Don’t get it wrong, Jin,” for a moment Kame thought about calling the other Akanishi but in the end couldn’t make himself do it. He hadn’t called him like that for years when they were alone and even in the situation they were now, doing it would have sounded strange. “What I did tonight was for KAT-TUN. For fans, okay? It had nothing to do with you or me or anything.”
His fist clenched as Kame tried to suppress the memory of how warm it felt holding Jin’s hand. How naturally the latter’s fingers slid into the spaces between Kame’s. The firm grip that was supposed to give strength to Jin had also the same effect on Kame.
Kame shook his head.
He didn’t need Jin, Kame reminded himself. Not anymore. He had survived six months without him and he had grown up during that time, he had gained self-confidence and no more he needed Akanishi Jin to be strong and not scared.
“You had better get used to it soon because I won’t let you destroy everything we have worked hard while you were away.”
A cold shower.
Jin shuddered. At the moment a memory of a stupid show many years ago came back to his mind, a show where they were said to spent some time in a bath tube full of icy water… back then he was more than sure nothing could have ever been colder than the damn water.
But he was wrong.
Of all the things in the whole world, it were Kame’s words what beat the most freezing experience he had had until then…
Kame was well aware of the effect his words would have on Jin and a part of him hated he really said them but then again – he had to do it. He needed to do it.
To show Jin there was no way back.
Once making sure his legs could carry him Kame passed through Jin to the door. For a second he felt an urgent need to stop and touch the other, put a hand onto his shoulder or something. But instead of stopping Kame made a few quicker steps and left the bathroom, quickly changed into his street clothes and saying good bye to the rest of his band mates was about to go home.
“Does it mean you are not going with us for a drink?” Koki’s voice stopped him.
“I’m sorry guys, I’m really tired,” Kame sighed.
This was ridiculous. He still could clearly remember times when he hadn’t wanted going out with them because Jin hadn’t been there.
Now he didn’t want because Jin was here.
“Kame-chan…” Koki was about to whine.
Junno and Ueda joined in trying to persuade Kame at least for one drink to celebrate another successful concert while Maru was secretly observing the situation. He had always been a good beholder, watching what was going on around him and thinking about every single detail because usually the details were the most important part of the show.
But right now, though he noticed Kame licking his lips and his eyes flicking all over the room but Jin standing at the doorframe leading to the bathroom, his tensed posture and the tiny jerky moves as he wanted nothing but to leave soon, and Jin being unusually silent, his submissive acting during the time he spent on the stage, despite of all of those details Maru knew he was missing something.
There had to be something under the surface. Something he didn’t see simply because he couldn’t.
And he really wished there hadn’t been a connection between Jin’s and Kame’s strange acting and what had happened six months ago…
“Or,” Koki beamed putting his arm around Kame’s shoulder as if it was the most common thing ever, and at some point it was, but Jin couldn’t quite understand because he hadn’t been there when the bond of friendship between Kame and Koki had grown stronger, “or you just want to avoid us and spend a nice night with Aya-chan?”
Kame gasped giving the rapper a very meaningful look. “See you tomorrow,” he mumbled quickly and finally left not waiting to see any of Jin’s possible reactions at Koki’s question.
This wasn’t exactly the way Jin should have learnt about Aya. And being it a matter of Kame’s choice Jin would have never learnt about her.
The door closed and the boys went back to changing their clothes and getting ready to leave, the room filled with their chatting as they were trying to decide where to go for the drink. Everybody seemed not to mind Kame’s hasty leaving.
Everybody but Jin.
Jin pulled the t-shirt over his head and took his own one from the locker. The moves were slow and wistful as his mind was wandering about the events of the whole night.
The moment Kame said he could finally work happier from then on having Jin back again.
The moment Kame teasingly hit his head because Jin didn’t remember lyrics.
The moment when Kame squeezed his hand giving him that particular smile of his, the one Jin knew too well. The smile of his best friend.
Face to face to that smile Jin wanted to believe they could go back and have again what they once used to have. Maybe everything happened for some reason, the kiss and all what followed then, the photos and even that Johnny saw them, America, all of that. Maybe now they could start over, both more experienced and mature, ready not to make the same mistakes.
They could be the two of them again…
Jin frowned closing the locker and tossing his bag over a shoulder. He turned around looking at his band mates who were now quickly packing their things. Realizing he had neither time to waver about who he should ask about it nor to wait until he would stay alone with only one of them, Jin took a deep breath and came up to Koki.
“Ne, Koki, can I have a question?”
The rapper crammed the rest of his stuff into his bag first taking his time before faced his band mate. He and Jin had never been close to each other, or actually they had never been even friends, just two boys who had happened to end up in the same group. In the course of time they had found a way how to get along with each other for the sake of their work, they were able to put aside their mutual rancor and slowly the grudge had changed into indifference.
But New York events obviously threw them back to where they had started. Or at least Koki didn’t try to even hide he wasn’t as happy about Jin’s return as he had acted yesterday during the press conference.
For Koki, Akanishi Jin meant only one thing. Problems.
“What is it, Jin?” Koki asked sharply fighting back a sudden need to make a remark about what could he possibly help Jin with having no idea how to do things in American way but in the end somehow managed to swallow it.
Jin scratched his head.
The lump was back in his throat. Jin felt Koki’s inquiring and a bit annoyed look and for a moment regretted he had even asked. He should have waited and asked Ueda instead. Or Maru. Anyone but Koki, actually.
But then Jin took a deep breath trying not to sound as desperately as he felt. “The girl,” he finally spoke up, “the woman you mentioned before.”
Koki raised an eyebrow. “Aya-chan.”
“Yeah,” Jin nodded breathing in to say something but in the end not able to make himself repeat the name. He was gazing at Koki waiting for any details. And at the same time he didn’t want to know anything more. “She is…?” Jin cleared his throat shuffling his feet nervously. The others gradually ceased anything they had been doing and their attention was now fastened at the direction of Jin and Koki.
“Kame-chan’s girlfriend,” Koki stated cheerfully.
A simple “ah” was all Jin was able to let out.
Jin gulped. He was wrong, after all. They couldn’t go back to where they used to be, not if Koki’s words could shoot a piercing pain straight into his heart and leave it hurting and broken as they just did. They couldn’t be friends anymore.
Not when Jin felt the way he did.
Not when Kame moved on and had a girlfriend now.
Maybe everything really happened for some reason.
To draw them away.
Next part: Pinky Promise 8: I'll Be with You