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Saturday, June 14th, 2008 12:51 am
tretton: (k-t by your side)
[personal profile] tretton
Title: I won't write it in the sky
Pairing: Akame
Rating: PG
Word count: 2 641
Disclaimer: This has never happened, there is no money being made here and no harm intended.
Summary: Ueda has his ways and his theories, Koki doesn't even want to know, Junno just likes to pretend a lot and Maru thinks too much.
Notes: I was going to write a drabble. About Jin and Kame shopping in LA. I'm so incompetent.

They eat lunch at the hotel, because there’re things to do afterwards and this is where they’re supposed to drop Jin off. Because no one trusts Jin’s sense of direction, picking him up from the station in a country Jin’s more familiar with than any of the staff coming with them to New York. Still he seemed relieved when Ueda called him yesterday, informing Jin everything’s been taken care of, as if Jin hadn’t received a phone call from the jimusho days prior to their conversation. But he’d been on edge when he left. Ueda had wanted to make sure he was all right. That he wasn’t going to storm in all filled up with his own special sort of indignity. Ready for a tantrum. If there ever was, now’s definitively not such a good time for that. Ueda’s used to it, thinking ahead for Jin when he refuses to do it himself. Especially now that Kame’s stopped doing it.

Yeah, Jin had said yesterday, I know. It’s good, right? I mean it’ll be good to see you all again, as if he was having trouble believing the statement himself. And maybe if it hadn’t been Ueda he’d have said something else. Been less honest. Or possibly more so. Jin can’t even lie over the phone.

Ueda is sure Kame calls him sometimes. Afterwards you can always tell. Kame’ll be distant and silent. Once again made aware of the solid reality of Jin not being there anymore - Kame seems caught unaware. Even though they’re laughing more now, are feeling at ease with each other, Ueda notices it makes Kame uncomfortable. How well it all works out without Jin.

And now it’s three months since Ueda’s last seen Jin and Kame is fretting in the corner of his eye, refolding his napkin for what must be something like the twentieth time in the last 15 minutes and Junno is the only one still eating, the only one still set on trying to entertain some sort of notion of a warm and heartfelt reunion lying ahead, Koki is seething in his seat, probably going through every single indignity he’s had to bear with since Jin’s plane took off from Tokyo and Maru is already looking sort of exhausted from the stress. Ueda takes a sip of water and watches Kame unfold his napkin, smoothing it out on the white tablecloth before finding a new surface to form a line on, following the edge with his thumb. Ueda can tell when Jin walks in by the slight jerk of Kame’s finger, how it goes off course and crash-lands close to his plate.

It takes three minutes of awkward backslapping and stiff smiles before Jin mentions in an offhand sort of way that he’s very tired. By which point Koki starts shouting.

Then again, Ueda thinks, as Kame sinks down on his chair, reaching for his napkin - it’s better to just get this over with.

They bundle Jin up in one of the quilted jackets. He huddles in it, laughs with ease despite the bags under his eyes, complains about the cold when he’s asked to take it off. There’s something different about him, Ueda notices, but it’s not this. His petulance still shines through. He still relies on the fact that everybody thinks he’s such a darling, they’ll let him get away with it. It’s a good thing Koki’s already let off some steam. It’s a good thing Koki’s not there.

When Jin disappears to change clothes Ueda glimpses Kame sitting in the makeshift changing room before the door closes. Kame who suppresses his emotions into oblivion. And Jin who never bothers to nurture the privileges he gets served. His good looks and his charms, his voice and his popularity. Kame’s expectations. Years of disappointments, simple misunderstandings turned sour, earnest compliments taken the wrong way and Kame still expects the world from Jin.

“You’re going to LA?”

Déjà vu Koki thinks as he watches Kame pack his duffel bag.

“I’ll be back in three days,” Kame says with an eye roll.

“What? Is he in trouble? Gotten someone else pregnant?”

Kame snorts, folding a shirt. “Like I’d be the one they send. You know I have to ask for permission before I can go.”

Koki finds himself wishing they’d said no. But then that’d have pissed Jin off. And even one very vast ocean away Koki has no doubt Jin would have tried to get his way, would have caused a stir with phone calls and angry messages left on voice mail in the middle of the night. Threats about calling journalists. As if anything’s more hot stuff right now than Jin’s own party snapshots constantly floating about, Pikachu costume or sans Pikachu costume. And for all the trouble it would have saved Kame to not see Jin it wouldn’t exactly have made things better.

Better. Like how they’ve all been since Jin left. Kame always frowns and turns silent whenever Koki tries to make a point about how much more complicated Jin makes everything. Koki tells himself it’s not malicious. It’s just fact.

“I’ll buy you something, ne?” Kame says and throws him a smile over his shoulder. Bright and genuine. Koki’s never understood what it is about Jin that makes Kame so instantly delighted. And so acutely depressed.

Koki drives Kame to the airport. It’s in the middle of the day but Koki calls him anyway, digging his phone out from his pocket the minute Kame disappears behind the sliding doors.

“What?” Jin says, picking up. He’s always woken up like that, with a start, bad-tempered at being interrupted, a little breathless like he’s constantly dreaming about running.

“If he wants to go somewhere, you just take him there,” Koki tells him.

“What?” he repeats, the indignity already creeping up on him, instinctual from continuous taunts about his intelligence.

“I realise your idea of having fun differs quite a bit but this time you will just indulge him, you hear me? Even if you think it’s boring and pointless.”

“I was going to do that anyway,” he mutters. “Don’t talk to me like I’m someone who doesn’t know him.”

“You don’t know how to make him happy. That’s for sure.”

Jin doesn’t have a comeback for that one. Koki imagines his silent pout and his long tousled bedhair, his flashing eyes, unseen in some dark room. Such a child.

“Three days off,” Koki ponders at length, “and he wastes them on you.”

Junno’s not there when Kame stops by. He’s shooting close-ups in the studio. Instead he hears about it from Yoko. Lunch is over and Jin’s left to shoot his own close-ups when Junno returns to their room to find Yoko in a state of barely suppressed excitement.

“Kame was here,” Yoko says the moment Junno shows up in the doorway. “With Jin,” he leers, a bit like it’s a joke, mostly just frank.

“Oh, really,” Junno answers, shrugs out of his suit jacket. “Mou, he could have waited until I got back.” Because Yoko’s not familiar with that particular joke. That We Avoid Junno Like the Plague joke. Jin does his best to keep Yoko updated though.

Yoko shrugs, a jerky hasty movement. “You know how it is. He has his own drama to shoot.”

Junno nods, searching for a clothes hanger.

“Are they always like that?” Yoko asks well before the silence in the room gets awkward. “Now, I mean. I know how they were before.”

Junno frowns but doesn’t turn around to show it. “Like what?”

“You know,” Yoko says, a little impatient. “Attached at the hip. ‘No, Kame can’t come play with you, I’m taking him on an aimless drive round Shibuya’, ‘No, you can’t borrow Kame, I’m using him right now and then Pi’s asked for him’-”

“Not that,” Junno says with a disarming laugh. “Of course I know what they were like before. What do you mean they’re like now?”

“Well,” Yoko contemplates, “Every time I see them on TV they look tense. I thought they would be tense.”

“They weren’t?” Junno asks fleetingly, now looking for his t-shirt.

“No, they seemed fine. Comfy. Jin was obviously pleased to see him.”

“So. You’re asking me are they always like they used to be before? Now?”

Yoko waves a hand in front of his face to indicate a negative. “No, they’ll never be like before. Like Kame’d ever allow it. I’m just saying. It’s sort of strange. Why’d they try to hide that they’re getting along?”

Junno finds his t-shirt. At last. Sharing a dressing room with Jin has never been a favourite of his. It’s not so much that Jin’s messy, more a case of Jin just not caring.

“Yoko,” Junno says. “Are you asking me if Jin and Kame are sleeping with each other?”

Yoko holds his breath for a few seconds, holds Junno’s eyes, his mouth halfway open before Junno flashes him a wide grin and they snort into laughter.

Three days later Junno meets Jin in the corridor, dressed in his own clothes, helmet in hand.

“Heading out for lunch?” Junno asks when passing him by.

Jin halts and turns around, nodding. “There was a two hour gap so I thought I’d take off.”

Junno nods as well and tries to recall if he has any puns for awkward silences, or motorcycles. He could definitively whip one out about secret rendezvous but Jin’d probably hit him and out of shape or not, Jin’s punches are never half-hearted. Jin shuffles his feet and avoids Junno’s eyes.

Junno settles for “Don’t be late,” before heading back to their room. When he looks over his shoulder Jin’s still standing there.

“Do you want to come?” Jin asks, visibly steeling himself for the answer. Still, it’s as good as it’ll ever get. Him and Jin, trying to coexist.

Junno smiles.

“No. I just wanted you to ask.”

Jin rolls his eyes, but his shoulders slumps back into relaxation and he smiles before tugging his helmet on, turning to head out the exit.

It’s an unusual scenario, going out drinking with Kame. Most of the time Kame’s busy or Kame’s already made plans with someone else or Kame’s planning on going home to read some script before fainting to sleep. Maru’s not so sure he had planned on actually going anywhere at all before asking Kame, expecting the usual polite decline. But it’s already three beers late when any of this occurs to Maru. And along with Kame’s usual exhaustion and now the intoxication, any sensible conversation is out of the question.

There’s a constant stream of people floating about near their table, both female and male and all of them equally interested in flirting with Kame. Maru knows Kame’s aware of them, Kame always knows when people are watching him and even though the alcohol does its best to get rid of it, the stiffness in Kame’s spine never quite loosens throughout the entire night.

Kame doesn’t get up from the table. He makes Maru go get him his drinks, he focuses his undivided attention on Maru and not so unlike a child he begs for Maru to tell him stories, waving away his assertions that nothing interesting ever happens to him.

“Tell me about filming in New York,” Kame begs wistfully.

At half past two Kame decides Maru wants to dance. “I’m being boring, sorry,” he apologises, dragging Maru along with him, seemingly deaf to all protests. They dance for the 15 minutes it takes for Kame to get entirely beat and then they go back to the table, Kame lying down on the sofa, asking for vodka shots before going out like a light.

Maru doesn’t know what to do with him. He’s never been to Kame’s apartment, can count the people that he’s sure have on one hand. None of whom Maru’s particularly keen on calling at 3 AM on a weeknight. Make that weekmorning. He has an early wake up call coming up in just a few hours and the text messages he sends Ueda are replied with:

Sleeping. Don’t call me.

It’s 15 minutes of undecided scrolling through his phonebook, a few attempts to get Kame to make sense before Kame’s phone rings. Maru hesitates before fishing it out of Kame’s jeans pocket but all apprehension goes out the window when he sees the caller ID.

“Oh, God,” he says, flipping the phone open. “I never thought I’d say this but, Akanishi. You have to come save me.”

Jin doesn’t say much. He puts up a hand to stop him when Maru starts at a bleary explanation, Kame hanging off Maru’s shoulder. Maru’s just happy they’ve made it out to the parking lot and now he’s contemplating how much the potential paparazzi shots are going to cost the jimusho. With Maru’s luck and Kame’s tendency to fall in and out of favour with upper management, Maru’s thinking they might not even bother.

“Have you puked?” Jin asks, straightforward, putting his hands on Kame’s shoulders.

“Disgustin’,” Kame mumbles and waves a hand as if trying to abate Jin’s peering with it.

“Yeah, well, you might feel better if you did.”

“Hate pukin’,” Kame continues. “Can’t make me.”

“I sort of can,” Jin mutters, opening the car door and gesturing for Maru to drop Kame on the passenger seat. “But I won’t.”

Kame tries to climb into the car himself and ends up sprawled all over the seat, giggling and kicking at whoever tries to get near him. It’s not a very efficient form of abuse and Jin soon has a firm hold on his legs, scooting Kame down on the seat to get a better angle to prop him up. “Jin,” Kame says when Jin’s got an arm around his waist, their faces too close, Kame’s tone soft and unguarded, Jin’s breath halting and Maru’s just about to turn away when Kame says “Jin, I need to throw up.”

Jin drives Maru home first. Deciding he’d cause less trouble from the backseat Kame’s already snoring somewhere in the dark and they’re two blocks away from Maru’s place when Maru asks Jin “Does he do this a lot?”

“No,” Jin says and then stiffens because this is an arrangement Maru’s in on and according to the unwritten rules of it Jin’s not supposed to know what Kame does and doesn’t do on a regular basis. Not anymore. Jin and Kame gave up on being best of friends a long time ago. They’re something all right but that’s a truth existing solely in the pauses between acceptable subjects. The elephant in the room. Though in Maru’s opinion theirs is the sort of elephant people like to pat and coo at and go It’s adorable! If it doesn’t destroy the interior we can keep it, right?

“He’s practically an alcoholic,” Jin says by the next red light. “It’s just that he doesn’t get out much.”

Maru snorts but keeps quiet the rest of the way. When they get to his stop he thanks Jin again and says goodnight to the snores, getting an incoherent mumble that Jin answers with “We’ll be there in ten,” before Maru shuts the car door behind him, stumbling out into the chilly night air, already digging around in his bag for the keys, trying to contemplate through the empty pounding in his head whether the code he’s got in mind is the right one or if it’s actually the PIN for his cell phone. Maru looks over his shoulder when he hears the car drive off, watches the red lights disappear behind a corner and just stands there for a while, a little dazed, realising that he’s just experienced one of those things that, when he wakes up tomorrow, will have turned into something that officially, never even happened.

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