“I hate you.” Jin greeted Yamapi, as Jin pulled out a chair by the table the other leader was sitting by, joining Yamapi at lunch, but by the look of it was probably Jin’s breakfast judging from the messy hair and still slightly puffy, sleep-filled eyes.
“Love you, too.” Yamapi said his usual reply to such a greeting, barely looking up from his cup of steaming hot coffee.
“No, I really do hate you.” Jin repeated, hating to admit what he admitted then, “Because it fucking worked. For a while there…I really became the person I was in prison. You knew that would happen, didn’t you? You did this mostly for me.”
Yamapi didn’t confess to that, but neither did he deny it, as he simply proceeded to sip carefully on his coffee.
“Kame...trusted me.” Jin said then. “At first I took him by surprise and he put up a fight as I stripped him of that mask he was wearing, but then...he stopped struggling and told me he trusted me.”
“Kame-chan's learned something over this past year.” Yamapi said, putting his cup down and finally looking directly at Jin. “I think we might have our dear detective to thank for that. Kame-chan kept repeating the same mistakes when you two started dating, shutting out the feelings he couldn’t understand in order to let you come close to him, while you tried to shut out your guilt to the extent that you’d rather play a puppy than approach him as who you are. That’s how much you didn’t want to be yourself.”
“You tested me to see that.” Jin concluded, realizing now that Yamapi hadn’t suggested the puppy role just to have a good laugh.
“As I've said, you really don't even realize when you're being played anymore. That's quite risky considering where you're from.” Yamapi said, lifting the cup to his lips again and taking another satisfied sip. “Back in Korea, I could see you were actually losing that act of yours for a while, turning back to your true self and even to the master you were, and that made you want all the more to be someone else.”
To anyone else the sharp look in Jin’s eyes wouldn’t have betrayed anything, but Yamapi wasn’t just anyone. He could see how surprised Jin truly was, hearing how well Yamapi had seen him through all along. If Yamapi had been more of an enemy than a friend, Jin would’ve left himself dangerously open.
“That night Kame-chan finally snapped, you acted like the master again, didn’t you? You subconsciously took on that role as he had begun to act like your boy toy again more and more. You two fed of each other, reversing back into your old roles.” Yamapi explained. “But if you really did all right last night then he won’t come apologizing today. Whenever he apologized, regardless if he was at fault or not, it was because you were superior to him and he feared you and the consequences of angering you. Now that you let him experience that superiority and fear once more I think he might have realized, as you did, that there’s no more going back to that time - that things have changed too much. The next time you see him the mask will fall off on its own, but it doesn’t mean he’ll tell you anything yet. There’s a reason why he’s desperately trying to keep us in the dark and a reason why he is working for Masa.”
“I couldn't understand why he wouldn’t relax around me and be himself when I was trying so hard to make him feel comfortable.” Jin said. “But it was because he never believed in the image of myself I tried to create for him. He knew I wasn’t really as nice as I tried to be around him.”
“He was trapped in the role of your boy toy whenever you made him feel like one, which was pretty much all the time before you suddenly turned into Mr Perfect Boyfriend.” Yamapi said. “He never made it out of that role completely and every time you hurt him you only strengthened the idea of him being nothing more. That’s why your words never reached him. Your actions always contrasted them. That also made him think he couldn’t talk with you and why he just kept quiet about what he was suffering through. When becoming your boy toy he shut everything out and went to bed with you. Then surprise, surprise, when suffering from those aftereffects he repeated his mistakes, trying to go to bed with you while shutting everything out again only this time it was bound to fail.”
“Why did he even bother?” Jin asked. “If he resented going to bed with me that much, why didn’t he just stop hurting himself?”
“Obviously he thought you were worth the trouble.” Yamapi said and that made Jin feel quite good inside. “Don’t underestimate him. He’s handled you for years, he’ll be able to handle you in the future too and believe me no matter how hard you try you will not always get it your way with him. He doesn’t know, despite Masa obviously trying to make him aware of it, just how much control he has over you. Besides he’s got one hell of a will, so when he really wanted to do something not even his master could stop him. Kame-chan's stronger than any of us give him credit for. He could handle you as his master, he can handle the real you too.”
Jin had to smile a bit at that, feeling slightly better again.
“But still, he deserves someone better than who I really am…” Jin replied, but Yamapi knew better than to mistake this as Jin even considering the option of letting Kame walk twice. Even his best friend wasn’t that stupid. Jin merely wanted to hear Yamapi say he was good enough, so he wouldn’t feel like such an asshole when he did track Kame down.
“Cute, but you won’t back off this time. Not now that you’ve remembered just how sweet it tastes to take what you want.” Yamapi said, a rare occasion when he actually decided to indulge in Jin’s wish. “Kame-chan, on the other hand, I can imagine got one huge shock last night. Despite the fact that he already had faced those memories before and despite the fact that he has always been expecting your return, trust me, you made it a whole lot realer last night. You’ve messed with his head and he will avoid you for now. The next time he sees you he might try to escape a confrontation. Don’t let him do that. Don’t let him escape having to face you. Make sure you talk things through once and for all. That’s your only chance of making him yours again and turning him back to our side.” Yamapi added, standing up, but Jin grabbed a hold on him before he could leave.
“You owe me breakfast.” Jin muttered. “Sit down on your ass, cause I’m going to have a big one and you’re going to pay for it all!”
Yamapi rolled his eyes as Jin trotted off to get himself something yummy and expensive, returning with precisely that a moment later.
Yamapi watched the other leader munch happily on the breakfast he was paying for. “Even though you may not play games anymore to some extent you will always be a player. Use those skills. This is the one time you can really do some good with them.”
“Shut up, I don't need your advice anymore.” Jin retorted. “If I play my cards right with him then tonight he will be all mine again. Now that I see clearly again I know what strings to pull to get him. He won’t be siding with Masa and Johnny for much longer.”
“I'm relieved. This whole shrink thing was becoming a drag.” Yamapi shot back, eating some of the food and Jin slapped his hand.
Even though Yamapi shot the other leader a murderous look for not letting him eat the food he had to bill, on the inside he was smiling. He was really glad his Jin was back.
“Hi boys.” Miyavi suddenly sang as the beautiful man flopped himself into Jin’s lap, causing Jin to almost choke on his breakfast.
“Meevs.” Jin gritted out between his teeth. “You have a lot of nerve showing your face here. What are you doing here?”
“You ought to be miles away from us if you know what's good for you.” Yamapi said and Miyavi turned his head in his direction.
“Oh, come on, I'm fickle.” he replied, turning back to Jin. “Surely you can think of something to bribe me with. I could be of a lot of use. After all, I was there all along seeing your precious boyfriend scheming with Masa and the others. I know what he's up to.”
“Tell me.” Jin said and Miyavi shook his head.
“No. Not so easily.”
Jin flew up from the chair, forcing Miyavi up in the process, and Jin grabbed the other man's collar hard. “You tell me everything now or I will show you what happens to those who betray us.”
“Well, well, someone's back.” Miyavi chuckled. “Took you long enough. I’ve missed you~”
“You helped them and they put your former master back in prison.” Jin said.
“Yeah, my little revenge.” Miyavi replied. “Kame-chan's planning a revenge on you too.”
“You're lying.” Jin said. “He's not doing this out of revenge.”
“Arrogant, aren't you?” Miyavi said, raising an eyebrow. “Fair enough, I'll confess. He hasn't changed a bit, still as naïve and soft-hearted as always before. But there’s more to it and if you want to know what then I suggest you move fast, because the wheels are already turning. I saw him this morning.”
Miyavi was still amazed at how a gang leader like Akanishi could be forced to make such an expression upon the mention of a former boy toy.
“He’ll be coming for you next. Take this little warning as my way of making good with you guys.”
“You never were in America at that time, were you? You never signed any contracts with Johnny.” Jin wanted to confirm.
“Sorry, that was a lie.” Miyavi said. “But on the bright side I never injured myself again.”
“You faked your own limp?” Yamapi asked.
“How would you like to have some real injuries?” Jin barked out.
Miyavi calmly met his eyes. “The documents you were about to show as evidence that I had been abused were obviously fake too.”
“Kame faked them?” Jin guessed.
“He’s quite skilled with the computer.” Miyavi replied.
“What is he doing?” Jin demanded to know.
“He won’t be at home tonight, so don’t bother staying up waiting for him.” Miyavi replied. “He’s going out with some other guys for a private dinner party.”
Jin’s grip on Miyavi tightened.
“You should really go to America for real this time.” Yamapi warned, seeing how Jin was not far from snapping, but the call of the News’ leaders name gave Miyavi the opportunity to take a swift leave as the two gang leaders’ attention was on Toma quickly approaching their table.
“Hey, want some lunch? Jin’s got a lot.” Yamapi greeted.
“Have either of you seen Ryo or Uchi or any of the Kanjani8 members?” Toma asked and both leaders shook their heads.
“No, not since last night.” Yamapi replied. “Why?”
“I can't contact them and then Tsuyoshi...” Toma started. “Tsuyoshi said they've been caught by Masa.”
“Apparently he's got connections. I think it's through Koichi-chan-senpai.” Toma explained. “According to what he heard Masa caught Uchi and Ryo when they were busting Akanishi out last night and then someone tipped the rest of the gang about what had happened, which had them heading over there immediately.”
“Oh no.” Yamapi sighed. “Don't tell me they acted as rashly as the last time when Uchi got caught and they tried to spring him from prison wearing those weird ranger outfits? Honestly, why didn’t they just disguise themselves as guards?”
“I heard it was for Uchi to know how much they cared and that he’d recognize them right away when they were wearing their colors.” Toma explained. “They even had a pink one ready for Uchi that he could wear when they escaped.”
“Wouldn’t that have been a sight…” Jin mumbled, trying not to imagine it.
“How can anyone miss? The real guards sure didn’t.” Yamapi said, rubbing his temples. “And they didn’t turn to us this time either. Even if we haven’t had much to do with Uchi and Ryo for a while now, News and Kanjani8 are still allies.”
“You know how they are when their own are in danger.” Toma replied.
“Reason is the first thing they abandon?” Yamapi filled in.
“That gang doesn’t know the definition of the word reason.” Jin pointed out and Yamapi refused the temptation to say the same about Jin.
“So this means Johnny has our senpais and Kanjani8.” Yamapi concluded. “Are they still at the police station?”
“No, I heard Masa shipped Ryo and Uchi straight off to prison.” Toma replied. “My guess is that's where the rest of the gang is by now too.”
“We're going to have to make another attack on Johnny's prison.” Jin said. “Damn it, this is my fault.”
“It's not your fault. They were responsible for themselves, just like we all are.” Yamapi said. “This won't go as smoothly as the last time. The prison is rebuilt. The camera surveillance has improved, if Kame-chan's helped it means we can't hack into its security systems either and to add to it the secret damn passages are probably also rebuilt to where we don't know. We have to get information about what we're up against. If they redid the whole place for it to last against us either attacking it or breaking out then Kame-chan probably gave Masa our last plans on how to storm it and told him what we did to break out of it.”
“So we need Kame.” Jin concluded. “I'll get him. He'll help us.”
“I hope you're right.” Toma said.
“Is there anyone else we have confirmed missing except for the three senpais gangs and Kanjani8?” Yamapi asked. “What about Tackey and Tsubasa?”
“I don't know, I haven't heard from them in a while...” Toma said, thinking. “When we sprang them free from prison they had gotten caught breaking into the ward office where they had gotten married. Weren't they going abroad on their honeymoon?”
“Wasn't that ages ago?” Jin asked. “Like around the time when we escaped to Korea.”
“Uh-oh.” Yamapi moaned. “It's truly a miracle if they've managed to stay out of prison for this long. What are the odds they are not-”
“Don't say it! We are all already thinking it.” Jin cut in and he was interrupted in turn by the remaining members of News, approaching them in fast steps.
“Guys! Guys! Did you hear?” Massu shouted. “Kanjani8 reported back from prison! You can never guess who they met in there!”
“...Tackey and Tsubasa?” the threesome said in unison.
The gangsters stopped before them, all looking very surprised. “How'd you guess?”
“Great.” Yamapi sighed. “Now we really need Kame-chan.”
“Leave him to me.” Jin said, forgetting about the rest of his breakfast. “This time he won't feel as comfortable in my apartment as the last time.”
“What are you going to do if Kame-chan calls the cops on your ass again?” Kusano asked.
“I'll pull him over a knee and spank him!” Jin replied.
“Right, of course...” Kusano said. He should've known that would be the answer.
“There's something else...” Tegoshi said, appearing to not want to say what he had learned, but knowing his leader would kill him if he didn't hand over the information he had come across. “Mikimoto's in town.”
All eyes turned instantly at Yamapi and they all relayed the same fear that the leader would blow his top over the news.
“Ma-Masa and...Kame-chan have some business with him today.” the fellow member forced himself to say.
Yamapi rose from the table and simultaneously there were protests. Everyone were advising the leader off the path they feared he was about to take.
“All right! Pipe down!” Yamapi cut them all off. “I know what I'm doing.” He turned to Jin. “I'm not getting played by Masa. If they think they can make me do something rash by waving Mikimoto in front of me, they don't know me very well.”
“Then where are you going?” Jin asked, as the other leader paid for Jin’s lunch and headed for the door
“Get all the info from Tsuyoshi! I'll meet you back in an hour!” Yamapi called over his shoulder, leaving them watching his fading back in more or less concern.
“He’s going to go where Mikimoto is.” Toma said with a sigh.
Jin turned to him. “Yeah, but I don’t think you have to worry. It won’t go the same way as last time.”
“Yeah, but the sheer mentioning of Mikimoto drives Yamapi crazy.” Tegoshi said and shivered.
“People change.” Jin replied, hugging Toma’s shoulder. “You, me and Pi are living proof of that. All three of us.”
Remembering what Yamapi had said after Toma had stopped the leader from leaving the last time, Toma nodded, shoulders relaxing under Jin’s arm.
“Aren’t you going after Kame-chan?” Kusano asked Jin then, who checked his watch.
“Nah, not yet. There’s still a few hours left.” Jin replied and Kusano shot him a weird expression, not following.
Kame was silent, as Masa did the talking, like he usually did with big clients. He was learning a lot just by listening to the detective and Masa let him practice on the smaller fish, but today his concentration was rubbed. He was staring into the face of the person Yamapi hated the most, the person who had ruined the gangster's life and gotten the leader onto the streets. Back then Mikimoto and Johnny had worked together, and there they were, inviting Mikimoto to a fancy dinner party in celebration of their future cooperation between Johnny and Mikimoto. Tonight would be crucial on many levels. Important new allies of Johnny and some old ones would be attending the meeting of the decade, and it was his and Masa's job to make it a success. Johnny hadn’t had this kind of a gathering for a very long time and Masa and Kame had reserved Johnny’s best restaurant for the dinner party alone as well as made arrangements for the after party at Johnny’s biggest club.
His gaze trailed from Mikimoto's face, scanning his environment. The meeting was almost over and they were seeing the powerful man out of Johnny's building. News of Mikimoto must've reached the Johnnys by now and Yamapi wouldn't let it pass by without taking some kind of action. Kame was slightly worried what that action would be, but one thing was sure the News leader was most likely already there.
In a corner by the lobby a cleaner stood motionless and what caught Kame's attention was that the man wasn't working. He froze to the spot as his eyes met the cleaner's.
It seemed to be no effort for the Johnnys' leaders to come and go even inside their enemy's building. No guards had caught as much as the scent of Yamapi as the leader had sneaked in. He should've improved the surveillance in the lobby much better.
Yamapi knew that look on Masa's so-called kouhai's face. Kame made no attempt in hiding the fact that he had recognized Yamapi, staring him directly in the eyes with that look still plastered on his face.
As the discussion turned to him, Kame was forced to look away and the next time he turned his gaze to the corner it was empty. Kame's gaze swept over the area, searching for Yamapi, but the leader had vanished. Kame partly expected a surprise attack and was relieved when they said goodbye to Mikimoto without a disturbance, though sure that Yamapi would be on the man's trail.
As he and Masa retreated into the building, Kame followed the detective, who was going over some business with another employee. Therefore it didn't even occur to the detective when Kame suddenly went missing from behind.
A rough tug had him flying mercilessly into a room and as he was pressed against its shut door he came face to face with his attacker. Yamapi had ditched his earlier moustache and cap that had been part of his disguise and how the leader was planning on getting out unnoticed now was a mystery to Kame.
“Mikimoto? Really?” Yamapi broke the silence between them. “Fancy you playing that card, even though the decision of using him was hardly yours to make.”
Kame didn't reply, seeing it best to just let the leader talk and not even try to call for help yet. If he was lucky Yamapi would let him go unharmed once he was done talking, obeying the rule that had at some point formed between all the Johnnys: Kame was Jin's, and Jin's alone to play with and punish. Break the rules and Jin will get upset...and violent.
Though this time Kame had struck a weak spot in the leader before him by using Mikimoto, and Yamapi had never really been all that fond of him nor taken orders from his arch enemy, therefore Kame couldn't conclude he was very safe.
“It won't work, Kame-chan.” Yamapi continued. “You guys won't get me to jump in headless so that you can catch me, therefore you don't need to warn me.”
“I didn't warn you.” Kame retorted, unaware of the warning Yamapi had read in his eyes as they had stared at each other in the lobby.
“I will bring Mikimoto down.” Yamapi continued, as if not hearing what Kame said. “Change sides, Kame-chan. You're on the wrong one.”
Kame had never thought he'd hear Yamapi say that to him, out of everyone.
“You want the prison files.” Kame concluded.
“Give them to us. Join us in springing our gangs free.” Yamapi urged.
In the corridor outside the noise grew louder, indicating Masa had finally realized his young kouhai had gone missing. Something was different in the air of Johnny Kitagawa's building today. It radiated out of Kame and the way Masa had immediately sent out the search patrol.
“Something's going down tonight.” Yamapi sensed. “What are you two up to? Miyavi came to us talking about you going on a date tonight. Is Mikimoto one of the gentlemen joining you? What bonds are you trying to tie with him?”
The information could do nothing but hurt Yamapi and the rest of the gangsters, and so Kame didn’t want to answer, but he knew things were already in motion and the information Miyavi had left unsaid would find its way to the gangsters very soon. At least if it came from him then he could put in a warning and hopefully the gangs would heed it.
They both knew they were short of time and Kame decided not to stall. “We've formed many bonds with many others than just Mikimoto. If you want a second chance to get to him tonight would be it. We're eating dinner with him and many others to celebrate our new alliances and to cherish the old ones. Johnny will also be there. And so will the allies from America.” Kame could tell the defeat in court still stung the gangster's wounded pride and made him all the more set on crashing their party. “But the security is tight, neigh impregnable. And if you want my personal advice, then stay away tonight.”
“And let Johnny get even stronger than before?” Yamapi asked, chuckling then. “You don’t need to fret. Akanishi knows one or two things about tight and neigh impregnable places. I'm surprised you haven't turned up pregnant yet.” The leader added suggestively, “Maybe he'll succeed tonight.”
“I now know why you keep throwing those things at me.” Kame said, taking Yamapi aback. “Studying you, like I've studied all of you, I found out that when you were a young school boy other boys would've mistaken you for a girl hadn't you worn your school uniform. On your free time they often did, swarming after you. Looking at you now, I would never believe it, but your attitude gives it away. Well, that and your old pictures. I bet Jin knows all about it too and never let you live it down when you were younger.”
Yamapi leaned in towards him. His well-trained arms settled tightly on the door on both sides of him. The beautiful, but dangerous eyes on a now more masculine face stared him down. Yamapi had grown both in height and in his body size since that time. “Don't be such a smartass. The adorably dorky look you had as a child still gives you away even now when you've grown into such a beauty, who for the record gets mistaken for a girl in his adulthood.”
Kame realized he had definitely hit another weak spot, but he couldn't deny that Yamapi's comment hadn't had the same effect on him. Kame wasn't sure what his relationship to this particular powerful man was, as it bordered on slight jealousy and rivalry over Jin, but didn't exceed to the kind of rivalry that existed between Yamapi and Jin as he was not like a gang leader at all. He couldn't say he was particularly fond of Yamapi most of the time, but he couldn't bring himself to hate the man either. Nevertheless he did hate how Yamapi always hit the spot, reading him so effortlessly as if he was a freaking book, though despite that he really wanted to like Yamapi. Something told him Yamapi felt the same, helping him when he had been suffering in Korea, but they both knew neither would admit what they thought of each other any time soon.
They exchanged long glares before Yamapi pushed away as the noise grew louder. It hurt the gangster’s pride that such an inexperienced boy, caught for nerding his way onto some website, kept getting on his nerves and worse that naïve attitude of Kame’s had even managed to soften him.
Kame aimed to look stern, but concern still shone from his eyes as the boy watched him prepare to leave. With one good push he moved the boy out of the way from the door, opening it slightly to peer out. With a single glance at Kame, Yamapi said, “See you tonight.” and slipped out of the room.
Kame let out a sigh, leaning back against the wall he had been shoved at. He wished there was a way out of this, but he had tangled himself up into one hell of a mess. Had he known how destructive attending Todai would prove to be, to where it would eventually lead him, he would have declined the offer from the start. Now it was too late to quit. He had taken too many steps. Too many would get hurt if he didn't see this through. At least if he was the one doing the harm, he could see to that the measures taken would prove the least painful for the people he cared about.
Kame shifted his gaze in the direction Yamapi had just left.
Including the Johnnys.
As he stepped out into the hallway he came face to face with the man he didn't want to see right now, because he read him just as good as Yamapi.
“Kame-chan, there you are. Everything all right?” Masa asked, obviously concerned over his sudden disappearance, which was unlike him, on this important day.
“Yeah, fine.” Kame replied, hurrying past the detective and avoiding any more questions. He took a seat by his desk, appearing to go over tonight's plans as Masa joined him in the room, sitting down in front of his own desk.
Knowing he was under the wakeful eye of Masa, Kame continued on his preparations for the evening, but as he did his heart grew even more restless than before.
In truth he had been relieved Yamapi had managed to get both in and out unnoticed and hadn't fallen for the obvious trap Masa had laid after learning about how reckless Yamapi had gotten when Mikimoto had turned up in Korea. But the incident had made Kame realize how little he wanted to go through with the plans they had for tonight.
In order to make sure the gangs wouldn't ruin the evening they would have to stop them and Kame was sitting there creating traps. These traps could lead the remaining gangs all back to prison. Kame had felt the need to warn Yamapi just now, and Yamapi wasn't even that high on his list, Kame doubted he could aid in capturing the ones he listed higher.
But he was tied hands and feet, no matter what he did or didn't do someone would end up miserable. Besides he had a promise to keep to Masa, if he wanted Masa to keep his.
Stealing an anxious glance at the time, he saw to his relief that he needed to leave soon in order not to miss class. But the same job would await him when he returned.
Pressing back a sigh, Kame crossed his fingers in front of him nervously and his gaze struck his ring.
If Jin had gone back to being his true self, then maybe Kame should too. And that probably meant to do something incredibly stupid, but something that felt like the right thing to do. He should learn to listen to his head more, to reason more, than to his heart. Despite all of Masa’s teaching he was still like that.
Rising from his chair, he started on his way when Masa's voice cut him off, sending chills down his spine.
“Leaving so soon, Kame-chan?” Masa inquired and Kame froze, reluctantly turning to face the detective just enough to give him a reply.
“Yeah, I have a lecture.”
“But you're not going to school.” Masa said, ruining any chance for a quick escape. “I know where you're going.”
Kame was silent for a moment, thinking through his options. No matter what he said besides the truth Masa would know he lied and he wasn’t as good at sneaking away unnoticed as Yamapi.
“I'm sorry, you made a bad choice. You should've picked a better ally. I'm sorry for not being the one you needed.” Kame said. The Johnnys knew better than to ever make him a true ally. Masa should've too. He wasn't reliable and he didn't have what it took to see things through as soon as he had a change of heart. This time it was telling him to go to Jin and confess everything in order to stop a sure disaster tonight. “I will go. Whatever you say or do I'll-”
“I'm not going to try to stop you.” Kame was surprised to hear that. “You're so adorable, Kame-chan. You never learn, you need to have your heart broken over and over again and you still never learn. They won't do as you wish.”
“W-what do you mean?” Kame asked, shaken by the fact that Masa seemed to know just everything that went on inside his head. Was he really that obvious to everyone?
“You're going to warn the Johnnys about crashing our party tonight.” Masa continued. “They won't listen. And they don't take orders from former boy toys.”
Kame twitched to that.
“I'm sorry, Kame-chan.” Masa added. “They have their gangster pride and they are used to doing everything their way. They won't believe in the abilities of someone from your rank, therefore they will choose to do it the way they see fit.” Kame didn't reply, setting his gaze on the floor so he wouldn’t have to show Masa the hurt some things Masa said caused him. “I know what it's like. You have no idea how hard I had to fight to escape my rank. After the humiliation I suffered with Gackt, I had to work double as hard to be taken seriously. Needless to say the gangs started taking me seriously when I started putting them one by one behind bars. That's what you need to do too, if it's their respect you seek. You have to show them what you're capable of.”
Even though Kame desperately wanted to do that, there were other things that mattered more to him and he lifted his gaze back to meet the detective's. “I'm not capable of doing this.” he replied. “I'd rather be a low ranking former boy toy than betray them. I'd rather be naïve and get my heart broken than stop believing in others.”
As Kame turned around to walk away, Masa spoke one more time, “Our deal is only valid if we proceed according to plan. If you turn against me and take their side, I will not hold my end of the bargain. Remember that when they tell you no, then come back to me.”
As silence fell over them, Kame resumed walking hurrying out of Johnny Kitagawa's building. He couldn't get to the blocks fast enough and as he finally came to a halt by a border, he momentarily pondered on how to proceed.
Walking closer across the street in determined steps, he held up his hand with Jin's ring on it.
“I'm Akanishi Jin's-” he said and stopped briefly in midsentence, when he had been, due to an old habit, about to form his sentence in the present tense. “I'm Akanishi Jin's former boy t-”
“Yeah, yeah, we know who you are, Kame-chan.” the quite young gangsters guarding the border said, waving for him to continue. “You may pass.”
A little surprise he had been let in that easily, Kame continued to walk, keeping an eye on the gangsters he recognized as one of the undebuted gangs. Guarding the borders had always been the job of the lower ranking gangsters, but still a very important job that allowed no mistakes.
“You'll find your boyfriend a few blocks down!” they called after him and Kame guessed it was by Jin’s orders he had been able to enter the blocks. Logically thinking Jin had kidnapped him the last time, so Jin would probably not mind him walking in himself.
Kame took a deep breath as he headed down the instructed street. There he was proceeding right into the lion cage. Gangs gathered quickly on the street upon noticing his arrival and soon the remaining high ranking gangsters were all there.
“Kame-chan.” TTUN said and Kame made a point not to look in their direction, sensing their gang leader not far away from them and having no desire to look Jin in the eyes any time soon. The fact that he still felt the urge to avoid Jin had probably stopped him from showing up sooner.
“I'm here to negotiate a truce.” Kame begun, meeting several other pairs of eyes instead. “I've been on the wrong path for too long and I want to set things right.”
“For real?” Matsumoto asked, a little sceptically.
“Finally.” Kusano muttered.
“Why so suddenly?” Koyama wanted to know. “Is Johnny kicking him out? I thought things were looking up for your team...”
“Maybe Johnny was looking for something else...” was Kusano’s immediate explanation to why Kame had decided to skip out.
“It's nothing like that.” Kame replied.
Koki studied him with a grin. “He's doing this for Akanishi.”
“I'm here because of all of you.” Kame insisted. “I know you know what is going down tonight. Please, don't go there.”
“And let Johnny power up?” Ohno asked and just as Kame had feared the gangs all knew by now what was happening. He had most likely interrupted them scheming a way to allow them to become the special guests.
Kame bit his lower lip. “Yes.”
Several gangsters laughed. “Oh you'd like that, wouldn't you?”
“It's so obvious Masa sent him, why else would he be here suddenly offering truce?” Shige said and Kame knew that the capture of Uchi and Ryo had set especially News on the edge. “Masa wouldn't let him ruin their plan. They knew we’d find out about tonight so they want us to stay away and this is how they think they'll assure it.”
“Look, I know I lack credibility after everything I've done, but-” Kame started, but wasn't allowed to finish.
“But what?” Nino asked, though obviously not interested in hearing his explanation as the gangster had interrupted him from offering it. “You put our senpais behind bars. And Kanjani8, and Tackey and Tsubasa. You called the cops on Akanishi. I can only imagine what you have in store for the rest of us. And now you're asking us to step aside so Johnny can strengthen his already too strong hold.”
“You can take Johnny down later.” Kame tried to explain. “There will be other opportunities! I have a lot of inside information, I can help!”
“We'd loved to believe you, Kame-chan, but the timing is just too suspicious.” Nino added. “If we leave it to later the gap between us and Johnny will have grown again.”
“I'll help you free your friends.” Kame said. “If I just talked to Masa-”
“You're not seeing Masa again.” Jin cut in sharply, tone the same Jin used when he wasn't going to allow any protests.
“He is not a bad man.” Kame insisted, still avoiding Jin's eyes.
“You don't know him.” Sho said. “He's manipulative and scheming. Everything he does is for his own benefit, even the tiniest of things.”
Kame didn't want to believe that. He didn't want to think Masa had planned everything out ahead, starting from allowing him to go to Todai and that he had just followed down Masa's carefully planned out road step by step into a trap. Masa had been so sure about how Jin would react too and it had turned out frightfully right so far. Kame hoped Masa would be wrong today.
“You're in trouble, aren't you, Kame-chan?” Yamapi guessed as he had been quiet for a while, doing his thing reading Kame again. “That's why you've been helping him. Are you ready to tell us what it is now?”
Kame fidgeted a little nervously on his sleeve, feeling the gaze of one particular gangster, who had remained silent this whole time. “I'll tell you everything if you don't go after Johnny tonight.”
“Not good enough. Tell us now.” Yamapi pressed on. “Why do you come before us now?”
“Because I...can't go through with tonight.” Kame replied. “Whichever way I choose someone will get hurt, but I have to stop you from going there tonight. Please, I beg you, stand back for just this one night. For your own sakes.”
“While your concern seems genuine, I can't help thinking Masa's behind this.” Koyama said.
“This is not a trap, I swear-”
“Does Masa know you're here?” Sho asked.
Kame was taken aback by that question. They didn't even need an answer from him, already reading the answer off his face before he finally admitted, “Yes. He knows I'm here. He didn't try to stop me, because he said you wouldn't listen to me and go-”
“He's right.” He received as an immediate answer.
Kame's gaze travelled over all of them. “There's no way I can make you change your minds, is there.” he stated disappointedly, gaze finally setting desperately on Jin. “Jin, please. I'm trying to help you.”
“I'm sure you are.” Jin replied. “But we're not letting Johnny get any more influential or powerful. We're going in and if you're really on our side, then you won't tell Masa we're coming. Instead you'll provide us with all the information we need. I personally have a few questions myself.”
Kame's heart sank and he removed his gaze from Jin. Masa had been right once more. Whether or not the detective was just playing with him, he had no choice now but to re-join forces with him. At least that way he could make sure that less harm faced the gangsters and he could protect the people he had almost sacrificed just now.
Barely lifting his eyes to the group gathered before him he added silently, “So be it.”
Turning around to walk he heard voices call after him. “Where do you think you're going?”
Bothering a reply over his shoulder he answered, “I'm going back. I offered you truce, but you chose not to accept it.”
“Oh no, not so fast! You're not going anywhere.” Matsumoto said, hurrying after him and Kame spun defensively around, prepared for the gangster coming at him and avoiding coming into physical contact with him.
“You're not going back to tell Masa everything.” the fellow gang member Nino joined in, taking a step in his direction too and Kame didn't have to be good at reading people to be able to tell most of the other gangsters were also ready to move in and grab him to stop him from leaving.
“You're staying right here!” Matsumoto added sternly.
“Fine! Lock me up in Akanishi's bedroom. Imprison me in your blocks.” Kame shot back. “That's what you've always done! Leave me here to worry about you in my own private cell, to wait and see who of you returns and in what shape or if none of you come back at all!”
He eyed all close gangsters warily in case they’d move.
“I just sacrificed everything for you, because I felt it was the right thing to do, but now you leave me no choice.” he continued. “If you won't let me help you then I will at least help the ones I still can help!”
He took a step backwards as both Arashi members advanced on him from one side each, forcing him to retreat. He knew he wouldn't get far, but he would have to give it a try.
“Wait.” Jin's voice interrupted and the three of them halted. “Let him go.”
“Are you crazy?” Matsumoto asked. “He'll run to Masa!”
“He's got nothing to tell him.” Yamapi reasoned. “Masa already knows we're coming, he'd be a fool not to expect it, but he's got no choice but to carry out with the party for the sake of their allies. If the party goes awry Johnny might lose at least some of them. This is our chance.”
It won't go awry, Kame thought, but he could understand now why the gangsters were so suspicious of his motives as well as his request and so sure of their own victory.
Various gangsters still turned towards Akanishi, expressing disbelief.
“You were the one who kidnapped him not so long ago and chained him to your bed!” Aiba said, but Jin didn't answer. His eyes were set on Kame's and Kame looked back at him, taking a few steps backwards before daring to turn around and hurried away in fast steps.
“I don't get it, why'd you let him go?” Massu asked.
“As Yamapi said, he got nothing.” Jin replied. “Besides if he's being black-mailed then the people, who he was referring to that could get hurt, is probably his family. He wants to protect them.”
“By capturing us.” Matsumoto reminded him.
“Well, we won't be very good if we let him do that, will we? Quit worrying. I'll handle him tonight.” Jin replied, not liking Kame's outburst just now. Kame was obviously trapped and he would have to find a way to free the boy.
“You've been saying that ever since you became his master and we still don't believe you.” Nino said.
Koyama laid a hand on Jin's shoulder. “We'll go crash a party tonight, embarrass and stop Johnny, take Kame-chan with us, then lock him up in your bedroom. He'll be pissed for a while, but eventually he'll warm up to you if your chains hold out long enough.”
“Tsuyoshi, tell us what you found out through Koichi-chan-senpais connections.” Yamapi said.
“I have the location and the time.” Tsuyoshi replied. “The security is tough, neigh impregnable as you said, but I found a few weak spots. We can get in through them.”
“If we get in that’s good enough. It will embarrass Johnny and by us just being there we will set the allies in danger. He’ll end up looking powerless and humiliated.” Ohno said. “I’ll personally enjoy seeing the face of Kumada-sensei again…”
“Mikimoto and the American allies will also be there.” Yamapi informed. “We’ll definitely enjoy paying them back for that trial…”
Slipping out from under Koyama’s arm, Jin was the first to take off among the gangsters. “Send me the details. I’ll check them on my way.” he told them without looking back.
“Is the time up?” Kusano asked, watching Jin leave and Tsuyoshi signalled them all to join him in the nearby building.