“I’m all satisfied with letting Akanishi take care of Kame-chan.” Ryo said. “And Johnny will take revenge for us on Masa-chan. It will be interesting to watch~”
Kame fisted his hands tightly.
“Masa-chan will never win, at least not now when his favourite kouhai is in prison with us and Tsuyoshi’s already gotten what he wanted. He’ll be standing alone with a few ex-allies of Johnny’s.” Matsumoto agreed. “He’ll be the one to end up here and we’ll finally get our revenge…”
“You can’t! Gackt will be here!” Kame hurried to remind them.
“We’ll simply give him a warm welcome to prison…” Kusano brushed it off.
“You’ll choose to do that and let Johnny become strong again?” Kame asked. “Just like we did when we caught you?”
“Masa will learn we’re no stepping stones. And he’ll see us taking down Johnny.” the News members muttered.
“Masa was a fool to think he could accomplish what we’ve been out to do for years.” the senpais agreed.
“You’d let revenge and your prides get in the way of doing what you’ve been wanting to do all this time? Defeat Johnny?” Kame asked.
“We will do it ourselves.” they all insisted.
“Yeah, and you can help us this time, Kame-chan.” Hina said.
“I will not abandon Masa. I believe in him.” Kame insisted. “And if you’ll seek revenge on him I’ll be standing in the way.”
“You just said you’d do anything to earn our forgiveness.” Massu pointed out.
“Oh no, he’s got that look again. He’s going to do something stupid.” Yassan commented.
Kame was going to burst – that’s what he was going to do. He knew the gangs despised Masa almost as much as they despised Johnny, but Masa had offered them everything back – something the detective had been very reluctant about. Masa had come to terms about needing the gangs, why couldn’t the gangs admit that Masa had created an opportunity they had been looking for so long and that by working with the detective, rather than against him, both Masa and the gangs would only gain!
However, the detective had foreseen this outcome, saying again that the gangs would never take his offer and it was going down again just like Masa had foretold. The detective had started a desperate fight against something much bigger than him and Kame knew what that felt like.
“I can’t wait to see the look upon his smart-ass face once he steps in here dressed in prison clothes.”
“He’ll probably fall to Gackt’s feet and beg for him to be his ‘master’…” they chuckled, when Kame broke into their conversation.
“Will you just listen to me this one time, god damn it?!” Kame snapped.
“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Kame-chan swear before.” Kimura commented.
“Listen to me!” Kame repeated, shutting the gangster up. “Do you really want to live your lives hurting others or do you want to live them doing something that will make you proud of yourselves? I can tell that beneath your gangster pride and ‘fuck it all’ attitude there’s good in all of you, and it sets you apart from Johnny and his kind! That’s why you’ve wanted to take him down! That’s why you’ve never joined him despite all his bribes to turn you to his side! Now I’m offering you a way. Is it possible for you to even consider the words of a boy toy?”
“Former.” Kimura corrected him, falling quiet again when Kame looked at him.
“Masa doesn’t believe in you, but I do. You have so many skills, use them for something good. Prove him wrong.” Kame continued. “Or are you really just going to continue to fulfil what others think of you? To live just the way people expect someone like you would live? Is that all you are? No one expects you to help Masa. Everyone would think you were more likely leave him to his doom all alone then give him hell once he is locked in here!”
He half-expected to be interrupted or silenced somehow, but they let him continue.
“What could be better than disappointing those who expect nothing from you? What could taste better than bringing down the sleazy men in suits, who have always looked down on you?” Kame asked then. “But not through violence or destruction or any other of the ways that would be expected of you. Break out of that pattern! Show them all that you can beat those sleazy bastards in other ways than that, catching them in a way even the police can’t! Because unlike every other community you are corrupted, but at least you’re honest about it. You give each other hell, but because of the hell you’ve all had to deal with your bonds are stronger than any I’ve ever seen! You’re better than a lot of people, because you possess the unity and the courage too few do. I’ve seen it in all of you, because everyone in this room has helped me at least once without benefitting from it himself.”
His eyes travelled over them all at that point.
“You say it’s too late, you say it’s impossible, but it’s not.” Kame insisted. “If we work hard, if we do everything we can, we can make the impossible possible.”
The members of AT-TUN recognized that line that took them back to a time they had had something resembling the principles Kame still lived by today.
“There are not just two options! There are not just bad guys and good guys! You don’t have to join the society again to be able to do something good and you don’t have to be bad to live in your blocks!” Kame continued. “I’ve been tearing up inside between what I thought was those two options, feeling like I don’t belong anywhere. I’ve wronged too much to fit into the society, but I’m not a gangster like you. Going away with Masa I realized there are ways in between! You just have to create your own way! Make it one that will allow you to look at your reflections in the mirror by the end of the day! To look your families in the eyes! To feel proud of yourselves!”
He stopped for air. “You’re the only gangs out on those streets who’ve ever given a damn about what Johnny Kitagawa does. You’ve fought him all this time. Your circle should be proud of that. Don’t stop now. Not now that he is finally at our reach. He let his guard down when you were all locked in here and we were able to hurt him a little, but Masa can’t do it all by himself. This is your chance! You’ve been waiting for this the whole time! I have information on his allies, but I can’t take them down on my own. Now Masa is alone and has to accept you as his allies and to do that give you your freedom. We need your help. Will you not help us? Please?”
He lowered his head in another deep bow. He couldn’t see them, but he heard murmurs. They sounded amused, which made Kame’s heart sink.
He knew that tone. He knew the gangs would think he was stupid and emotional, but the words had come straight from his heart.
“He reminds me a bit of our old teacher, doesn’t he?” Ueda chuckled with the rest of TTUN.
“He’s way cuter, anyway.” Koki agreed.
Kame slowly lifted his head and as he did their snickering faces came into view, all of them looking as amused with him as he had expected.
“Well, isn’t it a relief to know that Kame-chan still loves us?” Yokoyama said teasingly.
“I never doubted that.” Kusano said and various News members rolled their eyes, remembering over the past three months Kusano wailing plenty of times about Kame out of everyone betraying them.
Kame wondered if they were even considering his request. “Will you help us?” he repeated, almost inaudible.
“You basically want us to clean up the society.” the leaders, naturally making the decisions as the top of their gangs, said. “It’s their mess. We’ll turn back to the society the day the society has become good enough to turn back to.”
“Which is never.” their gang members added.
“You don’t have to turn back.” Kame insisted. “But can’t you steal from people, who take advantage of others instead of those who don’t? Then hand them over to the police-”
“I will never work with the police!” Subaru grunted.
“Not work!” Kame hurried to say. “F-frame.”
“Frame…Johnny.” Kame added. “Wouldn’t it be the worst thing that could happen to Johnny if he was judged by the law he used to toy with?” Kame said and some still looked suspicious. “To be…caught in his own game?”
Game seemed to be the magic word and smiles slowly formed over various gangsters’ lips. “That does sound tempting…”
“But we’re not cooperating with the cops!” they hurried to make sure and Kame shook his head.
“Of course not.” Kame hurried to agree. “You could be better than the cops. Start with Johnny, then catch everyone who wrongs in this society.”
Matsumoto had to laugh. “It’s an endless circle, Kame-chan.”
“But then you’ll never have to leave yours.” Kame replied and the gangster’s laughter died out. The circle of gangs could remain as they were. “The world will never be rid of scumbags so you can continue to frame one after another. Instead of being the ones wronging you, the Johnnys, can make a difference. It’s never too late to start over again. This world isn’t fair. I doubt it ever will be. But it’s no excuse to take advantage of each other. The world doesn’t have to be a dark place to live in. The world is just as bad as you make it yourself.”
Everyone studied him silently and Kame wished they’d speak, but at the same time he was afraid of what they would say.
“Kame-chan is so cute, isn’t he? With all his believes and efforts…” Kame wasn’t sure whether Jin was mocking him or not. “But he’s right, though, isn’t he?” Jin said and Kame just studied Jin questioningly, as the leader cocked his head to shoot a look at the guys behind him. “We’re way better than the cops.”
A choir of agreement echoed through the space.
“And wouldn’t it be fun…” Jin continued then, placing his eyes back onto Kame’s, “to do their job better than they do.”
Kame couldn’t believe it, was Jin actually taking his side now? And it looked like the others were following too.
“Wahaha! We could arrest cops!” some Kanjani8 members laughed together.
“No, we could make cops arrest other cops!” Arashi’s members pointed out, earning even more laughter.
“Those that can’t be arrested for what they’ve done, because they’ll just bribe judges and lawyers to get out of their own mess, will be the most challenging cases.” Yamapi said and Kame was surprised to hear that the gang leader was on his side.
“Maybe we should frame them for something they can’t get out of!”
“Or maybe we should make their crimes public knowledge!”
“So…you’re accepting our offer?” Kame asked hopefully and they all shot him a knowing smile.
“No.” they replied. “Masa was right about us.”
“But-” Kame wanted to protest when Jin cut him off.
“We will break out of this prison.” Jin said. “Then we will take down Johnny, after which we will go after the remaining allies of his and other corrupted people at the top of this society because those hypocrites are the ones who look down on us almost as much as Johnny.”
Kame didn’t know what to say. All he could think was why hadn’t the gangs accepted his offer then? They could’ve avoided having to break out of prison in the first place and they could have had all doors opening for them with clean records!
“But that’s it.” Jin said. “We do this for ourselves and because we want to. If Masa wishes to award us for it with less cops around our blocks then he can go right ahead. He can even wipe our records entirely clean if he wants to, but it won’t change a thing. They’re only records that hold any meaning to the people actually bond to the society. We live by our own rules.”
Jin had no intentions to ever return to it again?
“So what is your way?” Jin asked then and Kame gave him a surprised look. “What is the path you’ve made for yourself?”
“I wanna be able to see my family.” Kame replied. “And I want to stop Johnny in any way I can.”
“This is not your fight.” Koki pointed out.
“It is now.” Kame said, turning back to Jin to finish giving his answer. “And I’ll give you and Masa all I’ve got to help you take Johnny down. I don’t care if it’s to be a distraction or hack, I’ll do it.”
“What about your family?” Jin asked. “Weren’t you trying to save them from being hurt, being disappointed in you? I thought that meant continuing your studies at Todai and catching criminals. What now when you are back in prison?”
“I tried to make them proud.” Kame said. “I tried to be something I’m not for them, so that they wouldn’t be disappointed in me, but in the end I failed. I couldn’t convince myself I’m someone I’m not and I didn’t want to live a lie. So the night before the cops came knocking on our door I sat down with them and I told them the truth…about Todai, about you, though a slightly censored version of it, and how I was going back to prison because I felt it was the only right path for me. I think they honestly always knew better, but they never questioned anything no matter how suspicious because they wanted me to end up on a different path than this.”
He pressed the memory of that night away, then thought of something he still had to offer the gangs. “I don’t know if this will let me escape the fate of a boy toy, but I’ll give you the plans of this prison. I know where the passages are and where the heaviest security is. I’ll help you escape.”
“I put you in, I’ll get you out.” Kame replied.
“Think twice.” Jin said. “That’ll get you into trouble.”
“I’m already in prison.” Kame pointed out.
“So you’re not going to take Masa’s offer of freedom either?” Maru asked.
“The offer was never for me.” Kame replied. “It was only for you. My records were wiped clean once. I wanted this to be your turn.”
“Fine, then you’re coming with us.” Jin said and Kame gave him a surprised look. “If you don’t have the opportunity to freedom through Masa’s offer, then we’re taking you with us. You’re not staying behind alone.”
“I’ll only be in your way.” Kame said.
“You won’t be in the way if you’re by my side.” Jin replied and Kame didn’t know what to make of that comment, but Hina and Yoko had theories of their own.
“Can you say UST? Here they go again.” Hina whispered into his gang mate’s ear.
Yoko chuckled, whispering back, “Tonight. Second night, I tell you!”
“You were always capable of escaping from here if had you worked together, but you never did. You gangs just fought each other and never combined powers.” Kame said and added, “I’m quite surprised you didn’t make it out before I came here. Even though the prison is stronger now and the surveillance tougher, all of you together busting out would have been nearly impossible to stop.”
“Well, instead we sort of competed on what gang would be the first to get out…” the gangsters admitted and as Kame gave them a look of pure disbelief the gangsters felt kind of stupid.
“So how did Masa come to join forces with you?” one of the leaders swiftly changed the subject. “What made him want to redeem?”
“If Masa really was ready to let us out he certainly has changed. The Masa we knew would never have agreed to such terms. We know he needed you badly, but to go to this extent…” Sho added. “Let’s just say he would never agree to set us free. He would rather have searched for anyone else willing to stand against Johnny, bribing any other gangs to take his side.”
“How did he even come to want to take down Johnny?” Okada asked.
“What did you do to him, Kame-chan?” Yassan asked, convinced Kame had had something to do with it.
“Huh?” Kame said.
“You must’ve been the one to change Masa-chan.” Kimura said. “Why else would he suddenly change the tune he’s played for so many years?”
That awoke a familiar suspicion among TTUN. “What the hell did you say to him?”
“I-I don’t know.” Kame replied. “I just told him to stop allying himself with Johnny and to go see Gackt.”
“And according to Gackt, Masa did.” Ueda said. “But you already knew that. That’s why you trusted him. That was the proof you had that he wouldn’t betray you.”
“We’ll never know now if he would’ve and if I was just being stupid and naïve…” Kame mumbled.
“Well, with everything cleared up, shall we party?” Yoko suggested.
What? Was that it? Wouldn’t he have to suffer some punishment?
“Yeah, finally!” the others agreed.
“Food!” Massu cheered.
Kame was amazed, standing rooted to the spot practically gaping after them.
“By the way,” Jin said as he stopped by his side, “I’ll have you know we were aiming at those scumbags abusing their power for the majority of the time after we got out the last time. We had already changed our ways a bit. Who knows, maybe we had redeemed a little here in prison the last time after all…”
A smile still playing on his lips, Jin passed him by last, leaving him alone in the big room before Kame finally managed to get his feet working again and he hurried after them, not wanting to end up being locked in alone in the torture chamber.
The food was waiting for them as the hungry gangsters made it back to the dining hall and Massu among others happily stuffed himself full.
“So I guess, in a sense, we are going to work with Masa from now on…” Goro sighed.
“How the hell did that happen?” Nagase wanted to know.
“We’re not working with him, we’re just showing him how it’s done!” their gang mates said and although everyone agreed none of them were convinced that was the case. “…Seriously, though, how the hell did that just happen?”
“Masa caught us twice!” Kusano wailed.
“…And always with inside help.” TTUN muttered, sending accusing looks in News’ way. “The last time you were the ones to call him on our asses and we got caught!”
“But you gave him information about us and got us extra years in here!” the News members defended themselves immediately.
“You never even spent those years here! You got in after us and left before us!” Koki pointed out.
“Never had I thought Akanishi’s naïve boy toy would trick us all.” Sho sighed.
“Or that we’d be as stupid as to let Tsuyoshi deceive us a second time…” Ohno muttered.
“That was so humiliating!” Junno said, remembering their last moments of freedom. “We storm in there, we get tricked, they were three against all of us, then we faint and when we wake up we’re rocking the bars again!”
“We’ll never outlive that embarrassment.” News agreed.
“It definitely put things in perspective…” Shige said and their eyes turned to Kame, stepping unsurely into the dining hall.
“I’ve always thought it’s the innocent ones you should look out for.” Matsumoto commented.
“That’s just your player instinct.” his gang mates said.
“Well it’s true!” Matsumoto insisted. “Just look at us now!”
“Yeah, look at us…” Yamapi said and they fell silent, entertaining the weird thought of them all sitting there together, having just agreed to escape and work together too.
It was no prison that had changed them, it was Kame-chan.
None of them admitted it out loud, but ever since Kame-chan came along they had begun to change, each and every one of them. From being out-casts or cutting themselves off from the society, however they chose to look at it, life had become but a game to them all. It didn’t matter if they stole what others had worked hard to earn. They never had the chance to even work hard to achieve anything. They played dirty with each other, tipping the cops on each other’s gigs sometimes to tease each other. Fights erupted between gangs as there was endless rivalry over the stupidest of things…among all of it the rivalry over one special ring.
All awhile they deep down inside didn’t want to admit that they were the only family they had. They were the closest people to each other. Shutting those things out they continued to play in life’s game, until one day, one normal, nothing out of the ordinary day one beautiful boy, perfect for boy toy material and the pleasure that followed it, came into their world; first entering Jin’s, then his gangs, then one by one the worlds of the gangs and fellows around Jin. Like an itch that wouldn’t disappear no matter how hard they scratched - they couldn’t get rid of that one boy toy, who continued to live among them all, losing the role of a mere boy toy more and more, and becoming a true person and not an object. Before they even knew it themselves, that one boy toy was the reason they were actually looking out for each other in a way they had never done. Their family grew closer and they directed their energy to fight the real enemy more than each other. Kame-chan stirred up stuff inside them they thought they had been able to bury long ago. Whether it was the hate for a father leaving his family behind, the feeling of being seen as a freak, betrayals, being taken advantage of, considered trash or the lack of trust in them to ever accomplish anything…they were all forced to face those pasts again. They were all forced to come to terms about themselves. It was time to stop playing games, or at least change the way they had played them before. Therefore it had been fairly easy for Kame-chan to convince them to take that last step today.
These were things they’d never tell Kame-chan. It was too much for an entire circle to admit, that one so-called boy toy had put them back on track the way everyone before had failed to do. Kame-chan could never know, and even if they’d tell the boy…Kame-chan would never believe them. That was just Kame-chan. He didn’t see that what he admired in the gangsters so much was actually the result of what he had accomplished among them. That he was the first person to come from a world they had long ago abandoned or been abandoned by and not look down upon them, but instead look up at them. No matter what Kame-chan did, no matter how many times the former boy toy caused them headaches they couldn’t hate the boy or strike him down as they would’ve with anyone else. Instead they had even tried to create a room for him in their world by choosing their victims more carefully, targeting those so-called scumbags. Somehow they had grown closer to each other and started to question their selfish ways. Somehow Kame-chan had slipped past their line of defence and become someone they considered one of them.
Not that they would ever tell Kame-chan all of that.
They saw Kame-chan glance their way, but by the look upon ex-boy toy’s face Kame decided against enjoying their company any more tonight.
“Anyway, we’ll show Masa!” some Kanjani8 members broke the heavy silence and the gangsters all agreed, glad that someone had changed the subject and lead them out of their previous thoughts.
“We’ll take Johnny down before he can!” News members added, as they all knew they were sworn to set straight what had actually hurt them the most about this whole Masa and Kame-chan thing; that the two of them together with Tsuyoshi had managed to accomplish something they hadn’t for all these years. That was humiliating and something they would change.
The loud gangs split into various groups as the gangsters started other discussions with each other, making it harder for Kame not to cross one of them as they advanced into the dining hall.
Having the feeling he shouldn’t even be there and that he was just ruining the party with his presence, Kame decided to retreat to the cell, bumping into the two people he really had wanted to avoid meeting right then considering it was their party he was crashing.
“Kame-chan.” Tackey and Tsubasa said, eyeing him curiously and Kame sunk his head a bit.
“I…I didn’t mean to spoil the party…” he said. “You must hate me quite a lot and I don’t blame you, but for what it’s worth I still want to say…congratulations. You two really are perfect together.”
Surprisingly enough he was met by warm smiles.
“Thank you, Kame-chan.” the two replied. “But we could never hate you. You’re one of our kouhais.”
“In fact you’re by far one of the better behaving kouhais…” Tsubasa said, refusing to look in Jin’s and Yamapi’s direction.
“You made us proud tonight.” Tackey continued. “It’s not easy to stand in the middle, trying to think of everyone with all the tough choices in front of you. Believe us, we know. You’ve done well.”
“When we first met you, we felt so sorry for you. You were so confused, so out of place and thrown into Akanishi’s cell of all.” Tsubasa said. “But once we started seeing the effect you had on Akanishi, we began to hope you’d fall in love with him and choose to stay by his side even though we realized you must’ve hated him very much…”
Kame didn’t know how to reply to that unexpected comment. “I didn’t hate Jin at first. I admired him. Well, that only lasted for like a few minutes until he tried to get into my pants, then I freaked out. But at first I thought he was…” Kame trailed off, spotting Jin in the crowd, “dazzling. Unlike anything I had expected of my cellmate. Until he…well, you know, then I did hate him for a while there...I guess I wouldn’t blame him if he was the one to hate me now.”
“Sometimes love can start from hate. The worst thing is to feel nothing.” Tsubasa said and Kame was reminded by the rocky start Tackey and Tsubasa had experienced. He would never have guessed looking at them now. They seemed so happy. Kame had to admit he envied them for what they had and wished he could have had the same with Jin.
“Tackey and Tsubasa, congratulations on your marriage!” Katori Shingo suddenly broke into their conversation, studying then a little closer the cap Tsubasa was wearing. “’I lost my virginity in Madagascar’? Hah! What I’ve heard you haven’t been a virgin since-”
“I don’t wanna know! Otou-san did something perverted again!” Yamapi cut in too and this almost childish behaviour was something Kame had never seen on Yamapi before. He was also a little taken aback by how Yamapi had just referred to Tackey as his father, but remembered then the things he had learnt with Masa. Why did Tackey and Tsubasa have such influence over their kouhai gangs when especially Jin and Yamapi constantly tested the nerves of their other senpai gangs? Based on what Kame had seen so far, watching the gangs, and on what Masa had taught him, Tackey and Tsubasa had become something resembling parents to many of their kouhai gangsters, who had broken contact with their real ones…or lost them like Yamapi. Yamapi in particular seemed to have formed a strong bond to the two men and Kame remembered it having been Tackey, who had given Yamapi, the young boy who had looked like a girl and loved pink, his nickname YamaPi.
“Why are you blaming ME?!” Tackey defended himself. “Okaa-san wasn’t exactly resisting either!”
This time it was Tsubasa’s turn to defend himself. “Why does I always have to be the Okaa-san?! I’m telling you I will not get pregnant and have your babies.”
“Right, just like you were never going to join forces with me either.” Tackey just had to tease. Tsubasa sent his beloved one a not so loving glare and Tackey had to smile.
“I love you.” he mouthed and Tsubasa’s glare gradually became harder to maintain while staring into his husband’s warm eyes.
“I love you, too.” Tsubasa then surrendered and mouthed back, as he no longer could fight the smile forcing its way to his lips. The kouhais around them gave hopeless groans, as they didn’t enjoy watching their parents show so much affection in front of them and they pretty much got out of the scene as fast as possible.
Kame took this as his chance to leave too, but before he could go too far a hand on his shoulder made him stop.
“The offer to clean all of our records came as quite a surprise to me.” he heard Yamapi say and Kame spun around, coming face to face with the leader. “Even though you said we’re not alone responsible for ending up where we are today, we are responsible too. That means we should atone, yet you’re willing to cut us some slack. It’s not right. You waver when it comes to us.”
“I guess I’m not as righteous as you say I am.” Kame replied.
“How surprising.” Yamapi said. “You’re more like us after all.”
“Maybe we’ve lured him over to the dark side.” Kusano commented, leaning over Yamapi’s shoulder, never missing an opportunity to be around Kame. The gangster had forgiven Kame pretty fast.
“We didn’t put him into prison.” Koyama pointed out. “What you want to protect isn’t rules, you’ve broken them since the start. You want to protect people and to do that you’d break rules just like us. Welcome to the family, Kame-chan.”
“So…does that mean we’re okay now?” Kame asked carefully. “Has everything been settled?”
They smiled at him. “No.”
Kame looked a bit desperate. “Then…what?”
“Akanishi decides your fate. Go get on his good side if you want it easy.” Koyama winked.
“Just like old times, right Kame-chan?” Kusano nudged him. “Turtle power, Kame-chan!”
Maybe he really should.
Kame tried to make his way through the thick crowd, scanning for Jin and finding him in the middle of a heated debate with Matsumoto Jun. Kame wondered what it was now that the two were getting on about. Whatever it was Matsumoto seemed to be on the winning side, so he had better just wait for Jin in the cell and hope Jin had calmed down by the time for lockup.
He successfully left the dining hall this time, leaving the noisy party behind him. The night reminded him of the one when Tackey and Tsubasa had celebrated their up-coming release from prison, throwing a bouquet that had landed in his arms. He partly wanted to return to that night.
He stopped in the middle of the west corridor as he remembered that night. Jin had behaved so strangely and he had never quite figured out what had been the cause of it. Part of Jin had seemed almost sad, but despite that the night had been wonderful. It had felt like some sort of a privilege to sleep over in Jin’s bed, wrapped inside Jin’s embrace after a breath-taking night together.
Kame continued to walk, arriving at their cell and noticing the felt was back, hanging in front of the bars before their beds. Was that a hint from Jin? This was the second night he’d spend in prison this time around. Did the felt indicate Jin was expecting an answer regarding the position as his boy toy? In that case it seemed quite obvious what answer Jin was hoping for.
Kame sat down on his bed. In truth, he wished he could sleep over in Jin’s bed tonight as well and experience the pleasures of being inside Jin’s embrace again. At that moment Kame wished he was Jin’s boy toy. Maybe he should just accept that position in a gesture to make things right with Jin again. He had humiliated Jin by putting Jin and the gangs back here. If they humiliated him back by successfully making him Jin’s boy toy again, then maybe they would earn some respect back.
And then he could have the excuse he needed to be with Jin again.
For all he knew, his offer – the deal with Masa might have really fallen through if Masa had just been toying with him as the gangsters believed. Maybe it was really so, despite how much Kame wanted to believe otherwise…
“I have a request of my own.”
“The Johnnys.” Kame started, gaze set somewhere far away. “I want your word that whatever I must do to make Johnny believe I’ve turned on the Johnnys that they will be righted in the end just like the other people we wrong will be made amends to.” Kame turned his head to gaze at Masa. “If you can promise me that then I’ll do anything you want.”
Masa met his eyes. “You have my word.”
“What guarantees do I have you will hold your end of the bargain?” Kame asked.
“You have Gackt.” Masa replied.
“There’s one more thing.” Kame said. “After we take down Johnny... After I’ve done everything I can for you… Then I want out. I don’t want my life to go down that road.”
“That can be arranged.” Masa promised. “So, do we have an agreement?”
The detective held out his hand and Kame looked at it before raising his gaze back at Masa’s eyes and took the outstretched hand.
“You’re cold.” Masa said, pulling Kame to his feet. “Let’s head somewhere warm, before someone finds us here.”
Kame was sure that someone wouldn’t be any of the gangsters at least.
Taking his bag, Masa started to walk, noticing then Kame wasn’t following. “Kame-chan, let’s go.”
Kame felt more like going back to the apartment and throwing his arms around Jin and begging for forgiveness. His gaze was set in the direction of the blocks, still hoping Jin would come walking down the streets to this park and tell him not to go.
His eyes fell to the ground and he lowered his head in a bow before turning and following Masa.
But as he had come back to Japan with Masa, Kame had found out that despite Masa’s promise the detective had planned the capture of the Johnnys from the start and that Masa’s idea of righting them was slightly different from Kame’s. Masa had challenged him then to come up with an alternative solution and Kame had spent every day searching for it until one day he thought he had found it.
“Let me get this straight.” Masa said. “You want me to release the Johnnys after we’ve captured them and then on top of it wipe their records clean?”
“Yes.” Kame answered and Masa had to laugh.
“That’s a pretty big demand you’ve come to me with.” Masa replied.
“You can do it.” Kame said. “They have dreams. They have families and people they loved before they got separated from them. They just walked down the only path they thought they had. We made them into what they are today. We haven’t taken better care of each other. Give them a second chance and I’ll give you everything I have.”
“That’s asking for a little too much, isn’t it, Kame-chan? I mean, it’s not as if the gangs are innocent. They’re criminals. They belong in prison.” Masa pointed out.
“I wasn’t innocent either and you did that all for me.” Kame insisted.
“Yeah, but that was so you could come work with me in stopping Johnny.”
“The gangs want the same thing.” Kame said. “So if they agree to help us, will you let them free and wipe their records clean too?”
Masa leaned back in his chair, studying Kame from across his desk. “Why are you so persistent about wiping clean their criminal records? You know they’ll only cross the law the minute they are let loose.”
“Maybe they won’t. If they agree to help us, then maybe they’ll stay clean.” Kame said. “And that way…they could see their families again.”
A smile spread over the detective’s lips as Masa realized where this was going. “You think they’ll start anew.”
Kame didn’t reply and the detective chuckled again.
“Kame, Kame, Kame…” Masa sighed, rising from his chair and walking up to Kame. “When will you realize that it’s already too late for them? That it’s always been too late for them, because being gangsters is in their blood? Therefore they won’t accept our offer.”
“We need them.” Kame said. “You have no choice but to offer them what they want.”
“I can just turn to any other gangsters and offer them bribes in return for them siding with us against Johnny.” Masa said.
“No other gangsters know Johnny like the Johnnys do.” Kame insisted. “And if you can make allies to bribes then so can Johnny. The only ones he can’t bribe are the Johnnys.”
“No.” Masa said, his face stern. “My answer is no.”
“Well, if that’s your answer then this is mine,” Kame said. “I’m going back to Korea.”
Kame made it a few steps before Masa spoke again.
Kame felt slightly victorious at that moment as he turned to face the other man.
“Fine, you have my word.” Masa replied. “I will release them from prison and wipe their records clean, but they won’t stay clean for long. That I can also promise you.”
“I only need you to keep your first promise.” Kame said and that was the first day in a long time, maybe ever, that Kame felt a sense of victory when he walked out the office. He had actually been capable of bending the mind of someone like Masa all by himself. Now the Johnnys would have a life waiting for them, even if it wouldn’t appear for them to be the case when they would get sent back to prison. They would be so surprised hearing of their release, expecting to be locked in for years, and their new freedom would open every door for them that have previously been closed.
But in the end it had turned out his victory was short lived and had been meaningless as the Johnnys had turned his offer down, just as Masa had predicted, and decided to rely on their own strength instead.
If Masa ever truly would’ve kept his word was something Kame would never know, but he preferred believing Masa would’ve even if the Johnnys didn’t. Against all odds he wished he hadn't just been naïve and stupid, trusting Masa blindly.
The noise from the dining hall slowly faded, indicating it was time for the nightly lockup.
Kame refused the urge to walk around in circles nervously in the cell and instead shifted his position on the lower bed. What would happen to him tonight? The gangs had turned him down and left his punishment in Jin’s hands. This feeling strangely reminded him of his days as a boy toy – one of those times he had gone against Jin’s orders and done something stupid, though right now he wished he could go back to those days instead of facing this one.
He heard Jin’s footsteps before the leader came into view. He had learnt to tell Jin’s mood pretty much by the way Jin walked. The carefree strolling Jin was doing tonight indicated Jin was in a playful mood, which was when Jin was at his most unpredictable. It was when Jin could go from hot to cold in an instance and right back to hot again. Tonight Jin had the upper hand and the leader knew it. Jin was going to take all the fun out of it, was what Kame heard from those steps.
Finally Jin stepped inside the cell, pulling the cell door shut.
Their eyes meet until Jin continued his walk across the cell and Kame’s gaze fell to the floor as Jin stopped by their beds. The silence was heavy as Jin remained purposely quiet, waiting for Kame to speak first – maybe to give his answer or then offer Jin something better than he already had.
But the only thing Kame had left to offer was an apology.
“I’m sorry.” he said without looking up and Jin didn’t reply. “But I'm glad I left.” Kame said - something Jin hadn't wanted to hear. “I left for your sake too. We both needed space and time to think things through. In the state I was in I couldn’t have dated you properly when I didn't know what to think or how I truly felt about you until I walked away. The more time passed the more I came to miss you and the more I hurt when you didn't come after me.”
The cell was silent again as Jin wasn’t responding to him, just standing there hearing Kame out.
“I wavered.” Kame continued. “Had you asked me to stay that morning…I hadn’t been able to leave. I would’ve let Masa deal with Johnny alone because I wanted to stay with you more. If you had showed up, I would've dropped everything and gone with you. But you didn't and it angered me that you showed up because of a gig instead. You would’ve just needed to hold onto me one more time and I wouldn’t have been able to go.” He added a little miserably, “I actually thought we were passed the part where you think I’m better off without you.”
Kame swallowed hard, as he thought about how Jin must’ve felt all this time. He had been so blind to Jin’s suffering, caught up in his own suffering where he was convinced Jin simply didn’t return his feelings and used him like a toy, but the truth had been so much crueller. Jin’s real reason for pushing him away had not just been a player defending his pride, but that he caused Jin pain. It would’ve been better to have been just a toy, it would’ve been better if Jin had never fallen in love with him.
Despite his better judgement he reached his arms out for Jin, placing them around Jin’s waist and hugging the leader tightly. Jin remained still and silent as Kame rested his head against Jin’s belly.
“I never knew how you had started despising who you are because of me. I was a constant reminder to you of our past and you couldn’t put it behind you either. Even before I broke down you were pushing me away because you feared I’d come to hate you again. Ironically enough, I think it’s easier for me to be around you than for you to be around me.” Kame said. His heart was heavy in his chest, but the words still flooded out of him as they had nothing more to lose. He could say anything to Jin. “I forgot about it and that’s why the memories came back to haunt me, but you could never forget, could you? That’s why you always kept me at a distance, pulling me close one moment and pushing me away the next. You could never forgive yourself for it even though I could.”
Jin’s silence was all the reply Kame needed, now that Masa had already given him all the answers.
“Masa told me you wouldn’t ask me to stay, that you’d just let me leave if I tried to go, but I didn’t believe him. I wanted to believe you wouldn’t let me walk away, but you did. I chased you for so long, I just had to know if you’d do the same for me, but you didn’t.” Kame paused. “I wanted you to be the one to offer me a chance to fight Johnny, not Masa. I wanted to hear you tell me ‘I need you, you can do this’. But instead I heard it from him.”
He met Jin’s eyes briefly. The cell was dark and he couldn’t make out what he saw in them, while his own eyes were filling with tears that blurred his view. “Why should I have stayed if you didn’t need me? If you didn’t trust me to love you for who you really are? Did you expect me to continue watching your facades? I don’t want to be the one to make you despise yourself and clearly that’s what I was doing to you. I’d rather you hate me, so I left to discover some things on my own.”
The cell was completely quiet the few seconds he held his breath, lowering his gaze again and removing his arms from around Jin.
“Nevertheless, I’m sorry for hurting you and for making you resent yourself. You weren’t yourself anymore and I didn’t want to be the reason for making you hate yourself when I loved you so much. You didn’t feel good about yourself when you were with me.” Kame continued then. “Still, as silly as it may sound to you, you were the one I felt good with. If I were in trouble you’re the one I’d trust the most, the one I’d turn to. And I kept hoping that one day I would be the same to you.” His head lowered a little further as he added, “Even though I was nothing but a rule-breaking, naive boy toy…”
As Kame didn’t seem to want to continue talking anymore, Jin finally spoke, “You know, most of my former boy toys would have gone through with a real revenge on me. Most would’ve locked me up in here for justice, not to offer me an even greater freedom.”
Kame didn’t want to hear about Jin’s other boy toys. Jin would never know how it felt when the person you were with had slept with other people before you and you’d wonder if you were being compared to them when you only knew the touch of that single person. Jin would never know the jealousy Kame had had to deal with or the fear of just becoming one of those previous people Jin had slept with. Countless times Kame had felt like he needed to compete with all of them to keep Jin, so that Jin wouldn’t just move on from him too.
“Most of them, no I’m willing to bet all of them, would never have fallen in love with me or continued to believe in me after I had broken their hearts and disappointed them over and over. But you’re not like most boy toys, are you?” Jin continued. “Only you could’ve truly fallen in love with me. Only you could’ve forgiven me out of some goodness in your heart…even though it was I who made you loathe your own body.”
Kame shut his eyes. He had expected this to be anything but an easy conversation.
“And now you’re here asking for my forgiveness?” Jin stated rather than asked leaning a bit lower and Kame could feel the leader’s breath against his hair. “I believe most of my former boy toys would tell you you’ve lost your mind-”
“You saved my life!” Kame cut him off, looking straight up at him. “You almost died for me! Wasn’t that enough? Did you not make it all up to me when you jumped after me into the air, wrapping your arms around me and taking the fall for me? You jumped without knowing if you would ever get up again!” Kame’s voice shook, but his eyes remained on Jin’s. “Why do you keep blaming yourself? What stupid thing did I do to make you hate yourself so much?”
As Jin didn’t answer, Kame stood up, laying his hands over Jin’s eyes for a while before removing them.
“What do you see?” he asked as Jin met his gaze. “What do you see when you look at me? A painful memory? A reminder of a sin? A boy toy? A traitor?” Kame paused in his list, studying Jin’s eyes as if trying to read the answer. “How do I make you feel?”
The sudden push that had him shoved into the stairs between their beds, startled Kame. Jin’s hands settled on both sides of his body, gripping the stairs, while Jin’s eyes kept his gaze.
“Ever since I first met you, you have done nothing but caused me trouble. You disobeyed my orders as a boy toy, you humiliated me, defeated me as a player, then you left me only to defeat me at my job and finally you lock me back up in here. You have no idea how much you’ve caused both me and my reputation to suffer.” Jin said and Kame could only look back at him. “Now you’re here practically crawling back, shooting me with those heart breaking looks of yours that beg me to let you do it all again. I know you, it won’t be long before you stumble upon something you just feel you have to get involved in and it will wind up giving me more headaches.”
Kame was the one to break their stare as he lowered his head.
It was true. His mind was saying he shouldn’t ask Jin to take him back, but his heart was begging for Jin to. Enough to make him consider accepting the position of a boy toy, which was something Kame had never imagined himself doing ever again.
“I don’t expect you to take me back.” Kame answered. “I don’t think I deserve it, but if you’ll still have me then I’ll…I’ll be your boy toy.”
And once again it was his heart that won over his head. He could feel Jin studying him, but he couldn’t bring himself to raise his eyes and find out what kind of an expression Jin wore now.
“What I had to offer was not good enough. The only thing I have left to offer you is this.” Kame added and wished Jin would say something. Instead hands grabbed his hips tightly, turning him swiftly around so that he was now facing the stairs and he could feel Jin pressing into him from behind.
“Through all logic I shouldn't be allowed to touch you ever again.” Jin said, head resting in the crook of his neck and one hand released his hip, travelling lower from there and Kame gripped the stairs hard, a soft cry escaping his lips. “But here you are, coming back to me all alone, positioning yourself in my cell, offering me all the pleasures back... Do you really think it's such a good idea to tempt me like this? And in here of all places… Here, where I first had my way with you.”
That was exactly why Kame had wanted back there. He had wanted to stand in this cell one more time with Jin, but this time he hadn’t wanted it to be as a boy toy. He had wondered, coming back here, would his sanity be able to take it, but Kame was pleased to see he really had moved on. Otherwise even the question of becoming a boy toy again would’ve been unthinkable to him and the position Jin purposely held him in would’ve brought back memories he couldn’t have dealt with.
Kame had to wonder if he had been able to see Jin’s face the first night Jin took him, would it have made any difference to him. Sex had been much more impersonal at first, until he had first seen Jin’s face during it.
The free hand travelled higher until it reached his chin, grabbing it and forcing Kame to look back over his shoulder to meet his eyes again.
“You want to know what I see when I look at you?” Jin asked and Kame could barely nod in the uncomfortable position. “I see the best thing I’ve ever stolen.”
Kame’s eyebrows furrowed together as he continued meeting Jin’s gaze.
“Ever since I got my way with you, you’ve been mine. Despite telling myself you’re deluding yourself with feelings for me, I knew you loved me long before you ever told me.” Jin said. “You followed me around like a puppy all the way to Korea, waiting for me in Japan for a whole year. No matter how much I hurt you, you never gave up on me. You never took the easy way out and found someone else instead because you’re something no one can ever steal from me. Now you’re here again, practically begging me to take you and on top of it offering me a freedom I haven’t, by your measures, done anything to deserve. I have sins left unpaid and you know it, but you still come here and offer me a way out. Why do you walk over your own righteousness because of me?”
“You're not as bad as you think you are. You never were.” Kame said, fighting for a little space and managing to turn around. “And you never needed to pretend to be a better person to be able to be with me. You don't know what I see in you. You don’t even know what you’ve got-” Kame said when Jin kissed him, forcefully at first but then long and deep, exploring his mouth as if this was the first time they had ever kissed.
Kame was a little blown away by the unexpected kiss as Jin finally pulled apart.
“You’re the one who saved my life.” Jin said, the locks on his forehead messing with Kame’s. “Thank you, for never giving up on me, for coming here…” Jin’s eyes found Kame’s as he added, “for still loving me.”
A redness on Kame’s cheeks Jin had missed seeing appeared as Kame lowered his head and Jin just had to smile as he eyed the boy attempting to hide his face.
“I know you’ll never stop. You’re too stubborn.” Jin added, fingers dancing down the blond hair. “You’re going to be bad for my reputation, I can tell.”
“I’m sorry…” Kame said again, looking so miserable Jin abandoned any further thoughts on torturing Kame longer to have some silly revenge.
“Don’t apologize.” he chuckled, not being able to resist kissing Kame again now that Kame so willingly let him unlike Kame had as Masa’s kouhai. “Along with all the hell you’ve put me through, you’ve showed me heaven. You make me a better and a stronger person. You make me…happy.”
Kame didn’t know how to reply and he must’ve looked so shocked that Jin pulled a part a bit, an almost embarrassed look on his face.
“Sorry.” Jin mumbled. “I don’t know what those two do to me, but I always feel as mushy after seeing them together...”
“M-mushy?” Kame repeated, trying to be coherent again.
“They always fill the air with such lovey-doveyness and I’m…sometimes affected by it, too.” Jin explained and when Kame gave him another questioning look, Jin a little unwillingly continued, “That night Tackey and Tsubasa had their release party in prison, when I came back to our cell and saw you with the bouquet in your hands…I kind of imagined that night was our wedding night.”
If Kame had been dumbfounded before it had never been like this.
“You know, sort of a one-sided role play...or possibly a fetish.” Jin added, starting to wish he had never admitted that because it was even worse than just thinking it. He should’ve just kept his mouth shut. This had gone completely in the wrong direction. He had wanted to tease Kame, make him pay a little, but Kame had too easily gotten under his wires and on his soft side.
To his surprise this time it was Kame who kissed him, arms folding around him again in a tight embrace.
Kame couldn’t believe Jin had thought like that already back then. It made him so happy to hear and before he had even realized it himself he had placed his lips on Jin’s in a needy kiss. He couldn’t order himself to stop and one of his hands moved to the back of Jin’s neck. He wouldn’t release Jin’s lips or the rest of the boy. He finally had a good grip on Jin for real this time and he wasn’t letting go.
Kame wanted to whimper in protest when Jin broke the kiss and their embrace. One of Kame’s hands was still gripping Jin’s neck desperately, but it was soon forced to let go as Kame suddenly felt hands unbuttoning his shirt. A familiar excitement immediately built up inside of him, as he realized they were done talking tonight.
The cell was still hot in the summer night and it was a relief to be freed from his shirt as Jin lead the piece of clothing down his arms and it fell to the floor by their feet. He shivered in delight as Jin’s hands grabbed his naked waist and he was pulled into another kiss.
Kame had used to think there was nothing more intimate Jin could do to him, nothing more disarming than what Jin had already done in bed with him, until Jin had kissed him. That first simple kiss that had barely lasted more than a few seconds had changed everything for him. The second kiss Jin had given him at the most unexpected time at the most unexpected place, but each of those kisses had left him yearning for more. Maybe those kisses had been the reason Jin had finally stolen his heart and the fact that he had been the only boy toy Jin had ever kissed comforted him as they stood there in that cell.
Kame was pressed further into the steps of the stairs behind him as Jin’s body moved into his, their kiss deepening. How Kame had ever resented or feared Jin’s touch was beyond him at that moment, as his body yearned for more contact and Jin could tell.
He was already out of breath as their kiss ended again and Jin abandoned the shirt hanging around the leader’s hips, grabbing Kame’s hips then that were mostly exposed as his pants had ridden lower.
“Climb up.” Jin said, lips inches from his, and Kame looked back at him not losing sight of Jin’s eyes as he managed to move out from where he was trapped against the hard stairs and instead sat down on the somewhat soft lower bed.
Jin slowly followed him, crouching down before him, arms on both sides of him.
“I’ll have you know, if you take me now I will continue to follow you around forever.” Kame warned with a hint of playfulness in his voice, but it didn’t make his threat any less real. Jin smiled, letting Kame know he had heeded the warning.
“I’ll take my chances.” Jin replied joining his cellmate on the bed as Kame made room for him, lying down on his back.
He had never wanted Kame so much as he climbed on top of Kame. His body ached to know again all the things he had for the past three months only been able to remember he had known countless of times in this cell. It had felt like some kind of a punishment being there alone, as if the time with Kame had never existed and he was right back to where he had been before meeting Kame. In that case this night would become a new meeting and a chance to a new start. During those lonely three months he could have had all of the pleasures in this world. He could have taken new boy toys and let them worship him. He could have had it all except for the pleasure of having the only one he really wanted.
To be honest he didn’t only want Kame, he needed him. He had been craving for another night with him ever since the one in Korea. Only thinking of how happy he had been that night, as Kame had finally surrendered to him and laid his trust in him, had made that longing worse.
He wanted to see the golden hair messy on the pillow again, a fine sheen of sweat already making Kame’s face glow. Kame was his treasure.
He released Kame’s lips, tasting the naked skin of Kame’s neck and chest. Kame would give out soft moans, gasps for air, and eventually say his name while Kame’s body would meet his lips, back hardly staying on the sheets.
He loved the touch of Kame’s fingers against his skin as the boy unbuttoned his shirt, throwing it to the floor as well, before moving to undo his pants then. There was no trace of trauma left in Kame as far as Jin could see. Instead the boy had come to terms with himself and his own body, making Kame curious to reach out for Jin too to touch his skin and place hot kisses on it.
Although the blushing boy toy, who had barely dared to as much as move in bed with him, had been adorable, Jin liked this side of Kame. It was as if the desire inside Kame had been freed. Kame’s touches drove him wild and it pleased him to see Kame hardly able to supress his own anticipation, ridding Jin off his pants almost faster than Jin had lead Kame’s down the boy’s legs. He liked discovering the dominant sides in Kame that the boy toy had hid away and he liked it even better when he made that Kame blush.
Only the cheeks of the pale skin underneath him had some real color, as his eyes travelled over the naked boy underneath him. Tonight both their words and their bodies were naked. Nothing had been left unsaid and neither wore any masks. Kame didn’t have to wonder if he was just a sex toy and Jin didn’t have to wonder if Kame just performed his duty.
“Wait a sec.” Jin murmured, placing a last kiss on the naked boy before pushing himself up.
Kame knew exactly what it was Jin went digging for under the mattress of the top bed, but as Jin returned he had something else as well in his hand.
“This time we won’t wait till your birthday.” Jin added playfully and eyeing the bottle of lube in Jin’s hands Kame had to laugh, but that laughter soon died in his throat when Jin climbed back on top of him and as their eyes locked Kame could still see traces of the predator he had once known, the man who had loved to own him and keep him all to himself. He had failed to notice exactly when those eyes had begun to study him more like a lover than a property of Jin’s.
Another shiver ran through him as their eye-contact wouldn’t break and Jin leaned in lower, face only inches from his and they breathed hot air against each other until their lips met again. This kiss was different, soft and slow, as if they were in no hurry. Kame wasn’t used to that. Jin never had the patience or willpower to take it slow at this point and as Jin finally entered him Kame forgot how to breathe. His eyes fluttered shut as he endured the slight pain, waiting for the pleasure he knew always followed. His hand travelled over the sheets in search for Jin’s, finding it and gripping it hard. No matter how many times Jin would take him that first thrust always hurt a bit.
He could sense Jin’s eyes on his face and so he slowly opened his. Through the pain that reflected in his eyes shone the warmth he felt for the person looking back at him.
Jin filled him completely and Kame moaned, as Jin brushed against that spot that had the power to dull the pain and emphasize the pleasure. Kame had waited for this.
Jin watched the look in Kame’s eyes change, pleasure taking over and he couldn’t describe what it did to him to see Kame gaze at him with those eyes. It took all of his self-restraint to take it easy and allow Kame’s body to adjust. He hadn’t touched Kame for over a year. It felt hard to believe as they lay in the bed where he had hardly ever given the boy a night’s rest.
To Jin it felt as if a long chase was finally coming to an end in this bed. As if he had been using all his skills he knew as a player to get this one persistent prey that kept slipping through his fingers despite how many times he had laid his claws into said prey. But this was no game. This was better than one. Everything around them disappeared, the way it only happened when they made love. He could only focus on the pleasure and Kame’s flushed face and the arms that were open just for him. Their voices sounded amazing together.
He kept his claws buried deep inside the boy even as he finally sunk into those open arms.
“I love you.”
The soft breath tickled his shoulder and the voice had been barely audible. Jin smiled tiredly, where he lay entangled with the boy beneath him, wondering if Kame had even been aware of his own words.
He refused to move as much as an inch, breathing in the smell of him on Kame’s sweaty skin. Eventually Kame’s breathing fell into a normal pace and when Jin finally moved enough to look at Kame’s face again, he found the boy deep asleep.
A smile spread over his face, as he kissed the parted lips lightly, careful not to wake Kame up, and retreated to his earlier position.
Kame was still asleep when the morning sun sent a flash of purple into the cell, and as fast as it had appeared it was already gone and a new day had begun.
At this time and this place, a new past was born, new memories made.
Jin closed his eyes again to catch a little more sleep before the cell doors would open.