“The passages are the safest way out of here.” Kame continued as the gangsters gathered around the table. He drew out the last of them on the blue prints and the gangs studied the network of passages.
“That’s impressive.” Kimura said.
“We need a few days to check the passages. As you can see there are many of them, so if every gang could send a few members to check an area each we could save a lot of time.” Kame said. “We just need to be careful not to be seen either by guards or prisoners nor the cameras.”
“I’ll tamper with the cameras in the west corridor.” Jin said. “NewS, take the east. Kanjani8, you have the south and senpais if you would mind taking the north.”
“We can’t raise any suspicion on the night we leave, so don’t tamper with any cameras then.” Kame warned. “I’ll make sure the guards won’t catch you on their monitors.”
“Not to doubt you or your hacking skills, but doesn’t the new computer system have a tighter security to prevent hacking?” Nagase asked.
“I built the new system.” Kame replied. “And even if Johnny’s staff tried to rebuild it, I’ve left wormholes. I won’t fail you, but we need to move fast. Once Johnny hears about me still being alive and healthy in prison he will put two and two together and realize that I might be working for you, which means he might start to expect a break out using hacking. That’s why we can’t afford to waste any time. I suggest after we’ve confirmed the locations of all the passages we need, we break out-” Kame was in the middle of his sentence when the door suddenly flew up, bringing more light into the chamber and the surprised prisoners all reached for whatever would work as a weapon.
“Sorry to interrupt the party!” a guard said from the door.
“Tsuyoshi!” they snarled.
“I told you they were up to no good…” Tsuyoshi said to his partner appearing next to him.
“What do you want?” some of them snarled.
“Hmm, now I should really report you, shouldn’t I?” Tsuyoshi said, taking a step inside. “Inform Johnny you’re planning an escape from his, well, more like Masa’s prison…”
Kame was more than a little afraid of how the gangsters were eyeing the so-called guard and their so-called fellow gangster. He couldn’t understand how Tsuyoshi dared to simply walk into a torture chamber surrounded by people who wanted revenge on him. At this point Kame had completely forgotten he had stood there himself just a few days ago in a similar position as Tsuyoshi did now.
“But to choose Johnny over you would be rather low of me, wouldn’t it?” Tsuyoshi continued and Kame could tell that Koichi was just as afraid for Tsuyoshi’s neck as he was, if not more so. The expression on the guard’s face clearly said how he wished his partner would stop talking. “When are you escaping?”
“Why? You wanna join us?” Nagase asked.
“Believe me, I do.” Tsuyoshi sighed. “This uniform thing is starting to get old.”
“You’re saying you’re on our side now?” Ohno asked, trying to make some sense out of the situation and of Tsuyoshi.
“Didn’t I say that it would benefit you to have more guards on your side?” Tsuyoshi said, sending Jin a smile.
“You think helping us bust out is going to make up for helping to put us in?” Jin asked.
“Since when have any of us ever crawled and begged for forgiveness after having caused each other a little trouble?” Tsuyoshi replied playfully.
“A little?!” many of them exploded. “You put the whole circle back in prison!”
“And you did it siding with Johnny! That is too low!”
“But I wasn’t siding with Johnny.” Tsuyoshi corrected them, circling over to Kame and placing a hand on the rather stiff boy’s shoulder. “I sided with Kame-chan and Masa, who were siding against Johnny. Technically we were all on the same side, as I believe Kame-chan’s made you all realize by now…”
Kame wished Tsuyoshi wouldn’t drag him back into it as Kame had been trying to get out of that mess.
“That’s playing dirty! Using Kame-chan against us!” Hina accused, pointing a finger at the other gangster and Tsuyoshi gripped Kame’s shoulder harder.
“But it is so efficient.” Tsuyoshi teased. “Let it go and I’ll side with Kame-chan against Johnny again. Don’t you wish we’d all get along and work together again, Kame-chan?”
Kame tried to think of the most diplomatic answer to the situation. Of course he did, but wasn’t it Tsuyoshi’s turn to ask that?
From the look upon his face, the gangsters could tell what Kame wanted to say. One by one groaning and giving up.
“Fine. You’re in. Better not betray us a third time.” they warned and Kame was relieved with the outcome.
“But you know, what happens once…then twice…will happen trice.” Tsuyoshi sing-songed as he let go off Kame’s shoulder and headed back towards the door.
“You have better not mean that!” Aiba shouted after him.
“And we will not get caught a third time!” Ueda added.
“Anyway, we can continue scheming later.” Tsuyoshi said, stopping by the open door. “Kame-chan, you have visitors.”
“Masa.” Jin snarled.
“No, visitors.” Tsuyoshi said. “His family.”
Kame didn’t move at first. He hadn’t expected his family to come and see him so soon. He had even considered the possibility they wouldn’t come before he had already broken out. He didn’t know what to say to them or how to face them. He wanted to, but he hadn’t prepared himself for it yet.
Gangsters turned his way as he just stood there immobile.
“Go on then, Kame-chan.” they said. “We can continue tomorrow.”
With a small bow Kame forced himself to move and left the room, following Tsuyoshi and Koichi to the visitors’ section. Kame guessed Masa had allowed his family some privileges as they were all there waiting for him in the garden. Tsuyoshi and Koichi let him walk the last part himself without handcuffs and he forced his legs to move. He was painfully aware of his prison clothes as he saw them there in their normal ones.
“Kazuya.” they greeted him as he stopped before them. He signalled for them to sit down on the benches and awkwardly took a seat himself. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm. It felt bright compared to the dark torture chamber he had just come from, planning an escape with criminals.
“Kazuya.” his mother said. “Are you treated all right?”
“Yes, mom, don’t worry.” Kame replied. “I’m fine.”
“Are you…” He could guess what they wanted to ask him. “Are you still seeing…him? Are you his… Are you doing things for him…?”
They couldn’t say the words ‘boy toy’. Was he still pleasing Akanishi Jin? Was he still working as a sex toy for his own safety?
Kame hated himself for having put them through this, for making them suffer because of his weakness. Although he had come to terms with the role he had had with Jin, the only reason he would ever want to change that past was to not make his family ashamed of him.
“I’m not.” he answered, his voice a little weak, and their eyes fell to his left hand.
“But you’re still wearing his ring.”
Kame placed his right hand over his left. “It’s not like that.”
How the Johnnys had ever dealt with their families after turning to crime was something Kame wanted to know. Had they suffered like this too? Knowing that nothing they could say would make things better?
Masa had planted an awful thought in the heads of his family members when revealing to them the true relationship he had once had with Jin and how low he had really sunk. Once a thought like that was introduced it was too powerful to be erased and Kame had tried.
“How did it go this way again?” his mother asked. “You were doing so well. You’re a good boy, you don’t belong here.”
“You ended up here because of those gangsters, didn’t you?” his father said. “Because of him.”
Love had captured him, that was true, but he couldn’t blame Jin. “It was not his fault. It was my decision.”
“To follow him here?” his father asked. “You were doing fine until he came along again. Now he’s screwed up your life.”
“No-” Kame tried to protest.
“How could he demand of you to come back here then? To live according to his life style? Become a gangster? Are you going to start stealing now too? God only knows what you were doing in Korea…” his father said, inhaling deeply then to calm down in an attempt to fix this with a rational mind. “Once you’ve redeemed here you’re coming back to live with us. Do you hear me? You’re not taking off with him! You will never see him again! I will not let you go down like this!”
Kame shook his head. “I’m not coming to live with you once I get out. I don’t know for how long I’ll be in prison, but when I get out I’ll be living with…” he hesitated, not entirely sure where he would live. Jin had insisted he’d come with them, but would it work out this time? “…I’ll be living somewhere else.”
“With them?” his father asked.
“Kazuya!” his father warned.
“Why do you want to ruin your life?” his mother asked. “As if it isn’t tough enough for you to have chosen the other life style you did…having attractions towards other men…”
“I’ve never-” Kame protested. “It’s not a choice and it’s not men. Akanishi is the only one.”
“Then why couldn’t you ever give a woman a chance?” his father wanted to know.
“I know you want me to find a girl, get married and build a family- what people normally do, but you can’t make me into something I’m not and I won’t live a lie. It’s not fair towards me and I wouldn’t like lying to you either.” Kame said. He had had enough of living with a mask on his face. He could go undercover for the gangs or for Masa, but he wouldn’t make his love life into a façade. “I know it’s not easy for you to understand or to accept it, but I love Akanishi Jin.” He could tell that didn’t make his parents particularly happy to hear. “And he loves me and that makes me happy. I’ve found someone who loves me…why does it matter to others if he’s not a girl? What business is our relationship to anyone else?”
He removed his right hand from where it was hiding his left. “I’ve tried to live the way you taught me. I’ve tried to think of others with my actions, tried not to cause anyone trouble, tried to be fair… But I know I’ve let you down. I know I’ve caused you to worry about me by getting into trouble with the law…but I wish you wouldn’t be disappointed in me for loving someone just because he isn’t what you hoped for. I know you would’ve been proud of me if I had let him go and gotten myself a girlfriend, a wife, but I wouldn’t have been able to look myself in the mirror if I had taken the easy way out. I love him and I will fight for him and I wish there will come a day when I don’t have to fight anymore, when things won’t be tough on us. But even if that day never comes I will not give up. I believe that’s the right thing to do and I believe there will come a day when people will understand and accept each other for who they are even if I won’t live to see it myself.”
“I know my life is far from normal and I’ve struggled with that fact, feeling torn between my options, but I’ve finally figured out how I want to live my life. It’s with them and it’s with you. I am not ready to give up either of you for the other.” he added.
“They’re not as bad as you think they are. If you knew them the way I do, you’d see that too.” Kame said then as he wasn’t getting a response. “Beneath that gangster attitude and tough appearance of theirs, they’re not so different from any of us. They’re fighting a war against someone who truly should be wearing prison clothes and I will do everything I can to help them win. You may never even notice how they’ll be out there making your world a better place to live in. Who would ever think that respected citizens should come to owe that kind of gratitude to gangsters?”
His family could tell, just like the Johnnys could, when Kame’s mind was made up on something. Their son would never live a respectable life, at least not the way their society defined it.
“Can I still…come see you from time to time?” Kame asked then, as if half-expecting a no for an answer. “Even if I’m labelled a criminal…even if I date Jin… Could I still step foot inside your house again?”
His mother reached out for him. “It will always be your home too.”
“Kazuya…” his father spoke again and Kame was nervous to hear what he had to say. “Look, we’re only worried about you. I know you think now that you love him and that he’s the only one you’ll ever love, but you’re still so young. You have your whole life in front of you. And believe it or not, there will be other people in it. Other people you could love and who’d love you without putting you in danger or ruining your future. Be it men or women. But this man…this Akanishi, he’s dangerous. He’s a criminal involved in a dangerous circle. How do you expect us to sleep at night knowing you’re out there with him doing god knows what? I mean, he’s the one who got you into boxing too, didn’t he?”
Jin hated the fact that he boxed.
“I know you love him, honey, but one day you could find someone else you’d love just as much and who would be better for you…” his mother agreed.
Kame was starting to get tired of having to justify his relationship with Jin. He didn’t know what he could say anymore to make them understand.
“But it isn’t every day you find someone who would be willing to give his life for yours.” Koji spoke for Kame. “Isn’t that something to celebrate?”
“You’ve been hearing two different versions of the story; Kazuya’s and that detective’s.” Yojirou joined in. “Isn’t it foolish to talk let alone make any decisions one way or the other without even having met Akanishi once?”
“And you have?!” his father wanted to know.
“On a couple of occasions, actually.” Yojirou answered. “I’ve never told you this, but the club I’m running is located right inside those gangs’ area. I know a lot about them. And here’s a few things I’ve learned; Akanishi Jin may be a lot of things, but he would never hurt Kazuya. He’s been looking out for Kazuya and protecting him even after they were released. The others are the same. They would never allow any harm to come Kazuya’s way.”
Silence fell over their corner of the garden. Kame wondered if his parents could be any more scandalized at the moment.
“I will not permit this.” his father broke the silence first. “I will not give any blessings one way or the other before I meet this Akanishi Jin and his gang.”
Kame turned a bit pale.
“You say I can’t judge him before I get to know him? Fine. I will give him a chance. I owe this Akanishi that at least after he saved my son’s life. I want to meet him.” his father continued. “First then, I’ll see if he really is suitable, not to mention reliable, for my son.”
“Uh…I guess I’ll ask him then.” Kame replied.
“Don’t try to postpone this any longer than necessary if you want me to accept him.” his father warned.
“Which father won’t do very easily…” Koji added.
Kame forced a smile onto his face. “I-I’ll tell him.”
“Good. Tell him we’ll come and visit him. I expect him to see me.” his father smiled a bit. “Now I think we’ve probably used up our time.”
Kame forced himself up to his feet. Jin and the gang would meet his parents? How was he going to convince them something like that? Kame felt a disaster was unavoidably on its way, just thinking about that.
“Akanishi has better be on his very best behaviour too, since father doesn’t seem like he is going to go easy on ‘this Akanishi’.” Yojirou commented.
“Thank you.” Kame said, facing his two older brothers. “For standing up for me, for accepting me and my feelings for Jin…”
“What are older brothers for?” they smiled.
“By the way, you’re not getting molested again, are you?” Yojirou asked and Kame sent him a glare.
“No.” he replied sternly, continuing to glare after his older brothers even as they followed their parents towards the gates.
“I’m sorry.” Yuya said and Kame turned to his little brother, surprise written on his face.
“I’m sorry I made fun of you so many times in prison about getting molested.” Yuya apologized, looking guilty and feeling awful. “I didn’t realize that…that you were actually…I mean, I didn’t think that stuff actually happened in prison. I thought it was just…legends and horror stories. I’m sorry, Kazuya. Ever since finding out…I just wanted to tell you that. It must’ve been awful for you to hear those things from me.”
“No, Yuya.” Kame said. “It’s alright. Jin and I… It wasn’t like that. Not really.”
Part of it tasted a lie, but it was a lie Kame was prepared to tell if it would allow his little brother not to feel guilty anymore. Truthfully, he had been hurt by those comments when hearing them while being Jin’s boy toy, but there was no way Yuya could ever have known. Kame hadn’t actually believed in those horror stories either before walking into one.
“I’ll see you later, okay?” he smiled, relieved when a small smile slowly spread over Yuya’s face as well and his younger brother nodded, hurrying after his family.
Yojirou was walking some feet behind his parents as his gaze set on a prisoner standing at a corner of the garden. “Tell our parents I’ll be right with them.” he added thoughtfully to Koji, falling behind and directing his steps towards that corner in the shade.
“Goro-senpai.” he greeted the prisoner.
“Yojirou.” Goro replied. “I heard you were here. Thought I’d say hello.”
Yojirou cast a look over his shoulder, confirming his family wasn’t looking their way and instead busy with the guards letting them out.
“How are you?” Goro asked.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Yojirou said instead. “About Kazuya? Why did I have to find out when it was already too late to help him?”
“I figured you might not want to know.” Goro replied. “Besides there was very little we could’ve done to stop Akanishi at that point. Only Kame-chan could’ve escaped his fate and that chance was already slim. It was only after Kame-chan came along that Akanishi’s power started to slowly weaken.”
“I knew there was no way to keep Kazuya safe the whole time.” Yojirou admitted. “I knew he might sooner or later draw someone to him. He’s so beautiful…”
“Runs in the family.” Goro said and Yojirou shot him a look. The gangster closed the distance between them, placing his arms around him in a hug. “See you on the outside, Yojirou.” the man added, before letting him go and he watched the prisoner walk back the way he had come from. Something told Yojirou that he would be seeing both his baby brother and the gangs on the outside very soon.
Meanwhile Kame was heading over the garden in the other direction to go back to the prisoners’ section, but unlike his brother he failed to notice the presence sneaking up on him before he bumped into him.
“I’m sorry-” he started, falling silent as he lifted his head and his eyes roamed up the other man’s chest to his face. Kame went pale. How could one of the two men he had thought about in the last hour be standing in front of him now? It didn’t make any sense, it almost seemed like… “Fate…” Kame mumbled for himself.
“Well if it isn’t the infamous boyfriend?” Se7en greeted him. “You made it work with him after all, just like you said you would.”
Well, not completely the way Kame had had in mind when he had said that to the Korean man.
“This is quite ridiculous. Johnny shouldn’t have enough power to bring in Korean prisoners to his prison anymore, but I hear he’s even moving his eyes onto China.” Se7en said and Kame guessed it was because they had weakened Johnny’s influence in America. “I should’ve been shipped to a Korean prison by now, but he’s a tough one bending the law and bribing everyone to get to imprison young boys.”
As Kame still just stood there dumbfounded, Se7en leaned in and placed a single kiss on his cheek, not even an inch from his lips.
“I’ll see you again, Kame-chan.” the gangster murmured. “The next time we’re both drawn to the same spot at the same time for no reason whatsoever...”
And with that the prisoner continued on his way.
“Hey, you’re back. You haven’t totally missed dinner yet.” Jin said, walking over to him as soon as the leader spotted him entering the dining hall. “Are you all right?”
Kame slowly nodded.
“What’s wrong?” Jin asked. “Did it not go well with your family?”
“No, well, yes, but no…” Kame answered. “I don’t know.” he decided on then and it made Jin frown.
“Anything I can do?” Jin asked then and Kame went a little pale again.
“W-well, actually…” he started, hesitating, “Jin, I…” I need you to meet my family and be on your best behaviour. The words just seemed stuck in his throat, as he hadn’t gotten over the shock of his father’s sudden request. He wondered how Jin would take it. Would Jin, as a former player, find it funny?
Kame shook his head, forcing on a smile. “Nothing. We’ll talk about it later.” he said, noticing only then how everyone’s attention was on him. Kame took a step backwards. What was going on? Why did he suddenly feel like everyone was watching him the way they did when he came in to serve a new sentence? “Have I…done something again?” he had to ask and Jin smiled at him as TTUN approached them.
“No. We’ve got some good NewS for you.” Junno said.
“Oh yeah, really good NewS~” Koki joined in.
“Just give it to him already! We know you have it and we know what you’re scheming!” NewS members muttered to them and Jin pulled out something from his back pocket. He reached out to take Kame’s hand a slipped something onto his right middle finger.
Eyes wide, Kame gazed at the object he now wore. It was a silver ring with a big skull. The Johnnys’ symbol?
“Is this…the ring? I mean, the ring, the ring you were going to steal from NewS? The ring that first belonged to Kimura Takuya of Smap?” Kame stuttered, baffled as he couldn’t remove his gaze off the ring.
“That’s the ring.” Kimura replied.
“We stole it from NewS before we took off to Osaka. Revenge is sweet~” AT-TUN teased.
“You did it.” Kame said. “Congratulations.”
“It’s really expensive, although it may not look that way. Don’t take it off.” Jin said.
“You’re giving me the ring?” Kame asked surprised.
“Yes.” Koki nodded and Kame’s eyes turned to Kimura.
“So far it has been a symbol of power and every gang has fought to have it.” the Smap member said. “From now on it will be a symbol of unity and peace - a reminder against all gang wars within the Johnnys.”
“We thought you should have it because it’s our symbol.” Junno said, smiling his big smile.
“It’s precious to all of us.” Ueda added.
“And so are you.” Maru said, smiling.
“You are one of us.” Jin said and Kame smiled widely. He felt better. Maybe everything would work out well in the end.
“So, how was your family, Kame-chan?” TTUN wanted to know.
Kame swallowed. “F-fine.”
Jin studied his eyes and his not so convincing smile, while the rest of the gang stepped closer, showing concern.
“Kame-chan, when we escape…you might find it difficult to see your family afterwards…” Maru said.
“If you go through with this…when they find out what you did, they won’t like it.” Ueda agreed.
“I know.” Kame said. “But I will work it out somehow. I will see my family, even with criminal records. And so should you.”
Junno gave him a bright smile. “Come have dinner with us. We brought you some to the table.”
Kame was more than happy to do so. It had been an eventful day and he was hungry. Though he lost his appetite as the one person he didn’t want anything more to do with today decided to sit down in front of him at their table.
“I knew you would be next to marry.” Yamapi teased, eyeing both Kame and Jin. “That’s the second ring you’ve given him. When are you going to give him one that fits his ring finger?”
“Shut up.” Jin replied as usual, continuing to eat unbothered, so Yamapi turned to the one of them who was more bothered by his presence.
“You know, he has wondered how your parents would feel about a thief-in-law.” Yamapi said, nodding in Jin’s direction and this time it did bother Jin, who stomped on the other leader’s foot under the table.
“Shut up, I have not!”
“I tried to suggest that he could always take Masa’s offer and get a real job, but he didn’t seem all that keen on doing honest work.” Yamapi continued. “Then again, you can’t force yourself to be someone you’re not, and besides Jin would probably cause a fight and be fired on his first day.”
“Thanks for the confidence in me.” Jin muttered.
“I just love you for who you are.” Yamapi replied. “And so does Kame-chan~” the leader teased. “I wouldn’t be too sure about his family, though...”
Kame looked at the food to avoid having to look at Yamapi, but since his hand wasn’t bringing any food into his mouth it made him look suspicious. Yamapi leaned over the table, supporting himself with an elbow and Kame could tell he was being watched. He knew Yamapi wouldn’t give in until he looked up, but if he did Yamapi might figure out what he was trying so desperately to hide. He didn’t want Yamapi to know how his parents felt about Jin and what his father had requested. Yamapi would just blurt it out to Jin then and Kame wanted to ask Jin himself and preferably soften it up a bit before actually voicing the question. Was his only choice now to ask when Yamapi was there too? What were the odds he’d be able to escape without the leader figuring out why he was behaving so strangely?
Kame slowly lifted his gaze, but not in Yamapi’s direction, and turned towards Jin sitting next to him.
“J-Jin?” he asked unsurely.
“Yeah?” Jin replied, stuffing his mouth full of rice.
Kame hesitated again. How could he ask Jin such a favour? They weren’t even officially dating. He had made his parents believe that, he wanted to believe that’s what they were doing too, but Jin had never said it. Jin had indicated something along those lines, saying he’d stay if Kame stayed or go if Kame went, but still…
As he wasn’t continuing Jin stopped eating and turned towards him, saying in a low voice, “Whatever it is, you can say it. You can tell me anything. Even if it’s something I can’t stand to hear, I’ll still listen to you.”
Kame blushed, feeling stupid, and he said in an even quieter voice than Jin’s, “Uh, it’s my father. He insists that…”
“That what?” Jin asked and Kame met his eyes briefly.
“He wants to meet you.” Kame finally said.
“What? Why?” Jin asked in a voice slightly louder than normal, obviously taken by surprise and his reaction made Kame want to take it all back.
“H-he’s against me seeing you. Both of my parents are. They insist on meeting you...” Kame replied, still keeping his voice down though there really was no point anymore.
“Wait, what?!” the rest of the gang joined in. “Your father wants to meet Jin?! Otherwise he won’t approve of you dating Jin?!”
Kame hadn’t put it quite like that, but gave an awkward nod anyway.
“AH HAH HA~!!” the rest of the gang broke into a fit of laughter. “Have Jin meet your parents? Jin?! Oh God, Akanishi, you better be on your better than best behaviour to make a good impression on Kame-chan’s parents!”
“…and the gang.” Kame added miserably and the four boys fell silent at once.
“Eh?!” was the reaction he got from the foursome.
“I-I know it’s stupid, I’m sorry…” Kame apologized, seeing no point in keeping his voice down anymore. “You don’t have to do anything. I’ll deal with them somehow.”
“No, we’ll do it.” Jin said after a short silence.
“Eh?!” the gang mates said and looked at Jin in turn, not believing their ears.
“I assume he wants to meet me alone first.” Jin continued and Kame only gave a nod. “Is this what you needed to tell me?”
Kame didn’t meet any of their eyes. “You don’t have to worry about my brothers…that much, if that’s any consolation. I’m sorry I’m dragging you into my family problems.”
“You don’t have to apologize.” Yamapi said and Kame had dreaded what the other leader had in mind. His breaking it to Jin softly hadn’t exactly gone as planned and now Yamapi was probably going to make the situation even worse. “This was bound to happen. First Akanishi meets your parents, then he gives you yet another ring and boom you’re married… That is if he can convince your parents to let him have you, in a way he hasn’t already.”
Kame knew it. He sunk lower in his seat and Yamapi turned towards Jin next. “Still, you better not meet them too soon. We both know how lasting first impressions can be and you showing up in prison clothes will definitely count as a lasting one.”
“We’ve got to break out of here before they come back!” TTUN agreed.
Kame clenched his fist with the new ring on his finger. Why did everything always turn out this way? He had just wanted a somewhat normal conversation and now half of the dining hall was probably listening in on them. This would make the headlines in here.
“Forget it, I’ll talk to them. I shouldn’t have made this into your problem as well.” Kame said, getting up from the table and dumping his half-finished tray of food before disappearing upstairs.
Jin fixed his eyes on Yamapi’s that slowly returned his gaze.
“Come with me.” Jin said pointedly. “We need to talk.”
“Are you breaking up with me?” Yamapi asked, as Jin led him away. Yamapi always threw those kinds of comments when he wanted to either escape or at least have the upper hand in a conversation he knew he would rather not go through at all.
“We need to have one of those serious moments in our relationship that involves a dreadful talk and emotions pouring out till we make each other uncomfortable.” Jin threw back.
“I’ve been playing your shrink for quite a while already in case you hadn’t noticed.” Yamapi commented.
“This is not about Kame and me.” Jin said. “It’s about you and me.”
“You and me in couple therapy?” Yamapi concluded. “So we’re trying to save our relationship.”
“You’ve been on Kame’s case a lot more than usual today.” Jin stated. “And I can only guess it’s because Kame and I are working it out again, since when we’re in trouble you’ve played the shrink.”
“To be fair, he doesn’t seem all that fond of me either today and almost hurt my feelings.” Yamapi said, but Jin was going to press on until his best friend’s defences crumbled and they could have a real talk. “I haven’t been riding him that much more than usual, which means you’re more sensitive about my presence around him today than you were yesterday. I know you told him.”
“Yeah, I took away your hidden ace.” Jin replied, though acknowledging the fact that Yamapi was still able to use it to his advantage against Kame. “You’ve had an issue with him from the start. And since then you’ve found a variety of creative ways of showing him that, but you held your finest ace up your sleeve. When were you going to use it?”
Yamapi didn’t reply with more than a smile.
“You picked up on him feeling threatened by our close relationship. You’ve enjoyed having him guess how close it actually is while knowing he wouldn’t have imagined it to be as far as having slept together.” Jin said. “You’ve demasculinized him, because you know he feels inferior to us already as it is and it’s helped keeping him that way, keeping him in place and under control. If you had slammed your ace on the table too, he would have seen you as a rival also in love and in the worst case given up.”
“I’m confused, are you scolding me or thanking me?” Yamapi asked. “Or possibly begging me to play nice since you told him our dirty secret everybody else knew about expect for him?”
This time it was Jin’s turn to reply without words, though Jin didn’t do it with a smile.
“I had an issue with him because I could tell the second I saw him he wasn’t going to be like all the other boys and girls in your life. His expiration date was not set in the nearby future.” Yamapi continued as Jin didn’t. “And I didn’t like that, because it would lead to you inevitably changing and to us changing too, and I liked who we were.”
“And you didn’t want to look too closely into the mirror and admit your feelings for Toma.” Jin said. “Or you were jealous I wouldn’t be sleeping with you anymore.”
“I didn’t want to lose you.” Yamapi said, a rare confession, though not denying the Toma part either. “I became fine with him being your boy toy, because it meant the majority of the time you’d see him was during the nights when I obviously wouldn’t be offering my company to you like I haven’t for several years.”
They shot a few mutually unfriendly looks at that point, neither of them having discussed that part of their past for quite a while and instead chosen happily to ignore it.
“But I also knew it wouldn’t end with prison, you’d find any excuse to continue seeing him on the outside too. Him constantly tagging along would naturally mean he’d take some of the time we used to spend together. And seeing how well he controlled his master, I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t lead to you forgetting about your friends in the process.” Yamapi said. “I’ve known you far longer than he has, yet he got closer to you a lot faster. It only took him one month to become something you didn’t want to throw out of your cell, which means during that short period of time he had already gotten in under your skin. I wasn’t going to be forgotten about without a fight and you’ve got to admit I did a way better job than you controlling your impossible boy toy. I made sure he respected my territory.”
“What are you, a dog marking your territory?” Jin asked.
“The only true relationship I had before Toma was my weird and unique friendship with you.” Yamapi said. “And although I have nothing against your smarter half, I wanted to make sure I would get to spend time with you too, alone. I know he’s important to you, but I hope you have other important people in your life too with whom you will spend a holiday or two each year for a change. Believe me, it does not only keep your relationship fresh, but it also keeps your friends by your side. I will only fight for you if you are worth fighting for.”
That made Jin think of all the Christmases he had spent with Yamapi in the past. They had had no one to call a lover at that time, they had rather been happy about that too, and as silly best friends spent a number of fun filled holidays together that Jin would never forget.
“It’s never been my intention to dump my friends.” Jin replied.
“It never is, but you were dumping us all when you offered to turn to the goodies’ side, work for Masa and never see us again. You practically chose him over us.” Yamapi reminded Jin and Jin could see where his best friend’s fears came from.
“That would’ve worked out even worse than our other attempts at a relationship.” Jin said. “See me stand corrected.”
“Are you? If push comes to show would you choose any differently now?” Yamapi asked. “You almost threw away your life to save him when you jumped over the edge and fell onto this very floor. You’d do it all over again too. No one’s ever had such an influence on you. He brings out expressions on your face I’ve never seen before. Now you’re even agreeing to meet his family. Maybe you really will marry him too.”
“I’m more freaked out about stepping into this relationship that is taking such a serious course from the start than you’re freaked out about me doing it. And he knows I’m freaked, that’s why your comments aren’t helping.” Jin said. “What would help is if you and I don’t change. I know my relationship with Kame is completely different from yours and Toma’s. You two started out as friends, we were all friends, so there wasn’t that much of a change. We could hang out like usually, which I still want to do. I still want to go out to our usual bar as often as possible without a curfew. I want to have both, you and him, which is why I want us to spend the next Christmas together.”
Yamapi snorted. “Sorry, already spending it with Toma. Catch you the next one, though.”
“It’s August and you’ve already made plans for Christmas?” Jin asked and Yamapi only shot him that annoying smile in response again, trotting off as he decided they had poured themselves dry and saved their relationship. “Who’s dumping who now? You better be free for New Year!”
He would drag Yamapi out for New Year even if the other leader wasn’t.
How hadn’t Yamapi been able to tell that Jin had been equally afraid of their relationship ending or changing? He had also liked things the way they were, fought against change by holding Kame back… He needed Kame in his life, but he also needed his friends. Beyond these walls lied a future he wanted to go right this time with no pushing away his lover and no estranging himself from his friends. To accomplish that he was not going to walk, or possibly run, out of this place without making sure the people concerned knew that.
Wiping Yamapi’s annoying smile out of his mind, he turned to go in the other direction, up the stairs and towards the west wing.
At the moment his life felt like a puzzle and he was trying to fit all the pieces together. Even when knowing what he wanted, it wasn’t always so easy to make it happen. The reality of their escape was drawing nearer really fast and it was making his future with Kame become an issue really fast too. They had only made up the other night after a year of not seeing each other followed by some arguing and games that had landed him in prison. Now they were creating a future together that needed to fit in not only his friends and the circle, but also the people Kame held dear.
It was a challenge, to say the least. Luckily he liked those.
Kame looked up from where the boy was sitting on the lower bed when he entered their cell, drawing its door shut behind him.
“I’m sorry about Pi.” Jin said after a short moment of silence. “He said some unnecessary things again.”
“The thing with people like you and Yamapi is that you use truth as your weapon.” Kame said. “It’s more effective than lies.”
Jin didn’t argue with that. He had himself used that against Kame when wanting to put distance between them. “I saw you talking with him in the chamber. Are you bothered by what I told you?”
“I guess I would lie if I said it doesn’t bother me at all what you did with him or what you’ve done with others, but what choice do I have if I want to be with you?” Kame replied, honestly. “I want to know you better and that might sometimes mean finding out things that bother me or make me…jealous.”
Jin liked the word ‘jealous’ when he wasn’t the one feeling it. “It’s in the past, all of it.”
“Yeah, but don’t you ever think about it?” Kame asked. “Don’t you ever…”
“Compare?” Kame finished his question, eyes escaping Jin’s. “How can you not? Isn’t it normal to compare to an extent? And if you do…” Kame said and hated to admit the next, “How can I ever compete with him?”
“He’s a player.” Kame said. “He’s known you since practically a child and been your best friend ever since. He’s your fellow gangster and a gang leader you respect, like you respect him as another player… He’s been with men and women. I bet even back then he was a lot better than me…”
Kame had always doubted he had ever been one of the best bottoms Jin had been with, but he couldn’t even begin to compete with the tops. The things Yamapi must know how to do. He regretted that last night had ever happened and couldn’t sit on the bed anymore, so he stood up to lean against the stairs and he waited for Jin’s response, surprised to hear Jin laugh seconds later.
“All right, if you really want to know, those first few times with Pi… Man, we were messy. Only half-knowing what we were doing.”
Kame hadn’t expected to hear that.
“Do you really think we knew it all from scratch? We had to begin somewhere too, once has been the first for us too.” Jin said and it actually made Kame feel a little better and if that was the case then he decided they could leave that to the past and concentrate on the future instead.
“Then…what are we going to do from now on?” Kame asked, looking Jin in the eyes again.
“About what?” Jin asked and Kame hesitated.
“About us.” Kame said. “Did the last two nights really mean what I…thought they meant?”
“Did you want to hear me say yes before asking me to meet your family as your boyfriend?” Jin said.
“I told you, you won’t have to.” Kame said. “Yamapi’s right, it’s ridiculous.”
“Well, it’s hilarious, but since they’re willing to go that far I think it would be even more stupid to turn them down.” Jin said. “But I agree with Yamapi on it not being in prison.”
“They do think you’re my boyfriend.” Kame admitted then, setting his gaze back onto the floor. Yamapi and Jin escaped a tough situation by throwing witty remarks, Kame escaped by avoiding eye contact. “I hadn’t expected them to come so soon. It was either telling them that or making it sound like I was re-hired. Then they suddenly wanted to meet you. I wanted to talk to you in private, make sure where we stand first before asking you, but Yamapi was onto me.”
Jin had guessed as much. Kame probably wouldn’t have ever mentioned the whole conversation with his family had the last few nights just been about sex. But since they had meant more Kame was being honest with him and Jin was happy he didn’t have to drag the words out of Kame anymore.
“Is it impossible?” he heard the younger one ask.
“A relationship?” Jin asked and Kame slowly nodded, hesitantly meeting his eyes again.
“We started off on such bad terms and since then we’ve only made things worse. Yet when I think of how we first met the image of you smiling and talking to me that first night comes to my mind. You enchanted me the second you walked into our cell, but it was too early for me then to think you’d become anything more to me than a cellmate. Despite everything that’s happened that image of you has stayed with me till this day.”
Jin had never known that about Kame. He had always thought Kame’s first opinion of him had been a creepy jerk that jumps on everything that moves, a rapist or a master. But instead Kame’s first impression of him had been based on the first ten seconds they had been in the same room, the first ten words and the first ten expressions and that impression had stayed with Kame to this day. Kame really was gullible and Jin liked it.
“I love you. Isn’t that enough?” Kame said. “Were we doomed from the start?”
Jin crossed the cell, stopping in front of Kame by the stairs.
“No, we’re not.” Jin replied. “Not if you feel that way about me.”
Not if Kame had found it in his heart to forgive him.
“I love you, too.” Jin said, loving also how relieved his words made Kame. “And I’ve got you now and I’m not letting go. This time I’ll beg and plead if you try to leave, say everything that I really wanted to say the last time. The past is the past, and I’ve left it behind me this time.”
“Do you think we’ll make it on the outside this time?” Kame asked, adding a little miserably, “The last time I didn’t fit in.”
“You also had no idea what kind of a life you had suddenly entered. Now you know.” Jin said. “Besides we’re fighting for something good, which I know will make you feel a sense of fulfilment and that you’re on the right track.”
“Sometimes I feel like this is the only place we can be together. Here, where neither of us belong, we have the perfect excuse to be together…we’re cellmates. It’s our border, where both our worlds meet.” Kame added and Jin once again saw the result of his own stupidity. He should’ve known that morning Kame got up and left that something was wrong and that Kame wouldn’t normally do something like that. But he had believed too much that their relationship would fail and that Kame could never find a home in his blocks, so he had actually made it happen. He should’ve just opened his damn mouth. He should’ve known that even though Kame lost himself for some time there, Kame was still Kame. And the Kame he knew didn’t leave without an explanation or as much as a word of apology, but Jin had been too caught up in his own mess thinking he didn’t deserve to be with the person he had practically raped. He had thought he didn’t have any right to ask Kame to stay and give up on his family for him.
Kame had sensed it all along and not felt welcome, not felt like he could belong there with them. This time Jin was going to make sure he really did everything he could to create a place in their blocks where Kame could belong and more importantly he would believe that Kame could fit in with them.
“I know another place where we can be together.” Jin said. “It’s a little messy, but quite cozy with the right company and it has room in its drawers and a K marked on its door.”
A small smile escaped onto Kame’s lips, remembering how it had warmed him seeing Jin put up the letter K next to the A. That small gesture had broken through the cold act he had tried to keep up.
“Unless you want to live in some Masa’s apartment, since you can’t live with your family after we break out...” Jin said. “I’ve told you before, I’ll meet you halfway. We’ll make room for us in the world. No matter what we won’t let it tear us apart again.”
“Then…if there’s room in your blocks for someone like me, I wanna live there.” Kame confessed and Jin smiled. It wasn’t everyday he got a second chance to make something he had wronged right.
Jin’s lips had almost reached Kame’s as the patrolling guards interrupted them.
“Night, Kame-chan!” Tsuyoshi’s voice broke into their cell.
“And Akanishi!” Koichi added, wishing Tsuyoshi would be more diplomatic with the circle that already had more than enough reasons to have the gangster kicked out.
“Shouldn’t you be off duty soon?” Jin asked Tsuyoshi and Koichi was thankful the leader had kept his cool.
“Double shifts are a pain.” Tsuyoshi shrugged. “No making Kame-chan into a boy toy tonight!” the gangster-guard added as they were on their way.
Kame heard Jin mutter something under his breath, but Kame’s gaze was set on Koichi’s fading back. “I shouldn’t be wearing this.”
Jin fingered on his shirt playfully. “I agree.”
Kame’s gaze fell to his new ring. “No, this.”
“Why not?” Jin asked.
“I’m not one of you and this is your symbol. If I wear it everyone will think I’m part of your circle.”
Jin smiled, the fingers of his free hand mixing into Kame’s. “Wear it.” he said, adding, “And take this off instead.”
Kame slowly smiled again, popping a button out of its hole and that’s as far as he got before Jin’s mouth was on his while Jin’s hand took over for him, unbuttoning the shirt as fast as usual. The hands wandered south then, fingers slipping into his pants and sliding them low enough to reveal his hipbones.
Jin took Kame by the neck, bringing Kame’s face to his while closing the distance between their lower bodies too.
Kame could feel Jin’s hard on pressing through the fabric of their pants as he himself was pressed further into the stairs. Whenever Jin’s mouth wasn’t on Kame’s it was tasting the nape of Kame’s neck.
The thing Jin really liked about their relationship was that it had taken the habit of having sex right after a serious talk. If this was the way it would go always after they talked then Jin would cut himself open and pour it all out. Another thing he hadn’t realized before about dating Kame was that he could still claim Kame as his without coming off sounding like a master. He could take what he wanted.
Jin groaned, hands roaming down the curve of Kame’s naked waist, cupping his bottom and bringing the boy closer again and he felt Kame moan into his mouth. With Kame’s legs wrapped around his waist, he carried the boy to the lower bed, placing him where he wanted him and worked on Kame’s pants next, purposely stroking the boy through his pants before letting them come off too.
When going for Kame’s underwear next, Kame reached out to undo the shirt around his hips. The knot loosened, which was when Jin grabbed Kame’s wrist firmly, forcing it above the boy’s head and holding it there. He stretched out on top of Kame, feeling the shirt fall off.
Kame lifted his head to meet his lips, one hand resting behind Jin’s neck until Jin locked it too above Kame’s head with the same hand. His lips met Kame’s briefly, loving how Kame moaned in protest as they parted way too soon and tried to lift his head to meet Jin’s lips again.
Realizing that was going to be Jin’s game tonight, Kame decided to play along and yielded.
“Oh? You’re not going to fight for dominance tonight like you did last night?” Jin teased.
Kame gave him a stern look. “No, tonight I will just re-live my glory days when I was still naïve and innocent.”
“So you’re giving me free hands?” Jin said, hovering closer. “I hate to be the one to break it for you, but things haven’t changed all that much since your glory days.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kame asked.
“That despite everything you’ve learned I still have a lot to teach you.” Jin said, lips inches away from Kame’s, letting the hotness of his breath caress Kame’s skin. “But I’ve taught you enough today.”
“You keep saying that.” Kame complained. “How much is there to teach, exactly?” he wanted to know, though Kame was beginning to want something else a lot more.
“Let’s just say you’re going to be naïve and innocent for a long, long time.” Jin replied, leaving out the part that he just generally thought it was in Kame’s nature, and finally sealing their lips in a deep kiss.
Kame fought against his captor for the first time when Jin’s free hand went wandering again, doing whatever it wanted. It removed the last piece of clothing he was wearing and Jin didn’t release him before he had to remove his own clothes, but before Jin could regain his control over Kame the smaller boy suddenly caught him in an arm lock that had him hovering above Kame unable to move neither backwards nor forwards.
“Okay…maybe things have changed…a little.” Jin admitted then. He let his guard down in bed with Kame – that had always been his one fatal mistake. Either Kame hadn’t told him everything Masa had taught Kame or then the smaller boy was coming up with new moves on his own.
“All the years with you must’ve counted as something by now, don’t you think?” Kame said, slowly releasing the leader, who sunk into his arms.
“I really have to start watching my back with you from now on, don’t I?” Jin murmured and before Kame could do anything else, Jin made his move.
Kame bit back a cry as Jin entered him. He forgot about the soreness in his body quite fast, as he had learned to handle it, and it allowed his body to adjust quickly which it definitely needed since tonight was one of those nights Jin could hardly keep his breaks on.
In a way, Kame knew how Jin felt. After last night he now had a whole different view of sex. Somehow it excited him, knowing what Jin was feeling. He had been so against the thought of switching roles, but now that they had things did feel different between them. He hadn’t thought their sex could improve, but it had. Maybe there were still lots of things he didn’t know, but right now he took that as a good thing as it meant there were lots of more pleasures to find.
Completely consumed by his partner, Kame lost his breath, fingers gripping the bed sheets and the hand holding his. Feeling the nails boring into the skin of his hand, Jin stopped moving, not sure whether to interpret that as a sign of pain or not. He hadn’t even realized he could be causing Kame pain the boy would have to bear the next day. He had just acted on his own needs again.
His sudden stopping on the other hand most definitely put Kame in pain, but not quite the kind Jin was imagining, and Kame looked up at him with almost pleading eyes.
Leaning down Jin nibbled softly on the upper lip then the lower and Kame eagerly opened his mouth, welcoming Jin’s tongue in and a soft moan escaped him as Jin stroked it against his. The kiss lasted far longer than any kiss they had shared that night and without ending it Jin slowly moved again.
The new pace felt like pure torture as all Jin wanted to do was take what he wanted, not even realizing he was actually torturing them both. The sudden change was driving Kame insane and Kame could tell it was affecting Jin even more so. Jin was hardly able to restrain himself, yet stubbornly kept being slow and sensitive to the point Kame had never experienced before.
“You know, you’re…” Kame finally breathed out. “You’re going so slow you’re driving me nuts. You can go faster…”
“I don’t want to hurt you.” Jin murmured, caressing lips against his. “I want to be gentle with my infamous boyfriend.”
“I-I’m glad to hear that, but…” Kame managed to say. “But I…really wish…you’d go a bit…faster!”
“Tell me if it hurts or if you want me to stop and I will.”
No, Kame definitely didn’t want that. Jin was acting so strange all of a sudden and Kame couldn’t understand why.
“I know you will.” he managed to answer and Kame gave out a satisfied moan as Jin finally obliged to his wish, yet treating him with more care than before as if he would break otherwise. Jin was being sweet, sensitive…and it wasn’t that Kame didn’t like it, he just wasn’t used to it.
The moment ended with Jin’s lips still on his and when Jin rolled off of him, their sides were still pressing closely against each other.
“I played around with some of the cameras in the west corridor today while you were away.” Jin said then, stretching his body lazily over his side of the narrow bed. “I turned all of them to face in random directions. I don’t think the guards have turned them all back yet.”
There was a moment of silence before Kame spoke, “Did I…do something last night to make you think being on bottom is awful?”
Jin turned to him surprised. “No, of course not. Where did you get that idea from?”
“You were…so different just now...”
“Mm, didn’t I tell you I like experimenting with you?” Jin chuckled, kissing his shoulder. “That’s called taking it slow.”
“To the point it’s painful?” Kame had to ask. “I thought you weren’t going to teach me anything more today.”
Jin jolted up onto his elbow at that. “Was it painful?”
“Jin…” Kame said. That wasn’t exactly what he had meant.
Jin slowly lied down on one side. “I realized last night that I’m not always careful enough with you in bed. I just didn’t want you to have to bear with a painful limp the next day. It’s been so long since I was in your position I had forgotten what it’s really like. Last night I wanted you to have something you don’t usually get, but it was good for me too to reverse roles.”
“But now you know what I always get, don’t you?” Kame said.
“Yeah, and I’ll be more careful with you from now on, I promise.”
“I love…” Kame started and blushed, “what you do to me in bed.”
“But I don’t want you to hurt the next morning for it.”
“It’s not bad hurting.” Kame protested and Jin shot him a questioning look. “It’s good hurting. It’s nice…in a weird and slightly painful way.”
“My point exactly. Painful.”
Kame cuddled closer, drawing his fingernails over Jin’s chest. “Aw, you obviously haven’t been in my shoes nearly as often or long enough. It doesn’t always hurt, but I do feel it after every time and I kinda like it… It reminds me of how wonderful you make me feel…and how your eyes look and your body trembles with pleasure when you’re inside of me. Don’t take that away from me.”
Jin abruptly turned Kame under him. “Since when did you start talking like that? You should know the effects you have on me when you behave like that.”
Kame chuckled. “I know. You have no self-restraint.”
Jin was not ready to admit that to anyone else but himself yet, especially not after all the restraining he had done for months and even a year.
“I’ll have you know I have more self-restraint than what any of you give me credit for. Therefore I will not take advantage of you now and cause you even more of that blissful pain tomorrow morning when you’re trying to get out of bed. I will be a gentleman, no matter how much you’ll-” He was cut off by a kiss. “…That’s not helping the situa-” This time he was cut off by his own moan.
“I wasn’t aware I was dating a gentleman.” Kame shot back, lips caressing Jin’s neck as he spoke.
“Then what would you call me?” Jin demanded to know.
“A…bad boy? A bastard? A thief?” Kame suggested, leaving out some of the more common nicknames that were popular in the Johnnys circle such as Bakanishi and asshole. “Takki is a gentleman. You, Yamapi, Ryo…your whole circle of buddies are a bunch of players.”
“Ex-players.” Jin corrected, narrowing his eyes and acting insulted. Kame returned his gaze with an innocent look, playing to his strengths like Jin had so carefully taught him to do.
“If you were a decent guy I really could bring you home to meet my parents. You know, I think Yamapi and your gang are right, we really need to break out before my family comes back to meet you and preferably run off to Korea or America or somewhere they won’t find us.”
“You little…” Jin muttered, out of comebacks. “Put that mouth of yours into better use.”
“Like what, Mr Gentleman? Nothing dirty, I hope?” Jin just glared and a victorious smile spread over Kame’s lips. “Shut me up with your lips.”
And Jin did. Kame’s closed his eyes as his lips reached the boy’s and Jin took the opportunity to let his hands go exploring again, one escaping in under the blanket and the other dancing up the smooth material of the felt resting against the bars, gripping it until it loosened from its place and fell to the floor of the cell…