Authors: rikachi & mazauric
Genre: Drama, romance
Summary: What if Jin never left for L.A? What if KAT-TUN didn't debut in 2006? What if Akakame wasn't just a gimmick but a reality? What if their fate was in someone else's hands?
Disclaimer: Not our boys. Unfortunately.
When Kazuya had spare time, he’d often take out his flashcards and start studying. Since he’d dropped out of school, he’d been learning things on his own to make up for the time he used to be in class. English, like all languages, was made up of a long range of vocabulary and it was necessary for Kazuya to learn at least ten a week.
This week, the easiest word for him to remember was ‘nervewracking’ because that’s what he’d been whilst he’d been thinking over the offer made to him. It was a brilliant offer and he knew that. Not many in his position were offered the chance to study in America and possibly get shoved in front of American producers. It had been the chance that could have either made or broken him.
But that was the thing. The risks were there as they always were. What if the producers hated him? Or what if they liked him but wouldn’t take KAT-TUN? Kazuya may have been 16 years old but he knew enough to know that when something like a debut got going, he had very little say in the matter. What if he went to America and things happened but KAT-TUN was left behind? He did not say no to Yamapi and Jin only to say yes to flying solo.
So it was on a Saturday morning that he found himself standing in front of Ben’s office and wishing they could just do this through a third person like most other things. He lifted his hand, knocked twice and when he heard Ben’s voice, he let himself in.
“Excuse me,” he muttered as he walked in and bowed a little to Ben “Morning,” he spoke in English. He’d been learning long enough now he knew enough for a small conversation...if not a deep one.
“Kamenashi,” Ben greeted from where he was sitting. He calmly watched the other enter the room and smiled. “Here to explain why my favourite student is not coming with us to the field trip?” he asked curiously. Though in all honesty, he had a pretty strong hunch about it as it was. But he wanted to hear Kazuya explain it in his own words.
Kazuya paused at the ‘favourite student’ part but nodded and went to take a seat anyway “I’m sorry. I know it’s a generous offer and it must have taken a bit of persuasion to get Johnny to approve but I can’t go.”
He looked at Ben and swallowed hard “I have things here I need to stay for and I can’t take the risk that a six month excursion to America would jeopardise that.”
He was being vague and he knew it. Ben wasn’t some manager who worked by the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ thing. Ben knew more about him than most of the adults in this company.
Ben’s eyes twinkled knowingly and he took out an electric kettle.
“Let’s have some tea,” he told Kazuya gently and took out some tea leaves. He waited until the water was boiling and then patiently poured them both a cup of tea. He sipped and let out a small satisfied noise at the taste.
“This was always my favourite tea. Too bad it’s only sold in this remote village in China. Going there to get some is always such a hassle.”
Kazuya looked at the tea a little confused but he took a sip and allowed himself to let his guard down a little. This was Ben after all and though Kazuya wasn’t exactly hard to read, Ben seemed to be interested in taking the time to read him and his actions. He sipped the tea and couldn’t help a similar noise of appreciation “Why can’t you order them in or something?”
Talking about tea was easier than talking about why he wasn’t following Ben to America.
“Well, the village isn’t exactly modern. Post offices are a long way.” Ben looked into his tea with a warm smile before turning back to Kazuya.
“I’m not going to tell you to go,” he reassured. “I just want to be sure you’re certain it’s the right decision.”
“I’ve thought about it for as long and as deeply as I can,” Kazuya assured Ben. It was obvious he was still a little torn but he’d come down on one side of the fence and seemed determined to stick to it.
“There’s...things...keeping me here,” Kazuya told him again. He met Ben’s eyes “Things I would never want to risk putting in jeopardy, even if this opportunity was a sure fire way to get me into the spotlight, I still wouldn’t go if it hurt those...things.”
“Those things must be important to you,” Ben mused, still as patient as ever as he sipped on his tea. “So, I take it you’ve come in terms with whatever was bothering you?” he inquired. He didn’t go as far as stating it out loud, that was Kazuya’s job to do if he wanted to. But Ben knew what it was Kazuya had been worried about. He’d been through the same struggle himself when he was a teenager.
Kazuya watched Ben and felt a strong urge to tell the man everything. Just because he wanted to talk about this, to talk to someone who wasn’t Jin and knew things and wouldn’t judge him or get awkward like his parents. He was glad his parents and family knew everything but they wouldn’t want to know the details of what Kazuya did when he was around Jin. How he felt, all the emotions that clashed with the fact that they were both teenagers and feeling everything anyway.
He felt like he really could trust Ben too.
“You wouldn’t…” betray? That wasn’t the word Kazuya wanted to use “...tell...would you?”
“I am your teacher,” Ben reminded Kazuya. “It doesn’t just mean I tell you how to speak English, it means it’s my responsibility to see you grow up well and strong. What is said here is left here, you have my word.”
Ben got up and poured them some more tea.
It made Kazuya feel a little better. He thought, for a moment, that Jin might not appreciate him talking to Ben about this but then he never had to know. Kazuya just wanted someone who’d be able to talk to him about this, what he was feeling, what was happening. It was the thing about being a junior like him, he actually didn’t have many people with whom it was even safe to talk about this and there were some things he didn’t want to talk to Jin about. Regarding them.
He looked at his lap and nodded “He’s not the only reason why I said no but he is a reason,” he told Ben and looked at him “There’s someone I’m really afraid of leaving behind. Everything’s so new with him and I don’t know what I’m doing, if I’m doing anything right, if I’m going to lose him soon or someone’s going to find out...it’s amazing. I can feel that good around him and yet when he’s not around to distract me I can feel that terrified about everything that could happen but hasn’t happened yet.”
“Worrying about it won’t affect whether it’ll happen or not,” Ben pointed out. “People make that kind of decisions all the time. Heart or logic, thinking or feeling. Do you love him?” he asked straightforwardly. “When I was struggling with my first boyfriend, we were bullied in school, but we withstood it. I just had to look at him and remind myself that no trip my head made into the toilet bowl in the hands of my bullies would measure up to how much I loved him.”
Kazuya thought about the one time he’d dared to tell Jin he loved him and in that moment he could not have loved him more. He knew he felt it, but he was also aware that saying it aloud wasn’t a luxury either of them were allowed.
“I really do,” he admitted quietly “But we don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about what we should do if we’re found out, we don’t talk about what could happen if KAT-TUN debuts, what’ll happen with us, what we’ll have to do…”
Kazuya worried about them but he wasn’t sure his mind would be set at ease if he talked to Jin. After all, Jin knew about as much as he did on the matter. At this point they might never debut anyway.
“Is there anything you can do in those cases?” Ben asked. “If those things happen, will you break up? Come out to the whole nation?” They didn’t seem like very credible options to Ben. All they could do was to hope no one would find out and do their best with their group.
Kazuya shook his head. That was what made him feel worse, that feeling of helplessness. Knowing he couldn’t do anything if the worst should happen and any of those things happened.
“More than anything, I want to hold onto him,” he confessed quietly “I must have felt this way for him long before I actually realised I did. I don’t even know if he feels as isolated as I do about it. That this is happening and I can’t talk to anyone but him about it because nobody is supposed to know.”
“Yet here you are, talking to me,” Ben smiled. “The world isn’t made of people who don’t want to understand each other or try to make others miserable. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of people in your close circle who would accept you if they knew. Maybe they even already know.” With Ben, it had taken some time for his friends and parents to come in terms with his sexuality but they had eventually.
“My family knows, I came out to them,” Kazuya admitted “But I don’t think they’re going to be comfortable talking about it in depth. Just that they know he’s there and he’s with me. Nakamaru knows too, but only because he saw us.”
Kazuya shook his head and managed a small smile at Ben “I hope I can get to the point where you’re at and feel okay with all of this but the only time I feel even moderately calm and alright with everything is when I’m near him…” he trailed off for a moment and Jin’s face came to his mind right away. Kazuya fidgeted, ”...Jin.”
Ben smiled and got up.
“That’s all you really need, isn’t it? To have him beside you.” Placing his hand on Kazuya’s shoulder, he started escorting him to the door. “I trust you know what you’re doing. But if you need help in the future, I’ll be available even though the English course is over. Well, who knows, I might be able to arrange a follow up course with Mary.”
“I really hope you can,” Kazuya replied as he went to the door. He looked at Ben “I mean it, I’ll study while you’re gone. You’ve made me love English and now I can have a somewhat decent conversation in a language I’d given up on. So thank you.”
He took the door and nodded to Ben “Come back soon please, and thank you.”
“Take good care of yourself, dear boy,” Ben told him warmly and patted him on the shoulder. “We may meet again.” Ben walked Kazuya to the entrance of the building and waved his hand as Kazuya walked out. He had no doubt Kazuya would do just fine.
“Here’s to the graduates, Nakamaru Yuichi and Ueda Tatsuya! Congratulations!” Taguchi cheered as the six members of KAT-TUN clinked their glasses together. This was a rare opportunity for them. Without much of a word of warning beforehand, a night trip to Yamanashi had been planned. Not only to get them altogether for some shots but also just to let them bond together without having to worry about backdancing for anyone.
There was no one else but them and a couple of managers to keep everything running smoothly. They’d booked a ryokan with an attached onsen and the boys were sharing rooms. Two to a room.
Kazuya clinked his glass with the others and adjusted his yukata a little. He was sitting at the low table with the rest of his bandmates, the plan was to eat later and then dip into the onsen.
“There’s no alcohol though,” Taguchi pointed out quietly.
Ueda shrugged “Don’t need alcohol for this. I’m just glad I passed.”
As if his parents would have ever accepted any other outcome for his education.
Nakamaru was smiling in relief. With this, he could focus fully on KAT-TUN and his career as an idol. Though, he had humored the option of going to college at some point. But not just yet. He clinked his glass with everyone and adjusted his yukata. They were coming together as a group, slowly but surely. They didn’t fight as much anymore, for whatever reason Ueda had stopped fighting altogether. And Koki was also warming up to them.
Jin was drinking with a relaxed smile on his face. If there hadn’t been others, he would’ve made it his business already to try and peek under Kazuya’s yukata. As it was now, they wanted a few photos out of them.
“Hey, Koki!” he called. “Stop sulking there alone and come here!”
The boy in question slowly got up and wandered to the rest, sitting down next to Taguchi.
When they took photos, Kazuya couldn’t help but notice how much warmer Tatsuya was towards him. Eventually they had to part and take more pictures with Tatsuya a little further away but the older boy was always much, much warmer to him.
The magazines took their pictures and requested another one of them in the onsen later. Kazuya finished his drink and went back to sitting with the group. He sat next to Taguchi, who pulled him close to him and rubbed his arm.
“You turned out to be more than alright, didn’t you?” he laughed. Kazuya wondered if he’d had some drinks beforehand but smiled and went along with it. A happy KAT-TUN was better than the alternative.
“So now that you’ve graduated, what’s on the menu?” Kazuya asked the graduates. Tatsuya smiled and hummed “KAT-TUN,” he replied “And only KAT-TUN.”
He’d decided that the moment he found out what Jin and Kazuya had given up for it. He had to work just as hard now.
“I might want to go to university later. But for now, KAT-TUN, and even if I go, KAT-TUN will still be my priority,” Nakamaru told them definitely.
“So, do we all promise to have KAT-TUN as our priority and be the next Arashi?” Koki asked the rest and held out his glass. “To KAT-TUN?” he offered.
Jin laughed and clinked with Koki. He was in. He didn’t go to school anyway and KAT-TUN was the only way he had to make it in JE. Plus, with KAT-TUN, he’d get to be with Kazuya. Nakamaru clinked with the two of them and watched the rest expectantly.
“To KAT-TUN!” Kazuya and Taguchi cheered happily, Tatsuya watched Kazuya for a moment and nodded before drinking with them. He turned his eyes to Jin and it was like a curtain had been lifted. He couldn’t stand these guys before but time had been kind on their relations and while they weren’t best friends yet, a feeling of mutual acknowledgement had come over them. Almost like family.
After the food was brought in and they’d more or less picked at everything, Taguchi leaned back “I don’t know about you guys but I could go for the onsen.”
“You just ate,” Kazuya pointed out with a laugh.
“It’s not like we’re going to splash around,” Taguchi shrugged and got up “I’m going back to my room to change.”
Kazuya risked a look at Jin before getting up and heading off to his room as well, his yukata was a little big on him and swished as he headed off.
Jin followed Kazuya.
“You want to go to the onsen?” he asked. Well, Jin didn’t have anything against it, they would just have some precious time to make out if the others were away. But they would have time to do that come the night anyway.
“I heard the onsen here is good,” Kazuya replied as he took out his bathroom bag and set it down for a moment. He turned to Jin and grinned “Plus you can see Mount Fuji from there too.”
He felt good, although the failed offer was lingering in the back of his mind, he felt pretty good. KAT-TUN was bonding and once again Kazuya had given something up in order to keep everyone together like this. He knew he may not get another offer again but seeing the six of them together, including him of course, made him feel like he really had made the right choice.
But could he tell Jin? Not yet. Not while this light mood was still hanging over them, making them all happy.
He leaned into Jin and pressed a kiss to his lips “Come on, the managers want photos of us anyway so it’s not like we’re allowed to stay in here.”
Jin pouted lightly but got changed anyway.
“Just make sure they don’t get to see your junk. I’m the only one who gets that kind of showings,” Jin reminded Kazuya and reached a hand to cup the other’s crotch teasingly.
Kazuya purred and leaned into Jin “It’s an onsen honey, there’s a modicum of nakedness involved, the guys are going to see everyone’s junk including mine.”
He snuggled into Jin “But if it’s any consolation, you’re the only one who gets to touch it.”
“Oh? Even over there?” Jin teased with a grin. He slipped his hand into Kazuya’s pants and wrapped his fingers around the other’s member. “What do you say? We’ve got a few minutes, I could give you a little something before we go,” he murmured suggestively and started moving his hand a bit.
Kazuya’s eyes fluttered and although he could hear Koki in the next room, he nodded and placed his hands on Jin’s waist. His fingers slipped under his yukata and under his underwear to wrap around Jin’s length as well. Kazuya pulled him into a firm kiss and backed Jin up against a wall.
Jin smiled into the kiss and pulled his hands back just to tuck Kazuya’s pants down to his knees. He then grasped the other’s length again and started stroking it gently. It was weird how fast he had gotten used to the thought of having a boyfriend and doing things like this with him. Even though they had been together for some years, sex was still new and exciting for Jin.
Moaning into Jin’s mouth, Kazuya’s hand on Jin’s length sped up a little. He pulled back and petalled kisses down Jin’s neck. It was so easy to just melt into Jin like this and everything was still so new, Kazuya wanted to do everything with Jin. He bit down lightly on Jin’s shoulder but not hard enough to leave a mark. He could hear the others in the nearby rooms but didn’t mind them at all. Jin’s hand was making his knees weak.
Jin was leaning into the wall, moaning softly while his fingers kept tugging at Kazuya’s member. He kissed the other’s forehead and switched their positions, pressing Kazuya into the wall in turn. His body covering Kazuya’s, he sped up his stroking with the sole goal of making Kazuya come.
Kazuya’s head tilted up in search of Jin’s lips and he was in serious danger of moaning too loudly. His hand, the one that wasn’t stroking Jin, was clinging to Jin’s arm. He panted hard and nudged his nose against Jin’s “Don’t tempt me in the onsen,” he chuckled “That water is dark enough nobody will know where my hand is goi-oh,” he gritted his teeth and stroked Jin harder.
“I won’t if you take care of me now,” he bargained and rolled his hips into Kazuya’s hand. He was working relentlessly on Kazuya’s member, stroking his fingers over the tip. “Come,” he whispered into Kazuya’s ear, speeding up his ministrations even more.
The younger couldn’t help himself, his entire body stiffened and even his own hand on Jin’s length paused as he gasped and jerked in Jin’s hand. In a desperate attempt to stifle his moans, he bit Jin’s neck and pulsed into Jin’s body needily. He panted hard and when he had even the slightest coherency back, his hand sped up on Jin’s as his lips found Jin’s to silence him.
Jin kept stroking Kazuya lazily while he pushed his hips into the other’s hand. Smiling with a small moan, he lasted a dozen more seconds before coming with a quiet whimper, his head tossed back and his hand grasping Kazuya’s shoulder, almost leaving marks on the skin on his back.
“Hmmm,” Kazuya purred, he was satisfied but he didn’t quite feel like getting into an onsen just yet. Even though he knew the cameras were probably waiting, he never seemed to want to get away from Jin.
He kissed Jin’s shoulder and pulled Jin back into his underwear “Tonight I’m sleeping in your futon.”
“Maybe you’ll fall asleep on my cock,” Jin hummed humbly and patted Kazuya’s behind with a grin. “Let’s get going now.” Jin pressed a small kiss on the other’s lips. He was happy and completely unaware of the possibility that had been offered to Kazuya by Johnny and Ben.
“I wouldn’t mind that,” Kazuya grinned and went back to grab his bathroom supplies. He fixed up his yukata, made sure it didn’t look like he’d just been doing what he’d just been doing and with a smile at Jin, Kazuya headed out first.
Tatsuya was already sitting in the dark water of the onsen, Junno was showering in his own spot when Kazuya entered and left his clothes in his basket. He took a small towel with him and headed to his own spot to shower.
“You guys took forever to get out of your room,” Tatsuya teased “What the hell were you doing?”
Kazuya just grinned and got around to washing himself.
“He jerked me off,” Jin told them deadpan. Koki, who was also in the water, laughed.
“Good one, Akanishi,” he grinned. Nakamaru laughed nervously but didn’t say anything. He knew more than the rest after all. Jin washed himself and sat in the relaxing water with a huff. It had been some time since he’d last been to an onsen.
Junno followed and Kazuya was the last one to finish washing thoroughly before he slipped into the water and placed the small towel off to the side. They weren’t allowed it in the water anyway. The water was hot and felt wonderful, Kazuya sank down to his chin and closed his eyes in bliss “God I love onsen.”
“Nothing’s better,” Taguchi agreed.
Tatsuya looked up “Well...I can think of one thing that’s better than an onsen…” Taguchi looked at him and Tatsuya shrugged “Sex.”
Kazuya glanced at Jin and looked away innocently, the cameras would be on them soon anyway.
“Sex is nice,” Jin confirmed innocently and reached his hand to stroke Kazuya’s thigh as the boy was sitting next to him. Koki was splashing a little, making sure some of the water got on the rest.
“Hey hey, let’s have a competition. Who’s gotten the furthest!” Koki challenged them. Nakamaru shrunk a little where he was sitting and quickly shook his head.
“No way, that’s private issues,” he muttered.
Kazuya coughed and looked at Koki “That depends on what you mean as ‘furthest’, like third base?”
“Trust you to turn it into baseball,” Tatsuya laughed but there was nothing mean in the way he meant it and it was obvious he was a lot warmer towards the younger. He turned to Koki “Fine then, how far have you gone?”
“I’ve sucked on a boob!” Koki announced.
“Your mother’s,” Jin pointed out quickly and laughed. He wasn’t really enthusiastic about this, it would be more or less obvious if Jin and Kazuya both had the same experiences and well, it would be more or less obvious at some point that they hadn’t done anything with women, but with guys.
Tatsuya laughed along and looked at the others. For the moment, since the cameras hadn’t come yet, it was only the six of them. Despite their rocky beginning, Tatsuya was beginning to understand things about them and one thing he did understand was that none of them would blurt secrets they knew not to blurt.
“I’ve gone down on someone,” he told the others “And gotten a couple of handjobs and a blowjob.”
“Uepi!” Taguchi gasped, he wasn’t sure whether to abstain from this subject like Nakamaru or join in and be included with the others.
“I’ve done anal,” Jin blurted out. Nakamaru twitched suddenly before shrinking even further down. Jin didn’t want to lose to a guy like Ueda.
“Wow, really?” Koki asked, his eyes widened. “I know there’s rumors that you have a girlfriend but that she let you go that far...”
Kazuya tried not to look guilty. In fact he was using all his energy to keep a straight and innocent face but under the water his hand grazed over Jin’s leg for a moment before pulling away.
“I’ve met his girlfriend actually,” Kazuya added with a troll-like smile “Apparently she’ll let him do anything.”
Taguchi was just gaping at all of them “Kame, you’re younger than me. Tell me you’re as inexperienced.”
Kazuya shook his head and Taguchi gaped “You too?!”
“I’ve done stuff…” Kazuya shrugged with a vague smile.
“See, Taguchi? I told you your puns won’t get you any girls,” Koki teased mercilessly. Jin was trying to look as nonchalant as possible and not give away that it was Kazuya he’d done all that with.
“So what have you done, Kame?” Koki insisted curiously. Nakamaru would gladly have been anywhere but there witnessing this close call.
Kazuya coughed “Actually I’m more interested in hearing what Ueda’s done,” he pointed out to the blonde boy sitting on the opposite side of him “What you just described is about second base.”
Tatsuya just laughed and sank into the water “Well he wasn’t into third base and I wasn’t going to push it so it ended there.”
Taguchi’s eyes went wide but Tatsuya was completely unaffected and nonchalant about the small piece of information.
“‘He’? It’s a he?” Koki asked in disbelief. Surely he’d heard about gay people but he never would’ve thought there was one in his close circle like this. Unknown to him, Ueda wasn’t the only one, but Jin and Kazuya weren’t going to be as vocal about it.
“Does Johnny know?” Nakamaru inquired worriedly.
“Of course Johnny doesn’t know,” Tatsuya looked at Nakamaru “And Johnny doesn’t need to know. I’ve seen our seniors paired off with women all over the place, in dramas and magazines and I can play that game too but when push comes to shove, I prefer guys. So what?”
Kazuya smiled, he was actually a little impressed with how blatant Tatsuya was about it but it went without saying that he wordlessly trusted the others not to tell anyone else.
“To be honest I’m shocked,” Taguchi admitted “With your parents...I mean they were really strict on you weren’t they? They still are.”
Tatsuya nodded “They don’t know either. It doesn’t matter, they don’t need to know.”
Jin glanced at Kazuya, almost feeling tempted to tell everyone about them, but he decided against it. It was far too risky.
“So who’s this boyfriend of yours?” he asked Ueda, trying to sound as chill about it as possible. Koki was still staring at Ueda while gaping. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Old news,” Tatsuya replied calmly, he turned to Koki “But since you started this all about sex, I get the feeling we can’t really compare experiences with girls and experiences with guys. When it comes to girls I suspect you and Jin - and probably Kame, take the lead but guys…”
Kazuya didn’t say anything, he knew better than that but he did chance a glance at Nakamaru.
Nakamaru, of course, stayed quiet. He looked at Kazuya quite nervously but they seemed to be on the clear now. Jin hadn’t been that worried to begin with, and he now engaged in trying to bug the name of Ueda’s most recent boyfriend out of him, Koki soon joining him.
“Is it from our agency?” Koki tried to interrogate.
“Nope,” Tatsuya shook his head with a rather smug grin on his face.
“Was he a foreigner?” Taguchi joined in happily.
“Nope,” Tatsuya shook his head again.
Kazuya glanced at him “Do we know him?”
At that, Tatsuya had to pause for a moment. He looked at all of them “I don’t think so...pretty confident you don’t. And anyway he’s old news so it doesn’t matter.”
“Do you have your eyes on someone else?” Kazuya asked and when he saw the look on Tatsuya’s face, he laughed “You do!”
Tatsuya threw his small towel at Kazuya but he was still grinning. He felt really relaxed around these guys.
“Who is it?” Koki asked desperately, now almost physically aching because of the curiosity. “Tell us! We promise we won’t tell!”
Jin sat back and crossed his arms, giving Ueda a measuring look. So the other was like them. He wondered if him and Kazuya could tell him their secret later. Ueda would understand because he was like them.
Tatsuya glanced at Koki and grinned wide “Alright,” he adjusted his GACKT necklace around his neck and leaned in “I’ll tell you if you tell me everything you’ve done AND if you’ve ever considered doing it with a guy.”
Taguchi choked and Tatsuya looked at him “It’s not that unusual, we’re surrounded by guys every single day in this industry. Even girls in all girls schools start thinking gay thoughts.”
“Of course I’ve never considered doing it with a guy!” Koki exclaimed. “But I’ve kissed a girl a few times.” Koki fell silent and blushed a bit. He wasn’t particularly experienced. Jin grinned and watched the exchange in front of him, all the while silently stroking Kazuya’s thigh under the water.
“Hmm,” Tatsuya hummed, his sharp eyes looking over Koki “Straight as a pole huh? Good for you.”
He didn’t mean it as an insult either. Though he’d already long since come to terms with who he was, he did envy Koki a little. If only because they were in the world of idols and things like being gay was a blurry grey line where - in Johnny’s cases - had to be hidden.
“Nishikido Ryo,” Tatsuya finally shrugged and grabbed his towel to cool his head a little. The water was very hot after all.
Kazuya rested his hand over Jin’s and looked at Taguchi, who was still in awe of the exchange he’d just seen. Kazuya turned to Tatsuya “I thought you hated the guy?”
“He’s an asshole,” Tatsuya chuckled “A complete and total dickhead but somehow that’s attractive.”
“Wait, you have the hots for Nishikido?” Jin blurted out and watched the boy in disbelief. “And you trust none of us will tell him? If he finds out he’ll bully you to death.”
Nakamaru whimpered, he really didn’t want to know about Ueda’s crush. If anything, it just brought more stuff he needed to keep a secret. Plus, he didn’t really trust the others not to slip it.
“I trust all of you not to tell anything,” Tatsuya replied calmly, he looked at them all “Because of everyone in this company, we have to deal with each other most. You know that being an idol means keeping a lot of things out of the public eye.”
He looked down “That and...I trust you guys. More than my parents or anyone else. If I can’t talk freely with you guys, then I can’t talk freely with anyone.”
“Are you possibly a loner?” Koki asked curiously. “Because no one but a person who has absolutely zero friends would label us as good friends after all we’ve been through.”
Underwater, Nakamaru kicked Koki scoldingly. This wasn’t the time to talk about things like that.
“You can trust us,” Nakamaru hurried to convince Ueda. “Really, we’d just be sawing the branch we’re sitting on if we spread it.”
“It might not be the right time to say this but Koki’s right,” Kazuya admitted reluctantly “Not to mention, you’re the last person I’d suspect of trusting us. It wasn’t too long ago you were fighting me and saying this entire group is a sham.”
“I changed my mind...something...someone convinced me to,” Tatsuya admitted quietly “Anyway, as sad as it might appear, you guys are the closest things I have to friends. So yeah, I trust you.”
Kazuya glanced at Jin and turned back to Tatsuya “We won’t tell.”
“We won’t tell,” Jin repeated with a nod. Still, he was quite taken aback by the sudden gesture of trust. Maybe the other truly had led a lonely life and didn’t know how friendships usually developed. After another kick by Nakamaru, Koki finally opened his mouth.
“Yeah, I won’t tell,” he promised.
“I won’t tell,” Taguchi finally promised, though he was still quite taken aback by the news. He shook it off after a moment and put his towel on his head to cool himself down “Well we really are turning into a group now. Just think of how many secrets Arashi know about each other. I’ve always wondered about Tackey and Tsubasa too...Tsubasa especially…”
Kazuya had to wonder too. He’d been wondering this for awhile, how many of his seniors were...well...like him. Now that he knew Tatsuya was there too. He twitched a little at the reminder that Yamapi - whilst probably not gay - was curious and not above kissing Kazuya.
Jin exchanged a gaze with Kazuya. Should they tell Tatsuya about them? While Jin didn’t trust Taguchi or Koki, he thought that maybe they should express some trust in return to Ueda. Plus, maybe Ueda would need someone who understood what it was like to want your colleague. Wordlessly, he asked Kazuya his opinion.
Kazuya did think they should tell Tatsuya. After all, he’d been wondering himself about the same thing and he’d even been feeling isolated and lonely, thinking he was the only one there other than the obvious Jin. But he wasn’t so sure about letting the others know. The fact that Nakamaru knew already was an unfortunate incident but he wasn’t so sure about Koki and Taguchi. Not yet anyway. He squeezed Jin’s hand under the water and shook his head. Not yet. They could tell Tatsuya, but not here with everyone else.
Jin nodded subtly. Maybe they could wait after everyone else had left and then tell Ueda. Partially because he felt sorry for the lad for not having any friends. He and Kazuya could be Ueda’s friends. Gay best friends. The thought amused Jin and he grinned to himself.
Before long, the photographers came in and started asking the six of them to gather up so they could take photos of them in the onsen. Kazuya tied his hair back and when they were all together, Kazuya couldn’t help but notice it was a little easier to smile with these guys. They weren’t going to try and beat each other up anymore, they’d more or less accepted that this group was probably permanent and thus they had to make the most of it.
When the photographers left, Kazuya wormed his way out from under Koki’s arm and laughed “We better get out of this water,” he turned to Koki “Your face is turning bright red.”
“They took their time getting here,” Taguchi laughed and hopped out of the water first “I say we all gather in someone’s room, bring as much junk food and drinks as we can and stay up as long as we can.”
Jin went to Ueda and leaned in to whisper subtly.
“Stay behind. We have something to tell you,” he murmured to the other and then turned to the rest.
“I feel like staying for a while longer,” he announced and sank deeper into the water. Koki was already out, walking towards the showers, followed by Nakamaru whose whole body was red by the hot water.
Kazuya stayed as well, he watched as Taguchi headed out first, followed by the others and when they were finally alone, Kazuya turned to Tatsuya. It was a different feeling, knowing there was someone here like him...and also knowing that they weren’t aware of it like he was.
Tatsuya looked at the two of them “So...what? Is it my charm or do you really like boiling in here?”
“Well, you trusted us with your secret, we’ll trust you with ours in return,” Jin told Ueda. He climbed out of the water to cool off a bit.
“We’re like you. Kazuya and I. We’re together,” he told the other straightforwardly. Making sure they were alone, he then draped an arm around Kazuya’s shoulders and kissed his forehead. “Like this. See?”
Kazuya jumped a little. Whilst he’d seen the confession coming, he hadn’t quite predicted Jin doing it so bluntly. Still he relaxed into Jin as Tatsuya looked over them both. For a moment there, Tatsuya didn’t seem like he really knew what to say. However once he’d accepted it, he nodded “That’s...pretty cool actually. I didn’t notice at all - I mean I knew you guys were good friends but there’s lots of guys in this industry who are good friends.”
“Nakamaru knows,” Kazuya replied “Though he wishes he didn’t.”
“But Koki and Taguchi don’t, so don’t mention this to them. The less people know, the better,” Jin said. “We’ve been together for some years now but for KAT-TUN, we need to keep it a secret, obviously.” Jin let go of Kazuya and stretched his limbs. “So now you know. I won’t tell Ryo that you have a crush on him, you won’t tell Koki and Taguchi we’re gaying out under their noses.” Grinning, Jin grabbed his towel and walked to the showers.
“Gaying out,” Kazuya muttered and looked after him “Do you have to say it like that?”
“It’s fine...thanks for telling me,” Tatsuya smiled and pulled himself out of the onsen, he sighed “I’ve been in there too long. My muscles are all...weak.”
Kazuya pulled himself out of the water next, nearly falling over when he realised how weak his legs were. He stumbled after Jin and went to get dressed.
They gathered later in Koki’s room. Taguchi had made a trip to the conbini to grab as many drinks and snacks as he could find and smuggle them back in without their manager noticing.
Kazuya sat on Koki’s futon and watched as Taguchi excitedly spread the drinks and junk food out amongst all six of them.
“This is nice,” Taguchi sighed, leaning back against the wall. He nodded to the window, where they could see Mount Fuji under the moon “Great view too.”
“Almost feels like they’re letting us relax before the shit hits the fan,” Tatsuya commented. He paused “Though, what kind of shit, I’m not sure.”
Kazuya thought of his rejected offer and reached for a fizzy drink to distract himself.
Jin was leaning against the wall with a drink in his hand.
“No one screw up this now. Let’s take every opportunity we get and make sure KAT-TUN goes big,” he said and held out his drink before taking a sip.
“Agreed, we need to do everything we can. Is KAT-TUN everyone’s priority now?” Koki asked the rest. Nakamaru nodded. Koki and Taguchi were the only ones who were still in school, they were the ones most likely to have most trouble balancing KAT-TUN with their studies.
“Of course, I’m putting everything on this,” Tatsuya laughed, he took a sip of his drink and shrugged “Besides, it’s either this or I do what my parents want me to do and become a businessman. Fuck that.”
Kazuya thought of the businessmen who were like a giant wave of black suits every morning and night when they crowded the trains and he couldn’t help but agree. Then again, in his case it was either going to be this or baseball. He’d accept no other.
“My parents put me through a million after school activities, were really strict on my studies...so much so that my sister ran off,” Tatsuya continued “I think they wanted me to be a doctor.”
“Ueda sensei,” Taguchi hummed and looked at the blonde “I’m not sure I’d trust you with my lungs or any other organs.”
“I wouldn’t trust me either,” Tatsuya laughed.
Jin thought it over and he could appreciate his parents for being supportive no matter what. They let him make his own path, and the same went for Reio. Ueda’s and Nakamaru’s parents, on the other hand, seemed to have high expectations for their children, maybe even too high at times. Jin wondered what it would be like to live in a family like that.
“Well, you can focus on KAT-TUN now and make your parents proud by becoming a superstar,” Koki tried to console half-heartedly while drinking down a canful of Taguchi’s drinks.
“That’s the plan,” Tatsuya nodded “My sister thinks that way too.”
Kazuya thought of his brothers, none of whom seemed the least bit interested in becoming an idol like him. Then again, they were a stoically baseball family. Especially Yuya.
“My family is pretty supportive of this...so long as I stay in school that is,” Taguchi chuckled “But it’s fine. I like school. Last time I transferred, there was this long line of girls to greet me at the gates. I wasn’t even aware I was known.”
“We’re getting known now thanks to Hadaka and our small appearances on Shounen Club,” Kazuya noted “Last Valentines day, when I was still in school, my locker and desk was stuffed full of letter-” he trailed off and glanced at Jin. He’d forgotten to tell Jin that small tidbit.
Jin glared at Kazuya as subtly as possible.
“When I was still in school the girls asked me out all the time,” he shot back. “The girl with the biggest boobs in my school asked if I’d like to touch them.” Well, the last part he had made up, but no one had to know.
Tatsuya was looking quite amused, since he now knew what those little looks were about. He buried his laughter behind his can as Taguchi looked at the two of them quite innocently.
“Hey how many letters did you get last year?”
“I think..” Kazuya glanced at Jin worriedly but answered anyway “About twenty.”
“How many did you reply?” Koki asked curiously. He assumed Kazuya’s experiences must’ve been with some girls from his school. Nakamaru was sitting quietly in the corner, watching the events unfold. He saw Jin stiffen a bit and wondered if he should divert the conversation somehow.
“Hey has anyone noticed the management lately?” Tatsuya cut in, he saw Kazuya’s look of slight relief and turned to Koki “I think they’re planning for KAT-TUN to show up on Shounen Club more regularly.”
“That would be so cool,” Taguchi jumped in, munching into the chips he’d bought “I mean I like Hadaka and all but Shounen Club seems like it focusses more on the groups. It’s a good chance for us all to come out together.”
“For that, we’d need songs,” Kazuya pointed out “While I’m sure they’re working on songs for us, it wouldn’t hurt to try some of our own.”
“Actually…” Tatsuya spoke “I’ve been meaning to breach it with you guys but I’ve actually been working on a song...it’s in it’s baby steps and I don’t know how it’s going to sound but it could be the perfect duet. Anyone here know how to play a guitar?”
They all shook their heads collectively. Jin knew a bit but not nearly enough.
“What kind of song is it?” Nakamaru asked curiously. They didn’t really have songs yet, Johnny wouldn’t give them any until they had gained some more popularity. Jin thought it over as well, making their own songs? He wondered if he should’ve started doing that as well.
“Kind of like a rock song,” Tatsuya replied “I haven’t got much to it except the word ‘Butterfly’” he thought about it and coughed “Of course, I’ve been listening to L’Arc~en~Ciel and GACKT on repeat so…”
“Actually Jin might be perfect if you’re looking for a duet partner,” Kazuya suggested “The rocky style could suit him,” he looked at Jin “All you need to do is learn how to play a guitar...or at least enough to play a song. Skills like instruments could really come in handy for KAT-TUN.”
Jin paused to think. Learn how to play the guitar?
“Ueda, you play the piano, right?” he asked the boy. If they could make the song into a duet and then perform it to Johnny. Maybe it would convince him to let them perform something every now and then.
“Forced lessons since childhood,” Tatsuya laughed for a moment and paused “Wow that’s really sad...but yeah I do. I could use your voice too, we could actually make something awesome.”
“That’s an idea!” Taguchi brightened “We can all break off into duets and try making songs! Show Johnny we’ve got something worth selling here...I mean I’m sure management will make songs for us but we can be more useful than that!”
Taguchi turned to Kazuya “I choose you as a partner.”
Kazuya rose an eyebrow but didn’t object, he simply finished off his can and reached for a new one.
Koki glanced at Nakamaru and shrugged.
“I don’t know how to make songs though,” he told the rest. Neither did Nakamaru to be honest, but he would try nonetheless. He could beat box and Koki could sing over that.
“Well...maybe it’s something we can learn?” Kazuya suggested “I mean some of our seniors write their solo songs, they had to start somewhere. We could ask Sakurai or Tackey or...anyone really.”
He put down his second can and leaned back. It was starting to get pretty late and whilst he was enjoying hanging out with the others and actually bonding, Kazuya’s eyes inevitably flicked over to Jin.
“It’s hard writing lyrics...but I’ve got something small,” Tatsuya continued, oblivious to where Kazuya was looking. Tatsuya was looking at Jin “And I think with your input, we could actually make something good here. Give KAT-TUN a real chance, especially if we make three songs in pairs.”
“It’ll also help us grow as artists, now while we still have the chance to control what we do,” Taguchi pointed out “Apparently after debut, that sort of freedom gets a little restricted. We’re still allowed to figure out what it is we want to do now, we should concentrate on that.”
“So, we should start making songs?” Jin summed up and looked around hesitantly. He wasn’t sure he could but he would try. Nakamaru and Koki were already talking amongst themselves about what to do, but to be honest Jin didn’t feel like discussing that now. It was getting late.
“Let’s talk about it tomorrow. I’m gonna go to bed,” he told the rest and got up to stretch his limbs.
Kazuya tried not to make it too obvious but he was happy Jin was getting up. He moved to follow but Taguchi leaned forwards and grabbed his wrist “Wait, wait hang on I’ve got an idea.”
“Junno I think sleep is calling,” Kazuya laughed.
“Just one idea,” Taguchi grinned “For the title of the song.”
Kazuya glanced at Jin and sat back down, he turned to Junno “I thought the title of the song was the part that came last.”
“It needs to stick out,” Junno beamed “So it should be in English.”
Kazuya stared at him for a moment and laughed “Um, English?”
“Yeah you know English,” Junno bounced “It could be cool.”
“That’s not what’s going to make it stick out. A lot of Japanese songs have English titles,” Kazuya giggled “Do you even have anything in mind because I don’t even have a tune?”
“Something happy,” Junno hummed thoughtfully “Something...thoughtful.”
Kazuya sighed “Well I’ll think about it, can I go to bed now?”
“Happy...hour,” Junno suggested.
Kazuya shook his head and got up “I’ll give it some thought,” he promised and stretched his arms out “Night guys.”