[personal profile] soundczechfic
so i had a lot of trouble trying to decide what to do for k_x, and started a bunch of different fics. SO MUCH TROUBLE DECIDING. anyway having the unfinished fics in my folder makes me feel like i'm supposed to do something with them and because i never will, i'm going to post them here. these are obviously WIPs and it is unlikely they will ever be finished, so don't read them if you can't deal with unresolved endings.



the third wheel

Jamie Oliver teaches Jin how to cook risotto. It takes Jin four hours to watch the half hour show because he keeps pausing it and rewatching bits, trying to understand how the hell the rice is supposed to get all smooth and creamy instead of hard and clumpy. He practices the meal a few times and makes Josh eat the colossal failures. The best batches he eats himself, stuffing his face directly from the saucepan. Slowly, he gets better.

Josh doesn’t understand why they can’t just go get risotto from any one of the fancy restaurants that would make miracles happen to get Jin a reservation at a moment’s notice.

“It wouldn’t be the same,” Jin insists, and refuses to elaborate.

-

He hasn’t seen much of Kame since he left KAT-TUN; it seems like every time they arrange to see each other, one of them is detained by something urgent. Jin spends all day waiting for Kame to send him a message and tell him their plans are off because he’s got to go hold some baseball player’s hand through his harrowing knee surgery or let a photographer take photos of him in a safari suit or take a bunch of investors to a glorified hostess bar. By early evening, the message still hasn’t come, and Jin lets himself hope they they might actually pull it off this time.

Last time Kame saw him, he’d nudged Jin’s stubble and told him with affectionate disgust that he looked like a filthy hobo. Jin showers and shaves and, after a minute of sheepish indecision, cleans up his eyebrows a bit. His cleaning lady has been in, so the place doesn’t look like it has been overrun by teenage boys like it usually does. He puts on some quiet, bluesy music, dims the lights and lights a flickering row of candles along his bookshelf.

It’s stupid to be nervous; Kame has come over like this a billion times. Maybe Jin wasn’t always laying a sleazy little trap for him like he is now, but it’s been a long time since they were able to go out in public together without creating a public nuisance, so they’ve spent a lot of time just sitting around their respective apartments, playing cards and listening to music, occasionally making stupid prank calls to Nakamaru in the middle of the night. He doesn’t come over that much, anymore, but somehow, this apartment seems more like home when Kame is inside it.

Jin is nervous, though. He wipes sweaty palms on the expensive trousers Pi recommended, channeling all his anxiety into stirring the risotto into submission, watching as the basil wilts and drowns in the cheese. There’s this thing that has always existed between them, unspoken but somehow acknowledged, that he’s never really been ready to embrace. Somehow he’s ready now. Maybe that’s what happens when you play russian roulette with your professional future and win; you get braver about taking chances. Jin is still fucking terrified, though. Only knowing that Kame is probably freaking out as much as he is, if not more, calms his nerves. Jin’s going to be the brave one this time.

Staring at the risotto, he indulges a brief, embarrassing little daydream about Kame clutching his hand and thanking him for being so strong and manly, maybe blinking up through eyes glossy with admiration, stepping in close and – Jin cuts himself off with a furious blush and decides to grate some parmesan to distract himself from being a total loser. He grates a whole block and ends up with a psychotic fluffy mountain of parmesan shavings. He dumps half of it into the risotto because he doesn’t know what else to do with it and in his experience more cheese is always a good thing.



The Kame that arrives is not the tremulous, uncertain angel from his fantasies but a scowling, scruffy-faced guy who shoves past Jin at the door with barely a hello, Taguchi in tow. Unlike Kame, Taguchi waits at the door to be invited inside, smiling his stupid inane smile and greeting Jin with a friendly, “Long time no see.”

“What are you doing here?” Jin asks rudely, then blushes and scratches his nose. “I mean, I haven’t seen you in forever. Come on in.”

He and Taguchi meeting in an awkward bro-hug half-embrace before Jin steps aside to let him past. Kame is already standing barefoot in Jin’s living room.

“Why is it so dark in here?” he asks, and turns up the lights. Jin’s heart sinks; it is already obvious that this is probably not going to be the romantic evening of his dreams.

“Just trying to save electricity,” Jin says, then adds, because he doesn’t want Kame to think he’s a tightass, “You know. For the environment and shit.”

Kame collapses in a grumpy little pile on the floor next to Jin’s coffee table. He crosses his arms on the table and leans his face into them. “Whatever,” he grumbles irritably, then a minute later, “Turn them down again, now I feel guilty.”

Taguchi turns the lights down a bit, then sits in a gangly pile across the table from Kame. “Your place is cleaner than I remember,” he comments.

Jin’s shoulders draw up self-consciously. “I’m an adult now,” he says. “Adults are neat and tidy. And organised.”

Kame snorts, and looks up at Jin, finally a hint of a smile on his face. “When was the last time you cleaned this place yourself?”

Jin lifts his chin. “I delegated the responsibility,” he says. “To my maid. Who I pay. With my responsible adult money.”

Kame’s grin grows wider. “What did you do today?” he asks. “Before we got here?”

Jin’s face turns red. He can’t say I spent two hours on the phone to Pi because he was helping me choose pants, so he just says, “Shut up,” instead.

At least Kame is amused. Jin gets them all beers – he did have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge, but it doesn’t really seem like Kame’s in the mood – and sits on the floor next to Kame, their knees bumping. He nudges Kame with his elbow, trying to get him to lift his face from his folded arms, but Kame just elbows irritably back.

“What’s up with crankypants?” Jin asks Taguchi in an obnoxious fashion.

“Shut up,” Kame says, muffled into his arms.

“Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed?” Jin asks, and starts leaning into Kame’s space in a way he knows Kame finds really annoying, but Kame doesn’t do anything to shake him off.

“Kame thinks rehearsals didn’t go well today,” Taguchi explains finally.

“We’re supposed to be professionals,” Kame says, lifting his head finally and resting his chin on his folded wrists. “If Ueda can’t get the steps right tomorrow I’m going to poach one of Akanishi’s Americans to replace him.”

Jin tries to imagine Aubree replacing Ueda in KAT-TUN; most of his costumes would probably fit her. “Keep your filthy hands off my dancers,” he says. “They’d just make the rest of you look bad, anyway.”

“At the moment even the juniors make us look like rank amateurs,” Kame whines.

Jin frowns. “Is it really that bad?”

“We can’t get our shit together.” Kame reaches out and flicks the metal bottle cap from his beer off the table. It skitters across the room and comes to a rest by the TV. He exhales a curmudgeonly breath that lifts the bangs out of his face. Jin wants to twist his fringe up into a pineapple for him.

“Kame-chan is a perfectionist,” Taguchi says in a voice that Jin recognises immediately; even now when he fucks up in his own rehearsals he can hear Kame’s voice in the back of his head snapping that he’s just not trying hard enough. This memory should be enough to turn Jin off the idea of wooing Kame altogether, but he must be fucked in the head because when Kame narrows a withering glare at Taguchi, he just finds it kind of hot.

“It’ll be fine,” Jin says. “It’s always fine in the end.”

That isn’t strictly true: KAT-TUN lives are usually one big bloopers reel. The mistakes don’t seem to phase Kame so much when the concerts are actually in progress. Nothing like 50,000 screaming fans to put things in perspective.

“Easy for you to say,” Kame says, and Jin doesn’t know what that means but it seems safer to avoid finding out.

“Of course it is,” Jin says, and ducks his head so he can meet Kame’s eyes, so Kame will know he’s not making fun of him anymore. “You never let anyone down.”

Kame stares back at him and Jin thinks he detects the slightest flush of pink spilling over the rise of his cheeks; his mouth quirks up on one side, mood clearly lifting, and Jin feels triumphant.

-

Kame excuses himself to “freshen up”. Jin isn’t sure what that means exactly, but he has a brief image of Kame standing in his en suite with a compact, powdering his nose. Jin serves up the risotto while he’s gone, getting out an extra dish for Taguchi, who leans against his fridge chattering about the plans for their upcoming tour. Kame has been gone for a few minutes when Taguchi goes quiet for a minute then says, “You were always better at cheering him up than the rest of us.”

Jin stills over the parsley he is chopping as a garnish – he’s never used the word ‘garnish’ in his life, didn’t even know if before Jamie said it – then coughs. He doesn’t exactly know what to say to that. Most of the time Taguchi seems like he doesn’t understand his surroundings at all, but every now and then he’ll say something like that, something so embarrassing and forthright. Something that lays Jin bare.

“I guess,” Jin says. He picks up a handful of the parsley and scatters it across the top of the dishes like falling snow.

“You’ve gone to a lot of trouble tonight,” Taguchi tries a minute later, and Jin wonders if he is fishing. When he glances back at him Taguchi’s eyes are on his face, searching.

“Not that much trouble,” Jin mumbles, which isn’t true. It took him twenty minutes to pick out a bottle of olive oil.

Taguchi opens his mouth to reply but then Kame comes back, face pink and freshly scrubbed. The pineapple tree has grown out of his bangs. He comes to Jin’s side and picks up a pinch of parmesan between his fingers, stuffing it in his face. With his mouth full, he says, “I’m starving.”

“I made risotto,” Jin says, picking up a plate and pressing it into Kame’s hands.


Junno finally excuses himself - Jin calls Ryo and forces him to call junno away for “extra rehearsal”

-
Jin: If you weren’t interested, you could have just said so
Kame: Not interested in what???
Jin: Duh? In our date!
Kame: ……………………………..
Kame: “You just said to come over and hang out”
Jin: “but I said it with a SEXY VOICE.”

Kame: “You totally sounded the same as always.”

Hook up


--


trial separation


Jin doesn’t even really know why Kame is mad. When he last saw him (sober) a couple of days ago, everything was fine, he thinks. Probably. Ok, so Kame had been a bit quiet and Jin had spent most of the night fucking around on his iPhone before asking for a lift to Ropps, but it hadn’t seemed like Kame wanted to hang out anyway, so what’s the big deal? How can he have pissed him off so much when they haven’t even seen each other?

Kame is definitely pissed off, though, stomping around his kitchen rattling dishes and slamming drawers. His hair is tied in a frazzled-looking bun at the base of his neck. Jin hadn’t realised it had gotten long enough to do that. He should be in his work clothes already but he’s only halfway there. His unbelted pants hang low on his hips beneath a thin white undershirt, slippered feet squeaking on the tile. Jin wants to reach out and still his hands so he’ll stop making so much noise; he didn’t think he drank that much but he’s really hungover. His head aches and his hair smells like an ashtray.

“Good morning,” Jin says hesitantly. The muscles in Kame’s back draw up tight and he rests his hands on the bench for a minute, as if overwhelmed. Jin tries to think back on the previous night’s events for clues, looking around at Kame’s stuff to make sure nothing is damaged or broken, but everything is intact; cleaner than normal, even. The benches are gleaming and his cookbooks are lined up from biggest to smallest. Jin wonders if Kame got a new cleaner. He can’t remember having done anything wrong.

Kame doesn’t say anything.

Jin drifts towards him, sliding his hands beneath his t-shirt and palming warm skin. Sometimes when Kame is moody like this, Jin can cajole himself back into his good graces with some nuzzling and a well-placed kiss behind his ear, in the soft, ticklish expanse. Kame doesn’t really relax under his touch, but his fists unclench on the bench and he twists his fingers through Jin’s. He brings their joined hands to his cheek and presses his lips to the ball of Jin’s palm. His hair is a bit damp.

“Jin,” he says miserably, and Jin realises that something very serious is happening.

“Kame?” he asks. Kame doesn’t answer at first; he turns his face more completely into Jin’s touch. Jin wants to grab his shoulder and force him to turn around, but he is afraid to. “Kamenashi?”

Kame swallows. “Sometimes,” he says, “I think you’ve had me so long that you don’t even really know if you want me anymore.”

Ten minutes later, Jin is alone in Kame’s apartment and they are apparently taking a break.



Kame didn’t say they were breaking up. That confuses Jin the most as he sits in the studio, clumsily picking out chords on his guitar and trying to figure out what the hell had just happened. He probably should have realised before now that his ten-year-on-and-off relationship was crumbling down around him, but he’d been kind of busy lately and honestly the state of their relationship wasn’t really something he thought about anymore. Maybe that’s the problem.

They were taking a break to sort out their priorities; a trial separation like people’s parents have, except they don’t have kids or pets and they don’t even live together, so there isn’t much to separate. Kame said he felt like he was just standing there watching as Jin drifted further and further away from him; separated now not just by their schedules but by their entire lives. Jin has his friends and his music and America. Kame has work and baseball and his mysterious Kame things. Jin always assumed that if there was anything important, Kame would tell him. Now he doesn’t even know.

--


the wanderers


The first time Jin sees him is in the kitchen of a run down hostel in Athens. The kitchen is on the top floor of a tall, skinny little building that seems to Jin as if it has been constructed from bits and pieces the builders have found strewn across the city. Athens in general is like that; the remnants of Ancient gods rising up behind shoe stores and milk bars, crumbling ruins tumbling into brick walls covered in graffiti and faded posters. Everything is disjointed and mismatched.

That’s what the boy’s face is like. It looks like he was lovingly carved by a sculptor who was half drunk or half mad; proportions slightly askew. His haircut is short and messy and ill-conceived and dark stubble lines the underside of his jaw. His pieces fit together more beautifully than they should.

It is two in the morning, but he is hunched over a bowl of instant noodles and a Greek newspaper that he probably can’t read, idly turning the pages in the half-light cast by the light over the little stove. He looks up when Jin stumbles in and nods politely, but doesn’t say hello. Jin is a bit fucked up from the hash he’d been smoking up on the roof, so he just stands dumbly in the door and stares for a minute, open-mouthed and mute.

After a minute, the kid says, “You alright?”

Jin’s reflexes are dull and slow, and it takes him forever to say, “Yeah,” and stumble over and sit down in the rickety chair across the table. The noodles are steaming and smell like dried onion and cholesterol and there are red flecks of chilli swirling in the soup. Jin’s stomach gurgles and he leans in closer. “Can I have some of your noodles?”

The kid glances up, surprised, then wipes his hand on the back of his mouth and pushes the bowl towards Jin. He watches Jin eat with his chin resting on his palm. Every now and then he takes the chopsticks back and shovels some more noodles into his mouth, but Jin devours most of them. He is ravenous and a little bit homesick. The package crumpled up on the sink is covered in Japanese characters; a brand he does not recognise, but tastes like home anyway.

“Sorry,” Jin says after a while. “Was this your dinner?”

“No,” he says. Jin hasn’t asked his name, but he won’t realise that until later. “Just a midnight snack.” He picks up the chopsticks and swirls the meagre remnants of the soup around the bottom of the bowl. Fragments of mushroom float in orbit around the chopsticks. “I was feeling a bit homesick.”

“Where’s home?” Jin asks. Down the hall, in the dorm that Jin is sharing with a couple of drunken Englishmen and a very serious Canadian student who plans to travel across Greece visiting ancient ruins as part of his Masters degree, someone is thumping around; it sounds like one of the Englishmen might be having trouble climbing into the top bunk.

“Tokyo,” the kid says.

“Me too,” Jin says. It’s good to speak Japanese; to form words without thinking about them first.

The kid rests his chin on his folded arms and says, “We’re a long way from home.”

“Yeah,” Jin agrees, seconds before a group of giggling Australian girls burst into the kitchen with a bottle of spirits and try to coax them into joining their drinking game. Jin acquiesces without much resistance, but the kid just stays and watches for a while with his strange, angular face, laughing and helping to clean up their messes. After a while, he slips out the door. The girls drink Jin under the table and by the time he drags himself out of bed the next day, the kid is nowhere to be found.

--
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soundczechfic

May 2012

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