pg-13, fluff, drama, romance, high school AU
It takes Jin a while to learn what so beautiful is about a snow angel. Kame shows him.
word count: 5,303
a/n. This is the second part of my very belated birthday present for the wonderful chained_akame and the Christmas fic for this year. It's cheesy and mushy and all but that's what came out of it. Enjoy!
a/n2. Die, LJ, die!!!
Monday morning is definitely a good thing. Jin associates it with the faint rays of the sun, café latte and Kame's smile. Kame recently arrives early and keeps sipping on his coffee - another one in his other hand -, standing at the school gate. He says he's not waiting for anyone, especially not for Jin but Jin is not convinced. He even less convinced when Kame hands him the other paper cup of steaming coffee and they enter the building together.
Without Yamapi and Ryo around - who were quite shocked and didn't understand why Kame's ignoring them -, no one really talks to Kame. At this point Jin realizes that Kame has no friends. The relationship the boy has with class mates is superficial and basically restricted to greetings. Jin concludes that Kame's popularity was probably based on Koki's popularity until the other guy was around. With Koki's departure, Kame has lost his only real friend.
Jin is not sure how he feels about that and even more uncertain about how Kame feels about it, but he knows that he wants to fill the emptiness in Kame's heart, if there's any.
Kame doesn't avoid Jin anymore - even at school and Jin's heart is swelling with happiness when Kame talks to him or smile at him.
Turns out that Kame can cook. He is not an ordinary cook, if you ask Jin, who is not the only one anymore bringing a lunch box to school. The two of them sit together every day and swap their bentos. Jin thinks Kame's cooking is heavenly and Kame rolls his eyes and accuses Jin of being cheesy when the other claims half-seriously that he can taste love in the food.
They make a habit of walking in whatever weather they have the luck to have and make snow angels in the white blanket that is covering the city without any sign of melting soon.
- - -
On a cold and windy afternoon Jin tries to recall how he ended up in this very eery situation, sitting in front of Tanaka Koki, almost choking on whatever drink he's having by the death glare Koki is sending his way.
He was on his usual walk with Kame a week after they had made their first snow angels together and this turned out to be a habit, if we can talk about habits after one week. They were lying in the snow, cheerful and oblivious to anything else when Kame suddenly shot up in a sitting position as if feeling someone was watching him.
Then, with a surprised yelp, he jumped up and ran off, Jin following him with his gaze and finding Tanaka Koki glaring at them as if ready to kill.
Koki was looking at him with shock and confusion – he witnessed Kamenashi Kazuya and Akanishi Jin fluttering in the snow together like some five-year-olds after all –, just like Jin himself. The only one who was not showing any kind of uneasiness was Kame himself who was clinging to Koki for his dear life. Jin felt a tad bit jealous because of this but quickly forgot his jealousy when his gaze locked with Koki's again.
Then suddenly Kame grabbed Koki with one hand, Jin with the other and dragged them to the nearest café which brings us back to the present and Jin who finds himself in the middle of a staring competition with Koki while Kame hovers over his cup of hot chocolate, humming happily, totally oblivious to the other two boys' silent battle.
“So, Akanishi,” Koki says in a dangerously low voice. “Are you two friends now or what?”
Well, that is definitely a relevant question though Jin has no idea how to reply. Kame just shrugs and mumbles something incoherent with a gulp of chocolate in his mouth just not to give anyone a chance to actually understand him.
“Kame,” Koki says, his tone and his eyes are warning and Kame eventually gives up.
“Yes, I guess we are. So what?”
“So what?” Koki echoes, disbelief is written all over his face. “I thought Akanishi was just an annoying nerd who is in love with you...”
“I'm... well...” Jin stutters, feeling the need to defend himself though he can't really disagree.
“I never said that,” Kame gulps his chocolate, palms lying around the warm cup, eyes widened in fake innocence but his look is determined. “Jin was actually very kind to me and...”
“Whatever you say, it's just plain weird,” Koki shakes his head. “Why don't you hang out with others like-”
“Like Nishikido and Yamashita?” Jin finds his voice, suddenly feeling irritated. Hasn't Koki noticed what kind of friends those two were?
Koki narrows his eyes, trying to figure out what has gotten into the ever-quiet and calm Akanishi Jin to have his eyes burning and his hands clenched into fists, like he wants to punch someone. “What's with them?”
Before Kame can interfere, Jin slams his own cup on the table. “Your dear friends were playing a prank on Kame while pretending to actually care for him. If that's what your definition is of a friend then I have no idea what kind of friend you are anyways.”
“Jin,” Kame places a hand on Jin's arm in a calming gesture while Koki's face loses color.
“I-Is that true?” he asks, eyes directed to his best friend.
Kame sighs. “Yes. Jin was ready to beat them into a pulp, you know. I guess that tells something about him.”
Koki's eyes are back on Jin, his face is a mask of surprise and something else that Jin can't really put his finger on. “So it was them who sent those mails. I told you to tell me if you hear anything.”
“I didn't know it was them until I overheard their conversation. And it was long after you left.” Jin almost shouts back then lowers his voice when he sees the guilty expression on Koki's face. “You knew then you were going to leave, right? You kind of asked me to take care of Kame-chan, even if you would be no longer here. And I just did that, so what's the problem now?”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Kame raises his arms to get attention then glares at Koki. “So you knew back then that you were going to leave and you didn't tell me?”
Koki looks at Kame, eyes shining with guilt. “Kame, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I left you like this. I was hoping I could convince my father to let me finish school here so I didn't tell you about it. I'm sorry.”
“I can't believe you two. What are you thinking? That I'm an incompetent child?” Kame fumes, voice rising higher and higher, just like someone who is going to throw a fit in the next moment and Jin and Koki share a panicked glance.
“We just care!” they blurt out at the same time then look at each other in confusion. Kame tries to hide his grin behind his cup until Koki reaches over and smacks Kame on the head.
“Ouch! What was that for?” Kame blinks innocently, trying his best to sulk but when the three of them look at each other in a momentarily silence, all the seriousness is thrown out of the window and they burst out laughing and keep going until they are out of breath.
Then Koki's eyes suddenly darken, a shadow falls on his features, fingers tightening around his cup. “So Nishikido and Yamashita, huh?”
- - -
The next day both Yamapi and Ryo have strangely black spots on their swollen faces, wearing a gloomy expression and they keep at least ten-metre distance from Kame. Koki goes back to his parents but Jin has the strange feeling that he is always there somehow, feeling Koki's presence even days later like a protective bubble around Kame everywhere they go. He sometimes feel like they are followed by shadows but never actually sees anyone.
The last day before Christmas break starts, Jin makes Kame promise to visit him and let Jin treat him to a friendly Christmas dinner. To Jin's surprise, Kame doesn't argue much, just scribbles Jin's address down and shoves the piece of paper into the inside pocket of his jacket, right above his heart. Jin can't stop grinning at that.
There is a four-days-long period before Christmas where Jin is without school and Kame and to him, it feels like eternity. He's wondering what Kame's doing during those days but he doesn't have to be thinking about it much because on the third evening he finds Kame on his doorstep.
There's no need to be a genius to figure out that there is something wrong with the way Kame keeps stuttering, trying to find an excuse why he's visiting Jin so much earlier. Kame's standing in the doorway, looking upset and nervous, his eyes restless, and babbles about something Jin can't quite catch before his speech becomes even more incoherent and Jin has to stop him with a gentle hand placed on his shoulder, at which Kame cringes and falls silent.
Jin pulls Kame inside and makes him sit on the sofa. Few minutes later two mugs of hot chocolate keep them company and Jin keeps pushing his glasses up his nose, trying to ignore the happiness that overwhelmes him at the heartwarming sight of Kame on his couch.
Jin shakes his head to resist to voice this out because, really, that's not the point here. What matters now, is Kame who looks so different, avoids his gaze, tapping on the side of his mug with his fingers. Something is bothering the boy, it's the first time that Kame looks so troubled, the sadness in his eyes is vaguely familiar to that expression that Jin saw when they made their first snow angels together and he feels worry rush over him as Kame keeps opening and closing his mouth without managing a single sound.
Jin can see the inner battle that must be running through Kame's mind, to say something or not and contemplates the idea of hugging Kame to him without any further ado. When Kame presses his lips and his eyes cloud over, Jin decides it's time to do just that so he snatches the mug from Kame's hand and gathers the boy in his arms.
He feels as Kame's heart is beating against his chest before Kame presses his face against his shoulder and circles his arm around him quite desperately. Jin does what he thinks must be soothing as he strokes the other's black strands gently and pulls Kame's body further into his own.
Kame lets out a soft sigh, clutching on Jin's shirt, his hands tremble a bit, before suddenly pulls away with a weak laughter and jumps up from the sofa.
“This place looks good,” he says and running his palms over his face, starts to wander around the apartment, trying very hard to pretend that previous episode had never happened.
At this point, Jin is quite at a loss of what to do.
“You know,” Kame continues, the indifference in his voice sounds fake. “I'm sorry to show up like this, I was worrying that your parents wouldn't be fond of the idea of me coming here uninvited. But it looks like they're not here,” Kame utters softly as he stands in front of the half-decorated Christmas tree and starts poking a silver ball that hangs on a thin branch.
Jin shakes his head and stares at the other. “I live alone.”
There is a twitch of Kame's shoulders as he lets the small silver ball sway in surprise but doesn't turn around. “Really? How come?”
Jin wonders if this is the right moment to talk about this when Kame would obviously need more to talk but he figures that it is probably better to talk about anything as long as Kame doesn't shuts himself completely from him. “My parents are back in my hometown. I came here to go to college and I live alone.”
Kame's back is still tense. “I'm sorry,” he whispers.
Jin's eyebrows rise in surprise. “You're sorry? What for?”
Kame now lets out a soft laughter that sounds just as fake as the previous one. “I'm sure it's not easy to be alone all the time.”
“I'm not alone. I have you, Kame-chan and I have a loving family even if they are not here.”
Kame's shoulders slump down and he slowly turns around. Jin thinks Kame looks tired as he drags himself back to the couch and drops down with a sigh next to Jin. The older boy can't take his eyes off the other as his lips part again to struggle to say something, just like before.
“I don't have a loving family,” Kame says simply after a while, his voice hoarse, eyes staring into nothingness as if he's far away.
Anger and urge to convince the boy otherwise flares in Jin in a single moment and before he knows, he starts protesting heatedly. “That can't be true.”
Kame's look can be described as rather skeptical but he doesn't argue back at least. Jin's heart start beating in an irregular pattern as he realizes that he's been into staring at the boy so much that he hasn't noticed he leaned in so much closer than necessary.
The temptation to touch Kame has never been stronger than in this very moment as he looks back at Jin with that gentle and hopeful expression, eyelashes lazily moving, fluttering against his cheeks beautifully. Silence stretches over them, silence that is filled with something tense and exciting, Jin can feel it in his guts as Kame slightly cocks his head and the black locks fall into his face as a dark curtain, shielding his eyes. Jin's hand instinctively rises to brush them out of his face and he finds himself unable to pull back.
Kame leans into the touch and closes his eyes, enjoying how Jin's fingertips are wandering on his cheeks. Jin is not sure if he is still breathing at this point but he doesn't mind dying, he just wants to do one thing before that happens so he closes the distance and catches Kame's lips in a soft peck.
The kiss is more awkward than not, Jin's glasses bump into Kame's nose and Jin feels how his lips quiver between Kame's soft ones. It is over as fast as it started and when Jin opens his eyes, he sees Kame with his eyes still closed and reality slowly sinks in. He just kissed Kame. For real. Not in his usual daily daydream but for real and now all that's left is to wait for Kame to react.
When Kame opens his eyes, Jin could see his gaze is clouded and warm and it makes him lightheaded, but still unable to say or do anything. Kame doesn't speak, just shifts closer and this time it's him who initiates a second kiss which catches Jin off-guard as he lets himself fall under Kame's control.
This kiss is longer but not long enough in Jin's opinion and before he knows, Kame pulls away and lets his head fall on Jin's chest, his warm and laboured breathing caresses his skin under the thin fabric of his shirt.
“Can I stay here tonight?” Kame mutters against Jin's furiously beating heart and yawns. A silly grin finds its way to Jin's face as he hesitantly winds his arms around Kame's half-sleeping form and leans back on the couch.
“Sure,” he says and Kame just snuggles further against him before they both fall asleep.
- - -
It feels surreal, happiness almost in an unnatural way but he wouldn't dare to complain, Jin thinks. Waking up with Kame pressing his nose into his back, an arm thrown over his chest and the sound of soft breathing must be the most beautiful thing Jin has ever experienced.
The next week is heaven itself. Kame practically lives with Jin and Jin more often than not abandons the idea of asking Kame if his parents are worried about him for not being at home, especially at Christmas. But Jin doesn't ask because Kame looks like avoiding the topic and doesn't want the other to think he is a burden.
So Jin just lets himself dragged by the tide, having Kame around him is what he has always wanted after all. The happiness is overwhelming when he sees the Christmas present he had given to Kame on the younger one's pinky because Kame looks like he never wants to take it off. It makes Jin feel special; what they have is now marked by a ring that claims Kame his.
For a week they do things every normal couple does. They cook and eat together, watch some drama or listen to some music, walk in the snow and go to watch a movie, kiss and cuddle and sleep together, even if Jin more often than not finds himself staring at the sleeping Kame while he himself is wide awake and has bags under his eyes the next morning but can't care less.
Happiness is short-lived though, and Jin has no idea what was coming their way when he embraces Kame on New Years Eve under the exploding fireworks and Kame sneaks his hand into the pocket of Jin's coat to link their fingers.
As Kame's hand slips into his and their fingers entwine, Jin thinks that they fit like two pieces of the puzzle would fit perfectly and hopes that the new year brings many moments like that.
The next day Jin realizes that he was wrong. When he disconnects the line, the phone falls on the floor with a loud bang, echoing the sound of his heart which feels like it just broke into millions of tiny pieces.
- - -
When he tells Kame, Jin can't do anything but frown at the reaction.
Kame is sitting on Jin's kitchen counter and swings his legs in the air, his face is calm. Too calm, Jin thinks.
“It's just six months,” Kame says indifferently and shrugs.
Jin is totally clueless. Kame just sits and listens to him preaching about good grades and graduating.
“When?” he asks when Jin finishes his speech.
“Tomorrow,” Jin answers, sighing heavily and Kame pulls him close, manouvering him between his legs. Then he just kisses Jin hungrily and Jin wants to burst into tears, thinking about how he's going to miss this.
Then without a word, Kame gently pushes him away and leaves. Jin is wondering if this is Kame's way is to say goodbye because if it is then Jin has no idea how many heartbreaks he can endure in a day.
- - -
Jin's suitcase is already packed when later that evening rapid knocking breaks the silence in his almost empty apartment.
When Jin opens the door, he feels the need to sit down before he faints. Kame follows him inside, dragging his own bags with him and leaving them in the doorway.
“What are you doing, Kame?” Jin sighs when he successfully reaches a chair at his dining table and manages to slump down on it without falling over.
“I'm going with you,” Kame says so indifferently as if he is talking about the weather.
Jin turns around and massages his forehead wearily, wondering how much time Kame will need to let that grin melt down from his face. “You can't.”
Kame is still smiling when he slips in Jin's lap, throwing his arms around the other's neck. “I knew you would say that. Don't worry, no one is going to miss me. I can go with you.”
Jin rests his hands on Kame's hips loosely and looks into his eyes as seriously as he can. “Kame, you can't. You have to graduate.”
“You have to graduate, too,” Kame replies, still sure that he is going to win the argument.
“I will but now I must go home. I don't have any other chance but you do.”
Kame is not smiling anymore. “That's not fair. You are the one who is supposed to graduate, you have the best grades in that damn school, while I - I can't--”
“That's why you have to do it,” Jin says firmly, his fingers digging into the other's waist. “You know you can't leave school like that. And you can't leave your parents.”
That has an effect on Kame like it was expected. He jumps up and starts to pace in the small room, scoffing. “As if they care.”
“They do,” Jin says softly, with as much calmness as he can muster. “Come on, let's get you back home, I'm sure they will freak out when they don't see your clothes in your room.”
Kame stops and looks at his bag then back at Jin, then back at his bags again and Jin can see how panic starts to settle in his dark eyes that become wider and wider. “W-wait. Now that's it? So you send me home and tomorrow you leave... and...”
“Kame,” Jin feels the need to stop Kame before he can totally lose it. He stands up and walks to the other, who fixes his gaze on the floor, gulping. “I'm not leaving you.”
Kame shakes his head. “You are.”
“No,” Jin almost yells, holding a finger up for emphasis. “No. I'm leaving Tokyo, not you. Do you understand?”
Kame sighs, his fingers curl in the fabric of Jin's shirt on the older boy's chest. “You promised me,” he mutters.
“And I'm not breaking my promise,” Jin says and lets Kame lean on him. He circles his arms around the boy and for a long time, their breathing is the only sound in the silence.
- - -
When they arrive at Kame's place, the younger boy is still sulking but his grip is tight on Jin's hand. The door bursts open before they can reach it and Jin immediately slips his hand out of Kame's hold.
“Kazuya, where have you been?”
And there stands Kame's father with an expression of a man who is going to kill any time. Jin finds the idea to run as fast as he can very appealing. He swallows.
Kame shrugs his shoulders. “I tried to run away but unfortunately I can't.”
Two pairs of eyes widen at Kame's words and Jin nervously looks around, trying to decide which direction he should take now.
The man slowly turns to Jin, eyes flashing dangerously. “And you are?”
Jin gasps and bends down to bow. “Akanishi Jin, sir. Nice to mee-”
“Kazuya's friend?” the man cuts him off, his voice cold like ice.
“My boyfriend,” Kazuya butts in, shrugging once more.
Jin straightens his back, eyes wide again and from the look Kame's father is having, his muscles tense again, ready to flee.
“I see,” the man grits between his teeth.
Jin shoots a panicked look at Kame, who looks at his father blankly. The man then grabs Kame's bags and glares at Jin, suspicion in his eyes. Jin holds a breath.
“Thank you for bringing him back,” the man says flatly then steps back.
Jin snaps out of his daze and hurries to bow. “No problem, sir. It was a pleasure to-”
“Stop bowing,” Kame's father orders and Jin shots up again, his back aching from the harsh movement. “Kazuya, don't be late for dinner.”
The man walks away and leaves them alone in front of the door.
Jin heaves a relieved sigh and Kame chuckles at him. “He likes you.”
“Really?” Jin doesn't know if he should believe that.
Kame's expression turns to serious and steps close, placing a soft kiss on Jin's lips. “I don't like goodbye scenes,” he says, sounding lost and Jin presses his palms together to prevent himself from hugging him.
“This is not goodbye,” he says quietly and swallows. “Kame-”
“Don't say anything cheesy now,” Kame waves, eyes fixed on his shoes. “Just go and... and take care, will you?”
Jin nods and his lips curl into a smile. “You too. Don't forget what you promised.”
Kame suddenly steps closer and squeezes Jin's hands. “And you don't forget... me.”
Jin presses a chuckle out of his aching throat. “I would never do that.”
With a caress on the hand, Kame nods once then spins around and disappears behind the door, stealing a last glance from Jin before it closes. Jin has never found a smile so damn hard to keep on his face.
- - -
Jin feels a little bit proud of himself. He has mastered the art of faking a smile just in one day. Just like now when his mother gathers him in her arms and soothes him affectionately.
“I'm so happy to see you, Jin. I missed you,” she smiles.
Jin nods. “I missed you too, mom. How is dad?”
“He's fine but he can't get up from the bed. He will be very happy to see you,” she says and caresses his son's face.
It feels weird to be at home. Jin always has a feeling of going back in time when he steps across the doorstep of their parents' house. At times like this he likes to pretend he is still a little kid who had never gone to Tokyo and left all of this behind. He likes to pretend he is not that child whose biggest dream is to graduate from one of the best schools and then settle down in the capital. He likes to pretend to be happy to be there.
This time it is different and Jin feels scared when he can't find that child in himself anymore. Pretending is not that easy anymore. He was so close to fulfill his biggest dream and losing it like that is not that easy to accept. But it's okay, he says to himself. It has to be okay.
When his father dozes off later that day, Jin walks down to the kitchen and finds his mother there and the beautiful dinner prepared on the dining table. He is hungry for the taste he has been missing for so long so he sits down and grabs his chopsticks eagerly.
“How are you doing, Jin?” his mother asks as he watches his son, smiling fondly.
“I'm fine, mom,” Jin replies and slows down in chewing.
“I'm sorry you had to leave everything like this,” she says and Jin lowers his head.
“It's okay,” Jin mutters. The food doesn't taste like it did the last time.
The woman sighs. “I wish your brother was still in the country. I would have asked him to take over the work and let you graduate.”
“I know, mom. Don't worry, it's fine,” Jin presses the words through his teeth with difficulty.
She smiles sadly. “Have you made friends, Jin? Is there someone who is waiting for you in Tokyo?”
Jin doesn't answer. He can't. Staring at his plate, his vision blurs and he lets his mother embrace him and craddle him in her arms for a long time.
At least he feels like a little kid now.
- - -
It's another Monday morning when Jin walks out of the house and stares at the snow-covered garden, letting himself be blinded by the whiteness as the sunlight glints on the snow. Then he lets himself drop on his back and moves his arm just like he does with Kame even if it feels so much different. The snow is raw and his movements are accompanied by the harsh scraping of the ice that covers it in thin layers. Jin shivers then stops moving and stares at the greyish sky.
His ringtone sings a familiar melody into the air and Jin smiles sadly as he answers then just listens to Kame's ramble and waits for him to take a breath.
“I miss you,” Jin says after a brief pause and Kame doesn't say it back.
“I made a snow angel on my way to school today,” Kame says instead, his voice is strained.
“Really?” Jin smiles, this time genuinly.
“Yeah,” Kame whispers. “But he feels kinda lonely by himself.”
Jin laughs breathlessly and wonders if he stopped counting the days until they meet again he would feel any better.
When they hang up, Jin buries his head in his hands.
They both hate Monday mornings.
- - -
By the time the snow melts, Jin is already buried under contracts and documents. Surprisingly, he finds his work quite entertaining even if that was not the life he has been dreaming of.
Spring arrives earlier than he expected, the sun feels warm on his skin as he is staring at the first blossoms of flowers in the garden. That is the day when he makes his parents sit in the living room and starts talking about Kame.
His father is totally shocked, he can see it and his mother just smiles if she has already known. Jin has no idea how motherly insincts work but he is sure they really do exist. He is even more convinced about that when the next day Kame's mother calls him.
Jin doesn't know what is going on but he obediently answers all the question she asks him before they hang up. When Kame calls later, his voice breaks with excitement but refuses to say anything about the issue.
- - -
Kame graduates in June. His marks are pretty good and Jin congratulates him, feeling proud and touched by all the effort Kame had put into his studies.
Kame - as impatient as he is - just mumbles under his breath ('Yeah yeah whatever') and announces his arrival for the following day.
Jin drops the phone.
- - -
Jin feels as nervous as he was the first day when he caught a glimpse of Kamenashi Kazuya, one of the most popular guys of the school. The station is crowded, people are walking with umbrellas held above their heads to protect themselves from the summer heat. Kame's train arrives late and Jin almost loses his patience while he is trying to find the younger boy in the crowd.
Kame looks breathtaking, his hair dyed light brown, the ripped jeans are hanging from his hips loosely and Jin sighs, thinking of his parents' reaction. With a smile as bright as the sun, Kame throws himself into Jin's arms and giggles uncontrollably. Jin just hugs him and refuses to let go until Kame starts to turn blue from the lack of oxygen.
On their way home, Kame stops in front of Jin's place and lies down on the grass, pulling Jin with him by their hands, fingers entwined. Jin chuckles when Kame starts moving his arms.
“There is no snow,” he informs his boyfriend but can't stop laughing.
“I know,” Kame says and tugs on Jin's hands.
Jin lets himself be pulled and hovers above the younger boy, brushing a few locks out of his face.
“Let's make some in the winter,” Kame suggests as he pulls Jin down.
“We will,” Jin promises. “We will.”