dark, angst, r
word count: 4,015
a/n. this is something dark and twisted, inspired by dreams I had some months ago. The ending is happy, because I just can't resist and I'm not sure if it makes any sense at all. Just trying to get back to writing:)
Kame remembers. Every time he walks down the all too familiar corridor, painted in bright and cheerful colors, the walls he knows better than the ones that surround him in his own apartment, better than the ones that he can barely recall now in his parents' house, better than the ones that witnessed the happiest moments in his life way back then, when he didn't dream.
Kame dreams now and remembers. Every time he walks down the all too familiar corridors where he spent the biggest part of his life, he remembers. In his dreams, the walls are not painted bright blue and cheerful yellow. In his dreams, the walls are black and grey and bloody red. Sometimes he sees the marks of the paint brush begin to crawl in the cracks and liquid seeps out and rolls down slowly like blood. In his dreams, those walls often bleed.
At first there is no one else who is hurt. Only the walls bleeding or Kame himself. One time, he gets lost in the endless labyrinth of corridors and the doors look all the same. The numbers over them are growing but the one he is looking for is always missing. He is not alone, most of the time. He sees juniors and choreographers and stylists and sometimes Ueda or Nakamaru who pass him by with little recognition in their eyes like they don't know him. He follows them then because the walls are dark and he feels a little bit cold and it just seems a good idea to get out of this building as soon as possible.
He can never get out. The ones he is following always disappear by the next corner and he finds himself alone again, in the labyrinth without any indication, without an exit.
Once he tries to speak to them. He asks them if they know how to get out and they sport a smile as they answer, a sickening smile that Kame knows too well and he sees his own lips and his own teeth on their faces as they nod. They lead him into a room, covered with glass all around and leave him there. The door locks and Kame is alone again. He curses at the motherfuckers, how could they leave him alone and tries to turn around to bang fists against the closed door when he realizes that the walls are closing in on him. He has to crouch down as glass presses to the top of his head and pulls his legs to his chest when it begins pushing his toes. In the narrow place there is not enough oxygen, his chest constricts and something starts to pool around his ankle, ice-cold. He sees water flooding in, and on top of him, on the other side of the glass there is snow towering above him, threatening to break the tiny windows and consume him. I'm going to die, he thinks but instincts kick in, they always do. His feet automatically move and kick on the window, breaking the glass, freezing air rushing into Kame's lungs as the edges of the broken glass tears his skin on the ankle and he is bleeding. He looks at it with fascination and awe. The crimson makes a beautiful contrast on the pure whiteness of the snow.
On the next day, Kame breaks his microphone. He has never thought there was so much strength in the tiny bones of his fingers as they clench around the cool metal, thumb pressing against the head of the mike. His senses drift out of focus and he can't hear the music in the background and his feet don't remember the steps anymore. He stands and his hand moves on his own accord, tightening and gripping and there is a crack, the head of the microphone banging to the ground with an ear-deafening screech.
Kame lets out a breathless laugh because in that moment he finds it very funny. A microphone, beheaded, he thinks. And bleeding. Only that it's not the metal equipment that is bleeding but his own hand, his thumb scraped and torn and probably broken, his flesh showing.
“Holy shit,” someone shrieks, it must be Koki because Kame recognizes his touch as he takes hold of his hand, gently, even if it feels raw and makes Kame flinch. “Kame, wh-what the hell?”
Kame wants to laugh again because Koki's voice sounds so funny like that. He has never heard Koki's voice so high-pitched and he kind of likes it. It took him only a finger to hear it.
Kame remembers. As he watches Taguchi dance during practice. They are taking a break but Taguchi refuses to stop, his feet moving fast, silly grin on his face and Kame smirks to himself.
He remembers his last dream; about Taguchi dancing. About how his long legs folded under himself as he lost balance and his legs disappeared into nothingness. On his face, he wore the same stupid grin and never lost it even after he couldn't dance or even walk anymore.
Kame wonders if Taguchi would really be smiling if that happened. He doesn't have an answer to that but he thinks he himself could smile for Taguchi even if Taguchi couldn't. They are friends after all.
In his dream, Kame is lost again. And he is left alone once more. He sees no one but he feels people's presence on the other side of the walls. Voices he once knew so well, voice he used to love, his mother, his older brother, his cousin. He tries to call out for them but they are laughing so loud that they can't hear him. There is no door and Kame presses a palm against the blood-drenched walls, sticky and warm and listens.
The voices are annoying, he shouts at them to shut the hell up but they pay no heed. His fingers curl and his nails are scraping on the wall, leaving white patterns in the redness of the blood. It looks like marks from a claw of a beast and that's exactly how he feels himself; a wild animal trapped inside a human-made prison and he knows the others can see him and they are laughing.
With a newly found brutal force that is crawling up from his stomach and makes his muscles tense, he bangs his fist against the wall, blood spluttering and breaks it, earning shrieks and gasps of shock and it's like an alluring melody to his ears. He flails his arms and sinks his claws in the person he is the closest to.
The once so beautiful face contorts and the skin breaks then she stops breathing and Kame can hear her heart beat for the last time.
When his mother calls the next morning, he doesn't answer.
Kame meets Jin at a silent café for a drink, walls covered by flower-patterned papers and children drawings. Jin's been always fond of this kind of places, dimmed lights, faint colors and cheesy background music. The waitress wears a sugary smile and Kame responds to her with an even sweeter one, not even hiding the mockery that his face displays.
“You don't have to be such an asshole, you know,” Jin tells him, sipping from his Mojito through a pink straw.
Kame pulls a disgusted face and tries not to voice out his feelings about how sickening Jin's whole presence feels at this moment.
“You don't have to be such a girl, you know,” he presses out through his teeth and ignores Jin's attempts to get a hold of his hand
“You look tired. You could use a great fuck, you know, just to recharge yourself,” Jin grins, looking too energized for Kame's liking.
“Fuck you,” Kame says flatly.
“That, too,” Jin's grin widens and Kame counts the ways he could wipe it from his face, of course not leaving out the most painful ones either. “Your place or mine?”
Kame rolls his eyes and grimaces. “I'm not going to that dirty pig hole, you should know that already.”
Jin doesn't seem offended. “Okay, yours then. By the way, why are you being so bitchy, not getting any sleep lately?”
For the first time that day, Kame smiles genuinly. “I sleep just fine,” and he takes another sip from his Bloody Mary.
“I wanna have a girlfriend,” Jin told him once when they were still ridiculously young and Kame had hair styled as a hedgehog and they were sunbathing in Okinawa and Kame still had dreams – not the kind he has now at nights.
Kame shrugged then because he couldn't relate to the feeling, girls were of different species to him and he liked to spend time with Jin and Yamapi and Nakamaru more than with any female.
Jin dug his toes into the sand and crossed his arms over his torso which was slim and shapeless, with no sign of any muscle whatsoever. His face was serious when he turned to look at Kame. “I've got a problem though.”
Kame stopped drawing patterns in the sand between his legs and looked back at Jin. “What?”
“That I like you as well.”
Not long after that day, Jin dragged Kame with him after dance practice and made him sit while he himself grabbed his guitar.
“I wrote a song for you,” he said proudly and he sang, voice lifting Kame up in the air and made his heart sore, even though the accords were messy and the words were inarticulated.
His face was burning then and he didn't know what to say after the song was over. Jin didn't mind it so he could press his lips against his, sloppily and awkwardly and passionately just what Jin himself was like. It was perfect, back then.
Kame has a dream about Okinawa and their first kiss. It resembles to reality so much that it makes Kame feel like he is watching a movie about his own life. Only that it's not sand Jin's digging his toes into but a pool of deep red-colored blood that sticks to his feet and reflects the sun.
When Jin sings to him, his voice cracks in a heart-wrenching manner, his throat closes and he turns mute. Kame likes the sound of silence; it's kind of perfect in its imperfection.
Kame likes smiling, he really does. He never thought he should force a smile, every time it comes effortlessly and he likes it because others like it too and he makes living of people liking him.
When Kame was twenty-one years old and at the peak of popularity and promotions and after-debut craze and photo shoots and quick rounds in abandoned changing rooms, he once went home, hours after the last interview and there were no fangirls or photographers around and slipped out of his shoes at the doorway and quickly got rid of his coat that he placed then in the wardrobe. It happened then, when he closed the door of the wardrobe and caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror fixed on the door and found himself smiling.
He was smiling and he didn't even feel it. He tried to stop but his smile turned even wider as he forced his lips curve down, they stubbornly remained in a grimace-like grin, mocking him in the mirror.
A week later he accidentally broke that mirror when he flung his wardrobe door open with more force than necessary and never fixed it again.
Kame works according to a script his manager hands him every Sunday afternoon. He usually spends the following two hours with a highlighter in hand, marking the most important events that serve as milestones and set up rules he has no doubt to follow every week. His schedule is always full of highlighted yellow lines then, not really finding any sense of using the marker after all but he can't blame himself, all of those appointments are of equal importance.
Kame lives according to a script he has in his head, because apart from his schedule, he needs things in his private life as well that help him organize each day. He doesn't need recipes to cook because it's all carved in his brain, in bold red letters; the amount of flour and salt and sugar and eggs and when he accidentally puts too much of either of them into the cake he's baking, he needs to start it all over again.
There is an alarm clock beside Kame's bed, on the nightstand that projects digital numbers on his wall at night. The alarm wakes him up at 5 am each morning but Kame doesn't remember the last time he woke up to the sound of it because he is awake without any help at 4.58 am.
When Kame has free time, he pulls out his schedule book – which is usually empty because everything is already perfectly memorized – and draws red circles around the numbers that mark his free hours, and calls Jin to know whether Jin is free or not.
Jin usually is.
When Jin asks Kame if he still loves him, Kame can't help but snort; the question is ridiculous and it feels like a well-rehearsed phrase when he finally gives an affirmative answer. Jin then shakes his head, telling Kame how he lives according to scripts and how he loves him by script, too.
Kame doesn't deny that.
Jin and Kame have a history behind their backs. Many firsts and memories, break ups and make ups just like the way two people should have when they spent half of their lives in each other's company.
Kame remembers, every time Jin links their fingers as they are lying in the bed, naked chest pressed to naked back and the movement of how Jin slips his fingers into Kame's is the same it always was. It gets Kame thinking and he remembers his dream. How he waited for the familiar feeling of Jin's fingers between his own before he squeezed them so hard that Jin's fingers broke.
As the feeling from his dream haunts him, Kame feels himself trembling and unconsciously gripping Jin's hand so hard that he needs to remind himself not to hurt Jin as he talks to him about the dream. Although he is pretty sure he doesn't cause any physical pain, Jin is still breathing quite funny into the back of his neck and it doesn't take long for him to feel his skin become wet.
Two days later Kame finds himself speechless for the first time in twenty years when his manager tells him with an obnoxious expression on his face that next weeks’ schedule is empty for Kame. Ever since Kame is a well-known personality in the entertainment industry this had never occurred. Kame tries to make sense of the old man's obviously transparent explanations and knows that he can't do much as the fact that he is forced to take a “well-deserved break” sinks in his over-worked brain.
He wonders why now of all times the company thinks he actually came to the point where his physical or psychological state requires a break from schedules.
On his first day, Kame maps out a schedule for himself. He feels safe gazing at the red paint his marker leaves on the immaculate paper, even if all those plans are just about buying groceries, cooking dinner and walking his dog. It seems kind of ridiculous, poor compared to interviews, photo shoots and rehearsals but it carries a sense of familiarity and security to him.
Jin calls him on the second day, sounding suspiciously choked up as he goes for a light-hearted conversation, obviously fake.
“How are you doing?”
Kame scoffs. “Aww, that’s so sweet of you. Don’t tell me you’re actually worried. You can’t be, right?”
“Fuck you,” Jin whispers, with no venom but painfully honest. “Fuck you, Kame.”
Kame starts to laugh until the sounds turn bitter in his mouth. He hears Jin sigh.
“I’m coming over.”
It’s not a question. Kame doesn’t respond.
Kame remembers. As Jin’s weight covers him like a suffocating blanket and pins him to his mattress, familiar fingertips mapping out the lines of his body all over. He sighs in delight when Jin’s nails accidently scrape the spot just right above his hipbone, pushing up for more and Jin obviously not understanding his intentions.
Kame feels annoyance curling in the pit of his stomach because Jin is just so fucking slow and gentle as if he is about to break and crumble and it takes more than twenty minutes to get the message across that he doesn’t want soft and love-filled touches and sweet, empty promises whispered into his ears. Eventually, Jin understands and lets himself manhandled onto his back and lets Kame do whatever he wants.
It’s all a blur after that, raw and instinctive and Kame doesn’t remember much of it later.
He remembers of painful friction and his head banging against the headboard and Jin’s shallow breathing and nails tearing at the skin of his arms and stomach - whose nails, he has no idea but when it’s all over and Jin carries him into the bathroom, putting him into the tub and cursing while his shaky hands are fumbling for the door of the cabinet just right before the stench of antiseptic fills the air tells him that it probably wasn’t Jin’s doing after all.
The smell of the antiseptic makes him sick and kind of sober. As the minutes pass by, he remembers less and less and it makes him cry out in agony. He sends Jin home after that.
On the third day, Nakamaru shows up at his doorstep unexpectedly. If Kame thinks about it, it’s not that much of a surprise after all. Sweet, caring Nakamaru, he thinks as the older man lowers himself on his white couch, the man who has always been the mother of the group, who has never been able to stay out of other people’s business.
Kame’s eyes land on the couch and smirks as blood starts dripping from the pores of the fabric under Nakamaru’s weight, drawing fascinating patterns on the white surface. Kame remembers his dream and almost feels sorry because he knows no one else can see how beautiful it is.
That is until Nakamaru pales and smoothes his hands over the sticky liquid, bringing them close to his eyes afterwards to inspect them in the light.
“Wh-what is this?”
Kame’s smirk stays on his face and he doesn’t think he should explain himself with words. A sense of satisfaction courses through his veins as Nakamaru slams his front door shut on his way out.
In his dream, Kame is at an unknown place and the dream doesn’t resemble to any dream he’s had before. The lights are sharp and the air is painfully clear, making him flinch in dicomfort. His throat seems hoarse from god knows what and for the first time in a very long time, Kame just really wants to wake up.
On his fourth day, Kame awakens to unfamiliar walls, smell of medicine and his limbs tied to the bed.
“Kame, calm down.”
He doesn’t really know what Jin means by that and why Jin is there wherever he is when he woke up to begin with, but his voice calms him down a little.
In the background a woman is crying and Kame’s last thought before he falls back into oblivion, is that her voice is similar to his mother’s, but that’s just a silly thought, he may still be dreaming after all.
Turns out that he isn’t.
Next time he wakes up, he is more conscious despite the headache that almost splits his head in half, his arms and legs are still tied to the bed. He feels sickeningly exposed.
Jin’s hands are just as raw as the white sheets under him and he would slap them away if he could move.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, Kame.”
That’s the twenty-fourth time he apologizes. Kame counts.
“Do you remember what happened to you when you were brought in?”
Kame exhales and wrings his wrists. It feels good to move freely again. He wonders how come the ties didn’t leave scars, just wide, faint pink bruises.
“No,” Kame says quickly, irritated.
The man is dressed in casual but elegant clothes, pen in his hand, looking extremely professional.
“I’d like you to talk about yourself a little bit.”
Kame doesn’t feel like talking so he stays silent for a minute or two.
“Do you like the sight of blood? Do you find it interesting?”
Kame suddenly feels angry. He stands up and swipes the doctor’s papers off his desk.
He honestly doesn’t feel like talking.
Jin is getting ugly, Kame thinks as the other lowers down onto the chair across him. His eyes are blood-shot and there are dark circles under them as if he hasn’t slept for weeks. Kame doesn’t know how much time he’s spent in here, he stopped counting the days - weeks even.
“Everything’s is going to be alright, you’ll see,” Jin says, turning his tired face to Kame, looking stupidly hopeful, even through the thick mask of exhaustion.
Kame would seriously kick him if he could, but his limbs feel so fucking heavy and he needs a moment to remember why. He recalls himself smashing his plate against the door the other day. They had to sedate him again, probably. It’s not his fault the food tastes like shit and he is sick of it. Just like he is sick of Jin’s gentle words and his neverending, idiotic optimism.
“You will be fine, Kame.”
It is also tiring to try not to believe in them.
One day, Kame dreams of being on stage. It’s strange because it’s so normal. There are no bleeding walls or pools of red anywhere. Just a familiar feeling of four other presence next to him and a fifth one behind his back.
“Do you miss being on stage?”
Kame shakes his head.
“Do you miss your band mates? Do you miss singing?”
Kame shakes his head again, trying to get rid of the salty feeling on his cheeks.
“Do you miss the person you used to be?”
Another shake of the head and a strangled sob.
Stupid old man, how can you ever understand?
Kame can’t look into their eyes when he walks in the meeting room his manager booked for them for an hour. He feels like a child that’s been scolded by his mother. He doesn’t really know what to say so he doesn’t speak for a long time.
Then there is one arm on his shoulder, another one in his hair, an elbow is poking him gently between his ribs and someone is crying into his neck. He tightens his sweaty grip on a hand that’s been holding his all along. He isn’t afraid of hurting it anymore; he knows he won’t.
The hand squeezes his so tightly it should be hurting. It doesn’t - the smile on his face does though but he can’t stop it anyway.
The next day when he arrives home from dance practice, Kame throws out his schedule book and he takes it as a big step in his recovery. His red marker follows the book into the bin. He doesn’t need them - he can still perfectly memorize any schedule, even more so that they are remarkably less than before and he doesn’t need to mark his free time for Jin either - there isn’t a single day Jin doesn’t have the courage to disturb him.
Kame doesn’t really mind because he remembers. He remembers who’s been holding his hand through it all.