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JE - Growing Up - Akame

Title: Growing Up
Pairing: Akanishi Jin / Kamenashi Kazuya
Rating: PG (for language)
Author Notes: I don't know how this happened, but somehow I stayed up all night writing Akame. Dedicated to samenashi and soundczech, who are entirely to blame.



It hadn’t gone the way Jin wanted. This whole going solo thing, his dream, his big, triumphant moment of making it world wide, had blown up into his face, had blown up into everybody’s faces, and instead of being the nation’s hero, instead of everybody loving and admiring him, people wanted answers.

Answers and apologies and explanations.

And Jin’s not good at any of these things. Interviews had never been his forte and whenever he tries explaining himself to someone, they just nod at him with this small smile, like they’re humoring a child sprouting crazy stories about spaceships and aliens. Jin loves spaceships and aliens, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, he can’t even be bothered to really think things through for himself, let alone explain his decisions to the whole country, and so he does what he does best — he escapes all his problems by clubbing, drinking, and sleeping until noon.

It’s Kame who ends up doing most of the talking about what’s going on with Jin, at a KAT-TUN press conference that Jin isn’t even attending. He humbly relates KAT-TUN’s future plans to the press, wishes Jin the best of luck on his solo endeavors and apologizes again and again for something that isn’t even his fault. Jin knows he should feel bad, at least a little, but it’s hard when he’s got a nice buzz from one too many tequila shots that what’s-his-face (John? Jake?) had brought him and a blonde, big-breasted girl on each arm.

The one on the right is telling him some story about how she and her best friend had adopted sibling kittens, how they’d always be best friends, forever, because their pets would always connect them, and Jin suddenly gets this weird feeling in his stomach, like something is very, very wrong about his life right now, like he should be somewhere entirely different. He quickly dismisses the feeling, though, because Boom Boom Pow comes on and Candy and Sierra want to dance.

No really, Jin’s life is still pretty awesome.

Until he’s laying in his bed that night, alone, and he suddenly feels really fucking scared. It’s probably because he’s also really fucking drunk, but he can’t shake the feeling, not even when he tries listening to Lil Wayne’s Lollipop fifteen times in a row. He ends up scrolling through his phone contacts anxiously, but somehow no one seems to want to listen to Jin Akanishi’s worries at four am.

“Dude, what the hell,” Josh slurs into the phone when Jin finally reaches him. “I’m too fucked up to listen to you whine. Just smoke a joint, or something.”

“Jin,” Yamapi says tiredly and yawns loudly. “It’s fucking four in the morning. I’ll call you back tomorrow, okay?”

“Fuck off,” Ryo says and hangs up.

Jin ends up staring at his phone screen glowing in the dark for ages, stares at the one contact he’s been skipping over and over again, that one contact that he likes to pretend isn’t even saved in his phone book anymore. He remembers when he’d had him on speed dial, when he would have never even thought of calling anybody else first (well, except maybe Yamapi, depending on his problem). He stares and stares and then he finally presses ‘call’ on the contact labeled ‘FAG’.

The phone rings three, four, five times and Jin’s about to give up when after the sixth ring someone picks up.

“KAMENASHI?” Jin croaks into the phone.

Jin his greeted with silence, and for a moment he thinks that he’d just gotten the answering machine, or that Kame had hung up on him immediately, or that maybe he’d called the wrong person.

“KAMENASHI,” he repeats, more urgently than before. “I’m scared.”



Another long silence, and then Kame’s voice. “You’re kidding, right.”

“I WISH.” Jin lets his head fall back into his pillow and hides his face under his arm even though Kame can’t see him. He sighs. “What if I just made the biggest fucking mistake of my life? What if everyone in the US will be like, who is this clown? And then Johnny will fire me and I’ll end up being homeless and living in a cardboard box in Shinjuku station and none of the hot chicks will even look at me, because I’ll be unwashed and gross. What the hell am I gonna do?”

His reply is the click of the phone. Kame has hung up on him.

*

When Jin’s alarm clock wakes him up around two the next afternoon, he thinks he’s dreamed the whole thing up. Surely he hadn’t really called Kame. Surely, no matter how drunk he’d been, he’d had enough pride to just get drunker and not to admit to Kame, of all people, how unsure he feels at the moment.

A quick glance at his last calls later and Jin groans from both embarrassment and a pounding headache. This is horrible. Utterly, completely humiliating. He hovers over Kame’s number again, desperately trying to think of an excuse he could give him. Somehow, ‘I was drunk’, doesn’t quite seem to cut it.

In the end he just decides to pretend it never happened. He’s pretty sure Kame won’t say anything anyway, not to him and certainly not to anyone else, and so if he just acts like he never called, it would always be like it actually did never happen.

They go to Karaoke that night, him and Josh and the other guys.

Jin feels pretty good about himself when they do three Kanye West songs in a row; in fact he feels super fucking dope when he totally aces SexyBack, but then Josh is suddenly laughing loudly while pushing a few buttons and the beginning notes of Real Face are in the air.

“What the—” Jin starts.

“Come on,” Josh cheers. “For old time’s sake!”

Jin feels like he’s stuck in a horrible, horrible nightmare when Josh and Mike try to do his and Kame’s harmonies. Josh keeps messing up the rhythm and Mike’s Japanese is absolutely atrocious, and neither of them can hit any of the high notes.

“YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG,” Jin finally screams, face red.

“Woah, dude,” Josh says into the microphone, the sound of his loud voice bouncing off the walls. He holds his hands up in surrender. “Calm down, okay, we’re skipping to the next one!”

Mike presses a button and Jin releases a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.

Then the karaoke machine starts playing Seishun Amigo.

“Oh, I love this one!” Josh cries.

“ME TOO,” Mike agrees.

They press their thumbs together and raise their hands into the air in an attempt to recreate the choreography. Jin flashes back to a time when it hadn’t been him about to do work outside the group. A time when it had been Kame who seemed like a hero to all of Japan, a time when Jin had sat around at home for a week seething with jealousy.

“MI AMIGO~” Josh and Mike scream into the microphone.

Jin storms out of the room.


*

He ends up alone at home again, even more drunk than the night before.

And when he runs out of vodka, the next logical step somehow seems pulling out old video recordings of KAT-TUN, recordings he could have sworn he’d gotten rid of ages ago. He’s into the third disc of Shounen Clubs, when he’s suddenly really confused why he’s not sitting around at some music video shoot right now, boredly listening to Taguchi’s puns, or failing at imitating Nakamaru’s beatboxing, or sharing stupid English pick-up lines with Koki. Why is it again, that he’s not trying to cheer up a moody Ueda or sitting in a fold-up chair in the corner staring at Kame and hoping the cameras wouldn’t pick it up?

Who decided this whole thing?

Jin’s memory refuses to cooperate, then, and all he remembers is sitting in Johnny’s office and Johnny telling him that he can’t fall back on KAT-TUN anymore if he fails in America. That this his chance to make his dream come true, and it’s all or nothing.

Somehow the memory gets jumbled together with the very recent memory of his buddies butchering Real Face and Seishun Amigo and suddenly Jin is convinced, no, knows for a fact, that of course all his problems are Kame’s fault.

It’s not that hard to press ‘FAG’ on his phone this time, and Kame answers at the second ring.

“Akanishi,” he says. He sounds tired. What a loser, it’s not even that late.

“WHY’D YOU MAKE ME LEAVE KAT-TUN,” Jin cries, without preamble.

“Enough with the unfunny jokes,” Kame says after a short pause. His voice suddenly seems really measured. It makes Jin furious how it doesn’t even seem like Kame cares. How dare he be so detached when Jin has to leave and it’s all Kame’s fault!?

“I AM NOT JOKING,” he yells. “Why did you ask Johnny to kick me out of KAT-TUN?! Is it cause I’m more popular? You are so selfish—-”

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Kame all but growls into the phone and Jin’s about to reply that no, he’s dead serious, and demand an answer when Kame hangs up on him. Again.

*

This time Jin isn’t awoken by his alarm clock but by the shrill sound of his door bell. It’s probably Yamapi bringing him some desperately needed breakfast. Jin groggily gets up and walks to the front door, failing to notice that it’s not morning but the middle of the night. And when he opens the door, it’s not Yamapi paying him a visit but Kame.

Jin can tell by the flush of his cheeks that Kame had been angry right up until Jin had opened the door. The moment they make eye contact, though, Kame’s face relaxes. Not in a good way, no, he just seems too tired to keep up his anger, and now that Jin is neither drunk nor dancing with hot Western girls, he does feel bad. Really bad.

“I came here to punch you in the face,” Kame says.

“Take a swing,” Jin says with an uncertain smile. “I won’t hit you back, promise.”

Kame doesn’t return his smile. “We’re not in Gokusen anymore, Jin.”

Jin ends up inviting Kame in, and they end up sitting on Jin’s couch, both of them a beer in their hands. Kame doesn’t even take a sip, though, he just clings to the bottle and Jin is pretty convinced he’s about to crush it. They sit in silence for a long time, both just staring at the floor, and Jin remembers how easy it used to be. How naturally it came to him, talking to Kame, spending hours and hours having the stupidest conversations, and how now he can’t even say he’s sorry.

“What did you mean,” Kame finally says, quietly. “When you said you’re scared.”

“I don’t know,” Jin says. “I don’t know, man. I was drunk. I’m gonna be alone and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“It’s your dream, isn’t it?” Kame fingers the end of his leather bracelet gingerly, looking anywhere but at Jin’s face. “You’re getting to do what you wanted. Shouldn’t you be happy?”

“I don’t know,” Jin says again. “It’s just — I can’t take it back.”

Kame does look up then, and suddenly Jin feels like the biggest asshole douche in the world because he can see it, right there on Kame’s face, that despite everything that has happened, everything that they’d have to go through because of Jin, Kame still doesn’t hate him. Kame isn’t even really angry at him; he’s sad and lonely and a little bit hurt, but despite everything he still has it in him to give more. To let Jin go, let him be who thinks he wants to be. To forgive him.

“You don’t want to take it back, though,” Kame says.

“Yeah,” Jin realizes he’s right the moment Kame says it. He can’t admit it out loud, he can’t even really admit it to himself, but the reason he has been insecure and miserable is that after all this time, after emphasizing again and again how him and Kame are ‘just colleagues’ that he still can’t stand the thought of Kame hating him, or not caring about him, or not thinking about him at all. That even now he still wants to know that Kame understands. It’s selfish, but Jin has never been able to suppress that side of him, not when they were sixteen and not now. “You’re right. I don’t want to take it back.”

“You’ll do fine,” Kame is looking at his hands again. “And if you don’t — we’ll still be there. Even if Johnny doesn’t let you come back, we’ll still be there. We’ll always be there.”

Jin doesn’t say anything. He knows that if does, he risks starting to cry and that would just come across as super gay, especially since he doesn’t even have to excuse of being drunk.

“You better get started,” Kame says then, a small, wistful smile on his lips. “You’ve got growin’ up to do.”

“Shut up,” Jin says and punches Kame lightly in the shoulder. “I’m older than you.”

*

It’s a week later, and Josh has Jin’s iPhone in his hands, nosily browsing his contacts.

“Hey Jin,” he yells over the loud music blaring out of Jin’s stereo. “Who the hell is ‘big brother turtle’?!”

“Oh,” Jin says and smiles. “Just someone who looks out for me.”
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Comments

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i still wanna punch josh and kusano's faces for being assholes about kame D:

that said, i love this fic and hope you write lots more
Idk about Josh, but I have never and will never believe Kusano said that :( :(

Thank you! ♥ I'm so glad you liked it!
I have a few other ideas, hopefully my inspiration lasts...
this was such a great read!
some scenes just seemed so real...that i can actually picture jin drunk dialing FAG.
and also holding back his tears cuz that would just be "super gay" if he shed any.
thanks for sharing!
Happy you liked it! ♥
I spend way too much time trying to understand Jin's motivation, but if at least it makes for good fic, then my job is done! :)

Thanks so much for reading!
just another reason you are my favourite.
i luv u MOAR, MOAR ♥

never leave me, ok.
I LOVE THIS T________T BIG BROTHER TURTLE MADE ME WANNA SOB. ILU. ILU.
THANK YOU BB ILU TOO ♥

i feel like reading your fic brought out all the trauma i didn't know i was suffering from and I had to write this instantly to get over it...
Here from fitz.

I love Kame hanging up on Jin.I LOVE IT.
I think you've captured Jin's douchy-ness and his idiotic charms pretty spot on there. Lol, hard to hate a guy like that.
Kame's life is so hard.
thank you so much for reading!! ♥

i somehow feel like people hang up on jin all the time. :x
and i'm really glad you like jin's characterizations -- it's sometimes really hard to make him douchey but not too much.

kame needs more love, period ♥
wonderful
thank you for sharing
thank you so much for reading! ♥
like it!!!!!
thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed! :D
This is strangely heart breaking. But very very good too. Thank you. I think this fic cured me.
omg thank you ♥ I feel like if this fic helps anyone deal with this whole thing, even just a little bit, then that's the biggest compliment I could ever get.
lovely writing. I liked the tone of it, the way you had Jin slowly and gently realise that he was scared and what he needed to know from Kame. The karaoke scene was beautifully drawn..I can see how Jin could and did react like that, poor sweetheart. AND Kame coming to see Jin at the end.. *cuddles them both* Lovely job, well done!.
thank you so much for reading!! ♥
I REALLY LIKED THIS TOO. TEARS IN EYES
THANK YOU ♥ ♥ ♥
Would never have thought that one day I would feel so angsty about Akame...
I really really liked this. Possibly what I have been waiting for since the news broke 2 weeks ago.

Thank you so very much ♥
I just want everyone to be happy again :((

Thank you for reading <3 <3
You are amazing :(

The karaoke bit was my favourite ♥
Omg thank you :(((

The karaoke part was the most therapeutic bit cause I kept laughing at the image of Jin's outraged face. askjdghasd.

Thanks so much for reading!

I felt a bit anxious writing this fic cause the whole Jin thing is such a delicate situation and I'm always a bit uncertain about writing Kame, so I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
I LOVE IT!
so real n.. heart wenching :'<

thx for sharing! :D
YAY!

Thanks so much for reading!! :)
This was just amazing, Really. I think you got Jin's character to perfection! The slightly rough edge, and the stubborn side of him. I swear as soon as I saw how Jin had Kame's number saved on his phone, I absolutely decided this was great.

Those Karaoke scenes were great, I liked the subtle details and the final understanding in the end. Great fic!
Thank you so much!! That makes me really happy, cause I always find it hard to find the right mix of how Jin used to be and how he is now, without making him like a total douche.

Glad you enjoyed! ♥
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