And so much was wrong right now. So very much – their government was an inhumane monarchy that sold innocent people into the mafia just to get out of debt - for a little extra money on the side, for one; his best friend was still a murderer for reasons unknown, for another – his brother was in Tokyo with a father Jin couldn’t trust, Kazuya’s wrists were still visibly wounded under soaked bandages, secrets upon secrets were piling up despite his singular moment of clarity and Kazuya’s revelation last night - Jin just hadn’t the capacity to handle that considering that Kazuya and Tatsuya and everyone else had had years to get used to it.
He heaved his umpteenth sigh “Akanishi shhh,”- and sank further back into the shade where he could watch the people who’d gotten used to the entire mafia situation, go wild. Idiots were trying to upstage idiots on the waves and he wondered exactly when the hell he’d started thinking chilling quietly under a tree trumped that. He sighed again. Someone bonked him irritably on the head and he grumbled lazily.
It was about an hour later, when he’d dozed off watching Yamapi and Tatsuya drown people with the excuse of water polo, that he shuddered; face twisting at the sudden bitter taste of premonition in his mouth. Blinking sleepily, he glanced up – eyes returning to lazily tracking his best friend and ex-best friend across the sands again as some irritably warning pounded in his chest now.
They were too close.
Even under the guise of play and mischief – the way they’d moved around each other this entire day was all too subconsciously intimate. Too easily familiar. It made Jin cringe in all the wrong ways because sometimes Kazuya would pull Yamapi back by the hem of his shorts, lean against his back and murmur some game plan into his ear over his shoulder while pointing to something behind them. Sometimes Yamapi would lean into him when he did that, smiling absently at whatever he was pointing at. Sometimes they’d fall into each other tripping into the waves – and Kazuya would be too forgiving, laughing as Yamapi took too long to get off him. Sometimes they acted like people weren’t watching, and maybe they weren’t. Sometimes they acted like the paparazzi were nonexistent; like they were free and not actually the property of a paranoid, media-wary old man. Sometimes they acted like how Kazuya and Jin used to act so very many years ago.
Jin stomach twisted. Empty and hollow the way it was, the feeling made him sick to his heart as he thought without consciously trying to: something would happen.
Something would happen – he’d thought before it actually did. It would – he couldn’t shake the feeling that it wouldn’t.
As he watched, he knew something would tilt his world sideways in a few seconds. He knew how to follow flows and pick up on cues; he wasn’t completely oblivious to what he was watching. Awkward gestures had run their toll on Akame during those times when they’d be younger, what made those times any different from these times? Kazuya was a creature of habit.
And Jin knew how exactly he flirted.
Something would happen, what exactly, he didn’t actually know - but when it did happen; he could’ve sworn it was a slight of the hand. Magic. It happened, and no one acted out of the ordinary; it couldn’t have been anything but magic because people should have been acting up.
Yamapi, ever the playful creature, bounded out through one of the patio doors after having darted in at some point. He was yelling, mocking someone around the popsicle in his mouth, “you’re so SHORT! Try growing an inch!” - just howling in laughter as something black jetted after him, hot on his heels and laughing just as hard as they tangled for only a moment, then continued sprinting off together.
Last Jin had seen, Tegoshi had proposed a twisted game of tag and then some. The current two freaks in front of him were probably the not-its getting chased by Yuya who was probably still it, considering that his opponents were racing to shore like they were track champions.
“Un-,” he started.
“-FAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRR!!” Finished Yuya who, true to his height and game status, came racing out of the house in a tumble of blonde and alabaster - arms waving manically around his head as he chased after Yamapi and-
“Kazuya,” Ryo realized from beside him; and Jin glanced up, eyes catching those whirling shades of black and gray.
The twinge in his chest did something; ticked or pulsed, he couldn’t exactly say. The premonition, that something strange would happen within the second grew and thrummed deep in his chest to the tune of his sinking heart.
He promptly sank in his chair and attempted to appear invisible.
He watched, head slowly turning, as the two devils spun rings around Yuya; snickering and giggling at the little inside-not-so-inside joke that was Kamenashi Kazuya’s and Yamashita Tomohisa’s established athlete images as baseball freak and soccer extraordinaire.
Jin winced in the losing idol’s stead as he watched the poor child that was Yuya try against the damned animals that were his bandmate and best friend.
“Pfft-!” Roy squeaked through the failed restraints of a laugh.
“Oh, come on,” Masuda sat up in his beach chair beside them, “that just isn’t fair - KAMENASHI!” He barked, protesting when Kazuya slowed for a few seconds, spinning around and hopping just those few taunting inches out of Yuya’s reach and, - “PI!” He shouted next, when Yamapi decided to add to the tease, reaching back to grab Kazuya’s shirt and dragging him away so that they could switch places and he could make faces and dance even closer, though still out of Yuya’s stretch - “GIVE HIM A HANDICAP, WILL YOU?”
“SHADDUP, MASSU!” Yuya gave him the finger, then yelped when Yamapi abruptly stopped.
“Heh?” His eyes brightened at the prospect of losing his Itness. “Ha~,” he grinned, and lunged forward-
- At the same moment, Kazuya reached over to pull Yamapi out of the way just before he was hit - “KAME-CHAN, YOU JERK!” - Yuya screamed vengefully, racing faster now.
Had he the training, victory wouldn’t have come to him as hard - but as reality would have it, Kazuya and Yamapi were laughing again as they raced each other now - any concern of Yuya and his excuse of a sprint, nonexistent.
They raced circles around one another instead; fast on their feet, nimble in their turns and whirling out a dance in bursts of white sand and water, just between the two of them. Sun kissing their speeding forms, throwing shadows long as the night itself as they flew past they flitted in a place where no one could reach; wingless angels, they were, should anyone have looked from afar - so innocently beautiful, that their slights of hand would’ve been amiss to the amused naked eye.
But not to Jin; he watched, and watched well, the way he always had – the way he always would. The whole way, across the length of half the beach Yamapi brushed casual touches to Kazuya’s waist, hip, the small of his back; palm to his chest, a laugh and a pinch of the cheek, fingers skimming Pi’s waistband subtle as dust - Kazuya reciprocated. And they were getting away with it too. A quick 360° glance over told Jin that either everyone was actually as blind as to not see it, or that the tiniest damn besides his, wasn’t being given.
“Hmmm~?” He hummed to himself and wondered when exactly either Kazuya or Yamapi had broken their boss’ will with their mischievous ways and won the path of ‘I don’t care what you do, so long the tabs don’t get a hold of it.’ That was a rare enough allowance to be granted as a Johnny star, a myth of myth if you please; if anyone were to ever be granted the blessing, it would have to be a deviant group like KAT-TUN or people of the like such as Yamapi and Ryo and maybe Sakurai.
Then again, Pikame had always been precarious - onstage as well.
Or maybe Ryo wasn’t giving a shit because he’d seen it for long enough; and maybe Masuda was far more focused on Yuya’s fails because he, much like anyone else who hadn’t surrendered up any attention to the teasing pair, probably just didn’t care enough anymore. This was a private vacation anyway.
And so Jin sat back; wondered if this was what his heart had been sinking about - the premonition. It wasn’t much, for what he’d expected, he sighed at his penchant for drama and ignored Ryo’s stare, his own eyes following Yuya now as he raced around, making to ambush the two from the side of the beach they were running towards.
Stupid tactic; given that they were both involved in weird Underworld business, Jin didn’t doubt that either were far more capable when it came to certain physical aspects.
That they pulled a few stupid, little stunts on Yuya and took turns playing with his head the minute they recognized him - was no surprise.
And Jin snorted, bemused - as Yuya flung his arms up into the sky and finally wailed defeat.
Yamapi immediately threw back some competitive bullshit, “what? That’s it?” - or something to the effect of it; and Yuya was effectively tearing at sand to get back on his heels again.
“HAH!~,” Kazuya hooted, just asking for it, as he and Yamapi jeered the poor thing to the ends of his wits. Really, no one could blame the guy when he turned to throwing sand.
Ryo sighed, shifting the slightest bit backward as Yamapi and Kazuya zipped by.
“Never going to end, this game,” he prophesied the obvious, and continued dicking around on Jin’s phone, while the owner himself tracked the assholes leading Yuya around by the nose.
He watched as they blew past the snack canteen - Kazuya lifting out a hand to snatch some candies off the counter and yelling a belated thanks to the servants managing the table as he pocketed his prize, then unwrapped one as he was running. “Yuuuuuyaaaa~!” He yelled as he spun around for a moment, running backwards as he popped something red into his mouth, and blew the candy wrapper off his palm in his chaser’s face like it was fairy dust.
“Haha~ catch me if you can!” He laughed - in that way of his - as he spun back around while the blonde spluttered and whined, slowing in his tracks, pawing at his face.
“Pi!” - Jin tilted his head; watched everything in slow motion as Kazuya fell back into step with his best friend; smiling something beautiful as he reached for the elder’s arm, and Yamapi reached for him. Jin blinked. Like he’d felt he would - he saw it before it came, something that would tilt his world that tiny, tiny bit off its axis.
For in that glance of a second, he saw red; the glint of something ruby-like on Kazuya’s tongue as he opened his mouth and Yamapi opened his - not three feet away from Jin as they turned to each other; lost in each other once more the way they’d been earlier.
Brows lifting, he watched as Kazuya smiled wider, tilted his chin up - and Yamapi slanted his down and leaned in the rest of the way, smiling something dastardly on his own as he stole the quickest kiss - Jin’s eyes popped.
“Hn?” He asked, and Ryo turned up; rolled his eyes, “your headband’s falling off!” He hollered casually at Yamapi before going back to his stolen phone. And Jin gawked - wait, “wha-?” He started, eyes shooting to Masuda for help.
But he just shrugged, “they’re a thing,” he muttered the obvious.
“We’re a thing!” Jin retorted back just a little too desperately.
That Masuda returned that with a bland stare told him as much, but he hadn’t the patience to acknowledge it and Massu could see that. So he shrugged, copping to zero comments while Jin whipped back, watching as his best friend bolted off, Kazuya not far behind him - Yuya tailing furiously after them as they all disappeared back into the mansion in a magnificent array of crashes.
Brazen - was what he would’ve liked to think, had most of his mind not been consumed by the fact that Pikame was still a thing. Of course it was a still a thing. How could it not be? Johnny profited from it, from Akira and Shuji and Seishun Amigo, of course they were still going to be a thing - he knew it was a thing. But last he’d been seen an actual bachelor, Yamapi and Kazuya had gotten so busy they hadn’t known either existed. Granted, Jin knew of that one time when they’d slept together when he’d first told Kazuya about his leaving to LA six months after their debut; he’d had an inkling that thing of theirs had continued for a while - but after 2008 - “they’re together?” He demanded incredulously, because, hell - this was news if any.
“Yeah,” Masuda replied - “nah,” Ryo answered in the same moment.
They paused to glance at each other when Jin frowned at them.
“Kind of,” they agreed on, and went back to their business like that settled it all; like magic. Like nothing out of the ordinary had happened at all; considering that just a few years ago, everyone would be getting weird looks about either Yamapi or Kazuya doing something like that in public; even if it that public was all just among friends. Then again, Ryo had the most pathetic, 15-something year old crush on Tatsuya, and Masuda and Tegoshi had weird rumors of their own in the making - sympathetic understanding from them wasn’t too far of a fetched story.
But then looking at it from a different angle, it was weird on their half too because, Jin thought, even if Kazuya and Yamapi were crazy-fucking-insane-nuts-in-their-fucki
“Since when were they ‘kind of’ a thing?” He asked just for laughs, because he felt like he already knew the answer, also - he was a funny guy.
“Huh?” Ryo hummed.
“Oh, since-,” Masuda started.
“2012,” they finished together.
“Tsk,” Jin wrinkled his nose distastefully.
“When.” He demanded, sitting up, “exactly.”
“Hm?” His best friend mumbled absently, swiping around on the phone he had in his hand.
“Ryo.” He snapped impatiently, “when exactly. What date – since when?”
“ ‘Since’ when? I mean-,” Ryo flapped his hand around vaguely, “I mean if you want to get technical like…,” he swayed, eyes rolling to the side as he followed the trio crashing around inside, “He and Kazuya were close in 2008, but they became an actual thing in 2012-.”
“ ‘How’? What do you mean ‘how’? Dude, they lived together…,” he trailed off, observing the blank look on the latter’s face. “Ah,” he realized after a second. “Yamapi didn’t tell you,” he deduced intelligently.
Jin just wheezed like a beached fish, “lived together?” He parroted back.
“Nishikido, you liar-,” Masuda threw sand at him, getting some on the person between them in the process.
“Wh-?” Jin croaked helplessly.
“I mean they were in the same house,” Ryo muttered, irritably brushing the sand off himself.
“Dude, stop. He’s thinking about it like that,” Tegoshi’s duet partner chided back, before turning to Jin.
“Weren’t they?” Ryo muttered to himself off to the side.
“It was after a few months after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake,” Masuda ignored him and glanced at Jin as he settled back into his own chair, “you know that compound Kame lives in? The Niji-Shikirou Complex north of downtown?”
“Ye…ah?” Jin frowned hesitantly.
“Some of its recent high-rise condominiums were built on unstable foundations, huge conspiracy, man – people upstairs skimping on money and whatnot,” Masuda gestured with his hands, “anyway, they collapsed when the tremors hit before the first tsunami waves,” he clapped his hands together, “BOOM! Kame’s side of the compound was destroyed-.”
“Wait, what-?!” Jin jumped.
“He wasn’t home, don’t worry,” Masuda rolled his eyes, “but he needed a place to crash because he didn’t want to go to his fam’s mansion – don’t know why,” he added quickly when Jin opened his mouth, “you know how he is - family issues and such,” he waved nonchalantly.
“So-?” the elder frowned again.
“Tatsuya didn’t have time to babysit and Yamapi did,” Masuda shrugged, “so he dumped Kame on him… with uh… a few other guys...”
“Lol.” Ryo snorted sarcastically.
“Hah?” Jin asked confused.
“The idiot put up three idols,” Ryo shrugged, he turned out, about to add something before he caught Jin’s expression. “The fuck?” He wrinkled his nose, “Yamapi didn’t tell you about them either?”
A brow crooked, Masuda blinked slowly and gave Jin an awkward once over while the elder felt Ryo’s gaze pinned to the back of his head.
“What.” He demanded turning back up to his best friend just in time to see him turn away. “What?” He insisted, “what is it? Why’re you looking at me like that?”
“Dude…,” Masuda muttered pitifully.
“I don’t know,” Ryo shrugged, carefully avoidant, “I just thought Yamapi would’ve told you about having put up G-Dragon and Jaejoong for like --- half a year after the earthquake…”
Jin’s eyes popped. ‘Matter of circumstance,’ he remembered Yamapi’s sheepish grin from last night. His breath caught. “Excuse me, what?” He prompted after a second of letting it sink in. “Jaejoong and who.”
“G… Dragon,” Ryo glanced down at him, “Pi really didn’t tell you about this?” He asked back uncomfortably, “they were on hiatus and our airports were down for a month after the earthquake-.”
“The only aircrafts let in were from the emergency relief organizations, the country was prioritizing-,” Masuda pitched in his own two cents.
“So Jaejoong and Jiyong stayed at Yamapi’s place with Kazuya until their agencies were allowed to send flights in…,” he trailed off, “…like a few months laterrrrrr… I can’t believe he didn’t tell you about that, to be honest-,” he stopped. Jin was glaring at him, misplaced fury and all.
“Bro, I thought you knew,” Ryo brushed him off, “don’t blame me for him, you should’ve kept in touch-.”
True – but Jin was annoyed all the same. He ended up grumbling and groaning and sulking some more for the rest of the day until 5:00 PM found Jin hiding out in Yamapi’s room because it was closer to the beach than KAT-TUN’s suite.
He’d seen enough of fluff and happiness out on the waterfront, considering that personally – his entire world was a fucking mess that he hadn’t the know-how to keep up with. Also Kazuya and Yamapi alone annoyed him enough, them together made everything that much worse for no apparent reason – unresolved sexual tension with Kazuya and the jealousy of him basically having stolen his best friend clashing in all the wrong ways that had shown up in the form of a permanent scowl on his face that Tatsuya had sighed loudly at him for.
They were close, he knew – even before 2008, Kazuya and Yamapi had been some weird kind of close; more than friends, less than lovers, just near best friends but not quite – because that position had been reserved for Jin. Considering though, that Yamapi was more or less two-faced, and that Jin only knew the minor side of him – evidently, Kazuya had been the secret best friend Jin had never known about.
Yes, they were close - Jin just didn’t know how close, hadn’t known back then – didn’t really know now either. But from what he’d gathered over his last few months during this reunion, they were close on this intellectual sort of level - like, for reasons, whatever Kazuya knew, Yamapi seemed to know. Likewise, whatever secret, hidden deep within the questionable persona that was his best friend, it was a secret Kazuya seemed to know about nonetheless. Yamapi was, in that manner, every bit of an Ueda as Tatsuya was to Kazuya when it came to gauging the proximity of whatever relationship it was that they had.
This Jin understood from the minute he’d realized that Yamapi was every bit as into Tatsuya’s bullshit scheme as he, himself and Kazuya were.
Deep, dark secret like that - no one could question that Pikame had progressed massively on some level in the five years Jin had spent avoiding everything and anything Japanese during his solo years. No doubt it would be normal to catch them in weird, little corners whispering away to each other like little girls in the dark; nothing strange about Kazuya abruptly hanging up on Yamapi whenever Jin walked into the room, nothing wrong about it whatsoever - because that was the level to which their relationship, whatever it was, had come to.
Jin was an outsider looking into a world that could’ve been his when it came to Pi and Kazuya’s secretive thing.
But now he thought.
Kazuya and Tatsuya, yes - they were close.
They’d always been close, as was required of Tatsuya - having been named his personal guard at some three-years-old. “I protect him, I live for him-,” - in a loyal, familial sort of affection, a relationship that required close proximity, not proximity like - no proximity at all.
Which, Jin finally began to understand - truly understand - was the type of proximity Yamapi and Kazuya shared in their relationship - again - whatever it was.
This, he observed from his sanctuary - the darkest shadow in his best friend’s room; the place he’d chosen to brood over his little brother in part due to its preferably functioning AC and its delectable lack of lights.
It had been 5:30-ish PM around the time Yamapi’s door banged open and Jin had jumped from messing around with his phone.
His mouth opened - a greeting that never left the tip of his tongue because it wasn’t Yamapi that had come through, it was Kazuya.
Again, the bitter feeling in his gut. Jin shrank back into himself, sullen once more for reasons he couldn’t really put into words as he waited for them to notice him and not the other way around.
They didn’t though.
So lost in each other they still were, that they barely noticed the shady little corner Jin had camouflaged perfectly into. He rolled his eyes to mask his rocketing irritation as Kazuya fell back into the elder’s mattress, and Yamapi collapsed on top of him- “Tomo-!” He wheezed breathlessly as the elder started laughing, “heavy!” He squeaked, “ohmyGod, get off me – you fucking animal--,” Kazuya gasped, gulping for air as the latter eased up on him, shifting his weight to his forearms as he lifted himself off the younger and braced himself on his bed – looking down at KAT-TUN’s leader and grinning wide.
“Fatass,” Kazuya sniffed haughtily.
“It’s muscle, bitch,” Yamapi snorted, and the younger just grinned up at him.
Pi leaned down then, smiling back a smile that could’ve only been a secret as their foreheads touched and something was said in the terribly private space between them. As Jin watched, Kazuya replied to whatever Yamapi had just said, in a voice just as soft; his arms that had been lying idly at his sides on the mattress, rose slowly to stretch aimlessly into the air above their heads as his legs folded up on either side of the man above him.
He tilted his head, eyelashes feathering down on his high cheekbones as he lowered his gaze and continued speaking quietly.
Pi shrugged, he muttered something. Kazuya’s gaze rose back, and for a moment they did nothing but stare at each other.
It was affection, Jin noticed in a bit. Not even overtly sexual, just something soft and caring – and his breath hitched.
But Kazuya wasn’t capable of a lover’s love.
Yamapi murmured something, and Kazuya started laughing, hands falling out of the air and curling onto his chest.
So, why was Yamapi getting this side of him? Why? Why? (Why had Jin never gotten this side of him? What made Yamapi special? What did he have that Jin didn’t – why-?)
“Here, move,” Kazuya spoke up now, the private moment having ended with whatever Pi had said earlier.
Jin flinched snapping out of his suffocating thoughts.
“Has he called again?” Yamapi asked as he lifted off him and stood up on his knees.
“Yeah, this morning,” Kazuya smiled at his phone as he rolled away and Yamapi turned towards him.
“Did he finally cheat on the boyfriend?”
Kazuya promptly landed a heel into his thigh. Yamapi chuckled, rescinding into a fit of laughs when the younger kept punching him with a side of aimless kicking now as he collapsed into the mattress beside him.
“What. Is. Wrong. With you?” He demanded rhythmically to the tune of his abuse, “have you seen the guy? Who the hell would he drop someone like that for? - ah,” he paused mid kick, eyes wandering and lips parting as a breath of realization struck him. He turned.
“Youngbae,” he and Yamapi agreed simultaneously, and promptly broke up into fits of giggles.
“He’d maim us for that,” Kazuya rolled away laughing into his hands while Yamapi flipped onto his stomach, smiling wide as he reached for his phone that had begun ringing in his pockets - “yoooo, speak of the devil~,” he grinned abruptly, propping himself up on an arm, lifting his android out in front of him.
“Why? What?” Kazuya leaned over, and the elder waved the phone in his face, smiling out more than saying, “Jiyongie~.”
Kazuya slapped him away, “why the hell do you still have an android? Get a fucking iPhone, for God’s sake-,” he muttered, wrinkling his nose and flicking at the thing in the elder’s hand while Yamapi swiped around on it, batting him off.
“Eyyyy loser,” he greeted, “got you on speaker,” he added as he threw the device between himself and his fellow idol.
“Why do you keep calling? OCD?” Kazuya asked in place of saying hello like any normal person
“Shaddup, is it wrong to make sure your dumb faces are still okay?” Came a cocky answer, and Jin’s eyes widened slightly as he registered it. Twisted though it was, playfully whiny and nasally, high-pitched the way it was contorted, he picked up on the original tenor: G-Dragon.
Big Bang’s leader; like sure Pi and his band mate had been casually talking about him just now, but this was…
…actually Kwon Jiyong - like ACTUALLY.
He still couldn’t get over it.
He vaguely pictured Meisa going absolutely stir crazy over the fact that Kazuya and Yamapi got casual calls from GD. Or would she already know about this? Considering that she and Kazuya were also apparently best fucking friends, which was still news to Jin because – he sighed. Frowning slightly, as he pinched his nose and told himself to let it go; he’d have to talk to her about that, because apparently the pioneer stages of his relationship with Meisa had been a secretive affair as well. Like with Yamapi.
Back to square one.
Jin nearly groaned out loud. His life kind of sucked – he opted to sigh again instead, eyes flicking to the suite entrance, when a knock rang through the room.
“Losers,” Jaejoong’s head appeared around the edge of Yamapi’s door, “I come bearing gifts,” he pushed the door farther open, balancing a plate of fruit cocktails and a platter of sliders on another.
“Thanks, Mom,” Yamapi and Kazuya replied in unison.
“HIIII, MOM,” Jiyong hollered from the phone between them and the intruder huffed irritably.
“Shut. Up. Assholes,” he snapped as set the drinks down on Yamapi’s bedside stand and dropped the plate of food between the two idols on the bed. “Jiyongie, is that you?” He added, leaning over Yamapi.
“Yeah,” Kazuya answered for him, “we’re debating on who he’d cheat with if-.”
“Taeyang. Obvi,” Jaejoong snorted, and some sort of offended noise rattled through the phone.
“TAEYANGAAAHHH!!!” Came the sudden distant holler of an irritated idol through the speaker a moment later.
“What. Jesus. Don’t scream, I’m right here, Jiyongah-,” came the equally distant reply, unheeded though it was, as GD rushed to interrupt.
“If I were to cheat on hyung, who would it be with-?”
Yamapi howled an overly obnoxious victory, rolling around on the mattress the way he was. Jae wheezed dramatically, coughing “slut!” as not-so-subtly as he could manage while Kazuya pushed his face into the duvet - shaking, as he laughed in his mouth.
“WHAT?! WHY? You’re dating Min-!”
“Yeah, but still.”
“WHAT STILL?!” - The conversation on the other side of the line raged on while the three idols on Yamapi’s bed tittered away, amused with the pointless stupidity that was Big Bang’s G-Dragon and Taeyang arguing over nonsense.
When they’d all gotten so close as to spontaneously call each other over the phone for no eligible reason at all, was beyond Jin.
Like sure, Jaejoong knowing Big Bang’s members - up close and personal - made all the sense in the world because they literally worked in each other’s faces. DBSK and Big Bang, different Korean companies, but similar levels of unfathomable fame - of course they’d have to know each other.
Yamapi too. Jae and Yamapi had been close friends since forever; Jin didn’t know exactly when it had started, but he knew enough. He could even go far enough and say that Jaejoong was Yamapi’s Korean best friend, only a degree below Jin-status friendship wise.
He’d collaborated with G-Dragon in U.S, and fluffy tales of their supposed friendship had been all the buzz of the media back in that early era when Kazuya had just been signed on under his American labels; but that had been pinnacle of what Jin had heard. Then again, he’d tried to avoid all things Kazuya during that time, wary and confused as to why his former bandmate - labeled missing in Japan was suddenly here in his industry-
Jin quieted his thoughts. Kazuya suddenly selling records and performing in the U.S mid-2013 had always been a mystery; a mystery he’d decided to leave unsolved. It taxed the mind too much, too many facts without explanations - like why had Usher and WB brought an idol, famous in the Eastern hemisphere - but unknown in The West, into Hollywood? Why had he been caught with Ian Somerhalder more times that anyone could count? Why had they been living together? Why was Chace even in the picture? When they hell had dating even become valid vocabulary in Kazuya’s dictionary?
Nothing made sense when Jin had first stumbled across the news of his former bandmate appearing on American and European stages. So, a mystery unsolved it was.
He glanced back up, head cleared of those aimless thoughts as he watched the three on the bed.
Jaejoong was on his back now, his own phone held up in the air as he lay between Yamapi and Kazuya who were still talking into Yamapi’s phone; just fluff banter, all between friends and such - my torturous schedule this, that piece of shit band member that. Nonsense Jin wouldn’t have imagined Kazuya, Yamapi and GD going on about to each other; certainly stuff they wouldn’t have been saying to each other just a mere five years ago, because five years ago Big Bang was a legend in Korea and KAT-TUN was another legend in Japan - legends indeed - but legends apart; legends personally ignorant of each other.
As in, as bands they’d never collaborated with each other. They hadn’t even thought to collaborate because on the scales of fame, what Big Bang called VIP’s, was in reality thrice the size of what KAT-TUN called their hyphens. They were famous, Big Bang, GD, T.O.P - all of them. Why they were even in the picture now considering that they hadn’t been within thousands of miles of it a few years ago - Jin couldn’t fathom it, not with rational logic derived from rumors and the existence of solo collaborations between the split up members of KAT-TUN and the perfect members of Big Bang.
It struck him though, that even if what he knew from the tabs couldn’t explain why Kazuya and GD were so close now; other things did.
Like Yamapi and Kazuya were much closer than Jin had ever seen in the past because of 2012, because of Kei - because of things, illegal things that had happened concerning those two and themselves.
Jae. Jaejoong and Kazuya - friends to a stupidly personal degree, when the only connection between them before had been that Yamapi had this insanely hot best friend in the Korean industry. They were close now, weren’t they?
The way Yamapi and Kazuya were?
They were close because of whatever godforsaken events had taken place in 2012, no? Jaejoong, despite all contradictions Jin may have heard, was involved in whatever it was that Tatsuya was trying so hard to gloss over. He was. Kouji had clued him into it, ‘for some reason it’s only TVXQ’S Kim Jaejoong and News’ Yamashita Tomohisa you keep running into, right?’
That night, the one in which he’d arisen from his coma in the hospital - he’d seen just enough to fortify this knowledge - because Kazuya had been throwing a fit, bleeding and screaming as he was rolled out on his gurney while both Yamapi and Jaejoong held him down.
He was involved, Kim Jaejoong, that was.
Two people who were now very close to Kazuya because of things that no one would tell Jin about 2012.
So it brought him now, to this terribly familiar train of thought.
These two famous people, close to Kamenashi Kazuya because of past (2012, who was he kidding) experiences treated each other much the same way Kwon Jiyong, famous leader of Big Bang, treated them.
Thinking that Jiyong was close to Kazuya under the same circumstances…
Jin picked at his lips, the cyclone in his stomach twisting his gut sickeningly.
…it wasn’t too farfetched a story…
A story that was the telling of a tale in which Kwon Jiyong had the same relationship with Kamenashi Kazuya that Kim Jaejoong had, that Yamashita Tomohisa had - a relationship based off 2012-esque events. Meaning, he knew about what Tatsuya was trying to hide as well.
Meaning he knew about this entire thing. This entire bullshit story, the truth behind it and then some.
If that was how the tale went.
This was all a theory in the end, had he the evidence to prove it - Jin would’ve been over the moon because Jiyong’s addition to this pack of lying idols struck a trend.
Whoever Kazuya currently called or treated a best friend was more likely than not to be insanely famous on an international scale, was more likely than not to be suddenly close to him even if they hadn’t the first clue to who he was a few years ago, and was more likely than not to be completely and totally involved in this 2012 bullshit scheme.
The list so far, Ueda Tatsuya, Yamashita Tomohisa, Kim Jaejoong, and now, possibly - Kwon Jiyong.
Ex-KAT-TUN, famous soloist and recent competing athlete; next head of The Japanese Royal Guard, and first son and scion of The Fifth Imperial Elite Family: Ueda Tatsuya.
Ex-News leader, one of Johnny’s few golden boys, and possibly vital to the Underworld considering all that Jin didn’t know about him: Yamashita Tomohisa.
Ex-DBSK, leader of JYJ, mega hallyu star, face of SM Entertainment and legend of the East: Kim Jaejoong.
Leader of the notorious Big Bang, YG’s treasure, personal model for nearly all high-end brand names, international sensation and controversial South Korean goodwill ambassador at the United Nations: G-Dragon.
Ridiculously and unfathomably famous.
Stupidly influential to several degrees in both media and politics.
Kazuya’s closest friends.
The trend for the people involved in whatever game it was Kei was playing, was this. At least for those of showbiz who were involved in the Underworld, those three things were the common factor.
To say that he, Akanishi Jin: ex-KAT-TUN, one of Johnny’s troublesome-but-still golden boys, former band leader, and international star, was also somehow involved in this twister of a tale - which he was - wasn’t too incredible.
Granted, he wasn’t as influential in politics as Kazuya’s other suspicious friends were, granted he wasn’t as famous as any of those four were, he wasn’t even regarded one of those best friends anymore - but he was involved. Tatsuya wouldn’t be trying so hard to walk on eggshells around him if he weren’t - so, if he included himself - it was five people that fit the trend. Him, being the slight outlier, but still-.
Jin blanched with a flinch when Yamapi abruptly yelled something, punching Kazuya in the shoulder as the younger rolled away laughing and Jaejoong ducked between them to keep out of the crossfire when Kazuya started kicking him back at an awkward angle.
His perception tunneled once more onto the two. Why in the hell was Yamapi so much closer to him? Why?! It was irking the absolute shit out of him – Jin had met Kazuya first, Jin had known Kazuya first, Jin had gotten to know him first, had gotten to know his problems first, had gotten him first; KAT-TUN was their band, he was his band leader, what kind of monopoly besides the 2012 bullshit did Yamapi have on him? Kazuya was his. He always ha … – “ah…,” he murmured blankly to himself when the weight of that thought actually settled.
Idiot. He berated himself and left quietly through the patio door a few minutes later because he knew the other two would be too distracted with each other to notice.