“The fuck?” Jin snorted at this sudden subject change.
Yamapi promptly slapped his palms into the mattress beneath them, making to get up and leave – “nononono wait, I’m sorry!” Jin grabbed at him, “I’m sorry, I’ll shut up – go on.”
His best friend scowled skeptically down at him. Jin smiled desperately. Yamapi rolled his eyes after a full minute of exuding impatience and irritation, huffing softly before starting over again.
“The mafia gave the government extra money when they bought Kzuya from them because they expected the government to fix our military with it,” he said, “I’m trying to explain to you why and how they want our military fixed, okay?”
Jin nodded hurriedly. “Okay, okay – World War II,” he continued for the younger, “what about it?”
“What happened during it?” Yamapi asked back.
“Hn?” Jin frowned, “I mean…,” he frowned slightly, cocking his head, “a lot... I guess-.”
“Outcome,” Yamapi waved a hand, “what was the outcome? For Japan?”
“Oh,” Jin’s brow rose, “well,” he shrugged, “we lost.”
And Yamapi nodded. “After we were defeated in World War II,” he went into the details of Jin’s simple statement, “Japan underwent demilitarization during the U.S occupation,” he said, “we were expected to a sign a treaty that required our total and complete disarmament if we wanted to continue being allied to the world’s superpowers – U.S, UK, Canada, China-.”
“We’re a superpower,” Jin frowned.
“Now we are,” Kazuya corrected, “now that we’re the most technologically advanced nation that retains sole control of the War and Peace Keys, we’re on par with the United States. Before this, we weren’t.”
“Oh…,” Jin murmured quietly, staring blankly at him for a moment before turning back to Yamapi and tilting his head.
“After World War II,” his younger continued from where he’d left off, “we were expected to add another Article to our Constitution-.”
“Article 9 of The Japanese Constitution,” Jin nodded.
“Which says?” Kazuya prompted.
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized,” Jin returned all in one go because despite the mangled state of his childhood education, Article 9 of their Constitution was drilled into the heads of preschoolers and reinforced further upward in higher levels of education – as a reminder of the defensive state of their country.
It was why neither Kazuya nor Yamapi batted an eye, because they knew that entire statement word for complicated word as well.
“Why?” The younger of the two asked, after Jin had said it.
“Why what?” The idol glanced at him.
“Why were we forced to disarm?”
Jin’s mouth twisted. Coming from a nationalist, old-school ghetto he knew the prejudiced and hateful side of this argument best: “because we attacked Pearl Harbor,” he scratched self-consciously at his jaw as he stared at his legs crossed underneath him, “the addition of Article 9 was a punishment – to ensure we’d never do anything like that again.”
Yamapi nodded because he and Jin had grown up learning the same values. “We’re the most technologically advanced nation in the world,” he said, “our weapons would be the most advanced if we were freely allowed to develop them – that’s what the world is afraid of,” he glanced up at his best friend somberly, “remember that,” he said, catching his eyes and sending a shiver down the elder’s spine.
A moment’s worth of silence drifted by as Jin nodded belatedly, quickly looking away while Yamapi sighed.
“So anyway,” the man continued, dispelling the tense atmosphere, “up until Pearl Harbor, we were allowed to train offensive forces, not just self-defense forces. But since then - Japan has had no armed forces, we only have minimal defensive military now, with no naval or air forces,” he glanced back at Jin, “we’re vulnerable,” he summarized rather drastically, “it’s why we don’t have a good military response when earthquakes and tsunamis hit; why we need so much outside help to recover.”
Jin sucked in his lips, eyes roving uncomfortably. Politics had never been a strong point of his, and America was fab as far as he was concerned – “I’m sure everyone had a good reason-,” he started.
“No,” Kazuya cocked a brow, “our attack on Pearl Harbor had consequences,” he caught Jin’s eyes meaningfully, “our ban on offensive military were those consequences. We knew what that meant, as did they.”
Jin quieted. He glanced down and studied the shades of green spread beneath them. “What…,” he asked after a moment, “what does this have to do with the mafia-government deal?”
“Everything,” Kazuya glanced sideways at nothing in particular. “The government,” Yamapi cleared his throat as he continued for him, “they've had the mafia develop the illegal weapons that they haven't been able to develop since World War II," Jin glanced up. "It's one of the country's main sources of income - illegal weapons trade -you know this," he added. "In an ideal world, Japan wouldn't be bound by Article 9; we'd be allowed to freely develop owr weapons and market them, but-."
"Article 9 stops us from doing so," Jin nodded.
"Hence, our underground weapons trade," Yamapi said, "with Article 9 - the mafia's transactions, their business deals, their main source of profit - everything - is hindered by the fact that all their business is restricted. Countries cannot buy weapons from us, nor we from them unless its done through underground channels - through the mafias, the triads, the major crime families. Article 9 prevents Japan from reaching its potential - we were in debt becuase we weren't allowed to trade our most valuable assets," he paused for a moment, still refusing to look at Jin.
“Also...," he added, "the Yakuza… nearly 70% of it is laid off soldiers, vigilantes – people who… people who’re disgraced by what their country’s become, people want Japan to be powerful again-,” he stopped abruptly, adding after a breath, “you know this too: the dominant political view among the Yakuza is nationalism – they think Japan should remilitarize - build nuclear capabilities so that we can get back our pride and independence.”
“Most of the mafia wants our military ban lifted,” Kazuya summarized, “the government too - becuase they're essentially trading weapons by proxy through the Yakuza. It'd be so much easier to be able to legally conduct this kind of trade like every other country - both sides want Article 9 revised in such a way that it promotes armament-.”
“It’s not just them either,” Yamapi shook his head as he leaned in, while Jin nodded slowly because – like Yamapi had said. Their ghetto was predominantly nationalist – that included both their parents, a majority of their teachers, a majority of the population and even more of the officials in the area. So he stayed silent as his best friend ran through the usual list of politicians, royalties, and officials that advocated for the rearmament of their country as well.
“Point is,” he finally concluded, “the mafia, specifically the Yakuza, is the driving force behind the nationalist movement-.”
“And because,” Kazuya leaned in this time, “the mafia cannot negotiate political treaties from a legal standpoint…,” he trailed off but Jin got the idea.
Puzzle pieces, puzzle pieces, puzzle pieces.
The small picture that had come together in his head the night Kazuya had started telling him the details of his auction grew and grew.
“The mafia offered money to our government so that they could handle rearmament negotiations for them,” he finished.
Kazuya nodded hesitantly. “The world has until 2027 to accept.”
“To accept what?” Jin frowned.
“The cancelation of Article 9,” Kazuya tilted his head, “specifically, by 2027 the United Nations should have allowed Japan armament rights.”
“Or else?” Jin cocked a brow.
“If Article 9 isn’t rescinded by then, the War Key will be destroyed,” Yamapi answered.
“But,” the elder frowned, turning to him, “destroying the War Key as a whole…”
“Jumpstarts Armageddon,” Pi nodded, “every few months, Japan allows the United Nations a chance to accept the rearmament proposal. Each time they reject it, the Yakuza start a Hunt -,” Jin’s jaw dropped, “from there it depends on the hunters of different countries,” Yamapi shrugged as he glanced away, “if the hunters of the United Nation manage to activate the Peace Key trigger before the War Key trigger, they win – no one’s hurt except maybe the Locks and Seals. But if the UN hunters fail and don’t activate the Peace Key trigger before the War Key trigger,” Pi glanced up to meet Jin’s horrified gaze, “the UN will suffer the consequences of rejecting our rearmament proposal.”
“That’s too extreme!” Jin gasped, “even if we’re taking out an enemy country – it’s too extreme!” He flung his hands out between them like in begging they’d somehow reconsider this entire thing despite the finality of it. “How can you just justify the death of thousands – millions! – Of people! Innocent people! Politicians, military officials, country leaders – they might be guilty of our disarmament – but killing their people-!”
But Yamapi and Kazuya had thought the genocide of nearly 50 Underworld members had been perfectly alright – the thought struck Jin rather suddenly as he snapped his mouth shut and did the same with his eyes.
“It’s out of our hands, Jin,” he could hear Kazuya try to reason out in the background somewhere, “Japan has suffered too long without a proper military or navy – or air force for that matter – millions of people that could’ve been saved in our natural disasters died because we weren’t allowed to train forces like that; forces that could help them-,” Jin ignored the rest of it. He didn’t want to hear it – didn’t want to hear mass murder being justified for the sake of some petty political scuffle.
Genocide was genocide no matter how fancily phrased. A person could kill every prisoner in a prison and still go to hell because the value of a life wasn’t something a mere human had the right to just judge with their narrow minds; God existed for that reason. As human beings they had no right in determining the lives of others – so many others; the lives of nations no less. To control a life so objectively – wasn’t that just slavery?
The people of enemy countries that held the buried forms of their War Key’s nuclear bombs were all essentially hostages: ‘give us rearmament rights and we won’t kill them. Reject us our armament rights and we’ll start a Hunt.’
“Terrible…,” Jin whispered softly to himself, shaking his head, “that’s terrible, that’s horrible – that’s inhumane,” he whispered as he glanced up, “don’t you realize that-?”
“Look,” Yamapi interrupted with a coldness that shook Jin to his core, “it’s bad, we realize that,” Kazuya nodded absently on the side, “but like Kazu said,” he ducked his head to catch Jin’s eyes, “it’s out of our control. No matter what anyone does to try and fix this, it won’t be fixed – it’s too late.”
“Just let it go,” Kazuya advised, “no use crying over spilled milk.”
But this wasn’t spilled milk! – Jin nearly screamed. These were people, these were lives – mothers, children, fathers – all people with equal rights to live ---
but these two wouldn’t understand that would they…?
Jin licked his lips as he considered the extent of degradation both their moralities had suffered as he stared at the sheets below them. For a long moment, he said nothing and the two before him respectfully offered him that silence to think as they fidgeted about, glancing around the room they were in.
“Kazuya,” Jin finally broke that still, after he’d thought through what he could. “You grandfather,” the younger immediately tensed, while Jin continued staring at his legs, “made you moralize rape; forced you into a state where you taught yourself to enjoy it so that you could cope with it -,” he glanced up finally, “I can understand why you aren’t getting the immorality of this – why your moral code is so fucked up. But you-,” he turned to his own best friend now, “what’s your excuse?”
Yamapi flinched like he’d been stabbed. “He?” Jin pointed at Kazuya as he continued, “was raped continuously since the age of six-.”
“Jin-,” Kazuya started with a frown.
“What’s your excuse?” Jin ignored him, “for thinking that genocide is okay – what exactly is your excuse?”
“Nothing-!” Yamapi gasped, reaching down to grasp abruptly at the bedsheets as he inched away, “it’s just-!”
“What happened to you that was so bad it left your morality worse than his?” Jin demanded all the same, “what could’ve possibly-?!”
“N-Nothing!” Yamapi shook his head frantically, squeezing his eyes shut as his voice went high and he curled into himself and away from his best friend, “nothing at all! Nothing ha-.”
“Then WHY are you so fucked up-?!”
Kazuya slapped his hands over his mouth.
“Q-…,” he trembled, eyes wide, “…quiet,” he whispered. “Be quiet.”
But Jin ignored him. Glaring insistently at Yamapi instead, he cocked his brow, still waiting for an answer.
His best friend blinked back wordlessly at him, shaking still, but eyes flickering once before he glanced down at himself a moment later and muttered into his chest, “does it matter?” in the smallest voice.
Jin twitched. Shoving Kazuya out of way and spitting his hands out of his mouth, he snarled incredulously, “that you could care less about genocide?” Yamapi didn’t look at him, “that’s inhumane! The hell is wrong with you-?!”
"Ev-!" Yamapi suddenly stopped short. He abruptly halted like he'd been punched in the chest and put into a freeze-frame; like his lungs had stalled on him, mind so blank it seemed to have forgotten how to live.
"What?" Jin snapped relentlessly, "what is it already-?"
"Jin-!" Kazuya hissed.
"What exactly is your problem - who the fuck got you so messed up-?!"
But the Yamapi ignored them both. Seemingly immersed in a little pocket of reality that appeared to be isolated and all his own, he lifted out his arms with a slowness that didn't match his movements and made the gesture seem to be eerie and unnatural all together; like a lagging video, but this was real life, and this was him. His eyes caught the light in a strange way as he did - as he glanced down the length of his body with what appeared to be stunned, but skeptical stare.
“A~ah~…,” Jin heard him mutter softly minute later as he, himself quit fighting with his bandmate to watch the Yamapi flex his fingers - almost like he was testing to see if they still worked. “… Of all the times to call me out…," he chuckled strangely and to himself.
Kazuya stiffened immediately, eyes ticking with realization when he glanced back to eye the idol. “… Aoki…,” he murmured to himself, while Jin snapped, “call who out?”
“What’re you going on about all of a sudden –," he continued, prickly and irritable - sleepy, hungry and exhausted with the state of his life, "I’m asking you a question, Pi- what…?” Jin glanced down, flinching when his bandmate suddenly reached out to grab his wrist. “… What?” He snapped again belatedly after the fact.
But the younger wasn’t looking at him anymore - his attention focused solely on Yamapi instead.
“Kazuya wh…,” – Jin trailed off when he realized neither of them were paying attention of him now; really – Kazuya was so focused on Yamapi, no one else in the room seemed to exist. At least to him.
He frowned at him slightly, turning hesitantly towards his best friend as well. Nothing seemed particularly different about him other than the fact that he was staring at himself like he was confused about something.
Was he missing someth-?
“Whoa-!” He yelped when Kazuya suddenly scrambled to the edge of the bed and dragged Jin off it and into the direction of the door. “We’re going to check the place out!” He declared far too loudly for a situation that was supposedly alright as he jetted out of the bedroom with his bandmate and slammed the door shut behind them with enough force to break the damn doorframe before Jin could even understand what was happening.
“What is wrong with you?” Kazuya hissed immediately the moment he had as he turned on him, looking about an inch away from driving something through his head, “we talked about this, be understanding – be willing to understand him-.”
“Tsk,” Jin just wrinkled his nose irritably, muttering something to the effect of an apology and, “I wasn’t thinking-.”
“When do you ever?!”
Jin cast him a bland glance for that, but Kazuya carried on all the same, lowering his voice this time. “Listen,” he shoved Jin back hard enough by his shirt collar to make his skull bang against the wall behind them, “just because you know what I went through better than he went through, don’t just assume that I had it worse.”
“How can anything be worse than what you went through-?!”
“Too many things,” Kazuya frowned at him, efficiently shutting Jin up. “Far too many things – I had it better than he had; why do you think he’s more affected than I am?”
Jin’s eyes widened. “Why.” He demanded after a second of letting that cryptic phrase settle and catching the younger off guard as he suddenly leaned forward. “Why?” He repeated, “tell me,” Kazuya flinched, eyes darting around avoidantly as he started trying to inch away, “tell me what happened to him – tell me what made him lose his sanity,” Jin caught his wrist and dragged him forward before he could shy any further back, “Kazuya, just tell me,” he begged, “tell me what changed him – for God’s sake – it can’t be any worse than what happened to you-.”
Jin blinked. His gut twisted sickeningly as he tried and failed at swallowing down his surprise.
Kazuya waited a moment before lifting his eyes to look at his bandmate. Taking a slow, shaky breath he shook his head as he whispered, “it is… what he went through…,” he shook his head slowly, “you don’t understand – Jin,” Kazuya tilted his head, “at least I didn’t know my abusers...”
And Jin went mute. Somewhere in his head, he understood the implication of that sentence – he really did. But he wasn’t registering it properly.
“W… What do you mean by that?” He croaked after a second of failing to sort out his mental turmoil, “Kazuya, what do you mean by that? Yamapi wasn’t abused – I’ve known him all his life…,” he trailed off, heart sinking fast - a mile a minute – as Kazuya just watched him meaningfully.
“… Who…?” He whispered to the ground after a minute, before suddenly reaching out to grab at the younger, “Kazu, who?!” He demanded.
Silence answered. The brunette before him clenched his jaw bitterly, like the physical taste of his answer on his tongue was just that vile as he stared up wordlessly at the elder. Somewhere in the tense space between them, the unsaid words: you know who, rang subtle but loud. Like a phantom bell.
Jin bit his tongue so hard he nearly choked on blood when the fact of the matter refused to sink in. Bile burned up through his throat a moment later as he slowly let go of his band mate and stared unseeingly at some point over his shoulder.
“No,” he denied after a silence that seemed to have lasted for an hour. He huffed a singular, mirthless laugh and shook his head like he was trying to convince himself of the fact while he repeated it to Kazuya once more. “No,” he smiled, and turned away a second later while the younger grimaced. “No, no – that’s not possible – no,” Jin continued as he walked away from their room door – seemingly aimless as he wandered down the hallway of this stranger’s cabin.
He seemed to have snapped. Utterly and completely.
Kazuya thought it better not to push him any further as he cast a last glance back to their bedroom door before following after Jin.
The three idols stayed relatively distant from one another after that.
Yamapi never left the room and neither Kazuya nor Jin tried to go back in. The mistress of the cabin seemed to have gone missing as well, either cooped away in her room or gone from the premises all together. Kazuya was thankful for it all the same as he rummaged around through her kitchen drawers and cabinets late that night while Jin stood mutely behind him, leant up against the kitchen island.
“I have to apologize…,” he muttered vacantly to himself, watching the latter nose around.
“Don’t,” Kazuya interrupted as he snapped open the knife drawer, “he’s trying to forget,” he continued as he reached down to touch the sharp edges of the knives underhand, “that’s the way he deals with his abuse.”
“That’s-,” The elder frowned slightly.
“Bad?” Kazuya picked up the sharpest blade in the drawer, “yeah. ‘Internalization,’” he did air quotes, as he turned around, flipping the knife over his knuckles, “is what therapists call it - but it’s what works best,” he shrugged, “those people… they usually try making people like us remember our worst memories so that we can get over them – ‘confrontation is a step in healing,’ they say-.”
“That’s awful,” Jin wrinkled his nose.
“It’s why he doesn’t go to therapy.”
Jin blinked. He stared at the ceiling for a second before asking, “is that why you don’t go?”
The younger snorted skeptically, “yeah, no – I can’t just walk into a shrink’s office and start talking about how this fucking economy is controlled by dirty money and prostitution – they’d throw me in the looney bin. Forever.”
Jin winced, recoiling a little.
They went silent for a little after that, Jin just staring aimlessly into space and Kazuya turned back to snoop around.
“About the War and Peace Keys,” Jin started when some random noise from past the kitchen windows rattled through the cabin, “the mafia controls the government then…? With the extra money… and everything?”
“Not exactly,” Kazuya was tracing random patterns into the counter with the knife he’d just picked up, “the government isn’t exactly happy with the military ban either, our death toll for earthquakes and tsunamis are much higher than they need to be,” he tapped on the wooden surface beneath his fingers like he was playing a piano, “if we’d had the military forces we had before World War II, the government could’ve conducted extractions and emergency aid operations much quicker – before outside relief organizations came in.” He turned up, "we were also in debt becusae Article 9 restricted the trade of our best product," he said, “they want our ban lifted as much as the mafia do, they just needed the money to do it.”
“And the mafia gave them that by buying you…?”
“For 9000 trillion,” the younger nodded, “a year after the War Key degraded and caused Tōhoku.”
And Jin frowned. “But why you?” He asked, “why not anyone else?”
“Because the mafia wanted to make sure the government would use their money only for the rearmament negotiations – not for anything dumb like building new palaces,” Kazuya glanced up and away as he turned back around and stood on his tiptoes to mess around in the cup cabinet, “they wanted to make sure the government was motivated to work as quickly and as efficiently as possible-.”
“The mafia lit a fire under them,” Jin surmised.
And Kazuya nodded, “by taking a hostage. An effective one, too – someone the government would do anything for-.”
“An Imperial Elite.” Jin cocked his brow.
“Why not any of the other Imperial Elites then?” His bandmate prompted next, “why you specifically?”
“Because I’m famous.” Kazuya returned, “all the other Imperial Elites,” he said as he shut the cupboard, turned around and hopped up to sit on the counter as he played with his knife now, “– they’re valuable – but not famous. Most of them are just CEOs, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers-,” he lifted a finger just as Jin opened his mouth, “kill an Elite like that,” he continued, “any one of those Elite CEOs – doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs - and they can easily be replaced by the company’s vice president – another doctor, another lawyer, another businessman. But kill an idol,” he pointed to himself, “and it’s not just investors that’ll mourn.” He lifted his head haughtily, “we’re beloved you see?” He combed back his hair, fidgeting with the ends of his locks as he checked out his refletion in the knife blade, “we can’t be replaced. Our deaths would be internationally broadcast and would go down in history as the brutal homicide of a famous singer. It’d be a fanfare – not only that,” the brunette tilted his head, as he glanced at his bandmate from over the sharp edge of the blade, “I’m from the First Family. I’m the outcast, the black sheep,” Jin grimaced, “my death would translate to my family’s loss of control over countless CEOs that we’ve blackmailed – it’s crucial,” Kazuya ignored Jin’s conflicted face then, “that I stay alive for the prostitution system in our family to work efficiently.”
“The government,” he continued after a moment of silence while Jin began to look increasingly uncomfortable – the way he always did when these sorts of things came up, “they’d also prefer my continued existence because if I keep living, The Kamenashi keep retaining control of over 93% of Japanese companies,” he said, “consequently, the Royal Family benefits from my family’s executive control over the Japanese economy because they like that they have their work cut out for them. They need only to keep breathing as icons of our government, throw a few parties here and there, and come out every few months to wave at the masses while my Family takes care of all their dirty work behind the scenes,” he paused to take a breath, “my death would only disadvantage them. The economy would be thrown into chaos because the blackmail would be rendered insufficient with a dead victim,” he gestured to himself, “and the Royal Family would eventually be chased out of the country with the abolishment of the monarchy when the people find out about what work they had my Family do.”
He looked down then, presumably staring at the knife in his hands as he continued. “I was chosen as the mafia’s hostage for those reasons,” he murmured, “the mafia knows my value to both the government as a Kamenashi whore-.”
“Don’t say it like that…,” Jin mumbled of-handedly.
“And-,” But Kazuya ignored him, “to society as a darling of the nation,” he quieted for a moment, seemingly thinking about something before he added, “they know how to exploit those values too.”
“…," his bandmate remained wordless, running over everything he’d just been told until it made his brain cells ache. “Does your life ever stop getting worse…?” He asked after a long while.
“Why do you think I try committing suicide in my sleep?”
And Jin flinched. His eyes flickered immediately to the frayed wrappings of gauze Tatsuya had bandaged Kazuya’s wrists with a few nights ago, when he’d started tearing open cuts into his skin with his own nails. “Tatsuya…,” he started quietly, staving off the urge to reach over and touch the now, smudged and dirtied gauze, “that night… he asked what I’d done… what I’d said to make you act like that in your sleep – said I made you remember the worst thing-,” he winced, “that had ever happened to you – that’s why you started-.”
“It’s not your fault,” Kazuya interrupted before he could finish, because he already knew what he was going to ask. “That’s what you’re getting at, right?” He, himself asked as he turned down to face his bandmate, “it’s what you were trying to ask me that night – when Ryo was chasing us around, right?”
“Ah… yeah-,” Jin mumbled back quietly.
“I was the one who decided to tell you about the auction,” Kazuya said as he turned back to stare at his hands which now lay in his lap, knife lying near his thigh on the countertop again, “it’s my own fault for bringing up those memories again-.”
“Yeah, but I made you-!”
“Don’t think you’re relevant enough to make me want to kill myself, Jin. Your opinion, what you do or say means far less to me than you think,” Kazuya cut in, watching his hands for a second before lifting his head to offer the latter an amused smile, “we hate each other, remember? Try being a little objective to my pain – focus more on him for once,” he pointed into the hallway behind them, essentially pointing to Yamapi.
And Jin wasn’t sure if he flushed or paled at that. He was guilty of prioritizing Kazuya over anything and everything, and more people in the agency knew that than not.
He groaned softly at the thought, rolling his eyes at mostly himself and his naïve antics. “What’s he doing in there?” He asked after a moment, lifting his head back to glance reluctantly over his shoulder into the depths of the dark corridor. “He’s been in there for hours, what’s he doing?”
“Forgetting.” Kazuya turned away, listening to the cry of the summer cicadas as he glanced out through the adjacent living room’s windows, “I told you.”
That night, Jin was made to sleep on the couch.
“You don’t know what to say to him either, do you?” Kazuya asked him skeptically when Jin looked like he was going to protest. “Give him time,” he’d continued, “you need it too – both of you. Stay away from each other for a while – we already have this mess on our hands, no need to break out another one. Give it a rest already.”
Hard to argue with logic, Jin had supposed as he’d sank into one of the living room couches after that, watching Kazuya disappear back into the hallway to go see his best friend.
As Kazuya padded quietly up to the room and eased the door open, he noted that in the time he and Jin had spent sequestered away from Yamapi, a small catastrophe of sorts seemed to have selectively hit the bedroom they’d all been in that morning.
“Subtle,” he muttered with a sigh as he stepped into a room with disembodied drawers, upturned and torn couch cushions, and shattered windows.
“Hmh~,” snorted the man sitting at the center of the room, atop a torn mattress. “Took you long enough.”
By the entrance, Kazuya made doubly sure that he’d locked the door behind him before turning to the idol sitting curled up on the bed.
“Aoki,” he greeted, because the man sitting in front of him was not Yamashita Tomohisa.
The brunette glanced up with a wry smile that matched the look in his living eyes with a sinister sort of charm.
It was Yamashita Aoki. The dark side of Yamapi.
“Are you…?” The younger tilted his head, cautiously stepping forward because this side of Yamapi was more dicey than not.
When the man didn’t reply – just continued staring up at him – Kazuya took another few steps forward, before crouching in front of him. “Aoki,” he said again, “are you still-?”
Kazuya blinked. He didn’t register what the man had just said until a minute later when he ducked his head, confused. “What?” He asked, unsure of what he’d just heard.
But the brunette didn’t respond. Reaching out instead, he got to his feet as he carefully traced the curve of Kazuya’s cheekbone back into his hairline where he slowly tucked stray flyaways behind his ear. "You're absolutely perfect,” he repeated quietly, “you’re his perfect angel, you know?” He murmured wistfully, “his perfect... innocent angel, you can do no wrong, Kazuya. Not in his eyes,” the man shook his head slowly, “you could kill God and he’d still find some way to justify it, hell – you could kill Meisa-,” the younger gasped at this sudden show of bitterness, “and he’d still let you get away with it-.”
“That’s not true-,” Kazuya immediately frowned, knocking away the hand at his jaw.
“Is it not?” The man laughed mirthlessly, “Kazuya,” he tilted his head slightly as he let his arm drop heavily to his sides, “do you even know how much he loves you?” The younger flinched, stiffening reluctantly. “Do you?” The latter prompted before he could open his mouth, “he loved you so much back then, he-,” a barked a rough laugh, shaking his head once more as he dropped it. He took a breath, murmuring into his chest a moment later, “…he just,” he sighed, lifting his head, “he only sees the best in you, that blind fool.”
Kazuya ignored him, eyes insistently on something that was preferrably not the latter.
"Heyyy," Aoki’s bright eyes slid slowly until they fell back on the idol before him, mouth stretching into an ominous smirk as he brushed his fingers over his lips and muttered, “Hey~… Angel,” he cocked his head, “what do you think he’ll do when he realizes what you did to his family?” Kazuya blinked. Face blank, he lifted his own head meet the man’s eyes. “What you,” Aoki continued, smirk stretching, “his darling angel, did to his wife? His daughter?” Kazuya’s eyes switched back and forth between the latter’s own, “what you let Kei and Aoi do to them?”
“Hn…,” the younger nodded back with a soft hum, studying the elder for a long, silent moment before adding, “are you really this bitter about him paying more attention to me than to you?”
“Yes,” Aoki cocked his brow back truthfully. “After all,” he tilted his head, “if he’d paid to me, even a fraction of the amount of attention he pays you, I would’ve never had to create a second personality-.”
And Kazuya’s eyes widened, “don’t say that-,” he breathed.
“I created ‘Tomohisa’ for him, and you know it,” Aoki ignored him, “of course I’m bitter about him being so obsessed with your ass. Just look at all this hard work of mine that’s being ignored.”
Kazuya quieted in the wake of the crude statement, entirely unsure of how to reply to this wholly twisted form of jealousy. “Give me Tomohisa,” he finally resorted to the attractive notion of avoiding Aoki altogether. “Switch back,” he demanded, lifting his chin, “I don’t feel like dealing with you - give Tomohisa the wheel, he doesn’t need you to protect him right now – I can do that.”
“Yes, by fleeing, I saw that,” the elder rolled his eyes while Kazuya’s mouth furled into an persistant pout.