Pairing(s): Akame (main), Pikame (NC17), Ryoda (minor), Yunjae (minor).
Genre: romance, smut, mafia/ murder, action
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Summary: K hates A and A hates K. That much they've made publicly clear since KAT-TUN disbanded in 2012. Facts have it that they can't stand each other in the same room, much less the same country and that they yell curses to each other in their solo concerts and through paparazzi videos. No one really understands the reason behind the entire deal, T-TUN themselves don't quite get their problem either - so they decide to stay out of it for their own good but end up wound right in the middle of the entire thing when Johnny demands that they have their reunion four years later. Except, how is it supposed to be called a reunion when he two leaders of KAT-TUN can barely stand looking at each other?
Kwon Jiyong would’ve like to have thought, having met Kamenashi Kazuya around four years ago, he could give two shits and half about having his calls ignored by the flaky fellow by now. As a matter of fact however, far more than just two shits and a half were being given and it was beginning to irk him. Not in the right way though, because he wasn’t pissed off this time – he was worried. Very terribly worried.
His phone which flickered through all manners of terrible, cancer-inducing light told him that it was exactly 6:30 AM as he stared blankly into it with a heart that wouldn’t calm. By all the lack of schedule and common sense that ruled Kazuya’s life, Jiyong had expected that he’d stayed up the previous night and gone nocturnal because that was what he tended to do during his breaks.
He was supposed to be up.
He was supposed to be answering these obnoxious calls. If not to be a good friend, at least to tell him to fuck the hell off. He’d called him a total of twenty times already and left a total of sixteen messages – a third of the number of messages left to him by Yakuza’s second syndicate.
He was supposed to be answering.
Jiyong swallowed, ignoring the premonition tingling away at the back of his skull as he tucked his phone away for the umpteenth time and turned away from it to curl into a ball under his sheets. There, he tried to tell himself over and over that the idiot was just asleep. Just asleep, just asleep, just asleep, not in trouble at all. Not in trouble at all. No, not at all.
“What’re you doing?”
Tatsuya glanced up. Glasses halfway down in nose, and himself - knee-deep in files beside his laptop on the floor - he stared blankly up at Ryo who was leaning against the doorway of KAT-TUN’s suite.
“Hn…?” He blinked, a little out of it.
The younger rolled his eyes with a huff, coming in. “What are you doing?” He repeated.
Tatsuya quickly glanced over his shoulder, making sure neither Kazuya or Jin were anywhere within three feet of the latter because Ryo held grudges like a bitch. When he spotted neither, he grunted and turned back – yo-!” He yelped, when he came nose to nose with Ryo.
“The fu-?!” He slapped a file in his face, batting him away until he was far enough, “privacy!” He barked, “respect it, shrimp!”
“Tsk,” Ryo returned, uncharacteristically unoffended as he settled cross-legged opposite to the older. “Have you slept at all?” He yawned, hiking up his shirt to scratch lazily at his abs, “you look like a rat – why’re you even up? It’s vacation, you know?”
Tatsuya just hummed and muttered.
“Hah?” His visitor snorted, “go get some sleep, you’re not making sense, Tatsuya-.”
“That servant,” he was interrupted. Ryo glanced up, blinking fatigue from his eyes. “That servant,” Tatsuya repeated before he could ask, “you asked me when I started feeling like something was off last night,” he flipped a page in the file before him, turning to his laptop to check something once he’d read something off the paper.
“There was this servant who came into our room while we were sleeping to restock our fridge and leave us some snacks,” Tatsuya glanced up, “I started feeling weird around then.”
“Because of the servant?”
“I think?” The elder shrugged, “I don’t know,” he mumbled, turning back to his laptop, “I keep feeling like I’m forgetting something important, like if I just remembered…,” he trailed off, mouth twisted irritably. He grumbled incoherently to himself, hunching over as he scowled at his laptop.
Meanwhile, Ryo picked around the mess of papers surrounding the soloist. Opening a random file, he glanced at the information profile of a male servant. He cocked a skeptical brow, lifting his head back to Tatsuya and flapping the papers in his hand expectantly.
“I’m going over which servants checked-in, which were assigned to our side of the mansion,” the latter mumbled.
“You’re being paranoid,” Ryo sniffed.
“I’m being diligent.”
“I’m always paranoid.”
Ryo made a face. Leaning in slightly, he inched a daring hand onto Tatsuya’s ankle – the part of his body nearest to him. “Kazuya won’t die if you look away for half a second, you know?”
Without turning, Tatsuya snorted. “Yeah, he will,” he stated like he couldn’t be any more wrong.
Ryo frowned. “It’s your vacation too, Tatsuya. I’m sure he wouldn’t want you losing sleep over him-.”
“You don’t know what he wants. He’s spoiled, he wants everything.” The elder muttered busily, flipping another page and scrolling to another on his laptop.
The younger twitched. Gripping a little harder, he tugged at man’s leg, “I’m just saying, you don’t need to care about him so much-.”
“Ryo,” Tatsuya glanced up.
“Pay attention to me,” Ryo stopped beating around the bush.
Unfazed, Tatsuya flung a file in his face. “Help me finish, and I just might, midget.”
(It’s okay. Kazuya, calm down. They won’t hurt us –).
(They won’t hurt you. I’m here, it’s okay –).
He looked around.
(I’m here. I’ll fix everything – it’s okay. Everything is-).
It was black. It was cold – no. It was just that the warmth that had been there a moment ago was missing.
“Father…?” He mumbled.
(I’m fine. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about me. It’s okay. It’s okay, Kazuya – stop crying).
He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t breathe. WHY - where was he?!
It felt like a vacuum; a void. An empty blank – a place where nothing had or would ever exist.
He began to panic.
(Don’t watch. Kazuya, don’t watch - don't…!).
But he couldn’t hyperventilate. He couldn’t scream or cry or move, for that matter – everything in him was locked in such a way that it made him stiff and helpless and incapable.
He hated it.
“Father – father-!”
“YUZAN-!” He screamed and suddenly the void surrounding him turned lukewarm and wet.
Pressure suddenly rocketed and crushed him downward. Density appeared around him rather suddenly and hindered everything - any attempt at movement, any attempt at breathing, opening his eyes even.
He opened his mouth. Salt and sea filled it.
He choked, and clawed into the one direction that lessened the effect of this medium’s overbearing elements until he broke what felt like a barrier and air slapped him in the face.
“Kazuya-!” He heard someone call to him as he thrashed around, gasping and breathless, until his feet hit something soft and unstable. He yelped, flailing as he nearly went down again – “hey. Hey.” He choked. Someone had caught him by his shirt collar and was now holding him up by it.
“Pi…,” he mumbled, registering the voice before the face as reality came back to him shattered pieces.
“You okay?” Sturdy arms came to his sides, supporting him, holding him up on his shaking legs as Kazuya swayed and stumbled. Fingers digging into Yamapi’s skin as his palms slipped against the elder’s chest, he coughed and hacked - lungs stinging with sea salt as the elder held him up.
“Alright, alright – take a breath,” he heard the latter murmur as he fell forward over Yamapi’s arm while the man thumped his back.
“What…,” Kazuya wheezed a few minutes and a sore throat later, pushing gently at Yamapi’s chest when oxygen finally breached his lungs. “What happened…?” He croaked, rubbing his eyes and wincing at the water trickling around in his ears as Yamapi grabbed his hand and started leading him off somewhere – presumably to shore if the receding level of water lapping against his shins was anything to go by.
“We crashed,” he heard from up ahead, “I threw you guys off the boat before we did…,” Kazuya flinched, gaze still blurred as he turned to the sound of the latter’s voice.
“Are you okay-?” He started, coughing again when his throat rasped.
“Better than you at least.” Kazuya glanced back down at himself blearily, still rubbing the water from his eyes and wincing at the sting as he lifted his head to squint at the steaming wreckage he could hear crackling a few feet away, “…think you fainted or something –,” Yamapi was saying they walked past it, “…you’d sunk pretty deep by the time I got back from saving Jin’s ass…”
“Jin…,” Kazuya mumbled, very slowly coming back into focus as he remembered how their speedboat had gone out of control after it had run out of gas -, “Ji… Jin!” He yelped and suddenly jerked forward, hugging Yamapi’s arm frantically, “where’s-?!”
“Calm dowwwwn,” the latter sighed pointing at the beach in front of them.
“What-?” Kazuya started when his eyes fell onto the immobile form lying on the beach in front of them.
“Hit his head on the side of the boat, he fainted,” Yamapi called as the younger raced past him to kneel restlessly beside his bandmate.
“Jin?” Kazuya murmured worriedly as he hovered over the elder, fingers hastily carding through the man's hair as he checked for head wounds. “Jin, Jin?” He shook him gently, moving his hands down to the man’s chest and pressing into skin as he checked for internal injuries next. “Yamapi,” he frowned as the man trudged past him holding his own crumpled shirt to his forehead. “Yamapi, why isn’t he waking up?” Kazuya asked as he checked Jin’s pulse and listened to how slowly he was breathing, “why isn’t he-?”
“He coughed up a little water earlier, give him some time,” the elder called back as he walked over to their destroyed skiff and kicked their boat’s hull until it’s hood popped open. His brow pinched a moment later as he glanced in. “… Kazuya,” he frowned as he leaned down to tug at something inside the engine.
The younger didn’t hear him, eyes lingering agitatedly on his bandmate for a moment before he turned up and they narrowed against the sun as he stared out into the looming forest ahead. “Where is this?” He asked himself as he made a face, “the middle of nowhere?”
“Kazuya-,” Yamapi kneeled down beside the boat engine, concern tainting his features, “something’s off-.”
“We can’t be that far away – how long were we on that thing?”
“Where are we even? This looks like a deserted island – do we even get service here-?”
“Kazu.” Yamapi snapped louder, and held out frayed cables as the younger irritably turned on him – “What-?”
He paused, eyes flickering reluctantly to what he held
Yamapi stayed tense, “these’ve been cut,” he breathed, “someone cut them, someone messed with the engine-.”
“No,” Kazuya interrupted. He held out a hand and turned away, pressing another into his forehead, “no, no, no – do not give me that right now –,” he turned away, “this is just some stupid boat malfunction, nothing weird about this at all – nothing weird about being stranded…,” he glanced at the sights, iterating his denial – seemingly trying to convince himself of it and taking in the scenery of the little cove while he was at it, “in a forest…,” he grimaced at the way it loomed over their all too tiny forms, “at all…”
He trailed off as his eyes fell back to Yamapi and he watched the elder cautiously finger the frayed, but neatly cut, edges of the many little wires in his hands.
And his heart did a thing – it beat rapidly and thundered wildly; lungs constricting all too suddenly as he tried not to hyperventilate. The very real possibility that them being stranded by the mercy of human hands rather than mother nature’s rushed through him like a chill, and suddenly he felt like clawing out his capillaries which ran cold with blood, poisoned by the sudden onset of panic.
“Remote control,” Yamapi made it ten times worse, picking at something under the popped hood as he looked around some more, “remote control – most likely,” he repeated as he pulled out another few wires. “The controls were probably taken over by a remote override, which, considering the size of this tub, can only happen in a five-mile radius,” he glanced up, looking over his shoulder and narrowing his eyes against the sun as he stared out into the overwhelming jungle in front of them. “The controller should be somewhere nearby-.”
Kazuya promptly tuned him out and spun back around, eyes darting around frantically with renewed purpose. “Where are we.” He snapped, voice high and unsteady – a dead giveaway that he wasn’t handling this well. “Where the fuck are we on this fucking beach in the middle of fucking nowhere – who the HELL brought us here?” He started pacing once he got up, white sand flying up at his feet as he fumed pointlessly, “we don’t have time for this-! My connection with Jin is fading – the Hunt’s already begun! We don’t have time for this-,” and on he went for a while as Yamapi decidedly ignored him and went back to seeing what he could salvage of their engine.
“Are you done?” He asked when a fair amount of time had finally passed and Kazuya seemed to have finally run out of steam.
“No. I’m going fucking kill Kei. He’s supposed to stop this shit before it happens to me.” He turned on Yamapi, “you too, dumbass. This is your fault.”
“Bitch.” Yamapi wrinkled his nose as he straightened back up, “how is this my fault?”
“Because you brought us here, jerk.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t run diagnostic on the fucking boat, princess –,” the latter flung his free hand in the air, “we’re on vacation. I thought I was on break from babysitting your bossy ass-.”
“Why am I even here?” Kazuya promptly ignored him, pacing off in the opposite direction, muttering irritably to himself, “did you have go drag me out of bed at like two in the fucking morning?”
“You told me to-!”
“I told you to cheer Jin up. Not-,” Kazuya pointed accusingly at him, “bring me along-.”
“What.” Yamapi huffed incredulously, “and you expected just him and I-?
“Hi. Yeah, no,” Yamapi turned back to the smoking engine, voice lowering as he pressed his balled up shirt harder into his forehead, “Jin and I are on the outs in case your dumb ass still hasn’t noticed. I figured he could let off some steam if he could take it out on you-.”
“Uggggghhhhhh,” Kazuya groaned wearily, rolling his eyes as he crumpled into the beach sand, raking his hands through his hair as his mind ran a mile an hour.
Meanwhile, Yamapi sighed as he drew back to sit down on a nearby outcropping of rocks. “Kazuya,” he called to the frustrated ball of idol crouched a few meters away from him.
“Kazu - hey, Kazuya,” Yamapi flicked his fingers at the younger when Kazuya reluctantly glanced up - beckoning him over as he pulled away the balled up shirt he’d been holding at his head, “c’mere, patch me up,” he requested gesturing to the bleeding cut on his forehead with his eyes, “there should be a first aid somewhere in the glove box,” he added quickly when Kazuya’s jaw dropped, frustration immediately dissipating into concern-, “it’s just a head wound – you know they bleed a lot, don’t make that face.”
“…I-… yes,” the younger quickly shook himself back into his senses after a moment, “yes, yes – this is nothing. Nothing – nothing at all-,” Kazuya occupied himself with muttering as he rushed over to the boat, rummaging around under the dashboard until he found what he needed.
“Locate us,” he called flinging a map into Yamapi’s lap as he came over and opened up the first aid kit in the sand. Pulling free the antiseptic wipes, he leaned over him and started cleansing the cut. “Sorry,” he mumbled when the elder hissed, flinching away from the sterilizing sting, “anything?” He added, words marred by the gauze pad he had clenched between his teeth as he got to wrapping up the wound.
“...Mitō Cove, apparently.”
“And?” Yamapi dipped his head, giving the younger enough space to wrap the gauze around his head, as he traced his fingers across the map in his hands.
“Aaaaand…,” he tilted the map at an angle, turning his head slightly, “we need to move before the tide comes in this afternoon - Tokoro’s place is… norrrrth…,” he tilted the map at another angle, “north… west,” he decided, “-of here if we go through the forest.”
“You can’t fix up the boat?”
“Engine’s fried,” Yamapi shook his head and the younger groaned. “How long?” Kazuya huffed, tucking in the edges of his wrapping.
“Three… no, two days-ish?” Yamapi turned over his shoulder when Kazuya pulled his hands away, “we’re heading for those mountains,” he pointed to a distant range, more hidden than not in the fog.
Kazuya glanced up, eyes following the elder’s finger.
Licking his lips as he glanced at the outline of mountains, he turned back down – digging his phone out of his soaked trackpants. “Dead,” he wrinkled his nose, shoving it back into his pants.
“Reasons to get an android, babe,” Yamapi stuck his tongue out, flicking his own – perfectly intact phone – in the younger’s face.
“Tsk. Get that inferior piece of shit out of my face,” Kazuya grouched, snatching it out of his hands nonetheless. “No service,” he murmured once he’d unlocked it.
“Jin said something about bad service when we were still at Tokoro’s,” Yamapi sighed as he watched the younger click open the compass app on his phone. “Suppose that makes sense,” he mumbled glancing over his shoulder to eye the obvious string of phone towers a few meters behind them, “wouldn’t really make sense to give us phone service if the point was to leave us stranded out here.”
“You think someone screwed with the service?” Kazuya mumbled as he tilted the phone around, letting the compass on the screen calibrate.
“Kazu, the phone towers are literally right there.”
“Could just be because-.”
“Get real,” Yamapi snorted, “why would someone go through the trouble of hijacking our engine without scrambling the cell signals? It’s easier to do than hacking an engine-.”
“I’m trying,” Kazuya glanced up at him irritably, “to be positive here. Don’t talk like this in front of Jin – he’ll freak out.”
Yamapi rolled his eyes and shook his head. Turning away, he eyed the unconscious man lying a few feet away from them.
“Is he mad at me…?” He asked after a while of silent thought.
“What?” Kazuya mumbled busily lifting Yamapi’s phone out as he tried to find where the northwest part of the compass pointed.
“Jin,” Yamapi tilted his head, “… he’s been avoiding me for a while…”
“M’sure it’s because he’s depressed about Reio,” Kazuya murmured absently.
“No,” the elder’s mouth twisted, “he’s been avoiding since before the vacation…”
“He’s been recovering from his back wound,” the younger reasoned easily, “give him his space. Let him be prickly.”
“Yeah, but,” Yamapi pouted, pulling into himself self-consciously, “… he’s never really been this prickly.”
“Mh,” Kazuya hummed.
“Tell me why.”
“Why would you think I’d know?”
“Because you’re stalling right now.”
Kazuya blinked, eyes flicking away from the phone for a second. “He… might be jealous?” He said after a moment.
“The fuck?” Yamapi wrinkled nose, finally turning back just as the younger settled back in the sand, having found the direction they needed to be going in, “of who?”
“Of us,” Kazuya muttered, setting the phone carefully on the map lying between them – aligning the digital compass with the printed one on the map.
“What – why?” Yamapi huffed incredulously.
“Dunno’,” Kazuya shrugged off-handedly, “he’s jealous of how close I am to you, I think."
“Wha – he’s my best friend,” Yamapi frowned, flinging his hands towards the fainted man in question.
“Yeah, but he doesn’t really think that…,” Kazuya mumbled, catching the elder’s eyes for a second before looking over his head and into the forest behind him.
Meanwhile, Yamapi blanched. The worst possibilities immediately began shuttering before his eyes when he mumbled, “why?”
Kazuya cleared his throat, shutting his eyes for a second as he said, “don’t think about it too much.” He sat back in the sand, lifting his head to smile reassuringly up at the man, “he’s just being his weird self.”
“M’not weird, bitch.”
“Jin-,” Yamapi immediately perked up as the younger turned over his shoulder – relief emanating off him in waves so thick they were palpable. “How do you feel?” He called over as the latter propped himself up on his palms in the sand, wincing as he pressed his other hand into his head, “you smacked your head into the hull on your way off-,” Pi added quickly when Jin turned to peer at them just as Kazuya got up.
“Does it hurt a lot?” Kazuya continued for him as he walked over, rounding around his bandmate as he kneeled behind him to check on his back wound for a minute before he shifted to check his head.
“Kind of…,” Jin grunted back quietly, grimacing under Kazuya’s touch as he turned away instinctively, “where…?” His eyes roved around as he took in the land and seascape, “where is this…? Where are we? – What happened?” He added, senses returning to him in a sudden wave of panic when his eyes fell onto the smoking remains of their speedboat.
“Yamapi took us out on a shitty boat – it crashed-,” Kazuya started.
“So help me God, if you blame this on me one more time – I will strangle you, bitch,” Yamapi interrupted calmly as he looked over the map Kazuya had left at his feet.
Jin glanced blearily over to his best friend, memories of being woken up way too early, Pi and Kazuya fighting, and bad phone service resurfacing rapidly in his head as his eyes flickered completely open.
“Ah-,” quickly batting Kazuya’s hands aside he dove to dig his phone out of his pocket only to end up staring at the flickering screen of the dying device. The only downside of apple phones – Jin wrinkled his nose, turning back up to Kazuya and demanding, “where are we? Where’d we crash – where is this-.”
“Mitō Cove – calm down,” the younger added, hands lifting away from Jin’s chest after he’d finished checking his breathing rate against his own, “we’re leaving this place soon en-.”
“And going where?” Jin flinched as he turned back to him, “wha – why can’t we just stay ‘till someone finds us? Doesn’t Tatsuya know you’re gone-? Won’t he come after you-?” He paused when the younger held a finger up in his face.
“One,” Kazuya interrupted as he pointed to the sea, “the tide’s going to come in by 12-ish and flood this beach. Two, Tatsuya doesn’t know – I didn’t sleep in our suite last night. Three, it’ll take a while for him to send people-.”
“Then we’re stranded-?!”
“No. We’re just going to a place where the phone service is better so we can call someone,” Kazuya frowned at him, “don’t be so quick to panic, what’s wrong with you?” – Yamapi rolled his eyes at the irony of that, considering that Kazuya had been the one panicking literally five minutes earlier.
“What’s wrong with me – what’s wrong with you?!” Jin shot back, “we’re in the middle of nowhere with no phone service or transportation – how are we going to get back?!”
“By walking that way,” Kazuya pointed to the distant mountain range behind him while Jin didn’t bother to look – more or less flabbergasted as he stared open-mouthed at his band leader instead, wondering if he really understood the gravity of the situation here.
Or was he, himself just making a mountain out of a molehill?
Jin turned to his right, trying to distract himself from Kazuya by looking at Yamapi who was huddled over what seemed to be a map. It struck him a moment later that if he was consulting a map, he was completely on board with Kazuya’s preposterous reasoning of taking a hike through the forest behind him.
“I’m stranded with crazy people,” he mumbled to himself, vacant for a second before he turned up to the heavens, “I’m stuck with crazy people,” he informed God, who’d apparently decided to play a cruel joke on him.
“Oh, shut up – we’ll be fine,” Kazuya huffed, grabbing his chin and tugging his head back down, “more importantly,” he slapped himself in the face for no apparent reason at all and Jin squeaked, shuffling back frantically – “WHAT THE F-?!” He started while Yamapi cast the two of them a fleeting glance.
“Did you feel that?” Kazuya asked calmly as he turned his head back, rubbing the red mark on his cheek as Pi turned back down effectively ignoring them.
“Yes!” Jin yelped, then thought for a second and snapped, “no!” then, “kind of-!” And then he stopped and actually thought, a frown digging into his face when he just then remembered that – wait – he and Kazuya were supposed to have a connection; were supposed to feel each other’s pain, each other’s pleasure – the frown on his face sank deeper and he glanced down and lifted his own hand to his cheek as he registered nothing but a faint tingle.
“Actually, no,” he glanced up to Kazuya who’d gotten up and was now -, “wait, wait, WAIT,” Jin scrambled further and further away – ultimately not getting anywhere, considering the soft sand his palms kept slipping against as the latter came up to him, “what’re you-?!” He started when the younger stood over him, fist drawn – smile too wide to mean anything remotely good – he punched him.
In the face.
“Kazuya,” Yamapi berated warningly from the sidelines as the brunette watched him, innocence just radiating off him as he rubbed a single finger into his own respective cheek while Jin fell back into the sand – whimpering over the loss of his general dignity. “Why the f-?” Jin started groaning pitifully as he slowly turned back, “Kazu, why-?” He quieted. Then suddenly flushed red, red, red – eyes wide and dilating when Kazuya leaned further and pulled on a smirk, eyes glinting something filthy as the tip of his tongue flicked out past his parted lips mischievously.
“Jiiiiin~,” he leered softly, slicking back his wet hair as he pressed his foot up between his legs and waited exactly ten seconds for Jin to get interested. “Goddamn, you’re too easy,” he huffed to himself while Jin spluttered and stuttered – “w-what are y-you?”
Kazuya ignored him to glance at his own pants. “Hm.” He nodded after a second, “no pleasure,” he observed curtly as he pulled away, “the connection’s going,” he stated the obvious as he did.
And Jin damn near blew a fuse when that got through to him. “YA THINK?!” He barked, curling defensively into himself and swiping at the younger’s feet quickly enough for him to lose his balance and go splat on the beach sand.
“So we’re few a hours worth of walking away from the next cell phone towers,” Yamapi murmured as they broke into battle, “if we start now,” he glanced up, “we’ll be there by noon and halfway to Tokoro’s by night,” he spoke up louder.
“Wait – what the fuck.” Jin – by some grace of the Lord above – managed to shove Kazuya off him, slipping only once as he got to his feet, “we’re seriously going through that?” He flung a hand at the forest lining the cove, “that? Really?!”
“Yeah really,” Yamapi cocked a brow at him, fiddling with the gauze on his head as he folded the map and stood up, “didn’t you hear him?” He jerked his chin up to what Jin assumed was Kazuya getting off the ground, “we’re going to be underwater in a few hours-.”
“So we just need to get to higher ground!”
“Yeah, so let’s move that way,” he pointed back to wherever Kazuya had been pointing earlier, “while we’re at it.”
“Through this jungle?!”
“It’s just a bunch of trees, Jin,” Kazuya muttered sullenly as he stalked past the elder on his way back to Yamapi.
“That stretches for kilometers!” The latter yelled after him, “filled with wildcats! And starving wild animals! And hornets – hornets are native to Japan you know?! They can kill a person you know?! What if we di-.”
“Jin,” Yamapi interrupted to cast him an amused glance, “dude, we grew up in mafia central, come on.”
“Yeah, but- Kazuya,” Jin lunged hesitantly to where his band leader was already heading for the trees.
“Just a bunch of trees, Jin,” the younger waved him off, “if you survived this long with the childhood you’ve had, you’re going to survive a bunch of trees.”
“We have the devil’s luck, in case you haven’t noticed,” Yamapi winked as he walked over and slung an arm through Jin’s. And -, “no, no, nonononono wait-!” Jin started yelling when his best friend started dragging him off after Kazuya.
“It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine,” Yamapi insisted cheerily while Jin all but howled at the top of his lungs that it wouldn’t.
“It will, it will-.”
Not even five minutes into the hike and - “s-… spider! SpiderSPIDERSPIDERSPIDERSPIDER-!” Jin started screaming.
“Oh my g - are you serious-? Is he serious?” Kazuya glanced at Yamapi who sighed louder than he had to before grabbing the back of Jin’s joggers to drag him over. “Look.” He snapped, spinning the elder around a second later and letting the massive spider he’d found on the back of his shirt, dangle off his finger. “I got i-,” – Jin opened his mouth.
“Shut up, Bakanishi – you’ll let the bears know where we are,” Kazuya groaned when Jin started flat out shrieking, punching blindly at his leering best friend as he frantically tried to get away. “Yamapi.” Kazuya snapped irritably, turning back after having tried to make sense of the phone compass for the last few chaotic minutes now, “will you stop bullying him?” He turned back to the phone, “he screams louder when it’s lizards anyway…,” he added quietly with an underlying grin as Jin eyed him horrifically, and Yamapi promptly staring tearing up the undergrowth in search of the scaly vermin.
Fifteen minutes later, Kazuya calmly pushed Jin away – forcing him to walk on his left as he – just as calmly – flung a stick into the ground where Jin had just been about to step. “Leg-hold trap,” he hummed quietly as the vicious teeth of the hidden metal trap immediately sprang up from the ground upon contact with the stick and snapped it clean in half.
Jin wheezed, breath freezing and he went completely still for that terrifyingly still second before he scrambled to follow Yamapi and Kazuya’s steps exactly as they maneuvered around the area like pros.
“How can you even tell?” He hissed when the youngest of their group continued flinging around debris to set off the traps, “they’re hidden, for God’s sake – how can you even tell?”
And the two in front of him glanced at back like they couldn’t understand why he couldn’t understand.
“You can’t smell it?” Yamapi asked him curiously after a moment.
“Smell what?” Jin’s brow rose straight up to his hairline.
“The rust,” Kazuya cocked his own back, “the traps are rusting – you can’t smell it?”
“It gets stronger the closer you get to the trap – see?” Yamapi snapped an acorn off a nearby evergreen and flung it his right, “there,” he pointed, rather obviously, to the trap that clamped hungrily at the little thing the minute it hit the ground – and Jin squeaked, flinching away – “careful,” Yamapi tapped him back into place when he skittered too far left, “stay close, Jin,” he added when Kazuya chucked a rock and the elder watched in horror as another trap came to my life literally centimeters away from his foot.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS PLACE’S JUST A BUNCH OF TREES?!” He shrieked another few minutes later when Yamapi pulled him away from two concealed pit traps and five snare traps.
“So there’re a few hunter’s traps lying around, big deal,” Kazuya raked a hand through his hair as he climbed over the massive roots of an even more massive tree, “this is a forest after all, there’s bound to be a few hunters running around-.”
“IT IS A BIG DEAL!”
The younger ignored him, glancing around as he continued quietly, “it’s actually weirder that we’ve run into this many traps but no hunters.”
“We’ve set off enough to alert them,” Yamapi murmured, concern pinching his brow as he glanced over his shoulder, “but no one’s shown up… think they’re inert?” He turned back to Kazuya, "the traps?"
“That many?” Kazuya cocked his brow as he thumbed over his shoulder, “that’s kind of a lot – over 50 easily.”
Yamapi glanced back again, past Jin who’d given up on trying to reason with these maniacs. “It’s weird,” he agreed after a second and Jin knew enough to recognize the undertone of that statement. That Kazuya didn’t deign Pi with an answer and just continued bustling forward – faster even – wasn’t helping the case: this was some mafia thing. Something besides them just being lost in the woods was happening here, something he wasn’t seeing – something he wasn’t knowledgeable enough to see.
But Jin quieted – mentally and physically as he glanced ahead to where Pi was stepping through thick undergrowth and exposed roots as he reopened his map and held it out before Kazuya while the younger checked his compass again. If he asked, they’d brush him off the way they had only a million times in the past – whether it was a lie or not, they'd want him to simply believe that by all manner of strange coincidences they were lost in some trap-ridden neck of the woods with no one to help them. And so he thought as he followed without throwing up a fuss. They were in a bad enough fix as it was, he’d badger them when Yamapi felt guilty enough to spill, when Kazuya was too tired to care and when everyone was just a little bit less tense.
Not to say that time would come any time soon, considering that the traps they started running into next were fit to fall an elephant. Jin stared on breathlessly, impressed if nothing else at the sheer imaginativeness of the numerous little traps Yamapi and Kazuya pushed him out of. That they could even sense them before they snapped shut and took anyone’s consciousness mesmerized him even more so; it spoke to whatever they’d mafiaesque tasks had trained their minds to think in the cautious and alert way they were – it would’ve been awe-inspiring and amazing to just watch if they weren’t where they were; stuck in this situation which could, in reality, snap off any one of their limbs at any given time, leaving them to rot to death-.
Jin flinched when Kazuya screamed, having taken too long to pull back his arm when he’d reached over to pull Jin away from a trap that had already been set in motion. Mh-!” He promptly slapped his mouth shut a second later, whimpering into it as he crumpled to the ground, nursing a bleeding forearm while his bandmate just stood aside in belated shock. It hit him, when Yamapi rushed over to kneel beside Kazuya, that someone was badly hurt – “Kaz-,” he started and pulled back with a grimace when Pi turned open the latter’s arm and the deep cut – easily three inches long – just beneath the original bandaging on Kazuya’s wrist was revealed.
“Lucky,” his best friend murmured, snapping open the first aid kit they’d brought along with them, “a little bit higher and it would’ve cut the cephalic vein…”
“Hurry up, hurry up – just hurry up-,” Kazuya whispered back hastily, voice strained as he squeezed his eyes shut.
Jin turned away as well and glanced down at his own arm where the corresponding mark appeared in his own skin – but it was little more than a kitten scratch. Nothing like inch-deep gash on the younger’s arm that Yamapi was hurrying to clean and wrap up.
The idol frowned, eyes flickering back down to his band leader as he remembered the slap he’d just barely felt that morning on the beach.
Their connection really was fading.
“Why…?” He mumbled to himself, “why is-.”
“Freeze,” Yamapi pointed up to him without looking as he wrapped a roll of gauze around Kazuya’s arm, “don’t move around too much, Jin – you can’t see the traps.”
“Then let’s just stop here,” Jin pleaded as he crouched beside them, “if Tatsuya’s sending people, let’s just wait for them to find us here-,” Yamapi and Kazuya shared a quick glance that Jin didn’t catch, "it's easier for both of us anyway - let's-."
Yamapi cleared his throat, gaze falling again as he said, “we can’t.”
“Why not?!” Jin gasped, “it’s better than getting cut up in all these traps! Besides if we stay here – the hunter that set it up might come back-.”
“Because we can’t, the tide’s-.”
“We’re out of the tide zone already!”
Yamapi ignored him then, conveniently preoccupied and focusing on Kazuya again as he finished with the gauze and sat back. “Tight enough?” He asked as the younger pulled his arm back, twisting it around slightly with a wince before he nodded, pressing his other hand into the undergrowth as he made to get back to his feet.
“Oh, what – you’re ignoring me now?” Jin snapped as they started walking again like nothing had just happened, like a little of Kazuya’s blood hadn’t just pooled into a little puddle on the forest floor with a good amount of it still collected on and dripping off the singular spike of the trap responsible for his latest injury.
“Quit being so high-strung, we’re wasting time, Jin,” Kazuya called back, like his left arm wasn’t just dangling uselessly at his side.
The idol behind him choked on air – struck wordless and unsure of how to reason with people that had shirked their last remaining bits of common sense.
He flung his hands up in the air, half of an incredulous gasp leaving him explosively as he just gave up and stormed off after the two in front of him.
Not that it did anyone much good; the number of traps multiplied as they foraged deeper into the forest. Better hidden, larger, and more dangerous.
Jin had had about enough of it when his best friend yelped, leaping away from a sharp-toothed trap that had just been about to close down on his ankle. “You okay?” Kazuya prompted, offering him a single glance over his shoulder. “Close-!” Yamapi wheezed back with a huff of laughter, like he had a million lives, and this was just a game and nothing bad would’ve actually happened if he’d just been caught back there. No, not like he’d nearly just lost a fucking foot. Not like he would’ve been some manner of crippled for the rest of his life – not like he had people that fucking cared about him-.