Pairing: Akame, Nakanishi, Kameda, Kokame, and so many many other KAT-TUN combinations.
Warnings: I'll apologise ahead of time for going all soap-opera, but after being a JE addict, I'm an angst addict.
Disclaimer: If I owned them, and this fic was true, then you'd have read it sooner I'm sure. lol. No seriously, KAT-TUN isn't mine and nor am I going to get money for being such an angst-whore
Summary: In desperation, each member of KAT-TUN silently makes his effort to repair the problem they're all afraid to talk about, but too often desire rides higher than necessity. 'But after nearly ten years with them, after the bruises, the screaming matches, and more tears than he liked to admit to, KAT-TUN became Koki’s scar, just a mound of tightly wound tissue with edgy ridges.'
Notes: So sorry this took so long. It seems as much as I thought the speaker in this chapter would be the easiest to write, he became the all-time most difficult. Within the space of 4000 words Koki became the most complex character I've attempted to write.
It also didn't help that I took a break to watch this week's Cartoon KAT-TUN, which was the complete opposite of the mood I was trying to portray in this chapter.
I’d sprint, skid and crawl
for first place
wide open for that careful maybe
And the fire in you
won’t hurt when I’ve won
Tanaka Koki knows that when you get hit in a fight, you can’t just stop and try to patch yourself up; can’t let your enemy know he got to you. By Koki’s ideology, you gotta jump right back up and start pounding on your opponent until he can’t remember why he was hitting you in the first place. Life was like that type of fight. A little over eight years ago, his opponent in the big fight became the Johnny’s Jimusho, who had thrown what they thought was the finishing blow on him when they said he was joining KAT-TUN. Even when their orders against him left a deep bleeding welt, Koki jumped up and fought: he argued, he may have punched a few company walls, but he’d established that they couldn’t touch him, that he didn’t accept nor deserve the wound. And he’d make it well known until the order was revoked.
3 am. Orange, green, red, blue, then smoke. The lights of the club below begin to spin and flash in an unmistakeably snow-light way, and Koki sees that he definitely shouldn’t have snorted those coke rails. Putting aside the plain fact that he just wasn’t fucking eighteen years old anymore, he had a location shoot to do in about 3 hours and he’d only caught a thirty minute nap on the VIP room couch before the guys had come for him. But he always seemed to welcome a blood rush like that after a studio filming… especially after one like today. He remembers when it was all about getting through the day, working hard with your best face. It used to be just surviving the deep cut in his chest.
The problem with that is he was soon walking around, dancing, rapping, singing, but bleeding-- slowly having life drained out of him. And the rest of them weren’t the same; they were beneath him, beneath this kind of hurt. But his tantrums and his mood touched them…more like grated on them until the soundtrack of their dressing room became:
Would you quit being a victim; you’re not the only one of us who doesn’t want to be here!
It doesn’t matter, you fucking bastard; we’re a team now, so we have to be serious!
I hate …each and every one of you!
Wish you’d all just grow up!
Don’t joke around trying to play the adult; who do you think you are?
Just quit fighting! There isn’t anything we can do about this!
But after nearly ten years with them, after the bruises, the screaming matches, and more tears than he liked to admit to, KAT-TUN became Koki’s scar, just a mound of tightly wound tissue with edgy ridges. He can’t imagine himself without it, can’t hide it when he’s bare. And since it appeared, he’s always been naked, stripped of little prides, made simple, gaudy, homely in contrast to the glitter of what Koki thinks was their idol-like simplicity. Maddened as he’d become, he wanted to be the seeming orange splatter on their sleek white-page system.
But then there was Kamenashi. Kame-chan. Kazuya. While Koki fought the decision by making everyone around him miserable for it, Kame went robotic. He worked the hardest and the longest while the rest of them were playing. He struggled aimlessly with details no one really cared about, and spent countless hours watching tapes and tapes of their senpai’s variety programs until his very breath was a mimicry of any Johnny’s he admired. The problem was that there was still a lot of Kame underneath all that, a lot of the kid he should’ve been, leaking out at intervals, needing company, needing friends. The rest of them had taken for granted that he was human, that he was, in the end, still a kid. And Koki wanted badly to know that kid.
And he soon learned that thousands of others want the same. And he sees it first hand, stolen things, torn sleeves, and blue finger-shaped bruises. The fans are getting him where he is, but they’re tearing him down in the process.
I don’t trust people, Koki.
Now Koki thinks Kame’s scar might be deeper than his.
I can lean on you, can’t I? Will you let me?
Some parts of it are shards of lovely memories, and he’s gained something of a keepsake, something heated and special within as far as someone like Kame can be kept.
Thank you; I… don’t want to talk about anything; I’d just like you to stay here for a while.
Suddenly Koki just wants to make peace, just wants to at least pretend they’ve all discovered an element of love for one another.
It hurts sometimes being here in this company, but I want to make a dream out of this. Come with me?
He thinks he might have…
This industry isn’t…good for m-for some people. I don’t want to think so, but I do.
He says it outright, since he doesn’t think his feelings can take it. I can protect you…from everything.
Kame’s smile is always bewildered when Koki talks that way, like he doesn’t quite understand what Koki wants.
It was all right, though, because Koki understood, he’d long since realised he was strong enough to be the protector, and to protect Kame was to protect the group was to protect Kame double fold. No one else stepped up and Koki liked to think that KAT-TUN had destiny attached to it. For Kame-chan, for the purpose of destiny, he was going to make these scars useful.
He’d never taken into consideration that such scars could make even bigger scars.
A year and a half before their debut, he met with Akanishi and Kame-chan for drinks. Kame chose to sit beside him, had his hair tied back in a short ponytail, looking thinner than he should, but he was a clear presence to Koki, bemusing smiles and shy glances. Across from him was Akanishi, all laughter, orange hair and youthful cheekbones; Koki remembers that boy. Cute innocence crushed against the undisguised stupidity of someone simple, but passionate all at once.
He finally said it, hoping the alcohol would mask him, cloak how deep he felt the words as he said them. “We need to drop this bullshit with the fights and everything. We’re not gonna last long, but I want us to; this group is worth it.” And everything could be worth it for you
“Shitteru,” Kame-chan had sighed. “It is worth it.” His tone was soft, vulnerable, and at its most affectionate. Koki didn’t dare look at him. If Kame had finally found solace in him, he didn’t want such a beautiful realisation to occur in front of the plain-speaking Akanishi. Koki recalls how a smile forced its way onto his own lips and how he couldn’t help it and slowly raised his head, casting a furtive look at Kame from the corner of his eye.
Clarity seemed like a slap when Kame didn’t turn to look at him. KAT-TUN’s shining and most promising had rather fastened his plaintive gaze across the table.
And the careless, childish Akanishi Jin in return-- with his round, vibrant brown eyes-- smouldered with a concentrated heat as he looked back at Kame-chan. Koki felt the heart-beat driven warmth even as a spectator, which continued until Kame looked away, uncomfortable.
The conversation had to resume before Koki felt his insides start to rip.
Koki lights up his king-size, tossing the match to the wet cement as he steps away from the lights of Roppongi. Several people pass him as he walks up the opposite street. His vision is blurred around the edges, and he feels a bit like he’s not using enough of his energy, but he still walks slowly feeling each sensation breeze past him on the nearly empty streets. The effects of the coke should have worn off by now. Maybe if he gets home and does some exercise, he might be able to sleep for at least an hour before he’d have to go meet with the location bus.