whatxsarahxsaid: (ponder the world [kame])
[personal profile] whatxsarahxsaid
Title: Change Your Stars
Rating: PG
Summary: We struggle through life, pushed around and ignored. Yamapi has always struggled through life to achieve his dream of becoming a music producer. Kame has always struggled to be heard, unable to deal with not taken seriously. He lashes out at the new intern. They struggle with their feelings towards one another, each gravitating towards an unsure future.
Prompt: Arashi - We Can Make It!
Warnings: Slight AU (as in KAT-TUN exists, but NEWS never did), Angst, alcohol consumption.
Notes: Thank you so much to Elizabeth for betaing this, even though she was so busy, didn't want to do it, and doesn't like the characters I used. I owe everything to her for all her help. So thank you. I had a lot of trouble with this, but I think it ended up to my satisfaction. The title is inspired from the movie, A Knights Tale. Originally written for the [livejournal.com profile] je_ficgames.

The alarm clock buzzed unnaturally loud through the quiet of the room. Yamapi reached a long arm out from under the warmth of dozens of blankets and sluggishly turned off the blaring beeping. His head poked out from the blankets, hair sticking on end, and blinked his eyes against the brightness of the morning. Sitting up fully, he threw the blankets off and stood up, remembering that this was his first day working at the Johnny’s and Associates, Inc. as an intern for a music act, though he didn’t know which group he was going to be working with.

He heard sounds emulating from the kitchen and the scent of coffee was heavy in the air, meaning Ryo was up and about. Yamapi stumbled to the kitchen, donning a soft, blue robe as he went.

“You’re up early,” Yamapi said in greeting, pouring himself a cup of coffee and rustling through the cabinets for cereal and a bowl.

Ryo grunted in response and continued cooking his breakfast.

“Aw, Ryo-chan! Are you up just for me?” Yamapi grinned. Ryo never got up before 7:00, and it was well before then.

“You should be so lucky.” Yamapi laughed, sitting at the table and tearing into his breakfast. Ryo finished cooking and sat at the table, placing a plate of eggs in front of Yamapi. Yamapi raised an eyebrow.

“Protein will give you a lot of energy for the day,” Ryo said and fell silent as he ate his breakfast. Yamapi just grinned and continued to eat.

“When are you leaving?” Yamapi asked.

“A little after 8:30; we need to do some ordering. What time do you think you’ll be around?” Ryo and his family owned a string of successful restaurants, one of which Ryo was the head chief of and employed Yamapi, his best friend since childhood. Both boys had both helped at the first restaurant when they were younger since Yamapi’s family died in a car accident when he was seven, and Ryo’s family took him in as their own son.

Yamapi put down the spoonful of cereal he was about to eat. “I’m not sure how long I’m going to be working. They said it would vary on some days.”

“Well, don’t worry about it. I told you, it’s fine,” Ryo grunted. When Yamapi had graduated, he had been accepted as an intern at the most elite music industry, Johnny’s and Associates, the Jimusho. It was a nonpaying job, as most internships are, and he still had his half of the rent to pay. Although Ryo had graciously accepted to cover the rent until his internship was over, Yamapi couldn’t let him do that. So, on top of his internship, he would continue working at the restaurant. He didn’t mind because he was finally starting his dream. He wanted to manage a music act, maybe even do a little singing or playing as well.

Yamapi shrugged. The argument was an old one and he didn’t want to argue on his first day. Glancing at the clock, he noticed that he was running a little late and hurried to finish his breakfast.

“Don’t make yourself sick!” Ryo scolded.

“Thanks, Mom. I need to take a shower, and then I’ll be out of your hair.”

Yamapi rushed around getting ready while Ryo washed up the dishes and lounged about, watching the frazzled and excited Yamapi race around.

By 7:45, Yamapi was washed and dressed in a smart pair of jeans, a black sweater and a long brown overcoat. He stood at the entrance, putting on his shoes when Ryo came up behind him.

“Don’t forget your lunch,” Ryo muttered, handing him a bento.

Yamapi stared up at him. “Did you make this for me?”

Ryo blushed slightly, and turned his nose up in the air. “It’s all your favorites.”

“Th-thank you, Ryo-chan!” He stood up quickly and gave the startled Ryo a hug. “I should start something new everyday if you’re going to be this nice.”

Ryo laughed, “Not a chance.” Suddenly his face turned serious. “I’m proud of you, though. You deserve this. So don’t screw up.”

Taken aback, Yamapi nodded. “Well, I’m off!”

“Good luck.” Yamapi hurried out of the apartment, Ryo leaning on the doorframe, looking much like a fretting mother watching her child go off to school for the first time.

Nervous and excited, Yamapi entered through the glass doors of the Jimusho and into the warm air, the vast difference of the winter chill and the heat from the building making his skin tingle. He looked around at the various people scurrying past, talking rapidly on their cell phones while rustling through papers and folders. A young lady sat at the receptionist’s desk watching him with a small smile.

“Can I help you?” she asked, amusement creeping into her voice.

“I hope so!” he said, walking up to the desk and giving her his best smile. “My name is Yamashita Tomohisa. I’m an intern and I’m supposed to start today.”

She clicked away at her computer for a minute before turning back to him. “Go up to the fifth floor and look for Oka Takeshi; he’ll take care of you.”

Thanking her, he walked away only to pause when he couldn’t find the elevator.

“Yamashita-san?” the receptionist called. He turned around and she pointed in the opposite direction. Grinning sheepishly, he thanked her again and went to the elevators.

As the doors were shutting, a voice shot out, “Hold the doors!” Yamapi scrambled to thrust his hand out to stop them from shutting, while a figure shot through.

“Thank you!” gasped the man beyond Yamapi, clearly out of breath. He was wearing glasses and his windblown hair framed his face, which was pink from the cold. He was slightly taller and bigger than himself, grinning broadly. “I thought I was going to be even later than I am now. You’ve saved me. Ah, good, I’m going to fifteen too,” he said, looking at the floor buttons.

“It’s no problem. I hate when people don’t hold the elevator for you. It’s just rude. Why can’t they spare a few seconds out of their life to be nice?”

The stranger leaned against the wall and laughed, “I know what you mean.” He took off his glasses and Yamapi was momentarily stunned. Standing in the elevator with him was Akanishi Jin of KAT-TUN; one of the most famous idols in Johnny’s Entertainment and he was carrying on a conversation with him as though he were any other person. Yamapi was looking forward to this job, if it meant he was going to meet idols like this, especially if they were as nice as Jin. They spent the next few floors talking about the woes of rude people and the weather when it fell silent. Yamapi felt unbelievably at ease talking with Jin. It was as though they were friends in a past life, and they were just picking up where they left off.

When the elevator reached their floor, Jin exited and said, “That was one of the most pleasant rides I’ve had in the elevator, thank you! By the way, I’m Akanishi Jin.” He bowed, and acted as though he thought Yamapi had no idea who he was.

“Yamashita Tomohisa.”

“Nice to meet you. I hope we can do that again in the future,” Jin said, flashing him a smile and turning to walk away.

“Hang on,” Yamapi started, walking towards him. “Can you tell me where I can find Oka Takeshi?”

Jin laughed, “Sure, I’m on my way there. But we had better hurry, I’m late and I don’t want to be scolded again by one of my band members.”

They chatted amicably as they hurriedly walked down the corridor, turning a corner and walking into a large conference room. Seated around the table were various men in business suits. The man at the head of the table was elderly, dressed in a smart blue suit—nice-looking, but he looked serious at the moment. Also at the table was the band, KAT-TUN. Yamapi wasn’t a big fan of the band, but he admired Kame, who was currently sitting slumped in a chair until he saw Jin walk in and he straightened up and a scowl graced his face. When he spotted Yamapi behind him, his face went slack and flushed as he looked him over. Swallowing hard, Yamapi noticed how good looking his idol was in person and tried not to act too intimidated while standing in the presence of one of the most famous groups in Asia.

The man at the head of the table glared at Jin. “You’re five minutes late, Akanishi.” Jin grinned sheepishly and muttered an apology and went to sit down next to Ueda, leaving Yamapi exposed and visible to the entire room. The man who spoke previously, retorted, “Who are you?”

Yamapi tried not to flinch at the man’s tone. Bowing deeply, he said, “I’m Yamashita Tomohisa. I’m here to see Oka Takeshi.”

“You’re the new intern?”

“Yes, sir,” he said, bowing again.

“Fine. I’m Oka Takeshi,” the man said. “We’re running a little late, so just have a seat and I’ll see to you in a minute.”

Yamapi looked around the room, the only seat available was next to Jin, so he sat down and Jin poked him in the thigh and grinned, whispering, “So you’re the new intern we’ve been hearing about?”

“Akanishi!” Oka barked. Jin flinched and smiled apologetically.

The meeting flew by and consisted of various things, such as new costume ideas, tour dates for the concert in two months, and upcoming guests for their radio shows and cartoon KAT-TUN. Small arguments broke out now and then, but were settled quickly, much to Yamapi’s amazement. When the meeting was over, Oka dismissed everyone and told KAT-TUN to go practice new dance moves they went over.

“Guess we’ll be seeing each other a lot more, then,” Jin said, grinning. “If you have time, let’s get lunch!”

“Okay,” Yamapi said, instantly feeling immense gratitude towards Jin’s friendliness. They exchanged numbers, promising each other they’d let the other know when they were free for lunch. Yamapi felt the hairs on the back of his neck raise, and he turned around and saw Kame was staring at him with a strange expression. When he noticed Yamapi staring back at him, he flushed and snapped at Jin to hurry up, startling Yamapi.

Noticing, Jin said, “Don’t worry about Kame, he’s like that. I had better go, though. Have a good first day!” And he raced out of the room, waving goodbye at Yamapi.

“You make friends fast,” Oka said, coming up behind him. “That will be useful in this business.”

“He’s really nice. Not at all as I would have expected.”

Oka laughed. “They’re people. Just like you and me, just more well-known.” Yamapi nodded. “Well, let’s get started. First I need you to sign some paperwork and then I’ll give you a tour and we’ll see where that takes us.”

For the next hour, Yamapi sat at the table, filling out employment forms, confidentiality forms, emergency forms, and a myriad of others. By the time he was finished, his hand was cramping. Oka wasn’t back yet, and Yamapi couldn’t figure out what to do. Should I go get him? Is he expecting me to do that? He never said. Am I supposed to wait here? Is this some kind of test? he thought. He began panicking when Oka finally came back in the room.

“All done?” he asked, peering over his shoulder.

“Yes, sir.”

“Your hand still there?” he joked.

Yamapi smiled, “Just barely.” Oka picked up the forms and motioned for Yamapi to follow him.

“Now we can begin the tour of the building,” Oka said, after dropping the forms off in his office as they passed.

They spent two hours going over the history of Johnny and Associates, while touring the building. Yamapi met many different people, ranging from Matsumoto Jun to janitors. They talked about what he would be doing. He would essentially be working as an assistant to KAT-TUN, learning the ins-and-outs of the music business. It wasn’t exactly what Yamapi had been expecting; he had thought he would help produce music. But he would take anything.

They ended up back at the conference room when they were finished. “So what did you think?”

“It’s amazing,” Yamapi said, eyes shinning with excitement.

Oka laughed. “It is, and you never get used to it. I have to ask, though. You’re a little old to be an intern, aren’t you? You’re what, twenty-three? Twenty-four?”

“Twenty-three, sir. It was my parent’s dream to see me do something I wanted. It took a little longer than most people, but I finally was able to go to university,” Yamapi concluded sadly.

“You care a lot for your parents, don’t you?” He asked.

Yamapi nodded slowly, sad for his words but eventually he allowed his smile to become more defined.

Watching him intently, Oka was silent for a minute before he spoke again. “Then let’s make this a memorable experience for you, so your parents can be proud.” He gave Yamapi a simple errand to start him off: buy more bottles of water and bring them to the practice room.

Yamapi scurried to complete his task, dragging back several cases of bottled water through crowded streets and into the practice room. He stood in the doorway, watching KAT-TUN going through dance steps, occasionally messing up and goofing off when one did something particularly ridiculous, but Kame would glare and snap at them to stop wasting time.

Although he hadn’t really interacted with Kame, Yamapi couldn’t understand him. He really admired Kame and all the work he had done, but the biting persona he had seen today really took him aback. He had figured Kame to be as nice and well-liked in person as he was in the entertainment world. But as Oka had said, they’re just regular people, who would have regular problems.

He watched them until they noticed he was standing there, with the cases of water at his side.

“Water!” cried Koki, racing to Yamapi and tearing into the cases.

“Put them on the table,” Kame said, picking up a towel and slinging it around his neck.

Jin walked up to him, grabbing a case. “Let me help you.”

Flashing him a quick smile, Yamapi thanked him and they placed the water on the table and the rest of the members hurriedly got their bottles. Everyone but Kame, who kept practicing his dance steps in front of the walled mirror, crowded around Yamapi, asking him questions.

“What do you want to do?” Ueda asked him.

“I want to produce music.” They nodded, looking impressed and interested.

“What are you supposed to do around here, Yamashita-san?” asked Junno.

“You can call me Yamapi,” he said. “And I’m not really sure. I think I’m just an assistant to you guys. I do your evil bidding.” They laughed, and Jin and Koki rubbed their hands together and cackled with glee.

“You’re a little old to be an intern, aren’t you? They’re usually a bit younger than you are,” said a voice from across the room.

Yamapi flushed and turned around. Kame stood with his arms across his chest, looking cross. And a little jealous.

“Kame!” Jin and Maru cried. “That’s rude. What’s wrong with you?”

“I want to get back to work,” he snapped. “Stop standing around talking with the intern.” He turned back around and began practicing again.

“I’m so sorry,” they all gushed.

Yamapi smiled, still slightly stunned at the animosity Kame had shown him. “It’s fine. You should go practice. I saw what you guys were doing before and it looks really hard; you need all the practice you can get.”

When they began, Yamapi went out into the hallway and slid down the wall. It was his first day, and he had already messed up. He had bothered their practice and had been yelled at. He wasn’t used to people acting that way around him. It made him feel extremely anxious and he suddenly felt as if he wasn’t supposed to be here and he should have just stayed working with Ryo. They were doing just fine without him going off on his own and pursuing his own dream.

As his thoughts turned to giving up, his phone suddenly started vibrating. Looking at the Caller ID, he saw Ryo was calling.

“Hello?” he answered.

“Hey, I just found myself with a couple minutes to spare, so I thought I would check in,” Ryo said, the concern not completely concealed in his voice.

Yamapi laughed. “You have great timing, Ryo-chan.”

“Why? No one is being mean, are they?” he growled.

“No,” he lied.

“Good, because then I’d have to do something about it, wouldn’t I?”

Yamapi laughed for Ryo’s tendency to be overprotective of him so often.

“What have they got you doing?” he asked.

“Nothing much so far. I think they’re breaking me in. I’m basically an assistant.”

“They’ll work you up to the big stuff soon. They can’t just let you loose in the production room and watch you go crazy.”

“I know,” Yamapi said, laughing. “I didn’t really expect it, but one can dream, can’t they?”

Suddenly he heard footsteps and he stood up quickly. “I have to go, Ryo, I’ll see you later at the shop.” He hung up, barely hearing Ryo utter a goodbye. He had just slipped the phone back into his pocket when Oka turned the corner and saw him.

“Finished delivering the water?”

“Yes, sir. What else can I do?”

“Well, it’s almost lunch, so nothing for the moment. Just hang around the band members, and see if they need you for anything otherwise, just come find me.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Oka’s aged face broke into a kindly smile. “How’s it going so far?”

He paused, trying to think of an answer.

“Not quite what you expected, huh?” Oka laughed.

Yamapi chuckled, “Not quite, but I’m liking it so far. Thank you for this opportunity.” He bowed deeply.

“Not a problem, my son. We had quite a few applicants, let me tell you! But when we got your application, none of them compared to yours. This job will be difficult, but it will be worth it, I assure you. Now, here’s the band’s schedule. I want you to memorize it and help keep them on track. Though, you won’t have too much of a trouble keeping them on track. Kamenashi-san makes sure of that.”

“Is he always like that?” Yamapi blurted. “Ah, I’m sorry!”

“Don’t be,” Oka laughed. “He can be a bit intense and business-like. He takes things very seriously, which is good and bad in itself.” He paused before continuing, “he’s scared off more than one intern. But he’s not all that bad. He used to be quite sweet,” he said, seeming to reminisce.

“I can see what you mean.”

“Yes, well, don’t let me keep you. Go round them up for lunch and get to memorizing that schedule.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Oka patted him on the shoulder and walked away, humming quietly to himself. Although he took his job seriously and knew when to let someone know what was what, he was a kind man and Yamapi liked him.

Yamapi took a deep breath, tried to not look intimidated and walked back into the practice room.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” he began.

“I’m not!” Koki shouted, and they all laughed.

“It’s time for lunch,” Yamapi concluded.

They sighed happily and filed out of the room and made their way to the cafeteria on the first floor. Jin walked with Yamapi, chatting happily about the types of food they serve there, and how good they were, and how Yamapi was going to love them, and how they were going to sit with each other. Yamapi kept nodding and smiling, feeling less overwhelmed in the presence of Jin. Kame trailed behind them, keeping several feet behind them. Yamapi knew Kame was staring at him because he felt that same feeling of the hairs on his neck standing up.

He sat down at a table while Jin went to get food; he opened up his bento and looked around at the crowded cafeteria. Jin came back with Ueda, and they sat down with their trays.

“Did you do that bento yourself?” Jin exclaimed, looking at the thoughtfully organized bento.

“My best friend, who’s my roommate, made it for me this morning. I think it was his way of telling me good luck,” he laughed. They smiled, and Jin tried to steal a shrimp before Ueda smacked him and told him not to eat other’s food, especially those he didn’t know that well – it was rude.

“How has your first day been?” Ueda asked.

“It’s been a little overwhelming, I have to say.”

“But in a good way, right?” Jin asked.


They ate in silence for a little bit before Jin spoke. “I am very sorry for Kame. He’s been acting weird for the past…” he paused.

“Year,” Ueda finished.

“Long time,” Yamapi said, setting down his chopsticks.

“Yeah, but don’t mind him. His bark is worse than his bite,” said Ueda, reassuringly.

Yamapi smiled. He really liked these two and got along with Jin very well. They chatted more, learning more and more about Yamapi as lunch wore on. Yamapi learned that you can’t really judge other people on their public persona and that the other members were just as nice, for they kept dropping in on their conversation from the next table over. Kame sat at the other end of their table, eating alone and reading over a script, his ears turning red whenever he looked up at Yamapi. But Yamapi pretended not to notice, and enjoyed his lunch and got to know the members of KAT-TUN.

After lunch, he went into the practice room and sat in a corner, memorizing their schedule and made plans to make things easier for them such as making everything a little bit more understanding by organizing the schedule different ways, and color coding everything. He spent the afternoon running to get new towels, or more water when they asked for it. Kame never spoke to him and preferred to go without anything. Koki picked up on this.

“Yamapi is here to assist us. If you need something, just ask him.”

Kame flushed. “Yamapi? You barely know him and you’re calling him by friendly terms?”

Koki scowled. “Yes, I am. He’s a nice guy, Kamenashi.”

“Yamashita-san,” Kame said.

“Yes, Kamenashi-san?” he asked, standing up.

“I need some water, but not this brand.” He named an obscure brand Yamapi had never heard of before.

“Certainly, I’ll go get it for you and be back in a jiffy,” he said and walked out of the room while the other members shook their heads sadly at Kame.

It took Yamapi close to three hours to find the water Kame wanted and by the time he got back, Kame had already left because it was close to seven o’clock. Disheartened, he put the water on the table where he had been working previously. He sat down heavily and felt as though he had been tricked by the school yard bully.

The door opened and Ueda walked in, followed by Jin. “You found the water?” Ueda asked, stunned.

Yamapi waved his hand limply at the few bottles of water he managed to find. They both sighed.

“We’re going to go out for dinner and we wanted you to join us,” Jin said, sitting down next to Yamapi.

“Thank you, I would really like that, but I have to go to work.”

“What?! You have to go to work? What have you been doing here?” Jin exclaimed.

“Bakanishi, this internship is unpaid,” Ueda said. “Where do you work?”

“My friend’s family restaurant. I’ve worked there since I was really young.”

“Why?” Jin asked, mystified that someone would work so young.

Shy, but encouraged by Jin’s openness towards him, Yamapi carefully explained. News of his parents fostered grief within both of them, but Yamapi smiled quietly, already used to the pity that such an explanation always garnered. Ryo’s kindness was something of amusement to both of them, his willingness to overlook Yamapi’s rent for the time-being and bento skills something of awe to them.

“Wow, Ryo sounds like a really nice guy,” Ueda said.

Jin nodded. “I’m really sorry about your parents. And I’m really glad you got this internship. You’re not too old for it, by the way. I think you can be any age to be an intern,” he consoled.

“Thank you. If you want, you can come with me to the restaurant and I’ll make you a great dinner.”

Jin and Ueda both jumped at the idea and they gathered their things and left for the restaurant. They walked there, even though it was nearing the first of December and it was chilly out. Skin tinged pink, rubbing their hands for warmth, they finally arrived.

“Whose idea was it to walk?” Ueda complained.

“Yamapi’s,” Jin said, while Yamapi said “Jin’s.” They laughed and piled into the shop.

“Welcome!” rang a voice from the back.

“It’s just me,” called Yamapi. “Have a seat anywhere you like.” It wasn’t very crowded in the shop, just a few regulars. Ueda and Jin sat at the counter to watch Yamapi make their dinner.

Ryo came from the back and looked Yamapi over. “Good, they didn’t work you to death. And you’re still in one piece.”

Yamapi punched him on the shoulder. “I want to introduce you to two friends I met today.” He turned to Ueda and Jin, where the latter looked excited to be called a friend. “This is Ueda Tatsuya and Akanishi Jin. I work as their assistant. This is Nishikido Ryo. They wanted to go out for dinner, so I brought them here and I’m going to cook for them!”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Ueda said, eyeing Ryo up and down with a critical eye.

“Yamapi talked a lot about you!” Jin said, nearly bouncing in his seat. “I feel like I know so much about you already.”

“Uh, thanks.”

Ueda poked Jin. “Calm down. You’re so embarrassing.”

“You look familiar,” Ryo said, looking at them.

“We’re in a band called KAT-TUN,” said Ueda.

“Huh. Never heard of it.”

“You have, too. It’s the band Kamenashi-san is in,” he said, his face flushing slightly. Ryo nodded slowly, understanding showing across his face, knowing of what a joy working with someone Yamapi loved would be.

“What are you going to make them?”

“What are you in the mood for?” Yamapi asked them.

They looked at each other and then back at Yamapi. “Whatever is your specialty,” Jin said.

So he set about cooking them dinner, while Ryo took care of the rest of the restaurant so Yamapi could focus on his new friends. While he cooked, they chatted, with Ryo stopping by every so often and joining it. He got along well with Jin, and bickered with Ueda a little, but Yamapi knew that was what Ryo did when he liked someone and found them intriguing.

The night passed quickly, and when Ueda and Jin were finished with dinner they continued to stay at the restaurant. Finally, when Ryo had to close the restaurant, Yamapi shooed them home and wished them a goodnight and told them he’d see them tomorrow. He stood in the doorway, watching them walk down the street towards their respective apartments.

“They seem nice,” Ryo said, coming up behind him.

“Aren’t they?”

“You seem happy, too.”

He sighed. “I guess so.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, really. It’s just been a long day. And please don’t tell me not to work here. You need help since your parents retired it to you. It’s kind of like its part of my life, too, you know.”

“I know,” Ryo said, closing the door quietly behind them and locking it. “Let’s go home.”

Through the following week Yamapi became more adjusted into his new job. The band members were constantly helping him with everything; he continued to eat lunch with Ueda and Jin and they stopped by the restaurant after work several times for drinks and chatted with him and Ryo, or Ueda talked with him and debated with Ryo. Kame continued to treat him with cool indifference, sending him on ridiculous tasks which Yamapi continued to accomplish, much to KAT-TUN’s and the administration’s amusement and Kame’s chagrin.

He caught Kame staring at him occasionally, sometimes with a small smile, or a confused look. A glint in his eyes was constant, a glint that Yamapi couldn’t quite read. Despite the aloof and distant air Kame put on, Yamapi found himself becoming more and more attracted to Kame. He found that whenever he thought no one was looking at him, Kame seemed to let down some defensive walls. When he came across a lost looking Junior, he helped him find his way, making sure he got to exactly where it was he had to be. Kame seemed like a real person, instead of this aloof and robotic person Yamapi had been witnessing since he started work. Kame would also do nice things for the other members when they weren’t looking. Jin had misplaced his sunglasses one day during practice, and overtly Kame scolded him and told him he needed to be more careful with his things. However, during a break, Kame searched for them and found the glasses under a pile of towels. He handed them to Jin, with a “Just be more careful with your things” and a tiny smile. He cared about the other members, always lending a hand but the way he went about it was off. His actions didn’t meet. Yamapi could tell he wanted to help, but it appeared Kame was frustrated and short-tempered so that got the better of him when people were around him and they expected him to act a certain way.

One day Yamapi brought bags filled with plates of okonomiyaki from the restaurant that he and Ryo had made for lunch because the cafeteria was being painted and everyone had to stay out of it. He scurried quickly through the streets, not wanting the food to cool too much in the winter air. Arriving at the conference room, he began setting up the plates around the table for the band, squeezing mayonnaise and sauce onto the plates before placing water at each setting. As soon as everything was to his liking, the band erupted through the doors and Junno exclaimed in excitement at the food. Everyone thanked him and sat down.

Not a second later Kame spoke up. “I don’t want mayonnaise on mine.”

Yamapi paused for a minute. He was getting tired of Kame’s abuse.

“I’m sorry,” he said, walking up to Kame. He picked up a napkin and spoon, leaned over Kame, invading his personal space (in which he found although the band had been practicing, Kame still smelled so good), and scraped of the mayonnaise onto the napkin.

“All better,” Yamapi said, straightening up. The room was silent, Kame’s face was tinged pink, and a smile crept across Jin’s face. “If I had known you didn’t like mayonnaise, I wouldn’t have put it on there. It should be more to your liking, though. So enjoy.”

He left the room, his legs feeling like jelly for standing up to Kame. He could hear chatter resuming in the room as he left. The rest of the day was spent with Kame constantly staring at Yamapi, annoyance and what Yamapi thought was astonishment etched across his face. He was released early from work and he slowly walked to the restaurant, in no particular hurry to arrive at his destination.

When he walked into the shop, Ryo instantly noticed something was off about Yamapi.

“What’s wrong with you?” he said, serving an elderly couple a plate of yakisoba. “Is it Kamenashi again?” Yamapi had finally told him three days after he started work about how Kame sent him on random tasks and seemed to hate him, but also seemed to be fascinated by him.

Yamapi hummed, putting on an apron behind the counter. “I stood up to him today.”

“Good for you. Brat needs a good beating, if you ask me.”

“He’s not bad, Ryo.” Ryo snorted. “Honestly.”

“I think he likes you,” said Ryo, while Yamapi went to clean a table.

“That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard you say,” Yamapi said, almost dropping a plate, but catching it quickly.

“It’s like those boys who pull the girl’s pigtails on the playground, or snap their bras. He’s trying to get your attention, but doesn’t quite know how to go about it.” He smiled slyly before adding, “Is he gay?”

Yamapi stuttered slightly, blushing before he managed, “I don’t know.”

“But you’d want him to be, right?” Ryo asked wryly.

Yamapi shook his head fervently while Ryo laughed.

“And anyway, I still think you’re wrong. There’s no way that guy likes someone like me,” he muttered to himself, scrubbing the table a little too hard and knocking off the cup of chopsticks.

An hour later, a customer came in with a small companion trailing behind him.

“Hello!” It turned out to be Jin, and Yamapi couldn’t miss who his companion was, though he was dressed in a large coat, a fishing hat, and glasses. There was no way he would ever miss Kame.

“Wh-what can I do for you?” Yamapi stuttered.

“Kame was asking questions about what you do after work, so I thought I would show him,” Jin said, while Kame looked mortified. “Yamapi works really hard, right?” he asked Kame, poking him. “He and his friend who owns this restaurant made our lunch today.” He turned to Yamapi and said, “Kame really liked your okonomiyaki.” Yamapi looked astonished at Kame, who looked like he wanted to die. “Look at the menu, Kame and order something; it’s on me.”

“For once,” Kame muttered, grabbing the offered menu and ducking behind it.

Looking amused, Jin looked at Yamapi. “We’re going out for drinks later, wanna come?”

“I can’t, I’m working.”

Kame peered over his menu. “Do you work here often?”

“Every day,” Yamapi said, thinking that was one of the most sincere and normal things Kame had ever said to him. Across the room, Ryo made a kissing face behind Kame’s back.

“Why,” he asked, putting the menu down.

“I always have.”

“Always? What do your parents do?”

Suddenly the air was uncomfortable, and Kame noticed he said something he probably should not have.

“My parents died when I was younger. My friend Ryo’s family raised me and now I live with him,” he said, pointing out Ryo.

“I’m sorry,” Kame said, bowing his head down.

“It was a long time ago so don’t worry about it.” Jin grinned at him and Yamapi gave him a confused look, only to have Jin give him a wink.

“Finished deciding what you’ll have?”

Jin and Kame spent the next hour chatting with Yamapi while he worked. Kame seemed to be opening up a little bit with Yamapi, though still distant. They left a little after nine, Jin asking once again if he was sure he couldn’t come with them, “everyone is going to be there.” But he declined, despite Ryo’s persistence that he go with them.

Several hours passed, and they were in the middle of cleaning up when Yamapi’s cell phone rang.


“Hey, are you busy?” Jin asked.

“We’re just cleaning up, why?”

“Can you do me a huge favor? Kame’s really drunk and needs a ride home, but he won’t let anyone take him home. He keeps asking for you.”

Yamapi paused, unable to understand the conversation.


“We were drinking, and Kame was going overboard. We’re worried about press, but he won’t let anyone but you take him home.”

In the background he could hear a commotion and what sounded like Kame shouting, “Is that Yamashita? Is that Yamashita? Give me the phone Bakanishi!” There was a lot of scuffling sounds before someone grabbed the phone and started breathing into it.

“Yamashita,” Kame slurred into the phone. “Reliable Yamashita, always doing the stupidest stuff I tell him to do. Responsible Yamashita. He needs to come visit me. He needs to come drink. I thought he was going to come. That’s why I came out,” he sobbed into the phone. “We need to talk. I can’t talk to Yamashita.”

Another scuffle sounded before Jin was in possession of the phone. “Can you please come get him?”

“Hang on,” he said. Turning to Ryo, who had his eyebrow raised, and said, “Apparently Kame needs me to take him home; do you need me?”

“Nah, I can finish cleaning up. Be careful.”

“Can I borrow your car? I don’t think walking a drunken idol home is the best thing.”

Please be careful with it,” Ryo said, throwing him his car keys.


It took him ten minutes to get to the club. When he got inside, Kame was slumped against the wall in the booth, while Jin and Ueda tried to get him to drink some coffee to sober him up. Kame was the first person to notice Yamapi walking towards them.

He sighed happily, “It’s Yamashita-sama.”

“He is going to be so embarrassed tomorrow,” Jin said, sliding out of the booth and trying to pull Kame along with him. “I’m really sorry to call you out like this. I didn’t think he would do this. He’s such a lightweight, at any rate.”

Kame stood up and stumbled and Yamapi caught him before he crashed into the table. Kame looked up at Yamapi, his eyes shinning brightly, a drunken smile gracing his face. A smile that lit up the room and made Yamapi’s stomach clench.

“Do you know where he lives?” Ueda asked.

“I know where you all live.”

There was a paused.

“I learned your contact addresses in a case of emergency. I’m not a stalker. The administration made me.”

“You can stalk me anytime,” Kame said, clutching Yamapi’s sleeve. Yamapi sighed, knowing it was the alcohol talking and that Kame really didn’t feel that way, and Ryo wasn’t right about him liking him, and Jin’s stupid knowing smile was just something he was getting confused for a bemused smile at the situation.

“Let’s go,” Yamapi muttered, taking hold of Kame’s arm and guiding him out of the club. They made it to the car with little trouble because Yamapi supported much of Kame’s weight, limiting the drunken stumbling.

He rested Kame against the side of the car before he opened the passenger side door and helped Kame in. He leaned over to buckle the seatbelt when Kame rested his head on his back.


“Uh, yeah,” he mumbled. He made sure Kame was situated in the car before he got in and started the car.

“Oh, God,” Kame moaned. “I don’t feel so good.”

“Please, please do not throw up,” Yamapi begged. “This is not my car.” Kame groaned and rested his head against the window, letting the coldness soothe the fire in his skin.

“I’m going to take you back to my place; you can crash on the couch. It’s so much closer.” Kame said nothing, and continued to rest his face against the glass.

“Yamashita is a nice person. I’m not very nice to him, you know. I don’t understand him. He works hard, right? He has two jobs. Jin said he’s doing his dream and he had to work hard to make it happen,” Kame slurred, his breath fogging up the window when he spoke. “I work hard, too. But Yamashita makes it look easy. Life is hard and you never get what you want. Everyone expects too much. And when they don’t get it, you get admonished.”

He continued on, and Yamapi let him, never interrupting, understanding him more and more with each confession he uttered in his drunken haze. Despite always acting professional in the entertainment world, acting happy, Kame was a sad and lonely person and lashed out at everyone. But his friends never abandoned him and tried to help him the best way they could while Kame was entirely blind to their actions. Kame fell silent for a little while, and Yamapi saw that he fell asleep.

When they got to his apartment, he stopped the car and waited for a few minutes before getting out of the car and waking Kame up to get him upstairs. He groaned as Yamapi pulled him from the car and locked the door.

“Stop man-handling me,” he garbled incoherently. “I can walk by myself.” He took a few wobbly steps before he fell into the bushes. Cursing, he tried to extricate himself before Yamapi helped him up. His hair was sticking up, with little pieces of leaves stuck in it, and his clothes were wrinkled and he smelled like smoke and alcohol, but he never looked more stunning to Yamapi.

“L-let’s go inside before you catch pneumonia.”

The apartment was dark, and Ryo’s door was shut, hopefully asleep.

“I’ll set you up on the couch. Don’t worry, it’s really comfortable,” he reassured Kame. He set him down at the kitchen table as he went about making up the couch, while Kame watched him critically. “Why don’t you use the bathroom while I get you something to sleep in?” Kame nodded, standing up slowly and walking in the direction Yamapi had pointed out was the bathroom.

Kame was still in the bathroom when Yamapi came back out, having changed into sleeping clothes himself. He walked to the door, and knocked on it. “Kamenashi-san?” No answer. He knocked again, a little louder. “Kamenashi-san? Is everything okay in there?” Again, there was no answer. Trying the door, he found it was unlocked. “I’m coming in…” Opening the door, he saw Kame was sitting on the toilet, his head bowed, looking desolately at his clasped hands in his lap. When he raised his head, there were tear stained on his cheeks.

Yamapi closed the door behind him, not wanting to wake Ryo up.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve been so mean to you,” Kame sniveled.


“No! I have. I’ve been so mean, and you’ve been so nice to me. I used to be like you. But then someone had to grow up in our group and take control. I’m a horrible person.”

“You have other people to do that for you,” Yamapi said gently. “You don’t always have to act like every decision is life-changing.”

Kame let out a particularly pathetic sounding sob and Yamapi moved over to sit on the side of the tub in front of the toilet. He picked up Kame’s hands and clasped them in his hands. “You’re not a horrible person. You’re just confused at the moment. We all go through these phases when we’re unsure of where we’re going or what we’re doing. It’s difficult to change, but if you have a good support system, like you have around you, they can make it bearable. You don’t have to do everything alone. You’re important to a lot of people, despite what you think. Do you know why I put up with doing your bidding?”

Kame shook his head. “It’s your job?”

Yamapi laughed, and Kame gave a weak smile. “Aside from that. It’s because I know you didn’t really mean it. Someone needed to show you that you can’t just expect to treat people like that and get away with it.”

“I would lay awake in bed, thinking of what to have you do the next day,” Kame confessed.

“It sure did feel like you did that. But as much as I hated being pushed around by you, I saw that it was having an affect on you. You got my attention, which I was told was your intention.”

Kame laughed, “It was. Thank you for standing up to me today.”

Yamapi paused, confused. “Why?”

“It made me feel real. Like I won’t always get exactly what I want. I think I needed that. They don’t treat me like I’m real. Just like an idol. Oka-san puts me in my place, though. But everyone else…the fans, the public, other idols…” A tear leaked out of his eye, and he clenched them tightly shut.

“I won’t,” Yamapi whispered so quietly. It was a ghost of a whisper, but it flowed over Kame like a huge wave. His eyes snapped open, a small breath of air escaped him, and it was as though something in him broke. He looked at Yamapi with wet, red eyes.


“I’ll treat you like someone who’s real.” He squeezed Kame’s hands tightly, looking away now. “I know you don’t know me very well, and I don’t do this, and I don’t know you. But I find myself completely and irrevocable captivated by you, ever since I meet you. You.”

Kame’s hand quivered slightly in his grasp. “Me too.” He tugged Yamapi’s hand, pulling him closer to himself. They sat there, staring at one another, each waiting for the other to move. They would later argue over who moved first, but they were suddenly kissing. Kame’s lips were faintly wet with tears, slightly chapped and yet still soft. The kiss was slightly sweet and sour from the tequila shots Kame had taken at the bar. Yamapi had never experience such a kiss. They talk about the kiss. That kiss you wait for from that one person. It wasn’t perfect. It was slightly sloppy, their teeth clacked together, Yamapi’s back strained from the position he was in, but he wouldn’t have given up this kiss for anything. Someone moaned quietly, and he was afraid it came from him, but at the moment he didn’t care. They pulled apart after what seemed like hours had passed, a string of saliva connected them until it broke. They rested their foreheads against one another, breathing heavily, each having a small smile etched across their face.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. “Come on, I really have to pee!” Ryo shouted through the door.

Yamapi laughed, while Kame looked scandalized. They opened up the door, and Ryo eyed Kame up and down. “I swear to God, you do anything and I will kill you.” Kame gulped audibly and grabbed Yamapi’s hand. He squeezed it reassuringly. It would be okay; they would figure out everything in the morning. Yamapi would continue with his dream, with Kame by his side while he would help Kame get his life back on tract. No matter what the future would throw at them, they would make it.

Date: 2009-01-07 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanny2luv.livejournal.com
I love it.
I always love pikame.
Thanks for sharing.

Date: 2009-01-07 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arashiaddict246.livejournal.com
that is so damn awesome!
loved it
the relationship was beautiful :D
nice work!

Date: 2009-01-08 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goukage.livejournal.com
I love it. The ending is just adorable. And a drunken Kamenashi is just too cute.

Date: 2009-01-08 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gyelle9.livejournal.com
love your fic :D i love snarky ryo :P

Date: 2009-01-10 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kirei-shinigami.livejournal.com
im enjoying this on and loving it to bits!

Date: 2009-01-10 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tomemiprozac.livejournal.com
PIKAME! ♥ i like matured!pi and bitchy!insecure!kame. XD

Date: 2009-01-11 04:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pikira.livejournal.com
Thank you for writing this.
I really love Pikame and Mama Ryo is so adorable <3


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