Title: Culture Clash
A sequel to Limiter
Author: Kyoko_godaikun aka sentaikat
Pairing: Akame, †Kame/Maru
Genre: A/U Angst
Disclaimer: I do not own Kat-Tun. Wish I did. But I do own the concepts of the Gotsu Empire and the Miyagi Empire.
Note: This takes place in the far future.
Note 2: this is simply a love story with no war.
Note 3: This story is weird.
Note 4: this part is sad, but there is a happy ending J
Summary: Kame asks Jin to leave his unit. When Jin refuses, Kame breaks up with him.
Six months had passed since the three brothers had their limiters removed. It was a beautiful Miyagi night. The six moons were all full. The planet was bathed in twilight like glow.
Jin walked down the pathway of the grounds with Kame. Jin was so nervous he could feel his heart thumping in his chest. He had grown close to Kame. They had become the best of friends, But in Jin's heart, Kame was more then a friend. They were not lovers yet. Because Jin had asked for time. Finally, Jin realized that he wanted to be Kame's lover.
They stopped beneath a tree, far from the vision of outsiders.
"I didn't know I was alive until I met you." Kame told him. "I now see everything with new eyes."
"Miyagi is so beautiful."
"Not as handsome as you." Kame kissed him.
Jin kissed him back. He could feel Kame's arms go around him, pulling him closer. Then Kame's lips gently touched Jin's and Jin parted his lips. Kame loved him with his tongue. Kame was then pulling him to the ground.
Then reality hit Jin. Using all his will, he pulled away from Kame. "My prince, we can't. Not here, where people could see."
"I don't understand. Don't you like me?"
"I love you," he confessed.
"It's all right," Kame tried to reassure. "I love you too."
"We can never be together. You deserve to love someone who isn't a desgrace, who isn't a criminal." Jin decided he had to tell the truth. Tears stung his eyes. This was harder then he had expected. "My mother had to find a way to get rid of me. When she found out that you had an unmarried sister, she leapt on the chance. Her disgrace would be out of the way. No longer would the shame of my being a criminal hang over our house."
"I don't understand." Kame said confused. "What kind of disgrace could you be? What crime did you commit?"
"All three of our unit love men." Jin admitted. "I can fake that I love woman, but inside I don't."
"It's not like that on Miyagi." Kame told him. "Gays are allowed to have normal lives. To live in freedom, to fall in love."
"But I'm a criminal." Jin insisted.
"Prince Jin, look at me." There was something in Kame's voice that made Jin turn to him. Kame reached out, whipping the tears from his face. "I never want to hear you call yourself a criminal again."
"That is what I am."
"No, you're a wonderful, sensitive, loving person called Jin." His fingers rubbed his cheek. "I love you."
"What would the empress say if she knew you where in love with me?"
"She would be happy for me." His eyes were gentle.
"Let me teach you about my culture," Jin offered. He so wanted to show Kame that there was good things about Gotsu.
"You live here now," Kame told him firmly. "Soon you will be Miyagi. Why should I have to learn about Gotsu?"
"Because it's a part of me." Jin couldn't believe that Kame didn't want to know anything about Gotsu. "Please Kame, there's so much you need to know. It will help you understand me better."
"No Jin, I don't need to learn about Gotsu, except they are our traditional enemy." Kame reached out, running his hand down Jin's arm. "Are you still a part of a unit?"
"We'll always be a unit,"
"Do you consider yourself married to them?" Kame's hand stopped.
"Yes, I do." Jin said softly. "My brothers and I were raised to be co-husbands."
"In your heart, do you feel married?" Kame persisted.
"Oh Gotsu, there are different kinds of marriage." Jin began to explain. "We only have a level four marriage. That..."
"Youíre either married or your not!" Kame snapped. "Are you married to them? Tell me the truth!"
"Yes, I'm married to them," Jin admitted.
"Will you divorce them?" Kame demanded. "I will forgive you if you divorce them!"
"I can't divorce my unit," Jin couldn't believe his ears. "They're my brothers."
"You are a whore!" Kame punched Jin hard in the face. "You won't sleep with me, but you will with them."
"Please Prince Kame, try and understand." Jin tried to explain.
"What's there to understand?" Kame spat.
"I don't sleep with them!" Tears stung Jin's eyes.
"Bullshit! How can you be married to someone and not sleep with them?" There was hatred in Kame's eyes. "You're a slut."
"Our marriage isnít like that." Jin gasped.
"It's me or them," There was hatred in Kame's voice. "Which one will you pick?"
"I can't leave my brothers." Jin told him. "But..."
"I hate you! I can never forgive you." Kame told him. "You made your choice, go back to your unit."
Kame got up and ran as far as he could away from Jin. All Jin could do was watch his ex-boy friend leave. His heart felt like a stake had been pounded into it. Then heartbroken, Jin began to cry.
Junno was lying in bed with Ueda. The two were basking in the afterglow of lovemaking. Junno had learned from Ueda what love really was. The first lover he had made love to without the passion drugs that Junno had to always take on Miyagi. He found that lovemaking was the most wonderful thing in the universe.
"When we get married, can my brother's be in our wedding party?" Junno asked he looked up from Ueda's shoulder where he usually slept after loving.
"Well, they are a part of your unit." Ueda kissed him gently.
"You don't mind my unit?" Junno asked. "I mean my unit will still be married after we get married."
"It's not the same kind of marriage," Ueda reminded him. "It's stage four marriages. We'll be stage one."
"I keep forgetting you studied my culture," Junno said.
"I want to wear a kimono when we get married," Ueda continued. "A woman's kimono."
"What about the one I met you in?" Junno asked. "You looked beautiful in it."
"There's a kimono that's been in my family for thousands of years." Ueda told him. 'Donít' worry; I will look beautiful in it. At least I think so."
Just then, Junno's communicator began to beep an emergency signal.
Jin sat in the small yard that was part of the unit's quarters. He had returned to an empty apartment. Junno was out with Ueda. The pair was almost living together. He had tried Junno's communicator, but it was on voice mail. So he left a message. He wasn't too sure were Maru was. Probably out with Koki. He wondered what their lovers would say once they found they were part of a unit. Would his brother's hearts be broken too?
Jin looked up to the night sky, at the full moons. They myths of this planet called them loverís moons. That those who pledge their love during it would stay together forever. But Jin knew that he would never be together with Kame again.
What was Jin going to do? He had been raised to be a member of a unit. He had always depended on his brothers to be with him when he was upset. Now he knew what Maru must have felt like in the hospital. Jin was alone, so very alone. His heart felt as if it were breaking in two.
"So this is where you are," Maru sat down on the ground next to him.
"Leave me alone." Jin turned to hide his tears.
"What's wrong?" Maru asked concerned.
"Kame broke up with me,"
The tears began to fall. "He asked me if I felt married, and I had to tell him the truth."
"Oh Jin, you shouldnít' have done that!" Maru said annoyed.
"He says he hates me." Even more tears. "He called me a slut."
Maru called Junno on his communicator, telling him to come home right away, it was an emergency. Then he turned back to Jin, taking him in his arms.
"No one hurts you this way and gets away with it." Maru stroked Jin's hair.
"What do you care? We're no longer a unit." He said glumly. "Both of you have someone."
"We'll always be a unit," Maru promised.
Just then Junno followed by Ueda came out into the garden. They were both wearing robes.
"What's going on?" Ueda asked. "Why is Jin crying?"
"I'm sorry, that is unit business," Maru pulled Jin even closer, protecting him.
"Go ask your brother," Jin said. "He's the one that broke up with me."
Jin watched as Junno pulled Ueda back into the quarters. He couldn't help but overhear Junno say. "I'm sorry, but I need to be alone with my brother right now."
"I won't expect you home tonight,"
"Why do you think that?" Junno asked.
"Jin needs you," Ueda's voice understood. "It's all right. I understand. I'll see you in the morning."
"See you," Junno kissed Ueda and the prince left.
"Come on, we're going in." Maru took Jin's hand.
Jin followed his brother to their bedroom. They undressed to their underwear and got under the covers. The three had always shared a large king sized bed. It was Gotsu tradition for a unit to sleep in the same family bed. There was nothing sexual about the family bed. It was simply a place for the unit to sleep.
He felt Maru take him into his arms. Holding him, like he used to when they were children.
Junno came into the room. He stripped off his robe and got in the other side of the bed beside Jin. He too put his arms around Jin. "It's all right, we're all together now."
"But you have someone now." Jin told him.
"That doesn't matter," Junno said. "We're still a unit."
"Your boy friends, do they know about our unit?" Jin asked.
"Koki knows." Maru said. "It doesn't matter to him; his father's a part of a unit."
"Ueda understands," Junno told him. "He's studied our culture."
"Kame doesn't understand." Jin said. "He asked me to divorce the unit. How could I leave my brothers?"
"Kame's a baka." Junno cuddled closer. "Ueda told me that Kame refuses to study about our culture."
"I'm so alone," Jin began to cry again.
"No big brother, you'll never be alone." Junno promised. "No matter what happens our unit will still be strong."
"What would you do if I could get you your prince back?" Maru asked.
"Kame hates me." Jin said. "Besides, that would leave you alone."
"I'm not alone," Maru admitted. "I have Koki."
"It doesn't matter anyway," Jin began to cry again. "Kame hates me. He thinks the three of us have sex."
"Did you tell him the truth? That we don't?" Junno asked.
"He wouldn't listen," Jin said.
"It's all right, you have us." Maru promised. "Try to get Kame out of your mind."
Maru moved even closer into what they used to call a sandwich. The two brothers holding Jin tightly. Jin felt safe, warm and loved as his brothers held him. He realized his unit would always be there for him. After many minutes of cuddling and stroking, Jin fell asleep. His brother's protecting him.
Kame sat in a chair by the balcony, sulking. He had been doing a lot of thinking since he had broken up with Jin. It had hurt for Kame to find out that Jin was married to his brothers. Kame had really thought that Jin loved him. That he was the center of Jin's universe. Instead, he had found out that all just one man in a line of many men. The fact hurt Kame more then anything.
Koki came into the room. "Sir, you have a visitor."
"I left instructions to be left alone." Kame snapped.
"Prince Maru would like to talk to you."
"Why? So he can throw his god damned unit in my face?" Kame sneered.
"The empress ordered that you have to speak to Prince Maru," Koki told him.
"Get out!" Kame ordered.
Koki left the room. He could hear arguing coming from the hallway. Then Maru stormed into the room.
"I want to be left alone." Kame said. "If you don't get out, I'll call security."
"Please, two minutes." Maru said.
"Why do you need any time? To say how you are part of a unit, but you force others to fall in love with you?" Kame demanded. "You're a whore."
Maru did something unexpected. He knelt on the floor, and bowed low, with his forehead against the floor. "Please your highness, listen to me."
"Hurry up." Kame sighed
"What happened was not because of Jin. It was my fault."
"What has that got to do with anything?"
"We are convicts." Maru admitted. "Jin was the one tortured the worst because no matter what they did to him, he couldn't pass the tests."
"So you're a convicted criminal?" Kame said harshly. "I'll be sure you get deported back to Gotsu!"
"Please, your highnesses, deport me and Junno, but please, donít deport Jin."
"When they torture Jin, they'll find out about his love for you." Maru said. "He'll be executed."
"I see," Kame said, though he didn't see at all.
"Please, deport me. I won't resist." Maru said. "But please forgive Jin."
"I'm sorry, but I can't." Kame admitted. "I will make sure the three of you are allowed to stay, but I can't go back to Jin."
Two hours passed, and Kame was called to his mother's office. Maru and his uncle Masa were sitting in chairs at the side of the Empress's desk.
"Please sit down." The Empress told him.
Kame sat in an empty chair. "What is it mother?"
"I hear you've been embarrassing our empire," His mother said.
"I don't understand what you mean," Kame said.
"Prince Maru's informed me that you are insensitive to the Gotsu Culture," The Empress said. "Is that true?"
Kame glared at Maru. "I wouldn't call it insensitivity."
"I want you to tell me what you know about the Gotsu culture."
"The culture is repressive. The women have many husbands." Kame said. "And they are our enemy."
"That's it." Kame shrugged.
The empress sighed and nodded her head. "Youíre right Prince Maru. He does need to be educated."
"My education if fine, I have graduated from..."
"Enough!" The empress commanded. "I have made an order. You will be made aware of the Gotsu culture. You will attend a two week course with Masa, and then you will take a final."
"What happens if I don't pass?"
"You will pass!' The empress told him. "Or I will send you somewhere as the Miyagi Empire as our Ambassador. I was thinking of the planet Klom."
"The Kloms eat humans," Kame pointed out.
"So you better study hard." the Empress told him. "You will leave now with Masa."
"This doesn't mean I'll get back with Prince Jin." Kame said.
"This isn't so you can get back with your boyfriend!" The Empress snapped. "No son of mine is going to be as ignorant as you to other cultures."
Kame had been sent to be educated by Masa, Koki's father. He had to go to Masa's office daily for lessons. He was the head of the Empresses household. He was also a refugee from the Gotsu Empire.
"Today's lesson is about Units," Masa said. "And the different stages of marriage in the Gotsu Empire."
"Marriage is marriage," Kame shrugged.
"No, it isn't." Masa said. "There are many stages to marriage on Gotsu."
'All right, whatís the difference?"
"Take notes," Masa ordered. "The first stage is with many husbands and one wife. The second stage is with one wife and one husband. The third stage is between husbands whose wife has died. The fourth stage is the unit, which is put together when the co-husbands are very young."
Kame wrote down the stages on a flimsy. "So Maru, Jin and Junno are stage four marriages."
"Those three are a unit." Masa explained. "There bond is very tight."
"I know, you can't talk to one without the other two interfering."
'They are trying to protect themselves." Masa said. "Just like my two brothers and I did when we defected."
"But Maru acts so jealous when I even talk to Jin."
'He probably is jealous," Masa said. "They've been raised to be their only family. They see outsiders as trying to take away their brother. "
Ueda asked the question that had been bothering him. "Are they lovers?"
"Of course their not lovers." Masa said. "They are brothers."
"But their co-husbands," Kame pointed out.
"They've been trained to love each other, for their wifeís pleasure." Masa explained. "Most women on Gotsu enjoy watching their husbands love each other. Especially the units. Unless their wives demand it, co-husbands don't sleep together."
Kame had spent two intense weeks learning about Gotsu culture. Now it was time for the final. It was a live action sim game. If he didn't pass this, he would be in major trouble with the empress. He had to act Gotsu. His co-husband would be Koki.
"We are a unit," Koki reminded him. "We are brothers."
"Yes, I remember the training," They stood outside the sim chamber.
The chamber opened and Kame went inside. They were standing outside of a mansion, the suns were out. There were three of them.
"I am Shingo, our wives chief husband," A tall blond man introduced. "Welcome to our home."
Kame and Koki bowed and said the traditional words.
"Do you have any questions?" Shingo asked.
"How many units does our wife have?" Koki asked.
"Ten, she has twenty five husbands," Shingo began to show them around the building.
Kame did as tradition dictated; he kept quiet until they entered the men's quarters. There was a large lobby type room with pool tables. One of the husbands playing looked like Jin. But Kame knew it couldn't really be Jin, just like the one playing him really couldn't be Maru.
They were taken to a bedroom. "This is your room,"
They went inside. Kame looked around. There was only one bed. Koki and Kame would have to share. Plus the room was very small; it barely had room for the bed.
"This is really nice, Chief Shingo," Koki said formally.
Koki glared at Kame, who nodded. "I really like it sir,"
'You are welcome to spend the afternoon getting to know our co-husbands," Shingo told him. "This evening our wife will probably call for you. So make sure youíre prepared."
Kame and Koki were left alone in their new room.
"Wow, this place is small." Kame said. "Are you sure this really existed?"
'The person who created this game grew up in this men's quarters." Koki told him.
"They grew up here," Kame said as he thought. There was only one person who could come up with games like this. "It was Jin, wasn't it?"
"Yes it was." Koki admitted. "The empress asked him to recreate everything in detail."
"Then why is a character that looks like him?" Kame asked. "He canít' be that self-centered."
"Have you thought it might not be Jin?" Koki asked. "Jin had to have a biological father. Even though their not named, he was part of the harem."
"That's why there was no one that looked like Junno."
"Because Junno looks like the empress," Koki told him. "We better go exploring. You can't pass this test just by talking."
Kame and Koki walked around the men's quarters. He was surprised they were so small for so many men. Most of the units stuck together. There were children there, all of them boys of various ages. Even they were in units. One unit of older boys in their early teens, they played football on the fenced in area outside. Another group of two watched the older boys playing. These two were a set of twins.
Kame went back into the house. In a unit room, a small boy was putting together a puzzle.
"This is a dog," An older boy read from a book. His brother beside him. "I like dogs. This is a cat."
The boy looked up to Kame ashamed, as if he had been caught doing something terrible. His eyes large and expressive. The brother, slightly older then the one reading looking up to Kame.
"Please Prince," The boy's voice was innocent. "Don't tell anyone that Jin can read."
Jin, that struck Kame like a hammer. The young boy reading was Jin.
"Why can't I say that your brother can read?" Kame asked.
"The Empress has forbidden Jin to learn." Kame realized this must be Maru.
"Why would she do such a thing?" Kame asked.
"Jin is retarded."
"I won't tell anyone," Kame promised. He sat on the bed. "I would like to hear you read Prince Jin."
The young Jin opened his book back up. Then slowly he began to read. His voice grew stronger the more and more he read.
Jin was nervous. He had created this sim. The men's quarters were the same as the one he had grown up in. He hadn't really wanted to do this. But he has been asked by the Miyagi Empress to create it. Not ordered, but asked. The only bad part was he had to stay inside the game, to make sure it went right.
Luckily Maru was with him. The two could play a unit.
Minutes passed, and Kame came out of the bedroom area with Koki. Jin went back to playing his game. He had to act like a sim character.
Kame came up to the table. "I'm Kame, what's your name?"
"Yu," Maru told him. 'We are part of a unit."
"What's this co husbandís name?" Kame asked.
"Sean," Maru told him.
'Want to play a game?" Kame asked Jin.
"Sure," Jin racked up the balls. "I'll let you break."
Kame broke, but didnt' get any balls in the pocket. He looked at Jin strangely. "It's your turn Sean."
Jin played, that was one thing he really hated about Miyagi, and there were very few pool tables. All the time they played, Kame watched him, a strange look on his face.
"How is our wife like?" Koki asked Maru.
"She's beautiful," Maru told him. "You won't have to use passion drugs with her."
Jin was able to beat Kame very quickly. Kame went to him. "Jin? Is that you?"
"I'm sorry," Jin lied. "My name's Sean. Can I help you?"
Kame grabbed Koki's arm and they went to the other side of the room, talking to other units. Then one of the children's units came into the room. That was one thing that Jin hadnít wanted to create, but the empress had insisted. Kame needed to know exactly what a men's quarters was really like.
The young Jin went up to Kame and began to talk to him, almost as if they had met before. Kame knelt so that he was at the young Jin's level and began to talk to him. Kame's entire mood changed when he talked to young Jin. Then Kame and the young unit went out into the yard.
Jin watched them go. The empress said that Kame would understand him more
if they did this test. Jin wondered if it would do any good. Would Kame really
take him back? All he wanted to do was run to Kame and tell him who he really
was. But Jin knew he couldn't. It would ruin the test. So instead, he began
another pool game with Maru.
All Jin could think of was Kame playing with his young self. If only one of the empress's husbands had taken an interest in him, then perhaps things would have been different for Jin. Instead, Jin had been the outcast one, with only his brothers to care for him.
"You two are lucky," Shingo told Kame and Koki on their first night. "Our wife wants an audience with you."
Both Koki and Kame exchanged looks. Finally Koki said. "Our wife?"
"You know the woman you married?" Shingo smiled. "Don't worry. You'll be allowed to use passion drugs. Everyone's always nervous on their first night with her."
Kame followed Shingo to a part of the mansion that men weren't usually allowed near. Shingo helped the pair undress, shower and put on robes. Then he gave them both an injection of passion drugs.
"These will last about twelve hours." Shingo told them. "It gives you enough time to please our wife."
"All right," Kame didn't really feel in control of himself.
Then Shingo left them alone in the bedroom.
"Finally, I'm going to be able to met out some justice," Koki said. "I'm going to kill that bitch for what she did to Maru."
"It isn't the real empress," Kame reminded him. "She'll just be an illusion."
"Then the illusion can die. Very slowly, by my hands. Then I'll tell the computer to revive her, and I'll kill her again." Koki spat. Then Koki looked at Kame, his entire demeanor changed. "Gods you're sexy."
"It's the passion drugs." Kame told him.
Koki looked at Kame. "What happens tonight is just a dream, understand?"
"Yes, I understand." Kame didn't feel drunk, but it was almost like watching someone else speaking to Koki.
Just then, the door opened. A woman came in. She looked like Junno, but she was in her forties, she had a large streak of grey in her hair. This was the woman that Kame hated more then anything. The woman who had ordered a limiter put into Jin's mind.
"So you two are my new unit," The woman said.
"Yes, your majesty." Kame said.
"What are your names?"
"I am Koki," Koki told her. "This is my brother Kame."
"I want the youngest to come here and kiss me." She ordered.
Kame went to her, he found himself kissing her lips. She untied his robe and let it slip to the ground. Then he let her pull him to the bed. She gestured and Koki joined them in the bed.
Kame hated this woman; he wanted to see her dead. But his body was no longer in control of itself, and he did what the drugs demanded.
Jin was awake when Kame and Koki returned to the men's quarters. Through the thin wall, Jin could hear them talk.
"Why couldn't I kill the bitch?" Koki said sadly.
"The same reason I couldn't," Kame told him. "Those drugs made us loose control of our bodies."
Maru sat up in bed, Jin didn't realize that his brother was also awake. If it was hard for Jin to hear that Kame was with some one else, it was torture for Maru.
Jin took Maru's hand and squeezed it. "It wasn't their fault."
"I know," Maru said softly.
"If you want to go to him, you can." Jin told his brother. "I've fixed the game so that you won't be caught."
Maru didn't answer, instead he fell silent. They could overhear the conversation between Koki and Kame again.
"If I was in control of myself, I would never have cheated on Maru." Koki sounded guilty. "How am I going to tell him instead of killing the person who ordered his lover to be tortured to death, I slept with her?"
"I called Jin a whore, and look what I did." Kame said.
"I'm going to take a shower, I feel dirty." Koki left the room.
Maru jumped to his feet. He was going to follow Koki to the bath room. Jin was surprised when his bedroom door opened. Koki almost ran right into Maru.
"Maru, it is you." Koki breathed.
Maru shut the door to the hallway. Then took Koki into his arms. He began to kiss his neck, his lips.
Koki pulled away from him. "How can you stand to touch me after what I did?"
"I've taken the passion drugs before," Maru told him as he pulled him back into his arms. "I know you didn't want it."
"You're the only one I love." Koki said between kisses.
Jin as quietly as he could grab a blanket and pillow and went into the closet. He lay down then shut the door.
"Why did Jin just do that?" Koki asked.
"He's my brother." Maru said. "He knows what I want. What I need right now."
"We need to love each other." Maru told him. "I need it because I want to know you still want me. You need it because right now you need the touch of the one you love."
"You're right, I do." Koki admitted. "I will kill that bitch for you."
"Yes, someday you will." Maru kissed him again.
Jin could hear the squeak of the bed springs as the two lovers got on the bed. Then he closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep. He realized it was going to be a very long night.
It was breakfast time; the bell had run three times. Kame felt like ignoring it. But he remembered that he was going through the test. He had to follow the rules or he would be sent to Klom. A place that Kame never wanted to go to.
Koki had returned sometime before Kame had woken up. He had disappeared somewhere, presumably to take a shower, but Kame knew that most showers didn't take hours. Kame wondered if Koki was still trying to find a way to kill the empress.
Koki shook him again. "Come on, Kame. You have to wake up."
"Why can't I sleep?" He threw the blankets over his head.
"If you don't eat, the children won't eat." Koki told him. "Remember, the kids can't eat unless all the husbands eat."
The children, Kame had forgotten about them. He knew they weren't real, but they seemed so real to him. He got out of bed and pulled his clothes on.
Kame walked to the dining room. Some of the men glared at the pair, almost as if they were jealous of them. Kame couldn't understand why anyone would want what he had been put through.
Then he saw the row of very hungry looking boys. Kame hadn't eaten the night before; he had been called to the Empress rooms before he was able to. He wondered if the children had gone without their dinner.
Kame and Koki got their food. It wasn't anything fancy. Just a bowl of rice, some fruit and some coffee.
Then it was time for the children to get their food. One of the older units was greedy. They each took two bowls of rice and most of the fruit. There was enough food for the second unit. But there wasn't enough food for the third unit. All that was left was an orange and a banana.
Young Maru went to the serving table and picked up the banana and orange. He took it back to his brothers.
Young Junno was crying. "I'm so hungry."
"It's all right," Young Maru guided his two younger brothers to a table. "We'll divide up the fruit."
Young Jin pealed the orange. He divided it into thirds. Kame was surprised when he gave the smallest to himself. "Here Junno, don't cry. See how much orange you got?"
Young Maru also divided his banana. He gave the largest piece to Young Junno. "Have this banana. It will tide you over to lunch."
Young Junno stopped crying and ate his food. The pieces of fruit the older two had were so much smaller then the ones they gave Junno. Jin without saying anything passed his to Junno, who ate it.
"I'm still hungry," Young Junno said softly.
"Perhaps if we're lucky we'll be allowed to eat some of the table scraps," Young Jin told him.
"There should be a lot of scraps," Young Maru tried to reassure. "After everyone leaves, we'll go through the trash."
Kame was angry, very angry. Why would princes have to go through the trash for their food? It didn't make sense. He marched up to the oldest unit of children. "You are keeping your brothers from eating."
"So?" One asked. "We're older; we deserve to get some food."
"Each of you is going to give up one bowl of rice, or I'll go to the empress." Kame threatened.
"You heard him," Koki went to Kame. "You're brothers; you should make sure that everyone gets to eat."
"Their not our unit," the oldest one pointed out.
"We are loyal only to our unit." The middle one said.
"They need to learn to take care of their own unit." The youngest said. "There should be enough for them to eat out of the trash."
Kame got a tray; he and Koki took the extra food from the unit. The teens protested, but none of them fought back.
Kame took the tray of food to Young Maru's table.
"You shouldn't have done that," Young Maru told him.
"But you're starving." Kame said.
"We are used to being hungry." Young Maru said. "We are the youngest, we always starve."
"Besides," Young Jin said. "As soon as your back is turned, they will take the food away."
"They won't if we stay here with you." Koki went and got Kame and his breakfast.
Kame passed out the food. It was only rice. But young Junno smiled and clapped with joy when the bowl was sat in front of him. "Look Maru it's still hot! We get to eat hot food!"
"You're right, it is hot." Young Jin said.
"Can I eat it?" Young Junno asked. "Please Maru."
'Yes, of course you can." Young Maru told him.
Young Jin looked at Kame. His eyes large. "Thank you for giving us food."
"I found out something," Koki told Kame later in the morning. They were sitting in the back garden, watching Young Jin play ball. Usually Young Jin was always with his unit, this time he was alone.
"What?" Kame asked Koki.
"The empress had a husband named Sean," Koki whispered.
"I know that, I've seen him."
"You don't understand. What he's doing in this game?" Koki asked. "Sean was executed when Jin was only three."
"Treason," Koki's voice got even lower. "He fell in love with a co-husband. The two of them tried to escape together. They tried to take Jin's unit with them. Maru told me that Sean was Jin's father."
"Why would they do that?" Then it hit Kame. "How did he know he was Jin's father?"
"I don't know." Koki said. "The one he escaped with was named Yu. He looked like Maru."
"I see, so there are two men in this game that shouldn't be here." Kame guessed.
"If this was based on Jin's memories, how would he even remember Sean or Yu?" Kame asked.
Just then, Young Jin's ball bounced near Kame. He picked it up and threw it back to him.
"But why would Jin gets punished more then Maru was?" Kame asked.
"Because Sean used to be the Empress's chief husband." Koki said. "Now I have two more reasons to want that bitch dead."
"I keep telling you, you can't kill her."
"Why not? She deserves to die." Koki countered.
"Because I don't want to go to Klom!" Kame said a little too loud.
Young Jin looked up to him from his ball. Kame realized they would have to stop talking.
Kame went to Young Jin. 'Want to play catch ball?"
"I love playing catch ball!' The boy said.
"Where is the rest of your unit?" Kame asked as he tossed the ball.
"They're in the learning room." The boy caught it. "They then have a field trip, to the museum."
"Are you going?"
"I got to stay here," Young Jin said. "I'm not smart enough to go on trips."
"I have an idea." Kame said. "Why don't we spend the day together playing?"
"I would like that," Young Jin's eyes were so eager, so intelligent.
Kame suddenly felt like he understood Jin a lot more then he did before he went into the game. Jin, the lonely little boy. Punished for things that he couldn't control. The only thing he had even close to a family was Maru and Junno.
Kame knew that if he passed this game, he would have to go to Jin. To apologize to him. Kame was sorry that he ever asked Jin
to divorce his brothers. Perhaps, when all this was done, they could be
friends. Kame hoped so. He needed a friend like Jin.
Three days passed, every night Kame was called to the quarters of the Empress. Every night he had wished for the night to end, that this would be the last night. Jin had lived this hell for his entire life. How could he stand the pain?
Young Jin had looked at Kame with his huge brown eyes and asked if Kame could take them swimming. Kame had smiled and told them to get their suits. Kame realized that this game was even stranger then Disneyland. At least that one didn't star people from Jin's memories.
Kame had kept an eye on young Jin. No adult paid attention to him. He was ignored by every adult in his life. Instead, Jin's brothers cared for him. Kame had learned from watching them what a unit really was. Not married in the sense Kame had always thought it meant, but a bond beyond friendship, beyond family.
So he decided to go swimming. He went to the palaces dressing room. Through the one way mirror, Kame could see someone else was in the pool. It was the one that looked like Jin; he got out and climbed the steps to the diving board. Which faced the dressing room. On his back was several octagons shaped scars. The latest one was still red.
Another person climbed out of the pool, Maru also had scars on his back.
"Koki, come here." he asked his cousin
"What is it?"
"Look at Prince Sean and Prince Yu's back." Kame nodded towards the pool. "Do you know what could cause scars like that?"
"Maru told me that The Gotsu use torture machines." Koki explained. "They leave scars such as those."
"Why would sim characters be tortured?" Then he realized. "Oh my goddess. That's really Jin."
"You're not supposed to know about that." Koki told him. "He didn't want to distract you in the game."
Just then, young Jin walked up to him. "Prince Kame, is my suit on right?"
"Let me see," Kame told the young boy.
The young Jin turned around, his back free from scars. "I don't have my own suit. I had to borrow one of Maru's."
"You look great."
"See, told you Jin!" Maru teased.
Young Junno danced around in his suit. He too didnt' have scars on his back.
"Come on boys, let's' go swimming." Kame told him.
Jin loved to swim, he always felt free in the pool. But because of his scars he could only swim when no one else was swimming. The pain from his broken heart didn't hurt as much as he dived. That was one thing that he had learned since coming to Miyagi, how to swim.
Jin wasn't sure how the pool came to be. On Gotsu Jin hadn't been allowed to go swimming. But then he realized that this must have come from Maru's memories. The game hadn't just been based on his memory prints, but the other two members of the units. The prints had been made after they had their limiters removed. To help with their recovery.
Jin heard noise coming from the changing room. Then the three young brothers came out in their suits. Young Junno jumped in the shallow end of the pool and began to play. Young Jin stood by the pool terrified. With encouragement from Young Maru, he finally got into the pool, but stayed in the very shallow end.
In a way, it hurt Jin to see the young version of him doing things that he never was never allowed to do. Kame did all sorts of things with Young Jin. He took him to the park, to museums, even to the pool. In reality, all Young Jin did was stay in the men's quarters. He lived off of what his brother's told him about the outside world.
Jin was about to call for the computer, to make them go back to the men's quarters when Kame and Koki came into the pool area.
Kame got into the shallow end with the boys and began to play with them. Jin wondered why Kame did it. He must have realized who the boys were. Why did he spend so much time with them?
Maru's face lit up when he saw Koki. Maru was in love, there was no doubt about that. He went to Koki, and began to talk to him, standing way too close to him.
Koki didn't step back away from Maru. Instead, he stepped even closer. They looked into each other's eyes as they talked.
After a couple of minutes of talking, Maru walked to the changing room, followed by Koki. They had barely gotten into the changing room, when the couple began to kiss passionately. Koki shoved his brother against the wall as they kissed. After kissing for quite some time, Koki took Maru's hand and led him even deep into the dressing room.
All Jin could think about was that Maru was breaking the law. Both Koki and Maru would be tortured for this. This wasn't Miyagi, they weren't free here. What the two of them were doing was treason.
Jin wanted to run to his brother, to tell him to stop. But his brother was so happy. Jin realized he had to give Maru this little bit of happiness.
Kame was sitting on the edge of the shallow side. He was smiling at the young unit. Jin knew that he had to at least tell him hello.
"Good afternoon, Prince." Jin got out of the pool and sat at the edge.
"Good afternoon," Kame looked him over. "Sean isn't it?"
"Yes, Sean." He agreed.
"I know who you really are," Kame said. "Maru and Koki going at it like bunnies is what confirmed it."
"I don't know what you mean," Jin lied. "My name is Sean."
"Then you wont' mind me telling the guards on Prince Yu's fooling around with Prince Koki." Kame asked.
"No, please don't do that." Jin looked at him. "Yes, I'm Jin."
"Why are you here?" Kame asked. "Are you spying on me??"
"I have to be in the game, in case something wrong happens." Jin explained. "At least thatís what the empress wanted me to do. But please, don't tell on Maru."
"Why would you tell on me?" The young Maru said overhearing.
"Silly, I wouldn't tell on you!' Kame told him.
The young Maru went back to playing with his brothers.
"Tell me, why do you play with them?" Jin asked.
"Because young Jin looks so lonely." Kame admitted. "Didn't any of your mother's husbands play with him?"
"There was one husband." Jin said sadly. "He cared for me when I was very young. His arms used to be so strong as he rocked me to sleep. He was so wonderful to me. You one asked me about a father. He used to tell me he was my father. But I couldn't remember his face. But Maru did. He's the one that told me that I looked like him."
"What happened to him?"
"He was arrested for treason when I was three." Jin told him. "After that, I was alone."
"NO one else cared for you?"
"All I had was my brothers." Jin said. "Sometimes some of the princes might take my brothers to do things. But I was never invited."
"I was the retarded one. The slow one." Jin suddenly looked very sad. "Why would anyone want to take a simpleton anywhere?"
Kame put his hand on top of Jin's. "I'm sorry."
"I don't need your pity." Jin didn't move his hand.
"What I feel for you isn't pity." Kame said. "I am sorry I misjudged you."
"You're the only one in my heart." Jin said. "I am not a whore."
"I understand now about your unit." Kame told him. "I am sorry I hurt you."
"I should hate you, but I don't." Jin admitted. "Why can't I stay mad at you?"
"Please take me back," Kame asked.
Jin wanted to tell Kame no, that he hated Kame for hurting him. But instead, he nodded his head. "All right."
"Can we talk about this more when the test is finished?" Kame asked. "I don't want to fail. My mother said she'll send me to Klom."
Just then Jin was hit by the ball that the young unit was playing with. He got in the water. "Come on Prince Kame, we have an afternoon to kill. And I know these boys love to play ball."
Kame smiled at him. Then he too got into the water. They began to play.
"Listen Jin. I want to ask a favor," Koki asked him. They were in the main room of the men's quarters. Maru and Kame were outside playing with the young unit.
"What do you want me to do?" Jin asked.
"I want to kill the empress," Koki said. "If I do that, will Kame flunk the game?"
Jin couldn't believe the question. "You want to kill the empress."
"She needs to pay for what happened to Maru." Koki told him. "Sim games have killing all the time. Why can't we have one in this one?"
"Because this game is a test," Jin hissed. "Besides, do you really want to know what would happen if the empress died?"
"What would happen?"
"Shikayko would be empress!" Jin told him.
"But this isnít reality, its' a game." Koki reminded him. "Besides, I want to kill Shikayko too."
"I'll make you a deal." Jin decided. "If you leave the empress harmless in this game. I'll create a game just for you. You can kill the empress and Shikayko in that one. You'll be able to kill her over and over in it."
"All right," Koki seemed to be satisfied.
Kame woke to find that he was sleeping on the floor instead of the holo bed. He nudged the sleeping Koki. "I think the test is over."
Koki opened his eyes and rolled over. "I was sleeping so well too."
The sim chamber opened and the Empress of Miyagi came in, followed by Jin.
Kame got to his feet, quickly followed by Koki.
"I have your test results Kame," His mother told him.
"Am I going to Klom?" Kame asked.
"Not this time," The Empress smiled. "Tell me, did you learn much about Gotsu culture?"
"That it's different from ours, but at the same time there are good things about it." Kame said.
"What about the unit system?"
"Those who are picked to be in units are the lucky ones." Kame told her.
"Great," She smiled. "Is there anything you would like to ask?"
"I met someone there, a young boy." He told her. "Is there any way that I would be able sometimes visit him in the game?"
"But the empress of Gotsu had many husbands to care for him."
"Not this one, he was overlooked by everyone." Kame said. "I know that he isn't really real. But I would like the chance to spend time with him."
"If you wish. We should ask the creator if its' all right with him?" She turned to Jin.
"The test was based on the memories of my unit." Jin looked into his eyes. "I know for a fact that the young boy would have adored having someone like you in his life."
"Perhaps it isn't too late." Kame looked into his eyes.
"It's never too late." Jin agreed.
The empress left, then Koki left looking for Maru. That left Kame alone with Jin.
"I am sorry. I did things I didn't want to with the empress. They gave me drugs." Kame went to Jin taking his hand. "Please forgive me."
"I all ready have." Jin brought Kame's hand to his lips and kissed it. "There's one thing. If we become involved, I can't divorce my brothers."
"I no longer want you to." Kame told him. "I now understand about the hell you went through."
"Can I kiss you?" Jin asked.
"You never have to ask." Kame said, before he was swept away by Jin's kiss.
Then Jin pulled away from him. "I created a special game for us. For our first time."
"We don't need a game for that." Kame couldn't help but notice how sad Jin suddenly looked. "But I would love to see your special game."
That made Jin perk up. He gave the computer orders. They were suddenly in a field of flowers. The sky was blue, and there was only one sun.
Then Jin was kissing Kame again. Kame sighed and gave into the kiss. "You know me now." Jin said between kisses. "You know all about me. Where I came from. Please, can you accept me?"
'The test made me love you more then I thought I could ever love someone." Kame confessed. "The small lonely child that lives inside you. I want to comfort him."
"Without him, I could never have met you." Jin told him. "I never thought I would be able to love until I met you."
"I do love you, all of you." Kame pulled Jin to the ground. Their first time together would always be special. But then, Kame knew that their life together would always be special. Because they had each other.