Chapter Three: One Lonely Night
Note: Words to Keep On Loving You used in this story are from a song by REO Speedwagon
An hour later, Junno was back in the waiting room. His arm no longer was bleeding. But it had been put in a sling, to keep him from irritating the new stitches. He sat down in a chair, and leaned back. He closed his eyes. He was tired, more then tired. It was officially no longer his birthday. Not that Junno liked his birthday anymore. He realized he would never celebrate it again. It would only bring bad memories.
Another memory pushed its way into is mind. Of his twentieth birthday a day so unlike his twenty-first, a day full of joy instead of sadness.† He had found a wrapped package on the dressing room table that he shared with Ueda.
"Is that for me?" Junno asked.
"Who else would it be?" Ueda tried to hide his enthusiasm. He was almost bouncing with eagerness. "Open it, Junnosuke!"
Junno opened it. It was the newest version of an IPOD. He looked it over.† "This is great!"
"It's been preloaded with your favorite songs." Ueda enthused. "Even that 80's group you like."
"You mean REO Speedwagon."
"Do you like it?" Ueda beamed.
"I love it." Junno kissed Ueda chastely on the cheek.† He put the earphones in, and found the song "Can't Fight This Feeling." A song about a one sided love. Then he smiled at his own one sided love. Wishing that Ueda was more then just a friend to him.
"Junno wake up," Koki said harshly, hitting him on the arm.
Junno opened his eyes. He was back in the hospital waiting room. No longer was Ueda healthy, happy. He was dying. He glared at Koki. "What is it?"
Maru shoved his ketai into Junno's hand. "Someone wants to speak to you."
"Hello?" Junno asked still half asleep.
"What's this shit about you leaving the group?" someone demanded. "I thought you had at least half a brain! But you have none! What exactly will you do as an ex Johnny's? He cuts you off from all your savings! Do you know how it's like to live with no money? What Americans call ramen sucks! The girls are ugly, and I canít' get go to school without being stalked! And Tat-Chan, I thought you loved him!"
"Excuse me? Who are you?" Junno interrupted the tirade.
"Akanishi Jin, you baka." Jin told him. "Tat-Chan could be dying, and what do you want to do? Run off?"
"Did Maru bother to tell you that he left me?"
"Doesn't really matter." Jin said. "He loves you; he needs you at his side!"
"Are you coming back to Japan?" Junno decided to change the subject. "Tat-Chan needs you right now."
"I can't." his friend said softly. "Johnny-sama said he will dissolve Kat-tun if I step foot in Japan before my suspension is completed."
"Promise me that you'll stay at Tat-Chanís side until he's completely well." Jin begged. "If you really love him, please promise."
"I'll stay at his side." Junno promised.
"Did you and Tat-Chan know each other before you where Johnny's?"
"Yes, we did." Jin paused. "I can't tell you anything else. Tat-Chan asked me not to. You'll have to get it from him."
"He's unconscious right now." Junno told him.
"If there's any more news about Tat-Chan, will you call me?"
"How is Kame doing?"† Suddenly Jin sounded lost, lonely.
"He's fine," Junno tried not to roll his eyes.
"Is he dating?"
"He isn't allowed to date. He only belongs to his PM." Junno told him. "You know that."
"But his PM was fired." again Jin sounded angry. "Kame's free."
"What ever gave you that idea? Since you left, the PM's control on him is even tighter then before!" Junno paused. "What does it matter to you anyway? You are the one that left him."
There was a long pause. Then Jin said.† "Call me when you hear news about Ueda." Suddenly the line went dead.
Junno handed the phone back to Maru. Then he passed him his own. "Put Jin's new number in my phone book."
Maru added the number to Junno's phone. He looked over Junno. "Why did you tell Jin the truth?"
"What was wrong with the truth?" Junno didn't feel like fighting.
Koki glared at Junno. "You are even more stupid then I thought. You knew we had to keep the truth from Jin."
"I don't understand." Junno was confused.
"Jin gave up everything for two things." Koki was angry, very angry. "The chance for KAT-TUN to stay together, and to give Kame his freedom."
"No, that's not why he left!" Junno controlled his temper. "He left to study English!"
"Bullshit! You know the truth!" Koki got into Junno's face and gave him a little shove. "Why did you have to hurt Jin?"
"You hurt everyone with that mouth of yours!" Koki said. "Why do you think no one likes you?"
Koki's words hurt. Junno didn't answer. He didn't think there was need to answer. Koki was right, no one liked him.
"This takes the cake!" Koki ranted. "How dare you make Jin's life miserable!"
Still Junno didn't say anything. He knew that his words wouldn't matter.
"Oh my god, Kame never told you." Maru realized.
"Of course he wouldn't tell me!' Junno got up and went to the window. "It's not like I'm Kame's friend. Not like Iím the two of your friends.† I only had one friend in this group! He could be dying!' Tears of frustration poured down his cheeks. He sank to the ground, holding his hurt arm.
"Of course you're our friend." Maru said.
"Tat-Chanís my only friend. The only one that was interested in what I had to say. Who laughed at my jokes? Who never even once told me I was boring!" He began to sob. "But I wasn't enough for him. Now he's left me. I'm alone. Do you know how it's like to be truly alone?"
Junno leaned against the wall. Everything that he had been holding in came out in streams. Jin's leaving the group, Ueda's leaving him. The worry he had for his lover.
Then he felt someone take him into his arms. Someone whose arms were very familiar to him. Arms that used to hold him and rock him many times in the past. The arms that belonged the man who had always told him he wasn't alone. The only one that was is real friend, that was until he betrayed Junno. At the moment Junno didn't care. He needed the closeness of his friend's touch.† Kame would make it better, just as he had so many times in the past. He closed his eyes, and let Kame stroke his hair.
"I understand Junno," Kame whispered to him. "I'm alone too."
Finally, after spending the night waiting in the waiting room. Junno was given permission to sit with Ueda in the ICU.† Junno went to Ueda's room. Ueda was in a private room with a security guard at the door. Ueda looked so small lying on the bed. There seems to be tubes everywhere. Ueda was very pale. A monitor attached to his wrist. It beeped his heart rate.† The good news was that Ueda was breathing without a ventilator.
Junno reached out, smoothing the hair off of Ueda's face. His lover had broken up with him. Junno realized it might be the last time they spend time together. Perhaps when he woke, the old Ueda would be back.
The old Tat-Chan. He missed his real lover. The one that would make him breakfast in bed on their days off.† The one with his special smile would make Junno feel like he was the biggest star in the world. The one that had called him butterfly. Ueda would wake Junno in the middle of the night, not because of nightmares, but because he was in the mood. That Ueda would never have broken up with him. That Ueda would never have hurt his arm. That Ueda would be at his side for ever.
†It was like an alien had taken over Ueda's body after Jin left. Ueda rarely bathed, instead of getting up early to do something special for Junno, he slept in. He had become sloppy, not ever wanting the apartment clean.
Junno stayed, hoping beyond hope that the real Ueda would wake up.
Time passed. The clock on the wall let him know that hours ticked by. Junno didn't sleep, didn't eat. He had made a promise, and he was the kind who kept his promises.
Maru had brought Junno his IPOD; he played his REO Speedwagon over and over. It soothed him.
He had called Jin once to tell him that Ueda was out of the emergency room, and now in ICU. Again Jin made Junno promise not to leave Ueda. He had gotten more out of Jin with the call. The scar on Jin's leg and the back of his head came from the same attack that Ueda had gotten his scars from.† It had been the end of their childhoods in many ways. Then he told Junno that he forgave him. He didn't blame Junno for telling the truth. Then he promised Jin to please give him reports on Kame.
Kame came into the room.† It was strange to Junno how suddenly they where back to being almost friends again. But Kame was the only one to seem to really understand what he was going through.† Kame too was alone.
Junno realized that the fakeness Kame had always shown wasn't' really being artificial, instead he tried to be himself.
†"How is he?" Kame asked softly. His friend had visited several times a day. Junno was glad that PM of his hated hospitals so he stayed away.
"No change." Junno didn't look up.
"When was the last time you slept?"
"I can't sleep." He admitted. "Tat-Chan might wake up. I have to be here for him."
"Did Tat-Chan ever tell you about his past with Jin?" Kame pulled up a chair.
"Nothing." he said softly. "He never trusted me enough to tell me. But you know about it."
"Well, that was because he got drunk one day and confessed everything to me." Kame shrugged. "Then he made me promise not to tell anyone."
"What happened?" he saw Kame's hesitation. "Please, I have to know."
"Tat-Chan and Jin were child hood friends. Their neighborhood slowly got overrun by gangs." Kame explained. "One day, their baseball practice got between a gang war. The coach was killed, and both Jin and Tat-Chan were injured. Jin was grazed in the head. He landed on Tat-Chan. According to Jin, Tat-Chan got sick, very sick."
"His post traumatic stress disorder." Junno guessed.
"One day after the attack, Jin and Ueda were studying at Ueda's house. Jin has stepped out for just a moment, and Ueda slit his wrist."
'Just like what happened to us." Junno realized.† "Did you ever talk to Jin about it?"
"Yeah, it had always bothered him." Kame paused. "I hear you have Jin's phone number."
"Do you want to program it into your phone?" Junno offered.
"I can't." Kame looked very sad. "My phone's checked to see if I've contacted him."
"When was the last time you talked to him?"
"The day he left for America." Kame looked even more depressed. "I wish I had gone with him. He gave up everything for my happiness. I've never had anyone love me that much."
"Why don't you go to him?" Junno suggested.
"It would destroy the group." Kame looked on the verge of tears. "I promised him I would keep the group going. I have to keep my promise."
Junno took his ketai out of his pocket. "Why don't you call him?"
He took the phone from Junno. "I could get into trouble."
"Why would I tell on you?"
Kame went into the bathroom, he shut the door. Junno couldn't help but hear Kame's side of the conversation.
"Hey Jin, its Me." a long pause. "I know, but I'm using Junno's phone. They can't trace the call to me." Another pause. "I miss you too. Oh god, you don't know how much I miss you."† A few seconds passed. "Yes, it's true. I was never given my freedom."† A much longer pause.† "I love you, I love you so much. I wish you were holding me right now." Junno could tell that Kame was crying. ďYouíll come back; I know you'll come back. Johnny-sama will change his mind, and we'll be back together."
Junno turned on his IPOD, and then he turned up the sound so loud that he couldn't hear what Kame was saying. He deserved some privacy with Jin. What he overheard gave Junno a new regard for Jin. The man had sacrificed himself for the group. The question that plagued him was why? Why did Jin give up everything for KAT-TUN?† Was it really because he loved Kame?
Junno let the words of the song he was listening to wash over him like a stream. He found himself singing along with it.
"And I'm gonna keep on lovin you
Cause it's the only thing I wanna do
I don't wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on lovin you
†And I meant every word I said
When I said that I love you
†I meant that I love you forever"
He had listened to the song a lot when he waiting for Ueda to wake. He did love Ueda, sick or well. He just wanted his lover awake.
The Junno realized that Ueda was watching him with half lidded eyes. He jumped to his feet. He pulled his earplugs out.† He took Ueda's hand in is. Ueda's mouth moved, but didn't say anything. Then finally, he croaked. "Butterfly."
"I'm here, it's me." Junno tears of relief fell down his cheeks.
"Love you," Ueda reached up, touching Junno's tears. "Don't cry."
"I won't." he promised.
His lover's eyes flickered shut. For a moment, a brief moment Ueda had been back.