Title: A Simple Cup of Chocolate
Summary: Koki and Maru share a tie that makes their relationship beyond friendship, beyond family.
Nakamaru Yuichi has always been called my partner in crime. Maru and I have been very close since we joined Johnnyís agency. We have a secret language that only the two of us know. We aren't supposed to use it at all, ever. It's the rules of the agency. We have to pretend even to ourselves when we are around anyone. Learning English is one thing, but to have a language that no one else could understand, that's something else.
Maru had been thrilled when he found out someone else knew his secret language. It was only a few days after we met. He overheard me talking to my mother on the phone. My mother, she's lived in Japan for thirty years and still insists that we speak her native language when we are together.
I can remember Maru grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bathroom. Then he shoved me into a stall. I thought he wanted to kiss me like the older boys did.
Instead, Maru whispered. "ŅUsted entiende? "
Maru had asked me if I understood, in what became our secret language.
"Si, claro." I told him.
Maru almost glowed with happiness. He hugged me. "We'll be good friends."
Maru's prediction was true; we became best friends that day. We had so much in common, things that the rest of the juniors could only dream of. It was something almost inborn, something that lived within us that no one could understand. It was something beyond friendship, beyond family.
Years ago, before KAT-TUN was formed, Johnny-sama made us side a contract saying we would only speak Japanese. We'll be written up if we speak our secret language. I knew the real reason weíre forbidden to speak our motherís language. Staff can't understand our secret.
When KAT-TUN was formed, we were actually caught once using our language. We had been teased by the rest of the group. The only one that made them stop was Kame who liked Maru.
Kame has tried very hard to learn our language over the years. He got very, very good at speaking it. I think Kame wanted to learn it because he was with Maru at the time. I was very jealous at the time, though Kame was a good friend of mine. It was just even then Maru was something very special to me, and I didn't want to share.
Even when Maru was with Kame, I always gave him chocolates for Valentineís Day. It was a tie between us; chocolate means something different to us. It's part of our heritage. We always gave each other dark bitter chocolate like our ancestors ate. I never had the courage to make the drink that my Aztec ancestors gave their lovers. That combined ground cocoa beans, vanilla and chili peppers. The drink that meant something totally different then just something to make one warm on a cold night. The drink was traditionally very bitter. The way one sided love can be.
We've always kept out language private. When we're alone together, we speak it. It made our friendship special.
Years later, we're still friends and we still use our language. Though it's easier to keep our friendship secret then our language. Kame had drifted out of Maru's life by that point. I was secretly glad. I didn't like sharing Maru.
I've seen forum posts were fans have guessed at my heritage. Many of them were right. They call me a Latino rapper. They never guess Maru's background. That he's a Mexican beat box.
My mother comes from Guatemala. I've been there a couple of times to meet family. My mother always talked her native language to me. I knew it before I knew Japanese. She was the one that taught me the Aztec traditions of chocolate. She had even proposed to my father by giving him a cup of zocoatl.
Maru's mom is from Mexico. The culture of Mexico is a bit different from Guatemalaís. Their food is a bit different too. Iíve spent many hours at Maru's parentís house eating Mexican food. Maru's mother made a cup of zocoatl once while we were eating as a love token for Maruís father. It felt good for me to realize that Maru's family kept the same tradition of the chocolate drink.
I sat on the couch in Maruís living room, studying a script. Maru had invited me to his place. I guessed it was so we could exchange our Valentines chocolates. I had given Maru a large bar of the best Guatemalan chocolate I could find. It's imported and cost me quite a bit. This was the first time that I had tried to get the cocoa beans that was needed for the drink. They had to be from Guatemala I knew. But I couldn't get them in time.
Maru didn't give me his chocolate right away. Instead he smiled at me, and told me to wait for him. Then he disappeared into the kitchen.
Maru came out of the kitchen thirty minutes later, carrying a single mug of something. I assumed it was what he always drank, coffee. He took a long drink of it as he looked into my eyes. When he pulled the cup from his lips his lips were stained brown like the drink. Then he pressed the mug into my hands. Then in Spanish, he said; "Please my love drink."
I looked into the cup, at the dark foamy drink that now half filled the cup. I could smell the spices that were in the drink, the vanilla, the chili pepper. Maru had given me the chocolate drink. I took the mug in both hands, and I drank. The drink was bitter, spicy. But this time the drink wasn't bitter like a once sided love. It was spicy, the way love always is.
When the cup was drained, I handed it back to Maru, who set it on the end table. Then I spoke the words that I knew would change our lives forever. The words in Spanish meant my feelings for him. "Te amo."
"Te amo tambien. Mi amor." Maru smiled at me as he told me in Spanish that he loved me too. Then he came to me, kissing my lips for the first time. His lips tasted as spicy as the drink he had made for me.
My relationship with Maru changed that Valentine's Day. It went from beyond friendship, beyond family to beyond just lovers. We have a tie that would never tear us apart. A love that had begun with a simple cup of chocolate.