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The Same Deep Water As You

by Solo & Jo

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Chapter 45

 

Wednesday 04 March

"I have the key," Jin says, resisting the urge to pat down his bag for proof. He knows he's got the key. The pretty girl on the seat opposite smiles at him.

"It's just traffic," Kame is saying. "I'll be as quick as I can, there's just one short thing left when we get in, they already cancelled an interview. Just make yourself at home, okay? You know how it all works? You got the code?"

"I have the code," Jin repeats, starting to feel like he's in a spy movie. "And the key. And I know how your light switches work. It'll be fine."

"Okay. Okay, great. I'll be quick."

"Don't get in an accident."

"I'm not driving! Okay, I have to go – see you later?"

"Yes, sure." He still hears a woman's voice talking to Kamenashi-san before Kame rings off. Jin flips his phone shut. It's all good. He can totally let himself into Kame's apartment. He's got a key.

It's half past eight and the subway is a busy mix of people stumbling home from the office or already dressed up for a night out. The girl opposite is in a tiny skirt with big fluffy boots underneath. After the phone call she's stopped trying to catch his eye.

He hopes Kame's not too stressed. There seemed to be a lot of useless waiting around when he called earlier to remind Jin about the key.

Jin pats the bag down after all and grins at himself.

Then it's his stop. Not many people getting off here and he's mostly alone in the street, huddling under his umbrella to protect his hair and feeling a singing lightness in his step.

Letting himself in is just as easy as Kame's been telling him. The outside gate works with the laser thing on the keyring. On the upper landing he keeps an eye out for nosy neighbours, not that he'd really know what to say; but Kame has sensible tenants who don't get out on balconies in the rain. Then he dumps the umbrella in Kame's hallway and scrambles to kick off his shoes, because even though Kame said he's got a minute, the last thing they need is unexpected police intervention.

He punches in the security code and yes, there's the green light, and Jin breathes easy and finally stops to have a look around. Kame's apartment without Kame. It looks kind of weird.

And tidy. Even the coffee cup in the sink is already rinsed. Not that Jin expected a big mess, he knows Kame too well by now. But it makes him look out for the little things that are out of place, show somebody actually lives here even if he's a compulsive neat freak.

He doesn't really know what to do with himself, anyway. Standing around watching the neatness isn't what Kame meant by comfortable either.

A stack of papers on the corner table by the couch, not quite neatly aligned, turns out to be the script for the first three episodes of that cook drama. Jin tries to remember when it starts, but can't. Soon, anyway. Maybe he should make himself a little calendar with Kame's schedule. Only then things like tonight happen and it all gets messed up anyway.

He grins at the badly folded t-shirt on the bed. Going by the faint stains on the front, Kame was using it for cooking last night. Or eating, at least. He feels like a private detective – or maybe spy, after all – when he picks it up and tries to identify what it was. Oil, maybe. It doesn't smell of anything, except of Kame's deodorant.

Okay, if anybody saw him standing and sniffing Kame's used t-shirt, they'd rightly think he was a little strange.

He straightens out the corners as he puts it down.

More papers on the table, this time with signatures and figures and… oh. Jin steps away as soon as it's sunk in, but by then it's of course too late, and he really feels like a spy and not in the good way. It's not his business to know how much Kame gets for a single suit commercial.

The cook is safer; the cook will be fun, and he'll be able to imagine Kame in those scenes and later see if he got it right. With the script in hand and his feet up on the couch, he settles for the wait. It shouldn't be long.

Kame's ringtone starts in his pocket just as he's realizing he isn't used to reading stuff with stage directions. "Hi," he says, trying not to rustle the papers.

"Hi!" comes Kame's relieved voice. "Where are you, are you at home?"

"Yeah, and nothing exploded when I tried to get in. Where are you?"

"Somewhere… on a gridlocked highway in the mist." Kame sounds resigned. "Stuck behind a truck, I can't see what's going on, our driver is teaching us lots of new words."

That doesn't sound good. "More delay, then?"

"Right now, I don't even know how much. Traffic channel says there was an accident and they're clearing it off, then we have to get moving again…"

"You were supposed to be filming something now, weren't you?"

"Yeah, VTR, that's been postponed, too." There's a hint of frazzled in Kame's voice; Jin can imagine how frustrated he'll be. "We'll do it as soon as I get in."

"Okay," Jin says. "Don't worry about me, I'm okay here. Very comfortable." He stretches out on the couch as if to prove it, and maybe Kame can hear the soft slide on the leather.

"There's some Chinese in the fridge, and the housekeeper puts meals in the freezer," Kame says. "You should eat something."

"Hm," Jin says. He's still okay, they would normally not have eaten before now, anyway. "I'll check it out when I get hungry."

"Do," Kame says. "And you know you can—" There's a pause. "You know how the DVD player works, and how to turn the heating up, right?"

Jin grins. "Little remote controls everywhere. I think I can manage."

"Okay." Another pause, it's like Kame is thinking… and of course he's thinking, he's in a car full of people, talking to his sex date. They probably think he's on the phone to his wife.

"I know you can't say much," Jin says quickly. "But really, don't worry, I'm fine here and I don't mind waiting."

This time he's sure he hears a smile in Kame's voice. "Okay. I'm glad. I'll keep in touch, let you know how it's going."

They ring off. So… okay. Probably at least another hour. Good thing he has a script to finish.

*~*~*

When he puts the pages down half an hour later the room feels entirely too dimly lit. He also remembers that Kame usually locks the door. Right, better do that.

On his way to the door he puts the script back where it was and puts Sunday's newspaper on top just so he's not suddenly reminded. That cook is a very worrisome guy, with the knives and the ominous revenge talk.

Just as he turns the key and puts the bolt in place, there is an approaching metallic screech, holy fuck— oh, right. The neighbours and their awning. Jin shakes his head. Never got around to that oil job, apparently.

He takes a deep breath and puts the shoes and the umbrella he left in a hurry in a slightly more orderly state. And then he finds the remote to let the blinds down, because it's dark outside.

While he's standing, he considers the drinks cabinet. But it's only a little tempting; and not a good idea when he hasn't even eaten yet. He'll wait.

He told Tomo about the Drambuie, without mentioning Kame of course, but Tomo laughed and said there wasn't much call for something like that in a bar like his. Jin hadn't even meant it like that - he's happy for this to be a drink he only has with Kame and nowhere else.

But he didn't say that to Tomo, either, even though things have been fine between them, really fine. It's just polite, to keep Kame off Tomo's radar when Tomo doesn't like him, and Jin's sure Kame prefers it that way, too.

They tried out that song Jin wrote last week, and it was okay, they got some cheers, but they were also pretty wobbly still. Would have helped if Jin hadn't written the second half in such a hurry that he barely knew some bits himself, if Tomo hadn't had to more-or-less sight-read it after a cramped rehearsal in the office. Tomo made himself a photocopy of the music and they'll sound better tomorrow.

He gets his phone out, slides it open again. He's replied to three mails from Tomo today already, and they keep coming. Jin really needs to remember to turn off his phone when he's with clients these days. Thanks to Tomo he'd be buzzing all the time.

"Konbachiwa!" the latest one starts, like the dozens before it. "Eating noodles now. Oodles of noodles." He's found an emoji that looks suspiciously like green strands of ramen, or maybe it's wool and you're supposed to use your imagination. "Eat-all-you-can at the Ramen Palace. Tomorrow too, go before bar?" The one before that asks what the coffee's like at the café where Jin waited for their last rounds of mails. Sometimes he loses track of all the conversations they're having at once.

"Double espresso decent, resisted banana muffin, but music too low milk foamers too loud. You practicing for tomorrow?" he types back, hits send, then remembers the oodles of noodles and thinks that's exactly how things get all confused. He considers. He can't have all noodles, all the time, but eat-all-you-can is a good deal if he skips lunch. And one good thing about stuffing your face with the guy in charge, nobody's going to make them go on while they're still feeling fat and immobilized.

"Ramen Palace tomorrow sounds good!" he writes. "Around six?"

There is another mail in which Tomo describes a lady's peculiar shopping, and by the time Jin has commented on the seven pineapples he's no longer worried about odd shadows or the corners of the room he can't see. It's Kame's room, Kame's couch, and at the other end of his e-mails is his friend.

Then he nearly jumps out of his skin when the phone rings just as he's putting it down. Kame. "Hey," he says softly, smiling already. "Don't you have work to do?"

"I do!" Kame sounds less stressed. The background noises are different too. "And it looks like I'm finally getting to do it, we just got in. Everybody's run for the toilets after we were stuck in a minibus for two and a half hours. So I thought this was a good opportunity…"

Jin makes his best straight face at the phone. "You make the most amazing sacrifices to keep me informed."

"Absolutely." No, not just less stressed – positively bouncy. "I got the assassin, by the way."

Oh wow. "Hey, congratulations!" Jin knows a lot about the assassin now, Kame has seen to that. Last time, it was speculation about whether he got on with his father, over deluxe sushi. "That's great!"

"My agent called me earlier. It's not supposed to be public yet, but, well." There's a big smile in Kame's voice. "Anyway, so I had to wait for a chance to tell you."

And waiting until he got home would just not have worked. Jin pictures Kame bursting with the news and grins.

"That's really cool," he says. "I know how much you wanted that one."

"I sure did!" Kame is grinning too. "So, have you eaten?"

"What?"

"Have you—"

"No," Jin says. "I wasn't hungry."

"But it's late," Kame says, suddenly so mournfully that Jin has to bite his lip not to laugh at him.

"I wasn't hungry. I'll eat when I get hungry, okay? So… you'll be another half hour now?"

"Once our manager is, well, back, she's going to talk to the production people for the VTR. It's pretty tight now for getting it done at all, so with luck we'll just rush through it in one take and then, yeah, I'll be done."

"Sounds good."

"Sounds wonderful," Kame says, and for a moment Jin thinks he can hear the exhaustion in his voice. "I'll get the driver to take me home, but that's still going to be another… well, almost hour." He sighs. "Do me a favour?"

"Of course," Jin says. "What?"

"Eat something."

Jin wants to laugh, he's already taken a breath, but— maybe he can take that at least off the list of things Kame has to worry about.

"I'll have the Chinese," he says, and feels bad when Kame sounds so grateful.

"Great. You'll find the rice?"

"I'll find the rice," he vows. "Good luck with the recording. And don't let the driver get you in an accident either."

"I'll tell him to be careful," Kame promises, and then he has to run.

Okay, rice; rice-maker; Chinese.

Kame's fridge is just as neat as the rest of the apartment, surprise surprise. Jin goes through several cupboards and ends up shaking his head at the size of Kame's kitchen, but also with the rice doing its thing in the rice-maker and something yellow containing chicken heating up in the microwave.

It feels strange while he waits, turning Kame's little triangular saltshaker, wondering if his wife bought it. Wondering how often Kame calls his wife when he's late.

And then no longer wondering stupid things because he's not stupid.

Right, there's the ping. It smells delicious, and maybe Kame was right, maybe it was time to eat.

*~*~*

The prosecutor's in the middle of a speech that overwhelms the smug business tycoon's defense with its logic and slaughters it with its passion. Jin smiles to himself. He pulls his socked feet up under him. It's warm enough, really, except for his nose and his toes. He doesn't quite trust himself with all those remotes.

He has a dishtowel on his lap for eating, and the chicken leftovers are good. He even has a bit more rice than he should because he's enjoying the drama and this is comfortable and relaxing. The only way it would be better is if he could stick his feet under Kame's legs for warmth.

Assassins. More creepy stuff. Jin grins to himself. At least the dreary workday got Kame some good news.

The prosecutor looks heroic and extremely pretty over a grim stack of files, defending his perseverance to an evil or misguided boss.

Reaching out for his drink, Jin wonders if Kame would lend him the DVD for the rest of the episodes. He didn't dare open any of Kame's wines for fear he'd waste the grand magic year of grape so-and-so, but he's having a beer.

Then the phone rings. Jin shakes his head before he even picks up.

"Hey," Kame says. He sounds sad.

Jin sits up carefully, putting the rice bowl on the table. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, fine. I'm doing… there was a photo thing earlier that got cancelled and now we're doing it after all, and I won't do the VTR, I'll do it live, and this is going to take forever."

"Oh. Are you… when is this thing, how long is it on?" "

"Starts eleven-thirty. I'm on for fifteen minutes about ten minutes in. It'll be midnight before I get out of here."

"Oh, that sucks."

Kame laughs a little. "Yeah. It kind of does. So listen."

This can't be good. "Listening." No, he can guess.

"If you'd rather be at home instead of bored at my place—"

Mr Predictable. "I'm not bored."

"Yeah, but… I'd understand, I promise. This can't be fun for you."

"I ate all your leftovers. And half your rice," Jin says quickly. "And I'm watching your drama and my feet are warm." Well, they will be. He'll try the remote after all. "I'm very full and very okay."

It's like he can feel Kame hesitate through the radio waves. "Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. If you want to get rid of me, you'll have to say so straight out."

"I don't want to get rid of you."

"Well, there we are. So get to your—"

"Yes, I have to." Suddenly Kame sounds urgent. "There's… yeah, I have to go. Later, then."

"Later," Jin says, but the click cuts him off.

*~*~*

So he's got about two and a half hours now, and, well. It's late. It's late enough that normal people would get comfortable, really comfortable, not sit around at home in slacks and a good shirt. It's also late enough that Jin's last shower was almost half a day ago – will have been half a day ago by the time Kame comes home, and in between there were subway rides and prodding doctors. So.

He's brought sweatpants and a hoodie. And he knows Kame's shower well enough by now.

Somehow it's weird again, getting naked here all by himself, and he double-checks the door though he still remembers locking it. He also puts all the lights on, never mind global warming. It's friendlier that way.

Kame's shampoo and shower gel are soothing and familiar and he spends longer under the shower than he has to, just enjoying. Whenever he's showered here Kame was waiting outside, so he never took any time to experiment with the spray thing and the bit that massages his neck. It's really quite nice, once you know how not to get mauled.

The thing with the remote worked, and the living room is cozy and warm when he gets out at last, wrapped up in a towel with another one around his hair.

And that's of course when he hears the scratching at the… window? He almost didn't yelp at all there, nope, just had a moment where he thought very very fast and cat. He eases his grip on the towel. And there the scratching is again.

It can wait, he decides. He's not going to open the window for a fanged psychopath when he's not even got clothes on yet. Where did he put his clothes again?

Two minutes later he's dressed in fleece and soft cotton, has a new towel around his head against the cold, and opens the window cautiously. He saw the cat biscuits in the fridge, and he recognized the cat bowls when he was hunting for the rice earlier. So that's all easy.

"I don't like you," he says to the cat, after he's gingerly pushed out the bowl for her and quickly pulled his hand back. "I'm just putting up with you because he does."

The cat looks at him, and proceeds to crunch on crunchy things.

Now he's probably supposed to be grateful he's being ignored, not clawed. Whatever.

He clears his dinner stuff away, keeping an eye on the crunching outside the window. At some point the cat turns leisurely before waddling away, and Jin quickly gets the bowl in before lowering the blinds again. That's better.

At least he can tell Kame the cat didn't suffer for his absence either.

*~*~*

"Hey," Kame says. Jin's not laughing anymore; he can just about restrain himself from petting the phone.

"Hi. How are you doing?"

"Fine. I shook hands with the last living son of Saigou Takamori."

"Not bad." Jin fishes for the remote and pauses the episode. "Any more scheduling news?"

"No, not really. I'm waiting to go on the live feed now. I just wanted to know how you were."

"I'm great," Jin says instantly. "Warm. Comfortable." He thinks. Kame doesn't sound in a rush. "I tried out some different shower settings and now I'm watching the rest of your law drama."

"Good," Kame says fervently. "Comfortable is good."

"Do you have to get up early tomorrow?"

"No, thank fuck."

"Good, I'm glad. We can sleep in. I don't have to be anywhere until the Open Mic tomorrow night, we can sleep all day!" God, it would be wonderful, a whole day, just them…

Kame laughs faintly. "That sounds tempting, but I think if I don't show up at the studio after lunch, they might send somebody round to get me."

"Ah," Jin says, "okay. That would be bad. Guess we'll just have to figure out a compromise."

"Do that. I'm in your hands," Kame says, sounding a little formal and a little more cheerful. And then he says, "I have to go. There are always… there are people who want to speak to me. I should speak to them." There's almost a giggle. "What I'm doing, it's not polite."

"I see," Jin says.

"So, I'll leave you to… maybe you should have a nap or something. I'll only call if there's going to be another delay and I don't make it back until June."

"Yeah, okay," Jin says, glancing at the TV guide beside him which tells him exactly what channel Kame is going to be on in fifteen minutes. "Good luck!"

"Thank you. See you later." And off he goes again.

Jin watches ten more minutes of the episode before he gets himself another beer and curls up in the corner of the couch while a bunch of Hokkaido talk show people make a big fuss over getting to interview Kame via live feed and talk at great length about their nerves, though Jin thinks the most nervous one is the young chick who doesn't actually say anything.

Right, there's… stars or something, and a promo montage of Kame handling a sword and looking manly while standing half-dressed in two feet of snow. Jin shivers.

The TV guide still says VTR but here is Kame, live and smiling brightly, waving through the camera at a squealing studio audience and the wider TV public like he's just had the most relaxing afternoon. At least there's no snow.

He doesn't look too tired, Jin thinks. And he's cute, getting bashful when the hosts heap praise on him and are amazed he took time out of his schedule for them. The young one is bright red when she asks him where he's been promoting his movie.

Kame says he got the chance to spend the whole afternoon at some castle, and they were slightly delayed by rain, which is why he asked to come on live. An older guy in the studio who seems to be another guest is laughing.

"At least I can defend myself if you start telling outrageous stories about me," he says. Kame laughs in return and waves it off like he would never dare, looking far more innocent than he really is. But the old guy seems to like the reverence. Jin finds him a little smug.

Apparently they were in a school drama together and Kame was meant to comment on this guy's new film as a boxing instructor. But now that they've got him there to answer questions the hosts don't ask a single question about boxing, and are far more interested in how much Kame suffered from the rain and how he manages not to catch cold with his schedule like that. Jin hopes they let him dry his hair at least and let him have blankets and hot tea.

Okay, Kame's suggesting whisky, "for those old enough." That would work too. Jin tugs his feet between the sofa cushions and thinks of other ways to warm up. Also for those old enough. He laughs a little to himself. At least it won't take much longer now.

Kame is praising his colleagues now. "You don't really know your co-stars until you've been stuck in a damp minibus with them for a few hours," he adds with a wink at the shy host, who promptly forgets what she was going to say. Everyone was such a good sport, everyone worked really hard… Jin is reminded of Kame's praise for the pregnant lady. But he likes seeing Kame so enthusiastic, even if it keeps him late. It'll be okay when they can sleep in.

It's Kame who brings it back to the old guy's movie, and the old guy raises his chin and looks even more smug. Jin really doesn't like him. There's a dramatic ring scene with split lips and cut cheeks, and a lot of manful endurance.

Jin never got the point of boxing. But Kame seems so enthusiastic, it could almost be baseball.

It goes on for a while, and it would be boring if not for Kame, who must really like this part of his job almost as much as the acting or he couldn't be so good at it. Better than the hosts, in Jin's opinion. He's relaxed, and still excited, and he manages to give everyone a compliment as they wind down. No wonder they like him on those shows.

Then he's gone. Something about girls in bunny costumes is next. Jin turns off the TV and stretches back. Good thing the stress and hassle is at least worth it, that Kame enjoys this sort of circus.

Suddenly he pictures Kame in funny red pants and outmaneuvering lions, and he laughs. Okay, maybe he's getting tired.

Another hour, give or take. At least there shouldn't be much traffic. And Jin can watch more TV, or maybe… maybe he could really take a nap. There's enough time.

He surveys the room but he didn't leave any mess. The lights are low and comfortable and he's going to leave them that way. And he eyes the couch and eyes the bed, and the bed feels a little weirder when Kame's not here but he might as well get a proper rest, so he doesn't go sleepy on Kame in an important moment. He smiles to himself and manages not to get embarrassed. Kame's really waited long enough.

He lies down on top of the tidy smooth sheets with his comfy clothes on, though. It's more nap-ish that way, less official. There's a faint scent of Kame, or something familiar at least. He curls up a little and thinks of calm things, happy things, like Kame still looking stylish and competent in a top hat and magicking bunnies around.

*~*~*

There's a bicycle crash outside the club, awfully loud and full of metal and… Kame's soft voice, going, "Oh," and Jin blinks his eyes open. Not a bicycle. He squirms upright while there are more soft noises coming from the hallway, something taking forever, and then Kame moves into view, sort of stepping over something but like his legs are not very experienced.

"Sorry," he says, "sorry, that was…" There's nothing else coming, just a faint shake of Kame's head and a deep sigh as he looks at the floor.

"Umbrella stand?" Jin guesses, the words all scratchy. He clears his throat. "I fell asleep."

"Yeah. Sorry about the umbrella." Kame is blinking at him too, and Jin wonders if he took a nap in the car.

"It will forgive you," Jin smiles. He pats over some of the wrinkles he made in the sheet. "Hi."

Kame makes it to the foot of the bed. "Hi." He stares around the room, though Jin's pretty sure he's not looking for a mess. "Did you… there was food, right? And it's warm?"

Jin nods. "All good. I ate, I showered, I slept. Stop worrying."

"I was just worried." He almost sounds a little drunk. Then he sighs again, and it's weird how good he looks with that blusher and eye makeup, more than Jin ever wears for anyone, and how Kame is disappearing behind it all, his eyes hazy and his voice drifting. "I'm so glad you waited." He looks it, too, like he's just found the door out of a maze and there's Jin waiting outside; that's how he looks at him.

It makes Jin feel a little woozy.

"Of course I waited," he says, slowly scooting forward on the bed. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Kame says. "All good. This day… it's been so long."

It's kind of cute, that word fight going on, only Jin's heart beats thickly for a guy who's so tired he can't even talk.

Kame drags his eyes over the wrinkled bed and then he stares at Jin again. "Is it okay if we just sleep?"

Jin almost laughs. It's so profound a request he's not even going to try to have suggestions. "Of course it's okay."

Kame sighs again in great relief. Yeah, definitely cute.

"I'll have to shower," Kame says, sounding like he's talking to himself, sounding reluctant. His hair is the same tidy shape as on TV, but duller and artificial-looking, fading perfection. Lots of gunk in there. "I'll do that now."

And then he stands there and doesn't move.

Jin doesn't even wait long. Kame gives him a curious look as he gets up from the bed, and remains vaguely puzzled until Jin is right in front of him, putting his hands on the sleeves of that two-hundred-thousand-yen suit.

"I'll help." Kame takes a breath, like he's dragging up some energy from somewhere, and Jin says quickly, "Just help."

Kame's shoulders sink, and he sighs again. "You don't have to."

"I know. But I know your shower, too. It's just waiting for a vulnerable moment so it can finish you off."

Kame laughs a little and obediently lifts his chin so Jin can fumble about with his tie. He's got his eyes closed.

It's weird, peeling Kame out of his clothes when neither of them is thinking about sex. It's weird peeling Kame out of his clothes, period, because when they are thinking about sex, Kame doesn't hang around waiting for Jin to… wait on him. Kame likes taking Jin's clothes off; likes unbuttoning his shirt and slipping his hand under the fabric and around Jin's back as he pulls him in and they can feel each other's hard-ons grow. They don't do it the other way round.

They aren't doing it now, either. But maybe…

Jin finishes with the buttons, gathering his courage, and then he just does it, slides his hands under, where Kame's skin is warm and a little clammy, and draws him close.

Kame just comes, just leans against him. Doesn't say a thing. Stands there and breathes and seems settled in for the night, while Jin's hand runs slow circles over his back.

So much for project shower, then. But Jin doesn't have the heart to move them on.

In the end it's Kame, who twitches sharply like somebody startled him out of a power-nap, only when he blinks up at Jin he doesn't look any more awake.

"If I don't have a shower now, I'll have to sleep on the couch." He makes a fumbly attempt at his fly, but his hands fall away as soon as Jin picks up where he left off. Belt, zip, pants, underwear, and Kame finishes with the socks himself while Jin holds him steady. Once he's drawn another deep breath he even walks in a straight line to the bathroom. Jin quickly strips off of his clothes and follows.

Kame is setting out a towel on the rim of the bathtub, all very orderly. He looks at Jin for a moment before he gets the point of the nudity. "You… really?"

"I said I'd help," Jin says. He holds the shower door open for Kame, and Kame is smiling a weird little smile when he lets Jin guide him inside.

They fit easily. Big millionaire-filmstar shower. Jin reaches around Kame and puts it on the gentle Jin-setting. No pummelling for anybody tonight. This morning. Whatever.

Kame exhales long and loud as he first gets soaked, just standing still. He looks around distractedly but Jin's got it covered, picking up the soft girly-blue sponge that might just have special skin care features.

There's a breath like Kame is about to say something, but then he doesn't. Jin starts on his shoulders.

"You really waited a long time," Kame mumbles. "I hope you weren't…" He obediently lifts his arms when Jin runs the sponge up his side, and ends up bracing himself against the wall. "…too bored."

"I really wasn't," Jin insists. He picks up the soap with its fine lavender smell, starts to work up some foam. "I watched your thing."

Kame tilts his head forward. It feels like a tired invitation, like he enjoys the circles Jin runs over his back. "Oh."

"You looked good. Like you had fun."

"Oh. I'm glad. That took some doing, so late… after that day…" And his back still feels tense, and Jin gets a little wistful realizing it wasn't real, just a good performance on a sucky night. "I just wanted to get home."

Jin steps closer and draws his arms around him, starts soaping down Kame's stomach. Kame says nothing for a while.

"Hey," Jin says eventually, "Kame. Is it okay… I deal with down there too? Or do you want to?"

Kame shakes his head very faintly, and with the way he's staying still and confined in Jin's arms Jin takes it as yes to the first, and slides a soapy hand down to Kame's dick.

It's a little weird to touch him there, like this, all practical and careful. Kame… Jin thinks he's leaning against him a little, but he's not hard, and not trying to be.

Jin lets him go when he's done there, but sticks close, resuming the circles with the sponge. Kame's probably clean by now, but it's so soothing, they're both so warm and Kame somehow manages to be dead weight standing up.

"You're so nice," Kame says, with his eyes closed. His make-up has started to run, watery black tracks and some blotches in the smooth concealer, and it would look a little creepy if Kame weren't such a giant ball of mush right now. "This is nice."

"I think so too," Jin says close by Kame's ear. "I think you have to wash your face yourself, though."

Kame sighs, rubbing at his eyes as he blinks them open. "You know. Everybody calls me Kame." He sounds like this is a very grievous thing.

Jin laughs, thinking that little less than two hours ago Kame was charming the pants off some TV host, and now here he is mumbling randomness and letting Jin soap off his dick. "What else should people call you?" he asks, angling for the shampoo.

"Not people," Kame complains and lets Jin spread the stuff through his wet gunky mess of hair. "I don't care."

Jin rubs carefully, wary of tangles, and something feels funny all of a sudden. "What else should I call you?"

"Kazuya," Kame says. "That's my name."

Jin doesn't stop massaging the shampoo into Kame's hair; it smells of pine, which goes nicely with the lavender. He doesn't get emotional or anything. "Okay," he says into Kame's neck. "I can do that. Kazuya."

Kame stretches his neck and makes a happy little sound.

They get his hair rinsed, and Jin carries on with the conditioner. Kame starts apologizing for being so much work. He needs a special gel for washing his face and he manages to focus enough to spread it around and not get it in his eyes. "Your skin is so nice," he says wistfully, and Jin gets close and just holds him, leaning his face into the bend of Kame's neck. Because he wants to.

Also gets him properly wet, which is better than being damp and dripping in random places. They rinse Kame's hair again and Kame gets the gel stuff off his face, and then that's pretty much it.

It's cold when they step out of the cubicle, and Jin quickly feeds Kame into his bathrobe and wraps the towel around his head. "Stay." He points at the edge of the bath. "Sit." Kame giggles softly while Jin quickly gets himself a big bath towel from the shelf. He should have remembered to bring his own bathrobe from the bedroom.

Once he's got the towel around his shoulders, things are better and he can concentrate on drying Kame off. Kame who's stayed, and is sitting, and doing nothing at all, a stray strand of hair dripping softly and leaving dark streaks on the blue-and-red cotton of his bathrobe.

"Will you catch a cold if we don't dry that?" he asks once he's towelled the hair as much as it will go, leaving it sticking up this way and that. Jin's is still wetter and just as bad.

"No, it's fine," Kame says heavily. Jin cards through the mess for a moment, and Kame holds just as still as before.

"We're going straight to bed, yes?" he asks. "You don't want a drink?" Kame shakes his head again. "Something to eat? Did you get food out there?"

Kame frowns. "There were sandwiches. A couple of times. Bento for lunch."

That doesn't sound good. "I could make something…"

"I'm not hungry now. Just tired."

Okay. "Okay. Bed then."

It's Jin who pulls back the covers; Kame just slumps down on the bed like all his muscles went on vacation. Jin smiles as he switches off the bedside lamp.

Naked and with wet hair, it feels strange at first, but they're both still warm; even from the other side of the bed Jin can feel Kame's body heat. He reaches out to touch but there's movement and then Kame is closer, and suddenly he's plastered against Jin and slumps, again.

Jin holds still. There's not even a question. Just a sigh, and more dead weight that smells of pine and lavender, and Kame's warm skin; Kame's arm wrapped possessively around him, and his damp hair cool on Jin's shoulder.

"It was raining all day," Kame says, his nose squished against Jin's chest.

Jin wants to laugh, but somehow it won't come out. He's not sure how tight to hold on. "Better now, isn't it?" he says.

"Yes, everything's better now," Kame agrees, and the weight gets a little bit deader. Jin carefully reaches up to pat the damp hair, tightening his arm around Kame's back; when Kame holds him he feels strong like this. Kame hums something wordless.

Good that they skipped the sleepwear, that they're touching all over. Kame seems to need it.

He wonders when Kame will let go. Draw back and figure that's the polite thing to do, apologize maybe; say good night in that cute sleepy voice.

But he doesn't. He doesn't even move.

If Jin teased him about it tomorrow he'd probably blush. Jin smiles and closes his eyes, his arm more securely around the poor sleep-deprived man. All good. This is good. He makes sure Kame's shoulders are covered by the blanket, and Kame doesn't stir.

 

Thursday 05 March

When Kame opens his eyes, Jin is lying chastely on the other side of the bed. Looking at him. Kame blinks fuzzily, remembering where he is, who's with him, and why the world is so warm and peaceful. Jin starts to smile.

"What," Kame says, and the smile turns wider. "Wait…" He pats in the general direction of his head and right enough… "My hair, right?"

Jin snorts a little giggle, and still his eyes are fixed on Kame's face.

"Yours looks no better," Kame says, but the hilarity is contagious. Also it's a lie. But he has to defend himself, sort of.

"Good morning," Jin says at last. From the light through the blinds Kame can tell it's a bright day outside, probably sunny. "Idiot, I'm not staring at your hair. I'm just watching you."

Oh. "What, why?"

"Because you're cute when you're asleep. Because I've been awake for an hour and it was the most fun thing around."

Kame's brain is still a little slow. Like his bones are sleepy, like he's done some crazy charity sports thing. Or maybe he's just a wimp. "Are you trying to make me blush?"

Jin stretches under the cover. "You're cute when you blush, too." But then he turns more serious. "How are you feeling today? Did you get enough sleep?"

"I'm good," Kame says. He could say much more, waking up like this. "Much better." He caterpillars a little closer, sneakily, and Jin laughs and does the same. "What time is it?"

"Morning," Jin says simply. He's tugging at the blanket so it doesn't fall like a barrier between them, probably also sneakily; definitely also failing at it.

"Do we need to watch the time?" Kame asks. They only talked about Kame last night… only cared about Kame… Kame thinks of Jin washing him and god, he feels his face get hot… but he wouldn't trade it in for anything either. "Do you need to be somewhere?"

"No." Jin smiles again. Under the blanket two fingers are marching up Kame's outer thigh all the way to his waist, and then Jin's hand slides onto his stomach as Jin moves close enough to stop the maneuvering. Has sneaked their way together. "Today's my day off, remember?"

Oh, right. That's… that's great. He can make Jin a nice breakfast.

Jin's hand is on his belly, just resting, his toes touching Kame's feet. "I can do whatever I want."

"Like stare at my hair?"

Jin grins evilly, poking him in the side. "Exactly." Then he runs his hand up to Kame's shoulder, unexpectedly, and cards two fingers through the strands, light and curious; they only catch a little on the mess. "I love it, actually," Jin says, very softly. "Your crazy hair."

Kame says nothing. Just… stays. Lets Jin focus on his hair. Doesn't even blink.

"What colour is the cook going to have?" Jin asks finally.

God, it's wonderful they don't have to get up. Can just lie here and chat about hair. "I'll find out next week," Kame says. "He's a serious person in the service industry, so I might get lucky, stick with this colour." He knows Jin likes it. "At least I doubt they'll make me dye it blond."

"The prosecutor hair was also quite nice," Jin considers. Dark brown, Kame remembers.

He nods. "Could be something like that." He grins at Jin. "I'll send you an e-mail as soon as I know."

Everything cook-related is on hold until this week is over; until the samurai movie has premiered and the bulk of the promotion is over. He was so lucky to have Jin here last night.

"I haven't told you about this new thing yet," he says with a pleased smile. "I've been asked to do a campaign for a designer company. Their suits line." He has a hunch the name wouldn't mean much to Jin. "I'd be like their image model, so it would be repeat stuff. Once or twice a year, whenever they release something special."

"Mmm," Jin says. His fingers are still tangled in Kame's hair, but now they've stilled. "The thing was lying on the table when I got in yesterday. I just kind of… read it. Without thinking. And then I felt guilty and now it's hidden under your cook script."

Kame laughs. "Just as long as I find it again in time for signing it."

Jin's smile looks a little relieved, and then Jin stretches up and kisses… his temple, or maybe his hair, kind of hard to tell, but the next kiss is on his cheek, and Jin's on some sort of trajectory here.

Kame squirms a little at the one below his ear, that place can be intense if it's… but Jin calms him with a hand on his chest, and settles again, to nuzzle his shoulder and bicep a little aimlessly.

"So good not to have to get up," he says.

Yeah.

Jin has pulled the blankets up to both their shoulders, wrapping them in a little tent. It feels secret again, a morning like this when nothing happened on the night before and they just get… something different. This time they're even touching.

Jin is absorbed by his collarbones. Trying to tickle him again, perhaps. Kame's lack of responsiveness is a constant source of fascination. Kame raises an inquisitive eyebrow under Jin's teasing fingertips and Jin giggles.

"This is great," he says.

Kame grabs Jin's hand and mock-bites those fingertips. "Very. Next time we should set the alarm extra early so we can do this on a normal morning too."

Jin, expectedly, thumps him on the shoulder, then covers it with the blanket again, and it's Kame's turn to laugh.

He's hard, a little; he hopes Jin won't notice. It's just normal, not like Jin is doing anything seductive. Just the mood and the warmth, the way Jin feels to his skin when he's just woken up.

Jin shuffles closer, to soothe his horrible assault on Kame's shoulder with another kiss. Kame considers crossing his legs just so… it's the morning, and Jin shouldn't even have to think about these things.

But Jin's already stilled, just briefly before gently rocking against the offending body part.

"Sorry," Kame says. "Just ignore?" he adds hopefully.

Of course Jin lifts the cover to completely not-ignore.

"Is this a real one," he enquires, "or just a morning woody?"

Kame laughs. "I'm in bed with you, dummy, what do you think it is?"

"Hmm." Jin tilts his head thoughtfully, and Kame feels the mood slipping away, and he doesn't want that, he wants this

"No. Jin. I didn't mean that. Not like that. This was just nice, it does that when things are nice."

Jin smiles a little bit. His hands are still warm and sure, settling on Kame's waist. "Nice is good," he says, a little drifty-sounding. "I like nice."

"Yeah, me too," Kame says, with the weirdest urge to just pull Jin to him and never let go, not for sex or breakfast or stupid lunch meetings. Instead he brushes hair out of Jin's face that didn't need brushing, and smiles.

Jin looks at him just as intently, and then pushes against him, down below where Kame is trying to ignore things.

"Jin. Really. You don't have to make up for my schedule yesterday."

"I know. I'm not." There's one more of the little thrusts; cautious and sweet, and Jin is only sort of smiling, half-tickling Kame's side now. Distractedly. Then he meets Kame's eyes. "Can we?" he asks, not taking his hands away. "I'd like to."

Kame blinks. He's… they've… Jin's always so keen Kame gets what he needs… But Jin is biting his lip, hiding another grin. "I can do what I want," he reminds Kame, and yeah. It's his day off.

He doesn't think, just pulls Jin in, for a very improvised kiss it turns out, and Jin is laughing against his mouth and pushing their hips more snugly together.

"See?" he points out. "I've got one too. Still a little one, so we have to make it grow."

Kame ends up laughing helplessly, shaking more than he's doing anything constructive; it's Jin who gets a little shallow rhythm going for them, and that fits too, Kame thinks, Jin wants him too.

He doesn't know why he's so thrown, when he's always known… always told himself… always made sure that Jin could like it too.

Jin's slowing. Looking at him with sudden uncertainty. "Is this okay with you?"

And that brings Kame to his senses. The right ones, he hopes, but he can only hope, he's got to trust Jin on this. "Yes. You have no idea how okay. Just…" He needs to get— his stupid arm is in the way, but with some twisting he gets there, gets them half embraced, with enough room for a couple of hands to get fancy where it's most needed.

Jin nibbles at his lower lip, and even that… there's something stealthy about it. "Hi," he says when he's let go.

"What do you want?" Kame says. "What would you like?"

"Hmm," Jin says again. "Just… this? More?"

More is closer. That works, that's… appreciated, and Kame likes it too, all slow and sort of aimless. And slow is good, is for… for enjoying, for savouring. For waiting, letting Jin take what he wants.

Jin wants things. From him.

It's a kind of turn-on he doesn't even remember. He wants to pull the blanket up and hide this all away.

Only it's getting quite warm. The things Jin wants include soft little kisses, and Kame's hands in his hair, their hips pressed together without urgency.

Jin gives a happy little hum. Kame could say all sort of things, all those things about how good Jin feels or how much he likes this, but at some point he gets his brain to stop spinning and come to rest in the present, one kiss at a time, one little shiver.

"I note some growth?" he says when he feels up to being funny, wriggling his hips.

Jin makes a serious face. "I think our efforts are not in vain," he concludes, and starts nuzzling his neck, and Kame lets go of all his clever answers, is drifting into the sensation, when there's a sudden loud beep behind Jin.

Jin jumps, losing balance and rolling on his back. Shit, the alarm.

"Is it that late? Do you have to go?" He sounds quite sad.

It's nine.

"Oh god," Kame realizes, randomly patting Jin where he can reach him. "That's from two days ago, that… oh god that must have been beeping half the morning yesterday."

"Well, turn it off!"

"It's on your side!"

Jin props himself up on his elbows in a way that looks like he'd rather be hiding under the cover. "But how—"

"Just hit it. On the top. There's a button."

Jin grins as he turns for the nightstand. "You are pushy," he says, hitting the thing and hitting it again when it doesn't work, "when you're horny in the morning."

As a comment, Kame gives him a little push that makes him drop on his stomach, and Jin's still laughing as he fumbles for the right button. At last the beeping stops. Jin drops his head in relief.

Kame really likes his shoulders. And his back, and the nape of his neck, and the way his hair falls like that…"That was competent," he remarks, shifting until he covers Jin halfway and kisses him right below his neck.

"Hey!" Jin protests. "That was your— Mmmm."

Kame opens his mouth a little more, swirls his tongue around. "I meant shared competence," he offers with a cooling breath of air.

Jin is shaking a little. Laughing. "Sharing's okay," he says. "I'm all for… good team work."

Kame stretches to bring the kisses up to Jin's hairline. "Are you ticklish there?"

Jin's head drops a little heavier into the pillow. "Hmm, where?"

Kame nuzzles his way along, little licks he can feel in the way Jin squirms under him. "Here."

"Hmmm… where?"

Kame bites him, and he can feel Jin laughing quietly. "N— not ticklish as such," Jin says, a little breathless.

Kame tries another nibble just below the first one. "Would that be in a good way…" And another one, lower down. "…or in a bad way?" His skin is tingling from Jin's tiny movements, the little shifts and starts under him which aren't about Kame's hard-on, aren't for anyone but himself.

"In… a way I could get used to," Jin decides. There's a smile in his voice. "With sufficient practice…" He trails off in a contented little hum again.

"I could practice… over here…" Kame leaves the biting and lets his mouth go soft and Jin stops joking, just relaxes.

He feels so smooth, and smells warm and familiar; and he looks gorgeous, Kame rarely gets a chance to see him like this. And when Jin's legs spread a little it's just so Kame has more room to balance and move; just so he can get more from Kame, more long slow kisses that make him all slack and happy. No trying to please, just taking, just because…

He likes it when Kame nuzzles along the bottom of his shoulderblades, pushing soft skin against the edges of bone, but he likes it even better when Kame's mouth traces the bumps in his spine one by one, warming them up and cooling them with a breath. Kame's moving down as needed, though eventually he should watch that he doesn't fall off the end of the bed. Just as well he bought a big one.

His soft sheets are starting to chafe a bit against his dick, and he knows what that means; of course, when there's a sharp little twitch every time Jin squirms drowsily into his touch… Jin's stopped talking long ago but his little hums and breaths say that Kame is doing things right here, his slack heavy limbs are just inviting him to continue.

A bit like a cat, Kame thinks, though Jin wouldn't like hearing that. A happy cat who might just be about to fall asleep.

Kame smiles into a kiss. It's nice Jin won't bite.

He shifts down again, running one hand smoothly, slowly down Jin's side, slipping it under a little until Jin's hipbone stops him. Jin twitches, and Kame remembers that it's tickly there; keeps his fingers very still while kissing wet distraction where Jin's ribs stop.

He wonders if Jin is hard, too. But if Jin wanted him to do anything about it, he'd say so. He's sure of that, and that's wonderful.

He shifts lower still as he works his way down into the dip in Jin's spine, and back up on the other side, Jin's buttocks smooth and firm, brushing against his chin. Jin's purring happily and Kame finishes up on his tailbone, and he wonders, for a moment, and he licks on a little, beyond the edge, and on down a little more, and Jin goes quite, quite still.

Kame stays where he is, just laps there slowly one more time, a little inoffensive circle.

And Jin's whole body… easing up, his legs falling wider apart, permission or invitation or both, and Kame doesn't even give himself time to think that he has no idea what he's doing.

It's a reach, a bit, and for a moment he wonders if the tip of his tongue is tickling Jin, before he brings his hands up to help, to spread Jin open just a little so he can advance, by slow moist millimeters, swirling his way down towards the center.

Jin's making tiny movements under him, ripples of motion urging him on, and Kame feels evil for taking it slow and enjoying it that way.

When he's finally there, when he presses his tongue against wrinkled skin for the first time, Jin shudders and exhales forever.

"You are so, so crazy." It's just a whisper, but he's turned his head and when Kame squints up, he can see the smile on his face. But his eyes stay closed, and his legs part further, and Kame takes that as his cue to get a better grip and make himself more room, hold Jin open as wide as he can.

Much easier; much more room to swirl and lap, to get everything properly wet and twist the tip of his tongue down and down – and Jin is panting, and squirming, and every jab of Kame's tongue brings a little "oh", and that's… new, Jin doesn't do this, Jin's quiet. Jin's always quiet.

Only not now. Now there are gasps and gulps and hot little whimpers when Kame tries to push deeper into the heat, and Jin tries to help, to buck into his touch, and whatever Kame does is good and he wants more and maybe… maybe if he…

He brings in his fingertips, pushes in gently with two, not far, just enough to let his tongue dip down more easily, and—

Jin sobs and jerks up against him. "Oh god… oh god that…" He's moving again and Kame holds him down, open, stronger wider circles, and Jin is writhing under him and it's unbearably hot, and unbearably wonderful and Jin's voice is soft whispers and moans and…

"Please…" Jin babbles, high and choked, and suddenly Kame is coming, just like that against the sheets when he didn't… he wasn't… he's got no time for this, and he breathes and continues, jittery pulses fading below and Jin squirming in his hands at every soft lick, wanting more from every tease, and Kame wonders what else he can get him to say.

It's all good, he can tell, but there are different ways of good and there's crazy good and cozy good and it's a funny thought, that he's learning how to do this right for Jin and that a particular way of twisting his tongue will make him clench his fists and cant his hips and beg for more as if he's never been ashamed…

And finally one of those times, Kame lets go with one hand and slides it under and finds Jin's erection, thick and hot in his hand, and he fumbles until he's got the grip that works, his thumb just there, and then he finds a rhythm. Jin knows better than to move much and that's hot, too, to feel him trapped between Kame's hand and his tongue, to feel him shaking with helpless control, to hear him whimper and pant and gasp and finally sob when the struggle ends and he stills, and Kame catches the wetness with his hand.

Jin doesn't move. Kame gives another tentative little lap, and the noise Jin makes sounds approving and happy. But then he flops flat on the bed with a huffy breath, trapping Kame's hand underneath him.

Kame lifts away with a few fading licks, the warm curve of Jin's buttocks still under his palm. He leaves a kiss there and then rests his head for a moment. The sort of peck in the sort of place that would feel silly to him if he cared. He wants to giggle.

He can see Jin breathe, his back wide and shining with sweat. That was… a good idea. Pretty amazing.

Then Jin shifts, clumsily and not very far. "Kame?" He sounds drowsy and just a little bit questioning.

For a fleeting moment Kame wonders. If it's all okay, if he did okay. He knows, now clearer than ever before… Jin's always so careful. And Kame hopes he won't feel awkward now, about moving like that or making those sounds or being simply… amazing.

"Right here," he says, and Jin's reaching down and randomly groping around until he's found Kame's untrapped hand and twined their fingers together.

Kame smiles and gives a little squeeze. Then he remembers and gives the nearest bit of skin a nippy bite. "Kazuya."

"Kazuya," Jin repeats, smiling and a little bit lazy, like he's settling into the sounds. There's a tug on his hand. "Come up here, Kazuya." He magnanimously lifts his hips so Kame can escape.

Once he's up there he lands about as gracefully as Jin. Jin is grinning at him under very desperate hair, still flushed, sweaty wherever Kame can see. He opens his mouth but then says nothing. "Hmmm." His arm slides over Kame's side; Kame can feel he's careful with his weight.

"Hmmm?" Kame says teasingly, curling in a little.

Jin looks him up and down slowly. Two fingers are doodling something or other on Kame's back. His voice is low, almost breathless. "That was thank you."

Kame just smiles. Nothing funny is coming to him.

Jin's not moving, just that aimless little touch. Kame starts thinking about blankets and Jin's feet getting cold, then wants to laugh at himself.

Jin smiles along with him even though he's got no idea. "What about you?" he asks then. "What do you want?" He draws a little question mark on Kame's shoulder.

"Um," Kame says. "Actually." He feels a different sort of flush now, and Jin's eyes are narrowing, wondering. "I'm kind of okay, it kind of…" Was as refined as when he was thirteen. "Already happened."

Jin slants an intrigued look down that way, not that he can see much, and Kame confirms with a sheepish smile.

"Hey, I'd have helped out," Jin points out, sounding like he'd protest if he wasn't much too comfortable, and Kame laughs and tugs a strand of Jin's hair away from his eyes.

"How do you think that happened," he says, and whispers accusingly, "All your fault."

Jin blinks, and then a blush and a grin break over his face at once, and suddenly Kame is scooped up and plastered to Jin in a hug so tight he ends up holding his breath. Jin's kissing him, random and sloppy, face and mouth and throat and ears, and Kame's hands are trapped the wrong way and he's really too old to be manhandled, and he feels tingly and light all over.

He's never noticed how strong Jin is. Jin would totally win in a fight. Good thing they're not fighting. Good thing he can just hang in there and kiss the bits of Jin that become accessible.

At some point Jin lets him get his hands out but then he wraps him even tighter, burying his face in Kame's hair. "So crazy," he repeats.

*~*~*

They stay in bed as long as they can. Eventually Kame is allowed to breathe, though he's not even sure he needs to. He doesn't get tired of just lying here, feeling at ease and at home with Jin, now and then saying something sleepy about their week, their plans, that they should get a blanket. He could stay like this forever.

He can, in the real world, until about half past eleven, which his afternoon appointments insist is really the latest he can get up, especially if he's got egg plans for breakfast.

He rolls across Jin, pulls the blanket down and blows a kiss on his stomach. "I need to get up," he says. "And feed you."

Jin's stomach goes tight, a ticklish reflex, but he's smiling down. "Hmmm, food."

They didn't have any more sex. Kame wanted it again, with Jin so happy and close, but Jin was happy and didn't, he could tell, and it would have felt wrong to suggest it.

"Also, shower," he adds.

Jin's smile goes deeper. "Hmmm. Shower."

"I should even manage to wash myself this time," Kame ventures.

Jin looks up at him with dark, innocent eyes. "But would you want to?"

They don't have sex in the shower either. Mostly they get in each other's way, between the touching and the poking, and Kame takes his time trying to do a good job when he washes Jin's hair. They find a spot where he can trap Jin against the wall with his kisses and not drown either of them but he resists the temptation to reach down between them, careful to keep it chaste.

Kind of, anyway. And at some point Jin's stomach gives a very pointed growl.

Kame makes eggs, coffee and toast; puts croissants in the oven and makes sure they get all the good stuff out from the fridge. Jin is in his slacks and a t-shirt, his hair just brushed back, still wet, and he only mocks Kame a little for the size of the breakfast.

"I'm eating noodles tonight," Jin sighs while pondering if he should have a second croissant. "With some friends. Hmm."

Kame nudges the basket towards him but then leaves him in peace. It's sexier if he doesn't turn into his mother.

Friends. Because it's Jin's day off.

It was a co-incidence, of course, he knows that; just circumstances and delays and he wouldn't presume… but Jin could have left, last night, before he got home or even after, or they could have showered separately this morning and had a nice breakfast together and they could be putting the last dishes away like they are now and packing up their things, and Kame could never have gotten to touch Jin.

Least of all like that.

Jin's looking at him, his zipped-up bag in his hand, an unexpected smile on his face. "What?"

Kame hopes he doesn't look as goofy happy as he feels. "I should have time on Tuesday," he says constructively. "Can we put that in the diary?"

"Sure," Jin says at once. "I'll call it in today."

Calling in.

"Maybe if I…" Kame starts, still about Tuesday until the other thing catches up with him. Just because Jin made an exception for him, it doesn't mean… there are still rules and he could still pay for a comfort. "I mean, maybe I should call anyway, about… you know, because this was the morning and all…" It's the right thing to say and he's not sure why it feels like the wrong thing.

Jin has paused with his jacket half on. Pretty still, until the movements pick up cautiously.

"No," he says. He sounds neutral, looks calm. Very slow with his jacket's zipper. "I didn't think you had to call. Unless you'd prefer that."

"No!" Too fast, but he can't help it. That phone call wouldn't be one he's keen to make, and anyway, this was… He read it right and— he feels a little tipsy. "I wouldn't prefer that at all."

Jin tries a shrug that comes out as awkward as they get. His smile is all lopsided, like it's escaping Jin's pointed calm. "Cool," he says. "You know, it's not a problem. It's my day off."

Kame nods, cool as he can, and then he kind of stops caring about cool, and Jin's still standing there with his half-on coat and his half-smile and Kame pulls him close for a kiss, they can afford another five minutes, and when they are fully dressed and have their shoes on he does it again, against the closed door and against the ticking clock, and every time Kame sighs and pulls back he changes his mind, and Jin laughs and doesn't mind at all.

~

Chapter 46

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