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Brand new days

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Life is full of surprises

Sugizo arrived early to the meeting, as usual. Since every minute of his day was scheduled, he couldn’t afford to be late. Just as he expected, Ryuichi was waiting for him and the other band members in the meeting room of the studio. He was always early too, so they could drink a cup of coffee together and chat a bit before the others arrived. Both of them were so busy lately, it was refreshing to have some casual conversation with an old friend, before they threw themselves into work again.
- You look good, Ryu-chan – said Sugizo with a gentle smile on his face.
- Thanks, I dare say that my diet works. And you look gorgeous as always – laughed Ryuichi, and though the words sounded a bit ironic, they both knew the compliment was honest.
- C’mon Ryu, you know well enough what I mean. You don’t need to diet at all. – replied Sugi and patted Ryuichi’s thighs.
Before Ryu could answer, Shinya arrived. A big smile lit up his face at the sight of his friends, and immediately put bento boxes of homemade food into their hands. Soon after came Inoran, and last, a little late as usual, finally J arrived too, so they could start the meeting just in time.
- So, before we start, does anyone have anything to announce? – looked around Ryuichi in the room.
- Actually, I have. – replied Sugizo, and all faces and eyes turned towards him. – So, we also had a meeting with the X Japan members recently, and you all know how limited my vote is when it comes to important issues. Long story short, the band has decided on a world tour, and Yoshiki is about to announce the tour places and dates next week.
- I see. – nodded Ryu – And what does this mean for us? When is the tour expected to begin and how long will it last?
- We plan to begin the tour with six arena concerts in Japan in July. Right after we are going to perform in several cities in the USA, then in Europe, and in the end Asia, so it will take about... – Sugi stopped and took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. – Five months. At least.
- What?! - J stood up from the chair so quickly he almost knocked over the table. – Five months?! Are you trying to say that you will be away for five fucking months?! What about the new album? And the christmas live?
- Calm down, Jun – tried Inoran, but at this point they all knew it was too late. Once J lost his temper, he did not leave a stone standing.
Ryuichi caught the desperate look of Inoran, so he also tried to save the situation.
- J, this doesn’t help. We need to work together. Sugi was always able to divide his time between the two bands since he joined X Japan, am I right, Sugi? – he looked at Sugizo vaguely.
Sugizo stared at J with grim face.
- Don’t worry, of course I can divide my time. I thought you should know about this, but it does not mean that I neglect my duties in this band.
- Are you fucking kidding me? – J slapped the table. - How dare you say that you can divide your time when we have been doing nothing for 10 years but adapt the band’s plans to your schedule?
- Oh really? And what did you do BEFORE I joined X Japan? How did you spend that 10 years, Jun? – shouted Sugizo.
- Please, guys, don’t start this again. – tried Ryuichi to calm them down.
Inoran buried his face in his hands. Shinya tried to pretend he wasn’t even there. The tension was palpable.
- Guys – tried Ryuichi again – We have a lot of work to do today. Let’s try to cooparate.
- This band... – started J with trembling voice, still staring at Sugizo – Luna Sea was my dream. Mine, and Inoran’s. We took you in. Without me and Ino, you would never have come this far.
- Leave me out of this please. – said Ino quietly.
- Fine then. Seems like everyone is against me. Have a good meeting. – J grabbed his coat and left the room, slamming the door behind him.
- The meeting is over, I guess. – said Shinya after a few minutes of tense silence.
- Call him later, Sugi-chan. – turned Ryuichi to his friend. – You have to solve this.
- I know. – replied Sugizo with a sigh. – I’m sorry, everybody.

 

When J saw Sugizo’s name on the display of his phone, first he wanted to throw it against the wall. But he also knew they had to speak, so eventually he answered.
- In the Joker at 9? – J picked the first bar which came to his mind.
- I’ll be there. – was the answer, then the line clicked off.

 

Sugizo knew J will be late, it didn’t surprise him. But he didn’t think that J would already be drunk when he arrived to the bar. Sugi has calmed down since morning, but J now pissed him off again in no time. How could they talk about anything like that? J staggered to the counter, and looked at him challengingly.
- You wanted to see me. – said with a mocking smile. – We have to cut it short I guess, since you’re overscheduled.
- Stop being an asshole. – was the reply. - I ordered you a whisky, but you clearly don't need more alcohol, so let me take you home, and let’s talk another time when you’ll be able to act like an adult.
- Do you enjoy it, being on a moral high ground?
- Excuse me? – Sugizo seemed surprised.
- You’ve always thought that you are better than anyone. – J looked hurt, and somehow very sad. - Better than all of us. Isn’t that right?
- What the hell is wrong with you, Jun? I came here to apologize, and work out our problem.
- You can solve this problem alone. It’s easy. Leave X Japan.
Sugizo paused with the glass of wine in his hand frozen in mid-air.
- Jun. You know I can’t do that.
- Why is that so hard to say no to Yoshiki? He’s not a God or something, in spite of what he thinks about himself. – said J, as he downed the whisky in one quick swallow. Sugizo tried to take the glass from him, but he wasn’t fast enough.
- It’s not about Yoshiki. And you know that, too. It’s about Hide nii-chan, and the fans. I have to stand in the gap. I have no other choice.
- Even if you have to choose between X Japan and Luna Sea? You’d choose them? – J looked at Sugizo very seriously. Despite the fact that he was drunk, somehow it wasn’t noticable as he was speaking.
At first Sugizo didn’t answer, just looked at J him inquiringly, and tried to figure out how serious the question was.
- You know you can’t fire me like this, right?
- Of course I know. I’m not your boss or something. But if we can’t work with you, we can find another solo guitarist. – J paused. – Don’t think we have never thought about that.
- Fuck you, J. – Sugizo suddenly stood up from the chair. – Who was it 15 years ago the band could not work with? You were a fucking useless alcoholic, but we didn’t want to look for another bassist. We wanted to help you. We all tried to support you. I thought you’ve changed, but you’re still a selfish asshole. If you want to fire me, if you ALL want to fire me after this 27 years we fought together, fine then. I expected more from you.
He put some banknotes on the counter, and stormed out.

 

- Sugizo! – J tried to catch his bandmate but he felt the floor move under his feet. He fell into a parking car in front of the bar. The anti-theft siren started to scream, but Sugizo didn’t even look back. – SUGIZO!!! Goddammit!
J beat the engine hood with both hands, and to that Sugizo couldn’t forbear to turn back.
- What the fuck are you doing, idiot – he went back to get J up, who was laying on the hood of the stranger’s car he just dented. All of a sudden he seemed shitfaced drunk, and all his body weight was on Sugizo’s shoulders while he tried to seat him next to the bar’s wall. – The last thing we need is a police affair right now. Wait here, don’t move, I find the owner of this car and pay for the damage you caused.
By the time Sugizo came back, J fell asleep. At first Sugi wanted to shout his favourite phrase WAKE UP MOTHERFUCKER at him, but he wasn’t in a funny mood.
- Get up you jerk, it’s only March, you’re going to catch a cold if you sleep on the street. – Sugizo tried to wake him up, but he was way too drunk to even respond. - C’mon, I just saved your ass, don’t expect me to take you home like a babysitter.
Sugizo was expecting at least an insult in response, and since it didn’t come, he realized that he must carry J home.
- Fine then. – sighed – I better get a cab for us I guess. Jun?
J seemed to want to say something half asleep, but after several failed attempts Sugizo gave up trying to understand him.
He tried to get a cab for half an hour without any success, then he noticed that J was shivering. Damn it, it was Friday night in Roppongi, so it was practically impossible to get a ride home quickly.
- At least you are clearing your head a bit here in the open air. Don’t throw up on it, this is my favourite coat. – Sugi threw the above mentioned coat over J’s shoulder, while dialed a number on his phone. – Hi, sweetheart, were you sleeping? (...) No? I’m sorry to bother you, could you pick us up? (...) Yes, I’m with Jun. (...) I know, I wanted to walk, but the circumstances have changed. (...) Thank you honey, you are the best kid. I’m sending you the address. Be careful!
At first, Sugizo wanted to call Ryuichi, but he lived in the suburbs with his family and would have taken a long time for him to get here, and he didn’t want to disturb them anyway. Same goes for Shinya. Inoran lived in the city, but he possibly also spent his Friday evening in a bar, besides, Sugizo didn’t want him to see Jun in this condition. He tends to worry too much. In addition, he felt betrayed. He didn’t want to see any of his bandmates right now. Luna was the most practical choice. They lived nearby, and her father knew that she isn’t asleep at this hour yet. Besides, she won’t ask anything. If your father is a rockstar, you get used to these sort of things.
- Everything is alright, papa? – Luna rolled down the window when she arrived to the bar.
- Don’t worry, I got this. – said Sugizo, while peeled up J from the sidewalk and put him in the backseat.
- So, where are we going? – asked Luna while her father sat in the front seat. Sugizo realized that he has no idea where J lives.
- Let’s go home. J sleeps at our place tonight.

 

- Alright, you’re going to take a shower now. – said Sugi when they finally managed to reach the top of the stairs in his apartment, and Luna said goodbye to his father with a goodnight kiss. - I fucking hope you can manage this alone, because I won’t... what? What’s so funny?
J leaned against the couch and was giggling like an idiot.
- You... – he could hardly speak clearly – You bring me to... your apartment, but don’t want to... shower... together... I’m sooo dissapointed. Can I sleep in your... your bed, at least?
- You are going to sleep on this coach and you better pretend you don’t even exist. I liked your silent drunk state a lot more.
-*Why... are you so grumpy? You're such a killjoy.- muttered J under his breath, heading to the bathroom – Hey, give me a cigarette.
- Leave me alone. There’s a smoke alarm in the bathroom. – Sugi said his last words to the closing bathroom door.
He dropped on the couch, and buried his face in his hands. He felt like an idiot. J has just told him that they are going to kick him out of the band without hestitation if the situation requires. And here he is, taking care of his drunken ass even now, because that’s what friends do. Their relationship with J was never unclouded, but he couldn’t believe the others would betray him like this too. He was constantly struggling with his time schedule, but if he wanted to be very honest with himself, Luna Sea always had the first place in his heart. He didn’t get any further on his train of thoughts, because the bathroom door opened, and J came back to the living room... naked. Sugizo jumped up from the couch.
- My daughter is at home, you moron!!
- Yeah, I remember. – replied J while nonchalantly plopped down on the couch. He looked a lot more sober now. – What a beautiful adult lady, really!
Sugizo looked like he was about to lose his mind within seconds.
- Don’t even think about it. Do you understand? I’ll cut your balls off, I swear to God.
- Calm down daddy, I’m just kidding, what do you think I am? – giggled J – It’s just so cute how easy to upset you with this topic.
- You’re not funny, and I’m not in the mood. – growled Sugi - Get your naked ass off the couch and put some clothes on.
- Well I’m sorry, but I sleep naked. I really appreciate your hospitality, though. – said J with a self-satisfied grin on his face.
- I give up, you can have the bedroom then, you ungrateful fucker. – Sugizo grabbed J’s arm and flung him in the direction of the bedroom. – Get the fuck out of my sight.
- Thanks. – J could feel he overstretched the chord so he didn’t say anything else, just went straight into the bedroom.
Sugizo sighed with relief when the door finally closed behind him, and he also decided to take a shower. He only took his shirt off when he could hear irritated swearwords from the direction of the bedroom. J clearly couldn’t control himself today.
- Would you please shut the hell up? – Sugi entered the room. – I’m getting really sick of your... what the... what are you doing?!
J was sitting on the bed with a burning cigarette in his hand, and tried to sweep off the ashes from the bedsheet.
I found cigarette in the bedside cabinet. By the way, since when do you smoke again? I think I burned a small hole in the bedsheet, I’m sorry.
- GET OUT OF MY FLAT! – shouted Sugi. He ran out of patience. – NOW! Who the hell do you think you are?!
- Calm down man, this is just cigarette... – began J, but he couldn’t finish the sentence.
- No Jun, it’s not just fucking cigarette. It’s that you are acting like a fucking idiot, a reckless alcoholic son of a bitch, you become dangerous and suicidal every time you drink and YOU dare talk about responsibility because you’ve become obsessed with this stupid childish jealousy that I’m not only in your band! – All the surpressed anger just came out of Sugizo, he didn’t even care that Luna might wake up to the noise. He took a small bottle of whisky out of the open bedside cabinet and threw it at J, striking him on the chest. – I see you like rummaging through my stuff, take this too, go and drink it alone and set something on fire somewhere else, I don’t care.
- So you think I’m jealous, hm? Let me show you something. – J got up from the bed and before Sugizo could even realize what was happening J kissed him, and for some strange unknown reason he kissed him back.
- Just HOW drunk are you? – asked Sugi when he got his breath back.
- Oh believe me I’m perfectly sober. – mumbled J and tried to kiss the other man again with sudden passion.
- Nice try, but I said get out of my flat one minute ago, remember? – Sugizo took a step backwards. He saw J naked a thousand times, but he just started to look at him differently. He looked hot indeed. His athletic body and the piercing in the right nipple attracted the gaze, he let his blond hair grow so long it gave him an alluring „bad boy” look.
- Why can’t you just shut the fuck up, Sugihara? Why is it so important for you to hear your own voice all the time? Either you just let me release the tension this way, or I’m gonna beat you, it’s up to you. – J kissed him again in a way only a man can kiss another man. There was no tenderness in it.
Sugizo could feel the cold metal of the nipple piecing as J’s chest pressed against him. He could feel something else too below, but he wasn’t sure about it since he still couldn’t complately believe what was happening. Not that this was his first experience with a man, not at all, but he knew J for about 27 years and he always thought that he was straight, so this situation was kinda surprising. J kissed him with such passion now, he found himself pressed against the wall.
- Wait a minute, are you sure you want this? – Sugizo tried to move a bit sideways, but J caught both his wrists. – Easy, I’m not gonna escape, just let me lock the door.
J let him go, didn’t even bother with answering the question, but he looked so strained like a predator waiting for it’s prey. Sugizo kind of started to enjoy the game, even though few minutes ago he could have killed J, now he wanted to do something completely different with him. Once the door was closed he walked back to the bed without haste. J watched his every move while continued to smoke his cigarette.
- I’m gonna put this fucking thing out on your tongue if you don’t stop smoking. – Sugi said this in a much calmer tone now, while taking the cigarette out of J’s hand.
- Is that a threat? You sure know how to turn me on. – J tossed Sugi on the bed with a sudden move.
- Holy shit, slow down, I’m not in my twenties anymore. – groaned Sugi.
- Don’t test me. Shut up and let me take the lead. I want you so bad, you have no idea.
- Oh, I can see that! – grinned Sugi sitting up on the bed, so he was in the best position to grab J by the hips. – Excuse me, but I think I’m a bit more experienced in this.
Sugizo pulled J closer, and slowly started teasing the most obvious proof of his desire with his tongue. J moaned and grabbed Sugi’s hair eagerly to make him increase the pace and slid his member deep into his mouth. Normally Sugizo hated when other people touched his hair but this time he didn’t mind it.
He couldn’t remember exactly the last time he was with a man, but it was always a different kind of experience. Lately all he had was quick and discreet sex, usually with unknow women who he didn’t even spent the whole night with. Having a man in his bed tonight made him feel nostalgic, when they were young and... well, they deepened their friendship with Ryuichi. Sometimes they could involve Inoran in the game, even though he was usually shy and needed a lot of alcohol to relax, but J? He was always into girls, even on the stage he was very rarely willing to do any fanservice. Life is full of surprises.
Anyways, Sugizo didn’t come out of practice. It wasn’t easy to take J’s full length into his mouth since his size was pretty impressive, but he did his best, and J admittedly enjoyed it. His moans were becoming louder and louder so Sugi had to stop and pull him down to the bed to shut his mouth with his own. He started to feel like he had too much clothes on. As if reading his mind J helped him quickly get rid of his jeans and underwear.
- Damn, you look so fine. – sighed J scanning Sugi’s perfect thin body in a quick glance before he started to discover it in other ways too.
- I know. – grinned Sugi, and probably wanted to speak more but when he felt J’s teeth on his nipples he had to bite his own lips, otherwise he would have cried out in pain and pleasure.
J took the previous hasty pace back and took his time to taste Sugi’s skin, trailing his tongue from the tattoos on his chest to his belly button. Sugizo literally couldn’t imagine before that J can be this tender too, but it didn’t last long because he got bored of playing games easily. Sugizo wasn’t sure how far they can go with this thing since for some reason he still insisted to his theory of J being straight, and that this must be his first time with a man. But he gasped in surprise, when J reached his most sensitive part and started to work on it like an expert. At this point he gave up trying to get the lead role. He might have been more experienced, but J was the burning passion itself. Sugizo realised that J won’t stop here, simply because he wasn’t that type. He was impatient and hot-tempered in his whole life, and when he wanted something he wanted it fully and immediately. Now it was him who J desired, and he knew he’s gonna be hard, fast and merciless.
Just when Sugi was about to lose his mind from delight J stopped teasing his private parts and looked into his eyes. It took a few seconds to pull himself together enough to understand the unspoken question.
- Oh, didn’t you search through the nightstand enough? – he meant to say it in a sarcastic tone, but his voice sounded somewhat weak.
It felt like a lifetime has passed by the time J found the lube and condoms.
- Please, Jun... – now it was Sugi’s turn to be impatient.
J didn’t keep him waiting once he managed to get all the necessary things. Sugi felt his warm fingers covered with the cold lube by his entrace and lifted his hips to help them slide deeper. It didn’t take so long for him to get ready.
- Take me. – whispered in hoarse voice.
He didn’t have to say it twice, J opened his legs as wide as he could, and in the next moment he felt the familiar pain. He didn’t expect J to stop and ask if he’s alright, so he got surprised when it happened. Not saying a word he just nodded and gave J an encouraging „don’t hold back” look. J was following the unspoken instruction and didn’t hold back indeed, but Sugizo was turned on so bad he couldn’t take pain and pleasure apart anymore. They kissed and moaned into each other’s mouth, their chests pressed against each other and both were sure that they’ve never felt this good with any women in their lives. Sugizo felt himself vulnerable, yet manly, while being taken. In this very second he was in love with J and he trusted him complately. Wrapped his arms around him, in a way as if they would be wrestling, not making love. Meanwhile he couldn’t help whispering J’s name over and over again, and he seemed to like it a lot.
When they changed position and J got behind him to make more space to stroke his shaft with one hand, Sugizo got to see themselves in the mirror. The sight was so arousing he felt like he couldn’t hold back his approaching orgasm for too long, yet he didn’t want this wonderful and unrealistic night to end. But from his groans getting louder and louder Sugi could guess that J was close too, so he gave up withstanding. He felt J’s strong arms holding him more tightly while he subsided into the waves of satisfaction, and a few seconds later he felt J’s teeth biting the soft place between his neck and his shoulder while he tried to hold back the noises of ecstasy.
They remained in this comfortable position for a few minutes, panting wearily, then J carefully pulled out and broke the embrace. He lit another cigarette and this time Sugi wasn’t complaining about it, just got up and finally went to take a shower without saying any word.

 

When Sugizo returned from the shower he found J fully dressed.
- Where are you going? – he asked, raising an eyebrow.
I have to go. I left my motorbike at the bar. – answered J briefly while searching for the key in the pockets of his jacket.
- Please don’t tell me you came to the bar by bike. – Sugi’s face turned pale. – You were already drunk as fuck when you arrived there.
- Yeah, because you were right. – J looked up with a sad smile. – I’m reckless and dangerous and I tried to shift the responsibility on you, while I’m the one who is hard to work with. Sorry for screwing up the meeting. And I know we were talking about it a thousand times, but once again, 16 years ago, when Luna Sea disbanded...
- No, Jun, stop talking about what happened 16 years ago. The disbandment was a mutual agreement, remember? – Sugi went up to J and wanted to put his hand on the other man’s shoulder but he moved sideways. – Damn, don’t you dare ignore me! And you’re not gonna go anywhere in the middle of the night, you are still half-drunk, so move your ass back to the bed right now!
J’s hand was on the doorknob, his face was serious and thoughful, he didn’t move, just stared at him. There was a long stretch of silence. Sugizo started to think that J decided to act as if nothing happened between them, when he finally began to speak.
- Fine, I stay. Consider this as the first step for change. But Sugi... From tomorrow, everything will return to normal.
Sugizo understood the hidden meaning of the last sentence: What has just happened doesn’t mean they’re lovers from now on. Bandmates. Friends. Brothers. Nothing more.
- From tomorrow. – nodded, and offered his hand.
They shook hands, and Sugi put his another arm around J’s shoulder, while J tried to hug him back and patted him on the back, slightly embarrassed. Then he quickly undressed himself and they both went to bed.
- Sugizo. – Sugi almost fell asleep when J suddenly broke the silence.
- Hm? – he mumbled sleepily.
- One more thing. It never came up that we are gonna look for another guitarist to replace you. I lied. The band couldn’t exist without you.
Sugizo turned over to face J and replied with a smirk.
- Obviously. I’m the fan favourite. – he casually threw one arm around J’s upper body and closed his eyes as he considered this conversation to be ended.
- Bitch. – laughed J, but didn’t attempt to escape Sugi’s embrace.
They fell asleep in this position within seconds.

 

Sugizo woke up for his phone ringing. It was Luna Sea’s manager, he wanted to let him know that they arranged another meeting for Monday, and unless he has some personal business, according to his scedule with X Japan, he would be able to attend it. Sugizo assured him that he would be there.
Then he got up, looked around the apartment but since he found no one at home he just made tea for himself. The more he was thinking about last night, the less it seemed realistic, and J just vanished as if he had never been there. But his body remembered him, and when he went back to the bedroom it still smelled like tobacco, alcohol and sex. He just started cleaning the room, when the phone started ringing again.
- Good morning, Sugi-chan! – it was Ryuichi on the line. – How was last night with J?
Sugizo was shocked for a moment. How does he know!? Then he realised that J would rather stab himself than telling the others what had happened between them. Ryu is probably asking this because he told him that they were gonna meet in that bar.
- Oh don’t worry, we worked it out. We reached a... satisfactory solution.

 

The meeting on Monday went very well. At one point Sugizo offered that he can ask Yoshiki if X Japan could perform a few shows without him, so he could invest more time into Luna Sea, but J firmly rejected the idea. It was funny to see the other’s confused face, no one understood what happened, but J suddenly seemed surprisingly supportive.
After the meeting J and Sugizo stayed in the studio for a little longer to get a chance to speak.
- Have you found your bike where you left it at the bar? – asked Sugi.
- Yeah of course, don’t worry about it. – J just waved the question aside. – Listen, I was thinking. I’ve known you for 27 years so far and we were always like fire and water. But now it turned out that it’s more like... fire and gasoline, right?
Sugi smiled and nodded. J continued.
- So... The fact we solved this conflict does not mean that in the future there won’t be more. – paused.
- So? – urged him Sugi.
- So... I think it’s simply because of our different personalities. But... this constant tension between us... I used to think that you’re just not that type of person I can get along with... but I guess I was wrong. We turned out to be able to release this tension quite well, aren’t we?
- Sooo? – Sugi started to suspect what’s going on but he wanted J to say it out loud.
- So... I mean... Maybe this can work. – J was clearly embarrassed. – But stop grinning like this before I change my mind and punch you in face.
- Oh, here we go again! But you wouldn’t do that, you love my face like this, don’t you? – smiled Sugi glamorously.
- Stop it... you are getting on my nerves. – grumbled J but he couldn’t help smiling.
- Speaking of such... – Sugi began to speak - Can I ask you a question? I have always thought that you were straight.
- This wasn’t a question. – grinned J.
- Oh c’mon, you know what I mean. So, that was your first time, or...?
J just shook his head and smiled inscrutably.

Shinya stopped for a quick cigarette outside the building before going home, so he was still there when Sugi and J left the studio. When he saw the two of them walking arms around each others shoulders the cigarette nearly fell out of his hand. Life, indeed, is full of surprises.

Chapter Text

baby baby   聞こえるかい ? 
冷たい夜が  もうすぐ明ける 
baby baby   聞こえるかい ? 
明けゆく夜が  俺達を包む 
baby baby   信じるかい ? 
旅立ち朝が  ここに来た事を 
誰もいない  夜明に俺達 
baby baby   夢を見てる 
(J – baby baby)

 

Since that first time they were together, J changed a lot. He barely drank, he was a lot calmer, and the bandmembers started to think that maybe he has a girlfriend. Only Sugizo knew the truth, but he kept they little secret. However, he had worries. Every time he mentioned he has some business to do with X Japan so they might have to gear Luna Sea’s plans to it, he was waiting for the storm, but it never came. He was calm as a still water, and it just didn’t fit him. Besides, weeks passed, and they haven’t even talk about that night, let alone repeat it. J acted unusually politely, but kept him at arm’s lenght, no matter how Sugizo tried to talk to him.
- Okay guys, I have an announcement , and you won’t be happy about it. – stood up Sugizo at the end of a meeting. Every eye was on him. – I was thinking on it a lot, and can’t see another solution.
He paused, looked at his friends. Since he let the others in on his secret plan, they tried to fake the panic, only J’s face showed honest worry.
- I’ll be 48 this year. I’m tired, and I can feel the effects of my former wild, reckless rockstar lifestyle on myself. I guess I just burned out. I want to retire.
Everybody stayed in role, Shinya looked like he is about to cry, Ino looked at Ryuichi with panic in his eyes, as if he wanted him to say something insted of him like in the old times, Ryuichi opened his mouth and closed it again, and looked lost.
- You’re kidding me, aren’t you? – asked J in a menacingly calm tone.
- No Jun, I’m dead serious. – replied Sugizo. – I want you guys to think on it until the next meeting, of course I want to finish the album and perform goodbye shows and everything, so we have plenty of time. I’m really sorry, I know I’m being selfish, but my doctor said I need rest, otherwise...
He didn’t finish the sentence, his eyes were on the table, and he could see J’s clenched fists, shaking from anger.
- Okay. – that was all the bassist said, then stood up, and leaved the room.
- I told you it’s a wrong idea. – said Inoran, then jumped up from the chair. – I try to catch him before he does something stupid.
After Ino left, Ryuichi and Shinya stared at Sugizo with such an accusing expression, that he couldn’t bear it anymore, stood up, and followed the other two. Both J’s bike and Ino’s ferrari dissapeared from the parking lot. Sugizo was intended to cause trouble, but not TOO MUCH trouble, so he hoped Ino can talk to his high school best friend before he gets totally wasted.
Sugizo was sure J will call him later, so he wasn’t surprised when the phone rang.
- What took so long? – picked up the phone.
- Look out of the window. – the grumpy tone in J’s voice somehow made Sugizo smile.
He looked out, and J was there by the front door, with crash helmet on his head, dressed in leather.
- Come up. – said Sugizo while pressing the automatic door opener button.
When he opened the front door and invited J in, he noticed that the bassist is surprisingly sober, which was reassuring, particularly because he came by bike.
- Coffee, tea, or something stronger? – asked Sugizo as if nothing had happened.
- Stop bullshitting and tell me why were you such an asshole today. – barked J.
- Was I? – raised Sugi an eyebrow innocently.
- C’mon, Ino told me everything. You are not gonna retire, you just wanted to piss me off.
- So, if you already know the whole story, why are you here?
- Because... – J stepped toward him. - ...there is one part of the story the others don’t know, right? I want to hear it from you.
The bassist was looking daggers at Sugizo, and he was glad he got back the good old hot-tempered J.
- So you think I was an asshole today? – asked Sugi in a sarcastic tone. - Whenever I wanted to talk to you, you kept avoiding me. I had no other choice. Everybody noticed you changed. They think you have a girlfriend, and that my plan was to wrest your secret from you.
- Speaking of which, Inoran is not blind, you know. – replied J while casually threw himself into a chair. – He is my best friend since high school, I can’t just hide things from him. He suspects that whatever happened to me, it has someting to do with you.
- So you gonna tell him?
J drew a long sigh, and looked out of the window.
- I don’t know.
- Jun. Look at me. – there was something in Sugizo’s voice what made J to turn his head back to his direction right away. – Do you regret that night?
The question hung in the air. For a split second, Sugizo looked almost hurt, but then he returned to is usual confident face expression and J wasn’t sure... after all, it was Sugizo, he was infamous of having sex with everybody for fun, why would it matter for him?
- No, Sugi, I’m just... – J tried to collect his thoughts. - ...it’s just the things you said to me that night. I was thinking on them a lot, and I decided to change.
- Change doesn’t mean you have to give up yourself and I’ve never said anything like this. – shook Sugi his head. – Be yourself, just stop drinking. You also said I can help you to release the tension, but you’re ignoring me since then, so...
- Wait, did you miss me? – interruted J.
- Nevermind. – said Sugi with a shrug. – Seems like you just want me when you’re drunk enough. Besides, I have to upset you first. Otherwise you don’t even think of me...
- Stop this resentful whining, what’s wrong with you? – J stood up and stepped so close to Sugi that he couldn’t avoid eyecontact, no matter how hard he tried. – If you want me to be upset, I can tell you that I am. For a few hours I thought that the band is over, my life is over, and what was that bullshit about the doctor!? You are a selfish bastard, Sugihara.
- You worried about me, admit it. – grinned Sugi.
- This isn’t funny at all, you jerk. – J pushed the other man’s shouder so hard that he staggered to the table.
- Now that’s something I like!
- You really want to be fucked, you dirty whore, aren’t you?
The vulgar phrase hitted Sugi so unexpectedly he almost burts out laugh, but before he knew it, J’s lips found his. The kiss was hungry and almost violent, then suddenly J stopped and looked slightly confused.
- Luna?
- She is in L.A., don’t worry, how stupid do you think I am? – laughed Sugizo. Then he started to kiss J again, while quickly helped him to get rid of his leather jacket and his shirt.
J was about half a head taller and stronger-built, so he always got surprised how strong the thin Sugizo can be. When the guitarist firmly grabbed his muscular arms to change positions, and he found himself pressed against the table, he gasped of astonishment. A second later he was on the kitchen table in a semi-recumbent position, Sugizo put his arms around his waist, and started to cover his chest with kisses. His mouth lingered on the right, pierced nipple for long time, pulled the silver ring with his teeth, made the younger man groan.
- I always wanted to try this. – looked up Sugi with a grin.
J couldn’t answer, because the guitarist’s long, thin fingers started to unbutton his leather pants. He was already rock-hard, when Sugi started to play with him. J had to grip the edges of the table, because his partner didn’t play fair. He definitely knew what he was doing. He took J’s full lenght into his mouth, sucked it slowly, then increased the pace, and slowed down again when he could hear the bassist breathing more and more rapidly. He knew how to bring him to the edge, and then pull him back. J had not much experience with men so far, but he started to think that he couldn’t find a woman who could ever acquire this perfect technique Sugi practiced on him. How could any woman know the working of men’s body this good? J got turned on to death, he moved his hips with such intensity the older man had to keep him on the table with all his strenght, so he stopped the teasing. He was about to say something, but J suddenly sat up, slided down from the table, turned Sugi around and pushed himself against his ass. Holding his upper body firmly with one arm, tried to remove his jeans with the another.
- Hold on, I’m gonna get the necessary things from the bedroom. – Sugi tried to cool the younger man down, but he didn’t loose the grip. – Okay, Jun?
J took a deep breath, buried his face in Sugizo’s hair and a few seconds later let him go.
- Just be quick.
By the time J removed all his remained clothes and collapsed on the couch with an impatient sigh, Sugizo came back. He also lost his clothes somewhere on the way. He looked unbelievably hot with his slim yet mucular, tattooed body and narrow hips, and he seemed to know it very well. He stepped to the couch and sat on J’s lap astride, pressed himself against the other man’s chest and kissed him again greedily, rotated his hips and rubbing their erect organs together. Meanwhile J’s hand found the lube Sugi just dropped on the couch. The elder let out a loud moan when he felt the fingers of his partner sliding into him, started to move his hips and kissed J even harder. After J pulled out his fingers to replace them with something much more longer and thicker, Sugi took control. He ran his fingers through J’s blond hair, while started to ride him slowly. That was Sugi’s favourite position, since he could watch his partners face expressions. He found J beautiful as his eyes were clouded with lust, his mouth was open, and he moaned in a deep, manly voice. The younger man tried to thrust faster, but Sugi didn’t let him lead. Leaned back a bit, so he could find that certain spot in his own body, and started to increase the pace a bit, while rubbed his own member with one hand, and clinging to J’s shoulder with the another. Soon he helped himself so close to the edge, he couldn’t resist J’s urge anymore, and the bassist could start to fuck him in his own tempo – which meant really fast and hard. Sugizo gritted his teeth and didn’t make a noise. Although it hurt like hell, he also felt close to heaven. He got surprised when J replaced his hand with his own on his manhood, and started to stroke it quickly as if he wanted him to come first. As J felt Sugizo’s body trembling, he followed him right away. Then they just tried to pull themselves together, remaining in that position.
- Wanna take a shower together? – murmured Sugizo into J’s hair.
- Ready for round two, Sugi-chan? – smiled J, and kissed the other man on the neck tenderly, which actually surprised him. Besides, Jun never called him like this.
- You have no idea...

*

- Okay, time to ask you some questions. – Sugizo shut the door of the shower cabin behind them, backing J into corner. – And this time you can’t escape answering them.
- What questions? - J looked slightly frightened.
- Tell me about your other experiences. – Sugi wrapped his arms around J’s neck, and looked deep into his eyes. – With men.
- Why do you want to know? – J tried to look away, but the older man’s gaze literally possessed him.
- Oh, I’m just wondering... – Sugi unexpectedly slipped one hand between the bassist’s thick thighs. - ...do you have any experience from the... other side, if you know what I mean?
- Yeah I think I know what you mean... – J’s voice became hoarse when he felt the guitarist’s questing fingers massaging him between his buttcheeks. – Stop it... uh...
Suddenly J realised that he’s the bigger and stronger one, grabbed Sugi’s wrist and firmly pushed him away.
- I said stop it.
- So the answer for my question is „no”, I guess. – giggled Sugizo and turned on the tap. – Be careful, don’t drop the soap.
- Asshole. – growled J.
- Oh, here we go. – smirked the guitarist. – So, how about your other male partners? Were they as good as I am?
- It was... long long time ago. And the situation was very different. – uttered J under his breath while soaping himself, avoiding eye contact, turning his back to Sugi.
It was a mistake. The older man took the opportunity to hug the bassist from behind, and whispered in his ear.
- So, it was only one affair? The fact you don’t look at me means you’re not telling me some important details.
- Leave me the fuck alone, Sugihara. – grunted J, but he was too weak to resist the caring hands helping him to soap his most sensitive bodyparts.
- So I’m Sugihara now. What happened with the „Sugi-chan”, hm, Junjun?
- Ah god, I hate you so much. – sighed the younger man when he felt his erection rising again in the experienced hands. Then he gasped, when one hand began to grope by his butt again.
- Ssh, just let me show you how it feels. Relax.
J got caught so off guard he forgot to do anything against the attack. He was actually surprised, how less uncomfortable it felt, when one finger slipped into him. When the second followed the first, it added a bit more tension, and then by the third one it started to really hurt, but it was still more arousing than painful. Sugi was softly biting and kissing his neck, and rubbing his manhood with his other hand while fingering him. He was so careful and tender, J was able relax for real.
- Are you ready? – whispered the older man into his ear, but no matter how gentle he was, J started to feel slight panic. Sugi could feel how his partner’s muscles tightened, so he slowly pulled out his fingers. – It’s ok, we have plenty of time. Let’s continue this in the bedroom.
J nodded, and exhaled a long, deep breath. Sugi turned him around, and kissed him softly. Then they just let the hot water flood over them for a while, until Sugizo, ignoring J’s protest, turned it off for environmental reasons.
*
- You still seem to be in the mood. – glanced Sugi at J’s body, which was only covered with a towel by his waist, but it was about to slide off too. The guitarist was sitting on the bed, with two glass of whisky in his hands. – Come here.
J sat down next to him on the bed, quickly took both glasses out of his hands and swallowed the strong drinks in two gulps.
- Hey! – laughed Sugizo – Take it easy. What about me?
- I thought you aren’t really into whisky anyway. – shrugged the bassist.
- Now when I really think about it, you’re right.
Before Sugizo could’ve made a move, he found himself under J’s body, which was much heavier than his.
- No, no. – forced out, while tried to get his breath back. Pushed the younger man away with all his strenght, and in the next moment he got on the top. – Today we play by my rules.
But J wasn’t that easy to overcome.
- We can do this all night you know, but I’m the stronger. – smirked when he was on the top again.
- Maybe, but I can do kung fu. – slipped out Sugi from the grip, and this time he twisted J’s arm in a position he couldn’t escape. - Now listen. We gonna talk, and you answer my questions.
- Shove off, Sugihara. – J did his best to get free, without any success.
- Fine then. So, you ignored me for weeks, you don’t want to talk, and you don’t want to play by my rules. What do you think I am?
J couldn’t decide if Sugizo is serious, or just plays that he is offended.
- I think I made it clear at the beginning what I think about you. – murmured J, clenching his jaw to surpress his anger.
- You’re hurting my feelings. – pouted Sugi – If you don’t stop flouncing like a fish, you’re going to be hurt too.
J suddenly froze hearing this, so the guitarist could let him go with one hand, and groped for the lube in the nightstand.
- Good boy. – smirked, then nuzzled close to J’s body from the back. Softly took his chin, and turned his face, so that he had to look again into Sugi’s eyes. – Jun. I promise you will enjoy it. Just tell me if it’s too much, and I stop.
J nodded. If he was honest with himself, he wanted it. It was just his damn stubborn pride, kept him back, and that everything was happening so fast. But when he felt Sugi’s fingers continuing what they started in the bathroom, he closed his eyes and just tried to relax. The older man rubbed his back, his butt cheeks and his thighs with one hand gently while fingering him with the other. Eventually he spread his legs wider, and J could feel his member pressed against his ass. Before he even had time to panic, Sugizo was inside him.
- Fuck, it hurts, you son of a bitch. – gasped, and his body automatically tried escape from the other man’s embrace, but he didn’t let him go.
- I know. – smiled Sugi, and he slowly pushed himself deeper inch by inch.
J screamed into the pillow. But after a few seconds, he started to feel something else, not just pain. The pain was still there, but as the pace quickened, soon his screams of pain became more like moans of pleasure.
- Are you ok? – Sugizo suddenly stopped.
- Fuck, don’t you dare to stop! – shouted J.
The older man smirked, and switched the tempo. J’s hoarse, muffled moans turned him on so bad, he didn’t try to be gentle anymore, and started to fuck him hard. He already felt that this gonna be a quick round.
- I told you that you’ll enjoy it. – whispered into the blond man’s ear.
J couldn’t answer, he barely could breathe. Sugizo could guess that he is close, so changed the position a bit, and helped to lift his partner’s body, to be able to hit that certain spot even better. Now J had to lean on his forearm to maintain this position, and Sugizo found him incredibly beautiful as the muscles were bulging in his arms.
- Ssh... ssh... the neighbors are... coming over... – J were practically screaming, so Sugi tried to soothe him, but in the meantime he didn’t really want him to be quiet.
The younger man’s back arched when he finally came, and he was so fucking loud, Sugi was grateful they didn’t try this when his daughter was at home. J was already tight, now became ever tighter, and it was just too much for the older man too. They collapsed on the bed panting, still interwined with each other. Than Sugi pulled himself out very slowly and very gently. J became so silent so suddenly, it scared him, so he snuggled close to him, and brushed his sweaty hair away from his forehead, until the other man had to turn to face him. He was flushed, and his face was expressionless, weary and beautiful.
- We just had a shower and now we have to start all over again. – murmured Sugi into J’ neck after he laid his head on his shoulder.
- What about the environment? – asked the bassist sleepily with his eyes closed.
- We have to hurry. – answered the older man, but he didn’t move, as he could feel J’s breathing becoming deep already. Soon he fell asleep too, with a satisfied smile on his face.

*

- So, when will I see you again? – asked Sugizo when J was about to leave, after they had a breakfast together.
- On the next meeting I guess? I have to check my schedule. – aswered J putting on his leather jacket.
- You know what I mean. – smiled Sugi - I rephrase the question then. Are you going to ignore me for weeks, so I have to hunt you down again, or not?
- Sugi. – J turned back to him from the doorway. – Please don’t be under any illusions about this. About... us.
- Don’t worry. We’re just having a good time together, aren’t we? – Sugizo’s smile didn’t vanished from his face, until the door closed behind the other man.
J had just left, Sugizo’s phone rang.
- Hey, it’s Inoran. – said a familiar voice at the other end of the line – I was supposed to pick you up since you told me your car is in the service, but I see you borrowed J’s bike, or...?
- Oh! – Sugi failed to hide the surprise in his voice. He complately forgot today’s rehearsal with Ino. – Are you here? No, Jun just... left.
„Inoran is not blind, you know.” J’s words echoed in his mind. Damn. It won’t be easy to explain this.
- I’ll be downstairs in a minute. – said quickly, before Inoran had any chance to react, and broke the line.
- Which one of you will tell me what’s going on here? – asked Inoran earnestly when Sugizo came down. – Not Jun, I guess, because he literally froze when he noticed me, muttered something about he’s in hurry and escaped.
- First work, then we’ll talk. – said Sugi, and got into the car.

*

- Yesterday after I told Jun that you fooled him with the retirement story, he said he’s gonna kill you. – Inoran lit a cigarette and looked at Sugi with a very serious expression on his face. They were sitting in their favourite bar, drinking beers. – I apologized and told him that we just wanted to know why he acts so strange lately, and that we all thought he has a girlfriend. He said I’m his best friend, so he wouldn’t conceal a thing like that from me. But it’s not a girlfriend, right?
- How am I supposed to answer this? – grunted Sugizo.
- Don’t get me wrong, Sugi. – shook Ino his head – But Luna Sea is a family, we shouldn’t keep secrets from each other. Remember, what happened last time when...
Ino suddenly paused, and looked away.
- Last time, you mean when we disbanded? – asked Sugi. – That was a different situation.
- Not that different as you think. – Inoran was still staring out of the window while lit another cigarette.
Long silence.
- Wait a minute, you... – began Sugizo to speak, but Ino cut him off.
- It was more then 15 years ago. It doesn’t matter. But Sugi, Jun is very bad at handling emotions. – finally Inoran looked back to the other man. – Believe me, I know him well. All I’m saying is, that be careful with him.
- We are not together, Ino.
Before Inoran could answer, his phone started to ring.
- It’s Jun. – sighed, and picked it up. – Yes? No, I’m with Sugi. Do you want to joi...
Inoran couldn’t finish the sentence.
- Rang off? – asked Sugi.
- Immediately, as he heard your name. Damn, why is he so difficult?

*

- Did you tell him? – shouted J in the phone without saying hello.
- I didn’t have to. He knows you too well. – Sugizo tried to project the most calming voice he could.
- Damn shit! Shit! – sweared J and rang off.
Sugi tried to call him back, with no success. But it wasn’t long before he heard the familiar sound of his motorbike outside under the window.
- Come up! – shouted out of the window, and opened the front door.
Judging from J’s heavy footsteps on the stairs, he could be quite drunk.
- You shouldn’t ride that bike when you drink. – said Sugi welcoming him.
- Yeah but I could ride something else instead, that’s what you meant? – was the sarcastic reply.
- Your words, not mine. – Sugi grinned, and started to unbutton his shirt.
- Keep your clothes on, wouldn’t you?
- Oh, are you sure? – the guitarist raised an eyebrow - As I noticed you come here for only one thing, yelling at me, and then we have sex anyway, so why don’t we just skip the yelling part?
- You think it’s just a game. I’m out. – answered J bitterly.
- Why are you here then?
- Because... – started the blond man, and his voice cracked a bit - ...I need to talk to someone. And you are the only one I can talk to, because Ino...
He paused, and collapsed into a kitchen chair. Sugizo didn’t speak, just patiently waited for him to continue.
- We used to be best friends. And now, I just can’t be honest with him. – J’s voice became so faint the other man barely could understand him. – I’m not gonna make the same mistake again.
- Jun, what are you talking about?
J felt drunk enough to talk straight.
- You asked about my other experiences with men the other day. It was Ino. I slept with him only once, but then... everything changed.
Sugizo just nodded, since from what Ino told him today, he already put the puzzle together. He wanted to hear the whole story, so he didn’t dare to interrupt J with a single word.
- Of course, we were drunk, otherwise it would never had happened. But in the morning, I panicked. I was a bloody coward. I just left without a word. – he looked so desperate, Sugi was afraid that he’s about to cry – I felt that I... betrayed him. Betrayed our friendship. I don’t remember what happened exactly, and I got scared, what if... I forced him to do something he didn’t really wanted? He is my best friend, and I just... I... used him, and then left him, and we never talked about it ever since. He wanted to talk to me, he tried to call me so many times, but I kept ignore him, so eventually he gave up.
Sugizo haven’t even noticed when he placed his arms around J’s shoulders, it was an involuntary reaction. The younger man finally looked up at him.
- To this very day I don’t know what he wanted to say. You know Ino, he used to be so shy back then, he didn’t talk much. I’m his best friend, and sometimes I feel like I don’t know him at all. Maybe he wanted to open up to me, but I wasn’t listening. I drank more and more, because I couldn’t bear the tension, I escaped from reality, and then... the rest is history. You all know what happened, but now you know why it happened. I couldn’t work with Ino anymore. I couldn’t look into his eyes and pretend as if nothing had happened.
A few seconds passed in silence. Then Sugizo felt it’s time to say something.
- Jun, listen to me. First of all, you know I’m not Inoran, right? Our situation is very different.
J just nodded wearily. He didn’t seem so convinced, but Sugi just decided to continue.
- Secondly, you’re best friends again. You’re working together again. It all happened more then 15 years ago. No need to be so hard on yourself. And thirdly, we all changed a lot. You just opened up for me, which is a progress, don’t you think?
- You don’t understand. – shook J his head – We never talked about that night, but shortly before we announced the disbandment, I called him. I was drunk, I was talking all kind of crazy shit, but one thing I remember clearly. I told him that I’m unable to work with him, I made him feel that he has done something wrong. He still blames himself for what happened. I know it, because I know him. And now, he knows about this thing, between you and me... what is he thinking? Is he hurt, that he wasn’t good enough? Or is he just worried, that I’m gonna screw up things with the band again? Even if I’d ask, would he tell me his real feelings after all this time?
- What a bloody fool you are, J. – Sugizo slammed the blond man’s back with such force he almost fell out of the chair. – Stop whining, get your shit together, and talk to him. Not now, you’ll spend the night here and sober up.
- Actually I’m not that drunk, I... – started J to speak, but Sugizo cut him off.
- I know, but as I said, you shouldn’t drive.
- Fine, I stay. But for a change, could we really just sleep tonight? – sighed J.
- We could... if you could resist me, which I highly doubt. – smirked Sugi, and took the other man’s hand to guide him to the bedroom.
J snorted with derision, but followed him. He didn’t resist, even when Sugizo began to undress him, and somehow, eventually they didn’t manage to get much sleep.

Chapter Text

貴方さえ見えずに
愛した姿
強がりの仕草で
愛した貴方の
姿さえ見えずに
隠したのは
欲張りな心の儚い涙
(Inoran – I wish I had never met you)

When J called him in the morning, Inoran got surprised. His voice was very serious, and he said he wants to talk, as soon as possible. Although Inoran already knew what he wants to talk about, he didn’t expect this from the master of conflict avoidance, especially not this early. It must have been Sugizo. There is no other explanation for this sudden change of J. Inoran got to the meeting point ten minutes earlier than planned. J was waiting for him, which was also very unusual of him. Usually he was the one who everybody had to wait for.
- What’s up, Jun? – Inoran tried to make his voice light.
- ’morning. – nodded J nervously, and pointed at the empty chair next to him.
When his friend sat down, he began to speak straight.
- So I guess you must be kind of angry.
- I wouldn't say that, no. – said Inoran with expressionless face.
- What would you say then?
- It’s not about me, Jun. You called me because you wanted to talk. I’m listening.
- Okay. – J took a deep breath.
- Okay.
Long silence.
- So? You and Sugi? – tried Inoran to help.
- It’s just... it’s nothing. – J made an impatient gesture – There’s nothing to worry about, at all.
Meanwhile, the waitress came to their table and took their order. Both ordered coffee, J irish style, with whisky. Inoran raised an eyebrow.
- Isn' t it a little early for this?
- Nevermind. Where was I? – J changed the subject quickly.
- You just said that there’s nothing to worry about. – aswered Inoran while lighting a cigarette - But that was before you ordere whisky at 8 in the morning. What’s going on, Jun? You know you have to be careful with alcohol, it’s easy to fall back into... old habits...
- Here we go. – sighed J – Ino, it won’t happen again. I promise. Those times, I had nothing to talk about my problems to...
- You had me. – Inoran cut him off – I was always there for you... you just didn’t want to see it. But I guess, since I was the source of the problem, I understand that you didn’t want to talk to me about it.
- No, Ino. On the contrary, we should have talked. That’s why I’m here now, to make things clear.
- Jun. – looked Inoran at his friend seriously – What’s the point of open up old wounds? I was hoping that you have forgiven me already.
- For what? What are you talking about? – J looked confused.
- C’mon, I know that I screwed up. I wanted to apologize a million times, but I understood that you didn’t want to see me. – Inoran nervously lit another cigarette – You know, we used to be so close, I just thought... I don’t know. Eventually it turned out that we wasn’t that close as I thought. I was selfish, for I wanted more than friendship from you. Now I know it. I hope you'll forgive me one day.
J was staring at his friend as though he had suddenly begun speaking some foreign language. He didn’t seem to understand a word. Inoran just kept smoking, and looked out of the window. Meanwhile the waitress arrived and put their coffee on the table. J didn’t even notice it.
- Ino I... have nothing to forgive you. – finally he started to speak. His voice was almost trembling. – It was all my fault. I was a coward, and a fool. I had so much questions, I still have... but I was afraid, what if I mess up our friendship by asking them. I managed to mess it up anyway, with my ignorance, my stubbornness. And I let you to blame yourself for 15 years, for nothing. I’m so sorry, Ino.
- Ask your questions now. – said Inoran, suddenly looking back at his friend. His face expression was non-committal.
- Have you ever regretted it? That night? – asked J after a moment of silence.
- This is a good one. – finally a weak smile appeared on Inoran’s face – I would be lying if I would say I have regretted it. But if I say that I have no regrets, what’s the point of apologising? Okay, next question.
- This isn’t quite the answer I expected. – muttered J – Give me some time to think.
- Can I ask you something too? How did this „nothing” happen between you and Sugizo? I know it very well that he can be very... persuasive, but still... oh c’mon Jun! – laughed Inoran when he noticed that J looked away, and his face flushed red. – I’m your best friend. You can tell me anything.
- It doesn’t mean I have to. – grunted J – And they say you’re shy... If you’re so curious just get in line, I would be surprised if he would say no to you.
- Believe me, he isn’t the person I’m interested in. – Inoran seemed quite amused now.
- You mean, is there someone else you are interested in?
- I told you already. It’s you, Jun. – Inoran casually lit up his umpteenth cigarette – It was always you.

*

It was so easy, to tell those words. He loved him for such a long time, it just became natural. He never came out and said it, yet never concealed. But there was no point in hiding, after that night. At the same time he understood that there will never be more than friendship between them, and never crossed the borders again. It wasn’t that bad, being rejected. But it was a double or nothing situation, and he lose. He lose the game, he lose a friend. Those years when they haven’t talked to each other were hell. But he learned to love him from the distance, without any expectations. And since Luna Sea reunited, and they got close to each other again, it was enough just to be near to him again. This was the best he could hope for, and he was complately happy with it. He got his best friend back. So today, when he just said out loud his feelings, it was nothing more than a fact. No hopes. No expectations. It is what it is, and it’s simple as it can be. But poor Jun looked so confused, and he didn’t want to creep him out again, so just laughed and added that it doesn’t matter, and doesn’t change anything. And it was true, but still... something changed. Until now he was pretty sure that Jun can’t look at him that way because he is just not into men, and now... Sugizo. „It’s nothing.” „We aren’t together.” Their words echoed in this head, and something just wasn’t right with them. Inoran took a deep breath. It was 4am, but he couldn’t sleep all night, just laid on the bed, looked at the ceiling, and remembered that night 17 years ago.

Jun’s lips tasted like whisky and sin, just as he expected, and it made him wonder what the rest of him would taste like. Inoran remembered those days, when they were in high school, and they kissed each other playfully a several times. But they both were kids, and it was just a game, those kisses were just pecks on the lips. This one was different. This kiss was deep and long, and it made his body react to it. Both were pretty drunk, maybe Jun was a bit drunker than him,and this gave Inoran courage to kiss him. He didn’t really think about it, it just happened, but on the other hand he knew that he has nothing to lose. If he gets rejected, tomorrow J possibly won’t remember anything anyway, or if he does, then Inoran pretends he doesn’t. But instead of rejection, J kissed him back, and pulled him closer. It was better than he ever dared to hope it will be. Inoran just closed his eyes, and gave himself up. Whatever was about to happen tonight, he was ready for it.

It was 4 in the morning, and J still had no idea where to go. About one hour ago he decided to go to Sugizo’s place, because he seemed to be the only person he could talk about this problem with, but by the time he got to the flat he realised that Sugizo probably wouldn’t be that pleased if he’d wake him up now, and on the other hand, he didn’t really know what to say. He knew only one thing for sure. They had to end this thing between them, before it gets even more complicated. He had no idea what to do with Ino’s confession, how to handle it, but the less he could do is not hurting him even more. J was sitting on a bench in the front of Sugizo’s flat and tried to fight the urge to go to the nearest bar and get drunk just to escape from his own thoughts. He promised Inoran that he won’t let alcohol take control again. He was tired as hell, but at least his head was clear. He hoped that the conversation with Inoran will bring him relief, but it just reopened old woulds for real, and caused even more trouble. When he closed his eyes, blurry pictures of that certain night 17 years ago flowed into his mind, and he couldn’t help but sank in them.

Drownsiness settled upon his senses.He didn’t remember how this evening started, where is he, or how did he get here. But it seemed ok, because he was with Inoran. He was always the saner one, so as far as they were together everything was fine. The room actually seemed to whirl around, and he lost his balance, but suddenly someone grabbed his arms and then he felt lips on his own. Oh, Ino. His kiss was sweet and smokey, and J kissed him back without any hestitation, and reached his arms around him by pure instict. His taste, his scent, it was all so familiar. Alarm bells started to going off somewhere in J’s mind, but they were so far away he barely could hear them. Somehow, at some point both of their shirts fell to the floor. J tried to focus. The kiss continued and a thin half-naked body was pressed against him. It was hot, as if he had a fever. Lean arms around his waist, embraced him surprisingly strongly. „Ino-chan, what are we doing?” somewhere at the back of J’s mind this question appeared, but he ignored it. His body wanted more. When he broke the kiss and opened his eyes the room was still blurry, but he could see Inoran’s flushed face and lustrous eyes clearly. He was so beautiful J wanted to kiss on his lips again, and then on his neck, on his shoulders which seemed so fragile compared to his own, and on his heaving chest... a few moments later, J couldn’t recall how they ended up on the futon, but he just realized that they’re in his own flat.He didn’t really have time to think on what’s happening, but a part of him was still surprised to discover that Inoran’s usual shyness is gone.His left hand slided in J’s pants, giving him no time to think on his actions.
- Ino... – gasped J.
The other man considered it as encouragement, and even J could’t decide what it meant to be. He was too drunk, he couldn’t decide that is he dreaming or is it really happening, when Ino unbuttoned his jeans and started to tease him with his mouth. It was too hot to be real, but too intense to be a dream. J ran his fingers through the other man’s silken hazel hair and let out a sigh. Seemed like he wasn’t TOO drunk, at least his man parts worked perfectly. Inoran looked up,with a clear question in his eyes. J was too dizzy to think but his body reacted, he sat up, pulled the other man into his lap, and quickly helped him to get rid of his pants.

From here on, J’s memories were even more dim and confused. He remembered the scent of Inoran’s hair when he buried his face in it. He remembered the sound of his sweet, lustful moans. He remembered how his beautiful, slim body felt in his arms. He remembered when he watched him sleeping, and thought that he could stay with him like this forever. Then he suddenly sobered up, and realised that he shouldn’t feel this way for his best friend. So he left him there in his own apartment, and only went back when he was sure that Inoran had gone home. And most of all he remembered the expression of hurt on his face - which he tried to hide, unsuccessfully - next time they met.

Inoran didn’t exptected J to be this gentle.Even though he probably didn’t have any experience in such things, he instictively seemed to know what to do. When the blond man laid him down and opened his legs, for a moment Inoran got scared that they gonna do it without any lubrication, so closed his eyes and prepared himself mentally. But then he felt J’s soft touch on his inner thights, followed by a surprising and intense feeling of his tongue by his entrace. Inoran caught his breath. Soon J started to prepare him with his slender, long fingers, and even though he was a bit impatient, Inoran didn’t care much about the pain. He didn’t want to wait either. J turned him around with a sudden move, embraced him tightly from the back and entered. He was eager, couldn’t hold back the pace, not even at the beginning, and Inoran felt burning pain, but J’s panting breath on his neck and his strong arms around him made him forget it.When J came with a loud groan, his orgasm was so overwhelming Inoran could feel the intense pulsing inside, and it brought him close to the edge too. Then J carefully pulled himself out, turned him back so they could face each other again, and kissed him deeply while helped him jerking off. Inoran moaned into his mouth when dissolved into pleasure.They remained still for long minutes, listening to each other’s breathing, until Inoran fell asleep.

*

- Sugi, we need to talk. – after J spent nearly the whole night on the bench in front of Sugizo’s flat, around 7am he decided to finally ring the doorbell. Sugizo let him in, and was waiting for him with open door when he reached the top of the stairs. He looked like he just got out of the bed, he was wearing yukata, and his face was tired, but by some miracle his hair was just as perfect as always.
- You do not live here yet, you know. – he growled sleepily.
He probably meant that „yet” as a joke, but J felt suddenly sick to his stomach hearing it.
- What’s wrong? – Sugizo’s voice turned serious as he looked at J’s pale face, and closed the door behind them.
- Sugi, we must end this.
- End what? – raised Sugizo an eyebrow.
- You know very well what I’m talking about. – answered J irritably.
- Now wait a minute. – Sugizo crossed his arms – If this is a breakup, let me remind you that we’re not together. Besides, you are the one who appears by my apartment from time to time. I don’t even know where you live, Jun. And what’s the matter? Aren’t you satisfied with me?
- We shouldn't have to start this. The band could pay the price for it. We could... hurt others.
- You are a fake, Jun. – Sugizo now seemed seriously angry – Your problem isn’t that it happened, but that it turned out. First you said it could help to work together more effectively, and now you’re worried about the band, just because last time you weren’t able to take responsibility. When are you gonna grow up?
- Consider this as the first step. – said J sharply, then stormed out of the flat and slammed the door.
Sugizo sighed. It seemed like they’re dysfunctional, no matter what they do.
Later that day J didn’t appear on the scheduled recording session, and when Ino called him he said he overslept, but will be there in fifteen minutes. Just Inoran and Sugizo was there in the studio besides the staff, because only the guitars and the bass was scheduled for today, but they barely talked to each other until J arrived. Actually they both recorded their own parts already, but both wanted to stay there until J finishes too. None of them asked the other, why. When J arrived, he looked as if he hadn't slept in a long while. He didn’t say anything just grabbed one of his bass guitars and went straight to the studio room. The recordig didn’t go too well, he kept messing up the strum.
- What’s wrong? – asked Sugizo in a slightly sarcastic tone when J took a break.
- I didn’t have time to practice. – muttered J and tried to leave the room to prevent any more questions.
- I wonder why were you so busy lately. – chuckled Sugizo, but J didn’t turn back to the insult.
- I don’t know what happened between you two again, but he is even worse than before. – shook his head Inoran.
- I don’t have time for this. – Sugizo got up from the couch – I don’t think he is this deconcentrated because of me, but we’ll see if I leave will anything change or not.
A few hours later they finally finished the work. J hoped that eventually Inoran gets tired of waiting too, but he was a patient type.
- Are you in the mood for a beer? – asked Inoran complately unnecessarily, because J was always in the mood for a beer.
Eventually they decided to go to J’s flat because he wanted to take a shower first. By the time J came out of the shower Inoran was halfway to clean the house.
- This apartment looks like a battlefield, you really need a woman here... at least a cleaning lady. – said Inoran while collecting the empty bottles, dirty dishes and used chopticks from the living room.
- Or you. – J regretted his words immediatly as he said them.
Inoran gave no sign of taking the joke, just went into the kitchen and returned with the beers.
- So, tell me why do you look like you've been through the wringer. – he began.
- Don’t worry, I’m fine. – J waved a hand, and opened his bottle.
- I see you don’t want to tell me anything about what’s happening between you and Sugi, but I’m worried, Jun. – sighed Inoran – You better start to open up before the situation gets even more chaotic. Let me tell you something. Ryu helped me a lot, when... well, when I didn’t have any other friend to talk to, when you... weren’t there. It’s good the have somebody you can trust, and can tell everything...
- Wait a minute, you told Ryuichi what happened... between us? – J looked shocked.
- Yes, but don’t worry, he doesn’t judge. He’s just not that type.
- Oh, fuck. – J ran his hands through his hair in frustration – One really can’t keep secrets in this band. And seems like the source of problem is always me.
- It’s not what it looks like. I didn’t meant to tell everybody, but Ryu and me just got really close, so...
- How close? – lifted his head up J immediatly.
- Jun! – Inoran couldn’t suppress a chuckle. – Not THAT close. I don’t think he is interested in me anymore. Don’t change the subject.
- I have nothing to say about Sugizo, ok? – grunted J. – You already know too much about it. What do you mean „anymore”?
- Did I say that? – Inoran seemed to be embarrassed by the question.
- Who’s changing the subject now?!
- I tell you anything you want to hear if you tell me first what I want to hear. – Inoran folded his arms and sat back on the couch.
- Ok, you won. – sighed J, and opened his second beer – First time I was pretty drunk, so Sugi had to take me home, and since he doesn’t know where I live we ended up at his place. Then it just happened.
- Just like with me. – nodded Inoran and J was astonished how naturally he can talk about this topic. As if they were discussing nothing more than the weather.
- No, Ino, he is nothing like you, at all.
- Apparently so. You said first time. It means you two slept together more then once, right? – Inoran’s face revealed nothing.
- Would you please stop being this explicit, you drive me crazy! – pushed J his friend on his shoulder. – Yes, we did it more then once, but you really want to hear the details?
- Why not, sounds exciting. – smirked Inoran.
- Pervert. – snorted J – I don’t know why or how it happens again and again, ok? It’s just... he freaks me out in no time. We have this constant tension. I don’t know how to say it... besides, he can be very... manipulative, I guess.
- Oh I know that. He has a special ability to turn even straight guys gay. – giggled Inoran.
- I think I said more then enough, it’s your turn. – murmured J, and his face turned all red.
- What exactly do you want to hear?
- What’s the matter with Ryu? – J opened another beer.
Inoran was still on his first bottle.
- Oh, nothing special. You know, he is a changed man since he is married, but before that, they had that thing with Sugi, and...
- Who haven’t had a thing with him... – mumbled J under his breath.
- Me, in fact. At least not alone. – noted Inoran.
- And what' s this supposed to mean?! – asked J opening his eyes wide.
- One night after a show... – started the story Inoran - ...the guys wanted to drink but you dissapeared with some groupie girls I guess, and Shinya just wanted to go home. So only the three of us stayed there in the backstage and we were drinking there for a long time, long after everybody went home... but soon I started to feel uncomfortable with these two, the more they drank, the more they teased each other... and when they started kissing I got up to leave. But Ryuichi took my hand and... wait, how much do you want me to go into details?
- Tell me everything. – J’s voice was hoarse, and he leaned forward on the couch.
- Why?
- Because it indeed sounds exciting. – grinned J. – So he took your hand. Like this?
The touch on his hand caught Inoran unprepared.
- Y... yes...
- And then?
- Then he... asked me to join them. I wanted reject the offer, I haven’t felt myself drunk enough, but Sugizo got up and kissed me, and...
- Interesting. – J moved closer until their faces were only inches apart.
- Jun, what are you doing? – Inoran appeared confused.
- What do you think? – smiled J while took a lock of hair in the other man’s neck between his fingers.
- I think... – began Inoran to speak but his voice was weak since the touch gave him gooseflesh all over his body - ...that since you look pretty exhausted lately, only three beer seems enough for you to slowly get drunk, and you should stop now because at this point...
- I know damn well what am I doing, Ino. – J’s voice became so soft it was barely a whisper. – Tell me what happened next. I’m trying to imagine it.
- Would you quit playing this game? I’m not Sugizo...
- Yes, that’s what I told you, you’re nothing like Sugizo. - - You are my best friend... – J couldn’t finish the sentence.
- Exactly. – Inoran jumped up from the couch, and moved toward the balcony door - And that’s why this thing won’t work for me this way. If you’re doing this because of what I told you the other day, I’m sorry. Just forget I said anything.
He took a cigarette from his pocket and stepped outside.
- No, Ino, you don’t understand. – before the door had time to fall shut behind Inoran, J suddenly appeared there and caught it. - I was thinking on that thing you said me, and if you want me to be more than just your best friend... I’m...
Long silence. Inoran didn’t look at him, just kept smoking. The cigarette was shaking in his hand.
- What I’m trying to say is that I know you for like 30 years. – continued J awkwardly, and stuffed his hands in his pocket - And you know me better than anyone. And I’m so tired of trying to find... I don’t know what, love, or at least someone I can spend the rest of my life with, just to not being alone. Why the hell am I waiting for some stranger, when I have you?
- No, Jun, it’s too late. I’m too old to believe in miracles. – Inoran was staring down at the lights of the city. Then crushed out his cigarette. – I’d better go now.
- Wait, don’t go. – J tried to catch his friend by the arm, without success. He was losing patience. – What the fuck do you want me to do, Ino? Ask you out and buy some fucking flowers?
Inoran chuckled in trembling voice.
- Ask yourself, not me, what you want.
- I want... you. – said out loud J.
- Wanting is not enough, Jun, that’s not what I want to hear. But, at least you didn’t lie, I guess. – Inoran’s hand was on the doorknob.
- But... you know that. – J’s voice sounded so desperate, Inoran had to turn back - Would it make any difference? I want to be with you, and... my god, Ino, why do you want me to say obvious things?
- Just say it. – Inoran looked at him inquiringly.
- Please, stay here tonight.
- Good night, Jun. – before J could say another word, the front door closed and clicked behind Inoran.