A school free holiday meant a full day of playing video games and lazing around. At least, that’s what Josuke planned before his father came knocking on his door.
“M-Mr. Joestar? What are you doing he—”
“Now now, what kind of greeting is that for your father? You knew I was in town, didn’t you?” The old man laughed as he walked past the teenager and let himself inside. Josuke in turn spun on his heel, grabbing the old man by the shoulder before he could walk any further.
“HOLD ON A SECOND! Yeah I knew but you don’t know if my mom’s home or not!” he argued. The old man turned his head and cheekily grinned.
“Jotaro said you told him she was going out for the weekend, so I figured now’s as good a time as any to drop by. Speaking of which,” the man turned and pointed a finger and took a more serious tone. “You need to invite those friends of yours over right away! What were their names again? O…Okuyatsu? Koiji? Whatever! Just call them over! Oh, and you do have a VCR player, don’t you?”
“What?! Of course we—Ugh, fine okay, okay! This better be important.”
The now expected knocking at the door was answered to see a very confused Okuyasu and a VERY anxious Koichi.
“Josuke! Is everything okay?” Koichi asked worriedly. Okuyasu leaned over the shorter teen and looked around the house.
“Yeah man, you sounded pretty beat on the phone, and tellin’ the both of us to come as soon as we can? Did a stand user attack your dad or something?”
Josuke groaned and moved to let the two in.
“I have no idea! He just let himself in and told me to call you guys! And now he’s been screwing around with the TV for the past twenty minutes!” he said, gesturing to the old man who was on the ground fumbling with a bunch of wires. He did turn to look at the other two boys as they walked in, looking at him with puzzled expressions.
“Your friends are here! That’s great! It’ll just be—a second!” he said as he turned back to the mess of wires and a large box.
“D-do you need any help with that Mr. Joestar?” Koichi asked as he walked towards the older man.
“Nonsense! I’m just fine! Sit down, all of you!” he said. Josuke at this point was already slumped on the couch, and the other two shared a look before they also sat down.
“What’s all this about Mr. Joestar?” Okuyasu asked.
Finally, the man let out a triumphant laugh as he plugged the right wire into the TV and the box, which the teens could now see was a VCR player. He stood up and pulled a cassette tape out of his bag and showed it off proudly.
“I’m glad you asked, young man! THIS here! Is exactly what you all need to see!”
“A cassette? THAT’S what you so urgently needed me to bring my friends here for?!”
Josuke only received another finger being pointed in his face before the older Joestar pointed back at the tape.
“THIS right here is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE! After I gained my stand and after Egypt, I decided to try and discover any hidden powers my stand might’ve had that I didn’t know about it. And I recorded all my findings on my own video camera several years ago, with the help of my wife of course!” he grinned, then turning to put the cassette into the player. Josuke groaned again and put his face in his hand.
“So we’re here to watch a bunch of your old home videos?! Even better!”
“Come on Josuke, now we can see what your dad was like before he was all small and old!” Okuyasu said, earning a glare and near whack of a cane on his head by said old man. Joseph moved back and watched as the TV showed static for a moment before the picture changed to that of a younger version of himself. The three teens perked up somewhat, seeing how fit and in shape the man was, even when he was obviously on the older side.
“Okay, I think it’s rolling, dear!”
An older woman’s voice whispered, likely the person filming as Joseph was standing in front of them. The man on the screen shook his head and grinned, waving at the camera.
“Hello there! My name is Joseph Joestar! About a year ago, I gained an incredible power called a ‘stand’ and now I’m here to show YOU how it works!”
The Joseph on the screen turned around, and sure enough the purple vines of Hermit Purple came shooting out of his arm, knocking over something just off screen that the woman operating the camera was unable to catch in time, but didn’t seem to notice.
“Wow! That was great honey!”
“Thanks, sweetheart!” the younger Joseph winked at the camera.
“Hey! What the hell are you doing out there, gramps?” The sudden sound of an all too familiar voice made all three teens suddenly sit at the edge of their seats.
“I-Is that…?” Koichi stuttered.
“No way!” Okuyasu said.
Sure enough, the camera panned over to show a very annoyed teenage Jotaro in a black school uniform.
“Jotaro! Language!” The woman behind the camera scolded, only for him to tip the bridge of his hat and look away from the camera.
“Sorry, grandma Suzie…..” he muttered, but he looked angrily at Joseph as he walked up to him.
“This is great! I was just starting a video recording on the camera, I was gonna show off my stand!”
“What’s not great is you breaking shit on the porch, gramps!”
Suddenly the video started skipping and moving back to static, making the teens actually sigh in disappointment.
“What the hell?! I know there’s more than this! There’s gotta be something wrong with—”
Before he could even finish his sentence, the static cut to another video, now showing the image of scenery moving by from the inside of a car. The camera was then turned, now pointed at the man driving, of course being none other than the younger Joseph again as the woman, by now obviously his wife Suzie Q, giggled and spoke.
“Say hello to the camera Joseph!” she said. He glanced at the camera for a moment before waving and giving a goofy smile.
“Watch the road, gramps.”
As soon as his voice was heard again, the teens watching perked up again, now much more noticeable to the old man.
“Come on, Jotaro! Lighten up a little. You’re going on a day trip with your grandparents!” Joseph said, now with eyes on the road. The camera turned again, now showing poor Jotaro hunched in the back seat next to another figure the teens recognized.
“Yes! We don’t get to do this often, and it’s so nice that you brought a friend! Are you excited for the beach, Mars?” Suzie asked. They noticed the camera now pointed to them and smiled nervously, giving a small wave while Jotaro kept his hat tipped down and crossed his arms.
“Y-yeah! I don’t go to the beach a lot! And, uh, it’s nice to go with you!” they said.
Suzie turned the camera again, now showing her own face as she smiled.
“You hear that? I’m so glad! Jotaro’s making friends and they want to spend time with us too!”
Offscreen, Joseph chuckled as the camera turned to him again.
“Now, now Suzie, let’s not heckle the teenagers. Some of them are grumpy!” he smirked before his seat was kicked, nearly knocking the wind out of him.
“Jotaro!” Suzie scolded, but there was amusement in her voice as the camera showed Jotaro leaning back in his seat, smirking as Mars laughed next to him.
The screen went to static again, but for only a second before switching back to the image of bright blue skies and the sound of waves.
The camera was moved around and zoomed in on Jotaro, now with a bathing suit but still wearing his signature cap, laying on a towel in the sand. Next to him sat Mars, also in a bathing suit and loose shirt looking off into the distance at something offscreen before suddenly looking in front of them as the camera zoomed out slightly as Joseph, wet from being in the water walked up in front of the two and put his hands on his hips.
“We’ve been out here for an hour and you haven’t moved an inch!” he said, only making Jotaro mutter something the camera couldn’t quite pick up from the distance and waves. This only made Joseph lean down and snatch the hat that was over his eyes before turning and bolting for the water again, making Suzie and Mars laugh as Jotaro suddenly scrambled to his feet and chased after. The camera turned to see Jotaro chasing his grandfather into the water before the unmistakable arm of Star Platinum shoved the man from behind, causing him to fall face first into the water as the hat was snatched out of his hand. Before the old man could push himself up, the teen turned and started walking back, making said old man stand up and yell something at him and crossing his arms again.
Jotaro walked back to his towel as he put the very wet cap on his head, making Mars’ laughter grow again as he suddenly caught a beach ball that was thrown at him. His annoyed expression grew soft for a moment as he watched Mars walk by, bumping arms with him softly before breaking into a run towards the water, which he gladly followed after.
The footage kept intermittently going to static but showing scenes throughout the same day. The three men playing volleyball with the beach ball, all at some point using their stands to cheat. Joseph trying and failing to surf. Far away shots of Jotaro crouching in the water pointing at something he found in the water, with Mars crouching beside him and glancing at his face and whatever it was they found in the water as he talked. There were a lot of far away shots of Jotaro and Mars actually, which the teens were more than happy to see more of the man in his teen years, even if it looked like he hardly aged a day. However there was something they, and likely Suzie had kept catching on. He seemed…on edge somehow. He seemed pretty comfortable with Mars, but when he was approached or realized the camera was on the two of them he seemed to tense up or any smile on his face faded into a more neutral look.
At one point the camera switched to a shot of Jotaro sitting close to the camera, looking off-screen to what was revealed as Mars and Joseph attempting to build a giant sand castle. The two kept talking loudly, but still unintelligible from the distance and background noise to the camera as they walked around, careful to keep anything from knocking their ‘masterpiece’ over as they worked on it. The camera pointed back to Jotaro, who had his eyes fixed on Mars with a rare genuine smile on his face. Suzie hummed in content before he saw the camera and frowned, pulling his hat over his face and looking away.
“Are you having fun now, Jotaro?” Suzie asked. Jotaro didn’t look back but muttered a “Yeah.”
“I’m glad to see my grandson happy, you know? And I’m glad you’re such good friends with them!”
Jotaro frowned even more before looking at Suzie, rather than the camera in her hand. It was hard to really read his face, but didn’t look angry or annoyed. Rather, he looked conflicted, careful about what wanted to say next.
“I wanna talk to you, can you turn that thing off?”
“Oh! Of course, dear!”
The camera went to static again, and the teens on the couch felt their stomachs simultaneously drop, as they all could tell what he was trying to say.
The tense air was broken however when the screen cut to show images of the inside of a car again, now nighttime. The camera silently turned to the backseat, where Jotaro and Mars were both asleep, with him partially crossing his arms with the exception of one who’s hand was intertwined with Mars’ on his leg. Mars was leaning leaned on him, head laid against his arm. The footage was hard to see with the dim light, but it was still a rare sight to behold for anyone who knew the man both then and even now.
“It’s so nice…seeing him so happy with someone like this. I’m glad he’s found someone who makes him happy.” Suzie whispered. The camera zoomed in on the sleeping couple before zooming out and turning to Joseph who looked in the rear-view mirror for a moment, smiling softly before looking back at the road.
“There had to be someone out there who could. And they’re a good kid, I’m glad it’s them.” He said softly.
“Yeah….” Suzie whispered happily as she turned the camera back at the two.
“….I’m glad he told us.”
The screen finally cut back to static before going showing it was the end of the tape. The teenagers watching were now smiling, partially teary-eyed and all too relatable for some of them. Joseph smiled warmly at the memory before getting up and taking the tape out.
“I see now, Suzie must have taped over my older tapes. That’s just like her.” His voice was filled with nothing but love as he put the tape back and picked up another.
“Now I have to wonder, are they all taped over?” he asked himself.
“OH! Can we watch more?! I wanna see more young Mr. Jotaro and Mars!” Okuyasu said, excitedly.
“Yeah, it’s really nice to see them when they were young. And seeing him before all this is really interesting!” Koichi added.
“Hey now, I wanted to show you this to show you clips of me in my prime! And all you care about is Jotaro?” Joseph pouted. Josuke nervously shook his head, putting his hands up defensively.
“N-no! It’s not like that at all! Just, show us more! Please?”
Joseph huffed angrily and was about to put in another tape when the door opened and in called a voice.
“Koichi? Are you here Koichi?” Yukako called out as she walked in to find the three.
“Y-Yukako! What are you doing here?” Koichi stood up as she walked over to him and gave him a big hug.
“I thought we would spend the day together, but you weren’t home! I was so worried! Then Rohan said he saw you heading over here.” She said, only to be followed by another pair of footsteps.
“Did you find him?” in walked said mangaka, who shared a glare with Josuke.
“Hey, you can’t just walk in like you own the place!” Josuke stood up. He earned a slight glare from Yukako before Koichi convinced her it wasn’t her he was talking to as Rohan walked up to him.
“You’re one to talk, Higashikata Josuke! Who’s the one who strutted up to my house and then burned it down?” he snarled. Josuke flinched at the memory before groaning.
“That was an accident, you don’t have to keep bringing it up!”
“And I was just trying to find out what happened to my dear friend Koichi.”
“We’re just watching videos of young Mr. Jotaro.” Okuyasu chimed in.
“Young Jotaro? Now that’s certainly interesting.” Rohan said, moving to sit down on the couch much to Josuke’s detest.
“Sounds like it! You don’t mind if I stay here with you, right Koichi?” Yukako said, voice growing slightly threatening before Koichi laughed nervously and sat down with her hooked around his arm.
Joseph simply rolled his eyes as he put in the next tape.
The rest of the tapes were similar. Shots of the Joestar-Kujo family plus Mars interacting, spending days together and even some holidays, and it was evident how close Jotaro and Mars were getting, even if they weren’t outright kissing or cuddling up to each other. The entire group watching the home videos were completely enthralled in watching the tapes until they came upon one of the last, an unlabeled one that started with a wide shot of a beach, this time near sunset as the entire room gasped with realization of an unmistakable set up.
Seats set up in rows save for an aisle that led up to an alter where Jotaro stood in an immaculate suit. Next to him stood another man in a suit with straight silver hair that the group didn’t recognize, and to the other side of him stood the priest.
“Mr. Jotaro’s and Mars’ wedding…..”
The room was completely silent as they watched the video. Jotaro stood tensely, looking as nervous as he’d let himself show while the man next to him put a hand on his shoulder, though he honestly looked like he could burst into tears at any moment.
Soon enough the people in the seats turned their heads, and the group watching could recognize a few faces; Joseph, Suzie Q, Jotaro’s mom who they once saw pictures of, and only a few other people along with them. But they were all staring as Mars walked down the aisle, in a suit just as immaculate as Jotaro’s. When they walked up they handed the bouquet to the silver haired man as they took hands with Jotaro, both smiling lovingly at each other and one far closer to tears than the other, who even then was getting welled up.
It was in the middle of the tearful vows that the group intently and tearfully watching the video failed to notice the sound of the door opening again as two pairs of footsteps made their way to the room before freezing in the doorway at the scene they saw.
Mars softly gasped as Jotaro’s eyes widened at the scene of a room of tearful teenagers, plus Rohan and Joseph watching their own wedding video. Mars immediately grabbed their husband’s arm as they smiled warmly at the memory, trying not to start tearing up. Surprisingly, Jotaro felt himself do the same, letting his arm get linked to his husbands as he tipped his hat and shook his head, finally calling attention to themselves.
“Good grief old man, you said you lost this recording.” He said, trying to sound as intimidating as he could despite his soft smile. The entire room jumped and turned to the couple in shock at their sudden entrance or lack thereof.
“M-M-MR. JOTARO! We were just—”
“Mr. Joestar found these videos and we—”
“They’re just so sweet and we couldn’t help but—” The man interrupted them all by simply walking into the room and sitting down on the couch with his husband, as everyone else had by now stood up in surprise.
“I remember….Polnareff barely kept it down long enough during the actual ceremony.” Jotaro smiled, seeing the image of the man just barely keeping himself from full on sobbing.
“Hey, at least he did better than us!” Mars laughed, wiping a tear from their eye.
“Better than you.” He joked, though truthfully he was keeping himself from getting welled up seeing his younger self wipe tears from his eyes.
The rest of the room laughed and smiled as they kept watching the tapes, which led inevitably to the reception in which Joseph gave a joking and witty speech that made even present Jotaro put his face in his hands and brought Mars to tears with laughter. The two would throw in added bits of information and jokes of things that happened, but all in all they seemed in a better mood than anyone in Morioh had EVER seen them.
Once the tapes were all over, the group bombarded the two men with questions about their relationship and things they saw in the videos before Jotaro sighed and pulled his hat over his eyes again.
“Good grief! I came here to find the old man not take a trip down memory lane. Come on gramps it’s getting late.” Jotaro said, standing up along with Mars as they helped Joseph grab his things.
“It is getting late isn’t it. I don’t know why I let myself stay this long.” Rohan lied as he stood up, saying goodbye to no one as he made his way for the door.
“We should get going too. I’ll walk you home, Yukako.” Koichi said, still rubbing his eyes from getting teared up and his girlfriend doing the same and simply nodding.
“Hey bro, can I stay the night?”
“Okuyasu, you live like less than a block away.”
“Yeah, but we can have a sleepover! It’ll be fun, and I know Yukako gets angry when I try to walk with them and she really freaks me out sometimes! Please bro?”
Josuke sighed, but smiled as he shook his head.
Okuyasu excitedly ran off to grab snacks from the kitchen, but Josuke went up and helped Mars and Joseph grab the wires and tapes that were strewn about.
“Thanks Josuke!” Mars said, picking up the bag.
“Of course, no problem.” He said, before turning to Jotaro, who took the last tape out of the VCR player and held it, looking over the small box before turning his attention to his young uncle.
“You know…..with all the shit we’ve been through, and all the shit you and my old man talked about, I always thought your life was kinda…..uh….sucky.” Josuke said, sheepishly rubbing the back of his head and earning a scoff out of the older man. “But…..seeing this stuff….seeing your super cool family and how….normal it could be. It was really cool. And seeing you as my age too!”
Jotaro, rather than rolling his eyes or making a deadpan remark instead looked back at the tape and then back to Mars, who was talking to Joseph as he kept trying to take the bag from them insisting he didn’t need their help despite using a cane.
“It was…..’sucky’. For a while. After Egypt. But things got better. I met them and…..things didn’t have to be normal. We’re about as normal as the rest of our family. I’m for one just lucky. Lucky to have them….and they’re your family too. Don’t forget that.” He put a reassuring hand on the teen’s shoulder before walking back to his husband and grandfather as they headed to the door. Josuke walked to the door as well, watching them get into the car as he shared another look with Jotaro and waving back at Mars as they left.
If the two of them could be happy, who needed to be normal?