Together Like This - Slow Burn Jotakak Baseball AU - Vinnie0258 - ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 | JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (2024)

Chapter 1: League

Summary:

Uhhh they join a baseball team and they're gay for each other.

I swear I'm a good writer I just hate doing summaries. Finally learned how to use the rich text format instead of HTML! I'm a genius.

I feel like one of those quippy manga authors, putting random sh*t down in these notes. Should I pull a Gege Akutami and mercilessly kill your favorite characters? Muahahahahaha

Gege when I catch you Gege

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Square up to the plate,” Joseph coached.

“What the hell does that mean?” Jotaro, 8 years old, responded with a tepid look in his eyes.

“It means stand with your whole body facing home plate,” his grandpa said, undeterred as ever by little Jotaro’s lack of enthusiasm.

Jotaro slowly shifted to face the plate and held up the bat.

“See that, Holly, he’s a natural! He’ll be a star player in no time!”

Holly smiled brightly and watched Joseph hurry to the pitcher’s mound.

As his grandpa shuffled towards the pitcher's mound, Jotaro twisted the bat in his hands, getting a sense of its weight and the way it moved in his wrist. His dad, Sadao, was off behind the bleachers, talking to someone on the phone, and he felt a twinge of sadness at hearing his voice.

Then, Joseph spoke up.

“Batter up!” His voice echoed that of an old American umpire, gruff and self-confident.

Jotaro narrowed his eyes on the ball, piercing through the single lock of dark hair falling from his oversized helmet to scrutinize his grandfather’s opening pitch.

Joseph tossed the ball in a soft arc and he swung and missed. The bat was heavier than he expected, but soon he adapted to its weight and hit some ground balls.

Holly volunteered to chase after them and Joseph continued to coach him.

“Hands together! Bend your knees! Swing all the way through! Attaboy!”

The last comment came after Jotaro hit a ball straight towards his grandpa, who caught it and threw it again with a smirk.

Jotaro felt joy strike in his chest at that, then disappointment at his next swing, which missed by a hair, but would never allow any of it to show. Especially not to the old man. Doing so would earn him a pinch on the cheek later on, something the American seemed to find entertaining. And showing his dad would earn him nothing. Showing his mom earned him lots of love, but sometimes, too many cuddles.

So, despite his apathetic behavior, he kept loving playing baseball.

Jotaro quit playing baseball by Year 5. Maybe it was the early onset of puberty, maybe it was the tugging sense of complete apathy towards homework and thus the entire school system, maybe it was his parent’s recent divorce, but most likely, it was the fact that the coach was a teacher he despised. The thought of playing baseball faded quickly as delinquency slowly took over his academic and social life as his father appeared less and less.

At 17, Jotaro traveled across continents for 50 days with his fellow Crusaders to defeat DIO. It was a pyrrhic victory, however, as Abdul and Kakyoin nearly died, Polnareff was permanently disabled, and Joseph and Jotaro lost about half of the blood in their bodies.

Despite the permanent scars, the Crusaders returned to their lives, albeit in different ways.

Polnareff returned to France after gaining a high-grade silver wheelchair courtesy of the Speedwagon Foundation, Abdul to Egypt (after losing both arms but regaining them thanks (again) to the Speedwagon Foundation), and Joseph to America, with more thanks to the SWF folks because of the blood transfer thing. Iggy made it, too, but with the help of some master veterinarians. He went to France with Polnareff.

Jotaro returned to Japan after getting fixed up for all of the stab wounds but was reluctant to leave Kakyoin. He was in the worst shape of all – missing a solid chunk of spine and guts, more than half of his blood, and comatose.

Lucky for him, the SWF swooped in in the nick of time and stopped Kakyoin’s condition from worsening. The team soon found a solution for his injuries with some experimental German tech and Stand-assisted surgery.

Jotaro was at the hospital the night of Kakyoin’s surgery. The other Crusaders were unable to be there in person but stayed with him on the phone in the waiting area for over 12 hours.

Kakyoin was transferred to a hospital in Japan so his parents could see him and the first time they met, Jotaro was surprised by their complete understanding of his story.

Turns out, years of hearing Kakyoin mumble about his “imaginary friend” had opened their minds to the concept of ghosts, so Stands weren’t that hard to mentally encapsulate. Either that or they were just too shell-shocked to accept any other story.

Kakyoin’s parents, Tsu and Benjiro, were clearly in over their heads in the waiting room. Jotaro wasn’t in any normal psychological state himself but watched passively as the other adults paced on opposite sides of the room, constantly fielding phone calls and shaking as they explained themselves to their bosses.

Tsu held in her tears as the angry man bellowed at her, cupping a hand over her mouth as Benjiro negotiated overtime and bowed his head constantly, as if his boss was really there in person. At least Kakyoin’s grandma sounded concerned for his and their well-being.

Hours later, the surgeons walked out with tired but happy eyes and said the surgery was a perfect success.

Jotaro didn’t hear much after that, hardly even the cheering and sighs of relief coming from his phone. All he felt was a dissolving feeling of tension, like taking off a heavy backpack, layers of worry unfurling from his gut. He only tuned back in when the doctors said: “You can see him now,” and paced impatiently behind the much shorter doctors that walked them to Kakyoin’s room.

Upon entering his room, Kakyoin’s parents started crying and each held one of his hands, telling him all the heartfelt things they wanted to in a jumbled mess of overtalk.

Kakyoin was quick to smile lovingly at them, but easily overwhelmed and glanced up at Jotaro, who stood still at the end of his bed, pinching his hat to keep himself composed as the Crusaders’ voices spilled out over the phone. They locked eyes and smiled gratefully at each other.

The rest of the night was spent telling each other wondrous stories.

For a few months, Jotaro routinely skipped school and visited Kakyoin each week, bringing food and conversations about the outside world. He even played some video games with him before his final discharge, none of which he could get the hang of before Kakyoin fell asleep due to his meds (though it's possible he just didn't want to lose).

A few months later, once Kakyoin and Jotaro were back into normal life, things were… quiet.

School was wrapping up, so Holly pulled together a small graduation party and invited the Crusaders, including Kakyoin and his family. The rest of the Crusaders were too busy reestablishing their lives and Kakyoin’s parents had to work, but Joseph and Suzie Q attended by phone.

Kakyoin and Jotaro celebrated their graduation together.

That night, when Holly and her parents were captivated by the baseball game on the TV, the pair walked around the house, reminiscing and idly chatting.

Kakyoin paused to watch the sōzu in the garden fill up with water and tip over and over again.

“Jotaro… I’ve been thinking.”

Jotaro’s stomach flipped. Usually those words, combined with his name, meant something serious.

“I’m going to major in art. I know it’s not the best career path for money, but I think… after everything that’s happened, I’m ready to live my life how I want it.” Kakyoin turned his gaze from the decoration to Jotaro’s position.

The graduate sat on the edge of the veranda, shoes flat on the ground while Kakyoin’s dangled in the air. He turned to look at the redhead on his left, leaning back on one hand. The strike of anxiety in his stomach faded away as he looked at him.

“Good on you. What do you draw?” Kakyoin was used to short answers, but not the strikingly warm smile Jotaro responded to him with.

Jotaro himself wasn't even sure why he smiled so much when Kakyoin was around.

After a moment of unanticipated captivation towards Jotaro’s rare smile, he spoke, keeping his eyes on that smile and treasuring it as it faded naturally.

“I paint, actually. I use acrylics most often, but if you’re wondering what subjects, I do a lot of people and landscapes and the occasional still life.”

“What’s that?”

Kakyoin was surprised but also not surprised that Jotaro didn’t know.

“It’s basically just painting whatever’s in front of you. If I were to do a still life right now, I’d probably paint that flower.” He pointed towards a red camellia. “Lots of artists do them to expand their range.”

“Do you need to expand your range?”

Kakyoin chuckled softly.

“No, I’m perfect.”

Jotaro huffed under his breath and Kakyoin felt satisfied at seeing his little smile. Not many people were able to understand Jotaro’s body language, but he assumed spending nearly every hour of 50 days with him was proper education in the art.

“What are you going to do?”

“Marine biology.” Jotaro’s voice rumbled with a genuine affection for those words.

Kakyoin perked up.

“Why that?”

Jotaro’s dark eyes glimmered with the agog kind of light a professor's does when you ask what they specialize in, and Kakyoin realized he’s about to drop a paragraph of pent-up adoration for sea creatures on his ass, but right before Jotaro could open his grinning mouth, Holly came out with the phone in hand, Joseph and Suzie’s bubbly voices chirping brightly through the microphone.

“Hey, graduates! Papa and I have a surprise for you, Jotaro!”

Kakyoin smiled back at Holly and Jotaro scowled, tipping his hat.

They got up from the veranda and reentered the house.

“Now, Jotaro, do you remember when you were little and I used to take you and Holly down to the park to play baseball?” the old man began as soon as they were inside.

Jotaro responded with a slight nod and grunt.

Kakyoin tilted his head in curiosity.

“Well…”

“I found a summer baseball league and signed you up for it!” Holly squealed, pure excitement oozing from her character.

“And we got you a bat, glove, and a helmet, sweetie! You must protect that big brain of yours!” Suzie Q chipped in, her wrinkly smile matching Joseph’s.

Holly took the gear out of a bag and joyfully presented it to Jotaro, who was simultaneously shocked and bewildered, from what Kakyoin could tell. But also… not entirely against the idea, it seemed. Something in him seemed almost happy, slowly considering the possibility of playing in a league.

Kakyoin smiled amiably, admiring the equipment after seeing Jotaro’s thoughtful expression.

“That’s a good quality bat. I’ve seen it in professional sports!” Kakyoin chimed in.

Jotaro’s surprise faded into a barely visible smile. To an outsider, it looked like a neutral expression, but to those close to him, he was clearly happy as a clam.

“Louisville-,” Joseph grumbled proudly. “-official bat for Major League Baseball!”

Kakyoin nodded and slid his gaze back to Jotaro. He was trying on the glove – a perfect fit, but the leather was shiny and not worn in yet. After a few harsh squeezes, he removed the glove and picked up the helmet, not putting it on so he wouldn’t have to take off his cap, but admiring its shape and protective insides.

“Thank you, old man. Thank you, Granny. I appreciate it.” Jotaro kept his eyes laser focused on the equipment, but his tone was genuinely grateful.

Kakyoin and the others smiled warmly, unbeknownst to him.

“Oh, it’s getting late over there; I suppose we should let you go now, sweetie.” The elders spoke while leaving the room, but Jotaro and Kakyoin immediately tuned them out to admire the presents.

“You played baseball?” Kakyoin grinned at the image of little JoJo playing baseball with his gramps.

Jotaro nodded and hmphed.

“Mostly when I was younger. I had to stop playing in 5th year.”

Kakyoin gave him a “why?” look, raised eyebrow making Jotaro’s chest warm, which he expertly ignored.

“The coach was annoying.”

Kakyoin murmured something in understanding and stood up, holding the bat carefully.

Jotaro’s eyes followed his hands, feeling a little possessive over his present now that someone else held it, but that slipped away as he watched Kakyoin's hands flex around the handle.

Kakyoin held the bat at its base, taking an awkward but confident stance. He slowly moved the heavy shaft around in a half-circle shape around his body to make sure he wouldn’t hit anything, then held it up at his shoulder and took a swing!

Jotaro’s eyes widened. Kakyoin’s speed was incredible. Even if his form was pretty bad.

“Hey, choke up on the bat. It’ll help your swing,” Jotaro said.

“What’s that mean?” Kakyoin looked back at him, confused.

“Move your hands up. Here, I’ll show you how to do it,” Jotaro replied, excited that he knew something Kakyoin didn’t. He stood up and refused to take the bat from Kakyoin when he extended it. He stood behind him and placed his hands over Kakyoin’s, pulling his hands up and arms to a proper angle where the bat practically rested on his shoulder.

Kakyoin was a little surprised by Jotaro’s comfort with touch, but certainly not against it. It was just lucky for him that he couldn’t see his rosy cheeks.

Jotaro let go of Kakyoin’s hands and used his foot to spread his legs apart a bit further.

“Feet shoulder-width apart. Actually, shift your weight to your back leg. When you swing, take a step with your front leg. It’s so your torso has more power and balance.” Jotaro patted him firmly on the shoulder and took a few strides back, eyes glued on Kakyoin's position.

Kakyoin adjusted himself and looked back to make sure Jotaro was out of the way.

“Thank you. Your grandpa must’ve been a good coach.” Kakyoin took a swing, but it was uncoordinated.

Jotaro spoke as he got into the rhythm of swinging properly.

“Hmph. He’s a big fan of the American leagues and wanted me to play.”

Kakyoin swung again, this time with more power in his step.

Jotaro was still impressed by his ferocious swing, but now he wanted to try it.

“Did you want to play?” Kakyoin took one final, powerful swing, and lowered the bat.

Jotaro shrugged and took the bat when Kakyoin presented it to him.

“I suppose. It’s a fun game. I like the way it feels, I guess.” Jotaro wouldn’t have added the last sentence if it’d been anyone else in the room. Admitting it felt childish.

But Kakyoin smiled at him and he smiled back.

He gripped the bat, trading positions with Kakyoin. He got into his stance, muscle memories flooding back into his arms and ribs.

Kakyoin adjusted his hair and leaned against a dresser, arms crossed comfortably.

“Will you play in the summer league, then?”

Before Jotaro took a swing, he paused momentarily, resting the bat on his shoulder.

Kakyoin was surprised that he took so long to answer his question. Usually, he’d just grunt an easy “no” and that’d be the end of it, but now his eyebrows furrowed, his mind flipping through the possibilities. For once, he seemed... contemplative.

Jotaro's thoughts raced like so: “Yes – could be fun. No – could be awful. I have a reputation to maintain. I’m not good with people.” He glanced at Kakyoin.“Okay, that’s not entirely true.”

His answer was simple.

“Eh, maybe.”

Holly forced Jotaro to join the team.

He wasn’t particularly against it, though, so he followed her into the practice facility with feigned annoyance.

They went through the paperwork and finally met one of the coaches as they were leaving.

Holly introduced Jotaro to him and he firmly shook his hand, crushing it around in his palm.

Coach Greyson was also half American and Japanese, but much shorter and grayer than Jotaro. His spunky personality made up for his height, though, and Jotaro had a feeling he would grow to like him. He had already complimented his handshake, a sign of respect in Jotaro's book.

Practice began soon, so Jotaro kept up his typical blasé appearance with Holly, but called Kakyoin one night, at last admitting to himself that he was nervous about playing on a new team. “I don't want to play with a bunch of random guys I don't know. It'll be better if Kakyoin is there,” he reasoned.

He picked up on the second ring.

“Hello, JoJo. What’s up with you?”

“Hey. What are you doing right now?”

“I’m playing League of Legends, why?”

Jotaro was quiet for a second. He wasn’t good at this sort of thing – asking nicely felt weird.

“You should join the baseball team,” he said bluntly.

“Oh? Why?”

Jotaro's mind raced for an answer. Recalling the night he first saw Kakyoin swing a bat, he answered confidently.

“You’re a good batter. The team could always use more players.”

“So, you did end up joining the team!”

“Yep.” He said it a little proudly, much to his and Kakyoin's surprise.

“I’m interested. Did they seem like good players?”

“Yeah! They’ve got a good facility and rank well in the district standing. They’re called the Legends, actually.” Jotaro scarcely held back the excitement in his voice. “As long as Kakyoin joins, it won't be so burdensome,” he surmised.

“Heh, the League of Legends. What a coincidence. I’ll have to discuss it with my parents, but they should be fine, probably. When are the practices?”

Jotaro felt like pumping his fist when he heard Kakyoin answer. He’d never say it, but having him there would be a massive relief.

“Practices are Monday through Thursday from 4-6. Friday nights are off and there are a few weekend practices. I’ll get you a schedule if you want.”

“Yes, I’d like that.” Kakyoin paused, his mind reminding him of his complete lack of knowledge and skill in baseball. “Jotaro, I'm afraid I don’t have much experience with baseball. Will you show me the ropes?”

“Yeah!” Jotaro would’ve added an “of course,” but decided that sounded too cutesy.

“Alright. I’ll see you at practice, then!” Kakyoin’s smile came through his phone voice.

Jotaro hummed his agreement and they hung up.

He slept good that night.

Kakyoin got to the first practice early and charmed up Coach Greyson. He met the other coach too – Coach Feryal (pronounced Fair – ee – all), a quiet but strict lady with good posture and a bleach blonde high ponytail.

The other players trickled into the main entrance, mingling and meeting up with those they already knew.

Kakyoin stood by the door and observed several heads turn when Jotaro’s towering form entered, including the coaches.

Jotaro nodded respectfully towards them and beelined it to Kakyoin, who’s eyes twinkled with excitement.

He grinned and spoke in a hushed tone.

“I talked to the coaches just now. They seem very knowledgeable and the players look like they get along well. What do you know about them?”

“From what I know, they’re mostly college students and a few other guys fresh outta high school. If the other teams are like this, I think it’ll be a good season. What, are you worried?”

Kakyoin shrugged, tilting his head. His hair strand fell over an eye and he flicked it back, skimming over the room.

“I don’t like losing.” He looked over the players, sizing each one up for the last time before turning back to Jotaro. “Hey, did you bring your equipment?”

“Yeah. They have stuff here if you need it, too.”

Kakyoin hummed in acknowledgement, quieting down as the coaches began rounding up players.

Practice began with finding their lockers.

Kakyoin determined the best spot was by the mirrors in the back, so Jotaro followed him and picked the largest locker near his.

Neither would acknowledge it, but it was secretly thrilling and comforting to have the other so close amongst other half-dressed strangers. Something made their hearts beat faster about it, but it was also ataractic, in a strange way - like being separate together made them safe.

But being separate together wasn't the only option, since the team was friendly and quickly accepted the new players as part of the group.

Chatter filled the room as the older players caught up with each other and met the newbies.

When they had changed into their gym clothes, Jotaro and Kakyoin introduced themselves to the accepting group of players that gathered near the door.

Kakyoin made an elegant introduction, Jotaro intimidated the players with his stature and unchanging stoic expression, but a subtle, lighthearted smile as Kakyoin joked with the group relieved them of further worry about his attitude.

The coaches started evaluating the players on catching skills first.

Jotaro and Kakyoin teamed up as a pair and joined the field filled with lines of baseballs flying across the sky. It took them both time to adjust to using gloves and throwing properly, but they caught on quickly.

No one could see that Hierophant Green and Star Platinum were to blame for their exceptional accuracy.

Jotaro caught Kakyoin using Green first, eyeing up the green strands weaving in his glove.

He really doesn’t like losing,” he thought.

He winked at him when he brought out Star. His throws were stunningly precise thanks to Star’s aim, and Coach Greyson took notes on his clipboard.

Kakyoin was fast but inexperienced at catching, even with Green’s help. However, batting practice was his time to shine.

Jotaro slipped Kakyoin some batting gloves.

“Sometimes hitting a ball a certain way can send zingers up your arms. These should help.”

Kakyoin thanked him, hands brushing, and strolled confidently into the batting cage with a grin. He would be lying if he said he didn’t practice his swing and done some research before attending practice thanks to Jotaro’s compliments. He’d observed the other batters and understood how the pitching machine worked.

Jotaro’s bat fit perfectly in his hands and he took a few practice swings, limb muscles adapting to the feel of weight.

The first ball was fast and he missed, but remained confident, vowing to swing faster. He gripped the bat tightly and swung, a strong CRACK echoing throughout the chamber as the ball smacked the net back, gone in a split second.

Kakyoin beamed, feeling a new kind of power rush through his hands and down his body.

Jotaro’s eyes widened, impressed yet again by Kakyoin’s power.

It seemed that the coaches were also impressed by his vicious swings. Coach Feryal adjusted the speed of the pitching machine unbeknownst to Kakyoin with a smirking “be quiet” symbol at Jotaro.

Despite her tampering, Kakyoin still sent each ball flying at blistering speed, each hit increasing his confidence and prowess.

He wasn’t particularly accurate and the balls ranged from pop flies to grounders, but they were velocious nonetheless. He grinned at every hit, his muscles tingling with potency.

When his time was up, Kakyoin left the cage with a broad smile on his face.

After he removed his helmet, his whole body beamed with pride - shoulders back and head held high.

Jotaro gave him a thumbs up with a smile.

Kakyoin drew the gloves off and shook his hands out, smiling at him as his insides burned from adrenaline.

“They really do sting!” he chimed, his eyes alight with passion despite his frenzied nervous system.

Jotaro grinned and pulled the gloves on.

When it was his turn to bat, Jotaro became painfully aware of how easy Kakyoin made it look. He missed the first few balls but got into a good rhythm and his natural strength made hitting easier. He hit a few decent ones, but before he could really adjust, it was someone else’s turn.

Practice concluded with a basic workout and stretches for the whole team. The coaches pressed them to do icebreakers, so they learned that the majority of the players went to the nearby university on sports scholarships.

Jotaro introduced himself as “Kujo Jotaro. I graduated high school recently and plan to major in Marine Biology.”

“I am Kakyoin Noriaki. I graduated with Jotaro and plan to major in, uh, Education.”

Jotaro’s eyebrows scrunched up.

Kakyoin shot him a look and he understood not to mention it. “I’d like to teach high school. And what’s your name?” He passed the stage to the next person with a cordial smile.

After practice, Jotaro asked him about it.

Kakyoin sighed, unlocking his car.

“I don’t like the way people act when I tell them I’m an artist. They make a face, like they expected something better from me. They seem to think less of me after knowing, in a way,” he murmured.

Jotaro scoffed, opening the driver’s door.

He and Kakyoin had parked next to each other.

“They’re idiots.”

“I know. I still don’t enjoy dealing with it.”

“I get that.”

They took a second to breathe before looking away from each other and into their cars.

Jotaro spoke up before they left.

“Kakyoin.”

The slimmer man perked up, his melon-red hair falling over his eye.

Jotaro lost words for a second, thinking of what to say as his mind processed what his body was suddenly feeling. “Why did my chest just twist? This feels weird. Agh, never mind that, I've gotta say something before it gets too awkward. Think, what do I say? Thanks for telling me what you're feeling? No, that’s too personal. I’m sorry you have to deal with that stuff; you don’t deserve that? No, that’s even worse. No one thinks less of you just because you’re kinda girly? NO.”

“See you tomorrow,” he grunted.

“Bye, Jotaro!” Kakyoin smiled, waved, and ended the conversation by closing his car door.

Notes:

*TikTok sound voice*

"And then it hit me! The best idea I ever had in my entire life!" (Jotakak Baseball AU Slow Burn Fic)

"That's the worst idea you had in your entire life."

Y'all I'm editing this here note to say I went through and re-re-re-re edited everything so it's in a format I like and also added some bits, cut out some bits, and finally came up with a name for this baby! Hope you like it!

Chapter 2: Game

Summary:

Kakyoin paints, Jotaro pitches.

~sexual tension woohoo~ :D

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Hey Jotaro, remember when you asked about still lifes the other night? Well, it got me thinking, and I’d like to come over to your house to paint. I’ve pretty much run out of interesting objects to paint at home, so let me know if you’re available. And say hi to Holly for me! Goodbye,” Kakyoin’s voice message ended.

Their practices had been productive for two weeks and the team was finally getting past the awkward “getting to know you” stage.

Jotaro was shocked to learn that he was now held in high regard by the coaches and thus became one of the starting pitchers, but even more shocked to learn Kakyoin was assigned to first baseman! It wasn’t that his power wasn’t unnoticeable, but his lack of experience seemed to be overlooked by the coaches, which surprised him.

“Kakyoin said they were knowledgeable, so why put two rookies in the most important positions?” Jotaro questioned it but forgot as soon as he took to the pitcher’s mound.

He’d enjoyed the flabbergasted looks on the coaches’ faces when he used Star Platinum to help aim his throws perfectly during a scrimmage and enjoyed the look on Kakyoin’s face even more when he threw an out straight to him after diving to catch it.

“Kakyoin was so focused, so determined to win. It was enthralling to watch,”he reminisced.

Today was Friday, which meant no practice that night.

“Mom. Kakyoin is coming over tonight,” Jotaro yelled from across the house. He picked up the phone and called him as Holly responded affirmatively. “Hey, Kakyoin, I’m free tonight. Wanna come over to paint?” he spoke as Kakyoin picked up.

“Sure! Thanks for indulging me on this!”

“See you soon.” Jotaro hung up, a smile tugging at his lips. Of course he’d come over. He never refuses a visit.”

A few minutes later, Kakyoin was at the gate, sporting a green button up, black pants covered in paint streaks, and a classy white scarf.

Jotaro adjusted his hat and welcomed him inside.

Holly waved and cheerfully greeted him from the kitchen.

Kakyoin waved back.

“What do you want to paint?” Jotaro asked, watching as Kakyoin bent down to unpack his supplies on the couch (typically, traditional Japanese homes have tatami mats instead of couches, but Joseph insisted Holly have at least one “normal” room for when he and Suzie Q came over, so the living room possessed a sunken, soft leather couch, glass coffee table, wall-mounted TV, and a big blue recliner).

Kakyoin took out a long, paint-streaked smock and tossed it around his neck, talking as he tied it behind his back.

“I… sort of lied when I said I wanted to do a still life. I actually wanted to paint you or your mom,” Kakyoin said hopefully. “I just said that because my parents want me to do more still lifes. I prefer painting faces; they’re more challenging. Does that bother you?” He looked at Jotaro for an answer.

He gave a single “humph” and left the living room.

Kakyoin was confused until he came back with a stool and handed it to him.

“You’re the artist, do what you want,” Jotaro said calmly.

Kakyoin smiled broadly and began setting up his tools.

“What do you want me to do?”

“You want to be the subject?” Kakyoin raised an eyebrow, ever surprised at Jotaro’s willingness to participate in activities he assumed he would deem “too annoying.”

“Sure.”

“Alright, take off your clothes.” Kakyoin spoke seriously, waving his paintbrush at his body.

Jotaro’s eyes nearly popped out of his head and he backed away.

Kakyoin’s poker face melted into a cheeky grin.

“I’m kidding.”

Jotaro gave him a look as Kakyoin shrewdly grinned at him. He smirked keenly at him, then sat on his mom’s blue recliner chair.

“This alright?” Jotaro asked, his right leg sprawled over the arm of the chair and left hand supporting his head, two fingers at his temple.

Kakyoin took his time examining the pose, eyes skimming over each angle and shadow, before meeting Jotaro’s.

“Yes, as long as you’re comfortable like that.”

Jotaro made a husky affirming sound.

Kakyoin started the base sketch in his notebook.

Jotaro watched, increasingly perplexed.

“I thought you were painting me?” Jotaro inquired after a few minutes, eyeing the notepad Kakyoin used.

After a pause in his sketching, Kakyoin spoke cheerily.

“Hold still, I’ll show you what I’ll do.”

He stood up from the stool and kneeled by Jotaro’s chair, showing him the rough drawing, pride already emanating from his expression and voice.

“I start off with a base sketch to understand the simple shapes first. See, for you, I have to start with the recliner, so that’s the line here, here, and down here.”

He moved his pencil and fingers around the paper, pointing to each line until the picture appeared clearer in Jotaro’s mind.

“Bodies are trickier because they’re complex shapes, so I start with a stick figure, basically, then fill out things like clothes here and here.” Kakyoin marked in shading lines where Jotaro’s legs were, then peered over his chest for a while, observing his breathing become a little shallow as he did, then drew sharp creases where his abdomen, shoulders, and joints were, bringing the portrait into life even clearer.

“Wow,” Jotaro breathed out in a whisper. Kakyoin’s fast and precise lines seemed almost inaccessible to him.

He caught his widened eyes and chuckled softly.

“Lots of practice,” he responded assuredly.

“You must really love it,” Jotaro murmured.

Kakyoin’s heart skipped and he looked up from his drawing at him.

“I do.”

He smiled.

“Even when it’s difficult.”

After a moment, he lightened his tone.

“It’s almost done now. I’m a fast painter, so this’ll take a little less than an hour. You’re really comfortable in that pose?”

He stood up and returned to the stool, picking out his paints.

“Yeah.”

“Splendid,” Kakyoin said languorously, focusing on his palette with a grin.

Jotaro desperately wanted to see what Kakyoin was doing but didn’t want to snoop.

Kakyoin’s twinkly eyes were fixated on the canvas.

Jotaro couldn’t help but think, “He looks like a professional first baseman! Like Lou Gehrig (a famous first baseman). What, with his pretty eyes sharpened in on the target and - wait, pretty? Never mind. Focus.” Jotaro shifted uncomfortably.

“Hold still, please,” Kakyoin said nonchalantly. “It’s coming along nicely. Would you like to see?”

“Yes!” Jotaro nearly leapt off of the recliner, but remembered to stay still and froze.

Kakyoin grinned and turned the easel around, revealing a blue recliner with a Jotaro-shaped hole in the middle. Even though his full form was missing, the work Kakyoin had finished in less than 20 minutes was impressive.

The background was a basic gray with a light gradient starting from the center where the recliner was. The chair itself looked, well, like a chair.

Which Jotaro knew was damn difficult. He tried painting once and it was… never mind.

“I’m just starting on you now. Say, would you like me to paint you in any particular way?”

Jotaro tilted his head at the question.

“What do you mean?” he responded.

“Mm… do you want me to paint you as dark and brooding, or relaxed and calm, really, anything! I’m trying to learn to paint people the way they see themselves.”

Kakyoin glanced at him a little shyly, unused to sharing his artistic side and feeling more sensitive because of it.

Jotaro gave the question a moment of thought and finally came up with an answer he liked.

“Paint me how you see me.” Jotaro’s expression softened when he caught Kakyoin’s eyes.

sh*t, he really does have pretty eyes,” they both thought. They looked away instinctively.

Kakyoin took a hot second to process Jotaro’s answer.

“I think I can do that,” he spoke softly.

He turned the easel back and swirled his brush around the black paint, starting on a leg.

Jotaro watched as his eyes lit up with each new idea or paint stroke, his eyes steely when working with smaller brushes, even his body showing how he felt about his art.

His expression changed each time he looked at the painting as a whole, then lasered in on a new section and it changed again.

He’d never seen Kakyoin paint before, it was like he became utterly immersed in his own little world. “He’s so… so something,” Jotaro thought.

Kakyoin zeroed in on the painting for most moments, only looking at Jotaro’s limbs or torso when he needed to so he didn’t think he was entirely ogling him, but when it came to his face, Kakyoin’s stomach flipped. He had a clear outline – a strong jaw, a hat he knew from memory covering most of his thick, dark hair, and a basic ear shape on one side since he wasn’t directly facing him.

He stood up and moved the easel closer to get a better look.

“I want to get a better look at your face. Do you mind?” Kakyoin inquired, knowing Jotaro’s discomfort with eye contact would likely limit his ability to see his eyes.

Jotaro’s breath felt a little tight at the thought, but he let it out. “It’s no problem. Kakyoin’s easy to look at, anyway,” he thought.

“It’s alright. You can tell me what to do.” Jotaro felt his heartbeat scurry a little and adjusted ever so slightly in an attempt to dismiss the sensation.

If Kakyoin felt the same, he hid it well (he did; this was a sensation he was used to).

After a few minutes studying Jotaro’s color tones and mixing his paints, Kakyoin gracefully flipped his paintbrush around in his hand. He lingeringly guided Jotaro’s jaw towards him with the brush shaft.

Jotaro’s eyes widened slightly and he felt his cheeks heat up.

“Perfect,” Kakyoin whispered with a faintly growing smile. “Look at me.” Kakyoin turned the brush around in his fingers, turning back to his work, and Jotaro willed himself to stay still despite his fast-beating heart.

“What is this? Go away, you bastard,” Jotaro ruminated. The feeling backed off, but not for long and his thoughts raced into muddled mush. Pressure gathered between his eyes as a searing internal tension kept increasing, his heart pounding in his chest.

Kakyoin eventually snapped him out of it, leaning forward and pressing his thumb in between Jotaro’s furrowed eyebrows, making his robust body jump all of a sudden.

“Sorry!” Kakyoin exclaimed when Jotaro startled, briefly letting go of his face. “I should’ve asked first.”

He breathed out and reached out his fingertips to Jotaro’s left temple, then his thumb brushed between his brows.

“Please relax for me,” Kakyoin coaxed, gently pressing down and rubbing Jotaro’s third eye.

If anything, that just made Jotaro less relaxed, but he gradually let his eyebrows and jaw loosen as he looked away in embarrassment, Kakyoin’s thumb relieving the strain he didn’t know was dwelling there.

Kakyoin smiled gently as he saw his taut muscles slowly release and, purely out of personal temptation, ran his thumb down Jotaro’s thick, onyx eyebrow as they locked eyes. He dropped his hand back to his side, hoping Jotaro didn’t mind the extra contact, and finally readied himself to complete the finishing touches.

Jotaro’s insides were a hot mess. One side of him was enjoying itself, the other told him to cut it out. Jotaro’s mind registered itself as painfully conflicted and confused. It felt like something was growing in his chest, warm and tight. Like he’d just power-chugged a bunch of hot cider and now it was filling him up, but also squeezing him tight and making his throat burn.

As Kakyoin peered at the painting, at Jotaro, then back at the painting, he noticed Jotaro’s change in expression, but didn’t say anything more except, “I’m just about finished. You’re still feeling alright?”

Jotaro’s “mm-hm” was higher-pitched than normal, much to his horror. It was at that point that he decided to mentally shut the f*ck up and focus on something, anything else.

Luckily…

“Kakyoin! You’re an artist!? Wow, that’s incredible! He looks so good! You’re so talented!” Holly entered the room, her voice piping with excitement.

Kakyoin’s focused look faded rapidly as he turned to Holly with a good-natured smile.

“Yes, I’m planning to major in Art at university. I’ve practiced since I was a child,” Kakyoin said dignifiedly. He straightened up, rolling his shoulders back and stretching his neck as Holly spoke.

“Jotaro, I can’t believe you’d model for Kakyoin!”

At that, Jotaro flushed ever so slightly and spoke over Holly’s next sentence.

“You’re such a handsome-”

“Kakyoin, can I get up now?”

The artist said yes and smiled half-apologetically at Holly as Jotaro stood up and readjusted his hat.

“Do you want to see it, Jotaro?” Kakyoin inquired, his face shining with pride.

Jotaro nodded, his heart pounding deep in his core, and took two long strides over, crossing the living room and at last admiring Kakyoin’s masterful work.

His style was vaguely impressionistic with obvious brush marks, but still quite clear with details and forms.

Jotaro in the painting was wearing his classic black look, contrasted by the cool aquamarine color of the recliner. His leg, sprawled over the side of the chair, made him look confident, while the way he rested his face on his hand made him seem relaxed yet stern. And his eyes… Kakyoin was a true artist.

He saw himself better in the painting than he did in the mirror.

Jotaro’s mouth gaped a little and Kakyoin drank in the look on his face with a slow-growing grin. Jotaro put a solid hand on his shoulder once he took in the painting and looked to him with amazement written in his expression.

“It’s incredible, Kakyoin,” Holly cooed, saying aloud everything that was written on JoJo’s face.

Kakyoin’s eyes wrinkled in delight, his smile so authentically bright it made Jotaro's and Holly’s hearts flip, just for different reasons.

“Thank you. I’m glad you like it. Oh, and Jotaro, I didn’t paint this part, but I got some paint on your face earlier,” Kakyoin remarked, grinning up at him.

“No problem,” he replied, running his hand over where Kakyoin’s hand had been.

When he didn’t scratch it off, Kakyoin stood up from the stool and reached his hand towards Jotaro’s face, stopping before he got too close.

“May I?”

Jotaro’s insides felt ineliminably molten again at his request but he obliged and leaned downwards.

Kakyoin’s smile tugged at his lips as he cupped Jotaro’s face with one hand a little more firmly than last time and scratched away the spot of black on his cheekbone.

“All good,” Kakyoin murmured lowly, meeting Jotaro’s eyes for an extra long second.

“You’re so handsome, Jotaro! You make a stunning portrait!” Holly squeaked and disrupted the quiet tension.

“Shut up,” Jotaro said half-heartedly, whole heart pounding.

Jotaro kept the painting on his desk.

The first game of the baseball season was against the Tokyo Tigers, another local team similar in standing to the Legends.

Holly sat in the front row of the bleachers, Joseph and Suzie Q chatting excitedly with her and each other through the phone.

Jotaro and Kakyoin exchanged glances of subdued excitement in the locker room as they changed into the team uniforms. Jotaro’s was a size large and still tight in his shoulders. Kakyoin’s was a size medium and he looked incredibly dashing in white and gold.

He patted Jotaro on the back with an anticipatory smile as they headed out to warm up.

When Holly caught sight of them, she waved happily and Kakyoin gave a little wave back.

Kakyoin felt they’d always gotten along well, and even if Jotaro ignored her, Kakyoin knew he was glad she was there.

Coaches Greyson and Feryal walked about the bleachers pre-game, trusting the players to warm up on their own and Feryal ran into Holly and the Joestars.

“Your kid is Kujo Jotaro, right?” she asked, approaching her bench.

“Yup, that’s him there, by Kakyoin,” Holly chippered, inviting her to sit and briefly introducing her to her parents.

“Those two make an excellent team, you know. Did Jotaro tell you he’s a pitcher and Kakyoin is first baseman?”

Coach Feryal bowed her head in thanks for the seat and sat on the edge, vaguely motioning towards the players.

Kakyoin warmed up at first base, Jotaro would pitch first since he wasn’t a closer yet, so he was warming up behind the dugout.

Holly gasped and pancaked her hands in front of mouth.

“No, he didn’t tell me! Oh, that’s amazing!”

“I told you he’d be a star someday, Holly!” Joseph’s voice crackled through the phone and he said something boasting to Suzie in the background.

“Yup, he’s incredibly precise with his throws! Who trained him?” Feryal asked, her eyes sparking with intrigue.

“Awh, my little Jotaro is so talented!” Holly cheeped, squeezing her hands together, getting a little teary-eyed. “He’s all grown up!”

“I think he’s just got an innate talent, Mrs. Coach!” Joseph said with a heavy layer of depth for the Joestars to comprehend. They all knew he used Star Platinum during practice, it was a regular support in Jotaro’s daily life now.

Feryal squinted at them, raising a brow at their peculiarity, before sighing under her breath.

“Well, he’s doing quite well. And that friend of his is a real slugger (powerful batter). Are his parents here? I’d like to know where he was trained, as well.”

Holly looked around and didn’t spot them in the stands, so shook her head no.

“Shame. They should see his swing. Don’t forget what I said about those two being a team. Between you and me, they work best as a set; it’d be a shame to lose one of them,” Coach Feryal murmured with a smile.

The catcher briefly yelled for everyone to finish warmups.

“Well, it was lovely to meet you, Ms. Kujo. I must be off now. Enjoy the game!”

The Joestars discussed Coach Feryal’s comments for a while until the players lined up to wish each other well.

Jotaro towered above everyone on either side. He still wore his favorite baseball cap; he didn’t allow the coaches to remove it.

Kakyoin was quickly sizing up the opponents and looked thrilled that their team would go to bat first.

“I think your grandparents are here,” Kakyoin murmured as they sat together in the dugout, breaking open a bag of sunflower seeds.

“For real?” Jotaro leaned back, crossing his leg into a “4” shape and popping in a handful of seed.

“I saw Holly talking to them, yeah.”

“Hmph.” Jotaro handed him the bag and spat out some shells in the dirt, ignoring the urge to look for his family (just to know where not to look, of course).

Kakyoin munched on a few seeds, then decided they weren’t for him and drank some water to get rid of the overly salty taste.

“Hey, you’re on deck!” Jotaro’s voice was all of a sudden cheerful as he shook Kakyoin’s shoulder.

The redhead jumped up, grabbed his bat (which he borrowed (stole) from the coaches and repainted), and pushed on his helmet. He skirted around other cleats to stand in the next batter’s box and take some swings.

The coaches advised him to feign weak swings and catch the other team off guard.

“Oh look, Kakyoin is up next!” Holly piped up.

Joseph and Suzie rallied Kakyoin way too early, so Holly turned the phone volume down.

The batter struck out.

Jotaro watched closely as Kakyoin stepped up to the plate.

Two outs, a man on first and second. A home run would be spectacular, but even thinking it felt like putting too much pressure on the batter.

Jotaro curled his fingers through the chain link fence in anticipation.

Kakyoin truly looked professional with his western style uniform, dark green bat, and a helmet that was also “borrowed,” his favorite green (with a little red cherry sticker on the side (he’d been saving it for just such an occasion)) and which failed to keep his wavy hair in check. His signature asymmetrical strand spilled out on one side, which Kakyoin tucked back before getting into his stance, eyes sharp on the ball.

The first pitch was a fastball. Kakyoin wanted to swing, but hesitated out of rookie nervousness and was too late.

“Strike!” the umpire bellowed.

Kakyoin cursed under his breath and refocused on the pitcher.

Jotaro wished he would look to him and see how much he was cheering for him but shut that thought down immediately. “He has to focus on the ball. Focus. Focus.” These words were mostly intended for Jotaro to follow, not Kakyoin.

“Eye on the ball, Kakyoin!” Jotaro shouted, his other teammates starting to cheer for him, too. “Knock the cover off that thing!”

Everyone on the team knew he was a stellar batter and seemed to have high hopes for a 3-point home run.

Kakyoin looked up at him, much to his delight, and smiled when he noticed how much Jotaro's presence chipped away at the nervousness in his gut.

Jotaro smiled back but killed it before anyone else saw it. He loosened his grip on the wire fence, watched the pitch soar right into the strike zone, and beheld Kakyoin stride into his swing with extraordinary power, a resounding CRAK echoing around the field, and then take off towards first with relaxed speed, tossing the bat behind him like it was his hundredth time doing it.

Kakyoin knew it was a spectacular hit and didn’t need to hustle – lightly jogging around the bases right up until the ball got caught by a speedy outfielder and his look of triumph sank into disappointment.

He slowed down and cursed under his breath as he slumped into the dugout.

Jotaro clapped him on the back as he hurried to the pitcher’s mound, giving him a warm smile.

Kakyoin reluctantly returned it, straightened up, and retrieved his glove, then jogged to first base. Now, his hair stuck out of his baseball cap in a way Jotaro liked. Their hair matched sometimes in terms of shape, especially with a matching cap.

But that thought was the last on Jotaro’s mind. He suddenly felt too far away from the catcher, like it was impossible to throw precisely from here, and his legs were unbalanced on the pitcher’s mound.

Thankfully, with the first few practice throws, he was mostly relieved of that feeling, though his legs were still a little shaky. His body adjusted to the feeling of pitching quickly with Star, but his nerves got the best of him when the first batter walked up. He threw a ball, too high, but the catcher snatched it and tossed it back.

Jotaro shook himself, eyeing Kakyoin and his mom for an instant, both smiling warmly, and felt his heart rate relax a bit. Then it hiked back up when he remembered that they were counting on him to do well and threw a strike, but the batter nicked it and it hit the ground.

Foul ball.

He had to control himself. He looked at Star Platinum’s gloved hand, barely visible, melding in with his hand, wrist, and arm, and took a deep breath.

The next pitch was a beautiful strike, accompanied by the ump’s gravelly “Stee-rike!” which brought utter joy to Jotaro and the Joestars.

The next pitch was a foul ball, where the batter hit the ball but it went out of bounds.

The final pitch was a lovely strike, making that Jotaro’s first strikeout.

Every next batter was easy, but not without getting a few ground hits that Kakyoin caught from the other players, getting effortless outs at first base.

As the innings went on, the game got more intense.

Kakyoin scored a home run in the 4th inning and Jotaro hit a double in the 5th, but what made the crowd (especially the Joestars) go wild was when Jotaro “miraculously” caught a fly ball by diving into the dirt in right field. It was undoubtedly miraculous that he could seemingly teleport across the field in no time, but no one questioned it. He was Kujo Jotaro, after all.

Kakyoin gave him a stinging high-five as they entered the dugout, both grinning like cats.

As the bottom (end) of the 9th (final) inning approached, Kakyoin steeled himself at first base.

The closing pitcher had been a league member for a few years, and while his pitches weren’t as accurate as JoJo’s, they were lightning-fast.

Jotaro’s other defense position was in right field, a good spot for long-range throwers.

The score was 5-4, Tigers in the lead. The crowd was on the edge of their seats and the floodlights were beginning to attract moths.

Even Joseph and Suzie were quiet – or, at the very least, whispering.

Kakyoin narrowed his eyes on the pitcher, waiting for the ball to move.

The Tigers batter hit a solid fly into center field, where the outfielder couldn’t reach it in time and tossed it in to second, halting the runner at first.

Kakyoin gave the field a once-over and refocused on the pitch.

Two outs, one strike.

Two strikes.

Ball.

Foul.

Ball.

Each pitch made his gut more uneasy, his limbs itch for movement.

Pop fly, straight up and at him!

He jumped into action as the runner took off, following the ball with his eyes and backing up to get under its arc, raising his glove up.

The ball sailed over his head before he could get it, but he shot out Hierophant Green and nicked it just in time, placing it in the netting of his glove, instinctively glancing back at Jotaro, then at the Joestars.

The umpire called out and he breathed a sigh of relief, mixed with a little guilt. Maybe using Stands was cheating. It didn’t hurt to use them every once in a while, he figured.

He decided to talk it over with Jotaro later. “He always makes sense with that stuff,” Kakyoin reasoned (this information is largely biased; Kakyoin just doesn’t realize it).

Now it was their turn to bat. Unfortunately, Kakyoin was at the end of the batting order, so Jotaro was up to bat once the first few batters either struck out or got on base, with one person on third and one on first.

Jotaro strode up to the plate, brooding with his signature dark confidence.

Kakyoin caught him looking proudly towards his family in the stands and for a moment, felt a pang of envy, but crushed it down in favor of a wholesome smile. “Whatever they do or don’t, it’s their problem, not mine. If they’re not going to support me, I know who will,” Kakyoin contemplated.

Jotaro was right-handed but batted with his left (his grandpa trained him like that). Left-side batters are an advantage, especially against a right-handed pitcher, since it’s easier to hit balls that way and he’s closer to first base.

The first pitch was an easy-to-spot low ball.

Jotaro and everyone else assumed it was his ability to intimidate that got the closing pitcher so nerve wracked.

With a chuckle and not-so-subtle “yare yare daze,” he tightened his grip on the bat and held firm in his stance, grinning coolly.

The next swing was a strike, diminishing Jotaro’s confidence, but certainly not to the average eye.

The next pitch, however, was a massive ground hit straight into left field!

Jotaro took off, chucking the bat behind him as he raced to first base. The third baseman dived to stop it and tossed it to second, causing the other Legends player leaving first to get out by force and ending the game.

Jotaro slowed his dash to first and Kakyoin and everyone else on their team groaned.

The Legends moped it back to the dugout and started packing up their things while the crowd began dispersing. The teams gave each other high fives and “good game”’s and went their separate ways.

Kakyoin left to go home early, wanting to beat the rush, and with a bittersweet smile and goodbye wave, left Jotaro alone.

He half-begrudgingly went to his family's car to inevitably regale them with monotone but devastatingly well-told stories of his time on the field and batting. He even got his mom to shut up for once and listen to him, which was rare since she inherited Joseph’s tendency to interrupt everything, but he ignored them both and finished his few but laconic sentences.

To any outsider, he was telling a basic overview of what happened on the field, but to his family, he was utterly gushing about baseball. It was clear to see how proud he was of himself and the team, even though they’d lost. It was also clear that he admired Kakyoin’s skill, since that made up about 60% of his dialogue. Such a fact did not go unnoticed by his family.

“Jotaro, I had no idea you were pitching! Did you use Star Platinum out there?” Joseph remarked, not a hint of malice in his voice, but rather, enthusiasm.

Jotaro nodded, chest puffed and shoulders back.

“That’s brilliant! I wish I had thought of that back in my day! You know, I used to play…”

Jotaro stopped paying attention. He looked at the road ahead of him and submersed himself in whatever this feeling was. He wasn’t good at knowing what it was, but it felt good.

“Kujo Jotaro, star pitcher,” he mused, quietly smiling. “Yare yare daze.”

Notes:

Forgot to add in the last chapter notes I take critiques! In fact, they remind me of my mother. (fr tho I rly appreciate the advice)

If it's late at night for you, here would be a good spot to stop, put your phone down, and get some sleep.

I used to work for a newspaper and I'm also autistic which makes me a total grammar bitch so if there are literally any italics I missed anywhere or mistakes you find please for the love of god, let me know. I cannot sleep knowing I've made a grammar mistake.

Chapter 3: Humor

Summary:

Game night at the Kujo's!

Gay panic! There might be some catholic guilt/internalized hom*ophobia-type stuff in here for the subtext-hunters.

Good-humored stories!

Notes:

Hey readers.

Oh my god I figured out how to do italics on ao3! I thought I was screwed forever!

Also, fair warning for some serious gay panic.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Over the following weeks, the Legends continued to improve their field performance. The team as a whole was faster physically and mentally and meshed well with each other.

Jotaro and Kakyoin weren’t part of the university student group that made up the majority of the team but got along well with every player when necessary. Notably, Kakyoin improved his catching skills immensely when he stopped using Hierophant in practice and only their biweekly in games, many of which they’d now won.

Playoffs were coming up soon and Jotaro wanted to take his mind off things before the league took the next step up in competition. He called Kakyoin over for a game night.

He arrived at the gate in a dark green turtleneck with a small teardrop shape cut out under the neck, pleated white pants, and a grey trench coat. To top it off, he sported his thin black sunglasses, accenting the vertical scars over his eyelids.

Jotaro wore a white T-shirt and sweats, not complimented by his signature jacket. All of a sudden, he felt underdressed.

Kakyoin grinned at the sight of him and opened his bag to show off all the board and video games he’d brought.

“Whoa. You came prepared,” Jotaro said, leaning against the doorframe, previous emotions overtaken by a warming sensation in Kakyoin's presence.

“What can I say, I’m a gamer,” Kakyoin retorted, winking at him.

Jotaro tilted his head, grinning externally as the sensation expanded internally. It wasn't bad, just... persistently ill-timed. Jotaro would rather deepthroat a cactus than show how he felt. Showing it to others earned him nothing, so showing Kakyoin... “Nope. No way. He wouldn't get it, anyway. I don't even get it.”

Jotaro refocused on shared memories of gaming together, none of which he could ever seem to defeat Kakyoin in. Well, besides the one time in Egypt, but that doesn’t really count.

“Mom will be excited. She loves this stuff,” Jotaro said.

“Your mom’s the best. I hope she stays in Tokyo. Maybe she could befriend my parents.” Kakyoin slipped off his shoes and noticed Jotaro’s huff at the mention of his parents. “They’re not that bad, you know. I know they aren’t at our games, but… they’re just busy.”

Jotaro shrugged and twisted his mouth, glad Kakyoin had listened to him, even if he disagreed.

“They could at least try to make it,” he reasoned.

He’d say more since Kakyoin seemed to want to listen, much to his liking, but Holly welcomed Kakyoin inside and he left it at that.

Kakyoin cheerfully greeted her and showed her his collection of board games, though most of it was video games she’d never heard of.

Holly took an interest in one game – Bananagrams.

“Oh, I’ve played this one! It’s one of my favorites!” She pulled out the yellow banana-shaped bag and shook it around, wooden tiles clacking inside it.

“That’s a fun one! Want to play, Jotaro?” Kakyoin responded, looking to him.

Jotaro was more of a “smoking and drinking game” kind of guy, but Kakyoin’s enthused appearance encouraged him to try something new. “If he likes it, it's probably fun,” he thought. (This conclusion is based on biased evidence, which Jotaro notices but doesn't care to dissect.)

“It’s really easy.” Kakyoin set the banana bag on the coffee table in front of them, all now sitting cross-legged on different sides. “We each take 21 pieces and try to form words with the letters on the tiles. The person who uses up all of their letters first wins. That’s how my family plays, anyhow.”

“That’s how we played, too!” Holly said while picking out her tiles.

“Ah, and it is in English, so it might be tougher for you, Jotaro,” Kakyoin stated.

“I don’t mind. Let’s play.” Jotaro picked his pieces and arranged them on the little wooden tile holders Kakyoin had set out for them.

“As we go around, we’ll each set out a word, but if you can’t think of any to make, you have to take a letter tile until you can, sort of like Uno,” Kakyoin added.

“Got it,” the Joestars replied at opposite voice pitches.

Kakyoin smiled internally at their similarities. “Jotaro would never admit it, but his heart is just as soft as Holly’s. They have the same captivating green eyes, too. Hey, focus, Kakyoin.”

He took his pieces, putting an extra one back. He tried to ignore how his nerves fired off when Jotaro’s fingers brushed against his own inside the bag by talking over his reaction.

“You first, Holly.”

She spelled “cancer.”

“Starting off morbidly, I see,” Kakyoin commented with a sly smile.

Jotaro hmphed at him, grinning, and spelled “suppress.”

“Impressive, JoJo!” Holly marveled.

Kakyoin was awed as well – he didn’t consider Jotaro to be fluent in the English language, at least not at the level he and Holly were at.

He spelled out “frequency” with a prideful smirk.

Holly: flake, arch, sister, disco

Jotaro: smoke, free, yard, judge

Kakyoin: record, alot (which Holly argued against since that’s not how you spell it, but Jotaro voted with Kakyoin to let it slide since “it’s just a letter, woman,” and Kakyoin stated it could also spell “alto.”), czar, and finally, be.

Kakyoin won.

“Good game!” Kakyoin smiled and bowed his head graciously.

Jotaro closed his eyes in acknowledgement, same as Holly.

“Oh, my!” Holly spoke up, pointing out the window. “I knew it was supposed to be rainy today, but not this much! Look at that!”

Jotaro and Kakyoin stared outside to observe a torrential downpour. The rain was nearly at a 90-degree angle and the neighbor’s trees were clearly struggling with the mistral.

“I should’ve known, it’s typhoon season,” Holly lamented.

“Wow, I didn’t even notice it,” Kakyoin commented, sweeping up the tiles by hand as he continued to watch the storm.

Now that they mentioned it, Jotaro sensed distant thunder rolling about. He sighed. The fields will be muddy next practice.”

But another thought crept into his mind as he watched Kakyoin admire the fast-gaining storm.

Their road often flooded.

Did that mean…

“Would Kakyoin have to spend the night here?”

Something in Jotaro’s gut moved suddenly. It was becoming painfully familiar at this point – something heavy and painful, but painful in a kind of good way, followed by immense confusion and compunction.

He covered his stomach and excused himself to the bathroom, simultaneously telling himself to “f*cking axe it, man.”

With the closing and locking of the bathroom door came a welcome silence.

Then thunder.

Then Jotaro breathed out.

Then the thoughts came barreling in.

“Why do I keep feeling so nervous around Kakyoin? This happened a little bit in Egypt, but nothing I couldn’t handle. So, what gives? Why do I feel so… so weird? Kakyoin’s not doing anything different, so why am I…?”

Jotaro put his hands on the sink to ground himself and stared himself down in the mirror.

“Ugh, this doesn’t make any sense. Why am I thinking about him so much? Why did I think about him sleeping over? This is ridiculous!”

At that moment, an unlawful stray thought flooded Jotaro’s mind: a dreamlike image of Kakyoin lying flat in his bed, shirt undone and face flushed, arms above his head, his hair tussled and eyes sparkling. His heart throbbed.

“He’s so good-looking.”

His stomach dropped to his core, guilt running through him.

“Augh, what am I thinking?”

Jotaro’s stomach plummeted and he mumbled curses under his breath, rubbing his eyes, trying to erase the thoughts behind them as guilt filled up his stomach. “This can’t be happening. This isn’t right. I shouldn’t feel like this.”

Jotaro looked in the mirror again, changing his train of thought.

This just can’t be right. It’s not fair. Kakyoin is my friend. He’s just my friend, so why do I… why did I think of him like that?... Ugh, f*ck this!”

Jotaro, exasperated, angrily switched on the tap and splashed cold water on his face. “Stop. Just stop feeling this. It’s disgusting. Why would I think that? He’s my best friend. Kakyoin is my-”

“Jotaro, are you alright in there?” Holly’s voice clamored through the door and straight through Jotaro’s thoughts, causing him to instinctively jerk upward. Luckily, he didn’t hit anything.

She knocked lightly and spoke up again when he didn’t answer.

“I gotta go, hurry up!”

Jotaro’s nerves were already frayed from the strain of his internal monologue, but he nearly snapped when Holly called out, his entire spine freezing up. He stared at his hands gripping tightly onto the sink and slowly let go, turning off the tap and adjusting his hat to cover his eyes even further than normal.

He burst out of the bathroom and brushed his mom out of the way, nodded quickly at Kakyoin, who was still sitting by the coffee table, and made a break for his room.

Kakyoin noticed a different air about him and raised an eyebrow but turned back to the window, watching as the heavy rain crashed down.

When Holly came back out, she spoke to Kakyoin.

“Oh, did Jotaro leave?”

“Yes, he went to his room, I believe. Is he feeling well? He looked a bit pale.” Kakyoin shifted on the couch to face her.

“Oh, he’s been fine lately. I wonder what’s gotten into him.” She sat on the opposite side of the sofa, worried eyes softening as she surveilled the flooding neighborhood. “Well, I’m sure he’ll be down for dinner. I made chicken katsu curry!”

Kakyoin’s face lit up at those words.

“I can’t wait!”

Holly smiled at him and turned back to the window.

“Oh, my, this rain is tremendous! Kakyoin, our neighborhood usually gets flooded during typhoon season. Are you sure you’re safe going home by yourself? Would you like me or Jotaro to travel with you?” Holly inquired, her voice becoming more and more motherly each time Kakyoin visited.

He pursed his lips.

“I… I don’t know yet. I’d like to stay here for a while, if you don’t mind,” he murmured, glancing at where he last saw Jotaro leave.

Holly nodded and patted his shoulder twice before leaving for the kitchen, a tender smile on her face.

Kakyoin relaxed a bit and let a breath out. “Holly is so comforting.” His thoughts switched to her son. “What was up with him? He seemed tense. Maybe he felt cheated since I’m better at English than him. I should go apologize,” Kakyoin concluded.

“Holly, I’m going to find Jotaro. Please let us know when dinner’s ready!”

“Okay!” Holly’s shrill voice carried a smile.

Kakyoin slid off the couch and went to Jotaro’s room. He knocked on the door.

“Jotaro? May I come in?” Kakyoin’s voice was at the door.

Jotaro tensed. The last minute or so was spent laying catatonic in his bed, mind numb with bombarding thoughts, but he’d managed to compose his outer shell into complete stillness. He didn’t look entirely disheveled, the only tell being a slightly higher pitch in his voice as he answered Kakyoin.

“Sure.” He sat up as Kakyoin walked in and sat on the floor next to his bed, feeling his stomach flip again but thoroughly pushing it down.

Jotaro’s room was small and minimalist with a wall dedicated to bookshelves, a tatami bed, a wall that was essentially a shoji door, a desk with dresser drawers, and another wall covered with a large map and some framed photos.

Kakyoin smiled when he saw the Crusader’s photo framed on Jotaro’s desk, right next to his painting. His smile dropped a little when he saw Jotaro, though. He seemed kind of off, but Kakyoin didn’t want to intrude.

“Your mom made chicken katsu curry. It’ll be ready soon.” Kakyoin waited for Jotaro to speak, but he just nodded. “I wanted to say… I’m sorry if I was too competitive with the game. It was unfair to play against you when Holly and I have a better grasp of English than you, with all due respect,” Kakyoin professed, bowing his head slightly.

Jotaro watched him. The feelings that had recently overwhelmed him were now safely quiet in the back of his mind, emotional numbness taking over his disposition. He smiled as he realized the feelings were gone. A little ember of comfort from Kakyoin’s presence flickered inside him, but not enough to destroy the weight of numbed anxiety trapped but slowly leaking out of his body.

“It’s okay. You won fair and square. I learned plenty of English with the trip, anyway,” he replied after a moment of observing his friend.

Kakyoin lifted his head, meeting Jotaro’s eyes, looking away with a small smile.

“Thank you.” Kakyoin’s soft voice made Jotaro’s dazed and dissociative state crack. Slightly.

The warmth that crept into his heart was small, like how he assumed it was supposed to be. “There, it’s perfectly normal to feel this way about friends. That was just a silly stray thought. I’m just fine now, no need to worry.”

“Did you say chicken katsu curry?” Jotaro asked after a few moments of silence.

Kakyoin nodded vigorously, his smile widening.

“Yessir! We should go eat! I’m sure Holly is waiting for us!” Kakyoin chippered.

Jotaro got up first and offered him a hand.

He took it firmly with a dashing smirk.

Jotaro mirrored his grin and Kakyoin felt his spine tingle upon seeing it.

Jotaro pulled him up strongly, accidentally flinging Kakyoin a little too close to him.

Kakyoin let out a yelp, a sound he found embarrassing but Jotaro took a liking to.

They separated with some murmured apologies and chuckles, then slowly slipped their hands apart to head to the dining room.

“Please, no more, I’m stuffed!” Kakyoin smiled and patted his belly lovingly.

Holly smiled, her eyes scrunching up into crescent shapes as she scooped more food onto Jotaro’s plate.

Jotaro was housing his mom’s food like a champ, so much that Kakyoin was genuinely awestruck by his capacity.

“JoJo, how can you eat that much? I’ve had three plates and you’ve nearly doubled that!”

“Oh, he’s always been like that,” Holly chirped, rubbing Jotaro’s shoulder sweetly.

Jotaro bucked her hand off to continue eating, his hat covering his eyes. He was naturally a bottomless pit for food to enter, but tonight he was eating his anxiety away.

The storm had only gotten worse and Holly concluded during dinner that Kakyoin “will have to stay the night. I’ll call your parents and let them know.”

Kakyoin didn’t seem concerned about it, which concerned Jotaro. So here he was, scarfing down chicken like it was doomsday.

“Breathe, man.” Kakyoin chuckled and began clearing his dishes.

Jotaro hmphed through his chewing and looked up at the table, noting the lack of any more chicken katsu curry to finish. His gut twisted, not just from the volume of food in his body.

With the absence of chewing and spectacular flavor to occupy his brain, thoughts of Kakyoin spending the night began to creep in even more than they already had been. He nervously ate the last of his mom’s utterly mouthwatering meal, chugged down his drink in one go, much to Kakyoin’s astonishment, and set to work on the dishes.

“I can wash these tonight, mom. You go rest,” Jotaro commanded with a stiff point towards her room.

Holly stood in shock for a moment but then melted into a joyful hug for her son, which he firmly shook off with a grumble.

“Okay, sweetie! I’ll go rest. I trust you two to take care of things. Goodnight!” Holly’s eyes went crescent-shaped again and she bounded out of the kitchen.

Kakyoin watched her leave.

As soon as she left, Jotaro realized his mistake. “Great, now I’m stuck alone with Kakyoin. Wait, why am I worried? He’s my friend. This is fine.”

“I’ll help, if you don’t mind,” Kakyoin said, and began placing dirty dishes in the washer.

Jotaro’s heart pounded, his chest getting tight again.

“That was kind of you, Jotaro. Holly seemed really happy,” Kakyoin commented.

Jotaro shrugged lightly.

“It’s nothing. She deserves it.”

With that, Kakyoin hummed in acknowledgement and smiled warmly at him.

The rest of the dishes were done in silence.

“Here comes the awkward part,” Jotaro thought. “Relax. It’s not like we’re sharing a bed. Oh, why did I have to think of that?” He tipped his hat and professed a silent “yare yare.” Jotaro walked Kakyoin back into his room.

“You sure you’re okay with this?” Kakyoin asked in reference to him sleeping in Jotaro’s room.

“I’m fine with it,” he replied. Jotaro’s nervous system was going haywire.

“You’re my friend.” Those words felt like they flattened his heart.

“It’s nothing we haven’t done before.” Jotaro was well aware this was an entirely different context.

“Yes, but that was when we had no other option.” Kakyoin put up no further protest as Jotaro set out his blankets for him.

“Done,” Jotaro proclaimed gruffly. He motioned for Kakyoin to test it.

He did.

“Comfy?”

“Mm-hm! Thank you, JoJo.”

Kakyoin’s makeshift bed was a large stack of blankets stolen from the living room placed at the end of Jotaro’s bed, both faced like opposing parallel arrows.

Jotaro’s heart pounded as he shook off his coat and dug around his dresser drawers for some pajama clothes. He settled on a ratty gray T-shirt and shorts when a thought occurred to him.

“Hey, did you pack an overnight bag?” Jotaro turned to Kakyoin and swallowed as he immediately took in the sight of him, his arms crossed over his face and chest bare as he froze in the middle of removing his turtleneck, revealing his slim frame and trimmed body hair.

Who knew the carpet matched the drapes!? SHUT! UP!” Jotaro’s entire soul felt like it was at war. One side was very open-minded, the other was awfully uneasy.

“Hah?” Jotaro flustered as he watched Kakyoin’s abs flex as he spoke.

“Damn, he’s got a nice body. WHAT AM I SAYING?” Jotaro thought instantly.

“Did you say something, JoJo?” Jotaro snapped himself out of it and spoke up.

“Did. You. Pack. An. Overnight. Bag?”

“Ohhh, I thought you said, “did you lay an egg,” hahah!” Kakyoin resumed removing his shirt, his fluffy red hair sticking out of place as he peeled off the neck part of his turtleneck.

Jotaro had to force himself to look elsewhere.

“No, I didn’t, but don’t worry about it. I don’t wear pajamas often, anyway, so this is perfectly normal for me. As long as you’re comfortable with it,” Kakyoin said.

Jotaro mentally stammered at that information but was wise enough to keep his mouth shut while his brain processed those words.

“He sleeps in nothing but his underwear? Can this get any weirder? Damn it, I need to sleep.”

Jotaro tossed his shirt off and slipped on his gray tee, all the while wondering if Kakyoin was watching him.

“If he is, that’s fine. That’s normal. I’m the only moving thing in the room, anyway. It’s normal to watch. It’s normal. If not, that’s – that’s fine, too.” He felt a pang of disappointment at the thought of Kakyoin not watching but pushed it down immediately.

Kakyoin couldn’t help but watch. He was smart enough to be subtle about it, but gay enough to stare just a little too long at his buddy. Kakyoin knew he was gay. It was barely a question for him – he’d known since his first crush in his second elementary year. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any interest in guys during the rest of his high school days, he just didn’t have an interest in most people who didn’t understand how Stands worked, since it was such a large part of his life and who he was.

It was just a nagging fact that he’d pushed to the back of his mind, vowing to deal with it at another time, hopefully when he was out of high school and somewhere safer. Well… he supposed both of those things were possible right now.

Jotaro took the liberty to glance back at Kakyoin as he slipped his pants down and stepped out of them, his core burning when he spotted him returning his gaze.

They gulped and quickly looked at anything else their eyes could latch onto, breaths shallower every minute. Jotaro wished he hadn’t worn such sheer material under his clothes.

“I like that pair,” Kakyoin caught himself thinking. “Ohhh, no. I’m not dealing with that right now. Begone, you!”

His thoughts circulated around that image of Jotaro for a little while, despite his desire not to. He’d held so many thoughts like that back, it was almost second nature to him. But… damn, was it tempting to imagine.

Jotaro unfolded and put on some thin old basketball shorts and tossed his laundry into a hamper.

“Is it hot in here to you?” Kakyoin spoke, making Jotaro twitch ever so slightly. He said and meant it (somewhat) literally, and luckily that was the only way Jotaro took things.

“I’ll open the door a bit,” he responded, and cracked the door open a few inches.

A cool breeze wafted into the room.

“Thank you. Hmm. I like the sound of the rain,” Kakyoin said softly, sitting with his back against Jotaro’s bookshelf wall. He relaxed his neck against a shelf, the back of his head resting on a colorful collection of aeronautics-related books.

“What about it?” Jotaro pondered, settling into his bed but staying upright like Kakyoin. A single paper lamp by Jotaro’s tatami mat bathed the room with warm white light. The rest of their surroundings were dark and gloomy, overshadowed by thick thunderstorms.

“Hmm… I like the pattern it has. When I was younger, I remember sitting in school, staring out of the window at the falling raindrops because I thought the lessons were boring. I sure was a weird kid back then. And not just because of the raindrops; I really was strange. Did I ever tell you the story…”

Kakyoin talked and Jotaro listened, occasionally piping in with questions or sound effects like “mm,” “huh,” and just once, at the punchline, a deep bout of laughter that made even the sturdy floor lamp shake.

Kakyoin finished his story with a reminiscent smile, pulling a hand down his face in embarrassment, but smiling, nonetheless.

“I can’t believe you did that,” Jotaro huffed with a grin.

“Believe it!” Kakyoin did a Naruto voice.

Jotaro got the reference and chuckled softly.

Maybe it was the knowledge that Kakyoin hadn’t even told his parents that one, or that Jotaro was just a generally attractive guy, but Kakyoin’s heart, which had long been silenced, felt that familiar prick inside it again. He’d felt it here and there, but not as strongly as this one, not in a while. It was, of course, followed by a rush of anxiety, which Kakyoin pushed away so he could listen to Jotaro’s story, squeezing his hands together under the blankets as if to crush down the feeling. For once, Jotaro seemed… energetic? He was even using his hands to express himself. His voice was moving more as he got comfortable. Kakyoin watched him move, his eyes following his hands and catching every other grinning glance.

“I wasn’t quite as… peculiar as you were-” Jotaro started with a motion towards him and a subtle smirk. “-but when I was in my eighth year, a buddy and I were horsing around in gym class and eventually got sat on the bench by this awful bitch of a teacher,” Jotaro grimaced, glancing at Noriaki to make sure he was paying attention. He was. Kakyoin’s story had cheered him up, and now that the plague of gay panic was long gone, he settled into his kind presence and let his heart beat harder whenever Kakyoin showed his interest, which was quite often.

“She was the kind of person who’d yell at a kid for getting blood on the wall when he smashed his nose into it, a real vindictive type. Anyway, we were sitting on the bench, still horsing around, when this lady comes over and starts lecturing us.” Jotaro spoke in a fake female-sounding voice, putting his hands on his hips to better personify her. “Who do you kids think you are, huh? You brats oughta act your age! You should be ashamed of yourselves!” He returned to his normal pitch, starting to chuckle through his words. “Et cetera, et cetera. You get the picture. Well, I was sitting there with my friend, trying to look tough, holding in the fart of the f*ckin’ century, and right as the teacher said,” Jotaro returned to the high voice, cattily wagging his finger at Kakyoin with one sassy fist on his hip. “Do you have anything to say for yourselves?” And back again to his regular voice, but with a very cute smile beginning to show on his lips and eyes. “And I just… let it rip.”

At this point, Kakyoin burst out laughing after holding in his snickers for so long. He’d never seen Jotaro act like this, it was adorable.

Jotaro’s laughter came through his voice as he continued. “It was so bad, Kakyoin. I swear, the dodgeballs stopped flying. Everyone looked over at me because it was so loud. I mean, vacuum cleaner loud, like a trombone solo in my asshole. Oh, that teacher was pissed! But… that’s not even the worst part.”

Jotaro rubbed his eye self-consciously and gazed at Kakyoin, doubled over and eyes closed with laughter. “What a sight for sore eyes,” he thought.

Jotaro looked Kakyoin in the eyes and grinned sheepishly. He made a pointing symbol to his left and said, “I blamed it on the kid next to me, some poor girl with glasses and pigtails like Sailor Moon.”

“No!” Kakyoin breathed, wiping an eye.

“Oh, god, I remember the look on her face so clearly. It still haunts me. It smelled so bad, man, I thought I’d sh*t my pants.”

Kakyoin slowly recovered from his hearty laughter as Jotaro wrapped up his story, still wheezing noticeably.

“Ohh, JoJo, that’s just…” Kakyoin trailed off to catch his breath. “Oh, god. Tell me, what happened next?”

Jotaro put his chin in his hand, contemplating with a satisfied grin on his face.

“Honestly, I don’t remember. I think the girl ran off as soon as she could and the lady left us alone after that.”

“The stench was too powerful for her,” Kakyoin remarked.

“It was nuclear. My poor buddy was right in the SD zone.”

“More like the SBD zone!” Kakyoin slapped his knee with a cheeky grin.

Jotaro snickered at that.

“You’re so weird, Kakyoin,” he murmured, smiling tenderly at his blankets, unable to look him in the eyes.

“Noriaki.” Kakyoin said warmly. “You can call me Noriaki.”

Jotaro paused and glanced up at him.

Kakyoin’s sweet eyes glimmered with hope and trust.

Jotaro’s heart skipped a beat. “Noriaki. I like Noriaki.”

“Okay. Noriaki.” Jotaro let it sink in for a moment, feeling the shape of his name on his tongue. It felt so right, each syllable coming from deep in his chest.

Kakyoin smiled happily.

“Noriaki, my blankets are getting wet. I’m going to close the door,” Jotaro declared.

Kakyoin chuckled.

“Alright, thanks, JoJo. I appreciate it.”

They smiled at each other.

The moment passed and Kakyoin spoke first.

“I suppose it’s getting pretty late. We should get some sleep before the playoffs.”

Jotaro’s heart raced a little at the mention of playoffs, but agreed with him and dimmed the lamp.

Kakyoin snuggled himself under the blankets and Jotaro did the same, just much slower so he could make sure their legs didn’t touch. He was sure that would mess with things.

“I’m beat. See you in the morning, Noriaki,” Jotaro murmured softly, only a bit of his gruff voice coming through.

Kakyoin hummed in acknowledgement, smiling at the sound of his name.

Within minutes, the pair fell asleep.

Notes:

I've been listening to "ADHD Relief Music" for like, 5 hours now and still have ADHD. What a sham.

Chapter 4: Runner

Summary:

Kakyoin gets injured! Jotaro takes care of him and has some gay thoughts

Tw for blood, injury, sewing wounds up

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Playoffs were going swimmingly. The Legends easily won their first bracket, so they moved on to regionals. There were a few games played in between each playoff game, just to keep the boys sharp.

Jotaro was now a closing pitcher. His speed had remarkedly increased and he even started working on curveballs, sliders, and screwballs.

Kakyoin’s position had become relatively easy and fun for him, so he played more games without Hierophant Green to keep himself on edge.

Overall, the team was in good shape for semifinals. Even the coaches were impressed by their skill, stating they’d not seen such dedication and talent in any other team.

Today, the Legends played the Bulls, a team from a neighboring district that was already eliminated from the playoffs, but the coaches were friends and arranged a double header (two back-to-back games).

As the players strutted onto the field, Jotaro elbowed Kakyoin with a little grin, pointing into the bleachers.

“Your grandma’s here, I think.” He watched Kakyoin’s eyes light up and scour the crowd until he spotted her, a big smile growing on his face as she waved and he waved back.

She rang one of the little cowbells you could get at the concessions stand and shouted for him to do his best.

Kakyoin radiated joy the whole first game, his shoulders back and head held high as he batted, especially when he caught a fly ball that nearly zipped past him or tagged a runner out.

He looked around at the team, at Jotaro, and always back to his grandma, who seemed, to Jotaro, very sweet and calm. She reminded him of Holly, actually. “Maybe that’s why mom and Kakyoin get along so well,” he speculated.

The Legends won the first game, but it was a surprisingly decent match. The Bulls were a scrappy team, constantly sliding in the dirt, effortlessly stealing bases, and occasionally arguing with the refs on difficult calls. The opposing coach seemed strong-willed, pushing the players to fight with ferocity to the very end. Even though they lost the first game, the players milled around in the dugout and bleachers, eagerly chatting away with friends and family.

Kakyoin introduced Jotaro to his grandma, a lovely lady named Mitsuki. Jotaro towered over her even while he stood on the ground and she sat in the bleachers, so Kakyoin sat by her to balance it out.

She patted his hand and congratulated him on such a good game.

“Your parents told me you played baseball and I just had to come see for myself! Ohh, back in the day, your grandpa was a huge fan of the Dragons. I wonder what he would think now,” she mused.

Jotaro leaned against the railing, listening to her croaky voice over the buzzing crowd. He gazed at Kakyoin for a moment, who was practically emanating sunshine in the presence of his grandma. “Noriaki seems so happy,” Jotaro thought, his heart warm.

“You must’ve gotten your talent from him, Nori.”

Jotaro perked up at the nickname, his slightly parted lips curving at the edges while Kakyoin smiled even more.

“I’m glad you’re here, grandma!” Kakyoin beamed kindly at her, his eyes flickering to JoJo. “This is Kujo Jotaro, my best friend and closing pitcher.”

Jotaro’s breath stopped when Kakyoin introduced him like that, then he automatically responded with a kind greeting and very, very gentle handshake.

“Ah, you’re who Benjiro and Tsu were talking about!” Mitsuki replied, her eyes widened. “They’re awfully glad you’re Nori’s friend, Jotaro.”

Jotaro’s heart swelled at the recognition but hardened from weeks of built-up irritation from their absence.

“You should tell them to show up at a game, then,” Jotaro said gruffly.

Kakyoin’s muscles tensed.

Mitsuki lightly tilted her head.

“Noriaki is an excellent player. They should be proud of him,” Jotaro finished, glad to finally get it out of his thoughts and into words to someone who might actually do something about it.

Mitsuki frowned slightly, her mouth twisting with hesitation.

“Oh, I don’t know. Tsu is quite busy and Benjiro works all day. I wouldn’t want to impose. But Kakyoin,” Mitsuki murmured, turning to him with a gentle smile, “you did well today.”

Kakyoin smiled, softly closing his eyes and bowing his head.

Mitsuki turned back to Jotaro.

“I’ll talk to Tsu and see what she says.”

“Good. Semifinals are next week,” Jotaro stated. After a moment, he excused himself to prepare for the next game.

Mitsuki faced Kakyoin, who’s muscles were still tense from Jotaro’s sudden command, but relaxed when she placed her hand on his.

“He has a strong will. I’m glad you’re his friend,” she said warmly. Kakyoin nodded.

“He’s difficult to tend to sometimes, but I like being with him. He’s kind and smart and really funny sometimes,” Kakyoin said happily, tenderly holding his grandma’s hand.

She smiled at him.

They sat there for a moment or two in reflective silence.

Grandma Mitsuki eventually clasped Kakyoin’s hand when the whistle blew to get his attention.

“The next game is starting soon. Get out there, Nori! Do your best!” She smiled proudly at him, a competitive fire in her eyes.

Now Noriaki knew where he got his resolve from. He said goodbye to her and hustled to the field.

The innings passed by.

The second game was even closer than the last one. The score was 6-5 Bulls thanks to a few tough plays and stolen bases.

Jotaro was in the outfield, but even he could tell Kakyoin was grinding his teeth.

He couldn’t stop any steals at first, but he sure wanted to by the look of it.

The Bulls players weren’t just scrappy, they were getting arrogant. They were spurred on by a double home run that got them in the lead and their enthusiasm just kept growing.

In the 6th inning, the Bulls were up to bat once again, score tied.

A particularly brash Bulls player, number 36, stepped up to the plate with a spin of his bat. It’s not unusual to spin the bat for a little flair, but this same player whacked the catcher in the back of the head in the 3rd inning, causing a brief time out for a concussion check.

The catcher insisted he was fine but noticeably flinched when the bat whisked past his face. The player chuckled and settled into his stance, grinning odiously.

His first hit was a decent fly ball towards second, which Kakyoin knew would get tossed at him.

He placed his cleat on the edge of the base, extending his glove for the ball to fly into.

This runner was fast, though, and he barely caught the ball before the player’s cleat dug into his left leg, causing him to stumble from the impact and fall as the sharp pain kicked in. Kakyoin screamed and clutched his calf, which only caused more pain. He sat up and watched his white pant leg start to turn red. He cursed loudly and laid back in the dirt for a moment, pain radiating up his leg and into his upper body.

The nearest coach sprang over to help him.

The player mumbled an apology and went back to retrieve his bat.

Jotaro raced to Kakyoin’s side, where he knelt down and fumbled on what to do.

The coach rolled up his pant leg to reveal several messy, bloody gashes.

Kakyoin grumbled and moaned in pain, eyes shut tight.

The refs called a timeout.

The crowd was standing, concerned looks evenly spread across their faces, particularly Grandma Mitsuki’s and the Joestars’.

Other players slowly gathered around.

Kakyoin’s vision blurred, eyes filling with tears.

Jotaro placed his hand on Kakyoin’s back to support him as he sat up.

Kakyoin’s tears spilled down his cheeks, a few uncontrollable sobs heaving out of his short breaths.

Jotaro could barely breathe. He looked to the field doctor swiftly unfolding the stretcher, then back at Kakyoin.

“What happened, Noriaki?” His voice was rough with worry.

Kakyoin clapped his hand over Jotaro’s shoulder, his fiery eyes brimming with tears.

“I’ll be fine,” he said through a distressed voice. “The runner-” His voice choked off into a pained cry, digging his nails into Jotaro’s jersey and shutting his eyes tight. He was bleeding onto the infield, blood dripping down into his socks.

The cuts were mostly skin deep besides a few in the center, which were gushing a steady stream of dark red venous blood. A chunk of skin was flayed off by his ankle, hanging by a thread.

Jotaro had to look away, moving closer to Kakyoin, who was still gripping onto his shoulder for balance with his right hand. He used his right leg as a support for Noriaki to lean against and kneeled unevenly on his left, placing his free hand on Kakyoin’s far shoulder, pulling him in closer to his chest.

Kakyoin’s upper body relaxed slightly as he leaned into him for support.

Jotaro looked up, now becoming painfully aware of the players swarming around them both.

Kakyoin really didn’t like crying in front of them all but accepted his fate. “God, it burns! f*ck!” He swiped his eyes and nose, holding in his chest-deep sobs as well as he could, biting his lip to encourage his own silence. “Breathe. Take deep breaths,” his mind repeated.

“Give him some space,” Coach Greyson said to Jotaro’s relief. “You too, Kujo. The doctor is going to take him to the facilities’ hospital station. Let him get on the stretcher.”

Jotaro automatically didn’t move a muscle and kept a firm hold of Noriaki, like he didn’t even hear the coach.

Kakyoin looked up at him through watery vision. He shook Jotaro’s shoulder to alert him, motioning towards the stretcher laying behind his large body.

Jotaro huffed and moved aside so he could lift Kakyoin’s top half onto the plastic, irritating the doctor, who carefully moved his injured leg onto the platform first, then Kakyoin adjusted himself onto it with his hips, only letting out a whimper when his injury was shifted.

The crowd clapped graciously as Jotaro and the doctor lifted up the stretcher and walked Kakyoin out of the field.

Holly and Grandma Mitsuki followed the trio towards the facility door.

“Jotaro, come back when you’re able to!” Coach Greyson yelled at him, tone commanding but also understanding.

“Be careful up here, the door is narrow,” the doctor said.

They guided the stretcher backwards, maneuvering around the gray facility halls down to the fluorescent hospital area, where they and Jotaro dumped Kakyoin onto a cot.

“Take off his cleats and sock. I’ll cut his pants.”

The doctor started snipping and Jotaro’s heart winced at the sound of that nice pant fabric ripping.

Kakyoin rubbed his tears away as involuntary groans surfaced when Jotaro slid off his cleat and pulled his sock down.

“Augh, your feet stink,” Jotaro said, trying to lighten up.

Kakyoin chuckled, his voice sounding wobbly. He tossed Kakyoin’s articles away and sat on the nearby chair.

The doctor threw away the pant leg scrap and got to work clearing away the blood.

“Will I need stitches?” Kakyoin asked, his voice slowly returning to normal but with a dash of worry.

Jotaro noticed him eyeing up the tissues and handed him the box, which he took with a subtle nod of thanks.

“Yes, most likely. You have two cuts that went pretty deep, here and here, so I’ll disinfect them all and then work on those,” the doctor replied. They were short and stocky, their black hair tied back in a neat bun with an undercut and had impressive double sleeve tattoos over thick, well-muscled arms.

Jotaro took a second to admire them before catching Kakyoin doing the same.

“Sounds like a plan. I see you’re a Dragon Ball fan, too, huh?” Kakyoin inquired, pointing at the Goku symbols on their bicep. “What did you think of the…”

He and Doctor Takemi chatted while Jotaro stepped out of the room to briefly inform the ladies what was going on. He let them in right before the doctor finished cleaning away the blood and brought out a disinfecting spray bottle.

Kakyoin yelped when they unscrewed the spray cap and poured the liquid out, drenching his calf with it.

He automatically curled his fingers around the bed railing, eyes closed tight in pain.

“Sorry. It’ll feel much better soon,” Doctor Takemi said with a hint of a smile.

Jotaro gave his seat to Mitsuki, mainly so he could stand closer to Noriaki’s bed.

Holly leaned against the desk, her hand covering her mouth as she averted her eyes from Kakyoin’s foaming wounds.

Kakyoin gritted his teeth, hissing through the burning sensation taking over his nervous system.

Jotaro crossed his arms as he watched the doctor continue soaking Kakyoin’s cuts, wishing they’d quit sooner than they did.

Doctor Takemi spun around in their chair and spun back with a needle and thread.

“Okay, I’m going to start sewing you up. Do you have a problem with needles?”

Kakyoin shook his head with a weak “no” and laid back on the bed, keeping his eyes shut.

Mitsuki whispered to Holly.

“He hates needles,” she chuckled.

Holly smiled a little at her.

At the first stab, Kakyoin hummed in discomfort, squeezing his eyes shut and his fingers tight around the bed rail.

Jotaro watched in disgust and awe how the thread weaved through his skin, passing to the other side of the laceration. He turned his eyes to Kakyoin, who was clearly uncomfortable, and his gaze softened.

Kakyoin briefly opened his eyes to see Jotaro’s meeting his. The pain caused him to blurt out what he was thinking.

“JoJo, shouldn’t you be pitching?” “Agh, why did you say that, you ungrateful ass,” Kakyoin immediately thought.

Jotaro looked saddened but nodded in agreement, recalling what Coach Greyson said.

“Ah, I’m sorry. I really appreciate your help. You can stay if you want. I figured that you’d want to keep playing,” he added.

Jotaro thought on it.

“What do you want me to do?” he only asked because he didn’t know what he wanted to do himself.

Kakyoin winced at the next stitch and put his hand to his chin, trying to look tougher than he felt.

“I want you to play. I wanna kick their asses,” Kakyoin murmured, his reddened eyes lighting up with determination.

Jotaro felt a twinge of sadness at the fact that Kakyoin didn’t want him to stay, but smirked and clapped his shoulder down.

Before he could leave, Kakyoin pulled him down by his wrist and whispered into his ear.

“Number 36 bats right and has weak knees.” Kakyoin smirked, his eyes glittering mischievously.

Jotaro’s core burned with the touch of warm breath on his ear, his soft, deep voice, and the tertiary thought of avenging Noriaki. He stood up, clasping Kakyoin’s wrist for a lingering moment, exchanging an understanding look, then left.

Holly and Mitsuki glanced at each other, then Kakyoin called for his grandma.

She stood next to his bed, replacing Jotaro’s now empty spot.

“No need to be secretive, Noriaki,” Mitsuki coaxed.

Kakyoin held her hand as the stitching continued.

“I told him, tell the coaches to watch number 36 for me. He’s the one who ran me over. I think it was on purpose, too – ooh, ow!” He flinched from another poke. “It’s hard to get your foot this high without aiming, anyway.” He pointed to the top of the cut, beginning a few inches under his knee.

“Why, that is just…” Mitsuki trailed off, her eyebrows furrowed and fist clenched. She squeezed Kakyoin’s hand as he squeezed hers.

“Almost done,” Doctor Takemi said.

“What’s your name, Mrs. Kakyoin?” Holly asked.

“I am Kakyoin Mitsuki, Noriaki’s grandmother. I’m Tsu’s mom. Have you two met?”

“Yes, Kakyoin and my son, Jotaro, graduated together! We have dinner sometimes. Where are you from?” Holly chippered.

Mitsuki chuckled, happily reminiscing.

“I was born in Hokkaido but I met my husband here in Tokyo. I’ve been here ever since.”

“How lovely!”

“Kakyoin, you’re all stitched up,” Doctor Takemi interrupted. “I’m going to wrap this in bandages and send you home. Keep it dry for 72 hours, then wash it with cool water and a soft rag twice a day when that time’s up. I’m afraid you won’t be able to play for about two or three weeks while your wounds heal.”

“Will he have to get them removed?” Mitsuki asked.

“No, they’re absorbable. Oh, and don’t go swimming in any lakes, pools, or rivers. Get some good sleep, too. You kids these days don’t get enough sleep.”

Mitsuki nodded along with the doctor’s points, lightly squeezing Kakyoin’s hand.

“Okay. Can I walk?” Kakyoin inquired, eyeing the half-wrapped, freakish lacerations and sutures in his leg.

“I’d recommend bed rest for a few days while the deeper cuts heal. I think two days should do it, you’re a healthy guy. But don’t scratch or rub on it or they could reopen, got it?”

“Got it,” Kakyoin nodded.

“Crutches might be a good idea, too, if you need to get somewhere. Would you like a wheelchair for now? You can leave it at the door when the game is over,” Doctor Takemi stated.

“Yes, that’d be wonderful,” Mitsuki answered. Kakyoin agreed.

They took out and unfolded a wheelchair that was compressed into a corner and instructed Kakyoin on how to get out of bed.

He situated himself into the chair and, with a final thank you to the doctor, Holly and Mitsuki strolled him back to the field.

Kakyoin felt strange on this side of the fence.

As they rolled up, drawing sympathetic looks from the crowd, he watched Jotaro pitch, his dark eyebrows focused on the strike zone. It was silly, though, because for every strike, he threw two balls, eventually getting two enemy runners on base.

It was all part of the plan, though, as he easily struck out the next two batters and smirked at number 36, who moseyed up to home plate.

Kakyoin’s stomach wrenched with excitement and a touch of guilt. Maybe encouraging Jotaro to go after him was a little much. Jotaro certainly won’t play nice.... Eh, who cares? He’s a dick, anyway,” reasoned Kakyoin’s not-very-golden conscience.

Mitsuki and Holly were chattering behind him, something about Tokyo and their favorite ramen shop.

Kakyoin’s pain melted away as he focused on the pitcher.

Jotaro glanced around the field, then at the crowd, catching Kakyoin’s gaze. He smirked at him, winking as he took his stance. He took a breath, trying not to release all of his anger at once. He kept up his poker face, squeezing the baseball tight in his right hand.

“Weak knees, eh, Noriaki? He should try this on for size. This one’s for you.”

Jotaro summoned Star Platinum, took aim, wound up tight, and nailed the batter right in the knee with a lightning-fast curveball! Number 36 cried out in pain and came crashing down, gripping his knee and howling piteously.

Jotaro tipped his hat over his face, hiding the devious grin on his face while attempting to look and act apologetic. He walked up to the batter, knelt down, apologized with a beaming smile, and retrieved the ball, then walked off to the dugout as the refs called another timeout.

Doctor Takemi entered the field and hmphed as soon as they saw the player number.

The game ended with the Legends taking both rounds, 9-6 as the final score.

“Jotaro was clearly on a lucky streak,” the crowd assumed. “He had a bit of a rough start, but really got into a rhythm by the end of the game!”

Mitsuki and Holly cheered the loudest.

Kakyoin was too busy studying the field to yell (too busy studying Jotaro, mostly).

After the game, Jotaro hustled out to meet Kakyoin and his family, immediately taking the wheelchair handles from Holly. They couldn’t stop smirking knowingly at each other in between every sentence.

Holly and Mitsuki became friends, exchanging phone numbers and agreeing to have dinner at the other’s house sometime.

Coaches Greyson and Feryal stood apart from the crowd, watching the two families interact.

“I’ve never seen anything like those two,” Feryal said, leaning against the chain link fence.

Greyson jutted his chin out in agreement, scratching at his stubbly beard.

“Couldn’t agree more. They work like clockwork. Hey, wanna make a bet?”

When the Kujos got home, Jotaro went to his room and laid down on his bed, adrenaline crashing down in him. His eyelids felt heavy, despite his mind racing from thoughts of sweet revenge to Noriaki’s nickname, to “his injury, which was awful, but then his smile after I beaned that guy! Man! Hahah! I’m so glad he liked it; he seemed so proud! And his smile... ah, what a day. I wonder how Noriaki’s doing right now. Heh. Nori. Noriaki.”

Only then did he notice himself smiling and the warm fuzzy feeling creeping up in his chest, but for once, out of sheer exhaustion, he decided to let it slide and just exist for a minute. It wasn’t that bad, now that he felt it lodging in his chest.

He curled further into bed, under his blankets, completely drained of energy.

Every recurring thought of him only fanned the flames of heat in his chest, but it didn’t hurt like he felt it should, now that he let it flourish. In fact, it felt… good, like nothing he’d ever felt before.

His body relaxed entirely, muscles slowly untightening as his mind ran amok.

Blurred images of memory and dreams formed between his closed eyes, sending little shock waves down his body. “He whispered so close to me; he was right there. He was so warm.” It was exciting, addicting, almost feverish to think more of.

He let his thoughts keep spiraling, his heart pounding in his chest, so hard and fast he could feel it in his skin. It was intense, but he didn’t want to get rid of it. It felt too good.

Hazy images flashed in the forefront of his mind. His ears felt hotter the more he thought about him.

“He liked my throw today.” The deep sense of truth in that statement gave way to a intoxicating reaction in Jotaro's core. “He makes me feel good like nobody else can. I don't get it, but I want to feel it more. Whatever this is. It feels nice.”

Jotaro curled his arm around himself in an effort to recreate the warm sensation, his skin feeling flushed under all the blankets.

“Even though he was hurt, it felt so good to hold him. I... I really like it when he touches me,” he thought with a little surprise at the realization, his cheeks turning pale red. “I didn’t think I liked touches, but I like his. It feels good when he holds my hand or when I pull him close to me. It feels good just thinking about it. I want to feel it more. What would it be like to… to feel more?”

Jotaro’s mind conjured shadowy images as he shut his eyes, imagining indistinct ideas until he fell into an obscure scenario, his insides feeling warped and burning hot. It was titillating, freeing, and electrifying to let his heart and mind wander into “a dim room with warmth all around me, Noriaki’s soft voice in my ears, his hands trailing down, my hands, his warmth, his eyes, his body, his – agh! Stop it, that’s enough! No, keep going! I have to stop. It’s Noriaki. I can’t think of him like that. It’s wrong. It’s gross.”

Jotaro forced open his eyes, sitting up uncomfortably on his bed, curling a leg into his chest in an attempt to get rid of the queer feeling in his core.

He processed the images he'd seen and things he'd felt and groaned quietly, pressing his forehead into his knee as the thoughts kept coming, so fast they became less entertaining and more exhausting than anything.

As the feelings quieted momentarily, Jotaro laid back on his side, rubbing his weary eyes as if that would rid him of the images he’d created in his mind. He subconsciously curled inwards, protecting his stomach. “I just wish he were here right now. I want to… I want him here with me. I want to feel it again, how it was when I held him close today. He was so warm and held tight to me. I want that. I want to hold him close. I want to feel his whole body close to mine. Stop, stop, that’s too much. No, I just want to… give him a hug? No, something more that that! But I shouldn't. Ugh, what is wrong with me?”

Jotaro’s stomach flipped with excitement and shame. His internal factions were warring again, one voice holding him back, the other egging him on.

“More than a hug? More, like… sex? NO! No, no, why would I think of that?... Well...” a part of him considered it for a second before freaking out again. “Agh, no! I shouldn’t think of Noriaki that way. We’re just friends - no, we’re best friends. But that doesn’t feel like the right word, either. Noriaki is just… he’s Noriaki. He’s my best friend. But that's not it. That doesn't feel right. What do I want him to be? I want him to be… my... Noriaki. My Noriaki.”

It seemed the factions in his mind had come to an agreement as Jotaro repeated it over and over in his mind, his heart aching with each one. He was left utterly exhausted and confused, closing his eyes and let his frenzied thoughts drift into mush, then drift into sleep.

Notes:

This chapter might as well be called "I'm gay and traumatized" but I wanted to stick with one-word titles for vanity reasons, so here we are.

Hey, what're your opinions on Jotaro being ace? He seems like he'd be on, well, multiple spectrums in canon and I try to write him as such, but ace people, what do you think? I'm open to suggestions for the ending since I haven't written it yet.

If you've read some of my other works, you'll know I'm a bit of a slu*t, so writing a "happy ending" wink wink would be fun, but I want it to make sense for the characters, especially Jotaro since I've heard a bit of ace speculation for him.

And just to be super extra clear if it wasn't already, they're both 18 in this fic by the time the ending is gonna roll around, which is where I'm considering topping it off with some smut. Anyhoozles, what do y'all think?

Chapter 5: Semifinals

Summary:

They've made it to the semifinal game!

Idk if this is a tw but tw for parents yelling at each other, sh*tty parenting, and Kakyoin has what I'm calling a "dissociation breakdown" of sorts, idk how to put it. It's similar to a panic attack, I think, so skip from where Kakyoin goes to Jotaro's house down to the next line break if you need to.

Sorry 'bout the trauma buddy! *headpats*

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Two weeks later. Jotaro came to terms with the fact that he has feelings for Noriaki. He had not made any progress moving on, though, as he believed he should.

This was the semifinal game. The score was 7-5, Knights in the lead. It was the bottom of the 9th and the Legends were up to bat.

The coaches switched up the batting order so Jotaro and Kakyoin were earlier in the rank, making this a lucky break for the team.

Jotaro squared up to the plate, his whole world quieting down as he stretched his arms back, Joseph’s Louisville snug in his clenched fists. The batting helmet couldn’t hold back a stray curl in the front of his face and he tried, unsuccessfully, to blow it away. Nevertheless, he zeroed in on the pitcher, and just as the ball left his hand, Jotaro summoned Star Platinum: The World.

Everything stopped. It was so quiet. 5 seconds. He observed the pitcher’s form. “Hmm. Curveball. Easy,” he thought. Ignoring the urge to look for Kakyoin, he got himself into a good stance for hitting the ball. 3 seconds. He took a quick practice swing. 1 second.

Time crept up again and he swung, sending the ball flying straight out to center field where it rolled and stopped, the outfielders racing towards it.

Jotaro rounded first base and made it to second safely without having to slide (good thing, since Holly could barely get the dirt stains out of his uniform without bleach anymore).

The team erupted in cheers and the next batter stepped up.

Jotaro deeply wanted to steal third, but never got the right chance as the batter hit a single to left field and made it to first, forcing Jotaro to stay on second.

The next batter, after a nerve-wracking set of strikes, balls, and fouls, finally got a decent bunt and advanced each of the runners so the bases were full.

Jotaro’s stomach flipped as Kakyoin Noriaki stepped out of the next batter’s box and up to home plate.

Kakyoin took a few warmup swings, twirling the bat around as he did, and Jotaro couldn’t help but grin.

The pitcher clearly remembered him from his triple earlier in the game and threw an aggressive screwball fresh out of the gate.

Kakyoin ignored it as the ball curled away from the strike zone, coolly recalling Jotaro’s advice from several days ago.

“It’s hard to see a screwball coming because it looks normal from the batter’s point of view, but then it veers left or right depending on the dominant side of the pitcher,” Jotaro explained.

He had called Kakyoin, asking if he could come to his place for once, but got turned down with a flimsy “Sorry, my mom’s not feeling well, you shouldn’t come here,” although she was clearly yelling in the background.

“Uh. Okay. Well, could you come over, then? I’ve got something I want to show you,” Jotaro said, his grin coming out through the phone.

“Yeah, I’ll do my best. See you soon,” he replied, and hung up before his mom started up again.

Kakyoin’s stomach was in knots. It wasn’t abnormal for his parents to fight, but it wasn’t exactly regular, and the time had come for their monthly argument to flare up again. He was sitting up on the side of his bed, his bad leg wrapped tight and hanging loosely over the edge. It was mostly healed by now, only some aches and pains when he moved it too much.

He didn’t want to listen to what his parents were saying, most of the time it was just meaningless nonsense, but he heard his name and perked up, anxiety rippling up his throat. “The door’s locked, right?”

“Do you talk to Noriaki like this? It’s no wonder he’s so f*cking shy,” his dad started.

“How could you say that when you’re not even around to talk with him?”

“Oh, you wanna go there, Tsu? When was the last time you were at one of his games, huh?”

“I could say the same for you,” his mom drawled.

“At least I tried to tell him I was sorry. You didn’t even bring it up and now we’re just wasting time and money trying to buy him equipment we don’t even see him use!”

“And who’s fault is that, huh? You buy all this expensive sh*t just to prove that you can, like that f*cking helmet he wanted so much, even though I said we could’ve bought the cheap black one, but you just had to be the hero and make me the bad guy, like always.”

“That’s not fair. He wanted it, so I got it. Shouldn’t we treat Nori like the kid he is?”

“He’s 18 in a few days, Benjiro! Or did you forget, like how you forgot his last birthday, too?”

Kakyoin pulled his ears out of the argument, his body off the bed and through the door to the kitchen, where he scratched a note saying “I’m going to get groceries. Be back by 8:30.” He added a smiley face at the end of it in the hopes it would cool one of his parents down, then snuck out the door, pushing down his emotions as he drove away.

Shaking it all from his mind, he arrived at Jotaro’s house within 15 minutes and stood at the gate, looking elegant as ever.

Jotaro walked out and welcomed him in, as always, and led him to his room with a growing smile on his face. He started talking and motioning with his hands, a big smile coming though his voice.

Kakyoin’s heart skipped. “Jotaro is so handsome when he’s like this,” he thought, then caught himself. “Relax. Now’s not the time for that.” Ignoring the little voice that said, “When is there ever a time for that, Nori?” , Kakyoin desperately focused on Jotaro’s words.

Jotaro pulled him down by the shoulder, sitting on the floor across from him and the “gay thought + gay denial” sequence repeated itself. In fact, it did that a lot as Jotaro kept talking about types of pitches, throwing in little jokes, nudges, and saying his name out loud a little more than Kakyoin figured was normal. It seemed like he did it just to make his heart twist even tighter.

“…it veers left or right depending on the dominant side of the pitcher,” Jotaro explained freeheartedly as Kakyoin began to slowly drift away, the words his parents screamed at each other coming back to him now.

“No wonder he’s so f*cking shy, dad said. All this expensive sh*t… waste of time and money, mom said. That hurts. Why would they say it like that?”

“Hey, Noriaki. You alright?” Jotaro waved his hand in front of Kakyoin’s face, waking him from his daze.

“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m alright. I’m fine, just lost track of you for a moment there. Would you mind repeating what you just said?” Kakyoin quickly covered.

Jotaro smiled as he repeated his mini lecture.

Kakyoin knew Jotaro was happy as a clam, sharing all these facts about pitching styles and different kinds of lines and whatever, but he was finding it difficult to focus when his head was pounding on all sides, and, strangely, there was this newer feeling taking up space in Kakyoin’s mind – sorrow.

He’d felt it before, of course, sometimes when one of the Crusaders, but usually Jotaro, would do something he took delight in in Egypt, he’d feel sad soon after. It was like his heart was grieving something – someone right in front of him, like it knew whatever he felt, he was alone in that. It was small and manageable most days, but something was different tonight.

His insides felt crumpled, his muscles felt heavy and his heart was either going way too slow or way too fast, he couldn’t tell. Jotaro’s voice became mush in his mind as his head and heart fought for an answer to his feelings.

“Why am I so sad? Why does looking at Jotaro make it go away, but then it gets even worse? It's one thing to have a few crushy feelings every once in a while for a friend, but this isn't like how I normally feel them. This feels much... more. It's so unfair. It's too much. What the f*ck? What. The. f*ck? He’s saying something about pitching, I think, but I can barely even hear him. This sucks! I should listen, but I can’t tell what I’m even feeling right now and it’s hurting so much. I can’t f*cking focus. It’s ugly and it hurts my stomach – no, my head hurts really bad. Both. I feel nauseous. But also, really, weirdly, downhearted. Maybe it’s chest pain, too. Oh god, am - am I having a heart attack? I don’t think I should have heart attacks; I’m young and healthy! Plus, I mean, Jotaro’s right here. I’m supposed to feel happy around him, so why do I feel this way? What is all this? Agh, I’m such a damn burden. He doesn’t deserve to deal with that. Maybe Holly could help. She’s probably good at this kind of thing. Yes, I’ll go to Holly.”

“Jotaro, I’m not feeling well, is your mom home?” Kakyoin blurted out when Jotaro took a pause.

He looked him over and got up.

“Sorry, no, but I can get you some medicine if you need it,” Jotaro suggested, eyeing the door.

Kakyoin considered it for a brief moment. He felt like he was going to puke if he moved, but he had to get away from Jotaro so he didn't see him like this. He forced himself up, pushing down the horrid sensation in his gut and walking with Jotaro to the bathroom.

“I appreciate your help, Jotaro. I’m sure I’ll be fine,” Kakyoin said quietly as he shut the bathroom door behind him. He collapsed on the closed toilet seat and rubbed his eyes, letting out a breath. His skin was pale and he felt sweaty, but also shuddered once or twice from nonexistent cold. He forced himself to unclench his jaw, breathe in, breathe out, over and over, until he barely calmed down enough to get up and look in the mirror.

He opened the cabinet and quickly spotted the ibuprofen, popped some in, and cupped his hand under the faucet, only to shock himself with the sensation of freezing cold water on his hand, which was uncomfortable enough, but then gagged when his brain couldn’t register the icy taste, forcing a pill back up, and quickly took another to wash it down again.

He felt like crying, which he knew was silly since nothing serious happened and it was just a stupid pill, but he struggled to hold it back as his lip quivered and his throat tightened, tears threatening to spill out.

His emotions suddenly came down as he forced himself to look up at the ceiling so his tears stayed in his eyes, noting the patterns in the popcorn and briefly observing how dusty the fan was, despite his blurred vision.

He blinked and a tear fell out, but the feelings were quieter now. He wiped it off, nothing cathartic about it. Just a solitary tear that didn’t even feel earned. The feelings were just... gone. Like a puff of smoke.

He chuckled dryly as he wiped his nose, taking a few tissues to blow it out, then fixed up his hair and red-rimmed eyes in the mirror.

“God, what a mess. What was I even that concerned about? Jotaro's just my friend, my parents are just arguing. It's nothing unusual. At least it's all gone now. No need to cry.”

When he was sure the evidence of distress was mostly gone, he opened the door to find Jotaro sitting on the couch, reading the back of one of his video game cases he’d left behind.

He looked up at him past the case.

“There you are,” he said warmly.

Kakyoin’s stomach wrenched at the sweetness in his gruff voice, but it was nothing compared to what he’d just passed through. Getting his spine blown out by DIO was nothing compared to what he just experienced. Well, maybe that was debatable.

“I’m awfully sorry to leave so soon, but my parents are expecting me to be back by 8:00, so I need to go,” Kakyoin lied smoothly.

Jotaro sat up.

“Oh. Okay,” he uttered, his expression turning sad.

“I’m very grateful for your help with the pitches, by the way. I’ll try to remember what you said. I took some ibuprofen and I’m feeling a little better, but I need to go home. See you at practice!” Kakyoin spoke as he headed toward the door, trying to ignore the quiet sadness on his face.

“Goodbye,” Jotaro said lowly, unable to hide the tinge of disappointment in his voice.

Kakyoin walked to his car with increasing speed and internal cringe levels, starting his engine and taking off with a hiss of the tires.

He made it home in 10 minutes flat, not realizing until he made it there that his hands were gripping the steering wheel, knuckles white and red. He relaxed his grip, his shoulders, his jaw, and his brows, and entered his house, which was quiet again.

He’d forgotten to get any cover-up groceries, but no one seemed to notice.

He crumpled up his note and angrily threw it away.

“Stee-rike!” the umpire yelled. Kakyoin snapped out of it. “Get your head in the game, Noriaki.” He glanced at third base, where Jotaro was patiently watching and waiting intently.

The next ball was a fastball, but it was purposely a bit too high, so Kakyoin let it be.

“Strike!”

“What? That was too high!” Kakyoin thought but didn’t say.

He narrowed his eyes at the pitcher. He prepared the wind up, swung, and the whole stadium learned what a slugger was that day.

The wooden bat Kakyoin had to use when his old one became too dented to hit anymore snapped in half with a resounding “KRAK” as the baseball sailed over the outfield.

He followed it with his eyes, ears attuned to the roaring crowd as he jogged to first with a giant smirk on his face. By second base, the ball was past the fence and still following its downward arc.

“GRAND SLAM BY NUMBER 13! NORIAKI KAKYOIN!” the announcer boomed raucously.

Kakyoin rounded third, gleaming at his teammates, heart pumping wildly, and pulled back his shoulders with immense pride as he joined the flood of players crowding him at home plate, jumping up and down and congratulating him on his grand slam.

The Legends had won the game with that swing, and lifted Kakyoin up above their heads, chanting and cheering his name as they received the golden semifinals trophy!

Jotaro, ever the loner to those watching, snuck back into the dugout after giving Kakyoin a firm pat on the shoulder and a winning smile, one he didn’t even notice because he was being carried by his teammates. JoJo was the first one back in the locker room.

When he switched on the lights, something inside him felt… sad. Being with Kakyoin the last few days had made him happy, of course it did, but it also left him with a crumbling feeling of guilt and loneliness whenever he remembered how he thought and felt about him.

“Why do I feel so sad about him all of a sudden? Noriaki is happy, so why am I down here by myself and not celebrating with him? What is wrong with me?” Jotaro’s stomach churned again as he mindlessly changed out of his uniform and into his regular outfit. “So maybe I have some feelings for Noriaki. So what? It doesn’t change anything. We won’t stop being best friends. So why am I so f*cking sad? Ugh, this is bullsh*t.”

Other players streamed into the locker room, talking loudly about the game, the crowd members, the losing side. Jotaro didn’t process any of it.

“Just quit feeling so damn sorry for yourself. It's fine to just be friends. So suck it up and-

His vision suddenly came into focus when Kakyoin poked his arm, shocking him out of his frozen state.

“Hello? Jotaro? Are you alright?” Kakyoin had a big smile on his face.

Jotaro looked at him for a moment, eyes dark and brows knitted, then closed his locker door and beelined it to the exit. He couldn’t take it anymore.

Kakyoin’s smile faded as he left. “Oh. Uh, okay. Maybe he’s in a bad mood. But that doesn't make any sense, we won!”

Kakyoin’s monologue was interrupted by another player congratulating him on the grand slam and asking a few questions which he happily answered.

As Jotaro left, Coach Greyson entered the locker room.

“Legends!”

The team looked up and paid him attention.

“You played well and thanks to your hard work and dedication, we won this here beauty!” He held up the semifinal trophy, a surprisingly big statue of a batter coated with gold paint and sparkling lacquer.

The team whooped and cheered, someone clapped Kakyoin hard on the back.

“And I’m pleased to announce we’re headed to the Tokyo district Finals in Ginza! We’re getting a five-star hotel and three days to spend perusing downtown!”

The team’s cheers turned to excited chatter.

“We’re going to be facing the Shinjuku Lions, and if we win, we’ll get a magnificent trophy like this baby right here and… drum roll, please! One half million yen, each!”

The players’ eyes widened with delight and rowdy cheers took over the room once again.

Coach Greyson had to blow his whistle to get them to quiet down after several failed attempts at using his words.

“I need everyone to be at the address I’ve printed upon this paper,” he yelled as he handed out slips with the name of a fancy-sounding hotel on it, “at noon this Friday. We’ll have the weekend and Monday to relax and prepare, then we play on Tuesday. Sound fair? I’ll fill you in later, then. Alright, I’m beat and you dicks drenched me in Gatorade (an American victory tradition), so I’m heading out for the night; if you need anything, talk to Coach Feryal. Catch ya later, fellas!”

And with that and a peace sign, he left.

Kakyoin was thrilled. His insides bubbled with anticipation for the coming days, thoughts swirling in his head of fancy boutiques, fancy food, fancy hotels, fancy drinks with fancy cherries in them, everything! He slipped the paper into his pants pocket and reminded himself to tell Jotaro later. “Oh, yeah. Where is he?”

He wandered out of the locker room and into the stadium, which was swarming with people. He tipped his cap lower over his face to avoid fans and searched for the front row, where he knew his grandma and Holly would be, and most likely, Jotaro. He spotted them across the bleachers and weaved through the stands to reach them, heart sinking slowly when he realized Jotaro wasn’t with them.

“Noriaki! That was amazing!” Holly piped, waving her fists around excitedly.

“What an incredible hit you had, Nori! I still can’t believe it!” Mitsuki said hoarsely, her voice sore from cheering.

Kakyoin bowed his head and smiled brightly, scooting in to give her a little hug.

She kissed his temple and he tried very hard not to wipe it off, smiling as he thanked them profusely and politely excused himself to go find Jotaro.

“You were right, Holly. They are joined at the hip. I’ve never seen Nori get so attached to someone like this,” Mitsuki murmured to her.

The stands got quieter as people began to leave, but Holly and Mitsuki stayed to chat. The elder held her cards close to her chest more often than not, but Holly’s sweet demeanor influenced her enough to talk about her family.

As Kakyoin searched the stadium for Jotaro, the halls getting quieter and quieter as the sun came down, Holly listened to Mitsuki’s story.

“My husband and I worked in the same department store for years before we finally had Tsu, our little pride and joy. We were both poor, with very little family on either side left from the war, and we just didn’t have enough time to care for her properly. We always had to work. Every day, it was just work, work, work, like nothing else mattered. We were tired, so, so tired.

But coming home to our babysitter and little Tsu playing together was our rest. He and I were joined at the hip, too, you know. Ohh, that old codger. I just know he’s looking down at me now, thinking, what on earth is she doing down there? What did she do to my comic books?

He passed away from lung cancer a few years ago. Yes, I know, it’s very sad, but I trust that he’s taking care of himself. It’s the least he can do for me.”

Holly chuckled at that.

“Tsu grew up without us and now that I see it, I know why Nori is so quiet. Tsu was the same way. I don’t tell you this to broadcast my own thoughts, I tell you because I know Noriaki has a good heart, beneath all the witty remarks and, frankly, strange habits.”

Holly laughed even louder; her eyes filled with understanding.

“I want him to grow up with someone he can rely on, someone who will be there for him, whether that’s his baseball games or when he’s having a bad day. I don't think his parents are able to do that right now. He’s so strong, Holly, but I worry for him. He’s my only grandson.” Mitsuki’s voice was raspy and sweet, which Holly adored.

She placed her young hand over Mitsuki’s wrinkly one, squeezing it when Mitsuki held hers.

“I get the feeling you know and I both know who he relies on,” she murmured.

Mitsuki chuckled, her wrinkle lines highlighted in the floodlights.

“I see. So, that’s how he is? I had a feeling. Does Jotaro know?”

Holly shook her head, smiling like she was embarrassed for him.

“They’ve been circling the drain for a while now. The coaches made a bet. I’ve already lost, so do you want in?”

Mitsuki feigned a horrified look. “I’m not a gambler!”

Holly’s eyes widened at her sudden change of expression.

“Just kidding, darling. I’m in. What’s the bet?”

Notes:

Sorry I didn't text back, I was writing a 25k+ word slow burn gayass fanfiction for literally nobody but myself. How've you been doing, mom?

Chapter 6: Gummy

Summary:

Oh my god its happening stay calm everybody stay calm

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Jotaro?” Kakyoin called out, eventually coming to the point where he was shouting for him. He’d made a whole loop around the stadium and didn’t catch him anywhere.

He made his way back to Holly and Mitsuki, who were laughing at something that must’ve been truly hysterical to them, and they snickered as he asked where Jotaro was.

Holly shrugged.

“I haven’t seen him anywhere, Nori. Do you need him for something?” Mitsuki responded, subtly side-eying Holly.

Kakyoin’s lips parted like he was going to answer, but then dropped the words from his tongue in exchange for other ones.

“No. I can tell him some other time. I should head home. Goodnight, Grandma. Goodnight, Holly,” he declared as he backed away towards the door.

He turned, but decided to add, “Thanks for coming!” to the goodbye.

The ladies said “goodbye” and “of course!” while chuckling to themselves.

Kakyoin left, his heart sinking.

Jotaro was driving away from the stadium at dangerous speeds, nearly grazing a van as he zoomed toward his neighborhood. He hastily parked in the garage and skulked to his room.

He sat at his desk and tried to continue reading his book, but the words floated out of his brain as quickly as his eyes could skim them and he slammed it shut, chagrin tugging at his chest. This anger wasn’t particularly about anyone, rather, it was his inability to get rid of these feelings of sadness and pain whenever he thought of Kakyoin that aggravated him.

“Why won’t it go away?” Jotaro grumbled and walked outside, aimlessly searching for something to take his mind off of the sensations broiling in his chest.

Before he could get too far, though, he heard a distant phone ringing. “That’s mom’s kitchen phone,” he thought. It was their landline.

He made his way into the kitchen and picked up the red handset.

“Kujo house.”

“Jotaro, there you are! I couldn’t find you anywhere after the game!”

“Hey, mom. I drove home early. Why did you call?”

“I’m actually calling from Mitsuki’s place right now. She and I are having dinner tonight, so I’ll be home a bit late. Please keep an eye out for anything-”

“Anything suspicious and lock the door by nine, I know,” Jotaro finished.

“That’s my boy. Oh, and Kakyoin was looking for you. You should talk to him!” Holly and Mitsuki glanced at each other from across the living room. Jotaro cringed at his mention.

“I’ll see you later, mom. Bye.” He hung up immediately and breathed a sigh of relief.

Holly wasn’t exactly bothersome, but she had a good eye for whenever Jotaro seemed stressed and he really didn’t want to talk about it right now.

He stared at the phone for a little while, then got himself some cup ramen and heated it up in the microwave, leaning against the table to watch it rotate. Jotaro’s stomach slowly tightened as the seconds wore down until he got sick of feeling it and took it out thirty seconds too early, then sat on the couch eating it lukewarm, staring out at the streetlights.

He turned to face his living room and caught a glance of the video game case Kakyoin left and felt his stomach twist. He got up, chucked the ramen cup away, and walked off to his room. He switched off the lights and threw himself into bed, shutting his eyes as if it would save him from his thoughts.

All of a sudden, he heard a knock at the door and bolted upright. “sh*t, I forgot to lock the door,” he swore.

A glance out of the living room window was enough for him to recognize the familiar form and who other than Noriaki Kakyoin to wake him from his not-peaceful not-slumber.

His heart raced as he opened the door, Kakyoin’s face lit up in the outdoor lamp light.

“Hey, Coach Greyson gave us directions to the hotel for the finals weekend. I grabbed you an extra slip since you left early,” Kakyoin stated, handing Jotaro a thin strip of paper with words that his brain was unable to process printed on it.

“Oh, thanks,” Jotaro mumbled. He looked at Kakyoin, who seemed full of energy, and his expression wilted a little.

Kakyoin noticed it.

“Are… are you feeling okay, JoJo? I didn’t wake you up, did I?” Kakyoin’s voice softened.

Jotaro shook his head, trying to clear his brain.

“No, you didn’t.” An awkward silence followed.

“Uh, okay.” Kakyoin started after a moment. “I guess I’ll go, then. Sorry to bother.” He turned around and slowly walked towards the gate.

Jotaro realized the disappointment in his body and, against his better judgment, called out to him.

“Noriaki! Do you want to, uh…” He lost all clue of what to say next.

He didn’t have any excuses for him to stay, so why say it?

“Stay? Here?”

Kakyoin stopped and turned back as Jotaro spoke, hope blossoming in his chest. He was confused by Jotaro’s hesitation but felt something return to normal. Or, at least, close to normal. Jotaro still looked like hell. He didn’t even have his hat on, he was in his undershirt and some shabby sweats.

“Yeah, I’d love to! Why do you ask?” Kakyoin immediately regretted asking. He knew Jotaro didn’t have a decent answer. f*ck, he didn’t even have a decent reason for agreeing. Other than he wanted to. “You know what, never mind that! What do you want to do tonight?”

Jotaro’s heart began racing again, but the unpleasant, complicated feelings from before were magically erasing themselves and his heart felt lighter. He shrugged, a smirk growing on his face as Noriaki stepped inside and eagerly shook his shoes off.

“How’s your leg?”

“All healed up! Wanna see the scars?” Kakyoin’s tone was quite persuasive.

Jotaro nodded passionately and swiftly locked the door behind him.

They sat on the couch and Kakyoin rolled up his pant leg to show off the y-shaped scar, a few stitches still visible in the center of the skin.

“Nice,” Jotaro approved.

“Real sexy,” Kakyoin said with a smirk, and rolled his pant leg back down. He rested his feet on the coffee table.

“Hey, feet off the table,” Jotaro ordered.

“What? You’re allowed to put yours on there.”

“Your feet reek.”

“I’m wearing socks!”

“So? I could smell you from inside the house, how do you think my bloodhound of a mom’ll react?” Jotaro was clearly grinning at him, so Kakyoin played along.

“Rude.” He lifted his feet from the table and sat cross-legged on the couch.

Jotaro grinned and spread his legs all over the coffee table, staring deviously at Kakyoin the whole time, slumping into the couch cushions with an exaggerated sigh of relaxation.

“Ohhh, you sly bastard!” Kakyoin punched him lightly in the pec.

Jotaro gaped at him and lightly hit him back in the sternum.

Kakyoin smirked and pushed him back into the puffy couch cushions with both hands.

Jotaro pushed him back even harder, grinning as Kakyoin’s eyes widened.

The two play-fought for a little while, getting more intense, until it became an actual brawl on the couch - shoving each other around rougher and rougher until Jotaro took it a little too far and socked Kakyoin in the stomach, causing him to wince and bend over for a second before looking up at him with fire in his eyes and a mischievous grin.

“Oh, you’re on!”

Jotaro chuckled feistily and brought out Star Platinum.

Kakyoin shook his head.

“No, no, we’re fighting for real. No Stands.”

Jotaro paused and put away Star, grinning.

“Deal.” He shoved Kakyoin by the shoulders again, only to get shoved right back. He grabbed at his arms and pulled him downwards, twisting him around so he could headlock him.

Grunting with effort, Kakyoin spun around, knocking him off balance and forcing them both to separate their wobbly bodies so they didn’t land on the coffee table.

They skirted around it and charged at each other again, catching onto one another’s arms.

Jotaro was heavier and spun Kakyoin down to the floor with him, rolling over his side to pancake him, but Kakyoin was fast and escaped his grip, kicking at his collarbone and forcing him to briefly cry out from the impact. Jotaro made a disgusted face.

“They’re not that bad!” Kakyoin bayed, eyes alight.

Jotaro let out a throaty growl and tackled him, trying to body slam him into the ground, but Kakyoin avoided it and twisted so he was on top for a moment, his hand pressing down Jotaro’s shoulder and other keeping himself balanced, while his legs held Jotaro’s down.

Not for long, though, as Jotaro bucked up and tipped him over, crushing his upper body with his weight, forcing an “oof” out of Noriaki.

Kakyoin kicked under him, trying to squirm away, but Jotaro held him down tight, panting from effort and grunting with each kick to his legs. He tried to push him off with his hips, but Jotaro held firm, smiling victoriously.

He took a moment to breathe, resting his arms by Noriaki’s head as the tousled redhead tapped his side indignantly, signaling surrender. Jotaro’s muscles relaxed and he looked into Kakyoin’s brilliant hyacinth eyes for the first time since the start of the fight.

Kakyoin froze, his heart jolting in its cage. “Jotaro seems so…”

“Noriaki looks so… happy.” Jotaro’s smile faded a little as they looked into each other’s eyes.

“I could kiss him,” both thought instantly. “But I shouldn't. He doesn't feel that way,” they reminded themselves, and felt melancholy swell inside as Jotaro carefully lifted himself off of Kakyoin’s chest.

Kakyoin’s breathing got shallower even though it was easier to breathe now. A bitter pain dug into his heart. He sat up, curling a leg up to his chest in an effort to conceal the ache.

Jotaro stood up, and he followed suit, trying to act like nothing just happened between them.

“It’s just normal friend things,” Jotaro said to himself. “That look didn’t mean anything. Did it? No. No, don’t get your hopes up. There’s no way - he would’ve done it if he wanted to. But maybe he’s just nervous. Or - or it means nothing. It’s nothing. It’s fine. I’m fine, it’s fine.” Jotaro’s internal monologue sighed. “f*ck.”

“I suppose that means you won,” Kakyoin said amicably. Jotaro refocused on him. “I bet I could beat Star Platinum with Hierophant, though,” he added with a slight chuckle.

Jotaro hmphed and sat back on the couch, placing one arm over the back and the other hand in his pocket, where he noticed the sensation of paper. He dug it out and looked at it.

“Oh, you didn’t say we’ve got time to explore Ginza! Have you ever been to the Imperial Palace?” Jotaro inquired, reading over the paper more thoroughly.

“Only once, for a school trip. It was a lot of walking around, from what I recall,” Kakyoin answered, and joined him on the couch.

“Mph, then we shouldn’t go there. I’ve heard the markets there are filled with vendors from all over the world,” Jotaro exclaimed.

Kakyoin’s eyes widened when Jotaro said “we.” He nodded in agreement.

“I’d like to see the Kabuki theatre.”

Jotaro made a face at him.

“What? It sounds entertaining!”

The pair bickered about theatre, then agreed on stage fright for different but similar reasons (Kakyoin was terrified of having all eyes on him, Jotaro hated getting told to speak up), and then shifted to their early days of school.

“Now imagine being little elementary me, right,” Kakyoin began, his hands motioning near his chest, body facing Jotaro on the couch.

Jotaro leaned in towards him, his outstretched hand almost touching Kakyoin’s shoulder, but not daring to as he paid close attention to his words.

“-and I’ve got this crush on this guy,” Kakyoin said with a smile.

Jotaro was blindsided by that one, his eyes widened for a second, but kept himself together for the rest of the story, all of a sudden feeling hope return to his body. It was hard to pay attention when his whole nervous system was vibrating with optimism, but he listened closely to Noriaki’s words, adoring the look on his face, the way he talked and moved.

“and he’s one of those kids that puts stuff up his, well, orifices, just to show that he can. Now, at the time, I found this absolutely endearing, so I decided to emulate that and show him I can do it, too. So, one day I hear him talking about it, and I’m sitting in the corner, eavesdropping, while he and his buddies discuss – for some… absurd reason - what kinds of extreme substances they’ve ingested before.”

Jotaro grimaced but smiled right after, unable to hide the joy in his eyes.

Kakyoin noticed but assumed it was his expert storytelling skills that made his face light up.

“One brings up how this one time, he swallowed a whole piece of gum, so my crush decides to show off a little and say he put one in his ear and said it cleaned it right out. Well, me being young and stupid, with a piece of minty fresh gum in my mouth, decided to make my move and show him how awesome I was by walking straight up to them and sticking that piece of gum directly in my eyeball!”

Jotaro chortled through his nose, trying to let Kakyoin finish his story before he started cackling.

“I don’t think I even said anything to them, so I was just some idiot who walked up to them, stared this guy down, and stuck a piece of gum in my eyeball, then collapsed like a baby a few seconds later ‘cause it burned so freakin’ bad!” Kakyoin rubbed his eye, his awkward memories flowing back.

“I spent the rest of my day crying in the corner, not just because of the mint, but because I was just so f*cking embarrassed. Ah, god, it was awful. And my classmates called me “gummy” from then on, just to rub it in.” Kakyoin’s shoulders curled inwards from secondhand embarrassment.

Jotaro shook with laughter, eventually calming down enough to look straight at him.

“Gummy?”

“Don’t get any funny ideas,” Kakyoin scorned.

“Gummy bear?” Jotaro cooed, his voice mockingly high.

Kakyoin snarled playfully and lunged at him, shoving him into the couch cushions.

Jotaro yelped and wrapped his right arm around him in a hug, looking into his eyes as he continued to grin and tease him. “Gum Gum?” Helaughed as Kakyoin forced him back into the sunken couch cushions and hit him on the head with his fist.

“Ow!” Jotaro rubbed his head, still smiling as he loosened his grip on Kakyoin’s torso.

“Ooh, my bad.” Kakyoin rubbed his hand over the spot where he hit Jotaro.

“I’m okay,” Jotaro said with a softened smile.

Kakyoin relaxed on top of Jotaro’s legs, slowly running his hand through his dark curls, pretending it was to soothe the spot where he hit him. “What am I even doing?” He surprised himself, but the way Jotaro looked, he seemed… pleased, not disgusted or even surprised at his touches.

In fact, Jotaro took the opportunity to pull Kakyoin’s waist just a little bit closer to his, wondering if that was the only chance he’d get to hold him close ever again, a pang of sorrow stinging in his chest at the thought.

His breath hitched as he felt Noriaki’s hand caress his hair. He looked him in the eyes.

Kakyoin held his breath, too nervous to let it go. He watched Jotaro’s eyes as he leaned slightly forward for any sign of discomfort.

He showed none. As a matter of fact, he looked... happy. Even a little anticipatory, like he wanted something.

Jotaro glanced at Noriaki's lips. He used his free hand to gently touch Kakyoin’s shoulder, careful to watch him for any sense of unease.

Kakyoin didn't flinch away like he thought he would.

He actually... got closer... slipped his hand down to cup Jotaro's face... and... smiled like he'd known all along. Noriaki didn't know how he or Jotaro had felt, he never made space for it - never let himself love the way he wanted - and now that it was here, he knew it was now or never. His stomach fluttered. His heart beat fast in his chest, making his head spin.

Jotaro melted into his warm touch. His heart pounded in his ears as he closed his eyes to feel Noriaki's hand, tender on his cheek. He moved his hand upwards, caressing Noriaki's neck and jaw and gradually pulling him in closer. There was no turning back now. There was no doubt in his mind. He wanted to kiss him.

They locked eyes one last time before Kakyoin leaned in to touch their foreheads together, a slight smile pulling at his lips. They closed their eyes and stayed like that for a sweet moment before Jotaro took a short breath and softly pulled him close and pressed their lips together and felt his heart explode when Kakyoin kissed him back even stronger.

He kissed him like he meant it, like his lips were the only way he could say it. He savored the taste and the touch, the way he was smiling and the way he held him like he was the most beautiful, beloved thing in the world.

For a moment, nothing mattered except the sweet, faded taste of cup ramen and mint cherry gum.

Then, it all came crashing down on him. Jotaro froze, one thought pervading his mind: “I thought he didn’t like me; what if I made a mistake?”

He stopped and pushed Kakyoin away, much to his surprise and disappointment.

Jotaro looked down at his and Noriaki's chests, guilt eating him up inside.

“I’m - I’m sorry. I should’ve asked,” he sputtered out, eyes wide with terror. He took his hand back from Kakyoin’s neck and held it to his chest, with no other space between them to put it.

Jotaro was going to say something, but Kakyoin took his hand from his chest and wrapped it around his neck, stunning him into silence.

He smiled affectionately and leaned down and kissed Jotaro again, clasping his messy dark hair and pressing his body further into the flimsy couch cushions.

Jotaro let out a surprised sound and kissed him back, eyebrows high as the sky.

After a moment of realization of what just happened, joy bubbled up inside him and he wrapped his arms around Kakyoin, pulling him in closer so their stomachs touched. He kissed him more and more, savoring every second of contact.

Kakyoin murmured indistinctly as their small breaths synced up, running his hands through Jotaro’s hair and down to cup his jawline and nape, pulling him up and into his kisses. He adjusted himself onto his lap, putting more weight down on Jotaro's thighs as he sped up. He turned his head to the side so he could kiss at a better angle. His heart raced as he felt Jotaro's tongue brush against his.

Jotaro sighed hotly into his mouth and –

“Jotaro, I’m ho-!” Holly stopped dead in her tracks. “-oh. Uh.”

Kakyoin and Jotaro froze, all eyes on Holly, who’s eyes were as wide as dinner plates.

“Hello.” Her voice was even more high-pitched than normal.

Jotaro deeply cringed.

Kakyoin couldn’t find the will to move.

“I’m… going to bed now. Sorry for interrupting!” She scurried away, but circled back right before the pair could unfreeze. “Kakyoin, your grandma says hi and well done tonight. Jotaro… you got this, sweetie!” Holly gave him a big double thumbs up before dashing away, smiling sheepishly and speed dialing Mitsuki.

Jotaro groaned, his whole body now burning with embarrassment.

Kakyoin melted and buried his head in Jotaro’s shoulder with a deep sigh, then a pained laugh. He clapped his hand on his other shoulder, burying his face further into Jotaro's neck.

Jotaro took a few deep breaths and started to chuckle with him, too. He entwined his fingers behind Noriaki's back, still holding him close.

After a moment, they both recovered and Kakyoin leaned forward, pressing his forehead to Jotaro’s.

“I like you,” he whispered, eyes closed because he just couldn't think straight if he looked into Jotaro’s pretty green eyes one more time.

But, when Jotaro didn’t respond, he opened them to see him beaming up at him, hair tousled and eyes sparkling with affection.

Kakyoin smiled back, softly caressing Jotaro’s cheek.

Jotaro pulled him in and kissed him again, their lips fitting together perfectly. He squeezed Noriaki tight to his body and kissed him again, again, and again.

When they finally separated, he whispered, “I like you so much, Noriaki.”

Kakyoin hummed excitedly and pulled his shoulders up towards him, sucking on his lower lip as they moved from slouching into each other to sitting up straight in each other's laps.

Jotaro kissed him deeper, pressing their lips together and gently biting Noriaki’s soft skin.

Their torsos swayed with the movement of their shoulders and Kakyoin realized what he wanted. He murmured indistinctly, pulling Jotaro down to the couch by his shirt collar, luring him with open kisses.

Jotaro panted lowly as Kakyoin played with his hair, catching his breath and adjusting himself so he was on top of him, his arms at Noriaki’s sides and legs evened out between them. He brushed the red strand of hair out of Kakyoin’s face, tangling it in his fingers as he pressed kisses into him, realizing how badly he’d wanted to do this for so long, and not wasting a moment of it.

Kakyoin smiled in between kisses and embraced Jotaro as much as he could. He mumbled low, little sounds in between kisses, encouraging Jotaro’s ferocity. His skin felt electrified and hot, his breath shallow and hands beginning to explore.

Jotaro's head was spinning. Noriaki's hands slid down his sides, up his chest, ruffling with his shirt, and then down to pull his hips up so he could kiss him deeper. With each push and pull, his heart raced faster. He tasted mint cherry stronger in his mouth now that Noriaki's tongue was wrapped in his, over and over and over again. Every sound he made made him want to keep going. He wanted to push in further, hold his body tighter to his, like he'd always wanted to.

Kakyoin was burning inside, not just from passion, but from the fact his lungs were going to give out unless Jotaro slowed down, so he pushed on his chest until he slowed to a gradual stop, finally opening his eyes to see all of Kakyoin’s flushed face.

“Let me… let me breathe,” he panted, feeling red all over.

Jotaro slowly smiled at him. He laid his head in the crook of Kakyoin’s neck and shoulder, breathing with him. He brushed his fingers through his cherry-blossom-like hair, hoping it’d never end.

After a moment, Jotaro curled his head in to pepper Kakyoin’s neck with soft presses, to which he responded with a rewarding, low whine.

“JoJo, f*ck!” Noriaki whimpered. Neck kisses were his weakness.

Jotaro sucked a little harder.

“Jotaro, wait a second, wait a second!”

He stopped and lifted his head to look at Kakyoin.

“I – I want to take it slow. Please. Slow down,” Kakyoin said, his voice low. He was nervous that Jotaro would sense how his body was reacting. He wasn't ready for that yet.

Jotaro obliged and nodded with an understanding smile. He held Noriaki’s face, caressing his cheek with his thumb. He leaned onto his chest and kissed him gently, his head swirling with happiness. It was already pretty obvious to him what was happening, but had the decency to spare him the embarrassment.

Kakyoin kissed him back, his lips feeling a little sore, but heart soaring.

They slowed down after a good while and Jotaro leaned back from one last kiss to take a long look at Noriaki, who was flushed and breathing heavily.

A warm grin slowly grew on Kakyoin’s face and he closed his eyes. He leaned Jotaro’s head down so their foreheads touched, then Jotaro nudged their noses together, smiling and giggling softly as he closed his eyes, too.

“You wanna go out on a date with me?” Jotaro asked, his voice light and warm.

“Yeah,” Kakyoin whispered back. He held Jotaro’s face with both hands as he spoke.

Jotaro beamed, melting into his touch and forcing himself to stop kissing him so he could get up. He sat up and held Kakyoin’s hands in his own, pulling him upwards, too.

Their hair was messy and their lips were a little swollen, but nothing could make the world a bad place when they were together like this.

Notes:

End. of. the. slow. burn!!!!! But not the whole story (possibly), just the "slow" part. Does it count as a slow burn if it felt like it was slow while writing it? Seriously, I'm not well-versed in slow burns, someone tell me straight up.

I had to watch some homemade wrestling videos on YouTube to sound coherent for this chapter. Some guy put his friend's head through a wall, lmao!

This could be the last chapter if not many people are interested in this fic since I'm fine leaving it where it's at (though there are some loose ends I'd like to tie up for y'all) but I'd be happy to write more if the audience so wishes!

Now go drink some water.

Chapter 7: Ginza

Summary:

they go on a date and mess around in Ginza.

FLUFF ALERT :D

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“I didn’t know you liked guys,” Jotaro said, his head still spinning from what just happened.

Kakyoin shrugged and smiled.

“I like both, all, any, really. But you, especially,” Kakyoin murmured.

Jotaro instinctively reached for his hat to cover his grin, but found it wasn’t there.

Kakyoin chuckled softly.

“Do you have a preference?” Kakyoin asked.

Jotaro lightly shrugged.

“I don’t know. I’ve never, uh…” he trailed off, suddenly embarrassed, but crushing it down in his stomach. “… done this sort of thing,” he finished.

Kakyoin’s eyes widened ever so slightly.

“Huh. And here I thought you were a total chick magnet.”

“Ugh.” Jotaro rolled his eyes at the thought of the girls at his school swarming him every day.

Kakyoin huffed, smiling at Jotaro’s genuine expression. “He’s really opened up since I first met him,” he thought for a moment. “It’s so endearing when he acts like this. I have his mannerisms all to myself.”

“I don’t dislike women. They’re just annoying,” Jotaro concluded, looking out the window.

Kakyoin hmphed in understanding. His eyes skimmed around the room, glancing over the clock and then rushing back to it when he processed the time.

“sh*t!” He sat up on the couch, his body tense. “It’s already ten! I’m supposed to be home by now.”

Jotaro’s heart jumped at his sudden movement, then sunk when he looked at his face. Kakyoin seemed nervous.

“I’m sorry. I want to stay but my parents are very particular about curfew. I have to go,” he said, standing up. His pretty purple eyes were recolored with regret; his shoulders slumped and heart sagging into his chest.

Jotaro felt a familiar tug of pain in his sternum as Kakyoin moved to the door, but he was aware of Noriaki’s situation. He stood up, too.

“Okay.” His voice was low and tinged with sadness. “I understand.” He took his hands out of his pockets and slipped one into Noriaki’s.

Kakyoin, who had his shoes and coat on now, took it with a heartfelt smile and quickly turned to face him.

“Thanks.” He glanced at his lips, then at Jotaro’s eyes again. “Damn, you’re tall.”

Jotaro smirked.

Kakyoin pulled him down by the shoulder and arm and kissed him. It was short and sweet, but just enough to make the pain of separating go away.

Their lips separated and grew into warm smiles as they locked eyes.

Jotaro couldn’t believe his luck. Finally, someone who loved him the way he wanted.

“You’re a really good kisser,” Kakyoin said, his cheeks flushing lightly as he said it.

Jotaro smiled even more and gave him one last kiss.

“So are you,” he replied. He looked into Noriaki’s eyes. “I’ll… see you on Friday,” he said quietly. “You were gonna say “miss you.” You sap,” his internal monologue said foxily.

“See you, JoJo,” Kakyoin responded, and slipped away from him.

Before Jotaro closed the door, he worked up the courage to call out to him.

“Noriaki!”

Kakyoin turned around.

“Meet me here tomorrow!”

“I will!” Kakyoin beamed. “See you soon, Jotaro!” He waved goodbye and closed the gate, disappearing into the night shadows.

Jotaro closed and locked the door, a smile growing on his face and heat in his chest. He leaned on the wall for a moment, enjoying the warmth in his body, thinking about everything that happened.

“I can’t believe he kissed me! I can’t believe I kissed him!” Kakyoin’s Naruto voice impression came back to him. “Believe it!”

Jotaro lightly touched his lips, smiling at the thought.

He was just about to close his eyes when Holly’s footsteps alerted him to her presence. He stood up at attention.

“Hey, honey! How’d it go with Kakyoin?” She was very obviously beaming with excited questions for him but barely holding herself back.

Jotaro smiled ever so slightly.

“It was good. I’m taking him out tomorrow.”

Holly’s smile grew even wider somehow. She squealed and rushed in, giving him a big, strong hug. For once, Jotaro let it slide.

“I’m so happy for you, Jotaro! So did you confess first or did he?”

Jotaro groaned exasperatedly.

“Alright, alright,” Holly smiled and gently backed off. “No questions for right now. I’m so glad you came to your senses, JoJo. Mitsuki was happy, too.”

Jotaro’s eyebrows scrunched together.

“Came to my senses? And what about Mitsuki? What does she have to do with this?”

Holly shook her head, smiling.

“Oh, honey, it’s a bit of a long story and it’s getting late, so I’ll tell you tomorrow. You need to get some good rest for your first date tomorrow!” She giggled excitedly and patted his chest.

Jotaro was just more curious now, but Holly yawned and he had to hold his down in his throat so he didn’t prove her point. He decided it was logical to get some sleep. “Especially for Noriaki,” he mused. The thought of him made his heart speed up.

“Sure, mom. Goodnight,” he murmured.

Holly smiled.

“Goodnight, JoJo!” She turned and walked away.

Jotaro slept good that night.

In the morning, Jotaro went through his usual routine: wake up, eat breakfast (the usual: crunchy toast, a banana, a bowl of cereal, and a glass of water), brush teeth, get dressed. The main difference in today’s routine was difficulty choosing an outfit. His love of routine was innate, but he’d inherited the inability to pick between two good outfits from his grandma.

After an unnecessary amount of time spent deliberating, he decided to wear his usual nice pants, a cerulean half placket, and his usual black jacket. He felt completely dressed up. He fiddled with his hair in the mirror and checked outside for any sign of Kakyoin at his door. He didn’t specify a time for him to show up, so his stomach twisted tighter with each passing minute.

He sat on the couch, half-heartedly reading through his latest book and glancing out the window, his heart sinking a little each time Noriaki wasn’t there, his gut twisting further.

Holly entered the living room with a cup of coffee and sat in her blue recliner, cozying up as Jotaro looked up from his book, now recalling what she’d said last night.

“JoJo, I forgot to say last night that I’m really sorry for interrupting!”

Jotaro cringed at the memory.

“I’ll knock befo-”

“Don’t worry about it.” He interrupted before any further memories came up. “What happened with Mitsuki?”

Holly sighed in relief and continued; her voice amicable as she recalled last night’s dinner.

“Oh, she is such a hoot! She and I talked for a while after the game. We wanted to keep chatting, so we decided to go to her place for dinner. Her house was so beautiful and she made the best okonomiyaki I’ve ever tasted!”

Jotaro’s expression was stoic, which Holly noticed and shook her head at.

“But anyway, Mitsuki got around to talking about Kakyoin.”

Jotaro raised an eyebrow.

“She told me lots of interesting things, like how he loves cherries, that he got his red hair from his dad’s side, and that he skipped second grade, which she seemed quite proud of.”

Jotaro knew all of that. He wanted to know what information Holly was very clearly hiding, since her posture and expression showed that it was on the tip of her tongue. He narrowed his eyes at her.

“Well, she said Kakyoin kept mentioning a certain someone while they were on the phone the other day,” Holly said slyly, motioning at Jotaro.

“Who?” he asked.

Holly chuckled.

“You, silly! Apparently, he wouldn’t shut up about you!”

Jotaro’s eyes widened and a smile slowly grew on his face.

“Mitsuki was happy for him and asked me to encourage you to stay close to him. That’s all that really happened with her. Now, I have one more thing to tell you before you go.” Holly motioned to the window, where Kakyoin’s car was slowly parking.

Jotaro’s heart sped up. His stomach flipped and nervous excitement bubbled up his body. He peeled his eyes away from the car as Holly finished her story.

“Kakyoin told Mitsuki that he really likes your hair!” She laughed and smiled warmly at him.

Jotaro’s eyes widened.

“Huh!” he replied, an ounce of pride coming through his voice.

“Now, go get your boyfriend, sweetie! Don’t keep a sweetheart waiting!” Holly chippered, motioning for him to get a move on.

Jotaro huffed but smiled under his breath and opened the door, meeting Kakyoin’s gaze at once.

“Noriaki!” he greeted him.

“They’re on a first-name basis?!” Holly noted exuberantly, scuttling off to the kitchen where she could still watch Jotaro before he left the house.

He walked out from the door frame to meet Kakyoin and felt his insides swimming around. “Nervousness? Excitement? Who knows! Who cares?! I’m going on a date! With my Noriaki!”

“Hey, Jotaro!” Kakyoin responded, smiling brightly.

Jotaro reached his side and grinned. He leaned down and kissed his cheek, his heart pounding vigorously.

Kakyoin blushed and grinned back at him, nudging his chest with his shoulder.

Holly smiled warmly. “That’s my boy,” she thought, her heart filled to the brim with joy and tenderness.

“What do you want to do with me?” Kakyoin asked, walking with Jotaro past the gate of the house.

“I have no idea. Wanna get something to eat?” he replied, smirking happily.

The rest of the date went as follows: Kakyoin drove them to the nearest train station and the couple decided to explore Ebisu, a relaxed area of Tokyo with spectacular ramen, as proven by the random ramen shop they stopped in for lunch (turns out, endlessly talking about everything they were previously too nervous to tired them both out after a while, but they just couldn’t seem to stop doing it with each other).

After lunch, the pair walked through Ebisu Yokocho for several hours, stopping here and there for food, a stunning live kabuki performance which Jotaro eventually, surprisingly enjoyed, and anything else that caught their attention. It was a blur of moments and faces, but one consistent, handsome face remained strong in their memories from that day.

That evening, after their feet and legs were sore from walking for so long, Jotaro and Kakyoin sat together on the subway and tried not to fall asleep, listening to 70’s rock music with shared earbuds.

They got off at their stop, drove back to Jotaro’s house, and Kakyoin parked outside.

“Hah… home again, home again,” Jotaro said, adrenaline fading now that the day was ending. He looked Kakyoin in the eyes, recalling last night. “It’s pretty late. I suppose you have to get home to your parents, too.”

Kakyoin sighed.

“Yeah. I do.”

Jotaro’s heart sunk a little. He reached over and held Noriaki’s hand.

“Stay for a little longer?” He spoke softly.

Kakyoin smiled.

Long story short, they made out in the backseat for a while.

Not too long though, because Kakyoin was smart enough to keep track of the time so he wouldn’t get home past curfew and earn himself a good scolding. It was silly, he thought – that he was legally an adult and still feared his parents’ power. Not that it would matter soon enough, with university in the near future.

Jotaro wanted to keep kissing him but knew he couldn’t keep him there. He reluctantly let him out from under his grasp and, with one last goodbye kiss, left the car. He walked up to his house, fixing his tousled hair, and realized Noriaki just drove away with his hat. He muttered his signature phrase under his breath and smiled at the thought.

Friday, 12 pm, Ginza.

The Legends gathered in the lobby of the Rosewood Hotel. The coaches milled about, keeping attendance and working with everyone to get rooms worked out.

When Jotaro arrived, Kakyoin was wearing his hat.

“f*ck,” he thought, and he realized that day just how hard it was to not kiss his best friend in front of everyone.

The pair took up an entire couch and watched the news while things got sorted out.

Kakyoin learned how difficult it was to not lean his head on Jotaro’s chest and wrap his arm around his neck. It was also damn difficult to not steal his hat again.

They ended up rooming together with two other players.

As they dragged their luggage around the strangely carpeted halls, the pair wondered what the night would look like. Especially since they were sharing a room.

Honestly, the night wasn’t particularly unusual. The players each had their own beds (besides Kakyoin, who lost the rock, paper, scissors match and had to sleep on the pull-out couch/bed) and shared a main kitchen, bathroom, and living room area.

The next day, the group explored Ginza together, splitting off into large groups so no one was ever without at least three people they knew within sight.

The next day, Sunday, was when Kakyoin started to complain about the pull-out couch/bed. Not enough to actually change it up, but enough for the roommates to take notice.

The team split up into groups even further, so Jotaro and Kakyoin stuck with three players they had befriended throughout the season and explored deeper into Ginza than ever before, enjoying a sumo match, numerous boutiques and shops, and an expensive sushi bar at the end of the night to celebrate the day.

Jotaro and Kakyoin both wondered if enjoying life like this would feel any different if their friends from the team were also stand users. They both decided it was enough to spend time with them all and just have each other when it didn’t feel like enough.

That night, Kakyoin slept on the floor.

The day before the big game, the team took a museum tour together, which Coach Greyson “surprised” them with. Most of the players were not thrilled.

Jotaro assumed the coach really just wanted to get a group discount. He was already sold when Coach Greyson said it was partially an aquarium, and even more sold to learn the discount came with free food passes all day!

He and Kakyoin explored the Art Aquarium Museum together, finally able to separate from the main group and quietly entwine their hands together in the dark, surrounded by tubes of moon jellyfish and dancing goldfish.

Kakyoin was mesmerized by the colors and structures, Jotaro was fascinated by the fish.

And the food was great, too! That, the team could agree on.

“Mm, I wonder if this sushi came from the museum,” Coach Greyson commented.

A few players chuckled with him.

Jotaro’s heart twitched for a second, but damn it, it was tasty, so he kept eating it.

Kakyoin curled his fingers around Jotaro’s knee, at first to comfort him as he (obviously, but apparently not to the other players) reacted to the thought of eating the museum fish, then he followed his desire to trail his slender fingers downwards, palming closer to his inner thigh, then almost to his groin, and squeezed.

Jotaro let out a sound and disguised it as a cough as Kakyoin let go of his leg, patting his back with a sly smile.

JoJo glared at him, eventually joining him and grinning mischievously.

They continued to tease and torture each other throughout the day.

Kakyoin bought a uselessly tight crop top with video game controller buttons on it and wore it nonchalantly, strutting the streets of Ginza like a runway model, showing off his hourglass-shaped body and abs and just occasionally, if he stretched a certain way, his well-endowed pecs, which drove Jotaro up the wall every time he looked in his direction.

However, Jotaro did three things that made Kakyoin’s blood pressure rise to new heights altogether.

  1. Duck under the restaurant table to retrieve a piece of food that fell down and come up in between Kakyoin’s legs, smiling broadly at him like it wasn’t the “accident” he claimed it was.
  2. Open a door to a clothing shop for him and guide him through it with his hand firmly pressed on the small of his back.
  3. Inside said clothing shop, a little place packed with customers, Jotaro and Kakyoin explored the racks side by side. Jotaro squeezed past another customer, squishing his body around Kakyoin’s back and sneakily leaving a kiss on his nape.

Kakyoin gasped louder than he expected him to, then looked at him like he was going to either f*ck him or throw him off a cliff.

“That’s one hell of a weakness,” Jotaro thought with a lascivious grin back at Kakyoin, readjusting his hat.

The store was brimming with people, so when they tried to get a dressing room, they had no choice but to share one. It didn’t help that the workers also assumed they were a couple.

And as if that wasn’t enough to make Kakyoin’s blood boil, Jotaro deliberately picked out clothes for himself and Kakyoin to try on.

“You really don’t mind sharing a dressing room?” Jotaro asked, making sure for the third time.

“I really, really don’t mind, JoJo. Do you mind?” Kakyoin answered, looking around the small space they shared now. There was a large mirror covering the majority of the wall opposite the door, and hooks on either side for clothes. There was a small bench on the side that Jotaro stood on, arms crossed loosely.

“Hmph. Not as long as you don’t, either,” he replied and shook his coat off in a fluid motion. He draped it on a hook and hung up the clothes he’d found.

Kakyoin did the same.

They turned and faced each other. Neither knew what to do for a second.

“I’ll go first,” Kakyoin said. He had a plan in mind ever since the worker sheepishly gave them one room to share.

Jotaro raised an eyebrow.

“For what?”

Kakyoin smirked. He put his hands on Jotaro’s shoulders.

“Sit,” Kakyoin murmured, thrill running through his command.

Jotaro smirked, immediately imagining what Kakyoin was up to. He obeyed as Kakyoin pressed his shoulders down and sat himself on the bench, spreading his legs comfortably.

Kakyoin elegantly trailed his left hand up his neck, to his jaw, to his chin, then let him go and turned around to slowly slide his shirt up and off, exposing his back muscles and low-waisted pants.

Jotaro’s eyebrows shot upwards with widened eyes following suit. He fought to keep his jaw in place as Kakyoin continued to strip.

He turned so Jotaro could see his side profile, leaning up against the door, and unbuckled his pants, sliding the belt out and hanging it on a hook. He slowly unzipped his strides, arching his back as the zipper got lower.

Jotaro felt like he should look away but couldn’t. His eyes were glued to Kakyoin’s body.

Kakyoin grinned, turned, and fully faced him. He slid his pants down all the way, stepping out of them gracefully. He fully embraced the look on Jotaro’s face as he stepped closer to him. He watched as his eyes flickered all over - from his eyes, to his lips, to his broad shoulders, to his chest, to his torso, to his snug-fit jockeys.

Jotaro gulped and couldn’t help but look at him in ravishment.

He parted his lips, hoping for a kiss, but before Kakyoin could satisfy his desire, he leaned into the wall instead, his collar in Jotaro’s face, and snatched a shirt he’d picked out.

Jotaro’s heart pounded and he continued to watch, anticipating every move Kakyoin made that made him love him so damn much.

He slipped on a black silk shirt that fit him rather nicely, accentuating his slim waist and powerfully built shoulders. It especially accented his chest, since the shirt was a deep V-neck shape that stopped just above his belly button.

Kakyoin slowly ran his fingers down the silk V, then up it, and sliding them out with a flick so Jotaro could barely catch a glimpse of his full chest once more.

“I like it, but I don’t like wearing black,” Kakyoin concluded, looking to Jotaro for his opinion.

“Why not? It’s a great color,” he replied.

“I had a bit of a phase,” Kakyoin answered, smiling as he recalled his all-black outfit days.

Jotaro hmphed and chuckled softly.

Kakyoin stood in front of Jotaro, who was having a hard time maintaining eye contact when Kakyoin’s abs were right in front of him.

“Do you want to try it?” he asked, playing with the shirt again.

Jotaro really just wanted to watch him but came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be weird to try it on.

“Yeah, I like this one,” he responded, and pulled at the base of the V with one finger, drawing the silk and Kakyoin’s body closer to him. He smirked at him.

“It looks so good on you,” he whispered, leaning into Noriaki’s space.

Kakyoin looked him in the eye and slowly grinned. He backed up for a moment to take it off and handed it to him.

Jotaro took it and set it on his lap. He looked up to see Noriaki’s almost bare frame less than a foot from his. Realizing that he was really doing this made his heart thump in its cage. “I really am lucky,” he thought.

He took off his cap so he wouldn’t hit it as he took off his undershirt and extended it to Kakyoin, who raised an eyebrow.

“You love it, so take it,” Jotaro said to him.

Kakyoin’s lips parted slightly, closing to form a smile when he took it from him. His expression became one full of warmth. He put it on and adjusted it, flicking his hair strand back.

Jotaro’s head quickly filled with a wide array of thoughts, but he focused on the way Kakyoin smiled in the mirror and they faded into background noise. He took his shirt off and tossed it aside, then tried on the black silk V-neck.

It was a little tight in the arms and chest, but it made him look more muscular and appealing.

Kakyoin was extremely tempted to run his fingers around the silk again but kept his hands under control.

Jotaro admired himself in the mirror.

“Not bad. It’s too small for me, though.”

“That’s too bad; I like how it makes you look,” Kakyoin added.

Jotaro grinned at him.

“How’s that?”

Kakyoin leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“Tempting,” he answered, his voice low and sultry.

Jotaro’s breath shuddered and he grabbed the next item from the hooks in the wall to distract himself, blushing discreetly.

“Try this for me, then?” He smiled as he held it up. “I thought it would look pretty enticing with you in it.”

Kakyoin raised an eyebrow at the garment, lightly flushed from Jotaro’s statement.

The top half of the item was a dark green vest embroidered with subdued paisley patterns and a handsome collar. The bottom half was the same fabric split into two long coattails that made it look like an old-fashioned suitcoat without the coat part.

“Good eye,” Kakyoin concluded, admiring it in his hands. He nicked the top button open and slipped it over his head, adjusting the coattails and fiddling with the collar.

Jotaro watched him move in awe.

Kakyoin’s muscular arms and shoulders stood out amongst the elegant silhouette the vest created for him. He smoothed it over his chest and revered himself in the mirror.

Jotaro gave into temptation and reached behind him, snaking a hand around Kakyoin’s waist to feel its shape under his fingertips and turned him to face him fully, pulling his hips in closer.

“Like what you see?” Kakyoin said with a smirk, deliberately pressing his torso even closer to Jotaro’s.

He hummed and nodded, smiling back.

“I’ll buy this one, then, so you can see me in it later,” Kakyoin replied coolly.

Jotaro flushed a little and Kakyoin backed away to take it off. As he hung it up on the hook, Jotaro slipped off the V-neck and unbuckled his two belts. He snaked them out and put them down by his half placket Henley, shuffling his pants down just in time for Kakyoin to watch. He kicked them away and crossed the small room to find another outfit, brushing Kakyoin’s bare chest with his shoulder, and grabbed a white ensemble.

This time, it was the bottoms that made Kakyoin fluster. They were white bell-bottoms tight as an asshole ‘round a telephone pole and showed every fine line of muscle that Jotaro could barely squeeze into them. He did so without complaint, just a few low grunts when he buttoned and zipped them up. The top was also slim and looked like it would tear if Jotaro flexed, but it stayed together, even where there was barely any fabric holding it together.

Jotaro twisted his upper body, checking it out in the mirror, nonchalantly glossing over Kakyoin’s astonished look. His skin was pressing out of the top because of its snugness and everything below his waistline might as well have been visible. The material was thick enough to block out the color of his boxers, but not enough to hide the details of his physique.

Kakyoin got flustered and had to look at the floor. He brushed his fingertips across his lips as comfort, but then Jotaro chuckled and took his hand away, bringing it to his back.

“Can you unzip me, please?” He asked sweetly, knowing full well he could do it himself, but he wanted Kakyoin to touch him.

He blinked and nodded, forcing down a nervous gulp. He moved behind him and Jotaro let go of his hand so he could work. Kakyoin let the zipper in the back down and gave it a firm tug at the end so it snapped the top loose.

Jotaro shook his shoulders a little and Kakyoin used both hands to guide the sleeves down his biceps and forearms. He put the shirt aside, his head spinning from the lingering sense of Noriaki’s warm hands caressing down his arms.

Kakyoin watched him unbutton the pants and forced himself to look away out of politeness, grabbing the next item from the hooks.

“Noriaki,” Jotaro murmured lowly. His thoughts were racing.

Kakyoin looked at him.

Jotaro recalled what Noriaki said the night they first kissed – he wanted to take it slow – but he didn’t know how slow he meant, exactly. He wondered if this was too fast for him, but he had little doubt in his mind based on how Noriaki was acting.

His brain and mouth paused before he could say anything coherent.

“Do you wanna, um… can I, uh…”

Kakyoin’s stomach flipped, butterflies leaping around in excitement. This was a new look on Jotaro’s face, one he knew the meaning of. He straightened his back, his eyes shining as he smiled relaxedly at him, his insides heating up.

“Yeah,” he murmured warmly, and grasped the belt loops on Jotaro’s hips, pulling him in by them.

Jotaro’s breath hitched and he bent down, closing his eyes before sloppily kissing Kakyoin’s lips. He couldn’t help but be fast with it, pulling him in quickly and barely letting him react before kissing him again.

Kakyoin stumbled forward and tangled his legs with Jotaro’s, crushing him against the door, which creaked and shuddered with their weight. He kissed him stronger, opening his mouth to taste his tongue and make a mess of their lips.

They fumbled for something to hold onto, hands shaking in tandem. Kakyoin slipped his fingers from Jotaro’s belt loops to around his hips and butt, while Jotaro mumbled something indistinct and whipped his hat away so he could kiss him deeper. He felt a surge of courage in his veins and moved to unzip Jotaro’s pants, which was easy since they were so tight.

Jotaro gasped in relief.

Kakyoin’s courage doubled and he palmed down Jotaro’s thighs to shimmy the top of his strides down.

Jotaro sighed into his mouth and clasped Kakyoin’s throat, moving his mouth down his jaw to the side of his neck, which made Kakyoin’s knees weak. He dug his fingernails under Jotaro’s boxers. He swore under his breath and it turned into a low moan.

Jotaro moved the hand at Noriaki’s neck to his mouth, covering it with his palm so he wouldn’t be heard whimpering every time he sucked at his skin. He used his tongue and teeth to brush around his Adam’s apple, which moved in his mouth when Kakyoin made a sound.

It turned into muffled moans when Jotaro moved down, kissing and sucking his sternum, lightly grazing his teeth on his skin.

He ran his fingers through his dark curls, pressing the back of his head closer so his solar plexus could get more of his tongue.

Jotaro hummed, sending vibrations up Kakyoin’s spine. He was so close to tearing off his jockeys with his teeth when a worker came in with a megaphone.

“WE WILL BE CLOSING IN FIVE MINUTES, PLEASE WRAP UP WHAT YOU’RE DOING,” the brash voice shouted.

Jotaro and Kakyoin jumped, knocking each other backwards.

“Awh, f*ck!” Kakyoin complained. He tightened his fist in Jotaro’s hair.

“Good grief, every time!” Jotaro cursed loudly. He stood up slowly, rubbing an eye in annoyance.

Kakyoin loosened his grip and looked at him. He sighed, shoulders drooping. He ran a hand through his hair and tugged at his neck.

“Well, I suppose we’ll have to finish this another time,” Kakyoin lamented, his heart rate sinking.

“Damn it. I wanted to…” Jotaro trailed off for a moment.

Kakyoin leaned onto his chest and looked up into his eyes, curling his forearms around his sides, tracing his fingertips down his obliques.

“What? Tell me,” he said suggestively.

Jotaro’s heart pounded as he thought of what he was going to say. It increased exponentially with every next word he said and the way Kakyoin worked his fingers around his skin.

“I wanted to f*ck you in front of the mirror,” he murmured deeply, looking away for a moment as he felt heat creep up his neck and jowl.

Kakyoin’s eyes widened and his cheeks reddened.

Jotaro grinned sheepishly at him.

His brain stuttered for a moment, but then kicked back into gear and he grinned right back at him.

“I look forward to it,” he replied calmly, then picked up his clothes and got changed.

Jotaro followed his lead and carried the clothes they’d tried on back to the rack, hoping to god that no one would notice the way they looked – messy hair, reddened and shiny lips, and a few hickey bruises that were beginning to form on Kakyoin’s neck, chest, and abdomen. It didn’t help that he was still wearing that damn crop top.

They bought the silk V-neck and the green vest, checked the time, and strolled back to the Rosewood in the dark.

Before stepping into the lobby, Jotaro shook off his coat and handed it to Kakyoin.

“Why are you giving me this?” he asked.

Jotaro pointed at the now fully formed bruises on his stomach, clear as day even in the light of dusk.

Kakyoin gasped and took the coat, quickly buttoning it up before they entered the rotating doors.

“There’s some on your neck, too,” Jotaro said teasingly, enjoying how flustered Kakyoin looked.

He rapidly flicked the collar up to cover his neck, but it still didn’t hide everything. Plus, it looked a little too long on his body. He glowered playfully at Jotaro, then melted into a flirtatious grin.

The pair made their way upstairs, checking in with the coaches for attendance.

Coach Greyson raised an eyebrow at Kakyoin’s slightly bruised appearance but didn’t comment on it.

“Hey, get some good rest tonight; we’re winning tomorrow!” he yelled as they left for their suite.

Thanks to Kakyoin’s earlier complaints about the pull-out bed, neither of their roommates batted an eye when he requested to sleep on a real bed.

“Especially since the game is tomorrow,” he reasoned.

“Not it,” one replied.

“I wouldn’t mind, but you and Jotaro are friends, so you should share,” the other answered. “It’s not that weird,” he concluded.

Jotaro shrugged, pretending to not give a damn when he had a feeling this would happen and hid his smile beneath layers of apathy.

Kakyoin caught the twinkle in his eye, though, and shrugged.

“No problem. Thanks, JoJo,” he said with a smile.

Despite how badly they wanted to continue where they left off, they knew it was better to fully rest themselves that night.

Jotaro laid on one side and watched as Noriaki blow-dried his hair.

When he was done, Kakyoin ran his fingers through it and crept to the other side of the bed. He sank into the mattress and Jotaro helped him pull the blankets up around his legs.

They both slept in their underwear, which Jotaro found he liked more than he expected to.

Kakyoin sighed peacefully and turned to his side, facing Jotaro. He shuffled his hand out from under the thick comforter and softly held his cheek, gazing into his eyes.

“Kiss me goodnight?” he asked sweetly.

Jotaro smiled and wrapped an arm under Kakyoin’s waist and pulled, laying him slightly on top so his red hair tickled his neck, and kissed him tenderly.

“You’re my best boyfriend ever,” Jotaro whispered, not even realizing he’d said it so earnestly until Kakyoin laughed brightly.

“Your one and only,” Kakyoin chippered.

Jotaro kissed him again and Kakyoin kissed him back. They slowly parted their lips and laid back; Kakyoin rested his head on Jotaro’s bicep and Jotaro curled that same arm to place his hand over Noriaki’s heart.

“Goodnight, Noriaki,” Jotaro whispered to him.

Kakyoin returned it.

Within a minute, they fell into the best sleep they’d had in years.

Notes:

they'll f*ck eventually let me cook

Unless y'all want some more fluff, which I'm also down for! Please let me know what you prefer in the comments 'cause honestly I could go either way.

Originally, I was going to write eight chapters because that's my lucky number, but I decided on nine since there are nine innings in a baseball game. Yeah, it's big brain time.

Together Like This - Slow Burn Jotakak Baseball AU - Vinnie0258 - ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 | JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (2024)

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