Genre: romance, friendship, bit angst
Disclaimer: I don't own them or anything else JE-related. But the story is mine of course^^
Summary: It happens almost out of a sudden. 'Almost', because Jin should have seen the signs. But too pre-occupied with the problems in their relationship, it slipped his attention. And then Ryo is gone... leaving just a single note. Where he is, is a mystery, as is what drove him to leave. Desperate to save their relationship Jin decides to fight against unknown demons of their hearts. He is searching for the key to understanding Ryo's past... so that he might be able to open the locked door again.
Note: Flashbacks and letters Jin has written are in [italic]
“Hey Ryo…” Jin hugged Ryo from behind, freezing a bit when he felt how Ryo winced. He swallowed down a reaction to that, trying to hide his own despair. Why did Ryo wince every time he touched him? What was happening here? He let go of the other, trying to smile at him encouragingly. “Are you writing a new song?”
“Yes.” Ryo answered absent-mindedly, looking at Jin as if he was far away.
Jin took a deep breath, trying to hide his own nervousness and desperation. “What kind of song is it?”
The answer was short, as always recently. “A ballad I guess.”
“How will you call the song?” Jin wanted to know, raising his hand to touch Ryo’s hair a bit, but in the end he didn’t dare to. He feared Ryo’s reaction to his touches, he didn’t want him to wince or move away.
“We didn’t meet since forever.” Ueda mused, smiling a bit. “How have you been?”
“Fine.” Jin returned the other’s smile, glad that he could finally meet someone he really knew…unlike many of the others he had met recently. With Ueda it was different. Even though he didn’t understand him completely, he still knew him. “And you?”
“I’m okay.” Ueda smiled brightly. “But that’s not why you called me, right?”
“Your senses are really sharp.” Jin mumbled warily. “Not that I didn’t want to meet you though… but I have to admit, that it’s because of something urgent.”
“Is everything alright?” Ueda asked in concern.
Jin sighed a bit. “No.” he admitted, his heart jumping in relief that he could finally tell someone the entire truth without hiding some parts. Ueda was one of his friends after all, hence he wouldn’t need to protect parts of the truth or keep it a secret.
Maybe Ueda normally wasn’t his first choice to talk about a problem with, but Jin could be sure that Ueda knew how to keep a secret…that he wouldn’t tell anyone. And that he would listen calmly and answer considerately.
And really Ueda listened to him intensely, nodding his head here and there. When Jin had finished, he looked at the other in surprise. “Jin…that’s a huge story… and a difficult one. You could have been more sensitive to this problem of course, but I don’t think it’s really your fault. There seems to be something seriously off. You really have to solve this fast!”
Jin smiled in relief, glad that someone actually told him something like that bluntly. “Exactly…”
Ueda looked at the other curiously. “Why me? How can I help you?”
Jin sighed. “It’s something Tegoshi told me…”
“You met Tegoshi-kun?” Ueda smiled a bit. “You really have to love Nishikido-kun a lot…”
“More than anything else.” Jin admitted, not caring at all if he sounded cheesy or not. Ueda wasn’t the type who would laugh about such a thing anyway.
“But what did he say?” Ueda wanted to know.
“Something about lost children…” Jin mused. “Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t mean you as you are right now. But back then…when we were younger. If I had to choose another lost child, as Tegoshi had called it, I would immediately think of you. That’s why I decided to ask you now. I could have also asked Shige, but I feel like I need to talk to someone who is watching this whole thing from outside. Do you understand?”
Ueda blinked in surprise at Jin’s words, shifting around nervously. But when Jin was able to be so honest to him, he could be honest too. “I was a lost child.” he admitted silently. “But different than Tegoshi-kun and Uchi-kun. I guess that’s the reason why Ryo never really supported me openly.”
Jin blinked. “How are you different?”
“We are different types.” Ueda explained. “Different people have to be treated differently. I wouldn’t have accepted someone who cared for me openly or supported me. But Ryo was someone I could follow…”
“But…” Jin shook his head. “Didn’t you two fight all the time?”
“It was scripted.” Ueda intervened.
“Yeah, maybe. But still you took it serious.” Jin argued. “Why?”
“I was lost Jin.” Ueda mumbled. “I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. He pushed me into the spotlight.”
“You mean people started to recognize you?”
“No.” Ueda looked down at his hands. “It’s more like I started to recognize myself. Looking at it from now, I was so lucky… Damn, Jin, think of what I could have become!”
“You might have become broken.” Jin mused.
“Exactly!” Ueda told him. “I was weak and unsure back then. But he made me fight. He was a strong and fierce character back then… and it made me determined to show him that I’m actually worth something.”
Jin stared at Ueda in disbelief. “Honestly…I’m so surprised. I never knew that your…relationship or whatever it is… was so complicated.”
Ueda smiled a bit. “You know Jin, I just said that Ryo was a strong and fierce character back then, while I was weak and unsure. But later I found out that he wasn’t all that strong and fierce…he was just fighting. That’s why I kept fighting too. I thought if he could get over those barriers, I can achieve that too.”
Jin knitted his eyebrows. “What are you talking about, Tatsuya?” he rubbed over his forehead nervously. “What kind of barriers? What did you two fight?”
“I…” Ueda smiled warily. “…was a character Ryo was feeling uncomfortable with.”
“What do you mean with that?”
“I mean that he was afraid of what I might become one day. He couldn't stand my weakness and this little bubble-world I was living in.” He looked at Jin insistently. “Don’t you understand? I think I remembered him of himself. He fought me because it was like looking into a mirror for him. Just that he had already started to fight.” he paused. “What if I never learned to fight? What would have happened with me?”
Jin looked at Ueda nervously. “You would have disappeared…” he admitted silently.
“Exactly.” Ueda smiled sadly. “I would have disappeared. And everyone would have forgotten me. I was not a memorable person. As if I was nothing… Can you imagine how that feels? Feeling like nothing? I would have ended up…who knows where… maybe I wouldn’t even be alive anymore.” He looked at Jin nervously. “I…and please keep that a secret…but I was in a bad relationship back then.”
“What!?” Jin breathed out in surprise.
“I was almost searching for someone who was breaking me instead of building me up again. Someone who made me hate myself even more.” Ueda stayed silent for a moment, then he smiled a bit. “I broke up. I learned to be strong enough to fight for my own luck. And I realized that I deserve luck and that I’m just as good as everyone else! You know…we are only as weak and as unworthy as we treat ourselves. Someone needs to see himself in a good light to actually grow. I learned to see myself in a better light. Now I’m happy. Those times seem to be so far away… it’s like remembering a different person.”
“I can’t even believe that none of us knew!” Jin blurt out suddenly. “We would have helped you!”
“No.” Ueda shook his head. “You would have been all nice and sweet… and it would have felt like pity! I DIDN’T WANT pity! I wanted acceptance! I wanted someone to understand. Don’t get me wrong, but your support wouldn’t have helped. I wanted to be accepted…”
Jin swallowed at that, remembering what Koichi had told him. “I don’t want pity. I want acceptance… Nishikido wants acceptance.” "Ryo gave you acceptance?"
"Yes, in his own way he gave me acceptance and made me grow." he grinned. "Now we are friends."
"You have to be kidding me." Jin mumbled.
Ueda obviously gloated a bit. "Nope, it's the truth. Just no one knows about it. You know...we understand each other without words, there is no need to talk about the past." he paused, looking at his friend insistently now. “You know Jin, if you really want an advice, here it is: You should talk with Kame.”
“Eh?” Jin blinked. “Why?”
Ueda stayed silent for a moment. “Secrets which are not my property…” he mumbled as an answer.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I can’t tell you why you should talk to Kame.” Ueda smiled slightly. “It’s just a good advice…”
When did you move away from me?
Sometimes when I looked into your eyes, I couldn’t see anything in them.
You were never really outgoing, but your eyes were always open for me.
Why did you close their doors?
What did happen that you closed up from me?
Was it my fault?
Please tell me… I’m going insane without you.
Ryo…Why did you call your song ‘monologue’?
This is a love letter. In case you didn’t realize, I felt I should tell you:
I love you.
Your desperate Jin
******Note: Hey dear friends and readers! Thanks so much for all your support!! So, I wanted to tell you that my Request Post is open. If you feel like requesting a specific pairing or situation you can do so HERE