I don't own JSRF…I DO own this fic so don't plagiarize… I suppose this is a strange pairing because I've only seen it once before.
Friends and Liars
This isn't set during, before or after "GG A&M." The only reason I'm using the house on Dogenzaka Hill as a setting is because it makes the most sense to me for the story… I've never been able to picture the garage having rooms and shit. Basically I wanted put this up because it's yet another pairing that you never see. The story just started as a brainstorm for a cute little scene of Corn and Cube that would lead to the pairing and eventually it evolved into something else.
Also, while I always appreciate being added as a favorite author, I would appreciate it even more if those of you who have added me would add me to your "author alert" list as well. Thank You.
She was different from most of the girls he'd known.
She was different from the other girls in the gang and yet at the same time she carried with her their best attributes. She wasn't as pleasant as Boogie but she could be charming. She wasn't as energetic as Rhyth but she was just as impulsive and she wasn't as eccentric as Jazz but she was just as much of a maverick. She wasn't a heartbreaker like Gum, but was she just as suave, smart and seductive? He'd bet his life on it.
She was uncomplicated and inscrutable, polite and profane, tranquil and volatile, surly and affectionate.
In a word she was a mystery to him. Corn could never figure the girl out.
Cube had about as much luck figuring him out.
He was the leader of the gang, the head honcho, the boss man… and yet he was apathetic. He was almost completely unconcerned with what everyone else was doing at any time of the day. He didn't care what they did and treated it as though he didn't have time to care. Caring got in the way of his tagging, his skating, his practicing on his turntables, his fixing that smart-mouthed robot… but, somehow, if things went really wrong with the others, as they tended to, he'd spring into action like a super hero and save the day. In a gang full of dynamic, ever changing individuals he was static, the one constant.
Yet he wasn't completely respected. Cube was a dissenter by nature but she couldn't say that she liked the unadulterated contempt that Beat, Clutch and Soda would show him. Combined with the fact that he never really tried to keep anyone in check, she was sure that one of those three (most likely Beat) would, at the very least, attempt to challenge him for leadership rights. She was sure because Corn told her himself.
He wasn't like the other guys in the gang. That's not to say she didn't like the other guys but she held him above the others. He wasn't as strong as Combo or Soda and nowhere near as big, but he was somehow just as imposing. He wasn't as over-the-top funny or razors-edge-of-insanity reckless as Garam, Clutch and Yoyo, but he was fearless and could be just as spontaneous (and anyway, she got his sense of humor). He wasn't as handsome, ambitious or charismatic as Beat (though he wasn't ugly either, his lips just sort of threw him off), but he was smarter, down-to-earth and, somehow, a bit more… debonair.
She liked using that word to describe him… a more common word like charming or classy just wouldn't do him justice. Debonair seemed right. Debonair was the one word that seemed to carry his honesty, his composure, his cleverness, his sometimes almost emotionless nature and his occasional malevolence; the only word that could carry his ordinary uniqueness and perceptive obliviousness.
God she loved that about him. She absolutely loved it about him… but he was with someone else. She couldn't tell him… she could drop hints, but she couldn't just tell him.
The Garage- 1:34am
"So where's everyone else anyway?" Cube asked. She took a swallow of vodka and handed the bottle to Corn. He took a long gulp and handed it back to her.
"I don't know… Gum, Beat Jazz and Combo said somethin' about a party. Boogie and Rhyth said somethin' about meetin' some guys at a party. I think Garam, Clutch, Soda and Yoyo said somethin' about toilet-paperin' and paintballin' a party." He took a long drag from his blunt. He offered it to Cube but she raised a palm to it. He shrugged and exhaled.
"So, if they're all doing something that involves a party, then why are we both here?" She rested her head on the back of the couch and traced her finger along the mouth of the bottle. "Shouldn't we be there with them?"
"I never said you had to come here with me. If you've got somethin' better to do with your time then go do it, I'm not stoppin' you." He took another drag and she took another swallow.
She stretched and turned away from him a little, leaning against him. "Nope… I've got nothing else to do." She added as she tipped the bottle to her lips "…anyway I don't have anyone else to do anything with." She swallowed.
He looked up at the night sky. "What are you doin' here?"
She pulled the bottle down. "Obviously I'm drinking." She tipped the bottle back up.
"No, I mean what are you doin' here… with me?"
She leaned back slightly so that she was face to face with him. She looked at him for a moment and then… she shrugged. "What are you doing here? Why aren't you at the party."
"Because I bring everyone else down, apparently." He pulled out his lighter and incinerated the remainder of his weed letting it fall to the ground and burn to ashes.
She thought about it and was about to drink again but stopped. "What?"
"I don't socialize. If I had gone with them I know exactly what would have happened. They all would have gone around the whole place and had a good time and I would've ended up sittin' sittin' on my ass eatin' chips and drinkin' the whole night. I would've maybe talked to a couple'a other people but I would've lost interest in whatever conversation I was havin' and probably would've left but more than likely would've just sat on ass until everyone else was ready to leave."
Cube raised an eyebrow. "And that brings them down?"
"Well what the fuck do they do?"
"Let's see…" he looked up absently as he listed on his fingers. "…Beat usually tries to hook-up with girls. Garam usually tries to hook-up and Combo plays wingman… but they usually end up just gettin' into trouble and havin' to fight someone. Yoyo, Soda and Clutch end up gettin' into a bunch'a bullshit. Jazz, Boogie and Rhyth… well… I actually have no idea what they do with their time, I never see them around. Gum… well… she's always with me. She tries to get me to talk to people, to dance, to have some fun but I just can't and it sucks the life out of her."
"And that's it? That's all they do?"
"Pretty much… I still haven't figured out how me bein' me brings 'em down… I guess it's 'cause I'm always on."
She leaned back into his face again. "Always on?"
"I worry about them because they always find some new way to get into trouble so I constantly check-up on them. Usually when we leave they want to go do somethin' else until mornin' but it's always so late, I usually make them all go home because I don't want them to get into trouble. Gum told me that it bugs everyone when I do that."
"But they told you where they were going… why didn't you just go alone?"
"They just called me to tell me while they all were on the way, like the whole thing was just fuckin' spur of the moment. Fuckin', 'there's a party in Chuo, are you comin'?' They didn't say specifically where, they didn't say when they'd be back, they just went without me… did you know about it?"
"I told them I didn't wanna go… I assumed they'd told you. Anyway… so, that's why you're here?" Cube offered him the now nearly empty bottle.
He took it and gulped down the last few swallows. "That… that and I didn't really want to go. I kind of wanted to be alone tonight… I don't get a lot of time to myself anymore."
"You spend all of your time alone."
"Why do you need to be alone?"
"I want to think… about my relationship with them… my relationship with Gum."
"How are things?"
"Bad, I think."
"Well what's wrong?"
"I… ah… forget it, it's no big deal."
Cube shook him. "Just tell me."
"Why should I?"
"Because you'll feel better."
Corn was quiet for some time. He wasn't sure. "You promise you won't tell anyone?"
She raised her left hand and placed her right hand over her heart. "I, Yu Shen, swear to you, Cornelius Kurosawa, that upon my parents' grave, which I have never visited and will never visit for any reason other than to dance on it, that I will tell no one what you are about to tell me."
He still wasn't sure. "I feel like… I'm not really their friend anymore."
Cube was shocked. "What?!"
"I feel like I'm not their friend… like they don't really care about me anymore. Y'know, they're only ever around me if they need my help. They get into some shit and try to fix it but that makes it worse so they come to me and I have to sort it out for them. The thing is, if they need me, they can find me, but if I need them, I can't find them. They hardly ever include me in anything anymore so I'm always doin' shit on my own." He said it so calmly it frightened her.
"That's absolutely fucked, man." She seemed angry.
"Yeah, I know…"he got up and stretched. "Whatever, I'm kinda hungry… think I'll find a place to get somethin' to eat. You hungry?"
Cube thought about it for a moment. She would definitely like to spend as much time as she could with him but unfortunately she had to work later that morning. "Nah… I should head home and get some sleep… I can't be late to work again or I'm fired."
Corn smirked. He never understood why Cube was never on time for work. "Alright… seeya later then."
He waved as he jumped off of the platform and skated out of the garage. Cube sat on the couch a little while longer. She just sort of stared at her now empty bottle. It was one of those rare moments when nothing in particular would cross her mind. Eventually she got up and left.
GG's H.Q., Dogenzaka Hill- 2:15am
Cube entered the apartment building and could immediately hear nothing but noise. She was surprised; she hadn't expected anyone else to be there until at least three. She didn't really feel like being bothered by the others at the moment. Maybe I can make it to my room without running into any of them… She moved quickly but quietly doing everything she could not to make any noise. Eventually she made it. She closed her door and left the light off as she lay down on her bed. She lifted her legs and fumbled with her skate straps, eventually causing her skates to fall to the floor with a clatter. She pulled her tube top over her head and shoulders, tossing it to the floor. She stretched out on her bed and tried to go to sleep but the constant noise from the others prevented her from doing so. She lay there, eyes open, motionless. "I feel like… I'm not really their friend anymore." She thought about what he'd said all the way home. It never left her mind. "He doesn't really think that… does he?" She had to ask herself out loud because his words wouldn't cease to reverberate in her head.
Her question was almost instantly answered.
"That was awesome… especially when Garam got onto the roof and dove into the pool."
"Did he know it was almost empty?"
"He was drunk… you know how he gets when he's drunk… you can't talk him outta anything."
"Heh… yeah, I suppose you're right…"
"… Do you feel bad about leavin' Corn behind?"
"… Not particularly. We usually have to drag him along anyway… I don't see what's wrong with just doing away with it altogether."
"Well, yeah but… if we told him he probably would've just stayed behind anyway… I don't see why we had to tell him at the last second when we were almost there. I mean… that just seems… kind of messed up. We pretty much told him that we didn't want him to come when we did that. Anyway, what if he did want to go?"
"…Puits d'Oh." ("…Oh well.") The voice paused. "He doesn't like parties anyway. Even if he did want to go he wouldn't have had any fun and you know Corn: If he's not having fun, neither are we."
"Supongo que tienes razón." ("I suppose you're right.")
She heard a door shut and the voices were gone. That was, without a doubt, Jazz and Boogie… they were female voices and Clutch (being half Korean) was the only other trilingual GG (besides herself of course). It shocked her… Corn was right… sort of. She wasn't sure about everything else he'd said, but it was pretty obvious that they didn't want him around tonight. But Jazz at least seemed concerned about it. Well, maybe they're the only ones… She continued to lay there pondering the conversation she'd just overheard when another one drifted into earshot.
"Well… that was fun."
"Yeah… until the cops shut it down… how are you walkin' after you drank all that?"
"When ya dive into a half empty pool it sobers you up and gets ya mind right pretty fast. So whadaya think Co'n was doin' while we was out?"
"I dunno man… I don't really give a fuck. He would'a just made it fuckin' borin' anyway right?"
"Heh, heh… yeah… fuckin' goin' paren'al on us an' shit…"
"Be home by midnight…"
"Don' be drinkin' too much naw!"
"And most importantly…"
They laughed and said it in unison. "Be smart and stay outta trouble!" They laughed more as they separated into their rooms. It was Garam and Clutch.
This fuckin' sucked. Why did Corn have to be right about these guys? So far they were all assholes. They were all just talking shit behind Corn's back. What kind of people were they? She had half a mind to get up and learn them a thing or two, but she thought better of it. She had to get some sleep… get some sleep and get up early so she could go to work at that fucking movie stand. She hated that job so much. All she ever got in there were idiots looking for the same crappy movies that weren't worth watching. Then there were the parents coming in with ADD children who, for whatever reason, couldn't go five minutes without touching something they shouldn't or asking her some dumbass question that only a small child would ever think to ask like "did it hurt when they put that earring in your tongue?" Yes you little bastard, it hurt like eight bitches on a bitch boat! What the fuck are you crying for?!
Well the parents asked stupid questions too… like whether or not a G or PG-rated movie had nudity. Nudity… really? Who could be that stupid? Oh… then there were her personal favorites, the guys trying to rent porn. The guys that would dart from aisle to aisle like horny shinobi until they reached the section that was covered by big, stitched up garbage bags and some police tape. She always liked to stare at them and shake her head when they stepped out; that was fun at least. Also, she loved the way they would stick the video into a stack of random movies and wait around until the only other employee, some dude whose name she never remembered even though he constantly asked her out (another reason to hate her job), would take over for her at the counter… but that didn't happen because she wouldn't go on break if they were waiting. She'd stand there and wait for them to grow some balls.
She started to laugh and eventually she ran out of energy and drifted off.
There was a knock on her door, it caused her to stir. There was another and it caused her eyes to open. Another knock caused her to realize that she was topless and laying in bed… and her head hurt. "Hang on," she groaned. She felt around on the floor until she found her tube top and slipped it on. She stumbled to the door and felt the wall in an attempt to locate the light switch. She found it and flipped it then, somehow, she managed to open the door. It was Corn. What's he doing up this late?
"What's up?" he asked her nonchalantly.
Cube rubbed her eyes. "Uh… I was sleeping. Why are you up so late?"
"I just got back a little while ago," he pushed her door open and stepped into her room. As he went over to her bed he spoke. "I found this really nice lounge…" he sat on the edge of her bed, "Maybe I should take you some time… I think you'd like it."
Cube scratched her head. He was acting strangely. "Corn, have you been drinking… more?" He seemed like he had, but he wasn't slurring or stumbling or anything like that so she couldn't really tell… he did carry the distinct aroma of whisky and menthol cigarettes.
He raised his thumb and index finger in a c-shape. "Just a little… I wanted to talk to you, but then I remembered you went home… which made it all the more difficult to explain to the bartender just who I was talkin' to."
Cube fought the urge to laugh at that. He wanted to talk to me? She closed her door, locking it, then went and sat next to him. "What's up Corn? What's on your mind?"
He sighed and took off his hat and jacket. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes and his torch lighter. "Do you mind?" She shook her head. He put one in his mouth and almost lit it. "Do you want one?" She thought for a moment and nodded. He gave her one and lighted it just before he lighted his own. "I've been thinking about what I said earlier…" She nodded and took a long drag. He took a drag and exhaled. "but… this is really more about what I didn't say… about me and Gum."
Cube shook herself completely awake so she could listen to everything he had to say. "What's wrong… you two having some trouble?" If they were having trouble it would probably end with him becoming available… but then again she didn't want to wish anything bad on him.
Corn was still. Eventually he nodded. "We used to be real tight, y'know?" He looked up at Cube who slowly nodded. She was doing her very best not to seem too eager to hear possible bad news. "When we were just friends, y'know, we did everything together. Then we started goin' out and we became boyfriend and girlfriend. We didn't get to go everywhere together or do everything together, because Yoyo, Beat, Combo, Rhyth and Garam joined up, but we did a lot and had a lot of fun together. Then Boogie, Jazz, Soda, you and Clutch joined…" He paused for a moment and put his cigarette out in Cube's ashtray. He laced his fingers, letting his chin rest on them. He was quiet for a minute or so. Eventually he spoke again. "Cube… I know I'm supposed to be the leader here, even if I don't act like it sometimes. I know I'm supposed to get to know the others and maybe keep an eye on some of them… but everyone else joined up so quickly, and all of that bullshit with Poison Jam, the Immortals and Noise tanks and the Golden Rhinos, Zero Beat and A.Ku.Mo. happened so fuckin' fast… I didn't even get to." He looked up at Cube. "I'm serious… you, Yoyo, Rhyth and Combo are the only ones I've really gotten to know. Garam and Beat do whatever and I can never find them, so I haven't gotten to talk to really talk to them and hang out with them. Jazz and Boogie do everything together and I always feel like the odd man out when I'm around them and it's the same for Clutch and Soda… I probably wouldn't even be talkin' to you right now if you hadn't have made the effort yourself…"
"Corn… I don't want to interrupt you or anything, but you're rambling."
Corn's eyes widened but soon returned to normal and a small smile quickly flashed across his face as he looked away from her. "You're right… I'm leading but… I don't really know half of the people I'm supposed to lead… so how am I supposed to? I know I'm gettin' off topic but… I'm workin' my way back around to my point so, please, bear with me." Corn looked up at Cube and she nodded; she understood… this had to be hard to say. "Cube… I don't know these people… I really don't. I don't know them and… that's why… they…"
Cube lowered her eyes to the floor; she didn't want to look at him knowing what she was about to say. "… They don't respect you." They both fell silent and she slowly looked up. He was looking right at her… a stream ran from his left eye to his chin. He nodded.
"They don't respect me and it seems like Gum can feel it. I'm worried about it because… and understand that I don't want to seem jealous or petty or anything like that… I'm worried about it because that respect that I'm not getting' is goin' to someone else."
When he said that she knew exactly what he meant. She'd seen it to. The guy didn't go running his mouth but he wasn't shy about it either. He did everything he could to get on everyone's good side. He pretended to help Corn during the gangs more hectic days not too long ago… and Corn almost trusted him until he slipped and said it one day when Corn had worn himself out and he pretended to have his best interest at heart. "If you keep doing this to yourself, I may have to start leading in your place." He played it off like it was just a harmless joke but Cube saw no humor in it. A Rapid 99 girl had said the same thing to her once in the same way… and she had a hard time forgetting how that worked out. Corn felt it too… he knew that it was a slip. He knew because the guy constantly challenged him, constantly dissented… he was always in Corn's ear in private or in front of the others… especially Gum. "Beat."
Corn snorted. "Yeah, Beat… I can feel their respect bypassing me and goin' straight to him… and… I think Gum can feel that too… she can feel that the others don't respect me… that they respect Beat."
Cube nodded. She knew that Corn wouldn't say this to just anyone. To anyone else he'd come off as an on-the-outs leader who feels threatened by an ambitious subordinate… he wasn't that kind of guy. There was one thing that was bothering her: why would they be so drawn to Beat of all people? In her mind Corn was the total package: He was smart, quick-witted, caring and, unlike Beat, he actually was a good leader. Maybe he didn't always show it, but he had a great personality too. Beat was nothing in comparison, physically or mentally. He was downright scrawny in comparison to Corn who actually was somewhat imposing, he was ill-mannered, he was nowhere near as smart as Corn (or herself… or even Rhyth, who was generally thought of as the third or fourth most intelligent in the gang) and he had an inferiority complex… she knew because he wouldn't be so overly ambitious if he didn't. The only things he really had going for himself were his good looks and charisma. Beat was a pretentious ass, a poseur. It amazed her that the others hadn't seen through him. "I don't get it… what does that have to do with you and Gum?"
"You aren't listening," Corn looked up and smiled at her, "I already gave you the answer."
Cube thought about and it all became clear. She hadn't thought much of it before but she had noticed how close Gum and Beat had become. They were always talking, whispering, sharing little private jokes. She saw how much time Gum spent with him in comparison to Corn, how she acted around them… the differences. The way she was so tense and quiet, barely speaking when she was around Corn maybe venturing to say a few things to him. She saw the way she would turn him down half the time when he offered to take her somewhere, do something with her spend any time with her at all. She compared it to all the time the girl spent with Beat, doing everything Corn offered… and maybe more than that, Cube wasn't exactly sure. She occasionally heard their arguments. How Gum would yell at Corn and how he would try to calm her down and she would simply grow louder. How Corn would eventually be forced to raise his voice at her and she would crumble into tears when he said something that she didn't want to hear and go running to cry on Beat's shoulder. Beat, in turn, spread a few nasty rumors about Corn. Cube heard those rumors and knew they were bullshit. Corn wouldn't hit a girl, not even Gum… the one girl who deserved to be hit. What was worse, some of the others believed them. Not any of the ones who really knew Corn but some of the newer ones. Cube knew they believed them because it came from Beat and they would believe any of the bullshit that came spewing out of Beat's mouth. Maybe they didn't see it but she did. She saw that Gum was a whore. She saw Beat was a dickless piece of shit.
And she knew… she knew that Corn didn't deserve all of this bullshit that landed in his lap.
"What are you going to do Corn?"
Corn had drifted into space. When she spoke he snapped out of it. She repeated her question and he responded. "I don't know. I can't kick them out because I'll look like an asshole. I can't afford to do it because I'll lose what little respect the others may still possibly have for me… but I know I can't just ride it out. If anything big happens, he'll use it as his final push and try to take over from there. It's a catch twenty-two." Cube nodded. "And anyway… and I know this sounds fuckin pathetic but…" Cube was all ears. She knew what he was about to say. "I don't want to lose her… if she wants to end it, that's fine… but I don't want to lose her… not to him." Cube's heart sank when he said that. "It's fuckin stupid to say this because I know what she's doing… but I still love her Cube… I don't know what to do… I just wouldn't be the same without her."
That's when she saw it. Corn wiped both of his eyes… he was really crying. This was a guy who was just spilling his guts. This was a guy who was so open and honest about his feelings at least to the people he was closest to. Gum wanted to take a guy like this, a guy who was so open and honest and had always been there for her, and cast him aside for some asshole that just happened to know how to sweet-talk her out of her panties? Cube wanted him to stop crying but she knew it would take a while… she wrapped her arms around him and held on as tight as she could. Gum doesn't deserve him… not at all… she does not deserve this man. This was someone who was willing to forgive that bitch's transgressions no matter she did to him, Cube didn't think the little slut deserved that.
If it was the last thing she ever did she would make sure that Gum knew that… she would make sure that Corn knew that. She didn't want him to hurt like this, not as long as she was there.
Alright. There goes chapter one. I guess it'll take me a while to come up with chapter two. Please try to remember… none of my stand alones are related to GG:A&M.
Please, please, PLEASE review this.