Kako Mo Ima Mo Mirai Mo Kakenukero
Kako I: Games (Li Jianliang)
I've been staring at the box for maybe five minutes now, reading all of the new features and studying the screen captures on the back.
Finally, it's come out... I've been waiting months, ever since they announced it! I really, really shouldn't be buying things like this but I can't resist. I love the series...
Ai To Kirai: Tengoku To Jigoku No Naka E, the newest in my favorite dating sim series. I'd never admit to playing these of course. They're...
...Shounen-ai dating sims...
I'm Jianliang Li and... I have a secret. I've more or less come to grips with it since last year.
At first, I said I was bi, but...I really think that was just to "cope." If I was bi, I'd still be sort of "normal," but, no, I can't show interest in girls. Period. I've tried, believe me. I've never told anyone, I just pretend that there's nothing wrong.
A-And there isn't! Really! Nothing wrong with this, it's just a secret. A secret I would never reveal to anyone under any circumstances. And this is a game I will only play when no-one's home. I can't let my family find out, or my friends. Takato has no idea and he's my best friend and...The object of my affection. I admit it, I really like him, but I know it would never work out. He likes Juri, or at least he likes girls. I'm sure of it.
I finally take the game to the counter. The clerk gives me an odd look. "You know what this game is, right?" He asks.
I nod. "It's for my sister, she loves that sort of thing."
"Ah, say no more. My sister's a total yaoi obsessive, too...Creepy stuff." He says. I just give a halfhearted nod. Like I said, it's my secret. Mine alone.
I pay for the game and make sure no-one can see the cover through the bag. I step out into the mall, smiling to myself. It's summer break so I have no school, my parents are going out to dinner and a movie tonight, my brother and sister aren't coming home from college for another two days and Xiaochun is at a friend's house tonight. I couldn't ask for a more perfect release day!
"Jen?" That voice...
"Kenta?" I turn, Kenta's standing behind me with a game bag. Oh, crap, I didn't see him in there... It's sort of weird seeing him without Hirokazu at his side, that's probably why I didn't notice him.
"Hey, what'd you buy?" Kenta asks.
"Th-This? Oh, Final Fantasy XII..." I trail off, I hope I sound casual.
"Liar," Kenta says. "That doesn't come out until next week!" Crap... "C'mon! What'd you get? Is it for Hirokazu's birthday next month? You didn't get him Digimon World 5, did you? I just bought that for him!"
"N-No, it's not that..." He makes a quick grab for the bag, I pull it back. "K-Kenta!"
"What? It's nothing embarrassing is it? Are you a closet Doraemon's Happy Party Time fan or something?" He laughs, making another grab. This time he gets hold of the bag, he manages to get it out of my hands. "Lemme see!"
I go pale. Damn it, I knew these games were a mistake. He's looking at the back right now...
"...Jen? This is..." Kenta looks up at me, then down at the box.
"I-It's for Jialing! I swear!"
"...Dude, we need to talk." Kenta says, he puts the game in his bag. W-What the hell, Kenta? "Come on, let's grab lunch."
"You're not getting this back 'til we eat, Jen!" Kenta says with a grin. Oh, crap...Is he going to try to turn me straight or something? Tell me this is sick? A perversion? Crap, crap, crap...
"Jen, lunch, now." Kenta says. He leads me to the food court, going to the shortest line: A Lotteria Restaurant. "Come on, Jen, what're you getting?" He says as he reaches the counter.
Kenta rolls his eyes. "You want your game back or not?" I've never seen Kenta act like this before...It's weird. He's acting more like Hirokazu...I guess the taller of the two is rubbing off on him.
I sigh. "...I'll have a cheeseburger, no pickles." I say to the cashier.
"Same, with two large sodas." Kenta orders. I reach for my wallet. "Relax, this is on me."
"It's worth it for the talk," Kenta says. I don't like where this is going... He pays for our food, taking his receipt and two soda cups. He passes one to me with a smile.
"Um... Kenta...What are you-"
"Jen, trust me, I really wanna talk to you now," Kenta grins, like...He's excited about this. ...Is he...? ...No way, he isn't...He's Hirokazu's best friend, and Hirokazu is... ...Then again...
I'm shaking as I get my soda from the fountain. I accidentally spill a bit, the cup overflows as I'm caught up in the thoughts running through my head. Kenta casually gets his soda. The order comes up just as we finish, Kenta takes the tray and leads me to a table. He motions for me to sit.
"Um...Kenta...Look, this isn't what you think-"
"So, gay or bi?" Kenta asks, casually, unwrapping his burger.
"Wh-What?" I realize I'm shaking as he asks this. I can't control it.
"Are you gay or bi?" Kenta asks again. "And be honest, Jen. I won't believe 'straight' for a second, not with the 'caught with your hand in the gay cookie jar' look on your face right now."
"...Gay..." I say, quietly. My eyes dart around to make sure no-one's listening. "Why are you so...interested?"
A sly grin spreads across Kenta's face. "Hirokazu's mine, just so you know."
"W-What?" D-Did I...Did I hear that right?
Kenta reaches into his bag and passes my game back to me. He shakes his head, saying, "He's straight, I think. But I can wish..."
Kenta nods. "Don't feel so alone now, do you?"
I shake my head. "How long have you known you were...?" I awkwardly trail off. It's weird, I just...I can't bring myself to say it. GAY! I accept who I am but I don't want anyone to hear it, I guess.
"Um, well, I sort of realized how much I like Hirokazu. He's been my best friend since, well, pretty much my entire life and..." Kenta shrugs. "I like girls, a little, but I don't like any girl nearly as much as I like Hirokazu. Or most guys. Don't tell him, all right?"
"N-Never," I shake my head. I can't believe this. "Have you told anyone else?"
"No way in hell, Hirokazu doesn't even know." Kenta shakes his head. "I saw you buying the game back there. Just so you know, 'for your sister' would have made sense if you didn't spent twenty minutes looking over the back of the box. Especially with the look you had on your face."
I give a slow nod and sigh. "Was it really that obvious?" ...Great, I've tried to be so careful with keeping this a secret, and Kenta guessed just by watching me look at a game box.
"Not really, I didn't know what the game was until the clerk said something," Kenta says. "Do you like anyone?"
I swallow. "Uh..." ...Should I tell him? I...I've never told ANYONE this before, it's frightening but at the same time...Relieving. I know I'm not the only gay guy on Earth, but...I've always sort of felt like it until now...
"Come on, I told you about Hirokazu..." Kenta trails off. "It's only fair, Jen."
"...Takato." I finally say.
Kenta laughs. "I knew it!"
"Dude, you and Takato are closer than Hirokazu and I are. And Ruki's always joked about how gay the two of us look!" Kenta laughs. "I sort of can't believe you, of all people, are gay... You were good at hiding it, I guess."
"I-I just don't want anyone to know, the stares, the judgment...It's too much for me." Someone in my freshman class was outted a few months ago, everyone still whispers about him...I couldn't take it if it were me.
"Same here," Kenta says. "How did you realize it?"
"For the past few years, I just...I realized how being with Takato made me feel. I eventually put two and two together and...I've been in denial until last year." I...I would just think of myself as 'straight,' even when I was thinking about Takato. It took my until last year to finally admit to myself, I. Prefer. Men. ...And, even then, I also said, I. Still. Like. Women. Too. ...For a while.
"So Takato turned you gay?" Kenta jokes. "He's a little too emotional for me. I think he's perfect for you, though."
I blush. "...How can you be so open about this?"
"I sort of skipped the 'Oh, no, I can't be that way' thing," Kenta shrugs. "It just didn't seem weird to me. I don't want to advertise it, but I never felt weird. I just sort of said, 'Huh, I think I love Hirokazu.'"
"You're so lucky," I sigh. "I spent most of last summer...Um..." I realize what I'm about to say. "N-Never mind..."
"Go on," Kenta says with a grin.
"...I got a really bad virus on my computer because I was so desperate to 'go straight,'" I begin. "I was...on certain websites."
Kenta bursts into a fit of laughs. "A-A-And?" He can't stop laughing.
"...I ended up on the gay ones in the end..." I groan. "I stopped after the virus. I swear!" ...That's sort of a lie...
"But you're 'normal' now, right?" Kenta sips his soda, he lets out another laugh.
"...As normal as I can be," I smile weakly. I can't believe I'm talking about this...
"How do you think your family would take it?"
"I have no idea," I shake my head. "I don't think they're anti-gay, but I just don't want to run the risk."
"I know, my Dad'd flip out," Kenta says. "My Mom, I don't know, but my Dad? Oh, I'm coming out when I have my own place and, maybe, after I move to China or America or some place far away. Then do it over the phone."
I laugh, "You planned that far ahead?"
"A little," Kenta says. "If Hirokazu were 'that way,' I'd risk it to be with him, but unless miracles happen..." He looks to my unopened burger. "...Jen, eat up. All right?"
"O-Oh, sorry," I unwrap my burger. "Thanks for lunch, Kenta."
"Thanks for the talk," Kenta smiles. "If you ever need someone to talk to..." He trails off.
I nod, taking a bite of my burger. After I swallow, I ask, "So, how do you know Hirokazu's straight?"
"He's Hirokazu, duh?" Kenta replies. "You think Takato's straight?"
"I'm pretty sure he is," I reply with a shrug.
"Takato's also...Kinda emotional, if you know what I mean."
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean anything...Does it?"
Kenta shrugs. "I don't know, sometimes stereotypes have a point to them. If they strictly didn't apply, I'd at least tell Hirokazu I liked guys. I wouldn't tell him I liked HIM, but...Speaking of Hirokazu..."
"What is it?"
"Hirokazu is obsessed with a hot springs trip we're all going on this weekend, but Ryou backed out at the last minute. If we can't get someone to replace him, we can't go. Hirokazu is pissed at Ryou right now," Kenta explains. "...Any chance you could replace Ryou?"
"H-Hot springs? As in...sitting around naked?"
Kenta nods. "I know, I know, but...Please?"
"Um...How do you plan to avoid...?" I trail off. This is a topic I'm really uncomfortable with...
"I'll tell you a trick later," Kenta says, blushing slightly. "But, please? You don't have to go in the springs, although Takato's going to be there..."
"You, me, Hirokazu and Takato," Kenta says. "What do you say?"
"...I'll...ask my parents," I say, trying to hide the smile creeping across my face. "Takato's really going to be there?"
"Hirokazu convinced him," Kenta nods. "He didn't want to go at first, but you know how Hirokazu can be when he wants something badly enough."
I nod. "If I can go, I'll let you know tonight."
"Thanks, Jen. And I'll tell you the 'trick' later," Kenta says.
"Um...Is it...?" I learn forward and whisper into his ear. We both turn a shade of crimson.
"...Yeah..." Kenta trails off. "Exactly."
I nod. "...Thanks..."
Kenta and I finish eating, he gives me some information about the trip for my parents and we go our separate ways after that...I can't believe Kenta's gay and so open about it. Well, open to me because he guessed my secret, he still wouldn't tell Hirokazu or Takato.
When I get back home, my father is watching television in the living room. "...Um, Dad? Can I ask something?"
My father gives a nod, turning down the television. "What is it, Jianliang?"
"I ran into Kenta at the mall. He, Hirokazu and Takato were planning a trip to a hot spring resort this weekend with Ryou," I begin, "but Ryou had to back out at the last minute. If no-one replaces him, they can't go. Would it be all right if I went in his place? The cost isn't too much, I can afford most of it."
My father thinks for a moment. "Where is it?"
"In the mountains, we're taking a bus up on Friday morning. The room is booked and everything," I explain. "If I don't go in place of Ryou, they'll have to cancel, and I don't think they'll be able to get their money back."
"...All right," he nods. "I'll give you some extra spending money, an advance on your allowance, deal? We'll talk about the rest with your mother later, though."
I smile. "Thanks, Dad! I'll call Kenta and let him know."
With that I hurry to my room and dial Kenta's cell number.
"Kenta, tell Hirokazu I'll be able to take Ryou's place," I say. "My Dad gave me the okay just now."
"Thanks, Jen, Hirokazu's going to be so thrilled! And he might just forgive Ryou," Kenta says. "Do you want to talk to Takato or should I? To let him know you're coming, I mean."
"I think I'll call him," I say, with a...certain tone I wouldn't have ever used, normally. Since Kenta knows, though...I sort of like being able to use it.
There's a laugh on the other end. "I had a feeling you'd say that. Talk to you later, Jen."
"Right, bye, Kenta," I hang up and immediately dial Takato's number.
"Matsuda Bakery." Takato answers.
"Takato, I heard you're going to some hot springs this weekend," I begin.
"Actually, we're not. Ryou backed out and without him we can't afford the trip."
"Not anymore, I'm going instead," I say.
"Y-You! Really?" Takato's voice goes up slightly. "I didn't know you liked hot springs..."
"I've never really been to one, and Kenta raised a good argument. So, what do I wear?"
Takato laughs, "Very funny, Jen-kun. Thanks for taking Ryou's place, Hirokazu was so upset at the last minute cancellation."
"Anytime, Takato-kun," I say. "I think it'll be fun. We each get our own rooms, right?"
"Eh? Of course not," Takato says. "We could only afford two rooms. Hirokazu and Kenta get one, I was going to share with Ryou." ...Oh, crap...
"Oh, s-so we'll be sharing a room?"
"You don't mind, do you?"
"O-Of course not, Takato-kun, you're my best friend. It'll be like a sleepover," I say, forcing a laugh. Damn you, Kenta...
"We're leaving really early on Friday...Don't be late, Hirokazu's liable to kill someone if he misses this. I've never seen him so obsessed about, well, anything!"
"I'll be early, then. Can't let Hirokazu down now, can we?"
"Great, see you Friday, Jen-kun."
"See you, Takato-kun." I hang up.
...I have to share a room with Takato... ...I can do this, we've slept over at eachothers' places, it'll be like that...
...Then again, ever since I came to terms with my feelings for him, I've sort of avoided sleep overs. I just...I know I'd watch him sleep or if I talked in my sleep and dreamed about him...I don't talk in my sleep, but...I could see it happening, happens all the time in manga. Cute guy A mutters, "I love you B-chan..." And Cute guy B overhears...
...Did I really just say "Cute Guy A" and "Cute Guy B." ...I guess eve my thoughts are getting more casual about this...
I'm still nervous about the trip, but...
...I guess I can handle it.
To Be Continued...
Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
I gotta begin with this: I was originally going to wait until November to let Taiki put this up, but...I found out October 20th is "Spirit Day," which is an LGBT holiday to bring attention to LGBT bullying and honor its victims... ...And I felt sort of bad I never heard it... ...In my defense, I barely ever know what day of the week it is half the time and usually miss, like, half my religious and national holidays I (should) celebrate.
The reason for the wait? I wanted one or two comedy fics uploaded before another freakin' slash fic. ...Oy...
...So, yeah, Taiki, you got lucky: You get that thing I refused to give you so much as a description of a couple weeks early. You can thank Spirit Day and the fact I don't think my Hirokazu and Kenta picture on DA was enough (link to account in Taiki's profile, where else?).
This is another unfinished fic, except I re-started it and...Reconfigured it after an idea hit me during another bout of insomnia. Originally, this was just three or four chapters, but...You'll see, you'll see, this is either one of my few good ideas or one of my million and one bad ideas. I'll let you guys decide.
I didn't like Lianjie and Jialing's dialogue in the first version (hence their absence). And since Jianliang mentions Kenta finding out his secret in "Pass The Soy Sauce," I thought I'd start with that...Even though that was, sort of, added to Soy Sauce when I finished it and not the original draft...Eh, I gotta stick to established continuity.
And...I gotta say, I think Kenta might be pushing things realistically speaking. I won't spoil what happens with him, though. I want to avoid Cast Full of Gay or whatever that trope is called (Taiki, why did you ever give me a link to that evil, evil site? It's been months since and I STILL HAVE FREAKIN' FIREFOX TABS OPEN!).
It still sort of bugs me how easy these are to write still...Seriously. I guess old habits die hard and this one's harder to quit than smoking. Of course, this project is going to be different from my previous works...I get to be a little creative with the format which has me excited.
This whole thing is meant to tie together everything related to the Save File\Pass the Soy Sauce\Christmas Dinner continuity, this is the...Biggest slash project I've ever undertaken. ... ... ...And I suddenly need a drink and a handful of my arthritis meds now that I realize I just admitted to that. Oy Gevalt, damn you, Twerp-chan and your constant begging for Leekatos! This is the big one, no more after this, got it? Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy Valentines and a Joyful Whatever-Other-Freakin'-Holiday-Or-Reason-You-Can Think-Of-As-An-Excuse-For-Me-To-Write-This-Stuff!
Regarding the title: "Kako Mo Ima Mo Mirai Mo Kakenukero" is based on part of the opening verse to the Tamers opening theme (The Biggest Dreamer): "Mirai Mo Ima Mo Kakenukero" Which means "Run through the future and the present." This title mean "Run Through The Past, Present and Future."
Kako = Past
Ima = Present
Mirai = Future
Remember this, this is important! Why am I sticking with Japanese words instead of English? 'Cause you'd be twice as pissed at me if I used Mandarin Chinese instead like I wanna.
Actually, I'm not 100% sure if Kako's the right word or not (it might be "sugi" or something like that). My Japanese is non-existent at this point, Mandarin Chinese took over that portion of my brain. On the plus side though I still remember most of my Kanji...I just forgot how to say it in Japanese... Anyway, if anyone wants to correct me: Feel free, Taiki'll change it ASAP.
Yes! I so wanted to see how that hot springs trip went! Thank you, Ori! Thank you!
I'm not going to try to figure out the 'format' you mentioned since when I do that my head ends up hurting and I'm nowhere near close to what's running in that warped mind of yours. Especially if it's something you came up with while sleep deprived.
Want examples of Ori's sleep deprivation works? In the profile:
-Save File. The Lianjie-POV fic, he says he wrote the whole thing at hour 24 from start to finish without stop! It's also in the same continuity as this one.
-Even I Can Love: A very old AngeDevi fic we wrote in 2000 (pre-dates Mugen E, even!). Wrote from start to finish right before he collapsed.
And I don't believe for a minute this is the last slash you will ever write, Ori! You're [Ori's Old Pen Given Name] Bleedin' [Ori's Old Pen Surname]! You SPECIALIZED in it! But it's nice to see that you plan to put so much effort into this one. Thank you, Twisted Bastard-sempai, I accept the what-ever-excuse-I-can-think-of-to-get-you-to-write-Jenkato-Day gift.
I should make one thing clear to the reader: Ori tells me this a "tie-together" for the following fics:
Pass The Soy Sauce
If you have not read them, I suggest that you do so before continuing. In the above order (when Ori wrote them) or by Save File - Pass The Soy Sauce - Christmas Dinner, which is chronologically in the fic's timeline. The hot springs trip predates everything. I suppose you could call it the catalyst for the series.
As usual, I want to put in a plug for Ori's DeviantArt account (Account name: Qibushi-Zijian, and a link is available through my profile) and mention the poll currently featured on that same profile. The poll is to help Ori decide what projects to devote time to, for those who enjoy his writing. Please vote!
Finally, I truly hate asking, but reviews would be so appreciated for this one (and any other fic, for that matter). Ori tells me he's putting a lot of work and planning into this fic. My encouragement alone is not enough I think. I would really like it if there was proof that people enjoy Ori's writing.
Please? For me? For Ori? For love?
I do want to truly thank everyone who has left reviews so far, they mean a lot of me and I'm sure they mean even more to Ori. And a thank you to everyone who reads his work. Whether you review or not, we're happy as long as you enjoyed the story!