Title: One Week 2
Characters: Akanishi Jin, OCs
Summary: A sequel to One Week. It's now Jin's turn to go to the girl's country. New developments in their relationship, of course, but it is still uncertain how it will turn out in the end.
A/N: This chapter is overdue. Like, 48 years overdue. xD Sorry it took so long to update. I'm not even sure if the old readers still remember this. Haha. Anyway, since I switched ichibans I found it a bit hard to write this fic but I will finish it. Hehe. Comments are appreciated!
Previous: Chapter 1 || Chapter 2
Jin tried not to laugh as he remembered what had happened. He wasn’t sure if it was more funny or embarrassing.
The girl emerged from the bathroom wearing the smallest piece of clothing that he had in his suitcase. She narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips as she wiped her face dry.
“I can’t believe you spat on me, Akanishi.” she said as she placed empty bento boxes inside the picnic basket she brought along that morning. “That’s like a total degradation of my dignity.”
Jin couldn’t help but laugh out loud at her exaggeration.
“I didn’t spit on you, it was an accident.” he told her. “How was I supposed to react? You told me that you want me to meet your parents.”
It was now her turn to laugh out loud. She gave him an evil look and grinned.
“What are you talking about? I told you to come to my parents’ house.”
Jin suddenly felt nervous by how she was looking at him.
“Parents?” she snuffed. “Jin, you’re meeting my entire family.”
No matter what he did and no matter how many times he tried, Jin couldn’t get himself to fall asleep again that night. He lay still on his bed and stared at the ceiling, and the only sound he could hear was the humming of the air conditioner and that of his own breathing.
When the girl called him that morning, he’s only had an hour of sleep.
“Why didn’t you sleep?” she asked.
“It’s not like I didn’t want to, you know… I couldn’t.”
After she talked to him about how exhausting and frustrating it is to force one’s self to sleep, Jin hang up and decided to take a shower. The girl was going to drop by at his hotel before she went to work. He had just finished taking a bath when he heard a knock on the door.
“You look terrible.” She said upon seeing him. He groaned and plopped back on his bed.
“But I brought just the thing you need for those eye bags.” She told him. “I bought this cream a few weeks ago and they really work. I don’t want you looking like a zombie when you meet my family.”
Jin winced and studied the little tube of cream she handed him. The girl brought him breakfast again, and Jin loved the smell of the food she cooked. It made his hotel room feel a bit homey. A smile formed in his face when he imagined the girl as his wife, cooking breakfast for him every morning.
“What’s with the grin?”
He looked up and saw the girl looking at him.
“You’ve been having a lot of daydreams lately…” she giggled.
“I wasn’t daydreaming.”
She waved her hand to dismiss the topic and just kept unloading her picnic basket.
“I’ll pick you up after work, okay? Around 7p.m.”
“Why are you even going to work?”
“Well, I missed work yesterday already. I have to finish some stuff so things don’t pile up after the holidays.”
Jin walked over to her and tried to distract her by playing with the end of her ponytail. When this did not do anything, he hugged her.
“Can’t you just take the day off and stay with me instead?” he whispered in her ear. She laughed and faced him.
“That’s very sweet of you to ask…” she whispered back as she looked up at him. “But I’m afraid I have to decline.”
She turned back and continued to set up Jin’s breakfast. He groaned and just sat on the table.
“I have to work tonight so that I’d be free to take a leave after the holidays so we can spend more days together, okay?”
He smiled and nodded. The girl finished unloading the food from the basket and motioned for Jin to start eating.
“I have to go now but I’ll talk to you later. I’ll try to call during lunch break.”
She picked up her bag and gave Jin a quick peck on the cheek before heading towards the door. She stopped before turning the knob and faced him again.
“Thank you, Jin.” She said. “…for coming here.”
Jin realized that he looks at his watch a lot—too much in fact. He impatiently waited for noon so that the girl will finally be available to take his call. While flipping through the channels and eating the food the girl brought him, he made another realization.
Time wasn’t on their side.
It has been more than a year that they've known each other. Since he met her, he has placed a lot more value on every minute that passed. It indeed felt like the week that the girl spent in Japan. He wished he could literally buy some more time for them to be together. But they always had to make do with the time that is given to them. He tried to convince himself that one week was better than nothing. It shouldn’t matter that the time they spent apart was much longer than the time they spent together.
At least we get to spend some time together.
He jumped when his new phone suddenly rang, and his face quickly brightened upon hearing the voice on the other line.
“I was just thinking about you…” he said.
“Oh were you?”
Jin bit his lip and could picture the way she looks when she’s trying not to sound enthralled.
“Yeah… How’s work? Did you eat already?”
“I’m still a little busy so I might have a late lunch today… I actually just sneaked into the ladies room to check up on you,” she laughed.
“I’m moved by your concern.”
“You should be.”
Jin heard another woman’s voice from her end of the line and then it became silent for a while. He did not notice that he was holding his breath the entire time that she wasn’t speaking.
“Sorry,” she finally spoke. “That was my boss. I can't believe she knew I was in the restroom. Anyway, something came up so I have to go.”
“I’ll see you tonight, okay?”
He held the phone to his ear even after she hung up. She didn’t even wait for him to say goodbye. He sighed and flopped onto his bed.
No, time is not on our side…
He grew more and more restless with each passing hour. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be introduced to her family. He worried about their reaction and what they would think about their daughter’s foreign boyfriend. She often told him animated stories about her family and how close they were and how they acted whenever they gathered in one place. He always thought that she had quite an interesting family, but he never thought that meeting them in person would make him feel so uncomfortable.
He did not know what to expect. It was a quarter to seven when he heard someone knock on the door. He looked at himself in the mirror and hoped that the best and most respectable outfit he could find in his luggage was enough to give her family a good first impression.
“Hai, I’m coming!”
He grabbed his phone and the card to the room before rushing to the door. He swung it open and was about to tell her how nervous he was, but he was stunned upon seeing the girl in a dress for the first time.
"Ready?” she asked.
He smiled and just admired how she looked for a few seconds.
“What?” she asked again. “I look pretty in this dress? Is that it?”
He chuckled and closed the door behind him before placing an arm around her shoulders.
“You look beautiful.” He whispered.
She giggled and placed her arm around his waist as they walked down the hall.
“Of course I do. No matter what I do I still look beautiful. It’s so troublesome.”
He laughed and poked her cheek.
“And how about me? Don’t I get a compliment?”
“Hmmm…” she glanced at his clothes as they waited for the elevator. “You look okay.”
She laughed and slipped her hand into his as she grinned sheepishly.
“You always look good, Akanishi Jin. You don’t have to ask.” She said. He smirked and brushed his bangs off his forehead.
“Sou desu ne… No matter what I do I still look good. It’s so troublesome.”
“I know, right?”
They laughed again and stepped inside the elevator. Jin looked down at his dressed-up girlfriend standing beside him and smiled. While it’s true that they were often apart, he thought that every second he spent with her was always worth the long wait.
“Alright, we’re here.” The girl said.
She took a few bills from her wallet and paid the cab driver. Jin stepped out of the taxi and tried to seem calm as he went and opened the door for her.
“Why, thank you my good man…” she said as she took the hand he offered. Jin managed to give her a little smile but she was able to tell right away that he was nervous. “Don’t worry, boyfriend. They’ll love you.”
He took a deep breath and held her hand as they went past the gates and walked to the front door. She stopped and looked at Jin with a smile.
“Ready?” she asked him as she fixed his hair which, Jin thought, always had something that bothered her. He just nodded and breathed in deeply.
“Ready…” he said as he breathed out.
She turned the knob and pushed the door open and, immediately, Jin heard a roll of laughter and the sound of people talking loudly at the same time. They were speaking in a different language so Jin did not know what it was that they were laughing about. The wonderful smell of food filled the house and he can hear the faint sound of a Christmas song in the background.
The girl still held his hand as she led the way to the living room where Jin assumed everyone was. The Christmas tree glowed with Christmas lights and there were bags of presents underneath and around it. It was the first thing that caught his eye in the room, but then it slowly shifted to the silenced people inside who were now staring at him. He froze and smiled nervously at them before bowing.
“G-Good evening…” he greeted.
They all stared at him silently. Everyone stopped in the midst of what they were doing and just looked at him. Jin was reminded of how much he disliked being the center of attention in such situations. Those few seconds felt like hours.
“Merry Christmas!!!” the girl exclaimed, and it was followed by a holler of joyful Merry Christmases in return. Jin thought he had a heart attack. All the people in the room got up and surrounded them, happily and loudly greeting them and asking questions.
The girl exchanged hugs and kisses with everyone and spoke to them in their language. When she pulled Jin to her side and looked up at him, they burst out into cheers and started to hug and kiss him as well.
“Welcome, welcome!” one woman said.
“Wow! You found a handsome one!” a younger woman said, to which a teenage boy answered “I’m more handsome”, earning him a teasing “Wooh…” from the other teenagers.
Jin’s nervousness slowly disappeared at their welcome and he felt more comfortable. They led him to the sofa where the younger ones surrounded and watched him, while the girl was pulled somewhere else. He heard the word ‘kitchen’ so he assumed that perhaps they wanted her to help prepare the food.
“So you’re from Japan?” one of the girls asked flatly.
“Yes, I am.”
“What do you do there? I mean, what’s your job?”
“I’m uh…” Jin wasn’t sure if he should say he was part of a famous idol group. “I’m an artist.”
“She says you’re an idol.” Another person butted in, with the same monotony.
So much for not using that term.
“I-I am. That’s what they call it in Japan… I’m a Japanese idol.” He said, trying to sound calm and collected even though the younger people are making him feel even more nervous.
“I saw you on TV before.” Jin turned to a tall and plump girl who was munching on a burrito.
“Yeah… Aren’t you in that yakuza drama? She has a lot of DVDs of those Japanese dramas and she even sometimes forces us to watch with her.”
Jin could not help but chuckle at the new information.
“I didn’t know that. I’m sorry.”
“Oh, it’s okay. It’s fun when she starts crying. And she does that for every freaking episode.”
Jin found himself laughing heartily on the comment along with the others. In an instant, they became very warm towards him—like the coldness was just a front. His nervousness disappeared and he felt at home with the young ones, and he’s only spent around 15 minutes with them from the moment he came in the house.
“Hey, what are you guys laughing about?” the girl asked when she arrived from the kitchen.
“Nothing.” They all answered at the same time, and this made Jin laugh.
“He’s only been here a few minutes and you’ve already gotten him to go against me?” she asked them with a pained expression.
He just grinned at her.
“So you cried on every episode of Gokusen 2, huh?”
She gasped and immediately slapped the arm of the person standing next to her—the burrito girl.
“What? It’s true!”
His girlfriend shook her head and just smiled. She then introduced them one by one. Jin tried to remember everything she said. There were 13 names to match with the 13 faces so Jin wished he could jot down notes while she said their names. When a person would pass by her, she would pull that person and introduce the person to him as well. All in all, he met twenty two people already—and that still did not include the two people that her cousins and siblings said he should be nervous about…her parents.
And just then, they all heard the doors open and a man and a woman came in holding shopping bags filled with more gifts—as if the ones surrounding the trees were not enough for everyone. Jin immediately stood up and straightened his shirt. His nervousness came back, especially because everyone became dead silent again.
“Otousan! Okaasan! Okaeri!” the girl greeted happily.
She calls them that?
The girl took his hand again and they both started to walk towards her parents. It was her mother who first looked at them. She smiled warmly and kissed his cheek, leaving Jin speechless for a while.
“Is this him?” she asked. “He looks very handsome.”
“A-Ano… Good evening...”
Her father then turned to him. Jin’s heart raced as the older man looked at him from head to toe and nodded before saying a low ‘Good evening’ back at him.
“Tou-chan, Kaa-chan, this is Jin…my boyfriend.” The girl said with smile.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both…” he said and bowed.
“Oh, there’s no need for that kind of greeting, sweetheart.” Her mother said with a chuckle. “We’re not Japanese. It’s nice to meet you too.”
Jin smiled warily at her mother and turned to her father who looked very stern. The older man reached out for a handshake and Jin reluctantly accepted. The older man gripped his hand tightly and looked him in the eye.
“If you’re going to hurt my daughter you might as well just leave now.” He said in a very deep and serious voice.
“I…” Jin became tongue tied as he looked back the older man’s eyes. “I…I won’t hurt her, sir.”
He was surprised when the man suddenly smiled and laughed. He patted Jin’s shoulder and said something in their language before greeting everyone else and making his way to the living room. Jin heaved a sigh of relief and held on to the girl as he felt his knees go weak.
“Are you okay?” the girl chuckled as she supported him.
“I was so nervous!” Jin whispered. “What did he say just now?”
“Nothing important. He was just playing with you.”
Jin straightened up and breathed deeply.
It certainly didn’t feel like he was playing.
“Don’t worry about it.” The girl smiled. “And prepare yourself because he might want to talk with you alone later on.”
She smiled again and pinched his cheek.
“Daijobu, boyfriend… Daijobu.”
She took his hand and pulled him back to the living room.
The dinner he had that night was probably the most interesting one he’s had. And her family was probably the noisiest bunch of eating people he’s ever encountered. People were talking simultaneously about different things. Once in a while, it would become silent and then someone will suddenly say a random thing and it would start to be noisy again as they react to the random topic.
Jin found it amusing and thoughtful that they all tried to speak in English so that he could understand what they were talking about. One of her cousins even tried to teach him a few words and expressions in their language.
“Don’t teach him weird things!” the girl exclaimed after she heard Jin repeat a word that her cousin said. “Why what does it mean?”
“It means ‘booger’.”
Jin almost choked on the chicken he was chewing. He turned to the cousin and shook his head disapprovingly.
“As expected…You really are her cousin…” he said.
“Hey!” the girl protested. “I won’t ever teach someone how to say booger! That’s disgusting!”
“How do you say booger in Japanese? Do you know?” Jin asked her.
Jin heard her cousin clicking his tongue. He turned to look and saw him shaking his head disapprovingly.
“As expected…You really are her boyfriend…”
“Oi!” Jin and the girl said at the same time, and everyone around the table—who were all apparently listening to their conversation—burst out laughing. The girl laughed too and said something out loud in their language that made them laugh even more.
“Of course we’re listening!” her aunt answered. “You know how it is in this family.”
Jin smiled and watched as the girl continued to eat and chat with her family. He thought about how nice it must be to be part of her family. They had made him feel very welcome even though they had just met. After dinner, everyone became tamer because they were all full. Jin talked with the girl’s younger family members while she helped clean up.
He wanted to help so she can spend more time with her, but the other members would always pull him away and ask him lots of questions. It didn’t mind him that much as long as he was not alone with the girl’s father. He has been dreading for that time to come. The he looked like a nice man, but any boyfriend would not want to be left alone with the girlfriend’s father on the first meeting.
While everyone was busy watching a Christmas movie and enjoying the desserts, Jin finally had his chance to be alone with the girl.
“Alone at last.” She said with a chuckle after she closed the door to the balcony. Jin smiled and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close.
“Don’t get too comfy though.” She said. “They have x-ray eyes and bionic ears. They could be watching us here without us knowing it.”
Jin laughed and wrapped his other arm around her too. She just let him embrace her as they stood there under the soft light from the Christmas lanterns.
“I want to stay like this.” Jin whispered.
The girl smiled and rested her cheek on his shoulder before wrapping her arms around his waist.
“Then let’s stay like this.” She answered.
Jin laughed and held her tighter. From the neighboring house came the calming voice of a man singing karaoke to “A merry little Christmas”. Inside the house, Jin could make out the voice of the girl’s noisy cousin that was followed by a roar of laughter from the others. There was a light breeze, and the air smelled crisp with the faint aroma of her mother’s specialty—which Jin loved.
Jin wondered if it was already midnight and it was already Christmas. But he decided not to bother inquiring about the time and just enjoy the gentle moment with the girl. He wished he could freeze time for a while and just hold her.
“You’re really serious about staying like this, huh?” the girl said all of a sudden, and it made him laugh. He pulled away and admired how beautiful she looked in that light.
“Why are you tired of hugging me already?”
Jin lightly hit her forehead and she giggled.
“Just kidding.” She grinned. “Oh! Wait!’
She went inside and came back with something that she was hiding behind her back.
“I want to seize this opportunity.” She grinned mischievously at Jin. “While they’re busy… We might not have our privacy later on, you know.”
The girl revealed the present from behind her and beamed.
He smirked and looked at the smiling Christmas tree in front of the card.
“This is for me?”
“Yes… You didn’t think that I really did not get you anything, did you?” she answered with a smirk.
“Well, I had my doubts…But you proved me wrong.” He answered. “I expected a better present though.”
She laughed again and made a face at him before urging him to open it. Jin opened the card and a very high-pitched Christmas song played from the card.
“How annoying!” he snorted. The girl just smiled.
“Read it out loud.”
“It’s Christmas! It’s allowed during Christmas.”
He cleared his throat and looked at the card again.
He paused and silently read the words. He bit his lip and could not express how he felt at that moment.
“Even after I wake up from all of this…” he continued. “…I will still love you.”
Jin heard the sound of the girl’s smile before he saw her dangle a silver locket in front of his face.
“Merry Christmas…” she whispered with a smile. The girl placed the locket around Jin’s neck. “I’ve always had the pendant…but I had to buy a longer chain for you.”
Jin chuckled and opened it, and inside he saw the first picture that they took together. The one she took using her camera when they were at the park back in Japan.
“I love that picture.” She smiled again. “Do you like it?”
He snuffed and just looked at the photo. He knew that if he decided to do anything else he might start to cry, and she’d call him a crybaby.
“What an awful picture.” He muttered under his breath.
He released the pendant and let it hang over his chest before he looked at the girl’s radiant face
“It’s a shame I didn’t get you anything.” He sighed.
Jin laughed and waved the card in front of the girl’s face.
“Thank you for the presents though.”
“HEY! You didn’t get me anything?” she pouted. “You’re so unfair! You could’ve at least given me a box of cookies or something!”
“What was I supposed to do? I had no time to shop. Besides, isn’t it enough for you that I’m here?”
The girl’s expression turned serious as she gazed at him with misty eyes. He brushed the side of her face and smiled and they just held each other’s gaze for a while.
“Nice try, shrimp.” She replied suddenly. “Now hand me the gift.”
“Alright, alright…” he laughed.
Jin reached for her hand and took his pinky ring from her finger.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m taking back my ring. What does it look like I’m doing?”
He wore the ring on his pinky and took out another one from his pocket.
“I thought you’d like something that really belongs to you.”
He took her hand again and slowly slipped a small bejeweled ring on her finger. It fit her perfectly.
“I saw it in a store one day and thought I’d get it for you for when we meet again.” He told her. “Do you like it?”
She just stared at the ring and shrugged.
“What an awful ring.” She said flatly. “But I guess it’ll have to do.”
Jin gaped and flicked her forehead again and the girl laughed softly as she rubbed the sore spot. He pulled her close once more and they started to dance slowly to “Jingle Bell Rock” even though it was not made for slow dancing. Both of them sniggered when the man next door sang a note off key.
“You’re mean…” the girl whispered.
“Look who’s talking.”
Jin could still hear her family’s laughter from inside, and the wind was still blowing softly. Half of him was feeling a bit paranoid that her father would suddenly come out and find them dancing close to each other, but the other half was glad he came and was now acknowledged—by her entire family—as her boyfriend.
“So is it my family’s place next Christmas?” he asked her as they danced.
“Take care of the plane ticket though.” She laughed.
He pressed his cheek against her hair and just nodded. The man next door has stopped singing, but Jin still led her to dance slowly.
“I’ll take care of everything.” He said. “Just…”
He stopped dancing but he stayed in the same position. The girl just stood still in his embrace and waited for what he was going to say.
“Just?” the girl asked. “I’m not paying you back if that’s what you’re getting at.”
He smiled and started to dance slowly again.
“Just make sure you come.”
She laughed and he felt her nod her head.