“Oh, I should’ve mentioned this earlier, but... he’s coming over tomorrow.”
Jotaro raised his eyebrow, his pen coming to a halt mid-sentence. He took the phone’s receiver from his shoulder back into his hand, and straightened his posture.
The other end of the receiver was eerily silent.
“Who’s coming over?” Jotaro repeated the question.
The phone sighed.
“I know I should’ve asked you beforehand if it was okay, but I thought, since Koichi is the only long-range stand user we know of, and he’s only fifteen, I-”
Jotaro didn’t like where this was going.
“Gramps, who is it?” he demanded from the phone.
Joseph sighed again.
Jotaro froze in place. Thank god he was holding a pen specifically, a plain pencil would’ve snapped in half with the pressure from his hand at this point.
“I know it’s been a while, but Polnareff and Avdol were busy with other things, and I don’t know, sending some third parties would’ve just been a...”
Joseph kept on talking, explaining why he had concluded that this was the best idea ever. Jotaro had tuned out the moment he had heard Kakyoin’s name, though, because anything involving Kakyoin now was not the best idea ever, actually. He intensely stared at his notes, his eyebrows furrowed in a deep frown. As if he was asking his own illegible scribbles for help. Naturally he received no legible answer.
“...his train will arrive at noon, I believe,” Joseph finally concluded his rant. Jotaro blinked. He supposed it was to be expected of him to pick up Kakyoin from the station. Who else would do it, anyway?
“Jotaro, are you still there?”
Yes, he was. Physically, anyway.
“Thanks for letting me know,” the words came out of Jotaro’s mouth. “Goodbye.”
He hung up the phone, sitting still for a moment. It didn’t last very long, though, and Jotaro sank into his chair in the hotel room, his head racing through a million and a half thoughts about the past ten years.
Man, had everything after Egypt been a mess.
Kakyoin had almost died, for one. He spent a month at the hospital afterwards, a time from which ironically enough Jotaro still remembered very little of. Afterwards Kakyoin had come to Holly’s place for the rest of the spring, which had partially felt magical, because Jotaro finally had some time to be with his friend without the presence of DIO looming behind the both of them, all the time, everywhere they went. The other part was nothing short of hell, because despite everything the legacy of DIO still loomed behind the both of them, all the time, everywhere they went. It had been a mess. They hadn’t gone to school until autumn, which Jotaro had dreaded almost more than reaching Egypt. Kakyoin had made it a marginally better experience, though, because he made everything a hundred times better. It had been a rough year, but slowly Jotaro’s life started to become more normal. Things had almost started going well.
And then highschool ended.
Kakyoin had moved out for college and left a sinking feeling in Jotaro’s chest that refused to leave. Jotaro had gone to a university in the states, only to drop out as he ended up with a daughter and a wife - or rather, an ex-wife, who then wanted nothing to do with their child. Jotaro found himself back at the Kujo residence again. Tried calling the number Kakyoin had left behind only to receive no response. There was no address to write to, and the college informed them Kakyoin had already graduated some time ago. No one knew where exactly he had gone.
It was then that Jotaro had started really, really regretting not talking with Kakyoin when he had had the opportunity to. About... stuff. You know, things. About them. He still had trouble making those thoughts more... coherent.
There had never been a need for words on the way to Cairo. Things had simply been, existed as they were, and no one had asked any unnecessary questions, which was nothing short of heaven for Jotaro. There had been bigger things to worry about, like malicious stand users, and an unhinged, slutty vampire. Jotaro had forgotten about the world outside of their bubble of five. The world where things needed to be said. Out loud. With words. Before it was too late.
It had almost been too late back then, too.
Of course, time moved on, regardless of how Jotaro felt about the past and himself and Kakyoin. It had taken effort, but he was back in university again, about to graduate in a field he was passionate about. He had a wonderful daughter staying with Holly until the business in Morioh was taken care of. He hadn’t thought about Kakyoin for a while. He finally felt like he had moved past everything. Things had actually been going kind of well for once and for real.
Until today, that is.
Jotaro ran his hands down his face. He should’ve been happy about this. He should’ve been happy to see Kakyoin again. After all these years, however many it had been by now. He probably has a wife. Oh, god, he’s probably married. And has his shit together, in general. He was the one who had graduated, after all. What if he has kids, too. Actually planned children with a loving family that’s not held together solely by duct tape and paper clips and Holly’s unending patience and love of grandchildren. What if Kakyoin had forgotten about Jotaro. Fuck, what if he hated him?
Jotaro exhaled deeply, reaching for the cigarettes in his chest pocket. He needed at least six of them now to get over what was eerily reminiscent of a teenage phase he had skipped for the most part. He opened the packet. There were none. Jotaro clenched his fist around the useless cardboard and threw it in the trash.
It was painfully apparent to him how much Kakyoin still revolved in Jotaro’s life despite his most earnest attempts to live without the man. And now he had finally reached that fabled point of ‘too late’ - both he and Kakyoin were approaching their thirties. Of course Kakyoin would have his life set by now, with no room for Jotaro in any of it. Most people in their thirties had their lives together, right? Well, Jotaro didn’t, but he hadn’t really had anything together for the past eleven years. Or the first seventeen.
Jotaro blinked. Exhaled. Threw his coat onto the bed and grabbed his towel. Walked to the bathroom to take a shower.
He was too old to be thinking about shit like this.