Part 3 in the Three's Company saga, seen from Jun's POV.
Categories: Gatchaman Characters:
Dr. Kozaburou Nambu, Jinpei, Joe Asakura, Jun, Ken Washio, Ryu Nakanishi
Angst, Character Study, Hurt/Comfort, RomanceStory Warnings:
Adult Situations, Explicit Material, Mature Content, Sexual SituationsTimeframe:
1. Chapter 1 by KT1972
2. Chapter 2 by KT1972
We do not own the characters; we're only borrowing them and intend to return them – undamaged, as soon as we're done!
This story is for fun, not for profit.
Part 3 of the Three’s Company saga.
By KT1972 and K2p2
The results were in. I wrapped the baby a little more snugly, my hands wanting the secure touch of the soft fabric more for reassurance than for the comfort of our child. I watched as Ken opened the envelope, not believing I had any reason to be concerned, until, that was, he visibly paled and dropped onto the nearest seat.
“Everything OK, Ken?” I asked, wondering what could have caused such a reaction from him.
“What happened Jun?” His voice was hard, something I only heard reserved for Galactor captains, Katse himself even.
“Not this again,” I groaned “I’ve told you, nothing happened.” He was talking about my capture a few months back by Galactor’s goons. He was paranoid I’d been gang raped by them all or something. As if I’d let any of them touch me with a bargepole.
He’d seemed to have forgotten that I’m quite capable of defending myself. The downside to this was that he wouldn’t lay a hand on me, romantically speaking, for a long while afterwards. When we discovered I was pregnant a few weeks later, it only seemed to confirm his suspicions. The DNA test was an effort to put his mind at rest.
It was Joe that showed me any comfort and support during the journey home. My mouth went dry as I remembered this, and my hands itched to hold anything, yo-yo, a gun, anything that I could use to defend myself as the results of our actions suddenly became crystal clear.
“I told you, I was bait. I reported it all in the debrief.”
“I know what you said, but this letter here,” he scrunched it up in his hand as he held it towards me, “tells me you’re lying!” He rolled the sheet into a ball and threw it in my direction. He hadn’t aimed it directly at me, if he had, he wouldn’t have missed. The missile bounced pathetically, and casually rolled until stopping just short of the back wall. “How about you tell me again, but this time make it believable!”
Ken glared at it, then turned on his heels.
“Where are you going?”
“To find out whose child she” he jabbed a finger in the direction of the crib, “actually is.” He marched off, the door slamming in his wake. The bang startled the tiny child, and she cried out in distress.
She was barely a week old, not even properly named, and her presence was already causing friction between us. I scooped up the paper, before holding my daughter, cradling her with one arm and willing her to shush, while trying to open out the sheet of paper with the other hand.
I didn’t want to believe it myself, but right before my eyes was the accusation and confirmation of my unfaithfulness.
Ken wasn’t her father!
I don’t know how long I sat there sobbing with little Sarah held against my chest, it was only my bracelet chiming that finally snapped me out of it.
“Ken?” I spoke into it hopefully.
“Jun.” Ryu’s voice. “You need to get down here, Ken’s beat Joe up pretty badly.”
What had I done? Thinking back a year ago, the three of us on a camping trip and a private party where we had, for one night, included Joe in our lovemaking. I’d honestly believed Ken was OK with it, he had explicitly stated how secure he was with our relationship. But then when Joe challenged him, Ken had to back up his words.
And so it began. Once the line had been crossed there was no going back, and, despite knowing how Joe felt about me, we agreed between us that I would relieve some of Joe’s sexual tension after missions. Except, returning after my capture and subsequent rescue, Ken wouldn’t touch me, I was to be disciplined for disobeying orders, so when Joe came to check up on me, I came on to him pretty heavily, he couldn’t help but respond.
Despite this, it’s Ken that I loved – still love, and to discover that our baby isn’t Ken’s is as devastating to me as it is to him. By the sounds of it, Ken has figured out what had gone on, and is dealing with it in his own way.
Ryu and Jinpei were outside Joe’s room when we arrived. I glanced through the window. Joe lay there heavily bandaged and under sedation.
“What makes you so sure Ken did this?” I asked the pair of them.
“Who else can get the better of Joe like that?”
“Not this badly, Jun, it’s almost like Joe LET Ken beat him half to death” Ryu answered. “Besides, I’m here, so is Jinpei and you now, so where is our noble commander?”
I sank into the nearest chair, head in my hands, praying that all this was nothing more than a horrible dream.
I hadn’t heard Hakase arrive until he spoke. “Ryu, babysitting duties,” His voice filled the silence that had fallen among us, “Jinpei, watch Joe, any change in his condition let me know, Jun, come with me.” I followed the Doctor to his office, and sat without waiting to be told. He shut the door behind us, took the space next to mine on the sofa, then dropped the stern demeanour and became my father.
He held me like he used to, when I was a child frightened by nightmares, and allowed me to cry it all out, not speaking until I was ready and even then he gave me time to compose myself. After all these years at war, I had forgotten this side of him existed.
“I know what has happened.” He said at last, taking my hand in his. “What I don’t understand is how it all came about. You will have to fill in the details.” I must have looked horrified, because he smiled then, “Relax, I know how babies are created; what I need to know is how Joe came to be your daughter’s father.”
So the whole sorry story came out, the camping trip, the med bay of the God Phoenix, and our arrangement. He just sat, impassively while I poured it all out. When I’d done, I sat staring at a worn patch in the carpet. He removed his glasses, polished the lenses and replaced them.
“Officially, I should put all three of you on charges for gross misconduct, Ken, at least should be court martialled.”
“No!” I cried out before I could stop myself and he put his hands up in a gesture of surrender.
“I’m not going to, I’ve been aware of you and Ken for a while now, and while I can’t approve of Joe’s inclusion into your... personal activities, it happened and can’t be changed now. But the three of you are punishing yourselves and each other much more effectively than anything I could come up with.” He moved into his own chair behind his desk. “What do you want Jun?”
“My family all together. Ken, Sarah and me.” I told him sadly, “I can’t see it happening now though. I can’t see Ken ever being able to forgive me for this.” Another tear spilled down my cheek. I wiped it away with the back of my hand, angrily. I caused all this mess, I only had myself to blame now it had all gone wrong. “I don’t suppose you know where he went do you?”
“That was going to be my next question,” Nambu sighed, “He’s turned off his communicator and intends to keep his head down as far as I can tell. What I’m really concerned about is how this business will affect your performance as a team. Do you think you will still be able to function as a unit as professionally as you did before?”
“I’m sorry Hakase, I don’t know...I can only promise to try not to let any of this affect my performance, and I’m sure Ken could do the same. You know how he managed to put aside his feelings for me for all those years we were training and fighting.”
We were interrupted by a knock on the door, and Jinpei poked his head around.
“You wanted to know, Joe’s come round, but Sarah’s gone to sleep.” He said simply then vanished again.
“Was there anything else, Hakase?” The doctor shook his head.
“Just let me know if Ken gets in touch,” he said dismissing me.
“Yes, Hakase, and thank you.”
“Hi, Joe, are you up to having visitors?” I could see his face, what was visible of it under the dressings, light up when I entered with Sarah.
“She’s called Sarah.”
“Who chose that?” I just shrugged, “Never mind, can I hold her?” I handed her over, a moment of resentment entering my heart as I did so. “Can I be her dad then?”
Seeing them together like that, I could see her future with surprising clarity. She would be adored. He would dote on her and she would want for nothing, for as long as he could provide for her. I couldn’t stay and watch. I mumbled an excuse and slipped out into the mercifully empty corridor to wallow in self pity without being disturbed. Finding a plastic chair I sat, pulling my knees to my chest, hoping a soft rocking motion would bring some comfort. I had never felt this alone before. Even trapped or captured by Galactor, I knew the team would find me... I could have dozens of goons pointing loaded rifles at point blank range, I would still be confident that Ken would move heaven and earth to get me out before a single shot was fired.
And now he was gone.
Good lord, does the crying ever stop? I sat there for ages, wondering where Ken had gone, how long would he stay away for, and if there was any chance we could work things out between us before we were needed for our next mission.
Splashing my face with cold water in the handbasin against the wall, I returned to Joe’s bedside.
“I’m serious,” he said as soon as he saw me. “Anything she needs, just let me know, and that goes for you, too.”
“Thanks, I’ll bear it in mind.” The chair I had used earlier was still in position; I sat back down into it.
“Hey, I know you and Ken barely scrape a living together, it’s going to be tough with an extra mouth to feed.” He was looking at me earnestly while holding our daughter protectively, possessively. He winced as he leaned towards me, to cup my face in his hand. “Jun, you know how I feel about you, and I couldn’t be happier to be a father to Sarah, even if I regret the circumstances it came about, and I understand that you don’t love me.”
“I’m sorry too Joe,” I had to turn away, even more tears stung my eyes “I love Ken; I only want to be with him from now on.” I fished for another tissue, “I wish the test had been wrong, or that we hadn’t done anything, but it’s far too late for that, there’s nothing I can do to change it now.”
“So how are things between you two?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well he stormed out this morning, after reading the DNA results, the next thing I hear , he’d beaten you up and now he’s gone off somewhere and not answering his communicator.”
“He’ll have gone flying, give him time to cool off, he’ll forgive you.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“He will, he loves you.”
“He trusted us, and we betrayed him.”
“He was part of it all too, he needs time to get his head around it and will be back when he’s ready, you’ll see,” Joe stroked my face, “and if he doesn’t, I’m here.”
I took Sarah and prepared to leave. I’d secured her into the pram, and as I turned to say bye, I saw he had pulled himself into a sitting position. It must have been agonising for him, but he had never been one to let a little bit of pain stop him from doing whatever he thought he had to.
“Jun,” he said through gritted teeth, “You will bring her back again, won’t you?”
“Sure Joe.” I smiled, seemingly for the first time that day. He pulled me towards him once again, bringing a hand up behind my head he drew me in to brush my lips with his own. The kiss was not entirely unpleasant, yet it lacked that.... something.... I could only feel with Ken.
“This has to stop, Joe, you understand that?” I told him, feeling guilty as the words left my lips. That Joe cared about me, was obvious, he had just taken a beating for something I was as much to blame for as he was, and here I was telling him it was all for nothing.
“We’d better go. I don’t want our being here to hamper your recovery.” As I left the room, I prayed to anyone who might be listening that Ken would return soon, and he would find it in his heart to forgive me.
I frequently took Sarah to see Joe, and once he had recovered sufficiently to be discharged from the med wing, he took her out for afternoons to give me a much needed rest. Looking after a tiny baby was exhausting by myself and any break from the responsibility was appreciated.
Of course, Ken returned eventually, he had to for the teams sake, but it was more an uneasy truce between us than the great love we had before. Was what I’d done really so unforgivable? I had to presume so, since he was barely in the J these days. As soon as training was over, he would rush off by himself, not saying a word to anyone about where he was going, or when he intended coming back.
I didn’t want to believe Joe when he dropped the bombshell on me when he returned with Sarah this evening. After handing her over, he was about to leave when he turned back to me,
“Um, Jun,” he began tentatively, “I think there’s something you aught to know, about Ken...”
“What about Ken?” I was suddenly interested, but Joe didn’t look as if he was about to break any good news.
“Oh, come on, what’s the problem?”
“I think he’s met someone else” he blurted out.
“Oh no you’ve got it wrong, you must be mistaken,”
“I hope I have, for your sake, but Ken was downstairs, in the J, paying off his tab, this guy comes in, recognises Ken and tells him to stop messing his sister about, either they’re dating or he breaks it off,” Joe paused at this point, letting me grope for a seat. Ken was here? And he didn’t even come to see me? Joe came back into the room and sat down himself, facing me.
“You’re mistaken, Joe, just some old drunk who’s got Ken mixed up with someone else.” I sounded like I was clutching at straws, and that wasn’t too far from the truth.
“I’m sorry Jun, apparently this sister had been hurt enough, and he wasn’t having the likes of Ken coming along and stringing her along. I thought he was going to cause trouble and was ready to back Ken up, but once he’d said his piece, he left.”
“Now I know you’re lying, Ken would never string anyone along....”
“Oh, no? It’s not like he didn’t string you along for long enough!”
“We were too young then, we were waiting for the right time. And besides, what do you know about stringing lovers along?” My words came out far more sarcastic than I intended. For a moment, I saw hurt, then anger cross his face, but he dampened it down quickly.
“So not devotion to duty then,”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“So you can drop those ideas of a grand reconciliation you’re hoping for.” Joe spelled it out to me once and for all, “Face it Jun, he’s moved back to the airstrip, he hardly comes into the J any more, and he barely talks after training. It’s been three months now, don’t you think he’s made his feelings perfectly clear?”
“As have you, Joe, this is some kind of ruse, so I’ll date you right? You didn’t like it when I stopped us making out like before,” I was so angry with him at that moment, I was visibly shaking trying to hold it all in. “Now, get lost, I’ll go and see Ken myself, and we’ll work it out you’ll see.”
“Fine, if that’s what you want, but if you want anything, call me OK?”
“It won’t be necessary”
Ken was finishing pre-flight checks as I arrived. He stopped as soon as I pulled up and came over.
“What are you doing here?” he hadn’t even waited for me to take Sarah from her seat.
“We need to talk,” I began. “We can’t just leave things hanging like this.”
“Well if you’re expecting me to forgive and forget, then you’re sadly mistaken” He eyed Sarah suspiciously, “So she is Joe’s child then?”
“By process of elimination? She must be, but then we haven’t had her tested.”
“WE!” he almost spat the word. “What would have happened if I hadn’t eh? Would you two have carried on? Letting me continue to believe she was mine, how many more kids would there have been?” He turned to walk away, I had to stop him and say what I’d come to say. I put a hand on his arm, trying to turn him towards me again, “Face it Jun, there’s never room for three in a relationship, I’m opting out, I hope you and Joe will be very happy together.”
“I don’t want Joe, it’s you I love.”
“I can’t believe that, if you love me, how could you even consider including anyone else?”
“It was a stupid dare that went horribly wrong”
“You said it. Look I’m letting you go. Be with Joe, or not it’s no skin off my nose either way. I wish you and the baby luck.”
This was my last chance to convince him, or I’d lost him for good, and I couldn’t bear that to happen, not now, after all we had been through. I wasn’t about to kiss our future goodbye. Not yet.
“Joe and I don’t see each other now; we stopped that months ago, it really would be just me and you from now on! Please!”
“There isn’t going to be any me and you from now on, Jun, I’m moving on and putting all this dirty business behind me, can I suggest you do the same?”
He’d moved on... so Joe had been right, I fell back against my car in disbelief, almost dropping Sarah in my shock, Ken stopped her from falling. Despite whatever went on between us, he didn’t mean the child any harm. He strapped her into the car seat so there would be no chance of it happening again, before coming back to me.
“When the Galactor scum had you imprisoned, I moved mountains to find you, almost got myself killed, if Joe hadn’t stopped me I would be dead. I imagined all sorts of horrible things they could have done to you; I think rape was about the nicest of all of them and when Ryu found you safe and unharmed, I couldn’t believe they hadn’t done anything to hurt you.”
“I needed you then Ken, you turned me away, I’d disobeyed orders and had to await sanctions, but I still needed comfort.”
“I didn’t want to contaminate any forensic evidence you might have been carrying”
“So if the goons had impregnated me that would have been ok?” I couldn’t believe this, “But because I hadn’t been raped, because I went with Joe willingly that makes it all wrong! You turned me away. I needed to be loved and Joe loved me, rightly or wrongly, he was there when you wasn’t”
“And I’ll bet he still is. Tell me, if you were to call him, would he come running?”
“Not probably, definitely. Like he’ll be there for Jinpei, Ryu and me, he cares about all of us, but he especially cares about you.” He leant next to me, against the bonnet of the car, his arm snaking across my shoulder. “We were just kids, Jun, playing at being adults, that’s why we got into such a mess. You’re a mother now, that little girl in there,” he indicated Sarah sleeping contentedly in her seat, “she needs her mother to step up to the mark, to be a proper grown up.”
I didn’t try to stop the tears flowing, I’d lost him for good, I could see that now. Lost him to some nameless, faceless woman who would turn out to be so nice, it would make me sick if I ever were to meet her.
“I waited years for you,” great wracking sobs escaping my throat, tears soaked through his shirt as he held me against his chest, “Didn’t you ever really love me?”
“I waited too, you know, and maybe that was the problem. We had such high expectations of each other that, by the time it happened, we couldn’t live up to them. You and Joe don’t have those preconceptions.” He pulled away, fishing in Sarah’s bag for a wetwipe, handing it to me to wipe my face. “You will always be special to me, and I hope I will be to you, you always remember your first love. That’s what we share and no one can take that away from us.”
There was a brief moment when I thought he might kiss me, I half leant towards him in anticipation, but his eyes turned to his right and he pulled away sharply.
I turned to see where he was looking, a woman stood, supporting a bicycle, watching us intently, although I thought she was unusually well dressed for a regular cyclist. I glanced at Ken hoping he would send her off, but he seemed surprisingly pleased to see her.
She’s saved him from a tricky situation, my first thought was. Had she not turned up, I could have – no, would have won him back, and that’s what he was frightened of.
He let her approach before he began introductions, an almost imperceptible crack in his voice as he did so.
“Jun, I’d like you to meet Laine.” I held out my hand to greet her, but she wasn’t so forthcoming.
“Pleased to meet you.” was the best I could do. Her eyes darted around, focusing on Sarah, before glancing back at Ken,
“Pleased to meet you too, Jun. You have a beautiful child, is it a girl?”
“Yes,” I responded quickly, hoping to get these forced pleasantries over with, so Ken and I could carry on our conversation. After another brief glance at Sarah, she turned back to Ken, then took a couple of ledgers from the basket on her cycle.
“I’ll just leave these on your desk, okay, we can talk about them later.”
Accounts, that’s what she was there for. For one horrible moment I had thought he was going to tell me they were dating, but at least this explained how he was able to pay off his tab. I glanced across at him, his eyes remained fixed on the retreating figure as she made her way to his shack and I tried not to cry in frustration at the now lost opportunity she had interrupted.
“I guess I should be going too.” I said, hoping he would stop me, persuade me to stay a little longer but he just looked down at the ground and remained silent.
So that was it then, there was no more to be said. I still loved him, and that wasn’t going to change anytime soon, as far as I could see, but nothing was going to come of it now. I checked on Sarah quickly, she was sleeping soundly in her seat, so just a brief glance was sufficient before I climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine.
“See you in training then!” I said winding down the window.
“Of course,” that was the first time he’d smiled since I’d arrived, “and I’ll be calling in at the J, have you noticed I’ve paid off my tab?.”
“I could still keep it open for you, you know” I joked, “never know when you might be a bit short again,”
“I hope I’ll never need it.” He put a hand through the window and gave my shoulder a slight squeeze, “but if I find myself at a loose end...”
I revved the engine a time or two, Ken moved his hand and patted the roof a couple of times before walking back to his hangar. I reversed out, seeing him raise his wrist to his mouth. Since the message didn’t come through on mine, I assumed he’d sent a closed message... presumably to Joe.
Sure enough, Joe was waiting, leaning against his G-2 in civilian mode. As soon as I’d parked up around the back of the Snack J, he strolled over, heading straight for Sarah in the passenger seat.
“She will want feeding,” I told him bluntly, not believing for a minute he was there for Sarah’s benefit.
“She also needs her nappy changed,” he wrinkled his nose as he lifted her out, “which job do you want to tackle?” I recovered her bag, removing the bottle of ready prepared milk and passed it over. He didn’t take it immediately; instead he covered my hand with his.
“You Ok?” the look of concern on his face was genuine enough. I nodded, a small smile crossing my face, I knew then that Ken had spoken to him.
“We straightened a few things out between us.” I confirmed.
“Good.” He took the changing bag from me, and headed inside with the baby. In the time it took me to secure the car, fill a jug with hot water from the J’s kitchen to warm the bottle, and then carry it upstairs, he had changed her and put her in fresh clothing. Seeing me, he handed her to Jinpei, who snatched the warm bottle and proceeded to feed her for me.
“You go get your head down,” he told me, “You look knackered.”
Since when did my little brother start giving me orders? They were all conspiring against me. The J wasn’t due to be opened for a few hours, so with nothing else to do, I headed to my room and flopped onto my bed.
Sure enough, Joe followed, but he put a mug of coffee on my dressing table and turned to go straight back out.
“I thought you were sleeping.” He came and sat by me on the bed. “Do you want to tell me what really happened now?”
“He made it quite clear we were over,” I told him after a while. “He didn’t say so directly, but I got the impression he had met someone else.”
“It probably isn’t serious then.” I don’t know if that was meant to reassure me, but in any case it didn’t work.
“He seemed sure we’d be good together though.”
“How do you feel about that?”
“Well you seem pleased enough.”
“Jun, I like you, a lot, but I don’t want to be a rebound fling. If you want something permanent, I’ll be here, and if not then say so now. Either way, I’ll still be around for Sarah.” He got up, walking towards the door.
“You don’t want to make your mind up right now, you’re too emotional.”
“I know, just sit with me, please?”
“What do you want, Jun?”
“I want some company, just to talk”
A silence falls between us. While I lay there, I studied his face, his expression it’s usual inscrutable mask, but if I knew Joe as well as I thought I did, there would be so much more going on inside.
“So what are you thinking?” I asked, more to break the silence than anything.
“Just wondering....” was the enigmatic reply.
“Wondering eh? Care to share?”
He grinned unexpectedly “I was wondering how long I could sit here for, and still keep my hands to myself,”
“What do YOU want, Joe?” It seemed so much time and energy was being spent on what I wanted, I was forgetting the others had their needs too.
“I can’t believe you have to ask.” I could have kicked myself; of course I knew what he wanted. I sat up, shifting myself into a kneeling position. My hand went on his shoulder, the other turned his face towards me, so I could look directly into his eyes. “Are we exclusive?”
I could only nod, mutely. His hand covered mine, turning his face to kiss the palm, before stroking its way up my arm and snaking around the back of my neck, pulling me towards him.
Then I felt it, the spark, what I’d believed was missing before, was suddenly there, igniting the flame that started the inferno that engulfed us.
In an instant, it occurred to me just how much he had held back in our previous encounters, as he suddenly let himself go. Within moments of our lips meeting, we were consumed with raging passion, like I’d never experienced before. With dizzying speed our clothes had been removed, and he was inside me, thrusting with wild abandon, putting everything he had into the act of love he was bestowing upon me. I welcomed him with equal fervour, finally free to express how much I needed this too. United, we hit the ultimate high.
Finally exhausted, we lay in each others arms, a situation I’d never conceived ever happening a year ago. He brushed some stray hair off my face, his finger tips tingling my skin wherever they connected, kissing my brow, and trailing down my nose, to my mouth, while his hands roamed over my chest.
I wondered if we were on the brink of repeating our actions when a yell from the living room broke the magic spell that enchanted us.
“Onechan!” Oh no, Jinpei, go away! “Onechan, Sarah’s puked all over me!” At the mention of his daughters name, Joe was up, dressed and on his way to see to her. I simply wrapped the blanket around me and pretended to sleep.
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