You know the post about the character who knows they're an anime protagonist and they do everything in their power just to live a normal life? It's been twisted around and modified a lot, but one day, I kept making a bunch of joke posts online about the concept of being in the Joestar bloodline and realizing that you'll eventually have to face Dio and/or some other great evil caused by him. In my jokes, this character was called "Nono" instead of "Jojo" because they outright refused any requests to take on the role that comes with being a Jojo. It was all pretty much fun and games until I actually built a character profile around them and realized that the execution of such a character wouldn't really be that funny...like at all. So please heed these tags!
Warnings: period/culture-typical queerphobia, profanity, blood, violence, death.
They had thoroughly done their research and made sure that everything was airtight, but still, the fear that their petition would be denied gripped tightly at their gut. Waiting in the courthouse with the other fancily dressed adults, they felt alienated. With how long they had been wearing their lace ankle-length skirt and cotton blouse, they were sure they looked-and smelled-like a person who had just walked in from the streets. Though, the opinions of strangers were the least of their worries.
A man poked his head out of the door across from them.
They looked at their ticket, which they knew was eight, and a different person answered to the man's call.
"I wonder if eight is a dangerous number in Japan, too," they wondered.
Elizabeth never held any memory of her birth family before becoming a Joestar. Erina took the place of her parents, one killed and the other waiting. The waiting parent sat on the porch with his waiting daughter, watching the horizon for their other half of the family to return.
The waiting daughter known as Bethany blossomed into a knowing woman. She had long since put together the pieces in her mind of what transpired on the boat back in 1889. That conclusion changed, however, when two men came to the doorstep and told the half-family that Elizabeth was alive, but a murderer.
This was not an answer that Bethany was satisfied with, and so she went on to investigate the events on her own, everything from the day her mother stepped off of that porch to the minute the men's knuckles rapped their door.
In spirit of the sister she knew only for a few months and the family who took her in for the rest of her life, Bethany adopted the name Joestar.
Bethany Joestar's research led her to India.
The Red Stone of Aja, the Stone Mask, Hamon, the Pillar Men, vampires, zombies, all were captured in the ink of Bethany's journals. They never left her side, even when she met the man that would bear her child and assist with her research, the journals stayed within arm's reach.
But obtaining knowledge of the fire brings the risk of being burned. That was the lesson Bethany learned on March 28th, 1909.
The cave was dim, but not dark. The faded ends of sunlight were still able to guide the couple's way. They should have been safe, they told one another.
But then the air shifted.
Abhay looked up from the mineral he had been observing. He was deeper in the cave, and he had been crouching beside a large cluster of stones, but Bethany was closer to the mouth of the cave, standing where it was open.
Regardless, they weren't so far away from one another that Bethany couldn't hear Abhay's muttered, "Turn back, Beth," which shook with controlled fear.
The duo live by a rule: If they have to run, under no circumstances does one stop for the other. It was cruel, they knew, but it was better if one survived with the information collected, then have both die with their research. Regardless, Bethany reached out to grab her lover's hand and pull him alongside.
She gripped tightly and never let go as she ran. Even when she stumbled slightly over the rocks and uneven soil, her hand remained like a vice. The couple had evaded zombies and vampires by stepping into the sunlight before, and this should have been no different. But when she stepped outside and turned around, she realized she was alone.
Bethany looked into her hand and saw that she was only holding Abhay's glove.
She stared into the cave, empty and unassuming.
And again, she had become that waiting daughter.
"So, what's your story?"
It took them a moment to realize that the man sitting beside the window was speaking to them.
"Huh? What do you mean?"
The man leaned forward, his forearms resting on his knees. "Nobody changes their name on a whim," he said, "You seem pretty young. Runaway from home or something?"
Even if they felt safe telling the man their reason, they wouldn't know where to start. It was a complete and utter shitshow that brought them to where they were now. All they could muster was a shrug and a, "You could say that, I guess."
The man looked at his ticket, then stood up and entered the room.
"This world is chaotic and without mercy. If you ever bring children into it, please, do whatever you can to have them live as happily as the folks that walk up and down the streets without care. Promise me that, Jodh."
Those were the last words Bethany Joestar bestowed upon her son's ears. Jodh had just reached his twenties when he watched his mother slip away.
Tuberculosis was the monster that gripped her heart, but to him, it wasn't as frightening as the monsters she taught him about through her journals. Jodh loved her dearly for that. She taught him the warning signs so that he would have time to gather everything valuable to him and leave before danger could snatch it all away. Unfortunately, that was all that Bethany could do for him.
When she passed away, there was very little money left for Jodh. The majority of it had been collected by his father's family, who blamed Bethany for his death. They also refused to take responsibility for Jodh because they believed that he was a bastard child born from another man, and that Bethany claimed that Abhay was the father as a form of blackmail to get him to help her with research.
With that, Jodh found home in the ghettos of Ishla, India.
It was in the heart of Ishla that Jodh met the love of his life, carrying who would soon be his child...
"...Jyoti Joestar to Noshi Inoue. Is that correct?"
"Then sign here."
Their hands trembled as they wrote the Japanese characters, looking back and making sure they were translating everything correctly in their mind before writing it down. That, along with the frigid air of the steril space made it hard to keep from shivering.
"And...as for the issue regarding your gender..."
They stopped as the woman spoke, the pen creating an ink blot on the page.
"We see in your documentation that you are intersex, and your I.D. in India labelled you as "other"," the woman continued, "We do not have that option in Japan. Would you instead like to be documented as female?"
She looked at their skirt and blouse as she said that. The crumbled up note in their bag had told them that they would be safer in Japan than they would be in the ghettos of India. They wouldn't be forced to have surgery because they were an adult moving in, not an infant being born on Japanese soil.
"Yes," they said.
Noshi stepped outside, the warm summer breeze soothing the goosebumps on their skin. One hand held onto their bag that contained everything they currently owned. The other protected their eyes from the sun as they scanned the parking lot, but they weren't looking for a car.
They were looking for the young woman sitting on the curb waiting for them. The two made eye contact and the latter smiled, proud yet relaxed at the same time.
Noshi and the woman walked towards one another, meeting at the bottom of the cement staircase that led up to the courthouse.
"Were you able to book the hotel room?" asked Noshi.
The woman smirked. "Of course," she said, "And you know I got a steal."
Noshi's features relaxed. "Perfect," they sighed, "I'm so ready to get out of these clothes and get some actual rest."
"Lemme see your I.D." the woman said, putting out her hand.
Noshi flippantly pulled out the card from their bag and handed it to her.
"Ms. Ino...woo, Ino-wee, Inoue." The woman gave a soft whistle. "You sure picked a hard name to go by."
Noshi rolled their eyes. "Whatever, foreigner," they joked, "C'mon, let's go to the hotel."
Ishla is a fictional town. Eight is considered an unlucky number in India.
"Fun" fact: Abhay means "invincible".