Shuichi was given something Yuki thought he would never ever even know about let alone see and now Yuki has to pick up all the pieces.
Summary: Shuichi was given something Yuki thought he would never ever even know about let alone see and now Yuki has to pick up all the pieces.
Disclaimer: I own no rights to anything Gravitation, though I wish I did. But I just have to live with my ever increasing Gravitation collection.
Rating: R - Content, Language, Adult Themes
A/N: Based on the Gravitation Megamix Panda. I believe I have covered enough in the body of the story for you if you have not read it, but still go and find and read it. It gives a deeper look into Yuki’s past and his trauma.
Much love to you all, and I hope this chapter lives up to your expectations.
In the days following Shuichi’s release from hospital, Shuichi had remained very quiet, and conversation was minimal when it was not one-sided. Yuki had done what Shuichi had asked and replaced their mattress, relieved that Shuichi could relax in their bed again. This new mattress made it feel like they were starting their relationship afresh. It made Yuki realise that he had to work hard to keep Shuichi this time, and that it was not going to be enough that Shuichi forgave him as he always does. It was clear that Shuichi was still angry with Yuki; however, he was slowly calming down.
Two days after Shuichi had his stitches removed, the novelist returned home from a meeting with Mizuki to find his lover putting pressure on his side with a small, bloodied towel. After demanding answers, Shuichi had told him that in his boredom he had been trying to get rid of cobwebs with the duster and had reached too far, causing his wound to split. Yuki had dragged him straight to their GPs and Shuichi’s wound had been treated with three new stitches, and he had been given painkillers to take at night and during the day if necessary.
Yuki’s nightmares had returned after Shuichi had re-injured himself. His nightmares were twisted in such a way that they frightened Yuki to his core. Kitazawa-san was no longer the main star of taunting, bloody and vicious nightmares, but Shuichi, screaming in agony, being carried away from him by nurses and doctors with blank faces, crying for him, begging Yuki to help him, begging Yuki to stay with him. Yuki would look down at his hands in this nightmare and saw the same blood stained hands he had when Shuichi had been taken back to surgery that day in the hospital. He would run after Shuichi through door after door after door, and down an endless maze of corridors, Shuichi’s voice echoing through the hospital until he finally found that theatre door. After arguing and finally shoving his way through the entourage of doctors, nurses and security that were trying to stop him, he would burst through the door to find Shuichi’s life in the hands of Kitazawa-san. The man would look at him, sneer and pull out the cords to Shuichi’s vitals, quickly extinguishing Shuichi’s life before disappearing. Yuki would find himself frantically trying to put the cords back in place only to find that Shuichi was gone, taken from him by the man whose life he took. Yuki would clutch Shuichi tight to him, crying and begging him to come back, before his own blood curdling, agonised scream would wake him from this new torture.
Yuki had woken in a thick, cold sweat, his heart rate erratic and with tears streaming from his eyes. In his haste to get out of the bed, Yuki’s foot was caught in the twisted sheets, thus sending the novelist straight to the floor with sharp pain spearing through his knees. He untangled himself from the sheets that had been pulled to the floor with him and scrambled off the floor. Yuki looked at his sleeping lover, the medication doing its job and keeping Shuichi blissfully unaware of what was going on in the room. Yuki began to pace around the room like a caged tiger, his breathing irregular and fitfully running his hands through his hair, irritably scraping across his scalp with his nails. His tears were still coming down his cheeks and Yuki almost ran over to his bedside table, ripping the cigarette box in his haste to draw nicotine into his body.
After quickly finishing four straight cigarettes, Yuki ran around the apartment turning every single light switch on, even lamps, before shakily getting into a shower. Yuki stood under the spray, replaying the scenes of his vivid nightmare in his head until the shower grew cold. After stepping out of the cold water, Yuki dried his body and dove back under the covers of the bed without turning a single light off in the apartment. He was cold and tired, but too scared to fall back to sleep. He did not want to come face-to-face with that nightmare again. A short while later, Yuki carefully drew Shuichi into an embrace, refusing to let his sleeping lover out of his arms for the rest of the night.
Since the nightmare, Yuki had literally pampered Shuichi, doing everything he could to keep Shuichi from injuring himself again. In fact, Shuichi was starting to feel like he had received more attention from the novelist in those few days than he had in their whole relationship. Well, outside of their sex life anyway. That was until Shuichi was comfortable and occupied, and then Yuki would disappear to his study. Yuki would go to bed with Shuichi, but if Shuichi woke up in the middle of the night, he was alone, and only a handful of times had he woken up in the morning with Yuki by his side. It was like the tide; when Shuichi wanted or needed something, Yuki would be all over him like the high tide on the shore, but when he did not need something Yuki was as gone and distant as the low tide.
Yuki’s confusing, wave-like fussing finally got the better of Shuichi when Yuki would not let him help with washing, drying and the putting away of the dishes from dinner, when normally, the entire chore was solely Shuichi’s. Shuichi sighed exasperatedly, and stormed into the living room in a huff. His stitches had been removed again and the wound was healing well for crying out loud. After moodily propping himself on the lounge suite, he looked over the room. Everything that Yuki had brought to him and laid out before him; pocky boxes, the pillows, cushions, his laptop, note books, pens, pencils, mp3 player, dvds, manga novels and the PlayStation, were strewn over the general area within Shuichi’s arm reach. By the time Yuki had finished the dishes, Shuichi had completely and stubbornly tidied up.
Yuki came out of the kitchen with a can of beer and stopped still when he saw the neat living room. Shuichi was looking up at him sternly, arms folded and legs crossed, “I am not a crystal invalid, Eiri.”
Yuki started to reply, “I have never thought you-”
Shuichi cut him off, “Oh come on! You will not even let me lift a finger!”
Yuki put his beer can down, “Shuichi, I do not want you to reopen your wound, again! You had to have new stitches from the last time you tore them doing housework. Your wound is never going to heal, not to mention the scarring that will just get worse!”
Shuichi was leaning his elbow on his knee, fingertips pressed to his temple, “Eiri, I am bored and I have nothing to do! I am now, and all my thanks to you, up-to-date with my manga and anime and I have seen every movie on my ‘to watch’ list. But I cannot just sit around any more. You will not let me go for a walk down to the lobby, let alone go to the studio! I am clawing the walls here. Perhaps it would not be as bad if you spent time with me, but you are leaving me here alone while you are cooped up in your study. We have a serious problem we need to get through. We need to heal our relationship too, not just my injury, and leaving me by myself to twiddle my thumbs is not going to make that happen!” Shuichi roughly scratched his fingers through his hair, “I love you to death, but it frustrates the hell out of me what I need to go through to get you to talk to me!”
Every word Shuichi had spoken twisted Yuki’s stomach with guilt. He was aware that while he had pampered his lover, he had been avoiding Shuichi. Despite the amount of time he was locked away at his laptop, Yuki had not written more than one scrappy chapter, his focus switching between the scenes in his nightmares. He had hardly slept, dodging sleep to avoid the nightmares, trying to sleep in the lounge or in his study in case he woke Shuichi in his fits. Yuki could not use his work as an excuse as Mizuki had given him an indefinite extension while Shuichi was recovering.
Yuki was downcast as he turned to speak to Shuichi again, “Shu…do you know how hard it was to see your blood on my hands?” he asked quietly, “How hard it was to see you lying there? To see you looking so sick and frail, knowing that I had been the cause of it all?”
Tears formed in Shuichi’s eyes as he looked up and saw tears slowly making their way down Yuki’s cheeks.
Yuki continued, “Every night, I relive the horrors of that day in the hospital, watching you being taken away from me with your blood all over my hands. Every night…it is him…he is standing there until he kills you, and takes you away from me forever, while I stand there shouting and unable to move! It tortures me Shuichi! I cannot…will not let anyone or anything take you away from me!”
Shuichi was trying not to breakdown while watching as his beautiful lover crumbled before him. As Yuki slumped to his knees in front of Shuichi, the pink-haired man rushed over and pulled Yuki in to a tight embrace, burying his face in Yuki’s shoulder.
“Eiri, why did you not tell me that your nightmares were back?” Shuichi asked through a breaking voice. He pulled back and forced Yuki to look at him, Yuki’s tired features showing the man’s exhaustion, “It is my job to help you through them.”
Yuki looked at Shuichi for a moment, before he pulled his lover in, clutching Shuichi to him as he cried.
That night, Yuki made love to Shuichi, which felt like the first time in an eternity to them. It was soft, it was sweet and for once, their final climax washed over them together, and leaving them both feeling like they had taken leaps in restoring their relationship.
The next day, Yuki had to go to an appointment with his therapist. He was about to leave the apartment when Shuichi walked out from the kitchen to say goodbye and was shocked to find Tohma standing in their passageway.
Yuki quickly shrugged his coat on, “I will be back in a couple of hours.”
“Alright, Eiri-san,” Tohma replied, and with that Yuki was gone.
Tohma turned to face Shuichi.
Shuichi was standing with his arms folded, glaring darkly at Tohma, “What are you doing here?” he asked angrily.
Tohma put on a brave smile and held up the takeaway bag in his hand for Shuichi to notice. “Good afternoon, Shindou-san, I brought lunch.” Tohma briskly walked passed Shuichi and headed for the kitchen, leaving the glaring vocalist in the passageway. “If I recall, you like wok fried soy Singapore noodles?”
Shuichi had slowly followed his boss through the apartment, not quite believing that the man was actually in his and Yuki’s apartment considering all that had happened. “You still have not answered my question…what are you doing here?” Shuichi pressed, raising his voice a little louder than before.
Tohma stopped putting the food on the plates that he had pulled out of the cupboard. “We need to talk, Shindou-san. Eiri-san called me this morning telling me that he needed to go out this afternoon, and…”
Shuichi was livid, “You have got to be kidding me!” he seethed, walking out of the kitchen and back into the living room, “He got me a damned babysitter? After everything I said to him last night…”
Tohma sighed, and went back to dishing out the lunch he had brought, while Shuichi continued ranting to himself in the next room. Tohma carried the plates of lunch out to the living room and found Shuichi sitting huffily on the lounge. Shuichi looked like he wanted to seethe some more, cry, or do both. Tohma placed Shuichi’s lunch on the coffee table in front of him and sat on the other side of the lounge.
Shuichi continued to stare off into the opposite direction, not touching the food laid out before him. Tohma decided to break the ice, dropping his formality, “How is your injury healing, Shuichi?”
Shuichi was silent for a moment, contemplating ignoring Tohma, but he shrugged instead, “Fine…fine enough for me to come back to the studio, not that my keeper will let me,” he added, bitterly.
Tohma nodded slightly, “That is good to hear, I am glad you are recovering well,” Tohma said with sincerity in his voice.
Tohma did not miss the quick, sceptical look on Shuichi’s face, before Shuichi schooled his features again. A few, silent minutes later, Shuichi relented, and picked up his lunch. It smelled great, and he was hungry. Tohma was thankful that Yuki was not going to be angry at him for Shuichi not eating.
Tohma thought he never could feel anxious in Shuichi’s presence, but with their minimal conversation going south, he could feel the uncomfortable nerves building up. Tohma was a little relieved when the doorbell rang, causing Shuichi to leave the room and answer the door. Things were quiet before Tohma heard Shuichi raise his voice angrily and what he thought was a punch, before something heavily hitting a wall.
By the time Tohma had run to the passageway, the door was open, Shuichi was nowhere in sight and he found Tatsuha slumped against the wall, nursing his mouth and jaw. Tohma crouched down by Tatsuha asking what had happened.
Tatsuha spat blood onto the floor to the side of him so he could speak, “Shuichi booted me in the mouth…said something…about accusing him of wanting to rape my brother…what the fuck is he on about?”
Tohma sighed up at Tatsuha, having yet to question him about the tape, and realising Yuki had not confronted his younger brother either, considering he is still alive, “Shuichi knows about that day we had with Eiri-san when he was still on tour.”
Tatsuha stared at Tohma silently, before asking, “How the hell did he find out?”
Tohma’s expression changed to a very dangerous one, frightening the young man before him, “That is what I need to ask you before Eiri-san does. Why did you send Shuichi that tape?”
Tatsuha was shell-shocked and he looked up at Tohma, blinking and doing a pretty good impression of a goldfish with his slowly swelling mouth, “What…? Me? What do you…? I never sent Shuichi a tape…I have not sent him anything! I came by today to see how he was because I found out he had been injured and in hospital!”
Tohma continued to study Tatsuha, before accepting that he too did not know anything about Shuichi receiving the tape, “So who sent it to him if I did not and neither did you?”
Tatsuha stood back up and made his way into the guest bathroom to clean himself up, “I have no idea. The tape I have is still hidden at my apartment.”
Tohma sighed to himself again, before grabbing his coat and hat and leaving Tatsuha to fix himself as he went after Shuichi. He would hate to have Yuki angry with him for letting Shuichi leave the apartment.
After searching for nearly two hours, Tohma finally found Shuichi standing on the balcony back at Eiri’s apartment. Sighing inwardly to himself in relief, Tohma removed his coat hanging it up, also noting that Tatsuha had left the apartment already. Tohma walked up to the balcony door and slid it open to step outside, “I do not like being given the run around, Shuichi. I have been searching for you for nearly two hours.”
Shuichi merely rose an eyebrow at his boss and gave him an unimpressed look, “Do you really think I give a fuck about what you do and do not like, Seguchi-san?” before turning away to look back over the railing.
Tohma glanced to his side at Shuichi’s bitchy tone, and he was surprised enormously when Shuichi pulled one of Yuki’s lit cigarettes to his lips and taking a deep inhale. He moved himself over to lean his back against the railing, casually folding his arms, “Does Eiri-san know that you smoke?”
Shuichi chuckled to himself, “Oh hell no, he would kill me.” Shuichi sighed and let his shoulders fall forward, “But it is only occasionally that I do…like when my life has gotten really fucked up, like now for example.”
Tohma remained silent; there really was not much to say at that point without stating the obvious. After a moment, Tohma gave a soft smile, “I should check to see whether smoking is allowed in your contract, Shuichi. We would not want to ruin your voice.”
Shuichi gave a small laugh, the corners of his mouth actually turning upwards for once, “After living with Eiri all these years, I think my voice box will be alright.” Shuichi smirked a little, “You know, for all the schemes you have come up with to separate us, that was one you did not pull.”
Tohma looked down towards the younger man with a smile, before feigning thoughtfulness, “You know, you are right! That one just might work,” he joked, “I really will have to check your contract.”
Shuichi took another drag of the cigarette between his fingers, laughing slightly, “Too late now old man, you can leave that trail of thought right now.”
Tohma looked over to Shuichi, “Who are you calling old! Besides, you started that one. I may indeed be older than you Shuichi, but I am still your employer, so do not misplace the right level of respect.”
Shuichi scoffed, “Yeah? You mean the same level of respect you showed me when you fucked my lover behind my back, Tohma? Come on man, we are at the same level now, whether you like it or not, and you were the one that brought yourself down to it.” Shuichi turned around to lean his back on the balcony railing, “Just be thankful that I know how to tell the difference between when you are my boss and when you are my equal.”
Tohma was again lost for words as Shuichi verbally hammered him down to the ground, making the record label President feel quite small.
A long moment of silence passed, ringing with Shuichi’s triumphant aura when Shuichi broke the silence, finishing the cigarette, “You know…I used to light a cigarette after Eiri had been away for too long already, and let the smell go through the apartment just so it felt like he was still home. At times, I would miss him so much and get myself wrapped up in the smell of the cigarette, that I would think he was back already…only to disappoint myself when I realised he was still gone.” Shuichi sighed, half-sadly and half-bitterly, and lit himself a second cigarette, “Yeah I know, I am a hopeless romantic who cannot stand being away from his lover for more than a day. It really does sound pathetic.”
Tohma took the packet and lighter from Shuichi, helping himself to a cigarette as well, and received a curious glance from the younger man before him. While lighting the cigarette, he commented, “Eiri-san appreciates that more than he shows, Shuichi.” Tohma took a long drag, swallowing a cough at the smoke, lest he look even more pathetic in front of Shuichi. He exhaled the cigarette smoke from his lungs, leaning back against the railing, “It has been a good ten years since I last had one of these. I gave up when Eiri-san started. I had kind of hoped he would follow by example, but we all know where that tale ends.”
Shuichi nodded and laughed to himself, knowing full well Yuki’s cigarette habits, “Well, he is cutting back slowly these days.”
Tohma turned to Shuichi, “How is it that the things I have been trying in vain to get Eiri-san to do or commit to for the last decade, you have managed to convince him to do in less than half that time?”
Shuichi laughed heartily, “My kind of persistence and love. That, and I am a bigger threat to his sex life than you are.”
Tohma conceded and nodded his head, “I will give you that.”
A moment passed where Shuichi watched Tohma for a moment before asking, “So I take it things with Mika-san are still bad.”
Tohma blanched at Shuichi's undeniably accurate ability to pinpoint his own relationship problems.
Shuichi studied the man, noticing that the very mention of his wife’s name made him look at least ten years older, “Tohma?”
Tohma sighed, looking down towards his feet, unable to force even his business smile on his face, “Things with Mika…have been difficult lately, and I do not think the pregnancy is the cause. I do still love Mika, but I am deeply concerned about which direction our marriage will turn towards if we cannot improve. We argue much more than we did before.”
Tohma stopped and blinked to himself, realising how much he had just confided in Shindou Shuichi of all people. He realised he was experiencing just what kind of affect the vocal prodigy had on his brother-in-law.
Shuichi remained silent for a long moment, then he looked at Tohma from side on, “Tohma…why did you sleep with my lover?” he asked quietly, “Please tell me.”
Tohma looked up at Shuichi, surprised by the question. He looked away while he composed his thoughts. He has wanted to talk to Shuichi since Yuki went to him about Shuichi finding out, and now was his chance. “Eiri-san has struggled to recover from what happened in New York, which I am sure you know, Shuichi.”
Shuichi nodded and let Tohma continue.
“When Eiri-san first slipped into these slumps of his, we tried all sorts of things to snap him back out of it; distractions, like leaving the apartment and going to different places, attractions, events…and when they stopped working, we turned to distractions at home, like movies, cooking…but, nothing ever worked twice. Eiri-san turned to his promiscuous ways and slipped further from us.” Tohma paused for a moment. “Eventually, that stopped working for him and during a particularly bad slump, Eiri-san called me. He was frantic and not making any sense. I went to him straight away and he was a mess, Shuichi, and I could not console him…I had to fight him for the knife he held in his hand, threatening to cut himself with it.”
Shuichi felt tears forming in the corners of his eyes, hearing about how badly tortured Kitazawa had left his lover.
Tohma swallowed hard and continued, “It was horrible, I had to confiscate his medication, and keep Eiri-san locked in the bedroom where he could not get to anything that he could hurt himself with. He threw one of the lamps on the bedside tables at me while I was standing against the door to stop him from running out, but I managed to duck out of the way. He was in front of me in a heartbeat, and I have never been so afraid of Eiri-san as I had at that moment. I did not know what he was going to do, but he just fell to his knees and begged me to sleep with him.”
Tohma cleared his throat, blinking his own tears away, when he looked back at Shuichi to find tears slowly running down his cheeks as he listened, “And I did…I did not know what else to do; all I could think was if that was the best way to keep Eiri-san from killing himself, then I would do it. I hired Kitazawa to be Eiri-san’s tutor. I should have looked into the man more closely, and perhaps this never would have happened!” Tohma admitted, desperately wishing things were different. “I do not remember how Tatsuha became involved, but it helped. Over the years, Eiri-san has slipped into this submissive personality more times than I can count on both of my hands. Writer’s block brings it on, and it was like a depraved obsession for him. This was not the first time Eiri-san has called for our help, Shuichi, but since he met you, Eiri-san has not asked for our help much at all.”
Shuichi looked up at Tohma sharply, almost afraid to ask, “Not much? You mean to tell me…this has happened before…while I have been with Eiri?”
Tohma nodded, “One other time.”
Shuichi’s eyes watered again instantly, and he put his face in his hands, leaning over slightly with the shock he felt in his body.
Tohma continued, hoping the next piece of information would keep Shuichi from breaking completely, “The time before was while you were on Bad Luck’s eight week tour two years ago.”
Shuichi was shaking, but he had heard Tohma. It took him a moment, but he realised what Tohma was saying and he looked back up at the older man.
Tohma stepped closer to Shuichi, placing his hand on Shuichi’s shoulder, “You see Shuichi, Eiri-san needs you when you are away as much as you need him while he is away.”
Shuichi got lost in the comparison, “Lighting a cigarette is hardly the same as sleeping with you…”
Tohma shook his head, “That is not what I mean. Eiri-san has fallen into writer’s block while you have been home, and you have been there to help him out of it. Without you, we lose him to the deep recesses of his mind. You are Eiri-san’s reason for living, Shuichi, and you are healing him, slowly.” He stood up straight and took his hand off Shuichi’s shoulder, “Eiri-san’s heart is not completely healed yet, and I cannot be there for him in this way any more. It needs to be you from now on, Shuichi, and I think I know a way to help Eiri-san.”
Anything further said was cut short by a knock on the front door.
Shuichi’s shoulders slumped, clearly not happy by the interruption. When they knocked again, Shuichi sighed wearily, and went to open the door.
Tohma shared Shuichi’s annoyance and waited on the balcony while Shuichi went to tend to his visitor.
Shuichi was wondering who his visitor was, and if it would be alright to ask them to come back another time. It really was not a good time right now. Unless it was Hiro, then Shuichi would let him in straight away. Shuichi had enjoyed Hiro’s visits; they had been his only contact with the physical outside world while Yuki had kept him wrapped up in cotton wool. Shuichi rubbed his face with his hands, trying to hide his crying more, and opened the door. He was bewildered by the visitor, “Sakuma-san?”
Ryuichi smiled brightly at Shuichi, “Na-no-da, Sparkly, Sparkly Shuichi!”
Ryuichi bounced passed Shuichi into the apartment, while Shuichi just stood there, holding the door open, still bewildered by his idol’s unexpected arrival. Shuichi shook himself out of his bafflement and closed the door, following the happily babbling man into the apartment.
Ryuichi flitted about the living room, talking about Kumagoro, something that glittered, his flight, ending with how much he missed Shuichi and then Los Angeles, “You are going to love it in Los Angeles, Shuichi! Kumagoro says so too! Why are you not packed yet?”
Shuichi was confused by the mismatched sentences and gave Ryuichi a doubtful look, “Packed? Los Angeles? Why would I like it there, that city does not hold great memories, Sakuma-san,” Shuichi shook his head from the visions of being whisked away by XMR. He added quietly, “Until Yuki came to get me…”
Shuichi was not the only one surprised by Ryuichi’s arrival. Tohma’s eyes had gone wide when he heard his best friend’s voice in the apartment. Tohma was about to present himself, but stopped mid-step at Ryuichi’s next sentences.
Ryuichi whirled around to stand in front of Shuichi, the saddest look possible on his face, “Why have you been crying, Shuichi?” he almost quivered, but then he growled, “What has that no-good tart done to my Shuichi!”
Shuichi gasped and stepped back from Ryuichi, “Sa-Sakuma-san…what did you say?”
Tohma’s shocked expression almost matched Shuichi’s, but at that moment, his phone rang in his pocket. Tohma considered ignoring it, but he decided to check who was calling first and he stepped towards the railing. He pulled his phone out and answered it immediately when he saw the caller ID, he never received a call from this person. “Yes Tatsuha-kun, what is it?”
“Seguchi!” Tatsuha said urgently, “We have a problem! A huge problem!”
“Tatsuha-kun, calm down, and tell me what has happened,” Tohma asked calmly. Tohma then noticed the familiar engine coming around a nearby corner.
“It is my copy of the tape!” Tatsuha said, “I decided to check my apartment, and it is gone!”
Tohma’s eyes widened, “How did this happen, Tatsuha!” he growled at the younger Usagi.
“I do not know, Seguchi!” Tatsuha barked back, “It was too well hidden…only someone with access to my safe would have found it, and nobody knows the combination!”
Tohma was starting to stress, “Has anyone been to your apartment?”
“No one,” Tatsuha replied, “Not in the last…wait…actually, Ryuichi was here a couple of weeks ago, but you would have known about that, he would have told you.”
Tohma’s blood instantly ran cold. He immediately knew what was going on. “Thank you for calling me, Tatsuha. I will take care of it.” He cut off whatever else Tatsuha had to say, hanging up from the call.
Both Ryuichi and Shuichi had noticed the phone ringing on the balcony, but neither acknowledged it. Shuichi was still reeling from Ryuichi’s statement.
Then, Tohma came in from the balcony. “Ryuichi, we need to leave,” he stated with authority.
Ryuichi looked at Tohma, bored, and turned back to Shuichi, taking Shuichi’s hand in his, “I will only leave with Shuichi. That guy thinks you will always belong to him, so he does whatever he wants. He makes you cry, Shuichi.”
Shuichi leaned away from Ryuichi, wanting his hand back, “What are you saying, Sakuma-san?”
Keys unlocked the front door, and Yuki walked into the apartment. After removing his coat and slipping his shoes off, he walked through to the living room to find his biggest rival holding his lover’s hand.
Ryuichi smirked at Yuki, smugly, “You deserve better than a lying cheater that plays with taboo.”
Shuichi blanched, horrified, and yanked his hand out of Ryuichi’s, stepping back several paces, “You…you sent me that tape!”
Ryuichi stepped closer to Shuichi, “You needed to know the truth, Shu-chan…”
Shuichi shook his head violently, stepping back from Ryuichi until his back found the wall, “Do not call me that! Only Eiri calls me that!”
A blur flashed passed Shuichi as Yuki went for Ryuichi. Yuki shoved him away from Shuichi, his fist aiming for his face, but Ryuichi ducked away from it. Ryuichi found his feet and stood up straighter, preparing to fight back, but Yuki’s fist found his stomach.
“Eiri-san!” Tohma yelled, and ran over to the two tangled men.
Ryuichi lost his breath as Yuki’s fist punched him, knees buckling as he was forced to the ground. The table was shoved out of place by Ryuichi’s falling body. The table ornaments tumbled over, pillar candles rolling onto the floor and away. The table collided with a tall, glass floor vase, knocking it over. The vase smashed, sending glass, river stones, and the ornamental reeds all over the floor. Yuki pulled his fist back, eyes blazing, ready to punch Ryuichi’s face, when he was grabbed from behind.
Tohma had to use all of his strength to yank Yuki off Ryuichi, “Eiri-san! Stop it!”
“Let me go, Seguchi!” Yuki growled, trying to writhe out of Tohma’s hold, “I am going to fucking kill him!”
Ryuichi slid back along the floor, moving himself out of Yuki’s reach. He coughed lightly, giving a self-satisfied, cynical laugh as he got himself up off the floor, “Such violence, as to be expected from a man with so little going for him other than fading looks!” He turned to Shuichi, “You can shine with me Shuichi. I love you, Shuichi and I told you before that I will not give up on your voice. Come back to Los Angeles with me.”
“I love Eiri,” Shuichi said, his head down, his hair hiding his eyes.
Ryuichi would not let up, “He is no good for you, Shu-chan. He is nothing without his good looks. Pathetic, even. An unfaithful dog that would rather cheat on you than face his demons-”
The stunned silence in the room rang with the hard slap across the face that Shuichi gave Ryuichi. Several seconds passed before Ryuichi turned his stinging face to look back at Shuichi, eyes wide.
Shuichi stood in front of him and he was seething, angry tears glittering the corners of his eyes. His teeth were gritted, fists balled by his sides, and his shoulders were shaking at the exertion from stopping himself hitting Ryuichi again.
This distraction was all that Tohma needed to shove Yuki into his office, closing and locking the door behind them.
Yuki was immediately at Tohma, “Let me the fuck out of here, Seguchi! That prick has my Shuichi!”
Tohma would not move from the door, “I am sorry, Eiri-san, but please let Shuichi handle this. I cannot let you injure Ryuichi any more than you already have.”
Yuki had started pacing, his eyes wild, “Shuichi is mine…he cannot have him! Seguchi! Move!”
Tohma stood firm against the door.
Shuichi glowered angrily at Ryuichi, “How dare you come into my home and put me through this. You know nothing about me and Eiri.”
Ryuichi remained silent.
Shuichi continued, “You are supposed to be my friend, Sakuma-san. If you were, then you would not have done this. I love Eiri, and I will never leave him.”
Ryuichi stood up straighter, the pain in his stomach receding, “I love you, Shuichi. I have from the moment I first heard you sing. I can take your voice to places you have never dreamed about.”
Shuichi’s glare softened, “That may be so, Sakuma-san, but I am sorry, I am not going anywhere. If that makes me a masochist, then I really do not care, as long as I am with Eiri that is all that matters.”
Ryuichi had the sense to look truly rejected, “I see. Well then,” he started walking towards the passageway, “I hope you do not live to regret your decision, Shuichi. You know where to find me if you change your mind.”
Shuichi heard the front door open and close, and he let out the breath he had been holding, “I will never regret staying with Eiri.”
Shuichi leaned back against the wall and slid down to the ground, suddenly too exhausted to stand. He brought his knees up, buried his head in his folded arms, and started to cry.
Yuki paced harder, more agitated, “Seguchi! Let me out of here!” he almost roared.
When Tohma still held his ground, Yuki grabbed the nearest object and hurled it at him. Tohma dodged the table lamp, hearing the glass shatter against the door behind him. Finding this far too familiar, Tohma stood back up to find Yuki immediately in front of him, glaring down at him. Yuki put his hands on Tohma’s shoulders, Tohma too frightened to say or do anything. Then, Yuki fell to his knees before him.
Yuki looked up at his brother-in-law, pleading, “Please, Seguchi…Tohma…do not let him take my Shuichi…”
Tohma looked down at Yuki, his determination melting immediately. He nodded and stood away from the door.
Yuki was on his feet in a flash. He unlocked the door and wrenched it open, rushing back into the living room with Tohma following him. Yuki looked around the apartment, searching for Ryuichi, when he found Shuichi sitting on the ground, back against the wall, and his head lowered. Yuki rushed over to him, hovering over his lover. Shuichi looked up at him, and smiled lightly with sad eyes.
Tohma saw a silent novel of conversation pass between the couple. He waited a moment longer before asking, “Where is Ryuichi?”
Shuichi turned his tear-stained face to Tohma, leaning his head against the wall, “He left.”
Tohma nodded his understanding, and when Shuichi held his arms out to Yuki, he turned and walked to the front door, picking up his hat and coat on the way out of the apartment.
Ryuichi was leaning against Tohma’s car, waiting for the man to come down stairs. He was upset that he had lost Shuichi, and soft tears made their way down his face.
“Tohma,” Ryuichi acknowledged his best friend as he came towards his car, wiping his tears away.
Tohma’s face was expressionless, but his eyes were hard, “Ryuichi. I am very angry with you.”
Ryuichi lowered his head, surprised and a little embarrassed at Tohma’s tone, and got in the car with Tohma.
Later that evening, Tohma returned to Yuki’s and Shuichi’s apartment to check on the couple. That afternoon had been a blur, one thing happening after the other, and he was glad it was over. Yuki answered the door and let him in. Tohma took his coat off and placed it on the rack, slipping off his shoes, and followed Yuki into the living room. The place looked as pristine as it always did, and the furniture back in place after the fight with Ryuichi.
Yuki offered Tohma a glass of scotch, which Tohma took appreciatively, and sat down on the lounge, “Where is Shuichi?” he asked, softly.
Yuki nodded to the bedroom as he sat down with his own drink, “He is asleep.”
Yuki had taken Shuichi in his arms when his lover had held his arms out to him. Yuki sat with him on the floor, while Shuichi softly cried into his shoulder, curled into Yuki’s lap.
“I am so tired, Eiri,” Shuichi had said into his shoulder. “I love you, Eiri,” Shuichi pulled back from Yuki, looking up at him, “Please do not ever leave me,” he asked, needing the reassurance.
Yuki hugged Shuichi to him, “I will not, Shu-chan.”
Yuki felt Shuichi relax into him, and a few minutes later, Shuichi was fast asleep. Yuki carried him to the bedroom, making sure he was comfortable and warm, before he turned back to the living room to clean up the mess.
Tohma took a sip from his glass, “Ryuichi is on a plane headed for Los Angeles. He will not trouble you again.”
Tohma held a sad frown for a long moment, thinking about the last few hours. He had managed to console Ryuichi about losing the battle for Shuichi’s love, Ryuichi slipping in and out of his various personalities. Tohma was not entirely heartless; Ryuichi was his best friend, and meant a lot to him. However, he had to scold the man for the trouble he had caused, and for hurting Yuki. The last person to do that was still a hospitalised vegetable. They had argued in the car, shouting at each other, until Ryuichi demanded to be taken to the airport. Not another word had been spoken between them.
Tohma took a bigger drink from the glass, unsure how to repair his friendship with Ryuichi. Tohma sighed heavily, “The tape will not leak to the public. Shuichi has Tatsuha-kun’s copy and Ryuichi did not copy it. I will destroy my copy, Eiri-san.”
Yuki nodded silently, relieved a thousand times over.
“Although, I will miss seeing your cute backside, Eiri-san,” Tohma added, trying to lighten the mood in the room. Tohma was met with a reproachful glare from Yuki. Tohma laughed and put his hands in front of him, “I am joking, I am joking,” he said with a small smile.
Yuki’s glare faltered and he sighed, “Seguchi, this cannot happen ever again…”
Tohma nodded, “I know, Eiri-san, and I do not think it will.”
“How do we know that?” Yuki asked, heatedly, “I cannot shake him! Writer’s block is sure to happen again…Shuichi is bound to be away from me again with his band…” Yuki sat with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, “Seguchi, I do not know what to do…I am scared of doing it again…how can I fix this?”
Tohma waited in silence for a moment, finishing his drink before he sat forward and placed the glass on the table. “The answer is quite simple, Eiri-san.”
Yuki looked up at Tohma, waiting for him to continue.
Tohma looked at Yuki steadily, “The answer is asleep in your bedroom.”
Yuki looked over to the closed bedroom door where Shuichi was asleep. “…Shuichi,” Yuki said softly.
Tohma stood up, preparing to leave the apartment, “Your therapist would not dream of suggesting this to you, Eiri-san, but I believe it will help you a thousand times better than anything he could do.”
Yuki sat up straight as Tohma approached him, taking his chin in his hand.
Tohma looked down at Yuki, firmly, “Trust Shuichi, Eiri-san. Give yourself…all of you…to Shuichi, it is where you belong.”
Tohma stood back from Yuki, and left the apartment, leaving the man alone with his guidance.
Yuki did not even hear the door close, fixated on Tohma’s statement, ‘it is where you belong’, echoing around his mind.
Another thirty minutes had passed before Yuki had muddled through his mind’s wanderings about the eventful last couple of weeks of their lives. He looked up at the bedroom door with a determination seen only once before: when he stormed over to Los Angeles to get his Shuichi back from XMR.
I shall say no more than there is an epilogue, which I will put up in the next few days.
I look forward to your reviews.