Author: moon71 PM
Set in and around Episode 7 – Ground Zero – Eiri returns to Kyoto to marry Ayaka and forget Shuichi – but his troubled memories aren’t the only thing following behind… Chapter 5: AfternoonRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Eiri Y. & Shuichi S. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,007 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 11-28-07 - Published: 11-15-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3893209
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ORANGE DRESS by Moon71
Chapter 5: Afternoon – It would seem all of Eiri's efforts to alienate Shuichi have been for nothing… or have they?
Author's Notes: Well here we are at the end!!! I will respond to comments below, but here I would just like to thank everyone who has so generously reviewed. It's not the amount that matters, it's the thoughtfulness and attention that means so much. Of all my stories, this has probably been revised the least, so I hope there were no glaring inconsistencies you were all too polite to mention! This last scene, along with the Tatsuha scene, was written before the others. If it isn't already obvious, it takes place after Eiri told Shuichi about his past and then pushed him into the garden pond.
He found Shuichi sitting on the low wall near to where Eiri's car was parked, his hands tucked between his knees, his head bent, his hair still damp from the dip he had just taken in the ornamental pond.
Eiri breathed a sigh of relief when he noted the absence of the dress - he was now wearing Eiri's trousers and… oh yes, one of Eiri's favourite shirts. Cream coloured silk. Mika had probably picked it for him out of spite. Actually it looked better on Shuichi, with his golden-olive skin and twilight blue eyes. It even set off that stupid pink hair. The whole outfit should have made him look stupid, but it actually looked rather… cute, with the sleeves and trouser legs rolled up and the shirt tails hanging about his knees.
Unfortunately the pale silk emphasised more than Shuichi's bright colouring. Eiri's eyes were unwillingly drawn to those bruises on Shuichi's neck which had turned a brownish-yellow but still hadn't completely faded. An image swam into focus in Eiri's mind of some revolting, ham-fisted brute gripping him by the throat while he…
Eiri pushed the thought away. Shuichi looked unusually grave; his round, fine-boned face was uncharacteristically pale and still, giving it a peculiar beauty in place of its more usual amiable cuteness. As Eiri watched, his dark brows drew together in a faint troubled frown.
Evidently the euphoria of ending Eiri's engagement had worn off. Or maybe it was more than that...
"So you're still here," Eiri said abruptly.
Shuichi looked up, startled. Then he nodded. His gaze shifted uncertainly over the temple grounds; Eiri might have mistaken it for curiosity if Shuichi hadn't looked so uncomfortable. He was a city boy, far out of his element, an uninvited guest who had already overstayed his welcome. "It's... really pretty here," he offered at last.
"I hate it."
Brightness flickered briefly in Shuichi's eyes. "Then you're not going to - "
Eiri tossed him his car keys. "Wait in the car. I'll drive you home."
Shuichi stared down at the keys as if he did not understand what they were for. When he looked up at Eiri, the worried frown was back. "Yuki, I..."
Ah. At last. Reality really had penetrated. Eiri knew what was coming next. Questions, questions, questions. He would want Eiri to explain, to give details, to justify. He couldn't really be a murderer - it must have been an accident, or in self-defence. Even now Shuichi was probably conjuring up some Kurosawa style fantasy of Eiri saving innocent villagers from evil bandits. Eiri would do his very best to disillusion him.
"Yuki, I... I'm sorry about earlier."
Once again, Eiri was caught off balance. No questions? Wasn't he even curious?
Who cares about the past? Did Shuichi seriously expect him to believe that? He had finally told him the truth, and taken a certain grim pleasure in doing it, knowing that if anything finally drove away the pestilential brat and silenced his avowals of unconditional love, that would. Had he really revealed his past for nothing?
Eiri swallowed hard, managing to keep his tone even. "Exactly what part of your earlier conduct are you apologising for?"
"Your Dad, mainly... I didn't mean to upset him that much. I got all hyped up and just sort of... lost it, you know? I didn't really mean any disrespect – I mean, he's your Dad and all, and he's a priest… I guess it was really stupid, dressing up as Ayaka and everything, but I... I wasn't really thinking straight. See, the thing is, when you left, Ayaka told me about how you proposed to her and I…"
"Forget it," Eiri snapped irritably, cutting the flow short before it could gather momentum, "just wait in the car."
"Well, would you tell him and Mika-san that I'm sorry?"
"Just get in the damned car!"
Eiri turned on his heel and tramped back to the house, seething with bitter rage.
He had to get out of here. His worlds were colliding. Shuichi was here, in Kyoto. Shuichi had stood in his family home. And now Shuichi knew the truth about his past. He had tried to get away from Shuichi and all that had resulted was a spiralling sequence of events which seemed to have bound them even closer together.
He paused long enough at the house only to shove his laptop back into its case, shed his priest's robes and pull on some trousers and a slightly crumpled shirt. He hesitated for a second, wondering if he should tell Mika he was going, but decided against it. He would have to talk to her sooner or later – would have to face her anger and her recriminations. But not now, and definitely not here.
Shuichi was waiting obediently in the passenger seat when Eiri arrived to throw his laptop bag in the back with uncharacteristic carelessness. As he settled himself in the driver's seat and slammed the door closed, Shuichi meekly handed him his keys, his eyes lowered, his manner strangely demure as he silently turned to look out of the window.
Eiri felt an unexpected chill rising through him. "Want the radio on?" he asked experimentally.
"Oh… if you like, Yuki…" Shuichi answered softly, not moving.
Eiri considered reaching out a hand to touch him, just to see how he reacted. It was beginning to seem he was wrong after all. Perhaps the poison had just been of the slow-acting kind. Maybe it just took time for the full reality of what Eiri had revealed to filter through into Shuichi's music-clogged brain. Whatever the truth, it was beginning to be apparent that Shuichi was uncomfortable in his company.
Evidently, he was debating the wisdom of making a long car journey alone with a murderer.
Eiri had, it would seem, finally got the result he wanted after all. He had alienated Shuichi without having to run away from him or throw him out.
He was here, now, with Shuichi. They were alone. Eiri's engagement to Ayaka was dead in the water – even his father and sister had to accept that now. Shuichi had won, or at should at least be thinking he had won, and he would surely want to celebrate. He could kiss Eiri, put his arms around him; he could declare his love for him all the way from here to Tokyo. But he wasn't doing it. He wasn't even looking at him.
Eiri should have felt some bitter satisfaction. He had been vindicated. All his views on the fallacy of romantic love that Shuichi had tried so hard to make him change had proved correct. The power of love was just so much cow crap; it danced around, shining brightly and singing a beautiful song while times were good, but when faced with a real challenge it ran away screaming. So he said in his books, and so he believed.
But Eiri felt no satisfaction. Instead he felt… bereft.
He didn't like the feeling. He had felt it before… sometime… sometime after returning from New York. After the shock and the anger and the betrayal and the confusion had all faded… and it was all over… and Yuki was dead and Eiri found he couldn't even love Tohma anymore because Tohma had seen what he had done… and knew what had been done to him… and Mika was barely speaking to her husband and it was all Eiri's fault…
No. He wouldn't go back there. He wouldn't remember. He wouldn't let what had happened to Shuichi force him to remember…
"Yuki…?" Gentle fingers brushed against his hand.
Without warning even to himself, Eiri seized Shuichi in his arms and kissed him with a desperate passion. His lover gave a soft cry, but almost immediately afterwards slender, sinewy arms locked around his waist and a hungry, willing mouth opened to welcome him. The relief Eiri felt was startling – infuriating – but at that moment he didn't care. All that mattered was that the only image in his mind just then was a pleasing fantasy of a naked, beautiful youth stretching out seductively to him with a come-hither smile.
He broke the kiss, gasping, and crushed Shuichi's body to his own. He pressed his face into clean, soft hair and breathed in the familiar scent, not caring how it looked, to Shuichi or anyone else.
"Oh Yuki…" Shuichi was panting into Eiri's neck, "I was afraid… I thought… you seemed so pissed at me I thought… I thought maybe… maybe I'd got it wrong… you know? Maybe you really did want to marry Ayaka after all…"
Eiri sighed deeply. Good old Shuichi. Always thinking of himself before anyone else.
But just for this little while, Eiri found he didn't give a damn about that either.
CHAPTER 3:Yes, I know it was incredibly short! I suppose realistically I should have posted Chapters 2 and 3 together, but it would have rather stuffed up the times of the day format! As with all my stories, this was written in the short story format – i.e. to be read as one piece. I only started cutting up my fics when someone complained they were too long in one chuck, and to be honest, I do think it's easier to enjoy a story in instalments! (Personally, marketing ploy or not, I adored reading Stephen King's i The Green Mile /i that way!) But sometimes stories don't lend themselves well to choppy-choppy!
SUBTITLES VERSUS DUB: Thank you everyone for such an interesting discussion! I suppose only the Japanese speakers among us can know exactly what the correct interpretation of the Gravitation words are – I've noticed at least one other subtitled version kicking around on Youtube where the subtitles are different from the ones on my DVDs (for example, when he first kisses Shuichi in the lift, Eiri says "tell me why" on my version but "oh well" on the other version! Ooh, its enough to drive you crazy! I mean, certainly they both make sense, but I refuse to believe they mean the same thing in Japanese! Oh well… probably better leave that one alone…
Thank you in particular to Vin for such a thoughtful comment on this. I agree totally – cultural references are lost in translation. My little joke to Supershu was a good (but unintentional!) example! In my limited understanding of Japanese I believe that what tone you use when you say some words will affect what it means. (In a way that's true of many languages, but I believe its quite specific in Japanese?!) So of course the English dub actors (and script translators) are up against it! But I do think the quality of the voice actors in both camps is admirable – the English-speaking K, in particular, has a terrific voice and it took me an age to remember where I'd heard it before – in another anime, of course!
I also agree with what you said about the chibi phenomenon – I think its also that animes / mangs and the animated form in particular have their own rules. Just look at Tom and Jerry and the fatal wounds they inflict on each other! I think there is also just a general logic you have to accept when you step into the anime world – hair and eye colour, for example. (I mean, logic dictates Shuichi dyes his hair pink… but his eyebrows too? And – sorry Shuichi, sorry Tohma – violet eyes? Turquoise eyes?) Obviously many of these things are there to make the animated form aesthetically pleasing, and let's face it, it would be, quite literally, far duller if they stuck to the laws of racial genetics!
One or two last scraps – I agree with you again, Vin, about Rome Elliot's Eiri being a clincher – if I was tied down and tortured I'd admit Shuichi is my absolute favourite, simply because of the growing process he goes through – if he'd been a hyperactive prat all the way through it, I would have gotten pretty tired of him. But it was Eiri's problems, expressed in those remote tones, which really hooked me. (As with Shuichi, if he'd carried on being a complete sod for the sake of it, it would have been incredibly hard to like him – I'd probably have been willing him to shoot himself in New York!)
Oh yes… and about Shuichi's polite swearing – absolutely! His "oh shoot!" in the OVA, for example, was charming but a little unbelievable!! If he'd been born here, he would no doubt have called Eiri a "f---k—g w—nker!" I would die to have him say that in a story one day… well, you never know… Shuichi comes to London and attends a football match… things are never the same again…
RIGHT. These notes are getting obscenely long so I'll finish here except to translate: "rabbit" is slang for "chatter." "Sainsbury's" is just a supermarket chain! But the two together explain the meaning, I think? "Bird" is woman! And bollocks… not sure if that one has crossed the Atlantic already, but lets just say, Shuichi has got them, so has Eiri, and so have Suguru and Tohma (though with the feminine pitch of their voices, I'm not sure the last two have them in working order!) Ayaka and Mika, obviously, don't… and thank you again, Supershu – no-one has ever called me way too cool before!