Author: nooziewoozie PM
As far as love goes, theirs has been easy. Yukari/Hiroyuki, Yukari/George. Rated for mentions of sex and some coarse language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Yukari & Hiroyuki - Words: 2,714 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 4 - Published: 06-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5104546
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Easy, or, Why Yukari Ended Up With the Boring Doctor Dude, Because, Seriously, Was That Randomly Out of the Blue or What: A Sort of Disjointed Character Study.
Characters/Pairings: Yukari/Hiroyuki, Yukari/George, brief mention of Arashi/Miwako
Rating: Rated for mentions of sex and a couple of bad words. (Naughty, naughty.)
Notes: It kinda bugged me that we get a whole five volumes exploring George and Yukari's relationship, and a couple of pages on her relationship with Hiroyuki. Cue my dissatisfaction. So, this is where fanfiction comes in, I suppose. Of course, given that I haven't written anything not academic for a while, I'm a bit afraid that this came out sounding like an essay. Comments on the quality of my writing (or lack thereof, really) will be much appreciated, because seriously, when your writing was better at sixteen than at nineteen, well...
As far as love goes, theirs has been easy.
She's no longer the brittle, yearning eighteen-year old she once was, no longer merely a child seeking something more, something vibrant, something bright, exuberating, or exhilarating. She is Yukari, but not the same Yukari: she is older, wiser, and the planes of her face don't run quite as smoothly any longer, but she has grown into herself and her skin has adjusted quite comfortably to hold in all that she is.
Hiroyuki, too, has changed: he is refined, fastidious, neatly buttoned down as ever, but his hair is swept back from his face, shorter, cleaner, his cheekbones are high and his jaw line is pleasingly square. He walks with easy confidence, his gestures calm, and his sense of humor witty. He's grown in ways that are indiscernible—his gait, his hands, the steady line of his shoulders all entice her more than anything has for the past seven years, and she can't quite figure out why.
(He's leaner than she imagined a rich doctor would be, she muses, as he pulls his shirt off and moves to divest her of her blouse as well.)
When she thinks about it, her life is one great love, another great love, and all of the smaller loves in between. She doesn't like comparing the Hiroyuki to George. It's a faulty comparison, because George—is, well, George. He is wild, he is free, he is civilized, he is chained. His is so complicated a nature that, eight years after they met and sparred and had impassioned sex, she's still not entirely sure of what drives him. She can guess, she can make conjectures and predictions, and maybe she'd be right. Actually, she'd most probably be right. But George is nothing if not a flamboyant contradiction, and with him, there are no answers, only questions: questions that helped her define herself, carve out a role for herself, create herself anew from the dust of her exhaustion, but questions nonetheless on endless parade.
They hurt each other, they comforted each other, humiliated each other, inspired each other and perhaps they even loved each other—a pure, unselfish kind of love—during that tumultuous twisting and turning squall of riotous awakening. Yukari doesn't know, and is not so sure if she cares to know, after all these years: their connection is not something easily defined—it is selfish, it is angry, it is yearning, it is despairing, it is needy, and a thousand other things--but in the years since, her world has expanded, and she's long shoved George out of its center, so she doesn't like to think on it too deeply. He began her self-discovery, and, damn it, she's going to complete the process.
(He's got such wonderful hands. Not quick, slim hands, not dress-makers hands, but strong, steady, wide, masculine, ink-stained hands, hands that he splays across her belly and make her shiver at the contact.)
She met Hiroyuki completely by accident, in a trendy coffee shop near a university. They both had some time, so they had coffee and scones. He was charming, sweet, and cordial; she was cheerful, funny, and witty. He paid, and then promptly asked her out to dinner. She said yes. It was simple, uncomplicated, and, most of all, beautiful.
She probably shouldn't have said yes, she thinks later. She'd just gotten out of a relationship—a photographer this time, out to capture the world through his lens and reconfigure it to match his vision. She seems drawn to those artsy types—tortured souls, expressive eyes, slender bodies nourished more with melancholy dreams than food.
Then she thinks of Hiroyuki's steady eyes and the lopsided way he quirked his lips when he smiled, and thinks, Time for something new.
She loved George; she knows that for a fact. She loved him passionately, blindly, angrily. Did George love her back? Perhaps he did. He certainly knew her better than most: his eyes unerringly mapped her face and his hands intimately charted her body. He called her his muse and gave her a treasure trove of clothes.
But he never reached out across the chasm between them. He never pulled her close, never, perhaps, cared to throw himself to the wind and just give himself to her, no strings attached, no games, no power-plays with rope in the dead of night. George had a dream: he had the talent, the charisma, and the courage to buck trends and do whatever the hell he wanted, but he neither pulled her close enough or held her far enough to matter.
Sometimes, when she is in a bath and has had a little too much wine, she keenly regrets not going with him. He lit up her world—exploded fireworks that shattered with the brilliance of a thousand stars inside her soul—but then she sobers up and shakes the cobwebs from her brain. She did not go with him so that she would be her own person, under her won faculty and agency, her own Übermensch. She established herself as a separate entity, under her own power: she had friends in Japan, she had work in Japan, she had a future in Japan. She would go nowhere until she had carved her own place in history here.
And George…well, George was George, after all. He would not wait. He pursued his own dreams, his own future, his own paradise. That was the crux of the problem, she thinks. Our timing was off. Too much selfishness. So much self-absorption in ones so young.
With Hiroyuki, it's different. It's refreshing different to be a companion to a man so quietly sure of himself. There's something wonderfully compelling, she thinks, about being in a relationship with a man who demands nothing from her but her, who wants nothing from her but what she has to freely give, who isn't looking to her for completion. She mentions this to him over dinner one night, and he raises an eyebrow in her direction.
"Of course I'm not looking to you for completion," he says seriously. "That would imply that I was an incomplete person to begin with."
She cocks her head, and wonders if she should be pleased or insulted. Instead, she holds off judgment and commands, "Elaborate, please."
Hiroyuki senses that he might be in hot water and chooses his words carefully. "Like this. Neither of us are incomplete beings in and of ourselves—I certainly don't need you to function as a human, and neither, I suspect, do you need me. But the reason I'm here tonight with you, and the reason I hope you're here tonight with me, is that you're the person I've chosen to walk beside me in life, because I enjoy your company, I admire your work-ethic, I have a lot of respect for you and I—I might even love you."
Right then, she decides, with complete and utter sincerity that Hiroyuki will be the man she marries, and, when the lump in her throat allows her to speak, she tells him so.
The sex might be boring, a small voice warns. Compared to George and all the things he did to her—well, not much can compare. Her mind skitters to a halt, however, when Hiroyuki's tongue begins doing rather lovely things to her navel, and she decides that it won't blow after all.
She tells him a little about her relationship with George, but being as perceptive as he is, Hiroyuki fills in the blanks. He's quiet for a few moments, and then says, "Who am I to tell you to let go of him?"
Anger flushes her cheeks. She's not quite sure where the boiling, burning sensation is coming from, but there it is anyway, searing its way across her brain and up her throat. "My boyfriend, maybe? What the hell—he could call me, and I'd be gone in a second. As though you'd care! You'd still be here reading some damned book!" She is snide, caustic, bitingly sarcastic, and really wants to throw a book at his head.
He shakes his head. "No, that's not what I meant. First loves—" He stops, thinks, hems and haws.
And she thinks, maybe he doesn't care at all. She doesn't usually get like this; she usually likes that their relationship is low-key. High drama doesn't quite have the same appeal anymore. She likes that he's so steady, and that he's so sure, and that he's so level-headed--but--
--but sometimes, just sometimes, she'd like it if he broke out of his steady, straight-as-an-arrow mold, and showed some fucking emotions! She's looking for affirmation that he cares, that he thinks of her as more than a convenient trinket that hangs off his arm. All of her old fears raise their ugly heads--she's simply a trussed-up doll, silent, blind, incapable and incompetent. Her lip starts to tremble and her vision blurs, and she hates herself for it. She wouldn't cry, not here. No way in hell.
He collects himself, and says in a rush, "No, that's not what I meant! Listen—" but she doesn't listen; she spins around and dashes out of his apartment, her purse forgotten, her jacket hanging off her shoulders and his shoes clopping down the stairs on her feet.
He finds her an hour later, in a park near his apartment. She's been crying, but the cool night air takes the edge off her anger, and when he settles next to her, she's ready to listen.
"It's kind of cold, huh?"
"It's not really safe for you to be out here alone at night. Speaking strictly practically. I know you're a modern woman, but…"
"The stars are beautiful, huh? Hey, I think that's Venus. It's bright tonight."
But she's not going to make it easy for him. He pauses. Thinks for a bit. Gazes at the sky with heavily-lidded eyes.
"What you were saying before, that you'd run to him at the drop of a hat—don't do it. Please."
"Why not? You don't seem to care what I do."
"I do care. I'm just not going to fly into a jealous rage." Pause. "Unless there's reason for me to. Is there?"
Snort. "Maybe, maybe not."
Sigh. "All right, I'm going to tell you a story. A story about a little boy, who grew up with another little boy and a very pretty little girl. Both of the boys loved the girl—her carefree, innocent nature enticed them, and in the end, drove a wedge into their friendship. The girl, for whatever reasons, chose one of the boys, and the chosen one, out of his jealously, forbade the girl from ever seeing the reject. The other boy understood, because his relationship with the girl wasn't overtly romantic, but the vibe was there. The chosen boy had very good reason to be jealous, but his actions were immature and slightly on the far side of retarded.
"The rejected boy still cared about the girl. She would always be his first love and a close friend. But, as years passed, the boy realized that his quasi-love for the girl was nothing more than an exaggerated crush, and he came to love another. Still, his love for her would always play a part, either small or large, in the rest of his life: it was the beginning of his self-awareness, the start of intense emotion, the precursor of a larger goal, even though he no longer loved her. He loves another woman now. She's a marvelous, glorious woman, and he hopes she understands why he said what he did.
"Do you understand now?"
"Why do you love me?"
"You're alive. You exude life. You don't just live it--you take it by the horns and make it do what you want it to. You're strong. You're vibrant. You're prickly. You're certainly not the kindest person I know, and by no means the most intelligent. But you are the most--the most bright. You take my breath away, by the sheer force of your smile. You might as well have a hurricane named after you, though it wouldn't do you enough justice."
Pause. A sniff. A breath exhaled into cold night air. "Can we go home, now?"
A kiss. "Of course. You ran out with my shoes, you know. Not a very nice thing to do."
"Shut up. I was emotionally disturbed."
"I'm sorry. If it helps, you're pretty good at emotionally disturbing me, too."
"Liar. You're unflappable. It's infuriating."
"Nope. Look for the signs, woman. You should know how to read your man."
"Oh, shut up and carry me home, you caveman. Your shoes are too big and they keep falling off my feet."
(He's a considerate lover, gentle, giving, generous. He presses open-mouthed kisses on her neck, lavishes attention on her shoulders, licks the nook of her elbow. When he finally condescends to touch her breasts, they're heaving, heavy and sensitive from the lack of attention, so when he closes his mouth around a nipple, she sees stars.)
She and Hiroyuki do go to see the Broadway show. The costumes, of course, are fabulous—elaborate, flamboyant, delirious in their colors and glorious in their boldness, but also subtle in their fluidity and exceptional in their synergy. George, she surmises, has matured, though that doesn't stop her from sobbing through the show: she cries for herself, at eighteen, a sullen, exhausted child, clawing her way through darkness, and George, with his limber hands and shuttered eyes and eerily baroque talent. She cries for gentle, feminine Isabella, for loud, metal-studded Arashi, for pink and small and frilled Miwako. She cries for lost times and the gentle hum of sewing machines in old, forgotten bars and the pain of self-discovery and the exhileration of taking flight on untried wings.
In the end, however, she does not get to see George, but she supposes it's all right. George doesn't need her to create, to fashion, to mold. He'll fly on his own, and perhaps, she'll see him the next time he deigns to contact her. So she slips an arm into her husband's, walks out of the theatre, and on to the busy street. It's her honeymoon, after all, and she New York is beckoning.
(They lie entangled in his sheets, post-coitus, and she's stroking his arm and he's kissing her jaw. She needs to shower, and they should eat something soon, but she really doesn't want to move. She can get used to sleeping in his arms, with the scent of their sex and sound of their mutual breathing permeating the air, so she settles in for the night, and hopefully, many, many nights to come.)