|More Than Looks: The Annotated Version
Author: lawless523 PM
Eiri’s response to the love letter Shuichi wrote to him while he was in the hospital after almost being hit by a truck rescuing Riku. Sequel to “More Than Looks”, written in response to reader requests.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Eiri Y. & Tatsuha U. - Words: 2,375 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 10 - Published: 07-04-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5191192
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
More Than Looks: The Annotated Version
Summary: Eiri's response to the love letter Shuichi wrote to him while he was in the hospital after almost being hit by a truck rescuing Riku. Sequel to "More Than Looks", written in response to reader requests.
Rating:M for language and adult concepts.
Warning:It's Eiri and Tatsuha. Expect some snark and vinegar. Spoilers for EX.
Disclaimer:It's Maki Murakami's sandbox; I just play in it. I don't own the rights to these characters and I don't make any money from them.
Word Count:2,119 not counting the introduction
Thanks go to my long-suffering beta HawkClowd. The contents of the letter are in italics. The conversation between Eiri and Tatsuha is in quotation marks.
Tatsuha showed up at Eiri's bedside that evening. When he sat down, he pulled out an open envelope with 'Yuki' written on the outside and removed a piece of paper.
"A letter Shuichi gave me to read to you. He seemed to think it was pretty important so he made me promise I'd read it no matter what you said."
"Hmph." Eiri's hand shot out and he grabbed the piece of paper from Tatsuha, almost tearing it out of his hands.
"What the fuck?" sputtered Tatsuha as Eiri examined it closely, then sighed and laid his head back down on his pillow.
"I'd rather read it myself but I still can't see well enough. Go ahead, read it. I wonder what the little idiot has to say for himself."
"Okay." Tatsuha moved his chair a little further away from the bed to make it more difficult for his volatile brother to grab him or the letter if he got upset. He cleared his throat and began reading:
I won't start this letter "Dear Yuki" because I know you don't like endearments and because it sounds retarded anyway.
"He's got that right," Eiri interjected.
Tatsuha tried to ignore the interruption. He had the feeling that there might be a lot of them.
Since you can't see very well right now, I don't know how you'll read this. I guess I could read it to you, but that seems to contradict the whole point of writing it down.
Eiri snorted. Tatsuha wasn't sure if that meant he agreed or disagreed with what Shuichi had written, but he plowed on hoping that maybe his brother would become mute as well as half-blind so he could get through this with fewer interruptions.
Maybe I can give it to Tatsuha to read to you if that's okay with him. I don't want to give it to Mika –
Tatsuha stopped. "Go on," his brother said. "Don't censor it just because you're afraid of what it says."
"That's not it," Tatsuha muttered. "Mika could show up here at any moment."
"You mean Shuichi didn't have the foresight to tell you to make sure Mika was otherwise occupied when you came by to read this? Typical." Eiri snorted. "So read the rest of the sentence."
Tatsuha got up, looked around the corridor outside, and came back in. He resumed reading.
-because she'll tell Tohma what's in it.
Eiri snorted again. Tatsuha, who was getting impatient with him at this point and regretting ever having agreed to this, went on.
Ryuichi asked what you'd have left if you lost your looks and you said you'd have nothing. How can you say that? Don't you know that you are more than your looks?
Tatsuha looked at his brother, who was making gagging motions.
After we first met, you asked me what I saw in you. I didn't have a good answer then, but I do now. After two years of loving you, living with you, sleeping, fucking, eating together, arguing, watching TV, listening to music, watching you type or make dinner, and by the way, did I mention fucking?, I know the inner Yuki better than anyone.
Tatsuha couldn't resist adding, "He's got the part about fucking right."
Eiri felt around blindly. Tatsuha was sure that if the chair had been where it was originally he would have gotten slapped for that remark. Score one in his favor for taking the precaution of moving the chair back.
You can be so unpredictable sometimes, but one thing I can count on is your yelling at me when I'm being an idiot or getting on your nerves. A lot of people think I'm naïve and stupid for putting up with you, but they don't realize you only yell because you care. I'd be more frightened if you ever stopped yelling at me. That would mean I didn't matter to you any more.
"Hmm," Eiri commented and looked thoughtful.
You are so curious about everything in this world. You may not like people much but you observe them closely and find them endlessly fascinating, and you use the product of your observations in your writing.
"What flattery," Tatsuha said.
"He is flattering me," Eiri retorted. "I don't give a shit about most people."
I love the Yuki who writes tragic romantic fiction. Your novels may be sad but they're real and moving. Even though they break my heart, no one without a heart could write them.
"Damn, that's more poetic than most of his lyrics," Tatsuha remarked.
"Are you reading this or critiquing it?" Eiri asked, annoyed.
"Well, you're not holding up your end of the deal," Tatsuha shot back. "I only agreed because I thought you'd provide me a lot of snark to freak him out with. You know he's really worried about you and how you feel about his deserting you for my honey Ryuichi."
"Those are three words that should never be said together, at least not by you."
"My honey Ryuichi."
"You're just jealous."
"Am not. Go on."
You usually make a big fuss and act all irritated with me, but it's mostly an act. You are amazingly kind and gentle when you think no one (including me) is looking.
That elicited a loud and skeptical "Huh" from the writer and his brother at the same time. They shared a small grin. "Gentle?" Eiri said. "What has Ryuichi got him smoking?"
"Clearly not cigarettes," Tatsuha agreed.
How do I know?
You put up with me and let me hang out with you before you decided it was okay to get involved with another guy. You kissed me, then taught me that true passion requires more than kisses.
"You taught him that, bro?"
Eiri gave him a dirty look.
You showed up at our first concert even though I told you not to. You smiled when I announced you were mine, all mine, and made a fool of myself in front of hundreds of people.
"That's the truth," Eiri muttered.
You made my body your temple after it was polluted and defiled. You went after Aizawa with a fury that thrilled me and scared me all at the same time.
"I didn't know he knew such big words," Tatsuha marveled.
"I didn't either," Eiri said.
You didn't say anything when I vandalized the home you left behind after you returned to Kyoto to marry Ayaka. You never asked me to pay to have it fixed either even though it must have cost a lot to clean up.
Now Eiri was looking up at the ceiling, not in Tatsuha's general direction. If he didn't know better, Tatsuha would have said that his brother was embarrassed.
"That's none of your business," Eiri said while studying the ceiling.
"Yes, yes, I know. Sworn to secrecy and all that. I won't tell a soul what's in the letter."
"You'd better not."
Tatsuha resumed reading.
You've got a photograph of the two of us hidden in your desk drawer that you look at when you think I'm not paying attention, just like you tried to hide the photo sticker from our date.
Tatsuha raised his eyebrows. This was getting interesting. He never knew his brother was secretly a sap.
You want to be the strong one so I don't have to worry. You complain about trivial things but you never let on that the stress of our relationship was making you sick. You didn't tell me you had started therapy either.
"He'd only go on about it," Eiri explained.
You stood in line to buy Dragon Quest VIII for me when I had to work but absolutely had to have the game the day of its release.
"I'm never setting foot in a video game store again in my life. In fact, I'm never entering Akihabara again either.  That place he sent me to was a madhouse and I should have had my head examined for agreeing to go."
You tried to help me by writing lyrics for our songs. When I refused, you asked me to give up my music for you. Even though you were being a dickhead about it, it still meant a lot to me that you, who often seem cold and distant, cared that much.
Tatsuha almost choked when he read the word "dickhead". "He told you off there," he chuckled.
Eiri crossed his arms but didn't say anything.
You drive me wherever I want to go without complaint. Who'd believe you'd do anything like that without going on about it? I wouldn't believe it myself if I wasn't there to see it.
"He doesn't expect much from you, does he?" Tatsuha asked. Eiri looked thoughtful.
I know you wouldn't wear a ring identical to mine unless you truly loved me. You're not the kind of person to indulge in an empty gesture just to make me feel better.
Tatsuha looked at his brother. Was that a slight smile he saw?
Please please please forgive me for leaving you for Ryuichi momentarily. It was the mistake of a lifetime. I don't love him the way I love you nor do I need him the way I need you.
"Yeah, he'd better beg for my forgiveness," Eiri muttered. "The little shit."
"From what I heard, you took him back without a murmur and you turned down a chance to cheat on him."
Eiri looked up, startled. "Where did you hear that?" he said.
"Cool your jets, bro, I heard it from the horse's mouth."
"You mean Tohma."
"Yes, I mean Tohma. You know that if it got back to Mika he'd just say it was a joke."
Tatsuha resumed reading.
Remember when I told you "love you long time"? We are meant to be together. You mean so much more than your looks to me and I will still love you even when you're old and wrinkly.
"Ugh, I don't want to think about getting old and wrinkly," Tatsuha said, wrinkling his nose in distaste.
"Just think, you'll probably lose your hair one way or the other."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Either you'll shave it off to look like a proper Buddhist monk or you'll lose it."
What would you have if you lost your looks? Silly, you'd still have me.
"How touching," Eiri said sarcastically.
Love 4ever and always, Shuichi
"Oh look! He spelled 'forever' the number four and ever. Isn't that so cute?"
"Gag me," Eiri said. "I might get diabetes from all this syrupy treacle."
"Oh, and there's a P.S."
P.S. – You will hurt my feelings if you tell me that this is poorly written, so keep your opinion to yourself for a change if that's what you think, you big jerk! 3
"There's a typewritten heart after the last word."
"How nice. I was going to refrain from criticism—"
Tatsuha interjected, "You mean you were holding back?"
"—but that's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. This is the sappiest, most insipid piece of crap I've ever had the pleasure" – he spat the word out cuttingly – "to hear."
"You can't tell him that."
"I can tell him whatever I want.
Tatsuha sighed. "You shouldn't tell him that."
Eiri looked at him searchingly. "Do you believe that, or are you just saying that because you want to make sure our relationship is solid again so you have a clear shot at Ryuichi?"
"I believe it! Ryuichi has nothing to do with it!"
"Really?" Tatsuha could hear the skepticism in Eiri's voice.
"Okay, okay! Yes, I want to keep him away from Ryuichi, but that doesn't change the fact that if you're flip about the whole thing you'll crush him."
"He's more resilient than you think."
"Maybe, but he's so upset about hurting you that the least little thing will get magnified and soon you'll have driven him away permanently. Do you want that?"
Eiri didn't say anything, but Tatsuha thought he saw the answer in his pensive expression.
After Eiri recovered his eyesight and came home from the hospital, while snooping in Eiri's desk, Shuichi discovered his letter preserved in a clear plastic sleeve with a response written below the postscript:
I know you search my desk behind my back so I'm leaving this here for you to find. Maybe I should have you write my books and I'll write your lyrics instead. Amazingly enough, the letter was well-written. Your lyrics still suck.
P.S. Thank you.
Later that day, Eiri noticed that Shuichi seemed even happier than usual. He figured he'd found the letter. That night Eiri was especially loving and gentle. No matter how far they'd progressed, they still communicated best non-verbally.
 Akihabara is the section of Tokyo famous for its electronics and gaming stores. It's a true geek and gamer's heaven.