Chasing After Me
A Gravitation Fanfiction
Author's Notes: Many thanks to Anomay again for being such a wonderful beta. All comments and criticisms are welcome! This is the last part guys! Sorry I lost the formatting here due to some upload errors! Please enjoy!
Warnings: Will contain some spoilers, shounen ai (duh! Its gravi!)
Disclaimer: All rights to Gravitation belong to Maki Murakami-sama, SPE Visual Works, Sony, and WOWOW.
Part 9: Chasing After
Yuki breathed in deeply, he felt like his world was lying on a very thin line when he stared at the slim back of the young man walking ahead of him. At that moment he wished that he had a cigarette in his pocket to calm his almost shattered nerves, but with the time he spent tying up loose ends with his publisher he hadn't even remembered to buy a pack of cigarettes. The publishing house was disappointed to know that he would be taking a leave of absence, but they were placated with the beginning of a manuscript that Yuki has started before his breakup and the promise that Yuki would finish. It was just too bad that they had no idea that Yuki Eiri was never planning to write a romantic novel again. He had been thinking of branching into another genre.
Looking ahead, Yuki wanted more than anything for Shuichi to look at him, do anything. This quiet was so uncharacteristic of Shuichi; it frightened him to even think of Shuichi without his boundless energy and motor mouth. He almost broke the silence himself, but he didn't know what to say or where to even start, there was too much between them. *C'mon Shuichi, give me a headache with your endless chatter; I'd rather suffer through it right now. At least I'll know that you're okay.*
Shuichi paused suddenly. His shoulders shook a little as he shivered when a gust of wintry wind blew by. Yuki wasn't sure if he shook with cold, similar nerves, or just plain disdain. When the singer's body turned, Yuki knew that he was about to find out.
Shuichi blinked as a passing car shed bright light into his eyes. The same bright beams shook him from the automated walk that he had started. *What are you doing Shuichi? What happened to your resolve? Yuki is not running and it's also time for you to start facing him and yourself.* He calmly reminded himself. If Yuki had been startled by Shuichi's sudden turn to face him, he didn't show it as they paused in front of a darkened shop.
"I called you out here tonight." Shuichi paused, looking for the right words to say. Words that won't make him sound so pathetic and needy.
"I know why you called me out here tonight." Yuki spoke solemnly, relieving Shuichi of his internal struggle. It was obvious that he was able to read every thought going through Shuichi's mind at the moment. Looking directly into Shuichi's startled eyes, Yuki continued in an oddly detached voice. "You want to tell me about all of the times I hurt you, every time I stomped your emotions into the ground right?"
Shuichi swallowed audibly, waiting for the imminent insult or the cold, cruel laugh. None came as Shuichi stared up defiantly at Yuki, refusing to back down from the silent challenge in Yuki's eyes. "Yes! That is exactly what I wanted to tell you!" The silence was shattered like thin ice over a mid-winter lake, revealing all of its perils.
Yuki flinched at Shuichi's words, it was not anything less than what he had expected, but it hurt just the same. He suddenly wished that he could go back to the days when he was still numb but he braced himself for the worse instead, for it was what he deserved.
"I wanted to tell you how much you hurt me every time you shut me out." Shuichi cried out, horrified by the sting of tears that he never wanted to shed for this one man again. "I wanted you to know how much it hurt to look in your eyes and see nothing. No laughter, no emotion, no hope. Dammit! Was I amusing? Did I fulfill some sadistic desire within you? Is that why you kept me around for so long?"
Shuichi shuddered as he took a deep breath, but his diatribe was far from over. "Every time I tried to walk away, I thought, he must be able to come around, some day he will. And I would come running back. No more, Yuki, no more. If I had learned one thing from our farce of a relationship, it was that I couldn't make you feel. I can't make you believe in us, I can't make you love me, I couldn't even sleep in your bed without your permission."
While the final words seemed grossly out of place in the heated statement, but it summarized exactly how deeply Yuki had damaged the boy in front of him.
"I'm sorry." Yuki said softly as he took a step closer to the shivering boy.
"You're sorry?" Shuichi's face contorted into laughter while his eyes betrayed the tumult of emotions coursing through his body. The release of all he had felt was both sweet and bitter. "Don't be sorry, I don't want you to be sorry, you selfish bastard! I want you to give me back everything you stole from me! I want to be the Shindou Shuichi that I was; I want to know myself again! I want my innocence back, I want my laughter, I want my heart." The last was whispered so softly that Yuki almost couldn't hear it.
"I can't give you any of those back." He replied quietly.
Laughter escaped from Shuichi's lips as he slipped limply to the ground. "Why am I even bothering with you? You'll always be the same." Feeling spent as every one of his emotions had been spilled; Shuichi closed his eyes. "Leave."
*When will I let go?*
*Soon, soon I promise, love.*
*What if I don't want you to let go?*
*. . . love*
The sound of footfalls walking away was like thunder in his ears. Shuichi laughed, it was a dream after all.
The finality of Shuichi's last words echoed through Yuki's mind as he looked down one more time at the singer. His eyes traced every feature of the pretty face, from his terrible hair, to his dainty nose, to softly pouting lips. It would probably be the last time that he would see this face again. He realized what a terrible burden it was, to love someone but still be unable to reach him. Now he knew Shuichi's pain, it ripped at his insides, drowning him while he stood there. If this was what Shuichi had gone through all this time, then Yuki doesn't deserve any forgiveness. No I don't deserve any forgiveness. *All this time, when I was running away from the memory of Yuki, I was becoming him instead.*
Yuki began to walk away.
He imprinted the vision of Shuichi, sitting dejectedly on the pavement, trying so hard not to remember. Yuki knew that one day Shuichi would heal, just as Shuichi had once healed him in that cold, dark tenement. He had a successful career; thousands of both men and women would gladly love him. Yuki's fists clenched tightly as the thought of Shuichi taking a lover flashed through his mind. But he forced himself to walk forward, it was what he should do, what he must do.
I love you, Yuki! A boyish voice squealed in the back of his mind. And then a breathless voice, whispering the same words against his neck, as they made love.
Yuki stopped. *I'm sorry Shuichi, I guess I am selfish bastard after all.*
Shuichi opened his eyes, his gaze fixed on the slender figure frozen in motion. The next few seconds seemed to be a blur as Shuichi felt himself gathered within a familiar embrace. Tightening his muscles, he prepared to fight off the warm body, but the harsh, tight voice stopped his movement.
"I tried, I tried." Yuki's voice was hoarse with what would have been emotion for anyone else. "I tried so hard to walk away."
Shuichi's eyes widened.
"I told myself that it was too late, that you were better off, that you would find someone else. Maybe even that damned Nakano." Yuki buried his face in the warmth of Shuichi's neck, as he struggled to find words that usually came so easily on a keyboard. "You're completely right, I am a selfish bastard. I can't live as I am; I had to drag you in along with me. It was so easy you know? It was incredibly simple to let you hold the burden of my pain, my fears, while I watched you drown in my cruelty. You saved me. I ruined you."
The feeling of wetness slid down Shuichi's neck as his arms finally came around the man that he loved so well, while he struggled to take in all of the words that had broken miraculously from a man so cold and composed.
"Even now, I can't let go. I need you. More than I need anything in this world. You said that the one thing you learned from us was that you couldn't make me feel, the one thing that I learned from us was that I could feel, everyday you were in my life I felt a new emotion that I had closed off. Be it exasperation or exhilaration, each emotion was incredibly uplifting. You've made me believe that my past won't taint the rest of my life. Can't you see? What a difference you've already made?"
Yuki took another deep shuddering breath as he cupped Shuichi's cheeks between two hands, bringing their eyes into contact again. Golden eyes met with purple as both read the emotions so close to the surface.
"I can't give you back the old Shindou Shuichi, your innocence, your laughter, or your heart. But I promise you this." Yuki paused.
"I can help you chase after the new Shindou Shuichi, I won't give up until he is found,
I took your innocence, but I can give you what's left of mine. I know it's not much." His laugh was rusty as he steeled himself before continuing.
"I can lend you my laughter until yours come back. You might have to make do with it, since mine doesn't sound nearly as sweet as yours, you know.
I'm sorry Shuichi, but I won't give up your heart. Not because it's not in my power, but I told you I was selfish didn't I?"
Yuki would have continued but Shuichi had clapped a hand over his mouth. However much he had said, Yuki hoped desperately that it would be enough to change the singer's mind. He had broken down all of his old barriers; the feeling was both incredible and terrifying.
"Enough." Shuichi said quietly, his small body still as he searched through the amber depths of Yuki's gaze. Slowly, he removed his hand and moved his face closer to Yuki's. He could hear Yuki's held breath leave in a soft whoosh as he pressed his cheek against a cold, slightly stubbled one.
"I love you Shuichi."
It was the words he had been waiting all this time to hear. Shuichi cried, the emotional release was almost painful.
The winter sky seemed to know what had happened on the Earth below as flakes of snow began to drift to the ground. Looking up at the sky, both Shuichi and Yuki held out their hands to catch the thick flakes that were quickly covering their clothes and the world around them.
"I can't promise that we won't have fights again, or that I will not act like a cold bastard ever again, ten years of bad habits can't be changed in an instant, but I promise I will try my hardest." Yuki added, looking somewhat sheepish.
"Let us start over?" This time, a hopeful plea.
After a moment, Shuichi nodded and Yuki felt as if the weight that had been crushing him in the last few weeks had been dissolved into dust.
As the couple began to move again, the city of Tokyo was a different place indeed. Everything was covered in a blanket of white, pure and sweet.
When they had arrived in front of Shuichi's home, Yuki gently kissed the soft mouth that was still salty with shed tears. "I can't believe I said all that." He muttered under his breath, flushing a bright red, regaining some of his former characteristics.
*It's a good start.* Yuki thought, still very embarrassed but with no regrets.
"Good night, love." Shuichi spoke, returning the words that Yuki had whispered.
Yuki only smiled. No good-bye echoed after those words.
He knew that tomorrow would be beautiful.
The snow continued to fall, while two souls finally found peace within each other.
Final Edit 01.15.2003
Now, for the individual THANKS!:
Anomay: What would I have done without you? Thanks thanks thanks! You have been the best beta-reader ever and a great reviewer, thanks for putting up with me for so long!
Destiny, Nicole, Mika (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Eike (Your yummy gifts were greatly appreciated, thanks!), Shuki, K, Carla, CSMars (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Tenshi no Megami (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Adri, Kei-chan, Arashi Seishino, Valeicia (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Tauglanz, Amanda, Crashed_Crusade, Kitai, Suna, KagedTiger, Ferrum, Memory, Akari (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Karmastaya, SarahC, Psycho gurl (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Daemonchan, ShiTiger, Kichigai, P.S. Speare (Your review was beautiful, thanks), lilaznanigurl, Shavica, slivercross, Kou Shun'u, Atsureki, Nzomniac, Rings of Saturn, ksya-chan (Thanks for multiple reviews!), Chibi-chan (Thanks for multiple reviews and at the Gravitation fanfic archives! You rock!), avihenda, S. Wing (Thanks for multiple reviews!), satsuki-chan (Thanks for multiple reviews!), toriko, panatlantic, Shindou Shuichi, Mutio, aoko, Ishida kat (Thanks for multiple reviews!), gamefreak, Kaerith, Aishiteru, Hikaru Itsuko, Cinnabar Scarlett, Lady G (The song is from Rurouni Kenshin, titles "Heart of the Sword", performed by TM Revolution. Glad you liked it!)
Thanks to all of you for putting up with this poor girl's random scribbles, I sincerely hoped you all enjoyed this fic. Thanks, 'til next time, ja!