A/N: This is my other anniversary fic. The other one is a X/1999 poem. Yeah, anyways, I got this idea after seeing too many Kumagorous at my school, and thus, I borne this fic. ^^ Since we don't know much about Ryuichi's past, I decided to write a fic on why our beloved pink bunny is so important to him, and other stuff. However, I am very annoyed at the Anime's age differences, so I'm going with the manga age differences so it makes it easier for me to calculate everything. Anyways, enjoy! ^^ Well-constructed criticism is welcome.
Disclaimer: The characters of Gravitation do not belong to me. It is the product of the mind of Maki Murakami.
By Jia Z.
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you will get. But life remains sweet."
She once again glanced at her watch. He was fifteen minutes late. But she didn't expect him to come on time.
She never did for any of her patients, or anyone in fact. However, she didn't pay so much attention to any of her other cases as much as she did with this one. But then again, how many people are psychiatrists for the stars and idols of Japan. Not many, that's for sure. But she never did like attention from the media. She enjoyed keeping her patients secrets instead of blabbing it all to the tabloids. Otherwise, if she weren't the person she is, Tohma Seguchi wouldn't have called on her so many times.
Her office was decorated in a contemporary style with a base of a cream coffee brown. She had four black book shelves, each placed about the corner of the room, and all were filled with hard and soft cover books. Some were her texts from back in her university days, others were by famous physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists, and the rest, the very small percent, were some fiction novels and a set of manga which she read at lunch. In the center of the room was a long black leather couch with two smaller sofas on either side. Facing the seat side of the couch was her long rose wood desk with two chairs in front.
She tapped her pen gently against her desk, her hand supporting her head as she waited. The silent films of memories came flooding. No matter who it concerned, it was always Tohma the one who called her, though it were rarely about any of his problems. She always thought the blonde man worried too much. She had met Tohma Seguchi a couple of years before Nittle Grasper took off with such huge success, and they had met through mutual friends. And since then, Tohma has called on her for many reasons besides the psychological.
That's how she met Eiri Uesugi. The boy was just around 16 or 17 when Tohma brought him in to meet her. She knew the boy's story much better than others, perhaps with the exception of Tohma. But Eiri never told him what he told her. He had gone to see her for three years, before he stopped. And during that time, she noticed a dramatic change in both his attitude and posture, and ever since his very first published novel, she has continued to read his books, in chronological order. As time passed, she noticed his style began to change. She continued to meet him every once in a while, and that is how she came to know of Shuichi Shindou.
She was surprised at how such a boy, a child as one could say, could change a man so much. She had become good friends with Eiri, and she could clearly see the affect Shuichi had on the golden eyed man. She was indeed happy for him. All of his other relationships never could work out. But she also knew that it was Shuichi who held on dearly to Eiri, not the other way around. She felt a deathly viper crawling within this affair, and she knew if Eiri weren't the one to kill it, it would thrive and end this with its deathly venom.
She smirked again as she continued to ponder about this boy. Not only had he changed such a man as Eiri, but he was also able to somehow revive Nittle Grasper, something he had planned to give up on. She was surprised, really surprised, and not many things in the world surprised her anymore. She felt that he was interesting, Shuichi Shindou, and she hoped that perhaps she would get the opportunity to meet him, this boy who saved Eiri, and who also light the fire back inside Ryuichi Sakuma.
It was also Tohma who had brought Ryuichi to her. That had been a few years before Nittle Grasper had broken off. She could safely say that Ryuichi trusted her, and that was something not given so kindly, even though Ryuichi always seemed gentle and sweet with everyone. But not everyone knew of his story, no one knew of his mask, no one knows of how Kumagorou came to be. Except her.
She remembers clearly the first session she had with the pop Idol. Kumagorou had came through the door first, greeting her with her title. She had written this down very quickly, before the whole of Ryuichi came through the door. She had asked him some simple questions first, things like his full name, his age, favourite food, favourite music, his senior high teacher etc. But then, cunningly like a panther, sneaking the more hidden questions, she asked him things like his parents name, the person who raised him, his best friend, the person he hated most, and the person he could bring back from the dead. She always thought these questions simply and quietly summed up a person, and these questions were her first impression of a person, not the image.
Ryuichi, or more precisely, Kumagorou, seemed to be hesitant to answer the first question, although he did anyways. Ryuichi's parents were Daisuke Sakuma and Yukari Ichikawa. His mother had kept her maiden name he had pointed out. He continued with the answers; the person who raised Ryuichi was his grandmother, his best friend he considered being Kumagorou and Tohma. His last two answers interested her most however. The person that Ryuichi hated most was his father, and the person he wanted to bring back from the dead was his mother.
From these last questions, she had already noted many things. The singer was reluctant to mention his parents, this, which hinted a bad childhood and deep psychological scars left unhealed. She could undoubtedly tell that Ryuichi was raised by his grandmother because of his mother's death possibly, and perhaps even something to do with his father. The mention of Tohma meant that Ryuichi seemed to trust him, as he did with his closest confidant, Kumagorou.
Before she asked him anything else, she had questioned him on the origin of Kumagorou, questioning the rabbit, not the singer. Ryuichi had popped up from behind the sofa, where the pink bunny had spoken from, and smiled at her. My oka-san made him for me, he had cried cheerfully. This put another puzzle in place for her. His mother's death continued to haunt him secretly, and the rabbit meant more than just a childhood toy. She was determined to find out why.
Their first session ended quickly, with only questions, and she had happily hold Ryuichi about herself. She felt that if she could speak past Kumagorou, then she could somehow help Ryuichi from his cast. And she wanted him to trust her, as he did with the pink rabbit and Tohma Seguchi. She was curious about him, about his attitude, and the rabbit. She wasn't sure if it were MPD, or DID. It didn't seem like the symptoms of either, however she did consider the possibilities that it might be.
She didn't plan on hurrying their sessions. She knew that if she did then perhaps Ryuichi would shut her out. She could already tell that about him. The idol was not one to let people close to him so easily. So, she decided to take it slow, to get to know Ryuichi in the process. And that born her the idea of how their other sessions should be held. Once, she had invited him to one of her favourite restaurants, "The Saki House", to have lunch.
At that lunch-in, she continued her conversation with Ryuichi, keeping them as simple and carefree as possible. She doubted his trust in her, but that wasn't something one could gain quickly, and she knew that. However, she had made a promise to Tohma to help his band mate, and she had yet to have gone back on any of her promises. This was her job, this was what she had studied to do, and she was determined to help Ryuichi.
When she talked to him during their lunch, she found out some crucial details that described him in some ways. Ryuichi's mother had loved singing and during the time that he was living with his grandmother, he had begun singing and he became inspired to write lyrics and poems after he once wrote one for a school bulletin. The first time he ever sang, he told her, was when he was alone once in the music room back in his old school. The first person that ever heard him sing was Tohma, and he had always encouraged Ryuichi, in everything he did.
He told her that he was around 14 years old when he met Tohma, and it was just after he had moved from Osaka, his hometown, to Kyoto, where his grandmother lived. His grandmother was the priestess of the "Shinichi Temple". But Ryuichi didn't bother to tell her why he came to live with his grandmother, only that he considered her to be a very kind woman and always just and fair, and that she raised him well. However, only the untrained eye couldn't tell that Ryuichi was hiding something, something he'd rather not mention. So, she didn't push the subject, and she herself changed the topic.
She was just two years older than Ryuichi when she had first met him, but at times she felt as if she were talking to a child, and other times she felt the presence of something very old and wise within him. But she just couldn't put her finger on what made him the way he was, what made him this child. However, she was continuously curious about Kumagorou and its hold on Ryuichi. After the lunch-ins and other sessions in parks or playgrounds that she had with the pop star, she always went back to her office and consulted many books on behavior and she also looked deeper into the symptoms of Multiple Personality Disorder, though she had yet to conclude that the rabbit was part of his identity or another side of his personality, she was absolutely sure he played a great part in Ryuchi's life story.
She had worked long into the nights after she had been visited by Ryuichi, consulting books, the internet, and periodically calling other physiologists in America and Germany, where she had gone to university. However, she couldn't put her finger on what exactly was Ryuichi's problem, and thus she could not make her usual assumptions about people. This was a bridge in the train tracks, however small it may be.
It was very slow. The process of breaking through Ryuichi Sakuma's exterior shell was something she had not been able to fully grasp. And it was extremely difficult during the time she was counseling Ryuichi because of the fact that she was still visited by Eiri Uesugi, who was 19 at the time. However, no matter how hard she tried to get though with Eiri, she felt as if she weren't making any progress with the blonde. She found him to be somewhat of a lost case, and in a way, and she weren't sure at the time why, but she felt a dark resemblance between Ryuichi and Eiri.
For a year, Ryuichi had come to her every two weeks, telling of what he thought and little parts of his life. She had refrained from asking him questions of his past. She wasn't sure as of then how he would react to her blunt and periodically sharp questions. She was terribly afraid that Ryuichi would shut her out if she were to ask some of the more personal questions she usually did with her other patients. But for that first year, she had come to know Ryuichi not only as her patient, but also a friend and she didn't want to hurt him in any way.
She found during her time as a psychologist, one of the main chain of events of her career began when she had met Tohma Seguchi, and it was rocked slightly the year Eiri, who had turned twenty, stopped coming to her. Since she had come to known Eiri, she watched him change before her very eyes. She thought that he was slightly blind sited after being raped by Kitazawa Yuki. And she was quite surprised when his first book came out and he had used "Yuki" as part of his penname. Even without Eiri telling her, she already understood that he had been greatly in love with Kitazawa and what he did to the blonde had unhinged him, causing such a great rift between Eiri and his emotions. Although that was true, there was still a tie between Kitazawa and Eiri.
That had been the first event that had come to shock her and make her regret, something she tried not to do. She felt as if she hadn't helped him as much as she could. However, a greater surprise came a few months after Eiri stopped his sessions. Ryuichi had come in to her one day without Kumagorou. This had shocked her beyond thought. She could not understand how Ryuichi was able to let go of the rabbit, who he seemed to be very close to. However, she had also noticed the difference in the singer's posture and the shine within his eyes.
The missing rabbit was explained when Ryuichi told her he had fallen in love. This interested her greatly. Perhaps this was Kumagorou's tie to Ryuichi...Maybe the bunny was in a way Ryuichi's hold on an emotion of something he longed for. But she couldn't run that into introspective just yet. But it did change a bit of her previous ideas. She was now completely sure that he was not suffering MPD. She mentally sighed with silent relief.
Ryuichi had gone on to explain how he had met his lover. Her name was Taeko Yurusawa. A girl seven years younger than him who he had met when she had come to write a piece of music for Nittle Grasper. He said he had found what he didn't even know was missing, and he had proudly announced that he was in love with Taeko. She was happy for Ryuichi at the time. But after he had left her office that day, her mind began to ponder. What did this girl mean? And not since she had first met him, her never ending question upon Ryuichi was once again thrust back into her mind. What was the point of Kumagorou?
She was ashamed, but she had doubted Ryuichi's relationship with Taeko. She was not sure why. She only knew that it was slightly a troublesome mix. She wasn't sure the girl would be able to some how handle Ryuchi, and she was terrible afraid that she would end up hurting him. She silently dreaded and yet was happy each time Ryuichi came to her, talking about his music, his thoughts and Taeko. Each time he came to her as if he were a normal person, no longer with the pink rabbit. However, she felt somehow that Ryuichi was more vulnerable than ever without the rabbit, and she had yet to solve her mystery.
For once in her profession, and only this once, she consulted with a patient's affiliation, without knowledge to the patient. She had called Taeko Yurusawa five months after her and Ryuichi's relationship began. She didn't bother explaining who she really was, but only revealed herself as the idol's friend through Tohma. She finally understood why Ryuichi fell in love with her. Taeko was a free spirit and quite innocent in fact. But the girl was naive. She knew Taeko had not realized that Ryuichi was in love with her, and this she felt was somehow dangerous.
She began dreading her conversations with Ryuichi when he mentioned her. He had not yet told Taeko that he was in love with. But she knew he would soon. She prayed that it would not be a mistake. She hoped for him that he would not be bestowed upon by bad luck and that love would find its way to him. She prayed that she was wrong. But that wasn't the case. What she dreaded most had come to pass, only a month after she had met Taeko Yurusawa.
One night, one late and raining night at around two AM in the morning, she had heard a knock on her apartment door. When she went to open it, she found Ryuichi drenched in rainwater, his normally bright eyes dark and cast towards the round. She noticed immediately that he was holding Kumagorou. Her heart began to pound with silent fear as she let him into her apartment.
Silently, without a word, Ryuichi sloshed into her apartment and sat on her sofa. Sitting on a smaller couch beside Ryuichi, she watched with wistful reverie as the water dripped from Ryuichi and onto her sofa. She did not speak and waited patiently for Ryuichi to speak. She didn't want to seem intrusive, and with each passing second her heart clenched with pain as she watched him.
Finally, opening his mouth to speak, clutching Kumagorou tighter to his chest, Ryuichi explained what had happened. When he liberated his love to Taeko, he spoke, she rejected him. She said that she cared for him greatly but they weren't meant to be together. She said she was deeply in love with someone else, and he fell into a silence. All she could do at that moment was sit and watch him flutter in pain and heartache. At that moment, she wanted desperately for Ryuichi to be happy. And this was new for her, for she rarely felt such a strong bond and desire for a patient to be happy. This was perhaps one case in a billion.
She reached across and put her hand gently on his shoulder, not sure of what to say. Then abruptly, Ryuichi began to cry silently, tears dripping down his cheeks. She moved to sit beside him as she rapped a hand around his shoulder and let him weep out his anguish, and it was while she was holding him, not even bothering to question him in any way, but only wishing for his pain to end, did he tell her his secret.
Through pained tears, Ryuichi told her the story of how Kumagorou came to be. He began with the same sentence he had told her around two years ago. Yukari Ichikawa, Ryuichi's mother, had given Kumagorou to Ryuichi when he was only four years old. She had told him that the rabbit would always be his friend, because as a child, Ryuichi was very shy and didn't have many friends. She explained that she would always be with him through the pink bunny.
The Sakuma family wasn't a loving household. Ryuichi told her that his mother and his father, Daisuke, were forced into an arranged marriage. Daisuke was very much in love with Yukari, however she did not feel the same towards him. Two years after their wedlock began Yukari was still in refusal to get into the same bed as Daisuke, and thus unable to produce a child. But before she could ponder on how Ryuichi was then born, the idol told her that his mother had had an affair. Apparently, Yukari was deeply unhappy within the marriage and had fallen in love with another man. She had a secret affair with him and thus produced Ryuichi.
Of course, Daisuke Sakuma found out. He was outraged and furious, however he was not able to yell or shout at the one woman he cared for the most, and he ended up thrusting all his anger towards Ryuichi. He had wanted Yukari to get an abortion, but she would not hear of it. So, Ryuichi came into the world watched by a man that despised him, but loved his mother. He told her that the only reason his father had kept him was because of his mother. Yukari had ended up naming her son after the man she loved.
After Ryuichi was born, Yukari fell into a silent depression. She was always kind and gentle with Ryuichi, however she did have many heated arguments with Daisuke. Ryuichi then explained that after his mother had given Kumagorou to him, she took her own life. Ryuichi was just four years of age when he found his mother in an immobile state on her bed, her blue eyes wide open, her skin pale as snow. As a child, he did not realize what had happened to his beloved mother. However, there was a letter clutched tightly in Yukari's hands, a letter Ryuichi took and kept from his father, a letter in which he read when he was seven years old, a letter that explained everything.
Ryuichi continued on to explain that at his mother's funeral, he silently promised her that he would never let go of Kumagorou, and ever since then, the rabbit had always been with him. After Yukari's death, Daisuke Sakuma turned into a drunken lunatic. He did not seem to have the will or the care for the world anymore. He drank everyday and became an avid alcoholic, and throughout his childhood, Ryuichi was beaten mercilessly by his father. The beatings went on till Ryuichi was 13 years old, when Daisuke took his own life with a fully loaded gun, and after the idol came to live with his grandmother, Yukari's mother, at the Shinichi Temple in Kyoto, where he lived and grew.
When she had heard all this, she did not know how she would be able to respond to him. She didn't exactly feel sympathy towards Ryuichi, she didn't pity him. She only felt anger for the wrongs in Ryuichi's life, and she wondered greatly how anyone would wish pain upon such a gentleperson as Ryuichi Sakuma. Her heart pained for him as she held him close that rainy night when Ryuichi let go of his mask and showed her, and only her, the man inside. And at last, the tale of Kumagorou was told.
Now, four years after she had met the lead singer of Nittle Grasper, the past memories she had of him came flooding back. She had continued to keep contact with Ryuichi after he had gone to the U.S to further promote his career. Indeed, it was she who had first advised him to take a break from Japan after his break up with Taeko Yurusawa. She had met K when she had taken her internship in the United States, and she was very good friends with his wife. She introduced Ryuichi to the man who would later become the manager of Bad Luck, and had told him to take good care of Ryuichi.
Of course the announcement of Ryuichi's leave to the U.S and the break up of Nittle Grasper had surprised and upset the fans, and Noriko was quite angry with it as well. However, she and Tohma both agreed that it might be best if Ryuichi had taken a break. They too knew of his relationship with Taeko, however they were not aware of his past. Though, Tohma did know bits and pieces of it.
It had been a long roller coaster. A chain of events rocked twice. However, she did believe it was yet to be over. She examined this interesting cycle, every once in a while. When Ryuichi came back, she was prepared for perhaps the road to change. And as she had thought, it did. She had never suspected such a band like Bad Luck, with such a singer as Shuichi, could change two people whom she felt for dearly, and in fact, she thought that he had indeed changed many people around him as well. Though she knew his journey was yet to be over.
Once again turning back to her watch she noticed now that Ryuichi was now twenty minutes late. She gently smirked as she thought was could he be doing. He was not always this late for their usual lunch meets. She was happy they were no longer doing anymore sessions and they only now met as friends. She like Ryuichi very much and she was very happy that he trusted her to the extent that he would be able to tell her his secret.
Suddenly, the door to her office creaked opened and a smiling Ryuichi and Kumagorou came through the door. "Konnichiwa Megumi-chan!" shouted the idol happily. "Sorry I'm late, but Kumagorou wanted to buy some gifts and Pocky for Shuichi's birthday this weekend!" He smiled innocently and adoringly at her. Then, he placed a plastic bag on her desk. "Since it's my turn to buy lunch, Kumagorou suggested we buy Megumi-chan's favourite! Noodles!"
Smiling, she looked at him and the rabbit. "Thank you....Kumagorou is quite thoughtful....."
 Yeah yeah...I know, bad attempt at a stupid metaphor. Well, it's suppose to mean that it is slightly a dangerous relationship and if Eiri were not careful it would end very badly.
 MPD is Multiple Personality Disorder, and DID is Dissociate Identity Disorder. ^^ I'm going into psychology as one could see.
 The Shinichi Temple is made up! ^^ I named it after Shinichi Kudo from Detective Conan. I just gave the temple a name, not exactly meaning to name it "Shinichi". The irony of it is that Shinichi means "one truth". Shin, the character for truth, and ichi, the character for one. Do you get how that ties in with my fic? ^^;
Anyways, thank you for reading my special fic, dedicated to Ryuichi Sakuma. Though I slaved over this for three weeks, I am happy with the way it turned out. I loved that I was able to not reveal her name till the end of the fic. There will probably be a conclusion fic after this one, featuring the same woman in this fic, Megumi Hayabashi. However, I'm not sure when that "Shuichi and Eiri" based fic will come out, but I already have an idea for it. ^^ Arigatou gozimasu minna-san!
© 2003 by Jia-chan. Edited by Tsubasa.