The Off Track: Epilogue

Approximately one month later, Shuichi Shindou stirred beneath a comforter on the couch and awakened to the blare of early-morning talk television. Groggily, he pushed the blanket off of his bare shoulders and scooted closer to his lover, who was sitting on the end of the couch holding the remote control.

"Some hail this three-chapter-long deviation in the work as a form of cross-genre experimentation, while others speculate about the possible influence on the author of substances either legal or otherwise. It is difficult to deny the uncharacteristic 'oddity' of this segment, an excerpt from which reads as follows..."

Shuichi became more alert as he absorbed an eerily familiar description of escaped lab mice and their creepy omnipresent ways.

"And now we offer one literary critic's take: 'Obviously this segment of the novella serves as a hyperbolic metaphor for the origin of the protagonist's underlying insanity. Whether it is to be taken literally or not is debatable..."

"As long as they're not taking it autobiographically," Eiri muttered with relief and switched off the TV.

Shuichi could no longer suppress his laughter. "Yuki." He pointed to the silent television in disbelief. "You didn't really write that, did you?"

"Did I really do this" – he indicated a reddish spot on Shuichi's shoulder blade – "last night?"

"Then I guess," Shuichi giggled, "you think that vacation was worth it after all?" He glanced fondly at a framed copy of "Yuki Trips on a Stick" that he'd placed on the end table.

Eiri just tilted Shuichi's chin away from the photograph and toward his face. "I think," he gave a quick smooch, "that you should've stayed under that bedding if you'd wanted to keep the rest of your body safe."

"C'mooon, Yuki...what does that have to do with what I asked? Stop changing the subject. Does that mean yes? Cuz if it didn't, I'm gonna take it like a yes and you and I are bound to go back again sometime in 5...4...3...2..."

Shuichi didn't finish. He had become rather occupied. It was another typical morning. The closeness of their bodies, the warmth of their breaths...

And a resident four-legged ball of fur to occasionally interrupt.



A/N: Well, it was fun, eh? Thank you all so much for reading! If you haven't reviewed, please do take the time. Although I seemed demanding in earlier updates, you know it was mostly in fun. ;) But it actually is very interesting to hear what my readers have to say. I would really appreciate it if you could take just a minute. Thanks. :bows:

Peace, love, and let Gravitation forever rock the anime world. :D

Aoi Umi