Title: The Film

Author: Hawk Clowd

Disclaimer: All the usual stuff applies. I own nothing, I want nothing. If it weren't for the fact that I've been coddled and assured by several people that this story isn't as bad as I think it is, I wouldn't even be laying claim to the fic.

Blood Type: Something really, really gross.

Warnings: Spoilers, mentions of rape.

Author's Notes: I'm sorry. This story is really, really bad. At least, I think it is. You, the reader, wouldn't even be reading it unless a few select people had told me it wasn't bad... so, if you like it, you can thank D.C. and Sho. If you don't like it, you can blame them for telling me it was decent enough to share. There. All my bases are covered. In other news, I wrote this while I was trying not to fail an exam, thought I threw it away, and then found out that I didn't. Very strange.

---

Eiri was about to leave the apartment to see Tohma for lunch when he put his hands in his pockets and the fingers on his right hand found some company. Eiri frowned and pulled the thing out of his pocket, staring at it. A roll of film. Why did he have a roll of film in his pocket? He didn't even own a camer--

Oh, fuck. This was the film he had taken from Taki Aizawa a few weeks before. Peachy. Just... peachy.

Rolling the film around in his fingers, Eiri scowled at it. This was the roll of pictures Aizawa had taken while he'd had Shuichi raped. At least, that's what he'd told Eiri. The writer didn't think Aizawa would have lied about that, not at that point in time, but who knew? Maybe he'd lied and this was an entirely different roll of film. The only way to know that would be to develop it. Which, Eiri realized, meant he would be able to see the faces of the men who had raped Shuichi, identify them, track them down...

It was very tempting, this film. The more Eiri examined it, the more he wanted to get it developed and find the bastards. Maybe help Shuichi with the whole closure issue, although he would pretend that helping Shuichi wasn't even on his list of intentions.

Shuichi cried at night, sometimes, and Eiri thought that maybe he knew why. If he was right, then perhaps...?

Eiri moved the film to his other hand. Or maybe it would do more harm than good; the pictures would, perhaps, bring up memories Shuichi had spent the past few weeks struggling to forget. Keeping those buried was important, Eiri thought, because Shuichi had had so little time to heal and recover from the attack; there had been too much going on at the time. Maybe it would set the boy off, once and for all. In that case, developing the pictures would be a terrible, terrible idea.

But, on the other hand...

Shuichi had known that Aizawa had taken pictures of him, but Eiri hadn't told the singer that he had confiscated the film. He also hadn't known that Eiri had beat the shit out of Ma-kun, although he probably had a good idea of what had occurred when Eiri had been alone in the room with the band ASK. There were a lot of things Eiri hadn't told him. To be fair, there were several things Shuichi had refused to tell Eiri. (Eiri silently recognized that his logic was shit, but he wouldn't admit it even in his head.)

Develop the film or no? Eiri could see the good and bad points of each argument. He decided to leave it for later, opting to simply pocket the film and go to his appointment with Tohma.

---

Eiri came home late that evening and the first thing he heard was the television. It wasn't very loud, but it was enough to make Eiri snap it off on his way to the kitchen. Shuichi, who had been watching some cartoon show, whined about it briefly, then climbed off the couch to turn the television back on.

Flicking the television off again as he passed, Eiri moved to sit next to Shuichi on the couch, considering the boy. He couldn't tell how the singer would feel if he saw the film.

Well, there was only one way to find out. As Shuichi started to get up to turn the television back on, Eiri tugged on the singer's collar and pulled him back.

"Shuichi."

"I wish we could find the remote."

"Shuichi."

The singer looked over at Eiri with a small smile on his face. "Yeah?"

Eiri watched the boy carefully. "If someone found that roll of film Aizawa took while you were being attacked, then gave it to you, what would you do with it?"

Shuichi winced visibly. "Eh? Well, I'd want to know how they knew the film was of me, first off," he said, managing a strained chuckle.

"They'd just know. What would you do with the film?"

"Na, Yuki... Why are you asking me this?"

"Just answer the question."

Shuichi faltered. "I... I don't know."

Eiri considered him. "You don't know," he repeated.

"Right! I mean... There aren't a lot of options. I could burn it, I guess, or hide it away or have someone teach me how to develop pictures so I could develop them or... Well, I guess those are all my choices, but I still don't know." Shuichi furrowed his brow. "I think I would probably develop the film and then destroy all of it. I would just... I don't know, Yuki."

Eiri hesitated for just a moment before he pulled the film out of his pocket and held it out to Shuichi, who took it warily. "Here."

"Is... Yuki, is this really...?"

"It's Aizawa's film," Eiri said. "There. You have it now. What do you want to do with it now that you have the film for real?"

Shuichi stared at the film. Then, without warning, he drew back and threw the film at the opposite wall, where it hit and fell to the floor with a loud "thunk". Eiri stared at the fallen canister for a moment, then looked back at Shuichi.

The singer was flushed, eye flaring angrily. "What are you doing, showing me that?" he demanded loudly. "Why do you even have it? Yuki!"

Whoops.

Eiri let Shuichi yell at him for a long while. All right. So Shuichi hadn't been ready for that just yet; maybe he never would be. Eiri made a mental note.

"Are you done whining?" Eiri snapped, interrupting the singer's lecture.

Shuichi obviously hadn't been expecting that, as his shouts stopped and he recoiled just a bit. Tears welled up in his eyes. "Yuki... I..."

"If you want me to destroy the film, just say so and you'll never have to think about it again. If you want it developed, I know a guy would do it, no questions asked. It's up to you," Eiri said, a little harsher than he had originally intended. He couldn't help it; he'd had a hard day and he'd been musing over that film for hours now... Really, it was probably even worse for Shuichi, who'd had this sprung on him so suddenly. Eiri felt a pain of guilt; it subsided quickly.

Shuichi wiped at his eyes. "If it were you, Yuki, what would you do?"

Eiri had actually considered that, something during his walk home. If someone had been taking pictures of him and Kitazawa, what would he have wanted to happen? Easy. He would have picked out names, found names, and gone about getting revenge. But that wasn't the right road for Shuichi. Never the right road for Shuichi.

"I'd lock it away somewhere," Eiri lied. "And think about it for a while, then forget about it. And leave it at that."

Shuichi was quiet for a long while. "I think... I think I'd like to just forget about it forever," he answered at last, pressing close to Eiri and curling up a bit against the writer. "How do I do that?"

Eiri shrugged. "I'm not sure you can." The writer rested a hand on the top of Shuichi's head and stroked the singer's hair absent-mindedly.

Shuichi let out a long, shuddered breath. "I... Can we just get rid of it?"

"I'll do that, then," Eiri said, starting to get up.

Shuichi yanked him back down. "No," he said quickly, looking up at the man with pleading eyes. "I don't want you to get rid of it. I want us to get rid of it, okay?"

Eiri nodded. "All right." He started to ease out of Shuichi's clutches to retrieve the film, but the singer tightened his grip.

"Not yet," Shuichi murmured in a quavering, shaky voice. "Could you just... sit with me for a little while? Please?"

Eiri hesitated, then nodded. "Sure." He settled back, holding Shuichi loosely as the singer cried and tried to reassure himself by turn. It was a long night, but, when morning came, they said a quick prayer at their local temple and then watched the film burn away until it was nothing but sooty, gray ash.

And that was the end of it.