Title: Strange Hope
Author: Celeste
Feedback: (yes!)
Just some spontaneous writing
Universe: Gravitation
Pairing: YukixShuichi
Rating: PG
Time: Er… I lost count. I should edit this one day…
Word count: 1,648
Summary: Yuki takes a walk.
Dedication: Pris, because it's been a while.
A/N: So I wanted to write something a little bit serious just to prove to myself I still could after all the Bleach crack that has been eating my brain. I don't know if I convinced myself or not. I just felt really brain dead while I was writing this, which I guess is sort of the mood of the piece (does brain dead count as a mood?). But anyway, this is what I came up with, and while I'm not exactly sure what it all means myself, I think that this was more just an exercise to see what I could do instinctively (ie without thinking about anything at all). So pardon the randomness and the OOC, and the general mopey. It's raining heavily here still, I'm a bit sick, and I have a paper to outline by Tues that I haven't started. Such is my life.
Disclaimer: Not mine. But I dream. I dream sometimes.
Distribution: Just lemme know.

The park is a miserable construction of pathetic people in the late afternoon, families and couples and people far too attached to their pets milling around in the autumn sunlight like there isn't anything better to do with their time other than sit around and waste it all amongst the excessively quaffed walks and unnecessarily winding paths.

He smokes a cigarette as he moves through the main thoroughfare of the park, surrounded on either side by overly-manicured greenery trying very hard to create the illusion of nature. People are happy here, laughing and playing, spending time with their friends and loved ones in the noisiest possible manner because it is Sunday and tomorrow won't afford the same luxury. The smoke trails from his cigarette languidly as he moves and he catches the disapproving looks of a pair of young mothers as he puffs by them, scowling fiercely and looking for all the world like some sort of schizophrenic bum with his disheveled hair, wrinkled clothes, and three days' worth of stubble.

The irony is interesting. He is certain had he been dressed and manicured to his usual acceptable public appearance level, they would have shyly smiled at him and approached, asking for an autograph or a kiss or a picture, if they were bold.

As it is, he looks nothing like a celebrity and a thousand times more like he is in search of an unoccupied bench to spend the night.

By the time the third father pulls their child protectively behind them as he passes, Yuki thinks that this is idiotic and he should go home. He isn't here for any good reason he can fathom, being by himself and days shy of a very important deadline. By all logical progressions of thought, he should be back at the apartment smoking his cigarettes in private, drinking a beer or two, and working on his latest book.

Instead he is out here, taking a rather pointless turn around a park that he doesn't really like anyway, dirty, ruffled, and operating on far too little sleep.

Taking a walk in the park by himself.

Shuichi is always asking him that a walk in the park would be beautiful, wouldn't it, and wouldn't it be even nicer if they did it together?

He usually ignores the brat when something so painfully domestic is suggested, and Shuichi pouts, but eventually gives up and goes by himself, undoubtedly hoping that on some off-hand chance, Yuki will give chase and they'll get to walk together after all, up that certain hill in the park that is Shuichi's favorite, where they can watch the sunset together.

It has never happened, but the brat keeps doing it anyway. On some off-hand chance.

Shuichi is always filled with stupid hope, and Yuki is more often than not, at a loss as to how to deal with it. He thinks that after all this time he's done enough so that the brat should know not to keep hoping, but he does anyway, and even as a critically-acclaimed writer praised for holding all the keys to the human heart, Yuki can't for the life of him, figure out how Shuichi manages to keep all of this strange hope when Yuki keeps letting it down.

Before Shuichi, he'd never met anyone in his life that was willing to go through so much disappointment.

Sometimes he doesn't mind that Shuichi hopes so much, but the fact that that strange hope is somehow tied to Yuki is unsettling because he does not think he is the kind of person that is good and takes care of the precious things given to him.

To this day he has never chased after the brat, has never followed him through the park and up his hill so they can watch the sunset together. Every time, Shuichi comes home alone after dark, smiling a little sadly as he tells Yuki what a pretty sight he missed and says to him that he should come next time.

Yuki thinks that by now, Shuichi should know better.

But the invitation is there every time, and once in a while, for a brief moment after the door shuts behind the singer, Yuki considers following. It doesn't last, just a flicker of thought in his mind before it is gone and Shuichi is left to another evening by himself at the top of a tree-lined hill.

After all these times it must have lost a lot of its charm, especially when every time, the younger boy is watching his sunsets alone.

Yuki sighs and starts ascending the hill, the sun low in the sky but far from setting as he begins. He thinks that this is stupid, but aside from Shuichi's damnable hope, Yuki is still a little bit curious as to what exactly, is so special about this park and this hill that the singer is always telling him about, what is worth enduring the walk and the people and the noise for.

It has to be something special for Shuichi to be so willing to let himself be disappointed all the time for.

His breathing is slightly labored as he crests the slope, no doubt the work of his cigarettes, but he is here, in this spot where the idiot likes to come.

The place he wants to share with Yuki.

The writer looks around and feels that it is the same as the rest of the park, covered in fall's colors and idyllic in a way that makes him feel strange, a little uncomfortable. Finding an empty bench at the very top, he trudges over and sits down, pulling out another cigarette and lighting it as the sun, low in the sky, shines right back in his face. Beside him a discarded copy of today's newspaper flutters in a lonely sort of way. He's already read the issue so he doesn't pick it up, knowing that a few pages into it he can find the Entertainment section and Shuichi's photograph if he so chooses.

Bad Luck will return to Tokyo Monday evening for the last show of their new release tour.

It doesn't really mean anything to Yuki except the fact that his brat has been gone for three and a half weeks gallivanting around the country in one of NG's private jets.

And that he'll be home tomorrow.

Eiri sits and finishes his cigarette, stares off into the horizon and tries to see the beauty of the sunset that Shuichi always praises when he comes home alone.

Hours later the sun is gone and he is down an entire pack of cigarettes. Crickets start chirping and the night air is chill enough that he shudders a little into his jacket. It is incredibly lonely up here, and he feels a little bit ill, wondering how Shuichi can endure this so often. Yuki is certain that it is ridiculous to put oneself through so much trouble for something so painfully unsatisfying.

It isn't worth the trek just to end up here cold and alone. Especially when the only thing driving you is the off-hand chance that it won't be so lonely this time, as oppose to all the past times.

Eiri makes a face and stubs the life from his last cigarette, moving to stand up and start walking home. He thinks that maybe he should quash Shuichi's hope permanently when the idiot returns, just to save his lover the trouble of hiking up here by himself to a sunset dimmed by the city's smog and a lonely park bench to watch it from.

It's too much work to keep hoping for, he thinks. There's too much work and the return is shitty. That's what Yuki feels it is as he starts down the side of the hill, stubble itching on his face and hair matted to his head securely enough that the fall breeze is too weak to stir it.

Shuichi's hill is a disappointment, and a difficult one at that. It's lonely up there, like Yuki's apartment had been for a long time now. He feels a little bit stupid for deciding to take a walk up this hill today of all days, when he should have been at home writing like a madman to meet his deadlines. But he'd been tired enough to, for a brief moment, believe it would be worth it if only to see why Shuichi kept putting himself here alone, and so willingly. Yuki had thought that maybe it would be beautiful, or nice, or whatever Shuichi liked to call it, and that would justify why the brat kept returning alone, kept hoping for his off-hand chance to share it with Yuki even though it would probably never come.

Yuki doesn't think it's worth it, because it's cold and the view isn't that good and being alone like that when you know there's supposed to be someone there with you is a strange, horrible feeling.

Now, after everything, he only finds himself doubly confounded as to how Shuichi manages to keep all that hope of his.

He exits the park and heads down the street to their home, only slightly less lonely than the hill because there are reminders everywhere that two people live there. He walks into the door and removes his shoes, sitting down on the couch and turning on the TV instead of going to his office like he should. He flips to the music news channel.

Shuichi's face is not on the screen when the picture comes into focus. After a moment of listening, Yuki realizes that the anchor woman is talking about some group that will be debuting at Zepp Tokyo later tonight. He waits a few more minutes, continues to hear nothing about Bad Luck, and switches the TV off.

As he trudges into his office, he wonders vaguely if Shuichi's strange hope is somehow rubbing off on him.