Just revamped the whole fic (grammar and style, a few plot changes), so if you're an old reader you might want to do a once-over. Happy reading. I don't own these characters.
WARNING: I debated on the rating, but went with T. After reading, if you think this is inappropriate please let me know. It is definitely borderline M.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we're coming to you live from the heart of Tokyo. If you're just joining us, the destruction that you see behind me is all that remains of an entire district of businesses in the aftermath of an earthquake unlike the city has seen in centuries. At 10:19 this morning, an isolated 7.7 quake rocked the entire island of Honshu and its origin was here. I can't even describe what it's like to be standing here right now. Many of the largest buildings that stood in this part of the city are damaged, and several have partially collapsed. This shell of a building, just a few hours ago, was a 30 story structure, a division of NG, Japan's leading music corporation.
"Search and rescue workers are still tirelessly looking for survivors amidst the rubble of the business district, which employs millions of people, and unfortunately this morning was no different. The local police and emergency agencies are stretched thin, as are local hospitals. The prime minister has declared a state of emergency and issues a plea for international assistance. Rescue teams, working with trained dogs, have been tirelessly scouring the devastation in search of survivors, but none have been found since within an hour of the quake. Stay tuned, I'll be bringing you live updates throughout the day. Now we're going to go to Hikaru Motomo, a seismologist at Tokyo University who will explain to us why the quake only affected this area, and why it did so much damage. Motomo-san?"
"Thank you. Earthquakes are a fierce and fascinating natural phenomenon..."
The room was dark and he was sitting on the couch. Heavy curtains kept the sunlight out and also blocked the vision of smoke and debris rising over the buildings visible from his window. The remote was on the floor, it's batteries a few feet away where they'd rolled after popping out when the tremors flung it to the floor off the coffee table. His morning coffee was also on the floor, pooling into the carpet, where he'd dropped it when he turned the news on.
Mouth slightly agape, eyes wide in horror, Eiri Yuki could do nothing but watch as footage of the collapsing business district played over and over and Hikaru Motomo droned on about epicenters and statistics.
How could this be happening?
"Yuki," Shuichi climbed into the bed he shared with his lover and wrapped himself around the sleeping novelist, softly calling his name. "Yuki..." He wanted to say goodbye before he dressed and left for work. But they'd been up most of the night and Yuki was more than reluctant to wake now.
Growling deep in his throat, the older man shifted away and buried his head in a pillow. He wasn't ready to face the day yet. "Go away."
Snorting discontentedly, Shuichi straddled Yuki's buttock and laid down across his lover's back. Nibbling the novelist's ear, he began to rock his hips while his hands fumbled underneath the blankets that separated their already naked bodies.
Suddenly Yuki was paying much more attention to the young musician. With barely an inward sigh at more sleep he would never regain, he quickly rolled over, then planted Shuichi firmly over his own straining hips.
The younger man was startled until his lover pulled him into a deep kiss. Shuichi broke away with a gasp and Yuki started to trail kisses down his neck and chest. He was now thankful for Shuichi's thoughtfulness to wake him before he got dressed. The thin cotton sheet was all that kept their bodies from fully touching.
The musician groaned and pressed his hips down, making Yuki uncomfortable under the sheet fabric. Once more he rolled over, this time tossing the sheet aside and dragging his Shuichi under him.
He knew that Shuichi would willingly spend the rest of the day in bed with him if he hinted at the possibility, so he'd have to be quick about satisfying both their needs and sending him off to work or else face the wrath of his insane manager and another lecture from Tohma.
Grabbing the lube off the bedside table, Yuki was slow yet insistent, and when they were finished he immediately sent Shuichi off to the shower. The musician was out the door in time to make it to work no more than ten minutes behind schedule.
Later Yuki would wish he'd given in this one time and kept him at home.
Tohma was straightening his tie when he entered the kitchen. Mika turned around from making fresh coffee and natto and he smiled at her swollen stomach. He pecked her cheek and placed his hands on what would some day been his son or daughter.
"You're glowing, Mika." And it was true. He'd noticed his wife's substantial beauty even more now that she was carrying his child.
"Tohma," she scoffed, handing him his breakfast and shooing him towards the table. It was papered in parenting magazines, baby insurance plans, and books full of names that Mika poured over in her eagerness to welcome the new addition to their family. Clearing himself a space, he sat down and took a sip of his coffee while unfolding the paper.
Mika continued to bustle around the kitchen and occasionally Tohma would look up between scanning stories to watch her. He was so proud of his wife. She was battling morning sickness and had gotten rather large, but she insisted on keeping up the house, going so far as to fire their longtime maid when she finally took maternity leave from work. Though he was opposed to her over exerting herself and had tried to bring in new help, that was a battle he'd lost long ago. Stubbornness ran in her family, after all.
Tohma folded the paper and stood as soon as he'd finished his coffee. Mika came to take his dishes and kiss him goodbye, telling him to have a good day. He, in turn, told her to think of herself and the baby and get some rest. She brushed it off and went back to scrubbing the spotless counters.
With a half hearted sigh and a chuckle, Tohma Seguchi grabbed his coat and left for work. He didn't know then that he wouldn't be coming home later that night...
"Hey baby, did I wake you?"
"Not at all. Good morning Hiroshi." Ayaka's sunshine voice made the guitarist feel warm inside. He could almost see her smiling as she cradled the phone and lounged in a chair, or maybe settled onto a bench in the morning sun. She was always up with the birds. The perfect woman.
"So, um...I was wondering if you had plans later." He attempted to shrug on a button up shirt as he spoke. Nothing too casual in case she said no, and nothing too classy in case she was busy.
"No. Did you have something in mind?" His smile grew as he grabbed the jeans with less holes in them and slid the legs on with difficulty while he continued the conversation.
"Well, I was checking out this nice little Thai restaurant around the corner from the studio. I thought it might be nice to go together sometime. I mean, I don't know if you like Thai food, or if you wanted to go with me, but-"
"I'd love to." She was laughing at him. He dropped the phone and tripped over his pants and had to bite his tongue to keep from swearing.
"Really? I mean great. That would be great." He smiled and almost dropped the phone again while he fiddled with a button and checked his wallet to make sure he could afford to buy Ayaka the nicest dinner on the menue. "Should I come get you, or if you wanted to meet me-"
"I'm sure that I can meet you. You said it was just around the corner from the office?"
"Yeah. We should wrap up in the studio around 5 or so, but it could always run over. You know hose guys."
"I don't think Shindou-san will keep you any longer than he has to. After all, he has Eiri-san to go home to." Hiro felt a pang- more like a crippling stab- of jealously, but calmed himself. Ayaka said Yuki's name like she said anyone else's these days. Maybe there really could be a future for them.
"All right then. How about I meet you outside at a quarter after?"
"That would be wonderful. I'll see you then."
"Bye, Ayaka." 'I love you.'
"Goodbye, Hiroshi." She didn't say it, either. But maybe that was because he hadn't said it. Hiro kicked himself as he dropped the phone onto the receiver and locked the door on his way out of the apartment, but he rode to work with a smile on his face. He even drove by the restaurant he planned to take Ayaka to. Maybe tonight he'd tell her...
But he'd never get the chance to take her out that night.
"Oh my God! There's a coffee stain on my tie!" Sakano tore the soiled article from around his neck and rushed to the closet, nearly sloshing his steaming mug over everything else he had on.
"None of these match! What will I do? If I show up in the wrong tie- if Seguchi-san notices- if he says anything-" Sakano was sufficiently discomfited thinking about it to refrain from saying it aloud. No, he couldn't have that.
"I'll just pick up another one." With that enormous decision out of the way, he was free to rush about the rest of his morning activities. In the next thirty minutes, he'd washed out the stained tie and hung it to dry, watered his extensive collection of potted plants, shined his shoes, re-ironed his entire suit outfit, and went through seven more cups of coffee.
He grabbed his final cup as he waited for the department store to open, and managed to somehow make it to work before anyone else but the maintenance staff, looking absolutely impeccable. Just let Seguchi try to find something wrong with him today!
"Oh my God, is that a spot?"
It was just another normal day in his life. But if he knew... maybe he wouldn't have bothered with the new tie. Or maybe that was just Sakano...
"Do you really need something so big?"
K hefted his gun to examine the barrel as he sat at the kitchen table eating the food Judy had gotten up ten minutes early to order. But it was damn good food. The best delivery bento around.
"Tohma said big. Who am I to disobey a direct order?"
"Well, I'm giving you a direct order to get that thing out of your face around my son. If you blow your head off-"
K laughed, but lower his firearm. "Last time I checked, I was also involved in that son being here."
"Is that so?" K pulled his wife into his lap.
"It is." She shoved his face away when he moved towards her.
"I don't remember it. And don't you dare try that in front of my son." She stood up and lifted the little boy into the air. She cooed at him when he started making kissing faces, to imitate what his parents weren't always so secretive about.
"Good boy." She spun the child around, blowing kisses back at him through the air. K watched all of this with as much fatherly pride as he could have for his son, and as much love as he could have for his wife.
They might be a somewhat dysfunctional family, but they had a lot of love. As he headed out the door, K told Judy that he would pick dinner up, a gesture that the ravishing love of his life was always appreciative for. Unfortunately, he wouldn't make it for dinner.
The idle keyboard released a light background pulse in the form of Bad Luck's keyboardist's latest masterpiece. Said keyboardist was sprawled across his instrument, his hand compressing the 'auto repeat' button. His headphones had slipped off his neck and dangled a few inches from the ground.
Just hours ago, he'd been feverishly working on an arrangement to suit Shuichi's new vocal track, and it was an ambitious project, but he was nearly there. He wanted to take Bad Luck to the next level, and this single was just the song to do it with.
More than that, though, Suguru wanted to prove himself to his friends and colleagues, most of all to his cousin. He'd get out of Tohma's shadow now, or he'd never escape. With the baby one the way and Nittle Grasper on indefinite hiatus, there probably wouldn't be a better time to distinguish himself from the image of his cousin, both musically and as a person.
Today he would have showed up early, to be ready to unveil his supreme creation. But he'd pulled one too many late night sessions and he slept through the alarm. By the time he woke up, there was no point in rushing off to the studio. There was no longer a studio to rush off to.
Next chapter starts in real time. What will happen now?