Title: Restless

Author: Hawk Clowd

Disclaimer: Gravitation is the glorious brainchild of Maki Murakami, who was also the mastermind behind works such as Help, Be There, and Gamerz Heaven.

Blood Type: Pink lemonade... from concentrate. I was thirsty the other day and the only drinks in the house were water and milk, so I went digging through my freezer and found a can of lemonade in the bottom. It was about three years old, but I made it anyway. I hate concentrate lemonade; it's always way too sour.

Warnings: Yet another introspective story. Some off-hand mentions of sexual relations between two men.

Author's Note: When I write Eiri, I typically prefer to make him a little forgetful and irrational. I think he's still a little irrational in this one, but I changed my inner-Eiri for this story; he's a little more systematic and deliberate than I normally write him. I think this is probably a good thing.

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Why was he still here?

Eiri considered the question for a moment as he stared up at the blank ceiling of his darkened bedroom. The slightly rank smell of sex lingered in the bedroom despite the cigarette Eiri had nursed about an hour ago, just after he had removed himself from Shuichi's spent, intimate embrace. Shuichi slept peacefully beside him, turned on his side with his back to Eiri. Eiri turned his head slightly to the side to enjoy the smooth and subtle lines of Shuichi's back. He then sat up, still bothered by the question reverberating in his mind, and frowned.

He asked the question again. This time he voiced it.

"Why is he still here?" he asked the mostly silent room. He expected it to echo against the dark corners and shadows of the bedroom, but the only sounds were Shuichi's and his own breathing. He was strangely disappointed.

Shuichi murmured something quietly. Eiri frowned at him for disturbing the silence. Still sound asleep, Shuichi didn't notice. He rolled onto his back and immediately started to snore. Eiri rolled his eyes and lay back down.

After a moment, Eiri sighed and pulled a bed sheet up to half-cover Shuichi and himself. The brat had been living with Eiri for precisely one year, eight months, three days, nine hours and -- Eiri checked his watch -- forty-six minutes. The two of them had shared exactly three apartments in that time. One had been abandoned due to Eiri's initial reluctance to continue a relationship with Shuichi. The second move had been the consequence of a security breach and the resulting assault of fans. The third apartment had been acquired when Shuichi decided he should have his own room. Eiri wasn't sure why that was important to the younger man since he rarely slept there, but the writer had only bothered to mention it once and, having received no response, was not going to bother asking again.

Exactly twenty-eight tabloids had written about their relationship (twenty-six Japanese and two American, although Eiri and Shuichi were secreted near the back of the two American ones. There hadn't even been any pictures). Fourteen credible newspapers consistently put them in the headlines of the Entertainment section. Shuichi had been followed home by two angry mobs and Eiri had been accosted precisely three times while at the drug store. They fought, on average, eight times a week (mostly minor fights, although Shuichi was reduced to crying and running to his guitarist friend's apartment approximately twice a month), and they typically had sex once a day (which was usually followed by Shuichi's now-familiar morning-after complaint: "I'm never going to be able to walk straight again!").

Eiri knew the numbers by heart -- he kept track. He also knew that Shuichi often wished Eiri would be a little bit kinder and that they could go out more often. Shuichi wanted there to be less sex and fighting and more love and talking. Shuichi wished people would stop sending him letters with offensive notes or that he would no longer have to worry about some new sex scandal making its way into the news. He was tired of complaining about Eiri's drinking and the frequent and lingering sore throats and coughing fits he suffered from as a result of Eiri's smoking.

Eiri was certain Shuichi did not know the exact numbers, but he was willing to bet that the singer knew there were more bad things about their relationship than there were good. He had to know that; any idiot could see it.

But he still stayed.

Why? Eiri couldn't figure it out. When he was younger, he may have compared it to a fairy tale, but he was far too old for those now. There was no once upon a time or happily ever after in real life, nor were there any damsels in distress or white knights. There were sunsets and dark and stormy nights, yes, but that was simply weather, which had been around much longer than stories. So what was it? Was there some sort of magnetic force keeping Shuichi here? An invisible red thread? A previously unknown law of physics? No. Eiri didn't believe in silly things like those, either.

Not too long ago, of course, Eiri would also have claimed not to believe in love. He tried not to think about that too much.

Logically, Shuichi should have realized that his relationship with Eiri wasn't good for either of them. Their common interests consisted of sex, Thai food, and not doing the dishes or cleaning the bathrooms. Eiri's vices were hardly conducive to Shuichi's career and Shuichi's habits did nothing to help Eiri's work. They didn't like the same movies, the same books, or even the same snacks. They would occasionally agree on a song or a television show that they both liked and that would surprise the both of them.

So... why was he still here?

Eiri sat up again and frowned down at Shuichi's sleeping form. He was never going to be able to sleep if he kept thinking about this and that meant there was only one thing to do. Hesitating for only a moment, Eiri reached out and shook Shuichi awake.

Yawning, Shuichi blinked and rolled over onto his side, facing Eiri. "What is it?" he mumbled in a voice slurred with sleep. "Is the dragon trying to feel you up, too?"

Eiri stopped halfway through asking his question and stared at Shuichi. After a moment, he shook his head. "Go back to sleep," he ordered. He pulled the bed sheet back up around Shuichi's shoulders and lay back down.

Sometimes it was better not to ask.

---end---