A/N: This fic is dedicated to Moroi Mikomi, Tora-chan. It's a late B-day gift. Even if Aaya X Tori's not her favorite couple. Sorry 'bout that!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket or the song "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough"; I'm not making any money off this either.
Ratings: PG-13 for language and mild violence…
Main Characters: Ayame, Hatori, Shigure, and Yuki
Additional Notes: Heh…takes place before Tohru comes to live with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure cuz I forgot all about Tohru and Kyo…and I'm too lazy to change the whole thing now. -- Glossary at the bottom!
Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough
Chapter One: Song Of A Broken Heart
Ayame bit his lip, trying desperately to hold in his tears, the pain in his heart threatening to rip free. He squeezed his eyes closed, hands tightening on the backs of his thin arms as soft melodies flowed from the small portable radio next to him.Tori-san…
It was a moment before he could gain any semblance of control over his trembling body and he sighed, swallowing hard. He wetted his dry lips and sniffed, taking deep breaths, willing himself to be strong. He looked out at the stars, his knees drawn up to his chest as he sat on the shingled roof of Shigure's house.
His mind wandered back to the conversation it had taken him years to gain the courage to start…"Tori-san?"
The ryuu looked up, his face as expressionless as always. "Yes Ayame?" he asked, setting his pen on the desk. "What is it? You look rather pale…"
Ayame shook his head, swallowing the lump in his throat. "T-Tori-san…I…I have to tell you something…"
Hatori raised one delicate eyebrow in curiosity, the anxiousness in the hebi's voice surprising. "And that would be?"
He bit his lip, looking at the ground, his cheeks burning. "Onegai Tori-san, onegai don't hate me," he said, his voice strained; Hatori frowned. "I'm begging you…I couldn't live if you did… Don't let this change anything between us…I don't want you to feel…feel weird with me around you… onegai…"
With four quick strides, Hatori got to his feet and crossed the room, skirting the table, to stand in front of the hebi, friendly concern in his emerald eyes. "Ayame, what's wrong?"
Ayame took a deep breath, knowing he had past the point of no return and there was no turning back now. "I…I love you Hatori," he said softly, his hands falling limp at his sides; his eyes were closed, his body rigid, waiting.
Hatori stood stalk-still, his visible emerald eye wide in shock. He didn't speak as he stared at the hebi. Hesitantly, Ayame looked up, his golden eyes questioning, pleading, hoping. Hatori swallowed, taking a step back, still too stunned to say anything.
Hurt flashed through the silver-haired man's eyes and he drew in a sharp breath. "Tori…san…onegai," he whispered, his voice beseeching, begging the ryuu to understand. "I-I didn't mean to… I tried not to, I really did, but…I can't. I'm not asking you to love me; I just wanted you to know…it felt like it was unfair, you not knowing." He stopped, his eyes wide, his hand across his mouth. "Just…just onegai…don't hate me for it…onegai…"
The ryuu looked away, his breathing harsher than it had been and his face ghostly pale. "Ayame…I…"
Ayame took a breath, his hands shaking. Hatori closed his eyes. "Ayame, gomen ne…I… I think…I think maybe you should go…"
The hebi felt like he'd been struck, his heart wounded and bleeding. "T-Tori-san…"
The black-haired man looked away and Ayame felt a sob break loose from his throat; before the ryuu could stop him, he turned and fled, tears glittering like diamonds against two shattered suns. Distantly he heard Hatori call out to him but he didn't stop, or even slow, as he pushed through the door and escaped out into the light snowfall.
He somehow managed to make it to Shigure's house, shaking and trembling, frozen to the bone. He stumbled to the door, falling to his knees just as, amazingly, Yuki opened the door, running out in his bare feet to help the hebi.
"Baka hebi!" he'd yelled, grabbing blanket after blanket from the closet in the living room, Ayame himself shivering under the kotatsu. "What the hell were you doing out there in this weather? It's snowing for Chrissake's! Do you want to catch your death out there!"
Ayame didn't answer, his eyes closed, tears running down his pale cheeks.
Yuki sighed. "Now I have to call Hatori and get you checked out…"
"No!" cried the hebi, face snapping to the nezumi's, his amber eyes wide and frightened.
Ayame swallowed, his eyes never leaving his brother's confused face. "Onegai…otouto…don't." Yuki just shook his head, exasperated, as he laid the blankets on Ayame's shoulders, pulling the snow-white hair free so it tumbled down the blankets in silver waves.
"Nii-san…what's wrong?" he asked, moving to sit across the kotatsu from the hebi. "Normally you'd jump at the slightest chance of seeing Hatori…"
Golden eyes looked away, shamed, as Ayame pulled the blankets tighter around his shaking body. "It's… It's complicated otouto," he whispered. "Onegai…just don't call him…onegai-shimasu…don't…"
Yuki frowned. "Unless you tell me why, I'm going to call him Nii-san," he said slowly. "You're not acting like yourself…"
Ayame took a shaky breath, tears slipping down his alabaster cheeks in rivulets. "Onegai otouto…I can't face him… Not after…"
"Well?" The nezumi crossed his arms over his chest, patiently. "You always wanted to talk to me, be closer to me, so tell me what's wrong."
The hebi shook his head, eyes blank and distant. "You wouldn't understand…"
"What wouldn't I understand Nii-san," demanded Yuki. "Onegai, let me help; I don't like seeing you like this. Just let me help…"
Ayame didn't speak for a moment. "There's nothing you can do Yuki," he said softly, looking out the window; it had stopped snowing finally and he could see the faint glitter of stars in the sky. "It's too late to fix it…it's all ruined…everything…ruined…"
Shigure frowned as he walked through the door; he'd seen Ayame on the roof, staring off into space, the many blankets wrapped tightly around his thin frame. "Yuki?"
The nezumi looked up from the book he'd been reading. "He's been here since almost six-thirty," said Yuki, already knowing what the inu would ask. "He looked terrible when he got here…I think something's really wrong this time Shigure…"
Shigure sighed, hanging up his haori and running a hand absently through his unruly soot-black hair. "We'll have to call Haa-san to give him a check up, to make sure he doesn't get a cold."
Yuki shook his head sadly. "He won't let us," he sighed.
Shigure blinked, frowning. "What do you mean Yuki?"
The nezumi closed the book and leaned on his elbows on the tabletop. "He was practically in tears, begging me not to call Hatori… But he wouldn't say why, or what had happened…"
Shigure shook his head. "This isn't like Aaya," he muttered.
Yuki nodded, his arms crossed. "All he said was something about it being complicated, that everything was ruined…that he couldn't face Hatori." Shigure's eyes widened. "Shigure, what's going on?"
"Oh kami," muttered the inu, groaning, throwing his haori back on. "I think he did it…dammit Ayame! Yuki, stay here, I'm going to go talk to him… Kami, this is going to be one hell of a long night…"
"But there's a danger
In lovin' somebody too much,
And it's sad when you know
It's your heart you can't trust."
"Truer words have never been said," Ayame sighed as he listened to the soft American song wafting from the radio's speakers. The lyrics were in English, yes, but contrary to popular belief Ayame was rather fluent in the language, thanks to high school English class. He actually quite liked many of the American songs from the eighties and seventies; even the nineties were good.
"There's a reason why people
Don't stay where they are.
Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough…"
The song was sad, bittersweet to Ayame. The lyrics reminded him of himself…and Hatori, though he was sure there were others that might have fit better. But still…he shook his head. Why had he said those things to the ryuu? He knew that Hatori was straight, that he probably wouldn't understand, but he'd done it anyway. He'd single-handedly managed to drive away his best friend and ruin his life, and it had only taken his fifteen minutes, tops. Way to go Ayame…
"Now I could never change you;
I don't wanna blame you.
Baby you don't have to take the fall."
"Ayame, what happened?"
The hebi didn't turn around as he answered, "I ruined it…I drove him away…it's all ruined now…"
Shigure sighed as he climbed onto the roof and settled down next to his friend. "You told him, didn't you?" Ayame nodded silently and the inu gave him an apologetic look. "And I'm guessing it didn't go like you planned?"
A small sob escaped Ayame and Shigure pulled the hebi to him, rubbing his friend's back comfortingly. "Gomen ne Aaya," he whispered into Ayame's soft silver hair, holding the hebi tight. "You didn't deserve this and I swear I'll try to make it up to you."
"He…he told me to leave," sobbed Ayame brokenly. "He didn't even tell me we'd still be friends…he just told me to leave…"
Shigure closed his eyes, his heart bleeding for his friend. "Give him some time Aaya… I'm sure he was just a little surprised, that's all…he just needs some time to get used to the idea; it'll be all right…"
Ayame curled into himself, clutching the inu's haori, tears streaming down his pale cheeks, clinging to his sable lashes and trembling on his light pink lips before falling to the shingled roof, onto the blankets, Shigure's clothes, his own clothes. Shigure tried to comfort the hebi best he could.
"And like a fool who will never see the truth," whispered Ayame, his face buried in Shigure's kimono front, "I keep thinking something's gonna change… But there's a danger in lovin' somebody too much, and it's sad when you know it's your heart they can't touch… There's a reason why people don't stay where they are; baby, sometimes love just ain't enough…"
Shigure just pulled the hebi closer. Oh Aaya…
Hatori was staring at a small, framed picture on the wall of his room when Shigure roughly opened the door and stormed over to him, grabbing the front of his polo shirt forcibly and shaking him. "Damn you Hatori!" he growled. "What the hell did you say!"
Hatori closed his eyes. "Is he all right?" he asked softly.
Shigure shoved the ryuu back on the bed and violently pulled a cigarette from his sleeve, lighting it with an impatient click of his lighter. "He just had his heart ripped out and stomped on by the one man he loves; how the hell do you think he is, asshole?"
The ryuu sighed, covering his good eye with his hand. "I…I didn't mean to say it," he said quietly. "I just didn't know what to do…I had no idea…"
"Yeah well, just thought I'd let you know," sneered Shigure, "he was up crying all night. He cried himself to sleep. He thinks you hate him and that he ruined everything; his life, your friendship, everything."
Hatori groaned, starting to get up. "I have to talk to him—"
Shigure pushed him back down, glaring. "No," he hissed. "You stay away from him. The last thing he needs right now is you reminding him of everything he lost; got it?"
A small sigh escaped the ryuu's lips as he shook his head wearily. "What am I going to do?" he asked quietly. "It wasn't supposed to be like this…"
Shigure snorted, taking a drag off the cigarette and taking a seat in the chair by the small desk in the corner, one leg over the arm. "And how the hell do you think Aaya feels? In his words, 'he couldn't even bear to look at me; he was so disgusted.'" Hatori opened his mouth to object but Shigure cut him off.
"And that's not even the kicker, Haa-san," he chuckled bitterly, frowning, his eyes distant but still sharp. "'He was revolted…but I don't blame him… I never could,' he said." Shigure glanced over at the ryuu. "Do you know why? Why he doesn't blame you?" he asked scathingly. "Because, despite what you did, he still loves you…"
Yuki frowned, worried in spite of himself and his supposed deep dislike of his estranged brother. He hovered at the entrance to Shigure's bedroom where Ayame was sleeping on the inu's futon, where he'd fallen asleep the night before after he'd sobbed himself into exhaustion. Yuki felt the pity well up in him at the memory of his brother's tears, which he'd never before seen mar the bright golden eyes.
Shigure had told him…about what happened earlier between Hatori and Ayame…
"Shigure, what's wrong with him?" the nezumi demanded when the inu had finally left Ayame alone in the room, the hebi drifting in a fitful sleep at last; it was nearly three in the morning. "I've never seen him like this before…and please don't tell me it's something stupid like a tear in his favorite jacket…"
Shigure shook his head. "Having the one person you've loved since you were eighteen reject you as if you were something vile is a good enough reason to cry, don't you think Yuki?"
The nezumi blinked, surprised by the callous tone of Shigure's normally playful voice. "I…I didn't mean…I…gomen ne Shigure…"
The inu sighed. "No, it's me…it's this whole damn situation!" he said, frustrated.
Yuki bit his lip hesitantly. "And just what is…the situation?"
Shigure massaged his temples tiredly before motioning for Yuki to follow him into the nezumi's room, shutting the door behind them. He heavily sat down on Yuki's perfectly made bed with a deep sigh. "Yuki," he said quietly. "Onegai, if I tell you, you have to promise not to judge Ayame…despite what I'll tell you, Ayame is still the same as he's always been, don't let this change your opinion of him…onegai…"
The nezumi, though confused by the request, nodded and Shigure closed his eyes. "Apparently, Aaya finally told Hatori how he feels…"
At Yuki's questioning look, Shigure continued, "Aaya…has loved Haa-san since he was a senior in high school."
Yuki's eyes widened. "But that would mean…"
Shigure nodded. "Yes, Ayame is gay, though not in the stereotypical way that you're thinking," answered Shigure. "More the soul-mate way than anything… It's not that he's in love with Haa-san's body, he's in love with Hatori's mind…the part that makes Hatori, Hatori."
The nezumi sat in silence for a moment, mulling over this new piece of information about his silver-haired sibling. "I…I suppose that's…amazing," whispered Yuki finally. "After all, gay men aren't exactly welcomed by society… It's almost cool that he can be that way and not really care what others think…"
The inu shook his head. "Oh Aaya cares what others think, all right," he said. "It's just that he loves Haa-san more…that and he's given up trying to be like everyone else."
The digital clock on the bedside table showed that it was nearly five in the morning but Yuki ignored it as he looked out the window. "So…he loves Hatori," he muttered to himself. "He told Hatori, and Hatori rejected him?" Shigure nodded; the nezumi shook his head, steel-gray bangs swaying. "That wasn't fair," he said softly. "Poor Nii-san…"
Shigure nodded before yawning widely. Yuki smiled tiredly. "You can sleep in my bed tonight Shigure," he said, getting to his feet and striding to the door. "I'll go sleep on the couch. Oyasumi nasai Shigure."
Shigure smiled gratefully as he burrowed under the covers.
Yuki smiled sadly. He shook his head and started toward the couch, a cover in his hand; it was definitely time to sleep… He'd been awake too long… He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
It had vaguely surprised and shocked Yuki that Ayame was gay; but then, hadn't Shigure told him as much before? The nezumi shook his head, soft gray hair falling gently in front of his violet eyes. How could Hatori have said those things to his best friend? Yuki couldn't understand it.
He sighed, debating with himself whether or not he should wake the hebi before deciding to let Ayame sleep. He turned to go find Shigure when suddenly a lost scream issued from the inu's bedroom. Yuki was through the door in seconds.
A/N: There it is. The first chapter of "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (Wow. I need a shorter title!). Anyway, please review!
Shounen-ai- it literally means "boy-love"; means boy/boy pairing.
-san- honorific; it's the most commonly used. There's no real English equivalent; it shows your relationship to someone. (In order from least respectful, or least formal, to most- -chan, -kun, -san, -sama)
Hebi- snake, serpent
Onegai- it's request form of "please". (I used this one A LOT)
Gomen ne- the informal version of "gomen nasai"; it means, "I'm sorry".
Baka- insult; means "stupid, moron, idiot." Therefore, "Baka hebi" means "stupid snake".
Kotatsu- a low table with an electric heater on the underside; you drape a heavy blanket over it and it keeps you warm in winter. (Man, I want one!)
Nezumi- rat, mouse
Nii-san- older brother
Otouto- little brother
Onegai-shimasu- the full version of "onegai"; "onegai-shimasu" when you're being really polite; commonly translated as "I beg of you!"
Kimono- traditional dress-like robe…worn by both men and women in Japan (not as common as everyday wear anymore though; but that doesn't stop Shigure!)
Futon- the thin, soft mattresses many Japanese sleep on. They are folded and stored in cabinets when not in use. This is a practical thing; Japanese homes are very small
Oyasumi nasai- good night