DISCLAMER: Gravitation is the property of Maki Murakami, etc, etc. This is only a work of fanfiction, and not meant to offend.

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Black Cat

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Chapter One: Boyfriend in a Coma

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"Eiri-san?"

What the hell is Tohma doing in my bedroom? That asshole has absolutely no respect for my privacy. None.

"Eiri-san, can you hear me?"

There is a shuffling of footsteps and a low murmur of non-distinct voices. Apparently, this is either -not- my bedroom, or... Shuichi has decided to have a party, I drank too much, and now I'm...

"Geez, aniki looks like shit."

"Shut up, Tatsuha," Mika says from somewhere to my left. "And move your face away from his. All he needs is to have your ugly mug scare him back into a coma."

Coma?

I wasn't in a coma. I was just...just now on my way to Shuichi's big concert, the one I promised I'd go to if he'd just stay the hell out of my office for a week. Wasn't I on my way to the concert? Or was it already over? Did I go...or did I stay home? I...can't remember.

I have a headache.

I need beer. And cigarettes. That's all.

I'm probably just hung over.

Well, best...look anyway. I hope Tatsuha has moved his face. Ugly motherfucker looks nothing like me.

"He's opening his eyes." That looks like...Tohma. Jesus, what's wrong with his head? It's all distorted, like looking at the world through a beer bottle. "Eiri-san, can you hear me? Can you see me?"

"Why don't you just call him Tommy, Tohma? Fetch the damn pinball machine for us, Mikarin." Tatsuha says this as he sports lopsided grin which seems to be morphing into black and purple spots. (The pinball thing must be some sort of music reference I don't get. I'll have to ask the brat. No. Nevermind. Then he'll think I care.)

Tohma's head slowly becomes less and less amoeboid, and Tatsuha's mouth sports less and less blotches as the room stutters into focus.

Yeah. Well, fuck.

This is definitely a hospital room.

Shit.

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Tatsuha has been hovering somewhere near my bed all freakin' day. What am I, some sort of invalid? I was in an automobile accident induced coma, not paralyzed from the neck down. Sheesh.

Well, at least he sneaks me cigarettes. That's useful, at the very least. I've had about a dozen. It's a bit difficult, because my right arm is broken, so I have to smoke with my left hand. Smoking with your off-hand can be a task in itself. I'm just thrilled at the concept of trying to take a leak later.

Tatsuha is perched on the window ledge. Apparently, you can -almost- see the nurse's station in a perpendicular wing from my window. Horny bastard doesn't even care that he put the ashtray down four inches further away than I can reach.

"Well...?"

Apparently, I was out for about three hours. I've got a pretty sensitive spot on my head, and a headache like nothing I've ever known. And, I live with Shuichi, so that's saying a lot.

Speaking of which, I'm trying to figure out why that hyperactive idiot isn't here. I mean, this is definitely the sort of thing that brings him running, isn't it? Or, maybe no one called him? Surely Tatsuha did, though, right?

"Well?" I'm tired of saying that. How pathetic. I can't believe that I am the one in the hospital, and yet I'm asking how Shuichi is doing.

Tatsuha finally realizes that I am talking to him. He turns away from the window and asks, "Well, what?"

Tohma and Mika left to go find dinner, and here I am, stuck with my horny half-wit brother. Great. "Well, where's Shuichi?"

Tatsuha hops off the windowsill and nudges the ashtray closer to my cigarette. Alright, sometimes my brother can actually be useful. Sometimes. Okay, rarely. "Who?"

What the fuck? That asswipe had better stop playing games with me. He's trying to make me ask again, isn't he? I narrow my eyes in warning. "Shuichi."

"Oh! Shu-chan? He's fine. I saw him when I went to your place to pick up your stuff." Tatsuha shrugs and plops down in the chair next to my hospital bed. "You've grown really attached to him, haven't you? That's kinda cute, aniki."

Ugh. That's the last thing I need… My own brother teasing me about my supposed relationship with that miniature disaster. I grunt slightly and look at the clock. How long am I going to have to stay here?

Still, it's just a little strange that Shuichi didn't come to the hospital to see me. Not that I want him to, or anything like that. I mean, less headache for me, right? Maybe he's finally growing some sense. Yeah. As if.

"I'll look after him while you're in the hospital, don't worry." I don't like that grin on Tatsuha's face.

"Stay out of my house. You are not my guest."

"I guess that's just all the more reason for you to try to get well soon, huh? So you can come home and kick me out."

I grunt in annoyance, and reach for another cigarette.

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A week in the hospital. A mind-numbingly awful week in the hospital. A week lacking beer and sex. A week with cigarettes rationed out by my brother. I can't even write to pass the time, not unless I want to learn to type one-handed. A few times, I get Tohma to take dictation for me. But, trying to write through my brother-in-law's fingers is like trying to breathe through plastic. Infuriating, and you tend to want to poke a hole in him.

Mizuki calls three times a day, as if she thinks that making my cellphone ring will somehow cause bones to heal. I've stopped answering.

But, Shuichi doesn't visit. Not even once. Somehow, I suspect that Tohma is behind this. I'm sure I'll find out the full story as soon as I get home. Nonetheless, Tatsuha hasn't said that anything's wrong with Shuichi. The one or two times I've asked, he's just said, "Oh, he's fine. He's just fine." And those two are pretty good friends, so I think Tatsuha would tell me if Shuichi was somehow broken or something.

I don't get it. Well, all for the best. I didn't want that obnoxious pipsqueak around anyway. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a huge purple bruise on the left side of my face, from where my head collided with the steering wheel. I mean, it's just a bruise. So, yeah, maybe I don't really want Shuichi to see it. He'd just cry and fidget and treat me like a baby or something.

Finally, finally, after an excruciating week of having my bones checked and rechecked, being observed for trauma, and the thousand other completely unnecessary things the hospital wanted, I'm released.

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"Good thing this place has an elevator, or you'd be stuck in your apartment, huh?" Tatsuha has somehow designated himself my nurse, much to Tohma's apparent chagrin. But, I'm sure that my brother-in-law will be over every goddamn day to check up on me. The worst thing about being in a car accident, it seems, is that people won't leave you the fuck alone. "Wait. You hardly ever leave your apartment, anyway."

"I don't need a wheelchair. I didn't injure my legs."

"Yeah, but you're not supposed to move around a lot until the bruise on your chest heals." Tatsuha pushes me into the hallway. God, I could use a beer. And a fuck. Though, I guess I will have to settle for a blowjob, seeing as how I'm partially immobile.

I tap my fingers on my knee. When I realize that I'm doing it, I stop. Damn. I can't believe that I'm actually looking forward to seeing that idiot. I'm so pathetic. He's probably going to jump on me like some sort of monkey and tell me how much he missed me. Then he'll start talking about something completely irrelevant, like his new song, or something stupid one of his bandmates did. There will be absolutely no respite from the onslaught of his jabber. I wish Tatsuha would hurry up with the door.

He finally gets the door open and wheels me inside. It's dark. Hmnh. And the TV isn't blaring. No music, either. Maybe Shuichi is asleep. More likely he went out to get me something as a Welcome Home present, something completely goofy and inappropriate, like a goddamn teddy bear. What the fuck am I supposed to do with a stuffed animal?

"Wheel me to the kitchen. I want a beer."

Tatsuha snorts and walks off. "I thought you said your legs weren't injured."

Some nurse he is! I grit my teeth and try to wheel myself, one handed, to the kitchen. Unfortunately, physics just doesn't work that way, and I end up going in an arc. I decide to give up on the whole wheelchair thing. Yeah, it hurts to move my torso too much, but it's just the kitchen, right?

I'm a bit wobbly on my feet, but I make it to the kitchen. I'm rather amazed that Shuichi and Tatsuha haven't completely trashed the place. Even the living room is devoid of the usual stacks upon stacks of Nittle Grasper DVDs.

I find the beer right where I left it, though only about half the case remains. I blame Tatsuha. Well, whatever. At least I have someone to run to the liquor store for me. Shuichi always whines that I drink too much.

"Grab me a beer, too, aniki," Tatsuha says from somewhere behind me in the kitchen.

"Your hands aren't injured. Get your own."

"Yeah, but I've got Shu-chan."

Oh. I guess he was here, after all. I look over my shoulder, totally expecting a pink-haired whirlwind to come flying at me…

And I see only Tatsuha…

Holding a cat.

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"It's a cat." I feel like a moron for repeatedly stating the obvious. Tatsuha is perched on the coffee table, looking at me as if I am from Mars.

"For the fifth time," Tatsuha says, "It's your cat." He leans in close to me and peers at the top of my head. "You really did bump your head hard, didn't you?"

"Where's Shuichi?"

Tatsuha leans back, and points to the small bundle of fur that is now sleeping on the end of my couch.

"But, that is a cat."

We're going in circles, it seems. I decide to try a different tactic.

"Where did it come from? This cat?" And where is Shuichi? I start to panic, just a little. Not because Shuichi is missing, no. Shuichi can take care of himself. Usually. Alright, occasionally. Yeah, maybe never.

No. I'm just worried about my own sanity.

"Mika said one of your neighbors gave it to you or something. Apparently, they were going away for a few months. Why you agreed… Well, only you know the answer to that one."

I have a cat? That's can't be right. I do have an uninvited animal living in my house, but it's not of the feline variety. It's of the hyper-loud-and-overly-affectionate-musician variety.

"But, where's…" Tatsuha points to the end of the couch before I can even finish asking the question. "This isn't a funny joke, Tatsuha. I'm serious."

"Look. Call Tohma. Call Mika. They'll tell you the same thing. Shu-chan is your cat."

This is some sort of nefarious plot by my brother-in-law. I just know it. This is exactly like something he'd think up. No. No, that can't be it. Tatsuha would never go along with Tohma's plans without a really good reason, right? Aha. Right! "What did he give you?"

"Who?"

"Tohma. He gave you something, right? Maybe something of your idol's? Some sort of bribe?"

Tatsuha hangs his head and rubs his eyes a bit. "I think I'm going to call the doctor. You have brain damage or something."

This is insane. This needs to stop. Tohma can't just decide these things on his own. Did he think I wouldn't notice that he replaced my boyfriend with a cat?

I've got to calm down. Except in extreme cases having to do with Sakuma Ryuichi, Tatsuha is usually pretty reasonable. "Tatsuha. Shuichi... Bad Luck…"

"Well, it is a black cat. Some cultures do say that…"

"Listen to me!" I grab his upper arm, perhaps a little more fiercely than I intended. Tatsuha winces a bit and pries my hand off. "There's a boy. With pink hair. He's a musician in a band called Bad Luck, and he's been living here with me. You met him just a few months ago."

Tatsuha gets a strange look on his face. I watch as he takes a deep breath and stands to go look out the glass patio doors at the setting sun. "Aniki…" I don't like the tone of his voice. "That's impossible. I've been in San Francisco for six months. I only got back a few days before your accident. I was training at an American monastery and going to school as an exchange student. Dad sent me. Call him. Ask him yourself."

Dad. Of all people, at least the old man wouldn't lie to me, right?

"Give me a phone."

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After an extremely brief show of concern for my recent hospital stay, the old man confirms Tatsuha's story. And, then he starts asking me when I want to see Ayaka again. I promptly hang up the phone.

This is utterly unreal.

It can't be true. I know him. Shuichi is real, and he's not a cat! He's got to be real. I know his songs, his lame ass songs, I know them. I know how he kisses. I know exactly how heavy he is when he's drunk and passed out. I know that he likes to shampoo his hair first, and then wash the rest of his body, from his shoulders down, while he waits for his conditioner gunk to set. Shuichi is real. I'm not insane! Why would I make someone up who is as annoying and stupid as Shindou Shuichi?

I wouldn't.

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In Our Next Chapter: Shindou Shuichi… Real? Or figment of Eiri's coma-induced imagination? Maybe Eiri is still IN the coma? Ooo. So many possibilities. Stay tuned to find out!

A/N: I don't know. All the cool kids were writing stories about car accidents, so I thought I'd write one, too.