Just Another Love Song
Beat 16: Epilogue

7 ½ months later…

"Are you almost done, Shuichi?"

I turn around and smile after placing the last shirt into my suitcase.

"Yes. I'll be down in just a few minutes, Tohma."

The NG President smiles and nods then leaves the room. Turning back to my suitcase, I shut the lid and put the locks in place before sighing. This is it, the last of my things from Yuki's apartment. Cold and empty as it was, well, is, I'm still going to miss the place. We lived here for quite awhile after all. I wonder if Yuki's going to be able to get his security deposit back…

"What the hell is taking so long?"

Grinning, I turn around, dragging the suitcase in one hand off the bed.

"I'm done, Yuki! Just got to-"

And given my need to cram as much into one bag as possible, the weight of my suitcase immediately pulls it (and me) to the floor.

Floor meet Shuichi.

Shuichi meet the floor.

Hi floor!

Ugh.

I feel like a jackass now. But I do have an interesting idea. I keep my eyes closed and listen to Yuki's footsteps getting closer.

I hear him sigh in exasperation, but I know he's smiling. "You moron. Didn't I tell you not to stuff your bags so full? We can always come back later."

"…."

"Shuichi?"

"…."

"This is no time for playing, get up."

"…."

"Shu?"

I crack one eye open and see Yuki leaning down with a worried look on his face. I wait until he gets just a little bit closer before I pounce.

Quite literally.

Pushing off with my legs, I wrap my arms around Yuki's neck and roll us both to the floor. I'm grinning like an idiot by the time he realizes what's happened and opens his eyes to look up at me on top of him.

"You are so dead." He says.

Considering he's trying not to laugh right now, I'm not too worried about that. I slide my hands under his shirt, right near his very ticklish sides and lean down.

"Really now?" His breath hitches when I move my hands just a little bit more and I can't help but smirk. "You don't seem in any position to talk, mister."

"S-shuichi. Don't even think ab-accckkkk!"

I can't help it. Finding out how ticklish Yuki is was the best day of my life. I dance my fingers up and down his sides, giggling at how hard he's laughing because of my actions. By the time tears start running down his face we've both laughed ourselves out of breath. Deciding to have mercy I stop and put my hands on either side of him as I try to catch my breath. I'm sure I'll regret this later, when I wake up in the middle of the night with Yuki tickling the back of my legs, but right now it was so worth it.

"You're going to pay for that later you realize."

I look down at him, amused that he's still smiling. "Yep!"

Yuki rolls his eyes. "You don't have to sound so damn happy about it."

Leaning down I press my lips against his for a moment before shifting to whisper in his ear.

"But I love your punishments, Yuki."

I grin as I feel a shudder run through his body. Bless that sensitive ear of his…

The next thing I know, I'm lying on my back with Yuki on top of me. Damn he's gotten faster at that. A heartbeat later and his lips are on mine, rough and demanding at first before he softens the kiss and pulls back slightly.

"Get your butt in gear before I exact my revenge here on the floor." He says, a bit huskier than I'm sure he wanted to.

I watch Yuki stand up, brush his clothes off, and grab my suitcase before heading out the door to the car. Sitting up, I take one last look around our old bedroom. Well, YUKI'S old bedroom. At least this apartment's done. Tomorrow we have to head over to my place and clear it out. Thankfully I'd already started on it and no doubt Tohma's made his way over to help out while I've been here. Keeping my place was probably the best thing for Yuki and I. It gave us the chance to have space when we needed it, but was close enough that we could see each other whenever we wanted. After seven long months of talks, fights, and therapy sessions, we're finally moving back to where we were before I left him.

Only this time, we're getting a place that we both picked out. It's not 'Yuki's' apartment this time; it'll be ours. And Yuki's therapist finally took him off his medication. She said he's learning to move on with his life, that I've filled an emptiness he probably didn't realize he had inside himself. Being there to hear that was awkward, but I don't mind. Knowing that I did finally help Yuki was wonderful. Hell, the fact that he trusted and loved me enough to take me to his therapy sessions with him was almost enough for me.

Then again, when mention of the Aizawa incident came up, I found myself with an open invitation to visit her on my own time. Like hell I will. I lived it; I moved past it, I'm over it.

Yeah.

So I get a little paranoid at night and I don't make new friends that easily anymore. Just natural side effects, right? So there's nothing to talk about. Besides, I have Yuki. I don't need anything more than that. Speaking of which, I better get a move on before he gets really pissed. I stand up and stretch, turning the bedroom light off before heading down the hallway to the front door. I can hear the stereo I left on in the kitchen playing our newest single 'Memories' Pasts'. From what K told me, it's already blasting up the charts and if it's any indication then the album we just finished will sell more copies than ever before.

Good thing. I was a little worried about it since we put a rush job on the last few songs. Not that Suguru and I didn't mind the late nights or anything, since Ayaka's due any day now and Hiro is wanting to take time off after the birth. At least with that to worry about he finally got off my case. It helped that he didn't appreciate my new nickname for him.

I thought 'leech boy' was very appropriate.

I might have to give the name over to Tohma though. Sometimes I wonder how that man can work all day at NG as president, rehearse with Nittle Grasper, spend time with Mika, and STILL have time to come over and pester Yuki and I. He makes pretty good spaghetti though. Just wish he didn't make it so often.

"Shuichi?"

Ah, speak of the devil…

"Hm?"

"You were spacing out. Are you feeling okay?" Tohma asks, placing a hand on my forehead.

I wait patiently while he practically examines me like a doctor before giving him my patented 'I'm okay but if you don't stop I'm going to kill you smile'. I've learned a lot from Yuki in the past few months.

"I was just thinking, Tohma. Are we ready to go?"

"Beyond ready." Yuki says from the doorway. "We've been waiting on you."

Oh yeah. Heh heh.

"Sorry. Let's go!"

With one final glance, we all head down to Yuki and Tohma's cars. Thankfully Tohma is heading home now, so Yuki and I can spend the first day in our new apartment in peace and quiet. It's not a far drive, the place we picked out is just a few minutes away from my own apartment, but with traffic it takes forever. Since we're both pretty tired from packing all day, we sit in a comfortable silence. I finally learned how to separate my stage energy from my normal life energy. It's helped quite a bit. I know now that I don't always have to be performing like I'm on stage, that silence doesn't equal loneliness. Yuki appreciates that effort from me, just as I appreciate his effort to be more open about things. He smiles more, laughs some; not as much as other people maybe, but more than enough for me.

We both still have our tempers though. It's shown more than one time in the past few months. But Yuki made a promise to never kick me out again and I promised to never go anywhere but back to my own place if we fight and I leave. With this new apartment, we have a spare bedroom. So if we do fight, one of us is going to be using it instead of taking off in the middle of the night like a moron. Given my new stubborn streak, I doubt that someone is going to be me every time.

It took some convincing for Yuki to get an apartment with a spare bedroom though. He didn't like the idea of having an area that was practically marked 'overnight guests'. Tatsuha has already talked about coming to visit. And Yuki's already told him no way in hell. We both know the only reason he wants to come up here is to 'visit' Ryuichi. And while I love my rival to death, getting him and Tatsuha together is like asking for trouble.

And sex. Lots and lots of sex. I really do not want to think about the two of them 'christening' our guest room. Eww. Though it's nice to know that they're pursuing a real relationship finally. On the plane ride from New York, Tatsuha was all Ryuichi could talk about at some points, and I finally decided to get the two of them together for a date.

As Yuki said, it was the best and worst thing I could have possibly done. Uesugi-sama really hates me for it too. It's not my fault both his sons are gay damn it. At least he's lightened up about things in the last few months. I guess he realized that Mika no longer has power over Yuki in getting him to visit Kyoto. All that kind of shifted in my direction. It's not easy, but if I really want to, I can get Yuki to do anything I want.

And he can do the same to me. So I figure we're even.

A lot of things have changed and yet stayed the same. All of our friends still worry about us, check up on us, and pester us to death; but not like they use too. And not about the things they use too. Tohma and Mika don't worry about Yuki eating right or getting out of the house anymore. Given enough stubbornness, I can get him to do that. They do worry about both of us working too much though. If one or both of us loses track of time, we can easily do too much. They've even split off, with Tohma keeping track of me at NG and Mika keeping track of Yuki at home.

It's like tag-team wrestling with those two. And when Tatsuha and Ryuichi get together, they're about the same. I can't help but smile at that thought. I can see them all in little leotards and…ew. Nevermind. Thankfully, the apartment building comes into view. Maybe I can get the sick new mental images out of my head….

Finally, we pull into the underground garage and park. I start to get out, but Yuki's hand on my arm makes me stop. Turning around in the seat, I see him staring at me with a funny look on his face.

"What is it?"

"Are you ready?" he asks.

"Ready? For what?"

The corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly as he replies. "To go home."

I smile and lean over in the seat to give him a long kiss. Breaking apart after a minute or so, I rest my forehead against his and smile again.

"Home. I like the sound of that."

We're both still smiling a bit as we grab some stuff and head upstairs. I can't help but think back to the last eight months or so and everything that's happened. I suppose when you get down to it, everything can be summoned up in the words Yuki spoke to me the night he asked me to move back in with him.

When I went over, he presented me with a small box and told me he had dinner reservations set up for us at a nice restaurant. I was confused about the occasion and said as much to him. He simply told me to open the box. Inside was a simple but beautiful gold necklace that, to this day, I have yet to take off. When I asked him what it was for, his reply was simple.

"Do you remember when you told me to figure out what exactly we're suppose to celebrate three years of and get back to you on it?"

I could only nod at that point, so he continued.

"Well I figured it out."

"Oh?" I asked. "And what do we have to celebrate after three years?"

He pulled me closer, slipping the necklace around my neck and securing it before giving me a gentle kiss. When he spoke, it was the kindest I'd ever heard him before that moment.

"Never giving up."