The First Kiss by HRT
Summary: This is the story of how Tatsuha and Ryuichi first met, and their first kiss. Three chapters.
Warnings: M/M scenes rated lime, and a little swearing. Gravitation belongs to Maki Murakami, not me.
A/N: This is not related to any of my other stories. Since most Tatsuha-Ryuichi stories are written from Tatsuha's point of view, I wanted to try doing one from Ryuichi's.
There was a time when I didn't know about him. I find that impossible to imagine, now.
I'm twenty-seven years old, stepping out of a car in front of the Uesugi family temple with Tohma. We're going to dinner. Mika-san and Tohma plan to raise the subject of their marriage with Uesugi-san and Tohma's brought me along as emotional support, something I never thought he would need.
"Brace yourself," Tohma mutters over his shoulder as we enter the grounds. "My hopefully soon-to-be-in-laws are a little feisty."
A little feisty? From Tohma, this could mean hellish. Apprehensive, I bow to the large statue of the Buddha in the courtyard, as does my bandmate. Then we approach the temple. I'm not religious, but I make a silent prayer that the evening will be peaceful.
The Buddha hates me.
I'm not clear about what happens in the next few minutes. Street shoes are exchanged for slippers, more bows are made to a confusion of new persons, some in monks' robes, others not. It's evening, and all the light is coming from a few paper lanterns. It's so dim I can barely make out faces. I walk slowly into the dining room after Tohma, my hands on his shoulders to guide myself. I'm having horrible visions of tripping and taking down a wall, lying in a heap of shattered bamboo supports and shredded rice paper. Now we're kneeling with the family at the dinner table. The light is better here, thank the Buddha. Candles are lit as well, and I can hear wax sizzling.
Who's here? I'm terrible at remembering faces. That's why I make up names when I go blank.
The bald man in the monk's robe is our host, Uesugi-san. I recognize Mika in the pink dress, wearing a peacock brooch on her shoulder, her hair done up in a bun. She looks very formal, very businesslike. Both Tohma and I are in suits. I didn't even remember I owned one until Tohma dug it out of my closet. Mika's expression is strained, as if she's about to explode.
They've put me right next to a boy in a monk's robe and I can't see him very well. I pay no attention to him since I'm worried about Tohma, and the boy ignores me, this miscellaneous adult. What did they say his name was? I have no clue.
Isn't there supposed to be another son? Eiri-san? I know about the New York incident. It happened almost two years ago, and Eiri's finishing his last few weeks of high school, Tohma says. The eldest son of the family seems to be late.
We're all sitting on our folded legs, heads bowed politely, waiting. Covered bowls of miso soup are being placed before us. As the servants leave, a small voice says to me conspiratorially, "Here it comes."
I glance aside. Hair and eyes so black they blend into shadow. The eyes are wincing as we lift the lids off our soup bowls.
"I MEANT WHAT I SAID! SEPPUKU! I'LL KILL MYSELF!"
"Mika," the old monk replies sharply. "Lower your voice. These walls are only paper, remember."
"I'll cut my intestines out and throw them on your bed! Is that what you want?"
The small voice whispers play-by-play again in my ear. "They started fighting right before you came. Mika told him she wanted to marry Tohma and Dad said no."
The boy sounds almost gleeful. Myself, I'm rapidly losing my appetite.
Undeterred, the old man is calmly picking cubes of silken tofu out of his soup with his chopsticks. "No," he replies. "I do not give my consent."
"Father! Tohma and I have been dating for THREE YEARS! Other fathers would have agreed a long time ago, dammit!"
Tohma speaks up. "Keep in mind, sir, that I am making a good living. I will have no problem supporting your daughter financially."
"He's RICH, father," Mika adds. "R-I-C-H. Do you know what that spells?"
"But his profession is uncertain. You know perfectly well that music groups have a short life span and are constantly falling from popularity. I am waiting to see if he gives up this nonsense and goes back to law school."
I nearly drop my chopsticks. I can't believe he said that in front of Tohma. I look at my bandmate and notice he's wearing his crisis mask. You have to know him well to recognize it. He seems unperturbed, but in reality he's upset.
Mika purples. Even in this darkness I can make out the ugly flush.
Then the young voice by my ear interrupts loudly. "Hey, Aneki. Haven't you heard of eloping? Get out of the house, already."
Mika only glares at the boy. "But I want his CONSENT."
"That's my sister," the voice whispers to me again. "She wants the whole apple and won't settle for half if she thinks she can get it. Usually, she wins."
Someone enters just then and distracts us. It's Eiri-san. He's taking off a long coat. Oddly enough he's wearing sunglasses, and I wonder how he can see in this poor light.
"Tatsuha's right. You'd save us plenty of hassle by running away with Tohma," Eiri says as he seats himself on the floor.
"Who asked you?" Mika retorts angrily.
Uesugi-san roars, "Eiri! Take those sunglasses off! You are not to wear them at dinner! It's absolutely disrespectful of you."
The young man starts on his soup, ignoring the command.
Slowly, Eiri reaches up and slides the sunglasses down, revealing a spectacular black eye. He glares at his father. Everyone falls silent. I look at Eiri's knuckles and see they have bloody scabs on them.
I feel a hand cupped around my ear. "Wow. My brother's been getting into a lot of fights recently, but it's not often some guy can get past his guard."
"How did that happen?" Uesugi-san asks in a tired voice.
"Exactly the way any black eye happens," Eiri replies coldly. Tohma meets my gaze and I know what he's thinking. He'd prefer one crisis at a time.
Tatsuha speaks again. "You know, Eiri, you really should start getting girlfriends with better tempers."
"Shut up, you little shit."
Tatsuha stage whispers, "Just another typical evening in the Uesugi household, my sister threatening to commit suicide, my brother getting into fistfights." He tugs my sleeve. "I tell people I'm the only normal member of the family and I'm not kidding."
"Father!" says Mika. "You can't be serious! It's absurd to expect Tohma to go back to law school now that he's a success with his rock band."
"You mean your creepy boyfriend is in a rock and roll group?" Tatsuha asks, sounding stunned.
The next instant, three sets of chopsticks reverse. Tohma and I duck aside as they come down on top of Tatsuha's head.
"Hey!" the boy yells, trying to protect his scalp with his forearms. "What did you do that for!?"
"Haven't you been listening for the past three years?" Mika shouts. "How can you NOT KNOW my beloved Tohma plays in a rock group?"
"God, you're retarded," Eiri adds.
"Tatsuha," Uesugi-san says in icy tones, "You need to pay better attention to what goes on in this family."
"Hey!" the boy protests again. "I knew he was a musician, but I thought he was in some boring jazz group or something. That's exactly what a hyper-controlled android like him would do. God, I'm nauseous. It's as sickening as having YOU in one, Dad."
"Listen, twerp," Tohma says, finally irritated beyond endurance. "We're called Nittle Grasper. You've met Noriko Ukai. Remember her? She plays in the band, too."
"Yeah, but I thought she was just one of Mika's friends."
"And haven't you heard of Ryuichi Sakuma?"
"Ryuichi Sakuma? Who's that? Your bongo player?"
Tatsuha snickers evilly.
I'm taken aback. The boy hasn't caught my name?
"God! You are so obnoxious," Mika hisses. "Their LEAD SINGER, Ryuichi Sakuma, is sitting right next to you!"
Tatsuha is smacked again by his father. Tohma and I are rapidly growing adept at dodging.
Miffed, I ignore the boy for the rest of the meal. Tatsuha grows very quiet, however. After a time, I feel his eyes on me. When we're finishing the last bowl of rice, I hear a faint whisper in my ear.
I give a nod, refusing to look at him. I'm still pissed off.
"I was just being a smartass, you know?"
He sounds upset, and I soften. He's trying to make friends. "If you don't know our music, would you like one of our CDs?"
We're having a quiet little conversation in the corner, as Mika and Tohma twist Uesugi-san's arm. Eiri helps them from time to time. We're left alone.
The boy falters, uncertain about this generosity.
"I just want to give you a chance to learn our music. I'll give you a video, too."
Ah, the fatal words.
Continued in Chapter 2