We are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On

By Kitsune no Alz

Standard Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation or the characters, etc. etc. I just wish I did.

Yuki kicks off his slippers and sends them skittering across the spotless floor like a pair of enchanted shoes, dancing with a life of their own. Onto the couch he gracelessly flops, arms hooked over the back to compensate for the fact that he's slouched forward. The leather cushions are at first cool and unwelcoming, but quickly they warm and conform to his body. The room is comfortable in the darkness, relaxing in its solitude, and quiet in its emptiness. Peaceful, one might even dare to say. The light switch is all the way across the room, an infinite space to cross were he even interested in crossing it in the first place, which he isn't.

He can't sleep. It's late—he refuses to look at the clock because it would only taunt him—and he hasn't even tried going to bed and he can't work and he can't read. There is nothing to distract him. Vague annoyance stirs inside him, pacing in circles, and he cannot figure out how to appease it. Because it's the middle of the night and it's dark and it's quiet and that ought to count for something. Not so much as the chirping of an errant cricket interrupts the silence.

A lighter appears like magic from his pocket, there's a click and suddenly a ruddy glow throws faded shadows across the walls, dancing like his slippers danced, though they now lie quiescently together at the other end of the room. From another pocket comes a cigarette. He places the cigarette between his lips and then crushes the box and tosses it aside, where it bounces across the floor. The sound rings through the room, for all that the floor is wood and the box merely thin cheap cardboard. He bends his head and lets the tip of the cigarette glow red, and then there's another click and the warm glow winks out. Now the darkness is broken only by the sullen half-light of one round spot of embers.

A sigh. A thread of gray winding through black as tendrils of smoke twine through the air. A creak of shifting leather. Yuki tilts his head back to watch the barely visible smoke drift toward the ceiling and lets his gaze unfocus.

Comfortable. Relaxing. Quiet. Peaceful.

Wrong.

This isn't his life. His life is never comfortable or relaxing or quiet or peaceful. He never sits and smokes in the dark in what is technically the wee hours of the morning, alone with a blank mind and nothing to distract him.

Momentarily he is angry with himself for thinking that there's anything wrong—who wouldn't like a comfortable, relaxing, quiet, peaceful moment to himself? To reflect on the day's events, to plan for the morrow, to contemplate the meaning of life, or hell, just to sit and think of nothing. There's nothing wrong with doing nothing.

Except that he's not used to it.

He takes a long drag—too deep and too fast, so that it sears his throat and ashes snow down unnoticed on the couch—and blows smoke out in curls, then reaches for the remote control and flicks on the television. The screen illuminates the room and sculpts everything into stark relief, all harsh flickering light and sharp chiseled shadows. Music blasts through the silence and he punches the volume button repeatedly until the sound is no longer threatening to shatter his eardrums. The little fucking punk had left the volume cranked up from when he'd been indulging in reminiscence and watching his old Nittle Grasper videos.

Yuki's eyes drift over to the shelf where a promotional copy of Bad Luck's latest concert lies, reverently enshrined between the other live videos in a glass case. He glances at the front door and then, despite his resolution, at the clock. Then remembers (for the hundredth time) that Shuichi will be gone all night, working in a feverish frenzy to make the deadlines he had repeatedly assured Yuki were in a galaxy far, far away, and nothing to worry about. Idiot. Leaving Yuki to waste his lungs in the dark with his mind deliberately empty.

Not that he's lonely. Just relaxed and restless and peaceful and bored and a goddamn insomniac.

How very sourly amusing that he can't sleep when Shuichi is around and then can't sleep when Shuichi isn't around. At least in the former case the circumstances are (usually) far more pleasurable.

Again he glances at the clock on the wall. One-thirty. Not that the time matters at all.

What the hell. Yuki stubs out the cigarette butt in the ashtray on the table. The brat will never know.

Two minutes later the DVD is in the player and Yuki is settled back onto the couch and watching Shuichi prance around onstage, caterwauling to the tune of Shakunetsu BLADE. The hot brilliant lights gleam off the neon-colored vinyl that embraces his slim sweat-slicked body like a lover. He moves, all sways and swirls and fleeting glimpses of bare flesh. At one point during Hiro's guitar solo, Shuichi licks his lips—a subtle flicker of a pink tongue moistening full lips, and damn but the cameraman must've been psychic to choose that split-second to zoom in for a close-up of Shuichi's face.

After a while, Yuki reluctantly (and covertly, despite the fact that nobody's watching and no one will ever know) ups the volume a notch or three. Somehow it just seems better that way—louder, more realistic, more personal, more there and not how many miles away in a studio staring at a sheet of paper and trying to dredge lyrics from the backwashed depths of a soggy brain. At least, Yuki tells himself, if he's not getting any sleep in an unpleasurable fashion, neither is Shuichi.

Only then, as the night hours creep steadily towards dawn, with a Bad Luck music video blaring on TV and images of vinyl-clad Shuichi flashing like an LSD hallucination before him, does Yuki fall asleep. And when he dreams, he dreams Shuichi is in his arms, dressed in smoke and licking his lips as Yuki bends his head for a kiss, and their shadows dance to unheard music on the red-lit walls behind them.

end