The Price for Loving You
A Gravitation Fanfic
It was actually three days before Shuichi and he made it to Kyoto. His father's greeting was stoic, but not insulting. Which was an improvement, but still annoyed the hell out of him. Tatsuha was in Tokyo on temple business and would be there for the week. He nearly got in the car and left, but Shuichi intervened. Was he honestly going to be able to talk himself into a second visit to the temple once he was back in Tokyo?
He said yes, which was a lie, and the hesitation was mere milliseconds long. The look Shuichi gave him was both withering and disappointed, and he wasn't at all sure when his lover had gotten such a look in his repertoire. It apparently had the effect of making him feel like the ass he knew he was being, but usually didn't give a damn about. When he told his father they were staying, he made remarkably little fuss, only a single caustic line to at least try to uphold the reputation of the temple. He'd flipped him off, and the old man had muttered something about being a murderer in a previous life because only that could explain his karma.
They proceeded to pretty much ignore each other for the next three days. His father made breakfast, though he did so before morning prayers which meant it was cold by the time Shuichi and he woke up. He'd bury himself in his laptop, while Shuichi made a call to Suguru to check up on Hiroshi's status. It wasn't as if the kid wouldn't call if the guy woke up, but Shuichi made the call every morning anyway. Sooner rather than later Shuichi always ended up in town, and brought back a take out lunch and whatever groceries they asked for. At least he figured his father asked for some because they weren't on his list and they didn't resemble what Shuichi brought home when left to his own devices.
He cooked dinner while Shuichi worked on lyrics. Shuichi stopped trying to make dinner conversations happen after the second night, and ate the meal in sulky silence. He pointedly ignored his lover's comments about Tatsuha being the only Uesugi capable of holding a civilized conversation. All and all, the time went frighteningly well and fast. He'd still rather have been home at their high rise, with the Tokyo cityscape out their window, and Shuichi's tacky choice of coffee mugs in the cupboard. Which was a stupid, sappy sentiment he was embarrassed to even have thought. He used it in the new novel, and ignored Mizuki's amused comments about coffee mugs during their video conference.
On the fourth day, Shuichi returned without lunch or groceries, whirling around in excitement as he hastily packed a bag. The guitarist had decided he'd finally had enough beauty sleep and come out of the coma. Yuki told himself Shuichi's excitement over the fact did not make him jealous. It was a lie, but he was honestly glad Hiroshi was awake. He already owed him one for making sure it wasn't Shuichi in that hospital. If he'd ended up not making it, the toll on the tight knit group of friends would have been heavy, and his debt that much heavier to bear.
He didn't have any intention to go with him to the loud, insanity the group would cause at the hospital. Shuichi didn't need him there for a happy reunion, and he hadn't suffered a whole damn week at the temple to miss meeting up with Tatsuha and smoothing things over. And if he did kiss Shuichi senseless and extract a promise to be home in Tokyo within two days, there were absolutely no witnesses to verify it.
He picked up lunch and groceries on the way back to the temple. His father was out front when he pulled his car up to the house.
"I heard some incoherent shouting. I take it that was good news."
"Nakano woke up. Shuichi went to see him." He headed inside, slightly surprised when he followed.
"You let him go alone?"
"Shuichi's a big boy who tours other countries. I'm sure he can get from the train station to the hospital without any major incidents." On the other hand, Shuichi was a trouble magnet, and he sincerely hoped there would not be news of explosions, giant robots, and hordes of rabid fans later.
His father made a non-committal noise that did nothing to alleviate his worries. "Whatever you have to speak to Tatsuha about must be important."
Yuki scowled and shoved the last of the groceries away forcefully. "Just clearing things up and making sure the damn brat isn't wallowing in self pity."
"He seemed upset when he came home last week, but the mood didn't hold. I believe Sakuma-san called again."
"Sakuma Ryuichi? Since when does he call Tatsuha?" Yuki turned to face him, noting he'd already divided the lunch food onto two plates. He took one for himself.
His father frowned, and he got the impression he'd asked the wrong question. "He spent nearly a week here, and visited Tatsuha almost daily."
"When was this?"
"Around the time last month he was so upset. It's hardly the first time they've spent together."
That was news to him, and he wasn't at all certain he liked it. Sakuma Ryuichi was a manipulative bastard, whichever way you looked at it. "Doesn't he have any playmates his own age?"
"He took very good care of your brother." His father's tone was surprisingly defensive.
"Tatsuha doesn't need a caretaker."
"How would you know what he does or doesn't need? When was the last time you came to see him?"
"He comes to see me all the time."
"An eldest son should look after the family, not the other way around."
The words stung, and he shoved the plate of food away, barely touched. "I don't need your lectures, old man."
"How long will you shirk your responsibilities?"
"You don't need me. You have Tatsuha. He's the good son, remember?"
"It is not Tatsuha's duty. It is yours."
"Have you ever asked him?" Yuki demanded.
"Asked him what?"
"If he wanted the temple."
"...I have considered the matter." Uesugi confessed.
That was news to Yuki. He grunted, leaning on the table. "And?"
"He's too young still to understand the consequences yet."
"He's the same age I was when I left." The comment earned him a glare. "He's a year older than Mika was when she finally dropped the pansy ass you wanted her to marry and brought home Tohma instead."
"It was a mutually agreed upon resolvement of the marriage agreement." His father was scowling in earnest now.
"Right." He'd always suspected Tohma's involvement in the matter, but never had asked. "Good thing you finally gave up your attempts at Matchmaking. It definitely wasn't your strong suit."
"You have no sense of respect."
"Not a one." Yuki turned to leave, but was drawn up short by his father's next words.
"Tatsuha has been the good son all these years. He has done all that was expected of him by the family and more. Does he not have the right to be free from that for a time? Do you not feel a responsibility to him, if no one else?"
"I think the worst thing I could do for Tatsuha would be to waltz in here and take over after all the years he's put into this. I think you should think on that, Old Man." He left him alone to his thoughts. He could feel a headache forming.
"He's awake. He's awake. He's awake." Ayaka's voice sounded like she'd been crying. It was strained, and she cracked on the last word. They words were said with such sheer relief and delight, though, that Tatsuha understood the meaning, even before his mind interpreted the sentences.
"About damn time!" Tatsuha felt a grin tug at his mouth. He was in his hotel room, dressed in regular clothing. Inspite of his better judgment, he had not simply hopped the train back to Kyoto after his run in with Nagi. He hadn't yet come to a decision on whether or not to meet with him, but he hadn't left Tokyo.
"The doctors expect him to make a full recovery. Shuichi and Suguru are in there now and the Nakanos are on their way and I... I'm just so relieved and he's okay, Tatsuha. He's really okay."
His own mood was far from light, but Ayaka's happiness was slightly infectious. She deserved this, after everything she'd been through. "Good. Smack him upside the head for me."
"Suguru already did."
"Tell him I said well done."
Ayaka giggled. He'd missed that sound over the last month. "He says Yuuji will probably do the same, and he's sure there's a hospital rule against smacking around invalids. Suguru told him there had been but he had the NG lawyers revoke the ban."
"It sounds like I'm missing a party."
"You should come. The funeral ended today, right?"
"I'm still in Tokyo."
"Planning on spending an evening on the town?"
A few months ago, and the sentence wouldn't have been a question. The tone she said those words in would have been lecturing, not happy. He winced. "Not exactly."
There was a pause from the other end of the line. "Tatsuha, what's going on?"
Apparently he'd given too much away. He winced again, more because Ayaka had lost all joy in her voice. 'She finally gets a break and I blow her happy moment. Damn it.' He forced a smile on his face, even though no one was there to see it. "Nothing much. Don't worry. What are you doing about class tomorrow?"
"Good. And I'm not just saying that cuz I'm a delinquent. Your mind wouldn't have been in the right place."
"That's what I thought, too. It would have been hard enough if he'd been in the coma still. But having just woken up, it's pretty much impossible."
"You can make up the class later."
"Exactly. Now, what is going on?"
Tatsuha hesitated, but he needed a friendly ear right then. "I ran into Nagi."
There was a long silence. "What did HE want?" The pronoun sounded like an insult. He had a feeling the word she was using in her mind was not anywhere near as polite.
"He says he misses me."
Another pause. Her tone, when she spoke, was carefully neutral. "And do you believe him?"
"Yes and no. I think he misses me as much as someone like him can. But I don't think it's that simple."
"... so, what does he want?"
If it was about anyone else, he would have been proud of how quickly she picked up on what wasn't said. Under the circumstances, though, it was as much a curse as a blessing.
"To meet. Tonight."
"And you're honestly thinking of going?"
"I haven't decided yet."
"He's not even worth the thought. This guy hurt you deeper than I've ever seen you hurt. If he dared show his face to me, I'd make the punch you said Shuichi gave him look like a lovetap."
"I bet you could, too. You're a good friend, Ayaka."
"Tatsuha..." She sounded worried and frustrated at the same time.
"He's promised to tell me some things. Answers that... I deserve that much, right?"
"I only know as much as you told me, but I don't understand why you'd ever meet with him. He's already lied to you. Even if he's offering explanations, how can you put faith in a single word of it?"
"I won't put complete trust in his words. Even if he hadn't already proved himself a liar, nothing is ever so simple and one sided."
"Then shouldn't you ask someone else first? Seguchi or Eiri?"
"When has Tohma ever told me anything? Or anyone, for that matter? And Eiri and I aren't speaking right now."
"What happened with -"
"Eiri being Eiri. I don't want to talk about it."
"...I don't like it." Ayaka's tone was subdued now. "Tatsuha, if you go, just please be careful. And call me after. I don't care what time it is."
"You sure? They're playing at this underground club called the Electrical Closet at 11. If we have dinner afterwards, it could easily be 2 or 3-"
"You got it, Princess."
Ayaka hung up the phone, filled with unease. Tatsuha hadn't given her full details of what had happened with Nagi. What she did know, though, was more than enough. Nagi had some sort of a vendetta against Tohma and Yuki. He'd acted as though he had no idea who they were, or that Tatsuha was related to them - but had in fact known the whole time. He'd broken both Tatsuha's heart and trust, and managed to drive wedges between them all that the young monk was still struggling to mend. And now he suddenly wanted to meet with him again. Claiming to want to offer explanations, and a have second chance with Tatsuha? She didn't trust the bastard a bit, and though Tatsuha was claiming he was just as suspicious, Ayaka was worried that he wasn't quite as over the other man as he seemed. He'd fallen hard - harder than she'd ever witnessed him fall for anyone who wasn't Sakuma Ryuichi. If Nagi played his cards right, could he worm his way back into his life? The idea nauseated her.
Footsteps snapped her out of her reverie, and announced the arrival of the Nakanos. She managed a smile, despite her worries. She was becoming rather adept at being able to smile at the drop of a hat. She'd always been able to smile inspite of how she was feeling - that was part of life at her parents shrine. Any position dealing with the public. But the instantaneous smile the moment someone approached, that was new. Part of her life in the public eye with Hiro. A reporter or photographer around every bend. A perfect smile every time. Fake and forced at moments like this. And almost no one able to tell the difference.
"Nakano-san. Nakano-san." She bowed.
"Usami-san." Hiro's mother had clearly been crying. "Is he still awake?"
"He's starting to tire. But the hospital says that's normal. I'm sure he'll be happy to see you."
They rushed into the room, and Ayaka followed. Suguru, Shuichi, and Hiro had been laughing over something, but it cut off when his bandmates saw his parents. The room instantly became tense.
"If we could have a moment alone with our son." Hiro's father scowled, and the two young men reluctantly stood up.
"Of course, Nakano-san." Suguru offered a cold smile.
"We'll be by again later, Hiro." Shuichi promised.
Hiro looked between his parents and his bandmates with a perplexed frown. Ayaka could tell that he was putting the pieces together, though. She also knew he wouldn't like the picture when he did. "What was all that about?" He demanded the moment the two were gone.
"We just wanted to make sure you were alright." His mother put in.
"Why was it necessary to throw out Shuichi and Suguru?"
"Why don't we talk about that later?" His father suggested.
"Maybe I feel like talking about it now."
"Hiroshi, you just came out of a month long coma. You don't need too much excitement."
"Meaning the presence of my bandmates or arguing with you?"
"Hiroshi!" His mother exclaimed in surprise.
"Don't take that disrespectful tone with me, young man. That's exactly the way Yuuji acts. I don't take it from him, and I won't take it from you." Nakano snapped.
"Dear." Hiroshi's mother put a hand on her husband's arm, which seemed to take some of the fight out of him. She turned to Hiro. "You have no idea how much you scared us. We thought we might never... Hiroshi, you might have never..." She broke down into tears, and Nakano turned to place an arm around her.
Hiro looked stricken and slightly guilty, and Ayaka moved to his side, placing a hand on his arm, which he instantly reached up to take in his own. "Mother, don't cry." Hiro sighed. "I'm sorry I worried you. All of you." The hand holding hers squeezed, and she knew she was included in the sentiment. "Mother, please don't cry."
"This isn't a time for arguments." Ayaka spoke softly, squeezing Hiro's hand in return. "Hiro didn't get hurt on purpose, and we're all here because we were worried about him. Each and every one of us."
"I suppose you're right. You're a tactful and intelligent girl, Usami-san. I hope Hiro appreciates it." Nakano spoke up.
"More than words can say." Hiro's words were accompanied by another squeeze of her hand.
Hiro's mother wiped away her tears, stepping slowly out of her husband's embrace. "Why don't I get us drinks from the cafeteria? Yuuji will be here soon. He called me while we were on the way."
"He did?" Hiro asked. Ayaka could tell he was surprised by the news.
"Yes, I left a message telling him you were awake. We've been... keeping each other informed." No one commented on the meaning behind those words. The whirlwind of anxiety and fears that the last month had been. "I will just be a moment."
Ayaka watched her leave, but a slight tug of her hand brought her back to Hiro. "Why don't you see if she needs help?"
Ayaka glanced at where Nakano was still standing stoically at the foot of his hospital bed, and instantly understood the suggestion. "Of course. Be right back."
She closed the door behind her to give the two some privacy. She didn't see Hiro's mother in the hall - she must have taken the elevator down to the hospital's cafeteria already. She noted that Shuichi was hovering by the desk, though, and seemed relieved to see her.
"I heard some shouting." He mentioned.
"Things got tense, but I think they'll be alright now. They needed some father-son time."
"Good." Shuichi nodded. "I was going to wait for Yuuji, but I can just tell you. Suguru and I will be back in the morning."
"I'll let Hiro know."
"Thanks, Ayaka." He headed towards the elevator himself.
"Hey, Shuichi." She called out, following him.
"Is anything wrong?" He asked her, looking worried.
"Could you and Suguru do me a favor? It has to do with Tatsuha..."
He wasn't hungry, but he cooked dinner anyway. He had a headache, despite the meds he'd taken, but he hadn't mentioned that in any of the texts to Shuichi. Shuichi had texted several times an hour, except for the first hour he'd spent with Hiro, and which he'd apologized for not texting in his very next text. He told him he was interrupting his peace and quiet. Shuichi replied that if he missed him, he could always put on his music and even sent links to the on-line radio stations he used. He texted that he was never that desperate. Shuichi replied that Mika had hinted otherwise. He sent his sister a nasty text to which she replied, "Love you, too, little brother."
That was the problem with being a smart ass in a family full of smart asses. Most of the time you never got the reaction you were looking for. You just got attitude back.
He texted Shuichi that his taste in music was worse than his lyrics. Shuichi replied that Tatsuha and he had a long standing agreement that each other's music collection was open for loan at any time and that Tatsuha had all of Bad Luck's albums, including their special releases. He texted back that he failed to understand how listening to Bad Luck's albums was in any way relative to his previously mentioned "peace and quiet." Shuichi's response was to remind him to call Mizuki and ask her to push back the deadline, instead of just ignoring it and forcing her to do it after the fact.
His last text was, "Brat."
Shuichi's response, three minutes before, was "I love you, too."
His father hadn't come in yet, which meant he was either meditating or still talking to visitors at the temple. When the knock came on the door, he wasn't at all sure who it could be. Shuichi hadn't texted him he'd left the hospital, and Mika hadn't mentioned visiting the temple. He was certain Tatsuha wouldn't knock. He ignored the knock the first time, while he finished supper and took it off the fire. The second time, he rubbed at his head in irritation, before going to answer it - a scowl set on his face. If someone was trying to sell something, he intended to rip them a new one. The last thing he expected to find when he opened the door was Sakuma Ryuichi on the front step.
His eyes narrowed, and despite the sunglasses he was wearing, he saw Ryuichi's eyebrows arch in surprise. "Yuki-san."
"Sakuma. What the hell are you doing here?"
Sakuma seemed to hesitate, before offering a bright, innocent smile that Yuki didn't buy for a moment. "I thought I'd drop by and see Tatsuha-kun and Uesugi-san. I didn't expect you. Oh! Is Shuichi here? I haven't seen him since-!"
"Last month when you supposedly needed to have your stupid stuffed toy exorcized."
"Kumagorou was possessed! You'd have known if you'd come to see yourself!"
He didn't believe it and he doubted having seen the stupid pink plushy at that or any other time would convince him otherwise. Wasn't sure if Sakuma honestly had feared the thought, or had used it as an excuse to be melodramatic and - apparently - a chance to see his brother. He didn't like the idea that Sakuma was getting close to Tatsuha, especially with him still broken up over that asshole Aizawa. And it bugged him to no end that his father seemed to in some way approve of whatever was between Ryuichi and Tatsuha. When had the bastard ever understood what was best for his children?
He supposed that wasn't exactly fair. He had given Mika permission to marry Tohma, despite his early misgivings. He had - in his own way - accepted Shuichi, though there wasn't a lot of love lost between the Uesugi patriarch and his lover. Given his own hostile relationship with his father, however, it wasn't surprising Shuichi wasn't his father's favorite person and vice versa.
He pushed his wandering thoughts aside, and crossed his arms - leaning casually in the doorway. "Tatsuha is in Tokyo performing a ceremony. Father's at the temple."
"Will Tatsuha be back soon?"
A smirk curved Ryuichi's lips, and the innocent act fell away. "You don't like me very much, do you, Yuki-san?"
"I don't like anyone very much, Sakuma. And while having Tatsuha kidnap me didn't exactly get you any points, you didn't kidnap Shuichi, so you haven't made it on my shit list... yet."
"Yet, huh? Something I'm doing that might get me there?"
"Depends on the reasons for your sudden interest in Tatsuha."
Ryuichi's laugh was mocking. "Really, between you and Mika, I'm surprised you haven't locked poor Tatsuha up in some tower like-"
He stepped forward, his eyes narrowed to slits as he purposefully invaded the other man's space. "Watch your mouth about my family, especially my little brother."
Ryuichi straightened, though he had no hope of looking Yuki in the eye, being much shorter than the blonde, he did not back down. He removed his sunglasses and met Yuki's gaze evenly. "I was merely stating a truth. A bit sarcastically, perhaps, but all the same. You and Mika are overprotective."
"We have our reasons."
The simple answer seemed to hint that the singer knew more than he was saying. It irked him. "What do you want from Tatsuha?"
Ryuichi considered the question before responding. "He's a friend and I enjoy spending time with him. Are you saying that's wrong?"
"That's a dodge."
"But an honest answer."
"So you're saying you just want a friendship? Should I hold you to that?"
Ryuichi frowned. "You're not going to let this go, are you?"
"...my interest in spending time with your brother is not "sudden." He's a unique and fascinating young man, Yuki-san. Someone who is capable of looking past fame and media image, and treating a pop star like a normal human being. Or even like an ass, when they deserve it. I've heard a few times he's had choice words for Tohma when he was in an argument with Mika-san."
"Uesugi's aren't known for tact."
"Your brother tends to be the exception."
"And you've always been the exception to his ability to look past media image and fame. He worshipped you."
"You used past tense there."
It was true. While his brother was still a huge fan of Nittle Grasper, and of Sakuma specifically, he'd matured quite a bit the last couple of years. Even before Aizawa had entered the picture, Yuki had a feeling a meeting with Sakuma would go quite differently than it had when he'd first finally met the rock star at sixteen. Now, after what had happened, he wasn't sure, but it worried him. That his previous idolization of Sakuma might make him trust him too fast and too much. He didn't need hurt again. "If your interest in my brother is not "sudden", then why did you spend so little time with him until recently?"
"Mika "never wanted anything like encouragement", and Tohma was willing to spend only so many nights on the couch in the name of friendship. Then I moved to America, and I lost his number. Work took up both our times, it seems. I planned a one time visit, but I noticed something seemed off. He seemed withdrawn and upset. So one visit became two, and so on. I meant what I said, I count him as a friend. Time with him has become... very important to me."
"Are you in love with him?"
"...I don't know."
That answer sounded honest, and Yuki stepped back. Ryuichi and he both regarded each other closely, but with less hostility. "Unless you can answer that question with a "yes", keep whatever you have going on with Tatsuha to a "friendship". Got it?"
Ryuichi considered his request, then gave a small nod. Satisfied, Yuki turned to head back inside. "So, hey, can I stay for supper?" He heard the other request.
"Not a chance in hell." Yuki threw back over his shoulder, and closed the door behind him to the satisfying sound of Ryuichi spluttering in surprise.
Even after he'd parked his motorcycle, Tatsuha still almost backed out. Ayaka's words of being careful and not trusting the singer were still in his ear, and he agreed with every word of them. If all Nagi had said was that he wanted back with him, he probably wouldn't have come. He'd said much more, though, and he'd be lying if they didn't bother him. Then there was the one thing he'd always been left out of. New York.
He understood part of what must have happened - knew his brother had to have been raped. He'd told Tohma as much. His volunteer work had given him grounds for both interpreting his brother's actions, and even helping him deal with him better. There was something more, though, he was certain of it. Something else that had to have happened. Nagi suggested that Tohma had given him information about a story regarding Eiri, and the only story that could be was what had happened in New York. If he asked Tohma, or Mika, hell if he asked Eiri - would they tell him? No, No, and... most likely, no.
The music hit him like a physical force when he entered the door. It was old and familiar, the escape that had carried him through the turmoil of his youth. A part of him couldn't help but relax slightly. He loved music - always had - and that was one of the reasons he loved going clubbing. You could wrap yourself in the music - lose yourself to it for a little while. Knowing why he was here, though, he didn't feel like dancing. He made his way to the bar, ordering a drink and tried not to think of how much this was like how he'd first met Nagi.
The song ended, and the DJ announced Vendetta. He almost expected the familiar song he'd first heard them perform to start playing, but it didn't. When the lights came on, he saw Nagi scanning the crowd. When their eyes met, he smirked. Tatsuha's hands tightened on his glass.
"I want you. I hate you.
I need you. I'll break you.
After all, it's just a game.
In the end we're both the same.
An empty kiss. A meaningless touch.
You look for love but find lust.
Nobody buys into innocence.
Just learn to take what you can get."
It was definitely a new song - he'd gone to several of Vendetta's performances. He had a feeling he knew who had inspired it as well, and he didn't feel the least bit flattered. He took a sip, but the drink tasted sour on his tongue.
"You're only lost. You're only weak.
You can only give away what you keep.
It's the truth that cruelly binds.
Release is found in the lies.
Is it neglect? Is it abuse?
Do you want freedom or just an excuse?
What we leave is where we're found.
What goes around comes around.
I want you. I hate you.
I need you. I'll break you.
After all, it's just a game.
In the end we're both the same."
He met Nagi's eyes as the song ended. The singer looked smug, and he felt his lips curl into a scowl. 'We aren't the same, damn you. And it's time you learned it.'
To Be Continued...
Can I say how much I love all my reviewers? LOL Seriously, you guys are awesome. I drag this story out forever, but you all find time to come back and review. And I love that you guys are against me getting Tatsuha back together with Nagi/Taki. Don't worry, it's not happening. However, while Tatsuha has some shakily mended bridges going on, he's been so concerned over the effect Nagi's words had on Tohma and Eiri and his relationship with them, he hasn't fully taken time to address the effect Nagi's action have taken on himself. Nagi may have stated that he was just using him, but Tatsuha's feelings for him were very real.
However, take a deep breath, and don't worry. Tatsuha may have stumbled, but as this chapter ending proves, he's not going to fall. He will, however, have the chance to face everything, and end his relationship with Nagi once and for all. He needs that closure so he can have the happiness he deserves. (coughRyuichicough).
The two mentions of Mika and Tohma's history is a fic I want to write sometime. Everyone always seems to assume that either their marriage was arranged by Uesugi, or he was perfectly happy with it. I don't see that as likely. Given his choice for Eiri's bride, Tohma does not seem like the husband he'd choose for Mika. Especially when you consider that at the time NG didn't exist yet, so Tohma wasn't the business man he's more known as in present times, but strictly the keyboardist in a rockband. So, yes, in my little fanfic universe, Mika was engaged to someone else until Tohma (with some help from his bandmates) decided to do something about that. Someday I will write that fic, but only after I finish this one.
The lyrics to "Just a Game" were written by me, please don't take them without permission.