My first post! This is a series of one-shots involving Yuki, Shu and winter. Part one: It's not always arguments that find Shuuichi on the chilly side of the front door. Pure, gentle fluff with hopefully a bit different take on canon elements. Please read and enjoy.
This is a work of fanfiction based on Gravitation by Maki Murakami. Any similar between it and any future work by her is purely coincidental. (Duh.) 2M owns all the rights to stories and characters, I'm just thankful she lets us play with them.
A soft tap on his door was the first clue.
"Ne...Yuki?" A tiny query...soft...unobtrusive, was the second.
Shuuichi had something important to tell him, and wanted to know if it was safe to interrupt.
"C'mon in, brat."
Yuki Eiri deliberately finished the paragraph, then leaned back in his leather chair, tossing his glasses down beside his laptop, before turning to face the young man creeping cautiously into his study bearing a large, steaming mug cradled in both hands. A large, steaming mug that had damned well better be for him.
Shindou Shuuichi was a disaster waiting to happen in a kitchen, except when it had to do with a latte machine.
"That for me?" he asked, pretty much rhetorically, and Shuuichi nodded, holding it out. Eiri set it on the desk, reached for one of those now-free hands and pulled Shuuichi to him for a slow, lingering kiss, having neither the time nor the energy nor the free neurons for anything more energetic. "Thanks," he murmured against the welcoming lips, then just as gently pushed Shuuichi aside.
Shuuichi's hand left his and traveled up his arm, coming to rest on his shoulder, and a moment later, small, strong fingers began a pleasant kneading of Eiri's too-tight neck muscles.
Yuki picked up his glasses and slid them into place.
"It's snowing again," Shuuichi said softly.
"That should thrill the kids," Yuki answered, his eyes on the screen, his mind already planning his next paragraph. Ah, the words were flowing well tonight.
"Thought I'd go out for a walk. Didn't want you to worry if you surfaced before I got back."
Yuki grunted, his fingers picking up where his mind left off.
The kneading ended in a gentle caress, and Shu's lips brushed his temple before the familiar presence disappeared from behind him.
"Shu?" he said without looking up, and the small shadowy figure floating in his peripheral vision paused. "Have fun."
"Thanks." Amazing how that sweet smile permeated the equally sweet voice, enhancing both to the status of downright beautiful.
The door closed silently.
Yuki finished another paragraph, edited the last several into something approaching a logical sequence, and reached again for the savory mug.
Shuuichi did have a knack, both for knowing when he needed something more than just black coffee and when he needed his space. When the words were flowing, as they were tonight, his enthusiastic little lover could be the proverbial mouse.
It was a sensitivity that had endeared him to the brat from that first night Shuuichi had spent in this apartment, a night when an incipient good night flying tackle had turned into a just outside his office door whisper.
Because Shu had heard him typing.
Hiro, Shuuichi's best friend and band mate, had asked him once, how he ever got any work done. He hadn't even tried to explain. Everyone just assumed the brat was insufferable to live with, an energizer bunny with ADD.
Everyone was wrong.
Somehow, from those first days, Shuuichi had known unerringly when he truly needed to be quiet. He'd also known when he could come in and babble, had sensed, somehow, when that distraction was actually welcome. Sure, Eiri'd throw him out when the distraction managed to jumpstart his muse and the words began to flow, but the fact was, Shuuichi's enthusiastic news of his recording day when things went well, or equally heartfelt complaints when things went badly, pulled Eiri out of the self-focused frustration that drove his muse into hiding in the first place.
The fact was, had Shuuichi not shown that delicate and real respect for the creative muse, he wouldn't have lasted a week in Eiri's domicile, let alone...damn, almost two years? And that initial, instinctive sense for when to give his novelist roommate and lover his creative space had only gotten better with time.
Just like tonight. There was no doubt Shuuichi had hoped he could tempt Eiri into going out with him into the snow, and as little doubt that Shuuichi had known the instant he walked in that tonight was not the night to beg.
He finished the chapter, wrote enough of the first line of the next to give him a running start when he returned, and closed the lid on the computer, heading out to the living room, taking his half-finished latte with him.
It was, indeed, snowing. Large flakes drifting in the still night air.
He took his latte out onto the lanai, where a skiff of snow had made its way past the overhang, and leaned on the railing, pulling out his cigarettes and the lighter with its faded sticker, a photo taken on his and Shuuichi's first real date. Shuuichi had offered to replace it (he hoarded a dozen of the things in acid free paper, and had scanned it at about a million pixels per centimeter resolution just in case he needed more) but there was something...special about that specific one. It had seen him through some of the hardest truths of his life.
An unmistakable giggle drifted up to him on the crisp, chill air. Followed by another and another, a squeal and a shout. Eiri sought the source, wondering who Shuuichi had found to play with so late at night and found him, on a dimly lit slope, throwing snowballs, ducking and rolling, with wild, energetic abandon, as if an army of snowmen were pelting him from the next ridge.
But there was only one voice, only one small body diving into the three foot drifts, and finally, even Shuuichi wore out, lying spread-eagled in the snow bank.
Eiri could almost hear him panting, even from his third story observation deck.
Slowly, the arms and legs began to move, fanning, making, for fuck's sake, a snow angel. A snow angel from which Shuuichi, human pretzel that he was, managed to extract himself with minimal disruption to his indentation. He stood there a moment, staring down at his snow picture, then, quite deliberately, flung himself into the snow again, his aim almost perfect as he made a second angel right next to the first, if just a bit high.
But Shuuichi wasn't satisfied, and only when he manually extended the wings and skirt, making the second angel taller than the first did Eiri realize his aim had not been almost perfect, but exactly where Shuuichi had wanted it.
Again Shuuichi stepped back, examining his masterpiece as he slowly brushed the snow from his coat, hat and gloves. And as Eiri watched, another sound drifted up to him, not the giggles, not the squeals, but the voice that was well on its way to making that little angel-artist into a multi-millionaire. Soft. Gentle. Like the snow itself. Singing a song Eiri himself had taught him last year.
Silent Night. In perfect English. Not that the idiot had ever learned to speak the foreign language Eiri himself thought in at least half the time, but he loved the sound. More, he respected the words and their creator, and sought to do them justice.
As if, with that voice, there could ever be any doubt.
Never mind the original song had been written in German. Shuuichi had tried, but he just hadn't been able to get his Japanese-trained voice to make the throaty consonant sounds properly, so he'd given up.
A couple walked, arm in arm, along the lighted pathway. They paused, listening, she resting her scarfed head on his welcoming shoulder, and as the little impromptu concert ended, he leaned over to kiss her gently.
Shuuichi, with a final long look at his angels, turned toward the walk and froze, obviously unaware that he'd been observed, obviously, from his quick bow, a bit embarrassed at his interception of the young lovers' equally private moment.
The man lifted his head, caught Shuuichi's eye, and must have said something, because that million watt smile Eiri secretly loved so deeply gleamed all the way up to the balcony.
Another bow, mutual this time, and the couple moved on, disappearing into a neighboring apartment building. Shuuichi headed up the path, into the park. Suddenly, he stopped and turned, as if someone had called his name, but there was no one else in sight. His face lit. A small, gloved hand lifted, then lowered demurely to his chest as his face lowered shyly.
He turned again, with an innocent sway to his hips as that hand reappeared, curled as if tucking itself into a waiting elbow. His head tipped to an invisible shoulder, as he slowly disappeared into the thickening snow.
If it were anyone else, Eiri would feel guilty. The wonder of Shuuichi was that he wasn't feeling sorry for himself, he was making do with whatever wonders the gods gave him. He knew Eiri was busy and wasn't about to cheat himself of a magical evening in the snow just because Eiri couldn't join him.
No, it wasn't guilt that sent him back into the house to find his overcoat. It was jealousy. Damned if he'd let that virtual clone put his hands all over his Shuuichi.
He found Shuuichi, as he knew he would, on their bench. He was leaning a bit forward, with his hands propped to either side of his knees, his legs swinging freely, making small patterns in the snow with his toes.
He was humming.
Shuuichi was music incarnate. Even his whine had a lilt to it unlike any mortal human being's. And when he wasn't humming or singing, his body was moving to a rhythm only he heard.
He even sang when they made love.
There was a time Eiri thought that trait annoyed him. He knew better now. Knew that feeling he got when Shuuichi's music touched him wasn't annoyance, but a curious little emotion called joy. Once he'd quit fighting it, he'd become...quite addicted.
As Eiri silently approached, he noted the space next to Shuuichi had been brushed free of snow as well, and Shuuichi tipped his head toward that blank space as if resting it on that invisible shoulder.
His stunning amethyst eyes were closed in gentle contentment.
Eiri now had a choice: Stand glaring down at the blank spot and demand the departure of the virtual usurper...
He slipped into the blank spot, bringing his shoulder up underneath the tipped head. Naturally as could be, that familiar head became a familiar, relaxed weight on his shoulder, and without the slightest hesitation, small hands crept between his elbow and his waist. A tiny sigh, and he was supporting the whole of Shuuichi's slight weight, as Shuuichi's booted feet curled up onto the bench as well.
"You finished your chapter?" The low murmur arose seamlessly out of the soft hum.
"Mm-hmm. Thanks to a well-timed caffeine hit."
A comfortable silence followed as they sat together, watching the snow drift through the cone of light from the nearby streetlamp.
Those fingers beneath his elbow wiggled, not to escape, but to get warm. Taking off his own glove, he closed his hand over Shuuichi's, finding, not to his surprise, that they were soaked. He drew one small hand free of its hiding spot, pulled off the glove, held the frozen fingers close to his mouth to breathe warm air onto them, then reached into his pocket for the dry mittens he'd brought, just in case.
Shuuichi giggled and held his hand up for the mitten like a kid waiting for his mother to dress him for outside, but when Eiri pulled the second soaked glove free, he found those cold fingers seeking a haven inside his woolen overcoat which had somehow come unbuttoned.
He couldn't imagine how.
A pleasant cuddle later, another mitten donned, and he murmured into the snow-covered cap tucked under his chin: "Hey, you, my ears are getting cold. What say we go home and light the fire."
Sleepy eyes blinked up at him, and a slow smile appeared beneath. That was all the answer he needed. He rose, lifting the brat up and holding him steady as the circulation returned to feet tucked up too long. When Shuuichi was standing on his own, Eiri held his elbow out in tacit invitation. Shuuichi, true to his little practice pantomime, threw up a hand in silent surprise. He looked around as if seeking another target for that invitation and crossing his hands demurely on his chest, looked shyly at the ground.
Eiri said nothing. Just stood there, elbow extended. Sparkling purple peeked through the strands of hair escaping the cap. Eiri rolled his eyes and twitched the elbow and with a giggle, Shuuichi tucked both hands in, finding a comfortable balance as they began to walk home.
When they reached the angels, Eiri paused. The snow was doing its best, but Shuuichi's handiwork remained. He intercepted a shy glance that slid away in embarrassment. He smiled, freed his arm and put it around Shuuichi's shoulders, pulling him close. Laying his cheek against that convenient head, he began to sing. Softly.
His voice wouldn't scare children, but he was no Shuuichi, yet somehow, when that exquisite voice joined his in a light descant, it turned the sound into something magical, drifting across those angels, and when the final notes faded into the snow, he looked down into the shining face of his little frozen angel, brushed the waiting lips with his own and whispered:
"Let's go home."