A/N: Well, here it is. The finale to Consent. I feel a little bad because I did rush the plot a little near the end, (and a few of my readers caught onto this), and that irks me beacuse I am a plot junkie. Frankly, it was because I was too afraid of making the characters too OOC by delving any deeper into the Uesugi family dynamic, which is extremely difficult to figure out. Uesugi-san may seem OOC, but I don't count him, since we see little enough of him that his character is open to speculation.However, for a first story, I think I did fairly well, and yes, there most definitely will be a sequel soon and it will be Ryuichi/Tatsuha. Also, this epilogue takes place a good few months after the story itself.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gravitation.
Resolve - v
to settle, determine, or state formally in a vote or resolution
to deal with conclusively
to clear away or dispel
Tatsuha yawned as Tohma's car pulled up to the front of the esteemed Uesugi Temple. Seeing his home in Kyoto felt extremely odd for some reason. He'd been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and had stayed with Mika and Tohma in Tokyo for awhile upon his sister's request. He'd been through a lot the past few months. He'd been gang-raped, put through hell to admit that he'd been gang-raped, severely injured in a car accident, put through more hell while the police investigated his attack, an investigation that was currnetly on-going, and forced to spend quality time with a worried Mika. Needless to say, he wanted to go back to Kyoto. Sweet, quiet, dull Kyoto, where nothing ever appeared to change. He hadn't seen his home in months, so why did it seem to look exactly the same? His therapist later told him that he'd probably been expecting all the physical aspects of his life to change like the mental and emotional aspects had.
That's right, Tatsuha Uesugi was seeing a therapist. Twice a week. Mika had made it very clear that she would not have another Yuki in the family, no matter what the cost. Tatsuha had just recently been referred to another psychiatrist in Kyoto to make transportation a lot less complicated, and he was told he would be meeting the man fairly soon.
Arm still in a cast, but otherwise physically healed, Tatsuha exited the vehicle and made his way to the temple entrance. Mika followed behind him silently, carrying Tatsuha's overnight bag for him despite his many protests. His father greeted them at the door, standing stern, stiff, and stoic. Not a word was spoken. It was well-known that the Uesugi family only had two volumes: completely silent and unbearably loud. The former of the two seemed to be reigning over the Uesugi household at that moment, until Uesugi-san finally spoke up.
"You're back," he said. "Good."
And then, he turned and walked away.
After months of not seeing or speaking to his youngest son, he turned and walked away.
After his son had been gang-raped, injured, and hospitalized, he turned and walked away.
Tatsuha stared at his father's retreating back while Mika dropped his bag and chased after him in another feeble attempt to force him into his sorely neglected fatherly duties. Maybe things really hadn't changed as much as he thought after all.
Later that night, Tatsuha was still trying to get back in the swing of things. He didn't know how he'd be able to return to his temple duties, but he supposed he would manage. Luckily, his father had enough mercy to pardon him from his duties until his arm healed, under the presumption that a one-armed monk would bring more bad than good to the temple.
The young monk was currently working on his schoolwork in a desperate game of catch-up. He was sure that if he missed any more school days, his teachers wouldn't allow him to graduate. What did a monk need Calculus for, anyway? Groaning, Tatsuha pushed himself away from his desk for a break. He glanced at the clock and realized he'd been running the academic mill for three hours straight. He decided he was due for a break. Creeping silently down the hall so as not to disturb his father, Tatsuha slipped into the temple garden and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He hadn't been allowed any tobacco or alchohol for an inhumane amount of time, and he was craving a little indulgence. He lit up.
"Can I bum one?"
Tatsuha yelped and dropped his lighter. He whirled around to face none other than Uesugi-san, who had somehow managed to sneak up behind him undetected. How embarrasing. Caught off guard, Tatsuha fumbled for the appropriate response.
"Huh?" No, that wasn't it. "You mean, you...you don't mind?" Better. Uesugi-san quirked an eyebrow at his youngest offspring.
"If I minded, do you honestly think I'd ask you for one? Honestly, it kills me that you actually think you're getting away with something by doing that. Your brother was the same way, always thinking he was fooling me by sneaking around," he muttered. Tatsuha blinked, thoroughly confused. He was sure his father knew about his smoking, drinking, and occasional use of recreational drugs, but he'd never thought him to be so accepting of said addictions. After reaching down to retrieve his fallen lighter, Tatsuha passed it to his father along with his pack of smokes. He watched his father light up curiously, having never seen his father smoke a cigarette before. Pipes, sure, but regular old smokes? Never. His father took a long drag and studied his son carefully.
"Tell me what to do," he stated plainly. Tatsuha brow furrowed in confusion. "Tell me what I can do," he elaborated, "to make sure you don't end up like Eiri." Seeing Tatsuha's bewildered expression, Uesugi-san took another long drag and switched topics. "I wasn't a good father." Understatement of the year. "I'm man enough to admit that. I'm also man enough to admit that I don't even know how to be a good father. If I could go back in time to when you all were younger, I'd probably still have no idea what to do. But I can't change the past, Tatsuha, and I can't make right all the injustices I've done you over the years. So, I'm asking you now, what can I do? What can I do to keep from losing another son?"
Tatsuha was blown away. His father was standing next to him, smoking a cigarette, and asking how he could be a better father. His father, an Uesugi, was admitting that he was wrong. Hell, he was damn near apologizing, a feat very few Uesugi family members had ever acheived. Then, he thought about that man, his father, who had done nothing but walk away from him all his life. The man who had neglected and ignored his children every day since his wife's death. The man he had come to resent strongly, yet still strove with all his might to please. There he stood, vulnerable, weak. Suddenly, Tatsuha realized that, at that very moment, he had the power to hurt his father the way he had hurt Tatsuha all his life.
So, he turned to walk away.
And then he realized,
that he was doing exactly what Eiri would have done.
He turned back to face his father, the man who had done him wrong all his life, but was now trying to make amends. His father, who was trying to help his son so he wouldn't become a bitter, hateful person. Tatsuha flashed him a cocky smirk and plopped down on the garden steps.
"Well, old man, the list is pretty long," he said. "It may take awhile." Uesugi-san slowly sank down beside his son, looking more than a little uncomfortable, but also fairly pleased with his son's answer. He cleared his throat and spoke up.
"You've been through a lot, haven't you?"
Tatsuha lit another cigarette and smiled.
"Let me tell you about it."
A/N: WAHHHH!!!! It's over, except for the sequel, which should be coming soon. Yuki-lovers, please don't hate me for this. I relaize I did a lot of indirect Yuki-bashing, but it was just to make a point. I also realize that most wouldn't forgive their parents for neglecting them all their lives, but think about it. Wouldn't you be willing to take any chance to form a positive relationship with your family? I think Tatsuha would, since that's what he seems to do with Yuki all the time. Also, it seems that he's been around so much bitterness and resentfulness that he wouldn't want to choose that for himself. Or, I could just be a sucker for good family dynamics. If only real life could be like that. is a sucker for brotherly/fatherly relationships
Anyhoo, thank you all for reading my humble fic, and look out for the sequel, entitled Canvas, featuring, Tatsuha as a painter!!! (Also, that's when Tatsuha's attackers will be found and prosecuted! DUN DUN DUNNN!!!!)
PS: Extra icky Home-Ec Cookies to anyone who can guess where the last line came from. Hint: It comes from a book, and it's also the last line of that book, and it was the inspiration for this story.