Ack, sorry this took so long to get out! Don't worry, though. I'll make up for it by bringing in Ryuichi! And..everyone else who isn't near as important but wasn't in the first story.

Warning: As I said in the summary, this will have yaoi, but nothing too hardcore. Also, Ryuichi will be the seme, and Tatsuha the uke. I'm sorry, but I can't see the pairing any other way.

Also, if you have not read Consent, read it. You will be completely lost if you have not done so. And yes, I realize I have a thing for one word titles, big whoop.


Prologue - Paint

Tatsuha squinted in concentration as he examined his drying canvas thoughtfully. Leaning back, he yawned and rubbed a hand over his sweaty brow, oblivious to the bright blue streak of paint his hand left smeared across his face. He slid off his stool and stepped back from his nearly completed project to give it an appraising look. Almost finished. Just one more coat should do it, Tatsuha thought, throwing off his smock, which had once been one of his older brother's favorite dress shirts, and stretching out his arms.

At seventeen, Tatsuha Uesugi had changed and matured in ways most who knew him hadn't thought possible. Everyone else in the family attributed his transformation to the rape, but while Tatsuha accredited some changes to that little experience, he didn't feel that it was wholly responsible for his transformation. He believed it was the events that took place afterwards that truly changed him. Events like having an illegitimate HIV scare, nearly getting killed in a car wreck after having said HIV scare, having an actual conversation with his father for once, telling the police about the rape, identifying his rapists, but never seeing them brought to justice due to lack of physical evidence, and discussing it all with a psychiatrist. Honestly, who wouldn't change after all that?

Tatsuha had lost all interest in Ryuichi Sakuma and Nittle Grasper and filled the void left behind with paintbrushes and sketchbooks. A fanboy had burned away, and an artist had emerged from the ashes. Art had replaced his obsession. An emotional outlet, Fukai-sensei, his psychiatrist, had called it. A healthy and productive way for him to express his feelings and work out his frustrations. Although Tatsuha wouldn't have worded it that way exactly, that was basically what art was for him.

Turning away from the result of his 'emotional outlet', Tatsuha folded his hands behind his head and examined the rest of his room-turned-studio. His Ryuichi posters were all gone, replaced with paintings and drawings. His desk was riddled with paint brushes and pencils instead of CD's and magazines.

Sometimes it felt like a stranger's room.

Yawning again, Tatsuha checked the clock on the wall. 12:34 a.m.. Time to shower and call it a night.

Ryuichi Sakuma squinted in concentration as he examined the image on the screen thoughtfully. He fiddled with Kumagoro's ears while he watched the tape of Nittle Grasper's latest performance. It was the fourth time he'd watched the tape that night, but he just had to keep watching it for some reason. Something just wasn't right.

In all his years of show business, Ryuichi Sakuma had never once put on a bad show. He was a born performer. People were always throwing themselves at his feet, chanting his name, begging him to entertain them, and he always delivered. He gave them everything they wanted and more. And they all loved him for it.

So why couldn't he stop watching the tape?

The footage on the tape was no different than that of any other performance Nittle Grasper had made, but something was still wrong. Ryuichi could remember feeling strange before the concert. Not bad, necessarily, just...dull. He remembered feeling bored, tired, listless. Of course, none of these feelings had manifested physically, according to the tape, but the music icon was still baffled. He loved to sing, and he loved singing for thousands of people. It was his job, his passion, his life. He would never tire of it. He'd just been having an off night was all.

Ryuichi clicked off his television and stood up. He looked around his penthouse apartment. There were toys everywhere, along with bright paintings, and pretty sculptures. The place was every child's dream. But still, sometimes it felt strange, like a stranger's home. After all, what kind of thirty-three year old man would live in such a place? Ryuichi quickly shook his head. What was wrong with him? He must have been having a self-doubt day...days. That was all. He was fine. He was Ryuichi Sakuma, the Golden God. And he loved his life.

Yawning widely, Ryuichi checked his Seiko wristwatch. 12:34 a.m.. Time to call it a night. He decided to see Tohma the following morning. He was sure his bandmate would know how to cheer him up.

Yes, that's it for the prologue. I'm sorry it's unbelievably short, but I couldn't put in anymore, or it wouldn't have been a prologue. Poor Ryu has the blues. And yes, I wasted no time in bringing Tohma in. You think he's learned his lesson about interfering in other people's emotional lives? Of course not! As for Tatsuha's 180: no, he's not completely done with Ryuichi. He just thinks he is. And I wanted to make a story where the tables were turned between them, anyways. So, anyhoo, read and review. First chapter should be up by tomorrow if all goes as planned. And it won't be a pathetic, short chapter like this one, either! Promise!

Much Love,