Chapter Notes - Happy Holidays! To those that have been waiting for this (who are still sticking with it after so long) this is one of hopefully two holiday treats you'll get from me in the Gravitation universe - a cleaned-up chapter 13 for your enjoyment.

Things are rough for Shu-chan, and to me this was a rather tough bit to write, so it's on the short side, but hopefully it won't wear you out when you read it!

I'm glad people are finding the video game aspect of their relationship so... positive? I'm not sure that's the word for it, but several readers have commented that they like it. So do I...

Please read and review !

A couple weeks later Shuichi found himself not so happy, wandering in the dark park where he used to walk with Yuki when he had writer's block… missing him terribly, sick to his soul with loneliness… Dumped… Dumped and shut out by the one person who made him complete. None of the 'fighting' that he'd done trying to save their relationship had worked. Yuki had been cold and vicious at every attempt Shuichi made to see him and talk to him. Looking back on it, it seemed like Yuki had almost been enjoying seeing Shuichi such an emotional wreck.

He had been crying for days, wanting to go back to the apartment and beg Yuki to be his again just one more time… not to leave him alone and in love… but he couldn't even do that. Yuki had gone so far as to move away and didn't leave a forwarding address. The only thing left in the apartment were Shuichi's things—dumped too—in a pile on the floor of the living room.

Even if he could have found him, Yuki hated weakness, and that was all Shuichi had to offer at the moment. Yuki had a life to live that didn't include him but did include a fiancée and an arranged marriage in his near future with no hint of any 'alternative lifestyle' for the media to find out about. Hiro was also upset that the marriage was going to happen but Shuichi had a hard time feeling bad for him at the moment.

"How could this have happened?" He sighed heavily, leaning against the railing that overlooked the familiar city view that not too long ago, they'd looked at together.

"Well, well… Shuichi Shindou… What brings you out to this particular neighborhood so late at night?"

Shuichi twitched with shock. He thought he recognized Taki Aizawa's voice and turned around, sad to see that he was right.

"N-nothing. Just getting some air." He decided to just walk away… He didn't know the two guys with Taki but they didn't look safe and Taki had really been taking too much of an interest in what Shuichi was doing outside of the studio as of late. Things had really gone way beyond his regular jealous behavior.

"Not so fast…" He grabbed Shuichi by the arm and whirled him back around, yelling into his face. "Where do you think you're going when I'm talking to you?"

"Hey! Fuck off!" He shook loose.

"Just wanted to have a little chat with you, lover boy." He grinned wickedly.

"What? Are you high? Get lost, Aizawa."

"Walk away now and I'll ruin you both. I know all about you and Eiri Yuki."

"You don't know anything."

"Oh, I beg to differ. Now, if you don't want to have your sweetheart's career killed, I suggest you give up your own, otherwise I'll put you two all over the news in a heartbeat." He flipped a couple photos out of his jacket pocket—compromising pictures of him with Yuki, taken by someone with a pretty high powered camera lens. Shuichi gritted his teeth. It wasn't good at all… but at least Taki hadn't gone right to the media. This guy was just bent on screwing up Shuichi's career. The only thing he wanted out of Yuki was leverage.

"What the hell do you have against me? I've never done anything to you!" He yelped.

"Sure you have, you little shit. Using your connections to get ahead like you have is disgusting… No kid is going to surpass me… Do you have any idea how hard I've worked to get us where we are today? Huh? And you just waltz in and get all this star-quality attention because you're spreading your legs for that guy..." He was visibly shaking with rage. "So what do you say, brat? Give up music or give up your fuck-buddy's reputation. What's it gonna be?"

"Fuck you, Taki Aizawa." He pushed away only to be grabbed again, buckling over from a swift fist to his stomach that knocked the air right out of him.

"So that's how it's gonna be, huh? Well, that's just fine, too… You know, looking at you every day has really been getting on my nerves. So now I'm gonna take it out on you and rearrange your face into something more interesting to look at… Have fun guys. He's all yours." He shoved Shuichi in the direction of the two strangers.

"What the hell are you doing?" He gasped, finding out quickly from the taste of blood in his mouth that they were just there to kick the crap out of him for Taki's entertainment, which they were doing with great enthusiasm.

Taki grabbed a handful of his hair and lifted his head off the grass after a while of the punishment, "Awww… Princess broke his crown… Let's have some more fun, shall we? Make some memories for the camera."

"Get away from me… Asshole…" He rasped, hardly able to struggle as they started to undress him. When he resisted he got another fist in the stomach… but then suddenly it all stopped with a thump and then a loud cracking noise.

Shuichi was now free and Taki was rolling in a flower bed, howling in pain. One of the other guys was going down for the count, too. The second one just ran for it. Shuichi lifted his head, looking through sore eyes to see Yuki beating the shit out of the remaining stranger where he lay on the ground nearby.

"Yuki…" He coughed up blood, watching him get up from the motionless form at last and come to kneel beside him.

"Shu… Hey… You still with me?"

"Barely… Thanks…" He winced.

"How sweet… You came to rescue your Princess." Taki had managed to drag himself to his feet, "He wouldn't even give up his career to save you. You're done, Eiri Yuki. I woulda been happy if he just gave up but… oh, well! Guess I'll just have to take both of you down, heh heh… Tomorrow's paper's gonna have your names plastered all over it… Eiri Yuki assaults Taki Aizawa from Ask over an argument with his lover, Shuichi Shindou. I can just see it now, complete with pictures." He gestured to the photos that were now strewn on the ground. "It'll be glorious. You're going to jail, fucker… and to top it off, you'll never sell another novel again. He'll never sell another song!" He laughed.

"Oh? You really think so?" Yuki smirked at Taki from where he was crouched beside Shuichi.

"I know so."

"I guess I better make it worth my while then, huh, Aizawa?"

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

Taki found out soon enough as Yuki launched off the ground and tackled him hard, commencing to give him the beat-down of a lifetime. At last he stood up again and gave Taki one final solid kick for good measure before gathering up the pictures, putting them in his pocket.

"Dick… Didn't think you'd sink so low." He growled.

"You're done… You're both done for. It's totally worth it." Taki laughed weakly.

"You don't know shit, Aizawa… If you did, you never would have even thought about touching my Shuichi… If I didn't know that living was going to be more painful for you from here on, I'd put you in the ground right now… You're the one who's done… On my say so… You fail to understand how close I am with the NRG inner circle… You came out here tonight to kill a career, and you succeeded… Your own…"

"You can't…"

"Oh, I can… and I will… And as a parting gift, since I seem to have sprained my hand on your ugly face and my hands are my tools to write… I'm going to return the favor." He stomped on Aizawa's forearm hard, satisfied to hear a shriek rise from him, "You remember this, shit-for-brains. No one touches my boy. So much as think about trying it again and you'll be in the hospital for the next six months if I don't kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fucking fact." He kicked Aizawa over and then returned to Shuichi's side, "Hey… You still awake?"

"Mmmh…" He could only lay there and cry, just so happy to be near Yuki again that it made up for the pain.

"Come on… Let's get you home." He mostly carried Shuichi out of the park, putting him in the car and driving him to his new apartment as Shuichi struggled to stay awake while bleeding all over the car's fine leather interior.

"I miss you… so much…" He gurgled.

"Stop talking… Just stop." There was a strange waver in Yuki's voice and Shuichi realized he was crying.

"No… I won't… I love you."

"I know. I know… I love you, too."

"Yuki…" He sighed and slumped against him, "I'm sorry about the blood…"

"It'll come out… Just shut up. Please just be quiet."

He barely remembered being brought inside a building, into an apartment, being in the shower… Yuki was still clothed and soaked to the skin in there with him, trying to clean him up as carefully as possible, hands shaking. There was blood on his beautiful pale face which Shuichi reached toward and wiped away weakly along with the tears.

"It's okay. I'll be fine." He managed to say, wanting so much to comfort Yuki even though he was the one in physical pain.

Yuki's face pressed against his chest, arms hugging, "I'm sorry, Shuichi. I'm so sorry."

"It's not your fault." But he couldn't speak any more. Consciousness was waning. The world spun and he clutched at Yuki for stability.

He came around again as the bathing had ended, finding himself bundled in one of Yuki's robes and being persuaded to take aspirin. There in a strange new apartment, he was brought to the bed that he knew so well, staring at an unfamiliar ceiling while Yuki talked on the phone to someone. The words didn't make sense at the moment. He tried to focus a little but it wasn't working.

After a while he felt the weight of Yuki sitting on the bed beside him, looking down on him with an incredibly worried expression. The lights were on for a long while, he was sure, and Yuki spoke to him for a long time, too. Eventually the lights went out in the unfamiliar place. Though he didn't have any idea of where he was, just that the place contained Yuki was enough for him… and he slept deeply with those arms around him, only wondering what would happen next.

That's it for chapter 13 - Please Review / Leave Questions =D