Somebody's Watching Me
Written by: chochowilliams
Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation or the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.
Summary: After Eiri and Shuichi move into their new apartment, Shuichi starts hearing and seeing unexplainable things. Is the apartment haunted or is Shuichi starting to lose his mind?
Warning: M/M, sexual situation, language, romance, drama, supernatural
Inserts: "Time in My Heart" by Kinya Kotani (AKA Shuichi Shindou from Bad Luck), "Invincible" by Pat Benatar
A/N: This is the first installment of the Haunted series. This idea just came to me one night while I was watching Ghost Hunters. If you do not know what it is, it is a show about a team of paranormal investigators who investigate alleged hauntings.
"Let's see," Shuichi muttered to himself.
The door to the study creaked opened. "Hey, Brat," Eiri greeted around an unlit cigarette as he spied his raven-haired boyfriend sitting crossed legged on the living room floor by the coffee table.
For his birthday, the only thing Shuichi wanted was for Eiri to quit smoking. Or to at least start cutting back. And of course, Eiri could deny his baka nothing.
Much to Eiri's chagrin, Shuichi did not so much as spare him a quick glance. He just uttered an undistinguishable non-committal noise in return. His complete attention, what little there was of it, was centered on his brand new hot pink laptop computer that he bought himself for his birthday. When Eiri had asked why pink, Shuichi told him that since he dyed his hair back to its natural color, he had to have something pink.
"You are such a queer," he had snorted in reply.
Grinning, Shuichi said happily, "Thank you!"
Stepping out of his study and into the living room, Eiri shut the door behind him. Crossing the living room, he flopped down onto the couch. Dropping his head back, Eiri stretched his arms out along the top of the couch and closed his eyes with a deep sigh.
The latest book he was working on was not working out. It was frustrating him to no end. He was just about ready to drop the whole damn thing.
"Subway?" came Shuichi whispered mutter. "Yes." There was a clack of keys. "Trains? Central? Suburb? Yes and yes." There was the sound of more clacking keys.
Curious, Eiri lifted his head and peered at his long time partner who had undergone quite a growth spurt since they first got together when Shuichi was a senior in high school. In the last couple of years, Shuichi's lithe, slim build has filled out and become hard and supple with toned muscle. His shoulders had widened. His chest had broadened. Shuichi had even grown several inches. He had not changed so much that he looked like a completely different person, but Shuichi had gone from being cute, to-dare he say it?-drop dead gorgeous.
Eiri blinked. Had he really just thought that? He shook his head to clear it before he jumped the singer, which did not seem like such a bad idea now that he thought about it. Shuichi was overdue for a reminder of just to whom he belonged anyway. He felt his cock twitch in reaction.
"What are you doing?" he asked Shuichi. His voice did not sound like his own.
"Apartment hunting," Shuichi answered without lifting his gaze from the computer screen.
If he heard the wanton need that Eiri had not bothered to hide then he made no indication. For some reason that pissed Eiri off. "Hm." But he would let it slide. For now anyways.
Shuichi and he had moved any number of times over the course of their relationship mostly because their address had somehow been leaked and they became bombarded by fans and reporters and whatnot. This time, they were moving because frankly they had outgrown their current three-bedroom condominium. There was little room for the two of them to breathe. Who knew you could collect so much junk in only a short amount of time?
"Any luck?" he asked. As interested as he was in the search for a new, larger place for the two of them to live, Eiri's libido was interested in a different type of search. He shifted uncomfortably on the couch. It was taking all he had not to launch himself off the couch and across the table, but they really did need to find a new apartment and quick. They were already tripping all over themselves and all of their-or rather should he say Shuichi's-stuff.
"Hn," was the distracted reply. "Should we stay here in Chiyoda-ku, Eiri?"
"Doesn't matter," Eiri said equally distracted by the carotid pulse located in Shuichi's neck.
Feeling as if he were being watched, Shuichi lifted his gaze from the computer screen and met a set of blazing golden eyes. Shuichi felt his pulse speed up. His breath hitched. He knew that look all too well. Shuichi felt himself harden instantly. Damn Eiri, he thought. With just a look! Despite himself, a blush crept up his neck. Curling his lips inward to keep back the embarrassed smile that threatened to split his face, Shuichi lowered his gaze back down to the computer.
Eiri had been cooped up in his study for the last several weeks working on a new novel and Bad Luck was working on a new CD that was scheduled for release next spring-and for once, they were not rushing through it-so the couple had had little time together.
Shuichi moved the cursor and hit "Chiyoda-ku", trying to ignore the heated gaze fixed upon him. It was not working.
He was glad Eiri wanted to remain here in Chiyoda City. He for one liked it here. It was a small, closely-knit community with less than fifty thousand residents, which made it the least populated of Tokyo's twenty-some-odd wards.
Literally meaning "field of a thousand generations," Chiyoda inherited its name from Chiyoda Castle, which was known to some as Edo Castle. Other than the Imperial Palace, there were many government institutions as well as some of Tokyo's national landmarks such as the Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo Station, and the Nippon Budokan. There were also fifteen embassies headquartered here. There were some really great schools, parks, museums, libraries and resort facilities. There was even a jogging course, which he has only recently begun to make use of. Not to mention, there was always some sort of festival going on.
But Shuichi liked living here in Chiyoda-ku mostly because it was close to the studio-short commute.
"Minutes from station," Shuichi read on the apartment guide's search criteria. "Any," he clicked. "Rent?" His hand hovered over the mouse.
"What's the minimum?"
"Uhm." Shuichi checked. "150,000 yen."
"1.5 million yen."
Eiri shrugged. Really, for the two of them, money was no object. "Whatever. It don't matter."
"As long as they have parking, A/C and limited access," Eiri quickly added.
Shuichi's brows furrowed in confusion. "Huh?"
Eiri fought the urge to roll his eyes. "A locked front door," he sounded out slowly. "Ya know like this place? Where you need a key to even get into the building? I don't want every yahoo to be able to come and go."
By "yahoo", Shuichi had the feeling he knew to whom Eiri was referring.
"Okay…No max specified," he mumbled. "3 or more bedrooms. Floor space? Hm." Shuichi glanced around. They could definitely use more room.
Shuichi shot Eiri a shocked look before quickly lowering his gaze back down to the computer. "O-kay." That seemed like a little too much space, but he added the additional criteria anyway. Hitting the search button, Shuichi sat back to wait for the results. He did not have to wait long. The results popped up on the screen. Sitting up straighter, Shuichi scanned the list. There were twelve. "Here's one for 650,000 yen. No maintenance fee. Key money: two months. Deposit: two months. Parking included. One-hundred and forty-four point sixty-six square meters. Uhm…"
"Where is it?"
"Sanbon-cho House number 5. 24-2, Sanban-cho…But it's not available until next month."
Shuichi continued to scroll down the list. His eyes lit up. "Here's a four bedroom for 750,000 yen and it's available now. It is the Sanbancho Daiichi Mansions number 501. 7-4, Sanbancho. Uhm," he hummed as he scanned the list. "No maintenance fee. No key money, but you need six months deposit. Parking is included. There is 194.40 square meters."
Eiri drew his eyebrows together. "How much?"
"How much what?"
"Oh! 750,000. Why?"
For some reason that did not sound right. "Are you sure you did not forget a zero?"
Shuichi rechecked the price. He shook his head. "No. 7. 5. 0. 0. 0. 0." He clicked on the link provided and skimmed over the redundant information. "Hey! It has a balcony, air-conditioner, comes with a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher-"
Eiri snorted. He did not see what the big deal about dishwashers was. That was what Shuichi was for. Besides that, he would not know how to operate one if the manual hit him upside the head nor did he care.
"-CS, what the hell is that?" Shuichi muttered. "Cooking stove, kitchen, oven, auto-lock and the building has an elevator." He snorted. "I sure as hell hope they do. I'm not walking up and down five flights fifty zillion times a day."
Eiri lightly chuckled. His baka was always a source of amusement.
Shuichi scrolled down the page. Squinting, he leaned in closer to the monitor. "This picture sucks," he said.
"Let me see." Eiri pushed up off the couch and rounded the coffee table. He squatted down besides Shuichi. Unhooking his rimless reading glasses from his white button-down shirt, he slipped them on. "Hm." Studying the picture, Eiri noticed right away that there was a master bedroom suite off the kitchen on the opposite side of the apartment from the other three. It had a walk-in closet and its own bathroom. The other bedrooms shared a bathroom. There was even a water closet (or "half-bath") off the entrance. A rather large shoes-in closet and plenty of storage space throughout the apartment (4). "Make an appointment," he ordered.
Gasping, violet eyes went wide. "A-are you sure, Eiri?" His heart was hammering in anticipation.
Eiri winced as he lost a little more of his hearing. By this rate, he would be deaf by the time he was thirty. "Don't get your hopes up. It is only an appointment, Shuichi Shindou," he reminded his boyfriend sternly. "It may either already be taken or we may not even get it."
Shuichi pouted with a whine.
Eiri sighed. He was starting to get a headache. "You know, the longer you sit here, the greater the chance of someone snatching the place is."
Panic flitted across Shuichi's face. He scrambled to his feet and raced to the phone.
Eiri chuckled. Pushing to his feet, he followed his lithe, hyperactive baka to the kitchen. Shuichi had so much energy. It was time to put all that energy to good use.
Mitsubishi Estate Offices – Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
"Alright, Mr. Shindou. I will see you on Friday then…All right. Have a good night. Bye-bye." Her grin fell immediately as she replaced the receiver. She sat back with a sigh.
Norimi Saigo had been with Mitsubishi Estate for quite a few number of years and had been Eiri Yuki and Shuichi Shindou's real estate agent for half of that time. They were usually her favorite clients for, even though they were famous, they were the easiest to please. But this time…
She heaved a heavy sigh.
There was a reason an apartment such as the one her favorite clients wanted to see that would normally go for over a couple million yen easy was going for such a steal. But according to company policy, what the public did not know could not hurt them.
NG Productions Studios – The Next Day
With his hands holding the headphones securely, Shuichi sang into the microphone. "Time in my heart/Yami no kogashi hikari terase HAZUsu ORE wo!" He held out the last note, hearing it echo back at him. He let the music flow through him, felt it take him over. Sometimes he could not believe that this was his life. "Time in my heart." The music surrounded him again. "Time in my heart/kotae no nai sekai mo nai kitto/Time in my heart/subete ga aru kimi no yume ni ORE wo irete." Again, he held out the last note.
The music faded to enthusiastic applause.
The producer for their third album, Aiya Kotani, gave him the thumbs up.
Grinning, Shuichi took off the headphones and set them on the music stand. He bowed deeply at his audience before making his way out of the sound booth. He was greeted with a renewal of applause and whistles. He scratched the back of his head, embarrassed by the attention. "How was that?"
From his position besides Aiya, Suguru Fujisaki spun his chair around to face his lead singer. "That was perfect Mr. Shindou."
"Do you want me to do it again?"
Hiroshi Nakano stepped forward and slapped his best friend on the back. "You were awesome Man."
Shuichi brightened at Hiro's praise. "Really?"
"If we did not think that you could lead us to the top, we never would have supported you for as long as we have," Suguru said.
His keyboardist's always-present snooty attitude could do little to bring down Shuichi from his high. Sighing happily, Shuichi twirled and flopped bonelessly into the couch.
Hiro chuckled lightly.
The door to the studio that Bad Luck was currently using burst open. "You seem awfully happy today Shindou," K observed as he stepped into the studio.
Shuichi giggled merrily. "Of course!" He jumped to his feet and clasped his hands together. "Me and Yuki are going apartment hunting today!"
Suguru snorted. "And that is a case for celebration because…?"
Planting his hands on his hips, Shuichi glared at the younger guy. "Because Eiri promised that if we could get a place with at least four bedrooms, then he would think about us…," Shuichi's face flushed red as the rest became lost behind a cough.
K's eyebrows shot into his hairline.
"He would what?" Hiro pressed.
If Shuichi thought he could not become any more embarrassed then he would have been wrong. He flushed in anger at having to repeat himself, but at the same time, he was so happy at the prospect of what the future might hold if Eiri and he were to get this apartment. "He would think about us-having-a baby."
There was stunned silence following his admission.
Shuichi pouted. "What?" he demanded.
Sanbancho Daiichi Mansions – Later That Day
"Oh! Wow! Yuki!" Shuichi raced into the expansive living room. Giggling like a schoolgirl and holding his arms out on either side of him, he twirled around and around and around and…
Eiri was becoming seasick. "Baka," he snapped. "Knock it off!"
"Aw," Shuichi whined.
Behind him, Norimi laughed lightly at his clients antics. "No, it's perfectly alright."
Dizzy, Shuichi staggered. He giggled delightfully.
Eiri rolled his eyes. How in the world had he fallen in love with such an imbecile? He could not believe that this was the man he wanted to have a family with.
"This is the combination living room and dining room. It is a little over fifty-five square meters," Norimi was saying.
"There's no separate dining room?" Eiri asked.
"No." Norimi shook her head. "It is an open floor plan."
"This is more like a Great Room," Eiri noticed. He did not know if liked it.
"Yes," Norimi agreed. "It's perfect for entertaining."
Shuichi giggled as he rejoined Eiri and their real estate agent. He hooked his arm through Eiri's. Entertaining? Eiri was the most unsociable person that Shuichi has ever known.
Eiri threw Shuichi a look.
Shuichi just gave him a look full of innocence.
Eiri snorted and shook his head. Shuichi? Innocent? Please! Only when it suited him.
Still giggling, Shuichi unlatched himself from Eiri and waltzed into the kitchen. "It's also good if you have kids. Right? Eiri?" With his hands clasped behind him, Shuichi turned and tilting his head a little to the side, he smiled sweetly at his lover.
Eiri caught his breath. He would never admit it aloud, but at that moment, his heart skipped a beat. He cleared his throat. "I don't know what you are talking about."
Not fooled, especially seeing the pinkish tint to the pale writer's face, Shuichi chuckled and turned his attention to what could be their new kitchen.
"The kitchen has travertine tile floors, granite countertops, new cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances," Norimi stated amused by the couple.
"Looks like the stove is gas," Eiri guessed.
"Yes," Norimi answered.
Shuichi and an open flame? That was a disaster waiting to happen. He would have to remember to keep the baka as far away from the stove as humanly possible.
Speak of the devil.
"Is this kitchen smaller than ours?" Shuichi asked as he danced around the kitchen opening cupboards and pulling out drawers.
"Oh." Shuichi paused and turned towards Eiri. "Is that bad?" He hoped not because he really, really liked this place.
Eiri shrugged lazily. "Not really." He threw his long time partner a look. "Seeing it's in much better condition."
Shuichi glanced back sheepishly. Scratching the back of his head, he gave a nervous giggle. "Aah, c'mon Eiri! You know that wasn't my fault!"
Crossing his arms over his chest, Eiri cocked an eyebrow. "Oh really? And who, pray tell, should I hold accountable for nearly burning down the apartment-again?"
"Uhm, well, you see…"
"Well?" Eiri demanded.
Feeling bad for the boy, Norimi decided to speak up. "Would you like to see the rest of the apartment?"
Shuichi snatched the opportunity gifted to him. "Please!"
Norimi gave a light chuckle. "Alright, then let's go see the bedrooms."
Shuichi's eye lit up. He squealed. Grabbing Eiri's hand, he pulled the writer behind him as he followed Norimi.
A Month Later
Less than thirty days later found Shuichi sitting crossed legged on the kitchen floor of Eiri's and his new apartment. Shuichi giggled gaily at that. It was not Eiri's apartment. It was their apartment. Both of their names were on the lease.
Now that they finally had a place that had more than enough room, Eiri had agreed to keep his promise, which surprised, but delighted Shuichi. And come this summer, there was a fairly good chance that there would be the pitter-patter of little feet in the apartment. Oh! He could not wait!
Hiro and the others were still not sure adopting a child was the best idea. When he asked, they would not say why. Whatever. Shuichi did not care what people thought. Yuki and he were in love; they were practically married and now that they had a big enough place and were in a comfortable place in their respective careers, the next logical step was to have children. It was a shame that men were not born with the ability to bare children like women. But seeing as they were not, there was always the next best thing.
Reaching into the box besides him, Shuichi pulled out a thin, round shaped object covered with newspaper. Unfurling the newspaper, he tossed it carelessly aside with the growing mountain of other paper and set the gleaming white plate with the others in front of him. He reached within the box again and pulled out another.
The stack of plates grew.
"For Heaven's sake," Shuichi exclaimed as he pulled out yet another plate from the box. "How many freaking plates do we have?" It was just the two of them-for now at least, he added.
There was a loud creaking.
Shuichi's head shot up. He spotted Eiri holding a box and stepping over the same spot again and again, each time eliciting the same creaking sound.
With his brows furrowed in contemplation, Eiri studied the wood floor beneath his feet. This was a fairly new building and the floors were just installed not too long ago according to Norimi. He would have to remember to speak with the building supervisor about this, he thought.
Hefting the slipping box more securely in his arms, Eiri raised his head and met Shuichi's violet eyes watching him openly as he stepped into the kitchen.
"Is that the last?" Shuichi asked pointing to the box in Eiri's arms.
"Of the kitchen stuff yeah."
Shuichi sighed heavily.
Eiri stepped over and around Shuichi's mess to the counter where he set the box down. "You better clean that crap up Shuichi Shindou."
"Yeah. Yeah," Shuichi rolled his eyes in exasperation. Why was he so in love with such a neat freak?
Eiri turned to glare down at him.
In return, Shuichi gave him his patent innocent look.
"Moron," Eiri mumbled.
Eiri ripped the tape from the box, rolled it into a ball between his hands then tossed it over his shoulder.
Eiri smirked to himself.
Shuichi picked up the ball of tape from the stack of plates that had hit him on the back of the head and tossed it into the black garbage bag that sat besides the mountain of newspaper. "What was that about me picking up my mess?"
"Have no idea," was Eiri's reply as he pulled out what looked like large tootsie rolls from the box.
Shuichi huffed and returned to his box. To his amazement, the plates seemed to have stopped multiplying after two dozen. Seriously, who needs this many plates, especially seeing as Eiri never wants to invite people over for a dinner party.
"What was that?"
Not realizing he said that aloud, Shuichi blinked up at Eiri in confusion. "Huh? What was what?"
Eiri narrowed his eyes before turning away.
Shuichi watched Eiri for a little while longer before reaching into the box and pulling out a small round shaped object wrapped in newspaper. These must be the-what were they called? The salad plates? Great! They probably had two dozen of these as well. "You know, Eiri…"
"Nothing," Shuichi grumbled.
Eiri snickered. He carefully unrolled the newspaper to reveal a burgundy wineglass. He set the wineglass on the counter with the others and then smoothing the piece of newspaper out, folded it neatly before setting it on the counter on the other side of the box. He reached back into the box and grabbed the next one. When he felt it shift in his hand, his face contorted in rage. "Son of a bitch."
With a salad plate in one hand and a scrunched up sheet of newspaper in the other, Shuichi went still. "E-Eiri?" he called out timidly. Eiri was scary when he was angry.
Peeling open the newspaper, Eiri pulled out the pieces of the shattered wineglass with a scowl.
With a gasp, Shuichi's eyes went wide in horror.
Unlike the dishes, Shuichi knew that they only had a couple of wineglasses. Under normal circumstances, it would not matter if one glass broke during transit. It happens. But these were not normal glasses. These wineglasses belonged to Eiri's deceased mother. They were given to her from her mother on her wedding day.
Shuichi jumped with a startled yelp as Eiri tossed the broken wineglass into the sink with a sound curse.
Eiri gripped the sink tightly. The pressure turned his knuckles white. His jaw was clenched. A vein throbbed dangerously in his forehead.
Shuichi opened his mouth to speak, but decided against it and said nothing. Instead, he studied his pale complected lover. A war of emotions was playing out on Eiri's face. One second he looked beyond pissed and the next he looked as if he were on the verge of tears. From past experience, Shuichi knew at times like these, it was best if he said and did absolutely nothing. One wrong word, one wrong move and Eiri would make what happened to Shuichi all those years ago when he was gangbanged by Sourpuss and those street thugs look like nothing more than a casual handshake.
Uncrossing his legs, he brought them up to his chest and hugged his arms around his knees. Resting his chin on his knees, Shuichi watched Eiri as he tried to gain control over his out of control emotions.
It did not take long for him to break. He knew the risks involved and he was willing to take those chances. He did not like seeing Eiri so upset like this. Those wineglasses were one of the only things that Eiri had to remind him of his mother. His father had gotten rid of pretty much everything else.
"W…" Shuichi licked his lips and tried again. "What was she like? Your mother?"
Silence. Was that good or bad?
"I bet you look like her." Mika, Tatsuha and he certainly did not look like their father thank God.
But again nothing.
Shuichi was just about ready to give up when Eiri's soft voice broke into the silence.
"I was-eight, I think, when she passed."
Shuichi remembered hearing from Tatsuha, for Eiri did not like to speak of their mother, that she had cancer.
"I-don't really remember her." Heaving a sigh, Eiri let go of the sink and straightened. Turning around, he leaned back against the counter and slid to the floor. Imitating Shuichi, he pulled his knees up to his chest and clasped his hands loosely around his legs.
Shuichi wanted to say something, anything, but was afraid that if he broke the mood, Eiri would go back into hiding. He did not open up very often.
"And you are right. We all have Mother's looks."
"Then she must have been beautiful," Shuichi whispered. Too late, he realized he should not have anything.
But Eiri smiled, chasing away the dark shadows.
Shuichi heaved a mental sigh of relief. He still had bruises from the last time Eiri snapped.
"Yes. Yes she was." Eiri cleared his tightening throat. "Mika and Tatsuha have Father's coloring, but I was born with Mother's. I think that is one of the reasons why Father was always on my case."
"Because you remind him of her."
Eiri leaned his head back against the lower cabinets and stared up at the ceiling as he fought back the threatening tears. "You know," he said suddenly into the silence. Lifting his head, he gave Shuichi a predatory once over.
Shuichi felt his body tightening.
"Let's leave this for tomorrow."
Gulping, Shuichi could do nothing more than nod.
Eiri stood up and pulling a fiercely blushing Shuichi to his feet, dragged him out of the kitchen. It was time to christen their new master bedroom.
Eiri had not thought to ask Norimi if the walls were soundproof or at least thick enough to muffle the sounds of them "boning". In their last place, they had gotten many complaints from their neighbors. Not that they bothered him any. It just made him more aggressive, which in turn had pissed off the neighbors even more. It had been a never-ending cycle. Shuichi had been a different story, though. Eiri had tried to keep Shuichi out of the loop, knowing how it would affect the singer, but their old landlord must have suddenly grown a brain because he lay in wait until Shuichi came home from the studio at the crack of dawn one morning after spending the entire night working and told him about the complaints he has been getting. The singer had been so embarrassed and of course told Eiri off, but all that had been quickly forgotten.
Whether the walls were soundproofed or not, Eiri could have cared less.
A gasp turned into a throaty moan. Shuichi arched into Eiri's touch. Ripples of pleasure coursed through him. He grabbed fists full of the white feather down quilt his mother bought for them for Christmas last year.
There was a part of him that still felt weird having sex with his boyfriend on something that had been a gift from his mother. When he told Eiri about his misgivings, Eiri had just given him that predatory look of his and pounced. Shuichi had been sore for weeks after that.
Shuichi's hands shook as he tightened his hold on the bedspread. His knuckles turned white. He tossed his head from side to side. His toes flexed and curled.
He was going crazy!
He tossed his head back and arched off the bed as his orgasm swept through him.
Eiri swallowed all Shuichi had to give him and sat back. He gazed up the lean, hard body of his baka as he licked Shuichi's essence from his lips.
Panting, Shuichi flopped bonelessly back against the bed as he tried to calm his racing heart.
Eiri chuckled. Cute, he thought.
Shuichi peeled open an eye and glared up at his golden-eyed lover.
Grinning, Eiri stretched himself upon his sweaty, sexy lover.
Shuichi lowered his gaze in embarrassment. A rosy tint colored his cheeks.
Eiri leaned forward and breathed, "Shuichi."
A delicious shudder raced through Shuichi. His hands danced to Eiri's back as he turned his head away.
Even after all of these years. Eiri chuckled. He nibbled lightly on Shuichi's neck.
Shuichi tightened his grip on Eiri's shoulders. His fingernails dug half-moon circles. Moaning, he craned his neck in order to give Eiri better access. "Nn." Shuichi hooked his leg around Eiri's hip in order to bring his hard, throbbing partner closer.
There was a loud, long creak.
Startled, Shuichi's eyes snapped open.
Oblivious, Eiri trailed a line of kisses down Shuichi's throat to his shoulder.
Shuichi's eyes were fluttering closed. He was losing himself into Eiri's touches and his kisses when it happened again. That same loud, long creaking noise. Shuichi's eyes snapped back open. It reminded him of when Eiri kept stepping on that spot in the kitchen earlier. He could tell himself that all houses make noises, but for some reason that did little to comfort Shuichi. "Eiri."
Eiri ran a hand along Shuichi's stomach and up to tweak his nipple while Eiri suckled on the other one.
"Aah!" Shuichi tangled his hands in Eiri's thicket of golden locks and arched off the bed into Eiri's magical touch.
The silence was shattered by another loud creaking noise.
Shuichi's eyes flew open. He pushed against Eiri's shoulder. "Eiri." His lids fluttered and his breath hitched as the writer curled his tongue around his perk nipple. "No, Eiri. Stop. I, I thought I heard something."
Eiri went still. Growling softly, he slowly lifted his gaze. Hard golden eyes met wavering violet eyes.
Shuichi gulped nervously.
Pushing off Shuichi, Eiri picked his pants off the floor and slid into them. He walked around the bed and grabbed the heavy metal baseball bat off the floor from where he set it earlier that morning. He crept silently to the bedroom door. With a hand on the doorknob, he paused and ordered over his shoulder, "Don't. Move."
Shuichi nodded obediently. He bit his lips to keep from calling out to Eiri as the dark hallway swallowed him whole. Maybe he should not have anything, he thought as he glanced around nervously.
He flattened himself against the wall to floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the roof balcony. With the metal baseball bat at the ready, Eiri crept silently down the short hallway. Having forgotten to shut the door that led into the short hallway that led towards the master suite, Eiri could see clear into the living room. The only things he could see were the dark oblong shapes of the boxes that had yet to be unpacked.
Then he heard it: the sound of creaking floorboards.
Frowning, Eiri flung himself across the hall and flattened himself against the opposite wall.
The creaking sounds continued. It sounded as if someone was pacing over that small section of loose floorboards he had noticed earlier.
Taking a deep breath, he mentally counted before jumping out.
A quick check let him know that Shuichi and he were the only ones in the apartment.
Eiri heaved a tired sigh. Using the bat as a crutch, he massaged his throbbing temple with his free hand.
He chalked the mysterious incident off as a combination of sleep deprivation and the natural settling of a building.
Just then, the tranquil hush that had fallen over the apartment was shattered by a noise that made Eiri's heart just about stop. "Shuichi," he breathed. His heart thumping in panic and growing terror, Eiri raced back through the apartment. He tossed open the door to their bedroom and reached for the light switch on the wall besides the door. He shielded his eyes from the harsh, blinding rays of the domed ceiling light and glanced towards the bed with the bat once again at the ready.
The bed was empty.
Eiri's eyes grew wide. "Sh-"
There was whimpering from his right.
"Shuichi," Eiri breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the singer, but his relief was short lived.
Huddled on the floor in the far corner, partially hidden behind stacks of moving boxes was Shuichi, pale faced and eyes wide in terror.
"Shuichi!" Tossing the bat aside, he raced across the room, sliding the last couple of feet to Shuichi's side. "Shuichi! What's wrong? What happened?" he demanded frantically. His gaze roamed over Shuichi, searching the singer for some signs of injury. When he found none, the tightness in his chest eased slightly.
"Shuichi?" Eiri's heart started beating frantically. What the hell was wrong with him? Eiri grabbed Shuichi's upper arms, intending to give the moronic singer with the voice of an angel-though he would never admit it aloud-a good shake. His eyes went wide in shock. "Jesus! You are freezing! C'mon." Wrapping his arms around his naked shaking partner, Eiri gently lifted Shuichi to his feet and guided him towards the bed.
Panting heavily, Shuichi started fighting him.
"Shuichi, stop it." Eiri was really becoming worried about his little baka. "C'mon now."
"No," Shuichi cried softly as he continued trying to pry himself out of Eiri's vise-like grip.
Trying to ignore the knot in his chest that was telling him that something was horribly wrong, Eiri grabbed Shuichi's shoulders and turned the singer towards him. "Shuichi," he called. It was not working.
Shuichi's wide, wild eyes were glued to the spot over Eiri's shoulder as he dug his heels in and shook his head vigorously. "No," he whimpered.
"Shuichi," Eiri tried again with more force. "What happened? What's wrong?"
With tears flowing down his face, Shuichi gazed briefly into worried hazel eyes golden like the sun before looking away.
Eiri followed Shuichi's gaze over his shoulder and found he was looking at the walk-in closet. His brows twitched. The doors were wide open. He thought he had closed them? It was something that went back to his childhood. Eiri could not sleep with the closet door open. Shuichi was always giving him slack about that. While the closet was open, the light was off. With help from the bedroom light, Eiri could see that like the rest of the apartment, the closet was full of unpacked boxes.
"What?" Eiri pried gently as he turned back to Shuichi.
Shuichi's breathing became heavy and labored.
Girl? Eiri glanced over his shoulder at the closet. "There is no one there."
"She was there," Shuichi snapped through his tears. His face crumbled. "I saw…"
"Where? Where was she?"
"There," Shuichi sobbed, pointing with a shaking finger over Eiri's shoulder.
Eiri's glance flitted to the closet before returning to Shuichi. Shuichi's face was as white as the down comforter on which they were just making love. Eiri pulled Shuichi to him, hugging him tightly. It hurt his heart to see Shuichi like this.
Shuichi wrapped his thin trembling arms around Eiri and buried his wet face in Eiri's chest. Sobs wracked his body.
"Whatever was there is gone now. There's nothing there," Eiri whispered. He dropped a kiss on Shuichi's raven head.
"But I saw her!" Shuichi sobbed.
"I know." Eiri ran his hands up and down Shuichi's back.
Eiri hushed him. "Come on. It's late. We've had a long day."
Shuichi pushed out of the comforting warmth of Eiri's arms. "I'm not crazy!"
"I never said you were."
Shuichi shook his head forcefully. "I saw her! She was standing in the closet watching me!"
Reaching out, Eiri captured a stray tear with his thumb. Kissing Shuichi's forehead, Eiri retrieved the bat he had tossed aside in his frenzy just moments earlier. Indicating over his shoulder for Shuichi to remain where he was, Eiri crept silently across the room and around the bed.
Eiri had nothing to worry about. Shuichi had no inclination of ever moving from this spot until he was sure it was okay. Feeling suddenly sick, he wrapped his arms around his churning middle. He pursed his lips together to keep his teeth from chattering. He felt so cold, as if his whole body had gone numb from the inside out. A lone sob escaped his lips as a renewal of tears stung his eyes. Shuichi was not sure he liked this apartment very much. He bit his lip to keep from calling out to Eiri as the writer vanished within the closet. Shuichi was not sure what it was about that-that-specter that unnerved him so. It could be because one second he was alone, the next there was a face watching him from the suddenly open closet and then the moment after, he was alone again. Or it could be something else all together. Shuichi was not sure he wanted to delve too deeply into the possibilities.
After what seemed like an eternity but was in reality only a handful of seconds, Eiri stepped out of the closet.
Shuichi breathed a sigh of relief. His tense stomach muscles unclenched.
Eiri leaned the bat against the wall and pulled the closet door shut until he heard the familiar click. "Like I told you. There's nobody there."
That surprised Shuichi. That was not right. There had to be someone there! He swore he saw someone! It had only been a flitting glance out of the corner of his eye, but standing right where Eiri was standing now had been a young woman maybe a little older than Eiri. He had not been able to make out much more than that. "But-!"
Shuichi cut off his rant. His face went red. A goofy grin crossed his face.
Eiri smiled gently. He was not sure what it was that Shuichi had seen, if he had seen anything at all. But it was clearly obvious that something had spooked the singer. Eiri had never seen Shuichi like this before.
"Whatever you saw, it's gone now."
Shuichi just did not understand. There was someone in the closet. He knew he saw someone. How can someone get into the apartment and then just disappear as mysteriously?
"Now, come on. It's late. We have another big day tomorrow."
Shuichi nodded solemnly.
The couple crawled into bed. Shuichi was grateful that Eiri did not initiate anything. He really was not in the mood anymore. He fell into a deep, troubled sleep curled up in Eiri's arms.
Next Morning – NG Productions Studios
"Maybe your house is haunted," Suguru said blandly from behind his synthesizer. He frowned as he ran his knuckles over the keys. One of the keys sounded a little off. Maybe it was time for a new one.
Paling, Shuichi's eyes went wide.
Hiro tossed the rag he had been using to buff his guitar at their musical arranger. "Baka," he hissed.
Shuichi could not even stand to watch the trailers for horror films. Hiro was not sure how his best friend would take to living in his own horror flick.
"H-Haun-ted?" Shuichi felt nauseous.
"Why not? You guys got the place for a steal. Makes sense."
Hiro laughed Suguru's explanation off, even though it was the same thing he had been thinking. "You were probably just tired, you know, from moving? It would not be the first time, Shu. Besides, it was your first night in your new place. Ya know?"
Eiri said practically the same thing, Shuichi thought. Maybe they were right. Last night, he had been so adamant that he had actually seen someone, but now Shuichi was not so sure anymore. He was not sure what to think. He gnawed on his bottom lip as he played with the zipper of his sleeveless tank.
"Of course. Everyone knows there is no such thing as ghosts," Suguru pointed out.
Shuichi heaved a sigh of relief. A wide smile splashed across his face. "Yeah, you're right. Thanks guys!"
"Dammit," Shuichi hissed as he dug through his bag strapped across his chest. Cellphone. Notebook. Wallet. Gum. Gum wrappers. Candy bar wrappers. Empty chip bag. Water bottle. Broken sunglasses. Pens. Address book. Empty box of strawberry pocky. Ipod. Manga…but no keys. Shuichi scratched his head in confusion. He was sure he had them when he left…right? You need the keys to lock the apartment door and since Eiri had been too busy arguing with Mizuki when he left, Shuichi had been the one to lock the door.
Kanna Mizuki, Eiri's agent, had invited herself over early this morning "requesting" the manuscript that was "a week overdue", or so she claimed. Eiri said that the woman just got off on harassing him. So while Eiri dealt with her, Shuichi had decided to go into the studio and talk over what happened last night with the others, even though he was supposed to have the week off. He had been hoping they would help him sort out what had happened. Unfortunately, as soon as he stepped out of the studio, his doubts and fears started to return. Despite the warmth of the sun beating down on him, Shuichi felt suddenly cold.
"Good afternoon, Shindou-san," greeted a feeble sounding male voice from behind him.
Startled out of his thoughts, Shuichi spun. "Oh! Aso-san!" He bowed at the elderly gentlemen. "Konnichiwa."
He met Koji Aso on the elevator this morning. Apparently, the old man lived in the building with his wife of fifty years and half a dozen cats. "What seems to be the trouble?"
Shuichi blushed hotly. "Oh, uhm." He scratched the back of his head. "I, uh, seem to have misplaced my keys." He laughed.
Shuichi hummed happily as the elevator ascended.
"Maybe your house is haunted," Suguru had said.
Shuichi shook his head. "Stupid Fujisaki," he mumbled.
But what if his keyboardist was right? What if their apartment was haunted? It would make sense. First, there sounded as if someone had been in the kitchen and then there was that face staring down at him from out of the closet. And what about the closet? Shuichi had seen Eiri close it earlier that night. It was a strange phobia-if you wanted to call it that-that Eiri had. He may chide him about it, but Shuichi was the same way.
Fujisaki was also right about them getting the place for such a steal. Even Eiri had said so. Maybe he should speak with their neighbors and see how much they pay. Besides theirs, there were three other apartments on their floor and from what they were told, despite each having a different layout and differing floor space; they were all exactly the same.
"Is anything wrong, Shindou-san?"
"Huh?" Shuichi lifted his head and met steely grey eyes. "Oh, uhm, no. Nothing's wrong."
"It's just that, uhm…"
"Do you know anything about this place being haunted?" Shuichi blurted. Embarrassed, his face grew warm. Shuichi felt like such a fool for asking. Both Eiri and Hiro said that he must have been half sleep, but he just could not shake the feeling that that "dream" had been more than just a figment of his imagination.
"Haunted?" The old man chuckled and shook his head. "I haven't heard anything like that."
Shuichi felt his face fall. For some reason that did not make him as relieved as he thought he would be. "Oh. Well, thanks anyway."
The elevator came to a halt. There was a ping and the doors slid open. Shuichi stepped out and turned to bow at the elderly man. "Thanks again."
"You are very welcome," he inclined his head in return.
As Shuichi turned towards his apartment, which was to the left of the elevator, Aso-san called after him.
"Is that your apartment?" he asked with his cane.
Shuichi glanced at his apartment door. N 501 in small silver lettering was secured to it above a peephole. "Yes," Shuichi nodded.
"Aah," the man said sadly before he stepped back onto the elevator.
Before Shuichi could even process what had happened, the elevator doors slid closed.
Shuichi scratched his head in confusion.
Shaking it off, he danced up to the apartment door and knocked. He hoped Eiri was home. Otherwise, he was screwed.
Moments later, the door swung open to reveal a disheveled looking Eiri who had an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
"Hey, Eiri! I'm home!"
"Really? Never woulda noticed," Eiri mumbled as he stepped aside.
Giggling, Shuichi danced inside and gave his grumpy looking boyfriend a kiss. "You look like crap."
"And you have a mess in the kitchen you need to clean up," Eiri retorted as he swung the door closed. The sound of a lock falling into place echoed down the silent hallway.
A whine could be heard from behind the closed door.
"Shuichi," shouted Eiri's voice from somewhere in the house.
"Yeah," Shuichi called back from the dressing room in the master bedroom.
"Tomorrow, I want you to do the other bathroom," Eiri commanded. His voice sounded closer.
"And make sure you put the hairdryer back under the sink!"
Shuichi rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Yeah!"
"If I see it sitting out one more time, it's going in the trash."
"I heard you the first time," Shuichi snapped back. It was not as if he forgot to put it away every single time. Besides, it was not as if he were the only one. Shuichi noticed that Eiri left it sitting out earlier. He had not even known that Eiri liked to use the hairdryer.
"Good, because I am not repeating myself."
"Whatever," Shuichi muttered.
Eiri stuck his head into the dressing room. "What was that?"
Shuichi's face grew warm. "Uhm…I love you?"
"Uh huh." Eiri withdrew back into the bedroom. "That's what I thought."
Shuichi stuck out his tongue.
"I saw that!"
Giggling, Shuichi wrapped the cord around the hairdryer. Opening the cabinet door, he started to place the hairdryer under the sink, but something metallic towards the back of the cabinet caught his eye. Setting the hairdryer back down on the vanity, Shuichi crouched down and fished out the object.
"What the hell?"
What he held in his hand when he stood back up were the very house keys he had been looking for earlier.
At midnight, Shuichi found he was still very much awake. From besides him, he could hear Eiri's soft snores. He cursed the man for being able to fall asleep so easily.
When they went to bed, Shuichi made sure that Eiri was sleeping on the side of the bed that was closest to the closet. It was still up for grabs whether the woman he saw walking out of the closet last night actually happened or had been a product of a mind clouded by fatigue. He was vying for the latter, but was not holding his breath. Other then wrestling with the question of what really happened last night, Shuichi had been fine all day, but as soon as night fell, the terror of the experience had returned. Eiri thought he was being ridiculous. Shuichi thought he was being realistic.
A creaking sound jerked Shuichi out of his thoughts and pulled a startled gasp out of him.
Fear had his heart beating rapidly. Squeezing his eyes shut tight, Shuichi cowered under the covers and curled up against Eiri as the creaking, like last night, continued.
The Next Day
"We can't afford to be innocent/Stand up and face the enemy/It's a do or die situation/We will be invincible," Shuichi sang loudly as he danced through the living room towards the guest bath with an armload of brightly colored towels.
The second bathroom was across the hall from the bedroom that Eiri had commandeered as his new study. Not only was it the room furthest away from the master bedroom, but it also happened to be largest of the three bedrooms.
"And that was 'Invincible' by Pat Benatar, the theme song from the 1985 movie Billie Jean here on the eighty minute eighties lunch. Next up we have... (5)"
The sound of the radio dimmed as the door swung shut behind him.
Humming, Shuichi skipped down the hall passed the room that was to become their child's room. The second bedroom, which was going to be his music room when he got around to unpacking everything, was besides it. He was looking into buying sound proofing padding to secure to the walls so that he did not bother Eiri or their child. The utility room where the washer and dryer were located was on his left.
He peeked into the third bedroom, which was Eiri's study, as he passed by. Eiri was sitting on the floor lost amongst a sea of books. Curious, he pushed open the door and stepped inside. "Yuki? What are you doing?"
Startled, the book Eiri was holding slipped from his hand. He glared over his shoulder at Shuichi. "What's it look like?" he snapped, annoyed at being disturbed.
"I don't know."
Eiri sighed. He was beginning to get a headache. "Alphabetizing my books."
Shuichi cocked his head to the side. "Why?"
"To make it easier to find the book I want later."
"Aah!" Shuichi still did not get it.
Leaving Eiri to his organizing, Shuichi opened the storage closet located outside the dressing room and set the extra towels on an empty shelf besides the hand towels and wash clothes.
"There!" Stepping back, he closed the closet doors.
Picking up the box at his feet, Shuichi carried it into the dressing room and unloaded the miscellaneous items into the storage closet, which included toilet paper as well as extra bath supplies.
His ears perked up when he heard the sound of feet stride passed the door and disappear down the hall. The door that led out into the living room swung open. The D.J.'s voice boomed down the hall-
"-'sy Lover' by Phil Collins-"
-before it was silenced by the door swinging shut.
"Hey, Eiri!" Shuichi raced to the dressing room door and stuck his head out into the hallway.
"What?" barked the answer from across the hall.
Shuichi blinked. "Eiri?" He crossed the hall to the study.
There sitting on the floor amongst all his books was Eiri.
"Yeah," Eiri drawled. "Where else would I be? I've been here all damn day."
Shuichi drew his brows together in confusion. "But-I mean-I heard-I thought…" He scratched his head. What was going on?
"Will you make sense," Eiri growled in annoyance.
Shuichi felt like an idiot as his mouth gaped open and closed, but he really had no idea what to say.
A Couple Hours Later
Tipping his head back, Eiri blew out a stream of grey smoke into the air. He watched fascinated as the breeze whipped it about.
"I-thought I-heard someone."
Stubbing out his cigarette on the railing, Eiri tossed it into his empty teacup.
His face a mask of confusion, Shuichi had only been able to shake his head.
Something was clearly going on, either concerning their apartment or with Shuichi.
Sighing, Eiri turned from the breathtaking view of the city.
Back in his study, Eiri set his cup down on the file cabinet that Shuichi had somehow been able to decorate with stickers and closed the sliding doors behind him. Crossing the room, he pulled out his chair and sat down behind his desk. Reaching for the phone, he dialed NG Productions' number by heart. As he waited to be patched through, Eiri sat back and raked his fingers through his breeze teased hair.
He had finally finished unpacking his study. It looked exactly like it had in each of his previous places except unlike the other apartments he had ever lived in, the architect for this building had added a traditional Japanese flare by making it so that the terrace was easily accessible from almost every room in the apartment. If Shuichi and he did indeed adopt a child, he would have to look into buying a special lock for the balcony doors in the kid's room. There was a sturdy railing and a row of hedges between the roof balcony and the five story drop to the pavement, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Eiri-kun," came the enthusiastic greeting over the phone, breaking into Eiri's thoughts. "To what do I owe this honor?"
Biting back a sarcastic retort that was clawing to be released, Eiri said instead, "I need you to look into something for me."
"Are you alright, Eiri-kun? You don't sound too good," came the concerned reply.
Dropping his face into his free hand, Eiri rubbed his suddenly throbbing temples. He did not feel too good either. It was funny, just moments before, he'd felt fine. "Tired," he slurred slightly. "It's been a long day."
"Are you going to help me or not?" Eiri snapped, trying to ignore the fact that the room was spinning. He swallowed back a groan. It felt as if he were going to be sick.
"Of course! Anything for you Eiri-kun."
Eiri opened his mouth, but closed it when nothing came out. That was weird. His mind just went blank. He blinked. What was it he had just been talking about?
Shuichi reached into the box before him and pulled out a rectangular shaped object wrapped in brightly colored newspaper. If he ever saw another newspaper again it would be too soon.
He tore off the newspaper and tossed it over his head into the growing pile with the others to reveal a silver plaque for Bad Luck's first single "Rage Beat". He could remember when they were presented with this plaque after the song went platinum. It had been a dream come true.
Giggling, Shuichi set in aside.
His eyes landed on the plaque besides it. "Bad Luck. 'Blind Game Again'. Platinum Record," he read. Their second single. Making the video for that song had been an experience and a half to say the least.
Reaching back into the box, he pulled out a newspaper wrapped rectangular shaped object similar to the others.
"Bad Luck. 'Rage Beat'. Double Platinum Record."
Even if Bad Luck never sold another CD, Shuichi would be satisfied with the legacy they left behind.
He set the plaque besides another one.
"Bad Luck. 'In the Moonlight'. Triple Platinum Record (6)."
Smiling nostalgically, Shuichi ran his fingers over the smooth surface of the silver award. 'In the Moonlight' had been the first Bad Luck song to be released worldwide and had quickly become one of their greatest hits to date.
Shuichi started at the sudden gruff voice from behind him. Trying to calm his racing heart, Shuichi grinned over his shoulder. "Hey, Yuki, do you remem-" His smile faltered when his gaze landed on the empty space behind him. Frowning, Shuichi set the plaque down and scrambled to his feet. "Eiri," he called as he leaned out of the door to his room.
"Eiri?" Something was not right. He could not explain it, but Shuichi could feel it. His heart started hammering. He broke out into a cold sweat. "Eiri!"
"In here," came the muted reply from the study.
With a hand over his heart, Shuichi breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank God," he whispered. He stepped around the door and peered into Eiri's study, grinning. "Did you want some-thing…?" Violet tinted jet eyes went wide. An olive complexion went white. "Yu-ki," Shuichi called softly. He took a tentative step into the room. He felt lightheaded all of a sudden and had to grip the doorframe to keep from passing out. He took another step and then another. Each step was faster than the last. "Yuki?"
Lying slumped across his desk with the phone dangling from his hand was Eiri. His already pale complexion had gone ashen.
"Oh, God," Shuichi gasped. "Yuki," he cried in panic as he raced towards his long time partner's side. "Yuki!"
Three Months Later
The images on the television went still and then with a click, the screen went dark. Silence descended upon the apartment. Shuichi set the remote down on the coffee table and then sat back. "So," he asked folding his legs underneath him and curling up against his life partner, "what did you think?"
"Crap," came the answer.
"Eiri," reprimanded Shuichi with a pout.
"What? It's a show about a college student in love with a ten-year-old boy," he said in disgust.
Shuichi turned to face Eiri. "Ritsuka is twelve."
Eiri shrugged in disinterest. "Ten. Twelve. Same difference. That Suki guy-"
"Soubi," Shuichi corrected.
"Whatever! He is still seven years older. He's a pervert."
"He's in love," Shuichi corrected.
"With a twelve-year-old," Eiri shot back.
"Eiri! You just don't get it." Shuichi folded his arms over his chest and turned his back to the author with a 'humph'.
Eiri sighed heavily. "What's to get? In the real world Soubi would be thrown in jail for rape."
Shuichi said nothing.
"Right?" Eiri pressed.
"Eiri…" Shuichi gave a heavy sigh. Why would he think Eiri would enjoy watching Loveless with him? "That is not the point."
"Then what is?"
"Yes, love." Shuichi nodded.
Eiri said nothing. "Whatever," he finally muttered.
Shuichi dropped his arms and turned to face his boyfriend. "I was barely legal when we first met," he reminded Eiri.
"That was different."
Shuichi rolled his eyes with a sigh. "How?"
"It just was."
It was Shuichi's turn to say "whatever". "Are you telling me that if I were Ritsuka and you Soubi, you never would have kissed me? You never would have come on to me? Seduced me?"
Violet met gold.
"Whatever," was all Eiri said as he broke contact with those hard challenging eyes. He turned to stare out over the balcony as the sun vanished behind the horizon of metal and glass.
Knowing he had his answer, Shuichi cuddled back against Eiri with a satisfied smirk. But his smile soon slipped off his face. Shuichi gripped Eiri's T-shirt as the threat of tears stung his eyes. His throat tightened. It has been three months since Eiri had his stroke. Three months since Shuichi thought he lost his whole world. If Eiri had not been on the phone with Tohma at the time, Shuichi was not sure what would have happened. He had been so scared and unsure what to do.
"Yuki. Yuki! Talk to me! Yuki! Please! Yuki!"
When the EMTs arrived, Shuichi had refused to let Eiri go. He had been so afraid that if he let Eiri out of his sight, he was never going to see his boyfriend again. Tohma had needed to pry Shuichi's grip from Eiri and then hold him back as Eiri was wheeled into the ER. Shuichi had been this close to being sedated.
The doctors to this day were not sure what had caused the stroke. Blood clots were the main cause, but Eiri was in relatively good health. He had a history of heavy smoking and drinking, but had cut down considerably over the last several years. Besides, Shuichi was not even sure if Eiri's smoking and drinking had anything to do with his stroke. Whatever the cause, Shuichi was glad Eiri was okay. It'd been a mild stroke and thankfully didn't have any lasting affects. Eiri recovered fairly quickly and was released from the hospital a couple days later.
The silence of the house was shattered by shrill cries.
A grin spread slowly over Shuichi's face. He glanced over his shoulder at the closed doorway that led to the other part of the house where their offices were and now their newborn son's bedroom.
Ichigo, named after Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, was two months old as of today. His birth family was unknown. Ichigo was found mere hours after his birth in the back of a metro bus. Nobody saw anything.
Grinning at Eiri, Shuichi leapt off the couch.
A smile crossed Eiri's face as he watched Shuichi vanish into their son's room.
Turning back around, Eiri scanned the silent, twilight-strung apartment.
Other than his son who definitely sounded as if he had his mother's lungs, Eiri chuckled, wondering dryly who the "mother" in this relationship was, everything had been quiet in the apartment. The activity had stopped just as suddenly and mysteriously as it began.
Tohma's research had turned up nothing substantial, but he promised he was not going to give up. Not just yet. If there were something to these "hauntings" then he would find it. Eiri had no doubts. Shuichi said that there was an older gentleman who lived up on the tenth floor who might know something. He would have to look into that, but it did get him to wondering if the two, the unexplained activity and his stroke, were connected. Especially after what Shuichi told him.
"I was unpacking like you told me to and I heard you call me."
But it had not been him. At the time Shuichi heard the unexplained voice, he had been unconscious.
Eiri turned around. He grinned and stood up when he saw Shuichi walk through the door into the living room with a small, round bundle on his hip. Tears were drying on Ichigo's face and his mused raven hair was sticking on end.
Whatever had been going on stopped around the time Eiri had his stroke. They have not been kept up at night by the sounds of someone pacing back and forth over the loose section of floorboards in the kitchen; in fact, those loose floorboards that he found that first day no longer gave any indication that they had ever been loose, which confused him greatly for he hadn't had time to call the building supervisor to report it with everything that happened. Shuichi has not reported any sightings of apparitions in the closet. There have been no mysterious footsteps or disembodied voices. Nothing has gone missing only to be found in a place where it should never have been. No, everything was quiet.
Well, relatively quiet considering, Eiri amended as he watched his lover and their son cross towards him.
If indeed their apartment was haunted by some sort of entity, not that he was saying it had been, but if it was then Eiri knew he owed that "entity" a great deal. For if Shuichi had not heard his voice calling out to him that day, he never would have found him in time and who knows what the outcome would have been?
(1) Info from: wiki/Chiyoda,_Tokyo
(2) In the Gravitation anime, volume 1, there is the scene from the "day after" that shows Shuichi waiting for Hiro at Ichigaya Station, which I found, is located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, so I decided to make this where Shu and Eiri live in Tokyo.
(3) This site is real: .jp
(4) Real apartment but at a different apartment complex. It is an "R Type" from the "Ichigaya Sadohara II" located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It has an "L" shape layout.
(5) "80 Minute 80's lunch" was real at the time this was originally written.
(6) These are from the reversible covers of the anime/OVA.
Preview: Look for "Why is Somebody Watching Me?" the second installment in the Haunted series.