Disclaimer: Gravitation and all its characters belong to Maki Murakami.
For the past several days, Yuki had been irritable – much more irritable than normal. Ever since he had regained the memory of that horrible day, he had been much angrier than usual. He couldn't understand what was happening to him. Lately he just had the uncontrollable urge to lash out at everyone – especially the people he cares for the most…
Yuki was in an especially bad mood this evening. He hadn't been able to write much more than a paragraph for the past several days. It was only a matter of time before his publisher began nagging him about his deadline. And to top it all off, he had let Shuichi talk him into going out for dinner. Now, even though it should be obvious that he wanted to be left alone, Shuichi refused to shut up.
"Sakano says this cd will go platinum for sure! What do you think Yuki?" As usual Shuichi was babbling nonstop about Bad Luck's latest CD. "Hey, Yuki! Are you listening to me?"
"For once, can't you just shut up?"
"Come on, Yuki, I've had a really great day! Can't you be happy for me just this once?"
"Why would I want to be happy about an annoying brat like you?"
Shuichi began to cry. "You're always so mean to me! You always ruin my good moods! Sometimes I wonder why I put up with you!"
Yuki knew he didn't mean it, but he still reacted angrily. Slamming on the brakes, he reached across Shuichi, and opened his door. "There's the door! Don't let it hit you on the ass on your way out!"
"Fine, if that's what you want!" Shuichi screeched as he jumped out. "Go to Hell!" Slamming the door, he began marching angrily down the deserted street. Smiling maliciously at him, Yuki drove away.
As he drove home, an uneasy feeling began to settle in his stomach. Suddenly it hit him! He passed a couple of thugs just a few blocks away from where Shuichi was walking. They reminded him of someone…
He hastily made a u-turn and sped back to the place Shuichi had gotten out of the car. He'd nearly gone back to the restaurant they had eaten at before he realized; that Shuichi and the thugs had disappeared! He pulled another u-turn and headed back. Scanning the neighborhood, Yuki looked for the most likely place they would have taken him. For the first time he realized that this was one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. Why did I leave him here?
A couple of blocks from where Shuichi had gotten out of the car, there were several abandoned buildings. They must be inside one of them. He parked the car and ran toward the nearest building. He could hear Shuichi's anguished cries for help, but he didn't know where they were. In vain, he searched the first building. Shuichi's cries were becoming weaker.
"Damn it! Hang on Shuichi!"
He entered the second building. Thankfully it had been completely gutted. He knew they weren't here. He couldn't hear Shuichi's cries anymore. So help me I'm going to rip those fucking bastards apart! He ran into the third building. Faintly he could hear Shuichi crying and begging them to stop. This is all my fault! Yuki grabbed a two by four off the floor and began stalking his prey.
The one holding Shuichi down never saw it coming. Yuki hit him square on the side of the head with all of his strength. He smiled savagely when he heard the sound of the miscreant's cheek and jaw bones crunching. He slumped to the floor like a rag doll. The one violating Shuichi stared wide-eyed from his accomplice lying on the floor to the bloody two by four in Yuki's hand.
He began to back away. "W…Wait a minute! We were just trying to have some fun here. Weren't we kid?"
Shuichi moaned and curled into a ball. He'd been badly beaten and was bleeding profusely. No, Shuichi not again! Yuki went after Shuichi's rapist in a rage. With cold calculation, he pounded the hell out of him. When he had assured himself that he'd broken enough of the degenerate's bones, he went back to Shuichi. A lump formed in Yuki's throat as he gently dressed Shuichi's injured body and gingerly picked him up. He wanted to say something to him, but there were simply no words to sufficiently describe the turmoil that was raging inside of him.
As he drove Shuichi to the hospital, he was assaulted by wave after wave of guilt. I'm responsible for his suffering! I'm always responsible for his suffering! He looked over at Shuichi's battered face. He doesn't deserve any of this! Yuki's head was beginning to throb, and he knew it wouldn't be long before it developed into a monster of a migraine. By the time they reached the hospital, his headache had progressed from throbbing to pounding.
He carefully carried Shuichi into the emergency room. The nurse on duty took one look at his bloody, bruised body and immediately took him to the nearest examination room. Yuki was unceremoniously shoved in the direction of the waiting room. It seemed like such a cold, inhospitable place. Much like the person he had become. As he paced nervously in the waiting room, Yuki realized that he had to once and for all overcome the ghosts of his past. He knew he would never have any peace unless he could find a way to deal with all of his unresolved issues.
Yuki called Hiro to let him know what had happened, and then he went home. As he packed his bags, he decided to go to Europe. With his blond hair and fair complexion, he reasoned that he would be able to blend in pretty well there. He was also relatively unknown there as well which would make traveling incognito much easier. He had also read about a German psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder. Perhaps with her help, Yuki hoped that he could finally exorcise the demons of his past.
March 14 – Shuichi Shindou's hospital room
I became aware of my pain before I had fully reached consciousness. There didn't seem to be a place on my body that didn't hurt. Yuki, why did you drive away like that? I stifled a sob and moaned involuntarily as I felt a stabbing pain in my ribs.
"Shuichi, can you hear me?" Hiro asked his voice laced heavily with concern.
"Yuki, where's Yuki?" I mumbled as I struggled to open my eyes.
"H…he was exhausted…so I sent him home. Try not to worry about anything. Right now you need to rest."
"I'll try, but it hurts so much." Every breath I took sent waves of pain throughout my body.
"Isn't there something stronger you can give him for the pain?" I heard Hiro ask someone.
"We've already given him the largest dose a person of his body weight can handle. Once the medicine gets completely in his bloodstream, he will be able to rest comfortably."
Yuki, why did you drive away…? I wondered as I drifted off to sleep…
As I walked angrily down the street, I watched in disbelief as Yuki drove away. He's just going to go around the block and come back to pick me up. Surely he won't leave me in a place like this. But he didn't come back for me. I watched in horror as the tail lights of his car became smaller and smaller until they disappeared altogether. I was just about to call Hiro on my cell phone when two rough-looking men emerged from the shadows.
The larger of the two walked up to me. "Just look at this sweet, young thing walking all alone! He looks kinda lonely." He tried to stroke my cheek.
I slapped his hand away. "Piss off and leave me alone!"
"You shouldn't act like that." The other one said. "It really turns him on!"
Suddenly, the big one grabbed a handful of my hair and began kissing me hard. The scent of cigarettes and cheap wine made me want to gag. I pushed against him with all of my strength, but it was useless. He was much too strong for me. In a final act of desperation, I drove my knee into his groin. I fell to the ground when he abruptly released me. As I was getting to my feet to run away, the other one kicked me in the ribs. The sound of my bones cracking reverberated through my head as the wind was knocked out of my lungs. As I fell to the ground, it felt like my body was being kicked and punched from every direction. I tried to curl in a ball to protect myself, but my body wouldn't obey my commands. Rough hands drug me through the darkness while I struggled to regain my breath.
"Somebody help me!" I yelled as they threw me to the ground…
I cried out in pain as my nightmare suddenly jarred me awake.
"Yuki, where's Yuki?" I whispered drowsily. With great difficulty, I opened my left eye. For some reason, my right eye refused to open. I looked around and realized that I was in the hospital and all alone. My nightmare, I realized in horror, had actually happened. Yuki left me in the worst neighborhood of the city. I'd been beaten and brutally raped. But how did I get here? Who saved me?
The door opened and a nurse entered my room. "Ah, you're awake. I'm just here to check on you." She took my temperature and my pulse. Then she checked my blood pressure. "On a scale of one to ten, with one being no pain and ten being excruciating pain, what number would accurately describe how you feel?"
I took a breath to answer her and winced from the effort.
"Should I take that as a ten?"
I gingerly nodded my head. She injected the medicine in my IV, and I drifted slowly back into oblivion.