SUMMARY: Eiri said that Shuichi could stay with him for just one week. So what should Shuichi do when that week is over? Offer to leave? Or just wait and hope Eiri doesn't remember the deal? As he makes his way home, it begins to look like Eiri might have made the decision for him…

TIMELINE: Early in the anime… or the manga, whichever you prefer…

RATING: K – sadly nothing naughty, besides a few idle thoughts…

DISCLAIMER: Not mine, though I do make rather nice chocolate cakes…

NOTES: I have discovered to my great discomfiture that I can be a pedantic nitpicker when it comes to stories I like as much as Gravitation – apparently I just have to know what happened after a particular scene ended or how certain events came about. The fact that Shuichi managed to outstay his original "welcome" by Eiri by at least a month was one pointless little detail which my brain kept fixating on, and in the end I came up with this.

Once I wrote it, however, I was ready to abandon this story because it seemed to have very little plot, had little or no dialogue and ultimately seemed to be a carbon-copy of "Twenty Seven Days" which I was working on at the same time. But with a lot of editing and a bit of inspiration I managed to salvage it, and somewhere in the process produced "Fantasy" as well! Let me know if it was worth it!

It's going to be a good evening,

Shuichi declared to himself as he crossed the pedestrian bridge, keeping a tight grip on the fragile box he carried, I'm going to make sure it's a good evening.

For a start, he would be on his best behaviour. He wasn't completely sure what that was, at least where Yuki was concerned, because Yuki talked so little about what he did or didn't like – not just regarding Shuichi but regarding anything. As Shuichi turned the corner and began the usual tramp up the hill to Yuki's block, he considered what he had managed to learn about his enigmatic new love in the space of a week.

Things Yuki didn't like: Noise, questions, whining, pestering, mess, interruptions when he was working and being touched unexpectedly. Things Yuki did like: cigarettes, coffee, sweets, cold beer, hot showers, lying in, cooking, reading and… of course… sex.

And Shuichi himself? Which list did he belong in? It was still pretty hard to tell.

When Shuichi had appeared at Yuki's flat, announcing his intention to move in, he had not had much of a plan in mind. Almost since the day they had met in the park, Yuki had so captivated Shuichi's mind – and heart – that he found it almost unbearable to go a day without seeing him at least once. And as they appeared to be getting on quite well – well enough to be making love, at any rate – it had seemed the perfect plan for them to live together. Once this idea had blossomed in Shuichi's brain, he had thought it so wonderful that he had not stopped to think what Yuki might make of it – or what living together might actually entail.

When he had arrived at Yuki's door with a blanket and a pillow, he hadn't really considered what arrangements a cohabiting couple would enjoy. He hadn't even really thought of himself and Yuki as a couple in the romantic sense – had in fact been relying on the older, worldlier man to define their relationship for him. All Shuichi had known was that he wanted to be close to Yuki – to spend as much time with him as he could; to share things with him and watch him as he worked or relaxed or ate or slept.

More often than not the six nights that had followed his arrival reflected the first one – Yuki working late into the night, with Shuichi left to amuse himself. It hadn't bothered him – it was fun just to be in that big, elegant house; to curl up on the sofa and watch his Nittle Grasper videos or work on his music. After he had left his family home, hoping to have more "time and space" for his music, he often ended up feeling lonely and uninspired and spent more time sleeping on Hiro's floor than in his own place. With Yuki nearby, even if not within sight, inspiration flowed easily. And if Yuki took a break from his writing and came and sat with him – or, even better, came to take him to bed – then happiness became ecstasy.

There were times when Shuichi thought he could have been content just like that – could have happily spent the rest of his days living just as he had those last few with Yuki, without demanding any more. Unrealistic though it was, knowing himself, knowing his irrepressible urge to have whatever he wanted absolutely, with Yuki just as with his music, at that moment he really though he would settle for whatever he could get, as long as he got a little more time.

I can't believe a week has passed so quickly, he had mused with a twinge of sadness as he had awoken under Yuki's roof (bliss!) on Yuki's couch (shame!) that morning. So what now? Yuki didn't say anything about the week being up last night – but then again he didn't say much of anything.

Somehow, once again, Shuichi had been relying on Yuki to tell him what would happen next. He didn't want to raise the subject himself, for fear it might remind Yuki to send him packing. But then again, wouldn't it make him appear more mature if he simply packed up his belongings and announced his intention to leave?

But Yuki's so… shy, when it comes to expressing his feelings! He never actually said he wanted to see me, but he never turned me away either. And he did agree to let me stay… at least for a week.

If only he'd just say something. Even something simple, like "I'm fond of you, Shuichi" or "it's nice living with you" or even "I like you!" Hell, right now I'd settle for a "hello Shuichi!" He almost never says my name, even in bed…

If I said I was going to leave, could I rely on him asking me to stay? Even if he wanted me to? Can I take the risk?

After much thought, Shuichi had rallied his courage and decided to do nothing.

Nothing direct, anyway.

And it was with that plan in operation that he made his way back to for Yuki's flat for the eighth evening in a row, planning his perfect night.

Fortuitously, he had received his first real wages cheque that day for the gig they had played opening for Ask, which meant he had money to spend. Even better, now that Seguchi Tohma was taking notice of them he didn't need to spend it all on equipment or promotion. Instead, he would spend it on Yuki. He had been more or less living off him for a week, and hadn't really given that fact much thought until now, but surely Yuki would appreciate it if Shuichi showed he wasn't just a freeloader.

He didn't think Yuki would agree to go out to dinner with him, but surely he would enjoy a takeaway, with the richly iced, very expensive chocolate cake he had just bought from Yuki's favourite bakery for dessert… and then whatever else Yuki wanted… Shuichi rather hoped it would be sex, but if it was an evening of writing interspersed with coffee, cigarettes and boring programmes about thirty ways to cook octopus then he would not complain.

Shuichi glanced down at the cake he had been carrying so carefully, feeling his heart squeeze just a little. How charmed he had been when he had noticed Yuki's love of sweets – for Yuki to have such a weakness made him that little bit more human. The cake had been packed in a plain white box – maybe he should write some little message on it? But what? What would sound good? Shuichi wondered a little anxiously, what would sound good to Yuki? I want him to know I'm grateful for the week we've had… but I don't want to give him ideas… it can't sound too much like a good-bye…

If only we'd got a bit further than this in one week! I don't think I'd mind moving out again if I knew for certain… if I knew Yuki wanted to be – Shuichi hesitated, feeling his cheeks grow warm at the mere thought, but forced himself to complete it – wanted to be my boyfriend…

Shuichi blinked, awakening from his muse as his eyes alighted on a tall, graceful, fair haired figure turning into the road several meters ahead of him, carrying – rather endearingly, Shuichi thought – a bag of groceries. Feeling that now familiar fizz of excitement, he was about to call out when someone beat him to it.

"Yuki Eiri!"

Shuichi froze. The call had come from the window of a small, snappy little red sports car which had just pulled up a short distance ahead of Yuki. Yuki stopped for a moment, as if in hesitation, but then carried on walking. A second later, a woman slid gracefully out of the driver's seat and intercepted him.

Shuichi could not help staring at her.

Nor, as she moved confidently towards Yuki could he help retreating backwards just a little.

The woman was dressed in a light blue suit jacket and a very short black skirt; her black hair was coiled elegantly at the back of her neck and she wore large gold earrings which sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight as she moved her head. Even in profile Shuichi could see she was beautiful; as beautiful in her way as Yuki was in his.

She might just be some overzealous fan, eager to get Yuki's autograph, but her manner – and Yuki's – belied this. Though Yuki's expression didn't give much away, it was quite obvious that he knew her; he certainly wasn't making a particular effort to get away from her. Admittedly, though the woman was vigorous and expressive in her movements, Yuki kept his usual quiet poise, his hands sunk casually into his pockets, making no move to touch her. But when it came down to it, Yuki would have probably behaved the same way if it was Shuichi standing there instead.

After a moment, the woman reached into her handbag and drew out a cigarette from a silver case, placing it between her lips. Shuichi watched Yuki light it for her; watched her elegantly exhale smoke into the air above their heads; watched Yuki's eyes wander lazily over her slim figure.

Does Yuki ever look at me like that? Shuichi wondered unhappily. Maybe… sometimes… when we're having sex. But the rest of the time?

Does he even think about me when I'm not there?

Maybe that's the real reason I don't want to move out… I'm just afraid that Yuki will forget about me if he doesn't see me every day.

They were well matched, Yuki and the girl, Shuichi acknowledged dully; tall, attractive, sophisticated… that was surely the kind of person a man like Yuki Eiri would want to be seen with. Not some scruffy teenaged rocker like Shuichi…

All at once, Shuichi's happy plans for the night, his hopes to stay longer with Yuki, even his fond memories of the previous week, seemed to dissolve into nothing. A heaviness settled over him, a sadness he could not brush aside with his usual optimism.

Maybe what I really wanted was just to be sure of how Yuki was spending his nights. At least if I knew he was sleeping in his room, even if I wasn't in his bed at least I could be sure no-one else was in it either…

Maybe what I'm seeing now is what I've been afraid of all along…

How could he have been so naïve? How could he have kidded himself Yuki would want him to stay on? This was what Yuki was about – glamorous, attractive women, easy conquests, one night stands. Everyone said so, even Yuki himself – more or less. He had told Shuichi again and again he didn't go out with men. So what if Yuki liked him, thought him "a little cute" once in a while, even felt sorry enough for him or just tired enough of his persistence to let him stay a few days. It didn't really mean anything.

Shuichi watched the couple for a moment longer before quietly turning on his heel and starting back down the road. Perhaps eight days was too long for Yuki – perhaps he was already longing to spend the evening with a woman like that. Perhaps even now he was inviting her out to dinner… hoping to take her home with him…

Shuichi knew he was overreacting – he didn't have any real reason to believe that the woman had come at Yuki's behest, or that he had been hoping to see her. But it had been a timely if rather rude awakening – a warning that the invitation to stay longer than a week would never come. Yuki was not his, Yuki was nobody but Yuki's; he was leading the comfortable life of a wealthy bachelor and there was no room in that life for stupid lovesick brats called Shindou Shuichi.

Shuichi gave a heavy sigh as he paused at the corner, looking sadly down at the chocolate cake, fighting the urge to throw it into the nearest rubbish bin. Maybe it was better if he didn't go home – go back to Yuki's, he forcibly corrected himself. If Yuki was just possibly planning on bringing that woman home with him, it would save them all some embarrassment. Maybe he should go to Hiro's for the evening. Or maybe he should go and see his parents – they were always complaining they didn't see him enough.

No. He would go back the way he had come. If Yuki wanted him to go away, he could tell him to his face. He had told Shuichi enough times that he was an idiot and an annoying brat - one more time wouldn't do any harm. If he passed Yuki and that woman on the way, then so be it. He looked down at the cake once more. Maybe he should write a note on the box after all. What was it his mum used to make him to say to Hiro's parents when he had gone there to play after school?

Thank you for having me.

A small, reluctant smile tugged at Shuichi's lips. Even so, he couldn't help crossing the road and continuing up to Yuki's place on the other side of the street.

TBC: PART 2 – EIRI: So we've had Shuichi's perspective, but what about Eiri's? Has Shuichi really got anything to worry about? (Please keep in mind, dear readers, this is only a light hearted two part story and not a multi-part angstfest!)