Hello all! Here is my second attempt at a coherent story about my favorite Gravi men. Big Thanks to Kitani Rairakku for being my beta and giving some great feedback on my first, rather rushed version. If this is any good, it is because of her suggestions!

I would like to dedicate this fic to Moon71, who is a great inspiration and one of the best writers out there. She writes Eiri so well, you would think she knew him herself.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gravitation, I just love it!

Where's the Salt?

Eiri stared into the kitchen cupboard, confused. He was sure there had been at least a half-full container of salt the last time he checked a few weeks ago. He had just returned from a two-week book tour and was hungry for some home cooking, but he was out of salt. It wasn't like salt was something they used all that much, so where could it have gone?

He decided to investigate. Ignoring the little voice in the back of his mind warning him he would come to regret it, Eiri went to find his pesky life-mate to inquire as to the whereabouts of the vanished salt.

He found Shuichi lounging in the living room, lying upside down, his feet resting on the back of the couch and his head hanging down. He was listening to music as he attempted to come up with new lyrics. Eiri smirked at the picture he presented. How anyone could sit like that and not snap their spine, he would never know. Shuichi's eyes were closed and his head swayed back and forth to the music, his pink hair gently sweeping the floor.

"Hey, Shu," he said, deciding to try the nice route for once, "Have you seen the salt?"

Whatever reaction he was expecting, it certainly wasn't the one he got. Shuichi's eyes widened, he gave a startled squawk and started to flail about in an attempt to get up, only to get tangled in the blanket covering his legs. Kicking his legs about and stammering some incoherent words Eiri could only assume were moron-speak, the little vocalist spun around a few times before winding up in a babbling heap at Eiri's feet.

"Don't worry about the salt I will get more and don't worry I didn't need it for anything important I will replace it don't worry, ok Yuki? Ok? okokokok?"

Now Eiri was suspicious. He had a bad feeling about this and that caused his well-honed Shuichi-senseto switch on full force. After so many years with the bubble-brained singer, he knew without a doubt that so much gibberish could only mean trouble.

He frowned down at the bundle quivering in front of him. "OK, what did you use the salt for?"

"Nothing!"

"Uh-huh, like I'm going to fall for that. I will ask you once again-what did you use the salt for?"

Shuichi climbed to his feet. "You don't have to use your mad voice; it wasn't anything important, really." He crossed his arms and smiled serenely. "I just spilled some grape juice."

Eiri shook his head, not quite getting it. Sometimes it took a lot of work just to get a simple answer. "Grape juice? What does grape juice have to do with salt?"

Shuichi rolled his eyes in an obvious 'duh' fashion. "To get out the stain."

That actually made sense, somehow, in a weird, mixed-up Shuichi-sort-of-way, but Eiri's finely-tuned Shuichi-sense was still tingling, telling the blonde there was more to this story.

Ignoring the ominous music in his head, he ventured further. "What did you spill the grape juice on?"

"A white shirt."

Eiri narrowed his eyes.

"Since when do you have any white shirts?"

Shuichi giggled nervously and ducked his head, peeking at his annoyed lover from under his bangs. "Well, uhm, I guess it was your white shirt."

The annoyed lover frowned, "Why were you wearing my white shirt?"

Shuichi looked up then, a glint of defiance in his violet eyes. "I like to wear them when you're gone on book tours. They smell like you and they make me feel like you're hugging me. I love you so much and I miss you so much, you wouldn't deny me this one tiny comfort to keep me from-"

Eiri held up his hands in surrender. "Fine, fine, whatever. If you have to wear them, fine, but why can't you at least be more careful?"

"I usually am! But I rushed out of the house so fast when Tatsuha called me I forgot I had it on!"

Now that was an open invitation to future frustration for sure. Sometimes prying the full story from his seemly innocent lover was harder than getting Mika to butt out of his personal life. He considered the dangers of continuing this line of questioning before replying. He briefly considered just walking away and pretending this conversation never happened, but his writer's curiosity would never let that happen. Damn curiosity! 'Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.'

Trying to stay calm, he asked, "OK... I know I'm going to regret asking this, but why would you rush out because Tatsuha called?" The apprehensive voice in his head was getting louder now, telling him 'don't ask more, don't ask more.' There was a headache lurking in the background, waiting for just the right moment to make a grand entrance. He rubbed his temples, hoping that just this once, it would be a no-show.

Shuichi grimaced, "I had to bail him out... actually, this is really all his fault!" His tone became indignant. "In fact, it was when he was telling me about how he got arrested that I got so shocked that I started yelling at him and I got distracted and then the impact happened and that was when I spilled my grape juice on myself!"

"Impact?" Impact? "No, wait...back up. Arrested?"

"Yes." The popstar's demeanor became more animated as he warmed to his story. "He 'borrowed' your credit card to take Ryuichi out to dinner, which probably would have worked since he said restaurants never really check the name on the card whenever he uses yours, but that night he wanted to get Ryuichi something really special since it was their one-year battery anniversary, and when he tried to use your credit card at the Slap n' Tickle, they asked for identification and of course, he didn't have the correct ID so they called the police to report him for credit card fraud and he was arrested." Shuichi shook his head in disappointment over the sad saga of the felonious monk.

"For the love of—wait—Slap n' Tickle?" 'I'm gonna kill that punk…'

"Yes! Oh Eiri, we should go there!" Shu's eyes were suddenly shining with excitement. "Tats was telling me about this swing they sell that you hang from the bedroom ceiling--"

Well that explained his last credit card statement. "Wait! Hold that thought... back up again. What the hell is a battery anniversary?"

"Tatsuha said it was one year ago they first tried--"

Eiri sat down and slapped his hands over his ears. "Gah! On second thought, I don't want to know."

Shu nodded. That was probably for the best. Since Eiri seemed calmer now, he sat next to him and continued his narrative. "Well, anyway, the police didn't realize he was your brother since your last names are different. He had one phone call and he called me because he figured I was the only one who wouldn't leave him there overnight. When I got down to the police station I explained to them that he was your brother and you always let him borrow the card--"

Eiri looked up, glare on full force. "You know damn well I have never let that punk borrow my card! He must have stolen it from my dresser drawer!"

Shuichi laughed nervously. They were moving into dangerous territory here. He casually stood up pretending to stretch and quickly eyed the path to the front door, checking to make sure there was nothing he might trip over should speed become his only shot at survival. Satisfied he had a clear escape path if needed, he continued, keeping a wary eye on his volatile partner.

"Well no... but the police didn't know that! So anyway, they knew who I was and that you and I are a couple so they let me bail him out, and on the way home he was telling me what he was trying to buy for Ryu and it sounded so totally gross and weird, and I didn't think anyone could even bend that way, and it took like 6 batteries! And I was so shocked that I almost ran a stop sign and when I did stop, the car behind us was so close, it hit our fender and that's when I spilled the juice." He took an involuntary step towards the door as the novelist suddenly jumped to his feet.

"…grlg"

"Uh Eiri, are you ok? I've never seen your face that color before. Not even when I--"

Eiri was seeing red. He was hearing red. His face was red. He would have bet his hair was now red. "Hit. Our. Fender?"

"Breathe, Eiri, breathe!" Shuichi tried not to panic at the sight of his incensed lover. Panic was bad, Eiri could smell panic. He tried to adopt a soothing tone. "Think of your blood pressure! Don't freak out on me here. It was just a little bump, and no one was hurt, you could hardly see the dent." He took another half step towards the door. "We called the police but they agreed not to give me a ticket or to impound the car if Tatsuha drove it home."

Eiri sputtered, "What…wait... impound? Why would Tatsuha have to drive?"

"I don't have a license remember?" The petite popstar tried to sound cool and reasonable. Calmness was what was needed here to placate the agitated blonde. "Even though I didn't cause the accident, apparently since I was driving illegally I was automatically at fault or something. Anyway the cop was really nice and the other driver was too, once they recognized me and I gave them an autograph. I guess fame does have its perks eh? Heh heh heh." Shuichi's nervous laughter died out.

*Deathly silence*

Eiri clenched his fists and took a deep breath. Counted to 10. Noted the distance between Shuichi and the door. Closed his eyes and tried to find his happy place. Realized he didn't have a happy place. Counted to 20.

"Shuichi?" The author mentally calculated how fast he would have to be to catch Shuichi before he could reach the door and escape.

Shuichi cleared his nervously. "Yes?"

"Whose car were you driving?"

This was it, moment of truth. Shuichi tried to sound nonchalant, even as he inched closer to the door. "Your Mercedes, of course, what else would I drive in case of an emergency? You wouldn't want me leaving poor Tatsuha to rot in jail would you? He's such a fumble-fingers, he'd probably drop the soap the first night! He'd be violated!"

"Violated? I'll show him violated! Wait a minute—YOU WRECKED MY MERCEDES???"

"Please!" Shuichi squawked, "Calm down! Think of your ulcer!" He ducked to avoid the objects hurling towards him. "It was just a tiny dent! Sit down and chill out, it's okay now! We took the car to a repair shop and they were able to replace the fender the same day!" A lamp missed his head by inches. "There is nothing wrong with it at all anymore! You can't even tell there was ever a dent!"

Having run out of things to throw, Eiri clenched and unclenched his fists, breathing heavily as he tried to get his blinding, mind-numbing rage under control. It was all he could do to prevent himself from grabbing one pink-haired singer and turning him into a pink haired road pizza.

Shuichi frowned. "If you're gonna hyperventilate like that, you're gonna make yourself sick." The worst was over; he figured he might as well finish the story. "Anyway, to make a long story short, after we got home from the body shop, I took Tatsuha to Ryu's and dropped him off. I came home and started to do the laundry, just like you asked me to before you left. See how I'm always thinking of you?" He tried flashing a winning smile before continuing,

"I discovered the stain on your shirt, so I called Maiko about how to get it out and she said to try salt. It worked like a charm! So in the end, the laundry was done, Tatsuha was out of jail, your credit card was recovered, the car was fixed, I didn't get a ticket and there were no injuries. Even your shirt is clean. I just forgot to replace the damn salt. If I had bought more, you wouldn't have known a thing and never would have asked me these questions, forcing me tell you the whole story." He reached out and timidly placed his tiny hand on Eiri's shaking shoulder. "So why be mad at something when now it's really nothing?"

It just so happens that when confronted with insanely incoherent yet oddly rational logic such as this, even the most hot-headed authors must bow to the inevitable and accept his fate. Eiri felt his rage subside and found he didn't have the strength (he felt like he had just run a marathon) or the will to stay angry with his babbling baka any longer. He sat down on the couch with a huff and put his head between his hands, marveling at the powers-that-be who chose to burden him with loving this insane person.

Eiri swore silently to himself that if his ulcers and cigarettes didn't kill him, living with Shuichi would definitely do the trick. One of these days his heart was just going to explode.

He looked up, anger already fading, along with the headache. "I only have one question. Why didn't you just tell me you spilled the rest of the salt? Wouldn't that have been easier on my nerves and less of a threat to your life (and to Tatsuha's) to just simply tell me you just spilled the damn salt?" He waved his hands helplessly. "Why torture me with this…this horror story?"

The vocalist grinned as he saw his life-mate go from dangerous fury back to his customary grumpiness. Seeing that his life was no longer in jeopardy, he happily plopped down next to the disgruntled author. He sighed with relief and put his head on Eiri's shoulder and rubbed his cheek happily against his lover.

"I could never lie to you! I love you and respect you way too much to ever lie to you! I always tell you the truth; no matter how bad it is because I want for you to always trust me. Keeping your trust is worth the risk of making you angry even though I hate it when you're mad at me!"

'Damn,' thought Eiri as he pulled his little lover into an embrace. 'Now I can't be mad!' He sighed.

"Ok brat, I trust you. I'm not mad any more. And I love you too. Luckily for you."

Shuichi giggled. "Don't I know it!" He squealed as Eiri's lips nibbled on his neck. He sighed with pleasure. Make-up sex was the best!

"So," the novelist stood and pulled his little lover up with him. "Tell me more about this swing at the Slap 'n Tickle…"

Shuichi giggled as he followed his sexy partner into the bedroom. He would tell Eiri about his laptop tomorrow.

End

Like it? Hate it? Please review and let me know!