Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation. Maki Murakami does.
Note: Originally part of "Too Sensitive", it's now a seperate sequel. I didn't want to mess with what was already done, but at the same time I wanted to share this part, too.
Warning: M for implied fictional rape and very dark themes.
"This is … deep."
Shindou Shuichi was not a big fan of novels – he preferred mangas with their easy visuals and quick plots. Fancy words and descriptive sentences usually had his head twirling by the end of the first paragraph, and more often than not that small fact had lead to constant near-failures in his high school classes. But when he had begun seeing Yuki, the Pop star had made it his personal mission to read each and every single novel the young writer had ever written. It had surprised the teenager, at first, at how easily he could follow the love stories of Yuki's characters, even with the constant elegant word use and hidden symbolism. But now he had simply come to accept it as manifestation of his love for the blonde-haired man, and he could practically feel hearts beating in his eyes as he read every single word of love Yuki poured onto his pages.
But this one ... this was so different.
"I don't know how I feel about you, Toshiro-san," Akira mumbled quietly, absently fidgeting with the bandage around his wrist as he looked anywhere but at the man before him. "And honestly, I'm not sure that it would matter either way. We both know that nothing done could go anywhere. Not anymore."
"No, Akira-kun, I do not know that." The blonde winced slightly at the softly spoken reply, knowing that while he was not looking, Toshiro was staring him down. "And you do not, either. What has you so scared, koi? What has you fearing me so?" He flinched this time when a gentle hand landed on his shoulder, and could not stop the slight shaking that quickly took over his body at the contact. Toshiro sighed. "I wish you would tell me what happened, koi," he whispered. "Tell me why you did … this." Mercifully, the hand was removed.
"A story long and tired, Toshiro-san," Akira stated, stepping out of the shadow his partner had cast, hand tightening around his bandage protectively. "Long, tired, abused, and dead." Much like myself. Finally, he looked up, taking in the tall form of the raven-haired boy that he had once sworn to do anything for. He hated the wounded look in the dark eyes, but he hated the thought of hands – any hands – on him again more. "You should go now. My brother will be here soon, and you know what he thinks of you."
"I could not care less of your brother's opinion of me, Akira-kun," Toshiro whispered passionately, but to his credit he did not move closer again. "I only care about your happiness, your safety. I could not leave your side unless I was assured of both. Surely you understand this?"
"Then I assure you that I'm very happy and safe with my brother, Toshiro-san. Really, you have to leave--."
"If you are so happy and safe in Hiro-sama's care, then why are you in the hospital for attempted suicide?" The older man hissed, anger finally seeping through enough that Akira stepped back fearfully. "How can this prove your happiness to me, Akira? Tell me." There was a desperate note to Toshiro's command, and suddenly the blonde realized that this was hurting them both. Ah, my dear Toshiro-kun, he thought wistfully, how can I possibly explain this to you? My need to feel, even if that feeling is pain, when you do not even know what happened? How can I tell you of the torture I suffered, of the betrayal I faced from someone you introduced me to? Someone you and I both trusted?
It wasn't one of Yuki's published novels – the book was printed out on plain white paper and bound together by a set of binder teeth. Stained and crumpled, it showed its neglect well. But the story was horrifically dramatic and horrifically romantic at the same time, and Shuichi was left stunned at the raw, powerful emotion spelled out on each page. It seemed less … confined than his lover's other novels. Less conformed. He hadn't known what to do when the main character had been raped ten pages in, discovered by his brother hours too late. He had already killed his assailants.
'And then tried to take his own life because of the guilt', the pink-haired teen remembered sadly, shifting on the couch as he delved deeper into the book. 'I don't think Toshiro could handle the truth. I wouldn't be able to, if I were him. I think I'd try to kill myself, too.'
Eiri was tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally, he was just done. A heated debate with his publisher over the next deadline had barely gone in his favor, and it was only after he threatened to pull away from the company all together that the man had stepped back and rethought his power over the popular writer. Eiri was no fool, he knew nearly any other company would take him in a heart-beat, with a less strenuous deadline schedule to boot. If it wasn't for the anonymity this particular company offered him, he would have already transferred.
'Still a tempting idea, though,' he grouched to himself as he scowled at the sight of his front door. Kami, but he hoped his lover was still at the studio. The last thing he could handle was being pounced on by the hyperactive celebrity, and he knew that if that happened harsh words would fly and he would be sleeping by himself tonight of his own accord. And he didn't want that to happen, either. 'Damn it.'
He turned the key quietly, pushing the door open with wary movements as he scanned the base of his living room, tense and braced for attack. However, it was silence that greeted his entrance – a few cheerful chirps from the birds outside the only noise. Amber eyes narrowed suspiciously as Eiri stepped all the way into his home, shutting the door behind him. Hope or not, he knew Shuichi had not gone into the studio today at all. And the silence was almost … unusual. Present with the air of secrets and slight despair.
"Shuichi?" The novelist called out reluctantly, slipping off his shoes for the more appropriate house shoes. A surprised sniffle replied.
"Y-Yuki?" Instantly, Eiri's eyes darted to the couch, taking in the somber form of the slight teenager hunched over something on his lap. Indigo eyes stared at him widely, slightly red from the irritation of the tears still sliding down his face. Alarms roared in the older man's mind, but he quickly shoved them aside with an inward growl. He could sense no blood, and while his lover looked distressed, there was no reflection of pain in his eyes of grief, ruling out injury.
"What are you doing, brat?" He demanded, forcing the concern out of his voice as he stood there. Slowly, Shuichi sat up, wiping the tears away from his face and allowing Eiri a glimpse of the white packet on his lap. The writer froze in recognition. Impossible.
"Jus-just reading, Yuki," the other whispered, looking away with a flicker of shame. Eiri continued to stare.
"Where did you find that?" He really hadn't meant to growl, and felt faint remorse for the flinch that crossed over the young face in response. But those words – that story was sacred. Sacred.
"I was just cleaning up the bedroom, like you asked. It was in the closet. I thought it was a new manuscript, and I was going to put it back." To his credit, Shuichi sounded apologetic as he spoke. "But then I saw that it was by Uesugi Eiri, and not Yuki Eiri." His shoulders slumped further. "I was curious. And I finished it." He slowly lifted the book from his lap, and held it forward.
Eiri snatched the offered manuscript from his lover's small hand without a word, diligently smoothing his fingers over the abused cover in bitter fondness. He could almost hear Toshiro scolding him violently on the ignorance, and Akira quietly asking for the reason behind the neglect. His characters, his soul. He had not forgotten about them, but had been too fearful to seek them out. To remember the judgment it still clearly carried.
"Why hasn't it been published, Yuki?" Shuichi asked timidly, pulling the blonde back to the reality of his apartment. He locked eyes with his lover, took note of the still emotional gaze and braced figure, and sighed. His anger had dissipated the moment the manuscript was back in his arms, and his exhaustion was suddenly back in full force. With a suffering sigh, he joined the other man on the couch. "Yuki?"
"No one is interested in a yoai novel, brat," he answered softly, eyes slipping closed. "Especially not a violent one."
"But it wasn't violent!" His lover protested loudly, returning to his normal state. Eiri groaned, arching an eyebrow as he stared into darkness.
"Akira was raped and then shot his attackers to death," he pointed out. "Then there is the fact that they both kill themselves in the end."
"The rape is the whole point of the story, Yuki!" Shuichi argued. "He shot them in self defense, and as for the ending …" A pause. "Well, it just makes sense." At this, Eiri did open his eyes, surveying his partner critically as he spoke.
"It does make sense that Akira would end up committing suicide," he allowed carefully. "But why would Toshiro do the same? Because he killed Hiro?" He was surprised when Shuichi shook his head.
"No," the teen replied softly. "He killed Hiro because Hiro was hurting Akira. But he didn't really know that killing Hiro would only make Akira worse."
"Guilt, then." Eiri couldn't keep the disappointment out of his voice. Couldn't anyone see the damn message? The point?
"A little," Shuichi admitted. "But it was mostly love. Toshiro loved Akira so much that it killed him to have hurt him, and then to be without him. It doesn't make modern sense, Yuki." Violet eyes peered up through long lashes to stare at him deeply. Eiri was transfixed by the words leaving his lover's mouth. "It's dark, but it's real. And that's what love is, isn't it? It's not always perfect and pretty, but it's always beautiful, right, Yuki? It shouldn't be withheld from the public because the two main characters happen to both be men." And Eiri paused.
I don't know how I feel about it, to be honest. Meh. But please drop a review and share your own opinions. Maybe it's just me. Thank you for reading!