Disclaimer: I do not own Gravitation. Maki Murakami does.
A/N: I lost my honorary little brother yesterday, this is for him. RIP, Buddy. :(
Rating: M for dark themes and character death.
All That I'm Living For
I lost a brother today, a good friend, a great person.
So unreal, so true.
It hurts, sucking the air from my lungs,
and ripping my heart from my chest.
The message had come in voicemail.
'Mr. Seguchi, this is Emi Chiba, from Mr. Yuki's publishing firm. Mr. Seguchi … we received a call …'
It had been the first time in years Touma had taken the day off of work. Tossed his cell phone to the floor, left his house without a note to his wife to tell her where he was going. He had been in a wonderful mood, for the first time in a long time. Everything had just seemed to click together that morning; he could see everything so clearly. Back on stage with Ryuichi and Noriko, standing proudly off to the side with a smile as Bad Luck accepted award after award for their achievements. Mika off to the side, a hand on her flat stomach with a secretive glow in her eyes. And Eiri smiling, at him, offering the gentle words he had not heard in years, a firm, congratulatory clap on the shoulder.
There had been no warning. He had almost believed the message to be a fake, until the following one from a sobbing, broken Mika. There had been no warning.
Meningitis, they had thought at first. That was how surprising it was. The moment it had been confirmed, Touma had sunk to the floor. Tears had rained from his eyes without permission, falling in an endless torrent for what he knew to be hours. His wife had come in, tried to give him a hug, but he pushed her away with growled viciousness, slamming his fist into the wall as she left. He didn't want comfort, he didn't want peace.
He wanted Eiri.
He wanted to hug him, hold him, lecture him for his stupidity and apologize for not trying harder. Harder at something. This was all his fault somehow, he knew. He knew he had done something wrong.
A few hours later, a call from his own private investigator. Blood test negated the Meningitis, and the revelation made everything go gray. "Accidental overdose", they were saying now. The investigator had asked if Eiri had ever done drugs, or combined pills with alcohol. What could he say to that? Eiri wasn't suicidal, he was too stubborn, too smart. But he had those damn demons that haunted his every step, the endless pressure to live up to some standard that had never been clearly defined to anyone but the broken, blonde writer. Yes, he took pills sometimes, to make him numb and forget. Yes, he drank, for much the same reason.
"Eiri, you idiot. What have you done?"
It had happened in New York, of all places. Too far away, too far. A place of strangers, and no matter how nonchalant his brother-in-law had been about family, Touma liked to think he would have wanted a friend there. That he had died alone … lost himself …
Every time he tried to walk, the world lurched around him – he could not keep his feet properly connected to the floor. His stomach churned and burned as though he were hungry, but the mere thought of food made him sick. Breathing hurt – like someone was ripping his lungs from his body, digging their claws into his heart. His home phone rang endlessly, but with Mika at her father's, there was no one there to answer. Voices had floated around him as he sat at his desk – Ryuichi, mature for once, asking that he please take care of himself. Noriko, swearing retribution to God if he did anything stupid. Tatshua, voice weak and trembling, softly telling him that a funeral could not be set until the body could be flown back to Japan, and only after the autopsy. And countless others, all asking if he was okay.
What the hell kind of question was that? Was he okay? His little brother was dead. Gone, forever. He would never see him again.
Night was beginning to fall now – he had unplugged the phone. And had all but fallen to floor a mere minute later. God, it hurt more than anything he had ever felt before. A knife slamming and twisting repeatedly into his gut. He had curled into a ball, and sobbed his grievances to the world. He cursed Eiri with every breath, and apologized with every other. He twisted and turned, arched and begged. Only silence could answer him, wicked and taunting.
"What's the point of it all?" He rasped to the shadows as he lay on his back, skin tender from falling tears. If he could, would he trade places with Eiri now? If possible, would he let the spirits pull him away from this God-forsaken land, so that he could simply see his brother? Would he leave everyone to more grief, so that he could save Eiri? Or be with him?
Yes. No contest. No hesitation. Not even worthy of thought. Yes.
"Just hold me, Eiri. Please," he pleaded. It was probably insane, he knew. Talking to himself, pretending it was a spirit. His brother. Eiri would probably be laughing his ass off at the mere notion of it. Hell, probably was. But he couldn't … couldn't help himself. He just needed … he couldn't handle this.
A tingling sensation wrapped around his upper body, gentle, soothing. The pain in his stomach eased, and with a sigh Touma's eyes closed.
(Sleep, Touma. You'll be fine. I promise.) Funny, how his inner voice sounded like his brother.
"I love you, Eiri,"he whispered into the overwhelming darkness.
You can't stop living, but living hurts.
Every memory just makes the happy pain worse.
Rants of grief annoy those who see,
but trying to hold them in is an impossibility.