Title- Don't Feed the Bears
Disclaimer- insert standard disclaimer here
Warnings- mild language
Summery- Eiri gets fed up with everyone trying to feed him while Shuichi is away
~ . ~ . ~ . ~
It all started on Monday.
At first Eiri didn't think much of it. It wasn't that unusual for his editor to invite him to lunch. Mizuki seemed to think he was some sort of urban hermit, so the possibility of an ulterior motive never crossed his mind.
The next day, when his sister dropped by unannounced and demanded that he treat her to dinner, he still had little reason for suspicion. Mika loved to meddle in his life, and was never very shy about asking anything of anyone.
He was leftblissfully alonethe day after that, but became tremendously irritated when his brother-in-law visited him on Thursday. If Tohma had not brought cake and booze along with his takeout delivery he wouldn't have made it past the front door.
By the end of the week, Eiri had finally had enough. So when he heard the loud, obnoxious, insistent knocking at his door on Friday, his reaction was perfectly reasonable.
"GO AWAY!" he shouted from his comfortable relaxed position on the living room couch.
"Aww, come on, Aniki," his little brother coaxed from the apartment complex hallway. "I brought beer."
With the deal sweetened Eiri begrudgingly got up and walked to the entryway.
"Who the hell let you in the building?" he demanded the instant he opened the door.
"I think your front door is busted," Tatsuha answered flatly.
"Was that before or after you got to it?"
"Who knows?" the boy said as he toed off his shoes. "You should probably call the super. Here."
The youth shoved two grocery sacks full of beer into his brother's arms and made his way to the living room.
"I don't know why I pay so much for rent when they can't even keep out the riff-raff."
"Hey! I take offence to that."
"Really? Usually others take offence at being compared to you."
"Quick-witted as ever, I see."
"Thanks, I try. What's that?" Eiri asked about the pair of boxes Tatsuha held aloft with one arm, like a waiter trying to juggle too many trays.
"Pizza!" the boy exclaimed. "You want? I got your favorite."
That was it!
Eiri was completely fed up with everyone trying to feed him. He opened his mouth to tell the kid off, but a loud protest from his stomach reminded him that he had yet to eat at all that day. Subdued by hunger, Eiri closed his slack jaw, then set the beer on the coffee table, plopped down on the couch, and accepted one of the boxes from his brother.
Silence fell over the two of them as they began to eat but after his hunger abated Eiri felt compelled to speak up.
"He doesn't feed me, y'know."
"Shuichi," Eiri explained. "Ever since he left for that damn tour of his, everyone I know has been trying to babysit me. The brat can barely take care of himself; he doesn't take care of me!"
"Shit, Aniki, I know that," Tatsuha stated before reaching for a beer and taking his first swig.
"Then -why- are you here? I only hope that you don't go to the same lengths as Tohma to 'comfort' me. I can never tell for certain whether or not he really is trying to get into my pants."
"Phffft." Eiri's bold statement made Tatsuha laugh violently, which unfortunately caused him to choke on his drink. Amber liquid came sputtering out of the teen's mouth and he gasped desperately for air. Eiri, meanwhile, did nothing but stare with rapt fascination at the spectacle before him. He briefly wondered if he ought to do something, but, when it became apparent that the kid would pull through, Eiri dropped any hint of concern he might have had and smirked wickedly at the youth.
'Serves him right!' he thought.
"Are… you… serious?" Tatsuha gasped between breaths.
"Very, but fortunately I didn't knock back too much liquor, or I might taken him up on the offer. After all, it has been almost a whole week since Shuichi left."
"I'm kidding, you retard, but you didn't answer my question."
"Why are you here? And, for that matter, why is everyone else I know harassing me also?"
"Well," Tatsuha began, "I can't speak for anyone else, but Shuichi offered me an authentic piece of one of Ryuichi's stage costumes."
"WHAT?!" the novelist roared, "Do you mean Shuichi is the one behind all this?"
"What the hell?!" Eiri ranted. "Does he really not think that I can take care of myself? I survived for years on my own before I met that brat; I think I can last a couple of weeks. I don't need all of these people to take care of me. I can take care of myself!"
"Maybe, but you don't, do you?"
"What is that supposed to mean?" Eiri snapped.
"Nothing, but it is past seven, and I bet this pizza is the first thing you've eaten all day."
"And have you been outside at all since he's been gone?"
"To do something other than buy cigarettes?"
"I took Mika out to eat the other day."
"Because she made you."
"Hrmph, is that all?"
"No, Aniki: you stink. When was the last time you showered?"
"It was…" Eiri tried to remember. "None of your damn business! What is your point?"
"Only that when you don't have Shuichi to take care of, you don't seem to take care of yourself either."
"And how does any of this concern you?"
"It doesn't, except that this whole ordeal may have snagged me the headband, or possibly the leather pants, or maybe even one of the socks My Honeywore at his last concert."
"I can't believe you'd sell your own brother up the river for that."
"Does it really surprise you?"
"Well," Tatsuha yawned as he got up and stretched, "I only promised to feed you and make sure you were still alive in here, so my work is done. See you later, Aniki."
"Hm?" the boy paused.
"If you see that damn brat before I do tell him he's toast."
"Aw, can't you go easy on the little guy? His concern for you is kinda cute."
"It's also none of his damn business!"
"Sure it is. If he didn't take such good care of you he might not have anyone to come home to. You should be grateful to have such a loving husband."
"We're not married, dumbass."
"Close enough, but, seriously, you ought to try to be a better wife to him."
"Damn, you have a lot of nerve! What the hell makes you call me the 'wife'?!"
"'Cause Shuichi's the one out working while you sit at home all day and think up lame, romantic, dirty sexual fantasies for a bunch of lonely, hard up, desperate housewives like yourself."
"I'm gonna kick your ass, Tatsuha. What Shuichi does can hardly be considered work, and I do have a highly respectable career."
"You keep tellin' yourself that," Tatsuha said as he stepped back into his shoes. "I'm outta here."
"Good. Don't bother coming back for a while."
"Don't worry. I'm only getting paid for this once, but expect Mika to drop by again sometime tomorrow."
Tatsuha was greatly amused by his poor brother's plight; he felt sorry for him, but not enough to actually do something about it, so instead he exited the apartment and left Eiri glowering behind him at the closed door.
"Grr…" Eiri grumbled to himself, "I'm gonna get that little shit one of these days! And Shuichi too! I can't believe the nerve of him; how would he like it if I had someone babysitting him all the time?"
Eiri abruptly halted his musings and a smile of wicked glee spread across his face as a brilliant idea suddenly struck him. Wasting no time whatsoever, he swiftly rushed into his office and began digging trough his rubbish bin.
'It was in here somewhere. Where is it? Where is it? Where the hell did it go?'
The list of emergency numbers!
Before he left Shuichi gave Eiri a list of all the contact information for everyone he'd be with on the tour. Eiri had scoffed at the time, and crumpled the note which was then hastily discarded; this of course made Shuichi collapse into tearful dramatics, which in turn made Eiri roll his eyes.
But now his eyes hungrily scrolled down the list.
No; he would always side with Shuichi.
Perhaps, but doubtful.
It would be a cold day in hell before he asked Tohma for a favor; the price would be too steep. Why had Shuichi even provided him with that number? It wasn't like he didn't know how to get in touch with his own brother-in-law.
Nah, that wimp would never have the balls to…
Perfect! Eiri didn't particularly like dealing with the loud-mouthed, obnoxious, trigger-happy, psychotic manager but it was his best bet, so he picked up the phone and dialed the number.
"Hello," K answered in his harsh American English.
"It's Yuki. Is Shuichi around?" Eiri continued in English, hoping to keep the stupid American from speaking Japanese and accidentally spoiling his plan. Luckily for him Americans are idiots so he strung K along quite nicely.
"He is, but he's about to perform, so if you're going to be your usual asshole-y self I can't let you talk to him. However, if you want to encourage him and be nice to him for once, I think he can spare a couple of minutes."
"Actually, I need to talk to you. In private."
"Oh?" That certainly had K intrigued. "Just a minute."
There was a sound of shuffling. Eiri heard some muffled speech from K, and, shortly after, a door closing shut.
"Alright, shoot. What did you need to tell me, Yuki-san?" K asked when he picked the phone back up.
"Actually, I was wondering how the little twerp- er, I mean… how is Shuichi doing?"
"Great! The tour is going fantastic and Shuichi has been giving some of the best performances I've ever seen, but he is very excited to get back home for the final show coming up in Tokyo soon. Why couldn't you ask him that yourself? I'm sure he'd be thrilled to have you call him."
"Well…" Eiri began, "I guess I didn't want him to know I was worried about him."
"What?!" K exclaimed, and Eiri flinched. He could swear he heard a gun cocking in the background. "Is he in danger?"
"Uh… no." Eiri nervously responded, relieved he didn't have to deal with this madman in person.
"Then what's the big deal? The boy's doing fine; in fact, he's never been better."
"Maybe, but don't blame me if he burns out on you."
"Ha! I doubt that's going to happen; I've never seen the kid more enthusiastic."
"I certainly hope you're right, but I'm still worried because… Oh, never mind."
There was something odd about what Eiri said that made K stop and ponder; after all, worry and concern were human emotions, which one Eiri Yuki was not prone to displaying.
"Wait - I can't risk anything happening to my favorite singer during the course of this important tour so I need to know if there's any reason to believe something is wrong."
On the other end of the line Eiri was grinning smugly; he had won. Now that K believed there was cause for concern his strings could be pulled like a marionette's.
"It's nothing really, but Shu-chan does tend to get lonely very easily so you might not want to let him have too much time to himself."
"No problem, I'm sure Hiro-kun and Fujisaki would -love- to spend more time with their bandmate, and if not… well, let's just say I can be -very- convincing."
Eiri suppressed a slight shudder; he'd experienced firsthand that gun toting lunatic's method of 'persuasion.'
"That's great, but you should also keep him plenty busy so he won't have any time to think about anything other than his music."
"Can do. I'll fit some extra interviews into his schedule. Is there anything else I should do for him?"
"Yes. Be certain he gets enough sleep. He doesn't always realize how tired he is, especially after a performance, but if you don't want him to get fatigued you'll make sure he goes to bed as soon as possible."
"Good idea. I'll be sure to put an end to the band's late night celebrating."
"Thanks, but be careful not to let Shuichi know I said anything or he might feel like I'm smothering him, and then he'll resent us for trying to take care of him."
"Your secret's safe with me, Yuki-san, my lips are sealed."
"Just one more thing." If Eiri was going to be completely satisfied with his little plan for revenge then Shuichi would have to understand exactly what he had been putting him through, so he gave K one final instruction:
"Make sure he gets plenty to eat."
~ . ~ . ~ . ~
Thanks again to all my wonderful reviewers. gelfling21, Voyeurism, I'm glad you enjoyed the dialogue I find it very fun to write and I always hope it's just as much fun to read. I sometimes worry that my stories suffer from 'too much talk and not enough action' so to speak, so I'm relieved to hear you liked that about the story. BlackNeko, you're adorable. Nice to here I'm a 'funny bunny,' thanks.
I want to dedicate an extra special thank you to my biggest critic, lawless, who is now my wonderful beta. She helped me make sure this story was extra polished before posting and I owe her a lot of gratitude.
Well, this is my latest story and I hope it will be just as well received as the previous ones. It's another silly short of mine, but I think it's a fun little piece, and if I'm lucky you will too. I couldn't resist the urge to call Eiri the 'wife' in the relationship, I know in the manga Shuichi is always referred to as such, even by himself, but Eiri is so much fun to tease so his masculinity can take a hit. I hope that didn't bother anyone. (Save Eiri, but he doesn't count)
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