The inspiration behind this tragic little one-shot is "This Time Imperfect," a hauntingly beautiful AFI song. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of listening to it, I highly recommend that you do. As always, I do not own Gravitation, that honor belongs to Maki Murakami.
I hope you all enjoy my story.
Shuichi staggered through the deserted park fighting the nausea that threatened to overwhelm him as the drugs slowly poisoned his system. Although his body wanted desperately to expel the bottle of pills he'd swallowed, there's no way he would ever give in to its wishes. This was his last resort and the only thing he could think of to make the pain go away.
He'd had ten glorious years as one of Japan's top music artists, but now at the ripe old age of thirty-eight, he was a has been. Hiro had become a successful band manager to one of N-G Studio's most popular up and coming groups. Between his job and his new family with Ayaka, he simply didn't have time for Shuichi anymore. Suguru followed in Tohma's footsteps once again by becoming one of N-G studio's most sought after producers. He was also one of N-G Studio's most notorious playboys. At least he was until Akira, an adorable young intern, captured his heart. Shuichi's band mates had easily made the transition that must eventually befall every performer in the industry, leaving him behind with nothing more than his faded memories and a distant lover.
At least Shuichi had financial security, but it was a piss poor substitute to the love and adoration of his fans. Throughout most of his adult life, there had been two things that had always kept him going – his career and his love for Yuki. Now his career was all but gone, and the way Yuki ignored him, he might as well be gone too. Shuichi had often wished his relationship with Yuki could be as loving as Hiro and Ayaka's, or as passionate as Suguru and Akira's. He longed to be loved… to be cherished… or at the very least to be wanted. He couldn't even remember the last time Yuki had made love to him. Although he'd always suspected deep down in his heart that Yuki cared for him, the way things had been lately, Shuichi was beginning to think he'd just been imagining it all. Unable to walk further, he slumped dejectedly onto a bench.
Leaning back, he gazed into the black eternity above him. His hands and feet were growing numb, and he could feel the first hints of drowsiness creeping throughout his body. It descended upon him like a cold mist. He imagined it wrapping his body like a burial shroud. Taking one last longing look back toward his home, Shuichi realized ironically that he was sitting on this same bench the first time he'd met Yuki. How very young and so full of determination he had been. Then that lousy piece of paper just had to slip away from him and into the hands of the man who would turn his life into a veritable hodgepodge of heaven and hell. Tears spilled over Shuichi's cheeks as he turned his attention back to the blackened sky.
"I doubt Yuki will miss me," he whispered to the darkness. Closing his eyes, Shuichi envisioned the pain from his heart trailing away from him like a never ending magician's scarf into the infinite abyss above him. "Take it all away," he mumbled incoherently. "Please… make it… all… go…" He watched the last of the pain leave his body. It floated weightlessly until finally it was consumed by the Cimmerian sky. It won't be long now, he thought groggily.
"Shuichi…" a voice cried out as if from a dream.
He was much too comfortable to open his eyes. Just let me go in peace…
"SHUICHI," he felt someone grab his shoulders. "Damn it Shuichi, don't do this to me," Yuki pleaded desperately.
Yuki… how… why? Somehow Shuichi managed to open his eyes. Pain once again pierced his heart as Yuki's concerned face slowly came into focus.
"What were you thinking," he demanded as he pulled the empty bottle of sleeping pills from his jacket pocket.
"Ummmph…" Shuichi wanted desperately to explain that this was the only way he could make the pain and emptiness go away, but his body would no longer respond to his brain's commands.
"You've pulled some stupid stunts before, but this fucking tops them all," Yuki complained trying valiantly to cover his distress. He shoved the empty bottle back into one pocket while simultaneously pulling his cell phone from the other. "I need someone to send an ambulance…" he asserted looking hopelessly into his lover's deathly pale face.
Shuichi resisted the nearly overwhelming urge to close his eyes. He'd never expected to see Yuki again, especially after the way he'd been ignored for the past several days.
"The ambulance is coming. Just stay with me, okay?"
Yuki's face slowly went out of focus.
"Damn it Shuichi… don't leave me!"
Shuichi would have smiled at the tragic irony of it all, but he was too weak. I guess you really did love me after all. A lone tear slid down his cheek as Yuki's face slowly began to fade away. I'm sorry, Yuki.
"Shuichi please," Yuki exclaimed as he pulled the limp, petite body into a crushing embrace. "Don't leave me."
They were the last words Shuichi heard as he slipped quietly into the darkness.