First, obvious disclaimer. I don't own Gravitation. Probably for the better.
Quick summary: Shuichi gets cancer. Drama, angst, humor and love ensues. No, not making love. Rating raised for light language though yupyup.
I may have missed some linebreaks and grammar errors or words.. Half of this was typed late at night and half was typed while babysitting.
Shuichi stares down at the piece of paper, that which confirms what his doctor had told him. The paper has plenty of descriptions on it, but only one word stands out to him.
He folds the paper up and slips it into his pocket, standing up weakly from his sitting position on the park bench. His eyes browse the scene around him; kids playing, dogs running around with their owners.. young lovers. Turning, he heads home to Yuki.
For the past few weeks, he's been feeling sick. The symptoms didn't hit full-blast right away; first the weakness, some off-and-on abdominal pain, and a little weight loss. That lasted for a while, and when he thought things were due to go away--more symptoms appeared. He would hide them from Yuki, as he didn't want to be an inconvenience; the vomiting, appetite loss [he'd told Yuki he'd been eating before he came home]. Within two months he'd gone down a clothes size, though he wore his same clothes anyways.
Now, with his new diagnosis, he heads home with a heavy feeling in his stomach, pondering what he should do about the situation.
Upon arriving home, he pauses at the door, rubbing his abdomen gently and taking a breath. He opens the door and pokes his head in, looking around. "Yuuuukiiii!" He spots Yuki sitting at his desk, typing away at the laptop.
Shuichi heads in, walks over, and sits on the desk between the computer and the author. "Yuki?"
Yuki takes a breath and averts his gaze upwards, looking at Shuichi's face. "What."
"Um.. I have a question for you.."
"Well?" Yuki's not very patient right now, as his focus had been interrupted, causing him to lose his very pleasant train of thought.
"Um, well.. it's a what if question.." He pauses, and Yuki tenses up a bit more, in aggravation.
"What.. um.. if I died, would you.. what would you do? Would you remember me? Would you miss me? Would you--"
"No." Yuki looks up at Shuichi with an annoyed expression. "Get up, I'm busy."
Shuichi stares down at Yuki, his expression one of disbelief, which quickly changes to a pained one. "Yuki.. you really wouldn't--"
Yuki pulls Shuichi down for a kiss, his surefire way to shut Shuichi up. To his immense surprise, Shuichi pulls away from it and runs for the door. "Wha--Shuichi!"
Shuichi keeps going, slamming the door behind himself, running as fast and as far as his legs will take him. Several blocks down, his trip is cut short by a sharp pain in his abdomen, interrupting his gait and causing him to hit the ground. He simply lays there, crying not from the pain in his body; rather the pain in his heart.
After a while, he sits up and pulls the paper from his pocket. Unfolding it, he stares at it for a while, only to find his hands are shaking and the paper's getting wet. He looks up into the sky, clutching the paper close, only to find it's a rain of his own tears.
He folds the paper once more, sliding it into his pocket, shaking his head.
Why doesn't he care, why doesn't he care? Even if he knew he still wouldn't care. He only toys with me.. when it's convenient to him! If he doesn't want me around.. I'll grant his wish! Shuichi coughs on his strangled breaths and pulls the paper from his pocket, tearing it up and throwing the pieces into the night breeze. He stares after them as they fly into the night, carried on invisible wings by the wind from behind.
"You'll never have to know, Yuki."
"Three days? How will we ever get this new album recorded?!"
"You know he hasn't been feeling well lately. Maybe he's just taking a few days off for rest," Hiro says to his friends, leaning back in his chair.
K, the first speaker, replies. "Without even a call? He refuses to answer his phone, calls to his lover aren't any help either."
"I'll drop by tonight, see if I can't talk to him," Hiro offers, leaning back with worried sigh. Shuichi.. you'd better be fine.
Yuki answers the door for Hiro, motioning to the bedroom before heading out himself. His expression is unreadable, though he's avoiding Hiro's gaze.
Hiro stares after Yuki as he leaves. He heads into the bedroom, to find it dark and Shuichi laying there, blanket covering him. The night stand light is on and Shuichi has.. a book. He's.. reading.
Hiro pauses, but walks forward, down at Shuichi. "Shuichi, why haven't you.." He trails off, getting a better look at Shuichi. He looks much more tired than he had before, sick even. "Shuichi.. are you all right?"
"Ya, Hiro." Shuichi gives a smile to Hiro. Not a usual cheery one, but one of the worrisome 'I'll-be-just-fine-don't-worry-about-me' smiles. "I'm sorry I haven't called.. I've been a little sic--" He's cut off by a sudden lurch; he quickly grabs the garbage can by the bed and holds it up, vomiting into it.
Very little comes out; it's mostly painful dry heaves. He coughs and clutches the can tightly, shaking all over.
Hiro hates seeing his friend in pain, but knows nothing he can do to stop it. He does, however, note that Shuichi hasn't eaten recently and needs to. "I'm going to go make you some soup."
Shuichi looks up, shaking his head. "No, I-I'm really not hungry," he says, wiping his mouth off and setting the garbage can down.
"Nonsense. You haven't eaten all day, I bet."
"I'm not hungry," Shuichi futilely replies, but closes his eyes and swiftly passes out.
Hiro watches Shuichi for a minute; he wonders how Shuichi could have gotten so sick so quickly. With a last glance, he heads into the kitchen to find, or make from scratch, some soup for Shuichi.
About an hour later, some sounds from the bathroom alert a cooking Hiro. He turns the heat to low and puts the lid on the pot, then heads to the bathroom. The door's open, Shuichi's clothes lay on the floor, the sound of the shower starting is heard--along with Shuichi letting out a cross between a moan and a whimper.
Hiro is about to close the door when he spots..blood. He lifts up the article of clothing..Shuichi's boxers. He frowns and sees a few drops of blood on the tile, leading to the shower stall. The curtain is closed, so that's as far as he sees. Shuichi's sure going to hear about this when he's finished, though.
Hiro is sitting on the bed as Shuichi exits from the bathroom, towel around his waist. "Ahh--Hiro, ah.." He frowns and holds the towel tighter, but he can't cover himself fully as he'd like to do. His upper half is exposed to Hiro, who can see the detail in full, aided by the ceiling light which he'd flipped on earlier.
"Shuichi.. just how sick are you?" he says incredulously, seeing how thin Shuichi had really gotten. "I new you were losing weight, but this much.."
His ribs, though not sticking out, are visible; he's losing his lean muscles at about the same rate he's losing weight. His skin is pale and his eyes nearly match.. they've lost so much color, so much heart.
Shuichi frowns and clutches at the towel. "It's just something with my digestive system," he says, and closes his eyes. "The doctor said my prescription will take care of it." He grabs a pair of boxers and shorts from his drawer, heading for the bathroom to put them on. His step has no spring left; just a dull, tired shuffle.
Just sick.. no sickness could kill his spirit this badly, Hiro thinks to himself, setting out a t-shirt for Shuichi before heading to the kitchen to check is the soup's ready.
Not long after Shuichi had, for the sake of his friend, eaten a full bowl of soup, Shuichi tells Hiro he'll be fine and to call him if he needs anything.
"I promise," Shuichi says, giving as cheerful a smile as he can muster, then laying on his side and curling into a ball as he hears the door shut.
He hates lying to his friend.. especially about something this bad. Especially since he's killing himself.
"A problem with one's digestive system to keep them out of work for over a month? Are you sure that's all it is?" K asks Hiro, who is tuning up his guitar, for lack of nothing else to do.
"Yeah. That's what he'd told me.. and he looked terrible. Like he's wasting away to nothing." Hiro frowns and pulls out his cell phone. "He hasn't called me since." He's just about to pocket the phone when it blares off ringing in one of Shuichi's random 'music ringers'. He records those for random ringtunes.. random songs. For his friends, of course--but Hiro's the only one who uses them, this one is for Yuki's home number.
"Shuichi?" He answers as soon as he pushes talk.
"No, but I need your help with him," replies Yuki's voice. It's lost its usual hard tone; replaced by worry. "He isn't trying anymore.. I think.. I think he's.." Yuki stops talking for a few moments, then just hisses into the phone, "Get over here."
Upon arrival, a worried and, strangely, somewhat fidgety Yuki answers the door. He motions to the bedroom, where Shuichi lay under the covers. He's halfway asleep; Yuki pulls the covers back for Hiro to have a better look.
Hiro's breath hitches as he sees what's become of his friend. Shuichi's lost more weight, he's not far from being categorized as 'anorexically' thin; his skin is incredibly pale, he's got a hand to his stomach in a weak attempt to dull pain; his hair has lost all its shine. He looks like he's already dead.. if not for the shaking.
"Shuichi.. what the hell's happened to you? Why the hell didn't you take him to a doctor?!" Hiro says, turning his attention to Yuki.
Yuki narrows his eyes, temper flaring up. "I did! I've brought several doctors in; they all said the same thing--some sort of harmless virus! Stupid fucking crocks don't know what they're talking about!"
Their attention is drawn to Shuichi as he accidentally lets a whine escape his mouth.
"Shuichi.. Shu don't worry we'll find out what's wrong," Hiro says, rubbing his friend's bony shoulder. "We'll make sure you--"
"I know what's wrong," Shuichi says, finally speaking; his voice in a low, weak tone. "It doesn't matter anymore.."
"Are you giving up? Finally?" Yuki says, his tone both sarcastic and harsh. "After never giving up, chasing me 'til you damn near kill me, and now that you get sick, you're giving up?" He stares down at Shuichi, breathing heavily. Honestly, he's terrified--he knows Shuichi's given up, has known for a few days.
Shuichi only closes his eyes, shaking growing worse as he starts to cry. Hiro glances up hatefully at Yuki for that outburst, trying to comfort Shuichi. "Shu, Shu.. can you tell me what's wrong?" He gets a shake of the head, and tries harder. "Shuichi please.. we can't help you unless we know what's wrong with you."
"Nobody can help me now!" Shuichi cries, his voice louder, stronger. "It's too far along by now I know it!" he sobs into his pillow, not seeing the stares from the other two men.
"Shuichi.. what's too far along? You're still here, whatever's wrong, maybe it can--"
"Just leave me alone so I can die already," Shuichi chokes out, his throat tight, and curls up. His voice relays this as truth--he intends to let himself die here.
Yuki stares, and in his heart, he feels a sharp pain; he did this. He told Shuichi he wouldn't care if anything happened to him. Another pain hits him; this time, a familiar pain.. he puts a hand to his mouth, closing his eyes. No, no no no Shuichi, I didn't mean it.. don't do this to yourself.. not because of someone like me..
Hiro spots Yuki's 'stress attack' and the blood running down his chin, but tends first to Shuichi. "Shuichi.. please, tell us what's wrong. We need to know."
Shuichi just clutches the pillow tightly, sobbing furiously into it. He still has the energy to cry, ha.
Yuki wipes the blood away best he can, shaking and barely unable to stay sitting. He reaches over to touch Shuichi's side, forcing out the words he needs to say, that Shuichi needs to hear. "Shuichi please.. don-don't give up. When I said.. that I.. I didn't mean it. You're too young to die; you have too much energy--the world needs to see your energy." He takes a sharp breath; "Shuichi.. I..need you by me. Don't make me fucking chase after you in death and hunt you down like you did to me in life," he says, gritting his teeth. "Don't--"
"Yuki.." Shuichi's sobs have stopped; now he's turned to face Yuki, but he can't sit up for how weak he's become. He reaches a hand out to Yuki, who takes it immedately, and pulls Shuichi into a gentle, but firm hug.
After cleaning up both of them, calling Tohma and taking some aspirin for a stress headache, Hiro heads home, ordering Yuki to call as soon as he finds out. Shuichi still hasn't told either of them what he's ailing from.
Yuki lays back against pillows stacked up against the headboard, Shuichi laying on his stomach and chest. Both are sick, but both have already communicated to each other that they're not separating now. Yuki though, has to look down when he notices a fresh wave of tears.
"Shuichi, what's wrong?"
"I.. I don't want to die.. Yuki I'm afraid of dying.."
Yuki frowns and runs his hand through Shuichi's hair comfortingly. "You're not going to die. We'll get you some help and soon--"
"It's gotten too far I know it has!" Shuichi cries, clutching tightly at Yuki's shirt, now wet from Shu's tears.
"..What has? Shuichi.. tell me what's wrong with you. Please."
With the exception of a few sniffles, Shuichi goes silent for a minute; then he speaks, voice only a whisper. "Cancer."
Having not caught it, as Shuichi's face is buried in Yuki's shirt, he asks Shuichi to tell him again.
Shuichi looks up at Yuki, eyes filled with fear and apology. "I--it's--colon..cancer," he says, averting his gaze as he lays his head on Yuki's chest.
Shuichi will hear Yuki's heart literally skip a few beats. He sucks in air and stares down at the faded pink hair with its black roots growing in.
"..Cancer?" He says, as though unable to process it. "...Cancer?" he repeats himself, and stares up at the ceiling.
Shuichi closes his eyes and whimpers softly. "I'm sorry," he whispers, his voice apologetic.
"You don't have to apologize for everything, Shuichi," Yuki replies, pulling Shuichi up far enough to kiss him. "I'm the one who's sorry."
"But Yuki.. I love you.."