Rating/Warnings: M for sexual references, nudity, and language.
Disclaimer: It's Maki Murakami's sandbox; I just play in it. I don't own the rights to Gravitation or its characters, nor do I make money from writing about them; Maki Murakami and her licensees do. No copyright or other infringement is intended.
A/N: This story was written for LiveJournal's 30_kisses writing challenge community. Theme: #7, superstar. It is, in essence, a long one-shot covering the events of a little over two days. Enjoy!

Exposure

It all happened because Bad Luck was touring.

Shuichi wanted to keep in touch with Eiri, but he knew Eiri was bad about maintaining contact. Eiri wasn't a particularly sociable person to begin with, and making an effort at anything other than writing, sex, and cooking (sometimes) was foreign to him. So Shuichi used his cell phone to send e-mails and photos so he wouldn't interrupt Eiri's writing. He called sometimes too, but those tended to be planned; he would let Eiri know he'd be calling at a certain time so Eiri would be available and expecting his phone call. He would have been thrilled beyond belief if Eiri called him, but he wasn't counting on it.

After their Okinawa show, he sent Eiri a video clip of the song he thought had sounded the best and a short message: "Fanz were gr8. Miss u."

Eiri sent him a text that read: "Outfit 2 skimpy. And can't u spell? Miss u2", which could mean that Eiri missed him as well or that Eiri was nostalgic for Bono and The Edge. He figured it was him Eiri missed though; he'd never mentioned liking U2 and he had never heard him listen to their music.

As for the skimpiness of the outfit: that was a matter of long-running disagreement among him, Eiri, Tohma, and Yumiko, Bad Luck's stylist. Tohma and Yumiko argued that the less clothing he wore and the more skin he showed, the more the fans liked it. Using this logic, he should appear onstage in the buff, but he refrained from pointing this out. He also felt this policy gave their fans too little credit. They weren't all horny stalkers eager to impale themselves on his body. At least he hoped not. However, K backed Tohma and Yumiko up on this point, so skimpy clothing was the order of the day.

He examined the outfit in question critically and had to admit that it wasn't what he would pick if it were up to him. Black leather straps with silver buckles wrapped around his torso in a "Y" formation. A matching strap circled the base of his throat. The straps on his torso were attached to black leather short shorts. Short links of metal chain fastened at each end to the waistline of the shorts clinked when he moved. Tight red nylon bike shorts underneath completed the outfit, thankfully preventing his butt cheeks from being exposed the way they would have had he been wearing the leather shorts by themselves. It was an outfit that screamed "Tie me up and fuck me", which on reflection maybe was not the message he wanted to convey to his fans.

He missed Eiri terribly. He missed seeing him. He missed talking to him, even though much of their conversations were one-sided; sometimes he was lucky to get a grunt in response. He missed watching him type or making dinner or drinking beer or doing any of the other myriad things Eiri did every day. He missed curling up next to him in bed and cuddling next to him. Most of all he missed having sex with him.

He was fairly certain Eiri missed having sex with him, too. They'd been together long enough that he no longer feared that Eiri was sleeping with someone else while he was gone. Eiri was probably taking matters into his own hands when he wasn't working on his latest book.

But Shuichi wanted whatever fantasizing Eiri did while jerking off to be about him, so he decided to do something rather risqué and, in retrospect, probably not very smart: he took a nude photo of himself and e-mailed it to his lover.

Eiri's reaction was not what he expected. Instead of gratitude, he got the following message:

What were you thinking, shit-for-brains? Don't you realize the internet can be hacked and that this image could be circulating among your fans and enemies this very minute?

I appreciate the thought, but DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!

Eiri

Shuichi hoped Eiri was wrong about that. It would be embarrassing for him to suffer the public exposure circulation of the photograph would bring.

The next day, Shuichi noticed K giving him a funny look as he walked down the hotel hallway to get some ice. Once he was back in his room, his cell phone rang. The ringtone, set to a song he detested, alerted him that the call was from Tohma Seguchi, one of his least favorite people. Shuichi sighed and braced himself. A call from Seguchi was never good news. What had he done this time?

Thinking that the call had something to do with the tour, he flipped the phone open and pressed "send". "Shuichi here," he said.

"Shindou-san?" Tohma responded. "Where are you?"

"In my room," Shuichi said, puzzled.

"Good," Tohma said. "Stay there. Don't move."

"What's going on?"

"A photograph of you is showing up on internet porn sites," Tohma informed him. "I assume it's a digital composite of a headshot of you and someone else's body."

Shuichi sighed inaudibly. Eiri's warning was coming true. Before he spoke to Tohma about it, he needed to speak to Eiri. If it were possible, he wanted his lover to jump on the next plane and meet him, but even if it weren't, Eiri was more level-headed about such things than he was, plus he'd have a better idea of what to tell and not tell Seguchi.

"That's terrible," Shuichi said. "Look, I was on the phone with someone else when you called. Can I call you right back?"

"It's very important that we talk," Tohma said, but he let Shuichi hang up for the moment. He had an inkling that the news had floored the little pain in the ass and that at this very moment he was dialing Eiri for guidance. Tohma had already phoned Eiri and told him what was going on. Eiri was furious but also on a deadline, so he'd had to go back to his writing.

Shuichi hoped that Eiri would answer the phone if he were at home instead of letting it go to voicemail. Sometimes he deliberately failed to pick up but more often it was because he was so focused on his manuscript that he didn't notice the phone ringing. "Pick up, pick up, pick up," the singer muttered as the phone rang. Damn. It was going into voicemail instead. Almost before the beep ended, he bawled, "Yuki, you were right to be mad. Tohma told me that the photo I sent you is circulating on the internet—"

He didn't get a chance to say anything more as the phone receiver at the other end was hastily snatched up and Eiri said, "Calm down, damn it." However, since this was said in a noticeably tense voice, it didn't have the desired effect.

"Yuuki," Shuichi howled, "can you please come here? I really need you."

"You moron, you know I have a book due in two days. I can't drop everything and fly to your rescue."

"Tohma is going to kill me," Shuichi said. "What should I tell him? He thinks it's a composite but you and I know it's not."

"Have you seen it?" Eiri asked.

"No," Shuichi admitted.

"Then don't assume it's the photo you sent me. I've seen it. It iis/i a composite."

"Whaaat? But that's too much of a coincidence! How can that be?"

"You should take a look. It'd be better than my trying to describe it to you."

"But I left my laptop at home," Shuichi wailed.

Eiri paused to contemplate this fresh example of Shuichi's idiocy "What the fuck did you do that for?" he asked.

"Well..." Shuichi dodged the question. He kept his laptop in the spare room that had been his refuge when Eiri was upset with him. Now that it was no longer needed so much and was used mainly for storage, he tended to forget what was in it except when he needed to look for his clothes. Truth be told, he usually used Eiri's laptop behind his back.

Eiri gave up on waiting for Shuichi to answer. "Doesn't anyone in your group have one?"

"Yeah, Suguru and Hiro have them. Maybe I can borrow Hiro's. I can explain this to him without embarrassing myself too much. But why can't I look for it on my phone? I have internet access."

Eiri cleared his throat and said, "You won't be able to appreciate the differences between the photo on the internet and the one you sent me if you use your phone to look at it."

Shuichi wondered what Eiri meant but was too embarrassed about the whole topic to ask about it. Besides, Eiri would probably refuse to tell him. He got a kick out of keeping Shuichi guessing sometimes.

Instead, he said, "I'm supposed to call Tohma back right away. What do I tell him?"

"Don't tell him anything yet. He already told me about the picture on the internet. I told him I had no idea what it was about and got the web addresses from him so I could look at it myself. Ask him for the web addresses when you call him back. Sorry, Shuichi, I have to get back to work."

The connection broke off and although he hadn't had a chance to say good-bye properly, Shuichi was nevertheless thrilled that Eiri had called him by his name.

He quickly called Tohma back. "Tohma Seguchi's office," a female voice said. Oh shit, Shuichi thought. Things were bad enough that Tohma made his assistant come to the office on the weekend.

"Shuichi Shindou calling. Can I speak to him, please?"

"Seguchi-san is expecting your call. I'll put you right through."

Tohma's voice almost overlapped with the last word his assistant spoke. "Thank you for calling back so promptly."

Shuichi couldn't tell if he was being sincere or sarcastic. He was such a two-faced bastard, it was hard to tell. "Of course. It's a matter of great importance."

"So how did this picture get out on the internet?"

Shuichi temporized. "I, uh, don't know, sir." It wasn't really lying if he had no idea how it got there.

"Really?"

"Uh – wouldn't it be better if we spoke after I looked at it myself? Then I can talk to you about it more intelligently."

Tohma chuckled. Shuichi could almost hear Tohma thinking how absurd it was for him to think that looking at the picture would enable him to talk about anything more intelligently. He knew that Tohma thought of him as a nitwit with a nice singing voice.

"You make a good point. Go take a look and then call me back." After he gave him the web addresses, they exchanged polite good-byes and hung up.

Shuichi called Hiro's room. No answer. He called Suguru's room. No answer.

Shuichi wanted to go looking for them but he realized that the media might be camped out nearby, maybe even inside the hotel itself. He had learned from Eiri's coming-out party that when surrounded by sharks, one should stay inside the castle and on the other side of the moat. If he'd stayed inside in the apartment then as he'd been instructed, Eiri wouldn't have revealed that they were lovers, they wouldn't have become the darlings of celebrity 'journalists', and they would still have their privacy. Or at least more privacy than they had now.

Shuichi tried calling their cell phones. Hiro's rang but nobody picked up. He hit paydirt when he tried Suguru's. He was in the hotel bar with Hiro, who hadn't answered because he'd been in the men's room.

"Can you bring your laptop to my room?" Shuichi asked nervously.

"Why don't you join us? You can come to my room to use my laptop afterwards," Suguru said.

"I-I'm sorry," Shuichi stuttered, "but it's really important and you have to come to my room now!" His voice got louder and higher-pitched as he talked. "S-something really bad has happened—"

He heard the phone being passed to Hiro and Suguru saying disgustedly, "He's all wound up and I can't understand him. He's your friend. You talk to him."

"Hey, Shuichi," Hiro said when he got on the phone. "What's going on?" His voice was gentler and more understanding than Suguru's. Suguru had merely sounded annoyed. Hiro sounded like he cared about what was bothering him.

"Oh, Hiro! You don't know what kind of trouble I've gotten myself into!" Shuichi wailed.

"Does it have to do with Eiri Yuki? Has he been mean to you again?" Hiro asked.

"No, nothing like that."

"Well, c'mon, tell me."

Shuichi bit his lip. Hiro was his best friend and he knew he could trust him with just about anything, but it was still an embarrassing topic to bring up.

He started cautiously. "You know how I miss Yuki so much when we're on tour and how he's got a book due so he can't come see us?"

"Uh-huh, "Hiro said, not sure what this had to do with whatever was bothering Shuichi so much.

"Remember how I send him e-mails with pictures from our concerts?"

"Uh-huh." When would his friend get to the point?

"Well, I took a picture of myself and sent it to him, and now there's a picture of me circulating on the internet. Yuki says it's a composite, but I need to look at it for myself."

Hiro whistled. "Is it the type of picture I think it is?"

Shuichi said huffily, "Yes, if you're thinking it's a naughty naked picture."

Hiro started laughing. He knew Shuichi would be mad but he couldn't help it.

"Damn it, Hiro! Some loyal freaking friend you are to laugh at me! How would you feel if it was you? Huh? Huh?"

Hiro stifled his laughter with difficulty. "I can see where that would cause problems," he said cautiously.

"No kidding! Anyway, Tohma's on a tear about it and I put him off by telling him I need to look at the picture first. Could you bring a laptop to my room please?"

"Sure, Shuichi. I'll be there right away."

"And be careful. If Tohma knows, so does the media, and they could be lying in wait anywhere."

"I'll be careful. See you soon," Hiro said, and hung up, handing the phone back to his bandmate.

"What's up?" Suguru asked as he pocketed the phone.

Hiro leaned over and whispered, "Nude photos of Shuichi have shown up on the internet and he wants to look at them before he talks to Tohma about it."

Suguru rolled his eyes. "So he wants to borrow one of our laptops?"

"Yeah, that's the idea," Hiro said. "Look, I think he'll be more comfortable if I show up without you. The media's onto the story, though. Maybe we should both get out of here."

Suguru looked at the drink he'd been nursing. He tipped it up and drank the rest of it in one gulp, almost choking on it. "He certainly causes enough trouble. Let's go."

Hiro left a tip for the bartender and followed Suguru out of the bar.

As they exited, they looked around cautiously. They could see a gaggle of reporters, photographers and videographers surrounding the doormen outside the front door of the hotel. It looked like hotel security had joined them as well. Shit. They were already under siege.

They looked in the opposite direction, where the elevator banks were. The coast looked clear, so they started walking toward the elevators.

As they did, a reporter and a cameraman darted out from a side hall. Since he was known as the band's spokesperson, the reporter stuck a microphone under Hiro's nose while the cameraman stood back far enough to fit all three of them on the screen.

"Nakano-san! Misa Ayano from Japan News Network," she said. "What's the band's reaction to the latest news?"

Instead of looking at the reporter, Hiro was looking at Suguru, hoping that he was observant enough to notice that he was counting beats and intuitive enough to realize that he planned to run for the stairs on the downbeat. In the meantime, he played dumb and asked, "What news?"

On the count of 'one', Hiro took off like a shot. He heard steps behind him. Looking back, he saw Suguru trailing him, huffing and puffing.

The reporter froze in shock. Her skinny high heels with the pointy toes and her tight skirt made it nearly impossible to run after them. The cameraman wasn't in much better shape; he was hauling around one of those clunky older cameras instead of a smaller digital one. Disgusted, they turned around and made their way toward the lobby.

Hiro didn't trust them, nor did he trust that no other news crews were camped out in the hotel, so he paused only long enough to let Suguru catch up to him. The two of them veered off to the stairwell and dashed up the stairs to the eighth floor where they were staying.

Luckily, it was a secure floor requiring a keycard for entry. Hiro swiped his card to open the door. K and a grim-faced tour security guard were in the hallway guarding their rooms. K nodded at them briefly.

"I'm taking my laptop to Shuichi's room," Hiro told him.

"Oh. Is this about the photo?" K asked.

"Yes," Hiro replied. K nodded again, seemingly relieved at not having to explain what was going on. "This way, Shuichi can look at the photos before speaking to Seguchi-san about how to handle the situation."

Suguru, still huffing and puffing – he didn't get much exercise outside of the physical effort involved in playing keyboards – said, "Do you still want me to stay out, or do you need me for support?"

"Let me go there by myself first. If we need your help, I'll give you a call."

"Okay," Suguru said, and he disappeared into his room.

Hiro sighed, swiped his card to gain entrance to his room, and walked over to the table where his laptop was sitting. He closed it and walked out of the room, letting the door swing shut until he heard the 'click' that meant it was locked. He nodded to K again and walked down the hallway to Shuichi's room.

It took a long time for the door to open after he'd knocked. He heard tumblers and locks being disengaged. Probably Shuichi was being extra cautious.

The door swung open. He could barely see Shuichi, who nearly hidden behind the door but briefly peeked around the edge of the door straining to see who was in the hallway. "It's just K and one of the security guards – Toshiro, I think. The floor's secure and there are no news crews up here," Hiro told him.

"Did you see any of them around?" Shuichi asked apprehensively.

"There were some just outside the front door, and Suguru and I ran into a news crew on our way to the elevators, but we dodged them and ran up the stairs."

"So you haven't spoken to them?"

"Not in any meaningful way."

"What does that mean?"

"The reporter asked what the band's reaction was to the latest news and I asked her 'What news?' Even though I knew what she meant, why make it easy for them?"

"Wait – what reporter was it?"

"Oh, that nosy bitch Ayano. You know her."

Shuichi nodded. They'd all had run-ins with her. She was a determined shark with a bite. "Oh crap. What a mess."

Hiro put an arm around him briefly, then set his laptop down on the table. He quickly set it up and got the internet connection going.

"What's the web address?" he asked.

The photo had shown up on three websites: , , and . But before they went looking for the pictures, Shuichi wanted to show Hiro the original picture and explain what had happened. "You know how much Yuki and I miss each other when we're on tour?" he said shame-facedly.

Hiro nodded.

"And how he's likely to relieve himself when I'm not there? I'm sure he doesn't cheat on me when I'm gone."

Hiro smiled. "You don't have to be coy," he said. "I assume that Yuki-san jerks off while you're gone. After all, the two of you have quite an… iactive/i sex life, and he's not someone who tolerates frustration well."

"Anyway, I want him to think of me when he…does it, so I sent him a picture I took with my cell phone. I know this is embarrassing, but let me show you the picture."

He pressed some buttons on his cell phone and a picture popped up of him wearing a big grin and nothing else. He was standing with one arm to the side and his hand outside the frame of the picture; presumably that was the hand that held the cell phone when the photograph was taken. The other hand was wrapped around the base of his erect penis.

Other than the grin, the erection, and the slightly suggestive pose, with his knees bent and legs separated to better display the object of attention, the picture was unremarkable. Hiro presumed that Shuichi had done some jerking off of his own after taking the picture but didn't inquire.

"Impressive," he remarked. Shuichi whacked him in the arm, but they'd been friends for a long time; it wasn't the first time he'd seen Shuichi's penis. It wasn't even the first time he'd seen it erect. As teens, they occasionally looked at girly magazines together while beating off. They'd even gone so far once as to give each other hand jobs, but that was the extent of it. Shuichi had told Eiri this many times, but the man still harbored suspicions that they'd been more than friends, although his own initial experiences with Shuichi should have convinced him otherwise.

Shuichi sat in front of the laptop and quickly typed in the first web address, leaving the cell phone in front of him for quick comparison. The picture appeared slowly, almost as if it were unscrolling. Both men let out a hiss of disbelief once the entire photograph appeared before them in all its glory. Naked celebrities indeed.

The head and body were clearly Shuichi's from the photograph, but the penis most definitely was not. It was noticeably longer and had a cock ring at the base underneath the hand. A slave collar had been added around the neck along with matching cuffs. The collar closely resembled some Shuichi wore onstage; Shuichi swore under his breath, not having realized the potential significance of what he wore and the message it might convey.

There was faint writing on a metal plaque on the collar. Hiro, whose eyes and knowledge of kanji were better than his friend's, enlarged the shot and squinted. At the greatest enlargement factor that still kept the writing in focus, it looked like it said "Property of Eiri Yuki". Someone had put a lot of effort into making it look like Eiri had given Shuichi a slave collar.

Hiro took over at the laptop as Shuichi had put his head down on the table and had begun to cry. With one hand on Shuichi's back to keep him from sobbing uncontrollably, Hiro used his other hand to type and click his way to the next site, the one dedicated to the proposition that Bad Luck sucked. It turned out that the photograph on this site was the same as the first. Underneath was a caption: "Not only does he suck, but he's Eiri Yuki's sex slave".

Ugh, Hiro thought. In a totally different sense, it was true. As best he understood it, Shuichi virtually never turned the man down and he'd never objected to anything Eiri had asked of him, although as far as Hiro knew it didn't encompass anything more extreme than Shuichi wearing his sister's school uniform, which was Shuichi's idea, not Eiri's.

He looked at his friend, who'd buried his face in his crossed arms. "Cheer up, Shuichi," he said, "this one's just the same as the other one."

Shuichi jerked his head up briefly to take a look, sobbed when he saw the caption, and quickly dropped his head back down.

Hiro moved on to the last website. The picture was the same as the others but the caption read "Shindou-san declares he belongs to his Yuki-san forever". At least the caption was not as offensive. He elbowed Shuichi to take a look, which he did. A ghost of a smile spread over his face at the sentiment until his head sank back to the table.

"What's the matter?" Hiro asked him. Shuichi looked so disconsolate that Hiro kept his hand on his back even though he felt a little weird about it. Yuki-san would definitely be jealous if he saw Hiro touching and comforting his Shu-chan this way, no matter how innocent or well-intentioned Hiro's actions were.

Shuichi's body started heaving, wracked with sobs. Hiro pushed Shuichi's hair behind his left ear, out of his face, and curled his left arm around his friend. "Shuichi?" he said tentatively. "What's wrong?"

His friend continued to sob uncontrollably, his tears moistening the table, his shirt and his arms. Hiro didn't know what to do other than to continue to hold him and whisper "It's okay, Shu, everything's going to be all right" over and over again.

A knock on the door made both of them jump. Hiro walked over to the door and peered out the peephole. Once he saw it was Suguru and K, he opened the door to let them in.

"He's taking it pretty hard, isn't he?" K said sympathetically.

"Yeah," Hiro replied. However, the entrance of two additional people seemed to have a beneficial effect. Shuichi started to pull himself together. Even though he was gulping and gasping and wiping the tears out of his eyes, at least he was no longer hunched over with his head on the table.

K walked over to Shuichi and knelt so he could look at him more or less eye to eye. Just as he was about to speak, the phone rang. Since he was closest, Hiro picked it up and said, "Hello?"

On the other end of the phone Tohma said, "Moshi moshi, Nakano-san. Has Shindou-san looked at the photographs yet?"

"He has, but they upset him quite a bit."

"I'm sorry he's upset, but we still need to discuss this and formulate a strategy without further delay. Can you put him on the phone?"

"All due respect, Seguchi-san, but wouldn't it be better if we were all on the phone at the same time to discuss this? The picture may be of Shuichi, but it affects all of us."

"That is true. Do the hotel phones have a speaker phone option?"

After ascertaining that no, they didn't, Tohma said, "Ask K-san to make arrangements to conference you all in on your cell phones."

Hiro consulted with K, who conveyed the necessary information to Tohma's assistant so she could conference everyone in on the call. Sakano joined Tohma at his end.

In the meantime, Shuichi did his best to pull himself together. He wiped the tears from his eyes, dabbed at his tearstained face, and blew his nose twice, loudly.

Once they were all on the phone, Tohma cleared his throat and said, "This has created quite a stir. Of course we'd like to spin this in a way that garners publicity for the band while minimizing any damage to anyone's reputation, but it's not clear what the best way to do that is. Shuichi? What do you know about this picture?"

"Uh, Seguchi-san, I don't know anything about it. Someone must have taken a picture of me and altered it."

"What parts are altered?"

Shuichi blushed bright red. Hiro interrupted, "Uh, Seguchi-san, shouldn't you talk about that with Shuichi without the rest of us on the phone?"

Shuichi didn't look much happier after Hiro's suggestion. True, he didn't want to discuss the photograph while everyone else was on the phone, but speaking to Tohma by himself without anyone to run interference for him felt like being thrown to a pack of wolves.

"Let's clear the room," K suggested. Everyone else went out to the hallway leaving their phones behind so Tohma's assistant didn't have to reconnect them. Shuichi heard noises on the other end of the line that presumably meant Sakano had just left the room or at least had moved away from the phone and Tohma picked up so they were no longer on speakerphone.

"Shuichi," Tohma said, "what is the story with this photograph? I can tell it's you. Have you been sending Eiri-san naughty photographs to keep him company while you're gone?"

Shuichi felt like a gazelle ambushed by a hungry lion. Why was Tohma so sure it was him? When had Tohma ever seen him naked or seen photographs of him naked? Had Eiri shared the picture with Tohma?

No, that wasn't likely. Eiri thought Tohma was creepy, even though he maintained a friendship with him anyway. Were there surveillance cameras in the lockers at NG or the dressing rooms at the venues? It was disturbing to contemplate.

"Um-um," he stammered.

"Shuichi," Tohma said. "I know how lonely it must be when you are away from Eiri. Mika and I have experienced the same loneliness. It's only natural for you to want to give him something to remind him of –"

"Okay, okay!" Shuichi blurted out. He could not stand one more second of this. "Yes, I sent Yuki a nude photograph. Yes, I'm to blame for all this. Do you mind? I'm the one whose freaking photo is circulating on the internet! I'm the one who's the butt of jokes –"

"Now, now," Tohma said soothingly. "Please don't mention anything about butts in this context. It is obvious that the image has been doctored, so how risqué the underlying image was and how it got into their hands is irrelevant to our response. We will emphasize that the image is fake and will claim that the photograph used as a base was far more innocent. It would be harder to do, but it's a possibility. We will have our lawyers take action against the two sites that depict you in a negative light and ask the other site to take this photograph down in exchange for an exclusive new photograph."

"What kind of photograph would it be?"

"Oh, you'd be sufficiently covered," Tohma said airily. "Maybe, if we play our cards right, we can give them a photograph of you and Eiri-san. After all, it's a site devoted to your relationship. We should cultivate them."

That didn't sound so bad, Shuichi thought, except that Eiri the idea of anyone photographing them. He especially disliked being photographed while showing any kind of physical affection toward Shuichi. At first Shuichi thought it was due to lingering regret over having come out or to being embarrassed about their relationship, but had since decided that it had more to do with Eiri's desire to keep his – their – private life private. Shuichi didn't mind posing with Eiri for a replacement photograph as long as they didn't have to do anything too intimate, like kiss. And Eiri would definitely insist that his clothing show less skin than the kind of outfits he wore onstage. Eiri definitely wouldn't cooperate if the photographs were suggestive in nature.

Tohma began muttering to himself about coordinating with Eiri's publisher. Shuichi cut in, "Should I have everyone else rejoin the call?"

"Yes, yes," Tohma said, raising his voice to say, "Harumi-san, please ask Sakano to step back in here."

When everyone else was back on the line, Tohma said, "We will ask our lawyers to file cease and desist orders with the internet service providers for two of the three offending sites because the photograph is doctored and because its public distribution is libelous and violates Shindou-san's privacy rights and right to control commercial use of his image. We will offer the third site a substitute photograph to post on their website. If I am able to convince Eiri-san to cooperate, we will offer the site a more appropriate exclusive photograph of both of them.

"K-san, please stay on the line so you and I and Sakano can discuss logistics. Everyone else, thank you very much. K-san will be in touch with you after we're finished to discuss security and publicity arrangements. In the meantime, no one is to talk to the media or leave the floor where your rooms are located until further notice."

K went off to his room to continue his conversation with Tohma and Sakano. After briefly talking to Hiro, Suguru went back to his room as well.

TBC

Thanks to HawkClowd for the beta review.