I could hear a familiar voice calling out to me, but whoever it was, it sounded like he was miles away. I wanted desperately to find him though I wasn't sure why. I fought to regain consciousness, but my body simply wouldn't move. It felt like it was made out of lead.
"Yuki, wake up!"
Suddenly, my eyes flew open and I gasped frantically for air. It was as if I'd just broken through the surface of the water after having been at the bottom of a pool for too long.
"Yuki, thank God you're awake! What's happened to us? How did we get here?"
Countless memories assaulted me at once. I quickly stood up ignoring the dull ache of my muscles. I tore open my shirt in search of my wound, but to my surprise, it was gone.
"What in the hell…" I muttered as I looked more closely at my surroundings. I was still in my apartment, but everything looked so cluttered.
Wait a minute… this is all of Shuichi's crap! I whirled around and there he was. Shuichi… MY SHUICHI! My heart skipped a beat; no, it was more like it had finally started beating again.
"Yuki what's wrong?" His eyes were wide and the color had drained from his face. It looked like he was about to panic. "Are you…" I crossed the room in an instant and embraced him fiercely. "Alright," he mumbled hesitantly.
I pulled away just far enough to stroke his cheek and look into his eyes. He looked at me as if I'd completely lost my mind. I guess I couldn't blame him for that. I'd never been this affectionate. In fact there was still a small part of me that felt very uncomfortable about all of this, but I quickly dismissed it. I'd spent too many nights regretting all of my 'what ifs.' Now that I'd been given my second chance, I for damn sure wasn't going to waste it!
Slowly, I bent down to give him a kiss. My heart was racing as if it was our first. I paused momentarily just long enough to feel the heat of his lips, and then lightly brushed my lips against his. Just like our first kiss, he trembled sparking a fire within me.
My Shuichi… it echoed through my head like a mantra. I pulled away just to gaze at his face. I couldn't believe our nightmare was finally over. Shuichi's eyes slowly fluttered open. He looked at me with such an alluring expression it threw my libido into overdrive. Capturing his lips with a passionate kiss, I embraced him as if I were a selfish child unwilling to share his favorite toy.
As if awakening from a dream, Shuichi wrapped his arms around my waist. Before long, he was clutching at my shirt and kissing me ardently in return. A soft, impassioned moan escaped from his lips, pushing my self-control to the very brink of its limits. I wanted him more than I'd ever wanted anyone before. Although deep down I knew it was irrational, I felt like I had to reclaim him – to once again make him mine.
"I want you," I whispered urgently into his ear; "NOW!"
"Then take me," he sighed breathlessly.
Those three words uttered so seductively were like throwing gasoline on my already blazing passion. Kissing him Fiercely, I awkwardly maneuvered him toward the bedroom. As we stumbled down the hallway pausing briefly to remove clothing, I could scarcely believe the different emotions churning within me. The taste of his lips, feel of his soft skin were slowly driving me out of my mind. By the time we made it to the bedroom, we were both naked and burning with passion. I ogled Shuichi's lithe, sensuous body as he climbed into bed while I hastily fumbled through the bedside drawer for the lube. As I climbed into bed, Shuichi spread his legs and looked at me so longingly it made me want to skip the foreplay and pound his ass into oblivion. As excited as I was, there was no way I'd ever do that. I'd seen him in pain too much the past couple of weeks. Even though it wasn't this Shuichi that had experienced it, I didn't ever want to see him in pain again.
Positioning myself between his legs, I poured a generous amount of lube over him. The cold, gelatinous liquid made him hiss sharply as he tilted his hips in anticipation. Transfixed by the unbelievably sexy expression on his face, I gently traced his entrance with a finger.
"Yuki, please," he begged.
"As always, you're too eager," I whispered teasingly in his ear. Tenderly I nibbled his neck as I slowly pressed my finger in. A barely audible moan escaped his lips. "Don't hold back your voice," I demanded as I left a trail of kisses down the center of his chest.
"Yuki, what are you…" he gasped as second finger joined the first.
I traced his bellybutton with my tongue as my other hand wrapped gently around his member.
"No… don't," Shuichi protested weakly as I licked the tip of his cock.
"You don't like this," I questioned looking up at him in mock innocence as I gave him another playful lick. I felt him throb as our eyes met and before he could muster an answer, I took all of him in. I felt his fingers grip my hair and heard him cry out incoherently as I began my ardent ministration my fingers quickly falling into sync with my lips.
"Yuki… stop," he exclaimed unable to keep his hips from moving. "I… can't… I'm gonna…"
His body stiffened as he climaxed and cried out in ecstasy. It reverberated throughout my consciousness mingling with the echoes of the past. I was so afraid I'd never hear that beautiful voice – so afraid I'd never be able to embrace him like this. It made everything so much more intense than it had ever been before.
"Why… did you do that," Shuichi gasped in astonishment.
I felt my cheeks warm as I struggled against the emotions churning within me. I'd never voluntarily performed oral sex with another man, and I wasn't sure what had driven me to do it this time. The only thing I knew for certain was that as long as it was Shuichi, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
"You always come too fast the first time," I answered teasingly in an effort to hide my sudden surge of embarrassment.
His cheeks reddened in irritation, but before he could respond, I entered him. Slowly, savoring every sensation, I pressed into his soft, warm body. I was completely enraptured by Shuichi. Every impassioned moan, every gentle touch threatened to drive me out of my mind. I paused as soon as I'd filled him to the hilt and kissed him once again reveling in the many sensations that threatened to overload my senses.
Wrapping his legs around my waist, Shuichi slowly began to move his hips. A low, carnal growl escaped my lips as my hips fell into sync with his. Entranced, I watched the varied expressions on Shuichi's face. Love, ecstasy, bliss all mingled as one transforming his natural radiance into true beauty. Passion drove us relentlessly, our desire controlling the speed and force of our thrusts. Locked within this erotic embrace, our bodies seem to meld into one. I was close, so close to losing all control.
"Shuichi," I whispered fervidly unable any longer to contain my passion.
At that same moment, Shuichi cried out too his fingers digging into my skin as we both tumbled over the edge together. It was as if we had fallen into heaven. Never before had I ever felt such sublime gratification.
When I finally regained my senses, I gazed down at my lover. Tears of joy threatened to spill over his rose tinted cheeks, and his plump, red lips were just begging to be kissed. I'll be damned if it wasn't the most enticing vision I'd ever beheld. Tenderly I obliged his succulent lips with a soft peck that quickly deepened into another long, ardent embrace.
Although I'd just experienced the most intense climax of my life, I was nowhere near satisfied. Wrapping his arms tighter around my neck, Shuichi started moving his hips again letting me know without a shadow of a doubt that he wasn't finished yet either. Gently I pushed myself off his warm, soft body.
"No," Shuichi whimpered as he felt my body recede.
"What's wrong," I asked teasingly. "Haven't you had enough yet?"
With downcast eyes she shook his head. A ripple of guilt tore through my heart. How often had I left him like this longing for more? Pushing those painful memories aside, I propped up the pillows behind me and reclined back.
"Come," I said opening my arms invitingly. "It's your turn to pleasure me."
A shy smile graced his face as he straddled my hips. My member slid effortlessly back into his body as he slowly, seductively began to move his hips. My hands slid over the soft curve of his body, and he cried out his back arching involuntarily as I began to thrust into him. Only Shuichi could look so innocent and yet so very erotic at the same time. I knew at that moment, we'd be going at it for a very long time.
It was late in the afternoon, or early in the evening depending upon how you look at it, when I awoke. Shuichi and I were in the same position as when we'd fallen asleep a few hours earlier. I'd done something that I had never done before. I let Shuichi sleep in my bed with me. Not only that, but I allowed – no I wanted him to snuggle up with me. I just felt like I had to hold on to him. It was as if I was afraid he'd disappear if I didn't.
I'd never slept with in the same bed with anyone. I always thought it would be too awkward, especially the morning after, but to my surprise, it wasn't awkward at all. In fact, I discovered that I kind of liked the way Shuichi's warm, soft body felt curled up next to me.
Memories of last night flooded my thoughts threatening to once again rouse my passion. We'd become one. Every time we'd made love, we ceased to be two, and had become one. How many times had my partners said that during sex? I'd always secretly laughed at their sentimentality. In truth, I didn't believe it could happen. How could two people become one? Not only did it seem impossible, I certainly had never wanted it to happen. Last night, however, was different. For the first time, I completely opened myself to another person. I embraced Shuichi without the shield I normally hid behind, and as a result I experienced the pure bliss of becoming one with my lover.
A soft knock at the door interrupted my reverie. Gingerly, I slipped out of Shuichi's embrace.
"Yuki," he mumbled thickly in his sleep.
I felt my heart quicken as I looked at the beatific smile that graced his face. Another knock at the door sent me reluctantly scuttling for my clothes. Hastily, I got dressed and raced to open the door.
"Good afternoon mon ami," Tsuneo announced with that insufferable smug grin of his. "I trust I'm not…" He looked obviously past my shoulder, "interrupting anything?"
"No, you're not interrupting anything," I answered tersely.
"That's good," he said as his stupid grin widened into an annoying smile. "I've come to reclaim my wishing stone."
"Good riddance," I replied angrily digging it out of my pocket. "That damn thing nearly got me killed!"
"It's funny you should mention that," Tsuneo responded chuckling nervously. "Actually, for a brief time, you were dead."
"What in the hell are you talking about," I questioned angrily.
"It all goes back to Shuichi's wish," he explained. "I swear I never dreamt it would end up with your death. You must believe me."
"You're beginning to sound like a madman," I scoffed at him.
"You need to hear me out, mon ami. I don't think you've fully realized just how close to disaster you and Shuichi really were."
"Alright," I conceded reluctantly. Something about his demeanor was making my stomach twist into knots.
"Shuichi's wish couldn't be fulfilled on its own," Tsuneo continued. "You also had to make a wish. I assumed, since you were a couple, that your wish would naturally compliment Shuichi's." He looked at me mischievously. "But the two of you weren't really a couple now were you?"
I merely glowered at him. The bastard was right. Shuichi and I were together, but we weren't exactly a couple.
"It was blatantly obvious how Shuichi felt about you," he continued unfazed by my menacing glare, "but your feelings for him... Oh, you knew they were there, your true feelings for Shuichi, but something within you refused to let them surface. When you made your hasty wish… Well, you know what happened. I knew the first time I looked into your eyes and saw how worried you'd been for Shuichi, that you were in love with him. But for reasons I couldn't at that point in time comprehend, your psyche wouldn't allow those feelings to surface. It wasn't until much later that I figured out what it would take to allow your true feelings to surface. Only then would you be able to make the wish that would truly fulfill your heart's desire thereby fulfilling Shuichi's wish."
I wanted to be angry with him, but I just couldn't. While he'd been talking, I remembered something… "When did you know that I would have to face my own death?"
"The night you learned that Takahashi had kidnapped Shuichi."
A shiver ran up my spine as I recalled his exact words. Soon you will face the greatest tribulation of your life. "I don't understand…"
"If you think carefully back on the night you briefly died, I'm sure you'll find your answer."
The knots in my stomach twisted tighter, but I closed my eyes and allowed myself to go back into those painful memories. My heart ached as I saw Shuichi's alter ego once again get savagely slapped by Akira. I lunged for the bastard. I wanted to pound that beautiful face into a bloody pulp, but his guards caught me wrenching my arms painfully behind my back. When Akira pulled the silencer out of his pocket and attached it to his gun, I knew we were going to die. Before I'd even had the chance to wonder who would die first, I felt the bullet tear through my body. Never had I felt such pain, but after all, I deserved to die this way… My eyes flew open.
"That's right mon ami."
"Yes, of course," I exhaled the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding. "I've always been tormented by Kitazawa's… death." I tensed, waiting for the familiar pain to grip my heart, but for some reason it didn't happen.
"You've been set free," Tsuneo patiently explained, "by experiencing the same death as your former tutor. Only after that barrier had finally been removed, were you able to wish for what your heart truly desired."
"Shuichi," I whispered involuntarily.
"What's there to eat," Shuichi asked as he enthusiastically bounded into the living room. "Tsuneo-san," he exclaimed happily. "You won't believe what happened…"
As Shuichi animatedly began telling Tsuneo about the strange thing that happened on our date, I watched him in utter amazement. For someone who was so petite, he was incredibly resilient. I couldn't believe he could move so freely after everything we'd done last night. Suddenly I was struck by a notion.
"What was Shuichi's wish," I asked abruptly while Shuichi paused to take a breath.
Tsuneo, looking pointedly at Shuichi, didn't say a word.
"I… wished for you to be happy," Shuichi confessed in embarrassment.
"You… what," I questioned incredulously.
"You've always seemed so… unhappy," Shuichi sheepishly explained. "I've always wanted to make you as happy as you've made me, but no matter how hard I tried, I always managed to make you feel worse."
I felt as though I'd been punched in the stomach. I wanted to tell him it wasn't true, but I simply couldn't. Every moment I'd spent with him had been bitter sweet at best, but most of the time it had been pure hell. None of it was his fault of course. It had been impossible for any kind of happiness to override the terrible guilt that had consumed my life.
He wished for my happiness, I realized miserably. Of all the things he could have wished for… My stomach twisted into knots as I painfully remembered all the heartless things I'd said to him.
"Wait a minute," Shuichi exclaimed excitedly. "Does that mean that Yuki finally made his wish?"
"He most certainly did," Tsuneo affirmed.
"What did you wish for," Shuichi asked me anxiously.
I glared angrily at Tsuneo.
"Come on Yuki! Tell me," he insisted.
"No way," I spat tersely giving Tsuneo my best 'you'd better keep your fucking mouth shut' glower.
"That's not fair," Shuichi protested. "I told you what I wished for. Tsuneo-san please, tell me what he wished for."
"I'm sorry Shuichi," Tsuneo replied somberly.
I was shocked at his answer. I'd expected him to make a big game out of it. He of all people should have leaped at the opportunity. Not only would he have been able to take pleasure out of my embarrassment, he also had the opportunity to tease Shuichi.
Shuichi gasped shifting my attention to him. He looked as if he'd just been told his best friend was dead. Tears had already begun to spill over his pale cheeks.
"I understand," Shuichi mumbled in resignation. He looked at me, but only for a moment. "That explains why you were being so nice to me yesterday." He bit his lip in an attempt to control his anguish. "Last night you were so… I thought that maybe…" He turned abruptly and ran into the bathroom.
"What in the hell was that about," I demanded.
"I'm not allowed to reveal another person's wish," he answered innocently.
"That's a relief," I sarcastically retorted, "but that clearly is not what upset Shuichi."
"That's true," he replied mischievously. "He probably got the impression that you wished to leave him."
"How in the hell would he get that impression," I asked advancing upon him menacingly.
"Before Shuichi made his wish, I had an inkling of what it would be." He looked at me knowingly. "In case you hadn't noticed, I'm very good at reading peoples' expressions. Anyway, I told him to think very carefully before making his wish." He shook his head and smiled. "But your Shuichi was much too impulsive to do that. After he wished for your happiness, I tried to explain the many ways in which a wish like that could backfire. Even though he didn't seem to understand much of what I was trying to tell him, I could see it was beginning to make him anxious. Of course, not knowing the true nature of your relationship, I didn't know why. When I'd finished, he stood there silently for the longest time. So long in fact, I'd begun to worry about him. Then your pure-hearted lover surprised me by saying: 'Even if he would be happier without me, I'd still wish for Yuki to be happy." He paused and looked at me enviously. "You really are a lucky man to have someone who loves you so selflessly and completely."
Tsuneo's words cut straight through my heart, but there was no way I was going to give him the satisfaction of knowing it.
"Yeah, but thanks to you and your so called integrity, Shuichi's convinced that I'm going to leave him."
"Naturally," Tsuneo replied devilishly. "Now you're going to have to confess your true feelings."
"Like hell I will," I exclaimed grabbing his arm roughly. I opened the door and shoved him unceremoniously out into the hall. "Get the hell out of my apartment and stay the hell out of my life!"
"Don't worry mon ami," he replied sadly. "I promise you will never see me again."
"That suits me just fine," I snapped as I slammed the door in his face. His pained expression almost made me feel sorry for him.
Steadying myself against the door, I struggled to regain my composure. After taking several deep breaths, I'd finally calmed down enough to be able to process everything Tsuneo had said.
I knew that Shuichi loved me, but I'd never known how deeply he loved me. The fact that he was willing to place my happiness over his was almost more than I could bear. I was once again overwhelmed by all the heartless things I'd said to him – all the times I neglected him – all the times I'd made him cry.
I lit a cigarette and wandered into my study. My laptop was exactly as I had left it. I cringed when I thought of my pathetic unfinished novel which was woefully behind schedule. Suddenly, I was struck by an inspiring thought. Why couldn't I write about what had happened to me and Shuichi? Although I'd never written a romantic fantasy novel, I knew it wouldn't be difficult. The story unfolded effortlessly in my mind.
"Be careful what you wish for because it might just come true," I whispered to myself. Yes, that should be the title. I almost sat down at the desk and started writing, but the sound of the water running in the shower reminded me that there was something more important I had to do first.
As I slipped quietly into the bathroom, I could hear Shuichi sobbing plaintively. Inwardly I cursed Tsuneo for being such a meddling asshole. I stripped quickly and surreptitiously joined Shuichi in the shower.
"What do you think you're doing," he demanded as wrapped my arms around him.
"What does it look like I'm doing," I whispered in his ear.
"Please… don't do this to me," he pleaded tearfully. "I know you're just being nice because you're going to leave me again. Do you have any idea how much that hurts me?"
"Shuichi listen to me," I said as I turned him around to face me.
"I told you to stop," he wailed trying unsuccessfully to push me away.
"Would you cut it out and just listen to me?"
"NO," he yelled struggling harder to get away. "I know what's going to happen! I don't need…"
I kissed him forcefully, partially to get him to shut up, but mostly because he looked so damned adorable. For a few seconds he continued to struggle, but eventually he gave in and kissed me ardently in return.
Reluctantly, I released his lips.
"Baka," I chided him affectionately. "This is what I wished for." I pulled away from him and paused to gather my courage. In my mind's eye, I saw Chiba do the same thing just before he confessed his love for Saito. I wondered once again how anyone could do such an embarrassing thing so calmly. As I looked into Shuichi's eyes, however, all my apprehensions melted away.
"I love you," I whispered passionately, "and I promise I'll never leave you again."
Fresh tears spilled over Shuichi's pink cheeks. He looked as though he wanted to say something, but he was simply too astonished.
"I'll be damned," I exclaimed. "If I'd known it would be this easy to shut you up, I'd have said this a long time ago!"
Shuichi's face turned bright red.
"You Jerk," he retorted angrily trying to push me away again.
Before he could say anything else, I captured his lips with another impassioned kiss. He surrendered much quicker this time, and as the warm water cascaded over our slowly entwining bodies, I vowed deep in my heart that I would cherish this adorable, little brat for the rest of my life.