It's a strange incident when the reason you want to kill yourself is the reason you can't pull the trigger. OOC Yuki/Shindou

Yuki stared at himself in the mirror. Was that him, with the gun to his head? Or was that an apparition? Maybe he was hallucinating. No matter the image, the cold iron against his head was real. Too real.

His unwavering gaze stuck. Shuichi. That's what this all came down to; that one boy held his life in his bosom. Oh, how Yuki despised yet cherished that name, that bright hair, that voice…

Yuki scowled at himself. Shuichi pushed him over the edge; brought him near insanity. Shuichi made him grit his teeth with his noise and every time he came home, Yuki wanted to scream and yell at him to get out; he couldn't take the boy's antics anymore.

Yet… here he was, hesitating. When Shuichi came home, the sweet sound of his voice, proclaiming his boisterous, happy presence… who wouldn't want that around? He couldn't hurt his lover anymore. He just couldn't. He loved the boy too much. But… by living, wasn't he causing him more pain? He would cause him pain by dying as well.

It was situations like these that caused him stress. It was circumstances like this that pushed him to more extreme actions. Putting the gun to his head was the action; the circumstance was thinking about Shuichi.

Shuichi shoved him into headaches, and made him want to smoke to alleviate his frustration. At the same time, Shu made him feel guilty for smoking and made him want to smile. Shuichi's influence was a contradiction in and of itself.

Golden eyes blinked, but nothing pulled him out of his trance. If Tohma were to barge in and kidnap him, he wouldn't have noticed. Shuichi was on his mind, and he had to make a decision.

To kill himself would to stop. Stop caring. Stop the pain. But he could never stop the hurt he caused Shuichi. Alive or dead, he always put Shuichi in pain. Wasn't it better, then, to stop his own suffering, and let Shuichi suffer? They didn't both have to writhe in pain.

No, no, no. That wouldn't be fair, though. But since when did Yuki ever care about fairness? He didn't want to live with his memories of Yuki – the original Yuki. He didn't want to carry on, knowing he killed the man he loved, even if the person he loved was a complete ass (and that was mildly put). His finger on the trigger twitched.

Then there was the question: was he any better than the man who took advantage of him? Was he putting Shuichi through the exact same experience? No, he wasn't, but at the same time, the situation was too similar to let it settle at that.

There was too much to think about. His thoughts just went in circles after a while and his finger itched to move. He tried to set things right in his head. What were the most important things to consider? One: how it affected Shuichi. Two: how it affected himself. After that, nothing mattered.

It would make Shuichi sad; depressed even. Possibly suicidal. Yuki growled audibly at the notion. It was not in Shu's character to kill himself, and Yuki couldn't picture it, but it made him angry. How selfish of Shuichi, to kill himself. But didn't that make Yuki selfish? Either way, though, Yuki was hurting Shu. Which was the worst kind of pain?

On the other hand, Yuki would be nothing. He wouldn't be happy, but he wouldn't be sad or angry either. He merely wouldn't be. Like darkness; just an absence. Not even that. Just nothing.

Why did he want to do this in the first place? To stop the images of the gun in his shaking hands from so long ago? To keep Shuichi safe?

But Shuichi wasn't safe no matter what. And Shuichi made the images go away, or at least easier to deal with when they did come. Shuichi was his downfall and his savior. What was he going to do, then?

One small voice, that sounded remarkably like Shuichi's voice, whispered, why does Shuichi have to be in pain when you can be there to protect him from it? The question didn't make sense; Yuki was the cause of his pain, how could he stop it?

It slowly dawned on him. He could just be nice. Just do those small things. Make dinner. Greet the singer when he came home. Cuddle. Embrace. Go out for dinner (even if it was a rare event). Maybe if he just spent an hour with him every night. Perhaps an annual 'I love you.'

Could he just cease his ways? No. Could he wane away from his habits, like some did with cigarettes? Yes. Would it be easy? No. Would he have support? Always.

A loud clatter brought him back to life. He stared down at the gun on the floor and felt the dent on his temple. Slowly, he worked his jaw so that it wasn't stuck and clenched into place. He blinked his dry eyes a few times and cleared his throat. So that was it then. Be nice.

A series of these events happened. It started when he cried in front of Shuichi that one time so long ago. Now, five years later, after so many of these small moments, he was ready to change. He had already changed, subtly of course, but he noticed. The difference was now he was ready to make another change. A more significant change.

He washed his face and popped some Advil in his mouth. If this didn't work, he promised he would kill himself. He stretched as he walked out of the bathroom and into his office. He needed to finish his novel before Shuichi got home…

"I'm home!" the infamous call rang throughout their home. Shuichi slipped off his shoes. For some reason, no matter how many times it happened, the silence always shocked and disappointed him anew, as if he was expecting something different.

He smiled ruefully, remembering something his father used to say: "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result every time." So Shuichi was insane then. He chuckled lowly and happily bounced into the kitchen. Maybe he needed to do something different.

He scowled. What could he do differently? Just then, the sound of typing reached his ears. His impulse, like every other day, was to hop into Yuki's office and bug him into doing something because he was lonely.

Shuichi froze in his tracks, though. Maybe that's what he needed to do differently. Maybe if he gave the author some time to himself, things would change. But that didn't make sense; the author had all day to himself except for the few hours Shuichi was home before he went to bed – alone.

Something that never struck him before took hold of him. Indecision. Boredom. What to do if he wasn't singing (as not to distract Yuki) and not bothering Yuki? He bit his lip. The first thing that came to mind was a shower. He had forgotten to take one this morning anyway.

Happily, he skipped to the bathroom, but before his hand touched the handle, he paused. The typing had stopped. Curious, Shuichi turned and gasped to see Yuki standing so close in front of him.

"Y-Yuki," he stuttered, "Uh. Aren't you busy?"

Yuki pulled him into a hug and buried his face in the crook of Shuichi's neck, all the while murmuring and repeating; "I love you." Shuichi was showered in kisses until he was convinced he no longer needed a literal shower.

Finally, Yuki pulled away and stared into his eyes, "I needed to tell you. Tomorrow we're going out for dinner, but tonight I need to finish something. If I have time, we'll do something together tonight, okay?" The promises struck Shuichi one by one like a wave of pleasure, even better than an orgasm. Dinner. Love. A vague 'something.' It was strange to receive so much attention.

"O- okay," he replied weakly, smiling dreamily. Still in a daze, he watched Yuki walk away, and took a shower. It cleared his mind somewhat, but his head was still swirling along with the steam everywhere when he got out.

Wet and in blissful hope that Yuki would keep his promises, he got dressed.

"You forgot to dry yourself," Yuki murmured, appearing behind him, and then continued, "That was a long shower. What took so long? I was waiting." His lips connected with Shuichi's shoulder and trailed up his neck.

Shuichi shivered, "I was thinking. That's all." Yuki grinned and nibbled on his earlobe, earning a purr.

"About?" Yuki asked.

Shu shrugged sluggishly while Yuki's hands worked magic wonders on his back, "You; nothing really crazy. Oh, that feels good." His eyes were closed by now and Yuki was massaging his shoulders.

"Relax," Yuki murmured. Shuichi felt like putty. How could he relax more? Yuki's hands traveled down his chest, leaving his shoulders. Shuichi gasped when he flicked and played with his nipple. Quickly, though, he withdrew his hand and sighed, "Sorry, love. I couldn't resist. I don't want it to be… that kind of a night."

Shuichi blinked pleasure from his eyes and he turned to face his lover, "What kind of night is it, then?"

Their eyes met while Yuki murmured, "Yours. Anything you want to do, as long as it's in the confines of our condo, and as long as it's possible."

Shuichi pouted despite his dancing eyes, "That's limiting."

Yuki raised an eyebrow, "You're complaining?"

Shuichi panicked, "No! I meant – I meant, I mean… I was kidding." He ended lamely, "I suck at sarcasm."

Yuki chuckled, "I see." Before Shuichi could gripe, he asked, "What do you want to do, then, Shuichi?" Shu's eyes lit up again as he thought of the possibilities. Everything he thought of ended up in hot sex, but that wasn't the only thing he could think of.

Timidly, he suggested, "Can you cook waffles? And then we can just… wing it, you know? Watch a movie or just talk or, I don't know, goof around?" He could hardly imagine Yuki goofing around, but what did come to mind was Yuki having a good time.

Yuki smiled widely, "Sounds great, Shu." Shuichi smiled back, probably wider, and happier than a bird with a french fry. Shuichi sat in the kitchen chair while Yuki walked around and cooked. They spoke very little, and Shuichi didn't question the sudden generosity. He was frightened it would be taken away if he asked. However, they were both content with the quiet.

Finally, they sat down for dinner, which made Shuichi happier than ever. He couldn't remember the last time they sat down and ate together properly. He was brimming with happiness, and that generated a genuine, albeit small, smile from Yuki. This was definitely worth his time.

"Maybe," Shuichi suggested (they had become engrossed in a conversation), "we could write a song together. Or maybe you could teach me how to write!" Yuki chuckled, trying to tone down his laughter. Shuichi pouted cutely, "What's so funny?"

Yuki recovered and smiled at him with mirth, "You, Shuichi. I'm afraid it would take more than one night to teach you how to write decently." Shuichi looked hurt and Yuki immediately regretted speaking the truth. But how could he lie, either? Not sure how to mend the situation, he sat back, "Sorry, Shu. If that's what you want to do, we'll do it. I'm sure it'll be fun, even if you're not good at it."

Shuichi smiled back, "Yeah, you're right. I feel like music tonight anyway. Let's write a song then!"

Yuki chuckled, "If that's what you want."

The night went off well. They attempted to write a song together, but before they got past the third line, they were goofing off. "Goofing off" included Shuichi dancing around and being silly while Yuki laughed and enjoyed the show.

At some point they turned on music and danced, Shuichi declaring, "I've always wanted to dance with you – you're so good!" Afterward, they ended up in bed, passionately making love, and for once Yuki was considerate and gentle, and loving.

At this point, however, they were just lying there, listening to each other breathe.

"Yuki?" Shuichi asked his lover breathlessly.

"Hm?" Yuki murmured back.

Shuichi asked quietly, "Why are you being so nice today?" The breathing in his ear didn't hitch or slow or quicken. It was constant.

"It was time for a change," he answered at last.

Shuichi looked up at his boyfriend's face in the dark, "So this isn't a one-time thing?"

Yuki smirked, "It can't exactly be weekly, either, Shu." Shuichi smiled widely and cuddled closer, completely content (A/N: Alliteration!). He frowned when he realized something was wrong…

Laughing, he sat up, "I can't go to sleep without brushing my teeth." Yuki chuckled deeply and let his lover go brush his teeth. Shuichi bounced out of the room, unabashedly naked, and into the bathroom. He froze when he saw the gun on the floor. Blinking, he tried to remember seeing it when he got in the shower before. He had been in such a daze; he hadn't even seen the weapon. Then when he got out, the bathroom was all steamy from the shower…

"Yuki?" he asked in his most cheerful voice, as not to alarm the author, "Come in here, please. I need your help. I can't reach the-." He stopped when he felt the author's presence. He went on quietly, "I can't reach the decision of whether or not I should smack you or calmly ask why there's a gun on the floor."

Yuki sighed, "Hm. Call it 'the reason I am going to be nice from now on.' Maybe I was wrong about the writing thing; you have the verbal wit to-."

"Why is there a gun on the floor?" Silence. He turned slowly to his golden-haired lover and their gazes met. Yuki realized in that instant that no matter what he did, their relationship wouldn't be flawless, even if he was nice. Maybe he should have killed himself after all. Then again, his attempt was what caused this fiasco.

It was in that silence, several moments later, that he realized it was okay that their relationship had flaws.

Yuki pulled Shuichi into a hug, tears falling from his eyes, even though he didn't notice them himself, "Shu… I don't have the heart to tell you what I almost did today." Shuichi's heart wracked at that sentence. How terrible was it? His fists clenched at Yuki's sides.

"What happened?" Shuichi asked gently.

Yuki paused, and answered in a thick voice, "I have a bruise on my temple." Shuichi let that sink in. Still, tears flowed endlessly down Yuki's face. "Don't hate me," he pleaded, "Don't be mad. The reason I'm here is because of you. I couldn't bear it if it turned out I let the perfect opportunity pass just to find out you hate me."

"I could never hate you," Shuichi whispered at last, and suddenly recognized how their roles were temporarily switched. And Yuki broke down into full-out sobs. The two collapsed onto the floor, completely nude, Yuki clinging to Shuichi like his life depended on it. Shuichi stroked his hair and murmured reassuring things.

At last, Yuki calmed down, and muttered through a stuffy nose, "We should go to bed." They helped each other up and they got into bed.

As they fell asleep, Shuichi asked, "What were you thinking? I mean, when you almost… pulled the trigger?" He was now tenderly probing the bruise on Yuki's temple, careful not to hurt the older man.

Yuki sighed, "I was thinking about you. I couldn't live with myself if I kept hurting you, so I thought killing myself was the only way. It almost dawned on me too late that I could just be nice to you."

Shuichi cuddled into Yuki, "I'm glad you're here and alive."

"Why?" Yuki asked bitterly. Shuichi, being tired and naïve, missed the bitterness.

He shrugged sleepily, "I'm happy with you, and I wouldn't have it any other way."