Hi, everyone! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to update. I haven't had a chance to write the chapter because I've been ill. I'm better now so here it is. Also, I will get to work on the next chapter right away to make up for any delays.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gravitation but I do own the plot.
Warning: Same as before.
"I Love You" Chapter 4 : Fujisaki Gets Fired
In the main N-G building, a small figure made its way down the corridor on the top floor.
"This is stupid. What does he even want me for anyway?" Suguru complained inwardly.
He approached the large mahogany doors of Tohma's office, gave a swift knock and entered.
The president sat behind his desk, with his hands clasped together and his elbows resting on the table top.
"Take a seat, cousin," he offered, gesturing towards the chair which sat before his desk.
The young keyboardist settled himself in the indicated chair and met the older man's gaze.
"How are things going with Bad Luck?" the blond began, in a friendly tone.
A cocky grin appeared on the younger boy's face. "Brilliant. We're all set for our concert and we just need to do a few more photo shoots for our album."
"I'm glad to hear things are going so well," the blond began with that all-too-familiar phoney smile. "I only wish the same could be said for your schoolwork," the man said, his tone becoming serious.
Suguru's smile dropped.
"Over the past few months, you're grades have been slipping, Suguru-kun. Your parents have expressed their concerns to me that you have been neglecting schoolwork to keep up at work. And we have decided it might be best if you gave up your place in Bad Luck."
"WHAT!" the boy cried disbelievingly, standing up from his seat and slamming his hands down on the desk. "I can't leave Bad Luck! They need me! That's why you gave me the position in the first place – 'cause Shindou-san's arrangements sucked!"
Tohma carried on calmly, seemingly unaffected by his cousin's raised voice.
"We could hire a new keyboardist. I'm sure he will get on well with the other band members and it will give you the chance to focus on your studies."
"You say it as if you already have my replacement picked out," the dark-haired boy said harshly, throwing a dirty look at his cousin.
"As a matter-of-fact, I have. And he's ready to start as soon as your concert is over."
"Tohma, you prick!" Suguru retorted. "You hired me to help get this band off the ground and now that we've made it big, you're just gonna get rid of me!"
"I know this must be hard, but this is what's best for you right now, Suguru-kun," the blond replied, still keeping his voice soft.
Suguru was so angry, he was sure steam would come out his ears if he stayed angry much longer. "Best for me? Or best for you? I see what's really going on here! You're afraid I might be better than you. I'm close to surpassing you and you're just scared I'm gonna steal your rep! This has nothing to do with what's best for me, does it?"
For once, Tohma's smile faltered.
Back at the apartment, Yuki was bored. Seated on the blue corner sofa, he reached over to the side table and lifted his packet of cigarettes. He tipped the pack over his hand but none came out. Looking in the small box, he saw that it was completely empty.
"Damn it! No cigarettes!" the blond complained inwardly.
He decided that he would go down to the convenience store to buy more and left the apartment after getting properly dressed and pulling on a jacket.
It was a warm day and there were children out playing in the streets. Yuki soon arrived at the little shop and entered it. Just as the glass, automatic doors opened, he spotted someone he didn't want to see inside the shop. Ryuichi Sakuma. He was carrying that stupid pink bunny in the crook of his arm, along with every sort of candy available.
"Let's see," the singer said thoughtfully to Kumagoro before lifting a scoop full of jelly beans and shovelling them into his 'pick and mix' bag.
"Stuff the cigarettes!" Yuki thought as he quickly turned 'about face', ready to leave the shop. But it was too late. The older man had already noticed him.
"Hey! Yuki-san!" Ryuichi called, enthusiastically.
"Hello, Sakuma-san," Yuki replied, slightly less enthusiastically, and giving him a curt nod.
Ever the naïve one, Ryuichi ran toward the novelist, oblivious to the sarcasm laced in the younger man's greeting.
The singer trailed after him as he made his way around the store, keeping up a one-sided conversation.
"I've got today off work," Ryuichi hummed idly.
Yuki picked up a box of his favourite cigarettes and almost dropped them when Ryuichi suggested that he should come by the vocalist's flat and share the sweets he was currently laden with.
Yuki felt the urge to tell Sakuma to piss off, but Shuichi would hate him forever if he offended the childish singer. So, against his better judgement, he agreed to accompany the man home.
"After all, how bad could it be?" Yuki reasoned.
He even noticed a few of his favourite treats, nestled in the older man's arms.
"Then again," the wiser side of his brain argued. "This is Ryuichi Sakuma – and he's like Shuichi, only ten times worse!"
He snatched up another packet of cigarettes.
"I think I'm gonna need these."
At N-G, Shuichi and the rest of Bad Luck were chilling out on the sofas. He had worn his new necklace for all of the photo shoots and was still fiddling with it and admiring how the artificial light of the room reflected off it. He noticed that it just so happened to be reflected onto Fujisaki's cheek, and he decided to have some fun with this. He tilted the gem and the light reflected into the young keyboardist's eye.
Suguru leaned slightly to the right and paid no attention to the annoying singer. Shuichi tried again.
"Stop it, Shindou-san!" he snapped, glaring at the older boy.
"What's the matter with you? You're awfully bitter today – even for you," Shuichi retorted.
Hiro joined the conversation. He too had noticed that Suguru was in a particularly bad mood today.
"Yeah, what's eating you today?" he asked curiously.
Suguru hesitated. Could he really trust them? Their intentions seemed good.
"Tohma's dropping me from the band… right after the concert," he confided, sighing and slumping his shoulders.
"WHAT!" Shuichi and Hiro shouted together, jumping out of their comfortable seats.
"He can't do that!" Shuichi exclaimed.
"There has to be some way to stop him!" Hiro added.
"He says my grades are slipping… and my parents agree that I need quit my job so I can keep up at school. I know that's not why he's doing it, but there's nothing I can do," Fujisaki said, making no effort to hide his depression.
Hiro was suddenly struck with an idea.
"If you pulled up your grades, Tohma couldn't justify firing you. He'd have no choice but to keep you on."
"Just one problem, Nakano-san," Suguru said in a defeatist tone. "I have trouble with my sciences. I'm fine with other subjects but I don't get the time to focus on science."
"Well, if it's science, maybe I can help," the guitarist offered.
"Yeah!" Shuichi butted in. "Hiro was the smartest in our school. And he was gonna be a doctor – before we started Bad Luck of course – so he's great at science." Shuichi continued to ramble on.
"A doctor?" Suguru whispered, surprised yet hopeful.
Meanwhile, in another part of Tokyo, Ryuichi shoved his bags of sweets into Yuki's hands and unlocked the door to his luxurious apartment. Yuki noticed that the apartment was quite a bit bigger than his own, but it was also extremely messy. There were candy wrappers and drinks cans strewn across the floor of the living room.
"Just leave the stuff on the counter," Ryuichi said, twirling his keys casually as he led Yuki to the stylish, modern kitchen.
Yuki set the bags down and noted that the kitchen at least was clean and tidy – probably from lack of use.
"What d'you want to drink?" Ryuichi asked pleasantly.
Yuki suddenly had images of the man offering him milk, or juice, or something stupid like that. When Yuki didn't answer, Ryuichi took the initiative and set a can of beer on the coffee table in front of the writer.
Yuki gripped his hand around the cold beverage and looked up at the singer, feeling slightly grateful. Ryuichi grinned widely at the blond-haired man and left the room, announcing that he was going to bring the snacks. A minute later, Ryuichi re-entered the room and left a selection of the sweets he had bought at the shop on the table before flopping down on the couch beside Kumagoro.
Yuki helped himself to a particularly tasty mini cake. Ryuichi took a bite out of his bun and leaned forward.
"How are you and Shuichi?" he asked, suddenly looking very serious.
"That's none of your business," Yuki replied, suddenly acting very cold. He pulled his lighter from his jacket pocket and snatched up a pack of cigarettes from the table.
"It is my business. Shuichi is my friend. He says you've been acting weird lately and I want to know what's going on."
"I have been acting no different than usual and Shuichi shouldn't even be telling you that!" Yuki stated firmly as he lit up and took a drag of his cigarette. He was starting to get very pissed off.
"I don't want Shuichi to get hurt by you. I need to know – do you even care about him? Or is he just some cheap fuck?" the singer demanded, verging on anger. "What feelings do you have for him?"
Yuki put his face in his hand. He knew how he felt about Shu but wouldn't be that open with this man. At first, Shuichi meant nothing to him. He was just something on the side of all his numerous women. But now, he couldn't imagine his life without the young singer.
"You really do care about him, don't you?" Ryuichi's voice said softly as he felt a hand on his shoulder. Yuki looked up and realised that at some point the man had moved to sit beside him. Yuki said nothing.
"Shuichi really loves you. If you feel the same, you should tell him – otherwise how will he know?"
Yuki looked at the man with newfound respect. For someone so childish, he could be very insightful and deep.
"I know you've been hurt in the past – Tohma has told me about it. Kitazawa was an awful man but Shuichi is a nothing like that and you have nothing to fear in opening up your heart to him." Yuki opened his mouth to thank the singer but no words came out.
He finally managed a weak, "Sakuma-san…" but…
"Right Kumagoro, it's time for your cake!" Ryuichi announced excitedly, lifting his pink bunny and offering him a slice of chocolate cake. Yuki was astonished at the sudden change in the vocalist's behaviour.
Author's Note: Thank you, my lovely readers! Thanks for your patience. Please review and I will try to update soon. No lemon in this chapter but probably in the next one.