Chapter 5: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Let's Make Way For a Big Black Cat.

Everyone was asleep, and Shuichi was lying next to Yuki, his chest was rising and falling gently. It was a good thing that he wasn't having a nightmare. The cicadas chirped outside the room, moonlight washing everything in a silvery color.

Shuichi sat up, gazing at his lover. The moonlight hit his face just right to where Yuki looked like an angel, innocence that no one could touch, but his Yuki...he had to kill someone. Someone he had loved, someone who would've hurt him if he hadn't of stopped him.

The hole in his chest began to open up again, and he clutched his shirt over his heart. Why did he have to be so weak? Why was it he couldn't prove to others and himself that he was strong...like Yuki?

Shuichi took his other hand and grabbed his hair tugging on it, bringing his knee's to his chest, the tears that had been building in his eyes fell down his cheeks.

Yuki was strong, Shuichi wasn't. He was a whiny brat who didn't-

"Shuichi...what's the matter?" He had woken up Yuki. His lover's ruffled hair glistened in the moonlight and his expression was worried. He reached out and brushed his fingers across his cheek.

"What're you thinking about Shuichi...?" He took Yuki's hand and held it against his cheek, smiling.

"How much I love you." It wasn't a complete lie, and his voice trembled a little bit, and Yuki sighed, sitting up more, leaning in, kissing Shuichi gently on the lips, and stared into his eyes.

"It's more than that...I know, you may cry a lot...but, I can tell the difference between your...usual crying, and when it's a serious kind of cry." Shuichi bit his lip, he didn't want to tell Yuki how much of a coward he was...he didn't want him to know the dark feelings that festered inside of him...how could he tell Yuki things that even he himself didn't understand?

"I...Yuki...it's all mixed up..." He felt more and more frustrated from this and he bit his lip again, but harder. Yuki sighed and pried his lip from his teeth.

"Calm down Shuichi...I'm not asking you to bare you darkest parts of your soul. I just want to know what's bothering you right now." Shuichi took a deep breath, and told him. He told him that it felt like the hole in his chest had been closing, but torn back open because he felt like a coward, how he couldn't deal with the small things in life when Yuki himself had went through more.

When Shuichi stopped the tears had started flowing again, and Yuki kissed them away, his frown marred his face in deep thought, and Yuki sighed, running his hand through his blond locks.

"You never do things half assed do you kid?" Shuichi looked up in surprise, as well to of had his lips captured.

It was soft, gentle and a reassuring kiss. When Yuki had released him, Shuichi felt a bit better.

"Come on, let's wake the others up and talk about this." Talk? He didn't want to talk! There was no reason to talk about something like this!

"But Yuki-"

"No 'but's' Shuichi, we want, and WILL help you."

With a defeated sigh Shuichi slumped and began to walk out of the room, since Yuki was standing at the door, waiting for him to go first.

So Yuki and Shuichi did the tenative job of waking everyone up. Shuichi had expected them to be mad at him for interrupting their sleep, waiting for explosions of protests and how Shuichi was being a pest; but it seemed to be fine with them; even Ryuichi didn't complain.

They sat in the living room area, and Shuichi repeated to the group what he had told Yuki...after he declined and insisted everyone go back to bed, only to be met with intimidating glares, and Suguru saying, "We got up for this, I'm not going back to sleep till you tell us what this is about."

There was a pause and Hiro leaned forward and looked deep into Shuichi's eyes, into his very soul. Shuichi for a moment thought that Hiro was going to steal it or something-

"Let me tell you this Shuichi-" Did everyone now think it was funny to interrupt his thoughts? "-when we go through something tramatic, we'll go through a ruff patch and have some scars," To make his point he pointed his finger at Yuki who was looking at the 'Y' shaped haphazard scar closest to Shuichi's heart, since of course Shuichi was wearing a loose robe. His face flushed and he quickly tightened his robe, silently berating himself for being careless, and Hiro continued.

"But the fact is: It takes time to heal the wounds that will eventually make the scars."

Yuki picked up where Hiro left off, his voice low, and calm staring into Shuichi's eyes as well. "It took me many years- with help to get my wound to heal...and you're more sensitive to things so you have many wounds that need healing, Shuichi."

Why couldn't they see that he didn't need the help? He was perfectly fine! He hadn't tried to kill himself, wasn't wishing for his life to be over...he just wanted a form of punishment to make himself remember it was okay to make mistakes.

Ryuichi picked up after that in a serious tone, but the childishness never really left. "You also never ask for help unless it's really bad. So you're wounds might as well be infected especially since you've been letting them fester like you have, you might be okay right now, but in time the infection will spread- get worse, until you can't take it anymore and it's too late for mild help, like you need right now."

Shuichi hugged his knee's to his chest and looked at the wood flooring, how could things end up bad? He knew there was a problem...he needed to fix the problem but he just kept interrupting the daily lives of those he never wanted to bother!

"Shuichi..." It was Hiro, he reached out and lightly ruffled his hair like he had many times before...before everyone knew his secret...his flaw, "We don't want you to get worse, to feel like you need to die. Right now you're in a stage that help can be issued easily, you're not alone, and you're definitely not a bother, okay?"

Shuichi looked up, and dejectedly nodded to his friend. They wanted to help, he didn't want them to help...but he was wasting their lives by fighting the help they were giving him, so what other choice did he have but to just swallow it down?

He tried to smile, but it didn't reach his eyes...he didn't want to feel like this anymore. He wanted to overcome these things, but how? How was he supposed to feel something that was so hard now?

After that small fiasco, everyone was off to bed, and Shuichi and Yuki were alone once more.

"Shuichi?" Yuki asked with a cautiousness tone, and touched his cheek. He had been off in his own little world, and jumped a little when Yuki touched him lightly. For a moment he thought, 'Have they come for more?' Realization hit him like a rock when it was only Yuki who had gently, and lovingly touched him.

Yuki's thumb traced Shuichi's cheek bone and the singer shivered, it wasn't them, Shuichi was safe...Yuki wasn't gone, and he was being loved by Yuki. He could do this.

The next day was better, the sun was shinning, and laughter could be heard throughout the Hot Springs. Suguru and Hiro did a battle of ping pong, while Ryuichi soaked in the hotspring with Shuichi and Yuki.

The day was filled with laughter and fun, Shuichi actually felt like his old self again, but it couldn't last long though. It never did.

He was alone in the hot spring when there was thunder in the distance. "Shuichi!" It was Hiro. "Better come inside, it doesn't look good out there."

"Coming!" Shuichi smiled, got up, and tied a towel around his waist when he heard something rustle in the bushes. He paused and looked at it, perhaps it was a bunny rabbit? Slowly he edged over to the bush, and took a deep breath and pushed away the branches of the bush in one swoop, the space below was completely-

"Shuichi! What're you doing over there?" The sound of Hiro's voice all of a sudden made Shuichi jump a bit. Really? What was with everyone and interupting his thoughts! He laughed a bit hesitantly and turned around.

"Sorry, thought I saw something in the bushes, must've been scared off by me!"

Hiro stared, then laughed.

"Think it could've been a turtle?"

"I thought it might be a rabbit." Shuichi said, running his fingers through his wet hair.

Hiro rose an eyebrow, "Shuichi, stuff like that only happens in manga and anime."

Shuichi grinned, "They also tend to happen in movies and books!"

Hiro ruffled Shuichi's hair, "But this is real life buddy, so...no, I don't think it was a rabbit."

Shuichi shrugged, and walked back into their room, what Shuichi didn't was the black cat on the fence with green eyes watching him. It washed itself a bit and hopped off the fence.

*Skip*

The next morning Shuichi got up before everyone else, and he stretched. Wouldn't they be leaving soon? Who know's, they could be staying till a day before the concert.

Shuichi stripped and took a couple of towels to the hot spring area, and- stopped.

It was pouring outside.

How had he not noticed? As he thought about it..it had been darker than usual out here...Shuichi sighed, maybe he could relax in the rain?

He shivered, and shook his head from that thought. He had had, one too many unpleasant experiences when it came to the rain. He didn't want becoming sick more than he already had, to add onto that list.

As Shuichi turned to head back, there was a strangled 'nya' from the outside and Shuichi looked outside again. A cat?

He went to the door that led to the outside and he heard the pitiful sound again... there was a CAT outside! It was getting soaked, and was probably cold; he couldn't leave it out there! It was pouring, and thundering so much even the sun couldn't shine through the clouds!

"Hold on kitty, I'm coming!"

He dropped the towel, and plunged into the fray and gasped at how cold the water was against his skin!

He shivered but searched for the poor cat that was stuck out here, he was limping but he wasn't exerting himself too badly. Man...Yuki's going to be pissed once he finds out that I'm out here!

A pitiful yowl came from the bushes, so Shuichi made his way over to the shrubbery. Pushing the branches aside, he first noticed the piercing color of the cat's eyes. They were green, a luminescent color.

Shuichi reached down, and the cat stayed put, so quickly he scooped up the poor kitty, and cradled it to his chest.

A thunderclap echoed in the sky, making him jump, and he looked up. "I better hurry back inside.."

Trotting his way back to the door, he reached for his towel, and focused on the- black, yes the fur was black, and swaddled the poor thing, his body was racking itself with violent shivers, and Shuichi realized just how cold he was.

He sneezed and made his way to the bathroom so he could get some hot water going, and get a towel for himself.

"Shuichi?" Said person jumped at the call of his name, and turned swiftly to see who had called to see none other than his lover Yuki smoking a cigarette with wide surprised eyes.

Was Yuki going to be mad? How could he explain this without Yuki thinking he was a total moron? Scratch that. How could he tell Yuki the reason he was soaked was because of a-

"What do you have in your arms Shuichi?"

What to say, what to say?

"A towel." He responded.

Yuki rose a quizzical eyebrow. "And what is in this towel? It's moving."

Shuichi yelped and tried to get a better hold of the wriggling cat, but it only wiggled more, popping it's head out for the world to see.

"Haha...you see Yuki." Shuichi started, "I...saved a cat." He didn't want to tell Yuki his original plan was to take a bath.

"Why are you only wearing your shorts then?" That...was going to be harder to explain without showing his oblivousness.

"Well, you see Yuki, I was walking around without a shirt on when I heard this-"

"You intended to take a bath... weren't you?" Yuki's tone was dark, and his eyes were hidden by his bangs.

"Yuki, I- I didn't notice-" Yuki's hand covered the lead singers mouth, and Yuki's shoulders were shaking. Was his angry? Did he do something wrong again?

What he didn't expect were the chuckles that escaped Yuki's lips. Shuichi stood there shell shocked as the laughter got louder. Yuki showed him his eyes, and they were sparkling with mirth.

"Y-you really are an idiot aren't you?"

Shuichi puffed his cheeks out, even though they were behind a hand, but that made Yuki laugh even harder. When was the last time Shuichi had heard his lovers laugh? A month? Two?

Shuichi smiled, and got an idea. He grabbed Yuki's hand, and began to kiss the palm. Looking at Yuki's with mischief.

Yuki gave out what could only be described, and a giggle-groan. Yuki tugged his hand away, and kissed Shuichi's forehead gently. "What am I going to do with you...?"

Shuichi grinned, and kissed Yuki full on the lips. "Plenty of things...some of them involve-"

"Not on that leg." Yuki cut in with a stern expression, and he turned away to mumble, "..and not when others can plainly hear us..." Shuichi blushed at the statement, then broke down into giggles. Yuki was semiconscious? Who knew!

The cat mewled and Shuichi looked down at it. "I better get this little guy dry."

Yuki shook his head and took the black mass away from Shuichi. "No, you go take a warm bath, and I'll dry this cat. There's no need for you to risk getting pneumonia when you're already healing. Go, Shoo." Yuki waved Shuichi away, and said singer sulked to hte bathroom, turning the hot water on to fill the tub so he could warm up his body and relax.

Once the water was filled in, and he added the oils he wanted, turning the water a green-ish color, he slipped in it, and moaned in at the heat relaxing his muscles.

For a while he just soaked in the tub, letting his thoughts wander from one thing to another.

Like...what all had happened to him in the rain. But he shook his head wildly at the thought, and dunked himself in the tub, forcing himself to stay beneath the surface, loving the feeling of the water caressing him.

If only he could stay under here where it was safe...then he wouldn't worry anyone, and he could dream up any reality he wanted...

He stayed there until his bodily instincts forced him to rise took over, and gasped out loudly in the bathroom, panting to get precious air back into his lungs. He realized that it may not of been the best idea to nearly drown himself...

He sighed, and leaned back to look at the ceiling... It was okay if he could doze-

There was a loud screech, and yells from beyond his door, and Shuichi sat up curiously, and got out of the tub, and quickly dried himself off, and exited the bathroom after he put on a robe.

He was drying his hair when a black mass of fur jumped into his arms, and burrowed into the crook of his elbow, purring.

Stunned, he looked up to see that Hiro, and Yuki's chests were heaving and there was a crazed look in their eye as they stares at Shuichi's 'problem'.

"Shuichi.." Hiro panted. "That cat is evil."

Shuichi looked from the purring mass in his arms to his best friend and then to his lover, but the only thing he could think of saying was: "Huh?"

*Peaks out* Uh...Hi! Don't be mad! Pleeeaaaassssseeee don't be mad...I just had to find my bearings! I know where things are going now...but I'm just having trouble, getting there. I even made the chapter extra long! Well...not by much, but I made it longer! I'll try and get the chapter updated as soon as I can, yeah?

Remember: Read, Review and Rainbows Need Rain! Till Next Time~~