"YOUR SECRET, MY STRENGTH"

by: L. Monster

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

This story is 100% raw, English is not my first language and I don't have a beta, I've decided to post it anyways hoping my mistakes aren't too annoying. I tried to keep their personalities as close to the manga as I could. I'm not exactly a great writer but I do have a big imagination. This little story amused me to no end and I wished to share it with fans like myself.

If there are still some Gravi fans out there who like myself, have absolutely refused to give up fanfiction, well, let's share some love alright?

It was definitely something Shuichi had never in a million years expected to see as he burst into the apartment. For a split second he feared Yuki would kill him afterwards to be rid of the sole witness to the scene. Especially if he carried out his plan. Instantly, Shuichi broke into a giant, disturbing cheshire cat smile.

Yuki Eiri, prominent writer, excellent cook, skilled lover and one of the most beautiful faces in Japan, had a terrible secret, a secret he had managed to keep hidden for well over 20 years. No one in his family, not even his manipulative know-it-all meddlesome brother in law had ever come close to finding out his one weakness, his kryptonite. No one, until that afternoon when the damn brat came home early from work.

Bad Luck had been working overtime for the past few weeks, taking care of all the negotiations and preparations attached to a big budget American movie cameo offer. It was a huge deal indeed, even manipulative know-it-all meddlesome Seguchi Tohma was left dumbstruck at the sudden proposal. The band, most importantly Shuichi had been offered a small role in an action packed Hollywood movie which the biggest names in the industry were fighting over, but of course Judy Winchester had been casted as the female lead, her one condition was that the Japanese group Bad Luck be casted for the nightclub scenes.

Shuichi had been the only one of the band who had been given lines so he had been working exceptionally hard the past few weeks, working until late with Mrs. Winchester who had offered her help as his acting coach, unheard of! The scene was pretty short, although most certainly one of the most intense moments in the whole movie. Judy was playing the role of a professional assassin who had been hired to kill the man she ultimately falls in love with, in the process she ends up finding her humanity when a beautiful young stranger at a nightclub selflessly puts himself between her and a bullet and dies in her arms, saving her life.

That role had been coveted by almost every big name in Hollywood who matched the description and was the appropriate age, but Judy Winchester, for whom the movie had been practically written, had hands down refused the role if Shuichi weren't casted as the beau.

What does this have to do with Yuki's secret? Well, aren't we impatient, you think creation happened in a second? Well, neither does revelation.*

The scene had been beautifully written and Shuichi's lines were agonisingly heart-breaking, to make the best of it Judy had insisted in rehearsing the scene over and over again in different scenarios, doing a lot of improvising at first just so Shuichi would let go of the natural comedian in him and step into the depths and self-awareness of dramatic performance. It hadn't been easy at all, quite the contrary.

"No, no, no!" the beautiful actress cried as she pinched the bridge of her nose with her right hand, holding the script with the other hand and dangling it by her side. She approached the young singer who laid sprawled on the small improvised stage inside an empty rehearsal room at NG Pro's headquarters, looking very much like he were suffering from an epilepsy attack. "You were just shot in the stomach, yes its painful, yes you're dying, but you do understand death is supposed to be tragic, right?!"

The singer, who had just the second before twitched and contorted like a lime-splashed ringworm in fast motion, suddenly sat up and crossed his legs in front of him. "But Judy-sama, you were standing so far away, if I didn't move like that how else would you have known that I was dying?" he asked innocently while scratching his ear like a puppy.

"Because I just told you I shot you!" she threw the script up in the air in exasperation, "Listen kid," she sighed "we've been doing this for two weeks now, we've tried miming, tap dancing, props, blackmail, sock puppets and every other thing short of plain torture. I'm extremely tempted to just take out my Mag and shoot you myself for real so you can at least give me one small glimpse of the sweet agony of death!" she yelled. "I swear if you weren't this fucking pretty I would have gone for Rob a long time ago!"

Indeed they had almost tried every technique in the book to make Shuichi bring out some real emotion on command. They had initially tried pretending that Yuki had died, they role-played the scene with Judy as Yuki in order to have Shuichi witness how a professional handles death on command. The result was catastrophic, with Shuichi hysterically sobbing for hours on end until Judy had to eventually clock him on the back of the neck with her handgun. From that moment on, 'Dying Yuki' had become a banned scenario to reenact.

The actress decided to try another approach for the time being. She lifted up the singer from the collar of his shirt and turned him around, his back towards her.

"We're going to try a technique called 'Whispering mean things to Shuichi in the hopes that he will react with some emotion', I've heard from Claude it works like a charm on you."

The singer started shivering slightly, he knew where this was going, Yuki used this on him all the time. Well, to him it wasn't really a technique more than just plain signs of annoyance. He still hated it though.

"We're back in high school now, you've just failed your final exam and that means you won't be able to graduate, the girl- uh, guy you have a crush on is standing right behind you now." the actress spoke as she removed her own scarf and blindfolded the singer.

"Got it."

Judy cleared her throat and lowered her tone as deep as she could manage, she was a woman with an incredible vocal range so this wasn't a problem for her at all. She leaned in close to the singer's left ear and started breathing heavily, as if she had just ran up to him from a long way away.

"I just found out… about the exam thing, Shu," it was amazing how close it sounded to a real high school boy's voice.

Shuichi had been trained as of late to follow along any type of improvisation, as ridiculous as he found it, so he reacted almost instantly.

"I'm just… worried, you know? My mom said if I didn't pass this exam I wouldn't be allowed to go to prom, even if I've already got the dress" the singer replied very convincingly. Dress though? Judy smiled inwardly, good for him, she thought. Taking a personal experience to play along an improvisation is always the place to start for a beginner.

"You can't be too surprised really," she leaned in closer and hissed, "you're bloody stupid."

High school Shuichi gasped and pulled his fist to his mouth, biting hard on his knuckles, "Why-why are you saying this things all of a sudden? I thought we would go to prom together!" his voice was escalating dangerously, perfectly well played.

"Who would ever wanna go to prom with you?" Judy laughed malignantly, "You're not only ugly and lanky, now I'm pretty sure you're the dumbest kid around, nobody'd ever wanna be seen hanging out with you."

"Jonathan Alexander- Fujisaki!" he whimpered as he improvised, "You say the most horrible things!" he sighed deeply.

"I'm just saying, you shouldn't be surprised. Besides, I already asked Mark to the prom, we're going together, don't worry, I'll email you the pictures later, hah hah hah!" High school imaginary Jonathan Alexander Fujisaki positively howled with laughter.

"What? You're gay?" High school Shuichi suddenly asked, perplexed.

"Wha-" Judy suddenly broke character but recovered instantly, "Well, of course! We both are you idiot, and so is Mark, who's going to prom with me, did you not hear me?!" she stammered.

"I'm not gay!" he responded, offended. "Or a lesbian, for that matter!"

Wait, what? "Shuichi, hang on, you've got me all confused now, what's going on?" Judy was a professional, but even she couldn't continue an improvisation when sudden character changes like that occurred. This wasn't a comedy after all!

"Well, I'm a girl, right?" he asked innocently, as he turned around and removed the blindfold. "You said you were the guy I had a crush on in high school, that could only mean that I'm a girl, right?"

"No, you jackass! You're supposed to be a boy and I'm playing the boy you have a crush on! Didn't you say 'Got it' after I explained?" she went back to the nose bridge pinching from before. "And aren't you fucking gay!?"

"Oohhh! Well you see, I didn't know I was gay until I met Yuki! In fact, I'm not even gay, I'm Yuki-sexual. Although in high school I did date a couple of girls! Hahaha, so I was supposed to play a boy? Now that I think of it that would have been more natural!" he chuckled.

Judy let out a loud groan of exasperation before taking back her scarf and stuffing it into her own mouth. "Youu aghh ggombledely youffleff!"

Damn, Shuichi knew he wasn't exactly a good actor but boy he really had no idea he sucked that bad. Tears starting filling his big violet eyes while his lower lip was dangerously close to being pouted off his face. They really had been doing this late tutoring thing for weeks, everyday without exceptions, it had been two weeks since he had last come home to find Yuki still awake. He suddenly dropped down on his knees.

Judy took a deep breath, turned to face him and walked directly at him, kneeling just inches away from his face. "Listen sugar, you're talented and I believe you can do this, it's just a matter of breaking the shell, and threats and insults aren't doing it for you," she almost whispered as she wiped away his tears with a motherly caress, "you just don't let yourself go, and that's normal at the beginning, don't get me wrong, real good actors aren't the ones who can recall their personal experiences to bring forth emotion during a scene, but the ones who can fake an emotion at a moment's notice, and that only comes with practice, that's the only thing you're missing, understand?"

"Y-y-yes, Judy-sama, thank you for being so patient with me" Shuichi sniffed lamely.

"Give yourself a break for today, go home to that evil boyfriend of yours" she stood up and turned her back on the singer, "see if you can get him to punch you really hard in the stomach for me."

The pink haired boy's eyes opened up in surprise "I-I get to go home early today?!" he almost shrieked in disbelief.

"Sure kid," she smiled, "But I am giving you some homework!"

"Ho-homework?" Shuichi had always hated that word almost as much as homework had hated him back.

Judy laughed at the expression on the singer's face. "Don't worry, it's a fun one! It'll help you familiarise with how emotions are created, and that will ultimately end in facilitating your ability to fake emotions on command!"

"I'll do anything Judy-sama asks me to do!" he positively squealed now, relieved.

"Remember the other day when we talked about opposite emotions?" she asked.

"Prudechick something and his chart of emotions, right?" the singer asked excitedly.*

The actress smiled with mischief and leaned in to whisper in Shuichi's ear.

Shuichi had lost no time in gathering up his things and running out of the building before his crazy manager or any other crazy person at the company spotted him and dragged him directly into the nearest recording room. He ran all the way back to the apartment building Yuki and him were currently living in, having moved quite a few times in the past couple years they'd been together. He grinned madly, barely able to contain his own crazy anticipation. He was running home to see Yuki! Nothing could beat that!

As he crossed the last park before arriving, galloping like a gazelle in mating season, he kept repeating the same words in his mind, panting and puffing like a madman. Anger - Fear, Joy - Sadness, Trust - Disgust, Optimism - Disappointment oh this is so hard!

"Yuki is going to be so angry at me for playing this on him, but I can't help it! I promised Judy-sama! And Yuki will understand once he sees me on the big screen! … I hope?" he told himself as he reached the building and ran towards the elevator.

Love - Remorse, Submission - Contempt, Surprise - Anticipation, Awe - Aggression… oh God I hope he doesn't get too violent! He thought once more before exiting the elevator and heading for the door, pulling out his key from his front pocket and sliding it in the lock. He suddenly burst into the apartment like fireworks, his heart racing with anticipation… which according to his assignment meant that he had to fake the exact opposite emotion: Surprise.

"YUUUUU-"

The singer stopped short at the sight in front of his eyes.

Yuki Eiri, prominent writer, excellent cook, skilled lover and one of the most beautiful faces in Japan, had a terrible secret, a secret he had managed to keep hidden for well over 20 years. No one in his family, not even his manipulative know-it-all meddlesome brother in law had ever come close to finding out his one weakness, his kryptonite. No one, until that afternoon when the damn brat came home early from work.

Yuki Eiri was standing on the coffee table, shirtless and holding his laptop close to his chest. His face pale as a ghost, his eyes bloodshot and a giant vein was popping out of his forehead. He looked up at his newly arrived lover by the doorframe frozen in mid-air.

"Shu-Shuichi," he gasped almost inaudibly, "there's-there's- " he broke off as he pointed his left index finger towards his office door.

It took Shuichi a split second to realise what was going on. He barely even registered his lover calling him by his name instead of the usual 'Idiot'. Only one thing was happening right now, Yuki was scared out of his wits standing on top of the coffee table and the offending… something… was somewhere in the apartment. He couldn't help but smile at this. Yuki was scared! It was a miracle his own head didn't inflate from a cuteness overdose and exploded right there!

Wait! What was this emotion?… Shuichi thought hard for a couple of seconds.

"Shu-Shuichi!" the terrified novelist screamed, trying to get his boyfriend out of that seemingly deep trance he was in.

The singer decided after that short moment of contemplation that he was feeling something close to Awe. No, scratch that, he was feeling the most awestruck he had ever felt his entire life! Time to play! A little red light went off in his brain, get set: AGRESSION-mode, GO!

"WHERE IS IT?!" The petit singer roared, kicking off his shoes with so much force they flew directly at the Kumagoro lamp by the sofa, knocking it over and smashing it to pieces. He walked forwards lifting up his knees up to his chest with every step he gave, resembling a giant walking over a tiny little village, looking at the floor for any signs of anything that might have upset the writer. "COME OUT MOTHERFUCKER!" He roared once more, eyes positively shining with fire. "WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?!"

The handsome novelist failed to notice anything at all, he was in the middle of a full phobia attack and couldn't register anything other than the fact that IT was hiding somewhere in the house, and IT had last been spotted inside his studio, which he ran out of immediately and almost tripped over the living room's sofa while holding on to his laptop and taking off his shirt in panic. In the studio!

"Stu-stu-stu-" the novelist stammered.

"STEWART! YOU'RE DEAD ASSHOLE!" Yelled the pink haired singer as he singlehandedly lifted the sofa over his head and smashed it against the television set.

The sudden crash of wood and cotton over electronic appliances and the slight short circuit that turned off and on the lights of the apartment for the tiniest moment seemed to reanimate the novelist for a second, he blinked stupidly a couple of times, straightened up slightly and turned to look at his berserk lover who was currently in the middle of a deafening roar while tearing off his shirt with his bare hands.

"Shu- IDIOT!" Yelled the novelist trying to catch his boyfriend's attention, our favourite singer immediately looked up. Taking a couple of seconds once more for the situation to down in, Shuichi looked at himself and the state of the living room, then gazed back once more at his lover whose panicked expression hadn't levelled, only he was looking slightly more self-aware. Shuichi felt an incontrollable surge of guilt at his sudden outburst.

*GRIIIIGT* A chirping sound was heard all over the apartment as if magnified a thousand times. Yuki Eiri's remaining colour completely drained off his beautiful face and his hair stood on edge. "SHUICHI!" He managed to yelp once more as he fully returned to his panic-stricken phobia attack, closing his eyes and holding on to his laptop for dear life.

Shuichi thought hard for a second once more, guilt, guilt, guilt… Remorse? The red light went off again, get set: LOVE-mode, GO!

"Oh my God!" the pink haired singer cried as he kneeled in front of the recently smashed bits of lamp all over the floor, "I LOVED you SO much!" he stiffly whimpered as he tried to put together some of the broken pieces.

Yuki's ears were up and trying to spot the source of the offending chirping sound while his lover kneeled on the floor singing something that sounded disturbingly similar to Queen's very own "Love of my Life".

"SHH!" The novelist cringed, "Listen, listen!" He looked manic, he had passed dishevelled a good 20 miles ago. Shuichi suddenly got up and stood by his lover's side, listening intently.

*GRIIIIIIIIIIIGT* The chirping sound was heard once more, this time coming directly from the kitchen. It wasn't a closed kitchen, more like an extension of the living room with a very long kitchen island in the middle. *GRIIIIIIIIGT* it chirped once more. Understanding suddenly downed in the singer, Oh. My. God.

Yuki was afraid of crickets?

*GRIIIIIIIIIIIIGT* It chirped yet again, the novelist suddenly dropped his laptop which landed with a mighty crash over the coffee table as he immediately covered his ears with his forearms while digging his nails into his scalp, an abnormaly terrorised expression on his beautiful face.

Yuki was afraid of crickets!

A sudden incontrollable wave of deepest love suddenly washed over the singer, his eyes turning into giant violet hearts that took their time to focus on the problem at hand. Yuki was terrified! He HAD to do something! Oh, but this feeling, this LOVE! He felt like his own heart would explode without a moment's notice!

*GRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII IGT* The evil cricket chirped once more, pulling the singer out of his reverie, it was so damn hard to concentrate on his emotions as all he was doing was purely feeling. Alright, he decided to calm down for a second. What is it, what is it, what is this feeling, I can't seem to get a hold of myself, he thought.

"Got it! I'm surprised! I'm helplessly in love but I'm also indescribably surprised!"

SURPRISE! The red light went off again, ready: ANTICIPATION-mode, GO!

As the chirping became softer Shuichi induced the cricket was getting comfortable somewhere, anticipation, anticipation, focus, focus! He repeated to himself, pull yourself together Shindou! Anticipation!

The novelist's legs were slowly giving in, his fingers digging tightly into his scalp, he bent down lower and lower until he was resting his butt directly on his heels, almost hiding his head between his knees, an automatic response of his body trying to calm itself down.

"A CRICKET!" Yelled the pink haired boy as he suddenly began jumping up and down heading towards the kitchen. The sudden mention of the name of evil prickled Yuki's ears and drew out a cry so hollow he was afraid he would die of a heart attack. He turned towards the kitchen and spotted his lover holding out an empty jar and a newspaper on his other hand, undoubtedly trying to catch the offending spectre of Satan.

Only he failed to register the words coming out of his lover's lips.

"I'm so excited! I can't wait! Oh my God, cricket! Come out, come out! We're going to have SO MUCH FUN together I just can't wait any longer!" he screamed and giggled madly as he opened drawers, threw out pots and knives went flying everywhere, it was indeed the second miracle of the day that he didn't slice his hand off while in search for the little cricket.

Finally, as one last chirp was heard, Shuichi managed to trap the little creature inside the jar with the help of his mighty newspaper, it was the tiniest little city grasshopper you ever saw, Shuichi felt a pang of pity for the creature, now that he and caught it he would have to take it outside far, far away from the apartment. And with that thought he realised he was feeling slightly disappointed at the prospect of giving up the little critter, a type of creature that Shuichi was perfectly fond of. He covered the jar with his other hand and rushed back into the living room.

"YUKIII!" He yelled, "I got it!" as he ran towards his lover, unaware of the repercussions of parading the object of Yuki Eiri's deepest phobia in front of his barely composed face.

The moment the novelist turned his gaze upon the evil bug, its little eyes rolled towards the golden orbs staring down at it and chirped one last time. Eiri's eyelids felt suddenly too heavy and he passed out on the coffee table.

"So, you didn't know?" chuckled the dark-haired monk as he helped himself to a beer from the fridge.

The pink haired singer shook his head, he was sitting on the kitchen island, a cup of tea between his tiny hands looking exhausted and worried. "Wait, you knew?" he suddenly looked up at his lover's almost identical looking younger brother.

"Of course he knew, we all did" a crisp voice suddenly spoke up, Shuichi turned his gaze to see his boss Seguchi Tohma, closely followed by his wife entering the apartment and walking over shards of glass, broken furniture and pieces of laptop towards the kitchen.

"I'm surprised you didn't know, why do you think you've moved house so often in the past couple years?" the elegant woman asked as she snatched the can of beer from Tatsuha's still underage hands.

"How is he doing?" asked the blond keyboardist.

"He's sleeping it off," replied the singer "after he passed out I immediately turned to the Hulk and carried him to the bed" he lied.

"Well I'm glad to hear that" spoke the oldest Uesugi.

It got Shuichi thinking, he had never bothered asking Yuki why he had suddenly decided to move apartments once, sometimes even twice a year.

"Eiri has a severe phobia of crickets, grasshoppers and any other kind of chirping jumping critter, not frogs though," the president added, sensing the singer's approaching question. "He's always careful with appearances, and if we didn't already know his little secret, we would certainly be puzzled about it" he ended.

Shuichi put a finger up to his lips and looked up at the ceiling. So was Yuki going to ask them to move instead of admitting there was a cricket in the house and he was afraid of it? That didn't sound half as crazy as Shuichi initially thought, it fitted his lover's personality like a glove.

"Only this time someone walked in on him!" laughed the younger Uesugi brother, "Tell me Shuichi, did he pee his pants?" he giggled madly and earned himself a smack on the head from his older sister who, we must admit, had trouble herself repressing a laugh.

"There's loads of them in Kyoto, especially at our family house," the monk spoke while massaging his scalp. " Our father has this strict 'no harming animals' rule you see," Tatsuha began telling the group, "the filthy hypocrite, only last week I caught him chasing mosquitoes with a newspaper."

Shuichi giggled at the thought.

"It's true," interjected Mika, "when Eiri was little he used to sleep with his mouth wide open, one night a cricket jumped into his mouth and the poor kid woke up so scared he accidentally swallowed it, he swore he could hear chirping coming from his stomach for the next few months, really traumatised him" she ended, this time laughing light-heartedly at the memory.

They all shared the laugh for the time being. Shuichi suddenly looked down at his hands, it was obvious what was bothering him, Yuki would be SO pissed off the next day when he realised his secret had been discovered.

"Don't worry Shuichi," spoke the oldest Uesugi, as she watched the singer's brow furrow. "After a panic attack such as this one, he won't remember a thing in the morning. Just empty his liquor cabinet and drop a couple bottles on the floor, tomorrow he'll think he got wasted and smashed his own laptop." she winked at the boy.

The pink haired boy sighed with relief. "I'll do that!" he beamed.

"I myself found out about his phobia the first time I met him," began Seguchi Tohma "I was already dating Mika-san you see, she took me to Kyoto to meet her family and little Eiri was as charming as a little butterfly," he stopped for a moment, savouring the memory. "I introduced myself as an aspiring keyboardist and he asked me my band's name," he chuckled. "It was the funniest thing…"

To everyone's surprise Seguchi Tohma started laughing madly, holding a hand to his mouth to cover it up.

"When I told him the band's name was 'Nittle Grasshopper' I was sure he was going to pass out!" he laughed wholeheartedly. "As you know we ended up changing the name, my suggestion of course."

The atmosphere was so welcoming they ended up ordering takeout and talking more about Yuki's childhood, they couldn't not seize the opportunity, the usually grumpy unapproachable writer was unconscious for the evening. It was a wonderful night and Shuichi was pleasantly surprised at the willingness of the Uesugi brother and sister, and his boss, at sharing these intimate memories of his one true love.

As they all got up to leave many hours later, Mika turned to the pink haired singer.

"I'm glad you discovered his secret, but you'll have to safe-proof all windows you know," she winked at him once more. "And congratulations on the movie role! I'm sure you'll do great and we're all very, very proud of you!" she smiled, then the unprecedented happened, she leaned over and kissed Shuichi on the cheek. A rosy tinge crept up the singer's face and he raised his hand to his cheek, feeling the warmth of his blush with the palm of his hand.

The image in the big screen suddenly turned opaque, the intermittent lights in the nightclub slowed down and the focus was turned towards the androgynous young boy's face, convulsing in the arms of the beautiful woman. The music seemed muffled, although it hadn't stopped. Far from it, the melody dropped a few tones and the beat slowed down, perfectly mirroring the impotence, the wavering of the scene. Still, all that was heard by the audience, the sound that captured their attention was but the rattling of the boy's breath, the beating of the woman's broken heart. The voice of remorse that spoke so fluently, so desperately through her slightly parted lips. Streams of deep crimson splurged from the angry wound on the boy's abdomen contrasting beautifully with the otherwise pale surroundings.

"Je-Jessica?" whispered the young man on the brink of death.

"I'm … I'm here, Jonathan!" the woman whimpered, desperately trying to cover the wound with her right hand, as she held the boy's head up with her left. "Your name is Jonathan, isn't it?" she asked between gasps for air, anything to keep him awake before the paramedics arrived. No, let this not be happening…

"Jonathan… Alexander…" the boy whispered, suddenly grasping the woman's arm with his own bloody hands, releasing the pressure on his stomach, the wound splurged blood freely and seeing this, the woman cried No, no…

"It's alright," he spoke, staring at her eyes filled to the brim with bitter tears. "It's alright, I don't mind…"

"Oh my GOD, Shuichi!" Hiro leaned forwards and choking with tears whispered to his friend who was sitting in the row directly in front, "This is AMAZING!" He barely managed to finish in between mouthfuls of popcorn and tears streaming down his face.

"SHH!" Judy Winchester turned around disapprovingly holding a finger to her red lips.

"Promise-" a horrible hollow coughing sound cut him off short and fresh blood splattered their entwined fingers, droplets trickling down the boy's platinum ring, "Promise me you'll smile again… that smile I glimpsed as we danced… carefree… happy… promise me!" the boy's body shook violently, his voice was powerful, omnipresent.

"Awww! Tatsuha you're such a wimp na no da!"

"SHHH!"

"I…" pearly tears escaped her eyes, shining like diamonds, glittering bright as her jewellery, carving streams down her ivory cheeks. "Why? Why did you do this?" She suddenly questioned, the boy's features appearing blurred at the edges, "You don't even know me…"

"Oh for GODSSAKE, Winchester Claude! You don't cry like this whenever I die in every other movie!"

"SHHHHH!"

"Well… I wanted to," the boy smiled. It was no ordinary smile, it carried a message within, although she didn't know it, although she hadn't realised yet, that smile, that dying twinkling in the boy's eyes held the meaning of her own existence, the reason she was alive, it wasn't a miracle… it wasn't fate… it was a second chance.

"Who… who the hell got Morgan Freeman to narrate this, that's what I wanna know…" sniffled Suguru Fujisaki, unable to restrain himself any longer and holding a handkerchief to his nose, blowing heartily.

"SHHHHHHH!"

"We are what we do, Jessica" Jonathan Alexander chuckled humourlessly. "I've never been anything in particular, I've never done anything extraordinary…" his voice was barely above a whisper now, that air, that aroma, that last speck of light in his glimmering eyes, whatever it was that inhabited that boy's body was slowly giving in… slowly fading away… "I might just have met you tonight… but none of that matters to me right now. I'm going to die, but I'll die knowing it was my wish to do so… to die in the place of someone, is such a wonderful feeling."

"Oh… Tohma…" cried the extremely elegant woman, holding a silk handkerchief to her eyes.

"Shh, I know dear, I know." Seguchi Tohma tried to comfort his wife by caressing her back.

"All I've ever done…" she whispered close to his ear "...is evil." She couldn't hold herself steady any longer, her shoulders shook, her hands shivered, her eyelashes sprinkled tears like rosin moist humming-bird wings.

"Shin- Shindou-san!" Sakano broke down in tears, dropping his teacup on the floor.

"SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

"No, Jessica… smile, you are what you do…" the boy's eyelids gave in under the weight of a thousand sleepless nights, it wasn't possible to keep his eyes open more than it was to swallow the moon with a flick of his tongue. "So just, smile."

Jonathan Alexander gazed one last time into the deep brown eyes of the woman he gave his life for, and deemed it worthy. He took a deep breath and his heart stopped, although the ground didn't claim its fill of blood until many minutes after. The world could have stopped, it could have fast-forwarded, it could have spinned back in time… it didn't matter. What mattered was here and now. When Jessica finally stopped crying the sun was shining bright high over the hills…

A single silent tear made its way down the young man's beautiful silky skin. It wasn't pride over his performance, it wasn't anguish or fear of failure either, he was simply feeling. This meant the world to him, not the movie, not the approval of his peers, but the slight pressure of the hand resting over his, the tightening of the slender pale fingers intertwined with his. Two platinum rings in two different hands pressing against each other and not willing to leg to.

-

What an after party that was. Shuichi knew red-carpet events and movie premiers were an absolute hoot in Hollywood, and being able to share it not only with his co-workers, his friends, his family, but also with his lover, it was a night he would never forget.

Flashlights stopped blinding him, he stopped caring, as he walked out of the projecting room, holding hands with the love of his life, it didn't matter if the movie had turned out to be yet another ripoff of an excellent 70s movie, it didn't matter if the soundtrack barely even played 5 seconds of his own music, it didn't even matter if his fans ended up hating it, (which they did not, by the way) what mattered was here and now.

Hiro and Fujisaki approached him as soon as they got the opportunity and embraced him proudly, admiringly. His performance had been so moving it shed a whole new type of light over the singer's overwhelming personality. It was unexpected, it was irresistible. All of it as in a blur, it came as it went.

The singer shook hands left and right. He met this important person after that other important person, Judy Winchester simply refused to pose for a picture without Shuichi's arm support. K and Sakano took to drinking, announcing to the whole world what an absolute pleasure it was to work with Shindou Shuichi everyday. Seguchi Tohma was all smiles, bordering in laughter. Shuichi was aware that he had become a giant celebrity in America overnight. That didn't matter either.

In between handshakes and polite words he would steal glimpses at the beautiful man in the all-black tux politely making conversation with the more intellectual selection of the guests at the after party. And he would eventually catch him glimpsing back at him. Even out of the corner of his deep violet eyes he wouldn't leave his lover out of his sight for a second. And the feeling was returned. There was nobody else in the room but the two of them, it was a mutual consent, regardless of the fact that they sometimes found themselves standing in opposite corners of the room talking to complete strangers, it was all background music. It was a chessboard with two remaining pieces on it, even if the chessboard was far from empty.

But the night couldn't last forever, one by one the guests starting excusing themselves, some to continue the party somewhere else, like a certain dark-green haired rockstar and his *ehem* guard, others to return home like a well established couple of many years. Some others simply drunk with glee, exhausted and eager to return home and play some random anime episode.

Within minutes, Shuichi found himself hauled into a black limousine, he had no intentions of finding out who suddenly held him around the waist and almost carried him alongside. His nose already knew. As the door shut closed and darkness engulfed him, he licked his anticipating lips and welcomed the immediate intrusion.

As if contrasting the almost feverish dawdling of the night's events, the next couple of minutes went by in a flash. Hungry kisses and impatient grasping overtook him. He knew they weren't heading anywhere in particular, but he also knew there was no rush.

"Yuki…" Shuichi sighed.

"I don't know what sort of dark magic you conjured up in there…" the novelist whispered into the singer's ear, "even if that movie SUCKED," Shuichi giggled but was abruptly silenced by yet another devouring kiss, "you really pulled it off out there, kid."

"Yuki…" the singer whispered yet again.

"Hn?"

"Love," A slightly bright red light went off in Shuichi's brain. Ready, LOVE-mode, GO!

Eiri chuckled, uncharacteristically light-heartedly.

"Sure."

-

Many months had gone by since the premiere, everything had gone back to normal. The crazy schedule, the releasing of one single after the other within only weeks of topping the charts. Yuki's deadlines, those damned, damned deadlines that kept stealing Shuichi's love away night after night.

But tonight however, both singer and novelist were enjoying their night off watching Shuichi's movie on cable.

"I still can't believe how bad that movie is." The novelist interjected as soon as the credits started rolling.

"Yukii…" the singer whimpered, "You don't mean that!"

The blond tightened his grasp around the singer's waist and ruffled his pink hair with his free hand. "I didn't say it was you who made it suck." he clarified haughtily. "Although barely." he finished, rather cruelly. His words were cold, his tone was not.

"Whatever," the singer interposed. "You can say whatever you want, I know you bought the BluRay!" holding a finger up the novelist's lips and shaking his head 'no' as if scolding him.

Yuki suddenly stood up and Shuichi slipped down the leather couch almost hitting the ground from the sudden movement. The blond shrugged off the remains of the conversation and headed towards the kitchen, undoubtedly to brew himself a cup of Joe.

"Tell me one thing," the novelist suddenly asked, Shuichi looked up at him unable to hide the giant smile plastered all over his face. "Your acting classes were going like shit," he raised a finger before Shuichi could interrupt. "Ah, ah, I know everything, that crazy woman called me one night all hysterical, blaming me for not dying often enough to get you used to tragedy."

Shuichi couldn't believe Judy had done that! Although come to think of it… he had almost pushed her to her limits…

"How did you do it… you know," he struggled to find the words. "Act… correctly?"

Instantly, Shuichi broke into a giant, disturbing cheshire cat smile.

-

The moment the novelist turned his gaze upon the evil bug, its little eyes rolled towards the golden orbs staring down at it and chirped one last time. Eiri's eyelids felt suddenly too heavy and he passed out on the coffee table.

Shuichi had been so focused on the pretty little green critter inside the crystal jar that it took him a couple of seconds to register his lover suddenly sprawled all over the coffee table. But when he did-

*Crash* the crystal jar dropped from his languid hands and the little evil cricket jumped and jumped for his life.

"YYYYUUUUUUUKKKIIIIIIIIII!" Shuichi's eyes dilated with fear, a terrible feeling of divine retribution overwhelmed him all of a sudden and all he could think of was 'what's the opposite of a terrible feeling of divine retribution' before he finally realised this was an emergency, hell, this was THE emergency!

The singer yelped desperately, pulling hard from his hair. "Oh my GOD, Yuki! What-what am I going to do?! Yuki! YUUUKKKIII! Are you dead? Oh my god, did… did I KILL YOU?!" His eyes became black and white spirals and the worst possible images started projecting themselves before his eyes.

"No, no…" he whispered, as he reached down to scoop Yuki's motionless body from the coffee table, head resting on the singer's left arm while he tried to feel the beating of his heart with his right. "Oh… please, PLEASE Yuki! ANSWER ME!" He screamed in agony. Tears made their way down his cheeks, his shoulders shivered, his hands shook.

Wait, hang on a second.

An idea had just popped into the singer's head and mind you, it was one of those ideas that one couldn't just dispel unless immediately put to the test. Hell, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity he couldn't just let slip by…

Shuichi cradled his lover's head between his knees, still lifting it up with is left hand, only he moved his right hand towards the novelist's abdomen, pressing slightly.

The novelist let out a barely audible whimper which sounded disturbingly close to 'Damn- damn brat."

"I'm… I'm here Jonathan!" the singer whimpered…

-

OWARI

*I'm a big Salman Rushdie fan, yes, I stole a phrase that I quote here, from the Satanic Verses.
*I know shit about acting, I made everything up as I wrote it, but I did Wiki search some stuff about emotions, Shuichi is referring to Plutchik's wheel of emotions. More on it here: wiki/Contrasting_and_categorization_of_emotions

Hope that wasn't too horrible! If you've read this far, a reward! I've translated and subtitled Gravitation Sound Story III (since I couldn't find a translation anywhere I decided to do it myself!) and it's up and running on Youtube! Search for Gravitation Sound Story 3 English Subtitles and you'll sure find it!

Second Gravi fic.
YUKI X SHUICHI FOREVER!