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Fanfiction > Angst > Realities of Life > Author: Despina Hits: 2867
Author’s Note: Okay, here we go with Realities of Life. There are two things you need to know about this story. 1) If you have not read “Illusions of Life” you may be confused. 2) This story will switch perspectives from Shuichi to Eiri (so far, those are the only two.) Please note that Shuichi is much more of a “stream of consciousness” type of guy and I tried to portray that when writing from his point of view.

Kri – Bring it on, baby! My beta deserted me for an out of town wedding. You aren’t interested, are you? Two would be better than one, but I know you are busy with school…

Disclaimer: Gravitation is not mine and I make no money from using the characters. But Kyosuke is mine, all mine.

Realities of Life

Chapter 1
The Beat of Love

You take my mind and you cheat it.
You take my body and heat it,
Then you take my heart and you beat it.
And the beat of love goes on.

I opened my eyes and turned my head to see the time on the alarm clock. Blond hair blocked my view. Eiri. It was Eiri.

For three weeks now, each time I opened my eyes and found him sleeping next to me, I was surprised all over again.

Eiri. I reached out and touched his sun-colored hair. Eiri. The love of my life. The bane of my existence. It was very hard for me to separate the two very powerful feelings I had for him.

I watched as he snuggled down into the pillow, giving that soft, gentle smile only sleep can bring to him. He was so messed up, there was so much emotional damage done to him, I guess it was inevitable that his dysfunctional nature would sooner or later spill over and into me.

Now, I was damaged, too. Sometimes moments of blinding rage would strike me, and I couldn’t control myself. On occasion, I would disappear for days on end, partying and raising hell, looking for the greatest thrill to experience. I had also spent the last seven or eight months screwing my way through dozens of fan boys and even some friends, much to my embarrassment.

My life was not at all what I thought it would be.

And now…Eiri was back. And he was different. If you knew Eiri very well, you might notice some small change in him. But I knew Eiri better than anyone, and to me the change in him was startling. Even creepy, with the way he was doting on me.

If you could call it doting. Not letting me out of his sight for more than a half an hour, going everywhere with me. It’s as if we were suddenly joined at the hip.

Creepy and quite honestly, starting to get on my nerves.

Two years ago, I would have gladly cut off my right arm if it meant he would treat me like this. Now…I found it irritating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a little squishy about getting all of his attention, but I’m also a little leery of it.

I can’t trust that he won’t disappear again. Leave me broken and alone again. I can’t risk that; I can’t survive another round of that.

I just can’t.

Sitting up, I stretched up my arms, working out the kinks and soreness. I hadn’t worked out very much in the last several weeks and it was high time I started again. Of course, maybe hours and hours of hot, passionate sex counted as a workout.

I looked at Eiri again. So beautiful, but so evil. Why couldn’t I stay away from him?

His deep voice rumbled as he opened one eye to look at me, “Taking account of your regrets again?” he asked.

How the fuck did he know what I was thinking all the time?

He stared at me, “Because you are as transparent as ever, you simpleton.”

Oh yeah, here was that doting behavior. I forgot just how sweet it was.

Eiri reached for his cigarettes, “Is there coffee, yet?”

I shook my head, “I was just getting up to make some.”

He nodded as he pulled out a smoke and reached for his lighter. “Want me to make breakfast?”

I thought about it. What I really wanted was for him to go away for a while. I know that sounds mean, but he was smothering me. I needed to breath free of him for a while.

“Hey,” he grabbed a fistful of my hair and made me look at him, “you’re going back to work next week, right?”

I nodded.

“Me, too.” He lit his cigarette, “I have a lot of catching up to do. We probably won’t see as much of each other beginning next week.”

How did he do that? How did he read my mind?

“I’ll make coffee,” I said as I leaned over to kiss him.

Those piercing, gold eyes of his bore into me, laying open my vulnerable heart. I loved that. I feared that. Finally he asked, “Are you sure you are up for this party tonight?”

Digging deep, I smiled brightly and said, “Of course. You’ll be with me.”

“Huh,” he said but I knew he didn’t believe me.

I didn’t believe me either.

He kissed me, and waved me away.

I threw on some shorts and a t-shirt and wandered into the kitchen. As I made coffee, I thought about the upcoming party. Kyosuke would be there. My stomach flipped as I considered what might happen with Kyosuke and Eiri in the same room. I never suspected that would happen. Not in a million years.

Oh, this would be a very difficult night.

Arms wrapped around me and I shouted in alarm, “Fuck!! You scared me, Eiri!”

He almost smiled, clearly amused at startling me, “It’s not like I snuck up on you, brat.” He raised an eyebrow at me, “A little jumpy, aren’t you?”

That fucker. He knew what was on my mind and he was relishing it. He couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of the competition for my affection. He was that confident, was he? Well, we’d see how confident he was when he actually met Kyosuke.

What the hell was I thinking? Was I enjoying this? Just exactly how jaded had I gotten?

And really, how would Eiri feel if he were to find out that it was Kyosuke’s absence and not Eiri’s that had actually thrown me off the track? I bet that knowledge would wipe the smirk off of my lover’s face.

What the hell WAS I thinking?

I sat down at the kitchen bar and watched as Eiri prepared breakfast. It was our usual, traditional fish, rice and miso, nothing special but I watched with interest as Eiri mastered the food with grace and care.

It was hard to see if you didn’t know him, the passion that Eiri carried inside. It was as if he harbored a bonfire deep in him, banked down so low you couldn’t see the flames waiting to blaze into life at any instant. That’s what Eiri was, a banked bonfire. If you got too close, you would definitely get burned.

Mysterious. Guarded. Enigmatic. Beautiful.

And totally dysfunctional.

I sighed as I sipped my coffee. Maybe getting back together with him was a mistake. There was no doubt I was massively confused by the whole chain of events.

Beginning three weeks ago, I had seen things I never thought I would see. Eiri telling me almost daily, that he loved me. Eiri keeping me close to him. Eiri letting me have him in bed. It was as if I had stepped into an alternate reality and I couldn’t trust what I was experiencing.

Maybe Eiri had been taken over by a pod.

“You’re thinking again,” he scolded as he dished up the food. “You’ll burn up what few brain cells you have left.”

Maybe not.

He sat at the kitchen barstool next to me and we ate in silence.

Finally, it was Eiri that broke the silence, “What time do we need to be there tonight?”

“Um,” I thought about it, “we’re supposed to perform at 8:00, but I know these parties, it will probably be more like 9:30. I still have to be there at 7:00 for the whole press photo op thing.” I looked at him closely, “I know you hate this kind of stuff, Eiri. You really don’t have to go.”

“Huh,” he lit a cigarette, “and miss seeing the infamous Inoue Kyosuke? I don’t think so.”

Was he…jealous?

He glared at me. Oh yeah, he was jealous all right. Great. That would definitely make the night go smoother for me.

“You’re loving this, aren’t you?” I snapped at him. “Loving the fact that I’m so uncomfortable.”

He shook his head, “Not really.” He took a deep drag of his cigarette, “I just need to know what I’m up against.”

“Eiri,” I growled. “We’ve been over this. There’s nothing, no reason for you to be worried about Kyosuke. Nothing ever happened between us, and it never will.”

He stared at me, “Who said I was worried?”

I sighed. He could be so difficult.

Relationships are hard. So much work to be done all the time. It made me tired.

Sometimes I wished I could feel the way I used to. Be what I used to be. Optimistic, cheery, starry-eyed and shallow. I always knew that somehow things would work themselves out, that everything would be okay.

But one day, it wasn’t okay anymore.

One day I woke up in the hospital with a broken arm and a ripping headache. The last thing I remembered was that Eiri and I had been in the fight to end all fights. I had tried to hit him and had missed. He retaliated and did not miss. The end of the story was that I had fallen down a flight of stairs. I broke my arm and my head.

And Eiri had gone. Gone away. Ran away.

I didn’t blame him for the arm and the head. It takes two to fight like that and quite honestly, my falling down the stairs was an accident. But I did blame him for running away and leaving me. For breaking my heart.

And for what the fight was about to begin with. I’ll bet he doesn’t even remember that part of it, the fool.

Yokohoma. I still get angry when I think about it.

Eiri was on a book tour and I decided that he needed a surprise visit from me. It was a surprise all right, for all THREE of us. Me, Eiri and the bimbo fan he had been fucking when I walked in.

I still haven’t forgiven him for that. I’m not sure I ever will.

“Hey!” Eiri shouted at me. “Are you even listening to me?”

I shook my head, “Sorry, I was thinking about performing tonight.

“Uh huh,” he was unconvinced and watched me closely. I hated it when he did that. Especially when he always seemed to know exactly what was on my mind.

“I was saying,” He said impatiently, “we need to go get the clothes for tonight from the tailor.”

“Oh, okay,” I smiled at him.

He was still watching me and suddenly, I was very glad he was with me. When all was said and done, no one knew me the way Eiri did. I touched his face gently, “I love you, Eiri.”

He grabbed my hand and stared into my eyes, “You’re sure about that?”

Fucking hell, he was beautiful. My heart skipped a beat and I grinned, “Yeah. I’m sure.”

Love. Hate. Sometimes the lines couldn’t help but blur.

Several hours later we were making our entrance to the grand event. A multitude of cameras snapped as Eiri and I posed and smiled. Eiri played the part of willing boyfriend like a pro. But then, he has quite a bit of experience dealing with the press. Usually it’s a disastrous experience, but it counts as experience nonetheless.

As usual, NG pulled out all the stops to make this the gala event of the season. The fact that they had thrown it together in under a month was very impressive. But that’s my boss, Seguchi Tohma for you, when he wants something; all of Tokyo does his bidding.

Once we were inside, we headed for the bar first. Of course. Eiri can’t express that much phoniness all at once without some sort of lubricant. I didn’t mind. He was usually easier to deal with at public events when he had a couple of drinks in him.

“Hey, Shu!” It was Hiro. He looked great, dressed in black leather pants and a mostly opened, tight, slinky, shimmering grey and silver shirt. At least Ryu hadn’t managed to talk my best friend into wearing lace. Yet.

“Hey, Hiro.” I smiled at him. I was glad I could do that again. Part of me was still mad at him, but I also knew that I was just as much to blame for our whole “let’s be more than friends” game. I shook my head, clearing it of those dark days. “Where’s Ryu?”

“In the back,” he smiled. “Tohma-san sent me to get you. He wants to speak to us.”

I looked at Eiri. “Go ahead,” he waved, clutching his scotch. “I’ll be in the mezzanine bar.”

I touched his hand briefly before turning away and joining Hiro.

“So,” Hiro began as we wove through the crowd, “is he okay?”

“You mean about Kyosuke?”

Hiro nodded, “Yeah. I’m really sorry about that. I had no idea K would be that stupid.”

I barked a laugh, “Oh, please, K lives for stirring up trouble. But dropping the news on us like that has made my days more interesting, I’ll give you that.”

“I’m sorry, Shu.” He said sincerely.

“Not your fault. I just didn’t think I’d ever see him again.”

Hiro stopped and looked me in the eyes, “Who? Yuki or Kyosuke?”

Good question. I thought about it. “Either one, I guess.”

“Shu,” Hiro started and looked at me intently, “follow your heart this time, okay?”

I chuckled, “I think my heart is too small to follow any more. Hardly any of it left.”

Out of the blue he hugged me tight, “Don’t stay with Yuki if you don’t want to.” He leaned close and looked me in the eyes, “Don’t let Kyosuke cloud your mind with sweet talk. Listen to your own heart. Trust your instincts, Shu.”

“Don’t make me cry, you bastard,” I pushed him away. “I’m confused enough already.”

He laughed and ruffled my hair, just like the old days. “You can always stay with me if everything gets too weird, you know. And I promise, no touching involved.”

“Maybe no touching, but if Ryu’s around you can’t promise me it won’t be weird,” I smiled at him.

He nodded in agreement, “Well, okay. It might be weird.” He grinned at me, “Come on.”

We entered the small meeting room that Tohma had set up as his command center. I have to hand it to the guy, he's very organized.

"Ah," he smiled at me, "Shindou-san, it is very good to see you."

There was always a problem afoot when Tohma got so formal. I eyed him suspiciously, "What's up, Seguchi-sama?"

He blinked at me a few times, still smiling. "I wanted to see how you were feeling."

"Really?" I challenged, I hated the games he played sometimes.

Hiro shifted uncomfortably next to me.

"Nakano-san," Tohma smiled, "would you excuse us for a few moments?"

Hiro looked at me in concern but I smiled at him and nodded. Tohma didn't scare me any more. Well, not much anyway.

After Hiro left, Tohma and I regarded each other carefully for a few minutes. There had been a point in my life when I had been ferociously jealous of Tohma. Let's face it; everyone knew he carried a torch for Eiri. But after I had been around my boss for a few years I had come to understand that though he carried feelings for Eiri, he would never act on them. If there is one thing I understand about Seguchi Tohma, it is that he does not like complications. If he ever acted on his feelings for Eiri, whole mountains of chaos would fall on him. It was that fear of chaos that kept him in line.

Finally, he spoke, "Shuichi, how ARE you feeling?"

Another thing about this guy was that he knew everything that went on with the people he worked with and the people he cared about. I wasn't foolish enough to believe I fell into the latter category, but even so, I was certain he knew every move I made.

I looked for a chair and sat, "I'm fine, Tohma. Really. I'm fine."

He leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers, "I know you will perform well, Shuichi. No matter your personal circumstances, you always come through on stage. I admire that about you."

I grinned at him, "You mean that I can be an emotional disaster and then transform into confident J-pop star on stage? Like Ryuichi?"

He shook his head, "You are not like Ryuichi, but you are emotional. Although less now than you used to be. Emotion is good for a performer."

"But not good for your brother-in-law?" I sniped at him.

He smiled, "On the contrary. Eiri needs you, and part of the reason he needs you is because you are emotional. You can break through his walls because you are a torrent of emotion. You are good for him." He frowned, "I am sorry I did not tell you that earlier."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I stared at him, trying to sort out what he was really saying to me. Nothing is ever as it seems with Tohma. He may not like chaos in his life, but he relished throwing others into it. Me in particular.

"Okay," I glared at him, "maybe you should get to the point. What's this all about?"

He smiled patiently and said softly, "After everything you and Eiri have been through, I would hate to see anything come between you."

"Ahh, I see." I smiled back in understanding and met his stare, "You mean Kyosuke."


I grinned, "I imagine this one is difficult for you. After all, who do you choose to protect this time? Your beloved brother-in-law or your favorite cousin? Very tricky for you." Poor Tohma, swimming in a sea of chaos. Of course, who was I to talk? Eiri. Kyosuke. The two of them together scrambled my brain as well.

"Difficult for me, maybe," he said, "but not as difficult as it will be for you. If you are forced to pick, who would you choose?"

I scoffed at him, "Gee, I don't know. Hmm, do I pick the one that left me or the other one that left me?"

"Shuichi," he said softly, looking me in the eyes with...was that sympathy? "You know as well as I do, it is not as simple as that."

Shaking my head I said, "No. It's never simple, is it?"

He smiled at me but there was no humor in it, "No. And I'm afraid that your life has just gotten to be far more interesting."

"Just what I needed," I snapped.

"I am in all seriousness, Shuichi." He continued to give me the sympathetic look. "I understand from Kyosuke that he has a very specific agenda in regards to you."

"Great," I muttered.

He sighed, "I know it is not much, but I do wish you luck with this dilemma. Also, I wish to remind you that there are worse situations to be in."

"Worse than dealing with two possessive, ego maniacs?"

He smiled and corrected me, "Two very handsome, possessive, ego maniacs."

It was my turn to sigh. I hate it when he's right.

"In any case, I wish you luck."

I nodded and made my escape. I closed and leaned against the door, considering what had just happened. Tohma was staying out of it.

I wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

Sighing again, I pushed myself away from the door and headed towards the mezzanine stairs. That's when I heard HIS sultry voice calling to me from across the room, “Hey, Shu-chan!”

I turned his direction. There he was, grinning and running towards me, his long, black hair flying behind him as he raced through the crowd. His bright green eyes locked gazes with mine as if I was the only person in the whole room. His long, lean form rushed at me with his usual catlike grace.

He swooped in, grabbed me in a tight embrace and literally swept me off my feet.

“Hey,” I protested as I knocked him in the head, “put me down you big oaf.”

He set me on my feet, but did not let go of me. He stared into my eyes and leaned forward, "There you are," he whispered into my ear, “my favorite wet dream.”

That was the moment that I looked up and saw the mezzanine bar. And Eiri.

Oh yeah, this would be a very uncomfortable night.


The Beat of Love - Lyrics by Voice of the Beehive
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