Disclaimer: As you know, or should— Gravitation and its characters are the property of Maki Murakami. I’m just visiting, as it were. Warning! Whether you consider it a reason to keep reading or to stop; this fic contains lemon! Adults only! That’s right— for all of you who asked, here it is.
Eiri turned toward the flashes of pink in his periferal vision. Damnit! Another Valentine’s Day display. It wasn’t Shuichi at all. All day, he had been distracted by the inordinate amounts of pink around him— in window shops, on flags and banners, even people were dressed in pink and red lately. It was driving him crazy. Since when did the Japanese celebrate an Irish holiday? He threw his cigarette on the ground and stepped on it. I will not give in, he thought.
He approached his car, hitting the key fob to unlock the driver’s door. His editor had been extra giggly today, too. She said she had big plans for Valentine’s Day and wondered if he was doing anything special with ‘Shindou-kun’. Mizuki was too nosy for her own good sometimes, Eiri grumped.
He climbed into the car and drove home. Why should men, in particular, be required to buy things for the person he loved and talk about his feelings on Valentine’s Day? What had happened to the prideful stoicism of the Japanese patriachy? Really, there was no need for such displays.
Continuing to grouse, he parked the car in his alloted space and walked to his apartment. Selecting his key, he paused. Would Shuichi be expecting him to participate in the . . . pagentry of Valentine’s Day? Eiri rammed the key into the lock. If he is, he’s going to be disappointed!
“Yuki! Welcome home!” Shuichi yelled. His young lover came bouncing down the hall, watching as he took his shoes off and put his coat away.
“You’re home early.”
“Yeah. Suguru wasn’t feeling well and everyone else made excuses to leave. We have tomorrow off . . .”
Eiri narrowed his eyes. “Why?”
Shuichi turned, put his hands behind his back and walked down the hall, ahead of Eiri. “Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.” He sounded down about it. He turned his head to look at him over his shoulder. “Did you know?” He moved into the living room.
“Keh. Of course I did.” At the end of the hall, Eiri paused to light a cigarette with the lighter that he kept on the catch-all table against the wall.
Shuichi nodded. “. . . Anyway, everybody made plans, so I don’t have to go in tomorrow.” A hopeful, needy expression washed over his face. “Um, Yuki . . .”
“Awww. Yuki, I was just gonna ask if we could—“
“NO. I have work to do tomorrow.”
“But couldn’t we just go—“
“NO! Now leave me alone. Mizuki wants me to finish another three chapters by Monday, since I’m behind.”
“Okay,” Shuichi said. It was pure dejection. He moved slowly, dragging his feet toward the couch.
Eiri turned and walked down the hall, closing himself in his office. Damnit. It’s just another day. Why would this day be important to him? I write romance novels. It doesn’t spill into my personal life. It doesn’t. He growled. That idiot must know how I feel. He shouldn’t need some special holiday acknowledgement! He’s the one who barged into my life and turned it upside down! –Or would that be ‘right side up’?
He growled again in frustration. Stabbing the laptop on, he forced himself to focus on cranking out three chapters of love, lust, romance, and tragedy.
Shuichi sat on the couch in a little ball, nose on his knees and legs pulled in as tightly as he could. Tears slipped down his cheeks unchecked. What will I do tomorrow? He sniffled and thought about his friends. Hiro’s going to visit Ayaka, Tatsuha’s going to come to Tokyo to be with Ryuichi, Suguru’s sick, Noriko’s having dinner with her husband, even Tohma and Mika are going out. Maiko said her pansy boyfriend made special plans for them. Yuki probably thinks I’m asking too much to go out on Valentine’s Day. That just sucks!
Shuichi wiped his tears away with his sleeve, jumping up from the couch. If he won’t take me out, I’ll just do something fun all by myself! Just as suddenly as he sprang up, he collapsed to the floor again, as if his knees stopped working. The tears came back, full force. I don’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day!! He flopped forward, pillowing his head on his damp sleeve, feeling very sorry for himself.
Around eight o’clock, Eiri took a break from writing in order to get a beer. He walked through the living room calling, “Shuichi, why don’t you call and get some din— “ He stopped, noticing the singer’s soft snoring. He was balled up on the floor by the couch. Eiri moved closer. He could see that Shu’s sleeve was soaking wet. Tears had dried in salty trails across his face. The hair tucked underneath his cheek looked like it had been cried on, too. Stupid Shuichi. Why had he been lying on the floor and crying by himself? Usually when he cried, he made a big loud performance out of it and came to him for comfort, or went to his friend, Hiro. So why. . . ? Hm. Hiro was probably unavailable and he had told Shu to leave him alone. As to what made him cry . . . It could have been anything.
Eiri grabbed the blanket off the couch and laid it over his lover, gently. Idiot, he thought, fondly. He went into the kitchen and grabbed his beer, leaning against the counter and drinking. He grimaced. Shuichi hadn’t been crying over nothing. Eiri was pretty sure he’d cried over being shot down for wanting to do something together tomorrow. He sighed. Would it be so bad to go out to dinner on a Friday night? It wouldn’t have to be anything extra special, just an ordinary dinner out.
He walked over to the phone and pulled out the phone book. He started by calling the restaurants they normally went to. They were all booked. Frowning, he looked for places that Mika had mentioned, or that he’d heard recommened. Their reservations were full, too. He put the phone down and took a big gulp of beer. I guess that idea is a dead end, he thought.
He opened the ‘fridge again, looking for something to eat. There wasn’t much; beer, soy sauce, Shuichi’s juice, a little cheese. He grabbed another beer and finished off the other can, setting it on the counter by the sink. I guess I’ll have to cook tomorrow. We could order take out. No. I’ll send Shu to do the grocery shopping tomorrow and I’ll cook something. Hm. What will I cook? It doesn’t have to be fancy, Eiri reminded himself. I am *not* buying into this shitty holiday at all. He nodded to himself and went back to his office to work.
Shuichi woke up, stiffly. His face and hair felt crusty on one side. He pulled his cheek off his sweatshirt, grimacing. His front side was cold, where he’d slept on the hard wood floor. Sitting up, he dislodged the blanket that had kept him warm all night. He reached out to touch it softly, smiling. Yuki must have covered me up, he thought. His smile fell. There was daylight outside the balcony doors, which meant that today was Valentine’s Day. He stretched, trying to work out the kinks of sleeping on the floor.
I wonder if Yuki’s awake? He went to the bedroom door and peeked in. It looked the same as it had yesterday. Oh no! He threw the door back and put his hands on Yuki’s side of the bed. Cold. He went to the office. Putting his ear to the door, he could hear the steady clacking of the keyboard. He could smell the heavy cigarette smoke creeping through the door. He slid down the door casing with a moan. Yuki’d been up all night! That would mean that either the writer would be lack-of-sleep grouchy or that at some point today he would crash and sleep like the dead.
Shuichi could feel his tears starting again. He started to swipe his sleeve over his eyes with when he felt the stiff, dirty cloth push porcupine-like bangs onto his face. He let the tears go and decided that a shower and fresh clothes were in order.
He climbed into the shower, still crying. Letting the hot water wash over him, he decided he would confront his lover. He rubbed shampoo into his hair vigorously. I’ll demand that he spend a little time with me! Yeah. What was that man afraid of? Was showing a little affection such a hardship? Well, yeah . . . Shuichi reflected, for him, it is. He rinsed out the shampoo and turned, facing the water. He put his hands on the wall, leaning forward and letting the heat and steam pound into his back. He heard the slight rolling/grinding sound of the shower down sliding back and started to stand up when he felt a cold, familiar touch on his hip.
He smiled. “Yuki, your hands are freezing.” He grabbed the hand, wrapping Yuki’s arm around him.
“Idiot. I wasn’t cold, until I came in here. It’s like a steambath! Were you planning to use all the hot water in the building?”
Yuki hugged him from behind. Shuichi grinned, feeling his lover’s erection pressed against his butt. He imagined an extra dose of steam emanating from Yuki’s cold body and his own warmth. “You can keep us both warm,” he said, teasing. He tried to turn and face his beloved, but he was held tightly and prevented from twisting.
“No moving,” Yuki whispered. One hand came loose from Shuichi’s embrace and grabbed his cock. He hissed in pleasure. Yuki knew just how to touch him to make him feel good. He tipped his head back against his lover’s chest, eyes closing, as Yuki teased his balls and pumped his erection. He heard shower-echoes of his own little sighs and happy noises. Yuki bit into his shoulder, gently and Shuichi gasped.
Yuki’s other hand moved across his chest and slipped over wet skin, over his back, and down to his butt, gently bending him over. Shuichi put his hands back on the wall, knowingly, eagerly. Yuki teased him, rubbing the tip of his cock over his butt and teasing his hole. “You feel so good!” He gasped. “Please?”
Yuki chuckled, and entered him. The water and his own excitement made it easy. He moaned. Yuki always felt so good. Shuichi like to be possessed and filled by his lover. Yuki put his hands on Shu’s small hips and worked their bodies together, sliding in and out of him. He felt Yuki’s hip bones hitting his buns as his lover thrust into him, pushing him against his hands on the wall. Over his own exstatic noises, he could hear Yuki’s satisfied grunting and he came, crying out. The falling water automatically began washing them off. After a moment, Yuki leaned over and kissed his back, pulling out and making Shuichi gasp again.
Shuichi spun around and hugged his now warm lover. He laid his head against the taller man’s chest, relishing the feel of him wet and naked. “I love you! You feel so damn good!” Reaching down, Shuichi squeezed his buns with both hands. Long arms wound around his shoulders and waist, holding him close.
He looked up, smiling, hopeful. “Yes?”
“You really need to shut the water off before we both freeze.”
He suddenly noticed that the water had lost a lot of its heat. Lukewarm was quickly going to cold. The hands around him loosened and one crept up his body to tilt his chin up. Golden eyes and hair filled his vision as Yuki kissed him. He felt posssessed all over again, enjoying the feel of his lover’s lips covering his own, nipping at him and filling him with his tongue. Shuichi held on to his lover’s body, prolonging the kiss and ignoring the needles of cold water hitting him now.
Yuki pulled away, breaking the kiss. “Idiot! Turn off the fricking cold water!”
Reluctantly, Shuichi let him go and shut off the shower. He shivered and Yuki tossed him his towel. “Dry off and get dressed before you catch cold.”
Shuichi obediently wrapped himself up in the towel. “Uhm, Yuki?”
He moved the towel off his head to speak. “What?” Yuki looked so good, naked, with little beads of water still clinging to his pale skin, Shuichi thought.
“Oh! Um, could we, uh, go for a walk later?” Yuki was watching him like he might be dangerous. Shuichi rushed on, “we don’t need to do anything special, or anything! I just . . . I just want to spend time with you. Always.”
“Okay,” he said. He threw his towel over the drying bar and left the room. Shuichi wanted to cheer. I won, he thought, grinning.
Eiri pulled on his underwear and the usual black pants. When he found himself reaching for a red shirt, he hesitated. Who cares, he thought defensively. It’s just an ordinary day. I wear this shirt all the time— on other ordinary days. He put it on.
He heard Shuichi running the hair dryer in the bathroom. What was it about that kid that made him give in? He had work to do. Well . . .he had figured out two of the three required chapters over night. I guess I can take a break, he thought. He pulled some socks out of the drawer. A walk sounded pretty good right now. The hair dryer shut off and Shu came into the bedroom for clothes.
“We’ll go as soon as you’re dressed,” he said, pulling his socks on.
“Okay!” Shuichi said cheerfully. Eiri grabbed a cigarette and lighter from his bedside table. He lit it and watched Shu jump around the room, finding his clothes. At first he grabbed a red shirt, but Eiri growled at him. The boy comically looked at him and at the shirt he was holding. He grinned sheepishly and put it back in the drawer. Eiri hated it when Shuichi dressed like him. Accidentally, or on purpose, it still looked silly to walk around looking like very strange twins. He picked out a pink shirt and Eiri must have made some other derisive sound. “Do you want to pick out my clothes today?” Shuichi said with exasperation.
He strode over to the dresser and pulled off a couple of things from the top of the drawer. “Wear that,” he said.
Shuichi looked at him oddly and shrugged. “Okay.” He put on a pair of dull green cargo pants and a white t-shirt that said, ‘Bad Luck’ in black letters on the front. Maybe the t-shirt hadn’t been the best choice for a walk in the park with his famous lover, but Eiri hadn’t known the t-shirt had writing until Shu put it on. Since he had chosen it, he couldn’t go back and make Shu wear something else. He left the room.
Walking throught the house, he gathered cigarettes, lighter, keys and coat. Shu came bouncing toward the door, singing. Eiri didn’t recognize the song right away. He wondered if it was something new that Shuichi was working on. The singer grabbed a black jacket from the closet, zipping it up over the writing on the t-shirt. He slipped a pair of sunglasses out of the pocket, holding them. Eiri took out his long coat and put it on. He took out his own sunglasses and opened the door.
Shuichi clamped onto his arm and slid the sunglasses into place as they left the building. “Yuki, do you think we could stop by the bakery on the way home? We could get some of those little strawberry tarts you like.” He made a noncommital noise, wondering if this was some kind of ploy to force Valentine’s Day upon him. When he’d passed the bakery yesterday, the place had been so covered in hearts and ‘I love you’ cakes that he hadn’t stopped to buy bread.
Couples seemed to be out in force today. There were more people than usual walking around the park today. Dogs jumped around, cavorting with balls and frisbees. Lovers kissed on the benches. Children squealed and chased each other. Parents held hands and exchanged looks. It made him uneasy. Did all these people have the day off? Maybe the park was like this every day? He usually came here at night. He frowned. Had Shuichi expected something like this when he’d asked to go walking? He sucked on his cigarette, thinking moodily.
Shuichi clung to his arm like a barnacle, still singing. “Shut up,” he said. Shuichi’s distinctively popular voice could attract unwanted attention (and had, on other occasions). Eiri didn’t feel like sharing him. Shuichi shut up, but started to let go of him. He put his arm around the younger man’s shoulders, keeping him close. Shuichi smiled up at him, putting one arm around his waist, under the coat. Eiri steered them to the railing where the walkway over-looked the city. For now, it was just the two of them.
“Yuki, I love you,” Shuichi told him, leaning into his body. Was it a trap? Shuichi sighed contenedly, relieving any pressure to respond to that statement. Eiri blew smoke, reveling in the feeling of holding someone close. It was comforting to be with this odd, energetic person that had turned his life right-side-up. He smiled.
“You’re quiet today,” he observed.
He looked up, eyes flashing with anger. “You’re the one who told me to shut up!” He said defensively. “You’re always doing that—telling me to do something and then when I do it, you wonder why and if I don’t you get all—“
Eiri tossed his cigarette to the ground and kissed him, making certain he was incapable of speech. He smiled. “Shut up,” he said again. Shuichi let out a huffy breath in consternation. That kid could be so confusing. Right now, Eiri was being scrutinized by blue-violet eyes and scowled at by cruched-up pink brows. He’s so cute sometimes, Eiri thought and kissed him again. This time, when he broke the kiss, he’d been forgiven. “Let’s go to the bakery. We’re out of bread.”
Shuichi accepted the peace offering with a jaunty, “okay!” He slipped his smaller hand into Eiri’s. He closed his fingers around the kid’s warmth. His own hands were cold in comparison. He put his other hand into his pocket and let Shuichi drag him across the park.
Shuichi was bursting with happiness. This was just the sort of thing he’d hoped to do today. Despite his all-nighter, Yuki was being nice to him. Normally, he couldn’t get the writer away from his computer to eat during the day, let alone go for a walk! Shuichi was savoring the closeness of being with the one he loved. Yuki had even agreed to go to the bakery! Well, it was true that they were out of bread.
The bakery was just beautiful! There were white and red and pink crepe paper streamers around the front windows and a big pink ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ heart had been painted on the glass. The display case showed heart cookies and cakes and bread turned pink with food coloring. Little bells chimed as they stepped inside. Well, Shuichi hopped and Yuki was reluctantly stepping, as if afraid to put his shoes down in something nasty. What was so terrible about a few hearts and flowers?
He let go of Yuki’s hand and looked into the cases. He knew he acted like the proverbial kid-in-a-candy-store, but he couldn’t help it! Everything looked so yummy! “Ooooh, let’s get some of those, Yuki!” He pointed and glanced at his lover. “And your strawberry tarts, and the bread, too!”
There was a round, middle-aged lady in a white baker’s outfit complete with apron and puffy hat who stood behind the counter. She smiled down at him. “Good morning, Shindou-san.”
“Good morning, Kuno-san!” He pointed to his selections and looked over his shoulder. “Yuki? Is there anything else you want?”
“No, brat. We only came in here for the bread, remember?”
“Right.” He turned back, smiling at Kuno-san. He paid for the baked goods and accepted the box from her. “Good bye,” he said, waving. Yuki took the box from his hand, shaking his head. Shuichi didn’t think it’d been in danger of dropping, but he let Yuki keep it. Instead, he opened the door for him.
“Good bye, boys. Have a nice Valentine’s Day,” Kuno-san called.
Shuichi smiled again saying, “Thanks, we will!” Out on the sidewalk, he could just hear Yuki making a disgusted noise. “Yuki,” he said, letting door fall shut. “Kuno-san was just being nice. Why don’t you--- never mind.” He shook his head. Yuki was Yuki. He wasn’t nice to most people without any reason.
“What?” Was there a warning note in that voice?
“I know you don’t like Valentine’s Day,” Shuichi said in a defeated tone. “I’m not asking you to, either.” He grimaced. How could he explain himself without upsetting his lover? “It seems like I always say the wrong thing . . .”
“Hn. Let’s go home.” They walked in silence all the way home. Shuichi tried to think of something to talk about, but Yuki had told him to shut up. Like a kid, he weighed whether the ‘shut up’ had worn off and he could speak again, or if it was still in effect and talking would get him in trouble. He had thought of and discarded dozens of conversation topics by the time they reached the front door.
Inside, Yuki passed him the bakery box. “Here, put these away.”
“Okay,” he agreed. He kicked off his shoes and put the box on the kitchen counter. He unzipped his jacket and started the coffee maker. If there was hot coffee, Yuki would drink it instead of beer.
He slipped his coat off as he walked, intending to put it back in the closet. Yuki stopped him, standing in his way. He looked very serious. That look froze him and his brain tumbled through possibilities of a cause for that look. Had he done something wrong that the writer had just discovered? Was it the silent walk? Had he said or done something wrong earlier?
“Stop it,” the writer said. Shuichi was confused. What should he stop? He couldn’t think of anything he'd done wrong lately . . . Yuki hands on either side of his face made his brain stop. His yammering thoughts faded and all his attention was consumed by the face above his own. He blinked. “Shuichi . . .” Uh-oh, my name, he thought worriedly.
As they walked home, they had passed dozens of places with pink and red decorations. This time, the glimpses of pink didn’t distract him because Eiri had Shuichi beside him. It made him think. Maybe Valentine’s Day wasn’t such a bad thing. Most days, he took Shuichi’s love for granted. It had become easy to accept that warm presence in his life. It kept him alive and interested in living. How could he be afraid of committing to Shuichi when he already had? It was silly. Three little words should not stand in the way.
Shuichi had said he didn’t need a special day. Maybe he didn’t. Surely he knew Eiri’s feelings for him when they kissed, or made love, or even when they argued and made compromises. When each of them went through the day, the love they shared was still there. It didn’t matter if it was voiced or silent, did it? He decided he wanted to tell Shuichi, to make it clear.
When they got home, he sent Shu to put the bakery stuff away. He hung up his coat and screwed up his courage. It really shouldn’t be a hardship to admit something so important, so vital to his life to the person he shared that life with.
Shuichi was shrugging out of his coat, humming, and coming his way when Eiri stopped him. The kid looked up at him with such fear on his face. It made him feel bad. Was he really such an ogre? What did Shuichi have to fear from him? “Stop it,” he said.
Tenderly, he held his lover’s beautiful face between his hands. His expression cleared. Eiri hesitated and Shu blinked. “Shuichi . . .” A flash of worry clouded the kid’s face and almost made him stop. No! He scolded himself, it’s just this kind of reaction that drives the reason for me to say it! “Shuichi, you know that I love you, right?”
A sunshine smile burned off any fog of doubt and filled his heart with all the good things that Shuichi represented for him. Shu’s eyes filled with happy tears and he dropped his jacket, wrapping his arms around Eiri’s neck and forcing him into a deep, hungry kiss. Valentine’s Day be damned, he scoffed. I could have said it any day and been given the same reaction.
Author's Note: All feedback highly welcomed. I hope you enjoyed it!