Title: World Falling Down
Author: DC, Dave
Superhero Accessory: Neon purple tights and matching cape.
Type: Songfic, Deathfic
Warnings: Angst at high levels...hints of shouen-ai....
Disclaimer: Don't own em. Borrowing them for angsting purposes. The song is mine though.
A/N: Thank you to the ever talented Aja for betaing this and for the info on funeral customs. Any goofs on that are my own doing. The song came first and I ended up writing the story thanks to the evilness that is Hota suggesting it after she read the lyrics. Reviews always welcome. ~-^ Enjoy.
Standing on the threshold,
Looking for my shadow,
All I see is ---
At 6:01 PM on January 23, a late model Toyota careened off the road, spun out of control and crashed head first into a wall. The car warped and buckled like a tin can. A few flakes of snow fell lazily over the scene of the accident as onlookers raced to the aid of the driver. The vehicle had been going seventy-five miles per hour at the time of the collision. The distant wails of sirens filled the biting cold air as an ambulance sped to the scene. A cell phone set miraculously unharmed on the passenger’s seat. It blinked faintly from time to time as people ignored it to stare at the man in the driver's seat of the car.
He did not survive.
The last number registered in the memory of the trendy little Nokia phone was a private and unlisted. The deceased had made the phone call at 5:45 PM, only moments before his fatal crash. The cause of the accident was undetermined though the police officially blamed the weather conditions and speed of the car. No one could understand exactly where he was going in such a hurry on a miserable, cold night when any sane human being would have been safely tucked into his home or at least driving more slowly.
Moonlight that surrounds me,
Sunshine it eludes me,
All I feel is ---
An answering machine clicked on in a dark, deserted apartment. The couple who lived within it had made a spur of the moment decision to brave the cold weather and walk a few short blocks to a local Chinese restaurant. Clicking on, the machine faithfully recorded a dead man’s voice. Sadly, his last words would not be heard until hours later.
”Eiri-san? Are you there? Pick up the phone! I’m coming over. You had better be home! I need your opinion on something. I’ll see you in a few minutes. Oh, and I’m bringing you a carton of cigarettes since that’s the only way I can bribe you these days. See you soon.”
Look into your eyes,
My world falls away,
“Yuki!! Hurry up!! We’re going to be late!!” Shuichi said from the living room. He was fidgeting restlessly in a black suit that was markedly subdued for the singer’s energetic personality.
“I don’t care,” Eiri replied as he drifted out of the bedroom and took a seat on the sofa. He ignored the look of concern Shuichi flashed him as he leaned down to put on pair of polished back shoes.
“But it’s important. We have to be there on time unless you want to be mobbed by fans or something,” Shuichi responded. He stopped fidgeting and took a long, slow look at Eiri. A frown crossed his face as he propped himself against the back of the furniture.
“It doesn’t matter,” Eiri said in a quiet voice. He finished tying his shoes and searched in vain for a pack of cigarettes. Ironically, he had thrown every pack and carton in their apartment away two days ago. Shuichi was still unsure what to make of that but had told the writer several times how glad he was to see the nasty things go.
“Of course it does. I know you’ve been down and in shock since it happened. Your family is worried about you. I’m worried about you. You haven’t even talked about it, not once,” Shuichi said, biting on his lower lip before he laid a gentle hand on the blond’s shoulder and added in a solemn voice, “Are you going to say a few words like your sister asked? I know he would have wanted you to.”
“Let’s go,” Eiri said. He rose to his feet, shrugged off Shuichi’s hand and moved to the door. Golden eyes took in the apartment as he grabbed his car keys in passing and waited for Shuichi to join him.
“Yuki, please say something? If you don’t, you’ll regret it,” Shuichi said with an imploring look as he crossed the room to join Eiri by the door, “Say goodbye to him because he’ll hear you and know you care.”
“Considering he’s dead, it doesn’t matter. Although he might be reincarnated as something useful this time, like a television remote. Before you say a word, it suits his personality to perfection,” Eiri said as the door shut behind them and the apartment was empty once more.
World falling down,
World falling down.
Blond hair whipped around Eiri’s head as he stared across the neatly kept grounds of the Seguchi family home. The only heat he felt in the crisp air came from the weak sunlight and the slight man pressed against his side. He stood for the longest time, ignoring the muffled sound of the wind and the lingering scent of inscense. Even through the poignant sorrow of the moment, no expression showed on the writer’s face. He held a white rose in his hand, clutching it hard enough for the thorns to dig into his flesh. Droplets of blood had trickled down to stain the petals and the ground at his feet. All of which, he seemed oblivious to.
Oddly enough, Eiri thought the priest at the wake service would have met his father’s approval. He couldn’t say why he had attended beyond the fact Tohma would have wanted him there and Mika had asked him. The high class visitors and close friends of the Seguchis were still paying their respects to the family, even though the service was finished. The blond and his sidekick had slipped out as soon as they had been able to do so politely. Shuichi, more than Eiri, had been responsible for their continued presence after the priest had concluded the service.
“Farewell is permanent,” he whispered without looking at Shuichi. The pink haired young man turned startled eyes up to Eiri, searching his face for answers he could not find in the golden hued eyes.
“No it’s not. It’s only temporary ‘cause you’ll see him again in another life,” Shuichi said softly as he continued to press close to the taller man.
“Hope and faith are for idiots,” Eiri said coldly as he turned to find his car. Shuichi followed quickly after his lover with concern plain to see in his eyes. The writer had decided to escape before he had the dubious honor of corpse sitting at the wake. He had no clue how he had been talked into participating in the wake like a good little in-law. It was not a task the novelist looked forward to.
“And their lovers,” Shuichi said as they walked briskly to the waiting Mercedes. Traffic would be murder but they had all the time in the world.
“Shut up and get in the car,” Eiri said gruffly as he unlocked the doors with the key remote. Climbing in, he stared at the steering wheel in silence and Shuichi watched him. A few reluctant flakes of snow fell, melting onto the hood of the car and were long forgotten by the time the couple drove to the other side of Tokyo.
Over the horizon,
Feeling my heart pounding,
Can’t you see it’s you?
“Not hungry, bro?” Tatsuha asked as he glanced over the table at Eiri who was staring into the distance instead of digging into the delicious meal in front of him.
“Not really,” Eiri replied as he took a sip of water and continued studying the view from the restaurant window. He picked up a napkin and played with the edges of it while wondering why he had agreed to having dinner with his brother of all people.
“You should eat. It’s really good,” Tatsuha ventured again with a frown of worry. Eiri was growing very tired of everyone looking at him like that.
“I’m paying so don’t worry about it. Just enjoy your food and tell me why you’re here,” Eiri replied. He turned away from the window and leveled a penetrating stare in his brother’s direction.
“You haven’t been yourself lately,” Tatsuha stated as he stopped eating and returned the stare with one of his own.
“Shindou called you, did he?” Eiri asked before continuing on without waiting for an answer, “Save it. I don’t need your pity. I don’t need anyone.”
“Eiri, wait!” Tatsuha called as Eiri rose from the table, tossed enough money on it for the bill and strode quickly out of the restaurant. Raking his fingers through ebony strands of hair, Tatsuha sighed and stared at his plate. He didn’t follow his brother because he was too startled by what he had seen briefly in those glaring eyes. It might have been grief and fear but he was fairly certain he was wrong.
My reflection laughing,
Cutting me to pieces,
All I want is---
The shining surface of a bathroom mirror revealed a haggard, exhausted Eiri as he brushed his teeth. Rinsing his mouth out, he looked up at his reflection as a surge of anger caused his eyes to gleam. Pressing his palm flat to the smooth surface, he laid his forehead beside his hand and let the chill wash through him. A slow sigh slid out of his lips as he looked up to meet his own gaze.
“You son of a bitch. You swore that you would always protect me. You weren’t supposed to leave me. NOT LIKE THIS!” Eiri yelled as he began pounding his hand against the mirror with enough force to crack it, “Not like this…”
“Why did you have to be in such a fucking hurry to see me? Why didn’t you just stay home? WHY?” Eiri yelled as he felt the mirror shatter and cut into his flesh. Rivulets of blood trailed down his arm, dripping into the porcelain sink.
“All my fault…” he whispered. He sat down on the closed toilet before he fell down.
Look into your eyes,
My dreams slip away,
“Any change?” Hiroshi asked into the receiver of his cell phone. Busily restringing his guitar, he frowned at the response from the other end. He had been worried about his best friend and band mate for days now. The normally hyper, active young man had been subdued and withdrawn.
“None at all. I’m worried, Hiro. He’s always quiet and grumpy but he hasn’t been himself lately. I know he’s not writing because his editor keeps calling here making subtle hints about his deadline. He’s not even smoking or drinking, and he’s barely eating. Yesterday, I nagged at him to get him to eat and see what he was doing. Just to get a reaction out of him, y’know? All he did was shake his head and tell me he’d eat later,” Shuichi said on the other end of the line, obviously shuffling the phone from hand to hand as he moved around.
“What’s so off about that? He might not have been hungry right at that moment,” Hiroshi pointed out as he leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. A frown continued to mar his features as he listened to Shuichi breathe into the phone.
“Hiiiiro, he didn’t even yell at me to go away and leave him alone! Not once has he called me a brat or an idiot in the past week. I know because I’ve been counting! The accident is bothering him more than he’ll admit. I don’t know what to do,” Shuichi said. Falling silent, he listened to something on the other side of the line. Muffled music and relative silence were all that Hiroshi could hear in the background from his end.
“In time, he’ll snap out of it. Give him time to come to terms with losing Seguchi-san. I don’t think it’s something he’ll simply be over in a few weeks,” Hiroshi observed with the odd gift of insight he had about reading people. Frowning a little, he propped against his guitar and waited for Shuichi to respond.
“I don’t know, Hiro. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that anyone could affect him so much. I know the guy was special to him but I didn’t know it went this deep. Not that he’d admit to any of this but from the way he’s acting…” Shuichi said, trailing off and biting on his lower lip.
“He lost his best friend,” Hiroshi said, listening to the muttered sound of surprise from the other side of the phone.
“Yuki doesn’t even have friends. I mean, not like you and me. They were close but I never thought…” Shuichi responded and heard the slight whine to his voice that he hated having but couldn’t seem to help at times like this.
“You mean you hoped they weren’t as close as you knew they were. He was never my favorite person as a boss or a man but he had his moments. Most of them involving Eiri Yuki but not when he was trying to split you two up,” Hiroshi said quietly as Shuichi made a faint sound of surprise in his throat.
“I’ve got to go! Yuki needs me!” Shuichi said as Hiroshi found himself listening to a dial tone.
“Him and everyone else,” Hiroshi muttered as he tossed the phone down and went back to stringing his guitar.
World falling down,
World falling down.
“You heard what I said, Eiri-san,” Suguru Fujisaki said as he quietly stared across the table at the romance novelist who was giving him the evil eye.
“I heard it but I don’t believe you said it. What right do you have to tell me how to feel or what to do?” Eiri shook his head and glanced around them for a moment. The faint din of a crowded restaurant was a gentle murmur in the background of their little tête-à-tête.
“Knowing him like I did, caring about him and knowing how he felt about you. It all gives me the right to say what you need to hear. I am not him but I’ve heard I’m the next best thing, especially now that he’s gone,” Suguru said. His pained expression that was quickly masked.
“I don’t have to listen to this crap out of the likes of you. You didn’t know him, not like I did. You certainly don’t know me or have a right to say a damn thing to me. I don’t care what you feel or think because you are nothing like him. Nothing at all,” Eiri said, getting up and feeling a hand on his own before he could make it to his feet.
“Eiri-san, please sit down. Listen to what I have to say, without interrupting me again, and I promise that I will leave you alone. I will not trouble you after this but it is imperative you hear me out.” Suguru let go of Eiri’s hand and leaned back into his chair.
“You have five minutes,” Eiri said as he sat back down with a belligerent look upon his face.
“As I already said, you must let him go and get on with your own life. It’s what he would have wanted. I can say it no plainer than that. Letting go does not mean you forget, only that you stop making everyone around you miserable with your grief. Live for him or for Shindou-san, just so long as you live,” Suguru said, offering a sad smile to the writer who narrowed his eyes for an instant.
“I can’t and even if I wanted to, I don’t know how any longer. Are you done or was there another point to this little Kodak moment?” Eiri rose again to glare down at Suguru. The green haired youth offered Eiri an envelope as he stood up opposite the writer.
“Don’t take my word alone for what he wanted. That will explain better than I obviously could,” Suguru said. The blond took the envelope and stared it as if it would explode in his fingers.
“From him? Why wasn’t this in his personal effects or given to me through his will?” Eiri asked as he read his name in a familiar hand upon the front.
“He didn’t trust his lawyers to deliver this to you. He asked me to do this for him in case something unforeseen happened. I would have given it to you sooner but he left instructions it was not to be opened until a month after his death,” Suguru half-bowed to Eiri and moved towards the exit of the restaurant.
“What--?” Eiri asked, reluctantly following after him.
“I could not tell you that, Eiri-san. Open it and find out if you wish to know. Thank you for seeing me. I have done what I can in good conscience. The rest is up to you.” Suguru turned and left the writer staring after him. Eiri tucked the envelope into his pocket before heading in the opposite direction with the wind lightly tugging at the ends of his coat. Sunshine gleamed weakly through bleak grey clouds, fighting a losing battle against the winter chill that still gripped Tokyo.
Checking you for life signs,
No pulse meets my fingers,
All I do is---
“Yuki? I’m sorry I’m running late. Sakano went into convulsions when K told us he had booked us on a live music show tomorrow without telling anyone. So I had to stay over and crank out the final touches on a new song for it. Suguru was having a prissy fit and Hiro was trying to calm him down. Did you eat yet and why are you sitting in the dark?” Shuichi asked as he made his way into the darkened living room after kicking off his shoes at the front door and hunting for the reticent author.
“Leave me alone. I don’t want to see anyone right now,” Yuki said from the shadows, clutching a folded piece of paper against his chest and shivering like a leaf in the wind.
“You can’t mean that! What’s wrong? What’s that? Please, talk to me, Yuuuukiiii!” Shuichi exclaimed as instant worry filled him. He inched over towards the writer and placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. Eiri jerked back as if he had been scalded which earned him a hurt look from the singer.
“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t you understand that!! Why can’t everyone just leave me the hell alone? If you love me and care as much as you say you do, then you will give me a few moments alone,” Eiri said in a low, broken voice that held a strain Shuichi didn’t understand or like.
“Have you been crying?” Shuichi asked as he squinted to get a closer look at the writer. He failed miserably from where he was standing.
“Shut. The. Hell. Up. And. GO AWAY!” Eiri said as he glared at Shuichi with enough anger to send the young man retreating towards the kitchen. Pausing at the threshold between rooms, he glanced back at the hunched form of the writer with a helpless feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“Yuki?” Shuichi asked quietly, gripping the wall with his fingers as he waited for the sharp remark that he was fairly certain Eiri would respond with.
“Are you deaf or something?!? WHAT!!??!” Eiri yelled, though he refused to move into the light that was weakly filtering in from the kitchen. It cast both men in an unreal silhouette of gold and grey.
“It’s alright to let the tears out when you are grieving for someone you cared about. Tears that stay on the inside aren’t good for you. They build up and mildew. Wait, that’s not it. They drown you and make you old before your time. I don’t want you to be squishy on the inside where I can’t see or do anything about it,” Shuichi said with an odd smile on his face. The worry in his eyes did not fade though he tried not to let it overwhelm him to the point of clinging to the writer.
“Squishy on the inside? You’re the biggest idiot I know,” Eiri said. A faint chuckle came out of him and was quickly silenced.
“I’m your idiot and don’t you forget it,” Shuichi said as his smile widened into something approaching normal.
“Like you’d ever let me,” Eiri said with an annoyed tone to his voice. He remained where he was seated, causing Shuichi’s smile to falter.
“I’ll cry for you,” Shuichi said. With a nod of his head as he drifted towards the kitchen. Eiri watched him go with a puzzled expression before he finally called into the kitchen.
“Why’s that?” Eiri asked, knowing he was going to regret his curiosity.
“Because you can’t and I don’t want you getting squishy or mildewing on me. I’m going to make tea if you want a cup,” Shuichi offered as he began moving around the kitchen. This was something he could do without cutting himself or setting anything on fire.
Eiri stared at the paper in his hands and listened to the distant sounds of Shuichi. He couldn’t remember what he was supposed to be doing or saying anymore.
Grief that turns to anger,
Why’d this have to happen?
I want you back.
“He sent you one via the Suguru express too, didn’t he?” Mika asked. She sipped a cup of tea then set it upon a coaster that matched the color scheme of her trendy living room. Eiri sipped at his own cup of tea and watched his sister with narrowed eyes.
“Yeah. Among other things, he wanted me to check on you,” Eiri replied in a flat tone of voice, noting the darkness shadowing his sister’s eyes as well as the gauntness of her appearance.
“I’ll be fine, Eiri. I’m going to see the doctor today. He’s going to up the dosage on my tranquilizers so I can sleep. I’m supposed to start counseling next week, not that I have much faith it will help me,” she stated as she leaned back and folded her hands neatly into her lap.
“You don’t need to be doped up the rest of your life. Take it from an old pro at this." Eiri watched as Mika folded and unfolded her hands as she spoke.
“I keep expecting him to walk through the front door. I tried to call his cell phone the other day and remembered he wouldn’t answer halfway through dialing. It’s the little things I miss. How he’d pat my head or kiss me on the cheek when we saw each other. The little sticky notes reminding me to eat or pick up something. Finding him asleep on the sofa with sheet music spread all over his lap as well as the coffee table. I even miss fighting with him about …you,” Mika said listlessly as she glanced at Eiri who looked away for a moment. Golden eyes met deep brown in a rare moment of understanding between the two siblings.
“You don’t know how much a person is a part of your life until they disappear,” he stated, sighing as he stared into his tea cup as if it held the answers to all of his unanswered questions.
“He loved you above everyone and everything in this world, Eiri. Please don’t forget that. He would have wanted you to go on, not grieve for him the rest of your days,” Mika said softly, forcing a plastic smile onto her lips.
“He loved you, too. He didn’t want either of us in pain but I know he wouldn’t want to be forgotten either. Tell me how you let go of someone enough to stop hurting over their memory but still be able to remember what they meant to you?” Eiri asked. For a moment, he seemed to be the frightened little boy of ten who had come to Mika with a stubbed finger or scared by the monsters in the closet.
“I don’t know but it’s going to take time and effort. In my case, counseling, heavy drugs and a lot of private weeping are in order. I may go see Europe or completely redecorate the house. Your answer is probably in his last words to you and in Shuichi’s arms,” Mika said with a comforting smile as she rose from her seat. Drifting over to sit beside her brother, she placed a kiss on his cheek and tentatively offered him a hug.
“Maybe,” Eiri murmured as he set the cup of tea down and awkwardly embraced Mika. He allowed himself to relax and he felt her body shaking. Not a sound escaped her lips but he knew she was sobbing against his chest. Lightly, he ran his fingers through her hair and wondered why he couldn’t find a single tear in himself.
Look into your eyes,
Dropping to my knees,
“Tulips and daisies? What’s the occasion, Yuki?” Shuichi asked as he looked up from the magazine he had been pouring through. His eyes followed the blond who had a bouquet full of the bright, colorful flowers in his arms.
“I’ll be back in time for dinner. I have to go see a friend,” Eiri said with a sad expression on his face as he juggled the vase and grabbed his car keys. Sliding them into his pocket with a chinking sound, he moved towards the front door.
“A friend? It’s Saturday and we were supposed to go feed the ducks today! You promised, Yuki! The flowers are blooming and it’s warm outside. Spring’s here and I want to share it with you. ‘Tis the season for loving!” Shuichi declared as he bounded after Eiri and tugged on his arm. Glancing up into the blond’s eyes, he was caught by the expression there. It was full of sadness and resignation.
“I’ll take you tomorrow. This is something I need to do. It can’t wait any longer,” Eiri said as he shook Shuichi off and opened the door. The singer trailed after him, forcing down a pout that was quickly replaced by a curious look.
“Is it really that important? You promised!!” Shuichi said as he blocked Eiri’s escape route with his body.
“It is and I promised I’d take you this weekend. Tomorrow is still the weekend. I’ll even buy you ice cream. Now move before I dump these flowers on your head,” Eiri threatened half-heartedly. Shifting a little, he peered between the petals at Shuichi who had abruptly shifted mood at the mention of ice cream.
“Okay, but you had better buy me a double scoop. Be careful and be back as soon as you can?” Shuichi asked hopefully. He leaned up on his tiptoes and kissed the side of Eiri’s face before retreating back towards their shared living space.
“I will. Now go do something productive like dusting all your junk,” Eiri said as moved out of hearing range. Shuichi watched him go, tilting his head and wondering what fire had been ignited in his lover. The writer never went out on a sunny Saturday when he could brood contently at home. With a flash of pink hair, Shuichi disappeared back inside, humming and hoping they could order out for supper.
World falling down,
World falling down.
“I finished it yesterday. I think you would have been proud of the results. I offered the lyrics to Ryuichi but he wouldn’t even look at them when he found out I had written the song for you,” Eiri said as he set the vase of flowers down at the foot of the cool marble obelisk with Tohma’s epitaph and postmortem name on it. Straightening slowly, he thrust his hands into the pockets of his coat and stared.
Sunshine drifted through new green leaves as a few wayward cherry blossoms blew through the cemetery. Blond hair flew around Eiri’s face as he bowed his head, trying to find words to say what he had to. It wasn’t easy but he had been rehearsing this moment in his head for weeks now.
“Nothing I say or do is going to bring you back. I can’t say that I loved you or that I’ve loved anyone except …him. We both know where that brought me. I don’t know what so many things mean, even if I write about them with the air of an expert,” Eiri started to speak then fell silent. Lifting his head, he listened to the sounds of cars moving by. A radio was playing somewhere in the distance and children were laughing as they reveled in the early spring afternoon. Life went on around him, but never with him.
“You were …my closest friend in this world. You meant a lot to me and were always there to pick up the pieces. No matter what anyone else thought of you or said about you, you were something special to me. I don’t know what I’ll do without you to be there when I don’t want you to be. I won’t ever forget you, peacock. If I believed in hell, I’d have to say you were running it by now. Save me a seat by the air conditioner. I’ll…miss you but I refuse to say good bye. I’ll be back to see you again. I promise,” he whispered before looking up at the sweet blue of the sky. Yellow flowers blew against the cool marble of the gravesite. Eiri turned and moved away, wiping at his cheek as a single tear slipped down the side of his face.
I can’t go on….
A crumpled sheet of paper was neatly tucked away into Eiri’s private filing cabinet. It only saw the light of day in the darker hours of the night or odd moments. It was faded around the edges but the kanji were still plainly visible to be deciphered.
Obviously, I am no longer among the living if this has been delivered to your hands. I refused to take any chances with my last words to you. There is so much I want to say and cannot find the words to express it how I want.
I know you and that you will angst over my death like there is no tomorrow. More than likely, you will only realize how much I mean to you or everything I have done for you after I am gone. It would be a very typically you thing to do. I am flattering my ego and deciding that this is what will happen once I am buried. Now that we understand each other, I will have the last word between us.
Depending on the circumstances, don’t you dare blame yourself for my demise. I will forcibly come back and haunt you should you do so. I can do such a thing and you know it. Don’t forget me, either, but don’t spend the rest of your life mourning for me. Please refer to the above threat of a ghostly nature. I will not have you hurting because of me or ruining your chances for contentment in the same manner.
Shindou-san is a hopeless idiot with little to recommend him but he loves you. He won’t hurt you or again I’ll repeat the threat if he does. On second thought, I will simply make his next life hell. Give him and yourself a chance to be happy, Eiri-san. Try to do this for me. (Unless you’ve come to your senses and dumped the moron, in which case, apply the above to someone very, very special. They won’t be worthy of you but you need someone to take care of you. You do not do well alone. Do not be alone.)
I love you. Always remember that. I always loved you and would have done anything for you. You had better not forget me. Please check on Mika because she will need you. It is my last wish that you and she will look after each other through the tragedy of my death. Do not forget to keep writing, or I will be severely disappointed in you.
Take care of yourself.
There isn’t much else I can say that you don’t already know or will figure out in time. I know my soul will miss you where ever it has gone to. I finally know something you don’t, about death and the afterlife. That’s an empty feeling.
One last thing. Destroy your coffee maker for me. If I had to die, then it should too.
Yours in eternity,
P.S. Don’t let Mika forget to find good homes for my wardrobe and keyboard. I’m leaving you my piano. You had better not let Shindou touch it or again with the haunting. Take care of yourself, Eiri-san. Love you, always.