title: Gratitude
fandom: Gravitation
characters/pairings: Yuki/Shuichi, Hiro, Fuji, K, Tohma
rating: G/Teen
warnings: sex
summary: Yuki puts himself out for Shuichi.
notes: none

He could always hear the key in the lock, no matter what music he had playing. It was his cue to hunch over the keyboard, peer at the monitor, and act completely engrossed in his work. That way, Shuichi would only bother him a little, and then he would trot off to make dinner. Yuki found that Shuichi was actually quite good at making stir fry with rice, and also miso soup.

He wasn't writing at the moment. He had given up for the day two hours earlier when the best metaphor for ejaculation he could come up with was 'streaming river of love.' This was clearly unacceptable. He was reading fanfiction based on his least favorite book, by someone who definitely thought 'streaming river of love' was a beautiful turn of expression.

It was only when he got to the bottom of the page that he realized that Shuichi had not cried out 'La-Hi-Ho~oh!' and trampled in to throw himself at Yuki's feet and beg for a kiss. Yuki tapped his fingers on the desk. He waited. He listened carefully, checking for signs of life in the kitchen, or perhaps some singing in the bedroom.


Irritated, he shut down his browser, and snapped his laptop shut. He strode into the kitchen, intending to go straight to the refrigerator if Shuichi was present anywhere along the way, but he was alone. He scowled. There wasn't really anywhere else to look. Of course, their apartment was huge, but Shuichi was convinced that the guest wing had bats, for no reason Yuki could determine, and he never went past the bedroom to the utility rooms unless Yuki went with him because of cobwebs.

They didn't have cobwebs anywhere in their house, but that was hardly the point. The only reason to go to the utility room was to do the laundry, and Shuichi always did his laundry wearing his smallest and tightest shorts, and nothing else, because if he had anything else to wear, he wouldn't need to do the laundry.

Yuki had no problem whatsoever with that logic.

Sighing, he resigned himself to searching out his young lover, even as he frantically tried to think of an excuse for why he would be going into the bedroom. Maybe he needed a shower...

The room was completely dark, but it wasn't hard to locate Shuichi. In the corner of the bed, threatening to fall off at any moment, huddled under the covers, there was a sniffling lump that sounded remarkably like a young pop idol.

Yuki considered. He could just sit on the bed and turn on the tv, and wait for Shuichi to come out. It was tempting.

He locked his jaw, and sat down as close to the lump as he could. He stared straight ahead at the wall, feeling rather piqued. "Well? What's wrong now?"

There was a howl of sniffles, and then a mumbled 'go away' that Yuki was confident was meant to be ignored.

Still, he considered just leaving, and maybe ordering in for dinner, but that didn't address what he was supposed to do when he got tired. When Shuichi decided to be melodramatic, it inevitably plunged onward to climax before any sanity could be restored in their house.

He poked the lump, and growled. "Hey! I asked you a question!" When no answer immediately issued forth, he tugged on the top of the comforter until a shock of bright pink hair was visible.

Shuichi sniffled some more, and then moaned, "I'm the worst writer ever!"

Yuki managed to bite his tongue before responding, granting himself a moment of pain to consider more carefully what he should say. "And?"

Shuichi the lump shuddered, and then whimpered. "Everyone hates me!"

Yuki rolled his eyes. He had rarely been forced to endure the presence of anyone more likely to ingratiate themselves into the hearts of all than with Shuichi. Even his damned father had come around to liking Shuichi, chastising Yuki for debauching such a sweet, caring soul. "What?"

Shuichi tugged the comforter down far enough so that one watery eye could balefully gaze up at Yuki. "They all said so! Not in so many words, but... They ripped my new song apart! K said it was time for the band to mature, and even Fujisaki said he was tired of playing the same old stuff. Sakano-san said that he thought it could use a lot of improvement, and even Seguchi-sama was there, and he said that it wasn't up to NG snuff!!"

Yuki counted to ten. He just didn't see how that differentiated this song from any of Shuichi's other efforts.

"And!" Shuichi sounded ready to break down into a million billion pieces. "Hiro said it needed work. Hiro!!"

Yuki sighed. Sometimes he wondered if Hiro ever felt jealous of him for getting in the way of his and Shuichi's relationship. It seemed obvious to everyone but Shuichi that Hiro was really the best mate he could have gotten. Yuki chose wisely never to press the point, being penitently grateful that Hiro was too gentle to fight for Shuichi.

Shuichi burrowed under the covers again. "They want to hire a professional writer for the next album! Can you believe it? What's the point of being Bad Luck if it isn't our words? The whole reason we started the band was so that people could hear what we had to say."

It was incomprehensible to Yuki that Shuichi might actually have 'something to say' about Spicy Marmalade, but he kept that observation neatly to himself.

The lump began to shudder and sniffle again, and Yuki was faced with very few options.

Option one involved distracting Shuichi with sex, so he decided to explore that option before investigating what else he could possibly do.

The lump was hard to get his arms around effectively, partially because he couldn't tell how Shuichi was oriented within the lump. He struggled though, and managed to squirm enough of the comforter down to put his lips on skin.

The lump started to cry.

Yuki sighed, and pulled his cigarettes out of the bedside table. Shuichi hated it when he smoked in bed, but he allowed it after sex without too much whining. If he had a problem with it now, he could get out of that damned lump and say so.

There wasn't much else to do. He could ignore Shuichi, but that was a pipe dream, and he knew it before he thought it. He could try to be comforting, although he didn't have much experience with that, and the situation was becoming dire rapidly.

He sucked hard on his cigarette, letting the smoke burn hard into his lungs. Only one other choice kept presenting itself to him.

Hating himself, and Shuichi by extension, he knocked his ash into the ashtray and sighed. "Let me see it."

The lump quieted momentarily, and Yuki was rewarded with the view of the eye again. "What?"

Yuki rolled his eyes so that Shuichi could see. "Let me see it."

Shuichi trembled, but he pushed the comforter down, unwinding his body a bit. He remained flat on the bed, and he looked up at Yuki with the expression of a tiny little fox wanting to know if you are planning on backing up to run it over again. "Are... are you sure?"

Yuki held out his hand, and finished off his cigarette.

Slowly, Shuichi pushed himself up, rolling his hips around so that he could fish the small folded up notepaper out of his pocket. He held it protectively, again flashing his pitiful eyes at Yuki.

Yuki merely continued to hold his hand out.

Shuichi shook as he passed the paper over, and curled up against the headboard with his back to Yuki, hugging his knees to his chest. Yuki unfolded the paper, and read the characters on the page. He read through it fast the first time, and then read each line individually.

It was terrible, of course, but so was everything Shuichi wrote. He was a terrible writer.

Yuki was about to say so, too, when he reconsidered. There were absolutely no references to 'streaming rivers of love.' That ought to earn the boy a few points.

Yuki looked at Shuichi from the corner of his eye. The poor boy was trembling violently, preparing himself for the onslaught. Yuki knew that Shuichi worked hard on his lyrics and music. It wasn't his fault he wasn't gifted with words; the boy did have a knack for music.

He read it over again, this time looking at it through his best estimation of Shuichi's eyes, trying to see the intent behind each line, each word. It didn't surprise him that he found something that seemed to be about him buried under the clichés and the over the top language; he was as important to Shuichi as Shuichi was to him.

That floored him, really. Shuichi was still so young and innocent. Yuki didn't think that Shuichi would ever be impure, not even after their kinkiest night. Everything Shuichi did for him was filled with such love.

He didn't deserve such an honest emotion, and Shuichi didn't deserve such a selfish partner.

There were a million different ways that he showed Shuichi how he felt about him, but they almost all fell on a level that was beneath what Shuichi was used to dealing with; not that Shuichi was shallow, but he was just very direct. He wasn't equipped to deal with someone as subtle as Yuki.

And yet he hung in there, sticking by Yuki no matter how cheaply Yuki treated him, no matter how many times Yuki tested him, no matter how many times Yuki used him. The love that inspired Shuichi to stay with Yuki was in the song, but it just wasn't coming out.

Shuichi was now watching Yuki intently from behind his shoulder, and Yuki sighed. He had to say something.

"You know... actually, this metaphor isn't bad."

Shuichi blinked. With the reticence of a brown bear drifting out of hibernation, he turned over to face Yuki. "Show me."

"'Forever I will wait for you, like a seedling for the sun.' That's not too bad."

Shuichi bridged the gap between them, putting his hand on Yuki's arm. "Really? You like it?"

Yuki frowned. There was so far he was willing to go for Shuichi, and no further. "Well, the rest of the song is crap, but this is ok. And the sentiment is good." He hesitated to continue. It would mean spending the night bent over paper with pencils, listening to Shuichi wax poetic. It would be torture. "We could work on it together if you like."

"Really?!?!?!" Shuichi bounced into his lap, and showered him with kisses all over his face. Yuki put his arms around Shuichi's trim waist, and pulled him in for some steamy kisses. "Oh, Yuki, that would mean so much to me! You're the best, the absolute best, and I love you a million trillion quadrillion times over!"

Yuki scowled. "We'll have to have dinner first. You cook."

"No problem!" Shuichi bounced in his lap, and Yuki squirmed.

"You can't get defensive or mopey about anything I say. You have to stay detached."

"Yes! Yes!"

Shuichi was still bouncing, and Yuki decided to just go with it. He turned them over, pinning Shuichi to the bed. He pressed down on his young lover, amazed as always at the shining, purifying love that set fire to Shuichi's eyes when he was taken by surprise like this. "And first, I'm going to ravage you within an inch of your life, and you're going to like it."

"Oh, yes," Shuichi purred, and he rolled his hips up to grind against Yuki's.

Yuki growled, and dove in, feasting on Shuichi's mouth.

They didn't notice that the piece of paper had gotten stuck between them until after, when they were cleaning up.

"'Stain of Life.' I like it. It's emotional." Fujisaki sounded completely flummoxed, totally uncertain as to where this might have come from.

Hiro watched as Shuichi sprawled all over the table from a sitting position, a goofy grin spreading all over his face. He read over the words again, still mystified that Shuichi wanted to sing such... raw lyrics.

"Yuki helped me," Shuichi sighed, spreading his arms out. "He's the best."

Seguchi smiled tightly, his sharp eyes clearly picking apart all the double meanings and putting together a nice picture that he could insert himself into should he choose. "Good work, Shuichi-san. I am impressed."

Everyone was nodding their agreement, and K was already popping a champagne bottle, although it wasn't clear if he intended to share or not. Shuichi propped his face up on his hand. "So, we don't need the pro writer, then, right?"

Seguchi smiled with false kindness. "No, none except the one you already employed."

Shuichi clearly did not pick up on any slight, because he vaulted himself up and cheered, falling down mostly into Hiro's lap. "Hear that, Hiro! We get to keep our own sound! Bad Luck will always be about what we want to say!"

Hiro looked over the chorus again. 'Forever and ever, I will be here for you / whether or not you are there for me / like a seedling still buried under the earth / I will live for the day I can / I can bask in your sun.' He ruefully put his arms around Shuichi, allowing himself to enjoy the reflected glory of Shuichi's boundless love. "I have to admit, Shuichi, this song is definitely Bad Luck."

Shuichi bounced out of his arms again, and Hiro swallowed back his sigh. He couldn't help smiling, seeing Shuichi so happy.

He almost felt like thanking Yuki, but it was easy to quash that impulse. Shuichi certainly thanked Yuki enough last night.