title: Press
fandom: Gravitation
characters/pairings: Hiro/Shuichi, Yuki/Shuichi, Tohma
rating: Teen
warnings: drinking, non-con/coerced intimacy
summary: Shuichi and Hiro have to endure a photo shot, with somewhat devastating results.
notes: sometimes, you need to excise images from your head... ^_~ i'm thinking this takes place roughly manga continuity, somewhere in the vicinity of volume 3. shrugs

They didn't even get decent coffee. Hiro would have thought for sure that they would get decent coffee.

There were cans of beer in big buckets of ice, but Hiro had wanted coffee. He'd take a beer, under protest, but it wasn't the same. His shirt itched, and his pants were too damn tight, and Shuichi was never going to get out of the dressing room. Shuichi had never been the type to preen before the mirror. Hiro blamed Yuki for this new development.

He finished the can of beer, and contemplated picking up another can. Who knew how long it would be before Shuichi came out?

"Ah, you're the guitarist?"

Hiro looked over his shoulder, still bent over picking out his beer. An impossibly tall, skinny man was appraisingly looking him up and down shamelessly. Hiro struggled with embarrassment and anger, straightening up as quickly as he could without looking nervous. "Yeah?"

The man smiled, a silky grin that seemed a bit too knowing. "Very nice. Yes, very nice... Himiko does good work, doesn't she? How do you like your clothes?"

"I don't," Hiro glared. "Can't I just wear what I brought?"

The man laughed, shaking his head. "No, no, you look fabulous, don't change a thing. Go over to the makeup table, maybe, and just powder off, just a bit, just a little... Very nice. Now, where is the singer? I'd like to get started..."

Ah, so this was the photographer. Hiro sighed. Seguchi-san had gone to effort to get them time with him for the art for their first single, so it would be impolite, he supposed, to knock the prick on his ass. Still. An option for later. "Shuichi is still getting dressed. Let me check on him."

"Mm, check on him all you like, honey. When you're done, breeze by makeup, and then get your cute little butts on the floor. We've got work to do!" He sashayed away, laughing to himself.

Hiro promptly ignored everything he said, and went to check on Shuichi. Nothing had changed of course; the dressing room door was still closed, there was no sound coming from inside, and the light was still on. Hiro sighed, rapping gently on the door. "Shu? Shuichi, c'mon, let's get this thing over with."

"I can't!" Shuichi wailed.

Hiro closed his eyes and counted to twenty. Shuichi was going to be melodramatic. Ok. He could handle this. "Shu, if you don't get your ass out here in the next twenty seconds, I'm going to come in there and drag you out myself!"

"Fine! Come in! I don't care! I can't go out like this and they won't give me anything else to wear!"

Hiro flung the door open, and promptly felt his stomach drop to the center of the earth.

Shuichi was wearing a variant of his stage outfit, only it appeared to be the streetwalker's version. The long trench coat was fake snakeskin, red and black, sleeveless, and cut so that it displayed Shuichi's body rather than cover it, the tiny t-shirt didn't even touch his abdomen, and was completely transparent, and the shorts were... Well, hell, the shorts weren't even shorts, they were barely hot pants. They were shiny black vinyl and they appeared to conform to Shuichi's body with great precision.

Hiro felt lightheaded.

Shuichi was practically in tears, desperate to hide himself, but he had nothing to hide behind. "What am I supposed to do? I asked them ten times, and they just keep telling me this is what I'm supposed to wear! We should have brought someone from NG... anyone!!"

Hiro sighed. Shuichi was right, but Sakano had a bad cold, and they had both agreed to give him the time off. They had assured everyone that they could handle getting their pictures taken without any trouble. "Maybe... Maybe if you just wore what you came with..."

"I wore a damn Sailor Moon t-shirt and cargo shorts!"

Wincing, Hiro rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, that's not going to work..."

A quick knock preceded the door opening again. "Hi! My name is Kaho. I'm going to do your makeup. Omigod, you guys look so hot! I saw your concert last week, it was wicked!! Are you two lovers?"

They both paled in unison.

She giggled, tossing her pink hair over her shoulder. "I love you guys. I've been bragging to everyone that I get to make you up. Ok, Shuichi, do you want any body glitter? Hiro can rub it on you if you like..." She winked at them, giggling again.

Shuichi backed away, trying to pull his trench closed over his body. "No, no, no glitter..."

Hiro stepped in between them. "Look, is there any way we could get him something else to wear? This isn't really the look we want for Bad Luck." He smiled and turned on the charm, leaning closer to her slightly.

"Oh, no... Himiko-san wouldn't like that at all... Besides, the wardrobe was ok'd by Seguchi-sama himself. I don't think we can change it now."

Shuichi groaned, turning to bang his forehead against the wall. Hiro frowned. This wasn't right at all. "Well, maybe we should just leave, then. We don't need to put up with this shit!"

"But!" Shuichi gasped, "If Seguchi-san said so, and then if we refuse, we'll get dropped! And if we get dropped by NG before we even put out a single, we'll never get picked up by anyone!"

Hiro turned to face Shuichi, his back to Kaho. "So what? This isn't worth it, Shu..."

"Whoa! Whoa!" Kaho moved around Hiro deftly, smiling calmly at Shuichi, just as she would to a frightened child. "It's not that bad, is it? You look damn hot, and it's not like you have anything to be ashamed of, right? And they snap a few pics, you change and go home, and once your single is a huge hit, which it totally will be 'cause you guys are the awesomest, then the next time around, you get to tell them what you want!"

Shuichi and Hiro looked at each other, a war of silent words flinging back and forth between them.

Kaho saw the hesitation in Shuichi and sprung. "I mean, even Ryuichi had to make some compromises at first... but then he was the one calling all the shots. You sorta look like him, you know."

Shuichi blushed, and broke eye contact with Hiro to smile at her.

She went for the kill. "The first time I heard Bad Luck, I thought, that's the band that's gonna pick up where Nittle Grasper left off, and just take off. You'll totally be the hottest thing ever! And then, you'll be richer than gods, and you can make all the choices yourself. You just need to take a few baby steps first."

Hiro was about to launch a counterattack when the assistant rushed into the room. "Are they ready yet?? He's getting antsy! C'mon, let's go, let's go!"

Shuichi shrugged, and followed listlessly behind them. Hiro gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, and trailed behind.

The first two hours of shooting were awful. They had to keep posing, and grinning, and they were both so tense, nothing looked good. The photographer went from smarmy to simmering fast, constantly yelling at them to do this or do that, and then screaming when they tried to follow his orders. They took breaks so that he could yell at the lighting crew, and Hiro and Shuichi stood off to the side, drinking beers and trying to stay out of sight.

After that, things started to get a little easier, mostly because Hiro and Shuichi were getting a little drunk. The photographer got a few shots he seemed rather pleased with when Shuichi was just goofing off, playacting the superstar, and the tension in the room broke. Soon, they were snapping roll after roll with the photographer calling out 'Good!' and 'Excellent!' rather than 'No!' and 'Move your damn arm!'

It seemed like they should be done for the day, but then they got dragged off to a private room, with a much smaller crew, to take 'intimate shots.'

While the crew was setting up, the photographer, who was now letting them call him Raef, sat and drank a few beers with them. Hiro couldn't help noticing the way he was looking at Shuichi, licking his lips as he dragged his eyes up and down Shuichi's small body. Hiro slide protectively closer, and then promptly turned bright red when Raef grinned at him.

Raef leaned forward, putting his hand on Shuichi's thigh gingerly, as if testing the waters. "So, you two have known each other a long time?"

"All my life, just about!" Shuichi replied, a little too quickly. "Hiro's my bestest, closest, most awesomest friend ever."

Raef rubbed his hand back and forth over Shuichi's skin, his eyes on Hiro, his lips quirked into a grin. "That's fantabulous. Friends are great."

"Yeah," Shuichi sighed, putting his head on Hiro's shoulder.

"This is what we need for the money shots!" Raef declared, victoriously. "Just the two of you... being you! You know... there are plenty of fangirls out there who get very... passionate about boys who are... comfortable in each other's personal space. Do you read me?"

Shuichi's brow was wrinkled in confusion, but Hiro could read him plain as day. "What exactly do you have in mind?"

"Oh, nothing, nothing, I just want you two to be yourselves. Just... act normal. Like you are now."

"Oh," Shuichi grinned, turning to cuddle against Hiro's chest. "We can do that!"

"Perfect," Raef oozed, his eyes glued to the hem of Shuichi's shorts, where a sliver of ass was peaking through. Hiro put his arms around Shuichi, holding him closer, glaring at Raef. Raef smirked. "Absolutely perfect."

They began again. This time, they were leaning against a white brick wall with a white furry wall hanging. Hiro behind, and Shuichi in Hiro's arms. Hiro resting his chin on Shuichi's head as they both smiled for the camera. The two of them laughing together.

Raef suggested that the lighting would work better if Shuichi lost his trench, and it was like Shuichi totally forgot his former modesty.

Hiro was definitely feeling lightheaded. Somewhere, a little voice was still screaming about right and wrong, but it seemed very distant. There was a pleasant buzz in his head, deafening him to the sound, and there was Shuichi pressed against him, virtually naked in his arms.

It just all blurred together. They went from making goofy faces together, their arms over each other's shoulders, to making bedroom eyes at the camera, Hiro's shirt open, and Shuichi clutched tightly to his chest.

When Raef purred and suggested that Hiro take off Shuichi's silly little shirt, Hiro could feel Shuichi tense in his arms, but he was too consumed with his given task to think. And even though Shuichi seemed less... confidant, he was also still feeling the pleasant burn of alcohol in his blood.

It wasn't a big step from there to Hiro teasing Shuichi's nipples while nibbling on his ear, and even though Shuichi was protesting weakly, he was also grinding his ass against Hiro's crotch.

Hiro was not made of stone. No matter how many times he had resolved to swallow his feelings and ignore his impulses, he was here now, and he barely even registered Raef's commanding voice or the watching eyes of the crew. The grip rubbing himself while leering at them was outside the periphery of their universe.

Hiro felt, very strongly, that they were made to fit together like this. He had always known that Shuichi was inside of him, into his bones, buried in his very soul, so why should he stop?

Hiro felt Shuichi tighten, coiling up like a spring, but his thoughts were sluggish, and it took him a moment to connect the movements of Shuichi's hips, his own burning erection, and Shuichi's tension. Hiro turned Shuichi enough so that he could see his eyes.

Confusion. Fear. Hope.

"Kiss him."

The words might very well have come from god above, Hiro didn't care. They provided enough of an excuse.

Shuichi's lips parted for his tongue, and Hiro's whole body seared with desire, with need. Things suddenly seemed very simple.

"Touch him."

Hiro's hands readily followed the order, questing over Shuichi's skin, grasping and clutching as Shuichi moaned.

He thought he heard Shuichi protest, but it was hard to hear, because Shuichi was still grinding against him, and he just wanted to... he wanted...

"Unbutton his shorts."

Shuichi let out a strangled refusal, but Hiro twisted his nipple between his fingers, and Shuichi's body was like butter, melting against him. He unsnapped the top button, pushing down the vinyl waistband, his heart thudding powerfully in his chest at all the new skin he was being exposed to.

The flashing lights just added to the surreal experience.

"That's it, put your hand in there..."

Oh, Hiro wanted to, to just slip down over the tuft of hair and just... just...

Shuichi was tight against him, his whole body like a piano wire ready to snap, and maybe, if Hiro slipped down a little further, he would...

"Yes... Yes... slip those shorts right off..."

It was hard to budge the vinyl, hard to think or to hear over the pounding of his heart, hard to feel beyond the blood rushing through his veins, he was hot and cold and he pushed down, slipping the shorts down, and down a little more...

"No!" Shuichi cried, shattering the illusion, and he turned to press his face against Hiro's bare chest, leaving Hiro with his hand on Shuichi's bare ass.

Hiro blinked.

Shuichi peeked out to glare at Raef, tears streaming down his cheek.


Shuichi was crying.

Hiro pulled Shuichi into his embrace, and shielded him from the photographer. "We're done."

A few quick flashes of light, and then a grin. "We most certainly are. You two are amazing. I hope we can work together again, soon." Raef leered at both of them, making Hiro feel dirty right down to the marrow in his bones.

They remained locked together until the room cleared out, Hiro staring down the grip with a goofy, salacious grin, and then they were alone. Guilt crashed down onto Hiro's head, turning his knees to jelly and his stomach to acid. "Oh, Shu, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..."

Shuichi shook his head in denial, separating to pull the wall hanging off the wall. He wrapped himself up in it like it were a towel, and he stalked off to the dressing room, his head held high.

It took considerably less time to him to come out now than it did the first time. Hiro barely had time to change himself before he was chasing after Shuichi. They were nearly three blocks away from the studio before Shuichi broke down into tears, leaning against the wall of an arcade as his shoulders shook.

Hiro would have slit his wrists if he had a knife.

"Shu, Shu, gods, I don't know what the hell I was thinking, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, please, please look at me..."

"He's going to hate me," Shuichi stuttered. "Oh, god, he's going to see the pictures and he's going to hate me even worse!"

Hiro swallowed down the bitter taste of jealousy, and gently put his hand on Shuichi's shoulder. "He works in entertainment, sort of. Seguchi-san is his brother-in-law. I'll bet he understands."

"How can he?" Shuichi demanded, his bloodshot eyes piercing into Hiro's. "I don't understand! It was... It was... and I liked it!"

Hiro felt weak. "It was the beer. The lights. Just... being in that weird position. We'll talk to management tomorrow. We'll make sure they don't use anything... untoward. Yuki doesn't need to know anything."

"I cheated on him. And just after I got him to agree to be exclusive! I cheated on him!" Shuichi's eyes got puffy and wet, and he started to almost keen.

Hiro actually felt the moment his heart ripped out of his chest and committed suicide on the sidewalk.

"You didn't. It wasn't your fault. It was me; I should have had better control. I shouldn't have let myself get... get carried away like that. Gods, Shuichi, I'll never be able to say I'm sorry enough." He was babbling, and he knew he was babbling, and he knew he never babbled, and he wanted to stop but his mouth kept moving. "It was all my fault. I was just so into it, being there like that with you... And I never thought that... But it was stupid, and I took advantage of you, and, gods, I'm sorry, but I..."

"Hiro." Shuichi sounded remarkably calm and clear. "I cheated on him."

Hiro wasn't sure what to think or feel. There were too many things pulling on him all at once, he couldn't even give into the feeling, because there were too many of them, and whatever it was that was flashing in Shuichi's eyes, Hiro was almost afraid to interpret it.

"Can I stay with you tonight?"

Hiro felt slapped. "What? I mean, of course, but... Yuki..."

"If I go back to him tonight," Shuichi explained mournfully, his arms wrapped around his chest, "I'll just spill everything, and it won't make any sense, and he'll kick me out, and that will be that." He closed his eyes, his wet lashes dark against his skin. "I love him. I wish like hell I could just stop, but he's..."

Hiro swallowed. He took a step forward, and offered his arms to Shuichi. "He's inside of you. He's in your skin, and in your soul, and you have to be with him, no matter what. Whatever it takes."

Shuichi flung himself into Hiro's loose embrace, his face pressed into Hiro's chest, now separated from Hiro's skin by the cloth of his shirt. "Gods, Hiro, I'm so damn sorry..."

"Don't be," Hiro said with affection, ruffling Shuichi's hair. "You don't get to choose, after all."

It was the sort of restaurant that had a dress code, but Yuki Eiri could waltz in with an open collar, just because. Tohma hid his grin behind his napkin. Yuki was glaring from one side to the other, challenging anyone to rebuff him, but he managed to get to the table uninterrupted.

"Eiri-san, thank you. It's been too long."

Yuki grunted, looking over the spread of pictures before Tohma. "It's been two weeks. What's all this?"

Tohma sighed. "Bad Luck's first photo session. I must confess, I didn't expect it to go this well... Forgive me, but I've never thought of Shuichi-san as being that attractive. But I guess I was wrong..."

Yuki picked up a shot of Hiro and Shuichi lip locked, Shuichi eyeing the camera distrustfully from the corner of his eye, while Hiro had his eyes closed, totally lost in the moment. "Hmph. You're getting to be quite a pervert in your old age, Tohma. I'll have to warn my sister... Do you mind if I take a few?"

Tohma laughed, a tinkling sound that masked the steel in Tohma's voice. "Oh, heavens, no, but it is a bit intriguing... I mean, we certainly can't use most of these anyway! Honestly, do you think we are going to put this on the cover of a single?" The picture was just of Hiro and Shuichi's torsos, Shuichi's slim body totally bare, a hint of a shirt framing Hiro's more muscular, masculine frame. Hiro's hand was snaking down the front of Shuichi's belly, with just the suggestion of a few hairs implying where Hiro's fingers were.

Yuki reached across the table and took the picture, and a few more as he did.

Tohma grinned. "They really look quite good together, don't they? I guess I can see why they are so determined to make a go of it together. There's just something in their eyes..." He idly picked up a photograph, seemingly at random, but Yuki knew him far better than that.

Yuki leaned back in his chair and smirked. "Spit it out, Tohma."

A little irritated to be cut short, Tohma lingered longingly over the picture. "Just look at them... Hiro's so protective of Shuichi, so caring... They could be good together, Yuki. They fit. They're the same age, the same level of maturity, the same goals for the future, complimentary temperaments... everything that you and Shuichi could never be. Wouldn't it be better to cut Shuichi off, and let him be with someone who will make him happy?"

Yuki snatched the picture from Tohma's fingers, looking it over critically. Hiro was clutching Shuichi to his chest, glaring out as he offered Shuichi comfort. Shuichi looked delicate and fragile, naked to the eye of the camera, a single tear trekking down his cheek as one eye looked out, blistering with betrayal.

"It's his choice who he's with. It's not my concern if there's someone better for him. I'm not encouraging him."

Tohma's eyes sparked. "I don't think sharing your bed and your home with someone is a really effective method of discouragement."

Yuki smirked at Tohma's disapproving frown. "He's surprisingly good in bed."

"Eiri-san, I'm worried about you." Tohma was using his very best big brother voice, which never failed to amuse Yuki.

"Don't worry, I'm using protection."

"Eiri!" Tohma actually raised his voice a little, his nostrils flaring.

Yuki almost laughed out loud.

"Tohma," he spoke seriously, enough amusement in his voice to keep out the growl, "leave it. It's his choice, and mine. It has nothing to do with you."

"It's a bad choice," Tohma insisted, petulantly.

"Use this for the cover. It'll sell off the charts." Yuki tossed back the photo of Hiro holding the naked Shuichi. "And stay out of my love life. You've got no business there."

Tohma winced involuntarily, and Yuki smirked. They both had a habit of going straight for the killing blows, but Yuki was just more experienced at the execution.