Theme: This chapter is based on theme #29 – Love
Rating: NC-17 overall
Pairing: Miyavi (solo)/Reita (Gazette)
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies. You ought to know it by now. XD
Summary: When Reita thinks his life is just fine the way it is, Miyavi steps in and turns his entire world completely upside down.
Comments: Miyavi isn’t the only person that Reita’s upsetting, it seems. Without Miyavi, he seems to be falling apart. But just as things seem to have completely hit rock bottom, Aoi knocks some sense into him (yes, this is Aoi’s “moment”, so to speak XD), and Reita realizes that maybe, just maybe, he hasn’t lost his chance with Miyavi after all. Written, of course, for 50stories.
Chapter One: The Beginning
Chapter Two: Heat
Chapter Three: Transgression
Chapter Four: Avarice
Chapter Five: Loathing?
Chapter Six: Friends With Benefits
Chapter Seven: Deny, Deny, Deny
Chapter Eight: Torn Apart
The days seemed to pass by so slowly after Miyavi decided to end our relationship altogether. Of course, the days turned into weeks, as is the natural order of the world, but I barely noticed the passage of time. I felt almost like I relived that same phonecall again and again – every single day. I was in some sort of depressed haze, and I didn’t show any signs of coming out of said haze anytime soon.
I tried contacting Miyavi again and again after that night, just like I had after the afternoon he’d visited the studio. My efforts were futile, because Miyavi showed absolutely no interest in speaking to me anymore. I left voicemails on his cell phone, messages on his answering machine, and notes outside his apartment door; each message and note informed him that I really needed to see him and that I needed to talk to him.
However, no matter how many messages or notes I left, I didn’t receive a single reply to any of them. Miyavi had said that it was over – he had told me that he couldn’t be with me anymore, not if our relationship was going to be the same as it had been… not if we were going to continue being ‘fuckbuddies’. He had told me that he wanted more than that. I wanted more than that, too. But, I was still being stupid; I was still hiding – still trying to deny how I really felt – even though there was no point anymore because I had already lost him.
I was miserable after that night. I was miserable without him, and I didn’t even bother trying to hide that. I really don’t think I could have hidden that fact, even if I had tried to do so. I didn’t bother trying to hide it from myself, or from anyone else. So, it was only natural that my bandmates would find out that things had worsened between Miyavi and me. It was only a matter of time before they started asking me questions about it, too. It took them a couple of weeks, but I was pretty sure that they had figured it out before then – they just hadn’t said anything up until that point.
We were in the middle of practice when my bandmates actually said something concerning my relationship – or lack thereof – with Miyavi. It was my own fault, because I had just screwed up for about the seventh time in a span of half an hour. I couldn’t keep my mind on our music, and I was slowing everyone else down with my constant screw-ups. After that particular screw-up (the seventh one), though, I quit trying. I released a string of curses and very nearly slammed my bass against the floor, only reminding myself just in time that that particular bass was my favorite out of the ones that I owned. Instead, I turned and slammed my fist into the wall, releasing another long list of curses as the pain radiated through my hand and up my arm.
“… I never liked that wall either, Rei-kun,” Ruki said, sounding perfectly serious.
I shot him a rather dirty look and then turned away, muttering nonsensical words under my breath.
“If I punch the wall too, will it make you feel better?” Ruki then asked, moving to stand beside me.
I shook my head. “Ruki, please… I know that you’re just trying to make me feel better, but I don’t think anything can make me feel better right now. I don’t need jokes. Unless you have some decent advice, just don’t say anything, okay?”
“This has something to do with Miyavi-kun, doesn’t it?” If I had upset Ruki with what I had said, he wasn’t showing it. “What happened?” There was only concern in his voice as he spoke.
“He doesn’t want to see me anymore,” I replied, more than likely sounding as miserable as I felt. “My stupid mistake… I couldn’t fix it.”
I knew they were all looking at me. I felt horrible. Horrible and incompetent, and not to mention stupid. I was screwing up lately more than I was doing anything right (when was the last time that I had done something right?), and I wasn’t able to concentrate at band practice, which added to the screw-ups. I was beginning to believe I should just go home, because I wasn’t doing any good at the studio.
“Rei-kun… listen.” Kai slid off his stool, moving away from his drums and moving to stand at my other side. “We’ll quit for today, okay? Go home and get some rest. Clear your mind. I can’t promise you that everything is going to be okay. I can’t promise you that you’ll be able to fix whatever’s wrong between you and Miyavi-kun. But when you’re like this – when you’re this upset - you have a good reason to miss work.”
That was one of the few times during our friendship – up to that point, at least – that Kai had spoken to me without cracking a single joke. I turned to him, wanting to tell him, ‘thank you’, but the words got stuck in my throat. Instead, I nodded, and truly hoped that Kai would see the gratitude in my eyes.
Apparently, he did, because he smiled and patted me lightly on the back. “Let us know when you’re ready for practice to start again. Don’t worry about holding us back, okay? There’s no way we can practice properly without our bassist, and you’re not doing so great emotionally right now. Take your time.” He then looked at Ruki, Uruha, and Aoi in turn. “Let’s get out of here. We’ll come back when Reita’s feeling better.”
“I’m sorry,” I said as Kai headed towards the door. “I’m sorry that I’m acting like this. I’m sorry for being selfish.”
Kai opened the door, and then paused and looked back at me, smiling. “There’s no need to apologize, Noseless Man~. We’re all supposed to take care of each other, right? We’re all each other’s family, aren’t we?”
I felt my own lips curve into a smile and I nodded. “Yeah… Thank you.” Finally. I’d managed to thank him properly.
Ruki ruffled my hair, succeeding in messing it up completely. Then again, that was probably his objective. Might’ve even been one of his goals of the day (‘Goal 16 for the date of May 21, 2004: Ruffle Reita’s hair just for the hell of it and see how badly I can mess it up.’). “We may seem like insensitive, joking idiots sometimes, Rei-kun… Leader-sama and me, I mean. But you ought to know by now that we’re your friends, and we’re here to help. If you need a break, you need a break. Take it. Figure some things out, and we’ll talk to you later.”
Ruki joined Kai in the doorway and all-but pushed him through (apparently, his ‘warm and fuzzy’ moment had ended), and I could hear the two of them arguing outside the door as soon as it shut, but I paid the argument little attention. I had more important things to think about, after all.
Aoi crossed the room next, briefly placing a hand on my shoulder and smiling at me before heading out the door as well, shaking his head slightly as he went (I assumed it was because of Kai and Ruki – I could still hear them fussing as they made their way down the hallway). Once again, I was left alone in the practice room with Uruha. Talk about déjà vu.
Uruha really was the last person that I wanted to talk to at that time. I don’t know why, but I felt like he would patronize me, or like he would gloat. Perhaps he had been right about my relationship with Miyavi all along, but that was the last thing I wanted – and the last thing I needed - to hear at that moment.
“Reita-kun,” he began softly, but I didn’t give him the chance to finish. I interrupted him before he could continue. It was rude of me, I know, and I have no excuse at all for it. I was just… feeling incredibly defensive, I suppose, and I was getting ahead of myself, and I didn’t want to hear anything along the lines of, ‘I was right’.
“I know you were against it from the beginning, Uruha,” I said, my back turned to him and my eyes focused on the wall. My hand was still throbbing, and the pain was a bit of a distraction. Maybe the pain – and I’m not just talking about the pain in my hand here – caused me to be harsher with Uruha than I would have been. Maybe I just wanted to make him shut up before he could say anything that would upset me further.
Again, I refused to give him the chance to speak. “I know you didn’t exactly approve of what was going on between Miyavi and me. You told me to be careful, but I didn’t listen. You told me that one – or both of us – could get hurt. Again, I didn’t listen to you. But you were right, Uruha. I hurt him, and then he hurt me. Or maybe I hurt myself. In any case, we both wound up getting hurt. I guess you should give yourself a pat on the back.” I turned to look at him then, and I knew my expression was not kind in the least. “Is that what you wanted to tell me, Uruha? Do you want to say, ‘I told you so’?”
Uruha took a step back and shook his head. He looked like he’d just been slapped. “No, Reita, that’s not what I wanted to tell you,” he replied, sounding upset. His hands were clenched into fists at his sides, and he was trembling just a little. “I… I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry that you’re upset. I wanted to tell you that I’m here if you need me. Don’t you dare fucking put words in my mouth!”
For a moment or two, I thought he might actually hit me, but he didn’t. Instead, he spun on his heel and headed for the exit, not even sparing me a glance as he left. He did, however, pause as he was opening the door. He didn’t look back at me, but he did speak: “We’ve been friends for years. I figured you knew me better than to believe I’d throw something like who was right or who was wrong in your face, especially when you’re upset. Guess I was wrong, huh?”
He slammed the door shut, and I was suddenly alone. I felt even worse.
I suppose I was getting pretty damn good at hurting the people that I cared about.
You can find almost anything if you know where to look – if you know the right place to go. I suppose I had good connections, in that sense. I was looking for someone to distract me; I was looking for someone who could take the pain away, even if only just for a little while. I wasn’t looking for just anyone either. Of course, I wanted Miyavi, but I couldn’t have him because he didn’t want me anymore. So, I came to the conclusion that a whore would have to do. When it came to prostitutes and the like, though, I still looked for specifics.
I wanted someone who looked like him. There are people in this world who try to look exactly like the people they admire, or the people they find attractive. Copycats, nowhere close to the genuine thing, but just for that one night I believed that someone would come close enough. Someone would have to.
As I walked the dark alleys of a neighborhood that I typically wouldn’t be caught in (especially at night), my gaze moving from person to person, from one Miyavi look-alike to another, I couldn’t help but wonder what Miyavi would think if he knew about his ‘copy cats’. Hell, for all I knew, he might’ve known about them all along. I never asked him about it.
Some small part of me then wondered if there were prostitution rings that were made up of people trying to look like me. It was a disturbing thought, and I quickly forced it out of my mind – or to the back of my mind, at least.
All of the people I was currently focusing my attention on – most of them men, a few of them women, all of them dressed like Miyavi – were whores, turning tricks… making money off of people like me.
A scantily clad boy walked by (he couldn’t have been over seventeen), smiling at me as he passed. That look was an invitation, but I didn’t take it. His eyes were too far apart to be Miyavi, and he was far too short as well.
But then, someone else caught my attention, and held it. He wasn’t quite as tall as Miyavi, nor did he have as many tattoos as Miyavi (he was shirtless, which was why I could see that his body wasn’t decorated with the amount of tattoos that Miyavi’s was). His eyebrow wasn’t pierced, but his bottom lip and his nose were. He smiled at me and beckoned with one long finger. His fingers were just as long and slender as Miyavi’s. His profile was quite similar, too.
I supposed he would be good enough, and followed him to a hotel, which was right down the street. How convenient.
Days later, I could still taste the flesh of that prostitute, long black hair falling over his face almost coyly, hiding the knife wound scar just below his left eye. He hadn’t taken my pain away, not even for an instant. In fact, I think he might’ve even made it worse.
I kept wondering those days if that was what love was – if love was supposed to hurt so fucking much. I started to wish that I could go back in time to that night where it had all started. I wished that I had told Miyavi no in the first place. Perhaps then, I wouldn’t have had to deal with the pain I was currently dealing with.
I had always heard stories about how grand true love was, and how good it felt to be in love with someone, and how complete love makes a person feel.
I didn’t feel any of those things; I only felt alone and miserable.
Aoi broke his apparent ‘vow of silence’ one particularly too-warm day in June of 2004 (near the very beginning of the month, the fourth or the fifth if memory serves me correctly – and it might not, so don’t hold me to that). He called me about three days before we were scheduled to have practice again (we’d been to practice only once since March 21, and I hadn’t done so hot during that particular session, either), and told me that he needed to speak with me. I told him okay, and waited for him to tell me whatever it was that he wanted to tell me, but he informed me that he would prefer to talk about it face-to-face instead of over the phone.
Of course, I was okay with that too – if not a little puzzled as to what in the hell he wanted to talk about – and we agreed to meet for lunch at a nearby restaurant. We wound up ordering pizza, and as we waited for said pizza to be cooked, we sat there and just looked at each other. Not a single word was spoken for several minutes, and the way Aoi was looking at me was beginning to make me feel a little uncomfortable.
I couldn’t stand the silence any longer. “Is Uruha-kun okay?” I asked. “He barely said two words to me during practice the other day. I know I upset him, and I wish I hadn’t said what I said, but I know I can’t take those words back.”
Aoi looked away for just a moment, his gaze focused on the tabletop instead of on me. “He’s still upset with you, Rei-kun,” he replied, meeting my eyes once more. “He’s upset that you would think he’d be happy that you’re hurting.”
I sighed softly. “I was upset when I said those words, Aoi-kun. I was hurt, and--”
“I know,” Aoi interrupted. “I know, Rei-kun. Uru-kun forgives you, I’m sure. But I didn’t want to come here to discuss him.”
“… Then, why are we here? What did you want to talk to me about?” I asked, folding and unfolding a napkin over and over again just to have something to do with my hands.
“Most of all, I figured you needed someone to talk to. I’ve been pretty quite all this time when it comes to your relationship with Miyavi-kun. But now, I just think you need someone to talk to about it. Of course, if you don’t want to talk about it, we can always talk about something else… I mean, if just taking your mind off of it helps.”
Aoi was putting the offer on the table. I had the choice of accepting his offer and spilling my guts, or declining the offer and changing the subject. I was silent for a few moments, pondering the offer. It was pretty ridiculous that I couldn’t seem to decide if I should vent to my friend or not, when just a few weeks ago, I had been hoping that he would actually stop being so damn quiet.
“I’m not going to force you into talking about it, Rei-kun,” Aoi said softly, reaching over and taking the napkin away from me (he was getting annoyed with my fumbling with it, I suppose). “I just figured that talking about it would do you some good, even if just talking about it with me might not solve anything.”
I started to say something, but then our waitress arrived, carrying our pizza. I snapped my mouth shut and waited for her to leave before I ventured to attempt to speak again. “I love him,” I told Aoi, and immediately shut up again, because that was the last thing that I had expected to say. It was the last thing that I had wanted to say. I hadn’t planned on telling Aoi those particular feelings. I could feel the color rising to my cheeks, which frankly surprised the hell out of me, because I never blushed.
I then reached for a slice of pizza and took a rather large bite, refusing to even look in Aoi’s general direction, much less directly at him.
If Aoi was at all surprised by my sudden confession, he didn’t sound surprised in the least. “How long have you loved him?”
I swallowed the mouthful of pizza and then took an equally large gulp of my coke. “A while now,” I admitted, still refusing to look at him.
“You never told him.” It was a statement, not a question. When I didn’t confirm or deny it, Aoi continued. “Why didn’t you ever tell him?”
Oh, no. This wasn’t going to be easy. “I… I don’t know. I wanted to that night he ended our relationship. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him those words. I never wanted to love him, Aoi-kun!” I did manage to make myself look at him, then, but Aoi didn’t look the least bit sympathetic.
“Will you stop being such a fucking coward, Reita?” Aoi asked, slamming a hand down on the table and glaring at me. The weight of his glare made me feel like sinking to the floor and hiding under the table. “Stop trying to run from this!” he continued. “We all knew how you felt already, because we could tell! The only person who never knew is the one who needed to know it most, and you never had the fucking decency to tell him!”
I couldn’t remember a time when I had seen Aoi look so disappointed. And what was worse was that that disappointment was directed at me. “You all knew?” I asked, my voice sounding small and meek.
Aoi nodded. “Yeah. I think we figured it out even before you did. And you know, just because you don’t particularly want to love someone doesn’t mean that you can go through life not loving them.” His voice softened then, losing its harsh tone. “I don’t mean to get angry with you. It’s just… don’t you think it would have been better to tell him in the first place? It would have saved you a lot of heartache, Rei-kun. If you had stopped running and told him the truth, I don’t think either of you would be hurting right now.”
I chewed on my bottom lip a little before replying. “You mean… he’s still upset, too?”
“Yes he is,” Aoi said. “It’s just as hard on him as it is on you.”
And to think, I had believed that he had moved on and completely forgotten about me. “How do you know? How do you know that he’s miserable over me instead of quite happy with someone else?”
Aoi frowned at me (disappointment, again). “I know because I’ve spoken to him about it, Reita. He’s called each of us – Ruki, Kai, Uru, and me – since the night he told you it was over. He’s called me at least four times… I don’t know about the others. But he’s just as messed up about all of this as you are, like I said.”
I couldn’t quite believe it. I knew Aoi wasn’t lying to me, and it wasn’t that I didn’t trust his words. I was just having difficulty believing that Miyavi might have actually missed me as much as I missed him. “I’ve been trying, Aoi! I have! I’ve called; I’ve been by his apartment. He doesn’t return my calls, and he refuses to see me.”
The frown disappeared from Aoi’s lips then, and he smiled softly. “You’re not leaving him the right messages. You’re not telling him the right words.”
It was my turn to frown, then. “Not… not telling him the right words? What do you mean?”
Aoi grabbed a slice of pizza for himself, taking a much smaller bite of it than I had of my own slice. He chewed, looking thoughtful. “I mean,” he began again after swallowing his bit of pizza, “you need to tell him. Stop running, and tell him how you really feel. It might not be easy, but I think that you’ll find that it’s worth it in the end. People say that you only find one true love in your whole lifetime, and as cliché as it sounds, I think that it’s true. Who knows? Maybe Miyavi-kun is yours. You won’t know, not unless you say something and the two of you try to work this out.”
I wasn’t feeling quite as optimistic as Aoi was. “And… what if we’re not able to work it out, Aoi-kun?”
Aoi shrugged slightly, taking another bite of his pizza. “If it doesn’t work out, then at least you know you tried. At least you know you stopped being a coward. You won’t ever get anywhere, though, not if you don’t try.”
Aoi was right – I knew he was. I smiled at him, nodding. “Yeah… but you know, I never would have imagined myself in this sort of situation with a guy.” Before Miyavi, I had believed myself to be perfectly straight. But then again, it’s not necessarily the gender one falls for, is it? It’s the person.
Aoi returned my smile. “Love really is blind, I suppose. Love doesn’t discriminate.” Another cliché, but it did make sense.
There was a brief silence between us then as I digested Aoi’s words – as I thought about everything that had been said thus far. Finally, I spoke again. “Thank you,” I told him. “You have no idea how badly I’ve been wanting you to say something about all of this.”
Aoi shook his head. “I haven’t known you as long as Uru or Ruki have, but that doesn’t mean that I think of you as less of a friend. You’re great, Rei-kun, and you deserve to be happy. Believe it or not, we’re all supporting you in this – even Uru. You know he only gets so protective over you cos he feels like he’s got to watch out for you. He thinks of you like a brother. So do Ruki and Kai. They just express their feelings in more… creative methods.” He snorted softly, and then took a sip of his drink. “And,” he added, “if you want me to say something, feel free to come talk to me, you dork.”
I grinned and nodded. “I’ll be sure to do that from now on.”
Our lunch continued without any more angry words. We did laugh a lot, though. It was the most I’d smiled – the most I had talked, even – since Miyavi ended our relationship. It felt nice. I gained a newfound respect for Aoi that day as well.
And to this day, I am still so grateful to him.
That same afternoon (the afternoon that I’d had lunch and a long talk with Aoi), I worked up the nerve to call Miyavi. Aoi was right – it was time for me to stop running; it was time for me to tell Miyavi the truth. He deserved to hear the truth. I was fairly certain that he wouldn’t answer the phone, but I would leave him a message, and in that message, I would tell him the truth.
I wondered if it would be better to call his cell phone or his house phone (or rather, his apartment phone), and in the end, I decided against calling his cell phone, and called his home number instead. Of course, the phone rang and rang and rang. He didn’t answer, but then again, I didn’t expect him to. As soon as the greeting on his answering machine ended and I heard the beep, I started talking.
“Miyavi,” I began, searching for words even as I spoke, “I know you might not be home. Even if you were home, you probably wouldn’t answer the phone anyway. You haven’t answered any other time I’ve called you.” I paused. Words. Where were the damn words when I needed them? I had never been so great with words.
“Anyway,” I continued, “I had a sort of epiphany tonight, I guess you could say. Someone helped me realize that I should quit running – that I should quit hiding. It’s time that I told you the truth, because you deserve to know. I’m not sure if telling you will change anything, but at least I know that if it doesn’t, I tried.”
Again, I paused. I wasn’t quite sure how to say what had to be said next. Just spit it out, you idiot! I told myself. It can’t be that difficult!
“I love you,” I blurted, refusing to back down again. “I love you, Miyavi, and it’s about time that I told you.”
“You’re right. It is about time that you told me.” Obviously, Miyavi was at home. Of course. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have picked up the phone.
I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t surprised. I didn’t even bother to try. “M-Miya-chan?! You… You… You’re actually talking to me!”
There was a long silence; a long, uncomfortable silence. But then, Miyavi finally spoke again. “Thank you for telling me.”
I actually felt hope beginning to rise within me, then. I was starting to see the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of misery. I was already beginning to think that we would be able to fix things.
However, Miyavi wasn’t finished speaking yet. “But it’s not going to be that easy, Reita.”
My heart sank.
~TO BE CONTINUED~