Disclaimer: *Sighs* THEY DON'T BELONG TO ME~~~!
Summary: People say it's easier to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Gackt, however, believes this simply isn't true.
Nothing else mattered when you were around
Nothing else mattered when you were around
Nothing else mattered when you were around
Everything used to feel mint with you.”
-“Mint”, by Bonnie Pink
Gackt looks around his bedroom and sighs. There are no tears, even now. It’s been weeks, and still he refuses to let himself cry. His throat is tight and his eyes burn, but there are no tears.
Almost mechanically, he gathers up his sheets and bundles them up to be washed. Somehow, he’s frozen, holding the bundle, trying to forget the last night that Hyde had shared with him.
He carries the bundle to the laundry room, pausing in front of the washing machine. Hyde would sneer at his hesitation, maybe. Then again, the shorter man had always been unpredictable.
Yes, even this room was filled with memories.
Soft lips, pleading whispers, wide brown eyes, fingers tangling in his hair…
“Don’t stop, Gacchan… don’t stop…”
After placing the sheets in the washing machine and turning the knob to the gentle cycle, Gackt exits the room, brushing a few strands of hair out of his dry eyes and shaking his head as if the action will dispel the memories. He has more work to do, and none of it is easy. Nothing has been easy these past few weeks, not without him.
It’s depressing to wash the plates and utensils, knowing that Hyde will never again join him at his kitchen table, never again eat from the very dishes he’s washing.
The bathroom holds more reminders, and Gackt grimly tosses a few of the things that Hyde left behind into the little waste basket, trying not to think of the way Hyde looked in the shower, water running over his perfect body, his lips parted in surprise, his eyes mellow and yearning…
His voice, asking, “Why did you do that?”
Gackt remembers how everything between them started. To think, everything had happened by chance, all because of mint ice cream. It had been a hot day in Taiwan, back then.
Gackt didn’t eat ice cream often. But when he did, he always ate peppermint ice cream. There was something about this flavor that always made him smile – something about it’s freshness that made him believe a new day was beginning as the cold treat melted on his tongue. Mint was his favorite flavor of ice cream.
“You shouldn’t eat that. You’ll get fat.”
Gackt chuckled, watching as Hyde plopped down beside him, an ice cream cone clutched in his hand as well. However, Hyde must have been holding his for a while – the ice cream was melting, its stickiness dripping onto his fingers. Had Gackt been the bashful type, he would have blushed as he watched the other man lick his fingers, but Gackt was not the bashful type. He was not shy. He was straightforward, and he always got what he wanted, in the end.
“Well, I suppose you’ll get fat too,” Gackt finally said, returning most of his attention back to his ice cream before it could melt and make a mess.
Hyde shook his head. “I have a high metabolism. I won’t ever be fat.”
They sat in silence for a few moments. Silences between them were always comfortable, but Gackt preferred something more real – more tangible – when it came to being in Hyde’s company. Silence might have been considered golden, but almost more than anything else, he loved hearing Hyde’s voice. When he heard it, it always made him feel calm, and always made him smile.
Hyde reminded him so much of his mint ice cream.
Gackt was just about to open his mouth to speak when--
“What flavor?” Hyde asked, licking at his own treat again, and Gackt tried to make it seem as if he wasn’t staring at Hyde’s pink tongue as it darted out, lapping at the ice cream.
“Peppermint,” Gackt replied, following it up with an “it’s my favorite flavor” when Hyde blinked at him in that cute, childish way.
Hyde dug his toes in the wet sand, and Gackt smiled as the tide rose once again, covering their feet with saltwater before retreating just as rapidly as it had come. Hyde truly did look younger at times like this. When he was on set, he seemed old. The role of a vampire made him seem this way, Gackt knew. While Hyde was a great actor in his opinion, and he fit the part well, Gackt preferred comfortable moments like this as opposed to ones where they were in a movie scene together.
“What’s so special about peppermint? Why is it your favorite flavor?”
Gackt shrugged a little, turning his eyes to the sun. It was beginning to set, its rays hitting the water at just the perfect angle. In that moment, he wished he could stop time and just sit there beside Hyde forever. “It just always has been. It makes even the most unbearable of moments seem bearable. It’s refreshing, really…” He hesitated then, wondering if he should say what he truly wanted to say. While he was a straightforward person usually, there was something a little different when it came to Hyde. He always felt like he could tell him anything, but then again, he was always afraid of what Hyde’s reaction would be.
He had once told Hyde that he wanted to kiss him. Hyde had been dozing in a lounge chair, and when he had opened his eyes, the words had tumbled from Gackt’s lips before he could lose the nerve to say them. Hyde had blinked sleepily at him and then chuckled, shaking his head a little.
Gackt had not mentioned it since that day. He had been serious when he told Hyde those words, had meant them with all his heart. He wanted Hyde to understand that he had been speaking from his heart.
He bit into his sugar cone and chewed for a few moments, then swallowed, and came to the conclusion that he should throw caution to the wind and just go for it. “This flavor makes me think of you, now. You’re so much like it.”
Hyde’s eyes widened, but other than that, he gave no reaction. “Gacchan--”
“I meant it, you know,” Gackt continued, not giving Hyde a chance to talk. “I meant it when I said I wanted to kiss you that day. I still want to kiss you.” He leaned closer to the older man, brushing the knuckles of his free hand against Hyde’s cheek. He leaned even closer still when Hyde did not make a sound or try to push him away. He laid his lips gently against the shorter man’s, almost smiling as Hyde softly gasped.
He took the opportunity to slide his tongue past Hyde’s lips, exploring his companion’s mouth fully, nearly moaning when Hyde tentatively took charge of the kiss, flicking his own tongue against Gackt’s, the fingers of the hand that was not holding the ice cream cone clutching Gackt’s shirt.
When Gackt finally pulled away, he noted with satisfaction the dazed look on Hyde’s face. Slowly, L’Arc~en~Ciel’s vocalist raised his fingers to touch his lips. “Why did you do that?” he asked.
“Because I wanted to,” Gackt replied. “Isn’t that enough?”
He watched that pink tongue dart out again, wetting the lips that he had just tasted. When the corners of that luscious mouth turned up into a smile, Gackt almost sighed in relief. “I suppose so, Gacchan.”
Gackt wanted to kiss him again, but he stopped himself. Instead, he leaned back, once again turning his attention back to his ice cream. “Vanilla,” he said, after a few moments.
Hyde blinked. “Huh?”
Gackt ran his tongue over his lips, mirroring what Hyde had done earlier. “Your ice cream. It’s vanilla.”
Hyde nodded slowly, his gaze sliding to his feet as he said softly, “It makes me think of you.”
In that moment, Gackt couldn’t have been happier.
“Will it happen again?”
Now it was Gackt’s turn to blink. “What? Me kissing you?”
“If you want it to happen again.”
They said nothing else. Gackt felt that at that moment, no more words were needed. They finished their ice creams in silence and watched together as the sun slowly sank beneath the ocean. Gackt believed he had never observed a more beautiful sunset.
Gackt walks back to his bedroom and starts weeding more things out that Hyde had left behind. It isn’t hard to do. He never brought much when he stayed at Gackt’s house; he kept most of his things at his own home.
A favorite shirt of his, a picture of the two of them together… Well, Hyde won’t need that picture anymore, and Gackt doesn’t want it. It goes in the trash, all of it. For some reason, his fingers are trembling as he drops the picture into the growing pile.
He takes a moment to look at his reflection in the dresser mirror. Funny, everyone considers him to be ‘Mr. Perfect’. He only felt perfect when his mint was around to make him feel that way. It was the only time he felt sure of himself – when Hyde was with him.
Because of Hyde’s absence, nothing is the same anymore.
Gackt awoke to an odd noise. It took him a few moments to realize that someone was knocking on his door. He hoped that it wasn’t the film crew – he wasn’t scheduled to show up for another scene until the next afternoon. Also, he was positive that he didn’t have a photo shoot anytime soon. So, who in the hell could it be?
He got out of bed, muttering under his breath as he padded across the hotel room on bare feet. He opened the door, running fingers through his rumpled hair and yawning. “Yes? Please don’t tell me--”
He stopped short when he realized the person standing in the hallway was Hyde. “Hyde-chan?”
Hyde nodded, a look in his eyes that Gackt had never seen before. Wanting, needing… “Gacchan, I want it to happen again.”
Gackt did not need to be told twice. He nodded, inviting Hyde inside, and then closing and locking the door. Only when he heard the click of the lock did he turn back to the shorter man, opening his arms.
Hyde stepped into them almost immediately and Gackt held him close, realizing just how perfectly they fit together. “Hyde-chan,” Gackt breathed, pulling back slightly, tilting Hyde’s chin up so he could look into those soft brown eyes. “You want this?”
Hyde nodded, apparently not trusting his own voice, and tightened his arms around Gackt’s waist. “Again,” he demanded. “Kiss me again.”
Gackt leaned down slowly, so Hyde could stop him if he suddenly changed his mind. But, Hyde didn’t change his mind, and he made no move whatsoever to stop Gackt as their lips met for the second time that day.
Hyde shivered a little as Gackt trailed kisses down his jawline, his hands sliding under Gackt’s shirt, fingers lightly caressing Gackt’s stomach. “I need to feel you, Gacchan,” he said. “And I need to sit down before I fall down.”
They managed to make it to the bed, but only just. As soon as Hyde was beneath him, Gackt couldn’t stop himself. He was overcome by the need to kiss him, to make love to him until he writhed and cried out, until neither of them had any energy left.
Gackt loved the way their bodies fit together; he loved the way Hyde placed absolute trust in him; he loved the sounds of encouragement Hyde made in his ear, and he loved the feel of Hyde’s nails digging into his back, the shorter man’s body arching into his touches.
But, most of all, he loved the look on Hyde’s face when he was finally pushed over the edge. Those brown eyes closed tightly, that mouth open and crying out his name…
Gackt exits his bedroom and heads for the kitchen, believing that he should have known better. He should have known. What they had done was wrong; Hyde had a wife and a child, and Gackt had wanted him to give that up.
He thinks he is selfish.
Yes, what had happened between them was wrong. It was wrong and sinful and… perfect. Just like Hyde. Perfect.
“You’re so beautiful, Gacchan. So perfect…”
”No, Hyde-chan. The perfect one is you.”
Afterwards, while Hyde’s head was resting on his shoulder and his fingers were running through the shorter man’s hair, Gackt said, “You’re my peppermint ice cream.”
Hyde shifted, propping his elbow on the mattress and resting his cheek on his hand, gazing down at Gackt. “Does that make you my vanilla?” he asked, smiling softly.
Gackt smiled back. “Hey, you know how the song goes.”
Gackt opens the refrigerator door, looking for two certain cartons of ice cream. He finds them, one peppermint and one vanilla, side-by-side. Whenever they had the craving for ice cream, Gackt would always grab the mint carton and Hyde would always grab the vanilla carton.
Gackt doesn’t want to eat mint ice cream anymore. He doesn’t need either carton in his refrigerator; they are only constant reminders of what he has lost – as if he could really forget to begin with.
No more mint ice cream. No more watching sunsets and sunrises together. No more meals for two. No more… no more beauty in his life, because Hyde took it all with him.
Hyde woke up the next morning and slithered out of Gackt’s arms. Gackt knew he had tried his best not to wake him up, but he woke up anyway, missing his warmth. Just the sight of him padding over to the bathroom made Gackt’s breath catch in his throat.
Gackt waited a few moments. He had to be in the shower by now. He slowly crept to the bathroom, pulled the curtain back, and slid in with Hyde. The shorter man looked startled at first, but then he wrapped his arms around Gackt, standing on tiptoe and kissing him with an urgency no other past lover of Gackt’s had ever shown.
As the water pounded down on the tiles, no words were necessary.
“Why, Gacchan?” Hyde asked as they emerged from the shower.
Gackt wanted to say, ‘Because I love you’, but he did not. “Just because,” he replied replied, kissing Hyde softly, demanding nothing.
Hyde stared at him, his eyes drilling into Gackt’s, but he didn’t ask again.
Gackt believes that if he had told Hyde that he loved him, things wouldn’t have fallen apart.
But, he never told Hyde those words. He had wanted to, several times, but he never actually said them. Now, as he stands in front of his trash can, he regrets not saying those words more than ever.
He throws the carton of vanilla ice cream into the trash, biting his lip as he does so. Not like Hyde would come back for it, anyway. He starts to throw his own carton into the trash as well, but then he hesitates, remembering.
“I’m sorry Gacchan. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t walk in the house at four in the morning. I can’t stand the look I see in her eyes when I climb into our bed.”
A single tear, sliding down that perfect cheek. “… No.”
Gackt takes a deep breath and tosses the carton into the trash. He doesn’t want to see mint ice cream ever again. He doesn’t want to taste it ever again, because it will only serve to remind him of what it felt like to have Hyde around. It will only remind him of his hands, his lips, his taste…
Gackt does not want that. He can only push the memories aside, try to forget that he ever met Hyde, try to go on with the rest of his life. Without Hyde, there’s no fresh day to wake up to, just a never-ending cycle of forcing himself to get out of bed. He cannot even bring himself to glance at the television nowadays, fearing that he will see a glimpse of Hyde. He cannot bear to hear their song on the radio, because it doesn’t even sound the same anymore.
Nothing is the same anymore.
Without Hyde – without his mint – nothing will ever be the same.
Gackt’s throat is tight, and his eyes burn…
And the tears fall.
You were always there for me
On any rainy day
You filled a dint
And here I am, I can't even start my day.”