players: hazeltea, kissingchaos
notes: Um .... this should make enough sense from the reminiscing itself -- however, if you are confused at the end of the ride, more information can be provided. <3 It's 5 in the morning. I'm BUSHED.
Yura pullled his car into the parking lot of the sleek, modern highrise seek called home. Impressed by having an actual choice of parking spaces, he pulled up to the closest entrance and hoped that the session would go smoothly. Seek still didn't realize just who he was, and Yura planned to keep it that way. Leaving the drums for a moment, he took the elevator to seek's floor.
seek had cleared most of the table after Aya had left, leaving the uneaten pastries in a box on the table in case Yura was hungry. He put on more water for a fresh round of tea, and checked the fridge -- there, to the side, was plenty of cans of coffee, just in case. He pushed the couch to the wall, and surveyed his work: plenty of room for Yura's drums, and his bass. Apprehensively, he wondered how he'd gotten himself into this mess, and how he'd come out of it. But for now, all that was left to do was wait.
Seek fidgeted until the moment the doorbell rang. Nervously opening the door, he smiled at Yura. After all these years, he was alone with Takeshi and neither of them could admit to the irony.
seek lowered his eyes. "Come in, please," he said softly, his throat tightening, holding on to the doorknob tightly. He was shaking, he could feel it, but he wouldn't show weakness. Not here. Not now. Never in front of Takeshi.
Yura nodded, admiring the spacious apartment. He expected nothing less, after all, seek's family had money. Or, as Yura's mother would say, they WERE money. There was a difference. A cultural difference. Money in the family might as well be money in the blood, it was the difference between a factory job and a university career. Yura had chosen neither, but felt he was closer to the first. At least factory workers could count on having something to eat for lunch every day.
There was a moment of silence. seek walked towards the kitchen to get some tea, fighting for something to say. "Um ... would you like something to drink?" he asked, struggling to meet Takeshi's -- no, Yura's -- eyes. A lot had happened since school, seek understood. He'd changed his name, dyed his hair ... perhaps he was a different person, now. But ... the feelings were still the same. It had been easy not to think about this with the rest of the band around them, but now that seek was alone with him, he was as lost and hurt as he'd been years ago. And what would Aya say! Aya, who trusted him to be strong, and brave ... with that thought in mind, seek took a deep breath and raised his head. "There's snacks on the table if you'd like something to eat before we get to work."
"Thanks" Yura said, with a genuine smile. "Let me go get my kit, and I'll be right back. I didn't want to drag it up her to see I had the wrong place, you know?" Yura asked.
seek watched Yura head out the door to get the drums and he leaed against the doorframe, catching his breath. Some things don't change, and seek's reaction was one such thing. He closed his eyes slowly, letting the words burn. Whether Yura had meant it to be an insult or not, seek knew the way Takeshi's mind worked. He'd always had such a vicious loathing for people who seemed well-off before, and his words just now were reminiscent of that. Had he really forgotten seek? He didn't think he'd changed that much between then and now.
Again, he'd turned seek in circles and circles, and he'd barely been there five minutes. Maybe ... maybe the whole thing had been a big mistake, after all.
Yura returned, laden down with drums. He was just as strongas he remembered. seek wondered why he had lied about only practicing taiko in the diner. Did Yura really hate him so much that he's decided to block seek's existance from his mind? seek resolved that, this time around, it would be different.
seek moved towards his once-again bandmate. "Can I help you at all?" he asked, looking at the floor, anywhere but Yura. All his resolve was failing him, yet again.
Yura nodded, and the pair quietly went about putting together Yura's kit. "I've been looking forward to this." Yura said, honestly. When he had seen seek again, his first thought was that he had been given a second chance. Yura honestly regretted starting trouble for seek among his classmates, and regretted the pride that had spurned him into continuing to be a thorn in the other boy's side. Nothing much of what went on so long ago made much sense to Yura anymore, and he was rather embarrassed, even if it still stung him.
seek worked quickly, setting each drum he was assigned exactly in place -- he'd done this so many times, he could have done it with his eyes closed. "Have you..?" he asked neutrally, cautiously.
"Yes," Yura said softly, and there was no trace of malice in his eyes or quiet voice. Perhaps a lot had changed after all.
seek stopped what he was doing, slowly raising his eyes to face Yura. He looked at him for a long time, saying nothing -- in Yura's presence alone, his own dark eyes were still shadowed with the pain of years-gone torment, wordless anger, and beyond that, the haunted look of a young boy betrayed by one he loved. He saw the other, both as he was there and as the boy he remembered him to be -- a little shorter, with dark hair and the same beautiful eyes and brilliant smile that had first captured his attention. No matter what Takeshi had done to himself, seek would have always been able to recognize that smile. His breath hitched and the moment was gone. He turned. "You up for that drink yet?"
"Yes..."Yura said softly. seek went to the kitchen and returned shortly, handing him the coffee, the brand Takeshi had always favored. Yura took it with a mumbled thanks and sat, draining half the can in a gulp, turning to face seek once more. "Your technique is wonderful," Yura said.
"Thank you," seek murmured, a blush rising to his cheeks, regardless. How many times had he longed for even that small amount of praise? "I still have a lot to learn, but Tatsuya's music is easy to work with."
Yura smiled and nodded happily. "He's a genius, but don't ever tell him I said so," he quipped. "MYU was wonderful, but I think this time around will be the best. I think we're going to amount to something, finally."
seek laughed shortly, retreating to his couch with a cup of tea. "I won't. I really enjoyed MYU," he admitted. "I was really surprised with the disbandment. I very grateful that I would be allowed to be a part of something even greater."
"I was surprised too, but I came in on the tail end of it," Yura explained. "I gave up bands for awhile and concentrated on taiko." Belatedly realizing his slip, Yura busied himself with fidgeting over his coffee can.
"...is that so?" seek asked, setting his tea down to keep the cup from shaking off the saucer with the force of his own trembling. He didn't even have the strength to ask him for an explanation -- as much as he wanted Yura to admit to ... whatever seek wanted him to admit to, he was more afraid of what would happen when he had to face the force of it all himself -- the lies, the pain, and Takeshi. It took every ounce of will he had not to run, and call the whole thing off. This was supposed to be a practice, not a time to bring back everything that had hurt the most from that time.
"seek...what is it?" Yura asked quietly. seek startled, anger flaring in his chest in place of anxiety. What was it? The nerve!
There was a moment of silence that seemed to last forever. seek looked up at Yura, his eyes wide and bright and full of pain, unshielded and so, so vulnerable. "...have you really forgotten everything, Takeshi?" seek choked out, years of anguish breaking free.
Yura flinched, surprise reaching his eyes, then registering a miserable expression. seek knew, of course he knew. Yura swallowed hard. How stupid was he to think that he wouldn't? And now seek thought that Yura thought he was that stupid, too. Yura's mind was racing, trying to figure out a way to salvage the situation. "T...Takuma-kun..." he began, and words failed him. Yura was at a loss for words, and mortified.
seek looked away miserably, his heart clenching to hear his true name from /his/ lips. He hugged his knees to his chest, closing his eyes. "I... I never thought I'd see you again. I didn't know what to do when I saw you. I ... I tried so hard ..." he trailed off, unable to even voice what he was feeling. Maybe this would be the end of it -- either Takeshi, Yura, would leave and not come back because he'd opened his mouth and not just let the past go. And seek would have destroyed something beautiful. He shouldn't have said anything at all. He could have handled it, otherwise -- killed that part of himself and let Takeshi and his cruelty die there, too. But it was too late, now. "...I knew it was you," he said softly. "The moment I walked in there, I knew it was you."
Yura rose and sat beside seek. No, seek thought, not so close... Yura touched his shoulder gently. "Takuma-kun..." he whispered, " I know I was wrong about so many things. I know I was an asshole to you, and you were never anything but kind to me," he said quietly. "I don't deserve your forgiveness. I was stupid enough to think I could ignore it and every rotten thing I did and said to you would just go away. Please, Takuma, I'm sorry I was such a brat. I was just jealous, is all..." Yura bit his lip, the guilt he'd held onto for four long years spilling over.
seek closed his eyes, shaking desperately. He never, never imagined that he'd hear those words from Takeshi. "You were ... all I thought about was you, Takeshi, for so long. When I joined Sculp, it was the happiest day I could remember, because you were there. And even ... even after everything that happened, I could never bring myself to hate you. It would have been easier to hate you. And ... now ... here you are ..."
"Why?" Yura asked, purely puzzled. "Takuma, did I hurt you so much that you kept dwelling on it? I...why would you care if I was there?" Yura asked. "I was never very kind to you. How could I have possibly made you happy?"
seek laughed, half amused, half self-mocking. "You were so oblivious, Takeshi. I bet that part of you hasn't changed at all." He looked up at the now-blonde, at the curve of cheek and chin that he'd memorized all those years ago, then to the hand on his shoulder. A little sadly, he shook his head. "Back then, I loved you so much. Even though you hated me, even though ... even through everything that happened, I loved you. I guess I was just a stupid kid, but ..."
"Loved me?" Yura asked, amazed. "How? How could someone like you...? I mean, you had everything. You were smart, good looking, everyone loved you. Teachers liked you even though you dyed your hair. You were talented, you had money. I don't get it." Yura shook his head, as though trying to clear his mind. "What the hell was there to love about me?" he asked quietly. "I wasn't even nice to you." Yura looked confused and upset.
seek shook his head. "You fool," he laughed, turning away, "I was the freak that the teachers left alone because my dad had money and they couldn't count me off for grades. I didn't want to be the rich boy that people appeased, Takeshi ... why do you think I did what I did? And then there was you. Defiant, talented, wonderful Takeshi that was the person I couldn't be, and I wanted that. I ... I just wanted to be close to that. I would have given anything."
"Takuma." Yura 's eyes widened. "I'm sorry. I never knew. I was awful. You were the wonderful one ... I envied you so much. Please, I know I don't deserve it, but if you'd forgive me I'll make it right, somehow, any way you'd want. Just... can we start over?" Yura looked genuinely upset and seek was shocked that he could have elicited any emotional response but scorn from the drummer.
seek shook his head, the pain almost faded from his eyes, replaced by a sort of wistfulness. "All is forgiven ... Yura," he said softly, a gentle smile crossing his face as he drew Yura's hand from his shoulder and clasped it between his own. "It ... none of it ever happened, okay?" He closed his eyes then, but he could still see the face of that boy he'd loved hovering there. To forget everything meant ... but it was worth it. Takashi -- no, no, he was Yura now, Yura wanted to put everything behind him, and for him, seek could do that.
Yura clasped his hand tightly, covering it with his own. "Thank you" Yura said softly. "I swear this time will be different. Now tell me how to make it up to you. Please, tell me what I can do."
seek shook his head, soft waves of deep blue hair falling over his chest. "I don't want you to do anything, Yura. Just ... be happy," he said softly, mirroring his words to Aya earlier. "Be happy, and don't feel bad about the stupid things we all did when we were young." He lowered his head, resting his forehead against their clasped hands, feelng the muted warmth of Yura's body and wondering what sort of chains he'd tied himself up with for this.
"That's not hard," Yura said with a chuckle. "We'll be happy together then, as partners, as a band. Takuma..." Yura asked shyly, "Do you still....love me?" the last came out as barely a whisper.
seek huddled in on himself, hiding behind hair and hands and not able to meet Yura's eyes. "Do you really want to know the answer to that?" he murmured softly. It was the same as always. No matter what name he took, Yura would always have him, at least in some way.
"Yes," said Yura firmly, "I do."
seek sighed in defeat, taking a deep breath. Slowly, he forced himself to meet Yura's eyes, his own reflecting a haunted, hunted expression. "My feelings never changed," he said finally. "I spent a long time imagining I saw you, in stupid places like malls and noodle shops and the grocery store. I spent a long time trying to forget you, like it'd all been some big dumb dream. But I never did, and I couldn't kill it. When you were at the audition, it was as strong as it ever was." He lowered his gaze again. "I just don't want this to matter to the band. I want this band to succeed. I know we can. It's just ... an hour ago, I knew what was going on, you know." He laughed softly.
"I know that, now." Yura said. "I was stupid to hope you didn't." Another sigh, and seek felt the warmth of Yura's hand leaving his own, the hand instead tilting up his chin so that seek would meet his eyes. "I meant what I said about starting over," Yura sa d softly. "And about you being wonderful, and too kind for your own good. I'd like to take you to dinner sometime, if that would be okay," Yura said with a slight blush.
seek blinked up at the drummer, his own cheeks pinking. "I'd like that," he said softly, a small smile coming to his lips. As almost an afterthought, he raised one hand and poked Yura in the cheek. "You're blushing!" he snickered. "You are!"
Yura smiled, and then laughed. "I spent the last four years feeling like a prick," he explained. "if I'd known you...cared for me all this time, I think I couldn't stand myself." Yura grinned at seek. "We'll have a nice time," he said kindly. "It won't be anything fancy..." Yura looked momentarily worried.
seek smiled happily, a little giddy. "It doesn't matter," he said. "I know it'll be a lot of fun, no matter where we go. That is, if I don't bore you to death or something bad ..." he teased. He was happy to see Yura's smile again, doubly by the idea that this time, it was for him.
Yura looked genuinely happy, and relieved. Tentatively, he reached across the couch and pulled seek against him, hugging him gently. "This is good," Yura said. "if there's disharmony between us, the music would be doomed. But now...we're starting to learn how to understand each other. Every day we can learn a little more." seek blushed. Had Takeshi changed, or had seek never known him to begin with?
seek nodded against Yura, hesitantly drawing his arms around the other, nestling against his warmth. "I'm glad you understand," he whispered softly. "I want to understand you. I want to know everything about you."
Yura nodded, unable to speak, but rubbed his hand across seek's shoulderblades, inhaling the scent of his shampoo. seek raised raw feelings in him that had been sore and unhealed for years, so long that Yura had come to accept them as part of his personality. He was reluctant to let the pain go, but even if he weren't, he had a feeling it wouldn't be so easy to dismiss.
The bassist practically purred beneath Yura's hand, unable to believe he was where he was. "I don't know what to say," he said honestly, speaking for the both of them. "It doesn't seem real to me. But I'm happy." He smiled. "Really, really happy, right now. I hope you're not trying this just to make me happy, Yura ... I don't want you to do that."
Yura shook his head. "I don't know if I love you," he said, honestly. "It's a shock to me. But I want this, seek, I really really want this..." Yura sighed into his hair. "I want to be near someone like you. I want to know you. I want to learn how you can be so kind and wonderful."
seek laughed. "I'm not asking you to love me," he murmured, a tremor running the length of his body as Yura's breath touched his scalp, "I don't expect that of you. Anything of you. But ... I'm glad that you're here." He marvelled at the feel of everything -- it was the first time he'd ever been held like this, that he was this close to someone without them crying on his shoulder or needing him to be there for them. It felt beautiful. He closed his eyes.
Yura nodded, finally letting seek go. "Play for me." he whispered huskily.
seek shuddered. "What," he swallowed hard, leaning up slowly to reach for his bass, "do you want to hear?"
"Whatever suits you. Play with your heart," Yura stated. "And I'll follow the rhythm." Yura strode to his drums and sat, waiting.
seek laughed and leaned against his amp, flushed and happy, his body still tingling where Yura had touched him. Slowly, he raised the strap over his head and adjusted his bass to a comfortable position. He was still a moment, eyes closed, like the life had fled from him -- after a moment, though, in that still serene pose, his fingers began to move in a complicated pattern -- his own personal warm-up routine, blues chords crossed with more complicated riffs, arpeggios broken and folded in on themselves to create an incredible wave of music.
Yura listened for several bars and drew in his breath, leading in with a traditional beat, closely following seek's riff. Once comfortable with that he elaborated, borrowing heavily from a taiko piece he had learned long ago.
A slow smile graced seek's lips as he listened to Yura play -- he'd gotten a lot better since seek had heard him last, but he knew it would take someone special to keep up with someone as demanding as Tatsuya. It didn't surprise him that it was Yura. He bit his lip and changed tactics, moving into a more traditional pentatonic scale, changing the modes just enough to keep Yura guessing. They played their little game of musical cat-and-mouse for what seemed like hours, at times breaking apart to play against each other, other times coming together to intertwine complex lines and rhythms. Not for a second did either of them falter.
At last, seek opened his eyes, turning his head to smile at Yura. He watched his drummer thoughtfully as he wound down, waiting until the blond looked up to bring their game to a close.
When the last of the echoes had died, the loud sound of clapping commenced -- startled, seek jumped and looked towards the hallway. Susu stood there with a half-shocked, half-impressed look on his face, his book forgotten and propped open against his arm. "That was amazing, guys," the teen enthused. "Wow."
seek ducked his head and looked shyly beneath his hair to Yura, who was grinning proudly. "Of course we were!" he laughed, rising. "We're the best drum and bass combo to ever grace Osaka -- just wait, you crazy music industry, until we get our hands on you!" He punctuated his words with a wild waving of his hands. "Hey," he beckoned to Susu, "you want me to sign my sticks for you? They'll be worth a lot of money someday..."
Susu leaned against the wall, laughing at Yura's antics, as seek shook his head. "It seems we know who to come to if we ever have self-esteem problems, ne bro?" seek asked, humor in his voice. Susu just nodded, returning to his room now that the noise was over.
"He was right, though," seek said thoughtfully after his brother was gone. "That felt incredible."
"Yeah," Yura agreed. "I've never been able to do that with anyone else. It was fun!" He grinned, his exuberant personality surfacing.
seek nodded. "I think ... I think that was a good start," he said after a moment, massaging his fret-hand. "Maybe we can pick up and try some other things next time?"
Yura began to disassemble the kit, and seek moved to help him. A few moments later, they were dragging the array of drums towards Yura's car, joking about songs to practice the next time they were together. As seek nestled the last of the drums in the passenger seat, Yura ducked in beside him, his grin blinding. "Of course, next time I come over, I'm not gonna be so worried about practice," he laughed. seek jumped and hit the top of his head on Yura's car roof, yelping in pain as he withdrew and stood a safe distance away, looking scandalized and comically wounded.
"Ouch." He muttered.
"Aww," Yura cooed, "poor boy..."
seek poked his tongue out at him.
Yura grinned wider. "Thursday?" he asked softly, his eyes serious.
seek nodded. "That sounds fine to me."
"Wonderful!" Yura moved towards the driver's side, smiling at seek. "Then I guess I'll see you at the club tomorrow for whatever hairbrained scheme Sakito's worked up for us," he said, and paused shortly. Then, "It was good to see you, Takuma." He raised a hand to move the long blue hair from seek's eyes.
"Please, " seek said softly, "call me seek, Yura."
"Okay." Yura looked at seek a moment, then withdrew his hand, getting into his car. "I'll see you later."
"See you," seek said softly, raising a hand in farewell. Yura returned the wave, then closed the door, starting his engine. seek turned to go, looking back often to see the new mess he'd gotten himself into driving away.
He couldn't stop smiling.