They realized something was wrong when Gackt didn’t show up for practice. They started to worry when he didn’t answer his phones. They called his house and both of his cell phones, but there was nothing.
You offered to go back to the house and find out what was amiss. Giving Chachamaru his promise to call the moment he found anything out, You packed up his violin and left the studio, confusion and fear weighing heavily on his mind. As he maneuvered through mid-day traffic, You fought to keep his mind from thinking all the worst things. Gackt sick. Gackt hurt. Gackt dead.
No. No, that couldn’t be. Gackt was fine when You had left that morning. He’d had a slight headache, but he was healthy, promising to follow behind soon. At a red light, he tried the house again, but the phone rang until the voicemail picked up. Snapping his cell shut, You chewed his lip and gripped the steering wheel hard.
You pulled into the driveway a few minutes later and climbed out. He took the side door into the garage and counted the cars. Gackt had to be home; all the cars were still in their appropriate spots. Moving quickly, he slipped into the darkened house.
“Gaku?” he called. “Are you home?”
The silence hung eerily in the air, making the shadows loom ever closer and thicker than normal. Moving with practiced ease through the darkness, he peered into the living room, devoid of lit candles, and saw nothing. In the first three bedrooms and the studio, only more darkness and silence met him. At the back of the house, a set of stairs led up to Gackt’s private study and down to the sublevel that housed Gackt’s room, his gym, his showcases, and other random rooms that had multiple uses, Gackt’s newest addition being a game room complete with a massive TV.
Biting his lip, You started up the stairs.
All the candles were lit in the study, showing with perfect clarity the mess that covered the floor. Books were ripped off of the shelves and strewn everywhere; the cushions of the couch had been torn open and thrown. Every picture on the wall was either smashed on the floor or missing its glass. You stood clutching the doorway, taking it all in, when a light groan drew his attention.
“Gaku? Satoru?” Rounding the desk, You dropped to his knees. Gackt lay curled on his side, one hand thrown over his head. “Satoru, wake up. Come on, open your eyes. It’s me, it’s You, come on.”
Gackt’s eyelids flickered, his lips parted, and he began to cry. In great gasping sobs, the normally strong and stoic vocalist curled into a tighter ball and wailed.
“Kami! Kami, I’m s-sorry! I’m s-so s-sorry…” he called. “I’m s-sorry. Please forgive me! Kami!”
“No, Cha, he won’t let me call a doctor. I’ve tried to convince him, but you know how he is.” You paced the back deck, his haggard face lit by the evening sun. Clutching his cell phone tightly, he suddenly wished for a smoke. “Yes, I know, Cha, but you have to understand my position here. Don’t yell at me! I’m just as scared as you are!” He listened for a few more moments then slammed the phone shut in disgust, cutting the older man off mid-sentence. “Damn it, Cha.”
Rubbing his face with one hand, he re-entered the house. Gackt was sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the wall in front of him.
“Gackt, are you hungry?” You asked softly, sitting beside him and resting a gentle hand on his knee. “I can make you something.”
Gackt blinked and turned to look at You. “I’m sorry.”
“What for?” You looked confused.
“For missing practice.”
You waved a hand. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Is Cha angry with me?” Gackt looked worried.
“Cha? Of course not,” You lied. “He knows that sometimes the best laid plans get messed up. He’s used to it, trust me.”
In an effort to keep the truth from showing in his face, You stood and paced to a window. The brutally honest truth of the matter was that Chachamaru was seething. He was furious. You hadn’t told him the whole story, only that he’d found Gackt in a faint. He hadn’t told the band leader about Gackt’s sobbing, or the calling out for Kami, or the mess in the study. He didn’t feel right being the one to bring it up; it was Gackt’s business.
“Calling out… for Kami,” You thought, chewing on his lower lip. Tears threatened again.
He’d been Gackt’s lover for eight years; devoted, honest, loyal. He’d known about Kami, everyone had, but Gackt had never, ever, brought Kami’s memory between them. You had accepted long ago that Kami’s memory might actually mean more to Gackt in the long run. He’d lived with that. But, today, the emotion that had been in those cries… like a long buried secret riding a tidal wave to the surface of thought.
“You?” Gackt had come up behind him. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” You answered, not turning around. “I’m just worried, that’s all.”
Gackt slid his arms around You’s slender frame, and for one second, the violinist let himself forget what had happened. But then the sound of Gackt’s anguish echoed in his head once more and the moment ended.
“You just shivered,” Gackt said, tightening his grip. “What’s wrong?”
“You… don’t remember what happened? At all?” You turned in Gackt’s arms and looked closely at his face. “Any of it?”
“No,” Gackt answered softly. “I don’t.”
But You saw that glimmer, that hint of guilt. Gackt remembered something, he just wasn’t saying.
“Alright,” You said. “Alright. I believe you. Satoru, you do know that I love you, right? More than anything in this world, and beyond it.”
“Of course I know that,” Gackt smiled, reaching up to pet You’s face. “Of course. I love you, too.”
“I want to feel you,” You whispered, capturing Gackt’s hand. “I want to feel you all around me. Please… let me make love to you. Right now.”
Never one to say no to his lover, Gackt nodded. You drew Gackt’s T-shirt over his head, discarding it to one side and running his fingertips down the beautifully sculpted torso. He drew Gackt into a deep kiss, agile fingers making quick work of belt and jeans, and soon they, too, were discarded on the floor.
Seeing Gackt naked in candlelight always made You want to weep. Today, though, it only fired his lust. Quickly shedding his own clothing, he pressed his body close to his lover’s, closing his eyes as soft fingers traced circles across his back.
“Bedroom?” Gackt whispered.
“No.” You looked up. “Right here.”
Gackt smiled. “As you wish.”
Together they lay on the floor, their bodies twined together as they twined their tongues in a kiss. Years of love making and wild romps had trained their bodies to accept one another, so there was very little need for preparation. You positioned himself between Gackt’s legs and guided himself to the place he desperately wanted to be. They groaned as they met; their bodies were one and the same.
“Gaku…” You moaned, shifting his hips to the angle he knew would drive Gackt up the wall.
The vocalist clung to him, giving voice to his own passions, his own desires, freeing himself in a way no one but You ever saw.
“Ah…” You moved faster, pushing deeper. He propped himself on his hands and looked down at Gackt, loving his face when they made love.
Gackt cried out, his body arching. “Kami…!”
You stopped abruptly, lips parted, eyes wide. “W-what did you say?”
Gackt’s eyes opened, at once terrified and sorry. “I… I…”
You pulled away, scrambling across the floor in the direction of his clothing. Grabbing the items, he bolted for the back of the house. Gackt sat up, flinching when he heard a bedroom door slam. He slowly rose and dressed himself before flopping down onto the couch. In the quiet, he could hear You trying to suppress his anguished cries. That knowledge tore his heart to shreds. Staring at the ceiling, he wondered what was wrong with him.
There’s nothing wrong with you, a voice whispered in his ear. He’s the problem. He’s the one who messes things up. Because you let him.
Gackt rolled over pressed his face into one of the pillows on the couch. “No,” he moaned. “No. Leave me alone. Leave me alone, please leave me alone.”
The voice in his head subsided, laughing. Soon, the only sound in the house were You’s sharp, heaving sobs.
Eventually, Gackt shoved himself to his feet and moved quietly down the hall. He paused outside the only room that was closed up, the one You had retreated to, and listened at the door. At first, there was no sound, then You sniffled and shuffled across the carpet. He was pacing. Gackt retreated up to his study.
You waited until he was sure Gackt was upstairs before slowly opening the door. Pulling it closed behind him, he beat a hasty retreat back through the house and out to his car. Gackt would go crazy when he realized that You was gone, but the violinist was beyond caring right now. The only thing he wanted was to be away from Gackt for a while.
En route, he called Hyde, Gackt’s closest friend outside of the band. Keeping his voice even, he asked Hyde if he could look in on Gackt later, call him or maybe go over if he wanted. Gackt hadn’t been feeling well today and You had had something urgent come up and couldn’t be at the house. Hyde, a hint of confusion in his voice, agreed to drive over to Gackt’s on his way home from the studio. Assuring the older man that he’d repay the courtesy as soon as he could, he thanked Hyde and hung up. Next, he called Chachamaru.
“I’m sorry to call you at home,” he said, turning toward a park that he loved. “I really am… but… something happened. Could you meet me?”
Chachamaru, his ire at being disturbed at home after such a rotten day melting, agreed and said he’d be there soon. You told him where just as he pulled into the small lot and killed the engine. He wiped away the new tears that wanted to fall, sucking in a deep breath and climbing out of the car. He climbed the walking trail slowly, picking his way through the shadows as the sun dropped into the tree line. He couldn’t believe that the day was already drawing to a close.
Cresting the hilltop, he dropped onto a bench, leaning forward to rest his arms on the hand rail that kept people from going down the other side. It wasn’t a steep drop, but there was a river at the bottom. You remembered sneaking over the railing as a young teen, just to say he’d done it. Sighing, he closed his eyes and waited.
Prying his eyes open a few minutes later, You rotated his head on his chin and saw Chachamaru standing next to him. At the look of worry and sorrow on the band leader’s face, You gave in to his pain and began to cry again. Cha stepped forward, wrapping his arms around You and holding him, letting the violinist cry into his hip. He petted the younger man’s dark hair and watched the sun finish setting.
It was nearly full dark when You finally sat back, scrubbing at his face. Chachamaru studied him in the fading light, ill at ease to note the dark circles rimming his eyes and the haggard lines at the corners of his mouth.
“Now,” Chacha sat down and slipped an arm around You’s shoulders. “Tell me what this is all about. What happened?”
His voice shaky, You told Chacha everything.
“This has been going on for weeks,” You said finally, sagging against Chacha’s side. “He’ll go into odd fits where he’s paranoid of every sound. He’ll jump like someone’s pinched him and look around like he expects to see someone. And if I ask him about it, he clams up. Denies it. I don’t know what to do.”
“And this tonight. Has he done that before?”
You shook his head miserably. Chachamaru pulled him closer, torn between being worried about Gackt and being pissed enough to go right over and bash his head with his favorite guitar. It was a fair toss up.
From the darkness, You’s cell phone rang. Chacha heard the man groan, but neither of them made a move to answer it. It was Gackt’s tone, and the whole band knew it. Eventually it stopped, followed a few moments later by the voicemail alert.
“I don’t know what to do,” You repeated.
“Neither do I. Come on, you can come stay with me tonight if you want.”
You looked at Chachamaru with such gratitude that the older man’s heart broke. He hated seeing his family in pain; it left him feeling powerless and vulnerable. Especially when it was Robot. Masa had held a similar place in Chacha’s heart, but the petite guitarist had proven himself to be strong and independent. You, on the other hand, had always remained fragile, gentle.
Chacha smiled and pulled You to his feet. “You don’t have to go back to the house tonight. I’ve got some things that might fit you. And you know I’m always stocked with spare everything.”
You allowed himself a light laugh. Old habits, considering the times the band had spent at Chacha’s house, drinking until dawn and sleeping where they landed. But that was before Gackt got too busy. Before the movies and TV shows. Before everything. You sighed, feeling his smile and laughter fade away. He clung to Chacha’s hand as they descended the path. It was full dark now, and even though You wasn’t afraid of the dark, he felt safe and secure next to Chachamaru. They all did.
Chachamaru gave him a hard hug before turning to his own car. You missed the warmth immediately, but slid behind the wheel and started the engine. His phone rang twice more before he pulled in behind his band leader’s car. Chacha pulled him from the car, took the phone and the keys, and led him into the house. He waited outside the bathroom door while You put on a pair of warm sweat pants and a T-shirt, then tucked him into bed in the guest room.
Assuring the young guitarist that he’d be right down the hall if he needed anything, Chachamaru retreated, sure that You was asleep before the door was closed. He could tell that the strain of the day had finally done him in and that sleep was the best remedy for his weary mind and broken heart.
Chachamaru turned You’s cell phone off and set it in the kitchen next to the car keys. Dropping himself onto the couch, he reached for the cordless phone.
“You? Is that you?” Gackt’s voice was tinted with sorrow and fear.
“No,” Chachamaru said, forcing calm into his own voice. “It’s me. But he’s here, asleep. You better have a damn good explanation for this, Satoru.”
The band leader could imagine the full body wince that Gackt must have experienced and garnered some bit of pleasure from it.
“I… I don’t…” Gackt stuttered.
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Wait… what did he tell you?” Panic now.
“Enough to make me think that maybe he shouldn’t go near you for a while. You hurt him, Satoru.”
“I know, Cha, I know. And I… I don’t know… I can’t explain… it just… just… happened.”
“Bullshit,” Chachamaru spat, venom in his voice. He cast a glance at the hallway and lowered his voice. “Don’t lie to me! We’ve all known for years that Kami’s come first and foremost in your every thought and in your heart. We’ve been grateful that you’ve never used that against You, too. But you haven’t seen, Satoru, how it eats him alive! And now, this, tonight… by the gods, Satoru, you are a bastard.”
Chachamaru hung up, dropping the phone back in the cradle. After a moment’s hesitation, he reached to the back of the cradle and flipped a small switch, cutting the ringer off for the night. Not that he believed Gackt would call back. The man wasn’t that stupid. The whole of JOB, old and new members, knew that you never called Cha at home unless the emergency was dire. Rubbing his face, he looked at the clock. It was only eight thirty, too early yet for bed. Keeping the volume low, he flipped mindlessly through the television channels.
You stood at the bedroom door, one ear pressed close, his hand clasped tightly over his mouth to stifle the whimpers that rose from his throat. He’d never known Chacha to be so mean, so vicious. It scared him. He went back to the bed and curled up under the blankets, blocking out all light and sound for a few hours of uneasy slumber. When he rose again, the bedside clock read eleven fifteen. His bladder felt ready to explode. Emerging from his warm nest, he stumbled into the hallway.
Crossing back to the room, he glanced toward the living room and saw that the lights and TV were still on. Moving quietly, he peeked around the corner and spotted Cha, his eyes fixed vacantly on some late night re-run of a music show.
The older man blinked and swiveled his head around slightly. “You? Did I wake you?”
“No,” You answered quickly, motioning with his hand when Cha made to rise. “You didn’t. I had to… I mean…”
Cha chuckled at the light blush that rose in the younger man’s cheeks. Years of being Gackt’s lover and a member of the band, and he still couldn’t even talk about going to the bathroom. You smiled, though his eyes were ringed in dark circles.
“Come sit with me,” Cha said, patting the couch. “I think we could both use the company.”
You crossed the room and flopped down onto the couch, pulling his legs up and wrapping his arms around his knees. Cha watched him from the corner of his eye. They both stared numbly at the music show, barely noticing the band as they bounced around the stage, the vocalist attempting to dance in circles around the bassist. Eventually, You unfurled his limbs and stretched, stifling a yawn.
“Do you regret what happened back then?”
“Do you wish it was different?”
“Every time he makes you cry.”
“Would you change it?”
Cha thought for a long time on that. “I don’t know, honey. I really just don’t know.”