❯ Drifting Snow – Chapter 1

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

CHAPTER ~I~

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He sat at the table by the window and stared outside. It was getting dark after a glorious day. They came to a rest after a glorious tour.
With a sigh Yuki sipped on the black coffee in his mug and leaned back. He still couldn’t get quite used to seeing highrises when he looked out the window instead of the peaceful, park like gardens of his family’s house. Another sigh and he looked down. He better got used to it quick… for he’d never see those gardens again…
His father’s last words were a constant companion to him in quiet times like this, quiet times when he got around to thinking. He knew in his heart he’d made the right choice, even though it had torn him apart inwardly. But that had been inevitable. With a family tradition that demanded either all or nothing there was no room for his passion. And without his passion he simply wasn’t able to live.
« You’re brooding again. » The soft voice shook Yuki from his dark thoughts. They managed to linger though, showing in the melancholic expression in his dark, almost violet eyes. Slowly he turned to face Towa, giving his band mate an easy smile.
« Now, you’ll have to do better than that, Yuki, » Towa said with a gentle smile of his own.
Yuki sighed. « You’re too perceptive. »
Towa shrugged. « Just like someone else in the room, if I recall correctly… » He sat down on the other chair at the table. « What was it now? Family matters again? »
« Yeah… » A slight frown crept onto Yuki’s smooth features and he looked at Towa thoughtfully. « What else could there be? » he asked out of curiosity.
The blond man smiled to himself. « Like you said… I’m too perceptive… » he replied cryptically, but didn’t say more. After a moment of silence the tea kettle made itself heard. « Want some more coffee? » On Yuki’s silent nod Towa took his mug and walked into the kitchen, getting himself a cup of tea and refilling Yuki’s mug. He returned and sat back down and the two men shared another moment of silence sipping on their hot drinks.
« When’s Atsuro coming over? » Yuki finally asked, looking out of the window again.
Towa checked the time. « In about half an hour. » He hesitated. « You know, you don’t have to leave every night and stay over somewhere else on weekends… » he said. « That’s not the purpose of you living here. »
Yuki gave him a lopsided grin. « It’s okay. I just can’t move in with Santa for good or I would and leave you alone. But the place is far too cramped – and a constant mess. You know how Santa is… »
Towa chuckled. There was no need to say more, and they shared a laugh.
« However, » Yuki continued, « I’m so close » – and he held up his index finger pressed to his thumb – « to a decent apartment. I’ll be out of you guys’ hair in no time. »
« Yuki… » Towa began, but was interrupted by the door bell. Both started up and looked at the door in surprise. Then Yuki got up, brushing his dark hair back over his shoulder.
« I guess your date is early, » he said with a wink. He grabbed his jacket and threw it over his shoulder, heading for the door.
« Yuki… » Towa stood as well, waiting for the other man to look back. « Thank you, » he said when he did. « Thank you for everything. »
Yuki waved it off. « This is your apartment, remember? I’m the intruder here. » With that he opened the door to a waiting Atsuro. « Hey, I’m just leaving… See you tomorrow I guess. » He slapped the boy on the shoulder, then swiftly walked past him and disappeared down the stairs.

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Sakuya was restless. He didn’t know why. He wasn’t the type to be restless. He didn’t have a reason to be restless. He was, nevertheless. As if the tour had made him a wanderer. No, that wasn’t entirely true. He’d been a wanderer before. He’d never stayed in one place long enough for anyone to get through the wall of ice cold indifference he’d erected between him and the world.
His head jerked up. Was that it? Had they gotten to him? These four guys with their foolish dream? Resolutely he shook his head. No way. He could walk away from them any time. He didn’t share that dream. All he did was simply fill the time of boredom. And if he didn’t quit after a set-back it was only because of his pride, only to show he could do it.
Lucifer was doing quite well now. He’d done it, brought the band back on track after losing the Grand Prix. He could leave now. But then again, it wasn’t completely done… Lucifer still had to get a contract with a label… And then they’d have to make No.1 in the charts, No.1 in record sales, No.1 in the country, No.1 in the world…
But he could leave any time! Any time…
He snatched his jacket, slung it over his shoulders and left his apartment. He needed to wander. Needed to clear his head. Shit, he’d done that every goddamn night since they’d returned to Tokyo. And if he was being honest to himself, it didn’t help a whole lot. Just made him wonder even more, like, why this was necessary. Why did he have to force his mind off Lucifer? Why was it that everything he had to do was an annoyance when it came in the way of band business? Why was he always early at the studio, waiting impatiently for the others to arrive? The same questions every night. The same answers every night. Answers he refused to believe, answers he knew to be true though…
And like every night he found himself at the gates to the park where he’d given in to the knowledge that singing was more to him than just a way to earn money…

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Santa locked the store and closed the shutters, then shoved his hands into his pockets and headed home. Friday night… so Yuki would most probably be coming over. At that thought Santa swung around to take a detour to the liquor store. They had eliminated everything he’d had in reserve over the last weekends, so he better stocked up again.
Once he was home, Santa kicked off his shoes, leaving them where he dropped them carelessley, and walked into the kitchen to stow the bottles into the fridge. He checked the clock on the microwave. Another hour maybe…
Next, he looked around his apartment – and sighed deeply. It was the usual mess. Even though he tried, he really tried… just to not see Yuki’s disgusted shudder as soon as he walked in the door. Well, the feeling, if he had it, was well hidden, but Santa just knew it was there. Yuki always appeared so…. clean… He chuckled to himself. Listen to your thoughts, dude… giving a damn about what your band mate thinks of your cleaning habits… Nevertheless Santa started an attempt to make his apartment look more decent and presentable. Somehow he found the idea of surprising Yuki suddenly very appealing.
Music turned up so loud he could easily ignore his neighbors’ complaints Santa worked enthusiatically, the place clearing out considerably. Okay, let’s put it this way: the stuff lying around everywhere simply disappeared into various drawers and closets. God have mercy on those who dared to open any closet door…
Santa’s gaze came across the clock on the microwave briefly when he put some dishes into the sink – and he stopped dead. It had been more than two hours since he’d come home. More than an hour past the time Yuki usually showed up.
Acting upon impulse Santa grabbed the phone and dialed Towa’s number. When the call was answered he blurted out, « Is Yuki there? »
« Santa? Is that you? » Towa inquired.
« Of course it’s me! Yuki there or no? »
« No, he left two hours ago… Why? I thought he went to your place.. »
« Well, he’s not here… Damn… where is he? »
« Don’t worry, Santa. Maybe he ran into someone he knew… »
« Hrm… » Without another word Santa slammed the receiver down.
He returned to the kitchen and did the dishes, rather quietly, and by far not so enthusiastic anymore, worry beginning to edge into his consciousness the more time passed. Finally he sat with a bottle of beer on his couch, watching TV without seeing.

« Don’t worry, Santa. Maybe he ran into someone he knew… » Towa had tried to keep the worry from his voice. He knew very well that Yuki would’ve called if he indeed had met an aquaintance and would be late. He was that responsible type. Just not showing up when he was expected was not like him. With a thoughtful expression Towa returned to the couch.

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Night was descending quickly. The street lights came on, adding an unreal glow to the fading daylight. Yuki had been walking around aimlessly until he ended up in the park. Now he sat down on some stairs, the same stairs Sakuya had been sitting on seemingly so long ago, playing the guitar to accompany his singing. Yuki smiled a bit at the memory of the terrible play – but it had almost faded out of attention anyway beside his incredible voice. The audience had been captured, entirely. But not quite as he experienced it every time they played together… that was somehow… different…
For a long moment Yuki sat absolutely still, eyes closed, and he could almost hear it… Then he suddenly opened his eyes, straightened up and shook his head. He had some important appointments tomorrow, so he better got going. He knew that Santa would whip out a bottle of something or the other and they just had to finish it before it turned bad… as if alcohol ever turned bad when sitting around… right… But the sooner Yuki got there, the sooner the party would be over and he’d still catch a decent amount of sleep. With a sigh he got up and brushed his long dark hair back, then turned to go.

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Sakuya leaned against a tree and watched the departing figure. The streetlights cast a deep purple hue on his hair as he walked by so close Sakuya could see the gleam of his dark eyes. He didn’t say anything though, didn’t leave the shadow. He just watched until Yuki disappeared around the next corner. Then he stepped away from the tree, walked across the square and sat down on the stairs that Yuki had just vacated.
He had looked very thoughtful. Sakuya wondered what he’d been thinking about. Then he sighed and shook his head, leaning back. What did he care…? He got up again, shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans and headed home.

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Drifting Snow – Introduction
Drifting Snow – Chapter 2