Music of My Soul

BY : ReadtoEscape
Category: Wei▀ Kreuz > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1198
Disclaimer: I dont own Weiss kreuz, Ran, Yohji, or any of the guys. I write/post for my own enjoyment. No profit is made. Well, except the stress relief of writing it, & the warm fuzzies I get if you like it. But as those are intangibles,


MUSIC OF MY SOUL – CHAPTER  12



 



 



CHAPTER  12



 



Ran tuned out the monotonous tones of the peon delivering the upcoming budget proposals and the stats for the recently signed talents. He had zero interest in the status of Krittiker’s finances. Unless that little piss ant was about to tell them Krittiker was bankrupt and being confiscated by the I.R.S., resulting in Persia going to prison and Ran thereby being free, nothing he said could matter at all.



Instead, Ran focused his thoughts on the upcoming weekend. It had been almost five months since his *wedding.*  During that time, he and Yohji had enjoyed precious few hours together. They’d had that one long Thursday together when he’d returned from Paris. Then WEISS left on their extended tour.



They’d had one day together during that three month stint. One day after six weeks apart when he’d by chance accompanied Mamaru to a charity appearance in Toronto during the same weekend that WEISS had a show there. One day they’d had together while he sent Mamaru off to enjoy the sights and night life on his own.



Then, WEISS finally returned to New York to stay for a while. Just over a week before they’d left again for a tour of the talk show circuit, Mtv video shots, on location stuff; garnering more exposure. Hours stolen here and there, occasional evenings, or emails could not compare to the loss endured, could not hope to soothe the ache left by the time apart.....



This weekend was Yohji’s birthday. Having been apart for their one year anniversary of meeting and their first date, Ran had determined come hell or high water he would be with Yohji for his birthday; even if he had to dream up something to travel to wherever WEISS was. But, luckily, Omi’d worked out the schedule so WEISS was back home, and scheduled off for a few weeks.



Yohji’d kept in touch by email while WEISS traveled, keeping Ran informed of WEISS’s advancement and the contract magic Omi was performing. Their popularity was soaring. The website got numerous hits, and they received fan mail both electronically and snail mail daily. To handle the growing need for PR they hired an executive assistant to interact with the press and process details. Someone similar to Ran for Mamaru. She worked for WEISS, not for the recording company. She had their best interest at heart and had an objective eye for what was good for the band. Manx, Yohji’d said her name was. An odd name, but a beautiful woman.



Ran hadn’t met her, but he’d seen photos in the paper and on the newscasts. A beautiful redhead. A part of him, a small part, worried at the attraction that the rag magazines built between the two, especially given Yohji’s known penchant for redheads. Not to mention the obvious attraction she held for Yohji. Those photos of the two together clearly showed the looks she gave Yohji. And while some of it may be build up for the press, Ran was certain a good portion of the attraction was real.



He was familiar with manipulating the press, he’d done it several times for clients of his own. Ran could see why the two were fodder for the media. Building on the hetero attraction was good for WEISS. Especially after Omi and Ken made it know they were together. To have Jei and Yohji seen as free and hetero, or at least bi, gave hope to the rabid fans. Besides, with the friendship between Ran and Yohji being so close, this diverted any unwanted attention or speculation about them...



Ran knew about this aspect of stardom. He set up publicity stunts all the time for his clients. He knew it was all media BS, but..... still. He saw how she looked at Yohji. And, in all fairness, while they were separated by this farce he could, and did, find release with Miko. Not just physical release, but emotional comfort as well. How could he fault Yohji if he turned to someone?



Suddenly, Ran couldn’t breathe. His eyes snapped open and he stood suddenly before he remembered he was in the damn budget meeting. “Ran?” Persia snarled. All eyes flew to Ran at the harsh sound of the chair scraping across the marble tiles from his lurching upward.



“Sorry,” Ran gasped, letting some of the sickness he was feeling show through the Krittiker mask. “I think something from lunch didn’t agree with me.” He bolted from the room and made his way to the executive washroom.



Sitting in the end stall, he suddenly did feel sick, very sick. God. How could he fault Yohji if he found release with someone? Yohji knew, they never talked about it, Ran could never do that to Yohji, but .....but Yohji knew: Ran had Miko. Ran slept with her, regularly. And knowing Ran, Yohji knew that, despite all Ran’s intentions, despite everything, it wasn’t just a fuck either.



Yohji was right. Ran couldn’t be intimate with someone, inside someone, and have it be just a body, just a mindless, physical experience. He did care for her. He cared about her pleasure, was careful to always bring her to passion... he didn’t love her. He didn’t make love to her. It was sex. But, sex with a friend, sex with someone he cared for. No matter if it felt like he was shredding his heart each time he felt her shudder beneath him, each time he fell over the edge inside her and WISHED, with all that he was, that it was Yohji. It wasn’t. He knew it was her, who he was with.....



Yohji was alone. Desperately alone. And hurting. How could Ran imagine that Yohji would stay  that way? Women, and men, threw themselves at Yohji constantly. Even before WEISS became as popular as they were, it had been this way. Ran had seen it himself. Yohji was magnetic. He drew lovers like moths to a flame. He just oozed sex, pleasure, lust...passion. if Yohji did choose to chase away the pain, to not be alone for a time, to find release Ran could never, ever fault him.



And Ran knew too, knowing Yohji as he  did, the Yohji was  perfectly capable of being with someone just for the passion. No emotional involvement, just a body, a physical release. Yohji’d explained to him how he’d shut down emotionally after Asuka.  How he’d learned to lose himself to physical sensations.... sex, alcohol, drugs, dancing... anything to numb the pain. to bury it under his senses.



Ran knew too that Yohji was hurting now just as badly as he’d hurt after Asuka’s attack. Maybe worse. With Asuka, she’d still been there, at first. Hurting, broken, but there. Yohji’d had a purpose trying to help. Then, she’d taken her life. And when she did, she was gone.  Utterly gone. Ran  was gone, but not really. He was there, just out of reach. In sight, but untouchable most of the time.... and worse, Ran was sleeping with someone else. Not just staying there, not just spending time with, but touching and being touched by, someone else.....while Yohji all but watched. From a distance. Alone.



Ran panted with the effort not to be sick, but finally gave up and heaved into the bowl, until finally, shaking, he sat back and wiped his mouth. Just as he leaned back against the stall door, he heard a soft voice: “Mr. Fujimiya, are you ok?”



He thought he recognized the voice. A junior executive assistant, recently joining the team, who’d been in the budget meeting. Joe maybe. Ran cleared his throat. “I’m... I’m fine.” He assured. He stood, shakily, and left the stall. He washed his hands and rinsed his mouth at the sink. “I think, maybe the potato salad at lunch was.... off. Tell Persia, I’m leaving.” He glanced at the kid and left the washroom.



After explaining to Tina about the “potato salad”  and that he likely wouldn’t be in tomorrow either, he left.



He’d made plans for Miko to spend a long weekend at an island resort with her cousin who was visiting from Japan. They were to leave tonight and would return Sunday evening. He could have the whole weekend with Yohji. Persia never pushed the working all weekend button anymore. Still newly wed, it would send the wrong message to Miko’s father if Ran were away every weekend.



WEISS was here this weekend. Down time. Damned if Ran was going to waste this unexpected opportunity. He’d drop by, see Yohji, have an early dinner and then take Miko to the airport before coming back for the night. Yohji didn’t expect him until later after the airport. He’d surprise him. He had to see Yohji. Now.



Ran pulled into the private parking basement at the Towers rather than the outside lot. He entered the security code for the elevator and composed himself on the ride upstairs. He tried to stop shaking as he made his way down the hall, but it seemed out of his control.



Taking a deep breath, he made his way to the doorway and took a deep breath before trying the handle. The door was locked and several scenarios went through Ran’s mind for why  the door was locked, before Ran clamped down on the fear and forced those thoughts from his mind. Yohji was probably out. Even if... if he... were to... be with someone, he certainly wouldn’t bring them here. Ran unlocked the door and let himself into the apartment.



Ran stood just inside the door, stunned, as he took in the room. He hadn’t been back here since the welcome home after Paris. The apartment was... well, chaos was really the only way to describe it. Suitcases in various stages of packed/unpacked were all over. On the sofa, the chair, in the hallway. Empty beer cans and liquor bottles were scattered everywhere among pizza boxes and McD bags..... the coffee table was buried, the floor near the sofa, the table near the balcony door.....



Ran made his way further into the apartment. The kitchen was worse. Yohji’d obviously been drinking. A lot. Losing himself to the haze and numbness of alcohol.  He’d told Ran of his coping mechanism when he lost Asuka. Living in a blur. Numb to his surroundings and pain. how WEISS and Schu’d pulled him from the depths of apathy, despair. But. He’d lived with them then, been with someone almost constantly. It’d been easier for someone to notice if he overdid it. Someone was there, close by , to see the destruction building.



Now.... now Yohji was living alone; at the apartment where they’d lived and loved so fiercely. Alone, but surrounded by Ran. Schuldig was teaching and busy, and just not around, physically now, as much as he’d been back then, and WEISS was touring, recording, making videos.... everyone was so busy, so.... distracted.



Ran felt cold fear clutch at his heart as he considered things. A new fear now. Forgotten was the fear of Yohji finding warmth in another, now he feared Yohji losing himself to a different darkness. Yohji was very emotional. He amplified things. Ran knew that, he knew Yohji fell hard, and lost himself deeply. What if Yohji got lost, lost in the dark?



Ran knew Yohji could put on an act very well. He was capable of wearing a mask such that no one would guess just how deeply he was hurting. Especially if he was numb with drink or drugs. With him living alone, and the guys busy and distracted, he couold show up at the studio, or video or photo shoots, put on his mask, and they would have no clue just how far gone he was. How much he was dying.... sinking.



Yohji’s emails had grown more distant over the last few weeks, less those of a lover and more those of a distant friend – as though they were just good friends, like they made out to the media. He didn’t try to initiate phone sex anymore, or describe what he wanted to do, or hae done to him in emails... Ran had supposed it was too frustrating when it was all going to be left to “rosy palm” to handle, and had refrqained too to not frustrate Yohji. He wondered now if he should have pushed that aspect more.  Maybe Yohji felt .... undesired, or.... cast aside...



Ran heard something down the hall and quickly made his way to the bedroom. Yohji. He looked terrible. Gaunt. Pale. And obviously passed out stoned or drunk. More cases of cans and bottles littered the bedroom. Yohji lay rumpled in the center of the bed, naked, one hand wrapped around himself as though he’d fallen asleep reaching for or right after climax. He looked.... sad, almost... in pain, even in sleep. Not the peaceful beautiful Yohji Ran knew.



Not expecting Ran until around 9 this evening, he’d likely thought to sleep it off and then clean up, hide this.... Ran made a swift decision. Making his way back to the living room, he pulled out his cell. “miko” he said quietly when she answered. He explained about the “potato salad” incident, and reassured her he was okay, likely a bad lunch. But, just in case it was a precursor to something else, he didn’t want to expose her before her weekend get-a-way with her cousin. He explained his rock star friend was in town and he would crash there. They were gonna have a guy’s night anyway. Her cousin was already there, and she had Yuri to take her to the airport.  After confirming that Yuri had arranged her pick up he wished her well and promised to see her when she returned.



Hanging up he sighed deeply. He pocketed the cell and quietly began to clean up. Three hours or so later, as he pulled another batch of pasties from the oven , he saw from the corner of his eye a bleary eyed, unsteady Yohji enter the kitchen wrapped in his plush green robe. “Ran?” Yohji asked, incredulous, “What the hell are you doing here?” Yohji blinked and looked around at the clean kitchen and the racks of cooling pasties, burritos and the pot of soup on the stove.



Ran carefully sat the hot tray he’d just pulled from the oven onto the stove, and slipped another batch in, setting the timer before turning. Sighing, he answered, “Nissho. Yohji.” Ran stepped close to Yohji, who was now leaning against the door frame, a look of confusion and, yes irritation, on his face. “Are you alright, Yohji?” Ran asked and leaned in to caress Yohji’s jaw before placing a soft kiss on the side of his neck.



“Fuck that Ran.” Yohji pulled back, shaking his head, missing the flash of hurt in Ran’s eyes, “I’m fine.” He waved off any concern, “What the hell are you doing here before even fucking six o’clock?” he glanced around the kitchen again, “And how damn early did you get here? What’s going on?”



Yohji patted his robe pocket absently, and Ran reached over to the counter, proferring a pack of cigarettes and lighter. As Yohji lit up and inhaled, eyes closed, Ran leaned back against the counter.  “I left the office early, shortly after lunch. Ditched the budget meeting and begged off with Miko. I.... I wanted to see you.”



“You did huh? Yohji exhaled a trail of smoke, “why didn’t you wake me? How long you been here? Did you clean the whole place?” Yohji glanced back over his shoulder toward the living room, then turned back to the kitchen, “And you’ve been cooking? A lot. What the hell? Expecting a party? That’s a lot of food Ran.”



Ran sighed, “you’ve been living on junk food. I figured if I cook up and freeze a few batches of things you like, you wont have to resort to burgers and pizza.”



Yohji sighed, “I like pizza Ran.” he raked his hand through his hair. Then deflated a bit. “But I like your cooking more. Look, IU’m gonna grab a shower. I’ll be back in a bit.” He turned, taking a few steps, missing Ran’s involuntarily raised had and the stunned look on Ran’s face. But he stopped just outside the doorway, took a deep breath, and tunred back. As he did, he caught the movement of Ran’s hand dropping to his side.



He searched Ran’s face a moment, then two quick strides brought him to Ran and he swept him into his arms. Some part of him took in Ran’s grip holing him just as tightly as he clung to Ran. “I’ve missed you Angel” he rasped, “so fucking much. I need a shower, and a toothbrush, to be human. But, I need you more.” He turned and nuzzled into Ran’s neck briefly, then pulled back. “Turn off the oven and come shower with me.”



Ran squeezed tighter before stepping back enough to take Yohji in a hard, needy kiss. Cutting it short, he stepped back and turned off the oven. Removing the tray of pasties, he slipped them onto the stove and shut off the timer. Turning back he smiled. “you do need a shower, and a toothbrush, but I don’t care.” He stepped back in and kissed Yohji tenderly, slowly before turning toward the bedroom. “let’s get you cleaned up.”



Yohji looked sheepish and turned his gaze away as they made their way to the bedroom. “you’re early Ran.”  he shook his head, “I was gonna have the place cleaned up and have some real food ready when you got here.”



“I figured’” Ran answered “I was very early. I didn’t mean to... well, I meant to surprise you, but not in a bad way. I.... I really wanted to see you.” Ran watched as Yohji undressed and entered the shower. He followed shortly, and pulled Yohji back against his chest under the warm spray. Yohji leaned into Ran’s support. Letting his head fall back onto Ran’s shoulder. Ran stood there a bit, just enjoying an arm full of Yohji. Finally she stood up from against the tile and pushed them a step forward.



He began to lather Yohji’s hair, shivering a bit at Yohji’s moan. Yohji loved it when Ran played with his hair and Ran loved to run his fingers through the honey silk. Washing Yohji’s hair was a favorite pastime of his. He massaged Yohji’s scalp, then down over his neck an shoulders. He kept constant contact as he rinsed, then worked on the conditioner.



Yohji turned, taking his own turn at washing Ran while the conditioner soaked. He washed ran’s hair, and then pulled them both under the spray to rinse. Stepping back forward Yohji began to lightly trace his hands over Ran’s body, then following his fingers’ path with his tongue. Soon, he found himself on his knees looking up at a flushed, lightly panting Ran.



He kept his eyes locked on Ran, holding his gaze. “I’ve missed you Ran. Missed feeling your hard, hot cock in my mouth.”  At Ran’s gasp he lunged forward, engulfing Ran deep into his throat. Ran’s hands tightened in his hair, as his back arched and his head fell back. “Yohji” he moaned, deep and long.



Yohji ran his hands up over Ran’s muscled thighs, tracing back over that fine ass, then forward to cup his heavy sac. “yes Yohji” ran moaned again, dropping his hand to Yohji’s shoulders, surrendering himself to Yohji.



Yohji eased back a bit, then gently encouraged Ran’s hips to rock until he was in a steady, smooth rhythm. He traced his hand back, into Ran’s cleft, and pressed his fingers against his pucker. ‘Yohji!’ Ran rocked harder, “yes Yohji, inside me” his rocking grew more frantic until Yohji pressed him back against the tile. He eased his fingers inside, gently, slowly, twisting, scissoring, until Ran was panting, clenching his shoulders, begging insensibly: ”Yohji, oh fuck, Yohji please, I need you, your cock, yes Yohji.”



Releasing Ran’s cock from his mouth, Yohji pushed gently, “turn around Ran.” he groaned. Blindly Ran obeyed, overcome with need, he couldn’t stop rocking against those fingers still working inside him. Yohji grabbed the baby oil from the shelf and drizzled it over his hand and Ran, easing the slide. “Ran” he growled, “I am going to fuck you Ran, now.”



He positioned himself even as Ran called out, ‘yes Yohji, please yes.” He bent Ran over to grasp the edge of the tub, leaving his ass high. Watching his cock press against Ran’s pucker he growled again, “hold on Ran” he plunged into Ran’s tightness in one deep slide, watching his cock disappear into that tight heat, watching Ran’s body pull at him, feeling the grip pulling.



“Ahh!” Ran called out, throwing his head back as Yohji filled him, pushing back, straightening his legs ad locking his knees. “Yohji!’



Yohji’s grip tightened on Ran’s hips, holding him at the angle so he could see every thrust as he felt it, see Ran open for him. He thurst deeply, harshly, “Ran.” he growled, “ran, so long Ran.”



Ran started to raise himself up, but Yohji pushed him back down, “hold on Ran.... hold - on, because  - because... I can’t” Yohji’s thrusts increased in speed and depth as he lost himself in fucking Ran. “so – long.” He growled, “So... hot.  So.. tight” he pounded into Ran, barely easing up as he felt Ran’s feet slip a bit.  Yohji threw his head back as he felt the eruption coming, “Ran. Ran, I”



Ran pushed himself back against Yohji, tighter, taking him deeper, and locking his left arm, reached his right hand down to pump his own cock. “Yohji” he cried, giving voice to the pleasure Yohji brought him. “yes Yohji, fuck me Yohji”



That did it. He was rewarded by Yohji’s wordless growl and hard, deep, pounding thrusts. Suddenly Yohji froze, deep deep inside, and a keening cry was pulled from him, echoing in the bathroom. Feet planted, grip bruising his hips, fingers digging in, Ran was overwhelmed by the hot pulsing of Yohji splashing against his prostate, and the need Yohji had for him, pushing him over the edge into his own release.



He pulled and squeezed as he erupted against the edge of the tub. After a moment, spent, he dropped his hand, bringing it back to the tubs edge to keep himself from falling over. He felt Yohji stagger behind him as he came back to the present, then his easing back gently. “shit Ran.” Yohji hissed, “I’m sorry”



“I’m not.” Ran’s deep voice was warm, loving, sincere. “I’m not sorry at all Yohji. That was... incredible. I needed you too Nissho, just as much.”



Yohji leaned down and helped Ran to stand, running them both under the now cooling spray before they stepped out and into their robes. Yohji stopped at the sink to brush his teeth, then turned, pulling Ran in for a minty, languid kiss.  They staggered to the bed and curled up around each other.



“I didn’t mean to be so rough Angel, just.... it’s been so long.”  Yohji moaned as he buried his face in Ran’s hair. Ran wrapped his arms around Yohji, pulling him in close, “I know Nissho. I missed you too, so so much.”



Ran moved them around so he was resting on Yohji’s shoulder, Yohji’s arms holding tight, and ran his hands over Yohji’s chest and stomach. “that’s why I came early Yohji. I had to see you. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard, or anything. I just had to see you.” he twirled a finger around a nipple. “you worried me Nissho. When I arrived. Are you... ok? I mean, I know your not okay but,” he sighed, “You know what I mean.” He trailed off.



Yohji sighed, “Yeah, I know. No, obviously, I am not okay. But, it’s not as bad as it looks. I haven’t cleaned up in a while. Most of this mess is from before we left on this last trip. Things snuck up on me then and I didn’t straighten before we flew out.” He took a deep breath, “I meant to have most of this, and myself, cleaned up before you got here,” he glanced over at the clock, “in another couple hours.”



Ran tilted his head back, looking up at Yohji. Ran’s eyes were solemn, nothing new there, but he didn’t rise to the teasing tone Yohji tried to use. “I thought as much.” Ran said. He kept looking at Yohji, some expression Yohji didn’t understand playing across his features, along with the worry already there.



Ran cleared his throat, closed his eyes, and snuggled in deeper against Yohji. “I’m glad I came early Yohji. I’m glad I saw. I don’t want your mask, your act. I know you’re hurting. I know it’s easier to interact with the mask, that somehow it masks part of the pain from yourself. And while I don’t’ want to see you hurt, especially from pain caused by me, I don’t want the front, the act, either. If you’re pissed, or depressed, in a dark or black mood, angry... don’t cover it, don’t bury it and hide it from me, smiling and pretending. It’ll just fester and grow worse.”



He turned again, looking back up at Yohji. “I know. Please, don’t lie to me Yohji. Don’t hide. Not from me.” Yohji held Ran’s gaze from some time before closing his eyes. “I understand Ran.” he trailed his fingers through Ran’s hair, twirling an eartail between his fingers, “and sometimes I do need the mask. The darkness is right there Ran. like quicksand, trying to suck me in. especially during down time. Here, alone, at night....”



he let his voice trail off, then started up in a bit when Ran didn’t say anything, just held him tighter. “When I’m out with WEISS, performing, with fans, in clubs, I have a focus. I’m ab le to lose this, lose me, bury it. But when I’m sitting here, waiting for a call, or a visit, that may or may not come, I can’t think of anything but you. Either this you, my you” his hold tightened, “your love, your touch, your voice. Or worse, I dream of you, feel you remember you, taste you, then... I wake up,” Yohji all but growled, then his hold fell away, “I start wanting you, and I can’t have you, unless that rare call comes, and then I’m left to my own touch, my faithful “rosy palm” and her buddy Jack Daniels.”



Yohji’s voice had grown hard, bitter, and Ran knew he wasn’t done, not at all. Yohji’s hold grew tighter, fierce “then I think of or dream of the other  you. The you I can’t touch. The you that is being touched by, and touching, someone else. You with her.” He was holding so tight now, Ran found it hard to breath, his voice so cold, so bitter. “I can seed it Ran.” Yohji went on, his voice deadening and Ran knew his eyes were closed tight, he wasn’t even sure if Yohji really remembered he was there,



 “I can see it,” Yohji whispered, hissed really, “you pounding into her. Her small pixie hands on you, her little legs wrapped around you, you touching her, her calling you name. I can hear you, calling –“ he took a fast breath, “your face. That look on your face when you cum Ran. That look that was only mine.” Yohji growled, was almost panting. Ran raised himself up to look at Yohji and was knocked breathless by the pain there, the pain and rage on Yohji’s face. Eyes clenched shut as he went on, “that catch in your voice, that I love to hear when you call out, that call of ‘yes’. But not yes Yohji. No. Now I hear your voice calling and it’s yes Miko. as you find that moment with her.



Suddenly Ran found himself pressed flat on his back, Yohji hovering over him, glaring at him for a bare second, then Yohji was up, on the side of the bed, head cradled in his hands as he tried to pull himself together.



Ran pulled himself to his knees behind Yohji and placed a trembling hand on Yohji’s back. Before he could say anything, Yohji went on, anguish giving his voice a timbre Ran had never heard before, it tore at him, shredded his heart to hear it. “the worse part is, the Ran I know, and I know, you hold her, like I hold you, like you hold me. I know Ran. I know you have to. I know it’s who you are. Just sex maybe, but it is not in your makeup not to care. And bringing her to that point, hearing her call your name, you’re gonna hold her, protect her, caress her. Let her small, soft hands touch you, pet you. you may think of me. Maybe. Maybe not. But not at that moment. At that moment Ran you are not mine. You’re hers. And it’s killing me.”



Yohji’s voice was so soft by the end Ran almost didn’t hear, even with his head resting right against Yohji’s back, even so close. Yohji slumped down, then started to shake, rocking, his arms wrapped tight around his middle as though holding himself together.



Ran drew closer, slowly, wrapping his arms around Yohji, pulling him close back against him, rocking with him. He realized he was speaking softly, over and over, “yours Yohji, yours.” He raised his voice and held on tighter. “I am yours Yohji. I swear.” He held on until Yohji’s trembling eased off and he began to relax. Gently, Ran eased them down until they lay spooned together. He held Yohji as tightly as he could, whispering he knew not what into Yohji’s ear until Yohji slipped into an exhausted sleep.



Ran lay there a long time after Yohji nodded off, staring at the ceiling. How much longer before Yohji broke, before one of them became so dead inside they couldn’t go on..... well, one thing he could do was put a stop to the uncertainty. He would explain to Miko that he needed some guy time.



When WEISS was in town he would schedule a firm meeting time. At least then Yohji wouldn’t be sittiing, waiting. He would make time. Whatever it took. Yohji deserved that. Hell, he deserved an end to this nightmare, but Ran shied away with very fiber of his being at the thought of ending them. There had to be a way out, somehow..... he would find a way to get them through this.  Some way, without Yohji being destroyed. Without losing himself beyond recovery.



He knew, a part of his soul died every time he lay with Miko. That would lessen too. He’d work later hours, more weekends. Travel with Mamaru. Spend more time with Aya. Find a way to ease away from her, naturally, normally, so he wouldn’t hurt too her as badly as he hurt Yohji. Finally Ran drifted off too, exhausted, despairing of finding an end that wouldn’t leave three souls destroyed....



XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX



Over the coming months, things changed. WEISS toured more and more. Finding time together grew more and more difficult. Tabloids exploited more on Yohji’s excessive clubbing, partying, the ultimate rocker bad boy. They built up too, the “relationship” between Yohji and Manx, in together’s company often. 



Yohji explained that Manx had come from a relationship with a married boss, one that had developed over time, and where she’d swallowed the “I’m gonna leave her soon, she treats me like shit” lines for three years before she woke up and faced reality. His bolting from their bed when his cell rang with his wife calling because she was in labor kinda hit her over the head and she’d ended it. Gone into the music executive field where she was too busy, and traveled too much, to be lonely or miss things. She was less than a year apart from him and looking for no relations right now. But, one always needed a friend. Yohji had told her a bit of his story. She didn’t know who Ran was, but she got the idea. She was supportive, without being judgmental or condescending. Ran was glad Yohji had her as a friend.



Ran knew Yohji hadn’t been with anyone else. Those few times they were together always began with frantic lovemaking, Yohji mumbling or calling out always at some point about “so long, Ran, so long” Ran always made sure to bring Yohji to a quick early release before settling in to worship Yohji’s body for as many hours has they had available.



But the party persona, the drinking, the drugs, Ran worried about that. All too often Ran would hear from a depressed or worried Yohji who was far enough gone in his cups that he woud call Ran at any hour, or text or email the strangest, sometimes saddest messages. Ran explained to Miko that being a rock star wasn’t all the movies made it out to be. It was lonely, stressful, tiring. And he told her his friend had lost someone dear to him and was just trying to deal.



Ran could see in the appearances WEISS made, or when caught by reporters, how gaunt Yohji was growing. He was never without shades now. Eyes covered, hiding behind darkened glass day or night.



Ran would come to the apartment when he had an unexpected evening, or a cancelled appointment to find a hammered Yohji. Or a Yohji who was practically unconscious. In fact, this happened enough times, with Yohji responding with growing irritation, escalating to anger “you checking up on me Ran?” that Ran made sure not to do it anymore. If he had unexpected time, he would text Yohji. If he didn’t answer, Ran didn’t come over.



Ran was at a loss how to approach this problem. He knew, he had no right really, to be angry or to try to control anything Yohji did. He knew Yohji was trying to numb the pain, anger... loss. It was his fault Yohji was this way, in this spiral, and he truly had no idea how to stop it.



Ran had distanced himself from Miko as much as he consciously could. They’d settled in to the “Married couple” routine, sex once or twice a week, roses now and then. She was the typical executive wife: shopping, spas, time with the girls.....



Still, no matter his efforts, Ran obviously was not there for Yohji as Yohji needed. Yohji was a very.... physical person. Ran missed Yohji’s touch, body, taste, hands,.... but he knew, no matter how he missed Yohji, he knew with every fiber of his soul that as much as he loved or needed Yohji, Yohji needed more.



First of all, Ran had Miko. although he was withdrawing from her, he couldn’t forgo relations with her entirely. So he did get to find physical release somewhat regularly. And that lack of touch, that need to be held or touched, to touch another, that need that was being stifled, ignored, in Yohji’s life led to more whiskey, more vodka, more pot, more whatever Yohji could get, or wanted to get. And less care that Yohji took for himself. Ran could see him wasting away.



Rumors began to circulate of unrest with the band. Of maybe too high too soon. Missed practices, one fumbled appearance at an outdoor festival where Yohji’d has to restart a song when he got lost in the middle made headlines. Speculation about how hammered Yohji was 90 percent of the time was fodder for the vultures for weeks. Persia had a heyday with that one. Making sure to bring it up in every conversation he had when Ran was in the room, grateful that Krittiker had not signed WEISS.



The other members of WEISS did not come out and directly blame Ran, they didn’t confront him or send hate mail or anything, but none would return his calls or emails, no matter how worried he was about Yohji, no matter what he tried.



The holidays this year were a sharp contrast to the last. No laughter, no mistletoe escapades, no rowdy football games.... WEISS was on extended tour in southern states. Communication from Yohji was minimal. When they did talk, Yohji was alternating between quiet, reserved – totally not Yohji – or bitter, angry, lost – or blubbering and sad.... Ran sent a Christmas gift, but WEISS had changed a tour date due to a blizzard and it didn’t catch up to Yohji until almost New Years... Ran withdrew into his Krittiker shell, deeper, farther than ever. 



Finally, it was Schuldig who confronted Ran about Yohji’s deepening spiral. After apparently one 2 am call too many from an anguished, drunken Yohji, Schu showed up at Ran’s home. Waiting outside one dawn as Ran came out for the morning paper, he stood there, leaning against the garage door.



Ran startled and automatically thought the worst at seeing Schu in his driveway at barely 6am. “Schuldig?” he asked as he stood there, and was shaken by the cold, malicious anger emanating from the man as he answered. “tell your wife you have an unexpected morning meeting and meet me at the diner at 5th street in half an hour. If you’re not there, I am coming back here, and we will talk in your living room.”



He turned to leave, but Ran reached for his sleeve, “Wait! What’s wrong? Is Yohji-?”



Sch cut him off. Yohji’s fucked Ran,  and you know it. He’s so fried he doesn’t know what damn city they’re in half the time. Look. I am not getting into this here. Come to the diner.” He walked away.



Ran stood there, shocked. Damn, what had happened? He shook himself and made his excuses to Miko.



Meeting Schuldig at the suggested diner, a wary Ran took his seat at the corner table. Schu wasted no time. He pushed the cup of coffee at Ran and as soon as he took a sip he began. “you’re killing him Ran, and it has to stop.” Schu opened. Ran sighed inwardly. Yohji was okay. At least, as ok as possible. But he wasn’t hurt somewhere or anything. Yohji must have unloaded on Schu. Good. He needed to be able to unload on someone.



Schu went on. “Look. I know, you’re fucked too. This whole thing is a screwed up mess. But Yohji is sinking. Fast. And he doesn’t care anymore. Something has to give Ran. I mean it, you’re killing him. That “incident” they blew up in Rolling Stone? That was actually worse than they made it out to be. Jei said they had to do an instrumental number after the fuck up song before Yohji could pull it together enough to sing.” Schu sighed, rubbed both hands over his face, and looked into Ran’s shocked, worried eyes.



“Let him go Ran. End it. Before it’s too late. Before he loses WEISS and everything else too. Before he loses himself, and we lose him.” He shook his head. “I am telling you. if you don’t find some way out of this, you’re gonna lose him in a much worse, more permanent way than if you end it and let him go.”



Ran sat there, shocked, but not. Numb, scared, resigned..... “Schuldig. I have talked to Yohji about “ending it” as you put it. About letting him go. I can see what this is doing to him, to both of us. I.....” Ran swallowed, “I talked to him about, finding release .... with someone. He was adamant that it would not happen. I talked to him about.... letting me go, for his own sanity. He would hear nothing of it.” Ran looked down at his coffee. “Yohji knows. I love him. I have never loved anyone, or anything, aside from Aya. I love him Schu. I have tried to steer him away, tried everything I know to make the time we do have better. He refuses to quit. He wants me, he loves me, and as long as he wants me here, well... I can’t walk way if he wants me Schu, I can’t”



Ran closed his eyes, remembering the last time he’d talked to Yohji. The argument about Yohji fucking another, the make up sex, the resignation and defeat as Yohji told him he couldn’t give up. Yohji wanted out, Ran knew, wanted away from the drama, the pain, the fear. but just as much, he was terrified to give in. knowing, if he did give up and walk away, thy might never be able to fix it. But, what was going to be left if  he didn’t?..... Schu’s voice pulled Ran from his musings.



“Fine the Ran. I will .... support Yohji in this, as his brother, I will be there to pick up the pieces, but.... I don’t know what will be left when it’s done. And I will tell you now. If he gets the balls to go, I will do all in my power to help him. WEISS is seriously discussing a sabbatical. A “separation” if you will. Omi’s computer business is well enough established he can take a break, no problem. Ken, well, he’s with Omi, and his physical fitness thing, combined with the stardom WEISS has now, means anyone would work with him ion choreography and training in a heartbeat. Jei, he’s been spending wisely. Has opened a couple restaurants and is quite willing to take a year or so off and cook. He loves it.... anyway, if Yohji can find it in himself to walk away, you have to let him Ran.”



Ran turned his gaze out the window. “I know.” He whispered, “I know Schuldig. Please. Just remember. I love him. This is killing me too. I’m just not on entertainment tonight, or drowning it in alcohol.” He sighed, “look. I have to get to the office. Take care, and take care of Yohji, as only you can.” Ran threw a 20 on the table and walked away. Schu watched the overburdened figure walk away, the defeat clearly heavy on his shoulders, and closed his eyes. Ran had looked every bit as dead and beat as Yohji sounded. The deadness in his eyes just as Yohji’d described from when they first met.....



Damn. This whole thing just was so fucked.....



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