This is it – the LAST kiss. The moment is oh so bittersweet …
#13, excessive chain
No matter how much one vows to stop and smell the roses, it just doesn’t happen in life. Life has a way of winding people up like whirling dervishes, and letting them loose to attempt to survive. Meetings, schedules and Responsibilities with a capital ‘R’ try to come between accomplishment and love. It’s a fine line one needs to walk, and many don’t make it – but those who do are left with something extremely valuable.
They’d been meaning to take a vacation for over two years, but something always managed to get in the way. Deadlines. Recording sessions. Book tours. Gigs. It never ended, like a chaotic excessive chain of events destined to keep the two lovers from breathing and remembering ‘why’ they do it all to begin with. Sure having someone to warm your bed at night is a wondrous thing, having someone to make you soup when you’re sick is a comfort – even having someone to fight with when you’ve reached your breaking point and need a release is appreciated. All of these facets go into a relationship – each important, and each equally greedy. BUT, and there is always a ‘but’, everyone still needs time to remember.
“You’re sure?” Yuki asked for the last time, his finger hovering over the ‘enter’ button on his laptop. He watched the smile spread on Shuichi’s face, that alone making all the frustration of booking the trip worthwhile.
“Positive.” Shuichi said with a nod, moving behind Yuki and wrapping his arms around his lover’s neck before kissing his cheek. He watched Yuki’s finger hit ‘enter’ and felt almost giddy when the confirmation number showed up on the screen. “No going back now.”
“Just promise me you won’t tell anyone where we’re going. Including Hiro. The last thing we need is for some of the psychos you hang around with showing up and ruining our vacation.”
“Promise.” Shuichi chucked softly as Yuki spun his chair around and caught the singer in his lap. “This is going to be great.”
“And you’re wearing spf80 the entire time.”
Shuichi laughed and shook his head. “That so sucked the last time.”
“It was a pain all the way around.” Yuki said with a grin, remembering their last seaside vacation. Looking back he’d realized how much they’d grown since then, both as individuals and together. They weren’t entirely different people, but Yuki thought they were better people. They’d made each other better people.
It was a month before they left, and since confirming their travel arrangements neither man had a moment to think about it. Yuki left almost immediately on a two-week circuit for his latest novel, and Shuichi all but slept in the studio recording their latest CD. They barely had time to curl up together and sleep, never mind have a conversation, or god forbid have sex. It was a trying time, filled with irritable demeanors and short tempers, and the fact that they’d gotten on the plane without a hitch was a miracle unto itself.
As soon as the plane took off, it was like a giant weight had lifted off their chests. For one week no one would know where they were, and they could forget the chaos that was their lives. Yuki ordered them both cocktails when the stewardess came through, and willingly linked their fingers together. They were both too exhausted to do more than close their eyes and listen to each other breathe, and that was more than okay.
Yuki never told Shuichi how difficult it had been to get the same cottage they’d had on their last trip to the ocean. He couldn’t say why it was important that they get a ‘re-do’, but it just seemed … right. Despite Shuichi’s horrific sunburn, the vacation had been relaxing and had brought them together in a way that neither of them expected.
“Let’s take a walk,” Shuichi said, draining the last from his bottle and setting the empty on the railing of the deck. The sun was sinking lower in the sky, and the gentle surf was painted in hues of red and gold. He took Yuki’s hand in his and eased him to his feet with a grin. “I want to watch the sun set.”
Yuki drained the last of his beer and set the empty can next to the bottle. Without a word, he laced his fingers with Shuichi’s and led them down the wooden stairs onto the soft sand. They were both barefoot, and could still feel the heat from the sun’s warmth under the surface when their feet sunk as they walked towards the water’s edge. It was easier to walk on the hard-packed wet sand, and Yuki secretly liked the way it felt under his feet. He also liked to look back over his shoulder and see their matched footprints trailing behind them - a reminder that they did indeed exist. It had been a wonderfully relaxing vacation that was ending far too quickly.
Taking a deep breath of salty air, Yuki brought their linked hands together and kissed the back of Shuichi’s knuckles. He was relaxed and content with the subtle buzz of alcohol in his bloodstream and the sound of waves lapping at the shore. Periodically their course would wander close enough to the water and the small surges would splash across their feet, making Shuichi’s soft laughter the only sound on the beach.
If anyone had told Yuki a few years ago that they could possibly spend an afternoon together without Shuichi chattering non stop he would’ve thought them daft, but the silence between them was … nice. They walked hand in hand along the shore towards a rock jetty in the distance. The sun was sinking lower in the sky, and the breeze was kissing their skin and lifting the hair off their faces.
The sun was just starting to dip behind the water when they reached the jetty, and Shuichi eyed the end jutting out in the water. “Let’s go out there and watch the sun set.” He looked up at Yuki with a small smile and pointed to the end where the waves crashed and sent spray into the air.
“Sure.” Yuki said, letting go of Shuichi’s hand and climbing the rocks with his bare feet. He felt nine years old again as he jumped the gaps between the rocks and led them to where the ocean would surround them. Yuki was grinning by the time he reached the end, turning towards Shuichi and following his trek. His heart leapt into his throat as his lover lost his balance for a moment – exhaling a held breath as Shuichi righted himself and came to stand on the flat rock next to Yuki.
They sat on the last rock; every now and then the wind would carry the spray from the crashing waves and send it across their skin. He pulled Shuichi to sit between his legs and wrapped his arms around the smaller man, resting his chin on Shuichi’s shoulder and gazing towards the sunset. They watched the sun sink slowly out of sight, the colors breathtaking.
“If I live to be one hundred, I’ll never forget this.” Shuichi whispered in awe as the sun disappeared entirely from the sky – the water awash with color. He shivered slightly and wrapped Yuki’s arms tighter around him, leaning back into the older man’s warmth.
Nuzzling Shuichi, Yuki kissed the nape of his neck and nodded his agreement against his back. He loosened his hold slightly and let his hands drop to Shuichi’s lap and teased lightly with his fingers. He could feel his lover harden under his touch, and smiled when he heard Shuichi sigh. “I think I could make it even more memorable.”
As darkness enveloped them, and the stars grew more brilliant in the sky, they unfastened their clothes and let their hands explore. They were in no position to make love on the hard rock, but they didn’t have to. Just their closeness, and the soft sounds born of the intensity was enough to make them feel complete. Mouths and hands were enough to bring them both over the edge, the sounds of their orgasms lost to the sounds of the sea. Neither cared that they were sticky and disheveled as they made their way back in the soft light cast by a quarter moon. They walked back to their beach house holding each other up like drunken sailors, not wanting to let go of the nirvana they’d created.
They were both tired as they mounted the steps of the deck and made their way inside. Without speaking they went into the bedroom and stripped quickly before falling into the coolness of the sheets. When they returned home, Yuki knew he’d miss the smell of the ocean in his lover’s hair, and its taste on his skin. He kissed Shuichi’s chest lightly before resting his head against his skin.
“I don’t want this to end.” Yuki said in a voice just above a whisper as Shuichi ran his fingers idly through his hair. He listened to the beating of his lover’s heart and closed his eyes.
“Me either.” Shuichi’s voice sounded sleepy, his fingers never stopping their movement. “We’ll come back next year, no matter what.”
“No matter what.”
A/N: I made it to the end! I have to admit that I love the idea of Yuki and Shuichi at the ocean, and wanted to take them back there one more time. I’ve enjoyed letting these two grow with each other, finding love and becoming better people despite themselves – I can only hope you did too.
In a time before children, a time that is still vivid in my memory, my now husband and I packed our gear into our van like a couple of hippies and drove up the coast of New England. We had $900 stuffed into a sock in one of our backpacks, and we set off to see where the adventure would take us. Our last stop turned out to be Wells, Maine, where we got a room on the beach and sat on the deck drinking cocktails and listening to waves. Being more than a little tipsy, we took off down the beach and trekked over a mile to the rock jetty with the romantic idea to watch the sunset from its tip. We watched the sun set and got wrapped up in each other, losing track of time. By the time we started back, it was dark, and I lost my footing – it was NOT pretty. Remarkably the only physical reminder I have of that night is a scar running from my nose to my upper lip. It was a wonderfully romantic night, and I felt it a fitting end to my kisses – despite the blood and trauma, it was the night I realized that I was truly loved, and loved fiercely. I guess I just wanted to share in a round about way.
Thank you to everyone who read my kisses and gave such wonderful support, I truly appreciated it.
February 2005 – January 2007