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I'm Only Happy When it Rains" by Mikata Lyrics by Garbage (Self… - Dark Minds

About I'm Only Happy When it Rains" by Mikata Lyrics by Garbage (Self…

Previous Entry Aug. 14th, 2006 @ 12:26 pm Next Entry
I'm Only Happy When it Rains"
by Mikata
Lyrics by Garbage (Self Titled CD, track 3)
Part of the "Garbage on random" collection
Tatsumi + Tsuzuki
Set during the Story book Arc

x-posted to my journal, mikata_lian, kagetsu_master, tatsuki, ynm_yaoi, ynmangst

I would like to take a moment, as I have been remiss lately, to thank Theria.net for their translations; they were very, very valuable.
I would also like to thank everyone who reads my work. I would keep working on it all even if no one read it, but it makes the work all the sweeter. I would most especially like to thank Lyrebird, Peerwon, Pennypaperbrain, and Suonymona.

I'm only happy when it rains

It was on mornings like this that Tatsumi wondered to himself if perhaps he should stop by Tsuzuki-san's apartment to make sure he was coming into work on time. Konoe-kacho had slept wrong on his back the night before and was in a hideously poor mood today. Ad the moment he was fixating upon the latest report Tatsumi's errant co-worker had failed complete, even though it was already two days late, and Tsuzuki-san had promised that it would be finished and on his desk that morning.
And since Tsuzuki-san was not there at the door to Konoe-kacho's office, ready to accept a public redressing, Tatsumi stood up to take the brunt of his anger.
When exactly, had he become Tsuzuki-san's keeper?
It didn't matter when it had happened, just so long as he kept sight on the details. Tsuzuki could go on as he always had, and Tatsumi would stand behind him and make sure everything turned out right in the end. He would look after the details, make sure all the paper work was filed and deadlines were met, and make small order in the formless chaos that clung to Tsuzuki like tempestral winds scattering around an eye. If Tatsumi focused on the details, the larger, formless chaos ceased to matter, like making the moon shine bright in the eternal night sky.

I'm only happy when it's complicated
and though I know you can't appreciate it
Watari smiled at Tatsumi in a manner he wasn't sure he liked.
"Konoe-kacho sure seems mad this morning, huh, Tatsumi-han?"
So that was what the face was about. Maybe.
"He is mad , Watari-san. Tsuzuki did not turn his report in last night like he had promised."
"Oh, that," Kurosaki-kun poked his head 'round the door o the office he shared with Tsuzuki, "he said he was taking it home to complete."
The news was little better than Tatsumi had feared, "but it was supposed to be finished two days ago."
Kurosaki sighed, shook his head, 'I kept telling him that it had to be done, but he kept brushing me off... but it's not like I'm his keeper, he added, looking squarely into Tatsumi's eyes.
Tatsumi certainly did not like the expression on Kurosaki's young face, or any of the meanings he could take away from it.
Best to let it be.
"Yeah, Bon, but no one expects you to be."
Tatsumi bit his tongue. It was too much to try to change, so it was best to just to let it be.
The desk chair creaked quietly as Kurosaki stood and pushed it back into his office. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket, similar to one that Tatsumi had received that morning.
"Uh, I was wondering-"
The door from the main hallway opened quietly, and Tatsumi had not really noticed Tsuzuki until he made his presence known, bowing quietly to them all.
"I'm sorry... “He mumbled, not looking up from the floor, "I overslept..."
Tatsumi rolled his eyes, "Tsuzuki-san. Try to wake up on time... You'd better hurry up to Kacho's office. He's been waiting for you all morning."
"I'm sorry, Tatsumi-san... I'll go right now."
"Not so fast, Tsuzuki-san," Tatsumi strode over and grabbed his co-worker's arm, "you have rice on your face..."
"Yeah... I ate breakfast in a hurry..."
"You're a big boy now, you shouldn't need me to take care of you like this," Tatsumi wiped at Tsuzuki's cheek with his free hand. Tsuzuki stepped back from him, looking profoundly hurt. Tatsumi's fingers trembled ever so slightly, afraid of that look.
"Is something wrong?"
"I can't believe you'd sell me out for filthy lucre!" Tsuzuki jerked back, slapping back the hand and charging down the hall, making his best attempt to get away from him, and Tatsumi believed it to be for the best.
After all, he made Tsuzuki behave more inefficiently than were he absent. As much as he longed to correct everything, all he was good for was organizing the surface patterns, the static.
Tsuzuki’s pain was beyond his command.

I'm only happy when it rains

"What's his problem?" Hisoka muttered under his breath to Watari, looking supremely annoyed.
"Must be hormones," he replied flippantly.
Tatsumi could taste rice and green tea faintly on his finger. His hand jerked back from his face as though he had bitten himself, and straightened up.
Just leave it be.
"It doesn't matter. Tsuzuki-san is always flaky. I don't have the time to waste on it," Tatsumi straightened his glasses on the bridge of his nose and marched steadfastly to his office.
So what if Tsuzuki was displeased with him? He was a mercurial being, always flitting back and forth from one emotion to another... So what if it hurt to be at the receiving end of his tears? It wasn't the first time.
It didn't matter. There were reports to file, proof, sort. Accounts waited bills to be paid. Office supplies to be bought. No time to waste on Tsuzuki's hurt feelings. The details needed to be looked after. Much needed to be done before heading to the Castle of Candles for tea.

You know I love it when the news is bad

"Oh, um... Watson came over this morning and gave me this invitation," Hisoka looked towards Tatsumi's retreating back somewhat expectantly.
"Yeah, Bon. Watson gave me one too," Watari smirked, pulling it out of his lab coat.
Tatsumi turned around, thankful for a distraction from Tsuzuki.
"Every year, Hakushaku-sama has a cherry blossom viewing party. He invites his favorite people to come."
Tatsumi remembered hearing about the cherry blossom parties of his other's youth. As the daughter of a noble family, parties such as that were common. He thought of her hands stroking his hair as he laid his face on her lap, listening to her heartbeat, and feeling the swell of her pregnant stomach as she told him about a childhood far removed from his own. He had been very young then, and his father, a blurry memory, had still been alive... Where had he been that day...?
His mother had such a soft voice. Never in his life had he ever heard her speak in any tone other than her gentle, quiet, "motherly" voice, or the heart-rending sobs of the widow, the lost soul crying out from the darkness-
Cherry viewing ceremonies were special to his mother, but they weren't her favorite. Her favorite ceremony was the moon viewing ceremony. She had said once that it had been because she was afraid of-
"I wonder of Hakushaku-sama invited Tsuzuki, too," Hisoka rolled his eyes at the very thought of what sort of theatrics might be awaiting them if Tsuzuki was invited.
"Probably..." Watari slumped against Hisoka, trying to block out all of the humiliation of year's past. Watari had seen his share of festivals... at least twenty-five cherry viewings... the count had always been fond of the perverse scientist... and had been known to try to curry favor with him in the hopes of a secret potion slipped to Tsuzuki....
"I doubt he'd leave Tsuzuki out," Tatsumi placed the reports against his lips, hiding his grimace. He had seen many more festivals than Watari had.
How many...? Tatsumi thought about it for a long moment, before giving up in disgust and storming off to his office to finish the reports before the hour of the invitation. If only Hakushaku was more punctual with invitations....

And why it feels so good to feel so sad

Tatsumi loved cherry blossoms. They were so precious and frail. Like his mother was. If a wind blew too strongly in her life, her petals would scatter and disappear, fail to hold together.
But as cherry trees always did, she would eventually return to herself.
Father had died at sea in the navy, practicing and preparing for the war that would one day claim his own life. They hadn't known for weeks. The surviving sailors were afraid for his mother's sanity.
As tragic as it was to lie to a widow, it would have been so much worse for the children to lose a mother to suicide.
The news had been broken slowly to his mother. She had taken it surprisingly well.
But the cherry blossoms hadn't been as vibrant that spring.
The accounts seem to be doing well so far this quarter. Then again, Tsuzuki hadn't gone out on any strenuous missions. It had been at least four months since the carnage at St. Michel’s. So far so good, but it wouldn't last...

I'm only happy when it rains

Tatsumi could hear a lot going on outside his office door. He had let a rumor spread through out the office that he had soundproofed his office because of the incessant noise made by the daily business of his co-workers. He liked to keep everyone believing it. He heard the most interesting things outside his door.
"Tsuzuki-han? What was the deal with Tatsumi this morning?"
"Well... uh... it was this dream that I had last night...and uh...."
"Tatsumi-han sure is harsh to you... even in your sleep, he torments you!"
"I guess..."
Tatsumi's heart sank a little in his chest. Did Tsuzuki-san really hate him that much?
But then again, what had he really done to earn Tsuzuki's affection? Tatsumi looked away from the door guiltily and back at his paperwork.
Best to let it lie.
Well, that needs to be done today. It's been put off for far too long. The ordering needed to be done today, too... they were running out of tea in the break room, and perhaps he should ask the janitors to clean the kitchenette extra carefully tonight since there seems to be crumbs still stuck in the range top. Could be a fire hazard...

Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me

Tatsumi pushed through his work, less than eager for the count's party, given Tsuzuki's feelings for him. How could Tsuzuki think that poorly of him?
The nagging voice inside of the back of his mind pointed out reason after reason Tsuzuki had to be unhappy with him.

Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me

Unbidden, Tatsumi thought of the skin he could see over the collar of Tsuzuki's shirt. His throat was always golden and soft-seeming, not a coppery color of well-tanned skin, but a soft glow that seemed to shine though from Tsuzuki's soul. Deep within his body. His throat would pulse, the artery so close to the surface that Tatsumi could imagine tasting a hint of copper-sweet blood if only he tried hard enough...

But why would he want to taste Tsuzuki-san's blood?
Best to leave that stone unturned right now. Work was not a suitable place for a wandering mind.

I'm only happy when it rains
I feel good when things are going wrong

Tatsumi wondered silently how he ever got anything done as he walked along the path to the count's well-appointed garden. Tsuzuki walked just ahead of him, his arm wrapped around Kurosaki's shoulders in a fraternal sort of way. Watari walked behind him, looking over his shoulder worriedly at the ministry building. It made Tatsumi uneasy.
The count waited at the end of the pathway, at the gates of the castle. Petals drifted lazily in the air, striking against the nearly cloudless blue sky. His voice floated melodically, carefully articulated syllables paralleling the petals drifting on a warm and careless breeze.
"Spring has arrived,
Fall in love, young lady,
Cherry blossoms dance and fall,
'Tis the eve of spring.
They fall like snowflakes,"
The Count moved closer, placing a gloved finger upon Tsuzuki's lips, leaning in meaningfully, before finishing quietly, "so soft, like your lips."

I only listen to the sad, sad songs
I'm only happy when it rains
Tatsumi savored the tea, no doubt carefully chosen for the occasion. He had never been that fond of Jasmine tea really, likely because his mother never had, and he never wanted her to be unhappy. All he had ever wanted was to lift the darkness from her heart.
So it started with little things, like everything did. When he was little, he resolutely decided that he hated Jasmine tea, hoping to make his mother happy.
He would sit out with her at night and watch the moon with her. That seemed to make her the happiest. She would hold him on her lap until he got to be too big, and then he would sit beside her while she held his sister, who slept rather than watched the moon.

I only smile in the dark

Tsuzuki sat beside Kurosaki at the table, watching Tsuzuki eating. He ate with zest and fervor, eating as though he had been deprived. Certainly, he had never really been taught the decorous manner of eating. Tatsumi had never known a great deal about the circumstances in which Tsuzuki had been born, but he could imagine that Tsuzuki had been born a peasant's son, living in a farming village outside of Tokyo. Tsuzuki had likely never been taught even the most basic of etiquette.
The food at the corner of his mouth bothered him. He stared at it, fixated. Though looking at it disgusted him, he couldn't turn away. His stomach turned over uneasily, before he could stop his hand, he reached across the table with a napkin, and wiped Tsuzuki's smudged face.

My only comfort is the night gone black

He was aware of everyone staring at him now. He had made things worse. He fumbled in the back of his mind, searching to come up with something to deflect the stares.
"You need to work on your aim Tsuzuki. You're a big boy now, aren't you?"
Tsuzuki responded by trying to pull his head back like an animal trapped in a bag. Within his heart, it annoyed him. Why must Tsuzuki make everything so hard for him?
"Really, it's a good thing that we ended up splitting up."
Kurosaki spluttered into his tea beside him, nearly choking, "WHAT!?"
"Oh yeah, Bon, Tsuzuki-han and Tatsumi-han used to be partners. Didn't you know that?"
"Yes, I dumped him," Tatsumi broke in before Watari could add anything else. If someone had to explain to Kurosaki in small words about the partnership, it might as well have been him. He felt rage bubble up recalling the conversation that Tsuzuki and Watari had shared outside of his door, "don't you know that I hate working with idiots?"
"...idiots...?" Tsuzuki muttered quietly into Tatsumi's napkin, voice lost for the moment.
"Isn't that a uh... a tad harsh, Tatsumi-han," Watari smiled weakly from behind his glasses.
He turned his attention toward Watari, putting the full force of his glare into it, "If you didn't know that, then you truly are an idiot."
Tsuzuki slapped Tatsumi's hand away for the second time that day, "I can't believe you, Tatsumi, I HATE YOU!"
He ran from the table, almost knocking his chair into the Count, and headed for the Manor house.
"Tsuzuki-san! Wait! Don't go," the Count looked after him pitifully, "I'll just go after him..."
"Don't bother. He'll be back for dessert," Tatsumi tried to pass off his indifference by stirring his tea again, and taking a sip, careful not to give away his feelings by his shaking wrist. He felt his stomach sinking into a pit. Perhaps Tsuzuki-san did truly hate him...?
It was probably for the best for him, anyway. If he hated him... well, it would only be expected, wouldn't it?
The silence grew heavy, as though a pall had been cast over the table. No one looked up from their teacups.
It seemed to have gotten rather quiet since the Count and Tsuzuki left. Even on this fresh spring day, it felt like all the air had been sucked away.

I didn't accidentally tell you that
I'm only happy when it rains

Tatsumi pushed at the food on his plate, listless and concerned. Even though Watari had left, awkwardly excusing himself to avoid his hard piercing stare, he still had to keep up appearances for Kurosaki. He picked at his plate as well, looking beyond the sakura trees.
"I wonder when everyone is coming back... Could the Hakushaku-sama get lost in his own house?"
"Who knows...?” Tatsumi chased the delicate apple lady scone on his plate. Tatsumi really didn't know when everyone would get back. Worry began to overpower reason in his mind: what happened if Tsuzuki got entranced by a vision reflected in the flames in the castle and became incensed with guilt? What if the Count found him first?
He nearly got up from the table, but instead picked up his teacup once again, trying vainly to still the tremors in his hand.
Kurosaki looked at him with deep green eyes, expression unreadable.
"Yes, Kurosaki-kun?"
"Shouldn't we go help Hakushaku-sama look for Tsuzuki? He's been gone for an hour."
Tatsumi placed the cup back down on the saucer, feeling almost grateful to the boy for allowing him to save face rather than to suggest looking for Tsuzuki himself. Sickness from worry settled itself into his gut, curling 'round his intestines like tapeworms.
"That's true... it's been a bit too long..."

You'll get the message by the time I'm through
when I complain about me and you

Tatsumi opened the great foyer doors slowly, so as not to send a candle-extinguishing draft into the great hallway. Every time he entered the front doors, he was always struck by the relative darkness of the Castle interior. The glow from the thousands of candles in the hallway could not light the permanent gloom floating in the atmosphere. Tatsumi quickly shut the door behind him, sealing the light and pleasant air out. Kurosaki had already gone ahead of him, ghosting up the grand central staircase the dominated the hallway. Tatsumi followed one of the passageways on the ground floor, carefully opening every door and peering curiously inside. Each room held it's curiosities, as the Count seemed to enjoy collecting meaningless trinkets.

But who was he to decide what had meaning?
Tatsumi shook the sickening feelings worming their way deeper and deeper into his gut, and continued to open each door, peer inside curiously, and close it quietly again. Dust picked up from the surfaces would float in an occasional beam of light that could sneak its way past thick velvet curtains. Tatsumi would watch the light, scan the room, and slowly close the door, on to the next.

I'm only happy when it rains

Tsuzuki didn't seem to hear him at first, continuing to talk cheerfully about the plans he had come up with.
"Tsuzuki-san, I'm not going with you."
"I said I'm not going with you."
"Oh... okay... um, then I'll catch up with you later-"
"Or the next mission."
Tatsumi looked back at his partner grimly, "or the one after that."
I'll never go with you again...
"Oh," Tsuzuki tried to hide the sharp pain in his eyes with a wide smile, "I get it. See you later Tatsumi."
"No, don't worry. It' happens all the time..." Tsuzuki looked briefly over his shoulder as he turned to walk back down the hall, "I'm not bothered by it."
Tatsumi reached for Tsuzuki's hand as he stepped away, but the fingers slipped a hairsbreadth away, and Tatsumi did not pursue them. He had made his decision, and Tsuzuki his. Tatsumi could only watch him walk down the hall, reaching blankly for the air between them. But he had done the right thing. He would never work with Tsuzuki again.
Never again.
He watched Tsuzuki walk down the hall, pace even and steady, squares of light beating them selves across his dark back as he passed each long sunlit window. Tatsumi stood by the copier long after Tsuzuki had turned down the hall and presumably towards Chijou, unsure of himself. He continued to stand there for a long moment, before turning away sharply and heading in the opposite direction, furiously wiping his glasses with a handkerchief from his jacket.
He always hated how dust seemed to cling to the glass...

Pour your misery down,
The richly appointed carpet soaked up the noise of his shoes as he walked forward. His tightly reined in panic was starting to get he better of him. The empty and dimly lit hallways seemed to stretch out until the end of eternity, always just slightly longer than he could seem to walk. He paused, fiddling with his cufflinks nervously. His skin felt hot. Tatsumi took off his jacket, slinging it carefully over his shoulder, trying not to look too closely at the candles. Still, something tugged at he edges of his consciousness, asking for his undivided attention. The sobbing was soft, floating like dust of sakura petals on beams of sunlight. Tatsumi's fingers stilled, holding a cufflink nearly unfastened.

Pour your misery down
Pour your misery down on me

An elegantly robed figure crouched before the flames, shoulders heaving and tossing glossy black hair side to side. Tatsumi watched meekly, afraid to break the spell. Still, the figure slowly turned to face him, pulling a delicately-wrought veil from her face. As the veil slipped away from the crown of her head, her features delicately shifted, the features thinning.
"No... You're not..."
Tsuzuki's eyes flared to life, as if sun struck. They gleamed with unshed tears, and he kneeled, looking blankly up at into Tatsumi's numb face. As the tears broke across his porcelain skin, the turned red, staining his face and falling lost into the veil still trailing on his shoulders and the collar of his clean white shirt.

Pour your misery down
Tsuzuki's lips worked mutely, hardly more than a quiver that normally threatened a pout, and instead, Tatsumi could feel Tsuzuki’s voice resonating within his own body.
"My hands are stained with blood..."
He reached his hands, clasped over his heart, out to hem of Tatsumi's jacket.
"Tsuzuki-san... Please stop crying," Tatsumi cringed away in horror. It had been so long since he had seen Tsuzuki in this state-
"Aren't they red?"
Tsuzuki continued, as though having not heard Tatsumi speak aloud. His fingers trembled slightly as they stretched into the empty air. Tatsumi clutched his face, his head throbbing like he was starved for air. He wasn't breathing-
"I... I never want to see you cry again," Tatsumi jumped slightly, startled by the sound of his own voice amidst his painful, swirling thoughts. His heart constricted inside of his chest, feeling like it was folding in on itself.
Tsuzuki continued to reach out to Tatsumi, arms stringing from the effort.
I never wanted you to cry. Tatsumi struggled for air, his head reeling and starving for oxygen.
"See? I'm even crying."
Then why do you stay, Tsuzuki-san? What keeps you here, surrounded by pain and suffering?
Stop it.
And the world was clear, and the air abundant around his lips. Tatsumi started, and tried not to lose face in front of Kurosaki-kun again.
"You were far away..." He trailed off, seeming to wait for the assurances that Tatsumi-san was going to be "all right" and that he was not trapped in his own dreams, though even without his empathy, the boy would have probably been able to guess the cause of his great distress. The pounding of his head was fading, he would be able to regain his composure easily, despite his previous all-encompassing panic and dread.
"The candles cause strange hallucinations to manifest themselves."
It's nothing worth worrying about. It's too small. So very, very small.
Kurosaki-kun watched Tatsumi meaningfully out of the corners of his too-wide eyes. Tatsumi felt uncomfortably exposed under the boy's gaze, as if he could feel the boy's empathy reflected back towards him. It unsettled him more deeply then he wished to consciously acknowledge. Tsuzuki-san was still in mind, though gone from sight.

Pour your misery down Pour your misery down
Pour your misery down on me Pour your misery down

Tatsumi walked forward, looking at each checked door from the corners of his eyes, hoping to have not missed some important clue. The hall was silent, feet muffled by the running carpet. Kurosaki-kun was a barely tangible presence, almost floating outside of Tatsumi's consciousness. When he spoke, it was sharp and clear, and forced Tatsumi to stop and look back at the boy.
"What is it, Kurosaki-kun?"
Tatsumi knew what was coming. The boy could see right though the shadows in his heart. What good did it do to continue to pretend to the boy?
"At the tea party..." At that, Tatsumi turned away to conceal his flinch. His hands felt uncomfortably clammy and thick, fingers swollen, "You said that you walked out on Tsuzuki." The boy took another step towards Tatsumi, as if needing to see his physical response, "So why were you lying?"
That's the question, isn't it? What do I tell Kurosaki? What could I possibly say to control the situation?
Tatsumi turned at the waist, looking at Kurosaki with a time-worn expression that he had perfected over his many years of existence. His cold colored eyes focused straight into Kurosaki-kun's with laser-like sharpness.
"Does my relationship with Tsuzuki-san really interest you that much?"
As expected, the boy shrank back, afraid of Tatsumi's eyes. He stammered an apology, staggering away as if afraid of Tatsumi. It was by all appearances, as though normalcy had returned, and everything was as it should have been. Tatsumi hand twitched against his chest, and he nearly jumped, not realizing that had brought it there.
Kurosaki-kun was still murmuring apologies, not meeting his gaze. It wasn't fair to treat the boy this way. It was his own fault that they both stood in the hallway. Tatsumi turned away again, looking at the distant candles.
"Tsuzuki... reminds me of my mother."

Pour your misery down Pour your misery down
Pour your misery down on me Pour your misery down

Kurosaki's apologies died in his throat. Tatsumi could feel the weight of his eyes on his shoulders. Tatsumi closed his eyes to block out the flames, and pictured the moon instead.
"My mother was of royal blood. She had been raised to be a perfect lady, so it surprised everyone when she ran away with my father."
Tatsumi thought of the moon above the house and the warmth beside him on cold nights. My sister and I were born from that union, from that father that I do not remember, and this sad, warm woman...
"As such, she had no idea how to take care of a household. While my father was gone, I knew that it was my responsibility to take care of her."
He heard Kurosaki murmur behind him, "I never knew that you were descended from royalty..."
Tatsumi cleared his throat, and looked down at the floor cynically. Of course he wouldn't think so. How could I have been anything other than the son of a poor soldier? I was lucky we had a house to sleep in at night...
"I had vowed to protect her, and to make her happy... but I never did. Whenever I picture her face, all I can see is sorrow."
Kurosaki began to speak again, to apologize in that useless way people do, but Tatsumi cut him off, not wanting to hear his words.
"Tsuzuki is so much like her. It's not his face. He has a certain femininity about him, but even so, he still looks nothing like my mother. He sounds all wrong, too. But there is some essential quality about him that he shares with my mother. "
Some essential truth that they both share...

Pour your misery down
you can keep me company
As long as you don't care
It was the twilight. Tatsumi adjusted his glasses slightly. Tsuzuki and his mother were like the moon. They shone aloof, small and surrounded by darkness. And Tatsumi was that darkness. He surrounded them, was privy to their deepest pain, and was the cause of the intensity of it. Tatsumi cast darkness wherever he went, like the blackest night.
How long has it been since you've been in my life, Tsuzuki?
"Tsuzuki was an emotional wreck back then. He couldn't last a mission without becoming too involved, and would break down by mission's end."
And still smile. And his tears would shine like the light from the moon, even as he smiled up at me in the dark.
"All of the physical closeness in the world couldn't help him... and it was all I could give him."
Tatsumi felt his heart clench in his chest so tightly that he would have worried about a heart attack, were it still beating.
"I had to leave him, because I couldn't do anything to help him. Since then, there have been so many people who walked in and out of his life...
I did the wrong thing. So much of his pain was caused by me. Another person whom I've crushed underfoot.
"But perhaps you'll be the one who stays with him, Kurosaki-kun. Perhaps..."

I'm only happy when it rains
you wanna hear about my new obsession?

"Tatsumi-san..." Kurosaki gazed at him, as open as he had ever seen the young man, "I think I understand how you feel."
The boy's openness made Tatsumi feel suddenly ashamed with himself. He brought his hand to his face, and adjusted his glasses, though they were already perched securely upon his brow, through his hand, he was barely able to squeak out a "thank you", words suddenly woefully inadequate.
He had to change the focus.
"There's only one place left to check. Come with me, Kurosaki-kun!"
Tatsumi dashed towards the northernmost door in the Castle, which as far as he could remember, led to the Count's library. He remembered that there was a fainting couch in the room, draped in a deep, decadent velvet. The Count had had it shipped from Europe simply because it had matched the depth of Tsuzuki's eyes, "in passion". At the time, Tsuzuki had whimpered and shuddered, and Tatsumi had scolded the Count for upsetting the guests at yet another one of his parties, and had thought nothing more of it until now...
Did the Count have Tsuzuki pinned against it now? The thought made his feet fly all the faster.

I'm riding high upon a deep depression
I'm only happy when it rains
All I want to do is protect you, Tsuzuki-san.
He passed Kurosaki-kun running down the hall and slammed his palms into the door, startling them from their jambs and letting them fly open in a most dramatic fashion.
"Count! I demand you unhand Tsuzuki-san!"
Unlike Tatsumi's fears, the Count appeared to be alone in the room, curled up over a book like a relaxed cat. He turned towards the two with a thick chuckle, and Tatsumi could see the sick smile in his mind, and somehow the whole situation was worse that the one he had imagined previous.
"Now, now, you two," the Count chided, "I'm just getting to the best part..."
"Where is Tsuzuki-san?" Tatsumi demanded as forcefully as he dared.
"Why, he's right here,” the Count swept a gloved hand across the book he was reading, as though he were caressing a lover's face, "on this page."
Tatsumi dared to look away for a moment and share a look with his young co-worker, who mirrored his own incomprehension.
"On the page?" Fear began to edge into Tatsumi's voice, though he did well to strangle it.
"It seems that he's been pulled into my book," the Count said good-naturedly, as if being pulled into a magical book was the most natural thing in existence. Of course, when Tatsumi considered his existence later that night, he supposed that it wasn't all that unnatural in the existence he led to be pulled into a magical book.
But it certainly wasn't the most natural thing in the world , so still he protested, though his words came out in choked little sounds.
"Tatsumi-san... are you...?" Kurosaki-kun couldn't even finish his question.
Of course Tatsumi-san wasn't all right.
"PULLED INTO!?" he finally managed to shout, his voice cracking for the first time in many decades and coming out halfway as a nearly-womanly shriek. Without waiting for the Count's reply, he dashed over and leaned heavily on the Count's shoulder, ignoring his vocalized distaste and read over his shoulder, while Kurosaki-kun snuck around the Count's other shoulder and read along, too.

Pour some misery down on me
Ruka turned to look at the Angel, then back at the abandoned castle, lost beyond all measure.
"This is bad, isn't it," she breathed, looking once again at the Angel, who seemed as helpless in this world as she.
"Even together, we have no sense of direction," she looked up at the star-dewed sky, knowing that the Earl's hunters found their way though the darkest of nights with the tiny twinkling lights from the canopy of the Earth, but as for herself, she as may as well have been looking at smudged manuscript, for all the understanding she could draw from it.
"I wonder where my house went..." she turned back to look at the Angel, who looked so despondent, further deflating her own determination to get home. She had to bring them both back up if she ever wanted to see her beloved Father again.
"Well!" her voice sounded syrupy-sweet to even her own ears, "if we keep walking, we'll find it!"
The Angel appeared to be caught between amusement and embarrassment, and muttered quietly, "the world is round, after all..."
Ruka was not quite sure what the Angel had meant by that, but decided that it did not matter, so she did not bother to question him, and began again to walk, a spring returned to her step.
"Hey... What's that? Lights from the town?" The Angel stopped behind her and pointed. Sure enough, Torch lights bobbed across the field like faerie fire over a swamp. Ruka's spirits soared; if the townspeople had come here, they would certainly take her home! As the crowd approached, however, it became apparent to the young woman that the crowd had another purpose in mind besides returning them home. At their lead was the Butler, his blue eyes flashing from behind his glasses with an almost devilish intensity, a pistol in his hand, created no doubt by that devious alchemist the earl had hired.
"I found you more quickly than expected," he cried over the roaring of the crowd, and Ruka felt her heart drop from her chest like a lead weight. The Butler looked straight into her eyes for a moment, their coldness cutting her like a sharp sword, before turning on and continuing, his next words aimed at the Angel beside her.
"Have you come to possess this maiden with your contagion, you Angel of Death?"
He leveled his gun at the Angel's heart while the crowd cheered. Ruka could feel strong hands on her shoulders, pulling her away from the Angel, dragging her back like a doll, and she didn't fight it, so sick she felt at the sight. The Angel stood before the crowd, his own purple eyes glowing in the torchlight. He stood still at that moment, arms out in benediction, as if ready and waiting for death to come

I'm only happy when it rains
Kurosaki-kun let out a worried breath, "things are getting very dangerous in there..."
"Is there a way to get him out?" Tatsumi finished, reining in his urge to throttle the life from the aristocratic fool that had arranged this foolish scenario in the first place.
"This book is created by powerful magic that cannot be easily be dispelled," He paused for a moment, as if trying to come up with a solution. Tatsumi could see that Kurosaki-kun was growing a bit hopeful in the pause, but he would not allow himself to let the Count manipulate him so, "Besides, I do so love to see Tsuzuki tortured and in pain."
Kurosaki turned towards the Count, unable to hide his expression of loathing, and Tatsumi did not doubt that he had seen Muraki behind that mask for a moment as he growled at him.
"You sadist!"
At almost that same moment, while Tatsumi managed to stay his hands, he could not bite back the snarl at his lips, "...Pervert."
Tatsumi stared hard at the Count for a moment, broken by Kurosaki-kun's relieved sigh.
"Ruka managed to create a diversion for him. He's escaping."
"Mmm. If nothing else, the Bug-God will allow Tsuzuki to escape-"
"Speaking of which, Count," Tatsumi cut in, "why am I the villain...?" His face froze in a ghastly caricature of a smile, the same way his mother's used to when an unwelcome guest came to call upon the house.
The Count turned upon Tatsumi, the expression in his eyes seeming soft, "you really don't know why?" His gloved hands stroked Tatsumi's cheeks, making him feel more than just slightly uncomfortable, "It's because," He whispered into Tatsumi’s ear, tickling him with heated breath, "you have the face of a villain!"
Tatsumi whipped his head around at the joke told at his expense, nearly slamming his face into the Count's, "Excuse me!?"
Deep down, Tatsumi was relieved that the Count had spared the true workings of his heart from the boy, even though Tatsumi was sure the boy had more than just an inkling of his feelings. Perhaps he really was like the Butler in the story. Would he choose duty over love? Over Tsuzuki? He certainly had before. Deep down, he was little better than the Count, who was at least honest with his desires.
But on the other hand, how could one be honest about things that one could not understand? He didn't understand his feelings for Tsuzuki-san. Not really. It had taken him more than fifty years to puzzle out his motives as far as he had. Would it take another fifty to really understand? A hundred?
Pour some misery down on me
Tatsumi turned from the book, unable to bring himself to look at the self-scripting text anymore, for whenever he looked at it, his thoughts would fly from him like birds freed from a cage, and his emotions simmered and boiled like an unattended teapot. The realm of emotion was not a place that served anyone at the moment, most especially of all Tsuzuki-san.
"There has got to be a way to free him..." Tatsumi mused into his hand, ignoring the other two in the room.
His answer came not from within, but from without, as Watari peered around he door, his hair still wild from the wind outside.
"Hey, so there you are. I came back like I said I would and then no one was there except for Watson..." he trailed off, as if waiting for people to acknowledge his existence, to which Kurosaki-kun merely looked up from the page for a moment with a muttered greeting or another. For Tatsumi, Watari's appearance startled him into a plan.
The chemist turned to regard Tatsumi, startled and more than a bit worried, for Tatsumi had used the tone that he normally reserved for when he had blown something up or had overshot the lab budget. But instead of causing Tatsumi grief, for once, he had brought about hope.
"I have to solution for getting Tsuzuki-san from the book!"
"The what now?"
Tatsumi ignored Watari and grabbed at the approximation of the Count's shoulders, "get a pad of paper! We can free Tsuzuki-san!"
"How is that going to-"
Tatsumi cut Kurosaki off and turned to Watari, who was staring at Tatsumi with sheer incomprehension, "Tsuzuki-san is trapped within a magical book, by the Count's doing. We need you to draw him out."
"Ah, right," Watari dug around in his pockets for a moment before looking up at the Count sheepishly, "do you have a pencil?"
"How is that going to help? Kurosaki asked more forcefully.
Watari puffed up like his pelican robot 001, "I am a pictomancer. I will draw his exact likeness and wrench him free from the book domain... I think. I'll have to work hard to draw him from memory."
Tatsumi did well to hold back a snort at the idea of Watari's concept of "exact likeness." Watari had never drawn anything remotely close to it's true form in his unlife, and he doubted that it would happen today, either. Even so, Watari was the best at what he did, and his kindergarten scribblings usually bore true fruit. He had to hope. He had to believe that Watari could save Tsuzuki-san from... himself.
Tatsumi knew that he could not.
I'm only happy when it rains
Even despite all of this, Tatsumi could not help but laugh a little while he casually looked over Kurosaki-kun's shoulder, for Tsuzuki had interrupted his avatar's wedding to "the Earl", by smashing through a window riding Byakko, his beloved Shikigami companion.
"Even in a book, he has to destroy everything."
At least they wouldn't have to pay for it.
"Here! Eureka! It is completed!"
Watari held up his drawing, which, as was expected, was terrible.
"I'd give it a 'D'," Tatsumi said, feeling generous. He turned back to the book as Watari's face fell. As eager as he was to pull Tsuzuki free from the book now, he also wanted to see what would happen. Perhaps he was indulging his own vanity, but still, he wanted to see the conclusion all the same.
And so he skimmed over the page, reading about Tsuzuki's battle against the Butler, his cruel avatar. He winced as he read of the Butler's sword slicing though Tsuzuki's belly, knowing the pain all too well.
"Not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from! Not worrying about medicine or dying of exposure! That is happiness!"
"No!" the angel shot back, "I coul- Ruka could never be happy like that! Happiness isn't about money," the Angel paused, his voice becoming soft like a whisper in the wind, "I want to be happy with you, Tatsumi."
Tatsumi's eyes grew wide as the words wrote themselves across the page. Tsuzuki was speaking to him. Worlds apart, and Tsuzuki-san's words cut into him like steel.
To be happy together? It was a beautiful dream, a fiction. They both wanted it with all of their hearts, but... could it truly happen? Or were they no better than the star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare? True, they were already dead, but perhaps not even the afterlife could bring their hearts together.
He dared to read the page again, after a long moment of looking at hard and painful truths.
...the two youths did not fall to the floor, but rather into one another's arms, each supporting the other upon the altar, far away from the Earl and the congregation, and from the church itself. The physical world no longer mattered to the pair, for they had found something much greater than the material world. For that moment, all that they needed for sustenance could be found in the arms of the other..."
Tatsumi could wait no longer for this to end, so he turned to Watari, without bothering to hide his eagerness, "Watari! Pull him free now!"
"All righty!"
Tatsumi watched with amusement, and not for the first time, as Watari reached into the drawing and "fished" for his target, his face twisted into a mask of grim concentration. The muscles of his arm bulged and twitched through the lab coat for a moment until finally Watari's face glowed with excitement.
"Got 'im!"
And so Watari began to reel him in, giving Tatsumi a few scant moments to compose himself for Tsuzuki.
And he felt woefully unprepared for the task. Even if he had all the time in the world, he felt afraid to face Tsuzuki when he came back.
As much as Tatsumi admitted to fearing anything, of course.
Pour some misery down on me

Tatsumi dodged the inglorious arc made by Tsuzuki's body as Watari wrenched it from his turgid little sketch. His white tiger arced above them, large body twisting in the air until he disappeared back to his own world, no longer needed.
Tsuzuki lay in a heap, lost within his black coat, seemingly still trapped within the ether just beyond the conscious minds of men. Tatsumi threw himself to his knees before him, unsure as to whether or not he should reach forward and grasp him. Tsuzuki popped his head out from under his coat, looking bewildered, eyes rolling around wildly in the sockets. Tatsumi was unsure whether it was because Tsuzuki didn't know there he was, or perhaps it was because he did know that he was back in the Count's study, and was very afraid. Maybe it was because he himself was here. His avatar had swept Tsuzuki-san's from the wedding altar, after all.
Did that bother Tsuzuki? Frighten him? Would he be the same as the Count in his eyes? Or something ever more horrid?
Tatsumi watched silently, waiting for Tsuzuki to calm himself and regain his awareness, himself unaware of the faint smile on his face, or the wetness at his eyes.

I'm only happy when it rains
Tsuzuki stared back at Tatsumi worriedly, and plastered a small smile to try to cover it up.
"I... I'm home, Tatsumi."
Tatsumi clenched his fists to resist touching, much less tackling Tsuzuki and hugging him. The sharpness of his fingernails helped. He smiled as warmly as he could and kneeled next to him.
"Welcome home, Tsuzuki-san."
I've missed you, he added silently.
Carefully, he reached a hand out to Tsuzuki, hoping that he didn't scare him away or that that he would notice the four little crescent marks in his palm and draw any one of several unpleasant conclusions. Just as carefully, Tsuzuki reached his own hand out, and took Tatsumi's into his own. Gracefully, Tatsumi pulled Tsuzuki back up on his feet, gingerly letting go, and backing away slightly, fingertips brushing lightly across his palm before Tsuzuki was violently knocked forward by the count, eager to "see if Tsuzuki felt all right," but really just an excuse to grab Tsuzuki in a wildly inappropriate manner.
"Tsuzuki! I was so worried about you!"
Tsuzuki struggled within invisible arms, reaching out to Tatsumi.
He longed to touch Tsuzuki again, to hold him the way the count did. Would Tsuzuki run from me if I held him that way?
Still, he had a part to play.
"I think we shall take our leave. We've inconvenienced you too long."

Pour some misery down on me
As Tatsumi had suspected, Tsuzuki was hard at work. Sleeping. It was a rather unglamorous sight, Sakura petals caught in his wind-mussed hair, his pen half-clasped in his fingers, and a small rope of saliva clinging to the side of his face, threatening to spoil the paperwork. Evidence of previous failures were scattered around his head with discarded Styrofoam cups and the crumbs from the this morning's apple scone.
Despite the lack of poetic beauty in the scene, Tatsumi was almost uneager to wake him. What he was witnessing was true Tsuzuki, no faked happiness, no guilt-induced bouts of psychotic self-destruction. Tsuzuki was in his natural state of being, happy and free.
But all good things had to end.
"Tsuzuki-san, are you awake?"
True to form, Tsuzuki started awake violently, pen flying, paper stuck to his sleep slackened face.
"Will you come into my office for a moment?"
Tsuzuki perked up, looking serious, "what's up?"
He seemed afraid of reprimand. Tatsumi smiled charmingly to try to off put Tsuzuki's fear.
"You'll see." Tsuzuki followed him hesitantly into the office, closing the door behind him silently. He gestured for Tsuzuki to sit, which he did, nervously on the edge.
"Watari brought these in for Kacho, but he will not be returning to the office today. They expire tomorrow," he gestured to a plate sitting between them on his desk.
"Nishio's Natsuhashi!" Tsuzuki looked pleased. His stomach let out a rumble of appreciation, and Tatsumi couldn’t help but laugh a little behind one of his hands.

I'm only happy when it rains

Tatsumi smiled at Tsuzuki, feeling at peace with everything. Tsuzuki didn't hate him, cared for him even... maybe even...
Best not to spoil the moment with doubt. He had hoped to talk to Tsuzuki-san, ask him his true feelings about the events in the bookworld, but found himself woefully unable to command the language that he believed himself to have mastered.
Perhaps all of his careful planning, all of the contingencies and manipulations, were in the end, just small surface patterns etched on something much deeper, like the superfluous window-dressing shading a picturesque view. Perhaps all of this was completely and utterly unnecessary. The thought frightened Tatsumi, shook him, for the patterns had become a large part of who he was, if that had not always been the case. Such thoughts were disruptive, and needed to be banished from the corners of his mind. He focused on Tsuzuki, then the clock. The hour had grown late, and it was likely too late to really talk to Tsuzuki-san now, now that there was so much work to be done.
"Let's get back to work, Tsuzuki-san."
"What? Can't we relax a bit more?"
After all, there were appearances to be maintained, even if things were different between them now, and especially if they weren't. All the details had to be looked after, everything made to look perfect.

Pour some misery down on me ...
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