A/N: Sorry I haven't updated my other fics yet…I'll get to it; I just have a bit of writer's block and am trying to loosen it up with this. XP I…am going to get screamed at for this, I think. I…don't care at the moment but will if I get what I deserve. XD Mk, well, never mind. I just got pissed off for reasons I don't wanna say and this came of it. I love Johan but I hope to make him suffer here -.- This is proly rly bad…Idc. D;
Disclaimer: I do not own GX.
Selfish…it was a concept that was far from unfamiliar to Yuuki Juudai. He had been accused of being such before, and if he hadn't been then, he certainly was at the moment. Everyone was selfish to varying degrees in one way or another, but this…this was pretty low. And even though he had sworn he would not become this desperate, that he could live without it, he had gotten so discontent that he had finally given in, and done the one thing he had promised himself he would never do.
Deep inside, he knew he wasn't doing anyone any favors. It wasn't good for him. And Johan certainly was receiving the most disadvantage from this arrangement. He had never meant to do any harm, but the worst incidents seemed to come from accidents. He knew he was slowly and subtly killing the European, one day at a time.
The worst part was, Johan didn't even know it. He was blissfully unaware of the peril Juudai had put him in.
It made him sick. Every time Johan smiled warmly at him as he stepped in through the front door, greeted him with a snug embrace and gentle kiss, it tore him down a bit more inside. What made his stomach really churn was when he forced himself to return the smile, putting up that same mask, same façade, again and again, day after day.
Pretending. It was a concept that was newer to him. He had always pretended but…never deceived. He might have withheld information before, but he had never believed that it was really that important. But this…he was doing something that was the true definition of sin itself. Juudai had never thought anything of sin before, but he knew that this was definitely it. It wasn't that he had never been wrong before, it wasn't that he believed in religion exactly, but this…this wasn't right. It couldn't be moral. It couldn't be kind.
And it wasn't. He supposed he was being just as evil as he'd ever been. He knew that no one would approve if they knew the dark secret that lay in the depths of his corrupted mind. Haou was aware of it. Nothing was said but…both, being one, were clearly disgusted. It was obvious he didn't approve. And neither did Juudai.
It had all started out innocently. And it had all started with Haou. Juudai had only spoken with him, with himself, a couple of times and yet…that was enough. He had never really been as selfish as the average human until that point. He had never been so tainted, so impure. It was when he had felt those forbidden feelings that he had lost his innocence. It was when he had discovered the true meaning of narcissism, selfishness. And once he had gone down the pathway leading to perdition, he could not come back from it. And no one knew except for him and Haou, he and himself.
Juudai had never thought anything could be so…senseless. He hadn't understood it at the time and still didn't. All he knew was that suddenly…his reflection seemed so much more intriguing, so much more…attractive. He didn't understand how he could feel that way about himself. It was disgusting, wretched, wrong. He had never thought that loving another male was wrong but…loving himself…that was most certainly wrong. Even he knew that. And so he had tried to extinguish the flames of desire, to quell it, by misplacing his affection on a willing victim, someone he also harbored feelings for.
However much he had resisted the urge, however much he had told himself that it was not a good idea, he had caved. Before he had known it, the words were tumbling out of his mouth, and Johan believed them. Of course he did. Juudai had never given him any reason not to believe what he said. He had never given him any reason not to trust him.
Naturally, they did have their moments when they were truly happy. Juudai would temporarily forget his plight and focus on the other man. Johan did bring him joy, he really did. But every time he thought it was gone, he would pass by a mirror, and that sick burning would return to the pit of his stomach. In the end, Johan meant nothing to him; he was a mere replacement.
As he sat on the sofa with his legs pulled up to his chest, thinking over all these things for the hundredth time in an hour, he tried to soothe himself, tried to shield himself from the truth. It wouldn't be long before Johan was back from the grocery store, and he really didn't need to be in a bad mood when the other came back. He would have to put up that front again, and he had to make it believable. His dark eyes darted nervously towards the clock, watching the pendulum swing back and forth. As his eyes followed it, he felt himself drifting into insanity. It was monotonous, predictable, the same routine each time.
Gradually, his grip around his legs tightened to the point of being uncomfortable. And yet…in some sick way it satisfied him; it made him feel good. Quickly, he released his legs and seized a pillow, burying his face in it and smothering himself momentarily to make himself forget. That was the bad thing about this: he could not escape. He could only hope that Johan came back soon, before he really did lose his mind.
But it had been too long already. The entire eight years that had passed…he could not take it anymore. Each day was another chip in his willpower, leaving it cracked, crumbling. And at that point, it was almost non-existent. He did not know how long he could keep his lips sealed on the matter. The shameful secret was screaming at him from the depths of his sinful mind, begging release. He denied it, but it would not be silenced.
Before he had time to compose himself, he heard the door swinging open, and knew it was too late. He tried desperately to grasp it, to get a hold of himself. But the secret could not be kept quiet forever, and perhaps that day had come. He had been struggling with its need to escape for a long time then, and he felt he was finally at the breaking point.
He could only hope that even though he broke, Johan wouldn't break with him.
"I'm back, Juudai!" Came Johan's cheerful voice.
He didn't see him for the pillow, but he could hear him smiling warmly. His nails dug into the fabric, gripping it with all their might. He tried to compose a simple reply. But his mind pulled up a blank.
The instant he heard Johan's concerned, inquisitive voice, he knew it was too late. Presently, he heard the other's muted footsteps on the carpet, coming closer to him. He hunched over in a ball, in a semi-fetal position, and clutched the pillow closer to mask his face. He did not want to tell. And he knew if he moved that pillow…it would all be over.
He felt a gentle hand brush his shoulder. Although he tried to suppress it, a violent shiver ran throughout his entire body. It was cold. He felt another shiver coming, and then a rush, and knew that his darker side was kicking in. As much as he tried to stop it, he couldn't. It was just too hard to hold back anymore. It was more or less a defense mechanism. He had to get this off his chest before it killed him!
"J-Johan…" His breath hitched in his throat as he felt himself choking. A moment had to be spent composing himself, then, panting, he sat up. When he lifted his eyes to meet Johan's, he heard the other emit a little gasp. And that was when it was confirmed what he had feared…
"Juudai…y-your eyes…" Johan's grin wavered and he glanced about him uneasily. Of course he was going to be nervous! Something had triggered Haou to come out. He didn't know what it was but…he was going to soon wish he had never known.
A heavy, reluctant hand was stretched upwards, slowly. Johan flinched visibly as the fingertips made gentle contact with his face. He tried to back away but Juudai only lifted himself off the couch and stood eye-level with him, and took a step towards him. A moment lapsed into silenced confusion, and then fate intervened.
He could take it no more. He could lie to his best friend no more. Of course, he doubted once this was over that they would ever associate again. He didn't blame the European. He had hardly been a good friend at all. But at long last, he parted his lips, and the deadly secret that he had been holding to his heart, corroding it, for so long finally passed through. "I don't love you."
Johan's mouth opened slightly, and a small, sharp intake of air was heard. His sea green eyes widened, stunned. "Wh-What?"
"I…I don't love you," He repeated, breathing heavier. No…he didn't want to say it so harshly! Why was it coming out like this? He felt numb; he was watching from outside his own body. As much as he tried to stop it, it came out wrong anyway. "I never did. I never could. I…was using you."
Swiftly, those emerald eyes filled with tears. It was obvious Johan was trying to hold them back, by the way he was smiling weakly and laughing softly, but his entire being was trembling. Juudai's heart ached for him. "S-Surely…you're…kidding." Johan swallowed hard and took a deep breath, trying to recover. But his trembling only grew more vigorous. "You…would never do that to me…We've…been together eight years! You…you just can't use someone for eight years…" He bit his lip, his eyes regarding Juudai with the dying light of hope. He was clinging to the precipice of his hope, dangling over the edge, about to fall. Juudai wanted to grab onto him and save him. But he could not harness his tongue.
"But I did do it," Juudai continued, his voice surprisingly steady. He grabbed Johan's wrist and held it tightly, as though to keep him from running away, as though to support himself. His grasp was firm and steady. Johan's hand shook more. "It was because I was in pain…I loved someone else that I couldn't be with…Don't you see? I'm selfish!"
Johan winced when the last part was screamed. "J-Juudai…let me go…" He was trying to remain calm and in control. But his eyes were frightened. "I…I don't know what's wrong with you but…I can see you're not yourself now…"
"I never was the me you knew!" Juudai protested, leaning closer into his face, "I was always this dark, twisted, sick person…Because…" His voice finally dropped back down to a normal level. His grip on Johan's wrist loosened until he finally dropped it. Inwardly, he cringed at the dark bruise he'd left behind. Once again, he'd hurt someone without meaning to… "Because…I love…Haou…I love…myself…" He lifted his tired, worn eyes. Suddenly, he looked much older than he was, and his voice reflected his exhaustion. He'd given up the fight. "Don't you see? I…I never wanted it to happen this way…One time…you meant everything to me. But…something happened to corrupt that. I'm sorry." His amber eyes dropped to the floor again. He spoke only the unbridled truth then.
Another shocked silence. He expected Johan to walk away, to slap him, to frown. He hung his head, cheeks burning in shame. Surely, the teal-haired man would hate him. He closed his eyes and patiently awaited his punishment, his fists clenched and his nails digging painfully into sweaty palms.
For a moment, he heard nothing but the blood rushing in his ears. Then, he felt soft fingertips against his cheeks. Daring to crack his eyes open, he found shimmering mint eyes inches away. A warm drop of moisture fell upon his nose from Johan's, followed by the gentle pressure of hot lips against his.
His golden eyes widened as those lips gingerly, passionately massaged his own. He felt those familiar arms wrapping securely around his neck, pulling him closer. Gradually, he felt the insanity ebbing back, the pain decreasing. He let his eyelids flutter shut as he indulged in the kiss. Suddenly, it didn't feel so wrong. He felt as though a great weight had been lifted off of him. Relief washed over him like spring rain.
After a few moments of gentle kissing, Johan finally pulled away to look him straight in the eyes, still holding his face carefully. He smiled weakly at Juudai's confusion. "It's Ok."
Juudai blinked once, twice. "B-But…aren't you going to…leave me?"
A hint of a frown crossed Johan's features. He shook his head. "No. I could never do that."
"But why?" The brunet sputtered, growing flustered and upset.
"Juudai, everyone is his or her own first love. It's natural. You just must not have discovered vanity at its worst until now." Johan explained, "But that doesn't mean you're selfish. You've never left me. You've always helped me support myself. You've been there for me and comforted me through the worst of my times, and we've shared the best of times together. Just because you love Haou, yourself, doesn't mean you can't love me too. You just…love me in a different way. Even though you might not think you do, I think you do from the way you treat me. Don't ever beat yourself up about that again. You're not selfish. Anything but!"
"B-but I just…said…those things…I'm sorry,"
"Don't worry about it. Yes, it hurt for the moment but then I realized…Don't ever hurt yourself to the point of believing something like that again. You're not a bad person. And you don't have to feel that I won't love the 'true' you. I do. Everyone has a dark side. It's going to be all right." Having finished, Johan leaned over and captured him in another deep lip-lock, trying to comfort him.
Juudai allowed it for several moments, all the while thinking about what had been said. At first, he had felt a lot better but then as he thought about it…It made less and less sense. Johan didn't seem to understand what he meant. Maybe he should try to clarify. Slowly, he pushed the other away, earning a bewildered gaze. He offered a weak smile and took a deep breath.
"I don't think we're on the same page."
"Huh?" Johan looked more confused than ever. He watched Juudai pace about with a worried emerald gaze. "What do you mean?" He moved slowly towards the couch, placing a hand on the arm as though safeguarding himself lest he fall. His eyes followed Juudai's every movement with the deepest of concern and devotion.
Juudai looked back up at him. "What you're saying is true…" He paused and looked thoughtful, sorrowful as he mulled over the words to say. "But…It's not right in my case. I mean…I love myself differently from how you love yourself, or how anyone does, for that matter."
Johan's brows furrowed. "Well, I don't understand…"
"I…am in love with…myself…Haou…" Juudai told him, emphasizing each word. His eyes looked pained. "I know it sounds crazy but…it's true. I love you, too, but…not the same way. You are just a friend…a really close friend that I have some romantic feelings for. But it's…it's just not the same. It's just not enough!"
Johan gripped the arm of the sofa with trembling hands. "J-Juudai…" A deep breath. His eyes regained that look of fear in them. "You're…acting so irrational. You've never acted like this before! What's wrong with you?" He tilted his head a bit to one side, resisting the urge to turn around and run to barricade himself in the bathroom or go out the door. "You…You're acting…insane..."
"Maybe I am…Maybe I was all along!" Juudai turned his attention back to the other man, who was shifting uncomfortably. "Maybe I've been trying to fight this off for so long that it's driven me crazy. But… I just…can't help it!"
"It's Ok…" Johan insisted, holding up his hands in a show of surrender. He looked helpless, almost even terrified. "Just…relax. I can help you…Just…calm down. You're just having a break-down, that's all. You're just…stressed. It's natural. You'll be Ok." It sounded more like he was trying to reassure himself, though.
Juudai blinked and watched the other tremble. Another pang of sympathy tore through him. He felt guilt for scaring Johan so badly. He was not really insane, he supposed. Just…had some crazy quirks and the such. Slowly, he made his way over to the European. Johan swallowed hard. It was obvious that it took every ounce of his willpower to keep standing there, his feet planted firmly in the carpet even though he just wanted to run. There were still tears lingering in the corners of his eyes, a tell-tale sign that he was not only afraid, but heartbroken too.
"I…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you or hurt you." Slowly, he slipped his arms around Johan and brought him close. The other stiffened initially, then finally relaxed. Juudai took another deep breath and bit his lip, trying to keep himself under control, trying to find the right words to say. Finally, he spoke again, only this time, quieter, more soothing. "I just want you to understand…you're not my first choice. There's no way I can…with myself…so…I had to settle for you…"
A lengthy, shuddering sigh. "Oh, God, Juudai…That…hurts…so much…" Johan's grip on his sleeves tightened, his nails digging desperately into the fabric. "Please…tell me…it was only today you thought this. Please tell me it was only recently…" Those mint eyes glanced back up at Juudai, the embers of dying hope slowly but surely flickering out.
The brunet shook his head. "I'm sorry…It's been…all this time."
Johan lowered his head to stare down at the floor. All this time he had been thinking that maybe it was something else, maybe it was just a misunderstanding, maybe it was only a breakdown. And yet…he was beginning to realize that Juudai was serious, that he had been living a lie for the past eight years.
A stifled sob. Johan did not want to breakdown in front of Juudai like this. He did not want to get so upset over something so 'petty.' But it had been the fact that Juudai had hidden this, the fact that he had not been honest with him from the get-go, the fact that…he had lied to him and led him on. He had thought he was Juudai's top priority. He had acted like it, hadn't he? And yet, as selfless as he had thought Juudai was…he could see that in the end, the very things he had admired Juudai the most for had just been a lie.
He clung tightly to Juudai's sleeves again as his knees started to give way. Juudai caught him by the elbows, holding him up. A queasy, unpleasant sensation arose from the pit of his stomach, and he coughed. "J-Juudai…" It was whimpered. Pathetic. He was pathetic. Juudai couldn't care less, could he?
But he did care. More than Johan thought. More than he knew himself. And because he cared, he did the thing that he thought would be kindest for Johan, and best for him, too. He let him fall…
Johan dropped to his knees on the carpet at Juudai's feet, broken, torn, in tears. He was trying to smile, he was trying so hard to tell him it was all right. But he couldn't. The words wouldn't come out no matter how much he tried to force them. His eyes wandered from the carpet back up to the brunet, and locked with the dark brown ones.
"J-Juudai…" A sharp intake of air. "I…I still l-love you. I still w-want to be…with you…forever…" It was whispered, passionate. "Please at least do that for me."
Juudai's eyes softened. He knelt down by the other and placed a hand on his cheek, his own eyes stinging slightly. Leaning over, he brushed his cool lips against Johan's forehead, then again, lower, on his lips. He lingered there for a moment before breaking away, and ruffling the teal hair.
"I…I'm going for a walk. I'll be right back." He offered Johan a weak, reassuring smile, though he was uneasy. Johan needed some time alone to think and grieve. He doubted that Johan would want him back once he thought it over. An unfamiliar, aching sensation throbbed in his chest at the thought of being torn apart from the lover he'd resided with for years…
Johan shook his head and tried to tell him not to go, was going to beg even, but Juudai placed a finger on his lips, silencing him. He couldn't bear to hear it. And he didn't want Johan to disgrace himself. He'd already had enough of that. And so he stood, and turned his back to his best friend.
"I'll see you later."
There was no reply. Juudai hadn't expected one. He just slipped quietly out the front door, then shut it, with a shuddering sigh of relief.
Getting that off his chest…it felt so good. He felt so relieved. He felt so…selfish. Was the relief really short-lived? Would it come back once he saw Johan's pained eyes again? No, it would have to go away…he would make it go away.
Perhaps…he would give in. Perhaps there was a way to be with himself. Haou, himself, was as disgusted with him as he'd ever been. And yet…he couldn't do anything. He wanted this too. Juudai could be with himself…He could have himself because he couldn't object to it. Johan…would have to accept it.
That didn't mean, of course, that he was going to shove the other out of the picture. He knew it was cruel to leave him back there suffering but…He thought that it was best. He hoped to make plenty of time for Johan but doubted they could go back to the way things were…after that.
Another pang. He felt his teeth began to chatter slightly. What was wrong with him? How could he have…hurt Johan so badly just for his own sake? Confused and mixed-up, he sat on the edge of the stairs, so close to the freedom of the street and yet…so far away.
Even though he'd told himself and Johan he would be coming back, he knew that as fate would have it, he would never have come back. So there he was at the crossroads of decision, to make a choice. Either take the right or the left. Neither path was wrong, just…different. Either way, someone was going to hurt.
He turned his head towards the street, towards freedom and excitement, towards his days spent indulging himself and living for himself. Then, he turned his head back towards the stairs, back to Johan and a shared future together. He started to get up, started to walk towards the street, casting an apologetic gaze towards the apartments. But just as he started to cross, he stopped and looked back.
Hadn't he done enough to Johan? Hadn't he only been focusing on himself all this time? He rubbed his arms, a bit insecure, and stepped back on the sidewalk. Hadn't they pledged to always stick together no matter what? He couldn't just run off and indulge in his own pleasures like that. Besides, life with Johan didn't mean he couldn't get what he wanted, either. Johan wasn't picky about him staying home. He let him roam the world whenever he pleased. He didn't scream at him for leaving his stuff all over the place or letting the apartment go dirty. He didn't snap at him, ever. He never demanded that Juudai get a steady job, he just supported the both of them and Juudai brought in whatever he could from the odd jobs he did.
And honestly…how could he abandon his best friend, his companion, his lover? They could do everything from playing the stupidest secret games they had invented to making love under the stars on a warm, summer night. Of course, not everything they had was perfect but…The thought of walking away from that…It made him sick. He was a loyal type of person, always had been. And it wasn't like he could have himself like he had Johan; like he had the love of another person. So why…?
Shaking his head, he jammed his hands in his pockets and walked slowly up the stairs. "Maybe I am crazy, after all." He mumbled.
He pushed aside all this confusion and conflicting feelings and went to tend to Johan. It was time that he gave back to him again. He had made a mistake, and he needed to fix it. He wanted to live for himself but…knew he couldn't. It wasn't the sort of thing he'd upheld before and he really didn't know why he had changed like this. Who knew…maybe he wouldn't always be miserable? And even though it was driving him insane, he bit it back and forced a smile out again. Eventually, if he just shrugged it off, he would find peace again. At the very least, he wasn't alone in his pain anymore.
A/N: Sucked. XP Epically. Reason for paradoxical statements? Because he's crazy now. Ha. There, I accomplished my purpose of making them miserable. DX And yes this came also from stupid psychology lectures. DAMN D; …And I wanted to make Juudai just plain dump him in the end but…meh I'll leave his final decision up to interpretation. XDD About going back and forth? I do that shizz all the time. D; Mm sorry about this…