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Fic: Persistence of Memory, YnM, NC-17 - Do You Have Another Stupid Question?
It's Not Lunch at Tiffany's, Honey

full-throttle narcissist
Date: 2004-11-30 12:30
Subject: Fic: Persistence of Memory, YnM, NC-17
Security: Public
A fic done! Finally!

Yami no Matseui, NC-17 for graphic description, Tatari. Angsty fluff with a tragic lack of sex scenes. Will be cross-posted tonight, so y'all saw it here first.

Give love to wordsofastory and threewalls for life-saving beta work.



Just another ordinary day, Tatsumi supposed; another funding cut, another pointless argument between Tsuzuki and Terazuma, another migraine threatening to start behind his left temple. Something should explode in the lab any minute now, he thought.

But when the disaster came, at 4:50, it wasn't an explosion; just a slow, sliding noise, followed by a definitive crash, that everyone noticed and no one dared investigate. But the lab was dangerously quiet afterward, and Tatsumi knew he'd have to do some sort of damage report, so he got up out of his chair at 5:10 and walked to the lab.

Watari had reorganized everything after Kyoto. Most of his records had gone on a high shelf at the far corner of the lab, which had been carefully inspected and tested to hold two hundred and fifty pounds.

Watari had evidently tried to go to two hundred and fifty-one pounds. Actually, knowing Watari, he'd probably tried to go to three hundred and fifty. The storage boxes that had seemed so sensibly affordable were now just damaged cardboard. Though most of the papers were in a good-sized lump in the corner, some had fluttered all the way out to the center of the room.

"Everything all right?"

Watari stood in the middle of the chaos, looking slightly more befuddled than usual. There was a neon orange Post-It note in his hair. He didn't seem to have noticed it yet. "Everything's fine. There was just a little..."

"Avalanche?"

Watari put his hand up to his hair to smooth it and found the Post-It note. He read it, frowned, and put it on the counter. "It's not so bad," he said brightly. "Most of the eighties seem to be over here--" He gestured at the left half of the pile-- "and the nineties over there." That was the right half. "So I think if I just sort it into the right piles...." Tsuzuki would be begging him to help with his puppy dog eyes by now, but Watari had a bit more pride. "Too bad, though, I'll probably end up behind on that chemical analysis for Yuma, and that'll cost us time."

Puppy dog eyes or no, Watari was still a master manipulator. Tatsumi sighed and bent down to help him. "Why do you keep all this paperwork around anyway? Haven't most of these experiments failed?"

"A good scientist can learn as much from a failure as from success," Watari chided gently, scanning the debris. "Besides, it's how I keep track of everything. Remembering the experiments helps me remember what happened that day. Like here--" he grabbed a pink sheet of notebook paper from the 'nineties' half. "This is Bon's first day. Remember the office pool on how long he'd last? I had my money on ten days."

"You don't really mean you remember every day from these things?"

"Just about," Watari said. "I do have an excellent memory, Tatsumi."

He'd always known Watari had a good memory, but the assertion was absurd. He grabbed a random slip: a placemat filled with Watari's wild scribbling. "August 12, 1996. What happened then?"

Watari glanced at it for a second, and wrinkled his nose in thought. Tatsumi prepared his most triumphant smirk.

"Tsuzuki spilled coffee on the photocopier. I spent..." The wrinkle deepened. "...six hours fixing it. Didn't get much other work done, because then we went out for Konoe's birthday."

Tatsumi killed his smirk and grabbed an almost unrecognizable scrap of paper. "What about this one?"

"Oh. That was...that was...a bad day. I didn't get much work done."

Tatsumi looked expectantly at him.

"The Kyoto case," Watari said. "You remember."

Tatsumi quickly grabbed another scrap. September 7, 1989. "This one?"

Watari grinned. "Konoe wanted to hold an office karaoke contest."

Tatsumi found himself grinning back. "You bravely saved the day by destroying half the lab, as I recall."

"It worked, didn't it?"

"Fair enough. But I still don't believe you remember almost all these days...."

Watari drew himself up at the challenge. "Try me."

Tatsumi did, for half an hour, as they sorted the mountain of paperwork into ever-more-specific piles. Office parties gone horribly wrong, Tsuzuki's cooking, potions that were terrible in concept and worse in execution, Terazuma's first day and Matsumoto's last; Watari remembered it all in exhausting detail, just by looking at the date and details of the experiment. "All right," Tatsumi said, brandishing a note with a deep coffee stain. "What's this one?"

"That-- oh." Watari grabbed it from him. "Never mind that." He put it on the 1978-1982 pile and took another piece of paper from the unsorted slips.

15 January 1982. Tatsumi wracked his brain for any significant events. Early December...what happened in 1982? Nothing significant politically, at least that month, no serious demon activity, and at the office--

Oh. "Tell me?"

Watari looked away from him. "I found out you kept hand lotion in your desk drawer." He scooped up another pile of papers. "Look, we'll be through the eighties soon." He started sorting again, lean, methodical hands--

Cool slick fingers in his body, Tatsumi's hands curled over the edge of the desk, and Watari had smiled in a way that both turned him on and terrified him. Mad scientist had echoed unnervingly in his mind until Watari twisted his fingers and he hadn't been able to think at all--

And it had been two decades now, since he'd been touched and held and kissed, since he'd had someone warm next to him and under him and in him. Since Watari had quietly ended things, calmly, rationally, and he'd stood there, patient, understanding. And he'd woken up in the mornings, alone, alone like he had been for thirty years, with little circles cut into his palms from clenching his fists in the night. He had always been alone, and it had never mattered so much as in those days in February when Watari should have been there and wasn't coming back.

"You know what I loved?" Tatsumi said, and Watari stopped. "You'd...I'd always wake up before you in the mornings, and the sun...there'd always be a little bit of sun from the window through the blinds. And it'd touch your hair and just the edges would light up. Like gold, and the shadows in it...I never told you this, but sometimes I'd just lie there next to you and touch your hair."

"I'd pretend to be asleep sometimes," Watari said, his eyes still fixed on the notes he held. "I liked it. Look, Tatsumi, we--"

"I was mad," Tatsumi said. "I knew I was mad, that...that Tsuzuki and I would never-- and I still...I clung to it. You were right. You...I was...." Watari had been music in his ears, loud, brash; Tsuzuki was cool water, a quiet sound he found comforting until he realized that the flood was about to pull him down.... Tatsumi didn't realize how much he'd cared for the music until it was gone and his apartment was too calm, too silent.

"I won't be anyone's replacement," Watari said. "I just...I couldn't do it." He put the papers down on the countertop. "It was a long time ago, Tatsumi."

"Long enough for you to forgive me?"

"There was nothing to forgive," Watari said. "It was the way things were."

"I used you."

Watari shrugged his shoulders. "We were lonely."

"Did it...was that all it meant to you?"

"Tatsumi, it's getting late. And we still have at least a decade to go though--"

"I would...if...." Tatsumi shook his head, irritated at his inability to articulate it, even to himself. "Watari--" He reached out, and Watari shrugged him off again, gently.

"Don't do this."

"I...you know things are different." Watari turned to face him, finally, and his eyes...Tatsumi thought he could get lost there, and wanted to for a moment. He reached up and touched Watari's face, tracing the line of his chin. "I love Tsuzuki. I always will. But...I've had to let him go. You know that--"

"And if something happens to Bon? If he leaves? What will you do then?" Watari's face was a challenge.

"I don't know." He put his forefinger against Watari's lips, as rough as they had always felt. "But...I won't cling to cobwebs again. I want something real. You...you were always real."

He felt Watari smile against his finger. "A little too real sometimes, ne?" The scientist reached up, took Tatsumi's hand off his face and held it. "Tatsumi...I...I don't know."

"I know. I...I was a fool, Yutaka." And that was cheating-- Watari had always wanted him to use his given name, and Tatsumi had always resisted-- but he didn't care. Not with Watari this close. Not with these memories so near. "I wish--" And he wasn't sure what he wished, and he knew he wouldn't know how to say it, so he kissed Watari instead, trying to be tender, soft, trying to be everything he should have been twenty years ago. Watari was warm, and Tatsumi could feel his body through the layers of lab coat and shirt and pants.

Watari shifted away from him, breaking the kiss. "I'm not that easy any more," he said gently.

"But I'm still a fool." Cool air rushed in between them, and Tatsumi had forgotten just how good it had felt. He stopped himself from reaching out, and crushed his emotions back down. It had been absurd to think he could change things now.

At least Watari wasn't acting angry. "You at least should buy me dinner," he said, casually brushing something off Tatsumi's shoulder.

Dinner. Dinner? "Watari--"

The scientist frowned at what was left of the avalanche. "But we still have all these papers to go through."

"We'll go now and come back to them. You pick the place," he said impulsively, feeling the hope rising in his chest.

"All right," Watari said, and stared at him for a second, appraising. "And I...this won't be a secret, if we do this. We're not a pair of high school kids sneaking around. All right?"

Tatsumi crossed his arms over his chest. "Would you settle for an announcement at the next staff meeting?"

Watari grinned. "Would you do it?"

Tatsumi smiled back and shook his head. "But you won't have to hide things. All right?"

Watari leaned over and kissed his nose. "All right. I'll call for the reservations."

Reservations? Tatsumi suppressed a wince. "That...will be fine."

"Well, you know, if you're not interested--" Watari said casually, turning away. Tatsumi caught his shoulder and pushed him back against the counter, trapping him, kissing him hard and deep. Watari's arms came up, held his shoulders, pulled him in close, tight.

Tatsumi was finding it very difficult to breathe. He buried his face in Watari's shoulder for a second, letting the scientist's hair brush against his glasses.

"I missed you," Watari whispered. "So much."

They had talked, briefly and mostly in jest, about getting an apartment together. Sometimes, still, Tatsumi would wake up and see the sunlight through the window and remember how it looked touching Watari's hair-- like fire, like gold. And he'd wonder, for a minute or two, what it would've been like, that little place with a garden they'd joked about.

"Stay," Tatsumi said. "Just stay." They could probably afford a condo, if he tapped into his secret account. They didn't spend a lot of time at home-- they both practically lived in the office-- but it would be nice to have something, something together...it would be an investment. They could save money if they planted vegetables...but he was hoping too much now. A fool, again, as he'd always been.

"Dinner," Watari said. "Then...we'll see."

"All right," Tatsumi said. He couldn't let go of Watari's shoulder, though, as he picked up the office phone and called somewhere no doubt painfully expensive. Tatsumi couldn't bear to listen in. Or maybe he just couldn't hear, for the blood rushing in his ears.

Watari hung up the phone and met his eyes. "It's Japanese," he said, "something simple, you'll like it."

"I trust you," he said, surprised to find it was the truth. "Shall we walk?"

"I'd like that," Watari said, and slid his lab coat over his shoulders, folded it carefully on one of the stacks. He took Tatsumi by the waist and kissed him again, hard. "Let's go," he said, when they parted.

**

Tatsumi woke to the soft murmur of Watari's voice. "Well, he fell asleep and I didn't want to disturb him...guess I did too." He could feel Watari's weight shift at his shoulder.

That's right, they'd been sitting together at the counter, sorting out the last of the notes. He must've drifted off...he lifted up his hands to wipe the sleep from his eyes, tilting his glasses away from his face.

"We need the full staff together in twenty minutes." Konoe's voice was bright and professional. "Maybe if you two didn't stay up all night doing office work--"

"Is everything all right?" Tatsumi asked.

"I want everyone's opinion on the case in Area 4-- things are starting to look bad. Terazuma's transformed one too many times-- I'm afraid someone knows his weakness."

He nodded again, and reluctantly shifted his weight off Watari. "We'll be there."

Watari hauled himself slowly to his feet and held a hand out.

"Thank you," Tatsumi said, and took it; he also took the chance to lean in close and kiss Watari just behind the ear.

Watari smiled. "We'd better...wash our faces or something."

"Your hair needs combing. Or something."

Watari nodded agreement, and leaned in and kissed him back, on the lips, for just a moment. Then he winked and walked off toward the men's room.

Maybe next time, Tatsumi thought, it won't be office work that keeps us up.

Just another ordinary day, Tatsumi supposed. But maybe tomorrow would be something better.
Speak your mind | 35 Spoke | | Link






aqua_eyes
User: aqua_eyes
Date: 2004-11-30 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*gibbers with love and appreciation*

I needed that. Macs suck.
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full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-11-30 18:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
Oh, thank you! I love my dead gay non-canon pairing.

But I love my mac!
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User: zortified
Date: 2004-11-30 18:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Awwwwwww! That's so very sweet.
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full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-11-30 18:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
Thanks. I'm a little terrified about posting to the comms, so compliments are helpful.
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Young Murdered Faery: observers
User: ymfaery
Date: 2004-11-30 18:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:observers
Cool fic. ^_^

I'm not going to like the Kyoto arc, am I?
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full-throttle narcissist
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-11-30 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks!

Kyoto's a great arc, but there's a certain amount of ANGST and a lot of explosions. If you can get through Tsuzuki dismembering his love interest in the Devil's Trill arc, you can probably hack Kyoto. ;-)
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tiggymalvern: cute
User: tiggymalvern
Date: 2004-11-30 20:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cute
This has so many lovely moments. I adore the concept of Watari remembering events based around what experiments he was doing at the time *g*. And how very much like Tatsumi to spend two decades thinking before he figures things out!
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full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 00:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
Oh, he didn't really think about it for the two decades. Just once in a while. At night. When he was alone. Glad you liked!
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User: childofatlantis
Date: 2004-11-30 20:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Yami no Matsuei:: Tatari
*glomps Tatari* Oh, lovely and bittersweet and THANK YOU TATSUMI for waking up at last. ^_^
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full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 00:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
He had some very smackable moments but I was clever enough to keep them in flashback.
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Emoticons cannot convey my hilarity
User: mendax
Date: 2004-11-30 20:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, this is lovely. I like the unspoken idea of it; Tatsumi's memories of his time with Watari, the way the light his his hair, their plans for an apartment, are so poignant, it forces us to wonder how it must be for Watari, with his near-perfect recall.

The attempt at evasion followed by the beautifully oblique Watari looked away from him. "I found out you kept hand lotion in your desk drawer." just hit me in all the right places.
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full-throttle narcissist
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 01:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Tatsumi too...*rimshot*

Thank you so much. I'm glad it's worked for so many people; I was really panicky about it.
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Brigdh: Best thing EVAR OMG! By cincodemaygirl
User: wordsofastory
Date: 2004-11-30 22:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Best thing EVAR OMG! By cincodemaygirl
Aw, still so very nice. I like the bit at the end, too.
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full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 01:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
Thanks for your work-- without you and threewalls, it'd be a lesser fic for sure.
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FuziPenguin
User: fuzipenguin
Date: 2004-11-30 23:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
lovely. spot on characterization. the hope that permeates the whole piece is so... nice. You know how I said this anime/manga was so angsty - this is a nice change. :^) Gives the reader a good feeling to take away with them and hold close for a while. *blush* at least, I did. :^)
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full-throttle narcissist: Squee! (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 01:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Squee! (Yami no Matseui)
Awww...thanks. It's kind of warm and fuzzy, isn't it?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
full-throttle narcissist: sexy (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 01:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sexy (Yami no Matseui)
Oh, thank you. They're my boys; just messed up in all the right places.
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Sarah B': squee!!
User: sarahtheboring
Date: 2004-12-01 01:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:squee!!
awww! Trying so hard to deny the OTP vibes. Trying. And failing. Darn. *waves flag*

I wouldn't expect it to be so sweet, but that's a good thing. aww.
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full-throttle narcissist: Squee! (Yami no Matseui)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2004-12-01 01:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Squee! (Yami no Matseui)
Hee hee! Thanks. I love Yami and its sheer slashability, but I keep coming back to these two.
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Lauren
User: thalia_moirai
Date: 2006-11-21 02:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was reading through rec's from crack_van and came across this ~ wow! It shows Watari and Tatsumi's yearning so wonderfully! Thanks for writing this piece!
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full-throttle narcissist: Tatsumi dreaming (YnM)
User: mistressrenet
Date: 2006-11-25 00:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Tatsumi dreaming (YnM)
Thank you, so much!
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liandra_m
User: liandra_m
Date: 2010-08-04 11:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
so so GAH! *dies of fluffiness*
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