Title: Not Alone
Disclaimer: Minekura's gay boys, not mine
Warnings: BL, Gojyo's bad mouth, mild angst
Author's Note: I was inspired to do this piece while reading Hakkai and Gojyo's story in Burial... Poor Gojyo. XD;;;
Gojyo has never considered himself an organized person; he never kept his room clean when he was a child, he has never sorted the mail when it comes in or kept the plates separate from the bowls in the cabinets or even been able to remember where he left the ashtray when he took it out of the kitchen last week, but he does sort one thing. The people in his life from the day he was born have all been neatly filed into two categories: Those-who-left and Those-who-don't-matter-enough-to-care.
Those-who-left is the older of the two categories, encompassing all of his immediate family: the father he never knew, the step-mother who was killed in an attempt to save him, the brother who had actually cared, then left and never returned. Later in life, others were sorted into this category as well; the girlfriend he tried to have when he was 15, the part-time employer who fired him out when he was 16 for getting into a fight, Banri. The category is named after the simple action that all its inhabitants took--the action of leaving Gojyo behind, whether physically or in his perception, but really, it implies so much more, for this is the group of people for whom Gojyo opened his heart, willingly or unwillingly, and these are the people who broke it. When Gojyo remembers Those-who-left, it is with bitter feelings and swear words and occasionally tears, because Those-who-left are the people who he loved the most.
The other category, Those-who-don't-matter-enough-to-care, encompasses everyone else in Gojyo's life, from the guys he gambles out of their weekly paychecks to the women with whom he spends his nights to the storekeeper at the place he buys beer and cigarettes. Their faces are hazy in his memory, even hours after he's spoken with them, their names quickly forgotten or never known in the first place. These are the people who are essential to Gojyo's lifestyle because of their anonymity-- these are the people who Gojyo can interact with because, just as the titles of their category suggests: he doesn't care at all for them, and they cannot leave him, because he is never "with" them in the first place.
And just as Gojyo categorizes in his mind, Gojyo labels, as well, perhaps in a more thorough and organized fashion than he has ever done with anything physical in his life. He looks out down the street at the masses of people he's maybe-maybe-not met or spoken to before, and because he has no idea nor any inclination to learn about any individual's personality, he can label that store clerk as "stingy" or that woman as "stuck up." In the same way, his evenings run smoothly-- he chooses poker players who are "stupid" and surrounds himself with girls who are "easy" and these people get him through until the next morning.
And though he tries not to think about it often, first and foremost, Gojyo has labeled himself: "Alone." Unloved, left behind, without friends or family-- all of Gojyo's bitter feelings and broken hearts are summed up in that one word, and though he wears this title ("Lone Wolf," "Casanova") out in the open, like a scarlet letter to match his hair and eyes, it eats away at him from the inside. He files away his discontent in easy terms that he can understand: "stupid," "a pain in the ass," "shitty," but he refuses to recognize his aloneness as "loneliness," and does his best, for the most part, to drink away any thoughts of the like.
And so, in this manner, Gojyo went about his day to day life for many, many years, interacting with the Those-who-don't-matter-enough-to-care and trying his hardest not to think about the Those-who-left, and might have continued to go on this way if it had not been for one raining night when, on his way home, he nearly tripped over a nearly corpse and ended up with more than he bargained for. Cho Gonou, it seemed, no matter how hard Gojyo tried to keep him with the Those-who-don't-matter-enough-to-care, wormed his way through the cracks in Gojyo's defenses like an obstinate vine of ivy creeping through chinks in a wall, and by the time everything came to a head, Gojyo knew that he would undeniably become one of Those-who-left. And when he found out that Cho Gonou was dead, he knew he was right.
He wanted to cry like a baby, he wanted to curl up in a ball and never show his face to the light of day again, although he couldn't fathom why, because what exactly had Cho Gonou meant to him, anyway? He was a complete stranger off the street whom Gojyo had taken in and then--what? Gotten used to? Grown to like? He couldn't understand it, and the third option simply didn't hit him, so, as some form of resolution, he chopped off his hair and meant to move on in his life.
But then something remarkable happened. Cho Gonou-who-left came back to him. And it's then, hearing that voice, looking into those fucking gorgeous green eyes that Gojyo suddenly realizes what it is: He's in love with Gonou. Or Hakkai. Or whatever the fuck his name is, Gojyo doesn't care because he's feeling like he could explode with happiness. Somehow, some way, he manages to contain it within himself until they make it back to the house, but then his willpower's spent and he kisses Hakkai-who-came-back full on the lips, and to his surprise, Hakkai doesn't do anything about it, and then that is that.
Of course, some rearranging has to occur after that, and Gojyo is forced to create a new category in his mind: Those-who-came-back. It's really more of a title for Hakkai than a category, because Hakkai is all he has, but he's happy that way. And since Hakkai has a new title, he needs one, too. For the longest time, he can't think of something that really applies, because Gojyo's never been good with words, but finally, one day, when he's sitting next to Hakkai on the couch one afternoon, resting his head on Hakkai's shoulder and watching him read, it occurs to Gojyo, all of a sudden, what he is now: "Not Alone."
And though when he had spent troubled nights drunk and depressed about his previous state, this had never been the answer to which he had come, now it seemed to Gojyo to be just about right.