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The Floor Above

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He'd been to the guitarist's houses countless times over the years, knew every corner almost as well as his own. Sugizo had proudly given him the tour the first time he had been here, bragging about certain possession he was particularly proud of, or lecturing why the models of electrics he had chosen were superior environmentally. Keeping his ego in control had always been a challenge for their friends, but it was a challenge Yoshiki had never risen to. He was hardly the right man to try and keep another's ego in check, and actually loved Sugizo's ego and narcissistic tendencies. The other was a beautiful man, why shouldn't he be allowed to appreciate it?

As much as Sugizo loved to show off, there was one particular room that Yoshiki had never entered. The door was always firmly locked and when he looked through the keyhole there was only darkness on the other side. He had asked Sugizo a few times what was behind the door, and was scolded every time for obsessing over a cupboard. Perhaps that was all it was, but Sugizo always seemed wary when he brought the subject up. Whatever was behind that door, which Yoshiki was sure wasn't a cupboard, was something the guitarist wanted to keep secret. Naturally that just made him wonder more about what was being hidden.

That was why the day he found the door unlocked, he couldn't help but slip inside. He'd only been meaning to drop off Sugizo's forgotten jacket, but it seemed the guitarist wasn't home. He'd used his own spare key to allow himself inside, placing the jacket on a chair knowing Sugizo would know how it had got there. He'd been dating the guitarist, very casually, for the last few months, but the relationship didn't seem to be going anywhere. It was companionship that Sugizo wanted, and affection was all that he craved.

He would have left almost instantly, if it hadn't been for the partly opened door. He knew he shouldn't, but he couldn't help but look into the forbidden room. Just a peak, what harm would it do?

Quietly, though Sugizo hadn't answered his call before, he pushed the door open and took in the sight of the staircase before him. This was a penthouse apartment, why were there stairs leading up? To the roof perhaps? Why then would Sugizo keep these stairs secret?

It felt almost sinister as he climbed up, but turning back was no longer an option. His mere curiosity had turned into a desperate need for answers. Surely he wouldn't be in too much trouble if he was caught? Sugizo loved him, didn't he? They were very much friends at least.

He paused halfway up the stairs, feeling guilty for breaking the other's trust, but also wary. Perhaps Sugizo would be waiting at the top? That would explain why he hadn't answered the doorbell, or Yoshiki calling his name.

He sneaked up the last few steps, and nervously pushed open the door. There was silence on the other side, so he opened it fully and stepped into the large room. It had a warehouse feel, as the open room must have been as large as the building below. Yoshiki however was far more interested in the single vehicle parked in the centre.

It was some kid of aircraft, shaped like a flattened plane. It took up most of the space, at least twice as wide as any plane he had ever seen. Why was this plane hidden up here? Forgetting all caution he headed for the ramp that led into the plane, and made his way inside.

It didn't look like a plane anymore, Yoshiki reflected as he walked down a short hallway lit with blue lights. Something was strange about the entire vehicle, if he wasn't so sceptical he would say it wasn't human.

He began to open doors, finding bedrooms at first but they quickly changed to more communal looking areas. A medical bay caught his attention, and then what appeared to be a games room, though he didn't recognise any of the games.

There was a final door at the end of the corridor, which he opened to reveal a large half oval shaped room that housed the pilots' controls. So this was the bridge? What was this place? Before he could ask, the pilots' seat turned and he was met with the sight of the alien.

He gasped and turned to run, darting back through the spaceship and down the ramp into the large room. He slipped on the stairs to Sugizo's apartment, falling down the final steps like a child on an extremely uncomfortable slide. It hurt, but he got back on his feet and entered the apartment, slamming the door shut behind him.

So this was why the door was kept shut? An actual living alien lived above? Surely Sugizo knew of it's existence, did he keep the door locked for his own safety? Why didn't he report it to the police?

The door had been unlocked, had the alien hurt the other man? Should he look for him? The alien had followed him down the stairs, but he hadn't been followed through the apartment. Perhaps the alien was scared to enter here?

“Yoshiki?” Sugizo called, sounding fearful.

“I'm coming!” Yoshiki shouted back, determined to save his friend. He rushed towards the other, finding him quickly and grabbed his arm to lead him to safety. There was no way he was letting Sugizo stay here!

“Yoshiki wait,” Sugizo begged, as he was forced towards the door. “You don't understand! Where are you taking me?”

“Out of here,” Yoshiki answered, surprised by Sugizo's resistance and the strength the other possessed. He could hardly get him to move, despite his best efforts. “It's not safe.”

“Yoshiki, I think we need to talk,” Sugizo began, his tone so calm in the circumstances that it caught Yoshiki by surprise. Sugizo was scared, but not in the way he was. Nervously he let go, moving slowly away from the other as he figured everything out.

“It's you,” Yoshiki realised, “You're the monster from upstairs?”

“Monster?” Sugizo asked, flinching at the word, “Is that what you saw? What you think of me?”

“I don't know what I think!” Yoshiki exclaimed, “All this time, you've been lying to me! Lying to us all!”

“Oh I'm sorry,” Sugizo replied sarcastically, “Next time I'll remember to introduce myself as an alien. I'm sure you humans would believe me without question!”

“You could have trusted me!” Yoshiki protested, surprised by Sugizo's obvious disdain.

“You're serious?” Sugizo demanded, “You took one look at my true form and ran away screaming!”

“I didn't know it was you!” Yoshiki exclaimed, “And I didn't scream!”

“So what, you're saying if you knew it was me you wouldn't be scared?” Sugizo demanded, his form twisting before Yoshiki's eyes, morphing into the creature he had seen upstairs. He was just as surprised as the first time he saw the alien, but this time he didn't run. His eyes swept over the humanoid form, so different from Sugizo's usual appearance but still obviously Sugizo. Now that he knew the truth, he could see his friend in the creature's appearance and felt almost foolish for not figuring everything out before.

“I won't be scared,” Yoshiki repeated, reaching out and placing his hand on the other's shoulder. “See, not scared at all.”

“Perhaps I was wrong not to trust you,” Sugizo relented, returning to his human disguise and wrapping an arm gently around the other. “I'm sorry, I really believed you would freak out if you knew the truth.”

“I kind of am,” Yoshiki admitted. “It's all so shocking and new, I don't really know what to make of everything.”

“I understand, you'll need some time,” Sugizo agreed. “Will you keep my secret?”

“I will,” Yoshiki reassured him. “Really, nobody would believe me even if I did tell them.”

“And you wonder why I didn't share?” Sugizo teased, his tone friendlier now, more like the man that Yoshiki knew.

“Fine, you were right, I was wrong. Happy now?” Yoshiki answered, making Sugizo smile.

“Immensely,” Sugizo agreed, “Do you need some time, to think things through?”

“Yes,” Yoshiki answered simply, not needing to say anything more. His mind felt like it may just explode with everything he had just learned, there was no way he could make any rational decisions right now. Without saying anything more, he turned to leave, not wanting to have to deal with Sugizo's reaction. He could barely cope with his own emotions right now, never mind having to take in the emotions of his friend.

 

Yoshiki found himself avoiding Sugizo, planning meetings when he knew Sugizo wanted to talk, making other arrangements, keeping himself so busy that he simply had no time to do more than answer the odd text message or email from his friend. He knew he was hurting the other, but his mind just wasn't in the place to care.

How could Sugizo be an alien? It was ludicrous and yet, the more he thought about it the more it made sense. For a start, Sugizo had always had a deep fascination for the stars, he knew them by name and often made comments about the creatures that lived around them. He thought the other was joking, it had always sounded that way, but now he knew the other must have been deadly serious.

That night he happened to be outside, staring up at the stars and realised he was staring at Sugizo's home star. Two above the eye of Taurus, shining faintly that night but visible. Sugizo had told him everything, he just hadn't taken the other seriously.

'He must feel so alone,' Yoshiki realised. His home was so far away and the other was trapped here on Earth, assuming of course that the spaceship was broken. A deep sorrow filled Yoshiki's heart, as he allowed himself to think of everything from Sugizo's perspective for once. He had been so selfish, thinking only of himself, as his friend suffered alone.

Without thinking things through any further, he drove to Sugizo's apartment building and let himself in. Would Sugizo even want to speak to him? Could he be forgiven for his actions? For hurting the other? He called out the other's name, getting no response but sure the other was here somewhere.

This time the door was locked, but he knocked anyway, though the other was unlikely to be able to hear from upstairs. There was no answer, so he took a seat on the floor opposite it, determined to wait as long as it took for the other man to return.

Surprisingly it was less than a minute before the door opened. Perhaps Sugizo had heard him, or set up a camera somewhere? It seemed unlikely to be just a coincidence. His heart broke at the way Sugizo greeted him so warily, the guitarist clearly had no faith that he was here for anything but to end their relationship. He supposed that this was his own fault, he had been so distant.

“I've missed you,” Yoshiki said simply, wrapping his arms around the other who, much to his relief, returned the embrace. “I'm sorry it's taken me so long to work things out.”

“Do you mean it?” Sugizo asked, “You're really all right with everything?”

“Yes,” Yoshiki reassured him, giving his partner a gentle kiss, “You're still the same man that I fell in love with. Nothing has changed.”

“Love,” Sugizo repeated, making Yoshiki blush. He'd said that out loud hadn't he? He didn't even realise that he felt that way, until he had made the confession. “You feel so strongly?”

“I do,” Yoshiki repeated, kissing Sugizo once more. “You're not alone here, I'm with you.”

“Honestly, I've never felt alone on this planet,” Sugizo admitted. “From day one, I knew this was where I wanted to be. This is the place I can be myself, though it's also the place where I hide most. Ironic really.”

“Does your spaceship work then?” Yoshiki asked, stunned by the revelation.

“Of course,” Sugizo replied, “How do you think I got it upstairs? I try not to use it much, Earth money doesn't translate easily to any usual currencies, so fuel is pretty expensive for me.”

“Then I won't ask for you to show me the Galaxy,” Yoshiki reassured him. “There's other alien things that you can do.”

“Like?” Sugizo asked, with a smile that suggested he already knew where Yoshiki was going with this.

“Well, you've always been good at anal probing,”

 

As Sugizo kissed him, his concerns slipped away as if he was waking from a bad dream. Knowing Sugizo's secret didn't change anything, it neither brought them together or tore them apart. It was insignificant., meaningless even, for he never cared what Sugizo was, only who. So he allowed the soft lips to take the power as Sugizo's hands, calloused from years of playing guitar, remove his clothes. He was held in place without chains, but with desire and the fear that if he made the wrong move he would scare the other away.

Breaking through the fear, he began to undress the other, allowing clothes to fall to the floor around where they stood. He knew this body wasn't real, but didn't feel that way. The skin soft beneath his touch, smooth, flawless even. No wonder Sugizo loved his own reflection, this body was a work of art.

“If you ever tire of this planet, take me with you?” Yoshiki begged, even as he was lifted and placed gently on the bed. “Don't leave me here, without you.”

“Why would I leave, when everything I have ever wanted is right here?” Sugizo asked. “Out there I was a talentless nobody, without money or respect. Now I am living the dream. I have fame, fortune, you.”

“So I'm last am I?” Yoshiki teased, “I'll make sure to remember that.”

“You were the last of my dreams to be fulfilled,” Sugizo confirmed, kissing Yoshiki once more as he straddled the other's body. It wasn't a confession of love, it was more than those simple three words. For a moment Yoshiki wondered if Sugizo had wanted him from the moment he had signed his band, but quickly pushed the thought aside. It didn't matter how long Sugizo wanted him, only that he did now.

“So, are you going to fulfil your promise of alien invasion, or flatter me with pretty words?” Yoshiki complained.

“Somebody's eager,” Sugizo remarked, reaching for the lube he kept near his bed. “Why, I'd think you enjoyed having your cavities filled. How kinky!”

“I suppose it would be kinky to some,” Yoshiki reflected, spreading his legs so that Sugizo could prepare him. Strange, how something he considered so everyday, could be so daring for some. Sexual desires really were unique he reflected, but at least Sugizo's joined nicely with his own.

He shut his eyes, enjoying the fingers brushing against his most sensitive and intimate spots. It was always best when it was Sugizo inside him, always. Perhaps because Sugizo was so alien, he needed to spend more time learning what his partners liked? Again it didn't matter how Sugizo got so good at pleasing him, only that he was.

“This is when you're at your most beautiful,” Sugizo commented, his voice full of admiration, “When you let your guard slip and I see only raw emotion. You look so happy right now, so at peace. If I promise you that I will never leave this planet, without offering to take you with me, will you make me a promise too.”

“You know this isn't the best time to make promises,” Yoshiki protested, disappointed when the fingers left him. So that was how it was? The other would prepare him, only to make him wait? “You know I will keep your secret, you can trust me.”

“No, that's not it,” Sugizo corrected, “What I want is a promise, that you will never look at me with fear or hate again. Not even in my other form. It's enough to break a man's heart.”

“I won't break your heart, not intentionally, not in that way,” Yoshiki promised, accepting the kiss and the other inside him. It was as simple as that. He would not break Sugizo's heart, and Sugizo would not break his. Perhaps in the end that was the true meaning of love.