Disclaimer: It's not mine. Will never be mine. Has never been mine. *sob*
Summary: AU Ran is a writer dealing with a writer's block for the first time in his life. Ken is the young man who wanders into his life, trying to find a place to fit in. But as these two men grow closer, more problems arise that could complicate (and destroy) their lives.
Pairings: Ran/Ken, Ken/Ran (depends how you look at it), a Brad/Schu/Yohji triangle (fweee!), and a pinch of Omi x Nagi
NOTE: THIS IS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE STORY! In other words, no assassins deal. I think someone who knows nothing of Weiss shall be able to understand what's going on. I'm trying to keep it as AU as possible.
This story is dedicated to my wonderful kami-chan and CherubKatan since it was their birthdays (or perhaps I passed them. I know I passed CherubKatan's and will probably pass kami's...in any case, it's for them!)
Prologue (Every Writer's Worst Nightmare)
* * *
It had been another one of those mornings when Aya Fujimiya left to go shopping for groceries and other necessities. She didn't expect find anything out of the ordinary when she came back. She didn't expect to hear any news that would change her life. And above all, she didn't expect to hear any news that would change Ran, her older brother.
Of course, she would be wrong.
"I'm back!" Aya closed the front door of her two- story house, leaving a cold and quiet world behind her. "I got you the paper you wanted, Ran! It was the last pack too."
"That's good!" Her brother yelled from upstairs. Aya waited to hear him say something more but was surprised when he didn't. Then she figured that he was probably hard at work and not in the mood to talk.
The joys of having a brother who's a novelist. She thought, shaking her head and putting away the things she had bought. Her brother was talented all right but not the world's most chatty person. He wasn't too fond of spending time outside either. Twice she asked him to come along with her but he still refused. Which was bad considering the fact Aya had been hounded by all of Ran’s fans today.
From the moment she walked into the store to the moment she got out of sight, she was surrounded by Ran’s fan club. They kept asking her if they could come visit their favorite author at home and one girl even asked for Aya’s autograph. She finally had to deny all their requests but promised them that Ran was working hard on the next novel.
At least, I hope he is working hard on it. She thought. The funny thing was, she didn’t know what the novel would be about. Ran usually gave her a good idea of what he was planning to write. Then Aya would tell him if it would work out with the fans or not. They’d work out all the little problems together before Ran sent anything off to his editor.
But he hadn’t asked her for advice in a week. Aya wondered what he could possibly be writing. Was it going to be a surprise? No. Ran was not a man full of surprises. And he didn’t like keeping things from Aya, especially when it came to writing his novels. For a week she had kept quiet. She waited till he would call her upstairs. But that never happened.
And she was tired of it. As soon as she finished putting the groceries away, she decided to go and see what Ran was up to.
“Ran?” She called as she headed up the stairs. The hallway was
dark except for some light coming through a single window on the wall.
“I’m in my room, Aya.” He replied.
Aya finally made it to the top and turned the corner to where Ran’s room was. She pushed the door open and saw something she really didn’t want to see.
Her brother's desk was a mess of course. Seven books, all written by him, were stacked in the left corner. There were crumpled sheets of paper cluttered in the right corner. There was also paper falling out of the wastebasket and littering the floor. Aya sighed. Then her face grew dark and worried when she caught sight of her brother. Ran was bent over, head in one hand, glaring down at the blank sheets of paper in front of him. He looked ready to kill himself.
"I hate this." He muttered. "After all this time, it had to happen now!"
Curiosity got the best of Aya. "Ran, what's wrong?"
"I'm blocked!" He snapped, turning around and glaring at her. "I'm having trouble writing!"
Aya was taken back by his biting reply. As soon the shock left, she started speaking again. "That's all? You have writer's block?"
"It doesn't seem like much to you but it's bothering me. I never had to deal with it before and now..." Ran's voice trailed off as he looked back at those blank pages. “What do I do, Aya?”
Aya shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t have a cure for writer’s block. Just try to write it out.”
“How?!” Ran snapped. “That’s what I have been doing for the past few hours! I’m trying to write it out and I can’t!”
Aya was taken back for the second time in a row. “All right! I’m sorry, Ran! I was just trying to help…”
Ran was about to say more when he thought about what Aya just said. It wasn’t her fault that he was suffering writer’s block. He gave her an apologetic look that told her he didn’t mean to lash out like that. He could probably write that block out.
But something else was also bothering him. Someone was talking rather loudly in the next room, occasionally breaking into laughter or exclamations. Try hard as he could, he was unsuccessful in blocking it out. Finally, he had to ask what it was.
"Aya, who's talking so loudly?" He asked.
"That's probably Yohji. He came home early from work." Aya explained. Yohji Kudou was one of their housemates and Ran's best friend. "He must be on the phone with his latest love interest."
Ran rolled his eyes. Despite the fact he and Yohji had been friends for a while, they had two very different personalities. Ran was quiet and cool, sometimes labeled "emotionless" by those who didn't know him well. Of course, he had emotions; he just didn't like showing them off. Yohji, on the other hand, was a bit more on the wild and playful side. He was a nice guy but had the tendency to get on Ran's nerves. He smoked way too many cigarettes and dated at least five women per week. Ran was often amazed as to how he and Yohji became friends in the first place.
"So who is this new love interest?" Ran asked, tapping his pen against his notepad.
"I don't know. I never saw her." Aya confessed. "And Yohji didn't tell me much about her. All I know is that he calls her 'Schu'."
"Schu? What does that mean?" Ran was puzzled. Yohji did call girls with different nicknames but never 'Schu'. Perhaps he would call her 'sweetheart' or 'pretty lady' but not 'Schu'.
"I don't know if it's short for something or if it means something in another language." Aya shrugged, plucking one of her brother's novels off his desk and flipping through it. "What I do know about her is that she's trying to break up with her old boyfriend and hook up with Yohji. But somehow, she can't let the old one go so she's turning to Yohji for help. Interesting name, isn't it?"
"Let him call her whatever he wants." Ran shrugged, though secretly thought that 'Schu' was a terrible nickname for a woman. Then he glared at the wall that separated his room from Yohji's. "He could afford to speak softer though. I'm having a hard time concentrating as it is."
Aya smiled at him before going back to the book she was reading. She was feeling bad that her brother was suffering writer's block. Writer's block and Ran just didn't go together. Every day, her brother wrote at least three chapters of whatever he was currently working on. To his readers, it seemed like he never ran out of things to say.
But I think he has. Aya thought sadly, putting the book down. He just doesn't know what he's going to say next.
She stared at the cover of that book for a while and caught site of the author's name. This was one thing she never understood. Ran had a perfectly nice name...so why was he using a penname? More specifically, why did he use *her name* as a penname? Every novel Ran had ever written in his life was written under the penname Aya Fujimiya.
"Why are you using my name?" Aya always asked. "Your name is nice as it is."
And Ran would always answer her the same way. "Because your name looks better on the cover of a book than mine does."
That is a stupid reason to use my name, Ran. Aya thought. Nonetheless, she allowed him to use it. Besides, it was cute and funny when people referred to her brother as 'Aya'. He really did look like an ‘Aya’ too with his pretty violet eyes, his crimson hair, and his perfect pale skin.
Just then, the front door slammed, pulling Aya from her thoughts.
"Now what happened?" Ran asked, growing more annoyed with the distractions.
"Nothing, nothing! I think Omi just came in." Omi Tsukiyono was Yohji's half-brother and the other housemate. They could hear him shuffling around downstairs.
"Aw, do you have to go away?!" Yohji asked, a little too loudly, from his room. "Well, why don't you come over? Why do I have to always go and see you?"
"Why doesn't he ever shut up?" Ran demanded.
"Ran, calm down." Aya sighed. "You should be glad Yohji and the others are here. They provided us with money in return for shelter and food."
"Wasn't I providing enough?" Ran demanded. "My books are bestsellers, Aya. Why did we need to get guests in this house?"
"We didn't take them in for the money alone, Ran." Aya reminded him. "Yohji and Omi needed us, remember? It was you who suggested they moved in with us. You refused to turn your back on Yohji."
Ran was about to argue until he remembered that Aya was right. Yohji and Omi had different fathers but the same mother, who raised them when they were younger. When she passed away suddenly, Yohji was given the responsibility of raising his younger brother alone. Neither father looked forward to raising the boys so Yohji and Omi tried to survive together. For a long time, they had been all right. Then they got kicked out of their apartment after failing to pay their rent. Yohji showed up at their doorstep and begged for a place to say.
"If you won't do it for me, do it for Omi." He had said. "We promise to get out of here as soon as I can find a job or something."
Though he thought about it for some time, Ran let Yohji and Omi move in. And, two days later, both of them found jobs at a nearby flower shop.
And both of them are still here. Ran shook his head. It wasn't that he hated having Yohji and Omi in the house. But sometimes Yohji got on his nerves when he least expected it, especially when he was trying to write. Still, he couldn’t kick Yohji or Omi out. They did help around the house and were great company.
"Oh." Ran finally said. “Okay, Aya, you’re right. I suppose it isn’t all that bad. Yohji is my friend and I can’t abandon him or Omi.”
Aya nodded. “Glad I got my point across.”
"Hello! I'm home!" Omi exclaimed, bounding into Ran's room and throwing his jacket onto a chair. His bright blue eyes were twinkling with excitement. "I have some good news for everyone!"
"Keep it down in there!" They heard Yohji yell out. "I can't think with all that noise!"
That's what I've been saying. Ran frowned.
"How was work today, Omi?" Aya asked, trying hard to keep things civil. Ran had the look on his face that said 'If Yohji doesn't get off that phone soon, I am going to skewer him.'
"Good. I met some really nice people today. They were inquiring about you guys. And there was this one boy who I_" Omi started to say but then stopped. He started to turn red. “That one is a long story.”
"So? What's up with this boy, Omi?" Aya asked.
"Nothing, nothing!" Omi insisted though his face grew even redder. "He's just someone I met today, that's all! But that's not my only piece of good news."
Ran and Aya both had the feeling Omi was hiding something from them but they didn't question him.
"I hope you don't kill me for it but_" Omi paused again. "Another guy came into the shop today. We talked for a while and he seems lonely. I felt bad hearing his life story. But he's a nice guy. He doesn't have a place to stay so I_"
Aya had a bad feeling what Omi was going to say next. "What did you do, Omi?"
"Please don't get mad at me!" Omi begged. "I couldn't help it! I had to do this for him!"
Ran sighed. "Just say it already, Omi."
Omi blushed. "I think you guys might be getting another housemate."
In case anyone is wondering, no, I am NOT TURNING SCHU INTO A WOMAN! I like Schu just the way he is.
I know it's weird to make Ran and Yohji best friends since their personalities clash but hey! People pair these guys up a lot! What's wrong with them being friends?
Sorry for any OOC-ness but it’s kinda expected in an AU. I’ll try to keep everyone as much in character as possible. Please excuse the minor editing errors. I did my best.
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