Voices were whispering all about him, seeming
to carry so much weight that the air around his resting form seemed to be
crushing him. He felt as if he was drowning slowly, his mind whirled and
invisible colors danced before his eyes. Struggling, he attempted to break
through the surface, to the warmth of the sun. He suddenly found himself
jerking awake, pain clouding his mind, losing all comprehension. Unable to
move, he found himself trapped in a dark, pain-filled void. The pain began
its slow travel from his toes, wrapping icy fingers about his thighs, then
sudden fire as it began its way up to his torso and arms. He felt as if his
flesh was burning, as if acrid tears were bringing even more woe to his
already wounded body. He tried to cry out, but the cry was lost in his
burning, dry throat. A cool hand was placed on his cheek and he flinched
slightly before relaxing, struggling to open his eyes. The light scent of
soft leather and hazelnut permeated his nostrils, and he felt his heart
settle slightly as the confines of sleep reached out to pull him back. A
soft voice was talking to him, but he couldn’t make out the words.
Desperately, he tried to talk, tried to open his eyes, but he felt as if
heavy weights had been set on his closed eyelids. He felt something
deliciously cold and wet drop between his parted lips, and he realized it
was a dribble of water as it made its way down his parched throat, cooling
and moistening it. His eyes wearily opened a crack, and he realized he was
asking the blurred figure next to him for more. Several more drops of cold
water, and he was content, closing his eyes once more. Just before sleep
managed to drag him back into the world of darkness, he realized that the
blurred figure next to him had hair the color of burnt umber and a voice as
soft as the summer rain.
Shinya sighed as he leaned forward towards the bed,
pulling his chair closer. He rested his head on folded arms, next to Die’s
sleeping form. Guilt and regret were poisons that slowly ate away at his
heart, and he found himself unable to move away from Die’s bedside. Gently
taking a bandaged hand in his own, he brought it to his cheek, then gently
pressed his lips against silky skin. He sighed and gently laid Die’s arm
back down and resumed his original position, resting his head on folded
arms. He closed his eyes just as a soft voice called out his name, jolting
him up in the uncomfortable hospital chair. Kaoru stood in the doorway, a
steaming cup in his hand. His face had lost all expression as he gazed
solemnly at Die, then turned tired eyes towards Shinya.
“You should go on home. You don’t have to be here any longer. Even his
family left for home already. You haven’t gone home in two days. Go home.
Get some rest. Eat.” Kaoru walked over to Shinya and forced the cup of hot
tea into his hand.
Shinya looked down at the cup, then up at Kaoru. “Thank you, but I choose to
remain here. With him.”
Kaoru glanced at Die’s peaceful face, sighing as he glanced at Shinya again.
“You’re making me worry for two now.”
Shinya’s brow furrowed at this, and a child-like pout settled on his lips,
as he bowed his head apologetically. “Sumimasen, Kaoru-san. I don’t mean for
anyone to worry for me. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me, worry about
“Ah, Shin-chan, you’re always so considerate. But you really do need to go
home and get some rest.” Kaoru said softly, resting a soft hand on Shinya’s
shoulder. Shinya sighed, looking at Die with a worried expression upon his
face. He shook his head once.
“But what if he woke up while I was gone?” Shinya’s face portrayed such
innocent confusion, that Kaoru almost laughed.
“Shin-chan, I’ll sit here with him. And if he wakes, I’ll you right away.
But you have to go home. This isn’t healthy for you.” Kaoru promised. It
didn’t seem like Die would wake up anytime soon. Although Shinya didn’t know
this, the doctors had said that Die would most likely suffer from brain
damage from the amount of blood he had lost. It was miracle he had even
survived, even in this state. To Kaoru’s relief, Shinya acquiesced to his
plea, and stood up, somewhat shakily. He took one last glance at Die before
starting his departure from the hospital room. Lingering in the doorway, he
glanced back again.
“Don’t you forget to call if he wakes.”
“I won’t.” Kaoru smiled at the younger man who smiled woefully, then turned
and left the dreary hospital room. Turning his head slowly, he gazed at the
sight before him, and in silent desperation, he leaned forward, clenching
his fists tightly. His nails bit into the soft palm of his hand, yet he
didn’t care about the slight sting. The pain was not nearly as much as the
pain within his soul. “Why did you do this, Die? Why?”
Die seemed to stir in his sleep, and Kaoru unclenched his fists, glancing
down at his palms. Tiny little red half-moons were embedded in the pink of
his hand. He didn’t care. Bringing his right hand up, he gently stroked
Die’s hair, smoothing loose strands away from his beautifully defined face.
The sorrow he felt inside of him was overflowing. If it were anyone
responsible for Die’s irrational actions, it was him. Kaoru had said things
that he knew would tear Die apart…but he had never thought Die would react
in the way that he did. He felt horrible. Die had many friends, but out of
all of them, he had often come to Kaoru for comfort when he was depressed.
And only Kaoru knew of some of Die’s thoughts, which were often troubling.
Kaoru knew these things and yet he never thought of them before he said
those horrible words to Die on that fateful morning.
“Why didn’t you tell someone? Why didn’t you talk to Toshiya, who obviously
Die stirred in his sleep. Someone was talking to
him. He struggled to hear the words that he simply could not seem to make
out and struggled to break free of the drug-induced sleep. He found himself
comfortably numb when he tried to open his eyes. Once more, they seemed to
be weighted down. He was becoming increasingly frustrated. Then fear
suddenly struck his heart. Would he never see again? Sounds about him were
clearing from muted to crisp, clear tones.
If any word could illicit a whirlwind of emotions, it was that singular
word, “why”. The truth was, he didn’t know why. He just knew that he had to
escape. And that it hurt. And that he wanted to end it. And that he was
tired of being lonely. The rest of it. He didn’t know. A feeling of shame
suddenly wrenched his heart and twisted it, for what. Anger burned deep
within him, because he was not dead. And fear stirred that fire even more,
causing embers to glow red, because he knew no one would ever look at him
the same way. Now he never wanted to wake up. So he stayed quiet, and
feigned sleep. It suddenly became apparent to him that it was Kaoru who sat
next to him. Of all people, Kaoru had to be the one to be next to him when
he woke. Why? To mock him? To make him feel even worse? Perhaps he wanted to
say, “Die, why don’t you try harder? Maybe this time you’ll succeed.” Die
felt Kaoru take his hand, and he had to force himself not to flinch away.
“I never thought you would ever do something like this, Die. I still don’t
understand why. I suppose it’s my fault though… I know I shouldn’t have said
all those things, and I was so, so wrong to say them…”
Kaoru was never wrong. Die silently took this in, but didn’t open his eyes
to look at Kaoru, didn’t open his lips to speak to him in response. He
didn’t want to come back to the world yet. Didn’t want to start his life
“God, you’re so stupid sometimes! How could you be so selfish? How could…”
Kaoru’s voice sounded hoarse, and he broke off. Ah, so this was expected of
Kaoru. Of course, he would start saying all those horrible things now. Die
waited expectantly, biting on his inner lip. However, all he was met with
was silence. There was a slight pressure on the mattress suddenly and
something warm was pressing against the back of his hand, and he felt the
bed slightly trembling. Then suddenly, a stifled, choking sound filled the
room and Die felt something hot and wet trickling against his hand. Were
these…tears? In all the years Die had known Kaoru, he had never known him to
cry over anything but death itself. Struggling to open his eyes, he used all
the strength within him to push the weights off his eyelids and slowly
blinked, squinting in pain as bright light met his eyes. Slowly looking
down, his eyes took in the sight of Kaoru, hunched over by his bedside,
clutching his hand to his face. He couldn’t see Kaoru’s face, for strands of
silky purple had obscured it from his view. But he could feel the hot, wet
tears against his hand, and he could visibly see the tall, thin man shaking
as he cried softly.
“I’m so sorry, Die. I’m so sorry. God, I never meant any of that. I didn’t
even know what I was saying. I was just, so, so angry. God, don’t leave us.”
Kaoru’s voice shook as he whispered fervently, quiet sobs departing from
“Daijoubou. I won’t.”
to be continued
to deg fics pg 3