Author: Ayamekashi PM
Sequel to Stained Glass Masquerade: Shuichi is now a child psychologist in training, his dark past playing the greatest part in his decision while Yuki is a renowned freelance fashion designer, having completely turned his back on the teaching profession.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Humor - Eiri Y. & Shuichi S. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 27,206 - Reviews: 229 - Favs: 73 - Follows: 109 - Updated: 08-14-07 - Published: 01-11-07 - id: 3335760
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Okay, I know I said I'll be starting the sequel after my exams, but my muse just won't shut up. Gargh! This always happens during exams…why?! Haha…Anyway, I'm sure you guys prefer an early start than late…Right? I'm really happy for the overwhelming support I got for this sequel. I hope I wont disappoint my loyal readers!
For those who haven't read Stained Glass Masquerade, I suggest you do so because otherwise, there'll be confusion at certain parts of this story.
Shuichi stepped into Sakasama Hospital, smiling cheerfully at a passing nurse. Reaching the Child and Adolescent Mental Health department, he noticed Kureha-sensei, a senior psychologist who also happened to be his Supervisor for the two years while he was still under training discussing with a nurse.
Noting Shuichi's presence, she beckoned him over and slapped a patient's file into his hand. "You're just in time, the police dropped a new patient in for us last night and I want you to take a look a look at her. The poor girl is in a bad shape, I don't understand how her father abused her so severely that she had to be hospitalized. No wonder her mind's so messed up - imagine having to get counseling at age six!"
Shuichi nodded in understanding at her angry tone. "Okay, so are we going to take a look at her now?"
Sighing tiredly, she shook her head. "I'm afraid you're on your own on this one; there are way too many people seeking mental help and there's only so much time I have."
Misunderstanding Shuichi's apprehensive look, she smiled reassuringly (which didn't really help because all it did was emphasize on her eye bags), "Don't worry, she's all patched up - no missing teeth or any black eye at the very least. Her right arm's broken though."
Shuichi started his protest. "But I don't think I can handle this sort of case! I- "
"You," she interjected forcefully, "will do fine." Switching to a deceptively pleasant smile, she added, "Riiiiiight?"
Quailing under her glare - err, smile - Shuichi mumbled a defeated "Of course."
"Somehow, I just knew you would agree."
Shuichi flipped through the file as he headed for her wardroom. Let's see…Name is Shirachou Rika, age six…Mother is Shirachou Shoko, father unknown. Shuichi paused, frowning. So she took her mother's maiden name, huh? Just like me then…
And so it was; Shuichi's name remained Shindou Shuichi even after his biological father, Ishiharu Kai appeared, feeling a need to hang on to the last memory of his mother. Though he never said it out loud, somehow his father understood - and so did Yuki.
Reaching the room, Shuichi knocked softly before pushing the door open. His eyes immediately went to the bed and he studied the little girl staring at him. Shoulder length dark brown hair was neatly done in two braids, presumably by one of the nurses, and she had huge round black eyes, giving her an angelic appearance.
Approaching her slowly, Shuichi spoke gently, "Hello, I'm Shuichi but you can call me Shu, and it would make me very happy if you would call me oniisan - not ojiisan though! That," Shuichi nodded at the soft toy she was clutching with her left hand (since her right was in a cast), "is a cute teddy bear. Does she have a name?"
Rika just stared at him blankly, not even blinking. Shuichi tried again, "Maybe she's feeling shy. All right then, why don't you tell me your name instead?"
Still no response. Those lifeless dark liquid pools seemed to be seeing nothing.
"Um…excuse me, Sensei, but she can't speak."
Shuichi turned around in surprise; he never heard the nurse entering. Blinking when he realized what she had just said, Shuichi echoed, "Can't speak?"
She nodded. "We don't know what's wrong. There's no damage to the vocal cords so we suspect it's just the shock. She's been like this ever since she came in. She didn't even flinch when Ishi-sensei treated her - wasn't frightened at all. She doesn't seem to have a mind of her own - though she does what we tell her to, like eating and changing. She just doesn't seem to react to anything."
Shuichi sighed. So this was why they needed him here. "All right, thanks. I'll see what I can do."
After work, Shuichi was home. Throwing his keys and security pass on the kitchen counter, he sang out, "Yuuukiiiiiiiiiii!"
Receiving no signals of life (not that he was expecting any), Shuichi made his way towards their bedroom, pausing when he heard sounds of paper rustling from Yuki's study. Opening it, he saw the blond man sitting on the floor, a characteristic frown of his face as he sketched, unaware of Shuichi's presence.
Shuichi tiptoed towards Yuki, careful not to step on the countless sheets of draft littering the floor. Successfully sneaking behind him, Shuichi whipped Yuki's glasses off, laughing silently to himself as Yuki blinked in confusion for a moment.
Yuki, having heard Shuichi's laughter (not so silent, after all), glared at him. "Shu, I remember telling you to stop doing that."
Shuichi stuck his tongue out, reminding Yuki that even after so many years, even after his pink dye wore off back to his natural black hair; even after he grew a little taller; even after he lost his baby fat; even after he gained a more mature look, Shuichi was still as immature as he had been at seventeen.
Ceasing his laugher, Shuichi asked Yuki, "Why are you here anyway?"
"In case you finally killed off all your neurons from overusing strawberry scented air freshener, like I told you they would, I live here, Shuichi. Duh."
"That's not what I meant! I thought you were supposed to pick Mika and Tohma from the airport at seven – did you forget?"
"Of course not. Which reminds me, why are you back so early today? It's only," Yuki half-heartedly pushed a sketchbook blocking the face of a silly looking beaver-shaped clock away (Shuichi bought it for him after Yuki threw his previous alarm clock one time too many and it broke), "seven thir – SEVEN THIRTY?!"
Fifteen minutes later, Shuichi just knew he shouldn't have eaten the whole box of doughnuts the kindly old lady in ward 606 gave him.
"Yuki, slow down! I'm going to puke!"
"Don't you dare dirty my car, brat. Puke on the inside, inside!"
Not trusting himself not to puke if he opened his mouth, Shuichi decided not to risk retorting. Yuki was driving at probably 259mph and he was more than a little surprised there were no sirens tailing after them; that, combined with the fact no innocent pedestrians had been moved down yet was nothing short of a miracle.
Screeching to an abrupt halt, Yuki calmly parked his car and threw a careless glance over at Shuichi. "You still alive?"
Shuichi merely glared at Yuki, resenting the fact that he was perfectly unaffected by their ground-level roller-coaster ride.
"And? Why were you so late again?"
Yuki shrugged at his sister's annoyed tone. "I had better things to do."
Mika sighed and signaled at a waiter for the bill. The four of them were now in a restaurant. Having found a very irritated Mika and an indifferent looking Tohma waiting for them at the airport, they quickly decided the best way to appease Mika's wrath was to feed her. Unfortunately, it only worked to some extent. At least Mika wasn't screaming anymore.
Tohma gave Yuki an amiable smile, "Did you lose track of time again, Eiri-san?"
Mika sighed. "I guess that means yes."
Shuichi quickly jumped in before Mika stabbed Yuki with the knife she was playing with. "So, how are Tatsuha and Ryuichi?"
"They're still doing the same thing, traveling from place to place. It still amazes me how they ended up together."
"Yeah! I got a shock when Ryuichi suddenly announced that he was going to be a model on graduation day…though what surprised me even more was that Tatsuha would be his photographer."
"At least Tatsuha's out of my hair now, he's busy messing up Ryuichi's - in a way that I don't care to think of."
Yuki listened to their idle chatter, bored. Why on Earth couldn't Mika just take a cab? He still had tons of work to do and that was much more preferable compared to suffering Mika and Tohma's company. And why couldn't Shuichi ever learn to just say 'no'? It had been him who suggested dinner after all. Shuichi, in Yuki's opinion, was a complete pushover when it came to everyone but Yuki.
Yuki was rudely jerked out of his mindless boredom by the unpleasant sounds of retching. Don't tell me he was actually serious about puking.
But it wasn't Shuichi who was vomiting. It was Mika. Tohma was rubbing Mika's back comfortingly while Shuichi, as was typical for him, panicked. "Are you all right, Mika-san? Do you need a doctor?" Obviously, he had forgotten Mika was a doctor herself. And so was he. Well, he was kind of a doctor anyway.
Mika shook her head weakly, rasping out. "It's okay. I already know what's wrong with me…and a doctor wouldn't help anyway."
"What do you mean? Is it a terminal disease? Oh, no! Are you dying??"
Yuki knew he shouldn't, but he couldn't help feeling just a bit hopeful at Shuichi's last panic-stricken ramble.
Tohma calmly answered for an exasperated Mika as she continued retching. "Don't worry, she's not dying, Shindou-san."
A muttered 'Damn' from Yuki.
"Do have a death wish, Eiri??"
"Actually, I do. Just not mine."
It was here Tohma saved Yuki from the very real threat of death by a table knife. And fork. Actually, all tableware in general.
"She's just pregnant."
"Yuki! Hold still!"
Yuki groused in reply as Shuichi applied some liniment on his forehead. "I can't believe she actually hit me with a bottle of ketchup. Damn those estrogen!"
Completely without sympathy, Shuichi huffily said, "Serves you right! You shouldn't have said you didn't know she was actually female enough to get pregnant. The bottle was almost empty anyway."
"That's beside the point! Can you imagine Mika and Tohma doing," Yuki shuddered a little, "that? And any product from them doing…that is going to make Lucifer look like a cute little girl in braids."
Screwing the cap onto the tube of antiseptic, Shuichi said, "Speaking of little girls in braids, I met one in the hospital today. Her father was beating her in public and some passer-by called the police. He got away though; the police are still searching for him. Apparently, her mother died giving birth to her…"
Yuki watched Shuichi carefully; he wasn't fooled by Shuichi's casual tone. He was all too aware Shuichi's mentality had been deeply wounded during his traumatizing childhood. While he had done all he could to heal those wounds, some had left inerasable scars.
This was the main reason he had been so against Shuichi's chosen profession; he didn't want him to be near people that had suffered similar experiences. Shuichi would only hurt himself.
But Shuichi had stubbornly insisted he wanted, he needed to do this each and every time they had a row over it. Yuki had finally relented, but only because he realized that this was Shuichi's way of proving his own worth to himself.
That, and because Yuki would rather have a hurt, stubborn, bratty Shuichi over a lifeless, subdued one. Even so, Yuki still wasn't very happy about it and every time a new patient showed up, Yuki grimly prayed Shuichi wouldn't get too close to them - for his own good.
Not wanting to hear anymore, Yuki silenced Shuichi's torrent of words with a kiss. When Shuichi had been successfully distracted, Yuki pulled away and ordered in a brusque tone, "Go to sleep. You talk too much." Always have, and probably always will. He'll bite his tongue off one day. Can't say I'll be sorry when that happens.
Shuichi did as he was told; throwing himself on the bed, he buried his head under the pillow. He peeked at Yuki as he switched off the bedroom lights and went out of the room. "You're not sleeping?"
"Later. Have to file everything before Kaori starts fussing like the mother hen she is."
Iwata Kaori, Yuki's personal assistant.
Yuki closed the door without responding, leaving Shuichi to toss and turn in the darkness.
Iwata…I don't like that woman. She's interested in Yuki - I just know it! Yuki's going to get mad again if I say anything though…I guess it's all right as long as she doesn't try anything funny…She DOES know we're married after all…
Shuichi stared up at the ceiling, not really seeing it.
What am I going to do about Rika? She reminds me so much of myself...
No. It's all in the past now. Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow…tomorrow…tomorrow I will…
And when tomorrow came, Shuichi woke up late, burnt the toast, spilled Yuki's coffee (he preferred hot chocolate), was yelled at by Yuki, late for work, made doubly late when he realized he had forgotten his security pass and had to turn back, got yelled at by Yuki again – this time louder than before, was laughed at by giggling nurses, lectured by Kureha-sensei and topped it all off by realizing he was still wearing his pajama bottom.
Oh yea, life was just peachy for Shindou Shuichi.