|Or Maybe We Could Stick Around
Author: Lacewood PM
After the hospital, Hyuuga and Riko talk about Kiyoshi. Spoilers up to chapter 99.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - Hyuuga J. & Aida R. - Words: 894 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-20-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8540830
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Spoilers up to chapter 99
Hyuuga finds Riko outside the hospital, a familiar green and white uniform leaning against the glass wall of the hospital entrance. He pauses at the sight, surprised and yet - not.
"I thought you were heading back with the others," he says to her waiting back, and she turns.
Her eyes are red, he realises, and now he really is surprised. Horrified, actually, because Hyuuga has known Riko for coming on six years and he has never seen her cry once, not even that time a boy in their class shoved her down the stairs when she punched him for making one of her friends cry.
"A-are you crying?! What?! Why-"
She scrubs her face with her sleeve and says, voice muffled, "I'm not crying! I just got something in my eye. You're a idiot."
"What?" he starts to protest, because if anyone's an idiot, it should be the guy stuck in the hospital bed up there, not him. Then he stops and looks away. "So... I guess you heard, huh?" he says, because it's obvious.
The way it was obvious Kiyoshi was lying about his injury; and if Hyuuga was smart enough to see through it, then Riko would too.
She gives one last, loud sniff, then straightens, shoulders pulling back as if the last five minutes never happened, and Hyuuga pretends not to notice. "You're all idiots," she tells him and he doesn't argue.
By unspoken agreement, they start walking to the train station together. Evening is falling, the sky bright and the shadows long, and they're probably going to have to fight the rush hour crowd home. It's been a long time since they've walked together like this, without the chatter of team or schoolmates around them.
They're crossing the overhead bridge when Riko suddenly says, "There's really - really no way we can make him go for the operation, is there?" Her lips are pressed thin. "I should have seen it," she continues. "I didn't even realise he was having problems with his knee. I could have pulled him out earlier, what if he never plays again-"
"Riko!" Hyuuga grabs her wrist and pulls her to a stop. She looks at him and she's not crying, only furious. At everything. At herself. Hyuuga will never forgive Kiyoshi if Riko blames herself for this. "Don't say that! It's not your fault."
"I'm the coach," she says, fierce. "You're my team, I'm responsible for you. All of you."
"And I'm the captain," he says. "So - that means me too. I couldn't stop Kirisaki Daichi. They're the bastards that did this and they think they can get away with it. People who play like that-" his fingers tighten around her wrist. Hanamiya smiled at them with his mocking, mocking eyes and there was nothing any of them could do about it. Nothing they can do about it now, though the urge to hunt him down and make him pay is still very, very strong.
"What if we let him do this and he gets hurt again?" Riko says and they look at each other.
Hyuuga doesn't really have a good answer for this. Injuries happen all the time in basketball - even to the most careful players, even against honourable opponents. And no one ever knows what Kiyoshi will do next. Most of the time you can't even tell if the moron's thinking at all.
"We won't let that happen," he says. "He's not going to listen to us even if we tell him to go for the operation. He thinks he can just do what he wants and we'll let him get away with it, but we know better. And we won't let it happen. I'll kick his ass myself if I have to," he says.
Riko cracks the glimmer of a smile. "Big words."
"Hey, are you saying I can't do it?" Hyuuga says, offended. "I'm the Captain, okay! The Captain! Show some respect."
She snorts and punches him in the shoulder. "Tell that to me when you can finish triple training without crying. We'll need to tell the rest too, you know."
Hyuuga knows. And he knows that they still have three more matches in the Tokyo finals that they'll have to face without Kiyoshi, and the chances have never looked worse for Seirin. But Hyuuga made his declaration on the school roof and he's not backing down now.
"I guess I'm an idiot too," Riko says.
"The biggest idiot is the one in the hospital room," Hyuuga says. They're drawing near the station now and it's every bit as packed as he'd feared. "We're never getting home like this," he grumbles, looking at the crowd. Another thing to blame Kiyoshi for - he's like a giant ball of trouble, radiating troublesomeness like a force field, pulling everyone in. He dragged Hyuuga back into basketball, and Riko after him, and the Seirin team with them, and now they're stuck. With him, with this, with their big, stupid, impossible promise waiting to be kept.
"Stop complaining, it hasn't even started yet," Riko says. "Let's go."