In your Heart, I live
A/N: Answer to Miyaki's fic request…Sorry for long long long update :P I've been very busy with all the viruses in my pc. By the way, is something wrong with FFn, I'm not able to save any WebPages from it….every time I try a message appears and tells me that "this page cannot be saved" is it from the site or from my pc *frowns* it only happens when I tried to save a page from FFn?
Anyway, special thanks to my wonderful beta-readers. And hope u enjoy the story…
When he opened the lights, a loud gasp escaped from his mouth. He froze in his spot unable to move. His heart skipped a beat at the scene in front of him.
Sakuragi swallowed audibly upon seeing the familiar outline of a tall, slender body laying in the double bed that he had once, not so long ago, shared with his beloved.
He approached the bed, hoping so much that it was that same boy he had wanted to see for the longest time ever, lying there, and yet knowing that that same hope was an impossible one.
He then circled the bed, working his way round to the side where he would finally be able to see the features of the person lying there.
No. Disbelief dawned on his face.
It simply could not be.
It was impossible, wasn't it?
They had told him that he was dead, didn't they?
Didn't he go to the mortuary to see for himself that the other was dead?
He did. Even though it was tearing him apart, just to muster up strength to do that.
Didn't he touch the cold, motionless body beneath the cloth just to confirm for himself that the other was dead?
He did. No matter how much he pounded at that same body, he never got a response.
He knew, for all purposes and in all respects, that his beloved was dead.
And yet, here he was, staring sickly fascinated by the features of the sleeping man on the bed.
The same lithe body...
The same pale, asexual, heartbreakingly beautiful face...
The same rose-red lips that he used to kiss...
All that could be found on the man lying under the covers of the bed where he and his lover had shared not long ago.
Suspended in disbelief, he stared, as if from a distance, as his hand reached out to touch that - apparition? Man in his bed.
His hand encountered a familiar warmth, something he knew he'd been missing for so long.
His hand traced the contours of the man's features. Over the forehead...over the eyes...over the nose...over the jaws... and finally over those lips and sliding slowly down to take the face into his hands.
Hanamichi was only vaguely aware of the fact that he had knelt down, his feelings overwhelming him to such an extent that his knees could no longer support him. He was vaguely aware that tears had started trickling down his cheeks, the reminder of his anguish standing - no, lying - right in front of him.
Grasping that face in his hands tightly, indistinctly aware that the man in question had moaned at that intimate, and yet rough, touch, Hanamichi bowed his head.
"Kaede..." That name. The name of his lover. The name he used to call lovingly the whole day through.
Was it truly his lover, resurrected from the dead?
Hanamichi didn't know. But he knew that he wished for it to be.
[Lord, if this is a dream, then I don't ever want to wake up...]
Hanamichi looked up then. For that moment, he saw what he imagined himself to see.
Rukawa, waiting for him while lying on their bed, having tried futilely to stay up every single time Sakuragi came back late from his part-time job.
As if he had heard his lover's entrance, just like he had so many times before, Rukawa opened his eyes.
Rubbing his eyes, yawning, the man was utilizing those endearing little traits that were indelibly imprinted into Hanamichi's mind and labeled as inherently Rukawa. Smiling warmly, as he met the awestruck eyes of the redhead, he reciprocated the redhead's touch and similarly placed his hands on the redhead's face.
Hanamichi closed his eyes. That familiarity, the way he touched him, the feelings incited by those hands... Hanamichi moaned softly and opened his eyes, dazed and uncaringly. [If this is Hell, then I don't want to know what Heaven is like…]
He felt the man's hands pulling him closer to the bed, his face being manipulated such that he could only watch as the man's eerily, and familiarly beloved face came nearer to his. [If he is the Devil...] He closed his eyes once more, knowing what would follow. [...Then I don't want to know what Angels are...]
He felt the softest of kisses being pressed against his lips by the - apparition? - man and opened his eyes.
He stared at the man smiling ever so slightly at him, watched unfocused, as the man took one of his hands, pressed a kiss onto his wrist and then proceeded to do the same for the other.
[This must be a dream...] Thinking so, he allowed the - apparition? - Man to pull him onto the bed, sit him down leaning against the headboard of the bed, and divest him of his coat, tie and shirt. Then the man stopped.
Hanamichi met the boy's eyes, confused as to what the - apparition? - Man wanted to do.
He smiled once more under the redhead's bewildered scrutiny. Then he pressed his lips to the redhead's forehead and spoke for the first time, with Rukawa's voice. "No, Hana-kun... This is no dream."
[Hana-kun...?] Hanamichi could only stare mutely at this sudden turn of events. [How does he...?]
"You're finally back." The Rukawa look-alike said softly, moving back such that he was now sitting on the bed. "I've been waiting for you for the longest time ever..."
With this, the Rukawa look-alike's eyes glazed over with tenderness.
"Huh?" Sakuragi didn't know what to say or do, being too shocked to react.
He just sat there stiffly, as Rukawa moved forwards once more to take him in his arms.
Hanamichi felt like a doll, manipulated in such a way that he accommodated the Rukawa look-alike as that man tightened his hold on the redhead, until it seemed as though he never wanted to let him go again.
"You're late again. Bad boy..." The Rukawa look-alike whispered tenderly. "Did you miss me?"
"Kae- Kaede..." Sakuragi found his tongue, "Is... is it... is it really you?"
Rukawa pulled away, smiling crookedly as tears glimmered at the rim of his eyes. "Of course it's me, silly."
Hanamichi could only stare blankly at the man before him. "But... the doctors said... I saw..."
Rukawa let out a sigh of exasperation. "Look, Do'ahou, I'm touching you..." He slid one hand down the redhead's bared chest.
"I'm holding you..." He held Hanamichi in his arms once more.
Hanamichi stiffened slightly.
"And now I'm kissing you..." Saying so, he pulled Hanamichi closer and kissed him fully on the lips, deliberately choosing to deepen the kiss and to enjoy what he had lost once thoroughly.
When the kiss ended, they were both breathless.
"How?" Sakuragi's voice was barely audible, choked with intense emotion.
"Does it matter?"
Hanamichi shook his head slowly.
Rukawa smiled, the brilliance of that same smile taking the redhead's breath away. "I'm here... with you... and that's what really matters, isn't it? I came back... And I'll never leave you..." He hugged Sakuragi tightly. "Never."
Feeling the familiar warmth enclosing him, Sakuragi slowly raised his hands and returned his lover's embrace.
"I missed you." Sakuragi whispered as his tears fell uncontrollably. "I missed you so much, my beautiful kitsune."
Rukawa chuckled softly. "And I, you, do'ahou."
Sakuragi pulled away, smiling between his tears. He looked straight into his lover's blue eyes and felt himself drowning in those glacial pools of heat.
They had spent too much time away from one another. Their only wish, as of now, was to catch up on the time lost between them. Neither of them was willing to end that blissful moment as their faces kept getting closer and closer until their lips met in a heavenly contact.
Sakuragi tightened his embrace around Rukawa's body like the most precious thing in the whole world, as the two laid on their bed.
He still can't believe that his lover has returned to him after 8 months of loneliness and sorrow. He glanced at his lover's angelic face and smiled warmly. Rukawa always looked so innocent and fragile while he's sleeping. Sakuragi felt his heartbeats getting faster and faster, as he memorized his lover's face.
How long had it been since he saw that beloved childlike face?
How long had it been since he saw that face smiling, lighting up with joy, shining with such selfless love and concern?
Too long, he decided, reaching out to touch the unique warmth that belonged only to his lover.
To think all this had been ripped away from him by his actions wrenched his heart dreadfully.
Sakuragi sighed, remembering those long sleepless nights he spent alone after the accident, crying and blaming himself for his lover's death. His tears threatened to fall, as he remembered the fateful day Youhei told him the news that turned his world upside-down.
When he opened his eyes, he found himself facing a strange white ceiling. Pain flared down his side as he tried, and failed, to turn himself over, forcing him to stifle a groan that forced it's way past his lips.
"Sakuragi…you've woken up." He heard a voice coming from… his right?
He frowned slightly, turned his face and saw Youhei standing near the bathroom entrance.
"Youhei." It came out as a hoarse whisper.
Youhei smiled, walked towards the bed, pulled a nearby chair close and sat next to his bedridden friend.
"How do you feel, Sakuragi?" Youhei smiled, but Sakuragi could see that there was sadness in his eyes. "The doctor said that you might wake up today."
"What happened?" Sakuragi asked, ignoring Youhei's question. "Where am I?"
"You have been hospitalised. You were brought here after the accident. How much do you remember of it?" Youhei asked.
"The accident?" Sakuragi frowned.
"The accident." Youhei affirmed.
Sakuragi closed his eyes as the sound of metal crashing into something hard filled his ears, and the colour of flames danced briefly before the pain - Oh God, the pain - actually hit his nerves. Then his eyes snapped open as he realised something.
"Kaede." He started to panic. "Kaede. What happened to Kaede?"
He tried to get up but he felt as hundreds of knives cutting through his body.
"Calm down." Youhei held him down gently. "You're in no condition to go look for him now."
"I want to know what happened to Kaede." Sakuragi lay back on the bed. "How is Kaede? Where is he?"
"… I'll go get the doctor." With that, Youhei left the room, leaving one confused and panicky Sakuragi alone.
"Well…you were lucky, Sakuragi-kun." The doctor smiled warmly at him. "There are only minor injuries and one broken rip but that will heal eventually. Don't worry."
"Kaede." Sakuragi had ignored completely what the doctor just said. "Kaede. What happened to him?"
"Kaede? Oh, you mean Rukawa-kun." She shook her head sadly, "he wasn't lucky as you were… His head hit the pavement and he's in a coma right now."
"NO!" Sakuragi cried, trying to get off the bed. "Where is he?! I want to see him!"
"Sakuragi!" Youhei and the gang tried to prevent Sakuragi from getting up. "Calm down."
"Let go of me, you IDIOTS! Didn't you hear what the doctor said?! Kaede's in coma!" Sakuragi cried in panic. "I must see him! I need to see him!"
"Sakuragi-kun, no one is allowed to visit Rukawa-kun now." The doctor tried to calm the redheaded boy. "His condition is too sensitive. Please do not worry - he's in the ICU now and we are taking good care of him."
"But…" Sakuragi said, fighting back the tears that formed in the corner of his eyes. "I want to see him."
The doctor smiled, as she walked outside the room. "He'll be fine soon and you'll be able to spend as much time as you want with him. Be patient - it's only going to be a few days."
"Ok." Sakuragi barely whispered. A silent tear fell down his cheek.
"It's ok, Sakuragi." Youhei put a comfort hand on Sakuragi's shoulder. "He's gonna be fine."
"It's my fault… my fault." Sakuragi whispered. "I was so careless."
"It isn't your entire fault." Youhei shook his head. "Rukawa wasn't wearing safety helmet, after all."
"He wasn't wearing one 'coz there wasn't another!" Sakuragi snapped angrily. "The helmet I wore came with the bike and I was stupid enough not to buy another there and then. And then I was idiotic enough to neglect the basic safety measures!" Sakuragi threw his head backwards on the pillow, sobbing. "Why him? Why not me? It shouldn't have been him. I was the one driving. I was the one to reckless to focus. I am the one who should be lying in that damned ICU. Not him, never him."
Youhei kept silent. There was nothing he could say anyway.
What could he say to make his friend feel better?
And that realization hit him hard.
And tossed again.
He scratched his head furiously, frustrated at his failure to fall asleep.
He got up his bed and walked to the small window of his room. Opening the window, Sakuragi felt the cold breeze of the night caressing his face gently. He ran through the events of the past few days in his mind, having nothing more substantial to brood upon.
He had been in the hospital for five days (and still counting) and his recovery was going well, and today the doctor had announced him as being fit for discharge in three days.
As for Rukawa, he was still in coma. However, Sakuragi had been to see him, being allowed to watch him from behind the glass of his ICU room for a few precious minutes before being hustled back to his room like a petulant child.
[He looked as if he were asleep.] Sakuragi smiled to himself. [Like a child.]
Suddenly, he heard some footsteps running down the hallway in a hurry. He walked to the door and opened it slowly. He pecked at the empty hallway, looking for somebody.
"Is anything wrong, Sakuragi-kun?" a feminine voice asked.
He looked at his side to find the floor nurse smiling at him. "I heard some footsteps near my door… So I came to check."
"Oh, that was Dr. Housuiki; she was needed in the ICU."
"I see." Sakuragi said. "Good night."
"Good night, Sakuragi-kun."
With that, Sakuragi entered his room again and went to bed.
Sakuragi woke up the next morning to find Youhei and the gang standing in front of his bed.
"What are y'all doing here?" He asked them, puzzled and still drowsy from their abrupt wakening of him.
"There is something you need to know." Youhei said evenly, though his eyes glinted with sadness and pain.
"Make it quick. I want to go and see Kaede." Sakuragi sat in his bed.
"It is about Rukawa." Youhei's voice was barely audible.
"About Kaede?" Sakuragi raised an eyebrow. "What about Kaede?"
Youhei took a deep breath, staring at the ground, not knowing how to break the news to him. The rest of the gang held their heads down, not wanting to meet the eyes of their friend.
"Well?" Sakuragi looked at his friends puzzled.
Youhei squeezed his eyes tight. [Please make it easy for him… Please.] Then he looked up at his friend and said. "Rukawa had passed away last night."
END OF FLASHBACK
Sakuragi couldn't hold back his tears at these memories.
If only he hadn't insisted on trying out the motorbike that day…
If only he hadn't lost his focus on the street…
If only he had been more careful and bought another helmet…
But he was so excited - too excited - about his gift and he wanted to show it to his lover as soon as possible.
He had wanted to please his lover.
Instead, he killed him.
The irony was such that he could have gone mad laughing at the mistake - if not for the fact that he was now holding that same lover in his arms.
"Hana-kun?" He heard his lover's soft whisper. "Why are you crying?"
Sakuragi looked down at the boy in his arms sadly. "I…"
"Hana, what's wrong?" Rukawa pulled away and rose to a sitting position.
"I'm sorry, Kaede." Sakuragi pulled Rukawa to his arms again, sobbing. "I caused your death that day… I killed you… And I never had the chance to say how sorry I am."
"Oh, Hana." Rukawa snuggled closer to his lover's bare chest, burying his face in it. "There is no need to be sorry, my love. We both were careless…besides, that day was one of the happiest days in my life…I don't regret going out on that bike with you, Hana. Neither should you. You made me happy that day, Hana and for that I thanked you with all my heart."
"Kaede…I don't want you to leave me again."
"I won't leave you unless you want me to… Every time you come back, Hana, you'll find me here…waiting for you. As I always had when you have to work until late time in the evening."
"I would never ask you to leave, Kaede. Those past 8 months were nothing but an endless nightmare without you."
Rukawa smiled and kissed Sakuragi's bare chest. "Every nightmare has an end, koi…and I'm here to end yours."
"How you managed to come back? Where did you go when you died? Did it hurt when you died? Are you a ghost?"
Rukawa snickered at the torrent of questions that poured forth from his lover's mouth. He looked up at his lover. "Hana, I'm here 'coz you wanted me to be here. I'm definitely not a ghost but I'm not alive as well. No one can see me unless they needed to. And as for your other questions, I can't answer them because I'm still not sure what exactly happened or how it happened myself."
"I see." He didn't see. But that didn't matter. "Anyway, no matter what will happen, I want you to stay with me forever."
"But if the others find out that you think I'm here, won't they think you crazy?"
Sakuragi tightened his embrace around his lover's slender waist. "Well, as long as it makes you here... then yes, I'm crazy..."
"Do'aho." Rukawa chuckled, yawning.
"Likewise, my kitsune…"
And with that, the two lovers fell into a deep sleep.