I don't own anything. If I did, I would be very rich and I'm a starving college student who's too poor to afford the subs so DON'T SUE! You might get a Spanish notebook(used)

Why It Doesn't Really Matter Any More

"The symptoms are quite mild now," the doctor said. I barely heard him. He sighed. "But it's inevitable that it will overtake you. I can't say how long, it seems to vary from case to case. But there are some very promising treatments and studies in Edo. My guess would be that your constant activity is contributing to this. You won't be able to keep it up for much longer."

I felt numb and cold at the same time. "Don't tell anyone," I said quietly at last. "Please, don't tell anyone."

The doctor nodded, stood and left.

I made a fist with my swordhand. "Kuso…" I muttered. Tuberculosis. Not much longer… I felt tears run down my cheeks but I made no attempt to hide them. After all, I was alone now and I could cry if I wished to. Frustration, anger, pain… Why? Why me? Then the answer came. Not to the question I'd asked, but to another one. "This isn't it," I said firmly. "I won't let it!"

"Okita-san?"

Saitou-san! Quickly I pulled up the cover and lay on my side. I closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing evenly.

"Okita-san, may I come in?" I heard the door slide open. I could feel Saitou-san's eyes on me and I immediately tried to keep my thoughts as blank as though I were asleep. I didn't know if it worked or not, but he left.

I sat up and reached over into my chest. There in the corner was the unopened jar of sake that Sensei had given me before I left. I took it out and poured myself an obscenely large amount. Part of me knew what I was trying to do and protested, backing up its arguments with irrefutable logic, but the part that held my hand steady as I drank was in control. I drank and I drank- I passed out once or twice too and Saitou-san came back. Somehow, as drunk as I was, I remembered the conversation very clearly.

"I smell sake," Saitou-san said matter-of-factly, opening my door without my permission.

"Saitou-san!" I called cheerfully. "Lotsa sake! Plenty- want some?"

Saitou-san shook his head. "At this hour? " His eyes narrowed slightly. "And what are you doing, drinking sake? I thought you said it spoilt your practice?"

For whatever reason, while drunk I thought that was hilarious. "Practice?" I laughed. "Practice!" I coughed violently, almost losing my sake. Somehow the cough brought me from hilarity to the depths of misery. I groaned. "Practice…" I caught the briefest glimpse of a concerned look on Saitou-san's face. It took me a moment to place it, because it was so strange to see it. "Practice won't help…" I mumbled, slumping forward. "I hate life," I said, then laughed a little, because it seemed that it wouldn't be bothering me for very much longer.

"Okita-san, what's wrong?" Saitou-san asked.

I grinned like an idiot. "Fate," I said putting a lot of emphasis on the small word. "'sstupid…Stupid stupid…" Then an idea came to me. I giggled, feeling dizzy. "Justa minute!" I said cheerfully and rummaged through my chest. There it was, on the very bottom, a flat sword with an odd blade. I laughed. "Don't haveta worry annny more!" The sheath slipped off.

"Okita-san, what do you think you're doing?" Saitou-san asked, sounding angry.

I sighted down the blade unsteadily and giggled. "It's sharp!"

"Put that down, Okita-san," Saitou-san said firmly.

"Shan't!"

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