Long Hours

Chapter 3

By ShinobiWolf

                "I'm here with her parents. They haven't told us anything yet…"

            "Hold on, I'll be right there." Kouji hung up and dropped the phone beside himself on the bed. He felt like he was going to be sick again. He hoped that everything he had heard was just the delirium from his fever. But deep in his heart, he knew that it all wasn't a dream. He picked up the bucket from his bedside and was quietly sick for a minute. "Can you drive me to the hospital?"

            "What's wrong?"

            Kouji got up from his bed, and passed his mother on the way to the stairs.

            "…Kouji?"

            He wanted it to be a dream, as he tiredly looked to his mother. "Yuki was hit by a car…" He descended the steps without shedding a single tear. It was all just a dream.

            The car-ride there, waiting with Kouichi and Yuki's parents… It was all a part of one, long, nasty dream. The doctor came and got Yuki's parents. Then it seemed like ages until he came out again. Kouichi had to wake Kouji from a daydream when it was finally their turn. After a long walk, they stopped at the door.

            "Are you going to be alright? You're still pale…

            "I'm about as fine as I'm going to be." Kouji let his brother lead the way in. Neither one said anything. Then, it all came crashing down onto Kouji. It wasn't a dream. The bandages were real, the tubes were real, the cold touch of her unmoving hand was real.

            Overcome with grief, he was going to be sick again. He covered his mouth and rushed to the bathroom. Kouichi followed soon after, and watched with concern as his brother finished. Kouji sat against the wall of the bathroom. "Three hours ago, she was in my room…"

            "Kouji…"

            "Three hours ago we kissed for the first time… and now…"

            Kouji welcomed his brother's comforting embrace, crying softly.

            Kouji sat slouching in a chair. "Should you tell the others now?" It was the only thing he had said since the bathroom incident earlier that night.

            Kouichi wanted more than anything to stay with him, but he knew when his brother was to be left alone. He stopped before leaving, and looked at Kouji. He was looking at nothing in particular, just off to the side. He looked no better than he had at school, and his pale face was tear-stained from earlier. Kouichi finally left.

            It was cold in the room. Kouji pulled another blanket from the closet and spread it over the bed, and pulled his chair up closer. Broken ribs, internal bleeding, a concussion; he didn't know what to do. He laid the side of his head on the bed and held back threatening tears. He lightly fingered her deathly pale face. So pale, that the bed sheets almost seemed to be darker than her…

            Takuya picked at a blade of grass outside the hospital. Kouichi had called him in the very early morning. In fact, it was still pitch black when he first got to the hospital. He tossed aside the plucked blade of grass and went back into the waiting room. He sat by the one closest to the door, Kouichi. Kouji was asleep in the corner, and Izumi was also there. Junpei and Tomoki would be coming as soon as they could.

Yuki had been in surgery for the past hour.

            "Kouji doesn't look any better than yesterday…" Takuya kicked at the dark blue carpeting.

            "He won't go home to rest. And I'm not going to be the one to make him." Kouichi looked calm, but Takuya could tell that he was still hurting. Yuki was his best friend. Where one went, the other followed. Until now…

            Takuya yawned, and looked to the corner of the room. Kouji was almost pitiful… Which was polar opposite to the strong-willed child of Light that he usually was. His face was pale and tearstained, and there were bags under his eyes like he hadn't slept in ages. He hadn't even bothered to put up his hair; it hung disheveled about his shoulders. He stirred, and got up to use the bathroom.

            "I know Yuki is his friend, but… I've never seen him this bad before."

            Kouichi bit his lip. He hadn't mentioned that to them yet, because he didn't want to bring it up in front of his brother. Right then was the best chance that he would have.

            "Yuki is his girlfriend…"

            "Since when?" Izumi asked for everyone.

            "Only as of last night, when she took him his homework. That was when Kouji said they had kissed…" His eyes began to water. "…Then three hours after that was when I called Kouji… to tell him that…" Takuya tried to comfort Kouichi, but he refused. "Nothing against you, but Kouji's had it bad enough already…" He quickly wiped away his tears with his shirt sleeve. "I don't want my own crying to get him started up again…" Kouichi put on a somewhat in-control face and waved out the window. "It looks like Junpei is here with Tomoki."

            After much persuasion Kouichi had his brother walking outside with him. Kouji had been spending too much time indoors, and badly needed a breath of fresh air. Besides, everyone else was taking their turns seeing Yuki.

            "You know, it was really something…"

            Kouji stared at the sidewalk as his brother spoke to him. He wanted to be inside…

            "I've never seen Mom and Dad in the same room before…"

            Kouji looked up. "Yeah, I guess you're right…"

            After they had walked once around the hospital, they went back in, and passed Yuki's parents on the way up to her room.

            Now, it was Kouichi's turn to sleep. He was curled up in a chair, on the other side of the bed. Kouji checked to make sure that no one else was in the room, before he tenderly held Yuki's hand with his own.

            "I don't know if you can hear me or not… but… the whole gang is here. Even Tomoki. Ever since you saved that kid's life, he's sort of looked up to you… Yeah… Takuya and the others won't go to school until they know you're okay." He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "They all need you to wake up…" Kouichi stirred a bit. "…I… need you to wake up…" He allowed his tears to once again flow freely down his cheeks.

            Then it happened. Kouji watched with renewed hoped as Yuki's pale hand weakly closed around his. Then, bit-by-bit, her violet eyes opened. She could not speak, on account of the breathing tube down her throat. So instead she cried.

            "Hey… you don't have to do that…" Kouji comforted her by stroking her cheek. She put her own hand up to meet his, and looked to the side to see Kouichi.

            "Kouichi… hey…" Kouji beckoned his brother to wake up. Kouichi did so, and after realizing what was going on, he too began to tear.

            That was not the only thing he realized. "Hm… that must feel real nice…"

            Kouji and Yuki each grew red as they quickly pulled their hands away. Kouji sighed. "It's alright… He knows…"

            "Actually…" Kouichi hesitated. "Izumi and Taki know too…" He dreaded the moment that Yuki would be out of that bed. Oh, I am sooo dead…

            Yuki took in the deepest breath she possibly could. Her parents were on their way to pick her up, and the other kids were walking her out. "If there's any way of paying you guys back for staying there with me…"

            "Ah, don't mention it. That's what friends do, anyway." Takuya shook his head.

            "Speaking of payback, that reminds me…" Yuki pondered as she looked to her side. Kouichi uneasily backed away.

            Mr. and Mrs. Hiramana were just pulling into the hospital parking lot, when before them was the strangest sight. Mrs. Hiramana put a hand to her mouth, thinking it odd that Yuki should be throttling her best friend on the pavement…

~Owari~