Chapter 15

Tsukiko's POV

The white hospital ceiling was the first thing to greet my eyes, my chest felt like a huge weight. Perhaps it's just an after effect of the surgery, but I didn't care. I don't know how long I'd been out such as this, and I couldn't figure out why there was so little noise. I sat up the best I could, feeling the huge weight once again. I reached for the curtains, which had been drawn around the bed. The minute I did, I was facing a mob. Uotani grasped at me first, and I struggled to remain in a comfortable position while she tugged my body almost off the bed.

"Tsukiko-chan, are you feeling okay?"

"I'd feel better if I could be a little more comfortable." The blonde nodded and allowed me to position myself in a much better comfort zone. "Hello Honda-san, Sohma-san." I had no chance to see the orange haired one, and I noticed him brooding at the close contact between something I could not distinguish. The people around me seemed happy, only Akina looked worried. I tried to reach my hand out to her, but she left the room before I could reach her.

Akina's POV

I couldn't do it, I couldn't just hug her like before. I had tried...I truly did. However, I could not reach her with my own strength. In fact, I would only reach slowly and fall back. Uotani-san had been able to do so without hesitation, while I simply could not watch Tsukiko's somehow renewed opposition. Jealous tore at me, and I wished that the jealous would not tear at me so.

"Mikuri-san?" I turned my head.

"Toki-kun."

"Why are you not with Yasu-san?"

"It seems she has enough support as it is." My feelings of anger and jealous mixing tried to jab me to hit him. The next thing I felt, was him tugging me to the room I had been in during the surgery. He handed me a can of coffee, and I watched the steam.

"You're jealous aren't you? That she did it for someone she barely remembered?"

"Why do you ask?"

"I'm jealous too."

Tsukiko's POV

That night, Uotani was persuaded to leave me for a bit. I sat alone in that room, waiting for darkness to overtake my form into sleep. I felt all alone in this room, and I shuddered as I tried to create something out of nothing. It was then I heard the door open again.

"Tsukiko-san?"

"Oh, Akina." Her form came towards me, sitting down near the bed. She took my hand and stayed silent as she pulled me into a weak embrace. "Is something wrong?"

"Why...did you do it for Uotani-san?" Her voice was faint, and I tried to return her embrace the best I could.

"She made me want to be someone worthy of her friendship. She was able to move on, and so should I."

At the graduation ceremony...

I sat down and watched from my seat. I had been dragged around the ceremonies festivities to the point I needed the rest and not my heart. Toki and Akina sat near me, seemingly subdued and glad to be resting as well. Akina looked at me a moment before her next question came out.

"You think you'll be teaching here next year?"

"I think so, about time I settled down."

"Glad to hear it." She stood up to get a drink and I turned to Toki a moment.

"You want to hang out, just the two of us?"

"Are you talking in the means of..."

"Yeah." His face told wonders, and I stood to greet Uotani as she came back towards me. I guess she wasn't so different from me after all.

Fin