Yoko-sensei is a nurse, not a doctor right?
Back to You - Chapter 6
by Mara S. S.
Time. It seemed to move slowly for me. The seconds ticked by with agonizing slowness as I held the injured Natsuki in my arms. In my mind, I could see myself kneeling beside Natsuki's grave, a past nightmare superimposed over the current one.
I began to feel a tug. Something pulling me back. But, no. I couldn't go yet. I hadn't really found Natsuki, my Natsuki yet. This Natsuki, I couldn't bring her back. She wasn't mine.
And... she was hurt. I can't. She has to stay here. I have to stay here. I don't... I don't care if she will love me or not. Just let her be okay. Please, let her be okay.
Someone was yelling in the distance, I could hear it, dimly. Bright lights, blinding me. Hands, prying mine away from Natsuki. An arm around my shoulder, leading me into... an ambulance? Yes. That was the word. It filtered slowly into my mind as I heard everyone talking all around me. They were asking me questions but I could only shake my head, watching numbly as everyone fussed over Natsuki.
Natsuki was still unconscious. The stretcher she was on took up most of the space inside the ambulance. I sat next to the door, near the foot of the stretcher. Someone handed me a blanket and I wrapped myself in it.
For the first time since coming here, to her now, I felt fear. Fear of losing Natsuki again, a second time. I was helpless last time and here I was, helpless again.
Helpless... No. Not again.
Suddenly my mind cleared. The panic I'd been feeling focused itself into a cold anger rising up inside me. I would find whoever did this and they would pay. Yes, that was something I could do.
With a calm precision, I grabbed the man sitting beside me. "What is happening?" I asked.
He pulled his attention away from Natsuki and looked at me with a distracted expression. "Your friend is injured."
"I can see that." Idiot.
"Look, miss." His eyes flickered briefly over me before returning to Natsuki. "We're almost at the hospital. The docs there will help you."
I nodded but he'd already turned away. I smiled faintly and put a hand on his shoulder. He blinked and looked at me inquiringly.
"Move." I said pleasantly, standing up as best as I could in the moving vehicle.
"Eh?! What are you... "
Ignoring everyone else's protests, I shoved the man aside so I could take his place beside Natsuki. I reached out a hand to touch her.
"Hey! Don't move her." The man across from me interrupted.
I looked at him coolly, daring him to make me move away.
"Her shoulder." He said, almost apologetically. "It might be dislocated."
I didn't respond to him, but I did limit myself to holding her hand. They hadn't removed her helmet but they had peeled back some of her clothes. Every bit of exposed skin I could see had scrapes and bruises. "I'm sorry..." I whispered to her.
A part of me wanted to kiss all of them away and make her all better. Another part of me wanted to cry, but I could do neither. I could just wait. Wait, and swear vengeance.
"How much longer?" I asked without looking up.
"A few minutes."
I frowned. Very well. It would have to do.
Damn. What was supposed to be a simple reconnaissance mission - get in, then get out - ended up with me fighting that robot woman. I'd been outclassed and that really pisses me off. I hope Yamada finds some good blackmail material on them.
So if not the door, the window then. I decided to take Takumi up on his offer and try the 'friend of a friend' method next.
And that's why I was with Takumi at Linden Baum. We were waiting for Sagisawa Yoko, a friend of Takumi's who knew a historian, who'd probably know more about when the painting of Shizuru was made.
"Natsuki?" Takumi broke into my thoughts, a worried frown on his face.
"Mm?" I murmured, my fingers tapping on the table as I looked out the window. They were late and I was beginning to get impatient.
"Sorry, but..." He held up his cellphone. "It's an emergency. I have to go."
"Go ahead." I waved him away. "I'll be fine."
"Are you sure? I can stay with you if I have to." He asked uncertainly. That's Takumi for you, it's just in his nature to be generous and selfless.
"You're needed at the hospital, I know the way to the museum, so..."
"But how will you recognize Yoko-sensei?"
I sighed. "Takumi, stop worrying about me and go. Really, I'll be fine." I insisted.
"If you're sure then... Thanks." He smiled at me gratefully then hurried away.
I had a sundae while waiting and even if Mai wasn't there, the staff knew to leave me a bottle of mayo. I'd already finished eating and paid when they arrived, hanging on to each other and giggling like kids. I waved and they came towards me.
"Ah, Yoko-sensei." I greeted the capable looking nurse.
She looked at me curiously as she shook my hand. "I recognize you from Takumi-chan's description but I don't think I've met you before."
Oops. "Oh we haven't." I laughed nervously. "Takumi told me about you that's all." I added in a hurry. She doesn't remember. None of them do.
She nodded, buying my explanation. She gestured to the redhead behind her. "This is..."
"Hi!" The other woman butted in. "I'm Sugiura Midori, 17. Nice to meet you!"
"Kruger Natsuki, none of your business." I introduced myself.
"German?" She asked, sitting down across the table from me. Yoko sat down beside her, looking amused.
"Half. On my father's side." I answered, shifting in my seat. She looked like she was waiting for more but I wasn't about to tell her more than that. There were some things I didn't like talking about, and my family was one of them.
"Have you..." Midori began, her eyes focused intently on me.
"No. I grew up here." I answered quickly.
Yoko covered her mouth, stifling her laughter and Midori pouted. "Ah, ah... You shouldn't interrupt people like that. I was going to ask if you've been waiting long."
Yoko put a hand on Midori's arm, as if to restrain her. "Don't mind her. She's really like that." She advised. "Sorry we're late, Midori here..." She glanced at her unapologetic partner. "... took us on a detour."
Midori laughed and I felt myself grow more and more uncomfortable with every passing second. Their antics weren't exactly trust inspiring.
"So Natsuki-san. Where's this painting you were talking about?" Yoko asked politely.
"It's with Akira, Takumi's wife. She runs the art museum a couple of blocks down."
Midori nodded. "We've been there. Let's go then?" She stood up excitedly. Yoko and I followed her out.
"I do hope they'll let us in after last time though." Yoko murmured, almost too quietly for me to hear. They both laughed.
I groaned inwardly. This had better be worth it.
They rushed her inside and I forced myself to keep up with their fast pace. They brought her to a room with many other patients and transferred Natsuki to a proper bed. A curtain was pulled around the area and I was grateful for the privacy.
Someone else took over then, Sagisawa Yoko according to her name tag. She was very efficient. Natsuki was swiftly stripped and put into a hospital gown. In almost no time at all, Natsuki almost looked like she was sleeping peacefully. Except for the shoulder sling and the ice pack on her left ankle that is.
"How is she?" I asked quietly. I'd pulled up a seat next to the bed, forcing everyone to work around me.
Sagisawa-san answered without looking up. "Her vital signs are stable. A concussion. A lot of bruising on her upper body - I'll leave something for you to put on those. Dislocated shoulder. And her ankle's twisted as if something heavy landed on it." She then looked at me inquiringly.
"Her bike." I answered matter-of-factly. "She held on to it and tried to swerve away when the car hit us."
"We'll need to have an x-ray done." She continued. "Her ribs could be cracked. Not likely, but it's possible."
"But she will recover?" I asked, carefully not letting a hint of emotion through.
"It's nothing permanent but she'll be off her feet for a while." Her eyes flickered towards me, then back to Natsuki. "Are you a relative?"
Good question. What was I to Natsuki? A stranger? Someone she took pity on and decided to help? "A friend." I settled for that. She was my friend at least, if not vice versa.
"It's Kruger Natsuki right?"
I frowned. "How...?" I didn't recall telling anyone her name.
"Driver's license in her wallet. Her belongings are with the police, they're investigating the accident. An officer will probably come by later and ask questions." She answered briskly. "Any family member we can contact?"
I thought for a moment, realizing just how little I knew about this Natsuki. "No, none that I know of."
"Okay..." She wrote on her clipboard then attached it to the foot of Natsuki's bed. "Someone will check on her every now and then. Let one of the other nurses know when she wakes up. We'll have to check for a concussion."
I nodded. "Thank you." She patted my shoulder and left, leaving me alone with Natsuki again.
Disclaimer: Mai HiME belongs to Sunrise