Strawberry Milkshakes, the afterward

As promised, and ever-so-slighty cracky too.

All the best. - Ara

Visiting Yukimura after his surgery in July was excessively…stressful. He wasn't thrilled about the results of the Kantou Tournament and he was groggy from pain killers and he was in an irritable mood, even if he tried not to show it.

"Maybe you all should just go," he said, trying to smile while picking at the tape covering his IV a little. "It's been a long day and I'm not very good company right now."

"Don't worry about it, Yukimura," Sanada said evenly and then tersely added, "It's understandable." They all nodded and agreed while Yukimura sighed and tiredly smiled. They stuck around long enough to say good-bye, which ended up including a discussion about training for Nationals and Yukimura's therapy and stupid Seigaku.

"Marui, would you please stop that?!" Yukimura suddenly interrupted their good-bye discussion rather forcefully. His smile was gone and he sighed heavily. "It's making everything worse."

"Stop what?" Marui asked, genuinely surprised. Cripes, he was just talking like everyone else. And finishing his soda. And chewing gum.

"Making that noise with your straw," Yukimura answered almost impatiently before sighing again and rolling onto his side. "I'm so hungry and it's making it worse."

"What?" Marui stared at him. Since when did Yukimura get irritably hungry? He glanced at the rest of team. They seemed surprised as well.

"I said I'm starving. I had to start fasting for surgery last night and they still won't let me have anything." Yukimura rubbed one of his hands across his forehead, apparently not caring if anyone knew these particular details. "Nothing except ice chips. I could eat a…a hamburger. More than one. Lots."

"A hamburger," Marui repeated, still shocked. If it had been anyone else, it would have seemed perfectly natural. Yukimura didn't get hungry though, not this kind of hungry. Cripes, he'd actually avoided eating during his last hospitalization. Talk about a 180.

"Tell the nurse to come and tell me if I can eat!" Yukimura called when they were leaving, and they could see him looking after them seriously. "And bring me something when you come next time! Hamburgers! And a milkshake!"

"Do you think he's delusional from all those meds?" Niou nudged Yagyuu as they made their way down the hall.

"Maybe he's stressed out," Jackal offered.

"Or going crazy from being in the hospital too much," Kirihara put in. "Or from not being allowed to have his strawberry crap."

"Ensure withdrawal. Definitely." Niou nodded.

Sanada shook his head and Yanagi sighed. "Yukimura isn't going crazy," Yanagi said in a longsuffering voice. "And he stopped drinking Ensure months ago. He's just hungry like any normal person."

He expected them to believe that?