A/N: My first Eyeshield 21 fanfic and it's not a happy one. I'm not too satisfied with it so I might change it at a later date if I figure out what the hell I want to do with it. Until then, ya'll can enjoy and don't cry like I did! Ahem.
To my other readers…don't ask about Love Me Back Together cause I'm still trying to map out what I want to happen (instead of writing whatever the hell comes to my head at the time)
Anyway, on with the show!
Disclaimers: Not mine.
Edit: Fixed a mistake; said something about them playing against each other in the Christmas Bowl but that's apparently impossible lol. So I took that out. So now...um guess when the time period is if you want, lol.
Shin has never told anyone, but he doesn't like hospitals. He hates the smell of recycled air and disinfectant—the smell of death and dying and falsity. The hospital is synonymous with the end, in Shin's eyes.
The ones he loves never seem to leave a hospital once they're in.
Shin's steps falter in the hall, a horrible feeling in his gut and a nurse glances at him. He forces himself to nod at her, a jerky motion that makes his head ache, before walking again, his stomach in his throat. He swallows consecutively and wonders if perhaps it's too late to leave now.
But yes, it is too late. He's already at the room.
Shin wants to laugh. He doesn't though; he might not stop if he starts.
He pushes open the door with a hand that shouldn't be as steady as it was. Maybe his legs had taken all the instability from them—they were shaking, threatening to give out beneath him. They don't, by some miracle.
Shin shuts the door behind him, quietly, though he doesn't know why. He could slam the door and the room's occupant wouldn't even twitch. He stands there, staring at the door for the longest time; afraid of what he might see when he turns around. He can already hear what he might see. The room's silence is broken by the steady blips of the heart monitor and the false breaths of the respirator. He almost crushes the purple hyacinths in his hand, suddenly overcome with the fear and grief of knowing that even though his heart beats, he isn't alive.
And it's his fault.
Shin turns slowly and approaches the single bed in the small room with its cheery pale blue wallpaper. There is a garden of bright flowers surrounding the bed and its occupant along with a myriad of flashy get well cards from just about everyone. He spots several large cards, signed by every football team Deimon had ever faced. The biggest card of them all was signed by the Deimon Devil Bats accompanied by a couple of cute stuffed animals.
All if it makes him painfully aware that Sena is still a kid. It's hard to remember that after dueling with him on the field, winning and losing, hurting and feeling so damn good that there is someone to strive towards. Sena is a man on the field, an equal in all but height, whose determination is as tall, if not taller, than five of him.
That image melts away in this instance. He's not sure if this is the same Sena, the one with the burning eyes and golden legs. This boy was lying so awfully still; the only movement was a false one, the one forcing his chest to rise up and down in sync with the respirator. Sena was small to begin with but in the bed he seemed smaller, child-like. If it weren't for the presence of the tubes keeping him alive, Shin could swear that Sena was only sleeping. He could imagine him blinking his big brown eyes open and sleepily spotting him. He'd probably flush at being seen in such a state (hair limp with weariness, skin pale, so vulnerable…) and he'd stutter out his name in surprise and awe (Though he doesn't know why Sena seems to think so highly of him—he's the amazing one) and Shin…Shin would apologize for putting him in the most wretched of places—the place that stole souls and broke hearts.
But Shin cannot, he can only fantasize. He isn't naïve enough to think he will ever get the chance to tell Sena how sorry he is or how much he enjoyed playing against him on the field or how glad he was to be able to push himself past his limits and be able to push Sena past his own limits or….or….
Shin cuts his thoughts off abruptly. It's no use dwelling on the maybes and what-ifs. They wouldn't be coming true. Not now, not ten days or even years from now. Shin hates it, but he knows he's going to have to accept that Sena will never know how sorry he is or how much he cares for him. He despises it but he knows he will be keeping those heavy, stinging emotions to himself until the day he dies because this is something he wants only to share with Sena and he can't.
Sena might as well be dead, lying on that stupid little bed, hooked up to all those fragile machines, those worthless things whose only purpose is to humor people like him and give them false hope that if the machines keep their hearts beating and their body's nourished that maybe they'll wake up right as rain one day and start where they left off.
Shin wants to laugh again. Sena will never be right as rain. Sena will never be right again.
And it's his fault.
Shin mechanically sets the purple hyacinths down over Sena's artificially breathing chest, as there's no room anywhere else, and stares at Sena's falsely sleeping face for a little longer. It probably won't be the last time he sees him because he already feels just about ready to fall apart and coming back day after day just might destroy him. Shin wants to be destroyed in the suffering of his mistake, suffer like Sena was. Though he'd been told time and again that none of it was his fault, that it was just a horrible accident, Shin knows it is his fault. He knows that everyone else knows it as well—he sees it in their eyes whenever they look at him. He sees it in their false smiles and forced words. It kills him to be looked at like that but he will bare it because Sena is as good as dead already and it's not fair if he doesn't die right along side with him.
Shin slides one of those uncomfortable chairs over to Sena's bedside and sits down in it, stiffly and waits. He doesn't think of anything but Sena--Sena and all his accomplishments, his big heart and large eyes and gigantic, flaming resolve. He loses himself in the past, in the visions of Sena running with him, against him, away from him. Sena's voice resounds in his head in a torturous manner and he holds onto it, treasuring it and relishing it, because he knows that he will never hear his soft, purpose driven voice again.