Dance with me
By Hk Keiji

If only, stars by your side, If only, in our hands you see


"I can't… Iru…Iruka…"

The blonde's arms trembled under the pressure as he tried to keep himself upright, laboriously breathing.

Heaving, he collapsed against the whirring machine, tears welling up in his eyes from the pain in his legs. Slowly, the machine slowed down to a gentle halt. His legs were limp, twisted at an awkward angle from too much exercise.

Iruka, his supervisor, held himself back from helping as he watched the blonde stumble from the exercise machine and into his chair.

He was unable to hold back a sob as he fell into his chair.

"Naruto…" Iruka began, finally going next to the blonde boy and wiping his pale forehead.

"It's getting worse…" Naruto mumbled under his breath, saying out loud what was on both their minds.

Silence ensued, apart from Naruto's tremulous breathing.

"It was fine today, you did good…" Iruka said encouragingly, but the blonde only looked away, closing his eyes.

Every week, his strength seemed to be diminishing. One a good day, he could go on the exercise machine for at least half an hour. But now, he was hard pressed to do even fifteen minutes without blacking out or collapsing.

His heart was still pounding.

Muscle deterioration, Class A, in rapid recovery treatment.

Naruto closed his eyes, remembering how the doctor had explained to him. Your leg muscles, he said softly. If you don't keep using them, they'll be gone much quicker. And your eyes. We… we don't have the supplies or doctors to do surgery on you…

He didn't even notice Iruka wheeling his chair away.

We don't have the funds to keep you.

A pang in his chest.

The only person left to keep him here was Tsunade, the main doctor of the medical ward, Japan university of health.

No relatives. No guardian. Approaching the age of 18, he would no longer have the right to remain in hospital under generous care. He was no longer a child, for crying out loud, yet what was he to do…? How…?

"Naruto," Iruka said softly, and his faded blue eyes opened, looking at the man blurrily. "Would you like to play the piano?"

Naruto could feel his knee's bump against the wood of the piano gently, but shook his head, closing his eyes again. "I… I'd like to rest," He said quietly, feeling utterly useless and invalid in his wheelchair. Disabled. Permanent. Incurable.

Not Normal.

"I'll bring you dinner at 5," Iruka held his hand, then let go. "Do you want to go back to your room, or would you like to stay here?"

Naruto wondered briefly, shaking his head. It felt less confined in the music room. Less lonely, even though no one was around.

The click of the door closing indicated that Iruka had left.

Quiet.

A small breeze coming through the gap in the wide windows gently brushed his blonde hair.

He couldn't feel his legs much. They felt heavy and limp. He tried to look down at his legs and kick one out in a playful manner, but felt his heart drop when his leg didn't move. They were much too tired from the exercise earlier on.

No more running in the fields. No more walking down the streets, holding Iruka's hand, to the ramen shop. Not even Kicking his legs as he was sitting down.

He squeezed his eyes shut as tight as possible, trying to forget that his body was failing on him.

A click of the door opening made him jump.

He listened to firm footsteps make their way over to the place where the piano was until they stopped.

"Oh… I didn't notice," the voice said. Male.

Naruto frowned slightly, trying to figure out who's voice it was. Hardly anyone came to use the small, useless music room, with only one piano. No one even played piano, at least, not the medical staff. There was plenty of other places to use on the campus.

"I should leave…" The voice began to say.

"Wait," Naruto said quickly, doing his best to look at the stranger with his faded eyesight. "Please, stay."

His eyesight, thankfully, allowed him a brief glimpse of the other's finer features on his face. If he hadn't heard his male voice, he would've assumed him for a girl, with such silky black hair falling on either side of a pale face. And those eyes.

"It would be inappropriate," the monotone voice said delicately, deep black eyes boring at him.

Tilting his head curiously, Naruto frowned. "…Inappropriate?"

There was a sigh. "I came here to dance, but given you're here…" There was a hanging pause. "…it will be uncomfortable for both of us."

Naruto bit his lip.

"I wouldn't mind if you danced…" he smiled as best as he could at the other. "I just came back from exercise, that's all."

"Maybe no-…"

"…I can play the piano…"

"Thanks but…" Naruto felt his heart plummet. "I have to leave."

The footsteps quickly made it's way to the door and left.

His fingers dropped from the piano keyboard and onto his lap, shutting his eyes tightly.

He couldn't blame him for leaving.


xx keiji

hm. cant write good anymore.