The idea for this story hit me one day while I was sitting in history class. I'm not entirely sure what inspired this, but none-the-less, when I told two of my friends about the story, they seemed eager to read the results of what I'd been thinking. This is the prologue of the story and should I receive at least five reviews, I will he happy to post the first chapter, which I've already started working on.
Obviously, the story is SoujixNaoto, which has become my OTP. I realize my love for StanxLion was something I was well known amongst my readers for here, but it would appear that these two can't seem to get out of my mind and I simply adore the couple. Thus, they've made it to the position of my OTP. Of course, StahnxLion is a very close second... but I ramble and go off topic.
Obviously, I don't own Persona 4. If I had, I would have added "romantic fluff" between Souji and Naoto to my hearts desire in the game, rather then spending my time writing the fanfiction for it.
I thank you for stopping by.
Full summary: When Naoto receives a call in the middle of the night from a hospital in Souji's hometown, she immediately plans for her departure. When she arrives, the news that greets her is earth-shattering. Taking the blame for Souji's condition upon herself, she refuses to leave his side until he is able to stand on his own again completely... But how can see save the one she loves...when she herself is quickly fading away? SoujixNaoto
"Who could be calling this late?" Naoto muttered as she quickly scrambled across her room, retrieving her phone from under a mass of homework papers that she'd yet to organize and put away. A quick glance at the clock told her it was almost ten in the evening. Not at all a normal hour for someone to make a call. If this is Yosuke-senpai with pointless questions again… The sleuth's mood dropped several points as the memory of just over a week ago when Yosuke had called at three in the morning claiming that he was 'bored' and had started bombarding her with random questions. Needless to say the next day she made it a point to explain to him by 'creative' means that she would not tolerate such an act again…but she had a gut feeling that threatening to show him just how good she was with a revolver would only scare him for so long until he figured out she never intended to shoot him.
"Naoto Shirogane, can I help you?"
"Ms. Shirogane? Are you familiar with a young name by the name of 'Souji Seta'?"
"Senpai? I—why? Who is this?"
"…I realize this may be hard to take in so late at night. My name is Dr. Fukazawa, I work in the intensive care unit at the University Hospital in Tokyo…I'm afraid I have solemn news. There's been an accident. Mr. Seta was brought in early this afternoon and he's been unconscious since his arrival."
"W-what?" Naoto felt something catch in her throat as she struggled to hold the cell-phone to her ear, feeling her stomach plummet to the floor. "What… what happened? An accident? I don't—what?"
"There was an accident this afternoon. A traffic accident."
"He—what hospital did you say he was in?"
"Tokyo University Hospital… Ms. Shirogane, I realize this news is hard to take in but—"
The line was dead before the doctor could finish.
The door to Naoto's room was thrown open as the estate's secretary rushed into the room, his hair disheveled from sleep and eyes wide with panic, darting around the room, sunglasses still on the dresser in his bedroom completely forgotten.
"N-Naoto-sama? What—are you alright?! What's happening? Are you hurt-? Did someone--why are you packing?"
"I need you to get me the next train to Tokyo. Get the car ready, I'll pick it up at the station, order online."
"Naoto-sama, with all due respect it's ten in the evening. I'm sure whatever it is can wait until—"
"It can't wait!" Naoto cried, eyes red and swollen as she shoved several shirts into a duffle-bag. "I—Senpai was—Don't argue with me! Just order the ticket!!!"
"But nothing!" Her voice was now growing in pitch as well as volume. "Senpai—Souji was in an accident! He's in intensive care in Tokyo! I will not 'wait'! He could be dying! He could…could…" Naoto's fingers tightened around the pair of dark pants in her hands, trembling as she fought to keep the small amount of self-control she still had. "If… p-please… I have to…" she choked, "Yakushiji-san, please… I…"
"Naoto-sama…" Yakushiji sighed, running a hand through his hair slowly. Whatever happened, it's really upsetting her… "Naoto-sama, you need to calm down, I—"
"I can't calm-!"
"Naoto-sama!" the secretary cried in exasperation, grabbing the sleuth's shoulders firmly. "Calm down and listen to me! I'll order the ticket, but you must calm down. I can't send you on a train in such a state. You must promise me you'll control yourself! You're only making the situation more stressful on yourself."
"Now… continue packing and I will take care of the car and train ticket. But you must promise that won't have a breakdown on me. Your grandfather would never forgive me if you got hurt. Now, hurry up and finish packing. If I recall the trains leave on the hour and if you want to make the one at eleven, we need to leave soon."
"Yakushiji-san… thank you."
"Excuse me, my name is Naoto Shirogane. I'm here to see Souji Seta. I was informed that he was brought in this after—"
"Ah… Shirogane-san," the nurse sitting behind the welcome desk in the main lobby offered the sleuth a kind smile. "We've been expecting you. Dr. Fukazawa said that you'd be arriving soon." Naoto glanced at the clock as the nurse turned her attention back to the computer screen in front of her.
3:15am… I didn't get here fast enough. Yakushiji-san was kind enough to get me a ticket for a train with fewer stops but…
"If you'll just follow Ms. Ikeda, she'll take you up to Mr. Seta's room."
Naoto jumped as she was pulled from her thoughts, nodding absently as she turned to look at a second nurse, slightly taller than herself, with a clipboard clutched tightly in her arms.
"Shirogane-san," she greeted with a polite nod, "We'll be going to the third floor of intensive care, if you'll follow me…"
The walk to the room was completely silent, breathing itself seemed to stop as they reached the third floor and started down the hall slowly. Naoto's knuckles were slowly turning white as her grip on the strap of her dufflebag tightened with each step she took and by the time they reached a door near the end of the hall with a temporary sign reading 'Seta Souji' on it, her fingers had gone completely numb.
"Will you be alright on your own? His parents are in the patient's rest room. I can wake them to alert of your arrival or have a third bed set up for—"
"That won't be necessary," Naoto cut the nurse off, "I'll be fine on my own."
"If you insist, Shirogane-san. I'll be—oh, just a moment, may I ask you a question regarding Seta-san?"
"…What is it?"
"If you'll come inside with me… there is something I need to show you first."
Ikeda opened the door and stepped inside the room, quickly followed by Naoto, who dropped her bag into an empty chair in the corner of the room, confident that she would end up dropping it due the excessive trembling of her hands. She hadn't even looked at the bed yet, and as it was, she was too scared, terrified of the sight that would greet her.
"Do you recognize this? Seta-san dropped it in the middle of the street and it was as he tried to retrieve it that the accident occurred. Have you ever seen this? His parents didn't know where he'd gotten it, but he had quite the grip on it despite his unconscious state. Whatever it is, it must be important to him."
The nurse extended an open fist and Naoto felt her throat close and stomach plummet for the second time since she'd received that call. A silver watch sparkled dully in the nurse's hand, letting out several soft beeps. Two pairs of eyes fell on the watch as words appeared on the screen, shinning bright neon green against the watch's dark face.
"T-that… Senpai… was hit because of this?" Naoto muttered softly, voice trembling.
"According to witnesses, yes. Do you know what it is?"
"It's a watch," Naoto started, raising her hand when the nurse took an offended look. "I…made it for him." She held her own wrist up, showing the nurse the face of her own watch which read, 1 Meter.. "It was a Christmas gift, so that we'd always be able to find the other. I…"
Ikeda fell silent, biting her lip as she watched Naoto's face contort in pain as she struggled to keep a strong face.
"You shouldn't blame yourself, Hon. It's a finely made watch. It must have slipped off his wrist. Why don't you stay with him for a bit? I'll have someone bring up some tea, I'm sure he'd love to know you're here."
"He's unconscious," Naoto muttered, "He wouldn't know the difference between myself and his own mother."
"I wouldn't be so sure," Ikeda smiled softly, "You'd be surprised the power a human voice can have on someone in his state. It's something I don't think will ever be explain, but I'm sure it's your voice he's waiting for. If he was willing to risk Tokyo traffic to keep it safe, you must be much more important than you think." Naoto remained silent, shaking her head slowly.
"…I'll leave you two alone. Please don't hesitate to pull the nurse call cord if you need anything."
Waiting until the door opened and shut again, the sleuth slowly made her way over to the bed, keeping her eyes hidden behind the rim of her hat. She gulped, raising a trembling hand to take hold of the barrier blocking her view of the figure on the bed. Please… please don't let it be serious. Let him be okay… please. However, the bitter reality of where she was laughed in the back of her mind cruelly. Someone who was placed in the intensive care unit of a hospital was usual far from 'alright'.
"Oh God…Senpai," Naoto choked as she tore the hat away from her head, losing her grip on it as her eyes fell on Souji and a hand flew to her mouth, stifling a sob.
Several IV cords started at his left arm and rose up and around the headboard, connected to several colorful bags of fluid, one of them dark crimson in color. His left arm, bent over his stomach, was covered from the wrist to his elbow in a brace, leaving his fingers and thumb sticking out. One of his legs appeared bigger than the other under the blankets telling Naoto that once of his legs was in a cast. Various bandages lined what could be seen of his chest and several more covered his cheeks, all supporting dark shadows on them that were obviously blood. Finally, Naoto's eyes fell on the last covering that she could notice. The white bandages wrapped tightly around Souji's head covering his eyes and the bridge of his nose.
Another choked sob filled the room as Naoto reached forward, hesitantly, as if touching a glass doll that would shatter if even the faintest amount of excess pressure was made. Her fingers traced over the bandages over his face, trailing down his cheek to the shoulder, across his arms and finally stopping at his hand, taking it in her down gently, running her thumb slowly over the back.
"S-Senpai…y-you idiot!" Her voice trembled with anger and sorrow as her face contorted into a pained expression, causing her vision to blur as tears filled and fell from her eyes without stop. "What were you thinking!? What did I tell you about risking your life for me? It was just a watch! I could have made you a new one; I could have fixed that one! But you had to act like an idiot and rush back to grab it! It was just a watch, a toy! What if you'd gotten killed, Senpai? Did you ever stop to think about what would have, could have… what did happen because you ran out into the middle of traffic? Damn it! And not just normal traffic! You live in Tokyo! Shouldn't you know how dangerous it is? Did you think I was going to be made at you for breaking it!? Take this into account, Senpai… I can't be mad at someone who's dead!!!"
And it was then the dam broke.
Collapsing into a chair next to the bed, Naoto buried her face in her arms, still clutching Souji's hand in her own as melancholy sobs filled the room. Her shoulders shook violently, causing her whole body to shake with the heavy cries that deluged from her small form. Everything had come crashing down. The loneliness of the years that passed without seeing him, the sorrow of days gone by when they hadn't been able to talk, the disappointment of checking a phone and inbox with no messages and now, the fear that she might lose all of that completely, the thought of never seeing the figure in front of her again, with only a tombstone and memories of proof that he ever existed.
"S-Senpai… wake up… Come back. There are people waiting for you, people who love you. They're scared, all of them. They—I can't lose you." This is my fault… this is all my fault. "Senpai…" If I hadn't given him that watch, this never would have happened. It wasn't supposed to hurt him…it was supposed to remind him he had someone waiting for him. "Please…" Someone who loved him more than anyone else in this world. "…Come back to me, please." You gave my life meaning. You made me realize my gender didn't matter… you gave me a reason to stay. So please… wake up. I can't lose you.
"Senpai—Souji-kun, I love you… wake up."
As the minutes slipped by, Naoto's heavy sobs turned into soft hiccups as the flow of tears slowed and finally stopped, leaving her eyes swollen and red, tears staining her rosy cheeks. With each passing second, the young detective slowly tipped forward as exhaust finally caught up and took over, forcing the sleuth's eyes shut. Sleep took over as she slumped against the bed, using her arms as a pillow, her hand still wrapped loosely around his own.