Disclaimer: Higurashi does not belong to me in any way whatsoever. Inspiration for this fic came after watching Episode 23 of Kai when Shion learns of Satoshi's fate—so sad.
The blue-haired girl lay on the wooden floor, her eyes wide, her body jerking in the dim light. Shion stood above her, smirking. Served the little brat right for not only trying to kill her, but for helping in spiriting Satoshi-kun away.
Rika used the wall to support her weight as she stood up, still jerking and struggling. Vengeance pumping through her veins, Shion laughed, "Hilarious! You're cracking me up over here! Let's see how much longer it'll take for you to die."
The malicious smile on her face grew. "Ah," she said, "but if I let that happen, I'll miss out on the fun of torturing you." She was beginning to doubt Rika would die anyway; if she was going to die, it would've happened seconds ago. At the very least, it would leave her incapacitated.
"All right, I've decided," declared Shion. "Let's change the stage to the Fun-Fun Underground Torture Chamber."
She began to laugh, thinking she had the advantage over Rika—then stopped when she saw Rika slowly turn around. She reached for a knife with her twitching yet gradually stable hand and picked it up. She turned to Shion with a determined, fierce look in her eyes.
Shion smirked. "Oh? You still have some strength?" She laughed as Rika began to head off, "Well, it'd be no fun if you didn't. I've been dying to give your fingers joints a little lesson in carpentry, so you should stay up."
Rika stopped walking, her back turned to Shion. "Unfortunately, I have to turn that lesson down," she said in a voice far more adult than Shion had ever heard from a girl like Rika before. Rika looked over her shoulder and added, "You damned sadist."
Shion laughed and walked to face opposite Rika. If a fight was what she wanted, so be it. She said, "Ah, now that's more like how the Furude head should act. You seem to be a little under the weather. If all you can do is stand up...then how can you resist?"
Rika said in the same, adult tone, "True. Just like you said, this is all I can do." Her pupils contracted and she concluded, "But if you're going to put on a show of torturing me...sorry, but I'd rather leave the stage."
Shion laughed, "Leave? If you can, then do it!" Did this brat really think she was going to get away that easy?"
Rika pointed the knife at Shion, as though she were about to attack. Shion turned on her taser, prepared for whatever Rika had coming her way.
To her surprise, Rika braced the knife's handle against the wall. Surprise bestowed her even more when Rika began butting her head against the knife. A smile twitched across Shion's face as Rika continued to thrust her head on the knife before finally collapsing. Shion let out a maniacal laugh upon laugh upon laugh...
Shion gasped and her eyes shot open. She lay in bed, feeling her heart pound against her chest. Her eyes grew accustomed to the dark and she curled up into a ball, trembling. Recently, dreams like this were becoming more and more common for her. She used to have them an awful lot as she entered university, but they eventually went away. She thought she had put them behind her...until now.
There was a knock on the door. "Kasai," muttered Shion, knowing what he was here for. She closed her eyes and pretended to just be waking up as the door opened, pouring a bit of light in. She yawned and sat up in bed. "Kasai?" she said.
"It's six o'clock," explained Kasai, his dark hair neatly combed for the occasion Shion was to prepare for. "You should be getting dressed in a few minutes. Then it's off to Mion's."
"Thanks," said Shion, getting out of bed. "But I can wake myself up now, Kasai. I just forgot to set my alarm, that's all."
"But of course," said Kasai apologetically. He closed the door, to give Shion some privacy to get changed. Shion wandered across the room to the day-by-day page calendar on her dresser. She tore off a page and sighed at the date presented before her: February 19, 1989.
The day her sister would be getting married.
A few hours later, Shion was attaching a white hood to Mion's kimono, which was as white as the first fallen snow.
"I can't be nervous," said Mion, taking in a few deep breaths to calm herself down. "It's my wedding day. I've been waiting for this for years. And it's Keiichi—how can I be nervous?"
"I was the same way when I married Kiyoshi," said Rena, looking up from the pink sock she was knitting to pass the time. "But you know what?" She rubbed her belly happily. "It was worth it."
Shion tried not to let the sting of envy she felt get to her as she at the two women. In university, Mion and Keiichi had finally gotten past their stubborn pride and began to have a romantic relationship (after something of an awkward start when Keiichi loudly shouted across campus he wanted to take Mion out to Angel Mort), all leading up to this day. Rena herself had met a nice yet quiet man by the name of Kiyoshi Abukara, whom she married during her third year of university; now, nearly two years later, she was expecting her first child and quite ecstatic over finally being able to take something cute home—and be able to truly call it her own.
And as for Shion...her beloved Satoshi was lying in a hospital bed in the basement of the Irie Clinic, unconscious for at least seven or eight years now, having nearly succumbed to Level 5 of Hinimizawa syndrome and needing sedation to keep him stable. Needless to say, she was just a bit resentful of the others around her. Rika and Satoko, despite having grown up to be real beauties, had yet to find love, but she knew it wouldn't be long before they did. Hell, even Kasai had found someone special.
Time and time again, Shion had been told by Mion to let go of Satoshi, that she couldn't just wait around for him all her life. She had tried to move on and find other men...and yet, the hope that a cure for Hinimizawa syndrome would finally be discovered, the hope that Satoshi would awaken and come back to her lingered in her mind. And so she continued to stop by the clinic once a week to read to him, hoping that somehow her words would cure him.
Shion looked up and saw Mion's pure white face. Even through the paint, her smile could still be identifiable. "Satoshi on your mind?" she said.
Shion nodded. "It's just so hard," she admitted. "I keep hoping he'll wake up every day, and he might, right? Dr. Irie said the cure's nearly developed."
"How about this—if Satoshi does not wake up by the time we're twenty-five, then you can move on and find someone special," suggested Mion. "How does that sound?"
"I guess that's okay," said Shion slowly. Then, more assuredly, she said, "No. I will try to move on if absolutely nothing has happened by then."
"That's the spirit," said Mion, giving Shion a pat on the back. She stood up and said, "Well, we'd better get ready."
Dr. Irie stood above the bed of Satoshi Houjou, feeling the burden of grief on his shoulders. Poor Satoshi...he had been such a bright, brilliant boy. He had done nothing to deserve this. Why did it always have to be the nicest people in Hinamizawa who were affected the worse by this? Why?
Dr. Irie sighed and placed one hand on Satoshi's forehead. The cure for Hinamizawa syndrome had finally been developed that morning. After years of slaving over it, trying to find the precise cure, it had been developed. And after seeing the look in Shion's eyes after learning of her beloved's fate, Dr. Irie had resolved to make Satoshi the first person to be given the vaccine.
He withdrew the syringe from its case. He was both ecstatic and hesitant. The side effects were unknown, as it was still very new. What if the worse came of it? What if it only made Satoshi crazier and he ended up clawing out his own throat?
"He is never going to pat my head anymore?"
Dr. Irie wielded the syringe. He was prepared the worse. Should it backfire...
He dabbed Satoshi's left arm with alcohol. He took careful aim...
Satoko's smile...it had been a while since she last smiled...God, what he would do to get her to smile again...
And injected it deep into his arm.
The two ran through the forest, happy and carefree. They did not hear the sounds of a vicious couple barking at them, nor did they hear angry words of hate being carelessly tossed their way. No, they heard the sound of cicadas crying, and of their own laughter.
The two fell over and laughed. Satoshi gave Satoko a hug and held her close. "Hey," he said. "I have a surprise for you."
He began to reach for the teddy bear he had been hiding in the bushes...
Right there, the dream ended. Satoshi slowly opened his eyes. Everything around him was blurry, not quite having a clear shape...
A familiar voice called out. The world around him began to take shape. He now had a clear image of a smiling Dr. Irie standing above him. "Satoshi," he said, smiling. "How do you feel?"
"I," said Satoshi slowly, "feel...okay." Suddenly, the world did not seem like such a dangerous place out to get him and Satoko. He now felt much more content and at peace.
Dr. Irie seemed to be a bit cautious as he began to undo the straps holding Satoshi down. "What am I doing here?" asked Satoshi, now curious. "How long have I been out for?"
"About seven years, give or take," replied Dr. Irie.
"Seven years," muttered Satoshi, slowly sitting up. He rubbed his head...it was coming back to him now...his aunt...that girl who claimed to be Mion's twin...Satoko...the bear...
"The bear!" exclaimed Satoshi, who leaped out of bed just as the straps around his ankles were undone. "Satoko! She doesn't have it yet! Where is it—a-ha!"
He dashed towards the bear and slung it over his shoulders. "Slow down, Satoshi," chuckled Dr. Irie. "You have to get dressed first."
"Oh, right," said Satoshi quickly, putting the bear down on the floor. "Where is Satoko?"
Dr. Irie, hoping this would bring happiness to both Shion and Satoko, gladly replied, "At a wedding. Would you like me to take you there later tonight?"
Satoshi fervently nodded, glad to be back to Hinamizawa.