This story takes place around chapter 271-273 of the manga School Rumble.
A/n: Sorry that I haven't updated or posted anything in … what… 5 years? Dear god. I am 20 now, and a different person then when I wrote my other stories. I do not know if I will update them or finish them… I almost want to redo them entirely, since I can write better now (I hope). Anyway, I read School Rumble the manga (available at onemanga dot com) and was disappointed by the lack of romance between Tenma and Kurasama besides the few adorable chapters 271-273. So I added in my own bit!
Disclaimer: As much as I wish I did, I do not own School Rumble, Karasuma Oji or Tenma Tskumato.
Oji Karasuma awoke for the first time after his operation to find a sharp ache in his chest he could not understand. Placing one hand over the spot, he closed his eyes and remembered the massive ten pound bowl of curry he had eaten prior to the operation – against the advice of his doctors. Could it be… indigestion?
An image flickered and took shape in his mind. A girl… an important girl… smiling up at him, laughing, with beautiful eyes…
"Who…?" Karasuma whispered, brow furrowed, as he struggled to understand the gaping hole in his heart that seemed to grow larger with each fragment of memory he grasped.
"Tenma?" A soft voice asked
Karasuma looked up to see a tall blond woman in a white lab coat observing him from the entrance of his small room. She smiled kindly and Karasuma recognized her as one of the nurses of the hospital.
"You called out that name in your sleep." The woman explained,
For an instant, the image in Karasuma's mind cleared and his heart contracted painfully. It was gone just as quick, however, leaving the former 2-C student more confused than ever.
The woman, Claire, from her nametag, stepped closer and examined the clip board at the end of Karasuma's bed. Nodding to herself, the nurse began checking the various machines in the room.
"She must be very important to you," Claire said, lifting her patient's arm to inspect his IV, "you sounded as if you needed her very much." The nurse placed the clipboard at the end of Karasuma's bed and smiled at him once again, her brown eyes twinkling.
"Do you remember anything?"
Karasuma looked down at his lap and tried again to piece together the broken fragments of his memory. Images flitted past, but like wisps of smoke he was unable to hold on to them for more than an instant.
The girl... Tenma? … Staring at him in horror with a gun pointed towards his chest…
Handing him an onigiri (rice ball) blushing adorably…
Running away with tears flowing down her beautiful cheeks…
Karasuma looked up to see Claire looking at him, concerned. He released his hands from the blanket he was holding forcefully and blinked, letting tears slide down his cheeks.
"Are you alright Oji-san?" Claire asked, putting a slender hand over Kurasama's fist.
"Something is … wrong." Karasuma simply said, "Something is missing."
Claire smiled sadly and patted her patient's hand.
"I understand," she said, "Just keep trying; it will all come back eventually. I know you can do it."
With that the nurse walked out of the room and closed the door silently.
Outside the room, she wiped away a tear and shook her head in sorrow, "That poor child."
Alone with his thoughts, Karasuma looked around at his surroundings, white walls, white cabinets, white blinds partly obscuring a large window. On the table beside the bed, a sketchpad and pencil.
I can draw. Karasuma thought, as he reached for the pad and pencil. His hands starting tracing a figure before he knew it, and he watched in mild surprise as a beautiful smiling face took shape. The girl, again.
"Who is this Tenma?" Karasuma whispered, as he penciled in wings and a halo.
"Who is she … to me?"
The drawing blurred and Karasuma, giving in to exhaustion, faded into a restless slumber.
Sometime later, he awoke knowing she was there. Although hard to see, Karasuma could make out the girl's form and reached out to her, suddenly remembering everything.
He spoke without realizing what he was saying, only seeing the girl he needed so desperately slowly fading out of sight.
"Save me!" He cried finally, grasping air as the image of his phantom faded. An illusion.
Karasuma, shaking from emotions he had never before expressed, collapsed and felt the hole in his heart chip away at his soul.
…The Next Day…
Karasuma awoke to a screech,
and saw a girl diving towards him. He shifted out of the way to avoid collision and the girl landed face first on the floor, but immediately got back up and ran to face him.
"Hey don't be like that - I came all the way to see you! Though it was kinda hard…" She said, and smiled radiantly.
Kurasama blinked and reached for the first thing he saw, a rubix cube. Something to do to distract him from this girl, who made the aching in his chest begin again. He heard her speak, and felt her sadness when he did not respond.
She makes it worse. He thought, and avoided the gaze of the girl in front of him, her hands balled into fists, tears flowing freely down her face.
"I don't care." She finally said. Karasuma looked up, and saw her wiping her tears away, shaking her head from side to side furiously.
"I don't care if you don't remember me now. You will. I will help you no matter what!" The girl leaned down and wrapped her arms around Karasuma, who gazed, confused, at the girl attached to his waist.
I do not understand. He thought, putting a hand on her head. Why is she so sad?
Tenma sniffed loudly and looked up, hope shining in her huge eyes.
…Beautiful… Karasuma blinked and remained expressionless, despite the longing he could feel building up inside of him. He turned his head to look out the window and grabbed a Kleenex box, handing it to the sobbing girl still attached to him.
"Th..thanks Kurasama-kun…" The girl sobbed, blowing her nose loudly enough to make patient next door bang his cane against the wall.
"SHADDUP YOU LOVE BIRDS" The old man's voice called.
Tenma immediately leaped off of Kurasama and started stammering about how they weren't "lovers" or anything like that. Kurasama noticed how cute she was when she was flustered. He stifled a chuckle and looked at the wheelchair next to his bed.
"Do you want to go somewhere?" Tenma asked cheerfully,
"Yes. Outside," Kurasama said, looking at her blankly.
Tenma, her face alight with happiness, put her arms around Kurasama and helped him out of his bed. Lost in her imagination, she didn't notice the strong arms that wrapped around her and held her against a warm body.
Kurasama put his chin on Tenma's head and sighed. This feels so good, He thought as he held the oblivious girl, who had giant hearts for eyes. The pain is going away. The girl's slight frame fit snugly against the taller boy, as if she belonged there.
Taking advantage of her distraction, Kurasama hugged her tightly to him and felt the constant pain he had grown used to over the past days slowly recede. Sighing, he released her.
"I can stand,"
Tenma heard, breaking out of her fantasy of being rescued by a Kurasama-knight on a white horse. She stood there for a second, holding on to her crush, who was standing without any difficultly, and smiling slightly.
Flustered, Tenma jumped away and brought the wheelchair over for Kurasama to sit in.
Outside, Tenma watched in awe as her crush sketched out a landscape, the serious expression on his face, deep in concentration. Her eyes softened as she remembered class 2-C and all the fun times.
Oh Yakumo I miss you. I hope that monkey Harima isn't doing anything perverted to you! She thought, then giggled as she imagined Yakumo blushing as she avoided Harima's monkey-like face.
Broken out of his concentration by the noise, Kurasama glanced over at the girl, sitting on a bench behind him. The look on her face was dreamy.
Who is she Kurasama thought, feeling the pain in his chest flare up again. She is so cute.
Tenma looked up and saw that he was looking at her.
"I was just remembering things we did in 2-C!" she said, blushing and laughing awkwardly.
Kurasama, confused, nodded and went back to concentrating on his picture. "2-C"? He thought. What is "2-C"?
Tenma, disappointed at his lack of response, sat back and closed her eyes, feeling the fatigue of the past few days for the first time.
"I will just rest my eyes…" she mumbled, before falling into a deep sleep.
A few minutes later, Kurasama finished his portrait and wheeled over to the confusing girl, who was snoring and kicking wildly on the bench.
"But I LOVE curry… -rasama would be so happy… I will fight for it!" She said between snores, lost in her dream world.
Kurasama watched her silently, feeling a sense of peace settle over him. Enjoying the respite from the usual chaotic images in his mind, he watched her for a full hour before waking her.
"Miss? Wake up" He said, shaking Tenma's shoulder. "Miss?"
Tenma shot upright and smashed her head against Kurasama's, then immediately fell back onto the bench, her eye's dizzy spirals.
"Whhaaa??" She cried, getting up slowly and rubbing her sore head.
Kurasama, on the other hand, had a moment of clarity, and pointed at the girl,
"Tenma" he said, "You are called Tenma"
"YES!" Tenma yelled, and laughed with joy, closing her eyes lest the tears flow freely again.
Kurasama, in awe of her beautiful expression, turned away and said simply,
"Let's go back."
Much later, when Tenma drifted off to sleep again, quietly this time, Kurasama watched her and remembered her laughing face clearly.
What if she leaves? He thought to himself I want to remember that moment. Taking up his pad and pencil again, Kurasama sketched out the face of the girl… Tenma, and recalled her beauty from memory.
The portrait took shape quickly, and soon Kurasama looked down upon Tenma's happy expression, a memory he cherished already. His heart warmed at the sight, and he felt this girl was something special to him.
It is cold in here. He thought, and looked at the sleeping girl beside him. How she had managed to fall asleep in a sitting position, no one knows, but Karasuma did not wish for her to wake up cold, or to get sick because she fell asleep before she could grab a blanket.
Expressionless, Karasuma reached over to grasp Tenma in his arms, who was surprisingly light despite her constant fighting with the scale. He gently eased her onto the bed beside him and covered her with his blanket. Tenma immediately relaxed and reached out, whispering "Kura…sama…love you"
Kurasama felt his heart squeeze, but this time it was a pain he wished for. Silently, so as not to wake the sleeping girl, he tucked a length of hair behind her ear and caressed her cheek with the back of his hand.
Tenma…Kurasama thought, wrapping an arm over her, you are what was missing.
Tenma, still asleep, smiled.