Official chapter name: Oh dear, not Canada…
Hi again :)
He heard Nisei snicker behind his water glass and frowned.
"It's American," he defended himself flatly. Nisei opted for a slow shrug.
"I like the light hair and fur – it's refreshing," his Fighter purred, eyeing him amusedly. "Does Ritsuka like it?"
Seimei wondered for the umpteenth lime why he was sitting at a small café on some uneven chair, sipping coffee across from Nisei and having what was supposed to be 'pleasant conversation'. At least Nisei seemed to find it pleasant.
"I didn't ask, but he didn't recognize me so it hardly matters."
"What happened, anyway? I want details!" the dark-haired man purred, swirling a straw around in his drink idly. Seimei wanted to snap and tell him to go pester someone else, but he was reluctant to trigger Nisei's aggression by depriving him of some attention. Nisei could very well kidnap Ritsuka again if he got too bored or mad. So he decided to indulge his Fighter a little bit.
"My what?" the smaller boy whispered as if afraid of being overheard. Seimei noted dully that he had grown a few inches and would rival his own impressive height in a year, give or take a few months.
"Your Fighter. Don't you know what that is?" Ritsuka shook his head shyly. "It means I was born to protect you, and that I know everything about you."
"So you can help me remember who I am?" he dared to hope. If he did, he could impress his doctors and they might release him from the hospital. He had nowhere to go (as far as he knew), but he decided that nowhere was better than the hospital with its bland colors and questionable staff.
When his Fighter nodded, he told himself that he'd had a stroke of luck just then.
Seimei, for the sake of keeping things on the preferred track, didn't press the issue that he should, were he a real Fighter, obey his Sacrifice blindly. He might do everything Ritsuka wished but he wouldn't obey. That was Soubi's area of expertise, not his. He smiled softly at his younger brother and reached out to touch his cheek. Ritsuka didn't flinch away as with the doctors and leaned into the touch instead, albeit frowning.
Why am I letting him touch me? He wondered worriedly. Ohhhh, he smells nice.
Seimei kept contact with his brother as he told him stories about himself; Ritsuka watched with large eyes, fascinated by the life of this person whom he didn't know but would soon have to incarnate. At one point he wondered if he should take notes – apparently he'd liked and disliked a lot of things before – but he figured that would look nerdy and he didn't want the handsome boy to go away. So he just nodded and tried to retain as much as he could until Seimei stopped and told him that he didn't have to remember everything that very day.
At one point two doctors came into the room, having apparently been told that a stranger young man had been conversing with their patient for quite some time. They told him to leave and, when he simply ignored them, threatened to call security. They left to do so and Seimei kissed the crown of Ritsuka's hair before hopping out the window like a cat. Ritsuka's face turned a deep shade of red but the boy was gone before he could even chew him out for doing something so intimate without warning.
Three security guards entered his room and searched it thoroughly before declaring the stranger gone and they left, loudly proclaiming that they wanted donuts. It was the doctor's turn to interrogate him now – and they were mad.
"What did he say to you?"
"Did he claim to know you?"
"Did he touch you?"
"Did he scare you?"
"Are you alright?"
He answered each question with either a yes, a no or an 'I don't remember'. Most of his answers were lies but the doctors didn't care enough to notice. Once they were done jotting things down on a notepad they left and Ritsuka lay down to take a well-deserved nap. Just as he was about to fade out of reality and join his dream world, he felt a hand touch his face again and someone pressed a kiss on his cheek. But they would fade along with his sleep.
"Oh, that's nice." Nisei declared dully, actually busy eyeing an effeminate barman lustily. Seimei wondered when exactly Nisei had gone so awry – or was he simply used to Soubi's complete submission? Whatever the reason, he felt that his long-haired Fighter was no longer appreciating the time he wasted on his person, so he decided to leave and let the man stew in loneliness for a couple of weeks.
When he pushed his chair back and stood up, Nisei's eyes snapped off the barman and glued themselves to his Sacrifice. He was making an odd, displeasing grimace.
"You're leaving already?" he whined.
"I think I'll go see Soubi. Spending time with you is useless and unfulfilling – and leave me alone until I call for you. Your presence is irritating," he declared curtly, wrapping his scarf tighter around his slender neck. He'd had to go buy some new clothes to suit his new look – he didn't think changing his exterior was a reason to lose all fashion sense.
If Nisei knew he was just trying to make him jealous by mentioning Soubi, he didn't show. Instead the man crossed his arms over his chest and pouted, forgetting all about the barman who was now returning his longing looks. He said nothing as his Sacrifice left but Seimei could hear him making small noises of distress…
Seimei was fishing around for the spare key to Soubi's apartment when his cell phone rang. He flipped it on to see that he'd gotten a text message from Ritsuka asking him to come over. He sighed. At least Ritsuka had found that Seimei had programmed his phone number into Ritsuka's own phone while he was fast asleep.
Instead of answering, he decided to take Soubi's car – recently bought – and make his way to the hospital at once. He only went inside to take Soubi's keys from a coffee table (the Fighter simply watched him quietly) and grab a granola bar from the kitchen to settle his stomach. After all, he didn't know how long he'd be staying in Ritsuka's room.
After driving at high speed to the hospital and parking illegally again, he snuck around the side of the hospital and climbed up the wall as easily as if it were a ladder. He was glad he remembered which window was Ritsuka's. He had a bit of trouble opening the window while hanging on to avoid another trip down four floors, but he finally managed and heaved himself into Ritsuka's hospital room…only to find some small, wide-eyed seven year old peering at him curiously.
"Hello. I'm Suki," the boy screamed, jumping out of bed and lunging at him. Still disoriented, the tall Aoyagi boy was unable to flee in time and was caught in a hug so tight it put snakes to shame. At first he tried to be curt and tell the boy to return to his bed, but when that didn't work he tried sad, angry, nice and then downright mean. Downright mean did the trick – it always did. He straightened his clothes before exiting the boy's room and trying to look like he belonged there while walking down the hall. Some nurses were suspicious and made a move to question him but they decided not to before they could reach him. Unfortunately he realized that he had no clue where Ritsuka was and that the staff had probably been warned to throw out anyone who came asking for him. Maybe that was why they'd moved him to another room.
He turned around and headed for the directory counter near the elevators where two nurses were chatting amicably behind the counter. As he was going to talk to them, a bald doctor came out of his office and rudely bumped into him; Seimei hardly moved but the doctor was forced to face him thanks to the force of impact and Seimei saw a flash of his nametag pinned to his white coat. The man grumpily excused himself and left in a hurry.
"Excuse me, ladies," he addressed the two young nurses. They stopped mid-sentence and turned to face him. "Dr. Shioki needs some extra personnel down at the very end of the hall. I'm not sure what's going on but it seemed urgent."
They were awfully suspicious so he gave them a warm smile; it effectively warmed them up somewhat and they left, murmuring and giggling and looking at him over his shoulder.
"Oh, he's foreign! I hope he's still there when we come back. Do you think he's an intern?" he heard one say.
"I hope so. He must be if one of the doctors sent him, don't you think?" the second one squealed.
"You're right! But what…" By then they were too far away to hear and Seimei had found what he was looking for hidden underneath some patient's file: a list of the patients and their room numbers. He dumped the papers back on the desk and hurried down the hall, careful not to cross the nurses again in case they'd found out that there was nothing waiting for them at the end of the hall.
He entered Ritsuka's new room to find several things he did not want to find in his baby brother's room: locked windows and their mother. The woman was standing awkwardly in the room and appeared to have nothing to say. Poor Ritsuka had forgotten that his mother despised him and was trying desperately to talk to her like his doctors wanted. But she remained silent and still and Seimei knew the doctors told her to stay or else she'd be long gone.
"Joshua!" Ritsuka exclaimed when he spotted the blonde boy in his doorway. He'd been worried when the man hadn't answered his text but was glad that his Fighter had acknowledged them and come for him. Maybe it hadn't just been a silly dream or a nasty prank.
At first Seimei looked around for the person Ritsuka was calling out to before remembering that Joshua was him. He smiled again and went to sit down on Ritsuka's bed near his hip, ignoring Misaki. And for a while the feeling was mutual.
"Are you alright? You asked me to come."
Ritsuka nodded shyly and rolled onto his side so he was facing his Fighter. "I just wanted to…um…" he blushed and stuttered, "s-see you."
"I'm glad to see you too," he responded with a smile. He slipped one hand into Ritsuka's hair –it was so silky, even with the hospital's once-per-three-days shower and bath policy – and massaged his scalp gently until the boy fell asleep, face pressed against the side of Seimei's leg. Only when light snored were coming out of Ritsuka's parted lips did Misaki speak.
"Seimei? Is that you?" she called out hoarsely. He supposed that without Ritsuka to scream after at home she no longer spoke and her voice was underused.
"No, that's not me," he snapped, waving a hand at her dismissively. He only realized his mistake when she began sobbing.
"Oh it is you, I know it. Only Seimei would treat me like that…I thought you were…were dead. I'm so glad. So glad that you're alive. Let's go home and I'll make you something good to eat," she cooed, smiling, some of her long hair slipping over her bony shoulder. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen her smile and only wished that Ritsuka could have seen it before his memories were wiped out.
"I don't know who Seimei is," he declared loudly. "I'm sorry, you have me confused with someone else."
But Misaki would have none of it; she shook her head like a mad person – she was – and pulled on her own hair.
"But Seimei's dead? You look so much like my Seimei…oh, maybe I'm wrong…No, I'm so sure."
Before the little charade could escalade any more, Seimei heard people hurrying towards the room and ducked into Ritsuka's tiny private bathroom. He heard the doctors come in and extract Misaki form the room with soft words. Thankfully she seemed to have forgotten her confusion now that he was away from her and obediently left the room with the doctors.
He decided to let Ritsuka sleep but was unwilling to leave his little brother just yet, so he manoeuvred himself behind the slumbering young boy and wrapped his hands around the frail, slender body. It almost felt like it did before. Back when they would sleep together every night and pretend to be asleep hours into the morning just to enjoy it a little longer. He found that he slept better knowing that Ritsuka was with him – safe.
Both boys were awoken by a piercing scream. They groggily turned around in the bed and stretched; one might say, watching them, that they looked very alike in their wake-up routine.
"Holy shit, the foreign guy is sleeping in bed with one of the patients!" A pause. "No it's not a joke! They're hugging and every-oh shit they're waking up. DOCTOR!"
Seimei snapped out of his daze and was up and out of the window in a flash. Mercifully, Ritsuka understood that the doctors wouldn't let him see the blonde boy and was didn't talk to him while he was hanging onto the ledge right underneath Ritsuka's window, sighing. Even if it was for his brother, he did not enjoy sneaking around in the least. It was so…inelegant.
He listened to the doctors question Ritsuka about him; Ritsuka denied seeing anyone in his bed with such acting skills that the doctors threatened to fire the nurse who had found them sleeping together. And then the conversation turned to something a bit more attention-worthy.
"Even if he wasn't in your bed, there have been many reports of people seeing him around the hospital and on this floor. You're not safe here anymore. So we've thought it over and we've decided that it might be best if…"
There was a pregnant pause during which the male doctor cleared his throat noisily.
"-If you were transferred to Canada," finished another doctor.
"C-Canada!" Ritsuka yelled, echoing Seimei's thoughts. "Why Canada? It's so far away! I don't want to go!"
"It's not just because of this guy – there is little chance of you ever recovering your memories, Ritsuka. We decided that immersing you in your old life wasn't the way to go. We think it will be healthy for you to start a new life in a new place and meet new people. I know it's far, but we've even found a family that's willing to take you in down there. You can write to your mother or talk to her on the phone all you like. We're only thinking of your well-being, Ritsuka…"
When Ritsuka began crying heavy, thick tears, they thought it was because he was afraid of the unknown. But all Ritsuka could think of was that he would be shipped off far, far away from the only person currently in his life who brought him any comfort at all.
And suddenly joining Seimei up in Heaven sounded so much better.
Oh yeah, whomever suggested that Seimei "serenade Ritsuka in Spanish" after naming him alejandro made me laugh xD I dunno…it's funny. If it was in any way doable, it would have been done. But yeah, the name…I actually don't like it. I wanted to get it over with so. It's American…I think.
Oh nooo he's getting shipped to Canada! Lol he gets to die in 7 meters of snow 8 months a year with me and everyone else…
Review, of course…please? If it's good review?
The image of Seimei hanging off a hospital wall doesn't sit well with me…I just didn't know how else to proceed. If it bothers you too, know this: he's hanging off a wall and being cool, elegant, collected and well-mannered about it.
Thanks for reading!