So this is a rewrite of my original Simple Moments. I wasn't happy with the original so here's something new and improved. As a final disclaimer for the whole story I own nothing but my own plot. All the characters of Eyeshield 21 unfortunately do not belong to me.

The Risks

There's a certain amount of risk that comes to playing any sport. You sign a waiver, saying you hold no one responsible if you end up breaking a leg, and then you go out onto the field and do your thing. You never think about the "what ifs." Those things only weigh you down, and on a field this big, with this many fans and these many risks, you can't afford to have anything holding you down.

Sena likes to run. He likes the feeling of the wind in his face, the smell of it. Sometimes it smells like rain, other times like food. No matter what though he loves running the most. But his favorite thing to do with running? American football. It had been scary at first, but as grew experienced he grew bold. There's a confidence that comes with winning, and a resilience that comes from losing. Every time he's tackled he gets back up stronger and more determined than before. Winners don't stay down. They always get back up.

He should, he thinks vaguely, get back up. The sky looks nice from down here though. As soon as I catch my breath, I'll stand back up. He ends up repeating this several times in his head, since his tongue feels too thick to move. There isn't any pain, not really. Just a numbness in his body. They've won though, so maybe it's the adrenaline.

What's funny is that it's not even a familiar school. They're playing some small, unknown team from the Tokyo region. In reality, it had been an easy win.

He's had a lot of time to think, he realizes. Monta is bouncing over to him, where he's fallen from that last tackle. The monkey already has his shoes off, and he has this stupid grin on his face like he always does when they win. Like they all do. Sena smiles beneath his helmet.

Even his face feels numb.

Monta is screaming as usual, boasting about how good the team is, and how he's an awesome receiver. Sena just laughs breathily, because he still hasn't quite gotten his breathing back under control. He doesn't really know when it happens, but Hiruma is suddenly there, helmet off but no weapon in hand. He's frowning and crouching next to Sena. The crowd, for once, is silent.

Sena doesn't know what they're all looking at. He'll be up in a second to celebrate with his team. With an objective in mind he rouses the last of his energy and forces himself to try and sit up. All he accomplishes is a twitch of his fingers. That's odd. He doesn't remember getting hit very hard. How long has he been down again? There's a responding throb at the back of his head, right where neck meets skull. There are other people now too, everyone's trying to talk at once. Sena sees their mouths move, but he can't seem to understand what they're saying.

It'd be nice if they stopped trying to speak English. He's not very good in English class.

There's a stretcher next to him, and they brace his neck before the move him stiffly onto the stretcher. He frowns, still doesn't understand what's going on and tries to ask about it, tries to fight a little bit. The only answer comes from a frantic, wild jerk of his arms and slew of unintelligible garble from him mouth. He quickly clamps it shut, biting on his tongue in the process. Someone is grasping at his hand tightly, and he wiggles his fingers in response, utterly terrified.

Hiruma sees it in the wide, doe-like look in his eyes. It looks like a deer that's been shot and can't get up.

To the crowd, to his team, and to his rivals in the stands the tackle hadn't looked like much. But as they watch the ambulance load up a limp Eyeshield they replay what they saw. Shin can't believe it. He'd come to watch his rival, to see that light speed grow even faster. Not to see his friend be broken in front of him. It had looked like a regular hit. Sena hadn't even had the ball, Monta did, but they'd hidden that fact. It worked, like it usually did. But with all eyes on the ball had anyone even really seen Sena go down?

Shin gripped the railing in front of him before storming down the steps, the White Knights following close behind. He found Hiruma outside the locker rooms, already changed and with his phone out. He catches Shin's eye and pops his gum loudly. "They're taking him to Cross Memorial. We're going there now." The rest of the Devil Bats trail out of the locker room, each in his own state of shock. Shin notices that the manager is not there, and recalls that she and Eyeshield had been close. She must have ridden in the ambulance.

They catch a bus to the hospital, and it's loud. There's a crying baby, some old women chatting and a group of teenage girls gossiping and glancing shyly at the football players. But in the hearts of the players it is quiet, eerily so, because no one is sure what to think and right now thinking anything at all seems disrespectful.

Sena is carted down to x-rays, and he notices Mamori holding his hand as they cart him around. But when they arrive at their destination the nurses do not allow her inside the room. He hears words now, better understand them. The doctors mutter things like "spinal" and "cranial." He doesn't want to think about big words right now. Thinking hurts.

They take some x-rays before carting him off to another room. He's heard of this before. They put him on a slab that slides him into a tunnel like thing. They tell him to close his eyes but he doesn't. He's afraid he might not open them again. More words are tossed about as he's moved into a hospital room. They slide him onto a bed and give him an oxygen mask, because it's suddenly becoming very difficult to breathe. They tell him to take deeps breaths and calm down. He is calm, he thinks. His body feels calm. In fact, it doesn't feel anything at all.

Finally the doctors leave, taking their muttering with them. It's quiet now, and Sena listens to the shuffling of the hospital outside his room. He wonders what's wrong with him. His thoughts are less jumbled now, but it's still painful and he doesn't remember what happened to him. He'd like to know though. Is he sick?

He has visitors soon after. Hiruma trudges in first and flops into the chair closes to Sena's bedside, bubblegum popping as he stares darkly across the room. Shin shuffles in after him, taking the far corner, with the usual scowl and down cast eyes. Hiruma tells him that they'll only allow two people in at a time. Then he starts throwing big words out there like the doctors, but Sena doesn't want to think just yet and his head still hurts. So he doesn't do anything besides blink at his captain in response. Hiruma stop talking and stares back before he suddenly up and storming out the door, swearing up and down the hallways. Sena catches the affectionate "Fucking shrimp" once or twice, but he's not feeling right in the head right now so he can't tell whether it is said with a touch of despair or not.

Shin comes closer and takes a seat where Hiruma had previously been. They stare at each other for a while. With Shin there Sena feels more at peace. If Shin is here, he thinks, then it must not be too bad. Sena wants to ask the older boy what happened, and what's going to happen from here on out, but his eyes are starting to flutter because he's suddenly very tired and he just wants to sleep. He fights it though, because the niggling fear is still in the back of his head that he might not wake up again. His head hurts, his eyes are burning with the desire to sleep, and his body is numb. Sena finally closes his eyes, having lost the battle to his traitorous eyelids. He swears he can feel the warmth of a large hand wrapping around his thin wrist, though.

Hiruma couldn't even begin to wrap his head around it. Typically the team wouldn't be privy to Sena's medical condition, not to this extent, but the shrimp's parents had allowed it.

"There's a fracture in the lower back," the doctor had begun, quiet and sympathetic, "he could gain the ability to walk in the future but he's going to need extensive therapy to get there. For now he's going to need extensive rest. He's got a nasty concussion, and we'll be waking him regularly. His memory seems to be affected, as well as his awareness and cognitive ability. It should all clear up as he recovers, but it's something else we'll be keeping an eye on. He may only two visitors at a time, and he needs quiet." The doctor left them with a sad nod.

Monta collapsed into a seat, and Kurita started wailing. The others seemed unable to do anything. Jumonji recovered first; punching a wall and storming out of the hospital, the other Hu-Hu brothers following closely behind. Kumosubi and Yukimitsu helped to drag a wailing Kurita outside to calm him down, and the White Knights that had tagged along quietly excused themselves, expressing their sympathy as left. Sakuraba turned at the entrance of the hospital and looked back into the waiting room.

"Will they be okay?"

Takami pushed his glasses up his nose, "They just learned their star player, and their friend might never run or play again."

Sakuraba winced, and the quarterback sighed at him before patting him on the shoulder. "This isn't a place for us anymore. He's only our rival, we can come back another time. But for now, this is something for the teammates and friends of that kid."

"But what about Shin?"

Takami paused before shaking his head, "Shin is special," and walking out of the hospital. Sakuraba followed behind with one last sad glance back at the grieving team.

Hiruma watched the Knights leave, and "tch'd" quietly. How had it all gone to hell so quickly? It was just supposed to be one last "fun" game against some no-name school. Then they were going to go to America to train, just like Hiruma had planned. The tie against the Americans had even been something to celebrate, because they'd shown that they could do it, could make it somewhere. They'd shown how good they were. Now he'd have to rethink things. Without Eyeshield, what could they do? What about the Christmas Bowl?

The captain ground his teeth. This was about more than the Christmas Bowl. This was about the fucking chibi fighting on that hospital bed. He didn't even know what had just happened to him. Hiruma had watched those blank eyes just blink at him, none of the blonde's words had actually been registered, let alone understood. Damn concussion.

They'd explain it to him again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, however long it took him to comprehend it. Because if he could comprehend it then that meant he was healing. Hiruma believed the shrimp would walk again. It might be a long road, but that didn't matter because they'd all be there to help. The kid would still come to practice when he got better, even if Hiruma had to attach Cerberus to the wheel chair and have the beast drag the shrimp here.

"Listen up, fucking brats," Hiruma turned to his team, eyes glinting suspiciously under the florescent light of the hospital, "we're gonna get over this. The fucking shrimp is going to get over this. Do you hear me? Eyeshield 21 always gets back up, no matter what."

So I'm a pre-vet major, not a pre-med. I used sources, and if you're interested in looking into this more shoot me a PM and I'll give you the websites I used. If you're not interested in doing the work, but still wanna know, Sena has a fracture in the Lumbar area of the spine, which is basically the lower back. It's pretty common in sports, as the lower back is most often injured, especially in football.