Correspondence

Disclaimer: Characters' names, traits and some references have been borrowed from Tachibana Higuchi's Gakuen Alice. Plot, setting and this story belong to November Romeo.

Author's Note: This is set in the same universe as Numbers in Choreography. I strongly suggest that you read that first to understand this story better. The story format is largely prohibited on FFN, which is a shame because it's an interesting variation. With full knowledge that this may eventually be removed from the site, this fic will be finished in a month's time.

Recap: Numbers in Choreography tells the story of Natsume Hyuuga, a talented lawyer diagnosed with severe OCD. The story is narrated by his colleague, Hotaru Imai. Hotaru lives with Mikan Sakura, a young medical intern specializing in child psychology. This sets the stage for a romance that had always been one introduction away from happening.


Case File Session 309 (should really be 152, if not for the subject's irrational need to have only odd-numbered therapy sessions shown in his records) between Dr. Rei Serio and Atty. Natsume Hyuuga

Transcribed by: Dr. Mikan Sakura (with side notes by Atty. Hotaru Imai)

Date: November 5, 2010

Time Start: 13:27:11

Time End: 13: 59: 09

Brief: Dr. Rei Serio, attending psychiatrist of subject, Atty. Natsume Hyuuga (Case No. 23, diagnosed with OCD and AS at age 11), has proposed that the latter be transferred to another doctor as part of his behavioral treatment. After successfully undergoing fifteen years of therapy, the proponent believes that the subject is ready for a less stringent program. However, the proposal was met with much opposition despite Dr. Serio's assurance that he will continue to supervise the case. Dr. Mikan Sakura, the specialist to receive the case, is also in attendance.

Note: Recording begins mid-session. The attending physician and his patient began the discussion prior to setting up the recorder. Scribe observes that this indicates a long-standing and trustworthy, albeit somewhat hostile, relationship.

Natsume Hyuuga (NH): Is this really necessary?

Rei Serio (RS): The fact that I am no longer interested in your case and that your symptoms are finally as tedious as your lifestyle is a good sign. Welcome the change.

NH: You've been my doctor for fifteen years. What makes you think I can handle change?

RS: My medical license. My call.

NH: My trauma.

RS: Will be mine to cure. Fun, really.

NH: Bastard.

(Here the door opens and closes)

Mikan Sakura (MS): Good morning, everyone! It's a bright and sunny day in Tokyo.

(Hotaru Imai (HI): You really entered that way?)

(MS: Yes. You should've seen the look Mr. Hyuuga gave me. Not pretty.)

NH: Who the hell is this?

RS: My intern.

NH: False. You don't employ short and perky.

RS: I specifically selected her to handle your case.

NH: Because it'll be funny?

RS: Offhand, it might be.

MS: Dr. Serio, is there a problem?

RS: Nothing Dr. Sakura. Animosity is a norm with Mr. Hyuuga. He doesn't take to strangers.

MS: Oh, well then, I'll introduce myself properly—

NH: You are Mikan Sakura. You are Hotaru Imai's disastrous roommate, a nuisance she has lived with since college. We had an unfortunate encounter during her surprise birthday party, which involved a parakeet, a blonde veterinarian and a bottle of tequila.

RS: A parakeet?

NH: Giuseppe. And the vet who lives across the hall is Ruka 'I'm-not-a-real-doctor' Nogi.

(HI: Nice. He got that from me.)

(MS: Which only proves that he does listen to you. Still, the jerk should've let me introduce myself instead of jumping the gun.)

RS: Excellent. You have history.

MS: It's not so much history as a bad, drunken night. Still, I'm pleased to meet you again Mr. Hyuuga.

(Scribe notes that the unfriendly subject had refused to receive the handshake of Dr. Sakura)

NH: This is a mistake. Rei, you can't possibly believe that foisting me off on some slapdash intern is going to be good therapy.

MS: Slapdash! Excuse me?

RS: Though she doesn't look it, Dr. Sakura is quite capable in handling you. She placed third in the in-house medical exam and she wrote her graduate thesis on the pros and cons of the Persona method. She co-authored a dissertation about a botched up pysch technique, and referenced three of my books that were largely based on you. In a way, she's been studying you for years.

NH: I'm a complex medical case. Books wouldn't be enough to prepare her.

RS: Don't flatter yourself. In a nutshell, you're a mental case with a large stick wedged so far up your ass that you're always one step away from a social meltdown.

(HI: That's good. That's a really good and accurate description of him.)

NH: You sadistic son of a—

(Scribe notes that Dr. Sakura was so startled by the antagonistic exchange that she remained silent up until this point.)

MS: Mr. Hyuuga! That is no way to talk to your foster father!

(Laughter from Dr. Serio and Atty. Hyuuga)

(HI: Foster father? Where did that come from?)

(MS: Dr. Serio took Natsume Hyuuga in when he was eleven years old! He grew up under the doctor's care. I really think they should be more like family.)

NH: Let's be clear about one thing. Rei is not my foster father.

RS: Despite being under my custody for nearly ten years, our relationship has always been doctor-patient. Nothing more.

NH: God forbid.

MS: That's ridiculous. Where is all this hostility coming from?

NH: Simple. Dr. Serio is a freak.

RS: So you see, Natsume always felt right at home with me. But don't mistake that for any familial affinity. He has never required it and I have no sentiments to spare him.

MS: No wonder you were never cured.

RS: Dr. Sakura, I hope you're not implying that my lack of paternal care has hindered Natsume's recovery. I might remind you that I counsel inmates with even less compassion.

(HI: Oh, you insulted a world-renowned psychiatrist who's known for using ruthless techniques on convicts. Smart.)

(MS: I didn't mean to! You should've been in the room. His voice was silky scary.)

RS: In any case, we return to the matter at hand. I believe Dr. Sakura can begin taking over—

NH: No.

RS: You're summarizing your thoughts again, Natsume. We already agreed that you mustn't compartmentalize to such an inarticulate degree.

NH: No to the change.

RS: Much improved.

MS: That's articulate? I thought you were a lawyer.

NH: Need I elaborate on why you shouldn't be allowed to handle my case? You are disaster-prone. The two minutes I was in your apartment convinced me that—

RS: Natsume, restrain yourself. Your tick is coming to life.

NH: Well, shit. One... three... five... seven... eleven...

(HI: This is such a fun transcription. It's not scientific at all.)

(MS: When he started on the prime numbers, I suddenly knew what you felt like.)

(HI: You felt like you were in a comedy?)

MS: Listen, maybe, we can just try it out for a couple of months. We'll start with some basic sessions to get to know each other.

NH: So you are determined to waste my time.

MS: I just thought maybe we could play it out and see how far—

NH: Play it out? Let me tell you exactly how this is going to play out.

RS: Hyuuga, do not

NH: You're going to fall in love with me in three weeks. Tomorrow we'll have our first one on one— acrimonious, terrible and completely unproductive. In two days you'll apologize for being unprofessional. We will reach an accord. The following week, I'll allow you to experiment. You'll try to get me off pharmacotherapy and in advertently cause me to relapse. We'll argue and I will win, but I will also apologize.

RS: Natsume, you're being excessively rude.

NH: By the third week, you will find me complicated, overbearing and engaging. I will encourage your intern ways and you will like the attention. You'll try your best to hate me. In the end you will fail. And when you've fallen hard and realize my anal ways are uncompromising, you will ask to be removed from this case. In short, this interaction will benefit neither of us, will harm one of us and ultimately inconvenience whoever runs the paperwork. I refuse to waste my time when the outcome is clearly in no one's favor.

MS: I'm going to what?

NH: Fall in love with me. If only you were more astute, we could cut the time you do so in half.

(HI: Ha! You were lawyered!)

(MS: Hotaru, you're laughing too hard.)

MS: You— you jerk! I demand an apology!

NH: You see, she has already started. Rei, you're clearly playing a game here and I do not want to take part in it. Have I made myself clear?

RS: Quite effectively. Now, I'm rather determined to see how this plays out.

NH: Rei!

MS: Dr. Serio!

RS: Dr. Sakura, we shall push through with the transfer. Natsume could hardly object since I will refuse him treatment and I will refuse him drugs.

NH: God Rei, you're such a prick.

RS: And you Hyuuga, are a pain in the ass. If you have no other objection other than the fact that you expect Dr. Sakura to fall in love with you (smothered laughter from Dr. Serio), I see no reason why we can't proceed. I'm not dismissing your case. I am simply bored with it. Until you give me a reason to take over again, Dr. Sakura will be your therapist.

NH: Are you forcing me to relapse?

RS: You can't relapse if you were never cured and, as Dr. Sakura indicated, you never were.

(Scribe was mortified by that comment)

NH: So you're doing this, even after what I said about it being completely pointless.

RS: Natsume, you're a lawyer not a psychic. You have OCD, not powers to see the future. If you're somehow able to predict the next three weeks with amazing accuracy, then I congratulate you. Your OCD has undoubtedly reached a phenomenal level. If not, you'll just have a new doctor. Either way you'd have dealt with change and the objective is achieved.

NH: I hate it when you suddenly go doctor on me.

MS: Don't I get a say in this?

RS: Dr. Sakura, if you do anything to harm my patient, my most celebrated case study, my 'foster son', as you put it, I will send you back to med school, and rest assured it will take a miracle before you can acquire a license to practice again. Clear?

MS: ...Yes.

RS: You are, however, free to fall in love with him.

(HI: Ha! Dr. Serio has a sense of humor.)

(MS: Stark, dry and unfunny.)

NH: So, are we done?

MS: We will be as soon as you apologize. I don't want to start on the wrong foot. It may not seem like it, but you will find me stubborn as hell.

NH: We have three weeks, Dr. Sakura. You have no reason to hate me all at one go.

MS: I am not going to fall in love with you, Mr. Hyuuga.

NH: And yet, you're well on schedule. I like that.

RS: Ah, one more thing. (Dr. Serio closes his notebook with a clack! and reaches for the recorder) Natsume, I want you to read through the transcription of this session, which Dr. Sakura will prepare. Study it and absorb it. Then, next week, you tell me why you're still single.

NH (snickers): Agreed.

MS (rolls eyes): Agreed.

RS (grins): Excellent.

END OF TRANSCRIPTION


Date: November 5, 2010

Request: Transfer of Patient

Current Physician: Dr. Rei Serio

Receiving Physician: Dr. Mikan Sakura

Description: Dr. Rei Serio is transferring Case No. 23 (patient diagnosed with OCD and AS) to Dr. Mikan Sakura. This is recommended as part of Case No. 23's behavioral therapy.

Requested with Patient's Consent? Yes.

All relevant files submitted? Yes

Further diagnosis required? No

Effective Date of Transfer: November 6, 2010

Additional Comments: Case No. 23 would like to have it on record that this transfer is done with his begrudging consent. Should the patient suffer any negative consequences, he reserves the right to sue his goddamn 'foster father'.