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"Itoshiki-sensei, there is someone here to see you."
Said doctor turned around in his chair to face the only nurse in the building, who had a cheerful look on her face. Mikoto cleared his throat and stood up, stretching while he remarked with humor.
"Well, it's about time- do you know how long I've been sitting here?"
The nurse knew he was being rhetorical, but she looked down at her watch anyway and giggled when she saw how long it had been since he had last a patient in his office.
"It's been 4 hours."
Mikoto halted mid-stretch with a frozen, blank look on his face as he mentally wanted to bang his head into the wall again. Squinting his eyes and taking a deep breath to ward the dastardly thought away, he opened his eyes again and walked past the nurse towards the door, glancing at her in the process with a modestly hopeful expression. He rested his hand on the door handle for a minute and turned his head back to her.
"...Who is our patient?"
"Your brother, Nozomu."
Mikoto let out a strangled groan and his eyes jumped in shock.
"When does he EVER come to see me? Is he really sick, or does he just want to waste time talking to me?"
The nurse looked down at the clipboard in her hands and flipped a few pages, skimming over the content.
"Hm... well he has no symptoms of an actual illness. It might be all in his head-"
Mikoto's hand slipped off the doorknob and he turned around to face her with a sudden burst of rage.
"Then why the hell is he here! I'm not a psychiatrist! Go out there and tell him that I won't see him!" The nurse drooped her eyes and her body went rigid, hurt by his outburst, yet she stood her ground. She sucked in her cheeks in defiance while she held the clipboard closer to herself.
"But... he also wrote down that he really wants to talk to you-"
"No! I don't want to see him!" The nurse squeezed her eyes shut then opened them angrily.
"Look! It doesn't matter who the patient is, you should still treat them with the same equal respect and patience you always give them, even if it's family! I don't know what's gotten into you, but you need to stop... I like you- do you want me to think less of you because of today? After all the years we've worked together?"
"Well, good! I'll bring him in then. You should talk to your family members now and again... you might miss out on something important if you don't!" The nurse smiled at Mikoto and briskly opened the door, slammed it, and left.
Mikoto stared at the closed door, wondering why he so suddenly invoked his nurse's wrath. Slowly, he turned around, and sank back into his chair across the room, running a hand over the bottom half of his face in embarrassment.
'Do I do this a lot? I bet she really does think less of me now... Dammit...' He barely had time to rummage through his fragmented memories before the door opened again and a nervous Nozomu Itoshiki teetered in, followed by the nurse standing expectantly on her tiptoes in the hallway, shooting Mikoto an encouraging smile from behind him. She shut the door behind Nozomu and went back into the reception room to watch TV until the next patient, if any, were to show up that day.
Mikoto swiveled in his chair and looked up at Nozomu, who didn't move, and was just fidgeting with his hakama obi and not saying anything.
"Well, what is it." Mikoto said it like a command, and Nozomu just averted his face and eyes in response.
"I... I heard everything in the lobby... I didn't know you felt that way about me, Brother."
Mikoto jump-started and almost fell out of his chair. He turned red and sputtered incoherent sounds for a second, waving his hands in an "er, that's not what I meant" gesture.
"I didn't mean to... um... it's just I'm having a bad day, and..."
"It's fine." Nozomu put his hands behind his back and stared at the ceiling while he walked closer to Mikoto, a coy expression on his face.
"Well, actually, it's ironic..." He stopped next to Mikoto, suddenly snapping his head down to chastisingly sneer at his older brother.
"...That you don't want to see me on the day I would end my life."
After the initial shock, Mikoto's eyes went wide, also with realization. 'He hasn't used that tone since we were kids...'
Slowly, he rotated his head with a look of horror as he met Nozomu's piercing, haunted eyes. 'He... he is serious...!'
"Am I really alone in this world, Mikoto? I can't even rely on my older brother to take care of me when I'm feeling desperate?" Nozomu put a hand on Mikoto's shoulder, softly, then dug his fingers into it. Mikoto winced, shutting his eyes. He quickly looked at the source of the pain, then back to Nozomu in fright.
"No-Nozomu, just tell me what's wrong-"
"But I thought you weren't going to counsel me..."
Nozomu caressed Mikoto's cheek with his other hand,
"...Because talking wastes your precious time?"
Nozomu pushed Mikoto's shoulders back with force, sending the chair and Mikoto rolling into the desk. His spine crashed into the edge of the chair and he instinctively bent his back around it with a moan of pain, sending the chair tumbling to the floor. His shoulders, followed by his head, slammed onto the desk hard- enough for him to see stars. His arms sprawled out all around him on the desk, trying to find some sense of support.
Mikoto gazed at Nozomu with a faster heartbeat and an irked, weary daze, noting that there was not a single hint of his younger brother's remorse to be found in his expression. He would have yelled at Nozomu for not being careful and hurting him, had Nozomu not scared him so with the murderous glaze in his eyes... and he knew this wasn't an accident.
"You're simply a doe, Brother. You're easy to frighten, and you don't even fight back."
Nozomu kicked the chair out of the way and leaned over Mikoto's prone body, leering down at him, threatening him to make a move. Mikoto froze in place, only admitting to himself that this was because his spine was currently on fire.
"You were always like this, since we were kids. You yelled all the time but never did anything." Nozomu put his hands on Mikoto's arms and pushed down on them. Mikoto's fight-or-flight kicked in, and he boldly raised his head to look up at Nozomu.
"Yeah? Well, you were always the one who tried to kill yourself, but you could never do that, could you? Falling out of a window three times when you were eight, and having Dad make me patch your pitiful self up every time?"
Mikoto looked away from Nozomu. 'Incidentally, that's what made me decide to become a doctor...'
Nozomu grabbed Mikoto's jaw and forced him to look at him.
"...And how else was I to cope with the despair? It haunted me, followed me around like a cloud... I just wanted to be rid of it once and for all-"
Nozomu stared into Mikoto's eyes, leaning in so close Mikoto could make out each of his eyelashes.
"But you were always there to pull me out of it, if only temporarily- weren't you, Brother."
Nozomu playfully poked Mikoto's cheek.
"I have to say, a few times I hurt myself just to have you help me out..."
Next chapter has porn! Review so you can get it :)