They had the doctors from the sanitarium come in on Shuichi's behalf. "He made great strides in recovering. Once he began to open up he worked hard at becoming well. I believe he i still suffering from depression, but I do not find it to be severe enough to merit supervision."

The hearing ends and deliberation begins. Shuichi is in an empty office eating cookies that K's father had bought him. "Shindou, they are ready to give a verdict," he is told. He swallows hard. His stomach is threatening to abort the cookies. He makes his way to the courtroom to stand beside K's dad.

The judge sits. "Shindou, I am sorry for the hardship you've endured so early in life. I don't know how you survived, and I think that sometimes you feel the same way. Being depressed is not a crime, so I see no need to keep you. Even if you were committed for selfish reasons, I believe it did you some good. But you don't need it anymore. Not like that. I am going to order that you remain in counselling for the next year and take medication, as prescribed by your therapist. I hope your life improves, young man. I hope you use this as motivation instead of as a deterant."

Shuichi is so relieved. He hugs his lawyer, his parents and his best friend.


One year Later


Shuichi slings his backpack off his shoulder. He'd just finished his first semester of dad is siting at the table drinking coffee and reading the paper. His mama is cooking something that smells oddly good. "Welcome home, Shu!" Hiro greats. He kisses his son's cheek when he sits.

"Thanks! What's for dinner?" Before Hiro can respond Eiri clears his throat. "How did you do?" Eiri asks. Shuichi proudly hands him his grade report. He wasn't a straight-A student, but he did well and tried hard.

Hiro sets plates in front of his husband and his son. "It isn't anything fancy. Your dad has been trying to teach me some simple things so that I can feed Miko when he's gone."

Hiro and Eiri had adopted a little girl after Shuichi had left for university. She was just shy of being a full-fledged toddler. Shuichi had lived by himself in a dorm, though he kept communications up with K. They'd even gone on a few dates but Shuichi had decided not to date until he was done in school. K said he didn't mind waiting. Not for someone like Shuichi.

Eiri sits the little girl in a high chair while Hiro blows on her chopped-up food. Once they're all sitting together Eiri jokingly sends a prayer that Hiro's food doesn't kill them all.