The first time Yukio lands in the True Cross Academy hospital, it's because he receives another ghoul wound from his brother. At the age of four, he still doesn't understand why his brother wounds him this way, but he settles for counting the tiles on the hospital ceiling as the doctors above him toss around words too complicated for him to know.
His father appears by his side now and smiles at him. Yukio doesn't return it.
"Father? Does Rin hate me?"
He sighs. "No, Yukio. It's a little complicated. I'll explain it to you when you get out of here, okay?"
Yukio nods as Rin runs into the room. "Yukio! Are you okay?"
Yukio sees his father shake his head out of the side of his eye and smiles instead. "Yea! Don't worry about me, I'm fine." He ignores the small black balls flying around in the air as they talk; he's seen them before, and Father had said they were nothing before, so it's all right, isn't it?
Rin clutches onto the bars surrounding Yukio's bed and settles down to wait. Their father chuckles and pulls Rin into his lap as a nurse bustles over to check on Yukio.
They sit there for five hours, forty-two minutes, and thirty-eight seconds before Yukio is released.
The fifth time Yukio is in the True Cross Academy hospital, he's ten years old and in training to become an exorcist. Rin leans against the wall, playing a new video game as a worried Shura talks to him. For once, she's shaken and has lost her usual cool composure, which Yukio revels in as she apologizes over and over.
"Don't worry about it," Yukio says in a low tone, watching his brother to make sure he isn't listening. "It was an accident. It could have happened to anyone."
"I nearly shot you in the heart," she says as her hands twitch at her sides.
"Well," he nearly makes an excuse, but his mind flashes back to something his father told him long ago, "I'm stronger now, aren't I?" He smiles, eyes crinkling at the corners, and Shura frowns. "All the same, I think you better leave the gunfights to me. I've seen the way you look at the swords – maybe you should tell Mr. Fujimoto about your interest. I'm sure he would approve."
She says nothing in return and Rin comes over now, having finished his game. "Yukio, d'you want anything? I'm gonna head down to the cafeteria."
"Uh, no, it's okay," Yukio replies hastily. After all, it wouldn't do for the half-demon to be found wandering the halls of an exorcist academy. "Besides, I'm not hungry."
Rin shrugs and restarts his game as Shura leaves with a nurse, presumably to talk about the injuries Yukio has. "Who is that?"
"An intern at the hospital, I think," Yukio says, wincing a little at the blatant lie. But Rin doesn't notice and continues to play his game for another two hours, twenty-nine minutes, and fifty seconds before someone comes and takes him away.
The twelfth time Yukio is in the True Cross Academy hospital, he stands next to a metal table. A white cloth covers the still figure on the table, but Yukio can still see the blood-stained face of his father, can still see the remnants of Satan's hold on him, can hear the anguished scream of his brother as he finally realizes everything –
A hand on his shoulder snaps him out of his reverie and he jumps a little, eyes snapping to the doctor in front of him. "Are you all right, Okumura? I can give the results of the autopsy to someone else if you would prefer…"
"No, I'm fine. Thank you, doctor." Yukio readjusts the glasses on the bridge of his nose to give himself something to do as the doctor pulls the results out from the machine.
"Right, well…" The doctor clears his throat and Yukio stands, alert and waiting for what he's about to hear. "The effects of Satan on Father Fujimoto are, most notably, the body's physical change. Ordinary humans aren't meant for such transformations, so they don't last very long, especially when combined with the incredible amount of blood lost as Father Fujimoto's body deteriorated; I was surprised at how long he lasted according to your brother." He shifts nervously as Yukio looks at him with anguished eyes staring out of an impassive face. "Yes, anyway, after some examination, there are signs of his body struggling to transform back to its original state, quite fascinating, really, the body usually doesn't do that because Satan's hold is too strong, and – "
"The report will be forwarded to Mephisto at the academy, correct?" Yukio interrupts somewhat snappishly. He's always disliked this man, with his strange curiosity over those killed by demons and who never seems to just do his job. He doesn't wait for a reply and stalks out of the room.
He stands there for eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds before going to find Rin.
The thirty-seventh time Yukio is in the True Cross Academy hospital, he watches an anxious Shiemi fuss over Rin. It shouldn't matter to him anymore that Rin has always achieved everything Yukio has not, but he can't stop the pang of jealousy as Shiemi rearranges the blankets around Rin for the nth time that week so that they don't interfere with the IV tube.
"Yuki, will Rin be okay?" She looks at him with concerned eyes and he pushes himself off the door.
"Of course he will. My brother can do anything." And, for the most part, he has. Yukio musters up a smile and hopes she doesn't see the scared eyes behind dusty glasses. "He's always been a fast healer, after all."
"B-but he's never fought Satan before." Her lower lip trembles and tears threaten to flood her eyes as she fists the cloth of her yukata. "What if he dies? What if Satan killed him?" Tears spill down her face now and Yukio is left speechless as she rambles on, more to herself now. "It's all my fault, isn't it. If I hadn't said all those things, if I hadn't tried to be brave like Rin, if I hadn't ventured into Gehanna after him – "
"Shiemi, stop. It's not your fault. You weren't the only one who followed him." He places a gentle hand on her shoulder and tries to push away the thoughts of those who died in the battle. "Stop worrying about this; Rin will get better. I promise you. In the meantime, you should go home and get some rest. You've been here every day and night this week. You must be tired."
She sniffles and stands as the small green demon perched on her shoulder pats the side of her head. "I-if you say so, Yuki." She gives a parting glance to the sleeping Rin in bed before fleeing the room.
Yukio settles onto the chair next to Rin's bedside as she leaves and grasps his brother's hand. "You better wake up, Rin, or I'll take Shiemi for myself."
He hears a dry chuckle and looks up, startled, as Rin coughs. "You wouldn't dare." He manages a slight grin, his canines slightly more pronounced than they were before the battle. "How are you?"
"I'm fine. Better than you are, I expect." Yukio squeezes Rin's hand briefly. "The doctors say that they'll have to continuously give you shots of anesthesia. Your body should do the most of the healing, but it'll be easier and less painful when you're unconscious."
Rin doesn't say anything for a few minutes. When he does, it's with an uncharacteristic quiet, uncertain tone that takes Yukio by surprise. "You think Father would be proud of me?"
Yukio nods, knowing that Rin needs some sort of closure, a sign that he's finally achieved his goal. "I know he would be." There isn't anything else to say and the two of them fall into a comfortable silence, broken only when the door opens.
A nurse enters and approaches Rin with a needle. He offers her his arm and prepares himself for the shot of anesthesia, specially made by Yukio himself. "You'll stay?" he asks, and Yukio sees the lost boy who was always alone.
"I'll be here," he says, and waits the six days and five nights – one hundred and forty-four hours fifty-six minutes fifteen seconds, sixteen seconds, seventeen seconds – until his brother comes back to him.