When morning came again, and the first few rays of sunlight danced on Kai's eyelids, he didn't want to wake up. He didn't want to leave the dream he was having. It was a good one, one that didn't remind him of the hell he currently resided in. But the sun wasn't stopping from shining directly into his room and forcing him to wake up. He reluctantly opened his eyes, blinking a few times and letting his pupils adjust to the bright light. Kai yawned and looked sleepily over at the man who was holding on to his hand. A small smiled crossed his lips and he gently brushed his fingers along Hal's cheek, "Hal, wake up," he said softly. The sleeping man gave a sigh and shook his head, muttering, "I don't want to."

"C'mon. It's time to wake up," Kai said again and he rolled on to his side so he was facing Hal, who groaned and lifted his head to look at Kai.
"Good morning," said Kai and he leaned in and placed a kiss on the other's lips, but he pulled away quickly as soon as there was contact. Gasping, he ripped his hand out of Hal's and turned away as he sat up, covering his mouth.

"I'm sorry… I-I shouldn't have done that… I just…. Waking up and seeing you just… reminded me of… before…" The realization of what he'd just done sunk in quickly, and he felt all the pain and sorrow well back up in him.

"Damn it… What the hell is wrong with me? I just… k-kissed him…" Kai thought. He was blushing furiously with embarrassment and didn't want to see Hal's face right now. The image in his mind of his partner was bad enough… a look of… disgust in his eyes… it was like daggers piercing his heart.

"Kai? Hey, it's alright. I shouldn't have been holding on to you how I was." Hal said in soft voice. Kai was terrified to look at him, but turned to face him, not making eye contact. Hal was looking at the floor on his right; a slight pink shade graced his cheeks beneath his thin glasses. There was silence, except for the quiet, constant beeping of the heart monitor.

"Do you want anything from the cafeteria?" Hal asked awkwardly as he got up. Kai shook his head and replied quietly, "No, I'm all set. Thanks, though…" As the man with the glasses made his way to the door, he stopped and turned, "Oh, by the way, the nurse who you were talking to yesterday,"

"Azumi?" Kai said hopefully.

"Yeah. She's working a half day today, so she said she'd see you this afternoon." Kai nodded.

"Good… I like talking to her..." He thought as Hal closed the door behind him. Then, it seemed as if the whole world had just gone silent, and the mistake he had made moments before was being screamed at him. He went red again and his palms met his face. A long groan slipped past his lips, "God damn it… I'm so stupid… He hates me… I know he does… Shit…" Kai felt as though he could die of embarrassment. He could feel tears of embarrassment welling in his eyes, but he did nothing to stop them from rolling down his cheeks. When Hal finally got back to the room, Kai had dried his tears, but the evidence of them was still obvious. The look on his face, though, told Hal not to say anything, not unless he wanted to upset him further. He sat down next to the bed and watched Kai.

"Are you all right?" Hal said; his voice was soft, completely different from how he usually talked. Kai said nothing, only nodded slightly, and kept his gaze on the window. He couldn't bear to look at the man beside him. He felt like he was goin to be sick. Hal gently placed a hand on Kai's arm and lightly squeezed it.

"Kai, I'm sorry. I really am. It was my fault…"

"Hal, shut up…" he muttered.
"What?"
"Shut up, stop apologizing!" He yelled, finally turning to Hal, looking very angry, "Just go. Please, just leave. I'll be at the wedding, I already told you I would be there. I'll smile and be happy and say the right things, but, please, just for now… let me bleed. Let me try to get over it." He was on the verge of tears again. He felt terrible, like he'd just been attacked and beaten within an inch of his life. Hal's face showed his complete shock, he wasn't used to this Kai.

"Kai…" He said breathlessly.

"Please, just go." Kai said, obviously trying to be strong and hold back his tears. Hall looked away, pulling his hand back and he stood up. Not looking at Kai, he paused, "All right…" He said in a small voice, one even Kai had never heard before, "I'll go. See you later, then… I guess," and with that, he walked from the room, his head hung and his eyes unfocused.

He didn't hear from Kai for three weeks after that. The planning for the wedding was talking up much more time than Hal had though it would. Kai had been released from the hospital after a week and was now home. He still kept in touch with Azumi, letting her know how he was doing. Of course he was telling her he was fine, but she went to check on him twice a week, just to make sure. The only information Hal got about his partner was from her, even though only in bits and pieces. He wasn't doing well, at least from what he was hearing. The urge to go see his partner was overwhelming, but he knew if he went, it'd only cause the younger more pain than he already was feeling and he couldn't do that to him.

The wedding was quickly approaching and the stress of waiting for that awful day was really showing in Kai's face. He looked like he hadn't eaten in weeks; his face was thin, his skin paler than usual, and his eyes had large dark circles beneath them (the effects of only 5 hours of sleep per week). He dreaded the day of the wedding and had seriously considered the easy way out; taking his own life would be easier than this. He reminded himself though, of the promise he'd made to Hal. He'd wished hundreds of times that he could just forget, but no matter how much he tried to forget, he only remembered more and more. He remembered everything and it was so clear as if it'd happened only yesterday. His mind was torturing him in to madness. Everything about his time with Hal was painfully vivid, and it was slowly driving him insane. He could feel it, his mind unhinging. There was nothing he could do about it. So many times over those weeks, he had seen his gun, held it, put it against his head… but he never had the resolve to pull the trigger. His last thought before he almost pulled it, was always of Hal… but not just a memory of Hal… A thought of how Hal would deal with finding out Kai had killed himself. Every time, it was enough to stop him from actually doing it, even though it was just barely.

About a week before the wedding, Hal broke down; he needed to see Kai, desperately needed to see him.

"Hun, I'm going out. I need to see him," he said one evening during dinner with his fiancé. She looked surprised, actually, she looked irritated.

"Why do you need to see him?" She asked, her voice showing she definitely was offended. He got up and brought his empty plate to the sink.

"I just do, okay? He is still my partner and I need to make sure he's okay. I haven't heard from him in a week and a half." Hal retorted; sounding rather hacked off by her lack of understanding. He gathered his jacket and put it on, then grabbed his keys from the small table in the entrance way. As he opened the door, he said quickly, "I'll be back later. Love you," and left. She sat there; her arms crossed and looked rather annoyed.