Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Hikaru no Go characters…
This is a sequel to "A New Beginning"
Chapter 1: Aftermath, Part 1
"Hey, nii-san, you won't believe what happened today," a small hand grasped on to a much larger one.
"So during lunch, we all went out to eat outside, right under this tree. As we were all chatting and sharing our lunches, Suzi suddenly freezes and her eyes just go super wide like saucers. We ask her if she is fine, but as there is no reaction, most of us lean towards her. And as Momo-chan moves a bit, Suzi just jumps up suddenly and without caring that her lunch is all over the blanket starts screaming at the top of her lungs while she points a shaking finger at Momo. Curious, we turn to see and most of the girls and even some of the boys jump up and take a couple of steps away from Momo. To be honest, I was tempted to jump back too, but I made myself stand my ground and while I am racking my brains to find a way to tell Momo without her panicking too, that there is..."
Pausing for dramatic effect, she continued on, "…this thing in her hair. And guess what happened afterwards? Well, Akira just calmly leans over me and plucks the bug off her. I mean, it was not even a tiny bug or anything. I could have sworn it was the size of half my fist."
To make her point, the girl held out her closed fist. Of course, when she did it, she was reminded once again that he couldn't see her. In fact, she wasn't even sure he heard her. He was just lying there so pale and quiet on the hospital bed without moving. Thanks to the monitors and machines hooked to him, she could hear his heartbeat and know that he was breathing, that he was alive.
Forcing a smile, she continued, "Everyone just froze after that. But not a minute later, all the boys were slapping Akira on the back, congratulating him on a job well done while most of the girls were looking at him with adoring eyes, as if he had just plucked the stars off the sky. And Momo and Akira probably thought we were nuts as neither of them understood why we were afraid, as they put it, of a tiny bug."
2 months ago…
Hikaru's memories of that day were quite fuzzy; she couldn't remember much. She remember the way he had set at her bed and nitpicked at her clothes, the way he nagged her about her guy friends, the way he seemed embarrassed when she turned the tables on him and teased him about her future sister-in-law. Everything else that happened after she found her brother on the floor was just a blur. She heard that she had become hysterical, clutching and beating her brother to make him wake up; she even had to be reminded about the fact that they had to sedate her to separate her from her brother while the medics took him to the hospital. And she didn't remember awaking from her sedation in a blind panic, screaming for her nii-san.
It all became a haze and it was weeks before she finally noticed the worries on everyone faces; they weren't just for her brother but for her, too. Noone said anything, but Hikaru knew everyone was afraid she would not just break physically but also mentally.
It had been so painful to seat there and listen to the doctor as he explained to everyone what was wrong with her brother and why noone but Sai-nii himself could save him.
"…that the car accident he had been involved in had caused blood to slowly swell up in his brain. At the beginning, his doctors believed it would be treatable with just meds, but as time passed not only did the swelling not decrease but it slowly increased. Suggestions were made to have an operation, which had a success rate of 85%. However, at that time, Fujiwara-san decided to delay the operation for the day after he had the attack. As of now, we have been able to relieve the pressure in his brain and no other abnormalities are present. Although the emergency operation was a success, due to the delay, Fujiwara-san is currently in a comma. It is hard to say how long it would be before he wakes up, but it would all depend on him from now on. We have every faith that his will to live is very strong since he had broken our statistic; anyone else who had the same symptoms as him would not have survived this far."
Quotes and numbers were given about how her brother chances of survival were high. However, as the days passed and turned into weeks and then months, the doctors weren't sure anymore. Yet, deep in her heart, Hikaru knew her brother was fighting his own battle and she knew that sooner or later, he would wake up. Sai-nii was a warrior and wouldn't give up without fighting. She just had to believe in him and be there for him when he regained consciousness.
"Hikaru-chan, there is this new place by the train station that makes really good cakes. Let's go since school ended early today!", said Momo in what she hoped was a cheerful tone. One of her best friends has not been herself lately, and noone could blame her for it; still everyone wished for Hikaru to be back to her old self.
"Sorry, Momo-chan, I can't go today. I want to go see my brother."
"Then we can all go and visit him".
Shaking her head, "It's okay. You guys went last time. You should all go and check out that new cake shop."
"Don't worry. Besides, there are tons of things I want to tell him. Just buy an extra piece for me okay?"
"Sorry, got to run or I will miss the bus. See you guys tomorrow".
Momo could do nothing but sigh as Hikaru dashed to the door and was out of sight before she could come up with another reason for her to hang out with them.
"Momo-chan, is Hikaru-chan going to see her brother today too?", asked Risa as she and 3 more classmates approached her.
The plan had been to try to distract Hikaru, at least for a bit. It was getting close to 3 months and Hikaru's brother was still in a comma. Everyone had googled his condition and knew that the more time passed, the chances of him waking up would be slimmer and slimmer.
Hikaru had gone from school directly to the hospital and then to home. And once the next day started, she would repeat the same process again; school, hospital and home. She rarely went out with them anymore, and if she did, she was too worried to enjoy the time spent with them. Their friend would often put on a brave smile and assure them that she was okay, but everyone knew better. Her smiles were not as genuine as before, and though she still joked, it was just half-hearted. All of them were worried about her, but didn't know what else they could do but to pray for a miracle to happen so that her brother would wake-up soon.
"Hikaru?", Akiko knocked and when there was no response, she carefully balanced the tray of food and quietly opened the door.
When she noticed the figure curled on top of the bed, she set down the tray by the nightstand and pulled the covers over her. They had both come back from the hospital and instead of eating, Hikaru had headed straight to her room. She probably should wake her up, but the poor child had not been sleeping well.
She brushed the tangled bangs away from Hikaru's face and notice that slightly rounded cheeks had given way to paler and leaner features. The small child that had joined her family was growing up and turning into a young lady in front of her eyes. This should have been a time for her to explore and enjoy the last vestige of childhood before she joined the adult world. However, fate kept handing her difficult cards.
Meanwhile, while Akiko was upstairs…
Down at the kitchen, Akira and his father set sipping tea.
"Father, I don't have a game tomorrow, so I will head with Hikaru from school to the hospital".
During the last few months, the Toyas had been taking turns to make sure that Hikaru came back home instead of staying with her brother.
"If it gets too late, just take a cab. It would help both your mother and I feel less worried about having both of you out at night."
"I will…father…do you think...can it…would you…"
Knowing what his son wanted to say but had a hard time voicing, Koyo answered, "I don't really know. The doctors' prognoses are not favorable, but for Hikaru's and Sai's sake I don't want to believe that the end is approaching for him either."
Silence reigned after that statement as both men stared contemplatively at their cup of tea.
The next night, both Akiko and Koyo turned as one to the door when they heard Hikaru's shout of "Akira, you jerk! I said I don't want to talk about it" and then running footsteps before the 1st loud bang of a door followed by another door minutes later.
Both parent looked at each other, with Akiko blinking in surprise and asking noone in particular, "Our proper Akira can actually be a jerk? Is he finally at his rebellious teenage stage?"
Koyo doubted it and instead of rushing out to see what happened, he convinced his wife to wait until morning to allow tempers to cool down. Things were stressful right now, so people were bound to be more short-tempered. He hoped it was just a fight among children and nothing too serious.
When the next morning came, Koyo wasn't sure what to do; though both Hikaru and Akira sat down to eat breakfast together, they studiously avoided looking at each other. And all of Akiko's attempts to get them to talk were met with a minimum amount of words; "No", "Yes", "Tomorrow", "Maybe", "Fine", "Good" and the longest was, "Thank you".
Maybe his wife was right, "rebellious teenage stage", indeed.
A/N: Hi all!
Hope everyone had a Good New Year and that this year would be better than the last. Also, welcome back everyone!
Here is chapter one of the sequel to "A New Beginning". At first, I debated whether to keep this with the other story, but figured it was time to end that one so this one could begin. Thought I am not sure how many chapters this story will have either, I do have an inkling of how things will go.
It has been more than 2 months since Sai's collapse and everyone is having a hard time.
Share your thoughts and next chapter should be up soon.