A/N: Ahhh, I just loved this fandom and these two! This is based on the Rookies movie, by the way.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Aniya slid the curtain behind him, back to its original position shielding him and his captain from the rest of the world. It was less than an hour until visiting hours were up and he knew his time was running out.
"Go away Aniya," Mikoshiba said in a raspy voice. "Just go."
"Mikoshiba," Aniya sighed. "You can't hide it."
The injured boy was facing the window, hiding his face from his teammate. His legs hung over the edge of the bed and his arm leaned on the stand next to him for support. However, Aniya could see the tears in the corner of Mikoshiba's eyes, and he felt something in him tighten.
"Shut up," Mikoshiba snapped weakly, his shoulders shaking slightly. "You don't understand."
Aniya crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. He understood perfectly. It was painful having a dream pulled out from under you, shattered into a thousand pieces. It was Enatsu's fault, that day, and they all felt it. And watching that pitcher strike him out and then no one else… it hurt.
"I know how it feels, you're not the only one," Aniya stated. "You're not any different from the rest of us."
"No! You don't know how it feels!" Mikoshiba shouted, clenching the sheets. "We all lost that dream thanks to Enatsu; yeah we all know how it feels. You didn't lose a dream when Kamikawa struck you out, you just realized how hard it was to get to Koshien!"
"Idiot! It's more than that," Aniya stepped forward angrily, but stopped when he saw Mikoshiba flinch.
"Oh, really?" Mikoshiba clenched the sheets harder. His voice was barely above a whisper. "Who was the one that started this revival?"
"Kawato," Aniya answered easily, yet confused as to where this was going. "He got us all together again and gave us something to believe in."
Mikoshiba shook his head. "Think harder."
Aniya frowned. This wasn't the Mikoshiba that he knew, that he had spent these past months with. He looked disappointed, frustrated… broken.
"It was you," Aniya murmured. He scoffed. "No way."
"You don't know this, " Mikoshiba began, "but Kawato didn't even think about reviving our dreams until he confronted me about… dropping out of school."
"Eh?" Aniya was shocked. Mikoshiba? Dropping out of school? Sure, he used to be an outsider to their group, but he didn't do drugs or get into fights like the others. He was the good kid, and they always believed that. Did he even tell any of them about dropping out of school? Probably Sekikawa at most.
"I told him I wanted to play baseball with everyone again, and smile at graduation. Kawato-sensei actually made me believe that could happen… so I gave him the keys."
"And from there he took control," Aniya finished.
Mikoshiba laughed bitterly, and Aniya couldn't believe what he was seeing. His captain may be a cry-baby, but he was strong. He fought with them for their dream, shouldered their burdens, and never gave up hope. Now, he looked like he was going mad.
"I wanted this the most, so much, and I never truly gave up hope."
The tears began to fall again, and Aniya continued to watch his captain fall apart. He had already seen him begin to crack after going to the tournament drawing, where everyone had badmouthed them. It was painful, and he didn't think that it's fair for Mikoshiba to shoulder so much of their weight. He didn't get involved in the incident, they did. Their never ending fights continued to ruin it for him.
"And then everyone badmouths us, and we can't escape from the incident. I never did anything wrong, a-and now this happens! What d-did I do to deserve this? What did I d-do?"
Mikoshiba let out a heavy sob, wrapping his arms around himself. He didn't want to cry in front of Aniya, but he knew that Aniya wouldn't judge him. Yet, Aniya actually caring was a whole other story.
Aniya had nothing to say, because he didn't know what to say. He didn't have an answer for his friend or a way to comfort him. Comforting people was one of his worst traits, and he always ended up snapping at the person which in turn caused more tears.
All he knew was that he couldn't yell at Mikoshiba or knock some sense into him. He already regretted hitting the boy, and he would bet all his money that the other was still traumatized from that accident - probably everything else, too.
Slowly and uncertainly, Aniya stepped towards Mikoshiba, moving around the bed to stand in front of him. He felt Mikoshiba freeze when he put his hands on the boy's arms and began to pull them away from their place around Mikoshiba's body. Gently, he placed the arms to rest at his captain's side and lifted Mikoshiba's chin. Pain, anger, and frustration swirled in Mikoshiba's eyes, and Aniya was scared that the sparkle wouldn't ever return.
"You did nothing but try to help others," he said, wiping away the tears with his thumb. "You're a selfless, strong person Mikoshiba, don't forget that."
"Aniya..." Mikoshiba whispered, eyes wide.
The pitcher pulled away and stepped back, putting his hands into his pockets. He walked over to the chair and grabbed his stuff before turning to leave. He pushed the curtain back but paused, looking over his shoulder.
"We'll find the end of dreams, don't worry."
The curtain swished closed as Aniya left Mikoshiba to his thoughts.