I'm so sorry this took as long as it did! I'm so sorry! I had the biggest case of writer cba syndrome ever! I thank all of the patient people who waited for this chapter and have continued to loyally follow this terrible author. To show you how much it means to me to still be receiving reviews, I worked hard to make this a long chappie! Enjoy! And from now on, thoughts are in italics!
I don't own anything.
AND I'M SORRYYYY~!
If only sulking was in the Olympics...
'Never in my whole life' thought Shouta, 'have I been more miserable than I am right now.'
And indeed, the extent of his depression had reached levels far beyond those normal for the rest of mankind. He was seated in one of the cubicles in the school clinic, next to a plastered Sawako. Her casted leg was suspended and she was deep asleep. At the head of the bed, with his head in his hands, Shouta sulked. He sulked whilst nightmarish thoughts rampaged over the barren landscape of his mind. In fact, he was good enough to be a professional sulker. He was so absorbed in wallowing in his depression that I doubt he would flinch even if a nuclear war started in the room, with cheerleaders chanting in the background and gorillas swinging from the roof. No, the only thing that would make him move was his girlfriend's awakening.
'Or is it? Do you really want her to wake up? Do you really think she'll forgive you?'
These questions had been regular visitors in his battered brain for the 3 hours that had passed since the 'incident', and they were certainly not welcome. His face was already caked with tears previously shed, and he refused to let these thoughts make him cry more. He rejected the questions, pushing them to the back of his head, bit he knew that they would rise again, sooner or later- most probably sooner.
"But I won't succumb to them."
He muttered under his breath as he ferociously wiped non-existent tears from his slightly glazed eyes. He was the only one allowed to stay with Sawako; Chizu, Ayane and Ryu had been forced back to lessons by Pin, who was trying to act nonchalant about the whole situation. However, worry was etched onto the young teacher's face- a rarity in itself. As Shouta sat there on his cold, plastic chair, he was oblivious to the slight murmurings and twisting of Sawako- she was waking up.
Shouta was pulled harshly from his thoughts by Sawako, now wide awake, having a coughing fit. He raised his head from his hands at a break-neck speed, red-ringed eyes taking in the scene. His girlfriend's delicate body was shaking violently due to her coughs, growing worse as each bout intensified. Her porcelain arms were clasped tightly around her mouth, eyes squeezed shut with effort. Acting on impulse, Shouta grabbed the glass of water on the bedside table as he gently pulled away Sawako's hands before carefully putting the cup to her parted lips and helped her drink from it, his hand never leaving the warm grip of hers. When her unexplained coughs subsided, Shouta asked,
"Are you okay, Kuronuma?",
a shallow smile painted on his lips. Squeezing his hand gently, Sawako smiled and answered,
"Yes, I'm fine, don't worry!"
As she was in a happy frame of mind, she was unable to notice that his soft grin was forced, and his cheerful demeanor a hollow shell masking his sadness. Sawako studied her surroundings, taking in the brilliant white walls and blue tiled floor. her confused face was set in a... pout? Shouta blinked in surprise. He was sure that he'd never seen her pout before- in fact, this could be rarer than her smile- her genuine smile. Whilst Shouta was temporarily blasé about the situation, Sawako was getting more and more baffled by the second. Finally, she turned to her boyfriend and asked,
"Kazehaya-kun, where are we and why are we here?"
It was then Shouta's turn to be confused. Did she really not recall anything? And... did he want her to? Was he willing to tell her and risk her hatred? Could he just make up an excuse?
'No.' he thought, inwardly shaking his head. 'She deserves to know the truth. It wouldn't be right to keep it from her, no matter the circumstances.'
The boy sighed before looking his girlfriend dead in the eye.
"Kuronuma... there was a violent earthquake three hours ago, and during the most intense bit of it, a piece of rubble fell on your leg, effectively breaking it. That's why we're here, here being the school's clinic."
He ended his explanation with gestures to the room around them and Sawako's plastered leg. As Shouta explained, memories slowly seeped into the ravenette's brain. Once the whole unfortunate incident was completely clear in her foggy mind, she shifted her gaze to her leg and, sure enough, it was in a white cast, suspended above the bed.
'How didn't I notice before...?'
As she continued to stare quizzically at her cast, she was oblivious to the depression that was slowly engulfing her boyfriend. That is, until he spoke.
Surprised by his sudden apology, Sawako turned back to Shouta to see him, once again, with his head in his hands. If she wasn't shocked before, she certainly was when she saw tears collecting and spilling from his eyes- apparently, his previous vigour about keeping his tears at bay had gone up in smoke.
"Ka-Kazehaya-k-kun? What's wrong?"
"I'm so sorry, Kuronuma! when we were in that earthquake, I said... I-I said I'd protect you! No matter what! But now you're in pain, your leg is broken and it's all my fault!"
Sawako tried to interrupt her boyfriend's spiel, but he continued regardless.
"I should have been protecting you better! It was terrifying as it is, and I can't even hope to imagine how you feel right now. You must be so disappointed in me!"
The pale girl was desperately trying to make Shouta stop talking but he payed her no heed, and all she could do was watch in agony as the tears rolled in a constant stream down his face.
"I'm so useless as a boyfriend! I'm meant to protect you! But instead, I put you through pain! I should have been the one who had my leg broken! That would give this useless piece of nothingness some wor-"
She shouted, the word feeling foreign as it rolled from her tongue. Shouta stopped his rant abruptly and stared in wonderment at the breathless, blushing girl sitting on the bed.
'She called me by my name... she finally called me by my name!'
He thought, face frozen in shock. Even his tears seemed to suddenly stop halfway down his cheeks as his teary eyes looked into hers. Meanwhile, a slightly flustered Sawako was mentally preparing herself for a long speech about how Shouta wasn't worthless, and how she would never blame him and how much she cared for him, when she realised what her mind had subconsciously made her say.
'I-I just unintentionally said 'Shouta' instead of 'Kazehaya-kun'...'
With this new revelation, the blush on the ravenette's cheeks flared to new heights.
"U-um... err... e-eto..."
She stammered, her mouth seemingly unable to produce anything other than the embarrassed sounds. She was wondering what to do next when a pair of hesitant arms encircled her waist and drew her close to the warmth of a body. Sawako looked up in surprise, cheeks brighter than ever, to see Shouta with his hair overshadowing his eyes, blushing like a maniac as he hugged her.
"You finally called me 'Shouta'... I've been waiting for so long, S-Sawako..."
Hidden in the folds of his shirt, Sawako's face flamed red.
'My name... he called me 'Sawako'...'
She pulled away from him and looked into his brown eyes, eyes that were once filled with tears but now shone with love.
"OH, AM I INTERRUPTING SOMETHING? PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Immediately, both pairs of brown eyes swiveled to meet those belonging to the cackling idiot of a person that somehow passed for a teacher. And by now, most of you will have used your amazing intellectual skills to figure out that it was none other than Pin doubled over and roaring with laughter at the doorway- and if you didn't, go and read some more Kimi ni Todoke.
Both shouted simultaneously, jumping away from each other and blushing deeply. Unfortunately for Sawako, jumping off a bed when your leg is suspended in the air is not a very good idea.
As she fell, her momentum snapped the sling that was keeping her leg in the air and she tumbled to the floor. Immediately, she could hear Shouta's chair clatter to the side as he rushed to her aid, and even Pin ceased his snickering and crouched beside her.
"S-SAWAKO! Are you okay?! Sawako?"
"Kuronuma! Be careful! You're injured you know!"
Pin stated matter-of-factually whilst Shouta bombarded her with questions. Sitting up and rubbing her head, which she seemed to have banged against the floor, she smiled softly and said,
"Don't worry Sh-Shouta, Arai-sensei, I'm really okay! Just a bit disorientated is all..."
As she spoke, the raven haired girl attempted to stand up, but stumbled down again. Her head was swimming and she couldn't see straight- she must have banged her head quite hard.
"D-Do you want some help, Kuro- I-I mean, S-Sawako?"
Said girl blushed crimson as Shouta, pink dusting his cheeks, offered his hand to her. Gingerly taking hold of it, she staggered to her feet, clutching his hand for support. Slowly, Shouta helped her to the bed, and asked if her head was okay. Answering that it would take a few minutes, but she'd be fine, Sawako turned to Pin, who had pulled a chair up beside the bed. Shouta sat down next to her and they both gave the unusually serious teacher their complete attention.
"Kuronuma, how's your leg?"
"It doesn't hurt, Arai-sensei, it's just awkward, as I'm not used to the cast yet..."
The ravenette answered timidly, polite as ever.
"It has to stay on for three weeks, so that means..."
Pin looked to the side, where a conveniently placed calender was hanging from the wall, and tried to figure out what day Sawako would be able to have her cast removed. It was then that Sawako felt her hand being squeezed and looked down, to see that she was still holding Shouta's hand. Immediately, a dainty red flush crept onto her cheeks and she looked at her boyfriend through her lashes, her eyes shy and questioning. One look at her adorable face was enough to make Shouta exceedingly self conscious and embarrassed, but he smiled down at her nevertheless and squeezed her hand again. A small smile played across Sawako's lips as she turned back to Pin, the simple action making Shouta's blush intensify. His train of thoughts, consisting mostly of 'How can one person be so damn adorable without even trying?', was interrupted by a triumphant Kaizuichi (A/N: THAT IS PIN'S REAL NAME) shouting about the day of his girlfriend's cast removal.
"THE 26TH OF NOVEMBER!"
Sawako blinked at his eagerness before replying happily,
"That's convenient! The day after that is the start of Winter break. We can still have fun, ne, Shouta?"
She turned to the boy seated beside her, eyes practically sparkling. Shouta blushed and answered.
"Y-yeah, it's great that you'll be okay by then!"
He answered, unable to tear his gaze from Sawako. It was actually a good thing that he couldn't, as it was at that moment that she smiled. Her head tilted slightly and she closed her eyes, mouth turned upwards in one of her rare shows of affection. Shouta's eyes widened and his mouth opened in a silent gasp as he stared at the girl in awe. Fighting to keep the blush at bay, he beamed back at her and laughed. Sawako's smile gradually turned into a look of confusion as Shouta kept chuckling beside her. Giving him a questioning look, she finally got a reply from him.
"I-It's nothing. Don't worry about it!"
The boy smiled once more before shifting his stare to Pin, who seemed to be frozen in his chair. Breaking out of his reverie, he jumped up and exclaimed, with his usual vigour,
"DON'T GET ALL LOVEY-DOVEY HERE! OUT! SHOO! TAKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND HOME SHOUTA!"
And with that, he herded them down the corridor and slammed the door in their faces, leaving them standing in the yard. Shouta shook his head and then turned to Sawako, who was breathing hard. His eyebrows furrowing, he leaned down to her height and looked at her with concerned eyes.
"Are you okay, S-Sawako?"
The girl jolted before nodding ferociously.
"Y-yes! It's just that I'm not used to these crutches yet, so walking takes a lot out of me..."
Shouta smiled at the dithering girl and grabbed her arm, a laugh evident in his voice when he said,
"Relax, Sawako! I've got you!"
A blush hovering over her porcelain cheeks, Sawako nodded and, with Shouta beside her, set off for her house, where forgotten complications awaited their arrival...
*pants* AND IT'S DONE! Boy, that took forever! I, personally, feel as though the standard has slipped... please tell me what you think and how I can improve! The next chapter has a major surprise in, so stay tuned! I've decided to add a little 'next time' section in the end A/Ns, sooooo...
Memories hit her like a freight train as her body began to tremble.
"I-It would be better if you went home, Shouta..."
"What? I'll wait for your parents to come back! They can't be that late, can they? When are they coming back?"
Her shuddering increasing, Sawako wrapped her arms around herself in an action unnatural for her. Her voice shook as she answered in a low voice,
"Sh-Shouta... my parents aren't coming home..."
"Eh? What do you mean, Sawako?"
The tears finally spilling from her eyes, Sawako lowered her eyes to the floor and whispered in an almost inaudible voice,
"Sh-Shouta... m-my parents... my parents are d-dead..."
And a smash echoed through the house as a teacup crashed to the floor...
DUN DUN DUN! PLEASE REVIEW! I PUT A LOT OF HARD WORK INTO THIS!
spoilerspoilerspoilerspoiler FOR CHAPTER 71 AS I READ IN THE RAW THAT HAS BEEN RELEASED. do not read if you do not want to:
In chapter 71... they finally kiss!1