Another one of my snapshots, something more depressing this time because I'm going through a rough time lately.

Possible Title: No ideas as of the moment.

Plotline: A darker take on what would have happened if Yukimura's surgery failed. His condition will steadily grow worse, and drastically fatal. And as preparations for Nationals approached, Yukimura must come to terms with his ending life and must make the most out of it, while hiding his condition from his friends, as well as accepting his deep feelings for his vice-captain, who he knew he would devastate with this revelation. LOTS of drama and angst, with small fluff moments placed in between.

Thoughts: The inspiration came after watching 1 Liter of Tears, the J-drama that brought my sisters to tears after she watched it. Honestly, it made me tear up a bit too, because damn it, I'm a very emotional person, too emotional for a guy, and it's something that I've accepted for a while. ... I have GRAND PLANS for the final scene, and I would still like to write it down, but again, I'm still lacking the plot line in between.

The surgery failed.

He sat completely still, mind blank, body frozen as the words echoed in his head. The doctor kept speaking, but the voice was just too far for him to hear. He clenched the bed sheets tightly, turning his knuckles white, but he didn't seem to notice. Slowly, the words sunk into his brain, and tears welled in his eyes, as he realized what would finally happen to him.

I... I'm going to die.

"S-Sensei… h-how long do I have left?" His voice had never seemed so small before. He bit his lip, trying to get his emotions under control. He must be strong. Especially now.

"Three years… at the most. I can at least assure you that you won't… disappear, for the next three months." His doctor, Hayama-sensei, said sadly. She squeezed his hand when she saw that her patient was close to breaking down. She had grown fond of him, even though it was against the rules of her profession. But his disease had spread faster than they had anticipated, and it was far too late to do anything about it. "I'm so sorry, Yukimura-kun. I wasn't able to cure you."

"No sensei, you've done enough." He still managed to smile, albeit sadly, squeezing her hand back. "I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused."

Seeing him smile did it. Her tears finally flowed, causing him to cry silently as well, his fears finally coming into fruition.

He heard a small crack, and his world finally shattered.


He couldn't tell them the truth. Couldn't bear to.

Sensei, I have a favor to ask of you.

"Really? You're coming back? It's a success?"

He nodded, causing the Rikkaidai regulars to smile and cheer in happiness and relief, filling the hospital room with the air of victory and jubilation. He saw Niou and Marui tackling Akaya with large grins, Jackal, Yagyuu and Yanagi looking relieved, and, finally, Sanada looking at him, a small smile flitting his usually stoic features. He cried a bit inside, his heart slowly breaking, seeing them so happy and hopeful for something that will never be.

Please don't tell my teammates of the results of the surgery. I don't want them to be hurt. Not now.

"Seiichi, when will you come out of the hospital?" Yanagi inquired, looking at the captain carefully. "Soon, I hope."

"I'll be out after a few days, I think." It even hurt to smile. But he must, for him to continue this charade. He must be careful, especially around his brunet best friend, who was more perspective than he let on.

Don't worry, I'll tell them eventually. But the Nationals are coming up and I don't want them disheartened because of me.

The happy atmosphere still continued, and Yukimura watched with bittersweet happiness as his team finally roused themselves against their depression, their competitive spirit rising again. He knew that he would be the one who would break their hearts soon enough and a lone tear escaped from his eyes, as he cried for the forgiveness of his team for the deception he had made. But it was a necessary move, to not let their dreams be shattered at this point in time. At least, not yet. The regulars had noticed and quickly assumed that the tears were of happiness and gently teased him about it, making him cry harder. Seeing the tears Sanada had told them off quickly and apologized profusely, and Yukimura, his heart clenching tightly at the sight of his dearly beloved friend and secret love, managed to make a watery smile, his own heart shattering at the knowledge that Sanada would be the person he would hurt the most with his lie.

Sanada had taken almost everyone out of the hospital room so he could compose himself, shepherding the whole team with Yanagi lingering behind, who sensed something wrong with the situation. The chattering sound of various voices grew fainter, until complete silence was left. Once alone Yanagi stood up, taking Yukimura's hand, wiping the tears off gently with a thumb as he asked quietly.

"Tell me the truth, Seiichi. What was the real result of the surgery?"

One look at Yanagi's serious expression, and Yukimura knew that it was futile to lie. There was nothing the captain could do but tell him the truth. What could he do? Yanagi was too canny to be lied to, and his tears were a telltale sign that something was deeply upsetting him. Yukimura never cried for anything, even when he initially found out about his sickness. Yanagi was a trusted friend; he knew all the secrets of the regulars and yet never divulged it unless it was of complete necessity. Yukimura's eyes went dry as he confessed everything, finally collecting himself and keeping his composure steady. He silently watched as Yanagi's usually collected face turned from shock, to horror, and then complete despair.

"…Why?" Yanagi finally managed to speak. He couldn't believe it. This was their worst nightmare coming to reality. "Why would you lie to us about this, Seiichi? Why didn't you tell us that you're going to die?" His voice rose an octave and yet Yukimura remained immovable, like he was carved from stone.

"It was necessary." Yukimura answered calmly, clenching the sheets tightly with his fist, the only betrayal of his true feelings within. "The Nationals are coming, and I don't want you–"

"I don't give a damn about the Nationals anymore, Seiichi!" Abruptly Yanagi stood up, releasing Yukimura's hand, as the overwhelming feelings of rage, hurt, grief, and sorrow washed over him completely. "Don't you understand? We're going to lose you! Genichirou's going to lose you! I'm going to lose you!" He moved forward, cupping the captain's face with his hand, golden brown eyes visible to the world, reflecting his emotions clearly. "Do you really think that we could concentrate on the Nationals if we found out that you lied to us and that you're on your deathbed?" He asked, voice breaking.

"Which is why you can't say anything about my condition, Renji. Not yet." Yukimura answered quietly, wincing internally. He knew that this would happen. Despite his cool façade, his brunet best friend was perhaps the most passionate person out of them all. He knew how much Yanagi cared deeply for the team, of how much he valued their friendship and their time together, still unable to erase the guilt of abandoning his childhood friend without even saying a goodbye. "I don't want to be in the way of Rikkaidai winning the championships. I'm a burden to all of you."

"Bullshit, Seiichi." Yanagi's voice was controlled, and yet there was a fierce undertone to it, which bellied his still raging fury, fingers curling into a fist, nails scraping the pale white skin. Yanagi, if ever, rarely swore out loud, and something about that thought disquieted Yukimura, a harsh slap to his face that this really was happening. "Why shouldn't I tell them about this? We, of all people, have the right to know what's happening to you. Tell me one good reason why I shouldn't go out of this room right now and tell the rest that you only have at least three months to live."

A short pause.

"… Because I love all of you." Yukimura answered simply, folding his hands against his lap. "And that you would never refuse a request from me, Renji."

Yanagi looked at him, long and hard, the tension in the quiet room slowly thickening, until finally sighing. He straightened up, hand leaving Yukimura's cheek and sat down on the bedside chair, resting his elbows on his knees and pressing his palms against his face. "… You assume too much." He muttered.

"… I'm sorry." Yukimura said softly after a while, reaching forward to brush away the stray locks that fell on the brunet's face. "But this is the only way I know how to save their smiles and laughter. I don't want to end our dreams yet." He smiled gently, threading his fingers through the short brown hair. "I want to protect the feelings that were present before in this room. If I have to lie to them to encourage them to work harder, then I will do it. And if I have to cheat Death to see you win that trophy, then I'll do my best to do so." It seemed so surreal for him to comfort his best friend while it should be him that should be hysterical right now. Perhaps it hadn't fully sunk in yet, that he was really going to die soon. His hands paused, before resuming again with a resolution that showed his inner strength.

He would be able to do this. Three months, his doctor said. It was more than enough time.

After they had won, he will tell them. For sure.

Yanagi finally looked up, smiling wanly despite himself. "Did somebody ever tell you that you're a very selfish person, Seiichi?"

"I might have heard it a few times." Yukimura chuckled lightly, the heavy feeling never leaving him, as he reached out and squeezed Yanagi's hand comfortingly, sensing his resignation. "Thank you."

"But no promises, Seiichi." The brunet told him seriously. "If I see it fit to inform them of your condition, then I will not hesitate to tell them."

"… Very well." Yukimura finally agreed, knowing that if he pushed it, Yanagi just might tell the others what's happening. The data man never did give in without getting at least something out of it. "My secret is in your discretion."

And Yanagi knew he had won. At least for now.

... I really didn't have plans to post something today, but something happened lately. Will you listen to what I'm going to say? I'm sorry if I'm going to take some time to write here, but I just had to let my feelings out, and I hope you could understand, since all of you are my trusted readers and I feel comfortable enough to share some parts of my life with you all. You are free to skip this part and review independently, but, if you have time, please read on, and tell me what I'm going to do, because... I just feel so hopelessly lost.

As you all know by now, I'm in a relationship with Rei, my first relationship with a guy. We first met while I was smoking outside our college building. I found myself drawn to him because of something that he did: he asked me for a lighter since he was going to smoke too, but he didn't wait for me to get it; instead he brought his face closer and brought his unlit cigarette to mine. I was incredibly flustered, it was the first time that someone invaded my personal space like that, and afterwards he laughed and apologized, saying that he tended to be impatient when he was stressed and he needed the nicotine. Afterwards we became really good friends, and later on, lovers (though that story would come another day).

Rei and I are polar opposites when it came to our personalities. I tend to be the more serious, more down-to-earth person while he was more outgoing and friendly. He had a lot of friends, some who he introduced to me and became my friends too. He was very popular, he was charismatic and very loud, I sometimes wondered how we could be so compatible, or how we're able to get along in the first place. But still somehow we made it work out, and I'm truly happy with him by my side.

Anyway, one of his friends was a girl and she is very beautiful. We became friends easily with Rei as a mediator. As Rei told you before, our relationship wasn't something we hide or flaunt to everybody else. She had her suspicions one time, and when a friend of ours confirmed it, her attitude towards me... changed.

Before she was nice and sweet to me, but now she's cold and oftentimes ignored me when I'm included in conversations. Her remarks are cutting and sarcastic, sometimes painful, especially when it's to answer anything I say. And lately, I've heard from friends that she was saying unkind things about me, I'm not going to elaborate, but still very demeaning and hurtful.

Unable to take any of this anymore I confronted her and asked her why she was doing all of this, and if I had dome something to offend her so I could apologize and we could start all over again. And her answer?

"I had a crush on Rei and then you showed up and turned him gay. God, it makes me sick. Now he's with you he won't pay any attention to girls, which is the right thing he should do. Don't fool yourself, Kai. Rei doesn't love you, he's just in it for the money and the intimacy."

... It shocked me. Shocked and hurt and horrified and sickened me, because I've never encountered those words before. Our friends are completely supportive of our relationship, even my straight guy friends who even took the time to call Rei aside and tell him to take care of me or else he'll answer to them. I was hurt deeply but the words that really stabbed me was this:

"You completely disgust me."

... I didn't know what to say after that. After she left I felt so numb and all I wanted to do was to throw something at someone, or lock myself in my room to cry. I certainly felt like crying at the time. And all day I was quiet, and my friends had asked me what was going on, but I couldn't tell them.

I already love Rei. I love him so much, that I became selfish and wanted to stay by his side. And as long as he is happy in our relationship then I will keep him, because his happiness will always always be my own. Was it wrong for me to make myself happy? Did I even deserve Rei in the first place? What right did I have to get him into a relationship that would inevitably hurt him? I didn't want to ask these questions but... seeing her made my insecurities appear and now, I don't know what to do, because I knew that, if he hadn't met me first, there was a large possibility of them being together, and I had trampled on her happiness.

I'm very upset. And now, even my relationship with Rei is strained because of that. Rei knows that something is wrong but I couldn't bear to tell him anything. I actually ended up avoiding him because the very last thing I wanted him to do was to confront and hurt her, and no matter what happens, I never wanted him to lose any friendships because of me. It would be all right for her to hate me, but I could never forgive myself if that happened. I knew that some people would disapprove and even be disgusted at what we have, but to actually hear it was jarring and painful.

Rei has taken to pleading and asking me what was wrong, and it's hurting me to see him so worried. But if I see him now I'll lose my composure and I'll end up confessing everything.

I apologize for the long story, but I just didn't know what to do now. It... hurts. It really hurts to hear her prejudices, her disgust for what we have. What hurt me the most was the fact that she believed that Rei was just using me for his own gain. Rei was the most beautiful, most honest and most wonderful person I know, and he would never go that low. It angered me that she thought of Rei that way. I've never told anyone of this except for you all, because I think you would understand best what I'm going through right now.

Thank you. Thank you so much for staying, for reading, or understanding. You don't have to say anything, but I'm very happy to have this off my chest. I don't actually think I could write for a while, with this problem I have, so I'm sorry for this.

But still, nevertheless, please read and review.