crossing crossroads

no plot whatsoever but yeah, do enjoy

She came across him because her brother had insisted on visiting that Taiyou boy in the hospital, and in her fit of boredom, she strolled around the garden, avoiding a soccer ball heading her way. Someone groaned in pain behind her, where the ball must have eventually landed, and she turned and found a boy on a wheelchair, massaging his head and holding the ball on his lap.

"Sorry about that!" Two boys ran toward him and took their ball back, and the boy only smiled a gentle, mature smile.

She knew him. The older brother of Tsurugi Kyousuke, who had betrayed Fifth Sector in such fashion. "Hey," she greeted him all of a sudden, which surprised even herself.

The boy (Man? She subtly remembered that he was eighteen-years-old.) looked up at her and smiled. "How can I help you?"

"I'm Yuuka." Common courtesy first.

"Yuuichi." Well, at least he has the manner. "Why don't you sit on that bench over there? I will be there as soon as I could." He pointed at a bench a few steps away, then at his wheelchair.

Yuuka put her hands on her hips and huffed. Before Yuuichi could even make a response, she made her way behind him and held onto the back of his wheelchair. She pushed it forward with a face that glaringly told him not to say anything, and Yuuichi only chuckled and gave in.

"Do you have someone to visit in this hospital?" Yuuichi asked once she was seated and they were quite comfortable with each other's presence. "You don't look sick."

"I'm not sick." Yuuka replied, trying to keep her voice steady and neutral in fear of offending him somehow. "I'm just accompanying my older brother."

"Is that so?" Yuuichi smiled. "Brother, huh? I have a younger sibling, too."

Yuuka stopped herself before she could say Tsurugi Kyousuke's name. "Oh."

"We are really far apart in age, though." Yuuichi laughed in a way that still gave him adult-like aura. "Five years or so...Oh, I'm sorry!" he covered his mouth and smiled ruefully. "I shouldn't be babbling like this. Do you have something to say to me?"

"It's okay." Yuuka said, blinking. "I don't mind you telling me those things. And my brother and I, too. We have a huge age gap."

Yuuichi looked at her for a moment before smiling yet again. "Are the two of you close?"

"Very." Yuuka replied, chuckling lightly as she pictured her brother years prior.

"Siblings are nice."


The sun sank and Yuuka admitted that Yuuichi's face basked in the light stunned her for a very still moment. She looked away and felt his eyes on her, but it did not last so long that she could have suffocated, for she held her breath nervously during those rare, slow seconds.

"You are pretty." Yuuichi said, and when Yuuka turned to him in shock, he was looking away.

But her heart ached in pain that did not hurt her in any way. "Thanks, you are quite good-looking, too."

Yuuichi turned to her then and laughed into his hand, polite and graceful.

She let herself drink in the sight. The silence was more than worth it. At some point, she started to think that being silent with each other gave them comfort.

"Are you sure you should be here? Your brother might be looking for you right now." Yuuichi asked, leaning on his back.

"I'm already in high school, he knows better than to distrust my decision," she pouted.

"I kind of pity him, you know. Being an older brother is not that easy a task."

"Being the younger sibling is not so easy either."

They stared at each other with a challenging gesture before turning away and stifling a laughter.

The sun had completely disappeared from their sight, and Yuuichi looked around to see that not many people were outside. "Visiting hours are almost over." He stated.

"I guess so," Yuuka felt her phone vibrate inside her pocket and inwardly sighed. "Can I come talk to you again later?"

"Come anytime!" Yuuichi waved at her as his wheelchair slid inside the hospital door and Yuuka stood dumbly staring at the direction he had left.

Her brother strode over and asked if she had waited long for him to finish his visit for the Taiyou boy. Yuuka held herself in time to smile and say that he could have spent more time. He shrugged and beckoned for her to follow behind him towards the parking lot.

The next time she came, Yuuichi was sleeping in his room, the blanket pulled over his shoulders. Yuuka stopped by the threshold and argued with her conscience whether to leave or wait inside until he awake. The latter had seemed rather stalker-ish, so she chose to come back another day when she turned and bumped into a nurse, who was apparently in a hurry and ran off as though she had not just made Yuuka topple over on the floor and hit her head with one of the legs of Yuuichi's hospital bed.

"Don't run in corridors! And in a hospital, no less." She groaned, rubbing the back of her head.


Yuuka flinched and glanced upwards just in time to see Yuuichi trying to sit upright as to see her on the tiles clearly.

"What happened?" he asked, but Yuuka was not too eager to reply; she dropped her bag on the bedside table and sat on a chair she had pulled next to his bed.

"I'm sorry I woke you up."

"You did? I didn't notice."

"But you were sleeping until I hit your bed."

"You did? Did that hurt?"

Yuuka stared at him incredulously. "It's not that painful." She said absent-mindedly, unsure if Yuuichi was feigning the whole thing.

"Let me check it out." Yuuichi waved his hand, telling her to come closer. "What if it's bleeding?"

"It's not." She pushed her chair backwards with her feet instead.

"There is nothing wrong with being cautious." Yuuichi almost pouted. "What if...concussion."

That could explain why she felt the whole thing was making no sense whatsoever. Yuuka shuddered at the thought and the next thing she knew was Yuuichi's hands caressing her hair gently. She was rasping, not because her breath had stopped, like it had done on their first meeting, but because there was too much air in her lungs.

"I don't think it's bleeding." Yuuichi said after a while, softly positioning Yuuka back on the chair, her back straight. "But you should try to get it checked, just to be careful."

"I will believe in you on that." She fixed her attire nervously. "Thanks."

Yuuichi smiled, Their eyes locked onto each other, and his fingers twirled, whilst her cheeks fought the red.

"You are not attending any after school club?" Yuuichi asked. "This is too early for a high school student to be out of school."

"Nope, they are troublesome." She had had enough trouble for her school life to matter little to none.


"The other students are not so civilised that I can just waltz in and be friends with them." Yuuka huffed.

"Give them a chance."

"I would have if they have only given me a chance. But anyway, I think it will be boring even if I joined a club." She was halfway on continuing when she noticed what she had done and she jerked in her seat as she caught sight of Yuuichi's expression; a mix of pain and regret and just pure disappointment.

How could she forget? The man in front of her was unable to attend high school at all. The way she acted as though school was just a crumpled piece of paper unworthy of looking at must have cornered him on the edge of snapping.

"I'm sorry."

Yuuichi was strangely silent, his lips pursed together. "Yuuka-chan."

"Yes?" she perked up hopefully, though worry was apparent on her face.

"I'm sorry, will you give me some time?" he asked, the usual maturity in his voice unfound. "I don't want to face you like this."

"Okay." Her legs wobbled, and her eyes refused to shed any tears. She bowed to him before bolting.

She was not so sure if she could ever come back to see him again. Knowing Yuuichi (which did not say much, as she had only ever seen him twice in total), he might not even mention it ever happened. But Yuuka wanted him to get angry; she wanted him to complain and just explode with all the emotions inside him, and then she could look at him properly.

The third time they met was of total reluctance, with her big brother asking if she would be such a dear and deliver some flowers for the Taiyou boy. She had initially refused, but when Toramaru-san offered to come with her, she relented. Maybe a part of her had missed Yuuichi after so long.

The Taiyou boy beamed at the two of them and after a few minutes, both males in the room were engaged in a very animated conversation and Yuuka had to double-check that she was being the third wheel there and walked out in mock rudeness.

Of course, either Fate thought she could make a good entertainment to waste the time with, or that It hated her. God, she hoped it was the former, for it meant that It thought highly of her in some twisted ways.

Tsurugi Kyousuke stopped in his track once she closed the door behind her and they got into an inaudible agreement for a staring contest. This was broken when the younger boy stated. "You are Gouenji-san's sister."

She retorted, "And you are Yuuichi-san's brother." Oops.

Tsurugi Kyousuke's eyes stared suspiciously.

"We are sort of friends. Or were." Yuuka said warily, lightly hoping that it was the case.

He blinked. "Wait, you are Gouenji Yuuka-san, right?" She nodded. "Are you the Yuuka-san that nii-san has been talking about?"

It was her turn to blink. "He talked about me?"

"If there is no other 'Yuuka-chan's, that is," the boy scowled. "But nii-san said this Yuuka-san had a fight with him."

"I did?" But the entire thing had been her fault.

The boy groaned in irritation, but tried his best to look respectful, which he so flawlessly failed. "I don't know. Make up with him if you are the one."

He broke their eye contact and literally slithered into the upcoming crowd.

Yuuka was in dilemma. Should he take Tsurugi Kyousuke's suggestion and apologise? Well, apologising seemed to be the final solution. So she stomped towards Yuuichi's room and breathed in a whole lot of air as she pushed the door open.

For lack of better word, Yuuichi was genuinely shocked when the door slammed open and Yuuka stood there looking all guilty because she hadn't meant to make such loud entry.

"Yuuka-chan!" But the man brightened and ushered her onto the chair beside his bed. "I have missed you! How were you doing?"

Yuuka looked at him longingly before finding the hem on her skirt totally distracting. "I'm so very sorry for what I said."

"You should forget about that." The answer came smoothly and it bothered her even more.

"I will not. I'm sorry. You can tell me right-out that you hate me now."

Unbelievably, she felt like she could picture Yuuichi's clueless expression. "I don't hate you."

"Well, you should."



Yuuichi's hands grabbed her shoulder and her head jerked, her body stiffened, and her eyes met his. "Yuuka-chan."

She could not find the strength to answer.

"What you said should not matter. I was too shallow to get offended at that after all this time." he said, his eyes looking at her; into her. "Please don't tell me to hate you. I would never."

"Is it okay now?" she asked, her lips trembling.

"It has always been okay." Yuuichi laughed, taking his hands off her shoulders. She straightened almost immediately, and he smiled. "I really like you."

She smiled, because it was the subtlety of the context that amused her. "I really like you, too."

The way Yuuichi's eyes rested on her was that of someone equal; someone who admitted to the other being stronger.

"I really like you, after all."

Tsurugi Kyousuke was staring at the door of his brother's hospital room, wondering why his older brother was speaking of when he had wet his bed once and their mother chose to dry the blanket outside, where everyone who passed by could just see. A girly chuckle responded to that, and he was terrified that his brother was telling the tale to someone. Someone he knew, no less. Gouenji-san's sister. Well, at least he was able to eavesdrop and catch some snippets about that one time Gouenji-san was heard singing in the shower.