A/N: Hi! This was my first story in this fandom under a different penname! I already posted this before, but due to different reasons I've decided to do some revisions in order for me to be able to continue it. Not big revisions though, just some proof-reading. Up to chapter 3 (the last chapter that was uploaded), everything will be the same except some spelling mistakes and some other errors.
Disclaimer: I don't own La Corda D'oro.
Mending Broken Dreams
He was the one who stole all of her dreams but she said she didn't mind. It was obvious that he did.
Tsukimori Len watched as Hino Kahoko was wheeled away on a gurney towards an open ambulance in front of Seiso Academy.
Majority of the students of Seiso gathered at the front gates watching the ambulance whirr away leaving a very bad image of a bloody and battered Hino Kahoko in everyone's mind. They knew what had happened of course. Everyone saw. It wasn't like it was kept a secret since it happened in broad daylight.
Len himself couldn't stop feeling anxious about the whole thing because he knew how scary it would be if there was even a slight chance that he'd never be able to play the violin ever again. He had come quite close to that once before, and had absolutely refused to stray on that gray area of his life as a musician ever again.
Judging from the incident that had just occurred, that would probably be Hino Kahoko's predicament.
"Tsukimori Len, Tsuchiara Ryoutaro, Please report to the chairman's office." The announcement had reverberated throughout the entire school. Everyone didn't even make a sound, and Len wasn't sure he liked it that way. Seiso had always been full of sounds, music from the practice rooms or chatter of students coming in and out of their classes.
He glanced downwards at himself.
His usually pristine white uniform was covered in red spots and they were all from Kahoko's blood. Len desperately tried to wash it off in the bathroom but it only turned a faded pink from the water. The smell stayed and he was sure the images of what had happened would stay in his mind as well.
Walking towards the chairman's office had been the worst.
Tsukimori Len was not shaken easily by stares and whispering but this was a little over the top. Of course, he had expected this but what he didn't expect was that they'd do it straight to his face. Even he had fidgeted a little when a young man from the General Education section gave him a glare.
It didn't take an idiot to find out that it had been his fault that Kahoko had been injured like that.
Opening the door, he found out that Ryoutaro was already there seated at the two arm chairs located inside and the chairman and Kanazawa-sensei were standing up and having a serious conversation.
Ryoutaro looked like he'd seen a ghost. He was as white as a sheet and the blood all over his shirt didn't help the image he was emanating.
"Ah, Len." Kanayan sighed as he blew the smoke from his cigar, "So, care to enlighten us on who the man was?" He said before lightly tapping the cigar at the edge of the ashtray causing the used end to fall.
The chairman, Akihiko Kira, stared him down and made him slightly uncomfortable the way his eyes seemed to follow him as he entered through the doorway. Len closed the door behind him and sat opposite Ryoutaro, "He was a former competitor in one of the contests I had joined."
He didn't now the man very well. He just knew information that were published in local magazines that featured up and coming musicians.
He was about four years older than Hino and himself. He was considered to be the most prodigious young man of Japan in accordance to the violin. Well, that was the case until he stepped in and won first place in that contest. He hadn't heard from the man ever since.
Len could still recall the look on Kaho's face. Her usually light skin drained of color, even he felt a little scared during that time. But when he saw her arm, he was borderline frightened. It was… just pure gore to his eyes when he saw the amount of blood all over the floor and he was sure that her bone had protruded from her skin.
He lifted his face to glance at the student seated opposite him, Tsuchiara was covered in blood from head to toe, blood that came from both Hino and the man responsible for her trip to the hospital.
Today had been crazy.
Tsukimori Len was walking towards the music room to meet Hino Kahoko. It had been a normal day, normal as it can be.
He had discussed with Kanazawa-sensei his oncoming trip to Vienna and how it had to be postponed until after the term unless he wanted to repeat the entire grade all over again. Len didn't mind. Repeating a grade was much of a bigger annoyance than staying for another few days. End of term was just in a few weeks. If he had to repeat, it would mean that he had wasted his entire year here in Seiso.
He'd been mulling over these thoughts when he heard Hino Kahoko shout his name.
"Tsukimori-kun!" He heard the shout and suddenly whipped around, but he already felt a strong push from behind by the small hands of Kahoko, as he suddenly lost his balance and fell to the side.
But that wasn't the most shocking that happened because seconds later he saw a steel baseball bat swing down from on top of his previous location. It hit nothing but air… and Hino's arm from when she pushed him down.
He had heard it. The sickening crack of her bones and the gasp of surprise from the one who swung the bat and as if in slow motion, Len watched as Kahoko lost her arm because of him.
And Len watched, eyes wide as Kahoko screamed catching the attention of the students who were previously lounging at the school grounds.
Ryoutaro was the first one to act and pulled the guy off, managing to knock him out with a quick punch before running over to Hino whose arm was bleeding from a fracture which looked terrible, arms were not meant to be bent that way, he was sure.
Len, also covered in blood from Kahoko, could only watch on the sidelines as Hino Kahoko's dreams of being a violinist were crushed because of him.
"Kanazawa-sensei…"Ryoutaro began, "What happened to the man?" It was the first time he's spoken since after the incident. Len could hear the hoarseness in his voice probably due to the shock of what had happened.
Len lifted his head. He wanted to know that himself. Somehow he couldn't forgive that man. Using violence and wreaking havoc on one's dreams just because he was falling short on his own.
And maybe, he was also a little frustrated that it had to be Hino who had gotten injured for his sake. Among the many people he's known, Hino Kahoko had been the most-hardworking in terms of practice because she knew she lacked the natural talent to play the violin as skillfully as the others do.
He knew she practiced almost as much as he did, probably even more judging from her calloused fingers but he would still berate her and tell her to practice even more. He himself didn't know why he did this, probably because he was angry with himself that he couldn't love the violin as much as she did.
Nobody loved music more as much as Kahoko does, and nobody could contradict that fact without being called an idiot by most people.
The chairman walked over and sat in his chair, "He's been apprehended and brought to the police station." He stated and somehow both Tsukimori and Tsuchiara tensed uncomfortably.
Len could only imagine the Ryoutaro's thoughts on what to do with that man. The soccer player had been unable to do anything except punch the man until he fainted because he immediately ran towards Hino the moment the suspect fell to the ground unmoving.
The phone began to ring and everyone simultaneously turned their heads towards it. It broke the uncomfortable silence but it could also carry bad news for them.
The only calm man about this entire fiasco, the chairman, picked it up and initiation conversation and after a few minutes of conversing with the man at the other end of the line, Kira hanged up and faced all of them with an expression that none of them could interpret.
Kira had always worn a poker face every time Len saw him but there was a slight difference. You wouldn't have noticed it either if you hadn't held a conversation with the man for more than a few times.
"Hino Kahoko's regained consciousness." He said and Tsuchiara sighed in relief but Len still couldn't breathe.
He should be thankful though because looking at the amount of blood that Hino lost during the entire ordeal, it wouldn't have been a surprise if she died. At least that's what Len thought as he looked at the amount of blood on both himself and Tsuchiara Ryoutaro and that corridor where everything had occured. The janitor was going to have trouble cleaning that up later.
And even if she did regain consciousness, what about her arm? Will she still be able to play like she wanted? Will she be able to reach his level?
"But her arm's fractured." Len heard Kanazawa sigh.
The first few cracks appeared.
Kira turned to him and as if answering Len's thoughts said, "It looks bad."
Tsukimori Len entered the clean whiteness that was the hospital.
It was three days after the incident and Len hadn't gotten even a wink of sleep the night before. The sound of Kahoko's bone cracking repeating itself over and over inside his head was enough to keep him awake the entire night.
It was even worst than the pressure he received from the concours.
He walked towards the receptionist's table holding a bunch of flowers. It was only polite to bring something if you were visiting someone especially someone who was in here because of you in the first place.
With her room assignment in mind, Len proceeded with thoughts of how much he hated the hospital. It was always so white and it had this smell of antiseptic that stuck to your skin like perfume. The fact that people died here also made him avoid it like the plague. It had been the most horrible place for him ever since he was a kid.
And he still can't believe Kahoko was here because of him.
"Tsukimori-kun?" His head turned so fast that he was surprised his neck didn't break from the force and she was there, her red hair tied back and dressed in a white hospital gown.
Tsukimori refrained from cringing when he saw the cast and the sling that hung on her shoulder. She was holding her red violin case and somehow that made the guilt seem even sharper.
"What're you doing outside?" He said as he shifted the flowers into one hand and grabbed her violin case with the other.
They were outside her room and Hino looked like she was about to leave and go out for a walk.
Kahoko blushed and sheepishly scratched her neck while laughing awkwardly, "Well, the thing is Tsukimori-kun…" She started but Len immediately cut her off, "You shouldn't be going out. Go back inside."
Kahoko pouted but followed his instructions and proceeded to enter the room with him, her violin still in his grasp.
"Hey, Tsukimori-kun…" She called for him, as he was placing the flowers in a vase on the bedside table, "Would you mind handing me my violin?" She asked while sitting up on her bed, her covers drawn up to her waist.
Len stared at her for a moment before reaching for the red rectangular case on the chair, "What do you want it for anyway? It's not like you can play it." Len cringed at the reminder whilst handing her the violin.
Despite the fact that he might've said something that reminded her of the situation right now, Kahoko didn't seem to notice at all and merely reached for the instrument with happiness etched onto her features.
Kahoko smiled happily at him and looked at the instrument with nostalgia, "I just want… I just want to hold it even if I can't play it." She said staring at the shiny wood of the instrument in her hands.
And the knife that was already wedged in him, his guilt, was slowly being turned by that invisible hand and Len felt as worst as ever as Kahoko smiled at the violin with the golden chord in her hands.
Len stared at her for a few more moments before glancing at her surroundings. The hospital room was pretty big and there was a huge window just beside the bed making the place look brighter. The entire place was littered with presents from friends and classmates. A bouquet of white lilies caught his eye, they were styled with something akin to Ikebana.
"They're from Azuma-san" She said with a smile when she noticed that she was staring at the beautifully arranged flowers. Len raised a brow but decided to ignore the fact that she was on a first name basis with their senior.
"How are you feeling?" Kahoko looked at him like he just asked his question in a foreign language and Len looked slightly affronted, "What?"
"Oh nothing." Kahoko said while waving her hands, "I just never expected you to ask me that kind of question, Tsukimori-kun." She said while laughing sheepishly.
Really? Was he that much of an anti-social that not even the rules of etiquette applied to him?
"Isn't it only polite?" He retorted extremely annoyed with Kahoko's assumption of his character.
He saw the redhead made a slight bow of apology, as much as her arm allowed her to, and said, "Sorry Tsukimori-kun. I just didn't expect for this to happen…" She said. And somehow the knife that stabbed Len before twisted painfully in his gut. Kahoko seemingly aware of his discomfort bowed again, "It's not that I blame you or anything… Just that well… Ugh…" She was already close to panicking, her eyes shifting from him to the floor and back to him again.
Deciding to put her out of her misery he muttered, "I get it." He sat down on the chair nearest her bed and watched as Kahoko let her fingers slide across the glossy wood of her violin.
It was obvious at how much the girl loved it. He somehow envied her because he knew that she had the potential to reach the stars. She loved music as much as his parents did, something even Len still has some difficulty of comprehending.
"Hey, Tsukimori-kun." She started, "I won't be able to play anymore right?" She asked, her eyes turning into the most pitiful state he's ever seen. They weren't crying though, they were just sad. Extremely sad, that Len couldn't help but look away.
"They won't tell me… but I know." She glanced at him while Len decided to fix his gaze on the floor temporarily, "I can't move my fingers… I can't feel them." Her voice started to break, "I can't feel my entire arm… It's like it's not even there."
"I'm sure that you'll still be able t-"
"Don't lie to me!"
Len's head whipped up to see her face and he immediately regretted making that move.
The dam had already broken and fresh tears fell down her cheeks and that knife of guilt was so deep in him that he was sure nobody nor nothing could take it out, "No. I don't think you can."
He saw her face break into a smile, a smile that was so pitiful he wanted to look away but couldn't. It was the smile of a broken person… one whose dreams were shattered and spat on.
"Yeah." She looked at him with a smile, a stupid action thus far. He was the one at fault for what had happened to her and yet why does she still show so much kindness for him.
"I'm sorry." That was the only thing he could say.
Hino Kahoko's smile widened just a bit more.
A/N: When I read this, I couldn't believe I wrote it for the first time. It was so angsty. Haha. But anyways, I hope you'll like it.