No surprise here; another angst fic! Maybe one day I'll go through all the main pairings and inflict the basugay fandom with more bad fanfiction. TakaMido's turn, set in the hospital and inspired by a short pixiv comic. The thought of seeing Takao in a hospital bed and Midorin crying struck me ; u ;.
I'm very sorry, this is a (waaay too) belated birthday fic for my beautiful and talented friend, Hal. Her art is always so pretty and she's so sweet. Happy Birthday~! I'm honored to be your friend U_U (we r friends right).
General notes: Beginning and end scenes are from Midorima's POV, the rest is from Takao's.
(Was it just my imagination, that your fingers…?)
They say, out of sight, out of mind.
Out of light, into darkness, out of noise, and into silence.
That's not the case.
"You're lying, Shin-chan."
"You were never a great liar."
He comes visit me every day.
How are you today?
"Good, I'm fine. And you?"
He drags a seat over by the bed; it's hard, uncomfortable. I know, because he tends to shift a lot, changing positions and drumming his fingers against one of the bed rails.
It's kind of funny, because even now, he still wraps his fingers methodically, every day. The soft brush of the material against the crisp linen sheets. Or when he adjusts the cover of the duvet, or when he reaches up to brush away some of the stray hair that's gotten in my eyes.
He knows it's annoying, I really hate it when there's hair on my face.
Today, Oha Asa says that Scorpios are ranked sixth.
I chuckle. "You know I don't believe in that zodiac shit, right?"
The green haired man pauses, reaches into his bag and there's more rustling. Plastic bag crinkle sounds too.
I know because he does this every day, without fail.
I wonder what he got me this time.
Your lucky item is a set of 24 neon colored highlighters today. Do you know how difficult it was to acquire exactly one set of 24 -
"Shin-chan cares about me so much, I'm flattered. Must have taken a really long time trying to find this set, huh."
No I mean I -
They were just lying around in my house so I thought I should bring it here just in case.
I wonder what colors they are.
"I bet you ordered them online and had them here, no need to be shy."
I can almost see this. Midorima in his crumply t-shirt and nondescript pajama pants, surfing the net late at night, eyes squinting from the glare of the computer.
It was really quite simple to obtain, forget about what I said.
"Still pretentious as ever, I see."
I think the old me would flash a grin…..right about now. Tease him a bit more till he blushes, till he is forced to spill about the long hours he stayed up last night web shopping, till he pushes up those familiar glasses by the bridge and vehemently ends the conversation with poorly masked embarrassment.
Enough of this nonsense, Takao.
The sound of movement, he's leaning over me and I can hear him taking a few deep breaths, the warmth of the broad expanse of his steady back.
Almost feel the beating of his heart in a strict military one two step.
I say feel, but is it imagine?
Imagine, have I gone insane? I can hear, I can think, I can feel.
I can speak, I can walk, I can talk, I can do this, I can do ordinary, mundane things.
Like opening cans, or fiddling with a television remote control, opening a locker or putting lead into a mechanical pencil. Things like opening packages and chopping carrots, things like shuffling a deck of cards and peeling an apple or tying shoelaces, things like cracking jokes and walking home, things like holding hands -
Or I guess.
Used to, in the past.
But I say "I can" because that makes me feel a little bit better.
As long as I can see myself still doing these things, it means I can.
He adds the highlighter set to the collection on the stand above my head - snowglobe, dried flowers, a fake plant, stuffed koala, beef jerky (how old is exactly?), a scarf - he painstakingly knitted himself - things like that. The lucky items are overflowing, I wonder when the nurses will take them down.
I don't want them to, though.
I think it's really cute, the way he needs an excuse to bring me presents every day.
It used to be when he first started visiting, an awkward silence would permeate the air.
You could feel it - the tense caution, the wordless apprehension.
I didn't mind it, rather it was amusing, having Midorima awkwardly sit there and flip through parenting newsletters, glossy fashion magazines with trashy sex tips or the occasional celebrity tabloid.
No doubt he'd be blushing at the trashy sex tips, I would kill to see his face.
I could hear him open his mouth, as if he wanted to say something -
And exhale again in silence.
"Stop stuttering and actually talk Shin-chan. Cat got your tongue?"
I'm not sure what to say.
"It's like you're a love sick maiden, what have you got to confess to me today?"
Shut up, Takao. I know what you're thinking.
"Don't be shy," I want to say.
I want to know what's on his mind. It's not like I'm clairvoyant.
He continues to flip through the pages of the magazine, and sits there until visiting hours are over.
"You know you honestly don't have to come see me every day."
He's starting to bring medical textbooks now, and spends a significant amount of time muttering complex anatomical terms to himself.
"Since you're so busy."
Whenever I study here, my performance on examinations rise.
He chugs another can of sweet red bean soup.
The nurses let him keep 8 pack Shiruko cans in the room, he goes through at least four of them whenever he's concentrating, six when there's a test.
Must be tough, going to university.
"What kind of doctor do you want to be, Shin-chan?"
"You would look really good in a white doctor's coat, kinky."
Of course he doesn't answer me.
He never does, when he can't even hear me.
I don't sleep, I don't wake.
I wait for the familiar sound of the chair scraping against the tile floor of the room, the sound of his soothing voice.
How are you today?
We've settled into a nice pace.
"Not feeling it today. Waiting for you to come every day's getting kind of tedious."
"How did that exam go?"
The test went well. I guessed on three questions with my lucky pencil, full marks are only natural.
"I want a lucky pencil too."
I want to tell him to stay longer, stay with me.
But that's too selfish, when I've taken so much away from him already.
What day is this again?
It's in the evening, I know. He usually runs home to eat dinner, or he buys a bento box from the convenience stores near this place; I hope he's eating well.
Convenience store dinners aren't nutritious enough.
It's nine already.
Time to go.
He sounds reluctant.
Today's different, he didn't bring anything for me, I miss the regular ritual.
"Shin-chan, where is my lucky item today? Did you for-"
I feel him sit on my bed and suddenly, he gently cups my face and his lips meet mine.
Slight pressure, reminds me of the old days, nostalgic. Kisses that taste faintly of cool mint.
His lips are warm. Soft, even. His familiar scent envelops me.
I'm like a cold fish on the gutting table.
I'm the ugly frog prince that's been smashed to death when thrown at the wall; no amount of kisses will revive someone back from the dead. This isn't some made up fairy tale, I'm no sleeping beauty.
There's nothing magical about it.
His glasses press against my face, and he kisses me again.
It hurts, so much, my chest aches and burns.
Oha Asa says that today's lucky item is a kiss-
So direct. He wasn't like this in the past.
….from someone you love.
"That's gross, Shin-chan."
"It's like you're kissing a dead person."
(I'm sorry that I can't squeeze back when you casually take my hand when you're studying. Your fingers are really warm, you know that?)
(I'm sorry, that when you see my face, when you look for a sign - a twitch, a blink, perhaps the ghost of a smile, that there's nothing there.)
(I'm sorry, that you're here, stuck with someone who can't even open his eyes anymore.)
(I'm sorry that I've burdened you.)
(I'm sorry that I bring you nothing but worries and troubles, when you're supposed to be living your life.)
(I'm sorry, that a person who's just as about as good as dead is still head over heels in love with you.)
(I'm sorry, that I can't move on, and I've forced you to stay with me.)
(I'm sorry for being so selfish.)
You know that, don't you?
Darkness entertains, darkness like some sick solace that I can still confide all my secrets in.
It entraps, it imprisons. Suffocating black cell with no light, heaviness of immobility and stasis.
Fuck this shit.
I want to scream, I want to hear myself scream, to yell till I cannot anymore.
But no. At this point in time,
I don't even know what my voice sounds like.
Curse this goddamned useless body that refuses to move, curse this mouth that fails to open, curse this hand that can't reach up and tug on his clothes.
"Stay just a little bit longer."
Curse these eyes that can't fucking open,
Curse the fact that I can no longer cry.
Fuck this shit, man. .
No matter how much I scream, I know he'll never hear me.
The thing that hurts the most is that -
I can't even kiss him back.
Several days later, I think back to the lucky pencil.
I probably don't even need it.
No one willingly takes some shit test to become a vegetable.
victim of traumatic brain injury, they say.
I'm better off dead than being a sad lump of unresponsive flesh.
I know sometimes he cries.
The first time really surprised me, since I never would have imagined that of all people - Shin-chan would be the one to shed tears over something like this.
So tall, so easy to read, so strong yet so fragile; so easy to tease yet at times, even noble - assured in his abilities, capable in his attitude.
I've only seen him cry once.
A few stray drops on the back of my hand.
They must be salty, crystal clear and glistening in the sunlight - (the nurses came in earlier for the routine morning checkup, chattering about how nice the weather was outside - springtime weather, sunny and green. My bed is right near the window, though it's pointless to be put in such a nice room.)
He says nothing for the longest time.
I don't say anything either until I feel a slight trembling, his hands, they're shaking.
I'm not good with things like comforting.
"It's going to be okay."
But of course, they're lies, all lies.
He rests his head on my bed, he grabs my hand.
He's squeezing too hard, it hurts.
It hurts, but at least it's something.
Why can't you open your eyes? Why can't you talk, why can't you respond?
Takao, Takao, why -
I bet there's going to be a wet spot on the sheets once he lifts his face.
Answer me! Say something, anything -
It's at times like this I wish I couldn't hear. Or think. Hear his voice break like this.
"You ask too many 'why' questions, Shin-chan."
"I don't have the answers to everything, you know."
But I want to cry too.
More than anything, I want to cry, I wish the prickling feeling behind my eyelids would go away already.
You're listening to me, aren't you?
"Yeah. I'm still here."
I can't even crack a joke anymore, or make light of things like I used to.
"Still here, alive and well. Pissing you off like the good old days."
I… want to see you smile again.
Hear your voice.
More than anything in this world.
I want to see you smile once again.
I'm glad you can't see me like this, right now.
But I can, Shin-chan. You don't know that.
My heart stops.
I promised that I would never be this weak in front of you again.
There's no need to be ashamed, Shintarou. There's no shame in crying.
You cry tears for both of us.
"You should stop coming."
I got into medical school, but I'm still going to bring you your lucky item every day.
"You need to leave, I don't want you here."
I'll come a little bit late at times, because some of the classes are in the afternoon. On Wednesdays and Fridays.
"Shin-chan, I don't want you to visit me anymore."
"I don't need any more lucky items, I have enough for the rest of my life."
The nurses here say that you need a haircut. Your hair's getting long.
"You never listen to me."
I brought you something today.
"You have a life to live."
"You need to move on with your life."
It's new - I think you've missed this.
"You can't stay here forever, you're not an old man."
It's the brand that we used to always use -
Used to, he says.
Used to. That stings like hell, hits a nerve.
"LISTEN TO ME"
"GET THE HELL OUT, Shintarou."
I'm practically screaming.
It's a basketball. Nostalgic, no?
He places my hands on the familiar ball. New leather, pungent. He knows I really like the smell, reminds me of the old days.
I can't argue with him.
"You…..need to -"
I miss them.
The days when we'd play together.
"...Find someone new to love, find someone new to make you happy."
"...You...need to move on."
If I could -
If I could save you -
If you could wake up -
"Because...I can't ever make you happy."
Is what I want to say.
But I don't.
I'm too selfish, I'm too jealous, even now.
I'm disgusted with myself.
In the end, I still can't give up.
A vegetable thinks that you're still his, Shin-chan.
That's kind of funny, isn't it?
My mind can only completely focus when he comes.
I can hear his voice, I can imagine it, I can envision it.
I wake up to bits and pieces, snippets of sound, snatches of words. The doctors are outside my room, who are they talking to?
…Comatose for four years….
It seems just like yesterday, it seems like eternity. Time has no place here.
No sign of…
Of what? Me waking up?
….cognitive brain activity….no response to outside stimuli, like light, touch, vocal recognition etc.
Ah; so ignorant.
They don't know anything.
They don't know fast I think my heart is beating when he touches me.
When he places his palm against my cheek, when he leans down and our foreheads touch.
They don't know how glad I am to see him every day, to hear him coming - just to see me.
How glad I am when he says the customary "How are you today," how thankful I am when he painstakingly goes out of his way to look for useless items that mean the world to me. Useless because - that is, if they worked, I wouldn't still be here in this hospital bed. He knows that too.
How jealous I am, of that person, the one who will make him happy because I'm not here anymore.
How it's my fault for being petty, for being hypocritical, when I've brought him nothing but misery.
How I feel like I'm going to practically die all over again when he kisses me.
This time it's no joke, no easy laughing matter. It's literal.
I feel miserable.
Or should I say, I "imagine" I feel.
It's all in my mind.
It's a death sentence, Shin-chan.
As much as I'm grateful that you've never abandoned me,
It would so much easier to let go, if you would have never come.
But I'm still holding o-
Head doctor's voice.
We've given up hope of even partial recovery.
We have no choice.
Ah. It's time.
It was bound to happen anyways.
Just three words, Shin-chan.
I've been waiting for these three simple words for a really long time now.
"I love you"
It's really something quite different.
They're the three words that I've been waiting for you to say, for my parents to say, waiting for the doctors to say as well.
An "I love you" especially from you wouldn't hurt though.
(Pull the plug).
Thinking about it makes it too hard to bear.
How many days has it been again?
Feels like one long hellish minute.
Consciousness floats, there's the sound of heated arguing.
"I'm sorry, Midorima-san. There's nothing we can do."
The doctors, the nurses.
"Of course there's something you can goddamned do, there's no way that you can just - "
He's angry, I can tell. He's seething with anger.
"We have no choice. He's declared brain dead, and we don't have enough money to keep him hooked up to machines - "
My parents? When did they come to visit?
He's your son, he's your flesh and blood, his heart is still beating, he's still breathing, don't give me that bullshit, that you're just going to leave him to die like this!"
"But we have no choice. "
The doctors chime in.
"It's been more than four years since he's been here, and CT scans and MRIs have shown no signs of brain activity in his cerebral cortex and RAS area, he's shown no sign of functional awareness."
You're killing him. You're willingly killing him - how can you do this to him?
His voices edges into hysteria, volume increased. He sounds so angry, so angry.
You're scary when you're angry, Shin-chan.
Even I'm scared, as happy as I am that you're becoming this incensed for me.
My parents again. They rarely come to visit me, they're too afraid of the pain of seeing their crippled son in such a shameful position.
We appreciate that you've been here for him for the past four years Midorima-kun, but you have no say in this.
What is your relationship with Kazunari?
Ah. My parents are getting colder.
There is a pause.
What are you going to say, Shin-chan?
That we were schoolmates? Teammates? We were good friends? We were lovers? That we -
That we were just acquaintances?
Your voice lowers.
What are you going to say?
I'm not ready to hear this.
Whatever it is - I know, I know it'll hurt -
To me, Kazunari is my most important person.
You were the only one that believed I was still here.
Still alive, in a sick sort of way.
Man proposes, God disposes, right?
You liked to say that when we played together in the past.
Shin-chan, you never told me you believed in God.
I never had a chance to ask you that.
It's alright, don't worry.
If I manage to escape hell, once I atone for all of these sins, for keeping you here, for wasting all of your time. I'll somehow manage to jump the fence and sneak into heaven or eternal paradise...wherever you are, and meet you there soon.
I'll make it up to you, somehow.
It's been four years too long.
Today's the last day.
It's time to go.
How are you today?
"Good, I'm great. Ready to go."
"Don't waste your tears on me, Shin-chan. I want to thank you for everything."
"To my most important person, I'll save the sappy sentiments for later."
"I hope you find happiness. "
"To me, Kazunari is my most important person."
I take his hand, hold it against my chest.
Shin-chan. You're not a child anymore, don't cry.
Even though Cancers are the last today - you have your lucky item today, right?
Shin-chan, you've become so emotional lately, what happened to the usual tsundere -
It's as if no one else in the room, the doctors, the parents, the nurses.
Just you and me again.
"How are you today, Takao?"
I'm sick and tired of looking at this fic and I honestly have no desire to read it again so if there are mistakes, bear with me. The premise wasn't particularly anything "special" or "twisted," - honestly, you could say it was a cliché - but I hope I got the point across that Midorima had been visiting a comatose Takao for the last four years, and both of them have this pseudo-conversation (in italics) going on, since neither one could respond to the other properly, especially in Takao's case.
Being in a hospital has changed Takao into a much more sentimental person. Midorin isn't good with words, and though this piece is mostly from Takao's POV, I hope that I was able to capture a little of how much he cared for Takao as well.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year's (soon!) Happy Belated Birthday Hal!