I'm so sorry. I haven't realized it had been sooooooo long until I checked on my profile and saw the last update I made. So I hurried up and got this done. I'm sorry if the beginning sounds boring but I assure you there's a nice (and when I say nice I truly mean heartbreaking) surprise at the end.

On a secondary note I noticed I keep getting stuck on Kouichi's rounds. Weird. -.-'


The Other

Prompt: Hospital

Age: around 6-7 years old


Still little Kouichi opened his eyes, seeing nothing but blurry shapes of white. His body felt heavy and his head was pounding, the strange, soapy smell making it worse. His ears were full of strange noises and his mouth was funny too, like he had too much cotton candy at once but it refused to disappear against his tongue.

In other words, Kouichi didn't feel well.

But why? He was fine when he went for school.

School…here wasn't school. He had seen the infirmary before, when he had that bad tummy ache, and it was nothing like the place he was now. It was colorful, with animal figures all over and even some games, not white and boring like this place.

Suddenly feeling scared, Kouichi sunk into the bed, bringing white sheets closer to his face. Why he was here? Alone? Why he feels sick?

Where's mommy?

Will she come? – the boy pondered, wishing with all his heart but still a bit unsure. After all, mommy was always working. Maybe she could only come later?

Maybe she didn't know he was here?

Granny... – Kouichi thought desperately, trying to find a way out. If granny knew something was wrong she would come and make things better. Or call mommy. Or both.

But if he was supposed to be at school, maybe granny didn't know either? Maybe no one told her.

Maybe they forgot Kouichi. Like that time when the teacher asked for pairs and Kouichi was left alone?

Did it mean he would stay alone here as well?

No. Mommy and granny will be sad. They'll worry. – eyes narrowing in determination, still little Kouichi pushed the covers away, sneaking out of the bed. He wavered a little, his legs feeling like jell-o but he managed. Looking at the door, he set his target and started to walk as silently as he could.

"…stairs…"

The boy stopped, hearing voices from behind the door. Was someone else here? Would he or she take him back to mommy? Or would this person keep him here forever? Like the man in that horror movie he wasn't supposed to see?

Gathering all his courage, Kouichi reached the door, gluing his ear on the white surface.

"…a bump in the head. He'll be fine. "

"Thank God!"

Kouichi frowned. He didn't know the first voice, but the second seemed familiar. Shaking his head a little to clear it, he winced when the pounding doubled. Dejected, the boy tried to listen again.

"When can I take him home?" – the second, familiar voice asked.

"You'll only have to wait until he wakes up. After that Kouichi-kun will be pretty much free to leave, Kimura-san."

Kouichi blinked in surprise. Not because the strangers knew his name but because he had heard Kimura-san before. It was his mommy's adult name!

His mommy was here! She would take him home!

Opening the door in one go, Kouichi was greeted with the expected but still wonderful image of his mommy in her white uniform. Crying out a loud 'Mommy!', the boy threw himself at his mother's legs, holding tight. Tears blurred his eyes but he couldn't understand. He was smiling, wasn't he?

"Shh. It's alright, Kou-chan. You're going to be alright."

"Mom-my!" – the boy called again, a sob cracking the call in half.

"It's okay, Kou-chan. I'm here. It's alright." – the words keep on coming, over and over again, along with fingers that brushed his hair. And Kouichi was happy, he really was! He just couldn't stop crying right now.

But, eventually, he did. It took a while, but Kouichi finally calmed down enough to stop crying and listen to the sweet doctor that took care of him.

"You're in a hospital, Kouichi-kun." – the doctor explained, slow and nice like his teacher would – "You fell from the stairs and you hit your head, so your teacher send you here so we could take care of you."

The boy nodded. It felt right. He could remember going to school, but he couldn't remember leaving. Mommy also said she took the rest of the day off so they could go home together. She even promised to make ramen! Kouichi favorite food ever!

But deep down in Kouichi's innocent heart there was still fear, prove was he refused to let go of his mommy. Even when she picked him up, he refused to let go and just kept his face hidden on her chest.

At least until they reached the hospital's entrance.

Mommy was busy talking with the nice doctor again and signing things so she didn't see but Kouichi did.

The boy was in a wheelchair, but he wasn't rolling the big wheels like Kouichi had seen some people doing, no. Instead there was a nurse pushing him around pretty fast. The boy's eyes were shut tight and he was gritting his teeth, one hand clenching his right arm. Maybe it was the reason of the pain?

No. – Kouichi's eyes followed the boy as he was dragged across the big, white hall. He even raised his hand, small fingers trying to reach even if he knew he couldn't.

Not with his mommy holding him.

Don't cry. It's okay.

But it hurt. Somehow. It hurt so much.

Then he was moving, mommy taking him away from the hospital and the boy in pain. And Kouichi could only stare as the doors closed after them, his hand still stretched and empty.

Little Kouichi didn't know why, but he felt like crying all over again