A.N: I wrote this because I wanted to explore Nagisa's feelings during the fight in episode eight of After Story: Valiant Fight. I know that must've messed her up emotionally. And then I also wanted to explore the aftermath of the fight, of how both Tomoya and Nagisa dealt with it.
And so now, you get this, a little angsty jump into Nagisa's head. But don't worry; it doesn't stay that way for long.
-This story starts off right after Youhei and the guys are knocked out after eating Sanae's Skittles bread and Aunt Akiko's jam.
-Safe by Britt Nicole
"I'll do it," Tomoya declared.
Dread dropped down into my stomach like an iron weight. "No . . ." I breathlessly whispered.
As he walked past me and started down the grassy slope to the river, I finally found my voice. "Tomoya, no!" I shouted, desperate to stop him. This wasn't his fight; it shouldn't have to be him.
Even as Yukine pleaded with him as well, Tomoya continued on, ignorant to our cries. "No time for second thoughts," he brushed us off.
"Take care of Sunohara for me," he told me.
Sunohara? But what about you? I thought.
Tomoya approached the rival gang leader, Sasaki, and the fear steadily pumping through my veins spiked.
Yu and his sister talked about how Tomoya's stand-in for Kazuto wouldn't be enough, that the fighting would only continue.
"She's right," I nodded my head. "Even with Tomoya's help, if Kazuto doesn't show up and win the duel, then everyone will be just keep fighting forever," I reiterated.
Then I heard Tomoya cry out in pain, and immediately my attention was drawn back to the fight unfolding before my eyes.
I watched, horrorstruck, sniffling as I teared up. He was punched a couple times in the face and stomach, having yet to land a solid hit himself. Sasaki was much too quick and much more experienced.
Then, Tomoya was pushed back harshly with a well aimed punch. "Tomoya!" I shouted as more tears gathered in my eyes. I was so worried for him. Every blow to his body felt like a blow to my heart, it was painful to watch.
They continued fighting and Tomoya was eventually pushed back into the water, Sasaki coming down on him like a bird dive-bombing its prey. He was getting completely pummeled and losing horribly, and I could do nothing but just stand and watch.
Finally, he took Tomoya out with a double fisted sledgehammer swing of a hit, right on his head.
I screamed Tomoya's name, it ripping from my throat in terror; I couldn't hear anything above the roaring in my ears and the panicked beat of my heart.
This is not happening.
But then, Tomoya recovered and finally seeing an opening, he punched Sasaki right back in his face. A small sigh of relief escaped me as more tears streamed down my face.
He was still able to fight, but he looked so very hurt. I couldn't bear to see him like that. Every instinct I had was screaming at me to rush down there and nurse his injuries.
The two fought on, and after awhile, I simply couldn't take it anymore.
I don't know at what point I slid to the ground on my knees, or how long I stayed that way. It could have been hours or maybe just a couple of minutes. I buried my face in my hands and prayed desperately for them to stop and finally, they eventually did.
When I heard Tomoya fall down with a loud groan of exhaustion, I looked up and then stood as Sasaki sat down, too.
I couldn't believe it! It was all over!
I wanted to run to Tomoya's aid right away, but was stopped from doing so by Sunohara and the rest of the gang waking up.
Suddenly remembering my barely registered promise to look after my friend, I turned my attention to him, "Sunohara."
But before I could say anything more, he was yelling, "Okazaki! Okazaki, what happened?" He sprinted down the hill to Tomoya, the other gang members quickly following after him.
Oh no, this wasn't good.
"Hey wait a minute!" I tried to stop them, but it was no use.
Despite my futility, I couldn't help but feel a stabbing jab of guilt in my gut. Why could they do what I couldn't have done during the entire fight?
But I didn't have time to dwell on my internal frustrations, for the other guys across the river were coming to their leader's aid as well. It looked as if it was going to turn into all out brawl fest, a huge fight of which my Tomoya would get caught in the middle of.
My stomach rolled at the thought, he'd already been hurt enough. The fighting needed to stop.
And then, thankfully, it did. (1)
"Oh, Tomoya," I moaned, looking at his bruised face. The color of his navy blue eyes could barely be seen through his one black eye. There was a bandage on his bleeding lip and a gauze pad over his left cheek, covering a rather nasty cut.
My mother had been the one to patch Tomoya up after we'd gotten home. He'd had his bath, after which she'd played nurse, and we were now sitting in his room at the table, talking about the events of the day.
"Nagisa, I'm fine. I know it looks bad, but it's okay, really," he tried to reassure me.
But it didn't go far; he looked horrible, bandages, black eye, and his swollen face. It wasn't right, he shouldn't have gotten hurt like that, and he was never supposed to fight in the first place.
My own guilt lay heavy on my heart as well, of how I wasn't able to stop the fighting, how I should have gone down there and physically pushed them apart . . . and how I wasn't strong enough to do that.
But right then, I gave into the anger, it was easier to deal with and not as complicated.
"No, Tomoya," I said sharply. "It's not fair and you know that."
I reached up a hand to cup his uninjured cheek. "This should not have happened to you."
He huffed, frustrated, "But it did, Nagisa. There's nothing I can do about it, now."
My guilt came rushing back, just bubbling underneath the surface. I've never been good at hiding my feelings. With a relenting sigh, my anger melted away.
"But I should have done something."
"Nagisa," his voice was soft and gentle, surprised. I could just hear his upcoming arguments about how it wasn't my fault and how I shouldn't take this upon myself.
They were a breath away; I could see the words forming in his head as his eyes sharpened, ready to prove his point.
I never gave him the chance.
"Tomoya, I should have gone down there and kept you two apart. Physically dragged you away or something, anything to keep you from getting hurt," tears were now stinging at the corner of my eyes, there wasn't any point in trying to stop them.
"I hated standing there; helpless, watching you get hurt. It was painful, Tomoya. I couldn't stand it." The words tumbled from my mouth, as unrelenting as the tears spilling down my cheeks. My sobs only got harder as I continued, "It was too horrible, and it hurt me to watch that."
"Oh, Nagisa," he seemed at a loss for words. He moved around the table and gathered me in his arms, as I cried into his chest.
Emotions had been high all day and they seemed to crash upon me now in a turbulent wave of pain, guilt and anger. All of the tears I'd shed earlier today at Tomoya's expense were a drop in the ocean to the ones I cried now.
I was crying for the overwhelming circumstances that we had been forced into, for the pain him and I had both suffered, for the anger and guilt I had at myself for not doing what I should have done.
Tomoya held me throughout it all, rubbing my back and whispering words of reassurance to me.
I took the greatest comfort in that, in his arms, and once my tears had reduced to mere sniffles, he finally put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me back to a sitting position.
I stared back at him, feeling I should say something.
"Tomoya, I-" my complimentary apology was on the tip of my tongue before he swiftly cut me off.
"Nagisa we can't worry about the "should-a, could-a, would-av's." What happened happened and we can't go back from that. We can only deal with its aftermath."
The edge in his voice softened and in his eyes grew a tenderness I had yet to see. "I am so sorry I hurt you that way, today. That was never my intention, I cringe at the thought of being the one to cause you any sort of pain."
Tomoya took his hand from my shoulder and gently cupped my cheek, "You know that, right?" he smiled, that adorable half-smile that never fails to get my heart rate up. Despite his bruised face, it was still somehow absolutely adorable.
I smiled back, "Yes, I do."
I took his hand from my cheek, holding it in my own. I took a deep, steadying breath, trying to gather my thoughts.
Looking into his face, trying to lock his gaze with mine through all the bruising, my heart clenched, a lingering shadow of the panic and fear that had consumed me earlier that day.
While his words and embrace comforted me greatly, assuaged my fears and anger, I still couldn't shake my guilt off so easily.
But, Tomoya did have a point, what happened did happen and we can only pick up the pieces of its explosive conclusion and move on from it.
I nodded, "You're right, Tomoya. But, I just want to say-"
He cut me off again, "No, Nagisa, don't apologize. There isn't any need, okay?"
"Okay," I gave off a relenting sigh.
And just like that, the air was cleared- for the most part anyway. All of the heavy, suffocating emotional baggage of the day had been dealt with, and I felt like a great weight was lifted from my shoulders.
We moved onto the subject of Yukine and her brother, and then soon enough, we were reminiscing on lighter topics such as school, the Drama Club and our friends.
We laughed, the both of us, a good hearty laugh, when recalling a stupid stunt Sunohara had pulled at school.
It felt like the most wonderful feeling, our hearts lifted and me reveling in his smile. I had to count my blessings.
The fighting was over, finally concluded. The next day, we were supposed to all meet up with Yukine at the cemetery to visit Kazuto's grave.
And despite the injuries Tomoya had suffered and the lacerations to my own heart, we were still able to enjoy the evening with each other, somehow, no matter how crazy the day.
With an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love towards my Tomoya, I took an unnaturally bold step and leaned in to kiss him on the lips. I needed the comfort, the reassurance, the affirmation of the love I held for him.
It was sweet, short, but lingering enough that when I pulled back, we each gave off a simultaneous sigh of content.
He gathered me in his arms once more, this time not to comfort me, but so I could wrap my arms around him and remind him that he always had someone to fight for.
Everything you want, but it's everything you need
It's not always happy endings
but it's all the in-between
It's taken so long, so long to finally see
that your love is worth the risk
1) If someone doesn't remember, Yukine stopped the fighting by dressing up as her brother and then attempting to fight the other gang leader, but when she got punched in the face and the wig was knocked off, all of the guys stopped and the truth about Kazuto was revealed.