A/N: I don't even know what this is. AU, certainly. Un-beta'd. Probably rushed — it was just an idea I had to get down before it slipped away completely.

The curse echos through the empty white halls as a dozen baby blue capsules scatter all over the slick linoleum. There are two pairs of footfalls, then; one the tell-all clack of heels, and the other squeaking when Italian leather takes a sharp turn.

"Midorin," the nurse chides, her tone as childish as her cotton candy pink hair, "This is the second time this week you've dropped them! The pharmacist is going to be mad when I call in the prescription again!" Satsuki's cheeks puffed up with air, but she dipped at the knee to start gathering the little pills into her cupped hands.

"You've been off your game, Shin-chan~!" Her companion chirps, narrow eyes beady with mirth as he too kneels to pick up the scattered medicine. Once all the blue pills are off the floor, he observes the head doctor with a sharp, critical eye. "Everything peachy keen, Shin-chan?" Despite the playful wording, Shintarou's assistant is serious.

"Of course." Shintarou dismisses their worry with a grunt and continues down the hall to the lone room at the end, like clockwork. The door snicks as he shuts the door tightly and turns to face the body beneath the drawn-up sheets, finally coming to a full halt beside the railing.

For a while the bundle doesn't move, until finally a pale hand shifts the blanket to the side, and red and gold gleam from the shadow cast by the sun through the blinds on the looming window. "You were four minutes late, Shintarou," the petite redhead replies matter-of-fact, as if it were an inconvenience for the doctor to be late, as if he can leave the hospital ward whenever he wants.

His proud, condescending tone brings the smallest of smiles to Shintarou's lips, but it fades just as quickly as it appeared.

He wonders what it is like to be insane and retain one's pride.

When the sheets are tossed back completely, a set shogi board is revealed. Akashi insists on hiding it, even though such games are permitted. At worst he can attempt to swallow the pieces again, but Midorima doubts he'll try again. Akashi's condition has been improving with the new doses of medicine — very soon he'd be back to his old self, whatever that was. Seijuuro had been his patient for two years, and Shintarou had not known him before the accident.

"Your fingers are twitching," the same dream-like voice drones, plucking a piece from the board to make his first move. It is after he places his knight that he pats the bed beside him, a silent demand that Midorima sit directly beside him no matter how inconvenient it was to reach across the board to move his pieces.

Akashi's in a good mood today, and Shintarou does not intend to spoil it early on, so he takes his seat beside the smaller patient and moves his own knight.

Apparently close contact is an invitation, because soon the redhead is sprawled on his lap, feline-esque hetreochromatic eyes focused intently on the game board with the intensity of a general pouring over battle plans.

Shintarou is good at shogi, but his patient is better. It isn't long before Akashi wins and the board is discarded, tucked away some place where Takao isn't supposed to see it when he makes his rounds during morning therapy to tidy up.

It's when Shintarou offers one of the blue capsules that hadn't fallen to the floor that Seijuuro's mood visibly sours — at least, that's what Midorima can percieve by the way his lips are drawn taunt and his eyes are narrowed, looking at the vision-impaired doctor as if he were a traitor.

Take it, Shintarou silently urges, but Akashi's gaze does not falter.

For a few pregnant moments neither break their stares, before Midorima finally sighs and gives in to his domineering patient. "What is it you want this time, Akashi."

"Scissors," he requests automatically, even though he knows he will not receive them. His privilege concerning sharp objects had been revoked when he tried to stab one of the traveling trainees not too long ago.

"Try again."

That look returns — his evaluating look which makes his brow furrow, the look that makes Midorima question if Akashi should really be in this ward — but he comes to a conclusion rather quickly.

"You can kiss me," he suggests, as he were doing Shintarou a favor to offer him a chance at an affectionate exchange.

Shintarou, having long since become accustom to Akashi's requests, only colors a little before he leans in, his thin lips aligned with his patients. This is not a conventional hospital, so he does not fear any charges of misconduct blemishing his record.

Akashi hums, patient, his fingers curling in soft forest green along the nape of Midorima's neck, just hard enough to be both encouraging and domineering simultaneously. It's then Shintarou gently forms around the slight bow of Akashi's top lip before smoothing over the rough patch chapped from teeth worrying it, and then the kiss is over.

Akashi takes his pill. Shintarou gruffly tells him that he will return to check in on him before dinner, and he leaves.

When the doctor leaves, Akashi smiles, spitting the medicine out into his hand and leaving his bed to wash it down the sink.

What Shintarou does not know won't hurt him.