Note: This is just a short drabble that came into me a few weeks ago. I made a poll with my friends to see which PoT character would suit the plot. Atobe won, but I didn't think Atobe would fit in something like this, so the second choice was Niou.

Prompt: A deteriorating and mental patient set in the future.

Warning: Has mentions of violence and gore. A bit angsty and dramatic. OOC might occur.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything about prince of tennis. I apologize early if this situation somehow resembles a real life story of sort. This is purely fictional.


Memories


Niou slowly cracked his eyes open, still a bit sleepy and tired. His body felt stiff and rigid as he yawned and moved slowly to the side, the morning light coming from the window blinds him for a few seconds. He blinked a few times trying to wash out the lights and let his eyes adjust. Wait… the window? As far as he can remember his wife always covers the windows with long and thick curtains as they both weren't a morning person. Speaking of his wife…. Niou patted the right side of the bed, where she always slept, and found it empty and quite short in size. Wasn't their bed supposed to be king sized? Who changed it?

Squinting his eyes, he sat up and tried to take in his surroundings. Everything was white… which was odd considering they both hate white. He held his head a bit as a surge of pain hit him. Where was he? This was obviously not their room or their house for that matter, but it was faintly familiar, like he has been there previously.

Swinging his legs off the bed, Niou carefully got up, stretching his aching body a little. As far as he can remember, he was supposed to be sleeping with his wife the night before after a very heated and romantic 'activities'. Now he was at some place with out even knowing how he got there. Where was she anyways? He was always the one who wakes up first, unless she was up to something. He snickered at the thought.

He padded his way towards what he deemed to be the bathroom and turned on the tap as he look at his own reflection. Something was definitely wrong. He looks… different from what he looked like last night. Some what older. Shaking his head, he splashed some water on his face to clear his head. As he tried to look for a towel, he heard the door opening, followed by the voice of his best friend calling out for him.

"I'm in here Yeahgyuu~" He said in his typical sing-sang voice when ever he says his name.

A small smile graced his ex-doubles partner's lips as Niou walked out of the door, his face still wet. "There's a towel in the cabinet over there Niou-kun."

Niou nodded and went straight to the cabinet. "So where am I Yagyuu? This isn't some kind of prank to get back at me for making your wedding cake explode last week right?" He snickered as he remembered the chaos that the small prank did at the gentleman's wedding. "And where's my own wife? I was fairly sure I was sleeping with her last night."

The smile on Yagyuu's face turn into grimace as Niou turned to face him. "Niou-kun…"

Niou scrunch up his eye brows as he saw Yagyuu's face. "What's with that reaction? Are you seriously still mad at me?" He laughed at that. "Come on Yeahgyuu~ it was just a prank. No harm done right?"

Yagyuu shook his head and went up to his friend. "Niou-kun." He repeated as he placed a hand on the trickster's shoulder. "My wedding was 3 years ago."

Niou blinked and stared at Yagyuu for a about a minute before he burst out laughing. "Right, 3 years ago." He smirked. "Good one Yagyuu." He then patted his friend's head like he was talking to a kid. "You can't trick me~" He winked. "Don't forget I am the Trickster." He chuckled and sat down on the bed. "Now seriously where's my wife." Niou then grinned. "We still have to finish what we started last night you know, married couple's nightly activities." He wiggled his eye brows, indicating what he meant.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Yagyuu sighed and sat beside Niou. "Niou-kun… your wife… she died. She's been dead for three years now. "

Niou's eyes widen. His suddenly found it hard to breath. Was that really true? "You…" he then laughed awkwardly, like he just forced it out of his mouth, trying to deny everything. "That's got to be the lamest joke ever Yagyuu. She can't be dead. I just slept with her last night."

Yagyuu once again shook his head. "Niou-kun, I know this is hard." He pushed his glasses a bit as he tried to break in the news to his friend for god knows how many times. "You're in the hospital."

Niou blinked. "Why the hell am I in the hospital?"

"You live here Niou-kun. You've been here for three years."

"T-that's not true." He then glared at his friend. "I perfectly remember what happened yesterday. And it was not three years ago. You're just pulling my leg." His voice getting louder and more desperate by the minute. "Any time now my wife will burst out of those door and tell me this is all just a joke. That you all just ganged up on me as revenge from all those pranks that I did." Niou nodded, he didn't know if he was just convincing himself as he pushed away the harsh reality. "That's right. I'll just sit here and wait for her." He then laughed, but his eyes were glassy and unfocused. Tears started falling down, but he didn't know why, after all this was all just a cruel joke, right? "Then I'll laugh at her and tell her that all of your plans have just gone down the drain, because I am better than all of you in being sneaky…"

"Niou-kun, look at me." Yagyuu tried to shake him a bit; there was a hint of desperation laced on his voice. "You have to accept that she's gone. It's the only way."

Niou continued to ramble on as he slowly and unconsciously hugged his knees, rocking himself back and forth. "Any minute now…" he muttered under his breath, repeating her name over and over again.

"Try to remember Niou-kun. Don't go back in the past. Don't make it harder for yourself."

Niou continued to rock himself. He was in a dream like state. Everything was cloudy as he waits for his wife to pick him up. He just can't wait to see her and get out of here.

Taking in the painful sight in front of him, Yagyuu decided it was time to leave, today was once again a failure. He patted his friend's shoulder. "I'll be back later Niou-kun." He softly said to the man, who probably can't hear him now, before stepping out of the room, closing the door behind him.


Yagyuu placed a clip board on his desk as he leaned back on his revolving chair. He was tired, but he still has a few rounds to do before heading home. He was also keen on checking on Niou again incase his friend needed anything. The nurses and other Doctors were too useless. None of them understand after all.

"It's sad to see him like that."

Yagyuu turned his seat around to see Yukimura coming in his office. He didn't even hear the door open. He must have been really tired. "Yukimura-kun." He nodded at his ex-captain.

"How is he?" Yukimura sat on the sofa infront of his table. "Still the same?"

"Unfortunately." He replied as he stood up. "Do you want some Tea?"

"No thank you. I just got back from dinner with Sanada and the rest. You should have come with us. You need a break once in a while."

"You know I can't." He gave Yukimura a small smile as he made some coffee for himself "No one will even bother to check on him if I did."

Yukimura's face flashed a bit of fury. To others it might just seem a fluke, as Yukimura to them always will have that angelic face, but Yagyuu clearly saw the irritation and anger in him, even if it was just a fraction of a second.

"Why you do even bother letting him staying here is still beyond my wits. We can find a more suitable place for him than this run down place that doesn't even treat him properly. You're even under paid. I'm sure Atobe-kun will be willing to help us." He clicked his tongue in annoyance, a very un-Yukimura kind of way, but all of them did grew up after all. They weren't just the boys who only knew tennis as the center of their lives. The harsh and bitter reality called the 'real world' made them all change and grew up to be different. One of those realities was Niou's situation. A part of their reality that none of them can get over with.

Yagyuu had chosen to stay as a resident doctor in an old hospital near their school. It was the only place that was willing to take in his friend, despite his condition. The staff wasn't welcoming and hospitable, so he chose to be a doctor there to take care of Niou personally. They have been moving him from one mental institution to another for a year before settling down in that hospital. He couldn't blame the hospitals though. Niou was a handful to handle, especially now. Today was just one of those, mild days. On other days, he was too violent that Niou had to call Sanada to help him subdue the man. None of the hospital staffs would help him. It was one of their conditions to let him stay. It was cruel, but they had to make do with it. Beggars can't be choosers after all.

He pitied his best friend. Ever since that fateful night happened, Niou's mental health was deteriorating every single day. He was getting worse and despite him being a doctor, he really doesn't know what to do anymore. He had tried everything, all the therapy and medicine. Along the way, he concluded that it must have been his friend's unconscious way of protecting himself from the cruel and ugly world.

He was taken out of his mental musing when Yukimura sighed heavily. He slid back down to his chair and placed the mug of hot coffee down at his table. He was so tired, but he just couldn't let go of his friend.

"If she had just survived…" Yukimura smiled sadly.

Yagyuu nodded at that. If she had just survived that dreadful night, a night all of them won't forget, then maybe his friend wouldn't have ended like this. After all, she was the only one who could really connect with him.

He closed his eyes as he remembered that night three years ago.

He got a frantic call from Niou's wife at 2 am. Her voice was raspy and she sounded like gurgling or choking, like she was struggling to breathe or drowning, as a doctor, it made him panic. She just said two words before the line was cut off.

'Help us…'

He immediately called everyone as they rushed towards Niou's house. What they saw was something he doesn't want to see ever again. It was morbid and down right inhumane. She was there lying on the floor, blood was pooling around her as she lay lifelessly, her clothes her ripped in every possible way. Her throat was slit up deeply that you can practically see a lot of blood gushing out of it. If Yagyuu didn't know any better, the call he got was probably after her throat was slit. That would have explained the raspy and gurgle-ly voice. It made him sick to the stomach imaging her calling him as blood poured out of her mouth and throat. The most cruel thing to look at for him was before dying, she looked as if she was crawling to where she thought her husband was, or that was what Yagyuu guessed she was doing, the way her body and blood were positioned.

Marui immediately fainted on the spot; Akaya threw up, Yukimura called an ambulance while Sanada started running around the house to find Niou. They were apparently been robbed. A group of guys broke into their house to steal and they most probably raped her in the process. It was common these days, with the crime rate increasing everyday. People were mugged in their own homes; the women were always raped then killed.

No one saw what really happened, but obviously a fight broke out because of state the house was in. Everything was a mess. Vases and appliances were broken and scattered everywhere. The cabinets were all opened and empty. Knives were all over the floor covered in blood.

They found Niou in the kitchen cabinet bleeding, alive but barely breathing. They didn't know how he ended up inside the cabinet. Yagyuu though guesses that his wife has something to do with it. She might have tried to hide him after the blow he had gotten when the robbers was probably trying to look for something valuable. He was hit hard repeatedly on the head with something metal and heavy which caused a huge gash on the head. The blow caused a concussion that damaged Niou's brain, causing his mental heath to decline.

At first Niou just had relapses. Like he was relieving every once in a while what happened that night. He would scream her name and attack anyone who comes near him, then he would go back to normal. But slowly, his memory started to get affected. He would one day wake up repeating the same memory over and over again, the morning before the robbery happened. Sometimes, Yagyuu prefers him to be stuck in that memory and try not to make him remember like what he did earlier. He can see that his friend was happy to be stuck in past, even if it was a painful sight to see.

"Are you sure it's okay for things to stay like this Hiroshi? He wakes up every morning with the same memory as before. He's forever stuck in the past isn't he? "

Yagyuu took a sip of his coffee and turned to his friend. "Yukimura-kun, sometimes ignorance is a bliss… despite his deteriorating state, at least she still lives in his memories…"


END


A/N: I would like to thank Sagarika for beta-reading this for me.

I would update my multi-chap story Changes in a few days after I get my laptop back, the next chapter is 70% done.

Reviews and constructive criticism are highly entertained. XD