Returnable Memories

BY : midnightphoenix
Category: +G to L > Junjou Romantica (Junj? Romanchika) > Junjou Romantica (Junj? Romanchika)
Dragon prints: 284
Disclaimer: I don't own Junjou Romantica or its characters. No profit is being made from the writing of this story.

“What is hell?  I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – The Brothers Karamazov

The words were fired rapidly at him, their sting no less painful.  He could only stare at Usagi-san’s father as he sat there on the couch as if he were a king holding court.  His mind froze up at the hurtful words.  What should I do?  If I stay here, all he’ll do is spew his unpleasant vitriol at me.  That’s all he does.  I’m tired of hearing all of it from everyone!  Through the muddled haze of his mind, he could vaguely hear Usagi-san pleading with him to leave the room.

“Takahashi-kun, I said this to you back at the office, too, but thank you for rejecting Haruhiko.  I’m glad you spelled it out loud and clear for him.  Now…if you could just keep it up and reject Akihiko, too?  Your existence is a hindrance to me.”

Misaki felt as though he was suffocating underneath the smothering blanket of those words.  He had to leave.  Leave…just run and run with no destination in mind, as long as it got him away from those vile words.  Why did everyone have such a problem with him?  He’d caused no problems, but people just wouldn’t leave him alone!  He wasn’t even aware of the tears that made a salty path down his face as he hurriedly grabbed his jacket.  Ignoring Usagi-san’s now frantic cries, he dove through the door, hearing it slam shut behind him.  It was only once he got into the elevator that he relaxed.  What was so wrong about them being in a relationship that made it everyone’s business to interfere in it?  And what was Usagi-chichi trying to pull with those pictures of potential fiancées that he waved around?  Just seeing those had made his stomach clench in pain at the mere thought of losing his lover.  The elevator doors opened and he ran out, knowing that Usagi-san wouldn’t be too far behind him.  He couldn’t talk to him now…not until he’d at least calmed down.  Unbidden, his conversation with Usagi-san just a few days prior rose to the front of his mind.

“If you don’t constantly keep an eye on me, I’ll go off somewhere.”

“Don’t try to threaten me!”

“Then please stay beside me.”

“What do you mean?  I’m right here.”

“Yeah…so I want you to stay here, forever.”

“How can I make a promise about that far in the future?”

“Still, I want you to promise me.”


“I started living with you, and now the thought of being alone, something I’d been so used to, terrifies me.”

“Well, I still…”

“I want you to promise.”

“I’m right here, aren’t I?  What are you dissatisfied about?”

“I’m not dissatisfied.  I’m just happy that you chose me.”

Nearly stumbling as he bolted down the walkway, he managed to right himself before he fell.  One quick glance at the pedestrian crossing told him that it was clear.  He had made it to the middle of the street when he heard the squalling tires of an approaching car.  In slow motion, he turned to see the car barreling down on him, leaving him no time to get out of its way.  To his surprise, neither his brother’s face nor his life flashed before his eyes – he could only see his lover’s face in his mind’s eye, a sharp pain lancing his heart as he thought about leaving him behind.  Pain ricocheted throughout his body as the car’s high velocity made the impact that much harder.  Gravity was left behind as he was launched into the air, his body briefly making jarring contact with the car’s hood and windshield before he was thrown roughly behind it.  Sickening thuds could be heard as he came to a dead stop on the hard pavement, the car zooming on as if unaffected.  Unfocused eyes saw blurred shapes running towards him, hearing their cries of exclamation.  Shadows loomed over him, continually asking if he was okay, their voices echoing as if through a tunnel.  Slick wetness could be felt running down the side of his face causing him to blink as it ran into his eye.  As darkness embraced and welcomed him, he heard his lover’s voice screaming his name from far away.  Usagi-san…I’m sorry.  Forgive me.  It looks like I won’t be able to keep my promise to you after all.

Watching helplessly as his lover ignored his cries, he could only sit there as Misaki ran out the door.  Dangerous lavender eyes swung back to pierce his father with a cold glare.  He’d crossed a line he should have never drawn.  Right then he honestly didn’t give a damn if that man was his father…no one would treat Misaki like that and expect him to do nothing about it!  A loud slam echoed in the tense stillness as Akihiko threw the pictures onto the table.  “To disallow Misaki’s existence is to disallow my own.  I can’t live without him.”  Swiftly rising from the couch, he snatched his coat as he prepared to find his wayward lover.  “The door is on autolock, so let yourself out whenever you like.”  Deciding to forego the elevator, he took the stairs instead, hoping that he’d get to Misaki faster.  The unmitigated gall of that man!  How dare he browbeat his way in and attack Misaki like that?  Frustrated tension ran through his body at the sound of footsteps echoing his own in the stairwell.  Didn’t the man know when to take a hint and leave well enough alone?  Once he reached the sidewalk outside of the building, he heard his father start up again about his relationship.

“I’m not saying I hate Takahashi-kun.  It’s not 100% true that the greatest happiness comes from being together with the person you love.  I’m just worried about you.  If you think you’re happy in your present situation, it’s only an illusion.”

Stopping suddenly, he turned around and all but snarled at the man.  “Even if it’s an illusion, I don’t care.  Misaki is the one I want.  I can’t live without him…it’s as simple as that.”  The ear-splitting squalling of tires racing down the street made them both turn their attention towards the road.  Fear surged through him as he saw Misaki standing in the center of the street, the look of terror on his face forever etched into his mind.  Horrified, he saw the car literally levitate his lover off of his feet as the front bumper hit him directly.  Tossed into the air like a child’s discarded rag doll, it felt as if time slowed to a slow crawl until his body finally landed onto the pavement, the crunch of bones breaking reaching him as the car sped off.  The figure didn’t move as it lay limply on the ground, onlookers coming to his rescue as they hovered over him.  Frantic cries could be heard as they yelled for someone to call an ambulance.

Dread propelled him forward as he ran towards his fallen lover, praying to anyone who would listen that he would be all right.  “Misaki!”  He screamed, not caring who heard him.  Working his way through the crowd that surrounded his younger lover, he knelt down beside him.  Those beautiful, green eyes were closed.  He quickly checked to make sure he was breathing and although his pulse was faint, he could see the rise and fall of his chest.  Blood made a sticky trail across the left part of his face as it dripped onto the fabric of his coat.  Parts of his clothing were ripped from the slide across the rough pavement.  Already he could see that Misaki’s arm was bent unnaturally beneath his body, indicating that it was possibly fractured if not broken.  No other injuries were visible to him, but that didn’t rule out any further broken bones or internal damage.

The competing sounds of blaring sirens heralded the approach of the ambulance and police.  Relief washed over the small group, the emotion showing on their faces.  A man stood a short distance away from them as he waved to let the ambulance driver know exactly where they were.  A uniformed police officer edged the crowd back to let the ambulance near.  Paramedics jumped out of the ambulance and quickly opened the back double doors.  A gurney was unloaded and lowered down to where Misaki lay.  One of the paramedics looked at Akihiko and asked, “What exactly happened here?  Did you witness the accident?”

Akihiko nodded.  “He was attempting to cross the road when a car came out of nowhere at a high speed.  He…”  He had to stop as his voice started to waver.  “He was hit by the car.  The front bumper struck him and he then hit both the hood and windshield before being tossed over the vehicle.”

The paramedic nodded.  Working quickly, a neck brace was wrapped securely around his neck as the other paramedic placed a backboard against him.  They moved him slowly, as not to aggravate his injuries any further.  Placing him on the gurney, they elevated it and wheeled it to the back of the waiting ambulance.  Collapsing it once again, they picked it up and placed him in the back of the ambulance where a third paramedic was waiting to get started.

Akihiko managed to grab one of the paramedic’s sleeves.  “I want to go with him!”  At the man’s nod, he rushed forward and climbed into the back of the ambulance.  The double doors closed as the ambulance sped off, sirens and lights blazing.

Fuyuhiko stood there and watched as the ambulance pulled away.  He couldn’t get what had just happened out of his mind.  And deep down, he knew that he’d been responsible, even if he’d not been the one driving.  His selfish words and actions were what had driven Takahashi-kun to leave the apartment like he did.  Sighing heavily, he could only hope for a good outcome from all of this.  His car pulled up to the curb.  When asked where to go, he replied, “Marukawa Publishing…I need to notify some people of what has just happened.”  And hopefully, his editors will give him some slack right now.

Misaki kept falling in and out of consciousness as the paramedics worked feverishly on him.  His uninjured arm was hooked up to an IV drip and he felt something covering his nose and mouth…instinct told him it was an oxygen mask.  His left hand was firmly encased in a tight grip, yet he felt the tremors that belied its strength.  Comforting words kept being murmured to him in a deep voice that he recognized as his lover’s.  He wanted to reassure the man, but he couldn’t seem to keep awake long enough.  He didn’t even have the strength to grasp his hand back.  Stubbornly gathering the remains of his strength, he forced his eyes to open.  Usagi-san sat to his left, a haunted look on his face as he stared back at him.  Misaki could see the tears that were gathered in the corners of his eyes.  Wishing that he could tell him not to worry, he tried to convey the message with his eyes.  His newfound strength didn’t last long as he felt it fading away.  Darkness once again came to claim him and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

Akihiko sat tensely next to his young lover, his lavender eyes never leaving the still form that lay on the gurney.  The paramedics were doing everything they could to keep him stabilized until they reached the hospital.  It hurt to see him hooked up to an IV with an oxygen mask covering the lower part of his face.  Damn it!  If his father hadn’t of butted in, then this wouldn’t have happened!  Tears pooled at the corners of his eyes, but he wouldn’t let them fall.  He didn’t want Misaki, if he woke up, to see him in such a state.  Gripping Misaki’s uninjured hand, mindful of the IV drip connected to it, he kept trying to reassure his lover.  Knowing that he hated to be alone, he just kept stroking his hand, continuously talking to him to let him know he was there.  But even he couldn’t hide the tremors that racked his hands, his nerves fraying at the uncertainty of what lay ahead.  That’s when he saw those green eyes open and focus on his face.  Leaning forward, he wanted nothing more than to stroke his lover’s forehead and gather him into his arms, but he was unable to given Misaki’s current condition.  He saw those eyes turn distressed and he surmised that he had seen the tears in his eyes.  Then a new expression gathered in the green depths and it felt to him as though Misaki was trying to comfort him.  And just as quickly, his lover slipped back into unconsciousness, as Akihiko could only watch helplessly.

He didn’t even begin to understand the medical jargon that was being spoken by the paramedics.  His eyes were solely focused on Misaki.  The younger man hadn’t regained consciousness, a fact which worried Akihiko.  The liquid in the IV kept a steady dripping pattern, as though it were trying to steady his nerves.  It served the opposite, in fact, as it only reminded him that something was seriously wrong with Misaki.

The atmosphere in the ambulance changed as a static-filled voice crackled over the two-way radio.  “Med-Unit 1, what’s the status of your patient?”

“Patient is a 19-year-old male who was involved in a hit-and-run.  Unconscious at the scene, but has been in and out of consciousness; currently he’s unconscious.  He’s bleeding profusely from a deep cut in his scalp.  Right arm is possibly fractured or broken.  There is a high possibility of either internal injuries or bleeding.  Head trauma is highly possible.  Not certain if he’s sustained any other fractures or breaks.  Pupils of both eyes are dilated.  The patient was given both thiopental and suxamethonium and is currently being pre-oxygenated before we induce nasotracheal intubation.”

“All right – we’ll be awaiting you at the hospital.”

“I’m beginning nasotracheal intubation – hand me the tracheal tube.”  Removing the oxygen mask from Misaki’s face, the paramedic began to insert the flexible, plastic tubing into the younger man’s nose.  Once he was certain that it was properly placed in his trachea and that the cuff of the tubing was inflated, he secured it with an endotracheal tube holder.  Replacing the oxygen mask, he continued monitoring Misaki’s condition.

As he watched the entire procedure, Akihiko’s free hand gripped his knee so hard that his knuckles turned white from the strain.  He kept praying that this was just some hideous nightmare and that he’d awaken to find Misaki cuddled close to him.  And God…how was he going to break this to Takahiro?  The other important man in Misaki’s life was just as overprotective as Akihiko was, if not more so.  He felt the ambulance come to a stop and an almost tidal wave of relief swept over him.  But the nagging sense of fear about what awaited his lover still gnawed at his mind.  The back doors flew open as they were met by the waiting trauma team.  Working quickly, they wheeled Misaki into the emergency room, instructions being tossed back and forth as they moved.  Akihiko lingered behind them, wanting to stay with the younger man.  A nurse stopped him and told him gently that he couldn’t go in there since it was for emergency personnel only.  Her face showed that she understood his feelings, but it was her duty after all.  Handing him a clipboard, she asked him to fill out the form.  Writing down what information he could, he handed it back.  “How soon will I know about Misaki’s condition?”

“It’s hard to say, Usami-san.  Depending on his condition and what they find when they examine him, it could be a few hours at least.  I’ll make sure to keep you updated about his condition.  If you’d like, you’re welcome to grab a bite to eat in the cafeteria.  Or, if you’re not hungry, you can wait here in the emergency room waiting area.  If there’s anyone you need to call, now would be a good time.”

“Thank you, Kimura-san.  I’d appreciate it if you’d keep me updated.”  With a small pat on his arm, she left him to go back to her duties.  Dejectedly, he walked into the room she had indicated.  Fortunately, it was empty.  Sinking down onto one of the dark brown couches, he pulled his cell phone out of his coat pocket.  Shaking fingers dialed the familiar number as he waited for Takahiro to pick up.

“Hello, Takahashi residence.”

“Manami-san, this is Akihiko.  Is Takahiro there by any chance?  It’s important that I speak with him.”

“I’m sorry, Usami-san, but he’s still at work.  If you want, I can pass along the message for you.”

It was at this point that he had to steady himself to deliver the devastating news.  “There’s no easy way to say this, but Misaki’s been in an accident.  He was struck by a car earlier this afternoon.  I’m at the hospital right now awaiting word on his condition.”

Manami almost dropped the phone receiver when she heard Akihiko’s words.  How could something so horrible happen to her brother-in-law?  “Oh, my God!  Usami-san, please tell me, how bad is Misaki-kun?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but the paramedics didn’t look as though it was something he’d recover easily from.  I saw the entire thing happen.  There was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening.  He was already half-way across the street and I’d just come out of the apartment building.  That image of the car hitting him – I can’t get it out of my mind!”

Manami didn’t know how to console the broken-sounding man on the phone.  To have witnessed such an event…it was unpleasant to think about.  “I’m going to call him right now.  What hospital are you at?”

“I’m at Musashino Medical College.  From what I was told, it’ll be at least a few hours until we hear anything.”

“We’ll be there as soon as we can, Usami-san.”

Akihiko ended the call and placed his phone back into his pocket.  His jittery nerves were craving a cigarette to calm him down, but he refused to leave in case of any news on Misaki.  As he thought things over, he decided that maybe it was finally time to come clean about himself and Misaki to Takahiro.  The other man deserved to know and not be kept in the dark any longer.  His only real fear was about how he would react.  All he could hope for was that the level-headed man he knew would accept them and their relationship.  Because Misaki needed them both now more than ever and if they were divided over Misaki, then nothing good would come out of it.

Fuyuhiko walked into the entrance of Marukawa Publishing, wondering how he was going to break the bad news he had to tell.  The first person he spotted was Isaka.  “Isaka-san, I need to speak with both you and Aikawa-san.  Is there any way that you can get her?”

Ryuichiro looked at the elder Usami, taking in his haggard appearance.  “I’ll let her know that you want to see her as well.”

A few minutes later, all three were settled into one of the conference rooms.  Fuyuhiko broke the still silence, saying, “Earlier today, Takahashi-kun was involved in an accident.  He was struck by a hit-and-run driver.  Currently, I’m not certain what his condition is.”

Aikawa sat there shocked into silence.  Finally gathering her wits, she managed to utter, “How did this happen?  Does Usami-sensei know about this?”

Fuyuhiko sighed, knowing that what he was about to say would blow up in his face.  “Even though I wasn’t the one driving the vehicle, I’m just as responsible for Takahashi-kun being hit by that car.  After he left here earlier today, I followed him to the apartment.  After I persuaded him to let me into the apartment, that’s where things went downhill.  Akihiko and I got into a disagreement about his relationship with Takahashi-kun; this was after I’d shown him photos of prospective brides for him.  I said some things to the boy that I’m not proud of and that caused him to run out of the apartment.  Akihiko soon followed and I went after him.  We got into it again outside of the apartment building.  In the middle of our argument, that’s when we both heard the squalling of tires.  We…we were both witnesses to Takahashi-kun’s accident.  Akihiko left with him in the ambulance.  I’ve not heard anything since.”

Ryuichiro could only stare at the man.  He’d accepted chibi-tan into Akihiko’s life when he heard the younger man tell Haruhiko that he loved the man’s younger brother.  And he seemed sensible enough to counterbalance Akihiko’s eccentric tendencies.  Another reason they belonged together.  He remembered how his own words had sent the young man into an emotional tizzy at the awards party held at the Imperial Hotel.  To hear such things from his lover’s father…well, that was another matter entirely.  Right now, Akihiko had to be a nervous wreck.  He’d seen firsthand how deeply the older man loved Misaki.  To not know the other’s fate and be left waiting…he’d be driven crazy if it were him.  “Aikawa-san, let’s see if we can talk the publishers into giving Akihiko an extension on his projects due to personal issues.  Then we’re going to the hospital and lend him our support.”

“I’ll get right on it!”  She practically leaped out of her seat as she ran hurriedly out of the room.

“Now let’s see where he’s at,” Ryuichiro said.  Slipping his cell phone out of his jacket pocket, he quickly dialed Akihiko’s number.  After a few minutes, the man answered.  “Akihiko, this is Ryuichiro.  Your father just filled us in on what happened.  Aikawa-san and I are going to try and get the publishers to give you an extension on your projects.  We’ll be on our way there soon.  What hospital are you at?”  He quickly scribbled down the name.  “Okay, we’ll be there as soon as we can.”  Hanging up, he turned to face the elder Usami.  “They’re at Musashino Medical College.  Are you coming with us, Usami-san?”

Fuyuhiko shook his head no.  “My appearance would only make things worse for Akihiko.  I’m just hoping that one day he will be able to forgive me for my part in all of this.”  With that said, he turned and left the room.

The wait was twisting Akihiko’s nerves to the fraying point.  His hands kept clenching and unclenching as he looked up every five minutes to see if Kimura-san had come back out.  The sound of footsteps running towards him made him raise his head.  Takahiro and his wife had arrived and judging by the look on the man’s face, he was headed towards a breakdown.  He rose from the couch and walked towards them.  Waiting for the inevitable question, he looked at his friend.

“Usagi, how did this happen?!  Manami said that he was struck by a car!  Has there been any word?”

Akihiko looked around and saw people milling about in the emergency room.  “Maybe it would be best if we discussed this in the waiting room.  Follow me, please.”  Once seated, Akihiko thought about how to break the news to his friend about his younger brother.  “Takahiro…before I tell you what happened, there’s something that you should know.  Misaki and I…we’ve been in a relationship since he moved in with me a year ago.  I love him, Takahiro, and I know that he loves me in return.”  Stopping there, he raised fearful eyes to see the other man’s reaction.  Tensely, he waited for the condemning words and anger – for the inevitable telling of him to leave his brother alone…that Misaki wasn’t gay.  At that moment, Takahiro resembled a gaping fish, his mouth hanging open with no sound coming out.

Usagi and Misaki in a relationship…how on Earth did that happen?  How did I not see this?  Then he remembered Misaki’s reaction when the younger man had visited him in Osaka, how ardently he defended Usagi.  Realizing now that that should have been his first clue, he peered closely at his closest friend.  The poor man looked defeated, his dark lavender eyes showing worry and pain.  He needed no other words to tell him how the man felt.  All of it was laying there in his eyes for the world to see.  And if they made each other happy, then who was he to interfere?  Their happiness was the only thing that mattered.  “Thank you for telling me, Usagi.  And I know that I can honestly say that I’m happy for the both of you.  As long as you’re both happy with each other, then you have my blessing.  I trust that you’ll do right by my brother.”

Akihiko laughed bitterly at the irony.  “I just wish my father had as much wisdom as you, Takahiro.  It might be wrong of me to think this way, but I hold him partly responsible for what happened to Misaki.  If not for his needling words, Misaki might not have run out of the apartment in the state he was in.”  He told them a brief version of the day’s events that had led up to Misaki’s accident.  His hands shaking as he finished his tale, he said, “I hold him accountable for Misaki laying in that room with God only knows what wrong with him.  I’m not sure I can forgive him for what he said.”

Takahiro was about to reply when they heard the sound of hurried footsteps.  Glancing up, he saw Usagi’s editor and boss coming towards them.  “Usagi,” he whispered, “there are some people here to see you.”

Akihiko turned his head in the direction Takahiro indicated and saw both Isaka-san and Aikawa-san headed their way.  They didn’t show their usual demeanor, which told him how worried they were about Misaki.

“Kimura-san, what information do you have on this patient?”

Kimura Ine looked down at the young man’s chart.  “His name is Takahashi Misaki, Shimizu-sensei.  From what we were told by the paramedics, he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while attempting to cross the street.  He is 19 years old.  He was unconscious at the scene, but then was in and out of consciousness; currently, he’s unconscious.  He was bleeding profusely from a deep cut in his scalp.  His right arm is possibly fractured or broken; we won’t know until we run a scan.  Various contusions and scrapes from hitting both the vehicle and pavement.  He possibly has either internal injuries or bleeding.  We’re not sure if he sustained any more broken bones or not.  Pupils of both eyes are dilated.  The patient was given both thiopental and suxamethonium and they induced nasotracheal intubation.”

Shimizu Torio looked over the young man’s medical history and could see no previous head injuries or other trauma.  “Kimura-san, I want this young man to get a full-body MRI.  We need to determine the exact seriousness of his injuries before we can start to treat him properly.  Depending on the results, we might have to take him into surgery.”  Thinking a minute, he then stated, “Wasn’t there someone with him in the ambulance?”

“Yes, Shimizu-sensei…also, Takahashi-san’s brother is here as well.  Shall I notify them of the procedures we’re about to do?”

“Since he’s the young man’s next-of-kin, we’ll need him to authorize any procedures that we do.  Please inform him of what we’re about to do and let him sign the consent form.”

“Yes, Shimizu-sensei.”

Ine hated this part of her job.  To try and console the loved ones waiting for news on someone they cared for – it hurt to see the pain in their eyes when she had to deliver her news.  Walking into the waiting area, she saw that Usami-san had been joined by four people, one of whom she knew to be Takahashi-san’s brother.  Composing herself, she called out, “Usami-san?”

Akihiko looked up as he heard his name being called.  To his relief, he saw Kimura-san standing there.  Standing up quickly, he asked, “How is he doing, Kimura-san?  Is Misaki okay?”

“At this point, we’re not certain.  We’re going to have to run a full-body MRI on him to fully diagnose his injuries.  From there we can figure out his exact course of treatment.  Depending on what we find, he may need surgery.  I’ll just need your signature on this consent form to begin the procedure, Takahashi-san.”

“Of course – I understand.”  Takahiro quickly signed his signature.  “How long will it be until you know what’s wrong with my brother?”

“At most another hour or so…once we have our diagnosis, I will keep you updated.”

Akihiko sank back down onto the couch.  Surgery…that word alone scared him more than anything right now.  Wearily, he rested his head in his hands, as he pondered the outcome of that.  Would Misaki come out of this and be his normal self or would there be complications?  He had seen firsthand the impact the younger man had sustained.  To walk away from that with no repercussions would be a miracle.  Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he raised his head up.  Aikawa-san was standing next to him, her face trying not to show her worried state.  “Usami-sensei, Misaki will be fine.  You know how stubborn he can be.  Do you think he will let this stop him?”

Smiling faintly, he replied, “You’re right…Misaki wouldn’t let this stop him.  Thank you, Aikawa-san.  I’m grateful that both you and Isaka-san are here right now.  Your support means a lot to both me and to Takahiro and his wife.”

Nowaki noticed the people clustered in the waiting area of the emergency room and immediately recognized Usami-san.  His mind puzzling over why the writer would be here, he saw Kimura-san leaving the room.  Quickly calling her over, he asked, “Is something wrong with Usami-san?  I saw him in the waiting area.”

“He was brought in with a younger man about an hour ago.  The young man had been struck by a car and we’re getting him ready to go do an MRI.  Do you know Usami-san, Kusama-sensei?”

“We’re acquaintances, yes, but it’s my boyfriend who is friends with him.  Hiro-san would want to know about this.  If you’ll excuse me, Kimura-san, there’s someone that I need to contact.”  He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.  Quickly dialing the number, he waited for the other man to pick up his phone.  “Ah, Hiro-san, it’s Nowaki.  I just wanted to let you know that Usami-san is here at the hospital.”  Hearing the man’s panicky shout, he quickly tried to placate him.  “It’s okay, Hiro-san.  He’s not hurt or anything.  He was brought here in an ambulance with a young man.  Apparently, the young man was struck by a car.  They’re still not certain about his condition.  I’m sure Usami-san would appreciate your support, Hiro-san.  Both he and the man’s brother are in the waiting area of the emergency room.”  After hearing Hiro-san reply that he’d be there as soon as he could and then hang up, Nowaki ended the call.  Walking into the room, he went to where Usami-san was sitting.  “Usami-san, it’s Nowaki.  I just wanted to let you know that I’ve notified Hiro-san.  He should be here shortly.  Is there anything that I can get you?”

Akihiko stared up at the tall, black-haired man before him and recognized him as Hiroki’s boyfriend, Kusama Nowaki.  “Thank you, Kusama-san.  I appreciate that.  Thank you for asking, but I don’t need anything at the moment.”

About thirty minutes later, an out-of-breath Hiroki met them in the doorway of the room.  “I came here as fast as I could.  Akihiko, are you all right?”  Noticing the other people in the room for the first time, he recognized Takahiro with a pang of remembrance concerning Akihiko’s past infatuation with the man.  His brain doing fast calculations, he remembered a young man in his class with the same last name as Takahiro.  And didn’t he have a younger brother?  “Takahiro, is your brother the one in the hospital?”  At the man’s nod, he knew he had his answer.  Akihiko was acting strangely…was that young man his lover?  “I’m going to go out on a limb here, but are you dating him, Akihiko?”  Another nod was his answer.  Well, this was a small world, now wasn’t it?  Glancing over at Nowaki who was still in the room, he told him, “Thank you for staying, Nowaki.  I’m glad that you gave Akihiko your support.”  Considering that the younger man had been jealous of his childhood friend, it did indeed mean a lot to him that he had stayed.

The doctor in charge of Misaki’s care studied the screens before him carefully.  Already he could see from the scans that the young man had suffered extensive head trauma.  Part of his skull was sunk in from the trauma he had incurred when he hit his head, causing a depressed skull fracture.  As the machine showed more images, he got a clearer look at the young man’s brain.  Judging from the convex, lens-shaped mass he was viewing, he had sustained an epidural hematoma.  That meant time and the man’s life were hanging in the balance as the hematoma would put pressure on his brain.  Going further, he was relieved to see no damage to either his spine or pelvis.  His right arm was definitely broken, as was his left tibia.  He’d sustained two broken ribs as well.  From what he’d been told of the accident, he wasn’t surprised.  He was fortunate to not have sustained further internal damage aside from his broken bones and head trauma.  A cry of alarm alerted him as he saw the body lying in the scanning machine start to go into convulsions.  “Damn it, he’s having a seizure!  Get him out of there now!  There’s no more time – take him into the OR immediately!”

Once the seizure had passed and it was safe to move him, they quickly transferred him to a gurney.  Moving swiftly, they made their way to the OR, ignoring the people who spotted them and came out of the waiting area.  If this patient was to survive the night, then they had to get him into surgery as soon as they could.

The loud clattering of wheels caught their attention as they saw attendants wheeling a gurney past the waiting area.  Spying familiar, brunette hair, Akihiko felt a surge of fear as he jumped up and raced to the door.  That fear blossomed into dread as he saw that they were headed to the operating room.  Raising a shaking hand to his mouth, he felt as though the ground had fallen from beneath his feet.  Instead of Kimura-san this time, a doctor came into the room.

Shimizu-san spotted the group of people waiting tensely in the room.  “Are all of you waiting for news on Takahashi-san?”  A round of nods greeted his question.  “As of now, I can tell you that his prognosis is guarded.  While we were taking the MRI, he went into a seizure.  This can occur after a head injury has occurred.  From his results, it appears he has a depressed skull fracture and broken bones which are mostly his right arm, left tibia, and two ribs.  About his head injury, basically, this means that a part of his skull has actually sunken in from the trauma.  Surgical intervention can correct the deformity, depending on its severity.  What worries me the most, however, is the intracranial hematoma that we found in his brain.  Takahashi-san has what is known as an epidural hematoma.  This occurs when a blood clot forms underneath the skull, but on top of the dura that surrounds the brain.  Usually, this happens when a tear forms in the artery just under the skull that is called the middle meningeal artery.  This puts increased pressure on his brain.  A craniotomy needs to be performed to lessen the pressure by draining the blood that is in his brain.  We will then insert a catheter into the ventricle of the brain to measure intracranial pressure.  I will let you know how the surgery goes when we’re finished.”

Akihiko stood there like a statue as the doctor told them about his lover’s condition.  The weight of his fear kept doubling in size as Misaki’s injuries were listed, making it almost suffocate him.  The prognosis was guarded…that meant he might not make it, right?  He didn’t want to accept that.  A life without Misaki…impossible, it was just simply impossible for him to comprehend.  All he knew right then was that he had to get out of there.  He couldn’t take any more waiting.  Bolting out of the room, he ignored the frantic cries of his name behind him.

“Akihiko!”  Hiroki shouted.  His friend ignored him as he continued to run.

“It’s okay, Hiro-san, just let him be.  He needs some time to accept this.  We all need to just give him some time alone.”

Hiroki glanced up at his lover.  The younger man was right.  Akihiko was probably in shock right now from what they had all just learned.  To be told that your lover might not make it would be enough to make anyone shaken.


This isn’t sounding too good, is it? I’m still feeling kind of bad about what I’ve done to Misaki. But to all of you who are worrying, there will be no character deaths! I find this to be kind of weird when you think about it, considering I can injure characters, but I can’t find myself killing them off.

Chapter 2 Preview: The results from Misaki’s surgery are in, but will they be good?

Song used to inspire this chapter: Dearest (acoustic piano) – Inuyasha OST

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