Author Note: I've added a theme song to this fic on the front page, mostly because it's what I was mostly listening to as I wrote this chapter and I felt it was a good choice.
I envy Hisao so much right now… At least he can get changed without the oppressive atmosphere in here. I picked the furthest cubicle away but apparently that wasn’t enough of a hint that I didn’t want to talk.
“You and the new boy, huh?” She calls out, the slight echo just elongating the time her stupid voice hangs in the air. “Looks like I lost some money! Ah well, the year’s still young… Plenty of time for him to pick up wherever he left off with our esteemed Student Council president. Or maybe even her lapdog. Whatcha think?”
Ugh… Even in a school without the usual cliques, some people still fall into the same tired roles. Case in point — Saki Enomoto, your typical, walking Mean Girls stereotype. She’s pretty, popular, talented, and an S-Ranked bitch.
“Oh, Riiiikaaaaa~ It’s rude to ignore people, you know? Come on! You must have had a go in betting pool too!”
Just block her out like usual. She’s all flash and no substance. Absolutely nothing she can say can get under your skin…
“Who knows; maybe he’ll be enticed to the music room by a sultry violin solo… Wouldn’t that be something!”
Oh, you blonde-haired…
“Not biting today, Rika? Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go see if I can catch some fresher fish over on the boys’ side! Ciao~!” I hear the door shudder closed behind her and it takes every ounce of self control not to go out there and beat her with her own cane.
I finish drying and getting dressed, exiting the locker room to find Hisao waiting opposite me, leaning against the wall with folded arms. He looks a little flushed and I can guess why…
“What did she do?” I ask, almost sighing with exasperation and Hisao’s cheeks burn brighter.
“She’s, um…” He stumbles nervously and I scowl at him. Well, not really at him but at Saki for whatever she did.
“Let me guess… it was the swimsuit, wasn’t it?” I ask and he nods sheepishly. I shake my head at him. “Wouldn’t be the first guy she got with that damn thing… Let’s head this way. Doesn’t look like you’d survive seeing her wet in that thing.” I gesture to the second exit, the one that leads to a path behind the medical building, with my thumb and Hisao follows sheepishly.
“You don’t seem to like her very much…” Hisao comments quietly and I’m certainly not going to disagree.
“Not one little bit but the feeling’s mutual so at least that’s something we have in common.” I shrug and smirk a little but Hisao doesn’t smile like I’d hope. “Don’t worry about it, senpai. If she’s what this school can consider a bully, I’m pretty sure I can survive a chatty blonde who spends half her time with a dick in her mouth.”
“If you say so.” He bobs his head with seeming understanding but he double-takes when he actually realises what I said. “Wait, what?”
“How long have you been here again? Thought you would have heard!” I laugh, nudging him the relative newbie in his side with my elbow. He turns crimson again, whether because I’m making fun of him or because he’s imagining what I just made up.
Wouldn’t surprise me if it were true though!
We reach the crossroads before we need to part ways and I turn to Hisao, one hand holding the drawstring of the bag slung over my shoulder casually. His plastic carrier bag is barely holding together so I better make this goodbye quick.
“Apart from the rather rude interruption, I think you made some real progress today!” I smile genuinely. “I’ll have you on your back in no time!”
“Uhhhh…” Hisao’s jaw drops and three seconds later I realise what I’m implying.
“W-W-Wait! I m-mean… Floating! Yes, floating on your back! Like an otter! You’ll be an otter in no time!” God strike me down. To my both my relief and embarrassment, Hisao laughs and flashes a great smile at me, the best of the day.
“Sounds like fun! I look forward to it.” He beams and turns. “I’ll see you soon, Rika!” He says over his shoulder with a wave.
“Take care!” I smile and spin on my heel, taking a few steps forward before I feel a tap on my shoulder. I’m barely turned back to face Hisao, who is suddenly less than a foot from me before I feel the warm pressure of his lips on my cheek. My white skin fades to red and I look up at the boy’s ochre eyes as he steps backwards with a goofy grin on his face.
“Almost forgot that.” He says before turning around and walking towards the boys’ dorms.
He. What. That. He. That’s not fair! He can’t just do that, that’s a total tease! I want to chase after him, grab him by the scruff of his uniform, and tell him that sneak attacks are for cowards but my legs seem to be struggling to keep me standing right now…
Hisao kissed me. Eeeeeeeeeeee! I feel my cheeks spread in a massive grin and I swear I pirouetted into the girls’ dorm on a cloud of pure sunshine and rainbows, stopping only at the archway to the common room to close my eyes and touch the spot where HISAO KISSED ME! My heart beats like a jackhammer as I swoon and I feel lighter than air. Like I don’t even have a body. Like I’m… falling…
That’s not ri
My eyes squeak open and the florescent lights above me are eerily familiar. Nurse’s Office. I squint as I rise, my arms and torso feeling heavier than they should. The dull hum of the air conditioner is only drowned out by the whispers from the other side of the drawn curtains.
Three silhouettes. One large in size, one petite and one that is unmistakably the Doctor’s.
“… to your quick thinking, you two may just have saved her life.”
“It was nothing, sir… Just glad to help.”
“Will you let her know we hope she gets better soon when she wakes up?”
“…Mm’up.” I groan, just about managing to slump forward into a sitting position when the curtain is pulled aside. The Doctor’s narrow eyes peer at me analytically and I can’t shake the feeling this will end in a lecture. Or a call to my mom.
Crapbaskets, it’s going to be both…
“Ah, she’s awake now. Just a quick visit though, I need to make sure she’s alright.” The Doctor draws the curtains back further to reveal Molly and Taro from Hisao’s class. Did they find me?
“Heeey, Silverlocks… Are you okay?” Molly says quietly as she approaches cautiously and softly sits at the end of the bed. I nod weakly and she smiles sympathetically, rubbing my right leg gently. “Good, good... Me and Taro just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“Thanks.” My voice is weak and my head hurts. I look up at Taro. “Both of you.”
“We’ll let Hisao know what happened and that you’re okay. Just take it easy, alright?” His voice is sincere, as is his worried expression. I can only nod in response and the Doctor soon ushers them out. He turns his attention back to me, bringing his chair and clipboard over and soon begins the barrage of tests that I’ve experienced before.
He pokes and prods and takes my temperature and measures my pulse; the Katayama special. It’s not until he’s checking his watch while holding my wrist that he finally chimes in.
“That was all very dramatic, wasn’t it?” Not what I was expecting but I nod silently as he seems satisfied with my results. He begins making notes on his clipboard. Probably another incident report sheet for my file. “Was there anything you can think of that brought this on? Any exertion, shocks or prolonged bouts of intense emotion?”
Despite feeling like hot, heavy garbage; I smile and the Doctor is quick to raise an eyebrow at me quizzically. “Hisao kissed me.” I admit. I’m not going to admit it was on the cheek. The embarrassment of that revelation probably would kill me.
“That’d explain it.” He comments, scribbling quickly. “So how was it?” He smirks, casting his glance sideways at me.
“Heart stopping.” I glibly respond. It’s the best I’ve got right now but it does get a chuckle out of him. I know he’s like this with all his patients but it makes frequent visitors like me feel less like a patient and more like… a friend, I guess.
“As your physician; I would strongly advise against any such activity in the future as to not incite further attacks.” His lecturing tone soon gives way to a softer, warmer tone. “But I know that this is a big step for you considering what happened last time so… I’m happy that you and Nakai are getting along.”
“Thank you, Doc.” I sigh as I ease myself down onto my back. I still need a little more rest before I can get back to my room.
“But take it slow, eh? I don’t want to see you in here every time you and he are feeling… amorous.” His joke is the last thing I hear before I drift off, a comforting warm feeling creeping into my chest.
Eventually, I do make it back to my room. It’s some time before curfew, I think, but my concept of time is shot after that little nap — plus I’m swimming in pain relief and my heart medication right now. I’m barely into my nightdress when there’s a knock at my door. Placing a pillow behind my back so I can rest against the wall, I brush my nightdress flat against my thighs before responding to it.
“Come in!” I raise my voice as best I can and the door slides open, revealing exactly who I thought it would be. “Hi, Hisao.” I smile demurely at him and he rushes over to the side of my bed after closing the door behind him, huffing and puffing as he collapses onto his knees at the edge of my bed.
“Oh my god, Rika! I only just heard from Taro and-and I went to the Nurse’s Office but you weren’t there so I rushed over here as fast as I c-could!” He wheezes, grasping at my hand and I squeeze it firmly.
“Hisao, calm down… Breath slow. I think one heart flutter is enough for one day, don’t you?” Last thing we need is you keeling over too, senpai…
He gulps for air and his eyes flit between our conjoined hands and my face as he calms over the next few minutes, the panic in his face soon giving way to concern. I pull at his hand and he joins me on the bed, sitting with his knees raised right next to me, our hands still connected.
“It’s sweet of you to come over, senpai.”
“I had to. I had to make sure you were okay. I hope… I hope I didn’t cause this.” His sombre tone hurting me more than the actual flutter did.
“Bound to happen. Totally worth it.”
“I… I can’t see how it is…” He looks at me disturbed and I tilt my head lazily. Feel so heavy, still.
“Haven’t you ever had your heart skip a beat for someone you like?” I giggle without opening my mouth. He frowns a little at me but keeps quiet. His lips purse like he wants to say something but can’t. He closes his eyes, inhales deeply and releases a lamentable sigh from his nose.
“Actually, yeah… I have. It’s how I ended up here.” He confesses and even with a head that feels like it’s made of cotton wool, I understand the gravity of the situation. I squeeze his hand and he looks to me, just as my eyes flutter closed. Gotta stay awake.
“You don’t have to… If you don’t wanna…”
“No, I think it’s time. I think, out of everyone, you might understand. Way back then, before I found out I had…” He pauses to steel himself and I open my eyes, determined to pay attention. “I have arrhythmia. You know what that is, I bet.” I nod slowly in response, causing him to chuckle in spite of his grim face.
“Thought so. Apparently I’ve had it all my life but I only found out when… When…” He stumbles and I squeeze his hand for reassurance. “There was a girl, Iwanako, and it was snowing. She called me out to this field and she confessed to me. Came as a shock in more ways than one because the next thing I knew; I was in the hospital.”
He takes his time; explaining about his first heart attack and what happened in the months that followed. Poor Hisao… Seeing everyone he knew and loved slowly abandon him, even as he abandoned himself… No wonder it’s taken him so long to open up about it. In contrast, I’ve been aware of my condition for as long as I can remember. I’ve had the time to adjust, to learn to live with it; even if each operation to fix me has left me gradually weaker, I know my heart is stronger than it was. Today being the exception.
“So that’s my story…” Hisao rests his head back against the wall, looking like a heavy weight has been lifted off him. I lean closer and rest my head on his shoulder.
“Thank you for sharing that, Hisao…” I mutter sincerely, nestling against him. “It makes me feel less silly for this happening after you kissed me on the cheek.” I titter and Hisao sighs, a slight note of annoyance in his voice.
“Too soon. Senpai.” My head swivels on his shoulder to look at him looking down at my confused expression. “What? When it comes to this; you’re my upperclassman.”
Awww, that’s sweet. I smile demurely before scooting closer, lifting his arm to rest across my shoulders. I cuddle into his side and let out a contended sigh.
“Do you mind if I just lay here for a while?” I ask and Hisao laughs, adjusting his position to be a little more comfortable.
“I don’t really have a choice, do I?”
I shake my head as the fatigue and medication take hold. Nuh-uh.
“Okay then… Sweet dreams, Rika.”
Last edited by Sharp-O
on Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.