Rating: PG for language
Disclaimer: I do not own Gravi. Maki Murakami does. I don’t own the Otada General Hospital, either, if there really is one.
Warnings: Very few. Shounen ai, obviously, and some angst
Authors note: I decided Suguru needed a near-death experience. No, really.
“Hello?” Eiri mumbled into the receiver. He hated the phone while he was working and would have rather unplugged it, if only that brat would let him. He had just lost a scene because of the stupid ringing thing, now he would be late on the next deadline again. Thus, he was not particularly cheerful as he answered.
“Hello, Eiri?” It was Tohma. Why would Tohma be calling him at a time like this? Surely he was at work or doing some sort of important business, it was only a normal Saturday afternoon. However, his somewhat frantic tone of voice told Eiri that something was out of the ordinary, and it almost frightened him in contrast to Tohma’s always-calm demeanor.
“What is it, Tohma?” he asked, trying not to sound interested.
There was a pause. “Eiri…there’s been an accident.”
Eiri was taken aback. An accident? Of what sort? Involving whom? Of all the questions flooding into his head, he could only ask, “An accident?”
“Yes…there was a car accident today…the roads are all slick from the rain…” Eiri glanced out the window. He hadn’t noticed. “…and visibility isn’t very good…”
Eiri was sick of Tohma dragging on. Something had happened, and he wanted to know what the hell it was. “Tohma, cut to the chase. What happened?”
Tohma sighed, more of a frightened sigh than an exasperated one. He supposed he couldn’t put it off for much longer. It puzzled him how his own fear was completely screwing up the way he was acting. “Very well, Eiri. There has been a very serious car crash and…Shindou Shuichi has been seriously injured.”
Eiri’s stomach instantly lurched. The thought hadn’t even entered his head. A gasp betrayed his lips before he managed to ask, “How?”
“...On their way back from a TV gig, a car swerved and hit the back passenger’s side of their car, unfortunately right where Shindou had been sitting. He was the most badly injured, and he was rushed as fast as possible to the hospital…”
“How bad is it?” Eiri interrupted.
“I haven’t heard very much, their not letting anyone in. I think quite a few of his ribs are broken and his lung might have been punctured.”
Eiri was no doctor, but that sounded pretty bad to him. “Where?”
“Okada general hospital—you know where that is?”
Tohma got no answer besides the click of the receiver. Eiri was already gone.
Hiro opened his eyes. He was lying in an unfamiliar room. He tried to sit up, but as he did so, he felt a sharp pain in his arm. Looking over, he realized that it had been put in a cast. What had happened?”
Looking around, he tried to remember. He was in a white-walled room that was pretty bare, excepting some equipment he didn’t recognize. Could he possibly be in…a hospital?
That’s right. The accident. A car had hit them…and he had been jolted before he hit his head and passed out. But…the others…what about them? Were they okay?
He struggled to sit up again, this time being aware of his apparently broken arm, but his head brought him down. He figured the pain was cause by the hit he had taken, and that was confirmed when he reached up and felt a bandage wrapped around his skull.
Trying one last time, he managed to get himself upright, and looked around again. His eyes moved to the door just as it was opening, and a woman in a white coat who he assumed was a doctor came in.
“Hello,” she said. “It’s good to see that you’re awake. How are you feeling?”
‘Like hell,’ was probably the best answer, but his conscience told him to reply, “All right.”
“That’s good. Your head was bleeding pretty badly and we had to stitch it up, and your left arm was broken, but you came out in a lot better condition than the other man. You all were lucky you were wearing you seatbelts.”
“Which other? What happened?” Hiro asked worriedly.
“Shindou Shuichi, I think his name was. He’s in critical condition right now, and to tell you the truth, we’re not sure how he’ll come out.”
Hiro jumped to his feet (or did his best to, anyway), but the doctor put her hand on his shoulder and firmly pushed him back down. “There’s nothing you can do for him. I’m sorry. We’re doing the best we can. The best thing for you right now is to get some rest.”
Get some rest? While Shuichi was possibly dying? Hiro couldn’t stand the thought, but as he tried to resist, everything went hazy, and then was gone all together.
Suguru was slowly emerging from his semiconscious state. The crash, the ambulance…everything was a blur. Now he was in the hospital, and someone was telling him that he was all right and he had come out the best of the three back seat passengers, but none of it was sinking in. He could only stare straight ahead at the cold, white wall.
And then, a question was asked. “Would you like to go see one of your friends?”
A question that he had not formulated emerged from his dry lips. “Who?”
“Nakano Hiroshi. He’s doing fine, and we’ll be able to release both of you very soon. Would you like to go see him?”
“Yes,” he said slowly, dazedly. His body stood, but he knew he couldn’t hold his weight. He collapsed.
“Oh, dear,” the doctor said. “I guess we’ll have to take you there in a wheelchair.
Suguru felt himself nod in agreement, though it seemed odd. Nothing like this had ever happened to him before, so he guessed his body couldn’t take the stress…
He was brought to another room of the hospital, and taken inside. The doctor then walked outside closing the door behind him, but Suguru realized that he was still standing outside the door.
He glanced down at Hiro. A bandage was wrapped around the top of his head, and a small hint of blood stained the cloth. Also, his left arm had been put into a cast, so presumably it was broken. He was unconscious now, and Suguru noted how peaceful he seemed. He wished he could feel that way.
At that moment, Hiro’s eyes fluttered open. Suguru just stared at him as he recognized his visitor and smiled. It was a sad smile.
“You’re all right?” he asked.
Suguru didn’t know how to answer. Was he all right? Physically, yes, he had been virtually unharmed, but mentally…
“Yes, I’m fine,” he responded, and the noise seemed to echo in the silent room.
Hiro grimaced. “It’s good to know. I suppose you heard about Shuichi?”
He supposed he had, something bad had happened to him, but he couldn’t remember what.
“No,” he said slowly.
He’s…in bad shape,” Hiro explained. “I don’t know exactly what happened…but they don’t know if he’s going to be okay…”
Hiro’s voice seemed to drift away as images suddenly filled Suguru’s memory. Vivid, terrifying images.
He remembered now. The car had crashed into them, right into Shuichi, and Hiro, who had been next to him, had been knocked out. And then everything seemed to stop, to slow down incredibly. The blood was staining Shuichi’s unmoving body with alarming speed, and someone outside the car had yelled, “Call an ambulance!” And Suguru had just sat there, hearing Shuichi’s awful gasps for breath and the screams and shouts of passers by. And then the sirens…”
“Suguru, what’s wrong?”
Suguru snapped out of his daze to see Hiro looking worriedly at him. “What’s…wrong?”
“You don’t seem well. Are you okay?” Hiro asked. “Should I call the doctor?”
Suguru tried to stand. “Hiroshi-san I…I…”
And that’s when the haziness overtook him again.
“Name, please?” Eiri stared coldly at the clerk behind the desk. He had finally reached the hospital.
“Uesugi Eiri,” he replied.
“And who are you here to see?” the clerk asked politely as she typed something into her computer.
“Shindou Shuichi,” he stated. The clerk typed something else, then looked up at Eiri. “I’m sorry, sir, but he is in critical condition and is undergoing surgery at this moment. He will not be available for visits for quite a while.
“Can you tell me how he is?” Eiri looked the other way to hide his worried expression.
“His lung has been punctured and he’s in surgery right now. That’s all I can tell you, sir, I’m sorry.” The clerk motioned to the waiting area. “You may wait here and I’ll notify you if I get any information,” she offered.
Eiri grunted and turned to the room. A few people were sitting there, reading magazines or books, all with similar expressions on their faces. Eiri was just sitting down in a corner when the doors opened and who would enter but Tohma and Mika Seguchi.
As they were approaching the desk, Eiri stood and walked briskly over to them. Mika noticed her brother first, and then tugged on her husband’s sleeve. He smiled a worried smile and waved as Eiri approached.
“So, how is he?” Tohma asked.
“They won’t tell me very much,” Eiri mumbled. “Only that he’s in ‘critical condition’, whatever the hell that means, and that he’s going into surgery.”
“Have you found out about any of the others?” Mika asked.
“No,” Eiri said. “I assume you’re here to see that cousin of yours, Tohma?”
“We’re here to see all of them, it was indirectly my fault that this happened,” Tohma said, and a little bit of guilt was noticeable in his voice. Eiri caught it, but pretended that he hadn’t.
“Well, you might as well ask about them.” he said, hanging behind as Tohma and Mika went up to the desk. A few minutes later, they returned to Eiri, presumably with news. They didn’t look as worried as Eiri had expected.
“It seems Nakano and Suguru are in much better condition than Shindou,” Tohma reported. “It’s a miracle that K and Sakano weren’t present at the time of the crash.”
“We’re going to go visit them. Care to join us?” Mika offered.
“Sure, what the hell,” Eiri replied, and followed Tohma and his sister to the elevator.
“Shh, I think he’s waking up!”
“Is he all right?”
“Yeah, he just passed out.”
Suguru stared at the faces around him. His cousin and his wife were now present, as well as Uesugi Eiri, and Hiro. “What?” he asked.
“You just passed out,” Hiro explained. “I put you on the bed.” He laughed an uneasy laugh. “Glad you’re okay.”
“Oh, Seguchi-san,” Suguru said to his cousin, sitting up. “Thank you for coming…”
“Don’t worry about it, Suguru-kun. Are you okay?” Mika asked.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Suguru lied. It was the same lie he had told Hiro.
Everyone sat in silence for a few minutes, until Hiro finally spoke. “Yuki-san, have you seen Shuichi yet?”
Eiri flinched. He didn’t know why, but the question stung a little. “No,” he answered, a little harder than he had meant to.
Suddenly, a thought struck Suguru’s mind, a thought that hadn’t ever occurred to him up until now. It screamed itself into his head, and he let it escape his lips.
“We’re lucky to be alive.”
Hiro stared at him, before slowly answering, “Yes…we are.”
Silence returned, until Suguru had another thought. And it scared him. His emotions had been locked away for the past few hours, and suddenly, his entire body felt a rush of warmth and coldness at the same time. And he started to cry.
“Suguru! What’s wrong?” asked Tohma, startled.
Suguru sniffed. “What if…what if Shindou doesn’t…doesn’t make it?”
He had voiced the thought that had been plaguing everyone, and everyone’s face darkened. But before anyone spoke, the door opened, and a doctor stepped in. “Shindou Shuichi is through surgery. If you’d like to follow me, you may come see him.”
Everyone stared in disbelief. “He’s…okay, then?” Hiro managed.
The doctor smiled. “We’re pretty sure. But you have to be careful and very quiet if you want to come see him. Come with me, please.”
Everyone followed immediately, with new strength. But yet, there was still that knot of worry that remained. The doctor had said ‘pretty sure.’ That meant that she thought there was still a chance of his death. They quickened their pace, as if their time was limited, and yet it seemed like eternities before they made it to his room.
“He’s asleep,” the doctor explained. “So you need to be quiet.” Everyone nodded in a silent understanding, and then walked in as the doctor stepped aside.
He was lying in a hospital bed, wearing only one of those hospital gowns, his hair spread across the pillow, making him look very peaceful. His breaths were steady and soft, and his eyes lay closed.
“He’s recovering incredibly fast, and very well,” the doctor commented. “You may have 15 minutes with him.” She walked outside and closed the door, but, as before, stood outside.
“Thank God,” murmured Hiro. “He looks so…calm.”
“It’s kind-of frightening. He never looks that peaceful when he’s awake.” Mika commented.
“Or asleep,” mumbled Eiri. “except for now…”
Everyone stared at him for a few minutes. Then:
“I’m actually sort of thankful that this happened.”
Everyone stared at Tohma. “Why?” Suguru finally asked.
“I think it’s really helped us, as people and as a group. We understand everything a little bit better now.” Tohma smiled.
“I know what you mean,” Hiro added. “I think that as a band, we’re a little bit closer now, too, eh, Suguru?”
Suguru smiled. “I agree.”
“It’s brought us to reality, a little bit, too, and it’s made us all a little bit stronger.” Tohma looked around the room to everyone. “Don’t you think?”
As everyone was nodding, Hiro glanced at Shuichi. “Hey, everyone, he’s waking up!”
Sure enough, the singer’s eyes were opening, ever so slightly.
“Shindou!” Mika exclaimed. “How are you?”
“Where…am I?” Shuichi asked dazedly, still feeling slightly groggy (for lack of better words).
“You’re in the Okada General Hospital. You were in a car crash, remember?” Hiro asked.
“Oh…right…” Shuichi whispered. “But I’m…okay?”
“Yes, you’re okay now. But…we were all so worried!” Suguru said.
“You were? I’m sorry…” Shuichi mumbled with a smile.
“Oh, that’s okay,” Tohma said. “We’re all just thankful that you’re okay.”
“Thanks, guys. That really means a lot to me.” Shuichi looked around from his lying position. “Is Yuki here?”
“Oh, Eiri’s off hiding in a corner somewhere,” announced Tohma, glancing at Eiri, off by the side of the room. “He was really worried, too.”
“You were?” Shuichi asked.
“Hn,” was Eiri’s reply.
At that moment, the doctor stepped back inside. “It’s time for you to go. Shindou needs rest.”
Everyone smiled and waved as they walked out the door, but as Eiri was leaving, Shuichi mumbled something.
“What was that?” the doctor asked.
“May…may Yuki stay a little longer?”
The doctor turned to Eiri. “Is that all right with you, sir?”
“Whatever,” Eiri replied.
“All right. Five minute, and no more,” the doctor replied before shutting the door behind her.
“Yuki?” Shuichi asked as the writer glared at him. Eiri walked over to the bed and sat down at the foot of it.
“Don’t ever do that again.”
“What?” Shuichi was confused.
“Don’t ever go and get yourself in a car crash again. You scared me half to death.” Eiri looked away from Shuichi who was gazing questioningly at him.
“Were you really that worried?” he asked tentatively.
“So what if I was?” Eiri said, glancing down at Shuichi.
“I’m glad,” Shuichi said, managing a weak smile. “I mean, I’m not glad that I worried you, I’m just glad you care enough to worry.”
“You actually questioned that I would? I must be meaner than I think I am.”
There was silence for a little while, but Shuichi hated the feeling of his precious seconds with Eiri ticking away. Finally, he spoke.
“I’m really glad you came.”
Eiri looked at him. “You know, when Tohma called me and said that you had been hit by a car, I think it was the scariest moment of my life. All that I thought of was that you were going to die and I had to see you before that happened.”
Eiri glanced at Shuichi, and then noticed the looming shadow of the doctor at the door. “Hey Shuichi?”
“You’re still young, so don’t go do anything stupid.”
“Just…don’t die on me, okay?”
Shuichi smiled. “Okay, Yuki. Okay.”