Yay~ This has already become my most alerted story! /fire in her eyes
I’m super excited and pumped to write this now. xD I’m multitasking with a lot of stuff so I’m sorry if it comes out a bit jumbled. /strokes story gently
Also I realized I’ve been burning through lyrics. This means that I’ll take two or three songs before I actually finish the story. Beauty from Pain will give me two or three more chapters then I’ll move on to another one. I think each song will divide up the main parts to the story. This is still the introduction where we’re meeting characters. ;3 Prepare for the climax~

Disclaimer: I don’t own Prince of Tennis~ No siree, that’s crazy talk!

 

Diagnosis, Treatment, and Rehabilitation  Chapter 5    By Karina Eide


My Memories

 

And though I can't understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how you've brought beauty from ashes
And me me as gold purified through these flames

-Beauty from Pain by Superchick

 

 

Something was different about today. His eyes dully scanned the room as nurses scurried around like little mice. They were so quiet for some reason. They shouldn’t have been so silent; he could see their mouths moving so quickly, but it seemed like no sound was coming out. His mind faintly remembered the yips he used to give his opponents, was this what it felt like? He clenched the muscles in his left arm in an attempt to move the limb.

 

Why wasn’t anything happening? He wanted to know why everything was so strange today. He tried to talk, but could only choke at the force of air rushing down his throat. He felt the calming hands of a nurse pushing him down onto the rough bed once more. He didn’t like this, he didn’t like it at all. He was “god” wasn’t he? Why were they forcing him down like some sort of child? His eyes unfocused sporadically as he tried to see what was going on.

 

He saw flashes of white and the shapes of people running around yelling at one another. He caught whispers of the words “sedative” and “wrong dosage”. He felt fear well up inside of him once more. What did they mean by sedative? What was this? He felt the leather straps fasten around him and pin him down to the bed. Much good it would do anyways, he couldn’t even move.

 

Yukimura was afraid. Fear, that was the only way to describe how he felt now. He didn’t understand the world around him, but he did know something wasn’t right. His head hurt. It hurt to think; heck, it hurt just to exist. “Yukimura-san. Yukimura-san, calm down.” His eyes swerved to look at the source of the oice. The man seemed strangely familiar, who was he? A strike of pain hit him again and he flinched.

His breath came out in a rasp as the man made calming noises to try and relax his patient. “You’ll be alright, Yukimura-san. Just calm down.” Yukimura faced the man blankly and willed him to explain what was going on. There was no reply. Instead all he felt was the feeling of falling, falling into the black once more.

 

The shapes in his sight soon changed to mere colors and wisps of people. He closed his eyes and collapsed back onto his bed with a soft thump.

 

Akihiro ran his hand through his head and stared at the teenager that laid limply upon the bed. How was he going to explain this one? It wouldn’t go over very well to walk up and say mistakes happen. Not in this boy’s situation. The attending had already finished his residency and there really was no excuse for this. The exited the room and rapidly made his way back to his office.

 

He closed the door with a slam and dropped himself into the leather backed chair. He needed to think about this one. The boy had obviously reacted to the drug overdosage and it appeared that amnesia was a side effect. He could probably pass it off as a side ailment due to the continuous administration of painkillers into the boys system.

 

That boy, Yukimura, was certainly low on luck these days. Akihiro looked towards the papers scattered across his desk. The official documents for transferal to the Osaka hospital had just been submitted earlier in the day. It saddened him slightly at the thought of the boy’s mother. She seemed to determined to keep him alive. She just didn’t understand that medically there was nothing left for them to do.

Yukimura was already living on borrowed time and it was a miracle he had lasted as long as he did. He knew that there was nothing to do. It was time to let go. He had seen enough cases in his time to know that it was impossible to win them all. Seeing someone with such a will to continue on was almost depressing. The boy wouldn’t live longer than three months and that was pushing it even then. It was time to give up.

 

-All of my memories keep you near-

 

“It’s all over. They took out the primary from my pelvis, but it already spread to my lungs. We know of a nodule in my heart as well, Sempai.” Her fingers clenched on the metal table and she forced the despair out of her voice. “I’m going through surgery in three weeks to remove the tumor in my heart. I should be fine.” The emphasis there was on ‘should’. Heart surgeries were always rather tentative and to be honest, all the scans in the world wouldn’t help. Surgeons didn’t know what to expect until they got in to take a look.

 

They told her of multiple scenarios, where they could end up with her losing an entire lobe of her lung. It would practically force her to quit tennis completely. She hoped it wouldn’t end up like that, but her heart had more importance over anything else. There was also the risk of the tumor already being attached onto the wall of her heart. That was a completely different can of worms. She sighed and closed her eyes softly.

 

“There aren’t any specific medicines I can take that would work. My cancer type is too rare, and even rarer in children. Most studies won’t allow children to take the experimental drugs yet.” Her hand snaked up to her neck as she fingered the bump that remained from her last arterial line. “Surgery is the best route for me, but they warned me that I have a limited amount of surgeries left in me. My body can’t sustain itself with so little lung.”

 

She knew it was a lot to dump on her sempai and she kept on sneaking furtive glances towards the redhead. Eiji was solemner than she had ever known him to be. The curious spark from him had left and was instead replaced by a concerned friend. It was a side she had rarely seen in the neko, but it was almost comforting.

 

“Why didn’t you tell us, Sakuno-chan?” She flinched slightly at the hurt in his voice. It was different than what she had expected though. Whenever she thought of how she would break it to those around her, it all ended in one way. Disgust. Well hidden to be sure, but that disgust was always there.

 

No one ever wanted to be seen walking with someone in a wheelchair or someone who was missing  limb. It was gross to be around someone like that. People only wanted to be around others who were proclaimed “normal”. The thought of rejected frightened her. She wanted to be worth their friendship and with so large a fault she felt inadequate and was sure they’d feel the same way. This was why she didn’t understand when Eiji pulled her into a hug.

 

“We’re your friends, Sakuno-chan. We’ll always be there for you.” The look in his eyes was much like a beaten dog. She gave him a weak smile and hugged her sempai back lightly. Oishi may have been the mother hen, but Eiji was the sibling that always made everyone happy and comforted them when they felt down. The feeling of being accepted was so sweet. She wasn’t being pushed away like a broken toy, it really was already to be scarred wasn’t it?

 

The complex had grown months ago. From the simple question, “Nee-chan. What’s that on your back? It’s so gross.” A scar, purple and deformed, marred across her back. The child was young, but it hurt. The question was phrased so bluntly that it sliced through all pretenses of calm that Sakuno had retained till that point. Her family wondered why she refused to go swimming after that. It wasn’t the water that she feared, it was the eyes of everyone there. The judging looks they sent once they saw the deformity. The looks when they saw she was different.

 

The innocence of the hug made her want to cry, and so she did. She let the floodgates open and the tears that she held back pour out. It was the reassurance she had been pining for all that time. To have someone say that it didn’t matter if she was scarred or damaged until she was broken, it was wonderful.

 

She didn’t care that everyone was looking at her now; she needed to cry and she was going to cry. No one would have a say against that.

-In silent moments imagine you’d be here-

 

Niou sipped his coffee before setting beverage back upon the ornamented table. He had enough of the clubhouse and practice, therefore he skipped it. Sitting and just having a drink was so much nicer for once. It even allowed him to puzzle out the few questions that were floating around his mind. Namely the brown haired one of the female gender.

 

Niou couldn’t say he understood his kouhai. People from Seigaku tended to be strongly school advocating and not many people transferred from different schools during the gap from junior high to high school. From what Yanagi had mentioned, she was even the manager of the tennis team. Those brats were hardly the types to let go the ones they considered their own. During the off season he remembered when they tried to scout Echizen to little success. They had been practically mobbed by the regulars and had been thrown out in the blink of an eye.

 

He recalled their last conversation earlier that day where she had referenced her ailing health. What he did confirm from her was that she was sick. She let too much slip in her wording and was obviously an unpracticed liar. It wasn’t the fact that she was sick that worried Niou. It was what she whispered at the end. “It won't get better, so why should I care?”

 

It sounded that whatever she had, it was terminal. So essentially she was thinking that she probably didn’t have much longer to live. It was a case unnaturally like Yukimura… Except Yukimura was slightly more subtle with his words. Niou knew that only Sanada and Yanagi understood what their taichou meant when he said “The seasons change so quickly. It feels like winter is coming too soon, doesn’t it?” Those words were one of the last once they had received from their taichou before he fell too ill to speak coherently.

“Mama? Why is the girl crying?” Niou arched an eyebrow before looking for this ‘crying girl’. He saw the hunched form of a teenage girl crying into the chest of a boy. Recognition flickered in his eyes when he realized the boy as Eiji Kikumaru and the girl as Ryuuzaki Sakuno. He cursed his laziness for once as he knew he was still in Rikkaidai uniform. It would be nearly impossible to near them without attracting attention.

 

When you are unable to sneak up to someone, the next best thing is to burst in loudly so everyone notices. Niou drank the last drops from his coffee before tossing the empty container in a bin. He turned and headed to the table where the two still sat. “Yo, Eiji-san. And are you ok, Ryuuzaki-san?” He assured himself that it was curiosity of the resemblance between her and Yukimura that propelled him to ask about her wellbeing. There was no other reason for him to be curious, was there?

 

Niou smirked as the girl whipped around to stare at him in shock. Poor girl probably had the daylights scared right out of her. It was so much fun pushing buttons to see reactions. The face she made clearly made it all worth it just then. What surprised him was the cold look that Eiji sent him. He had never known the boy as the type to resort to intimidation. He seemed to be more of the sunshine and rainbows type.  

 

“I-I’m fine, Niou-sempai.” He watched as the girl hastily whipped away her tears and attempted to calm herself. His smirk fell away into a small frown. What was with all of the sickly types? Did they have some sort of masochist fetish? It seemed to run in the genetics. He reached out a hand and patted her softly on the head, “Keep note of that. I’m your sempai, y’know? I’m supposed to watch out for all my little kouhais.”

 

He turned away from the table and threw a card over his shoulder and back towards her. He watched as she caught the small card and gave a nod for a goodbye and left through the doors to the jangling of a bell.

 

My updates seem to occur later and later each time I do them… |D I’m still barely on time. /phew
I’ve been getting my dad to play halo and gears of war with me again so I’m excited for that~ It seems that the consensus is leaning towards Niou. I’ll keep my eyes open until chapter 7 which I estimate to be the end of part one. After that I’ll decide a pairing and hop to it.=)

Hime: I’m trying to keep it really realistic about the reactions they both take. They’re both combinations of multiple people I know so all the events that happen to them are all real life events. Unfortunately for them, I crammed all the crappy lives together to make one big mess. :D And I’ll take that into account with YukimuraxSakuno. /ponders They’ll be meeting each other soon enough~ Thanks for reviewing!

And also thanks Snowmiddy for adding DTR to alerts! :D I hope you enjoy the story!

p.s. I hit the 10k word mark for this story. /fistpump