As Sanada arrived at the ’crime scene’, it was almost worse than he had imagined. And to say, his fantasy was pretty developed when it came to his to his teammates.
„Genichirou!“ he heard his name being called and turned to see his captain approaching him just a little faster than normally.
„How bad is it?“ he asked straight away.
„Pretty bad. You know how Kirihara is when something doesn’t go to his liking.“
„Just too well. Where is he now?“
Yukimura nodded with his head into the direction of a white van. Even from far away, he could see a woman crying next to it. Akaya’s mother.
They approached the car. As soon as Mrs. Kirihara saw him, her eyes lit up with hope.
He nodded at her, trying to look as reassuring as possible. Then he entered the van, Yukimura following close up. An officer looked at them and frowned.
„What-“ before he could come further a scared voice from the corner sounded.
The bewildered looks the policemen gave the boy told Sanada, that up untill now he had been giving them the ’demonic treatment’. Seeing him so placid was probably akin to a shock for them. Sanada and Yukimura took advantage of this shock and approached their distraught team-mate.
„What have you done this time, Kirihara?“
The boy looked away. „I’m sorry...I...I didn’t meant to...He just, he just, again...“ he shut his eyes tightly and started trembling.
Yukimura put a hand on his shoulder. „Come.“ He turned to the still stunned policemen. „I’m sure that’s okay with you, gentlemen. As you can see, he’s nothing but a scared boy with a multiple personality disorder.“ He said it politely, but the men shuddered and Sanada knew why. He had been around his captain for long enough now to know, how intimidating he could look, when he wanted to.
„Yeah, sure, why not...“
Yukimura smiled. „Thank you. You are really understanding.“
As soon as they exited the van, Kirihara’s mother had him in a tight hug.
With tears in her eyes, she thanked them, as she always did. They waved it off politely. Then Sanada turned to his captain. „So, what did you need me here for?“
Yukimura smiled. „To look older.“
Sanada shook his head. Sometimes he wondered, if his captain wasn’t the craziest among his team-mates. He almost forgot that, about half an hour ago, he had been waiting for a date that apparently ditched him. That was untill two policemen went by, hurrying towards their car and he overheard them talking.
„The truck-driver who caused the accident is awake now. He was too drunk to pay attention.“
„The boy however isn’t and the limousine driver is also in a bad shape. Too bad, that the car he chose to wreck belonged to a noble family. They will make him pay.“
„It would be the best for him if the boy was okay.“ The men reached their car and opened the door, not noticing the raven-haired boy, who turned pale like a ghost with every passing word.
Driver? Boy? Noble family? He couldn’t move, even though he desperately wanted to run to the policemen and make them tell him everything, ready to use force when necessary, not caring the last bit that it would get him arrested. The last thing he heard was, as the policemen sat into the car, before they shut the door: „They’re at the Shinjuku hospital, aren’t they?“
That was all for Sanada he needed to know. He turned sharply towards Yukimura, silently asking if he was needed, though he doubted he would stay even if he was.
„Go.“ Was the only word his captain said.
Without any other word, Sanada started running. He needed to get there as fast as possible. If it was true...If the boy was...He didn’t dare to think further.
As he reached the hospital an hour later, he went straight to the counter. He wanted to blurt out his question where he could find the boy and if they knew who he was, but before he could draw a breath, his phone beeped. A message reached him. He never reached for his phone as quickly. It turned out to be from Yukimura, who asked if everything was alright. Intending to find it out, he turned to the nurse at the counter, but found she was giving him a stern look.
„Please turn off the phone. Here are patients that want to recover. You can ask me what you wanted afterwards.“
Mumbling an apology, Sanada did as he was told and after drawing a deep breath and counting to ten to calm down, he started.
It took Atobe two hours to finally get to Jiirou’s house. He got to the Atobe residence easily, but he had trouble finding the house of his best friend. And it took a lot for Atobe to admit he was in trouble, mainly because being in trouble meant he was not perfect. It really hurt.
He stood under the window of Jiirou’s room, since he was sure, that the ginger-haired boy was sound asleep and called silently: „Jiirou!“
Nothing happened. Atobe sighed. Figures that this level of sound would never wake Jiirou up, but he didn’t dare to be louder, because that would alert everyone else in the house and that was the last thing Atobe wanted. But he had to wake Jiirou up somehow. So he drew a deep breath and tried again, this time a bit louder. Atobe watched the window for any kind of reaction, but nothing moved.
This time he called a little louder, but still nothing happened. He shouldn’t really be surprised...
Not daring to raise his voice by another half of volume, he settled for throwing rocks at the window, but remained without success. Atobe supressed the sudden urge to cry. If Jiirou didn’t wake up... He didn’t dare to think further.
He tried several more times to wake his friend up, but everything remained as it was: calm and silent. And whether he wanted or not, Atobe had to think of an alternative. It was either try someone else’s place, which could take hours to find, or spend the night outside in the rain. The mere thought made him sneeze. Or maybe it was the fact that he was soaked.
Suddenly the window that stubbornly remained dark untill now, lit up and opened only to let an annoyed voice, that belonged to a ginger-haired boy, be heard: „So loud, shut up already, disturbing my nap, who the- Atobe?!“
was what it took to wake you up?!“
„What are you doing there?!“
„Shut up and let ore-sama in.“
„Huh? Why didn’t you ring the bell, if you wanted to come in?“
„Ore-sama can’t let someone other know that I am here. I’ll explain it once you let ore-sama in.“
For a moment there was silence, interrupted only by another sneeze from Atobe. The answer came immediately after that.
„Come to the back door.“
„Jiirou, I need your help.“ Was the first thing a soaked Atobe said once he entered the room of his friend, covered in three blankets and one towel that Jiirou had brought with him as he went to open the door.
„I figured as much, as I saw you. What’s wrong?“
Atobe flopped down onto the soft bed, resisting the urge to crawl between the warm sheets and let sleep claim him.
„I was thrown out of home.“
„Shhh! Keep it down damnit! I don’t need the whole house come and find out that I’m here.“
Jiirou couldn’t bring himself to be sheepish. Something was wrong. Very wrong. If it wasn’t, the Atobe Keigo Jiirou knew, would come through the front door with at least ten servants around him, announce his presence, demand for Jiirou and let himself be watched like a god. But it wasn’t this that convinced Jiirou that something was wrong as the dropping of the self-honorific.
„Keigo, what happened?“
„My father found out about me and Sanada.“
„He wanted me to break up with him.“
„And you refused.“
„Of course I did! I...Jiirou, I’m tired of this...of everything. Of course, I enjoy the parties, the attention, the special treatment, I love it all, but...“
„You don’t want to be a puppet of your father anymore.“
„Precisely.“ He looked straight into Jiirou’s eyes. „I just wanted to choose Sanada.“
„Settling down, are we?“
„Jiirou, I’m not in the mood for jokes.“
„I know. I just thought I could cheer you up. Seems impossible right now.“
Atobe didn’t answer.
„Alright. I’ll get you pyjamas and towels so you can dry yourself and get some sleep. I’ll also go and make you some tea.“
„I’m not staying here.“
„Huh? Isn’t it why you came?“
Atobe shook his head. „I need to borrow your GPRS and your phone.“
„You can have the phone, but the GPRS is out of battery. But I don’t get why you can’t stay.“
„This is the first place my father would anticipate I go. I’m sure he already contacted your parents. They would throw me out the instant they found out I’m here. Also, my father will probably make everything to cut me out of my ’connections’, meaning that he will make you guys reject me.“
„He can’t order us around.“
„Not you, but your parents.“ Jiirou already opened his mouth, but Atobe beat him to it. „I know that you won’t listen to them, but they don’t need to know that. It’s enough for me to worry over my own problems.“
„You won’t have to feel guilty.“
„Shut up. Help me get to Sanada. I need to borrow your phone to call him and ask for his exact adress and directions.“
Jiirou handed him the phone. Atobe nodded a thanks and dialed Sanada’s number, only to have the answering machine put on immediately. Atobe wanted to smash something.
„Answering machine. What do I do now Jiirou?!“
Jiirou flinched as he heard the almost desperate tone in his friend’s voice. And inspiration hit him. „Hey, in Seigaku, there’s this data guy. He will know Sanada’s adress for sure.“
„I don’t know his number.“
„Tezuka will know.“
Atobe’s eyes widened. Tezuka! Why hadn’t he thought about him?! „How could ore-sama forget!“
Jiirou felt relief wash over him upon hearing Atobe using the self-honorific again.
Tezuka picked up after the first ring.
„Tezuka. It’s ore-sama.“
„Atobe. Why are you calling me in the middle of the night?“
„It’s barely ten Tezuka.“
„I need you to give me the phone number of your data guy.“
„Why do you need Inui’s number?“
„It doesn’t matter. Just give it to me.“
„Atobe, did something happen?“
„Now, why should it have, ahn?“
„You dropped the honorific. Are you alright?“
„I will be when you give me the number.“
„I need the number Tezuka. Ore-sama will explain later.“ After a few moments of contemplaiting silence, Tezuka finally told Atobe Inui’s number and after he made Atobe swear to give him a proper explanation, they hung up and Atobe went to call the man, who would give him the right information for sure.
„Atobe here. Give me Sanada Genichirou’s adress.“
It was past midnight as he finally arrived at his boyfriend’s place, soaked to the bone again. Through all of his protests Jiirou managed to convince him to borrow dry clothes from him, but since it was still raining cats and dogs, it didn’t take long for everything, that had been dry, become wet.
Atobe contemplated whether to ring the bell, or try the same strategy as at Jiirou’s, but in the end he decided for option one. It could be suspicious to Sanada’s parents if he snuck in. So gathering all of his resolve he raised his hand and pressed the small button. He heard the reaction of a faint ring in the house, but nothing happened. He waited a little. It was past midnight after all and everyone was probbaly asleep, so he decided to give them some time, but just to be safe, he rung again. For several minutes nothing happened. He waited patiently. Still nothing. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes passed. A quarter hour passed. He rung again, this time longer. Nothing. And finally he admitted it: No one was home. Atobe supressed the urge to cry out. How could a day be so...so...lame
?! Now, what to do? The family was out, so much was clear. But someone had to eventually come back. If not the family, then Sanada for sure. But if he ditched him and wasn’t home yet...could’ve something happened? Atobe sincerely hoped not.
Finding there was nothing else he could do, he settled for waiting. This was the place he was most likely to meet Sanada at, be it sooner or later. He leaned against the door and closed his tired eyes. In a weird way, the rain was calming him. He didn’t even feel cold anymore. He didn’t even notice how he sunk down onto the porch as he fell asleep.
It had been a hard evening and Sanada was happy that he was returning home, into his warm bed. It was already a good deal past midnight, nearing to one o’clock and he was dead tired, which was a rare occurance itself. He had been running around since six, meeting his boyfriend, who didn’t show up, worrying about said boyfriend, helping his captain help a psychotic team-mate, running to a hospital checking if his boyfriend was there, not finding him, worrying again and still worrying.
Who knew where Atobe was? He could be everywhere. He knew that Atobe wanted to come to their date, so something had to come between it. Maybe he got held up and by the time he came, Sanada had been already trying to cope with the consequences of one of Kirihara’s outbursts. God knew that as Sanada heard about a boy in critical condition brought from the central city into a nearby hospital, his heart had skipped a beat. Luckily it turned out that it was neither Atobe nor Keigo and the doctors were also optimistic about his survival. As he called Yukimura to tell him that everything was alright, his voice was a lot calmer than as he had himself informed by the nurse at the counter.
He noticed he had a call from an unknown number, but as he checked the watch, he decided it could wait untill tomorrow. And today he was just plain tired to solve any more possible problems. For now he was simply happy that no one died. But that still didn’t answer the question where Atobe could be. And to be honest with himself, Sanada still worried. However tired he was, he made a resolve to call the Atobe residence once he got home.
However as he turned the corner he found that that wouldn’t be necessary. There he was, on his porch, soaking wet, sleeping and Sanada could see it even from the distance, shivering.
Sanada didn’t notice how he crossed the distance between them. The next thing he knew was, that he was holding a frozen Atobe Keigo in his arms.
„Atobe! Atobe! Keigo, wake up!“
He heard a faint moan and storm-cloud blue eyes fluttered open.
„Genichirou...?“ Atobe smiled and it startled him even more than that the boy had called him by his given name. „Finally I’m with you...“
A light flush was grazing his cheeks and as Sanada laid his hand on his forehead in precaution, he almost flinched. „You’re burning!“
„But I chose you, you see.“
If nothing, then this convinced Sanada that the situation is bad. Not only saying nonsense but skipping the self-honorific meant that Atobe was in a very bad condition. If Sanada would be rude, he would say that Atobe was royaly fucked up. „Atobe you’re delirious!“
„I hadn’t been as I made a choice...Does that mean it’s right?“
Sanada chose to ignore the nonsense his delirious boyfriend was saying. „Come on.“ He put an arm around him under his shoulder and heaved him up, leaning him against his body in the process. „You need medicine and a bed.“ He paused as he felt his shirt getting wet rapidly. „And dry clothes.“
„What is it?“
„I’m glad that I chose you...“
Pausing, Sanada regarded him for a few moments. „I’m glad too, whatever it may mean.“
Atobe smiled again and Sanada carried him into the house.
He set him onto the cushions and ran to the bathroom, to let in a hot bath. While the water was slowly filling the tube, he grabbed a few towels and rushed back to the living room, where Atobe was still shivering on the cushion. He rubbed him dry as good as he could and carried him into the bathroom. H sat him down on the edge of the tube, balancing him carefully, so that he didn’t fall forwards or backwards and hit his head. He started stripping him and noticed that his boyfriend was slipping away from consciousness again. He cursed under his breath.
„Atobe. Atobe. Can you hear me?“
A soft „Ahn?“ was his answer.
„Listen closely: You can’t fall asleep now. Later.“
Finally Atobe was naked. If it had been any other situation, Sanada’s heart would beat with a quicker rate by now, but this wasn’t the time. Besides, there was nothing exciting on a cold and shivering Atobe, however attractive his body was. Actually, Atobe looked like he didn’t even realize what was happening. If he did, Sanada wouldn’t live to see the morning.
„Listen, you are going to take a bath now.“
He slowly lifted one of Atobe’s legs, noting how cold and wet it was and slowly sunk it into the hot water. He didn’t dare to rush it, afraid that it would be a shock for Atobe’s body. It could be dangerous and that was the last thing Sanada wanted for the boy to get: Into more troubles. Because it was clear to Sanada, even if he didn’t know what exactly was going on, that his boyfriend was in deep trouble.
It took a short while for Atobe to be finally in the hot water with his whole body and Sanada was relieved to see the shivering slowly fade, instead occassional shudders started to shake the body, as a sign that it was accepting the warmth.
Sanada waited untill the shudders stopped and Atobe’s body-heat seemed to have gotten to normal again and he shook him awake, because Atobe had slipped again into a small slumber. He helped him stand up and dry up and put a thick, warm pyjama on him and more carried than helped him into his room and onto the futon. He covered him in 3 blankets and finally allowed Atobe fall into what would soon turn out to be a restless sleep.
He was watching him for a while and then went back to the bathroom to clean up the mess. He was just glad that his family left today for a trip and they wouldn’t be back untill the day after tomorrow, he thought as he picked up the scattered clothes.
He didn’t know how he would explain this whole mess to them, especially if he also needed to get a few things explained.
He investigated the wet fabric, noting that the clothes were probably ruined. Atobe probably won’t want to wear them anymore.
Though, he wasn’t getting one from Atobe anytime soon. He went to the back of the house and threw the clothes into the garbage.
He decided it was about time that at least a few thing got cleared up. He would call teh Atobe residence.
But first check on his boyfriend.
He was glad he did. As he entered the room, Atobe was thrashing on the futon, blankets scattered across the room, face flushed with fever and gleaming with sweat, looking as if he was in great pain. Sanada hurried towards him. He seized him with strong arms and pushed him back onto the matress and covered him again.
„Atobe.“ He called out to him. „Atobe.“ He repeated. „Keigo.“ He said his name. „Keigo, calm down.“ He reached out and stroked his face. He almost flinched at the heat. He looked around and found the cold pack, he had laid on Atobe’s forehead earlier to ease the fever, in the opposite corner of the room. Wondering how it got there, he went to pick it up and put it back on Atobe’s forehead.
Atobe’s eyes fluttered open and he groaned. „No...I won’t...Sanada...with me...“ his clouded eyes fixed on Sanada. „Genichirou...“ he seemed to recognize him.
„Here. I’m here.“ He took his hand. He saw that in his half-awake, delirious state, Atobe was having a living nightmare and he couldn’t think of any way how to comfort him. The only thing he could come up with, was to squeeze his hand and watch how his boyfriend’s eyes drifted close again.