Characters: Namiashi Raidou, Shiranui Genma
Warnings: Expletives, hospitals
Notes: In Corybantic Dance, Genma makes a reference to the dirtbike accident that he and Raidou got into, in which Raidou got his scars and Genma got his bad knee. This is a glimpse at the time they spent in the hospital.
"Why can’t I die!? God, please let me die!"
Genma flinched and reached over to take Raidou’s hand. The painkillers got less effective every day, but they wouldn’t switch Rai up to something stronger because he was so young, and the doctors were afraid he’d get addicted. Genma really couldn’t understand their worries about addiction when Raidou was in enough pain to wake the entire floor with his screaming. They’d finally resorted to keeping Rai pretty heavily sedated, most of the time, but the constant trickle of adrenaline that his body wouldn’t stop producing interfered with the effectiveness of the sedatives. In short, Raidou was in terrible pain, and he was going to be conscious of almost every minute of it.
It wasn’t that Genma was in much better shape; his kneecap had split when he bounced off the road, and his femur fractured when the bike finally skidded into him. Both the same leg, fortunately enough, but he was no more amused for the happy coincidence. Fractures, though, hurt a lot less than tissue damage. About a third of Raidou’s face had peeled off, and judging from the deep tears down his neck, shoulder, and chest, he was lucky not to have broken his neck in the accident. He’d be lucky if he managed to work up enough scar tissue to fill it all in before he got an infection.
So, day after day, Genma would get up on his crutches and walk the three feet to the chair beside Raidou’s bed and just sit there and hold his best friend’s hand for hours. Sometimes he’d make bad jokes or sing silly songs, but most of the time Rai was too far gone to notice. Some days, Genma would rest his head on the side of the bed and cry, always careful that no one would see him do it. Some days, it was just too much. He was terrified that Raidou was going to die, and that he’d be alone in the world, again.
Today, Raidou screamed and cried, and Genma held a tissue under his friend’s eye so the salt water wouldn’t soak through the bandages. Genma had no illusions about just how easy he’d gotten out of that accident. Raidou was beside him, day and night, as a constant reminder. As the shrieking and sobbing slowed into whimpering and sniffling, Genma knew that the drugs were kicking in again, and that Raidou would be asleep again, soon. These were the good times — these hazy, timeless blips between the pain fading out and Raidou passing out. Rai was almost coherent for maybe ten minutes at a time — if he got anything like that long — every four hours, or so.
Raidou squeezed Genma’s hand, and looked over at him, surprised. "Genma?"
"Yeah, I’m right here, man. Right where you left me." Genma wadded up the tissue in his hand and tossed it in the small wastebin between their beds. "Come on, where am I going to go? It’s not like I can walk."
Raidou smiled with the half of his face that still worked. "You just come over here to be a pain in my ass, don’t you?"
"Hey, if I’m a pain in your ass, maybe it’ll distract you from the pain in your face." Genma grinned, but the amusement never made it to his eyes. His eyes just looked tired and frustrated.
"Smartass." Raidou rolled his eyes — well, his eye, anyway. The other one was in no condition to be rolled, just yet, having been put back in the socket so recently. "Hey, my throat’s kinda sore. You want to pour me some water? I can’t quite reach."
"Man, I don’t even know why they gave you a nurse call button. You’re just gonna make me do shit for you, anyway," Genma teased, pouring the water and putting the glass in Raidou’s working hand. "Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing some cute-ass miniskirt and calling you Master Namiashi."
"Hey, as long as it’s longer than that damned hospital gown. I’ve seen more of your ass in the last two weeks—"
"How the hell do you even remember that? You’re barely coherent!"
"Your ass sort of makes an impression, and not just on all the girls who want to grab it. I guess I was just trying to figure out the appeal, and I totally don’t get it." Raidou yawned and handed the empty glass back to Genma. "Why the fuck am I so tired?"
"Oh, please be fucking with me, Rai. Not funny. You’re tired because they switched you to sedatives. They’ve got you on more fucking Valium…" Genma shook his head and rolled his eyes. The drug wasn’t actually Valium, but he couldn’t remember the name of it, and Valium was close enough to make the point.
"Shit. Right. Sorry." Raidou’s eyes closed. "I’m really glad you’re here, Genma. This fucking sucks."
"Yeah, it does. It sucks in ways I hope you never remember." Genma rested his forehead against the side of the bed and held Raidou’s hand in both of his. "Don’t you dare die on me, asshole."
"I’ll never be able to die in peace if you don’t shut the fuck up, bastard." Raidou muttered, sinking closer to sleep.
"Well, I’ll take that as a sign that I should be practising my Gary Numan impressions loudly, while you sleep. You know, just to make sure you keep breathing," Genma teased.
Raidou muttered something incomprehensible into the pillow as he drifted off. Genma stayed right where he was, deciding not to go back to bed, after all. It was four in the morning. It was June. In a hospital, neither of these things had meaning. Genma fell asleep in the chair, holding his best friend’s hand.