by Jaelawyn Noble
Ohtori had held out hope for the longest time that Shishido would acknowledge him as something besides just a friend, or a little brother. The latter hurt far worse than the former, but Shishido had always been dense in the worst of ways. So, he had moved on, slowly trying to cut back Shishido's influence on his life. He had started to try and date, and had gone out with someone he had bumped into several times at a bookstore.
But it always felt wrong. They got decaf tea instead of coffee, had a set dedication to only one genre of books opposed to loving almost everything written, and they were too tall to kiss properly.
As much as he hated to admit it, Ohtori knew he wouldn't be able to replace Shishido in his life, and he would just have to suck it up and accept it. When his phone rang, he checked the number and cringed. He needed to think of what he was going to say to Shishido before he saw him again, all that he needed and wanted to say...
Hearing the ping declaring he had voice mail, he pressed in the required numbers and listened. Feeling the blood drain from his face, Ohtori all but ran to Shishido's dorm room, calling Atobe on his way.
He had such a bad feeling about this as he literally tried to kick the door down. It was locked and Ohtori had no key to get in. Atobe arrived just as he was about to try to kick it down again and stuck a key in the door and opened it. Of course Atobe would have keys to all their rooms, it's was a given.
They found the empty pill bottle first, sitting on the table with the bottle of vodka. Atobe closed his eyes and called the ambulance and demanded that they be here within seconds. Ohtori went into the bedroom, almost afraid of what he'd find.
There, on the bed, curled loosely into a ball, looking for all the world as if asleep, lay Shishido, hands clutching a blue hat that Ohtori had gotten for him the same day that Shishido had cut off his hair. That had been three years ago, and Shishido's hair was as long as it had been before. Ohtori's chest hurt painfully as he knelt next to the bed and tried to wake Shishido.
Eyelashes fluttered and blue eyes opened slowly.
"Hey, Ryou," Ohtori choked out from around the lump in his throat. "We're going to get you some help, okay? It's almost here, so please just stay awake?"
"…love you…" Shishido murmured, clutching the hat tighter and closing his eyes.
Ohtori turned to tell Atobe to get the ambulance to hurry and saw the men come in with a stretcher and stepped back to let them load Shishido onto it. Atobe watched with him, a pained look on his face.
"He called me about an hour ago, just rambling about nothing and I hung up on him," Atobe said softly.
Ohtori looked away. His crimes were far worse than Atobe's, he felt.
"He'll be okay," Atobe whispered. "He will be."
"Yes," Ohtori said quietly. "He will be."
And then I will fix what I wasn't able to before.
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