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Micchi feels a familiar sense of entitlement rising up inside him as doctors and nurses swarm around him and into niisan's room, marvelling at his medical miracle and pushing Micchi out because visiting times are over. They're trying to keep him from his niisan.

Getting angry and taking revenge on everyone isn't the way to go though, he's learnt that if nothing else. When niisan softly says his name Micchi goes to his side, takes hold of his hand as Takatora promises everything will be fine and that he should go home and get some rest too, to be able to come back first thing in the morning. Because niisan wants him there.

Niisan still loves him.

That's the only thing that could've made Micchi leave willingly. But once he's outside the hospital building he isn't sure what to do with himself. This is a momentous occasion! Somebody needs to know about it!

...But nobody even knew niisan was in the hospital. Micchi hadn't told anyone. There aren't many people left who would care. Oren-san would, because of that kind of amusing obsession he has with Takatora, but that's not what niisan needs right now.

...Zack would care. Because it's important to Micchi. He's been gently letting Micchi know if he wants anything, needs anything, if he wants to come back to the Beat Riders - it's all possible. Micchi stares down at his phone for a moment before dialing Zack's number for the first time.

Date: 2016-06-19 09:42 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (stunned)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack is stretched out on the couch in his apartment, a pillow resting beneath his still-healing knee. He'd left the Beat Riders gathering early, telling Peco he needed to rest his leg, but now that he's been home a while he's had a little too much time alone with his own thoughts. As has happened more than he'd like since he woke up in the hospital after everything was over.

He hears his phone vibrate on the table beside him. Maybe it's Peco, calling to keep him informed of where the group is headed next? Zack grabs the phone to check the caller ID, and his heart nearly stops.

It's Micchi.

Micchi who's been lurking around the edges of Beat Riders performances, never daring to come close, all the light gone from his eyes. Micchi who's little more than a ghost of the bright, energetic boy who'd captivated Zack's attention what seems like so long ago now.

Zack has told him every chance he's had to call if he ever needs or wants anything at all, but this is the first time it's ever actually happened. He has to be careful not to let this chance go to waste, not to scare Micchi off. "Micchi, hi," he says, heart racing. "I'm here, what's up?"

Date: 2016-06-19 10:05 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (almost-impressed)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
At first Micchi doesn't say anything. Zack's used to that now, though, after all the attempts he's made to speak to him in person that have never gotten more than a few syllables in return. He knows better than to push. Micchi called for a reason; if Zack waits, he'll find his words.

"Something... good happened?" Micchi says at last, and Zack instantly understands the questioning tone in his voice; sometimes Zack still can't believe it when good things happen to him, either.

"Yeah?" Zack replies in a soft, encouraging tone. "That's good to hear, Micchi. You wanna talk about it?" He pauses a moment and then adds, "I can come meet you if it's something you'd rather talk about in person."

Date: 2016-06-19 11:17 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (coat-half-off)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
"Okay," Micchi says to Zack's offer to meet him, and Zack is halfway to being off the couch when Micchi speaks again. "My niisan," he says, and Zack's breath catches in his throat. "He was unconscious, for a long time, after what happened." Unconscious?! Even that much is news to Zack; he'd thought Takatora was dead! He'd seen the destroyed belt in Kouta's hands, had watched him weep over the death of his friend. "They said he'd never wake up. But he has."

"Oh my god," Zack says, stunned. "Oh my god, Micchi, that's amazing!" For Micchi's brother to be alive, and awake... if anything can lift Micchi out of the fog of hopelessness that's surrounded him all this time, it's that. "That's wonderful, I'm so happy for you." Zack's voice breaks a little as he chokes up just thinking how much this is going to mean for Micchi's recovery.

He grabs his Baron coat and slings it on one-handed as he gets to his feet. "I'm on my way to meet you right now, okay?" He holds his phone between his ear and shoulder as he adjusts his crutch. "Tell me where you want to meet up and I'll be there as fast as I can."

Date: 2016-11-03 10:05 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (shirtless-looking-back)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
"The fountain," Micchi says, and Zack's mind races to think of the fastest route from his apartment. It's not far enough that he needs to catch a train; he should manage well enough on foot.

"The fountain," Zack repeats. "Okay. I'll be there, I'm on my way right now." He hurries to the door in an awkward half-shuffle, his desire to run straight to Micchi impeded by his stupid slow-healing leg. Maybe he can catch a taxi part of the way. "Micchi, do you want me to stay on the phone with you?" He locks his door behind him and starts toward the elevator. "I can keep talking if that's what you want, or I can go. Whatever you need."

Date: 2016-11-03 10:40 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (jacket shadowed)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack nods as Micchi answers him. "I need time to think. My mind is a jumble at the moment. I just want some quiet for a while."

"That's fine," Zack reassures him. "Like I said, whatever you need."

A moment passes, and then Micchi says, "I promise I'll be there." Like he knows how worried Zack is that after all this he's going to get spooked and decide not to show up after all.

"Okay," Zack replies. "I promise I'll be there, too. If I'm not there when you get there, just wait for me, okay?"

Once Zack's out of his building he starts the long walk to the fountain. Fortunately he's able to hail a passing cab to take him most of the way, though he still spends the ride drumming his fingers impatiently on his knee, thinking how it'd be faster if he only had two working legs so he could run to Micchi like he wants to.

Date: 2016-11-03 11:38 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (zack-micchi-close)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack pays the driver and shuffles himself and his crutch out of the cab. It's not far to the fountain now, but given how slowly he has to move, he's pretty sure Micchi is going to get there first. He considers sending Micchi a text to let him know he's close, but decides it's not worth the hassle of wrestling with his phone while trying to stay balanced on his crutch.

It feels like entirely too long before the fountain comes into view. Zack forgets to breathe for a moment, until he sees a familiar figure huddled on the fountain's edge, hat pulled down to hide his face.

It's Micchi. He's really here, waiting for Zack.

Micchi looks up when he hears Zack coming, and then stands to meet him. He still looks so small and fragile, but Zack can see even at this distance that something has changed. Micchi's heart, shattered into tiny shards too sharp to touch, has somehow been repaired, not completely, but enough that it's begun to beat again, and the difference is impossible to miss. Zack is seeing a living, breathing boy where for months there's only been a ghost. The miracle that graced them today has brought both Kureshima brothers back from the dead.

"Micchi," Zack says, and when he sees the flicker of light that's returned, at long last, to Micchi's eyes, he can't help himself. He lets his crutch fall to the concrete beneath them with a clatter as he throws both his arms around Micchi's shoulders and pulls him close. "Micchi, I'm here."

Date: 2016-11-03 12:15 pm (UTC)
brawler_baron: (jacket smile)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Micchi doesn't hug him back, but he lets himself be held, and that's all Zack can really ask for right now. It's more than enough that Micchi is accepting Zack's affection, and not pushing him away. Zack wasn't sure he'd ever manage to get even this far.

For a while they just stay like that, neither of them speaking. Zack feels the rise and fall of Micchi's chest against his own as they breathe in and out together. And nothing else in the world seems to matter right now except for this one small fact, that he and Micchi are here, hearts still beating against all odds.

Eventually Micchi pulls back, his fingers brushing the lapels of Zack's coat. "You dropped your crutch," he says, and picks it up to return it.

"Thanks," Zack says with a sheepish smile as he tucks the crutch back under his arm. "That was careless of me." He gestures to the concrete ledge that surrounds the fountain. "You wanna sit down?"

Date: 2016-11-03 12:32 pm (UTC)
brawler_baron: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack just grins when Micchi asks him if he's able to sit. "Don't worry about that, I've become something of a champ at sitting lately." He eases himself down onto the ledge, carefully positioning himself close to Micchi but not so close as to crowd him.

"I'm sorry for dragging you out like this," Micchi says.

Zack shakes his head. "You're not dragging me out," he says gently. He lays his hand atop Micchi's between them, lightly enough that Micchi will have no trouble pulling away if he wants to. "You don't have to apologize. I'm really glad you called me, Micchi. It's so good to see you." He knows that even though he's said it in absolute sincerity, Micchi might not be able to believe it. "So, your brother... can you tell me what happened?"

Date: 2016-11-03 01:18 pm (UTC)
brawler_baron: (stunned)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
It's not really a surprise when Micchi slips his hand out from beneath Zack's. Zack can't expect him to be open to affection immediately after all the time he's spent withdrawn and alone. He leaves his hand on the ledge just in case Micchi changes his mind, though.

"He's awake," Micchi says in response to Zack's question. "He smiled at me." Micchi doesn't sound happy about that, though. "He doesn't remember anything. He can't or he would have been scared of me, or angry. Anything but happy."

Zack takes a moment to process Micchi's words. He doesn't want to argue with Micchi when he wasn't there to see what happened, but. "Do you know that for certain?" he asks gently. "Did you ask him if he remembers what happened?" He hesitates a moment. "I mean, I know how easy it is to assume the worst,, but I don't think you can jump to that conclusion without knowing what's going on in his mind, too."

Date: 2016-11-03 02:43 pm (UTC)
brawler_baron: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
As Zack suspected, Micchi doesn't know for sure that Takatora has lost his memories, but he seems convinced all the same that it's the only possibility. "What could have made him happy to see me other than having forgotten everything I've done?"

Zack takes a slow breath in and considers his words before he answers. "I know it's not the same thing at all," he prefaces himself, "but you must've thought there was no way I'd ever be happy to see you, either." He looks over at Micchi, who's staring down at his hands in his lap, a blank expression on his face. "But I am. Even with everything that happened, I'm glad that you're still alive and here, Micchi."

Zack is probably talking too much, but he can't stop himself. "And we don't know if your niisan remembers what happened or not, but either way, I bet he's happy you made it through, and that you were there at his side when he woke up. You being there showed him you still care about him." Zack leans forward, resting his forearms on his thighs. "He did things that hurt you badly, too," he adds. "But you were still happy to see him when he woke up, right? I'll bet he's just as surprised that you could possibly feel that way about him."

Date: 2016-11-04 08:47 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (with kaito)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack's heart aches when he hears Micchi saying that the ways in which his brother hurt him don't matter anymore. As if the things he's done have been so awful that he deserves anything he gets now. Zack knows that feeling all too well.

Maybe it's time for him to let Micchi know that.

"Micchi..." Zack clenches his hands together to keep them from shaking. "I need you to know something. I'm not trying to make this about me, I just. I have to tell you." He braces himself to say out loud the horrible thing he'd done, the thing he hasn't had to say to any of the other Beat Riders because they all knew already. "After Kaito became an Overlord, I." Zack swallows hard around the lump that's forming in his throat. "I tried to kill him. My best friend, the guy who trusted me most in the world, and I tried to kill him." He shakes his head sadly. "I ended up killing Minato-san instead. I never meant to, but her blood's on my hands all the same." Zack's voice is quavering now, but he knows Micchi needs to hear the rest. "And after that, Kaito fought me, but... he let me live. Even though I betrayed him, even though I killed Minato-san, Kaito let me live. And I'm never gonna know why he didn't just kill me."

Zack looks over at Micchi with a heavy heart. "You're not alone, Micchi," he says softly. "You're not the only one who's carrying this pain. That's what I've wanted to tell you all this time. I don't have an answer for it, and maybe there isn't one. But I know how much it hurts. You're not alone."

Date: 2016-11-04 09:25 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (zack-micchi-close)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
Zack is so afraid, in those first silent moments after he finishes talking, that even this won't be enough to break through the wall Micchi has built around himself. But then Micchi lifts his hand to reach over and lay it on top of Zack's, and there's a soft warmth where their skin is touching. Zack isn't alone either.

Zack raises one thumb to brush it lightly against Micchi's hand, to return the gesture as best he can right now. "I know you must be so scared right now," he says. "About what's gonna happen the next time you see your brother. And I sure can't make any promises about how it'll turn out, but... I want to go with you. I'll give you guys privacy if you'd rather talk without me there, but I want to go to the hospital with you, so whatever happens, you'll know you're still not alone. Will you let me do that for you, Micchi?"

Date: 2016-11-04 10:09 am (UTC)
brawler_baron: (jacket shadowed)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
"Why?" Micchi's tone is earnestly curious, almost surprised. "You want to help me... So I won't feel as bad as you've been feeling?"

Zack smiles a little. "Well, I wouldn't have put it quite that way, but when you get down to it, yeah. Because I know how much it hurts, and I can't leave you to try to carry this pain on your own."

"Who has been there to help you?" Micchi asks him, and Zack's smile fades.

"There hasn't been anyone else who can understand it the way you can," he admits quietly. "Everyone knows more or less the whole story by now, but it's hard to talk about it. It helped a little to talk to Oren-san, 'cause he was a soldier, but even that's not the same." Zack slips one hand out to lay it atop Micchi's. "I want to help you because there hasn't been anyone who could do it for me. I can't just sit by and do nothing, knowing you're hurting the same way I am."

Date: 2016-11-04 12:25 pm (UTC)
brawler_baron: (jacket smile)
From: [personal profile] brawler_baron
"Come with me," Micchi says, and Zack feels a weight lifted from his heart. "I can't let you be alone either, if you're feeling the way I am. You shouldn't feel that way."

Zack curls his fingers over Micchi's a little more, holding Micchi's hand between his own. "Thanks, Micchi," he says. "I don't want you to feel this way, either." He looks over at Micchi and gives him half a smile. "I don't know where things will go from here, but if we've got each other, I think we might be alright after all."

Zack pauses appreciate the closeness they're sharing for just another moment before asking the practical questions. "So, what time do visiting hours start tomorrow? Do you wanna go see your brother right away? I'm good to go whenever you want."

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callmemicchi

June 2016

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