salut et quoi de neuf (hi and what's new)! haha...the power in my school went out today, so at i am lounging around at home. i added a online/offline indicator and workspace notification-thingy to police myself - or if anyone wants to contact me right away. it's strange having a Thursday off...honestly, i have no idea what to do first! read, review, and enjoy, s'il vous plaît!

-Chapter 5-

He rolled over on his side to stare wordlessly out the window as the sun rose. Every inch of his skin felt smooth and cool, but for some odd reason, he could not shiver. As he heard the hospital life begin to start up again for another day, he sighed, both in relief and boredom. Chiyo kept her promise.

His eyes snapped shut when he heard footsteps approach his room. There were two pairs - one most likely a doctor or a nurse and the other…he wasn't sure of. He remained still, forcing his breathing to slow while he quickly rotated onto his back.

"Are you sure you want to do this, sweetie?" Shou recognized the voice of Imako's nurse coming closer to his door.

"Y-yes…I have to."

The nurse paused and he heard Imako leaning against his doorway. "But, it's still too early, dear!" She tried to persuade her to leave by lightly reaching for her arm. Imako pulled her arm back too swiftly, hitting the door. Shou struggled to stay frozen, but figured that they would not have their attention on him at the moment.

"I…never told him." Imako whimpered as she held onto her throbbing arm. "I-I know I should have, b-but I couldn't find the right words."

"You might not have had the 'right words', but I'm sure he was able to tell, honey." Her voice was soothing yet strong. He could sense the nurse leading her away. "It's okay, we'll go back to your room, and you can let those tears out."

She nodded, taking one last look back into Shou's room at his motionless body. "I loved you so much - and still do."

Shou remained still, listening in curiosity as they departed from his room. After he thought a full minute had passed, he slowly peeled his bed sheets off of him. While he propped himself up on his bed, he heard the noise of crinkling paper underneath him. Remembering the letter, Shou reached into his back pocket for it to read quickly.

"W-what are you doing?!"

Shou glanced up to find an older nurse with a pallid face about to faint in his doorway. He tucked the letter back into his pocket, unsure of what to say in response. "Uh, waking up?"

"Morita-san!" The nurse shrieked at the top of her lungs. "Get every doctor on this shift!"

"Please don't," Shou muttered, sensing a dull pain in the back of his head forming. "It's okay…really."

"Morita-san!"

Taiki swung around the edge of the doorway, his expression inquisitive. "What are you yelling about so early for?" It took a moment for his eyes to finally detect Shou, sitting indifferently up in bed. "Oh, hey Shou." He turned his attention to the nurse for a second before realizing what had just happened. "Shou?!"

"Hi, Taiki," he greeted flatly. "Nice to see you this morning."

"Wow. I'm going to get every doctor who's still on their shift…" Taiki retreated from the doorway in a peculiarly calm manner, leaving Shou alone with the astonished nurse, who was trying to stick an IV back in his arm.

"Whoa - stop it! I'm fine!" He insisted, dodging her attempts at stabbing his veins with the needle. "Can't we just wait until the doctors come?"

"Oh, no, that would be foolish," the nurse insisted, catching his arm and pinning it to the bed with surprising strength. "You need to have these fluids in you now-"

"Well, well…this is a surprise."

Shou and the nurse stopped tussling over the needle, finding a small cluster of doctors at the doorway, scribbling notes into notebooks, palm pilots, and even napkins. One of the first doctors Shou had ever met, Dr. Dominic Crewe, stepped forward, forcing the nurse to move aside. "You feel all right?" he asked in his classic academic tone, reaching for Shou's wrist. He lifted his left arm up, clearing his lab jacket away from a traditional silver watch to take the patient's pulse. Every person in the room kept hushed, as Shou felt his heartbeat pound in his ears.

"Dr. Crewe?" A gruff voice asked from the back of the crowd. "Is this even possible?"

"Yes, Himura-san…he is living proof," Dr. Crewe concluded, releasing Shou's wrist to address his colleagues. "We will need to run some tests before we release him from the hospital-"

"What? We're discharging him?" Dr. Himura spoke with thick skepticism. A few mutters of agreement appeared around him. "That would be illogical!"

Dr. Crewe held up his hand patiently. "To finish, I was going to say that I will return to London and share these results and observations. Then, we will continue to conduct regular appointments for him, as needed." He turned to face Shou with a daring look in his eye. "Besides, we want to test his immune system, right? That requires more human contact than this hospital can safely provide."

A discouraged sigh escaped Dr. Himura. "If you believe so…let's do a blood test first, then we'll go on from there." The crowd dispersed, doctors setting off in all directions to tacit orders.

With a satisfied grin, Dr. Crewe sat on the corner of Shou's bed. He shook his head, the golden blond hair shinning under the fluorescent lights of the room. "I don't know how you did it, Nikko-san. That was a pretty neat magic trick you pulled." With a swift stretch, he stood, nodding to a few nurses in the hallway that were marveling at both his youth and appealing foreign traits.

"I can't believe it…" Shou gazed out the window, lost in his own thoughts. "Back to school…back to life. I can do anything I want now."

"Yes, you can - and you deserve to," Dr. Crewe concluded, slipping out of the room as covertly as he had come.

Alone, yet again, Shou took the letter out of his pocket, determined to read it. He ignored the seal, ripping the envelope open across the top, too excited to be in awe at the aged quality of the letter. As he slid the paper out of the envelope, he exhaled in relief. This letter could have contained all of the answers Chiyo was too reluctant to share earlier. With eerily still hands, he unfolded the letter, lifting it into the clear light.

Nikko, Shou:

Enjoy your happiness in this world where you are meant to remain in. Perhaps we will meet again, or not. If the positive takes place, then I only wish to see a smile on your face - this simple event will be enough for me to be satisfied. Your family has given so much to my cause, and for that, this is my way of expressing gratitude. Es tut mir leid (I'm sorry), to Yutaka, once again.

Chiyo of the ocean

"Chiyo…of the ocean," he breathed out to himself, an anomalous fusion of fulfillment and anticipation settling into his mind. He scanned the letter once more, reading bits out loud. "Family given so much…'Es tut mir leid'?" His eyebrows arched in misunderstanding at the four unfamiliar words. "What is that? Icelandic?"

Shou hesitated, hearing his mother's loud sobs of joy coming down the hallway. One last part of the note lingered in his mind as he shoved the letter under his pillow. "Yutaka...why would she want to apologize to my grandfather?"

random babble... ah, Shou, you crack me up. in absolute randomness, i want to maybe write up some oneshots where there is a serious chapter i have already posted, but make it more comedic (like the bonus chapters from Vampire Knight). it's an interesting idea that i've been toying with lately.a bientôt et au revoir (see you soon and good-bye)!