Coming out of the bathroom, Robert walked over to his nightstand and picked his glasses up. Sliding them onto his face, he then walked over to his drawer to grab a t-shirt before looking towards his door as it opened.
"Ace," he said, making the other pause in the doorway, "is Skylar in bed?"
The raven nodded before kicking the door shut behind him. "Yeah, he's in bed."
"Good, thanks," the pinkette said before tugging an over-sized shirt over his head. Getting himself situated, he then glanced over at the PDA watching him as he took a seat on the bed. "Something wrong?"
Snapping out of his observation, Ace merely smiled. "Nope, everything is fine," he said as he walked over to the bed. 'Now, I just need you to go to sleep.' Sitting on the foot of the bed, he watched as Robert pulled out his book bag. "What are you doing?"
"I have to finish up my math," the hazel-eyed male replied as he pulled out a notebook. "Then I have to check my history and touch up the sketches for my art class."
'You're joking…' Ace furrowed his brow as the other started to work. Facepalming mentally, the PDA crawled over to the other quietly, careful not to make the bed creak, prior to snagging the smaller one from behind. "You should get ready to go to sleep."
"But I have work that-"
"I can finish the academics for you," Ace whispered in his ear.
"Don't you trust me?" he asked, pulling the other closer.
"It'll be tucked into your pack before you go to school."
Shivering at the breath tickling the back of his neck, Robbie squirmed before the arms wrapped around him squeezed tighter. Glancing over his shoulder, he stared back at the unfocused red pair. When he went to comment on it, Ace blinked before giving him a warm smile. Once he was released, he lowered his head to hide the slight blush that dusted his cheeks.
"Bed. It's been a long day for both of us," the android said gently as the other moved to get under the covers. "Good n-are…are you blushing?"
"N-no," Robert replied as he pulled the blankets over his head. "Goodnight."
Easing forward, Ace tugged the blankets back down to see hazel eyes glaring halfheartedly.
'I should let him go to bed.' That sounded like a good idea; that was the idea but the teen just looked cute like that. "Aww, what's wrong, Robbie?" he drawled, reaching down to tilt the other's head up. "You shouldn't be embarrassed by me after all this time." Leaning in, he grinned as the other's face became a darker shade of pink. "C'mon-"
Pulling back, Robert averted his eyes as the PDA touched his mouth. Peeking at him from the corner of his eye, Rob smiled at the confusion on the raven's face before chuckling.
"You're funny," he commented, earning a scowl.
"Think that's funny, huh?" Ace asked before he stole a kiss himself.
Feeling victorious at the sound of a startled gasp, he kept the other's head tilted back before he kissed his cheek.
"A-Ace," Robert stammered as he felt the kiss to his cheek move down to his neck. "H-hold-"
"Don't you trust me?" the PDA asked, drawing back just a bit. "Don't you?" Smiling at the small nod, Ace pulled the pinkette's glasses off and set them aside. 'This should tire you out.' Liking the thought, and knowing that a particular purplette would've never consented, the android went for the easier target. He was still bored after all. "You're gonna have to lose the shirt," he stated. Noticing the tense, Ace pressed a kiss to the side of the teen's neck "Relax, I'll get rid of it for you."
"Ace-" Hearing the sound of fabric ripping, Robert sat up the moment cooler air touched his skin. "Ace!" he shouted.
"Relax," the other replied with a leer, pushing the other back down, "you have a closet full of them."
Pressing a kiss to the other's lips, Ace rolled his eyes inwardly. 'I don't want to hear you whine about it.' Pulling away soon after, he observed the half-closed hazel eyes before grinning again. Pressing a kiss to the side of the teen's neck, the PDA reached down before pausing to the sound of the house line ringing. 'You're joking!'
"I'll be right back," Robert said, wiggling from underneath the raven to get to the door. An arm hooking around his waist had him looking back. "What's wrong, Ace?"
"Let the phone call wait," he drawled as he dragged the other towards the bed. "They can leave a message."
"But what if-"
"I said they could leave a message," Ace restated as he pushed the other back onto the bed. Kneeling before the other could get up, the taller teen leaned forward, watching as the smaller teen wrapped his arms around himself. "Come now, no need to be shy."
Leaning down a bit, a scowl crossed his face as a hand pressed against his chest. Uninterested in the hesitation now, Ace reached down and grasped the smaller hand and held it over the pinkette's head. Red eyes noted the shiver that wracked the more exposed person before he went to speak.
"Ace, the phone," Robert said quickly as his other hand was captured. "The phone! Can't you hear it?!"
"I hear it, but I don't care for it," Ace said, tightening his hold when the pinkette squirmed again. "Would you sit still?!"
"What if it's important?!"
"Then we'd get back to them," he replied as he leaned down to give the other a kiss. 'This should get you to be still.' And he was right for about three seconds. "Would you stop that?!" he asked, tightening his hold just a bit more.
"Ace, let go."
"No, I'm bored out of my mind so, sit still!"
"No." Staring up at the project, Robert shrank back into the sheets. "Trust me, ok?" he asked, smiling away.
'He says to trust him.'
To say and do it were two completely different things.
His attention then went back to the phone the moment it stopped ringing.
"See?" Ace asked matter-of-factly as hazel eyes shifted from the direction of the door over to him. "It st-"
"I'm sorry to be calling so late but this is Kaito's older brother, Kaylen." Robert sat up just a bit as he listened to the message, only to have the raven push him back down. "Kaito's…Kaito's had an…an accident and won't be attending school as of tomorrow."
"W-what?" Robbie stammered incredulously.
"Oh dear," Ace said offhandedly as he went to nuzzle the teen trying to get back up.
Uninterested in the affection, Robert finally managed to get his hands free and pushed the other off as he listened out for the rest.
"I would've called sooner but…well, they say he's stable now so that's all that matters at the moment," Kaylen said quietly. The last part was spoken so softly, the smaller male strained his hearing as he hurried towards the closed door. "Um, he also asked for me to call you to see if you could pick up his school work and bring it to him tomorrow if you didn't mind." Pulling the door opened, Robert caught the sound of talking and realized it was Kai's mother in the background. "I have to go now," Kay said quickly. "Oh, and his room number is 307. Sorry to have called so late. Goodnight."
Listening to the phone hang up, Robert hurried out the room, simply to have his arm seized. "Let go," he said, glancing over his shoulder.
"I need to call him back!" Shaking his head, the android reeled the other back. "Ace, let g-"
"Shut up, Robert," Ace ordered as he clamped his hand over the other's mouth. "You wouldn't want to wake Sky, right?" Red eyes narrowed on the widening hazel ones. "Right?" Rob nodded hesitantly as the grip on his arm tightened by a fraction, the other moving away from the teen's mouth. "Good."
"Ace, l-let go." The taller male just narrowed his eyes again. "You're starting to scare me," Robert said, taking a step back. "Let g-"
Clamping his hand over Robert's mouth, yet again, Ace dragged him back into the room before kicking the door shut with unnecessary force. Shoving the other the smallest over to the bed, the project made his way over in an unhurried motion, watching at Robert took an uncertain step back prior to falling onto the bed.
Scooting back, Robbie looked over his shoulder once he bumped into the wall. Watching as the other, knelt down, he pulled his knees to his chest quickly.
"Rob…bie," Ace drawled, crooking his finger to signal the other one forward, "come here." Said person merely shook his head, hugging his legs into his upper body. "I wasn't asking," he stated as he grabbed the teen's ankle.
"A-!" A quick pull had the pinkette on his back. "Ace, wait a minute!"
"No more waiting. I'm bored!"
Propping himself up on his elbows, Robert mustered a glare. "Let go or I'll send you back!"
"You wouldn't dare," the raven countered, pushing the other back down. He met the glare with a more heated one and smirked inwardly as a shiver ran down the smaller male's spine. "You couldn't bring yourself to do so," he added while he leaned forward to look down at the other. "Why?" Red eyes watched as Robert swallowed down the lump in his throat before having his chin captured. "Because you love me."
"You can't deny it, can you?" Hazel eyes slowly started to drift towards the window. "Look at me." Unable to, Robert squeezed his eyes shut. "Look. At. Me." Cracking his eyes open, Rob looked up at the PDA. "Now, are you going to send me away?" The other's gaze began to shift away. "Answer…"
"N-no," came the shaky reply.
"Now say why you won't," Ace ordered as he leaned forward.
"B-Because…I-I…" The one in glasses trailed off for a moment as his cheeks turned pink. "…love you."
"Because you what?" the dark-haired teenager asked. "I'm sorry; you're gonna have to speak up for me to hear you." When no words came, Ace clenched his jaw as he took hold of one of Robert's wrists. "Well?"
"I-I love you," Robert blurted out as his cheeks went a shade deeper.
"You do?" Rob nodded. "Ah, well, guess what," Ace said, moving close enough so that there was a mere inch between them.
A smirk pulled at the corner of the PDA's mouth. "I don't believe you. So say it again."
"I…" The hold of his wrist tightened. "…love you."
"You love who?"
"You," Robert replied quickly as he winced. "Please, Ace, let go. You're scaring me." The raven's smile broadened. "Let go! Ace, let go." The one above merely chuckled as he stared at the watering eyes. "Please…"
"What's wrong?" Ace asked. "Do you think I'm going to hurt you?" The pinkette didn't dignify that with a verbal response. "Do you?" he asked, tightening his hold.
"Ace, please…" Rob murmured as he started to lose feeling in his wrist.
"Please? You seriously think I'd let go because you said please?" Red eyes watched as tiny stream of water ran down the teen's cheek. "Why are you crying?" he asked, cocking his head to the side as he took hold of the other wrist.
"You're h-hurting me." The PDA watched as another stream of tears streaked the other side of Robert's face. "It's going to bruise," Robbie said. "Let go of me, Ace."
The taller of the two just stared down at the smallest then shook his head subtly. "No." That answer just got him more tears. "What's the matter? Don't you trust me?" Robert just turned his attention elsewhere. "Answer me."
"You're scaring me," he replied. "Please, Ace, let go."
"But why?!" Hazel eyes flitted up. "Ace, please," he requested as he glanced at his captured wrists.
"I already told you I am bored," the dark-haired android replied, watching as the other squeezed his eyes shut, "plus I told you they could leave a message and you were quite persistent on getting to that phone." He listened to a stifled sniffle. "Isn't a bit of punishment in order?"
The lighter pair of eyes snapped open, blinking away some of the tears to stare up at the narrowing pair. The watery pair then widened a bit as it watched a smile spread along the raven's face.
"A-Ace…?" Robbie stammered as he shrank back into the messy bedspread. Seeing a dark eyebrow raise itself, his struggling began anew. "Let go!"
Grinning, Ace watched as his toy squirmed and commanded him to let go though he had tuned out the whining for the time being. The show was more enjoyable when he didn't have to listen to the source of the irritating sound. He did catch the occasional "please" however.
"Shut up." The command was a curt one but it did nothing. "What did I just say?" the PDA inquired with a threat underlying those words.
It was more effective since all he received was a hiccup. Content with that, he leaned down and pressed a kiss to Robbie's brow before moving down to his cheek then neck. He paused at the occasional whimper or shiver but would continue soon after it past.
"What did I say?"
When no words came, Ace smirked against the side of the neck he had kissed. Pulling away to see the blush tinting the other's cheeks and the bridge of his nose, he grinned at the visible shiver. And leaning in to bite down on Rob's trembling bottom lip, the PDA froze as his vision flickered suddenly. Confusion then made its way along his face before he felt a pang in the side of his head. He sat up when his vision flickered again before holding the side of his aching head as the pain increased.
As the throb intensified to the point that it was nearly intolerable, he climbed off the pinkette and knelt on the floor. Fisting the dual-colored strands in his hair, he curled into a ball as he inhaled sharply. Groaning under his breath, he hardly noticed the squeak coming from the bed as Robert sat up rubbing his wrists gingerly. Ace's groaning then turned into a low whining as he pushed himself into an upright position.
"A-Ace," Rob said slowly prior to shrinking back as the other's eyes dulled. "a-are you…are you ok?"
Finding the question ridiculous, he opened his mouth to give a snappy comeback though nothing but a loud scream came as he felt shock run through his system. It was like he had stepped in water before someone decided to drop a taser in afterwards. It hurt too much to even say what he was feeling, let alone answer any questions.
"Sh…shut up!" he finally managed once he got to his feet. Stumbling around, the darkening eyes squeezed shut as a second hand went up to hold the other side of his head. "M-make it stop! Make it stop!"
Feeling another jolt, he bolted out the room, leaving a very bewildered and still completely terrified Robert on the bed. Soon enough, Rob heard the sound of the front door slamming shut and went to his window in time to see Ace running away with his hands still pressed to the sides of his head. Hearing another door open, accompanied by small feet, the pinkette left his room to tuck in his younger sibling that had woken up.
Elsewhere, through the pain, Ace made out the sound of ringing. Coming to a halt, he plopped down on a bench, a few blocks from the house and slid two fingers behind his ear.
"H-hello-o, s-sir," he managed through his pants.
"What were you thinking?!" the white-haired man snapped from the other end of the phone. When he didn't reply immediately, the PDA felt another jolt run rampant through his systems. "Well?!"
"I'm sorry!" he replied. "Make it stop! Make it stop! Make-"
"Shut up." The android complied quickly. "You're not to touch him, is that understood?"
Leaning forward as he felt another throbbing in his head, Ace nodded. "Y-yes, please, stop," he practically whined as he sank down to his knees.
"I'm tired of waiting and I'm tired of intervening," his superior stated, keeping his hand pressed on the button of a newly crafted remote. "I'm tired of the slacking." Hazel eyes watched the monitor showing everything that the other was looking at-that currently being the ground. "I'm starting to grow weary of you as well."
"I'm s-" The rest died off into a groan as he felt another pang in his head. "S-sorry!"
"You're in trouble when I get there," the man said as he jabbed the button repeatedly.
"W-when y-you get h-here?" Ace stammered, wincing at each throb or random shock. "T-that's not necessary."
"You don't get a say in the matter," he replied as he held the button. "Goodbye."
Hearing the other end hang up, the PDA slumped forward and curled into a ball, whining and wincing at the unseen torture he was enduring.
Back in his office, the man with glasses pressed his hands together into a steeple before letting out an irritable sigh. "I swear; he's definitely going to need to be reprogrammed when he returns." Turning in his chair, he looked towards the only other occupant of the office, almost forgetting he had been there for the entire thing. "Hey." Dull eyes cracked open before looking towards the hazel pair. "I'm actually starting to think it would've been better if you went in his place."
"Hey, Robert!" Said person almost dropped his sandwich as he looked up to see a certain blue-eyed redhead making her way over. "Have you seen Kaito or Ace?"
Remembering the message from last night, Rob lowered his lunch as well as his gaze. "Kaito won't be attending for a while."
Almond-shaped eyes widened. "What, why?!" Rebecca asked loud enough to draw a bit of attention towards the pair. She huffed when the pinkette didn't say anything. "What's with the bandages?"
Glancing at the bandages wrapped along his wrists, Robert slid his sleeves back down, hiding them away. "It's nothing," he replied quietly as he started to pack away the rest of his meal, "but if you don't mind, I'm going to get going now."
Once everything was tucked, he excused himself before walking back towards the school, leaving a rather annoyed redhead in his wake.
'How dare he just walk away from me!' Rebecca thought angrily. 'No one walks away from me!'
She had been blown off by the purplette. She had been told off, if not threatened, by the raven at her very own party. And, now, the pinkette was leaving her high and dry. Furthermore, unlike the taller two, the smallest wasn't even popular.
She, Rebecca Taiyo, wasn't going to let that slide at all.
"Harukana!" she shouted. Robert turned around. "Where are they?!"
Robbie chewed his lower lip at the thought of telling her that his best friend was in hospital. He was still trying to figure what had put the grey-eyed teen in therein the first place. He didn't have time to call before he left home and Ace was nowhere in sight. Not that he was particular fond of the idea that the PDA could've been anywhere.
He hadn't been home when he left and Robert hardly got any sleep that night, mainly worried about what could if not would happen if Ace returned in the state he had left.
"What do you want from me?" the teen asked with a sigh as he rubbed the sides of his head. "I don't know where Ace is, ok?"
"Well, he's your boyfriend, is he not?"
'My boyfriend?' Honestly, Robert didn't know how to respond to that after what happened last night. That was just terrifying and he truly didn't even think he could look Ace in the eye anytime soon. "Rebecca, I don't know where he is," he replied as he rubbed one of his wrists, and avoiding the question altogether. "He'll just show up whenever."
Feeling her eyebrow twitch as Rob walked away; Rebecca clenched her hands into fists. "They'd probably show up together then, right?" She smiled to herself as the other stopped. "I mean, if there had to be a couple, I suppose they'd be cuter than if one was to go with you."
Lowering his head, the pinkette felt all the stares coming from the surrounding classmates outside. He still heard the redhead going on and on and actually started to wonder what it was about her that she had every really liked about her. And when he tried to narrow it down, he really just found her pretty in the end.
"And another thing-!"
"Rebecca," Robert sighed as he turned to look at the girl, "do you ever stop talking?"
Circling around, Robbie adjusted his bag's straps before looking at the redhead. "What I'm trying to say is shut up."
"Excuse me?!" Rebecca hissed, putting a hand on her hip.
Pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, the pinkette made his way over, disregarding the growing number of people. Coming to a halt, he looked her in the blue eyes he had been fascinated in at one point before saying. "I said to shut the hell up. Stop talking, close your mouth, button your lip! Do everyone a favor and just keep quiet! How I could even like you is definitely beyond me but please, for the love of God, just shut up! Despite how you talk about them, Ace and Kai aren't interested in you at all! They don't even mention you and when they do, it's usually just to say you're a pain how you hang around or cling to them! So, please, do us all a favor by shutting up and just going away!"
What could she say to that?
Rebecca's mind was a blank as she gawked, watching as the usually timid pinkette stormed away, the accumulated number of people parting just to let him by. But when the resonating sound of the side door slamming shut ended, all eyes fell upon the apparently speechless girl.
She liked attention but not this kind.
That was shouted by someone in the back before a few people covered their mouths in attempts hide their smiles.
They failed terribly, of course, before laughter erupted.
Rebecca, Vetay High's most popular girl, was told off by one of the school's quietest students ever. It was just too funny. It was just too good. Hell, some people actually recorded it and were now sending it to others that had not been present.
In other words, she was ruined.
Balling up her fists, she pushed by the laughing crowds and hurried into the school, only to be greeted with pointed stares and snickers.
Oh, how her popularity was about to diminish.
"Is this all of it?" Robert asked as he slipped a folder into his bag.
"Ok, thank you."
Walking out of the English room, Robbie adjusted his straps to make up for the added weight before heading over to his friend's locker. Grateful that the other actually gave him his locker combination earlier in the year, the pinkette retrieved the textbooks needed before he went on his way.
Being much shorter than the purplette or raven, he struggled a bit with the extra weight as he made his way out the front gates. Lowering his things, he rolled his shoulders then cracked his back before rubbing the lower half.
It was going to be a long walk to the hospital at the rate he was going.
"Just give me the bag."
Looking over his shoulder slowly, Robert stared at the PDA-out of uniform- lolling against the gatepost. Red eyes were focused on what was ahead before drifting over towards the widening hazel pair. Words weren't exchanged since Robbie merely stepped back, dragging his bag along with him, when Ace opened his mouth.
Not bothering to comment on it, the dual-haired android made his way over quietly and held out his hand. Taking another step forward as the other took one back, Ace sighed before pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Here, ok?" Rob said, setting the pack down as he continued his retreat.
Picking up the bag, Ace swung it over his shoulder. "Where were you going with all of this?"
"T-to the hospital," he stammered.
"Fine; lead the way."
Not really wanting to turn his back on him, Robert was a bit hesitant to actually lead the way, but he did so after the questioning gaze sent his way. Unnerved by nothing but the echoing footsteps and the cars going by, hazel eyes stayed focused on the ground. And despite the distance between them, they made it to the hospital, in silence, after a thirty-five minute walk.
"You don't have to follow me in." Ace raised an eyebrow. "If…if you don't want to…" Robert added as he backed into the sliding door.
When it opened behind him, he didn't bother to suppress a grunt as he hit the cold floor. Clambering to his feet, he avoided the red eyes watching him before walking up to the front desk.
"Hi, can I help you?"
"Um, yes," Robert replied. "I'm here to see Kaito Neroma. His brother said he was in Room 307."
"One moment please," the receptionist said as she keyed away at her computer. "Neroma…Neroma…yes, he's in Room 307…"
"But?" Ace added.
"A few doctors are currently present."
"Oh…" Rob murmured, "…how bad…how bad is it?"
The woman at the desk looked at the screen before giving an empathetic glance at the pinkette. "Well, dear, he-"
The smaller teen turned around to see a tall brunette making his way over. He didn't look like he had gotten much sleep, what with the bags under his eyes and the husky edge in his voice.
"Yes?" he asked.
"I'm Kaylen." The hazel-eyed youth tilted his head slightly, taking in the man's appearance for a few moments more. "Oh, excuse my current state," Kay replied, "but I am Kai's older brother."
Robert nodded, disregarding the fact that Kaito never truly mentioned an older brother before. "Can I see him?" he asked hopefully.
"In a moment." That reply earned him a dejected expression. "It'll just be a few minutes, Robert."
"But why?" he asked dejectedly.
Violet eyes watched as the lighter pair started to tremble. From the small bags under his eyes, Kay was pretty sure that the teenager hardly got any sleep the night before. That fact in itself kind of made the man feel guilty for leaving the message as late as he did but it was done on request.
"Robert," he said jadedly, "you can go up but, please, keep it down, alright?"
He received a nod before watching the pink-haired male run off and to the elevator. Hearing another set of footsteps, the man turned his attention towards the android making his way over to the second elevator, shifting the bag as he did so. Walking over to join him, Kay pressed the call button and waited with Ace.
As the pair of doors slid open, both entered and Ace proceeded with pressing the button of the desired floor. Watching the raven for a moment more, Kaylen moved over to the furthest corner prior to hearing a chuckle.
"What?" he asked, glancing at the one adjusting the bag straps.
"You." The brunette raised a brow before burgundy eyes fell upon him. "You're the one of the other voices I heard on the phone," Ace replied, turning to face him completely. A grin then stretched across his tan face before falling flat. "You know, there aren't any cameras in these elevators, right?" The scientist narrowed his eyes at the other. "If you don't want to die in here, you'll wait in the hall while I'm with Robert in the room."
As the bell tolled, signaling they had reached their destination, Ace stepped out the moment the door opened. Kay followed out after. Words weren't spoken as the two walked to the door that Rob had seemingly past through already. Ready to enter himself, Kay came to a halt as red eyes focused on his person.
"What did I just say?" Ace asked as he made his way to the door.
Clenching his own hands into fists, Kay took a step forward, "1345289700, initiate program: Arrestare."
Coming to a staggering stop, the PDA's eyes closed steadily before falling back. Not really wanting to alert the nurses or doctors on the floor, Kaylen stepped up in time catch the raven though he stumbled back a step or so under the weight. Tilting his head to get a look at the PDA's current status, the man stared down at the serene look of sleep that had taken over the android's face. Closing his own eyes, Kay sighed his relief prior to hearing a chuckle.
Opening his eyes, the brunette stared down at the darkening red ones before being shoved away and into a wall. "You didn't think that'd actually work, did you?" Ace scoffed as he adjusted the bag again. "Now, stay."
Smiling as the man stayed by the wall, the PDA entered the room. Seeing how Robert was sitting in a chair at the furthest end of the room, his head bowed, Ace looked towards the other end to see two doctors.
One appeared to be checking the bedridden teen's breathing while the other was busy administering sedatives. Capping the needles for disposal and putting away the stethoscope, both doctors checked off several things on their clipboard prior to looking over at the two newcomers.
"Do try to keep the visit short, please," the first said as he slipped a respirator back over Kaito's face. "He should be falling to sleep in a few minutes."
"Thank you," Robert muttered as the pair exited the room.
Rising from his seat, he walked over to his friend and furrowed his brow at the unnatural sight before him.
Dark purple strands lay sprawled along the bed sheets, a few clinging to teen's sweaty forehead. A shiver had the pinkette tugging the blanket up; only to catch a glance at the bandages not hidden away by the robe the teen had been given.
Following the neat pattern, hazel eyes traced the white bindings along Kai's arm and even his other arm, that no longer held a brace. Bringing his attention to the bandages on the purplette's chest, Robert watched how it rose and fell at an uneven pace.
Lowering the covers quickly, Rob looked over at Ace. Seeing how he was looking elsewhere, Robert turned his attention to the one in bed and was greeted by a broken smile. "Hey." It was all he could think to say after hearing the raspy tone from beneath the oxygen mask. "I…I brought your work for you…"
"Thanks," Kaito murmured as he went to sit up.
"Please lay back down!" Rob said, simply to receive a curious stare. "Please-"
"Ok, ok," Kai whispered as he lay back down, wincing as he did so. "Hey…Robbie? You know... you can sit...if you want to." Nodding, the pinkette walked back towards the other end to grab a chair. "Hey, I…meant on the bed."
"It'll be ok," he replied. "Everyone's acting…like I'll bite…them." He offered a faint smile when he saw the frown upon his friend's face. "C'mon." Watching as the other took a seat at the end of his bed, Kaito sighed, wincing as he did. Grey eyes then landed on the PDA that was still looking somewhere else before focusing on the fidgety pinkette. "Robbie." When the other didn't respond, Kai brought his hand up to remove the mask. "Robert."
Rob jumped before noticing the missing mask. "Put that back on," he said quickly as he moved closer to his friend. He listened to the breathy laugh accompanied by a series of wheezing. "Please?" he asked as he seized the mask himself.
Frowning at the panic, Kai lowered his hand to his side as Robert slipped the mask into place. Glancing back at the raven, grey eyes watched as the red pair shifted to stare back before a growing smile began to spread along the PDA's lips. It faded as soon as it had come as Rob took a step back.
Looking over at his friend, Kaito noticed the bandages poking out from beneath the gakuran and held his hand out. "What…happened?" he asked, watching as Robbie shrank back. "Tell…me" he added as the effects of the drugs started to kick in. "…let me see…please?"
Slowly holding out his own hand, Robert looked towards the window as Ace looked over at him. Lowering his head as he felt his sleeve being rolled back, he tensed as fingers slowly undid the material. And as the cool air touched his skin, as well as colder fingers, he listened to a sigh.
"Rob…" Kaito said softly as he carefully pulled the bruised limb closer.
Observing the dark marks that resembled hands, the teen sent Ace a pointed look before focusing on his friend. Knowing the other covered one held the same thing, he slowly wrapped the bandages back into place before rolling the sleeve down.
"…sorry," the purplette murmured as his eyelids began to droop. "You…didn't deserve…" Struggling just a bit more, Kaito allowed his eyes to slide shut in the end as he exhaled shakily. "…those."
"K-Kai?" Robert stammered as his friend's head tilted to the side.
Before more panic started to set in, Ace said, "He's just sleeping," Hazel eyes darted over to the one that had been quiet for so long to see he setting the bag down, withdrawing the books and setting them on the table. "The doctors drugged him a few minutes ago, remember?" he added, zipping up the pack and throwing it over his shoulder. "Let's go."
"But-"The PDA tilted his head. "Ok." Hurrying out the room, Robert spotted Kaylen nodding off. "Um, Kay-"
"I'm up!" he said, jerking his head up. He then rubbed his eyes before staring down at the pinkette. "Oh, how did it go?"
"He fell asleep," Ace replied curtly. "Rob, it's getting late."
"Uh, right. Thanks for the call last night," Robert said, looking back up at the brunette. "Is it ok to stop by tomorrow?"
"Let's go," Ace said hooking an arm around the other's waist.
"Um, just call," Rob said as he was dragged away.
"Right," Kaylen said as he watched the two students disappear into an elevator. 'He's gotta go.'
Walking towards another elevator, he figured he could hail a cab and go home to grab a few things before returning to spend the night again. Chisato had told him he didn't have to stay but he had insisted. When he was awake, Kaito had insisted that he was going to be ok there alone yet the older sibling said he'd stick around. The purplette figured the reason but never bothered to say it was the brunette's fault. He figured it wouldn't have sunk in anyway.
"Just separate...them, please?"
That was all Kai said before he passed out again the night before during their ride in the ambulance.
Coming to the doors, Kay was snapped out of his thoughts as a certain greenette came hurrying out, crashing into him in the process.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry."
Blue eyes looked up to see the tired and somewhat annoyed expression on the man's face. "H-hey, you don't look like you slept too well."
"What do you want, Bertice?"
Flinching at the tone, Jay withdrew several folded papers. "Um, I just saw Robert and Ace leaving."
"Yeah, but what do you want?" Kay asked irritably.
"Kay, I'm s-"
Pausing at a frustrated sigh before the brunette walked around him to get into the elevator, Jay hung his head prior to holding out what he had brought.
"They're voice and frequency analyses," the greenette said as the papers were taken. "Um…how is he?"
"Sternal fracture, the seventh and tenth ribs are broken, with the possibility of a flail chest." Glancing up at now silent man, Kay went back to reviewing the reports. "From being out in the water for an extended period of time, he also had a mild case of hypothermia. So tell me; how do you think he's doing?" Hearing a sniffle, the brunette looked up again to see Jay wiping his eyes. "Stop that."
"I'm sorry," he said quickly. " If I wasn't so scatterbrained, we could've finished fixing the computer yesterday much earlier and he wouldn't have been exposed to the water for so long.." Scrubbing the sleeve across his eyes didn't quite hold back tears. "I'm sorry. If I wasn't in the car, I could've helped you out so that your voice isn't as hoarse as it is. If you weren't so angry at me, you would've called last night to say how he was doing or if you were coming back. You might've even come home, even if it was for a few minutes."
"If I didn't play around so much, you wouldn't hate me as much, right?" Jay asked dejectedly before being pulled into the elevator. He then watched as the brunette hit the button to close the doors prior to hanging his head. "I'm just embarrassing you now, aren't I? Isn't that why you pulled me in-"
Capturing the greenette's chin, Kaylen kept his finger pressed to the other's mouth. "Stop talking like that." Hearing another sniffle, violet eyes watched as the blue ones began to water. "Stop crying, ok? I was mad, pissed really, ok, but I don't hate you. I never said I did."
"So what if you're scatterbrained? Sure, it can be annoying. Ok, really annoying around the lab-" The greenette's bottom lip started to tremble again. "- but it's funny at times too. It's cute even."
"And I don't hate you. You're insufferable at times, yes, but I don't hate you." When the doors opened up, Kaylen ushered his partner out of the lift and towards the front entrance. "If I hated you, I wouldn't have agreed to living together, right? If I didn't like you, do you think I would really put up with an intoxicated Jayce? So, please for the love of God, Jay, don't cry."
"Ok," Jay murmured as he wiped the water from his eyes while Kaylen went back to reviewing the reports. "Oh, I...I finished fixing the computer this morning by the way."
The brunette glanced over at the other scientist to see him avoiding his stare altogether. "Really?" He received a stiff nod. "That's good," Kaylen said as he went back to his observations, "but these reports don't match up with previous analyses."
"I know," Jay replied quietly as they walked through the parking lot. "The second is what I pulled from the computer when Ace had called your brother. The pitch is a bit lower than the previous. The dialect is actually a little off as well." He watched as violet eyes flitted between the two papers. "Um, and if you take a look at these-" Jay withdrew two more sheets. "-they show a fluctuation in the Nanites' activities. The energy signatures aren't the same as before as well."
"None of these match up," Kaylen stated as he looked over at the other. "Jay…the second readings don't belong to Ace at all."
"You don't have to hold onto me like this the entire way home," Robert stated as he wiggled about.
Complying as the arm around his waist tightened, the pinkette lowered his head. The PDA had avoided touching his hands, wrists, and forearms altogether though Ace was still being a bit rougher than Robert could recall.
"Um, Ace, what happened last night?" he asked before trembling under the vacant stare given. "You…you never came home."
"What? Did you miss me?" The smaller teen's cheeks flushed. "Seriously?"
"I don't know why you did what you did last night but I got worried when you took off." Red eyes focused on the one that had become still. "I mean, you looked like you were in so much pain. What if you didn't make it back?" Rob asked quietly. "What if you got hurt again and couldn't even make it home?"
A snort followed by a laugh had hazel eyes looking up the moment the arm around his waist released him. As the laughter got louder, Robbie took a step back to see Ace holding his sides.
"Me? Hurt?" he snorted. "As if I'd let that happen."
"But you were that worried about me?" the raven asked, receiving a nod for an answer. "You're really something. You're sad one moment then embarrassed the next." Robert just looked elsewhere. "You smile then you're all mad. You're timid then you're daring." A growing smile appeared on the PDA's face as he hooked his arm back around the smaller waist. "You're very amusing," he said as he pulled the bewildered teen along.
"Ace, let go."
"Why would I want to do such a thing?"
Staring at the grin, Rob wiggled around to get free though he only succeeded in having his waistline squeezed. "You're starting to scare me again," he said. "Let go."
"Yea…no," Ace scoffed as he picked up the pace. Frustrated by all the squirming, he narrowed his eyes. "You better stop wiggling around or else." When Robert looked at him, he raised an eyebrow. "Got it?" Receiving a stiff nod, Ace smiled again. "Good."
Hanging his head, the pinkette remained silent as the other dragged him along. Turning onto the street where he stayed, Robert thought about the more pouty, would almost be in tears if he didn't get just a kiss, Ace.
He missed that one.
'What happened to you?' he thought to himself as the hand tightened subtly.
He'd admit that the PDA was a bit more different from when he had left the first time though he couldn't help but be relieved that he had come back in one piece. And so caught up in his thoughts, he missed the fact that they had stopped moving.
Feeling the arm at his hip slide off, Robert looked up at Ace. Seeing how he was looking in somewhere else, Rob looked in that direction to see that the android was staring at his house. Well, it appeared that he was actually staring at a man dressed in a black suit that happened to be knocking on the door.
"Ace?" he said as the raven took a step back. "What's the matter?"
Eyeing him for a moment more, Robert then focused on the man that scratched his white-haired head prior to reaching into his back pocket. When the visitor pulled out a cell phone, he headed down the pathway before coming to a stop to dial a number.
Speechless at first, the pinkette took his glasses off and cleaned them before sliding them back on his face. When he saw the same thing as before, he swallowed down a lump then cleared his throat.
A/N: Well, it's been a fun year writing this story and I want to say thanks to all the views, reviews, favorites and story alerts! Now for the bad part. *cue dramatic music* The next chapter won't be posted 'til Feb 2013. What with BMT and all, I won't have a computer with me so…until 2013, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!