Together In The Dark

Chapter 19

"Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…"

"Clear," cried the medic as he brought the paddles down onto Ritsu's chest. Takano and the medic turn to the monitor but were still met with…

"eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…"

"Come on," Takano whispered. "Come on Ritsu!"

"Charging… clear," cried the medic again. Takano could feel the tears streaming down his face as Shuusei placed his hand on Takano's shoulder.

Takano took some more shuddering breaths as the monitor continued,"eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…"

The medic was also taking some deep breathes before closing his eyes, "Charging… clear." The medic opened his eyes again to look at the monitor.

"eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…"

The medic closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again and looking at his watch, "Time of death, XX:XX."

"What? NOOOOO," screamed Takano.

"Takano, please," said Shuusei as he tried to pulled Takano away from Ritsu's body.

"No, no, no, you can't leave me again! You can't leave me again, please! Come back," cried Takano as he broke out of Shuusei's hold and rushed to Ritsu. "Please come back. You," he cried to the medic, "You bring him back, you understand! You bring him back!"

"I'm sorry sir, but there's… there's nothing I can do," the medic replied with sympathy in his eyes.

Takano shook his head as tears streamed down, "No, no, no, no it's not true. That is not true! You bring him back! You bring him," Takano was cut off.

"Beep, beep, beep, beep," broke through.


Takano opened his eyes as he looked at his alarm clock, "Beep, beep, beep, beep," Takano slammed his fist on it to shut it off. He took a deep breath before dragging himself out of bed. He went to the bathroom to wash his face and then to his kitchen to begin making breakfast. As he chopped some peppers to put into his omelet, he flipped on the news. Placing the contents into the pan on the stove he heard the news caster say, "In other news, American businessman Abel Johnson, was extradited to Japan yesterday in order to stand trial with his brother Conner Johnson. The charges include accessory to murder, attempted murder, fraud, and two counts of kidnapping that occurred six weeks ago. The two men he is accused of planning the kidnapping of, were found a week after their abduction. Sources close to the two abducted men say that both are recuperating and doing fine. They are expected to testify against the Johnson brothers at the start of the trial, next month." Takano rolled his eyes at the TV before flipping it off.

"Fine? We're doing fine?" He thought indignantly. Takano had been having that nightmare ever since that day in the ambulance. The truth was that the medic had been able to restart Ritsu's heart in 21 seconds, but had told Takano and the two police officers that Ritsu had been circling the drain.

Ever since then, Takano had been plagued by that nightmare he had this morning. He hadn't even been able to walk to work since his abduction, he just drove everywhere now. Whenever he tried to explain to the others what had happened or was going on with him, they just looked at him with crazy eyes. No one got it. The one person who might, well, Takano hadn't been able to talk to him for six weeks.

Once Onodera's condition had stabilized, though he was still unconscious, his parents had transferred him to a private hospital with a good trauma unit where he could get round the clock care and physiatrists on standby. Not that Takano could blame him. He, himself, had been going to see a physiatrist twice a week to talk about it, but she didn't really get it either. Takano's worse fear about Ritsu, had almost been realized, and he just couldn't handle it. Every time Takano thought about the kidnapping or that ride in the ambulance, he would feel a shortness of breath associated with a panic attack. His physiatrist had given him medication to counter act this, but not even this helped. The more he thought about it, the more Takano determined that his shrink was useless. With this in mind, he walked over to his phone and called to cancel the rest of his appointments.

After he hung up, Takano turned to look at the wall that separated his and Ritsu's apartments. Ritsu would be back at work any day now. For the past week, after work, Takano would stop by Ritsu's door and knock to see if he was back yet, but Takano still hadn't gotten an answer yet. Takano sighed before looking down at his watch. "Guess I'd better get ready for work."


Takano had just pulled on his shoes and walked out the door, when he heard the familiar click of the door beside his. Takano turned his head and saw Ritsu standing there on his crutches. Ritsu looked tired, with bags under his eyes and a droop to his normally straight back. "Oh, um, good morning," said Ritsu quietly, awkwardly looking away.

"Hey," answered Takano, "when did you get back?"

"Oh, uh, last night."

"Really? I knocked but you didn't answer."

"I kind of just went to bed when I got home so I was probably asleep when you knocked."

"I see," said Takano as they made their way to the elevator. Takano really had to slow his pace so Ritsu could hobble along and keep up. "You know, you don't have to come to work just yet. You can take another week off, and no one will blame you."

"I'm fine, plus I've already talked to my authors, so they're expecting to hear from me today," Ritsu replied as he pushed the call button for the elevator. "Mostly though, I don't want to be killed by my parents love anymore." Takano quirked his lips at the attempt at humor, but notice Ritsu shift painfully on his crutches.

"You know, I'm taking my car today so I can give you a ride." Ritsu looked over at Takano, like he was going to argue, before he looked down at his injured leg and simply nodding. There was silence then until the elevator dinged to let them know it had arrived.

Both men quietly entered and Takano pushed the button for the parking garage. He heard Ritsu take a deep breath. "Uh, Takano san?" Takano looked over at Ritsu. "Thank you."

"For what?"

Ritsu just gave him a look that said it all, everything Takano hadn't been able to say since that day. Takano reached over and grasped Ritsu's hand and squeezed it. Ritsu said nothing, but seemed to be quietly taking it all in. That's when Takano knew. It was going to be a long time until he healed, but he had someone to heal with. He and Ritsu would make the journey together. They would journey together in the dark.

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