Mikado lay in his bed with an IV hooked into his arm. Etsuko hooked it into his arm two hours ago. This was the second dose she gave him. The bright pink fluid drained into his body. Mikado could already predict what was coming next. Chest pains, shortness of breath, blurred vision, numbness in the limbs, cold sweating. This was going to take twelve hours too? The first dose was bad enough. If they were going to kill him, why couldn’t they just get on with it?
“We’re not here to kill you, Chirin-kun,” Kitano insisted. “We’re here to fix you, make you better.”
Lies. Mikado knew better. This was torture disguised as treatment. He and the others couldn’t do anything to stop them. They were the lab rats at Kitano and Etsuko’s hands. They would come up with more drugs to test on their little guinea pigs.
Mikado took in short, shallow breaths.
I think I’m going to die.
He slowly drew his eyes closed. The pink fluid drained through the bag at a snail’s pace.
-Six Hours into the Treatment-
Mikado opened his eyes and found himself floating in an empty space.
What? Where am I?
Mikado put his hands in front of his face. It shocked him that he could see right through them. He could still feel the needle in his left arm. The boy looked down at his feet. Mikado was still lying in the bed with the IV in his arm as well. Only, the him down there looked daze with vacant eyes.
What is this? I’m up here and I’m down there. I’m… up here, but I’m down there.
Mikado looked at his hand before looking down at himself again. He still looked daze with an IV in his arm. Even floating above his body, his arm still felt sore. He tried to reach down to his body, but there seemed to be a barrier. His hand seemed never seemed to reach his body.
Mikado tried to calm himself down and think once the initial shock wore off. He rubbed his forehead.
I must have somehow got separated from my body. But am I dreaming? Am I going crazy?
Chirin took another look down at his body. That pink liquid still slowly drained into his body. He didn’t appear to be breathing at all. He could still feel the needle in his arm. The more the boy looked at himself down in the bed below, the more a sinking feeling washed over him.
Wait, am I dead?
“Not quite!” a chipper voice spoke up. Chirin turned to see a cute wolf girl smiling at him. Her brown eyes portrayed a gentle warmth that could calm down a man in panic. Her long grey hair matched her bushy tail. She wore a short black dress, tan blazer, and a black choker collar. He blinked with a puzzled look on his face.
“Uh… who are you?” he asked. The wolf girl giggling.
“I’m just a fairy passing through,” she said. Mikado gave her a strange look. She can’t truly believe that herself!
“I’ll be whatever you want me to be,” the girl said.
“Okay… Why am I like this?”
“Why am I out of my body?”
The wolf girl looked down at the boy still in his bed with an IV attached to his arm. She looked up the Mikado floating in front of her.
“No idea,” she said. “You are pretty cute, though.” Her grey tail swayed as she smiled.
“Uh… thanks…” he said. The wolf girl leaned in closer, grinning. Her smile made him jump backwards, screaming. The sudden movement made his left arm hurt.
“Ow,” Mikado whimpered to himself.
“What’s wrong?” the wolf girl asked. He pointed to the him lying the bed with the IV hooked up to his arm.
“Oh,” she said. “Are you sick?”
The wolf girl tilted her head. “You don’t sound too sure about that.” Mikado glanced down at his body below. Nothing made sense to him anymore. Why did they keep injecting him with so many drugs day-in and day-out? Why was he here? Why were they so interested in him? Each day, he seemed to be losing something inside of him.
Mikado rubbed his forehead.
“Something wrong?” the wolf girl asked. The boy sat down on the thin air.
“I’m just tired,” he said. She sat down in front of him.
“Yeah.” Mikado glanced down at his body still in his bed. All of the color drained from his face as he turned back to the smiling wolf. “So… I’m not dead?”
“How do I get back?”
“I don’t know.”
“Am I going to stuck like this forever?”
“Oh, no. No! Because you’re not supposed to die today.”
Mikado narrowed his confused eyes at the wolf girl as she played with her long, silver hair. “I’m not supposed to die today?”
“No,” she said, shaking her head. “But it would be in your best interest to return to your body really soon.”
The mental patient frowned. “Why is that?”
“You could end up trapped outside of your body forever.”
Mikado fell back, panicked. “Then how do I get back?!”
“Do you want to go back?” the wolf girl asked. The boy slowly drew his mouth closed. Did he want to go back to being nearly a vegetable with an IV in his arm for the next six hours? He could just hang around here and not have to deal with the pain of needles and his head almost always in a fog. If he stayed here, he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore.
Mikado lowered his head. “Yes.” The wolf girl smiled and placed her hand on his chest.
“Wait!” the boy shouted. She tilted her head.
“You don’t want to go back?” she asked.
“It’s not that,” Mikado said. “Could you… tell me your name… at least?” The wolf smiled like an angel child.
“Uzuki,” she said. “And you are?”
“Mikado, Ryugamine Mikado,” the boy said.
“Nice to meet you, Mikado-kun,” she said. Uzuki pressed her hand to his chest again.
Mikado awoke in time to see Etsuko walking into the room. The doctor walked up to his bed and flashed a flashlight in his eyes. She jotted down a few notes and removed the IV needle from Mikado’s arm. He would receive another dose of that pink liquid tomorrow.