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Confession (Part One)

FluffandCrunch Oct 11th, 2012 15,517 Never
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  1. There's too many people in front of me, too many in my way.
  3. I push and plow through them, some people passing me by with little or no notice, others angrily yelling at the forceful shoves I blow past them with. I bounce back and forth between them, muttering apologies but not taking the time to see if they are accepted.
  5. I don't have time.
  6. I have no time!
  8. Voices over the intercom are muffled and filled with static, squealing distractions assaulting my ears, screaming times and arrivals. Despite their directions and shouted commands, the airport is a chaotic maze filled with too many lights and noises, the harsh, cheap fluorescent glare flushing everything into a bleached, runny mess.
  10. I know the number of her plane, I tell myself. I just have to hurry.
  12. My heart pounds in my chest, as much from the exertion as from the stress and worry.
  14. Idiot! I could have stopped her before! I shouldn't even have to do this, I should have said something! I wanted her to stay, I wanted Lilly to stay! Was I not brave enough to ask or so stupid that I thought that she wanted to leave?
  16. No, I think to myself, I just trusted her too much. I thought she was perfect, that she was infallible. Who was I to doubt her intentions? If Lilly wanted to live in Scotland, what could I say against her decision?
  18. I couldn't go against her in anything.
  20. I should have said a lot, I realize, but I didn't.
  21. Now I had to run.
  23. I push up against someone and they nearly send me spinning to the ground, a briefcase and a travel bag flying through the air. They curse loudly, but I'm scrambling to my feet, yelling back at them how sorry I was.
  25. Running through an airport; not the smartest thing to do nowadays.
  26. What if a security guard sees me and thinks I'm up to no good? I guess plenty of people run through airports to catch a plane, but I'm not a passenger and I can't spare the time.
  28. I turn a corner in the terminal and find a long hallway filled with people coming and going, a gauntlet of passengers and obstacles.
  30. My heart leaps in my chest when I catch sight of just a flicker of golden hair.
  32. There, just a little taller than the people around her.
  34. “Lilly!” I shout.
  36. She just keeps walking away with Akira. The terminal is too loud, there's too many people.
  38. I start running after her, to try and catch her. People block my way and I bounce off of them, refusing to allow me to pass.
  40. I shove as hard as I can, but they crowd me in. I break free and run only a few feet before my breath starts coming in heavy gasps, labored wheezes. My chest starts aching, like a huge weight were pressing down on my lungs. My legs feel like they're made of lead and they drag, slowing me to a crawl before I topple to the floor, landing on my knees. Someone slams into me, throwing me to the ground.
  42. I start to get up, but my arms won't work and my knees lock with rust. My chest gets heavier and heavier, a crushing force bringing me down, pressing my face into the cheap carpet.
  44. I gasp for breath, a huge weight building, crushing me, pinning me, driving me like a nail into the ground.
  45. I see Lilly and this time there's no one in the way, the entire terminal now empty, just the two of us as she continues to walk down a long, shadowy tunnel.
  46. I try to call out to her, but my voice catches and I can't speak, a massive knot in my chest choking my words. I try to fight the weight holding me down, but I can't move.
  48. I attempt to rise, but I don't budge. I pull, crawl, try to drag myself, but I can't move no matter how hard I try; I'm not strong enough, not powerful enough.
  50. Lilly keeps getting farther and farther away....
  52. I reach as far as I can, trying to stop her. If I could just stretch out a few more inches....
  54. Is she at the end of the hall or just within my grasp? I can't tell anymore. Sometimes I can barely see her and sometimes I can just feel the tips of my fingers touch a few strands of her soft hair.
  56. Lilly begins to turn around as if she heard something just as my strength gives way and I fall into the abyss.
  58. ----------------------------------------
  60. Surprisingly I feel under me a soft surface, but there is something heavy on my chest, making it hard to breath. The weight is on top of me now, pushing me, squeezing me. I'm going to be crushed, I think, my ribcage shattered under the weight, grasping my heart until it bursts.
  62. I breathe slowly and deeply and the process starts getting easier. My eyes flicker open and light assaults them, making it hard to see.
  63. There's a foul taste in my mouth, like dried medicine.
  65. Somewhere, something beeps, a steady signal, again and again. I recognize the sound and realize I know it well, the beats of my own heart translated into electronic beeps, an annoying, yet reassuring staccato.
  67. I open my eyes and adjust to the light, finding my hospital room; blank walls in blase, soothing colors, an unused television hanging in the upper corner, an open window letting in a smooth, morning breeze and a perfectly squared picture of disgusting pastel colored smudges. The IV digs into my arm and itches, making me want to claw and rip it out. Even with the open window, the smell of bleach is unbearable in the air.
  69. I hate these places.
  70. I really, really hate these places.
  72. It's still hard to breath. I look down at my chest and see why.
  74. Curled up in the hospital bed, her head resting on my chest, Lilly is pressed next to me, her arms draped over me, hugging me possessively. Her eyes are closed and her breathing is regular.
  76. “Lilly,” I say in a whisper.
  78. She doesn't stir.
  80. I smile and realize that she's asleep.
  81. I put my own arms around her and hold onto her just as jealously as she's holding onto me. Her skin feels soft under my fingertips and her smell is invigorating and wonderfully feminine, preferable to the stale, sterile air of the hospital room. When I touch her, she stirs slightly, pressing her face into my chest more. It stings, my surgical scar still sore and a bit painful, but I keep my voice down. I don't want to wake her up.
  83. Besides, I like watching her sleep.
  85. I hold her against me and give a relieved sigh. She's next to me now, not on a plane to the other side of the planet. I have her close to me and I'm never going to let her go again.
  87. Lilly stirs once, this time her eyes opening, that murky blue I've come to adore peeking out from under her lashes. She lifts her head and reaches out, tentatively touching my chest.“H-Hisao? Are you okay? Do you want me to get a doctor?”
  89. I hug her to my side. “I'm okay. I just had a dream.”
  90. “About what?”
  91. “I dreamed about you.”
  93. She blushes prettily with a hopeful smile. “Was it a good dream?”
  95. I grimace. “No, it wasn't. But it ended well. I woke up and here you are.“
  97. Her blush gets deeper. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you.”
  99. “It's all right. Were you tired? You don't have to stay here all the time, you know. If you want to rest, I could ask the nurses if they could bring a bed in for you. You could even go back to Shizune's the next time Akira visits. It's not really fair to make you stay here. I'm the one stuck in the hospital, not you.“
  101. “I'm not tired, I just wanted to be near you. And I want to stay here.“ She giggles. ”I want to keep an eye on you.“
  103. “I guess you'd have to climb into my bed with your ear against my chest to do that.“
  105. She smiles again, a little hurt in the expression. “I wanted to make sure you were all right.”
  107. “If you're worried about my heart, that's what the beeps are for.“
  109. She bites her lip. “I hope you don't think I'm being very silly, but I didn't trust the machine to do it for me. I wanted to hear it for myself.“
  111. I smile back at her and touch her chin. She lifts her head towards me and presents her lips. I kiss her very lightly. She giggles and pulls back a little. “You have terrible morning breath!” she teases.
  113. “I'm sorry,” I laugh. “I have a bad taste in my mouth. I think it's from the medicine.“
  114. “Would you like some water?”
  116. I tell her I would and she carefully climbs out of the hospital bed, feeling out the sides and stepping out onto the floor. She finds an empty glass next to me on the side table and takes it to a counter along the wall of the room where a small sink is. She twists the handle and pours a little water in, just the tip of her finger touching the rim of the glass to see when it's full and to ensure that it isn't hot.
  118. I smile. I love watching how careful she is doing the most normal things.
  120. She brings it back to the bed and I take it from her, drinking deeply until the glass is empty. I was thirstier than I thought I would be.
  122. “Thank you, Lilly.“
  124. She smiles at me.
  126. I set the glass back on the side table where it belongs and see the music box, still open and ran out, sitting silently and at rest. Next to it is a small cluster of dandelions and several cards set into a neat little stack.
  128. “Where did these come from?”
  129. Lilly looks curious for a moment. “Where did what come from, Hisao?”
  130. “Oh, I mean these cards.” I lean over and pick them up, shuffling through them.
  131. Lilly walks up to the bed and stands next to me. “A nurse brought them in. You haven't been allowed any visitors, so she dropped them off.“
  133. I nod. The doctors weren't thrilled with Lilly around and she was only permitted in my room in the first place during normal visiting hours. They had wanted to wait for my parents to come back and give permission before she was allowed near me again.
  135. I showed them very clearly what I thought of that idea and they let her stay to keep me pleasant and cooperative.
  136. I remind myself to apologize to that nurse for throwing that glass at her.
  138. I flip through the cards, all of them wishing me swift recovery and health and also for my return to Yamaku. I get a little chill up my back going through them, being reminded of the last time I got flowers and cards and how they sputtered out and finally stopped, leaving me alone in a different hospital room after a lengthy, four month recovery.
  140. I see names I recognize and I'm surprised by how easy it is to put them to faces. A card with a little sloppy handwriting from Miki, another card with a long line dragging down from a half finished name. The first few letter tell me it's from Suzuki.
  142. Another card is bright purple and covered in a crayon drawing of a pirate ship.
  143. Emi, of course. In the corner, she tells me to enjoy the flowers she and Rin picked for me and to stop being a loser and get off my ass, that as soon as I'm back at Yamaku, I'm her bitch on the jogging track.
  145. I smile.
  146. Dandelions are not flowers, but I still like them.
  148. Speaking of Rin, instead of a card, she sent me a drawing of a...well, I don't know what it is and I'd rather not speculate, but it is very unique and must have taken her some time.
  150. In lieu of a card, Shizune sent a stack of homework to keep me sharp and occupied, along with a Student Council membership form, most of it filled out, awaiting my signature. Misha sent a giant pink heart covered in lace with tiny pieces of candy and glitter pasted to it.
  151. Typical.
  153. I'm very surprised to see a small, well-used and old science fiction paperback on the table as well. The inside cover is signed by Mutou and tells me that he always enjoyed the book and hopes that I will as well.
  155. Hanako wrote me a letter with all the normal well wishes, but also saying that she, Natsume and Naomi will be postponing their trip until she's sure I'm doing well. It makes me very happy knowing that Hanako is still going even after my accident. If she thought I was going to be the reason she backs out of her time away from Yamaku, I'd have to crawl out of this bed and not get back in until I had convinced her to go.
  157. One card, on expensive paper, has no writing on it at all. The inside is covered with tiny bumps which I recognize as Braille.
  158. “I think this card may be for you, Lilly.”
  160. She looks surprised as I hand it to her, her delicate fingers passing over the tiny writing which looks to me like some secret code. As she reads, she smiles fondly.
  161. “It's from my class. They wish both of us well, they hope you make a very swift recovery and that we have an enjoyable summer together.“
  162. She smiles and I take the card back from her. “They didn't have to do that,” she says with a deep blush.
  164. I set them all aside.
  166. It's strange. Last time I was in the hospital, everything I got was purchased from a store, the only sign of personalization a signature on a generic card. Prearranged flowers, plastic wrapped candy, blank get well cards that could be given to a friend, a brother or a fellow student without any translation needed.
  168. This time though, everything has some personal touch, some trace of who it was sent by. It makes it feel more genuine than the gifts I had before. Maybe it was a class project again, but this time there was some effort put into it, some feeling, even from the people I may not know personally as friends. All of these cards not only wish me to get better but eagerly expect my return, the assumption that I'll be back a comforting thought.
  170. I look around at the hospital room.
  172. I'm getting out of here as soon as I can.
  173. I won't lose any more friends.
  175. I look up at Lilly silently waiting by my bed side.
  177. I won't lose anyone else ever again.
  179. “Lilly....”
  180. I start to speak, but my tongue scrapes unpleasantly against the roof of my mouth.
  181. “Are you okay,?“ she asks, concern tainting her voice.
  182. “Yeah. Could I have another glass of water, please?”
  183. Lilly bobs a little nod to me. “Of course, Hisao.”
  184. She quickly gets it and hands it back to me. I drink deeply again.
  186. Dry mouth. Side effect of my medications. I'll have to take them soon, I remind myself.
  187. I set the glass aside, feeling a lot better than before.
  189. “Thank you, Lilly.”
  191. “What about your medication?” she asks. “You need to take that as well, yes?“
  193. I chuckle. Lilly practically read my mind.
  194. “No, not yet. The nurses bring it in and I take it then.“
  196. “Are you sure? Should I go find one of them? What time is it, are they late?“
  198. “Lilly, it's still early morning, it's okay.” I take her hand into mine, setting the glass aside. “I'll take it, I promise. Please don't be worried.”
  200. She sighs, squeezing my hand in hers. “How can I not be worried? This is all my fault.”
  202. I pull her closer and, with her hands and me guiding her, she climbs back into the bed, snuggling up against me. “That's not true,” I tell her.
  204. “Yes, it is, Hisao. Please don't lie to me just to make me feel better about the situation. If it hadn't been for me, you wouldn't be in this hospital. You wouldn't have almost....“
  206. She makes a choking sound and I hold her close to me, comforting her. “Lilly, please don't. I'm okay now. I'm all right.”
  208. “You almost weren't.”
  210. She sits up, still in bed but putting a little distance between the two of us. “I distracted you. I was so...insistent on your attention, you didn't take your medication when you should have.“
  212. “Lilly, it was my responsibility to keep up with my pills. If I didn't take them, it was my own fault, not yours.“
  214. “But I distracted you. My presence made you forget.”
  216. I laugh. “Well, given the choice between having a beautiful girl wake up beside me in the morning and taking pills, I think anyone would rather choose you.“
  218. She turns towards me, a dark expression on her face. “I'm not joking, Hisao. This is serious. I contributed to your negligence. This never would have happened if I hadn't been there to distract you in the morning when you should have been concentrating on keeping yourself healthy.“
  220. I put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing her softly. “Do you think I could ever regret having all the times we had together, the chance to wake up and spend the morning with you? I wouldn't trade that for anything.“
  222. “But you almost....”
  224. “But I didn't, did I? I admit, after learning that you were leaving, the last thing on my mind was keeping up with my medication. But I'm okay now and you're here and we're together. That's all that matters.“
  226. She drops her head, chin against her chest. “I wish it was that simple.”
  228. “What's wrong, Lilly?”
  230. She sighs, taking my hand into her own. “This whole situation is wrong. Our whole relationship is wrong. I don't deserve you!“
  232. I'm shocked by her words. “Why would you say that?”
  234. “Because it's true! I've been terrible towards you!”
  236. She leans down and lies next to me again, her face buried in the blanket and my shoulder. “I've lied to you every step of the way! I didn't tell you about my parents and their summons and I nearly left you!“
  238. I wrap an arm around her, patting her back and rubbing her shoulder. “And I didn't stop you. I didn't tell you how I really felt about you leaving. I just let it happen. I'm to blame as well.“
  240. Lilly still doesn't seem to accept my reasoning. She lies in bed, tentatively touching me as if she were afraid contact between us would be enough to harm me. “I've kept secrets from you. How can you say these things? You have been open and honest with me and I've lied from the very beginning!“
  242. I know she has. I haven't wanted to talk about it, but the thought is still there. Lilly has lied to me by omission since our relationship started. I may not be the quickest guy in the world, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out her parents had offered their request for her and Akira to join them in Scotland since before Hokaido. While she and I were holding each other in that wheat field at the summer house, she knew the possibility existed of her leaving, even though she was the one begging me not to abandon her.
  244. I don't want to admit it, but it makes me angry that she did this to me.
  246. “Yes. You have been lying.”
  248. Her face goes very pale and she distances herself from me.
  249. “I-I know. I'm sorry,” she stammers out in a tiny voice.
  251. I turn to face Lilly. Most people would avoid eye contact in this situation, but for her the only sign of her discomfort is an averted face and the nervous playing of her fingers against one another.
  253. “Why? Why didn't you tell me, Lilly? Why did you confess to me at Hokaido if you knew you would just leave?“
  255. Lilly's lip quivers slightly and she remains silent, face down and looking contrite.
  257. “Did you...were you confused? Were you not sure if you were going to join them in Scotland?“
  259. She shakes her head.
  261. “So you planned on leaving? The whole time we were together, you still planned on leaving?“
  263. “That isn't what I wanted, Hisao. I wanted to be with you. I just didn't have the time with you I wanted.“
  265. "So that's why...?" I trail off.
  267. "What is it?"
  269. I'm a little nervous talking about it. "You confessed to me. And then you and I...."
  270. Lilly blushes, catching my meaning.
  271. "Our first time together," I continue. "I don't regret it, please don't think that. I just thought...I thought it was odd. It happened so fast. I thought the two of us got caught up in the moment. You never struck me as the kind of girl who rushes into something. You're always so careful and thoughtful about what you do. When you and I...well, I would have been thrilled if you just wanted to start by holding hands."
  273. Lilly giggles a little bashfully.
  274. "I wanted," she starts. "I wanted to have as much time with you as I could. To make sure every moment we had left together was special. It's why I wanted to be with you in the mornings at Yamaku. I admit, maybe if I had had more time, I would have taken things more slowly. But I don't regret it. I don't regret anything that has happened between us, Hisao, except for hurting you. And for lying to you."
  276. “Then why leave? Why leave Japan for Scotland? Why would you leave me?“
  278. Lilly takes a very long time for herself, forehead creased in concentration and distress. She doesn't say anything, her lips working, but no sound coming out.
  279. It's an odd thing to see her like this. The nervous playing of her fingers and the agitated restlessness is something that would be more likely found on Hanako, not Lilly. Not my calm, collected Lilly. Always in control, always at her best.
  281. It shows that I've made a lot of mistakes when it comes to Lilly and the woman she really is. I bought into the person she wants people to see her as.
  283. “My parents left me when I was twelve years old,” she finally begins. “Twelve! Since then I haven't heard from them except a few phone calls or been with them until I visited them in Scotland. Can you imagine being away from your parents for that long, Hisao? Away from your whole family? When I was with them is Scotland...oh, Hisao! I can't tell you how happy I was to be with them! Mother and Father, I missed them so much! It was a dream come true when they said that they wanted me to move overseas and stay with them.“
  284. “For so long all I wanted was my family to be with me, for us to be together, to live with them. I missed Mother and Father so much and now they wanted me to be with them! It was all I ever wanted, Hisao.“
  285. “But...I had already begun to experience such strong feelings for you. I spent so many years just wanting to be with my family and then you came along and turned everything upside down. My priorities were so confused. If we had never met, if I had never fallen in love with you, I wouldn't have hesitated to follow their wishes and move to Scotland.“
  287. “So...did you want to leave?”
  289. She shakes her head adamantly. “No! Of course not! I never wanted to leave you, Hisao! I just...I didn't know how to tell you. I know what I did was wrong and I wanted to let you know, but I didn't want to let you down, to disappoint you or have you become angry with me. I thought if I pushed it off, waited just a little bit longer, some solution would present itself, but it never did. Time passed and I kept missing opportunities to tell you what was happening, to try and work it out between us."
  291. "I would have understood, Lilly. We would have worked it out."
  293. "Can you honestly say that, Hisao? Be truthful. When you and I talked about it, you didn't say anything to me to change my mind. If I had told you I was leaving for Scotland at Hokaido, would you even have wanted to be in a relationship with me? A doomed relationship?"
  295. I think about it for a while and am unsure how to answer.
  296. Lilly takes my silence as answer enough.
  297. "I didn't think so. I loved you, Hisao, and I wanted you. I thought if I had told you the truth, you would have rejected me. If that had happened, I don't know what I would have..."
  298. Lilly covers her face with her hands, shudders and sobs once, shaking her head .
  299. "I don't think I could have taken that. I don't think I could have handled it."
  301. She was afraid, I realize. Afraid of me rejecting her, of abandoning her the way her parents abandoned her years ago.
  302. How could she think that? How could she think I would do that to her?
  303. I feel shame creep up my chest and grip my heart tightly.
  304. Because it's exactly what I did when she finally told me, I realize.
  306. She drops her hands to her lap and continues. "My lie just kept getting bigger and bigger. And then...when we had our date....“
  308. I'm a little confused. “What about it?”
  310. Lilly shrugs bashfully. “You told me about...about her.”
  312. Iwanako.
  314. Pieces of the puzzle tumble around in my head and complete a picture.
  315. “You were worried,” I say. “I told you what happened, how I had my first attack. You thought the same thing would happen to me if you told me you were leaving.“
  317. I can only imagine how frightening that thought could be. To tell me the truth and then have some violent reaction to the news. The thought must have been terrifying for her.
  319. She nods. “I couldn't bring myself to do that to you, Hisao. I couldn't bring myself to tell you I was leaving. She left you and I was going to do the same thing. I didn't want you to go through that again, but I couldn't stop it."
  321. “And then,” I continue, “when Akira told me and we talked it over....”
  323. Lilly shrugs slightly, turning away from me. “You didn't stop me.”
  325. “You wanted me to?”
  327. She meekly nods.
  329. I sigh and close my eyes.
  331. I really am an idiot.
  333. Lilly hates confrontation, I know that. It's not surprising she waited until the last minute to talk to me about Scotland. And when it came right down to it, I was the one who had to bring the subject up. Though her concern was for the wrong reason, she was worried how I would react to the news, whether I would be angry with her or upset or would have a response like the one I had with Iwanako.
  334. Even from the very beginning she was afraid, afraid I would refuse her confession and abandon her like so many people she's loved have already. She didn't want to appear weak to me, to make herself a trouble for me and she let her concern for me paralyze her until it was too late.
  336. Worse, when it came right down to it, she relied on me to be the one to make the choice. She wanted me to say something, to do something to tell her I wanted her to stay and I didn't. She needed to have me show some sign that I was dedicated to our relationship and I failed. She made me be the one to choose and I screwed that up like I've screwed so many other things in my life for almost half a year!
  338. “I didn't,” I begin to say. “I didn't know. I thought...I thought it was what you wanted. I thought you wanted to leave, to be with your family. I didn't want to confront you on it because I thought you were all right with your choice. Who was I to argue with you?“
  340. “And I thought you had made peace with my choice,” Lilly says. “I took your silence as approval. I didn't know how seriously you took our relationship. I thought you were all right with us ending it on those terms.”
  342. I look up at her and see the tightness around her eyes, the first sign of oncoming tears.
  344. “I was torn, Hisao. My family, who I hadn't been with for years or you, who I'd only just met but who I loved so much. How could I choose between my family and the person I loved? I know it sounds terrible, but we've only known each other for a few months. I didn't...I didn't know who to choose, I didn't know what to do! My family expected so much from me and I couldn't fail them, I just couldn't! For so long I've felt like I was a ....failure.“
  345. She stops and shakes her head slowly. ”I just wanted my family, Hisao. I wanted them to approve of me. I thought I could do that by obeying them. Can you understand that?“
  347. Lilly likely lost her parents because of her blindness. They couldn't take the time to give her the help she needed or be bothered to change their lives around her condition. When I didn't let her know that I would, I abandoned her too.
  349. She wanted her family to approve of her.
  351. To think of her as a good daughter.
  353. She thought she could do that by obeying. She thought she could apologize to them for the way she was born by following their wishes.
  355. Even if it meant doing something she didn't want to do.
  357. “I'm sorry, Lilly. I'm so sorry for everything.”
  359. “No, Hisao,” she says with a hard tone. “Don't be sorry. This was my fault. We may have had a misunderstanding, we may have avoided confronting each other about our true feelings, but this entire situation is one of my creation. This is my blame.“
  360. She hangs her head low and turn away from me.
  361. “I can only hope you can forgive me one day.”
  363. I take her by the hand and kiss her fingertips. “I already have, Lilly.”
  365. She turns up to face me, her eyes blue and shiny with threatening tears. She's silent and shocked. “How can you say that?” she sobs. “How can you say that so easily after what I've done?“
  367. “Do I need any reason other than that I love you? I'm sorry I didn't tell you how important you were to me or that I would take the time to make what we have work. I was too comfortable with what we had, I didn't think I had to fight for it. I thought you could handle everything on your own, that you didn't need me. I relied on you too much and I didn't let you know that you could rely on me. When you said you were leaving, I felt like I had no ground to stand on. I didn't feel I had the right to try and change your mind.“
  369. I pull Lilly close to me and I squeeze her against my side. She hesitates but clings to me as well.
  371. “I've lost too many people already, Lilly. And I'll make sure that doesn't happen to you. I'm never going to let go of you or anyone else close to me ever again. We've both lost people and I won't let that happen to the two of us. I don't care what happens next, I'll never leave you. And nothing, not even my heart, is going to change that. I'm sorry I didn't stand up for you when I should have. I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you“
  373. “I'm sorry I didn't tell you the truth.”
  375. I hug her tightly. “I'll forgive you if you can bring yourself to forgive me for failing you.“
  377. Her lips quivers and Lilly presses her face into my shoulder. She whispers 'thank you' over and over again, muffled by my shirt and blanket and I hold her even tighter than before.
  379. I lift her head and kiss her gently on the lips, she returning the gesture slowly. She strokes my cheeks and meets my kiss equally, cupping my face in her hands and holding her lips gently against mine.
  381. Slowly her hand starts to move down from my face and to my chest, careful to avoid any proximity to my scar. Lilly presses herself against me until her leg begins to creep up and over my own, wrapping tightly around me and holding me against her.
  383. I chuckle. “What are you doing?”
  385. Lilly has a sly smile on her face before she wipes away the last signs of her tears with a little sniffle. “I feel like we should make it up to each other. We have a lot of apologizing to do, don't we?“
  387. Very carefully, using her hands to guide her, she slithers over across the bed until she's laying atop me, very gently straddling my hips.
  389. “You have got to be kidding me,” I say.
  391. “Don't worry, Hisao. I'm aware of your condition. Just...let me take care of everything. I don't want you to get too excited. Don't worry. From now on, I'm going to help you take very good care of yourself.“
  393. She leans down from atop me and kisses me once more.
  395. “I don't want you to push yourself anymore. I need you. No more little accidents,” she whispers in my ear.
  397. Considering her position, I'm quite capable of having a 'little accident' at any moment....
  399. “Lilly, I'm in a hospital bed. It's been a week since my surgery, but I don't think....“
  401. "Hisao," she says very quietly. I'm struck by how serious she's become, the pleading look on her face. "I just...I just need to be next to you, that's all. That's all I want. I won't push you, but I need you right now." She smiles and it aches in my chest. "Please. Just...just let me touch you."
  403. She kisses me again and sinks into my arms, resting her head against my shoulder as she lays atop me. She snuggles her cheeks against me and kisses me once more before I return the gesture.
  405. “All right. I'm here. I'm here, Lilly,” I finally say, her persuasive argument breaking my resolve.
  407. Lilly smiles and presses her lips to mine very gently, the two of us holding one another in our arms. I run a hand through her hair and she giggles. She touches my face and traces my chin, tiny little bits of contact between the two of us, each one a momentary expression of love and tenderness.
  409. Lilly and I continue to kiss and hold each other, the beeps of my heart raising only slightly, but steadily. Lilly smiles when she hears the sound, knowing the effect she's having on me. I can't say I'm not enjoying it either. Of all the things to happen to me in the hospital, this is probably the one that has done me the most good, far more than all the drugs and medication that's been pumped into my system recently.
  411. I imagine Nurse standing in the corner, nodding sagely, telling me that it's important for me to stay active with my condition.
  413. I sputter a tiny laugh.
  415. “What?” Lilly asks, breaking off a kiss.
  417. “Nothing, I just thought of something funny.”
  419. Lilly pouts in an adorable fashion.
  421. “Not about you!” I assure her.
  423. The pout stays on. “Are you losing interest?”
  424. “Of course not!”
  425. Lilly 'hmphs' a little.
  426. “I am absolutely absorbed in what we are doing,” I assure her gravely.
  428. She bobs her head a little back and forth, as if trying to weigh the honesty of my words. “Well...just to make sure, I'd better give you something else to focus on.“
  430. What does she mean by that, I wonder.
  432. Lilly pulls her arms into her shirt, but keeps her sweater on. I'm confused by what she's doing under there until I hear a tiny, little snap. She puts her arms back through her sleeves and pulls from within her shirt a lacy, black bit of bra which she then drops over the side of the bed.
  434. I am both pleased and amazed.
  435. It takes me long enough to get one of those things off of her, and she managed to do it without sight or taking her shirt off.
  437. How did she do that?
  438. Another little mystery about her I'll have to solve, I guess.
  440. Lilly leans back down atop me and I can feel her new lack of attire against my chest through her sweater, a smile on her face. Despite my still tender scar, I don't seem to mind the soft pressure at all.
  442. My hands seems to make their own decision as they snake up behind her shirt, feeling the smoothness of her back and the lack of strap or lace between finger and flesh.
  444. The heart machine flutters slightly.
  446. “Are you all right,” Lilly asks, a little worried tone in her voice.
  447. “More than all right,“ I say. ”I'm fine, don't worry about it.“
  449. She nods before kissing me again, my hands running up and down her body, feeling her warm skin.
  450. “I love you,” she tells me.
  452. I hold Lilly tightly. “I love you, too.”
  454. The door clicks open.
  456. Lilly goes very still atop me and I go ridged under her, and not in a good way.
  458. Please, please, please, God, let it be the nurse with my medication.
  460. “Hichan!”
  462. Damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!
  464. There are only two people in the world who call me that and I'm not expecting one of them!
  466. Please let it be Misha! Please let it be Misha! I can take the teasing from her and the shocked, angry glares from Shizune, but not her! Anything but her!
  468. “Hichan! Who is that woman!?” my Mom shrieks.
  470. Not even realizing what I'm doing, I shoot up out of bed, practically throwing Lilly off of me. She gives a tiny yelp of surprise as her skirt tangles up around her legs and she goes crashing down to the floor in a heap of pillows and sheets.
  472. The beeps from the heart monitor screech in terror.
  474. “Hichan! Who is that!? What was she doing!?” my Mom yells from the doorway
  476. My Dad sticks his head in the door and takes the scene in, his eyes growing one size larger, a small stack of books under his arms and a canned coffee sticking out of his pocket.
  477. “Are we interrupting?"
  479. ----------------------------------------
  481. Part Two: http://pastebin.com/h5RtVKdb
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