Life Is A Soup And I Am A Fork

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(Y/N) chewed on her nail, worried eyes trying to peer inside the shut doors of the clinic. Tamayo pulled him in after his collapse, and as much as she tried to calm her newest tenant, telling her that she had to stay outside was not helping.

Yushiro's health was never the best. Even when young, colds and fevers afflicted him without end. His parents kept him indoors at all times of the day to try and prevent him from getting even worse, but nothing was ever a cure. A flu was enough to land him in the hospital, and week by week his health continued to fail him. By his seventeenth birthday, his disease had become pneumonia, and he wasn't expected to recover anytime soon. A respirator was mandatory, the memories of the prior year all being of him chained down with so, so many wires. Pills upon pills were prescribed to help, but nothing was working. Even the doctors worried that he didn't have much longer.

Only a few weeks later had the illness worsened, turning into sepsis. For his weak immune system, this would have spelled his end. Death loomed over his shoulders like a misty fog. But not two days ago, (Y/N) saw something she hadn't seen in years. A health that should be considered impossible for someone of his state, he was even able to walk around the town without getting out of breath or light headed. It was completely astonishing, and (Y/N) could almost forget the years prior within his glass cage. But of course it was too good to be true. There was always a relapse, no miracle medicine could save him with no flaws, wasn't that right? She should know that best. She should understand the greediness of the grim reaper when she herself stood along the bridge between the two worlds.

"(Y/N)." Tamayo's voice stayed muffled behind the door. The sun hovered above the horizon, just barely peeking through the tops of the trees. "Do you perhaps have wisteria on you?"

"What?" The question seemed so random, so out of place when paired with the devastating situation it was with. Was this some joke? "What does it matter if I do?! You aren't telling me what's going on! Is Yushiro okay?!"

"Yushiro is in a stable condition. He is fine. Right now, I really need you to listen to me and get rid of anything you think might have gotten the pollen-"

"Then let me see him! What does pollen matter?! He doesn't have allergies, his immune system is too weak for that!" Despite her efforts to open it, the door wouldn't budge. "Fuck!"

"This is different!" Her voice raised to a terrifying degree. Once (Y/N) ceased her anxiety induced rampage, she tried once more to explain. "The toxins in the wisteria plant. They have... an increased effect on us-him. I need you to wash off whatever might've caused the attack. He is already in a weak enough position right now."

There was a moment of silence as (Y/N) tried to compute this weird rule. It made no sense, but Tamayo was adamant. The backdoor was also locked, but there was a little shed she could climb on top of and get directly upstairs to shower. Digging through her bag, she tossed the wisteria plant off before deciding the abandon the entire thing by the side of the building. It took a bit of work to scale up the side and slip through the window to her empty ass room, but this way there was no way the apparent 'toxic' wisteria could get to him. After a long shower, (Y/N) stepped out with fresh clothes and not a lick of pollen on her. "Tamayo, where is he?"

Tamayo took a second to look the freshly showered woman up and down before worriedly glancing inside the clinic where Yushiro supposedly was. "He's inside."

That look was all too familiar to her. It was the look they always gave her before introducing a heavy sight. She knew exactly how each machine worked and their function, but that could never lessen the harsh blow. It made it all too real, and the fear all too great. But when she entered, her cousin sat there unbothered. His skin held an unhealthy pink to it, like that of a sunburn, but that was all. Not a single tube, not a single wire, there was nothing but him. It was unexpected, but something about it just rubbed her the wrong way. What was actually going on here? "Yushiro...?"

His eyes locked on the ground below, he didn't bother to respond to her call. By the way his brows furrowed, he definitely heard her at the least. "Where were you?"

She could hardly believe that his biggest concern was still a single night that she didn't come home. Was this issue really something of monumental concern enough to warrant a total dismissal to his own state? What choice did she have but to answer? "I just... helped a kid out, and she offered a room for the night when I forgot my keys."

"You forgot your keys and spilled water on your phone? All in one day?" Even if she was that tired, she wasn't that forgetful. Although it could explain her lack of understanding when it came to his one rule: don't stay out after dark. "What really happened?"

"Seriously? No, my turn to ask. What the fuck is going on here? You don't get to keep me in the dark, I've had too many weird experiences in this god forsaken town, and I'm not going to just keep ignoring it." Waving off his interrogation, it was time to bring her foot down. There were too many questions already. She didn't even know where to begin.

The door shut behind her, and Tamayo gave her a guilty glance. Suddenly, she wasn't so sure if she wanted to hear the answer, but it would surely beat whatever was going on here. Left in the dark again, (Y/N) watched the two before her exchange glances as a chair was pushed to her. "(Y/N), can you please take a seat?"

"Just tell me what's going on. Don't waste any more of my time."

There was hesitation in her voice, but not even Yushiro could stop the increasingly annoyed (Y/N). "There are attacks going around the town. I'm sure you've heard of a few cases."

"What the hell does that have to do with any of this?" Her impatience growing along with her voice, Yushiro grabbed her shirt to keep her from doing something regrettable.

"It's caused by a viral agent. The virus causes increased  aggression in people and the tendency to bite others to continue to spread it through the bloodstream. Even more odd, sunlight and toxins in Wisteria deactivate the virus and return it to a dormant state." The premise itself was absurd. Such a thing could never exist, but her tone said more than enough. This wasn't a joke. "But in low, controlled quantities, you can simulate a symbiotic relationship with the virus. In large quantities, people tend to have higher strength, healing abilities, and endurance. But at a managed level, one could boost the immune system and the overall strength of an average person without too burdening of side effects. But that means that... Sunlight and wisteria will return them to their previous state, no matter how horrible it was."

"So... Are you saying that Yushiro?" (Y/N) could barely wrap her head around it. The ludicracy of it all felt like nothing more than poorly written fiction. "That Yushiro is..."

"I've managed to find a balance. And he was doing fine, but today in an attempt to search for you he spent far too much time in the sun, and the final blow was just the slightest amount of Wisteria." (Y/N) glanced at his sunburnt skin, but he looked away as to not meet her face.

"...Ha." Her head pounded with an oncoming migraine. This was so stupid. It was so stupid but she had no choice to believe it. "What the fuck is this..."

"(Y/N). It's the truth." Yushiro's voice was deathly calm, like he accepted this deal long ago. He must have. He's known he probably won't live until his twenties since he was ten. This deal was the best for him, but she still wouldn't accept it.

"No one else seems to know about this unnamed virus. So how the fuck do you expect me to actually trust you?" She got attacked by one of those diseased bastards, but maybe he was just doped up or something. It made sense that he would run after getting hit with a bag full of wisteria, but there could have been other reasons. Or a culmination of small reasons. No theory was black or white, and she wouldn't accept this half assed one. "I don't trust you one bit, Tamayo. I'm grateful you've saved my cousin, but I can't accept this."

Miss Tamayo strode to the sink and rolled up her sleeve. The doubtful woman didn't understand what it could be for until Tamayo's nails dug into the flesh of her forearm, dragging down until blood bubbled and ran in crimson dribbles. (Y/N)'s eyes widened, but her astonishment only grew as right before her eyes, the wound closed up and disappeared, leaving nothing but her blood as evidence. "It's because I am infected myself."

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