Chapter 12

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He was crying again, like he used to when he was young, afraid of the thunder, hiding in his blanket.

He was crying again.

His head still throbbed, and his chin still stung as sweat dripped into the wound, but he did it for Em, for the audience.

If I win, I'll tell her everything. I'll apologize.

But as the last few skaters competed, he was overtaken.

He was in second place.

So do I tell her or not?

Yuzuru didn't have the time to even think, as the staff and Coach already ushered him left and right, and by the time he was alert of his surroundings, he was in a car, Brian asking him if he felt dizzy.

Heck, he didn't even remember being put in a car.

He was so confused, and all he wished was to just sleep.

A quick check up at the hospital told him that he was generally fine, but would be recommended to go back to Toronto for a full check and further treatment.

He remembered biting his cheek and trying to walk out like everything was fine, but his ankle gave way and Brian had to catch him.

They'd arranged a flight for him to Toronto that evening. And they sent a chaperone to pack his stuff, and even prepared a wheelchair.

He tried to convey that no, no coach, I'm not dying.

But he wouldn't hear anything until Yuzuru went through a proper check up.

On the flight back, Brian patted his back.

"You really did a good job, still clinching on to second place, y'know. No point feeling guilty about it," he said softly, a little heartbroken for this young child who worked so, so hard everyday. Brian truly admired his courage and strength.

Yuzuru cracked a small smile at his coach, leaning back into his seat with Pooh.

He couldn't wait for everything to end.

Landing was rough, which hurt his head even more, and he tried to hide his winces every time the plane jerked.

He was allowed to disembark first, ahead of the other passengers, as "special needs".

He felt exposed and embarrassed as his coach supported him, limping down the aisle, before getting to the wheelchair prepared for him at the entrance of the plane.

He didn't know how many times he'd nodded and said "thank you" sleepily.

Brian passed him another facial mask, and he accepted gratefully. He was sill recognizable, but it gave him a sense of security.

As if he was back home.

Flashes welcomed him, but making him feel bothered by the bright light.

Yuzu just wanted to sleep. Why couldn't anyone understand him?

While they were in the van, he felt a massive headache, and he really felt drowsy and numb.

The security guards might have accidentally hit his head while ushering him through the crowd.

"Yuzuru? Yuzuru you alright?" Brian asked, placing a hand on Yuzu's shoulder.

His eyes were half closed, and they looked distracted, and very confused.

"Yuzu?" He heard Brian call, shaking his shoulder, but it sounded distant.

Yuzu let the darkness claim him.

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