Book three: Chapter five, 2016, days of waiting

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Yukio grimaced but held on to her hand and followed her. It felt strange leading him on. Usually he was the one to decide, but it created a balance of sorts.

'Improper for a woman' her parents would have said. Thinking about her parents Kyoko admitted to herself that her mother wasn't as meek as Kyoko once had believed. Her mother would still have said those words, but Kyoko remembered how she bulldozed right over her father that evening when Yukio got hurt.

I guess she's behaving improperly in a proper way. Gods! I hate that kind of deception.

"What's on your mind?" Yukio wondered.

Kyoko tugged her coat closer around her and pretended she hadn't heard anything. As if I'm over being deceptive myself, she realised. It couldn't be helped. She had no reason betraying her parents that way when she wasn't certain they deserved it.

From the way Yukio tightened his grip on her hand she suspected he understood.

They took a bus, changed to a local train and from that to a bus again. Almost two hours later they walked the last bit to the hospital. Most of that time they spent in shared silence.

Will Kuri-chan be there?

She had spent time by Urufu's side, but not to the degree Kyoko initially had suspected. Apart from that Monday after they spent a night in the waiting room Kuri-chan hadn't missed a single day in school, and Kyoko knew her friend had taken up her modelling job as well.

It's as if Urufu would be angry with you for wasting time with him, Kyoko thought. I don't understand you two.

She herself missed most of a full week when Yukio was hospitalised, and for once her parents hadn't said a word about her skipping school.

"Yukio, you know when he'll be discharged?"

Asking that question wasn't fair. As if being best friends with Urufu automatically gave you more information.

"Sorry, no. Maybe they'll tell us today," Yukio said.

Kyoko said nothing. She only held on to his hand when they entered through the sliding doors and walked to the elevators.

Several floors later they left the lift and came out in a corridor much like the one they spent a night by, but Urufu was moved from ICU to some kind of convalescent area. Kyoko didn't understand the hospital organisation all that well.

Before they visited Urufu Yukio had to go to the room adjacent to his. Kyoko chose to wait in the corridor while Yukio went inside and chatted with his classmates.

He came back out with a smirk on his face, walked a few steps and slid open the door to Urufu's room.

Kyoko looked inside searching for Kuri-chan, but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead Sato-sensei sat on a stool and turned when the sound of the sliding door caught her attention.

"Kuri-chan's not here?" Kyoko asked before thinking of how that question could be insensitive in itself.

Sato-sensei shook her head. "She left earlier."

But you were here earlier after all. Good! "I see," Kyoko said instead.

From his bed Urufu gave Yukio and Kyoko both a weak wave.

"How are you man?" Yukio asked.

Urufu tilted his head a bit and grinned. "A bit more winded than usual, but it's healing well they promise me."

"You know when..." Yukio began asking to Kyoko's shame. He was fishing for and answer to her earlier question.

"Maybe this week," Urufu said.

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