A Cry in the Night

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"Run... Chizuru..." Sumiko choked, gasping desperately for air, as San'nan tightened his grip around her throat. No matter how hard she tried to remove his hands or scratch at them, he just kept squeezing.

"Stop it, San'nan-san!" Chizuru cried, trying to pull him off with little success. "Please! It's Sumiko-san! You'll kill her!!"

"!" San'nan gasped in realization and the glow in his crimson eyes dimmed as he reeled back, pulling his hands away from Sumiko's throat as if he had been burned.

"Sumiko-san!" Chizuru gasped, falling to her knees to check on her friend.

"Hah!?" San'nan gasped again, horrified, as he watched Chizuru try to comfort Sumiko as she coughed and gasped for air, breathing deeply. "L-Looks like I'm a Failed, aren't I?" he asked "It would seem I have... even less luck than I thought."

"San'nan-san, are you all right?" Chizuru asked anxiously, looking up at the struggling man as he turned his back on them, holding a hand over his mouth and forehead, desperately trying to stay in control of himself.

"This isn't the time for you to be worrying about me, is it? Please, kill me while you can," he asked.

"Kill you!?" Chizuru gasped in alarm.

"No way!" Sumiko coughed, getting back on her feet. "You might be the worst patient ever, but you can't expect me to just kill you!"

"The medicine was a failure. My mind is almost already gone. At this rate, I'm sure to... kill you!" he said urgently as he struggled with himself.

"But... But there's no way we could do that!" Chizuru said, stepping closer.

"Stay back, Chizuru," Sumiko said urgently. "He's still dangerous!" Even if she didn't want to kill him, there was no denying that fact.

"Do it!!" he roared furiously at them as his eyes started to glow again.

"Get back!" Sumiko said, pushing Chizuru behind her, as they started backing up towards the door.

"San'nan-san?" Chizuru said, on the verge of tears.

"Even under the influence of this medicine, if my heart stops, I can die," he said, reaching past Sumiko's waist to grab the hilt of Chizuru's sword.

"San'nan-san!" Sumiko yelled, gritting her teeth, as she and Chizuru grabbed onto it too to stop him from drawing it.

"Stop it!" Chizuru cried.

"Come. Kill me now," he said, struggling against the two of them for control of the sword.

"We, can't San'nan-san!" Chizuru said.

"Stop it! Think of the others!" Sumiko snapped at him. "What are they going to do if you die!?"

"Someone! Someone, please!" Chizuru started screaming for help.

"Please... kill me," he urged them.

"Stop it!" Sumiko yelled sternly as he started to pull the sword out of its sheath a little more. "Let go, San'nan-san!"

"San'nan-san!" Hijikata shouted as he, Okita, and Saito arrived on the scene, coming to the rescue. Hijikata immediately charged into the room and delivered a hand chop to San'nan's neck, knocking him off balance, so that he was forced to let go of the sword.

CLICK.

Without San'nan pulling on it, the sword slid back into its sheath, and the girls were finally able to let go, too. Saito and Okita immediately rushed over to grab San'nan before he could recover. It took both of them to restrain him.

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