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So He Dies Instead

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We are in bed, Ikuru and I. I'm finished writing in my diary. I'd taken longer than usual. I know tonight is one of my last nights. I won't let it get to me.

I don't want Ikuru to be sad.

I undress and hop in bed, blushing and giddy with Ikuru by my side. He is red, too.

I sweetly smile at him, and he did so back.

He is always so soft.

I pull under the covers, kissing his cheek.

Ai likes it when Ikuru blushes.

Ikuru sighs happily, so I copy him, wrapping my arms around him like a Christmas present!

"You're like a big Christmas present, Ikuru!" I tell him, giggling. Ikuru chuckles in my ear.

"You're right."

I tuck my head into his side, so he puts an arm around me.

"Now we're both Christmas presents."

His laugh makes me smile.

He's falling asleep. I'll fall asleep now, too.


I'm awake.

It's the middle of the night. I'm cuddling something cold. Like a rock, which is silly. Ikuru isn't a rock.

I sit up, rubbing my eye and then putting my hand on the blanket.

"Ikuru-kun?" I called. I can't hear an answer.

I get out of bed, looking around to find him.

I see a figure, in the bed. It looks familiar, as it always had been. It's Ikuru.

I laugh. How could I think Ikuru had left? He wouldn't leave me.

Climbing back into bed, I put my had on Ikuru's soft chest.

A small noise escapes me. His chest is cold, and stiller than a chest should be.

"Ikuru-kun?"

No answer.

A bad feeling is rising through me. I don't like it. I feel like crying.

"Ikuru."

Nothing.

"Ikuru!"

Nothing.

"IKURU!"

Still, nothing.

I sigh.

"A dream, silly!" I say to myself. "It's a dream. Ai and Ikuru will be together tomorrow, and you won't remember this because it's a dream."

So I'll fall asleep. I won't remember this.


Awake, I am awake!

I won't try to wake Ikuru up. I'll go make breakfast instead.

It's a special breakfast, the tenth month we've been together! Nothing, not a single thing at all, could ever spoil it.

I think I had a strange dream. Maybe a sad one, but I don't remember it so it's okay.

When I'm done with breakfast I'll ask Ikuru if he had a dream.

Oh right, I should ask if he can eat today! If he can't, I'll eat it by myself. I just hope he doesn't feel left out, since today's breakfast will be the best!


I burned the breakfast.

I kind of hope Ikuru can't eat today, because it'll taste bad. But even if he can, I know he'll forgive me for messing up. He's kind like that.

Of course I should wake him up, but I'll set the table first. He'll be happy, because I don't think he likes setting the table. I don't mind it, if it makes Ikuru happy!


The table is set! I'll go wake up Ikuru now. I really hope he can eat today! I scraped all of the burnt part off of the food, old, American-style pancakes! It's one of Ikuru's favorite foods, so he might be pretty dissapointed if he can't have it.

Of course, if he can't, that means he's getting worse. But that's not the point.

The wood hallway floor is cold, but Ikuru is warm so it'll be okay.

I step into our bedroom. Ikuru isn't awake yet, what a sleepyhead!

I laugh, walking towards the bed.

I lean over Ikuru and kiss him on the nose. He seems chilled, maybe he has a fever?

I feel his head, which is really cold. Almost like stone. It's okay, breakfast will wake him up, I hope.

I'm going to try to shake him awake.

It's… not waking him up.

I do it again, harder.

An awful though just occurred to me. But it's just that, a silly, unimportant though. It can't do any harm!

…Right?

I shake my head.

I can't just let go of it. I need to check.

My hand, against my will, moves toward him.

I place it against the spot where Ikuru's heart is.

It's… still.

I remember.

The dream, last night.

Was it a dream?

No, people in dreams don't tell you it's a dream.

I hope it was a dream.

No, I don't know what I hope.

My hand's on his chest.

Too still. It's too still.

"Ikuru, I made you breakfast."

Will breakfast help?

"Ikuru, you need to wake up. I made you breakfast."

Can breakfast help?

No.

It can't.


I'm eating breakfast without him.

It feels wrong.


I scribbled an X over the picture of him in our portrait that he hung up.

Now I'm sitting on a tree outside.

Should I dig a hole for him?

No.

I can't right now.


It's tomorrow.

I slept with Ikuru. Now I'm crying.

I made breakfast for us.

Maybe he'll come eat with me today.

I smell smoke.