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❄Partners...❄

●Hiromi's POV●

I thought that wanting to feel love was long gone. After my ex husband, there was a big part of me that didn’t want to love again and just wanted to focus all my love to my daughter Mai and to my profession.

I'll admit that I do feel lonely sometimes, seeing people around me with their loved ones, with their partners that they could rely on. I didn’t have a boyfriend nor was I searching for one although there's some chances that I can if I want it but my heart just can't till everything changed when I met you.

Is it fate? I’d like to think so.

Are we really just friends, surgery partners, work companions? ~ I hope not.

'I'm getting more confused'

I never realized, even though we’d been together for almost 10 years now, that my life has changed since the day we met ~including my heart…

You said that you don't need a partner, that you only love doing surgery, maybe equal affection to your food. I said the same thing that I'm not interested in romance either but… that wasn’t necessarily true, was it?

I’d have fallen in love with you regardless, because no one else has ever made me feel so… complete. Even when I was with someone, trying to have a date, I found myself thinking of you, thinking that this food I ate, Daimon-san would love to try it also and ending up mentioning your name sometimes and before I noticed, you are already become a part of my daily life, I always wanting to see you happy, spending time with you outside from work even just eating a simple takoyaki or grilled meat.

Remember when I got upset but you just quickly offered me those coupons you've been hiding from Akira-san? You're smiling widely, I was upset that time but as I stared at you longer, I realized that you're not that cold and arrogant Daimon-san that I met when we first met. When did that change?

I left you that time as you called out my name offering to eat with me, I was upset but mostly I'm confused about this feeling of wanting to see you smile, only with me.. ~ for me.

I felt so lonely after our disagreement about the surgery. I know when it comes to your profession you know perfectly what you're doing no matter how many people around us are stopping you. You can always stop them by your famous line that 'I never fail.'
You always prove that It's just not a word and deep inside me, I always wanna do the same, that as your partner, 'I won't fail either.' That I, Hiromi Jonouichi will never fail because I have you ~ we got each other to save the patient in front of us even if everyone around left us.

I didn’t think about the 'partner' word before and never thought about it that much or what it could mean for us… but…

“What is up with you lately?”

“Huh? What do you mean?” I asked you back.

“You seem like getting upset at me even on little and simple things most of the time, what's going on?"

"Do you really hate me that much?"

Your question and the way you looked at me makes me hate myself more. I don't want you to think that I'm hating you too just like what others did but in this way, maybe even a bit, maybe I'm inside your thoughts too.. right?

"Tell me what's goi~~"

“Can you just please leave me alone!” I shouted, my confused emotions got me.

Your expression looks surprised and I can see pain... I didn’t mean it.

"I.. I'm sor~~"

“Yeah... sure, whatever..” You conceded and quickly turned your back and walked away.

I just stared at your back, your fading silhouette is painful to watch. I want to stop you but I decided not to.

'When did this start? When did I start falling for you this deep? What did you do? What have you done?'

I kept asking myself those questions and as more questions filled up, the more I got scared to be near you but.... I always want to be near you, to be with you but... if these feelings continue.... I shouldn't ~~

Right?

~~

I still remember that I was drunk that night and went to Kanbara agency instead of heading home. Honestly, I don't know why I ended up here, it's just maybe the subconscious part of me always thought that this place is also my home, where I can find the warmth of having a family because Mai is now living far away.

"She's too unreasonable." I blurted out to Akira-san while staring at your usual spot in front of the mahjong table which is now empty.

"She's just unreasonable to those people she trusts, .. Hiromi.." Akira-san stated. I didn’t reply.

The truth was, I know that already. Daimon-san trusts me, that she's the first one who trusted me fully before I could even give my whole trust to her.

Akira-san told me to stay for the night but I said that I'll head home after I got sober and made some excuses about work. Not because I'm timid but it's more like I don't want you to see me in this kind of state when in the first place, I really do want to see you, to talk to you but I don't know what to say nor where to start.

"You should check her Hiromi.. Michiko might still be awake.. You two should talk as soon as possible." Akira-san said, then smiled halfway before heading to his room.

"Goodnight, Akira-san.."

I sighed.

'Why has everything become so complicated?'

Maybe we do really need to talk..

I stood up on my seat, not completely sober but enough to still remember where your room is.

I knocked on your door, no one answered but I saw that it's slightly open so I entered...Then... I quickly saw you on the corner, resting your head on your table in front of your books and laptop and even though your room is dimmed , I can still see you clearly.

I smiled.

I couldn’t stop looking because you're just so beautiful, I couldn’t help but get lost in the sight of you sometimes and this is not even the first time I saw you sleeping cause I've been watching you too when you're at the hospital. Just like what you did for me back then ~ You stayed by my side when I needed someone.

But this time it's different. Seeing you peacefully sleeping can make all my worries vanish in an instant. You have this power that can bring me chaotic emotions but you're also the only one who can calm it all at once.

I carefully took a step to come near you and squatted down a bit so I could see you more clearly. I carefully removed some strands of your hair away from your face and the good thing is that you're in deep sleep, you always are which I completely understand because you're tired for the whole day's surgeries.

"What should I do Daimon-san?" I asked those questions as a single tear rolled down that I quickly wiped away as realization hit me.

'I have loved you since the day I put all of my trust in you.'

Looking at Daimon-san, just being near her this close I realized how attracted I was to this maverick surgeon.

Being loved by you romantically, I can't help but wonder what it would be like? But... How could you be so blind? Or.... Do you just really don't care about romance at all just like what you've said?

I didn't realize you woke up already or maybe I'm just in deep thoughts.

"Jonouchi-sensei, what are you doing here.." You stood up so I quickly moved away.

I almost stumbled but good thing that your reflexes was fast to grab my arm.

"T~Thank you, Daimon-san." I said then I avoid your gazed but then your grip tightened.

"Wait?...Are you drunk? Are you crying? What happened?" Panic is written on your face after you asked questions one after another.

"Hey are you ~~"

I cut your question, I kissed you that shut you up.

'I was drunk.. I'm just drunk.' I kept convincing myself.

I don't know why I do this but I know that maybe... Maybe this is what I want ~ this is all I want all along.

Just like the ECG machine when something wrong happens to the patient, maybe my heart's beating in chaos at that moment.

Surprisingly you didn't push me but I know how surprised you are right now cause I am too..

'I'm just drunk.. I'm just drunk...'

Somehow, you kissed back, holding me closer and gentler like the red strings of fate that don't want to break. I answered with the slightly less ambitious response of running my fingers through your soft hair that I always wanted to touch.

Kiss was different, with a girl. It was softer and a little more messy, but it was so much better. I never knew it could feel like this. I didn’t think I would ever feel as loved as I did then. I was glad that I made this first move. I came to a realization that maybe I never liked men, at least, not truly. When I thought about it, I only went after them because they were what I thought I wanted, needed. But I never truly felt right being with them, did I? I liked the idea of being with a man, before, but the reality never measured up to my expectations.

But this, this felt right. It felt like the most normal thing in my life, as I experienced it. This is how it should be. This is how love should feel.

Our kiss broke, we stared at each other, even dizzy, your warm eyes staring at me looks like it is the first time I ever saw it. It's pure kindness mixed with worries and you're still as beautiful as you ever were.

You carefully tuck my hair behind my ear while your other hand is gently wiping my tears.

"I'm sorry if I made you upset. I didn't mean it." You said then you held me in your arms as if protecting me from anything that might hurt me. I hugged you back, resting my head on your shoulder, felt protected but I forgot that you, that even if you're the one who can calm my chaos, you're also the one who can bring me destruction.

"The thing we did.. Forget it.. You're just drunk.. You're too drunk Jonouchi sensei." You said like a soft whisper as if you really don't want to hurt me ~ but ….. Unknowingly... you did.

I didn't say anything but I can definitely feel how my heart ached.

'Do you feel disgusted? Do you hate it?' I wanna ask but can't find any courage.

"Take a rest. I'll watch you, Jonouchi-sensei." It was a kind whisper but so heart-breaking to hear because I don't have the courage to say what I really felt back then.

The next following day, I woke up in your bed and you're not there anymore. Then when I saw you at the hospital, you didn't say anything so I acted like nothing happened ~ we both did but... That night, as you tucked me into sleep, watching me sleeping. I heard you whisper those words that I never expected to hear.

'I love you dearly, Hiromi... I'll always do.'

Words that I want to say to you but can't utter but ended up hearing it from you..

I thought that maybe... Just like me...You're scared too.. We're still both scared to admit that deep inside our heart... the partner we always address to each other in front of others is different.
We're more than just a partner, but still not both ready to be lovers... ~~ at least not right now but maybe... Just maybe...

Someday soon...

You and I... will be the partner we're secretly dreaming of.

●●End●●