Now hush little baby, don't you cry
Everything's gonna be alright
Stiffen that upper lip up little lady, I told ya
I am here to hold ya through the night
-It had been a week or so since I’d broken my hand. A week or so since I was admitted for a night so the major breakages could heal, and a week or so since I found out the hospital was Nemu’s ‘holiday’ destination. I thought I’d feel pissed about the fact she’d lied to Rose, but I was floundering for words when I saw her. A wave of concern, worry, and a tinge of guilt swamped over me – feelings that hadn’t really left yet. I recognised her voice straight away – knowing her for so long, how could I not? – but I didn’t recognise the hollowness of her frame, the lack of thick red hair, and the tears filling her eyes. I couldn’t associate any of this with Nemu.
Yet there she was - bright blue eyes, however watery, unmistakably hers. She was covered head to toe in a million cords plugging into who knows what. I remember a nurse rushing over, fussing about how her heartbeat had quickened. My own training started flashing in my mind, reasons why it could have picked up flickering like some sort of sixth sense – panic, brought on by lack of oxygen or high temperature; needs to be moved to a solitary ward and stabilised, stat -- though as soon as the nurse saw me she looked a bit sheepish and shrunk away.
I took a seat. Neither of us spoke for a long time. When she did, it was one word. One that had been haunting me ever since. She pulled her patchwork cat hat over her ears.
Now, a week later, her frame was still hollow, tears were still there more often than not, but under her hat her hair had gone from tufts of a colour that looked like coffee to a short, rich, and curly mop of dark brown. Brown. So unexpected. Sometimes I still had to look twice to make sure it was really her. I still expected the oblivious grin and sheets of red hair I’d always known her with. The ordeal still hadn’t sunk in, not really. I expected to wake up at any moment, to be honest. Heart thudding frantically and mind racing. But nope. The part of me that was constantly rational knew this was real, and it had to be dealt with somehow. So I dealt with it. I went to see her almost every day, even though my hand was alright by now. I’d been prescribed pain medication and told to avoid brick walls and high stress levels in near future, but that’s all for long-term care.
A lot of the time we didn’t talk. Sometimes I was just there for a few seconds. She would give me a look and I’d know she just couldn’t that day. But today, I went there and she wasn’t there. She wasn’t in her bed. Nurses and doctors were running around, searching madly, yelling orders to each other and places to look. They seemed to go in slow motion. I was focused on her empty bed and the tangle of a million ripped out cords.
I went with instinct, sliding out the balcony to get a wide view. And there she was, running as fast as her legs could carry her. Her patterned hospital gown and shock of brown hair set her apart. Before I could realise it, I was out in the cold winter afternoon, running after her. “Nemu!” I yelled when she was in earshot. “Nemu! Stop!” She kept running, but she was slowing down. There was only so much puff she could have. She came to a stop. I walked up behind her, and slid my hand in hers. Hers was cold, and her skin was thin. She snatched it away and choked out a sob that went straight to my chest. “Nemu...” I started, gently putting my hand on her back.
“They took my hat.” Her voice was deathly quiet.
“Your hat? Can’t I just get it back for you?”
“You don’t get it.”
“I HATE THIS!” She turned on her heel to face me, tears streaking down her cheeks, usually so full. “I hate it. I hate it. I HATE IT!” She started shaking, her breathing was the sound of hissing, pure rage at the universe was leaking out through every part of her, making the red in her sleepless eyes violent. “Just. Leave. Me. Alone.” Her voice was broken and barely held back. “Leave me alone, Mamoru.”
“No.” I said simply. I won’t lie; I was scared then, scared of the intensity pulsing out of her. I’d known her since we were kids, and I’d never once seen her angry. Not like this. I slowly slid my arms around her shoulders, and I heard her feet hit the concrete twice before she was pressed against my chest. She was screaming and crying, her tears were hot as they soaked into my shirt. She was screaming that it’s not fair. She was asking why should this happen to her?
It’s not fair, Nemu. And I’m sorry, I don’t know.
I couldn’t tell you when she stopped. I held her after she did. “We have to go back,” I said, hoping my hundreds of unsaid apologies were evident in my tone.
She didn’t say anything and she didn’t protest, because she knew.
“Here,” I turned so my back faced her. “Hold onto my shoulders, okay?”
“Wh..What?” She squeaked out.
“Just do it.” I said.
She pressed her hands to my shoulders, and I lifted her by her thighs so I had her in a piggyback. She was very, very light. Way too light.
I didn’t walk back to the hospital straight away. I went to some places I thought she’d like first, like a park where you can see stray, friendly cats and sit by a pond if you want a quiet spot to think. She was tired. “Thankyou, Mamo-chan...” She muttered, her lips pressed to the base of my neck.
I glanced back to watch her, making our way back to the hospital. “Mm. Nemu, I’ll keep visiting you. Everyday. Rose can come too.”
Her grip tightened as much as it could around my shoulders, which wasn’t an awful lot. “Don’t tell her. Please.”
I wanted to question it, but I didn’t. “Okay.”
I started walking up the steps.
“You make sure to come everyday. I’m holding you to that.”
“Heh. Okay.” I felt a small smile lift my lips.
I almost jumped ten feet when she started waving her pinky in front of my face. “Pinky swear!”
“Jeez!” I sighed and chuckled under my breath, setting her down on her bed. I crouched down in front of her. She puffed out her cheeks in traditional Nemu style, stubborn pout in place, cheeks blazing red. I squeezed my pinky around hers. “Pinky swear.”
A grin lit up her face, and my heart felt lighter.
“Good! But I bet you won’t, being silly Mamo-chan!” She stuck her tounge out.
“Same old Nemu.” I mumbled. “Don’t be so sure about that, Mikazuki.” I stood up and picked up her cat hat, put back there by a nurse or something. I pulled it onto her head, covering her eyes. She growled. “I’m pretty good at keeping my word.”
I wanted to doll SeiNade today, but I dolled (what is basically a KS equivalent if you think about it) MamoNemu who are also wonderful c':
I wanted to do Nemu's recovery hair, too."Daddy" changed to "I am" cause yeah XD To keep the Daddy though, little bits of it remind me of a song to Hana and a bit to Sen if/when Nemu's health goes down again ;A; Also, I totally can see Mamoru calling Nemu his little Mockingbird, what with her singing and such~ <3
Base - [link]
Nemu - moi
The new submit page is weird, there's your "Feedback".