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sleep, my antidote

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Tooru sits by Daichi's bedside. The sterile white lights of their room burn through his eyes, bouncing off the barren, gray walls. It feels colder than it should. The heart rate monitor beeps resolutely in the background. The bouquet of lilac and white poppy on the bedside table begins to wither; but all Tooru sees is Daichi, only Daichi.

His head rests on Daichi's thigh while his hand catches Daichi's fingers, stopping their fidgeting with the tubes attached to his nostrils.

Daichi smiles, small and sad. He kisses Tooru's hand, and laces their fingers together, his thumb circling along the back of Tooru's palm.

Absently, Tooru wonders if he holds on tight enough, digs his nails in, Daichi won't have to go. Perhaps they could stay right here forever, and always doesn't have to become a wilted daydream.

But they only have so much time.

They stopped speaking some time ago, giving up on filling the silence. They had already said all they needed to. Tooru wishes he could hear Daichi's voice again, but he refuses to disturb the moment.

It's too quiet, worse than the panic of that morning when they rushed Daichi to the hospital. He still had hope to cling to five hours and an eternity ago.

Daichi closes his eyes and leans back against the bed. Tooru watches all the while, unable to tear his gaze away, to burn these moments with his lover into his memory. Daichi's free hand comes to run through Tooru's hair. His throat feels dry and narrow. This isn't fair, they were supposed to have more time. They were supposed to have the rest of their lives.

He watches as their time ends too soon at a snail's pace.

The heart rate monitor beeps resoundingly one last time, and Daichi's thumb stills its motions over Tooru's hand.

Daichi's heart stops beating;

and Tooru's shatters.