Days would pass, most of it was spent looking after Takemichi who had become a shell of what he was before. His appetite seemed to be non-existent, he spent most of the days sleeping or numbly watching TV though it wasn’t like he was paying attention- always having a faraway look in his eyes, Takemichi was…indifferent to the world around him.
As if he was dead.
Even if he was like that- it never stopped anyone from visiting him. Hakkai had taken some time off and went to go see him, it was tough seeing him try to joke around with Takemichi and receive no response but Mitsuya later would console him. Atsushi, and a few of Takemichi’s old gang friends went around to visit, it surprised them to hear the news of what happened, none of them being able to believe it at first- they didn’t really know what Takemichi went through so they were caught off guard, a few of them refusing to believe that Takemichi was…like this.
Most of the old Toman members visited, it was obvious everyone was on eggshells around Takemichi. Some were too busy with their own lives that when they received the news that Takemichi was in the hospital for a suicide attempt , it really threw everyone into a loop as to what could’ve happened.
No one really knew what was wrong except for the ones who already knew Takemichi was a time-traveller. It was getting increasingly hard to keep up the secret.
“Do you think he’s getting any better?” A silent voice whispered out, it was defeated and tired. Kazutora turned to the source of the voice, looking at Chifuyu with slight pity.
Chifuyu seemed to be most affected by what was happening- how wouldn’t he be? His best friend wasn’t okay, and to think he was getting worse by someone Chifuyu trusted , he truly felt like an idiot.
Kazutora could only sigh, feeling as lost as he was, but he was for sure certain of something.
“It’ll take time.” All the times Kazutora felt helpless, like the option for him was death because of how much guilt he held, how much hatred for himself he felt towards himself…it always felt like nothing would ever get rid of these feelings. Yet…
“Nothing is ever easy y’know.” A sly smile of his face formed. “But Takemichi’s strong, even stronger when he has someone like you by his side.” Playfully punching his shoulder, Chifuyu felt a smile forming in his face as well.
“It took me a long time, and took me having a long hard look at myself to realize that I didn’t want to live in a world where I was only angry- projecting my feelings onto everyone else, hurting others…I didn’t want to do that anymore.” Kazutora smiled at Chifuyu. “Don’t feel so down, everything will get better.”
Downcasting his eyes, Kazutora’s mood shifted a bit. “I can’t help but feel I caused all of this. If only I didn’t give you my wonderful advice, maybe we wouldn’t be in this dilemma..” Now that caused Chifuyu to slap his shoulder. “Don’t say that! I…I was the one who..” Chifuyu’s eyes were glassy. Kazutora quickly tucked him in his arms, enveloping him in a hug. “We all fucked up, but we can solve this. I promise.”
Everything felt like mush. Nothing really mattered to him anymore, days would pass by and he wondered when he would wither away, these days always felt like they would be his last, though he didn’t have the energy to really act on anything, things were just too tiring for him.
The memories would come down hard, they’d remind him of how much he failed, how right now he was failing them again, how he was a failure.
Takemichi was no hero.
The worst part was that Takemichi found himself cherishing it. Those negative feelings- they were starting to become comforting, the new normal for him. So what he couldn’t be what others wanted him to be? Like this, he didn’t have to worry about anything. Takemichi could wallow in his misery, let himself be hugged by the oddly comforting shadow that loomed over him.
He’s fine like this, people would eventually give up on him, and then he could leave. Everything is going to be okay,
as long as he doesn’t exist.
Wrenching noises could be heard as Takemichi vomited, everyone around there winced at the sheer force of it, only Chifuyu had enough will to be up there. He massaged his back and consoled him as Takemichi let out sobs.
It was getting increasingly worrying. Takemichi was so thin, only receiving most of his nutrients through the IV, anything he ate he would throw back up. It was a sad sight to see.
“I didn’t mean to…” Souya looked ready to cry, before Nahoya patted his back, trying to calm his sibling before all hell broke loose. “He’s probably feeling a little sick!” Leading his brother outside he looked at Draken who was watching from outside the door. “We’ll leave some food here, sorry man.”
Draken could only sigh, he could tell a lot of people were starting to feel discouraged from what was happening- no one seemed to know how to help, what to say or do, all Takemichi would do was curl up in his hospital bed and look like he was withering away. He was exhausted, it was mostly him and Chifuyu looking after Takemichi, it was hard trying to decide what to do- most doctors did recommend getting him hospitalized so he could be safer…the sound of therapy sounded like a great idea but considering the circumstances, who knows how things would play out. Would they deem Takemichi as delusional and lock him up forever? Or genuinely try to help him?
“Takemichi…” Shaking him awake, Chifuyu was waking him to try and at least do some exercises. Takemichi would only grumble and keep his eyes shut, even though he was very obviously awake. “Come on, don't be like that! Doctor says you need exercise!” Pulling the blankets off, he kept pushing, maybe being a bit too overbearing but Chifuyu only wanted him to at least try. “Get up! You’ve slept enough already!”
“Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up shut up!” Takemichi pushed Chifuyu away with all his strength, his chest was heaving as he then clenched his head. “Leave me alone, I don’t want your help! You’re the reason I’m like this!”
“ All you do is annoy me, leave me be already!”
“Why was it me? Why? Why do I have to suffer? Why is it now you all decide to care?!”
Sobbing filled the room as nurses ran in from all the screaming, some of the nurses restrained him as he had started to thrash. Chifuyu stood silent, he forced himself not to feel hurt as the nurses sedated him, Chifuyu watched as slowly Takemichi went limp, but not before sparing him a glance.
It was silent for a long while, the only people there were Hina (who had made it a habit to come with Naoto, she dragged him along when he wasn’t busy) and Kazutora who usually joined along, it seemed as no one knew what to really say.
Hina was the first to talk.
“It’s…all my fault..” She looked down, her eyes teary. “I knew before he was having issues…when he said he wanted to die.” The tears ran down her face, though she wiped them away quickly. “I knew and yet- yet I didn’t keep up with him, I thought- maybe if everything turned out okay then, he wouldn’t feel that way anymore..” She sniffled, she brushed her hair out of her face, her face filled with guilt. All these days she spent it cursing herself, she would tell Naoto not to beat himself up over this yet she was the biggest hypocrite.
“No. I- I knew about it too.” Instantly Chifuyu broke down, unable to keep the charade up anymore. “When he came back he was just…”
Takemichi just kept punching, he just kept going and going. His fists were bleeding.
“It was after a bad future. That day he looked ready to give up. Maybe…maybe he would’ve if I wasn’t…” He felt sick, how many times had Takemichi been so close to giving up? How much did he suffer in silence? How did they almost lose him when the signs were right there!
“You guys were just naive.” Kazutora said, checking his nails. “Don’t think about it too much.”
Chifuyu angrily glared at him, clenching his jaw. “What do you mean?”
“It’s just as I said, you guys just think too much. Yeah there were probably some signs on how fucked he was but so what? He’s still here, you guys are acting like he’s already dead.” Hina and Chifuyu stared at him, they didn’t realize they were sounding like that…
Standing up from his chair, he looked down to both of them. “If you want to blame yourselves while Shittymichi is suffering, go at it. But it won’t go anywhere. Learn to accept it, and learn how to move on and deal with it, what matters most now is getting him back on track before he tries something stupid again.” Walking away, Chifuyu could only stare at his back in silence, holding in his laughter when Kazutora almost tripped.
“Damn, when he’d get so cool.” Chifuyu smiled at himself as Hina laughed softly. “Seriously.” They laughed before falling into comfortable silence.
“He’s right…right now we can’t do the whole blaming ourselves thing.” Hina huffed. “What matters most is getting Takemichi back!” Chifuyu looked at her with admiration, he already knew Hina was cool from the moment he heard that she slapped Mikey back in middle school, she was strong-willed, a fighter. It filled him with hope. They could do this, they would do anything for Takemichi.
“Looks like they are gone now.” Kazutora sighed, walking into Takemichi’s room. He still seemed a little woozy from when they sedated him, but he seemed lucid enough. “That was quite a show, looks like you’re excelling in the trying to drive people away aspect.” Kazutora said sarcastically.
“Just leave…” Takemichi mumbled out, not having the energy to yell. It was truly a pitiful sight, Kazutora thought. “Do you really want to live like this?” Cocking his head to the side, Kazutora narrowed his eyes.
“There’s nothing else that can really change this, what’s the point..?” Takemichi spoke dejectedly, the light in his eyes dim. It looked like he was already giving up.
The sight filled Kazutora with anger.
“Cut with the shit already! You have this many people around you and the only person that doesn’t believe in you is you! What you went through was fucked up, you went through so much shit that no one else could imagine but you’re acting like things are already set in stone.”
“You changed others' futures, so why are you acting like you can’t change yours?”
“It’s different! There’s- there’s no hope for me-!”
“Why? Because you think you went through more shit, is that it?!”
“No-! I-I don’t think that, I just know this can’t change-“
“It can’t? Or you don’t want it to?”
Kazutota scoffed. “Fine. Live like this if you want for the rest of your life.” Takemichi couldn’t look at him.
“Just know that it’s your decision to make, and if you’re willing to make a change, you’ll have people right by your side.”
With that, Kazutora walked away.
Takemichi resisted the temptation to latch onto him.
What to do he didn’t know, did he really want this? Why was everything so hard? Things were too hard, everything was too heavy, too much for him- this is what he wants, there’s nothing else for him, nothing…
The image of his friends flashed in his mind .
Tears formed, why?! Why was it so hard leaving them behind? Why wouldn’t they let him go? Takemichi had no purpose! He didn’t have a reason to stay, why did people still want him around?!
You have people to care about you, Takemichi.
They don’t- no one does, they only wanted him around because he needed to save everyone, so it must be a lie-
Chifuyu cared for you for days, like clockwork he’d come around, stay with you until they forced him out.
No he doesn’t-
Draken would bring bike magazines, the type of ones they would browse together. He’d say it was boring without him.
Naoto and Hina would bring him the sweets he loved, they’d joke around with him even if he wasn’t interacting. They were warm.
People want you here.
He still couldn’t believe it.
Even so…he’d try his best.
For them, Takemichi would try for them.
To believe in them, and himself.