It was during his investigation of Kanou that one of Kanek’s worst fear was realized. He talking with Banjou as they watched Tsukiyama trick a nurse into thinking he had a stomach ache but his calm composure contradicted his “medical condition”. He was about to leave with Banjou and just as they were exiting Kaneki saw him. He saw him unconscious and bloody. Kaneki’s eyes were wide with horror, mouth agape as a sound escape his mouth that sounded like he was punched in the stomach. Kaneki’s chest was tight and his stomach in knots, his body was so tense and felt his muscles ache. Kaneki never expected him to be rushed through those doors. Why the fuck was Hide being wheeled in on a stretcher?!
Kaneki sprinted the same direction he saw the EMT’s wheel Hide in. He felt his black wig lift due to the sheer speed he was running but didn’t care about the disguise, all he cared about it being by Hide’s side. So many images were flashing through his head like his was having a near death experience-this might be considered one because if Hide…died then Kaneki would lose his heart, his reason for living.
Kaneki finally reached the door he saw Hide being push through and he was going to follow him until he was stopped by worker. He was told that he could not go beyond this point. Kaneki pleaded, explaining that the guy that just went through was a childhood friend and how he needs to see him, how he needs to be by his side. The worker listened to Kaneki with half interested, waiting for Kaneki to finish before explaining to him that his friend has suffered from brain injury and that his brain is swelled and has to go into surgery to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure. Kaneki listened to this and the casual way this worker was talking infuriated Kaneki, he lacked compassion and concern that Kaneki felt like slicing his head off and going to Hide. Kaneki was visibly shaking with angry, with fear, with resentment, with guilt; Kaneki could hardly get ahold of himself. Just the thought of Hide’s skull being split open gave Kaneki a migraine, he felt exhausted and drained with that though. He had to concentrate and focus on the bastard before him.
“What happened to him? What happened to Hide?” Kaneki asked, his voice now laced with agitation aside from the word “Hide”. Kaneki stared into the worker’s eyes- his own steel grey eyes were as wide as saucers and Kaneki could sense that he was making the worker uncomfortable. Good.
“I-I don’t know the full details…” the worker suddenly turning red and beads of perspiration forming on his forehead and arms. The worker took a step back but Kaneki grabbed his arm, squeezing it so hard that Kaneki was sure a hand print bruise would appear in a matter of a day. Kaneki yanked him forward and they faces collided but Kaneki didn’t feel anything while the worker bleed from nose. He stared into Kaneki’s eyes as if pleading to spare his life.
“Where. Was. He. Found?” Kaneki spoke slow and with emphasis as a way to further scare the helpless man before him. The sound similar to a dying animal escaped the worker’s lungs as he attempted to give Kaneki information. The man now had tears running down his face as he feel to his knees, his legs giving out due to fear. Kaneki would have felt guilt but all he could think about his Hide: his bruised purple face, his swollen eyes and lips, the bloody crooked nose, how he wanted to so desperately touch him gently and hold him in his arms and never let him go.
“N-Near K-Kamii U-U-Univeristy!” The worker managed to get out through his stutters. Kaneki released his hand with a shove and the worker fell butt first and managed to kick in the direction opposite side of Kaneki. Kaneki glared at him with cold eyes. What a pathetic piece of trash. Kaneki didn’t have time for him though- he needed to find out what happened to Hide. He was going to Kamii, to speak to Nishiki-senpai.
Kaneki began to walk back to Banjou, who was witnessing this scene though chose not to get involved. The worker breathed a sigh of relief as Kaneki walked off but Kaneki stopped half way and turned his head slightly and spoke his final words to the worker.
“If Hide dies than you’ll wish you were in his place. All of you.” Indicating the rest of the hospital staff. Kaneki then continued to walk and passed Banjou, who chose to let his leader go, and went outside. Kaneki did not stop once except once when he was several hundred feet from the hospital to look back as his mind dwelled on Hide. On his way to Kamii, Kaneki’s mind was reciting prayers he learned from religious books he owned and read. He prayed to the many Gods that were in his books in hopes that one of them would protect Hide during his surgery. Kaneki has never prayed before but he felt desperate, he felt like he needed it to calm his heart and ease his mind.
Kaneki made a beeline to Nishiki’s office where Kaneki first met him and unsurprisingly Nishiki was there working on something that was probably from one of his classes. Nishiki glanced over his shoulder with a look that said he expected Kaneki to show up.
“I knew you were gonna show up but I never would have guessed it was gonna be this soon.” Nishiki being casual and indifferent. “I guess you know about Nagachika?” This is when his voice changed.
Kaneki felt his breath hitch and his throat dry. He nodded. Nishiki was no longer looking at him at this point so he didn’t see Kaneki response but he thinks Nishiki knew because he continued.
“I didn’t find him, someone else did. Said that some upper classmen jumped him as he was about to leave campus and head home.” Nishiki explained to Kaneki who listen intently- explained how those bastards beat up Hide because Hide got along with their girlfriends when they were put in a group for their class project. Kaneki noticed that as Nishiki spoke that his voice was also troubled, was Nishiki also upset about Hide getting jump?
“Anyways, the 3 guys got a slap on the wrist since they are pretty popular with the administration. Nothing is gonna be done and Nagachika gets the shit end of the deal.” Kaneki felt like time around him has stopped. Kaneki lost his balance and knocked over some of Nishiki’s belongs but Nishiki didn’t scold or yell at him-he simply turned around and watch Kaneki slide against the wall and to the floor.
“How could I have been so stupid? Thinking I had to protect Hide from just ghouls when humans are just as much of monsters…” Kaneki spoke in a hushed sibilant voice. He buried his face in his hand.
There was silence between the two until Kaneki asked.
“What are their names and departments?”
It was 2 am when three Kamii seniors walked back to their shared apartment after a night of drinking. Not feeling the least bit guilty that they beat up a sophomore for no reason other than the guy being put in a group with their girlfriends and said guy got along with those girlfriends. Jealousy can be a destructive thing. The 3 men stumbled and howled with laughter at some stupid joke the other told, their words slurred and sometime unintelligible.
Before them appeared hooded figure standing in their way. He was small but the way he held himself looked like an enormous tree rooted to the ground, nothing was gonna move him or bring him down.
“Are you [beep], [beep], and [beep]?” the hooded figure spoke with power and confidence and malice. He knew the answer to his own question.
The 3 men looked at each other. Although they were not trembling with fear, the hooded man in front caused a chill to run down their spine and break out into a cold sweat, enough to sober them up.
“You’re all going to pay for what you’ve done. I’ll teach you to not touch things that don’t belong to you,” the sound of gravel and a *CRACK* was heard.
“I must pluck everything that gets in my way.”
Three students screams echoed through the vibrant city of Tokyo.
Hide was on the 4th floor of the hospital and Kaneki maneuvered his way up and snuck into Hide’s room through his window. Kaneki sat on the window frame, the curtains flapping as the cool air made its way into Hide’s room. Kaneki jumped down, mask still on and blood on his clothes. He stood over Hide who had a successful surgery. Kaneki’s hand gently brushed Hide’s cheek. His eyes filled with tenderness and love for the man-no, boy before him because that’s what he looked like to Kaneki, a small helpless little boy that he needed to protect. This is the resolve Kaneki needs to get stronger. Kaneki pulled up Hide’s blanket to his neck to protect him from the cold. He peeled away his masked and pressed a kiss on Hide’s forehead and then cheek. He looked at Hide once more before pressing his lips against Hide’s. It was gentle and soft since Kaneki didn’t want to hurt Hide; his lips were still so swollen. The kiss was longer than the previous two and Kaneki wanted all time to stop and make his moment last forever but he had to end it. Kaneki was preparing to leave and before he jumped out the window he took one finally look at Hide before disappearing from Hide’s life once more.
I promise to get stronger so no one will ever hurt you again, Hide.