Clamp School Fan Fiction ❯ Control ❯ Control ( One-Shot )

[ A - All Readers ]
All the following characters belong to CLAMP and are only borrowed for the fanfic.
Author's note:
Most of the ideas in this story belong to me, though I have to admit that I was greatly inspired by Emily- chan's fic "Answer to a prayer". This fic has been posted with her approval. You can find the rest of my fics at under the name Jared. ^_^ I'm the last one there. ^_^

// Rise... fall.... rise... fall... It's the same for the past couple of days. I want it to change so badly. Why won't it just change? Why? // Tears leaked down Suoh's face as he beat himself up once again for letting the tragedy take place. // Some warrior I am, // he thought contemptuously. // I let my one wind up in the hospital wing- and in the critical care too! What kind of a protector am I? //

{ But Takamura- senpai, this is not your fault. } Akira's voice sounded in his head. It was almost as if Akira was there in person.

// I know it's my fault. There's no way any of this would have happened if I had put my foot down. Why, why did I even agree to let him have his way? //


"I've hidden something somewhere in this school yesterday, and I want you to find it." Said Midoriko

"What is that something?" Nokoru asked curiously.

"No comment." Her answer invoked an outburst from Akira.

"That can't be! We don't know what to look for!" Evidently Akira felt that denying them of the required information was a little cruel.

"Competent detectives should figure what to search for," came Midoriko's caustic remark. "The time limit is 6.00 pm three days from now."

"But there is one condition." She continued, in spite of the tension already in the air.

"And that is?" Nokoru prompted, ever curious.

"I want you to look for it by yourself." This was met with mumbles from the crowd that had gathered. CLAMP campus, which accommodated almost 10,000 students and staff, was huge, and searching for an unknown object hidden on it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Unfazed, Midoriko merely said, "This all started as a problem between myself and Imonoyama- san. The other two have nothing to do with it."

Evidently outraged, Akira stepped forward, ready to protest, but was stopped by Nokoru. Ever the gentlemen, Nokoru simply said, "You are right. I see, I will accept this case."

That had been the beginning of his fanatic search. As soon as classes ended, Nokoru began searching; he let neither cuts acquired from his previous searches nor the cold rain deter him from continuing to search. Suoh had offered to help him hold an umbrella to shield him from the rain whilst he searched, yet Nokoru would not even allow this bit of help.

Though the case was successfully solved, Nokoru had fallen dangerously ill, and had since been subjected to much medication as doctors and nurses alike struggled to help the young Imonoyama recover.


A glance at his pale friend lying unnaturally still on the dead white sheets only served to make him feel even worse. // Kaichou... please, promise me you'll be all right... //

* * * * * *

"Come on, Suoh. It'll be ok." The blond smiled serenely the way he always did, winningly, the way he did when he wanted to persuade Suoh to do something against his better judgement.

// That smile... Kaichou... // For some reason, Suoh knew that this was only a dream. No matter how hard he tried to convince himself that he was being silly, that this was the real truth, that was really happening, he found himself failing pathetically.

"Come on, Suoh, hurry!" The image of Nokoru beckoned him forward, his beautiful sapphire eyes filled with the familiar mixture of excitement and mischief.

"Wait! Wait for me! Please, wait for me! Wait..." Try as he might, Suoh found himself unable to follow, unable to catch up with his friend who seemed so far away.

"Kaichou! Please, wait! Wait..."

Suoh leapt out of the chair, startled out of his sleep. He turned, half- expecting to find the bed empty. His heart sank down to the pits of his stomach when he realised that, far from being empty, the bed still held his pale and drawn Kaichou prisoner. // It was just a dream. // he realised rather sadly, // why can't Kaichou just be all right? // he wondered for the millionth time since his friend was admitted.

Gazing at those tightly shut eyes, listening to his laboured breathing, Suoh felt his throat tighten. // I'm so sorry. I should have stopped you... // The hospital room turned into a blur of colour as his sight was obscured by the thick veil of tears.

Beep... beep... beep... the machine by the side seemed to keep time with Suoh's own heartbeat. It seemed almost as if Nokoru's heart were in tune with his own. // If that's the case, // Suoh thought bitterly, // why isn't he perfectly fine like me? Why does he have to have pneumonia? // Beep... beep... beep... the irritating pinging of the machine echoed loudly throughout the room, as though determined to remind all who entered the room that all was not well. To Suoh, it seemed as though the world had collapsed upon itself, and nothing anyone said made any sense anymore, for without his optimistic friend to cheer him up, his world was nothing but varying shades of the most depressing grey.

Suddenly, the machine gave a weird buzz as the rhythmic pinging changed to a loud, angry buzz- the sign that his friend had taken a turn for the worse. Frantic, he threw pressed the call bell, hoping desperately that help would come soon. He stood there and waited, giving them a few precious seconds to arrive. When they failed to appear, he threw open the door, and raced out towards the counter, anger and worry fusing together to make him nothing less than a raging demon.

Fortunately for the hospital, he almost ran headlong into the scurrying medical staff that were swiftly making their way towards that room where Suoh had burst out of. Quickly, he retraced his steps and followed them, fear clearly written all over his face. // Kaichou, you have to hang in there. You have to! // he screamed inwardly, as though his will alone would be enough to help his friend pull through. As expected, he could only watch as they fussed about the machine, injecting his friend with all kinds of things from coloured bottles.

// I never knew how terrible it was to be a bystander until now. If only I could help in someway... // Then, out of the blue, he realised with a start that Nokoru's family was blissfully unaware of the sudden turn of events. After all, they all shouldered heavy responsibilities and could not afford to drop everything to spend time in the hospital. Yet try as he might, he was unable to tear himself away from the spot where he stood rooted. Waves of despair and longing swept through him, its icy grip so smouldering that he was barely able to breathe.

// Kaichou... //


"I'm afraid I have to reject your offer."

"Oh? I thought you said you understood."

"Yes, I said I understood, but I did not say yes. Japanese is tricky, isn't it?"

The beautiful face was contorted with rage. "Then you shall have to see your Kouhai see some pain!"

// Blood... he blocked the bullet for me! Why? Why? //

"I'm sorry... I never meant to put you in danger. I'll stay away from you from now on."

"No, you won't."


"You seemed to be that 'someone that I'll meet someday'. So I'll be by your side, to protect you... always."


// But I didn't keep my promise... I wasn't there to help you, I wasn't there to protect you. Challenge or not, I should have been there. But I wasn't... I'm so sorry. // His hands were tightly clenched by his sides. The knuckles were bone white. "I'm so sorry," he whispered into the door.

* * * * * *

"I'm sorry, Suoh. I never meant to make you worry."

// Suoh... Suoh... Who? //

Suoh sighed. "You never do."

"I'll try not to make you worry again."

A faint blush covered his face. "I will always worry for you. You can't stop me from worrying, not now, not ever..." He mumbled under his breath, so softly that Nokoru could barely catch what he said. The eyes were turned to an apparently interesting spot on the ground.

Nokoru smiled discreetly; it would never do for him to be seen smiling at Suoh's antics- after all, Suoh was incredibly proud, and already looked as though he wished the ground would swallow him up. "Come on, Suoh, it's time for the meeting." he said, swiftly changing the topic to more familiar ground.

// Those eyes... //

"Promise me you'll never worry for me again."

"I can't." It was more of a statement than anything else. "I can't promise you that, any more than you can promise that you'll never give me reason to worry for you." It was a jest, gently chiding him for the big words he had uttered earlier.

"But I'll try," he continued.

"As will I."

Golden brown bore into his own shining blue depths in perfect understanding...

* * * * * *

// Suoh! // was Nokoru's first thought as his eyes fluttered open slowly. For some reason that he could not fathom, he felt an overwhelming need to reassure and console his friend. There was a creak, as the familiar voice called out rather weakly as though from lack of practise. "Kaichou?"

Familiar eyes came into view, as his distraught friend gave his almost limp hand a faint squeeze. Nokoru smiled rather faintly, for indeed, he felt terrible- his throat felt rough and dry, like sandpaper; his head throbbed painfully and every muscle in his body seemed to scream out in agony. Yet he could not resist giving the smallest of smiles as he looked up into the familiar face, and into those eyes he had known for so long- those amber eyes that showed all the emotions that Suoh refused to let surface- joy, fear, concern, worry...

"Suoh?" he croaked painfully. // Wha? Where... where am I? //

His unspoken question was not lost on his soul mate. Giving a rather wry smile of his own, the blue- haired boy said gently, "You're in the hospital. You were sent here two days ago after you caught pneumonia after being in the rain." The voice was quiet, soothing, and he firmly resisted the urge to break down there and then and weep for joy. Yet he knew all too well that his friend was still rather weak and needed plenty of rest- something that would be denied to him should he get all hysterical now. // I have to be strong, for Kaichou's sake. // he thought rather firmly.

Similarly, just as the close bond between them enabled him to read his friend's unspoken question, Nokoru was able to sense his friend's worry, despite Suoh's attempts to mask it. // I guess I must look terrible. // he thought, a ghost of a smile covering his face. Much as he longed to fall back into the darkness away from the pain, he knew that he had to reassure his worried friend. The dark circles under the eyes indicated that Suoh had not had a good rest in a while.

"Suoh..." he mumbled, rather painfully, it must be confessed. "Go home. I'm fine now." A faint plea could be heard.

"I'll just stay till you fall asleep." // Liar // his mind taunted.

"Liar." his friend echoed, much to his surprise. It was almost as if he could read his mind. "Go home. I'll be all right. I promise." the words came in short gasps, and a reassuring smile was once more flashed for his benefit. "Else I won't go to sleep." The reassuring smile now changed to a mischievous grin that looked so familiar.

A smile of his own surfaced. Unlike Nokoru, Suoh rarely smiled. In fact, his smiles were so rare that Nokoru had playfully remarked that Suoh 's smile was the moon in the sky, and only was reflected on his face when it fell out of the sky. "All right." he gave in finally, though his reluctance was evident. "But you have a good rest, all right?" The slight nod was the only response to his question as Nokoru drifted back into sleep.

* * * * * *

When Nokoru next awoke, he found the room empty. Despite the fact that he had almost forced Suoh out of the room, he could not help but feel a pang of disappointment. // Don't be silly now. You know you would rather he be well and all than wasting his time keeping you company. // he chided himself. // But that doesn't make me feel any better, to face these blank walls. //

Finally feeling better after the long rest that he had, he sat up in bed, desperately seeking something to take his mind off his solitary confinement. Noticing a pad of paper resting upon the tiny bedside table, he promptly snatched it up. To his surprise, he saw it covered with Suoh's neat writing. Under careful scrutiny, he noted with a frown that the script was a little untidier than he was accustomed to, and several words were unintelligible, as though created by a trembling hand.

I can't believe what I did. I feel so useless- I was supposed to protect Kaichou. And I failed horribly. He's lying in the hospital now as I pen these words, lying there, unmoving. And it's all my fault. I should have been there to help him, to protect him... yet how can I help him when what's ailing him is inside him? If I could transfer the disease from his body to mine, I would do so willingly. Yet that option is not available to me, and I can only watch as he struggles desperately for his life. What kind of a Takamura am I? I'm totally unable to alleviate his pain or to make him better... I'm such a failure.

I've never prayed in my life, and I really don't know how it should go, but Gods above, any one at all, if you can hear me, please, answer my prayer now. Help to make Kaichou better. I'll do anything, anything at all. Do what I cannot do and help to heal him, please...

Dear Gods,
It's me again. Kaichou hasn't really improved. He's just been drifting in and out of sleep. I'm not even sure he knows what's going on. Several times he woke up, and looked about, his eyes dreadfully glassy. When I spoke to him, he seemed unable to hear anything much. Then he went back to sleep.

Lords above, if you are healing him, why doesn't he seem to be getting better? Why is he still like that? And those tubes, those tubes that they stuck all over him... why are they still on? Why is Kaichou still in the critical care? Please, help him. I'll even believe in you and all your miracles. It's all that I can believe in now... help him, please.

There's still so much that I need to tell him, that I have yet to share. I never got to tell him what a good friend he's been to me, or how important he is. Please, don't take him away before I can do all that. Please, just help him get better. There's still so much I need to tell him, to do with him. Don't take him away just yet... please...

Dear Gods,
Kaichou just took a turn for the worst. I've never been so scared in my life. All I know is that he was going to leave, and that's the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I'm not even sure what happened, really. All I know was that he was fighting for his life. In that instant, he and the doctors were fighting not merely to make him better, but to stop him from slipping away. I was so close to losing him, so very close.

Just what are you playing at? Why didn't you help me? Why did you want to take him away? All I know is that I prayed, and that's supposed to make things well. You are supposed to be all powerful. I prayed, and everything was supposed to be all right. That's the way it is supposed to be. Not you taking him away from me. That's not what's supposed to happen, not that at all.

Don't take him away... please, don't take him away.

Dear Gods,
Maybe you're still angry with me for not having faith. I'll put my faith and trust in you now. The doctors have done all they could, and he's still dangerously close to death. I'll trust you now. Just make him better. Don't let him die, please. Help him get better. Please...

Tears stung his eyes as he shared the pain that had compelled his usually closed friend to write something as emotional as that.

Hit by a sudden brainwave, he searched the table and its drawers for something to write with. Finally, he located a pen sitting in a drawer, and he grabbed his prize quickly and uncapped the pen before turning his attention back to the paper, his frown now replaced by a look of immense concentration upon his face.

After a long while, he wrenched his head back from the paper that had kept him occupied for the past couple of hours. Yawning a little, he stretched rather stiffly and consulted the clock next to the bed. // Wow, time really flies when you're having fun. // He yawned again. Tired out, he replaced the paper and the pen and settled back comfortably back into bed, drew the covers up to his chin and shut his weary eyes.

* * * * * *

Suoh entered the room cautiously, afraid of disturbing its occupant. His heart was pounding wildly in his chest as he pushed the door open, half- wishing that its occupant would be up and about, brightening up the bleak hospital room with its sunny deposition. When he saw a lump on the bed, his heart leapt up to his throat. // Kaichou hates resting! What if... what if something happened while I was gone? Or what if it was just a dream, and Kaichou never woke at all? What if he's still stuck in that feverish world of his? // The worry was plain on his face as he stepped by the bed to check on his little charge to ease his anxiety. Much to his relief, the face was no longer deathly white; instead, for the first time in days, there was some colour in his face, and the raspy, shallow breathing had now given way to a healthier, deeper breathing that came with one that slept soundly and well. Relief filled Suoh with its comforting waves like the sun filling the earth with its welcoming rays in early spring.

Smiling a little himself, he noticed the pad that he had written on previously still lying on the table. His face turned an interesting shade of red, // I do hope Kaichou didn't see this. // he thought as he seized the pad and began scouring through it to rip off all the incriminating scraps of writing. Suddenly, his hand slowed as he reached a sheet covered with ink that had not been penned by him. Intrigued, he turned his attention to the page, pausing every now and then to look at the exhausted patient. // So that's why he's so tired. // he thought with a fond smile. For an instant, he considered throwing all those embarrassing tell-tale sheets away, then an idea popped into his mind and he pulled the precious sheets free from its bindings. Picking up the pen from the drawer where it had been neatly replaced, he removed its cover and worked silently for a while. He raised the sheets up for inspection, and gave a little sigh of satisfaction. Rising swiftly out of the uncomfortable plastic chair where he had perched, he picked up the loose sheets and left the room silently.

* * * * * *

Back in the safety of his own room, Suoh opened the envelope that he carried, a goofy grin still lingering on his lips. He opened it once more, and withdrew the duplicates of the sheets of paper that he had taken from Nokoru's hospital room.

The top sheet was in his writing. He read through it again, once more, feeling the guilt that he had felt then engulf him once more. Finally, to his relief, the next page yielded the beautiful drawings he treasured.

It was a little comic strip, drawn neatly by Nokoru in his extreme boredom and out of want to make his friend feel better. The first square consisted of a picture of Suoh holding an umbrella over his head to shield him from the pouring rain that had started the trouble in the first place. Suoh's face brightened. // Trust Kaichou to remember //, for their actual exchange had been recorded on that sheet with immense precision.

The next picture, neatly inked in black, was one of a little Nokoru thinking // I can't believe how lucky I am to have Suoh to look after me. True, he can't control everything- like the rain- but he's as perfect as perfect can get. //

// I'm not perfect, Kaichou. You are. // Tears shone brilliantly in his eyes, though he felt warm and fuzzy. // Just like Kaichou to know what to say. // Sniffling a little, he reached for a tissue and wiped the shameful tears away before moving the next sheet.

This time, carefully drawn was the scene that had been replayed so many times while Suoh kept vigil over the hospital bed, guilt clear on his face. The little figure of Suoh had been speaking of his guilt, of his failure not to help, of his inability to control the events that were unfolding. Yet he cheered up slightly at the next grid.

For it contained a picture of Nokoru, dreaming. The following box depicted his dream, where he was telling Suoh back when he had blocked the shot from Casablanca that he could not control everything.

More pictures were sketched to show scenes that had taken place during the course of their friendship, where they had always been together, even though they didn't always have control of the situation, but both figures had always smiled happily in the end, and when he finally came across the final pictures describing the exchange between him and Nokoru when talking about promises, he could not help the tears that ran down his cheeks once again. Suoh had been carefully drawn as an angel, whereas Nokoru had been a young child, tugging at his robes. It was plain to all that it was a picture of a child and its guardian angel. Try as he might, he could not brush away those drops which, to him, represented weakness. Neither could he deny the immense joy that came with it, knowing of his friend's trust, faith and complete understanding of him.

The next held his latest pieces of writing to his best friend. Hugging the precious sheets close, he released them to replace them carefully in the folder that he had carried them home in. Rising, he moved to the side of his room to reveal a hidden catch. He undid the catch and was faced with a safe. After turning the most complex combination possible, he placed the precious folder in the fire-proof safe. It was there, he decided, for keeps.

* * * * * *

Blinking sleepily, Nokoru rose and looked out of the windows to notice that the sky outside was nothing but the most beautiful piece of velvet adorned with bright, sparkling diamonds. He sighed a little, thinking, // To think I slept most of the day. What should I do now? // Drumming his fingers silently on the soft covers, he scanned the room for something to keep him occupied. His eyes rested upon the table, where there was a little box atop a pale folder. Curious, he reached for both items.

Opening the folder, he found the first sheets that Suoh had written upon in his distress. Then, he noticed the next few sheets drawn by him. Finally, he came face to face with another few sheets covered with the neat, controlled writing. It said simply:

Today, I found the most precious treasure that one could ever find, something that I had been so afraid I'd lose. What a fool I was not to have placed my faith in it, trusting instead in Gods who could not help me recover what I lost- it was only through my angel that I found what I sought.

True, this angel may be ill-disciplined, and may be more than a tad difficult when ordered to do paperwork, but this angel is nonetheless the most beautiful and wonderful angel I've come across, for this angel gave me the one thing no one else could- the trust, understanding and concern of an angel who gave its forgiveness with a free hand, the way one with plenty of food and a giving heart dished out portions of food to hungry guests.

Tired angel who rested whilst I visited, I wish that you may recover soon and smell the cool, crisp air which I'm sure you miss sorely by now. I offer you this humble box containing the humble mortal weapons used to combat boredrem.

Smiling a little at his friend's uncharacteristic playfulness, he opened the box to reveal books, magazines, an assortment of games, and... art equipment. Inspiration hit as he made a bee-line for the art equipment. // You're going to regret starting this game. // he thought mischievously.