Performing a surgery was like performing art. Music specifically. He was the orchestra leader, the nurses and assistants were the musicians and the operating room was the stage. It demanded synchronization, team work and like before any performance, focus.
Which was currently impossible.
Not with a young cute insufferably optimistic nurse bouncing by his side. As they neared the hospital, he felt like bitting her head off, but as always, a look to her happy face and stunning smile and he was reduced to nothing.
She was dangerous, she had him wrapped around her little finger and she didn't even realize it.
Thank god she didn't.
He couldn't help but smile at her enthusiasm. A young woman had been admitted a few days ago after her husband had beaten her up. Sakura had been upset, someone as pure as her couldn't understand how evil the world could be. Nino, the victim, had been baldy hurt, both physically and psychologically. She had first refused to speak or to eat. But under Nanase's care, she had started to eat, and to smile. It didn't surprise him. Sakura was physically tiny, but her strong will never ceased to amaze him.
And all the people lucky enough to meet her had been changed by her grace, her genuine kindness. He had changed. Her soul was pure and he was bewitched. When she had left to her hometown, behind his cool demeanor, he had been terrified. Of losing her, of never seing her again. He had told her that the pain and fear of losing the people he loved were always with him, and yet she left. Letting him behind. Lost and scared. Bala!
He didn't know how to live without her anymore, and the realization didn't scare him off. It strenghtened his resolve to bring her back, and he did so, planning to never let her go anymore.
Once they were inside the building, she turned to him with that blinding smile of hers.
"Tendo sensei, I'm wishing you good luck for Akito' s surgery. I know everything is going to be perfect. Good luck!"
She raised her tiny fists to cheer and he chuckled. Her smile broadened if it was possible, and she bowed her head.
"Sorry not to be able to assist you"
He shook his head.
"Baka... You're the one who had welcomed Nino in the ER, you're the only one she trusts... Take good care of her."
He turned away to leave.
"I will, I promise" she said softly.
He wanted to turn back and to kiss her until she was left breathless but he stopped himself. It wouldn't be very professional. But he had woken up with a bad feeling about today, and maybe being unprofessional wasn't that bad... Especially not before a difficult surgery.
He walked back to her, took her face between his hands and rested his forehead against hers.
She blinked at him with her big doe eyes. She finally nodded and he had to restrain himself from leaning towards her inviting lips.
He walked away with a straight mouth but a madly beating heart.
Nanase had never been afraid of blood. She was a nurse after all, she had assisted many surgeries, and it had never had any effect on her.
That was until it was her own blood. She didn't really understand what was going on. One minute she was happily making Nino smile, the next one a man was shouting in the room, a knife in his hand. She didn't remember being afraid. She was just trying to protect Nino and to calm the man down.
Turned out he couldn't calm down.
At first, she didn't feel anything but something hot and sticky spreading over her abdomen. When she had looked down, she had seen a red spot growing on her nurse blouse. She had looked at her hands, not understanding what was happening. It was the smell that made her realize that it was blood. Her blood. And then, the pain overwhelmed her and she fell to the ground. She was aware of people screaming, running.
Was her patient hurt? Where was the man?
In a blur, she saw a knife on the floor, covered in blood. Hers.
"Sakura!!!! Oh my god, Nanase!"
Someone touched her wound but she didn't feel the pain anymore. That was quick, and that was bad. She was a nurse after all, she knew that kind of things. She felt herself being lifted on a gurney and wheeled away with people running and calling her name.
"Yusha! Hold on! Stay awake!"
"Call Tendo sensei!"
His name was the only thing that made her react. Her eyes fluterred and she tried to speak despite the oxygen mask covering her face.
"No... No... He... Don't... Surgery..."
"Sakura... Don't worry, just... Just hold on... "
She didn't have time to explain that he couldn't be bothered while having literally a life in his hands.
Darkness engulfed her.
Tendo Kairi took a deep breath when he left the operating room. The surgery had lasted 6 hours, 2 hours longer than expected, but it had been a success. He loved how satisfied he felt thinking about how the patient would be able to go on with his life. Every loss was a tragedy, but when a life was saved, it gave him the strength to keep going.
As the team congratulated him, he stirred and walked away. He needed a nap, but first, he wanted to see Nanase. Often, he took a glimpse at her, from afar, without her noticing him. Just to make sure she was still here and still okay. That was something he would never admit. It wasn't that he was insecure, he definitely wasn't. But having lost someone he had loved, he knew how fragile life could be. And maybe he needed to make sure that no one was trying to steal her away. Just maybe. Not that he was possessive.
But when he neared the nurses office, he realized that something was off. Policemen were talking with the head nurse and Rokuro, Yokito and Ryusei were sitting together, eyes rimmed with red. He looked for a very familiar and loving happy face but he couldn't see her anywhere. She was probably with Nino. He wanted to ask what was going on but he needed to check on her first. Just to ease the sick feeling he had since this morning. He thought it would have disappeared with the success of the surgery, but it hadn't. As he was walking away, Rokuro ran after him.
He stopped to face his mentor and friend. Rokuro looked serious, upset even.
"What is it?"
The director took a deep breath,obviously trying to find his words.
"Look... Nino's husband reappeared..."
The sick feeling suddenly became unbearable. His eyes widened.
"He managed to find her room..."
Stop. He had to stop.
"He... He had a knife... And..."
Kairi took a step back, as if putting distance between him and Rokuro was going to make everything better.
"Where is Sakura?"
"Sakura... Kisugi... Surgery... Sorry..."
He couldn't understand everything since blood was pounding in his ears. But the few words he caught were enough.
He didn't know if he had whispered or yelled those two words, he couldn't wrap his mind around what had happened. He had left Sakura smiling, her cheeks pink, her eyes bright, and now... And now... She was dying after being stabbed? How was it possible?
"Where is she... WHERE IS SHE?"
Rokuro put his hands on his shoulders but Kairi stepped back, shaking his head.
"Listen Kairi, Kisugi is doing everything he can and..."
"No... Where is she?"
It couldn't be true, it was a lie, a nightmare, it had to be a lie. It didn't make any sense, who would want to hurt her?
Rokuro sighed sadly.
"Operating room five, but Kairi..."
He didn't listen, he was already running in the corridors, trying to stop the terror, the pain, the nausea at the mere idea of her being hurt. Of her dying.
He didn't acknowledge anyone, he kept running, ignoring Rokuro, ignoring people calling after him, dodging people, nurses, doctors.
When he rushed inside the observation room, nobody seemed to notice him.
She was here. Her tiny body Lying on the operation table. There was so much blood, so so much...
Her body rose from the table and Kairi realized the agitation around her,and what it meant.
His fists met the glass separating him from the operation room. Kisugi looked up at him, haggard.
"Still nothing sensei!" said a nurse he recognized. Sakai.
The noise of a flat line had always been the biggest fear of a surgerian.
Especially when the said surgerian had lost a first love.
Why? Why him? Why her? Losing Minori had been terrible, but losing Nanase? He would never get over it.