Chapter Two

2.1

Haru sighed to himself as he reached the restaurant where his staff was already setting up for the dinner crowd. Maybe he should have called out. Maybe he should be at home but he couldn't be in that house right now, not with this news hanging over his head. Coming to the restaurant had been a hard decision but he loved his job. He liked creating the meals and meal plans and special menu but second most to being with Rin…well fourth if you included Yuki and Momiji…and Kisa…well one of the things outside of family which he loved was cooking in the kitchen.

He knew it had started with an attempt to feed Rin and have her enjoy the food but he had learned he had a gift and it was nice to be called intelligent and skilled for once. He liked that people trusted him with what he created and said it tasted good. He sometimes was teased when he wanted to eat certain things but now that he was creating his own menus he wasn't criticized as much.

As he opened the back door, he saw Lilli there looking a little panicked. "Is everything okay?" he asked, grabbing his chef coat and apron and going to wash his hands. He heard people greeting him and he nodded and smiled to them but he paid attention to the new girl.

"I can't do it, I messed up and spilled water all over a customer," she panicked and Haru blinked at her, waiting for her to continue.

"We comped their meal, Shokunin-sama," one of the younger chefs said and Haru nodded to that.

"Did you apologize?" he asked Lilli who turned red and nodded quickly. "Then it should be okay. It was water and it happens occasionally. As long as you didn't laugh at them. One time I spilled a beer and didn't know what to say so just stared at them, they weren't happy," he said as he turned away to get a look at what had been started that night in terms of food.

"It's really okay? I'm not losing my job?" Lilli asked and Haru stared at her.

"No. As long as you didn't laugh at them. I would hate it if you spilled water on me and laughed…probably refreshing though," he thought as he put gloves on. He lifted his chin in thought for a moment. "Yes, especially if there was ice."

"Are you o-" Lilli said as she extended a hand out in his direction.

"Soma-sama gets like this sometimes," the chef said, "It's his personality. If he says that you don't need to worry about it then you don't need to worry about it."

"Thank you, Soma-shokunin," Lilli bowed. "You're a really nice person."

"No," Haru shook his head as he turned to her. "Sometimes I can be a destructive and self-destructive jerk. Don't think that isn't true," he said before going over to the meat. Lilli watched him completely stunned. What kind of a person was he? Truth was she was very attracted to him but that didn't keep him from being one of a kind.

2.2

Rin froze as she put the key into the lock of her home. This was the first true home which she had ever known to be real. Yes, until she had lost her parents, the house she had grown up in with the toys and dolls had been her home but she had taken it for granted. At least Haru wasn't part of any game or play. He was honest even when he didn't feel his best.

As she put her purse down, she saw a Post It stuck onto the stair railing. On it was Haru's writing 'Sorry' with a picture of a cow. She picked it up and put it in her pocket. She secretly kept all the notes he left for her, she would consider herself a stalker were she not his wife.

As she moved to go to their bedroom, she saw that the door had been broken in half and before entering she could tell by the state of the room that Haru had lost his temper and entered his black or dark persona before trashing their room. She sighed. It had been a long time since he had carried that anger and though she could usually yell at him and hurl insults until he calmed down, for him to leave after this chaos worried her. He should have just called into work sick.

She looked at the windows, there was wood nailed over them. He had smashed them hadn't he?

What was even the cause of all this destruction? She walked to the bed and picked up a pillow she had of a cow. She hugged it to her before noticing a folder underneath. Were these the results from his examination? She hoped that this wasn't the reason as to why he was so upset.

Opening up the folder, she glanced at it, skimming until she got to one sentence that frightened her.

Unknown blockage in left lung, possibly spread to heart. Further tests should identify the issue.

His lung? That was very serious and it made sense how he could have snapped. If he had been mulling it over and turning it repeatedly in his mind, then he would reach this level of frustration. She couldn't even be upset with him for causing this mess. She was tempted to punch something as well but at least he was being honest with her.

The thought kept entering her mind, that terrifying idea. What if he died? What if she lost him and he just faded from her life? What if he faded from her memories? She shivered. There had to be some way of solving this. "Please be okay," she whispered not only thinking about the test results but thinking about the mental strain he was putting himself through in going to work whilst knowing this.

Well, there wasn't much she could do but she could at least replace the windows. She just hoped that he had calmed down. Everyone at the restaurant knew white Haru, it would be a very jarring thing for most people to meet the negative side of him.

2.3

Haru froze as he finished his walk home and looked up at the new windows. Rin had been able to move quickly. She had probably wanted to get the repair over and done with and although she didn't seem the type of care about the appearance of the house, the dry wood that he had placed over the windows most likely wasn't very practical. Maybe he should have called out from work. Would she be angry at him for snapping and destroying their property? They had both put together money to buy their house, to live their independent life as a young couple and he had just destroyed it because he didn't know how to process news he was half-expecting.

He sighed. He would have to face her sooner or later so whether she wanted to scold him or ignore him, he'd have to be ready for that. Maybe he should talk to his mother. His father had left a while back but his mother had always loved him if only a little. She often joked about how stupid he had been but when he had broken out of the curse they had had a real talk to each other and she had attended her wedding, well her and about fifty thousand yen worth of clothes, makeup, and accessories. She had even hugged Rin and told her that she would think of her as a daughter and taken an interest in the modeling work.

Maybe his mother would want to hear about his health issues. Afterall, he was her only son and it must have been difficult when he had become a calf as she held him for the first time. He had often wondered if she kept him for the money but even the money didn't seem worth putting up with his mood swings.

Would he have to say his goodbyes? Would he have to go to Sensei, Yuki, Kyo, Master, and tell them honestly what was wrong with him and that he was going to die. No. He couldn't think about dying. Dying would set him off and make him snap. He just had to face the music and take whatever abuse Rin hurled at him without meaning to. That was the thing. She never meant to. He just knew what she meant behind her defense mechanisms.

2.4

Rin had been thinking for hours over what she wanted to say to her husband about the room. She couldn't be too angry at him. Afterall, he had little control over his black side and he had told her the reason or at least given her the test results. She didn't blame him for being angry about it. There was little she could say to him other than that she loved him and they would find a way to solve this. He couldn't die. She wouldn't let him die. He was the one person who had truly been there since the separation with her family and he was the first guy to admit he loved her. To even think about the possibility of losing him…

As Rin heard they sound of keys in the lock, she stood and wrapped an arm around herself. Hopefully when she finally saw him, she would know what she wanted to say. As he came in, she saw his guilty expression and the sad pain in his eyes. She bit her top lip and just walked over to him and wrapped her arms around him. She didn't know what to say to him. Fortunately he returned with that silent hug.

Rin stared at him after a moment and stepped back. "I fixed the windows. I managed to find a place with the right kind of glass," she told him and he nodded, his eyes still showing his inner turmoil. "Haru, it'll be okay. Whatever the treatment plan is, we can follow it and I know doctors are often stupid and…and Hatori will probably be the same but if we follow the treatment plan step by step."

"My lungs," Haru told her with a pained expression which Rin absolutely hated to see had presence on his face.

"That damn rat has bronchitis," Rin commented. "We'll just steal his inhaler when he comes to visit. I'm sure that he carries it with him."

"He needs that," Haru replied and Rin sighed. That wasn't why she had said that. She had meant to say that they could find Haru an inhaler and slow things down if he needed that. She would do anything to keep him okay and as healthy as possible, as safe as possible.

"We won't take it then but I'm sure that if it is something like that, there are special medications. Has he recommended a diet plan or fitness routine? I hate running but if that's what he prescribed then I guess I can…" she said and Haru sighed.

"I left all I know under your pillow," he confirmed for her. He looked down at a small box that he was holding. "I…I brought you something from the restaurant."

"I already ate the salad you left for me," Rin told him and Haru shook his head.

"This is something new," he said before handing her the box. Rin sighed before opening it and saw that there was dessert inside. "Jelly biscuits but a little bit more…upscale than the ones which I usually make. I picked your favorite flavors," he informed her and Rin stared at them. He was always spoiling her when in actuality, it was him who should be getting spoiled. "Please try them."

"Yes, I will," she nodded before placing the box to the side and placing a hand on each cheek of his face. "Are you okay? It's all right if you're not."

"I'm a bit sad and scared but I'm okay," he nodded although he still looked calm. Rin kissed his lips then his cheek and then nuzzled his neck.

"Let me know if that stops being the case. I don't care how many rooms you destroy. This is our house and most of all, this is our home, my home is wherever you are," she said and saw him smile weakly. "You know, you once asked if I would care if you died and I would…I would care very much if you died. I love you, Haru."

"I love you too, always will," he reassured her. "let's hope the tests come back negative."

Rin nodded. She really hoped so but she was afraid, afraid that they would come back much worse than either of them were suspecting they would.

2.5

Rin shivered in her sleep as she clutched to the pillow shaped like a cow that Haru had bought her one year. She had commented on how cute it was and how she liked to think about him and he had been surprised by that. There were only a few things that openly registered as cute to her and he knew he had to buy it for her. Now she was holding onto it as if trying to hold onto him.

Haru watched her as the moonlight cast light onto her face. He sighed and put his finger to his lung and drew a line up to his heart. How could he have become so sick? He knew he had been seen as a delinquent but Rin had always told him to be careful when it came to even alcohol. She cared a lot more about his health than her own. It had been that way for years.

As she shivered again, Haru reached out to her and let his fingers slide through the strands of hair. She blinked with a groan before looking up and blinked at her husband. She rolled over and looked up at him, her eyes filled with concern. "H-hey," she said as she watched him. "Are you okay? Does it hurt? Do you need to see someone? I can be up in ju-"

Haru placed a hand on her shoulder to make sure that she didn't get up too quickly. Rin blinked at him, her eyes fearful that he would get sick and leave right in front of her. "It's fine. I was just thinking of how beautiful you look."

"Oh," Rin replied before smiling. "That's okay then," she closed her eyes and relaxed. "You're gorgeous too, you know."

"Are you going to be okay?" he asked her in a serious manner and she looked back up at him to see the concern in his eyes. There was sadness in them as well and she couldn't help but cup his cheek with her hand. She wanted him to be happy. Kind people like him deserved to be happy. She wanted for him to always be happy.

"Yeah, I'm fine," she nodded. "Did you need to talk? I can get up in just a moment," she said but Haru held her down gently.

"I was just thinking…if I died from this illness. I'm not scared of dying," he told her and Rin frowned. She didn't want to hear this. The test results were a mistake and when he was further tested then that would prove it to him.

"You're not going to die," Rin muttered. "I won't allow it."

"Will you be okay?" he asked her and Rin frowned. Was he asking her if his death would be permissible. Rin stared at him before shaking her head.

"You're not going to die. I won't allow it," she repeated stubbornly. This wouldn't happen to her. She wouldn't be left behind by him. He was the person who cared for her most and unconditionally. He was her world, her heart. There was no way that she would just be okay with him dying. "You should be scared of dying because if you do, I'll kill you myself."

Haru sighed. "I'm not scared of dying but I'm scared of leaving you alone," he explained and Rin frowned.

"Then don't you dare leave," she replied as she attempted to keep the tears in her eyes from falling. She knew it wasn't his choice but until they had exhausted each and every option, she wouldn't even entertain the idea of him dying. He had to know that.

End of Chapter Two

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