Torture and Temptation

CHAPTER 5

The rigid plastic chair he had been sitting on for the last five hours made his buttock rather stiffened as if it had turned to stone. He shifted and twisted uncomfortably while kept dragging his umpteenth cigarette. The empty private waiting room appeared to be less inhabitable with its sickening quietness and even more depressing with its dim and occasionally flickering light bulbs. He never liked hospital; the plain white and flawless surface of its walls, the shuddering and dizzying scent of its air and the smothering aura of its atmosphere always reminded him of his prevalent fears, sickness and death.

After a stressful and painstaking effort -including heat arguments with 911's operator about their service inefficiency as well as the ambulance's driver about his bad decision in taking route- the blonde's father had managed to rush his son to the nearest hospital in arguably proper time. The medical team immediately mobilized all of their might and capability in committing every possible way to save the blonde's life. It took a couple of discouraging hours and a bunch of advance medical method and procedure until they sentenced the blonde alive.

Mr. Ishida had informed his ex-wife about the situation along with its involving details and as he had expected, she freaked out. The blonde himself was currently undergoing a surgery while his parents were waiting for the result to obtain doctor's verdict and diagnosis.

The lost in thought man turned his head to the door as it cracked open quietly displaying Mrs. Nancy in her bulky yet stylish Calvin Klein grey night coat with two cups of beverage on each of her hands. She had a mixed expression on her face; worries, anxiety and irk. She might only get opportunity to see her older son once a week or so in uncertain basis after the divorce but it did not mean that she had lost her motherly affection for him. She found her life threatened by that freaking occurrence.

Mrs. Nancy handed her ex-husband his cup of plain black coffee before taking a seat alongside him. "So are you happy now?" She began in satirical voice after taking a sip of her hot chocolate.

Mr. Ishida who was igniting his next cigarette blinked a few times in mere confusion. "What are you talking about?"

"How can you be so heartless, Timothy?"

With a blaming tone on Mrs. Nancy's question, the blonde's father was automatically aware of where the conversation was heading. "I was trying to be rational, alright? Stop acting like you're knowing it all. You weren't even there," He turned his head away after giving his ex-wife an emphasizing glare.

The blonde's mom replied the glare just as tense while absently clutched her cup with both of her hands. "You almost killed him and you call it being rational? Oh give me a break,"

"What'd you react if you walked in on him lying on bed with a dick shoved up his ass?" Mr. Ishida raised his eyebrows.

"You could have been more understanding if only you could try to know him better instead of spending your every second at your office like you'd die tomorrow." The blonde's mom reasoned with a firm look on her face eying her ex-husband who began to prop his head with a hand in oh-please-not-again gesture. "He's your son, dammit. You're supposed to take care of him, to love him like a good father would have, no matter what, no compromise and no exception,"

After realizing that his ex-wife's lecture had began to mess with his head, Mr. Ishida rose to his feet rather sulkily. "Don't start again, Nancy. Stop acting like I'm the one to blame. You're not my wife, not anymore." The blonde's dad was always incapable of handling women's so-called insecurities. In fact, it was one of the reasons he divorced. If he could choose, he would prefer spending a whole bloody day with his annoying co-workers rather than a minute dealing with his ex-wife. Mr. Ishida then pulled his already loosened tie purposelessly and made a small path towards the full glass wall hoping that the night city scenery would ease his headache a bit.

The blonde's mom placed her cup on the long plastic chair she was sitting on before folding her arms on her chest. "I am no longer your wife but I am still his mom." She declared in claiming tone. "And would you please get rid of that friggin' cigarette? For god's sake it's hospital," Mrs. Nancy snorted and waved a hand in front of her face to dramatize her point.

His ex-wife's difficulties forced Mr. Ishida to abort his business with the cigarette after taking a long last drag and threw it to the ashtray. He then heaved a small sigh and began to inspect the outside world.

The hospital they were currently in was facing directly into a pretty big artificial lake. The fourth floor he was residing was a perfect spot to obtain a good landscape. He could see the blur reflections of marble white full moon and city skyscrapers on the lake's rippling surface.

Entertained by the fascinating view, the blonde's dad relaxed for a moment up until his mind decided to tease him. "I should have known that sick Taichi brat would fuck around," He analyzed with narrowing eyes as he placed both hands on his hip.

"What?" The blonde's dad's ex-wife snapped slightly taken aback. "Quit being so headstrong and stop blaming him! Jesus, when will you understand? When will you open your mind? Open your heart?"
As infrequent as she saw him in person, Mrs. Nancy had every confidence to tell that the brunette did not deserve to be claimed as the scapegoat of the issue. On the contrary, she was secretly amused by the fact that her older son was romantically involved with his best friend. She had always adored the brunette's unique personality and assumed that it would be a good subsidy and complement for Yamato's secluded character. "Oh well I doubt it if you even still have a heart," She concluded with mockery.

Mr. Ishida opened his mouth ready to argue but got no chance as the door cracked open silently. The blonde's parent turned their heads in unison to find a young lady with slutty nurse outfits holding a clipboard on her chest with a forced smile on her face. "Excuse me Sir, Ma'am. The doctor would like to see you," She tilted her head a little as a silent command pointing them to follow her. Mrs. Nancy could not help herself from rolling her eyes secretly as she examined the nurse's appearance from behind. Her ridiculously too-tight clothing made her look more like a government hooker rather than medical servant.

The naughty looking nurse escorted the blonde's parent through the deserted corridor in nauseous silence. The desolate and rather creepy midnight atmosphere of the hospital gave Mrs. Nancy a slight goosebump on the back of her neck as she began to imagine if they were the only humans taking shelter in the huge building after surviving zombie apocalypse. She could not help but hold her ex-husband arm in abrupt and got a strange look from him as a response.

After passing through two intersections and a dark locker area, the nurse finally stopped in front of a glass door and ushered the blonde's parent to the doctor's office. She gave the sitting doctor a brief flirty nod before leaving the office.

"So?" Mr. Ishida inquired expectantly once they had settled on the soft leather chairs. A quite young wrestler-looking doctor he was facing was very typical with his glasses, stethoscope and white laboratory coat. The blonde's mother's ex-husband could have sworn that the friendly look on the doctor's face was fake and just part of official procedure.

The baldheaded doctor flipped close his Sony VAIO notebook and gave away a dead serious look before stating his declaration. "So, we have tried our best and now it depends on your son Sir, Ma'am and that-"

"What happened to my son, doctor?" The blonde's mom interjected impatiently causing the doctor to blink almost pointedly trying to make sure that there would not be more interruption.

"Alright, the sudden lethal concentration of propyl ether ethanol on his brain nervous system has caused an abnormal blood vessel constriction and stoppage to his hippocampus. The condition is exacerbated by the harmful amount of ethchlorvynol as the reaction catalyst which in turn has triggered the deficiency of thiamine down to below its critical point; thanks to those sleeping pills," The doctor explained in boring tone alternating his gaze between his presentation listeners.

Mr. Ishida pursed his lips and blinked. "In English?"

"Yes, your son will undoubtedly suffer from retrograde amnesia as a general outcome from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. That is if he makes it."

Mrs. Nancy put a worried look on her face after shifting on her seat a little. Those stupid foreign words the doctor was talking about might sound confusing but his last sentence was more striking and pinching her attention. "What do you mean if he makes it?"

"I told you it depends on your son, Ma'am. We have performed all the possible procedure yet still, the worst may happen. He was currently struggling to endure critical condition and we can't guarantee,"

The blonde's dad narrowed his eyes. "So if everything goes well, he'll wake up and forget everything?"

"Not exactly Sir, he will presumably be able to remember general knowledge rather than specifics. Recent memories are less likely to be recovered but older memories will be easier to recall due to strengthening over time." The doctor paused as he noticed that the blonde's parent shared a confused look. "In short, there's an apparent possibility that he won't remember any event he experienced within range of up to one or one and a half year or so,"

Feeling smacked by the verdict, the blonde's mom gasped quietly as she hung her head and rubbed her chest. "Oh poor Matt,"

The doctor cleared his throat and took off his glasses before folding his arms on the desk. "And- I may as well inform you this, did any of you notice that your son involved in sexual intercourse before the incident? We found an evident trace of semen inside his- excuse me- secretion organ and the organ itself appeared to be scratched and with those we may also come to conclusion that your son has been, sexually abused," The doctor's tone was just as uneasy as his facial expression.

"What?" Mr. Ishida jerked on his seat a little as he digested the information but then clenched his fists silently on his lap realizing what it could only mean. "Taichi, that fucking son of a bitch has really gone too far,"

The blonde's mom paid her ex-husband a concise death glare before returning her focus to the doctor. "No doctor, it wasn't actually sexual abuse it was- ummm- well, you know what I mean," She informed rather awkwardly with pointing look.

Taken aback by his ex-wife injudicious conclusion, Mr. Ishida turned his head in abrupt. "What do you mean, Nancy? Then why did he try to kill himself?"

"Use your brain, he thought that he had committed a guilty pleasure and realized that his father would foolishly rampage so he just did what he could think about,"

"Bullshit!"

"Excuse me Sir, Ma'am," As dramatic and intriguing as it might appear, the doctor did not really want his office to be an arena of debate contest. "That's all I can inform you for the time being and if there's any development we will immediately let you know. Good- morning?" He let out his last two words hesitantly after taking a short glance to his silver Rolex.

xxx

An annoying noise of crashing object deprived him from his peaceful slumber and forced him to crack his eyes open. He rubbed the drowsiness from his eyes and rose to sitting position before taking a peek at the small digital clock on the computer desk. 5:55 am. It was five minutes away until his alarm went off. A thought of cherishing that precious five minutes flashed through his mind for a second but another noise told him to forget about it. He removed the cover and proceeded to leave the bed. A peculiar feeling on his scrotum made him promise not to go sleep in jeans ever again.

"Mom?" The young blonde investigated as he made his way to the kitchen. He quirked an eyebrow after noticing that his mother was taking care of a broken teapot mess scattered across the kitchen floor. It did not happen every day. He wonder if he had unintentionally gone too aloof that his mother could not handle it anymore and decided to start throwing and breaking things.

"Good morning honey, I'm sorry for waking you up." Mr. Nancy greeted with an apologetic look after grabbing a plastic-handled broom from the corner and proceeded to sweep the mess. "And I'm sorry for leaving you home alone last night." The unexpected phone call she received the previous night had given her a sudden morbid panic attack that she did not even manage to write a note or any other sort of information conveyance for her younger son.

Scratching the back of his head, TK stifled a yawn before taking a seat on the kitchen stool. "Oh? I didn't even notice," He said mercifully. After the incident with his best friend, the young blonde had tried to distract his mind by working on his independent sketching project.

Ever since he accidentally caught a clip on TV about a newly built highest skyscraper somewhere in the middle-east, the blonde had started to have special interest towards exterior design and architecture. He was not half-hearted with it. He had even started to master conventional sketching technique as well as learn to use digital architecture program. Last night, he was so absorbed that he did not notice if his mom left.

After getting rid of the mess and setting another teapot on the stove, the blonde's mom followed her son's suit and sat opposite him. "TK honey, something happened."

The serious tone her mother was speaking took back the blonde's attention of which was about to leave his seat to get prepared for school. "What happened?" He ran a hand through his hair absently with curious look on his face.

The previously freezing morning air transformed suddenly into a body-boiling atmosphere as his mother unveiled the story. A virtual viper began to strike its attack inside his stomach when he swallowed the information. "What? It can't be! How did-" The tone of his unfinished sentence was full of despair. Woken up to be informed about a dying big brother was not really exciting. "It's Taichi, mom. He pressured Matt, he forced him and now he's trying to kill him," He silently began to clench a fist under the table as he suppressed the tears that threatened to fall.

Out of everything, Mrs. Nancy never expected her son would give such commentary. "What are you talking about? You sound just like your dad, you know? Listen honey it was-"

"No!" The blonde waved a hand in quite dramatic way before rising to his feet and stormed off the kitchen. "I have to see Luke."

"TK, where are you going? You're gonna skip school again?" Mrs. Nancy's yell was answered by a banging noise of the front door when it was shut in abrupt. She finally figured out what had made his younger son act differently lately. It was kind of surprising for her to know that his younger son's brotherly support towards his big brother would cease just due to his sexuality. She held her head with a hand and yanked a lock of her light almond hair in frustration. "Great,"

xxx

"What's the matter, Tai? Did you fail on your calculus test? Again?"

A deep gloomy cloud on her brother's face led Kari to take off her pink Lady Gaga's HeartBeats earphones and place a teen magazine she was reading on the kitchen table. She was not an oracle or mind reader but she could easily tell that something had ruined her big brother's day. Taichi was well known for his expressive behavior after all so he would have to take emotion control classes if he wished to be more unreadable; or at least learn a few methods from his boyfriend for that matter to deceive his sister's exceptional receptive nature.

The older brunette paid his sister a meaningless blink as an instant response before making his way to reach the fridge and get something to drink. Walking home from school with a smiling like Teletubbies sun over his head had made him somewhat dehydrated despite the plausible distance. His tiresome journey was worsened by a stupid giant Rottweiler he ran into on his shortcuts which insistently scared the shit out of him with its slobber fangs. Taichi suspected if his scrubby hair had secretly provoked the intense territorial instinct of the unleashed doggy. He had taken an oath not to take that shortcuts ever again from then on.

"Where's mom?" The male brunette asked after wiping his soda-soaked lips with the back of his hand.

Kari who by then was propping her chin with her fist blinked in amusement. She was familiar with her brother's voracity disorder but having an opportunity to watch him drink up a can of soda in a single gulp was quite entertaining. "Tuesday afternoon, cooking club." She answered without putting off her gaze from her consoling brother.

"Right," The male brunette let out a sigh and re-plastered the scowl on his face before sneakily taking a peek at the magazine.

"Tai, you wanna talk about it?" Kari asked in soft yet demanding tone after letting out a sigh as well.

The older brunette stopped his eyes from inspecting certain pale shirtless male model on the visible page of the magazine to pay the younger brunette his full attention. "Huh? Yeah, I mean-" He did not know if he was prepared to bring up his confession but the timing was very appropriate. "Alright, Kari I- I need to tell you something, and-" Taichi took a deep breath and turned around to face the window in an attempt to avoid a strange look on Kari's face. He knew that his sister would not react like TK but he still found himself nervous. "I'm gay," He blurted eventually in crystal clear voice.

As if she had just heard nothing, Kari blinked before blinking some more and tilted her head slightly. "Well, it's not really surprising since I have told you my perception about gays but-" She faked a pout and raised her voice. "It's still definitely disappointing that you did not decide to tell me any more sooner,"

"Hey, I have my reasons, okay? Then again-" The brunette turned around to face his sibling with apologetic look. He then tried to have a convenient position by leaning his hip against the kitchen counter. "-my confession isn't finished yet so let me tell you the complete story,"

Taichi told his sister the whole narrative in chronological order with clear and complete details; excluding the sensual and intimate parts of course. He noticed that his sibling either gasped or smirked or shook her head or placed a hand on her lips or glared or just blinked alternately; pointing that she was badly absorbed by the tale.

"So I figure that is why TK skipped school these last two days." The younger brunette assumed with narrowing eyes and protruding lips as a quick summary to her brother's story telling.

"TK skipped school? Huhh I didn't see Matt in music class today, either."

Proceeding to lean against the chair support, Kari nodded faintly and folded her arms on her chest with an analytic look on her face. "I don't understand why TK reacted like that and- you know- he's always been easier when it comes to his brother."

The male brunette bit his inner cheeks and placed a hand on his hip. "Yeah, that's way I told him first but then- anyway, thanks Kari for being so understanding I mean- I'm sure most sisters in the world would not be having such great acceptance and support when it comes to things like this but- you're the best." He thanked his sibling with sheepish yet grateful grin on his face as he rubbed the back of his neck like an idiot.

Kari could not help but roll her eyes to her brother's silly gestures. "Huhh, do you really have to mention it, Tai? Look, letting me know doesn't change anything I mean like- mom and dad they're-" She was cut off by a fake and forced coughing noise.

The brunette siblings turned their heads in unison to find their mom on the doorway with a plastic bag on one hand and an unspeakable expression on her face. "M-mom? How long have you been standing there?" Taichi had always hated it when he sounded like Stephen Hawking's speech generating device but at that very moment his vocal chords had every right to sound so. He could feel his heartbeat begin to accelerate as he anticipated for his mother's response.

It felt like two years hanging on a hot stove when in reality it was just merely seconds until Mrs. Yagami decided to enter the kitchen and placed her stuff on the table. "Long enough to know the truth," She exclaimed in rather disappointed tone before reaching for the surprised brunette and held him in a compassionate embrace. "Tai sweetie, why didn't you tell me? Oh you poor thing, I can't even imagine how you felt when your dad rumbled about Uncle Sam," She explained tenderly clutching her son's shoulders in motherly gesture.

Taichi blinked and shifted awkwardly on his mother unexpected big hug before giving a playful glare to his sister who was rolling her eyes and stifling a chuckle. "Umm does it mean you- you don't mind?" His question might be rhetorical but he asked it anyway for the sake of clarity.

"What are talking about? I love my kids for whoever they are. Positively speaking." The mom reasoned after ending her embrace and cupped the brunette's cheeks with her palms. "But don't be relieved just yet because your dad won't be easy with this,"

Taichi blushed visibly. He found it rather embarrassing to have his mom treating him like a little kid in front of his little sister. He was about to complain when a loud banging on the front door broke the peaceful kinship atmosphere they were enjoying. "What the-"

"I'll get it," Kari offered voluntarily and headed over to the source of the noise.

The male brunette sighed softly and returned his focus to his mother. "Mom, how am I going to tell dad and what if-"

"He's gonna die, Tai. He's gonna die! Oh my god, he's gonna die young!" A certain spike-headed teen cut Taichi off dramatically as he stormed in the room clenching his fists with short breaths and serious look on his face. Kari trailed him with a concern and bewildered expression.

"Whoa whoa chill out Davis, what happened?" Taichi placed his hands on the mahogany-haired teen's shaking shoulders trying to calm him down a little.

"And who's gonna die?" Mrs. Yagami added in quizzical tone. Despite the circumstances, she found it somewhat hilarious that all of a sudden a sappy looking teen popped out from nowhere performing such Gangnam Style in her kitchen.

Davis settled a little and began to register his surroundings. "Oh, hi Mrs. Yagami." He greeted sheepishly still rather panting. "It's Matt, he's hospitalized. He's in comma and-"

"What?" The brunette's eyes popped out in shock. He felt like shit which froze in time. His legs weakened as if they had turned into jelly and unable to prop his weight anymore. He blinked and shook his head a couple times when he noticed that the walls around him seemed to be melting like a burning house of wax with a glimpse of the smiling Paris Hilton. How could it be? Never mind. "What do you mean?" He rocked Davis' body quite violently hoping that his sister's classmate had said it wrong or he himself had heard it wrong.

"Where did you get the information?" Kari added as she reached for her mother's hand and kneaded on it trying to find comfort.

Feeling intimidated, the mahogany-haired teen jerked his shoulder a little pointing the brunette to let go of him before taking a deep breath and continued to convey his full information. "My sister's in internship at the Lakeview Hospital and she told me that Matt was rushed there last night. He suffered from alcohol poisoning after he- he tried to kill himself," His last sentence came out as a hesitant whisper.

The ladies gasped in disbelief while Taichi turned his head away as if a brick had hit him on the face. "Shit!"

xxx

"Can I help you, young man?" She put aside the book she was reading and forced a friendly smile on her face.

"Yes ummm, I would like to see a patient." Taichi could tell that he might sound nervous but he could not help it. The flat emotion on the seemingly senior nurse's face he was dealing with made him kind of uneasy; especially with those bloodshot eyes behind her thick glasses and visible wrinkles on her forehead. Taichi wondered if she had been trying to stay awake for weeks reading that chunky book.

Right about sundown after he managed to get rid of his hesitation, the brunette asked his mother to drive him to the hospital. Taichi was actually unsure if he even had a gut to see the blonde since he had a hard time with his father -and with the blonde himself- but his apprehension and curiosity along with his sister and mother's insistence had got the best of him. Taichi found it quite incredibly insane that just yesterday after school he had a small -yet significant- confrontation with the blonde and right then he was in critical condition battling to stay alive at hospital. As much as he thought about it, the brunette could never get a grip of why his boyfriend even came to do such terrible thing.

"And who'd it be?" The brunette slow response made the grey-headed nurse raised her voice as well as her eyebrow impatiently.

"Matt, Yamato Ishida. And I'm his b- best friend. Taichi Yagami," He informed evidently ignoring his rather stammered speech.

"Alright gimme a second." The nurse then pursed her dark lips thinly as she began to dig out the information from the central database on the flat monitor in front of her. Taichi could tell that the nurse was very expert in doing her job that it only took a split second until she gave away her findings. "I am sorry young man but it appears that he is currently in intensive care unit and you are not allowed to see him just yet unless you have privileged permission from the doctor, or the parent."

That was it. The brunette heaved an unheard disappointment sigh before biting his inner cheeks. "Alright thank-"

"Taichi?" A teen girl about Taichi's age showed up in the corridor making her way to interrupt. She was raising a hand in greeting from afar gesture and there was a big excitement grin on her face as if she had just found a glacier in the middle of Sahara. Her spiky dark maroon hair and her wide black eyes did not seem to match her baggy nurse outfits. "Hi," She exclaimed once she was standing by the brunette. She then gave the older nurse behind the information desk a meaningful glance. "I'll take care of him, Mrs. Ursula."

"Alright Jun, whatever." The senior nurse answered kind of nonchalantly before returning her focus to the book she was reading.

Jun Motomiya was Davis' older sister. She went to different high school with the brunette but they once teamed up as security guards at their hometown anniversary celebration festival and knew each other better since then. Their siblings' proximity had nothing to do.

Satisfied by her easiness, the dark maroon-haired girl paid the senior nurse a grateful smile before grabbing the brunette on the wrist. "Come with me, Tai." She dragged the brunette down the apparently busy corridor eagerly while kept her grip on him causing them to get some strange looks. The brunette scratched the back of his neck and blinked a little innocently trying to tell people that it was not like what it seemed. Once they were inside an elevator, Jun unleashed her grip. "Oh my god, I can't believe he did such thing." She started. "I mean- I promise to stop stalking him if that's the reason he did it but I'm not sure it is." The mahogany-haired boy's sister had developed an apparent crush on the blonde since Taichi introduced them both. The crush had been pretty extreme that it was up to the point of posting regular daily wall post on the blonde's social networking account that he had to reconsider blocking her. "Well, you're his best friend, Tai, you have to know what happened." She reasoned in expectant tone.

The brunette sighed softly before leaning against the wall of their private elevator and hid his hands inside the pocket of his cream-colored khaki pants. He shivered a little as his collared black t-shirt failed to protect him from the cold metal sensation on his back. He regretted it that he did not decide to have his jacket. "I'm sorry Jun but I have no idea of what happened, either. It's just-"

"Yeah, so does everybody else." The intern nurse interjected before examining her reflection on the glistening metal surface. "Zach was here and- oh well, he did not really seem to care since he just kept talking about his new girlfriend who broke his Deryck Whibley Tele- what? I forgot- Deryck Whibley Telecaster deluxe or something like that, I don't really give a damn." She informed while she began to fix her hair rather seriously as if she was going to perform on broadway. Typical Jun. She was excessively caring about her appearance. If it was possible, she probably would be happily willing to barter his little brother with eternal attractive look. "Luke said he didn't know either but I kind of sensed he hid something like-" She paused and lowered her voice when a middle-aged blonde man carrying a thick stack of paper joined them in the elevator. "He's still here by the way. Maybe you can talk to him, Tai." She whispered her suggestion.

To be honest, Taichi was not really interested to hear that particular name. If it was not because of his boyfriend, the brunette might never be acquainted with the drummer guy like, at all. It was not that Taichi and Luke had problem with each other's existence or anything but they had not shared good times together, either. Not yet, perhaps. "Yeah, I suppose." The brunette answered simply to get rid of that prompting look on Jun's face. A second later, the elevator's door slid itself open.

The dark maroon-haired girl and the brunette made a short journey through a less busy corridor for several steps away until they arrived at a quiet private waiting room. A quite mean and vicious looking guy who was likely in his early twenties caught their sight as Jun opened the door. The well built figure covered by a bright red plaid shirt and a pair of dark jean shorts was sitting lazily on a long plastic chair with one hand stretched out over the chair support while the other on his lap. He smirked mildly noticing that he had visitors before rising to his feet. "Taichi?"

"H-hey," The brunette greeted almost doubtfully as he strode deeper to the waiting room followed by Jun behind him. Taichi took a brief examination on a metal chain hung on the drummer guy's neck. It appeared to be compatible with his nearly bare toned chest; especially with the presence of those growing fluff. But he could not tell whether the titanium ring on the chain was real or fake.

Realizing he was inspected, the college dropout grinned. "Great, I don't need to find you." The drummer guy was about to give Taichi a playful high five when the other door on the other side of the room cracked open revealing Mrs. Nancy, TK and, Mr. Ishida.

The previously wholesome air of the waiting room turned to be highly suffocating as the brunette's heart began to dance uncontrollably inside his ribcage. He felt like he was going to fall to his knees when he was greeted by an aggressive and threatening look on his boyfriend's father's face as soon as he noticed his existence in the room. A very disgusting nausea attacked the inside of the brunette's stomach right when Mr. Ishida grabbed the collar of his t-shirt abruptly, forcefully and violently before pinning him against the wall. The anger-driven short breaths of the blonde's father in front of his face made Taichi felt sick like he was going to vomit his brain.

"You! What did you do to my son? What have you done you pervert fucking bastard?" The blonde's mother's ex-husband voice sounded like dry lightning cracking across the cloudy sky; deafening and shuddering. Storm of tantrum flashed visibly on his narrowing eyes.

Not knowing what was going on but utterly shocked by it, the intern nurse froze in shock and dropped her jaw to the floor as she witnessed Mrs. Nancy and Luke try to break up the one-sided fight. However, she failed to refrain from quirking an eyebrow as she noticed that TK just stayed conveniently crossing his arms on his chest with some kind of satisfaction look on his face.

"Dammit Timothy, let him go!" The blonde's mom tugged out her ex-husband upper left arm with both of her hands. "What's wrong with you?"

"Chill out, Mr. Ishida. Relax," The drummer guy tried to loosen the blonde's father's grip on Taichi's collar as he pointed the motionless brunette to shift a little.

The heating scene lasted for several more seconds until Mr. Ishida released his grip. "Fuck off!" He commanded to no one but the slightly panting brunette.

The blonde's father's ex-wife gave Taichi an apologetic and pitiful look as she straightened his outfits. "I am terribly sorry, Tai honey but I think you better come back another time, alright?" She whispered.

The brunette tried to open his mouth hesitantly to give a response but he was too shocked to actually let out words.

"I'll take care of him, Mrs. Nancy." Luke volunteered and paid a brief glance to the blonde's father and brother before tugging Taichi's hand and dragged him out of the room.

"You're saving me," The brunette thanked Luke after tightening his seatbelt. They were currently inside the drummer guy's Ford King Ranch pickup truck at the parking lot ready to pull out. By then, Taichi was feeling relieved that his boyfriend's father did not make it in turning him black and blue but his disappointment of unable to see the blonde was also teasing his mind.

Luke gave away a poker face as he readjusted the rear view mirror. "Nope, I just didn't feel like seeing that mister taking my position to beat the shit out of you," He paused and let out a dry chuckle when he noticed the look on the brunette's face. "I was just kidding, man." He announced hitting his company on the arm playfully. He then ignited the engine and shifted the gear before stepping on the pedal to accelerate the vehicle. "Well, at least that's what his little brother wished for, though. He came to me this morning and told everything with clenched fists, red eyes and a boner on his pants. He was like -Luke please, kick Taichi's sorry ass for my brother, bury him alive, throw him inside a cement mixer, feed him to the sharks or take him to the ledge and get rid of him eternally-" The way the drummer guy explained his presentation with fake sob and high-pitched voice made the brunette nothing but smiling a little despite his chaotic mind. "And I was like -what the fuck? To be honest Taichi, as much as I wanna punch you on the face for not letting me know your monkey donkey business with your blonde, I don't have valid reason to do such things,"

Luke was that rebellious brain-damaged kind of a guy which from the outside looked like he could lift a car with bare hands and break anything anytime anywhere or kick people's asses before swallowing them alive. But deep inside, he was just as normal and harmless as a purring kitten. Once people got used to his odd mental anomalies, they could tell that he was just a hopeless brat with a big dream of colonizing the entire planet and changing the world order with his- well, people did not really know with his what- with his stupid eccentricity?

Intrigued by the former collegian last remark, the brunette turned his head slightly taken aback. "So, you're cool with it?" His tone was somewhere between hesitant and expectant.

The college dropout raised an eyebrow. "Man, people can practically be sexually attracted to anything; to their cash to their car to their shit to their drumsticks, whatever. So long as you're not aroused by animals or dead body, you don't need to worry about it." The way he reasoned sounded almost like a life insurance sales man. "Anyway, what is it exactly you did to him that he so insisted in getting tipsy? Man, a royal bottle of Johnnie Walker? That's just- damn. Why didn't he take 190 Bacardi instead? Or even Everclear?" Luke meant it to be a joke but it came out sounding suggestive somehow; more like a TV commercial.

The brunette took off his gaze from inspecting the night street view through the car's window and brought back his attention to the drummer guy before heaving a soft sigh. "That's what I'm wondering too- not the drinking stuff I mean." He retorted. He then took a look at the drummer guy from aside. A black bullet-shaped piercing on his right ear was contrast to his reddish skin. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up; showing off various tattoos on his arms and just emphasizing his -bad guy- impression. His dirty blonde hair was done in supposed-to-be mohawk but it was too short that it turned out to look like a tiny hedgehog lying face down on top of his head. "I need to tell you the story from my viewpoint," And with that, the brunette began to tell his love saga for the second time that day. Well at least this time to a different listener.

During the story telling, the college dropout took off his focus from the road occasionally to give Taichi short glances pointing that he was listening up until the brunette finished. "I see. He maybe a little hard with his always-play-it-safe bullshit but- I know he loves his life." He theorized. He then reached for a cigarette from somewhere on the dashboard. "You smoke?"

The brunette shook his head. The freak container of the cigarette made him wonder if it was pot. Not that he cared anyway. He had promised to himself not to ever smoke since he found out trivial information from the internet telling that every cigarette he smoked would take away eleven minutes of his life span. He just drank the kool-aid; a little too naive, indeed. "Do you think it's Mr. Ishida?" He made a wild guess.

"It could be." The former collegian took a swift drag of his cigarette before shifting the gear and slowed down his truck.

The brunette looked around and quirked an eyebrow as he noticed that they were pulling over at a bar; and the bar was very familiar. Right, it was the same bar he had spent the night when his boyfriend's father kicked him out.

Luke turned off the engine and undid his seatbelt. "Come on, I'll treat you your- first beer?"

The brunette blinked and grinned in excitement before following his company's suit and they both proceeded to get in the bar.

Inside, the bar was pretty crowded. There were a couple of middle-aged men here and there; some escorted by petty looking young lady some just sitting stupefied on their stools with drink on their hands. The chess board patterned floor and the classical music coming out from somewhere around the corner brought up a comforting spirit of the night. There was a snooker board in the far corner; surrounded by arcade games which were most likely no longer working leaning against the bare brick wall surface where there was also a wooden door. Taichi remembered the door as the entrance to the bar back room.

"No free drink for tonight, vodka guy." A baby-faced man with black bandana covering his head warned from the counter as soon as he took notice of their presence. He was pouring a certain liquid from a giant bottle to various glasses.

"Oh come on, old man. I've got company to treat," Luke answered in teasing tone before taking a seat on a tall stool.

The barman grinned with popping eyes when the brunette took his position aside Luke. "Hey, you're the lost kid." He greeted with excessive confidence making Taichi blush slightly.

His company's awkwardness forced the college dropout to place an apologetic look on his face. "Sorry Tai, my uncle's a little hazy. You may not believe it but he ever once confused a bewhiskered man with Johnny Depp." His whisper was loud enough to be heard by a customer with a smoking pipe beside him who could not help but snicker mildly.

The drummer guy's uncle snorted in annoyance. "Hey watch out, you drummer brat. I'm not hazy. I know he's the kid with great skill in doing dishes,"

Recalling the event, the brunette rolled his eyes before giving a pointing look to the wondering college dropout. "It's a long story," He provided with a smile as he set eyes on the wooden counter with some scratch and writings on its surface. Taichi then raised his gaze to inspect the barman's clothing when he began to tell the story with excitement. The college dropout's uncle was wearing a collarless black t-shirt which was tight enough to expose his muscular chest. A dark tie with red stripes hanging loosely on his neck reminded the brunette of a tomboyish skater punk-rocker chick he once saw on his sister's magazine.

Done telling his sweet memories, the bar owner served his nephew and his company two glasses of unknown beverage before proceeding to cope with his other customers. Having no idea of what it was but intrigued by its fancy look, the brunette grabbed his glass hesitantly. He took a sip and almost choked on the freakish taste of the transparent liquid. The drummer guy beside him chuckled to the priceless look he was wearing. "What is this shit?" Taichi asked with a snort.

"This," The drummer guy raised his glass and observed it quite exaggeratingly as if it was the precious secret of eternal life. "This is The Dude's White Russian. An epic mixture of light vodka and kahlua which gonna loosen your nerves a bit without giving unnecessary side effects. My favorite," He explained before taking a sip.

"Geez, don't you think it's too hard for my first shot?" The brunette complained before biting his tongue carefully to accustom it with the foreign taste. He was about to take another sip of his drink when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"A high school senior at the bar? It really is an ironic discovery for human race."

Out of every living things he knew with on the planet, the brunette never expected to meet his physics teacher at that exact timing. "Oh hi, Mr. Cox." He greeted sheepishly raising a hand a little.

"And it's even more ironic when his teacher gets wasted at the same bar." The barman's nephew joined the conversation. "Don't worry Mr. Cox. I'm not gonna let him get too drunk." He convinced with a persuasive smile.

Surprised by random encounter with his former student, the physics teacher grinned in amazement. "Lukasz Barker. Whoa it's been like- what? Three years since you got routine detention on my class? I swear it was like yesterday. Time does fly." He extended a hand to tap the drummer guy on the back. "You've changed a lot, Mr. Barker. You look more presentable and- your chest even seems more manly now. How's it going?"

The former collegian shrugged. "If you'd really like to know the truth Mr. Cox, it's been heavenly a lot better without quantum theory or the expanding universe crap,"

An intimate observing look on the physics teacher's face turned to be an are-you-fucking-kidding-me scowl. "Oh I see. Your lack of enthusiasm in significant things has given you quite achievement that I heard you even managed to finish college early. Very adorable!" His voice was covered by ticklish mocking tone. "Well, I still have a bunch of important research to catch up with, anyway." He reached for a couple of dollar bills from the pocket of his short-sleeved grey shirt before putting it on the counter. "Nice to meet you again, Mr. Barker and- Mr. Yagami, make sure to head home before the dawn." With a final pat on the brunette's shoulder, the physics teacher proceeded to leave the bar.

"I didn't know you went to same school." Taichi extended the subject once they were alone again.

"I did spend my final year at McKinley."

"Uhuh? And I didn't know you were Mr. Cox's favorite student,"

The drummer guy heaved a sigh some more as he folded his arms on the counter which tempted the brunette to peek at his well-toned bicep secretly; it was covered by a pretty broad barcode tattoo half-shown from the rim of his shirt sleeve down to his elbow. "You better be cautious. I have a slight feeling that he's not like what most people would think he is." The barman's nephew then bowed slightly and reduced the distance between him and the brunette a little before lowering his voice. "Just keep this between us, okay? I heard that he was linked to the disappearance of three students at the school he used to teach on before he moved here. It was alleged to be a kidnapping which ended up manslaughter. The missing kids were never found. He was even arrested but there was no evidence to prove him guilty." The college dropout unveiled his story in a very careful whisper. He then got back to his usual sitting position and took a quick gulp of his drink. "My uncle handled the case- a different uncle. He's a cop there." He added as an afterthought to clear Taichi's bewildered look.

As much as he found it somewhat fascinating that the drummer guy had various uncles who were very helpful and informative, the brunette was also left shuddered by the story. The obvious casanova look and apparent womanizer tendencies of the physics teacher plus all of his gracefulness made the brunette almost refuse to believe if Mr. Cox at some point of his life might be a dangerous psychotic. Taichi's brain then began to alarm him about the tagline of his favorite horror movie: It's not always what it looks like. He shook his head in hope that it would prevent his mind from playing tricks on him any further before taking a sip of his newly favorite drink. Despite the taste, the brunette had gotten used to the beverage as the safe amount of alcohol on his system started to take its toll.

"Back to the business, Man." Luke proceeded to bring up their current discussion after lighting up his cigarette. "You sure you have no idea about the whole Yamato's committing suicide thing?"

"I told you everything, Luke. He was looking so vivid the last time I saw him at school that- like I told you earlier, he even managed to give my nose a nice blow,"

The former collegian blinked in hesitation. "Okay I got it but what about your dick? You know- you may recall sticking it up on his ass, don't you?"

"Whoa whoa what is that supposed to mean?" The brunette jerked faintly on his seat with a very special look on his face; the same look he gave his mother when he was caught drinking milk directly from its carton. "What are you talking about?"

The quite amusing gesture the brunette was acting made Luke dying trying to suppress a snicker despite the situation. "So you two did not get laid that day before the incident?"

"What? What the fuck are you talking about, Luke?"

With that genuine and innocent reaction Taichi gave him, the drummer guy could tell that he was not lying. "Alright. Claudia, the nurse who assisted the doctor taking care of your- boyfriend?" He paused after furrowing his eyebrows. "Man, I like saying it. Your boyfriend, your boyfriend, Taichi's boyfriend, Taichi's fucking hot blonde boyfriend." The college dropout sang between chuckles like a retarded until his company gave him a threatening glare. "Alright alright, she is my friend. She told me that they found evidence of sexual assault on him." He lowered his voice after noticing a man with cowboy outfits on the far end of the counter gave him an interested look. "The doctor conveyed the information but I think Mr. Ishida assumed that it was you who did it. That's why he insisted on killing you back then at the hospital,"

"So-"

"So if you swear to every god and Buddha that you were not the one who did it, then somebody else had to do it. I think he was raped, Tai." The drummer guy spoke out his conclusion with narrowed eyes.

"What? I- I- it can't be! I can't believe it. It's just- shit!" Taichi could not have even imagined it. It was just, so wrong; too wrong. In order to distract his confusion, the brunette finished up his drink in one greedy gulp before grabbing Luke's and finished it up as well causing the drummer guy to blink in disbelief. As if it was deliberately commanded, the previously soft classical music in the bar transformed into such a dramatic upbeat Mexican theme; making the atmosphere became more heart-pumping. "Alright, I just gotta wait until he's awake and he's gonna tell me who did it and then I'll kick the goddamned rapist on the fucking ass straight to the cell and he'll rot there eaten by prison maggots until he dies." The brunette's breathing was hard and short like a raging dragon. He did not even bother to control the volume of his voice forcing Luke to give him a swift warning glare.

"Unfortunately Tai, your boyfriend will never remember."

"Now what? What now? You seem to have a lot of surprises for me,"

The barman's nephew put a concern look on his face and stared at his company deep in his brown eyes. "I'm sorry in advance, alright? I've been intending to tell you that- once he's awake, Yamato will suffer from amnesia."

"W- what? How-" Taichi felt his head begin to pound and spin like a smashed snooker ball as he absorbed the information. He could not actually tell whether it was the alcohol effect or his temper tantrum. "Shit!" And with that the brunette had found his already wrecked life ruined one more time.

If the blonde recovered from his comma, would he still even recognize him? If he did recognize him, would he remember his love for him? And if he did remember his love for him, would he like to preserve it?

Right then, everything seemed so blur and unreal to the brunette. More tasks were added to his already long to-do list making him wonder if he could handle it with cool mind. His father's issue, his boyfriend's father and brother difficulties, the obvious possibility of rape tragedy and the amnesia crap. He never ever thought that within less than a week, his life could evolve into a living nightmare.

TO BE CONTINUED

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