As a startled Tsurugi opened his eyes, he could hardly believe it.
"You shouldn't be sleeping! It's almost to practice."
The person talking in front of him was none other than Tenma, healthy and bright and never looked better.
"Come on! Get up already!" he scolded. Tsurugi was too shocked to speak but he got up to Tenma's wishes. Just what was going on? Tenma was shot. Why is he here and how did they get there?
"You're so slow! If you don't start getting it together, I might replace!" Tenma said, irritating Tsurugi a bit as he knocked his head.
"Over my dead body." He said to him. Dead body…
"Tsurugi, is something wrong? You look a little pale." Tenma said.
"Hu? No, it's nothing. I just had a nightmare." He answered, making Tenma chuckle.
"Really? So even you get nightmares too?" Tenma asked. "What was it about it?"
Tsurugi didn't answer however. He'd rather not tell him. Still, he was glad that it was all just a dream.
Tenma looked at him curiously but then he sighed a bit.
"Tsurugi, what's going to happen to me?"
"Huh?" Tsurugi said. "What do you mean?"
"I think you and I both know what I'm talking about." He said. "I know things have been tough for you; first with my accident and then you had to spend days watching over me, even though you weren't sure about it."
"Wha-Why are you saying all this?" Tsurugi asked in surprise, wondering what was happening.
"You can't lie about it. I know how concerned you were about my memories then." He said. "And now, you're wondering if I'll ever wake up, right?"
Tsurugi was just too confused but strangely, he didn't feel like hiding anything.
"So what if I am?" he admitted.
"Don't you think that's strange?" Tenma asked. Tsurugi didn't know what he meant and then he stretched his hand out to him. "Remember now?"
"You have to more precise than this." Tsurugi said. Tenma smiled at him but it wasn't one of his usual silly grins. It was a calm, serene smile. Tsurugi looked his outstretched hand and then, he felt a tug in the back of his mind. He didn't understand but he began to reach out for Tenma's hand. Their fingers were just about to touch when something sharp hit him.
The next thing he knew, his eyes bolted up and he found himself groaning, his back aching as he lied on the floor. He looked and there was the familiar, husky man from before.
"Well, well…finally awake are we, sleeping beauty?" he asked. Tsurugi frowned and he picked himself up.
"No, I was a having a nightmare." He answered. "You were in it."
"Oh, you mean from when I pummeled and you just lied there like a girl?" he said back. "Wait, I happen to know a girl who punches better than you. I wouldn't to insult them by putting you on their level."
Tsurugi let out a low growl until he saw Tenma and the dream came back to his head but now it seemed embarrassing. He looked away, hoping not to the man behind him on about what he might have dreamed.
"Now get out will you?" he said, making Tsurugi forget his dream immediately.
"And why should I listen to you?" he snarled.
"Who said you had to?" he replied and soon, Tsurugi was shocked, yelling out as the man raised him up by the back of his neck with one hand and resumed to throw him out of the room roughly, making him yelp as the same shoulder landed on the cold tiles.
Tsurugi managed to send him one, hate-filled glare before he shut the door with a click of he lock. Bah! He had to go to school anyway!
He was picking his things up when he noticed the nurses and doctors staring peculiarly at him. A vein popped.
"AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT!?" he yelled. Even though he was just a kid, all the adults went running, having completely forgotten that.
"Where on Earth have you been? How many weeks and not a single a call?! Do you know how worried I was?" Natsumi asked, fuming with so much anger that almost rivaled that of Emmy's but he could see them watering a bit so it wasn't all completely in fury and she really knew how to make him feel bad for it.
"I know. I know… I'm really sorry but it's just some things came up it wasn't exactly, well, it's just complicated. I don't even think I should say anything about it." Endou admitted. It wasn't even his to say. The only person who had a say in it was her.
"If you knew, why didn't you call? I mean, Emmy was the first person you called!" she sobbed. Endou wrapped his wife in his arms as he consoled and soothed her as best he could.
"Sorry. I should have called. I know things have been hard. Emmy called me up and told me what happened." Endou said. Natsumi just sniffled and held him. Endou hated to say this but he had to leave again soon to return to his job at Raimon and then to visit Tenma since yesterday's visit went disastrously.
"I'm sorry but I don't think we've met before." Endou said. The gruff man merely stared back.
Endou already had a guess based on Tsunami's overdramatic description of him which wasn't so overdramatic now. He really was big in every sense of the word and his glares could definitely stop most in their tracks. The resemblance between father and child was very striking.
In Fuyuka's mind however, she was too shocked to even give a comment. Why was this man here!? Where was Dr. Itsukura!? He was supposed to be watching Tenma now so why wasn't here protecting him from this brute!?
The man didn't answer. He could sense the ambient hostility coming from the purple-haired nurse. Just another nosy shrew who thought she knew everything when it was nothing. He'd already had enough of those annoying types which was why he wanted to be alone but even now…
"That is of no concern to you." He answered back with a feeling of déjà vu, sure he had said before more than once, perhaps out of habit.
"Actually, it is." Endou answered. "I'm the coach of the Raimon Eleven. Who you are and how you're related to a player on my team is definitely my business."
"If you cared so much, where were you then when this happened." He asked with a rather piercing, black glare.
"…I understand your feeling but you and I both know well enough that no one could have foreseen this." Endou said in a polite but stern and domineering manner. "I just asked for your name. If it's nothing Fuyuppe should be worried about, then there shouldn't be a problem with you telling us that."
"And what happens if I don't?" he threatened with a glare that sent Fuyuka quivering which was rare in itself considering that her father was amongst the most intimidating in Inazuma.
"I have a friend who works in the media." He answered steadfastly. Inwardly, however, he was nervous. He wasn't so sure about this but it was worth a try. "If you don't tell me, then I'll tell her about Hikari."
As soon as he said, the man's tough and authoritarian aura vanished and he suddenly began sweating bullets as he looked at Endou in shock.
"You…! How did you-!?"
Looks he hit a nerve or maybe more.
"So do we have a deal?" Endou asked. The man grumbled and maybe cursed a little and then to Fuyuka's surprised, he nodded his in compliance. Just what happened?
Endou noticed her bafflement and whispered as low as possible, "I'll tell you…if I can."
He sighed to himself as he left the principal's office after having finished explaining the reason for his absence and it was pretty darn easy. A little intimidation and they practically gave him the thumbs up. Still, it wasn't like he didn't see them as threats.
He still remembered about Fuyukai and his sabotage attempt ten years ago and from day one, when he saw him standing there next to the principal, he swore that if he saw him try to do anything, he would make him wish that he hadn't stopped Emmy from coming over to his house that day to give him a taste of her knuckles.
Anyway, although he managed to reason with that man the day before, because he had to spend so much time doing that, visiting hours had already finished and so he wasn't able to talk to the doctor in charge of Tenma whom Fuyuppe was sure would be there and since that was what it said on Tenma's schedule which the doctor in said had set up himself.
Endou was too curious over the strange situation but with his return, he wouldn't be able to visit Tenma until the afternoon so until then, he might as well return to doing his job.
He just he hoped that he wouldn't be there this time to cause trouble but something told him that he would. He saw Tsurugi leaving a room and heading to Tenma's direction as he was leaving the hospital building and just as he was walking back to the soccer clubroom, he saw Tsurugi pass by him again, covered in bruises and muttering, "…stupid old jerk…I'll show that…"
He was so angry that he didn't even notice the coach's return as he stood right there close by.
"Guess he's back again." Endou sighed.
The man gaze intently at the piece of cut apple. He had just finished peeling it with his trusty knife. He set the apple pieces by Tenma's side who was still asleep in a plate.
A man in a white coat came in with a just as frightening glare as the other man in the room.
"Wow. I've never seen you this rattled up before. Mind telling me what happened?" he asked.
"You? Concerned, Itsukura? That's not like you at all." He retorted.
"Right back at you big fellow." He said with his back against the door while looking at his patient.
"This kid got real lucky, you know that? If the doctor had been anyone else, this game of charade you set up would have been up." He said. "Now I've been looking after 'Tenma', completely blind for a while now so I think I deserve some answers, don't you?"
The man wasn't as surprised. Itsukura wasn't the type who liked to be left in the dark, especially since he let her in on it and not him.
"It looks like this is the place." Emmy told herself. Endou must have had his hands full to ask her to do something as simple as an inquiring information for him.
She stood outside the quaint eatery, feeling she'd seen it before. "It seems like everyone is involved with this case. This could get interesting."