Author’s note: The following is a series of Jakotsu-centric challenge fics written from a list my dear friend and writing partner, Vega-chan, came up with for me. It’s is based on Killa Kay’s awesome collection of Gravitation short stories called “A to Z.” (You can find them in my favorite stories section.) Due to the nature of the word given, they can either be what I call “canon timeline” which is set before their first deaths or AU which is set in modern times and will be set in the “world” I created in my story, “Homecoming.”
“K” is for Kitty
Jakotsu lay there, half awake. He could feel the comforting sensations of someone looking after him; a soft hand on his pulse that moved to carefully check the IV in his hand, a few seconds later the cool hand laid itself against his forehead. Things grew interesting when the hand moved lower down, touching him clinically in the most intimate of places until a sharp pain brought him fully awake.
“Good morning, Sato-san,” the nurse said cheerily as she continued her assault on the cross-dresser’s nether-region. “I’m sorry, I know it’s unpleasant,” the nurse continued in the same cheery tones, “but I have to change your catheter this morning.”
Jakotsu grunted wearily in reply.
“If you’re feeling up to it, Sato-san, you have a visitor this morning.” The nurse smiled at him. “Your friend, Kinomoto-san, was here this morning. When I told him we needed to do a few things before he could stay, he went downstairs to the cafeteria for a cup of tea. You know he looks just like that record producer, what’s his name...? You know, Kusao Bankotsu-san... When I told him that he laughed and said he gets that all the time. Well, they do say everyone has a double out there somewhere...” She bustled about the room, checking things as Jakotsu felt himself drifting off to sleep. “Does your friend have a girlfriend?”
“Yeah...” Jakotsu coughed in reply.
“Too bad... Oh, he left you a present and he said you could open it when you wake up. Want me to help you?”
The cross-dresser nodded weakly. He felt like he was drowning in his own body fluids despite the fact he was sitting nearly upright.
“Okay... the nurse took the fancy paper bag, and opened it as a puzzled frown settled over her features. “I wonder if he’s made a mistake and some little girl is getting the present he intended for you...” she said as she pulled a “Hello Kitty” plushie out of the bag and set it on the beside table at his feet.
Jakotsu opened his eyes and saw that the little plushie was dressed in a pink kimono and he laughed, although, it sounded more like a coughing fit. “It’s for me...” he rasped out.
“Yeah...?” the nurse said as she increased the level of oxygen going into the tent that was draped over the cross-dresser.
Jakotsu nodded. He remembered...
“Long story....” the cross-dresser said weakly.
“A very long story,” Bankotsu said as he entered the room. “Good morning, Hideki-san, Sensei.”
The nurse giggled “If you’ll excuse me...?” she said as Bankotsu nodded and she left.
“How you feeling?”
“I know you hate it here but Sui said you had no choice as your right lung collapsed and you were in danger of having the other one collapse as well. Damn it, Sweetness, why the hell didn’t you say anything? You could have died!”
“Sorry... didn’t want to worry you...”
Bankotsu shook his head. “So you worried me more. Idiot...” he said softly.
Jakotsu smiled. “Thanks...”
“I figured you’d like it, although, I felt like an idiot, myself, buying it. Stupid cashier recognized me.”
Jakotsu coughed. “Don’t make me laugh...” he rasped.
“‘s okay... I’m glad you got me one...”
“Yeah... I told you I used to collect them...?”
“My parents found them... and threw them all out... every last stinking one of them...” Jakotsu said sadly.
“I know, you told me and you also told me the one in the kimono was your favorite.”
Jakotsu nodded. “We spent all day...” He coughed. “In that pachinko parlor...ahem...” he coughed again. “Trying to win one...”
“Yeah...” Bankotsu smiled at the memory. “Thank goodness you can buy the real-deal.”
Jakotsu half laughed, half coughed.
Bankotsu frowned until the cross-dresser weakly waved his hand as if to say he was fine.
“Uh, Sweetness, don’t get any ideas about decorating the place with that crap.”
“I won’t... besides, why have a Hello Kitty... when I have you to snuggle up with at night...?”
“You don’t like it?”
“No, no, no... I like her very much... and I’m glad you bought her for me... she’ll keep me company when you’re gone...”
“I wish I could stay longer.”
“I know... but they have stupid rules...” the cross-dresser rasped as waves of exhaustion washed over him.
“For good reason too. You need to get some rest and I’ll be back later...” Bankotsu trailed off softly as Jakotsu closed his eyes. He sat there watching his lover sleep, until he noticed morning visiting hours were nearly over. Getting up, the young record producer looked around to make sure no one would disturb them, before picking up the Hello Kitty plushie. He came closer to his lover, and lifting the edge of the oxygen tent, Bankotsu slipped the plushie underneath. A few tense minutes later, Bankotsu had the plushie resting in the crook of Jakotsu’s arm. “Sleep well, Sweetness,” he whispered as he gently brushed his fingers against the cross-dresser’s cheek. After making sure everything was exactly as it was before he touched the oxygen tent, Bankotsu left.
Jakotsu slept off and on during the day, stirring only when someone came in to check his vitals and change his IV bag. After a while, he was able to tell the difference between an IV containing medication and the ones the hung up for nourishment. Through it all, the Hello Kitty remained by his side.
“Hey, Sweetness...” a familiar voice said, pulling Jakotsu from his dreams.
“Feeling better? You’ve slept most of the afternoon away,” his lover said, Bankotsu sat in the hospital room’s only chair, a book in his hand.
“Yup. But then you need to regain your strength, so I guess all this sleeping’s good, no?”
“Must be... do it a lot...”
“So, are you feeling any better?”
“Yeah... I had a nice...nap with Kitty...” Jakotsu started coughing.
“Sweetness?!” Bankotsu started to stand up and come over to him, but the cross-dresser weakly waved him away.
“I’ll be fine...” Jakotsu said, punctuating each word with a cough. “Stay with me...” The cross-dresser’s breathing was shallow and raspy and while it worried his lover, Bankotsu stayed put.
He watched his lover for twenty minutes, before Bankotsu realized the cross-dresser had drifted off to sleep again. He wanted to gently brush the hair out of Jakotsu’s eyes; instead he contented himself with simply watching him sleep. Bankotsu was pleased to note that his lover seemed more relaxed and less drawn than he had this morning. “I hope you’re helping, Kitty,” he murmured softly. Getting up, and coming over to his lover, Bankotsu whispered, Good-bye, Sweetness, sleep well...” Bankotsu turned and headed out of the room. “Hey, Sui...” he said softly.
“Ban. How is he?”
“Sleepy, but that’s good, right?”
“Yeah, he’s getting better, so don’t worry, Ban. They’ve been monitoring his temperature, so no more scares like the other night.”
“That’s good. I was so afraid I was going to lose him...”
Suikotsu nodded. “He had a seizure because he was severely dehydrated due to the fever. Once we changed his meds, his temperature went down. You know yourself, he rarely gets sick, but when he does, he gets hit hard by it.”
“Tell me about it.”
“My guess is he got strep from Sango’s eldest, and instead of getting a sore throat like everyone else, it went to his chest and Jak, being Jak, ignored it.” Suikotsu chuckled softly. “He’s going to be fine, Ban, now that we know exactly what it is. And I don’t want you fussing over him next time he gets a cold either. Just let him be, unless he looks like he’s half dead no matter what he says. Then I want you to call me and I’ll deal with it.”
“Good... Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a patient to see and you, my friend, need to go home and sleep.”
Bankotsu yawned. “Don’t remind me. It’s just that it’s so hard sleeping without him.” He grinned sheepishly. “It’s funny how you get used to those things.”
“I know... I’ll see you tomorrow, Ban.”
“‘night, Sui...” Bankotsu said and with that, the two men went their separate ways.
The cross-dresser slept peacefully, not even stirring when Suikotsu came in to check his vitals. The pediatrician, who also acted as Jakotsu’s physician, had admitted him to the hospital three days ago and every night when he finished his regular duties at his clinic, he made a point to be there for his friend. Suikotsu smiled when he spotted the plushie as Jakotsu seemed to be resting easier than before. I’m glad you listen to my advice last night, Ban...
Jakotsu woke up a few hours later, when the hospital was quiet and the lighting dimmer. The nightshift had started their rounds and when the cross-dresser opened his eyes, he found himself looking at the warm smile of the night nurse. “Hello, nurse...” he said softly.
She laughed. “Feeling better, Sato-san?”
Jakotsu frowned. Sato-san...? Oh yeah! That’s me... He mentally giggled. “Yes, thank you... I got a present today...”
“I see,” the nurse said. “But aren’t you a little too old to be playing with ‘Hello Kitty?’” she teased.
Jakotsu coughed out a laugh. “Well... seeing as my doctor’s really a pediatrician... I think not...” he teased back.
She laughed as she checked his pulse. “Well, my young friend, I need to check your temperature, and get a bed ready for you in pediatrics if you’re well enough to leave here tomorrow.”
“What...? And leave ICU... and all the pretty nurses...?”
“Are you flirting with me, Sato-san?”
“Depends... do you want me to flirt with you...?”
The nurse laughed. “And make your boyfriend jealous? I think not. Now open up...” She held out a thermometer.
Jakotsu dutifully opened his mouth and closed it around the thermometer. They waited in silence for it to beep. When it beeped, the nurse looked at it and smiled.
“According to this, you’re going to be here a little longer, Sato-san, as your fever’s still a bit high.”
“Yup, pediatrics’ll have to wait another day or two. At least you have your little friend for company.” The nurse said as she gave everything a final check. “Good night, Sato-san.”
“‘night...” Jakotsu replied as he watched her leave. “I guess it’s just you and me now, Kitty...” he said softly. “What’s that...? How’d I wind up here...?” The cross-dresser sat the plushie on his stomach. “Well... I got sick...” he said softly. “Ban... the cutie that rescued you... from a fate worse than death... living with some eight year old girl... well... he came home... and found me passed out on the sofa...” Jakotsu paused as he coughed. The cross-dresser weakly pushed himself upright. The pain in his chest and sensation of drowning scared him until he spotted the plushie on his lap. Somehow he calmed down enough to find the button to make the back of his bed rise and he pushed it. When it met his back, the cross-dresser settled back and continued his story.
“Or so he says... All I know is I’m here... and I was scared and lonely... until you came...” He coughed again. “Ewww... green gunk... gotta tissue..? No...?” Jakotsu called for a nurse.
“I need...” He coughed again. “A tissue...”
“Okay, Sato-san...” the nurse soothed. She placed them inside the oxygen tent and watched as Jakotsu wiped off his hand. “You’re not coughing up blood?”
Jakotsu shook his head. “Just green crap...”
“Okay...” The nurse checked his pulse. Frowning slightly, she checked his blood pressure. “You need to relax, Sato-san, if you’re going to get better.”
The cross-dresser nodded as the nurse adjusted his IV. “I’ll be back to check on you in a half-hour.” She dimmed the lights as she left.
“Anyways...” Jakotsu rasped. “I’m glad you’re here... and I’m glad Sui admitted me here under Sato... Who’s Sato...? My grandfather... Ban calls himself... after Touya...”
The plushie simply sat there and Jakotsu imagined it was listening to him with rapt attention.
“I hate it here...” He coughed. “I miss Ban... I hate being woken up... all the time... I’m sick damn it... and no one’ll leave me alone...” Jakotsu took a deep breath as best he could. He could feel tears of frustration threatening to spill down his cheeks and he knew if he did not calm down, the nurses would be back, fussing over him. So he reached for his plushie and held her tight. “I wish it was you, Ban... this sucks... I’m lonely... and worried about you...the only time I feel better...” He coughed. “Is when they drug me up...”
Jakotsu closed his eyes. He groaned softly when he heard a knock on the door, and then the sound of it opening quickly followed. His only consolation was a single set of footsteps that approached his bed.
“What’s the matter, Jak?”
“I miss Ban... Sui...”
“Hello Kitty’s not helping?”
Jakotsu shook his head.
“Want me to stay with you for a bit?”
“No, I was here before but you were asleep so I decided to let you be. I’m also going to see what I can do about making arrangements for Ban to stay in your room tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Suikotsu said softly as he checked Jakotsu’s pulse. “They do it in certain situations and I think this qualifies as one.” He counted softly to himself. “Good... your heart rate is much better now. Jak, the reason I admitted you is more for your exhaustion than your pneumonia.”
The cross-dresser opened his eyes and looked at him.
“It’s making it worse. You need to relax. When you’re calm, your breathing evens out and you stop panicking about not being able to breathe,” Suikotsu calmly explained. “Then you cough softly, which doesn’t hurt and it helps loosen everything up. But rapid breathing will cause your lungs to spasm like an asthma attack, making it hurt and a vicious cycle starts. So calm the hell down,” he raised his voice, although Jakotsu knew he was teasing him. “Doctor’s orders.”
Jakotsu smiled. “Okay, Sensei... So how much longer...?”
“If all goes well, another week or two. If you took better care of yourself when you’re sick, you could have recovered at home.”
“Well, you live and learn, eh?”
Jakotsu nodded. “And get Luvs...”
“Diaper ad... I saw it... when we went to New York...” Jakotsu said breathlessly.
Suikotsu laughed. “I had a good time with you in New York.”
“Yeah... me too...” Jakotsu said wistfully.
“Some things aren’t meant to be, Jak, and you know it. “
“Yeah... I know...”
“Besides, Ban’s a keeper.”
“I know...” Jakotsu smiled.
“As long as you do,” Suikotsu said as Jakotsu nodded wordlessly. Smirking, the pediatrician reached under the oxygen tent and pulled out Jakotsu’s plushie.
“Hey... give her back...”
“No!” Suikotsu teased.
“Come on... Sui...” The cross-dresser coughed.
“Are you okay, Sato-san?” Suikotsu said in a high pitched voice as he moved the plushie from side to side.
Jakotsu giggled softly. “I’m fine... Kitty-san...”
“Sensei says he’s worried about you.”
“Tell him... not to worry... Ban has my heart...”
The cross-dresser smiled. “Kitty-san...?”
“Yeah... I started to introduce myself... got sidetracked...”
Suikotsu frowned. “Maybe I should go? You’re pushing yourself again.”
“In a minute... I want to tell Kitty-san my name...”
“Oh...” Suikotsu chuckled as Jakotsu smiled back at him.
“It’s Jakotsu... and stay here with me... I’m more fun...” he teased.
“Hey, I resent that!”
“You’re a doctor, I’m a media icon... you tell me who’s more fun...”
“You win. Kitty-san, Jakotsu, over there, is far more colorful than your kimono,” Suikotsu said to the plushie. “Knowing him as well as I do, you’ll have a fun and glamorous life with him... Just one word of advice, stay on Ban’s good side, as I don’t want him getting jealous of you.”
“Jealous...?” the cross-dresser rasped.
“Yeah. Kitty-san’s the first woman I’ve ever seen you sleep with.”
“So who knows what that’ll lead to?”
The cross-dresser coughed. “Sui... you’re killing me... Kitty-san, don’t believe him... I like you... but I love Ban...”
“It’s okay...” Suikotsu said as he pretended the plushie was speaking. “We believe you.”
“Good, now come back... I want to sleep...” Jakotsu sighed softly and closed his eyes.
Suikotsu put the plushie back under the oxygen tent. Adjusting the oxygen level, he said, “Good night, Jak, Kitty-san.”
“‘night, Sensei...” Jakotsu rasped softly, as he playfully held up the plushie.
Suikotsu chuckled, and shaking his head at his friend’s antics, left the room.
“‘night, Kitty...” Jakotsu said as he held her close...
Author’s end note: Next up is “L” is for Lust.