Chapter 9: Like?

Some­how Hikaru felt a lot bet­ter. Maybe it was the sun shin­ing brightly, maybe it was the calmness of her last dream, she didn’t know. But it felt good, whatever it was. She hap­pily strolled in the dir­ec­tion of Yuugi’s place, which wasn’t really far from hers. And she would arrive soon, if she didn’t see Koibito along the way. “Hikaruuuu~!”, her friend waved her arms above her head, and Hikaru decided to talk to her for a while. Couldn’t hurt, right? “Hey Koibito, what are you doing?” Koibito blushed madly, shuffled her feet and muttered: “Wait­ing for Rysz­ard to pick me up. We have a date…” Hikaru applauded for her friend. “And you?” Shrug­ging, Hikaru replied: “Gonna ask Yuugi if he wants some ice cream. I asked Haruki to come with me but he’s busy study­ing.” Koibito and Hikaru looked at each other for a while, before they both burst into laughter. “Yeah right, and invit­ing Jöell!”, Koibito snickered. Hikaru nod­ded, gig­gling. Koibito sighed. Hikaru wiped away the tears that formed while laugh­ing. “I’d pay to see those two hit­ting off though.”, Koibito sud­denly said. “You’re scar­ing me again.”, Hikaru replied.


Yuugi answered the door him­self, he looked quite messy. “Are you okay?”, Hikaru asked him. Her friend glared at her, but let her in. Only when they both sat down in the liv­ing room Yuugi spoke up. “I think I hate the inter­net.” His voice soun­ded groggy. “I think I caught some­thing even while being off­line. I just want to sleep all day long.” With a deep sigh, Hikaru hugged Yuugi. “You’ll be fine, right?” Yuugi didn’t reply though. He looked away. Hikaru tried to cheer him up by hug­ging him some more, but it didn’t seem to help. “I actu­ally don’t want to sleep, my sys­tems go hay­wire when I do.”

Why’s that?”

Silence again. Then, in an unchar­ac­ter­istic fit of rage, Yuugi threw one of the pil­lows from the sofa. “I feel myself try­ing to con­nect with another net­work! That’s really dan­ger­ous, what if I infect oth­ers too?” Hikaru under­stood why Yuugi was so out of it. “Do you know what net­works? Can you track it in any way?” Yuugi nod­ded, wip­ing tears from his face. “I’m so sorry…”, he whispered. “But I’ve been con­nect­ing to you the whole time.”

Pure silence fell between the two.

Hikaru under­stood now. Her dreams were caused by Yuugi. They were formed because he had been study­ing for the his­tory test, just like the virus was sup­posed to do. Only the last dream was dif­fer­ent because Yuugi found out what was happening.

It all made sense.

Why… Why did you ask for my help?”, she said calmly. Yuugi was sob­bing quietly. “I- I wanted to- I need you to do some­thing. But I need to explain first…” His expres­sion was des­per­ate. Hikaru nod­ded. “I’ve been doing research in my sys­tem, and appar­ently it has an auto­matic way of con­nect­ing to another net­work when it’s broken in any way.”, Yuugi said, steady­ing his voice a little. “It… It only con­nects to net­works my mind finds safe enough…” Hikaru watched how Yuugi looked away, blush­ing slightly. Just like Koibito- Wait just a minute here! “Oh my-“, she whispered. Yuugi took a deep breath. “I like you, Hikaru.” Hikaru gasped. She opened her mouth to reply, but Yuugi hushed her. “I don’t want to know right now.”, he said. “Because the only way to get rid of this virus is to reboot my sys­tem com­pletely.” He paused, look­ing quite frus­trated. “I won’t remem­ber any­thing or any­one…” With a sigh, Yuugi con­cluded his story. “So I wanted to ask you… To be… To be nice to me even if I won’t remem­ber you. Even if I won’t remem­ber that I liked you. It will come back I’m sure of it! Just…” He struggled with his words, but Hikaru hugged him. Tightly, this time. “Don’t worry…”, she whispered. “I’m so sorry for caus­ing you so much trouble… You aren’t infec­ted though, so that’s good.”, Yuugi muttered. Hikaru hummed and stroke his head. “It’s fine. I will take care of you.” Clos­ing his eyes, Yuugi smiled. “Thank you.”

And Hikaru felt Yuugi go limp in her arms.

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