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.”
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.