Title: Not To Be
Warnings: Very sad. I must say; it even made me cry, and I knew what was going to happen all the while
Summary: Six scenarios in which our seven favorite people were never born
Authors Notes: I warn you--for those who are happy go lucky, this will majorly bring ya down. Well, if not majorly, then at least slightly. It is...I didn't even know I could write stuff like this, but I do give myself kudos for thinking of a different scenarior for each host, and if anyone can spot my little puns, I'll give them a cookie! ^^
Disclaimer: I do not own Ouran. I want to. I don't. And I also don't know if I own the people who's names I made up...Let's just say no one does.
Hitachiin Yazura could feel the tiny tears pinpricking the corner of her hazel eyes, welling up and threatening to spill over like cascading waterfalls into the bottomless pond. Her hands shook violently, left hand fingers clenched so tightly on the picture that her right fingers traced that tiny creases were made in the thin paper. Her breath, so weak and shallow, hitches violently and a single tear is jerked loose from the hidden pool of hundreds, if not thousands in wait.
She didn’t want this. This was abnormal and unhealthy and, above all, dangerous. For herself and those…things…
Were they boys or girls? They were one or the other, she decided, finger tips touching the part of the sonogram where the two bodies interest and merge until there’s no telling which one is which and if they ever disengage again. Their first baby picture. Their proof of temporary life. Their hips and waists and groins that were conjoined, to never be separated.
The phone rung at that moment and Yazura jumped as if an atomic bomb had just gone off within a foot of her presence. It was her cell phone, the screen alighted and the block lettering spelling ‘Ritsuka’ across the front, and her lungs depleted in relief, breath successfully blowing the picture out of her fingers.
Shakily, she grasped the phone with feigned security and flipped it open, pressing the receiver close to her mouth. “H-hello?”
“Hi, Honey,” answered the pleasant voice from the other end of the line, sounding self pleased and warm. That voice had always had the power to calm Yazura’s nerved, but today was not a day when her husband’s smooth voice could sooth her. “How are you?”
“Alright,” she lied, managing to sound cheery. “Just great. You?”
“I just sold seventeen stocks in CD-Roms this month,” Ritsuka sounded elated with himself, but there was obviously something that he really wanted to know. “But, I’ve really been missing you. Did you…” he trailed off purposefully, leaving his tone to imply the rest of the question, and the warm smile growing wider verbally.
Her breathing hitched again, and Yazura remained silence with contemplation. What had the doctor said, again? Oh, yes!
‘Yes, Hitachiin-sama…It appears that you are pregnant. Congratulations! This is oh so pleasant to say; you conceived twins. Two different heart beats, although we could barely tell the difference between the two—they were so in sync. But, sadly, that’s what brings me here…’
‘Your children, be them boys or girls, are identical…And conjoined…By the hip, the groin and the stomach. Perhaps the heart, too, but for sure a lot of the major organs, and this poses a threat to the children and yourself during gestation and delivery…I don’t think it’s wise to…allow this pregnancy to continue…’
‘But, doctor, my husband and I have been trying for a long time to have children. Why would we give these…two up?’
‘You can always conceive again, Hitachiin-sama. I assure you, you can. And that way, your child or children will have a more likely chance to survive and live a pain free existence. They…at this stage, survival and quality of life are low. It would by a horribly short existence for at least one of them, and extremely painful for a small child who has no idea what’s happening to his or her body. It is all your choice, though, but as a doctor, I must inform you of the risks.…I’ll leave it up to you…’
“Yazura?” She heard Ritsuka asking again, sounding a little more worrisome and concerned. She imagined him leaning forward on his desk, or sitting up straight on the hotel bed he had spent more nights on than his own. “Yazura? Sweetheart? Are you alright?”
“No? Well, would you like to call the maids? You should lie down, my darling, until you feel better and recover. You can call me then and we can continue talking. If you’re not feeling well—“
“No, I’m fine…I’m just…not pregnant…I’m sorry, Ritsuka…”
Their first baby picture. Kept in a shoes box in the farthest compartment of her large walk-in closet shoe room. Their last baby picture.
Anne Sophie would had giggled when her back hit the bed and bounced back up to remain flush against Suoh Yuzuru, the Japanese business man that was traveling abroad, and allowed their mouths to crash just as passionately together as they had downstairs. It was a sweet kiss, passion aside and emotions allowed, flowing freely. It left Anne Sophie feeling weak in the knees, strong in the heart, light in the head and heavy…
“Yuzuru, I love you,” she whispered, pulling back from the kiss and reaching up her right hand, adorned with two small rings, against his cheeks, under his chin and then back around his neck, pulling him to her. “I really do.”
It was a little sudden, but not unwelcome. Yuzuru smiled into the next kiss, tongues delving in and out, creating the perfect rhythm of passion and fire on top of their cloths. It was wondrous, sexual yet innocent, and the different smells—his, cologne and expensive wines, hers wild lilacs and the fresh baked bread that her maid made every night. They mingled, as their bodies did and soon enough, they both knew where this night was going to end.
And it was so wrong.
“I’m sorry,” Yuzuru said, pulling away, and clutching at the top of his pants which had started to slip down in the friction, and reaching over to pull his shirt off of the floor of Anne Sophie’s bedroom, finding her shirt and handing it over as a gentleman would. “Look, I am so sorry…I just can’t…I’m…I’m…”
“You’re married?” she asked, accusing not laced in her words, but confusion and a little surprise. Her gaze dropped, fingers clenching in the fabric of her comforter. “Oh…I knew that,” she said, somewhat sadly as she remembered what her mother had said when they had first met the Suoh’s at that dinner party, and had watched them from across the room. “No…You don’t have to be…I’m sorry.”
“This is…This won’t work right now,” he apologized. He could see the disappointment in Anne Sophie’s face, coupled with disappointment, embarrassment and faded love…Love..? “But—but I do, too!”
“You what?” she asked, confused.
“I love you, too,” he assured her, holding out a hand and brush her knuckles on the bedspread. “I think I love you, too…And I think…I know, I’ll ask my mother if I can marry you…I love you, Anne Sophie.”
Ask? What did he mean?
But the fact that he loved her? And he wanted to marry her? A bubbly smile roamed across her face with pleasure much different from what she had been feeling a few minutes earlier. “I love you, too, Yuzuru. And I hope your mother will let me marry you…And then we can!”
Ootori Hitori sighed, curling on her side in the expansive hospital bed, knees drawn up to her chest as if trying to compensate for the empty space that seemed to suddenly appear in her mid-section. Her long, black hair was splayed across the ruffly pillows that were plumped hourly by the orderly. Her eyes were wide, dry and staring blankly at the pale peach wall opposite, transfixed on the huge mural of assorted baby pictures and newborn names, labeling each baby that had been born in this hospital. Just the sight of them made her feel some lost emotion that she couldn’t place.
Her stomach gurgled lightly, and there was a shooting pain up her spin that wrenched a pained gasp from her, which was quickly silenced by the firm biting of the pillow that left large, red lip marks on the otherwise pristine pillowcase. She wanted to cry; wanted to scream, rant and wail like the little girl she was feeling. She didn’t want to care about the sweat forming on her brows or the blood that was forming on her mouth whenever she bit her lip. Her pale and pasty skin looked translucent , sorry and sickly.
She wanted, at that moment, to die.
The door burst open with a wild flourish and children—three, who were at any other time, well behaved and well mannered kids—flew into the room with the clatter of feet and a few worried cries, and they flung themselves onto the foot of her bed; five-year-old Akito pulling the bed sheet and grasping Hitori’s feet as if that would comfort her, seven-year-old Kio trying to pull the pillow and exchange it for the clean and fresh one that was sitting off to the side, and Fuyumi clutching at her fingers and looking around for a washcloth to wipe the sweat as only the eldest child—a fourteen year old girl—could do.
She wanted, at that moment, to cry.
“Mother, are you alright?”
“Do you want my teddy bear? He’ll make it all better!”
Hitori forced a smile and brushed her hair out of her face in an attempt to look normal before reaching down to calm her three children. It was overwhelming, and a little crazy an idea to deal with the three children she’d had at intervals in her life, but Hitori reveled in it. She loved every single child she’d ever meet, hers more than others, and always found happiness in their presence, and physical pain at their demise.
Another figure appeared in the doorway, and she looked over Fuyumi’s shoulder to spot her husband, Ootori Yoshio, standing there, looking proud and complacent, as always, but to the well trained eye, they could spot the worry lines and tired bags under his eyes. But no one, except Hitori, could really see it. Perhaps the children could, but currently, they were all too focused on their mother.
All she could do was stare, trying her best to communicate with her eyes that she was ever so sorry about…everything…And for a second, it seemed as if he understood and accepted it.
Then the trance was broken, and Akito placed his small and slightly chubby hand on the now flat midsection, and his curious and still uncultured voice asked, “Wahere did the baiybe goo?”
Tears threatened to fall, once again, and this time, as she squinted her eyes shut in embarrassment and lose, Hitori felt three tears fell and alight upon her shoulder and breast in utter defeat. She felt so sick. So, incredibly sick that death, it seemed, was imminent. She had never been particularly healthy; it was like she had only held on to her health this long for the thing that had been growing in her just mere hours before, and was now lost, and without that thing, there was no reason for her to exist or live. It made her feel sick…
“I…I lost the baby…” she whispered to Akito, although her voice carried to Fuyumi and Kio, as well, both of whom flinched. “Mommy…She couldn’t hold the baby as long as she had to, and the baby…” she made little flying motions and pointed out the large window behind her, towards the sky. “He flew away…”
“He?” Yoshio asked, his voice unnaturally even and measured.
“Yes…” Hitori murmured, hugging her youngest child’s head to her chin and gazing at the rest of her family. “The doctors said he was a boy…” She was about to tell her husband the name she had chosen for the miscarried baby when he turned sharply and strode out of the room, murmuring something that would insure Hitori’s heartbreak, even if he didn’t mean it in quite the sense she took it as.
“There was no place for a third son, anyway…”
“Push!” the nurse demanded, squeezing Morinozuka Yukio’s hand to encourage the woman and allow the labored woman to hoist herself off of the bed and bend up to her knees, a scream escaping her chapped lips. “Come on, you’re doing great.”
She wanted to snap at them, tell them to shut the hell up and just do her job—but then again, this was her job, to support expecting mothers during childbirth. But at the same time, Yukio couldn’t help but wonder if she had ever had children, and if she had chosen to do it naturally—a decision that seemed to be a stupider and stupider one as time worn on. She wanted to swear, but couldn’t quite allow her teeth to leave her lip long enough to shout anything discernable.
Was it worth it? Yukio’s mother had assured her that having her, her two sisters and her brother had been entirely worth it—not only from the marriage to the Haninozuka family, but also the feeling of a baby and the feeling of the birth. She had described, vividly, the feeling of the baby’s first breath as she had held all four of her children, and that thought had made the small, blond woman feel better about the whole ordeal. Now she wanted to kick something.
“Push!! Push, Morinozuka-senpai! You can do it!” She didn’t want this girl in pigtails. She wanted her husband, but he was…elsewhere. Doing something. A stray tear ran down her cheek, but was not out of place given the situation.
It hurt, deeply. Especially in her lower abdomen and groin area, and it burned incessantly as the… the thing inside her made its trek towards the outside world. She wanted it out; the thing seemed to want it out, and nothing could stop them as wills seemed to match and the final stretch was rounded.
Yukio collapsed on the thin hospital sheets, panting, sweating, exhausted and clutching her knees and thighs together as the sharp flames receded into a dull throbbing and warm feeling. She attempted to regain breath, and succeeded, closing her eyes and waiting…waiting…For what?
There was nothing.
“Why isn’t he crying?” she demanded shakily. Lifting her head off of the stretcher, she gazed sharply at the main nurse, who had not yet left her side and was still clutching her hand. The woman was looking at the doctors, all three of whom had their back to the woman and were talking in voices too low to be heard above the sound of the air conditioning. “Why isn’t my baby crying?”
Babies cried when they were born. It was customary to cry when seeing light and feeling cold for the first time, a knee jerk reaction to shock and discomfort. Yukio had known this even without her mother’s guidance and it was probably this fear of the lack of sobs that gave her the energy to sit up on the bed and prepare to swing her legs over the side of the bed.
It all happened so fast—a whirlwind of emotion, noises and commotion. The nurse pushed her, gently but surly, back onto the bed, the door opened and shut in time as the doctors made a speedy escape out of room, and the blond on the bed shouted a number of obscenities that were often deemed ‘unfit’ for women of her class and standing to repeat. There was a tussle as more nurses arrived and helped the first hold her don, for despite her side, the woman had often spent time building her muscle strength, and now employed every ounce she pertained.
“Where’s my baby!?! Where the hell did you take him!!?? Let go of me. LET GO OF ME!!” Tears streamed down her face as she threatened, pleaded, and physically battled the women trying to keep her still.
Nothing availed, expect perhaps a few black eyes and swollen arms, and a sedative was administered. Sleep found Yukio in the place of despair and worry, tossing fitfully in a medically induced sleep until the drug finally wore off. Blinking lethargically, her eyes watered in the overly bright light until a shadow crossed over the blare and there was a different nurse than the one before. Or…was she a nurse?
Feeling the pain in her sore muscles but ignoring it, the Morinozuka sat up—this time unhindered and unrestrained—and glared at the woman. She wore all black. “Where’s my son? When can I see him?”
“Morinozuka-sama…I am a grief counselor. The nurses thought that it would be a good idea for me to come here and talk to you…I believe that—“ She looked down as Yukio gasped and clutched a hand to her mouth to stifle her sob. “I understand that this is the first time anyone has told you, but your baby was stillborn… He died in the womb—“
“No!” the blond screamed. “No! You’re lying! I felt him kicking! He was kicking me an hour before I went into labor!! You’re lying!!” But, deep down, she knew that there was no lie in the counselor’s eyes or words, and that hurt more than if the woman had been lying to her.
She knew he had been too quiet.
Something was wrong. Rei knew it. Katsurou knew it. Somehow, both the expecting parents knew that there was something wrong, but neither could exactly say what. The Haninozuka estate was quiet that day; an ever busy Katsurou went about his business in the household training dojo, and a six month pregnant Rei waddled about her daily routine with increasing difficultly as a blossoming pain crept up her spine.
She bit her lip as the pot she was brewing coffee in for the guests they were expecting in the near future slipped from her grasp and shattered on the floor. Grumbling her herself in discomfort and exasperation, she lowered herself to the floor, using the counter as a balancing point and started to pick up the small shards. Clumsy was never one of her personality traits, but the do-it-yourself one was practically engrained into her skin and always showed itself in the lack of calls to the maids and lack of demands to the caretakers, as well as the lack of a hired nanny for her expected child.
Rei clutched her stomach as a blinding pain—much harder than the ones she had been experiencing earlier and much more pointed towards her heart and nerves—rocketed through her body, making the woman bend double and cradle her baby bump, swaying back and forth as she had as a child when throwing up. It hurt. Oh, did it hurt. This was painful, and she had no idea what had set it off and no way to—
Well, there was now one way to tell the problem. As a pocket seemed to burst inside of her and warm liquid fell down her legs, Rei screamed for her husband. “Katsurou!! Katsurou!!” She did now know why she expected the man she loved to be able to hear her from a third of a mile away, but someone had heard her.
The tall, petite housekeeper—the only one from a foreign country—Favorite, slipped out from one of the house’s many ancient servant’s passageway, looking shocked and then falling to her own knees at Rei’s side. “Mon dame!” My lady! She gasped, her accent strong. “Are you alright? Is it zee baby?”
“G-get my husband,” Rei breathily demanded, one hand still on her stomach as the other reached up to Favorite’s shoulder and bunched in the fabric of her dress. “Please. Get him—call the hospital. S-something’s wrong.”
“Oui, madame!” Favorite acknowledged, turning to leave only to be pulled back. “Madame?”
“Hurry—something’s wrong! Something’s very wrong. It’s my fault. It’s all my fault. Something’s wrong. Something’s hurting him!” She was hysterical now; an emotion that rarely befell the face of the pretty Haninozuka wife. “Please! Please, please! Get him! Save him! Get him out!”
Her stomach visibly contracted under her clothing and a scream left Rei’s lips and she clutched the broken glass that was still in her hand so hard that they pierced the skin and red trickled down her wrist. Rei didn’t even notice.
The call was made and by the time the ambulance workers reached the Haninozuka household—no matter how close they had been—Rei was still screaming and bleeding from her hand. They hoisted her off of the floor and onto an emergency stretcher with ease, despite the pregnant state, and hurriedly carted her off to the closest hospital: Ootori & Corp. She screamed and screamed, louder and shriller whenever she was jostled in the ride—it hurt. Her most common and audible speech was, “My son! Save him!”, but other than that, it was all raw animalistic sounds.
Once in the door, the medical staff that had been called ahead earlier converged upon the woman and her unborn child, nothing but random blurs and voices that somehow deemed that an emergency c-section was necessary, even this far away from the due date. A heavy sedative was administered just as Katsurou was ushered into the room, but by then Rei was too far gone to be coherently told what was happening to her or the baby. An anistetic was given as well, and then the thoroughly drugged out woman was wheeled into the delivery room.
Heart monitors for both mother and child.
Surgical masks and the snapping sound of gloves.
Rei’s eyes snapped open, her heart lurching up into her throat as well as any of the food she had ingested that day, splattering all over the tile on the side of the bed. She coughed as something warm began to seep down her stomach from—as soon as she lifted the blankets, the woman saw to be—a five inch incision that was laced up into stitches of a tissue colored thread and bleeding. It didn’t hurt, luckily, which allowed the Haninozuka to force the issue to the darkest recesses of her mind and focus on more prominent and pressing issues… Where was her son? Where was the boy they had christened Mitzukuni the day they had found out she was pregnant with him?
A sort of remote was on her left, nestled into the bed cloths along with her body, and the woman pressed the red button with the nurse’s hat on it, pounding it remorselessly after a hospital staff member hadn’t show up within the first few second.
If Mitzukuni was alright, he would have been there with her—in one of those plastic cribs, with those mass produced hospital blankets and caps, and crying if he was hungry. Her breasts were sore and larger than usual, which had to have meant that her milk was coming in. And…Had he nursed?
Hot tears coursed down the terrified woman’s cheeks, and she startled as something soft and papery wiped them from her closed eyes. Katsurou was there, his eyes tired and blanketed with an indecipherable emotion that often meant he had something bad to share. Rei had seen that emotion only a select few times, and all those times had followed in tears and despair: the death of her father, the death of his, the lose of a large amount of their personal possessions in a house fire, and the birth of her sister’s stillborn son were a few of the times. And this time…Rei didn’t want to hear. She didn’t want him to say it. It hurt too much.
“W…Where’s Mitzukuni?” she asked him, her voice hoarse from all the screaming hours earlier. “Where’s my son? …TELL ME KATSUROU!!” The tears fell again, harder and faster as strong arms encircled her shoulders, and her frail and weak hands balled into fists and pounded mercilessly on the broad shoulders of her husband. Over and over, she demanded, “Tell me! Tell me!! Where is my little boy!?!”
She screamed and cried until there were no more tears, and her breathing came in large gasped inhales that didn’t seem to be able to fill her lungs. A sickly choking sound echoed in the silence. Why was her lover acting this way? He was being so emotionless and dark and—
Was Katsurou crying? Or…was it a trick of the light? He had never cried in front of her before…
“The…the nurses said that…Mitzukuni was too small.” He practically collapsed into the chair next to the bed, ignoring the vomit to his right as he reached out to clutch at Rei’s hand, squeezing. “He took three breaths, but…His lungs and heart weren’t fully formed, and he…He…”
He’s buried in the family plot, next to his grandparents and cousin.
Ranka—as his friends called him—stared again at the dark mass of grey and black on the piece of photograph paper, as well as down to the printed name at the bottom of the sonogram. Fujioka.
His breath caught in his throat, and moisture gathered in the corners of his eyes, making the eyeliner he had so dutifully dawned earlier run down his carefully blushed cheeks. And he didn’t care.
If it was a girl, he decided, she would have been Haruhi. If it was a boy…She liked Susumu…
One of the larger tears, a thick clump of mascara trailing after it, collected under the man’s chin and fell like a marble, onto the F in Fujioka, making the paper run.
Ranka’s fingers bunched in his sleeves and hurriedly worked to fix the problem and make the moisture take it back!—Give the ink back to the paper! He rubbed at the small spot like a madman, not even noticing as more and more tears splattered the sonogram. The rough fabric tore a small bit of the paper and he froze at once, horrorstruck at what he had just done. It was…it was broken.
The picture of his first—and only, and last and not to be born—child looked more like a peanut in a balloon of oatmeal; unappetizing and sickly looking, but it was the most treasured thing in his house at that very moment.
Haruhi/Susumu was never to be born. She or he could have never even existed. Her or his mother’s body had been too weak to carry a child, the doctor had told them, but it was possible that they had conceived…Before the cancer had progressed and... Ranka’s own terms were different from what the medical professional had said, but the tumor that had been feeding off his wife had then latched to his child and proceeded to…
He gulped at the very thought, stumbling to his feet—beer bottle and picture in hand—and fumbling around the kitchen until his fingers came into contact with the roll of scotch tape. Perhaps if he had not been so intoxicated, the job would have been clean and easy, but the tape was stick and refused to move after placed into the lumpy contact with picture.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered to the picture, his tears continuing to fall as he stumbled back to his empty bedroom and collapsed, landing him on his knees next to the bed. Ranka proceeded to pull out a shoe box that had kept his wife’s worldly possessions and pictures of her times at Lobelia. Now…He would bury them. Bury them and their existence in the folds of darkness and shadows in the closet…And with them he would add Haruhi/Susumu until the memory was not so painful and the bottle not so enticing. If he was drunk, he could damage the only good things he had in his life at the moment.
“I’m sorry. I love you,” he repeated, echoing the month old words of his dying wife—the last ones she had uttered before the monitors had flat lined and Ranka’s life had descended into chaos and nightmares.