Chapter 10 – A Heart to Heart
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"As punishment for my injury, tonight, be it with or against your will…"

Arthur Roma sat next to a bedridden Rena Koboko. After a confrontation with what was now likely her former psychiatrist, the two sat in what seemed to be another hospital-esque location, though this time, at least it was Roma who brought her here.

He offered a smirk on the tail end of her apology, and he was going to make her pay for putting him in a position that led to his hand being casted up. Roma licked his lips, and had a devious look in his eye,

"....allow me to cook dinner for the both of us."

"..."

Rena's eyes seemed to get a little dull after his suggestion. The thought of food and cooking… she turned her head to the side, somewhat deflecting the very idea, "I don't… believe I can let you do that. Perhaps I can cook for you?"

"Nope! Has to be my cooking!"

"...but.." Rena glanced over towards him, seeing how eager he looked. His hands were on his hips, and he puffed out his chest proudly, his mind clearly stuck on the prospect that he provided. She couldn't help but feel a little guilty, but her own mind was currently set.

"I can't eat your cooking. I'm sorry."

Roma's hands dropped. The male actually looked a little offended, slowly turning his head to the side, and letting out a small sigh. As annoying as it was, it was growing clear that this wasn't a battle he was going to win. With a second exhale, he faced her again, giving a weaker smile, and climbing up and into the hospital bed next to her.

"Alright. It won't give me the same satisfaction, but I'll eat yours instead." Roma conceded, reaching out and gently petting the top of her head again. It made Rena smile, and the girl gave a little nod, though his touch made her wince in pain a little,

"Okay. I'll cook you something great. Promise." She replied to him before wincing again. A sharp pain suddenly zipped through her head, and with a groan, she leaned forwards, leaning against Roma without even realizing it.

Of course, it left the male quite confused himself, given how timid she had been in regards to touch to this point. His face naturally began to warm up and grow red, something of relative rarity for the student. But, he didn't stop or push her off. Actually, he extended his arms and awkwardly began to hug her instead, wanting to be a source of comfort.

Being this close to her… he felt a sudden excitement rise within him. Her hair smelled amazing… It always did, and her skin felt so soft and squishy. Sometimes he forgot that she was a girl, the same way that he was just a boy, and his heart rate raised significantly. She was so, so, so nice to hold - there was no denying that.

Roma gulped rather harshly. He knew he had to keep his composure- they were in a hospital after all. Not to mention, it'd've been easy to fall into his adolescent urges, but he knew that wasn't a possibility right now. He just sat there and kept stroking her hair, hoping she didn't mind his touch.

And… to his surprise, Rena didn't.

"...Ah, sorry. My head just… hurts… a lot…" She told him in a mumble, but didn't move from her position. Despite her ongoing issues with physical touch, she didn't particularly mind leaning onto him like this.

A quiet moment passed, and Rena realized that she was still exhausted, immediately sitting up after, "No sleep. I can't. Ugh.."

She then laid her head in Roma's lap, leaving her hair sprawled everywhere and messy, which only added to her beauty.

And Arthur predictably felt completely fucked as a result as his eyes darted to the side. He had to admit, things could've been much, much worse… but the shorts he had slept in felt much, much tighter than they did before. All he could do was continue to pet Rena's head, and scratch the back of his own with his casted hand, thinking happy, calm thoughts.

"...oh…" Rena sat up and took note of how uncomfortable Roma looked, "Are you okay? I'm sorry, I shouldn't have leaned on you like that…" She looked concerned, but her expression was still cute with that being the case.

And Roma felt his heart melt.

"No, no, you're fine!" He assured her, forcing a smile to his face. When she sat up, it was like a weight was temporarily lifted from his shoulders, though the one below the belt stayed put. It was admittedly strange seeing how soft Rena  was being right now, but it was also amazing. For a moment, his thoughts had gone from being lewding to loving her company.

…but surely not in a romantic sense, right?

Another silence befell the room with her worried golden eyes focused deep within his composed brown ones. It was only just now apparent how close their faces were to one another… just a matter of inches between them. Roma gulped, and Rena blinked, neither of them budging from their position.

…but that's when the door flew open, and a heavy gust of wind rushed into and through the room. In the doorway stood a man covered in sweat and didn't look a day over 20. He seemed to have the general doctor getup, but his energy was… different…

"They're here. The resources of doom."

The man wore a pair of glasses, and the glare within them blinded the two patients in the bed. Roma fell over, clutching at his eyes since they felt as if they'd catch fire. Unfortunately, Rena wasn't so lucky, and flames engulfed both of her sockets. She closed her own eyes and simply fell over, now in worse pain than prior to the doctor's arrival.

"They're here, and must be exterminated. At any, at all costs." The doctor made more and more dramatic movements with each student he finished, and not even Roma could translate at this point.

~ Reset ~

Arthur sat beside Rena who was back in the hospital bed again. His eyes narrowed towards the doctor, Sir Markus Light, or just Dr. Light. The student spoke, starting to cross his arms after finally getting his vision back,

"So is there anything big I need to know?"

Light glanced at Roma and then nodded, his face… more serious than he was accustomed to. Roma couldn't help but feel a little worried. Light was generally quite casual, so to see such a stern look in his eyes, Roma felt a bit anxious.

"Yes," Light started, narrowing his eyes even more while the glass within his frames shines from the lights above, "Don't jump on her fucking head again, or else you'll crush it. For real this time."

Light took out and showed them x-rays of her injury, briefly explaining where the damage was done, and their extent, "She's confirmed to have a concussion. I don't know what strange, kinky-food-filled sexy times the two of you have, but for her safety, I highly recommend you don't do it for the next month, at least.

There was… so much for Roma to dissect and tear apart, that he chose not to do it at all.

"...yeah."

"Oww…" Rena quietly whimpered, placing both hands on her head softly, her eyes now focusing on Dr. Light while her ahoge moved slowly. He was weird, at least to her, but she tried to ignore it for a bit, "C-Can I get anything for my head, please?.. It's really painful…" The flashes of blue and green returned to her vision, as did bits of purple, before they faded.

Light nodded a little opening his mouth to make pill recommendations, but before he could start,

"Can it be something that's, uhm, non-abusable?..."

He paused and looked at Roma following his strange request, very confused as far as  what he was getting at. The doctor crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow, neither of them noticing the way Rena slightly tensed up after Roma's words.

"Everything in the world is abusable, Arthur. What are you afraid of?" The doctor asked, getting straight to the point. Despite the direct question, Roma was quiet. He recalled the entire ordeal with Rena and her pills, and his fists clenched tightly. He swore he'd never let something like that happen again.

Rena looked away from Roma a bit, but was good at holding an expression, so she held one that was difficult to read. The girl didn't understand why she felt so… hurt, by that request. It was reasonable! So, why?..

She blinked a time or two before looking at Light again, "...It's okay. Never mind, I can… deal with-"

"Is it that you can't trust your girlfriend, Arthur?" Light cut Rena off, openly challenging Roma's frame of thought. And it wasn't something he took all that kindly to either. Roma winced and found himself growing slightly angry towards the accusation,

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" The stress and frustration he carried was starting to boil over, though in the direction of someone who had yet to do anything wrong. Dr. Light remained neutral however, keeping a stoic expression despite the lashing out. He saw through Roma's current state of mind, and silently forgave him, now turning his attention to Rena instead.

"Going by his reaction, you've had a run-in with medication?" He asked, equally direct with her as well. It made Rena flinch, but she sheepishly replied, knowing she had to be open and honest with him,

"...I…. I, uhm… Overdosed. On sleeping pills." She reached to pinch herself, but flinched again, her arm returning to her side. She glanced towards Roma who still looked pissed with Light. She… she couldn't blame him for not trusting her. That was to be expected, but.. Still.. Why did that sting so much? Why did it make her eyes water slightly?

The girl reached up and quickly wiped both of her eyes, avoiding eye-contact with the two of them, staring at the floor instead.

'You need to be more delicate, Arthur. I understand your hero complex, especially at your age, but not everyone needs you to hold their hand. Babying could have the opposite effect…'

Light's mind began to ponder over a number of topics, now glancing towards and examining Rena.

'Rena Koboko. Wherever I have the displeasure of having to visit the school, she's the name in everyone's mouths. I guess I can see why. She's a very attractive young lady, which makes her skills look that much better off the jump…'

He chuckled to himself, taking out his personal bottle of high dosage ibuprofen pills and tossing them to Rena… accidentally hitting her in the top of the head with them.

'I knew you were ballsy, Arthur, but to rope in the school's top prospect? You've grown into quite the charming young man, huh? I don't think you're quite ready to take her hand… and honestly nowhere near ready to challenge it, but I'm sure you two will grow very, very close… Just don't rush anything, you two.'

~

The clock read 2 AM, and after being dispatched hours prior, Roma was showing Rena the ins and outs of another one of his favorite games… but Rena was still down about earlier, thus she didn't speak much. She admittedly didn't have the energy to play, so she just watched Roma.

But more importantly, she held the pills that Light gave her earlier… but despite the lasting pain she was in, she couldn't bring herself to take them. She'd occasionally look at them, blank faced, and then back at the screen above.

"You can have them if you need them." Roma finally spoke to her, not taking his eyes off of the screen for a moment. For words of encouragement, they felt awful hollow following his comments earlier. Not to mention, he still couldn't quite see where he was in the wrong earlier, but he was also too prideful to ask either.

She was never the issue. He never saw her as a danger, or as an abusive person. He just felt like she may have been liable to become one… and didn't see any faults in that line of thought.

Rena shook her head, wincing shortly after, "...I don't.. Think I can." She admitted. She stood up and walked to her side of the room afterwards, placing the pills on the dresser, and carefully lying down on her bed so that she wouldn't injure herself further. Her mind was occupied by everything that had transpired today, and she couldn't help but grow overly depressed by the thoughts.

Some 40 minutes later, Roma shut down his own console, and dragged himself to bed. It was almost 3 in the morning, which meant that he had himself another night with less than 5 hours of sleep awaiting him.

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