Moon: 6/8 Waxing
Naoki Kashima stared at Doctor Kishitani. “What do you mean, there’s something wrong with me?”
The doctor sighed. “You have a brain tumor. The thing is, it’s very low. I’ve already contacted your mother, I did right when we found out, but she thought it would be best if you heard directly from me.”
“What do you mean by very low?”
“It’s almost to the base of your neck, but it appears to be functional brain matter. I’ve heard of tumors producing additional cells, even as complicated as an eye, but this is above and beyond your typical teratoma.”
“Teratoma. It’s not always cancerous, that’s part of why you need to get checked, but it’s a tumor which actively produces additional, frequently functional, cells. Most commonly it produces hair, sometimes teeth and, in rare occasions, even eyes. At this point that’s what I’d put this, since it’s not actually in the right space to be a brain tumor, but it’s clearly brain tissue.”
“You still seem freaked.”
“It’s not just the tissue. Mr. Kashima, it works.”
“When we were running the scans it showed up clearly because it was changing with your thoughts. It appears to be linked predominately to adrenaline. When you grow nervous or angry, but…I’ve never seen anything like this, or even heard of it. You need to get to a proper hospital and have it thoroughly examined. We checked in the scans today, and it hasn’t grown, so I don’t think it’s cancerous, but that’s far from a thorough examination on the matter.”
Naoki reached behind his neck, to the slow pulsing lump. So that’s what that was. A leftover from his time in the Amala Network, perhaps? No, not perhaps, almost undoubtedly.
“I know it’s very sudden. We’ll provide what support we can, of course, but we are researchers, not doctors. Well, we’re doctors too, many of us, but not in this sort of field.”
“I understand,” Naoki whispered.
“Yeah?” Naoki felt a smile spreading across his face.
“Are you happy right now?”
“Do I look happy?”
“Very.” Doctor Kishitani stood up very slowly. “Are you feeling alright?”
“Surprisingly great. Why?”
“What about my eyes?”
“They’re yellow. And glowing.”
Naoki blinked. What?
“I’ll go get a nurse. Wait here.” The doctor practically sprinted out the door.
Where exactly would he go? This place still made him nervous, but so far everything seemed legit. No satanic rituals so far.
A prickle at the back of his neck. Someone was watching him. Naoki looked carefully around the room, casting his gaze over the walls and ceiling carefully. Nothing.
Then, something, just out the corner of his eye. Something. He turned towards it. Still nothing specific, but he could definitely sense something there.
“Hello?” A sense of more movement. “I know you’re here.” It didn’t quite seem like a demon. More like a ghost. Not like he hadn’t encountered both.
A whisper, like a trick of the wind, “Hello.”
Naoki grinned. “Didn’t expect something like you here.” He couldn’t explain it, but even as he tensed to dive out of the chair he felt very pleased.
“You don’t know where you are?”
A sense of movement. A pause. “No.”
“Nebula Medical in Shinjuku, Tokyo.”
“Tokyo. I see.”
“Where’d you think you were?”
“Where I should be.”
“And you aren’t,” Naoki surmised.
“No. I think I am.” Another pause. “Yes. This is where I belong.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I can become whole again.”
“Whole? Are you fragmented then?”
A soft chuckle. “Like you.”
“What’s that mean?”
“I heard about the extra brain. Two brains. Two thoughts. Four sides then?”
“For two coins.”
Ah, multiple personalities maybe? “I wouldn’t say that.”
“Are you sure? You seem you like died.”
“Almost. Many times, but never all the way.”
A knock on the door. A nurse came in. The movement to the side disappeared. Naoki didn’t say anything as she examined him, especially his eyes. Apparently, now, he seemed normal. Doctor Kishitani came back in about halfway through.
“How are you feeling?”
“I see. Well, I think we’re done for the day in that case. You will go to a hospital soon?”
Naoki shrugged. “Not my choice.”
“Right. Of course, but, don’t forget. That tumor could be very dangerous.”
The nurse removed the various sensors from him.
“I’m afraid we won’t be able to continue working with you while you still have the tumor,” Doctor Kishitani stated, sounding somewhat forlorn. “We just can’t have the added variable.”
Naoki shrugged. “Fine by me.”
The doctor sighed, but ushered the teenager out the door. The teenager walked through, but just as he crossed the threshold he felt something touch his hand. It felt cold, yet his entire being shook in agony. He gasped for breath. A life flashed through his eyes, but it wasn’t his own and he couldn’t make sense of it. Apathy and affection, tears and exhaustion. Then, the pain. Unimaginable pain.
A moment of his own life where a blonde haired boy leaned down and placed a squirming thing in his eye. This hurt more than that, so much more. It exhausted him in a way he couldn’t explain.
He saw it then. A shadow which reached across the light and blocked it out. It was broken, cut into many pieces, tattered and maybe even scared. It glared at him with red eyes, waiting, but not for him.
“Who?” Naoki gasped.
A katana flashed, a sensation flooded his being, an image of a vaguely familiar silver haired man. It wanted Naoki’s help. Why him though?
It reached out a hand. He grabbed it as the thing helped him to his feet. Oh. Was it because he wasn’t scared?
It nodded. Naoki smiled, memories of friends and fiends flashing though his mind. They shook hands.
Naoki opened his eyes to Doctor Kishitani leaning over him, checking his pulse and calling out to him. The teenager just smiled. Yeah, he was fine. In fact, he was better than fine.
He was alive.