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Silent Challenges, Chapter Thirteen
by Christina Cathleen (rhetoricfem)
at November 30th, 2012 (01:05 pm)

Hello, All!  I've written a thirteenth chapter for 'Silent Challenges.' Here it is!

Title: Silent Challenges
Series: Chapter Thirteen, 1169 words
Pairing/Character: Mori & Haruhi
Rating: T
Summary: "Not since her days as a small child had Haruhi experienced such helplessness."

Cross-posted to ouran_fanfics


Not since her days as a small child had Haruhi experienced such
helplessness. While it had taken little time for an ambulance to arrive,
being unable to explain the cause of Takashi's pain was a situation she
had difficulty reconciling with. For a short time, Haruhi allowed her
emotions to defy logic as her heart took responsibility for what had

The effort to stabilize him had been harrowing. Despite
his labored breathing and aggressive coughing, Takashi had indicated to
the EMTs that he would go nowhere without Haruhi. She sat motionless in
the ambulance as it became necessary to intubate Takashi in order to
control his breathing.

Hours had passed before doctors came to
inform Haruhi and his family that what Takashi had experienced was the
effects of oleander poisoning.

"He'll make a full recovery, but we
should be thankful that Takashi is even alive. The amount of oleander
in his system could easily have caused his heart to stop beating . We
were able to flush the poison from his body. Now all he needs is a few
days monitoring, and he'll be back home. Right now we need to
concentrate our efforts on finding out where the oleander came from."

doctor went to on explain how the plant was commonly used as an
effective means of poisoning. Easily manipulated, oleander had for
centuries been a weapon of choice amongst conspirators.

Just as
voices and sounds had begun to blur, Haruhi was brought back to
attention upon receiving the go-ahead to visit with Takashi. Making
their way toward his room, she was pulled to a stop as Mitsukuni grabbed
her by the hand.

"Stay with him, Haru-Chan. There's something my aunt and uncle need to see."

"Alright, Huni. But what do they need to see that can't wait until later?"

darkened expression across his face seemed to somehow drain the hallway
of its light. "I promise I'll tell you later, once I know I'm right.
Just tell Takashi that we'll be here as soon as we take care of things."

Mitsukuni ran ahead to collect his aunt and uncle, not giving Haruhi anymore time to respond or ask another question.


continued toward Takashi's room alone. Though she was interested in
whatever reason Mitsukuni could have to leave his cousin on such a dire
occasion, she did not question his judgment. Truth be told, she
preferred to be with Takashi alone. Upon arrival to the hospital, Haruhi
had been forced to leave him while emergency workers whisked him away.
She was in no mood for sharing such a treasured person before they could
be alone again.

Reaching his room, she quietly glimpsed in before
entering. With his back facing the doorway, it was unclear to her
whether or not Takashi lay sleeping.


His sudden recognition of her presence brought her a relieved smile, and she swiftly made her way toward Takashi's side.

"How are you feeling?"


Haruhi bit down on her lip as the afternoon's events once again flashed through her head.

"Yeah, I bet. But you're going to be okay, you know?"


mindful of the IV embedded in his skin, Haruhi took Takashi's hand in
her own. With a deep sigh, he pulled her as close as possible, hugging
her arm to his chest.

"Takashi, what happened?"

Still tired
from the day's ordeal, the question seemed to frustrate him. "I don't
know. There was kendo practice in the morning. I came home to clean up,
eat, and meet you at the library. On the way there, my chest began

Knowing the rest of the story, Haruhi decided to leave it
at that. Pulling up a chair, she continued to hold his hand in silence.
Quite some time had passed, when with a trembling sigh, she laid her
head against the mattress. Uncertain of what exactly she was feeling,
Takashi found himself somewhat worried that throughout everything,
Haruhi had had no one to talk to.


She answered in a hurried voice, "Takashi, can you please be quiet? I've never done this before."

it had been a rough day, and it was true that he was not feeling
entirely like himself. Still, Takashi almost questioned whether or not
he had heard Haruhi right, as no one had ever accused him of needing

Taking another look at the close-eyed, tear-stained
girl, it became clear to him that Haruhi was praying. Takashi gave her
hand a squeeze, and knew that to be a part of this moment, he would have
gone through it all again in an instant.


family returned to the hospital later in the evening, only after making
a few urgent phone calls and contacting the police. Upon being brought
to their son's and nephew's campus apartment, Sora and Akira were able
to confirm that no, they had not received a Christmas gift from their
business partner in Vietnam. Sitting out on a table there laid an opened
package of Vietnamese tea. Next to it was a half-empty mug and a note
from Trung Pham, wishing Takashi a happy Christmas.


second day in the hospital left him feeling physically improved upon,
though he was certain his brain had never dealt with such a mess. The
tea which he had believed to be sent by a kind and trusting man had been
sent by his tragic and angry son, instead.

It was only when
phoning Trung about the gifted tea that Akira had learned of his friend
and partner's own demise. Brewing his father a more concentrated cup of
the oleander-infused tea, Tuan had sat across from him while he drank
it, lecturing him on the Western invasion he was leading into their
country. He had mocked Trung for believing in a fictional God while he
lay dying on the floor.

Angry and passionate enough to proudly
confess, the only part of the truth Tuan kept to himself was how his
father had told Tuan that he still loved him, as he slipped away from
this world.

Takashi was unable to comprehend the devolution of
Tuan, who he had known for much of his life. For all of his dark
eccentricities, not even the people closest to Tuan would have imagined
him capable of this. At the hand of a single, self-righteous man, one
had lived while another died.

Despite the onslaught of pressing
questions within Takashi's mind, for the moment he refused to grant them
much consideration. His heart and his body were in pain, but he had a
life in front of him, and answers were what retrospect was for.

He looked over at Haruhi, who had been curled up reading in a chair. She closed the book upon feeling him stare at her.

"Hey, Takashi." She smiled at him.


"So. What're you thinking?"

"That after I get out of here and get situated, I'm going to ask to marry you."