”Please, help me! I don’t want to die!”
”It hurts...so much...”
”Don’t do this to me please!”
“Stop it,” you muttered, clutching the sides of your head. “Stop talking to me.”
Your heart rapidly beat its way into your throat. Your lungs felt ready to collapse from your quick, shallow breathing. Dizziness washed over you like powerful, raging tempest, yet you grounded yourself against the base of the wooden seat, afraid that so much as taking a step would trigger you to fall into a never ending abyss.
Translucent fingers stretched out to you. Incandescent orbs within sunken sockets peer into your swollen, red-rimmed eyes, frozen open with terror. The specters’ agape mouths lamented their sorrows in a choir of shrill screams and bellowing cries.
You saw everything: the bruises, the cuts, the open sores, the lacerations, all telluric blemishes transcending into the Shore Beyond, scars reminding them of their tragic deaths.
You sunk your teeth into your bottom lip. Blood seeped into your mouth and coated your tongue.
”Please...it....it hurts so much...I can’t...”
”Make it stop! I’m begging you!!”
”It’s...unbearable...I want to die....”
”Are you ignoring me?”
”Look at me!”
You squeezed your eyes together so forcefully, the muscles in your forehead and temples strained. Little flecks of black formed before your eyes the more you tensed, and hot tears began to stream down your face.
“Leave me alone,” you whimpered. “Please. Leave me alone.”
They listened to you.
On a very rare occasion, mostly when you were working with a patient, they took your desperate pleas into consideration and left you alone.
If only it was long enough for you to regain some peace of mind.
If only it was long enough for you to sleep.
Their wails only increased in volume. Desperate hands attempted to grab hopelessly for you, you, the caregiver, a life preserver.
Surely, you, a nurse with the ability to contact the dead, could perform some miracle.
They put so much faith of you, faith that you had no means to live up to.
”Don’t look away.”
“Go away,” you sobbed softly, pulling your knees closer to your chest. “Please, go away.”
”I’m so sorry...”
”Please help!! I don’t want to die!!”
They drew nearer and nearer.
It grew so cold...so cold...
The voices only grew louder...and louder...
”Help, I’m begging you.”
“Leave me the hell alone.”
“Go away! Get away from me!”
Suddenly, you felt a fingertip brush against your forehead, and a bright light flashed, triggering a scream to rip from your throat.
“Alright, little goblins! Play time is over!”
All at once, everything fell silent, and you could only hear the pounding of your heart and your erratic breathing. You remained completely rigid until you found some evidence, no matter how small or big, that all was well.
Two warm hands encircled your hands, guiding them to your lap. Still on edge, you yelped at the contact until you saw a pair of familiar, soft brown eyes gazing into your reddened face.
“It’s alright, little fairy,” came his smooth, resonating voice. “You’re safe.”
Sure enough, the ghosts vanished like a vapor, no trace left behind.
You swallowed the lump in your throat and breathed.
Your burning eyes glazed over a moment as your nervous system began to slow down. Your body temperature decreased. Your muscles became limp, trembling a little as they followed the signals of your brain to relax.
Finally, your mind cleared enough to piece together sentences again.
Licking your dry lips, your voice crack as you spoke,
“Th-...thank you, Dazai.”
He simply smiled in his bright, usual fashion and tapped your cheek playfully.
“How could I ever say no to rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress?” he chuckled and pulled you to your feet.
Much to your surprise, you managed to laugh. Though quiet, though raspy, it was a laugh nonetheless. Then, he pulled you to his chest and wrapped his arms around your waist.
“Really, do you just look for trouble?” he scoffed in jest. “Are all fairies as naughty as you?”
You snickered a pinched his cheek.
“Didn’t you know that?” you winked. “It’s our job to make you humans miserable.”
Pursing his lips, Dazai pressed his forehead to yours, strands of his chocolate hair brushing lightly against your cheeks.
“Well, as I am your designated rescuer, you are obligated to be nice to me.”
An arm still draped lazily about your shoulder, he lead you from the dark confinements of your office out into the refreshing, cool, night air. Before you continued with your banter, you stopped to inhale the bite of the autumn air. Dazai’s face softened upon witnessing the peace washing over your face.
This was one of the few times he utilized his ability to bring joy to someone.
The fact that it was you, the one he loved, brought a whole new sense of purpose to him.
“Ah, I feel so much better,” you said with a happy sigh. “Really, thank you.”
After pressing a soft kiss to your cheek, he replied,
“It was my pleasure. After all, someone’s gotta take care of the nurse, right?”
You chuckled in turn, clutching his hand.
“For the kind of troubles I face, no doctor, nurse, or physician can help me.”
As you initiated the walk home, Dazai flicked his bandaged wrist as smirked.
“Call it the healing touch of Dazai!”
You just rolled your eyes and shook your head.
“Ah, nothing, I’m just tired.”
You waited a minute in silence for the street light to turn green before crossing the last street leading to your sanctuary.
That wasn’t even a strong enough word for the fatigue weighing you down.
Dead exhausted was more appropriate, but honestly using “dead” as an emphasis hit a little to close to home at this point.
Before even approaching the door, you fumbled through your bag for your keys, forcing you to break contact with Dazai.
A quick burst of anxiety exploded in your chest.
Right now, just being separated terrified you. Each second increased the possibility of a ghost to come for you.
But, the panic disappeared as quickly as it came when you linked arms with him for the journey up the staircase to your apartment.
“You still seem nervous,” said Dazai as he watched you unlock your door with quivering hands.
The urge to chew on your bottom lip washed over you but it still throbbed from the sore you inflicted on it earlier.
“The more violent spirits in the hospital come out at night,” you explained as you opened the door. “I don’t see them very often but when I do....”
Your voice trailed off, but that was enough of an indicator for him.
Before you could cross the threshold of your house, he took your arm and brought your hand to his lips. With light touches trailing down its length, he placed kisses with the softness of a feather on your fingertips. Your heart fluttered.
“I can stay, if you want me to,” his voice was almost a hum.
A pleasant heat coursed through you the longer you stared into his dark, hypnotic eyes.
How he managed to possess such a hold over you was beyond understanding, but as he welcomed you within the sanctuary of his arms, who were you to deny? You fell hard for every last one of his tricks and whimsies, and there was no way you were picking yourself up from this.
With your hand still entwined with his, you guided him into the living room, shutting the door behind you.
“I guess that’s a ‘yes’ then,” he said with a wink.
“You’re aways welcome here,” you replied, tossing your bag on the nearest chair.
“You’re just in need for more of my healing touch, right?”
“Dazai, for heaven’s sake, stop or you’re going in the trash can again.”