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09. H I G H S & L O W S

"That's right, I'm not human. I am just one of many pawns."

SHAN'S eyes were sad as she stared at Nabeshin's face. They were in the hospital at the time. She has been attacked by the disease several times, and his health seems to be deteriorating. She did not know how long the young man would last, all she knew was that it will be the last attacked for Nabeshin. There is still a lot to take care of, especially since ZNT is just beginning.

With a slow sigh, she walked to the window where she could see below the nearby school. Shan could clearly see the children playing in the middle of the soccer field, a brief scene passed through her recollection.

The weather was almost the same back then, with only moderate heat brought by the summer weather. Shan's eyes twinkled as she remembered Nabeshin's cheerful smile back then. One of the fun scenes she had with them.

Shan stopped in recollection when she heard a soft knock from the door of the room where she and Nabeshin were.

She was surprised because they had no expected guests, she told their crew that their boss needed to rest and they understood that. However Shan preferred to open the door knocking and maybe it's nurse.

The man outside the room was unfamiliar to her. She is estimated to be over forty years old. A miserly smile he glued to his lips as Shan studied the him carefully.

"Good morning, can I talk to Mr. Nabeshin?" This question did not bother her.

"Who are they?" Shan asked again. He glanced briefly at the unconscious Nabeshin from his bed before staring at the front again.

"I'm Detective Kenjiro Shibazaki," he introduced himself who even pulled out a badge and ID as proof.

Immediately the building tension on Shan's chest. She glanced at Nabeshin again. Apart from the fact that the young man is not yet conscious, she cannot be stressed. Shan didn't know what to do and think.

"My intention is important, miss, I just have a few questions about ... Mr. Toji Hisami ..." continued the older man who took out a small notebook and read something there.

Shan's face suddenly pale, she was swallowed by saliva several times and his palms suddenly sweated at that time ...

...

"Come on, Nine you've been locked up in your room for a few days. Come outside and let's play soccer!" Toji was with his friend as he moved the ball around with both hands.

Nabeshin ignored him.  He was motionless from sitting near the window and looking out from there.

"I have no desire to play." Nabeshin later replied.

Toji just scratched his head while shaking his head looking at his friend.

"Come on, Nine, Von is waiting outside. You supposed to teach her to play soccer."

She smiled enticingly at him.

He noticed the twinkle in Nabeshin's eyes, a smile also curved on its lips. Toji felt sad but he immediately wiped it from his chest. When Nabeshin started walking away he immediately followed.

"As for your time, I'm playing a game!" Shan shouted at Nabeshin and Toji when she saw them approaching. Toji just laughed.

"It's like Nine, still acting!" Toji's blast at his friend.

"I just feel not okay today," Nabeshin replied.

Immediately the smile on Toji's face disappeared, he approached his friend, full of worried.

"We can play soccer another day, Nine, if you feel bad. S-sorry I don't know. Have you called your Doctor yet?" Sequentially he said.

"I'm okay now," was his simple answer and then snatched the ball from his hands.  He quickly kicked in the air then he ran and kicked it causing it to enter the net. He picked up the ball again and then started playing with his knee.

He slowly approached Nabeshin's side. He was about to grab it when he quickly kicked the ball to Von.

"Catch!" Nabeshin shouted.

Suddenly, Von couldn't escape so she was hit in the face. Nabeshin immediately joined the girl as she sat down on the grass while Shan and Toji laughed out loud.

"A-are you okay, Von? I'm sorry I didn't mean to," Nabeshin apologized here.

"It's okay, Nabeshin." Von said softly as she shook the skirt that had been soiled from the crash on the ground.

Nabeshin's lips twitched when he noticed the redness of Von's nose, that's the exact part where the ball he kicked earlier hit. The young man felt ashamed of Von. None of its own touched Von's face, he gently made a caress on the woman's nose.

"D-does it hurt around here, Lisa?" Nabeshin asked worriedly.

Although Von was shocked by Nabeshin's actions, she just let it go.

"No worries Nine," the girl replied. "I'm okay. Don't worry. Just play, I'll just watch."

Before Von could move, Nabeshin grabbed her by the elbow and then guided her to a chair.

"Toji!" Nabeshin calls out to him.

Toji, who was in the middle of deep thought, turned around to his surprise.

"Oh w-why, Nine?" he wondered.

"Get an ice pack inside," Nabeshin commanded him.

"It's not like it's swollen, Nine, don't-" Nabeshin hadn't finished what he was going to say when he shot him a cold look so he didn't do anything but follow.

Getting the ice pack Toji immediately returned to the field but he was also shocked when he saw how much Nabeshin paid attention to Von. He saw that his friend was still fixing the girl's hair that covered her face.

As if something was squeezing Toji's heart, he quickly averted his eyes. It was then that he noticed Shan just quietly standing to one side. After calming himself down, he immediately approached the two, forcing a smile to stick to his lips. Nabeshin immediately took the ice pack then carefully patted Von's nose.

"Come on, let's play!" courtesy of Shan, she started to play with the ball. She later kicked the ball to Nabeshin who quickly caught it.

They have already started the game, Toji only occasionally glances at Von.

They were so happy because they seemed so free in those moments, even though Von wasn't playing he knew it felt the same way, no worries and open.

When they had been playing for about half an hour, they decided to stop. Toji should have approached Von but Nabeshin preceded him.

"Come Von, teach us." Smiling young man's invitation. "Toji said you want me to teach you how to play soccer."

"O-okay." Von's response in shy voice.

Toji watched them intently from not far away.

"Isn't this what you want to happen, Twelve?" Toji whispered to himself.

He must be happy because at least Nabeshin is happy, but the truth is that what caused him was pain. He just forced himself to smile even though he was really very affected by what he saw.

"It's only temporary, for Nine's good ..." Toji encouraged himself.

He immediately approached the two and worked with them. Forced to cover up the secret of smiles the bitter truth.

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