SIX YEARS AGO
The ten-year-old paused mid-sentence his hands hovering over the exposed electric current of his home microwave. He had just sent Taiju to the hardware store to pick up some much needed equipment for his latest experiment. Thus leaving Gen and himself alone in Senkuu's room/lab. During the times Senkuu would only have the older boy as company, he would talk about his plans nonstop. His explanations were incomprehensible to those not up to his par in intelligence. At times there would be need of some serious clarification but Gen never complained nor asked for it. It was obvious to Senkuu (even in elementary school) that the older boy was merely humoring him as he nodded or hummed in agreement. However, he kept up his charade until the very end and never once interrupted Senkuu.
Until know, which caught the ten-year-old off-gaurd and almost dead if not for him quickly pulling the extension cord and diffusing the contraption. Gen must have realized the stupidity of his actions (it almost caused him their lives) as his cheeks turned rosy and he apologized. Senkuu waved the apology off nonchalantly, a pinkish hue coloring his own cheeks at seeing the older boy blush. He motioned for Gen to continue where he left of.
The rosy hue intensified on Gen,"I-I think I might like someone."
Senkuu's felt a lump lodge in his throat,"... What brought you to such a conclusion, mentalist?"
"I... I ACT LIKE I"M SOME WHIPPED PROTAGONIST OF A CHEESY SHOUJO MANGA!" Gen wailed
Senkuu blinked once, twice,"Huh?"
Gen hurried into a panicked explanation,"Every-Everytime I'm near Ryu-chan I get this funny butfluttery feeling in stomach that goes up to my heart! It makes it really difficult for me to eat later in the day and you know how much I need my 1 o'clock Cola!"
"When he calls my name, any name, my heart ba-thumps, ba-thumps so fast that I feel I ran a marathon! I get so sweaty that I feel gross! And I bet I look gross too!"
"My face also flushes so bad that I even have to admit I look like some kind of tomato or barbecued squid! Oh my god what am I going to do!"
"What?" Although Senkuu had managed to get Gen's attention, the older looked annoyed as if he had wanted to continue in the pathetic state of self-wallowing. Sadly, Senkuu was not eager to listen to any more.
"You don't like him. You're sick."
"... Eh." Gen was surprised.
"You're sick." Senkuu was blunt.
Gen furrowed his eyebrows confused,"How am am I-? Weren't you listening to me Senkuu-chan?"
"Unfortunately," Senkuu deadpanned,"but that's why I know you're sick and don't like the guy."
Gen was still confused,"Um, can you please explain?"
Senkuu did,"I have two possible diagnoses for what you might have. One is relatively easy to manage while the other is extremely complex and requires immediate medical attention."
"Senkuu-chan, you're scaring me," Gen shivered.
"Don't jump to conclusions and let me explain. You said fluttering of your chest area, those are palpitations. Fluttering sensation of the stomach and loss of appetite, could very well be nausea. Fatigue due to further palpitations. Lastly, flushing due to your bodies dire need of nutrients as the result of poor blood flow."
"Wha-What does it mean?"
"Palpitations, nausea, fatigue, flushing, those are all signs and symptoms of atrial fibrilation. Its a heart disorder characterized by an irregular, sometimes fast, heart beat caused by poor blood flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. It's normally difficult to detect in its early stages because the host can very well not express any signs or symptoms. Thus by the time they are found to have a-fib its done some pretty significant damage to their body. The treatments that go with this disorder are multiple drugs for blood pressure and anticoagulation. Remember though, each drug comes with its own set of consequences and limitation that you'll have to accommodate to prevent further complications. So a change in diet or profession may be in order. Perhaps and electrical shock to the heart, cardioversion, or an invasive surgery."
Gen was as white as a sheet, his eyes glazed over with something akin to escapism,"What's the-What's the other diagnosis."
"Oh, well it could be heart burn." Senkuu shrugged.
Gen, weirdly, perked up at his response,"Heart burn, how so?"
Senkuu hid the urge to smirk,"First, let me get clarification on a few things."
With the color returning back to his face, Gen urged Senkuu to ask.
"When you were experiencing the increased heart rate,nausea, fatigue, and flushing, did they happen just after you've eaten?"
Gen thought back to all the times his heart sped up and he blushed. They all occurred when Ryuusui was near but that coincided with lunch break. Not to mention the other times he'd coincidentally be drinking Cola or have a light snack,"You know, know that you mention they have."
Senkuu nodded,"And I'm guessing you haven't been getting a sufficient amount of sleep as well?"
Gen nodded, with his schedule of show appearances it was hard to even get four hours of sleep at a time much less the needed nine hours for someone his age.
"And you get a bitter taste in your mouth or a painful sensation in your stomach when lying down?"
Again, Gen nodded.
"Queasy sensation in your stomach mistaken for fluttering. Bitter taste in the mouth and flushing due to the rise of stomach acid or repressed belching. Fatigue due to minimal consumption of food. And pain when lying on the stomach. Not to mention all said actions occur just after eating. You have heart burn which is treatable and manageable on its own."
"What should I do to manage it then," Gen asked eagerly seemingly forgetting he was talking to a boy in elementary school and not a real physician.
"Make sure to get a good nights rest, limit high-in-fat foods and Cola for a while, don't lay down after eating, and take some antacids. Simple."
Gen, teary-eyed, hugged the young scientist,"It is! It is! Thank you so much, Senkuu-chan~!"
"Senkuu-chan, Tai-chan, everyone, hi~"
The group consisting stopped teasing Ginrou about his adventures in drag during the festival (something they will not stop until someone does something even more incriminatingly stupid) and focused their attention on the two figures in front of them.
Gen stood next to a tall blonde man, sharply dressed. What caught their attention most was not his irrefutably handsome features or the air around him that seem to screech arrogance. He had an arm around Gen's shoulders.
Several members of the group glanced in Senkuu's direction. Some to gouge his expression for slivers of contempt and others in genuine concern. To their surprise, the scientist drank his coffee calmly.
Senkuu merely raised his hand in greeting.
"This is Nanami Ryuusui, an acquaintance from middle school!"
"Acquaintance?" Ryuusui looked appalled,"I thought we were closer than that Gen!"
Gen gasped,"Ah, sorry, sorry, Ryu-chan. Let me start again."
The group looked worriedly at each other before quickly glancing at a certain individual.
"This is Nanami Ryuusui, my pal, my bro, my brother from a different mother and father, my partner in crime, my best friend forever in middle school!" Ryuusui cackled and Gen joined in for reasons unknown.
"S-So he's not your... boyfriend? You guys aren't dating then.. right?" Ginrou couldn't help but ask much to the fear of the rest of the group.
Senkuu's cup nearly missed its holder.
Both men ceased their chuckles instantly, startling the group. They stared blankly at the group for an uncomfortably long time before staring at each other and resuming their cackling.
The group was experiencing inner turmoil and Gen sensing it decided it was time to speak or at least attempt to speak,"Di-Did you-pfft- hear that Ryu-chan? They thin-think we, you and me-HA-are dating?"
"I-HAHA-heard you l-l-loud and clear pa-pfft-pal! Us? Boyfriends?"
"Oi, would you two clowns stop laughing and explain what the fuck is so funny?" Magma scowled.
"Well excuse my rudeness, pretty ladies," the girls were charmed (except for a select few),"gents," the boys waved awkwardly (except for Tiaju and Ginrou),"and neanderthal," it was pretty clear who Ryuusui was talking about which was why Ginrou and Kohaku had to hold Magma down,"but that will surely, never happen. As you can see by our reactions and mannerisms about each other we are merely good friends."
"Actually," Gen interjected,"there was a point in time where I did think I had a crush on you, Ryu-chan. Remember when I told you about it?"
Again, several glances towards Senkuu were made.
"Oh that's right!" Ryuusui acknowledged,"You thought you had a crush on me but it turned out it was just heartburn."
"Yup! I was freaking out so much about liking my friend that I didn't realize I was neglecting my own health! Thank goodness, Senkuu-chan set me straight and told me how the signs and symptoms of heart burn can closely micmic those of atrial fibrillation."
The group felt lost. Senkuu didn't.
"Thank goodness indeed!" Ryuusui agreed,"If he hadn't you wouldn't have been able to pass on the information to me when I thought I had a crush on you! I mean a heart condition that would require some kind of electrical shock to the bare heart? An invasive surgery to control palpitations? I wouldn't be able to fully experience the joys of sailing if I had the constant fear of my heart giving out in the back of my mind."
The group was starting to put the pieces together.
"Mhm, its all thanks to Senkuu-chan!" Gen smiled brightly in the direction Senkuu was in.
Ryuusui followed Gen's line of sight and gave a hard pat on the back to the lanky teen,"It's all thanks to Ishigami here! If he hadn't stressed to Gen the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of early onset atrial fibrillation I may have been a goner!" Ryuusui checked his phone and was startled by the time," Well I gotta run, I have an appointment with Tokyo University's Medical Department. Nice meeting you all!"
Gen excused himself from the group in after receiving a call from his agent minutes after Ryuusui's departure. As soon as the celebrity left the festive atmosphere of the group diluted. Eighteen pairs of eyes snapped in the direction of the disinterested scientist drinking his coffee.
The group spoke in unison."You didn't."
Senkuu took another sip of his coffee. He did.
Chrome in his perplexed state could only state the obvious verbally in hopes of some deeper understanding from his friends in the current situation,"... He's not a medical professional though."
Senkuu smirked. He is not.