Finally! It's time to make a light-hearted fic! At last! The previous one was too depressing. This time, on the doctor, Leorio! And this is not yayoi, mind you... i'll try writing using the third POV this time.
Title: A Friend's Wish [1/?]
Description: Leorio encounters a little girl suffering from the same disease that killed his friend Pietro. Now that he has become a Hunter and a fully-licensed doctor, will he be able to save this girl, or commit the same mistake again?
Disclaimer: Hunter X Hunter belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi.
A Haunting Memory
He anxiously waited as the man taped the pieces of paper onto the bulletin board. He seemed to be taking forever, as if moving slower on purpose to especially annoy him.
It was still quite dark, probably around 5am. His eyes were still a bit clouded for he had just woken up. Bits of morning glory were scattered around his eyes. He felt around his chin. ƒTime to shave...ƒ He was wearing a white, thin undershirt and a pair of shorts.
"Oyaji, maybe you can hurry up a bit," he pleaded the old man with white hair and a white beard. He had a tummy as round as his head.
"Wait, will ya?!" the old man replied. "Maybe you can brush your teeth first."
He scratched his head in shame. He had camped out the previous night in excitement for the moment ƒthoseƒ papers would be posted. He wanted to be the first one to know what they contained. He barely slept in excitement, though. He was just lying on the paved floor of university's outer hallway waiting for day to come and for the old man to post them until around 3am.
He puroposely yawned aloud at the old man's face to annoy him.
"Ugh, maybe you can go back to sleep," the old man said in disgust.
He yawned again. The oyaji finally posted the final piece. In his hurry, he posted it upside-down.
"Eat those damn things, boy," he said as he left.
"Arigatou na! Ja!" he called with a big smile on his face. He looked for more words to say to express his gratitude! "Ohayou! Uuumm... May the goddess of luck shine upon you today!"
The oyaji smiled. He was a nice kid, after all, not like most of the medical students. He was just extra nervous. These papers he posted every year decided the fate of every student in the university.
"May the goddess of luck shine upon you today..." he said, recalling the young man's words. As he walked, he didn't notice a banana peeling on the floor. He unconsciously stepped on it and slipped. A loud thud was heard across the university grounds. Luckily, it didn't wake anybody else up.
"Oyaji!" the young man ran towards him. "You okay?"
"Yeah, kid," he said. "Thanks for worrying." He stood up and walked away. ƒDamn kid... Yawns with his bad breath on my face then wishes me good luck... now look at what happened.ƒ He rubbed his back in pain.
The young man looked at the oyaji as he walked away. He shook his head. Whenever he wished something, everything turned out the opposite, just like what happened to the old man.
"Now back to what I came for." He looked at the papers containing the results of the medical exam he took three weeks ago. It was the hardest test he ever took in his life... well maybe not as hard as the Hunter Exam, but in this one, he took the test without the help of any of his friends. It was much easier to pass tests with them: Kurapika, Gon and Killua.
Ther results were arranged according to score. He couldn't estimate what grade he got, so he had to go through every single name. He slowly looked for his. His heart started to beat faster with every movement his index finger made. He always found a letter "L" but it wasn't him. After a few minutes, he was starting to get disappointed. He was nearing the end of the list.
ƒDamn... I couldn't have done this badly.ƒ His finger moved further down the list. He finally found his name. It was around tenth to the last.
He read silently to himself. "74.9 percent..." he was starting to feel devastated. The passing was 75 percent.
All of the sudden, all the peope who were sleeping in the university awoke with a loud scream of joy from the outer hallway.
"What is it now, Leorio?" Kurapika asked as he took a seat in a busy tavern. "I had to ask permission from Mr. Nostrad to take a leave. It's not that easy."
Kurpika looked around. The tavern was filled with lots of people. It wasn't that extravagant, though. In fact, it was quite small, but there were lots of smells and sounds in the place. The scent of wine drifted across while laughter, and chatter ringed through his ears. It was quite something unexpected to find in the small rural town of Miala, where the medical university Leorio was studying in was situated.
But what he couldn't truly understand was why Leorio called him up and asked, no, practically, begged him to come here. Despite Kurapika's reasons that he was busy with his job, Leorio managed to persuade him, telling him that it was 'something of great importance.'
"Cool down, Kurapika. I'll tell you when Gon and Killua arrive," Leorio said confidently."It's worth it."
"It better be," a sour, yet familiar voice said from behind him.
Leorio turned and found the silver-haired Killua equipped with his backpack and traveling clothes. Gon followed close behind. "Hey, Leorio!"
"Oh, Gon, Killua! Take a seat!" Leorio offered and pointed at the two other seats around the table. Killua reluctantly took one while Gon obliged with a smile.
"So, what is it, Leorio?" Kurapika asked anxiously.
"Yeah. It must be something very important," Gon chided in.
"It should be," added the sour-faced Killua.
"What's the matter with him, Gon?" Leorio asked.
Gon scratched his head and laughed sheepishly. "Well, when we got your call to come here, we had no money. We had to go through a million jobs to get some, which included cleaning animal cages in a zoo. Well, for Killua, it wasn't a very pleasant experience."
"Sorry, Kill," Leorio said with a grin. "I didn't expect that you'd go through ƒthatƒ much trouble.
"I didn't, too," Killua replied, still sour. "Now, what do you want, oyaji?"
A vein popped out of Leorio's head upon hearing the term, but decided not to confront him. "Okay. Here it is."
The three peered closer.
"After years and years of studying, aeons of trial and error, I've finally passed the medical exam and earned myself a doctor's license!"
"Omedetou," Kurapika replied blandly. He still didn't understand why he had to come all the way here. Killua thought the same, and include the fact that he had to clean up animal droppings. He continued to glare at Leorio.
"Wow, that's totally amazing!" Gon cried. "Omedetou, Leorio-sensei!"
Kurapika and Killua gave Leorio a 'so what?' look. He gulped and spoke again. "And because of that, I'm willing to treat you dinner!"
"Really???!!!" Gon asked happily. "Wow!"
On the other hand claws and chains, were being lashed out. Kurapika and Killua glared at Leorio. They weren't enjoyiing this at all. They were happy for Leorio, but why go around half the world just for free dinner in a cheap tavern?
Gon noticed the growing tension and spoke, "Well, we might as well enjoy it. We know Leorio never spends this much money."
"Yeah, with all his greed..." KIllua murmured, slowly advancing towards the celebrant. Leorio was getting quite annoyed himself. They glared at each other, with sparks of electicity zapping between them.
"Hey..." Gon quickly called a waitress to interrupt them. He knew that the usual method won't work.
"May I help you?" the waitress asked upon reaching them.
Gon pointed to Leorio. The waitress gently tapped his shoulder.
"Sumisasen, Okyaku-san. May I take your order?"
Leorio's anger which had been building up, quickly disappeared upon hearing the waitress' voice. He turned to see a beautiful girl around eighteen years of age, with beautiful black hair falling down her waist and deep, blue eyes that would summon every man to her beck and call. She had a small perky nose that looked almost perfect and pink lips that always seem pucker up for a kiss but zipped not-so-tightly with a smile. All of these were engraved on a flawless light-tan skin. Leorio slowly felt his blood burn for the beautiful creature right in front of him. All he could do was stammer.
"A-ah... uuhhhm..." His face was blood red. He could barely speak.
Kurapika's infinite wisdom told him to act quickly. Undreneath the table he moved his right foot and stepped hard on Leorio's left one. Leorio screamed in pain. The noises in the tavern quickly stopped. The waitress jumped back in surprise.
Luckily, the rest of the people in the tavern didn't find Leorio very interesting. They all went back to eating their own meals.
"Daijobu desu ka?" the waitress asked. Leorio scratched the back of his head while he threw a quick glare at Kurapika.
"Yes, I'm perfectly fine," Leorio said, smiling. This was so good. He passed his test and now a potential girlfriend.
"May I take your order now?"
"Yes," Leorio answered as the girl handed him four copies of the menu list and gave each one of them.
"I want roast fish," Gon said.
"Uummm... some salad and probably a glass of orange juice," Kurapika requested.
"I want everything on the menu," Killua said with an evil grin. He decided to take advantage of Leorio's rare act of generosity. "Times two."
Leorio's jaw dropped. "That's too much." They all sweatdropped. Killua grinned even more, showing his fangs. It was a chance for him to annoy Leorio, especially in front of a pretty girl.
"Is that all?" the girl asked cheerfully, but not without a gigantic bead of sweat.
Leorio just sighed. "And a serving of roast chicken plus a mug of beer."
"Thank you. Please wait for a while." The food arrived a few minutes later. Killua was impressed on how they were able to churn out all those food in justa matter of time. People were staring at them. Gon shyly ate the roast fish while Kurapika glomped on his food with usual dignity. Leorio twirled his fork around the food with the idea of the bill heavy in his mind.
Gon and Kurapika had a nice chat while Killua ate and ate and ate. Leorio glared at him with every spoonful he put in his mouth. ƒOne ghenni... two ghennies... three ghennies... four ghennies...ƒ
They finished eating. Kurapika went home right away, but promised that he'd still see them tomorrow. Gon and Killua did the same a few minutes later. Leorio, who had been drinking heavily, started to feel quite dizzy. He paid the bill then went out to throw up.
He went to the back of the tavern and let his stomach revolt against all the alcohol. He didn't notice a little girl approach him from the tavern's back door.
"Daijobu desu ka, Oniichan?"
Leorio looked up with swollen eyes at the little girl. "Nani?" Leorio thought she was familiar, though. She seemed to be around seven years old, although, she was a bit too thin if that was her age. She had black hair in pigtails and blue eyes. A small stuffed rabbit was in her arms. She resembled the waitress from the tavern.
The girl backed a few inches away. Not because she was scared, but because his breath smelled terrible.
"You're throwing up and your breath stinks," the little girl answered. "And you're making so much noise."
Leorio was annoyed with the little girl. "What do you want, brat?"
"I want you to brush your teeth."
A vein popped out of his forehead. "Sorry, kid, I can't." He was trying his best to contain his anger. This was a little girl after all.
"But you must," the little girl persisted.
Leorio was losing his patience. "Why you..."
"C-mon, Jen-chan, let's go," a familiar voice interrupted Leorio from the tavern's back door.
Leorio looked ath the source of the voice. It was the same waitress he saw earlier. She was out of the skimpy uniform and was now wearing ordinary clothes.
"Oneechan!" the little girl quickly ran to her sister. She pointed to Leorio and said, "Oniichan was bullying me!"
The waitress looked at Leorio. "Oh, it's you." She smiled at him.
Leorio quickly dusted himself and tried to brush his hair back a bit. About his breath, though, that was totally hopeless. "Hi!" he waved his hand in greeting. All the feeling of throwing up was gone. "Nice to see ya again, um..."
"Meila. And you're?"
"Leorio!" he answered. His heart was starting to beat fast. It was a good start with this pretty girl.
Jen glared at Leorio. "He's a bully."
"Really? I think he's a very nice man, Jen-chan."
Jen pouted and raised her nose high up in the air. "Let's go home."
"Wait!" Leorio said. "Maybe I can walk you home." ƒBaka yaruu, Leorio! You're too fast!ƒ
"I guess that's okay," Meila answered. "Shall we go, then?"
Jen stepped on his foot as he passed her by to Meila's other side. It hurt a lot but he didn't make any remark. He was supposed to look nice. They started to walk through the dirt road. The night was beautiful. There was no moon but the stars were laid out beautifully across the velvet sky to give a tiny bit of light.
"So, Leorio-san, where do you live?" Meila asked, beginning a conversation.
"I actually stay in the dorm in the university," answered Leorio.
"Oh, you're a med student."
"Yeah, but I just passed my license exam." Her reached around his pocket and proudly showed them the hard-earned license.
"Oooohhh..." Jen was amazed. "Can I see it, Leorio-niichan?"
"Uumm... sure. "He handed it to her.
"Wow! She held it up. "I wanna be a doctor someday, too!"
"That's nice," Leorio commented. He looked at Jen.
"I wonder how strong this card is," she wondered out loud then tried to bend the card in half. Leorio quickly grabbed it from her.
"Handle with care," he said then gave Jen an angry look. He wasn't really angry, actually. He couldn't get angry at her because she wanted to be a doctor, too, and add the fact that she ahd a gorgeous Oneechan. He tried to get to Jen and pretended that he was going to eat her or something.
Leorio grabbed Jen then lifted her. "You look tired. I'll just carry you like a big horsey!"
"Yeah! Go horsey!" Jen cried, then slapped Leorio on the nape, just like he was a real horse. He didn't mind. It was fun.
Meila laughed. They were having so much fnu that Meila and Jen almost didn't recognize that they were home already. The house wasn't very big. It was probably equivalent to two rooms in the university dormitory. It was made of wood, just like most of the houses in Miala. What set it aside from the others was a small fragrant garden of morning glory flowers in front.
"Here, we're home. Thank you, Leorio-san." Meila gave Leorio a smile that 'melted his heart.'
"No problem," he answered, then put Jen slowly down to the ground. Jen stuck her tongue at Leorio, then opened the door and quickly rushed inside, leaving Meila alone with him. ƒNice kid...ƒ
"Jen, be sure to brush your teeth!" Meila called after her, then looked at Leorio. He thought that whe would go in the house just like her younger sister. Instead, she closed the door. She stood there and faced him.
"Leorio-san, can I ask a favor from you?" The smile on her lips changed into a straight line.
Leorio was puzzled. It was their first meeting. He was surprised that Meila didn't refuse to let him walk them home and she seemed so comfortable to be with that it felt that they had known each other for quite some time already. He nodded in reply.
"I know it's only our first meeting, but I really have to."
"You're a doctor aren't you?"
"Fresh from the university! Why? Is anyone sick?"
"Who? Your mother?"
"No... Jen is." Meila bowed her head. She couldn't look at him.
Leorio was quite surprised. "Jen looks healthy to me. Just a bit thin."
"That's what we first thought, too. She suddenly started to vomit a few months ago. We didn't take it seriously, until she started to vomit some blood." She looked at Leorio. His face had changed. He looked like he had seen a ghost.
"Vomits some blood, yet looks healthy..." he seemed to absent-mindedly murmured to himself.
"Leorio-san, is anything wrong?" He wouldn't answer, as if he had gotten into a trance. Meila shook him a bit.
"Oh... no..." Leorio said getting back to consciousness. "I'm sorry about that."
Meila looked at him worriedly. He seemed to have gotten back to reality, but a scared look remained on his face. Beads of sweat were falling on his forehead. He didn't look all right. "Maybe I'll ask somebody else."
"No, please continue..."
Meila hesitated a bit then went on. "The doctors at the university hospital told us that it was hopeless. They said we brought Jen in too late. Although she looked healthy, the bacterial infection was slowly spreading through her body. They didn't give any medicines to us, no, nothing at all."
"When was that?"
"Around three months ago, Leorio-san. They said Jen would only have four months more to live."
"One month from now... I couldn't bear to lose her, Leorio-san! She's the only family I have left. My parents were excuted in public for treason thet didn't even commit. Ever since, all of our relatives tried to rid themselves of us! And almost all the people in this town despise us. I was lucky enough to get a job in the tavern." Tears started to fall from her eyes.
"Maybe that was the same reason they didn't even try to cure Jen. Why?" She was crying so hard that she didn't notice herself leaning on Leorio's chest. She was tugging at his shirt, and staining it with her tears.
"She's only seven years old for God's sake! She can't die yet!"
Leorio watched her as she cried. He was only trying to impress Meila at first, when he met her at the bar. Now, he had a major chance to do so. But that didn't matter, anymore. He wanted to cure Jen. It was a part of his vow that came out from a distant memory.
"I'll pay any price! Please cure her."
Leorio looked away. She was crying so hard. He knew that a man like him should comfort her. How could he? He needed comfort himself. Jen's disease, and everything... they reminded him of a tragic event in the past. His heart, which had been celebrating, started to despair, it began to put blame on things that were not even involved, and started to feel hate for himself, once more. He still believed that it was his fault, no matter how many times people told him that it wasn't.
ƒPietro...ƒ He couldn't do anything, then. Could he do something now?
translations: [please correct any mistake i make...]
++ oyaji - 'old man'
++ arigatou na - 'thanks'
++ ja! - somehting like 'see ya!'
++ omedetou - 'congratulations'
++ -sensei - a suffix added to the name of a person like a doctor, teacher, a manga-ka, etc.
++ sumimasen - 'excuese me'
++ okyaku-san - term used to address a guest
++ daijobu desu ka? - 'are you okay?' [polite form...]
++ Oniichan - informal term for big brother. equivalent to the filipino word 'kuya'
++ -niichan - a suffix added to a name to indicate the same meaning as Oniichan
++ Oneechan - informal term for big sister. equivalent to the filipino word 'ate'
Leorio ficcie... How was it? It was supposed to be a oneshot, but I couldn't fit in all the details in one chapter. It'd get too long if I did that.