A/N: This chapter ended up being a lot longer than the last ones. And yes, I did write this about a year ago, completely forgot about it, and then after Acceleration of Suguri 2 was released dug it out from the depths of my laptop as my will to write returned.
Warning for somewhat detailed descriptions of injuries. Enjoy!
Your name is Hikaru Yamada, and you are getting very tired of this.
As long as you can remember you had always wanted to become a doctor, an engineer or some other kind of scientist: someone who could save lives of others, do their small part in healing this world and it's inhabitants, or at least protect and pass on the knowledge from even before the war to the new generations.
However, when you started studying it became clear to your teachers that your talents were numerous and your personality kind, hardworking and just. You had only studied medicine for a year before you were made a quite literal once-in-a-lifetime offer: to train in the altered human medicine and physiology, and one day become Suguri's personal assistant/doctor. You took the offer instantly and despite the grueling difficulty of even the most basic materials never looked back with regrets.
For over two decades now you have had the honor of being Suguri's main physician, which usually means patching a scrape or two per year, plus giving her a bigger checkup in every two years or so: probably little excessive, but you'd rather not miss even the slightest sign that she might be unwell. She has done so much for everyone and everything on this world that you would happily spend every waking hour attending to her, even if that is quite impractical in reality.
Since the technology to make new altered was lost at some point after the war you might very well be the most knowledgeable person on the planet regarding to the altered physiology, types and capabilities. And yes, you do count Suguri there; for all her virtues she has never been all that interested in finer points of altered technology making up her body. She defends herself by stating that most people don't really care to know exactly how their pancreas or liver or eyes work, as long as they do their job. You can't really argue with that you suppose, but it's still a little frustrating. Honestly, one would think that during ten thousand years she would have gotten curious at some point. She is not even that consistent with her checkups with you: she does not actively avoid them, thank gods, but rather tends to forget them and disappear to some distant corner of the planet, returning months later with a somewhat sheepish expression and a mumbled apology. You have learned to take it in stride, and instead of panicking you simply send someone to tape a politely worded note on her front door and wait her to turn up sooner or later. At least you have managed to convince her that any sort of injury means that she should come see you immediately, no matter how small it is, to at least give you a peace of mind.
Honestly, taking care of Suguri hardly takes any time these days, and most of your time is spent working as a regular doctor whenever you're needed and looking for an apprentice you could train to carry on your tasks after you retire. It's not that you are terribly old yet, but finding a candidate and testing if they have what it takes is a long process, and studying everything relevant takes years, but rather that long process than choosing someone unfitting for assisting Suguri. You have some hope that your new assistant, a young boy called Taro could be suitable: that is, if you ever manage to convince that nervous thing with his low self-esteem to try studying at all.
Of course, everything quickly changed once that colony spaceship arrived. Suddenly there was fighting all over the place, robots and altered waging war just like in old stories, and enough fear and uncertainty to last you a lifetime. You decided to stay at your clinic even after some people went to hide. You were damned if you would run like a coward when Suguri might for the first time actually get hurt and need you: no force on earth could have gotten you to leave, no matter the fear you felt. You still remember spending the agonizing hours reading and re-reading any texts you had on how to treat altered-on-altered injuries, how to act when injuries were truly serious, how to prepare for the worst; and checking and re-checking all the instruments and supplies you had in stock, whole time just waiting for Suguri to arrive, hurt or othewise.
And she did stop by in the end. While her first three opponents had only managed to leave her some slight burns from grazed lasers or close explosions that her shield hadn't been able to fully block the forth altered sent after her had been a totally different story. A tall, curvy literal fiery redhead with crazy, lightning fast lunges, razor-wind claws and enough physical strength to shred battleship armor like tissue paper. Suguri had managed to take her down, but it had been a close call. She flew into the clinic smelling of smoke and burnt flesh, hugging her left arm against her side, long clawmarks slashed on it still raw and oozing blood, while number of smaller cuts and burns were scattered all over her. Thankfully, her arm was not broken, as you shudder to think that she would have likely continued fighting with it anyways, and while the burns on it were surely painfull they had also cauterized the gashes, stopping them from bleeding freely. You did the best you could to fix her up in the small amount of time Suguri agreed to stay. She explained that she had mostly came back to stock on her weaponry anyways, in anticipation of taking the fight to the invading ship. Nothing you said to her could get her to reconsider, and before long she thanked you and took off again, while you setteled in for another wait.
You didn't need to wait as long that time. Suguri returned before the day was over, hurried and asking you to come with her to "treat the others". And she didn't come alone: with her there was an altered whose kind you have never seen before, even on old data, beautiful and delicate while also projecting power and nobility in a way you had only seen Suguri do on an occasion. Too stunned to protest you allowed them to take you along.
It appeared that Suguri's idea of what to do with defeated enemies was to ask them to live with her. Granted, none of the new altered had truly wanted to fight in the first place, and you shuddered when you thought about how they had been made and forced to obey that megalomaniac. Striping altered of their free will was something that had only been done at the darkest hours of the war, and it was rumored that Suguri's father himself had destroyed all the records of how it could be done. You were glad that everything Shifu had written down about the subject had been lost with his ship. No matter how tempting some new insight on altered was there was just some things that were better off forgotten. So, instead of dwelling on dark pasts you took everything in stride the best you could, doing what you could for the new altered while brushing off their gratitude and waited for things to return to normal. Except that they didn't.
You had vaguely thought that you would probably have to give checkups and provide first aid for the newcomers as well. That on itself was fine, since being needed about-twice-a-year times the number of altered now living on Earth (seven) was still only supposed to mean working with altered about once a month. What you failed to take into your calculations was the widely different tempers and needs of the new arrivals when compared to Suguri, and also the actual fact that there was now more than just one altered flying around.
In short you did not realize that altered, even friendly ones, tend to get into the fights with each other all the time. One of them is feeling restless? Let's go fly around and shoot at each other! Someone ate dessert Saki made? Fight with everyone until someone confesses. Nanako is having a bad day? Challenge anyone you came across into "sparring match". And so on and so on. Few months of that and you were about ninety percent sure that their idea of flirting was shooting at each other while artfully dodging the return fire. Instead of a visit per month as you had thought you found yourself attending to them few times per week, and that was not even counting any of the bigger "incidents" , which usually resulted in even more wounds and scrapes. A perverted robot copy, seriously?
While there were some upsides to your new situation, Kyoko's presence and intrest towards all kinds of knowledge first and foremost among them, you were starting to get more than a little tired running around and trying to keep everyone in one piece. Your assistants were helping of course, and you were determined to step up their training and recruit more the moment you had time, but for the time being you were quite tired, and thus far more irritable than normally.
Which gets you nicely back on the topic of you being tired of this.
"Suguri," you start, the lack of emotion in your voice likely alerting her that you are not amused. "Who is that?"
Suguri looks up from where she's standing at your door, almost blending into the night. She has at least the mind to look somewhat embarrassed , attempting to support two other altered humans upright, one of them Hime with a bruised face and a worryingly dizzy expression, and other a tall blonde you've never seen before, looking dead on her feet and shaking like a leaf. Every single one of them, Suguri included, also bears some smaller marks of a recent fight, cuts and bruises and burns decorating them. You speak again before Suguri can even open her mouth. "No, never mind. I'm not sure I really care right now. Could you instead tell me why Hime looks like she crashed face-first into a mountain?"
The new altered winces at your words. You're not sure if you would have caught that expression if you hadn't had to try picking up on Suguri's moods for all these years: her face is just as blank as Suguri's was to you at the start. Suguri seems to notice newcomers discomfort instantly too, as she speaks quickly: "This is Sora. The person who stopped the war so that I could begin to heal the planet. She just woke up from sleeping a very long time."
On some other day hearing that you are in a presence of a war heroine from before even Suguri's time could have struck you speechless with awe. Today is not that day however. It is currently around one in the morning, snowing heavily from oppressive black sky, you were rudely woken up from your well-deserved sleep after a day of patching up Kae after her latest mishap and you currently have three more battered-up, dirpping wet altered standing on your doorstep, looking all in all quite pitiful considering that they are likely the three strongest beings in the entire world. You allow yourself a heavy sigh, massaging the bridge of your nose.
"Well, get in from there you fools. I take it none of you are going to continue the fight here? Unless there was some other ultimate weapon class altered out there who beat you all up, in that case I would like to know now so that I can start panicking properly." You say and move aside to let them in.
"Ahah, no, we just had a little...confusion over some things when we first found Sora, but those have been cleared now so it's good. Umm, could you maybe take Hime and help her inside? I think she hit her head pretty hard." Suguri says gazing worriedly at her friend who's swaying slightly, even with Suguri's arm around her shoulders for support.
"I'mah sorry" Sora mumbles, looking ashamed despite the fact that she looks at least as battered as Hime, and exhausted beyond belief. Well, you guess that is what you get for spending 10000 years in a stasis sleep and then picking a fight with two deities. Silly girl.
"Oh, please don't be upset Sora. You were simply confused and angry, it can happen to anyone. Besides, while I might look like a delicate flower this is hardly the worst injury I have ever had. Remind me to tell you all about a creature we met in space when we were traveling through sector 82C-5... Once I'm not quite this dizzy that is." Hime says, her attempt at sounding cheerful and comforting little ruined by the way she is slurring her words slightly. Definitely a concussion then, you think to yourself, as you put your arm around her and let her lean on you.
Suguri makes an interested sound while adjusting her hold of Sora now that she has her both hands free to do so "Oh? I think you mentioned Shifu awakening you before we met. What kind of creature was that?" You all start to slowly shuffle inside while talking idly, your mind already on who to treat first and how.
"Ah, I think it looked kind of like the octopi you have on this planet, except that it was about three times the size of our ship... Also, it seemed to be quite toxic and had this ear-shattering shriek, it really was quite an unpleasant fight. Sh-Sora's a lot cuter than that, pretty like Suguri ... thihihi-" Hime chatters on in an almost drunk tone, then sways dangerously and almost falls to her face despite your support, giggling. She completely fails to notice three very disturbed stares now leveled at her, after which Suguri and Sora instantly turn to you, both faces screaming HELP! pretty well for two of the most outwardly emotionless people you have ever seen. You sigh again; one of the planet's most highly regarded jobs or not, in days like this you sometimes wish you had just decided to become a vet instead.
A/N: Altered human, guardian deity or whatever she is, there is no way Hime slamming face-first into Sora's barrier at the end of their fight in sora didn't hurt.
Also, I am ridiculously curious about what kind of mishaps happened in the space that were bad enough that Shifu had to wake up Hime to fix them. From the top of my head my first guess was a Cthulhu spawn, followed by space pirates, nearby supernova explosion, someone (coughNoNamecough) trying their hand at piloting and crashing the ship on some hostile planet, meteor storms and Sweet Breaker deciding to pre-emptively stop pudding from returning to Earth by crushing Saki (and the whole ship) under a few thousand tons of chocolate. Considering OJ universe those things are all about as likely to have happened as the others, but I went with my first idea for this fic.
This might very well be the last chapter of this fic, for now at least: I have a lot more ideas for OJ fics, if I ever manage to write them, but nothing that would fit into this collection right now. All in all this has been a fun experiment however, and if inspiration strikes I will return to it later.