Saitama let out a sigh as he and his disciple, Genos walked into his apartment. It had been quite the day. The whole 'Sea King' ordeal had really taken its toll on some heroes. But not on Saitama, or Genos for that matter. The two heroes were not tired or anything, but they just needed a little rest.
"Genos, is that what I think it is?" Saitama asked his disciple, pointing a gloved finger at a huge bag that was placed near his table.
Genos nodded his head, looking at him. "Yes. It's fan mail, master. Should I dispose of it?" he asked, remembering all of the nice letters he had received, but also remembering the hateful letters his mater had received. He did not fully understand why his master acted the way he did, he would probably never know. Some might call his master a cheat, but he knows that he isn't. He can't help it that he beats all of his foes with one punch, it's what he trained for. To become the strongest, that was his master's goal. A goal that he had achieved.
"Nah," his master replied, waving a dismissive hand at him. "Read through it, but let me know if there is one for me."
Genos nodded as he placed his grocery bags on the floor, walking towards the bag. Opening it and scanning through the letters, there was one that caught his optics.
"Master," Genos called out, grabbing hold of the envelope and handing it to him. "This one is for you."
"Well, let's see what they are calling me today." Saitama said as he grabbed hold of the envelope and opened it. "To my number one hero, Saitama. He read out loud. "Hey there, Mr. Saitama. I am your number one fan. Just ignore what those mean people are saying about you. I know that you are a true hero, and I know you beat that big meanie: Sea King, without other heroes weakening him. If I ever got the chance of meeting you, I would be so happy. It would really make me feel better. Much love, your number one fan." Saitama finished reading the letter, placing it on the table.
"That's a big change," Genos stated, grabbing the letter and reading it for himself. "Oh, there's and address," he said, holding the letter out to his master.
"Good Heart hospital," Saitama mused. "Oi, Genos. You know where the hospital is located?"
"Yes, master," Genos replied, nodding his head while doing so. "It's not too far from here. But may I ask, why? Are you not feeling well? I can run a diagnostic and pinpoint what's causing your-."
Saitama held his hand up, motioning for him to stop. "I'm fine. It's just… weird, you know. All this time people have been calling me a cheat, which I don't really care about. But now I there's someone who calls him or herself my number one fan."
'You deserve a lot more than just one, master.' Genos thought, looking at his master. "Would you like to visit the hospital to meet your number one fan, master?" he asked, earning a shrug from him.
"I guess that couldn't hurt," Saitama replied as he walked towards his apartment's exit. "Genos, let's go."
"Welcome to Good Heart Hospital, how may I—oh, my." The nurse behind the register said, looking at the two heroes that stood in front of her. "Aren't you Genos? The hero who helped defeat the Sea King? She asked, fiddling with her hair.
"We're looking for the person who wrote this," Genos replied, completely ignoring her question and handing her the letter.
The nurse grabbed the letter and read it. "Hm, I believe this was written by one of our patients," she mused, typing a few letters on the keyboard of her computer. "Ah, yes. He's on the second floor, room 117." The nurse smiled at Genos, fiddling with her hair again. "It's really nice of you to pay him a visit, especially since he isn't doing too well."
Genos nodded, turning to his master, who had already opened one of the elevator doors and was patiently waiting inside it. Genos walked inside the elevator. He watched as the doors closed and the elevator moved up.
"Master," he said, looking at Saitama. "What will you do, when you meet him? It's very uncommon for a hero to visit every single one of their fans."
"Well, it's just one fan," Saitama replied. "And besides, does it really matter? I could have just said no, but that would mean I would disappoint him."
Genos nodded. After a few seconds, the elevator stopped. The doors opened and the two heroes stepped out of it. Walking down the hallway and passing several doors, they finally reached room 117.
Saitama knocked on the door.
"Come in," a young voice called out from inside the room.
Saitama and Genos both nodded to each other as Saitama opened the door. Stepping inside and closing the doors behind them, both of their eyes widened at what they saw. There lay a child, on a hospital bed. And boy did he look bad. He had tubes coming out of his body, and going into his body. The boy—probably around twelve years old—had short, brown hair. He had a smile planted on his face, and that smile only seemed to widen when he saw who was standing in his room.
"No way!" the kid squealed. "You're Saitama! Oh wow, this is so cool!"
"Uhm, hi," Saitama replied, waving at him as he walked closer towards him.
"Did you read my letter?" the kid asked, a hint of hope in his voice.
Saitama looked down at the boy. "Yes," he said, giving the boy a small smile. "Yes I did. Thanks, by the way."
The kid's gaze then turned to Genos. "Oh wow, you're the Class-S hero: Genos, right?" he asked, smiling at him.
"Yes," Genos replied. "What's your name?"
"My name is Tommy," the kid replied. Turning his gaze back at Saitama, he continued. "Why are you here, Mr. Saitama?"
"Well, when I got your letter, I wanted to meet my number one fan in person." Saitama replied.
Tommy smiled and giggled a bit, only for that giggling to turn into serious coughing. Saitama and Genos exchanged worried glances.
"Oi, Genos, maybe we should-."
"I'm okay," Tommy panted, looking up at Saitama. "I'm okay."
Saitama sat down on the bed, near the boy's side. "So, what's your story?" he asked.
"My story?" Tommy asked, tilting his head in confusion. "Do you mean how I ended up here?"
"Well," Tommy sighed, fiddling with his thumbs. "I've been here quite some time, now. My parents live in City B. I was transferred to this hospital because the doctors said that I would get better, if I were to be treated in this hospital… but, I haven't really been getting any better." He said, looking down at his thumbs. "Mommy and Daddy said I have something called: Cancer. I don't really know what that means, but all I know is that it's really bad."
Before Saitama could reply, Genos spoke up. "Cancer, also known as a malignant tumor or malignant neoplasm, is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body."
Tommy and Saitama stared at him in confusion.
"Basically, your body is slowly dying." Genos stated.
Saitama got off the bed and grabbed Genos by his collar, dragging him outside the room as he shut the door. "Genos," he sighed, slightly glaring at him. "You don't tell a kid that he's going to die, soon. Listen, why don't you go home and cook dinner, or something. I'll be there in a jiffy."
"Yes, master! Pardon my bluntness." Genos replied.
Saitama shook his head as he watched his disciple get in the elevator. Turning around and entering the room again, Saitama walked towards the bed again. Sitting down beside Tommy.
"Where's Genos?" Tommy asked.
"He had to do some cyborg stuff," Saitama replied.
"Oh," Tommy trailed off. Turning his head to look out of the window, Tommy smiled as he looked over City Z. "It's really pretty, you know."
"Huh?" Saitama said as he turned his head to Tommy. Looking out of the window as well, he continued. "Oh, yeah, it is." Saitama replied. Looking at Tommy, Saitama asked the question that had been plaguing his mind ever since he read the letter Tommy had sent him.
Tommy turned his head, staring at Saitama in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"There are so many heroes out there. They all have their unique ability and skills. They have these cool suits and weapons which they fight crime with. Genos hasn't been in the Hero Society for a long time, and he had gained a lot of fans. Not that I care, though." Saitama replied.
"Why don't you care?" Tommy asked.
"I'll tell you, Saitama whispered to him. "Only if you promise not to tell anyone else."
Tommy nodded his head furiously, eager to hear why his number one hero did what he did.
"I don't care, because I'm not doing this 'Hero' thing for attention. I don't want to have all these fangirls following me around. I don't want so much attention. I'm doing this, because I want to. I'm just a hero for fun. It's kind of like a hobby for me."
"B-But, why are you able to defeat every villain with just one punch? Surely you must have done a lot of special training for that?" Tommy asked.
Saitama shook his head. "To be honest, no. The only thing I did was: One hundred pushups, one hundred sit ups, one hundred squats, and a ten kilometer run. Every single day. Oh, and I didn't use air conditioner or heater, even if it was really hot or cold."
Saitama nodded his head. "That's it."
"Well, to be honest, that's probably why I am your number one fan. A few weeks ago, when you saved the city by destroying that meteor that was coming right for us, I knew you were special. And then you defeated the Sea King, with just one punch, just like that meteor. I've read your profile, and all of the mean comments people are writing on your profile. They call you a cheat, but they don't know who saved them from that meteor. I just don't get why you said that the Sea King was weakened, when you defeated it."
"You saw that?" Saitama asked.
Tommy nodded. "It was on TV. But why? Why didn't tell them that you defeated it fair and square?"
Saitama let out a sigh. "Kid, listen. Many heroes fought against that sea freak, and all of them were defeated by it. Just because I defeated it doesn't mean that their sacrifices should be in vain. They too fought against that freak. Sure, the hero who defeated the villain should get all the attention, but people tend forget about the other heroes who fought against said villain, too. That's why I did what I did, that day."
It took some time for Tommy to comprehend what he had just been told, but when he finally understood, he gathered all of his courage and placed his hand on Saitama's shoulder. "Even though you don't want any fans, know that I'll always be your number one fan, Mr. Saitama."
Saitama stared at him with slight confusion, before patting Tommy's head.
Tommy let out a long sigh as he rested his head on the pillows of his bed. "You know, I'm going to die soon." He said, grabbing Saitama's attention. "I overheard the doctors talking to my mom and dad when they were outside my room. They said I only have a few more weeks to live, and that the process would be very painful."
A warm, salty substance fell on the sheets of his bed. Damn, he was crying again. "It's just… I don't want to die, you know? My mom and dad have been nothing but supportive for me, but I feel like I'm only disappointing them by dying. Everything they've done for me will be in vain."
Saitama watched as the body began to sob in his hands. Smiling slightly at him, Saitama placed a comforting hand on Tommy's shoulder. "So what if you die. Its part of life," Saitama said as he put his hand under Tommy's chin. "If you die, you die. Sure your parents will be sad and all, but they'll get over it."
Tommy looked up at his idol with teary eyes. "But I don't want to feel pain!" he shouted, making Saitama flinch. "It hurts. Every single day of the week my body hurts. I can't stand it anymore. I want it to end. I want it to stop! Please Mr. Saitama, isn't there something you can do?"
"I'm not a doctor," Saitama replied, scratching the back of his head.
"Just go," Tommy muttered, turning his back to Saitama. "Go and never come back!"
Saitama let out a sigh as he got up from the bed. Taking one final glance at the broken boy that lay on the hospital bed, he closed the door
"Master, how did it go?" Genos asked, setting a plate of rice in front of his master.
Saitama shrugged. "It went… bad, to be honest. Genos, I'm at a loss here." He said. "Can I ask you something?"
"If someone is in pain, and he wants that pain to stop, what would you do?" he asked.
"I would give the person painkillers, or sent them to a hospital." Genos replied.
"But what if none of those things worked? What if the person is in so much pain, that he wants to die right on the spot?" Saitama asked.
"If the person in question is in so much pain, who are we to decline his or her request. As a hero, it is our duty to protect those who can't protect themselves. If someone can't protect themselves against pain, then it is our duty to help them. Even if that means ending their life on the spot." Genos replied.
"Wouldn't that be murder?" Saitama asked.
"I think it's the right thing to do, master." Genos replied, taking a bite from his rice. "This has something to do with tha boy from the hospital, doesn't it?"
"Would you like me to-?"
"No, no." Saitama cut him off, looking down at his plate. "I think I'll pay him a visit, tomorrow."
The sun was slowly setting. The townsfolk of City Z were all heading to their respective homes. On top of a skyscraper stood two figures. One young and one old. Both had been through a lot. Both had faced ordeals that no person should have faced. But yet, they did. One concurred… but one was defeated.
"Thanks," Tommy said, looking up at his idol. "It really means a lot to me. It won't hurt, right?"
"Nope," Saitama replied, staring down at his number one fan. "Are you one hundred percent you want to go through with this?"
Tommy nodded. "Everything's been taken care of. You had Genos inform my parents, and they agreed."
"Yeah," Saitama laughed nervously, remembering what Genos had to do to let Tommy's parents agree with their son's request.
Tommy walked up to Saitama and hugged him tightly. Saitama smiled at the young boy. "O-Okay," Saitama said. "J-Just turn around and… think of something that makes you happy," he said, balling his hand to a fist. 'No more pain, I promise. I might be losing my number one fan today, but at least I got the chance to meet him'
"Saitama," Tommy said as he took one final glance at his idol. "No matter what they say, you'll always be my number one hero."
Tommy turned around and closed his eyes. 'No more pain.'
"You did the right thing, master." Genos said as he and his master got ready to head for bed.
"Yeah, yeah," Saitama replied as he lay down on his futon, pulling the sheets over him. "Just go to sleep, tomorrow's a new day.
"Of course, master." Genos replied, closing his eyes.
Saitama shook his head as he looked up at his ceiling. He though back to the time when he had defeated that crab monster. He thought back to the time that he defeated his first villain. He though back to the time he saved Genos. But most of all, he thought back to the time when he met a person, that changed his life forever.
And for the first time in his life, Saitama felt a hot substance running down his cheek.