Finding Utopia: a Heroes fanfiction
By Kimberly T.
"Maybe someday I'll find my utopia in the past." –Hiro's blog, on the NBC blog website
"Aishiteru," Charlie told Hiro, with tears in her eyes. I love you.
Hiro looked like he wanted to cry too. She hated to see him in such anguish; didn't he understand that he was the best part of these last few months of her life? She leaned forward to kiss him…
And felt nothing but air.
"Mm?" Charlie opened her eyes, wondering why he'd pulled back… to find he'd disappeared. "Hiro?! Where'd you go?"
"Back to Japan, actually," came an amused male voice from somewhere behind her. "And six months into the future, too."
That voice sounded familiar, a little like Hiro, but… Charlie whipped around, to see a man coming around the corner of the diner. "Who are you?!"
"Claire was right," the man said to himself with a wry smile. "Back then, I was indeed… cute."
The man facing her now wasn't cute. He was Japanese, yes, but his face was thinner than Hiro's, and older. There were other differences, too; a thin white scar ran clear across his forehead, and his chin had one of those 'soul patch' mini-beards that Charlie had always thought looked ridiculous. And he had what looked like a katana slung across his back!
But the eyes behind those glasses… the way he looked at her…
He smiled widely. "You recognize me! I didn't think you would at first; after all, I'm fifteen years older now than the Hiro you just saw."
"But… how..." Charlie didn't even know what exactly she was asking, she was so confused.
"The ability to bend time and space, remember? Maybe now you believe me?" older-Hiro asked with a wry smile.
"I… I…" Finally, Claire just nodded her head. First knowing that baseball game's turnout, then the thousand paper cranes appearing in the blink of an eye, and now this… how could she not believe?
"Good. Because now that I've finally learned how to control my time-traveling, and now that the future I came from is safe… I've come back to really make things right. Do you have those tickets to Japan I gave you?"
"O-on my dresser, back home."
"Great! Because right now, in Tokyo, a highly skilled and surprised but grateful surgeon is practicing a new surgical technique: how to use focused ultrasound to safely break up blood clots in the brain without killing the patient. And you have an appointment with him in two weeks, to be evaluated for the surgery."
"Break up blood clots…" Charlie unconsciously grabbed at her head, as if she could reach in and touch the blood clot inside that the doctors had said was going to kill her soon. "You mean…?"
"I sure do. You're going to live, Charlie," as the older Hiro grabbed her hands and held them tight. "After everything I've done, the universe owes me a big favor, and this is how I'm collecting."
It was just too much to take in; Charlie burst into tears. The older Hiro hugged her and stroked her hair, murmuring soothing words in Japanese and English mixed together. Finally, she lifted her head from his shoulder and wiped the tears from her face as she choked out, "You… you've done all this for me?"
"Of course," he said with tears of his own glistening in his eyes. "The younger me wasn't ready to say this, but aishiteru, Charlie. Through all these years, I've never forgotten you… never stopped loving you."
"Oh, Hiro!" as Charlie hugged him as tight as she could.
After returning the hug with interest, Hiro pulled back a little to look into her eyes as he said seriously, "Charlie… I honestly don't know if this will work out. I don't mean the brain surgery; they perfected that back in 2016 and have a phenomenal success rate with it. But I don't know if we will work out… In the last fifteen years of my life, I've seen and done so much, and changed in many ways…"
"I noticed; you speak English with hardly any accent at all now," Charlie said with a smile.
"Well, yes; I've had years of practice. But that's the least of the changes…"
Charlie took his arm and tugged him along, as she walked back into the diner. "And we can talk about all those changes later, while we're traveling to Japan. Right now, I'd better give my notice at the diner, so they can find someone to replace me. 'Cause I'm thinking that after the surgery, it'll be time for you to show me more of Japan, and for us to see the rest of the world. I'm thinking that now, there really will be time…"
"Yes," said Hiro with a relieved smile, as he followed her inside. "There really will be time for that now. All the time in the world…"