My first Black Jack fanfic!!!
I'll gladly accept criticism. Actually I'd like a beta to do this. I'm not very satisfied with this fic because I came up with the idea while in bed and listening to piano music in my iPod.
So, here you go.
The Unfinished Birth Certificate
He loved her.
But he never showed it.
Even though, legally, he was her father.
No holding hands.
No bedtime stories.
No cocoa on rainy days.
No read together by the fireplace in winter.
…it was okay with her.
She would do all the physical affection.
A hug now and then.
A pat on the back after 10 hours of surgery.
Curry on weekends and ochazuke once in a while.
She called him "sensei", rather, "chenchei", not as a formality but as a term of endearment. Both of them were used to that.
At first, he tried correcting her again and again into pronouncing it the right way.
She never learned, much to his frustration. He even wondered if he had done something wrong with her tongue or her voice box or her lips to hinder her speech when he molded her out of organs.
But now it was a recognizable lisp only she made.
"Don't forget to sterilize the scalpels."
She often wondered if she was nothing more than an assistant.
He never even held her out of love.
Might as well just be considered an assistant. After all, he only needed her help when operating at home.
"…second to the right."
"Oh…here you go, chenchei."
Whenever he held her, it was always out of protection. She cherished those moments.
When the plane crashed.
When they were locked underground.
When she was sick with an almost incurable disease.
He would wrap his warm arms around her and stoke her auburn hair. She would cling to him as much as her toddler-sized hands would allow and snuggle against his hand.
Other times, he was emotionless.
Oh, he would smile when something struck him as inspiring but that was it.
Her, she would smile ALL the time.
In other words, they were complete opposites. And opposites attract, don't they?
Her shrill voice pierced through the walls and into the living room. Half a second later, the source came running to him, planting her head on his lap.
He looked down from his book.
"What is it?"
Her wide eyes stared into his narrow pair.
"I love you, chenchei!" she beamed with a sweet smile.
"What made you want to say that all of a sudden?" he said, returning to his book.
Her smile dropped into a childish pout.
"Why? Is it wrong to say 'I love you'?"
"I didn't say that," he said without taking his eyes off his book.
"What exactly is very interesting about advanced pulmonary blood vessel reattachment that you wouldn't look at me when I'm talking to you?" she wondered.
She stomped out of the living room, her hopes of him saying, "I love you too" had gone down to zero. What's so hard about an assurance of love?
Behind his book, the doctor was hiding a blush.
One thing she was sure of though.
He was hers.
If he treasured somebody, he treasured her.
If she loved somebody, she loved him.
In what way, exactly, was that love? Even for her, who watched endless romance movies on TV, she couldn't really give it words.
Father-daughter? Yeah right.
Teacher-student? Not quite right.
Friend-to-friend? No, it's something more than that…
Husband-wife? I wish…
Anyway, it was a love. No one would probably understand. Not even Sharaku.
She noticed that whenever the two of them would walk through a populated place, he would hold her hand so they wouldn't be separated. People stared at them suspiciously as if he was a kidnapper.
Who wouldn't blame them? A man with wild hair, a scar across his face, and in black clothes holding the hand of an innocent toddler who couldn't be past 6 years old. That's a pretty unlikely pair.
The heck what people thought. She didn't care. He probably cared less.
"Chenchei, why don't we stop for a parfait at Tom's?"
"We have to get home."
"I wanna celebrate another successful patient! He lived, didn't he?"
"If we celebrated every time I saved a patient, my reputation would change for the worse."
"Hmph, you're so stingy!"
More often than not, she would lie awake in her bed, questioning what kind of love they shared.
Please be at least that.
He didn't have any family, as much as she knew. The only one left is his father, whom he hates so much.
Did he even sign her up as his 'adopted' daughter or his 'biological' daughter?
Or surrogate daughter.
Or foster daughter.
Maybe not even as a daughter.
This kind of inner questioning left her wide-eyed at night.
"Good morning, daddy!!!" she happily greeted while putting omelets on the table.
He paused in his tracks.
"What?" he asked, bewildered.
"Uh…good morning dad!!!" she tried again.
He just stared at her. Was she referring to him? That was awkward.
She sighed. This was never going to work.
"Sorry, chenchei. Sit down and eat your omelet!"
They both pretended that never happened.
Well, whatever the case was, what she knew was she loved him and he loved her as much as she did…hopefully.
She decided not to worry about it anymore. She didn't want to lose any more sleep on it.
He had left her at home alone again to go help out a hospital. While he was out prolonging inevitability, it was her job to clean the house.
She was cleaning his study, which wasn't cluttered with paper, but sure enough, was cluttered with stacks of medical books here and there.
As she cleaned up the books and put them back into alphabetized order, she read all the titles as she went.
Anatomy of the Foot
Rare Diseases of 1992
Modern Plastic Surgery and Liposuction
Scalpels for Dummies
As she cleaned away the desk, there were a few medical records of past patients. She flipped through them to look at the last names and properly alphabetize them in the filing cabinet.
As she was sorting them, a few, she noticed, were unfinished.
Curious why they were at the bottom of the pile, she compared the unfinished ones to the others and she saw that they were different. Looking at the unfinished ones again, they were birth certificates instead of medical records.
"Hazama Pinoko," she read. She tilted her head. Since when did she have last name? She knew she had one but she never said or wrote it.
With something audibly clicking in her brain, she scanned down the paper, looking for the family relations part.
"Parents: Hazama Kuro (legal guardian)"
Her face dropped. Guardian? That's IT?
Well, it was somewhat true. She had a biological father but she'd never met him. She practically considered her doctor her father but didn't he?
Not giving up until she saw everything, she scanned the other unfinished birth certificates.
"Parents: Hazama Kuro (surrogate father)"
"Parents: Hazama Kuro (deceased)"
"Parents: Hazama Kuro (adoptive father)"
"Parents: Hazama Kuro (temporary guardian)"
She was getting confused now.
Frustrated, she put the unfinished certificates down.
They were only papers. They didn't matter. They were just there to have themselves registered legally. They didn't need to reflect the truth.
She put the unfinished birth certificates in the file cabinet, under C, for Crappy Certificates.
All the other blank papers she put under W, for When are you gonna Work on these?
As she put the other papers in the file cabinet one by one and according to her own sorting, whatever birth certificate came up, she would scan it for her name.
After about the fifth birth certificate, there was a one with her name on it. She quickly looked over the paper.
It was complete.
Immediately, she looked at the family relations section.
"Parents: Hazama Kuro"
Just plain 'Hazama Kuro'.
She was satisfied.
She carefully left the paper on the desk as if it was made of gold.
After she cleaned the rest of the room, she closed the door and went to make dinner.
While in the hospital, he had a hard time concentrating. The world-renowned renegade surgeon having trouble concentrating?
That wasn't like him.
Especially for a surgeon.
Even since she uttered 'I love you', his mind had been racing.
But then she called him 'daddy', which was very unexpected.
Good thing the assistant surgeons in the hospital reminded him to close up the lungs before closing up the patient.
She was everything to him. He just needed a little reminder to wake those feelings up again.
He was very good at hiding his feelings.
It was one of the things a surgeon like him had to learn to do.
Imagine how many patients died on him.
She was fast asleep and he was finishing off his book on advanced pulmonary blood vessel reattachment.
Occasionally, and only if he didn't have an operation the next day, he would stay up late with one lamp on and the window open and read until he fell asleep on the chair.
After finishing two chapters of the heavy book, he put it down on the desk. Noticing the birth certificate he had completed for her, he browsed over all the not-so-true details like birth date (she had two, he wrote down the later one).
Before giving it a second look, he crumpled it and threw it away.
He took out a blank birth certificate and rewrote all the information down.
However, unlike the past few ones, he was sure of what to write: more of the truth.
Name: Hazama Pinoko
Spouse: Hazama Kuro
Sitting back in his chair, he proudly held up the certificate in front of him and managed a dark chuckle.
"With this many unknowns, they wouldn't believe she was an actual person."
But he still wondered if it was better for him to be her father.
No one but him knew what the birth certificate contained.
Thanks to those honest words of hers, his feelings became honest to him too.
He felt like a pedophile. He was at least 10 years older than she was.
What the heck, there were people with even bigger age gaps.
Now, he was just a little worried if she would accept the certificate.
Was her "I love you, chenchei," and her "Good morning, daddy" just parental love?
He took out the birth certificate and crumpled it.
If only he knew if she loved him as much as he loved her.
Lying awake in her bed, thinking about the birth certificate…
Now that she thought about it…was she nothing more than a kid to him?
If not an assistant, a daughter. If not a daughter, a…what?
"I love you, chenchei,"…
When she said that, he acted as if he didn't care.
"Good morning, daddy,"
When she said those words…she realized they were wrong.
If only she knew if he loved her as much as she loved him.