Author: Auditory Eden

Rating: T

Warnings: General

Notes: Just a wee look into the Chi-Min we only sort of know...He's so darn mysterious.

Introspection

Dr. Chi-Min Huang, M.D., was not a man given to introspection. It was true, he had very exacting personal standards, both in his thoughts and his actions, but he didn't reflect often. When he presented a scathing remark, he never looked back. When someone, or something, left him with bitter feelings, he allowed his emotions to sit there, never examined, festering quietly in the back of his mind.

At least, that was until he met her. Miss June Blue Delias, as it said on her patient info, was nineteen, but unlike most nineteen-year-olds, she didn't have her whole life ahead of her. She was going to die, and soon, of he couldn't save her. From the beginning, he was a little aware that it was almost impossible that she would be cured. The most he could hope to do was prolong her life, and for whatever reason, that made him angry and sad.

For the first time in a long time, he noticed his feelings. He allowed his emotions to come into contact with his mind, and found that he didn't understand them. Why should the fate of this one patient mean so much? He was a philanthropist, at least as far as philanthropy could go with doctors. He respected his patients, was polite and blunt at the same time. But when he thought about her, how she was going to die, and how brave she was, fighting to make it look like she was okay...All those things that had been important to him, success, his ambitions...all that seemed to matter was keeping her alive and well.

So he knew that it hinged on Miss Delias. His doctor side took over, diagnosing symptoms, but his human side—the part that was a little anguished by the thought of her death—decided to get to know her. He had asked her idle questions, and somethings she had told him without any prompting. It was June herself that told him about her career as a violinist. She'd been in treatment for four months and already was happier, healthier.

One day, after she'd regained use of her arm, he'd asked her what her profession was. She'd laughed, told him about music school and how alive she'd felt when playing. At next week's appointment, she brought a copy of her only solo album, the one she'd just put out before she fell prey to her disease.

That night, listening to her music, he examined the cover of the album in his hand. It was June, but June as he had never known her, exquisitely alive and beautiful, bow to the strings of her violin, a transcendent expression on her face, soft light filling the shot, giving her the look of an angel. Her hair hung soft around her face and a sweet smile curled her lips as she leaned into the music she created, eyes closed. The album had no title, only the words "June Blue" in elegant script in the bottom left corner.

The music was another thing completely.

It was so happy, so un-June-ish, that he could barely believe it was her playing. Though vitality and hope were beginning to return to her, her whole character was tinged with sarcasm, a sort of bitterness against fate. He could remember feeling that way himself once.

Chi-Min healed her, and watched her, and learned her. She became possibly his closest friend, and he took comfort in her mere presence. After just a year, she was becoming more and more like the June on her CD cover. But when he asked her if she'd ever go back to playing violin, she denied the wish. He felt crushed on her behalf when she told him that maybe fate didn't want her to be a musician, since she was diagnosed with Calphanika's so soon after her solo debut. He couldn't imagine what it would have been like to be separated from his profession by such a circumstance.

At some point, almost without either of them noticing, she became "Miss June" rather than "Miss Delias" and she began to call him "Dr. Chi-Min", rather than "Dr. Huang". Slowly, her horrible disease began to lessen. He could see that she was becoming whole and happy once again. She began working as a bouncer at some club. It wasn't a career choice he ever thought she'd make, but she seemed happy in it, so he didn't mind.

And then her liver stopped working.

It was like a light shut off for Chi-Min. His hopes of maybe someday saving her were abolished. How could he save her from organ failure? She couldn't exactly afford a liver transplant, and even if she could, there was a greater chance that Graft versus Host disease would kill her than that the transplant would have any beneficial effects. Her body wouldn't be able to take it.

To his distress, she didn't really seem to mind. It was as though she was totally prepared for death. He watched her talk about how her liver not working was easier to ignore than her arm no working and knew she would die.

In an idle moment, he examined the feeling it gave him. When had her presence become so necessary? And what on earth made it so? He couldn't begin to tell, at first.

Then Bri. That sweet girl, the same age June had been when she was diagnosed with Calphanika's. A pretty nineteen-year-old elf girl, totally enamored with him after he saved her life. He knew that June thought Bri would make him happy, realized slowly what Bri felt, and because of that, realized what he himself felt.

It shocked him at first.

For one thing, he didn't think elves could actually fall in love. It was all hormones and such, and elf bodies never developed that far, or so he thought. It was incredibly awkward for him, on one level, to see June and know he loved her. On another, he felt relief. Explanation, productivity, results, they were the things that he enjoyed in life, besides her presence. Finally receiving an answer to the question that had been plaguing him the better part of three years was a huge relief.

And then June's attempts to set him up with Bri came to a head. That awful, ill-fated "double date", and even worse, Bri's letter.

He had received it with a sense of impending doom. He knew, just knew, what it would contain. And yet he couldn't bring himself to care. He read it with June right there, and that bitter little part of his soul took horrible satisfaction in the idea that June knew, knew what that letter contained.

When he told her he loved her, he knew it would drive her away.

But he also knew that it was best. How could she know? She'd never see what he had been. June saw him as an enigma, never quite sure where he stood. Could she ever look at him and see a man she could love? Utterly doubtful, was his immediate reaction. A twenty-nine year-old man trapped in body of a child?

He knew that she would come back as well. And while he treated her, avoiding her glance and speaking to her only as a doctor should, the words hung between them. "I am in love with someone, and she is sitting behind me..." He could never stop thinking about her gasp, how she ran. He could never stop digging at the hole that had opened in his heart.

Chi-Min was never a man given to introspection, until he fell in love.

xXx

Parting Comments: I'm not altogether sure how accurate I think this is, character-wise. I mean, I have a very concrete personal idea of what I wanted to express, but I don't think it came out quite right....Ah well. This one's from Chi's perspective, and a lot more character oriented, not event-oriented. I tried to put in some of the character elements from his character interview, but I'm just not sure...feedback vastly appreciated.

Hugs and Kisses

Eden