You know those worksafe ads that always go on TV? Yep, that one's inspired this fic. A Junpei/everyone friendship sort of fic, like 14 years after their adventure in the Digital World
Takuya's age is stated as ten in the Japanese sub. I'm just assuming then he was almost eleven, because he doesn't look that much younger than Izumi or the twins who are eleven.
Medical courses normally take a bit longer than some others. In Australia, it takes 6-7 years, so I'll just assume there's somewhere in Japan where you can do it for six. Other courses take 3-4 years, so I'm assuming also that that's the same in Japan.
There are a few OCs in here; wives, kids…you get the idea.
He knew his job was dangerous, but it was what he did, and loved. He knew though he would always have his family and friends by his side...
He had been prepared for the risk. Didn't mean he particularly liked waking up in a hospital bed, especially with little ideas as to the extent of his injuries. The only thing that brightened the fact was seeing his wife and two year old kid keeping a vigil.
Kaiyo reached her small chubby arms to him before his mother gently scolded her and pushed the outstretched limb down.
'Your father still needs his rest,' Meiko said, gently but strictly. 'Be gentle.'
Junpei smiled slightly and carefully lifted his arm by the tiniest amount, tweaking the outstretched palm. Both females smiled at him.
'Sleep,' Meiko commanded.
The next time he awoke, there was a rather large and illegible card by his bedside table beside a hospital tray of food. He smiled and reached out for the card, wincing at the pain that shot through his body, coughing once to rid himself of the pain before realising he couldn't stop breathing.
The machines monitoring him began shrieking as he felt the tube down his mouth attempting to supply with enough oxygen. Even though, his head still spun, until a nurse rushed in and injected him with something. It eased the breathing, but it also made him oddly sleepy.
'I'm sorry,' the nurse was saying to someone. 'You'll have to come back another time.'
The next time, it was only his wife, having dropped their daughter off at her mother's.
'How are you feeling?' she asked, smoothing his hair away.
'Better,' the other acknowledged. 'But bored.'
She laughed. 'I figured,' she admitted, leaning over him. 'Maybe I have a small respite.'
'Go easy,' Junpei laughed as well, though a little more hoarsely. At least the tube had been removed. A mask hung by his bed, to be used when he was sleeping or feeling sick.
It was a good thing he didn't need it at that moment.
'I love this job Meiko,' he said gently, stroking her suddenly tear-stained face with affection. 'But I love you more.'
'I know,' she answered, wiping away the rest of the tears herself. 'I don't like seeing you hurt, but I know this is what you want to spend the rest of your life doing and I can't stop you.' There was a bit of a sniff. 'Can't exactly argue either, seeing as I'm technically in the same bout.' She paused. 'Sometimes I think of leaving, mainly for Kaiyo…but barring the hospital-'
'-this is how I want to spend the rest of my life,' Junpei agreed. 'I know. But everything in life is dangerous.'
'That's true.' Another pause. 'Don't make a habit of this.'
'Hey, you're the one I met in the hospital!'
'Geez, I thought I'd never find you awake,' Takuya declared, barging in on Saturday afternoon.
'Takuya?' Junpei asked in some surprise. So far, his only visitors had been his wife and daughter. He had even half wondered why he hadn't seen them already. He could have sworn they had all dropped by at different points, but it could have been he was drugged up to his hair roots with morphine and other drugs he couldn't place the names of, so he couldn't be sure whether they were truth or illusion.
'Yep, and I thought I slept a lot.' He grinned in that easygoing way of his. Even after so long, that part of him hadn't changed.
'I'm fine,' Junpei sighed.
'Wife not giving you a hard time?'
'Can't. She's been in the boat before.'
'True enough…so, what are you up to?'
Junpei shrugged his shoulders a little, wincing at the pain. 'Not much in here.'
By the time Takuya had left, the slightly older man was feeling oddly refreshed, even if much of their conversation had been utter nonsense. The twenty-five year old had certainly grown up from his ten year old counterpart but he still had that inspirational attitude about him…except at times where he lost hope himself. Thankfully, that happened quite little; the happy-go-lucky gym teacher doubling as the region's soccer coach was still as boisterous and peppy as the warrior of fire that had come out of the digital world, just with an additional fourteen years of wisdom.
It wasn't much knew; he tended to see a lot of Takuya, namely because he and his wife had brought a house down the street from the Kanbara family home, prompting a little teasing at the expense of the older Kanbara son for still staying with his parents. The brunette had hotly replied that he didn't have a wife to cover the other half of the down payment and help paying the mortgage so he would like to save up instead of wasting it on a single bedroom apartment that wasn't going to be a permanent abode for him.
He did show up about once a week for lunch…not that Junpei nor Meiko minded.
Fourteen years had not taught him how to cook. They had taught him how to handle kids though, and Kaiyo was more than happy to stay with him when the husband and wife were both working, or took some alone time. He himself only taught four days a week and he was thankfully available on the two clash days. It certainly saved them quite a hassle, only in the way family or close friends managed to do so.
Unfortunately, neither Junpei nor Meiko had any siblings, so they were left to their friends. Fortunately, those were more than adept at filling the blank spaces in their hearts.
Tomoki stopped by the next afternoon with Ruri, a girl he had studied with since senior high school and joined again at university. Junpei was a little surprised to see them both; as far as he knew they were both graduating some time that week (he hadn't noted the date since he was supposed to be working). He was especially surprised to see Ruri who he didn't know quite as well as the ex-warrior of ice…until he saw the ring shining on her finger.
'You two got engaged?' he asked.
'Hey, about time Tomoki.'
Said man blushed and mumbled slightly, causing his black-haired fiancé to laugh in amusement.
'Shouldn't you be telling that to Takuya and Kouichi?'
'I do tell Takuya, and as for Kouichi, I'd have to talk to him first. For all I know, he skips that sentence in every email I send. So, when's the wedding?'
Ruri twirled a thin lock of hair. 'We were thinking in December,' she answered. 'A winter wedding.'
Made sense neither of them wanted a summer party.
To think that the little boy who had been scared of everything was about to get married.
'You'll be there right?'
'Wouldn't miss it for the world.'
The pair left around dinnertime, leaving a parcel for him. It really should have occurred to him to open the parcel before trying to digest the gritty tasteless broth the hospital gave, but it hadn't. Once he gave up on the dry rice and curry-like substance however and turned to the parcel, he dearly wished he had…before scarfing down the burger and onigiri, each in a separate home-wrapped packet. Tomoki and Ruri respectively he assumed. He made a mental note to thank them the next time he saw the pair or either of the two separate individuals that made up the pair.
And they had topped it off with a large slice of chocolate cake. His favourite.
That Tomoki; under the spirit of ice, he was still as warm as a cuddly little bear.
He was starting to notice a bit of a pattern when Izumi showed up on Wednesday during her lunch break with her husband coming in about halfway through her visit. A lot of people had been startled when she had announced her engagement three years ago…about the same time she had opened up an Italian restaurant. Because the area had a lot of tourists frequenting, the place did good business, and she had jokingly offered him a job during his spare time.
'What spare time?' he has rhetorically asked back. Between a wife, kid and job, he didn't have too much of it.
She had brought something from her restaurant for him. Another reason to forsake the hospital tray. After that she gave him a strict lecture, leaving no escape holes even as he tried to convince the blonde the hospital visit hadn't been entirely his fault.
'Next time call us at least,' she huffed, plopping down onto the uncomfortable hospital chair.
'Anything I should know about?' Shigeru asked, walking in at that moment.
Izumi's visit had reminded him of the fact that he actually hadn't called up on the others. When Meiko and Kaiyo came by after dinner, his wife informed that she hadn't managed to find the time before Tomoki had called his house. Apparently, word of mouth had spread the news.
That also reminded him that both twins lived further away and that Kouichi at least was rather busy, wrapping up his internship and applying into the board of medicine or something like that, so there was the possibility that neither of them even knew what he had been up to.
He hadn't been able to bring himself to wake up that morning, but around one in the afternoon he picked up the hospital line and dialled in Kouichi's apartment number. It wasn't the same one he had lived in while going through elementary and junior high school; his mother had passed away soon after he got accepted on scholarship into a rather good senior high school, and declining his father's offer to move in with the other half of the family due mainly because of the awkwardness that would ensure and the travelling problem associated with moving halfway across the country, he had instead moved apartments after the current lease had expired. His father and stepmother had helped with the payments until he graduated from senior high school, and upon attaining a scholarship into university, was able to find a better paying job.
Of course, he had to work quite hard for that, so it was no wonder they barely saw him. And it was also no wonder that no-one picked up; the chances had been pretty slim, especially since he still didn't have a cell phone.
He hung up, before trying Kouji's number. His wife picked up the phone, and as he had slightly suspected, Tora had had no idea of his current predicament.
She would tell Kouji when he came home, she said, before laughing a little and adding that if she told her husband before he came home and saw her, he would panic and think something had gone seriously wrong. Couldn't blame either of them, what with Tora being seven months pregnant and it being their first child and all.
It was interesting; considering her name meant tiger, she was certainly more like a playful cat. Perfectly counterbalanced Kouji's wolf-like personality, but clashed a little with the elder twin's more complex approach with dealing with things that bothered him.
Predictably, Kouji showed up after dinner that Thursday, by which time Junpei was wondering when the Doctor would give him the green light to go home. On that note, where in the world was the Doctor anyway? He hadn't seen him since Monday morning after Takuya's visit though a Nurse was periodically checking on him and seemed reasonably happy with his progress. She had commented that the Doctor would probably give him a final check-up before releasing him, but that had been Wednesday night. She informed him that she did work on Thursdays.
He had asked the nurse when she came with his lunch. She didn't know. So he asked the one who came with his dinner. She said an emergency of some kind had called him off work. She didn't know if anyone had been called in to replace him or someone knew could even be hired on such short notice (the extra help was always needed at they could afford an extra doctor in any case) or how the work would be split if that wasn't the case. She commented that since the quiet season was suddenly speeding up because of a rather large pileup on the main freeway, they were largely understaffed. Most of them were children so the beds weren't the issue. The issue was finding a free doctor.
So he wasn't feeling too amiable when the businessman walked in. Of course, you could never get away with that when it was Kouji.
Kouji couldn't stay too long, namely because visiting hours saw him out the door. Still, his timing really couldn't have been better. He mulled over their brief conversation, which involved a lot more than time would suspect of it.
He fell asleep thinking about the seven month old fetus kicking in his mother's stomach. Reminded him of when Meiko had been pregnant.
'And here I thought you'd be going crazy of having to stay in the hospital overnight because you couldn't get a clean bill of health,' Kouichi's amused voice told him early Friday morning, effectively waking him.
'What in the world brings you at-' Junpei began to curse without opening his eyes, wondering why the other had to wake him so early in the morning when he was normally either asleep or rushing off somewhere, before he got a good look at the other's white lab coat, clipboard and gloves. 'You work here.'
'Since Wednesday,' the other responded, carefully examining the initial charts and reports turning his attention to his patient. 'How are you feeling? Still tired?'
'It's eight in the morning Kouichi.'
The young Doctor grinned at him. 'Apart from that,' he said patiently, continuing to examine the patient.
'No. I've been sleeping normally since Wednesday.'
'No, just boredom.'
Kouichi continued asking him questions, thoroughly checking over the problems he had originally been admitted from. Junpei had to admit he much preferred this than the original Doctor he had had, and in addition there was a real personal feel. Kouichi actually cared, and not in a professional way.
'All fine,' he said finally, scribbling something as a nurse came in. 'You can go home after breakfast. Make sure you rest though; nap during the day for at least the next week even if you don't feel the need. Any shortness of breath and lay down; your body is still trying to heal itself.'
He went on to outline a few more things, before saying a few words to the nurse and sending her downstairs.
'Why do I have to wait till breakfast?' the older man complained.
'You're not driving by yourself at this point,' the other lectured softly, putting his clipboard down and taking a seat. 'So…you sounded like you were going to ask me something.'
Junpei blinked. 'Aren't you working?'
'Things have died down,' the other explained, looking tired enough to prove the point. 'I'm taking a break after this…unless something happens.'
'Oh, I see.' He still had about a million other questions…rhetorically speaking. 'How'd you wind up here? You live hours away. Don't tell me you're travelling that every day!'
'Nope, moved. Since my internship finished I thought I'd try to get a job closer to the rest of you guys. Took a while to sort everything out, but I'm working here fulltime now.'
'And you just happened to wind up with me?'
He chuckled at that. 'I figured you'd rather that than some stranger firing questions. As for you being here, I didn't even know till Kouji rang me at two in the morning.'
'Hey, I tried ringing you. And it wasn't like you told us.'
The other smiled a little sheepishly. 'It was supposed to be a surprise. But Kouji knew in case of an emergency.''
'Well, it was definitely that.'
Yep, that was Kouichi. Spontaneous and cautious at the same time.
An alarm went off, somewhat distant and Kouichi sighed. 'Better go,' he said, standing and picking up the clipboard. 'Take care of yourself.'
The nurse that had accompanied him came back about five minutes later with the news that his wife would arrive in another fifteen and he'd be cleared in twenty-five. Unfortunately, that meant he still had to deal with the 8.30 breakfast. Kouichi had been spot on in regards to the timing.
She hovered a little as she unplugged and fixed the last of the precautionary equipment. 'That new Doctor is certainly a cutie, isn't he?' she chirped happily.
'Kouichi?' Junpei asked, a little surprised, before grinning. Hospitals could certainly be interesting places. The twins finally saw their parents together there. They'd waited through a birth. He'd met his wife in the hospital when visiting a friend. He wouldn't be too surprised if a friendship, or even a romance, blossomed between a day nurse and a Doctor just released from his internship. 'Sure, and available. He's a good friend of mine.'
She blushed a little at that.
Junpei just chuckled. He wondered how Kouichi would react once he heard about that little bit of interference.