AAN: this popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone so I just had to write it. Takes place after season 3. Genki is 17 and Holly is 21 in this story. I don't own monster rancher or its characters but I would love to lol.

Matters of the Heart

Hidden Problems

Genki woke with a start, gripping his chest he struggled to regain his breath. After a few minutes he rose slowly and walked off towards the near by stream. Kneeling he splashed his face with water then got himself a drink. His hand flew to his chest again as he began to choke. Finally his breath came easy again and he relaxed glancing at the early morning sky. It was just before dawn, the sky slightly brightened by the suns indirect rays. He sighed, it had been only a few months since his return to this world. He had been forced back to his own world for a few years after defeating the evil soul. He'd desperately missed his friends but there was nothing he could do about it at the time. Recently he'd somehow managed to return, for what reason he was still unsure, but he was happy to be here none-the-less. He gripped his chest again; he knew what was wrong with him he'd learned of it in his own world long before his return. There was nothing that could be done about it for now though, he just hoped that someday it could be resolved. His constant nightmares were of little help though; in fact they had mad matters quite a bit worse recently. He felt a presence behind him and smiled seeing the reflection in the water. She was as beautiful as he'd remembered, how he had missed talking with her for so long. After his returned he'd learned that she was once again traveling, her reasons remained a mystery to him and the gang but he trusted her so he followed.

"Genki… are you alright?" his hand dropped as he turned to her.

"Yeah… I'll be fine."

"That's the fifth night in a row…" He blinked at her; he hadn't realized she knew of the other nights.

"Yeah…" She could tell he was tired, he looked completely exhausted. With a sigh she came to his side kneeling down to sit with him. He knew she wasn't about to let this go right now, he'd known her too long to think she would.

"It's not good for you. You need more rest."

"I'll be ok, I'll go to bed early tonight alright?" Glanced over at her, she watched the water a moment before nodding.

"I'll get you something to help you sleep in the next town we come to."

"You don't need to. I'll be fine." Holly glanced his way obviously not convinced. She shook her head.

"Don't lie please."

"I'm not. It's not the first time this has happened. It'll stop after awhile." she frowned, her eyebrows furrowing. He realized he shouldn't have said that now and turns away to look at the sky again with a sigh.

* Not the first time? What does he mean? Does this happen all the time or something? If it does it definitely isn't healthy. * With a sigh Holly reached over and grabbed his shoulder gently. He felt her touch and looked her way unsure of what she was doing. He felt her pull on him, pulling him closer to her. "Lay down Genki… rest for awhile." She guided him to lay his head on her lap. His face turned red as she did, he'd never expected this. He did as she wanted though and rested his head on her lap, his hand moving to rest on his chest. Holly noticed the blush but said nothing about it. The pair hadn't discussed anything really personal since he had returned. He was unsure if she was upset that he left or not but hadn't the courage to ask at the moment.

"Holly?" his voice soft yet confused. He'd never seen her this concerned before… well not since he had that major injury thanks to end bringer.

"Just rest… the others won't be up for awhile yet." she noticed the confused looked he gave her. His blush reappearing when her hand absentmindedly stroked around his ear. He shifted slightly, somewhat discomforted and somewhat embarrassed. His gaze leaving her in favor of looking to the horizon. Holly watched him a moment, noticing his embarrassment and discomfort. She slowed her touch; making is softer in hopes of providing comfort. Something about his appearance made her ask the next question. "Genki… you aren't feeling well are you?" her voice soft and concerned. She'd seen his tired stagger the day before, but now wasn't convinced it was just lack of sleep. His gaze met her own for a moment, he then sighed and closed his eyes. After a moment though she noticed he was gripping his chest, her other hand moved to his, gently caressing there. He glanced up startled and once again blushing. She could see the pain in his eyes and wondered if he would admit to it or try to lie again.

"I haven't felt well for a few days." he looked back to the horizon. "Don't worry about it. It'll pass in a bit, it comes and goes."

"Comes and goes? So its… not a normal illness?"

"Nothing like a cold or the flu no. Don't worry I'll be fine."

"Genki… will you tell me what it is?" he looked to her again, his eyes showing that he was being guarded now. He closed his eyes with a sigh.

"You don't need to worry about this. It'll pass, it always does. I promise I'll tell you if it doesn't go away in a few days alright?"

"Don't you trust me?" his eyes met hers again,

"I do Holly… if I didn't I wouldn't be following you blindly. Please for now I'd rather not say what this is. And no it's not a danger to anyone else if that's what you were thinking. Just think of it more like an old injury, it'll only effect me." he turned his gaze back to the horizon, the sun slowly making it glow a fiery orange. He gritted his teeth as he felt another surge of pain, his hand gripping his chest. Holly could tell by his clenched jaw that he was in pain again. Her thumb caressed over the back of his hand hoping to provide some comfort. After a moment he relaxed again, though he hid it well it was obvious that he'd been holding his breath though the pain. Holly guessed it was to keep from crying out. Once he had relaxed again she spoke to him, being careful, as he seemed determined to hide his condition.

"Genki… if you are that much pain then you should take some medicine." she heard him sigh, he didn't look her way but he did answer her.

"The medicine we have would have no effect on this. At most it'd take the edge off."

"Didn't you have medicine at home?"

"Yes but I can't take it long term."

"Why?" He glanced over at her again; she noticed how tired he looked now. The exhaustion he'd been hiding showing through.

"It's too strong… and if taken long term it'll destroy my kidneys and liver. Its not meant for long-term use. A month or so at the most." he noticed her brow furrow as she tried to figure out the meaning of his statement. He knew this world didn't use drugs with side effects as his own did. They used herbal remedies for the most part. The strongest drugs they had were more like the weaker ones of his world.

"If it's that dangerous should it be used?"

"That I can't answer. But I do know that most drugs in my world have a lot of side effects whether wanted or not. And most of them are negative." he blushed as Holly moved his bangs out of his eyes, her hand on his gently holding his. Holly raise a brow at his blush but ignored it for now.

"I don't think your worlds medicine is good for you then if it has side effects like kidney failure."

"You are probably right but… there's not much that can be done. Some rich people make a lot of money off drugs and pay off the doctors to use their drugs instead of natural treatments. With out killing a lot of people and getting rid of all the greedy doctors I don't think there is any way to fix it."

"So that doctors and these… drug makers only care about money?"

"For the most part yes. Doctors are one of the highest paid people in the world. Most would never help someone for free… and the few that would actually do that in the poor countries that can't afford medicine." Holly stared at him a moment before shaking her head.

"Somehow… that is both depressing and disturbing." Genki merely nodded glancing towards the ever-brightening horizon. She smiled gently, "Genki why don't you take a nap. Its obvious you are very tired. I'll wake you in a bit alright?" he looked back at her in confusion,

"Holly you don't need to do that I can manage…"

"Don't lie to me. I saw you staggering around yesterday." he sighed again,

"Fine…" she smiled again; Genki seemed to relax quickly, his body going into the sleep realm as soon as he closed his eyes. Holly preoccupied herself with various problems that needed solving while he rested.

* Why won't he tell me what is plaguing him? If it's not contagious yet causing him so much pain… why hide it? Is it because he doesn't want me to worry about him? *

Holly noticed a prescience just then and glanced up. Granity hovered above her, landing gracefully before walking over to her.

"I have something for you." she handed a note to Holly. "Colt asked me to give it to you. It should have what you need." Holly nodded as she read the note.

"Thank you for bringing it. I hope it wasn't too much trouble for you."

"No trouble at all." Granity pointed to Genki, "what's with him?"

"He's not feeling well…" something about her look made Granity walk over and sit down next to her.

"Something wrong?"

"He refuses to tell me what is wrong… all I know is that it causes him pain and that it's not contagious. He also mentioned that it comes and goes. Its strange…"

"Odd that he'd not tell you. He's usually pretty honest…"

"Yes… that is what bothers me. He seems… afraid to tell me for some reason. Yet he did say he trusted me."

"Hmm… I don't know what to tell you." she could see Holly was still bothered; the two had become very close over the past few years. "Did you tell him why you are traveling?"

"No… the group doesn't know… he did say if he didn't trust me he wouldn't blindly follow me. Which I guess is true… I mean I never even told them anything but the name of the town."

"Why not try making a deal then."

"A deal?"

"He has to be curious. Tell him why you are on this journey but in exchange make him tell you what's going on?"

"Do you honestly think he'd fall for that?"

"You never know. He might want to know bad enough to open up to you." Holly sighed then nodded.

"I'll give it a try."

"So have you been flirting with him?" Holly gawked at her, completely caught off guard. "What? You expected me not to notice?"

"No that's not it… why would you ask about that though?"

"Cause you have been traveling with him for months." the pixie hybrid pointed out, she had a bet going with Hare and didn't want to lose.

"Granity… I'm not sure he's ready for a relationship."

"And what makes you say that?"

"Well for one, he blushed when I told him his head on my lap. Then seemed very uncomfortable when I caressed around his ear. And blushed again when I held his hand and brush his bangs out of his eyes."

"Well I would guess he is a little new at this…. that means he hasn't dated in his own world?"

"I'm not sure I never asked…"

"Well I wonder why he'd get embarrassed with just a little bit of affection like that. Even friends show affection."

"Here yes, but in his world perhaps not in that way. I really know little of his world."

Genki had rested for about thirty minutes before an explosion at camp and a lot of yelling woke him. It startled the girls but when Genki shot up right and then grabbed his chest Holly took over. Guiding him back down she forced him to relax.

"Just relax… it was just Tiger."


"I'm betting Suezo woke, found me gone and when nuts as usual. Tiger probably had enough of him…" Holly sighed heavily. The over protective eyestalk had been a pain for the past four years, preventing her from dating much.

"He's that bad still?"

"Unfortunately yes. Which is part of the reason I haven't told you why I'm traveling. Its not really fair for all of you but him to know…"

"I can see that as being unfair. So it's his reaction you fear?"

"Yes, that's beside the point though. Just relax till the pain subsides." Genki felt her press on his chest again for good emphasis and nodded. He indeed rested till the pain was gone, blushing slightly when Holly rest her hand on his stomach. When he felt better he looked over at Granity who seemed to be watching him.

"Granity is something wrong?"

"No. I was just wondering about something."

"And what's that?"

"While are you blushing?" Genki blinked at her, not quite sure how to answer that. "Haven't you had a girl friend?" now he was really confused. Why would she care? She never used to talk about such things. She was always such a serious monster, one who Holly had trouble with on an emotion connection level. But here she was asking him about girlfriends. He shook his head clearing the thoughts from his head.

"I'm not sure why you are asking… but no I haven't." It didn't make any sense to him, but he noticed Holly seemed as confused as he was.

"And why not? I'm sure its not because you couldn't get a girl."

"No that wasn't the reason, but why do you care? It's not like you to talk about… well girl things. What are you up to?" Granity smirked at him,

"What makes you think I am up to anything?"

"Because I know you well enough to know you don't talk about weird stuff like this. You have always been very serious in the past." Granity glared at him a moment before sighing in defeat.

"Fine you win. I have a bet going with Hare." the pixie hybrid looked away now.

"A bet over what?" Holly asked now quite intrigued by the matter.

"Over you two being together."

"You mean as a couple?" Genki asked, his head feeling a bit fuzzy.

"Yeah, Hare thinks Suezo would stop you two before anything can start."

"And you think we won't have that problem and will be a couple despite his efforts?" Holly filled in the blank. She wasn't sure she appreciated their bets but she had to admit Suezo would be an obstacle.

"So you decided to interrogate me why?" Genki asked somewhat annoyed with their antics.

"To see if you had a girlfriend and to see if you had an interest in Holly here." He rubbed his temps feeling a headache coming on, a light blush covering his cheeks but only Holly noticed since his hand was in the way.

"Why do the two of you always have to place bets?"

"Hey now we don't always do that."

"You do it enough, and honestly it's really none of your concern is it?"

"Perhaps, but I think we all know there's no point in lying here."

"Lying about what?" Holly interjected,

"You both care for each other, its obvious."

"That maybe but we don't need you as match maker. You will get the results of your bet with out interfering."

"Doesn't mean I want to lose."

"So you are going to pair us up to win a bet?" Genki now asked he looked both tired and annoyed, the blush gone for now.

"Maybe… or maybe I think it'd be good for you."

"Granity stop, please if you have any respect for either of us then stop." Genki's words made the pixie hybrid look him in the eye. She hated admitting her unwillingness to lose had pushed her into match making but she knew he was right. She sighed,

"Fine." He gave her a smile.

"Thank you." another explosion caught their attention. "We should get back. Before Tiger kills him." Genki rose slowly and stood waiting for them to stand.

As they headed back he felt slightly off balance but managed to keep walking anyway. A furious Tiger who was beign Held back by Hare and Mocchi; and a very loud Suezo being held by Golem greeted them. Holly sighed and ran forward,

"Stop it both of you!" the monsters looked at her, the main two guilty parties looking like children caught stealing cookies.

"He started it." Tiger growled, "Hopped right on my back… just cause you were gone when he woke up. Then started freaking out." Genki found himself with his palm over his face; he couldn't believe Tiger would use the 'he started it' excuse after all this time. Granity chuckled in amusement at his reaction. Soon though he realized the fight hadn't ended and Holly was having trouble. Genki walked over to Tiger,

"Tiger seriously, you are going to act like a puppy over this. You are older than Suezo and should act it, and the 'he started it' is a very lame excuse. You know better, even if he is a pain for you it doesn't make your destroying camp acceptable." Genki's eyes connected with his, for a few tense moments Tiger stared at him and growled. Finally something about the look in Genki's eyes made him look away and relax. Holly had Suezo under control by now and had pulled him off to the side to talk to him about his behavior. After a severe scolding the eye stalk hopped off to the edge of camp. Genki turned and walked to were his sleeping bag was, cringing slightly he proceeded to put it away. Hiding his pain from the others for now. Granity had seen him though; she knew he was in pain again. But unlike Holly she understood not wanting to burden others and working through things you, she had always done that. She resolved to keep an eye on him but leave him be for now. After they had eaten and packed up the group headed out towards the next town. Holly resolved to find some medicine for Genki whether he wanted it or not.

When they stopped for lunch Genki seemed much better, Holly allowed him to get the water as Mocchi and Hare gathered firewood. Genki walked off towards the near by stream, the pot was different then the one she use before and he figured she had upgraded her cook ware as she got better at cooking. Kneeling down he carefully filled the pot without getting any soil in the process. Once full he got himself a drink, needing it after such a long walk. Granity walked out behind him, she wanted to talk to him alone. Genki began to cough, she assumed he'd drank too quickly; he stopped after a bit and washed his hands. Shaking them dry he grabbed the pot and turned to walk back. Seeing her made him stop, he wasn't sure why she was there but he knew she wanted something.

"Genki why won't you tell Holly what's wrong? You are obviously in pain." He sighed,

"You don't need to worry about it, and neither does she."

"But she will worry, and perhaps even more when she doesn't know what's going on."

"I don't know about that," he mumbled.


"Never mind, I will tell her later… just not right now." he began to choke again, setting the pot down he covered his mouth. Clearing his throat he seemed to have it under control now. Something caught her eye though as he turned to wash his hands again. She grabbed hold of him and made him show her his hand; a small amount of blood was on it. He refused to meet her gaze, she pushed him against a near by tree effectively pinning him.

"What is going on? And don't say I don't need to know. If you are coughing up blood its something serious." He sighed; leaning forward her whispered his answer into her ear. As he did her eyes widened in disbelief,

"Genki you need to tell her!"

"I will, but I want to do it on my own terms alright? So don't tell anyone till I talk to her." She met his gaze a moment then sighed,

"Fine." He smiled, moving out of her hold he walked over to pick up the pot. "Genki should you be…"

"It's fine, please don't baby me." With those words he lifted the pot and headed back leaving the pixie hybrid to her thoughts. He understood she was upset with him, he didn't like keeping this form them anymore then she wants him to. But for now it would have to stay that way. What hurt him most was not telling Holly, but then he knew she would worry all the more if he told her. He understood that protecting the ones you love sometimes means lying to them, even though he hated himself for lying to her. He feared her reaction to this the most and that fear and her worry kept him silent.

When he got back Holly gave him a questioning look, he brought the pot too her with a smile. "Granity insisted on talking to me. Sorry if I kept you waiting."

"No, that's fine." Genki walked off to entertain Mocchi, sparing with him to keep him fit. Holly set about cooking her meal humming softly as she did; though she still worried about Genki the upturn in his energy was a good sign. Granity came back taking a seat near by,

"Someone's in a good mood." she smirked to the young woman next to her.

"I love cooking for others and being with my friends. Why wouldn't I be?"

"And Genki's ailment?"

"He'll tell me when he is ready. Besides he seems to be doing better than he was this morning."

"Really? Well I didn't see him early this morning so I can't really say."

"What'd you talk to him about?"

"Well originally I was going to see if he was still mad about this morning."

"Originally? Then what did you talk about?"

"His ailment…"

"Did he tell you?" Holly glanced up at her now.

"Yes but only after I caught something he'd been hiding… he's made me promise not to say anything though. He wants to tell you himself." Holly seemed conflicted by this news, "I'm heading out tomorrow to see if I can find anything for his pain. I'm sure there's and herb strong enough to deal with this. Hopefully by the time I return he'll tell you on his own." Holly nodded understanding that her friend didn't want to keep it from her.

"Keep your promise then. I'm sure he'll talk to us sooner or later. He's probably not sure how to tell us."

"That's for sure… there is something I can tell you though. He fears your reaction to this the most, which is why he hasn't said anything even though a part of him wants to."

"My reaction?"

"Yes, watch out for when he is choking… it might not be as harmless as you think." with that the pixie hybrid stood and walked to here Tiger and Hare were planning there next route. Holly stared at her, as she left not sure what to think of that comment. She looked over in time to see Genki fail to block one of Mocchi's double-ponder attacks. He landed on his back with a groan, having been hit square in the chest. Holly rose to tend to him leaving Golem with the soup.

"You alright?" He rose slowly trying to catch his breath,

"Yeah… just got the wind knocked out of me." He cringed slightly as he got to his feet, coughing slightly but not as bad as before.

"Let me put some balm on it." He sighed and nodded following her, Sitting down he rested against a tree. It was obvious he was tired,

"Mocchi sorry chi…"

"Mocchi its alright, I'll be fine. You are getting really fast at that, great job with your training. I was just to slow to block you." Mocchi cocked his head confused; "I'll be fine after I rest." Mocchi smiled,

"Ok chi!" Genki returned his smile, flinch slightly as Holly applied the balm to his chest. Granity raised a brow seeing how lean he was. He was well built for his age; a visible six-pack and well defined pecks showing, yet he wasn't overly built either.

"Relax for awhile." He nodded as she returned to dish out the meal. After they were all fed and ready for sleep she noticed Genki was already asleep. She covered him up and went to be herself, hoping Granity could find him something for the pain. Little did she know his nightmare would return again and make resting nearly impossible for him once again.

AAN: all right decided to split this into chapters instead, hope you all enjoyed it! Next one should be up soon!