Title: Found and Empty [1/1]
Author: Kikiam-sama
Rating: PG-7
Description: For six years, Gon searched for Jin. Now that he has found him, what would he do?
A/N: Just a short fic that I wrote while trying not to sleep when I was reviewing for my exams. They're finally over! At last!
I dunno. The fic's sort of parallel to the second RK OAV's. It's about some deadly disease. I haven't watched my vcd's recently, but it's just my mood, I guess.

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//What are you going to do after you find him?//

A cough escaped my mouth as I gazed outside the window of my room. It was indeed a cold night. One could tell with the thick fog that could be seen from my room on the second floor of this humble inn. Of course, I could feel the cold. It pierced right through my thin flannel shirt, and then through my skin. My hands were all clammy and when I touched my face, a shiver shot through my thin body. I got hold of the panes and tried to close the windows, but my hands were shaking too much that I couldn't get a good grip on them. I coughed once more.

Shit. It wouldn't have been like this six years ago.

Killua, who had been sleeping peacefully, stirred and stood up from his bed.

"You still awake?" he asked me rubbing his eyes. He yawned.

I nodded my head and gave a weak smile. He was probably worried about me now.

"We'll find him tomorrow, pal. The leads are all coming clear. Just go back to sleep."

"Yeah," I answered and watched him pull the blankets over him. I guess it's time for me to sleep, too or things might get worse. I took a grip of the panes and tried to close the windows once more despite my shaking hands. I was finally able to do so after much effort. I then laid myself on the bed.

//Sleep,// I commanded myself. I closed my eyes to induce slumber to my tired and weak body. After a few minutes, I opened my eyes again. I was tired, yes, but still, I couldn't bring myself to rest for the night. My senses were wide awake, and so were my thoughts.

//What are you going to do after you find him?//

I turned to my left side and thought for a while. Never have I answered that question before.

Six years ago, a woman asked me that question. I was young then, around twelve years of age. I was wild, unstoppable, uncontrollable, like a river that flowed into the blue ocean, like a falcon flying across the sky with no boundaries. Nobody could stop me. Despite all the warnings and the conditions, I went on. No matter how hard //she// tried.

I left her, without even a single worry about her feelings. That woman, she wasn't even my mother, but even better than that. She cared for me when I was young, taught me everything I needed to know. I love her, very much. But still, I left her, for my own ambition of no definite purpose at all.

To find that bastard, my father.

I wouldn't have said that about during that time. When I first learned about him, he was like a legend. He was famous around the world. Many people try to find him. A person once told me of his accomplishments, they were all great and worthy of praise. I was indeed thrilled to meet him. Of course, what kind of son wouldn't be?

The irony was, however, I am his son. How come he can do all those things when he couldn't even see me? Why?

At first, I tried to push away all these doubts and thought that there's just a reason. There //must// be a reason. He didn't want to see me. I have no idea why but there //must// be a reason. Definitely... Surely... Probably...

That question, I haven't thought of the answer for the past six years. The only thing in my mind was to find him, to meet him. That was all. So simple was my dream that some people find me foolish, that there was no possibility that I'll ever find him. I never gave up. For six, hard years, I went to different places, met many kinds of people and went through hell and back. I learned a lot of things. Life isn't sweet like candy. Eighty-five percent of the people I've met were all disgraceful and could only stoop down to a level so low just to find something to eat. Much like animals, in fact, they are worse than animals.

So much evil have I seen. Is there any chance that the father I'm looking for is any different from these?

I coughed again. This time, Killua didn't stir. He was the best frined I ever had, and I am thankful to have met him. He had been my companion through all my journeys. He never left me, but at the same time, he never even mentioned wanting to go home to his own family. I asked him once but he didn't answer me. Perhaps, that was because of some hatred he had, but I knew that deep inside him, he wanted to go home and see them. He might not even know this fact himself, but it was a natural feeling. I want to go home, too, and see her again. But then, I have this avowed mission to find him. I just have to. After six years, this isn't the time to give up. I have sacrificed and risked so much.

Yes, after I have sacrificed and risked so much has that question bothered me. //What am I going to do?// Now that the search is almost over, now that all my hardships are about to pay off... Everything was in front of me: the future, however, empty.

I was quite sure that I'll find him tomorrow. I'll finally be able to see him! But then, what? What will I say? What will I do? After this encounter, what will I do next? Will become like him? Or will I be the opposite? Will I go back to Kujira, build a family, and live happily ever after?

Killua and I were having a fight against a bunch of guards who were blocking our way to a certain place. We won the fight, but I wasn't able to escape it without a stab on my shoulder. I recovered from the wound quickly, but we later found out that it was laced with some kind of poison that would kill me pretty soon if I won't give up this hazardous lifestyle of mine. It had become too late for a cure.

At the same time, it had become too late to give up.

Even if I die, even if I wouldn't live to see the future, I will definitely find him! There was just no way that I would give up. I had become so close. So close...

But why do I have to find him? Yes, it may bring me fame and fortune, but I never apsired for those things. All I wanted was... what? Why would I want to see a man who abandoned his own son? A man who lets his son go through all the dangers that I had? What kind of a father is that? Why do I have to risk so much? Before, I never asked for anything in return when I do things or favors, but now I realized that afer so much, that I deserve something for all of this. And what do I get? Nothing!

These questions bothered my mind, but I let slumber think of them. I'll see him tomorrow, and maybe I'll find the answers I'm looking for.

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"Hurry, Gon!" Killua called me as we climbed the hill. I coughed and stretched my hand towards him shakily.

"Damn," he said.

My heart was beating faster. I'd finally be able to see him. Jin Freecs was right on top of this hill. My determination to climb the hill was stronger than ever. I knew that almost nothing could stop me now.

Except for my body.

I coughed again. This time, blood splattered on the rocks near my face.

"Gon!" Killua shouted worriedly and climbed back down beside me. "Come on, man. Just hang in there."

I was hearing Killua's voice, but I couldn't make out some meaning from them. Just words, but no sense at all. I looked around, but everything was just a blur. I knew that the sun was high up in the sky, but I felt so cold, even colder than the night before. It was a different kind of cold that seemed to eat away every bit of my body and soul...

"GON!" Killua shook me hard. "Come on! This isn't the time to die!"

I was jolted back to reality. I nodded at Killua. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay, man." He started to climb up once again. I summoned every ounce of my strength make it. My vision blurred once or twice, and more than thrice, I coughed out blood. My skin scratched against the hard rocks and soon, even my clothes were stained with blood.

//Why do you have to make it so difficult for me? What kind of a father are you?//

Every inch of life was slowly ebbing away...

"We're here," Killua said. He almost carried me up to from the side of the hill. My body ached all over, and I was forced on my knees, clutching to my stomach, coughing blood, suffering in pain. So many times have I thought of giving up. I was glad I never did. I was finally here.

Killua handed me a jug of water we brought. I drank every single drop, but it seemed useless.

"The hell... There's nobody here... That bastard..." Killua cursed the informant who told us that Jin Freecs would be on this hill.

I coughed. "Don't *cough* blame him. *cough* H-he m-*cough*must have s-sensed us. *cough*" More pain stabbed through my frail body, and I fell to the ground face flat.

"So, you're finally here."

//...//

//...//

That voice, it wasn't Killua's, but the same as the one I heard some years back, on a tape I listened to in Kujira. The cool, soothing, and gentle voice.. I remebered it well, even if I heard it just once. It was embossed in my memory, just like the way my body instinctively moves when I fight.

I tried to stand up, but my body failed me once again. I managed to look up, however, and saw the tall figure approaching me. He knelt in front of me and held my hand.

"You finally found me, my son."

I coughed and blinked. However, I couldn't see anything, only a blur, just like everything else. I heard his voice, but just like Killua's, they made no sense. In fact, I had no idea what was happening. All I felt was cold, pain...

-------------------------------------------

I was jolted awake by the bright rays of sunshine passing through glass windows. I stood up and looked around. I was lying in a soft bed with white cotton covers laced with flowery designs. The walls of the room were painted white with a vases of flowers to add a bit of decoration to the otherwise, pale chamber.

I was feeling better compared to the last time I was awake. My body was still weak, but this time, it wasn't painful.

"Ah, you're finally awake." It was Killua with a relieved smile on his face. "You've been sleeping for three days."

"What happened?" I asked. I wanted to find out what happened. I thought I had died there, but I just fainted. At least, that was what this situation was telling me.

"Oh, to Jin?"

I nodded.

"He brought you to this hospital and told the doctors to give you this medicine that will cure you of your illness. You'll be back to normal in a few days."

"What did he say?" I looked out the window.

"He said you better stop looking for him."

"He said that?"

"Yeah. he told me to stop you from coming after him, by all means. I kinda agreed with that. It's getting too damn dangerous. And besides, Mito-san's probably dead worried about you."

"I didn't tell her I was sick."

I was starting to feel angry. After I've gone through so much, Jin was telling me to give up. To forget it. I was almost there. I was about to ask him my questions, I was about to see his face. If only I had enough strength left, if only Kami-sama had lent me some more consciousness, then maybe I could've been happy enough to die there, on top of that hill. At least, my questions would have been answered.

"You finally found him Gon, it's over. The journey's finally over." Killua sighed and looked at the window.

"IT'S NOT OVER YET!" I almost shouted. "It can't all boil down to just this. There must be more!"

"You saw him already. That's enough. You should go back home."

"I can't! I CAN'T!"

I realized that I couldn't accept the fact that this was the end of my journey and there was nothing more for me to do. There was no reason for me to live, anymore. I've been searching for him for such a long time that I couldn't think of anything else to do. I was accustomed to such a life of searching and longing, thinking that I'd find happiness in finally seeing my father. But now, there was no happiness. There was nothing... empty...

The future was empty. What would I do now? I couldn't sit on this bed forever and wait. Will I search for him again? But what will happen after that? It might end up just like this. I couldn't go home, either. I would be to ashamed to face her. I boasted to her once that I'd go home proud that I found him. But what do I have? Only six years of regrets and sorrow.

//Regrets?//

//Regrets?//

//Regrets?!//

//REGRETS?!//

What regrets? Do I have any?

During those six years, I learned a lot. I met many people, good and bad. I experienced pain and comfort, sorrow and joy. Those six years weren't supposed to be of regret. I shouldn't feel bad about anything. I did my best. That was what was important. It may be like a game in which I lost, but to know that I played it fairly was enough consolation. But yes, I do have one regret. I left my aunt for a needless search, a search that had no appropriate reason at all.

But the question remained. What would you do now, Killua?" I asked him.

He sighed. "I have no idea. I don't want to go home. It sucks. How about you?"

"I've got no idea, as well."

I thought about settling down and building a family of my own, away from Kujira. I'm already eighteen years old. But I've been used to a fast-paced life that I thought that I might not be able to stand it.

"I guess I'll just go on traveling," Killua suddenly spoke. "Whaddya think? Maybe I can finally get a Hunter's License."

"That's a good idea," I murmured. "What about me?"

"Ah, you... How about do what your father did?"

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, you know... Find this, find that. Build this, build that..."

"Ah... Why?"

"I dunno. Just sounds like something that would suit you."

"I don't want to be like him."

"Of course. Well, that's a good point."

"Now what?"

"Ah, I know! Just come with me!"

"You'll be taking the Hunter Exam, right?"

"I can take it anytime. Let's just go traveling for a while till we find something to do."

"That sounds good." He was quite right. I really should go and relax for a while. Maybe after that, I'd go back home and see Mito-san. After that, what?

I still have no answer. The future's still empty. Maybe I'll end up doing nothing at all. But, I can just let time carry me to where I can belong. Now comes the time when I can be carefree and do anything I want, make up for all the youth I lost in my searching. I can be a child again, with no cares for the future or the past, but only for the present. Rebirth, perhaps? Possibly.

There was a limitation, however. I would never be like him. Not once or twice. I would never leave anyone behind and leave him or her questioning without reason. If ever I'll have a son, I'll raise him with my own hands, and with my own soul. I'll never leave him until he grows old enough to take care of himself. I will not run away from him. I will not be afraid or ashamed to face him, for there is nothing to be ashamed of. And I will never, everlet him go through so mucg dangers just to search for me needlessly. I don't need to be a Triple-star Hunter or anything. I wouldn't make anyone happy that way.

At last, I've been relieved of the burden I had been carrying for six years. At last.