just fyi i am insane
I don't think I can manage any others tonight because these took so damn long and ended up HUEG LIEK XBOX, so I am just saying now: I'll get to the rest of these tomorrow. (These really ended up more like fic than anything else; I swear to god that wasn't my intention, as I have already mentioned how much I dislike my writing most of the time).
1. It gets to be a recurring joke between them, how often they trade each other that damn bear back and forth as a replacement for "I love you" (in any sense of the word); ten years after Heero saves Relena's life for the last time, it finally ends up parked in her bedroom for good, and instead Heero just sends cards.
2. This is their relationship: hours, stolen here and there, wry sarcasm, and never a single time that either of them actually says anything like the words most people would assume a couple might say. But then, they're not really a couple; they've just hit a rhythm that makes it impossible to misunderstand each other anymore.
3. Five years to the day of her father's death, Relena gets anonymous flowers. She doesn't cry. (Relena hasn't cried since she was Queen of the World; she's never been able to justify it and it feels too self-indulgent.) Instead, she sends a manual on engine maintenance to Duo on L2 and tells him to give it to Heero next time he stops by.
4. Plausible deniability or not, Relena's not above telling Heero exactly where she's going to be if she thinks there's any chance where she's going to be might have even a whiff of secret MS development or ties to OZ. And he knows the only reasons he'd tell him personally is because she's worried. He only misses Wing Zero a little when he sets off an explosion too soon and spends a month without both eyebrows. Relena, of course, teases him about this mercilessly; he puts up with it in his best stoic fashion. (They both mean "I wish you'd be more sane in the future," but don't bother saying words neither one will listen to.)
5. The first time Relena met Heero, she only had one invitation left and she'd been holding onto it precisely to make a scene about who she'd pick. The first conversation they ever have, after he collapses in her arms in the bunker, she starts by saying "Thank you." He didn't give her what she thought she wanted. He just gave her what she needed. He taught her how to understand death. It made her stronger. She'd never thanked him for it before, so she wanted to fix that before he had to leave again.
And then she hugged him, and let him leave.
1. He never could give up the life for good; he misses Morph and terribly - the little squib was more comforting to him in the long stretches of lonely space than he'd have been able to admit without its presence there to keep him from thinking about it - but he builds a crew around him again. It's a less sharp crew than he'd be wanting, but it's a less hard crew too, and he does want that.
Takes 'em a while to realize his newfound decent streak don't mean he's gone any softer in the brainpan, but after the first ten times a backstabbin's been met with the cold vaccuum of space for the would-be stabbers of backs, he starts being able to sleep easy in his own damn bed for once.
And then he finds out about a big heist - the biggest ever - and he finds out he ain't invited.
So he invites himself, and loses a crew member in the process, but he's there when the heist goes hole-shaped and he's nearly gone when one of those shiny, fancy naval ships drops lines and starts to board his beloved piece of flotsam.
And, well, if this is how he goes out, it's been a good run, and he's only sad he never got to say a proper goodbye to Jim first, when up onto the deck swings the finest piece of livery he's ever laid eyes on, and oh if he don't know that grin anywhere.
"By the stars, Hawkins," he says, a laugh roaring its way up through his throat, "you do clean up nice! Come here and let old John have a look at yer, then!"
And of course navy-boy's eyes shoot up to his hairline, but he stops himself and shakes his head.
And forever after John Silver has the reputation of the one pirate who ever stared down the navy on his own ship and walked away without firing a single blessed shot.
And forever after Jim Hawkins gained a reputation as the spaceman who knew where the ships were going, after they'd evaded all the rest of the galactic navy, a captain with uncommon wits when it came to the motions and machinations of the worst pirates to sail the waves. And he never not once could be made to divulge the ways by which he came to this knowledge, but it was always the truth.
2. He was dirty, he was wearing ratty clothes, and the hair was all the wrong cut and color, but when Silver had to choose his new crew from where he stood, he knew the look in those eyes no matter what kind of work had been done to hide from anyone else.
Funny how it felt to be looking down at him now, when the last time it's been the other way 'round.
"That one," he said, pointing one long mechanical finger, "and I want him workin' the galleys."
3. He don't get back to Montressor till years and years later. But he can't miss this; he'd hate himself for years and years more, if he weren't.
'Course it rains most of the day, when they lay Miz Hawkins down, but he added an umbrella to his arsenal for just this reason, and end of the day he just lets Jim cry as long as he's got to. Man's got a good set of shoulders on him now, he thinks, and pats him awkwardly while the rain sluices off in sheets and the stars themselves hide from the sky.
"Your ma was a good woman, taking care of you as long as she did," he says.
"I'll never forget her," Jim says. "She always steered me right."
He stays until he thinks it's good, and doesn't check the storage cabin on his dinghy till he's safely stowed on board his new ship and no one will notice if a naval officer's been trying to hide away in a wanted pirate's crew.
Jim smiles sheepish-like, though his eyes have shadows that weren't there yesterday.
"Well, Hawkins me lad, you've done both of us now," he says. "Whatever would Miz Hawkins say?"
Jim sighs. "That I was crazy, and foolhardy." His lips tighten. "And that even old men need a steady hand to steer them right, sometimes."
4. Jim gets him a postcard once - "Astralica - Wish You Were Here". It's a holographic card, of Jim sitting overlooking the spaceport, the aetherwind kicked up by the coming and going of all those ships rustling his hair. He's got no idea how Jim tracked him down, and even less interest in staying there once he knows Jim has.
John keeps it buried under all the gold and gems he's been able to steal since he left.
5. Seeing Jim's face, as he left.
1. Kei and Kaneda live in a smaller world after it's all over. A brighter, more violent world, and in some respects a harder one. It's a larger version of Kaneda's world, and one he takes to readily - burned and shaped by the horrors he's seen into something almost responsible, he takes care of thousands of men, women and children and makes it look almost effortless. But Kei was a product of a larger world than the one she now shares with the man she didn't expect to love, and in some ways the messiness of it all starts to eat at her in ways she doesn't know how to cope with. Killing is easy for Kei. It shouldn't be, she can hear Ryu saying (but he's dead), but it's the truth. It's this hard, scrabbling business of forming a life that drives her nuts.
So sometimes she takes the spare bike, hikes out into the wreckage, and loses herself in the noise of waves.
It takes a couple days, but Kaneda always comes to find her. Every time. Even after the first few times, once he knows she's not leaving forever.
They make love in the burned-out skeletons of old Neo-Tokyo, and afterwards she holds him close and feels him shake under her arms, and is grateful they both have an excuse to run away when they need to.
2. Kei always thought she would end up with Ryu as "the one". It's not really a secret between them. She told Kaneda this one night, laughing, as they shared warm cans of Yebisu and let foam dribble down their fingers and she poured beer all over her palm and jerked him off with the smell of booze filling their nostrils: "I used to dream of doing this to Ryu, when I was younger," as she bends over him and feels him shudder in her hands; later, as he licks off her fingers, raking his teeth over each knuckle, he says: "Yeah, but you're doing it to me," and they meet each other halfway and only pull back when they can both feel the bruise.
Honestly, she thinks fucking Kaneda will always be better than sleeping with Ryu only felt like in her head.
3. They aren't like that. All that "you're the only one" bullshit. They work. They're fun. And if there were anyone better they'd be with them. But Kei likes him. She brings out the bits of him that make him feel fucking proud, like he ain't some sort of ... society reject with delusions of grandeur and he's actually worth something to these people, that he can lead people somewhere other than straight to hell, and he digs into her when they're alone like he can take that feeling and pound it into his flesh until it reaches his beating heart.
But it isn't just about that. It's that he thinks he's the first person who's ever made her laugh that damn hard. That he's the first person she's ever been scared for, from the very beginning, before they were who they have to be now - back when she was the cold, crazy, hardcore terrorist and he was just a street punk with a good-luck streak a mile wide - back when his ghost showed up and scared the shit out of both of them.
That was big. It wasn't like this, where so much of everything comes down to food, and pills, and keeping people in clothes and warmth and safety. That's a different kind of big. That kind of big makes him feel like rock down to his toes, because if he doesn't then he'll fall over and break.
The other kind of big - Akira big, Tetsuo big, half-of-the-city-falling-from-the-sky big - that just makes him feel about ten inches tall in the face of a tsunami.
He can't face both kinds of big at the same time. (Good thing he's never fucking had to.)
It makes him feel - fucking helpless and responsible at the same time.
But there's Kei. And she - he doesn't have to think about either of those things with her. He's never had to be responsible for her, to take care of her, to - be horrified of her. (Scared of her, yeah. The first time she phased through a wall, no shit.) She just is. And that's really what it comes down to. He doesn't have to be anything for her. She can handle herself, and she sticks around. And she makes him fucking laugh his ass off.
That's all there is to it.
He watches her sleep, and he can't imagine being with anyone else. Fucking anyone else would just be disappointing, after all Kei gives him to love.
4. Kei crashes three bikes before she learns how to do it right, but it's worth it, because she doesn't want to ride on Kaneda's back forever, even if it makes her feel tight and hot deep in her gut.
Kaneda isn't even upset, he's so fucking stoked she wants to learn; he keeps fixing the ones she wrecks in case she wants to use one of those. (Besides, Kaneda crashed his bike five times when he started learning; shit happens, seriously.) It's driving Joker insane, but like hell Kaneda cares; as far as Kaneda's concerned, Joker was his bitch before he ruled the world and a little added responsibility isn't changing Joker's position any.
The first time she manages, she lets out a howl that makes Kaisuke's hair stand on end, and Kaneda joins her with a whoop two seconds later. They chase each other down alleys and over rubble, headlights leaving gold and red trails around cracked streetcorners, their engines and their shrieks filling the empty spaces with life and high-octane lust.
They stop at the edge of the world, staring down cliffs made of cleaved office buildings and shopping malls, down into the man-made sea.
Kei jerks him off and they both laugh at the thought of his sperm flying down, down, down till it hits the ocean, and then swimming off through the cold water. "My jizz is as hard to kill as I am!" he shouts into the void, and grins as his echo comes back to him.
Kei smacks him in the back of his head and laughs.
5. When they're old enough, they leave. The Empire's in other, better, younger hands now, and they've made it strong and fertile; if it fails now, it won't be their fault for not giving it a good start.
They take their bikes and ride off into the parts of Neo-Tokyo the Empire still hasn't colonized or repaired, with enough food for several months and their wits. They fight rats and anything else that threatens them in the places where no human has been in decades, and they still make love like they might forget how to breathe.
Sometimes kids - they're old enough now even men and women older than they were when the Empire was founded are "kids" now - brave the wilderness to visit them in their secluded retirement home, and they greet them, and serve them cooked bird, fish, and rat; sometimes deer, now that the wildlife of the rest of Japan has started to trickle back across the city limits.
And then, one day, after years of time and life, they die, and the next children of their brave new world to make the pilgrimage to their home find Kei and Shotaro Kaneda in death as they were in life: happy, together, and in the throes of the best fucking sex they could ever have.
They're buried with the biggest pomp and ceremony the Great Tokyo Empire can manage, and at the end of the funeral march they lay their bodies down in graves marked only with wooden planks ... right next to, and the same as, Akira's empty grave, the keepers of their country's spirit until their deaths and even beyond.