Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is the property of Sunrise, Sotsu Agency, and
Bandai. This is a fanwork, written out of love. Lawsuits are both
unnecessary and messy. ^^; No profit is being made from this fanfic
in any way shape or form, except perhaps for personal satisfaction.
What Once was Lost
by Fushigi Kismet
She smiled, turning as the slanted sunlight struck her golden
hair. She laughed, her voice ringing out like the peal of a golden
bell, or perhaps the tone of silver chimes, striking gently against
one another to the tune of the wind. The flick of the dog's tongue
against her smooth, ivory cheek was a brief flash of pink, as she
laughed and the world around him stilled.
God. There was a flash of guilt, a burst of pain that had not
left him after twenty-two years. It was an instant of remembrance
that suffused him and spread throughout him in less time than it took
to draw a breath, to breathe.
There was regret mixed throughout the pain, and a kind of slow,
weary bitterness that he could not - did not seek to fight. He had
done things throughout his life that he found no pride in having
done, that he thought of only with pain and regret. These things had
the taint of death upon them, of something left unfinished,
unresolved - of something gone awry in the meticulousness with which
he carried out his own endeavors that left him breathless, paralyzed,
grasping for something that was never there, had never been there,
and would never be there again.
He wondered how people could achieve the peace of mind needed to
dream. He had never dreamed. Sometimes he had woken from
nightmares, but he had never dreamed.
He had always known that the things he desired most, the things he
wanted most - he could not afford to dream about them. If he wanted
them to become reality, then he had to make them tangible through the
force of his own will - of his own desire. Yes, that was the only
He had accomplished so much in the course of his life. He
acknowledged his accomplishments but did not dwell on them - knowing
that they were completed was enough; he moved on.
The desire to stay still and think about himself, to dream and
dwell for an instant in a dream, had never occurred to him. The only
things that concerned him was the harshness of reality, and of the
realities he would create.
It is enough, he would think to himself, enough that I have what I
do and that I can move on, and by doing so continue living. As a man
who had taken so many lives, he understood the fragileness and
importance of life, of living. He felt the joy of it, the pain, and
the sorrow. Living was hard, harder than dying. No matter how much
dying hurt, there were times when not dying, when to do just the
opposite, living life to the fullest, could be even more painful and
strike even more deeply at the heart. As a man who had faced death
many times, who had fought and won against it, who had lost to it,
sacrificing friends and innocents, who had sought to embrace it on
more than one occasion and had been violently repelled - as a man who
understood all aspects of death, he understood that to *not* live as
fully as he could was to succumb to it.
Many people had taught him that lesson, each in their turn. The
parents whose faces and names he had long since forgotten, the man
who had raised him, a little girl and her puppy, golden in the
sunlight . . . .
There was a sting of pain, like the impact of a piece of shrapnel,
exploding and spreading within him. He was living in place of them
now, of the lives taken and those he had taken. He was living his
own life, following his instincts and the dictates of his emotions.
He would never move beyond the pain, but he had moved on.
"Daddy!" the girl cried, bathed in sunlight, the tiny puppy in her
arms. The dog wriggled out of her grasp to the ground, its eyes
bright, tail wagging furiously.
"Daddy!" the girl cried again, her arms open wide as she ran
towards him, sunlight glinting off the gold of her hair and the white
of her dress. He caught her, hefted her up as though she were as
light and as bright as the sunlight that bathed them both in its
radiance, whirled her around through the air with a smile as she
laughed in delight, then held her closely against him, her cheek
pressed to his.
In that instant, his heartbeats sounding in his ears, her laughter
slowing and dying down, he heard the echo of a long ago question.
Are you lost?
Shutting his eyes, he let his heart answer.
No. Not anymore.
Settling his daughter against him, he looked into her clear blue
eyes, vibrant with joy and love, the puppy scampering about his feet,
barking in excitement. "Shall we go home?"
"Yes," she said, twining her tiny hand around the fingers that
held her secure in his arms. She leaned her head against him and
closed her eyes. "Let's go home."