Blizzard of the Red Castle
How could I have foreseen this?
My purpose had solely been for war. To be the sword and shield of my homeland. I was a weapon, content to fulfill my role.
"Weapons don't cry. They don't mourn the loss of friends or celebrate victories. You are so much more than just a weapon."
Steel, oil and bauxite. Gunpowder and HND. That is what I am. But... flesh, blood. Silk and Kyudo. That is also what I am. Not separate, but together. Something more. I didn't understand at first, and neither did he, not truly. But as time went by, as we fought together we... began to understand. My strength, his mind.
We... fit together. More than just our roles in a war against an implacable foe. I know sister believes it was the alcohol that let us take that first step. But I know that isn't true. Perhaps not then, but eventually. I don't regret what we did that night. Or the days that followed when we could find the time to be alone. In him, I had found another reason to fight. More than just a shield to my nation and my people. And then... in the months that came, one other reason.
"Don't worry, we're turning this around. I won't allow for a world of war to be the one she's born into."
I worried. It was hard to hide what we had done. To most of the world, we were still poorly understood weapons, no different from the enemy save who and what we chose to fight for. Who would understand? But we kept the charade as long as we could, even as he sought the means to fulfill his promise. I believed him. I loved him. But...
"It was a surprise attack. Their offensives were a diversion to strip the garrison. They appeared inside the perimeter without warning, shelled the base before we could even sound the alarm. He's still listed among the missing but if we haven't found him by now... I'm sorry."
My world crumbled. All I had left of him was her. My child. But it was not safe. I believed he would be safe as well, ensconced in concrete and steel, commanding from the armored bunker surrounded by guards and weapons as I waged our war. But they had known to strike. I could not lose her. In my weakness, I let the masquerade fall to give her the safety I could not.
"We'll take her deep inland, out of their reach. Kept safe there until she's mature enough to join the front. She'll be observed of course, this is entirely new ground we're breaking, but... are you sure you don't want her to know? About you?"
How would she feel, if she knew about us? About my failure? About my weakness? Sometimes I cannot sleep, those thoughts plaguing my rest. It was for the best that she doesn't know. That she believes she is just like the others. A picture, these memories, the knowledge that she is alive and well. They are enough. They have to be enough. But sometimes... sometimes I want to hold her. To tell her the truth and end the lies. In my dreams, she forgives me. Forgives and accepts all that has happened. Those eyes. The shape, the color, even the way they crinkle when she concentrates. It's so much like him.
It hurts so much.
"How are you today Fubuki?"
She salutes, all eagerness and energy, the shine in her eyes unable to shield the emotions roiling within. Respect, awe. Perhaps even adoration.
But no love.
"Ready to serve Akagi-san!"
This story is a collaborative effort between myself, Mashadarof402, lt_agn02, and Lord K. This Chapter was written by Mashadarof402