DISCLAIMER: Cowboy Bebop and its characters are owned by the anime companies that made them, and not by me.
Author's Note: This fanfic is in the first-person style, with the POV being Edward's for all but a few chapters (and when the POV is different, I won't switch mid-chapter, the whole chapter will be like that). I've never even attempted doing something like this before, so bear with me.
French Note: For the few (non-generic) French language bits in this fic, I'll be using Babelfish. So pardon my French. ^_^
Author's Note 2: Big shout-out to my Indianapolis Colts, who tore the Denver Broncos a new one in the playoffs today, 41 to 10. Let's take it to Kansas City next Sunday! Go Colts!
Katers: I meant to make it like Spike and Vicious, for the suspense factor. ^_^ The turning point was, of course, when Fremont started firing on Sylvan with Sylvan's weapon, unlike Vicious, who was far more honorable. That's when the fight became less of a ritual double seppuku and more of a brawl... which of course, Sylvan won. Thanks for reviewing!
Zepplinrose: I knew you guys would like that, hee...
Akemi Kimoto: Thank you!
Jim hawking jr.: Thank you too! First reviewer for chapter 20... ^_^
Ummyeah: Yikes, you drove 18 hours? I definitely could not do that, hee... and if Spikuu can parry with a handgun, so can Sylvan. ^_^
Saberpilot: Glad you liked this chapter! I tried as best as I could to connect everything and have lots of parallels... you know, I should probably start reviewing your ficcies, since you review so many of mine... *kicks self for being lazy, must start soon!*
Ka-Dalun: Sequel? I didn't actually plan to write one... if I had, I'd have left Fremont alive. A sequel's not out of the question though!
Bekkablair: You've actually BEEN to Paris? Cool... going there would've probably helped ME write this. And the Olympus Colliseum, eh? Well, have you done all the training stuff with Phil yet? Once you fight the Cerberus, you should be allowed to leave. Fought him yet? ^_^;;;
"So, Kirsten, you want to be a psychiatrist?" Faye asked, sitting next to my friend. We had been in the waiting room for about an hour, and I was enjoying getting the chance to talk to all of my friends, as was Sylvan.
"No, a psychologist," Kirsten said, shaking her head. "I want to be a psychologist, not a psychiatrist."
"What's the difference?" Faye asked, slightly puzzled. "I mean, is there one?"
"Well, psychiatrists get to prescribe medicine, but it seems to me like that's all they do," Kirsten said. "Psychologists, on the other hand, have a more personal relationship with their patients, ya know? I want to be able to help people by talking to them, not just by handing them a bottle of pills and sending them on their way."
"Ya know, I think you'd make a good bounty hunter," Faye said. "Or a policeman, like you said your father was."
"That's what Ed said too," Kirsten said, pointing over at me. "It sounds like a lot of fun, but it's a pretty hectic job..."
"It's probably good that you're getting into a job that lets you use your education, though," Faye said. "I went to college, but I was never able to graduate, after the shuttle accident I was in..."
"What was it like to wake up after fifty years, anyway?" Asada asked, drawing in closer to Faye. "I mean, that must have been horrible to..."
As Faye, Kirsten, and Asada continued their conversation, I left them and walked over to the corner of the room, where Sylvan was sitting in his wheelchair, alone for the moment. I sat down next to him and looked up into his beautiful blue eyes.
"Sylvan, how are you holding up?" I asked. "You've been alone over here for a few minutes... hey, why isn't your mom here, anyway? Edward would think that your mom would show up as soon as she heard what you've been through..."
"The doctor said as soon as she heard, she fainted," Sylvan told me. "He said that she should be here anytime, though."
"Hey, you guys, what's up?" Piripi asked, walking over to us. Kimberly and Sani were with her as well.
"I really wish we could've gotten in on some of the fun," Kimberly said regretfully. "It sounds like you and Asada and Curtis and Kirsten and Sylvan saw a lot of action today..."
"We were so worried about you guys, being left behind like that..." Sani said.
"It's alright," Sylvan said reassuringly. "It's not the kind of action anyone really wants to see, anyway... I know you guys wanted to help out, but being there was really dangerous, and we're grateful you weren't hurt..."
"I know," Piripi replied. "Well... maybe on the next adventure, huh?"
"Not for a while!" I said, giggling. "Ed had fun, but Ed is definitely ready for a breather now!"
"Sylvan?" shouted a woman's voice from the entrance of the waiting room. "Oh my God, Sylvan!"
We all turned to see Sylvan's mother, running toward us. My heart warmed as Sylvan stood up from the wheelchair he was in and wrapped his mother in a tight embrace. Tears were falling down her cheeks.
"Sylvan, Sylvan, I was so worried about you... oh my God, I'm so glad you're okay, oh, Sylvan..."
"Mom, it's alright," Sylvan said, brushing the tears away from her cheeks.
"But you're in a wheelchair!" said Sylvan's mother, sobbing. "You're hurt badly, aren't you..."
"No, I just got shot in the shoulder, and they had to hook up an IV so they could get some painkilling stuff into me... frankly, I don't even think I need it, I feel just fine, mom!" Sylvan said. "Really, I'm fine...."
"Are you sure, Sylvan?" asked Sylvan's mother. "Oh, you don't know how worried I was, I thought I'd lose you, I-"
"Your boy is a pretty tough kid," Jet-person said, walking up to us. "And believe me, I know tough..."
He showed Sylvan's mom the metal arm that he'd received in an operation, causing her to gasp.
"Oh my goodness, Sylvan, who is this person?" asked Sylvan's mom.
"Jet-person is one of Edward's friends! From the Bebop!" I said, smiling. "He's a really nice person, though, like a big version of Sylvan with more muscles!"
Sylvan, Piripi, Kimberly, and Sani laughed, while Sylvan's mom simply smiled.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Jet," said Sylvan's mom, noticeably happier than before. "I'm glad Sylvan's made so many wonderful friends... and I'm glad to see you're alright, Sylvan... you don't know how worried I was..."
"I was worried too, mom," Sylvan said solemnly. "I thought I'd never see you again..."
After Sylvan's mom came, the remainder of the hour went well, with more talking, laughing, and having fun. Finally, at eight, everyone had to leave, except for my dad and Sylvan's mom, who were counted as immediate family members and had the right to stay tonight. Sukina and her parents went home, while the rest of my friends were offered the chance to stay with Jet-person and Faye-Faye on the Bebop for the night, which all of them accepted, especially Kirsten!
"Bye-bye, you guys!" I said as Faye-Faye, Jet-person, and my friends left the waiting room. "See you all tomorrow, okay?"
"You stay out of trouble now!" Jet yelled. "No more fighting Syndicate heads for a while, got it?"
"And no trying to sneak out of your hospital rooms tonight to make out!" Kirsten said, immediately getting an elbow in the ribs from Asada. I giggled, then sat down to rest for a few minutes to get ready for the press conference.
"Now, when they ask you these questions, don't think you have to answer them all," advised my dad. "Some of these things might get a little personal, so-"
"Ed will answer whichever questions she wants to answer, okay, father-person?" I said, planning to be cooperative with the media. "The only ones she won't answer are ones that make you guys uncomfortable to answer, okay?"
Finally, the media were allowed to file into the waiting room, and the press conference began. Sylvan and I fielded a myriad of questions, most of them concerning our activities today, such as the fight with Fremont and Sylvan's escape from the ice cream restaurant, where he and Kirsten apparently saved about fifteen hostages. After about a half-hour of questions, the conference ended, and we did brief interviews with a couple of local networks before all of the media people finally left. Then, the doctors and nurses sent us back to our hospital rooms at about nine in the evening.
"You can visit with Sylvan tomorrow, alright, Miss Appledelhi?" one of the doctors said as he escorted me back into my hospital room. "I know you want to see Sylvan a bit more, but-"
"No, that's alright," I said, even though I really didn't really want to leave Sylvan... Oh well, Ed will get to see him plenty tomorrow... we'll both be out of the hospital then...
After all my ordeals with the French Syndicate, I was getting used to a reality that tomorrow may never come... now I needed to readjust myself, and start having fun again. We'd done it, we'd killed Cecelle Fremont, and after having about nine-tenths of its members arrested, the French Syndicate would probably collapse and never bother anyone again... that's what we'd accomplished, all of us. Together.
"See you tomorrow, Ed," Sylvan said, getting out of his wheelchair again and walking over to me. "I love you..."
We leaned in and kissed for several seconds. Then, we both walked back to our hospital rooms. I flipped up onto my bed, but quickly clutched the wound on my midsection when I landed.
"Ed jumped too high," I said, grimacing in pain and clutching my bandaged wound. "Ed hopes this owie heals soon..."
"It will, sweetie," said my dad, sitting next to my bed on a chair and smiling at me. "Just take it easy for a while, Ed. You've earned it."
Smiling at my father's words, I rolled onto my side and closed my eyes, letting slumber overtake me. You have earned it, Edward... nighty night...
I rubbed my eyes and saw Piripi and Asada leaning over me.
"Huh? What's going on?" I said, sitting up and blinking as the morning sun poured into the room through the window behind my hospital bed. "Hi, guys..."
"Your friends came to visit, Ed," said my dad, smiling. "The other girls are in Sylvan's room. The doctors didn't like it, but hey, who cares what they think!"
"That's right!" Kirsten said, walking into the room followed by Kimberly and Sani. "You know, I wouldn't mind doing a four-month stint on the Bebop myself..."
"Well, Faye-Faye and Jet-person added a guest room last year!" I said, noting all the times my dad and I slept over on the Bebop for a day or two. "It wasn't nearly as comfy when Ed was on!"
"Curtis and I got to sleep in the same room," Asada said, immediately getting looks from everyone else in the room, including me. "We didn't do anything, you guys! Really, we didn't!"
"Suuure, Asada," said Piripi. "We believe you..."
"Nah, Jet and Faye wouldn't let us, anyway," Asada said. "They came in to check on us like, twice... but you don't really think I'd do something like that, do you? C'mon!"
"She's telling the truth," said Sani. "I don't think any of us are like that... well, yet anyway. With the possible exception of Kirsten..."
"Hey!" Kirsten said, pretending to be offended. "I'll have you know that I've only slept with nine guys, thank you very much!"
Kirsten was joking, of course... I think. (Ed knows you were joking, Kirsten! Don't look at Ed like that...)
"So, when are the doctors gonna let you guys leave, Ed?" Kimberly asked. "I mean, you're going to be okay soon, right?"
"It looks like you got hurt quite a bit, Ed," Sani said worriedly. "They're letting you out today, aren't they?"
"That's right!" I told them. "Don't worry you guys, Ed doesn't know when we'll be let out, but-"
"Six o'clock this evening," said my dad. "The doctors last night told Sylvan's mom and I that you two would both be released at six, unless you wanted to stay after to heal up some more..."
"No, Ed is getting out of here at six o'clock!" I said eagerly. "Six o'clock on the dot!"
"That's great, Ed!" said Asada. "Where are you doing to go when you do leave, anyway?"
"Well, probably back to the college to pack up Edward's stuff..." I said. "Daddy, we're riding back to Earth on the Bebop, right?"
"That's right, Ed," said my dad. "But Faye and Jet are willing to stay here for quite some time so that you can be with your friends."
"Well, I'm supposed to be back tomorrow," Kirsten said. "I'm getting out of school big-time for this, but I'll have a ton of stuff to make up when I get back..."
"I'm in the same boat, you guys," Asada said, frowning. "Sorry, Ed... it really, really sucks that we've gotta go back... I wanna stay in Neo-Paris, darn it!"
"That's okay... Ed will try to call you guys every single day!" I promised. "It might make a whopper of a phone bill, but the bounty that Sylvan and Ed will get for catching the bad man will make up for it!"
"Oh, that's right, Ed, I forgot to tell you... the ISSP will be here to give you and Sylvan the bounty money today," my dad said. "120 million wulongs... split evenly between the two of you. That's a ton of money, Ed..."
"Okay, you guys, you've been in here for twenty minutes now," said one of the nurses, coming into the room. "I know how close friends can be, I've got a bunch of close friends myself, but my supervisor said that you guys can only stay a little while... I'm really sorry, but you'll be able to see both of your friends tonight, okay?"
"Oh, alright," Kirsten said reluctantly. "Well, bye, Ed! See you both at six, alright?"
Slowly, my friends filed out of the hospital room.
"That was a nice surprise!" I said happily. And it was a nice surprise, waking up to the sight of all of my friends like that... it's just too bad we'd all have to part in a couple of days...
Later that day, a couple of men from the ISSP came to Sylvan's hospital room. They invited me over to sit next to him as they began talking with us about the reward we were about to receive, with my dad and Sylvan's mom looking on.
"Now, about the bounty for the capture, dead or alive, of Cecelle Fremont," said the first man, who was wearing a neatly-pressed gray suit while the other one was simply wearing an ISSP uniform. "You'll both be receiving half of the 120 million wulong bounty. As laid down in the Pershing Laws of 2024, Article 2, Section 5, money collected off of bounties cannot be touched by any government for purposes of taxation, so you will each be receiving exactly 60,000,000 wulongs."
"Wow," said Sylvan's mother, turning to him. "We can pay off all of your college..."
"Yeah," said Sylvan. "It'll only be like 15 million wulongs... we'll still have plenty left over."
"We should probably pay off your college too, Ed," my dad said. "It's going to be really expensive, you know."
"Now, this is for Miss Francoise Appledelhi," said the man in the ISSP uniform. I listened to him with great interest as he continued to speak. "We know about your hacker alias Radical Edward, and we did quite an extensive background check on you... finding quite a bit of minor hacking offenses."
My heart stopped. Oh no...
"However, since you DID help bring an extremely dangerous criminal to justice, and since your offenses were all very minor, while causing very, very little economical damage, we've decided to grant you an unconditional full pardon," said the man in the gray suit. I breathed a sigh of relief.
"Thank you, officer," I said graciously.
"No, Miss Appledelhi, thank you," said the man in the ISSP-uniform. "You don't know how long we've been trying to catch Cecelle Fremont... he was an extremely dangerous man, and I think that everyone in the solar system can sleep easier now knowing that he'll never commit another crime again."
We thanked the two men from the ISSP again, then watched as they left the room. After they did, I began to talk with Sylvan, as well as his mom and my dad. We discussed many things, until we got to the rather touchy subject of Sylvan's dad's ties to the French Syndicate. While my dad had been quite surprised to hear of my mother's fate, Sylvan's mom had a reaction that surprised us.
"I knew," she said, looking down at the floor, her face taking on a sad expression. "I didn't know he was having an affair, but I knew he was in the Syndicate. He told me one night about a year before he died... I loved him so much, I didn't want to leave him..."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Sylvan shouted angrily. "You kept this secret from me for eleven years, even after the Syndicate began coming after us?"
"I didn't want to hurt you, Sylvan... I thought it would tear you apart, learning about what your father had done... I didn't even think you'd believe me, Sylvan..."
"I didn't believe it when I heard it from Fremont," Sylvan said, sighing. "I don't blame you, mom..."
"He said that he wanted to leave, but he couldn't... he was making money, Sylvan. It was dirty money, I know, but it was a lot of money, and it helped me start my restaurant... it helped me fulfill my dream, that's the only reason that he stayed in the Syndicate, Sylvan. He knew I was a good singer, in fact, he's the one who talked me into starting the restaurant... it was just a dream of mine until he actually helped me start it up," Sylvan's mom said, blinking back tears. "I loved him, Sylvan... and I know he loved me."
"I know my wife still loved me too," said my dad. "It all just happened so fast, but... I know she loved me until the end, even if she loved your husband at the same time."
"Fate brought Edward and I together," Sylvan said, and I nodded in agreement.
"And now, through our love, it's correcting the mistakes of the past, one day at a time," I said, speaking exactly what was in my head. And this time, for Sylvan and I... it will work.
That evening, at six o'clock, right on the dot, Sylvan and I were both discharged from the hospital. Sylvan's mom offered to drive the three of us back to Dejoule Hall in her car. The four of us walked up to my dorm room first, and as I packed my stuff up into my suitcase, I tried to assess everything I'd done while I was in Neo-Paris... all of the adventures I'd had, the friends I'd made... having to put it on hold for six months until my first year of college started seemed almost too hard to bear...
"Well," said my dad as I packed up the last of my clothes (both old and new) into my suitcase, "Sylvan's mom and I are going to wait for you two outside."
"Alright," I said. "We'll be out in a couple of minutes!"
They stepped out, and Sylvan and I began talking.
"So, you're leaving tomorrow?" Sylvan asked.
"Yeah," I said. "Ed doesn't have to leave, but father-person does... a big meteorite fell somewhere in North America, and he's got to map out the crater... and Ed wants to go back with him."
"Are you sure you can't stay a couple more weeks?" Sylvan asked. "You can always stay at my house, you know that..."
"Sorry, Sylvan," I told him as I saw his smile turn into a frown. "Ed still misses father-person... but Ed will miss you too, Sylvan."
I kissed him on the lips, and his frown turned back into a smile again.
"Besides," he said, "we've still got tonight and tomorrow morning left, right? That's plenty of time... and you'll call every day, I know you will!"
"Ed promises she will call!" I said, kissing Sylvan again. "Every single day... and we'll talk for hours!"
"Excuse me, excuse me..." came a voice from outside. I turned toward the door, and saw Joliet Depardieu, the head of the college's admissions department, walking into the room. What's he doing here?
"Good evening, sir!" I said, smiling. "Do you have some news for me?"
"Yes, some very important news," he said. "I'm happy to announce that the college has decided to give you a full-ride scholarship to New Parisian Liberty, based on your excellent test results and academic record, as well as your accomplishments and heroism yesterday. Excellent job, Francoise!"
"Thank you very much, sir!" I said, smiling. "Wow, now Edward will not have to pay for her scholarship with the bounty money! And Edward can spend in on some other things... first of all..."
"Isn't that great, Ed?" Sylvan asked. "Now you can come to college for free! It's pretty expensive, too..."
"Wait, Mr. Depardieu... did all of Edward's other friends receive full-ride scholarships too?" I asked.
"Well, your friend Kirsten Elysian has accumulated nearly twenty million wulongs in scholarships because of her academic achievements, so she'll be coming here for free... let's see, I think the others are getting some sort of partial scholarship award, but I'm not quite sure. I'll check my records and get back to you, okay?"
"Ed, you're... you're going to pay all of their scholarships?" Sylvan asked. "Asada and Piripi and Sani and Kimberly? All of them?"
"That's right, Sylvan... Ed is feeling especially generous today!" I said as Depardieu left the room. "Sylvan, Edward will pay yours too, if you want..."
"No, Ed, that's alright," Sylvan said. "I've got a ton of bounty money coming, I'll be fine... but thanks for the offer, Ed."
"You sure?" I asked, knowing that I could help out some of my friends and still have a bunch of money left over... 120 million wulongs was quite a lot of cash, and I wanted to give quite a bit of it to the people I cared about...
"I'm sure, Ed," Sylvan said, smiling. "If you want to get me a really nice present, though, that could work..."
"Sylvan!" I said playfully, nudging him on the arm. "Don't worry, Ed will think of a great present to get you!"
"Hey, what's this?" Sylvan said, noticing a small piece of paper on my pillow. He picked it up and began to read it. "Tomorrow morning at the recreational center... farewell party, ten o'clock..."
"Wow, Ed's friends are throwing another party? Ed will definitely have to be there!"
My dad, Sylvan's mom, Sylvan, and I all spent the night at Sylvan's mom's house like my friends and I had several days ago. Then, we all got up and headed to the campus recreational center for our final party before we would all be leaving Paris and going back to our old lives, at least until the next year of college began...
"Ed, you came!" Asada said happily, running over and hugging me as we arrived at the food court just outside the arcade. Kirsten, Asada, Piripi, Sani, Kimberly, and Curtis had already arrived, setting up ballons and ribbons everywhere. Faye-Faye and Jet-person were there too, and they greeted us as we arrived.
"Okay, Ed," Kirsten said, leading me over to the arcade. "Before you leave, we've got to have one last Dance Party showdown, just you and me.
"Kirsten's been practicing all morning, Ed," said Sani. "You'd better watch out..."
"Geez," Jet-person muttered as Kirsten and I walked past him. "Seems like kind of a fruity game..."
"Jet, be nice!" said Faye-Faye, elbowing him in the ribs. "I bet you couldn't beat either of those girls.
"Well, of course I couldn't," Jet-person replied. "I've never played the thing."
Kirsten and I stepped onto the dance platforms and got ready to play for the second time. Our friends crowded around and watched intently as the game began.
"You can do it, Ed!" Sylvan yelled, shouting encouragement from behind me. "You're the champ!"
"Well, actually, Sukina's the champ," Piripi said matter-of-factly. "Well, I guess she gets disqualified for being a brat to Ed, so... Ed is the champ!"
"I think Kirsten's going to take the title back, guys," Kimberly said. "She's really determined to win this game..."
Both of us began dancing, but it was clear that the game was less of a competition and more of just a fun activity meant to well, be fun! We spent half the time giggling, but still managed to get pretty good scores, as our friends all cheered from behind us. Finally, the game was over, and we looked up at the screen.
"You know, Ed, why don't we just call this a tie?" Kirsten asked. "I mean, we're both such good friends... I don't really want to beat you, it'd make me sad!"
"You're right, Kirsten!" I said, smiling. "Edward calls the match a tie!"
"Uh, guys," Asada said, pointing at the screen. "It kinda is a tie."
We both turned toward the screen, and began giggling insanely when we saw the final score: 92,131,000 to 92,131,000. It really was a tie...
"That's awesome, you guys!" Sani said excitedly. "Good job!"
"You go, girls!" Faye cheered. Kirsten and I stepped down from the platforms, and as I looked over at Kirsten, I could see tears falling from her eyes because she was giggling so much. I was still laughing too, but not to the point of actual tears... well, okay, maybe a couple.
"Good game, Ed!" Kirsten said, still struggling to talk, and now hiccuping because of her laughter. "Oh man... that was so much fun!"
"Let's play again!" I said, offering Kirsten a 'rematch'.
"Now now, you know the rules," Asada said. "Winner stays, and since you both tied, neither of you won... so I call next game!"
"Hey now, I thought in the event of a tie, we both win," Kirsten said.
"And I challenge... Jet!" Asada said, pointing at Jet-person. "Jet Black, come on down!"
"Me?" Jet-person said, looking around. "Uh... but I don't-"
"Now now, Asada made the challenge, you've got to accept," Kimberly said, pushing him toward the dance platform. "Those are the rules!"
As my other friends and I poked and prodded Jet-person, he grudgingly stepped onto the second dance platform, and danced against Asada. Well, dance wasn't really the word, since he basically ended up just stepping on random tiles and losing by about forty million points. But through all of that...
"That was actually kinda fun," Jet-person said, stepping down off of the platform.
"And did you feel like a fruit?" Asada asked jokingly.
"Well, uh... not really," Jet-person said. "Maybe a sour grape for a few seconds..."
Jet-person's comment sent all of us into laughter, and for the first time, I truly felt at home in Paris. We partied for the next few hours, until, finally, it was time for my dad and I to go.
"Well, that was a lot of fun, you guys," I said, as Faye-Faye and Jet-person headed outside to start up the Bebop, which was parking right outside in the parking lot. "Edward will miss all of you..."
"Bya, fellow Earthling..." Sani said, smiling and wrapping her arms around me. "Maybe we'll see each other back on Earth... I really hope we do."
"Ed, it's been great," Kimberly said, also hugging me. "I'm gonna miss you..."
"Edward, you make sure to call me every single day, alright?" Piripi said, jumping on me and tightly squeezing her arms around my chest, being careful not to aggravate the wound near my stomach. "And give me lots of updates on you and Sylvan's relationship! I'm doing to try and visit Sylvan, since I live here in the city, but I want some updates from your end too, m'kay?"
Then, Asada walked over to me. By now, the wound she'd received from Cecelle Fremont's blade a few days ago had healed, leaving only the faintest of scars above her right eye. She'd gotten a new pair of glasses, with pretty silver frames that shined brightly, accentuating her beautifully tanned face.
"Ed, I'm really glad I was able to help you out back there in the Neo-Eiffel Tower," Asada said, tears streaming down her face. "I felt so bad about leaving you like that while you looked for Fremont..."
"It's okay, Asada," I told her. "You helped Ed out lots of times before, like back at the Fantaisie Sign... thank you, Asada."
"I'll miss you, Ed," Asada said, smiling.
"I'll miss you too," Curtis said. "You were so determined to help save that little girl, and help Kirsten fend off those crazy girls back on the campus... I wish I was as determined to help people as you are..."
"I'll miss you both," I told them, leaving Asada and Curtis to say their own goodbyes, glad that one of my friends had also found a lover in Paris...
"Bye, Ed," said Kirsten, walking over and giving me a big hug. "You don't know how much I'll miss you... you were my number-one dance partner, you know that? And the only person I know that could beat me in a fight!"
As I hugged Kirsten, tears started to pour down my face. They were both happy and sad... happy that I had made so many new friends, and sad that I had to leave them all so soon...
"Ed will miss you too, Kirsten... so much..."
"See you, space cowgirl," Kirsten said, squeezing me tighter, and I could feel the tears start to pour down her face as well. "Someday, somewhere..."
Kirsten and I finally released our grip on each other, and I walked over to Sylvan, who was standing right outside the door of the recreational center, as the Bebop floated a few feet away on the nearby sidewalk. As soon as I saw him, I ran over and embraced him as tightly as I could... Sylvan was the person I'd wanted to leave least of all... I loved him, and I trusted him with my life... always knowing he'd come through for me.
"Edward, I'll miss you so much," Sylvan said, trying his hardest not to cry. "Oh, Ed, this is really hard..."
"I know, Sylvan, I know..."
We stopped hugging and looked into each other's eyes. Mine were now flooded with tears, and as he saw them, he began to let his tears flow as well... just a few, down his face, but they were more than enough to let me know how he felt.
"I promise, Sylvan, I'll call you every single day... I'll come visit during spring break, and the summer..."
"I know, Ed," Sylvan said. "I'm so glad I got to spend all of this time with you... and I know I'll see you again soon... thank you for letting me come into your life, Ed, and thank you for coming into mine..."
"I love you, Sylvan...."
"I love you too, Ed."
We leaned in and kissed one last time, our tongues finally meeting within our mouths, his lips engulfing mine... I love you, and a kiss... that's all Edward needs... but Ed wants so much more... I love you, Sylvan.
We said our last goodbyes, and then I climbed into the Bebop, ready to head back home... back to Earth... back to the last months of my old life.
In my first week back on Earth, life was pretty routine... my dad mapped the huge new crater (with a little help from me), and I called my friends and Sylvan every single day, like I'd promised. I would spend hours on the phone, sometimes engaging in 3-way, 4-way, 5-way, 6-way, or even 7-way calls with all of my friends. Those times on the phone were great, and it was fun to hear about all of my friends' 'adventures' back on their home worlds, most of which involved school, of course. I especially relished my calls with Sylvan, and at night, we would spend hours talking to each other, sharing our life experiences, making silly noises over the phone (my second favorite part!) and letting each other how much we loved each other (my favorite part!). Joliet Depardieu called me a few days after I got back on Earth, and I did pay off Asada, Sani, Piripi, and Kimberly's college dues, which, thanks to all of the scholarships they'd already won, only came out to just over twelve million wulongs for the four of them. I paid Faye-Faye back three times over (that's three million wulongs), leaving me with about forty-five million left, which I planned to spend later, like on a bunch of presents for Sylvan, which I'd give to him when I saw him again in September. Even though we talked every day, I missed all of my friends greatly, and though we'd all see each other again in the summer (we arranged a meeting over the phone for mid-June), I'd have given almost anything to see any of them sooner...
About two weeks after I got back on Earth, my dad and I stopped off at my dad's boss' office. My dad wanted to report in on a special assignment he'd received to map out a crater in Alaska, and I followed along, going in and sitting down in the small office. I'd been there several times before, and so I expected nothing particularly out of the ordinary. I sat at the back of the room in a chair, while my dad sat across from his boss at a large desk.
"Mr. Resato," my dad said, addressing his boss. "I'm here to report on the progress of the Alaska assignment."
"Ah yes, the new crater," said Mr. Resato. "How's it going?"
"Just swimmingly, sir," my dad replied. "The crater's almost completely mapped, and I just need to work out a few elevation details. I hope you don't mind if I use-"
Just then, the door opened, and I turned to see who it was. A girl with platinum-blonde hair walked into the room, and I immediately recognized her face.
"Daddy," said the girl, "I'm sorry to interrupt you during your work, but-"
"SANI-PERSON!" I squealed, hopping out of my chair and hugging her. I couldn't believe it... I knew Sani lived on Earth, but I didn't know she was the daughter of my dad's employer! Ed can't believe Ed had never seen Sani before!
"Edward, I don't believe it!" Sani said happily, hugging me back. "Oh my gosh, daddy, this is one of the girls I told you about!"
"Um, really?" asked Mr. Resato. "Appledelhi, you never told me your daughter and mine knew each other..."
"Well, um, frankly sir, I've never seen your daughter before... I mean, I have, but on Neo-Paris... I didn't, uh... draw the relation," stammered my dad.
"Anyway, I made the finals of the Solar System essay contest!" Sani said happily. "My essay was chosen as the best one from Earth!"
"Really, Sani?" I asked curiously. "What did you write about?"
"All of you!" Sani said, smiling. "My experiences in Neo-Paris! Daddy, did you know that Ed's a hero?"
"I heard about the attack on the Neo-Eiffel Tower on the news... so, you're Francoise Appledelhi! I knew that had something to do with your daughter!"
"Yeah, well, I taught her most of those moves...." my dad said, smiling. "Well, except the hacking stuff. She learned that herself."
"Yup yup, sure did!" I said, my face beaming. I got to see one of my friends early after all... Sani and I talked for several days as my dad finished up a few of his projects and charted some nearby craters. We both talked to Sylvan and our other friends together, and Sani gave me a tour of her town and introduced me to all of her friends back on Earth, of which I was now one of them...
I'd done so much, seen so much, made so many new friends... I couldn't wait to go back to Neo-Paris for my first semester of college, and reunite with Sylvan and my other friends in the summer. I saw Sylvan earlier, visiting him as his home during spring break... I walked up to his doorstep, rang the doorbell, and there he was, his face still as handsome as ever. He was the same Sylvan, still caring, still kind, still wonderful...
"Ed... it's so wonderful to see you again!" Sylvan said, inviting me inside his home.
"Sylvan, Ed missed you so much... it's good to be back! I love you, Sylvan.."
"I love you too, Edward... mon petit ange..."
And that's the end of Fantaisie Sign, my longest and best ficcy yet! And my first first-person fic, a huge accomplishment! So, what did all of you think? Ed is Sylvan's little angel now... it's so sweet! ^_^ Well, they'll have to part again after spring break, but they'll see each other in the summer! And then once Ed starts going to college they'll never be apart again! Hmm... should I write a sequel? What do y'all think? I've got so many other sequels in the works, including Sammy/Ami coming up Tuesday, so a sequel to this will probably have to wait until 2005... but suggest away! ^_^ Thank you, readers! I couldn't have written a fic like this without your incredible support!