A/N: Yeah, I know. My bio says I don't publish. I guess I'll have to change that. Or delete this fic. Whichever ends up being less shameful, really. I just had to get this out of my system (like it's some sort of disease, right?), and (again, like a disease) I thought I'd share it. :-)
Disclaimer: I don't own Witch Hunter Robin, and I'm not making any money off of it, unless you count those illegal cage fights in my basement every Saturday night. This week: Amon vs. That Horoscope-Lovin' Custodian Dude! And it's even a fair fight, because we're taking away Amon's guns and tying his hands behind his back. Okay, yes, you're right. It's still not a fair fight. Custodian Dude is going down! (crowd cheers loudly)
Ahem. So anyway, just so you know, I am making a lot of assumptions here. Deal with it.
On with the oneshot!
You, my son, my own flesh and blood, source of my joy and anguish. I've thought of you every day since you disappeared, wondering if I would ever see you again, knowing deep down that you were gone for good. Yet still a corner of my heart hopes for your return, that I might rest my weary eyes upon your face just once more before I die. I wouldn't be a true mother if I didn't continue to hope. So long as there's the slightest chance that you're still alive, I'll cling to it.
You were my reason for living, for breathing. And now all I have is a solitary room full of dust-eaten mementos, and the memory of your beloved face.
My dear, dear son.
How could you?
I was a good mother. I raised you strong in faith, made sure you never wanted for anything. And you were a smart, dutiful son, someone I could be proud of. Everyone said so. That Toudou, he's a bright boy. He'll go far. They all knew you were destined for greatness. You were my son, after all, and I raised you to touch the stars.
I was mistaken.
I thought when you went to Europe it was for the greater Good. I thought that you would make a difference. I never dreamed you would be tainted by the darker ideologies of the world, never imagined that you could possibly be corrupted by the likes of her, that wretched woman.
How dare she bear the name of the sainted Holy Virgin, the embodiment of all things pure and good. How dare she walk among the children of men as though she were one of them, as though she were worthy of her namesake, as though she herself could even hope to compare with the Mother of the Savior of this world. Your precious Maria was a blasphemy, a sacrilege, a blight on humanity.
I can see her now, softly smiling out of that old photograph, serene, as though she had every right to be by your side, as though she weren't the filthy spawn of the Devil, but some pure, angelic creature blessed by God Himself. Her very image fills me with such loathing that I cannot contain it, until I'm certain I'll explode if I don't tear her into a thousand pieces and burn them all to ashes.
I covered the photo with a cloth and purposely shut the door to your study so I wouldn't have to see her face staring back at me. Years dimmed my memory of her image and purged my wrath from even the darkest recesses of my soul, so that I could think of you without recalling her calm, self-assured presence at your side. I did that not for deference to her, but out of respect for you, Toudou, my son. In my heart I knew that if you should ever return, that photograph would be the first item you would seek out. Even though the very thought of her disgusted me, I realized she must have held a great sway over you, that you had preserved that photograph for a reason.
Besides, it's not as though she could do you any harm now. I know for certain that she's dead.
So I banished my hatred for her, convinced myself that so long as I didn't have to see her face in that photograph, I could accept that you had at one time associated with her kind. Again, I was mistaken. One look at that picture brought all of my loathing back to me as if it were only yesterday that I learned of her.
She wasn't worthy to lick the dust off your shoes.
I'll admit I lied to myself for years, deluded myself into thinking she meant nothing to you, that she was merely another of those filthy witches SOLOMON forced you to work with. You were a good boy, Toudou. It wasn't by choice that you met her. You would never have taken pleasure in her company, not when you knew her for what she really was. She was nothing more than a co-worker, I told myself, someone whose presence you were obliged to endure. And for years I even almost believed it.
These people that can't seem to let your memory rest, that want to resurrect your work, to know the details of your disappearance, I never should have let them in the door. I suppose it was my own pride that made me do it, pride in the seemingly forgotten genius of a long-lost and well-loved son. I should have been content to let your memory live in me alone, to know that in my heart you would always be alive, always be loved. Call it a mother's weakness, that pride that moved me to give them access to your things. Call it plain foolishness, for I will regret it until the day I die.
And yet I let them come. I let them paw through your old belongings, even answered a few of their questions. I thought at last that your work might receive the acclamation it deserved, that your disappearance would be brought to light from beneath the suppression that has smothered it these fifteen years.
I don't like being wrong, but it seems it's becoming a habit with me.
The man with the stoic face came again today, asking about you, asking about your research, asking about her. Maria. He knew her by name, thought you had married her. And even though he never so much as flinched, I could see in his steely gray eyes that he believed it, that he would willingly drag your name through the mud by attaching it to hers.
Don't think I don't know what that would imply, your marriage to that witch. I saw her, the girl with the face so like Maria's. I even let her into my house once by accident, convinced myself that she bore only a chance resemblance, that my faded memory was playing tricks on me. One glimpse of that photograph set me straight. I had allowed the offspring of that woman to sully my house with her presence. I won't make that mistake again.
No doubt she's a filthy witch, just like her mother.
I'm an old woman, Toudou, the last of a long, honorable family line. Never in a million years did I expect that my ancestor's venerable history would perish with me. You were to carry on the line, to carry on the traditions of your forefathers, to ensure that their memories would never fully die. When you disappeared, I felt such a loss, not only for my son, but for the future generations I had always assumed would follow. I would have given anything to have a piece of you left behind, an heir to your legacy in which to place my hope for years to come.
But I would sooner have the honor of our ancestral line wither into oblivion than be perpetuated in the tainted blood of that child. Would you ever have told me, Toudou? If you had still been here, would you ever have told me I had a granddaughter? Or did you already know how I would react? I will not own her. I will not allow the ignominy her existence and acceptance would bring to our family.
I refuse to see her as anything more than what she is.
She is a witch, and she is no more my kindred than her loathsome mother was. You had no right, Toudou, absolutely no right to expect me to abandon ages of tradition in favor of your foolish choices. You may very well burn in Hell for those choices, but I certainly won't follow. You can only ask so much of me, even if I am your mother. I am old, undoubtedly, and what little hope I've had these past fifteen years has faded significantly, but I'm not so far gone as to entrust it into her care.
I would rather die alone.
I will die alone.
And may God have mercy on your soul. My son.
My life's blood.
Tish's Final Say: OkalieDokalie, as Ned Flanders would say. That's it. I am of course assuming here that Toudou is Robin's father, or at the very least that Toudou's mother perceives it that way. Personally, I don't think Robin is meant to have a tangible father figure, being as how she's a female archetype of Christ (right down to her mother's name—"Maria" is the Italian equivalent of "Mary," for all two of you who are culturally oblivious). Toudou's more like the Joseph-figure. Or maybe he is meant to be the father figure, playing God and all. Anyway, the anime never really specified whether she had a father or not, just that she was genetically engineered to be the perfect witch. But then, this isn't the anime. This is just a fanfiction set in the mind of that poor old woman.
Review if you like. Or not. Considering all the stories I've never bothered to review, it would be fairly hypocritical of me to command you. But I would appreciate it.