When We Meet Again
Based on "The Vision of Escaflowne"
A Fanfiction written by Kaliko Rosa

Dedicated to every loyal reader who has encouraged me to continue and to cherish this story.
"So we meet again..."

07 / 10 / 05
Please note that this is a re-write of the first version of WWMA. Currently, Chapter One - Mystifying Divisions is the only chapter that has been rewritten. This fanfic, which I am truly attached to, has been sadly put on hiatus for a few years. Currently I am striving to do as much work on it as I can, and I still aim to complete it. I have removed the "update" chapter (Chapter 18). Rather than working under too much uninspired pressure to finish this story, I will instead work at a pace I can manage. This will help ensure that any and all updates made are still up to, and better than, the standard that WWMA has set thus far.

Another significant update is that I've re-uploaded Chapter 5: Session Tapes. This chapter has been broken for a long time now, I'm very sorry that I only fixed it recently. I hadn't realized most of the chapter was missing! But Chapter 5 is there now.

I thank all of WWMA's readers sincerely. Please check back for updates :)

1.) Mystifying Divisions

Stars of cotton white drifted slowly, almost dancing, from their place in the black sky. They twirled, and fluttered, and sailed downwards, weaving amongst themselves to form an array of unpredictable constellations. Their movements were neither hurried nor weighed down by gravity's pull; instead they were whimsical, teasing to all other things in such limitless freedom. Under the murky ginger streetlights, they shone like scores of miniature suns. Such a spectacular show was in all their finale, the end of their unknown passage, as hundreds of starry flakes laid to rest on the icy windshield.

'Such a shame…' she thought quietly to herself, her right hand resting on the lever that sent two giant window wipers sailing across the front glass. The snow was thick, troubling the view ahead, but there was still something to be said about its appealing simplicity. To an amateur driver, the natural world is an undying enemy, presenting countless obstacles against something already so difficult. But now, to the unconfident twenty-year-old, the sailing snow seemed quite quaint, friendly even. The only problem lay in the fact that she was trying, almost fruitlessly, to drive through it.

"Hitomi, are you sure you don't want me to take over now?" the young man beside her asked his question quietly and quickly, with a gentleness that desired not to puncture the dignity she had desperately preserved over the last hour. His gloved hand rested upon her shoulder, the leathery scent reminding Hitomi of Christmas Eve, when he had worn them with delight after opening her small present. It seemed as if he had never removed them since then. She glanced at him momentarily sitting to her left, long enough to notice the concerned expression written on every turned muscle on his striking face. She smiled.

"I'll be okay. There isn't very much further to go…"

Hitomi's optimism was beyond what she believed of herself, but her rosy curved lips told him otherwise. She allowed her jade eyes to return to the congestion ahead of them, for she knew she couldn't let herself live with a bailout like that. Amano was the sweetest thing to her, but she wasn't short of forgetting the meeting he had cancelled with his fellow colleagues to be sitting here with her in his car, in the midst of heaving traffic. She also didn't forget how much she had whined and bickered a few days earlier, pleading him to share more of his time during the weekdays… growing ecstatic when he suggested the evening they lived now. She knew Amano's availability was scarce to come by - understandably, why of course. She knew he was a phenomenal individual. She knew he was always busy rising up that ladder of success, one step ahead of everyone else. There was no way to perceive him without an envious admiration! Perhaps that was why...

Cutting her thoughts short, the luxury sedan slowed hesitantly at the hectic intersection of Mikako and Grange. Stoplights filled the area, glowing meanly in the dark madness of rush hour, signalling an order that was not meant to be disobeyed. She was at the front of her lane approaching a red, the last place she wanted to be in at an intersection like this one. Swallowing with any amateur's natural uneasiness, Hitomi eased the vehicle forwards at the first sight of green. And like any other uneasy beginner, Hitomi made her first mistake.

A loud screech filled the air.

"Hey! Left-turn first, jerk-off!"

The young brunette slammed on the Lexus' weeping brakes. The thankful instinct overwhelmed her, as a bulky, indigo minivan cut her off, turning left on the opposing lanes. The Lexus screeched in protest, halting to a sputtering stop just beyond the pedestrian crosswalk. Wide-eyed and pale-fisted, Hitomi hadn't even noticed the driver's infuriated outburst. She didn't notice the green left-turn arrow blinking overhead, or the confused stares from nearby pedestrians. It all passed her by invisibly. At that very moment, Hitomi's startled mind was solely focused on breathing in, and breathing out.

"What an asshole…" apparently well-recovered from the violent jolt, her angry fiancé nearly spat the words. He had his back to her, squinting out the window as if trying to discern a faraway license plate number. "You need to learn how to use that horn, hun. Damn these people!" he cried it out emphatically, gestures and all. It was to the extent that Hitomi could have believed it wasn't her fault to begin with.

"Hitomi, come on," his expression took a serious tone, wrought with concern. "We can pull over right after the turn if you want and I can--"

"No, that's okay," she interrupted with a forced attempt to sound casual. "Thanks. But I'll be just fine." That constrained smile reappeared on her face, promising heinous wrinkles from its overuse. Releasing the brake, she allowed the car to slide forward once the damned green light decided to finally show itself. She swallowed a second time. The frigid snowy winds blew noisily, and her heart thundered with it. Oh yes, I feel just fine.

"You sure?"

"…I guess I am. I'll be okay for now." Nevertheless, Hitomi's shallow smile remained plastered where it was. But in an unexpected exchange, Amano Susumu leaned over and laid a gentle kiss upon her chilled cheek. His lips were remarkably warm despite the seasonal temperature, and tenderly – achingly – soft. With just their subtle grazing on her icy skin, a long sigh of comfort stirred throughout her unseen soul.

"I'm proud of you Hitomi, you know that?"

Hitomi Kanzaki's numerous qualms seemed to melt that very instant. I'm proud of you Hitomi - it rang with a sweet melody.The twenty-year-old's expression abandoned its tense front, although the smile remained perfectly in place. Amano... He had that sort of way with her, a power that could revive those schoolgirl butterflies from time to time. She supposed it was that funny thing called love.

Suddenly, just then, she recalled her unfinished thought.

Perhaps that was why she tried so hard. She loved her Amano Susumu dearly, fondly, but she sometimes found herself bewildered by her fiancé's success, or even simpler yet, by the type of man he was. Charismatic and prodigious, the twenty-two-year-old medical student was considered a gift-wrapped beau to many of Hitomi's female coworkers and friends. They envyed her, the girl who had won the affections of an attractive man, with both chiseled looks and a dangerous gentleman's flair. After all, Amano was sociable, well educated, and the son of a wealthy upbringing. It was undeniably a lucky catch. Yet the thoughts gnawed at her from time to time: does not a good fish require a good fisherman? It was a bad analogy, but it worked. Here was the great Amano's chosen woman, returning from her non-glorious underpaid career as a telemarketer for the Aimsa Reporter, not even able to steer a vehicle down a straight road. Sometimes, she couldn't help but fear that such differences….

"You shouldn't worry about these things," Amano's soothing voice penetrated the air around her, catching her thoughts by surprise. He sat next to her, gazing thoughtfully through the passenger window. It took her moments to realize that his words were thankfully referring to her driving, rather than a brief show of telepathy.

"I'm proud of you for being so determined. It's really paid off..." his voice trailed momentarily, as if undecided about the words to follow. "But I mean… you should look out for yourself too, Hitomi. I know you're not... feeling too well right now…."

His words echoed with some resonance and, as expected, without a reply. The tension mounted as events were suddenly recalled.

Does he really want to talk about this?

In moments, Hitomi's praising thoughts of the 'great' Amano were whisked away, leaving her to stare blankly at the emptying lanes ahead.

He's not even looking at me.

"You just had a very serious dream…" Her fiancé's eyesight traveled from the window to the olive dashboard. The word "Lexus" stood out boldly in silver text, on a small black plaque. "That isn't normal, you know."

Dreams... ?

"Of course I know," she nearly retorted. The tone was unintentional, but still very much there.

"… Have you considered seeing someone about it?"

She gripped the wheel tighter within her gloved fists, and took an inaudible breath. Silence took them over, with the exception of the windshield wipers plowing snow across the glass. Hitomi had expected Amano to say something along such lines sooner or later, and even if she could find the sense in his words, it always hurt just a little, every time, to hear them.

"Maybe," she reluctantly confessed her defeated thougths. "But if it's going to be like everything with Dr. Teroka again, then no. That's… all that's over. I want to keep it that way. Besides, it can't be that bad. It's only happened this one time." She blinked and nodded, as if to reassure herself.

"I know you hate psychiatrists," Amano lifted his tone a bit, resting his hand solicitously on her shoulder. He knew she was uncomfortable speaking to him about this sort of thing. Nestling the back of his head against the lowered headrest, he turned to the car roof in a prodding thought -- three years. "But… only you can wager out the seriousness of this. I don't want you to deny something just because you don't want to do it."

Hitomi couldn't help but smile a little, nudging his warm fingers with her cheek.

"That sounds like some kinda Amano-motto, if you ask me."

He rubbed his littlest finger against her soft skin, "I just want what's best for you. If someone like that man can help you with these dreams of yours, then maybe you can at least consider the option for a little longer."

Her smile half returned to its horizontal neutrality, "But it wasn't a dream, Amano, I told you. It was worse than that. And you know it."

"I know it was bad, Hitomi… nightmarish, really."

"It was bad, but not like that. You know what it was, Amano, I mean, you were there." She stared towards him momentarily with a look of utter desperation. "You know that kind of stuff only happens during a vision."

"Is that so…" Amano kept his head nestled, facing the bland grays of the car-roof, pondering the mysterious events of the night before. He had to admit that it had been a bizarre and alien occurrence, but there had to be a logical explanation. It's not like she's some kind of paranormal voodooist. So many years had gone by now, three ordinary, undisturbed, and healthy years.

"Never mind," feeling defeated, Hitomi returned her concentration to the taillights ahead. The looming office buildings were now replaced with suburban rows of pink-brick townhouses, coated lightly with a fresh layer of white. The roads began to wind hypnotically, tickling the sleepy sensations within her. "We'll just see what happens."

"I think you should still talk to someone about it…"

There was silence. Ralph's Grocery Mart passed them on the right-hand side, nearly glowing in the dusk that had settled in the late evening. Piles of unattended carts lay scattered in the emptying parking lot, seeming distant and isolated from each other.

"Funny, I thought I was already talking to you."

The response came and left. The Lexus proceeded in an awkward hush, traveling in a constant beeline, making its way closer to its journey's end. The snowfall was lighter here, every flake dazzling like a rare gem.

"I know, and I don't mind listening—"

She sighed, plaintively.

"But you don't understand it. So you don't want to listen."

His expression tweaked with frustration and fluster.

"Hitomi, stop. It's not that. You know I care for you."

Her emerald eyes were telling.

But you don't understand it.

The ticking of the turn signal took precedence again as the two voices muted once more. 2564 Mikako Ave., Meadow Garden Apartments – home at last. Hitomi watched the opposing lanes wearily, wondering guiltily if she had been too harsh on him.

"Then maybe there's someone else you can talk to…" he apparently decided to ignore the fact she had pitted him against a corner. "Would your mother know anything about this kind of stuff?"

Hitomi made the turn onto the Meadow Gardens driveway, and drove in the direction of the parking garage. The Lexus wound slowly past a circular island by the front of the apartment, beyond the main entrance, and into a cement inlet that drove towards the underground. All the while, her tired mind blared from such naivety, until the aggravated words spat themselves out.

"I can't believe you would even suggest that!"

"Tomi," Amano's voice wavered from the second blow. "I'm just trying to help… I… you know I want what's best for you."

'What's best for me…' she thought jadedly.

"I'm sorry, hun, I am," she exhaled, "but you know that I'm just not close to Mother in that way… she's so damn particular sometimes. If I tell her anything like this, she'll immediately think everything's going back to the way it was…she'd probably make me see a psychiatrist again. I could almost bet you."

"But that's crazy," Amano furrowed his eyebrows in disagreement. "It was so long ago! If you feel you don't need to see Dr. Teroka, then all the better."

A false smirk scrawled across Hitomi's fair skin, "She won't think so if I tell her something like this…" I wonder whether you even believe what you said, Amano.

Silence revisited them, but then again, it didn't seem to leave. The apartment's parking garage was desolate. Pulling into a designated visitor's lot, Hitomi twisted the key and the vehicle's hum died to a fading whisper. If at all possible, the silence grew louder.

"Hitomi, give me a chance… please."

She lifted her chin and looked longingly into the deep, chestnut eyes that begged so earnestly for her compliance. Amano's expression was teeming with a serious compassion, lips pressed together in a gentle firmness. He wanted to understand her. And for hours now, Hitomi Kanzaki had timidly toyed with the idea of telling him all that she could remember… but fear and dread had imprisoned these inner desires. She wanted so desperately for him to understand, so desperately so, that the thought of being misunderstood hurt her more than not being understood at all.

She could barely handle it herself:

Dragons, swords, and machines…
Fires, wars, and fleeing civilians…
Dashed hopes, vengeance, confusion…

All of it! She wanted to explode from all of it! Strageness. Last night had been a constant jumble of these things, of so many unrelated and unknown elements that swiveled around her and enraptured her every emotion, and every thought and every feeling. All at once, she had been caught into this believable yet terrifying dimension, lost inside a reality she could not relate to. In this lived dream, the sensations of pain, terror, heat, and agony flooded her from the tips of her toes to the ends of every hair on her head. The blood sickened her, the sounds deafened her, the gigantic monsters horrified her… and Hitomi's heart had pounded feverishly through it all, with a furious passion that was beyond even the most dreadful of nightmares. Hitomi knew it well… it had been a real but not-so-real void in her life… unlike that of a dream. There was no explaining how… neither was there a way to explain why… but three years later, Hitomi Kanzaki's visions had returned.

"Maybe tomorrow… I just want to rest it out tonight."

Her smile was gentle, and not so much forced as it was tired.

Amano sunk slightly in his disappointment, but nonetheless, he removed his left glove and touched the cool surface of her skin. Even in mid-March, Hitomi's cheeks were still a warm shade of rosy pink, soft and ever so teasing.

"Alright then, if you think that's best, then I'll drop you off here. But I am willing to listen, please Hitomi, remember that."

"I will," she whispered. Hitomi lowered her eyes sadly. He'll listen to me, but can he understand? She didn't want to think about that… Motionless, Hitomi fascinated over the tenderness of his touch, his hand skimming across the pleasant shape of her oval face. Her heart surged for a brief moment… These differences.

Feeling helpless suddenly, feeling drained and worn, vulnerable and needy, the exhausted young woman collapsed into Amano's soothing, snug and soft embrace. She burrowed into the sweet-smell of his suede coat, digging further until her nose brushed against the itchy collar of his turtleneck sweater, tilting upwards until the skin of her forehead tickled against the growing rubble on his chin. There, she clutched onto his chest with her gloved fingers, closing her eyes in a restless content.

"I love you Hitomi," Amano whispered his tender and warming words, holding her close against his encompassing body. The poor girl. Hitomi's form was huddled and small, face hidden in the hollow of his neck. She seemed so greatly ravaged by what had happened, and the secrecy about it left her fiancé with an uncomfortable level of uncertainty.

"We've got many things to think about, you know," Hitomi glanced upwards in time to see a gentle smile on Amano's handsome face, who then thought a subject-change was long overdue. "Let's focus on the good things, honey. After all, two months from now... I'll be able to call you my wife."

"Two months," she buried further into his warmth, shutting her eyes pensively. In what took seven years to develop, two months could seal for an eternity. In two months she would be married to the man she held, Amano Susumu, her best of best friends and future husband. In two months, Hitomi could finally bid farewell to the lame routine that had become her life on a daily basis. In just two months, Hitomi would no longer feel so lonely. Perhaps then, he would understand.

Amano was the first to open his car door, and together the couple exited on each side of the vehicle, doors slamming loudly in the echo of the cold parking garage. He met her halfway around the middle of the Lexus, gazing fondly at her, observing how the orange lights cast a cardinal tint to her short hair, that tickled as far down as the bottom of her earlobes.

"I can't wait until then," he smiled, and ever so gently brushed back a lock of brown and red from hiding her pretty, jade eyes.

Neither can I, "I love you, Amano."

Brimming with her covert emotions, Hitomi lost herself within his warmth, within his softness and sweetness, within the tenderness she cherished, once more. They kissed, like lovers kiss: fleeting yet evocative, softly yet deeply, their lips met and their smoky breaths were, for a moment's time, held captive. But it was short, too short, as all kisses are. And so thus, they parted, as the man returned to his Lexus, as the woman waved her saddened goodbye. Though she knew she'd see him soon, and speak with him sooner still, her loneliness was a force to reckon. At a time so trying, and so confounding, Hitomi felt a deeper need to be with such a loved one. Her heart bore a mystifying ache within it, something that had surfaced in the pit of her vision, and alone she questioned this vulnerability.

Time could be so sweet in its shortness.

Important Note

This chapter is the first chapter re-written for WWMA. Please remember that any chapter after this one will be lesser in quality. The latter chapters (8+) begin to adapt and eventually maintain a writing style that's a little more refined. The first few though are from my 8th grade days (to give you a view on how old this is, I'm in college now! lol), so please have mercy ;)

Peace. Love. Anime.

Kaliko Rosa