Unlikely Protector

I love you as if you were my own child, yet you'll never know. What I do now is for your own good…you need to prepare yourself, to at least somewhat harden that gentle heart of yours…so that when the killing blows come, they'll be at least somewhat softened, and you can endure…I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?

A long time ago, I loved a woman. To be more specific, it was 14 years ago…I was foolish, naïve, and hopelessly enamored. Love truly does not see boundaries or differences, for it was a Realian I had fallen for…but despite this, she seemed wiser than her age, or her programming. And…she loved me back as well. She had two sisters, whom she was often forced to leave alone because of her job. I took on the role of caretaker, and was met with a gentle smile, love shining in her gold eyes….

And then there you were. So small, clad always in that white dress, that white choker always fixed around your neck, little eyes large behind those glasses of yours. Febronia loved you dearly, would speak of you often…as for I, the first time I saw you was when I paid a visit to her place of work. One little hand was clutching at Feb's skirt as you hid behind it, she trying to coax you to the front as a doctor looked on. But soon, all good things must come to an end.

The Miltian Conflict worsened, and I was sent off-planet. She gave me her bracelet as a token of her affection, and I swore I'd come back for her and her sisters…naturally, I got ragged on quite a bit for wearing a woman's bracelet publicly, but I really didn't give a damn. Eventually there came a lull in the fighting, and I was able to get two days' leave, getting a ride on a transport to Miltia…where I was met with a sight that would forever engrave itself on my memory…of Feb in her sisters' room, her arms wrapped around your sleeping form, rocking back and forth, eyes locked on those two little beds. Her skin was bloodless; pale…I dashed forward, removing you from her arms, kneeling in front of her, demanding to know what had happened. The only two words that escaped her lips were their names…

Cecily and Cathe were gone. She'd been away, taking care of you…when she came back, there was no trace of them. It was if they had never existed. And with human-Realian relations at an all time low…the police would not help, hell, no one would help. It was then I was notified that my leave was getting cut short; I had to return right away, as my division was being called back to the front lines. I didn't want to, but I had to leave…

And then, before I left, she came to me and made me swear. If anything were to happen to her, I was always supposed to protect you…to make you strong. Confused I asked what she meant, did this have anything to do with the place where she worked at, where you always were….she gave no reply, but I saw it in her eyes. Regardless, I promised, and so left Miltia. If I had any idea of what would have happened next I would have never left…

You know what it's like to lose a loved one. And I won't lie…from the way he acts, you two had something real, something solid. If our…and here I use this word for lack of a better one, "boss" hadn't had his plans, you probably would have been his wife by now.

But you know the incredible pain…the soul-tearing agony. Wishing that it had been you, or praying for death so that you can join your loved one…entertaining thoughts of killing yourself. Or in my case…yes. That's why. Call it my…penance if you will, my personal self-inflected torture however twisted it is; I disgust myself even now thinking about it.

There's another reason though. I promised myself that I would not fail her, that I would watch over you…and so I tried my best. I told myself that when we finally met, I would treat you with only cruelty; so that you would hate me, despise me…so that on something your gentle heart would harden, yet it seems I've got my work cut out quite a bit. You're so damn naïve...even though your rose-colored glasses have been stripped from you by Fate's cruel whims; you still have that innocence and purity about you… I suppose that's why I was revived, and why I'm more or less being allowed to do my own thing when it comes to you. I won't lie, I am grateful for the second chance…despite at the high price I'm paying, I made a promise to her first, and I'll go through with it.

As I entered the Song of Nephilim, I heard your voice clear as a bell, yelling at Albedo for how he treated those little Realians. I sensed your fear, your terror…yet you had pushed that to the side, you were determined to stand up to him… you've got guts, just like that U.R.T.V. I can't help but agree with his opinion of Albedo though, he is a bastard. And now knowing what he knows about you, what our boss knows about you…well, the one I pay attention to anyway… if he makes one wrong move towards you, he'll suffer. That I promise you.

But you have gotten stronger…I never expected you to last so long in battle. Even afterwards, while everyone was close to collapsing you still stood there…glaring at me, demanding answers…answers that a part of me longed to give, I won't lie about that. But you can't have the answers, and you need to protect your heart…wounds that you thought had healed he'll tear open once more, new ones will be inflected upon you, and your very feelings will be used against you for his advantage, not that it's been done before…but this time it'll be far worse.

So please, learn what I am trying to teach you…I know you can never completely be vengeful, spiteful, it's just not in your nature. But unless you can harden your heart somewhat, I fear I'll not be able to fulfill my promise to Febronia…which terrifies me most of all.

AN: Based on a Virgil theory a friend of mine has.