Fateful Return
By: Sinead

Author's Note: Oh, just a small one-shot that I thought of when I finished re-reading the Brigadoon manga. sighs I wish that the anime was as affordable as the manga was. I'd really love to see it.

The year was 2069. The day of Pasca was in three days. Earth and Brigadoon were close enough for beings to travel between both. Maureen was dressed moderately for this day and age as she touched down at the Nezu-jinja. She walked around to the front of the ancient buildings, seeing what changes had taken place in the last hundred years.

"Oi! Marin! Your runaway orphan is in school! I walked him there myself!"

Maureen turned, and the monk blinked. "Oh. Are you Marin's sister?"

The woman smiled. "I'm her mother."

"My, but you are becoming!" the monk laughed. "I can see where she got her good looks from!"

"I have been out of touch with her for a while, traveling. Can you tell me if she is seeing anyone?"

"Seeing . . . ? Oh, you mean dating? Nah, she's quite the chaste one. Say, when did you start traveling?" He peered closer into her face, trying to pin her age.

"Oh, quite a while ago. I have to get going, but I thank you for your time." She bowed politely before turning and leaving.

Is she here, Maureen?

On Earth? She's from Brigadoon. You know that she's still alive.

Where are we?

Close to the row house where she had lived before. You told me how to get there precisely. Thank you.

I hope she remembers me.

Maureen smiled to herself, turning down the lane that Melan had indicated to. And smiled. Children ran rampant all over the place, shrieking and laughing. A small one tripped, falling and scraping a knee, but a tall, thin woman was immediately beside them, whispering something and picking them up to sit them upon her crossed legs, treating the skinned knee as she did so, then handing the child a small treat once done. She stood, turned, and froze.

Yelling, running now, her voice mature, she embraced Maureen. "Mom!"

The kids all gathered around them, but a pot was hit repeatedly, and a tripartite call of "Lunchtime! Come and get it, you rascals!" echoed out from the kitchen, and soon the two women were alone in the street.

Maureen smiled. "You've aged."

"Until I was twenty. Then I stopped." She smiled sadly. "And it's hard, because everyone I grew up with is gone. Moe's daughter helps here, and Mike's son and grand-daughter live here, the aunties split up and married, but Auntie Mitsue came back when her husband died and those were her triplet daughters who now cook for us." She smiled, leaning forward. "How is everyone?"

"Eryun and Pyon asked to retire from being the gun-swordsmen who preform the trinity formation almost right after the last day of Pasca. So their replacements were made, and Melan trained them, as well as his own successor. He asked for a bit more than just retiring."

"Is . . . is Melan doing all right?"

Maureen nodded, smiling.

Marin sighed. "I miss him. Every day I think of him, and I wonder how he's doing. I don't think that I'll ever be able to find someone to marry that can out-do Melan. That's what I vowed to do when I was thirteen, you know." She looked up at her mother. "But nobody can even hope to compare with Melan. He was so . . . oh, I don't know."

Maureen embraced her daughter, pulling a small object from her pocket and placing it within the younger woman's hands. "He asked to retire and live here on Earth, with the one woman whom he truly cared for."

Marin looked down at the blue bottle in her hands. Her voice couldn't rise above a whisper. "Melan?"

When the bottle disappeared, she found herself facing what looked to be a human . . . but it was Melan. His face, his smile . . . they didn't change, but . . . his hands reached up to wipe the tears that fell silently down Marin's face. She wrapped her arms around him, laughing through her tears, just as he was doing. After a short time, kids began trickling out of the house again, gathering around their guardian and her guests. Smiling, Marin ran her fingers through Melan's messy blue hair, pulling him back towards her for a kiss she longed to give him since the day she realized that he had been the one, and that she could never find another to replace him in her heart.

"Ewww . . ." the children moaned, making gagging noises and going off to play somewhere where there wasn't people kissing.

And Marin looked up into his eyes, smiling, whispering, "I love you."

Melan smiled again, resting his forehead against Marin's. "I love you. Let me stay."

"Like I was going to let you leave again? Hah." She took his hand in hers, pulling back to look at his face again. "Come on. Both of you should eat something, and Aunties Somoi are always cooking something good."

Maureen smiled, and rested her hand upon Marin's shoulder. "I had to get back as soon as I brought him here, but I will come tomorrow, for a longer stay."

"You promise?" Marin asked.

The Crace smiled, nodding. "I promise."

She left, and Marin looked up at Melan again, feeling him wrap her up in an embrace and kissing her again. She sighed, resting her head upon his shoulder for a moment before pulling away just enough so that she could look into his face. "Welcome home, Melan."

His reply was just as soft as her voice. "It's good to finally be home."

As if on cue, both stomachs growled, causing them to dually blush and laugh, walking hand-in-hand to the kitchen, ready to start a new life together, taking all the hard times with the good; the tears with the smiles.

And sitting upon a near rooftop, watching them walk together, Lolo grinned. This was all worth the pain that Melan had gone through. Well worth indeed.