1st Revision: 17/06/2007 (Fixed error: 'Head concussion' to 'concussion')
2nd Revision: 24/06/2007 (Beta-ed.)
A few things before you read this story, my dear readers.
1. This is extremely spoiler heavy, so it would be best that you have watched MGLN, MGLN A's, and Nanoha StrikerS up till episode 9. And the manga as well, if entirely possible. Certain parts will make more sense if you do. I will also be following it to as canon as possible, but I make no guarantees. The keyword here is, I try.
2. This story begins two years after the events of MGLN A's. But, technically, it will be spoilers for StrikerS. Our main characters are at the age of eleven.
3. I would like it if you have the song I stated just a little further below to listen as you read the story. But it's always your choice, of course. If you want to, you can always drop me a pm or nudge me in my livejournal (link in bio), and I will get it uploaded for you.
4. There's a serious lack of fictions in Nanoha section. Only 2 pages! Oh, woe is me...(Edit: Us; my beta and I. XD) So this is a call to all writers. It's a sad, sad thing to see so few fics in here. Seriously.
5. Enjoy. XD
"Namida no Imi, Negai no Yukue"
- Hiraoki Sano, MGLN A's Special CD Soundtrack Plus Vol. 5.
Someone shook her shoulder lightly.
"Come on, Fate-chan."
Blond eyebrows furrowed, eyes stayed shut. She felt drowsy. Awfully drowsy.
"Fate-chan!" A warm hand shook her more firmly.
"Nghh..." Deep burgundy eyes squinted.
The sunlight glared back at her, making her wince.
Vision blurry, she peered at blue eyes, with a hint of purple, which looked at her in warm amusement. There was a halo - reflection of the light? - above the sun-kissed brown hair.
"What time did you go to sleep last night, Fate-chan?"
"See! I knew you'd pass!" Arf tackled her, hugging her tightly.
"A-Arf," stammered Fate, stumbling a little. Oh, yes, she stumbled. Arf tackled her so frequently that she had grown used to it, expecting hugs and glomps out of nowhere - and at the same time, she had also learnt to keep her balance the hard way.
For her to stumble...was indeed proof that she had been very, very stunned by the results. She stared at the certificate in her hands.
"S-class! You're an S-class mage! That's literally the third-highest ranking mage, Fate!"
"Congratulations, Fate-chan," beamed Lindy. The older woman poked the eleven year old girl on the forehead, which made her step back a little. "Now, didn't I tell you it was nothing to worry about? You did well."
The young blonde had the grace to look sheepish.
"Next will be the test for Enforcers...which is next week," mused the admiral. "Don't celebrate too much," she teased, "You still need to stay prepared."
Fate nodded, a slight pink tint on her cheeks. It wasn't her fault the last celebration - one that Nanoha and some others had conspired about behind her back - went haywire. No, sir. Definitely not her fault. Nanoha, Arisa, Suzuka and Hayate...especially Hayate. That girl had an angel's smile, but looks were very deceiving. It was not something she cared to repeat, and it was certainly not something she would willingly talk about.
But even so...
She smiled. Or grinned, more like, in a rare show of emotions. She had practiced long and hard, revised and reviewed, and to find out she passed, it felt...great. No. More than great. It was exhilarating. Almost...almost unreal.
It was thrilling. She felt like she could tackle the Enforcer's exam right then and there and be confident she would pass.
She should have known better.
The PDA in Lindy's pocket began to rang.
Fate glanced at it as the older woman took it out. She recognized the ring tone. Generally, the admiral - who was her...mother, now - had three different ring tones; one for family, one for work, and one for emergencies.
It was the last that blared from her electronic device.
A flat, glowing hologram appeared, hovering above the device.
Amy. She sounded anxious.
The younger officer's gaze darted to Fate for a moment, fear in her eyes.
Something was wrong, the blonde realized dimly.
"I..." Limietta hesitated. "Vita-chan and Nanoha-chan have been transported back here through the emergency portal."
Fate suddenly couldn't breathe. Emergency portal...that means it was of the greatest urgency. Something...what...
Lindy frowned. "Report."
Amy and Fate both recognized that business-like tone. Accordingly, Amy straightened and adopted a business-like tone.
"Second Lieutenant Vita demanded emergency transportation, and preparation of the medical team. It appears that Lieutetant Vita and Lieutenant Takamachi had been attacked by an unknown enemy which," another screen popped up into the air, "is now destroyed. It's..." A falter. "It's some kind of machine that had been warded. Use of magic had been totally ineffective against it."
The screen showed the blackened remains of what used to be machine; and Fate could only imagine what it looked like before it was destroyed.
Amy's voice grew hesitant.
"...It appears that First Lieutenant Takamachi had attempted to shield Lieutenant Vita from a blow by the machine. She had raised a shield, but since magic was ineffective..."
That caught her attention.
"What," Fate said, almost jerkily, before stopping to compose herself, "What is her current condition?"
Her heart pounded loudly in her ears.
"First Lieutenant Takamachi has been reported to have severe injuries. A rough scan on the site before transportation revealed she had a broken arm, a twisted leg, a concussion, and great blood loss." A pause, as Amy craned her head sideways a little as someone called her attention. Then she turned back to the screen, her tone grave.
"...I have received the latest report from the medical wing." Amy bit her lip.
"...And? Come on, stop stalling!" Arf nearly shouted.
There was despair in Limietta's tone, and Fate knew this wasn't a hoax or a bad joke gone wrong in twenty ways.
"Four of her ribs are broken, and her spine is cracked. She's unconscious, most likely due to the concussion and blood loss. The doctors are trying their best. But in the worst situation - "
Fate didn't hear anymore. She had started running, the surprised calls from her mother and her familiar so dim in her ears. The certificate that told her she passed the test dropped to the floor forgotten, and she ran like never before.
Nanoha had been fine just the day before. She was smiling. She was laughing.
And she's dying now.
She suppressed the horrible, horrible image of Nanoha's - dying - state, instead focusing on running. She needed to be there. She wanted to be there. She needed to see for herself.
She couldn't lose her. Not now, not ever.
"Dimensional Transfer. Target: Asura!"
"Setting dimensional coordinates, 678D 872W 2342 1453 1234 4567 234R 354J 23RT."
Nanoha was her sun.
"I want us to be friends."
She stared. Gawked, actually.
Friends. That word was foreign to her.
Was that girl serious? She didn't - no, couldn't - believe it.
Red locked onto blue.
White and black.
Yin and Yang.
Two opposing force, two sides of a coin.
So close and so far.
"You," she almost said, almost blurted out; but her words were cut short when the sky growled and parted, a streak of lightning that flashed pink striking into the sea.
Instinctively she shielded herself from the huge blast of salt water that splashed at her, her heart suddenly beating fast, and she snapped her head up.
The word, foreign yet familiar to her, came from her own lips. A mix of surprise, reverence, love and fear.
There was another flash of pink light.
Before she realized it, her flesh was being ripped apart and burned, an electrifying, nauseating jolt searing her from head to toe; she was more startled than hurt, a cry forced out of her lungs in surprise. Then the pain came; the hard, searing pain. It didn't matter how she tried to remain strong or how she tried to force herself to ignore it; it drove every intelligent thought away from her mind, save one.
Relief came as quickly in the form of black-out, even as she felt herself falling, even as the call from the white-garbed mage echoed in her mind.
The concern and fear FOR her that she heard in that tone was the only thing she remembered in the darkness.
Tears ran down Vita's cheeks. Her blue eyes burned into Fate's nearly blank ones.
"My fault," Vita told her, fists clenched, voice full of fury. "It's all my fault. That idiot...that...that..." Her teeth gritted, and she tasted copper in her mouth. Blood stained her already red armor, turning her front into a darker shade of red.
Fate could not find any words to say.
The door opened, and Shamal stepped in front of them, the two doctors behind her nodding and moving away when Shamal glanced at them.
"Shamal!" Vita literally flew towards Shamal, grabbing at her white coat. "She - how is she?! How's Nanoha?!"
"Vita-chan..." Shamal squeezed the short girl's shoulders lightly, and glanced at Fate, who only stared at her, unspoken question on her lips.
"We have done all we can, Vita-chan, Fate-chan," she said softly, sadly. "And now...it's up to her. If she doesn't survive the night..."
The blonde breathed in sharply, and her burgundy eyes darted to the door.
Vita's fists tightened. "But your specialty is healing! Can't you at least make sure she survives?!"
Dark eyes closed, and Shamal wrapped her hands around the deceptively strong knight. "I'm sorry, Vita-chan." Fate could hear the exhaustion in her voice. She must have channeled her magic non-stop. "There's only so much I can do with my power..."
Shamal didn't answer, merely held her tightly.
"Can I..." Fate faltered, glancing at Shamal, "Can I see her?"
Shamal smiled slightly, still sad. "Please do. She will need our support...especially now. We have to help her through the night..." A pause, and her tone grew softer. "And if Nanoha-chan survives tonight; the next few days, weeks, months...even years, may be unbearable. She..." Her voice was choked. "She will need it."
Fate's heart hammered against her chest.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Those blue eyes were happy, and there was an almost impish smile on her lips.
"To become friends with someone is really simple."
The blonde stared, unspoken question sketched onto her features.
"You just have to call out her name," a wide smile formed on Nanoha's lips. "That's all you need to do at the beginning. Don't say, 'hey, you', or call her 'that person', just..."
The brunette's gaze locked onto hers.
"...Look straight into her eyes, and clearly say her name."
Fate stared. That...simple? But she..
Nanoha leaned closer. "I'm Takamachi Nanoha!" she pressed on, "So call me Nanoha!"
The taller girl could only blink, seeing those expectant, hopeful eyes. "Nano..ha?"
"Yes! Just like that!"
A single feather flew past her. Momentarily surprised, she followed it with burgundy eyes, and wondered where it came from. Raising Heart? But no magic was activated...
She turned back to the other girl, and froze.
The day had suddenly become dark, she was in her apartment - the lounge - and Nanoha was nowhere to be seen.
Another feather flew past, and there was a soft white glow to it. Her eyes followed its every movement, until the light faded into nothingness when it reached the door...and Nanoha was there, just by the door, smiling warmly at her.
"Nanoha?" Fate called again, suddenly uneasy.
The brunette waved a little, a hand opening the wooden door.
"Ja ne, Fate-chan."
The blonde wasn't entirely sure why she ran then, towards the other girl, calling out her name.
Nanoha stepped out of the door, and by the time Fate reached it, all she could see was darkness.
Then there was a gust of feathers, dancing intricately in a swirl of warm white light.
Fate woke up to see Lindy's face - Lindy's kind, sympathetic eyes on her.
She forced her fuzzy brain to wake up, blinking a few times. What...
The vision of Nanoha, her smiling face, and the small wave of hand flashed in her mind.
Nanoha...! Her gaze darted to the bed, heart pounding.
She didn't know why, but she needed the reassurance that the brunette was there. She needed...needed...
She needed to know her best friend was alive.
Nanoha's eyes were closed, a peaceful look on her face. A clean bandage had been wrapped over her head. There was an air mask over her nose and mouth, and Fate saw wisps of moisture formed from even breathing on the mask before disappearing. Her trained ears heard the soft beeps from the machine on the other side of the bed, green lines darting up and down the screen in swift, repetitive motions.
"Fate-chan," Lindy told her softly, almost reprimanding, "You shouldn't sleep here. You will get a cold." A finger reached out to wipe her cheeks, which had stains of water.
"Bad dream?" asked her mother, her hands reaching around the young blonde.
Something felt heavy in her chest, and she couldn't explain it. Her mother held her close.
...what had she dreamed about?
Her vision blurred in the dim light of the hospital room, and tears trickled down her cheeks for reasons she couldn't comprehend.
What had she dreamt of?
Heh. I originally wanted this to be a (long) one shot, but it turned out to be a little longer than I expected. I don't really fancy writing long fics, and this one should be wrapped up by the next chapter - or third, at most. Or at least I hope so.
Now, that said, I will have to admit the idea about feathers flying around wasn't exactly my own original idea. I wish it was, but it's not. It's from another fic from a different anime that was my favorite. I've only just noticed what I wrote is similar after reading over it. It's not really a big thing...though I do feel a little uncomfortable using people's ideas just like that. -gnaws at table- I tried thinking of other ideas...but once I thought of something, I'm usually stuck on it like a leech. So all disclaimers apply here, and I sincerely hope no one will try to fire or flame me for this.
And this is pretty much the first time I'm writing eleven year old kids. So it's a little more different than my usual fare of stuff...I've been having a hard time balancing her reactions and reminding myself she's eleven and not sixteen and above.
Lastly, my thanks to guubear for looking this over briefly.
And reviews, my dear readers, will be very inspiring. -nudgewinknudgewink-