I remember it starting when we were young. I had just come to Earth for the first time since that day we shared on the bridge. You greeted me with a smile then, eyes sparkling with a true happiness that I so longed to experience for myself. My past was chaos, you knew this and still accepted me. My future was fighting, you knew this and still walked with me. I was the girl that most people avoided. Pretty with a Pistol they called it. Good to look at but deadly when handled. Because of this no one really tried to get close to me, but you still reached out your hand. You saved me then and even now, always trying your best to make me smile, to show me happiness. That was the first time, the first of many, many times, that you reached out your hand and spoke those simple words to me.
"Come fly with me."
We grew up in a flash it seemed. I was so scared at first, being a new girl in a place I've never been. I learned how to live on Earth thanks to you and together we went through school. You showed me what it was like to live, how simple things like sharing an ice cream cone under a tree on a hot summer day would be forever etched in my memory. You took my hand, walked with me, taught me how to move forward, how to forget my past. I owed so much to you, but you never asked for anything in return. We graduated so fast I don't even know how to recall those days. It was so much, I was in shock for the longest time. When had we grown so much? It was just yesterday we blushed together in the store buying our first bras, giggling at pictures of famous pop singers, talking all night during sleepovers while eating cookies. But during all of it, you would always come to me seemingly randomly. Extend your hand, interlace our fingers, speak those words.
"Fate-chan, come fly with me."
Together we entered the T.S.A.B, signed our names on the paper next to each other to be officially recognized. For three months we were bunked together in a specialty training camp that was too advanced for our level. Every night we hurt, moaned from sore muscles and weakened linker cores. Despite having our own beds you always stayed with me, cramped together with one pillow to share. I still remember it, Nanoha, the way your breath felt on the back of my neck. I loved it. I loved your arm around my side, the soft rustling of my hair, the small whispering of goodnight into my ear. It gave me strength, it made me keep going. You chose your future and I chose mine. If we were going to stay together like this then we had to go up in ranks. We were going to be split apart after that camp, so we made each day count. Together we passed, graduated together yet again and were rewarded with our first titles: Private First Class. You were so proud of me then, as I was of you. That night we celebrated, partied with everyone and tasted for the first time what it was like to be recognized as adults. We had a toast, you declared it to our future. I remember it. You came in my room that night, woke me up with a sheepish grin. You offered your hand, spoke to me while looking into my eyes, and smiled gently.
"Come fly with me, Fate-chan."
The next part of my life was hard. We were separated completely for the first time and I was sent to fight, to wage war against people weaker than myself and sometimes stronger. I killed someone for the first time shortly after. I will never forget it, the shaking of my hands, the feeling in my throat, the aching in my chest. I had murdered, taken a life, caused someone to die. I screamed, I screamed so hard. Was I like my mother? Was I evil? Was I to only hurt people? You came to me, forsaking a special training camp that you was so looking forward to. You hugged me didn't you? Yes, I remember that hug. I wanted for the first time to push you away. I didn't deserve those hugs anymore. But you didn't let go when I shoved. You held strong when I shouted. You spoke to me when I cried. I wasn't like her, I cared. I wanted to help people. You told me these things and slowly I started to believe you. You would never lie to me would you? No, you didn't lie. You were too kind. I felt better then, I didn't want to shower every moment I could manage it. I could move forward again. You once again kept me going. To ease my mind you smiled for me. My hand was taken, and for the first time you simply said my name.
"Fate, come fly with me."
Hayate did it didn't she? I would never stop being amazed by it. She out ranked us so fast. The short little girl that we both grew up with had made her own division in the military. Once again we were together. No more calls to each other in the middle of the night, sacrificing the precious few hours of sleep we got so we could talk with each other. It hurt. My chest ached every time we hung up. I didn't want to sleep after our calls, to be alone in a cold bed breathing the recirculated air of the stale battleship. I longed for the embrace from behind, the warmth of your body, the encouraging words. But it didn't matter now. We had our unit, we were together, and Hayate wouldn't separate us at any cost. We were given a room together, a large apartment style room. We had everything didn't we? A kitchen, a place to lounge, a bedroom to share. I loved that bed. It was so soft, so large, so warm. But those could be found almost anywhere. You was with me again, and it was unspoken between us as soon as we saw where we would sleep. The bed was big but we didn't need it. Together we slept in the middle, arms wrapped around each other. We slept face to face now, gazing into each other's eyes before drifting off. Nothing needed to be said to express our feelings. I knew what you would do that first night. My chest ached so badly to hear it. I was almost ready to burst when your eyes opened in the night. Your hand took mine without hesitation and I swear I heard it before you even spoke. It was different this time; softer... gentler...
"Come fly with me, Fate."
It changed that night, without anything being said. There was no question, there was no answer. We were together now and everyone seemed to understand it. I cooked for you every night then on didn't I? I will never forget the way you came home from work each day. The door would close a little loudly and your boots would be kicked off carelessly despite me constantly requesting you to be a little more tidy. We were both almost twenty but you had so much energy I swore you was still sixteen. Every day was a blessing, even the bad ones. The times we had together were so special to me. Our fights, arguments, hugs, kisses, they all warmed my heart simply because they were with you. Days passed. Weeks passed. Months passed. Years passed. Vivio came into our lives and was proclaimed our daughter. We were a family. No question, no answer. It was simply there, and that was enough for us. Nanoha-mama and Fate-mama had their daughter. Our precious Vivio. The day we had her officially adopted made me cry tears of joy. I had everything. You, as always, was there with me. I extended my hand this time, interlaced our fingers, and spoke to you.
"Come fly with me"
Your forward students turned out to be better than anyone could possibly imagine. They soared through the ranks because of you, and everyone else after that also got promoted quickly. I was so proud. My Nanoha was the best thing to ever happen to the T.S.A.B. Everyone loved you, me the most. Words could not express the happiness in my life. From a broken little girl to a mature woman seeing her child off to her first day of school. You was with me then, and you always would be. Vivio looked so cute in that sailor uniform didn't she? Our child was growing so fast. It wasn't long after that was it? A few days maybe? Or perhaps a week or two? I was so happy I couldn't tell. I bought a ring for you. A simple diamond ring that slid so perfectly over your finger. We always considered ourselves a family, no formalities were needed. The ring was something just to let others know that I had the most beautiful girl ever as my wife. You were so excited. I remember you cried, scaring me at first. Tears of joy you said. I understood. Taking your hand, I embraced your fingers, ring and all, and lifted us into the air.
"Come fly with me, Darling."
The years went by so fast. Vivio had her first boyfriend and you went nuts. The boy was a nice lad, a little shy, but looked me in the eyes when being introduced. I liked him. That night I had to console you for a change. I held you and you cried. You silly girl, you wasn't losing Vivio, she would always be ours. That night you told me how happy you was being with me and accepted the fact that Vivio was starting to be happy with someone as well. You wished them the joy we shared and I could only smile. No one could feel the joy I had when with you. It turned out that the boy was perfect for our daughter. She got it right on the first try, you would say. But even still you cried the hardest during her wedding. Vivio was moving away from us, leaving our nest with just the two of us once again. It was weird that night wasn't it? For so long we had the three of us together, now back down to two. I missed her but I still had you, so I was happy. I remember it was then I first noticed the small streak of gray in your hair. Were we growing old? I hadn't noticed. Looking at each other, we smiled. Tonight we needed to go out, to soar in the place where we belonged. We said the words together this time, arms reaching out for each other.
"Come fly with me."
Now here I am, standing at the same place once again. That time seemed so long ago but so very close at the same time. The marble stone in front of me on the hill said the same thing it always did. Here lies Nanoha. Loved by all, she gave warmth to everyone she touched. I chose the words myself, trying some way to capture your image as best I could. After all, I knew you the best. It was unfair that you had to leave before me. The accident so long ago had slowly taken it's tole on your body, but you didn't' let it show, didn't worry anyone. You was always the same: Caring, loving, always putting others first. That was the Nanoha I met so long ago, the girl who touched my heart and saved me from myself. The teen who kept me moving in life, and the woman who embraced me. We raised a daughter together and lived happily. You told me then, that you felt as if you had enough joy for two lifetimes. You smiled until the very end, holding my hand and looking into my eyes. I didn't take it as bad as everyone thought I would. I was still happy, your words always lingering with me. We shared a connection that they couldn't understand. Together we went through life and shared it all. I wasn't alone. Because, after all, when I fly...
"I'm with you."