Yup. So I just finished this series and thought it was pretty damn awesome, so I decided that I needed to go ahead and write a little something for it. Well, hopefully you like it.
The last time she had seen him was five years ago. The Dai-Gurren Brigade had buried their comrades that had died during the final battle with the Anti-Spirals, and later on that week, he and Nia got married. Yoko had been there as he held Nia in his arms as she faded from existence.
"Nia and I knew that this would happen," he told them.
He left the Spiral Core with Gimmy, and, with the symbol of the Brigade draped over his back, he walked away. Simon the driller; leader of the Dai-Gurren Brigade and Commander of the new world. No one had heard from him since.
Yoko had seen him, though, on a few occasions. At Rossiu and Kinon's wedding ceremony, she had seen a man standing off in the distance wearing a hooded cloak.
Her instincts told her that it was him.
When the first wave of ships was launched for space exploration, she had seen him standing on the hill above the launch site, gazing up in wonder as they filled the sky. Most recently, she had caught sight of him at the unveiling of the Dai-Gurren Brigade Memorial in Kamina City, which Gimmy and Darry had dedicated to the original crew.
And once every year, when Yoko went to visit Kamina's grave on the anniversary of his death, she also went to see Nia's. There would always be a single white rose, freshly laid across the smooth stone.
She had left early this year, hoping to run into him. It would be great to see him again, just to see how he was doing and what he was up to. Although they had broken up and gone their separate ways, the members of the Brigade always kept in touch; all of them but Simon.
Sure enough, he was there, standing before the great, blue cape thrashing in the wind. She wasn't sure if he knew she was there, but she walked up slowly from behind.
"He's as restless as ever," she said gently.
Simon simply nodded, seemingly unsurprised that she was here.
But he said nothing else, and he didn't turn around. She had yet to see his face.
"How often do you come here?" she asked.
"Twice a year. The day Nia and I were married, and the day that Aniki died."
"I usually come here a lot later than this and see the rose you leave for Nia."
Boota jumped out of Simon's cloak and landed on her chest. That furry creature was disappointed that his usual spot was covered.
The small animal looked cross as he leapt back to Simon and hid in his sleeve.
"Looks like he's doing well. What about you? What have you been up to?" she asked intently.
"Not much, just traveling around."
"Not really. And you, Yoko? How have you been?"
"Good. I'm still teaching. I want to build a better future and help the children achieve their highest goals. That's what we all fought for, right?"
"A noble cause, and it suits you well, Yoko." He paused and looked up to the sky. "Always reaching for that distant star…that's what Aniki would have wanted."
"You know…" said Yoko after a while, "you shouldn't be such a stranger. Everyone would love to hear from you every once in a while, and so would I. The kids would go crazy if their hero came to visit. I tell them stories all the time…"
"Hero?" he said the word sadly. "Aniki was a hero. Kittan was a hero. They were able to save the people they cared about. Who did I save? Aniki? Kittan? Kidd? Jougan? Barinbou? Nia? No."
She turned him forcefully to search his eyes. Was that why he had cut himself off? He believed that those who had given their lives deserved to be honored as heroes much more than he deserved it himself. She smiled for him.
"Even if you say that, the entire human race is free to live and prosper because of you. That counts for something, doesn't it?"
"I didn't do it alone. Every single person who fought that day is a hero. Why should I be praised more than you?"
"Kamina would have enjoyed the praise," Yoko laughed.
"Probably. If he was here, he'd say 'who the hell do you think I am!?' Heh… I'm not Aniki, though. I'm just a digger."
"A digger who saved the world," smiled Yoko.
"But just a digger, nonetheless."
He looked over his shoulder to where the shrine that honored Nia stood. And he reached into his pocket and fished out the ring that he had made for her. The green stone had not lost it's shine.
"Here," he held it out for Yoko. "I want you to have this."
"Eh!? But why? This is the only thing you have left from your time with Nia. Why would you give it to me?"
"Not true. My memories of her will never fade. I don't need this ring to remember her."
"Still, it's very precious to you right? You should keep it," Yoko insisted.
"I didn't have any friends back in Jiiha Village," he said. "My mother and father died when I was young. The only thing I was good for was digging. But I didn't do it because I was told to, and not even because I liked it. I dug because sometimes, I found treasures. The incredible things that I found while digging were very precious to me. But I didn't have anyone to share them with until I met Aniki. At the end of each day, I would show him what I found, and we would wonder what it was or where it had come from, dreaming that it was some long lost relic of the surface world. It was so much better to share my treasures than to keep them to myself."
He opened her palm, placed the ring in her hand, and continued.
"The point is, treasures don't mean anything unless you can share them with someone. I made this ring with a stone that I found a few days after I met Nia. Aniki was gone, and I was still trying to move on, so I never shared it with anyone. When I decided to marry Nia, I wanted to share this treasure with her, and I just had to use this stone to make her ring. But she is gone too, and it took me a long time to come to terms with it."
He glanced over at her grave yet again before finishing.
"But Yoko, you have also been through everything with me. You were there when Nia had to go away, and at the last battle where everyone risked their lives. You were there to break me out of jail and you were there the day Lord Genome fell. You were there to cry with me when Aniki died. The day I met you, when we first stepped foot on the surface, was the day that changed the fate of the world. And I don't regret a single thing. You've fought with me and supported me since the very beginning. Next to Aniki, you were my first and closest friend. It would make me happy if you accepted this ring and allowed me to share my most precious treasure with you."
It took Yoko a moment to get over the power of his words and grasp the unfathomable depth of what this meant to him. Finally, she closed her fingers over the ring and gave him a warm smile.
"I'll keep it safe, Simon," she assured him.
The sun burned brightly at the edge of the horizon. They both stared at it.
"Look," said Simon, "A new day is dawning."
And with that, he put on his sunglasses and headed off, walking straight into the light of the blazing sun.
She squinted as her eyes followed him in the sunlight. Suddenly she laughed.
"Tch. Acting all cool and dramatic, huh?"
Men. Always with the cheesy last words, always with more than one meaning.
I'll pay it back ten times.
Sorry for my selfishness.
Look. A new day is dawning.
She knew that this time, as with the others, this was probably the last time she would see him.
"Of course!" he called back, "real men are supposed to make an exit you can never forget! Who the hell do you think I am!?"
He laughed with her, but he didn't turn back. She watched him for as long as she could, but he was soon lost in the blinding rays of the sun.
As she expected, no matter how early she tried to make it every year, she never saw him again, but she knew he had been there. He always left something on Nia's grave: a white rose for Nia and a yellow one for her.
"Sensei!" the students called, "who is this good-looking guy!?"
Yomako-sensei was telling them stories again, and all the students had gathered around to see the picture of the legendary Dai-Gurren Brigade.
"That's Kamina, the original leader of the Brigade. He was an inspiration to everyone."
"I want to be strong like Kamina-sama!" yelled some of the boys in the class.
"He's so handsome!" came the girls.
The teacher smiled.
"Sensei!" they called again, "who is this rugged looking guy?"
"That's Kittan. He fought selflessly in battle to keep everyone safe."
"I want to be brave like Kittan-sama!" yelled some of the boys.
"He's manly too!" the girls giggled again.
The teacher smiled wider.
The bell rung. The students waved goodbye at their teacher and went on to dream of adventures like the heroes of the Brigade had.
One small boy stayed back, still staring at the picture.
"Who is he, Sensei?" he asked, pointing to the blue haired boy in the center of the photo.
"Him?" the teacher replied, "his name is Simon the digger."
"What kind of a person is he?" the boy asked.
"Kind and strong, good-hearted and passionate," she answered.
The boy's face brightened.
"I want to be a great man like Simon-sama!" he exclaimed.
His sensei's smile grew wider still as she played with the green ring on her finger.