The ground shook.
She was shoved down roughly, into a hole - compartment? - before an explosion blinded her in flashes of red and yellow and orange; her back pin and needles, body bruised and sore.
But even so, her eyes remained on red...exquisite, deep red...
Long golden hair, streaked with blood, blew haphazardly.
Beep, beep, beep.
Those expressive burgundy eyes were focused on a panel by the cubicle, shaky fingers rapidly pressing buttons.
Dark crimson liquid trickled down the blonde's face. There was a smile on that face, a smile so grim and pained but determined...
A cold, sinking feeling was building deep in her stomach.
"What..." Her voice came out in a weak, hoarse croak. "What a-are you...doing?"
She tried to move and failed.
The wind roared with a second explosion, and the double door, transparent and insulated with thick glass, started to close slowly, hissing.
The blonde sighed then, and slumped, resting heavily against the panel.
Blood dripped to the floor.
Heavy, ragged breathing.
"No..." The word left her mouth by itself, though she did not know why.
Burgundy eyes turned back to her.
Silky blonde hair flew uncontrollably in the harsh wind, and that mouth opened and closed in rapid succession. Her ears strained to hear what the other was saying, but the thundering explosions made her deaf.
The door inched close.
She could only read the body language of the other.
Sadness, hope, anger, determination...
Then, at last, those lips stopped moving, and the tense shoulders relaxed.
The explosions that drowned all other noises were beginning to die down, now that the door were mere seconds from closing.
There was another smile on that face. A smile so sad and tired and hopeful...
This time, the words and that soft tone belonging to the blonde resounded in her ears.
The door shut and the blonde stood up shakily, turning. Her slender back now faced Nanoha, as if trying to protect...
The last thing she remembered before her vision turned black was blood.
Blood that splattered onto the door.
And a stray block of metal that burst forth from the explosion, piercing into the blonde...
Bzzt - zzt...
" - Seizure! Get the doctor!"
"Please, wait outside - "
"Sir, please - "
- eeeeeeeeeeeee -
"No! Where's - "
"Get him out of here," a new voice snapped harshly.
- eeeeeeeeeeeee -
"Fate, save her. Save her! Save - "
"Yuuno - "
"You must save her! She's - "
"F - Fate..."
"Out." That sharp, barely controlled voice said. "Cool your head off and let me do my job."
- Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee -
When she woke up, she was in an unfamiliar environment.
Drawer, table, bed...
And the memories came back.
The blood that splattered against the door, and Alicia...
Her hands shook, and she stared at the sweat-soaked palms.
"Alicia.." Her voice was a hoarse whisper.
The door opened.
She raised her head.
Long, silky golden hair.
A white-coated female's back faced her.
Just like that time.
Her throat locked.
Her vision overlapped with a scene filled with explosions, the sound of the roaring wind suddenly just there, yet so faint in her ears.
She remembered that back, grey shirt dirty with dust and blood...
" - Yuuno, about that day..."
"No, no. It's my fault," a male voice said from behind the door. "I - I...panicked. I deserved that slap."
A soft sigh and a grimace escaped the woman's lips. "I didn't mean to hit that hard though."
He chuckled. "It's fine, Fa - "
"Yuuno? What's wrong?"
"N - Nanoha...Nanoha..." A bare whisper full of disbelief.
The blonde turned.
Dark, dark beautiful red eyes...
Surprise and astonishment flew past those delicate features that she remembered so clearly.
Nanoha stared at them. The man that she did not recognize and...her. Her.
And the name escaped her lips before she realized.
It jerked them out of their stupor.
"Alicia?" muttered the female.
Her vision blurred.
Safe. She was safe...Alicia was fine..!
She moved quicker than anyone expected, throwing herself at the startled blonde.
"N - Nanoha?" The blonde asked warily, tentative hands touching her shoulders.
"Alicia..." Nanoha's voice was a hoarse whisper, and she hugged her tightly. "I thought...I thought you'd died..."
There was a pause.
Burgundy eyes turned to meet the green ones belonging to the tall man next to her, as if passing a silent message.
"Nanoha..." Awkwardness in that soft tone. Her shoulders were squeezed lightly and she pulled back to meet cautious red.
She felt herself stop cold.
"You! That's - that's...you!" She gripped at the white coat tightly, almost frantically. "Alicia, don't you remember?!"
Hurt crossed those burgundy eyes so quickly that Nanoha nearly nearly missed it.
The blonde shook her head. "No, Nanoha. My name's...Fate. Fate Testarossa."
An unfamiliar name.
It tasted strange on her tongue.
"Fate," the young man affirmed. His eyebrows furrowed in concern. "Your best friend."
"My..." She faltered. "...What?"
Nanoha stepped back shakily.
No, no, no.
They weren't best friends.
She snapped out of her daze and stared at them.
Her heartbeat rose to a crescendo, and the unfamiliarity and strangeness of it all made her dizzy.
"Who...who are you? You two...who..."
The floor beneath her suddenly did not feel steady.
"You...you don't remember...me?" that man whispered.
"Who..." A strangled choke escaped her throat.
"Nanoha?" The blonde's voice was suddenly alarmed.
She couldn't breathe.
The long-haired woman lunged for her, grasping her before she could fall.
The hands that held her were warm.
And so very familiar.
"Nurse! Get here, now! Emergency operation - !"
She blacked out.
Feel free to call this a Christmas present of sorts. Though this may be a belated/early present for some of you, but, well. :D
This is sort of a random plot idea that came to mind, and after some little chit-chat with a friend, ideas just sort of started popping up in my head. And, as I have mentioned before, epic/long fictions isn't my forte. I will not guarantee updates. I will also not guarantee a totally eligible, logical plot. I can imagine several places where plot holes are bound to occur, so, meh.
On other news, I can't say I'm going to update anything else for this month. Beta-ing for other fics/one-shots will likely go in progress soon, of course, chapter 4 of RoE. I imagine most of you are really just waiting for an update of RoE.
I'm going to have to admit that life's gotten in the way quite a fair bit, though. Inspiration is much needed for my poor muse, as are reviews. -hinthint-
In anycase, hope this little tidbit is interesting enough to capture interest.
Till next time,