Figure 17: Tsubasa and Hikaru

Bonded

Chapter 14: Can I reach for the impossible?

Part 3: Coming Back to Life

Conscience.

I can't recall how long it has been, but for a while now I've had my conscience. I don't remember the moment it came either. I can't say I remember anything nor can I say I understand anything. I'm just aware that I exist. I'm just conscious.

Time seems meaningless. I'm just existing right now so there's no need for time. Still, some things seem to be progressing chronologically in this pool of existence that I am. I think that's a contradiction, but I'm not too sure of anything right now.

I think there wasn't an exact moment in which this awareness came to be. It feels as if I just slowly faded back to reality, along with my memories.

Yes, at some point I stopped being just a conscience and remembered things. My life. Tsubasa.

I remember the final moment when I had to say goodbye. I remember the first moments too. I can't quite put them in order though. It feels as if they are all the same. They all point towards the same place, that's for sure.

This place.

It's not just a place. It's more than a place. It's who I am. Who I loved, who I feared, who I fought. I used to have a name for all of that.

"Hikaru-chan."

Feelings, I don't think those have ever disappeared in the first place. Love, regret, loneliness. They were always there, even when I wasn't. How could they disappear anyway?

Then, taking me off guard, the senses start to come in. Suddenly I'm not just aware of myself and my memories, but I'm also aware of the things around me. I can't see them, I can't hear them, but somehow I can feel them. I know things are happening and I know I am somewhere. Time is clear now, and so is space.

Maybe, if I wanted to, I could fit into this time and space I perceive. I could go back to the way it was before when I was a part of everything.

Yes, that would be nice. If I could be with her... It's worth facing reality again. I'll try it now.

It's hard. It goes against the way things are. I'm dead, therefore I can't be alive. I stopped existing, so I can't be a part of everything. But also, I shouldn't be able to think about that. If I'm thinking, I must exist. I think I remember reading something like that in history books

I feel more human now. Maybe I'm closer to her. I'll try harder.

Hokkaido. Tsubasa. Otou-san. All of these things. I can now see them. They're not just concepts anymore. They're faces, voices... I can actually see again, even though it's only in my mind.

But it's not enough. I need them to see me. I need to have a body. A face and a voice. A smile. All I have is what I was in the past. I need to have it here in the present.

What's a body made of? I know that. It's made from a lot of stuff so it's very complicated. Can I put it all together by myself?

How did I get a body in the first place?

Before I met Tsubasa-chan I was like I am now. I was just a sentient metal with nothing but conscience and memories. I don't think I was truly alive. When people used me to fight I'd see the world through their eyes for a while, I was even able to communicate with them, but it was all meaningless. I was nothing more than a tool. After their fight was over they'd put me back in a capsule and I would wait for the next time I was needed.

For some reason, after helping Tsubasa-chan, I didn't go back to the capsule. I became a human. All of a sudden I could talk, see, hear, smell… I could do all of that whenever I wanted to, and it wasn't by telepathic connection with someone else's mind. I actually had my own eyes, ears and all. It was the first time I felt I was an individual. I had an identity, I even gave myself a name rather than a serial number.

I was so excited. I wanted to do all sorts of things. Smell flowers, make breakfast, play video-games. It was all too good. I had fallen in love with life.

I remember that I would always drag Tsubasa-chan around because I wanted her to be there with me. I didn't understand why it was so important for her to be around back then, but I do now. She was like me. She was lonely. We needed each other. I couldn't be an individual if I didn't have anybody to share it with. I'm not sure if she's what made me become human, but I'm certain that she's what made me like it.

I understood all that on that day when we faced the second Maguar. I was about to give my life away to save her when she shouted my name. That's when I knew I couldn't just discard my life.

That day Tsubasa-chan gave me the most precious gift I have ever received. Before her, I had never known how special it was to be someone instead of something.

Or maybe I did know, what I didn't know is how much I'd longed for it while I was just an ordinary Ribers. Back then, before Tsubasa-chan came into my life, to even consider myself as a person was an absurd idea. Even if I wished to be like the people who used me, the mere thought was so ridiculous I wouldn't even pay attention to it. It was impossible. Period. It's possible that I wanted it all along and didn't even know about it.

Even if I'm wrong about that, I know for sure that after fusing with Tsubasa-chan I went through lots of changes, becoming human was just part of those changes. So maybe I just have to do what I did back then. I had done what I considered impossible. I had to broaden my perception of things and myself.

I remember now. Recognizing my identity was not a consequence of having my own five senses and a name. It was the cause of it all. First I understood who I was, then I made it real.

I think I'm feeling different now. I can feel Tsubasa-chan near me, holding my hand. I think this is a dream now.

"Tsubasa?"

Who said that? I know that voice.

Why do I feel like I'm shaking?

"Tsubasa! Tsubasa!"

Calm down, where's Tsubasa-chan?

Huh? What was that? I suddenly feel warm.

I don't know what's happening anymore, but for some reason, I think I'm safe. I'll try to rest now. I feel tired.


A/N: I personally think this was by far the best chapter, but I can understand if you don't like it. It's... Different.

I don't want to resort to begging, but please, if you read the story, take your time to review. Your review is worth gold here. There must be like 8 to 12 people who actually read this, if there are even so many. Usually I don't even get a single review per 30 readers, so use your heart and help this poor writer who wants to keep writing but feels his wasting his time talking to a wall.