Epilogue: At the Bottom of Everything

Holy moly, guys. This is really it. Well, okay, the last chapter was really it, but this is a coda to it. Once again, a huge thank-you to everyone who took the time to comment on this fic. Just to pad out the epilogue (and because I said I'd do this), here's a little q&a of stuff I was specifically asked, stuff I've been asked a lot in the past, and stuff that I assume I'll be asked in the future, assuming that future-people read this story--in space, presumably. XD

Q: So what happened to KD?

A: She burned up in Noa's transformation light. There isn't even a body.

Q: What was up with Noa? Was she Deep Blue?

A: Yes, and also the Blue Knight--that's where her armored second form came from. Like Masaya, she was possessed by DB all along, but her Mew powers were preventing DB from influencing her. Then, when her DNA animal went extinct and her powers started faltering, DB gained a real foothold in her.

Q: Who's Lorne's psychologist?

A: Dude, read the headings. She's actually had two. The more polite one you saw through most of the fic is Dr. Ron May, who's worked with Lorne from late 2004 onward. Before that, Lorne was seeing a Dr. Marie Frankl, who only actually shows up in the last chapter. The two of them really didn't work well together, which is why they reassigned Lorne to Dr. May.

Q: Wait, was Kish in this fic?

A: Not really, but Lorne mentions in Chapter 4 that she killed him. Please stop asking me this.

Q: Will there be a sequel?

A: What? How would that even work? No, there's no official sequel, but sooner or later I'm going to post the 100 themes I did last fall, of which like a fifth take place in the Severse. That's part of the reason I haven't put the themes up yet: They have so many spoilers for this fic. XD


Hi, Lorne.

What the hell are you doing here?

My head doctor told me I should see you. I—would you be bother if we flipped to Japanese? My English is not good.

Fine, whatever. So your "head doctor" told you to come visit me?

Come on, you know I meant psychologist. English is a crazy-hard language. I honestly don't understand how you do it. But yeah, he did. I didn't want to, 'cause... Well, you know.

Because you abandoned us, you mean? And then you were too ashamed to show your face for half a decade?

Please, Lorne, don't start. I didn't come here to fight with you.

Really, now. I suppose you came here for some kind of catharsis, then? You think talking to me will make it all better.

I came here to apologize. Running away was wrong and stupid, and I'm sorry I did it. But you know what? I don't know why I thought talking to you would make anything better. I bet you don't even think you did anything wrong! Sheesh, I shouldn't have

Don't put words in my mouth.

Excuse me?

I said, don't put words in my mouth, Yomi.

Whyever not? You don't seem to have trouble doing it to me!

Is this about the "head doctor" thing? Because I didn't mean anything by that... I agree, English is a ridiculous language.

Hunh. You really don't get it at all, do you, Lorne? I came here to apologize to you because everyone else is dead. Do you think if I had anyone left, I would bother visiting your sorry butt? But I can't get absolution from any of the people I care about, so you're the next best thing. Don't flatter yourself into thinking you're so special. All you did was kill my friends and live.

Our friends, Yomi. And you're completely right: You didn't think this visit through properly. I can't absolve you.

Aaagh! I really don't know what I'm still doing here when you're just being as frustrating as you possibly

Settle the hell down and listen to me. If there was something I could say that would magically make you feel better about what happened to the others, believe you me, I would say it in a second. But it doesn't work like that—surely your psychologist didn't suggest that visiting me would instantly fix everything.

Well... Yeah, no, he didn't. But I just thought that if I could get you to understand...

Oh, I understand perfectly. You were a coward who couldn't bring herself to fight when all her friends' lives were on the line.

You don't have to say it like that...

No. Listen to me. You were a coward, and I'm a murderer. It's not your fault I killed Akane: Given the same opportunity, I would have made the same choice whether or not you were fighting with Akane and me. I had to save the world, and you couldn't have changed that. If that's what you were blaming yourself for, then fine, whatever, I absolve you. But the running away thing is something you have to get through by yourself.

And then what? I decide that being a coward is fine, and that I should be proud of it, like you are of killing Akane?

I'm not proud of killing her, Yomi.

Yeah, right. You just said you'd do it again!

Because I had to do it to save the world. It's not like if I saw her on the street, I'd jump her with a knife. She certainly turned out to be a better soldier than you ever were, so it's not as though I wanted her to die. It was--

To save the world. Yeah, you keep saying that. Well, listen to this: I heard everything that happened with Akane, remember? She was trying to bring Noa back, despite everything that Noa did to her. She was a better soldier than me? Crud, Lorne, she was more of a hero than you'll ever be.

And Noa was begging Akane to kill her. Remember that? I did what Akane didn't have the stones to do.

You did what she was too brave to do, you mean. It's a lot braver to go in and try to fix something rather than just killing it.

Shut--

No, you shut up, Lorne. Agh, you're right, I shouldn't have come here. You're as delusional as ever! You want to play the I-had-to-do-terrible-things card? Sure, you just keep pretending that. But you didn't have to do anything. You chose to kill both of them because you were too scared to trust Akane. You're as much of a coward as I was. The only difference is that I'm trying to change. I don't cling to some heroic fantasy about what I did. And you know what? There are still days when I don't want to be me anymore, but I'd sure as hell rather be me than you.