ARCtheElite: I'm sorry there was that misunderstanding, I guess I didn't write it clearly enough…but there was no reversal of the government's decision, just General Goda's compassion for a beaten foe stopped him from wiping out the survivors. Again, sorry for not making that clearer in the previous chapter.


20 years later…

"Tadaima."

"Welcome home, Nobisuke," greeted Jaiko, coming out of the kitchen to greet her son. "How was school?"

Nobisuke, her son who was almost identical to his father as a child, looked around for his father.

"School was fine, I got a few homeruns in today's game," Nobisuke answered almost absently, still looking around. "Is dad in the basement workshop?"

Jaiko shook her head.

"He's gone to the old house."

Nobisuke's eyes widened.

"Does…does that mean it's time?"

Jaiko nodded, smiling.

"Maybe if you hurry, you'll be able to catch him," she said.

Nobisuke dropped his bag and quickly ran to follow his father.

DDD

Eight years before that

He had been born about twelve years ago and when he was seven; his father had taken him to an old derelict-looking house. Nobisuke had thought that the house was scary due to its general air of abandonment and had hid behind his father as they stared at the house for a long time.

"What is this place, dad?" Nobisuke had asked.

His father, Nobita, reached around and patted his son on the head.

"This is where I used to live," he had answered.

"That can't be!" Nobisuke had cried. "It's so old and ugly! It's a ghost house!"

Nobita had chuckled at that.

"There's nothing to be afraid of, Nobisuke," he had said. "It's just an old house. Come on, let's go inside."

His father approached the door and took out the keys to unlock the door but paused in front of the door. He turned to look at Nobisuke, who was reluctant to come close.

"Are there ghosts inside?" Nobisuke asked.

Nobita smiled at his son.

"No ghosts. I kept this place for only its memories…and a very old friend."

His father unlocked the door and entered, leaving it open so that Nobisuke could follow.

After a few seconds of indecision, he did.

The inside of the house was empty except for a few boxes left behind and cobwebs that had sprung up over the years. Nobisuke stopped to look into what might have been a living room, its sliding doors to the garden had been boarded up and an old dusty television set sat in one corner, forgotten. Nobisuke passed what could have been a kitchen, its cupboards empty but for several cobwebs. When he reached the stairs, he hesitated.

"Dad?" he called.

"Up here, Nobisuke," his father's voice came from upstairs.

Nobisuke climbed the stairs and only found one single room on the upper floor. Its door was open. He nearly entered but suddenly stopped, knowing somehow that this place was somewhere important and very sacred to his father. He felt frightened to step into that room.

His father looked out of the door to where Nobisuke stood, almost frozen.

He smiled. "It's okay, you can come in."

Nobisuke did, and gasped.

The room would have been as abandoned as the rest of the house, but for one very huge difference.

Strange machines and computers have been built around the room, their strange lights blinking and emitting a soft humming sound that was oddly peaceful to listen to. But what they were built around was the strangest thing Nobisuke ever saw.

Lying on some sort of metallic table, through which a multitude of wires connected it to the computers and machines surrounding it, was a very strange creature. It was encased in some sort of glass, almost like a coffin or a display glass that Nobisuke had seen in the museums before.

The creature had a round head, and a body that was almost as round. It was blue in colour. It was very short, and had it been standing, Nobisuke knew it would have barely reached his chest. Its face was wide as was its eyes. But what made it stranger was that while most of its body was blue, an arm and a leg was clearly metallic silver, the blue skin looking torn near the edges of those two limbs. An eye was completely missing, a dark hole in its place.

"Dad…is that a robot?" Nobisuke asked.

His father shook his head. "No. He's not a robot. He's an old friend…my brother."

Nobisuke stepped closer, to get a better look. Now, he could see other signs of damage around the creature, which had clearly been repaired or at least partially. Nobisuke could even see a small dent in its round body.

"Is he hurt?" Nobisuke asked.

"Yes, he was."

"Can he feel any pain?"

"No…he's been asleep for a long time."

"When will he wake up?"

Nobisuke continued staring at the creature, expecting his father's answer. When it didn't come, he turned around.

His father was looking down at the floor, his glasses in one hand, the other pressed to his face. To Nobisuke's shock, his father was trembling, and he could hear a small sob that his father could not quite hide.

"Dad! What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Nobisuke cried, running to his father.

Nobita wiped his face and took a deep breath.

"I'm sorry to scare you, Nobisuke," he said. "It's just that I don't know when he will wake up. That makes me sad."

Nobisuke hugged his father, trying to comfort him.

"But he will wake up one day, right?"

Nobita hugged his son and looked at his old friend.

"Yes," he said softly. "Yes, he will."

When they left the old house, Nobisuke turned back to look at it. It didn't look as scary as before, only sad and lonely.

Nobisuke turned to his father.

"Can I meet your friend when he wakes up?"

Nobita smiled at his son. "Of course you can, he'd love to meet you…only he already has."

Nobisuke looked at his father with incomprehension as the older Nobi chuckled to himself.

"Ne, Dad?"

"Yeah?"

"What's your friend's name?"

"Doraemon."

DDD

Back to the present

When Nobisuke reached the old house, he saw that the front door had been left open. He eagerly entered, racing down the old corridor and up the stairs. But just before he could enter, he stopped. Once again, he felt the sanctity of that room to his father, but much more powerfully than before. He felt almost as though he shouldn't be there.

Walking slowly and as silently as possible, he peered around the door.

He saw his father, typing away at a computer, with his two Uncles, Giant and Suneo and Aunt Shizuka with her husband, Mr. Dekisugi.

Looking to the centre of the room, Nobisuke saw Doraemon, perfectly restored and even had a pair of new ears. But the cat-robot was still lying on the table, as lifeless as ever.

But there was a sense of anticipation in the air, so strong that Nobisuke was afraid to move, fearing that he might ruin it.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, his father spoke.

"It's time."

DDD

There was nothing.

But then, there was darkness, yet within that darkness, he was aware. Yet, he could not sense anything, try as he might.

Slowly, however, sounds began trickling in, faintly at first, but gradually growing stronger. There was the humming and whirring of machines and computers and soon, the whispering and breathing of people.

Slowly, the darkness began to fade. He saw at first a blurry grey expanse, before his vision sharpened and saw that it was merely the ceiling, older but very much familiar.

Slowly, he sat up, the movement feeling very strange and alien to his body, causing his ears to twitch…with surprise, he reached up a rubber-ball hand to touch the strange new organ. He turned to look at where he heard the whisperings from.

He saw five people, all of them recognisable, but one more so than the others.

The face was older, the hair speckled with grey and a thick beard and moustache covered the mouth, the eyes behind the glasses were older, wiser and wearier. Yet, despite it all, he could still see the bespectacled, slightly chubby boy behind the man.

Even as the man walked forward to embrace him, he uttered the name that he knew so well.

"Nobita-kun…"

The man answered, his voice deep and rough, but he can still hear the higher-pitched, whining and endearing tone beneath it.

"Doraemon…"

He knew he was home.

"Those dreams, these dreams, I have lots of them. All of them, all of them, all of them, you make it possible for me. You make it possible for me with your mysterious pocket"

-Last Episode of Doraemon-

By Tajima T. Yasue


Truly, it's been a joy writing this fanfic. I'd like to thank everyone who followed this story and apologise for the long periods of absence I took for quite awhile.

Doraemon is always something that I've held close to my heart even now at nearly 22 years of age. The manga may be nowhere near as sophisticated as the ones nowadays, but it always had that magic that never fails to make me smile even now.

This story is just my feeble attempt to honour his work of Fujiko F. Fujio as well as my attempt to look at the story from a slightly more realist point of view.

Again, it's been a pleasure, good luck in all your endeavours in life