Author's Note/Disclaimer: I thought of this one, believe it or not, while mowing the yard. This is my longest fanfic yet, and I guess you could kind of call it a sort of "sequal" to Do You Think About Me, Ever? and I See You Everywhere. Maybe. Possibly.
Also: I, of course, don't own Capcom, Nick Wright, or Maya Fey.
The first time I left you, Nick, you came back for me.
And this time…
This time, I guess I have to come back for you.
My clammy hands are clenched into nervous fists as I ride every jostle and bump of the train. My heart flutters and my stomach clenches as I realize that every inch draws me closer to that city, to that office, to that person…
I have come to realize that seven years is an utter lifetime, an aching eon, a never ending span of time that stretches on and on until you can't find the end. For seven years I have been waiting for you, anticipating you…expecting you, Nick.
But you never came.
That is why I am on this train today: because I must see you.
And I must see you soon.
Do you understand what my life has been like for the past few years? How could you ever understand the questions I've asked myself, the countless tears that I've shed, the rituals I've had to keep performing just to keep myself sane? Every morning as I brushed out my hair, I would stare at my reflection in the mirror and imagine what you were doing. The last conversation I had with you was the day before you lost your badge, all those years ago. What have you done since then? Are you a business man? Are you a famous author? Do you still work in the legal field? I pictured you in a different suit each morning. One day it was crow black, the next deep green, and on rare mornings I would allow myself to remember you the way you used to be: bright cerulean suit, glimmering golden badge, your condemning index finger stretched and confident.
And always, always, wracking sobs would follow the apparitions of you, and as I wept and gripped my sides and bent in half with anguish, I couldn't stop the memories, they absolutely flooded me as my cold tears splattered the wooden floor. It would take me hours to calm down and plaster a happy smile on my face. But who was the smile for? I hardly saw anyone. I lived in almost complete isolation, stuck up in the frigid Fey Manor, chanting for hours and practicing channeling techniques in utter darkness to hone my powers.
How could I not think of you, when I had no one to talk to, when I had absolutely nothing to distract me?
And after seven endless years, after a lifetime of dreaming and wondering and wishing, I'm finally going to see you today.
I shift in my chair and sigh, leaning my cheek against the cool glass of the train window. Smeary, indistinct figures fly past my eyes, and as my vision fixates on the blurry world outside, my mind churns and tosses questions at me.
What if he's married?
What if he has a family now?
What if he doesn't want to see me?
Will he even recognize me?
And I shudder to think, will I recognize him?
Of course, I snap to myself, of course I'll recognize him. He can't have changed that much.
But it doesn't matter, because here I am, on the train that is bound for Nick's city, and there is no way I can reverse that. My fingers clench my skirt in sudden fear. I...I'm not even sure you're the same person I left you as. I'm certainly not the same, Nick. No…no, I am not the same girl I was seven years ago. Is that okay? Is it okay, Nick, that I don't eat hamburgers anymore, or that I don't like to hear jokes, or that I haven't watched a Steel Samurai episode since the day I left you? How will you feel about me now?
My thoughts are interrupted as the train screeches to a halt. I jerk my head up and realize that there is still one stop to go until I…well, until I arrive. My stomach curls up within itself as I return my gaze to the window. I wait impatiently for the train to start back up, my sweating fingers twisting as I try to focus my full attention on a tree outside.
Don't think about Nick; don't think about him, just think about the tree…the tree…
The tree that looks like Charley.
Have you been taking care of Charley, Nick?
Is Charley still around?
D-do you even care about him anymore?
And as if watching a movie, a horrifying vision suddenly fills my eyes as I inhale sharply: Nick, face scarlet with rage, slamming Charley against the wall, smashing him to bits, grinding him into the ground with fury, and it is because of me, because the plant reminded him of me, and he wanted to k-kill it, to get rid of it, because it reminded him of…m-me…
No! Don't think that way!
But the train jolts forward, picks up speed, and then I can only make out blinding bursts of color and shape as we speed by. I scrunch down lower in my seat, nausea rolling over me in thick waves, fiddling with the beads around my neck.
It's been seven years, but I can still feel the Magatama pressing against my throat: always cool no matter the temperature, always gleaming no matter the dust that got onto it. And I gave it to you, Nick. It was the most important thing I owned, did you know that? And I gave it to you.
Because you were the most imp--
I ride in silence for another quarter of an hour until I begin to recognize the streaking shapes out the window. I press my quivering fist to my mouth and try to reign in my tears, but they bubble over regardless. And then, all too soon, the train slows to a definite stop, and I rise to my shaking legs, having to brace my hand against the armrest for support, or else I feel as if I will collapse. My whole body is quaking terribly with nerves, and as I raise a hand to wipe at my flowing tears, I notice it visibly trembling. I sniff quietly and brush away my tears and try to ignore the booming, mechanical voice that echoes throughout the train. The next stop is Kurain Village. The next stop is Kurain Village. Kurain Village is the last stop on this line. The next stop is Kurain Village.
A shudder slides down my spine as I think, who would want to go to Kurain? Who would ever in their right mind want to go to that prison?
And as I stumbled down the isle of the train on unsteady legs, I glanced at each passing face, guessing their story, wondering why they would want to go to such a horrid place as Kurain. And as I pass these people, I brush up against them, their arms against mine, their faces fixating on mine as I glanced up at them. A woman with long blond hair and a red dress, a little girl with a pink teddy bear clutched to her chest, an older man with a wooden cane and checkered hat, a teenage boy with headphone jammed in his ears and a scowl on his dirty face.
And then, as I make my way to the door of the train, I notice a man standing by it, an indecisive expression etched onto his features. I quickly appraise him through my blurred, teary vision. Scruffy face, dirty sweatshirt, a strong, juice like aroma wafting away from him. A dirty beanie cap is jammed over his hair, and he fiddles with it as his gaze slides from the train back to the station again and again. I wobble towards the door, and for just a moment, his gaze clicks with mine, and we stare at each other. His glance is questioning, no doubt because of my odd clothing. His eyes skate over me, but after a moment, he loses interest, opting to look past my shoulder at the available seats. I wait for a moment, then sweep past him on my way out, and instantly, the grimy man is forgotten as I step into the noisy train station.
I am so preoccupied that I don't notice him walking onto the train and taking a seat, nervously tapping his hand against the armrest. The train speeds away from me, off to Kurain Village, and I make my way down the too familiar street, ten million different emotions shooting…exploding through me like fireworks.
I get to see you, Nick!!
Auhhh! I can't wait!! I've missed you so much, and now I can hug you, and you can beg me to stay, and I never have to go back to Kurain 'cause you can take care of me…
Twenty seconds until I can see your face, Nick.
And as I come upon the building, the office that I have dreamed about for years on end, I can only think as I fly through the doors:
I'm home, Nick.