A/N: So it's been a while since the last update hehe. Sorry for leaving everyone hanging for so long. I still have a hard time believing the last time I updated this fic was in 2009. 11 years since I first obsessed over Alto and Sheryl. During those years, we've seen two Macross Frontier movies making this pairing canon, plus a new Macross series which unfortunately couldn't have been more disappointing, and so much more. Most of all, it's been 11 years since this fic gave me the chance to meet the best beta reader I could have asked for, 10 years since it brought us together and 6 years since we've been married. So naturally, I dedicate this chapter to her.
Beams of real sunlight peeked through the white blinds of the sanitized room, illuminating the pale face of its sole occupant, her once rosy skin now deathly pale from years spent trying to run from an unknown assailant inside her head.
And now for the first time in years, the immaculate bed sheets rustled beneath her twitching fingers. A subtle sound that distrubed the eerie quietness that had lasted like an eternity to those who held her dear. Her eyes struggled under the weight of her eyelids. Long lashes slowly fluttered open to reveal two bleary eyes which had once been the most exquisite sheen of blue.
She blinked, staring at a white ceiling, that struck her thoughts back to her childhood, when she had been nothing but a homeless orphan, plucked from the streets to be a pawn in someone else's nefarious scheme, needles and tubes inserted into her as a human experiment.
She struggled to part her lips that had been once a source of envy and fantasy, now they were cracked and papery.
Her breath hitched in her parched throat as she tried to speak, sending her into a fit of painful coughs. The inside of her mouth felt dry and cottony, her throat squeezing from an invisible noose.
Not one to give up easily, she composed herself and tried once more to find her voice, this time managing to supply a single word.
Her hoarse voice sounded foreign to herself, so unlike the vibrant melodious tone she had cultivated with songs that resonated across the galaxy. She was the galactic fairy.
Sheryl's mind raced, realization taking root, her hazy thoughts coming into focus from her initial daze. Based on her sterile surroundings, she was in what looked to be a hospital room. The needle prodded into the crook of her left arm confirmed it.
She winced as she tried to prop herself up on her elbows, but found herself unable to do so.
She started to panic.
How long indeed had she been stuck here?
Why were her limbs refusing her command?
And why couldn't she let out even the tiniest of screams?
Questions swirled inside her mind, raising her anxiety level to a near breaking point.
Her faded eyes lit up faintly when she remembered upon remembering a certain blue-haired pilot.
Her eyes darted everywhere, hoping to catch a glimpse of him and the silky blue mane that followed him. Where was he?
Little by little, she remembered their time together, fondness stirring her heart as she recalled many moments. Their first date. First kiss. The first night they spent together. They were memories she would hold dear for the rest of her life.
Then, it suddenly hit her. From the sweetness surged an echoing pain, one that came from the moment her life faded away from her on the bridge.
Sheryl hiccuped uncontrollably, tears welling up as she replayed the last memory she had before succumbing to her illness. So distraught was she that she failed to hear the whirring noise of opening doors or sense the rushing approach of medical staff.
Alto sprinted through the hospital hallway, earning several disapproving looks from employees and patients. He did not heed any of their reprimands though, too caught up in a mixture of dread and excitement.
He clenched his phone in his sweaty hand as he ascended the stairs, taking three steps at a time, as he was unwilling to wait through the intermittent stops of an elevator.
Alto skidded to a halt, resting against the adjacent wall to catch his breath before finally stepping in.
His own heart thundered wildly inside his chest and Alto worried it would burst at the first sight of her lucid eyes in eleven years. The now twenty-eight-year old took a deep breath as he straightened himself up, ironing out creases of his black suit with the palm of his hand and fixing the knot of his tie. Then, he ran his fingers through his short disheveled hair, which had once fallen past his shoulder blades. He had cut the length years ago and maintained it ever since when he quit his stint as a pilot for a non-combatant role.
It did not have the same thrill, but he could not bear the thought of flying in a real sky without her. He wanted to share it with her. Just the two of them.
Alto quickly amended his thoughts with a cough.
Not quite the two of them.
The former pilot braced himself as he stepped up in front of the door, the door automatically sliding away for him. He froze instantly at the sight that greeted him. Long curls of strawberry blonde cascading down the dainty figure of the woman he had fallen for more than a decade ago. Shoulders which used to stand tall and proud were now slumped, worn out from years of inactivity.
Alto blinked back at the meltran nurse, as though surprised by another presence than the one he sought. He quickly entered the room with a fluster. Then, he refocused his attention back to her, his brain grinding to a halt when his gaze landed with her.
The two were still, eyes transfixed, quietly appreciating the tiniest details they could make out on the other's face.
Sheryl stared at the man she thought she would never see again, the man she loved. There was so much she wanted to tell him, but found herself to overcome to utter a single word. She settled for an appraisal of his handsome face instead, noticing some creases that hadn't been there the last time she had seen him, and her heart panged, wondering if the lines were of him worrying about her state. His short hair surprised her the most, instantly missing the long silky strands. It would take time for her to get used to it, and not just his appearance.
Alto couldn't come up with anything to say either, finding himself too enthralled by the glimmer of life in her eyes. And despite the missing years between them and the gaunt features on her face, she still was undoubtedly the most beautiful person he had ever set his eyes upon.
Sheryl watched him take a step forward. Then, to her shock, he retracted it. A strange wide-eyed look passing his face as he spun around and exited the room. Her heart broke and she turned pleadingly to the nurse for an explanation.
It was minutes later when Alto entered her field of vision again, an indecipherable expression on his face, a mixture of joy and anticipation.
In front of him was a little girl, wearing a pink dress and matching sandals that shuffled awkwardly on the floor, She looked to be around ten years old or so. She was watching Sheryl with a nervousness that touched her delicate face that was framed with blue hair. Her eyes also had the same color. The color of the sky her beloved used to roam in.
The timid girl looked up to Alto questioningly, and he responded by a gentle pat on the puff sleeve on her shoulder and a reassuring smile. It was a doting gesture that surprised Sheryl.
The girl hesitantly approached the galactic fairy, her tiny mouth pursed with determination. Then, Sheryl let out a gasp as the girl climbed into her bed before throwing her arms open. Both of them sank back into the reclined mattress supporting Sheryl, as the girl began to sob, her tears warm against Sheryl's neck.
Sheryl's eyes flew back to her lover in stunned confusion.
Alto inhaled sharply before breaking into a wide smile, nodding at the woman that had finally returned to him after eleven years.
"Sheryl, meet Sally Miyo Saotome-Nome."
The name, a combination of their respective mothers brought the tears down her face, her gaze dropping back to the warm weight pressed against her. She wrapped two shaky arms around the weeping child, cradling her daughter she was meeting for the first time.
Alto observed the two most important people in his life. He sat on the edge of the bed before enveloping both of them in his embrace.
They were finally together, at last.
A/N: The old chapters will need a major revamp, which I'll slowly get to one of these days. After which, I'll probably post this on AO3. Once again, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to read this self-indulgent fic. I'm happy I finally finished this.