Disclaimer: You'd notice that I don't own Frontier, or the ending will be very, very, very different.
He stood in the middle of an empty military hall; the high ceiling blocking out the midday sun, fresh air blew gently from the wide balcony, looking towards fields upon fields of green.
They were just camping, really. Houses must be built, infrastructures established, people relocated.
Alto doubted that anything would be normal anytime soon.
What was it? Did they call it the Vajra War? Or something with "Frontier" attached to it?
He couldn't really remember what happened after it's all over; he was so dead tired he slept for a day. And when he woke up, they promoted him to something up high like Wing Commander. He bet everyone in his squad got raised a class or two higher.
Funny how promotion was something they did right away, when everything was still a mess.
A paper plane flew in his direction, then landed at his feet.
He picked it up.
His eyes caught the back of a familiar figure, leaning on the balcony a VF's length away. Her flowing hair and dress were reflected mournfully upon the glass-like floor of Frontier's makeshift military base.
"Saotome Alto, for what reason do you have wings?"
In fact, that question had bothered him relentlessly. He had the answer then; he just couldn't put it into words, but the feeling was with him. And when he could finally form those feelings into words, he wasn't permitted to express them.
He walked towards her.
He knew she could hear his footsteps echoing in the silent room.
He also knew her heart was much beating faster than usual, as was his.
"Speak, I promised to hear you out, didn't I, Commander?" she sounded cheerful, if Alto hadn't known her so well.
The pilot stopped only a few feet behind her, almost nervous for what he was now allowed to say.
"Remember what I told you that night….one person can't fly alone," he began.
His tone was nowhere as cheerful.
"I tried to touch the sky so many times, I tried getting wings of every sort….but every time I reached…I…I fell back down."
He walked closer, as if drawing near the distance could somehow, in his desperation, help him get his message through.
"But there were these rare times where I managed to stay airborne for a while….these rare times where I could feel that cool air… just brushing my fingertips."
He stopped, trying to observe her reaction.
"So this is all you have to say?" She finally spoke, more of a comment than answer, with an edge that could pass for bitterness.
"There are people out there waiting for you, Commander; your captain…your friends...Ranka-chan."
She still doesn't understand; Alto wanted to take her shoulders, make her feel all the turmoil bubbling inside him, but resisted.
"I joined SMS was so I can protect Ranka and everyone…. But the reason I am able to fly in the first place….was because you are there….you are the reason I am able to touch the unending sky."
She stood there, stunned to stillness this time, her eyes wide.
"Sheryl, the only times I ever felt the sky was when I was with you…if you will stay with me forever….I will bring you every brilliant horizon."
She spun around, and looked at Alto straight in the face. At that moment, she didn't know what to believe.
What is truth? The things she had been hiding inside herself?
"Sheryl, I was never pretending" he whispered. "I really, really, love you."
Tears painfully welled up her eyes and her chest clenched tightly.
All those buried feelings came up and over her like a tempest.
Slowly and gradually, a small pained cry tore from her throat, breaking into an anguished sob. Tears broke through as she cried, trailing down her ebony face.
She did not need to open her eyes to feel him close up the gap between them, to feel his tears falling on her own, to feel his trembling embrace, to feel his hesitant tongue. Without a doubt, she finally came to realize what she had denied herself for so long. He was always there. Always.
"I love you too, Alto." She held him close with all her worth, "I love you, I love you."
And this time, she's not pretending.
Somewhere far away, two people were watching. They sat comfortably, side by side.
She didn't feel any tinge of sorrow or loss. In fact, she was sort of happy for them.
"Onii-chan, for what reason do you have wings?" she asked unexpectedly.
He was taken aback, but only for a sudden.
Without the need of words, his fingers entwined with hers.
Smiling, she laid her head on his shoulder, his head resting on her's. She stroked the newly healed scar on his face. The scar he willingly took for her.
Closing her eyes, she could hear the Vajra love song in the air, humming from within the blue, blue planet.