Disclaimer: I Do not own MGLZ
Writing the following was an... experiment of sorts, once again I got an idea and had no choice but to roll with it. I do two things in this I've never done before. That being writing in 2nd person (which is an experience to say the least) and writing in present tense (I apologize for any tense mistakes in advance because I'm really really used to past tense.) I didn't set out meaning to do either but in the end I did ^^;; it's funny how that works out.
Even though you're not
It's mid afternoon when Arf reminds you that she's told you to move the old boxes out of the spare bedroom and into the attic at least a dozen times. You grumble something about being an old man with a bad back but she reminds you're only as old as Hayate and that she's only just turned fifty and would object to being considered old. When you recall your mistress's uncanny ability to seeming hear through yards of wall and grass you find you've lost your voice.
So you raise yourself fully from your brief nap and grumpily roll off the couch, wondering when you turned into one of those old men you'd always laughed about becoming before slowly trudging up the stairs. You only pause briefly to gaze momentarily out the window at your old home and wonder if it was fifteen or twenty years ago when you moved out and when exactly your memory grew so hazy.
You hadn't intended to move out but when Signum and Shamal had moved into the house to the right of Hayate's you'd felt it was your turn to move into the one to the left. Vita had complained at the time. She said you'd make it so she could never leave but you knew that though you had a heart full of love for Hayate, Vita had managed to have two and would never leave Hayate's side with or without him.
Your new house had felt so empty you'd almost gone back. You realized you had no idea what to do with a house of your own. You could barely recall a night you'd ever spent all alone. It'd terrified you but you'd gathered up your courage and asked Arf to come with you. You've never been as surprised as you were when she said yes and you'd rarely been as happy. The two of you had never bothered with an official marriage although the entire Harlaown family had offered to pay for one. You're happier as you are. Besides the two of you had never had children. Somewhere along the line you had become a grandfather however. Chrono's daughter had brought her children, also a set of twins, to meet their grandma Arf and grandpa Zafira.
Watching Arf with them always hurts something deep down within you. You know very well that she would have been a wonderful mother and you know from the look in her eyes that she wants to be one as well. And it kills you that you can't give her a baby. And you know no one will let a familiar adopt a child and you don't admit it, even to yourself, but it hurts that no one will ever call you father. Arf reminds you everyday that she loves you and she's tells you she's happy despite what she doesn't have but it still pains you. By the time you've sorted through your thoughts you're in the spare bedroom.
The boxes you're supposed to move are stacked in the corner. The entire room is covered in a thick layer of dust because neither of you ever come into this room and in fact you don't even remember what's in those boxes. So you pick up the top one and lay it on the floor, blowing dust everywhere including into your throat, leaving you coughing for a minute. Opening it reveals it's full of old books that you can't recall reading. You do remember that some are not yours and were loaned to you by Griffith and Vice, though the idea of Vice reading was laughable at best so they must be Alto's. It bothers you that you can't remember when you borrowed them, only that you did. You close the box back up and decide to keep the books as both of your friends have numerous things that belong to you too.
After you haul that box off you move onto the next. Inside it are all sorts of military memories you'd stored away when you'd left. You'd gone into partial retirement a while ago, only returning every so often when your mistress asked you to. They didn't really need you anyway. You'd always been the most worthless member of the Wolkenritter. But still, you feel pride when you find a medal you'd been awarded for being injured during the attack on Riot Force Six all those years ago. It's silly because Vice, Griffith, Shamal and nearly every member of Long Arch had been awarded the same. Vita and Signum also happened to have a closet full each but you're proud all the same. You pack the box back up and return it downstairs.
The final box is the oldest and the tape on it falls off with your barest touch. You open if carefully but still recoil from the stench of yesteryear. Once you get used to it you laugh at the sight on top. It's a photo of you and those two lunatics who've become like brothers to you. They're hanging off of you in a drunken stupor while you look grimly at the camera. Arf has always said you act like the camera is an enemy to be intimidated by your glare.
The entire box is photos. You smile nostalgically as memories that had grown mold in you head return to life. Old parties and the antics at them that the parties involved would rather forget come back to light. Vacations that Hayate forced on you bring back the smell of the ocean to your nose. The sight of smiling youthful faces remind you just how young they'd all been once. You're frozen in time but everyone around gains a new wrinkle everyday. You're filled with a longing for the past and a contentment for the present all at once.
Underneath it all she smiles up at you and your own smile turns faint. She's fifteen or so in the picture and you can scarcely remember why you have the photo at all. After all you're not her father so why would you want an old picture?
You place the photo aside and find her smiling in her silly poofy dress for some school dance. You're there too, dressed in a suit that looks silly on you in your honest opinion. You'd volunteered to be there as a chaperon but had spent the night dancing with Vivio because you'd scared off every boy who'd come close to her by accident and she'd wanted to have fun.
It's then that you realize just what the box is. It's the Vivio box you'd thought you'd gotten rid of since you really had no business with all these items in the first place. Inside are all sorts of things, report cards, school photos, even letters, that Nanoha had made copies of and given to you. It was silly to have them but nonetheless you'd wanted them. You'd wanted to feel like you were important even if you weren't a parent. You wanted to be there for her.
And you had been. You still vividly remembered the first time she'd gotten sick. You had had no clue what to do, for once you were the one who had to be calmed down. But she'd gotten through it and you'd sworn no harm would come to her under your watch. You might not have been able to be there all the time but you were here when she needed you. You were there when she'd had her heart broken, you were there when she made mistakes she thought she couldn't undo, you were there when she'd killed for the first time and stayed by her side when she'd quit the TSAB for good. She knew you wouldn't judge, she knew you wouldn't ask questions. You weren't her father after all, but you were hers when she needed you.
But she didn't seem to need you anymore. She'd become a pilot for a cargo company. She was rarely in one place for long let along at home. He was lucky to hear from her even more than once a year. You worried a lot, not quite as much as Nanoha but enough to keep you up some nights. There's nothing you can do and you know it. Vivio had grown her own wings and you have no claim on her anyway.
You're snapped out of your daze by Arf calling you down to dinner and you realize you've spent longer up there than you'd intended so you return downstairs. It's all meat of course and you're pleased but as you settle down in your seat you find you can only think of the fact that Vivio would hate this meal because it has none of the vegetables she loves so much. You think sadly that you'll think of nothing but her for the next few days. You're absolutely useless for dinner conversation but that's alright since Arf enjoys talking and you'd rather listen to her anyway.
After dinner you settle down in the living room to watch a sitcom that Arf loves and you claim to like because you love Arf but really can't stand. It's as you watch the mindless program and wonder what exactly the plot is supposed to be that the phone rings. You pick it up and your heart nearly stops when you hear the voice on the other end.
"Zaffy I need your help."
And you don't stop to think about what kind of trouble she's in, and you don't think about why she only calls when she needs your help because she may not be your Vivio but you are her Zaffy.
You try to calm her down and you remind her to breathe. You don't tell her you're coming because she already knows your halfway out the door. Arf isn't bothered because Arf already knows what's happening because Arf can read you like a picture book.
Arf knows why you run out the door without your coat even though it's winter. She knows why you borrow Hayate's car even though you hate driving and she knows why you'll probably break every speed limit along the way. It's because you may not be Vivio's father but she will always be your daughter.
A/N: I think this is also the first time I've ever written something with only one line of dialog. It was interesting to write in a different style for once. It was also fun to not write straight out comedy but still stay true to what I like best. I'm not sure what to categorize this as really is there a genre for Looking back or nostalgia XD?
Second person's interesting to write in, it feels like I'm writing a letter (though I suppose stage directions would be more accurate) to the character. Still I don't plan on doing it again 'cause I think it'd be too limiting in anything other than something like this for me. (and I still don't like present tense .)
Please R&R it's nice to know who's reading out there.