Author's Note: Yeah, this is a rewrite of "The Dream", which if you want to, can be found by adding /s/2760566/1/The_Dream directly after the home URL.
I'm going to attempt to follow the same story I had set about in the original (but I forgot most of it. And most of it wasn't thought out and I made up as I went anyways). I will also, for sure this time, update regularly.
"It was more like feudal Japan than anything. Well, Fanelia at least. They even had the term "samurai" for their guards, if I remember right."
A young woman stretched in her chair, surrounded by piles of notes and textbooks, she had quickly realized how late it was, and how much work she had been putting off with her little daydreams. Even with that in mind, she wandered off again.
"Still, it is an odd coincidence that they're called samurai." She looked at her notes in front of her, the Japanese characters neatly written across the page, with highlighted portions signifying great importance. "I saw a lot of their written language, and none of it looked close to Japanese. Or English, or any language I've ever seen before. So how do two completely different languages end up sounding the same? For that matter, how did I understand anyone there?" The young woman lightly tapped a pen on her head, as if to stimulate some profound revelations or ideas. "Magic?" She chuckled to herself. "I use that explanation far too much. It's not an explanation really, but… I'm drawing blanks here."
Lately, the young lady's mind had been returning to Gaea, that world where the moon and the Earth hung in the sky. There were lots of memories for her there. Dragons, soldiers, battles and a war. But also good memories, great memories. Tranquil vistas, beautiful mountain ranges, friends. Fanelia. Van.
"Oh… no." Her thoughts suddenly turned sour, and she scrambled to turn them back towards fondness. Her heartbeat quickened, and she panicked, unable to turn her attention from a certain prince on Gaea. Finally, she was able to turn her attention to the topic of guymelefs, and just how a planet that seemed to be stuck in the medieval age was able to build, and in Zaibach's case, mass-produce giant armored battle suits. As more questions and theories arose she was happy to find that that certain prince was pushed to the farther corners of her mind.
She sighed, closing her books, reminding herself that she still had a week to finish her assignments.
The truth was that she wanted to think about Van. She wanted to know what he was doing, how her friends on that planet were doing. She wanted, needed, to know if he still felt something towards her. Deep down she knew that that certain prince loved her.
And she couldn't bear it.
Because they were apart now. She wasn't naïve or young anymore. She was 23, in college, she had grown up. Her life had changed, her experiences on Gaea had made her grow up much faster than any normal teenager would have. She knew that when she left, she know with absolute certainty, that both of them loved each other. And, in retrospect, she knew falling in love with him was a bad idea. Maybe, if she knew then what she knew now, she wouldn't have allowed it to happen. But… it just did. "You can't stop those things."
And it just so happened that one of those things was calling her on the phone. Had she not been lost in thought, she would have heard it. It was only until her best friend, Uchida Yukari*, called out from their dorm living room "Hey Hitomi, I just got a message from Genji, he says "Pick up the phone!""
Hitomi Kanzaki, the college student, suddenly felt very stupid. She knew he was going to call her today, but had forgotten to turn on her cellphone, wanting to her day to herself and half a semester's worth of World History 400 notes. A few seconds later, her phone in her hand, she was sharing a conversation with Genji Serisawa. A fellow classmate Yukari, Amano and her had met in their first year at Toudai.**
He was also Hitomi's boyfriend.
"I'm sorry Van."
"What was that?" Genji asked, barely hearing her words.
"Oh, nothing." She changed the subject, mentally scolding herself for letting that slip out. "So, how was your day Genji-sweetie?"
It was not until an hour later, after she had said goodbye to her boyfriend, that Hitomi realized something.
She doesn't love Van anymore.
Not in the same way, at least.
She didn't mean for this to happen, really. At least, that's what she told herself. When Hitomi had returned from Gaea, she was still in love with Van Fanel, the man who had saved her and helped her through that terrible war. She would, in her daydreams or moments of happiness, see his vision before her. She would picture him the same way she always did in her mind. His old red shirt that hung loosely around his body, and his tight pants, brown leather boots and gloves that protected his hands and feet from the harshness of combat and the elements, his unruly messy hair, and his eyes. When she first met him, those eyes seemed harsh, uncaring, and arrogant even. But over time, they softened, and showed compassion, love and warmth. She sometimes thought she could even hear him, in her times of need. When she felt alone, scared, lonely. She couldn't actually talk to him, "Wouldn't have that been nice?" but she felt his presence. As if he was there to put a hand on her shoulder, or a hug around her body.
She knew she loved him, she truly did. It wasn't a small schoolgirl crush, such as one she shared with Amano, then Allen… "Then Amano again, then Allen, then Van, then Allen again…" Hitomi inwardly scolded herself for being so fickle in her younger days.
She also scolded herself for allowing reality to settle in.
She first started noticing it during her final years of high school, and the realization hit her during the fun and brief vacation she had in-between Kamakura-Kita High School* and Tokyo University. Her dream of undying love for Van Fanel began to meet the cold harsh bitch that is reality. It happened when Yukari, Amano and her were all filling out their applications to Tokyo University. They began chatting, asking each other what their planned major would be, where they would go afterwards, their plans. Yukari and Amano, to the surprise of Hitomi (although she shouldn't have been surprised really) planned out their schedule to be exactly the same, only showing Hitomi how much their relationship had grown, and reminding her of Van at the same time. It was, however, after this, when Yukari began to teasingly drop hints that she already had her and Amano's life all planned out that the conversation took a turn for the worse for Hitomi. While her two friends jokingly bickered about differing opinions on their future (where they would live, whether or not they would have pets, and other silly things young couples hope to plan but never quite do) Hitomi began to think about her and Van. The cold hard facts started to sink in.
Van was on a completely different planet. Or maybe planet wasn't the right word. After all, how could Earth's astronomers (or anyone else for that matter) miss Gaea hanging in space if it simply was another planet?
The point remained, she had no way of getting back to him. Seeing his image, feeling his presence, those were all normal things, things that even non-psychic people could do. Anyone could see their loved one in front of them and anyone could think about them in their times of need. The love between Van and Hitomi wasn't special in that sense. And even if she could, somehow, miraculously, find her way back, what then? Live with him on a foreign world, abandoning her friends and family back here? Just what would she do if they broke up? She'd be stuck there, unless the same miracle that brought her there would bring her back. What if she got sick? She remembered a brush with some sort of poisonous substance back on Gaea, but it wasn't too serious.
"What if it was more serious? A broken bone, a flu, a virus… a plague?"
During her stay on Gaea, she had never thought about the horrors that trouble even modern Earth, and she doubted Gaean medicine could do anything during a serious emergency.
"What if our relationship worked out? What if I was Queen of Fanelia? How would I have children?"
Those thoughts had also crossed her mind. She knew, as most people did, from her Health classes that childbirth was a painful process, even with modern medicine, equipment and knowledge. And she knew the grim dark fact that even today, in developed countries, women who had come so close to being mothers, died during childbirth. Just where would she have children on Gaea? In a castle, surrounded by hard, unventilated, crushing stone and marble walls? With no running water? With no medicine to help her? With no real trained professional doctors to be there, in case of another emergency?
"Do they even have condoms on Gaea?"
That thought too, entered her mind as a blush appeared across her face. If they didn't… well their first time together would have ended in pregnancy. And she was already frightened by the idea of a Gaean pregnancy. These train of thoughts left the unspoken question "Van isn't even human, could we even have babies together?" all the way at the back of her mind.
Not only that, but she thought about her. What would she do there, on that world? Sit, and govern a nation? Would she try, like Dornkirk did, to bring science to those people? Would she know how?
Slowly, over time, she cursed the conditions Van and her had been thrust into. Their worlds were incompatible. And, on a deeper look, they were incompatible. Their love could exist in her dreamy romanticized version of Gaea and nowhere else.
"Why did I ever let myself think that? Why did I ever let myself believe Gaea was some fantasy world straight out of a cheap novel? Why didn't I face facts?" She honestly wondered why this was. Most of her time on Gaea was spent running from terror, blood, swords, screams, war and death. Her first day there she saw the near genocide of Fanelians. She shuddered.
And so, realizing it simply couldn't work out with Van, she moved on. She fell in love with Genji Aono*, a funny, handsome and intelligent man. She loved him dearly, and didn't regret falling for him.
She did, however, regret not being able to tell Van.
Because even though she knew she didn't live on that fairy-tale world, Van did.
She feared he wouldn't be able to move on. She feared the truth wouldn't sink in for him as it had for her. She feared, deeply feared, that he would live his life alone, with no love anymore. Fanelia would be without an heir, and then what? It would wither and die. "Van is smarter than that." She would say to herself, but, was he? Had the story of how his father ignored royalty and protocol for his true love, the Draconian he met in a lake, made up Van's mind for him? Would he seek out that wonderful and almost fantastical story with him and Hitomi? She hoped not.
She hoped he would move on.
Hitomi smiled, a small glimmer of hope shining in her.
"No, Merle would never let that happen."
And with that, Hitomi went to sleep, settling her fears in her mind, completely unaware that her words had more than one interpretation.
Short, I know, but I didn't want to show both Earth and Gaea in the same chapter, I thought that might be a little much, especially for the first page.
* Yukari Uchida is how her name shows up on the Escaflowne wiki. But I'm not sure if that is the Westernized version. Aren't Japenese names spelled last-name first? So would it be Uchida Yukari, or Yukari Uchida? Any help is appreciated.
**Toudai is short for Tokyo University. I learned this from Love Hina.