Disclaimer: I do not own Macross Frontier or anything related to the Macross franchise.

When Sheryl Nome was a little girl, lost and alone in a world of slums, she had made it a point not to get lost in dreams. It was fleeting, the comfort. To wish for things she could not have. It warmed her heart for a moment but what waited right after was a cold cruel wake-up to reality.

That pain was too much to bear—to imagine sleeping on a cozy bed while lying on thin newspapers or to dream of delicacies when you held nothing but unwanted leftovers to your lips.

In time, she had stoned herself from such unlikely possibilities, scavenging one dumpster after another, finding whatever she could use to survive the cold. There was never anything to smile about. Everything felt empty when you had little promise in the world, when survival was the only goal you had in life. Sheryl could imagine the same feelings as the women peddling their skin on the streets. They were beautiful with color in their face but their eyes were vacant and dead.

The same stoned look of extinguished dreams.

"This one suits you very much," Grace smiled, lifting a dress of rose pink to her. When the fabric lightly brushed against her skin, Sheryl felt as if she had stained it and lurched away. The older woman seemed startled at her reaction but then her eyes softened, alight with understanding.

"Come now, this dress is for you." She held it up closer to the light and Sheryl could only stare at the foreign garment that was light years away from the filthy makeshift rag dress she had worn until now.

"If you don't take it, you'll hurt my feelings."

Not wanting to offend the woman who had fed and bathed her, Sheryl slowly stepped forward. Grace handed the dress to her. The young girl flinched at first as the soft silk feel was something new to her touch. Shyly, she fingered it, tracing soft lines against the seams and lattice works of beads and flowers, completely entranced.

When Grace had her try it on, she felt a warm feeling flutter in her chest. When she was made to look in the mirror, she saw a beautiful figure standing before her. Rosy, pink and lovely, it seemed so absurd to think it was her. Grace came down before her, touching the puffed sleeves of her shoulders, she stared into the mirror with her.

"From now on, you are a princess," Sheryl watched her say, "and all your dreams will come true."

What were her dreams?

Sheryl had struggled to know. Grace had given her a new life, a world where it was always a kaleidoscope of colors and wonders. Every piece of jewel or bauble given to her seemed to erase a part of her bleak past as an anonymous urchin.

When Grace suggested starting a career in music, she seized it, thinking this had to be it. After all, Grace knew her better; she always knew what was best. Besides, Sheryl loved to sing, so it seemed perfectly natural. So, whenever Sheryl reflected on her dreams, she thought of a large concert hall, a stage of gold, a bright spotlight, and an audience cheering, showering her with flowers and devotion.

"It will be glorious," Grace once said, fixing her hair up before her big debut, "you will never go back to being ordinary ever again. This is your dream, Sheryl."

Sheryl gazed at herself in the reflecting glass, and was reminded of before, of a little girl, looking into the mirror and thinking of only one thing—that her life would never be the same again.

This was her dream.

"Do you sometimes think I'm holding you back?"

"I'm sorry, what?"

"You heard me."

"Actually, no, I didn't."

"If you weren't with me, you could go all out with your career. Go beyond and whatnot. So, I'm asking you…do you sometimes think I'm holding you back?"

"Why would you ask that?"

He snorted.

"Because I'm sure you had bigger dreams than being married to me." He made a sweeping motion with his arm, emphasizing the simple state inside their quaint little home—the wooden floorboards, the mix and match furniture and the slightly stained walls.

As Alto said that, she suddenly remembered a time of long ago – a girl rummaging in open dumpsters, a woman, beautifully painted in lies. She remembered concert halls and spotlights that she had thought would be the setting of her sought-after desires. Most of all she remembered looking into a mirror. Each time, looking at herself with thoughts of a new self and a new dream…

Alto was waiting for her answer.

"Truthfully…" Sheryl started, taking his hand into hers. She smiled softly at the rough touch of his hand and the smooth feel of his wedding band.

Closing her eyes, she answered,

"Living a life with you is a million times better than chasing a mere dream."