Following in her Footsteps

A/N: This fanfic is a mixup of manga and anime ideas. It is a rewrite from my first fanfiction of the same name and has some differences from it. I am also ignoring here the real sequel of Angelic Layer: Chobits (sorry, CLAMP! It's for the sake of fanfiction!).

Disclaimer: I do not own Angelic Layer

Chapter One:

"…and on this corner, we have the undefeated daughter of the Miracle Rookie, give a round of applause for Megumi Suzuhara!"

Applause arose from the eager audience at that moment. A girl of 15 sat at the side in question, looking not nervous or excited. You would never have thought her to be a champion. She wasn't very tall. Average at most, but not tall. Her long brown hair was left to cascade down her shoulders. Her uniform was exactly the same as the one her mother wore several years back, that same white and blue uniform. Anyone who had known Misaki before would have believed that it was Misaki herself sitting in the spotlight. The only change was the small angel dressed in white and light mint green clutched in her hand.

'It took me so long to get this far,' she thought. 'So no matter who my opponent is…"

~10 years ago~

The first thing I would always notice when I enter my mother's bedroom is the small doll that sat on her bedside. Sitting on a small chair adorned with pure white cloth, the doll seemed like a princess, if not for her predominantly red clothes. Although its face was covered by its short red bangs, I could clearly see peace in its face. It was always there until I was given my own room. She placed it on my bedside and told me, "Megumi-chan, this is Hikaru. She'll be here to protect you even if I'm not watching over you at night."

So her new home was on the small table beside my bed. I often fell asleep watching her and wondering what she's gone through in her life. Why did she sit there, sleeping peacefully through the days? Was she exhausted? Perhaps she needed a break? After that, I would always fall asleep smiling, amused at my efforts to make that little doll seem alive.

Little did I know that all I wondered was more than valid.

I saw it on television. I only watched cartoons, being the child I was. But something got me to switch the channel. I don't know what exactly got over me.

On that channel, there was an egg. A translucent, plastic egg a solid white stripe and a beautifully designed logo. White, mechanical wings that were spread out into the sky adorned the side of this egg. As I looked closer, I saw clearly the inside. It was a doll. The plain doll resembled a mannequin. "This is an 'egg' that is filled with dreams…" the narrator said. What followed was a slideshow of pictures, each picture given only a minute or so. Each picture was slashed into two halves, each featuring an "angel" and its "Deus". "Each one of these legends left their legacy…" the narrator continued. I learned much later on that it was an old video promoting the Championships that were held a long time ago.

The first one was of a smiling teenage girl and a nurse. The teenage girl was pale, with large round glasses that framed her brown eyes. Her hair was pulled into braided pigtails. She wore a pink uniform of a school I would never know of. Under her picture wrote: Kaede Saito. The other half of the picture was of a pretty 'angel'. She was dressed in pure white, like a nurse. Her short blonde hair and beauty matched her unique name: Blanche.

The slide quickly changed. The narrator was still talking, but I no longer listened. It was of a girl, around my age, dressed in my school uniform. Despite that, she looked very mature. She had long, straight black hair and eyes that seemed playful yet solemn. It was hard to describe. Under this picture was inscribed the name: Kobayashi Hatoko. The other half was the picture of an 'angel' that was dressed in all black to complement her jet black tresses. Her outfit was very much like a ninja and from the way she stood, it was obvious that she was very strong. She was called: Suzuka.

I was surprised at the proceeding slide. It was of my mother a long time ago, when she still wore her middle school uniform of blue and white. And next to her was Hikaru who never changed. "Misaki Suzuhara," I read. "The Miracle Rookie."

Those few moments changed my life forever.

A few weeks after that, I found my curiosity piqued. My secret research on the subject did not satisfy my great curiosity of Angelic Layer. So one day when my mother was not home yet, I took Hikaru and ventured into the world of Piffle Princess.

As I walked through the automated glass doors of the department store, I could feel my heart racing. I was going to learn more about Angelic Layer in a firsthand experience. I will learn more about it. I held Hikaru tightly.

Piffle Princess was like a department store. Its shelves were lined with all kinds of things. But none were what I was looking for. I ran to the escalators, scanned every floor until Piffle Princess ran out of floors for me to scan. It was, after all, the top most floor that had what I was looking for.

I rented a Layer for one hour. That was all I could afford at the time.

I walked towards the Layer. I lightly touched it and immediately my heart started pounding. "This is it, Hikaru. I'm going to do it."

I took a seat beside the layer and stared at the minicomputer tucked under the table. Pressing some buttons, a force field formed around the layer. Two helmets lay beside me. I picked up the smaller one, attracted to how miniature it was. Perhaps the angel should wear it? I gingerly placed it on Hikaru's head and immediately smiled. It suited her perfectly!

And the bigger headpiece I slipped it on my head. I accidentally pressed a button at the sides, causing a pair of white, mechanical wings to spread out into the air. Then I sat back and stared. What was I to do now? I decided to try putting her in the Layer. When I did, much to my amazement, Hikaru stood up! A huge smile formed on my face. "Maybe I should have her walk…" I remember muttering to myself and suddenly, she started walking! She went around and round the ring.

By the end of the hour, she must have done everything already. She walked, she smiled, she jumped, she performed cartwheels. I walked out with a huge smile on my face. That smile quickly faltered when I found, waiting outside, my mom! She was quite upset that I had disappeared without a word.

"Megumi! Didn't I tell you never to leave home without telling me?" she crossly scolded.

I held Hikaru tightly, muttering my apology. She spotted Hikaru in my hands at that moment. "You came here to play Angelic Layer?" she asked in a soft tone of disbelief.

I nodded. "I'm sorry, mommy," I said.

She sighed. "Never mind. I'm just glad you're alright." She took my hand and smiled at me again. : "Did you have fun?"

I smiled and nodded. In my arms, I held Hikaru close to me.

"I'm sure Hikaru also had fun," she commented as the automatic doors of Piffle Princess slid apart, allowing us to pass.

~8 years later~

The sun was already setting when Megumi came home.

Megumi opened the door of her home, announcing her arrival despite the dark room that greeted her at the other side. She was used to it. Her foster mother, Misaki, was still working. Yes, foster mother. Megumi realized that only when she was 7.

She switched on the lights, dropped her bags on the sofa and headed straight for the kitchen. Despite the humid weather, Megumi decided that it would save time just to fix dinner in her school uniform. She aspired to be as good a cook as her foster mother and therefore started the habit of preparing dinner before Misaki's arrival home.

As she chopped onions and cooked rice, her mind was wandering. She calculated her savings in her head. Yes, she had something very important she wanted to buy…

For years, she had only spent some time on Angelic Layer. She thought of it as nothing but a hobby, a thing to pass time. She used Hikaru on several occasions in the Piffle Princess over the years. She watched Angelic Layer matches whenever she could, especially the ones where either her mother or her grandmother participated in. But she never thought of going beyond that.

Now she did. And ever since, she's been saving for that angel.

She believed that she had enough now.

The realization was couple with happiness. She began whistling as she set the table. She was now going to have her own angel. Now she could practice all she wanted. She could even get an Angel Card and maybe participate in some tournaments!

Like her mother, she wanted her angel to be small yet strong. She prioritized speed over physical strength. Perhaps she wouldn't become a Miracle Rookie like her mother once was, but she promised herself that she will be known along with her dear to be angel.

And that angel will be called…

The door opened at that moment, cutting off her train of thought. She watched as a woman with short, brown hair walked in, a smile forming on her face as she closed the door. Megumi smiled as well.

"Welcome Home, Mom!"

Thus ends my first rewrite. I'll be very happy to know what you think, so please review ^_^