A Barthia Ficlet

DISCLAIMER: This story was made for no profit other than reviews. I do not own "100 Days to Heaven", kuha mo?

NOTE: This is my 100th story on this site!

(And today is the Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia. Not related but I just wanted to post something on a historically significant date. I'm such a geek, I know.)

I had been debating with myself about what kind of story I would put as my 100th but in a burst of inspiration, I decided that it would be fitting to contribute to the "100 Days to Heaven" category.

This is the only local television show I have ever written fan fiction for and the only local ship that has really grabbed my attention. I am a hardcore Barthia shipper. I have been from the start, and I will be until the very end.

This is an exceedingly cheesy piece but I hope you like it nevertheless.

"You never cease to amaze me," Bart said, in a tone of utter admiration.

"What are you talking about?" Sophia asked in puzzlement.

They were sitting together in the Delgados' old house. Bart had spent the past hour trying in vain to convince the stubborn Sophia to publicly admit that she was really the daughter of Anna Manalastas and to claim what was rightfully hers. But she was adamant and would hear none of it so he decided not to pursue the issue.

Nevertheless, he really wanted to spend more time with her so he tried to divert the topic to other things. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to completely diverge from the subject of Sophia's biological mother.

"Bruce and Jopet told me about all the work you've been doing for Madame Anna's mission," Bart explained, "all those times you were absent, you were really making a difference in other people's lives, helping them solve their problems, repairing broken families, finding justice, reconciling former enemies. What you've managed to do in such a short time is simply amazing."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Sophia said wistfully as she recalled all the people she had helped in the past several weeks.

Bart smiled as he noticed her expression soften. He even thought he saw the slightest hint of a smile and for this he was glad. It was hard for him to see Sophia so upset all the time.

Even just seeing her vulnerable was a something new to him. For the longest time, she seemed invincible – she had Sophia-magic. She was the great Sophia Mendoza…Delgado…and recently, Manalastas.

He couldn't be sure anymore and he no longer cared. All he was certain of was that she was the woman he loved and it pained him to see her suffer.

"We met so many different people during this mission," Sophia told him as she reminisced with a small smile, "You'd be surprised at the kinds of things we had to do to help the others."

"At this point, I think I'm beyond surprise," Bart replied with a grin, "after all that I've seen in the past few days, I'm convinced that anything is possible."

"We had fun in some of the missions," Sophia continued, "and we always ended up learning something about life somehow."

"I'm sure you did," Bart said, "your time outside the office was definitely well-spent."

She smiled at him and Bart felt his heart expand a bit.

He couldn't believe it took him so long to realize that he loved her. All the signs had been so obvious.

He remembered her frequent absences very clearly because those were the days when his main motivation for going to work was to get a chance to spend time with her. And he was always so bitterly disappointed when she wasn't in the office. The rarity of her attendance made every meeting with her at the Toy Company extra special for him.

"Well, at least some good came out of Madame's returning to earth," Sophia said bitterly, "even if it was for her own selfish ends, at least some people's lives were changed for the better. All I know is she messed up mine, and it's never going to be the same again."

Bart sighed at this. She had gone back into her shadows and it saddened him. He understood that she was going through a lot and that she had a right to be angry and resentful after all that had happened. But he wished, for her sake, that she would be able to forgive her mother.

He had never been a great fan of Madame Anna Manalastas. In the short time that he had known her while she was alive, he had lived in fear of her. And she never missed an opportunity to make him feel that he was useless and incompetent.

But when he had heard the little girl apologize for misjudging him, he really believed that it was Madame Anna speaking to him. It wasn't something he could explain but at that moment, he had been sure that she was telling the truth.

In spite of all the ill-treatment he had received from her before, Bart knew that he would always be grateful to Madame Anna because by some wonderful, incomprehensible design, her second chance at redemption made it possible for his.

He looked at Sophia carefully and then gently took her hand in his. She made no resistance and merely looked back at him silently, the anger in her face dissipating immediately.

"All the time you were running around saving the world," he told her earnestly, "without meaning to, you saved me too."

Sophia's eyes widened at this declaration and at the sincerity in his eyes. She could not think of anything to say so she merely squeezed his hand affectionately.

"If it wasn't for you," Bart continued, "I wouldn't have found the courage to stand up to Kuya Bobby and to do the right thing. I would have been trapped in a miserable existence, forever controlled by his greed and ambition. I would not have known how wonderful it was to follow my heart because before meeting you, my heart and my life had no direction other than what was dictated by others."

Sophia stared at him, blushed slightly, and smiled. Some tears were threatening to fall from her eyes but she still said nothing. For once, she was just going to listen.

"And I nearly blew my chances when I didn't trust you," he said apologetically, "I was so stupid."

Sophia shook her head.

"We've talked about this a million times already," she reassured him, "don't worry about it. All is forgiven. What matters is that you're here with me now and I could not be more grateful to have you by my side."

At this, Bart clutched her hand tighter and looked at her with loving determination.

"Sophia, you saved me from an unhappy life," he said with feeling, "and I promise that I will do everything that I can to return the favor."