Notes:
Blame any non-canon mistakes on not playing Ar Tonelico II in years now and totally rushing through III. Also, have yet to listen to the Drama CD's.

Please only review if it's a comment on writing, I've had enough idiotic comments from people trying to inflate their egos to last me a life time.


Returner

It was so different from what she had remembered of it. It had once been a wasteland, no trees, no animals, no land, just the tower itself but so much had changed since she left. Metafalss was not the same Metafalss she had remembered, then again, the world had restarted, people had returned to the land when before all that was, was the Sea of Death. Even after Metafalica the world had not changed; sure Metafalss had become lush but that just hid the larger problem. Ar Ciel was dying, Metafalica was just something to buy them some time.

Of course they had saved Ar Ciel, their planet; it would explain why the tower was so empty now. A large population of people were starting to move down from the tower to occupy the new land Ar Ciel had to provide them. It happened with Sol Cluster so it stand to reason it would happen to Metafalss. Pastalia was no long the busy metropolis it once was; although there were still plenty of people in the large city but she felt an air of emptiness from what she remembered of the city.

She had come back like she had promised, her mission was over now and it was time for her to rest. She had completed the Third Tower and she had given the Heart of Gaia to Tyria; it was over now. They had wanted her to stay but she argued that she missed home to much and she had a promise to keep; a promise to her big brother Croix. They had tried to argue against but in the end they accepted what she had to do.

The only question she had now, was why they all decided to come with her. It was giving her a giant headache, she hadn't minded their antics when the planet was in danger but every time she thought about introducing them to big brother Cro and the others, she had to pray that they didn't make a fool out of themselves; an unlikely chance.

"Ehh! Look at that, they have Dive Shops here too." One of her fellow world savers had exclaimed when they passed by the shop she had visited so many times in the past. Aoto, the boy who had risked so much to save the world; even though he was an idiot at times. She didn't know why but the boy reminded her very much of her big brother Cro. Even though on the outside they were nothing alike, Aoto was rash and headstrong, Cro was always calm and had planned out their next course of action well ahead. Yet they were similar, both cared deeply for those around them, both put others before themselves, and both inevitably had saved the word; granted Cro had only saved Metafalss when Aoto had saved their entire planet.

"Saki would like to try that Dive Shop with Aoto." A voice called back, followed by another's "No fair Saki, Aoto promised he would dive into me next!" She could only sigh at the two. Unlike Sol Cluster, people were not too keen on those who were Reyvateils. Even after Lady Cloche and Luca had saved them, Reyvateils were still frowned upon. It was her fault for not warning the two but they could have still at least some decency for not shouting such personal matters out loud.

"Finnal, I can not allow for such contact between you and this pig." The fourth member of their little entourage was the Supreme Commander of the Clustanian Army, Akane. She had no idea why the girl had tagged along but she had received an answer along the lines of needing to keep an eye on Aoto, no telling what he would do to innocent Finnal. She merely giggled when she reminded herself that Aoto would have Soma to deal with if he did ever try to take advantage; then again knowing Aoto, he wouldn't know the meaning of taking advantage of a girl in the first place.

"So this what the Second Tower looks like from the outside." The last voice belonged to a short purple haired girl, the tower administrator for Sol Cluster. Even though Saki and Finnal embarrassed her with their loudness, walking around with Tyria in silence would have the same effect. Not because she was an Origin Reyvateil, not many people knew what she looked like in the first place but she had decided to walk around in only her plug-suit, arguing her Linkage Armour was too heavy. Everywhere they walked within Pastalia, eyes were on them; they looked very different than the average Metafalssian.

She had asked Tyria how she was able to travel with them when they had all agreed they would accompany her. Tyria had just shrugged it off, "As long as I am within the range of my Tower, I am free to go as I like. Plus, I could drop dead at any moment unlike the other two Origins, might as well live a little. And Harvy could take care of the Tower when I'm away." Again she could only chuckle lightly and awkwardly, Harvestash taking care of the Third Tower scared her a little. Metafalss was in between Sol Cluster and Sol Ciel, it made sense that Tyria could travel between the two Towers, after all Jacqil had done the same, only that the Third Tower was too far for her and Cocona could only guess it would be the same for Tyria as the first tower would be too far for her.

It had been so long that she nearly had forgotten her way to her house. She had hoped it was still there; Cro had always been on missions as a Grand Bell Knight, leaving her the sole caretaker of the house much of the time. It would only stand to reason that Cro would have left the house in neglect but then again Luca and Lady Cloche were there to take care of it when they were not busy with their duties as Maidens.

They had arrived soon enough, the house looked just as she had left it. It allowed her to relax a little knowing everyone was still here, waiting for her. Yet she again began to panic once it hit her that she would see Cro and the other for the first time in two years. What would she say to them, would they even remember her? She had not told them she was returning, it wasn't as she could send a letter all the way from Sol Cluster. The journey itself had taken a lot of resources, a Clustanian airship did not run on nothing and extra fuel had been needed to travel the great distance between the two Towers.

She took one big breath before deciding to knock on the door. It was cause some worry as nothing happened for a moment before hearing shuffling and a murmur from inside, "How does Croix stand living without servants!" Cocona smiled as she recognized the voice, it was the Holy Maiden she had so often looked up too, Lady Cloche. Yet she wonder what the Holy Maiden was doing in her home she shared with Cro. Her big brother and Lady Cloche did get close during their original journey; actually now that she thought about it, Cro was close with everyone and she hated to admit, Aoto was much the same.

The door began to bang and clutch as Cocona realized Cloche was struggling with the door before it finally opened and the face of the blonde Maiden poked out between the door and its frame. It took a moment for Cloche to recognize her and as she did, her eyes grew to the size of the moon. And before Cocona could reacted, she found herself in a bear hug and nearly suffocating; she had not realize Lady Cloche was so well developed, maybe that was the reason big brother Cro could never say no to her requests. The others just stood back and watched, the sight of Cocona flustered was a new experience for them.

"Cocona you have grown!" Was the first words Lady Cloche said to her. Two year away had changed her, she was taller now and no longer the shortest member of their team.

"Thank you Lady Cloche. Do you mind me asking, but what are you doing here? Where's big bro Cro?" Cocona could see Cloche was surprised with her bluntness but she only returned a heart warming smile.

"I live hear now Cocona. Metafalss doesn't need Maiden's as much now that Metafalica had succeeded. Much of our duty is ceremonial, Lady Frelia takes care most of the administrative duties now. So I moved out of Grand Bell's protection and moved in with Croix. As for where he is now." Cloche had an uncertain look on her face which troubled Cocona a little. She hoped nothing had happened to Cro. "He's on a diplomatic trip to Sol Ciel with Jacqil. I believe her exact words were we're meeting an idiot in love with a girl who has no taste in naming and along with the First Tower's administrator, a girl with no sense of direction. He should be back by the end of the next West Sun."

Lady Cloche had invited her in before gesturing to the rest of the group to follow suit. "How is Luca and the others?" She managed to ask before seating her self at the dinning room table, just as she had left it two years ago. She spied around the house, there were more pictures now; still the two or three of her with Cro but the rest were of Lady Cloche and her big bro, Luca were in some too but never alone with Cro. This worried her a bit, Cro would have never entered a relationship before consulting her first, then again she had to remind herself she was in Sol Cluster.

"Luca and Captain Leglius are attending a ceremony to celebrate the establishment of a new city below the Tower. They'll be back by the end of the day, I'll be sure to send for them when they return." Cocona could only give Cloche a confused look before she understood that Cocona did not know what she was talking about. "Luca has taken most of our Maiden duties now, she's more confident with crowds than I am and she loves to sing for the people whenever she can. I spend most of my time here making sure the house is kept cleaned."

Cocona could only nod. The others stood in silence and she thanked the Goddesses that they had stayed quite until now; although it would only be time before they lose their restrain, ironic as it would likely be one of the goddesses herself who would be the first to blow.

"Oh and before I forget," Lady Cloche started. "Welcome home Cocona."

"I'm home."