It had taken a lot of energy to get from Ghost World back to Human World. Maybe it was because she had no lasting grudge, or perhaps it was because it wasn't the world she was meant to be in. None the less, Kegalesia had been determined to return somehow. Kitanedeis had helped, and she was grateful to her old comrade for that. He was a good friend. In the beginning, she never thought she'd say such a thing about him, but in the end he had been one of the few beings she could truly say was her friend. She would miss him.
Could she even get back to Ghost World? She hadn't thought hat far ahead. Kegalesia had just feel this itch to get back to Human World — to find the Go-Ongers. Were they even still Go-Ongers? The Engines had to have left by now… No, they would still call themselves that anyway. Some sort of human pride thing. But in a way, she wasn't that different.
Kegalesia had been haunting the shadows of the city for days now though and hadn't found them. They had always just… appeared before! She wasn't even sure where to start looking! They'd driven around in some kind of bus or something, hadn't they? But no matter how hard she looked, Kegalesia couldn't seem to find it.
Now Kegalesia was getting frustrated. Incredibly frustrated. The whole reason she had come back was to find the Go-Ongers! She wouldn't admit it, not even to Kitanedeis (though it seemed he knew anyway), but she had formed some kind of attachment to them. She wanted to blame how much fun G3 Princess was, but she knew it was really more than that. Even though they were enemies, the Go-Ongers had always shown them a lot of kindness and compassion. They had been willing to stand with the Gaiark ministers at times, if there was a common goal, and she was sure that if there had been a way, the Go-Ongers would have let them live.
And in the end, she and Kitanedeis had been able to repay them, even if only slightly. She was sure those there had managed to save the others. Human World was still in the state it had always been, so that meant they had won. So Go-On Green, Black, Gold, and Silver were surely safe. It eased her grief a bit to think of it.
Kegalesia jumped a bit, snapped out of her thoughts, at the sudden sound of a scooter going by. She turned her head and watched as a familiar face drove by in a green jacket and an orange scarf. "Go-On Green…" She mumbled to herself. She couldn't remember his name. She couldn't remember any of the males' names. Had she even learned them?
Yes… She had! Not all of them, but she knew she had learned Go-On Green's name once. That time in the mountains… What had he said his name was? Kegalesia drifted after him, trying to remember. Had he ever found out that woman had been her? She was fairly certain it had never come up.
He stopped in front of a large silver RV. Out front was an old table and some folding chairs. Sitting in one was Go-On Black. Kegalesia was annoyed that she couldn't remember their names. She was pretty sure she had never known Go-On Black's, but she was struggling to remember Green's! She kept behind a tree, in it's shadow, where she was sure they wouldn't notice her. They talked a bit, and it seemed that they were the only one's here. Had the others gone off to live somewhere else?
"Does it feel colder all of a sudden?" Gunpei looked over at Hanto. Hanto looked around and scratched the back of his head. "Maybe? I've got this big coat, so I can't really tell." He looked around a bit and then laughed, "Well, the season is changing! So it might just be getting cold! It's not like it's a Bankijyu or anything!"
Gunpei grinned a bit and nodded. "Yeah you're right. I'm going to go get started on dinner." He went into the bus, leaving Hanto alone outside. Hanto looked around again. He could have sworn he saw something moving over near the trees, but he couldn't imagine what it would be. Still, as it often did, curiosity got the better of him, and Hanto went to investigate.
Kegalesia pressed into the shadows as she saw Go-On Green approaching her hiding place. Why was she hiding? She'd come back to this world to see the Go-Ongers. Still, he hadn't been there when she had died. He had been changed into wave energy. She couldn't be sure he didn't harbor some sort of grudge over that even though Kegalesia hadn't had anything to do with it.
Hanto wrapped his arms around himself. It was colder near the trees. How weird. He wondered why. Hanto turned around to head back and let out a loud yelp, finding himself suddenly face to face with an old enemy — Kegalesia. He backed away quickly, lifting his hands up in defense. Though he calmed moments later when he saw she gave an equally startled reaction.
"Kegalesia?" How was she here? Sosuke and the others had said she had died. It was actually even a bit heroic. It was because of information Kegalesia and Kitanedeis gave that he was saved.
"Hanto." Kegalesia said the name in response to her own. It hadn't come to her until the moment she said it, but it came out naturally, as if she had known it all along. It made him smile, or at least that was why she assumed he was smiling.
"You never called me by my name before. Not even when you were Rena-san." Mentioning the name caused Hanto to look away again. Kegalesia moved away, frowning a bit.
"You figured that out?" Kegalesia asked quietly.
Hanto nodded, still looking away, "When you and the girls formed G3 Princess… Seeing you pretending to be human again, I recognized you as Rena. I.. never mentioned it to Sosuke or the others. I don't know if Sosuke ever figured it out too."
"I am…. sorry." Kegalesia still kept a distance, unsure of why she was apologizing. But it had become apparent to her the more she had thought about it that Hanto had felt a strong affection for the persona she had adopted on that mission. "I'm sorry, I suppose, that she wasn't who you thought she was."
Hanto was a little surprised by the apology. The revelation had broken his heart for a while, but he hadn't expected her to care about such a thing. He simply shook his head. "It's more, I think, that -you- aren't what I expected you to be." Kegalesia was slightly taken aback by that, and Hanto could tell, so he elaborated. "You didn't act very different as Rena-san. You just were't hostile toward us. It was the same as when you were part of G3 Princess. That's how I figured it out." Hanto gave a bright smile. "A-And Sosuke and Renn and Saki told us about what you were trying to do. Trying to make a place for the Bankijyu to live comfortably…" Hanto looked at the ground, fussing with his scarf. "I still… think you're strong, and beautiful… Maybe not 'pure', but still noble."
Kegalesia frowned, looking away from him, "Do you even realize that calling me something like 'beautiful' is insulting to a Gaiark?" Though coming from him, it didn't seem as insulting and perverse as it had coming from that stupid Prince. She regretted even the brief alliance she had allowed to form when they had found him in Human World. The comment startled Hanto though and his expression fell.
"I… I'm sorry!" He reached out to touch her arm, and was startled as his fingers passed through her. It was cold, unnaturally cold. He pulled back holding his hand close to his body. "I didn't mean to… T-Thats what you say here when you like someone. I.. I guess I should call you something like hideous, but… that feels so mean."
She could see Hanto's discomfort with the situation. Kegalesia sighed and moved a bit closer to him, "Stop… It's fine. There was… just someone else who said those things about me once, and he was not someone I like to think of. It was… perverse… when he said it. He was Gaiark. It was unnatural for him to have an attraction to such things." She muttered it all, frustrated to even think about it. Hanto just gave an awkward smile. Kegalsia lifted her head, looking back to him, "But from you… It made me angry at first, but now… I don't know. I'm dead, so does it really even matter anymore?"
Hanto frowned a bit, "You still have feelings, so of course it matters. I… I won't say it again if it really bothers you, b-but I can't promise I'll stop feeling that way." He fussed with his scarf again, and Kegalesia wondered if it was a nervous habit or if he was cold. "But, if you're dead, how are you here? You came from Ghost World?" He remembered Hiramekimeides, or whatever he was calling himself at that point, doing the same thing for the sake of revenge on the Go-Ongers. He backed away a bit, worried she might be here for the same reason, and this time he didn't have Birca to help him.
"I was restless." Kegalesia confessed, "I felt like I needed to come back here, and see you all again. I'm not sure what for, just that I needed to. Kitanedies helped me. I've just been wandering around for the past few days, trying to find you all."
Hanto was surprised by the confession, but he relaxed. She wasn't here for revenge, or to hurt anyone. He smiled, "You just wanted to say goodbye."
Kegalesia nodded, "I suppose so."
"I'm glad you came… I was sad when I didn't get to say if we were enemies, we were… also kind of friends." Hanto let out a small, nervous laugh. "… And I know I probably shouldn't have been since we were enemies, but… I still kind of loved you."
"E-Eh?" Kegalesia stuttered, unsure of how to actually respond to that. He -loved- her? Yes he had held some kind of affection for 'Rena', but she had thought that had all but fallen apart when he'd realized who she actually was. Even if he still thought she was 'beautiful' and all of those other things, she hadn't assumed that he -loved- her.
"That was what I was trying to say to Rena-san that time, before Sosuke dragged me away." Hanto couldn't look at her now, and the volume of his voice had dropped significantly. It was to a point that she had to get closer just to hear him. "I never… stopped feeling that way, even after I figured out Rena-san was you… Since Rena and Kegalesia weren't all that different."
Kegalesia was directly in front of Hanto now, having moved there so she could hear what he was mumbling. He had loved her for that long? That had been months of time… His face was red again. She didn't know what to say to him now. She wished she could have known him better, or that there was a way to take the time to know him now. She wanted to love him too.
But, given that she was dead, love seemed like a horribly futile idea.
None the less, Kegalesia found herself able to smile about it. "I wish… that things had been a bit different. I think, under different circumstances, I could have loved you. I think it would have made me happy. Having someone like you." The red on Hanto's cheeks deepened a bit, and he nodded without saying anything. Kegalesia could tell that she may have just broken his heart in far worse way than if she had rejected him. Letting Hanto know that he could have had the love he wanted, if only she hadn't died, but that now it was out of his reach. And it broke her heart as well.
It took a lot of focus to reach out and place her hands on his arms without slipping through him. Kegalesia leaned forward and kissed Hanto's forehead, unsure if he would feel anything other than cold. "You're still young… You'll find someone better than me. Someone pretty, and warm, and who isn't trying to destroy your world." She teased, moving back from him, able to tell that he was trying not to cry."You're too good for a strange old lady like me anyway."
Hanto stumbled forward, passing through Keglesia entirely and ending up behind her as he pushed forward in an attempt to wrap his arms around her. Kegalesia tensed. It felt very strange have have someone pass through her. She couldn't quite explain the feeling, but it left her feeling very cold. She turned her head to look back at Hanto, then turned entirely as she saw he'd dropped to his knees. She moved beside him and crouched down, lowering her head to try and see his face as he hid it against his arms. He'd given up and started to cry, and he wasn't doing particularly well at hiding it.
"I'm sorry." Kegalesia apologized again. She wanted to touch Hanto, offer some gesture of comfort and affection, but she knew that to try would be a waste of time, and would remind him of just why she was unable to return his feelings. "We'll meet again somewhere, one day. Here, or there, or in another world. And I promise I'll love you then."
Kegalesia leaned over, letting herself rest against his side. She was afraid it would make him cold, but she wanted to enjoy the warmth he gave off for a few moments, even if Hanto couldn't feel her there. "But until then, I want you to keep living, and to smile a lot for me, okay? Wasn't that a thing with Saki? Smile and things will be okay?" Hanto nodded a bit against his arms.
Kegalesia stood, "I think I have to go now." She could feel a sort of tugging in the back of her mind that was coupled with the tightness in her chest. She had originally wanted to talk to all of the Go-Ongers, but it seemed like just this much with Hanto had been enough to settle her. She looked down at him, "Smile for me… I don't want to go back with my last memory of you being so sad." Hanto lifted his head at her final request, then wiped his eyes on his sleeve and stood.
"I'll wait for you!" Hanto chirped, wiping his eyes again, smiling as wide as he could.
Kegalesia laughed a bit and shook her head, "You don't have to wait. Find someone, in the meantime. Make yourself happy. Just don't forget about me."
"I won't." Hanto replied quickly, "I promise." Kegalesia smiled, the anxiety of her spirit settled by the talk, the confessions, and the promise. The wind changed direction, and she was gone, leaving Hanto to wonder if she'd ever been there at all. It was a little warmer now, even though his face was still cold, but that was all he could be sure of.
"Hanto!" Hanto turned, hearing Gunpei calling from the bottom of the hill where Ginjiro was parked, "Dinner is almost ready!" He smiled and waved to his friend, heading back down the hill, deciding that even if he told Gunpei, the ex-detective wouldn't believe him.
His promise with the woman he loved would remain his secret