They sat there, across from each other ignoring their hot drinks and the people around them. Despite the fact the little café hummed with a multitude of conversations going off at once they acted like they were the only ones there. A man and a woman, talking and laughing over a hot drink. It was a typical action one would expect of a new couple or even newlyweds, but she knew better.
They were anything but new, and they certainly weren't typical. Their stories were ones filled with drama, intrigue and plenty of humour. Perhaps a bit unrealistic some of the time, but she had never written them for anyone else's pleasure except hers and her friends. Even in the few times she posted their stories and their various carnations, they were only snippets. Theirs was a story she would never publish, and she was fine with that.
"It feels strange, seeing you and her separate like this but the same," a voice broke the observer out of her thoughts.
Taking her eyes off of the couple she turned her gaze to the man sitting before her. Technically, he was a teenager, but he had the seriousness and features that could pass him off for a young man in his 20s. A short young man, but a young man nonetheless. He wore his hair in a gravity defying style that covered one of his green eyes. For that hair style, he might have been mistaken for a punk if his clothing wasn't so conservative and plain. Nothing plainer she supposed than a dull blue turtleneck and washed out jeans.
Studying him from head to toe, she found it funny that in her youth she thought he was tall. However, he was really only a bit taller than herself. This mean that he was only a bit taller than the woman they had been watching earlier. Though to be fair, he was only sixteen. She supposed if he was allowed to age and grow he might end up being very tall. On the other hand, her mind thought humorously, it would be ironic if out of his five friends he ended up being the shortest and the shortest ended up being the tallest.
"As strange as seeing yourself here and not there?" she nodded her head over to the couple.
He frowned slightly looking over at them, "Yes, and in the end I wonder why. I thought you liked me."
"You're not supposed to really care about that sort of thing," she told him.
"But you wrote me like that, you and… that other girl."
The woman looked down at her hot chocolate. Her mind pointed out she chose to have hot chocolate instead of tea like the woman with the man. That's because she rarely liked tea, unlike the woman who was with the man. That other woman loved tea, western or eastern it didn't matter, and generally drank it black. Like the way her lover drank his coffee black.
"Yes… I suppose I did, I guess," she looked at him, "It is time to rewrite you, or let you go."
"That's it? After all these years you would just let me go?" he inquired softly but she could hear the edge of an accusation.
"You were never my creation to begin with Trowa."
As his name rolled off her tongue it brought back a flood of memories. Most were good ones, but they had been tainted with a few bad ones over the years. Her teenage years were never normal, being ill so many times kept her from many normal teenage aspects. This was probably why her old friend and her teased each other about boys who did not exist instead of real ones. Trowa had been her tease.
Even today, she wasn't sure why she chose Trowa Barton out of the five pilots, because in reality he would suit her the least. Quatre or even Duo would have suited her personality better than the distance but observant HeavyArms pilot. She supposed it was that silly website from her younger years that forced her to choose and he just stuck. Becoming a staple on her walls and in her locker. Over time she began to write, write about him and the woman they had been watching, back when the woman was her and she was that woman.
"You made me into what I am now," he pointed out to her.
"Yes, but you were based off of who you were supposed to be, and I know now better than I did when I was young."
He was frowning at her and being, she decided, very un-Trowa like. In her mind's eye she could see what she should have written him as. Trowa Barton had a tough life, separated from his family young and raised by mercenaries. She knew from supplied readings beyond the series that he would slowly grow to appreciate having connections with others because it made him feel less empty. No doubt he would still be the silent type, quiet and preferring to observe rather than take part. Not because he was anti-social, but because he liked doing that sort of thing. His closest bonds would be to his fellow pilots and to the circus. If he ever found out he was related to Catherine, no doubt it would eventually bring him the completeness he wanted. In truth, from a writer's point of view she couldn't decide whether or not he would pursue a relationship.
Pursue friendships yes, there would be a lot in life he would find interesting and he would be quite good at small talk. As long as you didn't expect him to give you the high level of conversation that Quatre or Duo would give you. Thinking on it, she supposed he wouldn't pursue a relationship until he was well in his late twenties, that or he would go for an older woman. Someone who was mature and wanted to settle down. If he went for women, she didn't necessarily believe he preferred men, but she was always open to that idea he might be. Who knew what he preferred.
As her mind rewrote him to the man she knew he was supposed to be, Trowa began to change before her eyes. It wasn't a sudden metamorphosis, nor did he look completely different. It was small changes, in the way that he sat and held himself. No longer he was sitting up straight and leaning forward as if to change her mind about the couple they had been watching.
Instead he was sitting back in his chair with one leg over the other. He held his coffee in his hand, half way to his lips as if he was observing her. Most importantly, his frown was replaced by that neutral expression he was well known for. Gone was that confused young man and in his place a confident Gundam pilot. He looked to her, like an old friend or acquaintance.
"So you have decided it's finally time to let me go?" he inquired.
Leaning forward in her seat she looked down at him with a smile. Even though in reality she was shorter than him, traditionally in his world the adults have always been taller than him. Not by much, which was probably why he was also mistaken to be very tall.
"Well in all honesty, you're a bit young for me," she told him cheekily.
He gave a small smirk, "Is that why you created him?"
He nodded his head back to the couple they had been watching earlier. The man sipped his coffee contently as he listened to the woman's retelling of some story or another. He looked to be in his early twenties. Though, he might have been older, seeing as it was notoriously difficult to tell the age of someone with Asian descent.
"In truth, I had not intended for those two to get together. Still, I can't complain with the results, they balance each other out nicely. He's no longer a hard ass, as fun as it was to write him like that, and she has someone who'll look out for her without wrapping her in cotton."
"But I see a bit of me in him, as well as that other fellow another friend of yours created… Han was it?" Trowa pointed out.
The woman sitting with Trowa nodded in agreement, "True, but Han was a charming gentleman, Donovan isn't charming, he can be when he holds that acid tongue of his. For that matter, you don't talk as much as he does, much less swear."
"True, he's become his own person, just like she has," Trowa stated.
This was also true, the woman looked nothing like the fan created Gundam pilot she first designed all those years ago. Her hair had become darker with age and was no longer trimmed into that innocent pixie cut. Instead it went past her chin and slightly curled under giving her a more mature look. Her once vivid green eyes were now much more blue than green, thanks to an enigmatic artist who painted her likeness many times.
"I guess we won't be seeing each other again…"
"Until the next fanfic."
"Oh god… no, I haven't written those things in years."
She snorted into her hot chocolate before taking a sip. It wasn't that she didn't like fanfiction, in fact she still read it on a constant basis, but she was no longer a contributor to community.
The woman shook her head and waved out to the rest of the café, "Been too busy with the rest of them! I haven't watched a show, live action or anime in years. Hell, I finally cancelled my cable because of them."
Them, being the many other patrons in the café besides the couple. They included a quartet of teens sitting at the coffee bar. The four of them huddled together over a map of some sort, at least most of them. One, a boy wearing a hoodie and headphones around his neck was busy playing with a DS. In one of the booths sat a different couple, a young red head who was excitedly telling a tall silver haired young man her day's adventures over a chocolate waffle. There were people of all kinds, some couples, some singles, some friends and some not. The array of backgrounds were dizzying, some from very innocent and simple to others being for a more mature audience.
Trowa, chuckled at this, "You certainly have grown too."
Daring a glance at her reflection through the café window, she smiled. Her eyes were still that vivid green but they were no longer wide eyed like in her youth. Her hair, more black than brown and perhaps most noticeable were the eyeglasses perched on her nose. She could have been related to the woman with the man, but she would never be mistaken for that other woman.
"Can't shed the name, it's too much a part of me, but I can change how I look."
"But the eyes?" green eyes met green.
"Consider it a tribute to what once was."
Setting her empty cup down she began to realize the time. It had never been her intention to stay so long mulling over the past like this. In the end she supposed, one must always move on.
"I guess this is goodbye…"
"Maybe, it's hard to tell with you."
She nodded as she pushed her seat out and stood up. Then, leaning over the table she reached out and touched his shoulder.
"Goodbye Trowa, good luck with Frozen Teardrop."
Despite the old memories, she would not be reading it. She had read through the synopsis and found it too convoluted to her taste. Such a pity really, they truly did deserve a better story than one filled with heartbreak and betrayal, but that was the way the story world went.
"Goodbye Kara, it's been a good trip."
So it has been, she thought to herself quietly as she made her way to the door. There were still many more stories to write for the couple, but first… She took a quick glance at the quartet at the coffee bar. First, she would have to finish their world and story. This idea firmly in place, she exited the building, not noticing a series of mafia bosses with some old familiar faces walk past her…
Author's Note: There's a 50/50 change I might have lied when I said I wouldn't write any more fanfiction. Though it is a 100 percent true I do have other projects I would like to work on that are geared more towards original stories. This piece though I needed to get out of my system.
It is also my way of saying that self insertions are fine, because a lot of us started out that way. Wing School, while I had published it, was more for Miroki and I. Using the story we had fun together, poking fun at each other. Don't forget to have a bit of fun when you write.