This is a work of fan fiction using characters and situations from the anime series Gurren Lagann, which is trademarked by Gainax Corporation.
For the most part, characters depicted in this work are characters created and owned by Kazuki Nakashima and Hiroyuki Imaishi. I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Gurren Lagann. There are a couple minor original characters appearing of my own design, however.
The story I tell about the former members of Team Dai Gurren is my own invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of Gurren Lagann's story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of the official story line.
I am not profiting financially from the creation and publication of this story. And I am very grateful to Messrs. Nakashima and Imaishi for sharing their wonderful story with the rest of us. Without their anime creation, my story would be sans raison d'être.
Yomako bolted upright in her bunk as the first rays of sun from the new day crested the horizon and streamed into the cabin window. The clouds had parted to reveal another breathtaking view of the sea. It certainly looked like it would be a beautiful fall day, perhaps the last one before the rains resumed and snow followed.
She slid out of bed while grabbing her robe off the back of her desk chair. As she stood up to tie her sash and shake the fog from her head, she noticed that Simon had left already. A small paper note lay on the arm of the sofa where he had spent the night.
Walking back to her desk, Yomako fumbled with her glasses a moment before unfolding and reading the note. As her eyes came into focus, they confirmed what she had already suspected from the elegantly scrolling script. "Nia," she breathed as she stared down at the signature, knowing that the note had been written by Simon's own hand regardless.
Yomako chuckled softly. "Thank you for taking care of her, Simon," she said aloud, remembering that day years before in Kamina City beneath the statue of its namesake. "Just like you promised you would."
She began preparing her morning tea while her mind wandered to the strange yet wonderful events of the night before. In one moment, Yomako recalled having a pleasant conversation with Simon while getting to know Nia all over again. All at once Simon reached over and took her hand, saying something about Nia having a message from Kamina. And then...
"And thank YOU, Kamina!" she giggled, scrunching her face up into a goofy grin like one of her girls might meeting her teenage crush. She began humming happily to herself as she placed the kettle on the stove and walked toward the cabin's small washroom, hoping Kittan wouldn't be too jealous.
"Repaid ten times," read the writing on the note, "with interest!"
They enjoyed a long while walking together in silence, listening to the crunching of the fallen leaves under his feet and the gentle wind coaxing the trees to drop more to the forest floor. Simon knew without her even saying how beautiful Nia found the forest canopies this time of year, resplendent in red, orange and yellow. The image of her in his mind's eye wore a hiking outfit and boots with her long pale hair tied back with a pink elastic band. He had noticed over the last several days her apparent desire to show herself to him suited for a given occasion or task at hand. His pulse raced as he recalled her nurse's uniform from before he had been released from the infirmary.
Simon's mind wandered back to that morning, when they had left her ring on the small metal cross atop the white alabaster he had worked with his own hands into Nia's memorial. He would have done it even if Nia hadn't asked, as he thought it fitting that Bro, Kittan and all their other friends should see it for awhile. Simon was certain even God Himself would grow weary of the racket from those buffoons' raucous celebration soon enough, but felt great joy knowing he and Nia had given them reason for it.
The shadows grew longer as they walked while the sun started to descend toward the horizon. Nia could tell how comfortable Simon was wandering the wilderness, so she hadn't said much the better part of the afternoon. For her part, Nia was just happy to accompany Simon, smiling contentedly every time he would start whistling. Simon graciously enjoyed her company, looking around occasionally to see where she was. Sometimes he saw her on his left side, other times on his right. Occasionally she would stop and stare off into the woods or stoop down to examine a wildflower, catching up with him again in a few hurried steps though he couldn't hear her footfalls.
Now and again he would catch a glimpse of the greenstone ring glinting in the sunlight where he had placed it on her hand in his dreams the night before. He had used the ring to find her when she had been taken by the Anti-Spirals. And, he now knew, she had used it to return to him. One day, a hundred years from now, he vowed to take the real ring and put it on her real hand once more.
He sighed happily. This would work out just fine. Although being able to experience the world with Nia's senses and his own simultaneously would take some getting used to. He had already walked smack into a tree while Nia and Boota had been spying on a pair of bunnies. Simon had laughed it off after seeing how ridiculous he'd looked from her point of view while landing flat on his bottom. But for task that lay ahead of him, he knew he would need Nia to be the eyes in the back of his head.
/Nia,/ Simon addressed her at last, using his thoughts to speak to her without opening his mouth. /How is it you haven't walked out ahead of me yet?/
/Silly,/ came her reply. /I may be able to sense your presence behind me, but I still cannot actually see you. Kamina had asked me to watch your back, just like he had asked Miss Yoko to do. I can hardly do that if I am front of you. After all, our battles may lie ahead of us in the future, but yon wilderness teems with vicious beasts!/
/Raaahhrr!/ Nia growled, vainly trying to appear ferocious by raising her hands to the sides of her face while opening her mouth wide like a she-wolf baring claws and fangs toward an interloper near her den.
/Down, girl,/ Simon admonished her jokingly. /Keep those animal instincts in check./
/But Simon, my instincts toward you are not bestial in nature at all,/ she countered, knitting her brows slyly. /I merely would like for us to make love passionately during your every dreaming moment!/
Simon gulped. While "miraculous" didn't begin to describe the gift of renewed intimacy their pairing afforded them while he slept-again being able to touch her pale skin, feel her warm body next to his, touch their lips together passionately as he drank in the intoxicating liquor of her love-he had already learned the hard way their need to carefully measure their partaking in it. A few nights before, she had nearly sent him into cardiac arrest. He laughed nervously, feeling his cheeks flush while Nia batted her eyelashes at him seductively.
/Uh, yeah, Nia, about that-remind me to explain to you what 'in heat' means sometime,/ Simon began sheepishly. /Seriously, Nia, we should take it easy. There will be very powerful people quite upset at both of us if we inadvertently initiate the Next Phase so far ahead of schedule. We are quite a long way from any medical facility, you know. It would be a bad thing if my heart stopped or something way out here. And we kinda freaked out Sitan and his staff at the infirmary. I do need my sleep, after all./
She smiled sweetly. /Of course, Simon. Remember I missed you terribly, too. Perhaps I may have ravaged you a bit too enthusiastically./
Simon snorted, contemplating whether "ravaged" was a word to be tossed about in conversation so causally as though talking about the weather. /Let's keep this to ourselves. Those bozos wouldn't let me hear the end of it, I'm sure. Including Bro,/ he said as he furrowed his brow. /*Especially* Bro./
They walked a long while as Nia recalled the other lovely memories from the week they'd spent together on the island before their wedding years ago, in which they had both learned indeed the moon was made of honey. Those were the memories which had sustained them until now.
/You said you wanted your eyes to become my eyes and my ears to become yours. Kiyoh told me before then you were simply speaking in metaphor, although I could hardly understand just what she meant./
Simon chuckled. /The point seems moot, because it appears we're doing just that./
/Yes, Simon, I understand now. Though I am still not the same person as you./
/That's why I love you so, Nia. It's because you're different that you're so special. And I suppose that's why you received your Commission too./
Simon smiled as he heard her giggle before replying. /Then perhaps we can live together again after all./
/Good to know, love-we're going to be cooped up in this body of mine together whether we like it or not for the next hundred years or so./
/That makes me very happy, Simon, as I cannot imagine anywhere else I would rather be. But there will come a day when we will be two once more./
/Yes, Nia, I knew that when I accepted my Commission. That will be a day to celebrate, as a new phase in our lives together will have just begun./
/I believed in the you, Simon, that believed in me, so I knew that we would be reunited after a time in a way. I knew I had to help us be together again, because I promised you I would,/ she said with a tinge of emotion.
/And you did, love. Now we have the opportunity to build countless memories together. What part of our Universe we don't travel now, I'm sure we will in the Next Phase. For now, our Commission will see us crisscrossing the entire world together./
/If it is with you, Simon, I would like to go anywhere. There are many things in the world that I do not yet know about. I would like to see them with you-all of them./
/Oh, but we must come back from time to time to visit our friends here, especially Miss Yoko/, Nia added after a moment. /Kamina insisted. They can be together whenever we are together with her./
Simon stopped in his tracks, gawking at her image as the thought turned in his mind.
/Whaddya mean they can be together whenever we're with her? You mean to tell me Kamina didn't just have that one message for Yoko? How is Yoko supposed to bury her past and move on if Kamina can still be with her? She herself told Gimmy I'm not God that day. You were gone already, so you wouldn't remember, Nia. I told them all the dead should stay-/
At once Nia appeared directly in front of Simon, smiling sweetly as she placed a finger over Simon's lips to shush him. /Be a dear and grit your teeth, would you?/
Simon saw Nia's eyes narrow and jaw set as she drew a clenched fist behind her ear and stepped in. Before he knew it Simon felt his head snap to one side and his body stagger backwards, flopping down on the rocky ground behind him in an undignified heap atop his rucksack.
/ARE YOU AWARE OF WHOM EXACTLY I AM?!/ Nia shrilled, now appearing to him wearing a lavender body suit with gold piping and pink chaps with red stars down the side. A similarly designed tall-necked long coat was draped over her shoulders. /I am the me that God Himself believes in, Simon the Digger! He gave me my Commission-to bridge this life to the very heavens you and your Drill created! I shall bind the dreams of those who have fallen to the hopes of those who will follow! With Him as our Commissioner, you and I shall love and care for the spirits of those alive now and those yet to be born to prevent the Spiral Nemesis! We will build the Double Helix together, Simon, and drill the path to tomorrow for all eternity!
/I *am* the me that *I* believe in! I – AM – NIA, MATRON OF SOULS TO COME!/
Simon stared dumbfounded from where he sat on the ground at Nia while she struck a classic pose, holding a closed fist next the high collar of her coat and pointing her other hand skyward as if she intended to call the heavens themselves down to her. He snickered only a moment before laughing out loud for a long while, ceasing only after he drew his hands together over his aching belly.
"Bui?" squeaked Boota, looking up at his master quite confusedly.
Nia regarded him quizzically as well, cocking her head to one side. /I do not understand,/ she said in a small voice, suddenly self-conscious as her hiking outfit returned. /Did I say something amusing?/
/You're precious, you know that?/, Simon replied as he stood before her, dabbing at the corner of one eye with edge of his cloak. He pursed his lips to kiss Nia on the cheek like he'd done often over the last few days. He could feel that it had the intended effect on her, although he could see the pink hue in her cheeks just the same. /I can tell you've gotten to know Bro quite well./
/Oh, and by the way, I'll have you know that *hurt*,/ Simon told her, rubbing at the side of his face more for effect than anything. /But it was worth it. I haven't laughed so loudly or so long in quite some time. It felt wonderful./
/Thank you for renewing my sense of humor, Nia,/ Simon said, looking deep into her eyes. /And thank you for restoring my Faith as well./
/Bro did ask me to be there for you, including doing something he called 'some sense into you knocking' when the answers to your questions are so quite obvious./
Simon snickered at her turn of phrase, knowing it was one of the things that endeared her to him so. /Well, I'm glad you have a job to do. I know how you can't stand not being helpful./
/But it is not only that, Simon. I am The Matron of Souls to Come, after all. I shall be a mommy! You shall be a daddy! All the souls of those little children shall be ours to feed and care for before they go to mommies and daddies in this life! Is that not wonderful?/, Nia squealed with eyes the size of saucers as she clasped her hands together in delight.
Simon closed his eyes and blushed, placing one had on the back of his neck as he snickered nervously. They would have to discuss this "feeding" business but in deference to his smarting cheek, he decided now was not the time. /Well, we never did talk about children, did we? I believe I'd be quite happy with a large family, er...however that's supposed to work, that is./
/But I still intend to make you lunches like I made you before/, she tutted. /I may need your hands, but I shall guide your every step./
Simon chuckled a moment, then pursed his lips again as he hefted his rucksack onto his back. He considered the image of his dear wife on one side and his furry companion on the other as he resumed hiking, fancying himself the luckiest man to ever exist in this life-and the one to come.
/And so you shall, Nia. Have I ever told you just how much I love you?/
/You declare your love for me with every breath you draw, Simon. And when you draw your very last I shall be with you, ready for our Forever to begin anew./
And so, after irrevocably binding his Destiny to that of the only woman he had ever loved, the man with whom Destiny reconciled set off to explore the world and the rest of the Universe with her forevermore at his side. Our story ends here, but for Simon the Digger, it merely marks the passing of another day in an eternity of tomorrows.
Very special thanks to Ken Wolfe, my friend and fellow fictwriter. Without his thoughtful review and excellent suggestions, I would not have nearly have been as satisfied with this story. I doubt you all would be either. So look him up on this venue ( u/3538/Ken) and show him a little love too, willya? Also I shout out to Daniel Snyder for his review and comment. Mad phat props to Nate Rotunno for first introducing me to Gurren Lagann and also reading the first draft of this story.
"The Moon is Made of Honey" is a wonderful work by Annwyd, which you can Google easily enough. Or visit Annwyd's profile on this forum ( u/182585/Annwyd) and click the "Masterlist of my fanfiction" link. Be advised it is not safe for work, and should be read by mature adults only as it describes, albeit tastefully and touchingly, the physical nature of Simon and Nia's relationship. It is also exquisitely well executed and, I believe, key to understanding the nature of the love Simon and Nia feel for one another. This work made the closing moments of Gurren Lagann take on a much greater significance and meaning, and was a source of inspiration for this story.
My other sources of inspiration also deserve their recognition. Please view and comment on the works of the talented artists featured in my deviantArt account. Feel free to Google my screen name there (search terms "deviantArt mjengels") and click "Browse Favourites."
One of these, a kind young lady who goes by Magu was considerate enough to permit me to use her artwork for this story's page. Check out "Waist-deep in thought" by *Quilofire over on deviantArt. She may be late to the fandom as I am, but I do believe Gurren Lagann has stood the test of time. You're all here reading this, right? Not bad for five years since airing in Japan. And thank you to my soul sister Magu for sharing with me how much Gurren Lagann has impacted her too, for what I believe to be the better. You're in good company here, sis.
A complete listing of background music is available upon request. Feel free to IM me via this venue so we might exchange email addresses if you'd like a copy.
Comments are welcomed, but if you have criticisms I ask you not waste your time or mine. I tender this piece for purely selfish reasons. The last several episodes of Gurren Lagann had me on the edge of my seat, alternately squeaking "dear God, no!" and yelling "HELL YEAH!" while sobbing like a schoolgirl the whole time. I'm a male 41 year old married railway engineering professional with a young son-I have my pride! Any story evoking that many tears (manly or otherwise) simply cannot leave me unchanged nor unchallenged.
I watched the series together with a younger colleague while the two of us lived in neighboring hotel rooms for months on a remote job site away from our friends and families. And after watching the last ten minutes of the final episode several times over, I knew what needed to be done. A couple days later I hit upon this idea, and dropped everything I was doing to work on it day and night until completion. A hole had been ripped in my heart, and writing this helped to mend. For those of you who enjoy and appreciate it, no thanks necessary but sharing your thoughts and impressions would certainly be appreciated. For those of you who do not, nothing you can say will change my mind about what I did and how I did it. 'Cause that's how *I* roll.
JUST WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?
Hail and farewell until whence we are again well met, my friends.