OPrincess ShinigamiO here! Since I've been following Gundam 00 recently, I've decided to write something up for SetsunaXMarina despite knowing that probably only a few people might read this. I know, people would object about wanting it to be SetsunaXFeldt. I like the pairing, but I just leaned towards SetsunaXMarina more because their connection is more... I daresay, deeper I suppose. Anyway, if you'd like to see the rant I made about 00's romance, you could check out my profile! Honestly, I was a bit surprised to see the lack of SetsunaXMarina fics, especially after the manga adaptation of A Wakening of the Trailblazer movie, wherein Setsuna makes Marina young again and they get married and then get laid in front of pervy Gundam. Sigh, I seriously can't believe it took fifty years for Setsuna to finally get it in his head! DX
Anyway, this story will be told in Marina's POV. I really believe that the G00 staff did very little justice for her character development. It will have some canon and AU scenes, and will follow the manga adaptation of the movie. So without further ado, please enjoy! ;)
Disclaimer: If I did own G00, I would've given Marina more character development, and then improve Setsuna's impossible romance life! Oh, and did I mention that I would give all the characters an epilogue scene? Sheesh... (-_-)
"Marina, the next time I see you, I'd like to hear the children sing that song again."
I blinked, and then gave a sad yet hopeful smile.
"Of course. So make sure you take care of yourself."
That was the last time I saw him, more than fifty years ago. At least, that's what I thought.
Since then, Setsuna continued to fight battle after battle. I didn't stop him from leaving, no matter how much I wanted to, because that was his way of gaining peace.
And he succeeded, thank God he succeeded.
But after their hard-gained success, I never heard from him ever again. Some of the members from Celestial Beings visited Azadistan to help out after the war, and one of them, Feldt I remember, told me about the details. I asked about Setsuna, and by the overwhelming sadness reflected on her eyes, I knew that there was a possibility that he was no longer coming back.
I couldn't help but break down on the ground even when Shirin and the rest of the Celestial Beings were there to see me being weak. I didn't know whether I cried because he finally found peace, or because he'll never fulfill his promise of seeing me again.
It was selfish of me, I know. But when I glanced upwards, I regretted a little bit on acting so sentimental after seeing the pink-haired woman's torn expression. Tears began falling from her eyes, and I knew then that maybe this woman felt something more special for Setsuna. She might've loved him. And now, he was never coming back. Not for me, not for her. Not for anyone else. I hugged her afterwards as we both cried for the man we've both lost.
As I sat alone on my bed that night, restless yet exhausted from thinking about him, I thought about the woman, Feldt's feelings for Setsuna. Did Setsuna feel the same about her? Or did he ignore the poor girl's feelings and left without a last word? I leaned on the latter, thinking that by Setsuna's personality, that's just what he might've done.
But what about me? Did he think about me? Did he even remember the promise he made to return and listen to the children's singing?
I clutched my chest, tears fell from my eyes. The world was finally in peace, and it was all thanks to him. But he suffered, he suffered greatly. When he was injured, he told me about the incredibly difficult past he experienced, from murdering his own family to killing other innocent people in Krugis for the sake of "God". I understood then his reasons for disliking conflicts. But I was still saddened greatly, because violence was still his answer to gaining peace.
"You've been forcing yourself to fight, aren't you?" I remember telling him.
He might be right. I may be considered naïve by Shirin and the others, idealistic even. But I was afraid. I was afraid of causing people's deaths, even when it's for the greater good. I would die for them, but I would never ever kill for them.
I realized that I was entirely selfish. I was saving myself from the guilt that allowed my kingdom to be in shambles, and the peace we earned now, it was by the hands of those who went to war. The hands that were willing to bloody them for the sake of world peace.
I was a coward, definitely. I understood a little bit more about Setsuna's feelings. But what's done is done, and even if time were to be reversed, I don't think I would've changed. Some princess I was. Setsuna did mention that I was better off a musician than a princess.
I was naïve, ignorant, and overly idealistic. But Setsuna allowed me this luxury to keep my hands clean by dirtying his own.
And I would be forever grateful for that.
My only wish was for him to return one day so that I could tell him my feelings.
My feelings? What were they exactly?
I recall that one time when that young girl during my time in Ptolemy asked us whether we were lovers. I never thought about it, so it was easy for me to say no. Apparently, Setsuna felt the same.
I ignored the all too tiny feeling in my pit that fell after we denied it.
But now that he was gone and peace has been restored, I began to think, to truly think about what Setsuna meant to me.
He was special, that I know. I would cry for him, because he couldn't do it. I would worry for his well-being and for his sad views, because he needed to take a break from violence. He needed someone to help him know what he's fighting for, and I gave him everything I thought would calm his mind.
But somehow, he didn't feel like a brother to me. We weren't just friends, but we weren't romantic as well. It was indefinable, our strange strange relationship.
I finally fell asleep after comforting myself the idea of being strong for my people, for my children. Well, adopted children, of course.
I never fell in love, even after all my adopted children grew up and married on their own. They tried encouraging me to find someone to live the rest of my life with, but I assured them that I was completely happy living alone for as long as my kingdom was happy.
I was in a ripe age of sixty-five when I decided to retire from princess-hood. I didn't have any children of my own, so I entrusted my role to someone much more capable than me. A young man from the Azadistan's council, the only son of Klaus and Shirin.
With the ideals and wisdom passed down from his parents, I was sure that Azadistan would be in good hands. More than when I ruled the kingdom.
I moved into the countryside, in a tiny house surrounded by colorful and sweet-smelling flowers. After all these exhausting years of trying to do what's right, I needed to get away and spoil myself during my retirement.
I lived a good life, and I would gladly wait for my time to pass while playing a soothing tune on the piano. My princess role was over, and now I could be a self-entertaining musician.
I wondered if Setsuna would be happy for me.
I saddened at the thought of him. It's been years since I stopped crying for him. His comrades from Celestial Beings were living happily, I heard.
Feldt, the woman who loved Setsuna, had found a good man three years after Setsuna's disappearance. They married and had three beautiful children and several grandchildren. I was glad for her, that she ended up happy and living her life with her love permanently by her side.
The little girl who asked me if I were lovers with Setsuna, Milleina I think, was happily married and had several playful kids as well. Good for her, I thought.
Allelujah Haptism and Marie Parfacy were happy together as well. They've been travelling a lot for years, sometimes stopping by Azadistan at times. And sometimes, the cheerful man who called himself Lockon would come along with them, mostly travelling alone. The last time they've visited the kingdom during my reigning years, the couple brought a child with them. She must've been adopted though. Marie informed me that she was incapable of giving birth because of the past experiments that were done to her.
The others of whom I never really communicated with, I imagine that they would be happy as well. Everyone was happy, despite a few setbacks.
Even I was happy for them, and even after three decades of no longer keeping contact with each other, I was grateful that we all lived to see the peaceful era.
The world was full of Innovators since then, and people began to reach an understanding of one another. Good enough to refrain from having another pointless war. And that was what everyone preferred for the time being.
I thought I was completely in peace with myself after knowing that everything was alright. But one day, it all changed completely.
Because one day, during my secluded life as an eighty-one year old spinster, Setsuna came back.
I was playing the piano that day, reminiscing the times when my adopted children and their children would come visit and sing along with my song. I was blind for the last decade, but still, I endured and continued living.
But my other senses became more acute, and I heard someone entering my home, his feet softly stepping onto the wooden floor.
"Is someone there?" I asked, stepping out from my piano, "'I'm sorry, I can't see very well anymore."
And that's when I heard his voice. The voice that I so longed to hear after so many decades. It was as if a part of heaven suddenly shone upon my withered self.
"That voice… Is that really-"
I heard steady footsteps coming towards me, and then they stopped behind me. I was about to turn my head when I felt my eyes being concealed by his warm tough hands. It didn't make a difference, I thought, because I was already blind.
But suddenly, I felt something different, something "refreshing". I felt my skin tighten, and the greying hair that was originally in a thick bun fell down to my waist.
And as Setsuna uncovered my eyes, I caught my breath as I dared to open my eyes.
I could see the contents of my tiny cabin again. I spotted the garden of bright flowers outside the door, seeing the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds right above them. Tears threatened to spill as I took in the vibrant colors and visible shapes in front of my eyes. And then, I felt for the hands that gave back my sight, and I realized that he had restored my youth as well, seeing the absence of the wrinkles on my hands and feeling the smoother surface of my face.
Not letting go of his hands, I turned around. And then I saw him.
Setsuna F. Seiei.
In the flesh. Right in front of me. Fulfilling his promise even after so many years.
His skin was pure white, no, silver maybe. His dark black hair was now in a similar color, and his dark red eyes were now metallic gold in color. And if I weren't mistaken, he looked taller and more built.
But it was him. It was definitely him. And he was smiling, good God he was smiling.
I was lost from words, drinking in the sight of the man I realized completed my life. A warm, overjoyed feeling exploded in my chest as I looked into his eyes. They glimmered with something unrecognizable, or at least unfamiliar to Setsuna's usually serious expression. And then I knew, I knew that he was finally in peace with himself.
The tears finally flowed down my cheeks. I tried suppressing a sob, but failed miserably. I felt the corner of my lips lifting upwards so hard that it hurt. I blinked repeatedly, partly to clear away the tears and partly to see if I wasn't imagining things. But he didn't disappear. He was still right there, smiling at me in slight amusement.
I realized that I was still holding his hands when he brought one of my hands to his cheek. His eyes closed, and when they opened, I was surprised at the incredibly soft expression they held. This wasn't the Setsuna I knew, and yet he was.
"Marina, I'm back." His deep husky voice, which hadn't changed at all, called out to me.
I blinked, feeling the tears flowing even faster. And then, I smiled and nodded.
"Welcome back, Setsuna."
"Remember what you wrote in your letter four years ago?
You said you were looking for answers on the path where people can understand each other. And understanding one another begins with getting to know one another.
You can at least give me some time for that, will you?"
A week after Setsuna returned, he asked me to marry him.
The week after, we got married amongst the flowers, with only God and Setsuna's Gundam as our witnesses.
The night we made love, it was completed. Our paths to understanding one another, no matter how different, were finally reached.
And for so many years afterwards, we continued living in our eternal happily ever after.