Disclaimer: I own no part of the series The Vision of Escaflowne.

This could be considered a sequel to my other Escaflowne oneshot, Real, but you don't have to have read that one to understand this one.

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If someone had told Hitomi ten years ago where she'd be today, she would have told them they were bat-crap crazy.

Back then, she had been a 'normal' fifteen year old girl. Lived at home with her mother, father, and little brother. Went to the local high school, made decent grades, and was the star runner on the track team. Had one really good best friend and, of course, a crush on the most wanted guy in school. But she was also able to dowse and divine meaning from the tarot cards with frightening accuracy. So...maybe not so 'normal,' after all.

Then came that night. Something in her needed to run that piece of track. To break her record. To push herself beyond anything she had done before. Well, she had certainly gotten her wish. Seeing the boy, armed only with a sword, and facing a dragon (a dragon!), had only been the beginning of a journey she knew immediately that she would never forget.

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Shifting slightly, Hitomi rearranged herself, where she sat waiting on the bed. It was the middle of the night and any other night, she'd be sound asleep. But tonight, she couldn't sleep. At least, not yet. The night was cool and perfectly clear, giving her an unobstructed view of the twin moons and their surrounding stars.

As she stared out of the window, waiting for sleep to take her, her mind began to wander again.

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Her initial glimpse of that same night sky was only the first of many surprises she would come across on her journey. There couldn't be such a land that had two moons in the sky, real dragons, wolf-people, and cat-girls. Giant fighting robots, Atlantis, and men with angel wings couldn't exist...could they?

Quickly, she found that the friends she had made there and the experiences they shared had became much more real to her than anything from her homeland. She had two new sisters, multiple brothers, and more. The crush she had once harbored for her schoolmate had vanished in favor of greater feelings for her winged angel. When the battles were over, when Gaea had been saved, she had been forced back to her homeland.

At the time, she had felt torn apart; leaving the friends and family she had made was the hardest thing she had ever done. For weeks after her return, she had done nothing but mope and feel sorry for herself. It took a dream to force her back on her feet.

That single dream had given her hope that one day she would see Van again; she would see him, Merle, Millerna, Dryden, Allen, Gaddes, and all of Gaea once more. So, she picked herself up and got to work. She stayed on the track team (that training had saved her life and that of others too many times to leave it behind) and threw herself into her studies. She graduated high school in the top percentage of her class. That, combined with her track wins, equaled a great scholarship for college.

Her first year was an adjustment; not to living on her own, but to preparing for the rest of her life. While her classmates were choosing degree paths on what would earn them the most money, she was basing her choices on what would most help Van and Fanelia when she returned. A business major had been her first thought, but she quickly found that the vast majority revolved around what would help large corporations, not kingdoms. Considering how influential the people of Atlantis had been in the shaping of Gaea, she eventually decided on Historical Mythology as her major.

The dream that had got her moving became the first of many such dreams. Whenever she had a rough week, or began to doubt the certainty of her return, Van returned in her dreams, urging her on. With his encouragement and the support of her family and friends on the Mystic Moon, she finished her degree. And finally, six years after her return, she came home to Gaea...to Van.

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The door creaked slightly as it opened, pulling her attention away from the stars. Van stepped through, a small dark-haired figure held tight in his arms, and closed the door with his foot. Hitomi raised an eyebrow at the sight even as she slid aside to make more room on the bed. Van smiled softly at her as he crossed the room to their bed.

"He finally fell back asleep, but now he won't let me go. Every time I try to set him down, he starts to wake up, so I figured this would be better than sleeping cramped in his bed."

Laying the small boy next to his mother, Van slid into the bed behind the boy. The child woke up slightly as Hitomi shifted to lay on his other side.

"'kaa?" the child whimpered, sleepily blinking bright green eyes up at her.

"Shush, little one; Okaa and Otou are here – you can go to sleep now."

The boy snuggled closer to her, falling back asleep almost instantly. Hitomi looked over at Van, who reached an arm over their son and took her hand.

"Have I told you lately how amazing of a father you are?"

He blushed and leaned over to kiss her. "I'm only as amazing a father as you are a mother."

She smiled and kissed him again. "Let's just say we're both amazing and get some sleep. It's late, for all of us."

Van nodded and settled back down as she did the same, their son in between them. Soon, sleep overtook both; as they drifted off, she had the fleeting thought that maybe this was what was she was missing earlier. Smiling, Hitomi let herself slip into sleep, safe in the arms of her family.

~VF~HK~VF~HK~VF~HK~VF~HK~VF~HK~

So...yeah. Again, this idea hit me and wouldn't let go. Short but sweet. Inspired by the quote in the summary – "Life takes us to unexpected places; Love takes us home."

I couldn't decide on a name for the child, so as of now, he is nameless. If I ever continue with this reality, I will name him, but for now, he's 'little one.' And I figured with the boy being a prince, that he would have been raised with a slightly different speech pattern than other boys his age, thus the 'Okaa' (Mother) & 'Otou' (Father).

Let me know what you think!

Trekker