Author's Note: Surprisingly, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I really liked the concept of the "Drift," and after having watched the film, that was an aspect of the story that I wanted to play around with and create my own little addition to the story. Hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: Pacific Rim, its story, characters, etc. are not mine. If they were, then at the very least Yancy Becket and Marshal Stacker Pentecost would not have died. And I might have spared Chuck Hansen. Maybe. If only for his father, Herc Hansen, and the dog.
Warnings: This is a rare occasion in which what I've written is not meant to be slash, though I am primarily a slash writer. If you'd prefer to read it that way, feel free, but personally I draw the line at incest. I also fabricate a ton about the concept of the "Drift" and the link between pilots. If that doesn't sound like something you'd be down for, then you may not want to read on as this story would probably not be for you. Also, Raleigh/Mako shippers, beware—personally, I wasn't sold on their implied "love" connection, so they have more of a brother-sister vibe here. Again, if you don't like that idea, then you probably won't want to read any further.
Five years ago, they "stopped the clock." The war with the Kaijus was over.
During the month following the final battle, those who were a part of the late Marshal Stacker Pentecost's assembled resistance spent the time breaking down the now obsolete force, and honoring the Jaeger pilots whose lives had been lost. Among the casualties never to be forgotten were Charles "Chuck" Hansen, Herc Hansen's beloved only son, and of course, Mako Mori's father figure, the great Marshal Pentecost himself. The end of the Human-Kaiju War also reopened old wounds of lives claimed by the beasts early on, among them the late Yancy Becket, occasionally and affectionately referred to as "Yance" by his younger brother.
In the last few days of Jaeger-Civilian Transition, which is what history books would call the postwar effort, Mako would sometimes observe, when she was not otherwise preoccupied with duties, her momentary co-pilot of the Gipsy Danger, Raleigh Becket. The pair hadn't spoken since their brief emotional exchange while sitting on one of the Jaeger's escape pods, and though neither would ever deny sharing a strong connection, that bridge was built on the mutual understanding of having loved and lost those closest to their hearts. Other people, and not each other, being the key point of the matter. Elation at having survived the worst had quickly faded upon the adrenaline diminishing and reality settling in. They had their lives and were grateful for it, but at the same time, victory had a little less meaning without the ones they had hoped to share it with; this much they agreed upon right before the weak mental link they shared dissipated.
It was an interesting phenomenon from being connected to the Drift; the longer one pilot is connected to another, the more likely a residue of the coupling will remain, even after having neurally disengaged from the Jaeger. The resulting long-term side effect was something men had only fantasized prior to the Jaeger Program, exchanging conversation completely internally between minds. The more compatible two people were in mind and body, the stronger the telepathic framework, which only increased in fortitude each time pilots neurologically plugged in to a Jaeger. The Becket Brothers had, at one time, been considered the prime example of such a bond. They had worn it with pride.
Though she could no longer hear Raleigh's thoughts and they hadn't had a conversation in weeks, Mako knew they didn't have to—she understood. Losing a family member was devastating no matter how they were lost, and even without the knowledge or firsthand experience of losing a Jaeger co-pilot, Mako had an idea how much more those feelings were amplified from the loss of such an intimate connection.
Not trusting herself to give the man words of comfort, Mako had kept her distance, watching from afar as the other former Jaeger pilot became more reclusive with time. The light, once so bright in his eyes, burnt out at around the same time his shoulders set into a tired forward hunch with a haggard and almost robotic gait to match. It wasn't too farfetched to say the change was probably attributed to the realization that Gipsy Danger was gone, and along with it, the one tangible piece of his brother that Raleigh had treasured the most, second to the man himself, of course.
The last words they exchanged was also the first and last time Mako was able to speak with Raleigh since that time on the escape pod. Both had been given their civilian relocation assignments in addition to being briefed on their reintegration into everyday society. Mako had just barely caught the man by the elbow right before his boarding a helicopter.
Tired blue eyes looked into concerned brown ones. The blonde half-smiled.
"Mako..." he said. "Came to say goodbye?"
"And good luck," Mako said with a nod.
Raleigh chuckled softly. "You too, Kiddo."
He had said it without thinking, but it was a mistake all the same. Blue eyes became steely at about the same time Mako was faintly able to recall a borrowed memory of a the Becket Brothers as little boys, with Yancy calling his little brother by the same nickname. Mako spoke up quickly, refusing to let their conversation end with tense silence.
"You'll be all right?" she asked.
"Yeah..." said Raleigh. "I will, in time. We all will."
Mako nodded again, offered the man a small smile and an outstretched hand. "Keep in touch?"
He took her hand and shook it.
"I'll be stateside," he said, and that was that.
Mako didn't think to ask any further questions like where in the states, or whether he'd give her a call. Every former member of the resistance had received a small directory of contacts consisting of important numbers such as the post-traumatic stress hotline that had been set up and specifically tailored for the survivors of the war. If they needed to find each other, there were a million ways in which they could, so Mako wasn't too worried about that.
Which is why she watched, with the utmost calm, as the blonde approached his chopper, climbed on board, and flew away from the dismantled base and out of her life. It would be five years before they would see each other again.
A/N: So funny enough, originally, this was supposed to be a oneshot, but then I thought it might not be a bad idea to break this story into a few parts, so I've decided to go ahead and do just that. That being said, this isn't going to be any longer than what I've originally planned, so if in the event readers think I should have consolidated the whole thing, please do feel free to say so and I will take that as a lesson learned for the future. Hahaha. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoyed this part and looking forward to hearing what you all think!