I just had a headcanon where Annie watches in horror as Mikasa walks into the room with a hoodie on, and Annie is all like ‘that’s my thing!’ and feels extremely threaten by it that she questions Mikasa wtf is going on, whatever happen to her scarf, and Mikasa is all like ‘I like it! It keeps me warm’ and Annie thinks that a bullshit of an answer and totally pulls on it because she wants it off her, and Mikasa won’t let her, so they wrestle each other as Annie tries stripping it off her, and Anne finally tops her and straddles her as she tries her best to pull it off and she’s all like shouting “COME OFF!’ and Mikasa sees in horror that Annie could actually rip it and lets it go and Annie is almost seen flying off with the sweater in both hands not expecting Mikasa to give up that easily, and tosses it across the room feeling like she won still straddling her and Mikasa just gives her a glare and just as quickly as it began, Mikasa pushes Annie off her making her fall on her back and Mikasa quickly makes her way inside Annie’s hoodie and she’s all like ‘WHAT THE FUCK!?’ looking down in horror as Mikasa makes her way up to her and it’s like an incredible tight fit but Mikasa manages to stick her head out of Annie’s hoodie, not caring about sliding her arms through the hoodie sleeves, she just wraps her arms around Annie’s small frame who is like fucking red at this point and Mikasa is all like ‘now you keep me warm’ as she hugs her laying down topping her.
mikasa’s eyes widen at the flash of silver on annie’s finger.
a distant memory hits her. the warmth of annie’s body against her back. arms wrap around her waist and squeeze her closer. mikasa catches annie’s scent in waves. it reminds her of flowers, but unlike any she knows of. mikasa wonders if there are actual flowers that smell like this. maybe beyond the walls…
annie’s fingers tracing her ribcage delicately sends shivers down her spine. they make their way up slowly, past her breasts, where they rest on her collarbones. she feels annie’s lips right next to her ear. i’m going to make you bleed. mikasa barely catches what was said before she sees a steady rivulet of blood flowing down from a neat horizontal cut on her left breast. just before annie pushes her down onto the bed, mikasa spots the ring on her finger - the tip of its curved hook stained with blood. it all fades away in mikasa’s mind when she cannot think of anything else but annie sucking away gently at the cut she inflicted.
mikasa recalls all of this as she pulls eren and armin down the stairs to safety.
was what we had real, annie? mikasa pushes the thought away, determined to drown out her pain through action. enough, i don’t want to think about this anymore. i’ll be the one to cut you this time.
Mikasa had often told Annie stories about wanting a pet as a child, but her both her birth and adoptive parents had such wretched allergies that animals had never been allowed. Given that Annie herself had never owned a pet in her life, it was in an attempt to make Mikasa happy after she moved into Annie’s large apartment that they went to the local animal shelter one weekend. She stood to one side as Mikasa wandered the cat area, smiling slightly at the sheer pleasure in her face.
Mikasa was enraptured by the kittens in particular, standing for minutes on end at one cage or another to let the kittens play with the strings on the end of her scarf. It was twenty minutes on that Mikasa finally stopped at one cage low and in the corner and gestured for Annie to come closer. Annie found that the kitten of choice was solid black with massive gold eyes, and it purred loudly enough that Annie could hear it at a distance.
“That one’s cute,” Annie said.
Mikasa smiled as she scratched under the kitchen’s chin. It closed its eyes in bliss and shoved its head into her hand. She said, “What should we name him?”
“Don’t they come pre-named?”
Mikasa looked at her with a raised brow. “I don’t think either of us want to call our cat ‘Bob.’”
“No.” She shrugged. “You pick.”
It was a long time that Mikasa thought, and clearly thought hard. Annie watched the intense look on her face with amusement, hands tucked in the front pocket of her hoodie. The kitten mewed at Mikasa, swiping at her scarf as she silently looked at him.
“Ailuros,” Mikasa said suddenly.
Annie stared. “What?”
“Let’s call him Ailuros.”
“How did you come up with that?”
“Armin loaned me a book once about the relationship the Greeks and the Egyptians had, and the Greek word for ‘cat’ is ‘ailuros.’”
Annie snickered. “Okay, I like it. I’d call him that.”
“Should we adopt him?”
“You like him, right?”
“I really do.
“Then we should get him.” She went to fetch a shelter volunteer so Mikasa could continue playing with the kitten. A few minutes later, they were filling out paperwork and purchasing a license. They went on to a pet store, and Annie carried Ailuros around in his cardboard carrier while Mikasa filled a cart with everything the volunteer had said they would need. They hurried home with the carrier in Mikasa’s lap while Annie drove, and they sequestered themselves in the bedroom.
Ailuros jumped out of the carrier immediately when Mikasa popped it open, looking around with a wide-eyed, confused stare. He cried briefly at Mikasa, going to her and crawling into her lap. He perched himself on her knee and looked around again, starting to sniff the air. She stroked his back until he tentatively got down from her knee and started to make a circuit around the room.
Annie stood up and took the water fountain into the bath off the bedroom, reading the instructions as Mikasa followed Ailuros around the room. She set up the fountain on a plastic mat, setting out a dish of dry food as well. By then, Ailuros had made his way around the room, and he startled at Annie coming out of the bathroom with a large cup of water. He hissed at her, puffing up his fur. Annie raised a brow at him, and he shuffled backward until he came close to Mikasa.
“I think you just surprised him,” said Mikasa.
“I think he hates me,” said Annie.
Though Mikasa protested, Annie felt she was right as the days passed and Ailuros continued to hiss and puff up into a ball on seeing her. She did not go out of her way to endear herself to him, only feeding him at mealtimes and filling his water because it would be cruel to not do so.
Any attempt to give each other a wide berth was ruined by the fact that they both gravitated to Mikasa. If Ailuros jumped up on the couch during a movie, he yowled at the sight of Annie curled up against Mikasa’s side. If Annie sought to join Mikasa on the bed for a nap on the weekend, she had to check for where Ailuros had stretched out against Mikasa lest she be hissed at.
Given that she and Mikasa worked similar hours, Annie was never left alone with Ailuros for too long. After a time, she fell into the habit of hanging back at the door when they came in to let Ailuros see Mikasa first. He waited at the door for her, after all, and he jumped straight onto her shoulder when she crouched down for him. Weeks on, Annie found herself smiling when Mikasa slowly stood up with Ailuros balancing on her shoulder, and he did not hiss at her when he noticed her.
It happened some time in the winter, three months later. It had been a grueling week for Annie, and she gladly took the opportunity to fall upon the couch when they returned home from errands and drop dead asleep. When she woke again, the room was dark with lowered blinds, and quiet with Mikasa sitting reading in the armchair. Because she felt a weight down her front, she lifted her head and looked down.
Ailuros was stretched full out on the length of her torso, completely asleep and looking blissful. Annie tilted her head to look at Mikasa. “Did you put him on me?”
To answer, Mikasa picked up her phone from the coffee table and started a video she had taken. Annie watched her sleeping self and Ailuros sitting by the couch staring up at her. He turned toward the camera and mewled. Mikasa said, “Go ahead,” and he hopped up onto the couch. He slowly sat down, sniffing Annie’s chin before sinking down to his stomach. The video ended with the sound of Mikasa giggling and the image shaking slightly.
“He sat there crying for a while before I got my phone and told him to jump,” said Mikasa.
“Why didn’t you just put him in your lap?”
“I tried to get him to come to me, but he wanted to be on you.”
Annie held down the urge to sigh because she thought it would wake him. Lightly, she scratched his head. He began to purr in his sleep. Annie smiled, and her smile deepened when Mikasa leaned down to kiss her.
imagine if mikasa’s 3dmg fails her as her feet gently lifts off annie and she gasps in surprise and starts falling through the air fast. annie, despite being swamped with overwhelming emotions about her failure as a warrior and the crushed prospect of returning to her father (anytime soon), reaches her fingerless hands out and cradles mikasa with her palms and absorbs the fall.
when they land, mikasa leaps away instinctively (like she did before in an earlier episode when she reacted as a titan tried to kill her even though she thought she had given up) faster than she can register what just happened as she watches eren’s titan go berserk on annie and rip off her head and limbs.
when the realization that annie saved her finally sets in, mikasa is the first to pound away at the crystal with her blades hoping to be able to break it away slowly to reach annie but it is futile. it is then that mikasa realizes how powerless she can be despite her strength and skills. there is still that one person she cannot save.
whenever hanji checks on annie, she notices that there are mountains of crumbs gathered around the base of the crystal. one time, as she makes her way towards the area, she hears the repeated soft pounding of an object against the crystal and someone whispering “たべて [tabete]” (which means “eat”). curious, she peeps in and sees that it is mikasa knocking away at the crystal with a piece of bread. with each knock, the bread disintegrates and crumbs gather on the floor. hanji notices that there is a small basket of bread next to mikasa. the mystery of the crumbs solved, hanji decides not to intrude and takes her leave silently while wondering how often mikasa spends time down there.
eventually, the crumbs stop appearing at the base of the crystal. winter comes, and one fine day, as hanji does her daily crystal check, she is surprised to see a long, green wool scarf messily wrapped at least five times around the upper-mid section of the crystal. hanji looks closely and sees that the bottom half of annie’s face has been hidden by the scarf.
the scarf looks familiar, hanji thinks to herself. it looks to be of the same material as the red scarf mikasa always wears. hanji ponders about the relationship that the two girls share. it may have been her imagination; she could have sworn that annie’s lips were not subtly curved in a smile when she was crystallized… but it was now.
I always had this headcanon where Mikasa doesn’t even know who is inside the Female Titan, and once they capture her and pull the person outside, Mikasa just fucking loses it and all of a sudden turns against everyone. She goes on FULL protective mode on her, and doesn’t give a flying fuck about what she did. And Eren tries his best to convince her who she is, and that she’s a bad person for what she did, and Mikasa totally knocks him out because she just won’t have it. She just refuses to believe any of that, and even if it was true, she doesn’t give a fuck about it. And Eren is all like ‘why do you protect her so much!?’ and Mikasa is all like ‘She needs me! You don’t. You reject me. She won’t.’
And then Annie hears all of this and is just so fucking shocked by it all that she quickly transforms again and takes Mikasa with her, and the team follows, but Mikasa just makes it difficult for any of them to get near them and it becomes this crazy all-out battle between Annie, Mikasa versus everyone. And Mikasa is all like ‘I won’t let them hurt you Annie!’ And Eren tries to follow her and reason with her and she’s all like “Annie is mine!’ and shit, and then Levi goes hand to hand against Mikasa but fails miserably due to his injury, and everyone just falls back letting them be for now knowing they’re no match against the duo. AND THAT WOULD BE THE BEST FUKING LOVE STORY EVER.
WARNING: This is Incredibly Sadistic.
She didn't know when it all began, really, and she'd spent a lot of time thinking about the subject lately. It could have started anywhere from the first time she laid eyes on her short figure and noted her presence or even the first time she'd heard her name, confident and commanding and utterly bored in voice. The only thing she could be sure of, though, was when she'd noticed it. Seeing her completely and utterly obliterate Eren in hand-to-hand combat (although it was more like feet-to-shin and flip) and sparking her ire, she'd noticed, for the first time, the intensity of her feelings for Annie Leonhart, and though she was only sure of the burning contempt in her mind at the time, she wasn't so sure now that was the only feeling she'd felt then.
She knew now that, beyond the urge to strangle the blonde, she also wanted to descend upon the smaller girl and trap her between her thighs while she did so, hands on the pale, delicate curve of the girl's throat, squeezing enough to hurt but not to kill. To feel Annie's heat pulse between her legs and against her very core, and then mark her all over with blood and bruises to make her ready for consumption. She wanted to devour her, every inch of her and every mark she made, licking and biting and fingering the wounds she'd created-
She blinked. Blinked again. Her brown eyes flashed as she took in the dark storage cellar she vaguely recalled being ordered to clean and then the object of her desires staring unblinkingly at her from the stairwell, almost as if she had seenthe exact images and vulgar scenes playing through her mind's eye and did not care one bit that she had been fantasizing those desires.
Outwardly, she did not react, master as she was with her mask. "Annie," she replied. Cold. Hot underneath.
"I was sent to help," the blonde uttered tonelessly, and took the last couple steps down onto the cold stone floor. Without a word, she crossed the dark cellar, illuminated by the light of the torch at the end of the stairwell, the only source of light there was in the place. Her eyes, Mikasa noted, were such a clear, sky blue that did not accurately reflect the depths of darkness which resided in both their hearts, and she reached out before she could stop herself and grasped the girl's neck to get a better look at those glowing orbs.
Annie did not move.
"I only want, need, help in one way," she told her, and added pressure to her grip, gazing deep into those eyes. She was rewarded with a flinch, slight, but Annie had shown her the weakness she was seeking. Yet the blonde did not challenge her authority.
"Take what you need."
She was almost disappointed at how easy it all was, but she did not need to be told twice.
Turning abruptly to the side, she slammed Annie's head against the stone wall and swept her palm across her cheek in a resounding slap, following the movement again with a backhand going the opposite direction. Her knee came up instinctively not a second later and rammed the girl's gut before sliding down and firmly placing pressure at the junction between the blonde's legs. She leant forward, breathing hotly on pale skin, and whispered in her ear, "You asked for it."
Then she tossed her to the ground by the neck and stepped on her torso, wondering briefly whose stomach would win the competition for most toned girl of the 104th class. Impatiently, she reached down, grabbed the thin fabric of the girl's shirt and ripped the fabric up and over her chest, forcing Annie's arms to go up as well and allow the shirt to be removed as quickly as possible. Not wasting a second, she flung the shirt into the darkness and planted a firm kick into the newly exposed flesh, sending the poor girl flying back into the wall.
"I win," she stated, observing Annie's quivering form.
"Is this about winning?" Annie wheezed. Mikasa stepped close and bent down to get a better view of Annie's toned stomach, idly ingraining the form into her brain. Toned, but not chiseled.
"No," Mikasa answered. "It's not." And punched her in the face. She held back, however. There was no need to knock out one of her teeth. No one wanted to see that. "Stand up," she commanded.
Annie slowly stood, leaning heavily back against the cold wall and shivering at the contact. Her body admitted defeat, but her spirit remained strong, her eyes defiantly meeting Mikasa's own and blazing with some emotion she couldn't quite place but recognized as one she currently shared. No, this wouldn't do. She cast her gaze around the storage room, looking, searching, seeing boxes and bottles and paper and rags, and reached for a fairly clean strip of cloth. Perfect.
Grasping her neck once more, she pulled Annie roughly forward and wrenched her jaw open, shoving the cloth in and wrapped it around her head, tying it closed at the back and gagging her. For the first time, Mikasa heard Annie utter a noise, a whimper, and a pleasurable shiver traveled down her spine at the sound. Almost. She breathed deeply, noted her pounding heart, and stepped back.
Annie was a mess of red and purple and blue, having been cut sometime along the way as a bleeding shallow gash on her forehead indicated, and she had a bruise forming around the eye Mikasa had punched and one large one swelling up along the right side of her belly from the kicks. But what excited Mikasa the most, however, was the anticipation she saw in Annie's blue eyes.
She threw Annie to the ground and straddled her. As an afterthought, she picked up Annie's discarded shirt and tied the girl's hands together despite knowing that Annie wouldn't dare retaliate or be more than a means to an end. Then she leaned down and bit the porcelain, naked junction between the girl's neck and shoulder, sucking and licking and eliciting a throaty moan from the blonde's muffled mouth, feeling the vibration through her lips. Heat waves traveled up and down throughout her body and settled at the increasing throbbing she felt between her legs, and she did not want to wait anymore.
Growling, she impatiently slid the blonde's chest bindings up until hardened pink nipples met frigid air, and dove down with her mouth to meet one, hand coming up to tend to the other. She wasted no time, only worked brutally and efficiently and was rewarded with moans upon muffled moans. Her unused hand slid down the side of Annie's torso, fingers trailing smooth skin, and then dug suddenly into the bruises she'd inflicted mere minutes before, evoking a cry of mixed pain and pleasure which reverberated wonderfully through her ears.
Separating with a smack, Mikasa panted hotly and sat up, wondering how much time she had left before their instructor came to check on them. They'd received harsh punishments for having nothing done, but she'd worry about that later. Now...
Her hands grasped at the zipper of Annie's pants, and she nearly ripped the material in her haste to open it. Then, without checking to see if Annie was mentally or physically prepared, jammed three of her fingers in and began to pump, neither fast nor slow, and listened to the shrieks of pain and the dirty wet noises from below and she increased her pace only until the cries of pain turned into moans of pleasure before slowing down her pace and then stopping altogether. She almost smirked at the buckling of the girl's hips when she did so, desperately needy as she was, and reveled in the absolute control resting in the literal palm of her hand.
Reaching up with her unused hand, she pulled the gag down and growled, "Beg."
And beg she did.
Just so we have some things straight so you don't feel this is somehow wrong, it is deeply implied in the manga and animation of Shingeki no Kyoujin that Annie is a masochist. (And obviously so that Mikasa is a Sadist). Many bdsm inclined people like this couple, and that's how many fan ifictions on them are written. Annie is not simply being tortured.
Title: Time of Happiness
Category: AU, Crossover, Shoujo ai, romance (I guess)
Pairings: 95% Konoka + Setsuna (duh), 5% Asuna + Nodoka (don't ask)
Series Involved: Negima, Vandread
Warning: Bad grammar.
Remark: Response to my own Konosetsu Crossover Challenge
Note: The Vandread universe was just perfect for BL/GL pairings...If I've written one Gundam Wing (Heero + Duo) fic with this idea, why not make a Negima GL Version of it too?
Thanks OkashiraShinomori for beta-reading!
Crash Course on Vandread Universe ((Slight spoiler))
Basically, the story was set far away in the future, where human moved out of the no-longer-inhabitable Earth and settled down on different planets in the universe. In one particular galaxy, there were two planets which were in conflict with each other for over a century: Talark, a planet that was solely occupied by men, and Mejale, a planet that was solely occupied by women. By some accident, 3 Talark men got stranded onto the mothership of a group of Mejale pirates. And they discovered a new common enemy, blah blah blah...
Mejale is a beautiful planet. It may not be the most beautiful one in the entire universe, but no one can deny the flashiness and beauty of it.
Lights, buildings and its inhabitants. Everything was artfully designed.
But wherever there is light, there must be shadows along.
Time of Happiness
Just a Random Konosetsu Fanfic
By Chou Nuriko/ChibiSecchan
"They've done it again!"
"Look around! The rats must be nearby!"
Other pedestrians all looked at the angry restaurant owners, but none of them inquired what had happened to them or their shops.
After all, everyone knows what was happening to their society.
"It was the orphans again?"
"What else could it be? Poor kids, not only having their living quarters closed down, but also being separated from their parents and no one is willing to take care of them..."
The vanity of women leads to unnecessary flashiness. The very same flashiness led to the overuse of energy resources. And to save the limited resources they had, the government closed down the low-class living quarters at the city fringe. However, the government did nothing to help the inhabitants in re-settlement. On the contrary, they keep arresting those who demanded better treatment so that they would not be attacked by the public. Not that they had anyone fooled.
While the adults were locked away, their children were often left on the streets. These street children did not have any other choice except to steal for survival. The dark alleys of the streets and the slums became their home. They became outcasts of the society, yet they were still continuously being pursued by the government.
"Hehe, that was a close call. But this should be enough for a few days, shouldn't it?" A long-haired little girl--around 8 or 9 at most--looked at the simple food stuff in her arms and asked her companion cheerfully.
"It was really too close. That's why next time, Kono-chan you're not coming." The other girl, who had pulled her hair into a left-sided ponytail, replied.
"But we've pulled it off safely this time! I can handle it!" The long-haired girl protested with a cute pout. "Also...the others always said the adults would do bad things to us if we got caught...That makes me so worried whenever Secchan was out..."
Not knowing how to respond, she only gently led her friend through the complicated alleys without a word. Soon, they arrived at a very old abandoned building--so old that it seemed like a gentle breeze can knock the whole establishment off. Nothing much was inside except an equally old sofa and several sheets on the floor. On the sofa, another girl with twin ponytails was cleaning some fruits.
"Konoka, Setsuna! Is anything wrong? You two came back much later than usual! I thought the adults had..." The girl asked anxiously.
"Sorry about that, Asuna. But we got chased around three whole blocks." Konoka, the long-haired one, answered.
"The adults are getting more familiar with the alleys. We won't be able to stay here for long." Setsuna added.
The three girls were all solemn at that thought. The last time they escaped from the other squatter area, most of their friends were caught by the government.
"I heard from the other kids that another living unit is going to be closed down soon. We should leave here fast."
Just when Konoka and Setsuna were about to agree, they all saw a strange flash of light from the streets. They quickly hid themselves in the shadows, hoping no one would near their shelter. But their hopes were crushed when they heard footsteps from outside the door and a large figure entered, accompanied by another adult.
Gascogne and Rebecca surveyed the old building they were trespassing and they could not help but frown at the surrounding.
"Are you telling me someone's actually living in here? You're totally pulling my leg there, Rebecca." The taller woman of the two, Gascogne, glanced at her companion.
"Those kids we've taken in told us that there should be other street kids hiding in buildings like this. It's worth a look." Rebecca replied with an annoyed expression, as this conversation had repeated for the umpteenth time already. "I would say someone is definitely living in here, there is still fresh food around."
"Seems like it is." Gascogne agreed as she put down a paper bag. "But where would the occupants be?"
The Registry System Head turned around and saw Rebecca get knocked down by a small child.
"They came much faster than we'd expected. We need to sneak out." Setsuna stated in a very serious tone.
"But there are two of them! And there must be somebody else outside!" Asuna protested.
"I'll distract those two. Asuna, please get away with Kono-chan. If you two keep to the alleys, they shouldn't be able to catch you two."
"I'm not leaving Secchan here!"
Setsuna had not expected such protests from her best friends, but she tried to steel her mind and argued back. "There's no other way! If we don't do so, all of us could end up getting caught!"
"I don't want that!" Konoka exclaimed and lunged herself at Setsuna. "We've always been together...In the living units and also when we got separated from the others...I'm not...I'm not leaving...Secchan here..."
"Konoka..." Asuna looked from the side. She had not known them for a long time, but she was pretty sure that Konoka could never be her old self without her best friend at her side.
Setsuna looked at the long-haired girl quietly. Their memories together slowly surfaced in her mind. Setsuna had very little recollection about her own parents, but Konoka was always in her memories, always...with her...together...
"Kono-chan...I'm sorry." Setsuna said quietly and gently pushed Konoka away. Without waiting for the other two to say a word, she tackled the smaller of the two women to the ground.
Asuna clamped down her emotions and pulled Konoka towards the door. She wanted to get Setsuna away too. But there must be inevitable sacrifices...
No matter how much she hated them...she could only except them and keep on surviving.
"I would say you're really too infatuated with Ezra. Since when have you let your guard down to the extent that you get knocked down by a kid?" Gascogne commented nonchalantly and easily picked up Setsuna, who was a bit dizzy by the sudden change of momentum.
Rebecca stood up while mumbling about unsympathetic people, but her eyes widened when she saw two other kids trying to sneak towards the door.
"Don't go out!" She yelled and sprinted to the entrance. She mentally sighed in relief when the kids froze at her words. "The Slum Clearance Team is outside. If you go out now, you'll get caught."
Asuna and Konoka paled at the words and they carefully looked outside the windows. True to her words, there were masked women with stun guns walking up and down of the streets.
"You don't have to worry about us." Gascogne said casually and put Setsuna down to the floor. "Once they're gone, we'll take you back to our home base."
Asuna and Konoka quickly got to Setsuna's side, relieved that she was not hurt. "What home base?" Asuna asked cautiously, her blue and green eyes staring directly at the two adults.
"Our asteroid home base of the Magno Pirates."
The three young children looked at each other in surprise. They could not believe that the urban legend of the Magno Pirates was actually true.
Within the shadows, there was Magno Vivan, a former nun who was also a victim of the poorly planned society. She gathered women who had lost their home and hope and formed them into a group of pirates. With their own advanced weapons, they attacked spaceships that transported resources and food, regardless of their origin. Their actions had been so secretive that no Mejale or Talark army could eliminate them.
The Magno Pirates had their own base located in the strategic area of the asteroid belt which separated the two planets. Most of the new recruits would be put into different units of the crew. Some of them would be working in the residential area, some may become the medical staff. But those who had the talent would be trained to become "Dread Pilots", who were responsible for the job of attacking spaceships and taking resources to support their population.
"Target, confirmed! It's the resource ship of Talark! Distance: 2000 meters!"
Asuna, Setsuna and their fellow Dread-Team teammates listened carefully to the coordinators' report in their respective battle spacecrafts, which were also known as the "Dreads". They were usually good for speedy guerilla tactics that was largely dependant on good teamwork. They get onto the ships, take whatever they need, and leave. No delay was allowed.
It's hard to believe that the three former street kids had stayed with the pirates for a decade already. When they were twelve, the Dread Team leader Varoa recruited Asuna and Setsuna into the Dread Team. Upon their completion of the training, the two often need to participate in various missions to ensure the group would have enough resources to survive as well as safe from the armies of Mejale and Talark.
"Target distance: 900 meters!" Konoka's voice reported from bridge of their mothership "Eden". She was trained to be an operator since around the same time as her friends became Dread Pilots.
"Mission, commence!" The vice-leader of the crew, Buzam A. Calessa, ordered.
All the Dreads flew towards the resource ship and started to attack it. Each Dread was perfectly coordinated so that the men of the Talark ship were not able to put up a defense. Just when they thought it would be an easy catch, some Dreads were hit by laser beams from behind.
"Reinforcement...huh?" Varoa whispered to herself with a smirk. "Team A, follow me! We'll be attacking the ship in Delta Formation! Meia, you take care of Team B and cover us, get it?"
"Roger." Meia Gisborn, the leader cadet of the second Dread Team, replied coldly.
At the same time, Asuna was busy shooting down the Talark's small battle crafts. "Arrgg...How come the men are so stubborn?!"
"Asuna! Watch out!"
Asuna barely had time to steer her Dread away so that she would not collide with the Talark ship, which was trying for a suicidal lunge. On the other hand, Setsuna's Dread was shot by s stray laser beam.
"Setsuna!" Asuna cried into her intercom.
"Secchan!" At the same moment, Konoka immediately started detecting the communication link from Eden to her Dread.
"I'm...all right...But the...munication sys...'as shot quite badly..."
The two sighed in relief as they heard Setsuna's voice from the intercom, albeit with a lot of static noises. Asuna quickly put herself together and began to attack the Talark men with renewed vengeance.
Konoka also began to focus on the mission instead of her thoughts. During all these years being together, Konoka's feeling towards her best friend was growing. Recently, it became so strong she found it difficult to suppress it.
She remembered what Nodoka, a friend of hers from the medical crew, had told her, "when you finally notice you're in love with someone, you'll probably find yourself have fallen so deeply that you can't get her out of your mind anymore."
If that was true...Does that mean I'm really...
The thought of her in love with Setsuna brought a wave of warmness to her heart. It was like the feeling has been there all along. But then why she could not recognize it until this moment?
"Konoka! What's with that blank look? Meia and Varoa had already sent in their 'Mission Completed' signal! We need to help the Registry to load whatever they've got!" Another operator, Haruna, yelled across from her control panel.
That's it! Somehow, someday, I will tell her about it...
However, the disciplined and somewhat routine life of the pirates didn't last long. A battle with the newest battleship of the Talark men, Ikazuchi, had brought unbelievable and irreversible changes to them. The mysterious Pexis Pragma that slept in the main hull of Ikazuchi swallowed the two spaceships and jumped to another galaxy faraway from their home universe. On top of that, the pirates were constantly being harassed by an unknown enemy. It had become a long journey of survival and of returning to the place they belong.
"Are you afraid?" Asuna asked quietly after their wounds were treated.
Setsuna only answered with a raise of her eyebrows in a sarcastic manner.
It was supposed to be simple. The pirates took everything they could from the men's ship and left. But the unexpected happening had left them no choice but to fight. There were disagreements, conflicts, and prices. But they managed to fend off the enemy so far.
Now it became a difficult battle. The enemy had sent out a large fleet that intended to wipe out the pirates completely. Even some of their best were injured badly in the battle. Many of their comrades had already lost their hope.
The Dread Team leader was injured. Nirvana was being dragged to a planet with a heavy magnetic field that disabled the system from functioning properly. The enemy fleet was still big and strong outside of the planet, waiting for their prey. From all aspects, it was a losing battle.
"Afraid of what? Of losing? Of death? Or something else?"
"How about all of the above?"
"Then yes, I'm afraid." The raven-haired Dread Pilot whispered. "Afraid that I won't be able to go back. Afraid that I will break my promise with her."
Yes, it was just before we got blasted off to the other side of the galaxy...
Kono-chan? I thought you hated it here in the hangar. Is there something wrong?
Nothing really. But the Dread Team needs to be out so often now we seldom have time to relax anymore... I seldom have time to see Secchan now.
...I, I wish we could have more time together too.
Wa-watch it Kono-chan!
Eep! Grease! Now I remember why I hate the hangars...And, Secchan? I have something I wanted to tell you...It's...I...
And there came the badly-timed mission call. I thought I was going to have a heart attack...
I'm sorry, Kono-chan. But...
It's okay. I know how stubborn the Mejale and Talark armies can be...But after the mission, I will say it again...So you have to come back safely, okay?
...I will. I will come back to you no matter what. I promise.
"It is a promise that I don't want to break...one that I can't afford to break."
It was difficult.
Ever since I found out what my heart feels for her,
I don't want to leave her side.
Knowing there might be a chance that I can't go back to her,
I become desperate.
For her, I can give up my life.
But Kono-chan...is someone that I never want to give up on.
And I've promised this special person that I will return to her...
"That's why...I'll fight."
Their enemy was known as the "Harvesters", a group of Earthlings with the twisted ideology that they were superior to all other colonists in the universe. Losing the ability to evolve on their home planet, they sent out a colonist fleet a century ago. Now, they were back for "Harvest"--they took away the organs of people from different planets for themselves so they can live on forever. Talark and Mejale were also two of their many targets.
Upon discovering the enemy's operation, the Pirates sent messages about the Harvester to the leaders of the two planets. Until they return to their home galaxy, however, they could only depend on themselves.
As the Nirvana crew was hurrying back to the Mejale Galaxy, the pirates that were left on the asteroid base continued their lives while gradually upgrading their systems and war materials. That was partly because of the rumors about the Harvesters, but mostly because Mejale had stepped up their harassments and attacks.
Rebecca sighed tiredly as she saw the empty Mejale resource ship exploded. After hearing the brief reports from Varoa's Dread Team, Rebecca left to organize the delivery of the resources.
"Another day without any news." Rebecca thought. To her, bad news is better than no news. No news only brings infinite anxiety to the young vice-leader of the pirates.
"Rebecca?" A familiar voiced called out timidly. The owner of the name was not really surprised to see Konoka standing behind her when she turned around. In this highly disciplined society of the pirates, and Rebecca's reputation of being strict, not many people dared to call her directly by her name.
Looking more carefully, Rebecca noticed the younger girl had faint dark circles near her chocolate-brown eyes. She looked a little fatigued too--a mirror of her current state.
"You don't look good." Rebecca commented. Normally, she would seldom ask about the health of the individual personnel within their society, but Konoka and her friends were some of the earliest members that she had recruited and had been watching them grow up.
"Pardon my bluntness, but you look worse." Konoka gave her a bitter smile. "Is it because of Ezra-san?"
"I should have believed Setsuna when she said you're empathic." Rebecca admitted.
"It's not just because they are now untraceable?"
That was not the statement Konoka had expected. "And you're the Ohma?"
Rebecca just sighed. The piling up stress, anxiety and exhaustion made her feels older than she really was. The two separated their way when they reached the residential area. Konoka was deep in thoughts while she was on her way to her assigned room.
And here I thought my feelings were unbearable...
She was mercilessly attacked by the memories, regardless of time. They had explored the residential area when they first arrived at the base. They stayed up all night to study what their tutors had taught them. They bugged Parfet, the resident computer wiz, to re-write their palm-print recognition program so that they could have free access to each other's rooms...
Memories about Setsuna were even more painful. Regrets of not telling Setsuna about how she felt often washed over her when she was alone. Before everything happened, she used to rant it all to Asuna. While the twin-ponytail girl could do little to help with her situation, it still felt good to have someone listening to you.
It was the moment Konoka noticed that she had had a relatively easy, sheltered life. She always had friends beside her, helping her.
Now seeing Rebecca, who was in the same situation as her, could still put herself together, Konoka become more determined to stop herself from being swallowed by self-pity.
Secchan always panics when she saw the slightest sign that I was unhappy...she won't like me if I continue to mope.
But whoever had said "absence makes the heart grows fonder" had really no idea...
Sadly, the leaders of the planets ignored the message. They even told their people that the Pirates were trying to start a coup with these "stories". The Pirates were arrested by the Mejale government soon after they returned. It was only because of the reinforcement led by Rebecca, the vice-leader of the Pirates who had stayed at the asteroid base, and the fact that the two governments had realized they could not control the people, who want to fight for their own future, the Pirates can continue the war.
Everyone was wearing joyful expressions as they stepped out of the prison cells. While this only meant freedom to many of those who had been here for years or even decades, to the pirates, it held an entirely different meaning. There was nothing the government could do to stop these pirates from fighting for what they believed in now.
"I thought we were going to stay here forever!" Asuna yelled as she threw the handcuffs across the cell.
"You did? You mean the Kagurazaka Asuna is capable of having such pessimistic thoughts?" Barnette commented cheekily after she got out from the World Class Jura Glomp. Asuna stuck out her tongue out at her as Setsuna walked up beside her friend.
"That was mature." Setsuna said with a small grin.
"Like you're the one to talk. Don't you dare telling me you’ve never thought about your beloved Kono-chan before Rebecca came."
Setsuna blushed at that, but didn't say anything to deny it. In a situation like this where everyone was losing their hope, Setsuna found that she had to constantly think about the reason for her to fight. She believed the others were doing the same thing too. They had been struggling alone for so long, they would not allow the ignorant government to stop them from reaching their goal, and more importantly, their home.
Without further delay, they were on their way back to Nirvana. Once they arrived, the Dread Team was already discussing battle plans and formation. Parfet, the head mechanic, was busy yelling orders to the others in the Dread hangar. The medic crew was trying to keep things in order as there was bound to be a high figure of injuries in the battle. The bridge coordinators were at their highest alert as they were the ones who were monitoring the enemies' moves.
"There are responses from the markers. Multiple giant ships are approaching!"
"The Harvest Fleet has passed through the electromagnetic storm!"
Thus, the battle began.
It was certainly a war to remember, for this war was not just fought by the Pirates. People who did not want to accept their "fate" passively had come with their own army. There were people the pirates had met on their journey, people they had helped and even their past enemies because of misunderstanding. Even the odds were bad for the Earth, however, this did not mean that the pirates were fighting an easy battle...
It was a rather frightening sight.
The dark space was filled with Cube-type robots, the Cube Gateways and two large Harvest Fleets can be seen not far away. Fake Vandreads and Nirvanas were also attacking the Pirates fiercely. While they were not totally overwhelmed by them, they were still outnumbered.
"Arg!" Setsuna grunted. She had finished the umpteenth Cube Gateway, but she had barely been able to avoid a Fake Speed Vandread from crashing into her Dread. Just when she was about to attack the fake, which was charging at her again, a laser beam shot its side, causing it to change its course.
"Setsuna on the defense? That's so unlike you." A deep voice came over from her intercom.
"Mind your own business, Tatsumiya! These are not merely cameos. Don't curse at me if your favorite laser beam cannon got blown up."
"That you don't have to worry about, Setsuna." Another familiar voice said. "I think you should worry about Kuu instead, she's about to riot again."
"That's impolite of you, Kaede!" The third childish voice chirped. "But these look fun! It's even faster than Leader's Dread! Come along Setsuna! We're leaving you here!"
"The quicker you clean them up, the quicker you can go home to your Konoka, isn't it?" Tatsumiya teased again.
"Y-you're saying that, but it's just that you want to see YOUR Tsukuyomi, isn't it?!"
"Are they really fighting the Harvester?" Nearby, Asuna could only listen to their bickering with a huge sweat drop. "Well, I guess there're still some butts left for me to kick!"
From Nirvana, the leader and the vice-leader of the Pirates, Magno and BC, were watching the battle.
"It's almost looks as if they're enjoying it." Magno commented.
"Something has changed." BC said. "Something vastly different from before has appeared in the hearts of the crew. It seems like it will be a future that is worth looking forward to."
But, the worst had yet to come.
"We've detected another large ship coming out of the electromagnetic storm!"
"What?!" Almost everyone on the battlefield exclaimed.
Saying it was a "large ship" was an understatement. The "ship" was much larger than the Harvest Ships of a dull gray color, a monster that was to destroy what was unnecessary to them. The pilots were so startled that they almost missed Meia's order of evacuation and barely had the time to avoid the large red beams from the ship that would have killed them easily.
"What was that?! Even the Harvest Ships aren't this bad!" Asuna yelled as she steadied her Dread.
"Calm down Asuna! Barnette is now taking the command, we're to go back and protect Nirvana from any further attack now!" Setsuna reported. Then she added quietly, "this will be the last hurdle. We will survive this and return to where we belong...to where we want to belong."
I want to protect the lives that are important to me
It is as simple as that.
Fighting...Battling...All of these are something that will end
Once they end, it is a must for me to return to those
Whom we've gone through so much to protect.
Because...I have carried their lives along with me,
My life isn't only my own anymore.
After the third--and the last--Harvest Ship exploded. All of those present saw a great flash from Nirvana. And the next thing they knew, the last of the Earthling Fleet disappeared. Then, uproars could be heard all over the space after a short moment of stunned silence.
The uproar of victory.
"We did it!!" was all Setsuna could hear from her intercom. Everyone was excited. But to the young Dread Pilot, she felt calmness more than the excitement of defeating the enemies or the joy of returning home.
Now speaking of "returning"...
"Could somebody give me a hand here? My engine's dead after the explosion." Setsuna spoke to the intercom, hoping someone could hear her.
"Ouch, mine too." Asuna's voice followed.
"Here, here." Sooner than the two had expected, Gascogne's cheerful voice came through the speaker and her delivery ship came into view. Wires were extended from the semi-sphere spacecraft and the Dreads were dragged away from the battlefield.
To her surprise, however, Gascogne was heading towards their asteroid base rather than Nirvana.
"Gascogne-san?" Setsuna asked the older woman, puzzled by her action.
Gascogne only replied with a raise of her eyebrows.
Soon, they arrived at the docking bay of the Mejale Pirates' asteroid base. The two pilots got off their battle spacecrafts and Gascogne also got off her delivery ship. Seeing Setsuna was still standing by her Dread, Asuna went over. "What are you waiting for?"
Setsuna had finally realized what Gascogne was trying to do, but suddenly, hesitation set in.
"I heard from a certain nosy woman that You-Know-Who is still in the control area..." Gascogne said nonchalantly to a wall, a communicator in her hand. Asuna can faintly hear Rebecca's voice from the communicator, yelling "who are you calling nosy?!".
Fortunately, Setsuna's instinct had taken over. She quickly left the docking bay, nearly knocking over Nodoka on the way. Smirking, Gascogne also left, leaving Asuna and Nodoka in the docking bay.
"It's great to have you back, Asuna-san." Nodoka said in her gentle, quiet voice.
"It's great to be able to stand on solid ground again too. I've been missing this place. Not as much as Setsuna missing 'You-Know-Who' though." Asuna smiled while making quotation marks with her fingers.
"I can understand that. After all, they have been inseparable since the time we're on the streets. It must be heartbreaking for them to be separated for so long..." The raven-haired girl said somewhat wistfully.
"H-how did you know we're living on the streets before we got picked up by the pirates?! And what do you mean, 'we'...?" Asuna asked rapidly. No one, except themselves, Rebecca, Gascogne and Magno, knew they were street kids.
"Had you really forgotten about me, Asuna?" Nodoka stared into Asuna's multicolored eyes. She slowly saw the confusion in her eyes slowly changed into realization. Asuna's hand slowly reached for the rubber band that hold Nodoka's hair together, and released the bangs that had been tied up.
"Hon'ya-chan..." Asuna whispered the nickname, slowly remembering the best friend she had in the residential unit. The shy little girl who could sit all day in the bookstore reading...
Her favorite person who got lost in the crowd when a slum area they stayed in got swallowed by a huge fire.
"I'm glad that...I've never lost hope."
Setsuna ran through the familiar establishment, only the thought of seeing her most important person left in her brain.
Before Nirvana returned to the Mejale Galaxy, she had been worrying.
Would Konoka still be her friend, after losing contact for nearly a year?
Would she have moved on already?
Now, none of these uncertainties were in her mind. She could worry about that later.
Finally, she stood in front of the doors to the control room.
Every bridge crew turned around as the opened door with a guilty look, afraid it was Rebecca who caught them taking an "overtime break".
When they realized it was a slightly ruffled and panting Setsuna, their gazes immediately went to Konoka, who got frozen in her seat.
A thousand conflicting thoughts ran around Konoka's brain. One part of her was overjoyed at seeing Setsuna back, safe and alive. But the rest of her was worrying.
Could they still be the same before they were separated?
Was Secchan bearing the same feeling as her?
Before Konoka could effectively sort out her thoughts, another bridge operator put down her "Coffee Soda" and went over to Konoka's seat. She quietly saved the data and switched off Konoka's control unit.
"It is not the time to be overwhelmed by your own thoughts, Konoka-san." She said in a plain but supportive voice and pushed the long-haired girl slightly on the back, causing her to stumble a few step forward.
At the same time, Setsuna took a deep breath and started to walk towards the unit. Before she reached it, Konoka rushed forward and wrapped her arms around the taller girl. Setsuna caught the girl without both of them falling over and returned the hug equally fiercely.
The suppressed loneliness and feelings were finally released as the two half of the soul reunited. Konoka realized that, things could not be the same before everything happened... For it was going to become better.
Secchan...You're back, you're finally back...
Yes, Kono-chan. I've returned to you...Just like I've promised.
With the same determination of survival, the Harvesters were defeated by those who wanted to protect their own future from all over the universe. The people of Mejale and Talark also realized that it was time to end their conflicts, which had lasted for three generations. At this moment, the galaxy was truly at peace.
Setsuna heard a familiar lighthearted voice as she entered Nirvana's artificial, 24-hour nighttime garden. "Hi, kid. Feeling sentimental again?"
The raven-haired Dread Pilot turned around at the source of the teasing voice and to find Gascogne leaning against a lamp post. As the Mejale Pirates and Nirvana were to be used as the testing ground for male/female co-existence, Magno, Rebecca, BC and Gascogne had worked out a plan of shifts. Now some of the crew would need to stay abroad Nirvana so that the small asteroid would not be overcrowded. With their advanced war technology, they were also responsible for part of the national defense in case the Earthlings decided for a revenge.
"If you want to put it that way, Gascogne-san." Setsuna answered with a small smile.
The "shopkeeper" only snorted.
The two sat in comfortable silence for a short while before Setsuna spoke again. "Isn't life like an unsolvable puzzle?"
Gascogne turned her head slightly so that she was glancing at the young pilot instead of the space outside of the large glass window, a signal that she was interested in Setsuna's statement.
"One's life was made up of little bits and pieces of different experiences and people. With a slight turn of these pieces, the final picture could be totally different. Yet, we could not predict how the picture would be like, since the future is unpredictable and always changing, creating an unsolvable, complicated but interesting puzzle."
"I supposed you can say that. After all, if we've learned anything from Nirvana, it would be 'there's no such thing as destined fate', right? If we believe in that, we would have been harvested long time ago. We made a choice, and it changes our future. But we are the ones who made those decisions. That's why life is full of little surprises, isn't it?" At this moment, Gascogne glanced at the door for a moment. "Philosophy's never my thing. But I will say, be prepared for a surprised glomp."
Milliseconds after the word "glomp" left her mouth, Konoka latched herself onto Setsuna's arm. "Secchan! You didn't wait too long right?"
"I've just arrived not long ago." Setsuna said and patted on Konoka's head lightly, a rare affectionate gesture from the rather introversive girl.
"See you later then, Gasco-san!" Konoka chirped cheerfully and Setsuna gave a small polite nod before she was dragged away willingly.
Just when Gascogne was about to give her famous "It's GascoGNE" line, she noticed there was a faint curve over Konoka's stomach and smirked. "Guess I will have to let you go this time." She whispered to the couple's retreating silhouettes.
Peace had more or less returned. They were not "wanted criminals" anymore. And the couples were going to live happily ever after.
"Well, after all these ruckuses, they do deserve a little time of happiness." She whispered again.
The angel alighted to me
During this long, long journey
Holding up my hands to the clear night sky
I will continue to protect you
The angel alighted to me
Together, we face the marvelous sun
The courage that resides in your clear eyes
It will turn into an invincible power
The angel alighted to me
The wind is now surrounding us
We'll become even more radiant than before
And step forward to the magnificent future
--Kagayaku Kimi E (By Asuna, Konoka, Setsuna and Nodoka)