A/N:: So, I wrote this years ago. Like 2001ish. I was maybe 12. I later edited it a bit in 2005 or so, I can't remember. But I haven't touched it since. It's not my best, and it should be edited and fixed... ugh!
Please forgive everything wrong with this. I was a kid. I wanted to share my kid dreams with you lol
Hitomi sighs heavily, wondering what could have been... But then she shakes her head, scrunching up her nose.
"No. I told myself it was only a dream. It doesn't matter what could have been or what has happened since I've come home..."
She opens her eyes and a tear falls down her cheek.
"That's not true, though, is it?" A man's deep voice.
Hitomi turns around on the train bench, eyes wide, only to see her old friend Amano. She smiles sadly, getting up to hug him. He returns the hug, tightly wrapping his arms about her, before they both sit down, side by side.
"She's told me everything that you've told her. And since I was coming home for awhile, I thought it'd be nice if we could talk," he says.
Hitomi smiles up at him. Amano had been her biggest crush before she was taken to the other world of dragons and samurais and... kings...
"Oh, nothing..." She blushes, embarrassed that she whispered out her dream-man's name.
"So, Hitomi-chan... Is what you say true? Because everyone else is saying different."
"...It's true. But then again, at other times, it's not true. I've been fighting myself, trying to figure it out, but it never comes. I even turned to my tarot cards once..."
"That's right. She told me you quit using them. Why? What happened? I feel that it would make more sense if I heard it all from you."
Hitomi shivers, another tear running down her rosy cheek.
"Alright. Well, do you remember when I ran the track and that boy appeared? Then I... We disappeared into that light?"
"Of course I do. How could I forget? I tried so hard to take your hand."
"Well, that was the portal to his world; Gaia, they called it. We went through so much, trying to save the world and rebuild his kingdom, destroying evil, saving people... He was brave and very strong. He saved my life countless times. But he always hid his feelings, always acting tough." She smiles, remembering how she always fought with him, even over the smallest things.
"I told myself I didn't like him. That he didn't like me. But I finally figured out my feelings. It was too late though. I was taken home. And my chance to be his queen was gone..."
"Hitomi, I'm so sorry..." Amano wraps his arms around her, pulling her close, trying to make her feel better. But sadly it doesn't work, and more tears fall down, soaking the front of his shirt.
"I really didn't want to leave... I want to go back, Amano... I want to find Van, so we can talk... So we can be together... I've tried so many times to get back there... But..."
Amano shakes his head. "I'm sorry Hitomi. I wish there was a way I could help you..."
"But there's not. All you can do is remind me of what I've lost, like Allen." Her voice is broken and tired.
"Who?" Was there two loves of her life there? Or was he someone else who was special?
"Allen. He was a noble man, and looked almost exactly like you... He was taller and his hair was long and blonde... But his face was so much like yours. He became a great help to us, training Van without him realizing it. He also helped Van realize his feelings..."
"How so?" They pulled away from each other, and Hitomi looks around, finally letting her eyes rest on the sky. It's getting darker with each passing minute. How long has she been sitting here?
"Well, Allen liked me very much. In a nutshell, he tried to claim me as his future wife, thus getting Van jealous. He didn't know why until he acted on his feelings and Allen figured it out. He kept teasing Van... Finally, Van knew why and he tried to fight Allen. He tried with all his heart to take me back..." She covers her lips.
That day, on the small bridge, Allen had kissed her and Van saw it. She was so sad, crying because it wasn't Van... Sadly, the king didn't know, and then... it all happened so fast...
"Did it work?"
"Of course. I realized as well that, although Allen flattered me very much, I truly liked Van with all my heart. But the war was soon over... Home was calling me back."
"What did this Van do when he learned that you had to go home?"
"He... pleaded with me, asking if I absolutely had to. I told him I wanted to stay, but the light came down..." It was more or less the truth.
"So no matter how you felt, you still had to come home?"
"So it would seem..."
Amano smiles, pulling something out of his pocket. It's an envelope and a small, brown package. He hands them to Hitomi, who takes them with curiosity.
"Just open them. You know, I don't really know either..." He smiles.
"Did she give them to you?"
"Yeah, I s'pose you could say she gave them to me..."
"By the way," Hitomi asks, setting the presents in her lap. "How is she? We haven't talked really because she thought I hated her for marrying you..."
Amano blushes slightly. "She's fine. Actually, she wishes to talk to you. But we can talk about her later. Right now it's about you. Now open your packages before I do it for you," he smiles.
"Alright alright..." Hitomi smiles in what seems likes ages. She opens the package first, and her eyes widen. It's a small yellow box with a colorful picture of a mage, holding up a candle, the table in front of him covered with a sword, staff, cup, and pentacle. She covers her mouth, holding her gasp in.
It's her tarot cards.
"How...?" She raises an eyebrow, staring at Amano.
He only smiles, but Hitomi's mind races to figure it out. She had tried to send them to Gaia, unable to send herself. But when she awoke the next morning, they were gone. Could they really have gone to Gaia and then come back to her best friend? Or did Mom take them, sending them away?
"Are you going to open the envelope?"
She studies the envelope, and realizes that it's not from her time. It's old and made from thick, folded paper. There's a seal on the back to keep it closed. It's heavy, as though there's more than just a letter.
She tears the seal, not noticing how the crest of Fanalia is on it, and out drops a necklace...
HER necklace, which she gave to Van before she left...
She holds it tightly in her hand, pulling out the letter and unfolding the thick paper. She reads it quickly, but it doesn't make sense. The words aren't Japanese or even English.
"Amano.. Can you read this for me please?" She holds it out to him, carefully keeping her eyes straight forward.
"Sure." He takes the letter, but says nothing. "Hitomi-chan. How can I read this to you when it's not English or Japanese?"
"..." She takes it back, staring at the figures intently. After a few minutes, words start entering her head, as though the symbols make sense. She remembers that Gaians do not write like the people of Earth.
"It's from Van... It's the Fanalian code..."
"Can you read it?"
"I... A little. Van taught me how to read and write it, so I could be of more help... I guess I'm a little rusty..."
"Well, keep studying it. I'm sure it'll come back to you."
Hitomi's eyes run over the lines repeatedly, trying to make sense of them. Finally, it's pieced together in her head.
She suddenly jumps off the bench, scaring Amano. Her face is brightly lit with a smile, as she says to him, "He says I can go home! It says there's a way for me to go home!"
Amano gets up grabbing her hands, and together, they twirl around, dancing on the pavement. Luckily, they are alone in the evening on the bus waiting station.
"He says that I need my necklace and that I should be able to use my tarot cards..."
"So, what are you waiting for? Let's get you back where you belong..."
Hitomi stops dancing, her face falling. "But what about everyone else? Mom and little brother..." she eyes Amano. "My best friend... Work..."
Amano stops as well, but his smile stays in place. "This is your chance to go back where you want to go and where you belong. Don't worry about everyone else. I'll let them know. Besides, if you can go back, there's bound to be a chance of sending letters, right?"
Hitomi smiles. "Thank you, Amano-sempai."
"Just Amano. We're out of school. Now come on, let's go to the track field. It's not far from here."
As Hitomi draws the last card, setting it down before her, her pendant begins to glow an iridescent red-blue color.
"Good-bye Amano-sama. I'll miss you very much and if I can, I will keep in touch."
He nods, smiling and stepping back. "Same here. Just make sure that you don't come visit unless you know there's a way to go back there."
Hitomi nods, picking up the letter. As she's about to shove it into her pack, a pure white feather lands in her lap. She picks it up gently, smiling.
"Van... I'm coming home for good this time."
A blue light falls from the sky, surrounding her. She picks up her bag, tossing the strap over her shoulder, just as she starts to fall into the sky.
Before she disappears for good, Amano squints his eyes. "Did I just see...wings from Hitomi's back?"
A red light emits from Hitomi's pendant, mixing with the blue light around her. The sky changes and soon she lands on soft, green grass. Her back starts to feel wet, but she smiles, staying where she is. The sky is beautiful with the Earth hanging so low on the horizon.
She gets up, wipes her pants off, and turns in a slow circle. The area looks familiar, but she can't place it, until...
She smiles. "Fanalia."
She takes off quickly, running in the direction of the cows and wheels and voices, knowing that Van is nearby. He had told her before that he hated being inside and liked to get out as much as possible. And since it's still daylight here on Gaia, he's bound to be amongst his people.
She reaches the gates of Fanalia and looks around. The place is beautiful, full of people smiling and children playing. Shops are set up everywhere and the streets are crowded.
A cat-girl appears, wearing a silky dress, her long hair pulled back over her shoulders in a loose pony. She studies Hitomi, eyeing the clothes warily.
"Miss? May I help you?"
Hitomi smiles, recognizing the voice. She turns around. Although she's grown out her hair, begun wearing more elegant dresses that she can now fill out, she still looks the same in Hitomi's eyes.
Hitomi runs to the cat-girl, wrapping her arms about her and spinning them both around. Meryle soon hugs her back, realizing that the odd girl was the same odd girl from ages ago.
Hitomi has grown out her hair as well, her body also filling out her clothes now. She quit wearing the school uniform, having a job now, and is wearing pants. But no matter how she tries, Hitomi still looks the same, her bright eyes wide, standing out against her dark brown hair.
When they pull apart, Meryle takes Hitomi into Fanalia, questions filling her mind. But before she can get any out, Hitomi asks first.
"Where's Van, Meryle?"
Meryle smiles. Van made it so clear that Hitomi was his one and only, and that none could replace her. Not even Meryle, herself. She was sad to hear that, but finally realized that Hitomi could love Van in a completely differently way.
"He's in the castle, getting ready to stroll out. There's a new store that's been set up and he wants to welcome them properly."
Hitomi smiles. "Can you show me the new place? I have an idea to say hello."
Meryle leads her to the new shop and together they set up Hitomi's plan. And after waiting a few more minutes, Van comes over to the booth.
He sighs sadly, thinking back to the day that she left. Hitomi had said she didn't want to go home, but then she did. Van's mind was angered, but she didn't really have a choice in the matter, did she? So why blame her? Being angry at the one you love is a bad thing...
Soon he spots the new shop. Everyone around stops what they're doing to watch the process. Even though he's out amongst the people every day, it's still an odd sight to see; the king dressed as a commoner and walking amongst his people.
He smiles to the cloaked woman. "Hello and welcome to Fanalia." He looks about the little booth. "What is it you sell or do?"
The lady clears her throat, then points to his chest.
"You should know exactly what I do, King Van..." She pulls out a deck of cards and lays them down, pushing them towards the young king. The cards are old and worn.
"Hmm." Van, amused by her actions, smirks at her. She has yet to remove her hood, either being cocky or ignorant, keeping her face hidden. The way she said his name, though.. It sounded so familiar.
He takes the deck, shuffling the old cards once. He lays it back down, tapping the top of the pile three times.
"If you don't like how I shuffled, then you're out of luck; it's the only way I do it."
She picks the deck up, then lays four cards face up before her on the table between the two of them.
"Ahh..." She points to the Lover's card. "I see that you had love..." She then moves to the next card, Death. "Sadly, she's left in some manner." Next she points to a woman holding open a lion's mouth. "You gave each other strength to move on in your lives." Smiling, she points to the last one: the Magician card. "And now, you shall be reunited once again very shortly..."
"You tell the truth, except the last part. I'm afraid there's no way for her to come home. I've lost her necklace."
The woman makes a small noise, almost like a gasp, but Van can't really tell. He studies her closer. "Everyone knows my sad story, though. We could use a fortune teller in Fanalia. Is there anything else you do?"
"I find lost things." She pulls out a red jewel on a golden chain and swings it. It swings perfectly every second.
Van gasps. "Where did you get that?"
"Let's see. You are missing your love, and if I am correct, I can find lost people..."
"It's impossible. She on the Mystic Moon; Earth." He watches the pendulum.
She stops the necklace, and holds it out. She drops the necklace from her hand, holding the chain. Her hand is still as the jewel starts to move. It starts out slowly but soon, it's jumping back towards the woman.
Van narrows his eyes. Slowly he reaches forward. The woman obviously has her eyes closed, because he grabs the hood. He tosses it back, revealing the woman's face. He gasps.
Still young and beautiful, even more so now that she's older, Hitomi opens her eyes, smiling at Van.
They reach for each other over the table, wrapping their arms around one another. Tears fall down both their cheeks, and the crowd cheers.
A woman stands beside Meryle, watching the outcome of the girl's request to the shop keeper. she says quietly, "So she is the one who stole his heart."
"Yes, she is. Hitomi is a very lucky girl and Van is a very lucky boy..." Meryle sounds wishful.
"Van, why did you say there wasn't a way for me to get back? I got a letter from you, saying there was a way home!"
"But, I didn't send you anything." He furrows his brows.
"So how did I get this necklace? And the envelope?"
She pulls it out of her bag, showing it to the king.
He takes it, studying the paper. "I don't know..."
The woman beside Meryle smiles underneath her hood. Suddenly a feather falls in front of her face. "My son... do not let her go this time..."
Wings sprout from her back and she lifts up to the sky. She's greeted by a man with open arms. They hug each other close, unseen by the people below them, and together they fly off.
When Meryle turns to ask the woman what she meant, she blinks in surprise. "I wonder who that woman was?"
"Oh Van, I don't care how it happened... I'm just happy I'm back!" Hitomi smiles.
They embrace again, together walking off towards the castle and friends.
"Same here, Hitomi... I've missed you..."
As they enter the castle, everyone stares after them. Finally it's been completed.