Far Beyond Eternity – by QQQQQ
In the dark confines of the closet room, Renton Thurston stares out the plexiglass window at the billowing clouds, orange and purple they are from the unseen setting sun. The wisps make their lovely patterns all around, a blanket of sorts, beneath the violet-streaked dusk sky as the Gekko-Go heads its steady course. And there is this urge within him, just to go out, and fly, fly in this beautiful scene, maybe out in the Nirvash.
But what of this beauty, if there is only Renton there in the air, alone? It would be leaving out the touch of spice that makes spaghetti taste so wonderful.
Immediately, he thinks of the one person who makes his heart beat faster in joy, and his cheeks flush warm with red. He pictures the flowing cyan hair that comes down to her petite neck and those alluring violet eyes. There wasn't anyone else he'd met who had such pretty eyes. He imagines her by his side, in Nirvash's spacious cockpit. How wonderful it must be to share the beauty of this moment with her.. Eureka.
Renton must hurry though. The sun won't wait for them before taking its rest beneath the covers of the horizon. What if I get in trouble? Holland and the others might not like it if I just.. take the Nirvash out for no reason..
These doubtful thoughts are soon forgotten though as Renton takes one last look outside, and then he heads out into the hallways, over to the communal room where Eureka spends her time playing Maurice, Mater and Link at a game of ping-pong. You can see spacious windows revealing more of the passing sky, showering the room with ethereal hues.
Renton goes to approach the joviality, watching on to his amusement as all the combined efforts of the young trio can't seem to catch Eureka's quick curveball. His heart begins to beat faster in anticipation, looking at her supple face – and she looks to him too, noticing.
"Renton?" Eureka goes. He cringes for but a second, as the trio on the other side of the table gaze to him with dirty looks, Maurice especially. ("What do you want meatball head?") Poor Renton, almost forgetting what he'd like to say, let alone why he'd followed his urges here. Link stifles a giddy chuckle under a little hand.
Luckily, Renton manages to regain his composure, and slowly comes closer to Eureka. "Hey.." he says, looking aside at the table and the heat coming out his collar. "Erm.. would you mind if I can talk to you for a minute?"
"He's gonna do it!" Mater blurts out. "With her—"
"Mater!" Eureka shoots that pesky girl a scowl, before turning to him. "Yes. I would love to." She smiles. And thus, he leads her to a more private corner of the room, trying not to mind the children throwing raspberries behind his back.
"What is it Renton?" she goes, looking upon him with the faintest curiosity.
"Well. Um.." His mouth doesn't seem to want to move at this time, being frozen in tense hesitation. This has got to be the most insane thing I'm about to do.. oh man, what am I thinking?
"Is something the matter?" she asks him.
"Oh no.. no, nothing's the matter.." He lets in a little gulp down his throat. How should he put all this feeling into proper words? It all feels like it makes sense, and yet it's all outlandish when it comes to saying it out. "I just.. I just want to fly outside, with you."
Eureka blinks, taking in Renton's words. Her face even lightens up a bit, while his seems to blush so bashfully red.
"It's so beautiful out there," Renton half-mumbles. "All these clouds floating around.. I want to fly out with them. Because it makes my chest.. want to cave in. But it wouldn't- couldn't ever be the same if I'm by myself." His heart pounds against his chest incessantly. "So I want to go fly, with you."
Eureka holds her breath in, being so flattered, and so unsure. It feels like the longest and most unbearable wait in Renton's life, her just standing there, before he receives her answer of her hand clasping around his, feeling so warm and tender, and her reassuring smile. "Yes."
Did he hear her right? It's a whisper of a "yes" from her, one he could barely hear, and yet she has her hand with his. "Yes," she tells him.
He takes her through the hallways of the Gekko-Go, passing by and greeting Mischa along the way – the Doctor eyes them pensively before she continues down. Every step he takes, Renton feels a little more queasy, light-headed. It just feels like a good vivid dream that will burst at any moment now, but the feeling of Eureka's soft hand in his feels all too warm to be some figment of his wandering imagination. If so, then he wishes that none of the others would come across them and put an abrupt end to this moment.
After taking the elevators down to C deck, Renton can hear more of the low, distaff humming of the Gekko-Go's engines, as he leads- Eureka leads him over down into the expanses of the dock, where the gargantuan Nirvash rests within the abyssal darkness. As they step down the staircase from the light of the hallway, suddenly the lights illuminate the place in light of Renton and Eureka's presences.
"Renton?" Eureka asks. "Are you sure this is okay?"
A certain urge is compelling the boy now, far beyond proper reasoning. He would in all likely respect turn back if it were any other time, but not right now, not when the sun is on the verge of disappearing and the moment being missed.
"Yes," he goes, a strange confidence in him now, and he's smiling from out the corners of his heart, and they head on to clamber in one of Nirvash's two spacious cockpits. Renton snuggles himself snugly beside her on the seat, feeling her warmth emanate by the shoulders.
"Shall I drive?" she asks. Now that she's mentioned it, Renton had never really considered who would be flying in that imagination of his. It would be fine for him to show and guide the Nirvash in the painted canvas of air, while she can be free to look around and enjoy herself. Renton imagines he could grasp most of the manoeuvres almost as easily as Eureka can (including the famous cut-back drop turn, ja!) but there is one thing that had always troubled him the most – taking off and landing in the dock itself; the enclosed space would always threaten to collide with the Nirvash while the air never does.
"How about.. you take off from the Gekko-Go," he says, "and then I take over from there?"
"Sure," Eureka goes. She wakes the Nirvash up from its sleep, and the lights of the cockpit come to their shining life as Nirvash assumes a stand-by, idle position. Renton takes in a gulp and feels his stomach sink in preparation for the fast lurches of speed to come.
After checking up on Nirvash's status and knowing that the Nirvash is all right, she sends a command in the adjacent console to set the launch pathway up for take off. The noise of the blaring alarms and screeching of the launch gate being lifted up are numbed and dulled automatically in the canopy for Renton and Eureka's benefit. Through the opening of the gate, Renton can see the pathway angle itself downwards, to the outside purple clouds that flow past sight.
When the launch gate has completely risen, the pathway lights up in glaring green and yellow light leading the way out. Out of force of habit, Eureka finds herself shouting "Eureka and Renton, Nirvash typeZERO, launching!" Renton watches her hands gently push forward the control joysticks, and feels the slow lurch of Nirvash's movement – moving so slowly to the start of the pathway—
The Nirvash bounds forward, its legs propelled along the track to frightening speeds – Renton is continually thrust against the seat, teeth clattering and sweat on his face dripping back; he can feel the bile of the stir-fried dinner welling in him. Eureka keeps her calm, no sign of any worries whatsoever on her face as Nirvash finds itself free in the outside sky. To finish the sequence, Eureka presses a button to have Nirvash deploy out and ride the ref board to glide along the trepar waves in the air.
The billowing purples and blues of the dusk seem much more vivid and haunting from the view of the canopy than Renton had ever hoped to see. Gold streaks from the tip of the setting sun on the right, bathing Nirvash in a yellow tinge.
Eureka's purple eyes meet with Renton's - a hint of beckoning in the glint. She waits, keeping her hands steady as Renton's reachs out to grasp onto her hands, her soft and lovely hands around the joysicks. When he seems to have a good hold, she lets go. In the brief moment, Renton wraps his fingers around the dual controls, feels all of Nirvash – every nuance of its being come upon himself.
He and she fly in the pretty skies, as carefree and joyful as they can be. By his side, Renton sees Eureka avidly admire all the colours, quite sure that she is seeing the same poignent beauty he sees.
"Renton! Look!" Eureka nudges his shoulder, pointing her hand down to the left. And from perking his head over, he sees a vague formation amongst a puff of cloud below, coming closer and clearer. They are little skyfish, an endless swarm, rising up and out from the vagueness, and with their beating wings they fly to be with Nirvash's side. Renton remembers from class that the skyfish would come be attracted to beautiful moments, shared in tenderness. Their lush wings seem to beat forth in time with each other, with the euphoric beating of Renton's own heart.
"It's so beautiful, Eureka."
As the sun becomes a faint orange haze along the dark of the cloud horizon, Renton begins to notice the sharp orange glow of the read-out displays on the dashboard - the Gekko-Go's position lies on the bare edge of the radar, almost out of Nirvash's range. By now, it would seem a good idea to turn back and call it a night. Holland and the others might be worrying, and the thought of receiving Holland's punishing beat downs makes him nervous.
But Renton decides to ignore the pleas nagging inside his mind, instead turning the Nirvash over to chase the last throes of daylight. Maybe this night will be special. Maybe this night holds a wonder somewhere in the air, waiting to be touched.
The stars begin to shine and glow above on the sky – a canopy of bright beacons that stretches on like an ocean of eternity. They seem to be adrift in interstellar space now; Eureka is leaning by Renton's stiffened shoulder, absolutely still on the edge of the seat, taking in all of the night. Renton too. The stars are like he has never seen them before, being such a refreshing and blissful sight. If he reaches up high, he could feel them lap and melt in his hands like snowflakes.
A streak of purple trails gently down the canvas. It's a shooting star.
"Hey," Renton goes. "Wanna make a wish?"
Eureka is hypnotically looking upon the purple, her warm hands clasped around Renton's. For a long while, she does not say anything. Then she turns to him. "I have. What about you?"
Renton looks back to the shooting star, unsure of what to think. He feels the happiest he has ever been in his whole life, so glad of the moment, and there doesn't seem to be anything else he could ever want. Deep inside though, he knows it will all have to end eventually. The thought of this moment, lost in time feels so overwhelmingly.. saddening..
He tries to hide it in, and keep this happiness close to his heart, forever. But it is all too much for one to bear, and he feels it all about to burst – a balloon taking in too much air at once. He finds it hard to breathe.
The tears come down from his eyes, rolling down his cheeks.
"What's wrong, Renton?" she asks.
I.. don't know.
Eureka reaches out to caress – he feels her gentle fingers as they stroke over to brush away his tears. He turns to her, finding a solace in her caring, purple eyes. A sincere, appreciative smile comes upon him.
She looks back, curious and unsure.
His heart on the verge of caving in, Renton lets himself go, and holds Eureka so closely and dearly in his arms, his head by hers over her shoulder. He feels her heart beating faster and faster with his through her chest, her breaths brushing by his bare neck, and the overall blushing warmth from her.
And for this blissful moment, they lie so peacefully still in each other's side, glad.
After what seems like forever, Renton leans back from her, and looks to her straight in her eyes. He has no idea what will happen next, if only this happiness may continue.
"I.." Renton finds himself trying to make words, say something, anything at all, but the words just won't come.
Then suddenly it comes, as miraculous as it is to him as to her – Renton locks his lips with hers in a kiss. It is so indescribably wonderful. He can feel her hot breath mingling with his, the rush of excitement, a wholesome feeling of gratitude in his heart for this moment.
It is the last thing he can remember so clearly upon awakening in the cheap excuse of a bed within the closet room. The blue of the morning sky shines through the little plexiglass window, being the only light there is here.
After that kiss, Renton could not seem to recall the later memory of the night, being only a vague, jaded recollection of things. Perhaps there was the flying back to the Gekko-Go, where upon landing he met with a brutal backhand to the face from Holland, or the worried commotion of Talho and God knows who else, or the fatigued walk through the stale hallways back here.. or perhaps there wasn't anything of the sort at all; the kiss with Eureka was all too much to dream.
Still, he is left with a lingering happiness, however bittersweet it is in his heart leaving him wanting more - if only he could have a second longer with her then, he could say he does love her so. Without thinking it, Renton finds his fingers going over his moist lips. Maybe some of the wet from Eureka is still there, if any. But no amount of lip touching ever does sooth the welling emptiness inside him. He is wanting to cry, so much. The morning sky seems even bluer than he remembers it, and he stares out at the puff of white clouds passing by outside. The engines of the Gekko-Go hum incessantly throughout.
After that, Renton feels the gurgle of his empty stomach – hungry for some breakfast. Wanting to take his mind off the sadness, Renton goes to walk down the hallway listlessly, managing less-than-enthusiastic greetings towards Talho and Matthew who pass him by.
Then he sees her standing, pressing a hand on the windows to the blue skies. The emptiness inside hurts the most now on the sight of Eureka, aching, numbing, overwhelming. But however much it is to bear, Renton tries to bury it all deep inside as he did not want to upset her in any way. He continues his way slowly to the mess hall, as if nothing has happened. He shall forever cherish the imagined moment in his heart, if only to convince himself that such a happiness may happen, sometime, somewhere.
Eureka slowly turns to look to him with her usual shy smile. "Good morning Renton."
He gulps, pausing. "Morning, Eureka."
Then he notices something different in her expression, though he could not tell what exactly about it that strikes him so at first. Whether it is the same look of wonder from that wonderful moment in her purple eyes, or the loving feelings that hint on her smiling lips, Renton subconsciously takes it in, and the tightness in his throat is knife-sharp now, and he could not breathe at all.
"I.. love.. you.."
A looming pause, as she looks back with her quivering eyes.
And she comes forward to meet him, and she blurs before his eyes, and he goes to her blindly. When they meet, his eyes clear and he sees her for a first time, can not help but smile. He knows it is all right, and he reaches out to her with his warming hand, and the fear inside him disappears away forever.
(The white sloping road continues into the sky
Flickering heat haze envelops the two children
Nobody noticing, all alone
They keep ascending
They fear nothing
And then they soar
Longing for the sky
They soar across the sky
Their lives an intertwining contrail)
And thus, they walk over for breakfast, their hand-in-hand high in the sky.