Disclaimer: While I don't own Escaflowne, I do own the characters that I have created. (Basically, anyone you don't recognize is probably mine.) I also don't own the song "I'm Still Waiting" by Jamie O'Neal.
Author's Note: Um . . .Never mind now. Please read the fic, even though it's kind of long, then read the other note at the end.
I'm Still Waiting
Hitomi remembered. She stood watching the fountain as the heavens opened up. The downpour drenched her within minutes, but she didn't notice.
It had been so long- it seemed like forever. Her love for Van, for her bright-winged angel, had only grown stronger, despite the worlds between them. Seeing him and knowing it was only for a few moments hurt almost as much as not seeing him at all. Yukari had been pestering her for such a long time about her blues that, finally, she had broken down and told her, crying all the while. Yukari had tried to comfort her, but tried to tell her to be realistic, as well.
Watching Yukari and Amano get married was a very painful joy. She was happy for her friends- they were so in love. But it was hard to hold back the tears, because she kept imagining her and Van, gently kissing to seal their vows. After Yukari and Amano had left for their honeymoon, Hitomi had scrambled out of her bridesmaid's dress, changed into a blouse and skirt and run, not knowing or caring where. Somehow, she'd ended up at the beach, where she'd seen Van so many times. She dropped to her knees and wept hard.
But he had come then, called by her need, perhaps, a shaft of light right next to her. He beckoned her to him with a smile. She'd run into his embrace and held him close to her heart as they were lifted away . . .
Hitomi came back to herself. Her older son had touched her arm, and was looking at her in concern. Laren was the image of his father, except his eyes were green, like hers. His hair was jet black, and had the same fly away bangs. Now, however, the rain had flattened his forelock into his eyes. His normally cheerful smile was absent, and he looked older than his 19 years. She reached up to cup his cheek.
On her other side, she felt an arm link with hers, and turned. Aven, her younger son, stood, worry filling his mahogany eyes. At 16, he stood as tall as she, and would soon be as tall as his brother. His hair was brown, but much darker than hers. Overall, though, he resembled her more than Van. "Mama," he said softly. "Let's go in out of the rain . . ." She nodded, and let them lead her back to the castle.
Hours later, she sat at her vanity, staring at her reflection. She saw the river of white in her hair, lacing through her plait as she drew it forward to undo it. I didn't feel old until today.
When she stood to turn back the covers on the huge bed, she saw his robe. It lay thrown carelessly over a chair. Slowly, as if in a trance, she picked it up, held it to her cheek. It still carried his scent. She crumpled to the floor and started to cry.
"Oh, Van," she sobbed. "I can't believe you're gone . . ." But he'd been gone for days already. Every moment, she thought she'd turn around and he'd be there, holding his arms out to her, just as he had so many times. But not any more. She crushed his robe to her chest, trying to believe . . .
"Van, take me with you," she whispered, eyes closed. "Please . . . I feel only half alive without you . . . I don't know if I can . . . "
Hitomi . . .
I'm losing my mind, she thought, breath caught in her throat. Now I can hear his voice . . . She opened her eyes and turned around, still on her knees beside their bed.
He was behind her, tall and proud, one hand resting casually on the hilt of the Fanelian sword. His eyes were clear and bright, no longer glazed from illness, and there was a faint blue glow about him. His hair was silvered at the temples- he was as he had been. He was giving her his little boy's smile, the one he reserved only for her. Hitomi . . . you must be strong. Our boys need you. He knelt in front of her on one knee, reaching to brush his fingers down her damp cheek. She felt a tingle where he touched her. It will only be for a little while, I promise.
As he stood again, she tried to take his hand. "Van . . ."
Now is not the time, my love. He squeezed her fingers tightly, and released them. The next time, I'll come to take you with me. Wait for me. I love you. She blinked and he was gone, not a glimmer behind.
Unsteadily, Hitomi climbed to her feet. He would not lie to her. She closed her eyes, wiping her cheeks. Laren and Aven still needed her, that was true. But Laren would complete the Rite of Dragon Slaying and become king. He had already chosen the woman who would be his wife. Aven would support his beloved older brother as always. Opening her eyes again, she picked up Van's robe and laid it carefully back on the chair. "I'll wait for you," she said quietly as she turned down the lamp. "I love you." Darkness filled the room.
Author's Note (again): Where did this come from? It came from thinking, Why is it that in so many of the fics I've read, Hitomi is the one who dies? What would she do if Van died? This one almost drove me to tears as I was writing it. I really want to know what you think. Please, please review!