Fandom: Gundam 00
Notes: Written for the 31_days theme "we are the riddle no one guesses."
Summary: Something goes a little wrong--or maybe a lot right--in the creation of a new Innovade. Post-series.
Sometimes, even Veda made mistakes. With Tieria's sleeping mind unconsciously guiding it, it made fewer. But the ones it did make had more meaning.
Creating Innovades to live among humanity was not a mistake. But, in purely technical terms, scanning a certain region of space before implanting a personality and memories into one of the new Innovades was. Something floated dispersed in the quantum vacuum, and drawn by the familiar glow of Tieria's human feelings, it began to coalesce inside a new but familiar body.
Maybe that wasn't a mistake, either.
* * *
"I don't mean to sound strange," she said, "but do you ever feel as if your whole life is just a mask? As if there are layers of you, and only one of them has any meaning. But you can't find that one layer."
"No, miss," the bartender said.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I did sound strange."
"That's all right," he said. "Did you want a drink?"
Her name was Blesse Cosmis, and as far as she knew, she was twenty-seven years old, had been born and educated in America, and had a distant but loving family. She never had to dye her hair to keep it a perfect shade of lavender, but that didn't concern her. What concerned her were the other memories. The ones of space, and a mission, and a man who only showed a real smile to her. What concerned her was that, and the sense that the earth wasn't quite real beneath her feet, as if she had come from and belonged somewhere else.
"No," she said. "I was looking for directions to a cemetery." This was why she was across the Atlantic in a small city in Ireland. She didn't know why it had mattered enough to push her so far.
He paused, frowning. "Do you know which one?"
She shook her head. "But it has a family grave in it, and a tree overlooking that grave..."
* * *
In the end, it took her three tries before she found the right cemetery. Once she was there, though, something she didn't understand guided her to the graves she was looking for. She stood there staring at them. The names on each grave--the older Celtic cross, and the newer stone with a poem on it--were ones she had never seen before. But they looked familiar.
"I never knew any of you," she whispered to the cross. "But I knew someone who did." As for the new grave...
A sudden sense of awareness spiked in her. He was coming. Just as she'd known he would be. Blesse scrambled up the hill, pressed herself up against the back of the tree, and waited.
He was in disguise. For some reason, it made her smile. The shades looked silly on him. He would look much better with his eyes open to the world. She knew they were a perfect shade of blue-green, even though she'd never seen him before. She knew she loved him. That love mattered more than any memory she had.
Blesse waited until the strange man who was not a stranger to her left, and then she followed him.
* * *
Things more distant than ordinary memories told her how to be stealthy. He didn't see her following him until he was entering the safehouse (how she knew it was a safehouse--that was another mystery), and he didn't realize she was there until she caught hold of the door and held it open after him.
He spun around, a gun emerging into his hand. But before it even came up to point at her, he was dropping it.
"Are you Lyle Dylandy?" she asked. She wasn't afraid that he would hurt her. He couldn't possibly.
"Anew," he said. Then he flinched and looked away. "No. You can't be. You just have the same..." His voice caught. He couldn't say anything more.
She smiled. "I'm Anew Returner. Aren't I?"
"Anew," he said. "How--?"
"I don't know," she said. "But I know you. I know I don't ever want to let you out of my sight, now that I can see you with my own eyes. Lyle...is that all right?"
"This isn't all right at all," he said. "I accepted it. I accepted that the dead are in the past, and I have to go into the future on my own."
"Now that I can touch you with my own fingers," she said. "Again."
He shook his head, his eyes huge and wild behind those shades. Then he bolted past her, out of the safehouse and into the alleys that led to it.
The first clear image of her true past came to her: the two of them naked in each other's arms, floating in space. His fingers slipping from hers one last time. She wouldn't let him slip away again. She gave chase.
In the end, she had to throw herself at him, breathless and burning with the effort. She wrapped her arms around him from behind and held tight. "Lyle," she said, her voice ragged. "I remember who I am now. I'm the only one you can't run from."
He shook in her arms.
"I'm Anew Returner," she said, "and I've returned to you."
* * *
They lay entwined, long since having given up on reason.
He stroked her hair. "Anew. Does it bother you that you don't know how you came back?"
"No," she said. "Not as long as I have you."
He lay with her in silence for a while. "There are stories," he finally said, still trying a little too hard to sound cool and collected. "Of old gods loving mortals so much that when they died, the gods put them up in the sky as stars."
"You loved me enough," she said softly. "And I loved you too much to be content with being stars."
She kissed him. His lips on hers were more familiar than anything she was supposed to remember.