She sometimes wondered if there was anything she could have done. If, somewhere in the hall of echoes and wispy memory that was her memory of the only interesting year she had ever spent, she could have taken one little different turn, twitched her fingers and made things right - or if, after all, she had just been another pawn.
She still liked to bicycle along the bay. The Rainbow Bridge, a shattered hulk that strangely had escaped the restoration, loomed in the fog on mornings like these. She was the only one here, of course; few people cared to make their way along the alleyways at four in the morning in the fog. Satsuki usually took an early morning ride before she went to bed. She didn't work, of course, and she had taken up the morning rides when she had found herself waking up one afternoon and realizing that she did not know what month it was. It gave her structure.
She turned sharply onto an small abandoned dock, and swung herself off the bike before parking it in the middle. The view from here was very nice; the dock rose and fell gently with the motion of the bay waters. She took a sip of water and stared out into the fog; the bridge rose like a sea serpent over the murky clouds.
Five years ago, this bridge had fallen down. Government inneficiency, concerns about the difficulty of removing the wreckage, and a few careful forged emails had meant that the restoration plans had been abandoned in favor of building two new bridges on two other major roads. Satsuki had felt civic urges for once in her life. There ought to be some memorial, and this was the finest of the few sites that had remained broken after the Battle. This one she wanted to keep.
There ought to be some memorial, after all. For everyone who had died, and for everyone who had not. There were a few who still remebered, and for her, the year that hadn't all happened had been the only one she had ever lived.
Those days Satsuki had spent soaring in a world all her own. It had felt so good, so real, to watch the measly little things that humand liked to think were achievements come crashing down, split upon neat, precise lines. She prided herself on her precision, and her clean kills. She stared at the bulidings she knew she had destroyed, felt her fingers twitching, cursed the moment that they had all risen again. All but a few, marked by blood. She remebered having a home, having someone to come home to, someone who would never reject her, never overlook her, someone with whom she had a more perfect synchronicity than any fabled pair of star-crossed lovers could ever think of. She remebered that she had, almost, not been bored any longer.
There were other memories, too. The memory ran through her synapses and on bad days her lips and on her worst days her fingers and her vulva; she had even bought a tube of red lipstick and tried it on in front of the mirror, and it had meant nothing, because she did not have the face for makeup. It had seemed such a little thing, but she remembered that soft, curvaceous body, elegant in a way she never could be, bent unnaturally beneath a stone, and those perfect lips, polished even then, open as if to say goodbye, and let out nothing but a tiny red splash.
She had taken Yuuto here once, about a year ago, on his day off. They had brought a picnic. If someone had seme them they might have looked like a young couple out on a date, but they were reminiscing. She had asked him, Do you regret anything>
Of course not. How could I? Regret is a waste of time, and he smiled his beautiful smile with the little twist on the edge.
Of course. But I can't help but wonder.
They sat, and chatted about insignificant things, his work, her occasional little projects. She was bored again, but at least talking to Yuuto was interesting for a moment. You shoudl have brought Subaru, she told him. Make this a real family outing.
He wouldn't want to see it, whispred Yuuto, his voice suddenly tight. He wouldn't know how beautiful it is.
That was true. For all Subaru's good points, he would never see how beautiful this bridge was, as it was. It would be too personal, and the only beauty he would ever see in death was the promise of release in his own, so long delayed, indefinately delayed.
But that was why Satsuki had been born to the Angels, and he to the Seals. She knew that change was good. She knew when it was time to move on, and he would forever be stuck in a moment. She had told him where the dock was, and told him she went there almost every morning. He had just smiled at her. Perhaps someday he would even show up, even if he wouldn't see why.
They did, after all, have something in common, and the unexpected happened suprisingly often in her life.
The earth was still trembeling with fear. It might be dead soon. Computers never took more than what they needed; the Earth had no quarell with them, only the greed of their creators. It had been a sucidial kind of glory she had driven toward and she knew it. But that, after all, was alright. There was plenty to be said for going out in a blaze of glory. Her friends would be going down with her, but they didn't mind. Next time, they had whispered to her. Humans were a failed experiment. The next time they'll make us right. The next time we'll have a chance.
There wouldn't be a next time anymore. She didn't have that dream anymore. She didn't want to think of it, of the shape her death might have taken, that terrble, distant whisper of meaning that still echoed in the halls of the nonexistent years if she listened hard enough.
But there was one monument to the attempt still standing. The bridge. This was what could have been. this could have been.
She heard footsteps behind her, and half-turned, and saw who it was. He was still wearing his boots, and his oversize balck coat, and he came and sat down silently beside her.
She wanted to say something - I've been expecting you a long time perhaps, or just What were you waiting for? but she didn't think it would be right. She passed him her water bottle, and laid her hand on his.
Together, they gazed at the dissapating fog until the sun began to glint off the ruins of the bridge.
Sorry, RR - I know you wanted something happy, but this was the best I could do with the characters.