So once again we arrive at the finale of one of Midnight C's goofy fanfics. Her words, not mine! I never imagined this thing would be so popular! Yeah, well, Twilight’s a best-seller, so this is just more evidence that some people will read absolutely anything. I guess this means I should keep writing, huh? No. Well, I actually do have some more ideas floating in my head that I'd like to flesh out, so you probably haven't seen the last of me just yet (everyone runs and hides). Oh fine! Man, sometimes she just sporks herself.
And for anyone curious as to where I get inspiration, Drugs? this is the single quote that helped me forge the plot for this story: "Man…cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past; however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him." ~Nietzsche
But enough of that; let's get to the goods. Garet/Isaac pr0n tiem?
Slowly, the weary warrior came around, standing up and massaging his aching head at the temples. He took in his surroundings. An endless black stretched as far as his eyes could see. No light, no dark so how does the “endless black” fit in? --just a vast emptiness surrounding him in all directions. It reeked of deja-vu. How many times had he found himself in one of these blank voids only to be knocked back into reality? The demon was gone, so why was he still dreaming like this? Because you’re actually insane.
"You aren’t dreaming, Isaac. This place is as real as you wish to make it." Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy~?
"I’m too stupid
tired for riddles," Isaac muttered. "I can never figure out that one with the fox, the chicken, and the grain crossing the river. Just tell me where I am and what’s going on in plain English. And use small words, too, and maybe draw some pictures."
A warm, familiar laugh, one that he remembered better than any other, echoed from behind him. Something rumpled his hair in an affectionate gesture, and Isaac turned to meet the eyes of his father.
"Dad…" he trailed I don’t think that verb means what you think it means. What is it with you and misuse of dialogue tags? in surprise.
"Hello, son," Kyle said. "Been awhile, hasn’t it?"
Isaac couldn’t find his voice he thought he’d left it on the kitchen table next to his keys, but it wasn’t there so he just nodded slightly. This felt so real, but it couldn’t be could it? Wait, he thought. How can I be dreaming and still know that I’m dreaming? That doesn’t make any sense. It’s called lucid dreaming – or a bad plot device. Then again, very little had made sense during these past few days. He studied his father for several moments, wishing this to be real, but thinking in the pit of his heart that it was only another dream that he’d soon awaken from.
"Tell me, Isaac," Kyle began after several moments. "Why have you been blaming yourself for what happened that night?" Because the author mistook wangst for angst?
Isaac turned away in shame. "I’m so sorry, Dad!" he whispered with a lump in his throat. "I should’ve been able to do something to help that night. I stood by and watched that boulder fall and I didn’t do anything to try and stop it! Yeah, that would have ended well. Splat. If I’d been faster or stronger or—"
"That’s enough," his father interrupted gently. "Isaac, a fourteen year-old boy cannot be held accountable for a disaster of that magnitude. There was nothing you could’ve done." You take your earth logic and get out, Kyle! There’s still plenty of angst to be squeezed from that stone!
"But it was so senseless! There was no reason why I couldn’t have done something to stop it!"
"Yes, it was senseless and pointless, and you were unfairly robbed of part of your childhood because of it. No one, least of all you, deserves something like that." He placed a hand on his son’s shoulder. "But it wasn’t your fault, Isaac. Please stop blaming yourself for it. You don’t deserve such a painful burden." I don’t like to leave long passages unsnarked, but when Kyle’s actually saying, you know, sensible things, I don’t feel like disturbing the only logical, sensible part of this entire fic.
Isaac looked hopeful. "Does that mean you forgive me?"
"There was never anything to forgive you for," said Kyle. "But if it means that much to you, then yes, I do."
Something fell away from Isaac’s soul. He suddenly felt light, relieved, and—dare he say it—happy. He smiled slightly at his father. "Now if only I weren’t dreaming," he said quietly.
"You’re not dreaming. This is a limbo of sorts; a place where the soul goes after it’s fled its vessel."
"Limbo?" Isaac asked in shock. "You mean I’m dead?!" Oh, come on, like you didn’t know you were committing a dramatic self-sacrifice when you pulled that stunt.
Kyle crossed his arms and looked thoughtful. "That depends entirely on you. You had the strength to stand up to that monster, but you can’t begin to live again until you learn to move beyond the feelings that created it. If you think your life is still worth living, then you can continue to live it. But if you don’t…"
"My choice then…" Isaac trailed. He had felt completely worthless when he was under the demon’s power, and he’d given up the fight because of it. He’d received the forgiveness from his father that he needed, but there were still so many other mistakes to account for. Could he make amends for them? Could he continue to lead and protect his friends or were they in danger from him? He still wasn’t sure.
"I don’t know what the right decision is," he said. "I’ve made a lot of errors with some dire consequences. I don’t want to hurt anyone." Here’s a hint. Your friends care for you, however misguided that is. Dying != happy times for them.
"Perhaps this will help you figure it out," said Kyle. He flicked his hand and a moving image appeared before them. It was blurry at first but then it displayed a twelve-year-old Isaac swinging a stick and humming the Star Wars theme. “Whoops, wrong tape,” said Kyle, and he switched to an image of a devastated section of forest replete with broken trees and large scorch marks on the ground. A light snow drifted from the sky as if trying to produce some dramatic imagery hide the destruction. The image clarified a little more and six very familiar figures rushed towards something in the midst of the scarred battlefield. There was a brilliant flash of blue light, unmistakably Mia’s Ply power, and then Isaac saw what his friends were gathering around—himself. Their voices echoed around the void. Vaescent’s ears burned.
"Isaac!" Mia cried, her eyes filled with tears. She fell to her knees and turned his motionless form into her arms.
Picard kneeled beside her and felt Isaac’s neck. "I can’t feel a pulse," he said in quiet shock.
"NO!" the others shouted in a combination of sorrow and disbelief. After the realization struck, the reactions were profound and heartbreaking. Or so the author told us. The descriptions of the characters’ grief were rather bland. Jenna dropped to the ground and started crying into her hands.
"You see, Isaac," his father said softly. "You’ve had a powerful effect on the souls you’ve touched. The worst way you could ever hurt them is to leave them behind." THANK YOU THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING THE WHOLE TIME.
Isaac studied the image, feeling a shattering sadness for his friends’ pain. Mia’s words from before resonated in the back of his mind. We've only survived on this quest because of your strength and your protection. Whether that was true or not could be questioned, but he knew that his friends depended on him a great deal, and he couldn’t abandon them when they still needed him. And he hated seeing Mia experiencing the same horrible, searing pain he’d felt when he thought he’d lost her. She didn’t deserve such sorrow, none of them did, and he had the power to stop it. He wouldn’t let it end this way. But going back meant saying a very difficult final farewell. I can’t snark this because he’s FINALLY using some common sense here. Hallelujah. I’ve waited two fics for this.
"I’m sorry, Dad," he said with a heavy heart. "But I can’t stay here. I think I’m still needed elsewhere."
"That’s my boy," Kyle said with a wide grin. "I’m so proud of you, Isaac. You’re a wonderful young man—strong, courageous, responsible, and compassionate. Talk about your Informed Abilities… Go on back to your friends and your soulmate *takes a shot* I’m probably gonna need to join an AA group by the time I’m done sporking all of these fics. Oy. and be happy." He sighed with a bit of longing. "Seeing you with her reminds me of your mother and I many, many years ago."
Isaac smiled and hugged his father, struggling to not get too emotional. "Thanks, Dad. I swear I won’t let you down."
"You never will."
"I miss you," Isaac whispered.
"I know," said Kyle. "But I’ll never be very far away, I promise."
With that, Isaac started walking deeper into the void, somehow knowing where he had to go to get back. He paused briefly to take one last look at his father, returning his sad smile, and then vanished into the blackness.
"Here’s the last of it," said Picard, toting a huge crate of bootleg movies towards the docks. "Where do you want it?"
"I’ll take that," Isaac said. He approached Picard, but Garet promptly jumped in front of him and took the crate instead.
"Let me handle this, Isaac," he said with a grin. "I gotta pull my weight around here, right?" He grunted slightly but carried the crate towards the hold of the ship. Isaac smiled after him, running a hand through his hair. Everyone had been exceptionally nice to him since yesterday’s battle and he wasn’t sure how to feel about it. There was something rather odd about Garet’s willingness to do heavy labor. What Isaac didn’t know was that this crate was full of marijuana and not movies, as per a secret agreement between Piers and Garet.
"Are you sure you have all the supplies you’ll need?" Picard asked.
"Yes, thank you," Isaac replied. "The hold’s completely full with provisions now. I think we’ll be all set for quite awhile. Besides, I’m a pirate king now, right? We’ll just pillage if we need anything."
Picard sighed. "I wish you didn’t have to leave. It seems like you just got here." Yep, time flies when you’re fighting bizarre shadow creatures from the depths of someone’s mind.
"I know," said Isaac. "But we still have a long way to go if we’re going to complete our journey. Thank you for all of your help and hospitality, Picard. I wish there was some way I could repay you for everything you’ve done." His voice dropped to a low purr. “If you know what I mean…”
"No payments are necessary, Isaac. It was all my pleasure." He smiled. "It’s been a very long time since I’ve fought beside such a fine warrior. I’m certain that you'll succeed in every task you undertake."
Isaac smiled back. "I will as long as I have them." “Them” being his full collection of Ninja Adventure Squad comics, as well as the Ninja Adventure Squad companion volume, Ninja Adventure Squad action figures, drama CDs, spin-off novels, visual novels, fighting games, costumes, plushies, full seasons of the cartoon, the live-action film, and the breakfast cereal.
"That’s everything," Ivan said, coming down the gangplank. "The hold’s full and secure. I think we even have enough porn food to satisfy Garet’s insatiable appetite for sex!"
"I heard that, Ivan!" Garet growled, coming down behind him.
"Think fast!" Jenna suddenly called. Jenna, this is fanon Garet we’re talking about. He makes Homer Simpson look like a MENSA member. A large snowball suddenly whacked Garet right in the face and she, Ivan and
Garet wiped the snow from his eyes and set his sights on Jenna. "So that’s how you wanna play, huh? I’ll show you!" He scooped up some Crystal Powder snow and ran after the two girls, who shrieked and scattered, fearing for their lives laughing the whole time. Not one to be left out, Ivan made his own snowball and took off to join the fray. Isaac watched their playful battle, smiling broadly. And then Mia showed up and completely owned them all with Ice Missile. “Don’t mess with Mercury, [radio edit]ers,” she said with a smirk. Somehow their carefree antics seemed so much more important after everything that had happened during the past few days. He hoped that they’d never change--that these brief moments when they could forget about the rest of the world and be themselves would keep happening again and again for as long as they lived. Maybe they could sail to Never Never Land and never grow up!
Something cold and wet hit the back of his head. He turned to see Mia giggling at him. "Head’s up!" she said. Isaac lifted an eyebrow, brushing the offending snow off the back of his neck and trying to suppress a chuckle. Mia went up to him and kissed his cheek, then pushed him down to the ground. Mia had an exhibitionist streak that could not be denied.
"Lady Mia!" Picard laughed, surprised at her behavior. “Can I join in too?”
"What’s gotten into you?" Isaac asked.
“Nothing – yet,” she said. “I was hoping you could help me out with that.”
"I’m sorry, Isaac," she said with a mischievous grin. "This winter weather has a strange effect on me. It makes me horny. Here." She extended a hand to help him up, which he took. But rather than letting her pull him up, he yanked her arm and brought her down into the snow with him. Mia growled at him playfully and pounced, pinning him underneath her. "You went and got me all wet!" she accused. "That’s going to cost you dearly. Naughty boys need punishment!"
"Oh no," Isaac said in mock fear. "Have mercy, please!"
"Never!" Mia declared. She leaned down and kissed him long and slowly. "Had enough yet?"
Isaac smiled. "I’ll never surrender! Give me your worst."
"You asked for it." So she kissed him again. It’s like the BDSM jokes just write themselves here. Picard smiled down at the pair and then looked to the others. Garet had been pummeled one too many times and was face down in the powder. Jenna had seated herself triumphantly on his back and Ivan and
"Admit it, Garet," said Jenna gleefully. "I was right when I said I could kick your ass in a fight!"
"You’re a dirty cheater," Garet groaned, pulling his head out of the fluff. "And you’ve also been putting on weight!" Hah, that’ll teach her.
Jenna smacked him. "That’s no way to talk to a lady!" Because a small jibe clearly demands violence in return.
"Well, you’re not much of a lady!" A lady of negotiable affection, maybe…
"Don’t make me come over there!" Isaac called to them. He and Mia got to their feet and brushed off all of the snow. Eventually, the rest of the crew gathered around the dock as well. Like it or not, they had obligations to attend to and the time had come to leave Lemuria and this wretched fic behind.
"Well, I guess this is farewell, Picard," Isaac said. "Thank you again for all of your help and for not stealin’ my ho."
Picard nodded sadly, shaking Isaac’s hand. "Good luck to all of you. I'll never forget you."
"We won’t ever forget you, either," Ivan said.
"We’ll miss you, Picard," said
"Thank you for everything," Jenna said.
"Take care," Garet added. "Watch out for monsters."
"I will," Picard replied with a small laugh.
"Goodbye, Picard," said Mia. She smiled sadly up at him. "Thank you so much. If only we could be together…"
"Lady Mia…" He kissed her hand. "It cannot be, however much we might wish it. The Author will not allow our love to blossom. I wish you all the best. I know you’re in safe and capable hands."
“But they won’t be your hands, Piers!” she cried, tears streaming down her face.
Piers gently caressed her cheek. “Oh, Lady Mia… I shall love you ‘til the end of my artificially extended days. But know that our love will live on, in the many Aquashipping fics of other writers.”
Solemnly, the other six Adepts boarded their ship and set sail. Picard stood at the end of the dock, watching the vessel as it journeyed out of sight. He smiled to himself. "Travel well, my friends. Wherever the sea takes you, may you find everlasting prosperity and happiness."
As soon as Garet and Ivan were asleep, Isaac sneaked out of their cabin. Time for nookie! He silently ascended the stairs to the main deck, wishing to get a little air since it was quite stuffy down below. The sea lay as flat and still as a mirror with no wind to stir up the surf. Nothing disturbed the sky either nothing except OHSH- ALIENS!, and it hung above like a curtain of deep blue velvet decorated with tiny diamonds. Isaac idly strolled around the deck gazing at the calm sky, trying to ignore the biting chill in the air that cut through to his bones. His mind wandered all over the place and consequently got lost, bouncing around like a dead baby covered in rubber from his nightmares, to the demon’s last stand, to the strange serenity he felt now, and then back again. It all seemed so hazy, as if everything had been a long dream. Isaac wasn’t far from the truth; the whole event was just an extended, vivid drug trip. Say no to drugs, kids! Now that it was all over, the sorrow and despair were rapidly fading away. And they weren’t simply being covered up again--they were truly disappearing for good. How strange it was to not feel that burden resonating deep within him anymore, and yet how wonderful it was to finally be free of it.
So many memories…they had come so close to swallowing him completely. *tasteless joke here* He’d learned his lesson. He’d never allow that kind of pain to quietly build and compile until it got beyond anyone’s control. There was no need, not when he had so much to live for. And while fate had been cruel in many instances, perhaps it had had a reason at least once. If he’d never ventured into Sol Sanctum, this journey never would’ve happened. And that would be a crying shame. Vale was a wonderful place, but the world beyond its gates had proven incredible in its own right. So many beautiful sights and interesting people. Like that one guy in Tolbi who wandered around talking to the voice in his head and saying the end was near, and that guy with no legs who sat on a board with wheels and had a goat pull him around, and of course he couldn’t forget the wonderful night he’d spent with a hooker named Tressica. The rash and warts continued to provide reminders. And if he’d never left Vale, he never would’ve found her. Mail order bride? Perhaps she was fate’s way of giving something back after taking so much. Or maybe it was just fate screwing up in its plan to never let you know a moment’s happiness.
The air was too cold to tolerate any longer, so Isaac died. and he had an important appointment to keep anyway. Sexy tiems! He returned below deck, proceeding down the corridor to the Captain’s cabin. He opened the door, entering almost complete darkness, and shut it very carefully and quietly behind him. A pair of smooth, slender hands touched his face and then found his neck, closing around it in an iron grip and squeezing the life out of him and pulled him into a long, tender kiss. He embraced the warm body before him Garet, of course and they migrated to the bed, burrowing beneath the covers to shield themselves from the draft in the room.
"Back into our old habits, aren’t we?" Garet
Mia inquired, laying her head on his chest. She breathed in that sweet, earthy scent from his skin for the first time in days. Isaac, it’s called a shower.
"I hope you don’t mind," Isaac said, pulling her closer.
"Not at all. Actually, I was hoping we’d have the opportunity to be alone again. I’ve missed you so much."
"Me too." He curled some of the silken strands around his fingers. "Mia, I wanted to thank you again for everything you said. For saving me from that demon." No, Isaac, you are the demons! … Have I overdone the Doom: Repercussions of Evil jokes yet? Yes? Too bad.
"Oh, Isaac. You know I could never let anything steal you away from me. I only wish I could’ve prevented that whole ordeal from happening in the first place."
"That was my fault," he said. Well, of course it was, moron. "My own inner fears and self-loathing held me back from dealing with the emotions the demon fed off of. I’ve learned a lesson from all of this, and it’s not one I’ll ever forget." He kissed her again. "I know how to fight back now. I’d give her a HA! And a HI-YA! And then an OOU-WA! And I’d kick her, sir. I’ll never leave you behind again."
Mia squeezed him. "I’ll always be here for you too, Isaac. We’re soulmates, *takes the shot glass* Someone call 911, please? parts of the same whole, and nothing will ever be able to pull us apart. This bond we have can protect us from anything, no matter how evil. We are our own safe haven."
"A sanctuary," Isaac agreed.
She nodded slightly. They laid there together in silence, holding each other and reveling in the security of their love. It was a true safe haven, completely immune from everything in this crazy mixed up world except various STDs, but since Isaac and Mia shared everything else, they didn’t mind sharing those as well. What more could anyone ask for? What more could anyone need? A pony, dangit. A [radio edit]ing pony.
"Are you sure you’re all right?" she asked.
A simple and yet very complex question. Not long ago, he wouldn’t have known exactly how to answer it honestly. I’ll give you a hint: “No.” But now certain of his ability to protect everyone from harm, including himself, and free from the burden of guilt and sorrow that had shackled him for so long, there was no doubt in his mind about his answer. The truth he knew in the core of his soul.
Come on, you people must've known this would have a happy ending! Yes, yes, I did, though I hoped against hope for it to be otherwise. There's no way I could put poor Isaac through all of that and not have it turn out for the best Yeah, because what are dramatic and heartwrenching situations without the assurance that they’ll end well to diffuse any real drama? --I'm not that cruel (usually…)! I beg to differ on the part of your cruelty. x_X
And now for a few words of thanks:
To Alex and Akiko: Many thanks for your funny and insightful reviews and for graciously putting up with my evil cliffhangers. Do continue work on the few dozen fics you guys have, as I anxiously await their conclusions!
To Bar-Ohki: Novel quality? Wow, that's about the greatest thing anyone's ever said about my writing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! After all, Twilight and Eragon are published novels.
To PaperCutVictim: I've set a good example by finishing all of my fics, so I'm asking you nicely to finish at least one of yours, OK? Pretty please? I don't care if it takes you an eternity, because I'm young and I'm willing to wait! ^_^
To Onyx-dreams: *with mouth full* With what? >.> Mmmm…good cookie. I'm terribly flattered that you find me amazing, since the feeling is mutual (I’m serious!). Anyone who can write something as funny as "Drinking Games" and then turn around and write something as moving as "The Silence is Broken" possesses a rare gift indeed. I implore Speaking of drinking games… you to continue writing and to finish "Silence" before I go bonkers wondering how the hell it ends!
To Triad Orion: My lord, you reviewed some chapters twice! I must've hit a nerve somewhere huh? Thank you so much for all of your useful (and often very amusing) reviews. My only hope is that I've provided a similar service for you. Rest assure that I will continue to follow "The Trials of Destiny," as well as those other GS fics when you get to them, and yell at you whenever you put in evil cliffhangers!
And to all the rest of you: You [radio edit]ing enablers, you. I'm sorry that I didn't single you out by name, but it wouldn’t do to make this afterward too long. A thousand thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this and comment on it. I am truly grateful.
So until next time, Ciao! ^_^
Until next time, indeed. Because her next fic is a Flameshipping fic, and if there’s any pairing I like, it’s Garet/Jenna. So, on my honor as a sporker and a Flameshipper, I feel it is my duty to tackle that sucker. I’ll see you all then!