Pairing: Awayuki Himeno/Hayate
Theme: #6—the space between dream and reality
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.
I used to dream.
A long time ago. Back before this mess really started. Back before we had even met Takako. Back before she became the Pretear and then the Princess of Darkness. Back before the Tree of Fenrir became the real threat that it was.
I would sleep at night, and I would dream. I dreamt of a girl, whose face I could never see clearly. I really believed her to be an angel, tall and elegant, swathed in robes that were so white as to be blinding; it seemed as though the light itself had woven itself around her slender form.
She always stood away from me in those dreams so long ago. She spoke, but I could never hear anything. I would run towards her, grabbing for her, just trying to find out who she was and what she wanted from me. But she was always just beyond my reach, floating out of the range of my grasping fingers. I sometimes wondered if she was teasing me.
And more often than not, I woke up in a panic, gasping for air…reaching out into the air.
The other Leafe Knights even commented on it—that I was calling out in my sleep for someone to wait, to come back, and tossing and turning as I grasped for some invisible prize. I didn’t tell them about my dreams, though.
I couldn’t get the dream-girl out of my head, even while I was awake. It was strange for me—I don’t usually get worked up over silly things like that. Why was this having such an impact on me?
And then I realized something. It hit me like one of Goh’s fireballs, right between the eyes—I had fallen for some nameless, faceless girl who to my knowledge only existed in that strange realm between the waking world of reality and the slumbering world of dreams.
I was chasing a shadow, and I knew it. But for some reason, I couldn’t let it go.
I used to dream.
When we found Takako, I liked her well enough. But she wasn’t the girl in my dreams. When she confessed to me, I could not love her. My heart lingered elsewhere, with a person I had never actually met. Never even seen clearly. Who might not even be real, for crying out loud! But I couldn’t explain that to her and still sound sane, so I simply said that I didn’t—couldn’t—feel the same and went on my merry way.
I later found out how grave of a mistake that truly was.
Takako became Fenrir, the Princess of Disaster. We lost three Knights in the battle as their Leafe ran out—Yuki, the Knight of Ice. Roka, Knight of Water. Mikio, Knight of Plants. They gave everything to seal our former Pretear-now-enemy, and then faded away to be reborn as Mannen, Hajime, and Shin.
We knew that sooner or later she would come back, and we would have to fight her. Which meant that we would need a new Pretear. So we started looking, already disheartened by our former Pretear’s transformation and betrayal.
And I began to dream again…but it was clearer now.
The dress woven of light itself took more of a shape—puffed sleeves, a fuller skirt, and at some point (I’m hard-pressed to say when exactly), a tiara appeared on her hair. Her features were slowly become more pronounced—for example, I could see that her hair was short—but her face was still eluding me, encased in white light.
As the dream became more detailed, we found her. And the dreams stopped.
Awayuki Himeno, our new Pretear.
Or as I immediately took to calling her, Tulip-Head. Seriously, have you looked at her hair? The color, the style—she’s a tulip. And for a while, I was convinced she had the brains and manners of one. But that’s a story for another day.
As I got to know Himeno, I found myself intrigued by her. Her brash, confident exterior was little more than a mask to hide how she really felt, or a shield to keep others from knowing what they were doing to her. I was startled to find myself starting to think of her as a kindred spirit, though I wasn’t sure if that was because we really were that much or alike, or if it was just wishful thinking on my part, to find someone else who knew what it was like to wear that mask. Someone who could understand.
At some point, I realized just how drawn I was to her. She had become so important to me—I was falling for her. But that damn mask kept me from doing anything. That, and my mind kept wandering back to the unknown woman in my dreams. I couldn’t forget her yet, though I had not had a dream of her since we had found Himeno.
But the night before what was to be our final battle, I dreamt once again, of the mysterious woman who wore light and who would not let me see her face. But this time it had changed. Instead of eluding me, she was right beside me—I could see now that the gown she wore was actually the palest pink-white, and I had seen it before but I couldn’t place where, I was too surprised. And she was reaching out to me…
She slid her arms around me as she kissed me. I never once saw her face, but I felt her lips against mine. And on instinct, I returned it, clinging to her desperately. I could feel her warmth, feel the silky fabric of her dress beneath my hands, feel her hair brushing against my face…
For a dream, it was the most intensely realistic moment of my life.
As she released me, as she stepped back and let me begin my unwilling trek back to the realm of consciousness, I heard a female voice, calling to me. “Bring me back. Bring back my smile…”
I woke up in a panic, clutching at the bed sheets and gasping for air. I was drenched. But I could still feel the tingle of her lips against mine. Who was she? Why did she kiss me? And what did she mean, that I was to bring back her smile?
There wasn’t much time to think about it, though. Because things began happening, and before any of us really knew it, we were fighting Fenrir. And Sasame…how could he? If you love someone, you don’t help them along on their path to destruction, you try to pull them from that path! But nothing will change what happened. And then Fenrir attacked Himeno and I in the pret, pinning us down with the intent to destroy both of us at once.
I cannot tell you how much that hurt, that endless barrage. But I wouldn’t budge, no matter how much Himeno screamed. I would not let her get hurt, no matter what it cost me.
I don’t really remember much of reality between the time I fell out of the pret, and the time I opened my eyes to find Sasame standing over me. But to this day, I swear that the dream-woman in pink-white appeared and guided me back.
And then I saw her.
The White Pretear, laid out amidst flowers as though sleeping.
But it didn’t take much closer inspection to realize that ‘sleeping’ was not quite the right word for the state she was in. Her chest did not rise and fall with breath. Her heart did not beat within her ribcage.
I don’t even remember running to her side and falling to my knees. But I do recall the desperation, the tearing fear that this was it, Himeno was gone for good. To this day, I don’t know what possessed me…
I had to kiss her, even if it was just once. I didn’t think of the dream-girl, I was only vaguely aware of the people standing around watching. I just whispered things I had never been able to say aloud, and let my head drop to meet hers.
It was instant. Familiar. I knew this kiss.
The pieces fell into place and clicked. It all clicked together. The faceless one…
The woman I had fallen in love with.
Himeno’s eyes opened, and she smiled at me. Just like I knew she would.
But it all made sense now.
I dreamt of her. I loved her before I even knew who she was, before I had met her.
And I brought her smile back.
I guess every once in a while, dreams do come true.
I still dream sometimes. But there is no longer any mystery to them.
PS. Fluffy little Hayate POV. Absolutely NO idea where it came from. Let’s blame it on finals week—too little sleep plus too much Mountain Dew plus piano proficiency equals Candy-chan’s head doing funny things. Thanks, and much love!