Split in Two
Authoress' Notes: Well, here it is! The conclusion to this little short story. I don't think it's the best I could have done, but of course they say that you are your own worst critic. Regardless of how much praise or criticism I get, I'm thinking of rewriting Split in Two entirely, with Lantis being more of a key to Hikaru and Nova's connection.
Magic Knight Rayearth is copyright CLAMP and Kodansha. I am naught but a lowly fangirl. As always, C&C would be very much appreciated.
Walk on through the wind
--Finale, from 'Carousel'
Chapter 7: A State of Eternity
Hikaru looked at the bleak landscape with tired eyes, floating through endless darkness, a darkness that strongly resembled the horrible dreamscape in which she was literally beaten to near death by Nova while trying to revive her sword. It was cold, the type of deathly chill that had been in the pocket dimension. The memory made her surroundings all the more eerie, as no one else was around her.
Suddenly, Hikaru felt her heart stop beating, and she dropped to her knees. As the sickening feeling passed, she looked up a bit to see Nova lying spread-eagled on the ground a few feet in front of her. There was no psychotic grin on her face now, nor did her eyes shine with the unholy glee that was her trademark. They were closed, and her face was emotionless. Before she could make her way towards her dark self however, she was stopped by a voice she hadn't heard before. Yet she felt almost compelled to know it.
"Do not bother. She will not wake up."
The Fire Knight blanched at the words. Suddenly she felt so drained. "Who...who are you? And what do you mean by that?" Hikaru felt her hands clench into fists, but they softened as the source of the voice revealed itself.
The fluffy creature stared blankly at Hikaru, though it's gem glowed a steady violet color, its androgynous voice speaking again in a true ventriloquist's fashion, its mouth permanently shut. "Your present self would not be able to wake her up."
Hikaru looked from Nova, who was lying a few feet away, and back to Mokona. "Why would I not be able to wake her?"
"Nova can only exist within you. She is a shadow, not a person. And without you, she is not even that. Her destiny is to walk behind you, not beside you." The Creator's voice was soft and unhurried, yet Hikaru FELT the urgency from the words. "Nova cannot die from usual human deaths, but she will die if not returned to the source of her creation."
As if struggling underneath the weight of the Creator's words, Hikaru began to cry softly. "How could she die, if she is me, and I'm in perfect health?"
The form of Mokona 'puuud' softly, but then the Creator's voice took over again. "I just told you. Nova is you, but she is your shadow. And a shadow does not walk beside its persona. Its role is to walk behind you, exist within you, its face invisible to the human eye. It cannot remain beside you, or it will die."
Slow, hot tears streamed from Hikaru's eyes. She knew it to be true, long ago she had known it to be true. But she had shoved it to the back of her mind and soul. The Creator's soft, but stern words simply brought the situation to light once again, and cemented it. Nova's fate was now an ultimatum. Hikaru could absorb her, and forever have that girl a part of herself, never to see her again. Or she could continue to keep Nova beside her for a brief time before that part of herself died.
"Creator...before I make my decision...why do the people I work so hard at protecting die? I only wanted Nova to remain beside me. I really did believe for awhile that she would never leave me like Eagle did, because she WAS myself. I thought that unless I was shot, or committed suicide, she wouldn't die..."
Mokona looked at her with its blank expression, but hopped into her arms. It was then that it presented a question that took her by surprise, and found she couldn't answer, as it was answered for her. Her other self was forcing itself from the floor, looking even more transparent than when the ceremony began.
(have you noticed something?)
When Hikaru's eyes finally met Nova's piercing gaze, she then understood what it meant to have someone beside you for eternity. Eternity was an oxymoron. It was the state of death, but it also meant forever.
Nova had crept closer now, her slight form flickering. She was grinning from ear to ear, and her hands were outstretched. "That's right, Hikaru. They are all with you. They never left you."
The Fire Knight smiled back and stretched out her own arms to the shadow.