Voices from the Past
This is a work of amateur fiction and does not intend to infringe on the rights of Sunrise, Sotsu Agency, Asahi TV, and Bandai Visuals. No profit is being made.
Thank you, as always, to CC for beta reading and for helping to get this thing into a shape that makes it fit for general consumption. =)
There is something I need to tell you. I should have done so a long time ago, and I am sorry that I have waited for so long. I wonder if you even remember me still, that nurse at the hospital on L3-X18999 who dared to call your superiors stupid.
But you would remember. You are not the type of person who would forget about anyone, even if it is just someone like me. Even though I wanted you to forget when you left the hospital again. I thought it would be best if you never thought about me again, because then I would not have to worry about thinking about you. But life does not work like that. And I cannot possibly forget you.
She looks so much like you. The same sapphire blue eyes, the same features. Maybe even the color of her hair will become like yours when she is older. I would like to ask you whether yours was reddish too when you were a child. Perhaps you can tell me one day.
I am getting ahead of myself, but I do not quite know how to write a letter like this. You must be wondering what I want of you. Or maybe you know?
You have a child. Her name is Mariemeia, and she is a little more than two years old.
I am sorry, but I cannot say this in a different way.
I know that we were careful. But you fell asleep afterwards, and so you could not see what I was doing. Maybe it is a consolation to you that what we did in that night is not where Marie comes from. At the time my body was not yet ready for conception.
My reasons probably will not justify my actions in your eyes, but I want to try to explain nevertheless. I feel as if I have to tell you. What we did was not an act of love, but surely you know that. I could see it in your eyes, the morning you were released from hospital. There are times when I wonder what made you go along with it, but at the time I was glad that you did.
You see, I wanted to be pregnant. I thought it would be a way to make myself useless for Father's plans. Living in his world is not an easy thing at all, and I was hoping that he would cast me out once I had proven to be so worthless. In his eyes I would have disgraced the family. The people in our colony are not fond of women who have a child and are not married. If you had ever come back to our colony, I would have tried to explain to you what I had done, and perhaps you would have been so kind to take me away. But you never returned, and by now nobody comes here any longer who is not authorized by Father to do so. I do not even know how I will send this letter to you.
Father was so angry with me when I told him that I was expecting a child. He demanded to know who the father was. I tried not to tell him, but when he threatened to take Marie away once she was born, I had no choice in the matter anymore. And I cannot leave the colony. Father would know, and he would find me again.
Her medical files are on the disk that should still be in the envelope. I tried to include everything, but Father has altered some of the files and deleted others. Why he did it I do not know. He has not been telling me much anymore lately, but I know that he is doing something with Marie. I wish I knew what he is planning. Perhaps I have no right to be frightened, considering the role I have played in all this, but he is beginning to scare me. There is a new project he has, and it includes Marie and me somehow. I am trying to keep her safe, but there is little I can do. My brother would be able to achieve more, but he works so closely with Father that I do not dare ask him for help.
Maybe this letter will not reach you. And perhaps that even is better; if you do not know about Marie and me, then there will be no guilt for you. You are not to blame, but I know that you would hold yourself responsible. The guilt for what we had done was all over your face the morning after. I wish I did not have to remind you of it now, but I do not see any other way anymore. I want Marie to be safe. Here she is in danger, I am sure of that. And I cannot protect her any longer. Father keeps telling me that I am useless, that I must cooperate with him and that I must let him do with Marie as he wishes. In his eyes I am a bad influence on Marie because I tell her little things about you, how I remember you.
Treize, please keep her safe if you can. Do not do it because you feel obliged to do so because of what happened between us. Do it for her sake. The two of us have been caught up in war already. Don't let it happen to her too. Keep her away from the fight if you can. She deserves a better life than that. No matter what you think of me now, don't turn away from her please. I am scared of what will happen if she stays here for longer. Father will use her, and he does not care if it hurts her. Please, Treize, I beg you, get her out of here if you can. I won't be able to protect her much longer.
After reading the letter, Treize did not move for a long time. Eventually he laid the sheet of paper down carefully on his desk, not quite sure what else to do with it.
He had not expected to ever receive something like that, especially not after all those years. Leia had written the letter six years ago, and it seemed that she had never been able to post it. That it would reach him now had been a tremendous coincidence; a Preventer team had investigated Dekim Barton's headquarters on L3-X18999 and they had found a small stack of letters hidden in Leia's room. Normally it all would have gone directly into an archive after being thoroughly checked for any sort of evidence. But Sally had been involved in the mission, and she had made a copy of Leia's letter before allowing it to go into the archive. A copy that now lay on Treize's desk.
Somehow he wished he had never seen it. He had tried to believe that Leia had not cared to tell him about Mariemeia. That to her their relationship had been nothing more than a brief fling because she had been lonely. She had even told him so, the morning he had left the hospital. Not directly, but it had been clear from her voice and the looks on her face that she did not regret that he left. What she now said in her letter made him feel like he had just been conveniently available.
That their affair would ever turn into a longer relationship was not something that Treize had ever believed. He would have liked to think so, but it had been clear far too soon that there was no future for them together. Leia had been lonely, and had evidently had several more reasons to get involved with him. For Treize it had been a distraction from the pain and the helplessness of having to stay in hospital. And when the flirting had turned into more, he had not stopped it, as he should have done. He was not sure whether he would have been in love with her if they had been together for longer. It was hard to tell after so many years. And compared to what he felt for Zechs, any feelings Treize had ever held for Leia seemed to pale in comparison.
To know now that Leia had at some point tried to reach him was making him feel guilty for not attempting to contact her any longer after some weeks without success. Things might have been different if he had kept trying. Treize was realist enough to know that the colony had been under Dekim Barton's control, but there always were ways. And if he had been successful, then at least Mariemeia would have been spared a lot of suffering.
It puzzled Treize that Leia was not asking him to come back for her, that she only wanted him to get Mariemeia away. Had she not cared what happened to her anymore? He could have easily kept her safe, and surely she had known that. It would have been impossible to overlook the influence his family had. But Leia only wanted him to take away Mariemeia.
Reaching out, Treize took the letter in a hand once more and searched for a date. After a few moments he found a small note in the lower left corner that made him frown thoughtfully for a second before he realized the significance.
Leia had written the letter only a week before the official date of her death. Was that the reason why she had tried to reach him, why she was saying that she could not keep Mariemeia safe for much longer? There was no information in her records other than that she had died of an illness. Had she known that she would not live for much longer?
Treize closed his eyes for a moment, then tried to think of something else. It did not matter why she had asked. Not really. He could not have refused her request, whatever her reasons were for it. But he had not known, and even if he had, he might not have been able to do anything. Dekim Barton had had the colony under his control, and he would not have allowed anyone to take Mariemeia away.
Another look at the letter, then Treize carefully folded it again and put it back into the envelope before laying it into the top drawer of his desk, where he kept the bits of personal correspondence that were too important to be discarded. He was not sure whether he wanted to look at the letter again, but Mariemeia might one day want to see it, and so it had to be kept safe.
The drawer was shut and Treize got up from his seat to walk over to the window that overlooked the driveyard. A small smile crossed his face as he watched Zechs trying to play soccer with Mariemeia without making it too obvious that he was far better. The little girl had grown close to Zechs now that the blond man was staying here most of the time, and it had been a relief to Treize to see that she was not rejecting his lover. It had been something that had worried Treize a lot; if Mariemeia and Zechs had not gotten along, he would not have known what to do. But fortunately everything had worked out. Zechs had clearly taken the girl under his wing by now, and Mariemeia in turn seemed delighted that there was one more person who loved her.
In a way, this perhaps was what Leia had been wishing for her daughter.