Love At the Edge of Forever: An Azumanga Daioh/Angel Beats Crossover Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
On looking up from her cafeteria lunch, Kaorin Aida took in a quick intake of breath. Before her, the tall, statuesque beauty that was Sakaki smiled down upon her.
"M- ... Miss Sakaki? ... is-"
"Yes Kaorin, it's me."
The girl leaped from her seat, enfolding the taller in her arms.
"I ... I can't believe it! ... YOU!" She exclaimed. "Here of all places! How-?"
"And I can't believe you're here either," Sakaki replied, enthusiastically returning the embrace.
"I ... gave up hope of ever seeing you again," Kaorin started breaking down. "I didn't believe you ... died in that accident until I came to the service, then ... "
Did she just call me-?
"Don't cry dear," the taller gazing into the tearful eyes of the shorter. "We're both here now. That's what's important."
The two separated.
Sakaki sat, anxiously gesturing for Kaorin to do the same. Both seated, the diminutive one continued.
"Word spread. Seemed like at least half the graduate class came to the service. Even though we took our college entrance tests weeks before, we agreed to show up in our old uniforms ... looked more like a school outing than a funeral. The street in front of your house was blocked. Police had to clear it."
"About ... Maya."
"Still concerned over your kitty ... That's so like you. Chiyo still has him. Taking good care of him."
"I'm so happy to hear that," the tall one relieved.
"Same old Sakaki. You always did love animals."
"Among ... ," she took Kaorins' hand in hers, "other things."
"We know how I got here ... The last I remember was that truck rushing at our car. Mom and dad, I saw them just before I passed out, are they-?"
"Your parents are fine." Kaorin noting the way Sakaki held her hand. "They walked away from the wreck with minor injuries. The driver of the truck wasn't so lucky. News said heart failure. Probably died before the truck came through the light."
"What I meant was ... Why ... are you here? You're not even the last one I would expect."
Aida looked away but a moment.The events of the past three days ... Her own demise, trying to acclimate herself to her new situation ... Then finding the very object of her affections seemingly forever out of her reach ... HERE! In this unreal academy on the edge of ... what? Forever?
"When I heard what happened to you ... Your dying. I felt like I did too. Wanted to. I cried myself to sleep every night for over two weeks."
Kaorin didn't care about revealing her true feelings to the tall one. Not this time around. Things were now different. It seemed now even death couldn't separate them. Here ... a second chance to tell her of how she felt to her. No holding back. Not this time.
"I ... I've always loved you Sakaki." Blurting out not so unintentionally. "I-"
"I know you did Kaori."
"And I ... you."
Both of Sakakis' hands now held hers.
She ... called me Kaori ... again ... and-!
"Yes ... From the day we met ... our first day of high school. I only wish you did invite me to join the astronomy club."
"You remember that? I wanted to ... couldn't."
"Things might have been a LOT different if we weren't so shy about things ... each other."
"I thought you had no clue ... I thought you didn't even know I was alive at times."
"I did ... More than you think."
"It was something I got very good at in middle school. The quiet, tall, socially awkward girl with no emotions." Sakaki smiled. "It was easy to see how YOU felt though."
Kaorin let out a gasped chuckle, her face reddening.
"I guess I was a little obvious."
"So tell me ... again. How did you-?"
"Oh ... that.
"As far as I can recall ... It was about three weeks after the service ... Yes! Just a few days ago in fact. I was having trouble with insomnia. The past few days I was in a heavy funk ... really depressed, couldn't sleep. Tried sleeping tablets ... and ... well ... I took one too many I guess."
"You ... ," Sakakis' concern more than evident, "... didn't?"
"Oh no!" Aida exclaimed, eyes intense. "It wasn't that! Suicide? No!"
"The pills weren't working ... wasn't thinking straight ... must have thought one more wouldn't hurt. I guess it ... did."
"Kaori ... I'm so ... sorry ... I-"
"Don't be!" Kaorin closed her other hand over the ones already holding hers, eyes even more intense. "Things really ARE different now.
"I mean ... I come here ... what looks like a fresh start, sort of ... and now ... YOU!"
"Are you getting oriented?"
"Yes. Tachibana-san clued me in on most of it. Had to ask her a LOT of questions."
"Angel is tight lipped about a lot of things."
"Angel? Oh! That's right!" Kaorin scanned up and down the tall girl. "That different uniform of yours and all. I've started asking around about that group but didn't with anyone from the ... What do you call it?"
"Has a variety of names, but it always seems to end in Battlefront."
"What I could get from other students was strange... weird. All I could get out of Tachibana-san herself was something about uncooperative students."
"Oh ... She's right about that!"
"Why? Just what IS going on?"
"We all have different reasons for being in it as we all have different reasons for being here."
"Is it true ... ?"
"Your bunch runs around ... Pulling violent stunts ... uh ... carrying ... guns? I mean ... How do you get them and ... Do you?"
"Um ... Not right with me. No operation planned right now ... haven't even been on one yet."
"Just like you to join a rebel group of some kind. Like that bunch back in high school."
"You should have been with us more. We always thought of you as one of us Kaori."
"You ... did?"
"Oh ... I-"
Sakaki drew Kaorin close, the breath of both on eithers' faces.
"It's like you said a moment ago. It really IS different now. We ... have a second chance here. I don't want to waste it and nor do I think you."
"M- ... Miss Sakaki ... I-" Kaorin ecstatic.
"I don't want to put you through another three years of what you ... we ... went through ...
"We can be room mates ... You or I can change dorm rooms. Can be easily enough arranged. We ... can be together now. We-"
Again embracing, their open lips meeting.
Kaorin, eyes closing, blissfully succumbing to Sakakis' proffered deep soul kiss.
The tall girl haltingly staggered to her feet, tearful eyes wide on the now empty chair before her. Leaning over, hand on the table, she drew in several deep breaths before slumping back down.
Head in hands, sobbing uncontrollably ... lamenting.
"Kaori! ... Oh God! ... Kaori ... I'm so ... sorry ... I didn't want to do it ... had to ... oh Kaori, Kaori ... Please ... forgive me ... please don't hate me ... please ... don't ... Wherever you are now, I hope you understand ... I had to! I- ... OH GOD! ... I-"
Several self agonizing minutes passed before she noted the presence of three others seated close.
Looking up at the one directly across the table, through the tears she asked, "you ... saw what happened?"
"Yes," answered Yuri. "The whole thing."
"I'm ... I shouldn't have-"
"You did the right thing," Battlefront leader stoic. "Usually I'm against obliteration but this ... Had to be done.
"Are ... you alright?" Though knowing the tall one wasn't, Yuri still expressed more than obligatory concern.
"I ... will be. It'll take awhile ... but ... yeah"
"Are you sure?"
"Maybe," she answered, "if I tell myself what I did was right ... one day I might believe it."
"Believe it now. You had to do what was needed."
"It was," Sakaki without prompting, "as I thought. She was here because of me. That ... and how she got here ... Oh God!"
Nakamura reached over, putting a reassuring hand on that of the tall girl, her sobbing renewed.
"M- ... my fault ... my-"
"No. The fault is Not yours."
"When you spotted her yesterday, you knew you couldn't evade her here forever," Shiina being an expert on such things. "She would have found you eventually ... Sooner rather than later."
"It wasn't like it was your fault coming here," Yusa adding. "Nor of yours' in her following. And don't blame yourself for her huge crush on you. Any descisions and actions on her part were hers' alone."
"You have your own things to iron out. She would have only complicated things for you." Shiina
"And what you did," Nakamura trying to conclude. "Your seeing the situation. Taking matters into your own hands and acting on it. Proves you're one of us."
"I don't feel like ... anything."
"You'll get over it," Yuri consoling. "It was a tough decision you made. We've all had to make some here."
"Kaori was so messed up," Sakaki continued. "So was I. I wasn't ready for any kind of relationship let alone what she wanted. I never had any inclination in that direction. But I couldn't bring myself to tell her anything one way or the other. If I had the courage to ... this ... might never have happened.
"I might never have ended up here ... And she certainly wouldn't have either.
"And now ... I don't know where she is!"
"You gave her what she desired, yearned for. That was more than enough." Yusa explaining.
"I didn't. I did what I did to get her out the way. I didn't actually give her ... me."
"But she thought you did. That's what counts."
"It was a lie! It was-"
"Necessary ... It was necessary." Shiina declared. "And her thinking she attained the love she wanted was enough to have her leave."
"But I didn't love HER! Didn't ... couldn't, I-"
"But you did!"
Sakaki looked back at Yuri, puzzled look on her face.
"Not in the way she wanted, sure, but you loved her as a friend," explained the front leader. "Don't you see? You cared so much about her you didn't want to see her going through what you both did before. It wouldn't have been fair to either of you. Picking up where you left off would only have added to her suffering ... and yours.
"Instead of her being trapped with us in this in-between ... this partway ... You helped her find peace with herself. In doing so she passed on."
"Your feelings for her were genuine," Yusa adding. "They weren't quite the kind she would have wanted from you but they were enough."
"And God ... Knowing how bad off she was ... will understand," said Yuri almost choking on those words.
"I ... hope ... so ... I ..."
Burying her face in her hands again, Sakaki wept on ...
Storyline (only) copyright © 7-23-15 C V Ford
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