Macross Fan Fiction ❯ Life After Death ❯ Chapter One ( One-Shot )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Disclaimer: I don't own Robotech or any of the characters. The following fan fiction is written for entertainment purposes only.
Thirty. I'm thirty years old today. An old maid, a spinster…
Looking at herself in the full length mirror that hung on one wall in her sleeping quarter, Lisa Hayes stared at herself. Slowly she stripped off her Admiral's uniform and stockings and stood clad only in her bra and panty.
Hesitantly she took off her bra and studied herself critically; she had to admit that her physical attributes were not unattractive. Her breasts were pale and high, still firm and full. The curves of her waist and hips were modest.
Her legs, her best feature she knew were long, slim and toned but she knew her charms were nothing compared to the voluptuous females like Minmei or Miriya.
Lisa frowned at her image.
How could she ever have been naïve enough to think that Rick would be satisfied with her? When he could have someone younger, more beautiful, desirable and wickedly sophisticated like he himself was. Or someone who was carefree, innocent and full of optimism not her, who had seen too much, done too much and was dead inside-- cold, hard and jaded.
Sure, they were together now but what about tomorrow or fifty years from now?
Would he resent her for always being the one in control and in charge, the serious one?
Would he be happy knowing she would always be older, have the higher rank and make more money?
She knows he loves her, cares what happens to her, but was he in love with her?
Was she the only one in his heart and in his thoughts? Could he love her, truly love her because she was the woman of his dream and not because she was the right choice-- attainable and fits into his lifestyle?
Lisa shut her eyes, remembering the bittersweet embrace Minmei and Rick had shared after he'd rescued her and Kyle from Khyron. Pain sliced through her as she recalled Rick's words to Minmei…
`I'll always come for you, Minmei. I would be willing to risk my life for you over and over again.'
Her head suddenly shot up in panic as if coming to a realization.
"Rick will never love me like I love him... I want more than gratefulness and warm affection from him. I want the moon and the stars. I want it all!" She cried.
Then something stirred inside her-- a longing and a need to belong.
Did she belong with Rick? Was she rushing him; turning him into someone she wanted him to be because she could? Would he someday think back and regret the life he'd spent with her?
Muttering an oath, Lisa stepped out of her panty and roughly drew on her robe while making her way into the bathroom for a quick shower before Rick gets home.
Before stepping into the shower, she wondered what Rick had planned for her birthday this year. Last year he'd proposed and she hadn't exactly said no or yes either which had him pissed off at her for weeks.
Remembering, she touched the two carat diamond solitaire hanging around her neck.
Another year, another wedding. Why can't I just wear my uniform? It's not like I'm the bride…
Their eyes met in the full length mirror, haunted green to worried blue.
Rick Hunter shook his head at the uncertainty he saw in her features. Lisa Hayes was at times, a mystery to him. She was strikingly beautiful, elegant, and graceful, and yet there was something terribly flawed about her.
He knew she had no notion how lovely she was or could be. He had been right about the rose color dress for her; it brought out the richness of her hair and eyes, the luminous warmth of her flawless skin.
But it was Lisa herself he needed to convince. She was, without a doubt, the strongest and the most fragile woman he'd ever known.
“You are beautiful, Lisa” he whispered. “You are one of the most intriguing women I've ever met. Lovely, exciting and vibrant…”
His words washed over her like silk and made her heart ache. She closed her eyes in denial and hoped he hadn't seen the turmoil of emotion that was tearing her apart inside.
She felt him coming up behind her, his arms wrapping around her and his breath, a soft mist on her neck. She took a deep breath and began to relax against him.
`I love you so much, Rick,' she thought wildly to herself.
“Marry me, Lisa,” he said without preamble.
“Marry me. Now, tomorrow, next week, your choice, it doesn't matter when or where. I want you to be my wife,” he said, his voice fierce. He turned her around and looked into her eyes.
He wanted to see her joy and happiness. He needed to see her eyes sparkle with love for him. But what he saw in them twisted his insides into knots. She was in pain.
“Rick… I'm…”
Rick sighed and his eyes darkened. “What is wrong, Lisa? Why are you so against marriage to me?”
She said without hesitation.
“Because you're not in love with me, Rick. Because you will come to regret your decision someday and hate me…”
“So, you're turning me down, again because of your inability to believe in me, to trust me to know myself and my feelings.”
“No! That's not it. What I want is some time. I don't want us to be forced into anything, Rick. Can't you understand that?”
She watched his face. A muscle tightened in his jaw, but other than that, there was no hint as to what he was thinking.
Damn her! She was driving him crazy with her stubbornness but the vulnerability he saw in her eyes struck a responsive cord in him that left him defeated and helpless. He raked a hand roughly through his unruly dark hair, torn by instincts and feelings that were warring inside him.
He grabbed her then and shook her. Willing her to look at him-- to hear him.
“Now you listen to me, Lisa Hayes. I want you and no one else. I choose you because I am in love with you. You're perfect for me, Lisa. You're everything I've ever needed and want in a woman. If you believe nothing else in this life, believe that. You are beautiful and sweet and I want to be your husband!”
“All right,” she said quietly and quickly wrapped her arms about his waist.
Her answer caught him off guard and he blinked in disbelief, wondering if this was a dream. Lisa never gave in to him that easily before.
Only a couple of seconds had passed since she spoke but it seemed like an eternity before he realized that she was not joking.
“About time, Admiral,” he replied, his heart thudding as his lips nuzzled the curve of her throat. “You're the most exasperating woman I've ever met, Lisa but I love you anyway.”
As his firm lips brushed against hers, Lisa knew that what she'd been waiting for all this time-- his commitment to her because he needed her and her love above all else was finally hers.
Happy, safe and whole at last she raised her arms and wrapped them around his neck, pulling him deeper into her and the kiss.
Fifty. I'm fifty years old today, an old woman. I should be a grandmother already yet my son just turned seven.
Squeezing her eyes shut, Lisa rubbed her throbbing temples. Rick was not to blame for her misery.
Curse him, curse him, and curse him!
Did he think that she was so old that she'd lost her scent of smell or sight that she could not see the lipstick stain on his collar or smell another woman's perfume on his skin?
Fighting the tears, the raw ache in her throat and the waves of panic that were threatening to overcome her she pressed her lips tightly together.
In truth, she reasoned, she shouldn't be so devastated. She'd always know this might happen. But damn it! She'd hoped.
Why had she allowed herself to be like this? She was no longer a teenager yet what an utter fool she'd been!
All these years, she had only been deluding herself to think Rick was in love with her! She dashed a hand roughly across her eyes.
'No!' she told herself and willed the tears to cease as her breathing came in ragged gasps.
She would not die, no matter how searing the pain was. She was strong enough to endure it. She would not be relegated to so pitiful a role as the spurned wife! She would never let Rick know how deeply he had wounded her.
Hearing the front door open, her head came up but her hands dropped to her lap. She clutched her fingers tightly together in an effort to control the rage and helplessness that was sweeping through her.
“Sorry. I'm late, I know,” Rick said beguilingly as he slipped out of his jacket and proceed to the bathroom for a shower. “Just give me ten minutes and I'll be a bran new man again.”
“I have a pounding headache, Rick. I don't want to go out tonight,” Lisa said noncommittally.
He stopped in mid stride. There was something wrong-- he knew from the frostiness of her tone. Without a word, he came up behind her, placing his hands on her bare shoulders.
“We always go out on your birthday, Lisa. What's wrong?”
It hurt to have him touch her after what he'd done. Hurt to endure his caresses when all she could think of was him caressing another woman, making passionate love to another woman. She wanted to fight him, to rail at him for his betrayal and pound his chest with her fists.
Shrugging his hands off her, she walked to her nightstand and poured herself a glass of water.
`Were I a woman you desired and in love with, you would not be so eager to kiss another,' she wanted to scream at him but instead she said, “I'm just feeling a little under the weather tonight. Nothing's wrong.”
A scowl darkened Rick's brow when her gaze refused to meet his.
“Lisa, turning fifty is nothing. I've never known you to be vain before but if you must know you're still the youngest and most beautiful Admiral I've ever seen. I'm crazy about you.”
Lisa had never felt such turmoil of the heart. Anger flared in her. The tension she was holding back was almost unbearable.
Who did he think he was?
“Damn you Rick! How dare you say that to me when you know it's not true!”
Rick's jaw hardened. “What the heck is going on, Lisa and what is that supposed to mean?”
“I know, Rick.”
“Know what?”
“I know that I am merely an encumbrance to you.”
He stared at her a long moment while a dull flush crept over his cheekbones.
“It's not what you're thinking, Lisa. Whatever you saw or heard is not true. I didn't go after her or pursue her. She was just a friend; at least I thought she was until she…”
“Threw herself at you? Declared her undying love and affection for you?” Lisa looked away, cursing her rash tongue but continued.
“Do you think I'm so blind and stupid that I don't see the adoration in her eyes every time she looked at you? Or the swell of pride and happiness you experienced whenever she smiled at you?”
“Lisa, nothing happened. You're my wife, the mother of my son, and most of all, my best friend, my CO; I have too much respect and admiration for you to treat you that way. I made a promise to you, Lisa, when we married, and I never break my promises. I've never broken it and I never will; believe me.”
Summoning every shred of dignity she possessed, Lisa turned to fully face him. “That's just it, Rick. I don't believe you.”
Rick regarded her narrowly, knowing he was to blame for the hurt look in her eyes, for the suspiciously bright moisture that gleamed like tears. Beneath his anger, guilt knifed at him.
“You underestimate yourself, Lisa. That has always been the void in our relationship and our marri —“
“I'm tired Rick. I'm going to turn in. Do what you want. I don't care anymore.”
“I swear to you, it never went beyond a few kisses, Lisa,” his intense midnight blue eyes held hers.
“I admit I was tempted but she was not you! The entire time she was kissing me, I was thinking of you, wishing you were the one in my arms. She means nothing to me.”
Her eyes stark with unhappiness, Lisa stiffened her spine. “You couldn't possibly understand how much you hurt me, Rick.”
Shaking her head she headed to their bed, slipped beneath the bedcovers and burying her face in the pillow before releasing a sob that came from the hollow of her heart.
I think I'm dying because I feel so cold…
“Lisa, Lisa! Earth to Lisa!”
“Wh-what? — cold!” she screamed and jumped out of the running water.
Automatically Rick turned off the water and reached for a towel. Wrapping it around her he could feel her shaking and hear her teeth chattering. Framing her face in his hands he forced her to look up at him.
Stunned, he could only stare at her. Her eyes were red, her face tear stained, and there was a haunted expression on her face. As if she'd seen the devil himself and he had come for her soul.
“Lisa?” He spoke her name softly. “Are you all right? What happened?” He had the oddest sensation she'd just realized he was there.
“I… I don't know, Rick. I must have fallen asleep.” She looked at him. Something dark filled her eyes. “I can't believe I feel asleep while taking a shower…”
She bit her lower lip and her eyes filled with tears.
“I'm right here, Lisa. It's going to be alright,” he said as he reached for her bath robe and helped her into it.
“I'm going to call Jean, okay?”
“No! No, please don't call her. I'm fine, Rick. Really, I'm fine. I just need something hot to warm me up. Will you make me a cup of hot tea?”
“I have a better idea,” he said and pulled her into his arms. She sank into his embrace passively and leaned her head against his shoulder, trying to understand what had just happened.
There against the warmth of him, she inhaled his scent and knew that she would die a slow death if she were ever to loose him. Out of the blue, sobs racked her body and she cried as if she'd been wounded down to her soul.
She cried for her father, for Earth, for the trio, for Admiral Gloval and for Claudia. Beautiful, bossy, Claudia whom she'd loved like a sister but had never told her so.
She cried for herself, for Rick and for the whole entire human race but mostly, she cried because of the unfairness of it all-- life!
Life sucks!
Holding her tightly to him, Rick wondered what happened. He knew he should have been home earlier and he mentally kicked himself for his carelessness in not remembering that around this time of the year she was always like this-- distracted and sad.
Last year he'd tried to change it by proposing to her, hoping it would erase some of the sadness but it had only made it worse.
How he wished she would share her thoughts and grief with him sometimes. But she hadn't, even after all these years that they've been together and he, being the coward that he is had never asked her or made her feel safe enough to open up to him.
After a long time of him just holding her, rubbing her back and gently stroking her wet hair Lisa finally stopped crying.
Walking her to their bedroom, Rick sat her down on her vanity chair and began to towel dry her hair. He worked without saying a word to her; just concentrating on the task at hand and occasionally studied her.
There were no obvious signs that anything bad had happened to her, yet he couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. He knew he'd done little in the past years to secure her affection or respect.
He'd never wooed her as she deserved.
In the beginning, they'd fought like cats and dogs because he had thought her too rigid, too bossy and too cold. Yet that hadn't stopped him from being intrigued by her courage and intelligence.
In the years that had followed Dolza's “Rain of Death,” he'd come to admired her strength, her quiet beauty and enjoyed her company.
A few years ago he'd realized that she was very special to him-- someone he could love, protect and be with without her turning into a yoke around his neck. But in the last couple of weeks everything had changed.
He knew now that if she didn't want to be part of his life anymore, all his dreams for the future and everything he'd done up to this moment would be meaningless. He needed her. She was his strength and his inspiration.
`Tonight,' he thought as he stroked her cheek and brushed the back of his fingers against her soft skin.
`I'll start tonight, to show her in every way possible that this is where she belonged; where we both belonged.'