Macross Fan Fiction ❯ The Future ❯ Hope ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Two:
I truly believe that we can overcome any hurdle that lies before us and create the life we want to live.
I have seen it happen time and time again. --- Gillian Anderson (Scully, The X-Files)
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---- A Lonely Raining Night ----
They walked silently, each in their own thoughts beneath Rick's big black umbrella as the rain poured without mercy.
Lisa wondered what she was going to say to him when they finally stopped. But what worried her most was believing that this night, this moment was real-- that Rick had actually been looking for her!
It was every girl's dream, she supposed to be single out as Cinderella was by her Prince Charming across a crowded room but she was no Cinderella and Rick was not Prince Charming. Just because he came for her tonight did not mean that he loved her for they both knew who he loved, would always love-- Minmei.
The knowledge sent a sharp pain through her and for the hundredth time since they left Claudia's place, she'd wished she hadn't drank so much wine so she could think clearly.
“Are you cold, Lisa?” She heard him asked.
She looked to him briefly and told him no but instead of stopping at that answer; she went further by telling him she enjoyed walking at night. She told herself to shut up but words just kept coming out of her mouth.
“... I don't know there's something about being able to walk freely at night, enjoying the fresh air, feeling the cool breeze that comforts me. It makes me feel so alone but free at the same time too. Do you... do you enjoying walking at night?”
“Uh, yes, I do,” he replied not knowing what else to say.
Lisa stopped walking and turned suddenly to look strait at him. “Rick, I think we need to talk.”
He could see determination in her eyes and a slow smile curved his mouth. “Yes, we certainly do. Let's go to my quarters since it's the closest.”
Lisa nodded and together they walked to his place.
Twenty minutes later, as she dried her hair, Rick handed her a cup of Claudia's hot herbal tea and came to sit across from her. Nervousness had made her hand shake a bit when she accepted the cup of tea from him but she hoped he hadn't noticed.
They both stopped and waited for the other to speak. Finally Rick spoke up. “I... I wanted to apologize for running that lame number on Vanessa earlier just to hurt you. I behaved like a jerk, I know that now.”
“Rick,” Lisa paused, lifting the cup of tea up to her mouth before saying over the rim, “if we're going to apologize to each other for all the little annoying and hurtful things we've done or said to each other since the day we met; we'll probably be here until I turn ninety. So what do you say, we forget and forgive what has happened and focus on what's to come?”
Rick gave her an amused smile, nodded then drank his tea. However he kept his eyes on her, liking the way the candlelight in the room played across her features. She wasn't beautiful like Minmei but there were beauty and grace and some indefinable air of femininity about her that drew his eye no matter how much he tried to ignore it.
Truth be told, he knew beneath her cool exterior lurked a warm and caring woman whose sensuality he found hard to resist when she let down her “Captain Hayes” persona. He's not quite sure when her looks and smiles had started to make his heart skip a beat but at this moment, he didn't care.
“Lisa, I've been doing a lot of thinking tonight and I want you to know that you're very special... important to me. I care about you, a lot. Without you, my life these past two years would have been very different-- empty,” he finally managed to say and hoped she'll say something similar back to him.
Struggling with emotions, Lisa didn't know what to say that would be appropriate. She knew she couldn't tell him that she was in love with him when it was obvious from what he'd just confessed that he was not in love with her.
“You're very important to me too, Rick. I've... I've know that for a while now. I just didn't know how to tell you. I think that's why sometimes I'm so hard on you... because I care.”
When she finished, she met his eyes and a little shock rippled through her at the intensity she saw there. Time stood still for her and all she could see, smell and feel was him-- Rick.
God, she was finally alone with him and he had come looking for her!
Lisa felt strange and wonderful all over. She felt like a foolish, gullible girl who believed in fairy-tale romance and almost believed she was beautiful, desirable and mysterious. She found herself drawing a slow breath and wanting to close the distance between them.
“So what did you and Claudia talked about tonight,” Rick asked out of the blue and the question brought her crashing back into reality.
Trying to buy some time for herself, Lisa set her cup in its saucer on the table next to her and leaned back against the cushions as to let him think that she was getting comfortable.
“Claudia told me how she and Roy met and... and what a jerk he was to her.”
“I see,” he said and regarded her quietly. Then he leaned forward, “and how did Roy overcome his flaws?”
Lisa looked at him, wide-eyed and almost laughing. “He didn't, she just told him to get lost—“
“She did not!”
“She certainly did! And after awhile he came to his senses and began courting her with gifts, flowers and love-notes when he realized she didn't want the ace pilot Roy Fokker that women loved and adored but the man behind the hero that no one cared to know or see,” Lisa finished with a sad smile and noticed Rick's far away look.
“I'm sorry, Rick. I didn't mean to bring up painful memories for you.”
“He was, you know, Roy, I mean, he was one-of-a-kind,” Rick said ignoring Lisa's apology and swallowed away the sadness that always came when he thought of Roy. “He was my big brother and my hero. I grew up wanting to be like him. I miss him, Lisa. It's still hard to believe he is gone.”
“I know what you mean, Rick,” Lisa confessed. “I wish my mother were alive too. I miss her very much even after all this time. She died when I was nine. She taught me many things I know and use in my work: patience, courage and intelligence. My mother was a brave, kind and strong person who followed the callings of her heart and dreams.”
Rick heard the emotional strain in her voice and was touched by her lingering anguish, one he also had experienced and still endured.
As they continued to talk, joke, share experiences and laugh with each other, a comforting companionship that had always been there between them blossomed. Rick had never felt more comfortable in her presence than this moment, this night, and he yearned to learn more about her-- Lisa, the woman, not the Captain.
He suddenly realized that Lisa was a far more complex person than he had ever dreamed and began asking her many questions about her childhood and hobbies. He learned that she played chess and poker not to mention tennis in junior high school. More importantly he learned that tulips and irises were her favorite flowers and that she loved strawberry ice cream.
But what humbled him the most was understanding that she, Lisa Hayes was a wounded person. One who had never been whole, and would never be as long as she continues to feel guilty for living while her fiancé, Riber had died.
“Rick, did you just knew flying was for you? Like a calling or passion that you just had to follow,” Lisa asked when she noticed that he was staring at her with a frowned on his face.
“Yes,” Rick answered after awhile. “I can't explain it. I just knew. I was four when my father first took me up in one of his old planes and six when he let me fly one by myself for about ten minutes. Since then flying was all I've ever wanted to do. It's like I was born to fly, Lisa.”
She thought he was finished, but he spoke up again when she would have spoken.
“When you're up there, soaring in the big, open-wide sky,” he continued, “it's like you're free and nothing can touch you. Like the world belongs to you. One of these days when we have some time on our hands, I would like to take you up there with me in my Mockingbird. That's if you'll come."
“I would love to Rick,” Lisa answered and her lips automatically curved into a joyful smile.
After a while, he noticed that she was yawning and he wondered if he was boring her. But on closer look, he realized that she was tired for she could barely keep her eyes open.
“Will you stay the night, Lisa? It's late and still raining outside. You can have the bed while I take the couch.” When he saw a flicker of uncertainty crossed her face, he added. “I would like you to stay, please.”
“I'd like that, Rick. Thank you,” Lisa replied, nearly giddy with apprehension and excitement, for she was already thinking of tomorrow and could see them sharing a light breakfast together like a normal couple.
Getting up, she was just about to leave when he caught her hand and raised it to his lips. “Pleasant dreams, Lisa,” he said afterward and she could see laughter and flirtation in his blue eyes.
Lisa Hayes was not the sort of person with whom men flirted. She never had been even when she had been young and happy. And now that she was being flirted with by none other than the object of her affection, it felt rather pleasant, wonderful actually and she blushed.
“Good-night, Rick,” she said in what she hoped was a cool tone and squeezed his hand. The smile she gave him as she turned to leave was radiant and dazzling sweet.
Watching her go, Rick smiled with silent amusement and at the same time felt a curious ache in his throat, almost as if he were on the verge of tears. For he had given her so little yet she had looked at him as if he walked on water.
Rick tossed and turned on his couch, unable to sleep for thinking about Lisa Hayes, the many challenges they had faced together and the many more ahead of them. He knew he was right in telling her that she was special to him. For she is-- important to him, he can't imagine his life without her yet there was Minmei.
Thinking about her always made him feel so alone, heartsick, confused and depressed yet he can't understand why he still loved her after almost four years of being separated from her. He wondered what is it about her that had kept him enchanted even after all this time.
Was it her heart-stopping beauty, her glow of eternal youth, her cheerfulness; her dreamy smile or was it the light in her eyes when she laughed or teased that he can't seem to forget?
`Stop it!' he told himself, `stop wishing for her, she's out of your reach. She can never be yours. She belongs to Kyle and her legions of fans. You were always just a friend, a big brother.'
Hearing a noise from his sleeping quarter, he quickly got up and went to look on Lisa. Upon reaching his bed, he glanced down and noted that she was sleeping peacefully and only then did he allowed his gaze to trace the curve of her jaw, the fullness of her lips and the swell of her breasts as she breathed evenly.
Unconsciously he inhaled the fragrant smells of her shiny hair and her subtle perfume.
Lisa... why do you tug so on my heart when it's Minmei I love and want? You make it so hard for me not to respond to you, and impossible for me to think of you only as my CO.
`Turn around, Hunter and walk away now!' he told himself sternly and glancing once more at Lisa again he followed his inner voice and left her-- untouched.
Lisa opened her eyes the second she felt Rick stepped out of the room. She held her breath and listened to the noise of him settling down on his couch again before she exhaled. Only after when she didn't hear him tossing or turning anymore did she let herself relaxed and hugged his pillow tightly to herself; for it felt heavenly sweet-- oddly natural to be sleeping in his bed and be surrounded by his scent.
When they had said their `good-nights' to each other earlier, she had hoped he would kiss her but he didn't. To kiss him, she knew, would have been sheer bliss and to make love to him would have been rapturous.
Lisa, you're dreaming now, and dreaming never got anybody anywhere. So snap out of it!
But she smiled to herself anyway, snuggling deeper into his pillow and longed for this to be only the beginning for them.
`Anything is possible,' she whispered to herself and sighed. `Believe, Lisa, you just have to believe.' Feeling hopeful and optimistic, Lisa closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep.
The next morning as Rick cooked Lisa his famous bacon, egg and cheese omelet, she asked him to have dinner with her at her place tomorrow night. He agreed readily and told her that it was a date.
“I'll even bring the wine,” he said and smiled at her teasingly while thinking quietly to himself how fresh, lovely and perfectly composed she looked this morning. “But only if you tell me that my omelet is delicious, perfect and the best you've ever had,” he finished as he set the omelet in front of her.