Mion Sonozaki ([personal profile] yamionrly) wrote2011-02-26 04:01 am

she's going to break, she's going to break

Every since Akane was young, since she had overheard her parents talking about their pasts - their "worlds" - she had always known one thing.

Other worlds were "bad". The island was "good". Her parents wouldn't be able to be together if not for the island. Her friends, her sisters, Akane herself... None of them would even have been born if not for the island. Her father would have simply stayed dead, instead of coming home to the woman he loves - because there was no way that place he came from could be called a home. Her mother would have been stuck in a village that was often filled with death and disaster, just as far from her father as he her.

The only world that was acceptable was the island. It was the only one that was safe. The only one that could ever be a "home".

And she had decided all of this before she was even eight years old.

Other children loved listening to the stories the adults would tell of their home worlds; they would even want to be taken on trips to them sometimes. Some would tell of fantastic battles, of epic journeys, and as the years passed, of more serious things - of life and death, and of all kinds of things that you simply couldn't understand unless you had been there.

No matter how many good things she heard from the adults, no matter how many fantastic and magical tales were told, however... All that sunk in were things like "this cost me my brother" or "I never saw them again" - Akane would focus in on things like that and think to herself knowingly: "This would have never happened if they were on this island."

Was she wrong? There wasn't really a way to say for sure, not since the island had become so populated now, but in Akane's mind, she knew that she was right for sure. This was a special place, that no outside world could touch, and she loved it and everyone on it.

She always wanted to help the other children - and the other original islanders - and make their time happier, always wearing a smile.

When someone was sick, she would be there in an apron to make them some soup. When someone was hurt, she would rush over with some bandages. If there was anything you could say about Akane, it was that she was kind, level-headed, caring, and just nice.

And she was always wearing that sweet smile of hers.

... Because she was on the island. It was natural for her to be that way while she was there, wasn't it?

Eventually, the other children started going to other worlds themselves once they were old enough. Some, like her sister, started even before they were really old enough. It began to get to the point where being nice, being safe, just wasn't good enough. The others would often wonder "Why doesn't Akane go?", but she would simply say she needed to go home to make dinner or something like that.

Of course, every single time it happened, her other sister (ever the silent observer) would be there to call her on it. She just couldn't seem to hide things from Shirley. That, at least, could make Akane smile.

Well... It didn't matter. Even if Shirley knew - or her whole family (not that they did, and not that they would) - it wouldn't change her views. She wouldn't be involved in a place, in any place, that could hurt people the way these other worlds clearly had. It certainly didn't help that she'd always used to have nightmares of these "other worlds" that she'd heard of.

Despite the good she KNEW was there as well, all she could see them as were wastelands of darkness, hellish places that simply weren't fit for living. They weren't like that on the outside, of course, they had to lure in innocent people - perhaps people native to that world - so they could drag them to ruin and despair.

Perhaps this was why there was just a little part of her, deep, deep down, that found her other sister's actions acceptable. If someone was out there fixing all of the worlds, that was a good thing, wasn't it? And even getting rid of them, so people wouldn't have to worry about them...

Every time she let herself think like that, Akane would her herself. How dare she think like that? Who was she to...? Those were still people, right? Her parents had come from another world, hadn't they?

But they'd left that world for a better one. The better one.

... Wouldn't it be better if there was only one world? Wouldn't it make things easier on everyone...?

---


Akane didn't always have these thoughts. Quite the contrary, in fact, she was quite content to live in ignorance on the island. To run around bandaging wounds, offering soup and smiles, cooking dinner every night, if she could have lived like that forever, she would have been happy. She was happy a good deal of the time, as a matter of the fact...

... But the thing was, if there was something she wasn't, it was that she wasn't ignorant. Her sister, and a good deal of the friends she had grown up with were things she could not forget. She knew they were out there somewhere, in a horrible place. She had watched them leave, and some had never returned. Others had returned, but had become completely different people - her sister, her beloved, treasured sister, was the most prominent example of this, and the one that was closest to Akane's heart.

What were they thinking about? Were they being hurt? Were they hurting someone else? What was happening? Did they wish they were home? Why couldn't they just stay home? Why - Why oh why did they think leaving was a good idea?

If only I could have stopped them... If only I could have kept them here...!! But now...


She knew one thing most of all.

She would never leave the island. That was absolute, to her. The mere idea of it - to truly imagine what it would be like - sent chills down her back. It made her sick.

So Akane smiled the sick away.

She was good at smiling - she liked smiling. It made other people smile, and that, in turn, made her want to smile all the more. She would smile and smile until all the bad thoughts went away, bottled up somewhere where she didn't need to think about them. She would smile and smile and smile and smile until her cheeks hurt, and then she'd smile some more.

She didn't need to think about things like "other worlds". So long as she was here, on her island, then they didn't matter. All that mattered was the simple things, like making dinner the way papa and mama liked most, like taking leftovers over to the neighbors, like feeding Tomi-kun II and III - these were the things that mattered.

So she did them. She would do them well, too, until the next time Fiona arrived, fresh from battle - from conquest.

Then the cycle would start all over again.

And Akane would smile.

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