literature

Gurren Lagann - Turn the Phase - 8 Fracture

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By mjengels
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This is a work of fan fiction using characters and situations from the anime series Gurren Lagann, trademarked by Gainax Corporation.

For the most part, characters depicted in this work are characters created and owned by Kazuki Nakashima and Hiroyuki Imaishi. I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Gurren Lagann. There are several original characters appearing of my own design, however.

The story I tell about the former members of the Gurren Brigade is my own invention, and is neither purported nor believed to be part of Gurren Lagann's story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of the official story line.

I am not profiting financially from the creation and publication of this story. And I am very grateful to Messrs. Nakashima and Imaishi for sharing their wonderful story with the rest of us.  Thank you!

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EIGHT
Fracture

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A nagging pain in her neck rousted her awake. She could hear the rhythmic sounds of the monitoring devices keeping watch over their charges.  Must've dozed off, she thought, remembering why she was sitting on this hospital room couch in the first place. Obviously there had been no change in her friends' condition.

She blinked a moment at the fuzzy dark colors all around her before recalling she had set her glasses down on the end table next to her. Placing them on her nose, she turned to glance up at the clock but gasped as she found out just how stiff her neck was. Rubbing her neck and cocking her head gingerly from one side to the other gave her enough range of motion to venture a glance toward the clock again.

Wow, it was after midnight already. She smiled down at the little boy still sleeping there, stroking his reddish-brown hair as his head lay in her lap. He was a strong little man, just like his daddy. He'd come through this okay. Both of them would.

This time, that is.

"Miss Yomako!"

She looked up hearing her name, holding a finger on one hand to her lips while pointing with the other toward the sleeping boy in her lap.

But the little boy was beginning to wake up anyway. With a tired sigh, he smiled at her as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Mommy! Unca Sitan!" he cried as he saw them coming into the room.

"Yes, Hokuto, Mommy's here," the young woman with brown hair down to her waist replied as she knelt down and took him into her arms. "Uncle Sitan and I had to go help Granmama for a while before we came back here."

"Thank you, Miss Yomako, for looking after him while Sitan and I had to attend to our mother. She's really broken up over everything that has happened."

"Sure, Yue," she replied as she ran a hand through her long red hair. "But I would prefer if both of you would call me 'Yoko'. The Gurren Brigade has always been my family, and now so are the two of - "

Yoko's words caught in her throat as she recognized the man standing silently in the hallway just outside.

"Simon? Is that you?"

All eyes in the room followed her gaze toward the doorway. He was there indeed, his eyes alternately glancing left and right between where his two friends each lie in a hospital bed unconscious.  Dayakka stood behind, nodding a silent greeting toward them.

One at a time, Simon took Yue and Yoko into his arms and embraced them.  He introduced himself to Hokuto as he knelt down and gently tousled the boy's hair.  Simon finished sharing a moment of solidarity with them all by pulling Sitan into a bear hug as the younger man tried to grasp his shoulder.

"They'll pull through just fine, won't they, Yoko?" Simon said at length as he finished patting Sitan on the back.

She nodded her reply.  "Yeah, they will," Yoko said as she turned to Yue and Sitan.  "Simon and I have known them a lot longer than the two of you have.  They're as tough as they come."

No one said anything for some time.  The steady rhythmic tones from the instruments monitoring the two wounded warriors' vital signs increased their rate for a moment, and then returned to their normal cadence.

"Simon," Sitan said at last, "I'd like for you to plan to stop by my office tomorrow so I can discuss those test results from your physical."

Simon shook his head.  "No, Sitan, I'm afraid there's been a change in - "

"Auntie Darry!"

Every head in the room turned toward Hokuto as his cry cut Simon off, then followed the boy’s eyes toward where Darry lie in her hospital bed.  She blinked slowly a couple times before groggily raising her head, as if to see what all the commotion was about around her.  

"S-S-Simon?" Darry stuttered, focusing her eyes on the person nearest to her bedside.  Suddenly her eyes went wide.  "S-Simon!  I s-s-saw her!"

Sitan sprang to Darry's bedside, stroking his wife's long lavender hair as he tried to shush her.  "Yes, silly girl, Simon came to see you and Gimmy both.  But you can't get excited like this!  You need to rest so you can heal!"

But her husband's admonition seemed to only make Darry more determined to tell Simon *something* as she propped herself up shakily with her elbows.  "S-she s-s-s-saved us, S-Simon!"

"Darry, Sitan's right.  You can tell me more when I come back later after you get your strength back."  

Tears began streaming down Darry's face as her words began to sound ever more frantic.  "S-Simon, Gimmy and I both saw her!  She - "

Simon watched as Darry's arms went limp, causing her to collapse back onto the bed as her eyes fluttered shut.  He looked over to where Sitan stood with his thumb on the plunger of the syringe inserted below her IV drip.

"Simon, I'm sorry.  We've had to sedate her several times now, as each time she comes to she starts to struggle madly to tell us what she thought she saw during their last battle.  Seeing you here with us just now was the most frantic I've seen her yet."  

"I understand, Sitan," he replied. "You only did what you thought was best for someone you care about more than anything."

Yoko briskly walked over to the couch and grabbed her purse, realizing in that moment what she needed to do.  "Simon, come with me," she called after her as she walked out of the room.  

==========

"What is it, Yoko? You didn't drag me all the way down here just to help you get a cup of coffee."

Simon sat down at a table in the cafeteria of Central's infirmary.  Yoko walked over to one of the vending machines as she pawed through the loose change in her purse. A moment later, she returned with two cans of hot coffee, sitting one down in front of him.

"No, I really did need some coffee," she replied, tearing the lid off of hers and gingerly taking a sip. "But I need to talk to you too." She glanced around, grateful to see they had the large room to themselves for the moment. "I heard about that stunt you pulled with Leeron and Guinble this afternoon."

Simon stood, addressing her angrily. "Now see here, Yoko, this is none of your - "

Yoko sprang to her feet and slapped him as hard as she could.  "You listen and you listen well, idiot. I became a teacher because I realized something that has yet to permeate your thick digger's skull. Which, frankly, surprises me because I learned it from Kamina," she spat angrily while Simon stared at her in stunned silence, holding his cheek.  

"I understood I would never be happy if I was only living for myself, Simon.  I had to decide I would live for others also.  There will always be little boys and girls who will need a teacher. So long as I'm willing to teach them, my life has purpose and meaning. But you've been just living only for yourself ever since Nia died."

She sat down and took another sip of her coffee.  At length, Simon seated himself across from her and regarded her crossly.  "That's not true and you know it, Yoko.  I dig holes.  I help build things.  That many more people have electricity and water because of what I do!"

"Point taken," Yoko said as she crossed her arms defensively and stared down at the table top before her. "But you're doing what other people can do too. You're not doing what only *you* can do, Simon. 'Others are better suited to go down the tunnels I've dug' - that is what you keep telling us, right? So you gave your Drill to Gimmy so he can pilot Gurren Lagann. It made sense at the time and it makes sense now.  But did it ever occur to you you'll need to dig new tunnels now? Who gave you license to stop digging?!"

"Oh, don't give me that look," Yoko snorted disgustedly as she looked up from the table and noticed Simon staring at her dumbfounded. "Think about it, Simon.  You're the only one in the entire Universe who commands Spiral Power like you do. No one before even comes close.  Last year during my teacher's exchange I studied an ancient text which said something like 'with great power comes great responsibility.' Sure, you didn't ask for that power, but it came to you anyway.  It will destroy you from the inside out if you don't channel it somehow.

"I invest my time and talents now in our children, Simon. Do the same by keeping those who would abuse their Spiral Power at bay.  Show them a better way so the rest of us can live in peace.  Lead them down a path away from the Spiral Nemesis."

"And why me, Yoko?" he implored her.  "Why does everyone always have to depend upon me?"

Rage flashed in her eyes as she slammed both palms down on the table hard enough to make the coffee cans jump. "BECAUSE YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE THEY CAN!"

Yoko wagged a finger under Simon's nose as her nostrils flared. "You told me Nia begged you when you went away together before the wedding to keep saving the Universe even after she was only with you in your heart!  Are you seriously going to squander the rest of your life waiting to die just so you can see her again? Do you think for one minute that would make Nia proud? You're breaking her tender heart even now with such foolishness, Simon!"

"But I miss having her here with me, Yoko!" Simon replied darkly. "And I still love her so. What's so wrong with that?"

"Not a thing, Simon. Nia loved you before, loves you now and will love you ever after. She would want you to cherish the memories of all the time you two shared, memories like I never got to share with - with Kamina," she stammered, trying to contain her own emotions. "She would want you to let her go, Simon, not to forget her, but so you can go on being Simon. Being the Simon that only you can be.  Doing the things that only Simon can do. You remember, don't you?  Just watching you doing those things made Nia the happiest. Believe in the Simon that *she* believes in. That's the Simon I love and the one all our friends do too."

Yoko sniffed and took off her glasses to dab at her eye with the back of her wrist.  "You say Kamina lives forever in your heart, right? Let Nia live there too, Simon, and you'll never be alone again. I promise. That's how I feel about Kamina. And I didn't know him nearly as long or as intimately as you did Nia. Don't ever forget, Simon:  Nia lived and laughed and loved and died with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She lived more in seven and a half years than most people do in a lifetime.  All because of you."

Simon sat for a moment, taking in all she had said. He cracked the top of his can of coffee and took a long sip. At length he stood up with a look of determination in his eyes she hadn't seen since the day of their final battle with Anti-Spiral. "Thank you for helping me see clearly, Yoko."

"Oh, here's where you two got yourselves to."

Dayakka walked into the cafeteria alone up to their table. "Sitan told me his colleagues' assessments of the twins' conditions look much better. Gimmy has had a sizeable increase of brain activity and Darry finally appears to be resting comfortably. So Yue took Hokuto home to bed and Sitan left to start his shift.  Maybe all that Spiral Power you're toting around helped again, Simon."

Simon laughed to spite himself as he stood to face his friend. "Thanks for letting us know, Dayakka. And I'm ready now to begin."

Dayakka's eyes went wide as he looked alternately between the two of them. "Are you sure, Simon? I mean, I knew how you felt about Nia and all, but - "

"You know me, Dayakka," Simon laughed as he pumped his fist, "kicking common sense to the curb and doing the impossible! We'll find a way, right? Just who in the hell...do...you..."

His voice trailed off as Yoko rose and gently kissed his cheek. "You're nobody, Simon. Or, well, I would like for you to be in time. One day I hope your extraordinary spirit becomes, well, ordinary," she said, looking up at him fondly.

A few people began coming and going through the cafeteria as Dayakka placed his arm around his Simon's shoulder. "Let's do this, my man."

Together the two men walked shoulder to shoulder down the corridor and out of sight. Yoko turned and looked out the picture windows constituting the cafeteria's east wall. The stars in the clear night sky twinkled brightly as she walked to the window and placed her hand on the glass.

Do this for me, Yoko thought as she stared back at her reflection.

Do it for my children and their children and all children to come.

Honor Nia by making this world a place we can live and love and grow and die knowing we reached our full potential.

Show us how to dig our way there, Simon.
This is the story of a man who had resigned himself to his Destiny. Using his talent to build things and mentor others, he lived a hardscrabble yet comfortingly familiar existence. However, Destiny had other plans for the man and his loved ones which none of them would fully comprehend. Destiny would assert Itself in his life once more, leaving no one untouched by its wake. A story by M. J. Engels.

EDIT 2 September 2015:  Enjoy some most excellent artwork by :iconredundantthoughts:  related to this chapter.  


Turn the Phase - Chapter 8 - Fracture

Then go show Sid some love.  Thanks Sid!  MJE
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