He saw her at a distance, the same fiery red hair glowing with the sun that caressed the frame of her body... the same glow to her skin that roared a tempered passion, the same stillness and ferocity from her simple hand gestures
everything the same and yet
different from their last meeting.
He knew she'd hear him coming
he knew what'd she say but he always knew she wasn't the type to fly away. Her style was confrontational, she despised subjugation and she wasn't too fond of "flight" despite being able to shoot off of the world like a star and never look back. He pushed his hair back and sighed trying to find the right words.
"Kory." He stated it simply enough; it was all he could manage in that moment with her gossamer lavender dress flowing with the breeze; she looked like a princess, of course she was a princess but the connotation of the word
that is what she embodied, all the regality of it, the beauty, the elegance
every movement she made
the touch on his face from years earlier
"Dick." She said frankly. Her body was facing the water; the waves swayed with her hair, her hands dangled at her sides, so at peace it seemed and yet a storm raged on inside her, a scream
she wanted to scream at him but she wouldn't allow it, not yet. For what better way could she punish him but indifference, at least in her mind that was the opposite of love
"I wouldn't have come if
I didn't need to
I need your help Kory." She kept her eyes forward but her body turned to the sound of his voice, her feet dug into the sand and she found herself cooling down, if only slightly. Her whole being was fire, fire and power; to add to this would theoretically help her, but with him it
it was gas on a fire amidst a forest, burning down everything in sight. That was not the person she wanted to be, she wanted to be the warmth of a fire, not it's destruction
"I'll have to decline." He straightened his shoulders, for a moment afraid of her. Not because he feared she'd strike him
no that was a possibility he had already weighed and accepted. He feared her for the sole reason that a friendship could not be born out of their past
their past romance
one that left him confused
"Please, Kory the league is away, we need all the help we can get
and well you're a powerhouse!" He tried to laugh at himself but the chuckle faded off into an awkward silence, awkward only for the acrobat as the alien had her eyes on the water, watching it rise to the sky and fall again.
"I said no." She took a few steps to the sea, the shore touching her feet. She let out a sigh and smiled, trying to repress all memories of the boy behind her. She would not acknowledge him as a man for he was a coward in her eyes. She would not give him the satisfaction of
oh who was she kidding? He did not care for her thoughts
she wanted him to suffer.
"You're being selfish-" There, that was a trigger word
"EXCUSE ME?" The Tamaranian had turned around now, violently so. Her finger rose and she was pointing to her former love with a great vehemence. She wanted to blast him around the island until he begged for mercy, apologized profusely and then she would strike him again until he had experienced all the pain she had under his hands, his actions, his choices.
"Yes Kory!" He wasn't backing down, instead he stepped closer to her, facing her, staring into the pupil-less eyes of hers made up entirely of emotions, emotions that ruled her
"Think logically Kory, the world needs you, don't you understand? Lives are at stake! Don't you think that's worth more than your anger towards me?" She slapped him. She slapped him but she held back and he knew it; that didn't stop the stinging sensation across his skin complimented with a slight burn.
"I don't care for a world that hates me when I have done nothing but care for it." She looked down recognizing the parallelism. Her hand dropped and she felt tears forming around her eyes, wetting her eyelashes. This was a sign of weakness
"And what of Mar'i? This is her home?" Dick's eyes were on the small infant, now sitting up, giggling as she patted the sand.
"Home? Please. She's half alien, that automatically makes her a disgusting creature by the standards of your people." She started walking towards her daughter in an effort to compose herself; she was not going to cry.
Dick quickly followed, taking her hand, she did not resist but let out a small hissing sound, her eyes narrowed and she was ready to scream, to finally scream and get rid of him.
"Kory, what do you plan to do?" Despite all his past actions, despite having left her and his child, his effort to forget things
he knew it was the wrong decision, he knew it was out of character
but that was the point. She fell in love with him, how else could she move on if he had not pretended to change
at the time it seemed like it was all for the best.
"I'm taking her away to some other planet and very soon. Of course this won't worry you as-"
"You're taking my daughter away!" He was caught off guard. Never had he imagined that Kory would resort to this. Did she hate him that much? No. The woman epitomized kindness, love. For her to take such an action meant he had taken his façade too far. He had created the impression that he was indifferent to his daughter, to Kory
when in actuality he often woke up from nightmares of their deaths. But that was why he gave them up! It was classic; the hero hurts the ones he loves to save them
now he was questioning himself
doubts filled his head
would he lose the people he loved must
because of his choice
"She is MY daughter. I suggest you leave now for this matter does not concern you." She wanted to vent now. She wanted to accuse him of so many things, the absentee father
void of emotions
and now he cares? What game was he playing? This was not her way; this was not the way of her people.
"No Dick! I'm sick of you, I'm sick of humanity. They play these stupid games, that is not who I am! I say what I feel, I mean what I say. There's no need to toy with emotions, it only suffices to entertain your corrupted race and my dear Dick I am no entertainer. What's worse is your people are beyond saving
so self-absorbed, it's disgusting! No
no this is not a world I want to raise my child." And there it was
the wisdom in which she always spoke that betrayed the first impression people often had of her. She was so young and still she had so much experience that came with a lifetime of struggles. It aged her internally; it made her strong. Dick loved that about her and in that moment he wanted to place his hand on her cheek and beg for forgiveness, but he knew she would have none of it. What more could he do but be honest
and cater to her emotions.
"You're right about my people on so many levels Kory
but one thing I refuse to believe
is that you would give up on them. That's not your nature
that's why I love
loved you." He looked over at his daughter solemnly
he wanted to hold her, he wanted to let her now she had another guardian, perhaps not one as strong as her mother, not one as wise as her mother but a father who cared.
Kory sensed this as she was always more empathetic than he was, more so than the average human being, the average Tamaranian.
"You can hold her." She took a few steps forward and lifted the child, passing her to Dick gently. Dick stared into the child's eyes seeing so much of her mother and so much of him. Mar'i smiled at her father and let out a small laugh. Her fingers wrapped around her father's chin and she seemed most pleased by the feel of his face.
"Of course, she's my daughter
our daughter." Kory looked at the scene before her and allowed the tears to fall. She knew this was a rare moment that did not have the likelihood of happening again. Dick would leave
and it was uncertain if he would ever return, but she couldn't help but pray that looking into the eyes of his daughter would make him stay and in turn make her stay
although Dick was right
she couldn't leave
she had to try and save those around her because it was in her nature to save those who cannot save themselves
his request was enough to make her stay
"I should go." Reluctantly, he handed the child to her mother, kissing her on the cheek.
"Please think it over Kory." The looked into each other's eyes for a long time, only the small gurgles of their child and the ocean waves made a sound between them. Somehow it was their music, their song
their life right in this stare that turned into an expression, an expression of unison and mutely love. Their minds linked to moments of their life. Her crash landing on Earth, their first kiss, his shock, her laughter, holding one another's hand, the fear of losing one another in battle
a night together followed by another
"Do you love me
do you love me really and not in 'Someone you will always love' way or someone who occupies a special place in your heart
Do you love me in the way that means forever. In a way that we never have to find excuses
do you love me that way?" her eyes seem to say all this, her eyes which showed a sense of pain and desperation and yet an understanding of love greater than anyone he had ever met.
"Yes." He mouthed as he could not find his voice. He turned away and walked off, tears forming in his eyes
for all the sacrifice he made as a hero
was it worth it?
The Tamaranian held her child close, whispering in her ear, "he loves us, he loves us." She buried her head in her child's face, letting her own tears fall
Mar'i touched her mother's face as she had with her father and smiled the most beautiful innocent smile in all the world, all the universe.
"And you my love give me hope." Her mother said as she turned to the ocean once more, a beauty in this ugly world.