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HOPE AND MEMORY

Shikami Yamino


Some people call me weird, psychotic and too happy to live the life of a soldier. They don't know how wrong they are. I smile, I laugh and I am cheerful... but they do not truly understand the real me. No one did... except her...

She is the reason I laugh, smile and keep the braid that whips at my back as I bounce around. Heero once said that it was a liability, but it is a liability that I would gladly keep. The others think I'm vain, the way I'm always brushing it or fiddling with it. They don't know that it reminds me of her, the way she brushed my hair so patiently every night and washed it. Her blue eyes sparkling every time she tucked me into bed and her soft lips leaving their faint imprint on my forehead as I drift off into peaceful slumber.

She is the reason I fight. Her, Father Maxwell... and the little boy whom I shall cherish always. Father Maxwell, who always bailed me out of trouble and who gave me a home when I was a lost and lonely little boy. Her, Sister Helen, whom I loved like a mother and who loved me like a son. And Solo... the little boy who gave me hope and the best of what little happy childhood memories I have. Solo who I was too late to save... and the Father and Sister, whom I could not save... Fighting is the only way I can live with myself... live with the fact that I couldn't save them. Retribution by fighting to save millions who are like them in every way.

It is also the memories of them that allow me to laugh and enjoy life despite its many ugly sides. Despite the chaos in this world. Smiles and laughter are my barriers, they protect me from discussing the real me, from allowing others to worm under my skin as *they* had. They are the barriers that protect me, as does Heero's emotionlessness, Trowa's silence, Quatre's caring and Wufei's ranting about Justice. Protects me from the hurt that caring for another could inflict on me. And to protect the others who might think to get close to me because...

Because anyone who gets close to me dies...

It is a fact I have come to terms with and it is a term that prompted me to take up my alias. My alter ego.

The Shinigami. Death re-incarnate.

Death not only to the enemies that barr my way but death to those around me as well. It seems strange, but besides death, I have nothing. Without death, I would not have met the four teammates that are the closest thing I have to friends. Without death, I would not have my beloved Deathscythe and the position it puts me in to end this meaningless war. Without the deaths of Father Maxwell and Sister Helen, I would not have become a Gundam pilot and without the death of Solo, I never would have known the Father and Sister, and consequently surely have been another death on the streets of L2. How appropriate for one to become Death when one's whole life has been a result of it.

Truthfully, I don't fear Death. On the contrary, I embrace it. Wish for the day when I will be claimed by its dark shadow and brought before that scythe I am so familiar with. Anything to be rid of the pain and suffering that is life.

But I cannot and no matter how much I crave the oblivion of death, I know that I have a duty. A duty to the rest of the people of this world to end this war in any way I can, using any and all means. I owe them that. Though sometimes I wonder why when all that the world has given me is pain and heartache. But I do know that I fight because of that pain and heartache that no child should be forced to experience. Fight for those children that could become another me. I fight so that hope and faith linger in those that so often pray for peace and to mend all the shattered dreams of the war orphans so like myself.

For this I would gladly trade my efforts, my sanity and my life, even, just to know that I made a difference in a world where torment and despair reign.

And so Death awaits me in a small corner of my existence and watches. Awaits the day when the boy who took his name will allow himself to be taken into his welcoming and warm embrace.

Until then I will fight...

In hope and in memory...


~~~OWARI~~~


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