Bittersweet Destiny Home

Chapter 15: The Greatest Gift Of All.

Lisa was sad and Rick didn't understand why. He asked her directly, but she smiled softly to him and just nodded. For a few months in marriage, he already knew when and how much he can push her, and now wasn't the time for that. For a reason, watching Lisa in such pain, maee Rick feel miserable, and from his own experience, he knew that it probably was his fault.

Rick was sitting in the coffee-brake room looking outside the window when Claudia came in. She greeted him and he barely smiled and returned his view to the window again. Claudia frowned and walked next to him.

"Rick? Are you all right?" she asked with concern, looking more like a mother than a superior officer. Rick looked into her brown eyes and nodded.
"I don't know Clau. Lisa has been acting weird all the week and I don't know why" he said and sighed.

Claudia nodded and bit her lower lip in concern. Rick saw her and asked quickly in wonder.

"Do you know why? If you know you have to tell me!" he said and Claudia stepped back, trying to think.

"Easy, easy.I think I will Rick but.but I think you better sit down and calm down a bit, because you are not going to like this" she warned and Rick swallowed hard.

"Ok" he said and sat in the next chair, near the table. Claudia walked to the coffee machine and put some fresh coffee inside two big mugs. She was worried, it was written all over her face.

"Here" she said and gave him a mug. "Drink it, you are going to need it" she said and obediently, Rick took some.
"Well? I don't care what is it.tell me" he said trying to control his concern and curiosity.

Claudia sighed and took a big breath.
"Ok Rick, listen honey, you have to be really open mind about this, and if you do worry for her the way you look, you need to learn to listen and understand. I think it will be a good idea if we keep this just to ourself, because I don't think Lisa would like to know I told you this." Claudia said.

Rick gulped and nodded.
"Sure, just between us, now tell me, please" said Rick holding close the hot mug in his hands.

Claudia jaw tensed and then took another breath, before speaking again.

"There are two reasons why Lisa is acting weird Rick. It's the season. Christmas is right around the corner and that always affects her. Rick, honey, Lisa's mom died during Christmas eve" said Claudia and patted Rick's hand.

Rick opened his eyes big. Somehow, his own heart compress and felt part of her pain. It was very understandable that she felt all down. He just wished to make her feel better, to help her! To be with her.but she was pulling away and he didn't understand why.

"I understand Claudia, and I'm really sorry about it, I really am, but I don't understand why she shut me out of it. Why she didn't tell me?!" he asked, and couldn't understand the sudden pain he felt when he realized that Lisa wasn't sharing everything with him.
Claudia swallowed hard. She knew this was coming.

"Listen Rick. This is exactly what I was telling you before. You need to listen and understand. Look, it took her several years to finally open up with me and tell me. She disappears every single year for Christmas, until she finally told me". Said Claudia taking some of her coffee.
"Telling you what?!" asked impatiently Rick.
Claudia wait a second, remembering the story.
"Lisa's mom died when she was still a little girl. They were very close then, her mother, father and her. The mother was the base of that family, and Lisa was very happy in that time..." explained Claudia and then her eyes turned sad ".her mother died of a weird form of cancer, a very strong and quickly time. They didn't have time then to help her. When Lisa was little, she didn't understand it very well, but she was with her on Christmas Eve. Her father was on duty, and she stayed with her mother. The mother took her into her arms that night and sang for her until she felt asleep on the couch, near the fire. That same night, Lisa's mom died" finished Claudia, holding her own tears.

Rick was speechless. His own mind go back in time, trying to remember his own mother, but he couldn't. But Lisa was different. She remembered her. She died holding her daughter and she understood why this was a difficult time for her.

"I see" said Rick looking down, sadly "Poor Lisa, but what about her father?" he asked.

Claudia nodded "Lisa's dad was in too much pain. Sadly, that affect Lisa directly. When his wife died, he close himself, even from his daughter. I don't doubt that he cared for her, but he never could fully recovered for the loss of his wife. Lisa stayed alone since then, just with tutors and then school. Her father always away. But the problem was when she entered to teenager years and she came home, because she is identical to her mother, physically speaking. The Admiral didn't took that good and somehow he become overprotective around her, always worry that she could get sick, like her mother. It was a weird thing, he never spoke with her a lot, but he was always taking care of her. That was why he hate with his guts Karl when he came into the scene". She explained and took more of her coffee.

"Oh my God, that's awful!" said Rick in shock. He couldn't believe how Lisa managed to survived all that.

"Yes" said Claudia with a sighed "it was really sad. So, since then every single year she disappear for Christmas, until last year." she said remembering and closing her eyes.

"Last year? What happened last year?" asked Rick, feeling suddenly a nervous pain in his stomach.

Claudia looked into his eyes and answered straight to him "Last year, I convinced her to spend Christmas eve with you, Rick" she said, feeling guilty.

Rick opened his eyes in wondered, his heart beating fast "With me? Christmas? But she never came in! Minmei was with me that night! Lisa never came." he said and then a possibility crossed his mind, shocking him.

Claudia read his eyes and nodded a yes.

"Yes Rick, she went to your place that night and she listened to Minmei and you talking. She escaped from your place and I found her, just for luck, four hours later. I went to a bar to pick a bottle of wine for me and Roy, and I found her, sitting alone in a dark corner, holding a glass, and drinking the second bottle of whisky. She was devastated. I took her home and she passed out in the car" she remembered with pain.

Rick was cold. He couldn't feel his hands or feet. The only thing he felt was pain, pure pain. He couldn't believe that, for his fault, Lisa's pain in that day grow even more. He slowly closed his eyes, feeling his own heart beats getting stronger.

"Oh My God." said Rick, standing up and walking next to the window, opening up a little for some air. He needed some air. Claudia followed him and patted his back.

"I'm sorry Rick, but I think you need to know this" she said feeling guilty for causing him pain. Rick looked at her.

"It's ok, I need to know. I never end to understand why she love me, I'm such a selfish jerk" he said looking to the floor.

"Yes, you are. But you are a good person too Rick. We never chose who we fall in love. We just do it, just.happened, so don't asked yourself 'why', because is so difficult to answer as to define love." said Claudia looking for his eyes.

Rick listen it, feeling even more depressed. He stood against the wall, catching his breath.

"I think what you should do now, is stop thinking about what happened and concentrate about what to do now, this year" said Claudia, smiling a  little.

Rick turned around and saw her in wonder "What do you mean?" he asked.

Claudia smile grow even more "You can help her 'this' year Rick. You can help her if that's what you want" she said.

"Of course I want to help her!" he say, standing up "But.what should I do?"
"Oh your wife now, I think you maybe know one or two things about her, right?" asked Claudia with a grin. Rick just nodded, paying attention.

"I don't know Rick, maybe a dinner, maybe gifts, maybe a party.I don't know! But what I know, is you can give her, for the first time since she was 8 years old, a real Christmas" she said finishing her coffee and walking through the door.

Rick looked at her, mouth open. He didn't know what to do and he looked freaked out.

"Easy soldier" joked Claudia, looking at him "I'm sure you will think about something" she said holding the door, and then before she go away, she turned to see him one more time "You love her, right?" she asked slowly.

Rick wasn't prepared for that question in a moment like that.

"I.I think I do.I mean, I'm not sure. I love her, but not 'in love' with her yet. I think.but yes, sure.I love her with all my heart.but." he hesitated answering it, feeling confused.

Claudia nodded, knowing that he wasn't ready yet to realized the truth yet. "That's enough then. If you love her, you will know what to do" she assured him and with a final smile, she closed the door.


Lisa walked through the gardens of the now snowy base. Everybody was inside escaping from the cold, but she needed some time alone, and the cold weather was her ally in this week. For the snow, she was wearing her usual uniform, but a long a very gray pale coat, that look more like a cloak and occulted her almost completely in the snow, with the exception of her hair. She walked in the snow feeling her cold breeze against her skin making her feel a little pain that reminded her she was still alive. She walked away from the sigh of everyone at lunch time, until she reach the place she was looking for, a semicircle of trees, that look directly to a cliff, showing the city and the mountains at the end. Lisa sighed sadly and site in a cold rock. She reached her hand and touch the snow with her bare hand, feeling the soft texture of the snow that melt at the contact of her. She smiled sadly and murmured to herself.
"So, this is me. Cold as the snow, so cold that it burns"
"I heard somewhere that talking to yourself is the first sign of  losing your mind" murmured a familiar and smirking voice behind her back. Lisa jumped scared and lost her breath for a second, and look angry at a smirking Roy.
"You almost killed me! Damn you!" she said catching her breath and sitting again on her rock, not happy to be disturbed.

Roy smiled widely and walked next to her.
"Well, you should not be alone and you know it" he said serious now, looking to the city.
"I need to be alone" she said coldly.
"Don't play games with me Hayes, I'm not going anywhere and leave you alone here" he said calmly but firmly, in Claudia-mod. Lisa raised an eyebrow to him.
"You are spending too much time with Claudia, you sound like her" she said with a sigh and then look to the snow falling into the city.

Roy laughed softly and stayed quiet next to her for a long time.

"Why are you doing this?" asked Roy still looking to the city down the cliff.
"I told you, I want to be alone" answered Lisa.
"You know what I mean Hayes. Don't fool with me. Why are you doing all this? why do you always shut yourself during Christmas?" he asked, this time turning his eyes to her and wonder how she could look so tiny right there. Lisa swallowed hard and look down, not answering.
"Do you think your mother will like to know that her daughter is miserable every year?" he said.

Lisa's eyes grow wider in shock and then in anger.
"How do you know that!" she demanded, standing up, but that wasn't anything intimidating for a guy of Roy height.
"I just know.and no, Claudia didn't tell me" he said smiling to her.

Lisa's anger grow even more.

"Then how! I demand an explanation!" she said, putting her hands in her hips and shaking a little.
"I overheard, ok? A nasty habit I have." he said looking innocent.

Lisa murmured something and turned around, crossing her arms across her chest.
"Easy, easy.I'm not your little husband, so don't think you are going to scare me with that" teased Roy and Lisa looked at him with fire in her eyes and he laughed.
"Don't blame me! I prefer to see you all cranky and pissed off and actually 'doing something' that just walking around like a death zombie." he said and Lisa looked away, arms crossed.
"This is not your problem, leave me alone" she said.
"I will not, sorry sis" said Roy mimicking her.
"You are really annoying Fokker!" said Lisa losing her temple "Damn! You and Rick are like the same! Always making me angry for something!" she said exasperated.
Roy laughed and grinned for a while and then took her shoulder, looking at her softly.
"Its ok have the right to feel pain, but don't shut yourself. You are not alone" he said tenderly and Lisa felt tears in her eyes and fight them.
"Ive been crying for too long" she said walking away, looking to the city one more time.
"Its not bad to cry, its bad to do it alone and with a bottle in your hands" he said walking behind her.
"I don't want to bother." she said looking to the floor.
"Then don't be silly, because we all know that you aren't right and your attitude scared the shit out of us" he said and then hold her in a bear hug from behind. Lisa  wasn't prepared for that and felt like a little girl for a second, safe in the arms of an older brother.
"I miss her so much" she whispered feeling how the tears burned her thought.
Roy nodded against her hair and wait for her to speak again.
"Its.I remember it like yesterday when she died." said Lisa whispering "she held me closely and she sang to me. I felt so good in her arms, so.loved, so secure, waiting for Santa. And the next day, I was in my bed, alone, cold, and nobody at home. I was scared.and Ive been feeling scared inside since then" she said and her own tears didn't let her talked anymore. Roy hold her even more tight.

Lisa cried and cried for a while, and when she was a little calmed, Roy talked again.
"Why didn't you talk with Rick about this?" he said softly.
Lisa nodded and leave the embraced of her friend. She walked to the edge of the cliff.
"I can't. I don't want to tell him more bad things about me. My life was unbelievable, sad Roy, and I don't want his pity" she answered.
"His pity?! Are you fucking crazy Lisa? That guy loves you!" he said walking net to her.
"He cares for me, I know. but this is not his responsibility" she said looking seriously.
"Geez! If 'this' is not part of his job as a husband, then I don't know what else it is!" said Roy sarcastically. Lisa raised an eyebrow.
"You know we are not exactly a 'real' marriage" she said, matter of factly.
"Damn Lisa! You two are a married long time before you even got the ceremony! And now you two hit the sack and everything! I really don't know what is not 'real' in this story." said Roy and Lisa blushed a little and looked away.
"Well.what I mean is that...I don't want to tell him sad things. He is doing to much for me already" said Lisa trying to think in an explanation.
"And you are doing a lot for him in my book, you two are even" said finally Roy and Lisa looked at him.
"What do you mean?" she asked curiously.
"I talked with him. I know how he change, and that is for you. Good changes. He looked extremely happy, ok.a little worried about you all the time for Jake, but leaving 'that' behind.I never seen so happy since he was a little boy." said Roy and Lisa listen carefully.
" you really think that.I make him.happy?" asked Lisa almost in a whisper.

"Yes Lisa, you do" said Roy smiling.
Lisa stayed quiet for a long time, sinking in Roy's word.

"C'mon.let's go back, we have work to do, and you have some things to talk with your husband" said Roy smiling walking away.

Lisa looked one more time to the snowing city, wondering. Then she sighed and turned around, walking to the base.


Lisa worked and felt a little less sad, a little more lighter after talking with Roy. She was giving some instructions to some pilots, when Rick suddenly came into the door of the bridge area.

"Hmm.sorry to disturb" said Rick looking a little out of place. Lisa looked at him wondering and after Claudia took her place, she walked next to him.

"What happened?" she asked with concern.
"Hmm, I just want to know If we can go out now.I want to talk to you" he whispered and the trio was trying too obviously to catch what they were talking about.
"Now? But I'm working" said Lisa in a small voice.
"I know, but I need to talk with" said Rick a little more firmly.
Lisa sighed and was going to reply when Admiral Gloval talked from his seat.
"Go, go.Lisa, take the rest of the day. Its Christmas eve and you been working non stop" he said, not looking at her. Lisa turned around.
"But sir, there is so much to do." she replied worried.
"Nothing we cannot handle, now are dismissed" said Gloval and look at her seriously, leaving clear that he just order her. The trio and Claudia smiled.
"Yes sir" said Lisa and Rick chuckled a little behind her.
"Thank you Admiral" said Rick sincerely and Gloval nodded.

Lisa took her stuff and left with Rick, who held her hand as soon as they were outside the door. She raised an eyebrow.
"Ok, I don't know if I'm thankful to you or I am mad" she said smiling softly. Rick smiled too.
"Oh well, let's be positive" he joked and Lisa rolled her eyes.

They walked and went into their car. Lisa looked around in wonder when they didn't take their usual direction at home.
"where are we going?" she asked.
Rick smiled and just said "it is a surprise".

Lisa looked at him, but his eyes were fixed on the road, so she couldn't read his intentions. She crossed her arms and bit her lower lip. Rick looked at her from the corner of his eye and chuckled.

"Don't be nervous! It is a good surprise!" he said cheerfully. Lisa raised an eyebrow.
"It is realized I'm wearing my uniform right?" she asked.
"And you look spectacular in that, but don't worry. You will not worry for the clothes. I packed a bag at home for you an me" said Rick holding his laugh, because he knew Lisa was going to be shocked with that.
"You .you see into my stuff?!" she said blushing furiously. Rick bit his own lip holding his laugh.
"Yes, I did.and I have to say I really like that black lace bustier you have so properly hidden at the bottom of your closet. Nice thing! And is complete, with garters and g-string" joked Rick and Lisa turned even more red and hide her face in her hands. "I was wondering when you were going to show me that cute thingy" he said raising an eyebrow
"I didn't buy it! It was Claudia.and I just don't have nerve to wear that!" she said finding the snow of her side of the window suddenly fascinating.
"Oh, but you will have the nerve, because I really want to see that on you." he said teasing again, but his voice a little more suggestive. Lisa shivered.
"You can't make me" she said, looking at him from the corner of her eyes and smiling a little.
"You are right, but somehow I 'forgot' to pack your PJs, so is the bustier or anything.and I'm glad with both options" said Rick trying to concentrated on the road and not on the pictures in his head.
"That's not fair!" she frown.
"Get used to it, life is not fair, honey" he said, feeling extremely happy to be able to make Lisa think in something else.

Lisa laughed softly and felt happy for once in this day. Her eyes fixed on the road and saw the beautiful view of the tress covered in snow and a almost red night sky now, telling everybody that a snow storm was near. She recalled the past year and saw visions of her outsides Rick's apartment, listening the conversation between Minmei and him and feeling devastated. She nodded to herself and put those thoughts behind. It was the past.

After drove for almost 45 minutes, Rick stopped and got down of the car wearing a smile all over his face. He quickly opened Lisa's door of the car and she came out, looking around.
They parked outside a small wood cabin surrounded with tall trees, all covered in white untouched snow. Lisa looked around in wonder, because the place was taking out from a book. Rick looked at her, feeling a warm feeling inside, happy with himself. He took her hand.

"Here, lets go inside" he said and they walked t the door. When Rick opened the door, Lisa's heart jumped. The place was a beautiful rustic wood cabin with a big fireplace in the middle. The fire was ready and the cabin was warm. There was a big Christmas trees in one corner, and in front of the fireplace, the most comfortable white and green couch ever. There was a soft carpet on the floor and a nice table with the dinner served, all in Christmas decorations.

Lisa froze in the doorframe and Rick walked in.
"C'mon! or you want to stay there and freeze to death?" he joked. Lisa looked at him, still speechless and step in. Rick closed the door, putting their bags on the floor.

"So? You like it?" he asked with a grin on his face. Lisa walked around and slowly touched the tree.
"It is.amazing." she whispered. Rick looked at her tenderly and wonder why she was so surprise. It was a cabin after all.
"I just thought to make something special for our first Christmas together" he said shyly. Lisa looked at him, eyes shinning.
" did all this.for me?" she asked and her lower lip tremble a little. Rick step closer to her and hold her hands.
"Of course, for who else?" he said smiling and kissing her hands tenderly.

Lisa followed with her eyes the action, and saw how tender and lovely he was. One single tear escape from her eyes and Rick took it away with a kiss.

"This is.the most beautiful thing someone ever did for me Rick.thank you" she whispered and closed her eyes, trying to control her emotions, and the images of almost forgotten Christmas, when a mother and a father spent their time with their little daughter, laughing.

Lisa held onto Rick and he hugged her, hiding his face in her neck. He let her cry for a while and just hold her tight, giving her all his strengtht. After a while, she looked into his baby blue eyes and they sat on the couch and talked for hours and hours about their life, the past and their families. Rick held her against his chest playing with her hair and then he look to the window, and the snow falling outside. He stood up and put a disc into the music equipment.

"Can I have the honor of a dance?" he asked, holding her hand. Lisa took it and put her hands behind his neck.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be miles away

Lisa felt Rick's lips in her forehead blessing her. She closed her eyes and let herself remember her mother, so beautiful and full of life, singing that song for her, playing the piano.

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of Yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Rick took her chin and she opened her eyes slowly, coming back to reality and welcoming with the clear view of life of his blue eyes, so tenderly, so bright. He slowly come closer and kissed her on the lips and she felt how the pain and sorrow of years and years was finally leaving her.

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Rick looked at her and felt the release of her soul, because her eyes shined clearly and finally in peace. He touched her lips with the tip of his fingers slowly, memorizing them until the melody slowly faint away.

"I love you Lisa. Merry Christmas" whispered Rick against her lips and then, he kissed her one more time.

Bing Crosby - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

Disclaimer: BITTERSWEET DESTINY is a fanfiction written by Carla Aguilar (nickname Carla “Fox”). ROBOTECH and all other related characters, names, and indicia are trademarks of Harmony Gold USA, Inc. This fanfic was written for noncommercial purposes. Any other popular private references, belongs to their owners. No infringement is intended. Santiago de Chile, Online since 2003.
About my original characters.