Chapter 26: Tell Me It’s Real.
Coming from total darkness, Lisa felt her head hurting as if she had a hangover, but that was impossible. Trying to focus her eyes she suddenly realized she was lying down on her couch with Sarah crying her eyes out in the arms of Michael. Jo was next to her talking like a parrot over and over to nobody in particular and obviously nervous. Rick was sitting in a chair not far from her, looking pale and with his eyes fixed on Michael.
What the hell was going on? What was Rick doing here?! She wondered, trying to sit up and feeling her head heavy and dizzy. Jo then slowly helped her into a sitting position while Lisa waited for her head to stop spinning around.
"Easy Lisa, you'll just faint again," explained Jo, smiling nervously at her. Sarah then jumped from Michael and ran crying to her mother.
"Mom! I thought you died!" she sniffled against her mother's chest. Lisa, still a little numb, tenderly touched her head, calming her.
"Shh, it's ok, I am fine now," she said and Sarah slowly stopped crying and looked at her with worried eyes.
"Mom, what's happening? Who is that man? Why did you faint? I don't like this!" she said giving Lisa her own worried look.
Lisa sighed and looked from Michael to Jo and then to Rick who was looking at her, extremely pale. Lisa's heart shrank and then she looked back at her daughter, determined not to blow her cover after all these years. At least not in a way that would be so shocking for her.
"I will explain it all to you soon, all right? But I need you to trust me on this. I need to talk with this man first, but you don't have to worry, he is not a bad man and he is not going to hurt you or me. he is someone from my past, dear.and.and I need you to wait, ok? Can you promise me that?" said Lisa with a soft voice, begging with her eyes for her daughter to understand.
Sarah looked at her with a weird expression; she had never seen her mother that way before. She hadn't seen her mother acting the way she acted this night, not ever. That scared her. Feeling uneasy, she finally nodded and Lisa smiled sadly at her then kissed her cheek.
"But Mom, why did that man almost faint too? He was fighting with me and Uncle Michael shut him up and then he fell into the chair like a bag of potatoes. I thought he was sick or something," commented Sarah with genuine curiosity. Lisa frowned and looked at Jo, who turned red and pointed at Michael. Lisa looked over at Michael who was looking at the floor like a lost child. He bit his lip and before he said anything Lisa gasped in horror.
"Oh My God! You told him!" she said with horror, turning as pale as the speechless Rick. She looked at him worriedly and tried to stand up but her head was still hurting.
Sarah frowned and looked from Jo to Michael to her mother and couldn't understand why everybody was so worried and acting so crazy.
"I am so sorry Lisa, I just said it.I didn't think! They were fighting and you were out! I didn't know what to do!" explained Michael, ashamed. Jo looked at him and crossed her arms over her chest and murmured "Idiot.". Michael looked at her, and once again, looked at the floor.
Lisa tried to control her breathing, "It's done. I have to fix this. Sarah, go with Jo and Michael to their house and wait for me there. Do not leave their house for ANY reason, do you understand?" said Lisa seriously.
"Yes Mom!" said Sarah automatically.
"Good" murmured Lisa and tried to stand up. With the help of Jo she stood there until she felt her legs become steady. "Thank you guys, even you Michael." said Lisa eyeing him, and Michael turned red in embarrassment. Lisa looked at Rick who was looking at her blankly. "I need to talk with him.alone," finished Lisa, feeling how her own stomach shrank in anticipation.
Sarah looked at her mother who had her eyes on the man in the chair and she walked away, holding Jo's hand. She was scared by the odd situation, but she trusted her mother. If she said she was going to be fine, then she would be fine.
The door closed slowly and Lisa Hayes was in front of Rick Hunter after almost a decade without seeing him. The silence in the room was enveloping them and Rick, after what felt like a lifetime, finally blinked and released the air in his lungs. They locked their eyes into each other and Rick murmured.
Lisa saw pure shock in his eyes. Not anger, not curiosity, only his impression.
"Yes, she is," answered Lisa as she walked slowly and sat at the edge of the coffee table in front of him. Rick looked at her like she was a dream, like she was not real.
"I don't know what to say." explained Rick. "I want to know everything, but I don't." he murmured. Lisa touched his hand and held it slowly. Rick looked at their hands and finally realized that this wasn't one of his dreams. He felt the warmth of her skin on his own. It was real.
"I will tell you. everything" she murmured, getting used to the feel of his hand on hers. He heart beat faster and faster and when Rick held her hand in his more firmly she looked at his eyes one more time and bit her lower lip nervously.
"After the car accident in England, Jake came into my room and woke me up with some kind of medication. He threatened me again, but it was different.he was different." said Lisa looking at their hands one more time, feeling the pain again, remembering, ".he was more desperate, he seemed even more dangerous than before. He tried to kill me and I was willing to let him, to end that madness, but then he stopped and changed his strategy. He didn't threaten me anymore, he realized that I was willing to die, so he decided to threaten what I loved the most. you," she said looking at him, with tears in her eyes. Rick's lip trembled and all he could do was hold her hand firmly.
"And not just you, he threatened everybody else, especially Claudia. he said he was going to kill her and her baby. I.I simple couldn't risk them and you. I couldn't. then I realized I had to leave for good," she finished that part for a while. Rick stood quiet for a second.
"You didn't need to leave.we could find a way to stop." he said but Lisa shook her head strongly.
"No. It was too risky. I knew that if you or anybody else knew what happened you were going to say that, but it wasn't possible. Jake has more resources than you could imagine, and I proved that when I was alone. He knew even before us that Claudia was pregnant. If he wanted to kill her or her baby, he would. I already had one death on my conscience because of this situation with him; I couldn't have more," she explained. Rick kept quiet. Lisa sighed and continued with the story.
"I left and came back to America, in an unknown boat. I didn't know I was pregnant until 3 months after that. and I was so scared. My first reaction was to look for you, to find help. I needed my family, but then I realized that the baby was even a more powerful weapon for Jake. I couldn't risk my own baby.I just couldn't.." said Lisa and broke into tears, remembering how troubled she was in those days. Between sobs, she continued the story.
"When I was six months pregnant, Jake almost found me. I know for sure that he didn't see my belly, but he saw me and chased me in a car until I finally lost him. With all the stress I had early contractions, but I couldn't go to a hospital. After that night, I hid in the woods. When I felt better, I drove as far as I could and I reached New York. In the city, I hid in a basement and literally didn't leave the place. There was a kid who brought me food and kept me company, but that was all. The next months I was alone, waiting to delivery the baby. When the time came, I had Sarah.it was at night and I was alone.I had her without help.I wondered how we both survived that," said Lisa remembering. Rick was tense, picturing all the trouble, all the pain and loneliness she endured, so different from the pregnancy of Claudia. Rick thought it was so unfair.until he realized that the reason that Claudia had a good pregnancy was actually thanks to Lisa's sacrifice.
"You. you named her Sarah." he commented after a while. Lisa smiled sadly and nodded affirmative.
"When I had her in my arms, I cried. Since then I never cried in front of her again. She was so.tiny and beautiful. she had your eyes," she said and one single tear escaped from her eyes. Rick cleaned it.
"I always knew she was special. Of all the names of the world, I remembered what you told me about your mother and I wanted that for my daughter. I wanted her to be happy and smiling all the time, I wanted her to be the troublemaker she is. A normal, happy child at every cost. and I thought that your mother was like that, so I named her after her father's mother," finished Lisa smiling sadly and this time it was Rick who cried and Lisa who comforted him.
"Thank you." whispered Rick, trying to control himself.
After some time, when they were a little less emotional, Lisa continue with the story and told him how she found the town.
"What about that man I saw earlier? The one at the door?" he asked and Lisa smiled genuinely for the first time. Rick felt a punch of sudden jealousy.
"His name is Michael, he is the husband of my only friend here, Jo. He is a Zentraedi and a science genius, like their son, who is the best friend of Sarah. They know my story and they have been my support all these years. Of course the kids don't know about this," she explained and Rick's eyes grew in awe and then he felt a little ashamed.
"So Jo was that woman with black, curly hair that came in later?" he asked and Lisa nodded. "I guessed she was his wife or something, because she shouted at him profusely." said Rick and smiled a little. Lisa gave him a knowing smile, and added, "Yes, she can be. a little harsh sometimes."
They stood there without speaking until Rick broke the silence.
"I looked for you everywhere," he said holding her hands in his, remembering how soft her skin was. "I was. desperate. After you left, I looked everywhere for you. Roy had to stop me, because I wasn't eating or sleeping. I was crazy, unable to think, unable to do anything. Admiral Gloval moved everyone in the RDF trying to find you.After a year with not even a clue, the RDF declared you missing in action." he said and looked at Lisa who nodded, ashamed.
"Lisa.I almost killed myself once," he confessed and Lisa's heart broke in a thousand pieces. "I felt so guilty. I knew it was for our safety, but I just couldn't live without you. I spent a year as your husband and just at the end I realized I loved you. So little time, I felt I deserved to lose you; for being a fool, for hurting you so much." he said crying and sniffing and Lisa cried too.
"I am so sorry Rick. I tried.I swear, I tried to find another way to deal with this, but I couldn't." said Lisa trying to explain.
"I have. I have to ask you something Rick.I wondered so many times about this and I know I don't have any right to ask you this but.Haven't you." but Rick stopped her.
"No.I haven't. After you, I haven't been with anybody else. I have to admit that I was tempted, especially because after we all returned to Macross City, Minmei was there for me. but I couldn't Lisa.you are under my skin in a way I never thought was possible. You are simply.irreplaceable," he said touching her cheek and Lisa began crying even harder.
"We been through a living nightmare Lisa. but I never thought, not even a million years that you were carrying my baby when you left. I can't believe it still, it is so surreal. when I saw her in the forest, it was you, and I thought I was finally losing my mind.It was so bizarre. She is like your clone, but she has blue eyes.my eyes. and when this man, Michael, told me she was my daughter and I looked at her, I recognized my own eyes in her. She is simply perfect.and she kicked me!." said Rick laughing between his own tears. He held her hands in his more firmly.
".All these years I have been watching Roy and Claudia with Sean and I have been jealous of them, a good jealous. They were so happy together and I wanted that for me. but I knew it was impossible for me to have that, because you weren't there. I needed you so much all this time." he said with desperation in his voice, making Lisa cry again.
"And now I have a daughter and I have you. and I think this is a dream and a nightmare at the same time. I have you and I have her, but I missed so much. I missed all of her life. I don't know her. but I want to know her, and I want you to teach me.I need you to be with me. Please, never ever leave me again, not for any circumstance.I beg you," he finished, holding her hands painfully against his chest, completely anxious.
She looked at him not knowing what to say, not knowing what to do to ease the pain she knew he felt, because her own heart was sinking again and beating hard just from the laws of biology. Even though she had expected deep in her soul the possibility of seeing him again, she was also aware of the pain that re-encounter would mean.
"I am so sorry." she said, but the words were too little. There weren't enough words in the world to justify what she did even though she knew it was the right choice.
He looked at her, not with anger, but with pure pain. His baby blue eyes had the weight of years of hopeless faith. He bit his own lower lip the way she always did, trying to hold in his tears.
Lisa expected him be furious, to shout, to scream at her, to demand explanations. She was ready for the Rick she used to know- the rebel, the fighter. Lisa wasn't ready for his pain, for the sad and harsh step to manhood he had to take the day she left him.
She fell on her knees next to him, unable to hold in her tears or her guilt. "It was the right thing to do," she repeated over and over again to herself. Then why did it feel so bad, so wrong?
"Forgive me, I loved you too much and that is why I did it..I didn't want to see you die for me," she repeated in her head over and over again making her feel dizzy. Her tears ran free from her eyes and she hid her head in his legs, holding on to him.
"I am sorry.I am sorry," she murmured between her tears, feeling like she had fire in her throat and couldn't speak anymore than those three little words, those three little words that meant so little for what she wanted to say.
Rick followed her with his eyes and saw her on the floor, practically begging for forgiveness. There wasn't any anger or harsh feeling in his heart, just pain. His lips were dry and his own tears burned his cheeks looking at her like that. He couldn't stand to see her like that.
With the little strength he had, he bent down and grabbed her slowly by her arms and made her look at him. Her eyes weren't the same, and even when she sniffled and she was a mess, he was able to read in those eyes- those now tired eyes- her reasons for what she did. Rick looked at her soul through her eyes and searched for her love for him from almost ten years ago. It was there, intact and as strong as ever. Licking his lips, he tried to elaborate a speech, but couldn't.he murmured in the same broken tone of voice a sentence that brought them back to life, that made them reborn one more time.
"I know.I understand. I would do the same if I were you. I know."
Lisa felt all her energy drawn from her body and thought she was dying. The cold feeling, like a splash of fresh water made her open her eyes and all the emotions held back after so many years came together almost made her faint. Rick held her by her arms and suddenly Lisa threw her arms around him, hiding her head and her entire being in his arms. "If things were just so simple." her head remembered, but she couldn't fight alone anymore, not now that she knew what she had put him through.
Rick held her as if his life depended on it. He was probably crushing her, but he didn't care. He was afraid she was just another vivid dream and she was going to disappear like thin air or sand through his fingers.
They both cried as they held each other; one desperate for finally be able to end a living nightmare and the other in guilt and fear. But deep down they both were simply glad that they were together again.
Rick broke the hug slowly and looked at her, cleaning her face with his trembling hand. He opened his mouth and tried to speak but the sounds didn't come. They just looked at each other, breathing by their mouths. Lisa put her hand over his face and touched his features, remembering every single curve and the feeling of his skin over her own. Slowly they relaxed in the presence of each other until Rick held her tiny hand in his own and kissed her fingers.
"I've been waiting all these years just to say that I love you," he murmured looking at her, feeling uneasy, almost scared, like a little boy.
Lisa sniffed one more time, feeling her heart shrinking. "I love you so much.." she murmured and cried again, but this time Rick closed the distance between them and kissed her with all the possession, love and fear he felt, trying to hold onto this new reality that was too good to be true. When they broke for air, he took her hand in his hands and looked deeply in her eyes.
"Swear to me, that you will not leave me again, no matter what. We will find a way to deal with this, but I need you to swear to me that you and Sarah will be with me forever. Please." he asked with desperation in his voice, because her answer was going to be his rebirth or his death.
Lisa looked at him and realized that everything had changed. She couldn't be away from him again; she needed him as much as he needed her. Even with all her fear, she couldn't run anymore. Finally she took the one step she thought she was never going to take. the risk of her family, for complete happiness, or complete doom.
"I swear Rick, we will be together, no matter what," she said and he kissed her one more time, holding in that kiss all the hope for the best in the future.
To be Continued...
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A/N: It's been a while, eh? Don't kill me, I been too busy and this chapter.I need to make it very angst. I past for a lot of possible situations, from Rick been anger to Lisa trying to escape again, but when I began writing, the characters took their own path, I just wrote it! (lol).
I am very pleased with this chapter and I hope it is very angst, because I cried writing it.hope you cried reading it! (mean laugh)
I want to thanks everybody that review last chapter, I have 201 reviews and that is amazing, I want to thanks everybody, specially to smashing sugar, because I am a big fan of her fanfics and I never thought she would ever read one of mine! Thank you.
Please review, you know that makes my day.
Chapter title: Tell me it's real By K-Ci & Jojo.