Some time after the final battle which brought down the spaceships Libra and Peacemillion, Dorothy Catalonia made a special trip to take a special flight out to the colonies. She had only one reason: a woman who answered to the name of Noin.
Dorothy found herself on the ship wearing a dress in the proper color for what she had planned to discuss: black.
Noin was understandably shocked to see Dorothy. She had no prior notification of the visit, and she had not seen Dorothy since the last time she had seen... him. "Dorothy... what brings you here?"
With a bright smile, Dorothy took a few rather weightless steps forward. "I only came to say that I admire you for what you are doing, Miss Noin."
Noin's eyebrows furrowed slightly. "You took this flight just to say one sentence to me which was perfectly suited for a com call? Somehow, I can't quite believe that, Dorothy."
"You're moving on with your life, and still managing to find a way to mourn. That is admirable. I merely came to ask you a few questions about such a process." Dorothy looked no more nor less sincere than she normally did.
"Look, kid... It's been a long day. Why don't you go take your seat? We can get to the colony, I'll go do work, you take a tour or something, and then you head back home. This flight is my vacation."
Dorothy's smile grew ever larger. "Ah! So, you keep yourself busy, and so you don't think about Zechs at all."
Noin's face fell quickly, and her composure shattered under its own weight. "You said his name."
"Zechs." Dorothy's smile faded. "Refusing to say it is beginning to believe that he's gone. You didn't believe it at first, why are you beginning to believe it now?"
Her jaw trembling slightly, Noin pushed her hair back from her face. "It's been too long since I've seen him. That's why. Zechs... was an amazing man. That's whether he's dead now or not. Though, I think he must be. After all... he has so much waiting here for him for when he gets back. You would think he might want to claim it. But, no. Of course not."
Dorothy's smile came back. "He knows you will wait. That may be the problem. He is on a journey of his own making and his home doesn't matter because the home does not depend on him. He knows, Lucrezia."
"Don't call me that." Noin's nostrils flared briefly.
"Why ever not, Lucrezia?" Dorothy cocked her head to one side very briefly.
Noin got up from her seat and stood with her shoulders squared, ready to face down the toughest opponents in the world. "Only Zechs is allowed to call me that. I am your superior, and you will address me with the respect that I deserve!"
"Lucrezia..." And Dorothy was suddenly on the ground, holding her mouth and grunting slightly in pain. She stood slowly, and looked at Noin. "That's the reaction that I expected at first." Dorothy began to walk toward Noin again. "I always did think that you were far too obsessed with that man, much like my cousin was. My cousin died because of his own unhealthy obsessions. I don't want to see you making the same mistake."
Noin's face suddenly relaxed. "Oh. So that's what this is about." She looked away. "Your mouth is bleeding. You should get that looked at."
Dorothy took a final step forward until she stood directly in front of Noin. "Look at me." Noin refused to look. "Lucrezia... look at me!" Dorothy grabbed Noin's chin and turned it toward herself. "Look at me!" She pressed her bloodied bottom lip against Noin's smooth one, and let her feel the pulsing life and pain that oozed out. "I look enough like him that my cousin scared me sometimes with the things he would say in a drunken stupor. I am here, and I am alive! I have not taken you for granted, and I won't. Please... I..."
Noin rested her head against the wall and refused to look at Dorothy. "Like I said, when we get to the colony, go take a tour. Then, go home. You're too young to understand, Dorothy. You don't know anything about loss."
Dorothy glared at the other woman and spat blood on the floor. "I know nothing about loss? *I* have actual losses. You lost Zechs. Good riddance to bad rubbish as the saying goes."
"Get out, Dorothy." Noin's fists were clenched.
"Why? So you don't feel bad when you split my other lip? Go ahead. It's a vicious cycle, *Lucrezia*. Don't let yourself get too burned in it... please."
And a month or two later, Zechs came back, but things were never the same.