"If you don't have any useful information, then don't come talk to me, idiot!"
You just gave a small, cute giggle and we waved goodbye.
I watched stood there, watched you leave.
Your ponytail was the same as it always was, since we first met. Your face always had the shining, beautiful smile.
Even now, it seems like nothing's changed.
But everything has.
"Crim! Crim!" you called out, waving to me, running to me, with the big dumb grin. Like you always do.
I scooted over to make room on the swinging bench for you, and you opted to jump into my arms instead.
"Ow! Watch it, you dummy!"
"Crim! I'm getting my first Karma tomorrow! I'm going to be able to help everyone!!" She beames at me with that naive... naive expression. I felt joy. I felt pride.
I felt dread.
You seemed to notice my hesitance and rolled off of me, finally getting comfortable in the space I had made for you on the bench.
"That's great! Now you can stop talking my ear off about how bored you were running logistics and basic scouting missions." I forced a laugh. You picked up on it instantly.
"Crim... Is it true..? The rumors?"
"...They aren't rumors, dummy. They're real. When you get that Karma... There's a pretty good chance you'll forget everything. You'll forget our history... You'll forget me."
"Aww! Like I could forget you, Crim!" You reassured me like you always did.
"...Heh, sure kiddo."
"Hey! We've talked about this! I'm like, a week older than you!"
"Sure as hell don't act like it."
Our verbal fencing stopped and we sat in silence, watching as other Chasers wandered to and fro, getting missions, returning from missions, getting wounds looked at... All par for the course in the HQ of a resistance.
"Are you really that bothered..?" You asked, looking over at me with a soft smile. I couldn't fight that at all...
"Yeah...I am you dummy... Don't take this the wrong way, but you're so air-headed, I..."
You hugged me closely, resting your chin on my shoulder. It felt... Nice.
"Uhuu~ Crim cares about my feelings!" You teased gently. I just gently elbowed you in the gut in response. "Oww... Really though... If you're worried about...well...here!"
I blinked as something was shoved into my palm.
Your pendant. From your family...
"...W-whh?! Don't be stupid! I can't possibly take this!" I felt anger flare in my chest... Or was it something else..?
"...I know, it's a priceless heirloom, and it's the last thing I have to remember my family by, after the Empire...well..." You fell silent for a moment before taking a deep breath and smiled at me. "It's a family heirloom though! So it's fine if I give it to other members of my family, right?"
I paused. I needed to process what you had just said...
"D-Don't be stupid... This is the dumbest thing that came out of your mouth since we first met..." I tried to give the pendant back, but you just closed my hand and held it shut with both of your own. Your skin was soft... Miraculously so.
"Crim, you're cute when you blush."
"D...Dummy..." I felt my brain melting to mush, I felt my face grow hotter than the sun. It was unbearable. Especially since those feelings I locked away came back full force. Those feelings I had for you...
"Honestly. I want you to take this. I trust you more than anyone here. Even the Commander. You've stuck with me, through thick and thin, and even if you're abrasive at times, I find it to be an irreplaceable facet of you..."
I swallowed the massive lump in my throat.
"W-what, you sound like you wanna date me or something..."
Silence. I was screaming in my head. Loudly.
"I mean... I wouldn't be against it... Ehe..."
By now, the rest of the base just didn't exist. I couldn't care less about what was going on... You... You wanted... Me..?
"...Dummy..." Was all I could manage before pulling you in.
Our first kiss was awful. Messy. Totally not what it should've been. But at the same time, it was amazing, and electrifying.
"...Ehe...uhm...w-wow..." Was the first thing out of your mouth afterwards. "...Crim..? Are you okay..?" Was the second.
You reached up and wiped the tears from my cheeks with that worried look in your eyes...
"...Y-you dummy..." I whimpered pathetically. At this point I couldn't care. "You're getting your Karma... Tomorrow... You... You're not going to remember me... You're not going to remember any of this..."
"Theres no telling what will happen exactly. I might remember you afterwards anyways! You're... Really important to me, I don't think I could ever forget you, seriously..." I opened my mouth to argue back, but you pressed a finger against my lips. "Which is why I want you to hold onto this." You squeezed the hand holding the pendant still. "While I still remember you, if I do... Forget you, the meaning behind this pendant is still there. If I kept this, and forgot everything, then it'd just be a pendant with little value to me, I think... I wouldn't remember my family. I wouldn't remember the meaning behind it. But right now, while it still means something, I want to give it to the one that matters the most."
You gave me the most heartfelt expression, one that made my chest burst.
As gentle as ever -when you wanted to be gentle, anyways- you pulled the necklace out of my grip and slowly wrapped the chain around my neck. Then you made a weird expression...
"Hold on, hold on, almost got it..."
I couldn't help but laugh.
"Way to ruin the mood, idiot~!"
"Hey, at least I'm your idiot!" You shot back with a playful wink. "Ah, there we go!"
You pulled back and got a good look at me... I found myself feeling... Embarrassed.
"As I thought... I'm jealous. It looks perfect on you."
"Though, all of that out of the way... Crim. I promise. I won't forget you."
"Across my heart."
"Welcome back. You doing okay?" I asked, helping pull you up from the grass that you had been previously laying down on.
...Silence. You just looked at me with a confused expression.
You had just gotten your Karma. I could feel the new power radiating off of you, but... I didn't feel anything but dread. I clutched the penant you gave me... Hoping that you'd remember me...
I swallowed my feelings and cleared my throat.
"As I suspected. You don't seem to remember anything prior to getting you Karma. Well, whatever. Let's get moving. We're still knee deep in Empire territory."
You just nodded and followed me, looking around at the bright world with your wide eyes... I took the time to wipe the tears from my face.
A patrol caught us, but your new power was far too strong. With that bow, you wiped them clean off the planet.
"Uhm...Crim, was it..?"
"Why do you keep holding that... Is that pendant important to you?"
"Wh- Of course it is, you dummy! You.... You..."
I wanted to be mad at you.
I really did.
I wanted to yell at you, smack you, make you remember me...
...I really did.
Even thought you're so close, you're so far away. I already missed you...
...I really did.