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Forever yours, Darling (A Darling in the Franxx Fanfic)

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: Darling in the Franxx is an anime owned by trigger studios. I do not own the characters, or any intellectual property related to this, nor the artwork. I simply had a story that I want to tell for these characters. Links and credits for the art will be in the author's notes at the end of the story.

Location: Earth

Time: 1000 years after the war

The sun smiled down upon a park, its golden rays warming up all of the people as they wandered about. The beams of light shone down upon the massive tree in the middle of the park, making its way between the pink flowers as it made its way towards the soil. Inches from the ground, the light bounced upon the page of a book being held by a little boy as he turned to the next one.

He continued to gaze at the contents of the book, enamored at the detailed pictures contained in it. Despite having other books that he could read; this was one that he had always enjoyed returning to, no matter how many times he opened it. His dark hair was gently moved as the wind blew, trying to turn the next page for him.

He held down the page firmly as he continued to read his favorite part. This was the section written by the editor talking about how the young warriors known as parasites had helped to bring the end to the great Klaxxsosaur War when the people were finally able to live in peace and the earth became green once again.

There was an old picture of these soldiers, all arranged neatly as they starred at the camera. The people in the picture all looked happy, but the boy's eyes were drawn to a particular pair. On the right-hand side of the image, there stood a boy with dark hair and light green eyes, standing up proudly.

There was a girl who was hugging his left arm, her pink hair and red uniform sharply contrasting with the grey and blue uniforms worn by the other children. Her small horns only made the contrast even sharper, and yet they both had the same expression of happiness as their picture was being taken.

Whether it was the fact that he looked very similar to the boy, or the bright red horns of the girl beside him, he was always curious about the pair. There were a lot of myths surrounding these children that lived and fought over a thousand years ago but even so, there was something in his mind that felt familiar as he starred at the aged image.

"Stop running! You'll fall!" A voice cried out nearby. The boy paid little attention, knowing it was probably one of the other children's parents being too worried. The sound of a small pair of feet running and a girl laughing and getting closer did catch his ears, but still not enough to stop gazing upon the image.

"I'll be fine!" The girl replied and tripped as soon as the words escaped out of her mouth. She made a small noise of surprise as she fell down flat on her face and right next to the boy, finally looking up from his book.

"Ow." The girl said softly as she started to pick herself up. The boy put down his book and hurriedly approached the girl, hoping that she had not hurt herself.

"You okay?" he asked as he started to reach his hand out. From a young age, he had always been eager to help others, even if he didn't know them. "If I don't know them," he had excitedly explained to his mother a few times, "then I should make friends with them while helping!"
"Ok, as long as you are safe!" She had laughed and ruffled his hair, before sending him off to school that day. As he offered his hand, the girl's hand also started to reach out. "Who are you?" he wanted to ask.

"Who are you?" The girl asked as she took his hand. "Me?" The boy asked. This was the first time that someone had asked this when he was helping. Usually, it was he who was asking for the name, eager to make friends with anyone he could.
The light of the sun shone down upon the bird on her bracelet and he felt another jolt in his chest. This feeling only grew as he looked at the girl.

As they both stood up, he noticed the long flowing pink hair that reached all the way down to her waist. The white dress she wore contrasted with it, almost making her hair appear to be glowing. But it was her face that the boy was most fascinated with.

It looked almost like a child version of the girl in his picture book. While a bit hurt, she was still smiling up at him, thankful that someone helped her out. He gulped as the smile caught him off guard, struggling to get his words out. "My name is..." He began to speak.

"Aimi, I told you to not run off, or you'll get hurt!" The girl's mother said as she rushed over to the pair. "I'm fine mom, he helped me up and I didn't fall down too much!" Aimi cheerfully said, smiling at the boy as her mother knelt down and inspected Aimi's knees. "I see, just a little bit dirty."

Her mother brushed the grass and streaks of dirt off and looked up, face to face with her smiling daughter. "You still have to be more careful next time, otherwise a handsome boy like him may not be around to make sure you're okay." She smiled at the boy, who blushed and looked down at his feet, a little embarrassed at the compliment he got from an adult.

"I-it's nothing, all I did was help her up." He replied nervously. The boy had gained a sudden interest in his feet as the pair looked at him. "Now Aimi, what do we say to people who have helped us?" The mother asked, her face beaming with amusement as she looked at the two children.
"Thank you, and who are you?" Aimi asked as she flashed a smile towards the boy, grinning from ear to ear. Her closed eyes and dazzling white teeth caught the boy's attention once again.

"H-Hiro...." The boy replied nervously, now blushing even harder after saying his name out loud. "Hiro, like the parasite?" Aimi's mother asked, facing the boy as she remained crouched down. Hiro nodded; his head still lowered in embarrassment even as he tried to look at her and not at his feet.

"What a wonderful name!" The mother chuckled as she reached over and patted his head. "Very fitting for a boy as kind as you. Is your book ok? I think it may have gotten a little dirty." Hiro looked down and saw the specks of dirt on "The Beast and the Prince."

He immediately tried to clean it up and to hide behind his back, recalling the few times that some of his classmates teased him for reading this particular book.

"You are reading the Beast and the Prince?" Aimi asked, slightly chuckling. Hiro slowly nodded, raising his head just a little bit. "I just got a copy for her a few days ago so she can learn to read better." Her mother said, noticing the downtrodden look on Hiro's face.

"Yep, I love the pretty pictures and the story!" Aimi suddenly approached Hiro, her hands behind her back and her face inches from his. Hiro stumbled a little bit into the trunk of the tree behind him, finally looking straight into Aimi's grinning face. "Can you read it for me?" She asked. "Please?"

"Sure!" Hiro exclaimed; all his worry suddenly gone in a flash. He had finally found someone as excited about the book as much as he was. The pair sat down beneath the tree, their backs resting against its massive trunk as Hiro starting to wipe the bits of grass off the book.

Aimi's mother chuckled as she pulled out a blanket from her bag. "It's springtime, so you make sure that it doesn't get suddenly cold for you two." They thanked the mother as she left, letting them know to come over if they felt hungry or needed anything else. Comfortably set up underneath the warm blanket, Aimi snuggled up and rested her chin on Hiro's shoulder.

Slightly blushing, and still grinning in happiness, Hiro brushed the last of the dirt off of the book, excited to return to the book and share his love of the story with someone else. They both admired the cover for a moment, gazing upon the brown leather-bound book.
The picture in the middle that depicted the beast approaching the prince, captured their attention as they looked over every last detail. "Can you start reading please?" Aimi asked politely, eager to hear the story.

Hiro smiled and opened to the first page, depicting the beast girl, with her beautifully drawn wings, scaly tail, and brown horns. Admiring how the princess was drawn, from the elaborate dress to the stunning multicolored feathers in her wings, Hiro turned his attention to the picture of the sun where the story starts. "In the deepest darkest part of a forest lived a tribe," Hiro began, telling the tale of the beast princess who yearned to be with her human prince.

As he continued, Aimi was transfixed at the story that Hiro was telling. For even after hearing the same tale many times and her knowing how it ended, there was just something about the way that he spoke the words of the story that felt comforting to her.

"The princess took the prince's hand and said to him with a smile on her face, 'Grab on to me and never let go, darling.'" Hiro continued, his voice, slowing down as he said 'darling'. The slight breeze picked up again, fluttering Aimi's hair a little bit.
A strand or two got stuck to her face, onto the single tear that had traveled down her cheek. Wiping the hair away, Aimi didn't understand why she just cried. All she knew was that this was the part she would always start to tear up, but not as much as the ending of the tale.

Hiro continued on as he reached the final pages. The original story ended on page 9, but there were 2 more pages added on by the editor, Ichigo.

"And so, after searching for her, the prince had finally found his princess, but she had turned into a monster, as the witch said she would. 'Go away!' She cried out. 'I am a hideous monster and not meant to be with you!'"
"But the prince did not go away. Instead, he drew himself closer to her. 'I do not care how you look, but only what you are. You may appear to be different, but you are still my princess.'"

"The beast tried to flee, but he grabbed her hand and held her whole body with his. 'I promised to never let go of you darling, and that I shall never do.' The prince kissed the monster on its forehead, vowing to always stay by her side."
"The witch of the forest, watching the pair, said to them, 'I can lift the curse, but she will remain as the beast before you met, and so you will become one.' The prince gladly accepted, and so they both became beasts. They went off and lived out the rest of their lives in the forest, always together and happily ever after."

"In memory of Hiro and 02." He finished, reading aloud the dedication that Ichigo had added.

Chapter Text

Hiro took a deep breath and sighed. He turned to Aimi. "Was it o...are you okay?" He asked, noticing a few tears streaming down Aimi's face. She nodded, wiping them from her check with both hands. "I'm fine, just feel very happy that they found each other at the end."

Hiro smiled, remembering how happy he was for the same reason the first time his father read him the story. "I see, I'm glad you are also happy." Aimi smiled and pointed at the book, asking, "If that's the end of the story, what are all these pages after?"
"Oh, that is a bit of history about the book!" Hiro exclaimed, eagerly flipping the page to show her. He always enjoyed reading about the story behind the Beast and the Prince book. It helped him to love the story even more once he knew how it came to be.

"You see, this person Ichigo wrote this part," he began, explaining the Klaxxosaur war, how it was ended by a small squad of parasites and how they helped humanity to heal the earth and allowed them to help civilization grow in peace.
Aimi eagerly hung onto his every word, especially when he flipped towards the last pages of the book, where the pictures taken were placed. Her eyes shone brightly as Hiro explained how they last met among the stars before they had bid goodbye to a special pair of soldiers.

He pointed to a small and shy looking blue-haired girl in the picture as he explained that she was the one that brought the book together and finished the story in their memory. "That one right there was Ichigo, who wrote the final part." his hands wandered over to the pair standing next to her. "And the book was written by these two!" Hiro said, pointing to 02 and Hiro in the picture.

Hiro then excitedly went on about the tale of 02 and Hiro, how their love story started with the book when they were children, how they came back together eventually helped to defeat the aliens, and ended the war.

"They loved the book since it was, in a way, their story. She was like the beast with the horns and he was the prince. They were separated by others but eventually found each other." Hiro then lowered his gaze, becoming slightly less enthusiastic. "Sorry if I was boring, I talk too much about this."

Aimi flash him a grin and hugged his waist, making him utter a high-pitched squeak of surprise. "You were not boring, I liked it!" She exclaimed. "But it was sad that they had to go fight and never came back." Hiro nodded.

"True, but I like to think that as long as they were together, they were happy no matter where they went." He said wistfully, gazing upwards into the sky. Their eyes both become heavy as they snuggled on the ground, their bodies propped up on the trunk of the tree. Hiro placed the book down to his side, happy that he finally found someone to share his love for the beast and the prince.

"Do you think that everyone will be like 02 and find their prince?" Aimi asked, yawning a little bit. The pink petals from the tree gently floated down to the ground, a few finding their way to the book cover.

"I don't know, I hope so," Hiro replied, also yawning. "I know some of the adults say that's impossible, but I like to think that is the case, even if it may not be in this life. Maybe it might be in the next one." Aimi smiled softly as she started to fall asleep. "I hope that I will find him in this life."

Hiro smiled, closing his eyes in his failed fight against his sleepy mind. "That would be nice." He muttered, slowly slipping into the dream world with Aimi. Soon the pair were fast asleep, dreaming of strange birds and forests filled with strange and fascinating creatures. The petals of the tree fell like the February snow, covering them with a thin scattering of patches of pink. Softly snoring, they would occasionally smile as their pleasant dreams went on.

In that dream they felt as if they were dancing in the sky, flying higher and higher. As they reached the clouds, while holding each other's hands, they stopped and looked down. Despite the vast distance, they were able to clearly see the tree that they were fast asleep underneath.
"Did we die?" Hiro asked, worried as he looked down at his slightly transparent arms. "Will mom be ok?" He thought nervously. He started to breathe heavily and felt himself sinking down towards the ground. Aimi saw this and grabbed him, laughing all the while.

"We're still alive! We are just flying while asleep, my mom said we can do this with other people that we connect with." Gripping his hand, she smiled at him. "You are the first one to be with me while dreaming! Do you want to fly with me?" Hiro gulped, turning his attention back to Aimi.
"Go back down or with her?" He asked himself, getting a sense of déjà vu. When he closed his eyes, his heart swam with many emotions, recalling the event that he doesn't remember. Strong feelings of fear, panic, and loss clung to him and he sunk a little further down back towards the earth. He tried to force himself back up, but he still sunk down a bit more.

"Go with her." A gentle voice whispered in his head. Hiro paused for a moment, a wave of calmness spreading throughout his body as he closed his eyes. "Breath in and out, in and out." He told himself, trying to steady his panicked breathing.
The voice had sounded like an older version of himself. The fear and worry he had felt were drowned out in the wave of calm that he now felt. Taking a deep breath, all he knew that he had to trust this voice.

Hiro opened his eyes, feeling himself starting to rise up just a little bit. As he floated back up to the cloud Aimi smiled in relief. "Good to see you again! I thought I lost...you." She faltered as the pair felt a jolt of warm energy surge through them.
"I've never felt this before, it's so cool!" She exclaimed as she wrapped her fingers around Hiro's. "What do you think this means?" Hiro asked, staring at their entwined hands. "I don't know, maybe it means that we can see each other in future dreams!"

As more of these strange beams of light flowed through the pair, Aimi felt something. It was a fear that was not hers. "Are you a bit worried...about going back down to the ground?" Aimi asked, feeling Hiro's fear. He nodded. "Am scared of heights." He whispered. Aimi laughed and pointed towards the sky. They had traveled all the way up to the point where they were able to faintly see the stars.

"If we look up, you can't tell how high we are." She said, comforting Hiro. "Would you like to know what each star means?" She asked. Hiro's eyes shone with excitement as he nodded, eager to learn more about the beautiful night sky.

"Ok, so that star over there is Sirius! People long ago believed it was the only one. But the Dogon tribe said...". She began, as they sat up in the clouds and gazed at the ocean of stars in space and marveled at its beauty.
As she talked, Hiro relaxed. Soon the idea that they were so far above the ground was barely registering in his mind, as he was more focused on Aimi and the many stories, she told about each star she pointed out.

He smiled, enjoying how passionate she was about the night sky. "I don't know." She shrugged after he asked why she was so enthralled with the stars. "It just feels like I lost something up there. I want to try and explore the skies when I grow up!"
"You think that you can find what you are looking for so far away? All the way up with those stars?" Hiro asked quizzically. "Yep!" Aimi said confidently. He smiled, admiring how convicted she was in her desire to seek among the stars.

Truth be told, he also felt strong emotions of longing whenever the sky cleared up and the stars appeared, so he understood where she was coming from. His eyes shone as he gazed towards the Polaris star, seeing it even clearer than he had even done so before. Even if it all turned out to be in his imagination, he was still glad he can see them like this.

"If you want, would you like to search the stars with me when we become older?" Aimi asked, noticing the look of bliss on his face. Hiro paused for only a second before he smiled and turned to look at her. "If we can, we will explore the stars and find what we lost!" He said excitedly, offering his hand forward. "Together?" Aimi laughed and accepted; their hands clasped together. "Together." She promised.

Aimi's mother came by and spotted the pair fast asleep. Smiling, she placed the back of her hands on their foreheads, brushing the hair to the side and waking them up. The pair yawned widely as they came to, rubbing their eyes and smiling as they recalled their dreamtime adventure.
Her mother signed as she looked around the park with an apologetic look on her face. "Sorry, but it's getting dark and we have to go back home." Aimi pouted as her mother chuckled. "Maybe next time you can come back and play more with Hiro, sound good?"

"Sure!" Aimi exclaimed. "Can I tell him where we live so he can come over?" Her mother smiled and nodded, giving her a piece of paper with a pen. Aimi quickly wrote their address and something else on the back of the page before giving it to Hiro. She gave him a sudden hug, making him utter another squeak in surprise.

"I had lots of fun, see you next time!" She said as they separated and began to make their way back home, waving excitedly. As they said their goodbyes and waved at each other one last time, Hiro turned around and started to make his way back home, tucking the note in his pocket.
Barely making it before the sun had started to set, he began trudging his way up the many flights of stairs to the family's apartment, his mind kept on focusing on Aimi. How she was mesmerized by his storytelling, her fascination with the history of the parasites, how they had explored the dreamscape together, and her bright optimism about the future.

His heart grew a bit lighter and his mind much happier thinking about that as he opened the door and entered his home. "Hey Hiro, you're back later than usual!" His mom called out from the living room. "Dinner is on the table if you're hungry."

Chapter Text

"Thanks!" Hiro said as he ran into the living room to tightly hug his mom. "Wow, what made you so happy today?" "I met someone who liked the book as much as me!" "The Beast and the Prince? That's great honey! Make sure to eat up plenty so you can meet up with them again."

Hiro obliged, ravenously wolfing down his plate as he talked about his day in between bites. "And then we fell asleep....but we were still awake....and we were flying in the air....and we saw all the stars like it was night!" His mother sat down at the table, intrigued by Hiro's time out.
"Really? And how did you come back here?" Hiro swallowed another mouthful before he spoke. "Oh, I just felt her mom touch my head and I opened my eyes, even though they were already opened, and I saw I was back here!"

She smiled and patted his head as he took another bite. "Well, I'm glad you found someone to dream with. Your father also likes to travel while sleeping, I think we still have a few of his books that you may be interested in."
"Are you going to see her again when you sleep tonight?" She poked his cheek as she gently teased him. "Mom! And I don't know, I think I can only do that when I'm sleeping next to that person."

She grinned and reclined in her chair, the wood of the backboard creaking slightly. "Oh, I don't think so. The many times I see him in my dreams while we are apart is making me think that you will see her again soon."

She then got up and placed her hand on her hips in a semi-serious pose. "But if you dream of our place, make sure to introduce her to me before you make a mess. It may be in your mind, but I probably still have to clean up the place!"
Hiro laughed as he got up from the table, taking his plate with him. "I will! And I think you will like her a lot, she's really great." His mom took his plate as she hugged him. "I think so too, now go get to the tub, you can't meet a girl while smelling like dirt and sweat!"

- - - - - - - - - - -

Setting himself down in his bed, Hiro lay there in frustration. He wanted to enter the dreamscape quickly since Aimi promised that she would be there soon, and he didn't want to make her wait but was too excited about the meeting to fall asleep. "Fall asleep please." He begged to himself. But his brain refused.

He sighed deeply, wishing that he could fall asleep in an instant. Trying to distract himself from his struggle, he read the note that she had handed to him earlier. On one side there was her address. It was quite close by, perhaps no more than a few minutes' walk from his building to theirs.

But he was more excited about what was on the other side of the note. On that note, Aimi had scrawled a quick message only for him to read and understand, anyone else would have been confused. It said, "When you sleep, meet me at the park under the tree. I will be there at 9:30. See you tonight!"

Too eager to see Aimi again to fall asleep, he turned and smiled at the picture of his dad on his nightstand. Picking it up, he held it out in front of him. "Hey dad," Hiro whispered. "I have good news! I met someone today that loves the book as much as you did when you used to read it to me. She also looks a bit like 02, which is kinda cool."

He continued a little bit longer, talking about the girl that he met that day. Between Hiro describing the feeling of floating in the air and seeing the stars shine more clearly than he had ever seen before, his mind kept on coming back to one particular thing he felt, a sense of affection towards Aimi. He sighed and smiled at the picture.

"During the time, even though I felt scared being so far up, I would feel happy as long as I would hold on tightly to her." His chest tightened as he said those words. "I don't know why I feel this way, but I hope that someday you can meet her when you come back."
Feeling that sleep was finally going to reclaim him, he placed the picture back down onto the nightstand. "I will tell you more about her when I meet her later, but just wanted to let you know. Sleep well!"

Carefully, he lay flat on his back and allowed his mind to naturally start feeling a bit heavy. Strange shapes of various colors began to form, zipping across a dark background. Even with his eyes closed, he can still see the shapes clearly as they formed and combining together in a medley of amazing shapes.

Still falling closer into the dream world, his body began to lighten up, as if his soul was starting to leave his body. Hiro's mind began to slow down, as he stopped thinking about his day.

All he could do now was to focus on this moment, being in the dream world. As he was about to fall asleep, he started to count down from 10. In his mind, his focus was now on making it to the park.

 

10

 

He imagined an outline of a massive tree. The ground was slightly hilly, covered with subtle bumps caused by the roots of the tree.

 

9

 

He now focused on the colors of the tree, the brown bark contrasting with the pink flowers that grew on it.

 

8

 

The cracks of the bark began to form. The flowers bloomed and became more fleshed out, with the lines becoming clear as some petals gently fell to the ground.

 

7

 

The green stems of grass began to become clearer as Hiro continued to focus. The only thing that mattered now was this park.

 

6

 

The bark on the tree became more detailed with the scales starting to form. The background became more lifelike as other plants started to appear.

 

5

 

The buildings in the background started to appear one by one. At this point, Hiro felt as if he was no longer in bed, but his vision was as if he was only watching a movie. He was not fully in the dreamscape....yet.

 

4

 

The wind began to gently blow the petals around as they settled onto the grass.

 

3

 

Hiro felt the gentle chill of the wind as the blew on his cheek. He smiled as he realized he was almost there.

 

2

 

The rest of the details suddenly flooded into Hiro's eyes all at once. The tiny insect that crawled in the grass, the way the bushes were all sprawled out around him, how the branches of the tree creaked and swayed as they were moved about. What he could see and hear, smell and feel, it was now almost as if he was.....

 

1

 

He blinked. Once, twice, then several times. He looked down at his hands and focused on his fingers. Moving them one by one, he breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. As his body lay in bed, breathing quietly and with even breaths, his new body was suddenly sprinting towards the tree.

Hiro smiled to himself as he saw a flash of bright light appear in front of him. He winced, his eyes still adjusting to the brightness of this new world. As the light faded away, he blinked once more to see what had just happened. But before he could react, something had touched his hand.

Rubbing his eyes, he looked down to see another pale white hand was holding his own. Looking up to see its owner, gave a large smile as he saw that it was exactly who he had expected.

"You made it!" Aimi cried out. She tugged at his arm as they both started to walk away from the tree. "I was worried that I would have to be here all by myself. I found a great pond here that I want to show you, you wanna see it?"

Hiro nodded and breathed a sigh of relief as she led the way. As they began to make their way towards the pond, the wind blew a little bit more. Next to the tree, two more figures stood and watched the children as Aimi began to describe the various colors of the fish that she had found so far.

"Unlike real life, these fish are purple and can speak, but they can only repeat what we say like a parrot." "Woah! Can they speak with different voices or all the same? Can they have high pitched voices?"

"Sometimes they even say what we say in different languages!" Their voices grew fainter as they went further down the trail, starting to jog to quickly meet the speaking fish.

The two figures watched the children fade in the distance as they stood underneath the tree. The boy with light blue horns gently held the hands of the girl in a red uniform. Time seemed to slow down for them as they gazed into each other's eyes for the first time since that fateful day, light years away from home.

As the two children ran around the park, their past lives smiled wistfully at each other, silently standing underneath the branches. The pink petals fell on Hiro's grey and blue uniform, sharply contrasting the earthy colors with their own brightness. "I'm glad I finally found you again, Darling." Zero Two whispered as she reached up to caress his cheeks.

"Is that really you, 02?" Hiro asked, choking up his words a little bit as his eyes started to water. He was still in shock that after so long, the two of them were once again face to face.

Hiro's hands reached up to his face to gently feel her hands, unable to believe what he was seeing. Her hands were warm and even after a thousand years, he relaxed as Hiro recognized the familiar way they felt.

Zero Two nodded, a single tear rolling down her cheek. "It...it is me." Both tried to speak more, but the words they wanted to say were so numerous, they didn't know where to start. Finally, Hiro gave up and just threw himself into her, hugging her tightly as they both fell down to the soft grass.

Slowly falling towards the ground, Zero Two smiled as she returned the hug. She understood as well, no matter what they wanted to say, they could also say with none. Rolling around under the tree, they furiously wept with happiness at finally seeing each other once again.
Between the kisses long overdue, Hiro promising not to leave her side again, and Zero Two saying how much she had missed her darling, a thousand years of sorrow from being split apart finally dissipated in seconds.

There was now only joy where those sad feelings once resided in their souls. In a shower of tears and kisses, all fear of the future was washed away, leaving only the present moment for them to focus on. The only thing worth thinking about, in that moment, was each other.

After what seemed like an eternity of bliss and an outpouring of love from one another, they finally took a deep breath and calmed down. Hiro had ended up lying down on his back and staring upwards, his gaze returned by her turquoise eyes. Zero Two was still hugging him as she faced her long-lost lover, neither one willing to let go.

"If I never let go," Zero Two thought, "I can stay with him forever."

"If I let go," Hiro worried, "I may lose her again forever."

"Darling?" Zero Two spoke, her voice quivering slightly. "Yes?" He said, brushing her hair to the side to see her face more clearly. "Can we stay like this? Until they stop dreaming." Hiro nodded, wiping away his own tears. "Yeah, let's stay like this. Forever this time."

They both broke into laughter. "That would be a good thing." Zero Two chuckled. "Can you imagine if our current lives also fell in love?" Hiro grinned. "I don't know, I think that my current life already has a bit of a crush on Aimi." Zero Two smiled. "I was just about to say the same for Aimi as well."

In each other's arms, they were perfectly still and silent, save for their heartbeats and breathing as they heard Aimi and Hiro laughing in the distance as they taught an orchestra of fish how to harmonize together.

"But whatever may happen to us tomorrow," Hiro spoke, breaking the silence. "I am glad that I got to see you again. And that I also got to say this once again." He leaned upwards closer to her face.

"I love you, Zero Two," Hiro whispered, his arms gently caressing her. "I always have, and I always will." Hearing this, a single tear rolled down onto Zero Two's cheek.

Seeing this as the right moment, she leaned into his ear to softly speak the words she had been waiting all this time to tell him. "And I love you too."

Darling

Chapter Text

Hello once again! TurkeyRock here.

To start, I once again stress that I do not own or have any rights to the show or the characters. I simply had a story that I felt must be told.

Now that proper credit has been paid, I must thank each and every one of you for reading my new story! I have been working on this longer than I expected, with some drafts being binned after they became too convoluted.

This was the first anime that I binged watched in full back in spring and enjoyed quite a lot but felt that the end could have been happier. That is why I took longer than usual, with the extra time being used to make absolutely sure that this is the story that I want to tell you. I decided to roll with the official ending and added some more details to it to give it an ending that I think is a bit happier and has more closure than the show did.

I am quite proud that I managed to get this done while everything going on in my personal life, and I hope that you have also enjoyed reading this as much as I had with writing it. As always, any constructive advice on what was could, what could be made better is welcome, since I do have plans to write more stories and I want to improve as a storyteller as time goes on.

Thank you once again, happy holidays, and may the next story entertain you more than the last,

TurkeyRock