DISCLAIMER: Arise, Shipon and all things "Stellvia of the Universe" belongs to... some people in Japan as far as I know, I'm not sure who, just that they're not me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is based on the anime series Stellvia of the Universe, and set some time after the end of the 26 episodes. Spoiler alert ahead, for the series at large.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
A Letter to Shipon
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson
’My dearest Shipon…’
Yes. My dearest... and that's the problem. My Shipon. My Wendy.
'My dearest Shipon, I'm sorry for springing things on you like this but I know that if I try to say this to you in person I never will and...'
No. Too truthful. Just picturing her face, her eyes, that expression when she looks at me, sad and confused like I know she will be, nearly breaks me right now... I don't have the willpower to go through with this if I had to face her first. But there's no need to tell her that.
'See, I'm writing a letter. Me! How old-fashioned for a high-tech gal like me. Well, I wanted to tell you so you wouldn't worry, that's all.'
A little better. Flippant, like she expects of me, and not telling her too much.
'Our third year at the academy is over already... boy, the years just flew by didn't they? All that trouble in our prep year, everything happening so fast we barely knew it before it was over, then becoming regular students and finally seniors.'
The Great Mission that mankind had waited for several generations to start is over. The rescue mission to Ultima and the Genesis Mission as well, and we were right here at the thick of it all.
You were at the thick of it all. You, Katase Shima, genius pilot and programmer, first pilot of the Halcyon, hero and saviour of all of mankind. I was just watching you from the sidelines for most of it. Lifting you up when you fell, kicking you in the butt when you needed me to... caring for you when that genius head of yours kept your feet too far off the ground to remember about the basics of life.
All this time I've been by your side. All this time, wanting to be your Peter Pan, my Wendy... but I think I ended up being Tinkerbelle instead.
Yes, Tinkerbelle... that's right. I patched you back together and kept you upright when I had to, I fixed everything I could for you, even rushing headlong into the death zone for you. Your Tinkerbelle who performed my magic on your machine and cared for your body even when you forgot to. But never your Peter Pan.
'I've been given several offers for work now that our studies are over, as you know. Great mechanics like me are hard to come by you know? And I'm a decent pilot as well, even if I was never in the same league as you and the others. Anyway, I'm taking the offer I got from Foundation Atlantea, to teach and lead the mechanics division there. It's a good offer, in addition to my rank I will get to be on the council plus they have some interesting developments on new Keitty models starting up over there too. Guess they're really eager to have a ground zero pro on the team, huh?'
It's true, the offer is certainly generous enough, and Atlantea is second to New Stellvia among the foundations, far further along to completion which is a good thing. I don't know if I could tough it out another couple of years while the academy where I live is being built as I walk around in it. The research they plan to do there is interesting too, and to have such honours as to be placed as a valued member of the council right out of school is a more than prestigious offer. And the pay will make sure my little sister can get through the rest of her studies comfortably, which is a relief since I've already hocked all I could to get us both this far.
'I know you thought I would stay here on New Stellvia with you and the others... that I would accept the position to lead the mechanics division here. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I've thought about it and this is really for the best.'
Oh yes, it is for the best. I'd love to stay... Stellvia is my home, where all of my beloved friends and little sister are, but I know I can't. I've tried my best but it is just too hard.
'You've come so far, Shipon, and I'm so proud of you. All the things you have done, all the things you have accomplished. A hero and a role model for generations to come... who would have thought that was to become of my little Shipon? Remember when we stood there side by side watching the welcoming flight lead by Ayaka, my Wendy? We had no idea what was to come.'
I had no idea you would steal my heart, my Shipon. Falling in love with you so badly I would spend the following years thinking of nothing else, seeing nothing else but you. Thinking at first that I had a chance, somehow.
But I was wrong of course. Why would a genius like you want a hard-working nobody like me anyway? No, only another genius would do for my Shipon, I should have realized that from the start. Should have seen it earlier that you would fall for him.
The only one to match you yet he never comes close to your brilliance, does he? He was just around, tagging along with the other boys, never saying much and never doing much... I didn't notice him. Didn't notice you noticing him until I looked at you and saw you looking at him like I was secretly dreaming you would one day look at me.
How that hurt. You didn't notice my depression, only Yayoi-chan did, and she knew the reason for it. I guess being in the same situation made her see the signs in me, though I was too self-absorbed to notice that until much later when I along with so many others witnessed the exchange of innocent but still so adoring words and loving looks between her and Ayaka-san... Yayoi-chan got her happy ending despite the pain, and I'm glad for her. She was there for me then, made me able to put on a happy face and fight for your happiness even if it was killing mine to do it.
'I will miss you my roommate.'
More than you'll ever know.
'I won't be around to cook for you anymore, or make sure you remember to eat, you stubborn girl. Rinna-chan has promised me she'll look after you though, and scold you in my place.'
Remember Shipon, how we used to play at being lovers? Acting as if we were a married couple... I would say that you were a lousy husband when you didn't do what I told you to, and we would hug and cuddle and say romantic things to one another every now and then, always breaking out in laughter afterwards. My heart would always pound away in my chest then, but you never noticed that. You even acted jealous if I spoke to admiringly of other girls, and elated I tried to provoke you a little when I could.
I was so unprepared for that look in your eyes when you looked at him.
Your relationship didn't survive your elevation to pilots of the Infinity and the Halcyon, the two of you broke up then despite all of our efforts to get you to reconcile. Yeah, I'm all the more the fool for trying to fix things between you and him, but I could never bear to see you hurting. So with the two of you no longer a couple, barely even friends in some ways, I would have thought that would have changed things. Wrong.
You are not together and you tell me you never will be, yet the two of you still share something strangely loving. You tell him that you love him and worry about him when he is off on one of those deep space missions he so long to go on, and I know he never stopped loving you even if he is so addicted to that machine now that he will barely leave it even when in dock.
The genius pilot of the Infinity, the one for whom the second DLS system was created... how ironic that his grand vision turned out to be no more than a small error in visual acuity and some colour blindness. It's cheap of me to feel satisfaction over that fact, but his conceitedness over his supposed special ability rubs me the wrong way. And he did steal away the one I love, so I think I'm entitled a little ill will.
But I should finish the letter.
'I'll think of you often, and call you once in a while. Take care of yourself...'
How hard it is to finish. I don't want to deceive you, but in truth once I leave here I don't intend to see you again. Saying that would hurt you though.
Aww no, I'm crying again. I've cried so much I'm surprised there are any tears left by now, and I had hoped I could go on for just a few hours without them. Just until I got on the transport for Atlantea.
What was that? A sob, and it wasn't from me.
What are you doing there on the floor near the door?
...how long have you been standing there?
Oh. You heard it all, then. My letter and the things I couldn't write in it... because I still do my thinking out loud. How stupid of me.
What are you...? O-oh. Don't cry Shipon. It's better this way.
Yeah, guess I am stupid, sorry about that.
I misunderstand you and Kouta-kun? You love him, but the same way you love the others, our Stellvia family. You had a brief crush on him but that died long ago?
I know you never knew how I felt about you... I know I never told you. What difference would that have made?
Why did you do that?
You don't want me to leave? Oh... okay. You didn't have to do that though.
That's the difference it would have made? You mean...
Yes Shipon, you can kiss me again. You can keep kissing me forever if you want to. I'm not going anywhere.
I'm right where I belong.
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