"Why don't we go visit your planet? How is called? Saisio?" Syn asked one evening while they were enjoying each other’s company in their apartment on top of the spires. Miyo had smiled "Well we could..." she wasn't feeling much. It had been a while since she had visited her parents.
"You could make me visit your old home, the best spots around." continued Syn, like to echo Miyoshi's inner thoughts. The girl rolled and rested her head on the capsuleer's lap, looking up with sparkling violet eyes "We could take it as a vacation, from the boring and dull life of Origin!" she giggled, playfully.
Miyo smiled but inside she was torn. She was worried about how her parents would react when meeting Syn. They were quite the Caldari types, close to certain ways of doing. During her stay in Origin and with the help of the little devil close to her too, she had lost much of the constraints so dear to her parents. She would have preferred to avoid a confrontation.
At the same time, she didn't feel to refuse Syn's wishes. It indeed could be a nice vacation away from everything. And it would last for just a few days after all.
"Mmm... what about your trainings? And races?" she asked to her lover. The girl moaned and squirmed "They are just a few days, they won't impact my training at all... and I could keep doing my exercise... and there are no big upcoming races." she smiled brightly up to the other woman and Miyo couldn't but groan: she felt cornered. Quite the clever girl Synani was.
"Mmmm... okay... just because you ask nicely." Miyoshi in the end conceded, she hoped things wouldn't turn too bad. Syn brightened up "Yay!" she exclaimed, getting up to kiss her love "I can't wait!" she giggled excitedly. "I know..." Miyoshi winked, pulling her down for a deeper kiss.
When Miyoshi had to choose ship, she had little doubt. She had a new favourite frigate-sized ship but for a return home she felt to go with her old, never ending love: the Merlin. This had been the first ship she had used and it always served her well.
A few days took her to organize her schedule, avoid and postpone appointments, make sure her re-sort could go on without troubles. They would be away for a week or so, not much, but she liked more be sure everything was going smooth. Her higher ups, in the capsuleer chain of command, gave their approval.
They were ready to go.
Miyoshi accompanied her love personally when they boarded the Merlin. The chosen travel route looked pretty safe, given the last reports, so Miyoshi had chosen to not immerge herself into the pod and let the crew operate the ship fully. Her crew was quite a group of veterans by now, used to her commanding; a few of them were with her from before she had disappeared in Wormhole space, others coming directly from Origin. She was confident the travel will go smooth.
And it gave her time to spend with Synani.
The gravskier was amazed. She had often seen the capsuleers’ ships from the stations but she had never boarded one. And the Merlin wasn't that big so in the day it took to travel through Empire space, Synani had all the time to snoop around, ask questions, bother the crew and what else.
The crew seemed to take well the presence of the girl, they knew who she was and they knew their Captain would have loved they made her feel home too.
To the capsuleer it felt strange flying while not being in her capsule. She was so used to it. She felt like she was missing something when, in fact, she had something better between her hands; some-thing warm, something alive, something smiling, laughing, loving.
The humming of the engines changed as the Merlin left hyperspace in the orbit of the third planet of the Saisio system, Saisio III, home of the Achura. The two women were on the bridge as the planet appeared big in front of them, spinning slowly in the darkness of space.
Syn had wide open eyes. She had seen Renaissance from space before but for her each planet seen from the orbit was an amazing sight.
Miyoshi, instead, felt memories resurfacing. The last time she had seen her planet from this point of view had been shortly before her graduation. Before working for the Navy, before going to live in Origin.
Her parents were down there, waiting for her as they had agreed. The thought they would meet them made her stomach tighten on itself. She really feared that moment, the moment when they would realize who really was Syn, the moment they realized she wasn't the girl that graduated from the Academy, the moment they realized she wasn't the pure Caldari woman she had been growing into.
That she had changed.
The Merlin docked in the station in orbit and they moved to take a shuttle down to the planet. The frigate would remain parked there, waiting for them. Syn was nearly bouncing up and down at the thought on landing on an unknown new planet. All her excitement, the fact that she seemed not to think about what could happen with her parents, made Miyo smile. She loved her, there was no denial.
"You're never so excited when I'm coming to you." the capsuleer pouted as the shuttle undocked from the station and started its glide toward Saisio's surface. "Mmm... soorrryyy..." her lover moaned softly before pecking a kiss, more a full one than just a peck on her lips "Just, it's all so new..."
"Mmmm..." Miyo tried to look still annoyed but she really couldn't succeed "I understand hon." she said softly, pulling the other close. She had felt the same when she had first travelled offworld, only a lot more controlled, like a good Caldari girl should be.
The shuttle carried them down on the surface in one of the main cities. Skyscrapers raised high around them. However, they had little time to wander around that another shuttle picked them up and brought them north.
From the quite warm temperature of the landing city, a colder breeze blew in this northern city. Here the skyscrapers were smaller but still the Caldari style showed itself. From there, they took a personal shuttle to reach their destination: the Akachi’s estate.
It took them some time and the environment soon grew colder and colder until snow started ap-pearing and covering the landscape. The Akachi’s estate sit on the rock side of the mountains, it was far away from the busyness of the cities and of the mainstream society. Closer to a place of meditation than else. But her parents choose it for it, true to Achuran spirit. And the sight was breath-taking.
Miyoshi made the little craft turn over her parent’s home: a one floor building, it had the colors of dark wood and stone. It melted perfectly in the surroundings, growing from them and barely breaking the flow of the environment.
It was colder here and when they stepped up their breath coalesced in small puffy clouds. “I al-ready like it…” Syn giggled softly, winking at her love that smiled. Last time she had been here had been shortly before her graduation, she had said goodbye, it felt so long ago…
Miyoshi breathed slowly, the scent here was different from every place she had visited. It was the scent of home. Of the one she had grew into. Syn squeezed her hand softly and the capsuleer opened the eyes she had closed without ever thinking. “This way.” she smiled, heading down the path to their right.
Their boots cracked softly on the pebble and snow path and soon they were close to the little shed covering the entrance to the Miyoshi’s house. Her parents were there, waiting for them.
Miyoshi stopped looking at them. Time had passed for them as for her but they let the signs of time appear on them. They had always despised all that new technologies to keep looking young. They thought it wasn’t right, nor true. Memories of the last time they had said goodbye flashed in her mind.
“Dad… mum…” she couldn’t resist and stepping forward she hugged them both, she felt their arms circling her, she was the child coming back home. “Welcome home, Miyo.” said her mother softly as her father smiled.
Her father was a stark Caldari man, strong features, his once dark brown hairs were now white, but his gaze was as steely as always. He had been in the military, he had fought hard for the State. His upbringing and history made of him a stone man but deep inside, Miyoshi knew he could be softer. He often reprimanded her, chastised her but at the same time, he showed kindness too. She was his daughter and she meant a lot for him, even if he didn’t admit it that much.
Her mother, Toiki, was quite the opposite of her husband Reigeki. Shorter, she had jet black hairs, now streaked with grey, and the hazel eyes of the Achura. She was the one balancing and softening father’s hard nature. She believed in the Achura traditions, but no less in the State as their home. She had been a researcher and teacher, she never fought in the first line but helped the State in the pursue of knowledge.
From time to time, Miyoshi wondered how her parents could be together, they were quite the op-posites. Still, they had many common grounds on which they built their relationship. Miyoshi would always hold them close to her heart.
Synani remained silent a few steps back, letting her love take her time with her parents. They seemed nice people after all, at least at first sight. Her eyes drifted around, the place looked quite nice and it felt good. She liked it. She was thinking about this when she heard her name: Miyoshi was presenting her.
“Good to meet you, Ms and Mr Akachi.” she bowed softly “I’m Synani. I’m a friend.” Miyo had briefed her on her parents’ beliefs and they both decided to wait before telling them about their true relationship.
“You’re a capsuleer too?” mum asked with a smile, hugging the other girl. Syn smiled but shook her head “Oh no, I’m just a gravskier.”
“A gravskier. Interesting.” stated Reigeki shaking her hand in a firm grip “Where you compete?”
“I’m in slopestyle, sir, but…” she exchanged a glance with Miyo “Not in Empire Space.”
“Ah… Miyoshi mentioned something about where she is living now.” said again Reigeki raising just half an eyebrow. Syn nodded and Miyo dropped in “Yeah, it’s still a new world. And a beauti-ful place. You should come visit one day.” He seemed satisfied for the moment and with Toiki, they lead the way inside.
The warm cozyness of the place met them, memories came back as Miyoshi breathed. That was her old home, here she had grown and put the basis for what she was now.
The room was longer than wider; an open space, first with the kitchen and dying table and then with a couch and two armchairs sitting closer to the windows. Walls and floors were in the warm tone of woods and cold dark stone. The windows, from floor to ceiling and occupying nearly more than half the walls, let the sun come in as well as the gaze go out on the snow-covered valley be-low. The sight was beautiful.
They reached for the couches and sit down, it was time to chat. There was much to talk about, ex-perience to be recounted, changes to be recognized and met. Quite some time had passed since Miyoshi and her parents talked face to face, she had been busy with her new position and duties, with building herself a life.
Synani on the other side, enjoyed the sight and spoke when asked for, letting Miyoshi and her par-ent’s talk. They didn’t feel like bad people, just quite Caldari, as Miyo told her. They had quite the difficult times understanding and accepting certain things but overall, they seemed to hold their daughter wellbeing in enough high esteem to accept many things. And they weren’t bad at conver-sation at all, even if with the age differences between the two girls and them.
The sun moved in the sky, in and out from puffy clouds and soon the time of dinner came. Warm lights came up as the two girls helped Miyo’s parents in setting up dinner. A compilation of Achuran dishes for Miyo’s enjoyment and Synani’s exploration.
“I keep thinking you would have been better in the Navy, you could have raised ranks.” Her dad stated a bit gravely. He had never fully accepted her decision to leave the Navy and be a freelanc-er, even less when she left Empire space.
Miyoshi couldn’t but groan “I already told you dad, Navy life isn’t for me. I’m too much a free spirit.” she said with a smile, below the table she felt Syn’s hand coming to squeeze her leg. In the Navy she would have never met her.
“Still, the Navy needs people like you. From what you tell you are good at flying, if you would come back, I’m sure…”
“Dad. Stop.” She hadn’t come here to being lectured on the goodness of joining the Caldari Navy. Her voice was filled with an edge of steel and the two exchanged gazes. She knew her father would probably never give up on the matter.
“I took a decision. I’m happy with it.” she stated, to end the discussion. She felt how uncomforta-ble Syn was at her side but she couldn’t do anything apart sneaking a hand to squeeze her lover’s one.
The silence protracted for a few moments as they all looked down at their plates. She had grown but still her parents tended to see her as a child in need of guidance and advice.
“What about joining SuuVee?” her dad asked but he couldn’t continue that both mother and daughter stopped him “Stop!” they said and the man mumbled something concentrating back on the plate again.
“I agree with him but it’s your life, I just hope you are happy where you are.” her mother said after a brief moment of awkward silence. “I am, mum. I like the place, the people. I’m working to build something that has meaning. And I found someone to care about.”
“Someone? You didn’t tell us.” her mother asked surprised, the way her daughter had said it felt like it was more than just friendship and camaraderie “Have you found a man to marry?”
Miyo felt Syn tensing beside her and she too had to take a breath, this was going to be harder than the Navy argument. It was happening sooner than she had expected but she couldn’t turn back now. “Well, not to marry…” she said with a forced giggle “Just we live well together.”
“You already live together with him?” his father asked suspiciously. “I do. In Origin things are a bit different; things are more open, things are seen differently from here.”
Her parents weren’t stupid at all and they started connecting the pieces and her eyes moved between Synani and Miyoshi. Synani hadn’t many reason to be there; not being a capsuleer, why had Miyoshi brought just a friend home? Even more since her home wasn’t next door.
“Miyoshi, are you telling me that… you love…?” her mother asked with her eyes widening slight-ly. She exchanged a glance with her husband. Syn was blushing brightly and tried her best to not let it show “I love a woman. I love her.” Miyo said bringing on the table their entwined hands. She had taken all her courage to admit it, she knew her parents at first would not understand, she just hoped they would… given the time. She was so used to be free to show her love for Syn that having to hide it while being at her own home felt… terrible.
Her parents just stared at them. They knew there were people loving people of the same sex but they never expect to be their daughter. Just it wasn’t… right. A woman was made for a man as a man was made for a woman. It couldn’t work in other ways.
“I’m sure you will find a man…” his father started, he seemed to dismiss everything just as a passing moment, like often adolescent does. “No father.” Miyoshi’s voice was cold and steely “I love her. I don’t see any man in my life now. I see her.”
“I think you’re overestimating…” “I don’t.” the capsuleer gripped her love’s hand tight “I made the choice, we made it together.” Miyoshi, you know as I do that this is wrong. You should look for a good man to be with you. A man capable...” “Capable of what? Of keep me home? All nice doing food and smiling?” “Capable of protecting and helping you.” “I don’t need a man protecting me.” why her father couldn’t understand? Couldn't accept it? “Please excuse me.” Miyoshi said getting up without looking no one in the eyes. She quickly walked out of the room and they heard a door bang shout.
Synani was left without knowing what to do. Why her love left her there?! “I… please excuse me.” she said getting up and hurrying out of the room. She wasn’t going to remain with Miyo’s parents all alone! And she knew where she could find her love.
Her capsuleer was leaning against the glass of the windows of her room, she silently made her way to her, her arms reaching around her waist. She found her love was sobbing softly, hands in tight fist. “It’s okay, love…” Syn whispered resting her head on the other’s shoulder “I shouldn’t have come here…” Miyo whispered softly, her breath coalescing on the glass.
“Mmm… I don’t think so…” Syn whispered back “They are nice person, they are just a bit… old-style…” she whispered, ending in a soft giggle. “And I like the place.”
“Mmmm…” Miyo sighed softly, she hated such situation. She had expected it but she hadn’t been able to avoid or make it softer, nor she had expected it to hurt her emotionally that much, the way dad had dismissed her words… “Miyo…” Syn whispered softly, forcing her love to turn, pushing her back against the glass “The fact they don’t like our relationship… doesn’t change the fact that I love you… so you shouldn’t cry… you should help them… understand… like… I do…” her whispering faded in a kiss as their lips touched, their eyes closed and they both gave all them-selves into the kiss.
A long slow moment passed as they remained close to each other. The glass was cold against her back but Miyo didn’t feel it, she felt the warm inside, the warm given by the girl against her, by the one she had chosen to spend her life with.
Miyo smiled staring in that violet pools shining with love that were the eyes of Synani. “Thank you Syn.” The other girl smiled warmly “You would have done the same… so no worries…” their lips met again but this time it was more brief, like an acknowledge.
They headed back out of the room and into the living room. Reigeki was staring out of the big windows, hands clasped behind his back, mum was sitting on the couch, it seemed they had quite a discussion. One that had just ended.
They walked in slowly, hand in hand, not wanting to hide what was for them so important. Miyo-shi brushed a flock of hair out of her face as she looked back at her parents. She wasn’t sure of what she saw there. Her mother seemed supportive or at least understanding while her father was as stony as the stone below them. She had feared her dad could be the hardest to be convinced.
“I can’t make you change idea?” he asked and Miyo shook her head “No, father.” He seemed to give up, his shoulder going down a bit. “Why you don’t tell us how you met?” asked instead her mother, it seemed she was the one accepting their love faster. Or at least accepting she had choos-en.
Miyo went sitting on one of the armchair while Syn sit on the armrest, their hands entwined, Miyo’s head against the other’s side. “I build a resort in Origin, I had told you about, right?” she started and her mother nodded “I organized a gravskiing event there, to make it known. Syn was one of the athletes. We met during one of the evening and things well…” she smiled up to her lov-er “Turned blurry quite fast…” they both giggled, it was the truth.
Reigeki raised his eyebrow, in other times she would have feared such thing while her mother sti-fled a giggle. “But then, things deepened and we remained together.” She smiled up again and they exchanged a loving glance “It has been one of the best things that happened me.”
Toiki nodded “I know the feeling, Miyo. It has been the same, less… rushed… but quite similar when me and Reigeki started dating.” Her eyes held a kind light “Even if I find it all a bit… how can I say… strange… I think what matters is that you’re happy. That both are happy.” she had been, of the two, the most open, maybe because of her Achura beliefs and researching background “That’s what really matters. And honestly, you Synani are really a nice girl.”
At the praise Syn blushed “Thank you Ms Akachi.” she said softly nodding her. It felt like her mother was giving them her approval on their relationship. But maybe it was indeed so.
Reigeki knew when he was cornered and alone in a battle he couldn't win “I… agree with Toiki...” he stated grumpily, walking to her and putting a hand on her shoulder “I still think a man would look perfect by your side but…” both daughter and mother again truncated his words “Daaad!” he shrugged and shook her head “It’s late. I’ll see you all tomorrow.” And with this he disappeared.
“You have to understand him. He is so Navy man to the core.” Toiki smiled a bit apologetically “She loves you nonetheless Miyo, he just would have wanted something different for you. But you know him.” Miyoshi nodded softly, she understood everything perfectly.
“It is indeed late, better if you too go rest.” The old woman got up “I don’t think there is the need to get the guest room ready.” She winked at them before heading out “Have a good night girls.”
Miyo and Syn exchanged a glance, they would never ever have expected such words from the old woman and they couldn’t but burst out giggling. “Quite the type your mum.” Syn giggled sliding on her lover’s legs “Yeah… that caught me completely off balance! But she was indeed right…” their lips brushed again “No need to get the couch ready…” Syn arms were around her neck while Miyo’s ones were around her waist “Bed is waiting for us.”
“I still find difficult to believe they had accepted it. And in so little time.” Syn smiled on their way back to the Merlin “Me too. I thought they would be much harder. Dad in particular. But he got to hug you in just a week! I think mum worked hard to convince him.” Miyo giggled, her father had been grumpy and hard as stone for most of the days but in the end, he had managed to say goodbye in a proper way and hug Synani too without it feeling like ‘I had to do it’ too much.
It has been a weekend of relax. They had enjoyed the warm calm of Miyoshi’s old home. They had explored the surroundings and spent time just lazing around. Her parents had been welcoming and supportive, even if with a bit of troubles given by their relationship. But they came to more or less accept it and this was what really mattered.
“Back home then.” Syn said, looking at the forest blurring outside.
“It has been a wonderful week, Miyo. And your parents are indeed nice people.”
“Glad you think so, love.”
“You know… next week of vacation we take, I bring you to my parents.”
“I’m scared. They will be crazy like you.”
Syn laughed “They indeed are, but who is not crazy? And at least, I’m crazy in a good way.” She winked to the capsuleer, blowing a strand of blue-green hairs away. “So crazy to love one of the craziest woman I ever met.”
“I love you.” Miyoshi whispered softly, pulling her girl close.
“I love you too.” Syn whispered back before their lips met. All around them blurred, just as the space outside the Merlin blurred as the ship warped toward Origin.