Save the Best for Last

A Macross fanfiction

By Orla




Disclaimer: Hikaru, Misa and other Macross characters do not belong to me, I am only borrowing them. ‘Save the Best for Last’ is sung by Vanessa Williams.



AD 2012 – May 01

++Sometimes the snow comes down in June
++Sometimes the sun goes ’round the moon
++I see the passion in your eyes
++Sometimes it’s all a big surprise

“I love you,” the words were whispered in Misa’s ear, tickling her awake, and an arm snaked around her waist, pulling her close.

Her eyes opened fully as she felt the lean warmth of the man in bed with her against her body and she smiled, turning in his arms to face him. Hikaru’s blue eyes were sleepy, but full with love for her, and Misa felt a warm thrill rush through her body coupled with a small tingle of surprise. Even after months of being in the same house, sleeping and making love in the same bed and known officially as a couple, Misa still had to stop from pinching herself to prove she wasn’t dreaming.

With a contented sigh, Misa snuggled closer to Hikaru, wrapping her arms around his waist. Soon she would have to rise and so would he as they started yet another one of those long, busy days, but for now she was happy to revel in the sheer bliss of being alone with him.

“What’s on your mind?” Hikaru asked, running his fingers gently through her long hair. He kissed her forehead. “You had an odd look on your face a moment ago.”

“Oh… nothing,” Misa listened to the steady beat of his heart. “Just thinking that I’m happy, that’s all, despite everything that’s happened…”

++’cause there was a time when all I did was wish
++You’d tell me this was love
++It’s not the way I hoped or how I planned
++But somehow it’s enough  

She was happy even though their love was declared during the blaze of a final battle that claimed the life of the man she considered a surrogate father and the woman who was her closest friend. She was happy despite the devastation Kamjin’s last attack had inflicted on the city of Macross and the fortress that had faithfully served humanity for so long. She was happy because only a few months ago she had been convinced that she would never hear the words ‘I love you’ spoken to her from Hikaru Ichijo’s lips and that feeling had left her feeling so hollow inside that she was almost ready to quit and run far, far away.

“That’s good to know,” Hikaru said softly. He’d not said anything, but he worried for Misa. She had lost so much during this war and sometimes he wondered how badly the deaths of Captain Global and Claudia LaSalle affected her along with the loss of her father and in the not-so-distant past the death of her first love. He recalled his intense feeling of grief when Roy Fokker was killed and how long it took for him to come to terms with that loss – and Roy was just one man.

The phone shrilled, interrupting the quiet of their prefab home and Misa sighed, rolling over and reaching out an arm. “Hayase,” she said into the receiver and Hikaru got out of bed, watching as her face changed from soft and gentle to cool and professional. He smiled wryly and shook his head causing Misa to look at him quizzically when she put the phone down.

“What?” she asked, grabbing her robe and putting it on as she got out of bed.

“Nothing,” he echoed her earlier comment. “Except… sometimes it seems unreal – you and me… together, you know?”

++And now we’re standing face to face
++Isn’t this world a crazy place?
++Just when I thought our chance had passed
++You go and save the best for last

Her smile was equally wry. “You mean because you’re going out with the ‘old lady’?” Misa’s tone was teasing, but she couldn’t help feel a little worried. Was he regretting his decision already?

Hikaru laughed then and walked around the bed to grab her round the waist and hug her. “You’re never going to let me forget what a blind idiot I was, are you?” he grinned. “My old lady…”

Misa chided herself mentally for her silly paranoia and embraced him. “You’re such an arrogant flyboy,” she countered. “But I understand what you meant,” she said once they separated. “It does seem a bit unreal sometimes…”

“Let me make things a little more ‘real’…” Hikaru said huskily and kissed her.

Later, seated in the office on the temporary base that had been constructed after Kamjin’s attack, Misa found her mind wandering down the road of the past, back to the days just after Boldoza’s rain of fire, when everyone was struggling to rebuild the world and she was struggling to cope with her feelings towards Hikaru.  

“And I’m SO glad that’s over…”

***
AD 2011 – March 05

++All of the nights you came to me
++When some silly girl had set you free
++You wondered how you’d make it through
++I wondered what was wrong with you

There was a knock on the door and Misa laid aside her book with a slightly irritated sigh. At the same time her heart did a little leap. Could her late night visitor be…

“Lt Ichijo,” she said, regarding the young man standing sheepishly on her doorstep.

“Evening, Major,” Hikaru rubbed the back of his neck. “I… er… well, I was wondering if you wanted some company…”

Misa smiled. “Of course,” she said, stepping back and ushering him inside.

These evening visits were starting to become a regular occurrence and not just on his part. She often found herself walking to his door these days for a late night chat. Ever since he had rescued her from Alaska Base they found themselves seeking out each other’s company and she welcomed this as much as she hated it. It was wonderful to have him to herself for a while, to be the person he felt most comfortable talking to, but at the same time it could be slow torture. It was hard to sit there, wanting to be his friend and yet also longing for what he couldn’t give to her because it was already taken.

As she brewed a pot of tea and chatted to Hikaru about inconsequential matters, Misa hoped that the conversation would not turn to the one thing that really made these sessions hard: Lynn Minmay.

Unfortunately her hope was not realized on this night and sure enough, Hikaru brought up the subject of the flighty, pretty singer whose voice had helped to win the war against the Zentradi.

“She’s out of my reach now, a real superstar and happy I’m sure,” Hikaru sighed and looked down at the floor. “I suppose I should accept that I lost her a long time ago, but I keep thinking that I should try, you know?”

Misa regarded him over the rim of her tea-cup, unable to speak. Why did he pursue this fantasy? What was the point? And why, why couldn’t he look at her and see someone who cared for him? And how was it that she found herself becoming his sounding board? It was hard to sit and listen quietly to him, offering patient advice, while all the time she was hurting inside.  

But he never noticed her heartache, not when Minmay dreams dazzled his eyes.

***

++’cause how could you give your love to someone else
++And share your dreams with me
++Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for
++Is the one thing you can’t see

“And the next thing I know, we’re arguing <I>again</I> and he storms out in a rage and I can’t sleep,” Misa groaned and rested her chin on her hand. “And it happens every time! Why do I put myself through this?”

“Because you’re in love with him,” Claudia suppressed the chuckle rising up within her as Misa glared flatly at her.

“I am not,” she said, but it wasn’t very convincing and she knew it. “Oh, Claudia…” Misa looked out of the mess hall windows and sighed. “I should just give up. He’s never going to feel the same way about me. He wants Minmay and I have to accept that.”

Claudia resisted the urge to shake her friend. She knew what Misa was going through, but sometimes the younger woman could be a bit too pessimistic about her chances. “He does feel something for you, Misa,” Claudia insisted. “He talks to you about his hopes and dreams, doesn’t he?”

Misa nodded. “But he just regards me as a friend,” she said miserably. “It’s crazy… we talk and I know so much about him now, but… he still loves her.”

“Don’t be so defeatist,” Claudia scolded.

Misa looked out of the window again, a stubborn look on her face. Defeatist? She was being realistic! Hikaru would never see that she loved him.

***
AD2012 – January 02

++And now we’re standing face to face
++Isn’t this world a crazy place?
++Just when I thought our chance had passed
++You go and save the best for last

“Now… Right now, I can come right out and say it. Ichijo, I love you.” The words were soft, but intense and Misa kept her gaze fixed on Hikaru’s face, barely taking note of Minmay’s gasp behind him. His eyes widened and his lips moved, but she forced her eyes away and turned to her rival.

“Minmay? Take good care of your songs,” Misa said quietly. She wanted to say ‘look after Hikaru’, but she couldn’t force it out. She saluted Hikaru, tears stinging her eyes. “That’s all I wanted to say,”* and with those final words she turned and, despite her better intentions, ran away from the pair. As she fled she thought she heard Hikaru call after her, but she shut her ears to the sound and kept going.

Then the world exploded in flames and she was knocked flying. She came to just as a hand was laid on her shoulder and she found herself staring into Hikaru’s eyes and seeing everything she’d dreamed of looking back at her. He raised her to her feet, holding her when she would’ve run off to the Macross still woozy and she knew that in the midst of all this fire and death he loved her.  

++Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for
++Is the one thing you can’t see

In a single day she lost and gained so much all at the same time. As Kamjin’s ship plowed straight at them and her heart pounded with fear she heard Hikaru scream her name: “MISA!!” and whispered his like a prayer. Then Claudia pushed her away from her console, shoving her, Kim, Sammie and Vanessa to safety while Global stood, tall and proud, facing the terrible onslaught.

Then it was a confused jumble of incidents involving horrendous noise, fire, water and a grim determination to live that culminated in walking towards Hikaru on unsteady legs. He looked at her as if she were a ghost and then she saw the rush of emotions crowd his face before he reached out to her.

“I thought I lost you…”

She shook her head, unable to speak, but her expression speaking eloquently enough. She would never leave him again.

***

AD 2012 – June 01

++Sometimes the snow comes down in June
++Sometimes the sun goes ’round the moon

Misa blinked and quickly wiped away the tears that were threatening to fall, but her actions were not fast enough to escape notice.

“Are you alright, Commander?” Kim was asking and Misa jumped slightly, turning to face the younger woman. “Yes, yes…” she blushed slightly, embarrassed to be caught reminiscing while on duty. “Just… er… thinking about things.”

Kim smiled slightly. “Oho! I have a fair idea about what that is!” she teased. “Could it be a certain Captain Ichijo?” asked with studied casualness.

Misa glared. “You could not be more wrong,” she lied and turned pointedly back to her duties. She could feel Kim radiating disbelief and was miserably aware that she had never been able to hide her feelings completely when it came to Hikaru. She WAS thinking about him, a lot in fact, but the thoughts were not good ones.

When the call came that a group of discontented Zentradi was making trouble, everything went according to the usual plan. Hikaru along with Max Jenius assembled a team and flew over to investigate and subdue if necessary while Misa coordinated the entire operation. Things went well, the problem was sorted and things returned to normal.

Except Hikaru was unusually quiet after his return. Frequently he would rise before Misa and be gone by the time she was sitting down for breakfast, or he would be working extra hours, something that he hardly ever did unless it was absolutely necessary.

Then Misa heard that Lynn Minmay had been giving a concert not far from the area where the uprising had occurred and suddenly paranoia set in.

Had Hikaru seen Minmay? Was he now regretting choosing Misa?

She told herself that she was crazy for thinking this way. That Hikaru was merely throwing himself into work because a member of his team was killed during the mission and that always affected him badly. But she couldn’t stop the horrible voice that echoed in her mind, feeding her doubts and convincing her that Hikaru’s love was cooling.

If only he would talk to me. But every time I raise the issue he turns it around and starts talking about casual matters. But then again, neither of us have the best track record when it comes to sharing our feelings…

++Just when I thought our chance had passed
++You go and save the best for last
 
Once her shift was done for the day, Misa said good night to Kim and the rest of her staff and started back to the house she shared with Hikaru. Her footsteps dragged until eventually she stopped, just one block away, and stared unseeing at the sunset.

“Tonight we talk,” she said out loud, her expression set in determined lines. Tonight she would find out once and for all why Hikaru was being so distant. Anything was better than this limbo she was in now.

Wasn’t it?

If he loves Minmay, I will… I… don’t know what I’ll do…

She unlocked the door and pushed it open, drawing in a deep breath. “Hikaru…”

Her voice died as she looked at the scene before her. Candles were on every surface and Hikaru was in the middle of the room, wearing a tuxedo and looking… anxious?

“Hikaru?”

“Misa,” he stepped forward as she approached, the door clicking closed behind her. “I have something I want to talk, no, ask you.”

Misa stared at him, her heart hammering wildly. This was not the scene of a break up, it looked more like something quite the opposite. Her eyes widened as he went down on one knee before her and held up a small open box with a delicate diamond ring sparkling inside of it.

“I’m not very good at romance,” Hikaru said before she could speak. “But I wanted to get this right, for you, because you deserve it. Ever since that last mission, I’ve been thinking a lot about us, and our future. I know my job means that there’s always a chance that I could die at anytime, but if you can accept that about me then I want to ask you to be with me for as long as that is,” he paused and swallowed before continuing. “As my wife.”

Tears collected in Misa’s eyes and rolled down her cheeks before she could stop them. How could she have ever doubted him? “Oh Hikaru…” her legs wouldn’t support her any longer and she feel to her knees in front of him, flinging her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.

“Is that a yes?” he asked with a trembling laugh and she nodded.

“Yes, absolutely, yes!”

Hikaru took her trembling hand and slipped the ring on her finger.

“I love you, Misa Hayase.”

++You went and saved the best for last

-----

The End

* Direct quotes from episode 36



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