Taking the Leap

A Macross Fanfiction

By Orla

Disclaimer: The characters of Hikaru Ichijo and Misa Hayase do not belong to me, I’m only borrowing them.

Author’s note: I recently bought the box set of the original Macross series and fell in love with the characters all over again. This story is more of a ‘what if’ than anything else and an excuse for me to write about one of my favourite pairings!

AD: 2000

Misa Hayase regarded the long queue in front of the concession stand with a sinking feeling. It would take at least fifteen minutes, if not longer, of standing in the midst of a shoving crowd to get the drink she was desperately thirsty for and that was really not satisfactory.

Frowning, the ten-year old girl glanced back. Nanny Hanako’s head could just be seen, her eyes lifted to the sky as she watched the aerial acrobatics above her, clearly she had not yet missed Misa’s presence beside her. Misa sighed, debating with herself. She could go back, struggle through the press of people and just wait until the show was over before she got her drink and Hanako would never know that her small charge was bold enough to leave her side.

“But I’m so thirsty…” Misa whispered. She looked around. Perhaps there was a tap or some sort of drinking fountain that she could use to get just a mouthful of water to tide her over. She walked around the concession stand and into an alleyway created by two large sheds. Behind her she could hear the crowd roar with approval and this quickened her steps. The faster she found a drink the faster she could get back to the delights of the Ichijo Air Show.

“What are you doing?”

Misa nearly jumped ten miles when the voice piped up behind her. She whirled to see a little boy standing in the entrance of the shed on her left. He looked to be about seven or eight and was dressed in faded denim dungarees and a yellow t-shirt. His dark hair was unruly and some fell into his bright blue eyes that were regarding her with curiousity.

“I.. I’m looking for some water,” Misa said in her soft voice. “I’m thirsty…”

“Oh,” Hikaru Ichijoe regarded the girl in front of him with great interest. He didn’t often see little girls as fancily dolled up as this one in her white dress with lace and ribbons, light brown hair held back by a bow and shiny shoes with little white ankle socks. “There’s a stand back there for drinks,” he explained, pointing.

“I know,” Misa blushed slightly. “But there’s so many people and I’m really thirsty…”

Hikaru understood that. “Okay,” he walked up to her and grinned. “I can get you a drink,” he felt quite pleased with himself. His dad and ‘big brother’ Roy had always told him that a man should be helpful to a lady in distress. And besides, he’d been a bit bored until now. The show was cool, but not when you’ve seen in a thousand times over. “Come with me.”

He started to walked away from where the main crowds and, after a moments hesitation, Misa followed.

“Where are we going?” she asked as they rounded a corner and she saw more big sheds, no… hangers dotted around.

“There,” Hikaru pointed at a large barn in front of them. He grinned back at her. “Do you like ice cream?”

“Yes,” Misa paused. “Doesn’t everyone?”

Hikaru thought about that. “I guess so,” he said finally and laughed. “Only weirdos don’t.”

“Well I’m not a weirdo,” Misa said primly and giggled.

“C’mon,” Hikaru grabbed her hand and started running towards the barn, dragging the still giggling Misa along.

The hanger was really an old hay barn with only half a roof, but it had an upper story that was open to the sky and served as a roof for the ground floor. The barn was mainly occupied by a yellow plane that was old fashioned, but clearly well cared for and Hikaru patted it fondly. “This is my big brother’s plane,” he explained. “I look after it for him and fly it,” he added proudly.

“You fly?” Misa was disbelieving and Hikaru laughed. “With my dad!” he said, but then he looked at the plane and a determined expression crept over his face. “But one day I’ll fly by myself and be the bestest pilot ever!”

“Where is your brother?” Misa asked as Hikaru moved away from the plane and delved into a fridge-freezer at the far end of the barn.

“Fighting in the wars,” Hikaru pulled out some strawberry ice creams and a small bottle of juice. He scowled. “It’s so stupid.”

“Oh…” Misa decided not to tell him that her daddy was an Admiral and part of the wars. She liked this boy and didn’t want to ruin a promising friendship. “Thanks,” she said when he handed her the ice cream and the juice.

Hikaru brightened, throwing off his gloom. “That’s ok. Hey! Wanna see the rest of the show in style?” he asked eagerly.

Misa, busy drinking the juice, looked puzzled. “How?” she asked, taking her mouth away from the juice bottle to ask.

“This way!” Hikaru waved her to follow him and led her to a ladder leading up to the second storey. “You’ll be able to see much better from up here.”

Misa squinted upwards. It looked awfully high. “Um…”

“You’re not chicken, are you?” Hikaru challenged, one hand on the ladder.

Chicken? Misa glowered. “I’m no chicken!” she said firmly and, after putting down her empty juice bottle, she marched straight to the ladder and started to climb.

Hikaru watched her with a slightly surprised expression. He’d half expected her to cry or whine, she looked like the dainty type, but there she was, gamely making her way up without a squeak of fear. He grinned. She wasn’t bad, for a girl, he thought as he started to climb up behind her.

“Don’t look up my skirt,” Misa said, looking down at him (and wishing she hadn’t). “Or I’ll be mad.”

Hikaru had already looked and so smiled up at her with perfect innocence. “I promise I won’t look up your skirt,” anymore .

“Huh,” Misa was a little suspicious, but continued up the ladder without further comment.

The floor of the second story was very dusty and bits of hay were lying about. Within moments Misa’s hands, legs and dress were filthy, but she forgot to care when Hikaru led her to a hay bale and they could sit down with their ice creams to watch the rest of the air show.

Misa cried out in amazement and delight as the planes looped in the sky. It was useful sitting with Hikaru because she gained an insight into who was flying the planes and which one to look at for the most amazing stunts.

“That’s Dad,” he said at one point, his finger tracking a bright red plane. “He’s the greatest pilot ever… even better that big brother!”

“Why isn’t your Dad fighting?” Misa asked hesitantly.

Hikaru frowned. “He thinks war is stupid too,” he said, drawing a line in the dust with his toe. “He and big brother had a huge fight about it.”

“Oh,” Misa looked at the floor. “Sorry.”

“’s not your fault,” Hikaru said after a moment’s silence. He pushed himself up and grinned. “How about we jump down?”

Misa stared at him. “On to the plane? We’ll die!”

“No, silly! On the other side! There’s a big pile of hay and it’s really fun!”

Misa was still very doubtful about the wisdom of this idea, but followed him to the edge and looked down. There was a very large, very springy looking heap of hay directly below them and it did look vaguely tempting. However…

Hikaru made chicken noises and flapped his arms, grinning broadly. Misa frowned. “If you’re so brave,” she retorted. “YOU jump!”

“Okay!” he flashed her a cocky smile and leapt from the edge with a loud whoop.

Misa suppressed a scream as horrible images of him being smashed to bits flashed into her head, but she watched him land and roll on the hay, and then look up at her. “See?” he yelled. “It’s fun!!”

She drew in a deep breath and then pressed her lips together firmly. No way out of it now. She’d be branded a chicken forever if she didn’t jump.

“Aaaaaaahhhhh!” Misa shrieked as she fell through the air. She landed on the hay with a thump, knocking the breath out of her, and rolled to a halt almost on top of Hikaru who hadn’t managed to get out of the way fast enough. “Ah… ah… ah…” she panted, lying on the hay, hardly daring to believe she was still alive.

“Told ya it was fun.”

Misa turned her head and laughed suddenly. She sat up, heedless of her messy state and the hay sticking in her hair. "All right, you win. It was fun. We should it again!"

"Yeah!" he said enthusiastically and then paused. Hey," Hikaru realized he'd forgotten to ask her one very important thing. "What's your name?"

"MISA!!" the shout rang out before Misa could speak and both children turned to see three figures - one female and two male - appear from behind one of the far off sheds.

"It's Nanny Hanako!" Misa cried, recognizing the voice and the woman.

"That's your grandma?" Hikaru stared at the woman. She was old to his eyes, but still not old enough to be a grandmother. Misa shot him an exasperated look.

"No, silly! She looks after me," Misa was guiltily aware that a lot of time must have passed since she had left her nanny's side and that she had completely forgotten that Hanako might be worried about her. Quickly she slid off the hay bale and waved vigourously to attract Hanako's attention. "Here I am!"

Hanako gasped in relief and ran forward. "Misa! Misa! Oh... Misa !" she screeched to a halt and stared at her charge in horror. "What happened to you?"

Hikaru followed Misa off the hay and landed just as the two men caught up to Hanako. He looked sheepishly at the taller of the two. "Hey Dad."

Ichijo stared down at his son, a slight smile tugging at his lips. "I might have known you were involved in this somehow, Hikaru," he looked at Misa and his smile widened. "Well, Miss Hanako, it seems your charge is none the worse for her adventure."

Hanako was busy trying to brush the hay and dirt from a squirming Misa and looked up. "No harm? Mr Ichijo! Misa is filthy! What would her father say if he saw her like this!"

"Well..." Ichijo shifted uncomfortably. "I..."

"It's all right, Hanako," Misa interrupted, trying to make peace. She didn't think it was fair for Hanako to be made at the boy's... Hikaru's... father. "Let's just go home before Daddy gets back and he'll never have to know, right?"

"Hm," Hanako frowned and then took Misa's hand firmly. "Yes, home it is," she nodded politely to Ichijo and the other man. "Mr Ichijo, Mechanic Stevens, thank you for your assistance," and with that she walked away, making Misa trot to keep up. Her scolding voice, admonishing Misa for being so thoughtless carried back as they left and Ichijo grimaced.

"Poor kid," he said and grinned at Hikaru, leaning to ruffle the boy's hair. "Well, rascal? Have some fun today?"

"Yeah..." Hikaru gazed after Misa. Bye, bye Misa...

AD 2011

"Lieutenant Ichijo! Stop!"

Hikaru gritted his teeth to stop the snappy retort bursting to get out. "Yes, Major?" he said with forced politeness. "You yelled?"

"There's a structure about ten miles east," his superior officer said from the seat behind him, her tone showing just how much she disapproved of his comment. "It should be checked out."

"Probably just another Zentradi wreck," Hikaru grumbled, but he turned the veritech plane anyway and head in the direction the Major had pointed out.

In the back, Major Misa Hayase narrowed her eyes and glared daggers at the back of the pilot's head. Sometimes Lieutenant Hikaru Ichijo could be awfully childish, she thought crossly. Alright, so the reconnaissance mission had not been a grand success so far, in fact it was more depressing than anything else. Seeing the full extent of the destruction the deadly rain of fire from the Zentradi warships had wrecked on Earth and realising how many lives had been lost... it was enough to dishearten even the most hopeful. And Misa was not the greatest optimist in the world to start with. However, she felt even more depressed that the camaraderie that she and Ichijo had built up since that day when fire swept across Earth and he rescued her from the hell that was Alaska Base, was being threatened once again as they descended into this petty bickering.

I shouldn't be so abrupt with him... she thought regretfully as the veritech neared the structure that had shown up on her scanner. But all regretful thoughts were banished once her eyes rested on the object.

"Well I'll be..." Hikaru whistled. "Who'd have thought that would survive!"

Misa blinked, not sure if she could believe what she was seeing. Before their eyes was a large hay barn, sitting comfortably in the middle of a green field, showing no signs of scorching and looking for all the world as if the farmer was going to come along any moment to take some hay bales to his stock.

His earlier bad temper forgotten, Hikaru glanced back at Misa. "I'd call this a positive sign, don't you think, Major Hayase?"

"Yes," Misa smiled and nodded. She cocked her head. "Want to explore?"

"Yes, ma'am!" Hikaru parked the veritech close to the barn and soon both were standing at the entrance, grinning like excited children.

"I haven't seen one of these in... well, ages," Hikaru grunted as he pulled one of the doors back revealing that the barn was still well stacked with hay.

"I'll call the rest of the team," Misa said. "This will come in very handy back at the Macross."

Hikaru ventured in, hardly seeming to hear her. "Man... this reminds me of the barn where Roy's plane was kept once... The structure is the same, even the upper storey," he laughed. "Except this one has a roof!"

"Lieutenant..." Misa started to scold and then stopped as his comments nudged a childhood memory. She frowned, trying to recall the scattered images... A plane in a barn, an air show, feeling thirsty, strawberry ice cream, a boy... "Oh!" she gasped, her hand flying to her mouth.

Hikaru turned in alarm. "What is it, Major?" his hand went to his firearm. "You saw something?"

"No, no... but I remembered!" Misa laughed slightly at his puzzled expression. "My goodness... this is just rather bizarre..."

He looked at her blankly. "Um, care to give me a clue?"

"You were the boy! Yes, and I was thirsty and the lines were too long, and you showed me the plane your big brother had left behind..."

As she spoke, Hikaru's own memory was sparked to life and his jaw dropped. "That was you ?" he said finally. He laughed out loud. "I don't believe it! We'd met back then and didn't remember it until now," his blue eyes sparkled with amusement. "That is bizarre."

Misa smiled warmly at him. "Just one of life's coincidences," she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

He raised an eyebrow. "Did you get in trouble? With your dad?" Hikaru recalled what a mess Misa had been when she left. A cute mess though...

"No," she shook her head. "Na... Hanako washed me up just fine and my father was never the wiser, which was all to the good!" Misa felt a warm glow start up inside. How wonderful to discover this connection with Hikaru!

A thoughtful look stole over Hikaru's face and he looked up at the second storey of the barn, the ladder leading to it and the hay below it. The idea that was taking shape in his mind was daring, most likely to get him into a lot of hot water, but yet... if she accepted. "You know... we never did go for a second time."

Misa stared at him blankly for a minute and then clicked. "Lieutenant Ichijo! You can't be serious!"

Hikaru shrugged. Well, he might as well go all the way. "Why not?"

"Because we... I... it's not right!" Misa faltered and he rolled his eyes.

"Aw, c'mon, Major! It's about time we had a little r & r after all this recon stuff. Besides, who's gonna know except you and me? And I promise I won't say a word!" Hikaru wiggled his eyebrows outrageously and was encouraged when Misa's mouth curved into a small smile.

Misa was heavily reminded of the boy he had been and it jolted the heart within her that was already liking this man far, far too much for her own good. She knew she should refuse and reprove him for his levity and yet... When did I last do something wild? I can't remember. Perhaps that time, over ten years gone, was the last time.

Greatly daring, hardly believing she hadn't chewed him out yet, Hikaru made a chicken sound. Misa's eyes narrowed and he gulped. Had he gone too far?

"All right, Lieutenant," Misa's voice was stern. "If that's the way you're playing it..." she grinned suddenly and walked straight over to the ladder and started to climb.

Hikaru bit back a cheer and hastened after her. He waited until she was almost all the way up and then started his own climb. One look up and he paused, appreciating the view she presented. Hikaru! What the hell are you thinking! he yelled mentally and dropped his gaze. She'll kill you if she catches you looking at her... very attractive... backside...

"Lieutenant?" Misa's voice snapped him back to attention. "C-Coming!" Hikaru re-started his climb, hoping his face wasn't flushed. Misa didn't comment, so once he reached the top he had his composure back and was able to grin at her in his usual careless fashion. "So, who's first?"

"Well," Misa looked down. "Since you did the honours last time... I suppose it must be me..." She shut down all the arguments running around her mind about why this was a bad, BAD idea and jumped with a half scream.

She fell with a thud, just like the first time ten years ago and rolled out of the way just as Hikaru followed her with a loud yell. He rolled harder and crashed into her, reaching out to steady them both, laughing. Misa joined in. It felt so free to laugh like this, made it easy to forget the horrors they'd witnessed, the losses they'd suffered and to just enjoy a moment.

Hikaru became aware that they were actually in a close embrace and sobered, looking at Misa - who was still chuckling. She's so pretty when she laughs, the thought flashed into his mind and Hikaru felt something stir inside, something he'd been putting aside and ignoring for quite a while. His breath quickened a little and one hand moved to gently remove some hay from Misa's hair.

Misa stopped laughing and her eyes widened at the intent look in his eyes as he looked down at her. Her own heartbeat sped up and she was afraid to move. "Hikaru..." his name escaped her lips before she could stop it.

His mind argued that he should turn away for so many reasons... Misa was his superior officer, his friend... the 'old lady' that bossed him around... he was in love with Minmay... wasn't he? Ignoring these thoughts, Hikaru leaned closer, feeling the heat of her body pressed against his, one hand sliding down to clasp her waist. It felt surprisingly good to hold Misa like this.

She swallowed, her insides were all churned up and when his hand touched her side Misa felt a strong heat blossom within. After liking him for so long, this seemed like the culmination of all her confused dreams. Her eyes started to close in anticipation of what now seemed inevitable.

Hikaru brought his lips closer to hers and gently kissed her, arms tightening around her as he did so. Misa sighed into the kiss and pressed closer, her fingers gripping the fabric of his flight suit. It felt so good...

"Lieutenant Ichijo? Major Hayase? Come in, over!"

The radio on Hikaru's belt crackled and they both sprang apart with a collective gasp. Hikaru grabbed the radio and stared at it. He wasn't sure if he wanted to curse or breath a sigh of relief. What had just happened?

He cleared his throat and flipped the switch on the radio. "This is Ichijo..."

While Hikaru talked to the recon team, Misa slid off the hay and busied herself with brushing off the hay from her clothes and hair, her heart thumping wildly. What had she almost done?

"That was Hawkins," Hikaru said, coming up to her after he'd finished his conversation. "They're on their way here. ETA five minutes."

"Excellent," Misa forced herself to be composed. "I'll go back to the veritech and start logging a full report about this area," she didn't look at him and walked briskly out of the barn.

Hikaru watched her leave and then touched his lips. Misa... He shook his head. "I must've gone temporarily mad..." he muttered and then followed her out of the barn to await the rest of the team.

Misa watched him out of the corner of her eye. Something had definitely sparked between them during that brief moment, something that gave her hope. Perhaps he didn't feel the same way about her as she did about him and perhaps he still gave his affection to the singer, Minmay, but he wasn't indifferent to her. She smiled slightly, suddenly feeling a little more cheerful. Yes, she could hope now and maybe, just maybe... one day she would take the leap and tell him what was really in her heart.

The End

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