for as long as you can remember, you've only ever had juju and gadolt. with the constant, looming threat of mechon like a shadow over the homs, a shadow in the form of the mechonis, dead parents were never a rarity on the lower half of the bionis. juju was so small when they died, practically a baby, and sometimes even you forget what they looked like, what they sounded like. a lot of people in the colonies are the same as you; you don't have to ask to know the stories, to feel kinship with the pain and heartache of those left behind by their loved ones. it's something that all homs share, something they all have to swallow down at least once whether they want to or not.
that's probably why you didn't linger too long on the loss. it was too routine, and you were too young. you had a little brother to take care of. there was no room for your tears. you dried your eyes like had never cried at all.
you still had your brother and your friend, despite not having parents. you were happy with that. you are happy with that.
the colony helps raise juju and you. everyone is family in the colony; sharing blood or not has nothing to do with whether or not someone was considered family in colony 6. they feed you, keep you clothed and safe, make sure you both could live in a way that didn't have to be about mechon every single second, as hard as they are to completely forget about. the elderly doted on you as if they all shared a granddaughter, and the children always had room for juju in their games when he became old enough to join them.
the life of a homs is perseverance through tragedy. you realize that very early in your life.
gadolt took to the both of you like you had all known each other for a lifetime. he plays with juju and makes sure you're safe like an older brother might do if you two actually had one by blood. it warms you to see juju with him, to know that he's in good hands with or without you. you trust gadolt as much as you love juju. if something ever happened to you, you knew gadolt would be there for juju when you no longer could.
it's more than you could've ever hoped for.
you wonder - though very briefly - if your parents would have objected to your decision to become a medic. there are some people like that in the colony, overprotective of their children and grandchildren due to the mechon, and you can't blame them for not wanting to give up more than what's already been taken. it's for that reason that training to be a medic feels like the most natural thing you can do with your life. juju is growing into and becoming a fine boy, a smart boy, a good boy, even if gadolt does scold him from time to time and you're beginning to have a hard time handling how headstrong he can be sometimes. but you want to protect juju in any way you can. nothing could possibly change your mind about that. being complacent is absolutely out of the question for you.
the defense force doesn't turn you away when you say you want to be trained, and you never expected they would. no one has ever been rejected when it came to protecting the colony. you study the properties of ether and how it can heal the wounded. you read about all its applied uses, elemental and otherwise, and you learn the ins and outs of bandages and medicines just to be on the safe side. having the colony be built on top some of the most well used and traveled ether mines on bionis helps immensely in your practice. your first training rifle feels so right in your hands that you come close to berating yourself for not enlisting much sooner, even if you are still quite young. gadolt laughs when you say so, but admits to having felt the same when he joined a couple years back. you feel good about having gadolt there to help guide you, and you learn how to manage your rifle faster than you might have on your own.
you want to be a source of good for your colony. you want to be someone juju can rely on.
gadolt proposes to you a month after the battle of sword valley. there hasn't been one single sighting of a mechon on bionis during the entire month that anyone knows about. everyone in colony 6 was taking the opportunity to relax more, to be more free than they ever thought possible. and, for gadolt, that meant asking you to marry him.
you say yes.
you continue your training. you were unable to directly help in the great battle against the mechon, but you've long since had a rifle that you could completely call your own, a rifle that you knew just as intimately as your own body. you may be fully outfitted and qualified as a medic in the defense force, but there is still much more you need to learn. you could dedicate the rest of your life to your practice and it might not be enough for you. regardless, you are content with the way things are now.
the news of your engagement excites the entire colony, especially juju. the sight of his smiling face was always the best gift he could ever give to you. the three of you can hardly be separated on any given day, and it makes you even more determined to protect the two people you love most on all of bionis.
occasionally, gadolt takes you out of the colony and onto the bionis leg, just far out enough to really smell the fresh lake water and feel the grass and flowers beneath your boots and in your hands, and you kiss under the stars, in the distant silhouette of a faraway and quiet mechonis. he holds your hand and you two talk about the future in a way that seemed nearly impossible before. you tell him of your plans to become a doctor, and he promises to be with you as long he's alive and breathing. you can't remember being happier in your entire life.
then the mechon attack colony 6.
a month passes. you haven't heard a word for gadolt. evacuating the children and elderly took juju and you away from him just when you both wanted to be at his side the most. you don't regret it; you can't say the same for juju. it tears you up inside to see juju so worried. putting on a brave and hopeful face is the best you can do, because you're also just as anxious.
your hope isn't a lie, though. you don't have to see gadolt to that he is still alive.
seeing someone wearing clothes similar to gadolt shoots something desperate and wanting into your chest. in the end, reyn wasn't even from colony 6, much less a member of the defense force. you feel silly in hindsight, even if you were perfectly valid in questioning him about gadolt's whereabouts.
reyn is so much like gadolt. so much that it hurts to think about for too long. reyn's already accused you of comparing gadolt and him too much, which is the farthest thing from what you're really thinking. you don't want another gadolt. you don't want someone else to take his place as if he were nothing more than a insignificant piece in the puzzle of your life, like something malleable that doesn't need exact edges to fill in the space gadolt left. you don't want reyn to be gadolt. you want your gadolt. you want the gadolt who stood beside you even before you lost your parents. you want the gadolt who put juju and you first before anything else, even himself. you want the gadolt who promised to be with you for the rest of his life. you want the gadolt you were supposed to marry.
somewhere in your heart, it feels like you're already in mourning for someone you know is still alive.
traveling the bionis with your new companions makes you ponder the irony of the mechons the further up you go. the mechons have been after homs' lives as far back as history can say, yet here you are with people who are like a second family all because of mechons.
you've slowly begun to see reyn as reyn and not as gadolt. you've grown from doubting shulk's visions to trusting them as the facts they are. you've met dunban, the hero of bionis, and can now call him your friend. you've seen a living, breathing high entia with your own two eyes, and watched melia unfold herself as the strong and emotional person she truly is. and how could you not have loved riki on sight?
every single one of you have a reason to fight the mechons, but - at the same time - you might never have bonded together without them. you're certain you never would've gotten this far without them.
for as long as you can remember, you've only ever had juju and gadolt. the mechon almost took juju from you. they took your colony from you, robbed you of the only home you've ever known, killed people who were kind to you in the aftermath of your parents' deaths, but you refused to let them have juju as well.
gadolt, however, doesn't even remember who you are.
you can't deny how part of you was in mourning for gadolt while still hoping he was alive. it's something every homs on bionis is used to, something every homs feels at least once, something they all have to swallow down whether they want to or not. the life of a homs is perseverance in the face of tragedy. but the heart of a homs still breaks when they lose something they cannot replace.
you never stopped believing in gadolt, even when he couldn't say who you were to him. even when everything seemed hopeless, when he protected you and remembered who you were, you still believed in the life you were going to live with gadolt. had it not been for reyn, you think you might have not made it out of the falling mechonis in time. for a while, you still see gadolt's face, warped by mechon machinery, looking down at you as he put you first over himself yet again. you cry all your tears for him in a single night as silently as you can.
the next morning, you wake up before everyone and clean his rifle. it doesn't matter that you just did it the day before.
the mechonis and the bionis are gone. it took months to build a new home for everyone who survived. you have the people from your colony. you have juju. you have the new family you wouldn't trade for anything.
you stand by and watch reyn and juju frolic in the ocean, the waves sliding up the sand to the tips of your boots and back over and over again. their laughter fills your ears as the new colony, a colony built for all races, continues to thrive behind you. a colony you see yourself living happily in for the rest of your life.
the air is fresh by the sea. you think gadolt would have loved it here.