So much was going through Taakos head at the moment. Memories that he shouldn't have forgotten, remembering a hundred different places and a thousand different people will give you a hell of a headache but through the pain and the returning memories one person kept appearing in his memories. Lup. Lup who used to help him prank their uncle, Lup who taught him how to flambé for the first time, Lup who laughed and cried with him through the good and the bad. Lup his twin sister, his only constant in life, his family. How could he forget Lup? As soon as he could remember her the feeling of loneliness he always felt made so much more sense and was almost too much. He could almost physically feel her absence and it ate at him. It was all he could do to not brake into a sob as he remembered her and that stupid fucking note. Taako looked at Lucretia and more memories came back to him. Lucretia keeping him company while he cooked dinner for the crew, him Lup and Barry trying to fuck with the rest of the crew in animal speak only for Lucretia to pick up on the language first and joining them in their teasing, more times spent together then he could count and yet as he looked at her in front of him he couldn’t feel anything. He couldn’t feel the happiness or familiarity, the only thing he could feel was the worst headache he’d ever had in his apparently very long life, a dull sadness, and anger. How could she just take away those memories of them? Of Lup? They where a family, he thought they were a family. Taako raised the umbrastaff, Lup’s umbrastaff.
Magnus and Merle hugged Lucretia and Taako could only hang back and watch. He couldn’t understand them, they were always so easy to forgive. The sadness had subsided when he freed Lup and was replaced with a joy and happiness that for a while he wasn’t sure if he was able to feel, but that didn’t mean that he had forgiven Lucretia and until she hugged her and told Lucretia herself that she forgave her that Taako thought Lup hadn’t either. Anyone could tell you how similar the twins where but very few could tell you just how different they were.
Takko has a very specific taste in music and can’t stand listening to anything else while Lup loves just about anything with a funky beat that she can dance to. Lup is patient and likes to double check her work at least three times before she’s satisfied. Taako is a really good teacher and is surprisingly amazing with kids. Lup’s barbecue is always a little bit better than Taako’s but Taako’s baking can’t be beat no matter how hard she tries. Lup is caring and trusting and Taako’s not. That fact echoes in his mind as they break away from the hug and even though Lup forgave her Taako still can’t bring himself to forgive her. And then the familiar sight of the hunger descending pulls him out of his thoughts, he still doesn't forgive her but he thinks he can work with her for the end of the world.
It’s three days after the day of ‘everyone's story’ as Merle keeps trying to call it, and even though everyone can agree that’s a terrible name he’s determined to think of a name that sticks so Taako’s humoring him.
All seven of the starblaster crew are on the moonbase, they haven’t left yet. All of them know that they should be out in the world helping to rebuild but none of them can really bear to leave yet, not with all this unresolved tension and them being apart for so long after spending a hundred years together. The three days have been almost normal. The kind of normal that feels just a little to the left. Helping each other and being around each other has become a second nature to them but well in Taako’s case it’s almost madding. Seeing everyone else interact and helping Lucretia rebuild the B.O.B he just feels out of place. It’s weird because he’s never really felt out of place sense about maybe the 25th cycle, that's the cycle he’ll admit it anyways, but it just feels like everyone is letting her off to easy. It’s during dinner when he’s thinking about it for the fifth time that day and it’s finally too much. Taako doesn't even finish his food, he just gets up and leaves. He can faintly hear his friends confusion but he doesn’t care, he heads to his room and buries himself under the covers. A minute passes and he hears someone knock on the door. He assumes it’s Lup that opened it and is surprised when he hears Magnus ask,
“Hey Taako, is everything ok?”
“Yeah everything's just peachy.” Taako dead pans.
Magnus sighed and sits down on the bed. “You seem a little out of it. Are you sure nothing’s wrong?”
“Yeah no, I just beat the apocalypse, had my life story told to everyone in the world, got my own memories back after not knowing who the fuck I was for who knows how long at this point and everyone’s just shrugging of the fact that I forgot my own fucking sister for years and instead are just pretending like everything’s all hunkydory so yeah. Everything's just fucking peachy.” Taako didn’t remember when he started shaking but he was.
Magnus was quit for a beat. “Listen. I-I’m still in shock. I can’t believe I forgot some of the people who I care most about in the whole world but nothing’s gonna change that.”
Taako didn’t say anything to that, he just tensed more.
“Look, I know it’s hard for you. You lost your sister for a while, we all lost people we care deeply for for a long time, but I can’t just shut her out. She’s just as much family to me as you and Lup are. She made some really really big mistakes but she did it with good intentions and really I can’t blame her for it.” Magnus looked at his hands for a minute like he was remembering something.
“I’m not saying you have to forgive her immediately or really ever but I want you to know that we aren’t letting her off easy or anything. I just can’t not forgive her. I can’t just ignore all those memories we have together. In the good times and the bad times a family is there for you and all of you are my family that includes Lucretia and I can’t just abandon her when I know she’s going through hell.”
Taako didn’t say anything, he couldn’t say anything to that. Instead he just let out the tears he’d been holding back. Magnus sat there in silence, putting a hand on where he assumed was the shoulder on the taako shaped blanket lump.
Over the months Taako still didn’t forgive Lucretia, but he could start to understand why she did what she did. It was a particularly bad night, Taako and Lup where helping to rebuild a town that was near what would later be Taako’s academy, but for now was just a ruined town. Taako retired early for the night which had been a mistake. He was plagued with particular terrifying nightmares about finding Lup after she left only to be just barely too late. Taako woke with the memory of Lup’s lifeless body etched into the back of his eyes and for just a few terrifying moments he thought it was real. He almost bolted out of the tent when Lup herself walked in. Takko’s relief at seeing his sister again was almost as strong as when he saw her again after breaking the umbrastaff. He didn’t say anything, just tackled her into a hug.
“Woah there borseph whats up?” She saw his tear streaked face and asked with a voice full of concern. “What’s wrong? Did you have a nightmare or something?”
Taako nodded his head and hugged her a little tighter.
Lup hugged him back and rubbed his back reassuringly. “Hey we’re ok. We’re all here and safe. The fightings over.”
She kept hugging him till he stopped crying. “You wanna tell me what that nightmare was about? I nabbed some fantasy oreos before we left so we can binge our sadness away.”
That almost made Taako chuckle,”Yeah that sounds good.”
Lup dug out the cookies and took a few for herself before offering the rest to her brother. “So what’s wrong bro, anything I can help with?”
Taako nibbled on one of the cookies for a bit before asking, “How did you forgive Lucretia so easily. I mean she erased you from existence for Gods sake.”
Lup thought for a minute. “I guess it just wasn’t really a choice, it was just the obvious thing to do.”
“Yeah forgiving the girl who erased all our memories is a no brainer.”
“I didn’t mean it like that. More like, you remember when we were working for the moonlight circus and I liked that one kid?”
“You mean Derald?”
“Yeah, remember how you convinced him to follow his dreams as a master thief before ditching him at the next town and robbing him blind?”
“What can I say he had a really cool yo-yo.”
“Well I was pissed at you-”
Taako was genuinely surprised at this. “You where?”
“Dude you convinced my childhood crush to leave forever then robed him blind I was fucking furious. But I just couldn’t bring myself to hate you. It’s kinda like that. What Lucretia did was awful. I can’t put into words all the emotions I feel when I think of it but I just can’t hate her for it. It just feels right to forgive her. Everything's still not the same and I don’t think it ever will be but forgiving her and helping her feels like a step in the right direction.”
Taako grabbed another cookie and a comfortable silence descended on the twins.
“Still can’t believe you like Derald when Jeremy was right there.”
Everyone was visiting the B.O.B. They all had been working their asses off and wanted to spend one last day together before Captin’port set sail. Everyone was in Lucretia's newly repaired office exchanging stories and eating cream puffs.
“Ok but me putting a bunch of tiny ducks everywhere was by far the best prank ever.”
You’ve gotta be joking. The best prank was when I put those little fire poppers in everyone's chairs.”
“That wasn’t a good prank that just hurt!” Merle exclaimed.
Lup laughed. “Then what was the best prank oh prank lord?”
“I think the best was when I would randomly summon the angel Delarosa.”
“That wasn’t even a prank that was just annoying.” Barry piped up.
“I think the best prank was when Taako and I slowly Sawed off the legs of Captian’ports furniture so he thought he was growing alarmingly fast.” Lucretia said before trailing off and nervously glancing at Taako.
That was one of Taako’s favorite cycles, there wasn’t much sentient life and the already found the light of creation in the first three weeks, so it was a very relaxing cycle. “Oh that one was my favorites. He was so confused and thought the rock samples he was studying had growing properties.”
Davenport looked shocked. “Wait so the ‘grow crystals’ I found didn’t do anything!” He said with betrayal written all over his face.
Everyone cracked up seeing his shocked face, Lucretia tried to comfort him but it didn’t seem very convincing with her laughing every few seconds. Taako wasn’t the forgiving twin by a long shot, he still had a way to go before he could truly say he’s forgiven Lucretia but this was a step in the right direction. It felt like a big weight had been taken off both Taako’s and Lucretia’s chest as they laughed at their beloved captains expense.