Love Thy Brother

Some things don't have reasons... some things just are...

a claudexleon fic

Trueangel

"Claude, darling, what are we doing here?" asked Celine.

"Weren't we supposed to go to Armlock to meet Mayor Narl?" added Rena.

"Well, um... Armlock is supposed to be somewhere around here," replied a sheepish Claude.

"This is Fun City," explained Chisato. "The entire city is one big carnival. If we weren't in a hurry, this might be a really good place to visit."

"I guess we could stop by for a while. Didn't Mayor Narl say he had some things to do before he would go to Armlock?" said Claude.

"Yeah, but..." Rena started.

"We could also stop by to stock up on herbs and other supplies. We're running out of blueberries," added Claude.

"But there's one problem," said Chisato. "We need to pay to enter."

"Don't worry, I'll pay. You guys just go and have fun," said Claude generously.

With nothing to hold them back now, the whole party ran off to explore Fun City on their own. Everyone except Leon.

That fol belongs to all of us, he thought to himself as he watched his comrades disappear into the crowds. And why didn't anyone consider the fact that Mayor Narl might use a teleporter?

Then, Leon too walked off to explore the city.

+++

Leon pushed open the door of the tavern and walked in. In most other towns he'd been in, the taverns were the most crowded places, packed with townspeople sharing the latest rumors over a drink. In those places, the taverns were the center of the town's activity. But it wasn't the case for Fun City. This tavern was rather empty, mostly due to the fact that the crowds were outside instead. The tavern was quiet, and quiet was what Leon wanted right now as his mind wandered to the problem that was plaguing him.

Leon sat down on a stool in front of the bar. The bartender looked at him with a confused look. He had dealt with underaged customers before, but seldom had he seen people so young in his tavern. And definitely not underaged customers who were aliens at the same time. Nedians had long known of the presence of life on other planets, but had never expected to see one walking in their midst. That explained why the bartender was taken aback.

"Oh, don't worry, I don't drink alcohol. Just give me an orange juice."

The bartender nodded, and went to prepare Leon's order.

Leon began to think about the problem that he was facing. Well, part of the problem was that he couldn't solve the problem. Well, that was expected. Emotions were an extremely erratic thing, unexplainable by simple logic. In even the most advanced civilizations, science was able to explain everything except the people's minds themselves. But that didn't stop Leon from being frustrated by his problem. He knew there had to be an explanation and a solution. There had to be.

The door of the tavern opened. Leon turned around. It was Big Brother Claude. Leon turned back as Claude walked towards him.

"Hi, Big Brother Claude..."

Claude sensed that Leon wasn't his usual lively self, and became concerned.

"What's wrong, Leon? You don't look so happy."

Leon looked away silently, ignoring Claude.

"Huh?"

Suddenly, Leon turned back to look into Claude's cerulean eyes, and spoke.

"Um, can I talk to you about something?"

"What do you want to talk about?"

Leon turned away again, not nowing how to express what was bothering him.

"Um, well..."

"what is it? Man-to-man, right? You can talk to me about anything," said Claude as he put his arm on the shoulder of the nekojin that he had grown to regard as his little brother.

"Well,... I'm... in love."

Leon turned around to look at Claude, who seemed to be thinking about something. Leon frowned.

"Something wrong?"

"No, nothing," replied claude quickly as he sat down beside Leon and ordered a drink. "So, who are you in love with?"

"Promise that you won't tell anyone?"

"Of course."

"Really?"

"Leon, when have I ever lied to you?"

Leon turned away.

"It's... um... I..."

"Don't worry, it's okay if you don't want to tell me," said Claude as he took his drink from the bartender.

"Huh?"

"All of us have our own problems which we can't tell others about," Claude said, after taking a mouthful of his drink.

"That's why you're here, isn't it?"

"Yup... I love someone too."

"Is it Sister Rena?"

"Nope. Rena's totally obsessed with Dias anyway. No, it's someone else altogether. You wouldn't believe it even if I told you."

"But my problem is, I don't see any reason that I should love this person. I shouldn't even love hi- that person at all."

"Leon... you don't need a reason to love."

"Huh?"

"Some things just are, without any reason or explanation. Not everything can be explained by logic."

"I see..."

"But it can be very painful if your love is seen by everyone else to be wrong, and because of that you do not dare to admit it for fear of losing that someone."

Leon looked at Claude. What he had said was exactly how Leon felt. Was it possible...?

"But if you truly believe that there is no right or wrong in love... then there is no reason why you should not admit your love."

"Big Brother Claude..."

"Unfortunately, for some, the fear of rejection is just too great..." Claude took yet another large gulp from his drink.

"Big Brother, do you really wanna know who I love?"

"Hey, I'm not pushing you. Don't feel forced to tell me just bacause I'm your Big Brother."

"No, I want to tell you. I just hope you can keep it a secret."

"Sure, you can trust me, Leon."

"I... I love you."

Claude nearly choked on his drink.

"What did you say?"

"I said I-"

"We'll talk at the inn."

claude paid for their drinks, and walked out of the tavern. Leon followed behind, genuinely afraid. He didn't know what Big Brother would do. He couldn't lose his Big Brother...

"Give me a room."

Leon looked around and blinked. They were already in the inn.

The innkeeper handed Claude a key, and Claude gestured for Leon to follow him. They entered a room on the second floor, and Claude locked the door before sitting down on the bed. Leon stood there, not knowing what to do.

"Now... what were you saying?"

"I said I loved you, Big Brother."

"Are... are you serious?"

"Big Brother, have I ever lied to you?"

"I... I don't know what to say..."

"Big Brother, what you told me at the tavern... I thought you would understand how I felt, that's why I told you... it's okay if you don't love me, I just don't want... to lose you..."

Claude got off the bed, and knelt down before Leon such that they were face to face.

"Leon, I..."

Without warning, Claude pulled Leon closer in a tight embrace.

"I know exactly how you feel, Leon... because I love you too."

Leon suddenly took a step back, causing Claude to crash to the floor.

"what's wrong? I thought you said..."

"No, I really love you. It's just that... I don't know how to feel..."

"So the genius does have his limitations, huh," Claude teased. "Don't worry, you love me and I love you too, and that is all you need to know for now."

"So what do we do now, Big Brother?"

"Don't call me that. It makes our affair sound more wrong than it already is."

"Alright... Claude."

"Well, for now... we get back to the others. It's about time we headed over to Armlock."

"But after we defeat the Wise Men?"

"I'm probably stuck with you, with the Calnus destroyed... we'll have a lot of time to explore our love."

"Well then, we'd better get back, or they might come searching for us."

"Good point. Oh yeah, one more thing, Leon..."

"What is it?"

"Don't tell the others-"

"About our love? Don't worry, I won't."

Claude grinned.

"Yeah, that as well. But don't tell the others that I've been drinking."

-~+{= END =}+~-