Disclaimer: I don't own Escaflowne. I wish I did.
Author's Notes: Escaflowne was the first genre I ever wrote under. Since that story was so terrible, I'm not even looking at revisions. Hopefully, this story will more than make up for it. For now, I'll use this as a side-story. It'll be my focus after I finish writing the one I am now.
Setting: Slightly AU. This is set during and after Episode 14: Chosen Fate.
They gave off a luminscient glow as they floated down to the world below them. A world of peace as it once was. The forests swayed gently in the light breeze as the feathers drifted down upon my fears. The memories haunted me from the moment I returned. How could I have left when Gaia had not yet been saved? Had my selfishness really grown this much? Tears prickled beneath my eyelids as I hastily wiped them away. A few leaked through my fingertips.
I relived the day in a haze as my realization of Yukari's feelings for Amano became clear. I didn't feel anything for Amano anymore, but I wish she would have told me sooner. I might have backed off to let her have free reign over him. I hope Amano can understand because we seem to be having a love mess going on at the moment. If not, I can always slap sense into him. He couldn't be as blockheaded as Van or Allen, but what do I know of men?
My eyes flickered to the shimmering, soft feather beside me on the seat. My hand jerked back slightly as it disappeared in a flash of white lights. I gasped as a vision flickered before me. A flash image of Van came and went. The white faded to red in a sea of blood rain. My eyes widened in shock as I covered a muffled scream. The scene faded back to reality as I drawn back into my own world. The vision was but a touch of what would come to pass. Gaia's judgment was drawing near, and some hearts were more easily swayed than others.
My eyes snapped open as the train pulled close to my stop. I quickly exited as to get away from the awful visions I thought I had left behind on Gaia. I shook my head to clear my thoughts as I entered my home. I couldn't want to return to the accursed place. Why would I want to return to the place which had ripped my family from me? I didn't really have many friends on Gaia either. Or did I? Did I consider Merle or Millerna as friends after all we went through together? Why go back?
There was only one answer. Van. I hadn't realized he was the thing I was missing in my life until the tarot cards were blown before me once more. The Tower stood before me brighter than ever next to the Ace of Serpents. Van was calling for me, but I was pulling him closer. I was bound to his fate, and I hadn't really understood what fate meant until now. Fate was what guiding me through the loss. Fate left me breathless without those I loved, but most of all, fate could be easily changed.
I looked longingly towards my bed as I made up my mind. I couldn't stay here because my heart would be crushed under the force of longing. I packed what I hoped to be the last time as I gazed at the picture frames around my room. I sighed regretfully as I picked out only what I could carry. Most had to stay here on earth as a lingering memory. I hope my parents won't blame me for leaving. Grandma would understand.
I packed the necessary clothes and items and zipped up my bag. It felt like such a burden to carry away memories of my past. I took one last glance at my room as I climbed down from my window one last time. I padded softly on the damp grass as I headed for my school. It was time for me to accept things as they were and not how I tried to guide them. I didn't want to control other people's fate, but how could I change something I never knew I determined?
I put on false cheer as Amano held my pendent out in front of him. I thought I had loved him once, but it had seemed so long ago. It had only managed to enhance my infatuation of Allen, and seemed to serve no other purpose. He gazed at me with loving eyes, and I only smiled sadly as walked towards the blocks. I hope he found happiness with Yukari once I had left. They deserved each other.
"Hitomi!" Yukari shouted to me. I smiled at her and gave her one last silent message. 'He's all yours, Yukari,' I thought as I prepared myself on the blocks. The anticipation rang through my bones as I evened out my breathing. The air sang with tension as I felt Yukari running up behind me. Maybe she got my message, or maybe she misinterpreted it. I would never truly know.
"Go!" Amano shouted, and I pushed off the blocks. One. I could feel the heat of the dragon coming closer to me. I pushed myself to run harder. Two. The air seemed to freeze as the blue light came down closer and closer. Three. Yukari caught her breath behind me as she watched her friend go with understanding eyes. Four. Amano seemed oblivious to everything going on around him. He concentrated harder on the pendant and my speed.
Five. I prepared myself for the high jump as I pushed myself faster. Six. I could almost see the dragon descending as the blue column appeared before me. I grinned in delight as a pair of chestnut, diamond eyes sought mine. Seven. The Escaflowne hovered above the ground for a few seconds before I leaped into his willing arms. His tanned arms sung to me as I prepared for impact.
In the few seconds it took me to get to Van, it felt like an eternity. As I drifted closer to him, I realized we were in the perfect position for a kiss. I only hesitated for a split second before letting my heart guide me. Allen and Amano no longer mattered to me as much as I had thought they would. It occurred to me I had been denying this destiny for too long now.
We kissed. I didn't barrel into him, and it wasn't a bruising kiss to see who would dominate. The kiss with Allen had seemed so forced compared to this. Van caught me gently in his strong arms as I brushed a feather-light kiss to his full, soft lips. In this one moment, I realized I could never leave Gaia again without him. His wings unfurled around us and gently ran my fingers through the left wing. It trembled slightly under my touch as if they had never been felt by another person before.
I could never live in a world where my heart cried for the song of the fields. I loved Van, and I had almost found out too late. Where would we go from here? It didn't matter anymore. I would die to keep Van's wings from being stained with his blood and the blood of others. I would cry and shoulder his burden. The burden of war and the pain of death would no longer be his alone.
Every soft touch on my back brought me closer to Van's heart. His lips reminded me of his homeland before it had been taken from him. The forest grew lush once more and the fate of Gaia swung dangerously off Dornkirk's way. In this one kiss, I poured every emotion I had ever on Gaia into him. But most of all, I gave him my love.
He pulled back slightly, and searched my eyes. What was he looking for? I smiled hesitantly as we lifted off from the ground. He pulled me into his embrace and I breathed in his smell. The fields and the fresh smell of rushing water met my senses as I clung to him tightly. "Hitomi," he breathed into my ear as I nuzzled his neck. I smiled as I closed my eyes against the world of troubles. His feathers tickled my skin, and I ran my fingers though them once more. Van caught his breath behind me.
"Hitomi!" Amano shouted from below us. I reached toward the pendant and shook my head at him. He'd never understand at this point in time. 'Thank You,' Yukari mouthed as I nodded over Van's shoulder. My bag drifted back up my clutches as we rose further above the Earth. For once, I put my complete and total trust into Van and Escaflowne. It would never let me fall. I could almost imagine the shocked look on Amano's face when he saw Van's wings.
"I heard your call, Van," I murmured as I turned to lean back into his embrace. "I could feel you with every ounce of my being. I'm sorry I left." I sighed as he clutched me tighter. The previous day's events were starting to get to me, and I tried to prevent a yawn. It half-worked before I saw the twinkle in his eyes. I nearly punched him in the shoulder for laughing at me.
"You don't have to apologize, Hitomi. We shouldn't have pushed you away so much. Sleep, and we'll talk in the morning," he whispered to me as his soft lips brushed my cheek. I smiled up at him tiredly before snuggling in his embrace. He showed compassion only to Merle and myself. Once again, I was on the same level as the catgirl, but it didn't matter anymore. Merle was only a sister to him. I closed my eyes and surrendered to sweet bliss.
My night was filled with a dreamless haze as I succumbed to the darkness. Visions didn't plague my mind, and I leaned farther into the warmth beneath me. When the softness shifted, I awoke abruptly and sprang up past my void. I blinked as the light blinded me of my sight, and I focused on the person holding me down. His wings were no longer unfurled, but he was still my angel all the same.
I smiled lovingly as I brushed the bangs away from Van's face. He murmured and stirred, but did not awaken. His grip on me tightened, so I studied my surroundings. We were on the outskirts of Asturia and everyone was on the brink of battle. Where there was once merrymaking, silence filled the air and I shuddered under its intensity. Something was coming, and the people of Gaia didn't need a seer to tell them.
Turning back to Van, I blushed as I caught him staring at me. "Good…Morning," I stammered as I moved to get out of his embrace. I blushed even harder as he held me tighter. He quickly let go under my gaze, but I stayed where I was. We were in a very compromising situation, but I wouldn't give up and run away. I had before, but I wouldn't now.
He sat up slowly and looked around himself. "Escaflowne must have taken us here last night," Van answered my silent question as his gaze slid back to mine. He stood up and brushed himself off before offering me a hand up. "Did you mean it?" he asked suddenly. His question took me off guard and I truly didn't know what he meant. He always had the habit of surprising me, and I wasn't entirely sure it was unpleasant thing.
"Mean what, Van?" I asked as I placed my hand on his shoulder. I forced his chin up to meet my stare. I knew my confusion had to show through somehow. He only had to really see through me to know my answer. I knew what he was asking, or at least I thought I knew. I needed some sort of confirmation before I made a fool of myself in front of Van again.
"Last night, when you…." He trailed off and I could see his pain evident in his features. I did the only thing I knew would convince him of my true feelings. I leaned up kissed him. My eyes slid closed, but not before I saw his widen in surprise. He responded back and I smiled against him. He nibbled gently at my lips and I nearly giggled before parting my lips for him. The emotions he was sending me were starting to drive me half-mad. Was this normal?
I buried my hands in his hair and massaged his scalp as he lightly ran his fingers up and down my spine. He explored my mouth with his warm moist tongue, but I reluctantly parted from him when the need of air became too great. I buried my face in his shirt, and he continued to stroke my back with the love of the white dragon. His shirt melded with his own smell, and I sighed contentedly.
"Did that answer your question?" I asked him as I raised my eyes to meet his gaze. I found myself drowning in the in his mask of emotions. He feared where this could lead, but at the same time he was willing to forgo the consequences and head straight into this. Did he see the same thing in my soul? I reached up and gently brushed his cheek, and he caught my hand in his grasp. He kissed my hand softly and raised his hand to cup my face.
"Hitomi," he murmured as he returned the gesture. "We really should be heading back," he whispered as he tugged at my hands. I sighed and looked mournfully ahead towards Palas. Guymelefs were already being dispatched and ships were entering the harbor. Van helped me to climb up onto Escaflowne. The dragon came to life under Van's gentle touch. The touch I had felt only moments before.
"Oh, Van," I whispered into the air as we headed towards the castle. He seemed distant for some reason. Was it something I did? What could possibly be on his mind? I knew he would come back from the war, I had felt it in my very bones. What could possibly have him on edge?
Author's Notes: Ack! This is horrible!!! Really! It is! *sighs* Can anyone give me their opinions about this beginning? Ja ne ~Insane Pineapple from Naboo