~*To Stand Alone*~

*To Stand Alone*
A Legend of Dragoon Fanfiction -- Chapter 1
Written by Rap's (RaptorJNB@aol.com)

-------- *revised 7/24/01* --------

Notes (Some new for the revision)

: Okay... I wrote this Fanfiction because I felt, for some odd reason, I needed to explore Rose's character. Let's face it- she kicks serious ass... but I know that to lead a life such as she has- your going to have some issues. I dunno what this fic should be.. a power for living kind of thing? A realize your not alone kind of thing? Either away- I think the theme should be clear by the end- and even then if you end up confused; that's okay. In an odd way, it works with the story.

Let me also say, that of all my fanfictions, I would really appreciate feedback for this one. It was, as odd as this may seem, incredibly hard to write. I'm dealing with Rose- a strong, able, but harsh woman... and Albert- who is far kinder and more understanding. Making their personalities conflict in a way that is both believable and not entirely out of bounds was a hell of a thing to try... and let me comment further in this area...

Rose is whom the fic centers around. Albert- is my medium. The one who carries the plot. Why him? Why not any of the others? It was, seriously, a process of elimination. My first choice was Dart- but I didn't want the *Zeig Factor* a part of this fic. My second thought was Haschel... but then- I'm not going for that *elder to elder* type of thing either. I considered Meru as well... but then your talking about a HUGE personality crunch.. And it were just to hard. Shana I simply did not want to do. And.. Really now... Kongol? Miranda? hell no. Albert's personality conflicts with Rose's own in *just* the right fashion. Still, even with the chars picked, I know I have to make Rose seem a little vulnerable. Hell- both of them have to seem that way... AHAHHHHHHH!!!!! gawd.. It's crazy!!!

oh yeah- Marius is of my creation! He's not in the game or anything!

Lastly, and I mention this due to a previous comment a friend made (She picked it up right in the middle of the story...) DO NOT THINK I am AT ALL trying to pair these two up, okay? Yes everyone- a male CAN express concern for a female without it leading to romantic involvement- and vise versa. Albert and Rose would be like.. I dunno- Kongol and Shana!? So please drain yourselves of that notion or I will be forced to hit you with a pool floaty! Besides- everyone knows that Rose and Lloyd are the perfect couple- and Albert belongs to me. *Cough* or.. er... Emily.

*coughs* Now, seeing as how I have just revised this story (it had some MAJOR mistakes...) I gotta comment on the above a moment. Eh heh. Most people here in the LOD community now know that Rose and Albert have become my favorite couple after Rose/Lloyd. It honestly happened... sometime after writing this fic. *_* So kick me if you'd like... but I can't help it. I only mention this because, as many people now DO know I support those too- I still DONT want you to view this story as any sort of romance. That is NOT what it is meant to be, okay? Friendship people. FRIENDSHIP!!!!! Due to more then a few wondering emails, I decided to try and clarify the nature of Rose and Albert's relationship in this fic right here. Kay? Kay!



And I don't want the world to see me.
Cause' I don't think that they'll understand...
When everything's made to be broken;
I just want you to know who I am.

Goo Goo dolls


Dedicated to Rose- because she's a kick ass character that has only one weakness- herself.
And also dedicated in part to Aria- because like it or not girl- I'm always gonna' be there for you.


Wearily, her eyes followed the steady dribble of crimson that crept slowly across her pale- moon touched flesh. Like wax, the blood flowed downwards. Gravity lulled it further, and then a smooth droplet that had begun to build spilt quietly over her palm and fell silent to the floor. Rose wondered, briefly, if this could be considered morbid. To watch one's own blood fall carelessly over the deck below her feet like red petal tears.

Then again, she wouldn't have cared much anyway.

Being towards midnight, all was quiet save for the hammering steel pistons that echoed from the bowels of the Queen Fury. Beneath her feet- planted firmly into the oak and steel of the crows nest- she could feel it's power driving the ship onwards. Steering it easily through the pitch black waters that surrounded her. The night was an even darker thing. Looming, ominous, and unexplored. Only the floodlights on deck would dare to cut through it's cold veil.

Even then, the glow was minimal, faint, and sickly.

Rose turned her hand over once or twice, ignoring the wind that lifted and danced with a length of raven colored hair. The slight scratch that had entranced her before continued to let blood seep into the left cuff of her attire, but now she paid it no mind. Nights like these, high above the sleeping populants of a ship destined to an unknown future... it was easy for one such as she to let even the most bold of thoughts slip away. The cold night air blew harshly against her face, but it was a welcome difference from the sweltering heat of battle that was her life and quest. Rose could even learn to need it; This formidable solitude. Away from the dragoons, her past, and the imminent future.


And The word was such a stupid thing. Said so easily despite all it could mean and hold. As if to whisper "War." When with war you must then add death, hate, violence, pain, sadness and destruction... Could it even end, really? When each word further then told a story of it's own? And with each story lay another jumble of thoughts and feelings that had, at one point, been existence?

Rose closed her eyes and leaned quietly against the hard metal framework of the railing that surrounded her perch. What might it be like? To be free of her own mind? The vile thing was overflowing with memories of here, then, and now. If only once there could be nothing, and no one.

Not even her last image of Zeig, straining to let his voice gather and scream her away. Telling her to run. To fly. To forget and to escape.

~I'm sorry...~

Instantly crushing those thoughts, she opened her eyes then, and breathed deeply the scent of sea and air. Soon- and they would arrive. Soon- and the battles would begin again. The last time, was this? The last stand? Fate indeed. How exactly had that old saying gone... We are free to sever the chains of fate that bind us?

"But at what cost, Soa... at what price may we finally escape you?"

Rose hadn't even realized she'd spoken aloud until the echo of her words lay consumed within the darkness. Silence once again reined over both ship and the vast black ocean. A thick silence- until one single voice stole into it's fabric.

"You ask a question man is not at liberty to answer, Rose..."

Startled- was she? Rose felt her figure tense at the sound, and with a small tilt of her head she regarded the tones behind her. Male- for one. Her mind skimmed names and images furiously. Placement to placement, she instantly recalled the bearer of whose voice was heard and relaxed.

"Albert..." A pause. "Interesting. I thought you'd be asleep." The tilt of her head became a swivel, and two cold eyes lay somewhat wary over the figure which stood behind her. "Something you needed?"

The king of Serdio stood silently away from her, at the other side of the crow's nest. Two long arms were draped over one another against the cold; leaning over the railing much as she was now. He didn't turn to look at her. Only lowered his head from it's gaze amongst the black above before slightly moving it to regard her.

"No. But thank you... I'm sorry if I startled-"

Rose cut him off, frank and somber in tone. "You didn't." She turned back around- eyes again drifting to the void beyond her vision. "Do you make a habit of so quietly coming upon others?"

Albert remained silent a moment. "I'm sorry for the intrusion, but I hadn't wanted to disturb you..."

Rose nodded her head once.

And so went a few minutes void of sound other then the slight wavering fabric of Albert's cape. Rose was slightly surprised she hadn't noticed the soft rustle of heavy cloth beforehand, but the night was windy and the steady beat of air drummed along her ears like a distant flute. Her chin tilted to it's song just as a previous sentence invaded her thoughts.

~You ask a question man is not at liberty to answer.~

Rose almost felt some insane need to chuckle. She had, hadn't she? Luckily for her, the deep tones of her voice were not accustomed to any form of laughter. She settled, then, for another notion that was perhaps just as insane as the first.

"Your right, you know..." Her voice began. Startling her nearly, as she was one who far preferred the company of silence over someone that might actually hear her. What was this? Her starting a potential conversation? Potential indeed... You couldn't get Albert to shut up if god forbid you were brave enough to speak to him in the first place. Her brow twitched, remembering he and that psychotic plant man back in Tiberoa... They really *had* spoken until morning, hadn't they?

Her surprise was mundane, but definitely present, when the figure behind her did not answer in any fashion. It was curiosity alone that drove her to look away from the sea; and she blinked in slight confusion- glaring back at him over one shoulder. Perhaps he hadn't heard?

Rose went back to her study of an indefinable horizon. It really shouldn't matter anyway, seeing as how she was not the figure of social interaction in the least. Somehow, a touch of irritation seeped into her mind. The dark dragoon found her brow beginning to furrow with one smooth thought.

~Marius. He reminds me of Marius...~

Rose jolted herself straight, mouth slightly agape at the name. Amazing what thoughts these past few days had brought. More then she might ever had grasped in all those long years of before. Marius- dear gods. She hadn't thought of him in over... well...

She couldn't even remember.

With an elegant toss of her black hair, Rose yet again found herself turning to face the figure behind her. Quietly done, as what would Albert think of her seeming to take an interest in anything? Especially that of another person. With a heavy mind her eyes took to working. To summon the memory, when these days it seemed she was only trying to forget.

He had his features... was that it? Slightly childlike? Or perhaps the frame? Eyes? Hair? Or then maybe it was these combined with the oddity. Silence.

Marius had been a quiet man.

And yet...


"Rose! damn you- Stop! LISTEN to me!"

Two heavy hands grasped her shoulders.
She fought- and he struck.
A searing pain.
Another hard shake.

"Goddamned BASTARD!" Rose managed to scream. Her body contorted in agony- tears streaming as she raced for the amber lit doors ahead.

He caught her.
Threw her backwards.
Her anger became pure fury.

"MARIUS! I will NOT leave him to die! Let me go! The curses upon you!"

Hate flared.
She Attacked.

"Rose, YOU will die! Is this what Zeig would have wanted? The madwoman he had loved, throwing her life away!??!!"

More tears.

"No! Damn the hells- he lives! I swear this, Marius! I SWEAR THIS!!!"

She collapsed near the door as they fought.
Dragons crying.

"Zeig is DEAD, child! May the goddess help him- but I will not see you in his grave by fault of mere stupidity!" And he held her tightly. Ignored the pain of her blows. Kept her within the temple as fire rained down...

The war was over.
It was done.
They had won.

Rose would have died, had she left.
Marius knew...


And then, she was alone.


Rose came back to herself, the fragments of long forgotten memories finally content to drip back into the solitude from whence they came. With their absence she was left shaken. Hating the feeling. Hating herself for allowing it.

Only memories. Only goddamned memories she wished she could destroy.

~Please... just leave me alone.~

And Rose felt herself, very suddenly, stumbling forwards as a wave of dizziness consumed her. A reeling of her mind... as if she had kept those thoughts- one of a plenty million- away for so long that they now threatened to tear her apart.

Just another of millions...

Absolute millions.

It was with an odd sort of panic then, caught between the crow's nest railing and the starless sky, that she felt a hand clamp over her shoulder. It pulled her back, steadied her until the swarming images passed. She might have been thankful for it... for the voice that urgently implored her...

"Rose- Rose, What's wrong!?"

Was that Albert?

It wouldn't have mattered, because she heard only the other sound. That which denied her a solemn wish. Denied her Zeig? Denied her fate? And she couldn't understand, at that moment, that her thoughts were tossed in pain. She only understood it's release, and a pure, violent anger.


And she growled the next sentence.

"Why couldn't you have just let me DIE!?!?"

Her fist coiled- struck. As if the sudden memory was present in this very existence. The anger that had fueled her then was gone quickly as it had come. The confusion remained. Rose turned sharply, not quite realizing she had been released- and then a flash of wind and sea water tore her eyes open to see the deck she was soon to meet. Her body pressed over the railing.

And the hand came back- strong as before- and snatched her away before a fall could be completed.

A silence.

Had she... nearly died?

Rose felt the twisting of her thoughts begin to subside as, in the moments after, shaking knees accepted a quick decent, and she lay hunched over the deck of steel and oak. She coughed- gathering herself into coherency.


The same voice from before, only slightly quieter and a bit pained.



"Albert..." She said, closing her eyes to reopen them a second later. The dark of her pupils contracted a moment, struck by the floodlights from far below. A silence, and she felt her vision adapt. Another and she could see easily the man before her, crouched carefully at her side. Rose recognized the light green and brown of his attire. The sage cape. She did not, however, remember a split bottom lip adorning his face beforehand.

The realization of what had occurred struck her instantly. She struggled to stand.

"My god- I..." Rose shook her head, cursing herself for the loss of control. The absurdity of it, and the crack in her expression of able stone. Through a veil of hoarse anger and a still clouded mind she echoed a quiet. "I'm sorry..."

Albert just shook his head. "No- it's fine. Here-" And he reached a hand down to her wrist, pulling Rose from the cold ground. "Are you alright? What happened? Rose- you almost fell!"

She briefly took note of the fall that had, moments before, nearly occurred. Rose blinked twice- running her eyes over the railing to the ship below. The cables, wires... an officer strolling underneath the lookout. Hells...

"I'm fine- it was nothing." She stood fully now, extracting her hand from his shoulder despite the need for balance that was, if anything, much less then imperfect. Rose felt her spine grow rigid as her body fought for it's lost defiance, but her feet grew more and more solid underneath her with each passing moment.

"I don't believe a word of that..." Albert continued, smearing a bit of blood back onto his sleeve and then wincing in discomfort. He backed up slightly to the mast; looking down the ladder and it's lead onto the bridge. Afterwards, he then turned towards Rose and reached out one gloved hand.

"You should go to the Infirmary."

Rose might have growled. She looked at him, to the ladder, and then again at his concerned hazel eyes.

"I have no need of medical assistance."

"Rose-" Albert began.

"You know, frankly, this isn't any of your business in the first place. Back off."

The words were so blunt, and so hostile, Rose found herself shocked as they spat from her mouth. She didn't... mean it that way. She didn't even know she'd thought it until the sentence echoed past her lips. That anger again, had it come from within? God- why all of a sudden? What was wrong with her?

Albert, in anycase, didn't move away or drop the subject as she might have expected. He was surprised, yes- but Rose found herself much of the same when he narrowed his eyes in an uncharacteristic gesture of irritation, laced with something she couldn't quite understand.

"And *frankly* considering that you shouted a name out of the clear blue, and stumbled nearly to your death after punching me, I believe you should reconsider."

Rose glared at him long and hard... probably more out of confusion then real annoyance. She and Albert were not two who socialized often- if at all. She spoke to him when needed, and if needed. In fact, what she knew of his majesty was based strictly from observation... He was lighthearted, kind to a fault. Not exactly the warrior, but capable nevertheless. Odd to see this flickering impression of anger over one that seemed immune to such emotion other then the occasional glimpses of sadness or melancholy.

"Only a handful of the crewmen are awake at this hour..." Albert said, folding his arms with the classic grace of habit. His eyes had lightened, although still Rose could identify that oddity- the misplaced undertone she had never see before.

"If you go now, no one will know. But your bleeding-" Albert gingerly motioned to her arm, watching as Rose looked to a fresh wound in mild shock. "It should be stopped, or your going to have a mess of concerned dragoons mumbling over your appearance tomorrow. I know you wouldn't want that. A fuss, I mean. Over you."

Rose shot a glance at him before once more looking over her torn limb. Apparently, in her stumble at the railing, one of the security hooks had taken a liking to the soft give of her left arm and it's cloth. The flesh was split, although not deeply, and would need some sort of attention. Funny... she hadn't even felt the pain.


"I suppose you should accompany me, then." Rose began, watching him carefully. Albert had the grace to look confused a moment before she gestured to her mouth, and then smiled almost wryly as he mimicked her with a start of realization.

"Oh..." he brought his hand away, still laced with the blood she had drawn. "That."

"Yes. That." Rose flipped a stream of hair along one shoulder and then directed her attention to the ladder- quickly beginning a decent to the decks below.

Albert watched after her a moment, and then followed.


The infirmary was a ludicrous little room- far past the bridge, aft quarter halls and a few floors down from there. God forbid the ship ever saw some sort of catastrophe... where would all the injured be placed? And how would they even find the damned thing, buried away under decks of iron and winding passageways?

In anycase, Rose was thankful for Albert's presence. It really wasn't surprising that he knew exactly where to go and how to go about getting there. (He and captain Puler had gone over the ships blueprints earlier that day.) Past the aft bulkhead, the stewards room... that annoying little chamber in which the cook would scurry to and fro... They walked silently and quickly down the narrow halls.

Well, at the least her company wasn't stupid. He'd been smart enough to keep his mouth shut for the most part. Occasional exceptions being a "left" or "right" As they navigated the dim ship. Rose was nearly feeling a hint of rare claustrophobia... but perhaps it was really just her damaged arm, which was gathering the nerve to begin a steady, painful throb.

"Here." Albert said- an odd sound over the drumming machinery that echoed just below. Rose jerked her head to the right where he then gestured and found herself glaring at a dull blue door. On and off blinked an irritating white light; caged behind wire just above the worn frame. Below was a tiny stenciled band of red lettering that read INFIRMARY as if the stupid thing wasn't hard enough to find in the first place.

She gave a rough snort, and pushed into the doorway; hinges rattling in her wake. Albert just blinked, ducked a stray metal pipe, and entered after her.

Thank god... no doctor. Rose greatly disliked doctors. All that met her vision was a row of stark medical beds and a similar row of cabinets mounted over the wall ahead of them. A few trays... a few oddball utensils. One giant microscope that seemed entirely out of place. And then there was two conjoined sinks- white like the room and the beds and the walls. The damned place looked so cold...

A sharp click brought her observations to an end. Rose turned stiffly, watching in a detached manner as Albert opened one of the cabinets and studied it's contents for a moment. A second later- and he nodded his head in some form of approval before removing a small wrap bandage and bottle of antiseptic. These- he handed to her.

Bah- what Rose wouldn't give for just a damned potion. Shana and Meru held on to the most of their supplies... and she wasn't about to subject herself to their attentions. Unfortunately, Albert wasn't one to carry healing items either.

"You may need another type of cloth for the wound. So it won't stick, I mean. There are two others that-" And Albert raised a brow as she cut him off with a hiss and took the items.

"I've only been handling myself for eleven thousand years or so. Believe me- I know what I do and don't need."

Albert breathed a sigh and watched as Rose took to the other side of the room; seating herself upon one of the medical tables and then quickly going about her injury. She opened the bottle of antiseptic, plastered her wound in it's liquid with no more then the slightest wince, and after removing a bit of her sleeve- split the gash with her fingers to study the rip.

"Aren't there scissors in that damned drawer?"

Albert looked. Nodded.

"Toss them over here."

Rose couldn't help her exasperation as he handed them to her -handle first- with an almost parental frown.

"Your pathetic."

"I'm careful."


Albert wandered back to the open drawer, extracting then a small cotton before returning to where Rose now grimaced freely. The Dark Dragoon was cutting away a small piece of jagged flesh that hung limply against her arm. He stilled, brows furrowing. Rose shot her eyes in his direction.

"Don't tell me I'm upsetting your stomach..." and she cut away the skin completely.

Albert shook his head. "Only my mind, perhaps. You go about this in to familiar a manner..." And he sat down across from her, applying a small amount of antiseptic to the cotton, and then pressing it against the slight swell over his mouth.

Rose blinked. "After a while, you get used to such irritations..." Her right hand reached for the bandage, which she began to unwind quickly from the neatly packaged roll. "Your going to need ice on-"

"I may not have your eleven thousand years worth of experience-" Albert interrupted, a hint of amusement flickering over his features. "But I do know how to tend a split lip."

It was her turn to sigh. Rose jerked the bandage tight over her arm and glared at him with forced hostility. "Don't get smart with me..."

"Wouldn't dream of it..."

Rose studied him a moment, watching the sage cape flutter as Albert rose and once again paced across the room. He placed the antiseptic and what was left of the wrap back into the drawer, closed it, and then moved slightly to the left where another cabinet was mounted over the wall. Click and snap- he'd found an ice pack easily enough.

Brief silence.

"You know..." And Rose was surprised to find herself speaking. "We're going to need a explanation of some sort."

Albert turned- raised a brow. What was with him and that habit?

"Your mouth." She gestured to her own. "I can hide my arm easily enough- but what about that lip? I get the distinct feeling your not about to go telling the rest of our company you were decked by a bout of insanity on my part..."

Albert just nodded. "True... I suppose I could have simply fell, right? And god knows how easy it is to just stroll into one of the pipes on these lower decks..." He turned his attention to the single microscope present; absently toying with it's components in a sudden run of curiosity. "I think I'm clumsy enough to go and do something of that sort, don't you?"

Rose grinned, and then instantly wiped the expression from her face. "For once, we agree. And here I was hoping your terribly irritating persona had been floored by one of the stewards..."

Albert twitched his mouth and glared at her with a smile. "To unbelievable... unless it's custom to *floor* royalty this part of Endiness."

Again, she felt that uncharacteristic urge pull at the corners of her mouth. Goddamnit- the fool was getting the best of her, was he? Rose supposed it wasn't such a horror, really... but it felt abnormal. To laugh and smile.

"You should probably get some sleep." Rose heard herself say. "We'll be arriving tomorrow afternoon." And she pushed herself from the medical bed, shaking her arm once to renew the circulation within.

"I suppose telling you the same would be futile, yes?"


Albert nodded once, expectantly, and then his brows narrowed to the thin line of worry she had seen before. To see it genuine, and on a person of all living creatures, was perhaps odd as the silence beforehand that had first started her mind to memory.

"Then you'll be returning to the crow's nest." He said. Similar to the nod- there was expectancy again in his tone.

"You don't know that." Rose turned slightly.

"But you will."

Black raven hair fell into her vision, forcing Rose to blink away it's fine strands like murky streams of water. Her head tilted thoughtfully, as if it was a statement that demanded a sharp retort or angry sentence.

"Wasn't it that sort of concern that got you decked in the first place?

"It wouldn't matter either way, Rose. I'm your friend."

Her look then, turning sharply in his direction, was answered with a calm addition to the previous sentence. Albert crossed his arms, leaning back just slightly.

"-Whether you like it or not."

It was with the oddest of feelings to discover herself watching him then; hand poised at the door and injured arm limp. Albert too regarded her with that exact measure of confusion and inquiry she felt in her own gaze. Like a practice- or effort. Or... or something so foreign it seemed native.

~Don't act like I could ever learn...~

To love, to know, to trust...
To find the strength to believe in a friend.
To forget.
To live.


Ever again...

~because I let no one understand me.~

Albert looked to her as if he had heard every single word.

Rose felt somehow uneasy. As if wasn't that she hadn't understood what he's said, it was that she found herself wanting to accept it. Swinging back around, Rose struggled with two concepts then. The first- to open the door and leave.


Or stay and try to make him believe she didn't care that he had somehow scathed a very solid stone. As if despite all she considered false- his voice didn't ring of it. Sincerity? And just what was it he had said that were so sincere? What was it, about him, that truly had revived her memories of the long dead Marius? Why him? Why then?

~God no- don't think of that again...~

Why should it have even mattered?

And then, very suddenly, she felt an anger rise within her chest. As if the absurdity of the entire night would cause her to do something just as utterly vain. Perhaps even understandable- for a person who now found herself searching for some form of answer.

"Why were you there?!" Rose nearly shouted- and her voice lowered instantly as if cut over a sharp wire. "Above, over the crows nest!?"

The question took him completely off guard, and Albert winced, thrown back by her supreme glare as if it was a type of accusation. Rose felt herself thankful to push him away... to keep him from...

~From what? Keep him from what? Keep any of them from... what!?~

Albert didn't answer, only looked away... and then asked her a question of his own that was blunt- but not hostile. His gaze was almost... sad. A toss of light brown fell over his left eye.

"Who is Marius?"

~No... don't you dare...~ She jumped the question and flung it aside in a near panic.

"Answer me first." Rose demanded. The ludicrous part of this entire scenario was that she had no reason to question his presence in the first place. He was not an enemy. He was not there to harm her or any of the others. And yet here she stood, fists clenched and jaw firm, as if that very question could somehow solve her own suffering.

~I don't suffer. I survive.~
But then why am I lying?

Albert just glared at her. "Why!? How does it pertain to anything that-" Rose cut him off, throwing her good arm in the air violently.

"Albert- just ANSWER me!!"

It came back to his face. What she had seen before; the undertone of *something* that she couldn't identify or understand. This time, she was the one that winced in surprise as he stalked forwards in exasperation. Whatever mutual pleasant air had surrounded them before was most definitely now gone.

Not as if she had ever been one to back off. Albert wasn't the one making her uncomfortable now. She could control this.

Her gaze lifted to his height. "Why can't you just say it?!"

The Serdian let an almost cruel smile adorn his face. "Why can't you? it's the same, isn't it?! For both of us!? All the goddamned stupid things your never supposed to give in to... those that manage to haunt whatever perfect part of life you think you've finally worked out!? Why can't *YOU* say it, Rose!? What can't you tell Dart, Haschel or Shana- ANY of us!?"

She stood, shocked.

"Why-" And he broke off, stepping away in a sort of frustration. "Why should it even matter...?"

Her words...

And somehow- that was it. Rose could not understand what she had seen in him before- because it was a reflection. Her own goddamned reflection.

He helped me.
Because it was necessary-
and I hate him.
Because I can see.
It is what I don't want to know.
Because I can overcome it.
And still...

It was pain.

It was Marius who had once told her they were so different, they were alike. She remembered it now; like a broken piece of glass.

With a deep breath, Rose felt her old self trying to defy the realization. She gripped her strong facade and glared it into the man across from her for whom she refused to recognize the same.

"I don't... know what your saying!" And her voice was strong, rough and angry. Like it was supposed to be. How she had always known it. "You actually have the *nerve* to think I-" But Albert swung back around to interrupt her.

"Just stop it." And he looked at her in part disbelief, and part sorrow. "And I'm not speaking of Marius, long dead as my ancestor is now. I'm speaking about you. What you try to hide. If you never let anyone within, Rose..." He closed his eyes and let that last bit of tension slip away. "It's going to kill you, just like it nearly did me.

Rose felt herself slipping as he continued.

"And frankly- I don't care how long you've lived or what you know. It will always be the same. End the same." Albert brushed his hair back and lowered his eyes. "I was above tonight because I needed to be alone. At the very least I knew you needed the same thing... so in some way it would be alright."

The dark dragoon stared at him, at a loss for completely... Everything. This stupid, incompetent, ignorant king had... and she took her thoughts back, because they did not apply. All Albert had done was understand.

But then how...

Could it hurt this much?


Rose cried out. Her sword swung.

A sound- like flesh.

"Marius!" And she cried out his name as if to destroy him with it.
He did not fight back.
A cry.

His... son?

"If this is what shall calm your spirit Rose, then take my life. If this is what you believe, then slay me."

And he had spoken so calmly as her sword lifted
And he did not close his eyes
And the three kingdoms of Endiness would never be told.

Kneeling in blood.
Her voice- lost in sobs.

It had been she.

Rose had slain one of her greatest companions.
Had killed the first blood of Serdio.

And he hadn't made a sound...


(( The second half of this story is now Chapter 2 for ease in reading. Enjoy!))