Going Home

Disclaimer: I do not own Langrisser, or any of the characters. This is set after Der Langrisser has ended, and it takes place after the one of the Light endings (which are rather ambiguous about what the characters do later, due to lack of translation. And no, I'm not knocking any translation efforts… they're all going well, especially Mr. D's) There is Elwin/Riana and mild Hein/Sherry in here (no one else has written one, so looks like I'm the first.) Lime content in here, so proceed at your own discretion. Italics are usually thoughts and flashbacks, with a few exceptions. SPOILERS for game endings in the author's notes!

"I'm almost there…" Elwin thought, as he walked on the path that he knew would bring him to his destination. A wanderer he may have been for most of his life, but that didn't mean he had totally forgotten his lineage, or his home. Ever since Jessica had told him of his heritage, it had always been somewhat of a fascination with him. Elwin shook a few strands of red hair out of his eyes as he continued to walk toward the only remnant of his former life that remained; Castle Baltia. There was silence as the youth continued to walk, sword ready. While the darkness had been wiped clean from the land, it didn't hurt to be careful. And without Langrisser, he didn't feel like taking risks. If Hein had been here, he would have teased him for being a worrywart.

Elwin smiled in fond rememberance. Hein wasn't here; he was off training with Jessica and Lester. Or more specifically, Jessica was attempting to train Hein, and Lester yelled insults from the side. Of course, Elwin was sure that Hein didn't mind the close proximity to Kalxath… that just meant that he could go over there and flirt with/annoy Sherry all he wanted. And this also meant that Sherry could happily abandon her duties for a while and kick the crap out of him.

"I wonder what their children will be like. If they're anything like their mother – or father – then I cry for Kalxath's potential future," Elwin said, snickering a little. "Heh. One of these days, Hein's going to just walk in and kiss her, and knowing Sherry's personality, she won't back down…" Elwin immediately shook his head, clearing his head of any improper – or rude – thoughts that entered his head. "I'm starting to sound like Lester. I have a feeling Lana wouldn't be too pleased… and neither would Riana-"

Elwin paused, cutting his monologue off suddenly - and painfully. "Riana…" Elwin thought guiltily. She had been the only one Elwin had truly found it hard to part with after their battle with Bernhart. And judging from the way that she looked at him as he left Kalxath after the battle, she felt no differently...

He shook his head suddenly trying to rid himself of the distraction. "It's only been a year…. And I'm already missing her…" Elwin looked down at the ground, pausing his stride momentarily. "No. Not now," he said out loud. "After all…" he said, looking at the majestic sight ahead of him. "I'm almost there…"

Elwin was breathing heavily by now. Despite that fact that he had seen the castle in his sight an hour ago, it was still a very long walk until he reached what was left of his home. Elwin paused to take in the sights. "I wonder if Doren would have liked to come back as well…" he thought, the reminder of his dead teacher enough to make his mood a somber one. He closed his eyes, as a momory overtook him…
"OOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!" a red haired boy yelled, holding a wooden sword with one hand, and rubbing his head with the other. An older man was standing by, looking amused.

"Your swing is too slow, you know." Doren said matter of factly. Elwin looked at him angrily. "Someone could get the better of you because of your lack of speed, and where would you be then?" Elwin snorted.

"I would just block, like you taught me." The boy responded, looking somewhat petulant. Doren smiled indulgently at him.

"That would have worked…. If your block wasn't even slower than your swing." Doren said. Elwin's eyes narrowed.

"I'll show you a slow swing!"

"Oh, that might have hit me – had I been asleep!"

Elwin smiled at the memory. "My swing's gotten a lot better now, you know," he murmured, as if his master were there with him. Elwin continued walking – then stopped dead as his eyes processed the sight in front of him. He was here. The gates of Castle Baltia loomed before him. Despite feeling jubilation at achieving his goal, Elwin paused. It was getting dark… he should turn in for the night, lest he collapse of exhaustion. As he looked for a suitable tree to sleep under, he wondered what it would be like, going back.

"I never really got a chance to explore this place… not with Langrisser in this castle and Leon racing for it, anyway," Elwin thought, as he detached his cape from his armor. There was really only one reason he kept it around - it was a terrific makeshift blanket or quilt. As he tried to get comfortable under it, leaning against his chosen tree, he found his thoughts drifting… to the one person he didn't want them to drift to…

"Mmm… Elwin?" he heard a sweet voice ask. "Are you still awake?" Elwin's eyes refused to open, but his ears recognized the voice.

"Riana?…" Elwin asked. At an affirmative "mm" he opened his eyes, to find her looking at him with a gentle expression on her face. "What's wrong…. Can't sleep?" She nodded her head. With a sigh, Elwin sat up against the tree. Their group was sleeping outside again… not uncommon. Keith was sleeping on the ground, as was Lester. Sherry was sleeping near Keith, with Hein next to her, sleeping against the tree.

"I'm sorry to disturb you…" she said apologetically. Elwin shook his head, and motioned for her to come closer.

"It's all right…" Elwin told her. It was then he noticed a peculiar expression on her face. Not fear... but not something Elwin could discern easily, either. "It's not just insomnia, is it?" he asked. She nodded her head again. "Feel like talking about it?" Elwin inquired. Riana blinked in response.

"No…" she said softly, almost timidly. At Elwin's questioning look, she hastily explained. "I just…felt like… um…. I didn't want to… be the only one awake…" she said, words spilling out quickly.

Elwin recognized her desire not to discuss the matter. Most likely just anxieties about their mission. He shook his head in sympathy, then pulled her closer to him on an impulse. He felt her body stiffen, then relax.

"You should try to get some sleep, you know…" he whispered, as not to wake the others. Riana nodded, gently laying her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes as she snuggled up to him for comfort.

Elwin was surprised to say the least, but responded by picking up his cape and putting it gently over both of them. "Are you sure you're all right?"

The preistess' response was to nod slightly then tuck her head into his shoulder. Elwin smiled at her. "All right then…. Good night, Riana."

Just when sleep was about to claim him, he heard something. He looked around, before realizing where it was coming from.

"Elwin…" Riana whispered, sounding half awake. Elwin looked down at her. His breath immediately caught as he felt her lips brush his cheek lightly.

"Thank you…"

Elwin woke up blushing. They hadn't discussed that incident very often, if at all – Riana just never brought it up, and he saw no immediate reason to. Partly because Hein had woken up first, and made some wrong – and rather perverted – assumptions about what they had done when he saw them curled under his cape. He had believed them when they hastily said nothing happened, but Elwin wouldn't be surprised if Hein thought otherwise.

"Good thing Sherry didn't see… she probably would have jumped to the same conclusions as Hein," Elwin thought. With a sigh, and a fond smile at the memory, Elwin stood up, reattached his cape, and set off.

Elwin had finally made it… the entrance of the castle stood in front of him. For all the effort it took for him to get here, he really didn't feel… anything. He had lived here when he was very young, that much he knew. But then Doren took him and then they began to travel. He had never spoken much about Baltia, just a few vague comments about falling from grace. When he had asked how his master knew, Doren simply said "I've been there."

Elwin shook his head; the castle was in dilapidated shape at the absolute best, with both bridges destroyed. Despite this setback, he was determined to get in. Taking a deep breath, he began to jump across what remained of the bridge.

Saying he was surprised when it collapsed was an understatement.

"What the-" was all he got out before tumbling into the water. Grabbing onto the more stable part was the only thing that kept him from sinking. He dragged himself up onto the walkway, and looked toward the beckoning hall of the castle. "Well… that was easy enough," he murmured, his voice laced with sarcasm, as he began a long (and uncomfortably wet) walk.

"Maybe asking Hein to take a break and come along wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Teleport would have been useful here, anyway…" Elwin thought, as he began to explore the halls of the castle. A door drew his gaze.

"Hmm… what's in there?" Elwin walked over and pushed it open. A bare area with empty shelves and jars greeted him. "What's left of a storeroom…" he murmured. He felt somewhat disappointed, but pushed on, continuing his exploration.

"Hey, Riana!" a child's voice cried out. Riana turned around and smiled at the young boy who had just come in. The child looked at her with an innocent expression. "Want to play?" he asked, his voice holding a measure of hope. S he smiled gently at him.

"In a minute, okay?" she said. The boy smiled at her, and ran out to join his other friends. She smiled wistfully after them. In the year that followed Bernhart's defeat, she and Lana had opened an orphange for the children whose parents had been lost during the war. It was amazing…. Some of these children were nearly crushed by suddenly being left alone, and now, little by little, they were regaining some of the happiness that they had lost. It was good. It was healthy, not only for the children, but for their caretakers as well. Riana knew that Lana had a hard time coping after Leon's death, and it showed visibly at times. Dealing with the children had been first an escape, but it eventually grew into a type of emotional salve, a catharsis, healing both their wounded hearts. Both sisters had found it hard to part with their friends… but one in particular stood out in Riana's mind.

"Did you have to leave so suddenly? Why no words… why no goodbyes?…" she thought, distress flashing across her beautiful features. Her reverie was broken when Lana popped into the room.

"You know, the kids are wondering where you are-" Lana immediately caught the distraught look on her face. "What? What's wrong?" she queried. "Of course she'll say nothing's wrong..." Lana said to herself.

"Nothing…" Riana murmured. Lana shook her head. Her sister was such a terrible liar, honestly…

"You know, when you say "nothing", and you have an even more depressed expression on your face after, you aren't being very convincing," Lana said bluntly. Riana stayed silent. "You know, nothing's stopping you from going after him…" Lana told her, making the meaning quite clear. Riana's eyes widened."And even if you don't, I know he's coming back…" Lana said comfortingly. Riana turned around, looking even more upset.

"How?" she asked her sister. "How?"

Lana at this point, had no idea how to respond. Not convincingly, anyway. So she only did what she could.

"Believe me, sister. I'm sure he's an idiot for leaving, but I'm equally sure he's coming back." Lana reaffirmed. Riana nodded once, slowly, than walked out of the room. Lana sighed. "She's hopelessly in love with him, isn't she…" she said to herself. "Leon, help them both…"

Riana was walking slowly down the hall. She didn't feel like doing much… her mood contributed largely to that. She sighed heavily and leaned against a wall, upset and depressed, her earlier jubilance gone. Closing her eyes, she ran her fingers through her hair in frustration.

"Elwin… where are you?"

Elwin was getting annoyed. Castle Baltia was a very confusing place. In all the places he had explored, almost all of them were devoid of… anything interesting. "I guess the prosperity of the country went down as well…" he noted, as he looked around. He turned as he reached a hallway. And on the end of it-

"That door is larger than most…" the youth noted, as he saw the massive door at the end of the hall. Elwin then took a closer look. "Wait, that symbol on the door…. Baltia's coat of arms?" The red-headed youth began walking toward the door, all the while guessing what it could be. "Chapel, royal bedroom, something important…" he muttered. As he reached it, Elwin suddenly felt a sense of… something. He blinked. "Hmm." Then thinking nothing of it, he opened the door.

The first thing that he saw was throne at the end of the large room he had stepped into. "Throne room," he stated simply. And above the throne – Elwin blinked, then rubbed his eyes. Above the throne was a portrait of a man and a woman. The man was dressed in similar armor as his, all the way down to the armor and tiara. His hair was a darker shade of red, but that was a minor difference. Elwin thought it could have been an older version of him for all he knew. And the sword he was holding…

"Langrisser!" he exclaimed, his yell echoing throughout the hall. Elwin was in shock. "He's the former king of Baltia…. Then the woman is…" he looked at her harder, his sentence unfinished. The woman had reddish/brown hair, and had a peaceful expression on her face. The serene expression reminded him of - "Riana…" he whispered. As if in a trance, he walked towards the portrait. There were other paintings present, but this one drew him. The caption underneath it read:

"Rulers of Baltia, King Ledin and Kris, his Queen." Elwin looked harder at the plaque. "My great-grandparents? I don't have a clue…" Sighing, he let his gaze drop… but then he looked up again. Toward Kris. The physical resemblance was minimum, at best. But the sheer – he couldn't explain it. The more he stared, the more he saw Riana looking back at him. Her eyes… staring… pleading… Elwin tore his eyes away from the portrait, his emotional distress building.

"Why… why can't I stop thinking of her?" A hot flash of anger came out of nowhere, and before he could stop himself, he slammed his fist into the stone wall. Hard. Elwin winced. Despite the gauntlet he wore, it hurt. He didn't care. Pain was good. Pain was distracting. Pain gave his mind something else to focus on, for once.

He hit the wall a few more times for good measure, than sank to the ground. He suddenly felt very exhausted, then closed his eyes. "Why…" he weakly looked up once more. Kris' eyes burned into his. Even though it was just a portrait… Elwin looked down. Elwin closed his eyes, but the image of Riana, looking at him, hurt and sadness in her eyes, remained…

"Eh? You're leaving already, Elwin?" Hein exclaimed, obviously in shock. Elwin nodded, making a motion to Hein to lower his voice. "But… why?" Hein damanded. Elwin sighed.

"I'm a wanderer, after all." Elwin rejoinded. Needless to say, this did not satisfy the magician by any means.

"Wanderer? What the hell is that supposed to mean? I know you like to travel and all, but would it kill you to stick around for a few days?"

"If I said yes, would you leave me alone?" Elwin shot back. Hein glared at him.

"Come on! You weren't even going to say goodbye to anyone?" Elwin looked defensive upon hearing Hein's response.

"I was going to…" Elwin said lamely. Hein looked at him.

"We're at the castle gates. Right behind you is the exit. Unless your goodbye was a rather loud yell-"

"Don't worry about it. I told them I was going a while back, remember?" Elwin reminded him. Hein blinked.

"Well, yeah, but I didn't think you were serious!" Hein told his friend, obviously irritated. Elwin smiled at him.

"Relax… I'm sure they'll be kind of steamed, but they'll understand… after all, you're leaving soon too, aren't you?" Elwin asked, in an attempt to change the topic. Hein smiled and nodded, taking the bait.

"Yeah… I can't believe I got Jessica to agree to train me!" Hein said enthusiastically. "It's weird though… Sherry looked pissed…" Elwin merely shook his head knowingly.

"You'll know why soon enough…" Elwin muttered. Hein looked confused, but waved it off. "Anyway… I should get going. Say goodbye to them for me?" Elwin asked. Hein looked like he was thinking about it, then grinned and nodded.

"Sure." Hein walked over and clapped Elwin on the back. "Have a good journey, will ya? And be sure to drop by all of us from time to time… we're all fairly close to Kalxath, after all…"

Elwin smiled. "Wouldn't miss it." Hein nodded, and begain to turn around, but snapped his fingers.

"Hey, you gonna say anything to Riana before you leave, or what?" Hein chuckled as his words had the desired effect. Elwin coughed, and turned around so that Hein wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing his face go red. "Oh come on! You like her, she likes you, I'm sure Sherry could find you an empty room-"

"HEIN!" Elwin yelled, the implications in the blue haired mage's statement as clear as day. Hein laughed.

"But seriously, you shouldn't just leave without saying goodbye to her. After all…" Hein turned around, and immediately stopped dead. "Uh… oh…" Elwin blinked. That didn't sound good.

"Hein? What is it?" he asked worriedly. A monster? No, Hein wouldn't have sounded so afraid becuase of a mere beast. Elwin turned around-

Only to see Riana looking dead at him, her eyes on his. Elwin's eyes widened. Hein swallowed, but said nothing.

It wasn't hard to tell that Riana was upset. She was shaking, and her eyes were brimming with tears, her brown orbs shining with hurt. Elwin had recovered from his temporary shock, and stepped forward to explain.

"Riana…" he said weakly.

That didn't get very far, as Riana immediately turned around and sprinted back inside, tears falling from her eyes…

Elwin winced. He had been slashed by Leon, stabbed by Laird, blasted by Imelda… but that had topped his list of painful moments. He had tried to go back, of course, but Hein said that she would be fine after a while. It was just the suddenness of it all, he said. What really made him feel horrible was that he wasn't torn about the choice at all; every fiber of his being was screaming at him to go back, to Kalxath, to her…

Instead, he asked a cursory "Are you sure she'll be okay?" question to Hein, and having received the expected yes, he walked off. Possibly one of the stupidest – and insensitive – choices to make. Saying he had felt terrible was an understatement. What really puzzled him though, was why he did it. He had wanted to stay, but didn't. Why? Why?

"Why…" Elwin murmured. All of a sudden, he felt very tired. Not caring about his location, he closed his eyes, the question still plaguing him. "Why…"

Elwin blinked. He had opened his eyes - or regained conciousness. He appeared to be still in Castle Baltia, but it was very different. There was a light radiating from somewhere, and the hall seemed to have regained it's former brilliance. Elwin spoke aloud, trying to gauge the area. "Um.. is anyone here?"

"Look in front of you." Elwin turned around, and saw the light source in front of him. Elwin was staring at it, an expression of confusion on his face.

"Who are you?" he asked. "Or better yet, what are you?" The light spoke once more.

"No, "who" was right the first time." The voice was female, and fairly cheerful. "But you shouldn't be concerned with that right now. You should be concerned with getting out of this castle, and going home." Elwin looked startled.

"But this is my home-" Elwin told it - her. The voice interrupted again.

"No. It's not. I don't know if you were searching for your identity, or something like that, but this is not your home." Elwin looked confused. "Tell me, aside from a mild sense of deja-vu, do you feel any sense of emotional attachment to this place? Any at all?" Elwin opened his mouth… then stopped. In truth… he didn't. Despite all the trouble it took to get here… he didn't feel anything. A pang of rememberance at times, but other than that… no. Elwin shook his head. He should have been disappointed, but instead he felt a weight being lifted from his shoulders. "I didn't think so."

"So… what, then?" Elwin asked. For some reason, he felt like he had been expecting this. The light glowed.

"She's waiting, you know." The light simply stated, as if saying 1 + 1 equaled 2.. "She misses you dearly…" she continued. Elwin immediately knew who the apparition spoke of.

"But… where-" Elwin began. He was interrupted. Again.

"You know. Your heart knows… follow it. Find her," the light told him. Elwin nodded.

"How did you know that-" yet again, the voice answered.

"It's not surprising you seek her."

"Why not?" Elwin asked the light.

"You're in love with her, that's why." The light laughed as Elwin blushed. "Hmm… it's incredible. You and Ledin look so similar, but act totally differently…" Elwin looked up, shocked.

"Ledin… then, you must be…"

Elwin didn't finish his sentence. A sharp jolt went through his head-

Then he was sitting in Baltia Castle again. Nothing was amiss… everything was as it was before. Elwin massaged his temples. "What… the hell was that?" he asked himself. "A dream? I've had weird dreams, but nothing like THAT…" He then sat straight up as he remembered what the voice told him. "Riana…" he mumbled, now fully recalling what the odd vision told him. He smiled, albeit it was tempered with a bit of sadness.

"You know… I would have liked to see Baltia in it's prime. As it stands… it's nothing more than a memory. The past," Elwin paused in his monologue. "But the future… is right in front of me." Elwin began to walk out of the throne room of Baltia, fully aware that this was the first - and most likely only – time he was going to be here. Elwin then turned toward the portrait of Kris and Ledin. Nothing he could think of fully expressed his feelings, so he said what he could. "Thanks…" he whispered. The descendant to the ancestors. Giving the picture one last glance, Baltia's last prince left the room… leaving the past, and heading toward his future.

"Riana… I'll be there soon…"

Riana yawned sleepily. She had been busy for most of the day… Lana had seen to it that she kept her mind off being depressed. And for the most part, it had worked. The nagging feeling in the back her mind was still around though, and now that she was tired it was threatening to roar back. She shook her head, than stood up. Lana poked her head into the door.

"Hey! Feeling a bit tired?" Lana asked her. Riana nodded sheepishly. Lana looked at her sympathetically. "You should go home and rest… " Riana began to protest, but Lana shook her head. "Go!"

Riana smiled at her, thanked her, than stood up. She walked out of the orphange and into the night, towards her house. She and Lana lived seperately; not due to their wishes, but because housing was rather small and scarce in the area. They gladly took what they could get. It wasn't like they lived far apart… they both lived close to the orphanage, so they could help out. As she walked, a yell pierced the air.

"Riana! Hi!" a woman exclaimed. Riana smiled at her… she had seen her around, and usually exchanged casual greetings with her… Mina, her name was.

"Hello…" she responded, somewhat tiredly. Mina raised her eyebrow.

"You look like you could collapse… you should really get some more sleep. Don't worry about your friend, there are inns around here…"

Riana blinked. "Friend?" she questioned. Mina nodded.

"Yes, a friend of yours stopped in a very short while ago… I directed him toward your house." Riana nodded in response.

"Hein, probably…" she thought. Still, she didn't mind the prospect of company, even if she was tired. "Thanks for telling me!"

"No problem… see you tomorrow!" she yelled, waving at Riana. Riana smiled back at her, then continued on. As she reached her front door, she noticed that it was ajar. "Wait..."

She knew that Hein could get in if he wanted to, but she doubted that he wanted to talk to her so badly that he would pick the the lock. Tensing up, she opened the door… and all of her exhaustion vanished into thin air. A pair of blue eyes met hers. A nervous smile appeared on the occupant's face.

"It couldn't be…" she thought. But as she stared, she confirmed her initial observation on who it was.

"Hi… long time no see." Elwin said.

Riana's eyes were wide with surprise. "Er… sorry about the lock. I don't think I damaged it or anything, I just picked it with a wire…" Elwin was realizing that his babble was having no effect on her, so he promptly shut up. The surprised look on her face was starting to vanish, and to Elwin's chagrin, a much different emotion was taking it's place. She seemed calm, but all he had to do was look in her eyes, and he saw that she was angry. Very angry. Not that Elwin blamed her… the circumstances of his goodbye were hardly amiable. Or sociable, for that matter. He coughed nervously. "Listen…"

"Hmm… I'm surprised to see you." Riana said. Her voice seemed normal… even pleasant. However, it was impossible to miss the acidic undertone. Elwin fought the urge to wince. As cheerful as she was at times, Elwin knew that even she got angry. He hadn't seen it first hand too often though, and he had certainly never been the recipient before. Suddenly, her eyes were fixed in a glare.

"Why are you here?" Riana demanded. The priestess had dropped all pretense of good nature; she was furious, and not adverse to letting him know it. "You leave without a word of goodbye, you don't even try to contact anyone for the next year.…" she cut herself off then. She had wanted him to come back very much, but now that he was here, she had every intention of expressing the anger she had after he had left. "I-" she cut herself off again. Then, lowering her eyes, she walked toward him. Elwin closed his eyes, and steeled himself. He had a very good idea what was coming next. So therefore he missed the sight of her hand coming toward his face.

Elwin swore the loud smack actually echoed. Her slap was so loud it actually made his mind ignore the stinging pain for a few seconds. He opened his eyes – only to find her own glazed with tears. "We fought with you! We laughed with you! We were willing to die with you, if we had to! And when the fight was over, when we had finally won over the darkness… you leave. Just like that. Without a word to anyone but Hein… who probably caught you just has you were leaving…" Tears were now threatening to spill, as Riana's self-control began to break.

Elwin stepped forward, and without even thinking about it, drew Riana into a comforting embrace. The dam broke; she buried her head into his chest and began crying hard. "Why… why did you leave us…" Riana asked, the confusion and hurt all too evident. Elwin said nothing. And in a soft whisper, he heard "why did you leave me?…"

That shocked him to the core. He had known that she had been saddened over his leaving, but he had never known that her emotions ran just as deep as his... No wonder she was so upset. Realizing that her question was valid, Elwin decided to answer. She deserved an explanation. In a slow, halting voice, Elwin began to explain what he had been doing.

"I…" Elwin stopped. It sounded juvenile, even childish. But, he continued. "I… I wanted… to go home…" he said quietly. No response.

"Doren had told me about Baltia while we were traveling… I assumed he had just been there on his travels, but I had no idea that I lived there…" Elwin paused. "I thought that.. if I went back, I could… I don't know…"

Elwin was very aware of how ridiculous he sounded. He hadn't even lived in Baltia that long… so why was he so focused on it? Ordinarily, he would have thought about that point, but circumstanced dictated he continue.

"I thought… I could find out more about myself… who my parents were… Doren never told me much. He couldn't… to protect the both of us." He then felt Riana stir in his arms, reacting to the story. He pressed on.

"All my life… it's been just travelling. After Doren died, I was a wanderer, with no place, nowhere to call home…" Elwin looked down at her. "I didn't belong anywhere, or with anyone..."

There it was. The reason that he had been so focused on a dead country. He had always been self-sufficent, but feeling like an outcast, travelling aimlessly… he had always wondered. He blinked suddenly. The anger he had felt from Riana was gone. She looked up, her face framed with tears, and regret shining out of her eyes. "I'm sorry…" he whispered. "I never want to see you cry…" Elwin said, his own expression regretful and sad.

Shock - and elation - flooded through Riana. She recognized the hurt and sadness as a mirror image of her own, and all her anger flooded away as suddenly as it had come, and all she saw was Elwin right in front of her. Two hurt people, both having yearned intensely for something. Now the void had been filled. It was them alone... neither person would acknowledge anyone else for the time being.

"Elwin-" she whispered. He cut her off, gently placing a finger on her lips.

"But now… I have a place…" he whispered, as he leaned down and gently kissed her tears away. Elwin had no clue where this sudden boldness came from, but he didn't care. Riana's heart quickened, as his lips met her cheek…

"A place to go…" he said, gently kissing away any stray tears, the palm of his hand coming up and gently stroking the side of her face. "A place to stay…" he continued, his comfort not ceasing. Riana looked up, blushing.

"Wh… what are you saying?…" she whispered, focusing more on his actions then his words. Elwin smiled, the correct path of action finally clear.

"Home is where the heart lies, Riana…" he said slowly, tipping up her chin. The preistess gently caressed his cheek with her hand. Elwin grasped her hand gently, threading her fingers through his. "And my heart…" he said, adjusting his grip around her.

"…lies with you…"

Not wasting anymore time, Elwin swiftly bent down, and captured her lips with his. He felt Riana tense, then relax, as her arms snaked around his neck. Savoring the moment, Riana hesitantly pressed forward. She was rewarded for her efforts as the kiss grew deeper… Elwin had to pull away before anything happened that involved suffocation. Riana broke away reluctantly, still not quite believing what happened. Breathing heavily, she looked at the youth in front of her. Elwin merely smiled at her.

Immediately, Riana flew forward, wrapping her arms around him and resuming their embrace. She gasped as his hand traced her back slightly, proving herself to be somewhat ticklish. Her hands rose to tangle up his red hair, as she tightened their embrace. Riana gasped as Elwin's mouth left her own, and began gently attacking her neck, nipping at the soft skin. She whimpered as she ached for more. All thoughts of sadness flew out of her head… Elwin was there, and that was all that mattered to her. Then, without even thinking about it, she swiftly moved her hands toward unbuttoning his shirt. His eyes widened, and he broke away. "Riana-"

"No." she whispered fiercely. "I'm not letting you go again… not after you've returned…" Saying this, she kissed him again, allowing her tentative hands to resume their work. A small moan cut through the air as she felt his hand tentatively brush an ample breast, his touch soft. She then smiled as her fingers finally managed to work his shirt off, the garment dropping to the floor. She didn't have time to admire her accomplishment, however, as Elwin swiftly picked her up and laid her down gently on her bed.

She giggled a little as she made contact with the mattress. She then gazed up at his eyes, the azure orbs holding both desire.. and hesitance. The eyes were questioning, asking. She nodded in assent, raising her arms. Riana gasped as her shirt came off, skin being exposed to air. She shivered as her bare upper body was currently the object of intense focus by Elwin, with rapture and love both evident in his gaze.

Riana didn't say anything as Elwin kissed her again, both enjoying the feeling of holding each other, both savoring the skin on skin contact. They embraced each other once more. Without a word, the solitary candle in the room was blown out, and time stopped.

The two lovers said absolutely nothing, both simply enjoying their time together, Elwin protectively holding the blonde's lithe form. Riana sighed, shifting her position within the blanket, burying her head into his shoulder. She smiled as he kissed her forehead.

"Are you alright?" he asked. She nodded her head in affirmation, the afterglow still quite prevalent. "Um…Riana?" Elwin asked. She looked up at him inquisitively. "Can you do something for me… when the time is right?" She tilted her head in confusion, then nodded.

"Of course," she told him, eyes soft. Elwin smiled at her.

"Marry me," he said simply. Riana's eyes widened in shock. Then, without saying anything, she tilted up and kissed him once more. As they broke apart, she smiled, signifying her answer. Elwin smiled back, stroking her hair gently.

"I think we should get some sleep now… I'm kinda tired." Elwin put forth, the night's... activities, having taken their toll on them both. Riana could only giggle at that. Wrapping her arms around Elwin, she buried her head in his chest. Elwin gently brought up a hand to brush her bare shoulder. "Good night…" he whispered, protectively holding her. Riana sighed in contentment.

"Mm… Elwin…" she murmured. He looked down. She looked half asleep already, he noted with amusement.

"…love you…" she said rather drowsily, but there was no mistaking the emotion behind it. Elwin's heart leapt. He then bent down, and kissed her head, earning another smile from Riana.

"I love you too…" he murmured. She tightened her grip around him in response, not willing to let go or to be let go.



"Welcome home…"

Author's notes: Well, my first Langrisser fanfic ever is finished/imrpoved upon. Now, a few notes. (SPOILERS)

This is my little tribute to Elwin and Riana. In Der Langrisser, none of the endings result in them getting together. None. I'm not sure about Langrisser II, and Dramatic Edition has even more branches and endings, so I'm not too sure about that. I don't think you could place this in the Langrisser universe proper. Maybe if you've only played Der or II, but otherwise… I wasn't kidding about the insert your own lemon scene. You want to write one? Go nuts.

Anyways, that's it for this story. Keep Langrisser alive, guys! Please R&R!