What Shadows Cannot Hide
Legal Crap: I don't own Langrisser IV. I don't own Landius, or Rachel. And for the record, they are not related by blood, so this is not incest. I threw in the Ricky/Schelfaniel for fun; a little OCC on Schelfaniel's part, but I tried to keep that to a minimum.
"I hate insomnia." Landius thought, as he tossed and turned in his bed, trying to get comfortable. He looked toward Ricky, who was sleeping in the bed a few feet away. He smiled a little as he stared at his "sibling", who had a little smile of his own on his face. "Probably thinking of Schelfaniel…" he murmured, just low enough that he wouldn't be heard. Landius closed his eyes, and tried to let himself drift off to sleep, as he had done many times before.
He gave up after 5 minutes, sitting up and throwing the blanket off himself in frustration. "Forget it… I'm not sleeping anytime tonight…" he stated annoyedly, as he stood up. He gazed around the room, darkness shrouding his vision. Landius sighed, running his fingers through his pale hair, as he stood up and walked toward the door. A soft moan behind him made him turn around quickly. His eyes widened as he saw Rachel, sitting up, with blankets curled around her. He did a double take as he realized she was shivering a little and she was pale. "S-sister! Are you all right?" Rachel looked up in surprise, her face turning red.
"Brother… so, you can't sleep either?" she asked him. Landius shook his head quickly.
"No… Sister, are you all right?" Landius asked her again. Rachel smiled weakly and nodded.
"Yes… I'm just having trouble sleeping, that's all. I'm fine…" she said, trying to be reassuring. Landius, however, didn't believe her for a second.
"No, you're not." Rachel tried to protest, but Landius cut her off quickly. "I've lived with you and Brother for almost my entire life. It's not that hard to tell when you aren't being entirely truthful, you know." The last part was said somewhat sharply due to Landius' lack of rest, and he immediately regretted it when he saw her look down, biting her lip softly.
"Good job, idiot. Way to make her feel worse." Landius mentally chastised himself. "Look, I'm sorry…" Rachel looked up, shaking her head quickly.
"No, it's okay… really." she said, forcing a smile. "But you should probably try to get some rest…"
"Not until you tell me what's bothering you." Landius said firmly. Rachel opened her mouth to protest, but Landius cut her off. "Look, I can tell something's wrong…what is it?" Rachel frowned, and looked off to the side. "You can trust me, you know…" Rachel looked up, her eyes meeting his.
"I know, Brother, but…" she let out a small gasp of surprise as Landius softly placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Sister… no, Rachel… you don't have to tell me. I'm just worried, that's all." Landius said gently. Rachel looked up in surprise.
"Brother…" Rachel began. Landius was listening intently. "Want to go for a walk?" Landius looked at her, startled.
"What?" he asked in amazement. "At this hour? Why?" Rachel shrugged.
"It might clear our heads and help us to get to sleep… just a walk around the castle. I don't think it will hurt." Rachel said, looking at him shyly, with hope in her voice. Landius sighed.
""Well, she's right. It couldn't hurt…" Landius nodded. "Okay. Let's go." An expression of happiness appeared on Rachel's face.
"Really?!" At Landius' nod, she tossed the blankets off her, and stood up. Landius couldn't help but laugh at her eagerness.
"Ready?" he asked. Rachel nodded. "Fine. Let's go…" he said, gently putting his arm around Rachel and guiding them both to the door.
The silence of Castle Casconsis was refreshing. Normally, it was quite busy, with servants bustling around. Honestly, Landius preferred it this way, without the loud noise. He smiled a little. Rachel turned and looked at him with a confused expression.
"What's so funny?" she asked Landius. Landius shook his head.
"Nothing… just thinking how much better the castle is this way." Rachel nodded in agreement.
"You mean without the noise?"
"And the moron who has the gall to call himself a king." Landius said, a smirk on his face. Rachel poked him with her elbow.
"Brother! That's mean!" Landius smiled and shrugged.
"It's true, though." Rachel made a "tsk" sound at him.
"What would Schelfaniel or Angelina say if they heard that?" Randius made a "who knows?" expression.
"Angelina would agree, probably." Landius said, remembering her comments about her father. "As for Schelfaniel… don't know."
"You could ask Ricky to tell her. She wouldn't do anything to him." Rachel said, nodding. Landius looked at her in disbelief.
"Really? She doesn't seem to like him all that much…" Rachel smiled in response.
"You should pay more attention, Brother. She's more fond of him then she lets on." Rachel stated. Landius' face reddened in embarassment.
"Yeah, maybe I should… I guess I'm not that good with subtlety. I can't take hints." Rachel sighed.
"No kidding." she mumbled under her breath. Landius looked confused.
"Hmm? Did you say something, Rachel?" Rachel's face turned red and she shook he head furiously.
"N-no! Nothing!" Landius looked suspicious at this point, but let the matter drop.
"I'm telling you, it's around here somewhere!" Landius growled, as he and Rachel wandered the halls for the umpteenth time. Rachel gave him a look.
"How did you get us lost? You've been living here for the past while, Brother." Rachel scolded. Landius sighed.
"I don't know. I honestly don't." Landius' eyes then caught sight of a door ahead of them. "Is this it?" Rachel shrugged.
"Maybe…" she said, as she and Landius walked toward the door. Landius extended his hand, and pushed the door open. Landius immediately had to squint, but to no avail; the room had no light whatsoever. Total darkness. Landius then heard a sharp intake of breath, and he realized that Rachel was gripping his arm tightly.
"Um… Brother? Can we leave? Now?" she asked, fear in her voice. Landius blinked. She sounded… scared?
"Why? Afraid of the dark?" Landius teased, trying to cheer her up.
The dead silence indicated that Landius' attempted joke wasn't off the mark. Landius looked confused.
"Rachel? Um… you aren't afraid of-" Rachel heatedly cut him off.
"No! I'm not! It's just…" her voice suddenly cut off. "Nevermind." Landius' eyes narrowed.
"Not this again." he thought. "Look Rachel, I can tell something's wrong! What is it?" he asked, a bit of force in his voice now. Rachel looked down.
"It's stupid…" she said softly. Landius shook his head.
"If it's making you jumpy and afraid, it's not stupid." he said softly, a contrast from his earlier tone. "What's bothering you?" Rachel looked at him, then sighed.
"It has to do with Cruger…" Landius' eyes immediately narrowed again. Upon seeing this, Rachel hastily explained. "He didn't hurt me… but…" Rachel paused. "When I was with him… I was all alone. No one was there… just him, taking me to his master…" Landius was listening intently, his eyes not leaving hers. "I felt like I would never see any of you again… Ricky, you, any of the other villagers…" she was trembling now, and obviously rather upset. "I… I never want to feel like that again!" she paused. "But… in the dark… it's like being back with Cruger. No one there… except for me…" she was on the verge of crying now. Landius stepped forward.
"Rachel…" When her tear filled eyes looked up, he extended his arms, and pulled her into an embrace. He felt her press her head into his chest, and he felt her tears wet his shirt. "You're never alone… Ricky would never leave you, nor would I…" Landius murmured, softly stroking her hair and back comfortingly, as he used to do when they were little if she ever had nightmares. She looked up, tears staining her face.
"R-really?" she asked hesitantly, in a low voice. Landius smiled and nodded.
"Promise…" he said, leaning down to kiss her on the head. "I'll never leave you…" he said, meaning it with all the fiber of his being. She sniffled once, than looked up. As her eyes met his again, Landius was nearly overwhelmed by the emotion shining out of them. Then, as if by instinct, he bent down again, tipped her head up, and gently brought his lips to hers. He felt her jump a little, but then she relaxed as she eased into it. She gasped a little as he ran his fingers through her blonde hair, enjoying the texture of it. As they broke apart, he heard her murmur something.
"Br… brother…" she said softly. As she leaned up to kiss him again, he heard under her breath: "Landius…" His heart leapt, as he gently returned the kiss, allowing all the emotion to spill out. They continued for a few more moments before they broke apart.
"You feel like sleeping here?" Landius asked her. Rachel nodded. Landius smiled, and sat down against the wall. Rachel followed suit, and leaned her head against his shoulder. "Good night, Rachel." he said, kissing her forehead. She laughed softly.
"Good night, Brother… sweet dreams…"
Ricky sighed. He had woken up during the night only to find Landius and Rachel gone. Being worried, he set out to find them. "Where the hell are they?" he asked no one in particular. After (unsurprisingly) receiving no answer, he sighed, wrapping his blanket around himself as he explored the castle. "Wow, even I find it cold in this place…" he murmured, walking by an ajar door.
He stopped dead when he heard breathing coming from it. Ricky tensed, then grabbed a candle from the wall. Without a sound, he crept into the room-
And snickered as he saw Rachel sleeping peacefully against Landius. He sighed as he saw them shiver. "Idiots… you have beds you know. But, since you're here, I can't let my siblings freeze now can I?" he said flippantly, whipping the blanket off his shoulders and placing it on both occupants. He smiled a little as he saw Rachel snuggle into Landius more. He sighed, running his fingers through his black hair. "Damn, it's gonna be cold in my room – Princess! Er… how long have you been here?" Ricky asked sheepishly, as he had turned around to see Schelfaniel looking right at him, a soft expression in her eyes.
"Long enough." she said, a small smile on her face. "I saw you wandering around, so I thought there was something wrong." She laughed under her breath. "I guess not. So, you were willing to give up your blanket for them?" Ricky nodded.
"Well.. yeah. They were cold, so…" he trailed off. Truth was, if he didn't hit on her, he'd have nothing to say; she really unraveled him. The green haired princess suddenly laughed again as she walked toward him. Ricky blinked, apprehensive now. As she walked by him, he heard her voice, low and soft.
"Well, looks like you're sweeter than I thought…" Schelfaniel said, leaning up to place a quick kiss on his cheek before pulling away quickly much to his surprise (and chagrin). "Good night…" she called out as she left the room. Had Ricky bothered to look, he would have seen that Schelfaniel's face – like his currently – was a nice shade of red. Ricky blinked, trying to process the last few minutes.
"Wh… What the hell just happened?" he asked. He then touched his burning face – specifically, his cheek.
"You two keep the blanket. I don't think I'll be needing it…"