Seven years. It had been seven long, hard years since the last dream. Was that really how long it had been? Had it really been so long since the pink Drag-Energist hidden in her cupboard had started to glow ever so faintly?
Hitomi stared out across the ocean near the train station. She had managed to sneak out onto the rocks around the pier. It was so peaceful; it was there that she had discovered that she could still reach her powers. Reach down into herself and feel them growing again. Now she didn't need to see Escaflowne's Energist to know that it was time.
She remembered her reaction; her feelings and the shock of finding herself back on Earth when she opened her eyes. Gaia had taken her from Van only to imprison her on Earth, a place where she no longer belonged. So she locked herself away from the world in her bedroom. Until the dream…
Her mother had been confused, as had her entire family, and when she had come down from her room that morning with a smile so bright she thought that Van could probably see the glow all the way from Gaia. They didn't know what to say to her.
School had started over a month before her return; on Earth she had been gone no more then 5 months, but on Gaia almost a year had passed. All the teachers were ecstatic to see her back, asking where she had been and what had happened to her. She had answered all of their questions with a smile and the answer "maybe later."
She had decided to switch her major after the dream, even though it wasn't as if she'd really had one to begin with. She joined all the law and political classes she could, dropping track and taking up fencing and archery. She also expanded her studies of history and science. Due to her hard work and lack of social life she came out at the top of all her classes.
Seven years, and she had finished college just three months before. While she was missing, Yukari and Amano, her best friend and her first crush, had started dating. They were still doing so all these years later. Hitomi had smiled when Amano asked her a month ago if it was a good time for him to propose to Yukari. She had looked at him as if that was the most stupid question in the world, but he still hadn't managed to ask Yukari the question. Hitomi was twenty-three years old and as the pillar of light surrounded her once again felt she was finally ready to go home. She had been preparing herself for all these years to help Van and Gaia.
Seven years. Seven very long and lonely years and so much had changed.
After the destiny war that brought Gaia to its knees, turning friends and countries against each other, peace had fallen across the land under the mighty shadow of the dragon.
Soon the remaining leaders of all the powers across Gaia met to discus the future of their lands. At the head of this table sat the youngest king ever to rise to power. Van Fanel, the dragon and savior of Gaia.
With his own power and the help of his allies, he had brought to its knees the evil forces that resided within the Zaibach Empire. The council decided that Van would be awarded the lands and people of the kingdom he had conquered. However, many things still needed to change in order for peace to remain in their lands. Guymelefs, the mighty machines that had slaughtered many, were now outlawed and destroyed. New alliances were formed and treaties made. And so, Van Fanel, King of Fanelia, had become the most powerful and respected man in all of Gaia...
The large pink jewel in Hitomi's hand glinted in the sun as she stood at the top of the hill leading into the Kingdom of Fanelia. Fanelia, a city surrounded by forests and guarded by dragons, a kingdom now ruled by the most powerful man in Gaia. A man who just happened to be the reason she was there.
Ruhm walked up behind her. "Well, what do you think?" He asked, smiling at her bewilderment.
"It's huge." was about all she could say. She had been in the old capital of Fanelia for less then a day before it was burnt to the ground by the attacking Zaibach forces. That day had been the beginning of her new life. Looking down at the city now resting in the heart of the Fanelian mountain range, she knew it was the same peaceful place she had been seeing in her dreams.
The spring air blew the scent of the forest up from the valley. She smiled and turned back to the aging wolf chief. "Let's get going." The long caravan behind her started to move forward at its leisurely pace once again.
When the light from the energist had faded, she had found herself standing back in the same field that she had first been sent to, with the earth and the moon hanging in the sky overhead. It hadn't surprised her to find the wolf tribe waiting for her among the tall grasses.
"Hitomi, are you alright?" Ruhm questioned, looking at her with soft eyes. His once solid brown coat was now patched with gray.
She had to admit, she had butterflies in her stomach. She had no idea how this was going to go. She had no idea what she would be walking back into, after all she hadn't seen or heard from any of them in over seven years. Now she was a surprise stowaway in Ruhm's weekly trading caravan, on her way to see the man who had stolen her heart.
"Don't worry, Little Lady. You will be the greatest treasure we've ever brought to the Fanelian market." He let out a deep growl that was a chuckle.
Van had no idea what a treasure he was going to pick up in the market that day.
"Lord Van." Jenra called, pushing his small wire rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose. "It seems we've had a report this morning from a watchman to the east. He reported that he saw a strange light fall down from the sky... again."
Van paused in the hallway and ran his hand back through his thick raven hair. "I stopped chasing after those reports long ago, and you know it." The king said with a sigh.
Jenra bowed his head. "I'm sorry, Lord Van, but I still feel that it is my duty to inform you of all reports regardless."
Van smiled slightly. "In the hopes that one will be true?" He smirked, but it held none of his usual humor. "I'm going down to the market."
She ran her hand over the jewel now hidden in one of her cloak's deep pockets as she watched Ruhm finish setting up his shop. Most of the goods were handmade craft items, mixed with a few jewels and knives, some dried meats, and clay pots.
Her green eyes wandered out over the crowd and up to the castle perched above the city. The butterflies returned in full force and she pulled the hood of her cloak up to hide her face from prying eyes.
A man in the crowd smirked and approached the stand, but a large wolf stepped forward with a growl. The man quickly backed off and disappeared back into the crowd.
"Damn drunks." The young wolf mumbled.
"Ruhma!" Ruhm snapped to get the wolf's attention.
"Go and get that last box from the cart." Ruhm ordered over his shoulder.
She understood now. Ruhma must be Ruhm's son, but he was too old to have been born recently. Ruhma had dark, almost black fur but his eyes were a soft sandy brown like his father's.
Ruhm noticed her watching his son lift the last box from the caravan. "He was about nine years old when the war started. I sent him into the mountains with the females and children unable to fight." He placed a paw on her shoulder. "I guess I never mentioned him." He said, smiling innocently.
"Where's his mother?" She asked.
A small elderly woman walked past in a hurry with a handful of small items. "Normally women are not allowed to come to town with the caravan, but I won't let them sell my wares other wise." She smiled, making her wrinkled face seem even older.
"If we didn't need her goods to make a good profit, then I could leave her behind." Ruhm sighed.
"But he needs me, so I'm here. Besides it's nice to get out of the village once in a while." The old woman smiled again.
Ruhma walked past with a large crate in hand. "She thinks we'll break things."
"And you will if I'm not here to watch you!" She shouted, jabbing him in the side with a surprising amount of force that made young wolf jump and let out a growl.
Hitomi couldn't help but smile.
"What do you have for me this week, Ruhm?" A deep, warm, friendly voice called from the direction of the moving crowd.
"Well, Lord Van, you'll just have to come and see." With his strong arm still across her shoulders, Ruhm swung Hitomi out in front of him and right in front of Van. It was so fast and unexpected that she didn't know what to do; her whole body just froze up at the sight of the king. Van… her angel, the one she had been waiting for all those years, was finally standing in front of her.
It took Van's mind several seconds to process what his amber eyes were seeing. At first he thought that it had to be another one of his dreams, but when the smile moved across her lips, he knew that it was no dream.
"Van!" Her body seemed to move all by itself as she ran into his arms, her hood falling back. Hitomi buried her head in the crook of his neck, breathing in his earthly smell.
"Hitomi…" He wrapped his arms tightly around her. "Hitomi, you're finally here." She pulled back from his embraced to look up into his eyes.
"I'm home," She said as tears of joy started to shine in her emerald eyes. "I'm finally home."
After seven years of waiting, the dragon and the seer from the mystic moon kissed each other under the blue sky as the two moons moved overhead.
One year later
They stood together on the roof of the castle. She leaned her head against his shoulder as she watched the lights of the city below.
Van's wing draped over her shoulder. "Hitomi…"
"Yes, Van?" Her emerald eyes started to drift towards the stars. It was such a perfect night.
His arms tightened around her waist. "There's something I've been wanting to ask you… I've just been waiting for the right moment." He stepped back from her and took both her hands in his.
Her eyes looked deep into his amber eyes. No matter how often she looked into those eyes… she always found it hard to breath.
Van settled his wings on his back and was absent-mindedly running his thumb across the back of her hand when he finally met her gaze. "Hitomi…" He pulled her closer with a tug on her hand. "Hitomi, will you marry me?" He asked nervously, his eyes never leaving hers for a moment.
A smile spread across her face as she stepped right into his arms and whispered into his ear. "Yes…"
They kissed, wrapped in the king's wings and the light of the Mystic Moon.
Two Years Later
Van was talking to his brother and captain about the plans for the day while they waited for breakfast when one of the servants approached him and bowed her head.
"My Lord… Do you still wish to wait for Lady Hitomi, or would you like me to bring out breakfast?" She asked, keeping her eyes on the floor.
Van exchanged a worried glance with Tal who was sitting to his right before rising from the table. "You may bring out the food. I'll be back in a moment." He left the small dinning room and headed towards their bedchambers.
"Hitomi?" Van called, pushing open the bedroom door. "Hitomi?" He spotted her, sitting in a chair in front of the open balcony window, her eyes closed as she enjoyed the sun. "Are you feeling alright?" He asked gently as he approached.
Hitomi rolled her head to the side and looked at him with soft eyes. "Yes, I'm fine." She answered.
He knelt down in front of the chair, taking her hands in his. He studied her face. "Are you sure? When you didn't come down for breakfast, I was worried."
She smiled and kissed him. She placed his hand on her abdomen. "I'd better eat then… since it's for two." She grinned.
Van looked at her for a moment, trying to understand what had come out of her mouth. "For two? Well I guess I haven't eaten yet either and-" Van blinked. "Two?" Her smile brightened. "Two! Like two!"
She had to laugh then. "Yes, Van." She jumped into his arms. "We're going to have a baby."
Van let go of her so suddenly that she nearly fell. Running over to the window he looked over the court below. "We're having a baby!" He shouted before scooping her back up into his arms. They could hear the calls from the people in the courtyard below.
"Majesty, you should sit down, all this pacing is not good for your nerves." Jenra stated, doing his best to settle the agitated King.
Folken tore his gaze from the window to look at his younger brother. "Van, don't worry, you know she will be fine."
Van stopped his pacing in front of the door that blocked him from entering the room ad sighed. He ran his fingers nervously through his raven colored locks. He turned to face his bother.
"But Folken, what if-" The king stopped short as the doors behind him opened and an elderly woman stepped out.
"Your Majesty," The gray haired woman called, bowing her head. "You may enter."
Van rushed past the woman and ran into the dark room. His pace slowed as he neared the bed at the far end of the room.
His mother smiled at him has she stood up from her place at the side of the bed, she placed a loving kiss on his cheek and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Lights from the candles and torches lit the room with a warm glow as Van walked closer to the bed.
Hitomi looked up at him, her eyes shinning with love and warmth. She smiled at him and looked back down at the small bundles in her arms. "Twins…" she stated, smiling at Van again has he sat next to her, wrapping one arm around her shoulders. "What do you want to call them?" She asked, looking lovingly at her husband.
He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her lips, brushing the damp hair from her eyes before looking down at his two sons. "How about Vincent and Cliff…?"
The two new princes of Fanelia were a blessing to the kingdom, and less than two years later, Queen Hitomi gave birth to another child, a girl named Sparrow.
As the years passed, their children grew. Vincent was like his father, with dark black hair and a sharp temper, but just like his father, Vincent's dark green eyes held deep kindness.
Vincent's twin brother was his polar opposite. Gifted with his mother's light hair and energy, Cliff was always up to something and somehow he always managed to involve his twin in his escapades. Cliff was always planning some daring new adventure was always shinning in his brown eyes.
Not to say that they didn't have any help. Sparrow, their younger sister, looked just like her Uncle Folken had at her age with her pale lavender hair and bright blue eyes that shone with a love of books. She was always gallivanting around with her brothers.
Van and Hitomi smiled at each other in silent knowledge. Their tale had ended, the war was over and peace was restored to the land. The fate of Gaia now rested in the hands of their children and the generations to come.
AN: Soooooooooo? I hoped you all enjoyed my fanfiction for Escaflowne. Re-reading this after so many years brought back such wonderful memories. Can you believe it's been over 8 years? Wow...
Found this awesome fantasy romance novel called Beyond the Stars - Across Two Worlds - if you love Escaflowne, then I think you will love this. It's over on amazon for those who want to check it out. But its awesome, really, couldn't put it down. =)