A/N: There may be some slight spoilers. (Thank you Cure for pointing that out)
The journey for the world's regeneration had just begun. A group of travelers walked the hot sandy dunes stopping only at Triet before they reached the Triet Ruins. It was time for Collet to partake her first trial.
……..Inside the Triet Ruins…..
It was dark the only source of light was an eerie red glow that emitted for underneath the floors and walls. Most of the architecture seemed chard black while the heat only intensified the further the travelers stepped inside the temple.
"Hm, I don't like the look of that structure," Raine said analyzing a large black column. She took a rather thoughtful stance with one arm crossed under her chest and the other supporting her chin.
Kratos followed the half-elf's gaze. The column was the only thing that seemed to be supporting the crumbling stone ceiling. "Yes, keep moving," he ordered everyone.
Raine watched her little brother stumble as he jogged to keep pace with both Lloyd and Collette. Though the weakest of the group he was getting stronger and stronger by the day, a fact that made Raine very proud.
They laughed quietly mindful of the disapproving looks they received from their elders when their conversation became too loud. Kratos had warned them that they might attract more monster attacks while Raine warned that the vibrations from the sound waves might cause a cave-in.
Suddenly Kratos stopped holding out his arm to call a halt. Not more than a second later did two fiery birds accompanied by a large stone golem charged at the group.
Lloyd was the first to plunge himself into battle swinging his double swords in a deadly ark toward the large golem. Seconds later one of Collette's rings went screaming over head slicing at one of the firebirds that was headed towards the young twin swordsman's back. Kratos then jumped into the foray while the two half-elf siblings stayed behind.
Genis readied himself for a spell and Raine stepped in front of him to beat off anything that would distract him. The monsters weren't terribly strong so Kratos was doing well using simple healing spells as Lloyd and Collette felled the stone giant.
Genis concentrated hard trying to cast as fast as possible. Just as he felt the beginnings of an icy wind a loud screech nearly broke his concentration.
"No you don't!" Raine swung her staff putting the weight of her body behind the blow, sending a flaming bird reeling. Kratos was quick to follow slicing down powerfully down across the birds back.
"I've got it!" Genis cried. A bluish white light shined brightly signaling the learning of a new powerful spell. Spears of ice were carried by tremendous winds engulfing the remaining enemy instantly.
Genis beamed at Raine proudly excited about his new skill. The sliver haired woman wiped the sweat from her brow returning her younger brother's enthusiasm, but also wondering if she should have left her orange overcoat outside.
"You're getting stronger everyday," Raine said, just as Lloyd and Collette trotted over.
"Wow! That was so cool!" Lloyd nearly yelled.
"Yeah! And pretty too," Collette added smiling brilliantly.
Genis basked in their praise laughing and grinning ear to ear. Raine smiled ruefully, though he appeared cocky sometimes Genis always strived to do his best.
"Ok, enough. We should keep moving," Raine chided.
"OK," they all said jovially.
As they walked to catch up with the silent mercenary Raine felt the ground begin to shake beneath her white boots. A piece of debris fell on her cheek causing her to look up. The color from deep blue eyes drained only leaving only the black pupils.
"Run! Now!" the order was shouted with such passion that no one gave a second thought and followed the professor's command.
A loud rumble roared throughout the temple corridors and large pieces of the walls and ceiling began to tumble down. Kratos turned around ushering the others to safety with Lloyd and Collette hot on his heels.
Genis however was having difficulty. He struggled to stay on his feet as the ground quaked violently. His eyes were wide looking around for any signs of sanctuary. His lungs burned with the effort it took for him to run, but it was all in vain when his foot caught sending Genis sprawling on his hands and knees.
Terrified, he tried to get up but in his panicked state he could barely even see straight. Rocks began to fall on and around him. Genis managed to take a stumbling step forward before he found himself on the ground again, this time scrapping against the rough floor surface. Shouts filled his ears but he couldn't make anything out. Tears of fear and frustration flooded his eyes.
"Genis!" a blur of orange and white came running at him and suddenly he felt himself being lifted.
Raine lifted her little brother to his feet yanking roughly just as a large boulder slammed into the spot where they once were. She began running instantly pulling Genis behind her, forcing him to struggle in order to keep up with her longer strides. The roar of the cave-in was deafening, but Raine ignored it. Her only instinct was to get to safety.
'We're not going to make it!' The realization hit her hard. Large pieces of debris hit her back and shoulders; she couldn't even see their friends beyond the piles of collapsed ceiling.
Without thinking she pushed Genis to the ground throwing herself on top of him just as the rest of the ceiling gave way.
"…uugghhh" Genis shifted. He couldn't hear the rumbling anymore. 'Is it over?'
He felt terrible his back was lying against sharp rocks and his right hand was caught beneath something heavy. His arms and legs were scrapped but nothing felt broken.
Genis slowly opened his eyes, "Raine!"
There, supporting herself on her hands and knees was his big sister. He nearly shot up but found that he couldn't. They were trapped! The tiny glow the emitted from her staff began to fade, but not before the gravity of their situation really came to light.
"Raine!" the look of strain on his sister's face nearly broke his heart. A large piece of ceiling rested painfully on her back.
"Sshh," she hushed. "…I'm fine." She faltered.
Her arms and legs burned with strain as she struggled to keep the rubble from falling any further. She knew the situation was grim, because only sheer determination was keeping her from collapsing.
"You ok?" she asked.
Genis nodded but then frowned. "I can't move my right hand," he admitted.
"So I guess the means you can't blast us out of here, huh," Raine forced a smile."
"That's not funny," Genis chided back.
He was powerless. His sister was going to die and he could do nothing about it. Not a thing, and after all she did to protect him. Something hot and wet traveled down the side of his head. Was he crying? No, not now he couldn't be the weak little kid he used to be!
"We're going to die aren't we?" Genis' voice cracked as he spoke.
Raine hesitated shifting slightly in an attempt to ease her great burden. "No…we'll just have to wait till the others come for us." The pain desperation in her brother's eyes hurt just as much if not more than the jagged pieced of rock stabbing into the flesh over her spine. She understood the feeling of hopelessness at being useless and powerless; she'd spent nearly ten years feeling that way.
"Hey, do remember the illumination spell I taught you?"
Genis sniffed nodding his head.
"Good, I want you to take over for me. I'm feeling a bit …tired." Raine felt sweat drip down the sides of her face and soak into her clothing as she allowed the small light in her staff to go out.
Genis concentrated willing a light to form in his left hand. Suddenly the minuscule enclosure was flooded with a light brighter than his sister's.
There was a heavy silence.
"Raine?" Genis whispered urgently.
"Hmm? I'm still here," she assured, though the corner of her vision was starting to get hazy. Parts of her body were beginning to go numb from lack of proper blood flow, which made Raine wondered how long she could hold up.
"Don't go anywhere ok?"
"Of course not," she assured. Raine racked her brain for a way to keep the both of them calm, because she knew from experience that panic could be as bad if not worse than any debilitating injury.
"Genis. Do you remember when we first moved to Iselia?"
The half-elf boy looked up into his sister's face. Her air had fallen over her eyes, but he could still make out a small smile across her lips. "Yeah," he replied.
"You and Lloyd really seemed to hit it off. You both played everyday together," she paused. "But one day it was pouring outside, and you wanted to go to Dirk and Lloyds house so bad…" her voice tapered slightly.
"You wouldn't let me go outside," Genis finished.
Raine's smile grew. "You threw such a fit. You were driving me nuts.
"You said I'd get sick and that I wouldn't be able to play anymore if I was dead." Genis returned his sister's smile remembering how she repeatedly yelled at him.
"Heh, heh," she laughed. "And I remember wanting to through out the house too, you were so noisy..."
"Errhgg!" The rocks shifted making Raine gasp as she doubled her effort to keep them from falling.
"…I'll live." Raine took a shallow breath.
She hopped Genis couldn't see her face. She was in so much pain. That last slip pressed numerous sharp edges into her back. Raine felt like swooning, only looking into her brother's face steeled her resolve to stay strong.
Genis wanted to help, he wanted to take the burden for her, but all he could do was make some measly light. She was fading, he had to help!
"I think I need another haircut," Genis teased.
"…you…you never sit still long enough…anyway," Raine tried to smile but ended up hissing through her teeth.
"I'll stay still this time," he promised. The sudden sound of crumbling rock made Genis jump.
"Gah!" Raine cried dropping forward, forced to lean even closer to her brother's face. Blinding pain ripped across her entire body; her teeth clamped together to keep from crying out any further.
Something warm and wet trickled onto Genis' forehead. Tears? It couldn't be. Another warm wet splash this time on his cheek. Genis forced the light to brighten so he could see. This time a fat crimson drop fell from above. She's bleeding!
Raine slipped further and the rocks and debris around them closed in further on the siblings. The half-elf woman was visibly trembling in both pain and effort. It wouldn't belong now; her body couldn't take much more of this.
"What?" Genis choked back a sob. He couldn't bear seeing her like this; Raine never cried. "Raine what are you talking about?"
"I…I was nine and you were…still a baby," she panted. "I didn't know ….what to…f…feed you." Her body sagged further.
"cough cough" A spray of blood splattered Genis' face.
"I cooked some berries over a…a fire. You almost…d..died that n…night," Raine's voice began to shake.
Tears freely slid down into Genis' hair. "Stop it!"
"….I made a promise that night…."
"Stop it Raine!" he cried. Genis then shouted at the top of his lungs. "Someone help!"
"Please stop!" he was openly sobbing. A major shift in the rocks sent light streaming in from the outside.
"We're down here! Help!" Genis shouted again.
"I hear them!" a faint voice from above cried. "Over here!"
"…Promised…to…always," Raines sagged even further. The muscles in her body were nearly ready to separate from the bone due to the strain. Blood roared through her ears; she could feel her life's essence flow out of her body.
"Noooo!" Genis yelled at her wanting her to stop acting that way. She couldn't give up! Never!
"Now!" "AAAAHHH!" This time the voices from above were louder.
Suddenly Genis' vision was flooded with light and fresh air surged into his nostrils. Hurried gloved hands lifted Raine from above him while his best friend's visage appeared over the opening.
Lloyd helped Genis sit up as the younger boy hacked and coughed freeing his lungs of all the dust and particles. Looking up Genis wearily noted that the huge piece of ceiling that had Raine protected him from was neatly sliced in two pieces.
"Genis! Genis!" Lloyd shook his shoulders. "You ok?"
"Yeah," the young half-elf breathed. At that moment he jumped up on the uneven ground, Lloyd rushed he help hold him steady.
"Where's Raine?" he nearly shouted.
"Come on! Kratos carried the professor outside!" Collette waved then over; a worried expression written all over her face.
All Raine wished was just to stop moving and maybe the sweet darkness of lost consciousness. She was pressed against something purple and moving and each step jarred her battered body.
"Raine!" "Raine!" It was her brother's voice.
'Genis…' she thought; the ability to form words long gone. She just felt so weak.
The three youths ran up to a shaded spot underneath a fallen piece of architecture, just as Kratos laid Raine on her stomach. He quickly drew a small knife and quickly cut away her clothing.
Lloyd sat down heavily as his face turned an odd shade of green. "Oh man!" he exclaimed. Collette gasped sharply putting both hands over her mouth while Genis looked about ready to pass out.
Raine was covered in blood while deep jagged gouges made her back look like something off the butcher's block.
"Raine!" Genis dropped to his knees in front of his sister's face. Her eyes were staring blankly out into the vast sandy dunes; she did not respond. He then reached out to touch her.
"Get back!" Kratos barked the warning pushing the boy away. "Lloyd, keep him away."
'Don't push him,' Raine wanted to say. The edge of her vision was turning grey and the pain slowly faded giving way to blessed numbness.
Kratos closed his eyes holding his hand just above her grievous wounds; a cleansing blue light engulfed the pair. The others watched in silence as the mercenary's light became smaller and smaller.
Sweat matted the reddish brown strands of hair to his face while his chest rose and fell from the effort it took to cast such a strong spell. "That is all I can do," he panted. "When she wakes up, she'll have to help do the rest herself. Lloyd get blankets, Collette get some water for the professor." Kratos then unhooked his cape and draped it over Raine's bare back.
If only she were awake. He'd love to shake some sense into her; foolish woman.
That night Raine awoke to a crackling fire and the tight grip of Genis' hand around her own. It seemed she had been laid out across a flat stone surface on her stomach, but all seemed peaceful and quiet. Genis was fast asleep with his back pressed against whatever she was on, while both Lloyd and Collette were stretched out by the fire. She tried to push herself up.
"Don't," warned a low quiet voice.
Pain lanced through her body making her collapse back onto the hard surface.
"Kratos…" she murmured tiredly. Of course he would be awake.
"I've done as much as I can alone, you're going to have to help me if you want to fully heal," his tone was clipped as if aggravated.
Raine was sure if she was even up for casting a spell but nodded her head anyway; her gaze drifting back to Genis.
"You should have called for assistance." Kratos folded his arms. The fire snapped sending the shadows dancing around his stoic features. He felt the need to berate her further, but she looked so exhausted. But still….
The amount of pure devotion she showed today triggered painful memories. She had been willing to give her life at the drop of a hat, and Kratos came to the realization that he was jealous. Jealous of her unbreakable spirit; jealous that she would not give up not matter what the situation.
"Not enough time, he heard her whisper resignedly, breaking him from his thoughts.
"It was still a foolish risk. Both of you could have died," Kratos sighed kneeling down next to her so he could inspect her back.
"No…not foolish at all," Raine looked down and squeezed her brother's hand. He squeezed back.
A/N: Just some brother sister fluff. I hoped you liked it.