-It Started as a Kiss- A Last Exile Story

-My first Last Exile story! Set after the series (so no Alex, Dio, Luciolla, the Guild, etc.). Summary, Lavie confesses her love for Claus! But Tatiana isn't giving up. Unfortunately for Claus, he doesn't know whom he loves. So he asked Alister for advice. Little did he knew, he would get more then just advice.

-Reason why I'm writing this story, well, the lack of Last Exile stories for one! It's a little disappointing that, for this great series, that there are so few stories for it (and even fewer that are, IMO, good). Granted, it probably isn't a super popular series that would spawn tons of fanfics (especially since it is on Tech TV now G4 instead of the more popular Cartoon Network if you don't buy the DVDs. And unfortunately for me, G4 isn't showing episode 25 in this rebroadcast, and instead ANOTHER preview of their new Barbed Wire slots, but all well, at least I can still catch 26. Actually, I can catch 25 next week, but again, that's NEXT week), but still, a little disappointed for a huge fan of Last Exile.

-Second, I am not a huge fan of the shounen ai, shoujo ai, yaoi, and yuri stories either. Though I have nothing wrong with the theme (heck, I don't have a problem with a good Dio/Luciolla fic). Just that, well, I'm just not a huge fan of it. So sorry Tatiana/Alister or Claus/Dio fans, this won't be one.

-And third, not a lot of Claus/Alister fics either (Or Alistia. Though again, I think both spelling is correct. Just depends on the dub you use)! Okay, for good reason, but hey, there's always a possibility! Though I'm well aware, if it weren't for Lavie (who mentioned that she can't really live without him in Episode 22), then it would be Tatiana (who is quite obviously attracted to Claus in a way). And, if you have read my profile, I like alternate pairings! Although I will say that unlike some other series (Love Hina, Keitaro and Naru? Love the series but ick!), I actually don't mind Claus/Lavie. But, well, again, always a fan of alternatives.

-And this will probably be my most, eh, perverted story to date. Though the first chapter is T rated given that nothing 'bad' happens. However, given what I have planned, don't be surprised to see this under M or even MA (not allowed at FFN) rated. If it comes to that, I would post the censored M rated version here, while the MA version on either MediaMiner or Adult Fanfiction. Though this would be my first lemon if that were the case (and given that I've never written a lemon, and lack…um, personal experience on the same subject matter, I'm still contemplating on that front). Of course, if said material offends you, STOP READING NOW!

-Standard Disclaimer: I do not own Last Exile. And if this story turns out the way I think it will, probably a good thing. ;-) I am not making a profit, and if

-With all that out of the way, on with the story!

Claus, Lavie, and Alvis' Home

"Hey Claus!" Alvis was lightly shaking Claus out of his slumber. She was wearing a light white-buttoned dress. "Breakfast is ready!"

"ErmmmmMmmmm." Claus slowly awoke from his slumber. He was currently wearing a white t-shirt and tan colored pants. His eyes were still closed however, and he attempted to rollover away from Alvis. "Al, just give me a few more minutes."

"No sleepyhead!" Alvis continued to shake Claus. "Lavie is waiting for us! And you don't want to be late for work again!"

Claus grumbled. "Great, even Al is calling me sleepyhead." Claus yawned and uncovered the sheet that was over his body. "Okay…" He petted Al and gave a big smile. "I'm coming! I'm coming!"

Alvis smiled. She picked up her sheep doll and ran towards the dining room. "Lavie! Claus is coming!"

Claus watched Alvis leave before moving his feet from the bed to the floor. He first sat up on his bed and yawned again. He had a whiff of something that he wasn't quite familiar with. 'I wonder what Lavie cooked for breakfast this morning? It certainly smells good…' Claus slowly got up from his bed, put on some boots, grabbed his jacket, and headed towards the dining room.

Lavie was finishing putting the food on the table when she sees Claus. She was wearing a white shirt with ruffles at the end of her short sleeves, and a red bow on the neckline. Her shirt stopped right above her belly button. She also wore brown pants. "Finally awake I see! You better hurry and eat or your customers won't be very happy!" Lavie was pouring clear clean water into all of their drink cups. Although they now had many different kinds of juices that they could choose from, they still enjoyed drinking clean nearly pure water that was scarce on their old world.

Claus smiled. He rubbed his eye trying to get the last bit of sleep away before he looked up to see Lavie. "Yeah."

A few years have passed since they traveled to this world. The Guild, dirty water, the war, were all now a distant memory. New cities and towns were established in this world and the former enemies, and survivors of that old world, Anatoray and the Disith now called this place home. The world of Alvis' dream. And just like her dream, outside of Claus, Lavie, and Al's window was a wheat field going on for miles and miles. It was nearly perfect for them as this peaceful serene beauty now permeates through the air in this wonderful rural setting. They could fly anywhere in this world without the risk of getting in the middle of a battle. At least for the moment and, well, no one on this world has been shown to be hostile or have any taste for another war.

At first, they all stayed in the same general area when they came to this world. They ate together in one big table as they shared their stories to one another. However, eventually they started to drift apart as opportunities arose. Though they all promised to keep in touch to one another. Claus, Lavie, and Alvis stayed where they were. For Mullin, his wife Donya (AN: I've seen it also spelled Dounia. But most sites I've seen use Donya), and his children didn't travel far for they were now Claus, Lavie, and Alvis' next-door neighbor. For Tatiana and Alister, they moved into the nearby town to set up a vanship flying school so that others can enjoy the thrill of flying in the big blue sky. Sophia, being empress of this new nation on this world, currently reside in the capital city about 50 or 60 miles from where they were at. She had helped forged trade and commerce relationships to the nearby nations, ensuring that peace will be prevalent on this world. The Silvana was also currently docked there, and would on occasion go out for peacetime operations. Although it still fitted with weapons, Sophia hoped that these would never be used again.

Unfortunately for Claus and Lavie, they weren't quite, how could we say, good farmers. Mullin and Donya were a little bit more successful, but for Claus and Lavie, it wasn't paying the bills or, more importantly, keeping them fed. It didn't help matters that a recent drought hurt whatever meager yield they could get with their limited skills. After trying their hand on growing and selling their food, with VERY little success, Claus, joining Tatiana and Alister, decided that it was better to get a job in the nearby town. In this case, created his own job by creating a vanship maintenance shop there. Although Claus asked Lavie to join him, she later declined since if she went with Claus every morning, Al would be left alone for most of the day. Although Mullin and a few of the nearby children would come and play with Al, for the most part, she would be alone without either Lavie or Claus being there. Not to mention the fact that, well, when it came to cooking, Lavie was better (Al didn't like Claus' sorry attempt at cooking). And so, Claus went to town and set up a vanship maintenance shop. At first, business was slow, and was able to come home early. Sometimes, even before lunchtime. However, as more people became vanship pilots, he has been kept pretty busy. Sometimes, he won't come home until late at night.

Claus looked at the yellow fluffy stuff in the middle of the table. He looked at it oddly. He even started poking it with his fork. "Lavie, what is this?"

"Hey!" Lavie playfully slapped Claus' hand away. "Don't poke your food." Lavie smiled indication that she wasn't really angry. Though her tone didn't show it. "And what it is, is scrambled eggs!"

"Scrambled eggs?" Claus' eyes widened. "These aren't rain bird eggs are they?"

"No you silly!" Lavie placed some of the scrambled eggs on Claus' plate. "These are chicken eggs! And they are quite good!"

"Go on Claus! Try some!" Alvis smiled at Claus.

After staring at it for a few seconds, Claus decided to try some. Claus expression instantly brightened. "Mmmmmm. Nice, fluffy…these are pretty good!"

Lavie giggled. "Donya showed me how to make it!"

As Claus was eating, he noticed that Alvis was carrying the sheep doll. "Hey Al, didn't you give that doll to Lacus?"

Al looked at it then stuck her nose up. "She was mean to me yesterday, so I took it back."

Claus sighed. "Al…"

Lavie internally giggled at the silliness of it. But she still 'scolded' Al for it. "Al, I'm certain that she didn't mean it! And besides, it was mean of you to just take it back as well!"

"I don't care!" Al definitely replied. "It's mine and she can't have it now!"

Lavie sighed. "Don't worry. We're going to visit Mullin today and we're going to get this all sorted out!"

Claus smiled before getting another fork full of food.

They all ate quietly for a while until…

Claus took out a pocket watch and looked at the time. He bought the pocket watch since, now that he was working in the town; he needed some indication of the exact time. Especially with his customers expecting him to be there at a certain time. "Well, I guess I should be going…" Claus was about to get up when Lavie stopped him.

"Wait Claus…" Lavie held her hand up. "I have something to tell you…"

"Lavie?" Claus sat back down and waited for Lavie to speak. He was a little worried as he looked at Lavie's face. The last time he saw her like this was when they were on the Silvana.

"Claus I…" Lavie looked away to avoid eye contact with Claus. "I…we've known each other since we children right?"

"Yeah. Since both our fathers were vanships pilots and were always away, we've been together ever since then." Claus relayed. He began to wonder why Lavie was bringing this up now.

"And when our parents died…we had to stick together in order to survive right Claus?" There seemed to be a little more emotion in her voice when she made that statement.

Claus was starting to feel very uncomfortable. "Yeah."

"And you promised that we'll stay together, always, right Claus?" Lavie finally looked up at Claus.

Claus swallowed hard. "Yeah."

Lavie took a deep breath before she continued. "Well, when we were on the Silvana, and when you were out fighting and…" Lavie paused as she remembered the events that transpired. "When you were stranded on the desert…how I wasn't sure that you'd return…" Tears threatened to fall from her eyes.

"Look Lavie, I know I work late but…" Claus looked at the door, then back at Lavie. "I promise to get home soon today! I…I'll take a day off! Not today but…how does next week sound?"

Lavie smiled. "I'd like that Claus but…that's not all I want to talk about." Lavie's eyes softened. "I guess, what I'm trying to say Claus is, that…I love you!"

"Love?" Claus gulped. "Um, I love you too Lavie!"

Lavie's eyes brightened when she heard that.

"I love you like my big sister!" Claus closed his eyes and smiled brightly.

Lavie's heart sank and looked down in disappointment. "Just…just a sister? Claus…" She looked away from him. "That's not what I meant."

Claus fidgeted in his chair. "I…I see." He knew that this discussion would come up eventually. Although he wasn't the most perceptive person in the world, he did know that Lavie felt something for him. The problem was, he didn't know how he felt about her. He cared for her, but…love? And while he knew that putting this off wasn't the best, he needed to know how he truly felt before he gave a definitive answer either. He quickly looked at his watch stood up. "Well, it looks like I have to go to work right now! So, I'll talk to you later Lavie!" He quickly turned and headed towards the door.

"Claus!" Lavie gritted her teeth, angry that he would do this. She quickly stood up and ran after Claus.

"Claus? Lavie?" Alvis looked at one, then the other for a while. She was concerned for the two of them.

Lavie was about to grab his hand when Claus spoke up.

"Lavie…I…I need to clear my head first." Claus said in a low tone. "We'll discuss this later."

Lavie stood silent for a while. She nodded and murmured in agreement.

"I'll try to be back early tonight!" Claus waved back at Lavie and Al. "Remember to lay out a plate for me!"

"I will!" Lavie waved back at Claus. A small smile formed on her face. Although she was worried about what his answer might be when he returned.

"Lavie and Claus okay?" Alvis stood at the doorway hugging her sheep doll that she 'stole' back from Lacus.

Lavie looked back at Al. "Of course everything is okay!" She didn't want Al to worry about them. Especially if Claus comes to the conclusion that he feels the same way she does. "Now, help me clean up table and then we could meet Mullin about this little feud you have with Lacus!"

"Ahhhhhhh…" Al turned around and headed into the house.


Claus' Vanship Maintenance Shop

Claus wiped sweat off of his brow as he worked on Mr. McGruder's vanship. "What did he do to this poor thing? He claimed that he few it in a mountain storm. But with this much damage, it looked like he CRASHED it on the mountain." He took out a wrench and started to tighten a bolt on the new replacement part.

"You should be flying a vanship. Not fixing one!" Tatiana spoke behind him.

Claus was startled by Tatiana's voice that he dropped his wrench. As he turned back, he sees Tatiana staring at him with a serious look on her face, and her arms crossed. She was wearing a black sweater and tan colored pants. "Oh hey Tatiana!" He got down from the ladder that he was on and turned to her. "Is the training vanship in need of repairs again?"

The vanship training school that Tatiana and Alister set up was just across the street from where Claus' shop was. Even though he's the only maintenance shop in the small town, he wasn't overwhelmed with work. Although it has gotten busier as more and more people became interested in piloting vanships, even then it wasn't too bad. He only had to stay late a few times. He had thought of hiring someone just in case he was out of town to look over the shop, but, given that quite a few vanship pilot's do their own maintenance (like him and Lavie), he was certain that those who desperately needed help could still find it. Every so often of course, one of the students that Tatiana and Alister were teaching would crash and well, they called on his assistance to help.

"Not this time Claus." Tatiana's expression lightened a bit. Just a bit. "I just came to talk to you."

"Oh!" Claus looked at his pocket watch and then looked back at Tatiana. "I guess I could use a break now!" Claus got off his ladder and approached Tatiana. "So, what do you want to talk about?"

Tatiana looked out the doorway. "Let's head to someplace a little more private." Tatiana took Claus' hand and headed towards the roof of the building.

"What, what is all this about Tatiana?" Claus asked confused about what was going on.

"I just wanted to talk, that's all!" Tatiana glared at Claus.

Claus backed down a bit before Tatiana giggled, surprising Claus.

Tatiana sat at the edge of the roof as her expression turned serious again. "You should be in the sky Claus flying your vanship. Not sitting in a building repairing others. I remember, when we first came to this world, you and Lavie would fly almost everyday. I remember how happy you two were. And then, it all changed when you came to town."

Claus sat down next to her. "It was nice while it lasted." Claus sighed as he remembered those moments. "But, eventually, we had to face reality!"

"I know." Tatiana replied, still in a serious tone. "You two weren't exactly cut out to be farmers." Her face softened a bit when she last visited them when they were still attempting to make a living farming. "I still remember what happened when you two tried to cut the wheat!" Tatiana nearly chuckled as she remembered that event. Then, her face turned serious again. "Still, while I know you had to do this, that doesn't mean you need to work so long. Especially since I noticed that, you've working longer hours recently."

Claus nodded. "Well, yeah. It's has gotten busier. Business is up you know?"

"So why don't you get Lavie to help you then?" Tatiana turned to Claus who, at that moment, turned away from her. "Not to mention the fact that she is a better mechanic!"

Claus smiled a little. "Well, can't argue that. But, she wanted to stay at home and take care of Al."

"I don't believe it." Tatiana said with a stern voice. "That might be true in the beginning, but now, I believe Al could take care of herself. At least for the few hours that you two would be working. She's thirteen right?"

"Um…" Claus looked down. "We don't think that she should be left alone. Especially with all of the hours I pull…"

"But you don't have to work all those hours. It is your business, and you could work anytime you want." Tatiana crawls a little closer to Claus. "Why don't you alternate with Lavie then? Have her work some days, while you work the others?"

"I…we…umm…" Claus couldn't answer it. "She likes staying home…" Claus said unsure of himself.

"You're kidding right?" Tatiana narrowed her eyes. "Tell me Claus, what's the real reason you work so much?"

"Real reason?" Claus looked at Tatiana confused. "What do you mean?"

"Are you working so much because…" Suddenly, Tatiana was face to face with Claus, just inches apart. Her expression and voice softened. "Tell me Claus, what…what do you think about Lavie?"

Claus blushed when realized how close Tatiana was to him. He scooted a bit to give himself a little more room. "Um, funny you should ask that. Lavie asked me how I felt about her, after she told me how she felt about me."

Tatiana backed up a bit. "Oh." She turned away from Claus to avoid him noticing what she was feeling. "What, what did she say?"

Claus looked down. "She…she said that she loved me."

"Oh." Tatiana sighed. "What did you say?"

"I…I didn't say anything. I just left for work." Claus looked out to the corner of the roof away from Tatiana.

Tatiana's eyes widened and shot her head to him. "Claus…"

"I never thought of her as anything more then a sister that needed protecting." Claus relayed in a semi-somber tone. "To be honest, I don't know what to feel about her right now."

Tatiana again crawled closer to Claus. "Claus…" Tatiana rested her hand on Claus'. "I, I also noticed that you visit the school a lot while you're here. Any particular reason why?"

"I just, I just wanted to say hi and see how the school has been going!" Claus smiled until he noticed that Tatiana's hand was over his, and blushed.

What happened next completely stunned Claus. Tatiana moved in, and lightly kissed him on the cheek.

Tatiana blushed slightly as she pulled back a little. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and spoke in a more serious tone. "Claus, I really care for you. And I know that you probably never thought of me in this way as well but…" Tatiana made eye contact with Claus as sweat dripped down his forehead. "We could, just, see what happens. Get to know each other a little better. Maybe, we could have lunch together sometimes?" Tatiana leaned in close to his ear and whispered. "Just to see if it goes anywhere. Please?" She then leaned back and awaited his answer.

"Tatiana…" Claus looked at her, unsure of what he should do. He looked back up into Tatiana's waiting eyes and decided that, he should agree to it. After all, she just wanted to know if they had something, right? "I, I guess I can do that."

Tatiana smiled a bit, and got up from the edge. Her expression turned more serious and stern. "You know where to find me!" She waved goodbye and left down the stairs and back to the school.

Claus remained on the roof as a million thoughts raced through him mind. 'What now?'


Town Streets

Claus lazily walked through the streets. His jacket was tied around his waist, wearing a white t-shirt that clung to his body due to all the sweat, and his tan pants that were also sticking to him, as well as his work boots. He closed up shop early given how much he had on his mind at the moment. Especially the emotional roller coaster he went through with first, Lavie, and now Tatiana expressing 'interest' in him, to put it lightly. As he looked back, he started to wonder why he worked so much now. 'Even though I still had customers, I just simply turned them away, or asked them to come back tomorrow. Maybe Tatiana's right.' Claus thought as he looked from building to building.

He then looked up to the road that led him home, and then dropped his head. He didn't want to go home right now and face Lavie while he was still very confused about his feelings. And now with Tatiana, his situation got just a little bit worse. 'What do I feel about the two?'

As he passes by a small market, he sees Alister coming out carrying a bag of fruits and vegetables. She was wearing a straw hat being held down by a ribbon. She was also wearing a light flowy dress held up by a single strap tied behind her neck, and light sandals. She sees Claus looking at her and waved at him. "Hey Claus! Going home early today?"

"Um…not really. I just have a lot on my mind right now and I can't…" Claus then looked at her. 'Maybe she can give me some advice.' "I, I want to ask you for something...umm…maybe a little advice...on something."

Alister looked at Claus with concern. She did notice that he was troubled by something given that it was written all over his face. "Okay Claus. What is it?"

Claus looked from side to side. Although the town was pretty small, and didn't have too many people, he still didn't want the chance that anyone would ease drop on them. Especially Tatiana or possibly Lavie if she went to town to do some shopping. "Alis, is there anywhere private that we could go to?"

Alister nodded. "Follow me."

Alister and Tatiana's Home

Alister led Claus to her home. She took out her keys and opened the door.

Claus however, wasn't so sure about this. "Um, is Tatiana home?"

Alister turned to Claus. "No, she's not here. She won't be back until much later. Why?"

Claus blushed a little. "It kind of concerns her."

Alister blinked in surprise at his comment, and the red tinge on his face. She felt something in her heart, but blushed it off as nothing at the moment. "I, I see." She opened the door and allowed him in. "Come in, we can talk in my room." She put down her bags, on a table, and led Claus to her bedroom. "Just incase she comes home early, you can talk about what is on your mind in here."

Claus sat in a chair next to Alister's desk. As he looked around, he could see pictures from when they were in the other world. One was of her and Tatiana on their graduation day at the military academy. A more recent one was of all of them at the farm. Claus smiled at the memories. He then noticed an even more recent photo of a bunch of students in what appeared to be a graduation ceremony with Tatiana and Alister on the side. "So, how's the school coming along? Have any problem students?"

Alister smiled. "It's been going well! Other then a few students that shouldn't be near any machine if their life depended on it most are on their way to becoming fine vanship pilots. We have a new student, Allen who seemed to have a lot of potential. He just seemed to belong in the sky. Much like you Claus!"

Claus blushed. "Yeah."

"But you didn't come here to discuss the school have you?" Alister became a little more serious.

Claus nodded. "I'm sorry for worrying you…"

"Don't worry about it Claus! You're my friend! You could come to me for anything." Alister sat on her bed, held her hands together and placed them on her lap. "So Claus, what's on your mind?"

Claus took a deep breath. "This morning…"


Claus pretty much told everything about his situation to Alister. At least, the most he felt like diverging without getting too personal. He relayed how he had known Lavie for most of his life, and how he cared deeply for her. Yet he wasn't sure if it was the same love that Lavie wanted. And then he talked about Tatiana, how his opinion of her changed since he first met her, and when they were stranded on the desert.

"…and now with Tatiana…" Claus dropped his eyes. "I don't know how I feel about either."

Alister took this all in. She smiled sadly slightly. "You're a very kind person Claus."

"Huh?" Claus looked up at her and made eye contact. He moved and sat next to Alister on her bed. "Is that a bad thing?"

Alister lightly chuckled. "No silly! It's just that, it's why Lavie and Tatiana care for you so much." Alister sighed. "I guess all I can suggest is…" Alister stopped as she looked up and noticed how close she was to Claus.

"Yes?" Claus stared deeper into her eyes. Without knowing it, Claus rested his hand on hers. He eagerly awaited her answer.

It was at this moment that Alister did the unexpected. She closed her eyes, and quickly kissed him on the lips.

Claus' eyes widened greatly as he felt her soft lips on his.

Alister slowly opened her eyes and quickly broke the kiss, turned away from him, and tried to get some distance from him. "I'm sorry! I shouldn't have…" Alister noticed that Claus was holding her hand, and refused to let it go.

Claus pulled Alister back to him and this time he kissed her deeply. Alister kissed back as their tongues began to meet. He wrapped an arm around her bringing her closer to him. Alister took her free hand and caressed his cheek as she forced him down on the bed.

Claus could feel Alister moving his shirt up as he started to untie the strap that was holding up her dress when something clinked in his mind, bringing him back to reality. Claus, forced himself to break the kiss with Alister, and pushed her back up into a sitting position. As he was doing this, her dress started to fall, but, before anything was shown, he quickly held it up. Alister, whose heart was still beating fast, and her breath still shallow, took one of her arm and hugged her dress, preventing it from falling anymore. A deep blush appeared on her face. Claus got up in a sitting position next to Alister and also blushed deeply. He fixed his shirt that Alister almost got off if Claus moved his arms accordingly.

Claus was fighting every urge to take Alister in his arms again and continue what they had started. But he knew, that this…this wasn't the time. "Alis, what…what does this mean?"

"I…I don't know Claus." Alister softly replied as she turned her head away from him. "We should keep this a secret…between us for now."

Claus was about to argue against that when he thought about what Lavie and Tatiana would react. Although he was certain that Tatiana might take this well, he wasn't so sure about Lavie. "Yes. But…"

Alister's blush deepened. "You…we should think this over before we do anything rash." Alister was shaking as she too was struggling against the urge to grab Claus and continued what they were doing.

Claus hastily got up. "Ye…yes we should." He headed towards the door. "I…I'll be going now…um…" He turned back to her. His mind was jumbled as he tried to come up with a coherent thought before he bolted before his urge became too unbearable. "If, when…I…you…"

"At 4 pm I'm…available…" Alister held her dress tighter as her heart beat refused to back down. Especially when she said the word 'available'. "Tatiana…won't be back till 7ish."

"Uhm." Claus quickly nodded. He made to the door, and turned the knob. "I…see ya later." He quickly added before he quickly left.

"Bye." Alister quickly responded, though too late for Claus who had already left the room. As the room fell silent, Alister was only left with her thoughts. And right now, she only had one thing on her mind. "Claus…"

-------End of Chapter 1

Now that was fun was it? Oh yeah, and did I tell you I don't like writing stories with a lot of angst? Hehehe…uh. Hope it turned out well. As you could probably see where this story is heading, it won't stay in the T rated section for long. And if I do 'push the limit', you will have to go elsewhere for the uncensored version (right now, I'm not at any 'naughty' parts so there is no uncensored version to deal with. But once I get there, I'll tell you where to find it…if you're interested of course. ;-)).

Now, I'm sorry if any of the characters are OOC. Although I think I did a decent enough job on them, I can't say that they weren't OOC. Especially true with Tatiana who was a little hard to characterize. The same is true with Alister if only because she wasn't exactly the most shown character in the series (although she is one of my favorites as you can see here).

Next Chapter…Claus comes home. What will he tell Lavie? What about Tatiana? And what happens when he sees Alister again…until then…later!