Writing this was much harder than it should have been. I need to replay the two games, but I've lost my Golden Sun cartriage. ...Oh, dear.

Title: Home
Fandom: Golden Sun
Rating: G
Genre: Gen; character reflection
Pairings/Characters: Ivan
Warnings: None. At all.
Summary: Six snapshots of Ivan, Contigo, and what home is to him.
Notes: Kyarorain and I were talking about Ivan and Hammet's relationship, and we found that Ivan probably doesn't have a father/son relationship with Hammet, since everyone addresses Ivan as Hammet's servant, and Ivan addresses Hammet as "Master Hammet." However, for the sake of this fic, I will be making the assumption that Ivan is treated not as a servant, but as Hammet's adoptive son.

In retrospect, it probably would have been faster and easier to just teleport to Contigo. The boat trip, though, gave Ivan more time, and time... Time was something Ivan appreciated. Time allowed him to think. Time gave him a chance to reflect.

Time gave him an excuse.

He thought it was rather stupid, really, to be so torn. It shouldn't have been a hard choice to make. Between his sister and his master, the obvious choice should have been his sister.

Then again, Master Hammet was like a father to him. And Ivan, no matter how much he longed for it, was still intimidated by the prospect of having everything about his past out in the open. He also wasn't blind, nor was he deaf; he heard how the villagers had lamented about how Ivan wasn't they'd expected him to be. Ivan was short and scrawny; nothing like the hero Yegolas that the villagers respected so much.

The boat creaked and bobbed in the waves. The wind picked up and Ivan pulled his cloak closer towards him.

It was stupid of him to travel in the winter.

It didn't snow in Contigo. That didn't stop it from being cold, but...

It didn't snow in Contigo. The snow, at least, would have helped with the cold.

In the winter, when the trade was slow, Hammet and Layana would take him north, where the snow fell steadily and heavily. There, they would spend the majority of the season going to the winter festivals and shopping at the little vendors that were set up everywhere. When the winter ended, they would head back to Kalay with carts full of odds and ends that they bought during the winter. Hammet would sort out the items, and then begin the spring market with the various trinkets. It was always a good way to start the season off; people liked things that had no use.

During the winter, Contigo slowed down to nearly a halt. It was bad enough that the prophesy had been fulfilled, but the cold seemed to make the sleepy village go into hibernation. Other than a the farmers protecting and tending to their crops, there was hardly any activity in the village at all.

Hamma kept Ivan busy, though. She'd take him to the Anemos Sanctum and discuss their family as they sat in the empty chambers and looked at the glyphs carefully chipped into the crumbling walls. She taught him meditation techniques and ways of projecting his mind's eye to far away places. She asked him to help her oversee some details of the village, drinking hot cider with him as they discussed the latest concerns of the people. Once in a while, they retreated to the inner chambers of the sanctum to study the glyphs with the priests.

It was nice. Different from what he was used to, but nice. Peaceful. Calm. Eventually, the air began to warm, and the winter began to fade softly into spring. Contigo stirred and awakened from its hibernation. People began airing out their lighter clothing, doors and windows were kept open to encourage air circulation, and the children began playing outside. Contigo had awakened in the face of spring, but it was still calm.

Ivan decided that he could get used to this.

III. There was a crisis that occured in the middle of spring. A family discovered that their daughter was an adept, and immediately went into a panic. Ivan awoke one warm night to find them sobbing hysterically in his sister's room. He tiptoed next to the door and listened to Hamma explain that it was all right, that things were different now and they didn't have to worry. The crying didn't stop, though, and Ivan carefully peeked into the room. The mother and father were crying over a small baby, and next to the them, with a look of pure anguish and confusion, was a little boy. Hamma patted the mother's back comfortingly, and continued to tell them that things were all right. The little boy turned and stared straight at Ivan before tears started to slip down his face.

Ivan couldn't help but to wonder if this was how his family was before they left.

When summer came, Ivan was homesick. He wasn't sure if homesickness was what he should have called it, but he missed Kalay. He missed the busy trade season, he missed Hammet running around the continent arranging sales, and he missed the bustle and hustle of Kalay's markets. Contigo, in the summer, wass nothing but stifling heat and burning sun. The children hid inside, and the adults kept themselves busy by trying to keep the house cool. Hamma was in Anemos Sanctum with the priests and researchers, partly for research and partly to hide from the heat. Ivan wandered out of Contigo and toward the crater. He sat on the edge and let his feet dangle. The sun was bright and the dirt was hot, but Ivan was too busy thinking to notice.

When it was hot in Kalay, the fountains came on, and all of the children would play in the water, letting their clothes get soaked with cold water. Ivan played with them, and when he came back home, Layana and the maids fussed over him and made him dress into dry clothes. Once dressed, Ivan almost always ran back to the fountain, which caused Layana to laugh and try to scold him.

Summer was supposed to be a season of activity, yet in Contigo, it was a season of inactivity. Ivan wasn't sure if he liked that. The calm was beginning to upset him.

That night, Ivan went to his sister and told her of all the things that were weighing on his mind. Hamma listened patiently, and when Ivan finished, she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a hug.

"There's nothing wrong with having two homes," she whispered to him.

The next day, Ivan was on a boat bound for Loho.

Being on a boat in the summer was no better than being on a boat in the winter, Ivan decided. The sun was unbearable, the boat creaked far too much for his comfort, and seagulls continually called out to one another in the blue summer sky. A part of him felt guilty for leaving, but another part of him was relieved to be returning. And it wasn't as if it was going to be permanant; he'd be traveling back and forth, between Kalay and Contigo, every few months.

Ivan was leaving one home only to return to another. His sister was right; there was nothing wrong with having two homes.