Woo, I'm back with a oneshot! I felt the need to do this after seeing the scenes at beginning of disk 2 of Xenosaga III. This has some spoilers in it, so, please, don't get mad at me if you end up getting spoiled.

This is a rewritten scene. Hm, I have quite a fetish for this kind of thing, don't I? Based on an overdose of the songs "Count on Me" by Default and "Apparently Hover Boards Don't Work on Water" by Hawthorne Heights.

Disclaimer: I don't own Xenosaga. I only own this oneshot.

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Count on Me

You're crying again. I know it.

I can't stand to see you so miserable.

I understand, though. Anyone would be upset after seeing what you did. Realizing a horrible truth like that could shatter the security of even the strongest man. I only wish that I could have helped you. I could have reached for you and held you in my arms. But, I couldn't. I can't help but think that the fact that you're so distraught and sad is my fault, like I could have helped you avoid it somehow.

But, I didn't.

Jin came to me after we returned to the Elsa and asked for me to come with him while he talked to you. You had quickly retreated to the women's cabin as soon as you came to, and nobody has heard from you since. It pains me so much to think about you in there, afraid and alone.

We step quietly into the room to discover that you're awake. You're murmuring to yourself, almost deliriously. "Kevin, what should I do? Am I just going to disappear from this world, unable to do anything? Kevin…" you whimper. I can feel my heart shattering, not because you're calling for his help, but because you're so deeply hurt.

Jin steps forward and you finally notice his presence. I stay behind, however. God, even in a time like this, I'm such a damn coward.

"Jin?" you ask, quickly wiping the tears from your beautiful green eyes. Jin stands before you with a calm, comforting face. Your lip trembles, and you explode at him. "Jin, why? Why didn't you let me go?" Your harsh voice causes me to cringe. "Why did you get in my way?"

He remains silent, almost afraid to answer. He and I both know what you're talking about…when Kevin told you to come with him because he could "save" you, Jin stepped in your way and promptly gave you off to KOS-MOS. Kevin commanded for KOS-MOS to let Shion go, but she didn't comply. She complied with my order instead.

"If I'd gone with Kevin, I might have been able to be happy!" you snap at your brother, your face contorting with anger. For some reason, those words cut through me like a dagger. I suppose that I'm really not as important to you as Kevin was.

"Do you really think so?" Jin asks almost sarcastically, placing his hands on his hips. You glare at him and continue.

"What do you know! You don't know anything about him!" You suddenly sit up and stare directly into his eyes. "I'm going to die. Like Mom. Are you saying you don't care!"

A look of terrible hurt crosses Jin's face at this point, and it looks like he's truly appalled at your words. "Don't be stupid. No brother wants to see his sister die," he tells you firmly and commandingly.

"Then…then don't interfere! Let me go with Kevin!" you yell. I know that it will only be a matter of moments before the dam bursts and you begin crying again. "Don't take anything else from me!"

"Shion!"

"Get out!" Your fists clench, and your brow furrows even more than it already was. Jin hesitates for a moment before sighing and looking at the carpet, clearly hurt. He slowly leaves your side and begins walking towards the door. You bury your face in your pillow once more.

"So…so you're just going to leave?" I finally get the courage to speak. Jin stops just before the door and turns to look at me.

"Completely pathetic," he growls to himself, eyes closed, his voice almost inaudible. I look at him and try to say something supportive.

"She's just…upset right now," I offer weakly. "That's probably why she's giving you the cold shoulder. I've seen it before. Just give her some time, and she'll come around." Oh, so now I'm talking like I've ever been able to comfort her? Who the hell do I think I am?

Jin slowly shakes his head. "That's not what I mean. I'm pathetic for being unable to help Shion when she needs me the most. I might as well be a stranger! I'm unable to do anything for her as her brother," he explains to me. His voice shows that his feelings are truly, deeply hurt.

"Jin…"

"It's not that I believe the words of that Testament, but…oh, I just don't know," he sighs again, frustrated with himself. "But…I do know that you may be the only one able to comfort Shion right now. She seems to trust you very much…and frankly, I'm jealous of that." Does it really seem to other people that she trusts me! My heart soars and my spirits suddenly lift. "Please. Help my sister. Help her because…I can't do so myself."

Before I can stop him, he exits the room. I glance at you reluctantly. You have your back turned to face me, your entire body racking with silent sobs. I slowly start walking towards you, trying to make my footfalls as quiet as possible. I wish so much right now that I could just hold you in a strong embrace and tell you that everything was going to be alright, even if it wasn't.

But, I can't. I just can't.

I must have made some kind of noise, because you suddenly tense. I stop dead in my tracks as you sit up quickly in the bed and look at me. "Allen?" Your voice is shaky, but somehow, it almost sounds like you're relieved to see me standing there. This gives me the confidence to speak.

"Are you all right, Chief?" I ask gently, surprised at the strength and steadiness of my own voice. You seem surprised too. After a moment of slightly uncomfortable silence, you move over on the bed, trying to subtly imply that you want me to sit beside you. I take the hint and sit.

"Allen, was what Kevin said true? Is…is KOS-MOS going to kill me?" you ask softly and nervously, opening up to me, even in the slightest way. I don't quite know how to put the answer into words, so I decide to just be straightforward.

"Well, as of now, there's no apparent connection between her current system and your life force," I attempt to explain, sugarcoating my words slightly trying not to worry you. "But…still, given that those are words from Kevin, the system designer…" The sentence dies prematurely on my lips. A fleeting look of distress and panic crosses your face, and you try to hide it. I see it, though. You can't hide it from me.

After a beat and a deep breath, you ask me, "Allen…why are you here?" To be honest, the question catches me totally off-guard. A sweat breaks out on my forehead and I "fumble the ball", so to speak.

"Er, um, uh, what?" I manage to choke out, completely tongue-tied as usual. I'm almost completely sure that I'm blushing.

"I mean, why haven't you left me yet?" you elaborate on your previous statement. "You've had plenty of chances to go back home, but yet, you stay by my side. Even after a year of not seeing you, it seems that you haven't changed. Why?" Your eyes, red-rimmed from crying, meet mine. My heart skips a beat.

"Well, uh…" I stammer. "It's because, ah…I really care about you, Chief." 'Shion, it's Shion, you idiot!' I mentally kick myself in the ass.

"I just don't want to see anything happen to you," I continue. Suddenly, you look down at your hands and sigh. "What's wrong, Chief?" I hear myself murmur comfortingly. Whoa, I didn't know I could do that.

"I…I just don't know what I should do," you say in an almost inaudible whisper. "It's not that I want to give Jin a hard time. And it's not that I don't trust my friends. I know that you and Jin and everyone on the Elsa are worried about me," you list, growing louder. My heart breaks even more as I see just how very confused you are right now. It's more than I ever imagined.

"Chief," I mutter, trying to be as soothing as possible. You take in a shaky breath and continue to speak.

"But isn't everything really thinking that I'm a dangerous burden? I'm the one who led our universe to destruction," you muse, closing your eyes and shaking your head. "If I die, the Gnosis might disappear. Isn't everyone wishing that would happen?"

No. I never want to hear you say things like that. Can't you see how all of the people around you care? Especially me. Dammit, I wish I could just tell you how I feel. I wish I could truly say what's on my mind.

"I'm afraid. I'm so scared that no one's going to save me. If everyone abandons me, I..." Your voice grows tighter and tighter with every word. You look up at me once again, with big, frightened eyes. A few silent tears fall from them. "Will you always stay with me?"

"Ch-chief," I stutter, placing a nervous hand on your shoulder. Your lower lip quivers and, all of a sudden, you wrap your arms around me, burying your head in my chest as you begin to bawl. My heartbeat becomes rapid and I return your embrace, and surprisingly, it feels so natural. Ahh, it feels so good, Shion…it feels so good to have you in my arms again after a year. Although, last time, it wasn't quite the same as this is. It felt so much more awkward, but now, it feels almost like it was meant to be.

"Please, I don't want to be alone!" you sob, tightening your grip on me. In turn, I do as well. I take my chances by pressing my cheek gently against the top of your head and stroking your back. It doesn't seem to make you uncomfortable at all. My heart rate spikes once again as I feel you so close to me. You're so soft and warm in my arms. Your sobs continue and you bury your head further into my shirt.

Although I can't seem to be able to say it out loud, Shion, I solemnly promise that I'll never leave you. I'll never move from your side. Please, let me take some of the punches for you, and bear the burdens for you. I'll do everything I can to make you happy. Wherever you go, I will follow. You're the most amazing, beautiful, and kindest person I've ever met. I love you, Shion. I love you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. I've never felt this way about anyone or anything before.

Your sobbing slowly subsides, yet you don't pull away from me. The silence in the room is absolute, and I swear that I can hear our hearts beating in sync. It feels as if we've been waiting our entire lives for this moment. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, trying to make this last forever.

Someday, I'll find some way to tell you how I feel. But for now, I'll do the one thing that I know I can do…

I'll always be there for you, no matter what. You can count on me.

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Woo! That was a lot of fun to write. I'm sure it was pretty mediocre, though. To be frank, I can't stand writing in first-second person point of view and in the present tense…and I'm pretty sure it hates me right back. But, I felt that this story would be more powerful if I wrote in that sense, so…

As for the status of LUK, I haven't worked much on the next chapter…I've been pretty busy lately. But I promise, it will continue.

R and R please! –Grin-