Author's Note: This contains SPOILERS from throughout the entire game. You've been warned. It also assumes you're familiar with the scenes mentioned, so you may be confused if you haven't finished the game.

Parts of this story were bothering me so I edited it a bit. Nothing major. Any and all feedback is welcome. :)

They say it only takes one person to change someone's life completely.

One single person can make the difference between a lifetime of misery, and a lifetime of productivity. As long as there is that one single person who shows that he or she truly cares, happiness can be found. Just one person.

Van was that person for most of my life. He was the one who cared for me after Mother died. Of course there was Grandfather too, but he never showed much affection for my brother or me. I am eternally grateful that he took us in and made sure we had a home, but he always felt like more of a boss than a caregiver.

It was Van and only Van who was there whenever I needed him. He was the one who told me about the world up above and sang to me when I cried. I simply cannot imagine my life having worked out well without him there to support me. He was my only source of comfort in the dismal depths of the Qliphoth.

Then there was Legretta. I looked up to her almost as much as I did Van. I could not show my true emotions around her the way I could with Van, but she was there, and she cared, and that was enough.

Then came the day I overheard them talking in the flower garden. I couldn't believe it. The only two people in my life who had ever truly cared about me were going to do something terrible. I felt so betrayed. I didn't sleep at all that night, instead lying awake and wondering what I should do.

It didn't feel real. I tried to confront Van, praying it was just some terrible misunderstanding. But he wouldn't give me a straight answer, and I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the beloved brother I looked up to all my life was doing something I could not permit.

As someone who was so close to both Van and Legretta I felt it was my responsibility to make sure they did no real harm to the world. I would stop them, whatever the cost. I did not care if I lost my life, because my life would be over after I lost both of them anyway.

I cringe to think of how foolish I was in carrying out that decision. How ridiculously stupid it was of me, to march into the Fabre Manor in broad daylight, thinking it would be easy to end it all. But despite how awful I now know that plan was, I simply cannot bring myself to regret attempting it.

Because that was how I met you.

I had heard about you before. Van sometimes mentioned your name when he visited me in Yulia City and told me what he was doing in the Outer Lands. But you were just one of the many people in the stories he told me, a vague point of interest in my brother's life. I never imagined you would become such an important part of mine.

At first I felt sorry for you. You knew nothing of the horrors of the world, and suddenly you were literally thrown into it. I saw the fear in your eyes when that first monster attacked us. You tried so hard to act brave, but I knew you were terrified the entire time we were in Tataroo Valley, and I noticed how sick you looked every time a monster was struck dead.

I wanted to protect you. I didn't want you to be afraid. After all, it was my fault you were there being forced to face hardships you knew nothing about. I felt it was my responsibility to protect you. So even though you were a jerk to me, I vowed to do my best to make sure you made it home without coming to harm.

There was one moment, one fleeting moment when I considered leaving you behind. I desperately wanted to get back to Van and make sure I stopped him before he did anything terrible, and you were far from pleasant to be around. But then I imagined you alone in that dark valley, and I thought about how Van had betrayed me, leaving me cold and alone, forced to face the darkness of the world without anyone there to guide me. I knew at that moment that I could never live with myself if I let anything happen to you.

I'm not sure when my need to see you safe went from a product of guilt to a personal desire. I think it was after we killed the Liger Queen. I saw then that despite all your callousness, you had in you a true kindness. I had never met anyone with such a deep respect for life. You reminded me a little of how I used to be, before I was taught to kill.

Thinking back, we were all somewhat responsible for the tragedy at Akzeriuth. But at the time I was too angry and frustrated to realize my part. I really wanted to believe you were a good person, and then you went and did something nearly unforgivable. But despite all the terrible things you had said and done up to that point, I simply could not bring myself to hate you. I was happy when you asked me to watch you, because I wanted so badly to give you a second chance.

You really did change after that. Though perhaps not as much as everyone said you did. I remember Ion once saying that you were always a kind person, you just didn't know how to show it before. He was right; I'm sure he was.

I never stopped wanting to protect you. Not just from the physical pain of battle, but from the pain of feeling unwanted. It broke my heart to see the look in your eyes every time someone spoke ill of replicas. I tried so hard to make you see that it didn't matter if you were born in a different way than the rest of us, but I didn't know how to make you understand.

Then, after over a year of fighting for our lives, came Eldrant. The floating city where I lost the three most important people in my life. That day is burned into my memory. I will never forget the way Legretta praised Van even as she died for his insane cause. I will never forget watching my brother die and knowing I helped kill him. I will never forget your promise to me.

Did you even hear me when I told you that I loved you?

I found your diary. You wanted me to, didn't you? You always used to keep it on you. Yet after Eldrant, there it was in the item bag, under the Collector's Book.

I read it. You idiot. Why didn't you just tell me how you felt? What were you afraid of? And how could you think I wouldn't cry if you died? I thought by the end you finally understood how much you meant to me. How much you still mean to me. After everything, how could you still not understand how much losing you would hurt me?

I can't believe it's been a year since Eldrant was destroyed. 765 days, and not a single one has passed when I did not think about you and pray for your return.

I still believe you'll come back. I have to. It's simply too painful to think of you as dead. I'll never forgive you if you break your promise.

Luke... Please come home... I'm so sick of waiting...