Okay, finally. I'm updating. x.x Another fanfiction of mine draws to its close with this final, adorable, reflection chapter. And I'm sad t osee it end, but it must!

Raine: Hallelujiah!

Raine, don't get too excited. Just because I'm ending this one, doesn't mean I'm automatically never going to write another one...

Raine: Quiet. Let me enjoy a small moment of triumph. -.-

Ahaha... You do that. Here, peeps.

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It was impossible to describe the feeling she had. It was a deep sense of...relief. It was a zest for life that had been quite energetically aroused. It was happiness, it was giddiness. Whatever it was, it was good.

Three days after her victory, Raine stood on the edge of the cliff near Sybak - the one she had first taken her tumble off of - just letting the playful breeze toy with her hair and clothing. She gazed out at the horizon, toward the sun that was rising to look over the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, and the red-purple light of the dawn around it. Everything was absolutely beautiful this morning.

She closed her eyes, a small, unconcious smile curving her lips. Sure, it was a little uncharacteristic for Raine Sage to be delighting this much in nothing but nature, but she was just full of surprises, wasn't she? She had cheated Death on a number of ocassions - with very much help from her friends and her brother, of course. But she was alive, after so many tragedies and events that very easily could have taken her life. She had defeated the ultimate power of darkness. She had defeated the timeless villain feared by all, for good. He was gone, forced to hide in his shadows until she was ready to admit defeat. But that, she assured him in her thoughts, was not going to happen any time soon.

Her staff lying beside her in the grass, the half-elven healer spread her arms wide as though to invite the wind to share in her triumph, and allowed herself to merely fall onto her back in the soft, green turf. A veil of white hair fell into her eyes as she turned her head to regard a ladybug crawling along her rod before flying off into the vast world surrounding. "Sor air pyli," she murmured in elvish; it is done.

She sat up again as footsteps alerted her to the approach of another - Genis. Lifting her eyes, she beheld him with a warm smile, and raised her hand out to him. The young mage took it, sitting down beside her. He actually laid down with his head in her lap, and they both spent several minutes in silent reflection before he filled the quietness. "I'm so glad you're okay, Raine. ...I don't know what I'd have done without you."

Raine looked down at him, smoothing his hair that matched hers in color, back from his forehead. "Everything is alright, now... Genis - I will always be here for you. You know that, don't you? I'm never, never going to leave you alone. I promise you that."

He met her gaze. "After everything you did, all the times you fought against Death... I believe it. You're so strong, sis."

"I didn't exactly do it alone," she reminded him. "When it comes right down to it... I could not possibly have survived without the aid of you and everyone else. If one of his ambushes didn't do the trick, surely I'd have killed myself with recklessness. Desperation...fear. They do terrible things, turning even the most level-headed man into a senseless animal." She was a little ashamed of her careless behavior, and though it was the only thing that really could daunt her mood, it did as it came to mind - usually it was she who stopped rash action, rather than having someone(particularly Lloyd) prevent her own self-destruction.

Genis seemed to sense this in her. "Raine, anybody would have felt the same way." His tone was grave. He looked suddenly older than his mere twelve years. "Everybody has instincts, even someone like you who can usually reign them in. But...if we didn't react to fear, the whole population would die because they did something stupid and didn't know any better. And you were literally hounded by Death. You were chased by the ultimate cause of fear. You hardly slept - and I watched you, you hardly ate anything, either." Here, he gave her a bit of a reproving glance. "All of that just added up. You shouldn't feel shame in being scared, or...you have to be ashamed of me, too..."

Her forehead creased in a frown. "What do you mean?" she asked softly.

"Raine, I'm a coward. I'm scared of everything. You remember how skittish I was when I was little? I used to hate dogs, and I ran away from cats that came anywhere near me. I know I'm better about it now, but... I'm still so scared of everything. I've been scared for most of this journey, because we never knew what was going to happen - and I was terrified of losing you, because you've always been the one to comfort me. You've always tried to make me brave." His violet eyes never left hers.

"That's exactly why I can't allow myself to give into those kinds of fears, Genis. We have enough 'instincts' in our group, and what I would have done is stupid and irrational."

"Alot of fears are."

"Precisely. I like to think of myself as a rational woman--"

"Raine, you didn't let me finish," Genis interrupted. "I said that alot of fears are irrational. But there are certain things that justify being afraid - and I'd say being chased by Death counts as one of them." He sat up, turning toward her. "I'm not saying Regal should have just let you go on into the library alone, in that condition. Or that Lloyd should have left you alone to fall over again and again. What I'm saying is that you shouldn't be ashamed because you were acting on impulses that everybody has. It's how we survive. And, don't forget, you didn't fight Regal very much when he stopped you. You realized that it wasn't smart, because you're rational and intelligent and know when you're just acting on adrenaline. Not like Lloyd, who would have faught tooth and nail todo what he wanted to do right then and there. And that's good. It means that, even through being terrified and desperate, you're still smart. You're still the smartest person I know. This just means that you've got a heart, as well as a brain."

She had let him get through this speech without further interruption, and now just gazed at him with a sisterly fondness. It was somewhat strange to have her younger brother teaching her a lesson like this, but...maybe she had needed it.

"Thank you, Genis," murmured Raine.

He hugged her, face buried in her shoulder. "Don't forget, Raine. Regardless of our help, you were the one who ultimately beat him. You're smart, and strong, and brave."

She held him close, lifting her face once more as the sun made it completely over the horizon and cast its orange glow over the two of them.

For you, Genis... I must always be.

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Awwwwww, how sweet. Did y'all like it? Tell me the truth. Do you think it was weird/skippy/whatever?

Raine: If I say yes, will it stop your writings?

Not a chance.

Raine: I thought not.

Besides, I wasn't asking you. I was asking my kind readers. The ones who actually seem to like me.

Raine: Don't get started.

Hmph. Well, people... Keep reading my works! xD