Author's Notes: Just a simple oneshot on the relationship between brothers. please review.
He had been anticipating this moment for some time now, he just didn't think the death-dealer would be his own captain. He was prepared however. He knew the risks.
His hand went automatically to the note he'd written several weeks in advance in case this situation should arise. It did.
The piece of paper was creased in several spots and some of the words had smeared a little because he had reached for the note every time he faced an opponent during battle. The letter was his safeguard, his grounding.
It was his way of convincing his brother that he didn't want to die, but he was ready if the occasion should arise. Of saying good-bye.
He had anticipated his own death, even foreseen it in a dream only a few nights ago. Death by blade, as heroes die in stories.
The blood quickly drained from his body and he looked down at the blade. The letter fell from his hand, drifting slowly to the ground already litter with bodies. The boy fell over, landing atop his fallen comrades.
The man withdrew his sword from the boy's body and bent to pick up the letter.
A plethora of things went through my mind as the blade sliced through my armor and pierced my stomach. Some things might seem trivial to most people; you could only understand if you've been put in a similar situation, and those who have been, aren't around to divulge. The feel of the breeze on your face and the sand between your toes at the beach, the things that most people take for granted until their gut tells them they won't ever be able to experience these things again.
So many memories flashed through my mind as I looked down at the blade protruding from me; the day you and I were sword fighting and I accidentally broke your arm. I think I cried harder than you did, I felt so terrible about what had happened. The day Mom and Dad died, the day I left for basic training...
It wasn't the memories, however, that made me remember the reason I enlisted in the army to begin with. Sure, at first the only thing I could thing of was that I was about to die young, a fear that nearly all teenagers have. I didn't want to die young, but for you, I'd do anything.
It was your memories, little brother, which directed me to the road I'm on right now, the one where my blood is running down the front of my armor, dripping carelessly to the floor. I knew dying was a risk when I signed my name at the recruiter's office. I knew there was a good chance I'd die with the way the war has been going for years now.
I knew, yet I enlisted anyway, against your pleading not to. You just didn't get it though, and now, with me on the way out, you still won't. You're stubborn, hardheaded, and only believe what you want to. You'll blame Dalmasca for my death. You'll blame the florist down the street if it suits your fancy, which it probably will, no doubt.
Ever since Mom and Dad died, it has been my duty to protect you. Even when Penelo's parents took us it (may the gods bless them), I still felt that it my obligation. Obligation isn't quite the right word to use, though, because I've always wanted to protect you. I feel like it is what I was born to do, and by all means, now it's what I've died to do.
Protecting your future, ensuring that you have one to protect, that was my main motivation. And that, little brother, is best I can think of as your older brother to do.
Keep in mind that I did die for you, so don't waste your life. Be a good person and keep helping those orphans. Karma is real. Become the sky pirate you've always wanted to be. Travel the world and hunt all the treasure you want. Hell, save the world if you want to, just don't make my sacrifice worthless. Protect yourself at any cost; no matter what anyone says, there is no shame in running away when your opponent is six times your size and can breath fire. Nope, no shame at all.
Get married to a beautiful woman and have a ton of beautiful kids. Just make sure you tell them about their uncle Reks every once in a while please.
In parting, remember this: I did this for you so you have the possibility at a better life in a better world. Your big brother loves you so much; you're all I've got in this world. Had is this world. Since I'm probably dead now, you better keep it in the past tense because we better not be reunited in whatever comes next until your at least a hundred and twenty-two years old with a whole family line of little Vaan's running all over the place, wreaking havoc. I hope they do (a little taste of your own medicine) and I hope you love every minute of it.
The man couldn't understand why a simple letter of a fallen soldier to his family would invoke so much emotion in him. It had been a long time since he had felt this melancholy, a long time since he had felt anything at all...
It was strange; anyone else would have been upset about ruining his brother's life the way he had just succeeded in so thoroughly tarnishing his. Instead, he felt more sadness towards the man he'd just stabbed, just a boy really. He wished it had been that way between him and his brother.
He just couldn't understand why he kneeled down next to the boy's body and firmly pressed a cloth to his wound. He was still alive, his breath shallow and raged.
"I'm sorry," the man said to the boy, who merely stared at him with wide, unfocused eyes.
When he heard the next squad of Dalmascan soldiers approach on foot, he ran off, pocketing the note now covered in blood.
He hoped the boy would live to see his brother again.
He hoped, in the end, he would too.