Disclaimer: I do not own Arc the Lad, the video game or the anime.
A/N: Again, this is based on the anime Arc the Lad. Enjoy. (I have also changed accounts from Cedahlia to Frisky Pixie. )
Precious to Me
I stood in front of the shrine, hands clasped before me, anxiously awaiting his return. Closing my eyes, I could sense his presence drawing near. Over a month he had been gone, attending business.
Of course he would be needed, even after we defeated Clive and prevented the ark from being opened. Arc was always needed, somewhere, somehow. His kind heart made it so that he couldn't refuse. This time he was helping to clean up the aftermath of the last battle.
I missed him, but accepted the fact that he would have to leave, even for long periods of time. We, the people blessed by the spirits, were always sacrificing our happiness for others. Still, I couldn't help the fact that my heart ached whenever he was gone.
And still couldn't fully accept the fact that I could rarely go with him.
Being the shrine maiden of the spirits, it was crucial that the enemy never captured me. With my power, I could open the holy ark, breaking the covenant. The world would be encased in darkness and chaos, the spirits defeated. It had already almost happened once before, when Lieza was captured. She shared the same powers as I did.
I remember the time, a while ago, when Clive was still alive, and chimeras were still being made. Those days were dark, and filled with tension and danger. Declaring that I would go with Arc on this crucial mission, I held him. His silence spoke to me, though, and defeated I said, "...I know I can't go with you." The thought broke my heart.
He was the only one who could protect me.
Opening my eyes, I saw him come over the small hill, looking weary, but nonetheless happy. The sight of him drove the memories away as my heart seemed to fly.
My feet moved on their own. Hurrying toward his opened arms, I ran into them, eyes closed, holding him as close to me as possible.
"Kukuru...I've missed you so much..." There was so much emotion in his voice, and yet he kept himself composed.
"Arc, I'm so glad you're home." Tears, happy tears, made their way down my face. I couldn't stop them.
Taking a step back, my hands in his, I said "come inside, you must be tired."
He sat at the table, now wearing his gray shirt edged in red and brown pants. He had taken his armor off, and it was a relief to see him finally in something comfortable.
I came to the table, and set down some tea and sweet bread. He picked up the cup, and inhaled deeply before taking a sip. Happy to just be with him, alone, I took a seat across from him. My own cup of tea was on the table before me, but I couldn't bring myself to drink any. Finally resting my hands in my lap, I pretended to be interested in a bird perched on a tree branch outside. So excited, so nervous...
We shared a quiet moment, just enjoying each other's company. After several minutes, I spoke up, breaking the silence.
"Is the bread alright?" I asked.
Arc looked up, smiled and nodded. "It's great. Especially after spending all that time on the Silver Noah."
Smiling, I finally took a quick sip of my tea, which had cooled off considerably. "How are the others doing?"
"They're doing fine. They dropped me off before heading to a town to celebrate. I'm sure they'll come here in the morning." Arc set his cup down, finished. We both had eaten a share of bread.
It was sunset now as I cleared the dishes. Arc had gone off to bathe before bed. After the long journey home, I was sure that he needed to relax. He had so much stress to deal with, and so little time to take care of himself.
After everything was put away, I found myself standing in the middle of the dining room, a lost expression on my face. All that time I had awaited his return, and now I didn't know what to do with myself. I wanted to stay with Arc, for we had little time to ourselves. But at the same time I didn't want to bother him, wanted to give him his space.
"This is silly," I chastised aloud.
Walking to the shrine, I prayed the evening prayer, thanking the spirits for Arc's safe return. It was calming, meditating with the fire to warm the chilly evening air. I could tell that the spirits were pleased with Arc's work, and I beamed with happiness. Everything was beginning to right itself since the war.
When I was done praying, I took my time walking back to my room, and changing into my night shift, a simple white gown. I removed my earrings and slipped into a light blue robe, loosely tying it around my waist. It seemed too quiet around here. Usually the sound of Poco playing his beautiful music, that almost seemed to purify the soul, could be heard for most of the night.
Finally I allowed myself to wander down the hall, toward Arc's room. Surely he had had enough time to ready himself for a good night's sleep. If he had fallen asleep, I would understand, and wouldn't wake him. The selfish part of me, though, secretly hoped that he was awake and willing to spend time with me. These past few months I had been so lonely, isolated from the rest of the world.
Reaching his door, I paused before knocking once, twice, just loud enough for him to hear if he was still awake.
"Come in," Arc called, and my heart leapt with joy at the sound of his voice.
Shyly (though I hid it well), I walked into his room.
Arc was in his window seat, gazing out at the moon across the lake. Was something troubling him?
"I just came to say goodnight," I said, voice light and cheery. "And to see if you needed anything."
He was wearing his cream-colored sleeping clothes, and as he turned to look at me my breath caught in my chest.
Those eyes...kind, gentle, soft gray eyes that usually hid what he was feeling looked almost sorrowful. But why? There was nothing to be sorrowful about!
"Arc...what's wrong?" I set the candle down on his dresser, worry beginning to set in.
He stood, walking over to me, and I took a few steps toward him. Arc took my hands in his. Looking right into my eyes he said, "I feel like a terrible person, Kukuru...I am always gone, and I can't be here for you all the time. And you seem so distant..." His face was pained, and my heart felt like it was breaking. How could someone as self-sacrificing as him, who has seen more hardship than most in this sinful world, feel like a terrible person?
"Oh Arc...no, don't think that," I said firmly, putting a hand to his cheek. "I miss you, true, but I understand. I would wait for you forever." I felt tears sting my eyes, and blinked, trying to hold them back. "But that's all I can do...is wait here. You don't know what I would do to be able to go with you. I'm of no help to you at--"
I was stopped as suddenly I was pulled forward, and Arc's lips met mine in a kiss. I was caught off guard. "Kukuru," he said in a serious tone after breaking the kiss, "I have the strength to go on because of you. I am able to make it through battle after battle, knowing that you're right here, safe, waiting for me, trusting me. You're my reason for living."
Those were words that I somehow needed to hear. Staring into his eyes, I smiled, happy tears this time running down my face. "Arc..."
"Don't ever think that you are of no help. If I ever lost you, that would be the end of me." Another kiss followed, before I could say anymore, and suddenly time stood still.
The only thing that existed was the here and now.
The kisses grew more passionate, and my heart was racing. He gently guided me toward the cot where he slept. We lay down, and I was on top of him, brushing his dark chocolate brown bangs out of his eyes, face mere inches away from his.
"Kukuru..." Arc whispered, and I could tell he was trying so hard to control himself.
I smiled, and nodded, answering his unspoken question with a kiss. Things never seemed more right, and I wanted to be so close to Arc.
Suddenly we were reversed, and I was showered with kisses traced down my neck; gentle ones that sent shivers down my spine. My heart felt like it would burst from the love I felt for him as first my robe was removed, and my night shift was tossed aside.
My voice reflected all these emotions that were running through me, the happiness, the desire, and overall my unwavering love for him.
"I love you Arc..."
I lay beneath the warm blanket that covered the two of us. His arms were wrapped around my bare waist, and I could feel his warm breath on my neck.
The dark night sky was beginning to be chased away by the faint light that was rising from the east, though one could still see the stars and the moon in the sky. This was a beautiful, precious place.
Carefully I disentangled myself from his arms, and stood. I grabbed my robe from the floor and wrapped it around my body, crossing my arms to keep out the cold.
Arc stirred in his sleep, and I quickly pulled the blanket over him so he wouldn't feel the cool early morning air. As soon as I made sure he had fallen back into the world of dreams, I slid open his door and walked down to the front steps of the shrine.
I sat down, thinking quietly to myself. Arc was home, but for how long? It seemed that my heart broke every time he left.
But I still knew that it was his duty. Many people depended upon him. Who was I to stand in their way?
I smiled. Things would always be tough for us. After all, we were two of the few who were blessed by the spirits. We would be tried and tried again, but deep in my heart I knew that we could overcome any hardship.
I let my mind drift back to that heart-wrenching time when Arc had asked Elc to come with him outside.
Lieza had been captured, and Elc had his heart set on rescuing her. Yet he didn't yet know that Lieza possessed the same powers that I did, and was a danger to us all in the hands of the enemy.
Arc explained to him the best he could how, if it came down to it, Elc would have to kill Lieza to prevent the holy arc from being opened.
Outraged, Elc said no, he would never, and asked Arc furiously if...if he could kill me. If he could kill me with his own hands.
And Arc had answered yes, that he would if he had to for a greater cause. That he would gladly give his own life to protect the innocent people of this world.
Elc had cried out that he didn't understand why the spirits would put the very people they blessed through this, and that he didn't want to understand. He ran, upset.
Sighing, Arc had turned...to find Poco and I standing there. We had witnessed the whole thing. I wore an unreadable expression on my face.
Poco had made up an excuse to leave, that he would see how Elc was doing. As soon as we were alone, I pulled a painful smile onto my face.
But tears quickly replaced the smile, and I ran to him, embracing him.
"I know you would, Arc," I said between choked sobs. "I know you would..."
I had come to terms with this a long time ago. Arc was doing what was right, and it wasn't right to sacrifice hundreds of people to save one person. I would let him take my life if it were necessary. I would take my own life, as well.
But...could I take Arc's?
Closing my eyes, I thought. He would want me to...if it came down to that. Though I knew it never would. I was the risk, not him.
I felt at peace now. All the questions that had gone unanswered for months were now answered. My insecurity was replaced by trust, trust of the spirits, and trust of Arc. I could go on.
Suddenly, I sensed a presence behind me. I turned.
Arc had woken up. His eyes held no sign of sleepiness as he sat beside me.
Words weren't needed at a time like this. His arm slipped around my waist as his other hand sought my own, and I inched closer to him, resting my head on his shoulder.
Closing my eyes, I smiled. The world didn't seem so lonely anymore.