A/N: This is a story I just wrote for fun, and focuses mainly on Reks, Vaan's thoughts on Reks' death, and basically just how life was for Vaan and Penelo after the war. I'm warning you now, it is extremely depressing at times. I have the whole story written already, so it probably won't take me too long to update. One last thing, my friend read this story and she said that it seemed sort of slashy between Reks and Vaan. I had intended it to just be brotherly love, but you can think of it as a slash if it pleases you. Enjoy!
Rabanastre had always been a pleasant place to live. I had lived there since I was born, and even when I was young, I still loved it there. After all, it was home. There were lots of places to hang out and explore, and I had good friends. I also had a loving family and a little brother who was pretty much my best friend. We would usually spend our days enjoying the sunshine in the Giza Plains, or hanging out with friends by the fountain. Sometimes we'd browse through the Muthruu Bazaar, or simply take a walk through the busy streets. Life had been good all those fourteen years I spent growing up in Rabanastre. I hoped that nothing would ever change, but of course, change must happen at some point in time.
It was only a few months after I had turned fourteen when the plague had hit Rabanstre. My brother, Vaan, and I had somehow avoided getting sick, but I was worried about our parents. I tried to keep my concerns to myself, for Vaan's sake. I didn't want to upset him, but I couldn't help but wonder if my parents were ill. I had seen how pale my mother looked, and how my father kept getting chills. I did my best to keep Vaan distracted, and tried to keep a smile on my face. But the day my parents had called me into their room to talk to me, I knew I couldn't pretend any longer.
"Reks? Can you come here, please?" my mother called while Vaan and I were in the middle of a card game.
"One second, Vaan," I said, placing my cards down on the table. The floor was cold on my bare feet as I walked down the hallway to my parents' bedroom. The door was closed over slightly, and I hesitantly opened it, not knowing what to expect. My parents were both lying in bed, and I knew they both looked unwell.
"Come, sit down for a minute," my father said, motioning for me to take a seat on the bed. I nodded and did as I was told. My mother took my hand in her own and looked up at me.
"Listen, Reks, you may already know, but your father and I... we're not well," she said.
"...I know," I answered, quietly.
"If something happens to us, please, take care of Vaan."
"Mother, nothing's going to happen to you. You're going to be fine," I told her, knowing myself that there wasn't a good chance of surviving this sickness. Many others in the city had already died from it. I knew that, I had seen many of them just pass out in the middle of the streets.
"I hope that we will be fine, but I just don't know. Please, don't cry. You must stay strong for Vaan," she answered, seeing the tears shining in my eyes.
"Now, could you go over to the Market and get some bread?" my father asked.
"Yes, Father," I answered. I then let go of my mother's hand and got up. I headed for the door, looking back only once, then proceeded into the kitchen.
"What's wrong, Reks?" Vaan asked, as I entered.
"Nothing. We just need to go get some bread, okay?" I said.
"Okay," he answered, letting his cards drop and scatter on the table.
"Let's go," I said, putting my shoes on. He looked at me, curiously.
"Are you sure you're okay?" he asked.
"Because those are my shoes you're putting on..."
I looked down at the shoes, and realized that Vaan was right.
"Oops... Just a mistake. Here you go," I said, taking them off and passing them to my brother.
"Thanks," he laughed.
I had hoped that all would've been fine when I got back. Unfortunately, things don't always turn out the way you'd like them too. And I learned this at a young age.
As soon as we walked in the door with the bread, I heard my mother call.
"Here, Vaan, you can start dealing those cards again. I'll be there in a minute," I told him. He smiled and nodded as I started back down the hallway. This time when I entered the room, my parents looked even sicker. I didn't know if it was my imagination or not, but they certainly seemed worse.
"...Reks... come here, please," my mother said in almost a whisper. I nodded and sat down beside her on the bed.
"I... don't think I can hold on much longer," she said.
"No, Mother, you must hang on!" I panicked. I wasn't expecting her to die, especially not this soon. I had tried to convince myself they'd both be fine.
"Ssh... Reks, I know you will do a good job of protecting Vaan. Y-you always have, and I hope you will continue to. Take care of yourself as well..."
"Please, Reks... You must promise to take care of Vaan. He needs you..."
"...Yes, Mother. I-I promise," I cried, hugging her gently. She hugged me back and then slowly let go of me. She had always told me never to break a promise, and I never had all my life.
"I-I love you... Reks," she whispered as her eyes slowly fluttered closed.
"Mother..." I sobbed, grabbing her wrist and checking for a pulse. When I felt none, I began to panic even more.
"No! Hold on!" I cried.
"She's dead, Reks," my father said, gently, grabbing my hand, and trying to calm me down.
"Come over here," he said. I slowly walked over to his side of the bed. "Hold out your hand and close your eyes," he instructed. I did as I was told and felt something round touch the palm of my hand. I opened my eyes and looked down to see my father's silver and turquoise ring.
"Father?" I asked, still sobbing.
"I want you to have that," he said.
"I can't take this. It's yours."
"Reks, it won't be mine for long. I want to make sure it's in good hands. And I know you'll take good care of it," he explained.
"Father," I cried. I looked up when I heard the door creak a little bit. I saw my little brother standing in the doorway, looking scared.
"Vaan," I said, getting up, quickly, and slipping the ring onto my finger.
"What's going on, Reks?" he asked, his voice shaky.
"...Vaan," I whispered, walking over to him and placing my hands on his shoulders.
"Listen, Vaan... It's Mother... she's dead," I struggled to say.
"What!?" he asked, running past me and over to her body. I turned around and watched as Vaan took her hand and cried.
"Come on, Vaan," I sobbed, sitting down in a chair beside the bed. I knew that all I could do was watch over him. There was really nothing else I could do that would help.
We stayed in the room with Father for a long while. But before the night was over, he had died as well. He had passed away while Vaan and I were asleep. I would always feel bad for not being there for him while he was dying. But, once again, there was nothing I could've done. All I could do was protect Vaan for them, and that's what I would do. I would protect him at any cost, no matter what.
Three Years Later...
The war had been brewing for a while. I knew that. I had thought it over countless times. If I was to do as my parents wished and protect my little brother that I loved so much, I'd have to fight. I'd have to enlist.
I had gone into town to think it over one last time. Before I had even realized it, I found myself standing in front of the enrollment tent. 'Don't back down now. I have to do this.' I closed my eyes. I knew that after I signed my name on that paper, there was no turning back. And I knew that the outcome might not be good. I was prepared to die, yet, I was terrified. Of course, I was entitled to be. Even though I was more adult-like than most people my age, I was still only seventeen. Vaan had always said I had grown up too fast. But, of course, I really had no choice after our parents had died. I needed to be resposible, protective, and just a good person in general. I always wanted to set a good example for Vaan, because I hoped that he would look up to me someday.
Bringing myself away from my thoughts, and back to the task ahead, I took a deep breath and entered the tent. Two men stood inside the tent, and both looked up when I entered. They were both fairly tall. One had brown hair, and slightly tanned skin, the other was blonde with fair skin.
"What are you doing here? You are merely a child," the dark-haired one spoke.
"I-I wish to enlist," I stuttered out, barely controlling the words that were spilling from my mouth.
"Like I said before, you are just a child," he said again.
"Let him speak, Vossler," the blonde interrupted. He looked at me and nodded.
"I wish to enlist in this war," I repeated.
"Are you positive? I'll not stop you if it is your wish. But you do seem young," the blonde said.
"I... I am positive, Sir," I answered.
"But, Basch-" the one named Vossler started, but he was silenced by the blonde. Basch slid the enrollment paper across the table to me, and with a shaky hand, I picked up the quill that lay beside it, and began to write my name.
"Very good. We need all the help we can get," Basch said. "Now, Vossler, I must go speak with Lord Rasler. I trust you'll explain everything this young man here needs to know?"
"Yes, Basch," Vossler answered.
"Good," Basch answered, nodding to Vossler, then to me, before exiting the tent.
"Here is your armour and weapons," Vossler said gruffly, handing me the equipment. "You are to meet at the South Gate at dawn tomorrow morning with the rest of the troops. I will be one of your Captains. I am Captain Azelas, and the man that just left was Captain Ronsenburg. You will be expected to follow any orders that Captain Ronsenburg or I may give you. There will be no retreating unless directed by one of us. There is a definite possibility of death. This will not be an easy task. It is only for those who are strong at heart. Are you ready to fulfill these tasks that lay ahead of you?" he asked.
"Y-yes, Sir," I answered, nervously.
"Good. What was your name?"
"Alright, Reks. I will see you tomorrow at dawn," he said, nodding.
"Yes, Sir," I said, starting to head outside.
"Oh, and Reks?"
"What I said about you merely being a child, do not take it personally. I just do not wish to see any child suffering if they do not know what they are getting into. But you seem to have a strong heart and know what you are doing."
"Yes, Sir. I will not let you down," I answered, forcing a smile.
Vossler nodded again, and I left the tent.
When I got back home, I would have to hide my armour. But that was the least of my worries. I had much explaining to do. I knew Vaan probably wouldn't understand at first, and I knew he wasn't great at forgiving, and I wondered if he would ever forgive me for this.
Please, let me know what you think so I know when I should update. Please, please review!!