A/N: My first Escaflowne fanfic. I've been reading an extreme amount of fiction since I saw the series and haven't been able to get Van and Hitomi out of my head. Then I watched Across the Universe and obsessed myself with the Beatles. Hence, this little oneshot is the product of my love for Van and Hitomi, and the emotions the song Blackbird has evoked in me. This isn't really a song fic, but I did use the song for inspiration. The lyrics are here in the event that someone manages to correlate this piece to the song. Impossible, if you ask me.

Disclaimer: If I owned them, there would've been a sequel. Therefore, not mine.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life,

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird fly

Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark, black night

Sometimes, when he could no longer stand the piercing shrieks of the vultures that called themselves his advisors as they squabbled over the distribution of produce to the charity houses or the color their king should wear when the diplomats from Zaibach arrived, he would close his eyes and think of her. He would instantly feel calm wash over him, like the waves of the ocean envelop the sand and embrace it, comfort it, with understanding and patience and love. On most occasions, that feeling was all it took for him to come back to the real world, ready to face the politicians with a firm hand and a cautious, yet determined approach, instead of giving into the temptation to use them for batting practice with Escaflowne.

But on days where even he began to notice that perhaps, as Merle had often reminded him, he did run his hands through his hair when he was upset, though he'd never admit that to her, it took something more to relax him, revitalizing his patience, reminding him how to act like a king. That something was so small and insignificant that no one in Gaea could possibly understand how it managed to affect their king in such a way, and how often it had saved his council from becoming a victim of one of Van's unpracticed fantasies: sports with a guymelef.

He would be entertaining exactly how high-pitched the advisors' screams would be as they flew through the air and landed in some dragon's nesting place, and out of nowhere, he'd hear her laughing at him from her place on the Mystic Moon. Pretending to be much more put out than he truly was (which she most likely saw through, but he liked to think he was a better actor than that), he would ask her just how she found that funny. This considering, of course, that he was entirely serious about the whole scenario and would be implementing it as soon as his guards had their heads turned.

She would reply, in a slightly annoyed tone, that she was in the middle of a test and did not enjoy being distracted by his outlandish ways of dealing with frustration, to which he would say that he wasn't frustrated, not anymore at least.

She accused him of having violent mood swings.

He told her it wasn't his fault his emotions had flipped so easily.

Then whose fault is it, Van? Is Merle making faces behind your advisors' backs again?

No. It's yours. That it was just the mere sound of her laugh that calmed him, he would never say.

Are you accusing me of destroying your perfect brooding mood?

No, you just have this way of making me forget why I was contemplating homicide in the first place.

Then my job is done. Hey, do you know which division of the RAF had the most impact on the outcome of the Battle of Britain?

what?

Nevermind. I think they were Polish. Go away; I need to finish my test!

Good luck.

Thanks, though I think you need it more than I do.

I might. They're debating whether or not the marble in the entrance needs to be renovated.

Winston Churchill.

Hmm?

Sorry, history of the cold war with some World War Two thrown in. You'll be fine, just remember that boring meetings are the price of peace.

I'll keep that in mind.

His advisors could never figure out how their king's face could change from that intimidating glower he wore to the slightest ghost of a smile that visibly relaxed all of his tense muscles in mere seconds. As he opened his crimson orbs, skimming over the proceedings with both his eyes and his ears, just in case he had missed something, he would see Merle grinning at him from her chair on the other side of the table. It was a grin that plainly told him she knew exactly what went on in his head during these times of boredom and frustration.

If Allen happened to be visiting, he would casually make a teasing remark after the meeting, knowing that this often distracted him from the future depression that would set in if he realized that she was, for now, only in his head.

If the visitor were Millerna or Chid, they would give him a short hug before their departure, acknowledging that they knew he missed her and offering comfort if ever he needed it.

At night, he would talk with her a little more, reviewing the events that had occurred since they last spoke and what would be coming up in the near future. One of them always fell asleep before they said good night, normally her, and then he would drift off as well, weary with loneliness.

Because he only had her voice; he could not see how she had aged since their parting. He could not touch her, to see whether her skin was as soft as he remembered. He could not know if she still smelled like a river in the forest, pure and deep, flowing strongly toward something much bigger than he could ever know.

And those thoughts made his gentle dreams of her turn to nightmares where she never returned to him.

He knew it was selfish to want her with him when he knew she had a life on the Mystic Moon, with a loving family and friends and aspirations for the future, which only made him feel more depressed when he was without her voice in his head.

On the rare occasion he let his insecurities slip, she would tell him he was being stupid.

It was his pride that made him snap at her then, saying that her opinion on the matter was not appreciated and she could just leave if she that was all she had to contribute.

Sometimes, she would cut off if a huff, often with an insult to his character on her lips.

Once or twice, she would recognize his angry words for what they really were – fear and hurt – and she would softly remind him that he could never be as selfish as he made himself out to be and she would visit once summer vacation started.

He found himself watching the great tree from his bedroom window, wishing ardently for the heavy, glistening snow to melt and fall off its branches as quickly as possible.

He smiled to himself, languidly, thinking that it was entirely possible that he could wait.

Because of her, he had learned enough patience to wait.

And for once, he didn't mind at all.

Fin