Vacation on the Mystic Moon
AN: I do not own Escaflowne or its characters. This is just a stupid lil fic idea that's been rattling around my head forever. So today I decided to finally write chapter one. This is my first fanfic with an OC, because in general I don't like main character OC, but whatever. This is meant to be a humorous, non-serious fanfic about Van visiting Hitomi for Christmas and New Years, and I just hope it will end up being somewhat amusing.. Anyway, Hitomi (and OC Annie) are 21, living in MN, United States, and they invite Van to visit for the holidays. So, we know how Hitomi dealt with suddenly being on Gaea. I've always wondered how Van would act visiting the Mystic Moon. Oh, and Allen. Yeah, he comes along...and sorry Allen fans, but I like to make life misreable for him! Please feel free to read and review and flame. I'm just hoping this doesn't suck too bad! If so, I'll stop updating!
PS: This chapter is somewhat boring. I promise to try to up the action with the next chapter!
Chapter One: The Uneventful Arrival
Hitomi leaned against the hood of her car, her breath coming out in little white puffs of air. She was parked in the middle of nowhere, empty, snow-covered fields stretching out on all sides. There was no sign of human activity for miles. Which, because of the reason she stood there waiting, was perfect.
The butterflies in Hitomi's stomach felt more like trapped parakeets trying to escape. No matter what she tried, she couldn't calm them. She was nervous, excited, terrified, and elated all at the same time. No wonder she felt like she was going to explode.
Van was coming today, this afternoon, to spend the Christmas holidays with her. It was so unbelievable and unexpected, she still more than half expected that he wouldn't appear. So as she stared at the leaden, grey winter skies, she was torn between hope and fear. Hope that he would show up just as planned, and afraid that she was just dreaming after all.
Huddling farther into her coat for warmth, Hitomi silently cursed, and blessed, the one who had started this whole thing in the first place. Sometimes, Hitomi wished she'd never breathed a word of Gaea or Van to Annie, her psychotic roommate and firm best friend. But Annie had a way of weaseling every stinking secret out of each person she met. And poor Hitomi had been no match for her; basically just off the plane from Japan to the United States, a college freshman in her new dorm room with her intense, insane, new college roommate, Annie Goettenberg. Hitomi spilled the beans in less than a month. And Annie, crazy, unpredictable Annie, had believed every word of it. The two became tighter than sisters.
Annie had decided, seeing as it was the first year that the two of them lived in the small, somewhat run-down house she had inherited from her grandmother, that Van must be their guest for Christmas. And when Annie decided something, it was final. Hitomi was stubborn, but Annie was an unstoppable force. And besides, Hitomi desperately wanted to see Van again.
Oh, they saw each other- in a dreamlike way. In those moments between waking and sleeping, sometimes they would meet, and it was almost like being together. They couldn't touch, and their images were blurry and transparent, but they could talk, and see each other's faces, just for a brief while. Every night, Hitomi prayed that he would appear, and when he did, she'd memorize every blurry line of him, to cherish until the next time they met. And they'd always talk about someday, someday when they'd meet again in person.
"Invite Van for Christmas!" Annie had demanded. And Hitomi had asked him, nervously, expecting him to immediately dismiss the idea as impossible.
"Van," she'd said quietly, wishing as always that she could touch him, "you know how we talk about seeing each other for real again someday?"
Van scrutinized her silently and nodded. She gathered up her courage.
"Well, Annie would like to invite you to stay with us over the holiday season," Hitomi let out in a rush. She chewed her bottom lip nervously as Van just stared at her and didn't say anything immediately.
"It's just…well, Christmas is a big deal here, and it'll be the first Christmas without her grandma, and she'd really like you to come and share it with us," Hitomi explained, wanting Van to stop staring at her with that look and say something.
"I know you're busy, and you probably can't, but, well, we both would like it if you could. I—I would like it if you could…" Hitomi trailed off and wondered if her face was glowing from the hot blush on her cheeks.
"When is this Christmas?" Van asked quietly. Hitomi nearly squealed with delight. He hadn't rejected the idea outright!
"A month. Annie—I mean we—we were hoping you could come a few days before Christmas and stay until after New Year's, which is a week after Christmas. I told her you probably couldn't come for that long, though," Hitomi said, trying to keep her soaring hope out of her voice.
Van studied his feet, thinking, calculating. Hitomi tried not to fidget.
"I think I could manage that," he said, looking up with a slight smile. Hitomi stared a moment in shock, then jumped up and down a few times, laughing. Van just smiled wider.
"Do you really mean it, Van? You'll come to Earth?" Hitomi exclaimed. She silently cursed the fact that she couldn't hug him until his ribs cracked.
Van, if she only knew, was cursing the same fact. "Don't get too excited yet. I have to talk it over with my council first."
"Oh," Hitomi said, her smile falling slightly. "But you're the king, so you can just tell them what you're going to do, right?"
"Sort of," Van said, shaking his head but smiling. "There'll be some details to work out, though. I'll discuss it with them tomorrow, I promise."
And true to his word, he worked out the details, and the planned arrival was set. For today. This freezing cold December afternoon, in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere. And Hitomi was going crazy waiting for him. Oh, and Allen Shezar. She kept forgetting that somewhat irksome little detail.
Somehow, some way, Van's council decided it wasn't safe for Van to go to the Mystic Moon alone. When Van had argued that Hitomi had invited him, that it would be awkward and rude to send someone whom Hitomi didn't know with him, the council had turned around and asked Allen Shezar, of all people, to accompany him. Van was furious, and Hitomi, though annoyed, had laughed when he told her. It would make for a very interesting visit. Annie and Allen would mix like oil and water.
Hitomi glanced at her watch again, though the action was pointless. There wasn't any way they could set a specific time, just mid afternoon. And it was mid afternoon, and she was cold, and he wasn't here.
The iron-grey clouds above her swirled, sparkling with energy. Hitomi jerked herself upright expectantly. The brilliant blue pillar of light burst out of the clouds, so bright Hitomi had to shade her eyes. She could see two forms descending in the light, and her breath caught raggedly in her throat. She was actually going to see him again, touch him, feel him, smell him!
The figures touched ground, and Hitomi hurtled herself forward, impatient to prove to herself that Van was solid, real. Before the light had fully dissipated, before Van had gotten his bearings, Hitomi reached him, nearly knocking both of them over as she tackled him in a tight hug.
The smell of him, of rain, of green fields, filled her senses, and she could feel his strong, strong arms wrap around her to crush her to him in response through her thick winter coat. Damn those layers of clothes! She wanted to feel his heartbeat. They pulled back to look at each other's faces, smiling. Both reached up and touched the other's face; she forgetting that she was wearing thick gloves and he oblivious to the biting cold. They could've stayed like that for hours.
A discreet cough behind them broke the magic, and blushing, they pulled away and came back to reality. Hitomi looked around Van to the tall blond behind him. Allen Shezar looked exactly the same as the last time she had seen him, standing with Celena in the Asturian Palace gardens. His long blond hair looked bright against the drab surroundings, and his crisp blue uniform gleamed in the weak light.
"Hi, Allen! It's so good to see you again!" she said brightly, smiling. She wanted to hug him too, but she felt awkward and killed the impulse. Besides, she didn't really want to dispel the feeling of Van's touch just yet.
"I am happy to see you, too, Hitomi," Allen said, smiling and bowing slightly. Hitomi quelled a giggle. His proper, chivalrous mannerisms were not going to sit well with Annie, always unpredictable and informal. Hitomi turned back to grin at Van, and noticed he was dressed in the traditional thin Fanelian clothing.
"Eep! I forgot! You're freezing!" she cried. Van just smiled at her. "Your coats are in the car, over here."
"Is it always this cold on the Mystic Moon?" Allen queried as she led the way to her small blue vehicle. Hitomi laughed.
"Nope, although living here it seems like it," Hitomi replied. "Minnesota winters are long and cold, way colder than any place in Japan. Actually, today's not too bad."
Van and Allen gave her incredulous looks as they pulled on the layers of long sleeved sweaters, thick coats, hats, gloves, and scarves she handed them. Van looked a little like a skater punk in a coat a little to big for him and the cap pulled down over his eyes. Annie had sent along a ridiculous tasseled hat for Allen, and Hitomi had to bite her lips hard to keep herself from laughing.
"Where's your friend, Hitomi?" Van asked after he'd struggled into all the layers Hitomi had handed him. They seemed a bit excessive, but it was unbelievably cold!
"What? Oh, Annie. Well, she was planning on coming to meet you, but then she got distracted," Hitomi replied as she closed the trunk of her little car.
Van, who knew something of Annie from Hitomi, just shook his head, but Allen looked a little confused.
"Distracted by what?" he asked. It was clear that he would never have let something distract him from what he believed were good manners, namely, meeting the guests that you had invited.
"I think it was Christmas cookie baking," Hitomi said, shrugging, "but I'm not really sure. She said 'there won't be any dancing sugar plum fairies unless I catch that damn gingerbread man'. I just hope she doesn't end up baking only gingerbread men this year."
Now Van and Allen both looked confused, but Hitomi didn't elaborate further. Instead she showed them how to work the seatbelts, Van sitting next to her in the front, and Allen squeezed into the back. Hitomi knew that Van, being slightly shorter than Allen, should have been sitting in the back, but she didn't care.
She saw Allen jump slightly in the rearview mirror as her car roared to life. It may have been a tiny car, but it made up for size in noise. Even Van looked mildly uneasy as she swung out onto the road and took off towards home. Hitomi smiled and stepped harder on the gas.
"A bit faster than horses, huh?" she asked as they hurtled down the road. She could see Van surreptitiously gripping on to the car door, and she smiled wider.
"You're sure you can handle this, uh, …car safely, Hitomi?" Allen asked, his eyes glued to the road ahead of them.
"Of course! Annie taught me how to drive, you know," Hitomi answered. Van gripped the handle harder and tried not to look nervous. Hitomi laughed.
"You can relax. Annie drives like a maniac, but I'm pretty safe. I promise I'll get us there in one piece."
Allen didn't reply, or at least he couldn't be heard over the roar of the engine. Van just smiled and nodded, but didn't relax his grip and seemed absorbed in staring out the windows. Hitomi turned up the volume on the radio and sped down the road towards home.