Title: Stuck

Author: KikoAyumi

Rating: K+

Pairing: Rhen/Lars (Very subtle hints)

Disclaimer: I, obviously, do not own Aveyond X3

Summary: Rhen and Lars find themselves stuck in a cave

Notes: This takes place during the first time they enter the Dark Caverns.

--

"I knew she shouldn't have summoned Saurva."

"You're the one who told her to in the first place!"

"..."

It was cold, it was dark, and Rhen was in a horrible mood.

The monsters in the Dark Caverns had taken them by surprise. They really had not been expecting them to be this powerful.

And when a group of three winged snakes and one lizard man surrounded them, they knew they were in trouble.

At Lars's command, Elini summoned Saurva as a last resort.

Saurva ended up finishing them off... but also ended up destroying a large chunk of the cave wall. In the next few moments that followed, Rhen had found herself being thrown to the ground and covered as a horrid rumbling screeched against her ears.

Which led to her current predicament.

Sitting against the side of the cave wall, staring longingly at the wall of boulders that separated her from her friends, with none other than Lars sitting by her side.

'Why Lars, of all people?' Rhen thought snidely before wrapping her arms around herself.

"Why aren't they just blasting threw the wall?!" Lars exclaimed, chucking a pebble at the aforementioned wall. Rhen rolled her eyes dramatically.

"Right. And risk more cave-ins?" Rhen asked dully. She could hardly see, but she expected Lars to be glaring at her right then.

"They can't exactly leave us here either," Lars shot back.

"Hmph. They would probably want to leave you," Rhen muttered.

"What was that, Peta?" Lars growled. Rhen's jaw tightened.

"Back to the name calling? I thought you grew up at least a little."

"Ha! And I thought I taught you your place a long time ago."

"My place?!" Rhen yelled, clenching her fists and glaring into the darkness, "My place is out there with my friends! But no, because of your stupid decision, I'm stuck in here with you!"

"... Whatever."

Upon hearing the passionless answer, a wave of guilt washed over her.

'Jeez, I just pretty much said he wasn't my friend... ugh, I just wish he'd be a little nicer about things!'

Silence followed, leaving the two to their own thoughts.

The cool air was creating goose bumps all along her arms, and she desperately rubbed her hands on them.

'I'd at least like some light...'

The thought of something sneaking up on them in the dark caused the hairs to stand on the back of her neck.

"Lars..?" Rhen began lowly, turning in his direction, "Can you... light up your orb, or something?"

No response.

'Why that little brat!' Rhen thought angrily, but then quickly simmered, '... Is he ok?'

More silence.

She couldn't hear any movement.

"Lars?!" Rhen asked, more forcefully this time, reaching out into the darkness.

A bright light suddenly hit her eyes, making her flinch.

'Ow,' Rhen thought absentmindedly, blinking her eyes a few times. When they finally came into focus, she noticed Lars looking at her strangely, and then remembered her still outstretched hand, which was a foot away from touching his shoulder.

Flushing, she quickly retreated the hand.

"Why did you take so long?!" Rhen exclaimed.

"Forget that, what exactly were you trying to do there? You should know that I am way out of your league."

Rhen sputtered.

Did he just..?!

Oh, how she wanted to wipe that damned smirk off his face!

And so she did, reaching forward, grabbing his lower lip, and pulling.

Lars's eyes widened, and with a shrill squeak, he jerked away, hand covering his abused lip. Rhen burst out in laughter, scooting back out of his reach in case he had something ready in retaliation.

"Crazy woman!" Lars exclaimed, rubbing his lip, "You pulled on my lip! Who the heck does that?!"

"Crazy woman!" Rhen mocked, deepening her voice before giggling, "You sound like Galahad now!"

"Don't compare me to that pathetic man!"

"Aw, don't be so mean. Galahad is a nice guy."

"You have really weird taste in men."

"... I don't like him like that, you idiot!"

"But you like Dameon. Still applies."

Rhen blushed.

"That isn't weird taste! Dameon is... a real gentleman."

Lars dramatically rolled his eyes and scowled at nothing in particular.

"Hmph. All he has are pretty words."

"There's more to him then that!"

"Oh yeah?" Lars asked, turning to lock eyes with her, "And how well do you know the guy, Rhen?"

Rhen paused to let the words sink in.

"Well... he's... a Sun Priest and Talia's son... and he has very strong healing powers and is... a real gentleman.."

"So you've said," Lars spat, breaking their gaze, "Do you know anything about his life? Anything about his friends? You've never even seen him out of his duty to protect you."

Rhen's cheeks puffed up.

"I haven't known him for that long! What if he's just someone who takes a while to open up?"

Lars snorted.

"Yeah, he takes a while to open up, but he doesn't mind trying to sweep you off your feet right away," Lars snarled sarcastically, "I still don't trust him."

Rhen was agitated.

Lars made a good point.

But would she admit that?

Nope.

So what would she resort to?

Arguments.

"Well, look who sounds jealous!"

... She really hadn't meant to say that of all things.

Lars looked caught off-guard for a moment before raising a brow.

"And what would I be jealous about? You?"

Just the way he snapped 'you' was degrading.

Rhen huffed, turning away and rubbing her arms again.

"Jerk," she mumbled, finding herself irked by the comment. She wasn't that horrible of a person. She knew she wasn't beautiful, but she didn't think herself ugly.

Was someone getting jealous over her that much of a stretch?

Not like she'd want Lars to be jealous or anything...

Something hit her back, causing her to start and whip around.

Lars's cloak was lying on the ground next to her.

"Idiot. I won't be responsible for you when you catch a cold," Lars warned.

Rhen blinked, staring at the cloak.

"..."

Rhen grabbed the cloak before standing up and walking toward Lars. Her companion watched her in curiosity.

She plopped down next to him, throwing the cloak over them both.

"What are you doing!?" Lars exclaimed, inching away in the slightest.

"I won't be responsible if you catch a cold," Rhen replied with a small smile. To her delight, a small blush crept up on his cheeks.

"... Hmph. I can take more than you can," Lars responded, but didn't move from his spot underneath the cloak.

Rhen buried herself further into the warmth, until only her eyes were visible.

Lars's scent bombarded her nose.

"Sorry about earlier," Rhen mumbled, closing her eyes.

"... For what?"

"What I said. I was frustrated... you know I consider you a friend."

"..."

Even though her eyelids were shut, she still took notice of Lars turning off the light for her. And she surprisingly didn't protest...

She felt safe where she was.

--

Voices.

Noises.

'Mm... shut up...'

Unfortunately, they did not heed, and Rhen found herself being dragged back into reality.

"Is it ok on your end?"

Te'ijal.

"Yeah, I can move some myself."

Lars.

Rhen opened her eyes slowly to see a bright circle in the piled rocks. Lars rolled another boulder out of the way, making the bright circle larger.

"We got through?" Rhen asked, sitting up and noticing Lars's cloak still around her as it fell into her lap. Lars turned to face her.

"Yeah, now if you're done with your little nap, come help," Lars jibed, jerking his head toward the rock wall. Rhen rolled her eyes and stood, flinging his cloak over one of her shoulders.

Within the next few minutes, the hole was big enough to fit through, and both Rhen and Lars were safely on the other side.

"Are you all ok?" Rhen asked in concern, noticing the fatigued faces.

"It'd be best to go back to Thais and come again tomorrow," Elini suggested, warily glancing for any monsters lurking nearby.

"Are you alright?" Dameon asked, placing his hands on Rhen's shoulders. She noticed the questioning look at the cloak slung over herself.

"Yes, I'm fine," Rhen replied, at which Dameon sighed in relief and smiled sweetly.

Rhen blinked.

'... I really don't know much about this guy, do I? ... I bet Lars is rolling his eyes right now.'

Rhen glanced over at him.

Sure enough, he was.

She nearly laughed.

'I definitely know him.'

"Let's get going already," Lars spoke, ever impatiently, turning on his heel and walking ahead of the group. Rhen gave a little smile to Dameon before backing out of his hold and running until she was walking side-by-side with Lars.

"Here," Rhen said, offering the cloak back to him.

"You're not cold anymore?"

"I think I'll manage," Rhen replied, raising her eyes to the ceiling before shoving the cloak into his hold. Lars glared at the rough handling, throwing the cloak back over his shoulders.

"... Why are you walking with me?"

"Is there a problem with that?"

"... Well, no..." Lars answered unsurely, glancing at her, "I just figured you'd keep your distance after being stuck with me."

Rhen laughed.

"Is Lars being insecure?!"

"Excuse me?! I am anything but insecure!"

"Sure, sure," Rhen replied mirthfully, patting his shoulder, "I like you the way you are, don't worry."

Lars's face flushed.

".. I'm not worrying!"

"Mhm. Just like you aren't jealous."

"... Rhen."

"Yes?"

"I will hurt you."

"No you won't."

"Yes I will."

"No you- OW!"

Rhen's hands flew to her newly abused lower lip.

"LARS!"

Lars smirked in triumph.

--

--If you didn't get the ending, Lars pulled on her lip as she had done to him earlier.


Jeez, portraying Lars and Rhen's relationship is difficult X3 They're both incredibly stubborn and hate being proven wrong, but yet they can't help but know their opinions on each other have changed. This was just made to try and prove no matter how much they argue and bicker, they accept each other for who they are, and a close friendship (if not something more ;)) is hiding beneath the surface.

Hope you enjoyed

--Kiko