(Yraall Road )
Ryu shifted uncomfortably in his new armor. Although he wasn't exactly sure how long he had been in this world, he was almost positive that he had never worn armor before. He felt heavy, bulky and clumsy as he waddled around the forest attempting to keep up with Rei and Teepo, who had already had a few years of battle experience.
"Oof, Teepo Onii-chan!" The blue haired boy called out. "Wait for me!"
A violent haired boy, one that was just barely older than Ryu, turned to his friend. "Don't call me that." He shivered slightly. "It makes me feel old."
"Where are we going Rei Onii-" Ryu paused and cautiously looked at the woren's expression.
"It's okay." The older boy smiled. "We need to find a place for you to practice; there are a lot of monsters around here, so you'll get the hang of it pretty quick." He frowned and scratched the back of his head nervously. "I hope."
"Aww, don't worry about it!" Teepo patted Ryu's back. "Ryu's got this! Right buddy?"
The younger boy smiled weakly and trudged on down the path along with his new friends – his new family.
"Hey." Rei said in a low whisper.
Ryu raised his head to find Rei and Teepo waving him over from behind a tree. He unsurely took a few awkward steps to join his friends by the cedar tree and peeked over to see what they were looking at. An almost amorphous blue blob with eyes was bouncing up and down, desperately trying to pick an apple hanging on a branch above it.
"Okay Ryu, you're up." Teepo gave him a nudge.
"W-what?" The boy's eyes widened. "But… I don't know what to do."
"It'll be easy." Rei kneeled down to eye level with Ryu. "Just keep eye contact and swing, okay?"
"B-but… Onii-chan, I…"
"Hey." The woren reached over and squeezed Ryu's shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry; we'll be right here, so no matter what happens, you'll be okay."
Ryu stared into Rei's brightly shining blue eyes and they looked back at him with confidence and support. The young boy wasn't aware of any kind of spell that the woren knew that could suddenly give him a boost of confidence, but that reassuring squeeze, gentle grin and sparkle in Rei's eyes were everything that the boy needed. After taking a deep breath, Ryu nodded his head.
"Good." The woren stood up and turned Ryu towards the eye goo. "Go get 'em."
A gentle push forced the young boy forward and into the monster's vision.
"How do you do that?" Teepo frowned as he watched Ryu pull out his sword in a panic. "All inspirational and stuff?"
"Well, we have to be like that." Rei crossed his arms. "We're his big brothers now."
"Heh, doesn't that just beat all?" The young mage mocked. "Looks like you're getting all responsible on me."
Ryu moaned softly, all he saw was black, and then he realized his eyes were closed. He didn't feel the ground beneath him, but felt furry muscles against his cheek. The blue haired boy slowly opened his eyes and found himself curled up in Rei's arms.
"Onii-chan?" Ryu rubbed his eyes. "What happened?"
"You did pretty well for your first time." Rei gently readjusted Ryu in his arms.
"You should probably have a little more confidence when you swing your sword next time." Teepo chimed in. "The whole 'turning away and wildly slashing the air' thing isn't that effective."
The boy's chin disappeared into his chest and he blushed shamefully.
"No worries." Rei smiled supportively. "We'll try again tomorrow and I know you'll do better."
"Hmm…" Ryu closed his eyes and leaned his head against the woren's chest again.
Ryu wanted to stay awake, he really did, but his muscles were a little sore from his armor, swinging a sword and the apparent beating he took from the monster. He didn't want to disappoint Rei; his brother really believed in him and if he could stay awake then maybe it wouldn't be a complete let down.
But the woren was so warm and comfortable so maybe…
End of One-shot