An Unending Night
by Meimi

Character(s): Yuri, Flynn
Warning(s): Aurnion and Zaude spoilers.
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Namco Bandai or anyone who hold rights to Tales of Vesperia. It isn't mine, I'm just playing with it.

The one impression that everyone walked away from Zaude with above all else was that it was cold there. Down below in the main complex it had been wet and dreary, and up above on the blastia platform it had been chill and windy. He could recall the wind quite clearly even now. It had whipped through his hair, drug at his cape and turned him armor into something more akin to ice than metal. Not that any of that had been the cause for the pit of numbing dread that had formed in his stomach, but he still liked to pretend otherwise. And even if that excuse hadn't flown - heh - at the time, he could've always blamed the resulting stiffness in his demeanor on Commandant Alexei's happy little laser attack from earlier. Never the real reason. Never that.

Of course, they'd all saw right through him. Yuri's friends were anything but dumb. They might act otherwise, but they were a pretty sharp bunch all in all. Honestly, the only real saving grace had been the simple fact that they'd been just as distressed and upset as he had. No one had said a single word as he'd stood there and gazed down at the ocean so very far below and wondered how anyone could possibly survive a fall from that height, and known in his heart that no one could.

He'd never felt more alone in that singular instance. It still... hurt.

Yuri had left him behind. Again. But this time, he'd never be able to catch up. Never see the idiot ever again. It... It had been impossible for him to even grasp. He wouldn't have been able to stand it. So he'd pushed it away, refused to even toy with the thought of Yuri being... dead. Maybe... maybe he might have been able to come to terms with it eventually, been able to move past such utter devastation, but he hadn't been willing to risk the danger of breaking. Not then. He'd still had their promise to keep, after all.

Now if he could just find his way free of the resulting nightmares, everything would be fine.

Flynn sighed soundlessly as he laboriously calmed his breathing. Quarters were tight in Aurnion and he'd nearly ended up waking his bunkmates with his own unpleasant awakening. He'd have to see about getting a separate room once they were through with constructing the main site. It was something of a selfish move, but better that than everyone finding out about his recurring nightmares or their source. Yuri'd teased him once or twice about talking in his sleep when they were kids, and he'd rather not find out the hard way whether that childhood idiosyncrasy were true or not.

It was stupid anyway. Yuri was perfectly fine. The jerk was probably snoozing his cares away over at the inn with his friends. Flynn had always been the one guilty of dwelling on things more than he should, not the other way around. And tomorrow he'd... He'd have to see Yuri off with a smile, letting him walk away into another dangerously impossible situation that he might not come back from. Really, was it any wonder that the nightmares were in full force tonight?

Sighing silently to himself again, Flynn tossed the covers back and dropped his feet down into his boots. He'd just... go check on them. No one would be the wiser. Anyone who saw him would probably just think he was doing one last check up on everybody before the operation tomorrow. It's not like he hadn't done it before. Granted, he wasn't wearing his armor anymore, but that could simply be brushed off to the late hour. Yes, that would work. Then he could go back to bed and hopefully have a nice, uninterrupted sleep.

Nodding resolutely at his chosen course of action, Flynn quietly made his way across the room and silently slipped out the door. For all that it was quite late, there was still a few people out and about doing work here and there. Aurnion was still in the process of being built and it definitely showed. Still, regardless of the rough edges, it was swiftly turning into a proper town. By the time Yuri got back - and he would get back -, it'd be a thriving little metropolis. Okay, maybe not, but close enough. At the very least, Fortune's Market seemed very interested in its progress. That was promising.

Flynn nodded at one of the night guards as he made his way around the ancient - and nonworking - barrier blastia. He hoped they'd never have a use for it, which was just as well. After tomorrow, there wouldn't be anything left to power it, or any other blastia for that matter. Yuri's idea was absolutely insane, but it was the only one they had. Either the resulting plan worked or everyone died. If it were anyone else, he wouldn't put any sort of odds on it, but this was Yuri. Yuri had a really bad habit of making the improbable happen. Like coming back from the dead.

Shaking his head at that unwelcome thought, Flynn glanced over at the town gates and nearly stumbled in midstep at what he saw. Damnit. That idiot. Yuri ought to damn well be in bed already. But no, the fool was still out there sitting in the middle of the field staring up at the sky. Honestly, they may have dealt with the main mass of monsters thanks to Mordio's device, but that didn't mean it was safe to be out there all alone for such an extended length of time. He should be back inside, sleeping.

Grinding his teeth together in mounting fury, Flynn stalked through the gate and towards the stupidest idiot he'd ever had the pleasure of knowing. Well, judging by the lump of dog sprawled out beside him, at least Yuri'd had sense enough to not be out there completely on his own. Repede could always be trusted to know if any beasts were stupid enough to come within range. That didn't excuse the both of them still being up though.

"It's a really nice night for star gazing, but didn't you already go to bed?" The question was playful, and the look he got along with it was cheerfully curious, but it was the smile that did him in. Yuri had always been careless with his smiles, just like his frowns and scowls. There were many, many versions and they always usually tended to get them both hip deep in trouble. But there was one smile in particular that was rarely seen, the soft, companionable one that was only visible if you really looked for it. In the face of that, Flynn's fury fizzled out completely, though it failed to take the nightmare's remnants with it.

"Flynn?" The smile was gone now, replaced by a narrowed gaze and an almost worried frown. Yuri really was too good at reading him. Always had been, always would be. "Is something wrong?"

"Just shut up, Yuri," Flynn stated despondently as he lowered himself to the ground right behind his best friend. Yuri wasn't dead, but there was no guarantee that wouldn't change tomorrow. And there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. After everything they'd been through, everything they'd accomplished, he was still utterly powerless to protect the one person who had always been there for him when he needed it. He'd become a knight to help people, to make their lives better. Why couldn't he ever do that when it came to Yuri? Why did everything have to be so different when it involved his friend?

"Hey, it's okay," Yuri said reassuringly as he scooted around in the grass until they were facing each other. It was just like always. They both tended to know what the other was thinking even before they'd managed to sort it out themselves. "We'll be back before you know it."

Flynn smiled weakly in response and shook his head. It's what he needed to hear, but it wouldn't stop the nightmares. He wasn't sure anything would at this point. "You... took awhile to come back this last time."

"I know," Yuri muttered solemnly, dropping his gaze down to his hands. Flynn narrowed his eyes at the telltale fidgeting. Yuri was keeping something from him, that much was obvious. But why? What could possibly-

"I am sorry about that," Yuri said breezily as he reached up and carelessly flipped his hair over one shoulder, as if that would be enough to erase the strange mood from existence. Flynn had seen it though, and he wouldn't forget. If it was enough to bother Yuri, then it was enough to bother him. "But if it's any consolation at all," Yuri continued, interrupting Flynn's suspicious train of thought, if only for the moment, "It was Duke who caught me."

Flynn blinked is surprise. "What?" He hadn't been expecting that. Duke was the guy who'd raised the Tower of Tarqaron. He was their enemy, wasn't he?

"That's why I don't think we need to worry all that much about tomorrow," Yuri explained further, "He saved my life. He didn't have to, but he did. Hell, he could have killed us a lot of times, but he never did." His brows drew together thoughtfully then as he leaned his head back and peered up at the night sky. "To be perfectly honest, I don't really think of him as a bad guy. He just can't see any other way to solve the current crisis. And that's what we're going to do tomorrow, show him a better way."

Flynn blinked again at the deluge of contradictory information. "Yuri-"

"Of course," and here Yuri chuckled somewhat maliciously, "We'll probably have to beat it into his pretty little head. He is a right stubborn bastard."

Shaking his own head in irritated bemusement, Flynn sighed audibly and leaned forward, wrapping his arms around the chattering fool he called friend. Yuri was worried about tomorrow, that much was beyond obvious, but not to the point where it subsumed his usual idiocy. That, if nothing else, was very comforting. Maybe everything would turn out all right, after all.

Yuri smiled softly and leaned into the embrace. Flynn was easy enough to get out of a funk if you knew the right buttons to push, and he most certainly did. As for whatever the real problem was, well, he could always harass it out of Flynn later. They just didn't have enough time for it right now. None of them did really, but that was okay, there was always tomorrow, and the day after that. There would always be another day, he'd make sure of that. "Maybe I'll have a chance to introduce you later on," he said brightly, too brightly, "He's totally morose and serious as all fuck. You two would get along like a house on fire."

"Yuri," Flynn sighed again and rolled his eyes before giving a little tug on the long strands of dark hair within reach of his fingers, "Shut up."

"I'm just trying to find you new friends, Flynn. You can't fault me for that. In case you hadn't noticed, you kinda fail at that whole making friends thing." Yuri added a nice little pout to his statement in afterthought. It was a pity Flynn couldn't see it yet. It was probably a really good one.

Groaning in annoyance, Flynn pushed the incorrigible idiot backwards, following him down an instant later when Yuri refused to let go of him. He ended up with a face full of grass and an irritated woof in his ear for his troubles, but he couldn't say he minded it all that much. "Sorry, Repede." The dog very deliberately laid his head back down and went back to studiously ignoring his stupid humans. "You, my dearest friend and bane of my existence, are impossible," Flynn announced blandly as he returned his full attention to Yuri.

Snickering his head off, Yuri shoved Flynn off of him none to gently - in the direction away from Repede. "Right back atcha, Flynn. Right back atcha."

Flynn chuckled along with him as he rolled over into a much more comfortable position. It was just like earlier now, after their "argument" and subsequent swordfight. They'd been laying side by side then, just like this, reminiscing about the past. He smiled at the memory, letting the peace of the moment wash over him. The remnants of half formed fears and recriminations lingered for a few seconds more, then finally bled out, leaving him feeling far more content than he had in awhile. This was Yuri and everything would be fine. "It's a pretty night."

"Yeah, it is," Yuri murmured quietly as his eyes skated over the closest visible pieces of the Adephagos in search of familiar constellations. "We'll have to do this tomorrow night." They'd have a much clearer view then.

Flynn blinked and glanced briefly over at Yuri before turning back towards the night sky. He should have known. Yuri always knew exactly what to say to ease his fears, if not his worries. There was still a lot left to be done. Tomorrow they'd go their separate ways, but that didn't mean they wouldn't come back. They always came back. "Yeah, we will."

"It's a promise then."