Title: Xian Silk

Series: Golden Sun

Character/Pairing: Isaac/Iva, sideline Garet/Mia.

Day/Theme: 3/15/09 . and I breathe where you breathe

Rating: PG-13

Summary: As he travels, Ivan wonders at what is beginning to shape between Isaac and himself. Isaac/Ivan, a tinge of Garet/Mia

A/N: GS1 timeline. What can I say? I pine for fluff for these guys. The enforced crossdressing is just an extra. For the alphabet meme I did ages ago, X - Xian. I did this one for myself to fill out the unused letters.

As for canon, this assumes that they finished all the way to Kalay and went back to Xian for...unforseen reasons. Then it resumes storyline. It's mostly canon compliant but I summarized at parts simply because I didn't want to have to do random massive script dumps. Also, because I'm lazy.


They'd crossed mountains, a possessed forest, pressed deep into caves and only traveled a quarter of Weyard already. Still there was so much farther to go, their wanderings barely begun. It been only a few months, a division of days and yet they'd already become close as if they'd known each other longer. At first it had simply been three of them, but not long after Mia also joined them. She was strange and mysterious if only because of her opposite gender, though Garret seemed more interested in uncovering these mysteries than Isaac ever did.

The lands of Weyard, each continent seemed so vast as to always leave a trace of wonder unjaded in them. Even if they didn't always exclaim at each new landmark, it affected them in inner whispers. With each town went by, they came closer to whatever fate would befall them. They traveled on.


Ivan rubbed at his knee. He hadn't seen that last tree root when leaving the no-name forest they were traveling through, and he'd sprawled down. He hadn't seen the monster jumping towards him either, a lupine creature that would have charged into him and raked its claws into his soft skin. Had it not been for Isaac leaping and cutting down the creature with his blade, Ivan might just be sporting a new set of scars.

(Garet was there too, thought in his mind this came as an afterthought. It was "Isaac saved me, and Garet was there." Such was the life of a best friend of the hero, especially when all Ivan could see was the sun reflected off of Isaac's hair, and Isaac again. It always came back to Isaac. )

Ivan had been in substandard robes ever since a slight error at the Fuchin Falls Cave. When they awoke the stone dragon, a spark caught his fur coat – which may have resisted water, but did not resist fire in the least. After that he'd had to wear one of Mia's older dress. Everyone else claimed to not see the difference, they claimed it was a 'robe' and not the dress it clearly was (even with that Ivan was still stumbled about, tripping and falling over his too-long skirts). These skirts were thick and white, made to withstand the fury of Imil's worst winters, and was made for someone of far taller stature. The white fabric was sullied and torn as it dragged on the ground and tripped Ivan up.

And now he'd almost torn the skirting completely. He sighed and ripped the last of it turning it to a short tunic. The bark had been rough, blood slipped out of the raw, broken skin.. The wound was worse than he'd thought, but still nothing particularly serious.

"Let me see," Isaac said. He bent down until he was level. He removed one glove, then the other revealing his bare hands. It felt oddly intimate. There was a circle of light in Isaac's palms, and it tingled as it sunk into Ivan's skin. He kept it there longer than necessary, and the heat seeped into Ivan's skin.

"Be careful, now," he said, with the barest hints of a smile.


They'd split upon reaching the inn. Mia wanted to purchase some fresh fruit from the vendor, Garet needed a new shield and Isaac was to go with him. His own armor was to be inexplicably postponed till the next morning.

Ivan took the time to spend a moment by himself. He wandered off the mulberry fields and inhaled the scent of them. A tortoiseshell cat walked up and rubbed against one of the stakes of the lattice frames.

Ivan bent down. He touched the cat as a slow brush of fingertips lest it run away. It purred and arched its back into his hands. He focused on the cat, its mind. A flash of purple and he could clearly see the contents of the cat's mind. It wanted fish and thought its owners were idiots. There was good reason why most people didn't see into the mind of a cat. They'd probably run into murderous plots against their lives.

He heard a throat clearing and rose to found himself face to face with Isaac. He had no idea how long he had been there, for Isaac didn't always announce himself the way Garet was prone to doing.

"You were out of the inn for a while," Isaac said.

"I just wanted to get some fresh air. I'm sorry," Ivan said.

Isaac said nothing. There was no chastisement or admonishment, simply acceptance to his answer. Ivan searched for words and found none, so he enjoyed the silence instead. The wind rustled at the mulberry leaves, spread out like thin jade fans. He liked this moment, how pristine and pure it was. He felt light, unfettered with a deep sense of joy filtering through. It was a selfish thought, didn't Isaac belong to Weyard? He was everyone's hero, the type of person who would fall into a mythic mold, an icon. He'd marry one day and create a whole line of heroes to follow after him.

A shiver came over the warm day. Ivan looked far away, to a horizon they'd yet to reach and a future he could see as clearly as if it was precognition.

"We should head back," Ivan said.

Isaac nodded, slow and precise as if this was some grave decision and not merely a common one, one hardly worth noting.


With the so-called-robes now being dirty, full of holes and too big, it was time to find some new armor. Isaac checked the rarer armor and pointed to the sole one offered by the armor salesman.

"How much?" He said.

The outfit was of very fine silk, Xian's highest, the merchant had said, and was supposed to have been infused with magic, giving it special properties. It was a dark red intermixed with a pattern of a phoenix ascending, with the softest silk he had ever touched. In truth, he would've been honored to have been given such a beautiful suit, his were always of the cheaply made cloth. He had been Master Hammet's servant, yet still that, a servant.

Except, it was a dress. Slim cut, silk, and decidedly feminine. There was a slit at the side, it was high topped with cropped sleeves. It couldn't be mistaken for a robe no matter how anyone put it.

"Try it on," The salesman urged. "It's an excellent deal. The finest quality–! You'll not find it any cheaper anywhere else."

"Um... I don't think...this was intended for me," Ivan said.

"C'mon Ivan, it'd fit you well!" Garet said.

Ivan gave up and held it up to his body. It would fit, better than the torn robes, at least.

He opened his mouth to protest, to point out that there must be some male form of this garment, but before he could, Isaac cut in and pressed gold into the salesman's palm.


Admittedly, the dress looked better on him than Ivan would've thought. The cut was tight against his slender body, with it he lost the last trace of his already shaky masculinity, and went from being a short, scholarly boy to being a petite and fragile girl.

A mix of embarrassment and disappointment hung over Ivan as they went on. Isaac said nothing if he noticed, and it seemed it pass right over Garet's head. Only Mia seemed to sympathize with his plight. She leaned in close about the fire while Garet reminisced and Isaac listened. She spoke just loud enough for Ivan to hear.

"Think of it as a robe. You've worn robes before, right Ivan?"

Ivan nodded. To be fair, all of his robes had also had pants, but he was polite enough to keep that to himself.

"Isaac only wants what's best for you," she said. "After that Fur Coat you were wearing proved to be...far more flammable than we thought, he's worried about leaving you without armor. He doesn't want to see you getting hurt.".

Ivan wondered at this. It sent a tingle through him that Isaac had worried about him, that he had a piece of Isaac's attention that was unshared, entirely his own. But Ivan cleared that thought from his mind before it could grow. Of course Isaac worried, that's what leaders do. And Isaac was the best of leaders, wasn't he?


Two days down the road they stopped in a on a knoll just below a vein of small mountains that cut through the place, and above an arrangement of verdant plains, all rolled out like a soft rug. It was nearing dark by the time they stopped, and full out night by the time the firewood was assembled and the fire started. With Garet around they never had to worry about flintsticks, but more than once he'd almost set a whole forest ablaze.

Ivan's Djinni, Breeze gave a little squeak. It had been acting strangely for the past few days, all cagey and jumpy for no apparent reason.

"Breeze?" Ivan said.

As if in response, it flew over his shoulder and jumped on his head. A Venus Djinni made a chirruping noise as it leaped to his shoulder in chase of his Djinni. He'd never seen them so (for lack of a better word) frisky. A chase ensued around the camp, until the Venus Djinni caught up with breeze and started to – again, for the lack of a better word – snuggle Breeze. Ivan was left half shocked, and mildly embarrassed as they became more and more amorous in their attentions to each other.

"Ah, they're—"

"Granite?" Isaac said.

It chirped happily and snuggled closer to Breeze.

"I didn't even know Djinni could do that, I bet Kraden would be stoked to know this if he were here," Garet commented.

"It's Djinn. Djinni is singular and Djinn is plural," Mia interjected.

"Seriously? I can never keep these straight. Thanks, Mia."

She laughed then, and they hadn't heard her laugh much since they'd left the Mercury Lighthouse. She'd been too composed and turned inward, as if a series of thoughts were rippling over the former stillness of her mind. She patted his arm in a way that while not the same intensity, was not far from the way the way Breeze and Granite were acting.

"They seem quite...fond of each other," Ivan said.

"..maybe we should leave them alone," Isaac said.

And Ivan didn't know if he was talking about Garet and Mia or the Djinn, but he agreed and stepped out nonetheless. Being alone at dark with the flickering of the fire off, it felt like a lover's tryst. Ivan looked away. He was blushing, and not just a cute dusting over the cheeks type. It was a blush to the roots, kind where his neck even turned red. It was because of the Djinn and his companions and their affection for each other of course.


Ivan thought he would go his entire life without being ogled by sailors. He was wrong, and it was an experience he hoped never to endure again. Mia was relatively immune to their gazes as she gave the aura of a nun. Also, there was no slit in her dress, which apparently changed everything.

Ivan looked ahead and tried to avoid their glances, or whistles. He tried not to look at his feet or curl back, as was his instinct. He was used to being the freak, to having people staring at him. He just wasn't used to being stared at for this sort of reason.

But it was mostly forgotten when they finally set sail. The sailors had far more pressing things to worry about than the cut of Ivan's dress. Downstairs deep in the ship he emulated Mia's movements. When she bowed her head, he did so as well. When she clasped her hands, Ivan followed with the same.

It wasn't until they were far across the waters that their services were needed.

The first two were an easy affair. Some minor sea beasts, larger jellyfish creatures and seabirds. During the heat of the fight, two of them injured

A few Shine Plasmas and Explosions sent their way and it was little trouble. They were a bit stronger than the usual fare, but still nothing compared to what the four of them had become.

But the third hit the ship so hard the hull shuddered and the vessel rocked from side to side, and for one searing second Ivan thought the ship would tip.

A huge bluish squid had climbed aboard. Ivan had read about these Krakens of the deep, the ones that large Spermaceti Whales fed upon after battles of wills that would rock the oceans around them. Even the illustrations had not done it justice. It waved a tentacle their way and smashed it to the deck below. Planks flew beneath it, scattered out like splintered leaves.

Ivan released a Shine Plasma and it shattered against the air, the reverberations sounding like breaking glass in flight. Purple streaks of lightning hit it, and sent it reeling back while sparks coursed over it. Garet hit it with a blaze of flame, a soaring tower of red and yellow and orange that sprung up and covered the best in an immolating coffin. Isaac took this chance at leviathan's distraction to arc in the air and slice down hard with his sword. An aqua liquid much like blood exploded out of the mangled limb as he slit free one of the smaller tentacles.

The kraken roared in pain, shuddered and sent two tentacles sweeping in blind rage. Isaac and Garet were knocked back, then Ivan too felt the sting as the wet, slimy, tentacle smacked across his skin.

The sensation was erased as a pure energy descended around him. The air was alight, scintillating with the force of the force of Ply. Ivan felt his wounds regress, reseal and reverse as he was healed.

Isaac used Ragnarok, a huge sword psyenergy that never failed to amaze Ivan. It fell from the skies, transparent and yet corporeal enough to leave a great amount of damage. The boat rocked from the reverberations of the earthquake like hit of the sword. Garet used another volcanic blast that left ashes and sparks fell about them, scattering over the deck.

And Mia healed. Her water psyenergy would be of little use against the Kraken, her Mercury Djinn would not tip the scales, so to speak in their favor.

After a certain time the creature became enraged, hitting time after time blindly hitting at planks and deck and whatever it could reach. Ivan felt one hit him hard – once, twice – he fell back and into a dark unknowing.


Ivan came to after the battle was over. It was below decks in a hammock for sleeping. It was Mia who looked over him and used her last bit of psyenergy to rouse him up from his unconsciousness.

With that, it wasn't long before they reached the port. None of them had every been happier to see solid ground. Even Mia, a water-aligned Mercury Adept was glad to be rid of the shifting ship they'd been on. They stumbled, made their way off to Tolbi, where they were too tired to even take in the glorious sights. Besides, it was night and most of the grand city was better accessed by day. After finding several places to gamble, items and weapon places, houses and a large fountain, they finally found an Inn. Isaac pressed down a bit of gold and waved to catch the Innkeeper's eye.

"We're full," the innkeeper said flatly upon seeing them. What a sight they must have been, dusty and still touched with sea slime. They smelled like dead fish and Kraken Ink, a putrid combination that seemed to trail along around them, like an aura of warning.

"But we've had a long journey! We're exhausted!" Garet exclaimed.

"That doesn't change anything," the Innkeeper replied. "Our rooms are still full. I can't kick them out to the elements can I?"

"Is there perhaps a spare room, any at all? We were attacked by sea creatures and are very weary," Mia said. She looked up with her gentlest gaze, a look so pure that even with someone like Mia, it could only be an affectation.

The innkeeper seemed to consider the option, if only slightly.

"Well..." He said.

"Help me out here," she said under her breath.

"Me?!" Ivan said.

"Do you want to sleep on the ground? I can't heal you all, I'm exhausted already."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Look cute, show a little leg."

Ivan couldn't believe that sweet, innocent and pure Mia was suggesting he use sexual overtures on the innkeeper. Didn't they have rules against that in the healer's guild up in Imil?

"But you're an Imilian healer– you're pure and innocent and—"

She smiled, an almost mischievous grin that showed she was quite a bit different than she seemed. "I'm not going to be doing it, now am I?"

Obviously, there was a whole other side of Mia none of them had a clue about. Under that pure healer front, she had apparently been far more affected by Alex's presence than she ever let on.

Ivan was sure he wouldn't look the same way at her again.

Ivan sighed, took a deep breath and hiked up his the skirting of his dress in a curtsy.

"Please," Ivan said in his most 'pathetic waif' voice. "We're so very tired.... If you could spare anything, anything at all..."

Mia backed him up and clasped her hands together in beseeching guile. "Surely heaven would bless you for taking in such lonely travelers. You know what they say, 'you never know when you have been entertaining angels unaware'."

"I have two cots. Rickety things down in the staff room. It's double the price."

And for once, they were glad to pay outrageous prices just to have a soft place to land. They wove down the stairs to the damp, dank interior. It smelled faintly of mold, and a chill passed through.

"So, we'll just have to go two to a bed, that's easy, right Isaac?"

Mia primly shuffled her feet, gloved hands clasped together.

"Garet... wouldn't that be improper?"

Oh, now she's being proper Ivan thought sardonically. She hadn't been half as proper when she'd been asking him to lift up his skirts and pout his lips.. He suspected her sudden properness had more to do with a craving for space, and the knowledge of Garet's snoring.

"Oh, yeah! Sorry about that, Mia! Ivan can sleep with you!"

Ivan flushed, and Mia looked taken aback. Isaac, looked heavenwards before settling it.

"Mia will get one, we'll split the other."

And that was that.

The bed was cramped for one person, with three it became a battle to stay perched on an edge.

Garet snored. His sleeping position was half the bed, with his legs spread out. He stole covers and muttered things in his sleep, he also kicked, rolled, proved himself to be perhaps the worst bed mate in the history of Weyard.

Isaac took this all without any complaint or surprise, making Ivan think there had been enough childhood camping trips and sleep overs to make Isaac used to Garet's sleeping habits. Or perhaps he just accepted all of Garet's eccentricities without question.

Ivan was wedged close enough to feel Isaac against his back. He'd stripped off the armor and washed beforehand. He smelled clean,

Ivan nearly was pushed , but Isaac caught and held him tight. Even when Garet finally stilled and took to snoring at the side of the stone wall, Isaac didn't let go.


Ivan had always wanted to go to Tolbi with his master. Even if he preferred the comfort of a quiet, enclosed library, Tolbi held an almost mythical quality amongst the merchant class.

He had gotten caught up in the wonder, the whisperings about of what Colosso was like, or the great wishing fountain. It was an unsaid promise that surely one day the travels would lead there. And now, now that he had finally gotten to go along with Master Hammet instead of simply waving to the trails of dust as he left, it looked smaller than the metropolis that had been described. It was not quite as Ivan envisioned it. Wonder did that, it built up cities of gold until they crumble under their own weight. But still, Tolbi was impressive even if it did not live up to the tales told of it. There was a well of wishes where games of chance could be played

Things passed. They searched out and found Babi, delved through a cave with still-stiff backs from an unsatisfactory night of sleep. They beat back the beasts of the cave and brought forth a bitter smelling draught. With that, they won, or Isaac won the right to a place in Colosso.

It had been Ivan's idea to institute the idea of 'helping' Isaac along. Usually, Ivan held strictly to his own ironclad ethics, but this was one little slight. Isaac needed all the help he could get against those men, and if no one knew, they certainly weren't getting hurt by it. Saving Weyard took precedence over minor affairs of honor.

Garet picked the first stage, where he was to move a log as to be closer. Mia was to freeze a puddle of water and with that Ivan was left with the Orb of Force.

Ivan's mouth felt dry as he pressed his palms together and felt the energy go through them. He had never used the Orb of Force or chi before, that had been left to Isaac. A tingle went through his body as the It was unseen by the crowd, who only perceived an old log shaking and falling into a pool.

And Ivan looked up, expectant and waiting for Isaac to run by. What else could he give but prayers now? He had helped to his capacity, he couldn't do anything more. The men were larger, better trained and probably stronger, but it was Isaac. He had psyenergy on his side.

An old woman with curly puffs of thin snowy hair smiled at him. She touched his shoulder, and Ivan turned to her.

"In love with one of those heroes are you?"

"What? N-no," he stammered back.

"Ah, don't try and hide it! I loved a hero when I was a young girl like you!"

She was swept and lost into memories. Her pale blue eyes were sky colored, and held some brightness despite the milky film of age ravaging her.

"Oh, here comes one now–"

Isaac ran past, and Ivan watched him as he went by. He watched every step as if blnking would somehow impede Isaac's progress and staring would offer him extra speed and dexterity.

"Oh? It's that new swordsman. He's rather handsome." She smiled mischievously. "Ah, to be young again."


Isaac fought them one by one. Ivan had not learned their names, and thus classified them by color. They were all similarly arrayed in armor that was identical down to the breastplates and crested helmets, the only difference being shade. From purple to a dusty brown, green to orange, they lined up like a pastel mismatched rainbow of centurions.

Isaac's psyenergy shimmered, glittering across the air in a way that would surely be invisible and incongruous to anyone watching. Why had upon lifting his hand, the fighter had fallen back? They must have thought him a sorcerer, though Isaac looked nothing of the sort.

Ivan worried, cringed when blades made contact with armor and at times felt a mix between watching rapt, or a deep wondering at the back of his mind if Isaac would fall. But he never stopped believing in Isaac. It was Isaac, the thought of him failing seemed an anomaly.

When the last gladiator had been felled, Isaac himself dropped to the ground. All of them were up from the stands and came to the arena.


He ran to Isaac's side, looking down in a numb sense of disbelief.

"Isaac..." Ivan said.

He pushed Garet from his side, a bit rougher than he had intended, and looked down at Isaac. He was tempted to bend down, to feel for warmness of blood still pumping, for the sound of a pulse– he was tempted to do so much more but just looked down unable to do anything..

"Isaac..." Mia said. She came to his feet and looked over his body with her practiced healer's eye.



They heard a snore. Each of them stifled giggles, mixed with relief and the sheer humor of the situation.

They left, with only Mia looking back with one last healer's glance to check for missed broken bones or abrasions. Later, servants of Babi carried him off to Babi's own house to rest however long he needed.


Isaac slept a long time. His friends barely left his side throughout this, all of them. At times one or more of them left to get food or water, they left to rest in the four beds surrounding their leader, but they stayed as close as was possible. When he was about, Ivan heard rumors that made him blush all over again. After the scene at the end of Colosso, there was a whole new mythology about them. They had embroidered upon the truth until it became a wide, untamed thing that hardly resembled the beginnings. One tale said that Ivan (or simply, the girl in the Xian silk dress) was actually a lost princess who had been cast away and that Isaac had saved. They said that she had mysterious powers of precognition, and was extraordinarily loyal to Isaac, as well as deeply in love with him. They'd fought monsters together and would go down in history along the great lovers of the time.

A few of the things they said were actually true – though Ivan was no lost royalty and no damsel. He was loyal, and he did....

Ivan shook himself before the thought could settle.


When Isaac awoke, it was subtle and quiet. He did not stretch, yawn or groan, he merely flitted his eyes open and considered them about him.

Garet had been conversing with Mia, and Ivan was the closest, and first to notice of their leader's waking.

"Isaac..." Ivan said.

"Huh?" Mia turned. She smiled slightly, a healer's smile, the smile of a pleased and successful doctor upon seeing a mending patient. "You've awakened."

"Colosso... What happened–" Isaac said, half asleep, his mutter fell off as he looked to each of them for the answer he sought.

"Colosso? Duh! That ended long ago!" Garet said.

"You fell into a deep sleep... Don't you remember?" Mia said.

"Not a thing," Isaac replied.

" Of course he doesn't! He was out cold! ...You had us worried!" Garet interjected.

Ivan shot Garet a warning glance.

"I'm sorry for shouting at you." Garet said.

"You fought brilliantly to the end, Isaac. Babi was singing your praises," Mia said.

"Are you okay now? In body and mind?" Ivan said.

"He'd better be all right, after sleeping this long. Sheesh!"

Ivan shook his head at Garet. Mia cleared her throat in his general direction as a warning.

"I'm sorry for shouting again."

"Mmn, it's ok," Isaac said. He pulled himself from out of the covers as if never injured, and never better.

And everything was alright, with futures to find later.


Babi convinced them on another search entirely, and the thought that places like Lemuria truly existed was still mulling about in their minds. In hindsight, it shouldn't have been such a surprise, considering that half the group came from Vale, a place in itself steeped in mythology.

Iodem was brought along, something of a guide, a watchman and a helper all in one. Each had the feeling that this journey held certain tangled aspects, like a girl held hostage, or a town forced to build a lighthouse by blackmail.

For a second, they wondered which side of this mess was truly right.


The enemies around this area were much harder. They gathered new weapons and supplies and armor, some from winnings and others Here they had actual robes, not slim silk dresses. Ivan picked out a well fitting cassock that had magic fibers woven within. It provided minor psyenergy healing properties, as well as far more comfort than the other dress had given.

It also proved the transformation from back from a possible damsel to young scholar. Ivan preferred it this way, even if retrospect, the dress had been very soft.

"I almost miss your last armor," Garet laughed. "You look weird now in pants."

"Isaac won two cocktail dresses in the fountain," Mia said sweetly. "We could match."

"No thank you. These robes have nice advantages."

Like not being whistled at or being mistaken for foreign princesses.

Isaac said nothing, but something within Ivan wondered what his thoughts on this matter was. Probably nothing. Ivan shook off those thoughts, as silly as the mythology that had sprung up between Isaac and the girl who the city of Tolbi thought he had been.


The embers had died down to little more than a faint, ghostly glow and even Iodem's soldiers were nodding off in the waning of the night. Ivan awoke and turned, and thought of water for his parched throat. He stepped over a twitching, muttering Garet and Mia, who was currently in a fetal position.

Several gulps of cold, delicious water later, Ivan considered the stars about him. He had never leaded to read the sky. Did the heavens proclaim a good omen? A bad? A heavy weight to carry or a task assured? He couldn't tell much except their beauty, so he settled at that and settled back down to sleep.

Isaac was on his side, and considered him. Ivan bent his head down as if he hadn't seen,

"Did you know you talk in your sleep?" Isaac said, soft across the divide.

"Yes....did I say anything embarrassing?"

Isaac shook his head. "No, it was nice to know."

A nagging, paranoid wonder came up within him. What had he said? But instead, he thought and came up with something wittier than the true unease he felt.

"But then you snore, Isaac – and It's impossible to sleep with Garret sleep-kickboxing."

"Mia snorts, it sounds like a horse," Isaac said.

"Heaven help his future-wife," Ivan said.

"And her future husband," Isaac added.

They shared a slight, secret smile between them. Maybe there heaven would be helping them both, them all with all their strange little idiosyncrasies.


Isaac took a quick look to both sides while Ivan merely watched in confusion. There had been no monster sightings about here, and with the last sacred feather they'd used, such a thing was unlikely. Iodem and his guards were away discussing some important matter and Garet and Mia were drawing water – with Mia purifying and filling amphoras and Garet doing the heavy lifting. Isaac had cited a scouting mission, with little detail given – but then, Isaac never was particularly loquacious.

"Isaac, what is–"

Isaac silenced him. He gripped Ivan's wrist and pulled him to him, almost a little too hard, almost so much that it hurt. Isaac kissed him, hard, a rush, such a surprise that Ivan could barely breathe. He felt Isaac's fingers interlock with his own and he melted into the kiss, into Isaac. Everything was a warm, unreal rush. Everything was soft, everything was wonderful.

Isaac pulled back suddenly, enough that Ivan was left reeling again, this time from the lack of warmth.

There was a crashing and stomping through the brush and Garet called out before he came through the last wall of trees.

"Hey, we're done–" Garet said and put down one of the massive amphoras. Mia followed behind, quiet, serene and somewhat prim. She had been subtly watching Garet's show of strength with a certain affection.

"Hey Ivan, what's wrong with you? Your face is all red.," Garet said.

"It's– n-nothing. I was surprised," Ivan said.

"You thought we were monsters, eh? Isaac used a Sacred Feather on us, so there's nothing to worry about."

Mia smiled knowingly, as if she knew every excuse. It was a serene sort of knowing, one that could be entirely missed if they didn't realize that Mia wasn't quite as pure and innocent as she looked.

"It was nothing, let's go," Isaac said, a little too sharply.

Ivan had once said there was no secrets between them, but now he kept Isaac's secret. He'd tell when Isaac wanted it told, but for now it was an ember, a warm glow deep within him. Isaac was everyone's hero, but Ivan had a piece of him that no one else knew of. Ivan looked on. Around them were forests and oceans to be crossed, a world to be saved and then restored. All of Weyard was still before them. The light fading was warm, and full of promise. Ivan would walk this length, however long it took. He'd promised to stay by Isaac's side, to fight for him and keep whatever secrets Isaac wanted him to – even this.

"Come on, Ivan," Isaac said, more gentler than he had said before to the rest of the party. And Ivan did.


randomly, a few scenes and thoughts were directly based from aspects of canon. I usually wouldn't list things like this, but it makes me happy to examine canon~!

-Ivan focusing on Isaac more than Garet wasn't trying to be a pairing slap – it came from this snippet of script about where you save Hammet from Lunpa. --

Ivan : Once Isaac made up his mind, we all decided to come save Hammet.

Garet : Hey, Ivan! Are you saying this was all Isaac's idea?

Ivan : N-No! I mean, you and Mia helped us, too!

-Ivan really does push Garet out of the way in Tolbi, though that part is a bit dramaticized. The waking up after Colosso is transcribed word for word from the script and reminds me why I dislike writing direct scenes into fics. They always come up short from the actual scene to me, and there's other reasons, but no digressing this time.

-Mia's characterization came off as a bit sly than I usually write her. I'm uh, totally going to play the 'you cannot spend that time around Alex without being corrupted' card. I wouldn't call her 'evil' or anything, she's just got a little bit of a playful side here. It was fun to write, I don't think it's TOO OOC, I was more trying to add another edge to her? She's not Sheba here, she's just got a sense of humor underneath that Stoic Pure Healing Girl thing.

-Aplogies for anything I missed – I couldn't look it over very well for certain reasons... tell me if there's any glaring errors or typos or something, ok?

-final part: 'love is not looking at each other but looking in the same direction' - Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Anyways, until then. I'm off to go finish more of Every Happy End now, I just needed to finish this or it'd drive me batty. Battier. Something.