Title: The Truth of the Matter
Author: Candyland
Fandom: Vision of Escaflowne: A girl with a gift for doing psychic readings gets pulled to another world to help a prince with a giant mecha save said world. I do not own it or any of the characters involved with it. Just playing!
Wordcount: 1226
Taunt: My fandom suffers from a severe lack of Ending Makeout Scene.

As the great war faded into legend, so too did the exploits of the greatest Guymelef, the one known as Escaflowne. It had already been something of a legend as the battle partner of Fanelia's royalty, but after its part in the great war, it became the subject of stories across Gaea.

The only ones who knew the full truth of the story and the extent of Escaflowne's involvement kept the bulk of the story to themselves. But they were also kept busy by their own affairs and their own lives, which for the time included rebuilding everything from family relationships to entire countries.

Escaflowne itself stood in the forest glen. Without the draconian source of its power, it was little more than a great statue, a silent testament to what was soon to become a bygone era. The bridge between the war that had nearly destroyed everything, and the peace that would allow them to rebuild their shattered world.

Life went on, as it tends to do. And it was a good many years after the war that the young children of the Fanelia Royal Family were brought to the forest to see the great legacy of their birthright.

They all knew of Escaflowne, of course. As most children were, they had been weaned on the great tales of Van Fanel and the girl from the Mystic Moon, though her name had been lost in most renditions of the tale, passed on by word of mouth.

The children were accompanied on this venture by their great grandfather, the oldest person in the palace, and the only one old enough to remember the days of the great war. It was his duty, he told them with a smile, to tell them the full truth of Escaflowne, so that they could truly understand its importance. After all, someday one of them could very well sit on the throne of Fanelia. And should war again rear its head, Escaflowne would be needed again. It was crucial that they understand the full story.

In the forest, they sat at the feet of the dormant Guymelef. One of the cooks had been kind enough to prepare them a picnic lunch, and they sat and ate for a short time before Grandfather began to tell them a story. Within minutes, the food lay forgotten as the tale washed over them.

Grandfather told them of the young prince, impulsive and brash, who had been forced to rise to the occasion for the sake of his country and his pride. A girl had appeared from the Mystic Moon. Her name was Hitomi, Grandfather said, and they should remember it, as she was a hero of the world.

Along the way, they had encountered the gallant knight Allen, the feisty Princess Millerna, and a host of other friends and allies, many of whom had given their lives to aide in protecting the world's fate.

There were enemies as well: the vicious Dilandau, who delighted in the burning of cities, and the mysterious Folken, the brother of Van Fanel. The children gasped at that part—a member of the royal family turned traitor? The idea seemed as far from their comprehensions as it had actually been from Van's, his idealism crushed when he had learned of his brother's perceived treason.

But, as he told them, enemies could become friends, and this was the case. Folken had perished for the world's sake, and their greatest foe had turned out to be an innocent caught up in a terrible experiment that had changed her into a human monster.

By the time the story drew to a close, with the discovery of the one pulling the strings, the end of the war, and Hitomi's return to her own world, the sun had passed most of the way across the sky, and one of the children, the youngest girl, was crying.

"What became of Van Fanel, Grandfather?" one of the boys asked.

Grandfather smiled. "He went on, of course. He helped to rebuild Fanelia and the other nations. It took many, many years before the world had returned to anything like it had been. But he led his country. Eventually he took a queen, though he never forgot Hitomi."

"It's sad that they had to be apart," the oldest girl said. "But it is a wonderful story. Is that truly how it all happened? It's so different from the way I'd heard it before."

"That is the truth," Grandfather nodded. "I tell you this because someday one of you will rule Fanelia. And you must know the truth of your legacy. Gods forbid that war should ever cross our borders again. But if it does, then it may come to pass that Escaflowne will be needed again. And it will fall to you to revive Escaflowne and use it to defend Fanelia."

As if on cue, just as the story came to its close, there was the sound of a ringing bell. That was the clock in the tower in the center of the city; it signified the end of the working day, and a return home. The sky was growing dark. "I think it's time for us to return," he said, climbing to his feet. Even as old as he was, his age was only just beginning to catch up to him.

There were a few murmurs of protest, as it had been a wonderful afternoon spent out in a site that bordered on both the magical and the sacred, but they did as they were told and gathered up the remnants of their lunch.

As the children hurried back in the direction of the palace, the old man couldn't help but chuckle. He also made a note to mention to his grandson that the children apparently did not know their great grandfather's name.

Ah, but it was nice to tell the story again as it had truly happened, even though he had left out one detail. To anyone else, it would have been something minor, of little importance. But to Van Fanel himself, it was the most crucial detail of the story.

…he shook his head at himself. If Hitomi could hear his thoughts, she would probably be amused. He had long suspected that some of her idea and ideals had rubbed off on him during their brief time together, and his thoughts now seemed to confirm it.

The tale of the Guymelef Escaflowne and its rider, Van Fanel, was a story of adventure and danger and intrigue and mystery and magic and all the things that great tales are usually made of. But at its heart, in its truest form, it was really none of those.

Van glanced up towards Escaflowne one more time, and again blamed Hitomi for his thoughts now before he turned to follow the children back to the palace, secure in the knowledge of that one omitted detail, a detail he would keep to himself for now.

Because the best of tales are driven by far more than simple fighting; there must always be a motivation for the fighting to begin. And Fanelia's story was no exception. For be it love of country, love of power, love of bloodshed, love of family, or love of a different kind entirely, at its heart, the great story of Escaflowne was a story of love.

PS. Okay, explanation time: a friend gave me a theme list based on songs from Broadway musicals. I am a huge Broadway nerd. So I was scanning down the list, and one of them was "Every Story is a Love Story" from the musical Aida. And for whatever reason, I thought of Van and Hitomi and Escaflowne. So thus, a short little story was born.

Thanks, all! Much love!