A/N: Ever since the first scanlation of Double Arts, I've been hooked on this manga.

And it got cancelled. (sighs) I only had time lately to re-read the whole series (which did not reduce in awesomeness, baby!) and discovered that there actually is a section here in FFNet. O_o So, here I am - writing my first ever Double Arts oneshot.

Not Duty, Nor Responsibility

They weren't tied to each other now. She didn't need him to keep on living anymore.

The Gazelle assassins were nonexistent now. Troy has found a cure now. It's not feared..


He still held her hand through the rest of the healing, and now they face each other. Standing.

Hands separate, fingers not intertwined.

How long has it been?

One day?

They were reluctant. Reluctant to let go the first time. But when they did, and she did not suffer from seizures, it was like instinct that she lunged against him crying, and he took her in his arms, holding her tight.

Everything.. is finally all right.

But why do they feel so.. apart? Why do they feel like... they hadn't wanted it to end?

What was left to them now? Now that it's not duty nor responsibility binding them together anymore?

"Thank you for going through all those troubles..-"

She didn't know what to say.

"I'm sorry that we've demanded much of you ever since..-"

Is she really supposed to say that?

"I.. just.. t-thank you, Kiri...-"

She breaks into a stiffled sob and looks apologetically.

She knows how she feels, yet.. what the heck is she trying to say?

"F-for everything, I..-"

He stands there and he looks at her, and he didn't know what to say, didn't know HOW to think-.. WHAT to think.

He's a hero. He's saved the world.


For the first time in twenty-four or so hours, he reached out and took her hand again.

Only one day. He missed that hand so much.

They're not bound together now.

Not duty.

Not responsibility.

Elraine clutched his hand back, and the tears just stop coming. She felt the familiar sensation of his Flare, and she tries to smile.

"Do you..." she started anew, her voice's shaking considerably reduced. "..still want to.. hold my hand?"

He closes the gap between them and pulls her close, burying her head on his chest and his own on her hair, and he chuckles, voice kind of trembling, but bearing all meaning he wanted to mean.

"Idiot. Being stuck with you was the greatest thing that's ever happened in my life. Why would I let go now?"

Her hand's grip in his tightens, just like before. Somehow they didn't want to just let go of that past. And she tries to laugh for him.

"I told you before, right? If you want to hold my hand..." he looks up, but doesn't let go of her one bit. "..I'll never let go. It's always.. up to you."

Not responsibility.

His words always make her decide. His hand always made her go on. His presence will always, always... lift her spirits.

"Then... I'd say that... I would always want to hold your hand."

Not duty.

And her words always make him stronger. Her hand always made him want to do more. Her presence will always, always be his comfort.

That he, no.. they could do anything.

So they never let go.


A/N: Review? Because if I'm encouraged, I could write moooooar. Because the fandom needs MOAR lurve.