A/N: Another Double Arts fic.

I've been cooking this up since weeks ago. And here, it's done!

Enjoy. :D


Lifeline


It's been a while since the curtains and dividers were rendered unneeded. Been a while Since the strings binding their hands together were deemed unecessary.

The first time they discarded the divider was when Elraine had that nightmare. The annihilation of the Falzen, the knowledge that the Gazelle assassins are on their track. What if there are individuals stronger than Sui and fallen? And Kiri - their hope. What if-.. What if...-

Elraine had woken up at that moment of her nightmare. The moment she realizes that she was about to disappear as seizures engulfed her. The moment she sees Andie bleeding and torn - Fallan and Sui down on the ground, Kiri dangling from Zezu's hold. Struggling. Reaching out for her fading hand.

She sits up, panting, a hand clutching at her chest. The other gripping Kiri's hand. She sobbed. She tried to stiffle it, but it came anyway. Her free hand made its way up to her face - to wipe a tear, but then the curtain was suddenly shoved away, and she saw Kiri, wide awake, looking at her in worry.

"K-Kiri-..."

"Are you alright?" his hand beat hers into wiping that tear, cupping her face in the process. "You're crying."

She nodded, squeeziing his hand that was holding hers. It trembled, and he must have felt the pressure, because he frowned. "S-Sorry..."

"Don't say things like that." he said, rolling his eyes. "It's nothing. Whatever that is, it's nothing and it won't happen."

He always was the stronger one.

That night on, they didn't use a curtain of divided anymore. It always comforted Elle to see his face before sleep claims her. And that way, somehow, the nightmares don't come anymore.


Another hurdle came. For Kiri is just human - a special one, perhaps - but he isn't safe from his inner fears and personal demons. He guessed that it could be the same thing as Elle's had been. Nothing scared him more than this feeling. Losing himself, losing everything, losing THEM - losing her right now. He'd promised to never let go as long as she holds on. He promised to protect her no matter what, and make her dream come true. Cheesy stuff. Old - but he meant it. His nightmare stood for what it's called - Fallan beaten, Sui critical, everything horribly wrong, and Elle vanishing and dying infront of him. He could do nothing.

She must have felt him get up, or maybe he was trembling too hard. He ground out his frustrations as he sat up and sand his head on his knees. This happened a few weeks ago, he thought - the roles were just reverted.

She sat yp, beside him. Her hand rubbed his back in that soothing way of hers.

"Elle?" he called out. She didn't hear a sob - she heard shaking.

"Yes?"

"Thank God you're safe." if he was crying, he didn't know and couldn't remember. Nor could she. "It seemed so real. I thought I lost you - I'd never be able to bear that."

She didn't speak. She squeezed his hand and rubbed his back some more. For a whhile she stared at his unusually weak, trembling form, and she whispered. "You said it yourself - it's nothing, Kiri..."

"Could you hold me?" it was not an order, nor a request. He was pleading. He needed it.

He felt the strings on their hands being undone, her hand withdrawing from his, and then her arms around him. Warm. Present.

He stopped trembling at once. She pressed her cheek against his shoulder and she squeezed him against her. "I'd always hold you."

That night they survived without the strings. From that night on, the strings were not needed. Having her in his arms was enough to assure him that - yes - they were safe, yes - she was live, and yes - she's not fading in front of his very eyes.


It felt very awkward at first - they're just sixteen, and they were merely strangers brought together by circumstance - but it was necassary, and they both wanted this, and it was easy to get used to - because they needed it to survive the nights.

They were each other's lifelines.


.FIN.


A/N: There.

Review, please? :D I hope I didn't get them off-character.

Next up, will be cooking up something about Tisera and Fallan-kun. ^^~