Title: Coming Back
Pairing: Ein & Cierra
Summary: He had suddenly left, without a word or a letter, breaking her heart. Now, he was back, but for what? [Ein x Cierra]
Disclaimer: Riviera: The Promised Land and its characters belong to their rightful owners. I own NOTHING, except the idea.
The battle was over. They had won; Hector and Seth had been defeated. Riviera would be safe.
But, why did he feel that something wasn't right. As if, this battle hadn't made a difference. His soul still felt empty. Ein was sure his face conveyed a happy expression, but inside it was quite the opposite. He had always thought that this war would be the defining point of his life, that saving Riviera would bring a sense of peace and comfort to him, which he had lost since the day he had traded his wings for his Diviner.
He was sitting on a rock and watching the festivities taking place in front of him. Bonfires were lit by the people and the populace was indulging in food and dance. He didn't feel like either. So, he just sat there… alone.
A few times Lina came up to him, trying to pull him to the celebrations going on, but he gave her an apologetic smile each time and refused. After a while, she gave up hope and Ein was grateful for that. In the distance he saw Lina, Fia, Serene and Cierra gathered together and talking to each other. Then, when the time for dancing came, he was surprised to see the scarlet witch opt out while the other three went ahead without her.
He was even more surprised, when a few moments later, the said scarlet witch came up to him and asked whether she could sit with him for a while. He nodded and scooted over, but made no real effort to talk other than exchanging the usual pleasantries. They had settles into a somewhat comfortable silence.
She was saying something; he only could catch her last words.
"… Meaning in life?"
Not knowing what her query was, he said "Pardon me, Cierra. I didn't get you."
"I was asking that do you ever feel that there is a lack of meaning in your life?" she enquired.
"I -- I don't know," He replied honestly"But, yes there are time when I've felt helpless and lost."
She looked at him, and he saw understanding and warmth in her eyes. Cierra would always understand him; he had no doubts about it.
"It's all right, Ein. But, don't doubt yourself you're a hero," She said" You saved Riviera."
All of sudden he felt a tightness in his chest which gripped his very soul. He didn't deserve any of it. Lina's adoration, Fia's kindness, Serene's friendship, Rose's devotion or Cierra's affection; none of it.
He needed to get away. Now.
He looked at Cierra and tried to remember every inch of her smiling face, carving it into the inner recesses of his heart. He was not sure if he would ever see her again.
He asked for leave and went into his room, there he saw his Diviner and while, its sight did not usually surprise him, he was astonished to see that it was glowing with an unnatural light. As if it knew, what was going through his mind and heart?
Ein took a breath and picked it up.
And in that very second, he knew.
The party carried on until the next morning. When it finally ended the four girls came to their house, they decided to check up on Ein. They were surprised to find the room was empty. Lina suggested they check the bathroom which drew blushes from Fia and Cierra. But, when hours had gone and they found no sign of him in Elendia they started getting worried. Rose suggested they find Einherjar since a Diviner can always pinpoint the location of the Grim Angel who wields it. But, when they didn't find it either; all the possibilities had been eliminated bar one.
Ein had left.
He had suddenly left, without a letter or a word. He had broken her heart. Cierra was the eldest among them and she had to stay calm right now as seeing the scene unfolding in front of her, she had to console them. But that seemed a big ask, as tears were streaming down her own face too.
How could he do that to them… to her?
Was this journey pointless?
Did he not consider them as friends?
Did he have no feelings in his heart for her?
She used to ask herself everyday. She did it for sixty years.
Things had changed, now Lina and Serene had become guardians of the town and had matured a lot. Fia had married an elf and was expecting. Cierra had taken over the magic guild from Claude and spent her time researching and finding new herbs and cures. They all showed that they hadn't been affected by the events which occurred, as she now felt, a lifetime ago. But, they weren't as convincing as they liked.
Today, they were all gathered in a large rock at the entrance of Elendia; talking. One thing which had not changed in all these years was their get-togethers. They used to talk about the events in each others lives and joke and gossip. Serene was the one who had chosen this spot because it offered them privacy (The memory of Ein sneaking up on the bath was there in her mind; but it brought familiar pain too, so she chose not to remember it) and also it would give them a view of anyone entering the city.
Today they were talking about Fia's mood swings. They were all laughing and smiling, until Serene held up a hand. She pointed to the distance. Cierra could make out the visage of a man walking towards them; he was dressed in grey and black robes and was wearing a rather large trench coat. They looked at each other. Serene picked up her scythe and Lina loaded her bow. Cierra had gripped her staff, in case the stranger decided to use magic. He was getting closer when suddenly he stopped. The girls exchanged suspicious glances as to what could happen now.
The stranger put his hand up and over his shoulder and pulled the blade out. He proceeded to raise it to the skies, as if saluting them. The blade glowed with a golden light.
But, they didn't notice the color or the action. They just noticed the blade.
A collective gasp left the group and they looked on wide-eyed as the stranger removed the familiar blue scarf covering his mouth.
It was him. He was back.
Time had changed him a great deal and if it weren't for his Diviner or his eyes she wouldn't have even recognized him. He had grown tall... taller than her. He looked like a warrior now; there was a wise look in his eyes like that of a man who has seen a lot. He looked very handsome now and Cierra could feel her heart racing at his sight. Even after all these years, he could make her feel like no other could.
"I know you all are there. You can come out, y'know."
His voice. It was so different from the goofy; pervy kid that he used to be... it had become gruff but laconic. He was smiling knowingly, as if he knew they were behind that rock all along.
They decided to face him and came out of their hiding spot. He didn't grin or jump in joy at their sight, just kept of smiling. Cierra marveled at how peaceful he looked. Everyone was gaping at him now that they could see him at a closer range.
Cierra walked up to him.
Ein gave her a friendly smile.
She slapped him.
She heard gasps from behind her, but she didn't care. She ran into the town hoping that she could hold her tears until she had reached her room.
She woke up a few hours later. She had cried herself to sleep, and cried a lot, if the wetness at her pillow was anything to go by. But, she had to let all that feelings out, seeing him had triggered something in her.
She wondered if he was still in Elendia or he had left her again. The thought of either was frightening to her. She wasn't sure if she could face him yet. So, to clear her mind she decided to take a walk in the herb garden. The wafting smell of different flowers would always put her at ease from her turbulent emotions.
She was walking through the garden when she saw him standing in front of her, as if he magically knew where to find her. She was so surprised that she tripped over a vine and fell forward onto him. The surprises making them both fall down.
This close to him she could feel the warmth from his body, the ridges of his chest and the strength of his arms. They both looked at each other, eyes locked and breathing slowly.
"I love you, Cierra."
Her eyes searched his, a frantic hope lighting the deep red irises. She sat up slowly, still watching him warily as though this was all a dream she would soon wake up from. Ein rose with her, keeping eye level. No more words were exchanged between the two. She reached a hand out slowly and touched his cheek, tracing the outline of his face. He resisted the urge to take her hand in his, to kiss her palm and her lips. A shiver ran down his spine at her gentle touch, and still he resisted. She needed to do this, to believe it herself.
Cierra leaned forward, still tracing. Ein smiled at her then as their eyes connected again and she finally knew that she was not about to wake up from some cruel dream, that her subconscious was not playing a cruel trick on her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and looked deep into his eyes, her arms resting lightly on his shoulders as she fiddled with the hair at the nape of his neck, still in disbelief. He could resist her no longer, and he snaked his arms around her waist and pulled her to him, holding her tightly and never wanting to let go.
The man that held her now could only be him.
She kissed him. Slow. Sweet. Lips met in a soft touch. He kissed her back. No words. Nothing, but the kiss. Two people, two lips. One moment that lasted forever.
He had left her all those years ago. But now he had come back… for her.
After all there is the wise saying…
All's well that ends well.
A/N: I think Ein and Cierra wont change much into sixty odd years except growing up. One's a Grim Angel and the other's a witch, time wont change them much.