This is my first fan fiction story. I found the characters and storyline in Lost Odyssey so engaging that I was sorry to finish the game. Jansen is my favorite character and this was one of my favorite scenes. The chemistry and tension between he and Ming were just magical. Hope you enjoy!
Confession on the White Boa
Jansen had wanted to get away from the others and talk to Ming alone. About what, he wasn't sure, but it compelled him to search the ship to find her. The brief exchange in her queen's chambers had left him unsettled. Kaim's insistence that Ming would have to choose confused him. Choose what? She had given Jansen an odd look before she left which gave him the distinct feeling that there was still some unfinished business between them.
As he stepped gingerly onto the main deck of the vessel, the salty scent of the ocean unexpectedly invigorated him. Having spent most of his adult life wandering through various cities in the northern continent, he considered himself a confirmed urban dweller. He enjoyed the pleasures of nightlife easily found in large populous centers such as the Uhran capital. His recent travels represented the first time that he had spent any substantial period away from the city—save for his foolhardy attempt as a youth to traverse the frozen north in search of a magic spell. The occasional burning from the deep scar he still bore from the blue dragon encounter, as well as its associated painful memories, were enough to ward him away from embarking on any subsequent risk-taking journeys in his adulthood. He absently fingered the silk scarf that covered the mark on his neck. So much for that man card, he thought.
After that disaster, he intentionally avoided venturing anywhere more dangerous than the local watering hole or gambling joint. Life had been easy, carefree and full of wine and women. That is, until a run of bad luck in Uhra had forced him to accept the gold offered by Gongora. He initially resented joining Kaim and Seth on their dangerous mission to Grand Staff. The recent adventure, however, was proving more rewarding than he anticipated. He had met Ming in the process.
A mild summer breeze warmed his face as he crossed the deck and the amber light of the fading sunset bathed the scenery in an ethereal glow. He heard seagulls in the background. The scene was tranquil and uncharacteristically he could almost imagine himself living a quiet life in the port town…almost. As he made his way towards the bow of the ship, he finally spotted her. She was facing away from him, staring out over the Numaran harbor deep in thought, perhaps contemplating the recent turn of events.
He wondered whether to disturb her but felt a pressing need to speak to her. He paused a moment to admire her slight yet curvaceous figure framed by the waning rays of the sun. What a woman! Her silhouette was regal, beautiful, and her manner so unlike the usual female companions in his life. The last several weeks travelling with her had made him appreciate the close bond that had formed between them, so different from his many fleeting superficial relationships with women in the past. She had saved his life in the train and yet thanked him afterwards for returning her memories. She assuredly possessed stronger magic than his and it made him feel a little inadequate. She also seemed immune to the flattery that had always seemed to work in the past to charm women. Jansen had never known anyone like her. He didn't know what to make of the strange turmoil of feelings within him or how to express them. Besides, she was a queen and probably used to constant admiration—probably expected it from her subjects. His normal bravado left him. He almost turned away to go, but thought better of it. Raising his hand to his forehead, he absently smoothed his hair then he cleared his throat.
Ming turned around and looked at him wonderingly. She didn't seem surprised at all to see him. He felt at a loss for words. What was he going to say?
"Do you really mean it?" Jansen blurted out suddenly.
Ming hesitated and then answered seriously. "I can't say what Gongora has planned." She looked downward. "For him to remain in this world for his own selfish ends…" Her voice trailed away.
Ming returned her gaze to the harbor and the sprawling capital of Numara, pensively remembering how Gongora had forced her to seal off her memories in exchange for sparing her people from harm. The memory now full-blown made her realize the importance of stopping him but she knew that in doing so she may need to return to her home world. That would mean leaving behind all that had become dear to her here—something that she could not bear to do.
She recalled the events of the millennium as if being wakened from a long dream. After wandering for years in exile, initially shunned because of the powerful magic energy she wielded, she had founded the city state of Numara on an inhospitable island and subsequently spent centuries protecting its citizens. She nurtured the sophisticated arts and culture for which the nation eventually became reknowned. She did this largely alone, not from desire but from necessity. Over the years, she had witnessed a legion of suitors from various kingdoms eager to propose marriage to the eternally youthful queen but she had been reticent to form convenient political alliances. She had been foolish once early in her reign but learned from her mistake. She trusted no one now and the barrier had remained strong until Gongora had caught her in a moment of weakness. As a consequence, the past 30 years were lost and her country had suffered because of it. She felt a need to stay for her people's sake. However, she was not ignorant of the danger in leaving open the connection between this world and her home world. Something needed to be done to stem the flow of magic energy. Her power would be required to defeat him and close the portal.
"Not about him…about you." Jansen said.
His voice awoke Ming from her reverie. Jansen walked toward the railing and stood next to her, his right hand raised in exasperation. He followed her gaze to the city and sighed.
"Don't you want to stay and save Numara?" he asked. Jansen wondered why it was so important to him for her to answer this question.
Ming closed her eyes. There was another reason to stay. For weeks she had been trying to ignore it, this flickering of something deep within her that she hadn't felt for centuries. The frozen barricade that she had carefully constructed between herself and the outside world had melted away in a single moment of desperate emotion in that train with Jansen, unsealing her memories and unlocking a place in her heart that she had all but forgotten. She had spent the last hour on the deck contemplating her choices and the implications of her decision. The fact that Jansen had come to her seemed to be a sign. Ming slowly moved away from the railing and turned to face him.
"There's something else to stay for too," she replied.
Ming walked toward him. She could feel the warmth emanating from his tall lean body and felt the sudden need to share her emotions. She raised her right hand to feel the roughness of his cheek while she gazed up into his questioning brown eyes. She studied him for a moment before raising her other hand to cradle his face tenderly, gently brushing the stray lock of hair from his face. His masculine scent was overwhelming her with a need to be close to him and she closed her eyes and raised herself on tiptoes to meet his lips in a gentle searching kiss.
Whoa, what's this? Jansen hadn't seen this coming. For a few seconds, he was unable to respond, unable to comprehend why this beautiful, enchanting woman—no, queen!—was kissing him. However, the softness of her lips and the jasmine scent in her hair seduced him into closing his eyes and giving himself up to the moment. He raised his arms to embrace her slight waist and mold the curves of her body to his. He felt drunk and giddy. Their kiss deepened as the sun slowly lowered in the evening sky. Several long moments passed before Ming slowly moved away, her hands still cradling his face. Her eyes opened to meet his gaze. She was looking back at him with a softness, tenderness and deep feeling that unexpectedly moved him. His heart seemed to be beating at the level of his throat. No one had ever looked at him that way before.
"I'm so glad I met you," she said simply.
"Uhh..wha…I…uh..I…" He was suddenly brought back down to reality. He didn't quite understand what had just happened between them. He turned his head right, then left, terribly confused. He turned around to see whom she was talking to (maybe Kaim?), unable to look her straight in the face. She couldn't really mean him for God's sake—that was crazy!
Shaking in disbelief, he bent down to whisper to her, half-covering his face with his right hand as if sharing with her a secret.
"A…A...A bum…like me?" he asked, incredulously. Good joke, he thought.
Ming looked at him with wide innocent eyes. He suddenly felt contrite—he didn't mean to hurt her feelings if she was really being serious.
"I…I'm sorry. I'm not used to this." Holy crap, Jansen thought, maybe she was serious?
Jansen rambled on nervously. "You know, get—getting all serious like this and..." He stared down at his hands, his face knotted in worry. "Well, I mean…You. See, you're a queen. Um…ah…you've got a castle, you know. Own your own country. .." He tried to sort out his muddled thoughts. Was he trying to convince her of how unworthy and how unsuitable he was, and how she must be confused—just like himself? Or…did he…did he… did he love her?
Ming was amused. Jansen seemed worried, apprehensive, and even apologetic. So unlike his usual impulsive self, she thought. She had noticed the change in his demeanor whenever he was around her. She was well aware of his previous rakish behavior with women in the past and had been careful not to place herself in potentially compromising situations with him. After the bar episode in Tosca, Seth had made it her duty as a friend to warn Ming about the mortal mage's many vices. Lately, however, Jansen had been exhibiting a more gentlemanly conduct toward her. After the train incident, she had been severely drained both physically and mentally. He hadn't made any moves during their time alone in the scrap dungeon to take advantage of that situation. He had been very proper which, curiously enough, had greatly disappointed her.
Jansen turned away after noticing Ming's faraway look and stared at the ground. How to deal with this? He walked around facing the sky, arguing with himself and the seagulls overhead.
"You know and…and I…I'm serious when I fall in love." He was absolutely terrified of that possibility. "Uh…and I mean, you know…I don't play around like that, you know." He turned away and knelt to the ground, trying to make light of the matter. He did have some positive attributes, he thought. "I know I'm good-looking…kind of irresistible." As the words left his mouth, he realized how embarrassingly ridiculous he sounded.
"I…but...but…see…" he stuttered.
Ming covered her mouth and laughed, amused by his awkwardness and charmed by his boyish inability to speak coherently. This was the Jansen she adored.
"But see…I never thought you'd get serious about me." He stood up. He had half-hoped but couldn't imagine that she might have developed even the slightest bit of interest in him, particularly after his ill-conceived flattery and unsuccessful abduction attempt at their first meeting. He was such a loser! Even after they had been travelling alone together and camped out in the Gohtza scrap dungeon, he couldn't quite read her feelings. At first, he had been attracted to her by her obvious physical attributes but he had to admit that his feelings had recently become something much deeper. He felt protective of her even though she didn't need his protection. She was immortal and, oh hell, he was the one needing the saving all the time. However, it didn't stop him from feeling a need to prove to her that he was a man who could be honorable and worthy of her. Given his inglorious past, though, he didn't know whether he would ever get that chance to redeem himself.
He turned toward her and resumed his aimless rambling. "And…and I got to tell you…I mean, you being an immortal and I'm just... you know, I'm just a regular guy…Ah, you know, good sense of humor, you know…but you know…I… you, see… you… I don't know what to say…" He lamented. "Help me."
"Shhh…" Ming replied as she stepped forward and put her finger to his lips to silence him. "So…queens shouldn't…fall in love?" She asked archly, raising her eyebrow.
"Oh…" he answered, finally defeated. He didn't know what to do. He sighed. Was this really happening to him? Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined this. Had she really fallen for him? It would end badly. He would eventually grow old and die while she would stay young and beautiful forever. He paused and turned toward her. No words seemed appropriate.
Jansen gazed down on Ming's expectant face and her wide expressive eyes. In that instant, he thought he saw an image of their tragic future together and caught his breath. Despite this, he felt hopelessly drawn to her and couldn't look away. He gently placed his hand on her small shoulder. I'm a simple fool, he thought. As he moved forward to take her back into his arms, he heard a faint giggle in the background. The magic of the moment was broken.
He turned to look towards the entrance to the deck and suspected that the source of the sound was a four foot tall would-be pirate. He blushed and became at once both irritated and embarrassed.
"Kids…" He muttered.