Phew! Thank goodness; I thought I wasn't going to make it before midnight. XD Anyway, this little thing is a birthday present for WindGoddess Rune. I would've liked to write something longer, but I only had one day to write it – I've had so much happening the past few days, I nearly forgot (I'm sorry!) – so doing this was a bit impromptu. But, considering the fact that I finished it only a few hours after I started it (interruptions included), I think it came out kind of okay. :) So, after a quick note to Rune and the disclaimer, read on! :D
To WindGoddess Rune: I don't know if this will really do justice as a birthday present, but I tried to do my best. I wasn't entirely sure if you'd like it to be Nene x Himiko, but out of my most recent pairing-focused stories, it seemed to me that you liked Aurora Watching the most. But, if not, I hope you still like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Blue Dragon, or Blue Dragon Plus (though I have a copy of the game). I do sort-of own the Ancients' ball dances idea below, but I don't really mind if anyone uses that. :P
She didn't quite know why she had come here. Since that night, she'd barely been able to keep herself away. She had felt so relieved when everyone had started to settle down or go to sleep tonight, because it meant that she could finally slip away without anyone taking much notice. But she still wasn't entirely sure why. Perhaps she just needed to see the sky again, if only a piece of it.
But it had come as a pleasant surprise to discover that in that hole showing the sky, there were not just stars, but the moon as well.
Almost unconsciously, Himiko brushed her fingers over the moon symbol hanging from the blue-beaded chain around her neck. Nene had given her the necklace as a present - it still felt like a long time ago to her mind, but it didn't feel anywhere near as long as a thousand years. She remembered the first time they had been alone together after she'd awoken from her Frozen Sleep, remembered seeing Nene wearing the matching Star Necklace she had given to him. She had touched it lightly, her eyes stinging. You kept it, she had said, her voice awed and thick with emotion. And even now, his answer still warmed her heart: Of course I did - it was all I had left of you.
They were returning from helping some Mecha Robos in Servant Town. Tomorrow, they would enter the Neocortex, where if everything went well, they would at last stop the threat the Atomic Cube posed. And if not...
She closed a hand around her necklace. No, she couldn't think like that. Instead, she focused on Shu's positive attitude, and found that it helped immediately, found herself smiling softly almost against her will; her young friend was so optimistic sometimes that it could be contagious.
She was still bothered, however, about the question of what would come after. Since Himiko had been helping her newfound friends, she had tried to just remain focused on what laid ahead, tried not to think about whatever would come next. But even though she continued trying to do that, as their journey started to come to a close, it became harder and harder to ignore the future.
But, as long as I have Nene and my friends at my side, I'll be fine. She relaxed her grip on the moon of the necklace.
"I thought I might find you here," the slightly amused voice came from behind her.
She turned her head. "Nene. What are you doing up so late?"
He started walking towards her. "I could ask you the same. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow. You should be getting as much rest as you can, yet you aren't, so I can't help worrying about you."
"I'm sorry," she frowned. "I didn't mean to trouble you."
Nene paused for a moment, looking at her thoughtfully. His next words took her by surprise. "Do you... remember the dances our people used to have?"
Himiko's eyes widened. "Dances? You mean the ones in the ballrooms?"
He nodded, slowly. "Do you? Remember them, I mean."
"A little." Her smile returned, but a little sadder. "I didn't go that often, after all. If you recall, my social standing wasn't low, but not exactly high, either." After a moment, she added, "If I had been more welcome there, perhaps we would have met sooner."
"I'm glad we met the way we did, though." He came a little closer. "But what matters to me is that we met at all."
"Nene..." Himiko started, but quieted as Nene offered his hand to her.
"I thought..." He hesitated. "I thought that... maybe, since you're already awake... we could dance, like our people did a thousand years ago." She something flicker in his eyes.
He's... worried, she realized. Worried about tomorrow, maybe. And she couldn't blame him; they had an idea of what would happen when they entered the Neocortex, and planned on defeating whatever stood in their way. But neither of them - none of them, really - knew for sure how all of it would end.
She took hold of his hand, softly saying, "I'd love to."
Nene pulled her up...
And then they were dancing, gliding across the floor almost soundlessly, sliding into movements that were nearly forgotten but came back to them quickly.
His hand still held one of hers, his other at her waist, his eyes holding her gaze. For the time being, Himiko forgot about fighting, about the risk of dying - in that moment, there was only Nene, and the love she had for him.
She didn't know how long they danced for. It could have been seconds, minutes, hours. But it felt timeless.
When it finally did end, the two hugged each other tightly, foreheads pressed against shoulders, neither of them willing to let the other go. Both knew that they would mostly likely go to bed at some point, see each other in the morning, but there was a kind of finality to it that couldn't be placed.
They do not know what tomorrow may hold, what wonderful things or disastrous results may come to pass. But, for one night, there is only each other, and an embrace under the stars and the moon...
… And it's done! :) Short, but hopefully sweet. As mentioned before, I had intended for this to be longer, but I didn't think I would be able to finish before the day was over if I hadn't ended it where I did. But… Overall, I think I like how it turned out (a rare occasion XD). :) Anyway… If you can, please review and let me know what you think. This story isn't part of the poll, so the results will not be cleared. So, that's all I have to mention – thanks for reading! :) And to WindGoddess Rune, once again: Happy Birthday!! :D