Standard disclaimer time! I unfortunately do not own the characters or the settings of the game Valkyrie Profile. That honor belongs to Tri Ace and Square Enix. Nor do I make any money off of this fic. This is done purely for fun.
This is one of my many ideas I had for this couple. I was trying to work on chapter six of The War Bride, when this fic idea demanded I work on it. It was so distracting I had to obey. XD
With just a thought, light flooded his workshop, chasing away shadows from every nook and cranny. Something hissed in protest to the light, red eyes flashing before the creature scuttled under pile of wood shavings in it's cage. There was other creatures and other cages, ranging in size from small, to as large as a table. Not all the creatures were moving, the results of some dark experiments that had either gone very wrong, or very right.
His experiments weren't limited to the living, beakers and tubes positioned on a desk in one corner. Colorful liquids bubbled in those tubes, and in one case burst free, the green liquid overheated to the point of exploding. He'd have to clean up that mess himself, he'd allow no one, not even the servants to touch the results of his experiments. Even the failed ones.
He was always tinkering with something, always working to figure out the hows and whys of any and everything. Nothing was safe from his inquisitive mind, so long as it fascinated him, he would set off to explore the intricacies of what made the object what it was. He strove to learn the essence of everything, and he wasn't above manipulating things to see how one would react when mixed together with another.
He had what the other Gods referred to as a mortal's curiosity, his mind ever wondering about any and every thing. Some would say such inquisitiveness made him dangerous, especially when his experiments had birthed abominations. Fortunately for all, the monsters he had inadvertently created, were easily put down, with little repercussions to be had from their brief bit of existence.
Of course, there had been the incident with the mirror, that unobtrusive looking glass that currently sat in one corner, set in a polished bronze frame. To the outside observer it looked like any other mirror, it didn't even appear to be that richly made, and certainly the cracks on it hinted that it was due to be replaced. It's poor state was a deception, the cracks made from the power that was barely contained inside the mirror.
The mirror was rumored to be alive, to have some sentient form of awareness. He certainly thought that explained why on a whim, the mirror would transport things caught in it's reflection. Currently his work shop was arranged so that none of his belongings and experiments could fall within sight of the glass. That was one harsh lesson he had learn a millennia ago, when the first of his creations had been transported to the land of the mortals.
It was forbidden for the Gods to interact directly with the mortals, to take from their world, or to introduce into their realm something from the heavens. This taboo had been around for as long he had been alive, and no one thought to question it. No one that is but him. He'd never get a satisfactory answer, the Gods higher up in the ruling echelon tightlipped about it.
He was daring and bold, but not so to the point he would openly go against such a law. But sometimes, when he was sure no one was looking, he used the mirror to take thing from the mortals. It was always trinkets and trifles, odds and ends the mortals would assume they had misplaced. He had whole rooms filled with his stolen treasure, and like with his experiments, his theft had been varied and dependent on what caught his eye.
Like with all theft, there was a risk involved, though he tried not to think about it. The Gods would surely be angry, surely quick to punish him if they ever learned of his rooms full of mortal items. Fortunately for him, he didn't often get visitors, the Gods content to leave him to his experiments so long as he honored the limitations they had imposed on him.
They should have set up a more advance system of checks and balances on him, his thefts from the mortal realm were getting more daring and extravagant. He might even be dangerously close to breaking the ultimate taboo, and the heavens help him if he did.
And yet he couldn't stop himself, sneaking closer to the mirror. Those cracks seem to light up with power, a glimmering intensity that drew him nearer. He knew he shouldn't, knew he should put a stop to this, and yet he found himself speaking, voice sounded cracked and dry.
"Show me the girl."
The light from the cracks glowed more brightly, spreading out in all directions to coat the silver glass. He watched with breathless anticipation, waiting for her image to appear. The mirror did not disappoint, finding her with ease. He suspected it was from how often he had made the request, and the mirror had never denied him in this regard.
He smiled when he saw her reflected in the glass, his eyes lighting up with the pleasure of viewing her lovely form. Fair of face, and fine of figure, she put even the Goddess of Asgard to shame. His eyes drank in the sight of her face, the high cheek bones, and pouty pink lips. The lightly tanned skinned that never seemed to burn, no matter how many hours she spent working outside.
Her eyes were blue and mesmerizing, and yet as stunning as they were, they were not the most striking of her features. Her crowning glory might very well be her long mane of hair, the length of it falling just short of her ankles, and wound back in a thick braid. It was such an unusual color for a mortal, a striking silver blue that gleamed when any type of light hit it.
Currently she was lit up by the glow of a nearby fire, the flames crackling in the stone and brick setting. A look of concentration was in her eyes, the girl staring down at the fabric placed on her lap, knitting needles in hand. She was most likely knitting some kind of clothing for the ever approaching winter, the fabric shorn from the sheep her family kept on their small, run down farm.
It was silent in the room, although some sound trickled in, stray bits of conversation from one of the other rooms in the house. He frowned then, knowing it was most likely the girl's parents, the man and woman enjoying one long break after another, while they forced their daughter to work her hands to the bone. He didn't think it fair, and he longed to take her away from such selfish beings.
It wasn't the first time he had such a desire, and he knew it wouldn't be the last. The enjoyment he had felt in seeing this beauty was fading, replaced with anger. If he hadn't known it would make the girl's situation even worse, he would have struck down her parents. Smite them down with all the righteous fury of an angry and displeased God. But that would have left her all alone in the world, and in the realm of mortals, women had little options when they ended up on their own.
It angered him to feel so helpless to do anything for her, to be unable to do any lasting good where she was concerned. He was unused to feelings of helplessness, nor this desire to help a mortal, and yet for her he wanted to be better. He didn't understand it, didn't know why this girl in particular called to him. He wanted her though, wanted her as badly if not more than all the other things he had taken from the mortal world.
So he stole quick moments with her, visiting her in her dreams. The land of dreams existed on the borders between the realms, it was possible for all creatures to meet in dreams. Even Gods and humans, a fact he was quick to take advantage of.
"Sleep." He commanded to the mirror, his fingers doing an airy wiggle at her reflection. She tried to fight the sudden onset of weariness, but her eyes were already drooping. By the time the needles clattered to the floor, she had slumped in her seat, knitting draped over her knees.
He smiled in victory then, waving his hand over the mirror, making the glass soften to welcome his stepping through it. There was minimal resistance, like trying to walk against the current of the ocean, but slowly he sank through the rippling glass. And emerged into the girl's dreams, looking around expectantly.
It was dark here, the shared dream not yet having time to take form. He helped it along with his powers, bidding the soft light of the moon to lighten up the area. The darkness slowly receded, leaving only shadows at the edges of the perimeter. With the moonlight now present, he caught sight of a shimmering white glow in the distance, the girl having found her form in this realm.
She was still clad in the plain, cotton and wool garments of her waking world, but at a wish from him, her clothing changed. Clothing made of snow white gossamer and silk apeeared, form fitting to her ample curves. It flared out as it went down her legs, the silk hem draping over her bare feet, and hiding them from sight.
The girl let out a sound, marveling at her dress, her hands moving to touch the delicate fabric. He never got tired of seeing her pleasure, the wonder in her eyes at the fine cloth he garbed her in. To her, the fabric was like nothing she had ever seen, had ever had the privilege to even touch. She probably assumed it was the stuff limited to only the richest of nobles, and in a way she was right. But no mortal had ever had the privilege of such finery save she, the cloth made of the finest fabrics available to those up in the heavens.
It suited her, her skin being such that the coarseness of wool should have never touched her, never come near her beautiful skin. He could have spent a small eternity just staring at her, admiring her in the dress, but then his trip into her dreams would have been a wasted effort.
She looked up at the sounds of his footsteps, the sound deliberately loud to alert her to his approach. A nervous look flickered in her eyes, the girl not knowing what to expect in this shadowy realm.
He smiled as he emerged into view of her, though he purposefully kept shadows wrapped around him, hiding his face. He wanted no chance of her recognizing him, of her putting together the image from her dream with the statues she might see at the temple she sometimes attended.
She seemed to relax when she saw what she assumed was another human approaching her. She didn't know how far off base she as in that assumption, and he did nothing to convince her otherwise. Instead he circled around her, looking without touching, though each pass brought him a step close to her. She did not hold still for his inspection, turning in place so her skirt flared out around her knees, a twirl to it and her.
He moved slow enough to prevent her from getting dizzy, and on his next pass, he allowed his fingers tip to trail across the length of her bare arm. She shivered at the touch, but did not jerk back, an intrigued light in her eyes.
"Who are you?" She asked after an eternity of silence.
"Who do you want me to be?" he countered with his own question, and that always made her blink in confusion. He knew she had no man in her life, no one to claim her, not even a fleeting fancy of one of the boys in her little village. That made him happy, he didn't think he could bare the thought of her being given to another, and though he should have been troubled by the pang his heart gave off, he was too taken by her nearness to notice.
This time he reached out to cup her cheek, and though she did not melt at the touch, she did not shy away from it either. His smile grew, and was returned, though she still looked so uncertain in the moment. They continued to turn in a circle, ever so slowly, never taking their eyes off each other. She kept peering into the shadows that hid his face from her, he would allow only enough light for her to make out the amethyst color of his eyes.
Never breaking the dance they were engaging in, he moved closer to her, his other hand going to rest on the curve of her hip. She settled against him, and began to sway with him at his insistence. She continued to study him, even as his hand left her face, sliding down to touch the nape of her neck. She was pliant in his arms, not resisting, not even trying to get away. She seemed to accept the strangeness of him and their surroundings as part of her dream, and didn't flinch back when he leaned into her.
But as his mouth drew near to hers, lips intent on stealing a kiss, her question broke the easy silence between them. "Why can I never see your face?" It startled him, and he realized she had enough awareness to recognize him from their previous encounters in the dream realm.
He said nothing, but then he didn't have to, the girl persisting with this line of questioning. "I look and I look, and the shadows, they never leave you."
"Maybe I'm just a figment of your imagination." He said at last, resuming their dance though his mouth hungered for the taste of her. "Does it really matter what I look like?" He added, and she slowly shook her head.
'No, I suppose not." He almost smiled anew, thinking she'd drop the subject, until she blurted out the following. "But it would be nice to see...to know you...to know
who you are..."
"Who I am?"
"Yes." A nod then. "I know I've seen you before. Either in my dreams, or in my reality. You feel too familiar to be a stranger..." His hand was dropping from her neck, smoothing down the low cut back of her dress. She shivered but did not protest, and he noted she was always far too trusting in her dreams. "Please...if you won't show me your face, then at least...at least give me a name..."
"Yes." A smile played at the corners of her mouth, the girl turning teasing just then. "You do have one don't you?"
He had many names, as wide and varied as the life he had lived. It was like that with all Gods, they had their given names, and the names they were known as among the mortals, the humans worshipping them again and again even as the names changed. What would it hurt to tell her his true name, the name not even the mortals knew of? Nothing, he decided. He could tell, and have the pleasure of hearing her speak it, and she would never be one step closer to learning who he really was.
"My name..." He spoke slowly, dragging out the anticipation between them. She seemed to lean forward, lips parting slowly as she took an eager breath. "My name is Leza..."
That female shout, it startled as much as annoyed him, Lezard drawing their dance to a stop. The girl had not heard it, wasn't even aware of what had caused the disturbance in his eyes.
"I have to go." He said with true regret, lifting her hand to his lips, so that he could brush a kiss over her knuckles.
"LEZARD VALETH!" The screech of an incensed female, he almost cringed in his haste to get away.
"Wait!" the girl was calling out, trying to follow him into the darkness. He put up a barrier, blocking her from straying from the moon light, and with one last, regretful look was hurrying back the way he came. He heard her though, her sorrow filled shout following him. "You never told me your name!"
Her voice seemed to echo that accusation, chasing after him as he stepped through the mirror. It resisted him, as though it was loathe to let him back into the heavens, but he didn't have time to wonder why. Not when he was frantic, casting ether about to chase away the scent of the dream world from his clothing. It would be better to stink of magic than to betray his whereabouts, and Lezard turned to make sure the mirror's glow had dimmed.
There in the distance, looking forlorn and upset was the girl, her hands clasped to her chest. He quickly cast a spell, commanding the mirror to become nothing more than glass. The female at his work shop's door continued to scream his name, and now she was rattling the handle, trying to force it open. It would take more than that to get the barrier spell to drop, but he knew his sister had enough power to get through. It would just take some time.
"Lezard Valeth, you open this door this instant!" She threatened, and he hurried towards it. "Or I will tell Odin about your stolen treasures!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" He snarled, all but lunging for the door. He dropped the spell on it, and it flew open, almost striking him in the face. He stepped back with a hiss, fingers adjusting the glasses on his nose. His glare was returned by the blue eyed female, the blonde giving a haughty toss of her head.
"Just what are you up to brother, that you had to lock this door?" His sister demanded of him.
"Ah Mystina, so nice to see you too." Lezard bit out, sarcastic in the moment. She ignored that, sweeping past him to look around his work shop, eyes seeming to miss nothing of his various experiments. She even looked towards the mirror, and her eyes narrowed further, as though she could smell the power it had recently expended for him.
"Lezard, brother dear...you haven't been...stealing again, have you?"
"Of course not Mystina. Why the very thought of it..." He began, not needing to lie in this moment. He had stolen nothing but a few precious moments with a human, surely no one could begrudge him that little of an offense.
"Sometimes I almost believe your lies." Mystina retorted, walking closer to his cage of creatures. She knelt down to peer inside them, her eyes critical as she made sure none of the oddities held there had come from the mortal world. He tolerated her mistrust only because of the sibling love they shared, Lezard knowing his sister was only concerned for him.
"You know you can't keep doing this." She said when she finished her study of the cages. "Sooner of later someone else will catch on, and then where will you be?"
"No one is going to figure it out!" He answered back, earning a scoffing sound from her. "I take only little things, items that don't matter to anyone..."
"They matter to the humans you steal from!" She pointed out. "Lezard, I don't understand why you're so fascinated by them and the things they make..."
"The humans are very clever." He replied. "It's amazing some of the things they come up with."
"Surely not as amazing as the sights of Asgard." She countered. "What can the humans possibly make to rival the creations we Gods come up with?"
"I can think of a few..." Lezard murmured, the image of the girl with the silver blue hair springing to mind. He wanted to get back to her, back to the shared dream. and to do that he had to get rid of his sister. "Did you have a specific reason for coming here, or are you just checking up on me?"
By the flush on Mystina's face, he knew his answer, Lezard sighing. "Really Mystina, I'm doing fine. I haven't stolen anything from the mortals in days..."
"And that alone should be suspicious!" Mystina exclaimed. "Brother, I am worried about you. You are being more secretive and withdrawn than usual..."
"Have I now?" He asked, to which she nodded vigorously.
"Everyone is wondering about you." She added. "They all remembered what happened the last time you stayed cooped up in your work shop."
He grumbled then, flustered annoyance filling him. "Will they never let me live down that embarrassment? It was only a few monsters, and it happened several millennia ago!"
"Those monsters were enough to nearly wipe out the mortals. It was a near catastrophe, is it any wonder they worry?" Mystina demanded, then softened. "Please brother, come out with me. Just for a little while...Prove to everyone you have a life beyond this workshop."
He hesitated, thinking of his human, the girl likely still asleep and waiting for him. "I...I don't.."
"Lezard!" She grit out, stamping her foot in mock tantrum. "I'm asking, no begging you to do this. For me if not for yourself."
"I...I guess I could..." He fought not to look at the mirror, fearing it would react and show an image of the mortal's dreamscape.
Mystina seized his arm, already dragging him towards the door. "Yes, you can." She stated firmly. "Some sun will do some good for you, you're so pale. And I'm sure the other Gods and Goddesses will be delighted to see and speak to you."
"Somehow Mystina, I doubt that." Lezard mumbled, allowing himself to be dragged along. He felt regret in his heart at abandoning his human, but knew that for now he had to keep up appearances, if only to appease his sister's concerns.
To Be Continued...!