I do not own Valkyrie Profile, or the characters Lezard, Lenneth, and Alicia. That honor belongs to Tri Ace and Square Enix. Nor do I make any money off of these stories.
Ah...this is an idea I had for about two years now. I always wanted to write a fic where Lenneth was the Valkyrie inside Alicia instead of Silmeria. But my idea got corrupted by my new friend Maria, but I think for the better. This is going to be a very odd love triangle...and may not end well for everyone...
She was aware of someone speaking, their urgent voice faint as though it came from a distance. There was an echoing quality to it, and it competed with the insistent throbbing of her head, her ears ringing in an attempt to drown out the voice. The voice though persisted, never losing patience, the repeating chant keeping her from slipping deeper into unconsciousness.
With a start she realized she could make out her name, the voice trying to gain her attention. She blinked, and then was gasping, sitting upright with sharp, sudden movements. Sound and disorientation followed those actions, the room spinning dizzily about as something heavy and metallic rattled near to her. She had a sinking suspicion about that sound, and nearly moaned when the voice spoke again.
"Alicia, thank goodness you are awake."
"Lenneth!" Alicia breathed out, eyes squinted half shut to try and block out the way the room spun violently about her. "What happened..? Where am I...why does my head hurt so much?"
"Easy Alicia." The voice from inside her spoke, tone soft and calming. "You must avoid making any sudden movements. At least for a while yet,"
"Where are we?" Alicia asked, fighting the urge to lay back down. The voice was silent, Alicia managing a frown. "You don't know, do you?" The thought that the voice, Lenneth as she was known, might not know the answer to that question terrified Alicia. "We're in trouble, aren't we?" She moaned then, and tried to raise a hand to her head, as if that could stop the fierce pounding in her temples.
That action of hers was stopped before her arm raised more than an inch upwards, Alicia realizing there was something heavy weighing it down. Weighing both her arms down, the girl opening her eyes fully to stare in shock at the thick, gray manacles that were currently secured around her wrists. Twin lengths of long chain were linked to the center of each manacle, and they extended to a point behind her, fastened securely in place.
"Lenneth, what's going on?" Alicia cried out, giving in to her horror to thrash about in a panic. Her legs were free to move about, but she took no comfort of the fact, Alicia too horrified at the realization that someone had not only chained her in place, but had also chained her to a bed. A very big bed from the looks of it, Alicia finding herself situated square in the middle, with room on either side of her body for another person to fit against.
She didn't like that realization, anymore than she like the situation she found herself in, Alicia noticing more and more details of the room. Like the fact that the bed had a canopy, soft sheer curtains draping over the edges to trail to the floor. The curtains were tied back on the sides of the bed, allowing two openings for her to peer past them into the room.
It was remarkable only in that the room could have been any one of the dozens that made up the castle that was her home. That had been her home since she had been about six years of age, ever since she had been torn from her sobbing mother's arms. Thoughts of her mother didn't calm her, Alicia fighting back the memories, even as she continued to struggle, testing the strength of the chains.
They were strong, far stronger than anything her frail form could break. She wondered why anyone would go to such trouble to subdue her with such chains, wouldn't simple rope be just as effective?. Unless, and she shuddered now, frightened anew. Could they know about the person inside her, the goddess that had resided in her body since the moment of her birth?
"Lenneth.." Alicia breathed out the Goddess' name, her fear palpable. She could feel the way Lenneth flinched inside her, the Goddess reacting to the terror Alicia was radiating. "We're in trouble aren't we?"
A pause, and that was worse than confirmation, Alicia moaning again. The throbbing in her head seemed to increase in response to her fear, Alicia wanting badly to lay back against the pillows that looked so soft and inviting. Lay back, and sleep this nightmare away. But she didn't dare, frightened of what would happen if she did close her eyes. Would someone join her in the bed? She shivered and was nearly ill with revulsion at the thought, Alicia shaking her head, her hair bouncing wildly about. It only increased the pain in her head, Alicia wanting to curl into the fetal position, and whimper till the pounding went away.
"This is the danger you sensed, isn't it?" She was speaking more to distract herself, both from the pain and the fear. She didn't think it would work, but Alicia was willing to try just about anything not to give in to the screams building up inside her. "The danger that had us fleeing the castle in the middle of the night?" She could remember that moment perfectly, of how Lenneth's voice had roused her from the impromptu nap she had taken. The open book in her lap had fallen to the floor, heavy thud helping to rouse her almost as much as Lenneth's urgent scream had.
She didn't know how Lenneth knew there was danger approaching the castle, but Alicia hadn't paused to question her. She knew enough to trust Lenneth's wisdom implicitly, the Goddess never leading Alicia wrong. And so she had run, ignoring the servants' startled looks, and the shouts that had followed after her. Shouts she had continued to hear, even as she burst into the castle's inner courtyard, the pitch black sky flashing bright with the sparks of unholy lightning.
The shouts had turned to screams then, people were dying inside the castle. That knowledge made Alicia want to run back inside, even as her legs failed her. She knew the deaths would stop if she returned, but she had been so afraid to do the right thing. And all because it would have surely resulted in her own death, Lenneth torn free of her body, and sent back to the heavens.
In the end it was not Alicia who had moved their body, but Lenneth, the Goddess forcing her legs to continue their forward trajectory. The lightning seemed to increase in intensity, until it was almost blinding. Lenneth ran for them both, desperate to escape. The pursuit was given, someone running, their feet hitting the cobblestones with loud, sure steps.
Alicia could remember trying to wrest back control of her body, some dark compulsion making her want to see and face their pursuers. She also remember what had happened when she made her move, Lenneth faltering, the body stumbling, almost dropping to it's knees. That had cost them, Alicia knew that now, her memories going dark as something from behind had struck her, struck them.
She could remember hearing Lenneth scream inside her head, the sound overriding everything else. Alicia had dropped to unconsciousness with Lenneth's pained voice in her ear, and only one single stray thought had remained. What in the heavens had been powerful enough to strike enough pain to hurt the Goddess hidden inside her?
"I don't understand any of this." Alicia said out loud, trying to forget how Lenneth's pain filled voice had sounded. "Why aren't we dead? Lenneth...if they could hurt us, why didn't they kill us? What is...what is their game?"
She would not speak the names out loud, as if fearing that would bring Odin and his Valkyries down upon them. Alicia knew that they hunted Lenneth, hunted the Goddess and the body she had been bound to. They wanted to return Lenneth to the heavens, to force her to be obedient lap dog once more. And if they could not earn Lenneth's compliance, they would force another fate on her, force the goddess to sleep the eternal sleep and this time there would be no accidental reprieve.
Neither Alicia nor Lenneth understood what had happened when the sovereign's rite had been cast all those years ago. Lenneth should have been nothing but a soul, asleep inside Alicia with no power or awareness of her position. And yet something had gone wrong with the spell, Lenneth not only being bound to Alicia, but remaining conscious.
Awake and aware, Lenneth had known she wouldn't be able to hide indefinitely from Odin and his minions. And thus she had spent the last nineteen years preparing for the inevitable attacks that would eventually come. Even before Alicia had been old enough to hold a sword, Lenneth had been educating her. Granting her the divine wisdom of the Gods, preparing both her mind and body for the battles that would come.
Alicia had trained daily with a sword, much to her father's displeasure. He had never spoken to her directly, but word had come in the form of official decrees, King Barbarossa forbidding Alicia continue such nonsense. She had ignored such demands, practicing from morning until night, her hands growing numb and calloused from how often she had wielded a blade.
Alicia was no accomplished sword master, especially not when one compared her to the Goddess. She had once asked Lenneth what the point of it all was, she certainly didn't think she'd ever be good enough to win in a fight. Certainly not against a trained swordsmen, never mind the divine assassins that would be coming after her. She had known even then that she would fare better if Lenneth was the one in control of their body, the Goddess using a sword like it was an extension of her own hand.
Of course, the Goddess was limited to a human's strength now, her divine powers curbed for the most part. Perhaps that is why she chose for them to run that night, rather than stand and face the one who chased them. She must have known Alicia's body would not last, and Lenneth had always had a zest for life, a desire for both she and Alicia to live.
That desire is what had kept Alicia going through her darkest periods, the girl living a life that felt devoid of love and acceptance. Her parents had turned their back on her, the kingdom proclaiming her dead. Sent away, she all but lived under lock and key, never being allowed to leave the vast property that made up her prison. The people that surrounded her, all servants handpicked by her father, constantly monitored Alicia. They tsked and they frowned, chiding her for her bouts of so called insanity. No one wanted to acknowledge what was really happening to their princess, content to live on in blissful ignorance of the divinity that had marked her since she was but a child.
Even the church turned a blind eye to Alicia's condition, proclaiming it blasphemous to even think that a Goddess could come to reside inside a human's body. Alicia could remember a time, before she had been sent away, when a gathering of temple priestesses had tried to perform an exorcism on her. They had wanted to cast out the Goddess within her, and they hadn't been swayed by the realization that their attempts were doing more harm than good.
Even then Lenneth had protected her, the Goddess taking over Alicia's young body, shielding her from the pain. Lenneth had even gone so far as to cut Alicia off from her body, the girl able to see and hear what was being done, but never feel it.
Perhaps Alicia should have hated Lenneth for being the cause of all that had happened to her. But such emotion was beyond the girl's ability to feel. She'd sooner hate her own father than Lenneth, Barbarossa and the people he hired to play captor to his own daughter. But Alicia had understood from an early age that they were all trying to make the best out of a difficult situation.
As rough as life had been for Alicia, she couldn't begin to imagine how terrible it must have been for Lenneth. The Goddess displaced, trapped in a human, and hunted by her own kind. She couldn't even manifest for more than a few moments at a time, the drain on her strength a high cost she paid for each moment she spent in control of Alicia's body. More often than not it was Alicia who moved their body, the princess in command of their actions. Lenneth played at being content to exist merely as a voice inside Alicia's mind, but the princess could often sense the underlying frustration within the Goddess.
That frustration was never more apparent than it was now, the Goddess as nervous as Alicia could ever recall feeling. Lenneth didn't like the situation they found themselves in, any more than Alicia did. And yet neither one of them wanted to think about what would happen next, what would be done to them, and by who.
"It's funny..." Alicia began, then quickly shook her head no. "No...I suppose that's the wrong word. But what I mean is how strange it is...this room...It's not what I expected of our pursuers. It looks nothing like what you would expect to see up in the heavens." Lenneth said nothing, though Alicia felt her eyes flicker, the Goddess casting a glance about the room.
"I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky.." Alicia continued. "That we're not rotting away in a dungeon somewhere..." But she knew that neither one of them felt very lucky in this situation, Alicia shivering once more. She pulled on her arms again, listening to the chains rattle. She didn't understand any of this, didn't know why she was here, why she was still alive, or why she had been chained to a bed. But her mind filled with wild thoughts, Alicia imagining the kind of tortures that would be done to her, all in order to get to the Goddess she housed inside her.
"Lenneth...I'm scared." Alicia finally whispered. "I...I don't want to die...not this way..."
"I'm here with you Alicia..." Came the reassurance. "Whatever happens, I won't let you feel a thing."
"But I can't let you be tortured in my place!" protested Alicia, and she felt the warmth of Lenneth smiling inside her.
"Thank you Alicia. But you've suffered enough on my behalf."
"But nothing." Lenneth insisted firmly. "It's me that they want...I only regret that you have to be involved in this at all." A sad sigh then, Lenneth turning apologetic. "I know it hasn't been an easy life for you, having a Goddess housed inside you. It's cost you many things, your family, your right to friends, maybe even your future."
"Lenneth no... I wouldn't..."
"No one would wish this kind of burden upon themselves. And perhaps it would have been better if I had never spoken to you. If I had played at being asleep.." Alicia couldn't imagine it, this bright, vibrant Goddess living a life where all she could do was observe. It would be worse than the sentence Odin had tried to force on her, Lenneth awake and aware, but unable to act.
"I can't imagine my life without you." Alicia retorted, her voice rife with passion. "Nor would I want to. You've been my friend, my sister, even the mother that was taken from me. You've taught me so many things...I'm a better person because of your presence in my life."
"My presence has also cost you so much..." Lenneth pointed out, and Alicia shook her head no.
"It's an even trade...I've been blessed to know you. And that's something no one can take away from me..." Alicia sensed Lenneth wanted to argue with her, and she quickly spoke, the princess hoping to distract the Goddess. "I suppose our first order of business if getting off these chains..." She rattled them again, lifting up her right arm so she could examine the manacle secure around her wrist. "I don't suppose you know how to pick a lock?"
"Never learned." Admitted Lenneth. "Locks and keys were something I never used to have to worry about." A sigh went through her, Lenneth regretful. "I suppose that's one area of your education I neglected."
"Don't blame yourself!" Alicia said quickly. "You couldn't have known we'd have use of that kind of skill."
"But I should have anticipated the need!" exclaimed Lenneth, sounding agitated. "I've been planning for this showdown since you were born...to think I might cost us everything because of a simple oversight! But I never dreamed they would take us alive..."
"What value do we have to them alive?" Alicia wondered out loud. The Goddess had no answer for that, and that troubled her all the more. She sighed, and nearly fell back against the many pillows that were between her and the bed's headboard, but Alicia didn't want to be caught laying down. Instead she chose to test the strength of her chains, trying to see if any pull would free them from their fastening.
"Alicia...you should maintain your strength." Advised Lenneth after several moments had passed.
"I can't just sit here and do nothing!" Alicia protested, then paused, a thought occurring to her. "Lenneth...could you break these chains? I know you're not as strong as you normally would be, but when you take control of my body, my strength seems to increase, even if it's just a little..." She could sense Lenneth was considering the idea, weighing the potential outcomes that would follow such an action.
"We will be weakened if I do this." Lenneth said at last. "We may gain our freedom this way, but be unable to fight whatever waits for us outside this room..."
"I don't care." Alicia replied, a stubborn tilt to her expression. "I do not want to just lay here and wait for whatever dastardly fate our captors have in store for us. And I don't think you want to either!"
"Then we are agreed." Alicia felt the familiar surge of power go through her, Lenneth taking over their body. Long used to this sensation, Alicia relaxed, making the transition easier for the Goddess. It took not even a full second for Lenneth to be in command, the Goddess winding the chains around her arms. Alicia felt Lenneth tense up, and than the chains rattled, the length of them straining as the Goddess pulled with all her might.
"That's it.." Alicia breathed out in Lenneth's mind. "You're doing it, you're doing it!"
There was a great wrenching sound, the chains snapping free of their fastenings. They snapped forward, the ends of the chain striking against them, Alicia feeling the pain of it as Lenneth relinquished control. She could feel Lenneth's tiredness, this feat of strength draining her. Alicia could also feel the way her arms hurt, as though she had nearly succeeded in pulling them out of their sockets during Lenneth's successful attempt to break free.
"Alicia..." Lenneth's voice was faint, her tone urgent. "Quickly..."
Alicia nodded, and crawled over to the edge of the bed, well aware of the pain in her arms, and the way her head still throbbed. In the condition she was in, she'd hardly be able to put up a fight, Alicia sure that even if she had access to a sword, she wouldn't be able to lift it just then.
At least her legs still felt strong, Alicia taking quick, confidant steps to the door. Only then did she think to wonder if it too would be locked, Alicia grabbing at the polished bronze handle. It turned with ease, and she let out the breath she had been holding, Alicia wrenching the door open.
"Stay cautious!" Came Lenneth's advice, Alicia nodding as she poked her head out into the hall. She was ready to flinch, to draw back at the slightest sign of attack, but none came. She was relieved, but unable to trust this, Alicia badly wishing she had some kind of weapon on her. She kept expecting her captors to fly out of the shadows, to strike when she least expected it.
"It's clear.." Alicia whispered, and stepped out into the corridor. It was dimly lit here, with only a few torches hanging on the walls. Most were unlit, and what light there was could not combat the shadows that were trying to take over the hall. Her steps were cautious at first, but the longer they went without being attacked, the bolder Alicia became until she was all but running down the hall.
To Be Continued!