Challenge: The Nectar of Love

Pairing(s): Raguna x Zavier x Raguna

Summary: Zavier travels too deep into Carmite Cave, following Raguna in hopes to out do the stranger who seems to want to impress HIS Mist. However, after an accident, Zavier finds himself wanting to help his previous rival out.

Chapter 1

The Accident

It was a beautiful day in Karida, flowers blooming and ocean shimmering. The townspeople were happy and busy with their own morning chores, minus the two children who were too busy wanting to play around in the wonderful sunshine, and a blonde man who had snuck out of his house before either mother or younger sister spotted him making his quick depart.

Zavier was determined. Today was the day he would show that girlfriend stealer who was the best man for Mist. And no chores were going to slow him down!

As he entered Raguna's farmland, Zavier was quick to notice the crops were already watered for the day. 'Damn, he already finished his chores already?' the blonde cursed, hurrying his steps to reach Carmite Cave before he loses track of his rival, 'He must of gotten up early. But I won't let that defeat me!'

It was a short run from Raguna's farm to the cave, but he arrived just in time to spot the back of the farmer as he finished off a warrior monster and destroying the portal to stop anymore from being sent into their world, at least for the time being. Zavier did his best to stay hidden, watching as the brunette wiped sweat off his brow, releasing a relieved sigh at coming out victorious yet again. From what he could tell, Raguna looked a little out of it more then usual.

'Did he not sleep well last night?' Zavier wondered, blinking curious brown eyes as he studies his rival carefully. If that were the case, then it was a stupid move to be playing around in Carmite Cave. Sure, many of the monsters this deep weren't much of a challenge for a beginning warrior, but that didn't mean you still couldn't get badly hurt if not careful. Zavier knew that from experience, and did his best not to make a repeat of it, to avoid the pain of hearing Lara lecture him on taking better care of himself.

Blinking with a jump as he noticed Raguna finally begin going deeper into the cave, Zavier felt his lips press together tightly as he firmly vowed, 'Guess I better keep a good eye on this guy. If he's in trouble, I can save him in time. That'll make Mist look at me as the hero!' Chuckling under his breath at that last thought, the blonde hurried off to follow his would-be damsel in distress.

Raguna let out another sigh as he yet again destroyed another portal, finally reaching the stairway to go even deeper into the cavern. His vision blurred slightly as he let himself rest, leaning against the hilt of his sword which was resting unceremoniously in the dirt, blade buried between the hard rubble.

'This is getting a bit too dangerous,' he thought to himself, blinking his eyes to help clear his wavering vision as he let his breath catch up with him. The battles weren't hard, and the monsters rather weak compared to what he had been used to recently since entering the lava cave, however... Glancing towards the stairs, Raguna pushed himself off his sword, lifting it to be held properly as he pushed himself onwards.

'If I remember right, the queen bees should be located in this area,' Raguna recollected to himself, glancing around the corners to avoid any surprise attacks from the monsters within this lower level of Carmite Cave. For once, the pathways were oddly empty, giving the brunette a clear path to where he remembered spotting the buzzing bugs before. Smiling faintly, Raguna couldn't help to find one of these bees. Mist had shared with him the honey from one such monster that she bought in town, saying it was really delicious. And boy, was it ever. But, with his tight funds, having to afford for both the monsters already in his farm and the crops that he grew, he couldn't spare the extra change on the sweet nectar. 'But if I can befriend one myself, I won't have to pay for honey every once in a while.'

It didn't take long before he steps out within an open part of the cave, the cavern walls expanding greatly to allow more free space to roam. Meaning, more monsters to pop out of every corner. Bracing himself for the coming challenge of yet another battle, Raguna was quick in exterminating the giant ants that snapped at his legs, cutting through the glowing portal as soon as possible before more could retaliate. Spinning around as an orc monster tried to whack him with a heavy club, the brunette was quick on his feet as he dodged out of the way, doing a barrel roll just in the nick of time before getting hit by a second swing.

However, the rolling dodge was a bad move, as a sudden wave of dizziness attacked Raguna's vision yet again. Wincing as he tried to force himself to clear it as soon as possible, Raguna didn't notice as the orc readied its club for another violent swing from behind.

"Raguna, look out!"

Blue eyes widened in surprise at the sudden voice of one Zavier, vision clearing just enough to spot the blurry form of the young man charging at him, his short sword at the ready as he dashed past, halting the orc's weapon from making contact with his unsuspecting victim. However, before Raguna could let himself be taken in by the rarity of seeing the blonde willing fight a monster, the soft buzz of another monster caught his attention quickly after.

'The bees!' Raguna cursed in his mind, spinning his head around to face where Zavier had come from, spotting the angry little hornets as the flew angrily their way. Somehow, the inexperienced warrior must have disturbed them on his way to help Raguna, not noticing the insects in the slightest. And at this state in time, he was in no condition to retaliate well with his blade, if he couldn't even face off with a simple orc.

The closet hornet, however, didn't care about Raguna and was quick to target his deadly stinger at the back of Zavier, eyes red with rage at being bothered by a human. Its stingy glowed a bright purple, oozing of the tale-tell poison, before it shot out in a glowing beam. Raguna was quick to act, pushing himself up onto his wobbly legs to stand between the bee and blonde, spatting out a quick, "Zavier, be careful!" before the purple-shimmering beam jabbed itself into his right arm painfully, poison quick to taking root into his bloodstream the instant it cut through his skin.

Knocking the orc back just enough to give himself time to look at Raguna questioningly at his sudden outburst, Zavier couldn't suppress the horror that crossed his features as he watched his rival fall to his knees, left hand clinging to his shoulder that was turning a deep indigo instead of the healthy tan it held before. "Oh crap!" the blonde cried, now noticing the angry hord of hornets heading their way. Whacking the orc one more time over the head, Zavier rushed to the brunette's side, placing a nervously reassuring hand on Raguna's back as he quickly spat, "W-we need to get out of here, now! I'll, I'll teleport us out! Okay? Hold on tight to me."

Without much more of a warning, Zavier pulled out his teleporting trinket, squeezing it in the palm of his hand as he concentrated on activating the little spell. He only faintly felt Raguna's hand shakily gripping the front of his vest, before he could feel his body becoming lighter as the spell took affect, teleporting the two safely to the entrance whence they came.

"Zavier, how many times have I told you to be careful in that cave? Its not a place to be playing hero just for kicks!" Lara, the healing nun, lectured the blonde, ignoring as he visibly winced with each rise of her voice.

As much as he hated the woman's lectures, he had been in too much of a panic to get Raguna help, and hurriedly dragged the brunette to the first place that crossed his mind. Luckily, Lara was kind enough to bite her tongue when she saw Raguna's condition, urging the two young men inside and instructing Zavier to help the wounded onto the bed while she got the antidote and gauze to wrap the wound as soon as she finished cleaning it. However, once everything was finished and Raguna was left resting on the nurse's bed, Lara did not let herself hold back any longer.

"How in the world did that happen, anyways?" Lara relented just enough, however her voice still held the same strictness that promised more lecturing if Zavier said anything more that would warrant it.

"Er... W-well," Zavier began, nervously scratching the back of his head as he let his brown eyes drift towards the bed where the brunette rested, "I went into Carmite Cave like I usually do, and... well, I saw Raguna there, too. He didn't look too well, like he was tired or something, so, I followed to make sure he was okay. Which he apparently wasn't, because he seemed to be having troubles taking out a simple orc, which I know he can take out just fine on his own." Sighing, he returned his eyes to lock onto Lara's towering glower, wondering what the woman was thinking as he finished his side of the tale, "When I saw he was about to get hurt, I jumped in to save him, but... I guess I attracted some of the hornets down there, and he jumped in the way of me getting hit. I... I guess we both helped each other out, but..."

"He got injured in the process," Lara grounded out in understanding, releasing a tired sigh as her features softened into a calmer face, eyes shimmering with worry, "You men are so reckless all the time, its no wonder we worry about your foolishness." Shaking her head, she turned her attention over to the sleeping Raguna, announcing to Zavier, "Luckily you were able to get him here just in time to treat the poison. However, it'll take a few days before he will have complete control over that arm again."

"W-what?" Zavier yelped, eyes bugging out in shock. 'Did that stinger hit him just right to paralyze his arm or something!' Looking between the nun and farmer, Zavier finally got out a panicked, "B-but what about his farm? He needs that arm to do most of the work on his crops, and to care for his monsters!"

"Hmm..." Lara hummed thoughtfully, eyes half-lidded in deep thought. What Zavier said was true. He would need both arms to handle most of the heavy farm work he did daily, and as much as she didn't want him to be over exerting himself while he healed, she knew he'd try anyways. But then again... "Why not offer to do it for him?"

"H-huh?" Zavier blinked, mouth agape at the suggestion.

"Well, you were the one who helped him get stung in the first place," Lara reasoned with a charming smile, despite the dangerous gleam within her deep eyes, "Its the least you could do as an apology for letting him get so wounded to the point of being unable to do his normal chores."

"I... I suppose so..." Zavier's shoulders slumped in defeat, knowing what she said to be true. 'But chores?' the blonde grimaced at the thought. He already avoided most chores he had to do at home, but now he had to do them for his rival? This was just not his day...

"As soon as Raguna wakes up, I'm subscribing him to full bed rest until his arm is better," Lara announced, writing down something on a piece of paper before handing it over to Zavier, who obediently took it without a word, "Once he's up, I'll have you take him home, and you two can discuss what you'll be doing for him while he's down. I don't want him lifting anything heavy nor putting strain on his body. You will be his care taker until I say he's fit to be active again. Understood?"

"I have to be at his side until he's well?" Zavier loudly whined, giving Lara his best puppy-dog eyes in hopes to wheedle his way out of this predicament. However, the look did not work on the nun, who easily brushed him off with a forced-happy smile.

"That's right."

"...Dang it."


IMPORTANT AUTHOR NOTE: For any of you who love my work, I must inform I won't be posting as much on anymore. To keep full updates on my work, go to my new site, that will be found in my bio pack, called PKCute. There, you'll find fics from both myself and Pucha, as well as our artwork on another part of that site. It holds are innocent and mature works, with no worries of being censored. So please take a look~

This story is a special challenge fic with Pucha, who's doing one herself. Basically, we challenged each other to make us a fic with a specific pairing we like, for a full week, making one chapter a day. So, this story WILL be 7 chapters long, however, I won't be posting the other chapters up here. The rest will be on our site. So, if you want to see more, you know where to find us.