Authors Note: Well, I'm glad to say I've decided to go ahead and write some Yuri x Estelle. My Yu Yu Hakusho readers, I am dearly sorry to have taken so long to return, there was no excuse for it and I shall update 祝日の物語 sometime soon. I'm very sorry for taking so long.
Anyway, please enjoy the Introduction. I'll try to update it again before too long.
:EDITED: Estelle's name, eyes, and the final paragraph.
Stray locks of golden hair shrouded equally golden eyes from view as they floated along the chilling night breeze that swept across the barren sandy dunes of Korgorh. The dim moonlight illuminated the shadow of a thin woman against aqua-toned sand. She was donned in strange attire, much unlike anything the age had ever seen before.
She stood there alone, a top of the dunes and staring out into the distance.
"Milady, what're-?" A man's voice said from behind her, brisk and fresh, an energized bounce in his step.
"What am I doing out here?" The woman replied, her voice's tone akin to that of a trickling forest stream, "I'm doing exactly what I want to do, Zagrest." She kept her back to him, facing the moon quietly as her long golden hair, carried on the wind, whipped wildly around her head as the wind picked up. Behind her, Zagrest gripped his hat for dear life, cursing the strengthening breeze, trying to shout over it to her.
"But, Dea del Mondo…." Zagrest yelled, his blue eyes narrowed in concern and annoyance as Dea continued to ignore him, "We cannot remain here long!" He was sure she didn't hear him, so he pressed on, brushing stray strands of ginger hair out of his face and trying not to choke on the sand, "This place, this world isn't-" He wasn't surprised when she once again cut him off; it seemed she made quite a habit of it these days.
"-Any of my concern….?" Dea scoffed, glancing back at Zagrest, her features half-hidden in darkness. "And who do you think you are talking to?" Her icy tone chilled him more than the harsh wind and he recoiled, slightly frightened. "I make the decisions here and that's final!" She growled, her expression saying quite plainly not to argue with her; never mind his previous statement, Zagrest was terrified of her. The grown man began to shake stiffly, and not due to the deserts freezing night temperature. She glared a few moments longer, before turning and looking back at the moon. "An apology for your terror, Zagrest" She murmured quietly as the wind died down and her hair fell to place around her face "You've nothing but loyal to me, and you're only looking out for my best interests…" Zagrest remained silent behind her, his short ginger hair safely tucked behind his ears. The wind had died with her irritation, but the wind hadn't bothered him in the first place. He had forgotten just how frightening she could be.
"Milady…." Zagrest began with some hesitation, before slowly approaching her from behind, slowly continuing his first statement, "what are you exactly planning to do?" He paused once again, now standing next to her and equally illuminated by the full moon. Even without the wind, the nights were still chilly, he thought with a scowl as he looked down at Dea. "You know…" He shrugged his shoulders, trying to think of a good way to say it. "…you're not going to destroy this world, right?" He said, for a lack of a better way to state it.
"Depends…" Dea sighed somewhat remorsefully, before looking up into the sky and searching it. When nothing was found, she sighed and turned away, "Perhaps I might," Words uttered almost nonchalantly as she turned away from the moon and Zagrest. "Perhaps I might not…" She closed her eyes and completely turned her back to the moon and began descending the dunes, Zagrest watching her.
"Dea del Mondo…" He muttered, watching her retreating figure slow and look over her shoulder patiently. Zagrest looked up at the sky and searched for several moments. "…Never mind," He muttered after several minutes of silence and sky searching, before he too turned his back on the full moon and descended the dunes. The two of them glanced at each other, before disappearing into the sands of the Korgorh desert.
A nice, cool charming spring breeze filtered itself through the windows of the homes of the lower quarter as the inhabitants busied themselves spring cleaning. People were laughing, talking and children playing in the streets. Some vendors selling fruits and other food to some of the citizens, and old man Hanks couldn't help but wonder how long this lovely calm would last.
"Yuri Lowell! You cad! Show yourself immediately!"
Not very long apparently, he sighed and closed his eyes. The second that troublemaker from Brave Vesperia had set foot in town; this is what had been expected of him. The older man didn't try to stop the Schwann Brigade from darting across the plaza in search of their nuisance; he knew their target would make enough fools of them already. The fruit vendor to his right and several of the other lower quarter residents giggled at the sight of the brigade, knowing their fate even if they didn't.
Only moments later, just a bit further down the stairs they heard yelps of surprise followed by loud splashes, then laughter mixed in with the angry shouts of the brigade ("We'll get you for this" and "How dare you!"). Just seconds later, the troublemaker himself darted through the center, dragging a still giggling girl in a simple white and yellow dress. He had just rounded the corner with the girl when the Schwann Brigade, soaking wet and huffing and puffing reached the center.
"Damn you Lowell! Return lady Estellise this moment!"
The center, filled with people, burst into laughter as two pebbles hit both members of the Schwann brigades' foreheads in reply. The two of them yelped and jumped back, rubbing their now red foreheads and looking around wildly to see where the source of the attack was from. Spotting a flash of pink, the shorter of the Schwann brigade shook the taller, and pointed. Alerted, the pink disappeared and the two men darted over to where it had been spotted and noticed their target among the crowds, sneaking with his "captive" right at his heels. "Yuri Lowell-!" They yelled, taking off down the street after them.
Hanks watched them go with a look of amusement; it was never boring with Yuri around to stir up trouble, even now.
"Do you think Yuri will ever grow up? The friendly fruit vendor asked chuckling as she handed Hanks an oval shaped orange colored fruit. "I mean, he's fun and all, but he's twenty two, twenty three now?" She brushed her hair out of her round, kind face with her right hand, and stretched her left towards the old man as Hanks handed her ten gald.
"Do I ever think he'll grow up…?" Hanks repeated quietly, rolling the fruit back and forth between his withered old hands. After a moment or two of contemplation, Hanks laughed loudly as the sounds of said person and his pursuers was carried on the wind to their ears. "Oh hell no! That boy will never grow up!" He laughed, catching a glimpse of the boy and his "captive" as they oh-so-cleverly snuck past the Schwann brigade once again before disappearing around another corner. "But this is the Yuri we all know and love…"
"Well I know that," The kind woman replied, her eyes also focused on the Schwann Brigade as they tried to figure out how their target had escaped. "But he can't remain like this forever…"
"He can sure as hell try." Hanks smiled, closing his eyes and enjoying the spring breeze. He looked at the orange fruit in his hands and suddenly thought of fruit salad, and turned to the vendor, "You know, I could also use a kirima…"
Gasping for breath atop the roof of the inn, Estelle couldn't stop shaking in laughter as her companion, equally wiped, relaxed and took in deep, calming breaths. She brushed her pink locks out of her green eyes, her cheeks still flushed from darting throughout the lower quarter. Regaining her breath, her eyes met with that of her companions, and moments later, they again both started laughing in unison.
This always happened when Yuri returned from Dahngrest.
Finally the giggles died down and the two of them lay panting on the roof, looking up into the blue spring sky as birds passed over head. The wind picked up slightly, grabbing at her long cotton dress and flaring it up. Yelping, she sat up immediately and grabbed the cloth, jamming it under her now folded legs, a bright crimson blush painted across her peachy skin as swirling tendrils of her now shoulder-length hair played in her face. Moving the hair behind her ear, she noticed Yuri rolling upwards, his thick obsidian hair moving with the wind, his dark eyes meeting her green ones.
"That should show Flynn…" He smirked, trying not to chuckle when the sounds of Tweedle A and Tweedle B reached them. They must just be on the street below, Estelle thought with a little giggle, and completely unaware of their target just above them. "I come back to catch up, and he has the gall not only to set a few guards on me, but the persistent Schwann Brigade? Give me a break." He once again lay back against the aqua-tiled roof, and, tucking her dress under her legs, followed suite. "So, Estelle, how much longer until the council lets you go?"
Estelle was silent for a moment, her bangs casting a shadow over her face and mouth slightly downturned. Seconds later, she rolled her head to look at him, loving the feel of the warm tile against her cheek as he too, turned to look at her. "They said I would be relieved of any obligation to the throne soon as Ioder produces an heir." Her relative had gotten married late last year, and already the council was pressuring for a child, as normal as it was for royalty to be under this sort of pressure, Estelle still couldn't help but feel a little sorry for her relative. He wasn't used to the kind of pressure that both the Imperial Knights and the Council was putting on him. And even though he was stronger than he looked, Estelle still couldn't help but wonder. "But…" She said aloud, pulling herself out of her thoughts, "They want to keep me here for a bit longer."
"Well, that's disappointing…." Yuri sighed, frowning slightly, and closing eyes before continuing "Karol ordered me to bring you back immediately..." Estelle's gaze grew curious as he continued, had something happened to their guild? "…last year." He finished, smirking at the mixture of agitation and embarrassment on her face as she leaned forward and grabbed one of his locks of hair, his silky smooth thick pretty and shiny hair…and pulled. He yelped in surprise.
"Yuri!" Estelle pouted, a little annoyed that she had fallen for such an obvious trap. He laughed with that silly grin Estelle had fallen in love with a long time ago. Her guard down, she released her firm grip on his luscious hair and began playing with it, threading it through her fingers. Her irritation faded away as she played with his thick obsidian hair, replaced by more pressing matters in her mind… She lifted her eyes to meet Yuri's somewhat puzzled ones. She smiled at him, never being one to hold a grudge for long. He returned the smile, although a little confounded by her behavior.
"You're long overdue," He continued, looking up at the sky with a faraway look, "And Karol was wondering if you even wanted to return." He tried to sound nonchalant, but Estelle could hear the veiled strain, was he worried about her deciding to leave them as well? Yuri looked at her once again as she suddenly rolled over on her stomach, now just a few inches away from him.
"Of course I do!" Estelle exclaimed, facing him with her eyes wide open and brimming with excitement. "It's been almost a year since I've left the capital!" It was true, only months after saving the world, she had been approached by the council and the imperial knights, pleading her to come back to Zaphias immediately. Worried that something was terribly wrong, she had returned and they hadn't let her go since.
"That's what I thought you might say." Yuri chuckled, rolling to his side and facing her, his expression playful. "Karol will be happy to hear that." She heard his words, but Yuri's hair was distracting. The wind had made it so that his hair was all messy and scruffy, and she just wanted to run her fingers through it and play with it… "Uh….Estelle?"
"Oh! Sorry, Yuri!" Estelle dropped the lock of Yuri hair she was playing with as though it might bite her. Blushing profusely, she faced away from him for a few moments to regain herself and her silly little fantasies. She could hear him trying not to laugh at her from behind her and realized with another twinge of embarrassment, that he was just teasing her again. "….sorry…" She apologized anyway.
"I don't see why you're apologizing, you were only spacing out." Yuri replied, unaffected by her fascination with his hair, he was quite used to it by now. "I was going to ask how life was going in the castle, but your earlier statement answered that all on its own." He could see right through her, and she wasn't sure if she liked that or not. The object of her thoughts spoke up again in that catching voice of his, recapturing her undivided attention. "So, how's Flynn?"
"Flynn is…" Estelle wasn't sure how to answer this without being charged as an associate to homicide by ridicule. Yuri would love the news and wouldn't hesitate to go and tease Flynn with it. "…He's seeing someone…" She continued slowly, not taking notice on how Yuri was suddenly paying close attention to her every word and movement as she kept her eyes on the sky.
"Who?" Estelle heard his question, but didn't notice the hesitation, the deeper breathing; his downturned eyebrows as she was too busy observing the sky over Yuri, wondering if it would be alright if she told him. "Estelle….who is he seeing?" He questioned his voice low. If she had been paying full attention, she would have detected a note of nervousness in his tone. She turned to him and sighed.
"Promise not to tease him," She said, before glancing around to make sure no one was listening before leaning in to tell him. "He's courting Sodia now." She whispered, and waited for her friend's reaction. She knew he didn't really like Sodia for whatever reason, but was hoping he'd take it well.
"Oh, her." Yuri said bitingly, rolling onto his back and glaring up at the sky. "I hope he knows what he's getting himself into." He continued, his tone acid and eyes trained to the clouds. "That woman's a piece of work," He finished bitterly. For a moment he was silent, and Estelle felt as though she could cut the tension in the air with a knife. Then, he suddenly rolled to his side again with his giant evil grin and that twinkle in his eye; Estelle wondered if she could be charged as an associate to murder by mockery as Yuri's face all but said I-can't-wait-to-make-fun-of-Flynn.
"Yuri, how has the guild been doing?" Estelle asked, hoping to distract him from his plans of whatever the heck he planned to mock Flynn with out of his head. She saw his grin widen and lose the plotting air it had had before. She hadn't seen any of the guild members, besides him, in almost six months, and missed them dearly. She watched as he moved his arm under his head to slightly prop himself up and meet her eyes.
"Well, Karol's been busy dealing with Common Wealth, a small merchant guild that for whatever reason, he doesn't trust," The swordsman began nonchalantly, his words flowing easily, to her ears. "The old man is out on a job in Keiv Moc," Yuri continued, relaxing around her, losing track of their surroundings, "our little genius mage is playing around mana to see if it could be used to use magic…" Sounded like Rita, Estelle thought as Yuri listed off their remaining companions, "Judy's out picking something up for Karol in Mantaic." Yuri closed his eyes, enjoying the breeze, not realizing just how appealing he looked. Estelle's eyes traced his features, suddenly snapped out of it only when Yuri opened his mouth again and said. "And Repede is down in my room in the inn, sleeping." He didn't seem to notice her moments of distraction, Estelle thought with a sigh of relief.
"I'm glad everyone is doing all right." She said, closing her eyes, eyelashes dusting her lightly flushing cheeks, "I miss them all dearly and I can't wait until I am allowed to leave Zaphias." She opened her green eyes and gave Yuri one of her brightest smiles "And then, I'll visit Dahngrest to see them all," She could already see it in her mind, Karol, Raven, Judith, Ba'Ul, and Rita…. "After that though, I want to go with you, Yuri," She tried not to pay too much attention to the real weight her words carried, meeting his eyes shyly. "At that time, I want to tell you something. But I can't tell you until then." She refused to look away even as the slight heat was creeping through her cheeks "So, until I'm allowed to leave, can you tell me some more stories about the adventures of Brave Vesperia?" She said the guilds name flamboyantly, a big grin on her face- distracting both of them from her earlier, weightier words.
Yuri's eyes lit up almost immediately, just as she thought they would, and he instantaneously began a story involving Karol on a job in Heliord and getting stuck in a pipe he was cleaning. So instead of getting to work on his job, Yuri had to reach into the dirty, muddy pipe and pull his fellow guild member out. Raven's story was even better; the old man had finally taken it too far and, apparently, after nearly a week of being MIA was found tied upside down to a tree branch over the cliff. Both Rita and Judith denied any involvement, although everyone knew it had been them who did it. Rita, meanwhile, while investigating mana, had blown up her room in their new guild location and destroyed half of her wall. After reassuring Estelle that Rita was perfectly fine, Yuri pressed on. Judith had cooked the meal for the guild and had accidentally mistaken sugar for salt and god-knows-what for pepper, and cinnamon for cayenne chili powder, just saying that was enough for Estelle to shudder in disgust. Yuri was just about to tell her about a couple of axe-beaks he had encountered just before arriving in Zaphias when their time was cut short.
"We've found you, Yuri Lowell!"
"Return Lady Estellise!"
"Ahh, the dork squad returns," Yuri grumbled, seemingly annoyed that his story had been interrupted. Estelle watched him rise to his feet and offer her a hand as the clumsy Schwann brigade tried to climb up to the roof through the inn window. Taking it and slowly being pulled to her feet, Estelle watched the Schwann brigade pull themselves fully on the roof and clumsily stand. "Nice to see you guys and all, but, we'll be taking our leave." Yuri said courteously, before turning and jumping off the inns roof, Estelle loved the feeling of the wind underneath her feet in the moments before landing graciously on the lower roof of the nearby building. He jumped from the cyan roof of the building and into the town square, before turning to catch Estelle. Moments later, they were running hand in hand by the fountain, laughing and leaving the Schwann brigade throwing curses.
As Yuri dragged her through the streets, his larger, powerful hand wrapped warmly around her small yet powerful one; Estelle wished that these days would never end.
"We'll kill them. We'll kill that idiotic emperor, that foolish commandant, and that interfering Brave Vesperia!"
"Yuri, is something wrong, you seem distracted?"
"This is what will happen, Lowell, this is your fate."