Disclaimer: I don't own Radiant Historia.
(A/N: Been a reeeeaaalllllyyy long time I know, but I just beat Radiant Historia and the damn game's messing with my brain. It wouldn't let me go. I just love Stocke too much. This is Spoilerriffic so if you have any intention of playing the game go away. Anyway, brainfart, so don't expect it to be amazing or anything. Also rather gay brainfart, as in men wanting other men. Get over it.)
Once upon a time I wouldn't have cared about it. All I needed was me. I didn't want partners; they'd just slow me down. I didn't want to be responsible for them.
Maybe that wasn't it but that was the only reasoning I had at the time. That and not wanting to be the only one to get out alive. Again.
But still I couldn't help but feel a little annoyed when I was assigned not one but two subordinates. Treat them as tools, he said. He knew I wouldn't even when I wasn't so sure. Tools didn't speak, didn't have opinions, didn't have names, didn't bleed out before me as I watch helplessly.
In only a few short hours I had come to crave their companionship. It was strange for me.
When the strange children (though I doubt I can really call them that), Lippti and Teo gave me the option to avoid death, I didn't even have to think. Not because I didn't want to die, but because they didn't want to die. Not because Alistel was about to be invaded but because their home was about to be lost.
That, I think was the first kind of love I experienced and somewhat understood. It wasn't the kind that made ones heart flutter or anything but the kind that one can associate with family.
I grew as a person that day.
It wasn't incredibly obvious, but I learned to accept people and allow them closer to me. Perhaps Sonja noticed, but she was always able to read me. Her conspiratory winks freaked me out.
When I finally recovered and Rosch asked me to join him I think it was love that made me feel like I had to go with him. A brotherly sort of love that made it that I couldn't stand to see the absolute disappointment on his face if I were to say no. We worked well together, no doubt. In the end, it was that same love that made me go the other way to stay with Heiss in order to save him. Two paths: one with him, one without him. A necessity to "Find the true future" in Teo's own words. At least Lippti didn't say anything, even if it was obvious what they meant. But still it hurt to see his face like that, and in that timeline I took to avoiding him. In the other I went along side by side with Rosch, hoping that my vision of him dying wouldn't come true.
Back and forth, I jumped thought the timelines, every move I made directly intertwining them, fixing the mistakes left by another, who purposely killed and ruined those who weren't meant to be. As time passed I only felt my love for my partners grow, even if they didn't notice or feel the same. Raynie seemed to feel something for me even if it wasn't the same, but I was never sure about Marco. He seemed to always just be following the flow of things, unwilling to give much input. Maybe that was Raynie's influence, considering nobody ever wanted to but heads with her.
Then there was another.
Little Aht, was an odd one I have to admit but she grew to be like a little sister to me. She was cute, always by my side and ready to fight anyone who said otherwise. It was a little odd trying to act like I didn't know her when we met the second time, but like clockwork we hit it off the same as before.
The influence of the other timeline perhaps?
And it was her love for me that made her try to bite off peoples heads over the strangest things. I had a feeling she knew something I didn't but I couldn't get it out of her.
Twice I had seen Rosch die and my heart hurt.
Felled once by the enemy, then again by my own blade.
I saved him and then I killed him.
He forced my hand. I had to save the others but as my blade slide between the seams of his armor and his blood rand down my arm, all I could feel was cold.
I took his gauntlet and fled. I went to the other timeline to find Sonja, to get her to fix that Rosch. In the end I had to jump several times to get what she needed but it was worth it.
I beat him senseless, if only to save him from himself. That was all it took to make him see the light. And when I went jumped timelines again, I didn't have to burry his corpse nor did I have to kill him. Instead he had come to his senses and tried to help, however subtle, and however pointless.
I knew I loved him more than anyone else at that point. Though I wasn't sure in which way. Nor did I care.
I'd also come to feel drawn to the princess of Granorg, Eruca. It confused me and hurt to think about, but whenever she was near there was this feeling in my chest I couldn't describe. It was awkward to say the least. She slipped several times and called me by the name of her dead brother, Ernst. I didn't know what to think. But in both timelines she started dropping me hints.
I didn't like where they were pointing.
Aht had started trying to bite her face of whenever Eruca and I were alone together or even standing too close. It was cute and she always tackled me in a hug prattling on about nothing afterward but I had to wonder.
What wasn't I being told?
Then on our way to meet the Guterals, Eruca told me about the ritual. Not the cock and bull story she'd been trying to pass off at first, but the truth she'd been skirting around. Likely just in case I really was Ernst.
I ignored it, after all, what was the chance I was some long dead prince? The chances were seemingly high at the time but I didn't want to think about it, didn't want to think about what would happen to me.
Lippti and Teo finally spoke up after awhile.
I was done with one timeline for the time being, and should focus on the other. I didn't want to; everything was getting too complicated in the other one, but it had to be done.
I became a little worried over how much time I spent with Rosch, but at the same time I didn't want to pull away. He was becoming more independent, less reliant on me, and while normally that would be okay, I didn't want him to not need me around. Just thinking about it made my heart hurt like that time.
I worried about being replaced. I worried and then I wondered: Did he feel that same way about me as I felt for him, however I felt?
My love definitely surpassed brotherly but I still couldn't place it.
Maybe I knew but I just didn't want to admit it to myself.
When it finally came time to tell everyone of the Black and White Chronicles I hurt. The looks on their faces hurt me, especially Rosch. But of course Eruca already knew, no matter how much I skirted around it and Aht… She had seen Lippti and Teo on more than one occasion and I think she pieced it together. After all, she had two of the pages for the books. Shaman or no it was odd.
Gods, I wanted to bash my skull in at that point.
Everything was becoming too much, too fast. Heiss (the almost overbearing, asshole of a father I never had, but at the same time never wanted, founder of the Intelligence Agency) lied to me, it was Heiss who had been behind the entire thing.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to laugh.
I couldn't believe it but at the same time it all made sense.
I was Ernst.
Heiss was my uncle. My and Eruca's uncle.
He killed our father after father killed me.
I was nothing more than a fragment of Eruca.
I was just like Heiss…
I was only nineteen, barely that.
I wasn't even supposed to live this long…
The last fact hurt the most.
I can understand by Uncle's love for me now. He just wanted to give me the life I wouldn't have had. He just wanted to allow me to live, and not be forced into the twisted ritual needed to control the power to stabilize the world. He wanted to stop the vicious, never ending cycle that was the duty of the Granorg royal family.
But at the cost of the world?
I couldn't agree with his logic. Not with my friends, no, my family on the line. If I had to die to allow them to live I would in a heartbeat. If someone had asked a year ago I would have stabbed them though the heart. I didn't believe in anyone enough to care about what happened to them. I just did my job and went on, not living but existing.
Heiss couldn't understand or accept my logic. His hatred had grown so much that the Black Chronicle became attuned to it and allowed him to become so very powerful that he was almost almighty. But he just couldn't understand and that was why he failed. He looked towards past and only felt the negativity, the pain and suffering, instead of hope for the future.
My love for him came in the form of my remembrance.
It was all I could give him.
Eruca, the foolish girl, tried to perform the ritual alone. And while I love her determination, I'd already accepted that it just won't happen without me. It was too late to try and find another way now. Besides it wasn't my soul to keep.
I would have preferred not to have any goodbyes, they made it hurt all the more. I was doing it for them, and they couldn't see that they were making it harder for me.
My goodbye came in the form of a soft press of lips. It was cowardly of me to do so when I knew that he couldn't very well say or do anything in response.
And then everyone felt my love. My hope.
But I wasn't really done.
Lippti and Teo helped me to rework the timelines. Those who died but didn't have to were saved, and I even helped a few couples along.
It was sad that Kiel couldn't remember my name, though I hadn't expected him to but Rosch seemed to get it even without my name. The smile on his face was beautiful.
He'll still be waiting for me and so would the others. I would indeed come back but for now I was content to keep the flux in order, to keep the world safe.
I was happy and I truly knew love.
For my friends
For my family
And for him…
Thanks for reading, Bye!