AN: This is a fanfict. for The Warrior's Way. I only just saw it about a week or so ago, but I couldn't help but love it even if it isn't my normal cup of tea. This story was born soon after, mainly because I felt so sorry for Yang and Lynne. Thank you for reading. I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Warrior's Way. I'm not sure who does, but it's not me.
His mind startling awake as the horn of the boat sounded, Yang quickly became aware of other passengers he rode with as they began to move about the cabin, their harsh words cutting against each other as they began their day of work. Listening to their chatter, his own body still as calm and serene as it had been asleep, he couldn't help the slight anticipation that rose within him as the men began to speak of their destination.
Even as a young boy, Yang had always been a man of few words. He had always preferred to listen to the cluster of noise that surrounded him rather then add to it, a skill few had managed to master. When he did speak though, his words were never said in anger or pain, for he had learned long ago, on the same day he had killed the dog that had been his one true friend and his heart, that there was no room for those emotions in the real world. To feel was to allow others access to ones inner self, which was something he could never afford. So, when he did talk, his words were always calm and collected, hiding the turmoil he felt within as he made the point that was needed. If action was the better course, it was the one he took, for in those situations words were just as useless as feelings.
It didn't take long for the boat to dock, for the captain had set anchor just a mile off the coast the night before to avoid the many rocks that awaited beneath the waves along the shore. Yang was one of the first men off, and so was the first to see the horse and rider that had come to meet them, his familiar scowl still etched permanently onto his face.
Besides speaking and feeling, Yang also didn't allow himself to hope. During his training, he had quickly come to the realization that there was no such thing as 'hope.' There was 'is' and 'is not,' 'are' and 'are not.' There was no hoping to become the strongest warrior in the world. You either were, and so defeated anyone who came up against you, or you weren't, and so died by the blade of your foe. Hope blinded reality, kept the truth in the darkness, and so held no place in reality.
For a long while the two men stared at each other, their eyes conveying a conversation that few would have understood even if it had taken place in words. Finally, with a sigh and a shake of his head, the man on the horse scooted forward to make room for Yang, a space the warrior swiftly filled as they set out on their way. It was a long ride into town, one they both wanted to finish quickly.
Strangely enough for one such as he, Yang did allow himself to dream. When he had been a boy, right after his father had been killed, he had dreamt of becoming a great warrior, strong enough to get revenge for his father's death and bring honor to his adopted clan. It had been a dream he had accomplished soon after his training had been completed, defeating in battle one of the strongest warriors of the rival clans in battle, a feat even his master had been unable to do. Afterwards, with the taste of victory on his tongue and his opponent's blood still on his sword, he had dreamt of becoming even stronger still, strong enough to be considered the greatest warrior in the world. It was this dream that set him on his path of annihilating the rest of the warrior clans, fighting until the last of those who opposed him were dead by either his hand or the fist of fate. That dream too he had accomplished before too much time had passed, for it was a goal he knew he could reach.
But then there were the dreams that had sustained him for the past nine years, visions of a young child, a little girl who by now would no longer know him, playing in a field of flowers that had once been an empty plot of land, a place where everyone had said nothing could grow. A flash of red and shimmering two-tone eyes, followed by a gentle touch as soft lips pressed against his own, surrounded by a little town within the scorching desert, the people who had become his friends just waiting for their Ferris Wheel to be finished. Of an empty laundry shop that needed fixing, but that rang with laughter each hour of the day as dirt gave way to snowy white beneath. And above it all, floating throughout Lode on a breeze that rarely came was the haunting sounds of the Opera, filling his mind with gibberish words that somehow wove a tragic story he could never quite gasp, though he was sure that, given the chance to hear it again, it's meaning might become clear to him. It had been this dream that had kept him going for the past nine years, for even though he had known it could never be, he had been determined to one day have it again.
"I thought I told you that if you love something, men like us have to run away from it to keep it safe. That if you wanted to keep those girls alive, you could never come back."
Pausing on the outskirts of town, Yang watched as Ron pulled the horse to a halt, his fingers dancing across the leather halter that kept the beast in line. Although the man was only just sober enough to keep them alive, it was good to see that the older drunk had managed to keep himself alive during the many years that had passed, for the presence of the kindred spirit had been comforting during the few fights they had lived through together. Leaning to the side so he was staring straight down the center of Lode, Yang broke his first rule and allowed himself to speak more then he ever had in almost a decade.
"You did, and I did. But at one point in my journey, it became clear that I had run away as far as I could, and that I was actually running towards them. Even though I do love them, I can no longer stay away like I planned. Fate has chosen otherwise."
Sliding down the side of the horse, Yang set off at a brisk pace through the center of town, his eyes constantly searching for the familiar faces he longed to see. Pausing as Ron yelled out to him, asking a question he knew was to come, for the first time since he had left Lode, he allowed himself to hope.
"Hey, where's that fancy singin' or cryin' or whatever sword of yours?"
The answer that came was quick and simple, much like the man who spoke it himself.
"At the bottom of the sea."
With that he took off running.
It did not take long for him to reach the old laundry shop where he had used to work, each day beating the dirt and the grime from the town's linens, experiencing the simple pleasure of seeing the hard work of his hands come out clean instead of bloody for once. Carefully opening the door, a small smile crossed his face as the sound of the welcome bell reached his ears, mingling with the sound of sloshing water as someone poured the steaming liquid into the soaking chamber. His footsteps silent as he approached the counter, it took the little girl that stood behind it a long while to notice he was there. But when she did, when she turned to acknowledge his presence, the smile upon her face took his breath away.
There was no doubt in his mind that the youth before him was April, the same little girl that he had come to love as a daughter all those years ago now grown into a beautiful child. The spark in her eyes captivated him, her long hair blowing in the slight breeze that came from the open window entrancing him as he watched it move, his arms aching to draw her into the tender hold he had once grasped her in as a babe. Forcing away his growing desire to hug his daughter, he focused upon the words she was saying, the southern drawl that fell from her lips one of the most perfect sounds he had ever heard.
"-And if yah want, Mamma and I can have your shirts washed and pressed within a day or two, maybe three at the most if things stay the way they are. Say, where are yah from anyway? You look a lot like me, and I've never seen anyone else that look like us before. No sir, I ain't never seen nobody like us except in the mirror Mamma has in the tearoom. Can yah show me on the map at the school house and tell me-"
April paused as her mother cut her off from the other side of the room, her voice raised in a soft reprimand that quickly turned apologetic as she made her way towards the front desk to rescue the stranger that had entered her store, her hand wiping themselves upon the leather apron she wore to protect herself from the heat of the water she used for her trade. Reaching up to smooth her frazzled hair, it wasn't until Lynne had almost drawn level with her child that she finally saw who it was that had finally reentered her life.
"April, who's ear are yah chewing off this time. I'm sorry sir, my daughter has the tendency to start talking and just doesn't know when to-"
Lynne froze as she stared at the man that stood before her, her eyes roaming the familiar lines and curves that made up the face she had fallen in love with so long ago. It had been aged over the years they had been separated, but it was still him. He was back.
"You came back," Lynne choked out as she leapt across the table, her arms reaching up to wrap themselves around his neck as she buried her face into his chest, all he while fighting the tears that threatened to fall. "I never thought I would see you again, but you came back."
Holding the woman he loved within his arms, the sound of his child's constant questions filling the background, it was then that Yang finally broke the last of his rules. Carefully untangling himself from Lynne's hold, he gently raised her chin so he could stare into her shimmering eyes before capturing her lips with his own, his heart swelling with the love he had kept contained for so long.
He had come home, and it was finally time for him to follow his feelings and make his dreams come true.
AN: Thank you again for reading! I hope you liked it. :)