Forever in the Mirror
"And let us forever remember the two heroes who gave their lives for our peace," Grand Maestro Tritheim finished. He, along with others who had known them, had come to pay his respects to Luke and Asch on what would have been their twentieth birthday.
He stepped away from the grave for the pair in the centre of the Fabre mansion's garden, and Duke Fabre stepped forward to speak. At that point, all those assembled heard a slight commotion, and the doors to their right were suddenly thrown open. Out stepped a man with long red hair and clad in dark clothes, with an empty scabbard by his side.
Duke Fabre was stunned, "Luke... no... Asch?"
Asch smirked, "Don't worry. That replica's coming too. He said he had somebody he had to go and see first."
Tear was stock still, staring at the figure before her. He remembered his promise. He came back for her. She could not control her own body, and ran at him, spreading her arms wide as he did the same, and they held each other tightly.
"Luke... you came back!" She exclaimed.
"Yes Tear... I'm back for good."
The others had rushed forwards too, aside from Jade, who just stood back and smiled. "So you gave him back, Lorelei?"
Fifteen months later...
"Urgh... why do we have to do these stupid things?" Asch complained to his replica, as they both sat waiting, dressed up in fine clothing.
"Because Tear and Natalia told us we had to," Luke replied, tugging at his shirt cuff. "And Mother wanted us to as well."
"But this sort of event... I hate parties." Asch scowled.
"We both died before, I think we can survive a party," Luke said, smirking at his brother's irritation.
"I want to be fighting again dammit, at least then our only enemies could be cut to pieces, rather than these damn clothes," Asch glowered at the suit he was wearing.
Luke laughed, then a servant entered.
"Sirs, Princess Natalia and Miss Grants are waiting for you in the drawing room."
Luke stood, "Come on Asch, unless you want Natalia to shoot an arrow where it hurts."
Asch begrudgingly stood and the pair went to the drawing room. The two ladies were sitting, talking to one another about nothing in particular. When the two men entered, they both looked up.
"Asch! And you actually wore your suit!" Natalia stood and hurried over to her fiancé, a smile on her face.
"Well you told me to wear it, and I didn't feel like arguing," Asch said, looking away.
"Oh~ is that all?" Natalia smiled knowingly.
"Luke..." Tear stood and walked to the other redhead.
"Hey Tear..." Luke could not quite help but look the girl up and down a few times. She was wearing a long, brown dress, with red trim. The short sleeves made her long, slender arms very evident to him, and her hair was done up in a bun. Luke gulped at the sight, "You look great."
Tear blushed slightly, "Thank you... so do you."
Luke was wearing the same clothes that he had worn when he was inducted as a viscount, with his hair once again long, but rather neater than it had been in the past.
"Come on then, let's go and get this over with," Asch said, a look of irritation still firmly planted on his face.
The four stepped out, and walked towards one of the lifts, leading to another noble's house. Said count had invited many of the higher ranking nobility to a party that evening, and Luke, Asch and Natalia, being members of the royal family, were at the top of the guest list. As they were invited to bring a date, Luke had naturally asked Tear to accompany him.
They reached the mansion, which was a little smaller than the Fabre mansion, and were led in by servants. As they entered a huge ballroom, with couples dancing to a waltz, somebody announced "Her Royal Highness Princess Natalia, Viscount Asch fon Fabre, Viscount Luke fon Fabre and Miss Grants."
Many eyes turned, more to Asch and Natalia than to Luke or Tear, though a few were curious as to who the 'Miss Grants' mentioned at the end of the announcement was. That one without a title should be announced in the same breath as the Princess was a surprise to many there, but upon seeing Tear holding Luke's hand, and speaking easily to Natalia, they began to understand something of the reason.
A middle-aged man, perhaps in his early forties, advanced to meet the newcomers. "Your majesty, my dear Viscounts, and Miss Grants, so good of you to come to this little dance of mine." It was he, indeed, who was the host.
Natalia smiled slightly, "It is most gracious of you to receive us, Count Scharf."
The count and Natalia exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes, while the other three looked attentive, until the count excused himself to greet other guests.
"Well, Natalia, I suppose I have a duty to ask, would you like a dance?" Asch asked as the music changed.
"And I suppose I have a duty to accept," Natalia replied, imitating the slight irritation evident in Asch's tone of voice.
The pair walked to the dance floor, other couples moving to avoid blocking the Princess and her fiancé.
Luke looked at Tear, "Tear... would you like a dance?"
Tear smiled, "Maybe the next one, I think the crowd is far too absorbed with one pair right now for there to be any real dancing." She was looking at the dance-floor as she spoke, and Luke turned his gaze to follow hers.
He could see Asch and Natalia dancing, but only just over the small crowd surrounding them, watching intently, interested, no doubt, to see the two royals' dance.
Luke smirked, "But we can't just let them steal the show."
Tear looked at him quizzically, "What do you plan to do then?"
"This!" Luke took Tear's hand firmly and advanced to the crowded nobles, who again parted to allow the pair passage. He reached the centre, near Natalia and Asch, then turned to Tear, taking her in the position to dance.
"Luke... you idiot," Tear muttered, before they began to dance.
It was a slow dance, and they were glad of it. Dancing before a crowd is nerve-racking at the best of times, and a fast dance would no doubt have been too much for them, but the slow sarabande that played was easy to keep in time with, and the pair soon found themselves enjoying it.
The dance soon came to an end, and the two men kissed their partner's hands, as quiet applause came from somewhere in the crowd and spread throughout the assembled people. The crowd then dispersed, as couples spread out, and the next tune began.
"Phew... dancing for so long is tiring," Natalia said to Asch, as she sat down from the half-hour of dancing they had just done.
"Yeah, well we could have stopped sooner if you wanted," the redhead replied.
"Well I didn't want to Asch."
Asch raised an eyebrow, before turning to watch the other people who were dancing, as he breathed deeply. Though he refused to show it, he was rather tired from the dance.
"I wonder where Luke and Tear went," Natalia said, sounding curious.
"I saw them leave the floor about the same time as us. It looked like Luke was taking Tear outside," Asch replied.
"I wonder why..." Natalia said.
"Ha! You haven't worked it out Natalia?"
Natalia looked confused, "Worked what out Asch?"
"You'll see by the end of the evening," Asch said, smirking.
"Wow... it's so beautiful..." Tear was wide-eyed as she and Luke stepped out into the garden, into a sea of deep green. It was late, and the only light shining upon the garden was from a series of fonstone lamps.
"Yeah, I heard Count Scharf had a beautiful garden, I thought you might like to see it," Luke said, as Tear walked forward quickly to look at a cluster of flowers. "Though it's not quite as impressive as I was told."
Tear looked up at him surprised, "How so?"
Luke swallowed, though Tear could not see or hear it, "I was told it would be the most beautiful thing I ever saw, but that was wrong."
Tear again was surprised by his words, and wondered what he meant. "Whatever it was that you found more beautiful, I'd like to see it."
Luke looked thoughtful for a moment, clearly thinking about what to say next, then he had an idea, and reached inside a pocket, and withdrew something circular and flat, and held it out for Tear. "Take a look, this will show it to you."
Tear took the object, and looked at it, then gasped. The object was a mirror, and in it was her own reflection. She blushed violently and looked at Luke, "Wh...What do you mean?"
Luke gulped, and raised his courage. "I mean, Tear, that I love you."
Tear stared at the boy... 'No,' she corrected herself 'He's not a boy, he's a man now.' He had said the words she had longed for, for four years now she had waited to hear them, and she was speechless.
"I... heard you say something before I left you on Eldrant... I... what did you say that day?" Luke said, breaking the brief silence.
"I said... Luke... I love you," Tear confessed, as tears filled her eyes: tears of joy, overflowing, and running down her cheek.
In a moment, Luke had stepped up to her and wrapped his arms around her. They both moved together, and their lips were pressed against each other in an instant, and Tear's arms held Luke tight as he held her.
When their lips separated, Luke moved so he could whisper in Tear's ear. "Marry me Tear."
"Yes," was her only, whispered, reply.
"Be my wife forever."
"We can have children... we can protect the people of this world... together... always."
Tear nuzzled Luke's cheek, then whispered, "Yes."
A/N: Yeah, standard mushy romance stuff. So sue me.