The Other Side of Memory, a Kingdom Hearts fanfic by Raberba girl

Aeleus/Ienzo Omake (Rough draft)

"There you are!" Even exclaimed as Ienzo, coughing in the cloud of steam, stumbled out of the machine.

"About time," Xehanort said with some impatience. "Are the parameters accurate? I would have expected him to return at least two hours earlier."

"You make it back in one piece, little buddy?" Braig asked, and Aeleus reached out to steady the boy, examining him briefly.

"How is he?" Even demanded, and Aeleus nodded in reassurance.

"Well, that's a good sign, at least," Dilan said. "Where's your report, boy?"

Looking unhappy, Ienzo handed over the notepad, and the men all flocked to gather around it, spreading some of the pages over a table so as to see them better.

Not quite all the men, though. Aeleus continued to rest a hand on Ienzo's small back, looking at him closely. "Did you meet yourself in the future?"

Ienzo nodded, and to Aeleus's surprise, the boy's eyes filled with tears, though they did not fall.

"Is he all right?"

Another nod, more vigorously this time.

"I see." The big man hesitated. He should not ask about himself, that would not be proper in this situation...

He was startled when Ienzo suddenly grasped the front of his uniform hard with both hands. "Ienzo, what is it?"

It took a long time. Aeleus watched the boy's face as Ienzo worked himself up to it, breath coming in small gasps. "Ae...Aele...us..."

The man's eyes widened, and powerful as he was, he felt himself growing weak for a moment. "Ienzo?"

"Th...Thank you...for...everything...you've done for me." Ienzo shut his eyes and exhaled a long breath, his expression relieved.

Aeleus watched him for a moment. Then he drew the boy into his arms, and Ienzo hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Ienzo," he whispered.

Ienzo patted a tiny hand against his massive back, and when they drew back again, they were smiling at each other.