YAYZ! My first Kemono no Souja fanfic! Please review if you like it!


The green haired girl painfully opened her eyes, wincing as the lamplight stung her pale green orbs. There was a dull pain throbbing on her back and her vision was blurry. "Where am I?" was her first thought as she tried to recall the events that took place before she ended up staring at the ceiling of an unknown building. She moved her right hand slowly, and felt the rustle of sheets, before realising that she was in a bed. Erin still found it hard to fully open her eyes due to the bright light. She squinted around the room that she was in. It was plainly furnished, with a desk, chair and the bed which she was lying on. Now she knew where she was. The symbol carved on the back rest of the chair was Kazalum's symbol. She was back in the school that she loved. Erin felt slightly relieved that she was no longer in the capital. The familiarity of the school soothed and reassured her.

The single window that was on the right side of her bed was open, allowing the cool breeze to enter. It was night, so why did her eyes sting so? Erin then noticed a makeshift straw mattress, laid untidily in a corner of the room. There was a thin looking blanket thrown messily upon it, but it looked unslept on. The blanket looked as though the person had just carelessly flung it on the mattress without using it. Why though? Unable to take the prickling sensation the light was inflicting on her eyes, Erin tried to raise her hands to rub them. She found that she was unable to move her gloved left hand, and curiously peered to her left side. There was a bright oil lamp right next to her head, which was the cause of her uncomfortableness. Next to the lamp, a figure was kneeling next to her bed, holding her left hand to his cheek. She instantly recognised the man that was holding her hand.

"Ialu." she muttered softly, gazing at the man. He was sleeping in a kneeling position, chestnut brown hair brushing her gloved hand as he held tightly onto it, in a way that would make one think that Erin would somehow disappear if he released her.

Ialu was no longer dressed in his Seh-zan attire, and was wearing nothing but a pair of dark blue trousers. His sword was lying next to him, on top of what looked like a set of new clothes. Bloodstained bandages were wrapped around his waist and arm, which concealed the many scars that Erin was sure adorned his body. Erin wondered what he was doing in Kazalum. He no longer had any reason to stay with her. Since Seimiyah was now the new Shin-Oh, should he not be with her as a Seh-zan? But then again, Ialu was freed. If so, he could have left right after the battle to pursue happiness rather then stay with her. Why? Why? Just looking at the sleeping man made her heart clech painfully and brought tears to Erin's eyes.

"Ialu-san..." she whispered, as tears slid down her porcelain cheeks.

It was either Erin's quiet sobs, or her trembling body that startled Ialu awake. His head shot up in surprise and he looked at Erin with those deep dark eyes that made her soul shatter. "Erin...!" he breathed quietly. "You are finally awake..." It was just so like Ialu, to keep his relief and happiness in check, and Erin could only tell that he was happy as he wore one of his rare gentle smiles.

"Ialu-san..." Erin's tears were flowing freely now, startling Ialu, who quickly leant over her, but he never released her hand.

"Erin... Does it hurt...? Wait a moment, I will get Ethal-san."

He reached out for the lamp and prepared to stand. At his movements, a jolt of panic shot through Erin and she suddenly sat up, her right hand quickly grabbed Ialu's arm. "Wait..."

A sharp pain shot through her body and Erin gasped in shock, bending over and cringing. Her hand fell from Ialu's arm and reached up to grip her shoulder. The wound caused by the arrow was stinging painfully, and Erin let out an unexpected whimper.

Ialu's eyes widened in shock at Erin's sudden actions. He placed the lamp he was holding on the ground and knelt down next to Erin again. "You should not make such sudden movements. Your wound will open up again..."

Erin nodded slowly while sobbing. She could not look at Ialu. For some reason, she felt rather embaressed with her bold actions. But the thought of him actually leaving scared her. But why? Thought Erin. Ialu always left. They always parted ways after accomplishing their respective duties. It was the same. But why? Why now? Why did she feel that if she let him out of her sight now, he would be gone forever?

"Is there something wrong, Erin?" asked Ialu in his usual calm voice. "Why are you crying?"

"I-It's... I'm just glad you're unhurt, Ialu-san. It's nothing." replied Erin slowly. She uncertainly met his gaze. She never could tell what Ialu was thinking. He was so closed up and careful with his emotions that she could never read him. Compared to her, she was an open book, everything was laid out for others to read.

Upon hearing her answer, Ialu sighed. "I see... You scared me there... Please try to rest easy, Erin." said Ialu and he gently laid a hand on her forehead. Immediately, the ex-Seh-Zan's eyes narrowed. "You are feverish. Please wait here Erin, I will get Ethal-san."

Ialu was gone before the flushed Erin could utter a word. Sighing, she closed her eyes. She liked Ialu. It was a fact, but she was not sure if he felt the same. Erin was convinced that he saw her as someone whom he cared very much about, and wondered in that was all she was to him. What was she thinking anyway? Was this fever messing with her head? Since when was she so worried about such trival things? Erin had always been a cool and collected girl, so why was she so worked up over this small problem?

He eyes were starting to close. Erin vaguely heared hurried footsteps followed by muffled and distorted voices. Before succumbing to blessed sleep, she made out an outline of a face hovering above her. The person over her seemed to be saying something, but Erin was just too tired to listen.

"Ialu...san..."

~~~ 獣の奏者エリン ~~~

When Erin opened her eyes again, it was morning, and the sun was shining into her room through the open window. She no longer felt feverish or tired, so she supposed her fever was gone. Immediately, she tried to push herself up into a sitting position, but since her body was still rather weak from the fever, it was difficult.

"Erin, what are you doing?" asked a familiar calm voice from a corner of the room, startling the green eyed girl. HE head snapped to where the straw mattress was situated and made a small gasp of surprise to see Ialu sitting up, leaning against the wall. He was now fully dressed but was wearing a worried frown which marred his handsome features.

"Eh? Ialu-san? I didn't see you there..." said Erin, blinking her vivid forest green eyes. Slowly, her usual gentle smile spread across her pretty face. "Good morning Ialu-san... Did you stay here all night?" asked Erin.

Ialu did not answer, instead, he stood up and approached Erin, who looked at him in mild surprise. "Ialu-san? Is something wrong?"

Gently but firmly, Ialu pushed her back down into the pillows. "You're still recovering, Erin." he said.

Obediently, Erin lay back down against the pillows. Ialu gazed at her with an unknown expression that made her wonder. He then took her gloved hand in his before sitting down on the floor next to her. Erin, who was now better after being freed of her fever, smiled her usual smile. "Ialu-san, is...is it alright for you to remain here? I thought that now that Seimiyah-sama is the new Shin-Oh that you would have to go to her side?

Ialu's eyes widened a little before returning to their gentle gaze he reserved only for her. "Did you not once tell me that I should find happiness? That the silent whistle which binds me is now no longer there?"

Erin nodded, looking at Ialu, her green eyes probing.

"I am no longer a Seh-Zan, nor did I request to resume my position following Damiyah's death, though the Shin-Oh persuaded me to. I...I have decided to reach out to grab hold onto my own happiness with this right hand which you saved, and to live the life that I would have wanted before I became bound with the duties of a Sen-Zan. I want to be a harp-carpenter like my father, surrounded by a family, a wife, kids..." A small smile of pure happiness spread across Ialu's face as he said these words. "Thank you Erin, for allowing someone like me to seize my own happiness."

Erin looked rather stunned at the end of Ialu's speech. She also felt happy and extremely sad all at the same time. "I-I am happy for you, Ialu-san. I am happy that you are finally free from the silent whistle that binds you. I really am."

Ialu continued to look at Erin. There was something about her words that unsettled him. Did it...sound forced? His brow creased in worry. "Erin, is there something bothering you?"

"A-ah...no, not at all, Ialu-san! W-why do you think so?"

Ialu looked warily at Erin's smiling face. Her words were definitely sincere. She was happy for him, but she also sounded scared and worried at the same time. "Erin-"

he was unable to finish his words as the bedroom door was flung open with such force that it caused the duo to jump violently. With well honed reflexes, Ialu released Erin's hand and sprang to his feet, getting into a protective stance and instictively reaching for his sword. His stance relaxed when he saw that the unexpected vistor was a small black haired girl followed by Tomura-san, who had an alarmed expression on his face.

"Shiron! Don't slam open doors like that! Honestly! And get back to class!" scolded Tomura.

"No! No! I wanna see Erin-sensei! I hate you Tomura-sensei! You old man! Erin-sensei! Erin-sensei!" screamed Shiron, as she grabbed tightly onto the doorframe.

"'O-old' man? Shiron! My apologies, Erin-chan, Ialu-san..."

Erin blinked her vivid green eyes at the scene in front of her, and counld not help but laugh. "Shiron-chan, I alright, really." reassured Erin, smiling brightly from her bed. "Thank you for worrying about me but I am alright... I really am. So you should hurry back to class, and when I am better again, I can see how much you have improved after all this time, ne?"

Shiron pouted, but stopped struggling. "But Erin-sensei... I don't like Tomura-sensei's classes..."

"Hai, hai, I know, I know..." sighed Tomura. "You've made that perfectly clear, so now hurry on back...!"

While mumbling under his breath, Tomura ushered Shiron out of the room despite her protests and sent her on her way before returning and closing the door behind him. "Phew, Erin-chan, without you, classes have become a real chore..."

Erin chuckled cutely at Tomura's flustered expression, who in turn, blushed furiously. "W-well I'm g-glad that you're better. You were feverish when we brought you back. It really caused a lot of worry."

"Ah, I'm sorry for causing trouble... I didn't mean to-Lilan!" gasped Erin suddenly, and jumped violently out of bed, resulting in sudden pinpricks of pain from her healing wound. She cringed and nearly fell. Ialu moved forwards to steady her, but Tomura was faster. He circled his arm around Erin's waist and allowed her to lean against him.

Ialu looked surprised, but did not say anything. He then saw the male Beastinarian shoot a glare over his shoulder back at him. Although Ialu felt puzzled at the large amounts of hostility radiating off Tomura's being, he chose not to comment on it. Having been a Seh-Zan for half his life, Ialu was used to receiving 'looks' from people.

Erin, who had her mind completely occupied by Lilan, did not notice the sudden awkwardness in the air. "Please, I have to check on Lilan!" said Erin breathlessly, trying to pull out of Tomura's grasp.

"Erin! Relax! Your wounds will open up again!" objected Tomura sternly. "Lilan is doing fine. I have been taking care of her, Eku, and Aru. I know you must miss her, but consider your health as well!"

Erin looked up at Tomura with those mesmerising green eyes that made him melt. "Thank you for worrying about me, and for looking after Lilan for me, Tomura-sempai, but please, allow me to see her. Just for awhile."

Tomura looked torn between two decisions. "Well I-"

"Let her go." interrupted Ialu, earning him a look of annoyance from Tomura. "I apologize for interrupting, but I think if Erin could be put at ease after seeing the Ohju, she would recover faster and without constantly worrying."

Tomura frowned at Ialu, but he knew the older man had a point. Sighing in defeat, he agreed. "Alright then. But I'll have to carry you." said the boy seriously.

"E-eh?"

"I don't want you to tire yourself out."

"I...Um...Okay then." said Erin with slightly red cheeks. Tentatively, she placed her arms around Tomura's neck before he swept her up into his arms, earning a squeal from her. He laughed and reassured her that he would not drop her.

"Tomura-sempai! Please don't play around!" squealed Erin as he swayed his arms slightly.

"You should lighten up, Erin! C'mon, smile!"

Erin gazed at her sempai's smiling eyes and couldn't help but laugh. "Tomura-sempai! Just how childish can you get?" giggled the green haired girl.

As Erin and Tomura left the room, Ialu followed behind them, but he stayed a suitable distance behind them, not wanting to be in the way. Ialu had never seen Erin so flustered before. Whenever she was in his presence, there was an air of maturity and calmness about her. She acted very professional and proper. Seeing the childish side of her emerge for the first time made a small chuckled escape his lips, unnoticed and unheard.

Both of them seemed so far away that he wondered if he could ever reach her. She was too good for him. She deserved someone to make her smile, and laugh, like the man. Ialu recalled all the times they were together. In every memory, he could only remember her crying, like the time when the Tohda's attacked Shin-Oh Harumiya's boat, she had the saddest expression during the time she treated his injuries. And it didn't help that during the time he did not care about his life, and was willing to throw something as important as his right hand away. Erin's sadness had increased tenfold when those words escaped his mouth. then there was the time when they were both alone in Lazal, Erin had cried. Cried for him. he hated to see her cry. He had tried to stop it by hugging her, but his actions had caused more tears to flow.

He did not deserve her. he was tainted, dirty. Polluted with the blood of those whom he had mercilessly murdered in his Seh-zan days. Erin was glowing with purity that blinded him at times. Her wisdom, perseverance, independence, and honesty was too perfect for this world. Ialu closed his eyes, and imagined himself, surrounded by a wife and children, but for some reason, the only face of his wife that he could think of was Erin's. No one else.

~~~ 獣の奏者エリン ~~~

After Erin and Tomura spent more time than planned with the Ohjus, he carried Erin back to her room. Ialu was no longer there, but the mattress of straw was still piled against the corner. "Where is ialu-san?" wondered Erin as Tomura placed her back down on her bed. "Did he not come with us?"

"I think he went to talk to Ethal-sensei. He did stay for awhile, but I doubt you noticed his absence while playing with Lilan." chuckled Tomura. "An Ohju fanatic as usual."

Erin laughed nervously, but she was a little panicky on the inside. Supposed Ialu left? Supposed she never see him again? But Ialu wouldn't leave without telling her would he?

"I'll have you rest for awhile. I still have classes to teach. I'll drop by again after dinner." said Tomura, and with a sudden burst of bravery, planted a chaste kiss on Erin's forehead before disappearing out the door.

Erin rubbed the spot where Tomura's lips met with wide eyes. "T-Tomura-sempai...?" she whispered uncertainly. What was that for?

But playing outside with Lilan drained her, and she was honestly tired. Dismissing the kiss to be a 'get better soon' kiss, Erin lay back and closed her eyes. The first thought that came into her head was Ialu. She wondered when it was that she started liking Ialu so much. was it the night when Ialu came to her injured and pursued? She wondered if Damiyah's words: "So you like that man, do you?" triggered the realisation within her.

"Ialu-san..." whispered the girl softly, before sleep engulfed her.

By the time she came to again, it was night, and the first thing she saw was Tomura sitting on a chair by her bedside with a lamp and two steamed buns. "Ah, you're awake!"

Erin slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes. Ialu had still not returned. A cold hand clenched around her heart. Did he really leave? Leave her all alone again?

"Hey, what's with that face? C'mon, eat up. I brought these for you. your favourite manjuu buns." said Tomura, smiling as her handed her a warm bun. Erin turned to look at him, and forced a smile on her face.

"Thank you, Tomura-sempai." said Erin as she received the bun, and bit into it. The sweet and fragrant filling washed into her mouth, delighting her taste buds, but even the sweetness of the manjuu could not staunch the bitterness at the back of her throat, which would fill her with the unpleasant realisation that she could never see Ialu again.

"Erin?"

"Huh?"

"Why are you crying?"

Erin dropped the bun into her lap in surprise, and felt her cheeks. Sure enough, they were wet with fresh tears.

"I..."

Tomura looked at her with a pained expression which tore at Erin. "Tomura...sempai...?"

Sighing, the beastinarian removed the bun from the bed and placed it on the bedside table with the other untouched bun. He then gazed at Erin's angelic face before reaching up to wipe her tears away gently. "Erin... Please don't cry. I can't bear it."

"I'm sorry, Tomura-sempai. I think I'm getting too emotional." chuckled Erin painfully as she brushed her tears away as well. She looked at her sempai, whose brows were furrowed in worry and felt bad. She also notice that Tomura seemed to be wanting to say something, but was evidently struggling to do so.

Suddenly, he grasped both Erin's hands in his and looked fearlessly at her. His actions startled Erin. She wasn't frightened, but was rather puzzled.

"Erin, I love you."

The words that tumbled out of Tomura's lips caused Erin to freeze up, and a certain someone who was just outside the slightly open door to stop in shock.

Ialu's hand was just about to knock when Tomura confessed. A mixture of feelings bombarded him at these words. Hurt, shock, surprise, sadness, pain, and strangely enough, happiness. He did not feel jealous. Why should he? If Erin was to be happy with Tomura, who was he to deny her happiness? If Tomura could provide her with the company and love of a worthy husband, who was he to say otherwise? If Erin wanted to be with Tomura, who was he to stop her? The small feeling of happiness that spread through him was knowing that Erin would be happy with Tomura. he was a kind and good man. Hardworking and trustworthy. Ialu knew that he could continue his life alone in peace knowing that the one woman he ever loved was safe and well looked after.

A pained smile spread across his face and he turned his back to the door. He was prepared to walk away and leave Kazalum without a backwards glance now. He could rest assured that Erin would be happy. But before Ialu could make a move, two words made him stop in his tracks in absolute shock.

"I'm sorry."

It was Erin.

"I-I'm sorry, Tomura-sempai..."

She was sobbing now.

"You are a good friend, and I love you too, but that love can never exceed any more than the love between a sister and brother. I never knew that you saw me that way, and I apologise greatly if I led you on, but I cannot accept your confession. I love another man, Tomura-sempai, so... I'm sorry."

There was a painful silence, broken by Erin's quiet sobbing.

"I see."

It was Tomura's voice. The pain in it was well concealed, but Ialu could tell that he was shattered by Erin's rejection.

"This man you love... It's him isn't it? That Seh-Zan."

There was no reply from Erin, only sobs.

"I understand. Thank you for hearing me out, Erin. I'm sorry I made you cry."

Ialu turned at the sound of the door opening, and came face to face with Tomura. He had a pained smile on his face, and his hands were shaking. "You heard, huh?"

Ialu nodded.

"Well, then I guess you should go in." sighed Tomura, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. With a final look at Ialu, the beastinarian walked away down the darkened corridor.

A strange sensation of happiness and relief flowed through Ialu as he pushed open the door to reveal Erin, sitting upright with tear tracks down her face. The look she gave him upon his appearance made his heart sting. She was so beautiful, her beauty no marred or disfigured by the taint of this poisoned country. Ialu walked toward Erin and embraced her without saying another word.

"Ialu-san..." gasped Erin. "Why..."

Ialu did not answer, but only tightened his arms around her. This action seemed to convey all his feelings, and Erin fell silent. She then circled her slim arms around his neck, breathing in the smell of rain from him. This was the scent of the man she loved, the familiarity of it brought more tears to her eyes.

"Thank you, Ialu." She wiped her tears away.

Ialu released her and leaned his face closer to her's before lightly kissing the her on the lips. When Erin didn't push away, he kissed her again.

The kiss was innocent and sweet, as well as hesitant. Erin could feel Ialu's lips trembling with uncertainty as he kissed her. She suddenly smiled into the kiss, and slowly pulled away.

"Ialu-san... I-"

But Ialu placed his finger over her lips. Erin peered up at his face in surprise and immediately blushed when she saw that he was smiling. A true, gentle smile. It was a smile that conveyed all his suppressed feelings and insecurities. However, he had to say it to the woman he loved.

"I love you." he whispered, and leaned in for another kiss.

These mere three words caused Erin's eyes to water, and she frowned at herself for being so emotional and smiled through her tears as she returned the sweet kiss.

~END~

Kukukukukukukukuku

Sucks right? I hate writing kissing scenes =='' I can't seem to get this right so sorry. Anyway, please R&R! Your nice comments will always motivate me to write more fanfics

My primary fic, Aka no Hana is on HIATUS due to a writer's block. It is boring I know, but bear with me

I hate it that Kemono no Souja Erin has SO FRIGGIN FEW FICS

I mean, WTH people!? Its such a good anime and why are there so few fics?!

Ahem, sorry bout that. Anyways, hope you like this oneshot of mine.

Cheers,

Hakuji