A/N: This scene appeared in my dreams a few years ago. When I launched Minecraft for the first time yesterday in Creative Mode though, I knew what I wanted to write straightaway.
Note: I have changed the names from Kirito & Yuna to Ren & Ruka respectively.
A New Life In The New World
It filled my eyes, enough to make me squint. It was white; harsh white, glaring white, but it also meant something else, that we weren't dead yet.
She's stirring in my arms again, the bandage that was tightly wrapped around her forehead becoming undone. The fine line, running straight down her lovely face is beginning to heal, if ever so slowly, but the bandage must stay, I think to myself. Any small impact in the next few days is enough to crack her head open, just like mine.
I made to gently lay her down on the ground, when it touches me. Cold, freezing cold! I open my eyes a little more, and shift my head to the side: snow is all around us. It's covering the ground, and from where I can see, the entire valley we're in is carpeted in it. Soft, powdery snow, gentle to the touch but cold enough to bite. I lay her head on my lap instead, delicately undoing the bandage soaked crimson.
The worn strip of cloth falls to the snow. Her head is mostly intact, but the skin, the area next to the cut is beginning to bruise and die. The ugly blotches taint her beautiful face. Once more, I'm silently cursing myself, it's all because of that institution. Ironically, why my head is not in danger of falling apart, and her's is, is because only they have the necessary treatments required to 'tidy up after', as one of them had snidely remarked.
In other words, the operation on Ruka's memories was only half-finished. the back of her skull had been split open and the brain exposed at one point in time, and in her present state, the two halves had merely been closed back together. Unlike mine, which had been sewn shut, Ruka's head was dangerously fragile.
From the half-sleeve remaining, I tore off another strip of cloth. Very soon, I'll be shirtless, if the wound doesn't close. With infinite care and patience competing with the urgency of binding her wound, I wrap the makeshift bandage around her head once more and tie it tightly. The white of the shirt sleeve, indistinguishable from the falling snow, stands in sharp relief to her dark black hair, falling in strands around my fingers as I run them through it gently.
She's awake! A finger is on her lips before I know it, telling her implicity she's not out of danger yet, I cannot vouch for the integrity of her head yet. I cradle it gently though, hugging her to my chest, letting all my feelings and gratefulness flow through the invisible bond between us: the one thing they can't break.
It will endure. We must endure.
I look around again. Now that I've adjusted to the surroundings, this valley isn't as plain as I first thought. Trees, tall trees dwarf us in the distance, and their irregular spacing reminds me we've truly escaped. But where? Is it safe? Will we be found again? Will we...
Stop. This is the old way of thinking, the SOP they've drilled into you, even forced you to remember.
Glancing around, I feel her move again. Her hand is on my cheek before I know it, the warmth weaker than ever but still there, pulsing with the beat of life. She's smiling, and her eyes are unfocused, but her left eye, the one shining bright blue flames, is focused on me. And she's happy - happy to see she's still with her lover, the only one who came back despite being ordered not to do so-
"We...we're alone now...are we?"
Her voice is so soft, so weak, I can barely catch her words. I have to read her lips to make sure I know what she just said.
"Yes, but...I don't know where we are yet, Ruka. I don't know."
"That's...'s okay. If it's with you...anywhere is fine."
This new place can't hold my attention anymore; I close my eyes and bring her face up. Gently pressing my lips to hers, we lock in an embrace as the snow falls slowly. A warmth lights up my heart, the place that until recently, was frozen stone cold. My brain, the place they've done something to, is thinking in ways it was not supposed to think. As my pulse and temperature rises, the old wounds, the old incisions they made, begin to creak and weaken again, until-
The pain is too much, neither of us can bear it for too long. The locked lips part and I - almost - smother Ruka as I collapse, hands clutching my head.
We lay there until morning, when Ruka first rises. Holding her temple with her delicate hands , she wakes me from my pain-induced sleep.
"Uh..mm, oh. Good morning, Ruka."
She's smiling again, the brightness rivalling that of the sun peeking past the horizon. My heart rate jumps and- stabilises to a normal rate. Today is far from my normal days, and yet in this world..it may well be how each and every morning starts. And how much more beautiful can it get?
"So," Ruka stared at me. "Any idea how we'll survive here?"
"I don't know, I'll admit."
Rolling into a sitting position, I toy with a small quantity of snow, marvelling at how it all seems like powder to me. Scraping it in handfuls, I discover a small patch of ground underneath, the grainy bits and pieces sticking to the snow I've picked up and colouring it brown. Not the sandy, military brown I know, but rich, earthy brown.
An idea strikes me, portions of my fragmented memories nudge me and spur me to stand. The nearest tree isn't very tall, only thrice my height, and the trunk is very thin, only a third as thick my waist. If that is the case, then...
I pull the simple knife from my boot, and saw away at the tree. Luckily, it's not very hard, and within ten minutes, the tree has been fallen and I have to duck out of its way. The small size of the tree hardly stirs a tremor...but the apple falling from its branches does!
It's hard impact, fortunately, is directed on my right shoulder and not my head, or its integrity might be severely compromised. As I massage the general area of impact, Ruka scooted over and picked up the apple carefully.
"Do..do we eat this, then?"
"Appetizer of the day, miss."
She chucks the apple at me, but we're both laughing, I drop the knife and we're locked in another embrace. Is this normalcy? Is this fallacy? These questions are short-lived, however, the moment I contemplate the new reality: I am here, with my lover Ruka, and this is where we will live for the rest of our life.
Long after the laughter has died out, we're lying in the snow, out of breath, watching the sun climb higher in the sky. From somewhere far off, I can here birds chirping. This really is a beautiful world, with a beautiful lover...
"Is this...reality, Ren?" It's Ruka who's asking. "Or is this just fantasy..again?"
I don't reply immediately, I just roll to her side and firmly hug her.
"We'll live here, Ruka, we'll live here. You and me, this beautiful world."
Edit: [6-6-13] Made some changes after reviews.
I will be expanding on this! Read The Old Life In The Old World for the prequel to the entire story!