I Shall Return To You
A Final Fantasy IV One-shot by ChronicLegCramp-Since'99
*Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to SquareEnix, respectively*
Cecil Harvey lay awake in the inn of Fabul, surrounded by his friends who were tired from the day's events. All except one. He sat up, wrapping his arms around his legs and resting his chin on his knees.
He couldn't get his head around it and the more he thought about it, the stronger his growing sense of despair became. He was a little surprised at himself; however much he liked to think of Kain, Rosa and himself as the trio of best friends, he always knew deep down that he and the Dragoon were nothing but mutual friends of the White Mage. When they were kids, for a long time Cecil had been afraid of Kain. Whenever they were left alone together, the boy with the wavy, pure white hair would feel awkward and uneasy- too scared of saying something that would annoy the other boy, who had filled out much more quickly than Cecil- so he wouldn't speak at all; Kain would normally ruffle Cecil's hair and leave, but sometimes he would stay and ask the slighter boy to read to him, or sing for him and very occasionally Kain would play a tune on his violin. Cecil would do as was asked without question, though blushing profusely and looking anywhere than at the blond. Once they had spent an afternoon on a hill on the outskirts of Baron. It had been sunny, but not the hottest of days; it had been comfortable and yet uncomfortable, with Kain lying down and laying his head in Cecil's lap. At first, the white haired boy had simply gazed down at Kain with wide, cornflower blue eyes, trying not to breathe or make any sudden movements. The blond on the other hand, seemed completely relaxed, with his eyes closed and the hint of a smile on his face. It was then that Cecil had begun to wonder why he was so scared of the blond. Eventually he started to enjoy these small moments with Kain- even look forward to them. Though there was rarely- if any- conversation between them, it felt soothing and peaceful in a way, to share such mutually quiet moments in someone else's company. He never doubted this odd quality to their friendship again: it was just the way they were.
Back in the present however, Cecil was being forced to analyse the bond between Kain and himself. He was ashamed at how shocked he'd been at Kain's betrayal, earlier that day in Fabul's crystal chamber; in all honesty, they hadn't had much of a friendship at all and it was more unthinkable that the Dragoon would turn his back on Rosa. Still, the Dark Knight felt his heart skip and his stomach tighten at the memory of Kain smirking down at where Cecil lay injured and entirely at his mercy. Cecil ran his fingers through his hair and attempted to swallow past the lump in his throat.
"Cecil?" the person in question started, clutching his chest before he registered the distinctly feminine lilt to the voice that had called out to him. He glanced sheepishly to his right to meet Rosa's worried eyes; her wheat blond hair was messy and falling into her face on one side, which made Cecil's hand twitch, wanting to tuck it behind her ear. He'd seen Kain do it once or twice, but Cecil had never been able to offer such an intimate gesture- to anyone. In one sense he suddenly realised, Kain had been the only one he'd shared that kind of moment with, though it was always the blond who instigated it. "Is everything all right, Cecil?"He heard Rosa whisper, as she sat up in her bed to see him better. The white haired man gave her an unconvincing smile. "Kain will come back to us- we have to believe in him,"
"He's made it perfectly clear where he stands, Rosa: against us," Cecil himself heard the crack in his voice and looked away from the tears welling up in his best friends eyes. Slowly he got up, donning his undershirt and pants before stepping into his boots and silently exiting the inn.
Cecil wandered aimlessly, barely feeling the cold that was seeping through the thin material of his clothes. He wanted to go back to when this had all began, back to the order to retrieve- no, steal- the crystal of Mysidia. Back to before he'd murdered countless innocents at the Kings word. Back to before Kain had struck him down with the intent to kill. Cecil wasn't sure if the numbing of his senses was psychological, or the result of the biting wind, but either way he kept walking. By the time the fatigue started to hit, he was approaching a forest area. The Dark Knight came to a stop meaning to turn back, but he remained where he was, closing his eyes. It had begun to drizzle with rain and it was quickly dampening his hair and soaking his clothes. In one corner of his mind, he wondered why he hadn't come across any foes, while in another he seemed to be conjuring up Kain's voice. However, in the forefront of his mind, he was about ready to collapse, his body shuddering violently. And then he heard it- someone was saying his name. He didn't know if it was being called from a distance, or it just seemed that way. But then he felt it- strong arms encircling him. Cecil's legs gave way and he fell against the weight, not caring who or what it was, as his consciousness slipped away.
When the former Captain of the Red Wings awoke, he was curled up in a fraying blanket inside a tent. He automatically reached for his sword, but he came up empty. He immediately regretted leaving Fabul's inn in such a defenceless condition as he was. He glanced around the tent, looking for anything that he could use as a weapon and that was when he saw it. Icicles splintered his heart and for a moment it stopped beating all together. A lance was stuck in the grassy earth, helping hold up the tent.
'That cannot be his…'
Cecil was startled further by the entrance of the tent being pushed aside and a figure ducking inside. The Dark Knight shoved himself backwards, blindly grabbing around for anything he could use to defend himself with, but then he froze in place.
"You are awake." Cecil eyed his captor- or saviour- half terrified, half hopeful as the man removed his headgear and knelt before him.
"How are you feeling?" the blond inquired in his usual easy, yet restrained manner. Cecil only continued to stare, feeling like a kid again, tongue-tied and self-conscious. Kain set down his helm unnecessarily carefully and then moved towards the smaller man. Cecil would have backed up more if he wasn't already straining against the coarse fabric of the tent.
"S-stay back!" he shouted, looking more confident than he sounded. The Dragoon locked Cecil's cornflower gaze in his own powder blue one. He moved closer until he had one knee either side of the Dark Knights legs and cupped Cecil's pale face in his hands.
"Cecil, it is me," the blond said in a soft but firm tone. The white haired man started to shake his head, still unable to speak. "Cecil, look at me. Look at me! You know I would never betray you- not willingly."
"What are you s-saying…?" the smaller man just about managed to reply, his voice shaky but demanding.
"Golbez was controlling me. I do not know how he was doing it, but I succeeded in breaking free," Kain explained, brushing Cecil's hair back from his face as he did so. "I would never deliberately hurt you, Cecil. You do know that, don't you?"
"I…" gradually the crease in the Dark Knights forehead cleared as he took in the blond's sincerity. "I suppose…if you were lying, you would have already killed me…"
"Shhh," the Dragoon drew Cecil against his chest, the fingers of his right hand curling into his white locks. "That will never happen."
"Kain…" Cecil murmured, returning the hug as his heart filled with relief. They stayed like that for a long time, before Kain finally pulled back.
"Cecil…" the Dragoon sighed, seeing the glistening tears dripping down the Dark Knights cheeks. He smiled slightly as he watched Cecil hastily scrub at the wet skin under his eyes. "You never change." The white haired man blushed, looking up at the man who was rubbing his hands up and down his back. "Now tell me, what did you think you were doing out there in the rain, in the middle of the night? Trying to catch your death, one would presume."
"I was…" Cecil trailed off at a loss for words. He didn't know what he'd been thinking- his thoughts were still jumbled as it was. "I…could not sleep…" Kain looked doubtful, but he merely rose to his feet and turned to move away. Cecil grasped his hand in both of his before the blond had taken one step.
"I'm not going anywhere," Kain reassured him instantly, reading the panic in the Dark Knights eyes. "I'm just going to remove my armour." Cecil released his grip reluctantly, his eyes trained on the Dragoon as the latter dismantled the masses of dark blue metal encasing his body. It occurred to the white haired man then, the manner in which both he and Kain had been treating each other. Perhaps their friendship was worth more that he'd suspected; right now, he felt like his and Kain's connection was even stronger than his and Rosa's- and she was like a sister to him. But then something began to dawn on him as he watched the Dragoon plait his pale blond hair that reached all the way down his spine. Without his armour on, Cecil could now see the outlines of his taut muscles. He'd never regarded Kain in this way before; his face reddened as he drew up his legs and angled himself away from the Dragoon. The Dark Knight bit his lip as he sensed Kain silently walk back over to him.
"You are shivering- here…" the blond picked up the abandoned blanket and draped it around Cecil's shoulders, before sitting beside him. "How are the others?"
"The others…? The others- they must be wandering where I am!" Cecil attempted to stand but Kain stopped him. "I must rejoin them-!"
"Cecil, it is three o'clock in the morning," Kain told him patiently, squeezing his hand lightly. "They will still be asleep. So unless my company is that intolerable to you, there is no rush." The blond smiled at him playfully, rubbing his thumb backwards and forwards over the white haired mans knuckles. Cecil peeked sideways at him, chagrin colouring his features.
"I…I'm g-glad you are back," he murmured, bowing his head so that his bangs fell forward, covering his face.
"…You haven't acted this nervous around me since we were children. Do you still not trust me?" Kain said, seeming lost in thought as he absently tucked a lock of Cecil's hair behind his ear.
"It's…nothing of that sort…" the Dark Knight answered vaguely, gazing down at the Dragoons hand on his. Kain lifted the same hand to turn Cecil's face to look at him, with the crook of a finger.
"Then what is troubling you?" Cecil found himself trapped in the other mans powder blue eyes as he frantically racked his brain for a good enough excuse. He swallowed loudly as Kain subconsciously stroked his finger up and down his neck. Hesitantly, without really thinking about what he was doing, Cecil leaned up and pecked the Dragoon shyly on the lips. If the Dark Knight was expecting Kain to be shocked by this show of more than friendly affection, he would be disappointed. As it was, Kain simply smiled warmly and captured Cecil's mouth less than delicately with his own. The blond placed his hands on Cecil's hips as he ran his tongue along the bottom row of the white haired mans teeth. Cecil caressed the base of Kain's neck with his hands as he deepened the embrace, letting the blonds tongue collide with his own. It felt like nothing he'd ever felt before, kissing Kain. He'd kissed girls before, even made out with them, but none of that compared to the wave of electricity that coursed through his veins every time the Dragoon licked into his mouth, or trailed his fingertips over Cecil's skin. The Dark Knight never wanted it to end, but after what seemed like ten minutes short of forever, Kain pulled away, sucking on Cecil's top lip as he did. To his own embarrassment, the white haired man let out a whimper, his blue-tinted lips forming a pout of their own accord. The Dragoon chuckled at the slighter man and pressed his lips once to his forehead.
"You need your rest, Cecil," the person in question all but huffed, nuzzling the side of his neck. "You know that I am right." Cecil nodded slowly, stretching out underneath one half of the blanket and offering Kain the rest. The blond chuckled again but accepted the offer, lying down next to the white haired man, who snuggled into his side, resting his head on Kain's chest. Cecil decided he would assess the abnormality of the situation later on, once his mind was no longer weighted by exhaustion. So he allowed himself to fall asleep in Kain's arms, pretending like he hadn't a care in the world.
When Cecil woke for the second time, he was back in his bed in the Fabul inn. For a moment he feared that his night with Kain had all been a dream, but then he registered the slip of parchment folded in his left palm. One part of him dreaded what the note would say, however a more dominant part of him was eager to read what his Dragoon had written. Quickly casting his gaze about the room to make sure he was alone, he opened up the note.
"I shall return to you, I promise."