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A/N: Okay, since so little is known about Viole, the Viole here is completely made up. He may or may not have been the real Viole, but I just want him to be like he is here for this fic. Thank you for your cooperation. =)
P.S. I must thank Remalna Margot-chan for her enormous help on some info as well as significantly BETA reading it, and Pizazz-chan for the idea. Arigatou! =)
The sky was a rich pale-blue hue, clear and cloudless. A young girl with short cropped light brown hair and emerald eyes walked slowly, head down, deep in thought. Trees towered over her, tall, majestic, and stately, shading the golden pine needles blanketing the forest. Her feet made the slightest of sound as she carefully picked her way through the woods.
It was strange. She thought she would be bawling by now – or at the very least weeping bitter tears that would flow steadily down pale cheeks. But she was oddly apathetic – something she least expected. Angry, irritated, disappointed, devastated, distressed - but not indifferent. She sighed. Maybe she just – didn’t love him.
She sighed again.
Lifting her head, she finally looked up. Sunlight streamed through the cracks between each branch and leaf. She smiled slightly, seeing as the day was so beautiful, she should not be musing over unhappy thoughts. Taking a deep breath of the sweet and unpolluted air, she remembered with a sharp pang of pain of how she and her family had loved to go camping in the woods. She admitted, the air there was not as fresh there as here, since Gaia was almost completely unpolluted, but she still missed this thought for it made her feel disloyal to her family. A barely audible sigh escaped her lips as she continued on with her stroll.
After trying to identify several trees she did not know even existed, she came upon a small clearing. Sun-kissed dew on the tip of each blade of grass made the ground shimmer, as if a mantle of a thousand tiny crystals covered it. A small, clear lake sat in the middle, and a mediocre-sized log was placed near its shore. Someone sat upon it. He was dressed in a simple cotton tunic of navy blue over a white long-sleeved shirt, and tan breeches; his hair, a murky lavender, was tied into a short, loose ponytail. Fortunately, his back was to her. Hunched over, he seemed to be conversing with someone – or, more precisely, something – on his lap.
Slowly and quietly, she crept closer to the boy, trying to see whom he was talking to – and hear what he was saying. As she neared, she caught his words, said in a coaxing tone. She edged closer, trying to see what was nestled in his arms.
“… be alright soon. Don’t try to run, though. You’re just going to make it worse.” He sighed. “I wish I can take you back with me, but – who’s there?” He turned sharply around as she gasped.
She could now see whom he was talking to – a small, white rabbit. A faint smile touched her lips. Then, remembering again that she was not alone, she looked up at the boy. His eyes were of a silver-gray, and faintly curious, almost as if he was studying her.
“I… know you. You’re that girl from the Phantom Moon,” he stated candidly.
She was taken aback, but regained her composure quickly. “Who – who are you?”
“I’m - ” He sighed. “Never mind,” he said brusquely, and turned around, preparing to leave.
“Wait!” she called out, not knowing why. “I – I’m Hitomi Kanzaki,” she said, extending her hand.
He turned back slowly around. He looked at her, her outstretched hand, then back at her. Freeing an arm, he slowly reached out and grasped her hand tentatively. Hitomi smiled. “What’s your name?” she asked him gently.
“I’m – Viole, Miss Kanzaki,” he informed her politely.
“Oh, please drop the ‘Miss’.” She made a face. “Formalities make my skin crawl.”
He stared at her, startled, then suddenly laughed. Hitomi smiled in spite of herself, and soon joined in. Shortly, it subdued, and he inquired, “So I may call you – Hitomi?”
She nodded. “Of course, Viole,” she replied lightly.
He smiled. He liked how his name sounded when she said it.
“Can I hold it?” she asked abruptly.
“The rabbit. May I hold it?”
“Oh…” Viole almost forgot about it. “Of course.” He handed the rabbit tenderly into Hitomi’s waiting arms, and she nestled it maternally against her body.
“Oh, poor dear,” she cooed. Noticing its neatly bandaged leg, she asked him, “What happened?”
“She – it’s a she, by the way – probably broke it trying to protect her young ones from a predator.”
“You did a great job mending it,” she praised. Viole blushed.
“It’s nothing, really.”
“Do you come out here often?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I can only come here when I have time to myself, which is as rare as finding a golden apple growing on one of these trees.” He smiled ruefully. “I look for wounded animals and try to heal their injuries as best as I can.”
“That’s wonderful, Viole.” She gave him a brilliant smile, one that made her emerald eyes sparkle. He blushed once more.
“It’s really - ” Suddenly, his eyes clouded. “I must get going!” he exclaimed suddenly.
“I – it’s - I’m sorry, Hitomi, but I must go. I’ll see you later, okay? Bye!” he said hastily as he ran off.
Hitomi watched his rapidly retreating silhouette, her feelings oddly bruised.
Viole, out of breath, reached the Vione just as a young boy with silvery-blue hair and cold garnet eyes was calling out his name.
“Viole!” he said angrily. “Where were you? And why are you wearing peasants’ clothing?” he asked disdainfully.
“I’m sorry, Lord Dilandau,” he panted. “This won’t happen again.”
“It’d better not!” his captain snapped. “Now get into your armor! We have things to do,” he said, almost ecstatic.
“Yes, Lord Dilandau,” he replied, and fled.
“Where were you, Viole?” Migel asked curiously. “Off on one of those forest walks of yours?”
“Mmmhmm,” he replied, struggling into his heavy armor.
“But you’ve always managed to get back on time,” Chesta said worriedly. “What happened this time?”
“We should go meet with Lord Dilandau before he starts screaming at us again,” Dalet suggested.
“Good idea,” Guimel muttered as they all hurried off.
“The town of Kylot just burned to ashes yesterday,” Gaddeus reported.
“The DragonSlayers again, eh?” Riden asked.
“We must stop them before they obliterate all of Gaia!” Allen said, perturbed. “Yet we cannot all be relying on Hitomi to tell us where each of them are. Their stealth cloaks put us at a great disadvantage.”
“But we will stop them at all cost,” Van declared. “I will avenge Fanelia!”
“I agree with Lord Van!” Merle said excitedly.
“I can’t attend to all the wounded single handedly,” Millerna anounced worriedly. “Too many of our men will fall in battle before we can successfully kill one of theirs.”
Hitomi listened to all this with half an ear. Only yesterday she would have been interested in this council of war - well, mostly in what Allen, then Van, had to say… but now… she just wanted to go home. However, it would be nice to see Viole once more - just for a brief moment.
“I’m going to go for a walk alone,” she announced. “Pardon me.”
“Who’s going to protect you?” Van asked worriedly, trying to get her to see he had not meant what he said the other day.
She turned cold eyes on him. “I do not need protection, your Majesty. I can take care of myself just fine.”
“Hitomi, I think it would be better if you had an escort,” Allen said gently.
“It’s quite alright. I won’t wander far.” She turned around and walked out of the room.
Van sighed. Millerna and Allen both looked at the young king with sympathetic eyes.
Treading through the small forest, Hitomi tried to remember where the clearing. Though she raked her brain completely, she nevertheless failed to recall what direction she went the other day. Wandering around, she quickly became lost. Now, she concentrated instead on getting out of the forest, looking for any familiar landmark. That was virtually impossible, seeing as the entire place looked exactly the same as the next. She sighed, exhausted, and collapsed onto the pine needle covered ground. Tears trickled down her cheeks involuntarily, and she wiped them away vehemently, determined not to cry. She took deep breaths, trying to calm herself, but tears continued to descend. Suddenly, she heard a faint rustling sound, and quickly stood up.
“Who’s there?” she asked in a wavering voice.
“… Hitomi?” a familiar voice called out.
“Viole?” she breathed. He stepped out, this time wearing a dark blue surcoat embroidered with gold and the same colored breeches. A sword was buckled around his waist, but she noticed none of that. “Oh Viole!” she cried, throwing her arms around him. He was taken aback, but placed his hands gingerly around her waist.
“What’s wrong?” he asked concernedly, seeing her tears.
“It’s – oh – I don’t know,” she sobbed. “I’m just glad to see you, that’s all.”
“Hit - ”
“Viole!” Migel called out.
Hitomi slowly lifted her head off his shoulder. “Who…”
He lowered his head. “I’m - ”
“Viole, you here?” Hitomi watched in surprise as several young boys dressed similarly like Viole stepped out.
“Who’s – hey!” Chesta exclaimed. “Isn’t that the Phantom Moon girl?”
“Viole, what are you doing with her?” Dalet snapped. “You might get caught by them!”
“Caught by whom?” Hitomi asked irritatingly. “And who might you all be?”
“She doesn’t know?” Guimel asked Viole, astonished.
Viole shook his head.
“So that’s why you took so long to come back that time,” Migel mused. “You know that if you have gotten caught by anyone else, you’ll be in trouble, right?”
“Caught by whom?” Hitomi repeated, thoroughly annoyed. “What is it that’s so important that – ” Realization dawned on her. She backed away slowly. “You’re – you’re one of them,” she whispered hoarsely. “The DragonSlayers…” she turned around and began to flee. Tears flowed steadily down her cheeks.
“Hitomi!” he called out desperately. He ran after her and caught her arm. “Hitomi, please,” he whispered, nestling her head gently, inhaling her fragrance. “Please don’t let that destroy our friendship.”
“But – but you’re a Zaibach soldier,” she wept. “I – I can’t - ”
“Please, Hitomi,” he murmured.
The rest of the DragonSlayers came forward. “Viole, you know that if Lord Dilandau catches you, we won’t be able to save you, right?” Chesta asked worriedly.
“Unless, of course, we take her prisoner,” Migel commented speculatively.
“But – wouldn’t Lord Dilandau keep her at his side? To bait the Dragon?” Guimel asked.
“This relationship was impossible the first place,” Dalet remarked.
“Shh,” Chesta told Dalet anxiously.
Hitomi stopped crying. She wiped her tears away, and lifted her head. “He’s right,” she said to Viole quietly. “We shouldn’t have met in the first place.” Her heart breaking, she stood up and bid him a cold farewell.
“Hitomi,” Viole choked. “Please…”
But she had already begun to walk away, never to turn back.
“Where were you?” Van asked apprehensively, assisting a weary Hitomi inside.
“What happened?” Millerna asked, glancing at her.
“I don’t know.”
“I think she caught a cold,” the princess observed critically. “Aid her onto a bed. Then you should have someone prepare a hot bath for her. She needs it.”
After Hitomi had been bathed and clothed into clean clothes, Millerna briskly examined her. “Yep, she caught a cold,” she confirmed. “A mild one, fortunately, since it wasn’t too chilly today, but she won’t be feeling well for the rest of the day. She’s exhausted, so let her rest. Don’t allow anyone to disturb her.”
Van and Allen both nodded, and they left, closing the door gently after them. Hitomi closed her eyes, and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Viole trudged back to the Vione, dispirited. Chesta gave his friend a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. “I’m sorry. But there really was no way - ”
“I know,” Viole snapped uncharacteristically. “You can stop reminding me about it.” He turned sharply away back to his quarters. Chesta stared after his friend in shock.
“That Phantom Moon girl’s an evil witch, I tell you,” Dalet remarked. “She’s got poor Viole under her spell.”
“I thought witches were suppose to be ugly with green hair and warts,” Guimel said dryly.
“She probably really looks like that.” Dalet shrugged. “Probably did a spell to change her looks.”
“Will you two stop it?” Migel snapped. “You’re lucky Viole didn’t hear you. Otherwise, we’ll have to explain to Lord Dilandau why he was trying to kill the two of you.”
Chesta looked on sadly at his genial friend.
“How are you feeling, Hitomi?” Van asked her gently.
“Fine, thanks,” she replied shortly.
Van bristled. Here he was, trying to make her feel better, and how dare she –
“Van!” Allen called. “My crew just reported that they spotted some Zaibach guymelefs! I think it might be the DragonSlayers!”
The youthful monarch sprinted to the door, but turned back unexpectedly to the girl lying on the bed. “I’ll be back soon, Hitomi,” he whispered.
There was no response. Van sighed, and began to walk out the room.
“Be careful,” Hitomi murmured softly. He smiled.
Hitomi walked aimlessly around as teeming thoughts occupied her mind.
“I - I don’t love you, Hitomi. You’re more like my little sister.”
“Please don’t let that destroy our friendship.”
“Actually, I - I do love you, just not like that.”
“I’m going to go out for a bit!” she called.
“What - ? Hitomi!” Millerna exclaimed.
But she had already sprinted away.
Allen stared at Van in horror. Was the boy insane? One minute he was still, and the Heavenly Knight surmised he was meditating– but – what was happening – it was impossible. The young king was moving with liquid speed, annihilating one invisible guymelef after another. With each blow, a melef materialized, only to yield in defeat. Shortly after, only one was left – the Alseides of Dilandau. The DragonSlayer commander was screaming, “Get away… get… AWAY!” but Van was charging too fast…
Escaflowne suddenly halted.
“We will not let you hurt Lord Dilandau…”
“Lord Dilandau was our commander…”
“What? What’s happening? Who -”
Dilandau took this opportunity to escape.
Van swore under his breath, but trudged back to the Crusade, bone-tired. He barely reached there before Escaflowne collapsed. Allen and the Crusaders rushed to help the young monarch.
Hitomi had ran out, unnoticed by the men, and out to the battlefield. She searched wildly for -
“Hitomi,” a barely audible voice called out.
With tears streaming down her face, she dashed over, carefully assisting Viole out of his melef. The sight of his bruised face and the blood that seeped through his armor nearly torn her heart in two.
“Viole, oh Viole…” she murmured heartbrokenly.
“Hitomi,” Viole repeated, his silver eyes bright as he weakly lifted his hand. Hitomi grasped it tightly and raised it to her cheek caressingly.
“I’m so sorry, Viole,” Hitomi cried. “I’m so sorry… I love you.”
“I… I love you… too… Hit - ”
Gently, she lowered her lips and touched them with his. With his last breath, the young DragonSlayer gave all he could into that kiss, their first and final kiss, forever lingering and sweet.
“Viole,” she sobbed, burying her face in his shoulder as she felt him go limp.
Her adventures here on Gaia were ending. The war had finally ceased, after all the bloodshed and death of numerous valiant men who had sacrificed their lives so that their country may be free from the control of the Zaibach Empire. Yet she continued to think of the boy with nebulous lavender hair and kind silver eyes… one of Van’s prime adversaries… but her love, everything she held dear here on this world. She sighed sorrowfully, reminiscing on their bittersweet love. Viole…
“Hitomi…” Van said, pleading with his brown-red eyes.
She looked away. Perhaps once, she would have been able to love Van back, as he loved her… but not now… there was nothing left on Gaia that could make her want to stay… before, maybe, but now…
“I’m sorry, Van. But I must go back… I’m sorry,” she repeated monotonously.
Disappointed, his eyes clouded over.
Celena Schezar smiled. “Don’t worry, Lord Van. We will carry the memory of Lady Hitomi in our hearts.”
They both turned to look at Allen’s long-lost sister. Hitomi smiled. “Thank you.” She glanced over at Van, and knew she can now freely carry the memory of Viole without the shadow of Van hovering over her.
“Farewell, Van,” she whispered.
“Farewell… my love.”
You will find another love, Van, your true love, as I have… for only to them it is never farewell… she thought as the bright column of light arrived and whisked her back to Earth.
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