|"H-Haru.. is that you?" The woman approached, palms placed flat against her reddening cheeks. The corners of her eyes were unable to hold back the tears that graced her skin.|
Silver hair jostled as Haru’s footsteps were halted instantly by the hauntingly familiar voice that called out his name. How could he ever forget that sound? His reason for setting out on his journey, his initial source of courage that allowed him to push forward and leave Garage Island behind. However delayed, his lips parted in a wide smile, “Hey’ya Sis!” arm rising as he waved, Haru sprinted to close the distance between them. How long had it been? Few dying strides brought him within arms length. ”Who else would it be?” his voice trailed off quietly, softening tone proof of endearment.
▷ OOC: Elie’s writing me novels and shit.
And it’s probably the best response in the history of RP responses.
((I”m sorry!! I just have a lot of feels ahahaha. I’ll try to tone it down a bit next round.))
(( I’ll not be having that! =p No toning it down for you. Tone it up, maybe. But never down. Seriously. Blown away by that one, haha. God, my response will definitely not match up, but I’m gonna try anyway. ))
“Of course, since relying on Plue has always worked out before,” Elie responded as she pulled Haru up. The bug’s enthusiastic “puuuun” seemed to agree with Haru’s confidence, so she didn’t even try to argue. They set off over the hill and back to Mildian, that town of magic and wonder and funny-looking people that would give them funny looks and act even weirder around her and Haru.
There would never be a time in her life, Elie thought, that she wouldn’t be used to all this. Meaning the looks and the stares and the glances in their general direction that no one thought she would see. Of course she was comfortable when she was doing her own thing, like dancing or being a general doofus with Haru and her friends. But the revelation that she is Resha (or Resha was her, she never knew how to quite identify it) elevated her self-consciousness to new heights. Whether it be the looks from other guys on the street that she never minded until now, or the confused, wrinkled faces of the elderly that were trying so desperately, so seriously, to believe that Resha Valentine died fifty years ago and that she didn’t just pass by in front of their eyes, it bugged Elie.
Everything seemed a bit better, if only for a short time, when she had Haru by her side. There was something comforting about his ridiculous smile and easy presence, the manner he could go from protective to commanding to relaxed, in a matter of a few minutes. In fact, she was witness to it many times over, which she didn’t particularly enjoy all that much. The glares he gave to more than a few men made them practically cower and slink off – she would do the same if in their shoes. She didn’t think that everyone was looking at them because of their God-given looks, of course not. There was something accusatory in a few people, something that made Elie feel guilty down to the core. Their scowls and frowns didn’t seem all impressed that the Rave Master and the Etherion girl were in their midst. No, it was anger for their losses, for their friends and brothers and sisters and lovers that gave everything for their cause. The Sieg Hart swam in her head unbidden, reopening a memory and a pain she thought she locked away so tightly, so well. Obviously they were angry. Obviously not everyone wanted them here, despite popular belief.
Elie dared to look at Haru, seeing the set jaw and fierce determination, knowing that a much different battle was being waged inside his head than she originally thought. She didn’t notice how they sped by the shops and passerby, leaving the busiest parts of the town for the small rental station they stopped abruptly in front of. Hugging Plue tighter to her chest, Elie merely blinked as Haru almost breezed by the quaking salesman. He was so good with people, as she saw with the small children he would play with or the older folks that he would repair roofs for back on Garage Island. It was enviable, it truly, really was. She smiled slightly over her shoulder as she followed Haru to the vehicles, in a bit of a apologetic but appreciative gesture to the salesman who was now wiping his brow as his customers walked away.
Plopping Plue in the backseat and muttering “don’t do anything stupid” to the small creature, Elie sat down, sinking immediately into the cushy leather seat. She ran her hand along either side of the car, even going as far to peer over the door to watch the road run away from them. Haru’s voice flew by her, so she placed a hand on her hair to keep it from flapping in the wind. “I don’t see why not. I hope most of them are still together.” Elie fiddled around with the controls of her chair, before finally finding that one that allowed her to recline. Though she first went down right away, emitting a distressed cry from Plue behind her, she adjusted it to a decent height and placed her booted feet on the edge of the car door. “I wouldn’t mind seeing them. We’ve been alone for a long time, I guess.”
Elie rolled her head to the side, giving Haru her undivided attention. “Besides, I wouldn’t want you to get bored with Plue and I! Always have to be entertained, that’s you.” She gave him a friendly punch on the arm, though not hard enough to completely distract him from driving. “If it weren’t for me, you’d go crazy by yourself after all this time,” Elie finished with a shrug. Two was better than one, of course, especially concerning them. Together. The thought of the extent of their relationship brought a flush to Elie’s face, allowing a small smile to settle on her face as she turned it back to the hot sun. She couldn’t see much on the horizon, at least from her current position, so she let her eyes flutter to a close and listened to the gentle roar of the engine as they drove on.
Feigning a finch at the lighthearted punch, Haru glanced over in the brunette’s direction, his mouth curved into a smile. “Whaddya mean? You’re more than enough entertainment for me! I’d much rather keep you all too myself.” Garage Island, while inhabited, provided more than just the illusion of privacy. It was secluded, away from civilization. Haru had openly invited Elie there to live with him, both because he knew she needed a place to call home, and he couldn’t help knowing the quality time the two would be able to spend together. No random battles or demons to fend off. No magic other than the majestic life they would create. Back then, it had been a dream for them. Something to hold onto, to cling to. That promise kept him going, Haru had fought hard to make it a reality.
And in the end, it had become just that.
“I just think Julia would skin me alive if she knew we were so close by, and didn’t pay her a visit. She’d call me stingy and the rest is history.” No, it wasn’t the fact that he had grown tired of her company. The case couldn’t have been more opposite. The dragonness had a legendary temper, however, and whoever wished to appeal to that side of Julia had to be two screws short. Haru could still feel the remnants of knots passed aching dully atop his skull, and didn’t wish to add any more notches from a reverse uppercut. How many teeth had she nearly knocked out from her knuckle sandwiches alone? Haru grimaced at the thought, and preferred not to calculate further.
The road paved in dirt stretched for miles before them, although the estimated arrival time for the next town was only an hour, or two at the most. From here, with the various hills and valleys obscuring the visual, it was difficult to assume there would be anything within hours of a drive. Haru knew it was there, however. Their travels had lead them beyond land and sea, and all of it was a map in the back of his mind. Stored away for future use, he utilized that memorized information now. Often his violet hues would stray from the empty direction, peering silently at the etherion enabler. He knew that look. It was the expression of some deep conflict, one that he knew and understood from his time spent getting to know her.
Haru had been there when she was just a girl with a gambling addiction, lost in her way to discovering who she was, and what the tattoo on her arm meant as more than a name. She wasn’t manufactured, he refused to treat it like a bar-code. Likewise, he had also been there when her memory returned, and promised to be her anchor. Shifting his steeled gaze back to the road, Haru propped his left arm up on the door, wrist hanging on the inside. ”Are you still thinking about what it means to have experienced two lives? Reisha’s, and your own?” Allowing a small pause to pass between them, the silence was answer enough.
“You know what I think? I think you can only be who you are, no more; no less. To me, you’re Elie. You will always be Elie. Reisha might be who you were before, but that was fifty years ago! That side of you had nothing to do with the memories you created as Elie. That side of you had no influence on how you came to be. You’re you, Elie. Reisha may be a part of who you are, but she doesn’t define you. Isn’t that what it was all about? Finding yourself, knowing the difference? If you ask me, you’ve already found it.
“Our past lives have vague resemblances to who we are now. The past doesn’t determine your worth, the present and the choices you make today decide the future, Elie. Every little thing that you do defines the person you’ve become. Your laugh, that smile… the way you scrunch your nose when you’re upset, or the way your faces turns red and that cute little squirm when you’re embarrassed by something…” Haru’s smile turned into a cheesy grin at that, his own cheeks warming. “All of that is you. Not Reisha. I should know, right?” Hoping to have at least alleviated some of her inner turmoil, Haru braved the heat still filling his face, the burning sensation in his ears informing him that he were as red as a tomato. It couldn’t be helped, and neither could the next potentially embarrassing thing that came out of his mouth…
“And if you must have a last name then…” he stammered, heart beginning to pound relentlessly. His fingers curled around the steering wheel tightly, his foot heavy on the brake as he brought them to a complete stop. “then…” finding the courage to continue was easy, the difficult part was getting the words to come out. With a deep breath, they finally escaped the confines of his lungs. “THEN YOU CAN TAKE MINE, ELIE!” Only after they had been freed did he realize it sounded more like a rather creative proposal. And perhaps the true question had just presented itself. Was it?
In the mood to write, but I have nothing to write! Help stimulate my muse?
It always seemed like there was just never enough time for the both of them. Sure, they’ve had hours and days and months that Elie would never forget, but there was always something off, something that was doing its best to keep their time together to the minimum. Which, in that case, made it all the more precious to Elie.
She never thought that Haru would be the one to hold her heart, the way that the feelings for him crept on her day after day. Now it was practically impossible to imagine a life without him, without his eyes and smile lighting up her day or his arms to give her comfort in protection. Elie though about how much she relied on their interactions now. Everyone almost seemed dull in comparison to him. Not that it was a bad thing, of course. Just… different.
There was so much to say, so much to do, so much to ask for in order to make up for that awkward “flux” stage they were caught in during the waning of their adventure and that horrible year that they both lost. It was more than enough to have these stolen moments when they thought no one was around, of course. The small glances and touches and kisses were enough, but Elie knew that there was always something more than this. He was tentative, she was shy. If she froze up, he relented. They were stuck in a dance, yearning and pulling and retreating that she hoped was normal for every couple that was “starting out.” She wasn’t quite sure what it specifically was, or even if there was a proper noun or adjective to describe it accurately. She wanted so much, but wanted to draw it out as long as possible without getting complacent or bored. She wanted it to last – she just hoped Haru felt the same.
It was funny, really, that she needed him for so much. From getting her out of her “moods” and figuring out her past or just saving her life over and over, Haru was there. He could practically do anything, it seemed. She was who she was because of him, despite the snappy comments and little fights they would get in every once in a blue moon. He was nearly one-half of her by this point, and she couldn’t imagine how she could piece herself together if he was taken away. He saved her in every way possible, body and soul.
She nudged herself further in his arms, embarking into familiar territory once more. A hand stayed pressed against his chest while the other snaked up to his collar, rubbing her thumb over his collarbone and neck. With his arms loosely around her hips, it seemed like they fit together perfectly, like a lock and its key. Elie knew it would be so easy, too easy to simply push him to the ground… but not here, not now. Hopefully later, hopefully soon.
The tip of her nose barely brushed his when the all-too familiar sound of Plue’s quasi – war cry echoed in the clearing. Elie could only smile and deeply sigh as Haru deftly drew her closer to him as he snatched their little bug out of the air, lest it became more of a distraction than before. Things were going so well, it felt so right. She wrapped a hand into Haru’s hair as his forehead leant into the crook of her shoulder, letting him know she shared the exact same sentiments about Plue’s uncanny timing. If they had all the time in the world, God only knows what would happen!
Pressing her lips briefly against the side of his head, Elie slowly disentangled herself from Haru’s embrace with a great extent of disappointment. Not in him, obviously, but for the lack of space they’d been stuck with. That’s what you get for falling in love with the Rave Master, idiot. “I could go for something,” she agreed as she stood, slightly shakily. “You two eat enough for a small army though!”
Elie placed a hand on Plue’s round head as she plucked him off the ground. She held him across her arm and against her chest as she reached a hand for Haru’s still-prone body. “There might be something halfway decent back in the town. Or we could head off to another one if you don’t want all the noise.” A slight shrug accompanied her question as she finished with a smile. “It really doesn’t matter to me. Food is food!”
With nothing to be done about the interruption, Haru took it as a sign that this spot had worn itself out, and now their lives were about to move forward. A silver lining for him, considering his year long stasis. Luckily, the Rave Master’s quest had not escalated to the point where it was drug on for years, they would not be sacrificing much of their youth. It gave them more to look forward to, and already Haru anticipated the next few hours almost as much as he eagerly awaited the rest of his life. Looking up at Elie with Plue smiling down at him, trapped in her one armed embrace, he couldn’t help but find the irony in it all. He was looking at his future, and all that it entailed. The sky backdrop behind her represented the vast unknown, but all of it he would tackle with her.
Placing his hand in hers, Haru pulled himself to his feet, brushing off the grass from his shorts and the back of his shirt. “Why don’t we let Plue decide? His nose will lead us to a feast for sure!” The soft agreeing purr that emanated from Plue made him laugh. “I’m glad you like that idea, Plue.” Giving the little bug a pat on the head, Haru took up Elie’s free hand, and with a squeeze peered down at her, tipping his head towards the small hill, where the crest lead into the busy town. Already the noise carried over the short paved walkway, to the bickering streets of Mildawn. “Shall we?”
The walk back to town was short lived, the peace and quiet had already been ruined the instant they’d set foot upon the cobbled stone walkway that lead to the large windmill monument. Various vendors set up stations upon the roadway, perched upon the sidewalk, mindless of the pedestrians whom had to cross out into the dirt road in order to avoid crashing through a stall. Haru was prepared for the onslaught of people who hurled themselves at them. Questions went in one ear and out the other as the Rave Master kept a firm grip on his amber eyed companion, never allowing the pawing men a chance to mistake the type of relationship they had. The fawning women were no less made aware. There were those who were kind enough to give their thanks and move along, offering them spoils. They’d been given several invitations to enjoy their stay at the most luxurious hotels, however, nothing compared to the natural canopy of the stars.
Besides, Haru was far too accustomed to sleeping on uncomfortable pines and needles than in the soft velvety sheets of Mildawn’s finest. It didn’t seem likely they were going to remain in town, anyway. Having already bypassed most restaurants, Haru glanced around the remaining part of town, which consisted of nothing more than a rental service for those traveling to the next town. “You don’t want to stay here, Plue?” The little dog shook it’s head, uttering a noise that Haru knew all too well. It was his way of stating his displeasure, and while Mildawn wasn’t an awful city, it certainly could never afford privacy. Not the kind they desired, anyhow.
Coming upon the vehicle rental station, Haru hadn’t said a word when the clerk behind the desk jumped to his feet, dropping the fan he’d been cooling himself off with to the floor. “Rave Master! W-what can I-I do f-for you?” Blinking at the nerves obviously racking the elderly man’s frame, Haru smiled warmly. “All I need is something to get me from A to B. If you have anything small, we’ll take it.” Fishing in his pocket, he was ready to pull out the necessary funds when the elderly man shook his head, holding up a hand. “I couldn’t accept that. Not for all you’ve done. Please, here. Accept this as my gratitude for your sacrifices. You’ve given us our lives, but this is all I can offer you in return.” Holding out a key-chain with a picture of a mode of transportation and a key, Haru let go of Elie’s hand to grasp hold of the trembling old mans in both.
“It’s enough. We don’t expect you to offer us anything, not for something like that. Truth is, we all had our reasons.” His gaze shifted to Elie for a moment, the small smile never leaving. It brightened when he turned back to the clerk. “I thank you for your generosity! I won’t forget.” Placing a wealthy bill on the table anyhow, Haru waved a hand as he overlooked the image attached to the key-chain, and motioned for Elie to follow him towards the lot beside the small building. Although the selection were grand, varying from drawn buggies to small cars, and those of larger make. Wagons and bikes alike were lined in their respective group. “Looks like we’re copying Musica.” Haru grinned, wondering of the reaction the silver claim would have as he lead them towards the crimson convertible. Although the style wasn’t necessarily his, it was essentially free, and he wasn’t going to complain from the hospitality shown. Hopping in, Haru put the key into the ignition, his attention once more turning to Elie.
“I wonder if Julia still works for Ruby. Ya think we should stop by and pay them a visit?” They hadn’t had much contact with their other friends since Haru had instructed them to drop both he and Elie off at Garage Island. Following the stay there to situate themselves, and long enough for Haru to show Elie the nooks and crannies he’d been dying to show her for months; the two had embarked on their own journey. Musica and the others weren’t aware that they were back on the mainland. Although, word traveled fast, and the possibility that they were made aware was left open.