Bonded

Rating : K

Characters : Jun, Ai, Lenneth

Pairing : None

Genre : Family

Preview : Before Jun was sent to Valhalla, Lenneth granted the Einherjar one last wish : To see his twin sister again and say goodbye.

_ What are you looking at, Jun ? -Lenneth asked her Einherjar, who was standing at the top of the hill, eyes gazing distantly.

_ Valkyrie -the ponytailed man turned around and bowed. In return to that, Lenneth just nodded, a sign which told him not to be unnecessarily formal.

_ I’m looking at Hai-Lan. From this place, I can barely see it. If only there wasn’t the sea… Jun replied ruefully

_ You miss your homeland, don’t you ? The Valkyrie’s face remained emotionless. However, her icy blue eyes showed hint of sympathy.

_ Not really -The former samurai lowered his head, trying not to let his weakness be shown in front of his mistress. But his effort was all in vain, neededless as it should be, Lenneth could see through it.

_ You needn’t to be strong when there were just the two of us. I am a Chooser of the Slains and it is both my honor and duty to under how you feel or what is bothering you. Or else, Lord Odin won’t have strong Einherjars needed for the war.

_ I thank you. Such great honor I can not effort. -Jun turned for another bow.

_ So, what is your problem ? -Lenneth found herself let out a smile, a rare one that only her noble Einherjars deserved.

_ It’s just… I just worry about Ai. Has she regained her eyesight ? Has she been taken well care of ?

_ You twin sister, is that right ?

_ When I left the town, I promised I would come back to her. But after that, I became your Einherjar and left her all alone. I wonder if she is happy ?

_ The, why don’t you see it for yourself ? To see if she is happy ?

_ Valkyrie ? -Jun’s eyes widened in disbelief, not really trusting his ears for his mistress’ words.

_ I can take you back to Hai-Lan, for that you can see her. But only a few minutes, we don’t have much time to spend.

Lenneth spread her wings, white feathers shining as they were ready to take him back to her soul, a safe house for any Einherjars.

_ Once again, I have to thank you.

…….

With the sleeves of her kimono tied behind her back, Ai was cleaning the house with extreme carefulness. It was one of her doings in order to spend the day and waited for her brother to be back from a long journey. Although he only stayed for a few days, Ai always wanted him to feel comfortable at their home.

However, it had been a long time since he last came back. On his recent journey, he had told her that he nearly found the cure for her blindness, that she just had to wait for a little longer until she could see the world again. And she had waited, not for the cure but for her brother’s return. He had promised he would always come back to her, no matter what happened.

When she opened the wardrobe, Ai found something : the haori she had made for him as a present for his, their upcoming birthday. Holding it close to her heart, Ai began to cry, tears dampened the material till it darkened. It had been the very first birthday she had to celebrate alone, without him and it might not be the last. Some villagers said they had seen him come in the cave of the ogre, a brave act none of them dared to carry out. But unfortunately, he never came out again. His being killed by the ogre was the very possibility they could assume. She was informed that her brother had died and would never return. Even his body was nowhere to be found. Eaten by the ogre, what’s more, they said. At first, Ai couldn’t believe in what she was told. If there was even a slightest thread of hope, then she would pray  for Jun to return. Sadly, as days went by, the more eyesight she regained, the more despair Ai found herself deeply sunk in. Regaining her eyesight would be nothing in comparison with the loss of him.

A noise of footsteps in the backyard disturbed Ai. Wiping away her tears, Ai quickly ran out to see if someone paid her a visit. And then, her heart almost stopped beating when she saw a face which was similar to her own. Speechless, all she could do was staring at the person in front of her, not trusting her eyes for what she was seeing.

_ Ai… He was as speechless as her, unable to form a single word but her name.

_ Jun… How…

He ran to her with god-speed and hugged her tightly in his arms. She replied with the same move, almost desperately trying to keeping him from leaving her again.

_ Aren’t my eyes deceiving me ? You’ve come back ! They said you were dead and I believed it. How silly I was !

The very word “dead” stirred his soul, Jun knew deeply that he had to tell her the truth, that their reunion would be short-lived and he would have to leave her again, this time, for all of eternity. However, bringing himself to do that was so hard, almost painful, especially when she was so happy with his “return”.

_ Ai… -Jun said ruefully, fingers caressing her cheek- I have to tell you something…

_ Tell it later ! Now, come inside. You must be exhausted. -She said, taking his large hand in her small one in order to let him in. To her surprise, he didn’t attempt to move.

_ Jun ?

_ Listen, Ai. What they said was true. I’ve already died.

_ No ! – Ai retorted, the smile on her face seemed to fade away. -How can you be dead ? You’re still standing there, your hand’s still in mine and it feels so warm…

_ I’ve died, Ai, and been recruited by a Valkyrie. Since then, I became one of her Einherjars. She allowed me to come back for a while. To say farewell to you.

_ How can she be so cruel ? Bringing you back to me only to take you away ? -Ai shouted, her body shaking, trying to break free of her brother’s embrace.

_ Don’t say that, Ai ! She saved my soul from being devoured by darkness. Your blindness was nothing but a reflection of my own blindness toward my true nature. Now that I’ve died, you’ll be able to see again. You can see the town, the people, the flowers… like you once wished.

_ But… you… -Unable to speak, Ai just nuzzled her cheeks on the material of his kimono, wetting it with her warm tears.

_ If it’s for your happiness, then I don’t mind dying. -Jun found himself tell a joke, trying hard to reassure her, but it didn’t seem to work.

_ If the price for my happiness is your death, than I don’t ever want to be happy…

Jun hugged her tighter, his chin resting on her head. Not a word was spoken, they stayed like that for several minutes, treasuring every second they spent with each other, until a voice raised in Jun’s ears :”Time to go, Jun !”. He nodded his head slightly in agreement.

_ I have to go, Ai. But remember, all I ever want is for your happiness. So, be happy, and don’t forget to smile ! You’re most beautiful when you smile.

_ No, I don’t want anything else. Just don’t leave me alone !!

_ Farewell. And happy birthday to you, to us !

His very last word shocked her. Ai watched in both fear and pain as his figure faded way, like a ghost, until there was nothing but white feathers left.

_ How can I ever be happy without you ? How can I ever smile, knowing you have died for me ? – Ai downed on her knees, body trembling with every drop she shed. “Because I love you”

What she said, Jun would never know. For now, he had another duty to fulfill : to serve the gods faithfully as an Einherjar. But if he had a wish, he would wish that he stayed with her, to take care of her, to protect her, till death tore them apart. Because he loved her just in the same way she did to him.

Some said there was an unbroken bond between twins. In this case, it was true.

End.

[ Note : Jun has always been my most favorite Einherjar in VP1. Although he was a “clumsy” fighter who often missed ( or I WAS a clumsy player who often made him miss >< ), I still kept him in my party till the end. Mostly because of his look. Back then, I didn’t really understand why Jun became an ogre and his relationship with Ai. But now, which is a few years later from then, I finally get it. To tell the truth, not that I’m moved but I just feel sorry for Jun, for the idea that his death cured his sister’s blindness. So, I write this fic, mainly to give them a chance to be united ( although it’s quite short ). It’s a shame that Jun and Ai can never be together like Alicia and Rufus in Angel. ]

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