AnimeSuki Forums

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Social Groups Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   AnimeSuki Forum > Anime Related Topics > Fan Creations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2024-04-03, 00:48   Link #41
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Man, been a bit since I updated this fic. Welp, here goes. Shorter post this time.

_____

"So I take it you managed to retrieve some valuable info from that Walkit carrier?" L-Elf said to Haruto, the command deck now empty save for the two men and Shouko.

Haruto nodded, before pulling out two data drives from his pocket. "This contains information on both what Rukino-san went through and the true natue of the Phantom ships."

"Glad you managed to scavenge them while you were there Tokishima, lest this plan that I have been working on not have come to fruition. Course, you did exactly what I thought you would, and A-Drei thankfully didn't pose a problem this time around."

".....Wait," Haruto asked, "Did you seriously just base this plan of yours on me doing what I did, when their was no guarantee that I would've even found this data? My main concern was rescuing Rukino-san."

"True, and I did have a back-up plan should you have only rescued her or not even come back. Luckily, my faith in your abilities and decision making was not unfounded."

Haruto could've sworn that he saw L-Elf smiling behind his clenched hands, albeit hidden behind the latter. Though he quickly brushed it off.

"I know you say you need to feed on Runes again, but I still need to work on the plan now that this data is ours. I can't exactly do that if I'm incapacitated, and we know how many Runes you need."

"...I understand" Haruto replied. "Just don't take too long, otherwise...I don't know if I'll be able to contribute to whatever scheme you've got cooking up."

"Don't worry Haruto. I'm not going to let you starve" L-Elf responded. "After all, you are my most important chess piece for this upcoming game, and I can't do anything if you're dead."

Shouko couldn't help but smirk at his statement. "Someone's a bit of a tsundere it seems."

"Now please leave me be. I need to go over these drives to figure out how to integrate them."

"Understood L-Elf" Haruto said with a salute. Though after looking at Shouko, he remembered he still had one other thing he came here to do.

"L-Elf, permission to speak to Shouko for a minute?"

L-Elf looked over to the girl in question. She seemed a bit nervous at the suggestion, and given everything that happened between the two of them, he wasn't sure what exactly to do. After all, he still needed to go over what the updated plan for the next battle was.

Then again, given everything that came as a result of keeping secrets in the past few days, he was also not as willing to let things fester. After all, if this new nation was to fulfill the dream of Lieselotte, they all needed to be much more open.

"Don't worry L-Elf" Shouko finally said, addressing him by his code-name this time. "I was also told to catch up with him under the advice of Inuzuka-san after all."

"...Very well. I'll let you two have a moment. Just remember that I'll need you back here quickly Shouko."

Shouko nodded, and with that, the two made their way out of the room, and to one of the ship's observation decks.

L-Elf couldn't help but feel a slight ache in his heart as he saw the two depart, but quickly quashed the feeling, returning to his task of reviewing the data Haruto had scavenged.


_____


It was a bit of an awkward walk for the two teens, as they didn't know exactly what to say, given everything that they now knew about each other. This wasn't exactly a conversation Haruto and Shouko were looking forward to having.

At the very least, the former saw Inuzuka and Raizo giving him a reassuring thumbs-up as he approached the deck, while the latter also saw Akira give her an encouraging smile, so they at least felt a bit more comfortable knowing that their friends at least had their backs on this. Though it did give Haruto a bit of pause when he saw Saki reach out to him with her hand, as if she wanted to speak to him, only for her to frown and turn away with her eyes hidden when she saw Shouko with him.

Luckily for them, the observation deck was currently unoccupied by the time they arrived to it. With them locking the door behind them, they looked outside the window into the vastness of space, still unsure what to say to start the conversation.

"S-Shouko, I have to-"

"Haruto, about what happened-"

They both blushed and let out an awkward chuckle as they both tried to start the discussion at the same time. At least the tension was let out a bit as a result.

".....Go ahead Haruto" Shouko said. "I'll let you go first."

Haruto took a deep breath. This was it.

".....Shouko, I know that I've hurt you too much. I lied to you about my true nature, as I was afraid that you would view me as a monster, and I wanted things to stay the same as they always were. And yet it just made things all the worse when you finally did learn the truth. And that's not even getting into what I did to your father."

He could feel himself tearing up. "I-It's all my fault for hiding things from you. Y-You placed your trust in me, w-when all I did was betray you for not giving that s-same faith. I-I understand if you hate me n-now."

He was trying his hardest to not break down, not helped by Shouko also seeming to become emotional. He fully expected her to yell at him at any moment.

To his surprise, he found her placing a hand on his cheek.

"...Haruto, I'm sorry as well" she said with a sniffle. "I saw the data that you sent to Akira, about you choosing to become what you are now for my sake. For me to treat you the way I did after finding out.....I was in the wrong as well."

"As for my father, I'm guilty of keeping that a secret as well" Shouko admitted. "I tried to keep it a secret, as I didn't want to lose our relationship, and I know how much knowing you caused it would destroy you. To be honest, I'd be lying if I didn't harbor some resentment towards you for what you did to me."

Haruto's face fell, and he struggled to hold back his tears. However, he noticed that Shouko too was beginning to cry.

"Y-Yet I know now why you did everything. It was all for m-my sake right?"

He nodded.

"A-And that's why I c-cant stay mad at you. You didn't e-even murder my father knowingly, s-so I don't blame you for t-that either. While you did h-hurt me, so did I. We both d-did one terrible thing to each other."

Wiping the moisture from her eyes, she stood tall. "That's why I forgive you Haruto. I don't hate you, nor do I want to see you suffer. We're still friends after all, and like you said, we share our struggles together."

Haruto was silent for a bit, before the two of them embraced the other.

"Shouko.....thank you. Thank you for forgiving me for what I've done. I promise that I won't hold any more secrets from you."

After a few seconds, the two finally released the embrace. Haruto then noticed that Shouko had yet another melancholy look on her face.

".....Haruto, about that childhood promise. Do you still remember it?"

".....Yeah, we both said that we would elope and never leave the other alone again."

".....Do you still think it is possible now?"

Haruto paused. So here it was. The other pressing matter he wasn't exactly looking forward to talking about.

"What do I say to her? Given everything we are now, I don't know how to break the news that-"

".....That silence says everything I need to know" Shouko said with a sad smile gracing her lips.

Haruto sighed. "It's true Shouko. While my feelings of love for you were true back then, now I simply can't hold onto them. I lied to you about my true nature, as I didn't trust you enough, and that alone made me realize that things simply can't work out between us, even if we promise to never hold things back from each other now."

"...I understand Haruto" Shouko said with a sniffle. "In truth, that's the answer I was hoping you'd give me. Given that you're now going to live far beyond my own lifespan, and the fact that I now have responsibilities as the PM of New-Jior, the only way for me to move forward is to let go as well."

Haruto gave a bitter chuckle. "Things sure have changed so much haven't they? What with me being an inhuman Valvrave pilot and you ruling an entire nation.....Yeah, we both have to move forward from our childhoods. I'm sorry that we can't be together."

She gave a bittersweet look at him. "At the very least, we'll always have that moment in the cave as children right?"

"Yeah, I'll never forget those moments we shared."

With that, it felt as though a weight had been lifted off the two teens back. After giving one more embrace, the two left the room.

"...Haruto, thank you for everything" Shouko thought. "I hope that, in lieu of being with you, what Mikhail and I are working on will give you new motivation."


_____


"So I take it you have worked things out with Haruto?" L-Elf asked as Shouko re-entered the command deck.

She nodded. "It's funny. I thought that I'd be much more saddened at the fact that we can't be a couple, yet now that we both came to that understanding, it feels like I'm now more content."

"That's the same thing I felt once I realized what Lieselotte truly wanted for me as well." L-Elf said, the ache in his heart now completely gone. "And now, I have something to show you, both for her sake and Haruto's."

"Then lay it out for me Mikhail!" Shouko said boisterously.

_____


And with that, one of several interactions during the downtime is complete. Though I may go back and edit Haruto and Shouko's conversation, as I'm not sure it's all that well done.

At any rate, while those two will remain friends, they're not gonna get together. Heck, the constant simping of Haruto for Shouko, despite all the evidence showing that they'd be better able to mature if they moved on from each other, was a huge complaint I had with the show. Even with Inuzuka's last request, that didn't do anything to endear me to the two being a couple, as that just sounds like one being forced together for the sake of a dying man's wish, rather than what actually makes sense.

So yeah, there's that. Any thoughts?
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-04-04, 01:01   Link #42
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
These next posts are probably going to be shorter. Anyways, onward to the next part!

_____


Saki sighed sadly as she looked at the WIRED network over a borrowed phone. While she had a sneaking suspicion as to what she'd find regarding her idol status, to see such rejection in front of her eyes was still hard for her to stomach. Everywhere she looked, former fans were denouncing her as a monster, her previous managers and sponsorships had dropped her and wanted nothing to do with her, and she even bore witness to videos of people burning her records and merchandise, or simply tossing them in the trash. Even here with the survivors, she was taken aback with how a few of them treated her with hostility, especially after so many of them had cheered for her and Haruto saving them in the nick of time.

"All that I worked for.....now thrown away like some sort of disease-ridden plant" she thought sadly. She struggled to hold her emotions as the fact that she had been used like this brought pain to her heart.

"...No" she said to herself, clenching her fist. "If that's how the world sees me, then I'll just have to fight even harder! I refuse to let it bring me down! This world may reject me, but I'll stay on the path, especially for Haruto!.......Haruto....

"I thank you for supporting the decision to give me a second chance" a male voice piped up. Saki turned to the source, only to narrow her eyes at it.

"A-Drei..." she spat, clearly not in the mood to see the one that caused her reputation to tank. "Again, I only supported it because Haruto did so. If you think that makes us friends, think again."

"I'm truly sorry for everything you went through Rukino Saki."

All he got in response was another glare. "Yeah, thanks. You weren't sorry when you captured me, nor were you sorry when you delivered me to be executed and tortured."

"Please.....I'm not that person anymore." he pleaded.

"I know you aren't. Shame that it took until now to see the error of your ways."

Not wanting to be in the presence of him for much longer lest she start to feel sick, Saki then left the hallway.

_____


Having been rebuffed, A-Drei sadly walked to the storage section of the ship. All the way there, he had to come face-to-face with more of the survivors. Every time he did so, he received more of the same sort of treatment.

"Murderer!"

"Dorssian scum!"

"You deserve to be shot!"

"I lost my friend thanks to you!"

"You shouldn't still be here!"

Indeed, everywhere he went, the hatred and contempt the surviving students of New-Jior and ex-Arus soldiers was palpable. Some even went so far as to spit in his face, and he even bet that he would've received worse had L-Elf and Haruto not made it clear he was still needed alive.

Speaking of L-Elf, his former friend had also refused to allow A-Drei to see him. He claimed it was because he still needed to work on his plan, but given how he had allowed Haruto and Shouko to speak in private with him, he had his doubts. Especially given the defiant look that was thrown his way.

"L-Elf.....am I still to be a part of your revolution?"

Eventually, the disgraced agent had finally made it to the storage room. Not even bothering to turn on the light, he entered it and collapsed against the far wall, burying his face into his knees, regret filling every vein in his body.


_____


Akira smiled as she watched Shouko enter the observation deck with Haruto, having given the former a reassuring grin through her phone. At the very least, she had high hopes that her close friend and fellow pilot would be able to be on good terms once more.

Just then, she heard the sound of her stomach growling. Realizing that she hadn't eaten since the rendezvous, she looked around the cockpit of Unit 06, only to find that she had run out of snacks.

"Oh no" she thought, panic beginning to set in again. "Am I going to have to go out amidst all these people?"

True, she had gotten better at interacting with others. But she was still not completely comfortable with it. Looking at the camera feeds, she also saw her brother was busy helping the wounded with Takahi and Rion, and she obviously did not want to intrude on Shouko's conversation with Haruto.

As her stomach continued to growl, Akira groaned as she realized that she had little choice, less she want to starve. Placing a cardboard box on her head, she opened the cockpit hatch and floated out of her Valvrave.

Based on everything she saw from her camera feeds, she knew the location of the closest storage room. She only hoped that one-eyed Dorssian agent wasn't at it just yet.

It took a bit for her to get to the room, as her view was obstructed by the box she was wearing on her head. Not to mention how she had to get past a whole bunch of ex-ARUS soldiers, many of whom were flabbergasted at the sight of a girl wearing a purple pilot suit with a cardboard box on her head.

Luckily, she finally reached the storage room. Quickly getting inside, she took off the box, turned on the light, and began looking through the food supplies. To her delight, it contained her favorite brand of potato chips, along with the chili sauce that Shouko showed her went great with them. She quickly grabbed a couple bags of the chips, along with a can of the sauce.

Unfortunately, just as she grabbed the latter, she looked to her right. To her horror, there was the one-eyed ex Karlstein agent, the man who had captured Saki and was responsible for the massacre, sitting with his back to the wall and his arms around his knees. Without the box covering her face, she was completely exposed to his sight, leaving her to panic and nearly drop her snacks.

"W-What do I do?! H-He saw my face!"

Trying her best to stifle her screams, she made a break for the exit.

"Scared of me huh?" A-Drei suddenly said, looking up from his knees. "Honestly I don't blame you. Everyone here is either that or hates me."

At that, Akira froze. While panic did have a part in it, as the agent was now looking right at her face, it was also confusion. Apparently, he didn't know that she had this reaction to pretty much everyone that she didn't consider a close friend.

"No matter, it's the most I deserve after all. Given everything that's happened under my watch. And all because I didn't trust my friend enough. Being an outcast both here and in Dorssia was inevitable I suppose."

Akira turned to look back at him. From his posture, she was reminded of how she would often curl into a ball when inside her hacker cave and even in her Valvrave cockpit when she was feeling nervous or upset.

Seeing as how she wasn't leaving, A-Drei continued. "You ever heard about the Karlstein Institute?"

Akira nodded. It was, after all, one of the places she and Saki had been sent to infiltrate while on Earth. She found herself moving over to take a seat by the agent.

"It's where L-Elf and I first met. We couldn't be any different. I was a former prince, and he had been an escapee from a Dorssian concentration camp. Yet we both agreed that the country needed to be changed. You may not know this, but Dorssia was initially meant to protect and defend its people before anything else. Beyond that, it did so with honor and compassion, as decreed by the royal family."

"Everything changed after Red Thursday in my country" A-Drei continued. "That was when the Royal family was overthrown by Amadeus and his forces. Myself being a prince, I too was cast out. Imagine, going from a life of comfort to having to struggle to survive. The Karlstein Institute has a huge death rate after all. They even start the training when the recruits are simple children. You wouldn't believe how many I had to see die right next to me."

A-Drei felt his eyes tearing up, as the images came racing back to his mind. Not at all helped by the children who's lives were lost in the massacre that he inadvertently helped facilitate.

He took a moment to collect himself. "But both myself and L-Elf managed to survive, ranking as the top students, with multiple kills and successful missions under our belts. After all, if we were to return Dorssia to its honorable ways of the past, we needed to survive to make sure that happened."

"Finally, we both, alongside X-Eins, H-Neun, and Q-Vier were sent to your Module. Our mission was to infiltrate and secure the Valvrave unit. However, both me and L-Elf actually planned to use it to turn against the others and start our revolution. Course, since it only works with you Jiorians, it would've been a fools errand, but we didn't know that at the time."

He chuckled bitterly. "Course, then L-Elf was hijacked by your ally Haruto and I lost my eye. Could you imagine how much it hurt to not only be betrayed by your closest friend, but to have them blind you?"

Akira simply shook her head.

"So after that, I swore to put him out of his misery. If only I knew that he was still on my side. But every time I encountered him after that, he only reacted with hostility, especially since he was going about it with that pilot of yours by his side. Only furthering my desire to punish him......what kind of friend am I to think that way huh?"

He began to get choked up as he continued. "Then of course as you know, it all led to the incident on Earth. I still wanted to believe in L-Elf, as that dream of a reformed Dorssia is one I never gave up on having. That's when I finally had someone at gunpoint, Rukino Saki, who could tell me once and for all what he was truly doing when he shot out my eye."

The guilt once again started to overwhelm him. "E-Every part of my soul was telling me, no, b-begging me to just ask her then and there. I saw the n-note L-Elf had left her after a-all. If she escaped with the R-Royalists, L-Elf's true reason for the revolution may have been fulfilled."

Akira was shocked to see a few tears roll down A-Drei's cheek. "B-But I was still doubtful. A-And more than a-anything, I s-still was c-conditioned to follow orders. D-Dorssian Code Of Conduct was to treat p-prisoners with respect a-after all, and I thought she'd be t-treated better than what s-she got. D-Dorssia hiring a PMC like T-Taurus Company w-wasn't what I was e-expecting."

He closed his eyes in sadness. "And you know what happened n-next. L-Look at what's happened since then. I-I ruined the life of the youngest of you p-pilots, cost L-Elf the chance to be with L-Lieselotte, and you all hate and o-ostracize me f-for good reason, as so many are d-dead. All b-because of me!"

At this point, his tears were flowing. "I-I hoped to revolutionize D-Dorssia with me a-as its p-prince to p-protect innocents. Y-Yet a-all I-I've done is take them."

Before he could stop himself, he buried his head Akira's shoulder, much to the latter's panic.

"B-By w-what r-right do I have to r-rule as a p-prince......BY WHAT RIGHT?!"

With that he broke down sobbing, repeating those last three words over and over.

Akira was startled, to say the least. This was the second time as of late that she found herself as the one a grieving person was leaning on for support, and this time, it wasn't even a close friend of hers.

Yet she couldn't help but be reminded of something similar now that she heard all of his story. Indeed, she herself had tried to do something to help her brother through hard times via hacking into those servers, only for it to backfire and result in her ostracization and her brother receiving more grief.

Feeling a surprising bit of sympathy for the agent, she awkwardly wrapped her arms around him, allowing him to let out all of his grief.

"I-I don't know i-if I can h-help you." she stammered. "B-But just know that I-I know what it's like to be shunned. No one deserves that."

A-Drei looked up at her, surprised to hear her say that. ".....Not even me, the one who caused you all so much grief?"

Akira shook her head. Remembering how Shouko would cheer her up, she then opened up one of the bags of chips and chili sauce containers. Dipping a chip into the sauce, she offered it to A-Drei.

"H-Here. It's tasty together."

Slowly, A-Drei accepted the snack. His eyes lit up slightly as he ate it, as it was indeed tastier than he thought.

".....Thank you pilot."

"M-My name is A-Akira" she said with a smile.


_____


Yep, and with that A-Drei has found a new friend.

I admit, the idea of him and Akira becoming friends is an idea that came from reading other fics where that happened. For some reason, it just feels right. Heck, I'd much prefer it to pairing him with Saki (why on Earth that pairing gets the most fan art is beyond me), which is also why I made it clear here that any chance of him being with Saki is flat-out never going to pan out.

Thoughts?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-04-27 at 00:15.
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-04-10, 02:34   Link #43
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Sorry about taking a while for this update. Truth be told, this one is a bit hard for me to write, and I still don't think I'm finished with it (I want this part and the next one to be as good as I can make it).

_____


"Haruto..." Saki said as she saw him head to the observatory deck, her hand outstretched "...About what Kibukawa said about your Runes..."

As soon as she saw Shouko by his side though, her words got caught in her throat. She watched sadly as the two entered the deck, her eyes hidden behind her bangs. So this was it. He was going to patch things up with her, and given the strong feelings that the two shared, they were no doubt going to confess their love for each other as well. It was a bitter pill for her to swallow, even though she had tried to prepare for this outcome the minute they had made landing with the cruiser.

"Hey Haruto" she thought to herself. "When I heard that Shouko found out the truth about you and didn't take it well, there was a part of me that was a bit excited. After all, if she rejected you thanks to your nature, then that means I might have had a chance with you. I mean, how can I compete with your childhood friend?"

She chuckled remorsefully. "I'm a terrible woman aren't I? For me to have such selfish thoughts. Forgive me for them. No matter what your decision is, I promise to fight by your side. Even if you have to be stopped before the curse overtakes you again."

"...If I'm being honest though, I wish you wouldn't shoulder it all by yourself. But hey, at least now you'll have Shouko..." she thought, trying her best to remain strong.

Several minutes passed. Saki waited by the entrance to the deck, anxious to know what the outcome of the discussion would be. As she looked around, she also noted both Inuzuka and Raizo also in the same room, also with nervous looks on their faces. They too seemed to be awaiting the results, though they seemed far less melancholy than she was.

Finally, the doors opened up, and out walked both Haruto and Shouko, both with a smile on their faces. The latter made right for the command deck, which left the former to be greeted by Inuzuka and Raizo. Saki also once again tried to talk to him, only to pause once she overheard what was said.

"So how'd it go?" Inuzuka asked. "Based on the smile that both of you were sporting, I'm guessing it went well."

Haruto took a second before responding. "...Yeah, we're back on good terms. Turns out Shouko fully understands my new status as a Kamitsuki and is perfectly accepting of it."

"See?" Inuzuka said. "I told you it would all work out in the end!"

"You did well Aniki!" Raizo complimented.

Haruto smiled. "Yeah, I'm glad that me and Shouko don't have to be separated now at least."

This earned him a few more congrats from the fellow two pilots, completely oblivious to Saki, who did her best to hold in her tears.

"Ah, so that's it" she thought sadly. "Well, I can't say that this wasn't expected. I'm really no match for Shouko on this front huh?"

With a sad smile gracing her lips, she left the room, not wanting to have her heart broken further should she hear Haruto declare his love for his childhood friend again.

"Even still, I'll still support you and whatever decisions you make Haruto" she thought. "You may never know of my true feelings for you, but at least you can always count on me."

With moist eyes, she headed to one of the secluded halls, not even sparing a second glance at Akira and A-Drei, who she passed by on the way there.

"I've made it this far alone" she noted once she entered the room, picking up a water bottle. "Guess I'll just have to endure it more..."

_____


"So when can we expect the honeymoon?" Inuzuka asked Haruto.

"...Honeymoon?"

"You know, what you and Shouko are going to do after this next mission they have planned." Inuzuka clarified. "Given that you are good terms again, I'm looking forward to you both getting married!"

"You can count on me being your best man!" Raizo boasted.

"Oh please" Inuzuka snarked. "You, Haruto's best man?"

At that, Haruto nervously scratched his neck. "Yeah...about that..."

"Don't tell me that you held off on telling her your feelings again." Inuzuka groaned.

"No, it's not that" Haruto said, wondering how exactly they would react to what he was about to reveal. ".....Me and Shouko both agreed that, while we made that childhood promise and we are once again friends.....we aren't going to be together as a couple."

Inuzuka and Raizo were both flabbergasted at that admission. "...What?" the former said. "How could you both agree to such a conclusion? I was pushing for you two to be together for so long."

"Especially since me and Aina couldn't be together" he thought.

Haruto shrugged. "She's human. I'm now a Kamitsuki. I'll outlive her, not to mention the fact that I also have all these new needs thanks to my inhuman nature."

"But remember what Aina said" Inuzuka protested. "We're Holy Spirits! She was even willing to be with me despite out two different natures before....."

He had to stop to wipe his eyes. "The point is that shouldn't matter! How could you two not reconcile those differences?"

Haruto shook his head. "That may be, but look at it another way. She's the PM of New-Jior, and has to put the needs of all its citizens first. Meanwhile, I'm the head pilot of the Valvraves, and again, am not human anymore. And her becoming a Kamitsuki like us is out of the question. We have to move on if we are to do what's best for all of us."

".....Man" Raizo added. "When you put it that way, it does make a lot of sense."

"I still can't accept this!" Inuzuka said rather emotionally. "We have to make the best of what we've got! After all, I was unable to confess to Aina before she..."

"Inuzuka" Haruto asked, now suspicious. "Did you want me to be with Shouko out of guilt over Aina? Is that why you wanted me to go on a date with her rather than focus on rescuing Rukino-san and everything else?"

"..."

"That's what I thought" he said with a sigh. "Look, if we are to do what's best for New-Jior going forward, we have to move on from our childish desires. It's that that kept me from revealing the truth to Shouko for so long, and you saw how that turned out."

"Besides" he added while looking down, "the curse of the Valvrave is mine to bear alone after all. I can't let her or anyone else share in its pain."

Inuzuka struggled to form a response. ".....You're right" he finally admitted. "I just was so guilty over Aina that I thought you both being together would give me some peace of mind. But we have to move on."

"Though that won't stop me from keeping you in my heart Aina."

"Hey, at the very least, this means I won the bet!" Raizo said, trying to lighten up the mood. "Now pay up for losing your prediction on them being together Mr. Salesman!"

"Yeah, yeah" Inuzuka replied. "Just know that this is one of the few times my investments don't pay off."

Haruto found himself chuckling at the display. Of course they would make a bet over that. Leaving the two to dole out the results, he headed towards the break hall.

"At the very least, this does make it easier for me to take on this burden alone"
_____


As A-Drei got to his feet, watching Akira finally leave the storage room, as she had been called to see L-Elf and Shouko in the main control room, he found himself feeling a lot less morose, now that he knew that at least one person didn't completely hate him on this ship. Though he still had a long way to go if he was to fully redeem himself in the eyes of the survivors.

He thought back to what Akira said to him before she headed on out.

"Just how exactly am I going to atone?" he asked her. "After everything I've done, death seems like the only possible answer."

"D-Don't say that!" Akira replied. "A-At the very least, t-try to fix what you've broken."

"And where exactly am I going to start on that front?" he asked himself, taking a quick walk outside the storage room for some air.

As he did, he noticed Saki briskly moving past him, though the look on her face was still evident. She looked like she was doing her best to hold back tears, and barely even acknowledged his presence, though the latter part was to be expected at this point, given the bad terms she was on with A-Drei.

"Just what exactly is going on with her?" he wondered.

His curiosity getting the better of him, he moved towards the room that she had departed from. Looking inside, he could both see and hear the one who had rescued Saki, Haruto, interacting with the two other Valvrave pilots. The latter were asking the former about when he'd go on a honeymoon with the New-Jior PM.

Thinking back to the heated conversation between Haruto and Saki on the moon that he had inadvertently listened in on, it suddenly became clear why the latter was acting so emotional.

"She must have feelings for him" he mused to himself. "No wonder she didn't want to reveal the truth about him hijacking L-Elf to me. Those feelings she holds are strong."

As he eavesdropped more however, his eyes widened as he heard that Haruto and Shouko weren't actually going to be a couple, given everything that happened between them and the former's new nature.

"She must not have heard that part" he realized. "If she did, then maybe she would instead..."

Not wanting to intrude on the conversation, he began making his way back to the storage room, his mind now racing.

"If there's a way for her and Haruto to be together, and I can nudge the two in that direction..."

As he was about to enter the compartment again, he looked back to see Haruto enter the hallway. Realizing the opportunity at hand, he made his decision.

"At the very least, I can make it up to Rukino Saki in some manner this way."


______


Yeah, honestly Inuzuka, despite being a cool bro character, rubbed me the wrong way in the show with how much he still insisted on Haruto get together with Shouko, even when Saki was in captivity (seriously, going on a date while the other one is being tortured is tasteless imo) and after everything that happened. Felt to me that he was just pushing for the couple to happen out of guilt over Aina, which isn't exactly healthy, so that's why I wrote that.

Oh yeah, and A-Drei is matchmaker for Haruto and Saki here, if only to atone to the latter. Makes way more sense than pairing him with her (again, why does that stupid pairing of A-Drei and Saki get the most fan-art again?)

Next up is something I've been looking forward to writing, but at the same time, one that I'm nervous about. Wish me luck.

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-04-29 at 00:35.
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-04-23, 02:54   Link #44
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Again, sorry for the long wait on this part. This one is simultaneously the scene I've been looking forward to the most, and also the one I'm most nervous about. I'll probably end up editing it again and again. But without further ado, here we go.

_____


Haruto was lost in thought as he entered the hallway. At least, now that he had cleared things up with Shouko, he knew that the latter didn't hate him after all. She was still the same optimistic friend from back when they were kids again, with the only difference now being the caveat that they agreed to only remain as that, not as a couple.

"At least now I won't have that hanging over me in the coming battles" he thought to himself. "She'll surely find someone who can fill that spot in her heart, and who doesn't have this curse bound to them."

Even still, the thought of him being alone in the end, despite it being something he had prepared himself for repeatedly tugged at his soul a little bit. Before, the notion of him dying alongside the destruction of the Valvraves was his ultimate end goal in mind, as the curse started with him, and it had to end with him as well.

"After all, it's only caused me and the others nothing but pain" he said internally, remembering how it caused him to do such horrific actions. "It must be only myself that deserves the responsibility of this affliction, and sees it destroyed."

And yet...

"You think that by t-taking it all by yourself, you're h-helping us?! That only y-you can handle the burden of this c-curse, and only you d-deserve it, and w-we aren't a-allowed to be a s-shoulder to l-lean o-on?! A-And that we’ll a-all be sunshine and r-rainbows in the e-event that you d-die?! How can you be so s-selfish?!"

That tearful statement from Saki replayed again in his mind. It was one of the few times he had ever seen her so openly upset with him. Even the aftermath of the curse incident hadn't brought her to such an outburst, yet him telling her of his plan to sacrifice himself, and how she shouldn't offer herself to him to ease his pain did.

"Rukino-san...Why act like this?

So lost in thought he was, that he nearly ended up bumping into the other occupant of the hallway.

"I never got to thank you for giving me the opportunity to atone for my mistakes."

Haruto, finally snapping out of his thoughts, looked up to see A-Drei, leaning against the wall with his arms folded, surprisingly giving him a small smile.

"Hey, the fact that you showed remorse over your actions is reason enough for me to give you that chance."

"After all, you're the not the only one who is seeking redemption."

"You really are sickly sweet in your worldview when it comes to things like that" A-Drei remarked. "Yet I can see that's why she cares so much for you."

"It is something I picked up from her after all" Haruto said, thinking he was referring to his childhood friend. "Though me and Shouko can't be together as a couple, we're still always going to be friends."

A-Drei blinked, before giving a small chuckle. "PM Sashinami? No, that's not who I was referring to."

Haruto paused "...Are you talking about Rukino-san?"

He nodded. "Her resolve and loyalty to you is something that I respect. If she wasn't so devoted to you, I'd ask for her hand in marriage."

That remark earned a small blush from the Valvrave pilot. "W-What do you mean by that? All of us pilots have each other's backs whenever we have to go out on a mission."

The Karlstein agent raised an eyebrow. "You seriously haven't noticed just how she looks at you? Why else do you think she endured all that torture, even after I offered to set her free?"

True, it was something that Haruto still questioned. He still couldn't wrap his brain around why she chose to go through that, especially as he felt she would have every right to tell A-Drei the truth, given what he did to her that night, even with the curse being the cause.

"She's over in that break hall" A-Drei said, nodding his head towards the door leading to it. "I believe that she was trying to ask you something earlier, so please go talk to her, especially if you want the answers to why she did what she did. It's best to ask her directly after all."

Looking towards the door, Haruto did remember that she had tried to get his attention before he entered the observatory deck with Shouko.

"...Alright. I do need to let her know how things between me and Shouko are now." he said, straightening his posture.

Before he could take another step though, A-Drei reached into his pocket, and tossed something at Haruto. Grabbing the item, the latter tilted his head at what he held in his hands; a pink-gold locket, engraved with the picture of a rose.

"What is this for?"

"Trust me, you'll need it for your dialogue with her." A-Drei said with a wink. "Don't tell her that I gave it to you."

A bit confused, but still determined, Haruto pocketed the locket, and made his way into the room where Saki was.

"Don't mess this up Haruto Tokishima" A-Drei thought as he watched the door close behind the latter. "I owe this to Rukino Saki after all."


_____



Still gazing at her phone with dull eyes, Saki gave another sad sigh, as she took in the sight of all the insults and condemnations being posted about her over the WIRED network. It was already hard enough having to view her entire idol career get smashed to pieces earlier, and now, with Haruto being with Shouko, it was even more of a bitter thorn in her heart.

"I refuse to let this world kill me!" she thought, trying to stay determined. "The best way to fight back against this is to continue living after all!"

Yet as she said that to herself again internally, it was tampered with once again, the image of the boy whom she still held such strong feelings continued to appear in her mind, repeatedly.

"Haruto..." she thought, trying her hardest to remain strong. "I'll stay by your side, no matter what you think about yourself. Just please don't think that you dying would redeem yourself in the eyes of Shouko or myself."

She wondered if her words towards him on the moon would have any effect on his self-loathing nature. It was harsh, but the notion that he would rather face his curse alone was not something that pleased her in the slightest.

"It is our bond after all. Why do you not think I can handle it?"

As that thought went through her head, she slumped as she knew that he'd much rather have it gone, given his feelings for Shouko.

"By now, he's now given the truth to her, and worked things out with her. She'll be the one who he bears it for from now on.......Just, please don't forget me, Haruto."

"Rukino-san! I've been looking for you."

Saki was startled out of her thoughts by another voice that had entered the break hall. Looking up from her phone, who should she see but none-other than the object of her affections himself; Haruto Tokishima.

"H-Haruto!" she exclaimed, before trying her best to appear normal in front of him. "What brings you to me?"

"I can't show him my weakness" she thought. "Especially if I am to stand by his side."

"I noticed that you wanted to speak to me while I was heading to the observation deck with Shouko. So, what is it you wanted to tell me?"

Her face fell at his mention of Shouko, but she quickly tried to put it behind her for the moment. Not that what she was about to ask him was any more comforting.

Just then, Haruto stumbled for a second, placing his arm on the wall to support himself. "...Sorry, I'm not exactly at top shape right now."

"That's what I mean to talk to you about Haruto."

"...I learned from Kibukawa about your Rune situation. You have to supply the rest of us and the Valvraves with them, and given how you are right now, you haven't been feeding enough."

"Hey, don't worry about it." Haruto said, putting on a smile. "It's not like I'm struggling to even stand like I was after those experiments."

"But I heard from him what happens if you run out!" Saki replied. "You have to use up your life-force, and eventually, you die. Like what happened to Marie..."

A brief frown flashed across Haruto's face before, once again, he grinned. "No need to worry. I'm going back to feed on L-Elf before our next mission, so I'll be ready again."

"Again, why can't you let me support you?"

"About that" she said, trying to get him to not rely on only him "Kibukawa told me that he's not even sure if you feeding on L-Elf will be enough to keep you functional, given what all you have to power with your Runes."

That was enough to finally get Haruto to look concerned. Clearly, he hadn't thought of the fact that he couldn't just rely on their strategist to supply him, if he was to be in top shape.

Unfortunately for Saki, Haruto once again put on a brave face. "If that's the case, then I'll just have to be careful with how I use my Valvrave in the next fight. So, no going all out with the Harakiri Blade or anything like that."

"Please Haruto" Saki pleaded. "Don't put on a brave face, not to me! I can see how much this affects you, and I can't bear to see you in such a state. What would Shouko think of you neglecting your well-being for that matter?"

It pained her to mention Shouko, given how she was sure he was with his childhood friend at this point, but if she was to get through to him, Saki was willing to bring her up.

Haruto paused. "...Shouko did say that we'd share our struggles together. Though I'm not sure if I can bring myself to feed on her."

"I'm sure she understands. You did clear things up with her right?"

"Of course I did."

"Then let her support you with this alongside L-Elf. After all, we all need you in the best condition."

"If I can't be your support, at least trust your soon-to-be wife." Saki thought, fighting through the pain the notion of him and Shouko together gave to her.

At long last, Haruto seemed to finally take Saki's words into consideration. "...You're right Rukino-san. For the sake of the rest of the survivors, I'll look into feeding on someone else besides L-Elf, even if it has to be Shouko."

"...That's good to hear." Saki said, doing her best to look confident. Yet, she couldn't help but feel an ache in her heart.

"I want to hear him ask it again, even if it's all a lie."

"Hey Haruto" she asked, her eyes filled with longing. "Before we go out on this next mission, can you propose to me once more?"

Haruto was taken aback. "Rukino-san what-?"

"Please. At least tell me what you told Shouko" she pleaded.

"......What I told her?" he asked, looking into her violet orbs, noting just how much they seemed to be filled with emotion.

Haruto was then met with the sound of giggling.

"...Just kidding" Saki said with a smile, albeit a rather strained one. "Remember to let your special someone know your true feelings before it's too late."

With that, she made to exit the room, doing her best to hold back her tears.

"Goodbye Haruto" she sadly thought. "I hope you and Shouko can have a happy life together, and that you both are able to share everything, be it your struggles and accomplishments."

Before she could reach the door though, she felt her wrist being wrapped in a tight grip. Surprised, she looked back to see Haruto holding her with his expression set.

"Rukino-san, what's the matter?"

"Oh, it's nothing" she replied, waving her other hand dismissively. "You don't have to worry about me. I'm fine."

"Please Haruto. I don't want to get in the way of-"

"No, you're not" he said firmly, interrupting her thought. "I know based on the look in your eyes."

Indeed, it was something that he had become accustomed to from his many interactions with the former idol, as he found that they were the best way to understand what she was truly thinking, given how often she would often say that she was lying or was just repeating her lines from before.

"Like when she said she was lonely during the theater date" he noted internally. And now, her eyes looked so much like they were back then.

"Rukino-san, please. You don't have to hold back any of your true feelings from me. After all, keeping secrets is what led to the mess between me and Shouko in the first place. So, I ask you; what's got you acting so melancholy?"

Saki struggled to come up with another excuse. It was not something she was all that keen on sharing, as it would just lead to the inevitable rejection of her feelings for him, given that he was in love with Shouko. That wasn't something she wanted to hear, regardless of how much she had prepared for it.

"I know what you’re going to say to me regarding her. Please don't add to the pain."

Yet as she looked at Haruto's expression, she realized that he wasn't going to let her leave. Not until he finally got the truth from her. She let out a sigh as she accepted the situation, wondering how she should start.

"......I've never told you about my childhood before, have I?" she asked, locking the door so no one would interrupt them.

Haruto thought back to when she emerged from Carmilla after her first test flight.

"Poverty. Violence. Alcohol. Crime. I would've been better off without my parents. To escape from them, from that horrible world, I had no choice but to become famous."

"You did mention it, but you said you were just kidding." Haruto responded, realization slowing covering his face. "...You really were telling the truth then, weren't you?"

Saki nodded. "I didn't have it easy growing up, as my family was impoverished for most of my childhood. My father was an alcoholic, often returning home drunk, and that just added to the poverty we were in. And as for my mother..."

She had to swallow a lump in her throat. "She was quite a crazy bitch. Often, she would blame me for all the hard times we were in. She'd take that anger out physically, whether it was trying to suffocate me under bedsheets, or slicing my body with scissors. One time, she nearly drowned me under the bathtub."

Haruto froze at her description of her mother's abuse of her. It sounded all too similar to what he witnessed her endure while captured by Dorssia.

"Eventually, I did manage to find a footing for myself" she continued. "I was scouted by a Jiorian entertainment company, and they were impressed enough by my talents that they recruited me. But even then, I was looked down upon by the other idols there. They constantly tried to undermine my progress again and would throw me under the bus whenever something went wrong during rehearsals."

"But I think they were just jealous of my innate talent" she said with a small smile. "After all, I was the most popular of the idols the company had under their wing, given how much sweat and tears I shed for the position. Before long, I was at the top of the charts, signing on with multiple advertising agencies, and even received the starring role in a movie!"

"That was the one you took me to see on our date, right?" Haruto asked.

She nodded. "I really attribute it to my manager, Alice. She was always there by my side, making sure I was always signed on to the latest gig, and keeping me busy. Honestly, I owe so much to her, as she was more of a mother to me than my birthmother."

"Seems like you were doing really well." Haruto said. "So, what happened that led you to our Module as just a student?"

Saki had to take a moment to compose herself. "...My mother noted just how successful I was and would often pester me about how much money I was sending to her and my father each month. If I didn't, she said that she'd put me through hell for being 'ungrateful'. Tch, like she had any right calling me that."

"Eventually, it all came to a head. I was told I had another gig, but when I got to the location, all I found was my mother and two older photographers......" Saki wrapped her arms around herself. "...She was trying to sell me into an adult photoshoot. My father even approved of it as well. Both claimed it was to capture every minute detail of my beauty growing up."

Haruto gasped. "Please tell me you didn't suffer through it."

"Of course I didn't!" Saki responded. "Despite my mother coming at me with scissors again, I managed to escape from that hellish prospect......Neither she or my father took that very well."

She wiped her eyes. "T-that was when I was unceremoniously dropped from my idol agency. My parents made a deal with them to terminate my contract in exchange for me focusing on academic studies. Though really, given everything that we know now about Module 77, it's more likely that they sold me to the VVV project. J-just like that, I was used up and thrown away by adults."

Haruto noted Saki's crestfallen expression. "So that's why you were so eager to become famous through becoming a Valvrave pilot, and why you bodyjacked me."

She looked down at her feet. "...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have taken advantage of you like that, but I was just so desperate to regain my fame, lest I have to return to my demon of a father and mother again. It's why I wanted to make my mark on the world."

"It's okay Rukino-san" he replied. "At least, now I know why you did it, and that also explains why you were so closed off to nearly all of us. And at the very least, you did become a successful idol again!"

Though he then felt his heart sink as he saw her once again become melancholy.

"......Yes I was. Until I was exposed as an inhuman monster in front of the entire world."

With that, she showed him the WIRED network regarding her on her phone. Haruto felt his eyes become itchy as he read comment after comment of former fans condemning her, destroying all the merch of her they had, as well as every single agency once again dropping any contracts they had with her.

"......Rukino-san......"

"I'm back to square one again" she said, struggling to keep herself from crying. "And I don't know if I'll ever regain my idol status now. After all, w-who'd want to cheer for me a-after seeing what happened to me?"

"All because we left her down there." Haruto thought bitterly.

"Y-you know what the worst part of all that was though?" Saki continued, her voice shaking and tears beginning to stream down her face. "I was all a-alone to endure the h-heartbreak. H-here I was, g-going through t-torture not u-unlike what my p-parents put me through, exposed to the w-world as a f-freakshow, and was again a-at the m-mercy of a-adults, simply u-using me as a plaything. A-And I was l-left alone throughout it all, f-from the m-moment I was separated on E-Earth from the rest, to being b-bound up in that b-body bag."

"...It h-hurt so m-much." she said with a sob. "To k-know that d-despite all my b-best e-efforts, I-I was still that a-abused and f-forsaken little girl I tried to r-run away from."

Haruto's heart sank like a rock at seeing the grief on Saki's face. To hear her admit how hurt she was after all that she went through and knowing that he was at least partly responsible for the torment she endured, just added to his guilt of leaving her behind even more.

"Given that I'm at fault for not making a better effort to find her while on Earth... he thought, cursing himself for his lack of action regarding her whereabouts during the mission, "She probably hates me."

"I-I see" Haruto said, tears of his own starting to fall from his eyes. "I-I understand if you d-don't want to see me a-again......I s-should be going now.”

With that, he made his way to the door, trying to not breakdown.

"Haruto, wait!" Saki suddenly cried out.

"What is it?" he asked, unable to turn to face her. "What else do you have to say to someone who left you to suffer all that? It should've been me who was captured, not you."

"Haruto, what did I tell you about saying that about yourself?" she responded in a pleading tone. "There's a reason why I chose to endure the torture, rather than accept A-Drei's offer of freedom."

Haruto remembered that the Karlstein agent told him the exact same thing. It was an action that perplexed him, and he wanted to know the answer.

"...Why Rukino-san?" he asked, turning to face her. "You know that I could've endured the torture as well. So why did you instead decide to continue to suffer?"

She floated towards him, her eyes obscured by the bangs of her hair. As she looked up to meet his gaze, her violet eyes shimmering with longing, Saki voiced the answer.

".....Because of you, Haruto."

".....What do you mean Rukino-san? Does this mean you blame me for what you went for?"

Saki vehemently shook her head. "No, Haruto. I went through it because I didn't want you to undergo the torture that would you would succumb to should A-Drei have captured you. He said that whoever shot his eye out deserved what I was going through more than me, and I couldn't bear the thought of you going through it."

"But why?" he asked, guilt covering his face. "I told you that I don't want others to suffer purely for my benefit, and that's essentially what you endured. So why did you go through it?"

Saki paused. "What do I say to him?" she wondered. "I know his relationship with Shouko, and that those two will no doubt be together now, so should I tell him what I feel for him? I'll just be rejected after all."

".....Haruto" she finally said, raising her hand to his cheek, "you are the reason why I didn't crack even during all those torture sessions. As long as you were safe, that was enough for me. It's why I don't blame you for them, and why you shouldn't feel like you hurt me through my refusal to tell A-Drei the truth either."

Haruto was still left dumbfounded. "Why me?" he asked, grasping her hand. "After everything I did to you, whether it was under the curse or not, how can you be so loyal to me?"

Saki took a deep breath, her heart starting to beat heavily in her chest.

"...B-because you are the star that i-illuminated my life" Saki responded, her voice beginning to shake and her eyes starting to tear up again. "E-even amidst all the d-darkness and the things I've lost, whether it w-was my idol s-status or m-my purity, you were s-still the first light to a-appear in my eyes."

"N-no matter the s-situation, or whatever hardships that g-get thrown our way, you n-never let go of y-your caring nature." she continued, her emotions now pouring out. "It's that p-pure, unselfish k-kindness Haruto. T-That's why I f-fight now, a-and why I am willing to e-endure the torture and pain. To s-see someone like you go through s-such darkness.....that's the one w-wound that hurts far w-worse than a blade through the b-back."

".....Even after what the curse made me do to you?" Haruto asked, still not quite able to believe what she was saying. "You would allow it to hurt you as well rather than prevent me from doing such an action? You did say that you would kill me before the curse made me hurt someone. So why allow it to do that to you?"

"D-Do you know w-why I allowed that t-to happen rather than s-stopping you?" she continued, streams running down her cheeks. "B-because it w-was then that I realized just h-how badly this c-curse affects you and t-the rest of us pilots. It's s-something that c-connects us, given we share that n-nature. I-It's not s-something that you c-can b-bury with p-pain after all. If I c-could help you by s-sharing this burden, I t-thought I could be seen a-as someone y-you could rely on. It may be a curse, b-but in a way, it's also our b-bond."

Haruto felt dazed as he listened to her reasoning, struggling to fully accept such a selfless act. "Rukino-san.....You don't mind what I've become and how it affects us both?

Saki nodded, the tears now running like waterfalls from her violet eyes. "I k-know that m-me not stopping the curse f-from overtaking you t-that night may mean y-you see me as j-just a s-source of g-guilt and horror, and a r-reminder of that h-horrible act your new n-nature can c-cause. And t-that you p-probably think I o-only d-delayed the p-problem of the curse i-instead of s-solving it. But p-please Haruto. P-please don't r-resent me f-for not stopping y-you, nor t-think of yourself as s-some sort of m-monster for what it m-made you do. I c-can handle it if t-this is what the c-curse d-does to you. Y-you shouldn't w-want to punish yourself for w-what you will now always h-have to deal with as a K-Kamitsuki, but r-rather, w-work through it. A-After all, I-I'm here should you fall u-under it again."

She wiped her tears. "So you see Haruto, you don't have to face all this alone, nor should you want to. It's something we can share together; half-and-half as you like to say. I know that you have Shouko already, but I too want to be that person. And if it means having to go through torture and losing my idol status, then so be it. As long as I can rest knowing that you're not facing the burden alone and can rely on me to help carry your weight, then I can face any attack thrown my direction, and endure the pain that it inflicts. It's our bond after all. You don't have to face it by yourself, see yourself as a monster for it, or wish to die before it takes you over again. Not when you have me to lean on."

Her admission now complete, Saki looked down, wondering how she should frame everything she said to him. The only thing she left out was the fact that she loved him.

"He's with Shouko now, so there's no point" she thought sadly. "But I'll always keep my love for him, even after 200 years."

Haruto didn't know what to say to her in response. He knew that she considered him his friend, but to hear her confess all this to him left him mesmerized. She didn't hold a single thing against him, instead taking it all in stride. All so that he didn't have to suffer alone.

"Rukino-san.....you really would want to share such a heavy burden like this curse with me?"

He had still been determined to suffer the curse all by himself, and for it to end with him alone. After all, it only caused him to hurt those who he was close to, alongside reminding him that he wasn't human. Hence why he only fed on L-Elf, as his demeanor made him feel guiltless. Yet now after hearing Saki just now, and how she was willing to take it all as well...

"Was I really willing to bear the burden alone so as to not hurt others again?" he questioned, an epiphany starting to form. ".....Or was I just trying to not hurt myself? Was I just unwilling to accept the reality of my inhuman state of being? Is that why I only fed on L-Elf, so I could remain feeling like an innocent victim? So I could still think I could present myself as the same boy to Shouko, when even forgetting that, we've grown far apart thanks to our responsibilities? How could I not have trusted Rukino-san after everything she was willing to bear?"

He thought back to what she said at the theater. "I wanted to be chosen. By just one person. If my loneliness became our loneliness, that would've been enough for me." The realization of what she meant by that was now becoming much clearer in his mind, especially in light of what all she had said and done for him, alongside how upset she had been towards the notion of him dying and suffering alone.

"Rukino-san.....Thank you." he thought, warmth starting to fill his heart. "You don't know how much you've helped me, and I'm sorry I didn't notice until now."

Before all the events of the war had happened, he had only held eyes for his childhood friend. Yet now, after everything that happened between him and Saki, all that she was willing to endure for his sake, all that she had done for him throughout the war, and upon hearing what all she had said to him just then, he was feeling those emotions towards the girl in front of him.

"How could I have not realized it?" he thought, mentally slapping himself. "No wonder she rejected my original proposal to her. She doesn't need or want me to feel obligated to her, and now, neither do I. Rather..."

Suddenly, the sound of giggling reached his ears. Looking up, he saw Saki, now back to her more cheerful persona.

"Hee hee, how was that performance?" she asked in a chipper tone. "Nice to see that I still haven't lost a beat when it comes to my acting skills isn't it?"

"Rukino-san..." Haruto said, noting that despite her words, Saki's eyes still contained the same longing displayed when she started her admission.

"Who knows?" she continued. "Once the war with Dorssia is over, then maybe-"

Just then, she found herself wrapped up in Haruto's arms, embracing her tightly, while tears slowly fell from his eyes.

"Haruto?"

"Rukino-san.....What did I ever do to deserve someone as amazing as you?" he asked.

She hugged him back. "Didn't I tell you already? It's your unconditional kindness."

"Thank you Rukino-san.....no, Saki" Haruto replied, a warm smile gracing his face. "Is it alright if I call you that now?"

She nodded. "I was hoping you'd call me by my first name for who knows how long."

Saki then pulled away from his embrace. "Even after you and Shouko get married, please, can you still use my first name when addressing me?"

"At least let me have this" she thought. Only to then be surprised by the sound of soft laughter coming from Haruto's mouth.

"Saki.....about me and Shouko. We both agreed that, while remaining friends, we can't be together as a couple, what with my inhuman nature."

Her eyes widened in surprise at the revelation. "He's not going to be with Shouko? Then, could there still be a chance for me to-"

"I had planned on carrying the weight of the curse of the Valvraves by myself. Given the current circumstances between Shouko and I, that seemed to be the inevitable outcome." Haruto continued. "Yet now, I see that there's no reason for me to do that. Not when I have someone like you right in front of me. For you to still want to be by my side after everything..."

Realizing that this is why A-Drei gave him the locket, he took it out from his pocket, his heart now beginning to beat faster.

"You said that you wanted your loneliness to become our loneliness, and I feel the same way. Just like how you refuse to let me face this burden alone, so too will I be with you."

Tears, this time of joy, start to fall from Saki's eyes as she saw him get down on one knee, a pink-gold locket held out to her in his right hand. "Could this be?"

"So I ask you, this time not out of guilt or obligation, but rather because I truly want to be with you; Rukino Saki, will you marry me?"

Saki let out an exhale. She had never felt happier in her entire life. For her to actually hear him propose to her, and this time, truly because he wanted to, was something she had only dreamt of. And yet it wasn't a fantasy.

"Haruto.....thank you!"

"Yes!" she responded, joyful tears streaking down her cheeks. "It would be my greatest honor to be your wife! I accept!"

With that, she took Haruto's hand in hers, the latter now also crying happy tears as he got to his feet. Embracing her, he placed the locket around Saki's neck.

"It looks good on you" he said.

Saki held the locket in her hands, looking at the flowery design with her watery amethyst orbs. "...Thank you Haruto. I'll treasure this always."

"Whatever faces us both in the future, I promise to always remain by your side and never give up until the end of time." Haruto added, raising his pinky finger.

"A promise is a promise" Saki replied, wrapping her finger around his. "And I'll fulfill it as well. We'll share this half-and-half!"

The two looked at each other, unsure of what to say next, though they didn't need to communicate to indicate what they wanted to do next. Gazing into each others eyes, they made to close the distance and connect their lips. Just then however, Haruto shoved Saki backwards.

"Haruto, what-?"

"Dang it, not now!" he groaned, as glowing marks began to form on his face. "Saki, get out of here! I don't want to-!"

But instead, he found her placing both of her hands on his face.

"Haruto, it's okay" she said, giving him a loving expression. "Remember? We are to share this burden between us. And that includes whatever urges the curse inflicts on you. You don't have to punish yourself for it. Whatever it is you go through, I'll always be here for you."

He found himself able to fight off the curse slightly as he heard her say that to him. Still he had to be sure.

"Saki, are you sure this is what you want?"

She gave him a smile, unzipping her pilot suit. "Yes. Don't be afraid Haruto, as I belong to you now. I love you after all."

And just like that, the fear and guilt left him, and he too began to undo his own pilot suit. "Saki....thank you. I love you too."

With that, he allowed the curse to overtake him, and the two became one.


__________



Man, that was a long one, and it took me quite a while to write. Truthfully, I'm still not quite sure I'm 100% happy with how it turned out.

But even so, it is still the one I was looking forward to writing the most, as Haruto and Saki's relationship was one of my favorite things about the original series, and for it to not turn out in it was one of my biggest beefs with it, as I felt that it made the most sense for both characters, as they grew and matured thanks to their connection. So this is me having them get together here at least.

Thoughts? Too sappy or cheesy?

Last edited by LightDragonman; 2024-05-21 at 02:37. Reason: Flows better this way.
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-05-03, 02:10   Link #45
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
So here's the next one. Time for the planning to start. Which I admit can be a bit tough to write.

_____


"Dorssian ships are approaching the cruiser!" An Ex-ARUS soldier notified L-Elf. The latter had just finished explaining what the plan he and Shouko had been working on to Akira, as she was required in order for it to come to fruition.

"Put them on the screen" L-Elf instructed. "I need to know what exactly we are dealing with here".

"We can't risk wasting resources on these engagements when the plan requires all hands on deck." he mused. This was definitely not the time when an ambush by the Dorssia-ARUS alliance was needed.

Looking at the screen, he took in the sight of the ships that were approaching. If it was to be an assault, it sure didn't seem to be all that well armed. The only thing it consisted of was two Blume-class Ideals, modified for space travel, both carrying pods that were used to house soldiers. Not exactly what one would take to a open-space battle.

"Still, I can't let my guard down" L-Elf noted.

"This is former Dorssian Special Forces Agent X-Eins" a voice suddenly hailed him through the comms channel. "On behalf of the Dorssian Royalists here, I am surrendering myself to New-Jior!"

L-Elf's eyes widened. "Where are you X-Eins?"

"I'm approaching both Ideal units now."

Looking back at the screen, he saw a modified Kirshbaum unit with blue highlights, approaching from behind the two Ideal mechs, itself in its fighter mode. However, it wasn't opening fire, either at the Dorssian units, or at the Ex-ARUS cruiser.

"Is he one of your friends?" Shouko asked.

"He's a fellow Karlstein agent" L-Elf said with a nod. "Him, A-Drei, and I were all a part of the same unit that was sent to infiltrate Module 77. X-Eins was the strategist of the group."

"So, what do you suggest we do?" she replied. "Do we let him onboard like we did A-Drei?"

To that, L-Elf returned to his conversation with his former ally. "How do we know that you aren't simply here to infiltrate and cripple our forces?"

"I'll let the Ideal pilot speak on this front" X-Eins said, before a different voice soon sounded in L-Elf's ear.

"L-Elf Karlstein, we are Dorssian Royalists that managed to escape from Earth. We request shelter from the Dorssia-ARUS alliance and Taurus Company."

"The Royalists are here?" he thought, surprised at the transmission. Even still, he had to remain cautious.

"......Very well, you may dock, but all of you are to remain confined to the hanger until we can properly scan you for any potential danger."

"Understood L-Elf." X-Eins replied. "I wouldn't expect anything else."

_____


Before too long, the former Karlstein agent had docked with the Ex-ARUS cruiser, alongside the modified Ideal ships. Immediately, Ex-ARUS soldiers were on the scene, scanning tech at the ready, assisted by Akira in Unit 06, who was already hacking into the camera feeds inside the transport pods carried by the Ideals.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Lt. Sheridan asked L-Elf and Shouko, who were also present at the hanger. "This could all be just a trap for them to infiltrate our ship and destroy us from the inside out."

"That's why we've got Raizo keeping watch over them" L-Elf replied, gesturing towards Unit 3, which was currently pointing its Armstronger Cannons directly at X-Eins's Kirshbaum unit. "If there's anything remotely suspicious about them, they'll have to answer to him."

"That's right!" Raizo called out over his speakers. "Just one blast from Nobu-Lightning, and they'll be little more than space dust!"

"Don't get too trigger happy Raizo" L-Elf reminded him. "If they are on our side, then the last thing we want is for you to start blasting holes in the cruiser."

"It's Thunder!" Raizo responded loudly. "And I'm not that reckless!"

"Your conduct on the battlefield says otherwise."

As Raizo once again tried to argue with L-Elf, much to Shouko's amusement, Sheridan could only put his hand to his forehead. As if learning what exactly the pilot of Unit 03 had named his Valvrave wasn't headache inducing enough.

"To think, these are who we've decided to ally with; a bunch of literal children. I can't believe it's come down to this."

Just then, Shouko received a notification on her phone from Akira, telling her that the scan was complete. "They're clear, and don't appear to be holding any weapons, despite their Dorssian attire. A few appear to be injured as well." her message read.

"Akira says they're good" Shouko informed L-Elf. "So we should allow them to leave the hanger and take their wounded to the medical bay."

The latter give a confirmation to her request, and passed it along to X-Eins. Now that things were calmed down, the former Dorssian soldier emerged from his cockpit, followed by the Royalists in the transport pods. Notably, many of the latter were indeed wounded, some more than others, ranging from bullet wounds to burns.

"It's good to see you again X-Eins" L-Elf commented, walking up to his former ally and shaking his hand.

"Same to you L-Elf" X-Eins reciprocated. "Though I'm surprised that you were much more willing to allow us to dock with this ship, as normally, you would've erred much more on the side of caution. Don't tell me you've gone soft thanks to your time with these children."

"Don't make me laugh" L-Elf responded. "I only let you and the Royalists on because it's the honorable thing to do in war. Besides, I need you and anyone else who can assist me in my upcoming plan."

He tried his best to ignore Shouko's giggling as she overhead the conversation, the PM clearly not fully buying his reasoning for extending a helping hand.

"So anyways, what leads you to side with the Royalists in the first place X-Eins?" L-Elf quickly asked. "I thought you were completely loyal to Dorssia."

X-Eins held up the communication earpiece. "For that, I'd like to speak to A-Drei."

_____


Again, rather short post here. I'm still working out the plan that the heroes are going to execute after all.

At the very least, it's gonna be the New-Jior survivors, Dorssian Royalists, and Ex-Arus forces going up against the new Dorssia-Arus Magius Alliance that's employed Taurus Company.
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2024-05-25, 02:20   Link #46
LightDragonman
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Man, sorry for the long, long wait here. Hit a bit of a block in terms of how to best proceed. At any rate, here's the next chapter.

_____

"Are you sure it's wise to let him take part in this?" Sheridan asked L-Elf, who had just called for A-Drei to join him and the others in the command room. "He could be collaborating with X-Eins here to undermine us."

"If anything suspicious seems afoot" L-Elf responded, "then you have my permission to put a bullet through his head. But as loathe as I am to admit it, we need all hands on deck for what I have planned."

"I-I vouch for A-Drei as well" Akira piped up, having been called to the command deck by Shouko.

"He didn't do anything to you did he Akira-chan?!" Satomi said over the speakers, not at all happy at the fact that she had been with the former Karlstein agent. "If he's trying to convert you to his side, then I swear I'll-"

"Onii-chan!" she cut off. "I'm fine!"

".....Sorry Akira-chan" Satomi muttered.

It was at that moment that the doors to the command deck opened, A-Drei entering the room and taking a spot next to X-Eins, who was standing in front of the center console.

"Good to see you're okay X-Eins" A-Drei said to his fellow Karlstein graduate. "I was worried that you and the Royalists would've all been found out and wiped out by the Dorssia-ARUS Alliance and Taurus Company."

"I'm no Royalist" X-Eins reminded him and the others, "but their goals have aligned with mine now, just as they have for this group you have sided with as well."

He turned to face L-Elf and Shouko. "I, X-Eins, former Karlstein agent and Dorssian Special Forces Soldier, pledge my allegiance to New-Jior, alongside the Royalists that accompanied me to you."

"Thank you my friend" L-Elf said. "Now I believe you said you wanted to speak with A-Drei here about something?"

X-Eins nodded. "A-Drei, it's about the situation regarding Dorssia's mainland."

Reaching into his pocket he pulled out another data drive, plugging it into the console the group was situated around. Instantly, data and images regarding what was happening in Dorssia popped up on the screen.

As A-Drei looked over the data, his heart sank. ".....So this is what has become of my beloved homeland then. How am I to reform it now?"

"What exactly are we looking at here?" Shouko asked.

L-Elf zoomed in on one of the images. On it, multiple figures dressed in prison garbs were being escorted into a Taurus Company ship, the soldiers escorting them with the barrels of their rifles pointed at their heads.

"It appears that the Royalists coup after Lieselotte's death ended in complete failure" L-Elf solemnly noted, his voice quavering slightly at the mention of her name. "Taurus Company has managed to either exterminate or capture them."

"How could they have taken them down so easily?" A-Drei inquired. "The Royalists may not be Dorssian elite like we were, but with someone like Kriemheld at their side, they should've been able to hold them off much longer than before."

"That's where you're mistaken" X-Eins replied, clicking on a different data cache, imprinted with the logo of a bull's head inside a four-leave clover; the symbol of Taurus Company. It contained information regarding the PMC, complete with an overview of the group and their weapons.

"What exactly are we looking at here?" Sheridan asked.

"That's the data the Royalists were able to scavenge regarding Taurus Company" X-Eins replied, expanding the picture of one of the soldiers. Just like the ones seen during the massacre, heavy armor encased the trooper from head to toe, and clutched in his hands was a humongous rifle.

"As you can see, they are outfitted with the latest tech in terms of armor and weaponry. Even us former Dorssian Special Force members weren't given this sort of gear."

"Not that you needed it" Shouko remarked, flashing a cheeky smile. "All you needed was just your brains."

L-Elf scoffed. "It was remarkably easy to deal with those ARUS soldiers on Module 77 and nearly take it over, all without those armaments. If it wasn't for the PM here, I would've succeeded then and there in starting my revolution."

"Yeah, remind me of just how much we come up short why don't you." Sheridan grumbled, remembering how humiliated the ARUS military had been by just L-Elf right before the Module had declared its independence.

"Still that doesn't explain how exactly the Royalists were easily brought down by them" A-Drei remarked. "After all, they themselves are in possession of Kirshbaum units, and not even that kind of body armor could withstand its weaponry."

In response, X-Eins simply flicked the screen to the side. The group's eyes widened as they took in the sight; a schematic depicting a mecha that looked similar to the Kirshbaum units. However, it differed thanks to its tan and green color scheme, winged cannons, dual beam chest weapons compared to the single L÷wenglitzen Cannon of the latter, and arms and feet composed of beam guns.

"They have access to these sorts of units?" A-Drei asked.

X-Eins nodded. "That's right. The Royalist uprising gave Taurus Company the perfect testing grounds for these units. It was thanks to inspections of the captured Valvrave Unit 04 that they managed to incorporate elements such as enhanced maneuverability and armor. Though the beam cannons are all solely them. No matter the origin though, their schematics far outclass the Royalists Kirshbaum units. That's how they were able to easily overpower them."

A-Drei grimaced. "Yet another aspect that I'm responsible for." he thought glumly.

"On that note" X-Eins continued, as he clicked on another image, "Kreimheld was one of the ones that was captured, as she was one of the leaders of the Royalists."

The picture being displayed was all too familiar to A-Drei. Just like how Saki Rukino was, Kreimheld was encased in a suffocating full body bag, with only a small breathing mask hooked up to an oxygen tank keeping her alive. She was strapped to a gurney, and was being wheeled in to the ship.

".....Damn it" A-Drei muttered. "Not even she was able to make it out."

"The Royalists that accompanied me were the only ones that managed to evade capture from Taurus Company" X-Eins said. "In fact, they were already heading to your location when I ran into them, as I was instructed to tail them. As far as the Dorssian command is concerned, I'm just about to capture them."

With a heavy sigh, he shut off the console. "It pains me to say this, but Dorssia has fallen past the point of recovery. With Kriemheld captured, and the only surviving Royalists being the handful that are here, any chance of it returning to its past glory is beyond hope."

A-Drei closed his eyes in despair, realizing that his dream was ruined. "So all of my hopes are for nothing." he thought sadly. "And all because of my distrust towards L-Elf and my capture of Rukino Saki. How ironic. Will only death allow for my atonement?"

"What about ARUS?" Sheridan asked.

X-Eins shook his head. "From what the Royalists have told me, Taurus Company has been fully integrated into the main ARUS military force, and even those who object to them have little other option but to comply, lest they be branded as traitors to humanity like you and your men by the President."

"Even the other countries?" Shouko asked. "Many of them said they were willing to go against Dorssia. Surely not all of them would've believed the claims made by them. What about the ones under mainline JIOR?"

"Thanks to the might of the Dorssia-ARUS alliance, they've been threatening all others with an iron fist. Besides, the reveal of the inhuman nature of the Valvrave pilots as made most of them more willing to join said alliance rather than resist."

With that, Sheridan slumped back in defeat. "So that's it then? Dorssia and ARUS have completely turned all of Earth against us? What are we to do now?"

A-Drei hung his head in despair. "Any way we look at it, we've lost. What is to become of us now?"

"For what use is my planned revolution of my home country?" he added internally. "That dream has been snuffed out.....partly by my hands."

Yet to the surprise of everyone else in the room, neither L-Elf or Shouko looked all that grief-stricken. On the contrary, the former looked even more determined, and the latter seemed to be bursting with energy.

"Should we tell them our plan now L-Elf?" Shouko asked with smile.

"Yes, the time has now come." he responded, turning to the others. "Gather up all the pilots and main crew members to this command room. We're not out of this yet."

_____

Again, sorry for the nearly month-long wait. I admit, things like the planning stage of the heroes has never been my strong suit. This section too will probably be edited a lot more in the future.

At any rate, even though the odds seem well against the favor of the survivors, that only makes L-Elf and Shouko more dead set on fulfilling Lieselotte's dream. How they are going to bring it about? That's yet to be seen.

Any thoughts from those still reading this fic?
LightDragonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:31.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
We use Silk.