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Author Topic: Star Ocean Til the End of Time: Clair/Nel fanfic  (Read 81 times)

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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Star Ocean Til the End of Time: Clair/Nel fanfic
« on: October 18, 2017, 07:06:21 PM »
Long story short: I wrote this in one of my class notebooks between lessons once upon a time, and I realized I could use it as a part of my multi-genre paper, so I typed it up and cleared up some minor issues and yada yada. It still doesn't have a title, but here you go:



“You can’t be serious,” I say numbly, pushing past the guard, making sure to grind my shoulder against hers as I pass.

“My lady,” she stammers, “the Commander needs her rest—”

I don’t listen. How can I? The one person who was always above me in everything, wounded severely, possibly fatally, on a mission? It couldn’t possibly be true.

I slam my hand on the wooden door, and it squeaks open into the familiar inn room that we have been occupying over the course of this battle.
And, there you are, lying in that itchy old bed with a nurse next to you. She rinses a soiled bandage with water that is quickly turning brown with your blood. My breath hitches. I want to scream in rage. I could punch through the stone wall. I can almost cry.

The guard stumbles in behind me and grips my shoulder as if to pull me away. The sound of armor rattling jolts the nurse upright. She looks scared of me.

“Lady Lasbard, my deepest apologies,” the guard says, eyebrows knitted together in concern, “I tried to stop her, but she’s—”

You smile and lift a hand to cut her off. “Leave us,” you command, despite the weariness creaking in your voice. The nurse and the guard meet eyes and nod before they shuffle out of the room. I close the door behind them.

Then it’s just the two of us.

I take a seat in the chair the nurse previously occupied. You look paler than ever, and your eyes appear unfocused.

Seeing you like this torments me. Memories bubble to the surface, and none of them align at all with the image in front of me. I see the you from our training days, always smiling so sweetly and helping others with their magic. I see the you kneeling proudly as the Queen knights you. I see the you that constantly teases me for sulking.

“Still pretending to be made of iron, Nel?” you ask with a faint chuckle. Your voice jerks me back to the present. I tear my eyes away from your face, but in my periphery, I see you smile. Why do you smile?

Many things flood my throat that I want to say. I settle on, “What happened?”

For a moment, you say nothing. Your lips press into a thin line. “If I told you, you’d be consumed by your hatred, and you don’t need any more of that in your blood.”

Damn it. We’re hardly two years apart. How can you talk like a wise mentor even now?

You sigh, almost laughing. “You try to keep that scary, stern face, but under all that, you’re still in turmoil, aren’t you?”

My shoulders slump, defeated. I can never slide anything past you, and you never judge me for things I try to hide. That force of familiarity, you are never afraid of it. Even now as you lie injured, you worry about me? I can’t wrap my head around how you do that.

Words leave me, so I sit a while, interlocking my fingers and having a staring match with the floor.

“It doesn’t matter,” you say quietly, almost to yourself, and then you turn your head to look at me. I tense. “It’s okay to feel things, Nel, at least around me. If I’m going to die here—”

“Clair, don’t,” I say, feeling my mouth go dry.

“—I would rather it be next to you, with you being honest,” you continue. It turns some invisible dagger in my stomach.

We say nothing for a few minutes, but you break the silence again. “Come closer,” you say. I pull the chair as close as possible to the head of the bed, but I can’t look you in the eye. Mine are starting to go blurry.

“Look at me,” you say, voice weakening into a rasp, “It’s okay to be a mess.”

I wonder if you want proof of something abstract. Is it an accomplishment to finally get me to cry in front of you?

Either way, I finally manage to meet your familiar grey eyes. The storm that used to rage in them seems dull today. My left cheek feels a sudden warmth trail down to my chin. You lift a hand to hold that side of my face.

“See? The world hasn’t ended,” you smile.

“Neither has the war,” I say bitterly.

Your eyebrows arch and sink. “Don’t you dare start on revenge for my sake,” you sigh, “That’s not what I want for you.”

“What do you want, then?” I respond. Your words remind me of my father before he left on his last mission. His daggers, my sole inheritance, feel heavier at my side. I never got the chance to ask him that question.

“I want you to keep holding onto hope, even if that means going on without me,” you interrupt my thoughts, and I am grateful.

“What the hell does that mean?” I ask, and I hate the crack that ruins my otherwise even tone. My lips tremble. “You are where my hope is grounded,” I say softly, fighting to hold back tears that fall easily anyway.

“You’ll make it. I know you will,” you say, closing your eyes. My heart stops.

“Shall I grab the nurse,” I say with unexpected urgency.

You shake your head. “I have a while still,” you say.

I bite my lip and avert my gaze. “How is it that you’re the one injured and I’m the one losing all tact?” I sigh.

You brush your thumb across my cheek, catching a stray tear. “Because your fear of grief is worse than my fear of death.”

“Stop!” I say with far more intensity than I intend. I stop to collect the pieces of myself. The process drains me. “Just stop. I won’t let you die.”
“I don’t exactly need your permission,” you laugh quietly.

Then you cough, and I can almost believe in your mortality. You open your eyes and look at me again. I feel exposed, like you aren’t just looking, but reading. Tears flow on their own and drip carelessly into my legion scarf. My chest tightens. I feel ill.

“It should have been me,” I say through my pain. With a flick of your hand, you slap my ear.

“No, Nel. You’re invaluable to the Queen and for our victory. I’m just one Commander,” you say, sounding hurt. I feel guilty for the emotion in your voice.

“But all our men love you, and you teach with an understanding like no other. You could be General, or Grand Advisor. Your heart is more brave, more open than mine has ever been. If anyone, we need you.” The words carelessly pour from my mouth. I feel like they will strangle me if I don’t let them out. “You are a superior magician as well, with your father’s blood. All I have are my father’s daggers and a knack for breaking and entering. You’re a guiding light, so much more than I can say. Even in this bloodbath of a war, you can still smile. You can do things so far beyond me. You’ve always been better. How?” My voice starts to grow raw. “How can you smile so genuinely? How can you hope?”
I hang my head. All the energy drips from my body through my feet and into the ground, probably to die.

“Because I can trust,” you say simply, “And I trust you, perhaps more than you do, and I’m telling you it’s all right. Now please, don’t hate yourself while you sit next to me.”

---

You died that night. I’ve been put under watch. The legion considers me a danger to myself and to the mission. They must figure I would send myself on a suicide mission to take out as many as those bastards as possible before going out in a blaze of glory. Maybe they’re waiting for the opportunity to do just that.

But how could you leave me with requests like those? Now I can never live up to you and your martyrdom, and I’ve grown even colder. The war still rages, and I don’t know if I can make it anymore. I never understood hope. I sure as hell can’t now.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 07:30:14 PM by MahluaandMilk »
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