By Gingivere the Shadowreaver
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any character in this fanfic... geez I'm sick of saying this. You know the spiel...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is VERY important! Okay, before any of you start to get really confused and start chewing me out for making a mary-sue, hear me out. IT'S NOT A MARY SUE. Lu Yi, is in fact, Lu XUN. In 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms', Lu Xun was called Lu Yi as a kid, but when he joined the services under Sun Quan, he changed his name for two possible reasons, one of which is correct and the other I'm not so sure about. One was to cover up any family ties, since his great-uncle didn't QUITE get along w/ the Sun family, and the second is the fact he probably reached a level of nobility. EITHER way, for the majority of this fic, I will use the name Lu Yi. So remember that, okay?
In the distance, he could hear the sounds of drums, beating loudly to indicate the departure of the Qiao family, and the young child only ran faster. Qiao Xuan and his two beautiful daughters were only visiting for a short while, and though the land of Wujun was their second home, many feared that they would never return again. This was what Lu Yi feared as well, holding the silver necklace to his chest, protecting it from the harsh and bitter rain.
Lu Yi, son of Lu Jun, was only five years old, and he already committed a crime. He knew this, and guilt was only one of the few of the millions of feelings running through his tiny body right now.
One, as mentioned earlier, was fear of never seeing the Qiao family again. They lived in the old shrine, only a few paces away from his own home, when they came to visit from the south of China. The Duke was a rich man indeed, and his most prized possessions were his two lovely daughters, one ten, and the other eight.
He knew the older of the two well, recalling the time he snuck into the shrine, where it was forbidden for children to go during schooling. It wasn't that he did not want to learn, but he wanted to see if the rumors were true about the daughters. He had heard of their beauty, and to that very day, he knew those rumors were nothing short of the truth.
She herself was the definition of true beauty. The older, she was a good five years older than him, but she was no different from him. Young, quiet, calm. She was everyone's big sister, often playing the peacemaker during games. She was the first of the two he met, and the same feelings he had for her then was almost trapped in the salad bowl of emotions.
Happiness was another; the sisters were also so kind to him, as well as the other children of the village. Though they were practically royalty to them, they would play their games with them without a second thought.
Lu Yi could almost see her now, as he sat in the bushes, watching them as they sat in the courtyard, talking softly to one another. They would talk about childish things, like flowers, games, ask questions about the world around them, but never had they mentioned his name, much to his dismay.
Pain... his heart was in so much pain. Yes, he knew he was only five, and perhaps this was puppy-love he was feeling right now, but when he heard the news of their departure to the South, he felt his heart shatter. They could not leave, she could not leave until he saw her one last time.
This was why he was running out in the rain in the dead of night, grasping the beautiful necklace in his feeble little hands, holding onto it with his dear life. This necklace had belonged to his mother, may she rest in peace and forgive him for stealing it from her tomb. He knew of its history, somehow tracking back to the possession of the Emperor himself. But he did not care; his grandfather had found it and gave it to his wife. Then, his grandmother passed the emblem down to his father, who had, in his turn, given it to his mother. If she was alive, she would have given it to him, to give to his wife...
He was only five years old, and already he was thinking so far ahead.
Tears rushed down his face, though if anyone were to see them, they could not tell the difference between the rain drops to his own tear drops. But no one was there; the streets laid empty now, giving the rich Qiao family no farewell celebration or anything. Their departure had to be kept a secret, in fear of Lord Cao Cao finding them. But he knew, and he shouted loudly when he saw the single horse, draped in cloaks to protect itself and its riders from the hard rain. "Lady Qiao!"
He ran faster, and the horse came to a stop, the cloak's side moving up as a face peered out. He would have stopped to stare at Da Qiao's ravishing features, but he kept on until he finally caught up with the horse. There, Lu Yi could see Xiao Qiao's face as well, and Da Qiao shouted over the hailing rain. "Lu Yi, are you crazy!? This is suppose to be a secret; and you'll catch your death!"
Lu Yi knew this was true, but he did not care, as he held the necklace out to her. It was a long, beaded thing, lined in silver. There were no jewels on it, but instead, a rose that he had picked and placed on there a few minutes before setting out to find her. She did not notice the necklace as much as the five year old child that stood in front of her, soak and wet, trembling uncontrollably as he held it to her. She asked, almost innocently, as if to look over his confession of love to her. "Is that for me?"
"Please take it, Lady Qiao... it's all I can offer you now!"
She looked into his eyes, those golden orbs of pain, confusion, joy, fear, sadness, and anger. And as she looked deeper, she could see what love was. It rested in his hands, but not in the necklace, but in the rose and in his heart. He was giving his heart to her, and his tears now fled to her, as she wiped them away from her rosy cheeks. "Lu Yi..."
The child nudged it closer, almost sobbing now. "Please, Lady Qiao... even if you never see me again, and forget about me, at least remember this... this necklace was passed down, not by hands, but by love. Treasure my heart! Please don't forget that!"
Nothing more was said between the two, and Da Qiao leaned over, now unprotected from the rain. She grabbed the necklace and the rose that was entwined with it, and then, Da Qiao gave the child a kiss, their first kiss, and their last. She stared at his disappearing form as it ran away, gripping the necklace and holding it to her own chest, as Lu Yi had done before. She would never forget the love given to her that night... not even now...
"Lu Xun, are you sure you're alright?"
It was never like Gan Ning to worry, but as he watched the ill man lean over the desk, face paled and about ready to kill over, there was a first time for everything. Lu Xun never particularly cared for the open sea, but he often held it in.
Well, NOT this time.
"Acccch, I am SO not cleaning that up!"
Lu Xun could not hold that one in, and he quickly ran out of the cabin before the next wave came up. The ex-pirate felt bad for him, and out of pity, he decided to clean the mess for him. The little guy could never stand ships and how they rocked back and forth, and he was up for three full days trying to come up with a decent strategy, only coming out of the humid cabin to eat something.
Grabbing a rag, Gan Ning wondered if he made it to one of the sides in time. After hearing Lu Meng's shout of disgust, he chuckled softly, now feeling bad for him as he reluctantly walked over to the desk, wiping the detestable, stinky mess. He groaned; the man ruined all the notes he had! Most likely, Lu Xun would come back, see what he did, and start ALL over again from scratch. 'Poor kid... ever since Zhou Yu's death, he's been driving himself insane for perfection...'
It didn't take too long for the grotesque mess to be cleaned, and Gan Ning looked at the papers he was able to save from the vomit. He was lucky; most of the information was saved, only smeared and slightly damp. Nothing a good time in the sun wouldn't fix.
The doors swung open, revealing a now messy Lu Meng. He looked just as bad as Lu Xun had, except slightly annoyed. Gan Ning made a face, trying so hard not to laugh. "Is he alright?"
"Just peachy..." Lu Meng grunted, giving him a deathly glare before noticing the papers. "He didn't ruin them all, did he?"
Gan Ning waved the papers in his hands, hoping they would dry faster. "Only a map, and some calculations of troops, but I'm sure it won't take too long to redo those."
Lu Meng looked for a cloth to clean himself with, and he shook his head. "I believe Sun Quan is definitely going to confirm him to bed, and with our luck, we'll be the ones guarding the desk."
"At LEAST he'll get to sleep again," Gan Ning pointed out, finally noticing the papers in his hands. He pulled out one of them, instantly noting that this particular sheet had nothing to do with their current campaign. Instead, it appeared to be a poem, with little drawings here and there. "Hm... seems that he did take SOME time off."
Looking up from his grooming, Lu Meng asked, noticing the ex-pirate's attention was transfixed on the single sheet. "What do you mean... hey, you know Lu Xun doesn't like people to read his stuff before Sun Quan does..."
"This isn't a strategy... this is a poem! The kid HAS a life!"
It was not like him to do such a dishonorable thing, to read someone else's private letters and poems, but this was something he had to see. It was not often that Lu Xun wrote poetry, and it appeared his curiosity got the better of him, as he peered over Gan Ning's shoulder.
'What had happened to the Rose I left you
You seem to not recall that night
Did it die away, as most roses do?
Or is it there, locked up tight?
You can forgot the one who loved you so dear
Loved you enough to give you the necklace and rose
But do not forget, for I made it so very clear
That the chain of love, those silver beads
And that lovely rose I sent to you
That night we last met; I looked to you on the steed
It was love I sent to you, my love was very true
We were young, as most lovers take flight
I simply called you Lady, as you called my Yi
Lady, my Lady, I cannot forget that rainy night
I gave you my heart, and you kissed me
Lady Qiao, Da Qiao, you gave your heart away
To Sun Ce, for I regret now is dead
He deserved it more than I, so you say
I do not cry, for no tears can be shed
For you found love in your heart so bright
To give my gift to him, from me
Now I ask to take your own into my heart tonight
From Lu Xun, from Lu Yi...'
The two were speechless, neither of them believing who this poem came from. Surely, it was not the best writing in the world, but to see who had written it would send even Zhuge Liang into stunned silence. Finally, Gan Ning found his voice after licking his dry lips. "Lu Yi? I presume that was his name as a child..."
Lu Meng, on the other hand, looked now at the doodles Lu Xun had drawn to the sides. There was a rose, entangled into what appeared to be a necklace. Suddenly, as he looked at the necklace again, he could see Lu Xun standing in front of Da Qiao as he was going up the gangplank. She had handed him something, whispered in his ears, and left.
And at the bottom of the page, he could see two water smears, knowing that Lu Xun was crying when he wrote this...
"Maybe we should check on him?" Gan Ning suggested, but Lu Meng gave a shake of the head, snatching the paper from the ex-pirate's hands and setting it back down on the desk. That was where it was meant to be, and that was where it was going to stay.
"It appears that we are going to have a wedding celebration after this campaign is done." Lu Meng smiled, taking a seat on the bed. "What a strange thing... to give your heart to someone you love, for them to give it to someone else, then to have it given back to you."
Gan Ning was confused, and he tried to look at the poem again, but the other general stopped him before he could even glance at it. "What do you mean? I'm confused; who's getting married?! Lu Xun and Da Qiao?"
Laughing, Lu Meng crossed his arms, looking through the open window to see the form of Lu Xun leaning over the edge of the ship. "No. Lu Xun will take the daughter of Sun Ce and Da Qiao to be his wife... so let's make sure we all get back alive to see the ceremony."
Lu Xun did not hear his words at all, as he leaned over the side, looking down at the rushing water below him. The ship was going much too fast for him to see his own reflection, but if he did, he could see himself as that kid so many years ago, standing in the rain, sobbing and handing his gift of love to the girl that stole his heart so early. And it had replayed again, as he was walking up the gangplank, he heard his name. It was not Lu Xun that was called, but Lu Yi, and he cautiously turned to see Da Qiao, soaked from the rain that poured the night they docked. He could see her tears, falling like two rivers, and she held something to her chest.
"Please, Lu Yi... Lu Xun... even if you never see me again, and forget about me, at least remember this... this necklace was passed down, not by hands, but by love. Treasure my heart! Please don't forget that!"
It was the same exact thing he had told her so many years ago, in the same conditions. And, like she had, he silently accepted it, leaned, and kissed her lightly on the lips. And she had left, as he boarded the ship, grasping in his hands now the same necklace and a new, living rose. The other had died when their loved perished, but a new one formed in its place, not letting the one before it get forgotten.
And he held them to his chest, unable to stop the tears from falling into the vast sea, gaining its size by mere teardrops. Years ago, those would have been tears of pain, of anger and confusion, but not today. These tears were of joy, and pure, indescribable ecstasy in his heart.
She had not forgotten...
A/N: Wow... an ironic, and HAPPY (I guess) love story! I don't really know where the inspiration for this came from, but let me tell you, I sat down and WROTE the entire thing out... and I am quite pleased with myself.