I have been working on this on and off for almost a month now. (and I'm still not happy with it?) This was a combination of watching too many sappy Armed Forces family reunions and missing some dear friends of mine. Also I just wanted an excuse to send Vivio away so she and Tim could have more interaction because I just really love my boy and how they interact. Also I need to explain who Harper is so when I introduce them as a team people won't be like: 'wait whaaaaat Kona what did you do?' There is a method to this madness I swear.
As per usual I don't have much to say other than to ignore the mistakes if you see them-it's been a busy few months for me and I have had to focus on other projects so I have no. time. to. seriously. edit. ugh. It's pretty bad. Also I don't own Einhart and Vivio-just Tim, Harper and Max.
A Soldier Comes Home
To say it had been a long mission was a tad bit of an understatement.
Six months, two weeks, five days, and seven hours and 35 minutes.
The transport ride back to basecamp was rough and slow and all Vivio could think about was a warm shower and home cooked meal.
"Whoa there Takamachi! Looks like you're going to start drooling over there!"
Vivio jerked, flush coating her cheeks as she blinked owlishly at her teammate. "T-Tim!"
"Now the question becomes…what is my dear little partner salivating over? Could it be food?" The tall red head mused, tapping a finger to his chin, "Or perhaps…" he grinned, "Could she be thinking of a certain someone with mint ice cream hair?"
"Tim!" This time Vivio kicked the nearest shin of her partner and stood, "Geez! You can't tell me you haven't missed Harper over on base can you?" She groused, "At least with Harper you guys normally get deployed together-but I mean with me and Ein-" he heart ached painfully at the mention of her long time girlfriend and she collapsed back into her seat, "Oh gods I miss her…" she buried her face in her hands.
Six months, two weeks, five days, seven hours and 45 minutes.
"Hey…" Tim's hand was on Vivio's shoulder as he sat beside her, "I was only trying to make you feel better Vi-" he apologized, prying Vivio's hands from her face, "Come on girl, smile!" he plastered a cheesy grin to his face and bumped shoulders with his partner.
Vivio managed a watery giggle and bumped his shoulder back, "Like I could stay mad at you Tim," she rolled her eyes, "After all, you put up with my moping all the time…How come you don't get upset that you and Harper aren't together?"
"Well…" Tim pondered the thought, "It's like…I know Harp will be there waiting when I get back, right? And I don't have to worry about anyone trying to take her away," he leaned in to whisper the next part in her ear, "Since everything thinks she's a guy thanks to her call-sign on missions and on base," he snickered, "Who would have thought dating a stealth mage would be such a great idea?" He sighed, "It's not like I don't miss Harp-'Cause I do. I mean, I'd be stupid not to-But it's like I know even though we're apart it's not like Harp's dead or anything. She's still waiting back at base for me and we'll be together again soon."
Vivio blinked, then giggled, "When did you get so wise?" she gave Tim a small shove and laughed with the red head for a few moments, "I guess that makes sense. But still-I mean. Even though I've done this before; Gone on long missions without her, and not been able to call or send videos or anything…I still get this ache in my chest when I'm apart from her," she gave off a weak laugh, "It's kind of silly to think that I can't even remember what it was like before Ein came into my life. Now that she's there…I don't think I could let her go and be without her again," she shook her head, "Kinda gives me a feel for how Einhart's always felt about me."
"The whole reincarnation thing, right?" Tim probed.
Vivio clasped her hands in her lap and stared down at them with a frown, "Einhart doesn't like talking about it very much. She says it's too painful most times. Still-sometimes she'll wake up in the middle of the night sobbing and when I wake up to find her like that I just know she's had a nightmare about Olivie," she closed her eyes, the image of Einhart's guilt ridden eyes and her shaking body haunting her mind, "Einhart knows, you know? What it's like to live without the one person you cherish most and it wasn't even her fault that she knows about it. Olivie's always been with her, with Ingvalt, so she's never been alone, even when she just wanted an Olivie of her own to love. It's why she just gives me her all all the time. Like she never knows if I'll come back, or if I'll leave her," This time the ghost of the feeling of Einhart's strong arms around her waist and the caress of her lips against her cheek, "It's…Einhart doesn't know how to handle a life where she doesn't have someone to protect or something to live for. It's just been ingrained into her mind thanks to Ingvalt to never let something she cherishs go,"
Tim whistled, "Damn. Sounds like as passionate a lover as I could handle. Does it ever get annoying? I mean, like how she's always so clingy?"
"She's not clingy!" Vivio's head whipped up, glaring, "Einhart's not like that! She's so…" her face softened, "Gentle, and she never ever forces me to do anything. She always asks my opinions and she's just like a knight in shining armor," she sighed, "I dunno how to describe it Tim. It's just how it is. And I just miss her so much when I go away and I can't help but feel guilty about it because she's probably feeling just as lonely," she frowned, "Do you think it would be an issue if I asked for a transfer to desk work? So I wouldn't get deployed like this?" she murmured, eyebrows knit in a frown, "You and Harper could be field partners."
"Do you hear yourself talking Takamachi?" Tim's voice was incredulous, "Get a hold of yourself; We soldiers have been leaving our loved ones behind for ages. Yeah it hurts, but that just makes the time with them together all the more special," Tim's eyes were burning as he glared at his teammate, "So stop moping. Your mother did it all the time right? And Harlaown?" he reminded, squeezing her shoulders.
"Altima…" Vivio sat there stunned, and then ducked her eyes away, "I have been sounding kind of silly haven't I? I'm a mage in the TSAB. I should be better than this," she straightened up and nodded, "Thanks Tim."
Tim grinned now, letting go of her shoulders, "No problem Vivio. I can't have you going all crazy on me, I don't think the Bureau would be able to find me another partner," he teased, "We're almost back to Mid anyways," he stretched, "I cannot wait to have Harper's stew for dinner tonight!"
Vivio laughed, "You always think about food, geez!" she rubbed the back of her neck and gave a sheepish grin, "I think Ein and I will probably order out tonight, you know…cause we'll be busy catching up and stuff." Altima threw his head back and laughed and Vivio couldn't help the blush that crossed her cheeks.
"Alright Stratos, we got half a class left until open spar, mind covering for me while I work on the signup sheets up front?" Maxima's voice carried across the studio and Einhart's wave sent him grinning, "Atta girl, I'll be back when class is over!" he called. Trotting up to the front desk he blinked as he saw who was waiting, "Well…" he grinned roguishly, "Isn't this a pleasant surprise," he offered a hand and snickered, "Bout time you got back, I wasn't sure how much longer I could keep her from mopin' up the whole place."
"Hi Mamixa-sempai," Vivio greeted, taking the hand and letting Max pull her into a hug, "I just got back really, so I figured I'd surprise Einhart by showing up," she pulled out of the hug and giggled, "I figured it's been a long enough break since I last embarrassed her by showing up at her workspace,"
Maxima's laughter bellowed, "Darn right! She's due for a good ol' trouncing in the emotion department," he pondered a thought; "You too tired to spar? Cause I got a great idea to really surprise her,"
Vivio grinned, "I'm always up for a spar. Against Einhart right?"
"Oh, you betcha."
"Max, have you got the list?" Einhart wiped her brow, letting her shoulders sag, "Please tell me I'm not on it tonight, I'm beat," she begged, letting her hair loose from its ponytail for a few moments to air out her scalp.
"'Fraid not friend," Max apologized, "You're up first," when Einhart groaned he smirked, "No arguin' now…" he gave his friend a pat on the back and a light shove, "We got an interesting rule set for this too,"
"The last time we had an interesting rule set I almost broke my wrist," Einhart muttered, pulling her hair back up, "Is at least safe? Because I'm not fighting while doing a handstand on a pole again; that was the stupidest thing I think I've ever done," she turned and faced her coworker, raising an eyebrow at his grin, "…What's with the grin?" she hesitated in her question, sure nothing good could come from it.
"Oh nothin'. So! Rules," Maxima swung her around onto the mat and pointed, "They said if you can get their hood off then you win. No magic allowed," Einhart blinked, staring at the person before her, "You set Stratos?"
"Uh…yeah. Fine," Einhart nodded, widening her stance as she narrowed her eyes. About average height…They aren't bulky, but the sweats they're wearing can't be good for movement-at least quick movement. The hood should block their view too, but I sense there's some concealment magic at work here. I'll let them make the first move though… Einhart tightened her fists, raising them to a natural block and shifting to the side dropping her left.
The hooded figure took the bait, rushing forward with an open palm aimed towards Einhart's now exposed side. Gotcha! Einhart twirled to the side as she was about to make contact and reached out to grab the hood's top. She stumbled back however when quick feet snapped out from the figure towards her shins.
Einhart didn't have much time to think as the figure rushed her again, this time aiming a hook to her right. Einhart raised her guard, her forearm connecting with the wrist of her opponent and pushing it down as she connected a jab at the hooded person's shoulder, knocking them back.
It's a girl from the feel of the punch. Strong, but the arm is thinner than a man's-the shoulder too. Einhart rushed at the girl, aiming a quick set of jabs at their stomach, only to have her fists grabbed midair. She grunted, trying to pull back before the grip tightened but she was too late and the hands wrapped around her wrists, swinging her out in a toss. Einhart hit the mat with a loud grunt, but she sprang back up with a scowl on her face. Okay you punk…I'm not in a good mood and you're making me look bad in front of everyone…You definitely picked the wrong chick to deal with today!
Einhart rushed forward, swinging to the side and stepping past the girl's raised guard to pull her arms back in a tight hold against her back. When she had the girl secured she grinned, "Yeah, you definitely picked the wrong girl to fool around with tonight pal," she snarled into her ear. When the girl struggled she tightened her hold and pulled the girl against her tighter to stop the movement. The body felt familiar, but Einhart's blood was pumping with the rush of the fight, she was upset and she missed her girlfriend terribly.
Six months, two weeks, six days, three hours and 24 minutes.
"Let's see who you are joker," Einhart grunted, grabbing hold of the hood and yanking it down. The moment the familiar golden blonde hair was exposed her grip on her opponent's wrists all but vanished and she stepped back with a slack jaw.
When the girl turned, all grins and bright eyes Einhart felt her knees go weak and her eyes blur with tears. "Sorry I was teasing Ein," she apologized, rubbing the back of her neck, "Max-sempai said we had a chance to surprise you so I figured it would be okay?" she gave a weak laugh, "Sorry I made you so upse-"
Vivio didn't get a chance to finish her apology as Einhart slammed into her, arms wrapped around her tightly and her face buried in her shoulder. "Vivio…" Einhart's voice was uneven and Vivio could hear the beginnings of a sob in the end of her voice.
"Hi Einhart. I'm home," Vivio whispered, winding her arms around Einhart just as tightly, squeezing her eyes shut and breathing in her scent, "I'm home," she repeated, savoring the feeling of Einhart's hair against her face and having her body pressed against her own.
EInhart's laughter was cut off by a choked sob and she pulled back with a worried expression, "Oh-oh Vivio did I hurt you? I'm sorry I didn't mean to hit you so hard or twist your arms so much I was ju-" her rambling was cut off by a warm kiss and she promptly forgot all she was about to say in favor of kissing her girlfriend back. It had been far too long.
When they finally broke away Max whistled out a cat call and Einhart felt herself blush, "Oh jeez…" she wiped her eyes and shook her head, "I'm a mess," she gave a weak grin, raising a hand to stroke Vivio's cheek, "Welcome home Vivio," she greeted, pulling her off the mat and towards the back room where the workers were allowed, "I missed you."
"Me too Ein," Vivio squeezed her hand and laughed, "Jeez…is it weird to say that this feels a little awkward?" she admitted, a light blush gracing her cheeks, "I mean…It's been six months,"
"And two weeks, and six days," Einhart tacked on and then blinked, realizing what she had said with a flush, "N-not that I was keeping track like that or something! I mean uh…" she trailed off at Vivio's smile and shied her glance away, "and three and a half hours just about," she added, mumbling.
"You did miss me," Vivio's smile grew and she threw her arms around Einhart, squeezing her tightly, "It's okay Ein, I was counting too. Not much else to do out there,"
Einhart's face went grim, "Was it okay? Out there I mean, where you were deployed,"
Vivio averted her eyes and shuddered, "I'm not looking forward to finishing my final report if that's what you're asking. It was long, it was hard, and I had forgotten how horrible it was fighting against mages who think they're gods," she shook her head, "Or the people who think that the tyrants controlling them with magic are their protecting deity," she sighed, burying her head in the crook of Einhart's neck, "But I don't want to talk about work anymore. Not until I get off leave two weeks from now and I have to report back to base,"
Einhart relished in the feeling of Vivio's breath against her neck and smiled, "Right. How about we go home and order some take out? So we can catch up. I have a lot to tell you," she murmured, running her fingers through Vivio's ponytail.
Vivio giggled, "Geez…" she laughed louder, pulling back from out of the hug and tugged Einhart towards the door, "How did I know you were going to say that?" she grinned, "That sounds wonderful,"
Einhart grabbed her bag and lead Vivio out of the studio, "Great," she squeezed her girlfriend's hand and smiled, "Hey Vi?"
"I love you."
Vivio's eyes began to tear up and a watery laugh echoed in the streets as they walked out into the moonlight, "I know," she sniffed, rubbing the heel of her palm against her eyes, "I know Ein and I just..." she had to swallow, overcome.
It's been far too long since I've heard those words.
Einhart pulled Vivio close and into a hug, humming softly, "I know Vivio," she whispered to the shaking mage, "I know, and it's okay-You're home now," when Vivio's arms wrapped around her in a bone crushing embrace she didn't complain-she held her back just and fiercely.
"I love you Einhart Stratos," Vivio sniffed again, pulling back and wiping her eyes, "I love you more than I can ever, ever hope to imagine and I just-" she stopped, uttering a weak laugh, "I want to spend the rest of my life proving that to you and making sure that you know how I can't live without you and by the gods Ein I want you to be happy and-"
Einhart silenced her with a warm kiss.
Vivio didn't complain.
"I know," Einhart's voice was hardly above a whisper now, "I feel the same way. That's why...Takamachi Vivio...will you stay by my side? Forever?" Einhart touched her forehead to Vivio's, a smile on her face, "I can't imagine going back to the way life was before-even if your duties take you away some times. Because you always come back. Always."
Vivio felt her heart stutter it's way up to her throat and close it up so she couldn't breath. Then she burst out laughing, hugging Einhart tightly, "Ne Ein, does that count as a marriage proposal?" she felt the laughter bubble up again at Einhart's stuttering and red face, "I'm kidding! I know you'll plan something much better than this for that!" she lifted Einhart up in her arms by the waist and pun her around for a few moments, relishing in the sound of her startled yelp and the cries to 'put me down'. When she finally put her down she giggled, "You will plan something nicer, won't you Ein?"
Einhart straightened herself out and felt her blush increase again, "O-Of course!" she blurted out at last, "It'll be something special," she pouted, "And you ruined my moment. I was trying to be romantic Vivio," she took Vivio's hand and kissed the knuckles, sending a mock glare at her girlfriend, "Your knight's not so pleased with you upstaging her and making her look silly in the street,"
"Oh love you me and you know it!" Vivio giggled, her heart thumping loudly at the touch of Einhart's lips against her skin, "And uh...we should hurry home because...you know," she blushed when she realized Einhart had no intention of taking her lips away when she let out a long and slow breath against her knuckles, "O-oh...because we have a lot to catch up on?" her voice was shaky.
It's been far too long since she's done that...
Einhart smirked, finally taking her lips from the hand and entwining it in Vivio's, "Then off we go, Vi," she tugged her girlfriend along and giggled, "That's for trying to upstage me Vi," she whispered in her ear, "I've got months of romantic plans I've been thinking about doing for you,"
Vivio linked her arm with Einhart's and leaned on her shoulder, "Then you better get started Einhart. You've got almost seven months to make up for!"
The two laughed and everything fell back into place again.
Hours later as the two laid on the bed, exhausted and snuggling, Vivio would smile and giggle to herself and think: That was definitely worth waiting almost seven months for. Then, after that thought had passed and she felt more sentimental she would think: It's good to be home.
/Cue Kona writing an extra 675 words to the end/middle since she felt unsatisfied while writing her author notes. (Why do I do this to myself?)
So yeah, did I just hint at these two taking a bigger plunge than sharing an apartment/bank account? Why yes. Yes I did. Will they do this soon? Probably not because I have other ideas for them first. Yup. This is just a self indulgent and ridiculously sappy story because I love these girls too much and I wish I could express that they are so cute together without being a loser. (here's a hint. I CAN'T)
So look forward to the next installment I suppose? (Maybe I'll finally get to that NanoFate I said I'd write a year or so ago...) Thank yuo as always for reading. You are wonderful people and I love you all. Reviews are pretty cool too. Like-super cool. I sure could use 'em right now. I haven't been feeling the hottest, and writing makes me feel better, but hearing from you makes me feel even BETTER. Thank you thank you thank you and until next time!