Hello everyone! This new story is from one of the best games from the most underrated franchises of all time. It's Suikoden and dealing with one of favorite couples that never happened: Tir and Kasumi. Enjoy.
It Does Not Matter
Tir, the legendary hero of the Gate Rune Wars, walks along a forest path in Dunan region with ever present, ever faithful servant Gremio. It had been five years since that historic war and the bearer of the Soul Eater rune was still on his journey of peace and exile. But every now and again, he would take a venture home, just for a visit. This time was just such an occasion.
"Where are we now, Gremio?" Tir asked.
"Oh!" his green cloaked servant exclaimed. "Mercy me, I think I have our spot on the map mixed up." He twirled the crumpled paper a bit until, "Ah, yes! Here we go." He traced his finger, "Well, as fate would have us, we are right back on the forest to…"
Gremio's stopped made Tir curious. He stopped walking and turned and looked at him, "What's the matter?"
"Well, we are almost back to Toran, Master, but…"
"We're right at Banner Pass, Master."
Tir became downhearted. "Oh…"
"Which means we're right by Rok…"
"I know what it means, Gremio." The village of Rokkaku was very close by. They stood in silence for several minutes, Tir trying to come to terms with the situation of a certain female ninja who lives in the nearby village.
Gremio was anxious to relieve his master of his anguish. "Master, we can just by pass the whole area. Go the long way to get back to Gregminster. We don't even have to really go back to Gregminster."
Tir thought this decision over and decided to stick with his original course of action. "No… we have to. I want to go home… if only for a little while."
"Please, Gremio. The chances of us seeing… her… is slim to none. She's a ninja and her village does not allow outsiders anyway."
Gremio just looked at his Master. Then, breaking his own routine of not wanting to cross Tir, declared, "I believe you're trying to convince yourself more than me, young Master."
Tir looked at Gremio, then up at the sky. "Maybe so…" He looked back at Gremio. "Come. Let's go."
They walked along until they heard voices nearby. Curious, both travelers looked over to find a couple of young children playing. Figuring that they were both from a nearby town, Tir motioned to Gremio that they both had best move along.
However, they soon heard a chorus of buzzing noises similar to that of bees. The noises were unusually loud and seemed to be too loud for any normal sized bugs. Not knowing what to make of it, they went back to where the kids were to see them cowering on the ground at the threat of three large winged, wasp-like monsters.
Not wasting any time, Tir and Gremio readied their weapons and leapt to the children's defense. The wasps heard the travelers' approach and two of the wasps flew at the duo but Gremio used a Fire Rune attack to catch them both causing them to fly back and come around again. Tir jumped at them before they got close and hit one out of the air with his staff while Gremio struck the other one with his ax just before it got too close. Tir kicked the third one back and the monsters regrouped in the air.
"Oh, dear." Gremio began tightening his grip on his ax, "Quite the predicament, Young Master."
"We've been in worse," Tir reminded.
"To my great regret and constant protest, I might add."
As the bugs circled, Tir looked at the young boy who was covering the girl. "Where are you two from?"
"We are from Rokkaku," the young boy answered.
"Shh!" the girl waved, "You're not supposed to tell!"
"Oops!" The boy put his hands over his mouth. "Sorry."
"It's okay, children," said Gremio. "We're both friends of Rokkaku."
Tir looked at the wasps. "We could sure have them coming to help us now."
Suddenly, three fast moving shadows appeared from the trees and cut the wings off of the wasps, causing the wasps to fall to the ground dead.
The three shadows landed on the ground and Tir could immediately tell from their speed, their landing, and, even more telling, their clothing that they were from Rokkaku. What the True Rune bearer did not expect was when they stood up that one of them was a very familiar, short-haired kunoichi (female ninja): Kasumi.
Tir stared at her for a second but then looked away.
She and other two ninjas stood up and Kasumi looked down at the kids. "Rin, Hino, what are you two doing so far out here?"
"We…" the boy, Hino, said, "we… we were just playing."
"But… we got lost," said Rin.
"But," Hino pointed at Gremio and Tir, who had his back turned, "they saved us."
Kasumi looked and gasped upon seeing the lifelong McDohl servant. "G-Gremio…?"
"Greetings, Lady Kasumi," greeted Gremio.
Tir lowered his head.
"Tir… is that you…" She knew it was.
Tir turned around and lifted his eyes to meet hers. "Hello, Kasumi…"
Kasumi just stood in stunned silence.
"Lady Kasumi?" one of the ninjas asked. "Are you alright?"
"Um… yes, yes. T-take the kids back to the village."
Gremio looked as the ninjas began to escort the children back and then looked at Tir and Kasumi, as the two of them were avoiding looking at each other. Gremio knew, for a fact, that Tir had strong feelings for Kasumi and, now more than ever, it was evident she felt the same way. The loyal servant of the Gate Rune War hero decided had also seen his master carry more than a few burdens with nary a rest or a break from the ghosts of his past.
Gremio decided that it was time he had one. "Well, I'm sure you two have much to talk about. Umm, Lady Kasumi, would it be alright if I accompanied the ninjas to your village. We lack supplies."
"Umm… sure, sure. Guys, allow Gremio to accompany you. These men are more than welcome in Rokkaku at any time."
They both nodded and escorted the children into the forest with Gremio following behind.
Tir tried to follow as well but Gremio grabbed his arm, stopping him. "For once, Young Master, I'm not going to allow you to have your way."
"Young Master, you, at least, need to talk to her. All of the other demons you've faced over our journey, why can't you face…"
They both looked at Kasumi, briefly, then back at each other.
Tir sighed. "Must I?"
Tir just sighed again. "Very well."
"And, for the record, this is the second time you haven't done what I asked."
"Last time, I was saving your life, Young Master. Therefore, it does not count." With that, Gremio followed after the ninjas, headed for Rokkaku.
Tir looked over at Kasumi and she at him but they both looked away for a second, not sure of what to say to one another. They wanted to talk but were afraid to. Tir kept taking quick glances at his former comrade and, though he would not stare at her, just kept noticing how even more beautiful she had become. Kasumi keep seeing that he was more distinguished and stronger and more handsome. But she could also that he seemed like he was more tired as well.
"Umm…" Kasumi began, "would you like to go somewhere else… to talk?"
Tir just stuttered. "S-sure…"
They walked to another area of the forest, under a large, towering tree that easily hundreds of years old.
Tir was just awe struck. "Whoa."
"I love this place. Always used to come here when I was a kid."
She walked closer to the grand tree and sat on the grass near it. She motioned to Tir to sit down as well, which he did. He put some distance but not as much as Kasumi thought he would, which she took as a good sign.
"Thanks for saving the kids."
"Oh, it wasn't a problem."
"Seems like the only times I ever see you is when someone is in danger."
Tir just chuckled. "Guess I'm still a magnet for trouble."
Kasumi just smiled.
They both went back to looking around, still not sure as to what to say. Truth be told, both of them wanted to talk so very badly. Not until she was this close, Tir did not realize how much he missed Kasumi. Nor did he realize how much he cared for her.
Kasumi soon found what she hoped were the right words to continue the conversation. "I'm… I'm a little surprised to see you… this close to Toran, I mean."
"Are you… going back to Gregminster?"
"Just for a visit."
"Need a break?"
"More like a vacation."
"And you aren't on one, already?"
They both laughed. "Call it a break from my break."
She giggled. "And all that you've been doing, again, doesn't count?"
"With the adventures I've been on, hardly."
"It's no one's fault but yours that you don't know how to take a vacation."
They had an even harder laugh at this. This relaxed them far more than the earlier laugh did.
After they laughed, they stared into each other's eyes and something in both their hearts was ignited brighter than it ever been. Almost involuntarily, Kasumi moved across the grassy hill to get close to Tir and then slowly raised her hand and put it on the side of her former commander's face. Tir breathed in slowly as she did so, enjoying it. Neither of them had broken their gaze with the other.
Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Kasumi leaned in and kissed Tir. This was met with absolutely no protest or effort to stop her. They enjoyed it so much that they both wrapped their arms around each other, with Tir pulling Kasumi even closer.
After kissing for a while, Tir came back to himself and stopped the embrace. He not only stopped the kiss, but released his hold on her and looked away from her, seemingly ashamed.
Wondering why he stopped, Kasumi looked him over to find what the problem was. "What's wrong?"
Tir was silent.
"Tir… please, what's the matter?" The desperation in her voice was very clear.
"We… we can't do this, Kasumi."
Kasumi was stunned. "Why? What's wrong?
"I… I just can't."
The kunoichi almost panicked. In fact, if anyone were watching, they would say she did. "Why? Tell me why? I can tell you wanted that kiss just as much as I did! You want this! I want this! So, why? If it's what we both want, then, why? Why can't we be together?"
"Because I have this…" He raised his hand up to show her the Soul Eater but Kasumi quickly grabbed his hand.
"I don't care about that!"
Tir noticed that she had tears in her eyes.
"I don't care about the Rune… or about how it takes the souls of people you know and especially of those you love. It does not matter to me! It doesn't matter at all! I don't care about it! I care about you! And that's the only reason that it has any effect near me! Because I love you! I love you! I do, Tir! I always have! And I always will! Please… please, don't turn me away! I know the risks and I don't care! I just want…" She slowed to take a breath and calm down. "…to be with you."
Tir just looked down. "I know that."
He looked at his right hand and the Rune within. "I know… all of that. I know takes away the people I love… and I know that is so dangerous because…" He then looked her in the eyes, "…because… I do love you, Kasumi."
Kasumi gasped. She could not believe what she just heard. "You… you love me…"
"Yes. For… a long time… I've loved you. I still do." He stared straight back ahead. "I thought… that if I left… I'd stop feeling this way, lessen the danger for you… but… it never stopped. It will never stop. I know that now."
"It… it won't?"
"No… because I can't stop how I feel when I think about you, when I talk about you, when I even your name." He looked back at her, "And… when I look at you…" He put his hand on her cheek, "when… I touch you…"
Kasumi placed her hand on top of his, "Then…"
"But…" He moved his hand away, much to her dismay, "we can't… if the Soul Eater took you… I'd hate myself forever… more than I already do."
Kasumi just stared at him, seeing how much pain he was in.
"It took my father… Odessa… Ted… it had Gremio for a while… but… I cannot let it take you. I couldn't save the others… we were at war, then. It took me forever to accept that."
"But we're not now."
"But I am. I'm at war with the Soul Eater."
His words perplexed her. "What do you mean?"
Tir sighed. "Every day… I can feel clawing, at everything around me, even at the things that don't matter." He looks at Kasumi, "I can admit that I love you, I can tell you that I've been in love with you for a long time… that I still am… but I can't be with you because it knows that, too. I'd… I'd hate myself forever if I let you get taken by it because I refused to realize and acknowledge the danger."
Kasumi just stared into his eyes. She could see the pain and the torment Tir was in. She knew that all of this was killing him on the inside but that, more than anything, was making her resolve grow even stronger.
She moved across the grass, closing the gap between to the point where it was non-existent. "I could die tomorrow, and it could claim my soul, or so it thinks. The curse of the Rune could make you think it claims those around but… it can't."
Tir looked at her confused.
"Viktor told me about Odessa during the War. She died saving a life. Your father? He died a soldier. And he died proud of you. Ted…" Kasumi knew she had to choose the words carefully. "Ted was tired, Tir. You know that. He had to watch everyone he knew die. He wanted… and, I think, he needed to go. Gremio… did what he always did… he was serving you. More to the point, he was protecting you." Kasumi then smiled. "But he's back. Gremio's alive and here."
Tir smiled. "I guess he is, at that."
"So, see?" Kasumi had renewed hope and she was praying Tir did as well. "It's not hopeless, it's not impossible. The Rune's power and curse isn't absolute. It can be beat and I know that we can…" She moved his face so that he could stare directly into her eyes, "…together. Please, Tir… I'm willing to risk it. I'm willing to risk it all. Please… just say that…" She had to fight back more tears. "…say that you are too… please…"
Tir looked into her eyes. He could see the passion, the pain, the longing… the love. That was what he could see more than anything else was the love. And the more he looked into her eyes, the more the love was coming through until, in seconds, it was the only thing showing. "You know what you're asking?"
Kasumi nodded. "And I don't care."
"Are you absolutely sure?"
She kept staring into his eyes. Then, she moved in and kissed him. After the kiss, she answered, "I'm sure."
Tir then put his hand on her cheek again. "Despite everything, this rune's curse, my past, all of it… for you… and only for you, Kasumi, I'll risk it."
Upon hearing that, Kasumi could not have been happier if she tried. She almost tackled Tir, sending him back first on the ground with Kasumi landing on top of him.
Tir laughed. "Am I in for a lot of these moments?"
Kasumi giggled. "Well, not if you don't like it."
"I didn't say that."
They resumed kissing and continued to do so. They were so caught up in their passion that they did not even notice nearby rustling.
"Young master?" Gremio's voice moved to where Tir was and then he saw what his master doing. "OH MY!" He then stumbled, falling on the ground. The axe wielder lifted his eyes to the couple as they sat up, Tir with his arm around Kasumi and her hand on his chest. "Oh, d-d-d-d-d-dear…"
"Relax, Gremio," Tir said.
"Oh, my…" Gremio said. He stood up. "Well, I dare say, Young Master, that you have grown up quite a bit."
Tir just chuckled then looked at Kasumi. "Kasumi, do you think that you…"
"…Would like to come with you, the man I'm in love with, on a journey around the world and back again getting into all sorts of trouble and adventure?" She smiled throughout the entire time of her interrupting and completing that thought. She gave Tir a quick kiss on the cheek and smiled even bigger with her answer. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Tir smiled. "Looks like we have another travel companion, Gremio."
"Oh, dear… someone as wild as you, Young Master? Please say God hasn't frowned on me that much."
The new couple then kissed again, much to the approval of Gremio, though he did turn around to give the air of being embarrassed. Once he turned his back, however, Gremio smiled; elated to see his master happy at last.
So, there you have it! I hope you guys liked it! Please, review. Thank you!