I usually don't make Escaflowne FanFictions…but I had this cute idea, and thought I'd go with it. So please enjoy!

Also, I do not own Escaflowne and characters.

WARNING: Yet again, educational.

Down Feathers

Chapter 1

(Hitomi POV)

I heard a crack and snapped out of my reverie. I was sitting under the oak tree behind the school. It was storming outside, but I didn't care. My heart hurt too much. I had been separated from Van for too long. I wanted to go home, to Van, but I couldn't even go to my house. Therefore, I was sitting on my sorry butt, pouring my eyes out in the rain. I had my hands covering my face when the crack erupted. I saw a flash and a pillar of light come down from the heavens. It was small, like it was in the distance, and I saw a figure descending from it. VAN? I ran towards it…but it was a lot closer than I thought. Moreover, a lot smaller too. There was a high-pitched scream then a splash, into the muddy puddle below. The light disappeared and a squeaky voice rattled off a chain of curses before emerging from the puddle. He shook the mud off him. I almost screamed.

"V-Van?" I was looking at a three-inch tall version of my dear friend.

"Hitomi…hi…you're big…" He said nervously.

I picked him up, being no taller than my middle finger. "How did you get here? Not that I'm not glad to see you, but…what happened to you?"

"It must have been the storm; the lightning must have messed up the transfer."

"Did you get struck?"

"Yeah…I'd rather be three inches tall then dead."

"Nice logic."

"Hitomi!" Yukari called for me.

I quickly put Van in my bag. "Be quiet and chill, I have the rest of the school day to go through. It's only two hours."

"Who…or what are you taking to?" Yukari asked coming closer to me.

"Just myself."

"You were crying again, weren't you?"

"Yeah…it's okay, I just had to get it out." I patted my bag gently. Hoping Van understood the gesture.

My next class was Science, the teacher was relatively boring, and I could tell since I opened my bag after class to check on Van and saw him asleep on my handkerchief. It was so precious. I just smiled and closed up my bag. The next class was History, and I was franticly taking notes. To my dismay, my pen ran out of ink, and in my frantic state I reached in and grabbed another pen…but poor Van had his shirt caught in the clip. I was franticly catching up when I heard…

"Hi…to…mi…sss…top! I…mm…stu…ck!"

"Hey, Hitomi. What's that funny thing attached to your pen?" I stopped and looked down to Van who was dangling by his collar, with a very sick look on his face.

"Sorry!" I whispered, and then put him away telling my classmate it was nothing.

On the way home, I fished Van out of my pocket and perched him on my shoulder, so he could look around, but hide under my slightly grown-out hair. We started to catch up, although it was hard for me to take him seriously with his childish voice. I was only gone for two years, and yet Van made it seem like so much has happened.

"Fanelia has almost been rebuilt, and most of the survivors have returned. Allen became our head general in place of Balgus, so now we have one of the best armies in Gaea. He and Celena live in the palace."

"And what of Millerna and Dryden?"

"Married. He came back and won her heart."

"Awww! That's so sweet."

"And our feline companion has a sweetheart as well. A young beast-man, approved by me of course."

"Merle's got a boyfriend? No way! I thought she was still in love with you!"

"Well, she grew up and saw it wouldn't work out. Seriously though, can you imagine our children? Little kittens with wings. That's just wrong…" He sighed. Then he was quiet.

"Van…why did you come? Not that I mind, just…why now?"

"Well…I know it was unexpected. Merle noticed me moping around…and told me to take a vacation. She snatched your pendent and sent me here, for a month."

"A whole month? Stuck here, like that? You poor thing…"

"Yeah, it's real tough being the King…" He sighed again. "At least I'm here in this form; nobody would take me seriously back on Gaea."

"Yeah, good thing. I barely take you seriously." He laughed at that. "Van, why were you moping?"

"Uh...Well, stress of course! The rebuilding…relocating…new allies…new positions…."

"You missed me didn't you?"

He was silent for a moment. "Yeah…a little…I guess." It wasn't exactly the heartfelt reunion I was hoping for, but at least he missed me.

"It's okay Van, I missed you too. But I'll wait to hug you when you get bigger, or else it would just be awkward." I could tell he was smiling.

"That'll be fine."

Soon after, we reached the subway and Van got in a fighting stance. "What's wrong?"

"What is that silver monster? Looks like a deformed guymelef!"

"Van, it's a subway, a mode of transportation on earth. Besides, I don't think a sword the size of a toothpick is going to help."

"Well, you may be right about that."

"Here, I'll show you, the subway is an excellent way to get around. Without it, we wouldn't be getting home."

"Oh…you mean you ride that thing every day?"

"Yeah, perfectly harmless."

He nodded as we boarded. The car shook and screeched before lunging forward to move. Van held onto my neck, and I could tell he was scared. I didn't blame him. I clasped my hand around him, to keep him safe. After awhile, he seemed to be warming up to it. He was looking out the window. I could tell he was in awe.

"It looks like Zaibach! Only not as menacing…" When we got off at the station, he was more relaxed. He was sitting on my shoulder, leaning back. "The Mystic moon is different than I thought it was."

"But you were here before…"

"I didn't see much back then, remember? It was your track and that shrine."

"Oh yeah…" as I was thinking about it, I realized how long ago it really was. "Van…did you realize how long we were apart?"

"I thought we weren't going to talk about this while I was this big."

"I know…it's just. It seems just like yesterday I crashed into you. And now, you're here…on my shoulder…"

"Yeah…fate is so cruel."

We came to my house, and I felt a little funny. This was the first time Van would see my house…meet my parents…There was no use hiding the fact that I had a tiny man on my shoulder. So I stepped inside.

"Mom! I'm home!"

"In the kitchen!" She called.

"Should I hide?" Van asked.

"No, I think my mom should know about you…it's time she finally met the mysterious king I always talk about." I knew I was blushing, but I smiled the same.

"Always talk about, hmm?" He said teasingly. I walked in the kitchen to see my mother baking something.

"Welcome home, dear."

"Hi mom." There was a bit of an awkward silence since I was standing too far for her to see Van. So I cleared my throat. "Mom? Did you ever believe my story of Van?"

"Well…I love you honey, but I think you and your grandmother have the same mental illness."

"I'm being serious!"

"I know, I'm just kidding with you." She said with a bright smile. "I believe some of it…I think you might have met a young man named Van…but the whole Draco Malfoy King thing…not so much."

"It's draconian mom."

"Of course dear."

"Well, now I have proof!"

"If you show me a feather, I'm going to smack you."

"No! Mom…" I paused to take Van into my hands. "He's come to visit…" I held him out so she could see.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Kanzaki. I am King Van Slanzar de Fanel of Fanelia, son of King Goau and Varie of Fanelia. Pilot of the Dragon Escaflowne, and direct descendent of Atlantis." He bowed in front of her.

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you too…but why are you so small?"

"We're not quite sure…maybe a mix-up in the transfer? You see, I've been kicked out of my Kingdom by my…uh…cat, um…I'm forced to stay here for a month. Will you have me?"

"I don't see why not, considering you probably won't eat much."

"Thank you very much, ma'am."

"Why you sure are welcome. Hitomi! Why didn't you tell me he was so polite?" She winked. "And handsome too, he's a keeper!"

"Uh…thanks mom…"

Van turned and looked at me with a smug smile that said 'I'm approved'.

"Where's Mamuro?"

"He's 'Studying' with a friend. He should be home in time for dinner so he can meet his brother-in-law." We both turned bright red at that.

"M-mom!"

She just laughed.

"What about dad?"

"Working late…"

"He's been like that for a week now."

"Well, you know your father."

Van looked at me confused.

"My dad is an architect…he's been working long hours lately. Coming home at 2 o'clock in the morning." I sighed.

"Well, Van. You are our guest, what would you like for dinner?"

"Uh…well…I don't think you have any food dishes like the ones we have on Gaea…but really, I'm not a picky eater." I remembered the time he offered me grubs on a stick while we were running from Zaibach. I definitely agreed with that statement.

"Stir-fry it is! Now, you two get cleaned up and I'll get this cake in the oven. Then I'll start dinner." I took him upstairs into my room and put him on my desk. I sat down on my chair.

"What are we going to do with you?"

"What? It's not my fault!" He said sitting down on my dictionary that I had lying on my desk. "I really didn't think the next time I saw you I'd be the size of a jujo nut." I laughed. (They don't have Walnuts in Gaea)

"I'm not mad, I really am happy to see you Van." He smiled in the mutual feeling.

"Hitomi! Yukari's here!"

"M'kay!"

"Aren't you going to go greet your friend?"

"Wait for it…3...2...1…" The door burst open.

"Hitomi Kanzaki! What on earth was up with you today? First, you're all angsty and cry your heart out during lunch, and then you're all spacey and looking like a love struck puppy! Then you were talking yourself! I tried to reach you after school but you already left."

"Yukari…"

"Is it about that Van guy again? Deary, you have to get over him! It's driving you crazy. You need to move on."

"Yukari."

"Don't protest! You know I'm right, it's unhealthy thinking of imaginary boyfriends!"

"Who are you calling imaginary?" A tiny voice cried from the table. Yukari's eyes showed apparent confusion on her face. "I am very much alive, thank you very much."

"Am I hearing things?"

I held out my hand to Van, which he climbed on and I put in front of Yukari.

"See? In the flesh!" He cried.

"Who are you?"

Van sighed and bowed again in his Kingly form. "It is a pleasure to meet you Miss Yukari; I am King Van Slanzar de Fanel of Fanelia, son of King Goau and Varie of Fanelia. Pilot of the Dragon Escaflowne, and direct descendent of Atlantis."

"SAY WHAT?" Yukari's eyes almost bugged out of her head. "He is real?"

"Duh, I'm standing right in front of you aren't I?" He said annoyed.

"I-I'm sorry for ever doubting your existence, your majesty."

"Nah, It's fine. And please, call me Van."

"Alright…Van." She smiled. "You know Hitomi, by what you told me, I imagined him to be…taller."

"Yeah, something went wrong in the Teleport…" I said.

"Oh…" Yukari seemed to be thinking at that moment. "I have an idea! I'll be back in a few minutes!" She stated and ran out the door.

"I wonder what she's up to…" I wondered aloud. I lowered Van back onto the desk and swiveled in my chair.

"Hitomi? Did I come at a bad time?" Van asked approaching the edge. I rested my chin on the hard surface in front of him.

"Of course not Van. I'd love to see you anytime."

He blushed. "Me too."

After a moment of glazing at his tiny features, and soft smile, the door swung open once again. Yukari had in her hand a big bag.

"I had a doll house when I was a kid, and the dolls were all about your size Van!" (How convenient…)

"Doll house?" He was quiet for a moment then realized what she was talking about. "Please tell me that you had some boy dolls."

"Unfortunately…no. But! The clothes aren't that bad. Better then what you've got on now." He looked down to see his normal beige pants and boots, with traditional Fanelian royal shirt (a yellow, short sleeve shirt with a loose red vest over it) and black and yellow striped sash stained with mud.

"Oh rats." He concluded.

Yukari dumped the contents of the bag on the floor. Items included were clothes, furniture, and other mini household items. Van looked at the clothes in disgust.

"I'm a King of a nation, war hero, and last of a species…I'm not wearing pink dresses with flowers."

"Van, Here's a white shirt, red one, yellow one, jacket, and some pants!" We spared him the embarrassment that would ensue if we did make him wear the dresses. Poor guy.

"Yukari…Is this an American military uniform?" I picked up a tiny camouflaged pant and shirt.

"Oh, yeah…I think this was from a different set…probably my brothers, he had the war version. Here's a German and Japanese uniform too!"

"Now THOSE are my kind of clothes." Van said a bit relieved. We laid all those aside, Van approving or disproving our choices. We even found a light hat to tame that crazy hair of his.

"Hitomi? Is there any way I could wash up before we eat? This mud is really bothering me."

"Sure, we could plug the sink."

"What?" Poor boy, lost in translation.

"It's like a water basin, but it has a pipe that brings water to it, and another to empty it."

"Whoa…." He jumped into my hand and I took him into the bathroom. "Whoa!" He said yet again. "What is all this stuff?"

"Well, that's a shower; it's a closet that pipes in water from that head, so it rains. That's a toilet, much like your chamber pots in Fanelia, only you just pull this handle and the waste it flushed away.

"This is amazing! The moon's inhabitants are so smart to come up with devices like this!"

"You sound so strange right now." I set him down on the counter and turned on the sink making the water nice and steamy. I measured about two inches of water, turned it off and added a dabble of soap. Van was sitting on the edge taking of his boots and sword. "Leave your dirty clothes out, I'll clean them for you."

"Thank you Hitomi."

"Hey guys! Look what I found! A tiny towel and hair brush!" Yukari came in laughing. She put them down by Van who growled angrily at her. "Oh chill out Prince charming."

"That's KING charming." He snapped, taking off his sash.

"Oh pardon me." She said sarcastically leaving the room. I couldn't help but shake my head at their antics.

"Fifteen minutes long enough? Dinner should be ready by then."

"Yeah, sounds good." I sent him a tender smile, and left him to his business.

(Van's Pov)

I let a sigh fall from my lips. I felt like I had been holding my breath all day. I felt bad for putting all the blame on Merle for sending me. I was the one who wanted to go, Merle was just covering for me. Two years, and I'm still acting like a lamb in love. There wasn't just one reason for me coming here…my advisors had taken it upon themselves to look into the marriage laws. A King had to marry by 18. When I heard that, I thought I was going to cry. I mean really, do they expect me to be in love with one woman and be married to another? That's just sick. I guess that's what started this whole mess. I had been a wreck the two weeks after they told me. I sulked, and mourned…and moped. I talked to Merle about it…

.:Flashback:.

"Lord Van, do you even want to get married?"

"Only to one person."

"I know, I miss her too."

"If only I could go to her, and tell her finally how I feel…maybe she'll come back with me. Like that's ever going to happen."

"Stop it Lord Van! You are too depressed! You're going to die early."

"I hope it's before I turn 18…But seriously Merle, our mind link that we set up during the war…it's all gone. I can't even see her. What if she's forgotten me? What if she has a boyfriend? What if she…" Merle's fist made hard contact with my face.

"Shut up! Gosh, you're so annoying when you're full of angst." I rubbed my cheek.

"I know…"

"Grrrrr…Listen up! You are going to take that pretty, little pendent around your neck, hold it, and pray with ALL your might, go to the Mystic Moon, bring back Hitomi, and grow a pair you big baby!" suddenly her tone changed. "I'll take care of everything here!"

"But-but-but…"

"No buts! Just go get her." And so I did.

.:End flashback:. (Don't we all love Flashbacks?)

I thought it was going to be simple, but nooooo…It had to be the same day there was a thunderstorm. Of course the energy produced by lightning would be strong enough to break down shuffled particles. Now if only there was some way to reverse it. I thought about all this while I got undressed and hopped in the tub…sink…thing. The water was warm and steamy. And after I had slipped in I noticed how sore I was from my failure of a landing. Another sigh. I should have waited one day. Oh well, too late. I closed my eyes and saw her face. Her eyes just as pure green as they were the day I had met her. She smiled and I smiled. Her silky tresses were a bit longer now, not too much though. Her skin was warm, a warmth that hadn't left me yet. I opened my eyes to see a portable mirror angled at me, and on it was my beet red face with a goofy grin plastered on it. I frowned. I had it bad.

But really…she was my best friend, besides Merle. Heck, we were able to talk telepathically at one point. I still never asked if she has a special someone…or why she was crying earlier. I guess that will come in due time…after all, I have a month. And you know what? I'm going to enjoy it! A whole month free of duties, advisors, and suitors. The goofy grin came back.