Upon entering my room, I discovered Yukari setting something up on my desk.
"What are you doing?"
"Preparing the royal suite."
"Yukari, you do realize he's a human…well, half way. And not a living doll."
"I know! But he's so cute! Really, I wish I had a mini friend!"
"He's not too bad looking when he's normal height either…" I said a little louder then I meant. Yukari just grinned at me. "So what have you done?" I said looking over the 'room' she had put together on my desk. There was a little plastic bed, which she had covered with a folded Kleenex, probably to make it more comfortable, and a tiny comforter. A little rack was made using a pencil between two books. She hung all the clothes we had picked out on little plastic hangers. She had placed my watch on a book by the bed so he could read the time…not that it mattered especially since they told time differently on Gaea. There was also a one-drawer chest and trunk in the room. "What are those for?"
"Well, the chest has socks and underwear in it, and-"
"You're doll house came with socks and underwear?"
"It was the deluxe set! Besides, for Van's sake, aren't you happy it did?"
"Uh…" She got me on that one. "What about the trunk?"
"Storage, he can put his sword and crown in it."
"He didn't bring his crown…It's like massive headgear anyways."
"Well anyways, He can put whatever in it." I nodded in agreement. I noticed that she had shifted my laptop, and put my headphones by a chair.
"Late night movies! Since you have to wake up early he can stay up and watch Hulu!"
"He doesn't even know what TV is…You're going to psych out the poor boy."
"Oh it can't be that bad can it?"
"He was afraid of the subway."
"So was I when I was four!" Yukari just loved to argue with me. I ignored her, and proceeded to notice a staircase leading up to my window a little above my desk. 'Practical' I thought. Then I saw something odd, there was a meter stick perched from the desk to the headboard of my bed.
"Should I even ask?"
"You know you spend most time on your bed! Whether you're reading or doing homework or whatever. This way he can just walk over instead of bothering you."
"And you know…late at night…" Darn Yukari and her gutter mind.
"Don't even go there."
"I was just joking, that would be weird." Before I knew it, 15 minutes had pasted. I knocked on the door and a tiny 'Come in!' answered in reply. I opened the door to see Van shirtless (tehe) and toweling his hair dry.
"Nice timing" He said. I said nothing, staring at his tiny form. This was far from the first time I saw him like this, but it still made my heart beat faster. I noticed a scar present on his chest and vaguely thought if I had seen that the last time I saw him. "Hitomi, you're staring."
"Oh uh…um…w-well, really? I didn't notice." I heard a smug laugh. I helped him back to my room, where he admired Yukari's handy work.
"Nice work, though, it's much different from my chambers."
"Duh, you live in a castle, if you expect us to replicate that you are sadly mistaken." Yukari said crossing her arms.
"Thank you, Miss Yukari." He said coolly.
"You are welcome!" She spat back. Then she turned to me. "I have to get home, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Now that lover boy's here, I'm sure you are." She winked. "See ya tomorrow!"
"Farewell…wench." Van said. I stifled a laugh. Yukari chuckled as she left.
"So do you like my friend?"
"She's…charming." He laughed. "Nah, she's nice. You pick good friends. I'm grateful that she was able to supply me with clothes at least."
"Yep, Yukari always manages to help out at the last second."
I excused myself to change and wash my hands while he looked at the items on my desk. I came back to see him looking at a picture of my friends and I at a track meet.
"Who's this fellow? He looks vaguely familiar…"
"That's Amano, he was at the track when you appeared the first time."
"Oh yeah…He kinda looks like Allen." I had to laugh.
"He acts just like him too." A look came across his face, like a light bulb went off.
"So THAT'S why you liked Allen! He reminded you of Amino!"
"Amano…and yeah…I guess…Allen only liked me because I reminded him of Celena."
"His little sister? That's kind of…strange." He looked back at the picture. "Yukari liked Amano too." He observed. Oh, he's good.
"Correction, likes. They're boyfriend and girlfriend."
"Oh, how nice." He said softly.
"Hitomi! Van! Time for dinner!"
"M'kay!" I held my hand out. "Shall we?" He jumped on.
"Why thank you miss."
"Why, you're welcome kind sir." I gave a cheeky smile.
The table was set for three people, with the exception of a button and thimble next to my seat. 'How funny' I thought. After dishing up, Van took three grains of rice and some vegetables from my plate.
"You're welcome." I said slyly. He just smiled. As the meal started, Mamoru came in.
"Sorry I'm late, I lost track of time!"
"Well, wash your hands and sit down…while the food's still warm."
"Yeah mom." He did as he was told and sat down. As his first spoonful made it up to his mouth, he noticed Van.
"Hey sis, what's up with the action figure?" Ooo, he was going to regret that one.
"What did you call me?" Van said standing up.
"Dude! It talks too! Where's the remote?" Van visibly twitched.
"Mamoru, this is Hitomi's friend."
Van sighed and lowered his head. Then he got into his Kingly posture and bowed. "It is a pleasure to meet you Mamoru (notice lack of honorific?); 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."
"Wow, Hitomi. It's just like you to have a frilly prince as a friend." Van was silent.
"Mamoru! Be respectable! Van has come a long way for a visit, and he'll be staying with us for a month." Mom replied.
"Why is he so…shrimpy?" Van stayed silent again, probably annoyed. He didn't talk when he was.
"There was a shuffle in the transfer from Gaea." I filled in.
"Wait…King Van…from Gaea…" Light bulb. "OOOOHHH! This is the guy from your story isn't it? Where you were in the war, and he saved you from the mad scientist?"
"The one and only." Van said, having visibly recovered from his annoyance.
"WOW! Mom! We have a war hero in our house!"
"Mamoru, you do realize I helped out in the war just as much, right?" I asked.
"Yeah, but you're my sister." He said finally starting to eat.
"Hmph." I grunted. Van chuckled.
"Actually, without your sister, I would have died numerous times over."
"Oh Van, that's an exaggeration."
"No it's not! Proof: Our first meeting, the dragon would have stabbed me but you warned me, then you wished us out of Fanelia when we were surrounded by Zaibach soldiers, you warned everyone in the crusades base, you found the Zaibach floating fortress where I was taken, the warning in Asturia, the time were I was bound with Escaflowne and the Ispano had to fix it, the time I ACTUALLY died and you had to bring me back, when we were in Zaibach and they started dismantling the Escaflowne and not to mention all the times you pointed out the invisible Guymelefs…do I need to go on?"
"No…but you saved me plenty of times too! There was the time I was poisoned with that plant and you healed it…"
"Hardly saving you."
"The time you warned me about Allen and Millerna on the roof!"
"That doesn't count, you still went up there."
"Then when I was kidnapped by the gecko ninjas."
"Alright, that's one."
"What about when Dilandau almost stabbed me at the river?"
"That was Allen who saved you, remember? He was injured in Freid?"
"Oh yeah… How about when I was taken hostage at the dragon graveyard and when you caught me when I fell off the cliff?"
"When my heart stopped from the doppelganger?"
He blushed. "Yeah…"
"And most importantly, you brought me back to Gaea and stopped me from marrying Allen."
"We all know that would have been a tragedy."
"And I'll throw in the part where you came for me at Zaibach."
"That's Van being saved 9 times, and 5 for Hitomi." Mamoru said. "Man you guys like trouble."
"So yes, your sister was a big part of this war."
"Oh alright, I'll be sure to respect you more often O Great One." Mamoru said coyly. I stuck my tongue out at him.
"So Van, How exactly did you get here?"
"Well, during the war, my Kingdom was destroyed by Zaibach, I've spend the last two years rebuilding it all. My main advisor/friend/sister/cat decided I needed to take a vacation, so she took the pendent Hitomi gave me and sent me here."
"So Merle has the pendent?"
"No, I got it back at the last second, see?" He pulled it out under his shirt.
"So…your main advisor…is a cat?" Mamoru asked.
"She's a cat girl. Like you would see at a convention, only she really has ears and a tail." I stated.
"And claws." Van deadpanned. Everyone laughed. The rest of the meal went along well. Van told a few stories of things that happened while I was gone. His voice sounded more pronounced, despite the helium, more…Kingly. He had a bigger build then before too. If he was normal size, would probably be taller than me now. When I left, he was merely a quarter of a foot taller. I started to slowly get lost in what he was saying, a goofy grin on my face. I was broken out of my reverie when I heard something I was not expecting.
"Familia! I am home at last!" My father was home. However, he sounded happy, really happy. "Hello darling" He said as he kissed mom. Then he rubbed Mamoru's head and kissed my forehead. "I was given the rest of the day off, and the rest of the week I get off at the same time! It feels so good to be home while I can still see the sun!" He got a plate and glass and joined us at the table. He scooped up some food. "And my beautiful wife's home cooking! No McDonalds the rest of the week!" He started to eat while the rest of us sat in sudden shock. Except for Van, nothing surprised him anymore.
"So this is your father?" He asked.
"Yeah, we didn't think you'd get to meet him so soon though…" My father looked in my direction, confused. Van smiled back.
"Well! Hello there! I didn't know we had a guest! What's your name boy?"
"uh…it's a pleasure to meet you Mr. 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."
"Do you have to do that every time you introduce yourself?" I asked.
"It's a habit."
"Oh so this is the young king whose stolen my daughter's heart. At first, I didn't believe her, but now I do for sure! I take it the transfer from Gaea to Earth messed your particles up and landed you to be so small."
"Um…yes, that's what we think."
"I see! Now young man, promise me you'll tell us when you're taking her back to Gaea. So we can actually say goodbye to her first. Scared us half to death while she was gone."
"Uh, sorry sir, I couldn't really help it." Yep, dad was sure acting strange. After re-telling the story of how Van came to earth, my father was very willing to have Van stay.That night, I set Van down on the desk while I finished some homework. He even helped me…a lot actually. I forgot how smart he really was, it wasn't like he did anything to show it during the war…minus the navigating. Apparently, after I left, he studied Dornkirk's works. In which he learned thoroughly Infinitesimal Calculus, the laws of motion and gravity, sound and the light spectrum, and heliocentrism. He developed a telescope using what Newton provided and started to teach his people what he had learned. Surprising to me, Van had accepted the God of Christianity. He studied more on it but couldn't find a lot. Fortunately, I was a Christian, went to church, and I had an extra Bible. (Most of Japan is Buddhist or Shinto, but there is a small fraction of Christians. I also noticed Newton's Biblical hermeneutics, and how Van might become curious and try to draw his own conclusions, because you know…Angels are mention in the Bible. Hmmm. Also, Hitomi is the black sheep, so if everyone is Buddhist, why not? This is my way of Evangelizing.) Van had even started to share what he had found and had collected many followers in his new faith. I was very happy for him. At the moment, though, he was helping me with Algebra 2 using the 'basics' of calculus. He helped me BIG time, and pointed out a few mistakes I had made.
After I had finished my homework, I took a shower, while Van practiced his sword training to calm down. Then we went to bed. I turned my main light off and Van made a whispering 'What the…' then gave a sigh. I knew this new world would be confusing for him. I know Gaea was for me.
"Van, you are a genius."
"What did I do?"
"Just what you showed me in math, that was amazing! And all the other stuff you've learned…You're going to be Gaea's Einstein."
"Well, I know I've learned some complicated stuff, but I'm not THAT smart…I was glad I could help you with your work though."
"I bet you'll learn even more useful stuff being here." (EARTHLINGS, we have school. Stay in it.)
"Yeah…You know, I've learned from Dornkirk several Languages of the mystic moon."
"Really? Like what?"
"Latin, Greek, and English. And for some reason I can understand Japanese…"
"Say something to me in Latin."
"Alright…" He was quiet for a moment, obviously thinking. "Ea est pulcherrima muliere, quos unquam viderim. Item gratia et ambulat cum dignitate. Candida lucent oculi ejus viride, et invitat. Volo eam semper tenuerint, ut regina. Amem.1"
"What did you say?" He smirked, but continued.
"Item nescit sentio. Nullam ut felis sed tamen dicere labia mea. Labra ipsa cupio press ad sua. O, si sic oblitus. Sed hoc est quod amo suo…2"
"Van! Tell me!"
"…solus esse. Dolet. Ego cum tandem feliciter restituit. Si tantum possem, amplexus illam. Timidus sum nequeunt indicare puella amo mane apud me. PATHETICUS.3"
"Oh forget you. I'm going to bed. Goodnight."
"Goodnight. Amores, amo te.4"
(Translation  She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She walks with grace and dignity. Her eyes shine bright green and inviting. I want to hold her forever, as my queen. I love her.
 She does not know I feel. This text will be more, but to still, I shall, my lips. I desire to press it to her own lips. Oh, I am so forgotten. But this is what it's like…
…to be alone. It hurts. I am so happy to finally be with her again. If only I could caress her. I am a coward, unable to tell the girl I love to stay with me. Pathetic.
 Darling, I love you.)
Well, this certainly was an interesting day. I got to meet the whole Kanzaki clan, which wasn't half as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had been scared out of my wits meeting her father, especially the way she had described him, but he had been very nice. I guess being a King really gets you respect here. Too bad it's not like that in Gaea.
The night was loud here in Japan. Foreign wailing, crying, squealing came from outside. Such strange noises, but they weren't scary. I quietly got up and went to the window. Looking up in the sky, I saw the Earth's moon, I couldn't see Gaea. You can't see it from here! Now that was surprising! I wondered vaguely how Merle was doing. I knew she could handle most of my duties, mostly because she always bugged me while I was doing them. I just hoped she would be able to keep the counsel from choosing a bride for me. Nah, she's scarier than any of them. Even if a princess came to the castle, She'd chase them out. Yeah, I had nothing to worry about. So I went back to bed. I looked over at Hitomi, who was sleeping peacefully. Her eyelashes resting against her cheek. She was so…beautiful…It wasn't fair! Why did I have to be so small? An idea formed in my head as I stared at her a few more minutes, deciding if I would do it or not. In the end, I flew over to her and gave her a peck on the cheek. The temptation over took me, and in a moment of weakness, I kissed her upper lip. Just barely, but enough to send a tingle down my spine. When I opened my eyes, she didn't look so big to me anymore. In fact, I was my normal size! (In my mind, his clothes grew with him. Just because of something that happens later.) Why now? Should I wake her up? I looked down at her again. She just looked so peaceful. I sighed and kissed her on the cheek again. Then very quietly, I whispered in her ear, "I love you."