A Vision of Escaflowne Fanfiction
The standard disclaimer: Yeah, okay I stole these characters from the marvelous creators of The Vision of Escaflowne...and Rurouni Kenshin too. Yadda yadda yadda. Please don't sue me ^_^ The main story line is of my own delusional imaginings. Blah blah blah. Please do not distribute. Thanks.
The Twinned shall fall from the Sky.
Millerna paced along the wooden planks of the tiny cabin she was confined to. The lantern swung steadily from the ceiling, casting crazy shadows along the walls as it kept time with her padding.
It was her restlessness that had caused Dryden to order her to stay in her room. "It's enough that I am bringing you to Fanelia against your father's wishes, I don't need you to make the rest of my crew nervous with your infernal pacing!"
Dryden's sense of humor had become more acerbic since Millerna had last seen him and though the situation between them had never been comfortable, the awkwardness had grown even more pronounced since her impromptu voyage had begun.
She had been away visiting with her nephew, Chid, when Allen left the country. Upon her return to the capital city in Asturia, the news that Allen had left permanently had so completely absorbed her that she jumped the first ship she could.
She accosted Dryden's barge en route to Fanelia. Oops. Ha Ha.
There really wasn't much that they could say to each other. Millerna was desperately confused about how she felt about Drydan. She was still stymied about the fact that Allen left without telling her!
Millerna silently ground her teeth in her pique. Allen knew how much she cared for him, yet time after time he continued to ignore and trample over her emotions as if they didn't matter at all. She stopped her pacing. All the more of a fool she was for loving him.
She sighed. Allen Schezar was such a beautiful man. If life would permit it, she could probably drown in his gorgeous blue eyes forever. It hurt to love him so much and receive nothing in return. There was no way she was going to allow him to ignore her any longer and to be rude enough to leave without so much of a goodbye.
She was almost positive that her father and Allen had collaborated together to keep Allen's departure a secret. Just the idea of it was enough to make her want to scream.
In other words, Millerna was really pissed off.
She flopped down on the cabin bunk and stared sullenly at the worn wooden planks of the floor. She had given so much up because of Allen. She couldn't continue her life with Dryden for the simple fact that she loved the blonde knight. The only thing that came close to her love for Allen was healing, and even that was almost forbidden to her.
"Royalty must do what they must." Eries, her remaining sister always said. "Duty must come first; what we like to do, last."
She incited her father's anger by refusing to marry again and put her future position as ruler of Asturia in jeopardy. To top everything off, she hijacked her former husband's ship in order to confront the very man who was the reason for all this discord in her life.
She lay down on the hard mattress and closed her eyes. Allen's soft smile in her mind quickly turned to a tight-lip disapproval upon the discovery of what she had done...again. Millerna opened her eyes with a sigh. Even her imagination wasn't letting her get past the fact that Allen would be furious with her hiatus from her responsibilities. She couldn't ignore the political bind she'd end up putting King Fanel in.
Millerna strengthened her shaky resolve. Only a few minutes, that would be all she would need to try and convince Allen to come back. Then she wouldn't have to worry about going home alone.
* * * * *
Bright light streamed through the small hole of a window and flickered across Millerna's sleeping face. She cracked open a blurry eye and grumbled under her breath about crate beds and feather mattresses.
The sound of heavy footsteps could be heard outside in the hall and stopped abruptly in front of her room. Although Millerna was expecting it, the weighty knocking on the wooden door startled her.
Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, Millerna rose out of bed and opened the heavy door. One of Drydan's servants stood back and stared at the princess, his black eyes blinking owlishly through thick bottle-like lenses.
"My apologies for waking you, your Highness. Master Drydan sent me to ask you if you wished to join him for breakfast before we land in Fanelia."
Millerna's heart skipped a beat. "How long until we land?"
"About two hours from now, Majesty."
"I see. I will join Master Drydan for breakfast. Please return for me in a quarter hour."
The servant bowed and hastily made his exit.
Millerna closed the door and sighed as she leaned against it. She touched her temple as she felt the first throbbing of a migraine in progress. Breakfast with Drydan. She wasn't sure it was the best idea at the moment, but it would help pass the remaining hours away.
* * * * *
The glasses clinked softly as the result of a nervous servant's faux pas. Millerna pretended not to notice and almost felt sorry for anyone who had to witness the awkward situation between her and her former husband.
Breakfast wasn't exactly a horrible experience, but there seemed to be nothing either of them could do to lessen the tension between them. Six years was a long time, and neither of them had made any effort to bridge the rift that had grown between them.
There isn't anything to say, Millerna thought sadly, It's like we've forgotten that we exist in each other's world for a while.
Dryden sat back and studied a sheaf of papers that his assistant had given him. He didn't even bother with the pretense of making conversation. Millerna had noticed during the short time she had gone to visit Chid, Dryden had shaven off the stubble he always affectionately kept. The long hair was also gone, which proved to be a shock since his hair had been one of his main vanities. He instead kept short dark locks and the clean shaven look, the exact opposite of what the merchants in Asturia currently favored.
Millerna took a delicate sip of the fruit cordial in front of her and felt the slight change in air pressure as the barge began its descent. She looked up and met Dryden's gaze who nodded.
"We should be arriving in about 15 minutes. You'll want to make sure that all your belongings are packed."
"Yes, of course." Millerna smoothly rose and took her leave of Dryden. Although she was not comfortable with how things stood between her and Dryden, the butterflies in her stomach warned her that she had bigger fish to fry.
* * * * *
The airship landing ended up being anti-climatic at best. Only Celena and Merle came to greet the airship as it came in. The Basram and Freid envoys had both stayed on after Van's birthday in anticipation of Dryden's news. The moment the ship touched down, Celena had hustled her fiancé into the castle where Van waited.
Millerna and Merle stood off to the side, motionless among the bustle of activity. Merle smiled apologetically to her friend.
"Sorry, Mill. I know this is a poor welcome, but we were not exactly expecting you to be accompanying Dryden here. The leaders are anxious for Dryden's news, and Van is trying to calm them down until Dryden arrived. That's why Celena took him with her so quickly."
Millerna sighed. She chewed her lower lip delicately before asking tentatively, "Allen?"
Merle flickered a worried look at the princess. "What were you thinking of, Mill? You can't keep running after him like this."
"I can't just let him leave!" Millerna muttered vehemently. "Not like this."
"Then how?" Merle asked quietly. "Why do you set yourself up for this pain?"
Millerna shuddered and turned towards the castle. "Because I love him. If I lose him, I don't what I'll do."
Merle sadly watched the princess walk away and thought to herself, How can you lose what you never had?
* * * * *
Millerna set down her small bag and took a shaky breath. Her hands were trembling uncontrollably, and her thoughts were a mess, unable to sort themselves out, clamoring for attention. At this rate, I'll be no better than those shivering, hairless dogs. Why are they so damn popular?
Voices could be heard passing by the room. Millerna opened the door a crack and saw a flash of long golden hair. Allen she thought and violently threw open the door.
He stopped with his companion, a pale, slender young girl with deep green eyes. Millerna felt a stab of jealousy and familiarity as her eyes met the other girl's. She's so young!
Allen murmured something to the strange girl, who shrugged in the most unladylike fashion, and continued in the direction they had been headed. Allen watched her leave until she disappeared around a corner. Only then did he turn to face Millerna.
The look on Allen's face made Millerna's heart sink. Never had she seen him look so cold and distant.
"Princess," Allen greeted coolly.
"Allen!" Millerna ran lightly to him but as she reached for him, he stepped away from her grasp.
"Don't, Princess." Allen shook his golden head.
"But," Millerna hesitated. Allen had never refused her before, although sometimes he had been reluctant. "I missed you. We have so much to talk about." She reached out to touch his face, and he grabbed her wrist firmly.
"Princess, there is nothing left for us to say to each other. Now, you must excuse me, Highness, I have an meeting I must attend to." Allen dropped her wrist as if she burned him and abruptly walked away.
Millerna stood frozen, unable to speak, unable to follow. Her only thoughts were of unspoken thoughts never having the chance to be said.
* * * * *
Millerna lay on the large bed staring blankly at the little bird perched on her window ledge picking away at the crumbs left on her dinner plate. She couldn't bring herself to go down and join everyone for dinner so she had a serving brought up instead.
She couldn't face Allen, not after he had cut her down where she stood, refusing her even the chance to say what she needed to. To ask him why he felt he had to leave her.
A gentle knock on the door roused Millerna from her depressing thoughts, and she answered it expecting a servant to be returning to pick up the empty dinner dishes.
Instead, Merle stood with a couple bottles of vino and the young girl Millerna had seen with Allen earlier holding enough glasses for three.
"We thought," Merle commented mildly, "that you would appreciate some non-male company and some vino to help sooth the nerves. Seiki calls it...what was it, Seiki?"
"Getting smashed." Seiki supplied promptly.
"Yes," Merle agreed, "smashed."
Millerna met her friend's sympathetic gaze and then studied Seiki under her lashes as both Merle and Seiki made their way into the room determined to ignore the fact that an invitation to enter hadn't been issued.
Merle closed the door firmly behind her and set down one of the bottles of vino. After opening the bottle she held, she waved to Seiki to hold the glasses steady as she filled the glasses to the brim.
She handed Millerna a glass, took one for herself and lifted her glass in a mock toast.
* * * * *
Millerna lay on her bed yet again, only this time it was because she was rendered incapable of standing upright. After her fourth glass, she realized that the vino Merle had purloined from the winery was stronger than was normally served at dinner. Much stronger. The ceiling wouldn't stop spinning, and Merle was laughing uncontrollably, sprawled on the ground near the window.
"Whaazs so funny?" Was it Millerna's imagination or was she actually slurring?
Merle shook her head in amusement and disbelief. "All this and I never remembered to introduce the two of you properly."
It took Millerna a while to understand what Merle was referring to when she realized that she didn't even know the family name of her other drinking companion. Seiki lay on the floor, comfortably sleeping after passing out from only her second glass of vino. Not much of a drinker, huh? she thought. This was the girl who had been walking with her Allen. Millerna closed her eyes to make the ceiling stop dancing.
"Seiki, this is Millerna Aston, Princess of Asturia, and heir to the Asturian throne." Merle began regally, sweeping a broad gesture towards the prone princess on the bed. "She taught me how to be a lady and has an unhealthy interest in a golden knight whom her father hates."
Millerna slowly reached down and yanked one of her shoes off so she could hurl it at her "student". Her aim was horrible. The shoe didn't even reach Merle's feet. "Ungrateful wrench," Millerna muttered, knowing for some reason that she should be more upset at Merle's words and knowing that the vino was providing a pleasant buffer to pain at the moment.
"Mill, dahling, this is Seiki Himura. Great with a sword, hates Van with a passion, is looking for her lost brother. Hmmm, what else...ah! She's also Hitomi's daughter."
Millerna stared blearily at the daughter of her one-time competitor for Allen's affections. Seiki rolled over in her sleep, an arm flung carelessly over her eyes and her braid stuffed in her mouth.
The princess fumbled around for her empty glass and held it out to Merle. "Fillerup. I need another drink."
The Prophecy, original characters, artwork and links © Melinda
Ho, dragonmmho 1999 - 2004. All rights reserved.