Author's Notes: I'm interested. How do you guys like Holden... or not like him for that matter? Regardless, he plays a pretty big role, though not in the way he or even I intended. *glares at muses* Damn monkeys. Anyway. The love thing gets complicated, and there's still a couple more people to insert. Mwa. Although I'm almost finished with "Lion Heart", my attention will not be focused mostly on this fic. This is just a side project of mine, remember that. I'm going to be working on a FAKE fanfic after "Lion Heart", one that I've gotten a lot of support on while it was in the idea stages. Oh, and speaking of which, if you love shounen-ai, which I assume you are if you've been reading this fic, I recommend FAKE by Sanami Matoh! Read the manga (scanlations here: http://www.angelfire.com/comics/fake/home.html) before you go out and buy the OAV. Hilarious manga, that is, and Dee is too cool for words. ^^
Warnings: Het and slight shounen-ai. Holden is straight, people. A little bit of angst. Not too much of anything else, though.
Disclaimer: Holden = mine. Magic Knight Rayearth = not mine. Magic Knight Rayearth = CLAMP's.
Berra's Law: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
For My Happiness Only
Holden Torana Metro: Lies
My Little Brother didn't believe me when I told him that his love for Eagle was--excuse me--is requited. I doubt that has changed in the past few years especially with the close friendship the two of them had. I hated it, of course, at first, but now I have found another reason to hate Lantis all the more. Lantis was at fault for my Little Brother's suffering.
Besides, from stories I have heard about this Hikaru girl, he now has someone else. Eagle is in love with that girl? That has to be an illusion of his. I doubt that four years is enough to change his heart so quickly as to fall in love with someone else, and a girl for that matter. I know now, upon thinking about it, that he was in love with my Little Brother even when he was romantically involved with Lantis. It was so obvious, but apparently, those three morons and Zazu were completely oblivious.
That's hypocritical of me. I hardly recognized the emotions painted on Eagle's face until my Little Brother told me that he is in love with said man. Actually, wait, maybe I'm not that hypocritical. After all, my Little Brother knew he was in love with him for a while, and he has never noticed.
And Eagle managed to take the test to become Pillar?
Well, the guy does stick true to his ideals until the end, that's for sure, but he is too stupid when it comes to love.
Eagle in love with Hikaru: a true and definite illusion.
There are two reasons why I agreed to coming along with my Little Brother and Zazu to Cephiro. One of them is to verify that Eagle is in love with my Little Brother and not was. Despite how much I hate Eagle, all I want is for my Little Brother to be happy. Up until now I thought that his friendship with Eagle was all he needed, which was why I despised Lantis for coming in between them. Now I know better. He wants to be with Eagle that way. If I lied to him and took away their friendship, one, he would never forgive me, and two, he would do something so drastic and unlike him that I would have never seen it coming.
Anything but suicide, for sure. I managed to get it through his head when he was fifteen that suicide is the worst thing one could do to everybody that he loved.
The second reason will only have an effect if I confirm that Eagle's feelings hadn't changed the past four years--or if they had, in favor of my Little Brother by falling out of love with Lantis. That would be to give those two bastards a wake-up call and finally let them have happiness.
And Lantis can stay with that Hikaru girl... or even they aren't together, I'll put them together.
"Love's a bitch," I told my Little Brother. It is if it isn't in one's favor. Otherwise, it's absolute bliss--or so I'm given the impression. I never experienced requited love; all of the girls I had been serious about turned me down promptly.
"I'm still going through it."
And I am. I guess it is a forbidden love I'm in right now. She is a princess, and here I am, once a young boy in poverty, now a rogue soldier in Autozam's military. It would figure that She would have someone else to be in love with.
"It's harsh when the one you love doesn't return the feelings, and especially when she tells it to your face."
She looked shocked when I told her my feelings about a month ago, but She told me that She was in love with someone else. She avoided me for a long time afterwards, and I did likewise. That was why I had been upset at my Little Brother for that past month. It was his fault, in a way, that She didn't love me back, but maybe now...
"You never told Eagle your feelings, have you? I think I know what might happen when you do."
Actually, if Eagle still loves my Little Brother, I know exactly what's going to happen. He might hate me at first, but soon, if I interfere and turn the tables into our favoring, he will be thankful. I know it. Eagle will reject him at first, but he will warm up. They will get together in the end.
Perfect, I say.
And I might just get the girl I love.
Holden had a big dread of doubt about Cephiro at first. After everything he heard about what occurred in the country after the Pillar died--flying rocks and thunderous skies--he assumed that in a system without one would be almost no different. No flying rocks or thunderous skies, of course, but definitely no beautiful nature or wildlife that Chizeta and Fahren had. He knew how Zazu loved to exaggerate, so he chose to ignore the young mechanic's descriptions.
Holden realized how wrong he had been in his judgment just as soon as the XFI entered Cephiro's atmosphere.
The country was absolutely beautiful, even more so than Zazu had described.
The sky was as beautiful as a cobalt jewel and the clouds applied the glimmer. From the ground, Holden could tell that the emerald forests housed many thriving creatures and the streams and rivers were constructed from crystals. The entire world had the essence of a gemstone.
If Holden had continued to be oblivious to Geo's so-called "unrequited" love, he would have assumed right at that moment that this was the reason why Geo chose to be in Cephiro rather than Autozam. Everything that Autozam was Cephiro was not, and that was always a big plus.
The country would make for a nice vacation resort, but the heavy machinery of Autozam would create pollution and taint Cephiro's purity. Holden preferred that things were kept the way they were now.
With the XFI at high speed, the trip to Cephiro took only a couple of days. While it was still longer than the rate Holden used to get to Chizeta, it was a relatively short trip. If he had put the XFI at its normal speed, it would probably take twice as long.
Holden had his reasons indeed for getting to Cephiro as quickly as possible. Those reasons were the same as his reasons for even going to the country in the first place.
He wanted to meet Hikaru and see how she felt about Lantis and Eagle. He wanted to observe Lantis and discover his current feelings for Eagle and how he acted towards Hikaru. More important than Lantis and Hikaru, he wanted to talk to Eagle and get firsthand information on how he felt towards Geo.
From there, things could go smoothly or Holden would need to construct a back-up plan.
Back-up plans were a nice thing to fall back on, but they were such a hassle to create.
Luckily, Holden intended to get all of this information tonight. First he would need to meet Hikaru. From there, he could gather what he needed to know and have a short conversation with Lantis. The shorter, the better. Holden didn't care if he was doing this for his brother, but he will not stay in the presence of that man for longer than he needed to. And after that, he would talk to Eagle.
Yes, he had perhaps too much time to think this over.
"Geo! Zazu!" he called from the cockpit of the XFI. It was a very small ship with only two sleeping quarters and one lobby with an attached kitchen. He didn't need to yell loud at all, and Geo and Zazu were probably in the lobby. "We're landing!"
Zazu whooped. "Great! The XFI is too cramped, Holden!"
"If you have a problem with it, why do you insist on using it every time you visit Cephiro?" Holden retorted.
"Normally it's only Geo and me! One big guy in a small ship is enough, but two of you--ow! Geo!"
"Watch who you're calling 'big'," growled Geo. "No need to be so jealous because you're so short."
"Oh, now that's cutting it deep."
Holden rolled his eyes and grinned. Zazu really was the younger brother that both Holden and Geo wished that they could have. Holden had nothing wrong with Geo other than the friends he made, but it was difficult for him to not see the kid as another member to the family.
The XFI landed softly against a plot of dirt in front of the three tower palace of Cephiro. Holden grinned at his fine piloting skills; the end of a smooth trip always brought satisfaction to Holden's senses, no matter how moody he was that day. For an officer who graduated at the top of his class in piloting, accomplishing such a miniscule task brought a type of closure to Holden's life.
Holden stood from his seat and turned to the stubby corridor. "And we're--"
"Here!" Zazu finished as he blurred to the opening hatch. He jumped out just as soon as it opened just enough for him to squeeze through.
Holden closed his eyes irritably. "Here," he repeated. "Hey, Geo--"
"I know, I know," Geo grumbled. He emerged from the lobby with a glare of a thousand Laguna cannon flares. "Don't you even think about bothering Eagle or Hikaru or Lantis about what we talked about."
"Who do you think I am?" Holden asked, putting on the most innocent smile he could. "Meson Avant?"
"No, you're my brother," said Geo. The hatch had fully opened, and Geo was making his way towards it. "That's even worse than the talkative son of the general."
Holden smirked and approached Geo. "Just because I don't like Eagle doesn't mean--"
"As a matter of fact, it does." With that, Geo marched out of the XFI and down the ramp.
Holden placed both hands on his hips and blew a jester's sigh. "Some people. Whoever said I was going to bother those three? Just ask a few questions, that's all."
In his mind, Holden inserted Geo's response if he had heard: a deadlier glower and venomously spoken words of, "It's the same thing."
"No, it's not," Holden muttered with a smirk and followed Geo to the ground.
The only person there was a young girl with crimson hair tied and braided in the back of her head. She was half the height of Geo and only a head taller than Zazu. She wore the oddest fashion that was never present in Autozam, Chizeta, or Fahren, and it didn't seem to be like something the people of Cephiro would wear. She had to be one of those three girls from the other world Zazu talked so much about.
When he saw Zazu's gleeful face while he spoke with her, Holden came to the conclusion that this was that Hikaru girl who complicated the love triangle more than it needed to be. She didn't seem too bad. Holden could tell from her eyes that she was completely naive in the way real life worked.
Holden didn't know if this was a good thing or a bad.
"Holden!" said Zazu, spinning around to face him. "You can finally meet Hikaru!"
Holden struggled to suppress a smile. Bingo. Boy, was he good...
"Hikaru, this is Geo's older brother, Holden," Zazu continued. "He owns and pilots the XFI just as good as Eagle can pilot the FTO."
"Even better," said Holden. He stuck out a hand in front of the young girl and smiled. "Nice to meet you, Hikaru."
Hikaru grinned and shook Holden's hand. "Nice to meet you, too. Oh! Have you heard?"
She turned to Zazu and Geo promptly, and Holden caught a glimpse of Geo's annoyed glare. Holden pouted. He did nothing!
"Eagle's awake now!"
"Really?!" Zazu yelped.
As Geo smiled at the two younger adults, Holden cringed. He meant to tell Zazu after speaking with Geo about any sort of political conspiracy that could be occurring, but when he discovered Geo's romantic feelings for Eagle, Holden had completely forgotten about it. If Zazu ever found out that he had known all along and told Geo instead of him, he would get very upset, Holden was sure. While Geo put minimum trust in his older brother, Zazu really did love him like close brothers should love each other and trusted him just as much. Holden had no excuses to keep Eagle's reawakening a secret from him.
Geo wasn't saying anything to betray Holden's misdemeanor, much less giving away that he already knew, so Holden felt a little more at ease. If Geo was doing it to forget their conversation, all the more better; he wouldn't be so suspicious of his intentions.
Holden noticed two distinguishable figures walking their way and stiffened. None other than Lantis and Eagle. Great. How perfect. At this rate, he would never be able to get any of the three alone to talk to them.
He stepped away from the group to keep his distance from Lantis and Eagle. When they finally approached everyone, Lantis caught sight of Holden and his left eye narrowed suspiciously as if to ask, "What are you doing here?"
He, like Holden, knew better than to say anything at all to him and turned his attention to everyone else.
If Eagle had noticed Holden, he either showed no signs or Holden had missed it. That was fine. For now, Lantis and Eagle were free to disregard his presence.
But what Holden did not miss was a vital clue to unlocking the truth of Eagle's feelings. From the distance he put between himself and everybody, Holden could look at Geo's and Eagle's faces as they met eyes for the first time in four years. Geo, as expected, showed elation in his eyes and a small, genuine smile was put upon his face. Eagle's entire face brightened before he slipped in his trademark smile and said, "It's been a while since I've seen you, Geo."
If this had been before Geo gave away his feelings for Eagle, Holden would have rolled his eyes and scowled at the friendship the two men held. Now he grinned viciously without giving a second thought to the idea that he may be reading too deep in between the lines. The first thought was only there as a precaution; he had yet to actually observe current interactions, and he didn't even know Hikaru as well as he did Lantis and Eagle.
That was saying absolutely nothing.
After a short reunion conversation, Eagle said, "Well, let's go over to the garden. Everybody else is there. You should meet them all, Holden."
So he had noticed him.
Holden shrugged. "Why not?"
He couldn't think of any other words to say than that and this time, he really wanted to.
As the group moved toward the palace, Geo somehow went from Eagle's side to Holden's. In a harsh, hushed whisper, he said, "I know what you're thinking about doing. Don't waste your time."
"You don't know what I'm thinking about doing, Little Brother," said Holden, a smirk jerking at his cheek. "You may be surprised."
"I may be pissed off."
"Don't ruin our friendship, big brother, or you will regret it."
"Says you," finished Holden and quickened his pace so that the conversation could not continue. If Holden had seen Geo in love before, he would understand what Geo was really telling him. For now, he could only conclude two theories:
One, Geo would rather keep the friendship he had with Eagle than to risk destroying it. Holden was a threat to that.
Two, Geo was frightened of how Eagle would respond. Holden could help with that, but perhaps Geo was scared of owing him?
No matter. Holden was going to do everything in his power to bring the two together. It was time that Geo was rightfully rewarded with happiness.
"Oh, there you are! Dinner's ready!" said a familiar female voice as soon as every member of the sextet made it inside of the palace.
Holden wasn't particularly impressed with the design of the interior, but his attention was diverted from the architecture to the woman who called them.
He turned to the source of the voice and widened his eyes.
The elder princess of Chizeta immediately caught his glance and all of the joy had vanished from her face. She closed her eyes and turned her head away. Holden cringed.
"Tatra!" said Geo cheerfully from behind Holden. "Good to see you here. This has been a very good day."
Although Tatra's smile looked forced, her eyes said otherwise. She had wanted Geo to say something along those lines, and while Geo may be ignorant, Holden knew all too well. All too painfully well.
If Holden hadn't reminded himself why he accompanied Geo and Zazu to Cephiro, he would have regretted ever coming.
How was he supposed to know that she was going to be here?
"I'm... sorry. I'm so sorry, Holden, I--"
"You're in love with somebody else, aren't you?"
"Can I ask who?"
"... Your brother. Geo."
I figured that She would be in love with someone else. I just assumed, until She told me otherwise, that it would be a nobleman of Chizeta. Knowing that my Little Brother was the object of Her desire drove me insane later that night, and my anger caused more bitterness than was already present between my Little Brother and me. After all, what does he have that I lacked?
I would like to think that She met my Little Brother first and that was why he had the upper hand for Her love, but the truth of the matter is that I had met Her before my Little Brother even began to study foreign countries in school.
I doubt I will ever come to terms with this. I have never loved a girl like I have loved Her.
The elder princess of Chizeta fell for a man who once lived in poverty but is now the right hand man of the son of Autozam's president.
That man had fallen for said son of the president.
And the son of the president doesn't know that he is in love with that man.
My Little Brother and Eagle. I need to knock sense in both of them. From my point of view, they are perfect for each other, and I need them to get together.
I need them to for the sake of my well-being.
Because I need Her.
And my Little Brother doesn't deserve Her.
** To Be Continued **