Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from BoF III. I just like to play with them. They all belong to Capcom and I am not making any money off of this fanfic. Its for your entertainment only. Enjoy!
P.S: Check out my next fic, Desert Passion coming soon! ^_~ I must warn you that its defiantly not going to be for kids! ^v^ Id really like your opinion on it, but due to the content, it may not be on this site so look for it on AdultFanfiction.net.
The small, dimly lit room was quiet except for the soft, light breathing of a young blond woman lying on a small bed next to a window. Her tunic, boots, and armor was carefully tucked away in the closet and she laid in bed dressed in a thin satin nightgown. She had been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past few days since she collapsed from a heat stroke after she and her traveling companions had killed a desert monster they had encountered after traveling for a week across the Desert of Death.
The Desert of Death
It was easy to understand why people didnt call it that for nothing. Everywhere you look, spreading for miles in all directions, was sand. The daytime heat was almost unbearable, making ones vision blurry and if that wasnt enough, what little life that existed in this barren, God-forsaken place was hostile and dangerous, making an already difficult journey even more difficult.
They have been traveling in the desert for only a week yet it felt like an eternity. It was so easy to lose track of time in that place. Yet despite the heat, danger, and discomfort, Princess Lilanina Wyndia III never uttered a word of complaint. When she chose to follow Ryu and her other friends in search of God, she knew the risks and was prepared for anything that might happen to her on this journey.
Nina had led a sheltered life. Before she met Ryu and the others, she rarely went beyond the castle walls. The great outdoors to her was the castle gardens and courtyard. Unlike Ryu, Rei, and Garr, who was using to living rough, she had never gone with so little food and water for such a long period of time. Her body was also not used to the harsh conditions of the desert so it was no surprise when she came down with a heatstroke. Even Momo, was more tolerant to the desert heat then she was. Ninas will was undeniably strong but the heat was more then her physical body could stand. From the time she collapsed in the desert until the companions arrived in the oasis town, Nina drifted in and out of consciousness while she was being carried in Ryus arms.
Hang on, Nina you can make it! Were almost there!
The soothing and reassuring voice of Ryu was enough to keep her clinging to life. Her other friends also gave her words of encouragement and reassurance from time to time but her condition made it impossible to remember everything they told her. Most of what she did remember came from Ryu. He whispered words of comfort and encouragement into her delicate ears while carrying her in his arms the last two nights they spent in the desert before reaching the oasis town.
He had always been shy with girls so showing romantic affection was very difficult, if not impossible, for him. Despite all his other great qualities, his experience with women was minimal because he never even had a girlfriend. Before she collapsed with heatstroke, Nina had no idea the young dragon could be so tender and affectionate. He never left her alone after he realized the seriousness of her illness. Not only did he carry her all the way to the oasis town, he also insisted on watching over and tending to her himself, even when the elder Faah offered to have a servant do the job instead. He was here with her at this very moment, sitting on a chair near her bedside, watching her.
Because of her condition, the princess appeared unaware of his presence. Ryu was very quiet, taking great care not to wake her. At least once every half hour, he would soak a cloth in a bowl of cool water and gently wipe her sweaty face with it. It was well past midnight when he stood up to stretch and gaze out the window at the starry night sky. It had been almost half a week since he ate or got any sleep. He also drank very little. As tired and hungry as he was, the young dragon didnt want to leave Ninas side for a minute. When he sat back down to resume his night watch, he heard a soft creak as the door opened and a voice whispered to him:
Ryu turned around and saw his friend Rei quietly enter the room. It was surprising how quietly the guy could walk with those big, heavy feet of his. He watched as Rei took another chair and sat besides him, gazing down at Nina. How is she? he asked.
Shes shown improvement over the past few days. I think shes going to be alright.
Rei nodded. I think so too. But what about you?
Ryu sighed. Im fine. A little tired, but fine.
His friend shook his head as he looked at him. Rei was far too perceptive to be fooled by Ryus words of false reassurance. He also knew Ryu far too well. The young dragon had always been a terrible liar. No Ryu, he said quietly, but sternly, You are not fine. We all know that you havent eaten or slept since we got here. Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? You look terrible! I know you are concerned about Nina, but youve got to take care of yourself as well. We didnt come this far to see you waste away.
Ryu rolled his eyes and sighed again. As much as he hated to admit it, he knew his friend was right. He hadnt seen his reflection lately, but he was sure that he did look terrible. He certainly felt it and it wasnt just because of physical exhaustion. It had not even been two weeks since he and his friends left Dragnier and in that short period of time, he had lost almost twenty of his one-hundred and fifty pounds. It looks like you know me a little too well, Rei. Youre right, I probably do look terrible. But my looks are the least of my worries. He looked down at Ninas peacefully sleeping form. You wouldnt understand.
Yes I do, Ryu. More then you think. Youre doing this because you feel guilty over whats happened to Nina. As long as Ive known you, youve always dealt with your guilt by blaming and torturing yourself.
Ryu closed his eyes. Again his friend was right. Sometimes he could swear that Rei knew him better then he knew himself. Teepo too. This is all my fault he said sadly, gently stroking Ninas cheek with his finger, I shouldnt have gotten her involved in this.
It wasnt your fault, Ryu, Rei insisted, She wanted to come. She followed you of her own free will and never complained, even when she dropped from the heat. He grinned, trying to humor his friend. Besides, I dont think she would have listened to you if you told her to stay home.
Ryu chuckled. Yeah, youre probably right he laughed softly. But still The young Woren cut him off before he could continue.
Ryu, I know what youre thinking and youre wrong. Even if you managed to persuade her to stay home, she would have changed her mind later and followed you anyway. And do you know why? Its because shes in love with you.
Ryu stared at the young Woren in shock. Was he really so readable? Seeing the shocked expression on Ryus face, Rei chuckled softly. Oh come on he laughed, Anyone with eyes in his head could see it. We all know it. Did you think she left her parents and kingdom and followed you all around the world, despite the danger, just for the heck of it?
Ryu was annoyed at his friend. He was annoyed that Rei was able to read him so easily. Its almost as if the man could read his mind. Yes, I do know how she feels about me. Im not blind. And yes, I do love her. Thats why Ive always protected her with my life. My desire to protect her was what drew out my hidden dragon powers in the first place!
And youve done a great job, Rei insisted. But even you have limits. Youre human, arent you?
Ryu was silent. His friend was right yet again. I dont know what to do anymore, he said sadly.
You need to eat and rest, Rei said gently. I will stay here and watch Nina for the time being. I want you to take care of yourself. You wont be any good to her or any of us if you kill yourself.
Ryus eyes lit up. You promise to call me if she wakes up?
Yes, I promise. Im going out for a few minutes to get some water and then Ill come back and stay here the rest of the night with her. If she wakes up, youll be the first to know. With that, Rei got up and left. When he was gone, Ryu gently brushed a strand of Ninas delicate honey-blond hair out of her beautiful face and stroked her cheek gently with his finger. As he did so, he noticed that his cheeks were wet. Upon putting his hand to his face, Ryu realized that he was crying. It felt strange because it had been so long since he last cried. He hadnt cried since the day he became separated from Teepo and Rei when they were children. Teepo had always teased him for being such a crybaby. Ryu wondered what his violet-haired friend and brother would say if he saw him now, crying over the woman he loved.
I love you, Nina he said softly. The words slipped out of his mouth before he even realized he said it. I always have. I should have told you so much sooner. Im sorry I hurt you by not returning your love the way you wanted. I promise to be more affectionate, just please dont die. Come back to me soon. And with that, Ryu bent over and gently kissed the beautiful princess on her soft lips.
Good night, my sweet angel. After he left, closing the door behind him, Nina slowly opened her eyes and smiled. Unknown to her friends, she had been awake the whole time and heard everything they said, especially Ryus confession of love and felt his tender kiss upon her lips. Before closing her eyes and going back to sleep, she whispered softly:
I love you too, Ryu.