Spiral of Time

Many years after the series ends, Naoji returns to Kuchen. Drama with Romance, I-3

Character(s): Ludwig, Naoji
Pairing(s): Ludwig/Naoji

Lui was waiting for him at the station.

“Is this all you brought?” he asked, casting an eye over the trunks Liechtenstein servants were efficiently strapping to a single trolley.

“There are a few more things that will be shipped later,” Naoji murmured, looking around. He remembered the scent of this air; it struck him far more deeply than the clothes or colors or sound of the language. The scent of large, fallen leaves and cool, slow water—he remembered this.

“You travel lightly. Or, should I say, you live lightly.”

Naoji turned back to Lui with a smile. He remembered this, too, Lui’s fine touch with a sharp phrase, all while looking quite disinterested. “It’s a virtue of my people.”

Lui paused at the edge of the platform, voluminous coat falling in still folds around him as he studied Naoji. “Are you sure about this?” he asked quietly.

“My family is gone and my land is changing. And it does not wish for my aid while it does so.” Naoji knew his smile was sad; how could it be otherwise?

“So?” One of Lui’s brows tilted up. “Kuchen is the refuge you have chosen?”

Naoji shook his head at Lui. “We had this out in the letters, Lui. Kuchen is the work I have chosen.”

Even more strongly than the air here, he recognized the small easing at the corners of Lui’s mouth, the slight settling of those straight shoulders. The familiarity, across so many years, caught at his heart.

He had been right to come back.

Though he was glad not to be a confused and sorrowful boy any longer. It should make dealing with Lui a good deal easier. Naoji’s mouth curled a bit as he said, “Tadaima,” teasing just a little with his own language.

This was Lui, though. Naoji knew he should have expected it when Lui looked down his nose and returned, in flawless accents, “Okaeri.”

Naoji laughed out loud and stepped off the platform at Lui’s side.

It was good to be home again.

End

A/N: Tadaima and okaeri (loosely, “I’m home” and “welcome home”) are customary phrases for homecoming.