The Stars Are My Home by RoKnows
Heyyyyyy guys welcome to my second KotLC Fan Fiction! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy!
I am absolutely in love! This is so good, and I am so excited to read another amazing [fan] fic by [RoKnows]! … Ruy is one of the most intriguing characters in the whole series, and no one notices him enough. I can't wait to read more of this fantastic story of his!
Breathtaking by nature, this story captures the perspective that many would not take. It displays Ruy, the banished boy, not as a miscreant by nature, but as someone who picked up the cloak of the Neverseen in despair. It is stories like these, describing the villains of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, that prove Sophie Foster's famous words: "They're not as different from us as we want them to be." However, it also toys with the possibility that Ruy's personality may take on a different guise at times. Overall, this thrilling history of a misunderstood character touches the hearts of all who read it.
This is a gripping read that explores the side of a villian’s perspective...A thrilling story that leaves you wanting more. I love it!
This short story will leave you on the edge of your seat, the suspense, the romance. It’s a thrilling story...!
A thrilling read with intricate detail and a suspenseful plot that leaves you wanting more!
A heartbreaking story that shows the balance of Love and Power.
Write A Review
I'm starting a new thing where you can REVIEW my fan fics, like professionals do in real books! Reviews will be shown here, along with your username and an optional subtitle that states your fan fiction or something (great advertising!!)
To submit a review: Enter your review in the comments of this fan fiction or my message wall. State: "Review for "The Stars Are My Home" before entering your review
How to write a review: Try to sound as professional as possible, and look at book reviews to help inspire your words. Instead of "I loved it! It was awesome" (which is ok), say "The plot was so gripping; a fascinating read" (which is fabulous). Keep in mind I might crop out some parts of your review to fit it in (but of course I will keep the original wording).
Try to keep reviews unique! Read other reviews and try to avoid using words they used (e.g., thrilling, leaves you wanting more).
ALL REVIEWS ARE GREATLY & WHOLLY APPRECIATED
Another new thing is you can "subscribe" to RoKnows—which basically means you'll be notified when a new chapter of my active fanfic comes out (right now, The Stars Are My Home), when I release a new fanfic, and more exciting stuff! Don't miss a moment!
How to subscribe: Simply leave a message on this page, but preferably my message wall, and say you'd like to subscribe! You will be notified of new chapters, fanfics, etc on your message wall.
*Subscriber list is posted on my profile*
Other Stories By the Author
Visit RoKnow's other fan fiction: The Promise Against the Fire. It swarms and wrestles with the questions: What if Kenric never died? Did Oralie and Kenric ever profess their love for each other? This story will move all Kenralie-fans on a emotional adventure that'll keep you on the edge of your seat.
About the Story & Author's Note
This might be boring to read, but bear with me:
Villains are always characters that have fascinated me. A good villain is mysterious, scary, and yet somehow lovable, in the way of admiration. Ruy is a villain that's always interested me. I'm always on the edge of my seat in each scene he appears in. He's the only one we've met face-to-face with the cool ability to create force fields*—if I could chose an ability, I would probably chose his!
I decided to write a short story about Ruy, just to express a certain theory on how he could've joined the Neverseen... plus a certain bittersweet love story that *might* have something to do with the plot.
Hopefully, this story will fill your heart with love for this completely new ship I created; you'll be enraptured in this exciting plot; and the dramatic parts might reach you emotionally… maybe even enough to—oop, that might be a spoiler!
Anywho, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
The brilliant dusk sky was a deep indigo with streaks of bright cobalt, watched by two teenagers lying on a grassy hill. The yellow stars reflected in their wide eyes as they quietly, peacefully basked in the moonlight together, leaning against each other for reasons more than being exhausted.
The girl had wavy hair the color of burnt caramel, whisked into a loose braid that fell to her hips. Her eyes were a playful bluish violet. She stared at the boy, smiling.
He had mussed coffee-colored hair that complemented the depths of his mysterious midnight-blue eyes and he grinned dazzlingly into space, aware of the girl’s eye on him.
“This is my home,” the girl whispered, turning her eyes again to the stars. “I want nothing more than the empty hills around me, the sky above me, and—”
“‘The person I love beside me,’” the boy finished, imitating her voice with precision. He smirked at her.
She playfully swatted his face. “I was actually going to say ‘the stars in my eyes’, but that works too, I guess.”
She laughed, a bizarre sound that sounded like a hybrid of wind chimes and snorting, but it was the most gorgeous thing the boy ever heard. She rested her head on his shoulders and he smiled down at her, savoring her lemon-like scent. But in that moment of serenity, a bitter thought passed through his mind, and his eyebrows scrunched down.
“What is it Ruy?” the girl asked, noticing the change.
Ruy bit his lip, gaping off in the distance, his posture now stiff. “Why are you here with me, Evvie? What am I to you? I’m just the banished boy whose parents hated him, cursed with an ability everyone frowned upon.”
Evvie frowned at him. “You know I was kidding, right? You’remy home. You’re the only way I feel like I have a home.”
“Yes, I know that, but… seriously.” He clenched his fist. “You’re ruining your future being with me. You could be so much more if you weren’t—”
“Stop it, Ruy,” she said angrily, glaring at his hands until they unfurled. Then she took his face in her hands so he met her eyes. “I’m talentless—There’s no way you could scorn my life more. And,” she continued forcefully when he opened his mouth to protest, “that doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t care if I were the daughter of the noblest family—I love you. I’ll do anything to be with you. So do yourself a favor and shut up. I don’t want you thinking this everagain. Swear it.”
He sighed, but couldn’t help smiling tenderly at the adorableness of her anger. “I swear.”
“Good,” Evvie said, satisfied, leaning into his face to kiss him. He smiled against her warm lips. They smelled like vanilla. “Now show me your really awesometalent—which you are now commanded to call it such.”
Ruy laughed. “Okay, if that’s your wish, m’lady.” He stood up, bowed, and kissed her hand dramatically. Evvie giggled. Then Ruy raised his hands and a clear bubble formed from the ground and curved around them, leaving them encased in a transparent dome.
Evvie beamed at his handiwork. She stood up next to him and took his hand, squeezing it gently. “It’s magnificent,” she breathed. “They always are. I don’t know why other people don’t see it.”
Ruy squeezed back. “They can’t see it from the perspective you do.”
“Why, because I’m Talentless?” Her tone was light, but there was depth behind it.
“No, of course not,” Ruy said, turning his shoulders square to her so he could grab her other hand. “You have the gift of opening your eyes, seeing things not as they appear to be, but as what they are deep down. That’s your talent. And it’s the most beautiful of them all.”
Her lips curved gently. “Thanks, Ruy.”
“Anything for you, Evs.” He closed the space between them and wrapped his arms around her waist. Evvie tucked her head under his chin, closing her eyes to relish the tranquil moment. And in that moment, it was just them. No one else to scorn, jeer at them… just two people who loved each other, alone, happy, in their perfect world.
CHAPTER TWO WILL BE RELEASED WITHIN TWO DAYS
Ruy slapped on his black cloak to complete the all-black Exillium uniform. He flipped the hood over his head and his face became masked in shadow. Evvie, also clad in the uniform, frowned at the hood.
“I hate that I can’t see your face during class,” she sighed, adjusting the hood disapprovingly.
Ruy caught her hand and kissed her fingertips. “Me too, but don’t worry. It won’t be like this much longer.”
“What do you mean?”
He shrugged. “They can’t keep us in school forever, can they?” He nudged her with his shoulder. “Speaking of, we’re going to be late.”
Evvie snorted. “Shocker. That definitely doesn’t happen every day.”
Ruy rolled his eyes under the mask even though she couldn’t see it. “See you soon,” he said as they both lifted a cord with a single crystal bead to the light and shimmered away.
- - -
Exillium’s destination pick today was on the side of a massive mountain, covered in a four-foot thick layer of snow. A merciless wind chilled Ruy’s skin blue as they trudged to the familiar black arch that marked the Exillium camp. As usual, there was no welcome for them as they plodded to their Hemisphere—thankfully the same one, Ambidextrous. Ruy and Evvie took a spot near the back of the purple tent, making sure to stand a significant distance away.
Ruy had wanted to stop hiding their relationship during class long ago, but Evvie insisted they acted distant to be safe. It didn’t stop his urge to rush to her side, especially when everyone stared at her and she nervously started picking at her Talentless pin—a red circle with a line through it.
“Alright, sissies,” Coach Rohana* growled as she barged through the entrance of the tent. “Prepare yourself for a fun-filled day”—Ruy automatically braced himself for the worst—“because we’re doing temperature regulation.” The Coach smiled evilly. If it was a normal classroom, they would’ve groaned, but instead everyone just stared rigidly ahead. Temperature regulation was the worst, and Ruy hated it more knowing that Evvie specifically struggled with it. It was hard for her to command her skin to retain a certain temperature, especially with everyone laughing at her when she failed. Ruy could swear Rohana did it purposely, just to watch a Talentless suffer.
“Now,” Coach Rohana continued, “while I’m sure you’re already feeling the cold in this climate, I’ve decided to add a new dimension.” At her words, snowflakes fell from the top of the tent, and the ground instantly was covered with snow. The temperature dropped fifteen degrees, until it was probably in the negative twenties. Ruy gritted his teeth as he watched Evvie’s lips turn so blue they looked bruised.
Rohana grinned. “If you don’t regulate your body, you’ll get hypothermia. Have fun! Start… now!”
It was a long day. Ruy didn’t start out too badly—it took a few tries, but after convincing his body he was next to a warm, roaring fire, he managed to get his temperature to forty degrees—still uncomfortably cold. And the big struggle was keep his body believing it. He had to close his eyes and forcefully imagine crackling flames, ignoring the logical part of his brain that denied it and the snowflakes falling on his nose. It was draining, and Ruy could imagine he would have to keep it up all day.
When he finally managed to reach his body temperature to a satisfying fifty degrees, someone nudged his shoulder, evaporating all thoughts of warmth. His eyelids flew open to Evvie smiling at him broadly.
“I did it!” she cried excitedly. “I finally did tempawere regulawion!”
But something was terribly wrong. Her speech was slurred, her skin a severe icy pale, and she shivered uncontrollably. Her eyes were glassy and unfocused, and when Ruy grabbed Evvie’s hand, her pulse was shockingly slow.
His eyes widened in fear. “Evvie… No, you didn’t. You have hypothermia!”
“H-hypwo—” Before she could finish, her legs gave way and she collapsed into Ruy’s arms, unconscious.
Ruy panicked. Evvie was in one of the final stages. If she didn’t warm up soon, she would die.
Side note: I realize Ruy & Evvie did not know the name of the purple coach
Thinking fast, Ruy took off his cloak and wrapped it around Evvie’s chest. He shoved away the piles of snow on the ground to make a small clearing, then raised his arms and formed a force field around them. It stopped the snowflakes and elevated the temperature more, but just by a little. Evvie’s face was still deathly pale.
Hastily, Ruy slipped off his black shirt to cover her cold face with. Then he rubbed her skin to start up the warmth and blew on her hands. “Evvie? Evvie can you hear me? Please fight it. I need you here, okay? Fight the cold.”
“TAKE DOWN THIS FORCE FIELD RIGHT NOW!” a voice loudly commanded from outside of the force field. The other Waywards noticed the commotion, and gathered next to her, laughing and mocking them amusingly. Ruy glared at Coach Rohana’s twisted face.
“No,” he replied flatly. “I will not at the risk of someone’s life.”
Rohana’s lips curved in a hiss. “Is it possible, Mr. Psionipath, that you favor the useless Talentless?” She chortled.
Ruy growled defensively. He scooped Evvie into his arms and went to the edge of his force field, where he could stare Coach Rohana in the eye. “How dare you call her that? She has more skills—and ismore—than you will ever be.”
“Why...” The Coach gritted her teeth, snarling. Then she straightened her composure, maybe suddenly realizing she was the authority in the room. “You are charged with helping another Wayward cheat—a Talentless, no less, using your ability without consent, violating direct orders, and most appallingly of all, insulting your coach. Your punishment at Exillium is already severe, and if you do not take down this—”
“Done.” The transparent bubble disappeared, and the chills of cold greeted Ruy again. “But I’m not going to Exillium anymore.”
“You can’t just—”
“I just did. And I won’t regret it.”
Rohana fumed and protested raucously, but she didn’t stop him.
And just like that, Ruy Ignis was banished from the second school in the Lost Cities.
- - -
When they arrived at the hills, Ruy darted inside the hut Evvie lived in that was next to his. He rested her on her bed and started a roaring fire. Soon it was roasting hot, but Ruy didn’t mind.
His heart pounded fast with fear. He squeezed Evvie’s limp hand, wishing all his might that blood would rush back to it.
And it did.
Evvie took a racking breath.
Her coloring was still pale.
Her body was still weak.
But she was alive.
Ruy tackled her with a hug, being careful not to crush her, but he couldn’t let go. Her life had flashed before his eyes and it was the scariest thing he ever experienced.
“Wh-what happened?” Evvie whispered faintly when he finally released her.
“You got hypothermia,” Ruy said. “You collapsed in my arms, deathly pale… and I made a force field around you to keep out the cold. Then Coach got mad a me, and we left Exillium—”
“Left? Or left left?” Evvie probed.
Ruy offered an apologetic smile. “Left, as in not coming back.”
“Wow.” Evvie scoffed and crossed her arms. “That’s something.”
He blew out a breath, frustrated. “Evvie, you almost died,” he cried, running his hands through his hair. “To go back to Exillium, with Rohana out to murder me—Honestly, I was sick of that school before! It was a prison. But now I’m—we’re free, to live the life that’s really worthwhile.”
“Ruy.” Evvie gently grabbed his hands. “I know… I realize that the situation was hard, but that was dangerous.”
“Yeah,” he sighed.
“Rohana most likely reported us to the Council and now—Well, I wouldn’t exactly call us free.”
“Yes, I know, but now we can do something better than being stuck in Exillium all day with ruthless coaches who don’t care if a prodigy dies.” His eyes turned wistful. “Explore our world together, side-by-side, and then, when the time comes…” Ruy cupped Evvie’s face. “I’ll marry you and build you a house—better than this rusting hut—right here, on your favorite place.”
“With my favorite person,” Evvie murmured, closing her eyes and leaning into his hand.
“That was too close today.” Ruy looked at her with intense emotion swimming in his eyes. “You were unbelievably close to…” His voice cracked and he looked away.
“Hey.” Evvie turned his face back to her. Her lips smiled softly. “Lesson is I need to work on my temperature regulation, right? Let’s not think on it more than that.”
He swallowed hard. “Just not so close next time, okay? I need you here.”
Ruy smiled weakly.
Evvie let out a yawn, stretching out her arms as she let her body sink into the fluffy covers of her bed. Her eyelids fluttered and threatened to close. Ruy examined her anxiously; wondering if there was something wrong, but realized that she was just weary. Her body had been through a wild ride today and it was still mending. From a window in the hut, Ruy saw splashes of pink and yellow across the navy sky, showing that the sun had almost sunk into the horizon.
“You need to rest.”
Evvie’s round violet eyes opened briefly, to meet his dark blue ones. “And you need to kiss me,” she murmured, her voice tired.
Ruy laughed quietly and kissed her forehead. He was relieved to find there was warmth in her once bloodless skin. When he took a step back to get a look at her, Evvie’s breaths were deep and full, her eyes closed, her lips curved up gently, sound asleep.
“Goodnight, Evs,” Ruy whispered.
CHAPTER FOUR WILL BE RELEASED SOON -- and it will be a game-changer!
Evvie wasn’t awake in the morning, so Ruy left a note that he’d be on an errand. But before he had walked ten yards from the hills, a voice stopped him.
“You have a pretty girlfriend, Ruy Ignis.”
His blood curdled, and out of instinct, he created a force field around himself. Then he whipped around and tried to distinguish where the voice came from. “Show yourself! Who are you?”
A grinning figure came into his eyesight. It was a man, with ruffled blond hair and piercing blue eyes. “No need to be afraid, Ruy. I come as an ally, so trust me. My name is Gethen.”
Ruy narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, we’re going to have a problem then, because I don’t trust shifty weirdos who know my name.”
“An understandable instinct. But I come here on business, not for introductions.” Gethen’s eerily cheerful face crept to the edge of Ruy’s transparent bubble. Ruy shivered, and he hated it. Usually he felt so safe within the fortress of his force fields, but this guy made chills creep up his back. He had a feeling Gethen was hiding a lot of power behind his casual composure.
“What do you want?” Ruy growled, gritting his teeth. He tried to sound tough, but his heartbeat was fast with fear.
Gethen’s coy grin melted into a smile, as if he was merely amused by Ruy’s guarded expression.
Then shadows stretched and extended over the bubble Ruy was in, and it melted away easily. Ruy’s eyes widened to the size of walnuts. His heart battered so hard he could barely hear anything else. How had that man made his force fields disappear?No one had ever done that before. Ruy had considered them impenetrable. But now… the only thing that had made Ruy ever feel safe, protected, was gone, and he was left as vulnerable as a trapped mouse before a cat.
“How…” Ruy hated his voice came out a squeak.
“I want to train you,” Gethen said. “To make your force fields withstand anything. And I’ll teach you how to rip holes in other Psionipaths’ force fields. The training will take time, but at the end of it, no one will doubt you being the most powerful Psionipath in the world… and more than that, one of the most powerful creatures in the world.”
His words slammed into Ruy’s head and his legs stumbled as he processed the new information. This man… could teach him how to really make his fields unstoppable? And how to break other ones?
“And,” Gethen whispered softly, “I can make people admire your power. You wouldn’t be weak anymore. All those who have hated you, ripped your life apart, will be avenged.”
The words hit a nerve, echoing, echoing, again and again, in Ruy’s mind. All those who have hated you, ripped your life apart, will be avenged.His mind floated to his parents, the people he had thought loved him, but had turned his young self into the Council callously. The Council, who had banished him without a regret. The kids at school that booed at the boy who kept his strange powers to himself. Even Coach Rohana, who made it out of her way to make the shattered pieces of his life even more crushed. The blood boiled in his stomach again, swallowing all the happiness and leaving only pain.
No one will doubt you being one of the most powerful creatures in the world.
Ruy could almost feel the promise of power tingling his fingertips. He imagined the beautiful sight of force fields, his force fields, untouchable by desolation. And then—him, burning, melting, force fields he didn’t want of other unruly Psionipaths.
“So much pain,” Gethen whispered. “So much hate. But so much potential.”
Ruy’s ability hummed. The force fields were telling him they wanted to be strong. They wanted to be unstoppable.
But then a word, amidst the chaos, shattered the noise to silence.
Her sweet, sincere voice filled her head. I loveyou. I’d do anything to be with you.
His voice, dreamy, hypnotized by her beauty. We’ll explore our world together, side-by-side, and then… I’ll marry you, and build you a house… right here, on your favorite place.
It wasn’t a question.
It wasn’t a hope.
It was a promise. One Ruy intended to keep.
Ruy broke free from the chains of fury with a gasp. His feet wobbled, but he managed to stare Gethen in the eye when he said, “No.”
Gethen’s suave smile faltered. “Excuse me?”
“I said, no,” Ruy hissed. “I’m not going to live the life of a murderer.” He turned his back and walked away.
But to the only person that mattered.
“Oh, Ruy,” Gethen whispered, his impeccably polished voice halted Ruy in his tracks. Gethen smoothed his blonde hair as a villainess grin that said You’re going to regret thatemerged into his face. “How I wish you agreed the first time.”
Chills crept up Ruy’s back and he hated how his voice shook when he said, “What do you mean?”
Gethen shrugged. “I was told that if you didn’t come at first… I’d have to push you a little bit more.”
“You’re going to kidnap me.”
“No, I’m not that ruthless. You’ll have a choice, but”—He casually pretended to brush a speck of dust off his spotless black cape, which had a white eye embroidered on the sleeve—“I’m adding another consideration.” Gethen smiled, broadly, like he was a model, not a murderer. “If you don’t join the Neverseen, I’ll kill your girlfriend.”
The words hit Ruy so hard he stumbled and didn’t process that Gethen had revealed the name of his organization. The other words swarmed in his head, repeating, reciting, so loudly a headache throbbed in his temples.
Gethen would kill Evvie.
Ruy imagined her, battered and bloody, her arms burned and scarred, lying dead on the floor. Her beautiful violet eyes staring glassy eyed into nowhere.
He would never her charmingly awkward laugh again.
He would never hold her close.
He would never smell her sweet vanilla scent again.
And he would never feel the magical swirling in his heart when he kissed her.
No, I wouldn’t let Gethen kill her. I could stop him.
But as Ruy scanned Gethen’s ruthless face, he only saw power. Gethen had the power to take down his force fields—somehow. Ruy couldn’t protect Evvie anymore. Not against such a strong, evil force.
“I’ll make it easier for you, because I’m not a disagreeable person,” Gethen added after Ruy’s stricken silence. “You’ll only serve for ten years. After that, if you decide to return to your little sweetheart, you may.”
Ten years… without Evvie? The thought make his heart ache so badly he couldn’t breathe.
Finally, Ruy sucked in a breath, pressing against his temples to ease his headache, and worked up the courage to speak. “Can I… Can I please think this through? Ten years is a lot.”
Gethen narrowed his eyes, like he could see if Ruy was scheming some plan to get out of it. But Ruy really wasn’t… He felt hopelessly trapped, like any answer would lead to death—physically or mentally. Finally the blond villain straightened his posture and stared at Ruy straight in the eye. “If you make the decision to join—the right decision—meet here at sunrise, sharp. If you don’t, you’ll watch as I slay your precious beloved alive.”
The threat sent tsunamis of agony in Ruy’s heart. Gethen raised a crystal to the light and glittered away.
As soon as he was gone, Ruy clutched his tormented chest, heaving tedious breaths, and limped toward Evvie’s hut.
What will Ruy chose? Will Evvie ever be safe? ANSWERS in Chapter 5—COMING SOON!
“You’ve been gone a while,” Evvie chided as Ruy creaked open the door of her cabin. Ruy realized she was right—it was way past lunchtime, and soon the sun would cast a rainbow of colors as it sank into the horizon. He didn’t have much time.
Evvie’s cheeks were rosy and the strapless short dress she wore highlighted the glints of silver in her eyes. She was currently dusting the floors—It was unnecessary, the place was always spotless, but Evvie liked having something to do. “I was starting to think you ran into Rohana and she…” Her voice trailed off when she noticed his pained expression.
It was hard for Ruy to look at Evvie without visualizing the image of her dead, lifeless body.
“Is something wrong?” she asked quietly, tucking the broom in a corner before walking up to him.
Ruy breathed deeply, forcing air into his lungs so he could speak. “Yes, there’s something really, really wrong. This is going to be hard to hear.”
Evvie swallowed. She wordlessly led him to a plush sitting area, and they comfortably sank into the sofa before she whispered, “Please tell me. I can take it.”
“I ran into someone. A man, named Gethen. A very powerful, evil man.” Ruy bit his lip, allowing himself three deep breaths before continuing. He met Evvie’s frowning eyes. “He threatened me to join this organization of his. Just ten years of service. He said he can make my force fields impenetrable, and teach me how to break other Psionipaths’—”
“No.” Evvie’s voice was sharp and in her don’t-you-dare-argue-with-me tone. She stood up from the couch. “You’re not flying off to join some creepy man’s—”
Ruy stood up to face her. “Evvie, please. There’s more.” He took her hands, needing the strength to say the rest. “He threatened me that… If I don’t agree… He’ll… kill you. He’ll murder you because of me—” His voice cracked, and he looked away, blinking away tears.
“Hey.” Evvie’s voice was soft again. She took a step closer to him, using her finger to move his head back to her. He smelled her vanilla fragrance and it made sobs build up in his throat. “Everything’s fine. You’ll protect me. There’s no need to be scared—”
“No, no, Evvie you don’t understand.” He raised his voice desperately, trying to reason with her. “This guy is for real. He—or someone on his side or whatever—made my force field just disappear. Poof. Gone. And if I don’t meet him tomorrow morning, I have no doubt he’ll barge into this house and kill you and me. And I can’t protect you—if my force fields don’t stand a chance, what chance do we have?”
“I—we—have you!” Evvie cried, her voice turning fraught. “I don’t feel safe because of the force fields—no—I feel safe because you’re with me! You’d do anything to protect me and I know that—Can’t that be enough?”
Ruy couldn’t imagine she was arguing with him. Didn’t she realize it was her life on the line? He grabbed her shoulders, gently, tenderly, changing his voice to a begging tone. “It’s not enough, Evs. I can’t protect you like you think I can. My ability is weak. My skills are lacking. And what if you die? I can’t—listen to me, Evvie—I cannot live with that on my conscious, that if I went another path, you could’ve lived. I don’t want to do this—but if it saves you… and hey, I learn some neat tricks on the way… Isn’t that worth it?”
Tears poured down Evvie’s face. “No. It’s a mistake. It’s ten years acting like a murderer. What if… you turn into one in the process?” Her last sentence was barely audible, like if she spoke it too loud it might come true.
“Evvie. I won’t.” Ruy brushed Evvie’s wavy hair off her face, then stopped the motion and cupped her warm, wet face. “This has to be done.”
Her lip trembled, and Ruy’s heart ached. “No,” she shuddered.
“I can’t lose you,” he whispered.
And then, for what might be the last time in ten years, he dropped one hand to her waist and kissed her so hard the world melted away. His other hand dragged through her caramel-colored hair. More sad tears poured down Evvie’s face when she realized this was a goodbye, and her lips tasted like salty vanilla.
Ruy’s heart felt like it was being ripped apart. This was not how he wanted it to go. He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want a miserable goodbye. But he knew that he to go to all costs to keep Evvie alive. She was the only one who saw him for who he really was. She was the only one who brought the light of the stars into his life. He couldn’t let her die because of him.
But how did his life change so quickly—from a wonderful dream… to a desolate goodbye?
This goodbye needed to count.
“I love you,” he breathed.
A sob escaped from Evvie’s mouth. “Don’t go. If you love me, don’t go.”
Her words hit like an ax against his heart. The internal wound burned, and stinging tears ran down his face.
Their kiss broke. Ruy pressed Evvie against him, holding her as her body racked with sobs. Yellow and pink streaked into the cabin from the window... the sun was setting. It was time.
“This is the only way I know I can protect you,” he murmured into her soft hair. “I don’t know what I’m going into but I know that I’m keeping you alive. I need you to be alive, okay? It’ll only be ten years. Ten years. This is for you, Evs. Everything is for you.”
He wished Evvie would say something... anything. But she just silently cried, making her hair cling to her face and her face red and puffy, but she couldn’t be more beautiful.
Ruy let go of their hug, and Evvie stared at him. In that glance, he knew she understood why he felt like he needed to do this. But he could feel she still felt like it was wrong.
Is this the right choice? Ruy wondered, as he drank in the sight of her gorgeous violet eyes for the last time. It’s the only choice, his mind answered, and he willed it to be true.
So Ruy left.
Left the hut.
Left the hills and star-filled sky.
And left his happiness.
Yes... I'm sorry this is such a downer. I do *tend* to be dramatic and traumatic in my writing *just* sometimes... heh heh...
Anyways—THIS IS NOT THE END! Two more chapters will end Ruy's story... and who knows, it *might* end out happy... wait and see!
10 years later – Before Flashback
You can do this, Ruy. You’ve been preparing for this for ten years.
Ruy’s whole body shuddered as he sucked in a breath then let it escape his lungs again.
His fingers tingled. His ability was yearning, begging to be set free.
And he obeyed.
The glittering, translucent force barrier started to sizzle around him. Ruy’s brow foraged with sweat and concentration, as he poured his energy into his ability, recounting the tedious lessons and rules that were drilled into his brain. When finally, the see-through material formed a complete dome around him, he dropped the deep breath he was holding and admired his hard work.
Force fields were always a beautiful thing. But the real trial hadn’t begun.
Ruy turned his glance to the other figure in the bland, steel-clad room.
Gethen. His blond broad-shouldered combination was enough to believe he could pass off as handsome, but the glinting of power in his striking blue eyes was enough to scare off anyone. Now, he was smiling a calculating, thoughtful smile. Almost taunting. Like he couldn’t believe Ruy could succeed. “Alright, Bubble Boy”—the nickname Gethen gave Ruy, which he absolutely dispised—“let’s see if your force field is as strong as your attitude.”
Ruy rolled his eyes—thus proving Gethen’s point—but in the inside he was fearful. Being a part of the Neverseen wasn’t taken lightly. If you achieved at your mission or assignment, a clap on the back, first dibs on dinner, and the occasional promotion rewarded you. Praisewas the highest prize—and a pure dose of it was rare.
But when you failed... the punishments were far worse. A lot of physical punishments—that really hurt, Ruy learned the hard way.
But Ruy wouldn’t fail. He trusted himself. And he reminded himself that when a shadowed, figure, who gave him chills, came into view.
Umber was a character he hadn’t yet decoded... it didn’t help he didn’t know her true name or even what she looked like. She was always mysterious. Malicious. Honored. Admired. And constantly drenched in shadows, figuratively and quite literally. But he knew a fact she was very, very powerful.
Umber floated into the room like the bearer of death, and Ruy swore the room always got colder when she was in it. “Seems like the boy is confident in his ability,” she cooed, her voice both soft like cutting warm pie and raspy like the hiss of fire, “or so tries to seem like it.” She tilted her shaded face. “I know what you fear. I know you are afraid. I know—”
Before Ruy’s body collapsed from trying to suppress the shudders trying to crawl up his back, Gethen rolled his eyes. “Enough drama, Umbs, we don’t have all day.”
Umber glowered at him—or at least it looked like she was, but Ruy couldn’t tell underneath her veil of darkness. “I wouldn’t advise calling me ‘Umbs’again, Gethen. I’ll remind you what I can do.”
Another thing Ruy had adapted to—The Neverseen is not one big, happy, cuddly organization that loves and supports one another. It was a common daily thing to threaten one another and burn off each other’s limbs.
Casually, Gethen shrugged at Umber’s comment, though Ruy saw a flicker of terror in his eyes.
Umber turned her attention to Ruy again. Her posture, as always, remained regal and pompous, like she was a queen... a big fat drama queen in Ruy’s perspective. He inhaled sharply when she raised her arms, staring intently at the force field.
“Proof your worth,” she dared him mockingly.
Then shadows swarmed from her fingers and engulfed the force field.
The test had begun.
Will it hold? Ruy’s heart drummed with worry. All his training pointed to this: an infallible, flawless, invincible force field. A prospect no Psionipath had ever dreamed of happening. If it could withstand Umber, the most powerful Shade in the Lost Cities, it could withstand anything.
A rush of adrenaline swooped through Ruy’s chest at the thought.
But then his force field twitched.
A weakness was found.
A small, miniscule millimeter of the bubble popped. The hole got bigger. The force field got darker with shadows.
And Ruy’s decade of dedication came crashing down. His faith perished. He had failed. Miserably. And though he couldn’t prove it, he knew that Umber’s face was smiling under her mask as she left the room, because she knew her ability remained unstoppable.
Unlike mine, Ruy thought bitterly.
Gethen brushed an invisible speck of dust off his pristinely kept Neverseen patch. The white-eye symbol seemed to mockingly stare at Ruy and say, You don’t deserve to be here. You’re worthless. Ruy’s gut clenched and he self-consciously rubbed the identical patch on the black cloak he wore.
I dobelong here. I can prove it. I’m not worthless.
“I believe you’re more than this,” Gethen whispered softly, but he still made Ruy jumped. His sharp blue eyes stared intensely at him. “But you’re resisting. Your mind is divided into two places, and your focus is split, thus causing your ability to be... flawed. I want to believe your heart is with the Neverseen, but—”
“It is!” Ruy insisted. “I am trying. My heart is completely in this organization.”
Gethen tilted his head. “You don’t think about—”
Ruy’s expression darkened. He suddenly realized what—who—Gethen was signifying toward, and it made him sick that after all the years he’d done with the Neverseen, after all the battles he helped them win, and after all the times he helped keep the Black Swan’s freaky brown-eyed girl tied to a leash, Gethen stilldoubted him. Hadn’t he proven his loyalty? Was everything he’d done not enough? “No,” he growled. “That past is gone. She—Evvie—means nothing to me—nothing, I swear. My allegiance is entirely to the Neverseen.”
He would expect—would hope—that Gethen would at least give him some credit for his hard work, but he merely looked at him curiously. “We’ll see.”
That night in the Neverseen base, Ruy couldn’t sleep.
Images so tangible and horrifying that he couldn’t depict them from reality or nightmare flashed through his mind.
Force fields being created by him, taking every ounce of energy inside of him.
Shadows engulfing them, turning them to dust.
A Neverseen Psionipath, cackling as he burned Ruy’s arms.
The gleaming, white eye, staring at him smugly. We knew you were always worthless. Always, always, always. You’re worthless. You don’t deserve to be a part of the Neverseen.
Ruy bolted up. The thin bed sheets clung to his sweaty skin. His breaths were heavy, his body shivering, still reliving the nightmare that was imprinted onto his eyelids.
You’re not useless. You’re not useless, he repeated, trying to scare off the images in his head. The Neverseen needs you—they just don’t realize yet!
Ruy needed to believe that. He needed to believe he was wanted... that he had a home here.
There was only one other place that he alleged he was desired... but he shook the thought away. DON’T think about the past. There is NOTHING there for you but misery!
He let out a groan of pain when he bumped the hard railing of his bed abruptly. It creaked loudly.
“Shut up, Ruy, some of us have actual important work to do in the morning!” hissed a groggy voice from the bed on the lower bunk below him. Ruy grumbled. Alvar Vacker, the one-and-only, was always a stuck-up little brat who always took the moment to boast about all the “incredibly important” work he did for the Neverseen. He might have ruined his family’s legacy, but he still kept up with the Vacker ego.
“I need a breather,” he mumbled and lurched off the ladder. When he walked out of the cramped, smelly room he slept in, his bleary eyes squinted in the blinding light. Ruy tried to focus on something—anything—that might take his attention off the nightmares. His feet stumbled along the metal hallway as he counted the silver grains on the floor. Silver grains that reminded him of the flecks in someone’s eyes...
Somehow his feet faltered upon some place. He grappled to recognize it, but finally the words floated to his mind. It was the custodial, the fireproof room where the Neverseen housed the people they abducted. Where they tortured many people—a thought that a decade ago would have nauseated Ruy, but now he was used to it. He didn’t think anyone was there now, but he needed to kill time, so he strutted to the door curiously, surprised when it creaked open with ease. Usually Gethen made it very clear to keep it locked at all times.
But right now, Ruy was feeling rebellious—even if it would all be for nothing, probably—so he shoved the stupid rules Gethen made to the back of his mind and stepped into the chamber.
It was, like most of the rooms in the base, wholly metal and gray, with a cot in the corner the only furniture. A flickering blue light—Balefire, provided by Fintan—eerily illuminated the whole room.
It took a moment for Ruy to realize there was a person lying on the cot.
Staring at him.
With wide, violet eyes.
MWAHAHAHA and THAT is how I end the short story.
Jk. That's a horrible ending. There will be one more chapter—yes, this time I mean it: one—that will conclude Ruy's story. What will happen? How will Ruy respond to Evvie? Has he truly decided which side he's on? Stay tuned!!!! Answers will be in CHAPTER SEVEN!!!
The Final Chapter
It was like someone threw a rock at Ruy’s stomach. His stomach felt gutted, empty, and his feet staggered. Needles punctured his skull, blooming a migraine that pounded, pounded, pounded. All because of three words that changed, ruined, revitalized everything.
Evvie is here.
It was impossible. He never believed he would see her again... at least after he had realized the truth. The first two years after he left her, he had clung on to her memory, crying whenever he smelled vanilla, or saw a violet flower, or heard a wind chime that reminded him of her laugh. But then... he realized that the Neverseen wasn’t the thing that tore his life apart... it was the thing that could rewrite his future. That could make him into someone equipped with power the people who hated him wouldn’t believe he could be capable of.
And suddenly Evvie had become just a trivial fairy tale. A memory that happened when Ruy couldn’t think beyond the goofiness of love. When he couldn’t envisage being someone that could be feared. Respected. Once he convinced himself that is was possible...Evvie became nothing to him.
But when he stared at her face, it was a whole lot harder to believe that.
After a long, tedious silence of just gawking at each other, Ruy cleared his throat and exhaled, “Evvie?”
“Ruy.” It wasn't a question, but her tone implied she could hardly believe her words either. He tried to distinguish any other emotion—hopefulness, longing—but there was only uncertainty.
Frustratingly, Ruy scolded himself. Why did he care how she felt? Everything they had was over.
Then Evvie stood up and walked to him, and when the Balefire illumed her stunning appearance, he couldn’t help but suck in a breath.
Other then her freckles being more prominent, her star-speckled eyes radiating with more intelligence, and her hair being a darker, rusty-caramel color, she was the same, dazzling Evvie.
He hated to admit it, but his heart ached as his eyes stared all over her, either because he still couldn’t believe she was there or she was so exquisite he couldn’t keep his eyes off her, he didn’t know.
Somewhere in his splintered, broken body, Ruy find his voice. “Um, hey.”
Evvie stared back at him with emotion he couldn’t put his finger on. A “hey” also slipped out of her lips, her tone as gentle as a sea breeze.
Despite the loud, angry protesting of his brain, his traitorous feet took a tentative inch toward her. “Did... they capture you?”
Evvie’s eyes wandered to the smaller space between them. Ruy’s brain fuzzed with ridiculous thoughts like she noticed I got closer to her and does she like that? which combated against his sane brain that screamed WHY DO YOU CARE? WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE??
“Probably, I mean, that makes sense.” She rubbed her temples, her eyebrows crunched in concentration. “But it’s... foggy. One moment I was at my house, the other moment... I’m here.” It looked like she mentally counted to ten before meeting his eye and asking, gingerly, “Is it... Has it been... um, ten years yet?”
Yes, it had, but saying “yes” meant so much more than that.
It meant Ruy had to truly make his decision. Right to Evvie’s face—which was so much harder than to Gethen’s.
He had the freedom to decide which future he wanted.
Love or power?
Tranquility or justice?
Evvie or the Neverseen?
Didn’t he know what he wanted? Didn’t he just swear to Gethen that morning that he chose the Neverseen? But when he stared at Evvie, it was hard to say no to the life she promised him. Love. Family. Happiness. Wasn’t that better than dominance or vengeance? Couldn’t he be satisfied falling asleep every night to her vanilla scent? Why couldn’t Evvie be enough?
His treacherous feet took another step. A bigger one, before he prepared the words that he would say.
He didn’t have to. Evvie spoke. “You—” Her voice tussled to stay afloat, and Ruy’s clouded brain couldn’t distinguish if it was out of despair or rage. “You have changed since you left me, haven’t you? You don’t believe the same words that you did, don’t you?”
When she finally lifted her eyes to him, bravely, he distinguished one emotion in her lavender eyes. Hopefulness. She was trying as hard as him to bury any feelings, knowing in the end she’d be crushed... but it was still there, just like it swam in his eyes too. A hope that maybe, if they both wished it enough, they could be swept away into a fairy tale of heart-stopping romance.
Suddenly one of them took a step forward and Evvie’s aroma swept over Ruy like a tidal wave and it was getting hard to focus on anything but her—because she was so close. They were just a breadth away from each other, awkward, hesitant, unsure what to do.
The thing between them was ten years. The ten years Ruy had been gone. And now he felt the ache of separation harder than ever before.
She was right there. Was he going to walk away now? Was he going to cut the thin thread they balanced on—their only hope of being together?
Ruy’s gaze wandered to Evvie’s lips. He hadn’t kissed her in so long. An ache blossomed in his heart, and it was agonizing. His skin tingled with a robust, impulsive, rebellious desire to get closer to her.
Not thinking straight, not calculating anything, ignoring anything that happened in the past decade, he started leaned into her.
What am I doing, he wondered a split second after that. Was he giving up everything—All the things he could become—for love? Maybe it was worth it for some people, but frolicking back to the wistful days of ten years ago, but tracked by the Neverseen, with his only protection weak force fields... was scary. And everything Gethen promised he could be... he really, really wanted. Love was too small-minded in Ruy’s big-picture mind.
And though his traitorous heart moaned with pain at the thought... He realized, truly, whatever he and Evvie had... was over.
Ruy’s lips lightly brushed hers before he pulled away, taking a large step back, his heart shattering into a million pieces, but his mind finally clear. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry—you don’t deserve this. But I... can’t do this. This isn’t what I was meant for.”
Evvie mouth dropped, then she closed it and wiped away any signs of hurt that was once there. She hugged herself and pursed her lips, like she was protecting herself... which she probably was. “I knew it.” Her voice was flat, but he could tell she was holding back tears. The thought made him feel sick with guilt. He didn’t love Evvie anymore—or at least not enough to sacrifice everything for her—but he never wanted her to be hurt. “They changed you. I tried—Oh Ruy, for your sake, I tried to believe that you would come back like not a moment was lost, but no.”
Shockingly, an unexpected wave of anger engulfed Ruy, washing away his apologetic attitude and leaving stunned fury. He raised an accusatory finger at her face. “No. You do not get the rights to say that. This is my choice. I sacrificed the ridiculous temptation of love”—he spat the word like it was poison—“and envisioned what I can really become.”
The words tumbled out of his mouth sizzling hot, like a river of molten lava, before he could stop them.
Evvie gaped at him with disbelief. “You think that what we had was silly?”
He cringed when he realized he let his anger carry him away. This wasn’t how it wanted it to go. “No! Well... yes, but—”
“Actually, maybe you’re right,” she hissed into Ruy’s face, her once sweet smile now contorted into a hateful scowl. “It was silly, if after all we went through together, you just leave me because some random, creepy dude said he could make your ability ‘invincible’!” Her voice rose angrily.
Ruy raised his hands, trying to calm her, but when she didn’t cave, he took a cautious step back. “Evs—” he tried.
“We were everything. And you just tossed ‘us’ out the window because of power.” She let out a weary, delirious laugh. “You’re no less of crook then them.” She gestured out of the room, to the sleeping Neverseen members.
The words stung more than they should’ve. Ruy spread his palms again, as if to reason with her, but they fell to his sides again when he realized... she was right. But did he care? Wasn’t that he signed up for when he chose the Neverseen? Ruy’s nostrils flared. Yes—maybe he was a villain now. But this was the new him—the new him that would become powerful, more powerful than even Umber. And Evvie probably couldn’t even fathom that.
“This is me. This is the new Ruy Ignis and he will become the most mighty person on the planet,” he hissed, his bout of ire returning instantly. “I bet you can’t understand what’s it like to be powerful.”
He was satisfied when pain glazed over Evvie’s eyes. Briefly, but it was there. He had never insulted her being a Talentless before.
Evvie’s eyes turned dissonantly soft, and she padded toward him lightly, until they were as close as they were when Ruy had started to kiss her. She jabbed a finger into his chest plate, a look of gratification on her face when he let out a yelp of stupefied pain. “Or maybe you can’t understand what you just gave up.” Her tone turned emotional, purposefully. “You. Were. My. Home.” She poked him firmly with each word. “You were my home. My solitude. My place of comfort. But now?” Evvie’s head shook, eyes closed, and Ruy watched as a single, small tear rolled down her cheek and off her chin. Her round, silver-speckled violet eyes—the most beautiful sight in the world, Ruy thought grudgingly, with a pang in his traumatized heart, against his will—opened to stare at him with a bitter kind of tenderness. “The stars are my home.”
The words stung Ruy’s heart more than it should have, considering he was the one who had shut down their relationship. But his pride was far too pristine to show that, so he raised his chin and walked away.
His heart was broken into a billion fractured pieces, and he knew he’d never be able to fully put it back together.
But the only thing keeping him away from absolute power was now diminished, and now, Ruy Ignis would become the world’s most feared, respected, and unstoppable force it ever seen.
His magnificent force fields would be untouchable by any substance or soul.
And he would encase the stars in them.
AAAAAND THAT'S THE END.
Yep..... So I'm sorry-not-sorry for having a *little* bit of added drama, but unfortunately, I knew when I started this story that it wasn't going to have a happy ending. Anyways, I hoped you enjoyed the journey Ruy went through, and will never think about him the same way!
Thanks sooooooooooo much times a million for reading! Spread the news & comment if you liked!
Also, make sure to read my other short story, the Promise Against the Fire!