Familiar Faces
by Magnus Johansson

Claude stared at the sky, wondering if he would ever see his father again. What he didn't know, was that he was going to see him sooner than he could imagine...

"Claude, where are you?"

Renas voice echoed through the cold, dark streets of Lacour. Claude felt that it was just what he needed.

"I'm over here."

Rena took a few steps towards him and saw Claude slowly turning around to reveal a sad look on his face. Still, he cracked a stale smile, but Rena saw right through his fake happiness.

"What's up?" she asked in a friendly manner, as to show her comfort.

"I've just been thinking", Claude replied, turning his back on Rena again and gazing up into the starlit sky, "Will I ever be going home? Or will I be left here, all alone on a strange planet forever?"

Rena felt a cold shiver run through her chest. What did he mean "all alone"? She would never leave him alone! She thought he knew that! Or maybe he didn't want anything to do with her! As if he could read her mind, his reply came within seconds.

"It's not that I'm ALL alone," he said, turning his head towards her again with that smile across his face. But this time, the smile seemed more sincere.

"You know that I'll be here, Claude," Rena assured him, offering him her hand.

He took it, and they looked at each other. Rena felt that he was cold. He must have been standing out here for a while, she thought. Her little hand sunk into his. For a minute or two they just stood there, almost paralyzed, looking at each other. The lights tried to shine through the dim fog that had laid itself to rest within the city walls, but for no good. The only light that clearly could be seen was that of the stars. She was the one to break the silence.

"Claude, do you ever..."

That was as far as she got in that sentence, as a large shadow appeared in corner of Claude's eye. He jumped, and as a pure reflex, let go of Renas hand and drew his sword. The Flame Blade's red blade seemed to light up the small spot where the two were standing. Both Rena and Claude swung around to face the shadow. But, the shadow was gone, and left was a well known man to Claude.


Claude lowered his blade and took a step forward. The fog still dimmed his sight but he was quite sure it was his father. He recognized the red clothing and most of all, the captain's hat, which he had played with as a little kid.

But Rena saw another image.

"Dias? Is that you?"

She too took a step forward to join Claude and try to see more clearly. But with that hair, she was very sure it was Dias. Claude and Rena didn't seem to hear each other as Ronixis/Dias started to walk towards them. They just stood there, staring as the well known person was walking towards them. Suddenly Ronixis/Dias lifted up its arm high in the air. At almost the same time, a voice broke through the silence of the night.

"Watch out! Do not trust your eyes!"

Rena and Claude both turned quickly to face the voice. A man came running down the street, waving his arms like crazy. Claude looked back at his father but the image was not the same. The shadow he had detected was back and he seemed to be launching an attack.

"Down!" he screamed as he pushed Rena out of harms way and took a blow of the large shadow himself. The blow struck him right on his arm and it made him drop his sword. The shadow backed up two steps and Claude got a good look of it now. It had no structure, but was more like a floating thing with two arms, both reaching all the way down to the street. It was pitch-black and had pearly white eyes stuck at the top of the structure. Claude now noticed how large it was, nearly three meters long. Claude wasn't given more time to look though, as the shadow flung itself forward and launched another attack. Claude picked up his sword and put it over his head as protection. The attack struck right on the sword, but by the impact, Claude was flung to the streets and landed on his back.

"Claude!" Rena screamed out and tried to get up and run to him, when the man who had warned them arrived and grabbed a hold of her.

"You wanna get killed?!" he asked in a harsh tone, "He seems strong, leave it up to him!"

"But..." Rena tried to say something but her voice faded.

Claude got up on his feet, and faced his opponent. But this time, the familliar face appeared. His father again. This isn't real, he thought to himself, but still lowered his guard as he stared into his fathers blue eyes. He was so close now that he could see his facial expression. His father was smiling.

"Now!" the man holding Rena shouted out, "If you see anyone familliar, then strike! It's the only time you can defeat him!"

Claude shook his head to make his father go away, but he didn't. So Claude closed his eyes as his father begun to raise his hand to prepare for attack. Without hesitation, Claude plunged his sword into the chest of the beast, his father, and the beast gave away a spine chilling scream. It then sunk to the streets and dissappeared like a shadow into the night.

"Whew, that was a close call!" the man, now not holding Rena but standing next to her, said as he wiped his forhead with the back of his hand.

"Who are you, and more importantly, what was that?!"

Claudes question really didn't come as a suprise.

"I'm Jole" the man explained, "and what you just fought was a Shapeshifter, a vicious monster. He just escaped from two monster hunters, who were trying to sell it off. But it was too strong and killed bioth of them. It takes the most important person out of your mind and transforms into it. This takes pretty much energy, so the only time it's weak enough to kill, is when it's transformed. This is mostly when it's hardest to kill, too."

While Jole was speaking, Claude had rushed over to Rena and now held her in his arms. As if he haden't heard Jole, he started speaking to Rena.

"It's all right now," he gently explained, "it's all right..."

Rena was quiet. The most important person, she thought. She had seen Dias at first, and sure he had been her protector for years, and she loved him, but as a big brother. Claude, once again, seemed to read her mind.

"You saw Dias didn't you" he said in a mild tone.

"Yes", she replied, "but you know it's not like that."

"I know."

But the truth was, that she had seen Dias at first, but when Claude had been fighting, she had seen him. She had seen Claude.

And before she fell asleep from all the exitement in Claude's comforting arms, she thought to herself if this was love.

Well, that's it! My first fanfic ever, just to try the stuff out. The Shapeshifter and Jole I made up myself and this is a purely made up story, so no, it's not present in the game. I just wanted to write something, and I did. Send questions and GOOD critisism to mag.jo@telia.se ( I just HATE it when people nag on something you're just trying out for fun, don't you? ). Hope you enjoyed it.