squeaklings: (eureka seven - prove myself)
[personal profile] squeaklings
Title: Names and New Beginnings
Wordcount: 2843
Fandom: FFXIV
Rating: G
Warnings: Bad and cliched writing
Summary: The start of a hero's adventure
Notes: Basically just RP background fluff what takes way too many liberties with the source material. I figure Eon's home is somewhere north of Vylbrand on one of the smaller remote islands, and he has to meet up with Alphi and Ali somewhere so I figure why not some random un-named port...somewhere.



Ene’a sat hunched against the side of the boat, his bag at his side and his axe across his knees. The other passengers gave him space, careful not to come too close. He watched them come and go, doing their best to find space on the small ship.

“He looks funny.”

Ene’a’s ears twitched as the whisper reached him, and he glanced over at the little Hyuran boy sitting with his mother. For her part the woman looked mortified and quickly shushed her son, oblivious to the fact they were being overheard.

“He’s a Miqo’te, that’s just how they look.”

“He’s like a kitty.”

Eilaf.”

Ene’a rolled his eyes and tried to ignore them. The kid was cute, but while his antics would have amused Ene’a a week ago, now they just annoyed him.

If he was honest with himself, everything annoyed him now. He was stuck in some weird, permanent anger-sadness-guilt limbo that he wasn’t sure he wanted to get out of. Some little youngling calling him funny-looking was the least of what he deserved.

His ear twitched as something brushed against it, and Ene’a blinked in surprise to see the boy—Eilaf—standing beside him and gently petting his ear. The boy’s mother looked on, horrified.

“Hehehe, it’s soft!”

“Piss off, kid,” he growled and jerked his head away, baring his fangs. Eilaf froze and Ene’a’s stomach bottomed out with guilt to see the smile fall from the kid’s face.

“I’m very sorry,” the boy’s mother said, quickly drawing her son away.

“S’fine,” Ene’a muttered, and found something interesting on the floor of the boat to stare at.

And now you’re making children cry. He sighed. You’re off to a great start.

Ene’a sighed, stood, and brushed off his pants before he stretched. Hours of sitting in one position had left him sore. He set the axe against the side of the boat and across his bag, and made his casually deliberate way over to where Eilaf sat looking dejected. The boy glanced up as Ene’a crouched before him. He couldn’t be more than four.

“Wanna see something neat?”

Eilaf rubbed snot from his nose and nodded. Ene’a grinned and wriggled his ears, making the earrings he wore jingle. The boy’s face lit up as he laughed and clapped happily. Ene’a found himself grinning back.

“Thank you,” Eilaf’s mother said as the boy crawled off the bench to poke playfully at Ene’a’s tail. “You really didn’t have to.”

“Was boring sitting over there anyway,” he said, only half-lying.

She glanced over at his bag and axe. “It seems everyone is on a journey nowadays.”

Ene’a laughed dryly. “Yeah, well, gotta make my place in history somehow. Those stories don’t write themselves.” He eyed her, noticing her threadbare clothes and the dark circles under her eyes for the first time. We’re all running away from something. “Hey, are you—“

Eilaf appeared suddenly, startling the Miqo’te enough that he nearly fell backwards. His ears twitched as his tail thumped back and forth a couple times against the deck of the boat.

“Wha’s your name? I’m Eilaf!”

“Ene’a.”

“Eon?” The boy asked as he crawled up into his mother’s lap.

“No.” Ene’a said, but Eilaf wasn’t paying him any attention.

“Mama, I’m hungry.”

“I know.” She gave Ene’a an apologetic look before turning back to her son. “Let Mama go so she can look.”

He tried and failed not to spy as she rummaged in the sack she kept close to her side. Eilaf sat on the bench kicking his legs and pestering her. She eventually produced a bruised apple and a small chunk of bread, which Eilaf happily grabbed.

It’s not your business.

He left them after a moment and knelt before his own bag. The last miq’abob he’d packed lay wrapped atop the few clothes he thought to bring, and he picked it up carefully. It smelled delicious. It smelled like home.

“Hey,” he called over his shoulder, and tossed the food at the mother when she turned to look at him. She eyed the package curiously, and quickly started to stand and hold it back out to him as she unwrapped it.

“I couldn’t—“

“It’s extra,” he lied as he closed up his bag. “Just accept it.”

She worried at her bottom lip before she nodded and returned to her seat to eat. Ene’a settled himself against the hull. Afternoon wore on to dusk; across from him, mother and son played a clapping game, and sailors busied themselves with whatever it was they did. Beneath the orange sky the other passengers were bunking down for the night. Stars already peppered the eastern sky. The same as home.

Ene’a let his head drop back against the wood and closed his eyes. Supper would be half-finished by now; Syral had probably already run off, while Rhet and their mother would have half-eaten cold food before them as they discussed the day. His father would chime in every now and then, and Ene’a would—

He thunked his head against the wood hard enough to hurt. It’s never gonna be like that anymore. Stop dwelling on it.

Across from him Eilaf curled up in his mother’s lap, sound asleep. She gently pet his head, whispering softly before she fell into a fitful sleep. Ene’a watched them with a lump in his throat. The other passengers were all asleep, the only sounds the gentle lapping of the waves against the hull and the hushed whispers of sailors on watch. He squeezed his eyes shut. Stop dwelling stop dwelling stop dwelling.

He set the axe aside and laid down, his legs curled up against his chest and his tail wrapped around his legs. The deck was hard, and his stomach growled angrily. Gods, you’re pathetic. He stared at the deck until even his Keeper eyes couldn’t make out any details in the dark. He rolled to his other side, and then his back, and then finally to his original position, just as awake and uncomfortable as he’d been when he first laid down. He glanced over at the pair across from him and sighed. If she can sleep, so can you, he chided himself.

But sleep came slowly all the same.



The morning brought the cry of seagulls and the smell of freshly-caught fish. Ene’a sat up and rubbed a hand across his face as he blinked sleepily.

“Eon!”

Eilaf waved happily and rushed over, a half-eaten herring in his hand. “I saved you half!”

“It’s Ene’a,” he muttered, but the boy ignored him as he forced the fish into his hands.

“I told him to save it,” the boy’s mother said as she knelt beside her son, “but he insisted he had to make sure it tasted as good as the miq’abob you gave us.”

“Thanks. Um…?”

She smiled. “Hilde.”

He nodded and took a bite and tried not to let her see his guilt about not asking her name the day before. It wasn’t the most delicious fish he’d ever eaten, but the sailors weren’t terrible cooks and he found himself devouring it.

“Thank you again, for yesterday. You really didn’t have to.”

Ene’a shrugged as he tossed the remains of the fish overboard. “Like I said, it was extra.”

Hilde smiled knowingly and stood. “We won’t arrive until late today. You are welcome to sit with us. Come, Eilaf.”

The boy grinned and waved as his mother escorted him back to their spot. Ene’a watched them but made no move to follow. You’re not here to make friends. Not while Rhet’s stuck in bed. Eilaf laughed at something his mother said and Ene’a’s ears drooped. He’s just a kid, though. He’s not gonna understand.

He sighed and hauled himself to his feet. His stomach rumbled angrily but he ignored it. As nonchalant as he could he stretched, pretended to scan the horizon for a few minutes and take in the view, and then casually made his way over to Hilde and her son. She smiled at him with a silent “Thank you” as Eilaf began telling Ene’a all about how he watched the sailors haul in the fish and cook them and wasn’t the food tasty I’m sorry I ate so much of your fish.

Morning passed into afternoon, and Ene’a sat beside Hilde as they watched a sailor teach Eilaf how to fish. There was no real chance he would catch anything, but the pair didn’t seem to mind.

“Will you be continuing on?”

Ene’a blinked in surprise. “Huh?”

Hilde laughed softly. “When we land. Will you be continuing on your adventures?”

“I… Yeah, I suppose I will.”

“You don’t strike me as an adventurer.”

He raised an eyebrow and his ear followed suit. “How not?”

Hilde hmm’d softly as she watched her son. “Every adventurer I ever met could only ever talk about glory, or gil, or some combination of the two, while also fitting in how brave they were.” She turned to look at him. “You’ve done none of those things other than a lame joke.”

Ene’a glanced away and tried his best not to squirm. “What’s your point?”

She placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t think you want to be an adventurer, I think you want to be a hero.”

His ears lay back against his hair and his hands clenched into fists. “You don’t know anything about—“

“Look out!”

They both turned at the sailor’s shout just in time to see the water crest the side of the ship as something rammed the hull. Ene’a grabbed Hilde to stop her falling, then turned in alarm when he heard Eilaf cry out. He’d stumbled away from the sailor and into the side of the violently rocking ship.

Debris everywhere and he couldn’t see him, the water was moving too fast and there was his broken raft where was Rhet what had he done this was all his--

“Eilaf!”

Hilde’s shout broke him from his daze, and Ene’a dashed over to the child just as another wave crested the side of the ship. He scrabbled frantically and latched on when his claws touched cloth and pulled Eilaf against him as the water dragged them over the side of the ship.

No, not again!

He thrust an arm out as they crested the hull, and his fingers just barely managed to catch the side of the ship. Ene’a held Eilaf close as they crashed into the outside of the hull, and his arm pulled so painfully he screamed. Something whistled through the air close by, and another wave hit his back as the creature thrashed and dove back under the water.

“Don’t let go,” he chanted as Eilaf clung to him and cried. “I’ve got you, don’t let go.”

“Here, I found them!”

Hands grabbed onto his arm and pulled, and Ene’a’s eyes rolled back into his head from the pain. The sailors hauled them onto the deck, and Hilde broke through their ranks to grab her son to her as she sobbed in relief.

“Call the chirurgeon,” someone called, and Ene’a was vaguely aware of someone kneeling beside him and gently touching his arm before he passed out.



He woke to the screech of seagulls and fading light. His arm ached, and he hissed in pain as he sat up, but nothing seemed broken. “Eilaf?” he called, then grew frantic as silence was his only answer. “Eilaf!”

“He’s sleeping.”

Ene’a turned at Hilde’s voice to find her on his other side, his bag and axe lying beside her own meager luggage. Eilaf lay curled up in her lap. Another seagull cried overhead, and sailors rushed back and forth as they made preparations to land.

“Is he…?”

“He’s fine, if a little bruised.” She looked away quickly and wiped at her eyes before turning back. Her voice sounded thick. “Thank you. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.”

Ene’a shrugged and then instantly regretted it. “That’s not something that needs repaying. Anyone would have done it.”

“But you’re the one who did.”

“...as long as he’s alright.” He stretched out his arm and winced. “What happened, anyway?”

She gently patted her son’s hair. “An overgrown Little Thalaos, from what I could overhear from the sailors. Some keep murmuring about something called Nepto Dragon.” She shrugged. “I didn’t care to ask them any details.”

The Calamity changed more than just the landscape if fish are attacking ships now. “It’s gone now, that’s all that matters.”

Hilde nodded, gulped back a sob, and scrubbed at her face again. “May I ask you something?”

Ene’a stood carefully, swaying a little as the ship bumped the dock. “Sure.”

“Who is Rhet?”

The world slowed to a stop as he stared at Hilde. “…what?”

She worried at her bottom lip. “’I’ll make it better, Rhet.’ You said it a couple times.” She glanced at him and then away. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.”

Ene’a stood silently as the other passengers began to flow past, eager to reach dry land. “My brother,” he finally said as Hilde stood with Eilaf cradled against her. They were the last to leave. “Rhet is my brother.”

She bent down to grab her bag and he shook himself out of his daze. “Let me.” He tossed both bags over his good shoulder and fastened his axe at his belt. It bumped annoyingly against his leg, but he wasn’t going to chance pulling something by slinging it over his shoulder.

They walked down the gangplank in silence. The port was busy around them with hawkers selling the last of their wares for the day, and sailors bellowing for more drink. Ene’a led the way through the muddy streets until they reached a somewhat reputable-looking inn, and then returned Hilde’s bag to her.

“I’m sorry for what I said earlier. About you wanting to be a hero.” She lifted Eilaf higher and took her bag. “You’re right, I didn’t know anything.”

He shook his head and sighed. “No, you weren’t wrong.” He stared passed her towards the ocean. “I did something stupid and my brother was hurt. I’m just trying to make it right.”

Hilde smiled sadly. “Well… If it’s any help, you’re a hero in our eyes.” She gave Eilaf’s forehead a quick kiss. “He might not remember, but I won’t ever forget.”

Ene’a nodded past the lump in his throat. “Thanks.” He coughed and looked away, and then pulled out his coin purse and handed her the last of his gil. “I don’t have any more miq’abobs, but you can at least get yourself a warm place to sleep. And maybe tell a story or two about the brave adventurer you met on your way here,” he added with a wink.

“Ene’a, I can’t—“

“It’s extra,” he lied, and backed away before she could return the coin. “Take care, Hilde.”

“Take care,” she said as he walked away and lost himself in the crowd.



A few days later found him walking off the ship he’d managed to earn payment for into the bright sunlight glaring off the white stones of Limsa Lominsa, the ring Brennan gave him snug on his finger.

Become someone he can brag about having met, huh? He thought back to Hilde and Eilaf and smiled.

Limsa Lominsa sprawled out before him as he made his slow way to the Adventurer’s Guild. The Drowning Wench was loud and full of drunken sailors and laughing crews; he rather liked it. Baderon talked like a man starved for conversation, but Ene’a spent more time glancing around the room and getting lost in thought than he did to the speech he supposed he should be listening to.

Syral would love it here. Mom too, but I think it would be too loud for Dad and Rhet. I wonder what Limsan ale tastes like? Can’t be any worse than that swill S’dahl makes. His eyes passed over a barmaid giving a patron a quick smack for wandering hands. I hope Hilde and Eilaf found a safe place, maybe I should have stayed to make sure--

“Put yer scrawl right there.”

Ene’a startled as the man shoved a book under his nose, and he had a moment of panic when he realized he hadn’t paid an onze of attention. Baderon set the book down and handed Ene’a a quill as the Miqo’te finally found the blank space to write his name. He didn't even hesitate.

”Become the sort of storied personage I can brag about havin’ met, an’ I’ll consider us square.”

”He might not remember, but I’ll never forget.”

Baderon picked up the book when he finished and flipped it to better read the name. “Eon Reaver, is it? An’ a fine name it is.”

Eilaf smiled in his memory and Eon nodded. “Yeah, it is.”

He’d never felt like a hero before. Maybe Eon could be one in his stead. And hopefully someday, when he returned home, Ene’a would be a hero, too.

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