By Ben Ford
Presented by: Xenogears: God and Mind
Fei slothfully trudged into his cabin, senses slowly decreasing in acuteness. One hand pushed the door behind him as the other moved to flick on his bedside lamp. The lampís light quickly filled the space that had been vacated a second earlier as the light from the hall had been vanquished. It encompassed only a portion of the room, though, providing just enough light for the remainder of the room to be dimly visible. Rippling shadows were cast across the folds and wrinkles on his white sheets, reminding Fei of the waves in the ocean that crashed back and forth over each other ceaselessly.
He pulled his shirt off slowly, then his pants. Standing in only his plaid boxers, he checked his clock, which read 12:05. Suffering through an exhausting night of combat had really sapped his energy. All he wanted now was to be able to plunge into his bed and drift off to a pleasant nightís sleep.
As he slid underneath the cool yet soft, inviting sheets, his eyelids found their way over his globular eyes. He just lay there like that for several minutes. Not thinking, just feeling. Feeling all the comfort and sensations surrounding him. The mattress below him, which sank slightly beneath his weight but still gave support. The sheets covering him, which brushed lightly against him at the smallest movement. And just the air. The air that incorporated all the smells on the Yggdrasil; the faint metallic scent, the smell of the crew, the musty smell of the vent, and biting through everything, the sharp smell of crisp, clean air lazily making its way in through the window. He took it all in, calming his stressed body.
After a bit, he reopened his eyes and lifted his muscular arm up behind his head. He flicked the bedside lamp off, and as he lowered his arm back to rest on top of the covers, he set about falling to sleep. Slumber would be easy to achieve tonight. Only a sliver of a moon shone through the velvety black night sky, barely giving light to the room.
Silence. Minutes passed, and Fei fell further and further into unconsciousness. Sleep would not come immediately as planned, though, because a light tapping was suddenly audible at the door. Feiís eyelids one again grudgingly raised themselves and his gaze turned towards the sound.
"Come in," he said through a quiet voice.
The door cracked open and in Elly stepped, taking each step lightly and with a seeming caution. She shut it behind her, and addressed him.
"Hey Fei," she whispered, "wow, I didnít really expect you to be up."
"Yeah well you know I just got in here about ten or fifteen minutes ago. I didnít have much chance to really get to sleep I guess."
"Well," Elly started, biting her lip ever so slightly, "would you mind staying up for a little while longer? To talk I mean."
"Sure that would be okay. What have you got on your mind?"
Elly made her way across the room to his bed and took a seat next to his chest. She was fully dressed in pajamas, with matching striped top and bottom. Even with the frail moonlight, the sliver of moon reflected in her deep beautiful eyes setting them to a glitter. She stared into Feiís eyes and began, "actually I didnít have anything really specific I wanted to talk about. Itís just, I was lying in bed thinking about how lonely I was and how I would rather be in with someone who could make me feel better. I get lonely a lot, by myself in that room at night."
"Coming in to talk to me should help, then," Fei said, a warm but joking smile escaping his lips. Elly could barely make it out, but still recognized it through the darkness.
"Very much," she returned the smile, "I feel happier already. You know, sometimes I sit in bed and think about what weíre doing and scope of it allÖ.and itís scary. Iím not totally sure all of the time about whatís going on, but I know itís big. And our future is just so intimidating. Some nights when I think about it too much I just lose my composure. I break down and cry. I think tonight would have been one of those nights; thatís why I came in to see you."
"Good plan. Wow, Elly, I had no idea you were like this. I mean like you crying and being so worried about things. I guess I should have noticed shouldnít I? Iím just not very good at thatÖ"
Elly smiled again, "Fei, I told you because I didnít think you realized. I havenít told anyone before anyway."
"Look Elly," Fei whispered soothingly, "donít worry about anything else tonight okay? Just sleep in here with me and Iíll hold you tight if you start to worry about anything. Everything will be all right tonight."
Elly grinned, taking instantly to the idea. She slid under the covers next to him and kissed him on the cheek. He wrapped his arms gently around her small body and pulled her in close to him. Their warmth radiated from one to another and enveloped them in a cozy aura. Elly rested her forehead under his chin, suddenly feeling more contented and blissful than she had in a long time. She could stay in this position forever and never get tired of it.
"No crying tonight Elly," Fei said in a soft, reassuring voice. It was too late for that statement, though, for a few tears has already begun the silent slide down her face. At least they were happy tears, not fearful ones. Fei slowly stroked his fingers though her bright auburn locks, a gesture of affection that only made Elly that much more ecstatic to be there.
"Goodnight until tomorrow comes."
They both drifted off to sleep together, the sliver of a moon shining down. It kept watch during the night, making sure only pleasant slumber entered their little spot in the vast world. And sure enough, all was well as the sun at dawn broke over the mountains in the east. Another morning had come and it was time to face the new challenges that life would present them.