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Missed You

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He knew he shouldn't, but as they approached the strange, towering walls, Klein couldn't stop himself from running ahead, ignoring Lita's shouts to stop and nimbly evading Marietta's quick grab at his shirt, dimly thankful for the new grace and speed afforded him by the events of their long journey. He couldn't let them hold him back now; not when they were so close, not with Delsus' welcome words still ringing loud and clear in his ears, not when there was finally a chance. A chance to get back what had been taken so unexpectedly from them all.

When a figure became just discernible through the shadows darkening the entrance, Klein didn't hesitate even the smallest bit - he knew despite the potential danger, despite the probability that he was walking into a trap, that he had nothing to fear. And so he kept running, threw his staff aside and opened his arms once he was just close enough, and leapt.

Warm strength enveloped him in a perfect catch, surprised breath washed across his ear, and he felt he might explode with happiness as he buried his face in a waiting shoulder, his embrace tight and needy and altogether too frantic. "Arlin, Arlin--"

"Klein," Arlin said, simply that, and it seemed calm but for the small fragile undertone that he couldn't hide at this distance, and the way his arms tightened just the smallest bit as if he were afraid to let go.

Relief flooding him, Klein took a few deep breaths, raised his head and smiled at Arlin, his eyes brimming with ecstatic tears. "Arlin, I...I'm so glad you're alright."

"...And I you." His normally stern voice soft and pleased, Arlin took a deep breath of his own, raising his hand to brush away the tears. "But how did you..."

"Delsus," was all Klein had time to say, for the others were catching up by then and their cries of surprise and happiness would have covered up any other speech.

Any other except for the low rumble of Arlin's voice, somehow perfectly distinct in Klein's ear even underneath the hubbub.

"...I missed you."

Klein could only smile and hold him tighter.