Hi, I'm NeoStriker, just call me Neo, or Barry. I decided to write a series of back-stories for every champion, starting with the Demacians. This one is Garen's. I hope I'm not embarassing myself.
We push past the same old doors of the front entrance and into the warm afternoon sun. We walk down the polished white stone steps along with all the other kids, smiles of undeterred joy on their faces.
"Ugh! Finally, it feels good to be out of that classroom!"
"Don't let your dad hear you say that, Jarvan."
"Of course not. Man, sometimes it sucks to be the prince," the onyx-haired boy says while folding his hands behind his head.
I feel a smile start to spread over my lips while I raise an eyebrow at him, "You know, normal people have to go to school too..."
He throws his arms up exasperatedly, "I know, but it's not the same when you're THE prince! For me, it's more than just school, it's like, climbing the tallest mountain in the Ironspikes everyday! Everyone expects me to be the best at everything!"
"Hah! Well, you're doing a good job of it so far."
He frowns, "Yea, for now..."
I clap him on the back, "And don't worry, man, I've got your back."
He looks back at me with a smile, "Heh, THE Garen Crownguard's got my back? The guy who forgets how to talk whenever he sees Courtney Shinewall? Thanks, I feel so much better now."
I feel the sting of heat on my cheeks and I sharply elbow him in the side, "I so do not forget how to talk when I see her!"
"Speak of the Darkwill, there she is. And she's heading over here."
"Hi Jarvan, Garen."
"Anything we can help you with, Courtney?"
"Oh, no, no, well, I was wondering... Jarvan, could I speak to you alone for a sec?"
Jarvan glances at me, and I faintly nod my head. He walks a few meters away with Courtney and they start talking. I can't help thinking to myself, 'I can't believe this! What are they talking about?! Why can't I be there?! Argh, why am I suddenly getting this urge to scream something that starts with a D?!'
A few minutes later, I see Jarvan shake his head and he starts walking back. Courtney leaves the school, looking completely normal. I immediately ask him, "What did she say?!"
Jarvan scratches the back of his head before answering, "Well, first she asked me if I was going out with anyone."
"Alright, and then?"
He points at the gates and we resume walking before he continues, "And then...I told her I wasn't, obviously, and then...she asked if we could go get something to eat together."
"What! That's great! Why did you say no?!"
"No, man, she wanted to eat with me and you...but without you."
I can feel something crack inside of my chest, and I quietly say, "...Oh."
"So I told her no, I'm not really looking for a relationship right now. And also, because you know, that'd be so not cool."
He looks at me before saying, "Garen, hey man, let's just go play some ball."
All I can do is nod my head as I follow Jarvan to the park. An hour passes and we've both worked up a good sweat when we see a new group approach. Before we can do anything, they start playing on our court and shove us around. Jarvan speaks first, "What do you think you're doing?"
They don't reply and instead continue playing. Jarvan pretty much loses his temper then and grabs one of their shoulders when he's suddenly elbowed in the face. The man who elbowed him turns around and says, "Oh, sorry about that, kid, but it's your fault for touching a trained soldier like me in the first place. We can't control our reflexes, so watch what you're doing next time."
Jarvan at this point absolutely loses it and shouts, "A soldier huh?! What's your name?! I'll teach you to control your reflexes, after I break all of them!"
"You better watch your tone, kid, I'm Oliver Laurent. That's right, I'm a Laurent, you couldn't possibly match up to me," he says with a smug grin.
Jarvan shouts, "Hah! Just a Laurent?! You don't know who you're messing with!"
Oliver replies, "Oh yea? And just who am I messing with?"
Jarvan is just about ready to charge in, but I hold him back while whispering in his ear, "Come on Jarv, once your father hears about this, he'll do things to them worser than anything you could ever do."
Jarvan stops, before relaxing and saying, "Fine."
He turns around to leave but just before we go he spits on the ground. We're finally about to leave the courts when we run into Courtney of all people. She says to us, "Hey guys, what's going on?"
'Oh man, her hair and her eyes, they're brown just like almonds...'
Jarvan speaks for me, "A bunch of jerks just stole our court, flashing their status around like they own the place."
"That's funny, teehee, considering your dad pretty much does own the place, Jarvie."
I can feel another crack inside my chest, but I try to ignore it. Feeling like I'm supposed to say something, I say, "Y-yea, w-we're going to go b-bring them to the l-law."
'Okay, that wasn't so bad!'
She giggles, "You mean tell on them? Come on guys, you're both men, aren't you? Go show them who's boss!"
"I like that plan!"
"N-no! F-first off, they're soldiers! S-second off, it's not our place!"
"Fine. As always, Garen, you say the smart thing."
"Oh fooey, Garen, you're almost too responsible."
Inwardly, I shout at myself, 'Oh man, should I have not done that?! You idiot, Garen!'
Suddenly, Oliver shows up and says, "Hey, hot stuff, why are you hanging out with these brats when you could be with a real man?"
Courtney looks at him with disdain and says, "Who? You? No thanks."
Jarvan speaks up, "Just when I decided to spare you..."
I grab Jarvan by the shoulder and push him towards the direction of the exit but then Oliver wraps his arm around Courtney and pulls her back. He says to her while ignoring us, "Come on, don't be like that, I'm trying to help you out here. If you're friends with me, you'll start being one of the movers and shakers of this city."
Jarvan and I move to help but then Oliver's friends shove us back, hard. We hold our ground and I turn to Jarvan, "We've gotta go to the authorities."
"Garen, we can NOT just walk away from this."
"But, they're soldiers!"
"So what? We have the natural blood of purebred soldiers running through our veins! And we've both trained with our dads before! Besides, now's your chance!"
"Chance? Chance for what?!"
"All we have to do is get Courtney loose and then we run for it! But you'll be the one personally rescuing her while I help, you get it?"
"Isn't that kind of..."
"You heard her man! 'You're almost too responsible,' she said. Now's your chance to show her otherwise!"
"Oh my god, you're right. If all we have to do is get Courtney loose, then not only is it feasible, but I'll also get to show her I can be just as irresponsible as you!"
"I'll take that as a compliment! Now come on!"
We duck past Oliver's friends and start sprinting at Oliver, ramming our shoulder's into his back and loosening his grip on Courtney. I quickly say to her, "C-Come on, we're making a tactical retreat!"
The three of us start running but Oliver and his friends are quick to catch up. We try to lose them but to no avail. As we approach a fork, Jarvan says to me, "Garen, I'll get them to chase me, you go with Courtney to the guards."
"No! I want to be with you, Jarvie!"
Another crack. I brush it off and quickly exclaim, "What are you talking about?!"
"You guys are slowing me down right now, don't worry, I'll be fine. Besides, Garen can take care of you, he's the responsible one, remember?"
"You...you hothead! You're just showing off again!"
"Heh, it can't be helped if it's the truth. Alright...and break! And Courtney, you better go with him or I'll be mad!"
Jarvan sprints to the left while Courtney and I sprint to the right. Behind us, I can hear Jarvan shout, "House Laurent? More like House Dormant! You guys haven't done anything special in years!"
"Get that punk! Nobody insults House Laurent!"
I look at Courtney and see her looking back. I remember Jarvan's words and while thinking to myself that this could be my last chance, I grab her hand and say, "C-Come on, Jarvan will be fine! A-And he told us to go to the authorities, we can't let him down now!"
She only stares at me, before nodding. Minutes later, we find a guard and immediately tell him Prince Jarvan IV is in trouble. After frantically searching for him, we find the scene of the fight.
Jarvan lay there, broken and bruised, looking like he got stomped on by several people. Courtney immediately runs to him, crying. For just a moment, she looks back at me, with eyes full of hatred, "It should've been you instead of him!"
I can feel my chest shatter into a million pieces.
"Do you know why you are here, son?" my father says while standing with his back turned to me, him facing the lit fireplace.
I stand before him, with my head bowed, and reply, "Yes, father."
"Hmm, so why are you here?"
"Because I let Jarvan get hurt instead of me."
"And why is that?"
"I...had to protect Courtney Shinewall... Jarvan, he...he told me he'd be fine... I went to the authorities, I did the right thing!"
At this point, my father turns around and as I look up he stares directly at me. He says with his deep, steady voice, "No, son, you did not do the right thing. You are a Crownguard, and it seems you have forgotten that."
"I haven't! Jarvan and I are great friends!"
"No, son, it is not just 'friendship.' Since the day you were born, you were destined to be Jarvan's sword and shield, to be his protector, whether he likes it or not. And in that, you have failed."
"But what about Oliver Laurent? What was I supposed to do? He was stronger than me!"
"Did you not think to simply let the girl be taken before coming back with the proper officials?"
"Father, what, what are you saying?"
He turns around to face the fireplace again. He then says, "Do not question me, Garen. It seems the time has come for you to join the military. There, you will learn the full priority of your destiny. I will make the proper arrangements. We will send you off tomorrow morning. You may go now."
As I turn to leave, I hear my father whisper in a volume just barely audible, "You are so weak, my son..."
Next thing I know, I'm simply lying on top of my bed, staring at the ceiling.
'So, I'm finally being sent off to the military, huh. Why does it have to be tomorrow morning? Now I can't say goodbye to all my friends from school. Well, I'll probably see them again, considering they're all old enough too.'
I fondly recall all of my friends, and then sigh at the thought of seeing Courtney again.
'What did my father mean when he said I should've just let Courtney be taken? Did he mean I should've just walked away with Jarvan when we had the chance? Or to have let her be the bait instead of Jarvan? How could either of these have been the right thing to do when they both feel so wrong? Is this my weakness? Is this why father thinks I'm weak?'
Suddenly, I remember the look Courtney gave me and my father's words.
'It should've been me instead of Jarvan. That is what father meant my destiny as a Crownguard would be. But it feels so...hollow. I don't want this destiny. Don't I have a life of my own?'
I hear someone enter my room and look to see who it is.
"Luxanna, shouldn't you be in bed?"
It was my little sister, Luxanna, in her favorite blue pajamas. She whispers to me, "Uh-huh, but, I really really wanted to talk to you."
I sit up to face her before asking, "About what?"
"Is it true you're gonna join the military?"
"Yea, it is."
"That's...that's so COOL!" she exclaims. I quickly put a finger to my lips, telling her to keep her voice down.
"I mean...that's so cool!" she exclaims in a more hushed voice. She looks at me with her fists clenched in front of her and her blue eyes gleaming with excitement. In that instant, I realized how highly she thinks of me.
"Now I can tell all my friends at school that my brother's a SUPER AWESOME SOLDIER!"
I remind her to keep her voice down again, and she says "Oops!" before getting excited again. I can't help but smile at her.
'What would she do if she found out I'm not exactly too thrilled about all this? Will her smile be torn by doubt? I have to be strong. For Luxanna, at the very least.'
"That's right, I'm going to train every night and day to keep all the evildoers away."
"Wow, are you gonna use magic?!"
"Maybe, maybe not. But I'll use whatever I can and give it my all to defend our fair and just city-state, Demacia!"
At this point, she leaps at me, pinning me to the bed while hugging me and saying, "You're the coolest brother ever!"
I pat her on the back and say, "That's right, and I'm going to keep on getting cooler. I'm probably not going to have enough time for you anymore."
Luxanna's eyes start to water and she stammers out, "D-don't forget about me, big brother!"
I smile at her, "I'm joking, I could never, ever forget about you. But just in case, is there anything you could give me?"
"Oh, I've got just the thing!"
She quickly climbs off of me and dashes out the door, only to return a few moments later with a blue scarf in her hands.
"Here, this should keep you nice and warm."
It was a standard Demacian scarf, but I could tell it was hers.
"Are you sure? Isn't this your favorite?"
"Of course I'm sure! The best scarf in the world combined with the best brother in the world will definitely be the best!"
I smile again and take the scarf while saying, "Thank you very much, Luxanna."
"No problem, except..."
"In return, could I sleep with you tonight?"
"Sure, as long as you actually sleep. I'm just about ready to pass out over here."
"Hah, I'm not...*yawn*...tired at all..."
I help Lux onto the bed while putting my new scarf in a safe place before tucking the both of us in . She almost immediately dozes off, and I say to her one last time before falling asleep,
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