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26 December 2009 @ 02:19 pm
Finished prompts -- come and get 'em! pt1  
Ugh. It should not rain at this time of year. Freezing rain + powerlines = power going out when trying to update -> crankiness.

Anyway... I stayed up late and finished the last two prompts last night so I actually managed to write all ten of them. Total word count in over 12k. Some turned out better than others but I hope they'll provide some amusement to those who requested them. Please do let me know what you think.

I've grouped the four Seth/Eirika ones and the one with Tana and Eirika here as they form a nice little collection. I've been toying with the idea of writing another one to round off the collecting and posting them on ffnet.

I'll post the other five in a separate post in a minute. So here goes...


Pairing: Seth/Eirika
Plant:: Zinnias
Prompt: I knew you'd like them...
For: aquatic_lily

"Really, Princess Eirika, I must insist... I was meant to be your protector, not you playmate."

"Oh Seth, don't be silly – no one can harm us while we're in the castle. Father said so!"

At fifteen, Seth was tall but had not yet grown into his height, still lanky, shoulders a bit thin and chest not quite filled out in spite of vigorous training with sword and spear. He made for quite a sight, being dragged as he was around the castle by seven-year-old princess Eirika who clutched his hand in her tiny one and tugged at his arm with great persistence.

He stilled his protests as they came to the castle gardens, flushing as he noted the amused smile on the face of a guardsman in the hall. "Squire," said the guard, lips quirked.

"Sir," Seth returned, attempting to straighten and give a dignified nod – only to be dragged along by princess Eirika.

The scents of myriad flowers drifted through the air and the rush of water from the fountain covered the sound of footsteps, Seth noted, which immediately set him on his guard. Even within Castle Renais one could never be too cautious. "Princess, Eirika, what is this about?"

"I wanted to show you something," she replied, smiling.

She led him to one of the flower beds, a few paces from the fountain. It was filled with clusters of blooms whose name he did not recall, all in bold colours – orange and red, and magenta – as if they had been painted from the shades of the setting sun. Eirika settled herself down on the grass next to them, and Seth held back a smile as he thought of what her nursemaid would have to say about that.

He sat down next to her on the ground and waited for her to speak.

"These are my favourites," princess Eirika announced. "They're called zinnias."

He reached out to finger one of the petals and found it rough, yet he appreciated the strength of their colour and their stoutness. "They're lovely," he said with a smile.

She smiled in return. "I knew you'd like them." And then, after a pause, "You're going to be a knight, aren't you Seth?"

"Yes, princess."

"Are you going to have a flower?"

"A– flower?" He glanced at her, brows furrowed in confusion.

She nodded. "When Ephraim and I studied history with our tutor, we read about many knights who had flowers. Let's see... there was the Order of the Rose, and the Order of the Thistle, and the Order of the Gorse..."

"I see," replied Seth, doing his utmost to not crack a smile – or worse yet, to laugh. "No, I don't believe I'll be joining a chivalric Order when I'm knighted. I will simply be a knight of Renais."

Princess Eirika crossed her arms and scowled. "That's not good enough. You should get to have a flower too, so I've decided you're going to be a knight of the zinnia."

"Oh, indeed, princess?"

"Yes." And with that she removed a small knife she had tucked into her sleeve and cut the stem of one of the bright red zinnias. "Bow you head," she ordered, which he did. She touched each of his shoulders with the stem of the flower saying, "I now pronounce you Sir Seth of the Order of the Zinnia. " She then proceeded to tuck the flower into the collar of Seth's tunic while he made a great effort to his keep expression serious and solemn as befitted the occasion.

"My lady," he said. She was smiling at him, yet he thought he glimpsed a spark of sadness in her features. "Is there something the matter, princess?"

Her smile wavered and for a moment she was not the princess, but only a frightened child. "Father said that by year's end you'll be ready to go out with the knights. So..." And here there was a slight quaver in her voice, "You won't be here al the time like you are now."

"You needn't worry, my lady. Prince Ephraim will protect you."

"I know but... I shall miss you Seth. And I decided," she went on before he could speak, "that when I do, I'll come here and look at these flowers and I'll think about you and wish for your safety."

Seth opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out. He was deeply touched by this devotion from one he was meant to serve and to honour. After all, he was only a squire, one granted the privilege of watching over the twin heirs, but only a soldier after all. That King Fado had taken him under his wing, he greatly appreciated, but the princess's innocent affection was almost too much to bear.

"Thank you, princess," was all he could manage.

#


The sight of the Castle Renais appearing on the horizon, was always the sweetest part of the journey for Sir Seth, the Silver Knight of Renais. He was pleased to be able to serve his king and took great satisfaction from his command, but returning home was always his greatest pleasure.

The western sky was awash with red and ochre, magenta and flaming-bright orange when they finally reached the castle gates. They had long since been spotted approaching and the courtyard was filled with family and comrades ready to greet them. And there, first among them, was Princess Eirika, a knight at either shoulder – Sir Orson and Sir Kyle.

Seth waited as the weary men and women under his command dismounted. Eirika stepped forward to welcome them home one by one. Watching her, he smiled, for pinned to her dress was a brilliant red zinnia.

And though she welcomed all the returning knights with equal warmth, he knew she'd been thinking of him.

THE END



Characters: Tana, Eirika
Plant:: Red and white striped tulips
Prompt: Girl talk
For: hooves

After the clatter of armour and lances, the flapping of pennants in the wind, and the stamping of horses' hooves at the lists, the quiet of the Castle Frelia gardens was a godsend. Eirika drew in a deep breath, inhaling the scents of a dozen different flowers – narcissus, daffodils, hyacinth, irises, tulips. Tournaments were thrilling of course, but after a morning spent amidst the noise and bustle, she was glad of some respite.

She titled to head to one side and peered at the white lilac tree across the garden as she noticed it rustling. "Is someone there?" More rustling before a scarlet-faced Tana emerged from behind it. "Tana? Whatever are you doing here?"

"Nothing much," she replied a little too quickly. "I just wanted some fresh air."

Eirika, lips quirked, crossed the garden to join Tana by the lilac tree, noting that Tana's hands remained hidden behind her back. As Eirika approached, Tana attempted to turn and keep her back to the tree, but Eirika darted to one side and made a swipe at Tana's arm.

"Nothing much?" Eirika said as she found Tana to be clutching a short blade that appeared to be one of the paring knives used by the castle gardeners.

"Don't laugh," Tana pleaded, "it's only that..."

"Yes?" Eirika said gently, though she already had a notion what this was about: Ephraim was to ride this afternoon.

"I just thought... that perhaps I might give Ephraim a token to carry for the jousts today. I thought maybe a flower... if I could find the right one."

Eirika smiled and hugged her friend. "I'll help you choose just the right one."

"Oh will you, Eirika? Thank you!" Tana said, beaming, her cheeks rosy, her hair flowing around her as the breeze tousled it. How her brother managed to be so oblivious when Tana was so open about her affection for him was something Eirika could hardly imagine. "What sort of flowers does he like?"

"Like?" Eirika repeated. "Well... I don't know that Ephraim ever stops long to look at flowers." And then, at Tana's crestfallen look, "But the scholar who tutors us did make us study flowers for heraldry so we'd know their meaning. So he should know a little about them."

Tana brightened. "We studied that too. Or at least I did – I'm not sure about Innes. All he seems to care about is tactics and warcraft."

"Ephraim is the same," Eirika said as they began to walk the garden together. "He never likes to study and only does so grudgingly."

Tana was inspecting the surrounding flowerbeds with intensity now. "There are only spring flowers to choose from," she noted with a sigh as they passed rows of cheerful daffodils. Pretty as they were, however, Eirika recalled their meaning "uncertainty," or "unrequited love," neither of which would do for a jousting token. A cluster of purple hyacinth swayed in the breeze but "rebirth" was not quite right either. The irises were beautiful as well but they were sometimes planted on the graves of young women.

They stopped before a sprawling cluster of tulips and paused a moment to admire and inspect them. "The yellow ones are no good," Tana said. "They mean hopeless love. Red would be too forward, though, don't you think?"

"The red tulip means true love, doesn't it? No," Eirika corrected herself, "that's a red rose."

"I think it's a declaration of love," Tana supplied, colouring even as she did.

Eirika cast her eyes about the garden. "Ah! That's what you need," she said pointing to a tree of purple lilac. "Purple lilac is for the first hint of love. That will do nicely, don't you think?"

"It's perfect," Tana replied. She used the knife to pare a sprig from the tree and then clutched the lilac to her so that Eirika could not but giggle. Tana straightened self-consciously, her cheeks almost as scarlet as the tulips they'd been looking at moments ago. "Now we have find you one."

Eirika started. "Me?"

"Yes, you," Tana said, tugging at her arm. "Don't you usually give Sir Seth a token?"

"Of course I do, but that's just..."

"Just what?" Tana said, looking triumphant.

"It's just... Seth. I've always given him a token since I was little. It's not the same as... As with you and Ephraim." Her own hesitation confused her. She had never stopped to think that a tradition begun when she's been a child could be seen as anything more than innocent. After all Seth was one of her father's generals and her favourite retainer and she was nothing more than a little girl in his eyes. Even now.

"Not the same?" Tana scoffed. "Haven't you noticed the way he looks at you?"

She tried to ignore the blood running into her cheeks as they walked along the edges of the garden, once again passing the jocund daffodils. "What do you mean?"

Tana was the one laughing now. "He looks like he would ride to the ends of the earth to fetch you single rose petal. Didn't you know that?"

"He's my retainer," Eirika said, heart fluttering. "He's always served my family, since he was a boy."

"He's not a boy now," Tana said with a sly smile.

Eirika drew herself up, trying to muster a dignified reply, but somehow it wouldn't come when she thought of how noble Seth looked in his armour, of how her heart trembled whenever he jousted.

They stopped once more by the sprawling bed of tulips and Eirika was glad of the breeze that cooled the heat of her cheeks. She had steeled herself for more teasing but was surprised when Tana did speak again. "I don't know what to make of these," she said pointing out a cluster of red and yellow striped tulips. "If a yellow tulip is for hopeless love and a red one is for a declaration of love..."

"Then," Eirika continued with a laugh, "I suppose these must be a declaration of hopeless love."

"Not very promising."

"No, not very," Eirika agreed. "But these are even stranger," she said pointing out a set of white tulips coloured by longs stripes of crimson. "Normally white is purity and red is passion. The two don't go together."

"It must be for pure passion then!" Tana said and then, flashing a smile, she leaned down and cut one of the flowers. "Just what you need," she said, holding it out to Eirika.

Eirika stood stock-still for a moment, blushing up to her eyebrows until Tana took her hand and wrapped her fingers around the tulip's stem. "But Tana..." she all but squeaked.

"Just say you thought it was pretty," Tana said with a wink and then took her by the arm and led her out of the garden.

Eirika dearly hoped that Seth had never had to study flowers.

THE END



Pairing: Seth/Eirika
Plant: White Heather
Prompt: Wishes come true
For: dsanti_queza

Seth had asked her to go riding with him, but when she saw the charm tucked into the laces of his cloak, she had known that he wanted to talk.

It had been during the final weeks of the war. Renais had finally been freed from Grado's forces and Orson's misrule, yet there was still much work to be done. Their armies had stopped at a village to purchase more supplies for their trek north to Rausten...

"It's the king!" someone had called. "It's King Ephraim!" And soon the streets were thronging with men and women anxious to look on the uncrowned king of Renais.

Eirika smiled to watch her dear brother, sitting patiently on his horse, ramrod straight, and looking very noble – if a bit uncomfortable with all the commotion. Sir Forde and Sir Kyle remained close by, ever vigilant.

While a good number of villagers thronged about Ephraim, Eirika quietly made her way past to the local butcher's to purchase cured meat to augment their supplies; after the ravages of the war, there was little enough to go around so they had had to buy provisions in bits and pieces to avoid causing further shortages. Seth was only a pace behind her as she made her way past the crowds. He followed her into the shop without a word, allowing her to barter for their needs in her own way whereas at the beginning of the war she would not have been up to the task, unused to such commercial transactions.

The butcher was a tall, broad-shouldered man with carrot-coloured hair and freckles on his pale face – and seemed happy enough to help and grateful for her coin. As he went to the back of his shop to fetch what she had asked for, she glanced over at Seth only to find him eyeing the window and the crowd that still surrounded Ephraim.

"I don't think my brother's used to all of this yet," she noted.

"No, my lady. Though Prince Ephraim must realize that they greet him so eagerly because of what they hope he will become – not because of what he has already accomplished."

"What you mean to say is that you're afraid the attention will go to his head."

Seth adjusted his scabbard, not quite meeting her eyes as he replied, "As you say, milady."

She smiled. "He won't. Not so long as I'm around in any case."

His lips twitched – which was as god as a hearty laugh from anyone else.

When the butcher returned a moment later, Seth offered to carry the packages. Eirika was surprised when, as Seth was struggling to manage them all, she found herself hailed by the butcher's wife.

"Lady Eirika," the woman said, dropping an awkward curtsey.

"Yes?"

"I wanted to thank you for everything you've done. We knew you were fighting Grado all alone."

"I was never alone. I had my retinue of knights with me always," she said, smiling as she glanced over in Seth's direction. "And Prince Innes and Princess Tana of Frelia as well."

"I– I have something for you, my lady. It's not much, I know, but we have so little left now..." She was holding a charm, a sprig of white heather attached to a simple clasp. "They say white heather is good luck, that it makes wishes come true."

"Thank you," Eirika said earnestly as she accepted the charm.

She turned at the sound of Seth's voice. "Lady Eirika?"

"Yes, just a moment, Seth." She turned again to the butcher's wife who attempted another curtsey and excused herself, hurrying away, her cheeks flushed. For a moment Eirika looked down at the white heather charm in her hand and then to the knight who stood waiting for her, arms full of wrapped bundles of cured meat. Her wishes...

That night, though they'd had a long day's march, she asked him to walk with her awhile around camp. "We've freed Renais," she said to him, "but I fear we've many battles left ahead of us."

"So it would seem," Seth replied. "As long as the dark forces that pursue the sacred stones remain free." It pained her to know that he meant Lyon and that he dared not speak his name.

"Seth, I have something I want to– something I'd like you to take." She could feel herself flushing even as she spoke. He appeared puzzled until she pulled the charm from the pouch at her belt. "It's for good luck," she explained. And then, without asking, she stepped closer to him. "It's supposed to grant wished," she said as she affixed the charm to the collar of his cloak. "I wished that you will always come home."

He clasped the hand that hovered over the charm, squeezing it. "Thank you, my lady," he said, his eyes meeting hers for a long moment until she could feel her cheeks grow warm again.

#


The scene replayed itself in Eirika's thoughts as they rode in silence through the little glen not far from Castle Renais. The sky above was leaden, but the air was dry, without a hint of rain. Birds chirped amidst the branches overhead which were bare save for the wispy green of the first spring foliage, only now beginning to bloom.

It was she who halted her mare first and dismounted. He followed suit without a word, unusually quiet, even for him. They tied the horses' reins to a branch and then she folded her cloak around herself and sat down on the dry remains of a toppled tree.

"My lady?" he said.

"You wanted to talk about something, didn't you, Seth?" He opened his mouth a moment as if to object but then only nodded. "Then please, let's talk, as we always have."

He sat, looking pained. "Things aren't as they always have been, my lady."

"No," she said quietly, glancing down at her hands. "I suppose not." Her thoughts turned to the night they had fled Renais, to the words that had passed between them. I felt what you felt...

She glanced up, startled when his hands clasped hers. "The charm you gave me," he began, "it's white heather, isn't it?"

"Y– yes," Eirika stammered, taken off guard by the disparity between his gesture and the casualness of his speech, and all the while, flushed and flustered by his closeness. The palms of his hands were rough with callouses, buy warm around hers.

"Do you know what heather is called in the north?" She shook her head. "It's called 'erica.'"

"Is it?"

He nodded and his lips were curled ever so slightly. "I've seen it growing many a time on the heaths in the north. It's an extraordinary flower. It not only survive in those harsh lands, it thrives." He squeezed her hands. "Just as you have." Royal decorum was impossible now; she could only smile at him openly, unable to keep the joy and affection she felt for him from showing on her features. "When I wore this," he said, "it was as if you were always with me."

"And you always came home," she added. "We both did."

He took a deep breath. "What we spoke of before – about that night when we fled Renais... If you still feel as you did..."

"Of course I do," she said without hesitation. "I was willing to set aside what I feel for the good of Renais, but Ephraim is safe now and he'll be a fine king and I– " she broke off to look into his face. "Seth, I..."

"Lady Eirika, I have as little to offer you as the one who game you this charm..."

"But I'll take what you offer just as readily."

He leaned in then to press his lips to hers in a kiss that left her trembling in his arms.

"Seth?" she said as he drew away.

"Hmm?"

"About the charm... I told you I wished you would always come home?"

"Yes?" he said, appearing a mite puzzled.

"What I really wished," she began, blushing even as she said it, "was that you would always come home... to me."

It was not the quiet smile she was used to that graced his features then, but a boyish grin. "And so I will... Eirika."

THE END



Pairing: Seth/Eirika
Plant: White Roses
Prompt: mystery, silence
For: saffiremoon21

She knew him even behind the mask; she would have known him anywhere.

"Would you honour me with a dance, milday?"

His voice, so warm and familiar, sent a thrill down her spine. "Of course, good sir."

Epharim had asked them to keep their engagement a secret until he could settle things with Frelia to his satisfaction. He approved heartily of their alliance, but did not think Prince Innes would be of the same mind. Prince Innes did not like to lose and losing a prize such as the princess of Renais to a humble knight would not be to his liking.

His face was hidden from brow to jaw by a mask in the shape of a wolf's head, complete with jutting snout. Curls of silver, grey, and gold gave the illusion of pointed ears and bushy fur, while thin white wires jutted from the snout like whiskers. She took his hand and followed him to the centre of the room to dance.

It was solstice night and the masked ball had been her brother's idea. While Innes danced with one masked lady after another, peering at each of them intently, she was able to dance with Seth to her heart's content with none the wiser. Her mask was a plain white with a few painted lines, sure to be easily dismissed by Innes who would expect the princess of Renais to wear something grand. A veil covered her hair and the mask altered the lines of her face enough to make her unrecognisable to all but a few.

"You look very dashing tonight, my silver wolf," she whispered as the dance steps brought her close to him for a few beats. The lips beneath the lupine snout curved into a smile.

The dance sent them stepping back and then moving to circle one another. When they stepped together again he replied with a, "Thank you, milday."

As the princess of Renais it would have been impossible to spend this time with him, to be this free with him or this close. She would have had the eyes of the entire room on her, and Prince Innes to deal with. Her heart overflowed with gratitude for what Ephraim had done for them.

Her pulse skipped when, late into the evening, he drew her away from the dancers to a quiet corner of the grand hall. "I need to speak you alone," he said. "Will you come with me?"

She glanced around to see Innes dancing with a lady in an extravagant feathered mask lined with gold and pearls. "Of course," she said with a smile, her pulse racing at the thought of being alone with Seth.

The princess of Renais could never slip out of a ball on the arm of gentleman, but a lady of little note could easily go unobserved. The thrill of this newfound anonymity raced through her blood, making her giddy like wine.

No one noticed as they took their leave together.

He led her through quiet hallways where the only sound was the echo of their footfalls. He knew every stone in the castle, every passageway, and knew how to go unnoticed. She was startled, though not unpleasantly so, when finally he pulled her into an alcove and drew her near in a heated kiss. The stone walls around them were cold now in the winter months, but Seth's body radiated heat and she pressed herself close to him, revelling in his warmth and the thrill of his touch.

He drew away from her, his smile turned wolfish by the lines of his mask, but his eyes held the gentleness she had always known. "Forgive me, my darling," he said, fingers trailing along the line of her jaw, still exposed by the mask. "We have so little time together..."

She took his hand in hers, squeezing it, "It won't be much longer. I know Ephraim will settle things soon."

He held both her hands in his as he spoke. "Lord Ephraim has devised a ruse to deal with Prince Innes tonight, but I'd not go through with it before speaking to you."

"A ruse?"

He nodded. "There's some risk, but I will fight the prince if need be."

"Don't say that," she said, pressing a finger to his lips. "After everything we've been through during the war, it shouldn't come to that." She shook her head. "It isn't me Innes wants, not really. Only the prize. He didn't even notice me tonight because of this mask."

Seth brought her hands to his lips. "I would know you in any crowd, mask or no."

"And I you," she said laying her head against his shoulder.

#


They had only just returned when King Ephraim called for the attention of the guests. His mask was an elaborate affair of black in the form of a panther's face, white ivory fangs curving down from his cheek bones, below tiny red gems like beads of blood. Seth watched as Eirika was hurried away by her attendants – all part of King Ephraim's plan.

"Prince Innes, would you join me here?"

Prince Innes raised his elegant mask of ivory and sapphires as he came to stand next to King Ephraim. "Here I am. Now... what is this all about, Ephraim?"

"You've made claims on my sister, Princess Eirika. I'm afraid, however, that you have a rival." The prince of Frelia bristled visibly and a wave of murmuring swept through the crowd. "Please come forward."

Seth took his cue and made his way through the crowd of guests, steeling himself as he felt their eyes on him. Only a few would recognise him. To the rest this was nothing but a peculiar quarrel between two lords. Seth bowed but did not remove his mask.

"Who are you?" Prince Innes demanded, drawing himself up and inspecting the wolf mask in his haughtiest manner.

Seth remained mute as his lord had instructed, and Ephraim jumped in. "That isn't important at present. I propose something to you, Prince Innes..." He signalled one of his attendants, and a moment later a line of women filed into the room. Each bore a plain white mask and an equally plain gown, adorned only with a white rose. Each one's hair was hidden by a veil. Prince Innes's brow was furrowed in a scowl that would have daunted lesser men, but King Ephraim was unfazed. The women stood in a line, shoulder to shoulder, twelve all told. "If you can choose my sister among these women, then you may win her."

"This is outrageous. They're all masked!"

Ephraim's lips curled and the panther mask gave him a predatory air. "I will not give up my sister to a man who cannot pass such a simple test. If you can see her value as you profess to, then surely you can choose her from among her peers."

"And what of him?" Prince Innes said, casting a withering glance in Seth's direction.

"He'll be offered the same chance."

Prince Innes's lips thinned to a line but finally he nodded. "I accept," he said simply and the arrogance of his expression made Seth want to strike him. That he should think he knew Eirika, that it would be a simple matter when he had not even been able to spot her during the ball... He had passed her many times during the dancing and never looked twice at her simple mask.

Seth and the prince came to stand before the twelve ladies. None spoke or moved, but keep her eyes ahead and her hands held still before her, lest the prince accuse them of trying to signal his rival. Hands clasped behind his back, Prince Innes walked up and down the line of masked ladies as if he were performing a military inspection. Seth let him be and waited. When the prince had finished his initial pass, with a smug air he gestured for Seth to take his turn. Seth gave a curt nod and stepped forward.

Yet he did not immediately move closer. He spent a moment taking in their height, build, and bearing. One was too short to be his lady, another stood with slightly slumped shoulders rather than the proud bearing of the princess, while another was too plump. When he did approach them, he spent a moment looking into each one's face, to the features he could see past the past the mask: the line of each lady's throat, her lips, and finally her eyes. Several of the ladies were disqualified simply for the colour of their eyes, some green, some brown, some blue-green but still not the shade of hers. He stood before each and spent a long moment gazing into those eyes, searching for the ones he knew so well.

"Have you decided?" King Ephraim asked once Seth, too, had drawn away from the white-clad ladies. Seth and the prince each nodded. "Then make your choice."

Prince Innes wore a smug air as he walked to the line and took the hand of one lady and drew her away from the others. "This is she," the Prince announced.

King Ephraim turned then to Seth and he was certain he saw a glimmer in the king's eyes beneath the black mask. "And you?"

Seth walked to one end of the line and reached out to take the hand of a lady who stood very straight and watched him through the mask with blue eyes, now blinking away tears. He led her along to stand with him before the king.

"You've made your choices," King Ephraim said, lips curling slightly, "now look on what you've chosen."

Prince Innes wasted no time in turning to face the lady, who pulled off her mask and veil. The look of shock on Innes' face as the mask dropped away only to reveal Princess L'Arachel, sent a jolt of triumph through Seth like that he felt when besting an opponent in a duel. "I'm afraid my radiance had blinded you, Innes," announced Princess L'Arachel with a toss of her head, her blue-green eyes bright and lovely – but not quite the same tint as Eirika's.

"Impossible," Prince Innes snarled. "This is..."

The eyes of the room then turned to Seth's masked form as he faced his lady. Her hands shook as she moved to free herself of the mask and veil that hid her long hair. Eirika was smiling, tears streaming down her cheeks as she looked up into his face. He clasped her hands and brought them to his lips.

"It appears, Innes," Princess L'Arachel said, "that you've lost this little contest."

Princess Innes was trembling with ire. "I demand to know who you are, sir."

Seth glanced in the direction of his king. He nodded and only then did Seth remove his mask. There was a collective gasp from the guests and much murmuring of "General Seth," or "The Silver Knight."

"This was arranged," snarled the prince. "A trick. He knew ahead which–"

"No, he didn't," protested one of the still-masked ladies.

Prince Innes scowled. "Tana. You were a party to this deception?"

She removed her mask and loosed her hair from the veil. "We all went into a room and dressed in the same white gowns with the same white masks. Sir Seth wasn't there and the dresses and masks were identical. There was no trick, brother. I swear on it."

"As do I," Princess L'Arachel added, straightening as if to say that that settled it.

"Ephraim, you put them up to this – all of them. You–"

"I would like my say in this matter," Eirika announced, stepping forward.

"Eirika," Innes began, clearly affronted, "you can't mean to say that you wish to go through with this."

"I do wish it," she replied, shoulders squared, brave, immovable, defiant – all the things she had learned during the war – and beautiful in her strength. Seth smiled to watch her, proud to serve her and to be loved by her. "After all the months we spent side by the side during the war and the claim you say you have to my hand, you cannot even pick me from a crowd. I wish to marry a man who sees me and not only my title. My brother has approved my choice and I ask that you accept it as well, Innes."

"Come, Innes," Princes L'Arachel was saying then, patting him on the arm, "the arena of the heart is not meant for such contests. Eirika is out friend and not a prize to be won in a duel."

"Please, Innes," Tana added, coming to stand before him.

For a long moment Innes glared daggers – not at Seth, but at King Ephraim – before finally he turned to Eirika and Seth and gave a curt nod. "I relent out of my great respect for you both and your actions during the war. I wish you both great happiness." He offered a slight bow to Eirika and she smiled.

"Thank you Innes," she replied, smiling.

"Thank you, my lord," Seth said as he offered a low bow.

Seth was surprised when applause began to rise from the crowd – joined by a whistle or two from Forde, he had no doubt. He turned to face Eirika and once more her eyes had filled with tears even as her lips parted in a smile as radiant as spring sunshine. She stepped into his embrace even as their friends gathered close to offer their congratulations.

Soon the revelry of the solstice ball began anew but they two clung to each other all the while, grateful that finally their days of silence and secrets were at an end. No more hiding. No more masks. Seth smiled to himself, content in Eirika's closeness. It was the longest night of the year but finally longer days were coming.
THE END




Pairing: Seth/Eirika
Plant: Yellow Asiatic Lily
Prompt: Eirika doing something sweet for Seth
For: hooves


The morning light that slunk through the window was leaden as Seth rose and then sat on the edge of their bed. They had been married for only a few months, but she could always tell when something was bothering him. Still groggy, Eirika, too, sat up in bed, pulling the blankets around her to ward off the late winter chill. She moved to press herself against the bare skin of his back, draping the blankets around them both.

"How's your shoulder this morning?" she asked, pressing her lips to his skin.

"Only a little stiff," he replied and rotated the joint experimentally. Few aside from Eirika knew that the wound he'd received from Valtar still pained him at times. Gently, she rubbed his injured shoulder, wishing she could banish the traces of the war that he still carried with him in his very flesh and bones. She wished her love were enough to heal his body.

Even after the war, Eirika had decided to keep up her swordsmanship and she and Seth trained daily, but today there was something different. While he was always meticulous and cautious, his movements lacked a certain spark, seeming mechanical almost as he went through the motions of defending against the quick strikes of her blade.

She didn't ask him if anything was wrong.

Though her brother was the reigning monarch, Eirika had her share of responsibilities, but throughout the day she stole away to look down into the courtyard where Seth was drilling recruits and squires with the other senior knights. Even from where she watched, she could see that his gaze was distant, as if he were only half present to the proceedings.

"Are you well this evening, Seth?" Ephraim asked over dinner, noting that he was more taciturn than was normal even for Seth.

"Just tired, my lord," Seth replied with a slight bow of his head. Eirika reached under the table to squeeze his hand.

It was only later, when they walked the castle corridors alone that she finally spoke. "Seth."

"Hmm?" He glanced up at her and she knew his thoughts had been far away.

She held out her hand to him. "I wanted to show you something."

Brow creased in puzzlement, he took her hand and let her lead him back to their quarters where, in the antechamber to their rooms, a cloth-wrapped package was waiting for them. She gestured towards the package and slowly, as if it might contain something likely to leap up and bite him, Seth drew back the cloth. What appeared beneath the folds of fabric was a shield, finely crafted and emblazoned with a brilliant, yellow flower.

"I know what day it is, Seth," she whispered.

He froze.

After a few moments he swallowed hard and drew the shield out of the cloth wrapping. "This was my father's emblem, a golden lily. King Fado honoured him with it, though in heraldry it was normally reserved only for royalty." Blinking away tears at the mention of her own father, she rubbed his back as he inspected the shield. "You had this made... for me?"

She smiled. "Yes. And I wanted to give it to you today. I wanted you to know that Ephraim and I both appreciate everything your father did for our family, our kingdom... and how much you've done for us."

"I didn't know you were aware of..."

"Of when you father was killed? Of course I remember. I was there when father told you..." She had been only a child, and he barely more than one, eighteen and newly knighted. She could never forget the shadow that had fallen over his features, the way he had held so very still as the king had offered his deepest condolences, and of how he'd waited until he was alone – or until he'd thought he was alone – to cry.

"Sometimes I think I'm the only one who remembers him now."

"Father would never forget. He always spoke well of him. And of you."

And she did now what she had so wanted to do that day: she put her arms around him and held him as tightly as she could.

"Thank you, Eirika," he said, burying his face in her hair. "Thank you."

For a few moments she again felt the loss of her own father as keenly as she had all those months ago when she'd learned of his fate. She was only a few years older than Seth had been when his own father had been killed and the ache was one she now understood all too well. As they stood there in each other's embrace, for a while she felt as if they were both children again, missing their parents.

After some minutes, Seth took a deep breath and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. When she looked up at him, his face was full of love and gratitude. She kissed his lips and hugged him once again.

Love did not erase pain, it seemed, but sometimes it was enough to make it bearable.

THE END

 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
saffiremoon21saffiremoon21 on December 27th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
Mine was the best!

I LOVED IT.
wolfraven80: FE:TSS Seth goldwolfraven80 on December 27th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
Yay! Yours turned out really well. I was really pleased with it.
(Anonymous) on December 27th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
I love love love~ it!!! <333

I'm amazed! You really did research on it? Is "heather" really called "erica" or did you make that up? XP Either way, it's amazing! Now, I feel kind of ashamed to give you yours. It's hardly as good. -___-

Thank you so so much! < glomps >

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! <3
Queza De Santidsanti_queza on December 27th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Eep. Sorry, thought I logged in. In any case, this is me (if you haven't figured out XD).

Love love~ <3
wolfraven80: FE:TSS S/E Embracewolfraven80 on December 27th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you like it!

And nope, I didn't make it up:

Erica, the heaths or heathers, is a genus of approximately 860 species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. The English common names "heath" and "heather" are shared by some closely related genera of similar appearance.

Wikipedia has a handy entry on the "language of flowers" so I used that for reference a lot and checked the entries on on each plant as well; it helped me get ideas. ;D Though I actually already knew that heather was called "erica" as my name is "Erika" so I remember coming across that tidbit when poking around sites that discussed the meaning of first names.

And don't worry about it -- I'm sure yours will be lovely!
Queza De Santidsanti_queza on December 27th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
Posted your fic already! I hope you like it. >.< Oh, I should warn you, it's my first Seth x Eirika (actually, my first Fire Emblem, for that matter) fic. >.<

FIC~
Queza De Santidsanti_queza on December 27th, 2009 08:13 am (UTC)
I just read the other fics.

Eeee~ I love love love~ Eirika x Seth. <333

All of them are super cute! < giggles giddily > I especially love the ones with Child Eirika and Eirika and Tana. Those were amusingly adorable! <333 And the fluff of the White Rose was... < dissolves into fangirlish squealing >

< ahem > I'm sane again. XD You're Eirika x Seth fics never fail to make me fall in love with them all over again! <3 Praises to your writing prowess! <333
Mani Marte: Geoffery by HappyButterwha_hoppened on December 27th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
These were all very nice as well! I liked the first one the best because semi-awkward teenage Seth amuses me. Also clearly this is the Seth who is in the basement playing Guitar Hero with Eirika. Or was it Dance Dance Revolution? Actually now that I think about it 15 year old Seth should play DDR while older Seth should play Guitar Hero. It is silly of me to mix up such a simple fact.

J
wolfraven80: Old Schoolwolfraven80 on January 1st, 2010 03:12 am (UTC)
Ah dear Seth and his super sekkrit gaming habit... ;)
Sarah: Ephraimpocketcucco on December 27th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading all of these. ♥ I love Seth/Eirika more and more every time I've read a oneshot you've written about them. :D You capture their personalities so well.

I loved them all, but I think White Roses was my favorite.
wolfraven80: FE:TSS S/E Glimpsewolfraven80 on January 1st, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them! It had been such a while since I'd written FE I was a little nervous that I might be rusty. Seems to have worked out all right, though.;) I might even post them on ffnet.
korsriddarekorsriddare on December 27th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
All of them are so full of win.
wolfraven80: FE:SS Restoration Queenwolfraven80 on January 1st, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's the first time I've ever written anything on request so I'm really glad they turned out all right.