Snippet #2791173

located in Fódlan, a part of Fire Emblem: Apotheosis, one of the many universes on RPG.

Fódlan

A continent divided into three different factions: The Adrestian Empire, The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Senka Rinaldi Character Portrait: Amalthea von Kreuz Character Portrait: Mercer von Riegan Character Portrait: Cyril Eisner Character Portrait: Vridel von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Sorcha Blaiddyd Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1186 - Garland Moon - Friday the 8th
Derdriu - Afternoon - Warm
Mercer von Riegan


Mercer sighed, rubbing a hand down his face. Thanks to everyone's healing magic, his wrists had mostly healed. Everyone's injuries had healed nicely as well, most of the ones who couldn't walk were able to do so, now, and he thought that a bit of a break was needed. It was partially why he'd had a couple of carriages prepared so that they could all enjoy a day at the beach. The Alliance had some of the most beautiful waters around; he wasn't being biased, either. He truly believed that. The weather was nice enough that they could all have fun and enjoy themselves. They desperately needed it, if anything, and they'd arrived in Derdriu, yesterday.

“Hey, Mercer," Thea's voice interrupted his thoughts as he turned to greet her. “Everything is packed and ready to go, whenever you're ready," she continued, smiling at him before taking her leave. He glanced at the paper in his hands before setting it down. He knew that once they returned, things were going to change. The remaining Lords of the Alliance were calling for a conference, and as much as Mercer didn't want to go, he knew he had to.

Perhaps going to the beach was also his way of temporarily forgetting. Taking a deep sigh, he pushed the thought from his mind, and stood from his chair, following after Thea to where the carriages were. Senka and Thea were loading the last basket of food, it seemed and Deirdre seemed to be helping Sofia inside one of the carriages. Sylvi was standing next to Devon, holding his hand and having a conversation with him, it seemed. It was enough to make a smile cross Mercer's features.

“I've loaded a barrel of wine, as well, onto one of the smaller carts. Should I load another one?" Alaric stated, nearly startling Mercer. He'd been so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn't even hear the Duke approach. He snorted, though, and nodded his head.

“Have you seen Teach drink? We'll need more than just one, Al," Mercer replied, causing Alaric to tilt his head slightly before shaking it. “Just load another one for now; I'm sure Reynard has his own drinks he'll be bringing along," he added, causing Alaric to arch a brow before taking his leave.

“I heard that," Teach said, smiling at Mercer as he stepped into one of the carriages.

“Doesn't make him wrong," Vridel fired back. Of everyone, his recovery seemed to be the slowest, though his injuries had not been the outright worst to start with. Still, it wasn't hard to figure out why: he'd overtaxed his Crests during the battle, and being the most accomplished healer the group had by far, had borne quite a lot of the task of seeing everyone else better, also. Not to mention his condition in general. It was probably a good sign that he was up and moving pretty normally at all, looking only a little more wan than usual.

The rest of the group loaded themselves up as well, and the small group of carriages was off.

It wasn't long before they reached the beach, and once everyone had piled out of the carriages, Mercer set to helping them all set up. The small cart attached to the carriage Mercer had been riding in, had a couple of small tables in it. He and Thea pulled one of them out, their strength more than enough to handle it, and set to putting it down near the middle of an open area. It was far enough from the water that their food and drinks wouldn't become contaminated or anything, but close enough that the others could go for a swim if they wanted to.

Once the second table had been brought down, courtesy of Devon and Teach, they went about setting the tables up. After everything was placed, Mercer smiled to himself and glanced towards the group. “Alright, guys. Food is up, drinks are ready so serve yourselves whatever you want. Anyone have anything in particular they want to do, first?" he asked, arching a brow in everyone's direction.

Teach, standing a little aside from the others, filled one glass with some of the wine, then carefully poured it onto the sand, setting the cup down atop the barrel, clearly meaning for it to remain there, undisturbed, for the rest of the evening. It was a old tradition, but maybe that was fitting, all things considered. It didn't take a genius to guess who was being honored by it, either.

Devon stretched, rolling his shoulders and testing, it seemed, his formerly-injured leg. Finding it firm, he glanced between the others. “I don't know about any of you, but I was kind of thinking a swim would be nice," he admitted. “It's kind of hot out today."

“That does sound like a nice plan. It's supposed to be relaxing for your muscles too, which I think all of us could use. Except you, Professor," Sylvi stated, smiling a little in Teach's direction. Deirdre snickered softly and nodded her head.

“I think that sounds like a plan. It's been awhile since I've been able to go swimming. I kind of miss it," Deirdre stated as she glanced in Sofia's direction. Mercer supposed that was it, then. Everyone else seemed to nod their heads in agreement except for Thea, who glanced up at Vridel, her hand gently touching his shoulder.

“What about you, Vi? Do you want to go see Lord Fishface in his natural element, or do you want to do something else?" she asked. Mercer pursed his lips in their direction, though.

“I didn't even say I was going swimming," he murmured.

“But the look on your face was all we needed to know that you were," Senka retorted, smiling somewhat before turning her attention towards the water. It seemed she was contemplating a decision, but didn't seem to come to one, yet.

Vridel smiled back at her, his voice quieting enough that Mercer could only barely hear it. Something about being well enough for it, mostly, but whatever he said next was only for Thea to know, and then he took up her hand and headed towards the water.

Several of the others followed, though Reynard seemed to think better of it, retrieving a blanket instead and spreading it out on the sand. In concession to the weather, he rolled his loose sleeves up to his elbows and shed his shoes, but he seemed to find this sufficient, settling down on the blanket. "I'll watch our things," he said simply.

Teach turned towards Sen with an inquiring look on his face, obviously curious as to what, exactly, she was deciding.

Mercer chuckled lightly at Reynard. It wasn't like their things needed to be watched; they weren't going to be too far from the items. He glanced in Alaric's direction, a sly smirk covering his features.

“Are you going to keep Rey company so he isn't too lonely protecting our things, Al?" he stated, watching as Al turned towards him, and pursed his lips together. Alaric glanced in Reynard's direction before turning towards Mercer, confusion still written on his face. Mercer had to refrain from visibly rolling his eyes. The guy was hopeless, really.

“He seems capable enough. I thought I might join the others in a swim, first," Alaric replied, shedding his cloak. Goddess only knew why he still wore that thing. They were in Garland Moon, for goodness sake. It had to be hot in that thing. Senka finally seemed to decide on something, though, and turned towards Teach, holding out a hand towards him.

“I skipped out on swimming the last time we were near a body of water. I do not plan to do so again," she simply stated, indicating that she wanted to go for a swim. Mercer didn't blame her, really. Or any of them. It was warm, and he turned his attention towards Sorcha.

“Hey, Sor," he called out, arching a brow in her direction. “You want to go swimming?"

Even as Teach nodded and headed for the waterline with Sen, Sorcha pursed her lips. “I feel like I know how," she said after a moment, but then glanced down. She, like Reynard, had worn long sleeves to the beach, loose and billowy as they were, but she hadn't so much as rolled them, and her right hand was covered with a thin leather glove. “But..." She grimaced.

He understood why she'd be hesitant to go swimming. It was going to be a long road for them before things even felt remotely normal, but he had told her he was going to be with her every step of the way. They could start small, here, though. Gently, he reached out a hand towards her, and took her left hand into his. He took her right hand, next.

“Hey," he spoke softly, holding her hands in his, “if it's too much to go swimming, you don't have to go. We can stay on the beach and make sand castles if you want." He'd do just about anything else she wanted, really.

She smiled a little at the suggestion, her eyes on their joined hands, and leaned far enough forward to rest her brow on his shoulder. “That would be nice," she said quietly. “Truthfully I'm not sure whether I can get much water or sand in my arm. I know it's fine for rain, but submersion is a bit... different." It went without saying that she needed to keep it functioning as well as possible; it was technology that none of them understood, and without it she wouldn't much be able to fight, certainly not in the ways she was used to.

He huffed a little and leaned his head to rest against hers for a moment. “Alright, let's go build some castles, then," he stated, pulling back so he could lead her to a spot that wouldn't be too far from the water. “Ah, hold on," he stated, jogging back to the tables. They didn't have proper digging tools, nor molding tools, but they could improvise. He grabbed a cup, one that he'd use, anyway, and a bowl. It was the best things they had to make the castles, after all, and made his way back towards Sorcha.

“Alright, I don't know about you, but I'm the best at making the worst sand castles ever. Mostly because I've never really built them before," he stated, grinning in Sorcha's direction slightly. He could hear everyone in the distance, though, laughing at one thing or another as they swam.

“I'm... pretty sure I've never built one either," she said, clearly amused by his declaration. “There aren't really beaches in Faerghus—it's mostly cliffs near the ocean, so not a lot of sand." Her expression softened a little. “So I guess that means it'll be a new memory for both of us."

Stepping back a little, the tilted her head at a patch of bare, wet sand, smoothed by the outgoing high tide. Anything they built on it would at least last a while. Humming to herself, she sketched out a rough rectangle on the ground. “Help me remember what Garreg Mach looks like?" she asked, marking a smaller rectangle within the big one that was clearly meant to be the main cathedral, located near the back. “I bet we could make something that looks about right if we plan it."

Sorcha grinned, then, clearly enthused by the prospect. “I think... I used to go to pray a lot, when I first came to the Monastery," she said, indicating the cathedral building. “But not so much after..." her brows knit. “After something bad, but I don't know what."

Mercer knew why, of course. “It's because the archbishop went crazy," he stated, pursing his lips together as he helped make a sketch of the monastery. “She did some things that weren't quite... ethical," like sending children to murder people, and trying to get those very same children killed. Not to mention the stunt she pulled with Sen and Teach, and everyone else, really.

“The dormitories were here, and the greenhouse was here," he stated, marking the areas where the buildings were located. “Oh, and this was the dining hall, and over here was the training grounds. We spent a lot of time there, now that I remember," he huffed lightly. They'd spent almost every waking hour at the training grounds before classes, and sometimes even after class. The only time they didn't was when they were busy with friends or events.

She nodded. “I was always trying to out-shoot you," she remarked. “I sort of knew it was impossible, but I think I liked that being the goal because..." she trailed off, clearing her throat a little. Her cheeks seemed to have reddened a bit, and the sun didn't seem to be entirely to blame.

“Well I suppose because I knew you'd never really belittle me. And because it gave me an excuse for all the thinking about you I did."

Hastily returning her attention to the rough plan in front of them, she sketched out the knights' hall and the stables. “We... met Lady and Sir at the same time, right? Did we name them to match on purpose?"

Mercer huffed lightly and shook his head. “I think it was more coincidental than it was on purpose. You named Sir, Sir Brightscales, but I, of course, gave him the name Sir Ladon Brightscales. We've just called him Sir, ever since," he began. Which was about as much his name, now as any of the other parts of it.

“Lady just happened because you had called her that, and I said it was a good name. You decided to give her the name Lady Luck because you wanted to prove everyone wrong that she wasn't bad luck at all. I think you've mostly done that and then some," he chuckled lightly as he added the market area to the plan.

“And I knew you always thought of me, Sor. Just never knew how much," he teased, arching a playful brow in her direction.

She grimaced, then stuck her tongue out at him, kneeling to fill the cup she had with sand and pack it in tightly. “Yeah, well..." she huffed softly, keeping her eyes fixed on her task. “I was falling in love with you, even if I didn't quite have that figured out," she said, upending the cup on one side of the chapel, where the goddess tower was. The shape held—clearly she'd packed it enough to keep structural integrity.

“I think it might be even more bewildering the second time."

Mercer laughed.

“Oh? Is that a confession I hear?" he stated, leaning over so that he was peering at her a little closer. “I guess all my charming you was working. I intended that, after all," he stated, catching his chin in his hand. It wasn't actually what he had been doing at the time, but he'd found her admirable in her own way. It wasn't until later that he found out that he was falling in love with her, too. Still was in love with her, even if she didn't remember much.

“And it's not really a second time, now is it?" he murmured softly. “If you loved me still, it's more like remembering old memories rather than doing it all over again," he continued. He couldn't say for sure, though, because it wasn't his memories that were gone. Or his feelings.

Sorcha shook her head slowly, lifting her eyes from where she'd been using a twig to add smaller details to the Goddess Tower. “I'm remembering," she confirmed. “And somehow I've always remembered that you're more important to me than anyone else. But..." She furrowed her brows, as though thinking carefully on her words.

“But everything you've done for me since that time—since you found me." She pressed her lips together and dropped her eyes again, falling silent for a moment as she worked through what she wanted to say. “Even if I hadn't remembered a single thing, I'd love you just for that. Because of who you are now."

She wore away at the little sand tower, patterning tiny bricks into the smooth surface. “Since I realized, I've been scared," she admitted. “Because part of me's afraid that what you love is who I used to be. I thought maybe you were holding onto that. But... but I don't think I've been giving you enough credit. So... I wanted you to know that. That I fell in love with you again, and that it doesn't depend on what I remember or don't, because as nice as it would be to have those things back, the person I love is right in front of me, and that's... that's all I really need, in the end."

Mercer smiled a little as he regarded Sorcha. “I told you, Sor. No matter what, I was going to love you. The person that you are now is still Sorcha, is she not? She might not remember who I am, or who she used to be, but..." he paused, pursing his lips together. He didn't want this to come out wrong, or for her to take it the wrong way.

“I'm always going to love you, Sor, no matter what. The person who you were, the person that you are; to me, there is no difference. You're Sorcha Blaiddyd, the woman I fell in love with because she was warm and kind, and because she was as bright as she was noble. Those things are still part of you, even if you might not think so."

“And you're right; in the end, that's really all I need. To have you right in front of me. To have you always here so that I can protect you and give you the strength you want or need, and so that you can do the same for me. Believe it or not, Sor, you're the reason why I've tried so hard to keep everyone alive. When... when I thought you'd died, a part of me had become reckless."

Reckless in ways that Mercer knew he shouldn't have been. He'd risked his life in so many situations, had come close to death so many times, that it would have been worth it if he could just keep his friends alive long enough. And if he'd died, well, he'd have been reunited with Sorcha is some way. At least if he what he was taught was something to believe in, anyway.

“You don't have to be scared, anymore, Sor; I'm not going to leave you."

She returned the smile with a bright one of her own. “I know that, now," she said softly. “And I'll be holding you to it, so don't go doing anything reckless anymore, okay?"

“Alright, alright. I promise. No more reckless things unless I pass them by you, first," he stated, grinning just a little brighter.