Snippet #2791594

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: Cyril Eisner
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I.Y. 1186 - Garland Moon - Tuesday the 17th
Derdriu - Evening - Cool
Senka Rinaldi


Senka knew the outfit she was wearing was rather... open. It had been made in a way that most of her stomach and chest was exposed. The standing collar was only attached to thin, almost nonexistent sleeves. The bottom part of the dress had exposed the entirety of her right leg, ruffling out on the left side almost to the floor. Oddly, it was predominately white in color with shades of dark blue here and there. The chiffon parts of the skirt were dark blue, at least. It almost reminded her of home, however; her thoughts were interrupted when she was approached. She furrowed her brows slightly when she'd noted it wasn't Cyril. Mercer had called him for a last minute discussion about something, Senka wasn't too sure about what.

All she knew was that she was currently without Cyril, and she'd been approached by several young men and women. Some of them had asked about her, wanted to know where she was from, where she was going, and small things like that. She'd obliged and told them, and she could see the false fascination flash across their faces. They weren't interested in any of that. Senka was not naive to miss the way their eyes had traveled over her, soaking in everything as if it were some prize they couldn't wait to have. She wasn't embarrassed by it, nor bothered, really. It's just how people were when she dressed that particular way.

The young man that had currently approached her, though, had a different look on his face. He was, perhaps, the same age as Senka. He had pale blue hair that was kept rather long, falling to his waist but tied in a low tail. His eyes, however, were a shade of gold that seemed to compliment his tanned features. He almost looked shy if the light pink of his cheeks was anything to go by.

“Hi," he greeted softly. Senka didn't immediately reply, and merely arched a brow in his direction. “I'm Lucien Edmund," he greeted, holding his hand out as if to shake hers. She obliged and he took her hand, lifting it once but did not brush his lips across her knuckles as most had tried to do. He released her hand after a moment.

“Senka," she spoke, giving him her name. It was enough to make him smile, though. Conversation had been rather pleasant with Lucien. He was Duke Edmund's grandson, from what he'd told her, however; he had a rather gentle disposition. He was also interested in learning a little more about the men in Senka's group. By the end of their conversation, she was smiling softly and shaking her head. If all of the people who approached her were like Lucien, she could tolerate this ball a little better.

“If only you were a young man, Senka," he began, causing her to huff lightly. “I'd offer you my name and home." She rolled her eyes softly.

“Hm, a generous offer, however; I already have an offer for a name and a home," she replied. He chuckled lightly, and shook his head.

“A travesty for the others, I'm sure. It was a pleasure meeting you, Senka. I wish you the best along with your intended," he spoke, nodding his head in the direction of her hand where Cyril's ring was.

“And you, Lucien." Now where was Cyril?

It turned out she wasn't the only one being accosted, which was perhaps to be expected. It was a simple fact that her friends were, as a rule, young, good-looking, and at the moment very popular in the Alliance. Cyril was of course not dressed as provocatively as Senka was, but his lack of sleeves and the clingier nature of some of the fabric made his musculature obvious even beneath the dark purple silk vest he wore, to say nothing of the sheets of ink-black hair and peculiar eyes that were always obvious. He was fairly instantaneously recognizable, even here, where he was not an especially familiar sight.

He was, at the moment, surrounded by a veritable gaggle of people, men, women, ranging in age from what might have been a pair of girls about sixteen up to a fellow who had to be at least fifty. His face didn't give much away, but she could tell he was attempting to exercise patience while not being particularly happy with his predicament. He was holding a glass of wine in either hand, and motioning vaguely in her direction as if making his excuses.

After a moment, the crowd did part, some with small smiles and others very clearly disappointed to have not laid claim to more of his time. He made eye contact with her as he approached, very clearly rolling his and extending one of the wine glasses towards her as he drew within range. “Sorry," he murmured. “Nobles talking to me like an actual person still throws me off sometimes."

Senka huffed lightly, and took the glass from him. She didn't immediately drink it, though, instead, arching an amused brow in Cyril's direction. “It'll get easier in time," she stated. “You'll be doing it a lot more once we return to Duscur," she added. Of course, in Duscur it would be a bit different. They didn't quite follow the same rules as those in Faerghus or the Alliance did. The Empire as well. Senka wasn't even sure if there were any nobles left in Duscur, though. They had either been killed during the Tragedy, or after when they couldn't escape. Pushing the thought from her mind, she took a drink of the wine, and regarded Cyril with an even stare.

“That is, of course, if you'd want to. If not, I can ensure that all of the talking is directed at me," she stated, allowing her lips to quirk up slightly. She was teasing him, but she was slightly serious.

He huffed softly. “Could you?" he asked, a touch of humor entering his tone. “Because I'm pretty sure at least some of that was directed at me in particular. And while you, my love, are without a doubt the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, you are, in fact, a woman. I think a few of the talkers were rather preferential to men."

Senka rolled her eyes at Cyril's statement. “Hm, if that's the case, then I suppose you'll just have to get used to talking to the nobles," she replied casually, as if she weren't actually teasing him more. She huffed, though, and shook her head. “Of course they're going to be more preferential to you, and I don't think it's because your a man, either. It's... hm, how should I put this," she paused to tap a thoughtful finger to her chin.

“I think it's mostly because you just have this charm about you. I don't mean this in an offensive way, but you don't exactly look masculine. I think it's a lot to do with your hair," she spoke, bringing her free hand to his hair and running it through. It was still soft to the touch, and she felt her eyes narrow a bit with her smile.

“Are you ever going to cut it?" she asked, curiously. She wouldn't be upset if he did, but there was a certain kind of allure it had. A kind that she enjoyed when her fingers were threaded through it.

He sighed, arching an eyebrow. “And here I wore this annoyingly-tight vest in the style they have here and my fiancée doesn't even think I look masculine because of my hair. I suppose it's a good thing I need to fight still or I'd be thinking my muscles were useless." This, of course, was clearly a joke. Cyril honestly didn't seem to think much of his appearance, not in the sense of having particularly low self-esteem, but he never expressed the opposite either. It was more like he didn't seem to even consider it at all.

Taking a sip from his glass, he shrugged. “I did contemplate cutting it, but I thought I'd leave it up to you instead. What would you prefer, Senka?" He tilted his head slightly into her touch, as though encouraging it.

Senka chuckled at his previous statement before humming softly. She pulled a piece of his hair over his shoulder and twirled it around her finger. “That is a very difficult decision, Cyril," she spoke, glancing in his direction to hold his gaze with an arched brow. “I wouldn't be upset if you did cut it, but," she paused, threading her hand fully back into his hair, “I wouldn't be able to do this anymore. It wouldn't be as satisfying, either."

“So I suppose that leaves us with a problem. You want to leave it up to me, but I want to leave it up to you. How should we decide?" she asked, arching a challenging brow as she smirked lightly.

He huffed softly, clearly amused by the conundrum as presented. “Well, if I want what you want, and what you want is for me to decide, then I guess I'd better." He smiled a little, one of the subtle ones that were so characteristic of him, little more than a gentle curve of his mouth. “But a little bird told me that my fiancée likes it this way, so I think that's how I like it, too." He drew a little circle in the air, as if to indicated the direction his logic had taken, then leaned forward and down to capture her lips, just briefly, before he straightened again.

“Any other conundrums I can solve for you this evening?"

She shook her head softly. “I think the major one has been taken care of," she replied, moving the hand in his hair towards the back of his head, and bringing him back towards her. She rested his brow against hers, though, and smiled.

“You've been doing too many things for me, though. I think it's a little unfair that there's nothing I can do for you," she spoke softly. It was, in some ways, true. For as long as she could remember, he was always the one helping her. There were a couple of times she could recall she helped him, but it always felt unbalanced somehow. As if she still weren't doing enough. As if she wasn't enough. Those feelings had been hard to shake, but they still surfaced from time to time. What exactly in her did he see? What was it about her that made her special to someone like him? She'd never voice this out loud to him, of course.

He set his glass down next to them, then, putting the hand that had been holding it on her bare back, at her waist. They were, as always, just slightly too warm for an ordinary person, but this was something that had been true for as long as she knew him, even if it was more noticeable now than it had been years ago.

“No one's keeping score, Senka," he said gently, nudging his nose against hers. “That's not how this works. You've done everything for me. You're the reason I'm alive. And I don't just mean the reason I crawled out of that riverbed, but you're that, too." His other hand rested along the side of her face, the pad of his thumb gently tracing her cheekbone.

“I know it's not easy to believe, when a whole life has taught you different. But you have everything to offer, and you're everything to me."

Apparently, she didn't need to say it aloud.

Part of her still didn't feel worthy of that, but she was slowly accepting that she was. Worthy of everything he'd given her and then some. “I still don't see how," she murmured softly, but she was smiling when she did. “But I'm coming around to the idea. It'll take some time, but... as long as you keep your promise," she paused to swallow thickly, “that you'll always love me when I can't seem to love myself, I think it'll be enough. And one day... I'll be more than just your reason to live."

“Thank you, Cyril," she stated softly, moving her arms to wrap around him so she could hug him. “For everything. Even if no one is keeping score, I'd like to be the one to help you one of these days."

He gave her a gentle squeeze, letting the hand at her face smooth back into her hair and then skim her shoulder and arm. “Of course I'll keep it," he said, eyes soft when they met hers. “And you already are, but I'll be patient and wait until you can see it too."

Senka hummed softly as she shook her head. “I know you can be patient," she stated, a small grin pulling at her lips. She arched a brow at him, moving her head back just a little as she regarded him. “How long did it take before we could actually be together?" she started, the grin pulling just a little further. “Five years?"

He had told her that it had only been two months for him, and though she didn't know exactly what had happened to him during the five years she thought he was dead, it was still five years. Five long, agonizing years of not knowing he was alive. It was still hard to believe sometimes, but she knew on some level that she was not dreaming. Mostly because she was physically holding him.

He sighed, wearing a flat expression just for show. “You would keep reminding me of that," he murmured. “I was trying to be responsible, you know. In that first year. I didn't want to take advantage of you. You were young, and hurt, and going through so much." His tone softened from light humor to a more solemn sort of tenderness. “And then I put you through more still, even if I never wanted to."

“Cyril," she spoke his name softly, furrowing her brows in his direction. It was true that he'd caused her pain when he'd died, but it was like he said. She was young; she blamed him for something that wasn't his fault. Carried it further until a few months ago when they had been reunited. She was going to be in pain no matter which way she had looked at it, but she accepted it. It was a part of her now, and it was just another stepping stone in life.

“It wasn't like we knew that was going to happen," she spoke softly, placing a hand on his cheek. “Neither of us could have predicted that you would die, that I would die," she began, shaking her head. It was always a possibility, of course. Death was on all of their heels whenever they went into battle, and this last battle was a reminder that they were still very human.

“But... that's all in the past now, Cyril. We're learning from our mistakes, and making a better future. And... while it may be a childish wish of mine," she paused for a moment, dropping her gaze as she felt her cheeks burn a little. It was still embarrassing to her to admit such things, because this was still new to her. Loving someone and hoping to build a home with them one day.

“I hope that you'll still be willing to be part of my future."

Lifting her chin with a gentle finger, Cyril regarded her with soft eyes. “There's nothing childish about that," he said gently. “I want it, too. To be with you, when all of this is over. To be part of your future. It... keeps me going, honestly." He shook his head a little. “I'd fight as long as it took for what we're trying to achieve, but... having that to look forward to means I'm not losing too much of myself along the way."

It was a very real risk, the both of them well knew. Letting war and battle hollow them out until they weren't recognizable as themselves anymore. It happened to some people, some soldiers, to varying degrees, and while it certainly wasn't the fault of the people it happened to, it was a terrifying prospect nevertheless.

But he always had a way of making it seem less terrifying. He made it seem like, once everything was over, and they were still alive and able to go back home, that they would still be themselves. It was enough to bring the blush on her face full circle, and she was certain he could see it despite the swarthy hue of her complexion.

“Good," she stated, smiling softly before it turned into the grin. “I didn't want to have to narrow my choices down to one of the nobles here if you weren't interested any longer," she stated, grinning just slightly. Of course she'd never entertain the idea, but it was still fun to tease Cyril whenever she got the chance. She'd forgotten what that had felt like, honestly.

He huffed, affecting offense. “Is that right?" he inquired, arching an eyebrow. “I hadn't realized it would be quite so simple as that. Replacing me." His eyes narrowed precipitously, and he closed the distance between them again to murmur in a low tone. “I think I should remind you of all the reasons that would be inadvisable, hm? All the things a bunch of interchangeable gentry couldn't do?"

It was pretty clear which things he was referring to, from the way his fingers feathered back along her jawline. It wasn't an indecent touch, by any means—Cyril had never and would never hurt her reputation by doing something like that where they could be seen. But it was suggestive, flirtatious, and perhaps just a little on the wrong side of manners for the more stuffy or formal people present. But then, so was the way they stood so close as to be against each other.

It was a good thing that none of that would matter once they returned to Duscur. It was just how they were; affection in any form given was encouraged, and perhaps the reason she enjoyed touching people so much. Of course, she got most of that satisfaction from touching him, being in his presence and his closeness was enough to make her happy. She arched a brow at him, though, tilting her head just slightly to the right.

“It's very tempting, you know," she responded, placing the hand on his cheek to the back of his neck. She rested her brow to his, but kept his gaze with her own. “I'm almost certain Mercer wouldn't mind if we disappeared to, ah, enjoy the scenery, no?" she stated. Derdriu was, after all, a beautiful place.

That actually drew a soft laugh from him. “By all means, lead the way. You won't hear me tell you no."