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by wyvern14

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Part 1 (2008)
Part 2 (2008)
Part 3 (2008)
Part 4 (2008)
Part 5 (2008)
Part 6 (2008)
Part 7 (2008)
Part 8 (2008)
Part 9 (2008)
Part 10 (2008)
Part 11 (2008)
Part 12 (2008)
Part 13 (2008)

Chapter 9

Bitter regrets

The metal hummed, the only sense that the ship was in movement. Strangely, as they traveled through space toward the Blue Planet, there was no sense of day or night, time was evenly spread out and eerily calm. Numb and bemused, she had sleepily pretended lack of sleep and took to the lower deck, lying down in her blankets, wide awake and anguish painted on her face.

Why...

It had roused something inside her soul, stirred her heart in so many ways that escaped her comprehension and hurt her more deeply than any arrow. Rydia was a loss as to how to consider what had happened, why it made her feel so... mislaid? Her eyes closed and violent flashes burned her brain, impression sensations long gone from her body all over again.

It's haunting...

It scared her, not being in control, not feeling on her terms. She had always thought of herself as collected, intense and untouchable in more senses than one. Destiny had lain plain in front of her, each step done of her full accord, the long path already traced long before she was to travel it. Now everything was scrambled; she was a mess.

Him...

Ever since he crossed their path, everything had changed. Initially focused on vengeance, then consumed by rage over the inhuman fate of his parents, then sticking around for reasons not so personal for the simple want of it.

Hot-headed, self-centered, exaggerated ego, bad sense of humor...


The more adjectives crossed her mind and the less she could actually believe in them in fervor. He was impetuous and immature, granted, but his honed talents had saved them, her, countless times. Maybe he was just as good as he pretended after all, although it was definitely bad form to mouth it.

Infuriating...


Even his snarky comments had been of some help, making her furious yes, but also giving openings to vent her own nerves out. In turn, knowing he had a sparring partner who did not hesitate to speak her mind, he had teased her mercilessly.

Following me around, one step closer each day.

His proximity had made her nervous, his smoldering stares muddying her concentration until she had learned to block it out, although never completely. It's all that came to mind when he was concerned; his eyes, so vivid and ablaze, so expressive, pupils dancing in frenzy as if he could tell fairytales with the twinkles lying within.

I feel...

Heat had flushed her cheeks and neck, embarrassment and confusion coloring her skin even further. Why would she remember his eyes so precisely and why would this affect her so much? Angered, she tugged her covers violently, trying to think of something else, anything. But it all came back to the moon, to mind whispers of heaven draped in silk and warmth.

Ravenous, avid, thirsty, burning…

All along, he had wanted to make her believe he cared, that she was something special in his eyes, and yet he had refused her, closed his eyes on her pain, rejected her plight for a balm on her confusion, and he had fled!

Liar...

His eyes had sung a melody so unlike his actions, deceiving her. And she had fallen in the trap, tricked and landed in the web of his guile. She longed for isolation, for a world with simple wants and no ruses and the answer came to her.

.....................................................................................................................................................................

The sight shocked her. Wasn't he the flouncing adventurer, always cavorting up front and sparring merrily with each of them, boasting with assurance despite all odds? It was difficult to associate the ashen-faced, slumped shape with the cocky prince of Eblan she was used to.

"Edge...?"

Without waiting for an invite, she held her flowing cloak and sat down next to him, concerned and frowning in confusion. Arms crossed and resting on raised knees, he kept his face in the crook of his elbows, grunting something she could not understand. Metal clanked and she spied Cecil and Kain coming up on the platform, but she shushed them imperiously away with the back of her hand.

"How come you didn't come back to camp and made straight away for the Whale? We were worried!"

He didn't answer, barely shrugging his shoulders; there was her answer. Something had definitely happened, since the both of them were not in their usual mood, and Rosa couldn't help but worry. Wanting to comfort him, she circled his shoulders, hugging him.

"I don't want to pry, but you two are not yourself right now and... I wish I could do something."

He trembled, shaking off her limb to raise his face in her direction. The ninja looked even worse than she had thought eyes red and underlined with dark circles. His face was creased, he had not slept or only very little, and his hair was ruffled in all directions as if he had pulled on it in frustration.

"I'm an idiot, a complete fool..."

The white mage combed stray hair from his brow, smiling tenderly to reassure him.

"You're not an idiot. A little juvenile sometimes yes, but not stupid."

The trial of this journey has not been one of battle for you, but coming to terms with how to deal with your feelings, hasn't it?

She could only guess at his life before Rubicante turned it upside down, before he foolhardily went alone to face the fiend and take back all he had lost, but it has probably not asked him to open up. Considerate, Rosa realized that most of his behavior was self-defense, an attempt to boast and hide his fragility to avoid closer scrutiny, to inspire a strength he did not always feel himself.

You'll make a very good ruler, once you come to terms with yourself.


"You really love her, don't you?"

It was not so much a question as a statement, and his eyes held all the answers she needed when he looked up at her. They shone with pain, devotion and scars, flaming with inner fervor at the simple reference to her that she felt guilty to have broached the matter. It was not a mere infatuation, despite his every day demeanor toward the green-haired maiden and womanizing quips.

"Give her time; let her find her center again. She had a difficult life and... You just need to be patient."

He blinked and concurred with a slight movement of his face, pensive. She gave him a quick hug, and then got up, eying him mischievously.

"Catch some sleep, you look awful Edge."

.....................................................................................................................................................................

Cecil had announced that they would arrive soon, waking her. Rest had not changed her condition and she strode to the main control room of the lunar ship, expressionless. She had discarded her previous lines of thinking, preferring to shut it all down for now and concentrate on the task at hand.

Kain stood not far from the exit, patient and still as the stars, simply being. Raising his half-shrouded visage in her direction, they shared a glance. The dragoon had always inspired something suspicious to her before, but his present gaze spoke volumes.

We're the same. Lost and hoping to find our salvation away from here, them.

"You're leaving."

His eyes remained on her, unblinking, neither cold nor warm, simply looking straight at the lithe girl. She kept hers level with his, radiating comprehension and respect.

"So are you."

His deep voice spoke in a murmur, mindful of the others in earshot. She smiled briefly, acknowledging his deduction, turning her face toward the door.
.....................................................................................................................................................................

The huge alien aircraft landed in the long grass, whipping the vegetation. Cecil caressed the instruments, thinking of his father.

Your dream, your creation....

His musings were interrupted by heels running on the deck, rapidly coming toward him.

"Cecil!"

The paladin turned around, expecting the worse. His lover panted, pointing toward the open hatch.

"They're gone!"
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy IV
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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