Author: Nisei PM
Azel and fire. Love and burning. To say more will be spoiling the story itself.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 1,354 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-08-05 - id: 2429561
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Might be confusing, since it's designed with that thought in mind. Somewhat.
Disclaimer : Anything pertaining to Fire Emblem belongs to me not. Look to Intelligent Systems and Nintendo, you should.
The candle flickered, flashing like a whip as he watched.
The room was dim, a dark cell with a lone candle. He was there again, there to watch the flame dance . He didn't like the dance, there was no music, not like when the entire house gathered up in the grand hall and laughed the night away. There was nothing but the hiss of the candle and the hiss of the wind. But the little boy kept staring at the candle, hoping he'd love it someday, hoping he'd make music for the dance someday, and maybe he would be loved when he can love the fire. Maybe when he could call it and have it answer, they would call him a good son.
The flame burned. The flames danced. And Azel screamed. He was trying, again, to open the book of Falaflame, and it burned him. He could hear its whispers. It wanted to kill him. The only way a second son can love the flames is to die, it said. His ashes to the pages, ashes, ashes. Tiltyu gathered up the ashes of the dead bird and tears flew from her eyes, running, running, running.
The only way father would love me is to die. To die. To die. Save my mother. She died. She died. She died. Then he came to a great wall, looming to the sky, made of planks and splinters. The young mage lifted his book, tried to burn it to ashes, but it was his hands that went aflame. Azel screamed again.
He cupped Tiltyu's crying face in his hands, kissed her.
She said yes. And he held her. And saw her burn. Azel tried to reach for her, but then he realized the flames were his own shadows, and that he was caught in the tendrils of fire. Tiltyu cried. He reached out, tried to touch her, and saw his flesh turning to ashes before his eyes. She stopped crying, embracing the flames, and she laughed.
Azel felt himself dying.
The book of Falaflame lay before him again. Alvis was off meeting his lover, whom Azel never approved. She was about to give birth to his bastard son, and Azel knew how that felt. He knew Father was dead, that Father never loved his bastard son...one among many, the only to be made public, his embarrassment...and that he would never call him a son. But he was sick of being a shadow of his brother. Azel was young, and he wanted to fly. If the flames loved him, then maybe the people would love him, then maybe Alvis would love him and stop his shadows. Tiltyu laughed in the courtyard. Azel opened the book. It burned. He was dying. He was full of scars of love and unlove, of burnings and searings and the desire to be burned.
Somebody embraced him, crying.
The bullies circled him, and Azel was terrified as he discovered he had no voice. Bruises on his face, blood running from the corner of his mouth, cuts on his skin, those robbed his consciousness away from him. When he thought all Alvis would find would be a corpse, a young boy with blue hair leapt out from the corner, chasing the bullies away with no more than his fists. Azel wished he wasn't so weak. If the flames loved him, he wouldn't be the reject of his family. The boy smiled, and Lex was joking about Lady Edin as they raced toward Chalphy. The young mage blushed, and tried to tell Lex to shut up. Lex laughed again, and then his dead body, pale and painted in blood, fell from his horse, Lady Ayra crying in anguish as he fell in a sea of fire.
He reached up, touched Tiltyu's face. "I'm all right, Tilt. I'm all right." A wheezing cough.
Tiltyu smiled through her tears. "Since when did I give you the permission to call me that?" She asked, her voice breaking.
The candle danced, and shadows elongated on the walls as the moon rose behind the castle. Azel knew he would not get out, they wouldn't let him out, unless he called his own flames. And so he tried, and burned. The evergreen trees outside the Freege homestead were beautiful, and a bird was falling. He wanted to call the winds to catch it, but all that he summoned was fire. Feathers to ashes, and Tiltyu cried.
Why did she cry? He didn't want to see her tears. Just her laughter. Narga be witness, she was as beautiful as the Lady Fala when she smiled. But she was burning.
Snow was falling, turning the world bone white. It was as cold as death, but the tears on Tiltyu's cheeks were warm. And when they kissed, Azel realized he didn't need the flames to love him. Just Tiltyu. She was warm, and she never burned. And she loved him, he loved her. They would call him a son no more than they'd call her a daughter, now, and for a moment, he was free. Azel knew he could fly, with her. But she was burning.
Alvis sat on Father's chair, his expression unreadable, dressed in the garment of lords. Azel knew what was going on, but his mind was aflame, and he didn't remember. His brother drew a cloak over him, clasped it with a brooch that contains the signet of First Heir, and hugged him. Azel didn't feel so afraid then, unlike when Alvis burned him. That day, with the training grounds and the falling...stern faces staring at him, voices yelling, while he burned and screamed.
Azel screamed again, feeling freed. He was draped in a cloak of flames, with the First Heir signet, and it danced with him to the music of other screams. He could hear the whispers, again, the fire murmuring in his ears like Tiltyu on their wedding night, I love you. He embraced it, loved it, and was loved in return. It danced at his fingertips, stroked his hair, and he thought of snow falling faraway for a moment before slipping into rhythm.
Vaguely, in the flame's mirror, Azel stood before Alvis, a grim expression on his face. Then he smiled. "I know Elfire has rather poor chances against Falaflame, brother, but you know I'm never one to lax my efforts on impossible things."
Alvis's face was etched with misery, shock and horror. Where have all the triumphs in your face gone to, brother? That look when Lord Sigurd and my only friend in the world died? "Azel, are you mad? Stop this foolishness. You're my brother, I---"
"Cannot kill a bastard?" He felt his guts churning in disgust as he finished his sentence, seeing Alvis's anguished look. Alvis loved him. And he never knew, and now that he did, he was about to give Alvis the greatest pain in his life. Treachery for treachery? Or love for love? "I am merely a madman, then. That'll make it easier." A sad smile played on his lips. "Let this be our first brotherly quarrel, Alvis," he said, laughing miserably. "I've always been a nice little brother, but I guess these things happen sooner or later, right?"
Alvis forced a smile. "Sooner or later, then."
It was the only way he wanted to die. Flames danced from their fingertips, and Azel danced to it.
And for the first time, Falaflame loved him. Like every other time, it burned, but this time, the burning was filled with the sweetness of home. He was, finally, loved by the flames.
The ashes of his own flesh and clothing, the robes with the signet, flew to the sky. Azel thought it was falling snow.