|Under My Wing
Author: freakyanimegal PM
It hadn't been expected, and it hadn't been taken easily. Arranged to marry and sire the new Chosen, Lloyd swore that he would protect his family. However once it became clear to him what the Chosen's destiny was...he decided he would not stand for it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - Lloyd I. & Colette B. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 28,073 - Reviews: 73 - Favs: 47 - Follows: 54 - Updated: 01-06-13 - Published: 04-10-11 - id: 6893306
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
….Too many stories have I, care not I do
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"Dammit! Even today they can't give us five minutes of-"
"Lloyd…" her voice called softly, weak, exhausted from her endeavor, "Please..."
He stopped. She didn't even have to finish her sentence. He knew what she wanted; he always knew what she wanted. The man pulled away from the window, closing the curtains and walking to her side, kneeling beside her, gently kissing her cheek before looking at the little bundle she had in her arms. A little girl, newborn, still ugly from birth- yet somehow so beautiful despite the ordeal- was wailing in her mother's arms. Lloyd smiled and brushed the knuckles of his hand lightly over her tiny cheek, unable to help the mist coming to his eyes.
"You did wonderfully Colette," Raine sighed, tired as well, smiling at the couple and their newborn as she began to clean herself from the mess, "Just take it easy…"
"The child's name?"
The smile fell from Lloyd's face, a dark look coming over his features as he registered the voice. With a slow turn of his head his russet eyed narrowed dangerously and defensively at the priests who stood in the room, despite his efforts to keep them out. His teeth ground together and he said nothing, giving them the warning gaze of a protective father. Colette answered for him, then, though she held her child a little closer.
"Arie," she said weakly, "We're going to name her Arie."
"Very well," the head priest nodded, "We'll set up a baptism-"
Lloyd snapped. Before anyone could say anything he was at his feet and had a hand on the collar of the priest's robe, glaring.
"Lloyd-!" Raine scoffed.
"How about you handle that somewhere else, and at some other time, hm?" he hissed. "Leave me and my family alone for a while, would you be so kind?"
The last words came out like more of a growl than actual words, making the man go pale. The other priests murmured before Phaidra spoke up, slamming her staff into the ground.
"Lloyd, that is enough," she cut in, her old voice surprisingly strong. "As for the rest of you..Yes, we shall leave them alone for a time."
Colette gave a grateful smile to her grandmother, who lightly returned one of her own before she and the priests left. Raine went to excuse herself as well, but not before congratulating both of them and scanning the baby, a small smile on her face.
"…" Lloyd sighed as the door closed, "Finally, they're gone."
"Lloyd- Lloyd look, isn't she beautiful?" Colette smiled, ignoring his temperament in turn for taking in her newborn child. "She's so beautiful, Lloyd…look!"
A soft smile came to his face, finally, as he turned to his family, observing his glowing wife and beautiful child. He relaxed as he sat on her bedside, an arm around her, looking at the little girl they had brought into the world. For a moment, he was happy again, until he heard the priest from outside.
The priest declaring the birth of the new Chosen, Arie.
Things were going smoothly.
Lloyd stood across the room with Raine and Genis, the three of them with their eyes on Colette as she stood with the priests before the altar, a small smile on her face, to reassure them. Things had gone smoothly, aside from the monsters in the temple that he and the Sages had come to help with. So here they were in the temple, awaiting the oracle, Lloyd a little antsy. The Desians hadn't even bothered to show up, why hadn't they tried to attack them? Something was strange.
Oh well. You shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?
Still, he had a feeling in the pit of his gut that something was going to end up being more than what they had bargained for…
The thought was quickly dismissed as something more interesting caught his attention. A glowing mass had appeared over the altar, the light pulsating as it drifted down, earning the attention and awe of all those assembled. The light flashed and in its place, as feathers drifted to the floor, an angel appeared. Lloyd tensed, his jaw dropping just a bit, his eyes locked on the feathered appendages flapping gently behind the being that had appeared before them.
An angel! A real angel!
Colette bowed her head in respect, the priests doing the same, and after a light smack from Raine, he and Genis bowed their heads a bit too, more out of fear for their instructor than out of respect as was the case for Colette. The angel surveyed them all and his eyes landed on Colette, his expression blank, and strangely...unnerving.
"Chosen One, Colette, daughter of the mana lineage..."
"Yes, my lord," she replied, keeping her head bowed but nodding to show her compliance.
"Your birth had selected you to conduct the Journey of Regeneration, for which you had prepared," he said.
"Yes my lord," she said again, her voice a little softer.
"...However the will of the goddess has turned to your favor and Cruxis' decree of your duty has been altered."
All assembled twitched. Colette jerked her head up, eyes widening a bit as she looked up at the angel before them.
The priests fidgeted, but said nothing, their eyes on the winged one; Genis looked at Lloyd, who looked down at him in turn, their teacher's eyes narrowing on Remiel with skepticism.
"Indeed," he nodded, "The Chosen Colette shall not conduct the Journey of Regeneration, rather she shall be wed in order to birth the Chosen that shall take her place."
"Lord Remiel, please do not be displeased with us, o holy one..." a priest started, bowing his head, "But- what is it you mean? She - she is the Chosen one who we have been told-"
"Do you question the will of the goddess?'
Something about the tone of his voice tweaked Lloyd, made an uncomfortable chill go up his spine, made his stomach twist. His unease from earlier was back...and intensifying.
He didn't like this...something...something was wrong.
"N- No! No your holiness-"
"Then it is done, the Chosen Colette shall wed the one decreed to her by Cruxis, and her task shall pass to her firstborn daughter"
Colette could only stare.
What was going through her head...was a maelstrom of thoughts and emotions. Freedom from her duty? No- not freedom, marriage, another duty. Release from her fate-? No...passing...it to another. No...this- this wasn't what she had been prepared for this wasn't what she had spent her life convincing herself was right for her to do...
She had been ready to give up her life- but- no one else's- no! She couldn't-
"L- Lord Remiel," she bowed her head, "Please, forgive me but…I have trained for this and- the people of Sylvarant have waited long enough, please, allow me to do the task I was born for-"
"Do you reject the will of the goddess Martel?" he snapped.
She flinched and shook her head, bowing apologetically.
"N- No, not at all, I just-"
"Then be silent and obey the decree of the goddess, accept your role," he said, his eyes narrowed.
Colette choked and hung her head, nodding in silence. Lloyd felt his fists clench at his sides. Angel or not, he didn't like someone telling Colette something like that. Why was this even happening?
"Can they even do this?" he muttered.
"They always have, Lloyd," Raine explained softly, having heard him, "All members of the mana lineage have their marriage partners decreed to them by Cruxis."
"If you'd paid attention in class you'd know that," she huffed, "Colette's parents were married because of Cruxis' will as well."
Lloyd stared at her, then over at the blonde girl, whose bangs were shielding her eyes.
"Wait- Colette…is going to get married?" he whispered. "But- but.."
A strange cluster of emotion ate at him. She was going to get married-? No- but- she was just a kid like them, right? And he- she couldn't just get married. Who would she even marry? Some guy from the village? From some other village? He felt his teeth grit. The thought of some stranger marrying Colette-
"Who is it that Cruxis has decreed shall marry the Chosen One, your holiness?" a priest asked.
Lloyd flinched and clenched his fists. No. No they couldn't do this-
Then quite suddenly his entire life changed.
"The one near the village, a Lloyd Irving."
He froze, as did everyone else in the room. All eyes were on him, except for the blue eyes of the bride-to-be, which were now fixated on the angel in an expression of pure shock.
"What?" Lloyd said flatly, jaw dropped, staring up at Remiel.
"H- Him? Milord," a priest said, "He is an outsider- raised by a dwarf of all things-"
"He is the one that Cruxis has selected, and he shall be wed to the Chosen as decreed," the angel said flatly, his tone almost daring someone to object.
"Wh- N- No! Lord Remiel, please, Lloyd doesn't have to do this!"
Then all eyes were on Colette.
"Co-?" Lloyd began, his eyes widening.
"Please milord, I- I'll marry another, anyone else, just don't- don't force him to do this, please, I beg of you," she pleaded, her head bowed, shaking, "Please let him…let him choose his own life…please…"
Lloyd stared at her, unsure of what it was he should feel. Was she rejecting him? She didn't want to marry him-? No, why was he thinking that? Don't be stupid of course she didn't want to marry him, it's not like he wanted to marry her- wait- no, that wasn't the point! The point was she was being forced into this- he was being forced into this! That was the point, this wasn't right, they had no right to just randomly decide who any of them married- right-? …Right? The Professor just said though…that Cruxis always chose who married in the mana lineage…but it still wasn't fair. It wasn't- right?
Still…to force Colette into marrying- him.
Him? Wait, what? Why him? Out of everyone in the world-?
"D- Dammit, what's so special about me?" he shook his head, gritting his teeth. "Why does Cruxis want me, huh? And-"
His eyes glanced to Colette right as she glanced at him, their eyes locked just a second before they both pulled away, Colette hanging her head and Lloyd glaring up at the angel.
"If she has to marry at least let her choose who she wants to marry! This isn't- this isn't right, you can't just-"
"Silence, boy!" a priest snapped. "You cannot question he will of the goddess! How dare you!"
"The Chosen will wed this boy, that is final," Remiel decreed, his eyes narrowing on Lloyd, daring him to speak.
"She doesn't have to do this!"
Remiel's eyes narrowed and before anyone could register what had happened, the angel had sent a blast of light mana, knocking the teen into the stone wall and effectively knocking the breath out of him in turn.
"Lloyd-!" Colette cried, her eyes widening.
The teen sputtered and choked, trying to get to his feet, face scrunched up pain as he looked up at the angel which glowered down at him, eyes still narrowed.
"That was a warning boy, you do not question the will of Cruxis," Remiel said flatly, his eyes flicking with impatience.
Lloyd almost spoke again but Colette had rushed over to him, cutting off his view of Remiel and showing him only her worried face.
"Lloyd- Lloyd are you okay?" she cried, distraught, checking him over.
"I- Yeah Colette…." He nodded, grimacing.
"The boy will learn his place, milord," a priest said, ignoring the two, "Please forgive his insolence, Cruxis' will shall be carried out."
"It had better."
People were treating him differently now. How they looked at him, talked to him, even just how they walked by him. He did his best to ignore them, to just go about his life, but he could still feel their eyes on him, the bubbling frustration and bitterness. Managing to forge a small smile he walked up to the shopkeeper, knowing what to expect.
"Oh, Lloyd! Hello, how's the Chosen holding up-?"
"Arie is fine, thank you," he said a bit curtly, but managed to keep the smile plastered, "I was just picking some things up for Colette."
"Oh, how is she holding up?"
"She's fine, still a little tired, the baby's been keeping us both up," his smile melted softly into a genuine one, thinking of the little infant back home in his wife's arms.
"That's good to hear, well, you all take care of yourselves," he said, bagging the ingredients Lloyd had picked out for dinner.
"We will, thanks," he said pleasantly, taking the bag and then leaving.
His smile promptly fell.
He knew that they didn't mean anything by it, but hearing it time and time again...
'How is the Chosen?'
Not 'how's the baby?', 'how's your daughter?'...
He hadn't even heard one 'congratulations' yet, Dirk and the Sages excluded…
On his way home he walked past the schoolhouse, where class had just been dismissed. A wave of children poured through the door, racing out to play, or walking home. His feet came to a stop and he found himself watching, his brown eyes flicking over them.
His own child would go to this school like he had, would be taught by Raine, as he had. With these children…some of them would be gone by then, yes, but many of them would be still enrolled.
Would they play with her? Colette...hardly anyone ever played with Colette when she was little, aside from himself and then later, Genis...
His little Arie...why did she have to go through all this...
Fists clenched at his sides as he turned and walked off, trying to ignore the sounds of kids running around. Not that he disliked hearing happy children, he hoped to hear his own daughter laugh...
At least that made him smile.
"Colette, I'm home," he smiled as he came inside, placing the bag on the table before heading into their room.
She looked up at him when he walked in, smiling gently, glowing despite her exhaustion as she held their child to her chest, nursing the infant. Lloyd smiled at the sight of her and walked forward, gently kissing her before sitting by her and looking at the little baby.
"Didn't you just feed her?" he asked, his head tilted.
"I have to feed her every couple hours, silly," she smiled weakly at him, "she's just a newborn."
He smirked lightly and gave her another kiss, gently brushing his knuckles across the baby's tiny cheek. It was strange, to be a father…the whole idea needed some getting used to. Colette was a natural at being a mother, she was gentle, patient….he still didn't know what the hell he was supposed to do. It's not like he could do what Dirk did to him to a baby, and like…well, Dirk was a little harsh when it came to physical punishments sometimes…he probably wouldn't do that himself. Not that Dirk was a bad parent, he was just…well, rough.
"She's a little pig," Lloyd smirked, looking at their daughter, "cute little piglet."
"Don't be mean, Lloyd," Colette giggled, looking at him with a smile.
Her smile faltered a moment later, which Lloyd took note of.
"Colette? Honey, what is it?" he frowned.
Colette hesitated, looking at him and then down at their baby, looking back at him. An unusually somber expression came across her face, a frown, and one could tell something was troubling her greatly.
"Colette?" Lloyd asked, worried. "What's wrong Colette?"
"I- …Lloyd…" she looked away, "There's something I should…tell you."
Lloyd looked at her, expecting her to continue, and she looked back. There was a long moment of silence before the blonde smiled again.
"You're going to have to change her diaper next," she chirped.
Lloyd stared at her and grimaced, by forced a weak smile on his face, giving her a light kiss before leaving to start their meal while Colette looked after him. Her smile fell and she looked down at her nursing infant, biting her lip.
How could she tell him? She had managed to keep it from him this long, manage to keep it from him even when the priests wanted to tell- but- how could she tell him? How could she tell him their little girl was…going to die?
A sharp pain twisted in her chest, making her shut her eyes, stifling tears stinging in her eyes.
How could she tell him? How could she even handle this? Was it…was it better that he just didn't know, so he could enjoy being a family until …until they couldn't anymore? How could she do that to him- how could she do this to her daughter? What kind of mother was she? This was all her fault- all her fault. She should have been the Chosen, she should have died…why…why her baby…why her baby girl? But what else…what else could she do? There was nothing…nothing else…she could do…
She held her child tightly, a couple tears slipping loose as her body began to shake.
What could she do?
"Hey honey, do you think I should throw this celery out? It looks kinda wilted," Lloyd asked, poking his head in through the doorway.
"Huh-? Oh! Uhm….sure," she nodded, examining the stalk he held in her view, "Yes it doesn't look too healthy.
"Yeah, don't want anything like that making your or the little pumpkin sick," he smiled at her, then blew her a kiss, turning back to leave "I'll have something ready in a bit, just relax okay Colette?"
"All right," she called after him, smiling weakly.
Lloyd walked back into the kitchen, preparing the meal for his family- he liked that thought. Family. Him, his wife and his little girl. He'd protect them, no matter what happened, no matter who said anything… No one was going to interfere with that; ever.
No force in hell or heaven would tell him otherwise.
Second gen, technically, yes….however the child isn't going to be the focus of this story. If you haven't noticed, this story is about Lloyd and his daddy-roles :D
Mature!Lloyd say what? Lol n.n