|Promises to Keep
Author: Lirillith PM
Locke stumbles through his relationships with both Terra and Celes.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Locke & Terra - Words: 797 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Published: 08-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7301944
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Promises to Keep
The voyage to the place the Imperials called Crescent Island, the place they'd come to know as Thamasa, was a complicated mess. The complications started even before the voyage. The assassin, Shadow, Sabin's occasional ally, was assigned to them - as a spy, Locke suspected. Celes would be traveling with them, and when he met her in Albrook, the first time he'd seen her since the Imperial lab, he bungled, badly. He'd meant to tell her that he was wrong to doubt her, and he made it sound as though he was doing her the favor of overlooking something. As though his friendship was a prize he considered her worthy of.
She ignored him or avoided him all through the voyage, only to try to speak to him just before they made landfall. He was in no mood for a scene; he'd barely kept food down for most of their journey, and he was eager to be on land and away from her grudge, or whatever had moved her to call out to him.
Only later did he start feeling guilty, and once they were all back in Thamasa, he tried to apologize again. "Please, not another word," she said, softly. He heard Relm's piping voice commenting on "those two," though he didn't catch the words, and he realized, as Celes flushed, exactly how this looked.
On the airship, afterwards, as Edgar and Setzer argued over pursuing a flying continent, he brooded at a porthole. He'd bungled far worse than he'd realized. Celes had feelings for him, which explained a lot, and he had promises to keep - to her, to Rachel, to Terra. He'd wanted to keep Edgar - and anyone else, really - away from Terra while she was so confused, but he was starting to think there'd been more to it than that. He couldn't be in love with anyone except Rachel, though. He'd read about the Phoenix, but all the records said it was a lost treasure, and none of them agreed on what form it even took; he thought it might be a magicite, but a lost magicite was no better than a mythical one. Was it pointless to hang onto a memory this way?
"Locke," Terra said, startling him out of his reverie. "I'm sorry," she added. He'd jumped.
"It's okay. How are you holding up?" She and Leo had hit it off aboard the ship, and he could see how badly she'd been shaken by his death. He regretted asking as her eyes filled with tears. "Sorry. Shouldn't have said anything."
She sniffled. "I came to tell you Setzer's heading for the continent. Edgar wants to talk to you."
"Wants me to take point, probably." He gave her shoulder a squeeze. "Wish I could come up with a way to make you smile, but I'm kind of tapped out there."
"Don't worry, I'll go hug Mog or something."
He grinned, and turned to go, then looked back. "Terra?" She'd been walking off as well, but she turned. "I just wanted to say it, before things get any more complicated." And then he got stuck. What was he going to say to her? If he told her he loved her, which he couldn't do, that wouldn't uncomplicate matters in the least. But he needed to say something to her. He needed to tell her something, honestly, without hedging, without bungling. He'd have to clear the air with Celes, somehow, no matter what he did or didn't say to Terra; but he needed to get something off his chest, too.
"I'm sorry I worried about you going ballistic when you met the Espers again."
She shrugged. "My Esper form is pretty scary. I understand."
"No, your Esper form is beautiful." She blushed and ducked her head, curls falling around her face. "I was worried because you scared me the last time, going off like that - I didn't want to lose you again." He took a few steps back towards her, brushed her hair back from her face.
"It's beautiful? But it's strange looking..."
"It's still you. And you're beautiful." Her face was pink and felt warm under his fingertips, and he realized Edgar was bound to come looking for him sooner or later. "I... just wanted to say it." Before things got more complicated. They're bad enough as it is.
"Thank you," she whispered, and then turned and fled. He saw her scoop up Mog by the roulette table and bury her face between his wings. He rubbed his own face and headed upstairs to speak to Edgar.