|One Single White Feather
Author: Skyliere PM
When the eldest of the Heron princes feels his life has no meaning, he is left tot he dark. His close friends and family slowly begin to understand why he did what he did, and each has their part in his story. A story of remembering. Pairings: Mentioned Rafiel/Nailah Mentioned Rafiel/OC Tags: Character death, suicide, angst, SongficRated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Angst - Rafiel - Words: 2,910 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 08-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8424461
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It had been too long. Too long to remember, too long to forget. The days went by so achingly slow… How did he ever put up with it? Moving through the motions with no drive, no inspiration whatsoever. He couldn't remember a day he actually remembered anything important. Nothing mattered anymore.
Is that why he had resorted to this? Bottles of red wine, all lying empty at his bedside, another in his hands. The white sheets were speckled with little red dots from where he had spilled some of the alcohol. Is this really the only way he could forget? Forgetting made the pain go away. His green eyes stared at the stone ceiling absently, as if counting the many ridges and bumps. But he had already tried that. There were exactly forty-two ridges, and fifty seven rifts in the ceiling. He would do anything these days to simply forget. He let his eyes fall closed, silvery lashes wet with tears that had dried on his pale cheeks, now flushed with an unhealthy shade of pink.
He put the bottle to his lips and took another sip.
What if this could all end now? He could simply disappear. Nobody wanted him. What had he done for Tellius? Start a war and release a Dark God. Nearly kill everyone he held dear. If only he had perished in the desert… His brother and sister were stronger than he was. They would have forgotten him. And like the rolling sands of the Hatarian Desert, his story would be swept away, and covered up.
He remembered the day she found him. Those aquamarine eyes hovering over his were the first things he remembered. But those days were gone now. She was gone now.
The Queen of the Wolves had died nobly, with a spear through her chest, defending her homeland from invading clansmen. He had knelt by her side, watching as her pure white fur turned scarlet. She had shifted for the final part of her life. The Wolf Queen had passed on in his arms, a smile on her lips. She had been strong, even in death.
Something he was not.
He hadn't been the same since. His heart had been so clouded by pain and agony, even his siblings were worried. The eldest Prince to Serenes was a troubled Heron, with a troubled past. The if only's were his demons, fighting in his memory. If only he had been bought by a different man in the slave trade, and perished out of desperation. If only he hadn't fallen so gravely ill while his clan was massacred by the man who cared for him. If only the Wolves had been a few minutes later, he would have died in the heat. The world would have never gone to war, because he told it how the Senate had murdered his people. The Herons would go without justice, but maybe, just maybe, they would have survived. Reyson and Leanne would have eventually become strong enough to free their Father from his bed, and Reyson… Ah, Reyson would have made a fine king. A soft smile came to the Prince's face. A smile riddled with sorrow.
He let the half empty bottle slip from his fingers.
When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
Kyllan had known something was wrong with his guest. Herons were supposed to be so kind, so joyful! Even with most of their kind gone, Prince Reyson and Princess Leanne smiled. He remembered when he had been introduced to the Heron Siblings. The oldest of them, Rafiel, looked so weak and sad… While Reyson and Leanne exchanged pleasantries with the Hawk, Rafiel had wandered off. Kyllan remembered finding him on the edge of the cliffs at Phoenicis Keep. He had watched as the Heron spread his beautiful wings and stepped off the cliff into the winds.
But those white wings had not reappeared that day.
Kyllan had found him in the ocean, inevitably plummeted to the salty waters. The Hawk had known one of the Herons couldn't fly, but would have never expected him to try. Kyllan had rescued him that day, shivering from the cold water and winds.
But even Rafiel was not one to be in isolation.
Kyllan had ventured to the Heron's room, and found the door to be locked. Something was definitely wrong. He knocked, but received no answer. The Hawk ran a hand through his fiery ginger hair, before backing up. Running at the door, he busted it open with brute force. Though his shoulder was bruised painfully now, what he saw next made his heart shatter.
The Heron Prince was not breathing.
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you loose something you can't replace.
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
He had heard it all. The cry from the Hawk, the hushed whispers, the restrained tears in the male's voice. Rafiel couldn't open his eyes, however. He couldn't see Kyllan's face. He couldn't tell him it was going to be okay. This was for the better, he would have told him. It was what he wanted. The world would recover from the loss of a Heron, but a Heron could not recover from the pain of the world. The Hawk was pleading for him to awaken, voice cracked on the edge of hysteria. Alas, he could not. He could not open his eyes to see that man's face, he could not watch as relief was swept over his features. Rafiel could do nothing but listen.
"Rafiel, wake up. Please… Please, Rafiel. I…. I Love you… Rafiel…"
The last thing he felt was a tiny, cold speck, as a tear fell onto his hand.
Lights will guide you home.
and Ignite in your bones.
And I will try
To fix you.
Hawks were not known to be emotional. Strong hearted and hardheaded, the Shipless Pirates were admired and feared for their skill and strength. But after the recent death of the Heron, Ulki found that one of his brothers was… off. Kyllan had not taken part in any of his duties lately. When asked what he had been doing all day, he gave no reason. The fiery Hawk never smiled anymore. The King's Ears found this disturbing. Even if he was the village idiot, Kyllan was always smiling, laughing, making others smile. Even the stone-faced Ulki had to admit that the childish Hawk had given him a smile and a laugh, or two.
But for Kyllan to seclude himself… No. It wasn't going to happen. Not on his watch.
After asking Janaff if he had noticed, they both came to a solution. Kyllan had to be talked to, not only for the good of Phoenicis, but for the good of himself. What had happened was tragic, but no reason to loose two birds within a week.
They had found him sitting on the edge of the cliffs at Phoenicis Keep, a white feather in his hands. The three simply sat for a few minutes, watching the setting sun reflect across the waves of the endless ocean. It had been Kyllan who broke the silence.
"He tried to fly, you know. But he didn't make it very far."
Janaff's head tilted, and Ulki's eyes strayed to the younger Hawk. Surprisingly, it was Ulki who replied first.
A subtle smile came to Kyllan's face.
"He fell into the ocean. I had to rescue him."
Reaching back, the fiery Hawk rubbed the back of his neck,
"I thought he was trying to… to…"
"To kill himself."
Janaff had finished the sentence.
Kyllan nodded slowly, looking back to the feather in his hands. He twirled it between the pad of his thumb and forefinger. Janaff, trying to lighten the mood, smiled a bit.
"I remember when I first met him. I was a nestling myself, only a few years of age. He'd come alone, with a message from Lorazieh."
"He flew to Phoenicis?"
"That he did. His white wings were still a bit fuzzy around the edges, so that's how I knew he wasn't much older than I was."
"…Well, what happened?"
"Tibarn scared him." Janaff chuckled softly.
Ulki, who had been watching the waves crash against the rock below him, added to the conversation.
"I had to give our King the message. But he was even uneasy around me."
Janaff Nodded with a smirk,
"I think Rafiel expected us Hawks to look a lot less intimidating."
Kyllan smiled weakly, watching the feather's edges ruffle in the wind. He stretched his own wings in the breeze, feeling the air run through his feathers. He loved the feeling. How could any bird go without such a beautiful feeling? The rush of the wind through one's feathers was a feeling he never hoped to lose. And it was that thought that made him do what he did next. Rising to his feet, Kyllan looked at the feather in his hands. Beautiful, pure, pristine… From an equally beautiful and pure being. A being that had lost what he loved most, on two occasions. It all came to him now, why Rafiel had done what he did. And he understood. Kyllan was not the brightest of Hawks, but he had understood. And without further thought, he let it go.
"Fly free, Rafiel. Fly far."
The three Hawks watched the white feather float along the breeze, until it flew out of view.
High up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth.
A raven sat along the edge of a fallen log, sprawled out lavishly among the overgrown lilies. They only bloomed this time of year, and she quite enjoyed them. Even Yulia, the Raven who had the nerve to challenge King Tibarn naked, had some womanly tastes. But today was not just a day for relaxing. She had heard some grave news.
Rafiel had killed himself.
Of course, her first thought was what an idiot he was. Throwing away what he had, that palace of riches that he probably had holed up in his own frivolously decorated room, probably encrusted with jewels at every inch.
And then she remembered that Herons did not value wealth, and Rafiel enjoyed sleeping outside.
But, for some reason, she felt as if her chest was constricted. Ravens didn't have hearts, so of course that couldn't be breaking. She had only known Rafiel for a short time, and yet, felt an urge to protect him at all costs. He was always so weak and sickly, even more pitiful that time he insisted on hugging her. Now there was an odd memory. Rafiel had been a strange, pitiful, silly Heron. She began adding onto the list.
But why did she feel such anguish over somebody that she never really… knew? Was it because she knew that Leanne, the Heron that she did know well, was probably collapsed in tears right now? Was it because she knew that this was something that he had wanted? Or, maybe, because she had failed to protect him…?
She rolled over onto her side, staring off into the distance. She could see the vauge outline of Phoenicis Keep from here. It was weird, really. To think that the Heron who had just taken his own life had reunited the whole world. Yes, he did it sloppily, causing a war across the continent, releasing the dark god, and killing many because he gave the Laguz a reason to invade Begnion, BUT…In the end, everyone had united. Laguz and Beorc both stood as brothers and sisters against the god's reign. Both races had come together to defeat the darkness, and cast a bright new dawn. A Radiant Dawn.
Mabye it was that thought that had made her wander to the edge of the ocean, wading barefooted in the water. It was where she had met him, after all. Not at this particular spot, no, but in a place he loved. Just like she loved the shore, he had loved his Kingdom. Even risking death, Rafiel had snuck into Serenes while it was still under Begnion control. Silly, strange, Rafiel.
Yulia looked up to see a white feather fluttering in the breeze. And she simply watched it fly over the water, coming to a stop as it drifted into the ocean. Plucking it from the water's surface, Yulia smiled. She gathered up her boots in one hand, Feather in the other, and leapt into the air, spreading her black wings as she took flight.
Lights will guide you home
And Ignite your bones
I will try
To fix you
It was on her way, that the Raven was joined by three Hawks. Though the tribes had been separated so long, after the recent war, which could all somehow be traced back to a certain Heron and a corrupted country, they became close. Janaff, Ulki, Kyllan and Yulia all arrived together at Serenes, finding the forest's occupants knelt at the altar. Reyson, Leanne, and Lorazieh were all in tears. Though Father and Son were both silent, the occasional whimper slipped from Leanne's lips. The death of her brother weighed so heavily on her… Even Yulia felt that, if she had a heart, it would shatter then and there. Three sets of green eyes were on them soon after they arrived.
The feather was all the Herons needed to see, before they nodded, and joined the group.
One Raven was now several birds. Three sets of Brown wings and White wings, all following one set of black. They soared over the forest, the restored trees a teal blur.
And then, they came to their destination.
The birds alighted down on the branches of the tree, more for a quick rest than purpose. The feather went from Yulia's hands, to Kyllan's, after a nod of approval from all three Royal family members. The russet Hawk looked astonished, and could hardly keep his eyes dry as he took one of the green strings that held his braid in place. The wind unraveled the ginger locks, tossing them about, but Kyllan didn't care. He tied the feather to the tallest branch he could find, before standing back to wipe his eyes. To his surprise, Yulia sacrificed her silken ribbon to tie around the feather's shaft as well. Janaff followed suit with his red kerchief, and Ulki with the lace from his vest. Then it was the Heron's turn.
Lorazieh was first, slipping the white scarf from around his neck. The late King of Serenes tied it at the branch after a few whispered words in Ancient Tongue. Reyson tied his woven headband with shaky hands, before closing his eyes and letting his sister come forward. Poor Leanne could hardly tie the lavender sash around the branch, her quiet sobs were shaking her light form so badly.
The birds all watched as the wind carried scarf and kerchief, lace and sash, ribbon and ties. They all went their separate ways that day, though each of them had a part in what was done that midsummer night.
Down your face.
When you lose something
You can not replace.
down your face…
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
To this day, that white feather still stands on the tallest branch of the tallest tree in Serenes. When asked why, however, all of the ones responsible had different reasons. For Yulia, it was an apology. Janaff said it was to give him back what he had lost. Ulki claimed it was to give justice to one who had lost sight, while Lorazieh smiled, and said quite simply, because it was what Rafiel would have wanted. Reyson has said that he wanted Rafiel to know that he wouldn't be forgotten, and Princess Leanne… cannot speak of the subject without breaking into tears.
Kyllan, however, has held his reason since that day, when he was first to tie his piece for Rafiel. The fiery Hawk always wears a smile, and is quite popular in his own country, whether it is for breaking something, or helping someone. In his age now, he still tells all who are willing to listen about the war, and what one Heron did to cause it.
If you ask Kyllan why he smiles, you will get a chuckle, and a story of losing something that you cannot replace. He will kneel down to you, and simply reply,
"Because I remember."
I will try
To fix you.
A short drabble I wrote, following a request from a friend for a Rafiel fan fiction, and the inspiration given by a wonderful comrade. I dedicate this drabble, however insignificant, to Shayrena, and her OCs, Kyllan and Yulia. Thank you for giving me the means to write this.
And also, thank you to Coldplay, for making the song "Fix You" that made me cry the whole damn time I was writing this. This fanficlet is inspired by that song.
I don't own Fire Emblem. If I did, Rafiel would have much more screen time. I also don't own Coldplay, or their song "Fix You," I don't think I could ever compose something that beautiful.