Frederick sighed quietly to himself as he lifted the rag from that innocuous golden band, and he wondered when he'd be able to finish polishing it in order to give it to the woman he had bought it for.
Cynthia held her hands behind her back, and her smile was brilliant as she explained to her embarrassed parents, "I know I can be a hero because I have the two best role models a girl could ever ask for!"
Chuckling a little, Frederick mused to himself that he would never forget the first time they met; Sumia had definitely made an impression by landing flat on her face at his feet when she had tried to shake his hand.
Sumia swallowed down the anxiety that was rising in her chest, and with a valiant effort as she watched the knight captain trading lancing blows with Sully, she shoved the lid down over her feelings of inadequacy.
The lieutenant's eyes were fierce as he met the surprised gaze of the pegasus knight, and his voice was a firm whisper when he promised, "No matter the distance between us, should you ever need me Sumia, I will be there to run to you."
From a distance she and her pegasus appeared to be a grey-feathered storm, plunging in amongst enemy ranks and scattering them with a quick blow of her lance as if it was merely an extension of her arm.
Laughing as she dismounted, Sumia watched Frederick and his mare clearing the rest of the distance far behind her, and she called out teasingly as she spotted his good-natured scowl due to his loss in their race, "I suppose the wings do make pegasi a bit faster than regular horses."
Sumia could never say her husband was inattentive to her needs as she fingered the edge of the hand-knitted scarf he had given wordlessly to her upon their arrival in the north.
His wife's blushes always had a variety of hues, but Frederick admitted to preferring the shade of red she was prone to turning whenever their hands brushed together when others were watching.
Glass after glass he emptied, and as Sumia felt her shock growing as the others grew more and more intoxicated off of the Feroxi ale, she wondered how much Frederick had trained if he simply could not get drunk.
It wasn't until he was certain that the day's work was finished and the others in their army had gone to bed before Frederick allowed himself to join his wife in bed for the night.
As Frederick's lips brushed every so lightly along her hand, Sumia felt herself tremble as a foreign heat bloomed in her stomach and made her wonder what it might be like to feel that kiss somewhere else.
Frederick had thought that there was no sight more beautiful than Ylisstol after his return from a mission, but the smiling face Sumia had made after he asked her to marry him had easily eclipsed it.
When others had to be playfully cajoled or outright dragged onto the dance-floor when the music started, Frederick only had to offer her his hand before she was discarding her awkwardness in her joy to share a moment with him.
The blush was rising well into her ears, and Sumia knew her face had to be as red as Cordelia's hair as she held the poor excuse for a garment up and exclaimed in horror, "No way, Cordelia, I cannot wear something like... like... this!"
Fighting up in the air made it much easier to see the lay of the battlefield, but Sumia guiltily admitted to being trapped to the earth because if she left Frederick's side she couldn't protect him from the sky.
Her husband had many eccentricities, but Sumia didn't mind them because she knew for all his oddness that if he gave her his word he would always follow through on it.
The pale flickering light set off that soft rose-coloured garment she was wearing to perfection, and as Frederick tried to remember to keep his hand firmly closed in order to stop himself from dropping the candle and setting their tent on fire.
Sumia always smiled a little when she heard of others talk of what they hoped for in the future, but she held no jealousy as her desires were simple; survival was more than enough for her.
Frederick shook his head as he lifted her chin with a gentle hand and brushed away the tears gathering in the corners of her eyes, "Sumia, talent comes in a variety of forms, and I can assure you that you are not bereft of it."
When ordinarily she would have chattered to fill the oppressive quiet between her and another, Sumia felt nothing but comfort when she sat by the knight's side and found there was really no reason to speak.
As Sumia watched her pegasi take through the air in joyful abandon with her husband at her side, she mused that she was happy her life of adventure and journeying was over.
Though others would say it was odd, Sumia had to admit she kind of liked how boyish Frederick looked whenever he was tending to their campfire.
Frederick knew he was a strong man, it wasn't egoism for him to say so, but when he watched Sumia flinch as Lissa attended to her broken ribs, he realized that he simply wasn't strong enough to live through losing her.
Pursing her lips together, Sumia fought valiantly not to laugh long and hard as she stared at the outrageous-looking mask that Frederick had chosen to wear over his face for the harvest festival.
Frederick smiled somewhat to himself as Sumia hugged his arm in a desperate fashion, and he made a mental note to ask for forgiveness for wishing that the roads would be covered in ice more often if it meant they could walk in such a way more often.
When others admired her ability to trip over seemingly nothing, Frederick was always happy to explain that he was far more impressed by her determination to get back up every time she fell.
Rubbing awkwardly at her nose as her blush burned harder in her face, Sumia mumbled awkwardly to her shoes, "I'd really hoped you'd forgotten how embarrassing our first meeting was..."
The knight's hand was firm on the small of her back, and he led her easily through the steps of the dance with a chuckled, "Do not fear my sweet, I have you."
They had to be a slightly funny-looking couple, one wearing armour that had to be outrageously heavy and overlarge even for his tall frame while she stood small and svelte at his side in her form-fitting gear.
Frederick was gentle, absurdly gentle as he laid her slowly back on the cot and leaned over her, and his eyes were fierce in their intensity as he whispered against her lips, "I give you all that I am, Sumia, and all that I ever will be."
The days she regretted trading in her lance for her stretch of pasture were far and few between, but without fail every single time she had to say goodbye to him as he rode out on another crucial mission with the exalt, she almost wished she was still a soldier.
It felt cliche to say it in a way, almost as if he couldn't believe it much himself, but when he saw Cynthia giggling as Sumia braided her hair by the fireside, Frederick was absolutely certain that he'd found his entire world.
Frederick was both a trained fighter and servant, and Sumia wholeheartedly admitted that there were many times she felt like a country bumpkin in comparison to his formal manner of behaviour.
There was something in the way she kissed him, shyly but with everything she was that ignited a fire in his blood and burned away any and all sense of reason.
Sumia wasn't entirely sure how Frederick didn't see very much of himself in his teenaged daughter from the future, as she already knew Cynthia had her father's laugh.
The great knight could not lie to save his life, and Sumia always knew exactly when he was hiding something from the way he avoided his gaze and became intensely fascinated by something in the distance.
It was a word that no human had the right to say when they lived alongside dragons who knew the true meaning of it, but Frederick found himself failing to care as he placed his ring onto her slender finger, "From this day forward, I am yours forever."
Frederick was a man who was proud of his ability to control himself both physically and mentally, but when she kissed him or when she was in trouble and needed him, there was simply no room for self-restraint.
Sumia froze where she stood as Frederick's fingertips brushed her hair behind her ear, and her breath hitched as he whispered in that husky voice that set her blood on fire, "Take care today, my sweet."
Even though she was shaking her head, Skye's look of shock mixed with a strange sort of amazement was rather amusing as she repeated, "You really decided to wait until marriage, Sumia?"
They were small moments when she was finishing with her training and he was on his way to complete yet another self-appointed errand, but Frederick admitted to looking forward to those handful of minutes when he could speak with the self-conscious new recruit.
Though she separated from him so infrequently in battle, those instants when she had to scan the battlefield to find his familiar pale-blue armour filled her with horror as she prayed she'd never find him amongst the fallen corpses of their enemies.
The days grew longer as their marches continued and the battles piled atop of each other, but when he spot her smiling faces amongst her friends, Frederick found she gave all the hope that would ever be necessary in their comrades.
When others would have found themselves blinded by the light the prince cast simply by virtue of blood, Sumia vastly preferred the shadow that was cast over the servant by virtue of his station.
There was something intoxicating about leaning against the furred back of her pegasus and testing just how far she and her mount could ride away from the insisting pull of the earth with each beat of its wings.
The road wound on and on long after the pleasure of journeying faded away from them and their loved ones.
It was a quick pulse of heat, gone as instantly as it had come, but Frederick wasn't entirely sure what to think of it as he watched the pegasus knight flee after he had helped her back to her feet.
Frederick had thought his emotions were kept hidden away in a safe, a place where they were not needed so he could do his duty, but Sumia had proven him wrong as she time and time again showed herself as the key to that hiding place.
It was easy being with him, natural and simple, and Sumia wondered at her luck that had allowed her to find someone who understood her to the point where she didn't need to speak in order to make her wishes known.
This was really mostly written in an attempt to get me out of my nine-day-long slump where I hadn't even looked at my computer let alone thought about writing. It was not fun to do, and it took me much longer than I would have liked it to, but... I finished, and that alone is extremely important. It's been a very rough few days, and not writing during those few days has definitely taken its toll on my health. I'm hoping that beginning to write again will make things somewhat easier, but you can never really tell until you start and continue on... So, here's hoping.
I've always wanted to really write about Sumia and Frederick, but I always had a hard time thinking about what I should do for the two of them. Songfics simply didn't seem to work, (at least with my collection of songs, lol), and I couldn't think of a proper theme for a oneshot that I could elaborate on... So, I ended up deciding that a 50 Sentence Challenge stolen from Live Journal would probably be enough, and tada, here is the finished product. It's really not up to my usual standard, though the modus operandi change can cover for some of that... but I most just blame my mental state, and I am seriously praying that my next handful of works will be a lot better.
No promise on when ATJ's next chapter is coming out, unfortunately. I'm roughly at the halfway point of it, but these exercises are taking precedent so I can manage to get back to my old habits... -sighs- I seriously dislike it when this kind of thing happens. Still, I'm working my way through it... Slowly, but surely. There will be a SkyexChrom fic to follow in a handful of days, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Listening To: "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol