Five Times Faye Realized She Was Falling In Love With Silque

Story wise this follows my earlier 'Five Times' story between Faye and Silque, and takes place after Faye decides to travel with Silque but mostly before the distant epilogue.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

1. Angel of Mercy

It had been hours since they had started their work, and it was apparent to Faye that Silque was exhausted.

Yet even as the sun dipped low in the horizon, the smile on her face was still gentle, and her eyes remained bright and clear as she continued her work. A baby was brought to her, cradled in her worried mother's arms, and Silque leaned over, brushing hair out of the infant's eyes.

"She's been suffering a raging fever all week. I kept thinking it had to break soon, but..."

Even as tired as she had to be feeling, Silque's expression betrayed no weariness. There was only a soft, encouraging smile as she ran her hands over the baby, a faint glow coming from her fingertips as she worked the soothe the infant and cure her ills.

Faye sat on the stool, watching Silque as she continued her work and trying not to feel useless. She could dress wounds and knew enough of herb lore to mix tonics that could soothe fevers – but she could work her fingers to the bone and not accomplish a tenth of what Silque did. Silque, with her gentle countenance and boundless patience, bringing comfort and joy with her mere presence. Silque with her healing magic that could mend even the most grievous of wounds.

Despite Silque's patient efforts at tutoring her, and her insistence that Faye did indeed hold the potential to be a healer, Faye's own attempts at learning such magic had only resulted in disappointment and failure.

No, all she could do in times like these was sit, watch and wait for Silque to finish her work for the day.

In front of her, Silque's straightened up with a sigh, and she smiled and nodded to the woman. The mother hugged her baby close, tears of joy streaming down her face. And Faye found that she too, was smiling.

Silque had barely bid the woman a quiet farewell when Faye stood, walking over to Silque and laying her blanket over her shoulder.


"Look at you!" Faye scolded even as she handed over a cup of tea, which Silque accepted with a grateful nod. "You're so tired you can barely keep your eyes open!"

Silque had explained to her once that magic was something that had to be properly rationed. Using too much of it at once took a severe toll on the body, and in some cases could leave the users bedridden for days.

Silque knew all this, better than Faye ever could. And yet she had spent the whole day casting spell after spell, trying to bring succour and healing to the inhabitants of the isolated hamlet they had found themselves in.

For a moment, Faye wondered if the residents knew how much Silque was giving of herself for their sakes. She wondered if they were grateful.

"I have no choice." Silque's speech was slow as she reached up to clutch the blanket tighter around her herself. She turned, almost stumbling as she did so and Faye reached a hand to her side to help steady her. Silque flashed her a grateful smile. "There are so many ailing people in the village."

Of course there were. Not just here, but all over the land. Wounded soldiers, coming home from war. Children, forced to go hungry due to poor harvests and the state taking most of what remained 'for the war effort'. People sick with grief and worry about what a future without gods would hold for them.

"Yeah, that's true. But there's still a limit to how far you can go," Faye sighed, and her grip on Silque tightened, as if she could transfer her own energy and strength across simply by holding her hard enough. "Pushing yourself too hard won't help anyone in the long run."

"I know that, Faye. I know." Faye could feel Silque shivering through the thin cloth of her robes, despite the cheery fire crackling in the room. "Yet, whenever I see so many despondent and hurting..." She closed her eyes and breathed out in a long sigh. "I can't just do nothing."

What Silque's already done for them is the furthest thing possible from 'nothing', but Faye knew just telling her that wouldn't do any good. So instead she reached down, threading her fingers in between Silque's.

She had always been like this, from the first moment Faye had laid eyes on her. Always fussing, always caring. The sort of person who would feel a call to travel the land, bringing aid to whoever needed it.

The sort of person who'd go out of her way to try to make friends with Faye.

"All right," she said, and took the now empty cup from Silque's hands, "if you're going to spend all your energy taking care of other people, then I'll just have to spend more of my time taking care of you. How about that?"

She smiled in response, and leaned in closer to Faye. "I think I'd like that very much."

Despite her worry over the bags under Silque's eyes and her drawn expression, Silque's trusting smile still made Faye feel warm inside.

2. Home for the Heart

The silver light of the moon filled the room, and Silque's soft humming made a comforting and familiar backdrop as Faye bent over the fire, stirring the soup in her pot.

There was a rustling sound, and Faye glanced up to see Silque smoothing out a small bundle of paper she had drawn out from her pack.

"Oh, are those letters?"

"Indeed. From my friends back at the Novis Priory. The news is probably a couple months late, but it's still nice to be able to keep track of how they're doing."

"Well, It's a good thing that letter was able to find us. After all, we've been on the move from village to village for the past few months." In fact, this particular hamlet was the longest they'd stayed in one place for a good while – mainly to aid in combating an outbreak of disease in the region.

Silque glanced up at her, and even in the flickering light given of the fire Faye could see that her brows were creased, coming close together.

"Is something the matter, Silque?"

"Hm? Ah, no, I was just... Ahem." With a light cough, Silque shook her head and turned away.

Questions about her odd behaviour bubbled up in Faye, but with a shake of her head, she decided to leave it be for now. There was a time and place for everything.

She was about to add some chopped carrots to the stock when she heard Silque give a little gasp. "Oh, how lovely!"

"Hm? What is it?"

"Mae and Boey – oh, that's two of my friends from the priory – they're getting married! They sent this letter to let me know!"

Faye couldn't help the pang in her heart – a dull ache that resonated. Talks of weddings, of couples, of love. It reminded her. But there was no reason to let herself drag the mood down, not when Silque was so clearly delighted on her friends' behalf.

So she smiled and nodded. "Well, good for them! Have they settled on a date yet?"

There was a pause as Silque scanned the letter for information. "Not exactly, no," she finally said. "But they expect it to take place... let's see, this letter was written about a month ago... a month and a half from now."

"Huh. That's still some time away," Faye said as she raised her head. "So do you want to attend the wedding? If it's in Novis, we should be able to make it in time if we take the most direct route south."

There was a time when Faye wouldn't have known anything about this. Where distances between towns and villages had been abstract, unknown things, and she wouldn't have been able to give any information about locations beyond 'nearby', 'far away', and most significantly 'not Ram'.

Now, she gazed up at the ceiling and silently recalled worn maps she had pored over, notes about roads that had fallen into disrepair and routes that crossed over the continent.

"I do want to see them again," Silque sighed and laid the papers down. "But... it's not as if we can just drop everything here and head down south."

That was true too. They were staying in this village precisely because the people here needed aid. And Silque was the only one who could provide it.

"Well, no need to rush," she offered after a moment of though. "If we leave after helping the people here we may end up arriving a little late, but I'm sure they'll be happy to see you again anyway."

Silque was obviously contemplating her words, trying to balance her own desires with those of the people she had sworn to help.

Well, she could give her own advice, but ultimately the decision would be left up to Silque. Faye would follow her, as she always had.

And for now...

"Dinner's ready!" she said, a merry note entering her voice. She filled two bowls with the broth and passed one to Silque, who took it with a smile and a nod of gratitude.

As Silque took her first spoonful, her eyes crinkled up in delight. "Mm! It's as delicious as always, Faye. You really are a skilled cook."

"Heh, thanks." She laughed as she took her first spoonful too, swallowing the savoury broth. "But the reason I was able to get these ingredients in the first place was because the villagers are all so grateful for the help you've given them. So really, it's as much because of you as it is me."

"Is that so?" Silque tilted her head to the side for a moment. "But still. You've taken over preparing our meals ever since you started travelling with me. It's really been a great help. Thank you."

"Well, I wasn't going to leave you to eat raw flour again!" Faye made a face as she remembered Silque telling her about the times she had to live off the land and forage for whatever food she could find. "I mean, yeah, it's not always possible to cook a proper meal on the move, but I still try to make the time for it whenever possible, like now." She paused and took a deep breath as she swirled her spoon in her bowl. "My Nan used to tell me that there's nothing quite like a nice, hot meal at the end of a long day."

Silque didn't reply immediately, instead biting at the bread that Faye had served alongside the soup.

"And you know what?" Faye continued. "I think she's right. Cooking a proper dinner like this and eating it with you... well, it really reminds me of home."

She'd thought the remark would have brought a smile to Silque's face, but instead, the expression came back. Not quite a frown, not quite a grimace.

"Silque? Is something the matter?"

"Faye, I..." there was a pause, and a sigh, "are you truly okay with continuing to travel with me?"

Faye's spoon stilled, halfway between the bowl and her mouth. "What are you talking about?"

"I couldn't help wondering," Silque pursed her lips and did not meet Faye's questioning gaze. "I know I was the one who invited you to join me on my pilgrimage. But... please don't feel obligated to continue on my behalf. If you ever feel that you wish to return home, you only need to let me know."

Ah, that's right. I have been talking about home more often of late, haven't I? Faye nodded to herself. I guess it's natural Silque would think I miss it.

And it was true. She had always liked the idea of a quiet, safe home. A cottage back in Ram, a life spent in comfortable peace.

But she liked the idea of being with Silque more.

She reached out, curling her fingers around Silque's hand that lay on the table. There was a blink of surprise, and her mouth opened slightly.

"I'm here because I want to be, Silque," she said, her fingers tightening their grip. Her hands were rough and callused, a lifetime of wandering and work embedded into them.

To Faye, they felt warm. Soothing.

For a moment, silence. And then Silque's lips curled upwards.

"I see. I'm glad to hear that."

3. Scarlet

In the months following the war, the number of bandit raids had dropped significantly. After all, the knights were now free to venture forth and see to the task of keeping the peace. The bandit chieftains that had organized large raids had been defeated, first by Celica's expedition through the desert and later by the efforts of the nascent mercenary kingdom. Food was more plentiful now, and those who had turned to crime out of desperation could now drop their axes and return to picking up ploughs.

The brigands that did remain now preferred to prey on lone travellers that would make easy pickings. Even robbing pairs was a risky venture, especially when both of them were people who had experience with combat.

Not to say such things were unheard of, of course.

Faye's blade flashed through the air, stabbing deep into her opponent's gut. A choked cry as the body collapsed to the cold earth.

She barely paid him any mind, yanking her sword out in a smooth motion and whirling to face her next foe. They were still outnumbered, and she couldn't afford to spend more time than was absolutely necessary on any one opponent.

The woods around them had concealed the numbers of the bandits until they struck, but from a quick look over there had been seven or eight. Not good odds, but numbers alone didn't tell the whole story.

A flash of actinic light from behind her and a yell of pain told her that Silque had struck as well, driving one of her attackers back. And all of a sudden, the bandits were backing off, circling warily instead of charging the two of them with wild cries.

It made sense, Faye supposed, as she held her sword steady. They had probably been relying on strength of numbers to intimidate or quickly overwhelm their targets. Now that they had run into someone who could hold their own and fight back, they were starting to re-evaluate if staying and making a fight of it was worth it for the meagre provisions the two of them carried.

Another one decided to charge her – this one holding a blunt and battered sword. Faye moved to evade the wild swing, and slashed upwards.

Others might have tried to turn the killing blow into a disarming one instead. Alm, maybe. Or perhaps Gray. But Faye wasn't good enough that she could afford to hold back. In war, in battle, there was only survival.

The opponent fell to the ground with a thudding noise. He did not rise again.

And that was it. The remaining brigands broke and run into the woods.

Almost all of them.

Faye turned to face Silque, wanting to check if she was unhurt. Silque turned to face her as well, and that was why she didn't notice the bandit she had wounded earlier struggling to his feet, a knife clutched in his hand.

Silque must have seen the look of alarm on Faye's face, because she whirled – and the stab aimed at her heart plunged deep into her shoulder instead.

Even as Silque fell to her knees, light flared from her hand, and the Nosferatu spell struck the brigand. He fell, dead, as the healing energies of the spell flowed into Silque.

But it wasn't enough. The last-second incantation had likely saved her from being killed immediately, but the wound was still deep and dark blood flowed freely.

Faye didn't recall moving or dropping her sword, she only suddenly realized that she was clinging on to Silque, trying desperately to get her to sit up, to look her in the eye.

"Silque, hang on!"

Silque's healing magic that had saved so many others would be of no use here. They were reflections of Mila's own blessings – meant to aid others, not themselves.

Merciful Mother, please, hear me now...

It made no sense to pray to a dead god, but Faye did so anyway, panic overriding rationality as she held Silque close. She was still lucid, but her breathing was uneven and it was clear that she was fading fast.

There was only one way.

"Silque! Silque, listen," she could hear the desperation in her own voice as she clamped her hands around the wound, doing her best to slow the bleeding. "You have to use Nosferatu on me. Do you understand? Cast it on me!"

She could see Silque's eyes widen in alarm.

"Do it! Use my energy and heal yourself! Hurry!"

Slowly, painfully, expending energy she could not afford to use, Silque shook her head once.

No? But then, the only other way was...

Every time Faye had tried to cast a healing spell of her own, it had failed. Every time. Either nothing happened, or she would simply hurt herself as the spell went haywire.

Magic is as much about mindset as it is knowledge. Silque had told her once. And Faye had taken that lesson to heart. She could never be as selfless or as giving of herself as Silque, so maybe that was why she could never accomplish what Silque could.

But now...

One shaking hand rested over the wound. Taking a deep breath, trying to slow her stampeding heart, Faye began to focus on weaving the spell.

The forest faded away. The stench of blood and death disappeared. All that was left was the two of them, and a single thought, seared into Faye's mind with utter clarity.

I can't lose you, Silque. No matter what else, no matter what happens, I can't lose you.

I can't lose you.

I can't.

I won't.

"Please..." Her whisper was so soft she barely heard it herself. "Please."

Light, and warmth.

Faye blinked and felt tears on her cheeks, even as verdant light surged from her open palm, the magic flowing into and sealing up Silque's wound.

Finally, the glow faded, and though blood still soaked her dress and her face was still pale, Silque's breathing had evened out, and seemed to be getting stronger.

"... Silque?" Faye asked. She needed to make sure.

Slowly, they opened. Eyes of deep blue-grey that reminded her of the ocean. A tired smile played across her face.

Faye felt her lungs, squeezing out a gasp of delight. And then she reached down to hold Silque close, clutching her as tight as she could to her own body.

After a moment, she felt Silque's arms come up around her as well, returning the embrace.

4. Part of the Harmony

"Wow." Faye commented as she gazed out at the bonfire burning away merrily in the centre of the town. "People from Novis really know how to throw a party."

A laugh from Silque, sitting at her side. "It's usually not nearly so grand. But with this being the first Harvest Festival after the end of the war... well, I suppose they decided to go all out this time."

All around them were colourful decorations, people singing and dancing. The sounds of revelry was ceaseless and defeaning, to the extent that Faye found it a little difficult to hear her own thoughts. And the press of people around her was overwhelming.

But, well. Celebrations like these were okay, she decided. Enjoyable, even. Every once in a while, at least.

On that note, she looked over at Silque, who was sitting with a small smile on her face as she sipped at her drink.

"Still, it's a shame we weren't able to arrive in time to celebrate your friends' wedding," she offered.

"It's fine." Silque shrugged. "By all accounts the ceremony was lovely. And they've invited us to have dinner with them... after the celebrations quiet down a little, of course. I can't wait."

Amidst the roar of noise and the dancing lights, Faye found herself growing more quiet, staring down at the drink she clutched in her hands.

She hadn't really thought about it that much, but of course Silque would have had friends she'd known before she had ever met Faye. People from her life in Novis that Faye wouldn't know anything about. And now she was going to meet them.

In tonight's dinner, no matter how accommodating and friendly they tried to be with her, she would be an outsider, someone who would be looking in while they monopolized Silque's time and attention.

No. Stop it. She was familiar – more than familiar – with the feelings of jealousy curdling in her now, and she quickly stamped down on it, as fast and as hard as she could. She was letting herself be carried away by dark fantasies that had no basis in reality. And anyway, what right do I have to demand that my relationship with Silque be a special one? I'm the one who pushed her away. Twice.

She raised her drink to her lips and took a long sip. It was frustrating sometimes, she had to admit. Silque was always so understanding, so kind. So much so it made Faye feel silly bringing up her concerns about their relationship.

Their relationship... And what exactly is our relationship, anyway?

Friends? Definitely.

Something more? That thought had ghosted through her head, more than once. And yet, what the 'more' meant was all tangled up in her thoughts and feelings, threads that would take time and energy to properly unravel.

Did she want to know where they led? She wasn't entirely sure.

She released a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

A hand on her shoulder startled her out of her thoughts and she looked up to see Silque giving her a smile.

"Come on, Faye! It's starting!"

"Starting?" Placing her cup beside her on the bench , Faye looked around. It was true that everyone around her seemed to be shuffling into position for something. Just what it was, Faye wasn't quite sure. "What is?"

"The communal dance." Silque had to lean in close to make herself heard, and her breath tickled Faye's ear. "It's how we always cap off the celebrations for the night."

"D – dance?" Faye sputtered. She certainly hadn't heard anything about this.

"Yes, it's been a tradition for as long as I can remember. Come on!" And then Silque was pulling her up, and Faye found she wasn't resisting quite as much as she thought she should.

"But – I don't know anything about this dance!" Or most dances, really. "I don't know any of the steps!"

"It's fine! It's easy to learn." Lit by the shining glow of the fire, Silque's beamed at her. "Just follow my lead."

Faye managed a smile of her own. "All right."

The first few steps were slow and hesitant. Gradually, they began to pick up speed, and Faye found herself clinging on Silque, letting her movements guide her own.

The dance was not slow, neither was it particular romantic. And yet, as they moved and swayed through the thronging crowds, Faye was suddenly acutely aware of how close Silque was to her, of the warmth and heat of her body at points where they dance brought them nearer to each other.

Gradually, Faye's footwork became more sure as her body learned to follow the rhythm. No longer was she half a step behind Silque – now she was was moving together with her. Moving in harmony.

And when the music died and the two of them were standing there, both panting, covered in sweat and grinning at each other, for a moment Faye cast her worries aside and just enjoyed the feeling of being there.

Silque and her. Standing together, amidst the crowds.

She didn't want that moment to end.

5. A Wing and a Prayer

"Faye! Silque! Oh, I've missed the both of you so much! Welcome!" The voice was warm, friendly, and inviting. Faye kept her head low.

"Thank you for granting us an audience, your Majesty." The words coming from her tongue felt strange and clumsy. Well, in a way that was hardly unsurprising. Faye was no more used to the large halls and ornate decorations around her than she was to courtly manners and refined speech. Nevertheless she'd practised the words of greeting, and she swallowed, hoping that it had been good enough.

"Oh, please don't. You don't have to talk to me that way." More echoing steps as the speaker stepped close, and Faye dared to lift her head. "And you don't need to call me 'Your Highness', either. Just 'Celica' is fine."

"Oh, er... thank you, Your Ma..." Faye coughed. "Thanks... Celica."

The Queen of the One Kingdom raised one hand to her mouth and laughed once. "Well, greetings aside, it's so good to see the both of you again! And travelling together! I didn't even know you knew each other!"

"Well, we met during the war." Faye rubbed the back of her head and managed a sheepish smile.

"Indeed. And we just arrived from Novis. It's good to see you again, Celica."

"Novis? You've been there? Mae and Boey were a little disappointed you weren't able to make it for the wedding, but it's good you were able to make the time to visit them afterwards,"

"Indeed. And they let me know everyone was more than a little surprised when the Queen showed up in person to offer them her blessings."

"As if I would miss it for the world! But that's enough about me – it's mostly been diplomacy and meetings these past few months – what about you? How has your journey been?"

Faye had to smile a little as she watched Silque and Celica chatting animatedly with each other. Well, she supposed they'd want the time to catch up – she could have her own talk with Celica later.

Just then, she heard more footsteps behind her and she turned to see-

"Alm!" A rush of emotions welled up in her suddenly, some of it familiar, some of it not. Suddenly she realized that she'd forgotten to call him by his title but it appeared as if he didn't mind one bit.

"Faye!" He smiled at her, the same way he always had. Warm and friendly. "It's so good to see you again!"

"... It's good to see you too, Alm." She said, suddenly finding herself at a loss for words. The last time she'd seen him, it had been when she'd taken one last, forlorn look back over her shoulder as the crown had been placed on his head. That seemed like a lifetime ago, a distant hazy memory of the past. And now, he was standing in front of her all of a sudden.

"Do you want to take a little walk?" he gestured behind him before he shifted his gaze over to where Silque and Celica had settled themselves on chairs and were continuing to talk animatedly. "I get the feeling they might be a while."

Faye had to smile at the sight. Silque had always had a penchant for gossip, and while Faye had tried to be accommodating in that regard she hadn't ever been able to contribute much herself. She supposed Celica was more along that stripe, and she knew from experience that they could happily while away a couple of hours chatting.

And so she nodded towards Alm. "That sounds nice."

As they walked, some people passing by bowed or saluted to the king and gave her odd looks. She supposed she had to stand out, with her grubby, handmade clothes and her features weathered from exposure to the elements. But the king's presence at her side meant that no one was going to speak up about it.

The two of them were almost silent as they walked together through the halls of Castle Zofia. Faye was grateful. She was still trying to gather her thoughts regarding Alm, trying to decide on what to say.

"It's been going well, hasn't it?" she finally said as they stepped out onto the balcony overlooking the capital. "The rebuilding, I mean. You've been doing a great job, Alm. The signs of recovery are all over the continent."

And it was true. Roads had been repaired. Knights had started patrolling again. People looked forward to the coming months with hope instead of apprehension.

"Thanks, but I can't take all the credit. It's because everyone's worked together. Grandfather, Celica, Conrad, Sir Clive... Everyone's doing their part to ensure a better tomorrow." A pause, and then he turned to smile at her. "And you too, of course."

"M – me?" Faye blinked.

"Well, yeah. You've been travelling with Silque, right? There's been plenty of reports about the two of you, bringing healing and hope even to the farthest corners of old Rigel. The both of you are definitely helping with the recovery, in your own ways."

She sighed and shook her head, even as she leaned over the balcony, staring down at the people going about their lives. "That's pretty much all Silque, not me. I mean, I finally figured out healing magic, but even then she does the bulk of the caretaking and work. She's just a natural at it. Mostly I just... help support her."

"And it's important that she has support, too." Alm countered without missing a beat. "Silque's always been caring, but there's a limit to what someone can do alone. And... well, if I'm going to be honest, I think it's also been good for you – being out there with her, I mean."

She didn't respond beyond turning her head to give him a questioning look.

Alm sighed and rubbed at the back of his head, looking uncharacteristically young for a moment. "Look, after you... er, left, and went back to the village, I was a little worried about you. After what happened, I'd hoped you would be able to move on. I couldn't help but wonder if you were doing okay."

"I wasn't okay," she said. The words came out simply, without weight. "But Silque came and found me again. And she saved me." She knew that, beyond a doubt. Travelling with Silque, learning and exploring at her own pace without the threat of war looming in the background, had been a wonderful experience. One that she wouldn't trade for anything now. "So, I'm fine now. But thanks for your concern, Alm."

Another moment of silence, pregnant with expectation. Then Alm coughed. "Faye, I know this is a little personal, but... is Silque important to you?"

"What? Of course she is! But..." she frowned and properly turned to face him. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, I'm glad you seem happy to be with her, but... well, at the same time, you seem a little troubled whenever you're talking about her."

She resisted the urge to sigh. Same old Alm. Always thoughtful. Always observant.

"I just... I'm not sure where things stand with the two of us, right now." A distant part of her noted that it was a little funny to be discussing her potential love life with Alm. But then again, perhaps knowing that he was never going to see her that way allowed her to be more honest with him in turn. "For the longest time, I was happy to call her a friend, but recently... I don't know. It feels like it's not enough. I want to be more to her."

Seeing Alm again, in person, had helped her to confirm it in her mind. The stirrings she'd felt whenever she locked eyes with Silque, whenever they could laugh and talk together, when their hands found each other in quiet moments... it reminded her of the times she had spent with Alm, when she had silently begged him with her eyes to see her as more than a friend. The longing was so familiar, yet not.

"You haven't talked about this with her yet?"

She managed a rueful smile. "The last time I confessed to someone, it didn't exactly go the way I'd hoped it would." A long sigh. "I guess I'm worried. Silque is the best thing to have happened to me in a long time, Alm. I... I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that." Not again.

Alm was silent for a long moment, his expression thoughtful. "I admit I don't know Silque as well as you do, Faye. And it's possible she doesn't feel that way about you after all. But..." he lay a hand on her shoulder, and she looked up at him. "I think you owe it to yourself to be honest, and to Silque too. It'll be better than keeping it bottled up and fretting."

She knew those words were true, of course. Likely she'd always known. But somehow, hearing it from Alm made it feel more real, and made her feel more capable of acting. She smiled and dipped her head. "Thanks, Alm. I'll keep that in mind."

"Faye!" the call came from the entrance of the balcony, and she turned to see Silque walking up to her, with Celica following closely behind. She smiled. "There you are! I was wondering where'd you gone off to."

"I hope you'll find happiness, Faye." Alm said to her as he patted her on the back, urging her forward.

And she did. Faye took a step forward and reached out a hand to Silque, who accepted it with a graceful smile. "I was just... having a talk. Clearing my head." Faye found herself smiling back.

Alm was right, Faye decided as she looked at her friend's beaming face.

She wanted to find her happiness, together with Silque.

And she could only pray that Silque felt the same.

Chapter End

Author's Notes: Concluding chapter should be up in about a week.

Faye strikes me as the kind who's unwilling to rock the boat. She's obviously crushed on Alm hard since they were childhood friends, but she never made her feelings overtly known until it became apparent Alm was slipping away from her due to his experiences in the war, and then she openly confesses to him – too late, as it turns out. So it's partly due to that that I wrote her as reluctant to confess to Silque, and partly because she's not quite sure about her own feelings yet.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy this, and as always comments and reviews are most appreciated.